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Upon entering His youthful age, Lord Chaitanya, who was also known as Gaurasundara, decorated Himself with ornaments, dressed in fine cloth, garlanded Himself and smeared sandalwood paste over His body. While exhibiting His pride in His education, the Lord defeated all kinds of learned scholars, without caring for anyone.
At age sixteen, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began His own chatuspathi, or village school conducted by a learned brahmana. While claiming to be diseased due to disturbances of the bodily airs, the Lord manifested His ecstatic love for Krishna, and taught the grammatical rules by explaining them in relation to Krishna. In this way, the Lord wanted to induce His students to refrain from worldly education and attain the highest perfection of knowledge.
After some days, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to Gaya, along with many of his disciples, to offer pinda-dana for the benefit of his departed father. While going there, the Lord became sick, and so, to gain relief from His high fever, He requested His assistants to bring some water that had washed the feet of brahmanas. It so happened that when the Lord drank the water He became immediately cured, and in this way He personally showed how much respect is due genuine brahminical culture. While at Gaya, the Lord met Shri Ishvara Puri, and immediately after being initiated by him, He began exhibiting the symptoms of love of God.
One day, after His return to Navadvipa, while sitting upon the altar of Lord Vishnu in the house of Shrivasa Thakura, in a mood of His own, the Lord announced, “My mother has offended the lotus feet of Advaita Acharya. Unless she nullifies this Vaishnava-aparadha, it will not be possible for her to achieve love for Krishna.”
After Vishvarupa had left home to take sannyasa, mother Sachi accused Advaita Acharya of having influenced her son, and thus she committed a so-called offense. When the devotees heard the Lord’s declaration, they immediately went and called for Advaita Acharya. As Advaita Acharya went along the road, He continually glorified mother Sachi, and then, upon arriving at the house of Shrivasa Thakura, He fell down onto the ground in ecstasy. Under the instruction of the Lord, Sachidevi took advantage of the situation and touched Advaita Acharya’s lotus feet. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very pleased by this, and He said, “My mother’s offense at the lotus feet of Advaita Acharya has been rectified, and so she may now obtain love for Krishna without difficulty.”
Some time thereafter, Advaita Acharya requested Lord Chaitanya to display the universal form that He had formerly shown to Arjuna. Since the Lord agreed to the proposal, Advaita Prabhu was fortunate enough to see the universal form of the Lord. Then, one day, Shrivasa Thakura performed the abhisheka ceremony as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sat upon a cot. At this time, the devotees worshiped the Lord with all kinds of paraphernalia, according to their means, and in return, the Lord benedicted them according to their desire.
Shrila Nityananda Prabhu appeared at the village of Ekachakra in the Birbaum district of Bengal, as the son of Hadai Pandita and Padmavati. In His childhood, Lord Nityananda used to play just like Balarama while imitating the pastimes of Vrindavana. When Nityananda was just a youth, a sannyasi came to Hadai Pandita’s house and begged that his son be allowed to accompany him as a brahmachari assistant. Hadai Pandita immediately delivered Nityananda to the sannyasi, but in separation from his son, he died soon thereafter.
Nityananda Prabhu traveled to many places of pilgrimage along with the sannyasi. While residing at Mathura, He heard about Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes at Navadvipa, and then started out for Bengal in order to meet Him. For some time, Lord Nityananda secretly remained at Nandana Acharya’s house, and when Lord Chaitanya understood this, He sent the devotees to look for Him.
At the time of Their meeting, Lord Chaitanya exhibited to Lord Nityananda His six-armed for called sad-bhuja, which is a representation of three incarnations. In His six hands, the Lord held a bow and an arrow to symbolize Lord Ramachandra, a stick and a flute to symbolize Lord Krishna, and a sannyasa danda and kamandalu as Lord Chaitanya.
Some time after, the Lord exhibited another six-armed form to Lord Nityananda, bearing a conch shell, disc, club, lotus flower, bow and flute. Then, the Lord showed Him a four-armed form that stood in a three-curved posture. With two hands the Lord played a flute, and in the other two hands He carried a conch shell and a disc. Finally, the Lord revealed His original two-armed form as Krishna, the son of Maharaja Nanda, dressed in yellow garments and playing His flute.
Thereafter, by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s order, Nityananda Prabhu arranged for Vyasa-puja on the full-moon night. While sankirtana was going on, Lord Nityananda attempted to garland Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, but when He saw Himself in the Lord, He became very astonished. During this very special ceremony, all of the devotees got the opportunity to directly understand that there is no difference between Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda.
One night thereafter, Mother Sachi dreamt that her household Krishna-Balarama Deities had taken the form of Chaitanya and Nityananda, and were fighting each other over who would eat the Deities’ offering. The next day, by the will of Lord Chaitanya, Sachidevi invited Nityananda for prasada, and as the two Lords ate together, she realized that They were none other than Krishna and Balarama. Upon having this truth revealed to her, Mother Sachi immediately fainted.
Jagai and Madhai were brothers that were born into a very respectable brahmana family of Navadvipa, but had later on become addicted to all kinds of sinful activities. By bad association they had become drunkards, meat-eaters, prostitute hunters, and dacoits of the worst description.
