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Chapter 6 Visvambhara Marries Vishnupriya
Prabhu Visvambhara, the darling of Mother Saci, happily associated with His friends. Sacimata, however, felt sad and lonely without a daughter-in-law. She met privately with the brahmana Kasinatha to arrange for a second marriage for her son. On her prompting, Kasinatha went to the house of Sanatana Pandita to propose a marriage.
Sacidevi told Kasinatha, "Tell him that my son has all the good qualities needed to be a suitable groom for his daughter. If he agrees, then we can proceed with the negotiations.
Quickly, Kasinatha went to Sanatana Pandita's house. Offering him a seat, Sanatana inquired about the purpose of his visit. Kasinatha said, "Listen Panditji, let me reveal my heart. You are most fortunate, and you know the conclusion of the scriptures. You are a pious man devoted to Lord Vishnu's service. Knowing this, Sacidevi, the mother of Visvambhara, sent me here with a proposal. She wants your daughter for her son. Visvambhara is a perfect match for your daug^hter. Consider my proposal and act accordingly."
Sanatana Misra said, "Kasinatha, please listen as I disclose my heart to you. Day and night I've also thought about this match, but I didn't dare express it. Today is auspicious, for Providence has become pleased with me. As a result, Visvambhara, the ocean of transcendental qualities, will become my son-in-law.
"I'm grateful to Sacidevi. By her order I've received the rare fortune of offering my daughter .to Shri Govinda, the Supreme Brahman. As Lord Brahma and Lord Siva always worship the lotus feet of Govinda, I will do the same. Tell Sacidevi that after I fix an auspicious day, I'll send a brahmana with the time."
Kasinatha ran back to Sacidevi, offered his respects, and told her the good news. Hearing this, Sacimata became happy, and arranged for Visvambhara's marriage. On some pretext, Sacidevi visited her future daughter-in-law. After a few days, a brahmana arrived at Sacidevi's house with a proposal from the pandita: "I will consider myself most fortunate if you accept my daughter as the bride for your son, Visvambhara."
Sacidevi joyfully said, "Good, let's quickly marry them."
The messenger cheerfully replied, "Upon obtaining Visvambhara as her husband, her name Vishnupriya [Sanatana's daughter] will attain its real meaning. Vishnupriya's future will equal that of Rukmini who got Shri Krishna as her husband."
After making Sacidevi happy with his words, the brahmana reported everything to Sanatana Pandita and made him happy too. The Pandita collected the paraphernalia for the marriage ceremony. That most intelligent brahmana, Sanatana Pandita, made costly ornaments for Vishnupriya. Meeting with an astrologer, he fixed an auspicious day for the adhi-vasa ceremony.
The astrologer said, "Listen Sanatana. It's an amazing coincidence that I just met Visvambhara on the way here. Seeing Him made me feel extremely satisfied. In a joking mood I told Visvambhara, 'Tomorrow You'll get married.' Looking astonished, Visvambhara said, 'Where's the marriage? Whose marriage are you talking about? Who are the bride and groom? ' "So Panditji, think it over carefully and then decide what to do." After hearing all this, Sanatana Pandita felt broken-hearted. So he sat quietly collecting his thoughts. Then he talked with his friends.
Sanatana Pandita said, "I've already purchased the marriage paraphernalia. It's just my bad luck; I can't blame anyone else. Although I haven't committed any offense, still Gaurahari will not accept my daughter in marriage."
The wife of Sanatana Pandita was chaste, well-qualified and fully devoted to Lord Vishnu. Seeing her husband's distress, she became sorry. Giving up her natural shyness, she spoke to him. "Visvambhara Himself has rejected the proposal. How can the people of Nadia blame you? You can't force Visvambhara Hari. He is the all-powerful, completely independent Lord. He controls everyone including Brahma, Siva, Indra and other demigods who are His humble servants.
"How can such a person become your son-in-law? Just be peaceful and pray to Krishna. Although I'm reluctant to tell you this, there's nothing I can do to mitigate your misery."
Sanatana Pandita took solace in the wise counsel of his dear wife. He said, "It's not my fault that Visvambhara didn't accept my proposal." Falling silent due to the pain in his heart, Sanatana just lamented along with his wife.
Sanatana thought, "Why has Visvambhara put me to shame? All glories to the Lord who protected Draupadi from shame. All glories to the savior of Gajendra, the elephant. He delivered the Pandavas, and He's the life and soul of Rukmini. All glories to the Lord who removed the misfortune of Ahalya."[Ahalya was delivered by the Lord after being cursed to become a stone by her husband.]
In this way the bereaved couple thought, and uttered many prayers. Lord Gauranga could understand their plight and He thought, "They're My devotees, so why are they feeling so upset?" Then the Lord, in a humorous mood, asked a brahmana to give a message to Sanatana Pandita.
