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Chapter 3 Gauranga’s Boyhood Pastimes
Nimai spoils Murari’s lunch
Murari Gupta visited Navadvipa accompanied by his his followers - while walking down the road, they were discussing yoga-sastras. Nimai, walking directly behind Murari Gupta, began mimicking Murari’s way of speaking. Murari noticed it from the corner of his eyes and continued talking to his followers.
Nimai and his friends increased their mocking of Murai by exactly imitating both his walking style and hand-gestures. Noticing this, Murai became furious and rebuked Nimai, “Who says that this boy is well-behaved? I recognize Him to be the son of Jagannatha Misra....
Angry over Murari’s criticism, Nimai said, “When you take your meal today I’ll make you realize something wonderful”.
Bewildered by this equivocal statement he returned to his residence. He became absorbed in his domestic activities and forgot this incident. At noon he sat down to peacefully take his meal.
Meanwhile Nimai disguised His identity by dressing very opulently.........
Holding laddus made from condensed milk in His hand, Visvambhara arrived at Murari Gupta's house. Entering the house, Gauranga said in a roaring voice, "Murart!" While sitting for his meal, Murari heard that voice and remembered what Nimai had said earlier about appearing in his home. Feeling a bit surprised, Murari said, "What are You doing here?"
Nimai replied, "Oh, don't get up. I'm here, so just carry on with your prasada." As Murari Gupta became absorbed in taking his meal, Nimai slowly moved closer. Then suddenly, Nimai passed urine on Murari's plate.
"What! What are You doing? Shame, shame on you," said Murari Gupta as he quickly got up.
Clapping His hands and dancing, Gauranga gleefully said, "Giving up the path of devotion, you have adopted the path of yoga. You should forget about karma and jnana, and just worship Radha and Krishna with all your heart. Become a rasika bhakta and you'll taste the blissful mellows of loving Krishna. One attached to material things can't do Krishna-bhajana, and his consciousness remains low and impure.
"Don't you understand these things? Lord Hari is omnipotent and full of compassion. He is the treasure and the very life of the gopis of Vrndavana. Why do you hurt the Lord by not serving Him?"
After saying this, Gaurahari, the golden jewel, suddenly vanished. Murari Gupta couldn't find Him anywhere. Murari thought that the well-dressed boy must have been the son of Sacimata. To verify it, he quickly went to the house of Jagannatha Misra. Due to being overwhelmed with joy, he couldn't walk properly.
Meanwhile, Jagannatha Misra and Sacidevi were caressing, kissing, and speaking affectionately to their son Nimai. Out of intense parental love, Jagannatha and Saci were both trying to hold Nimai in their laps at the same time.
At that moment Murari Gupta arrived, he couldn't say anything to Jagannatha and Sacidevi when they welcomed him. Murari forgot everything that had happened when he beheld the beautiful face of Gaurachandra. He became stunned in ecstasy.
He was covered head to toe in tiny bumps of joy. Tears flowed profusely, drenching his body. His voice faltered, and his eyes reddened like the rising sun. He fell down at the feet of Gauranga and repeatedly offered his obeisances.
While watching all this, Visvambhara climbed up on Sacimata's lap. He acted as if He didn't understand what was happening. Sacimata then spoke to the eider and respected Murari Gupta.
"Murari, my son needs your blessings. He must have made an offense to you. Everyone knows that you are one of the best doctors. Please tell me what offense our son has committed. Let any suffering come to us, but give us the blessing that our son may live forever."
After saying this, Sacidevi and Jagannatha humbly held Murari's hand and offered their respects.
Smiling, Murari Gupta said, "Visvambhara is the Supreme Lord of all lords and the maintainer of the universe. In the future, the boy that you are raising will reveal His true identity to you. You are the most fortunate parents in the world. Take care of Him and protect Him. Heed my words: this Visvambhara is actually God." After saying this, Murari quickly left the house of Jagannatha Misra.
His heart bursting with bliss, Murari went to visit Advaita Acarya, the reservoir of all good qualities and the universal teacher. Falling at Acarya's feet, Murari said, "You are the greatest devotee. You are like a desire tree that can fulfill all desires. I just saw a most wonderful boy in the home of Jagannatha Misra. His name is Nimai Pandita Visvambhara. He is totally transcendental to this material world. Yet, He plays happily with his friends just like an ordinary boy."
Upon hearing this, Advaita Acarya, the jewel among the brahmanas, let out a roaring sound, he said, "Murari, listen, this is very confidential. Nimai Pandita is the reservoir of all rasas and the embodiment of transcendental beauty. He is the Supreme Brahman." Then Advaita Acarya and Murari Gupta joyfully embraced and forgot everything.
