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Lord Chaitanya Visits South India
All glories to Narahari, whose lord and life is Gadadhara Pandita. Please shower your mercy and cast a favorable glance upon me. Now I'll describe the final pastimes of Lord Chaitanya. This ocean of nectar will flood the listener in transcendental bliss. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya happily passed his days and nights chanting the holy names of the Lord.
After leaving Jagannatha Puri, Gaurahari traveled south to Kurmaksetra. In this village He met two brahmanas, named Kufi'na and Vasudeva. Seeing the astoundingly attractive form of Gauranga, they became purified and overwhelmed with spiritual ecstasy. Golden Mt. Sumeru was standing before them with His auspicious hands and long arms hanging to His knees.
Gaurahari's shoulders were strong resembling those of a powerful lion. His captivating eyes were long, wide and expansive. The brahmanas were convinced that Gaurachandra was indeed Shri Krishna Himself. Crying, they fell down on Lord Chaitanya's lotus feet. The whole world cried along with them.
Lord Chaitanya picked up and embraced the two brahmanas. In a sweet voice Gauranga said, "O brahmanas, please listen attentively. Why and for what purpose have you come to this world? In the age of Kali, the only religion is the congregational chanting of the holy name of Lord Haft.
"One who does Hari-nama sankirtana possesses a rare and valuable treasure. Please always perform sankirtana, dance happily, and let others take part. Thus you will get liberated from material bondage." Finishing His preaching, Gauranga left there, and traveling at a fast pace came to Jiyada-Nrsimha- ksetra. He was tasting the sweetest mood of Krishnaprema.
The Appearance of Jiyada-Nrsimha
Listen carefully to the description of the appearance of JiyadaNrsimha. A farmer named Punruya Goyala once lived here. He grew a large crop of cucumbers, and stayed awake every night guarding it. One night he didn't guard and a wild pig devoured a bunch of-cucumbers. The next night he waited with a bow and arrow to kill the boar. The wild boar chanted "Rama!" when hit by the farmer's arrow, and fled to a nearby mountain cave.
Perplexed, the farmer wondered how a dull animal like a pig had chanted the name of Lord Rama. He thought it must be the Lord Himself disguised as a boar. Standing outside the cave, the farmer called that wounded pig, "Who are you? Who are you?" There was no response. Afraid and sad within his heart, the farmer fasted for two days. He thought, "What have I done? I'm the lowest, most sinful miscreant.. There's no one more wretched than me."
Feeling compassion for the farmer, the merciful Lord spoke to him from the sky. He said, 'I am God Himself. You've hurt Me with your arrow because I ate your cucumbers. Now don't worry, just go home."
The farmer became downcast and kept on fasting. Again, the Lord spoke from the sky, "You foolish farmer. Why are you suffering so much for nothing? You have not committed any offense, so stop fasting 0rid go home."
The farmer said, "I've hurt You with my arrows. So what's the use of my life? Even if I die, I can't escape my offense. Yamaraja, the god of death, will punish me by whipping and beating me. How can I purify myself?."
The Lord replied, "You haven' t committed any offense. Don' t worry, I am unlimitedly pleased with you."
The farmer, "Then all is well. On your assurance I'll give up my fear. But how do I know that I'm free from the offense of shooting arrows at the boar? If I can see You with my eyes, then I' 11 be satisfied. Then I'll inform the king and You should be the witness. If You become the witness, I' 11 be very pleased."
The Lord, "All right, I'll fulfill your desire and give this boon to you."
Hearing this, the farmer joyfully ran to the king's palace. When he came to the palace gate he said, "Listen gatekeeper, Please inform the king of my unique and wonderful story. The king will enjoy it."
Next, the farmer was let into the palace to tell the king his story. The king became astonished. to hear that God had taken the form of a boar and talked to the farmer.
"Is this really true?" asked the king.
"Yes, my lord," answered the farmer. "Let's go there together. Then your doubts will be destroyed. God will keep His promise to me and tell you everything."