By the order of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Nityananda and Haridasa Thakura used to go out daily and preach Krishna consciousness door to door. Once, as Nityananda and Haridasa Thakura were walking down the main road, they came upon an agitated crowd of people. By inquiring from some passers-by, the two preachers could understand that Jagai and Madhai were creating a great disturbance in a drunken state. They also heard about the history of these two brothers and their notorious activities, and so Nityananda Prabhu considered as follows: “These two fallen souls must be the first to be delivered from their sinful life, for then the good name of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will become even more glorified.”
While thinking in this way, Nityananda and Haridasa pushed their way through the crowd, and then requested Jagai and Madhai to chant the holy name of the Lord. However, the drunken brothers immediately became enraged upon hearing this request, and they abused the two preachers with filthy language while chasing them a considerable distance. That evening, when the report of their preaching work was submitted to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord was very pleased to hear how Nityananda and Haridasa had tried to deliver such a pair of rascals.
The next day, Lord Nityananda again tried to approach the two brothers. However, as soon as he saw Nityananda, Madhai picked up a piece of a clay pot and threw it at Him with great force. Although blood began to immediately flow from the wound on His forehead, Lord Nityananda did not retaliate. Instead, He implored the two brothers, “It does not matter that you have thrown this piece of clay pot at Me. I still request you to chant the holy name of Lord Hari.”
Jagai was very astonished to see this merciful behavior, and so he at once fell down at the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda and begged Him to forgive his sinful brother. Then, when Madhai attempted to attack Nityananda a second time, Jagai checked his brother while imploring him to also take shelter at the Lord’s lotus feet.
Meanwhile, when news of Nityananda’s injury reached Lord Chaitanya, He rushed to the spot in a fiery mood. Then, as the Lord invoked His Sudarshana chakra to kill the sinners, Nityananda reminded Him that His mission was to deliver the hopelessly fallen souls of this age, and not kill them.
While Nityananda was thus begging for forgiveness on their behalf, Jagai and Madhai both fell down at Lord Chaitanya’s lotus feet and implored Him to pardon their misbehavior. At Nityananda’s urging, the Lord agreed to forgive the repenting souls, on the condition that they henceforward give up their sinful life of debauchery. When Jagai and Madhai agreed to give up their sinful habits, the all-merciful Lord accepted and embraced them, and thus they became at once cleansed of all material contamination. After initiating Jagai and Madhai into the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not again refer to their past misdeeds.
Thereafter, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu once sat down on the bed of Lord Vishnu in the house of Shrivasa Thakura. As all of the devotees worshiped Him with various kinds of paraphernalia and the chanting of the Purusha-sukta mantras, He remained in an ecstatic trance for twenty-one hours. This pastime is referred to as shata-prahariya bhava (the ecstasy of seven praharas), or maha-prakasha, and at this time, Lord Chaitanya revealed to the devotees that He is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, the source of all incarnations. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also exposed all of the private desires of the devotees, and thus they became fully confident that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The Lord blessed a maidservant named Duhkhi, by giving her the name Sukhi. He called for Murari Gupta and revealed to him His form of Lord Ramachandra, and He also showed His divinity to Kholavecha Shridhara.
As Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu called for all of the devotees, one after another, Mukunda Datta waited outside the door, for the Lord had forbidden him to enter into His association because of his habit of mixing with Mayavadis. When the devotees informed Lord Chaitanya that Mukunda was standing outside, He declared, “I shall not very soon be pleased with Mukunda Datta, for he explains devotional service while in the association of devotees, and then goes elsewhere to hear from the Mayavadis. For this I am greatly displeased with him.”
Surprisingly, Mukunda Datta became exceedingly happy to hear Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu say this. Because some time in the future the Lord would become pleased with him, even if it were after millions of births, Mukunda began dancing in ecstasy outside the house. When the Lord understood that Mukunda was ready to give up the association of Mayavadis once and for all, He became very pleased, and so called for him at once.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then embraced Haridasa Thakura and said, “You are none other than the incarnation of Prahlada Maharaja.”
One day, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began calling, “Sukara, Sukara”, crying out for the Lord’s Boar incarnation. Then, while absorbed in the ecstasy of Lord Varaha, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu assumed His form as a boar and got up onto the shoulders of Murari Gupta. While carrying a small water pot that represented the earth, the Lord danced with Murari Gupta in his courtyard.
Once, as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing in ecstasy, Suklambara Brahmachari approached Him, carrying a begging bag that contained some rice. Being very pleased with His devotee, Lord Chaitanya snatched the bag out of his hands and began eating the raw rice. Since no one forbade Him, the Lord finished Suklambara’s entire supply.
Thereafter, the Lord explained the meaning of the “harer nama” shloka that is found in the Brhan-naradiya Purana. “In this age of Kali, there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than the chanting of the holy name, the chanting of the holy name, the chanting of the holy name of Lord Hari.”
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained, “In this age of Kali, the holy name of the Lord is the incarnation of Lord Krishna. Simply by chanting the holy name, one associates with the Supreme Lord directly and thus he certainly becomes delivered. This verse repeats the word ‘eva’ (certainly) three times for emphasis, and the words ‘harer nama’ are also repeated for the same reason. The word ‘kevala’ (only), is meant to prohibit all other processes, such as the cultivation of knowledge, the practice of mystic yoga, and the performance of austerities and fruitive activities. In other words, anyone who accepts any other path cannot be delivered, and thus the words ‘nasty eva’ (nothing else) are repeated three times.”
