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General Glories of All Associates of Lord Nityananda
O brothers, please worship Lord Nityananda. By His mercy, one can achieve the lotus feet of Lord Gaurachandra. The associates of Nityananda Svarupa constantly swam in the ocean of transcendental bliss. They had no other activity except nama-sankirtana. Always absorbed in the mood of cowherd boys, they were decorated with bangles, ankle-bells, and garlands of gunja beads. They carried sticks, flutes, horns, and ropes in their hands.
Symptoms of krishna-prema such as tears, shivering and standing of the hair on ends were constantly visible on their bodies. Their beauty defeated the beauty of the Cupid. They always did nama-sankirtana. Having received their fearless Lord Nityananda, all the devotees remained happy forever. I am unable to describe the glories of the servants of Nityananda Svarupa even in a hundred years. Still I will try to mention their names. I know that remembering their names will deliver me from this material world. All the associates of Lord Nityananda with whom He enjoyed His pastimes were incarnations of gopas and gopis of Vraja. Being forbidden by Nityananda Svarupa, I am not mentioning their previous names and activities in detail.
The foremost among Lord Nityananda's associates was Ramadasa who always spoke in the mood of the Supreme Lord. Nobody could understand his words easily. Lord Nityananda always resided in his heart. Ramadasa* was fully absorbed in love of God. Lord Krishna lived in his body for three months.
Chaitanya dasa* was a famous associate of Nityananda. Murari Pandita* was an associate of Nityananda who sported with a serpent and tiger.
The most magnanimous Raghunatha Vaidya was an associate of Nityananda by whose plan one's mind becomes attached to Krishna.
Gadadhara dasa* was full of devotional mellows. His very sight destroyed all one's sins.
Shri Sundarananda* was an ocean of devotional mellows and one of the principle associates of Nityananda.
The most enthusiastic associate of Nityananda was Pandita Kamalakanta*. Nityananda gave him the village Saptagrama to rule.
Gauridasa Pandita* was the most fortunate devotee of the Lord. He assisted in the pastimes of Nityananda with his body, mind, and speech.
The pious Krishnadasa of Badagachi* was one of the associates of Nityananda who enjoyed various pastimes at his house.
Purandara Pandita* was the most peaceful, humble, and intimate associate of Nityananda Svarupa.
Another associate of Nityananda was Paramesvara dasa* whose life and soul was Nityananda. Through his body, Lord Nityananda enjoyed His pastimes.
Dhananjaya Pandita* in whose heart the Lord constantly resided, was a great devotee of Lord Nityananda .
Balarama dasa, who was intoxicated with bhakti-rasa, was a follower of Nityananda Prabhu. If the breeze that touches Balarama dasa touches one, it will eradicate all sins. Balarama dasa lived in the village Dogachiya. His contribution to Vaishnava song is unlimited.
Yadunatha Kavicandra* was full of love of God. Lord Nityananda was always merciful to him.
The most effulgent Jagadisa Pandita* was a devotee of Nityananda. Lord Nityananda was his, and his family's, very life and wealth.
Pandita Purusottama was born in Navadvipa. He was a great devotee of Nityananda Svarupa. Lord Nityananda had lived at his house previously. By his mercy, one's mind becomes fixed at the lotus feet of Nityananda. Dvija Krishnadasa who was born at Radha-desa was counted among the associates of Nityananda.
Kaliya Krishnadasa* was a famous devotee in the three worlds by whose remembrance one attains the lotus feet of Gaurachandra.
The most fortunate Sadasiva Kaviraja* was an associate of Nityananda. The name of his son was Purusottama dasa*. Due to love of God, Purusottama dasa was fully absorbed in ecstasy. Lord Nityananda constantly remains within his heart.
Uddharana Datta was a magnanimous Vaishnava. He had full authority in the service of Lord Nityananda.
Mahesa Pandita* was a great devotee of Nityananda and Paramananda Upadhyaya was an unalloyed Vaishnava.
Caturbhuja Pandita* and Nandana Gangadasa were both devotees of Lord Nityananda. The Lord had previously enjoyed His pastimes in their houses.
Acarya Vaishnavananda* was a magnanimous devotee. He was previously known as Raghunatha Puri.
Krishna dasa and Devananda were both staunch followers of Lord Nityananda. Mahanta Acarya Candra's only goal was the lotus feet of Nityananda.
The singer Madhavananda Ghosha* and Vasudeva Ghosha were full of love of God.
