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Traveling and Nilacala Pastimes
Gopala Gives a Flower to Gaura
After some time Mahaprabhu entered Tamaluka, a famous place of pilgrimage. Lord Chaitanya bathed in Brahma-kunda and saw the Deity of Shri Madhusudana. Overwhelmed with the ecstasy of pure love of God, the Lord traveled for several days until He reached the village of Remuna.
In great excitement, Gauranga ran to see the Deity of Shri Gopala, which was installed by Uddhava in Varanasi. The Lord offered His obeisances again and again. The Deity of Gopala came to Remuna to give mercy to one brahmana.
Lord Chaitanya loudly called out, "O Uddhava", and then cried and rolled on the ground. His eyes were reddened and full of tears. Gauranga continuously circumambulated the Gopala Deity while saying, '^Fhe Lord of Uddhava." The Lord and His devotees started dancing joyously in kirtana, filling the earth and sky with love of God.
With unblinking eyes, the demigods hovering in the clouds gazed at Gauranga's sankirtana party. With his thousand eyes, Indra stared at the nectarean body of the Lord. Suddenly, a flower fell from the top of Gopalaji's flower crown. Instantly, Gauranga picked it up, and chanted "Hari-bol! Hari-bol!"
Observing the amazing sight of Shri Chaitanya's blissful party, the king of heaven bowed his head in respect. The Lord danced all the way till evening. Many foodstuffs were lovingly offered to Shri Gopalaji. Then Lord Gauranga and His associates honored Gopala's maha-prasada. Gaurahari spent the night relishing Krishna-katha and departed the next morning with His devotees.
Soon Shri Gauranga came to the Vaitarani River where He took bath and drank some water. The Lord desired to have darsana of Lord Varaha, who grants liberation to anyone who sees Him. Then Gauranga went to Yajapur. Once Brahma and the demigods came here and did a sacrifice. Upon completing the yajna, they gave the village to a brahmana.
Even the most sinful person becomes free from all his sins, and attains a form like Lord Siva if he dies in this village. There are literally hundreds of Siva linga temples in Yajapur. Gaura-Govinda [name of Lord Chaitanya] offered respects to them.
Next, Lord Chaitanya visited Viraja, whose glories are beyond description. By seeing this place one gets free from the reactions of millions of sinful activities. The Lord joyfully paid respects to Viraja and prayed: "Please give me prema-bhakti at the lotus feet of Krishna."
Traveling on, the Lord arrived in Navigaya. He offered pinda, Vishnu-prasada, to His forefathers, and bathed in Brahma-kunda. After performing the appropriate rituals, Gaurahari and His associates quickly left Navigaya, which is famous as a place of Lord Siva. In this city there are millions of Siva lingas like "Trilocana" [the three-eyed one] and others.
More Toll Collector Pastimes
At that time Mukunda Datta said, "I know that from now on we have nothing to fear from any toll collectors."
Smiling slightly, Lord Chaitanya said, "What shall I say Mukunda? I' ve taken shelter of the sannyasa order. What can a toll collector do to Me?"
Mukunda said, "Still, that last toll collector gave You trouble." Lord Chaitanya said, "Listen Mukunda, all My relatives will protect Me." The Lord quoted a verse from the Santi-sataka: "Patience is one's father. Forgiveness is one's mother. Eternal peace is one's wife. Truth is one's son. Kindness is one's sister. Control of the mind is one's brother. The earth is one's bed. The ten directions are one's clothing. Nectarean knowledge is one's food."
With a blissful smile, Gaurahari said, "If these are one's relatives, then please tell Me, My friend, how can he be afraid of anything? These relatives have carefully carried Me this far." Then Gaura, Gadadhara and a few other devotees went from door to door to collect alms.
In the meantime, a wicked toll collector imprisoned Mukunda and the rest of the Lord's traveling party. He bound Mukunda in chains and held everyone captive all day. Since they had no money, that merciless, sinful toll collector snatched their blankets and released them. After collecting alms, Lord Chaitanya met Mukunda and the rest of the party.
Falling prostrate at Gauranga's feet, Mukunda Datta said, "Lord, Your glories are inestimable. Recently, I told You that I wasn't afraid of toll collectors, but just now we suffered at the hands of one. We understand that You are God, but we act like we don't know it. To learn a lesson I received pain from that man."