“In order to chant the holy name of the Lord always, one should be humbler than the grass in the street, devoid of all desire for personal honor, and ready to offer others all respectful obeisances.”
“A devotee who is engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord should practice forbearance like that of a tree. Even if one cuts a tree it never protests, and even if it is drying up, it does not ask anyone for water. In the same way, even if he is rebuked or chastised, a devotee should not say anything to retaliate, and he should not ask anything from anyone else. If someone gives him something without being asked, a devotee should accept it, but if nothing comes, then he should be satisfied to eat that which is easily available. If one always chants the holy name of the Lord, and is satisfied with that which is easily obtained, such devotional behavior solidly maintains his devotional life.”
“Raising My hands I declare, ‘Everyone please hear Me! String this verse on the thread of the holy name and wear it around your neck for continual remembrance: “One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect honor and yet is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily continually chant the holy name of the Lord.” ’ ”
Every night for one full year, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu led congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in the house of Shrivasa Thakura. This ecstatic chanting and dancing was performed behind closed doors so that the atheists who came there just to mock them could not gain entrance. Because of this, the nonbelievers almost burned to ashes and died because of their envy, and so, in order to retaliate, they made various plans to give trouble to Shrivasa Thakura.
One night, while kirtana was going on, the chief of the atheists, named Gopala Chapala, who was very coarse in behavior and speech, placed the paraphernalia for worshiping goddess Durga on Shrivasa Thakura’s doorstep. Hoping to defame the learned brahmana by proving that he was actually a shakta, although externally posing as a Vaishnava, Gopala Chapala placed the red flower called oda-phula, kunkuma, red sandalwood paste and a pot of wine outside his door.
In the morning, when Shrivasa saw this paraphernalia, he called for the respectable gentlemen of the neighborhood and then smilingly told them, “Every night I worship the goddess Bhavani. Since all this paraphernalia is here, you respectable members of the higher castes can understand my real position.”
At this, all of the assembled gentlemen exclaimed, “What is this? Who has performed such a mischievous act? Who is that sinful man?”
A sweeper was immediately called for, and all of the items of worship were thrown far away and the place was thoroughly cleansed with a mixture of cow-dung and water.
Three days later, Gopala Chapala was attacked by leprosy, and blood oozed from the sores that covered his entire body. Because insects and germs incessantly bit these sores, Gopala Chapala felt unbearable pain, and his entire body burned in distress. Since leprosy is infectious, Gopala Chapala left the village and sat down underneath a tree on the bank of the Ganga.
Then, one day, he happened to see Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu pass by, and so he addressed the Lord as follows: “My dear nephew, I am your maternal uncle according to our village relationship. Just see how greatly I have become afflicted by this attack of leprosy. Since You are an incarnation of God, You are delivering innumerable fallen souls. I am also a greatly unhappy fallen soul, and so kindly deliver me as well, by Your mercy.”
After hearing this, Lord Chaitanya appeared to become very angry. He chastised Gopala Chapala in the following way: “O sinful person, since you are envious of pure devotees, I shall not deliver you! Rather, I shall have you bitten by these germs for many millions of years. For the offense of making it appear as if Shrivasa Thakura worships the goddess Bhavani, you shall fall down into hellish life for millions of births. I have appeared in this incarnation to kill all the demons, and after doing so, to preach the cult of devotional service.”
After saying this, the Lord left, to take His bath in the Ganga, and Gopala Chapala did not give up his life, but continued to remain there and suffer. Later on, after taking sannyasa, when Lord Chaitanya returned to Navadvipa, Gopala Chapala took shelter at His lotus feet. The Lord then mercifully gave Him the following instructions for his benefit: “Since you have offended Shrivasa Thakura, you must first of all go and beg for his mercy. Then, if he gives you his blessings, and you do not commit such sinful acts again, you will be freed from these reactions.”
The brahmana, Gopala Chapala took shelter of Shrivasa Thakura’s lotus feet, and by his mercy he became relieved from his diseased condition.
There was another brahmana who came to Shrivasa Thakura’s house but because the door was locked he could not see the kirtana performance and so he returned home disappointed. This brahmana was expert in speaking harshly and cursing others. The next day, when he happened to meet Lord Chaitanya on the banks of the Ganga, he broke his sacred thread and declared, “Because Your behavior has greatly aggrieved me, I hereby curse You to become bereft of all material happiness!”
When the Lord heard these words, He considered them to be a benediction, and so He felt great jubilation within Himself.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu always respected Advaita Acharya as His spiritual master because He was a disciple of Madhavendra Puri, the spiritual master of Ishvara Puri. Advaita Acharya did not like this behavior, however, for His aspiration was to be treated as the Lord’s eternal servant. Therefore, after devising a means to antagonize the Lord, Advaita Acharya began to explain the path of philosophical speculation to some Mayavadis. When Lord Chaitanya heard about this, He immediately went there in a very angry mood and began beating Advaita Acharya.
