All glory to the son of Jagannatha Misra and Mother Saci, and all glory to His sankirtana movement.
All glory to Lord Chaitanya, the very Life of Lord Nityananda and Gadadhara Pandita, and He is the most beloved by Advaita and Srivasa Pandita, Jagadananda Pandita and Haridasa Thakura, Vakreswara Pandita and Pundarika Vidyamidhi, Yasudeva and Srigarbha.
Be merciful O Lord! and look upon every living entity graciously. May the Lord and all His associates be glorified, for hearing about the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya one immediately attains the supreme goal of Bhakti, love of God.
Please listen intently to the narration in Madhya Khanda because they depict pastimes of Lord Chaitanya. Now hear the descriptions of Lord Chaitanya's "Mahaprakasa" lila or great revelation, for this fulfills the desire of all Vaishnavas.
The Lord manifested the glorious "Sat Praharia bhava" or Twenty one hour long devotional emotions. In this pastime He wonderfully revealed His different incarnations, extraordinary feat at feasting and freely giving away to the devotees pure love of Godhead. And all the Vaishnavas honored the Lord in a grand bathing ceremony known as "Raja Rajeswar" fit only for the most powerful Kings of the Universe.
One day Lord Gaurasundar came to Srinivasa Pandita's house accompanied by Lord Nityananda, who was beside Himself with joy. Gradually all the Vaishnavas assembled there. Lord Gaurasundara, who was then fully engrossed within Himself, looked about Him - as a regal Personality surveys His surroundings with intensely powerful glances. The devotees could perceive the Lord's mood and immediately they started loud kirtana.
On other days the Lord would dance in the ecstasy of a devotee servant of the Supreme Lord, Then changing that mood momentarily He revealed His identity as the Omnipotent Supreme Lord, that mood also would quickly change and he would again revert back to the mood of a devotee. But today, to the good luck of the assembled devotees, the Lord stood up as if to dance as usual, and instead sat on the throne of Lord Visnu.
On previous occasions the Lord would sit on Lord Visnu's throne immersed in devotional ecstasy, as if unaware of His own conduct. No so today; today He did not obfuscate His real identity with the cloak of His internal energy. But sat on the throne continuously for twenty one hours. The devotees stood in front of Him with folded hands and hearts effervescent with joy. It was a wonderful sight the devotees were fully content, they spontaneously expressed that it felt like they were in Vaikuntha.
And so it was, The Lord also sat amidst all like the Lord of Vaikuntha and everyone present there became totally free from the influence of the illusory material potency.
Lord Chaitanya instructed, "Sing that bathing song". THe devotees were very pleased and they began to sing. The Lord gently swayed His head sideways in time with the song and showered the devotees with His merciful glances. The devotees now could service the Lord's mood and they desired to perform His `abhiset' or bathing ceremony.
The devotees brought water from the Ganga. First they strained the Ganga water. Then they added musk, sandal pasted, saffron and camphor into it proportionately, preparing everything with increasing love of the Lord.
They began the ceremony with jubilant shouts and started chanting appropriate mantras.
Lord Nityananda was the first to pour water on the Lord's head, He kept repeating "Jaya, jaya" as He did so with great pleasure. Other leading devotees like Adviata Acarya and Srivasa Pandita bathed the Lord, chanting the famous "Purasa Sukta" prayers. The devotees of Lord Gauranga are very well versed in the science of the scriptures and of chanting Vedic hymns, so they poured water accompanying it with mantras.
Mukunda and others were singing sweetly the bathing ceremony song and other devotees wept or danced with overwhelming happiness. The upright and chaste wives were uluating with joy. The entire assembly was immersed in an ocean of bliss. The Lord of Vaikuntha Lord Gauranga remained seated and the devotees one by one poured water on His head bathing the Lord. Usually on such religious occasions.
pots of water were supposed to be required but today it far exceeded that number.
Even the demigods came there not wanting to miss the opportunity to make more spiritual progress, but were disguised so as not to be recognized.
Where even a drop of water offered to the Lord's lotus feet, that also in meditation, is sufficient to ward off punishment given out by the God of death, What to speak about the good fortune of the people who were able to bathe the Lord directly, who were present there in person.
All the servants and maid servants in Srivasa Pandita's house were also engaged in bringing water for the Lord. The wonderful result that one enjoys from serving the Lord was amply proved by one incident. One of the maid servants, a pious woman named "Dukkhi" (sad), was one of the water carriers. The Lord saw her actively engaged and told her, "Bring, bring more," the Lord was so impressed with her devotional service attitude that He changed her name to `Sukhi' or happy, indicating He had taken away her distress.
