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Title: Nectar from Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata
User: neilsf Date: 2006-10-18 12:23:21
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!
All Glories to Shri Swami Gaurangapada!
All Glories to the Guru Parampara!
All Glories to all Gaudiya Vaishnavas!!
All Glories to the Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata!!
I've been reading the Chaitanya Bhagavat and I want to take this opportunity to thank Swami Gaurangapada from the bottom of my heart for leading me to this wonderfull work. Every word is nectar that is the sweetest nectar available.
Here's a section that I read last night and found particularly sweet. Its from Adi Lila Chapter 12. I like to try to visualize myself among Lord Nimai Pandita's group and watch him be offered all the nice things. I use this as a way of performing a mental worship of the Lord, while I'm chanting the Holy Names.
I read something that Swami Gaurangapada wrote when he was talking about how he didn't want to build temples and he said something about the temple of the Holy Names in the Heart is the best temple. I found that very inspiring and now try to make mental puja to Lord Gauranga and Lord Nityananda while I chant. Its so true...Lord Gauranga didn't found temples, just the temple of the Holy Name in the heart.
"After holding class for several hours, Gaurasundara and His students would break at midday for their bath in the Ganga. After that the Lord would return home for His daily worship of Lord Vishnu.
He offered water to Tulasi Devi, circumambulated her, and then sat down to eat His meal while chanting the name of Lord Hari. Laksmi Devi served the prasada to her Lord while mother Saci looked on, drinking in the Lord's beauty to her full satisfaction. After eating the Lord chewed some betel leaf and lay down while Laksmi massaged His lotus feet. For a while He would rest in a transcendental sleep, and upon rising He would again take His books in His hand and leave the house. Out in the street, Gaurasundara gave and received great pleasure in talking with anyone He met. No one knew He was in fact the Supreme Lord, yet everyone offered Him respect. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Shachinandana walked casually throughout the town where everyone could see Him although He was unapproachable even by demigods.
One day Nimai came to a weaver's house. The weaver received His guest with reverence. "Bring Me a fine piece of cloth," said the Lord, and the weaver immediately produced a very good piece.
"How much will you take for this?" asked Nimai.
"Whatever You want to give," replied the weaver.
Nimai estimated the price and said, "I have no coins today."
"My dear respected brahmana," asserted the weaver, "You can give it to me in ten or fifteen days. Take this cloth and wear it. If you are satisfied, You can pay me later." The Supreme Lord cast His merciful glance on the weaver and left his place.
At the house of the milkman Nimai took advantage of His position as a brahmana. "Bring Me some milk and yogurt," said Gaurasundara. "Today I shall accept some charity from you." To the milkmen Nimai looked like Cupid personified because of His brilliant beauty. Carefully and with great reverence they seated Him comfortably and began joking with Him. Affectionately they called Him Uncle.
"Come Uncle, come to my house and take some rice," said one milkman grasping Nimai's arm as though He would take Him physically. "No, come to my house for rice. Don't You remember when You ate in my house previously?" said another jokingly.
Actually Nimai had never visited their houses except in His previous incarnation as Shri Krishna. The milkman could not know the depth of his joke, nor did Nimai reveal it. He was satisfied with His secret. The milkmen brought milk, clarified butter, yogurt, cream and curd and offered it to the Lord. The Lord was pleased with the milkmen and after blessing them He left for the house of the perfumer.
The perfume maker received the Lord with great respect and offered prayers at His lotus feet. "Dear brother, bring Me some good perfumes," said Nimai. The perfumer immediately went inside and came back with his best collection.
"What is the price?" asked Nimai.
"You know everything," replied the perfumer. "Would it be proper for me to ask payment from You? Take this perfume and use it for a few days. If the perfume suits You, You may pay me whatever You like." The perfumer smeared Nimai's body with fragrant oil and received indescribable pleasure from the service. How could he have remained unaffected while serving the beautiful body of the Lord who can attract hearts of all living entities? Nimai blessed the perfumer and went on to the house of the florist.
The florist was wonder stuck to see such an extremely charming person. He offered his obeisances to the Lord and with both respect and affection he gave Him a place to sit.
"I would like a very beautiful garland but I do not have any money with Me," said Nimai.
Noticing the signs of divinity on the Lord's person, the florist said, "You do not have to give anything." The florist then brought a beautiful garland and placed it round the Lord's neck. This pleased the Lord who began to laugh along with the disciples and students who had accompanied Him. The Lord blessed the florist and went nest to the house of the betel leaf dealer.