Being greatly pleased, Advaita Acharya began to dance in ecstasy as He declared, “Just see how My desire has finally become fulfilled! For so long Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu treated Me with great honor, but now He is neglecting Me. This is My great reward. His affection for Me is so great that He wanted to save Me from the hands of the Mayavadis.”
Upon hearing this statement, Lord Chaitanya felt somewhat ashamed, but at heart He was greatly pleased with Advaita Acharya.
Once, as the Lord was explaining the glories of the holy name to the devotees, some ordinary students who were present there began to make their own interpretations. When one of the students commented that the glories of the holy name were exaggerated in shastra in order to induce people to chant it, the Lord became greatly unhappy. After warning everyone never to look at that student’s face again, the Lord, along with His companions, went and bathed in the Ganga without even changing His clothes. While there, He further described the glories of devotional service, and then praised Murari Gupta, saying, “You have satisfied Lord Krishna by your execution of devotional service.”
In reply, Murari Gupta quoted a verse from Shrimad-Bhagavatam, spoken by the brahmana Sudama: “Since I am but a poor, sinful relative of a brahmana, and You, Lord Krishna, are the shelter of the goddess of fortune, it is simply wonderful that You have embraced me with Your arms.”
Actually, Murari Gupta was not even a brahma-bandhu, because he had been born in a family of physicians, who at that time were considered shudras. However, the Lord was fully satisfied with him because he was a great devotee of Lord Ramachandra. Previously, when Lord Chaitanya had heard the glories of Lord Ramachandra from Murari Gupta, He immediately wrote the word, “Ramadasa” on his forehead.
One day, as the Lord performed sankirtana at the house of Shrivasa Thakura, the devotees became greatly fatigued, and so sat down. The Lord then asked them what they would like to eat, and the devotees expressed their desire to have mangoes, even though they were out of season.
The Lord called for a mango seed, and when it was brought, He planted it in the ground in front of Shrivasa Thakura’s house. At once, a sprout began growing out of the seed, and within a moment, as everyone looked on in great astonishment, the tree became fully-grown, laden with innumerable fully ripened fruit. These mangoes were red and yellow, they had no seeds or skin, and a single one was sufficient to fill a man’s belly.
After picking about two hundred mangoes, Lord Chaitanya washed them offered them to Krishna. Thereafter, the Lord took prasada, and then fed all of the devotees with the nectarean fruit. All throughout the year mangoes continued growing on that tree, and thus every day, after sankirtana, there was a mango-eating festival.
Once, when Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was performing sankirtana a short distance from the village, clouds assembled overhead, thundering threateningly, and so the devotees became afraid. With karatalas in hand, Lord Chaitanya began looking upward, as if directing the demigods, and soon thereafter, all of the clouds dispersed. When the sky became clear and the moon began to rise, the Lord continued dancing very happily, along with His satisfied devotees.
Once, as Shrivasa Thakura was performing the shraddha ceremony of his father, he was listening to the thousand names of Lord Vishnu, as was customary. At that time, Lord Chaitanya came there and also became absorbed in listening to the holy names of the Lord. When, in the course of the recitation, the name of Lord Nrisimha appeared, Lord Chaitanya manifested His angry mood. Indeed, the Lord’s eyes became red, His hair stood on end, His entire body trembled, and He made a fearful roaring sound.
Then, all of a sudden, the Lord picked up a club and began running through the streets, ready to kill all the atheists. Seeing Him in the fierce ecstasy of Lord Nrisimhadeva, the people fled here and there, thinking, “We do not know what kind of offense we have now committed!”
When the Lord saw how the people were so afraid, He came to His external senses Then, after throwing away the club, He returned to the house of Shrivasa Thakura. There, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sat down morosely and told Shrivasa, “When I displayed the mood of Lord Nrisimha, the people became very afraid. Therefore, I stopped, since causing fear among innocent people is a great offense.”
Shrivasa Thakura replied, “My dear Lord, anyone who chants Your holy name vanquishes millions of His offenses immediately. There was no offense in Your having taken the form of Lord Nrisimhadeva. Rather, whoever saw You in that mood became immediately liberated from the bondage of material existence.”
After saying this, Shrivasa Thakura worshiped Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and then the Lord, being very satisfied, returned home.
Another day, a great devotee of Lord Shiva came to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s house. While chanting the glories of Lord Shiva, he began dancing in the Lord’s courtyard and playing upon his damaru. Lord Chaitanya then manifest the mood of Lord Shiva, and after getting up onto the man’s shoulders, danced along with him for a long time.
One day, a mendicant came to beg alms from Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s house, but when he saw the Lord dancing, he also began to dance, being favored with love for Krishna.
On another day, an astrologer who was supposed to know everything, past, present and future, came to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s house. After receiving the astrologer with all due respect, the Lord questioned him as follows: “My dear sir, please tell Me, by your astrological calculations, who I was in My previous birth.”
After hearing this, the astrologer immediately began his calculations, and then, in his meditation, he saw the greatly effulgent body of the Supreme Lord. Upon seeing that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the astrologer became so struck with wonder that he simply sat, speechless. Then, when Lord Chaitanya repeated His question, the astrologer finally replied as follows: “My dear sir, in Your previous birth You were the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full of all opulence. You are now that same Supreme Personality of Godhead, the shelter of all creation.”
