Sri Caitanya Caritamrita

Chapter 16: The Lord's Attempt to Go to Vrindavana

Text* 1: By the nectar of His personal glance, the cloud known as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu poured water upon the garden of Gauḍa-deśa and revived the people, who were like creepers and plants burning in the forest fire of material existence.
Text* 2: All glories to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityānanda! All glories to Advaitacandra! And all glories to all the devotees of the Lord!
Text* 3: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu decided to go to Vṛndāvana, and Mahārāja Pratāparudra became very morose upon hearing this news.
Text* 4: The King therefore called for Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and Rāmānanda Rāya, and he spoke the following submissive words to them.
Text* 5: Pratāparudra Mahārāja said, “Please endeavor to keep Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu here at Jagannātha Purī, for now He is thinking of going elsewhere.
Text* 6: “Without Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, this kingdom is not pleasing to me. Therefore please try to devise some plan to enable the Lord to stay here.”
Text* 7: After this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself consulted Rāmānanda Rāya and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, saying, “I shall go to Vṛndāvana.”
Text* 8: Rāmānanda Rāya and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya requested the Lord to first observe the Ratha-yātrā festival. Then when the month of Kārttika arrived, He could go to Vṛndāvana.
Text* 9: However, when the month of Kārttika came, they both told the Lord, “Now it is very cold. It is better that You wait to see the Dola-yātrā festival and then go. That will be very nice.”
Text* 10: In this way they both presented many impediments, indirectly not granting the Lord permission to go to Vṛndāvana. They did this because they were afraid of separation from Him.
Text* 11: Although the Lord is completely independent and no one can check Him, He still did not go without the permission of His devotees.
Text* 12: Then, for the third year, all the devotees of Bengal wanted to return again to Jagannātha Purī.
Text* 13: All the Bengali devotees gathered around Advaita Ācārya, and in great jubilation the Ācārya departed for Jagannātha Purī to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text* 14-15: Although the Lord told Nityānanda Prabhu to stay in Bengal and spread ecstatic love of God, Nityānanda left to go see Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Who can understand Nityānanda Prabhu’s ecstatic love?
Text* 16-17: All the devotees of Navadvīpa departed, including Ācāryaratna, Vidyānidhi, Śrīvāsa, Rāmāi, Vāsudeva, Murāri, Govinda and his two brothers and Rāghava Paṇḍita, who took bags of assorted foods. The inhabitants of Kulīna-grāma, carrying silken ropes, also departed.
Text* 18: Narahari and Śrī Raghunandana, who were from the village of Khaṇḍa, and many other devotees also departed. Who can count them?
Text* 19: Śivānanda Sena, who was in charge of the party, made arrangements to clear the tax collecting centers. He took care of all the devotees and happily traveled with them.
Text* 20: Śivānanda Sena took care of all the necessities the devotees required. In particular, he made arrangements for residential quarters, and he knew the roads of Orissa.
Text* 21: That year all the devotees’ wives [ṭhākurāṇīs] also went to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Sītādevī, the mother of Acyutānanda, went with Advaita Ācārya.
Text* 22: Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita also took his wife, Mālinī, and the wife of Śivānanda Sena also went with her husband.
Text* 23: Caitanya dāsa, the son of Śivānanda Sena, also jubilantly accompanied them as they went to see the Lord.
Text* 24: The wife of Candraśekhara [Ācāryaratna] also went. I cannot describe the greatness of Candraśekhara’s love for the Lord.
Text* 25: To offer Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu various types of food, all the wives of the great devotees brought from home various dishes that pleased Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text* 26: As stated, Śivānanda Sena made all arrangements for the party’s necessities. In particular, he pacified the men in charge of levying taxes and found resting places for everyone.
Text* 27: Śivānanda Sena also supplied food to all the devotees and took care of them along the way. In this way, feeling great happiness, he went to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī.
Text* 28: When they all arrived at Remuṇā, they went to see Lord Gopīnātha. In the temple there, Advaita Ācārya danced and chanted.
Text* 29: All the priests of the temple had been previously acquainted with Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu; therefore they all came to offer great respects to the Lord.
Text* 30: That night, all the great devotees remained in the temple, and the priests brought twelve pots of condensed milk, which they placed before Lord Nityānanda Prabhu.
Text* 31: When the condensed milk was placed before Nityānanda Prabhu, He distributed the prasādam to everyone, and thus everyone’s transcendental bliss increased.
Text* 32: They then all discussed the story of Śrī Mādhavendra Purī’s installation of the Gopāla Deity, and they discussed how Gopāla begged sandalwood from him.
Text* 33: It was Gopīnātha who stole condensed milk for the sake of Mādhavendra Purī. This incident had been previously related by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself.
Text 34: This same narration was again related by Lord Nityānanda to all the devotees, and their transcendental bliss increased as they heard the story again.
Text* 35: Walking and walking in this way, the devotees arrived at the city of Kaṭaka, where they remained for a day and saw the temple of Sākṣi-gopāla.