The pan dealer saw that he had Cupid in person as a visitor. First touching the lotus feet of the Lord, the merchant then offered Him a seat.
"It is my great fortune that you have visited this humble dwelling of mine." He then spontaneously prepared a betel pan leaf for the Lord and offered it to Him. "Why did you give Me this pan without being paid?" asked the Lord with a sweet smile.
"I simply acted on the prompting of my heart," said the pan merchant. The Lord was pleased with the merchant's simple honesty and was satisfied to chew the betel pan He had been given. The dealer made a packet containing betel leaves with other valuable tasty spices like camphor and offered it to the Lord with faith and respect. In return he received the causeless mercy of the Lord. Nimai continued to visit the people of Navadvipa in this way. Being an exact replica of Mathura, Navadvipa was an opulent town even before the advent of the Lord. Its lakhs of inhabitants busied themselves throughout the town. This was all prearranged by the desire of the Lord. Navadvipa was prepared to receive the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Just as Lord Krishna had gone through Mathura meeting the various residents, in this incarnation Lord Chaitanya had enacted the same wonderful pastime.
The Lord then visited the house of the conch shell dealer. The merchant received the Lord with great respect and offered his obeisances at the Lord's lotus feet.
"Dear brother, please bring Me a beautiful conch shell," said Nimai. The merchant delivered his most beautiful shell and offered his obeisances again, but the Lord asked, "How will I take it with Me as I am not carrying any money?"
"Respected brahmana, please take this conch shell home with You. You can pay me later, or if You do not pay me at all it does not matter." The Lord was satisfied with the conch shell dealer's affection and blessed him.
In this manner the Lord visited many houses in Navadvipa and showered each one with His mercy. Because of their great fortune, even today the residents of Navadvipa receive the shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Gaurachandra and Shri Nityananda.
The fully independent Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Gaurachandra, then went to the house of the astrologer. The astrologer saw a divine personality before him, glowing with spiritual radiance, and he humbly offered his respectful obeisances and a seat.
"I heard that you are a good astrologer," said the Lord. "Tell Me who I was in My previous birth."
The astrologer chanted his Gopala mantra and went into meditation. He saw the four-handed form of Lord Krishna with a complexion of a dark monsoon cloud. The Lord was holding a conch shell, the Sudarsana cakra, a club and a lotus in His hands. He saw the Lord bathed in divine effulgence with the kaustubha jewel around His neck and His breast marked with Shrivatsa. He then saw the prison house of Kamsa with Vasudeva and Mother Devaki holding the new born baby in the late night. Then Shri Vasudeva carried the child to Gokula for safety.
Again the astrologer saw the Lord as a charming two-handed little boy without any clothes. The jewelry around His waist tinkled sweetly with each movement and both His hands were filled with creamy butter. The astrologer saw the same divine signs on Shri Chaitanya that he had always seen on Gopala, the form of Krishna on which he meditated daily.
Once again the astrologer's vision changed and he saw the curved form of Lord Syamananda Krishna playing His flute while the gopis around Him played on different musical instruments. The wonder-struck astrologer opened his eyes to observe the beautiful form of the Lord on which he continued to meditate.
Then he prayed aloud to his worshipable Lord Shri Gopala ."O Gopala, please reveal to me the real identity of this young brahmana." The astrologer then saw in his meditation the Supreme Lord with the complexion of durba grass holding a bow in one hand while sitting on a kingly throne. Again he saw the Lord as Varaha the boar, balancing the earth between His tusks as He rose magnificently out of the ocean depths. He saw Lord Nrsimhadeva, the terrifying half-human half-lion incarnation who appeared to protect His pure devotees. Then Vamana appeared in the sacrificial arena of Bali Maharaja followed by Matsya the fish saving the Vedic scriptures from destruction in the waters of annihilation.
Within his meditation, the pious astrologer then saw Lord Balarama carrying His divine plough, and after that he saw Jagannatha and Balarama with Subhadra standing between them. All the incarnations of the Lord appeared to the astrologer, yet because of the Lord's illusory energy he could not understand the deeper meaning of his divine vision.
The astrologer was mystified and thought to himself, "Maybe this brahmana is very expert in chanting mantras for incarnations, or maybe He is some demigod in the form of a brahmana trying to amuse Himself and test me. He certainly possesses an extraordinary effulgence. Maybe He has come as an astrologer and clairvoyant to disgrace me."