Upon hearing the astrologer speaking so highly of Him, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu interrupted and smilingly said, “I do not think that you understand very clearly My past life, for I know that in My previous birth I was a cowherd boy. Because of my pious activity of giving protection to the cows and calves, I have now become the son of a brahmana.”
The astrologer replied, “I am certain that Your form and the form that I saw in meditation are one and the same. However, whatever You may be or whoever You may be, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You!”
Then, in order to reward the astrologer, who was also a great devotee, the Lord mercifully gave him love of Godhead.
Another day, as the Lord sat down in the courtyard of a Vishnu temple, He began calling out loudly, “Bring Me some honey! Bring Me some honey!”
Understanding the Lord’s ecstatic mood, Nityananda Prabhu quickly brought a pot of Ganga water as a token, and placed it before Him. After drinking the water, Lord Chaitanya became so ecstatic that He began dancing in the ecstasy of Baladeva, and thus moved as if intoxicated by the beverage. At this time, everyone was able to see the Lord enacting the pastime of attracting the River Yamuna, and Advaita Acharya saw Him in the form of Balarama. Vanamali Acharya saw a golden plow in Balarama’s hand, and all of the devotees continued dancing for twelve hours, being overwhelmed by ecstasy, before returning home.
It was Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s order that all the people of Navadvipa should chant the Hare Krishna mantra, and thus, in each and every house there was the performance of sankirtana. Along with the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, all the devotees sang this popular song: “Haraye namah krishna yadavaya namah/gopala govinda rama shri-madhusudana”. Indeed, once the sankirtana movement got underway, no one in Navadvipa could hear any other sound than the words “Hari! Hari!” the beating of mridangas and the clashing of karatalas.
Because of this, the local Mohammedans became very angry, and so they went and complained to the city magistrate, Chand Kazi. In fact, not only the Mohammedans complained to the Kazi, but also many envious Hindus who claimed that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was spoiling their religion by allowing lower-class men to chant the Vedic mantra: “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
Taking all of these complaints seriously, Chand Kazi angrily went one evening to the house of a devotee, as kirtana was going on. After breaking a mridanga, the Kazi declared, “For so long you did not follow the principles of the Hindu religion, but now I see that you are doing so with great enthusiasm. By whose strength have you become so bold? From now on, no one should perform sankirtana in the city of Navadvipa. Today I will excuse the offense, but the next time I see someone performing sankirtana, I shall punish him by not only confiscating his property, but converting him into a Mohammedan as well.”
It appears that due to the Mohammedan rule, the so-called Hindus were so suppressed that they had practically given up following their religious principles. Therefore, the Kazi was surprised to see them freely chanting Hare Krishna, and so he could understand that they were doing so under someone’s protection. After making his proclamation, the Kazi returned home, and the devotees, who were very shocked at being forbidden to chant Hare Krishna, went and described their plight to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Upon hearing about the Kazi’s actions, the Lord ordered the devotees, “Go perform sankirtana! Today I will kill all the Mohammedans!”
After returning home, the devotees began performing sankirtana, but out of fear of the Kazi’s order, they were not at all carefree- they were full of anxiety. Understanding this, the Lord called for all the devotees and addressed them as follows: “In the evening I shall perform sankirtana throughout each of the nine towns of Navadvipa, and so you should decorate the city in advance. Light torches in every house but do not worry, for I shall give you all protection. Let us see what kind of Kazi comes to stop our kirtana!”
That evening Lord Gaurasundara formed three sankirtana parties. Haridasa Thakura danced in the first party, Advaita Acharya very jubilantly danced in the middle party, and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself danced in the rear, accompanied by Lord Nityananda. More than 100,000 men assembled, and after circumambulating through every nook and corner of the city, the sankirtana procession finally came to Chand Kazi’s house.
Under the protection of Lord Chaitanya, the large crowd boisterously vented their anger, and thus there were loud roars of indignation. Naturally, some of the people became very agitated, and so in order to retaliate against the Kazi’s order they began wrecking his house and gardens. The loud sound of the chanting, combined with the angry protests of the people, certainly made the Kazi very much afraid, and so he hid within his room and would not come out.
After restraining the devotees, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sat down by the Kazi’s door, and then sent some respectable gentlemen to call for him. At this, the Kazi came downstairs, his head lowered. Lord Chaitanya received Chand Kazi very respectfully and offered him a seat. Then, in a friendly manner, the Lord said, “Sir, I have come to your house as a guest, but upon seeing Me you hid in your room. What kind of etiquette is this?”
The Kazi replied, “You came to my house in a very angry mood. Therefore, just to let you become pacified, I did not come before You right away. It is my good fortune to receive a guest like Your honor. In our village relationship, Nilambara Chakravarti was my uncle. Since he was your maternal grandfather, You are therefore my nephew. When a nephew is very angry, his maternal uncle is tolerant, and when the maternal uncle commits an offense, the nephew does not take it very seriously.”
In this way, the Kazi and the Lord conversed, but no outsider could understand the inner meaning of their conversation. The Lord then said, “My dear uncle, I have come to your home just to ask you some questions.”
The Kazi replied, “You are welcome. Please tell me what is on Your mind?”