Text 36: When Nityānanda Prabhu described all the activities of Sākṣi-gopāla, transcendental bliss increased in the minds of all the Vaiṣṇavas.
Text* 37: Everyone in the party was very anxious at heart to see Caitanya Mahāprabhu; therefore they hastily went on to Jagannātha Purī.
Text* 38: When they all arrived at a bridge called Āṭhāranālā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, hearing the news of their arrival, sent two garlands with Govinda.
Text* 39: Govinda offered the two garlands to Advaita Ācārya and Nityānanda Prabhu, and They both became very happy.
Text* 40: Indeed, They began chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa on that very spot, and in this way, dancing and dancing, Advaita Ācārya and Nityānanda Prabhu reached Jagannātha Purī.
Text* 41: Then, for the second time, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sent garlands through Svarūpa Dāmodara and other personal associates. Thus they went forward, sent by the son of mother Śacī.
Text* 42: When the devotees from Bengal reached Lake Narendra, Svarūpa Dāmodara and the others met them and offered them the garlands given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text* 43: When the devotees finally reached the lion gate, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard the news and personally went to meet them.
Text* 44: Then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and all His devotees visited Lord Jagannātha. Finally, accompanied by them all, He returned to His own residence.
Text* 45: Vāṇīnātha Rāya and Kāśī Miśra then brought a large quantity of prasādam, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu distributed it with His own hand and fed them all.
Text* 46: In the previous year, everyone had his own particular residence, and the same residences were again offered. Thus they all went to take rest.
Text* 47: For four continuous months all the devotees remained there and enjoyed chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text* 48: As in the previous year, they all washed the Guṇḍicā temple when the time for Ratha-yātrā arrived.
Text* 49: The inhabitants of Kulīna-grāma delivered silken ropes to Lord Jagannātha, and, as previously, they all danced before the Lord’s car.
Text* 50: After dancing a great deal, they all went to a nearby garden and took rest beside a lake.
Text* 51: A brāhmaṇa named Kṛṣṇadāsa, who was a resident of Rāḍha-deśa and a servant of Lord Nityānanda’s, was a very fortunate person.
Text* 52: It was Kṛṣṇadāsa who filled a great waterpot and poured it over the Lord while He was taking His bath. The Lord was greatly satisfied by this.
Text 53: The remnants of food offered to the Lord at Balagaṇḍi then arrived in great quantity, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and all His devotees ate it.
Text* 54: As in the previous year, the Lord, with all the devotees, saw the Ratha-yātrā festival and the Herā-pañcamī festival as well.
Text* 55: Advaita Ācārya then extended an invitation to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and there was a great rainstorm connected with that incident.
Text 56: All these episodes have been elaborately described by Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura. Then one day Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura extended an invitation to the Lord.
Text* 57: The Lord’s favorite vegetables were cooked by Mālinīdevī, the wife of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura. She devotedly considered herself a maidservant of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but in affection she was just like a mother.
Text* 58: All the chief devotees, headed by Candraśekhara [Ācāryaratna], used to extend invitations to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu periodically.
Text* 59: At the end of the four-month Cāturmāsya period, Caitanya Mahāprabhu again consulted with Nityānanda Prabhu daily in a solitary place. No one could understand what Their consultation was about.
Text* 60: Then Śrīla Advaita Ācārya said something to Caitanya Mahāprabhu through gestures and read some poetic passages, which no one understood.
Text* 61: Seeing the face of Advaita Ācārya, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu smiled. Understanding that the Lord had accepted the proposal, Advaita Ācārya started to dance.
Text* 62: No one knew what Advaita Ācārya requested or what the Lord ordered. After embracing the Ācārya, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bade Him farewell.
Text* 63: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then told Nityānanda Prabhu, “Please hear Me, O holy man: I now request something of You. Kindly grant My request.
Text 64: “Do not come to Jagannātha Purī every year, but stay in Bengal and fulfill My desire.”
Text 65: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “You can perform a task that even I cannot do. But for You, I cannot find anyone in Gauḍa-deśa who can fulfill My mission there.”
Text* 66: Nityānanda Prabhu replied, “O Lord, You are the life, and I am the body. There is no difference between the body and life itself, but life is more important than the body.
Text 67: “By Your inconceivable energy, You can do whatever You like, and whatever You make Me do, I do without restriction.”
Text* 68: In this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced Nityānanda Prabhu and bade Him farewell. He then bade farewell to all the other devotees.
Text* 69: As in the previous year, one of the inhabitants of Kulīna-grāma submitted a petition to the Lord, saying, “My Lord, kindly tell me what my duty is and how I should execute it.”
Text* 70: The Lord replied, “You should engage yourself in the service of the servants of Kṛṣṇa and always chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. If you do these two things, you will very soon attain shelter at Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.”
Text* 71: The inhabitant of Kulīna-grāma said, “Please let me know who is actually a Vaiṣṇava and what his symptoms are.” Understanding his mind, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu smiled and gave the following reply.