Gadadhara told Gaurachandra about Mukunda's misfortune. The Lord commented briefly, "Mukunda, don't worry, everything will turn out for the best." Later that night, the'son of Saci appeared in the dream of the chief toll collector. The Lord was lying on the bed of Ananta in the middle of the milk ocean.
Laksmi and Sarasvati were massaging His feet. The four Kumaras, Lord Brahma and other demigods stood at a distance, offering prayers. Then Lord Vishnu, dressed as a sannyasi, spoke to the chief toll collector, "One of your men has put My devotees into distress." Seeing this majestic dream perplexed and frightened the chief toll collector.
He awoke abruptly and ran to meet Shri Gaura Gopala [Lord Chaitanya]. After offering dandavats, he said, "You are the Lord who performs pastimes in the ocean of milk. In order to deliver the living ú entities, You have appeared in this world and taken sannyasa. You are
the moon illuminating the dense darkness of material existence. You are the ultimate goal of all Vedic knowledge."
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu smiled and said, "Very soon Lord Krishna will shower His mercy on you." Then He put His feet on the head of the chief toll collector. Immediately, that man became infused with ectastic love of God. He jumped up and danced exuberantly with arms raised high in the sky. Lord Gauranga then empowered him to preach Krishna consciousness in that province.
At that time the devotees addressed the chief toll collector: "One of your men stole our blankets and put us in misery." Ashamed to hear this, the chief toll collector pleased the devotees by giving them new blankets. Then he paid obeisances to everyone and went home. He spent the rest of his life worshiping the Lord in his home and performing sankirtana day and night.
Why Did Lord Chaitanya Accept Siva Prasada?
The next moming, Mahaprabhu again visited the Deity of Viraja, who grants liberation to any one who sees her. After paying obeisances and leaving the. temple, Lord Chaitanya displayed symptoms of transcendental ecstasy. Walking with the gait of a powerful lion, the Lord came to the village of Ekamraka, where Lord Siva and Parvati reside.
Upon seeing the temple dome, Gauranga began running out of intense eagerness to see the temple. A beautiful flag billowed atop the temple. Mahaprabhu offered obeisances to the temple flag before entering Ekamraka, an abode-of Lord Siva abounding in Siva temples. Along with the town' s main Siva linga called "Visvesvara", there are ten million Siva lingas. One feels apprehensive about making an offense when he walks into Ekamraka.
The earth of Ekarnraka appeared like sandesh [a semi-solid white sweet meat]. The water of all the holy places meets in Bindu Sarovara, a local sacred lake. Different places of pilgrimage also exist here in Ekamraka [present day Bhubanesvara].
Lord Gaurahari offered respects to the Deities of Siva and Parvati. Upon seeing them all the devotees forgot the troubles of traveling. Gauranga became numb and staggered in ecstasy as He looked at Mahesa [Siva]. His lips turned red, tears streamed down His eyes, and bumps of ecstasy formed on His body as Lord Chaitanya chanted prayers to Lord Siva.
The devotees also recited suitable prayers. In appreciation, the temple priest offered Siva's prasada scents, sandalwood pulp and a fragrant flower garland to Shri Krishna Chaitanya.
Then the Lord retired to the home of a neighboring devotee. He took some rice prasada from the devotee and rested peacefully. The next morning Gauranga bathed in Bindu Sarovara, paid obeisances to Mahadeva [Lord Siva], and continued His journey to Nilacala.
Now listen carefully to a story in this connection. Once Damodara Pandita asked Murari Gupta, "Murari, why did Lo'rd Chaitanya accept the nirmalya [prasada] of Lord Siva? According to a curse of Bhrgu Muni, Siva's prasada is not acceptable. Yet why did Gauranga accept it? Mahaprabhu is Himself the Lord of the brahmanas. So, why did He violate the Vedic injunctions?
Murari Gupta said, "Listen, Damodara. How can I know the mind of the Lord? I'll answer you according to my understanding. If you find it acceptable, then take it into your heaXt. If someone differentiates between Hari [Krishna} and Hara [Siva] when he worships Lord Siva, and therefore refuses to accept Siva's prasada, he Commits an offense and suffers the curse of Bhrgu Muni.
"Why? Because his consciousness is contaminated. He doesn't understand the glories of Lord Siva. But hle who accepts both Had and Hara as one, and faithfully accepts Siva'sprasada becomes beloved to both Lord Krishna and Siva.