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “You drink cows’ milk, and thus the cow is your mother. Since the bull produces grains for your bodily maintenance, he is to be considered as your father. What kind of religious principle is it that allows you to kill your mother and father? On what strength are you so daring that you commit such sinful activities?”
The Kazi replied, “Just as You have Your scriptures, the Vedas and Puranas, so we have ours, the holy Koran. According to the Koran, there are two paths of advancement, pravritti-marga and nivritti-marga. On the path of decreasing material attachment, the killing of animals is entirely prohibited. However, on the path of material activities, there is an allowance for cow killing, and if it is done under the direction of shastra, there is no sin. In Your Vedic shastra, there is also such an allowance, and thus great sages used to perform sacrifices which involved killing a cow.”
To refute this statement, the Lord declared, “The Vedas clearly enjoin that cows should never be killed, and thus no Hindu would ever dare indulge in doing so. There are injunctions which state that if one can revive a living being, then he can kill it for experimental purposes, in order to test the efficacy of the Vedic mantras. Therefore, great sages sometimes killed old animals and then, by chanting the Vedic mantras, brought them once again back to life. This rejuvenation of an animal was not actually killing, but beneficial. Formerly, the great brahmanas could do this, but at present, in Kali-yuga, the brahmanas are not so powerful, and thus such sacrifices are forbidden.”
“Since you Mohammedans cannot bring dead animals back to life, you are responsible for killing them and are thus on the path to hell without any hope of deliverance. Cow killers are condemned to rot in hellish life for as many thousands of years as there are hairs on the body of the slain animal. My dear Chand Kazi, there are many mistakes and illusions in your scriptures, for their compilers, without knowing the essence of knowledge, gave injunctions that go against reason and argument.”
After hearing these statements, the Kazi became somewhat stunned, and so could not put forward any more arguments. After due consideration, he admitted defeat and replied as follows: “My dear Nimai Pandita, what You have said is entirely true. Our scriptures have developed only recently, and they are certainly not very logical or philosophical. I know that our scriptures are full of imagination and mistaken ideas, but because I am a Mohammedan, I accept them for the sake of my community. It is a fact that the reasoning and arguments in the scriptures of the meat-eaters are not very sound.”
After hearing this, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu inquired, “My dear maternal uncle, I wish to ask you one thing and so please tell Me the truth and do not try to cheat Me with tricks. In your city there is always a tumultuous uproar of music, singing, and dancing because of the sankirtana movement. As a Mohammedan magistrate, you have the right to oppose the performance of sankirtana, but now you do not do so, and I cannot understand the reason why.”
The Kazi replied, “Since everyone calls You Gaurahari, let me please address You by that name. O Gaurahari, if You come with me to a private place, I shall explain to You the reason.”
The Lord said, “All of these men are My confidential associates, and so you may speak frankly. There is no reason for you to be afraid of them.”
The Kazi then explained, “After I had gone to a Hindu’s house, broken a drum, and forbidden the performance of sankirtana, that night I had a frightening dream. I saw a greatly ferocious lion, roaring very loudly, and having a body like that of a human being. As I slept, the lion jumped onto my chest, as He laughed fiercely and gnashed His teeth. After placing His nails upon my chest, He said in a very grave voice, ‘I shall immediately tear open your heart, just as you broke the mridanga drum. You have forbidden the congregational chanting of My holy name, and therefore I must destroy you!’ ”
“I was so afraid that I closed my eyes and my whole body trembled. Upon seeing me like this, the lion said, ‘I have defeated you just to teach you a lesson, and so this time I will be merciful unto you. Since you did not create a very great disturbance on that day, I will excuse you and not take your life. However, if you perform such activities again, I will not be tolerant, but will kill you, along with your entire family and all of the meat-eaters.’ ”
“After saying this, the lion left, but I remained very much afraid of Him. Just see the marks that His nails have left on my chest!”
The Kazi bared his chest, and when they saw the marks, all the people accepted the wonderful incident as true.
The Kazi continued, “I did not speak about this incident to anyone. Then, the very next day, one of my men came to see me and said, ‘When I went to stop the congregational chanting under your order, flames suddenly struck my face and burnt my beard. Just see the blister on my cheeks.’ Indeed, all of my men gave this same report, and so I became even more fearful. Therefore, I ordered my men not to stop the sankirtana movement anymore, but just remain at home for the time being.”
“Then, many of the Mohammedans approached me and complained, ‘If you do not stop this sankirtana movement, there will be chanting throughout the city and the Hindu religion will increase unlimitedly. As it is, there are constant vibrations of “Hari! Hari!” and so we cannot hear anything other than this!’ One Mohammedan then said, ‘The Hindus say, “Krishna, Krishna”, and while doing so they smile, cry, dance, and sometimes fall to the ground and smear their body with dirt. While chanting, “Hari, Hari”, they make a tumultuous sound. If the king hears of this, he will certainly punish you.’ ”
“I then inquired from these Mohammedans, ‘I know that these Hindus by nature chant “Hari, Hari”, because that is the name of their God. However, since you are Mohammedans, why do you chant these names?’ One Mohammedan replied, ‘Sometimes I joke with the Hindus, some of whom are called Krishnadasa and some, Ramadasa. Others are called Haridasa and always chant, “Hari, Hari”, so that I thought that they were stealing the riches from someone’s house. However, after hearing them, my tongue also continually chants, “Hari, Hari”. I have no desire to say this, but still, my tongue vibrates the sound and so I do not know what I should do.”
