|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Other Scriptures by Acharyas > Navadvipa Krishna Chaitanya Holy Land > Parikrama Places > Krishna Caitanya's Appearance Place|
Shri Krishna Chaitanya's Appearance Place
The glorious appearance place of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is located on the island of Shri Antardwip. Before the time of the Lord's birth, this area was known as Nadia. Later, after the Lord's birth, it became known as Navadwip. It is today known as Mayapur.The central point of Shri Gaura Mandala is Shri Navadwip Dham. The central point of Shri Navadwip Dham is Shridham Mayapur. At the center of Shridham Mayapur is a vortex which is the appearance place of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Yoga Pith. Shri Antardwip is within Shridham Mayapur and it spreads up to Bharadvaja Tila, some portions of Vamana Pukara, Shri Mayapur, Ganga Nagara, and Shri Chand Kazi's Samadhi. The house of Shri Jagannatha Misra, the father of Mahaprabhu, was at Vamana Pukara.During the excavation of Mayapur by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saras-wati Thakur Prabhupada in 1934, a smali four-armed Deity of Adhok-saja Vishnu was discovered. This was the worshipable Deity of Shri Jagannatha Misra, and this murti can still be seen on the central altar in front of the Deities Gaura-Narayana, with Vishnupriya on His left and Laksmipriya on His right. On the left hand altar are the Deities Shri Shri Radha-Madhava and Shri Krishna Chaitanyadeva along with Jagannatha. On the right hand altar are Panca Tattva Deities.Before this majestic temple was built, the temple of Shri Jagannath Misra once stood. To the right you can see a wonderful neem tree. Under the shelter of such a tree at this place Lord Nimai appeared as the son of Jagannath Misra and Shrimati Sacidevi. Shrimati Sacidevi was a devout and chaste lady, fixed in religious principles and devoted to her husband. She was the personification of mercy. Shrimati Sacidevi previously had given birth to eight daughters who had died. She then gave birth to Nimai's older brother, Visvarupa. Shri Visvarupa was an extraordinary boy who was extremely knowledgeable in the scriptures. He was peaceful by nature. He always served and offered respect to others. Visvarupa was a beautiful child who had no interest in sense enjoyment. His only interest was devotional service.
On the 23rd Phalguna of 1407, Sakabda year, or by the Western calendar, March 14,1486, a full moon lunar eclipse occurred on Holi. Millions of devotees stood in the Ganges River while loudly chanting Hari Nama. Within this extremely auspicious atmosphere, Lord Krishna, having the beautiful molten gold color and the sublime transcendental mood of His beloved Shrimati Radharani, incarnated in the womb of Shrimati Sacidevi as Shri Krishna Chaitanya.
The Lord, even before taking birthTinitiated His Hari Nama San-kirtan movement. Astrologers had foretold of the exact time of the lunar eclipse and the inhabitants of Nadia were constantly chanting the names of Krishna. Chanting as they walked, thousands of people made their way to the Ganges to bathe. People who never had chanted the names of Krishna found themselves walking to the Ganges chanting His names.
Lord Chaitanya remained in His mother's womb for a full 14 months. Then by His mystic potency, Yogamaya arranged a full lunar eclipse at the time of His birth. Millions of people crowded the Ganges, loudly chanting the names of Krishna. The old, the young, the ignorant, the knowledgeable, the pious, the impious, the sinful, the sinless - everybody was chanting the Holy Names of Krishna when the Lord appeared during the full lunar eclipse. The names Gopal, Govinda, Gopinatha, Giridhari, Shyamasundara, Madan-mohan, Madhusudana, Hari, Yadava, Madhava, Keshava, Narayana, Jagannath and the ecstatic chanting of:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
were the only sounds that one could hear. The father of Shrimati Sacidevi, Shrila Nilambar Cakravarti, was a famous scholar, logician and astrologer. By his astrological calculations, he determined that his grandson Nimai was an exalted personality. He therefore named Him Visvambhara, the sustainer of the universe. The ladies of the neighborhood, after presenting Him with gifts and blessing Him, called Him Gaurahari because of His beautiful golden complexion. His mother called Him Nimai because of the neem tree under which He was born, and His father called Him Gauranga. As a baby He often cried. But as soon as anyone would snap their fingers and chant "Hari! Haribol!", Nimai would immediately stop crying and would laugh.Practically speaking, as soon as Nimai was born He began incessantly crying. Although His mother, father and all His relatives and friends tried many things to get Him to stop, He would not stop crying. But as soon as someone chanted the names of Krishna, He would stop crying and break into a big, beaming smile. So everyone who visited the house of Sacidevi and Jagannath Misra would chant the names of Krishna to insure that Nimai would not cry.In the first year of His birth, on the occasion of the anna prasana ceremony, items like rice, gold, jewels, silver and a copy of Shrimad-Bhagavatam were placed before Him. Nimai crawled directly to the Shrimad-Bhagavatam and took it within His arms in preference to the other mundane articles.