Having bathed the Lord. Accompanied with the chanting of the Vedic mantras, the devotees dried the Lord's body. They dressed Him in fresh new clothes and smeared His transcendental and exquisite body with fragrant sandal wood paste. They cleaned Lord Visnu's throne and arranged everything properly and the Lord sat on the throne which was truly His. Lord Nityananda held the umbrella over the Lord's head, while one of the more fortunate devotees began to whisk the Lord with the `camara'. The devotees collected the paraphernalia for offering worship to the Lord and began to worship Him.
Their offering tray was packed with ckaranamrita, fruits, acamani, inscence, fragrant oil, lamp, new clothes, brahmanas thread etc. As customary they worshiped Him with sixteen ingredients. Applying sandal wood paste on Tulasi manjaris they offered it at His lotus feet. The Gopala mantra consisting of ten syllables was chanted while they offered worship, following strictly the rules of this particular worship. All the devotees were offering their prayers to Him.
All the stalwart associates of the Lord, like Advaita Acarya Prabhu fell before the Lord's feet like rods and offered full obeisances to Him. All the devotees were experiencing spiritual love for the Supreme Lord and tears cascading down their cheeks mingled and flowed like a river. They constantly chanted verses eulogizing the Lord, and the Lord heard everything with great satisfaction.
They prayed "All glory to the Lord of the Universe, kindly direct Your merciful glance on this world now ablaze with the three fold suffering. All glory to the Original cause of everything, the Maintainer of everyone, You have advented to inaugurate the congregational chanting to the holy name. You establish the Savatam Dharma of the Vedas and You are the Protector of the pious, the Original Soul of all the fourteen worlds.
All glory to Lord Chaitanya for He is the redeemer of the most fallen souls, an ocean of transcendental qualities, the Supreme Shelter of the meek and poor. All glory to Lord Chaitanya who is Vrajendra nandana Krishna and who expands to Lard Visnu and lies on the ocean of milk like Ksirodakasaji Visnu, He appears as an incarnation for the pleasure of His devotees.
All glory to Lord Gauranga who is the Original and Absolute inconceivable, unprecievabl. He is always transcendentally situated, the compassionate Supreme Person. All glory to Lord Chaitanya. He was born in a family of Brahmanas as the crest jewel of this class as well as to liberate the entire brahmana population; He is the origin of the Vedic religion the life and soul of every living entity. All glory to Lord Chaitanya who saved Arjuna from an inglorious death and He gave liberation to the demoness Putana. All glory to Lord Chaitanya who never sees the faults of living entities, He is the husband of the Goddess of fortune." With such chosen words the devotees praised the Lord.
The Lord's servitors were drowning in an ocean of bliss seeing Lord Chaitanya manifest this extraordinary mood. The Lord mercifully removed the veil of maya from everyone's heart and offered His lotus feet to be worshiped by His devoted servitors. Some devotees brought sweetly perfumed oil and smeared it on the Lord's lotus feet, other's worshiped Him with an offering of tender tulasi leaves. Again more came offering precious gems, gold and silver ornaments and paid obeisances at His feet. Many valuable gifts were offered to the Lord, white, blue and bright yellow silken clothes, a variety of precious metal containers were placed in offering at the lotus feet of the Lord, the gifts were countless.
All the household servants in Srivas Pandita's house by dint of serving a pure Vaishnava now could directly serve Lord GauraChandra's lotus feet, Whose lotus feet are desired by all, even Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and Laksmi devi aspire for that mere opportunity.
They offered many items of worship to the Lord without fear or hesitation, the Lord having removed His reverential mood. They brought unhusked rice, tulasi, durba grass, musk, saffron, camphor and varieties of fruits, fragrant blossoms, sandal wood and placed them at His lotus feet. Each one worshiped according to his heart's inclination following different rules of worship.
Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord of Vaikuntha, exhibited another of His extra ordinary pastimes. He said to the devotees, "Get Me something I want to eat" and held out His hand. Whatever the devotees offered He ate it.
The different Vaishnavas brought a variety of foodstuff to eat, banana, mung dhal, yogurt, sweet condensed milk, butter, milk. They gave it in the Lord's hands and He undisturbed ate everything. Some of the devotees hurried to the market and rushed back with the choicest articles. They offered the Lord coconuts, a variety of milk sweets, in huge quantities, black berries, green melons, sugar cane. Some even brought water from the Ganga; The Lord ate everything. Seeing the Lord was happily eating everything they offered, they generous helpings of more delicacies many times over. Hundreds of devotees gave gallons of Ganges water and the Lord, Who is the Greatest of the Mystics drank all.