"One certainly pleases Lord Siva with his food offerings, if he remembers that Lord Siva is the greatest Vaishnava. One becomes free from material bondage by taking such remnants. Actually, when Lord Siva saw Lord Chaitanya taking his darsana, he joyfully accepted Gauranga as his guest.
"The curse of Bhrgu is meant for materialists devoid of Krishna consciousness. If someone worships Lord Siva in a friendly mood, he certainly develops his love for Shri Krishna. Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu came to teach the proper path of perfection for people in general ."
Damodara Pandita said, "Murari, you have kindly removed all my misgivings, and made everyone else happy too."
Thus Locana Dasa describes the transcendental pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Please listen to the transcendental pastimes of Gaurahari, which emit ever-fresh sweet nectar at every step. Traveling with His associates, Lord Chaitanya soon came to the temple of Kapotesvara [Siva], paid obeisances, and bathed in the pure waters of the Bhargavi River. Then they moved on to Jagannatha Puri.
Gauranga's Ecstasy in Seeing Jagannatha's Temple
In the distance, Lord Chaitanya saw the beautiful temple of Lord Jagannatha shining brightly like the moonlight. A large red silk flag flapped majestically atop the kailas. Reposing on the crest of Nilagiri hill, the beautiful temple of the Lord of the universe looked like the effulgent snow-capped Mt. Kailasa.
Gauranga saw an attractive boy standing on top of the temple. Moving his fingers up and down, that boy was calling the Lord forward. Overcome with prema, Lord Chaitanya paid obeisances to the boy. The Lord crashed down on the ground, unconscious.
Seeing Lord Chaitanya lying motionless and not breathing, the devotees became shocked and frantically called the Lord. He did not respond. Although living, Gauranga appeared gone. Suddenly, He jumped up displaying ecstatic symptoms in His body. The devotees felt rejuvenated by the sight, but they wondered what had happened.
Mahaprabhu asked, "Did any of you see a boy standing on top of Jagannatha's temple? I saw a beautiful boy whose complexion was brighter than a blue sapphire, enchanting the three worlds."
Though they didn't see anyone, the devotees said they did. Mahaprabhu said, "Look! There he is, that beautiful boy is still on top of the temple. He has a smiling face and an incomparably gorgeous body made of nectar. He's holding a flute in his left hand. Moving the beautiful fingers of his right hand, he's calling Me toward him."
Then the Lord raced down the road to Lord Jagannatha's temple. The devotees followed Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Gauranga's effulgent body glowed like a million moons. The sandalwoood pulp tilaka on His forehead was dazzling. His red cloth resembled the rising sun.
Lord Chaitanya offered obeisances over and over as He walked down the road to the temple. An unceasing stream of tears ran from His eyes. Big bumps of ecstasy erupted all over His body. Absorbed in Krishnaprema, Gaurahari soon arrived at the sacred lake called Markandeya Sarovara. He bathed there, paid obeisances to Yajnesvara, gave charity, and kept walking.
Seeing Lord Jagannatha's temple looming in the distance, Gauranga fell flat on the ground to pay obeisances. Immersed in love of God, the Lord wept without stopping. Attracted by the intense love of Gaura Raya, Lord Jagannatha extended His long arms and appeared before Lord Chaitanya. He called, "Come, come to Me!"
Lord Chaitanya became stunned to see the Lord and rolled on the ground. Then in a blissful voice Gauranga said, "O Lord Jagannatha, You' re so merciful to show Yourself to Me." Gaura cried loudly when Lord Jagannatha suddenly disappeared. Then Nilacala-candr. a reappeared and Lord Chaitanya burst into joy.
Waves of nectar from the ocean of divine love washed over Gaura's body. Tears, roaring, and horripilation appeared in their wake. In such a maddened state of ecstasy, Gauranga quickly came to the house of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, who cordially welcomed the Lord and offered Him an asana.
Lord Chaitanya Takes Darsana of Lord Jagannatha
Lord Chaitanya said, "I'm very eager to see Lord Jagannatha. How will it be possible, when My heart fills with apprehension at the prospect?" Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was astounded to see the spendid beauty of Gauranga. The Lord's body was molten gold, towering like Mt. Sumeru. His gorgeous face shimmered like the moon's rays. His shoulders were more powerful than a lion's.
