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The Glories of Advaita Acarya
Blissful feelings arise in my body as I begin to describe the wonderful pastimes of Lord Gauranga. One day Gaurahari, Shrivasa and other associates visited Advaita Acarya. Some devotees sang melodiously, some danced and some chanted Hari-narna.
Suddenly, Gaurahari broke into a dance, sending everyone into ecstasy. Inundated with waves ofprerna, the devotee's bodies became covered with horripilation. Tears rained forth and they lost their balance. Hiking up His dhoti, Gauranga roared like a lion. Oblivious to the world, His followers rolled on the ground. In this way, Lord GauraharFs sankirtana party joyously moved toward the house of Advaita Acarya.
Upon meeting Advaita Acarya, Gauranga and His companions offered dandavats. Shri Advaita returned the respects and said humbly, "O Prabhu, You are the crest-jewel of millions of Advaitas." They embraced and bathed each other with their tears of love.
Then they sat down comfortably and Advaita Acarya said, "Prabhu, the atheists say that Kali-yuga is devoid of devotion. Now let them come and satisfy their eyes by seeing my Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu."
Resounding like a cloud, Gaurahari said in a grave voice, "Besides bhakti, what else is there in Kali-yuga? Rather, bhakti is the only thing available in this material world.
One who says there's no bhakti in the age of Kali is a useless person. In no other age has the Lord given so much mercy."
At that moment, Shrivasa Pandim, feeling some trepidation, said to Gauranga, "My Lord, one of those atheistic brahmanas is standing before us. He will surely disrupt our kirtana festival. He's an atheistic person overly proud of his learning." Mahaprabhu told that brahmana, "You wicked miscreant, don't come here." The brahmana hastily retreated.
Lord Gaurachandra then enacted a blissful pastime. Holding Shrivasa's hand in His one hand and Gadadhara's in the other, Gauranga looked at the face of His devotee Shri Raghunandana and cried. The Lord touched Shri Rama Pandita with His lotus feet. Together with the devotees, Lord Gauranga chanted and danced blissfully before Advaita Acarya. Gaurahari danced in the center while the devotees sang joyfully and spun around the Lord. The beautiful Lord appeared just like the Lord of Vraja encircled by His beloved gopis.
After the exhilarating sankirtana performance, Lord Gaurachandra tookprasada lovingly prepared by Advaita Acarya and his wife, Sitadevi. Shri Advaita offered the Lord a fragrant flower garland, and smeared camphor-scented sandalwood paste on His body. Advaita thought, "Now I have received so much mercy from the Lord Himself."
The followers ofAdvaita Acarya cried and fell at Gauranga's lotus feet. Visvambhara lifted them up and embraced them tenderly. The Lord and His associates stayed there singing and dancing for a few days before returning home.
Locana Dasa becomes extremely joyful upon hearing these wonderful pastimes of Lord Gaura.
At home Mahaprabhu enjoyed discussing Krishna consciousness with His devotees. Shri Visvambhara said, "Krishna is the only Lord of creation, He is the soul of all." To demonstrate the process of creation, the Lord extended His arm and repeatedly opened and clenched His fist.
"Listen," the Lord continued, "The truth of the Lord's creation can only be understood when one is absorbed in devotion. Although it is difficult to understand, I'm trying to describe this so that conditioned souls may obtain liberation from material existence. Without being liberated, one can't understand Krishna.
"See My five fingers. One is covered with honey and the other four smell bad. You would gladly lick the finger smeared with honey, yet you would reject the other four. In the same way, a liberated soul will accept the Lord and leave everything else behind.
After pausing briefly, Gauranga again delivered His mercy. "There is nothing except Krishna-bhakti. Through bhakti one can know Lord Krishna who is the essence of all things. One's devotion will become steady when one realizes this. He will quickly attain causeless devotion for Lord Krishna." Then Prabhu meditated on Krishna's lotus feet while repeatedly chanting, "HarH Hari! Hari!"
Then Prabhu Visvambhara described the blissful Vrndavana- lila of Radha-Syamasundara. "In the middle of the Vrndavana forest, Radha and Syama sit on a beautiful throne in the center ofajeweloinlaid temple. They are surrounded by the gopis. Peacocks, cuckoos, doves, parrots and bees sing sweetly. Shri Vrndavana is full of fragrant flowers, and is encircled by the Yamuna River.
"It is so attractive and captivating that even Laksmidevi becomes eager to visit. When Laksmi saw Shri Vrndavana, she became thrilled with ecstasy. Her eyes became red as if in intoxication. She cried streams of tears and her body filled with horripilation. Due to love she cried, laughed, sang and danced."
While saying this, Visvambham's throat became choked up. He ended his talk saying, "With their transcendental qualities the devotees purify the three worlds." The Lord then danced joyfully, inspiring His associates to join in the rapture of Harionama sankirtana. Thus Lord Gauranga happily lived amongst His devotees on the banks of the Ganges in Navadvipa.
One day Advaita Acarya came to Nadia to visit Visvambhara. Mahaprabhu, however, had gone to the house of Shrivasa Pandita. Anticipating His quick return, Advaita made preparations for bath and worship. In Shrivasa's house, Lord Gaura offered flowers in worship to a club-like stick.