Locana Dasa sings the flories of the Lord, who out of compassion has descended to this world.
The Hari-nama Game
Gaurahari, the crest-jewel among all brahmanas, clapped His hands and danced with His boyfriends. They blissfully chanted the holy names of the Lord. One day they made a game of Hari~nama sankirtana. In a mood of delight, the boys chanted "Haft bol! Hari bol!", while laughing and running in a circle around Visvambhara. In a thundering voice Gaura said, "Chant! Chant! Chant!" and rolled on the ground. Then He sat the boys on His lap.
Feeling euphoria from the touch of the Lord, the boys cried and exhibited thrill bumps all over their bodies. They clapped their hands excitedly and chanted, "Hari, Hari." The boys, surrounding the lionlike Gaura, appeared like intoxicated bees hovering above a honey-filled lotus flower.
At that moment, a few panditas [learned priests] arrived to watch the sporting of Visvambhara. Lord Gauranga decorated his many friends with garlands of wild flowers. Seeing the boys happily playing and chanting "Had, Hari", the panditas began chanting and dancing along with them. Any travelers passing on the road would also join in and start dancing with abandon.
Hearing the enthusiastic chanting, the village ladies, with waterpots on their heads, ran to see the fun. Sacimata came and saw Nimai frolicking with the panditas. She called her son to sit on her lap and scolded the panditas.
Sacidevi said, "Such is the behavior of you panditas. You make someone's son go crazy, and then he dances wildly like a madman." Saci's strong words snapped everyone out of their rapture.
The onlookers said, "What did Sacidevi say? What did she mean?" Then they pondered over her words. Sacimata collected Nimai and went home. Thus Locana Dasa happily sings the glories of Lord Gauranga.
Visvarupa Takes Sannyasa
I shall now describe a conversation between Murari Gupta and Damodara Pandita.
Damodara Pandita asked Murari Gupta, "Where has Visvarupa, Nimai's elder brother, gone?"
Murari replied, "Listen to me, great Pandita Damodara. I will tell you whatever I know. Visvambhara, the abode of good qualities, quickly learned all the scriptures. He's expert in all brahminical duties. He affectionately serves His parentS. He is fully conversant with Vedanta, the essence of all religion. He does nothing but devotional service to Lord Vishnu. He is dear to everyone. He has achieved all perfections, yet within His heart He stays completely detached and fixed in the Absolute Truth.
"Visvarupa, the son ofJagannatha Misra, held the sastras in his left hand and discussed Krishna-katha with his classmates. One day while walking home, Jagannatha Misra saw this and thought, 'Now, my young beautiful son is eighteen years old and ready for marriage. I should make arrangements for Visvarupa's marriage.'
"Noticing his father' s meditative mood, Visvarupa thought, 'it seems my father is thinking about my marriage, but I shouldn't get married. Of course, this might upset my mother.' The next day at dawn, Visvarupa clasped his manuscripts and left home forever. He swam across the Ganges and took sannyasa.
"At midday there was still no sign of Visvampa. Jagannatha and Sacidevi searched every house in Navadvipa, but couldn't find their son. The neighbors whispered among themselves about Visvarupa's taking sannyasa. When Jagannatha Misra and Sacidevi heard this, they both fainted unconscious on the ground. The three words, appeared full of darkness.
"Sacidevi cried out, 'O my son Visvarupa! Come home, I want to see you. Why did you leave everything? How will your beautiful delicate body and tender feet tolerate the hardship of walking far and wide? You can't tolerate the slightest pain for even a moment. To whom will you present your'insistent demands? When you were studying, you couldn't concentrate on your lessons.
'I can't go anywhere without thinking of you. When I take a bath, my mind is disturbed with the thought that you may return at any time. When I hear you calling "Mother" I forget everything else; for that sound is my greatest treasure. Seeing your sweet face, I no longer think of myself. I don't know what kind of suffering has caused you to neglect me and accept sannyasa.
'O my husband, go search for Visvarupa and bring him back to me. Let the people say whatever they want, but bring back my son again. I shall perform his sacred thread ceremony.'
"Trying to pacify his bereaved wife, Jagannatha Misra said, 'Please listen Sacidevi, don't lament. The whole material existence is false like a dream. Your son Visvarupa is a great personality. By accepting sannyasa at such an early age, he will bring fortune to our family. Please bless him so he can remain fixed in his sannyasa vow, and progress steadily on the path of devotional service. Don't lament for his welfare. If a member of the family takes sannyasa, he benefits many generations of that family. So, our son has done a wonderful thing.'
"Damodara, in this way Jagannatha and Sacidevi consoled each other. This concludes the story of Visvarupa's sannyasa."