The Lord interrupted his thoughts and said, "What do you see? Tell Me, who am I. Tell Me everything in detail."
"Please go now," said the confused astrologer. "Later in the afternoon when I have chanted my mantras properly I shall tell You everything." The Lord wished him well and went to the house of His dear friend, Shridhara.
The Lord was always pleased with Shridhara's behavior and He would use any excuse to visit him. They would converse confidentially and joke with each other. In this way several hours a day could be passed very happily. Shridhara offered the Lord obeisances and a seat as soon as He arrived. Shridhara's calm and mild personality stood in obvious contrast to Nimai's stormy character.
"Shridhara you are always chanting Lord Hari's name, so what is the reason for your suffering? You are serving the husband and master of Shri Laksmi Devi, the Goddess of Fortune, so why are you always in want of food and clothes?"
"I am not starving," replied Shridhara, "And as You can see, I have clothes on.
"They are neither fine clothes nor the right size, but my body is covered."
"But Shridhara," argued the Lord, "the clothes are torn in several places and I know you have neither straw nor rice in the house. Look around you. All the citizens worship Goddess Candi (Mother Durga) the destroyer of all enemies, and none of them suffer for want of food, shelter or clothing."
"You have made a good point," replied Shridhara, "but generally speaking, everyone's life is almost the same. The King may live in a palace surrounded by opulence and eat sumptuously while the birds live in the open or in a simple nest in a tree top and gather their own humble food. But basically everyone's approach to life is similar. By the Lord's design each of us must meet the demands of duty and in doing so we behave more or less alike. Personally, I prefer to live the life I am leading now."
"I am sure you have immense wealth hidden somewhere," accused the Lord, "and you are relishing opulent food in secret. Soon I will make it known to everyone, and then we will see how you continue to cheat the people."
"Come to my house, dear learned brahmana," invited Shridhara, "and see for Yourself. We should not start an argument here."
"I am not going to let you off so easily," said Nimai, "Tell Me what you are going to feed Me?"
"I make a simple living selling leaf cups," replied Shridhara. "What can I offer to give You from such an income, respected brahmana?"
"I am not going to touch Your hidden wealth now - that I will get later," assured Nimai. "But if you give Me banana root and some banana stalks right now without taking money, then I will not fight with you any more."
Shridhara thought to himself, "He is a very aggressive brahmana. Someday He might even beat me. But even if He does beat me, what can I do? I really cannot afford to give him whatever He wants free each day. But I see He has a godly form; He is not an ordinary personality by any means. If He takes my things by force or by some other tricky means, then He is free to do so. I think this is my good fortune, and in spite of my poverty I will continue to give Him whatever He wants."
Having made his decision, Shridhara answered the Lord, "Dear Brahmana, You do not have to pay me anything at all. I will give You whatever You want with an open and happy heart. Take Your bananas and other vegetables, take the leaf cups that I have, and please do not fight with me anymore."
"Yes, that is a very satisfactory agreement," said Nimai. "There should be no further fights, but please see to it that I get good quality bananas, banana stalk and radish." Daily the Lord ate with Shridhara from his leaf cups, relishing his bananas, banana stalks, radishes and Shridhara's cooking in general. When a gourd grew on Shridhara's roof top, the Lord had it cooked into a special preparation made with milk and hot spices.
One day the Lord asked, "Shridhara what do you think of Me? As soon as you tell me that, I shall return to My house."
Shridhara replied, "You are a brahmana, part and parcel of the Supreme Lord Vishnu."
"No, you do not know," said Nimai. "I belong to the community of cowherds and milk men. You see Me as a young brahmin boy, but I consider Myself to be simply a milk man."
Shridhara just smiled at the Lord's comment; he could not recognize his own Lord and master, being deluded by the Lord's internal potency.
"Shridhara, I am going to reveal to you an esoteric truth. You see the river Ganges? I am the source of the Ganga."
"O Nimai Pandita! Have You no fear in disrespecting Ganga devi like this?" asked the disturbed Shridhara. "People usually become grave and serious as they grow older, but Your frivolity seems to have doubled since Your childhood."
After staying with Shridhara for some time, Nimai Pandita returned home. He entered the temple room of Lord Vishnu and His students took that as an indication that they should also return to their homes.
Please go to the original blog entry here and contribute your valuable comments...: http://www.gaurangapada.org/blogs/viewblog.php?entry=110