Text 72: “A person who is always chanting the holy name of the Lord is to be considered a first-class Vaiṣṇava, and your duty is to serve his lotus feet.”
Text* 73: The following year, the inhabitants of Kulīna-grāma again asked the Lord the same question. Hearing this question, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu again taught them about the different types of Vaiṣṇavas.
Text 74: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “A first-class Vaiṣṇava is he whose very presence makes others chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.”
Text* 75: In this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught the distinctions between different types of Vaiṣṇavas — the Vaiṣṇava, Vaiṣṇavatara and Vaiṣṇavatama. He thus successively explained all the symptoms of a Vaiṣṇava to the inhabitants of Kulīna-grāma.
Text* 76: Finally all the Vaiṣṇavas returned to Bengal, but that year Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi remained at Jagannātha Purī.
Text* 77: Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi had a friendly, intimate relationship, and as far as discussing topics about Kṛṣṇa, they were situated on the same platform.
Text 78: Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi initiated Gadādhara Paṇḍita for the second time, and on the day of Oḍana-ṣaṣṭhī Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi saw the festival.
Text* 79: When Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi saw that Lord Jagannātha was given a starched garment, he became a little hateful. In this way his mind was polluted.
Text* 80: That night the brothers Lord Jagannātha and Balarāma came to Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi and, smiling, began to slap him.
Text* 81: Although his cheeks were swollen from the slapping, Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi was very happy within. This incident has been elaborately described by Ṭhākura Vṛndāvana dāsa.
Text* 82: Every year the devotees of Bengal would come and stay with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to see the Ratha-yātrā festival.
Text* 83: Whatever happened during those years that is worth noting shall be described later.
Text* 84: Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu passed four years. He spent the first two years on His tour in South India.
Text* 85: The other two years, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to go to Vṛndāvana, but He could not leave Jagannātha Purī because of Rāmānanda Rāya’s tricks.
Text* 86: During the fifth year, the devotees from Bengal came to see the Ratha-yātrā festival. After seeing it, they did not stay but returned to Bengal.
Text* 87: Then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu placed a proposal before Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and Rāmānanda Rāya. He embraced them and spoke sweet words.
Text* 88: Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “My desire to go to Vṛndāvana has very much increased. Because of your tricks, I have not been able to go there for the past two years.
Text* 89: “This time I must go. Will you please give Me permission? Save for you two, I have no other resort.
Text* 90: “In Bengal I have two shelters — My mother and the river Ganges. Both of them are very merciful.
Text* 91: “I shall go to Vṛndāvana through Bengal and see both My mother and the river Ganges. Now would you two be pleased to give Me permission?”
Text* 92: When Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and Rāmānanda Rāya heard these words, they began to consider that it was not at all good that they had played so many tricks on the Lord.
Text* 93: They both said, “Now that the rainy season is here, it will be difficult for You to travel. It is better to wait for Vijayā-daśamī before departing for Vṛndāvana.”
Text* 94: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very pleased to thus receive their permission. He waited until the rainy season passed, and when the day of Vijayā-daśamī arrived, He departed for Vṛndāvana.
Text* 95: The Lord collected whatever remnants of food were left by Lord Jagannātha. He also took remnants of the Lord’s kaḍāra ointment, sandalwood and ropes with Him.
Text* 96: After taking Lord Jagannātha’s permission early in the morning, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu departed, and all the devotees of Orissa began following Him.
Text 97: With great care Caitanya Mahāprabhu forbade the Orissan devotees to follow Him. Then, accompanied by His personal associates, He first went to Bhavānīpura.
Text* 98: After Lord Caitanya reached Bhavānīpura, Rāmānanda Rāya arrived on his palanquin, and Vāṇīnātha Rāya had a large quantity of prasādam sent to the Lord.
Text* 99: After taking prasādam, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu remained there for the night. Early in the morning He began walking, and finally He reached Bhuvaneśvara.
Text* 100: After reaching the city of Kaṭaka, He saw the temple of Gopāla, and a brāhmaṇa there named Svapneśvara invited the Lord to eat.
Text* 101: Rāmānanda Rāya invited all the others for their meals, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu made His resting place in a garden outside the temple.
Text* 102: While Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was taking rest beneath a bakula tree, Rāmānanda Rāya immediately went to Mahārāja Pratāparudra.
Text* 103: The King was very happy to hear the news, and he hastily went there. Upon seeing the Lord, he fell flat to offer Him obeisances.
Text* 104: Being overwhelmed with love, the King again and again got up and fell down. When he offered prayers, his whole body shivered, and tears fell from his eyes.
Text* 105: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very pleased to see the devotion of the King, and He therefore stood up and embraced him.
Text* 106: When the Lord embraced the King, the King again and again offered prayers and obeisances. In this way, the Lord’s mercy brought tears from the King, and the Lord’s body was bathed with these tears.
Text* 107: Finally Rāmānanda Rāya pacified the King and made him sit down. The Lord bestowed mercy upon him through His body, mind and words.
Text* 108: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu showed such mercy to the King that from that day on the Lord became known as Pratāparudra-santrātā, the deliverer of Mahārāja Pratāparudra.
