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Nityananda Charitamrita, Antya Khanda Chapter 12
The marriage of Lord Nityananda
One day, Lord Nityananda woke up early in the morning and, taking a servant with Him, went towards Ambika-nagara. He took along Uddharana Datta who was a merchant by profession and His intimate associate. He arrived at the doorstep of Suryadasa Pandita* and sent Uddharana Datta inside the house.
Uddharana Datta went inside and informed Suryadasa of the Lord's arrival. He rushed out to greet the Lord. Falling at the feet of Nityananda Prabhu, he offered his obeisances and with folded hands said, "What good fortune!î
The Lord said, "I've come to you with a purpose. I want to marry. Please give Me your daughter's hand.î
Pandita knew the glories of Nityananda Prabhu, but he forgot everything bewildered by the Lord's illusory energy. The brahmana humbly said, "How is it possible? We first have to consider many points like caste, stars, and family. Although You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead Narayana, You're an outcaste and I'm a brahmana.î
Hearing this reply, Nityananda Prabhu left that place as everyone watched in wonder. Suryadasa Pandita felt disappointed and went inside the house. He contemplated, "Will my dream come true? O Lord Krishna, will it ever happen by the arrangement of providence that Nityananda will become my son-in-law?î Pondering over this, he went inside the house. Gathering his relatives, he informed them of the proposal. He said, "Last night, I had a wonderful dream. I saw a wonderful person come to my house sitting on a chariot with a flag. He was huge like a mighty wrestler. His complexion was golden and His eyes were reddish. His chariot stopped in front of my house. He got down from the chariot and smilingly asked, "Is this Panditaji's house?
"He carried a plough on His shoulder and held a stick in His hand. He gestured for me to come. Flowers decorated His hair and He wore golden earrings. He dressed with blue garments with anklets on His feet. He said to me, "I'm going to marry your daughter. You haven't recognized Me till today.'î Saying this, He disappeared. Then I got up from the bed and found it was morning.î As Jahnava heard the narration from within the room, her natural love for the Lord arose. Tears of love began to flow from her eyes. She covered her face with a cloth, but the cloth became soaked with her tears.
Pandita continued, "O friends, now I've told you my wonderful dream.î Someone said, "We see so many things in dream. Nityananda Prabhu is the Supreme Brahman and we are but householders. How can we offer our daughter?î Suryadasa Pandita was naturally soft hearted. He became distressed and cried, "Save me! Save me!î
All of a sudden, everyone heard crying inside the house. Something had happened to Jahnava. They rushed inside and picked up Jahnava. They put her on the front veranda. She was unconscious and her eyes rolled in their sockets. Her whole body was cold and her face perspired.
A doctor came and diagnosed that she had epilepsy and there was no cure for it. Seldom does a person in such a case survive. He thus treated her according to the scripture. The doctor said, "Even after applying proper medication, there's no improvement. Now try to arrange for her spiritual rites. Take her to the bank of the Ganges for she is your eldest daughter.î
Hearing the words of the doctor, Suryadasa began to cry. Gauridasa, however, consoled him saying, "I think we committed an offense at the feet of Avadhuta Nityananda. We must beg His pardon and bring Him back as soon as possible. As long as we live in this world, we should try to maintain relationships. After death, relationships no longer remain. If He can protect our daughter, then we should arrange her marriage with Him. This is my advice to all of you. This is our opinion. So let's all go to Nityananda Prabhu and fall at His feet.î
Lord Nityananda was sitting under a banyan tree on the bank of the Ganges. Tears trickled from His eyes as He chanted the name of Krishna. Gauridasa along with his relatives went to Nityananda Prabhu and fell at His lotus feet. The Lord quickly picked him up while patting his back.
Nityananda said, "You've all forgotten Me, O cowherd men?" Then He put His hands on his shoulders. Suryadasa Pandita fell at the feet of Nityananda Prabhu and lamented, "You bewildered me completely. You're able to do anything, yet You never inspired me to give up my attachment for varnasrama-dharma. Please give us the shelter of Your lotus feet and do good to all of us." Saying this, the Pandita took Lord Nityananda home.
His daughter, Jahnava, was lying at the doorstep. Jahnava was covered with a cloth and the sunshine fell on her. It appeared as if lightning were striking a cloud. Her eyes bulged in their sockets as tears fell incessantly. Her curly hair enhanced the beauty of her forehead. The signs of the final moments of life appeared on her body. At that moment, the aroma of the Lord's body entered her nostrils. As she smelled this aroma, she regained her consciousness touched by the art of revival. She hurriedly covered her face with cloth and said, "Where am I? What's happening?" Then she got up and entered the house.
Nityananda Prabhu, the reservoir of transcendental pastimes, displayed His six-armed form in the courtyard of Suryadasa Pandita. His two upper hands held a bow and an arrow, His two middle hands held a plough and a stick, and His lower two hands carried a sannyasa-danda and water pot. His head was decorated with a crown and His ears were decorated with earrings. His entire body was radiant with valuable jewels and ornaments. Seeing this form of the Lord, everyone fell at His feet. Pandita prayed to the Lord with folded hands. All the brahmanas gathered there were struck with wonder seeing this form of the Lord. Soon this form disappeared from everyone's vision and only Lord Nityananda remained. Smiling at everyone, Lord Nityananda sat on the doorstep of a Vishnu temple as all the brahmanas and Vaishnavas chanted, "Long life! Long life!"