Jiva Pandita* was the most fortunate devotee. Lord Nityananda enjoyed various pastimes at his house. Shri Manohara, Shri Narayana, Shri Krishnadasa, and Shri Devananda were also associates of Lord Nityananda.
I am unable to disclose the names of the innumerable servants of Lord Nityananda even in one hundred years. Each of Lord Nityananda's servants had innumerable followers and, by the mercy of Lord Nityananda, they were equal to their spiritual master. All of them were fully intoxicated by the transcendental mellows of Shri Gauranga. Shri Gauranga and Nityananda were their life and only treasure. I have only described the few associates I knew. More will be disclosed later by Vedavyasa.
The last servant of Lord Nityananda was Vrindavana dasa Thakura who was the son of Narayani, the final recipient of Lord Gauranga's mercy. Even today, Narayani is accepted as the final recipient of Gauranga's mercy among the Vaishnavas. Take shelter of those devotees of the Lord, O brothers, and worship the most merciful Nityananda and Shri Gauranga.
Accepting the lotus feet of Shri Gauranga and Nityananda Prabhu as my life and soul, I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their lotus feet.
From Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita by Shrila Krishadasa Kaviraja Goswami:
CC Adi 11.1: After offering my obeisances unto all the devotees of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, who are like bumblebees collecting honey from His lotus feet, I shall try to describe those who are the most prominent.
CC Adi 11.2: All glories to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu! Anyone who has taken shelter at His lotus feet is glorious.
CC Adi 11.3: All glories to Shri Advaita Prabhu, Nityananda Prabhu and all the devotees of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!
CC Adi 11.4: Shri Nityananda Prabhu is the topmost branch of the indestructible tree of eternal love of Godhead, Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. I offer my respectful obeisances to all the subbranches of that topmost branch.
CC Adi 11.5: Shri Nityananda Prabhu is an extremely heavy branch of the Shri Chaitanya tree. From that branch grow many branches and subbranches.
CC Adi 11.6: Watered by the desire of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, these branches and subbranches have grown unlimitedly and covered the entire world with fruits and flowers.
CC Adi 11.7: These branches and subbranches of devotees are innumerable and unlimited. Who could count them? For my personal purification I shall try to enumerate only the most prominent among them.
CC Adi 11.8: After Nityananda Prabhu, the greatest branch is Virabhadra Gosani, who also has innumerable branches and subbranches. It is not possible to describe them all.
CC Adi 11.9: Although Virabhadra Gosani was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He presented Himself as a great devotee. And although the Supreme Godhead is transcendental to all Vedic injunctions, He strictly followed the Vedic rituals.
CC Adi 11.10: He is the main pillar in the hall of devotional service erected by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He knew within Himself that He acted as the Supreme Lord Vishnu, but externally He was prideless.
CC Adi 11.11: It is by the glorious mercy of Shri Virabhadra Gosani that people all over the world now have the chance to chant the names of Chaitanya and Nityananda.
CC Adi 11.12: I therefore take shelter of the lotus feet of Virabhadra Gosani, so that by His mercy my great desire to write Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita will be properly guided.
CC Adi 11.13: Two devotees of Lord Chaitanya named Shri Ramadasa and Gadadhara dasa always lived with Shri Virabhadra Gosani.
CC Adi 11.14-15: When Nityananda Prabhu was ordered to go to Bengal to preach, these two devotees [Shri Ramadasa and Gadadhara dasa] were ordered to go with Him. Thus they are sometimes counted among the devotees of Lord Chaitanya and sometimes among the devotees of Lord Nityananda. Similarly, Madhava Ghosha and Vasudeva Ghosha belonged to both groups of devotees simultaneously.
CC Adi 11.16: Ramadasa, one of the chief branches, was full of fraternal love of Godhead. He made a flute from a stick with sixteen knots.
CC Adi 11.17: Shrila Gadadhara dasa was always fully absorbed in ecstasy as a gopi. In his house Lord Nityananda enacted the drama Dana-keli.
CC Adi 11.18: Shri Madhava Ghosha was a principal performer of kirtana. While he sang, Nityananda Prabhu danced.
CC Adi 11.19: When Vasudeva Ghosha described Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda while performing kirtana, even wood and stone would melt upon hearing it.
CC Adi 11.20: There were many extraordinary activities performed by Murari, a great devotee of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sometimes in his ecstasy he would slap the cheek of a tiger, and sometimes he would play with a venomous snake.
