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Meeting Lord Nityananda
Murari Gupta Gets the Name 'Rama Dasa'
One day Gauranga sat on a divine seat flanked by His intimate associates. He asked Shrivasa, "Do you know the meaning of your name? You are the abode of bhakti, you are Shrivasa." Then Prabhu said to Gopinatha, "You are My dear devotee." To Murari Gupta, the Lord said, "For my pleasure, please recite that verse you composed."
Murari Gupta cited his book Shri Krishna Chaitanya-carita: "I worship the blessed Lord and master of the three worlds, Shri Ramacandra. He wears a brilliant crown covered with a strand of Jewels whose shining lights up all directions. His dazzling earrings defeat the brilliance of Sukra and Brhaspati. His beautiful face looks like a pure spotless moon.
"I worship the lotus feet of the master of the three worlds, Shri Ramacandra, whose charming eyes appear like blossoming lotus flowers. His red lips look like bimba fruits, and His well-shaped nose attracts everyone. His wonderful smile embarrasses the moonlight."
After hearing these verses, Gaura put His feet on MUrari's head. Then He wrote the name "Ramadasa" on his forehead. Prabhu said, "Murari, from today on, by My mercy, you'll be known as Ramadasa. Without Raghunatha, you can't live a moment. Know for certain that I am that same Lord Raghunatha [Rama] ."
To the surprise of everyone present, Lord Gauranga showed His transcendental form as Lord Ramacandra, along with Janaki [Sita], Laksman, Hanuman and other associates. Instantly, Murari fell at the Lord's feet and praised Gauranga. "All glories to Raghuvira. He's the same as the darling of Sacimata." Then Murari rolled in the dust. Crying in happiness, he offered more prayers.
Showing mercy, Mahaprabhu said, "Murari, you should worship Me, and forget anything other than bhakti..Although I am your worshipable Lord Raghunatha, still you'should worship the Lord of Radha. Perform sankirtana, attentively hear the glories of Radha and Krishna, and be devoted to Me. Then Lord Gaurahari recited a verse to Shrivasa Pandit from the Shrimad- Bhagavatam (11.14.20):
"My dear Uddhava, the unalloyed devotional service rendered to Me by My devotees brings Me under their control. I cannot be thus controlled by those engaged in mystic yoga, Sankhya philosophy, pious work, Vedic study, austerity or renunciation."
Prabhu told His associates that they should act according to this verse and follow the teachings of Shrivasa. In this way they would find ultimate happiness.
Gauranga told Shri Rama Pandim, '^By worshiping your brother Shrivasa, you are worshiping Me. Therefore, serve him nicely, and you will receive My mercy." Tears moistened the Lord's eyes. Shrivasa offered some milk to Prabhu, which He gladly accepted.
The Lord received articles in worship such as incense, perfume, sandalwood paste and flower garlands. Then Gaurahari returned them asprasada to His devotees. After spending a blissful night in the house of Shrivasa Pandita, Lord Gaura walked home.
Upon completing their morning baths, the eternal associates of Lord Gaurahari immediately rushed to see the lotus feet of the Lord. Smilingly, the Lord said, "Listen to the good news. Lord Nityananda, the wonderful avadhuta, has arrived in Navadvipa. His glories are beyond description. Today, we are most fortunate, for we shall See His lotus feet. Nityananda is nondifferent from Balarama and Narayana. You, Murari and Mukunda, go locate Lord Nityananda."
Quickly, they searched the southem part of the village, but they couldn't find Him. With folded hands, they reported to Gauranga that even though they had scrutinizingly searched, they couldn't locate Nityananda. Following Prabhu's order, Murari and Mukunda also unsuccessfully checked their own homes.
Upon meeting them that evening, the Lord said, "Murari, didn't you find the Avadhuta?" Smiling curiously, Gauranga continued, "He's staying in the house of Nandanacarya. Let's go there together." Th^ devotees yelled "Jail Jail" and followed Lord Gauranga up the road.
Euphoric sounds of"Hari boll Hari boW' permeated the atmosphere. The devotees displayed symptoms of divine rapture such as horripilation, faltering voices and profuse crying. Being drowned in ecstatic love of God, Gauranga sometimes walked slowly forward like a formidable lion. The next moment, He ran like a maddened elephant; determined, not looking back. Tears shot from His eyes and He roared like a thunder cloud.
The Beauty of Nitai
Lord Gauranga met Nityananda Raya in the home of Nandanacarya. Nityananda's beautiful golden-colored body had a slightly reddish hue. Glistening ornaments adorned His enchanting form. Bright yellow cloth caressed His hips. A yellow turban the color of a golden campaka flowei, decorated His head. As He walked, His anklebells chimed sweetly "Jhuni, Jhuni, Jhuni."
His eyes were wide and long like a deer. He removed the shyness of young girls with His brilliant, lightning-like smile. His roaring like a lion, louder than monsoon clouds, subdued the mad elephants of Kaliyuga. Lord Nityananda walked with the gait of a maddened elephant.