Locana Dasa says that at that time Visvambhara was sitting on Sacimata's lap and gazing at His father's face. Visvambhara said, "Father, it doesn't matter Where My brother, Visvarupa, has gone. Don't worry, I will look after you." On hearing this, Jagannatha Misra and Sacidevi lovingly embraced Nimai and forgot their miseries.
Nimai Starts School
As Nimai grew up, Jagannatha Misra thought seriously about His education. On an auspicious day and time, Jagannatha placed chalk in Visvambhara's hand, the ritual to initiate a son's education. Jagannatha Misra and Sacidevi became satisfied to see Visvambhara, the guru of the whole wor. ld, enthusiastically studying.
After some time Nimai'a parents performed His cura karana, [headshaving ceremony]. Invitations were sent to the relatives. When that auspicious day arrived, the townspeople of Nadia became joyful. Panditas chanted the proper mantras and did a fire yajna, [sacrifice]. The local housewives chanted "Jai! JaiF' while distributing perfumes, betel nuts, and sandalwood paste to the guests. Musicians made pleasant sounds with gongs, conches, shenai, rnrdangas and karatalas. In this way, Visvambhara observed His crown and ear-piercing ceremony.
The whole town of Navadvipa rejoiced upon seeing the beautiful face of Visvambhara. Everywhere, people were loudly singing the glories of Gauranga. Sacimata and Jagannatha Misra were very fortunate to have such a son who could fill everyone with bliss. To see the sweet smiling face of Gaurahari is the greatest sight for the eyes to behold.
Nimai Gets in Trouble
One day Nimai was playing with His friends at a bathing ghata beside the Ganges. They invented a game of counting the footprints left in the sand by the birds. Whoever could count all the prints and reach the river's edge first won. If someone missed a footprint he would be disqualified. The losing party would carry the winner on his shoulder.
Quickly, the boys ran as fast as they could. Visvambhara perspired profusely from playing so hard. The beads of sweat on Visvambhara's golden body looked like drops of honey oozing out of a golden lotus flower. He felt embarrassed when His father came to take Him home. The other boys also returned to their homes.
After Visvambhara finished bathing, His father reprimanded Him. Jagannatha Misra said, "You've let Your studies go to the dogs like a low-class boy. Even though You are the son of a brahmana, You don't know how to properly behave. Now I' 11 teach You a lesson." Catching His hand, Jagannatha threatened to beat Nimai Pandita with a stick.
Sacimata intervened. "Wait! Don't beat my son. He won't play any more, but He will sit with you and study the sastras."
Visvambhara ran over to Sacimata and jumped in her lap. He said softly, "I won't play, I won't play."
Protecting her son, Sacidevi sternly said, "Prabhu, don't beat my son. He's dying in fear of you." Then Sacimata, using the edge of her sari, affectionately wiped the tears from Nimai's face. Saci said to her husband, "Let Him give up His studies and become a fool. I just want Him to live a hundred years."
Getting angry, Jagannatha Misra replied, "If your son becomes illiterate how will He maintain Himself?. Which brahmana will give his daughter to Him in marriage?"
Visvambhara looked fearfully at His father. Jagannatha Misra's heart was burning inside, but outwardly he kept a peaceful composure. As fatherly affection rose within his heart, tears moistened Jagannatha Misra's eyes.
He threw away the stick. Taking Nimai and sitting Him on his lap, he said in a sweet voice, "Listen, my son. If you study nicely, the people will praise You. And I will give You bananas."
Jagannatha Misra's Dream
Gradually the day faded into evening. That night Jagannatha Misra had an amazing dream. The next day, he felt perplexed about the dream and told his friends about it.
Jagannatha said, "Last night, I saw a well-built brahmana with an effulgence as bright as the sun. The dazzling jewels and ornaments decorating his body made it impossible to look at him.
"In a voice thundering like a cloud, that brahmana said, 'Why do you think that Visvambhara is your son? You don't know that I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead. An animal can't understand the potency of a touchstone. How dare you look upon Me as your son. I know all scriptures and I am the guru of the demigods. Why did you take a stick in your hand to beat Me?' So you can understand from that dream why I fccl perplexed. I have no idea what it means."
Sacidcvi and the others looked at the face of Visvambhara and became very joyful. Placing Visvambhara on their laps, Jagannatha Misra and Sacimata addressed their friends. "The greatness of our son Gaurahari is beyond the reach of the Vedas. He is beyond the power of Siva, Sanaka and other rsis. Our son Gauranga is such a glorious personality."