Text* 109: All the governmental officers also paid their respects to the Lord, and finally the King and his men were bade farewell by the son of mother Śacī.
Text* 110: The King then went outside and had orders written down and sent to the government servants within his kingdom.
Text* 111: His orders read: “In every village you should construct new residences, and in five or seven new houses you should store all kinds of food.
Text* 112: “You should personally take the Lord to these newly constructed houses. Day and night you should engage in His service with a stick in your hands.”
Text* 113: The King ordered two respectable officers named Haricandana and Mardarāja to do whatever was necessary to carry out these orders.
Text* 114-115: The King also ordered them to maintain a new boat on the banks of the river, and wherever Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took His bath or crossed to the other side of the river, they should establish a memorial column and make that place a great place of pilgrimage. “Indeed,” said the King, “I will take my bath there. And let me also die there.”
Text* 116: The King continued, “At Caturdvāra, please construct new residential quarters. Now, Rāmānanda, you can return to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.”
Text* 117: When the King heard that the Lord was leaving that evening, he immediately made arrangements for some elephants with small tents on their backs to be brought there. Then all the ladies of the palace got on the elephants.
Text* 118: All these ladies went to the road the Lord was taking and remained there in a line. That evening, the Lord departed with His devotees.
Text* 119: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to the bank of the river Citrotpalā to take His bath, all the queens and ladies of the palace offered their obeisances to Him.
Text* 120: Upon seeing the Lord, they all felt themselves overwhelmed with love of Godhead, and, tears pouring from their eyes, they began to chant the holy name, “Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa!”
Text* 121: There is no one as merciful as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu within all three worlds. Simply by seeing Him from a distance, one is overwhelmed with love of Godhead.
Text* 122: The Lord then got into a new boat and crossed the river. Walking in the full moonlight, He finally reached the town known as Caturdvāra.
Text* 123: The Lord spent the night there and in the morning took His bath. At that time, remnants of Lord Jagannātha’s food arrived.
Text* 124: Following the King’s orders, the superintendent of the temple sent large quantities of prasādam every day, and it was carried by many persons.
Text* 125: After accepting the prasādam, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stood up and started to go, chanting the holy names, “Hari! Hari!”
Text* 126: Rāmānanda Rāya, Mardarāja and Śrī Haricandana always went with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and rendered various services.
Text* 127-129: Paramānanda Purī Gosvāmī, Svarūpa Dāmodara, Jagadānanda, Mukunda, Govinda, Kāśīśvara, Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Vakreśvara Paṇḍita, Gopīnātha Ācārya, Dāmodara Paṇḍita, Rāmāi, Nandāi and many other devotees accompanied the Lord. I have mentioned only the chief devotees. No one can describe the total number.
Text 130: When Gadādhara Paṇḍita started to go with the Lord, he was forbidden to come and was asked not to give up the vow of kṣetra-sannyāsa.
Text* 131: When he was requested to return to Jagannātha Purī, Gadādhara Paṇḍita told the Lord, “Wherever You are staying is Jagannātha Purī. Let my so-called kṣetra-sannyāsa go to hell.”
Text* 132: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked Gadādhara Paṇḍita to remain at Jagannātha Purī and engage in Gopīnātha’s service, Gadādhara Paṇḍita replied, “One renders service to Gopīnātha a million times simply by seeing Your lotus feet.”
Text* 133: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then said, “If you abandon His service, it will be My fault. It is better that you remain here and render service. That will be My satisfaction.”
Text* 134: The Paṇḍita replied, “Do not worry. All the faults will be on my head. I shall not accompany You but shall go alone.
Text* 135: “I shall go to see Śacīmātā, but I shall not go for Your sake. I shall be responsible for the abandoning of my vow and service to Gopīnātha.”
Text* 136: Thus Gadādhara Paṇḍita Gosvāmī traveled alone, but when they all arrived at Kaṭaka, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu called him, and he went into the Lord’s company.
Text 137: No one can understand the loving intimacy between Gadādhara Paṇḍita and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Gadādhara Paṇḍita gave up his vow and service to Gopīnātha just as one gives up a piece of straw.
Text* 138: Gadādhara Paṇḍita’s behavior was very pleasing to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s heart. Nevertheless, the Lord took his hand and spoke to him, displaying the anger of love.
Text* 139: “You have abandoned Gopīnātha’s service and broken your vow to live in Purī. All that is now complete because you have come so far.
Text* 140: “Your wanting to go with Me is simply a desire for sense gratification. In this way, you are breaking two religious principles, and because of this I am very unhappy.
Text* 141: “If you want My happiness, please return to Nīlācala. You will simply condemn Me if you say any more about this matter.”
Text* 142: Saying this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu got into a boat, and Gadādhara Paṇḍita immediately fell down unconscious.
Text* 143: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya to take Gadādhara Paṇḍita with him. The Bhaṭṭācārya told Gadādhara Paṇḍita, “Get up! Such are the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text* 144: “You should know that Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself violated His own promise just to keep the promise of Grandfather Bhīṣma.
