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Charitamrita, Adi-Khanda Chapter 2
Lord Nityananda's Traveling To the Holy Places
Lord Nityananda enjoyed His pastimes at the house of Hadai Pandita for sometime. Later, He decided to leave home. But, from fear of separation, His mother and father were unable to allow Him to leave. If His mother Padmavati did not see Him for a moment, she felt this as more than a yuga. His father felt the same. Fearful of His leaving, Hadai Pandita never goes anywhere. Whether he goes to the field for farming, or to the temple, or the market, or anywhere else, Hadai Pandita repeatedly looks back at Lord Nityananda, so that Lord Nityananda may not leave home. Hadai Pandita embraced Lord Nityananda again and again, and the Lord's butter-soft body merged in His father’s. Hadai went everywhere along with Lord Nityananda. Hadai Pandita’s life and soul was Lord Nityananda, and Lord Nityananda's body was Hadai Pandita.
Lord Nityananda is the indwelling Supersoul of everyone. Knowing all this, He tried to give pleasure to His father. By providence, a beautiful looking sannyasi came one day to Hadai Pandita’s house. Knowing the etiquette for receiving guests, he welcomed the sannyasi and happily fed him. Lord Nityananda and His father spent the whole night discussing topics of Lord Krishna with the sannyasi.
In the early morning, the sannyasi was about to leave. He then spoke to Hadai Pandita, "I have one request from you." Hadai Pandita replied, "Please tell me whatever you desire." The sannyasi said, "I wish to travel to the holy places; but I don't have a good brahmana companion. Why don't you give me your eldest son for a few days? I'll take care of Him more than my own life and, at the same time, he’ll be able to visit all the holy places."
Hearing the words of the sannyasi, the pure hearted brahmana Hadai Pandita felt intense distress. He thought, “This sannyasi has begged for my very life. At the same time, if I refuse I’ll be ruined. It is well known that in the past many pious men became glorious by offering their lives to satisfy mendicant sannyasis. Lord Ramacandra was the life of King Dasaratha. The holy sage Visvamitra asked Dasaratha to give his son. The Puranas say that although King Dasaratha was unable to live without Lord Ramacandra still he offered Him to the sage. Today, the same thing has now happened to me. O Krishna, please protect me from this dilemma. The same situation is here, so why shouldn’t I have the same mind like Dasaratha. Besides, Lakshmana has appeared in my family as Nityananda.” Thinking like this, the brahmana Hadai Pandita went before his wife and explained the situation to her in detail.
Hearing the dilemma from her husband, the chaste Padmavati, the mother of the universe said, “My Lord, do what you think is best. This is my opinion.” Hadai Pandita then came before the sannyasi and, with his head bent down, offered him his son. Taking Nityananda with him, the sannyasi departed. In this way, Lord Nityananda left home. As soon as Lord Nityananda left home, Hadai Pandita fell senseless to the ground. Who can describe the lamentation and crying of Hadai Pandita? Even wood and stone melted hearing such lamentation. Hadai became stunned due to devotional mellows and people began to say that he had become a madman. He did not eat any grain for three months. He survived, however, only by the mercy of Lord Krishna.
It is natural that, due to attachment, both Lord and His servants are unable to leave each other. This is the inconceivable nature of the Lord and the Vaishnavas. Lord Kapila became indifferent and left His widowed mother Devahuti. Sukadeva Gosvami left his Vaishnava father, who was none other than Vyasadeva, without even looking back. Lord Gauranga, the crest-jewel among the sannyasis, was so detached that he left home, leaving his mother Sacidevi alone. From the spiritual point of view, such leaving is never actual leaving. Some intelligent persons will understand this. All these pastimes are meant to deliver the fallen souls. Hearing such pastimes melts even stones. if even a Muslim hears such pastimes as the lamentation of Lord Ramacandra when He lost Sita he will certainly cry.
Lord Nityananda Prabhu left home wandering in the holy places by His own sweet will and ecstasy. The Lord first went to Vakresvara and then He went alone to Vaidyanatha. From Vaidyanatha, he went to Gaya and then Kasi, the abode of Lord Siva where the Ganges flows towards the North.
Lord Nityananda was extremely pleased by seeing the Ganges. He took bath and drank some water, yet this could not relieve His grief. In the month of Magha (January), the Lord took early morning baths at Prayaga. Then He went to Mathura, His former birthplace. Lord Nityananda sported in the waters of the River Yamuna at Visrama-ghata. Then he went with great curiosity to see Govardhana. He visited each of the twelve forests beginning with Vrindavana. When He saw the house and courtyard of Nanda Maharaja at Gokula, He sat down and cried profusely. Offering His obeisances to Madana-Gopala, he left for Hastinapura, the abode of the Pandavas.