The king said, "If I hear God give His order, then I'll become your servant for the rest of my life." The king and the f, armer walked to the mountain cave where the boar was staying. The king fell prostrate before the cave's entrance, and offered prayers to God.
The Lord's heart melted to see the king's sincerity and humility. The Lord said, "O king, believe the words of the farmer. Now pour milk into this cave and you' 11 attain Me."
Delighted to hear the Lord speaking, the king dutifully poured milk into the cave. Suddenly, from under the ground, a topknot of hair came into view. Realizing that a Deity form of the Lord was manifesting, everyone became blissful and started chanting the names of Hari and playing musical instruments.
As more milk was poured, more of the Lord's transcendental form appeared: the head and face, chest, arms, belly, and thighs. Although they kept pouring milk, the Lord chose not to reveal His lotus feet. From the sky the Lord said, "You will not see My feet, so don't pour any more milk."
The king felt ecstatic to have witnessed the appearance of the Lord. However, he also larnented not being able to see the Lord's sweet lotus feet. He arranged a huge mahotsava, [a festival] to honor the Deity with opulent food offerings, dresses, and arati. While gazing at the Lord with love and devotion, the king's heart overflowed with satisfaction.
One day a merchant and two women came there to take darsana of the Deity. After seeing the Deity, the merchantpaid obeisances and walked out of the temple. Abruptly, the temple door slammed behind the merchant, leaving the two women locked inside. Through the door he heard the two ladies talking to the Lord. In great anxiety, the merchant loudly prayed to the Lord.
The merciful Lord responded by unlocking the temple door. The merchant saw the most astonishing thing when he re-entered the temple. The two women had turned into stone and were standing beside the Lord. Considering himself most fortunate, the merchant fell down at the Lord's feet praying, "O Lord, Please give me the boon that You will be named after me. My parents gave me the name Jiyada. So, my Lord, I desire that You take this name."
This is the story behind the Deity named Jiyada-Nrsimha. Locana Dasa gladly sings the glories of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Lord Chaitanya Meets Ramananda Raya
The next day, Gauranga and His party left Jiyada-Nrsimha, continuing south. Absorbed in the ecstasy of Krishna-prema, the Lord came to Kanchi, the jewel among cities which gives ple^asure to the eyes. Although Lord Chaitanya never looked at the face of a sense-enjoyer, he paid a visit to the king. The Lord told the palace gatekeeper that He wanted to meet the king.
Meanwhile, the king was busy worshiping his personal Deity within his private chambers. When the gatekeeper informed him that a great sannyasi had come to see him, the king kept silent, continuing his worship. The gatekeeper became afraid that he had offended the king, since his master kept silent. He ran back to Lord Gauranga and said, "I couldn't give Your news to the king because he's busy doing puja. No one dares disturb him at this time."
Smiling within, the Lord ignored the warning of the gatekeeper and walked into the palace to personally meet the king. Gauranga stood in the entrance to the king's private puja room where Ramananda Raya, the king, was wo^shiping his Deity.
While the king meditated on Krishna, within his mind he saw the form Gaurachandra instead. So he chanted the maha-mantra, and started meditating again. Again he saw Gaurachandra instead of Krishna. He thought, "What happened, who am I seeing?"
With firm determination the king started meditating again. Yet again, Gau^acandra appeared within his heart. Confused, the king stopped meditating and opened his eyes. Suddenly, he saw Gauracandara, the best among the sannyasis, standing right before him.
The king stood up respectfully and worshiped the Lord's lotus feet. He marveled at the splendid beauty of the golden form of Gauranga. His heart was full of joy. He was amazed how the Lord had suddenly appeared inside his private quarters. Smiling, Ramananda Raya said, "How did You enter within my mind during my meditation? I'm extremely fortunate to behold Your lotus feet."
Lord Chaitanya said, "Why aren't you aware of yourself? You may recognize Me, but I've come to take you with Me." Gaurahari laughed loudly. Next, He manifested His golden form in the white Deity form of the Lord being worshiped by Ramananda Raya.