Text 145: “ ‘Intending to make my promise true, Lord Kṛṣṇa broke His own promise not to take up a weapon at Kurukṣetra. With His outer garment falling off, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa jumped from His chariot, picked up a wheel and came running at me to kill me. Indeed, He rushed at me like a lion going to kill an elephant, and He caused the whole earth to tremble.’
Text* 146: “Similarly, tolerating separation from you, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has protected your vow with great endeavor.”
Text* 147: In this way Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya revived Gadādhara Paṇḍita. Then both of them, very much grief-stricken, returned to Jagannātha Purī, Nīlācala.
Text* 148: All the devotees would abandon all kinds of duties for Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s sake, yet the Lord did not like the devotees’ giving up their promised duties.
Text* 149: All these are the misgivings of loving affairs. Whoever listens to these incidents gets the shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s lotus feet very soon.
Text 150: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His party arrived at Yājapura, the Lord asked the two government officers who had come with Him to return.
Text* 151: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bade farewell to the officers, and Rāya Rāmānanda continued on with the Lord. The Lord talked to Rāmānanda Rāya about Śrī Kṛṣṇa day and night.
Text* 152: In each and every village, in compliance with the King’s order, government officers constructed new houses and filled each of them with stocks of grain. Thus they served the Lord.
Text 153: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu finally arrived at Remuṇā, where He bade farewell to Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya.
Text* 154: When Rāmānanda Rāya fell to the ground and lost consciousness, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took him upon His lap and began to cry.
Text* 155: Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s feelings of separation from Rāmānanda Rāya are very difficult to describe. Indeed, it is almost intolerable to do so, and therefore I cannot describe them further.
Text* 156: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu finally arrived at the border of the state of Orissa, a government officer came there to meet Him.
Text* 157: For two or four days, the government officer served the Lord. He also gave the Lord detailed information of what was ahead.
Text* 158: He informed the Lord that the territory ahead was ruled by a Muslim governor who was a drunkard. Out of fear of this king, no one could walk the road freely.
Text 159: The jurisdiction of the Muslim government extended up to Pichaladā. Due to fear of the Muslims, no one would cross the river.
Text* 160: Mahārāja Pratāparudra’s government officer further informed Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu that He should stay at the Orissa border for some days so that a peaceful agreement could be negotiated with the Muslim governor. In that way, the Lord would be able to cross the river peacefully in a boat.
Text* 161: At that time, a follower of the Muslim governor arrived at the Orissa encampment dressed in disguise.
Text* 162-163: The Muslim spy saw the wonderful characteristics of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and when he returned to the Muslim governor, he told him, “A mendicant has come from Jagannātha Purī with many liberated persons.
Text* 164: “All these saintly people incessantly chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, and they all laugh, dance, chant and cry.
Text* 165: “Many millions upon millions of people come to see Him, and after they see Him, they cannot return home.
Text* 166: “All these people become like madmen. They simply chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and dance. Sometimes they even cry and roll on the ground.
Text* 167: “Actually these things cannot even be described. One can understand them only by seeing. Considering His influence, I accept Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
Text* 168: After saying this, the messenger began to chant the holy names of Hari and Kṛṣṇa. He also began to laugh and cry, dance and sing exactly like a madman.
Text* 169: When the Muslim governor heard this, his mind changed. He then sent his secretary to the representative of the Orissan government.
Text* 170: The Muslim secretary came to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When he offered his respects to the Lord’s lotus feet and uttered the holy name of the Lord, “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa,” he also was overwhelmed with ecstatic love.
Text* 171: After calming down, the Muslim secretary offered his respects and informed the representative of the Orissan government, “The Muslim governor has sent me here.
Text* 172: “If you agree, the Muslim governor will come here to meet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and then return.
Text* 173: “The Muslim governor is very eager, and he has submitted this petition with great respect. It is a proposal for peace. You need not fear that we will fight.”
Text* 174: Upon hearing this proposal, the representative of the Orissan government, the mahā-pātra, was very much astonished. He thought, “The Muslim governor is a drunkard. Who has changed his mind?
Text 175: “It must be Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself who has changed the Muslim’s mind. Due to His presence and even due to His remembrance, the whole world is liberated.”
Text* 176: After thinking this, the mahā-pātra immediately informed the Muslim secretary, “It is a great fortune for your governor. Let him come visit Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text* 177: “However, let me make it understood that he should come here without weapons. He may bring with him five or seven servants.”
Text* 178: The secretary returned to the Muslim governor and informed him of this news. Dressing himself like a Hindu, the Muslim governor then came to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text* 179: Upon seeing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu from a distant place, the Muslim governor fell to the ground and offered obeisances. Tears came to his eyes, and he was jubilant with ecstatic emotions.
Text* 180: Arriving in that way, the Muslim governor was respectfully brought before Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by the mahā-pātra. The governor then stood before the Lord with folded hands, and he chanted the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.