He had wide, elongated eyes like the petals of a lotus flower. His neck was nicely shaped like a conchshell and His longs arms extended to His knees. He had all the auspicious signs of a rnahapurusa [great personality]. Beholding Shri Chaitanya's unusually attractive form amazed and stunned Saravabhauma.
He wondered, "I've never seen such an indescribably beautiful person. There is no demigod to compare with Him. It seems Vaikunthanatha [the lord of Vaikuntha] must be standing before me." Sarvabhauma told his son to take Gaurahari to see Lord Jagannatha and listen carefully to whatever He said.
When Lord Chaitanya came before the Simha-dvara [main gate of the temple], He lost control of His body and began staggering due to ecstatic love of God. With the careful assistance of His associates, the Lord entered the gate and went to the Nat Mandir [darsana area in front of the Deity] .
Standing behind the Garuda stambha, Lord Chaitanya gazed at the beautiful moonlike face of Lord Jagannatha with unblinking eyes. Intense feelings of spiritual rapture seized Gauranga's body. As a result, His bodily hairs stood up straight, appearing like the stiffened filaments of a golden kadamba flower. Tears flowed in five or seven streams from His lotus eyes.
Losing Himself in the bliss of pure Krishna consciousness, Shri Gaura Raya became stunned and collapsed on the ground unconscious. It appeared like the peak of a mountain breaking off due to high wind. His eyes were closed and His fists were tightly clenched.
Soon Lord Chaitanya returned to external consciousness. Dancing and chanting, "Had! Had !" He entered the temple with the other devotees: Shrivasa, Damodara, Murari and Mukunda. They sang the glories of Radha and Krishna and danced exuberantly.
Gauranga's Pastimes with Sarvabhauma
Then Gaurasundara and His loving associates returned to the home of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. Again Lord Chaitanya fell into a trance of divine euphoria and performed sankirtana. Observing the blissful activities of the Lord filled Sarvabhauama's heart with wonder and plea.sure. When Gaura-nataraja stopped dancing, Sarvabhauma sent a man to bri.ng Lord Jagannatha's rnaha-prasada. Meanwhile, they discussed philosophy.
Vasudcva Sarvabhauma said, "Mahaprabhu, please tell mc Your birthplace."
Gauranga said, "Whatever you say, that is true."
Sarvabhauma, "Why are You answering me like this? I say one thing and then You say something else."
Gauranga kept silent, as grave as the ocean.
Sarvabhauma, "Will You please tell me how You became a sannyasi?"
Gauranga, "Definitely, know this is truth."
Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was totally bewildered by Mahaprabhu's equivocal statements. He couldn't understand anything about Lord Chaitanya, who is the beloved Lord of millions of Sarasvatis [goddesses of knowledge]. Not knowing whether Gauranga was God Himself or just a madman, Sarvabhauma became upset.
Gauranga Glorifies Jagannatha Maha-prasada
At that time a huge quantity of Jagannatha maha-prasada arrived. Thrilled to see it, Mahaprabhu bowed His head to offer respects and then roared like a lion, filling the universe with the sound. The demigods, Gandharvas, human beings, dogs, and snakes came to receive prasada from Gauranga's hand.
Everyone felt ecstatic by taking Lord Jagannatha's maha-prasada. Although Gadadhara, Nityananda, and other devotees saw this, they kept quiet because they know everything. Then Mahaprabhu honored Lord Jagannatha's remnants.
Shri.vasa said, "Mahaprabhu, I'm a little afraid to ask, but if You p, ermit, then I'll ask a question. After You took rnaha-prasada I saw that You were smiling blissfully. Can You tell us what You were smiling about?"
Hearing this, the Lord became joyful and revealed His heart. "Due to the promise of Katyayani, even the animals are receiving maha prasada. But even after great endeavor, demigods such as Indra, Candra and the Gandharvas can't obtain it. Devotees like Narada, Sukadeva, Prahlada and others rarely get to taste this maha prasada. Now everyone is relishing such rnaha prasada"
"Anyone who rejects maha prasada, considering it to be ordinary food, will lose his piety and take birth as a pig. One should accept maha prasada and eat it immediately without consideration, even if it has fallen from the mouth of a dog. There is never any defect in maha prasada."