CC Adi 11.21: All the associates of Lord Nityananda were formerly cowherd boys in Vrajabhumi. Their symbolic representations were the horns and sticks they carried, their cowherd dress and the peacock plumes on their heads.
CC Adi 11.22: The physician Raghunatha, also known as Upadhyaya, was so great a devotee that simply by seeing him one would awaken his dormant love of Godhead.
CC Adi 11.23: Sundarananda, another branch of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, was Lord Nityananda's most intimate servant. Lord Nityananda Prabhu perceived the life of Vrajabhumi in his company.
CC Adi 11.24: Kamalakara Pippalai is said to have been the third gopala. His behavior and love of Godhead were uncommon, and thus he is celebrated all over the world.
CC Adi 11.25: Suryadasa Sarakhela and his younger brother Krishnadasa Sarakhela both possessed firm faith in Nityananda Prabhu. They were a reservoir of love of Godhead.
CC Adi 11.26: Gauridasa Pandita, the emblem of the most elevated devotional service in love of Godhead, had the greatest potency to receive and deliver such love.
CC Adi 11.27: Making Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda the Lords of his life, Gauridasa Pandita sacrificed everything for the service of Lord Nityananda, even the fellowship of his own family.
CC Adi 11.28: The thirteenth important devotee of Shri Nityananda Prabhu was Pandita Purandara, who moved in the ocean of love of Godhead just like the Mandara Hill.
CC Adi 11.29: Paramesvara dasa, said to be the fifth gopala of krishna-lila, completely surrendered to the lotus feet of Nityananda. Anyone who remembers his name, Paramesvara dasa, will get love of Krishna very easily.
CC Adi 11.30: Jagadisa Pandita, the fifteenth branch of Lord Nityananda's followers, was the deliverer of the entire world. Devotional love of Krishna showered from him like torrents of rain.
CC Adi 11.31: The sixteenth dear servant of Nityananda Prabhu was Dhananjaya Pandita. He was very much renounced and always merged in love of Krishna.
CC Adi 11.32: Mahesa Pandita, the seventh of the twelve gopalas, was very liberal. In great love of Krishna he danced to the beating of a kettledrum like a madman.
CC Adi 11.33: Purushottama Pandita, a resident of Navadvipa, was the eighth gopala. He would become almost mad as soon as he heard the holy name of Nityananda Prabhu.
CC Adi 11.34: Balarama dasa always fully tasted the nectar of love of Krishna. Upon hearing the name of Nityananda Prabhu, he would become greatly maddened.
CC Adi 11.35: Yadunatha Kavicandra was a great devotee. Lord Nityananda Prabhu always danced in his heart.
CC Adi 11.36: The twenty-first devotee of Shri Nityananda in Bengal was Krishnadasa Brahmana, who was a first-class servant of the Lord.
CC Adi 11.37: The twenty-second devotee of Lord Nityananda Prabhu was Kala Krishnadasa, who was the ninth cowherd boy. He was a first-class Vaishnava and did not know anything beyond Nityananda Prabhu.
CC Adi 11.38: The twenty-third and twenty-fourth prominent devotees of Nityananda Prabhu were Sadasiva Kaviraja and his son Purushottama dasa, who was the tenth gopala.
CC Adi 11.39: From birth, Purushottama dasa was merged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, and he always engaged in childish play with Lord Krishna.
CC Adi 11.40: Shri Kanu Thakura, a very respectable gentleman, was the son of Purushottama dasa Thakura. He was such a great devotee that Lord Krishna always lived in his body.
CC Adi 11.41: Uddharana Datta Thakura, the eleventh among the twelve cowherd boys, was an exalted devotee of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. He worshiped the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda in all respects.
CC Adi 11.42: The twenty-seventh prominent devotee of Nityananda Prabhu was Acarya Vaishnavananda, a great personality in devotional service. He was formerly known as Raghunatha Puri.
CC Adi 11.43: Another important devotee of Lord Nityananda Prabhu was Vishnudasa, who had two brothers, Nandana and Gangadasa. Lord Nityananda Prabhu sometimes stayed at their house.
CC Adi 11.44: Paramananda Upadhyaya was Nityananda Prabhu's great servitor. Shri Jiva Pandita glorified the qualities of Shri Nityananda Prabhu.
CC Adi 11.45: The thirty-first devotee of Lord Nityananda Prabhu was Paramananda Gupta, who was greatly devoted to Lord Krishna and highly advanced in spiritual consciousness. Formerly Nityananda Prabhu also resided at his house for some time.