Text* 181: The governor then submissively asked, “Why was I born in a Muslim family? This is considered a low birth. Why didn’t supreme Providence grant me a birth in a Hindu family?
Text* 182: “If I had taken birth in a Hindu family, it would have been easy for me to remain near Your lotus feet. Since my body is now useless, let me die immediately.”
Text* 183: Upon hearing the governor’s submissive statement, the mahā-pātra was overwhelmed with joy. He clasped the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and began to offer the following prayers.
Text* 184: “Simply by hearing Your holy name, a caṇḍāla, the lowest of men, can be purified. Now this conditioned soul has received Your personal interview.
Text* 185: “It is no wonder that this Muslim governor has attained such results. Simply by seeing You, all this is possible.
Text 186: “ ‘To say nothing of the spiritual advancement of persons who see the Supreme Person face to face, even a person born in a family of dog-eaters becomes immediately eligible to perform Vedic sacrifices if he once utters the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or chants about Him, hears about His pastimes, offers Him obeisances or even remembers Him.’ ”
Text 187: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then glanced with mercy at the Muslim governor. Giving him assurance, He asked him to chant the holy names “Kṛṣṇa” and “Hari.”
Text 188: The Muslim governor then said, “Since You have so kindly accepted me, please give me some order so that I can render You some service.”
Text 189: The Muslim governor then prayed for liberation from the unlimited sinful reactions he had previously incurred by being envious of brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas and killing cows.
Text* 190: Mukunda Datta then told the Muslim governor, “My dear sir, please hear. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wishes to go to the bank of the Ganges.
Text* 191: “Please give Him all assistance so that He can go there. This is your first great order, and if you can comply, you will render a great service.”
Text* 192: After this, the Muslim governor offered prayers to the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as well as to the lotus feet of all His devotees. After that, the governor departed. Indeed, he was very pleased.
Text* 193: Before the governor left, the mahā-pātra embraced him and offered him many gifts. He thus established a friendship with him.
Text* 194: The next morning the governor sent his secretary with many nicely decorated boats to bring Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to the other side of the river.
Text* 195: The mahā-pātra crossed the river with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and when they reached the other shore, the Muslim governor personally received the Lord and worshiped His lotus feet.
Text* 196: One of the boats had been newly constructed, and it had a room in the middle. It was on this boat that they put Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates.
Text* 197: Finally Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bade farewell to the mahā-pātra. Standing on the riverbank and looking at the boat, the mahā-pātra began to cry.
Text* 198: The Muslim governor then personally accompanied Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Because of pirates, the governor took ten boats full of many soldiers.
Text 199: The Muslim governor accompanied Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu past Mantreśvara. This place was very dangerous due to pirates. He took the Lord to a place named Pichaldā, which was near Mantreśvara.
Text 200: Finally Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bade the governor farewell. The intense ecstatic love exhibited by the governor cannot be described.
Text* 201: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes are all uncommon. Whoever listens to His activities becomes glorious, and his life becomes perfect.
Text* 202: The Lord finally reached Pānihāṭi, and as an act of mercy He gave the captain of the boat one of His personal garments.
Text 203: The place called Pānihāṭi was located on the bank of the Ganges. After hearing that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had arrived, all kinds of men assembled both on land and on the water.
Text* 204: At length Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was taken away by Rāghava Paṇḍita. There was a great crowd assembled along the way, and the Lord reached Rāghava Paṇḍita’s residence with great difficulty.
Text 205: The Lord stayed at Rāghava Paṇḍita’s place for only one day. The next morning, He went to Kumārahaṭṭa, where Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura lived.
Text* 206: From the house of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura, the Lord went to the house of Śivānanda Sena and then to the house of Vāsudeva Datta.
Text 207: The Lord remained some time at the house of Vidyā-vācaspati, but then, because it was too crowded, He went to Kuliyā.
Text 208: When the Lord stayed at the house of Mādhava dāsa, many hundreds of thousands of people came to see Him.
Text* 209: The Lord stayed there for seven days and delivered all kinds of offenders and sinners.
Text* 210: After leaving Kuliyā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited the house of Advaita Ācārya at Śāntipura. It was there that the Lord’s mother, Śacīmātā, met Him and was thus relieved of her great unhappiness.
Text* 211: The Lord then visited the village known as Rāmakeli and the place known as Kānāi Nāṭaśālā. From there He returned to Śāntipura.
Text* 212: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stayed in Śāntipura for ten days. This has all been described very elaborately by Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura.
Text* 213: I will not narrate these incidents because they have already been described by Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura. There is no need to repeat the same information, for such repetition would unlimitedly increase the size of this book.
Text 214-215: Those narrations tell how Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu met the brothers Rūpa and Sanātana and how Nṛsiṁhānanda decorated the road. I have already described these in an earlier synopsis of this book; therefore I will not repeat the narrations here.
Text* 216: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Śāntipura, Raghunātha dāsa came to meet Him.
Text 217: Two brothers named Hiraṇya and Govardhana, who were residents of Saptagrāma, had an annual income of 1,200,000 rupees.
