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Title: Govinda Steps over Gauranga

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-06-10 07:10:49


Commentary by Swami Gaurangapada from Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita:


Lord Gauranga finally stopped the kirtana. Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu then took all of the devotees with Him and went to bathe in the sea. Thereafter, Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu had lunch, along with His devotees, and at last, He requested them to return to their residences to rest.


After the devotees had left, Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu lay down in the doorway of the Gambhira, and so Govinda came to massage His divine legs and lotus feet. Govinda was the most supremely fortunate associate of the Lord in the past, present and future to get this most cherished service. It was a long-standing rule that when Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu laid down to rest after lunch, Govinda would come and massage His divine legs and lotus feet. Then, when Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu would fall asleep, Govinda used to go and eat the remnants (Mahaprasadam) of the Lord.


However, this time, the Lord lay down in such a way that He occupied the entire doorway, so that Govinda could not enter the room just to display a beautiful pastime and to glorify His great devotee Govinda. Because Govinda could not reach the Lord's lotus feet and legs unless he entered the Gambhira, he requested, "My dear Lord, please turn to one side, so that I may come into the room."


Lord Gauranga replied, "Due to the performance of ecstatic sankirtana, I do not even have the strength to move My body."


Again and again, Govinda submitted his request, but each time, the Lord replied, "I cannot move." Then, when Govinda pleaded, "I want to massage Your lotus feet and legs", Lord Gauranga said, "Do it or don't do it. It just depends upon your mind."


Finally, after considering the matter carefully, Govinda spread the Lord's outer cloth over His body and then entered the room by stepping over Him, Who is origin of the whole creation. The transcendental body of the Lord contains the whole existence so to step over the Lord is considered the biggest of all sins in creation and the only punishment is to suffer for endless time in hell. But Govinda did it due to his intense devotion for serving the Lord.


He thought, "I have to go to hell for endless time for stepping over the Lord and I am ready for it if I can remove the fatigue of the Lord by massaging His lotus feet and legs. I am ready to suffer eternally in order to remove the suffering of the Lord even for a moment." This is the platform of the topmost devotee. If required, the advanced devotee is ready to accept and undergo unlimited amount of suffering or tribulation to serve the Lord, the Spiritual Master and the Acharyas and bring the suffering souls back to the Lord.


Thereafter, Govinda massaged Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu's legs as usual, and by also pressing His waist and back very gently, He made the Lord's transcendental fatigue go away. As Govinda massaged His divine body, the Lord slept very soundly in His own Yoga Nidra for about forty-five minutes, and then He awoke.


When Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu saw that Govinda was still sitting by His side, He became somewhat externally angry and said, "Why have you stayed here for so long today? Why didn't you go and take prasadam after I fell asleep?"


Govinda replied, "My dear Lord, while lying down, You blocked the entire doorway, and so there was no way for me to go out." Lord Gauranga then asked, "If that is so, then how did you enter the room? Why didn't you go out the same way you came in and take your lunch?"


Govinda mentally replied to the Supreme Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu, "My duty is to serve You, even if I must commit offenses or go to hell. I would not mind committing thousands and millions of offenses for Your service, but I greatly fear committing even a glimpse of an offense for my own self. How could I step on you for the purpose of going out and filling my belly. That would be the greatest sin. I came in in this way only to render service to you and I am ready to suffer for that if You so desire. But I am not ready to commit this most heinous sin in creation of stepping over your transcendental body for my own sake."


While thinking in this way, Govinda remained silent. Usually, Govinda would go and take his lunch prasadam after the Lord had fallen asleep, but on this day, he continued the massage, in consideration of the Lord’s fatigue. Also, how could he leave? When Govinda thought about crossing over the Lord's divine body for his own self, he considered it to be a great offense. Actually, the Lord is very interested in manifesting the exalted qualities of His devotees, and it is for this reason that He intelligently engineered this divine pastime to glorify the service attitude of Shrila Govinda dasa, His personal servant.