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Nityananda Charitamrita, Adi-Khanda Chapter 1
The Birth and Childhood Activities of Lord Nityananda
All glories to Shri Krishna Chaitanya, the ocean of mercy! All glories to Lord Nityananda, the friend of the fallen souls! All glories to Shri Advaita Acarya, whose life and soul are Shri Gauranga and Shri Nityananda! All glories to Shrivasa and Gadadhara Prabhus! All glories to Shri Visvambhara, the beloved son of Jagannatha and Saci! All glories to all the devotees and associates of the Lord! There is a village called Ekacakra* in Radha-desa in West Bengal, where the Supreme Lord Nityananda appeared.
From the day of His appearance, the whole of Radha-desa became all-auspicious. Famine, poverty, and other distresses at once disappeared. A short distance from Ekacakra, the Deity of Mauresvara is present. Lord Nityananda, who is non-different from Lord Balarama, had worshipped this Deity. In the village of Ekacakra lived Hadai Pandita. He was a qualified brahmana, very detached, and full of compassion. His wifeís name was Padmavati, who was very chaste and an exalted devotee. She was the mother of the universe. Both Hadai Pandita and Padmavati Devi were very magnanimous. Lord Nityananda appeared in their family out of His own sweet will. On the auspicious thirteenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Magha (January-February), Lord Nityananda made His appearance. He was the eldest among the sons of Hadai Pandita. Seeing His all-auspicious symptoms, everyoneís eyes filled with joy.
In time, Lord Nityananda began to grow. Due to the influence of His illusory energy, however, no one could recognize Him. Lord Nityananda concealed His real identity and happily played with His boyhood friends.
Whatever pastimes He enjoyed with His childhood friends were all related with the pastimes of Lord Krishna. He and His friends formed an assembly of demigods, and one of them acted as mother earth praying to the rest of them. Then they led mother earth to the riverbank where all the children began to offer prayers. One boy, hiding from the rest, loudly declared, "I will soon take birth in Mathura, Gokula."
One night, the Lord and His friends enacted the marriage of Vasudeva and Devaki. Another night, while everyone was asleep, they made a jail cell enacting the birth of Lord Krishna. They made one place into Gokula. Taking baby Krishna there, he was exchanged with Mahamaya, tricking Kamsa. Another time, they dressed someone as Putana. Someone climbed on her chest to suck her breast. One day Lord Nityananda and His friends made a sakata, or handcart, out of reeds and then broke it. Another day, the Lord and His friends stole from the houses of the neighboring cowherd men. The boys never left Nityananda to go home, but sported with Him day and night. The children's parents never complained, rather they affectionately embraced Nityananda. They said, "We've never seen such transcendental sports. How does this child know so many of Krishnaís pastimes?"
One day, the Lord made snakes out of leaves and took His friends to the water. One of them jumped into the water and did not move. Later, the Lord brought him back to consciousness. Another day, the Lord and His friends went to Talavana where they killed Dhenukasura and then ate tala fruits. Lord Nityananda and his childhood friends went to the fields and enjoyed various pastimes such as the killing of Bakasura, Aghasura, and Vatsasura. In the afternoon, the Lord and His friends returned home blowing buffalo horns.
One day they enjoyed the pastime of lifting the Govardhana Hill, and another day they created a Vrindavana where they enjoyed various sports. Once they enacted Krishnaís pastimes of stealing the gopiís clothes and another day enacted His meeting the wives of the brahmanas. On one occasion, a boy dressed up with a false beard as Narada gave Kamsa some secret news. Another day, a boy dressed as Akrura took Krishna and Balarama to Kamsaís capital. As Lord Nityananda cried in the mood of the gopis, it seemed to His friends that a river was flowing from His eyes.
By the influence of Lord Vishnuís illusory energy, no one could recognize Lord Nityananda as He enjoyed pastimes with His friends. The children arranged a city of Mathura and then wandered through its streets. Someone played the role of a gardener, while another accepted a flower garland from him. Someone dressed as Kubja and sandalwood paste was accepted from her. They made a large bow and all shouted in joy when it was broken. They also enacted the pastimes of killing Kuvalaya elephant and the wrestlers, Canura and Mushtika. Thereafter the Lord chastised Kamsa by grabbing him by the hair and throwing him on the ground. After killing Kamsa, the Lord danced with His friends in such a way that everyone watching Him began to laugh. In this way, Lord Nityananda and His friends imitated the pastimes of various incarnations.
One day, Lord Nityananda dressed as Vamana and went to cheat Bali Maharaja out of his kingdom, which covered the three worlds. Someone playing an aged Sukracarya forbid Bali from giving the three steps requested by Lord Vamana. Accepting the gift, the Lord placed His last step on Baliís head.
One day, Lord Nityananda enacted the pastime of building a bridge across the ocean with the boys playing the role of monkeys. They cut castor plants and made a bridge across the water. Then all the boys shouted "Jaya Raghunatha!" Lord Nityananda, taking the role of Lakshmana with a bow in His hand, went in anger to rebuke Sugriva. "O king of the monkeys, My Lord is in distress. Come quickly or I'll kill you! How can you sit here enjoying with women while Lord Ramacandra is lamenting on Malyavan Mountain?"