Giving up His golden form, Gauranga assumed the form of Krishna with a bluish-black complexion. He held a flute, wore a dhoti, and had a peacock feather on His head. He was adorned with divine ornaments and a beautiful forest garland. The king became overjoyed to see this form. Then in an instant the Lord reappeared as the golden Lord Gauranga.
The birds, beasts, trees, leaves, creepers and everything else reflected the dazzling molten gold aura of Lord Chaitanya. Overwhelmed, Ramananda Raya fell down at Gauranga's feet. He clasped the Lord's lotus feet and became unconscious. Lord Chaitanya picked him up, took him by the hand and walked outside.
Locana Dasa thus describes the wonderful pastime of Lord Chaitanya meeting Ramananda Raya.
Rama-bhava and Visiting Ranganatha Temple
As He traveled through South India, Shri Chaitanya was continually absorbed in the ecstasy of pure Krishna consciousness. Crossing the Godavari River, the Lord arrived in Pancavati where Sita, Rama and Laksmana once lived. Observing the beauty of Pancavati, Lord Gauranga became entranced in love and repeatedly called "Shri Rama! Laksmana!" Pancavati is the place where Laksmana stayed in a thatched hut, protecting Sitadevi, while Rama pursued the golden deer. The moment Laksmana left to search for Rama, the evil demon Ravana kidnapped Sitadevi. Seeing this place overwhelmed Lord Chaitanya with remembrances of His previous pastimes here. At one moment Gauranga yelled, "Kill ! Kill! Kill !" The next moment He said, "Catch him! Catch him!" Then He loudly shouted the name of Laksmana. Remembering Sita, Gauranga cried so deeply that His associates could do nothing to pacify Him. Finally, Mahaprabhu controlled Himself and became peaceful.
Lord Chaitanya moved on until He came to the Kaveri River and the temple of Shri Ranganatha [Lord Ramacandra]. Seeing Lord Ranganatha, Gaurahari danced joyfully with His intimate devotees. A brahmana named Tirumalla Bhatta, who watched the Lord's ecstatic sankirtana performance, wondered about Gauranga's identity.
Captivated by the force of divine love, Gauranga's body showed incredible symptoms of spiritual ecstasy. Horripilation made His bodily hairs stand erect, resembling the spike-shaped filaments of the kadamba flower. His golden body, towering as high as Mt. Sumeru, was a desire tree adorned with the fruits and flowers of Krishna-prema.
When Gaurahari loudly cried the names of Hari, everyone cried along. Seeing this astounding display of transcendental emotions, Tirumalla Bhatta becamd convinced that Lord Chaitanya was certainly the Supreme Lord-- the life and soul of everyone. He invited Lord Chaitanya to kindly visit his asrama. Satisfied with the brahmana's loving service, the Lord stayed in his house to observe Caturmasya, a fourmonth period of devotional austerities.
Soon after leaving Rangaji, Lord Chaitanya met Paramananda Puri. Exchanging loving feelings while looking at each other, they floated in the streams of each others' tears. Paramananda Puri remembered the teachings of his gurudeva, Madhavendra Purl, who had quoted a verse from the Vayu Purana:
"In the beginning of Kali-yuga, Lord Narayana will appear on the earth in a golden form. Taking sannyasa, He will reside in Purusottamaksetra near Lord Jagannatha."
Madhavendra Puri also told his disciple, Paramananda Puri, "In Kali-yuga, in order to teach the religion of sankirtana, Lord Krishna Himself would appear one early evening. He will have a tall, golden transcendental body with long arms reaching to His knees. His broad shoulders willresemble a lion's and His neck will be as powerful as an elephant's. Blooming lotus flowers will form His eyes.
"Being an ocean of compassion and a reservoir ofprema, He will distribute His mercy everywhere. Unfortunately, I will not be able to see Him with my eyes. If you are fortunate enough to see Gauranga, then please remember me."
Paramananda Puri realized that Lord Chaitanya is that same lord that his spiritual master had previously described. Instantly, he paid obeisances to the Lord. Gauranga picked him up and said, "What are you doing?" Then Gauranga warmly embraced Paramananda Puri, and started traveling again.