They all served Nityananda Prabhu with great care and affection and made Him comfortable. All the learned brahmanas and the family priest planned to award Him the sacred thread according to the Vedic injunctions. They disclosed their plan to the Lord. The Lord accepted their proposal with laughter saying, "Do whatever you like; I have nothing to say. Only Chaitanya Gosai is independent."
When everyone heard the Lord's approval, they became very happy. Then Pandita began to arrange for the marriage. He collected articles for a marriage that would be as opulent as that of a prince. He gathered things by begging and by his profession. He invited all his neighbors for the marriage ceremony. He brought a large quantity of betel nuts and pan. The brahmana then called his family priest and carefully chose an auspicious day for marriage.
From that day, there was a constant celebration at the Pandita's house. His friends and relatives began to arrive day by day. The musicians played various instruments and hundreds of brahmanas were fed daily. The women distributed vermilion, betel nuts, pan, oil, and sweets to all the ladies.
On the day of the marriage, the brahmanas came to Suryadasa Pandita's house after finishing their regular duties. They brought suitable items for performing sacrifices such as flowers, kusa grass, sitting mats made of kusa grass, wooden mortars, and spoons. They brought a stick, water pot, umbrella, pair of shoes, belt, kaupina, deerskin, brahmana thread, and ghee.
After all the brahmanas prepared the sacrifice, the head priest asked Nityananda Prabhu to come to the sacrificial arena. As Nityananda Prabhu sat in the midst of the brahmanas, they offered ghee in the sacrificial fire chanting Vedic mantras. After completing the formalities required by the scriptures, the brahmanas put a stick and water pot in Nityananda's hands. He wore saffron colored kaupina and cadara with a saffron bag on His shoulder. The Lord then begged, "Mother, please give Me alms."
The wife of Suryadasa Pandita respectfully put gold, silver, and money in the Lord's bag. When the priest told Suryadasa Pandita to bring the bride, Nityananda Prabhu said, "Do that later." Then Lord Nityananda whispered something in the ear of the priest who quickly said, "That's alright." Holding a stick and water pot, Lord Nityananda laughed loudly again and again. He wore wooden shoes and held an umbrella in His hands. He appeared just like a young brahmana lad to everyone. Seeing His enchanting form, the ladies smilingly said, "He must be the younger brother of Shri Ramacandra. This is what we feel."
The Lord entered a secluded inner room and remained there for three days continuously. Rising early in the morning of the forth day, the Lord looked at the sun and the brahmanas before coming out of the house. The most attractive Nityananda Prabhu then offered His obeisances to Lord Vishnu and sat on a wooden throne. Hundreds of women from Navadvipa came to the house of Suryadasa Pandita holding each other's hands and shoulders. They decorated their eyes with black ointment and chewed betel nuts. They arrived at the house of the Pandita while swinging their hands and bodies. The priest came to perform the duties to be done the day before the marriage while the ladies made auspicious sounds on all sides. The priest tied yellow threads on the hands of Lord Nityananda and Jahnava. She then went inside the house with her head down. The musicians played auspicious sounds on various instruments. People dove and surfaced in the ocean of joy.
As the ladies fetched water for the ceremony, some of them said, "Jahnava's indeed the most fortunate. Who else could have such a beautiful groom except Revati who previously got such a wonderful husband?" Someone said, "They look exactly like Sankara and Parvati." Others said, "They look like Lakshmi and Narayana." Another said, "It's like the meeting of Kamadeva and Rati." Yet others said, "They're like Rama and Sita." In this way, they spoke their minds each to the other. They laughed and fell on each other as if drunk. They were all simple young girls at the marriage of their friend and were unable to check their jubilation.
The whole day passed in such blissful events. Finally, the auspicious time for marriage arrived. Then Suryadasa Pandita told his relatives to decorate both the bride and groom. Hearing this, everyone became very happy.
Nityananda Prabhu came and sat in the courtyard of the Vishnu temple and Gauridasa Pandita began to decorate Him. Nityananda was naturally most enchanting. The Pandita put tilaka and sandalwood paste on His forehead. Naturally intoxicated with prema, Lord Nityananda's eyes always moved in circles. The Pandita put black ointment on those eyes.
The Lord's beautiful raised nose was marked with tilaka and sandalwood paste. The beauty of His face defeated the beauty of the moon. His broad chest was decorated with sandalwood paste and flower garlands. He wore white garments and a white brahmana thread. It appeared like Lord Ananta Sesha covering Lord Balarama. A crown adorned His head and He wore beautiful earrings. The golden ornaments adorning Him shone brightly.