Visvambhara said, 'øTell Sanatana that what the astrologer said about Visvambhara's rejecting your marriage proposal was incorrect. The astrologer didn't understand that Visvambhara was only joking with him. Sacimata had already consented to the marriage. Therefore, Visvambhara will definitely agree to marry your daughter Vishnupriya. Now quickly arrange for their marriage."
The Marriage Ceremony
After the astrologers from both families set the auspicious day and time, the brahmanas and relatives prepared for Gauranga's Adhi-vasa ceremony. Sacidevi distributed oil, turmeric, vermillion, sweets, bananas and betel-nuts among the women. The ladies sang many songs, and the brahmanas recited Vedic hymns. Musicians pleased everyone with various instruments like mrdangas and karatalas.
During the Adhi-vasa, Gauranga worshiped the brahmanas with camphor, perfumes, flower garlands and sandalwood paste. He also gave them gifts of cloth and gold ornaments. Sanatana Pandita sent gifts and a few brahmanas, along with their wives, to respectfully observe the Adhi-vasa ceremony of his son-in-law. He then performed the Adhivasa for his daughter. Vishnupriya's body was lavishly adoreed with expensive jewels and beautiful dazzling gold ornaments.
The next day Gauranga performed His morning duties and bathed in the Ganges. Then Visvambhara worshiped the family Deity and His forefathers. Observing the traditions for marriage, the Lord bathed again. Barbers cut His hair and nails. The housewives anointed Him with fragrant oils, rubbed turmeric powder on His limbs and poured water.
Every comer of Nadia filled with jubilation. Mahaprabhu's friends decorated Him with celestial ornaments and a beautiful silk dhoti with a red border. The entire atmosphere was pervaded by the sweet divine fragrance of Gauranga's transcendental body. His attractive face was enhanced with shining tilaka and sandalwood paste.
Lord Visvambhara's red lips were brighter than Bimba fruits. Captivating shark-shaped earrings dangled playfully from His perfectly shaped ears. The sound of His anklebells agitated the hearts of all young girls.
Meanwhile, Sanatana Pandita dressed his daughter Vishnupriya in attractive clothing and jewelry. Even without any make-up, Vishnupriya's body glows with natural beauty. Her bodily complexion embarrasses the brilliance of lightning. A glistening hair-braid, blacker than the hood of a cobra, hanl,;s down her back. The soberdst of sages would be charmed by its beauty. The vermillion on her hairpart defies description.
Perfection has taken the form of Vishnupfiya's nose and eyebrows. The gentle, expanded eyes of Vishnupfiya resemble a doe's. Her rubyred lips rival Bandhuli flowers. A row of shining, perfectly-formed pearls have become her pure white teeth. Her beautiful neck is smooth as a conchshell and marked with three auspicious lines. Vishnupriya's gracefully sloping shoulders are gorgeous.
Red lotus flowers have manifested as the palms of her hands. The auspicious symbols and lines in her palms proclaim the exalted character of the most chaste Vishnupriya. Her delicate fingers resemble carnpaka flowers, and her attractive tingemails shimmer like millions of moons. It defies logic how her thin waist can support her finn, large and beautifid breasts shaped like Mt. Sumera.
Vishnupriya's wide hips look like the wheels of Cupid's chariot. Her thighs taper gradually like the trunk of a banana tree. Indeed, Providence has made Vishnupriya perfectly beautiful from head to toe. Perfume, flower garlands and sandalwood paste accentuate her indescribable beauty. With her brightly glowing dress and ornaments, Vishnupriya looks like goddess Parvati.
Santana Pandita sent a brahmana to bring the bridegroom. The brahmana considered his life worthwhile when he saw the striking beauty of Lord Gauranga. Taking blessings from Sacimata and the village ladies, Visvambhara touched His mother's feet, and then boarded a special palanquin. A thunderous harmony of flutes, vinas, conchshells, mrdangas and other drums delighted the wedding procession along the way to the bride's home. Singers and dancers performed exuberantly for Gauranga's pleasure. Everyone in Nadia turned out to see Visvambhara's procession.
The women of Nadia wore their most opulent and colorful silk saris. They highlighted their beautiful dark hair with gold and pearl ornaments. One lady draped flowers over her ears. Another walked ^apidly with the gait of a mad elephant. They applied red lipstick, surrounded their eyes with kajjala and cast furtive glances like the movements of restless wagtail birds.
Leaving their husbands behind, all the young girls of Nadia raced from their homes. When they saw the incomparable Visvambhara, they sank in the enchanting ocean of His beauty. ,
Running in a mad f^enzy, the ladies forgot some of their garments and jewelry. In their ecstasy to behold Gaura, their clothing became loose and slipped from their bodies. Holding hands as they ran, they appeared like a row of swans gliding across a lake, or the full moon beams in autumn.