His peaceful lotus face was beautiful to behold when He cried tears of love. Absorbed in deep love of Krishna, His body would shiver, perspire, and erupt all over with ecstatic symptoms.
Holding a golden stick in His hand, He smashed the pride of Kali. Golden necklaces hung on His chest. Marvelous gem-inlaid earrings dangled on His cheeks. His hands were reddish like a night-blooming lotus. Attractive bangles intensified the 'beauty of His strong, golden arms.
In ecstasy, Nityananda Prabhu, almost falling on the ground, uttered "Where is My Kanai Gopala [Krishna]?" Adopting the sentiment of a cowherd boy, Nityananda cried, laughed, and begged Revati for some honey. At one moment, He jumped like a frog. The next moment He acted dumb and speechless, or said something unintelligible. Who can understand the Lord's transcendental mellows? The sweet aroma of Nityananda's body stole the housewives from their homes, and crushed to dust the pride of chaste girls.
Lord Gauranga paid obeisances and uttered some sweet auspicious prayers to Shri Nityananda Prabhu. They both tried unsuccessfully to take the dust from each other's feet. They embraced warmly, cried and talked about Their recent travels.
Shri Nityananda Prabhu said, "I went on pilgrimage around the whole world looking for You. N6t finding You, I returned. I heard that the son of Nanda Maharaja was hiding in Navadvipa in West Bengal. Coming here, I've caught the thief. Now where will You go to run away?" Then Gauranga and Nityananda laughed heartily, wept happy tears and danced blissfully.
Lord Gauranga said, "Nityananda has come to smash the pride of Kali, and to deliver the blind, invalid, elderly and the fallen. Shri Nityananda purifies the three worlds, but the fools and atheists can't understand. Everyone will fall in the trap of divine love 'set by Shri Nityananda Prabhu."
With immense delight, Gaura-Nitai glorified the spiritual attributes of Lord Hari. Soon the ocean of Their ecstasy calmed, and They sat down amongst all the devotees. Everyone became supremely pleased with Their darsana. Snatching some dust from the lotus feet of Nityananda, Gaurahari sprinkled it on the heads of His associates.
Upon returning home, Mahaprabhu explained, "In all the three worlds there is no comparison to the glories of Shri Nityananda Prabhu. His love and devotion for Krishna are extraordinary. It is very difficult to attain Krishna-prema-bhakti.
"From the platform of realization, one surrenders in devotion to Krishna. Relishing a higher taste, he automatically rejects sense gratification. Day after day his attachment for Krishna increases. Eventually, he reaches the mature state of pure ecstatic love of God. But by the causeless mercy of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, anyone can easily obtain Krishna-prema."
On another day, Shriman Mahaprabhu received Nityananda Prabhu at His home. Gauranga smeared sandalwood paste on
Nityanada's body, gave Him a flower garland, and offered other articles for worshiping an exalted personality. Maddened with affection, Sacimam couldn't take her eyes offNitai's lotus face. Gaurahari said, "Sacimam, you seem to take more care of Nitai than Me."
Gazing tenderly with motherly love, Sacimata said, "From today on, both of You are my sons. Nitai, please show Your mercy to Visvambhara." Crying, Saci sat Nitai on her lap.
Accepting Saci as a mother, Shri Nityananda Prabhu touched her feet and spoke sweetly. He said, "Everything you said is true. You should definitely know that I am your son. So, as My mother, please overlook My faults. Know clearly that in all respects I'm your son."
Overpowered by intense motherly affection for Nityananda, Sacimata cried and choked up. The devotees became astonished by her expression of parental love.
Once, Nityananda accepted an invitation forprasada from Shrivasa Pandita. After enjoying the meal, Nityananda relaxed peacefully. At that time Mahaprabhu came and sat on the Deity's throne in the temple room of Shrivasa Pandita's home. Nityananda looked at Visvambhara's beautiful body, but He didn't understand Prabhu's intentions.
Mahaprabhu ordered the devotees to leave the temple. Then He spoke confidentially with Nityananda. But who can understand the inner meaning of Their converstation?
Gauranga said, "Nitai, now look at Me. You took so much trouble to find Me." Lord Visvambhara first showed Nitai His six-armed form, then His four-armed form, and finally His two-armed form. Observing these wonderful transcendental forms, Shri Nityananda, the avadhuta, remembered His previous relationships with the Lord.
In one spiritual form, Shriman Mahaprabhu showed three divine incamations---Rama, Krishna and Gauranga. Then Nityananda saw the feature of the ever-fresh Divine Couple, Radha-Kanu [Radha-Krishna]. In exultation Lord Nityananda submerged in an ocean of ecstasy and lost all sense of direction.
Locana Dasa thus sings the transcendental pastimes of Lord Gauranga.