Text* 218: Both Hiraṇya Majumadāra and Govardhana Majumadāra were very opulent and magnanimous. They were well behaved and devoted to brahminical culture. They belonged to an aristocratic family, and among religionists they were predominant.
Text 219: Practically all the brāhmaṇas residing in Nadia were dependent on the charity of Hiraṇya and Govardhana, who gave them money, land and villages.
Text* 220: Nīlāmbara Cakravartī, the grandfather of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, was much worshiped by the two brothers, but Nīlāmbara Cakravartī used to treat them as his own brothers.
Text* 221: Formerly, these two brothers had rendered much service to Miśra Purandara, the father of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Because of this, the Lord knew them very well.
Text* 222: Raghunātha dāsa was the son of Govardhana Majumadāra. From childhood, he was uninterested in material enjoyment.
Text* 223: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Śāntipura after accepting the renounced order, Raghunātha dāsa met Him.
Text* 224: When Raghunātha dāsa went to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he fell at the Lord’s lotus feet in ecstatic love. Showing him mercy, the Lord touched him with His feet.
Text* 225: Raghunātha dāsa’s father, Govardhana, always rendered much service to Advaita Ācārya. Consequently Advaita Ācārya was very pleased with the family.
Text* 226: When Raghunātha dāsa was there, Advaita Ācārya favored him by giving him the food remnants left by the Lord. Raghunātha dāsa was thus engaged for five or seven days in rendering service to the Lord’s lotus feet.
Text* 227: After bidding farewell to Raghunātha dāsa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Jagannātha Purī. After returning home, Raghunātha dāsa became mad with ecstatic love.
Text* 228: Raghunātha dāsa used to run away from home again and again to go to Jagannātha Purī, but his father kept binding him and bringing him back.
Text* 229: His father even had five watchmen guard him day and night. Four personal servants were employed to look after his comfort, and two brāhmaṇas were employed to cook for him.
Text* 230: In this way, eleven people were incessantly keeping Raghunātha dāsa under control. Thus he could not go to Jagannātha Purī, and because of this he was very unhappy.
Text* 231: When Raghunātha dāsa learned that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had arrived at Śāntipura, he submitted a request to his father.
Text* 232: Raghunātha dāsa asked his father, “Please give me permission to go see the lotus feet of the Lord. If you do not, my life will not remain within this body.”
Text* 233: Hearing this request, Raghunātha dāsa’s father agreed. Giving him many servants and materials, the father sent him to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, requesting him to return soon.
Text* 234: For seven days Raghunātha dāsa associated with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Śāntipura. During those days and nights, he had the following thoughts.
Text* 235: Raghunātha dāsa thought, “How shall I be able to get free from the hands of the watchmen? How shall I be able to go with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to Nīlācala?”
Text* 236: Since Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was omniscient, He could understand Raghunātha dāsa’s mind. The Lord therefore instructed him with the following reassuring words.
Text 237: “Be patient and return home. Don’t be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence.
Text 238: “You should not make yourself a showbottle devotee and become a false renunciant. For the time being, enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it.”
Text* 239: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “Within your heart you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Kṛṣṇa will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of māyā.
Text* 240: “You may see Me at Nīlācala, Jagannātha Purī, when I return after visiting Vṛndāvana. By that time you can think of some trick to escape.
Text 241: “What kind of means you will have to use at that time will be revealed by Kṛṣṇa. If one has Kṛṣṇa’s mercy, no one can check him.”
Text* 242: In this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bade farewell to Raghunātha dāsa, who returned home and did exactly what the Lord told him.
Text* 243: After returning home, Raghunātha dāsa gave up all craziness and external pseudo renunciation and engaged in his household duties without attachment.
Text 244: When Raghunātha dāsa’s father and mother saw that their son was acting like a householder, they became very happy. Because of this, they slackened their guard.
Text* 245-246: Meanwhile, at Śāntipura, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu assembled all His devotees — headed by Advaita Ācārya and Nityānanda Prabhu — embraced them all and asked their permission to return to Jagannātha Purī.
Text* 247: Because He had met them all at Śāntipura, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu requested all the devotees not to go to Jagannātha Purī that year.
Text* 248: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “I shall certainly go to Vṛndāvana from Jagannātha Purī. If all of you give Me permission, I shall return here again without difficulty.”
Text* 249: Clasping the feet of His mother, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu very humbly requested her permission. Thus she gave Him leave to go to Vṛndāvana.
Text* 250: Śrīmatī Śacīdevī was sent back to Navadvīpa, and the Lord and His devotees started for Jagannātha Purī, Nīlādri.
Text* 251: The devotees who accompanied Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu rendered all kinds of service on the way to Nīlācala, Jagannātha Purī. Thus in great happiness the Lord returned.
Text* 252: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu arrived in Jagannātha Purī, He visited the temple of the Lord. News then spread all over the city that He had returned.
Text* 253: All the devotees then came and met the Lord with great happiness. The Lord embraced each of them in great ecstatic love.