The artistic ladies sat in a private place and began to decorate Jahnava with undivided attention. They combed and braided her hair in various attractive ways. Two colorful clusters of jute hung from her head to her back covering both her ears. They made many beautiful braids with her hair beginning from her forehead. Wiping her face with the corner of their saris, they decorated it with kunkuma. They adorned her forehead with the marks of tilaka and applied black ointments to her eyes. They embellished her forehead and cheeks with many beautiful dots of sandalwood paste. They put tilaka on her nose and became captivated by her beauty. Then they began to dress her up. They put a golden ring with a pearl hanging from it in the tip of her nose. It swung on the top of her upper lip as she moved. It appeared as if honeybees were falling over a sesame flower.
Jahnava was wearing a golden kanti-mala with a locket that hung to her chest. She was decorated in the most attractive manner and her beauty was matchless. Golden earrings resembling campaka flowers decorated Her ears appearing like lightening. The earrings were fixed at one place, yet they desired to touch her other limbs. Golden bracelets and bangles bedecked Her hands. She wore golden ankle bells on her beautiful reddish feet. After decorating her properly, they put betel nut in her mouth and hung garlands of fragrant flowers on her neck. They sprinkled scented oil all over her body.
Then all the relatives and friends of Suryadasa Pandita told him to take his daughter and circle the groom. Pandita at once accepted the proposal saying, "Whatever you all say, I must follow." Everyone rushed in all directions to gather the necessary items for the marriage. They brought various articles before Suryadasa Pandita and set them before Lord Nityananda. They then made Him sit on a palanquin. The musicians began to play their instruments, filling the entire sky with sound. The singers and dancers sang and danced perfectly in tune with the music. Lord Nityananda beheld all this dressed in divine garments.
Sitting on a palanquin, Nityananda Prabhu was taken on procession through the streets as auspicious sounds of joy filled the four directions. The women of the city lined their doorsteps with their babies on their laps to have a glimpse of the groom. Young boys rushed to the spot and became overwhelmed with happiness as they joined the singing. After roaming all over the city, Nityananda Prabhu, resembling a full moon, arrived at the doorstep of Suryadasa Pandita.
Suryadasa Pandita offered incense, ghee lamp, sandalwood paste, and flower garlands to Nityananda Prabhu. He then led Him by the hand to the marriage arena. Someone sprinkled scented water before Nityananda as He walked. The ladies began to make auspicious sounds of ulu-dhvani. Then He stood on a low wooden platform. His radiance filled all directions.
Holding ghee lamps and flower garlands, all the brahmanas circled Nityananda seven times. The ladies smiled covering their mouths with their saris and falling on each other. They then brought the bride on a beautiful throne and made her circle Nityananda seven times. Jahnava and Nityananda glanced at each other as everyone threw flowers and pan. Their spontaneous love for each other awakened. After a long time when Jahnava saw her beloved Lord, she held her head down in shyness. They took Jahnava inside the room and all the brahmanas began to complete all the formalities according to the injunctions. Suryadasa Pandita offered jewelry, clothes, and other items to Nityananda Prabhu and formally accepted Him as a son-in-law. Then he brought his daughter and offered her to Nityananda Prabhu in charity as per the Vedic injunctions. Taking his daughter and son-in-law inside, he made them sit on a divine bed decorated with flowers. Many young girls also entered the room teasing and joking with the new groom.
The whole night passed in joyful happiness. In the morning, Nityananda Prabhu took bath and sat down for the Vedic ceremony of putting sindura (vermilion) on the bride's head. The brahmanas then performed the fire sacrifice according to the Vedic rules. Finally, hundreds of brahmanas were served a feast. Nityananda Prabhu lived happily at the house of Suryadasa Pandita for a few days.
One day, Shri Jahnava was serving Nityananda His lunch of Krishna prasada with utmost care. The younger daughter of Suryadasa Pandita, Vasudha, whose mind was firmly attached to Nityananda since her childhood, came to assist. As she was serving prasada to Nityananda Prabhu, all of a sudden the part of her sari covering her head fell off. Since both her hands were engaged in serving, she manifested two more hands and replaced her sari on her head.
Seeing this, Nityananda Prabhu caught hold of her hand and made her sit on His right side. Nityananda then said to Suryadasa Pandita, "I'll take your younger daughter with Me as a dowry." Suryadasa Pandita replied, "I have no objection. There's nothing I can refuse You. I've surrendered my own caste, life, wealth, house, associates, and everything else at Your lotus feet." Saying this, Pandita raised his hands and danced in ecstasy while chanting "Hari! Hari!" He prayed, "O Krishna, O Yadava, please be merciful to me so that I may fix my mind, body, and speech at the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu." He explained all the details to his relatives. They all smilingly approved everything. They said, "We've also become lucky by your association. In fact, who has the power to disobey the Lord?" With folded hands, everyone said to Suryadasa Pandita, "You've actually purchased Krishna in Kali-yuga." Nityananda Prabhu inspired everyone of Ambika-kalna to float in the ocean of bliss.
Accepting the lotus feet of Gauranga and Nityananda as my life and soul, I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their lotus feet.