Hundreds of barrels of yogurt, sweet condensed milk, milk, hundreds of bunches of bananas; huge amounts of `mung dhal'; mountains of milk sweet preparations, camphor, betel, fruits and nuts were instantly consumed by the Lord in front of the amazed and gaping devotees.
The Lord contentedly ate everything offered to Him and in turn He revealed all the details of the devotees past life. When the devotees heard their individual stories they remembered their earlier days and fell to the ground in ecstasy.
The Lord addressed Srivasa Panidta, "Do you remember, you use to hear lectures on the Srimad Bhagavat at Devananda Pandita's house. Every line of the Bhagavatm is saturated with the nectar of divine love of Godhead, and so your heart melted on hearing those recitations of Bhagavatm. You had cried loudly and had fallen unconscious to the ground. The neophyte and ignorant students there, not knowledgeable in the matters of "Bhakti yoga", could not understand the reason for your extraordinary behavior.
You were engrossed within Yourself in the ecstasy of love of Krishna oblivious of the external world and so did not know as they had carried you out of their door outside. Devananda Pandita, their teacher, witnessed the entire happening without dissuading his students. Since he himself was inexperienced in the science of Krishna consciousness, it is expected that his students will also be like him. On waking and finding yourself outside on the street you picked yourself up and returned home feeling sad.
Your sadness persisted and so you preferred to be alone; you desired to read the Bhagavatm again. Seeing your sorrowful state I descended from Vaikuntha into your heart and made you weep with the ecstatic emotions of your love for Me. You experienced happiness again reading the Bhagavatm and submerged with your tears the place you were siting in".
When Srivasa Pandita heard this he was overcome with emotions and he fell to the ground crying and drooling breathing fast and heavily. In this way the Lord spoke to Advaita Acarya Prabhu and different devotees and brought back to them recollection of their earlier days. He submerged the devotees in an ocean of bliss while He sat on His throne chewing betel leaf. The devotees danced and performed kirtana singing, "Jaya Sacinananda" all glory to the son of Mother Saci.
If perchance a devotee is absent immediately the Lord had him brought before Him. He put His hand out and would say to him, "Give Me something to eat", And whatever was offered to Him by them He ate it all. Then the Lord would say, "Do you remember that night I came to you as a doctor sat next to your bed, I had cured your fever". On hearing this from the Lord the devotees would fall down overwhelmed by uncontrolled spiritual emotions.
Seeing Gangadas the Lord said, "Can your mind recall. That night you were escaping from the Muslim king fearing capture? Your whole family was accompanying you and what you arrived at the ferry stand there were no boats, you were in a great dilemma. The night was turning to dawn and still no boats were in sight you began weeping in anxiety. You shuddered at the thought that the Muslims might molest your family in your presence and so it was better to drown in the Ganges, you thought.
At that moment I appeared as a boat man rowing a boat towards you. Your spirits lifted seeing the approaching boat. You spoke to Me, the boatman with affection saying, "My dear brother, please take me across, I surrender my body, wealth, life, everything to you I solely depend upon you, here is a couple of rupees for your endeavor, take me and my family to safety.
Then I ferried you and your family across and returned to My eternal Vaikuntha abode.
Gangadas was carried on the waves of blissful ecstasy from hearing the Lord, such are the wonderful pastimes of Lord Gaurasundara. The Lord continued, "Do you recall that incident, you were so worried you were so worried, and I came to your rescue and brought you across". Gangadasa unable to contain himself further fell to the ground rolling in ecstasy.
Lord Chaitanya, the Lord of Vaikuntha is sitting on His throne, His body covered with sandal wood paste and nicely decorated with fragrant flower garlands. One of His dear servants is fanning Him, another is arranging His hair, some other is preparing betel and offering it to Him, many of them were dancing in ecstasy around Him.
How the entire day passed and how the darkness of night stole in went unnoticed. Realizing that it was night the devotees got busy lighting up the lamps and they offered the lamps in worship at the Lord's lotus feet. They began to perform kirtana playing kartal, gongo, conch shell, mrdanga drum and string instruments. The Lord continued sitting in a benevolent mood but remained silent, in spite of the devotees various activities.
Devotees offered different kinds of flowers at His lotus feet and prostrated themselves before Him saying, `O Lord protect me'. Some devotees prayed to the Lord with great humility others were singing loudly in praise of the Lord; the sound of jubilant crying was the only thing one could hear.