Another day Lord Nityananda spoke in anger to Parasurama, "O brahmana, I'm not at fault. Leave here at once." Lord Nityananda was thus absorbed in the mood of Lakshmana. The boys, unable to understand this, thought it was just a game. Another time the boys took the role of five monkeys and the Lord took the role of Lakshmana. "Who are you monkeys, wandering in the forest? I am the servant of Lord Ramacandra. Please tell me who you are!" They replied, "We are wandering in fear of Bali. Please take us to Lord Ramacandra. We wish to take the dust of His lotus feet." The Lord embraced them and led them to Lord Ramacandra, where they all fell at His feet.
Once the Lord enacted the pastime of killing Indrajit, the son of Ravana. Another day, in the mood of Lakshmana, He accepted defeat. They brought someone in the role of Vibhishana before Lord Ramacandra, and Lord Rama crowned him as the King of Lanka. One boy said, "I am the mighty Ravana. Now I'll release the sakti-shela weapon. Stop it if You can, Lakshmana!" Saying this, the boy threw a lotus flower at Lord Nityananda, who in the mood of Lakshmana, fell to the ground. After he fell unconscious, all the boys tried in vain to revive Him. When they found no symptom of life in the body of Lord Nityananda, they all held their heads and cried. The Lord's father and mother came running there and saw their son without a sign of life. They too fell senseless to the ground. Everyone who saw this tragedy was struck with wonder. As the boys described the entire incident, someone said, "I know why He is unconscious."
Once a great actor played the role of Dasaratha. Hearing that Rama had left for the forest, he left his body. Someone else said, "There's a boy dressed as Hanuman. If he gives Him medicine, then He'll be cured." Before the play the Lord had instructed His friends, "When I fall unconscious, you all surround Me and cry. After a while send Hanuman for some medicine. I will revive when he puts the medicine to My nose." The Lord fell unconscious by His own sweet will, but this bewildered all the boys. Since everyone there was so confused, they forgot the Lord's instructions. They simply cried loudly, "O brother, please get up!" Hearing people's comments, the boys remembered Lord Nityananda's order and the boy dressed as Hanuman immediately went for the medicine.
Another boy dressed as a renunciate welcomed Hanuman with fruits and roots. He said to Hanuman, "My dear sir, please stay and grace my asrama. It's a wonderful fortune to meet such a person as you." Hanuman replied, "I must go and complete my important mission. I'd like to stay but I cannot delay. You must have heard that Lakshmana, younger brother of Lord Ramacandra, is unconscious from the sakti-sela weapon of Ravana. I'm on my way to Gandhamadana Hill to bring medicine. Only then He'll survive."
The renunciate then said, "If you must go, first take a bath and have something to eat. Then you may go." The two boys repeated whatever Lord Nityananda had instructed them. Everyone gazed at them in astonishment as they listened to their dialogue. On the request of the renunciate, Hanuman went to take a bath in the lake where another boy in the lake grabbed hold of his feet. The boy playing a crocodile tried to pull Hanuman into the water, but Hanuman pulled the boy to the shore. After a short fight, Hanuman defeated the crocodile. On returning to the renunciateís asrama, Hanuman saw a mighty warrior. A boy dressed as a rakshasa tried to swallow Hanuman. He challenged, "You defeated the crocodile, but how will you defeat me? I will eat you. Then how will you revive Lakshmana?"
Hanuman replied, "Your Ravana's a dog! I think him most insignificant. Get out of my way." After first exchanging some harsh words, they began pulling each other's hair. Finally, they began striking each other with their fists. Swiftly defeating the demon, Hanuman went to the Gandhamadana Hill. There he fought with some boys dressed as Gandharvas. Defeating the Gandharvas, Hanuman took the Gandhamadana Hill on his head to Lanka. Another boy playing a doctor meditated on Lord Rama as he held the medicine to Lakshmanaís nose. At that very moment, Lord Nityananda came to His senses. His parents and others all smiled in relief. Hadai Pandita embraced his son and all the boys were overjoyed. Everyone asked, "Dear son, where have You learned all these plays?" Smiling the Lord said, "These are all My pastimes."
In his early childhood, the Lord was most attractive. No one wanted Him to leave his lap. Everyone had more affection for Lord Nityananda than for his own son. But none could recognize Him by the influence of Lord Vishnu's illusory energy.
In His childhood, Lord Nityananda had no other happiness than enjoying the pastimes of Lord Krishna. All His friends left their parents to constantly sport in the company of the Lord. I offer repeated obeisances at the feet of those boys who enjoyed the association of Lord Nityananda. From His childhood, Lord Nityananda had no interest other than enacting the various pastimes of Lord Krishna. Who can describe the pastimes of Lord Ananta? They are only manifest to one who has received His mercy.
Accepting Shri Gauranga and Shri Nityananda Prabhu as my life and soul, I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their lotus feet.