While saying this, the sweet mood of parental love overwhelmed Sacidevi and Jagannatha. This removed any trace of aisvarya-bhava, the formal mood of awe and reverence. Everyone became ecstatic upon hearing Jagannatha Misra's dream. Locana Dasa happily sings the glories of Gauranga.
Visvambhara's Sacred Thread Ceremony
Gaura's pastimes continually flooded the city of Nadia with an ocean of bliss. The whole universe couldn't contain the happiness and fortune of Jagannatha Misra and Sacidevi. Nor can anyone describe it.
One day when his well-behaved son turned nine years, Jagannatha Misra decided to award Him the sacred thread. Calling an astrologer, he and his wife picked an auspicious day for Visvambhara's brahminical initiation. Jagannatha invited the relatives and asked for their blessings. He also invited Advaita Acarya, the well-known scholar expert in all Vedic rituals.
Jagannatha Misra distributed betel nuts, sandalwood paste and flower garlands to the visiting brahmanas. The village ladies exchanged vermillion, and Saci gave them catechu, bananas, and oil mixed with turmeric.
At dusk, amidst the sounds of conchshells, ululating, and ecstatic chants of "Jai! Jai!" the Adhi-vasa ceremony took place. Brahmanas recited auspicious verses and the court jesters sang lively songs. Some brahmanas gave blessings to Visvambhara according to sastric rules.
Early the next morning, Jagannatha Misra performed the Nandimukha [an ceremony of obsequies done before an auspcious event like marriage] and the Sraddha ceremonies. After washing the feet of the brahmanas, he started the sacrifice exactly on time.
First,. Sacidevi along with the local ladies rubbed turmeric oil on Gaura's body. Then she rubbed amalaki oil in His hair and bathed her son with Ganges water. While doing this Saci became overwhelmed, losing herself in bliss.
Gongs, mrdangas, conchshells, karatalas, and .iother musical instruments softened the scene with celetial sounds. The thunderous vibration of the dhaka [big wooden drum] could be heard from miles around. Hearts were swaying tothe sounds of the shenai. Vinas, flutes and pakhowajas [wooden drums] resounded harmoniously.
Dancers and singers performed joyously as Visvambhara's head was shaved. Sandalwood paste and garlands adomed His golden limbs. The brahmanas chanted Vedic hymns when Visvambhara sat in the sacrificial. arena. They dressed Him in red cloth and gave Him the sacred thread. Visvambhara's indescribable transcendental beauty relieved Cupid of his pride.
Jagannatha Misra whispered the Gayatri-mantra into his son's ear. When Nimai took a stick in His hand, it struck fear in the heart of sin personified. After the ceremony Visvambhara begged alms, a custom of one in the sannyasa- asrama, the topmost of the four asramas.
Gauranga and the Yuga-avataras
While Visvambhara's head was being shaved during his brahminical initiation, He reflected on the yuga-dharma of the age of Kali. He was thinking how soon He would take sannyasa and preach Hari-nama sankirtana to relieve the suffering humanity in Kali-yuga.
Suddenly Visvambhara's body .erupted in ecstasy. Horripilation caused the hairs all over His body to stand erect, making them appear like the spike-shaped petals of golden kadamba flowers. His exp.anded eyes, brimming with compassion, looked like full blooming lotus flowers. His body shone like the rising sun. Diving in the ecstatic ocean ofpremu, Gaurahari let out a loud roar.
The brahmana priests became filled with amazement. After deliberating for some time, Sudarshana and other big panditas concluded that Gaurahari was not a mortal being. Perhaps He was a demigod. However His astoundingly brilliant effulgence indicated that He is none. other than the Supreme Lord Govinda Himself.
One pandita postulated, "What do we realize about the qualities and behavior of the Supreme Lord? We can only approximate with our puny intelligence."
A second brahmana said, "Listen, I may not understand the activities of Gauranga. But I do know that He appears in every age to deliver the conditioned souls. He reestablishes religious principles, destroys the miscreants, and delivers the devotees by appearing in each of the four yugas.
The brahmana continued, "Incarnations like Shri Rama and others who come to destroy the .demons are called karya-avataras. In Tretayuga, the Lord takes a red-colored form to teach the religion of yajna, sacrifice. In some Treta-yugas, however, the Lord appears as Lord Ramacandra. His transcendental body is the color of fresh green grass. Lord Rama forms an alliance with forest monkeys to vanquish the demon Ravana.
"Many Treta-yugas have passed but they're not all the same. In Satya-yuga the Hamsa avatara of the Lord was white, and austerity was the yuga-dharma. According to the yu'ga, the Lord appears in a particular color. Such incarnations which reestablish religion are called yuga-avataras.