“Another Mohammedan then said, ‘Ever since the day I joked with some Hindus, my tongue also chants the Hare Krishna mantra and cannot give it up. I therefore do not understand what mystic mantras and herbal potions these Hindus possess.’ ”
“After hearing all these testimonies, I sent the Mohammedans home, and then five or seven atheistic Hindus came to me and complained, ‘Nimai Pandita has broken the Hindu religious principles for He has introduced this sankirtana movement, which is not described anywhere in the shastra. Of course, sometimes, when we stay up all night in order to worship Mangalachandi, there is playing upon musical instruments along with chanting and dancing.’ ”
“ ‘Formerly this Nimai Pandita was a very good boy, but after returning from Gaya, He has completely changed. Now, all He does is loudly sing various songs, while clapping, beating drums and playing karatalas, causing a tumultuous sound that deafens our ears. We do not know what He eats that makes Him become mad, so that He sometimes dances, sings, laughs, cries, falls down to the ground, or jumps high into the air. In addition, He has made everyone else mad like Himself by always performing this sankirtana, and thus we cannot get any sleep at night. He has even given up His name, Nimai, and is now introducing Himself as Gaurahari.’ ”
“ ‘By making the lower class people chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, He has spoiled the Hindu religion by introducing a system of irreligion among the non-believers. For this sinful activity, the entire city of Navadvipa will soon become deserted. According to shastra, the name of God is the most powerful mantra. However, if everyone hears the chanting of the holy name, its potency becomes lost. Sir, you are the ruler of this town, and thus everyone, whether Hindu or Mohammedan, is under your protection. Therefore, please call Nimai Pandita and make Him leave Navadvipa at once.’ ”
“After hearing these complaints, I replied very sweetly, ‘Please go home for now. I shall certainly prohibit Nimai Pandita from continuing His Hare Krishna movement.’ My dear Lord, I know that Narayana is the Supreme God of the Hindus, and I think that You are the very same Narayana.”
After hearing the Kazi speak so nicely, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu touched him with His hand, and then smilingly replied, “The chanting of the holy name of Krishna from your mouth has performed a great wonder, for it has nullified the reactions to all your sinful activities. Due to having chanted these three holy names of the Lord- Hari, Krishna and Narayana, you have become supremely pure, and thus the most fortunate and pious among men.”
When the Kazi heard this, tears began to flow from his eyes, Then, after touching the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he spoke as follows, “It is only by Your mercy that all of my bad intentions have vanished. Now, please favor me so that my devotion may always remain fixed upon You.”
The Lord then said, “I wish to beg from you one favor in charity. From now on you must pledge that this sankirtana movement will not be checked, at least in the district of Nadia.”
The Kazi replied, “To as many future descendents as take birth in my dynasty, I give this grave admonition- Let no one ever try to hinder the sankirtana movement of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!”
Upon hearing this, the Lord got up and chanted, “Hari! Hari!” and so all of the Vaishnavas followed His example and chanted the holy name of the Lord. Then, as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued the sankirtana procession, Chand Kazi followed Him in great ecstasy.
At the house of Kholavecha Shridhara, all of the devotees rested for awhile, and at that time, Lord Chaitanya drank water from his damaged iron pot. From there, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made Chand Kazi return home, and then He also departed for His own house, dancing all the way.
One night, as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was chanting and dancing at the house of Shrivasa Thakura, along with Nityananda Prabhu and the other devotees, one of Shrivasa’s sons, who had been suffering from some disease, died. Shrivasa Thakura was so patient, however, that he did not allow anyone to disturb the kirtana by expressing their sorrow or by crying. But, Lord Chaitanya could understand what had happened, and when the kirtana finally ended He declared, “There must have been some calamity in this house.”
Then, when the Lord was informed about the death of Shrivasa Thakura’s son, He expressed His regret by saying, “Why wasn’t this news given to Me before?”
Lord Chaitanya immediately went to where the dead boy was lying, and asked him, “My dear child, why are you leaving the house of Shrivasa Thakura?”
The dead son replied, “I was living in this house for as long as I was destined to, and now I am going elsewhere, according to Your direction. I am Your eternal servant, a dependent living being, and thus I can only act according to Your desire. Beyond this, I have no power to do anything.”
In this way, all of the members of Shrivasa Thakura’s family received transcendental knowledge and thus gave up their lamentation. Thereafter, when the funeral ceremony for the dead boy was performed, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu assured Shrivasa, “You have lost one son, but Nityananda Prabhu and I are your eternal sons, and so we shall never be able to give up your company.”
One day thereafter, the Lord bestowed His benediction upon all the devotees and gave the remnants of His food to Shrivasa Thakura’s niece, Narayani, who later on became the mother of Vrindavana dasa Thakura.
Shrivasa Thakura’s tailor was a Mohammedan meat-eater, but the Lord very mercifully revealed to Him His form as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Upon seeing this, the tailor exclaimed, “I have seen! I have seen!” and began to ecstatically dance just like a madman. In other words, by the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, he became a first-class devotee of the Lord.