Text* 254: Kāśī Miśra, Rāmānanda Rāya, Pradyumna, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, Vāṇīnātha Rāya, Śikhi Māhiti and all the other devotees met Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text* 255: Gadādhara Paṇḍita also came and met the Lord. Then, before all the devotees, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to speak as follows.
Text* 256: “It was My decision to go to Vṛndāvana through Bengal in order to see My mother and the river Ganges.
Text* 257: “Thus I went to Bengal, but thousands of devotees began to follow Me.
Text* 258: “Many hundreds of thousands of people came to see Me out of curiosity, and due to such a large crowd I could not travel very freely on the road.
Text* 259: “Indeed, the crowd was so large that the house and the boundary walls of the house where I stayed were destroyed, and wherever I looked I could see only large crowds.
Text* 260: “With great difficulty I went to the town of Rāmakeli, where I met two brothers named Rūpa and Sanātana.
Text* 261: “These two brothers are great devotees and suitable recipients of Kṛṣṇa’s mercy, but in their ordinary dealings they are government officials, ministers to the King.
Text* 262: “Śrīla Rūpa and Sanātana are very much experienced in education, devotional service, intelligence and strength, yet they think themselves inferior to straw in the street.
Text 263-264: “Indeed, the humility of these two brothers could even melt stone. Because I was very pleased with their behavior, I told them, ‘Although you are both very much exalted, you consider yourselves inferior, and because of this, Kṛṣṇa will very soon deliver you.’
Text* 265-266: “After speaking to them in this way, I bade them farewell. As I was leaving, Sanātana told Me, ‘It is not appropriate for one to be followed by a crowd of thousands when going to Vṛndāvana.’
Text* 267: “Although I heard this, I did not pay it any attention, and in the morning I went to the place named Kānāi Nāṭaśālā.
Text* 268: “At night, however, I considered what Sanātana had told Me.
Text* 269: “I decided that Sanātana had spoken very well. I was certainly being followed by a large crowd, and when people would see so many men, they would surely rebuke Me, saying, ‘Here is another imposter.’
Text* 270: “I then began to consider that Vṛndāvana is a very solitary place. It is invincible and very difficult to attain. I therefore decided to go there alone or, at the utmost, with only one person.
Text* 271: “Mādhavendra Purī went to Vṛndāvana alone, and Kṛṣṇa, on the pretext of giving him milk, granted him an audience.
Text* 272: “I then understood that I was going to Vṛndāvana like a magician with his show, and this is certainly not good. No one should go to Vṛndāvana with so many men.
Text* 273: “I have therefore resolved to go alone or, at the utmost, with one servant. In this way, My journey to Vṛndāvana will be beautiful.
Text* 274: “I thought, ‘Instead of going to Vṛndāvana alone, I am going with soldiers and the beating of drums.’
Text* 275: “I therefore said, ‘Fie upon Me!’ and being very much agitated, I returned to the banks of the Ganges.
Text* 276: “I then left all the devotees there and brought only five or six persons with Me.
Text* 277: “Now I wish that you all will be pleased with Me and give Me good consultation. Tell Me how I shall be able to go to Vṛndāvana without impediments.
Text* 278: “I left Gadādhara Paṇḍita here, and he became very unhappy. For this reason I could not go to Vṛndāvana.”
Text* 279: Being encouraged by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s words, Gadādhara Paṇḍita became absorbed in ecstatic love. Immediately clasping the lotus feet of the Lord, he began to speak with great humility.
Text* 280: Gadādhara Paṇḍita said, “Wherever You stay is Vṛndāvana, as well as the river Yamunā, the river Ganges and all other places of pilgrimage.
Text 281: “Although wherever You stay is Vṛndāvana, You will still go to Vṛndāvana just to instruct people. Otherwise, You will do whatever You think best.”
Text* 282: Taking this opportunity, Gadādhara Paṇḍita said, “Just now the four months of the rainy season have begun. You should therefore spend the next four months in Jagannātha Purī.
Text* 283: “After remaining here for four months, You will be free to do as You like. Actually, no one can stop You from going or remaining.”
Text* 284: Upon hearing this statement, the devotees present at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stated that Gadādhara Paṇḍita had properly presented their desire.
Text* 285: Being requested by all the devotees, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu agreed to remain at Jagannātha Purī for four months. Hearing this, King Pratāparudra became very happy.
Text* 286: That day Gadādhara Paṇḍita extended an invitation to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and the Lord took His lunch at his place with the other devotees.
Text* 287: No ordinary human being can possibly describe Gadādhara Paṇḍita’s affectionate presentation of food or Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s tasting this food.
Text* 288: In this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu performs His pastimes, which are unlimited and unfathomable. Somehow or other, these have briefly been described. It is not possible to describe them elaborately.
Text* 289: Although Lord Anantadeva is always describing the pastimes of the Lord with His thousands of mouths, He cannot reach the end of even one of the Lord’s pastimes.
Text 290: Praying at the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha, always desiring their mercy, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, narrate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, following in their footsteps.
Text 0: Chapter Summary