"Please listen attentively as I describe Lord Shri Kdshna who appeared in Dvapara-yuga. Although Shri Krishna, the darling son of Nanda Maharaja, came alone, all the other incarnations and expansions of Godhead were contained within Him. For this reason, Krishna is known as puma-brahma, the most perfect form, the Supreme .Personality of Godhead. Also, Shri ICrishna is the transcendental paramour lover of the Vraja gopis.
"When the Krishna avatara, the crest-jewel and essence of all incarnations, appears in a particular Dvapara-yuga, that Dvapara is the best of Dvaparas. In other Dvapara-yugas, two incarnations appear called karya and yuga avataras. Lord Krishna does not appear in every Dvapara-yu g a.
"Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu appears to preach Krishna consciousness in that particular Kali-yuga directly following the Dvapara-yuga in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Shri Krishna appears. The two special yugas wherein Lord Krishna and Lord Chaitanya appear are called svatantra. Lord Krishna and Lord Chaitanya don't appear in every Dvapara and Kali-yuga.
"In other Dvapara-yugas, Krishna appears in expanded forms, but not in His original forms. People receive great fortune in the Dvapara and Kali-yugas wherein both Krishna and Gauranga appear.. ,Krishna and Gauranga perform their transcendental pastimes only once in a day of Lord Brahma. During the reign of the Vaivasvata manvantara, Lord Syamasundara came as Lord Gauranga. Lord Gauranga worships Lord Krishna, the Lord of Dvapara, by doing Hari-nama sankirtana.
"Kali-yuga is glorious, the topmost amongst yugas, because everyone can easily perform the yuga-dharma of chanting the holy names in sankirtana. Lord Chaitanya delivers the lame, blind, and invalid by inducing them to chant Hare Krishna. Please believe my words. When the Lord appears as a yuga avatara He serves a partricular purpose according to the needs of that specific yuga.
"In Dvapara-yuga Lord Shri Krishna comes as the yuga avatara. By what activities did He establish the yuga-dharma? Scriptures say that temple worship is the religious process for Dvapara-yuga. When and where did Lord Krishna establish temple worship? Pay attention and I will clarify this matter.
"The Lord Himself, the completely independent supreme being, decides whether He'll establish the yuga-dharma or simply enjoy pleasure pastimes. The wonderful thing is that He did everything at once. In order to perform pastimes in the form of Radha and Krishna, the Lord manifested His form of Gauranga.
"Radharani is the form of Krishna's divine hladini-sakti. She is individual, independent and separate from Krishna. Radha and Krishna have only one body, but They have separated as two persons in order to perform pastimes. Lord Gauranga takes the name of Radha and joins with the gopis to serve Krishna. Radharani and the gopis, who are Her personal expansions, serve Shri Krishna with p,ure transcendental love.
"However, Shrimati Radharani alone is the personification of Krishna's svarupa-sakti. Radha feels that Her love is always fresh, new and ever-increasing. The Shrimad-Bhagavatam declares that this mood of loving service is hard to understand.
"In other Dvapara-yugas the Lord established religion by encouraging vows, charity and meditation. The people, though, failed to capture the essence of religion which is pure love of God. In the age of Kali, Lord Krishna came as Lord Gauranga specifically to give pure love of God to everyone. Assuming the molten gold color of Shrimati Radharani and Her mood of pure love within His heart, Krishna Himself appeared as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in this Kali-yuga.
"Covered by Radha's mood, Lord Chaitanya cries out in love. His body continually exhibits ecstatic symptoms like horripilation, and changing bodily color from gold to pink.
Sometimes Gaura roars to awaken the sleeping souls of Kali.-yuga. People experience real joy when they embrace Mahaprabhu's sankirtana movement. After accepting the transcendental names of Radha and Krishna, they begin chanting, dancing, crying, and laughing in ecstasy. Soon they emerge from the darkness of ignorance, and see the transcendent reality of blissful spiritual life.
"The Supreme Lord came in the form of Gauranga to make the world God-conscious. Adopting a humble mood, He teaches the science of loving Krishna. Lord Gaurasundara takes pleasure in giving Himself to others. Even without being asked, He gives away Krishna-prema to everyone without discrimination. For this reason this yuga-avatara is called a complete incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In previous Kali-yugas the Supreme Lord came in the form of Lord Narayana.
"The two-syllable word Krishna is the name of the avatara who appeared with the color of a parrot's wing feathers [bright yellow]. Commentators say that this person is also the color of blue sapphires. The Gauranga avatara contains all the unlimited expansions of God within Him. No other incarnation matches Gaura's compassion. The sastras say that in Kali-yuga the Lord takes a golden form and spreads the sankirtana movement. This Lord is none other than Visvambhara.