Once, while absorbed in a particular ecstasy, the Lord asked Shrivasa Thakura to deliver His flute. When Shrivasa Thakura replied, “Your flute has been stolen away by the gopis”, the Lord ecstatically said, “Go on talking! Go on talking!” Shrivasa Thakura then described the transcendentally sweet pastimes of Vrindavana that are enacted during the six seasons. Upon hearing these descriptions, the Lord felt great and increasing jubilation within His heart, and so He again and again requested, “Speak on! Speak on!” Shrivasa Thakura then extensively explained how the gopis had been attracted to the forests of Vrindavana by the vibration of Lord Krishna’s flute, and finally, he described the rasa-lila. As Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu repeatedly urged him on, and Shrivasa continued to speak, morning appeared, and so the Lord embraced him and departed.
One day thereafter, a drama performance of Krishna’s pastimes was enacted in the house of Advaita Acharya, and Lord Chaitanya personally took the part of Rukmini. At other times, the Lord played the part of goddess Durga, Lakshmi, and Yogamaya, and while sitting upon a cot, He delivered love of God to all of the devotees present.
Another day, when Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu finished dancing, the wife of a brahmana came and caught hold of His lotus feet. However, as the woman took the dust of His lotus feet again and again, the Lord became unlimitedly unhappy. Just to counteract her sinful reactions, the Lord ran to the banks of the Ganga and jumped in, so that Lord Nityananda and Haridasa Thakura had to catch hold of Him and raise Him out of the river. Lord Chaitanya spent that night at Vijaya Acharya’s house, and then, in the morning, He returned home with His devotees.
One day, as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sat at home, He became very morose due to separation, while absorbed in the ecstasy of the gopis. As He called out the names of the gopis, a brahmana student happened to come there, and upon seeing the Lord’s activity, he was astonished. The student inquired from the Lord, “Why are You chanting the names of the gopis instead of the holy name of Lord Krishna? What kind of pious result do You expect to achieve by such chanting?”
When Uddhava had come to Vrindavana, to deliver a message to the gopis, they denounced Krishna in various ways, as a manifestation of their exuberant love. Similarly, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was absorbed in the mood of the gopis, so that when the foolish student advocated the cause of Krishna, He became very angry.
While rebuking Krishna in various ways, Lord Chaitanya took a stick and stood up to strike the student. At this, the student fearfully ran away, and as the Lord proceeded to chase after him, the devotees somehow managed to restrain Him. While the devotees pacified the Lord and brought Him home, the student ran to a place where one thousand such students were assembled, studying together.
When the student described his encounter with Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the other students became very angry, so that all together they joined in criticizing the Lord as follows: “Nimai Pandita is single-handedly trying to spoil the entire country. Having no fear of religious principles, He dares to try and strike a caste brahmana. If He once again performs such an atrocious act, we shall retaliate by striking Him back in return. What kind of important person does He think He is, that He can chastise us in this way?”
By coming to this decision, and offensively criticizing the Lord in various ways, the intelligence of the students became spoiled, and thus, in spite of their being learned scholars, their knowledge became covered. While the degraded students continued to speak of this incident, and laughingly criticize Him, the omniscient Lord remained at home, thinking about how to rescue them.
The Lord thought, “All of these so-called professors, scientists and students generally follow the regulative principles of religion, and yet, at the same time, they are blasphemers and rogues. If I do not induce these people to take up devotional service, then, because of their offenses, they will never be able to accept it.”
“I have come to deliver all of the fallen souls, but now just the opposite is occuring. Only if these rogues offer Me obeisances will the reactions of their sinful lives become nullified. If I induce them to take to the path of devotional service, they will certainly do so. Therefore, I should adopt the sannyasa order of life, for then people will automatically offer Me their respectful obeisances, and this will give them relief from the resultant reactions of their offenses. Thereafter, by My grace, devotional service will gradually awaken in their pure hearts. It appears to Me that this is the only way that all these rascals can be delivered, and there is no alternative.”
After coming to this firm conclusion, the Lord continued to remain at home, and in the meantime, Keshava Bharati, a sannyasi from Katva in the Burdwan district arrived at Navadvipa. Upon meeting Keshava Bharati, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu offered him respectful obeisances, and then invited him to His house. After feeding the sannyasi sumptuously, Lord Chaitanya submitted the following plea: “My dear sir, you are directly Narayana, an thus I request you to be merciful unto Me. Please deliver Me from material bondage.”
Keshava Bharati replied, “You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus I must do whatever You cause me to do, since I am not at all independent.”
Thereafter, Keshava Bharati returned home. Then, at the end of His twenty-fourth year, at the end of the fortnight of the waxing moon in the month of Magha, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left Navadvipa. After crossing the Ganga along with Nityananda Prabhu, Chandrashekhara Acharya, and Mukunda Datta, the Lord reached Katwa, where He met Keshava Bharati.
By the order of the Lord, kirtana was performed throughout the day, and then, in the evening, He shaved off His hair. The next day, He took formal initiation as an ekadanda sannyasi, since Keshava Bharati belonged to the Shankara sampradaya, and thus could not award the tridanda-sannyasa. From that day onward, the Lord’s name became Shri Krishna Chaitanya, whereas before He had been known as Nimai Pandita.