Seeing the Pandavas home, Lord Nityananda began to cry. The local people, due to lack of devotion, were unable to understand the Lord’s sentiments. Remembering Lord Balarama’s glorious activities in Hastinapura, Lord Nityananda called out, “O Haladhara, please save Me!” and then offered obeisances.
Lord Nityananda then went to Dvaraka where He joyfully took bath in the ocean. He next went to Siddhapura, the place of Lord Kapila. Then He went to Matsya-tirtha where He served prasada at a festival. The Lord then visited Siva-kanci and neighboring Vishnu-kanci. He smiled when He saw the followers of Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva quarreling there. The Lord also visited Kurukshetra, Prithudaka, Bindu-sarovara, Prabhasa, and Sudarsana-tirtha. He then visited the exalted holy place called Trita-kupa. He also went to Visala, Brahma-tirtha, and Cakra-tirtha. The Lord visited Pratisrota where the Sarasvati River flows in the opposite direction. The most magnanimous Lord Nityananda then went to Naimisharanya.
He next visited the city of Ayodhya where He cried on seeing the birthplace of Lord Rama. Lord Nityananda visited Candala-Guhaka's kingdom where He fell unconscious. Simply remembering the activities of Candala-Guhaka, Lord Nityananda was in a trance of ecstasy for three days. Seeing the forest where Lord Ramacandra had resided, Lord Nityananda rolled on the ground in separation. The Lord went to both Sarayu and Kausiki Rivers. After taking bath, he went to the asrama of Pulastya Rishi.
Lord Nityananda next took bath in the Gomati, Gandaki, and Sona Rivers. He also climbed the top of Mahendra Mountain. There He offered obeisances to Lord Parasurama. He also visited Haridvara, the source of the Ganges. The Lord took bath in Pampa, Bhimarathi, Venva, and Vipasa Rivers. After seeing Kartikeya at Madurai, the most intelligent Lord Nityananda went to Shri Saila, the abode of Siva and Parvati. Siva and Parvati live on this mountain in the form of a brahmana couple. When Lord Nityananda arrived there, they understood their most worshipable Lord was wandering on pilgrimage as a mendicant. Most satisfied to receive such a guest, Parvati happily cooked for the Lord. They fed the Lord with loving affection, and Lord Nityananda smiled and offered them His respects. Only Lord Krishna knows about their confidential discussions. Then Lord Nityananda continued His journey to Dravida-desa.
The Lord visited Venkatanatha, Kamakoshthi Puri, Kanci, and the River Kaveri. There the Lord visited the sacred place of Shri Ranganatha. Then He went to Hari-kshetra. Lord Nityananda visited Rishabha Mountain, Madurai, and the Kritamala, Tamraparni, and Uttara Yamuna Rivers. He visited the asrama of Agastya Rishi in the Malaya hills. The residents there were all jubilant to see the Lord. Lord Nityananda stayed as a guest in their asrama and then departed in deep ecstasy for Badarikasrama. Lord Nityananda stayed in seclusion for some days in the asrama of Nara-Narayana Rishis. Lord Nityananda then went to the asrama of Shrila Vyasadeva, who recognized that He was Lord Balarama. Shrila Vyasadeva personally received Lord Nityananda as a guest, and the Lord offered His obeisances to Shrila Vyasadeva.
Lord Nityananda then visited a monastery where He found them all sitting together. The Lord asked a question, but no one replied. Becoming angry with them, the Lord kicked them in the head. They all simply smiled and ran away. Lord Nityananda thus fearlessly continued His travels through the forest.
Lord Nityananda eventually arrived in Kanya-kumari. After seeing Durga there, He went to see the Southern Ocean. He then went to Anantapura and, after that, He went to Pancapsara-kunda. He next visited the temple of Lord Siva known as Gokarna. He visited Kerala and the various places in Trigarta. He also visited goddess Parvati, who dwells on an island near Gokarna. The Lord then visited the Nirvindhya, Payoshni, and Tapi Rivers. He went to the city of Mahishmati on the banks of the Reva River and saw Malla-tirtha. The Lord then passed through the holy district of Surparaka on His way to the West.
fearless ecstatic Lord Nityananda Prabhu traveled in this way without fear of
anyone. Lord Nityananda had no control of His body due to ecstatic love for
Krishna. Sometimes He cried and sometimes He laughed. Who could understand His
Accepting Shri Gauranga and Nityananda Prabhu as my life and soul, I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their lotus feet.