"Learned panditas have concluded that the Lord reveals particular aspects of Himself according to time and circumstances. People whisper about Gauranga being the Supreme Lord, and now this idea is spreading everywhere. Some people remain doubtful, but almost all are astonished by Gaurahari's incredible pastimes. Yet others w^ho heard about Him saw Visvambhara as the Lord of the universe. Rejoicing over Gaurahari's activities, the whole town of Nadia shouted, 'Jai! Jai !'"
Locana Dasa happil. y sings the glories of Lord Gauranga.
"I'm Going Home"
One day Nimai, his body .displaying a brilliant effulgence, said in a voice thundering like clouds, "O Mother, please listen to Me. You are making an offense. From now on please don't eat grains on Ekadashi. Carefully follow My order." Sacimata felt surprised and hesitant, her body swelled with motherly affection. Saci said, "All right, I'll obey Your order." Nimai was pleased. In this way, Nimai taught His mother the scriptural injunctions.
Once Nimai happily ate some pan and betel nuts given to Him by a pure-hearted brahmana. After some time Nimai called Sacimata and said, "I'm going home. Now treat this brahmana as your son." Nimai stood silently for a few seconds, and then suddenly lay motionless on the ground. Becoming afraid, Sacimata poured Ganges water in His mouth. In a moment Nimai recovered, illuminating the entire room with His effulgence.
Locana Dasa says Nimai's saying "I'm going home" needs an explanation, but who can give it? Murari Gupta, an intimate eternal associate of Lord Chaitanya, knows all sastric truths.
Damodara Pandita asked Murari Gupta, "O great soul, please explain the inner meaning of Nimai' s statement,' I' m going home.' What sort of maya or sakti is behind the Lord's actions? Please refer to the sastras and explain it to me."
Murari Gupta said, "Listen, do you think I know everything about the Lord? I'll speak what I understand. If it sounds reason9ble to you, then accept it with faith.
"The Lord enters the heart of His pure devotee who hears about His activities, sees Him, meditates upon Him, and chants His holy names. The Lord's body is transcendental to the three modes of material nature. The body of the pure devotee is the home of the Lord. From within the heart of His devotee the Lord can easily perform His pastimes.
"He considers worship of His devotee superior to His own worship. The Lord wants to be subservient to His devotee. Some people think this activity to be the working of maya. The materialists can't understand why the Supreme Lord gives more importance to His pure devotees than Himself.
"The Lord's body is the embodiment of bliss. He is very beautiful, completely pure and the most treasured object. The Lord doesn't do anything else except enjoy transcendental pastimes. Therefore why do the rascals deride Him as having .no qualities? The Lord never manifests Himself to those covered by maya. But He always engages in pastimes within the heart of His pure devotees.
"The Lord takes pleasure in seeing His devotee's eating, sleeping, and enjoying different activities. Krishna treats everyone equally, but He reciprocates differently with His devotee due to the devotee's attitude of loving surrender. After seeing the Lord's activities, a non-devotee thinks, 'What is this Krishna? He's nothing but an ordinary man.'
"Krishna plays the role of an ordinary mortal. In reality, Krishna has a completely transcendental body. He is the all-powerful Lord of lords. Anyone who doesn't accept the fact that the Lord resides in the body of His pure devotee is the lowest among men.
The Vedas, Puranas, and the great devotees proclaim that the body of a pure devotee is totally pure because Lord Krishna lives within his heart. Just as the Ganges or any place of pilgrimage can purify and deliver someone, so too can the dust from the feet of a pure devotee. If a rascal misunderstands this and criticizes a pure devotee, then surely he commits a grave offense."
Thus Murari Gupta and Damodara Pandita talked happily about this intimate topic. Locana Dasa finds great joy in hearing these talks.
Disappearance of Jagannatha Misra
Please listen to a wonderful story which will mitigate the miseries of the heart. One day Jagannatha Misra, the jewel among the brahmanas, returned home after studying the sastras in his guru's asrama. By the arrangement of providence, Jagannatha broke out in a high fever. Sacidevi worried and cried.
Nimai Pandita consoled her with some philosophy. "Mother, everyone must die someday. In due course of time even Brahma, Rudra, the vast ocean and the Himalayas must meet with destruction. Why are you worrying over death? Gather all your friends and chant Krishna's holy names. At the critical time of death, it's a friend's duty to remind another friend of the Supreme Lord Krishna."
Hearing the unfortunate news, the friends and relatives rushed to Sacidevi's house and stood around Jagannatha Misra. Seeing his imminent death, the senior members of the family held a discussion.