Everyone present experienced such an indescribable and wonderful elated feeling right at this moment that everyone joining the assembly felt like immediately being transformed tot he Vaikunthas. In this way the Lord exhibited a mood of Supreme opulence while all the devotees stood circling the Lord with folded hands in reverence.
Lord Gaurasundara behaved in a casual manner with His disciple placing His lotus feet on them and in this manner He performed His transcendental pastimes. Lord Gaurasundara was in His munificent mood ready to disburse boons to His devotees, and the devotees remained surrounding Him with folded hands. The Lord showered His causeless mercy on everyone as He performed the pastime of twenty one hour ecstasy.
The Lord then ordered, "Go and bring Sridhara, immediately, let him see My opulence. He is constantly thinking about Me in separation. I want him to come right away. Go to the outskirts of the town and sit there waiting for anyone that calls for Me and bring them here to Me." The Vaishnavas rushed to fulfill the Lord's order and went in the direction of Sridhar's residence.
Now hear some stories about Sridhar, how he made a living from selling "khola" (the trunk of the banana tree). He buys the khola joint and then cutting it into short pieces he sells them. Whatever in a day half of it he spend in buying offering for mother Ganga. With the other half he uses to maintain himself. This is the test of a true devotee of the Supreme Lord.
Sridhar is a very honest and truthful person, like Yudhisthira Maharaj, he always quotes the correct price of his wear and never once vacillates from it. Those who know this fact buys from him at the price he quotes. In this humble way this great soul lives in Nabadwip, known to people only as the `khola seller'; his real self was unknown to all. He would spend the entire night engrossed in chanting the holy name of Krishna, forgetting everything including sleep.
The atheistic neighbors protested saying, "we cannot sleep in the night, Sridhar's screaming shatters the eardrums. That poor vagabond cannot fill his body and so now in the night he is kept awake by the pangs of hunger."
The atheistic neighbors invited sure doom for themselves in speaking in this manner, but Sridhara continued his spiritual activities unperturbed and remained always joyful. He loudly chanted the holy name all night long with overflowing love for Krishna.
The devotees who had gone to find Sridhara had covered only half of the way to his house, and could already hear his loud chanting. Following the voice they came to Sridhara's house. They said to him, "Please come with us O holy one and meet Lord Chaitanya, we are greatly blessed being in your august presence."
When Sridhara heard the mention of Lord Chaitanya he became overwhelmed with ecstatic feelings and feel unconscious to the ground. Quickly the devotees picked him up, and they very slowly and gently led him to the Lord.
Lord Chaitanya was extremely happy to see Sridhara and called out loud and warm invitations to him saying, "Come, come, You have amply worshiped Me, many lifetimes you spent in My devotional service. In this life you have rendered abundant devotional service, I have tasted your `khola' countless times. Many times I took different things from your hands, you have forgotten the verbal exchanges we had."
When Lord Chaitanya was manifesting His pastimes as a scholar, He acted bold and insolent. During this time hiding His real identity the Lord would daily enjoy Sridar's company under the pretext of bargaining with him. He would go to his shop and purchase banana, spathe etc. Daily they argue about the price for several hours and finally the Lord returned with His purchases bought at half the actual price. The truthful Sridhar always quoted the correct price but Lord picked the goods Himself and paid only half price. Then this would excite Sridhar, he would jump up and try to take the goods back from the Lord.
The Lord would then say, "Why my dear brother Sridhar! You are a renounced person, I think you are very rich. Then why do you try to snatch away these things from My hand. I am also surprised that in all this time you do not know who I am."
The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Chaitanya saw there was no trace of anger on Sridhar's face and so He snatched away the articles.
Lord Gaurasundara was looking so beautiful that He could captivate even Cupid's mind. His fine forehead was decorated with radiant urdhapurdra tilaka marks. He wore the dhoti in a most attractive manner tucking it in three different places, His earrings were nicely designed and slightly slanting. The Lord's temperamental and eyes were both extremely agile and restless. The shining white brahmin thread goes elegantly around His shoulder; Lord Ananta Sesha has accepted this very thin form of a brahmin thread to decorate the Lord. He smiled at Sridhara with cherry lips reddened from chewing betel and again picked up the articles.
Sridhara said to the Lord, "Listen O Brahmana, please forgive me this time. I am just Your dog". The Lord replied, "I know you, you are very cunning. You have saved much money selling these banana spathes". Then Sridhara spoke, "Are there not any other shops besides mine, please purchase from there at a cheaper rate."