He once sat on the hood of a cobra, much to the shock of His parents. At another time He was carried away on the back of a thief and received a tour of the village. Sometimes, pretending to be sick, He would display ecstatic symptoms of love of Godhead. At times Nimai would sprinkle the local pandits with water after they had finished their baths, and thus caused them to take bath again. These pandits complained to Jagannath Misra who went to the Ganges to catch Nimai red-handed and punish Him. But Nimai was not there. That night Jagannath Misra in a dream saw a heavenly being who warned him not to punish or chastise Nimai because He was not an ordinary boy. Shri Jagannath Misra in his dream replied to the heavenly being that whether Nimai was a supernatural being or the Supreme Lord Himself, as a father it was his duty to educate his son in proper manners, and he would do that in every way. The heavenly being, smiling and pleased, blessed Jagannath Misra.
The young girls of the village also complained to Sacimata that when they brought flowers, incense and ghee lamps to do puja to Ganga devi, Nimai would steal the offerings for Himself. Sometimes He ate clay instead of the sweets His mother had prepared for Him. Once Sacimata caught Him eating clay and snatched it from Him. Sacidevi demanded to know why Nimai was eating clay. Nimai cleverly replied that milk sweets were nothing but clay transformed, so why couldn't He eat clay. His mother, being the daughter of a logician, quickly explained that earth in the form of a jug could be used as a water pot, but in the form of a brick it could not. In the same manner, earth, in the form of milk sweets could be used as food, and earth in the form of clay could be used as a water pot. Nimai understood and never ate clay again. Nimai once sat atop a pile of earthen pots that were thrown away after cooking, and His mother, thinking they were contaminated, implored Him to please come down.
Once on Ekadashi day, Nimai appeared at a devotee's house and ate all the bhoga preparations meant for Lord Krishna. Once a brahmana who was making a pilgrimage arrived at the house of Jagannath Misra. After accepting Jagannath Misra's invitaiton, the brahmana prepared an offering for his worshipable Deity, Bala Gopal. As he was pronouncing his mantras, Nimai entered the room and ate up all the sweet rice. The brahmana opened his eyes and was mortified. Jagannath Misra apologized for Nimai's behavior and requested the brahmana to again cook and make an offeringfor his Deity. The brahmana was appeased, and he again cooked. No1 sooner had he pronounced his mantras for a second time, Nimai appeared, took a handful of the milk sweets, and ran from the room. The brahmana became morose. Visvarupa, with kind words and gentle demeanor, again supplied fresh articles to the brahmana and persuaded him to cook for a third time by promising to keep his brother under lock and key.
When the brahmana finally finished his cooking it was very late. Everyone was fast asleep. The brahmana felt relieved that he could at last finally feed his worshipable Deity Bala Gopal. With great patience he uttered the Gopal mantra, and at that exact moment, Nimai appeared. He smiled and asked the brahmana why he was uttering the Gopal mantra and offering food to Him if he did not want Him to eat it! Then Nimai showed the brahmana an eight-armed Bala Gopal form, which transported the brahmana into an ocean of ecstasy. Nimai then cautioned the brahmana to not reveal His identity to anyone. The brahmana thereafter remained in Shridham Navadwip and regularly visited the house of Shri Jagannath Misra. These are some of the sweet and intimate pastimes that Lord Nimai performed during His early childhood, from infancy up to the age of six. At the age of seven, His father dutifully had the sacred thread ceremony performed for his son, and Nimai attained twice-born status. When He was eight years old, His father admitted Him to the school of Gangadas Pandit in Ganganagar. His classmates were Shri Gadadhara, Svarupa Damodara, Jagadananda, Mukunda and others. In only two years, Nimai mastered all the intricacies of Sanskrit grammar, philosophy and rhetoric. After that, at the age often, Nimai returned home and continued His learning by studying all the Vedic literatures in His father's library. His study included nyaya and such books as Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Shri Bhagavad-gita, and all the Puranas and Upanisads.
When Nimai was about 12 years old, His elder brother, Visvarupa understood that his mother and father were planning his marriage. He thus suddenly left home and accepted the sannyasa ashram and took the name of Sankararanya. This broke the heart of Sacidevi and Jagannath Misra who both fell into an ocean of grief. These events deeply effected Nimai and, after this, He became extremely sober. He concentrated all His attention on consoling His parents, who were filled with agony, and on studying the sacred Vedic literatures.When Nimai was 13, His father suddenly left this world. His mother fell into an ocean of misery. Nimai with great love and affection, sweetly consoled His widowed mother. Shrimati Sacidevi, receiving the Lord's mercy, soon put her sorrows behind her and devoted herself to the loving service of her fatherless child.