Next, Mahaprabhu honored some maha prasada. In the evening He took darsana of Lord Jagannatha. With His full-blooming lotus eyes and complexion the color of a monsoon cloud, Lord Jagannatha's face was most charming to behold. The whole universe could not contain the ecstasy that Lord Chaitanya felt upon seeing Lord Jagannatha.
The intensity of His Krishna-prema made Gauranga tumble to the ground. It appeared as if the golden Mt. Sumern was rolling on the ground. The dazzling effulgence of Gauranga's body made Lord Jagannatha also appear golden. Lord Balarama and the temple priests also became absorbed in Gauranga's ecstatic mood. Seeing this, all the devotees floated in an ocean of bliss.
The temple priest worshiped Lord Chaitanya, whom he saw as Lord Jagannatha now moving in the form of a sannyasi. No one had ever seen such an amazing sight. Surfacing from the deep ocean ofprema, Lord Chaitanya went back to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya's house. In this way Lord Gauranga tasted boundless happiness in taking Lord Jagannatha's darsana three times a day. He also passed the days and nights discussing Radha-Krishna prema-tattva with His intimate followers.
Teaching Vedanta and Sad-Bhuja Revealed
Now listen carefully to a pastime that was first revealed in Purusottama-ksetra [Jagannatha Purl]. Lord Chaitanya lived humbly, without any material possessions to teach renunciation to the people in general. Fooish people thought that the Lord was an ordinary 'man. Gauranga would sing His own glories in association with His dearmost devotees.
Sarvabhauma, who was proud of his mundane scholarship, once said something incorrect about Lord Shri Chaitanya to an assembly of brahmanas and saintly persons. He said, "Although Shri Chaitanya is a scholar hailing from a good family, He has taken sannyasa at such a young age. With incomplete knowledge this brahmana has taken such a serious step.
"Now He should rectify Himself and deeply study Vedanta. It's not the dharma of a sannyasi to chant and dance wildly in the streets. Better He should study Vedanta from me and go back to family life."
Suddenly Gauranga appeared within that assembly. His face was adorned with a sweet smile appearing like a constant flow of honey. Startled, Sarvabhauma got up immediately to receive Lord Chaitanya. He praised the Lord and offered a seat.
Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu said, "I don't know all the rules. But you, Sarvabhauma, being a great scholar, know everything. Please tell Me the rules and regulations.
"Although I don't understand the duties of a sannyasi, Providence has arranged that I am one. Now, please explain the proper rules and conduct of a sannyasi. You know and teach Vedanta, so now please instruct Me. It's said that one should't take sannyasa at the prime of life. What is the scriptural rule about taking diksa?"
Sarvabhauma, being surprised by Lord Chaitanya's frankness, felt shy and hesitant to reply. He thought, "How did this sannyasi know that I was talking about Him with my followers?"
The next day Gauranga and His followers retumed to Sarvabhauma's house. Lord Chaitanya wanted to learn the confidential conclusion of the Vedanta on taking shelter of the nectarean lotus feet of Shri Krishna. Heating this shocked Sarvabhauma, who then realized that the darling of Sacimata was no ordinary human being.
Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya thought, "I have never heard such an explanation of Vedanta. I' ve become very proud after spending my whole life studying and teaching Vedanta. But upon hearing Shri Chaitanya's presentation of it, I understand that He is favored by Sarasvati, the goddess of learning."
Then Sarvabhauma, the best of the brahmanas, folded his hands and offered prayers to Gauranga. Astonishing everyone, Lord Chaitanya manifested a six-handed form, [sad-bhuja]. Sarvabhauma became full of ecstasy when he saw this transcendental form of the Lord. In one place, at one time, and from one body, Lord Chaitanya showed a sixarmed form.
In two raised arms the Lord held a bow and arrow. He held a flute to His lips with two other hands. In the two arms hanging by His sides, He clutched a sannyasa danda and waterpot. Entranced in the ecstasy of Krishna consciousness, Sarvabhauma fell at Gauranga's feet, crying. Then just before hinting, Sarvabhauma, in a faltering voice, offered Lord Gauranga a prayer called Chaitanya-sahasranama--the thousand names of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Thus Locana Dasa describes the manifestation of sad-bhuja to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya in Jagannatha Puri.
In this way, Shri Krishna Chaitanya happily lived in Nilacala. Everyday the devotees came to visit Lord Gauranga. The daily da. rsana of Lord Jagannatha filled everyone' s heart with the joy of Krishna consciousness.