At that time the Lord told everyone with a voice of delight, "I worshiped this gada [club] to destroy the miscreants who offend My devotees. Using this club, I'll punish such atheists. There is one rogue who has offended My devotees, and for this offense he'll suffer from leprosy for many lives. Then he'll go to hell and become a stool-eating pig. With this club, I will kill that person along with his followers.
"I wanted to go to the forest, but this place has become a vast forest. Here one man is like a tiger. One man is like a rock. Another one is like a blade of grass or a tree. Some people act just like jungle beasts. For this reason, I call this place mahavana [a great forest]."
Knowing that Advaita Acarya had arrived in the Lord's home, Gaurahari decided to return. Advaita came before Visvambhara, gave gifts, and offered respects by lying prostrate at His feet.
Lord Gaurahari caught Acarya's hand and said, "Only for you have I descended to this world. You held My lotus feet on your head, cried and offered tulasi rnanjaris to Me. Being a pure devotee, you summoned Me with your loud cries. Because of your love for Me, everyone has now received My mercy."
Sitting on a dais, Gauranga ordered Advaita Acarya to dance. Advaita Acarya, the greatest of all brahmanas, stepped exuberantly while simultaneously singing the Dasa Avatara stotra [prayers glorifying Krishna's ten incarnations]. Shrivasa Pandita and other devotees, overcome with prerna, joined the Acarya in sankirtana.
Shri Gaura feeling satisfied, smiled gently and said, "All these boys are begging for love of Godhead; so I will give them prerna-bhakti."
Advaita Acarya heard this with tremendous satisfaction. Now his mission was successful. He said, "Listen my dear Lord. These devotees are dedicated to Your feet. You're an affectionate ocean of mercy. Please bestow Your mercy by giving them the treasure of Krishna-prerna."
Then the devotees sat down around Lord Gaurasundara. They appeared like the horizon with the full moon climbing the evening sky. Looking at Advaita Acarya, Prabhu said, "Well Kamalaksa [Advaita], you are My dear devotee. I am here because of you. My transcendental singing, dancing and qualities give you happiness. Let others also see and become devotees of Krishna."
Don't Take Shelter of Karma or Jnana
Shrivasa said, "My Lord, I have a question, but I hesitate to ask it. Yet I'm anxious to know the answer. Is Advaita Acarya Your devotee?" Lord Gaurahari's face tumed red with anger as He scolded Shrivasa. "Both Uddhava and Akrura are very dear to Me, but you think that Advaita Acarya is less than them. In all of Bharatavarsa, you'll not find a devotee of Mine like Advaita Acarya, you ignorant brahmana.
"Now listen. Advaita Acarya, the king of the Vaishnavas, is My devotee and My very soul. He's the master of the creation who has descended just to deliver the people of Kali-yuga. The sastras say he is Maha-Vishnu. O bhakta-avatara [Shrivasa], now you should understand the exalted transcendental position of Advaita Acarya. With a sincere heart, you should always serve and worship him." Shrivasa listened silently and soberly to Mahaprabhu's instructions.
Gaurahari continued, "Shrivasa, don't cultivatejnana. If I ever see you doing this, I won't give you love of Krishna. By ignoring karrna and jnana you will get Krishna-prema. Knowing this, don't take shelter of karma and jnana."
Shrivasa replied, "O Lord, please bless me to forget the mundane pursuit of karrna and jnana."
Murari Gupta said, "Visvambhara, I don't know anything about speculative knowledge."
Gauranga said, "If you really want to know it, then you should leam from Advaita Acarya. But I think you should just be be sincere and worship Krishnacandara with a pure heart. Compared to bhakti, rnukti-- the goal ofjnana-- is insignificant."
On heating this, the assembled devotees became blissful. They vowed within their hearts to execute the Lord' s order. The devotees danced and sang in such divine madness that the demigods became astonished by the display. Such are the wonderful pastimes of Lord Gauranga's preaching love of God in the land of Nadia.
His eyes, blooming red lotus flowers, dart here and there like maddened bees. His glance overflows with the nectar of compassion. His face, a glowing full moon, causes all to cry in love. Everyo. ne in Nadia takes pleasure in seeing the dancing son of Sacirnata. Gauranga looks just like the all-attractive Madana-mohana.
While dancing in the rapture ofprerna, Gaura's body erupts in transcendental horripilation. Standing erect, the hairs on His body appear like golden kadamba flowers. Huge drops of perspiration fly off His bo^ly. This manifestation of divine love made His body glisten like the rising sun. Half-choked words rumble within His conchshell-smooth neck. A sweet fragrance spreads from His lotus feet, which are decorated with toenails glowing like ten moons. As He walks, all directions are illuminated by His splendid effulgence.
In Navaclvipa the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifested a unique form of divine love. Here Gaurahari performed Hisprerna narna sankirtana festival. Roaring like a lion, He covered the globe with the sound of Krishna's holy names.
Radiant as the sun, Gauranga's beautiful body and dress enchanted everyone in the universe. Dots of sandalwood adorned His moonlike lotus face. The world became charmed by the tears flowing from the nectar fountain of His eyes. His walking resembled the gait of an elephant. His graceful Cupid-like form captivated all the women in the world.
How can I possibly express the mercy of Gauranga? He is the essence and very form of compassion. Locana Dasa says that in Navadvipa, due to the ecstasy of Gauranga prerna, the people couldn't tell whether it was day or night.