When Nimai was 14, while walking along the banks of the Ganges, He met His eternal consort, Laksmipriya devi, the daughter of Valla-bhacarya. The Shri Gaura Ganoddessa Dipika reveals Laksmipriya as an incarnation of Laksmi devi. Lord Chaitanya married her, but after only four years, Laksmipriya devi, by the will of the Lord, left this world.
In Treta-yuga during Krishna's incarnation as Lord Rama, Sita devi appeared with Him. Mother Sita had a very difficult time in this incarnation because Lord Rama, directly after Their marriage, was banished to the forest to live as a hermit. As His wife, She chose to accompany Him along with Rama's younger brother, Laksman, who is the incarnation of Balaramji. Once while living in the forest, She requested Lord Rama to capture a wonderful golden deer. Rama immediately left and kept Laksman to guard Sita. By a demon's trick, Sita was fooled into thinking Rama was in danger, and She accused Laksman of desiring Lord Rama's death to Her for himself. Laksman-ji became seriously offended. Wicked Ravana then kidnapped Sita and forcibly carried Her to Lanka and kept Her a prisoner. Of course, he could not capture the real Sita devi, but he captured a mayic expansion which resembled the real Sita devi. But others thought a man other than Her husband had touched Her, and they considered as not being totally pure. Thus as soon as Lord Rama and His army defeated Ravana and rescued Sita, Sita was forced, alone and unprotected, into exile in the forest.
So for all these reasons Sita devi requested Lord Rama to give Her the opportunity to serve Him again in another pastime. Lord Rama told Her that in Kali-yuga, when He would appear in His golden form as Gauranga, She would have Her desire fulfilled as His wife. Thus She appeared again as Vishnupriya devi, who became the Lord's wife when He was 18.Just before this time, Nimai Pandit formed a school of His own, and He began preaching and teaching Krishna bhakti to His students. At 17, He travelled to Gaya and took Vaishnava diksa from Shri Isvara Puri, the disciple of the great maha-bhagavata Shri Madhavendra Puri of the Brahma Madhva Vaishnava Sampradaya.
Upon returning from Gaya, Nimai revealed Himself as having completely changed. Nimai Pandit now acted as a great devotee of the Lord. Advaita Acarya, Shrivas Pandit, Jagadish, and others, who already were Vaishnavas before the appearance of Mahaprabhu, were amazed at the profound transformation that occurred in Nimai Pandit. No more did He act as a sVnarta pandit, a pedantic logician, or the wrangling rhetorician who so effortlessly had humbled the great pandit Keshava Misra from Kashmir.
Now Nimai would swoon upon hearing the name of Krishna. He would faint at hearing the sound of a flute or a cow's moo. He would fall unconscious when He was a Deity of Krishna.
At this time Nimai inaugurated His sankirtan movement in the courtyard of the house of Shrivas Pandit. There, with His sincere followers, He practiced Krishna bhakti and sang and danced while exhibiting the eight-fold symptoms of ecstatic emotions. During this time, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, who was waiting in Shri Vrindavan Dham for the Lord to begin His sankirtan movement, learned that Mahaprabhu was in Shri Navadwip Dham. Nityananda then immediately came to join the Lord's pastimes. During this period, Keshava Kashmiri was defeated, Jagai and Madhai were redeemed, and the Chand Kazi was delivered.
All these transcendental pastimes culminated when Nimai was 24. At that time Nimai exhibited His detachment and left His elderly mother and beautiful wife. He crossed the river Ganges late one night and travelled 25 miles to the city of Katwa and accepted sannyasa from Keshava Bharati. He, at that time, received the transcendental name Shri Krishna Chaitanya.Of the many confidential and esoteric reasons for the appearance of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, four are of major importance. First, He appeared to spread the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of Krishna, which is the yuga dharma, the religion of this age. Second, He appeared to freely distribute, as was never done before, love of God.Thirdly, He appeared because of the powerful supplications of Shri Advaita Acarya, who worshiped the Supreme Lord in His form of saligram sila with Tulasi manjaris and Ganges water. Advaita Acarya loudly would roar the Holy Names of Krishna and would call for the Supreme Lord to descend and deliver the fallen.
Fourth, the Supreme Lord Krishna wanted to fulfill three confidential desires of His own. First, He wished to taste the super-excellent unalloyed love that Shrimati Radharani has for Him. Second, He wished to enjoy the transcendental sweetness that Shrimati Radharani experiences when serving Him. Third, He wished to know what kind of ecstasy Shrimati Radharani enjoyed through Her love for Him. To remember these wonderful pastimes and worship and to honor the places where they took place is the highest austerity