Men, women, children, the young, the old, the sick, the lame and the blind ran down the road like crazy people. Pushing and jostling each other, they all competed to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous Lord Gauranga. Seeing Gaura's Cupid-like face, women became impatient; birds and beasts stood still. Visvambhara was surrounded by His friends. An attractive wedding crown adoreed His head.
Locana Dasa says that to remove the miseries of the ladies of Nadia, Hari has entered through the doors Of their hearts.
Sanatana Pandita floated in an ocean of bliss when Visvambhara's procession arrived at his house. He washed Gaura's feet and sat Him upon an asana. Gauranga's brilliant complexion outshone the light of the hundreds of lamps burning inside the house. Ululation from the excited women created auspiciousness to greet the Lord. Conchshells, dundubhi and other musical instruments sounded too.
Elderly ladies dressed in pure silk respectfully circumambulated Lord Visvambhara. First Vishnupriya's mother, and then the other ladies waved a ghee lamp before Lord Gauranga. Everyone jumped in ecstasy to see the embodiment of all transcendental qualities standing before them.
Vishnupriya's mother was thinking, "My daughter will soon serve Gaurahari." The light from thejeweled lamps waved by the ladies played amidst the radiant rays of Gauranga's divine form. Upon smelling the intoxicating fragrance of the Lord's body, the ladies forcefully guarded themselves to keep from going mad. The ladies walked around Gaurachandra seven times and then poured yogurt over His lotus feet.
Sanatana Pandita welcomed the bridegroom with ornaments, opulent clothes and a malati garland. He smeared sandalwood paste on Gaura's golden body. The Lord's body looked like Mt. Sumeru and His thighs resembled the Ganges River. Becoming enraptured, Sanatana's body erupted in tiny bumps of ecstasy.
On her father's order, Vishnupriya sat down on ajeweled throne in front of Visvambhara. Her head was lowered in shyness and she smiled gently. Her eyes, moistened with tears, were brimming with love as Vishnupriya looked at her Lord. Then she circumambulated Visvambhara seven times and offered respects with folded hands.
The Divine Couple exchanged flower garlands amidst a tumultuous outburst of "Jai! Jai! Haft bol! Hari bol!" from the joyous crowds. Everyone said, "Oh, what a blessed couple ! They look like Candra and Rohini, or Sambhu and Parvati."
Then Visvambhara smiled sweetly and relaxed on a throne, as Sanatana Pandita offered Him the hand of Vishnupriya. After receiving various gifts from the guests, they sat together to take prasada. The elderly mothers offered camphor and betel-nuts before escorting them to a special sleeping chamber.
To the assembled ladies, Vishnupriya and Visvambhara looked like the manifestation of Laksmi and Vishnu on earth. Just to get the Lord's touch, some ladies offered flower garlands or sandalwood paste. With folded hands, another offered betel leaves to Visvambhara while praying within her mind, 'O Lord, I desire to serve you life after life.' Thus, Lord Gauranga, the crest'jewel of all transcendental qualities, spent the night.
Visvambhara awoke early the next day and performed the marriage ritual called Kusandika. The following day Gaura and Vishnupriya went to His home. His relatives chanted "Jai! Jai!" and blew conchshells. Sanatana Pandita and his wife offered betel-nuts, sandalwood, and flower garlands. They placed auspicious durva grass and rice paddy on Mahaprabhu's head while blessing Vishnupriya to live a long life. Vishnupriya, melting in affection, gazed lovingly at her mother and father.
His heart swelling with emotion, Sanatana said in a faltering voice, "What more can I say? Visvambhara, You are the most qualified person. You have so kindly accepted my daughter as a gift. Other than my daughter, what gift would be suitable for You? By becoming my son-inlaw, You have blessed both me and my home. My daughter has also become blessed by receiving Your lotus feet." Then Sanatana Pandita, who was crying copiously, joined Vishnupriya's hand with Gaura's and bade them farewell.
The Divine Couple mounted a palanquin and returned to Visvambhara's home. They were followed by an enthusiastic party of singers, chanters and musicians. With a delighted heart, Sacimata welcomed her son and daughter-in-law with incense and a waving ghee lamp. The neighbors chanted loudly "Jai! Jai !"
While holding hands, Vishnupriya and Visvambhara walked into the house. Sacimata, her voice faltering due to love, put her son on her lap and kissed His moonlike face. Feeling boundless bliss, she also sat Vishnupriya on her lap. The townspeople stepped forward to offer various gifts.
Thus Locana Dasa happily sings the transcendental glories of Lord Gauranga.