Lord Chaitanya said, "I do not want to so easily abandon a steady supplier like you, give me these spathes and take the money for it." Sridhara was helpless against Visvambhara's charm and so he smiled at Him captivated by His extraordinary beauty, while Visvambhara continued His harangue being very pleased with His eternal associate and devotee Sridhara.
Lord Chaitanya said, "Every day you buy offerings for Mother Ganga, then why can you not sell me your things at a discount? I am the father of Mother Ganga you worship daily, this truth I am revealing to you."
Sridhara shocked at hearing this covered his ears with his palms and repeated Lord, Visnu's name, and seeing that Visvambhara was in an insolent mood gave Him the banana spathes. In this way the Lord bargained and fought with Sridhara everyday; Sridhara thought of the boy as a very restless young brahmana boy.
Sridhara finally agreed, "I give in to you, I will give you something free of cost, but then please leave me alone. What will I lose if I give away a piece of banana spathe, a banana flower and a slice of banana root?
Lord Chaitanya replied, "Good, good that is enough, do not give anymore," the Lord daily ate dishes prepared with Sridhara's gifts. The Lord loves to receive gifts from His devotees. He would never ask for anything from a nondevotee.
The Lord desired to perform this pastime and so by His arrangement he had Sridhara sell `khola' who can understand these transcendental exchanges between the Supreme Lord and His devotee. No one can perceive these super mundane activities without the blessings of the Lord, this fact is being reminded by the Lord.
The Lord Chaitanya said, "O Sridhara, behold My beauty, today I will bestow you with eight mystic perfections".
The great devotee Sridhara lifted up his head and saw that Lord Visvambhara had changed His complexion and become as dark as the bark of the Tamal tree, He was holding a flute in His hands and on His right stood Lord Balarama and the entire scene was engulfed in a glowing radiance.
He saw Lord Brahma and Lord Siva approach their Lordships and offering lotus and betel they began reciting verses in praise of the Supreme Lord. Lord Ananta Sesha standing behind the Lord His hood above the Lord's head like am umbrella, and saintly personalities like Sameka, Narada and Sukla deva Gosvami offered prayers to the Lord. All around the beautiful heavenly damsels sang glorifying the Lord with folded hands.
Sridhara seeing this wonder of wonders was so astounded that in the next moment he slumped to the ground. The Lord called out Sridhara's name asking him to rise, Sridhara on hearing the Lord's command awoke from his swoon and stood up.
Lord Chaitanya instructed Sridhara, "Sridhara, say something glorifying Me". Sridhara replied, "Dear Lord I am an illiterate and foolish, what intelligence do I possess to glorify Your Lordship". But the Lord said, "Anything you speak is always glorifying Me."
By the Lord's order Mother Saraswati the Goddess of learning, now presided over Sridghara's power of speech, and Sridhara began to glorify the Lord.
"All glory, all glory to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, all glory to Lord Visvambhara, the Lord of Nabadwip
All glory to the Lord of the entire cosmic manifestation, all glory to the son of Mother Saci, Visvambhara
All glory to Lord Chaitanya whose incarnation and activities are a mystery even in the Vedas, he has appeared as the best of the brahmanas, He appears in every millennium to uphold religious principles taking different forms
Secretly you went about the town managing and maintaining everything, Your real identity unknown to all, and it is impossible for anyone to know Your real self without Your mercy."
"O Lord You are the religious Principles, the prescribed duties, the devotion- al service, knowledge, scriptures, the Vedas and the object of all meditation. You are the mystic perfections, the ever increasing opulence, the enjoying spirit, the path of mystic yoga. You are the faith in man, benevolence, illusion, and greed. You are Indra, the king of heaven, the moon, fire, water. You are the sun, the air, wealth and strength, devotion, liberation; You are Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. O Lord, You are not in need of anything because everything belongs to You."
You had told me earlier that mother Ganga I worship has emanated from Your lotus feet and yet due to my sinful heart I would not recognize You, I had no realization of Your Supreme position. You are the same Supreme Personality who had preciously blessed Gokula with Your appearance and now have again incarnated as the sweet Lord of Nabadwip.
You are the embodiment of the highest esoteric process, that same devotional science You have propagated all over Nabadwip.
Bhisma defeated You (making You break Your promise) in battle because of his devotional service, and for the same reason Mother Yasoda bound You.
Satyabhama devi could once sell You her, husband Lord Krishna, because of her desire and love for You; captivated by the love of Your devotees You carried the young cowherd boys on Your shoulders.
The entire living creation carries and cherishes Your thoughts in their hearts, yet You carried Sridham on Your shoulders. It is a great secret and mystery how You are defeated by Your devotees.