Visvambhara said, "Mago, [mother] why are you delaying? Now engage the relatives." Then Visvambhara, Sacimata and some friends carried Jagannatha Misra's body to the Ganges. While clutching His father's feet, Visvambhara cried uncontrollably and spoke in a choked voice.
"You're going away leaving Me alone. I won't be able to call you 'father' anymore. From today My house is empty. I won't see your feet again. Now the ten directions are filled with darkness for Me. You' 11 no longer hold My hand and teach Me."
Upon hearing the tender words of his son, Jagannatha Misra tried to respond, but couldn't. In a choked and feeble voice he said, "Listen, Visvambhara, I can't help but tell what's in my heart. In the future You may forget me. So now I am submitfrog You to the shelter of the lotus feet of Raghunatha." [their family Salagrama Deity] Then Jagannatha Misra absorbed himself in remembering Hari.
The brahmanas placed tulasi leaves on his neck and bathed Jagannatha Misra in the Ganges water. While surrounded by his friends and family, Jagannatha Misra, the best of the brahmanas, chanted the holy names of Krishna and returned to Vaikuntha on a celestial chariot.
Feeling great bereavement, Sacidevi cried piteousl.v. Clasping the feet of her husband, Saci lamented, "Oh my lord, take me with you. I've served you for so many years, and now you're going to Vaikuntha without me. I faithfully served you while you rested and when you were eating. Now I see nothing but darkness in all directions. The whole word seems void without you.
"From now on I have no shelter except my little son. Where will Nimai stay and whom will He look to for guidance? A son like your Nimai is rare to find anywhere in the three worlds. Forgetting Him, you are leaving this world behind."
Nimai, the darling son of Saci, cried profusely upon seeing His father's death and heating Sacimata's pitiful words. The teardrops falling on Nimai's chest looked like a string of costly pearls. The crying of the Lord induced His friends, devotees, and the whole word to wail in woe.
Nimai's friends tried to console Him with sweet words. "Visvambhara, if you keep crying the creation will suffer." The housewives pacified Sacidevi. "Just look at your darling son V^svambhara and forget about all this."
Lord Gauranga checked His emotions and acted soberly in order to perform the necessary funeral rites for His father. Visvambhara, along with the family members, executed the details according to the prescribed Vedic rules. With great devotion He worshiped the ancestors. He fed the brahmanas and gave them gifts.
Jagannatha Misra, the father of Lord Visvambhara was the greatest among the brahman.as. Anyone who hears with faith and devotion about Jagannatha Misra's disappearance and return to Vaikuntha, will also attain Vaikuntha if he dies on the bank of the Ganges.
Gazing at Gaurachandra's face, Sacimata sighs while thinking, "If I can get Visvambhara absorbed in His studies, then He will pass His days happily."
Locana Dasa requests everyone to attentively hear about the wonderful character of Lord Chaitanya.
The Matchmaker Vanamali
One day Sacimata took Gaurahari by the hand and engaged Him in education. Giving Him to thepanditas, Saci humbly requested, "O great ones, please instruct my son. Keep Him near You. Please shower Him with affection and treat Him just like your own son."
Hearing this, the brahmanas, feeling a bit hesitant, replied humbly, "Today we have received a rare fortune. Sacimata, you have given us charge of the one who is loved by millions of Sarasvatis, goddesses of learning. He will teach the whole world to chant the holy name, and give His love to everyone. Sacimata, you should know that we will definitely learn from Him." After leaving her son with the panditas, Sacidevi returned home.
Sometime later Visvambhara studied und^er Vishnu Pandita. Visvambhara, the guru of the universe, blessed Sudarsana and Gangadasa by also leaming from them. Accepting a human form, the Supreme Lord as Visvambhara studied and taught like an ordinary man. He did this to bless the people of the world.
One day in the tol [school] of Pandita Sudarsana, the Lord joked with His classmates. Smiling ever so sweetly, He humorously imitated the strange speech of the residents of East Bengal. Visvambhara's frolics pleased and enchanted everyone.
At another time, Visvambhara visited the asrama of Vanamali Acarya. The Lord offered respects to the venerable acarya. Standing up to receive the Lord, Vanamali took Visvambhara by the hand and walked outside to the road. They talked humorously together.
Just then the daughter of Vallabhacarya was walking to the Ganges with her friends. The girl's beauty, qualities, and behavior were famous throughout the three worlds.
Accidently, Visvambhara Hari glanced at her, and at that time He realized why He had appeared on this earth. Laksmi Thakurani, the daughter of Vallabhacarya, understood the same thing. In her mind she took the lotus feet of Visvambhara on her head.