CC Adi 11.46: The thirty-second, thirty-third, thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth prominent devotees were Narayana, Krishnadasa, Manohara and Devananda, who always engaged in the service of Lord Nityananda.
CC Adi 11.47: The thirty-sixth devotee of Lord Nityananda was Hoda Krishnadasa, whose life and soul was Nityananda Prabhu. He was always dedicated to the lotus feet of Nityananda, and he knew no one else but Him.
CC Adi 11.48: Among Lord Nityananda's devotees, Nakadi was the thirty-seventh, Mukunda the thirty-eighth, Surya the thirty-ninth, Madhava the fortieth, Shridhara the forty-first, Ramananda the forty-second, Jagannatha the forty-third and Mahidhara the forty-fourth.
CC Adi 11.49: Shrimanta was the forty-fifth, Gokula dasa the forty-sixth, Hariharananda the forty-seventh, Sivai the forty-eighth, Nandai the forty-ninth and Paramananda the fiftieth.
CC Adi 11.50: Vasanta was the fifty-first, Navani Hoda the fifty-second, Gopala the fifty-third, Sanatana the fifty-fourth, Vishnai the fifty-fifth, Krishnananda the fifty-sixth and Sulocana the fifty-seventh.
CC Adi 11.51: The fifty-eighth great devotee of Lord Nityananda Prabhu was Kamsari Sena, the fifty-ninth was Ramasena, the sixtieth was Ramacandra Kaviraja, and the sixty-first, sixty-second and sixty-third were Govinda, Shriranga and Mukunda, who were all physicians.
CC Adi 11.52: Among the devotees of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, Pitambara was the sixty-fourth, Madhavacarya the sixty-fifth, Damodara dasa the sixty-sixth, Sankara the sixty-seventh, Mukunda the sixty-eighth, Jnana dasa the sixty-ninth and Manohara the seventieth.
CC Adi 11.53: The dancer Gopala was the seventy-first, Ramabhadra the seventy-second, Gauranga dasa the seventy-third, Nrisimha-chaitanya the seventy-fourth and Minaketana Ramadasa the seventy-fifth.
CC Adi 11.54: Vrindavana dasa Thakura, the son of Shrimati Narayani, composed Shri Chaitanya-mangala [later known as Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata].
CC Adi 11.55: Shrila Vyasadeva described the pastimes of Krishna in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The Vyasa of the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was Vrindavana dasa.
CC Adi 11.56: Among all the branches of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Virabhadra Gosani was the topmost. His subbranches were unlimited.
CC Adi 11.57: No one can count the unlimited followers of Nityananda Prabhu. I have mentioned some of them just for my self-purification.
CC Adi 11.58: All these branches, the devotees of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, being full of ripened fruits of love of Krishna, distributed these fruits to all they met, flooding them with love of Krishna.
CC Adi 11.59: All these devotees had unlimited strength to deliver unobstructed, unceasing love of Krishna. By their own strength they could offer anyone Krishna and love of Krishna.
CC Adi 11.60: I have briefly described only some of the followers and devotees of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. Even the thousand-mouthed Sesha Naga cannot describe all of these unlimited devotees.
CC Adi 11.61: With an ardent desire to serve the purpose of Shri Rupa and Shri Raghunatha, I, Krishnadasa, narrate Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita, following in their footsteps.
A song by Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
mana nityananda bali daka
emana dayala prabhu ara na paibe kabhu
hridaya kamale kari rakha
kiba se madura lila natana kirtana kala
atiba ganbhira avatara
apanara gupudhane ani martte kari dane
trana kaila e tina samsara
parasa manira gune tuccha lage mora mane
lei parasile hema kare
nitai chaitanya gune gana kare katajane
ratana haila ghare ghare
amode baliya hari nama sankirtana kari
premabese pade lotaiya
kahe vrindavana dasa emata karila asa
banchita rahinu abhagiya
O my mind, please chant the Name of Nityananda.
You'll never get such a merciful Lord again.
Keep Him within the lotus of your heart.
His sweet pastimes of chanting and dancing are wonderful.
He's the most merciful avatara.
He distributed His hidden treasure to everyone.
He thus delivered the three worlds.
The touchstone's quality of turning iron into gold seems insignificant to me.
But many persons glorify the qualities of Nitai-Gauranga.
They made jewels in every house.
I happily do hari-nama-sankirtana
I roll on the ground in ecstatic prema.
Vrindavana dasa says I desire Their lotus feet since I'm the most unfortunate.