Vanamali Acarya, fully understanding their minds, paid a visit to Sacimata a few days later. Vanamali offered respects to Sacimata, smiled, and said in a sweet voice, "There is a girl just suitable to marry your son. Her beauty, qualifies, and behavior are unequalled in the three worlds. She is the daughter of the illustrious Vallabhacarya. If you desire, please give your permission."
Sacidevi replied, "My son is still a boy. Let Him continue studying for now. He has no father, so allow Him to grow up and mature a little."
Disappointed, Vanamali Acarya left abruptly. Outside on the road he wailed loudly, "Alas, GaurachandraV' Vanamali lamented to himself, "O purifier of the fallen souls. You are known as a kalpa-taru, a wish-fulfilling tree. But why aren't You satisfying my desire?
"All glories to You who delivered Draupadi from fear and harassment. All glories to You who rescued Gajendra from the jaws of the crocodile. All glories to You who delivered Ajamila from the prostitute. O father of the universe, now please give me Your mercy and save me!"
While attending school, Visvambhara became aware of Vanamali's distress. Visvambhara packed up His books, bade farewell to His guru and left the tol. He walked with the beautiful gait of a mad elephant.
The ornaments on Gauranga's body were shining brightly. The universe became charmed by seeing His hair hanging in bunches 6f curly locks. Gaura's splendidly-colored lips defeated the hue of red Bandhull flowers. His dazzling white teeth looked like rows of pearls. Patches of fragrant sandalwood paste beautified His mind-enchanting form. Very fine white cloth was expertly and attractively wrapped around His graceful form.
The Lord'S transcendental beauty surpassed the captivating power of millions of Cupids. Indeed, Gauranga's delightful form is like Cupid,s net for ensnaring the innocent deer that are the hearts of the chaste girls of Nadia.
Visvambhara walked quickly down the road to meet Vanamali Acarya. Indeed, Visvambhara is a wish-fulfilling tree to satisfy the desires of His devotees. Seeing Visvambhara in the distance, Vanamali raised his hand and ran to meet the Lord while crying, "Ha! Alas !" Vanamali fell at Mahaprabhu's feet. The Lord smiled, quickly picked him up, and embraced him.
Visvambhara asked in a sweet voice, "Acarya, where have you been?"
Vanamali replied, "Listen Visvambhara, Your mother is good natured, so I revealed my mind to her. I told her about a girl who is just suitable to be Your marriage partner. She's full of all good qualities and is the daughter of Vallabhacarya. She's the perfect match for You. But when I proposed this to Your mother, she didn't consider it important. So now I'm returning home."
The Lord listened silently, smiled slightly, and went home. Seeing Visvambhara's sweet smile, Vanamali became hopeful that the Lord would soon marry. He felt happy as he walked home.
At home Visvambhara asked His mother, "What did you say to Vanamali Acarya? He looked very morose when I just saw him on the road. I felt unhappy to see his sad face. What did you say to make him so upset?"
Sacimata immediately understood the inner meaning of her son's words. She sent someone to quickly bring Vanamali Acarya. Overwhelmed with bliss, Vanamali ran to Sacidevi's house. He fell at her feet and in a faltering voice said, "Why have you called me?"
Sacidevi said, "Carry out your previous proposal. To satisfy everyone I sanction Visvambhara's marriage. Your affection for Visvambhara is greater than mine. Now just make the necessary arrangements for His mardage."
Happily accepting Sacidevi's request, Vanamali Acarya ran to Vallabhacarya's house with the proposal. Vallabhacarya cordially welcomed the Acarya and said, "I am fortunate to see you. Please tell me why you have come."
Vanamali said, "I have been drawn to your house because of your continual affection. Shri Visvambhara, the son of Jagannatha Misra, comes from an exalted brahmana family and possesses all good qualities and character.
"Providence himself has decorated Visvambhara with all wonderful attributes. He is glorified throughout the three worlds. Therefore how is it possible for me to adequately describe Him? Visvambhara is definitely the perfect person to become your son-in-law. Now you decide."
Vallabhacarya said, "I'm very grateful to hear your proposal. Because I'm poor, however, I have nothing to give in charity except my beautiful daughter. If this is acceptable to you, then I am ready to offer my daughter in marriage to Visvambhara. The rsis, sages, ancestors and demigods will rejoice over this marriage. This marriage arrangement must be the result of my having peformed many austerities. You are my greatest friend. Although until now I didn't express it, you are fulfilling my deepest desire."
Vanamali went to Sacidevi's house to inform her about the conversation. Hearing about it and becoming pleased, Sacidevi gave her blessings to Vanamali. Saci's friends and relatives happily received the news, approved unanimously, and chanted "Very good ! Very good !"