: I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of God [brahmaá¹ya-deva], who appeared as SÄká¹£i-gopÄla to benefit a brÄhmaá¹a. For one hundred days He traveled through the country, walking on His own legs. Thus His activities are wonderful.
: All glories to Lord ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu! All glories to Lord NityÄnanda Prabhu! All glories to ÅrÄ« Advaita Prabhu! And all glories to all the devotees of ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu!
: Walking and walking, ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu and His party finally arrived at YÄjapura, on the river Vaitaraá¹Ä«. There He saw the temple of VarÄhadeva and offered His obeisances unto Him.
: In the temple of VarÄhadeva, ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu engaged in chanting and dancing and offered prayers. He passed that night in the temple.
: Afterwards, ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu went to the town of Kaá¹aka to see the temple of the witness GopÄla. When He saw the Deity of GopÄla, He was very much pleased by His beauty.
: While there, ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu engaged in chanting and dancing for some time, and being overwhelmed, He offered many prayers to GopÄla.
: That night ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu stayed in the temple of GopÄla, and along with all the devotees, He heard the narration of the witness GopÄla with great pleasure.
: Previously, when NityÄnanda Prabhu had toured all over India to see different places of pilgrimage, He also had come to see SÄká¹£i-gopÄla at Kaá¹aka.
: At that time, NityÄnanda Prabhu had heard the story of SÄká¹£i-gopÄla from the townspeople. He now recited this again, and Lord Caitanya MahÄprabhu heard the narration with great pleasure.
: Formerly at VidyÄnagara in South India there were two brÄhmaá¹as who made a long tour to see different places of pilgrimage.
: First of all they visited GayÄ, then KÄÅÄ«, then PrayÄga. Finally, with great pleasure, they came to MathurÄ.
: After reaching MathurÄ, they started visiting the different forests of Vá¹ndÄvana and came to Govardhana Hill. They visited all twelve forests [vanas] and at last came to the town of Vá¹ndÄvana.
: In the village of PaÃ±cakroÅÄ« Vá¹ndÄvana, at the site where the Govinda temple is now situated, there was a great temple where gorgeous worship of GopÄla was performed.
: After taking baths at different bathing places along the river YamunÄ, such as KeÅÄ«-ghÄá¹a and KÄliya-ghÄá¹a, the pilgrims visited the temple of GopÄla. Afterwards, they took rest in that temple.
: The beauty of the GopÄla Deity stole away their minds, and feeling great happiness, they remained there for two or four days.
: One of the two brÄhmaá¹as was an old man, and the other was young. The young man was assisting the old one.
: Indeed, the young brÄhmaá¹a always rendered service to the older one, and the old man, being very satisfied with his service, was pleased with him.
: The older man told the younger, âYou have rendered various types of service to me. You have assisted me in traveling to all these places of pilgrimage.
: âEven my own son does not render such service. By your mercy, I did not become fatigued while on this tour.
: âIf I did not show you any respect, I would be ungrateful. Therefore, I promise to give you my daughter in charity.â
: The younger brÄhmaá¹a replied, âMy dear sir, please hear me. You are saying something very unusual. Such a thing never happens.
: âYou are a most aristocratic family man, well educated and very rich. I am not at all aristocratic, and I am without a decent education and have no wealth.
: âSir, I am not a suitable bridegroom for your daughter. I render service to you only for the satisfaction of Ká¹á¹£á¹a.
: âLord Ká¹á¹£á¹a is very much pleased by service rendered to brÄhmaá¹as, and when the Lord is pleased, the opulence of oneâs devotional service increases.â
: The older brÄhmaá¹a replied, âMy dear boy, do not doubt me. I will give you my daughter in charity. I have already decided this.â
: The young brÄhmaá¹a said, âYou have a wife and sons, and you have a large circle of relatives and friends.
: âWithout the consent of all your friends and relatives, it is not possible to give me your daughter in charity. Just consider the story of Queen Rukmiá¹Ä« and her father, BhÄ«á¹£maka.
: âKing BhÄ«á¹£maka wanted to give his daughter, Rukmiá¹Ä«, in charity to Ká¹á¹£á¹a, but RukmÄ«, his eldest son, objected. Therefore he could not carry out his decision.â
: The elderly brÄhmaá¹a said, âMy daughter is my own property. If I choose to give my property to someone, who has the power to stop me?
: âMy dear boy, I will give my daughter to you in charity, and I will neglect the position of all others. Donât doubt me in this regard; just accept my proposal.â
: The younger brÄhmaá¹a replied, âIf you have decided to give your young daughter to me, then say so before the GopÄla Deity.â
: Coming before GopÄla, the elderly brÄhmaá¹a said, âMy dear Lord, please witness that I have given my daughter to this boy.â
: Then the younger brÄhmaá¹a addressed the Deity, saying, âMy dear Lord, You are my witness. I shall call for You to testify if it is necessary later on.â
: After these talks, the two brÄhmaá¹as started for home. As usual, the young brÄhmaá¹a accompanied the elderly brÄhmaá¹a as if the older brÄhmaá¹a were a guru [spiritual master] and rendered him service in various ways.
: After returning to VidyÄnagara, each brÄhmaá¹a went to his respective home. After some time, the elderly brÄhmaá¹a became very anxious.
: He began to think, âI have given my word to a brÄhmaá¹a in a holy place, and what I promised will certainly come to pass. I must now disclose this to my wife, sons, other relatives and friends.â
: Thus one day the elderly brÄhmaá¹a called for a meeting of all his relatives and friends, and before them all he narrated what had taken place in front of GopÄla.
: When those who belonged to the family circle heard the narration of the old brÄhmaá¹a, they made exclamations showing their disappointment. They all requested that he not make such a proposal again.
: They unanimously agreed, âIf you offer your daughter to a degraded family, your aristocracy will be lost. When people hear of this, they will make jokes and laugh at you.â
: The elderly brÄhmaá¹a said, âHow can I undo the promise I made in a holy place while on pilgrimage? Whatever may happen, I must give him my daughter in charity.â
: The relatives unanimously said, âIf you give your daughter to that boy, we shall give up all connection with you.â Indeed, his wife and sons declared, âIf such a thing happens, we shall take poison and die.â
: The elderly brÄhmaá¹a said, âIf I do not give my daughter to the young brÄhmaá¹a, he will call ÅrÄ« GopÄlajÄ« as a witness. Thus he will take my daughter by force, and in that case my religious principles will become meaningless.â
: His son replied, âThe Deity may be a witness, but He is in a distant country. How can He come to bear witness against you? Why are you so anxious over this?
: âYou do not have to flatly deny that you spoke such a thing. There is no need to make a false statement. Simply say that you do not remember what you said.
: âIf you simply say, âI do not remember,â I shall take care of the rest. By argument, I shall defeat the young brÄhmaá¹a.â
: When the elderly brÄhmaá¹a heard this, his mind became very much agitated. Feeling helpless, he simply turned his attention to the lotus feet of GopÄla.
: The elderly brÄhmaá¹a prayed, âMy dear Lord GopÄla, I have taken shelter of Your lotus feet, and therefore I request You to please protect my religious principles from disturbance and at the same time save my kinsmen from dying.â
: The next day, the elderly brÄhmaá¹a was thinking deeply about this matter when the young brÄhmaá¹a came to his house.
: The young brÄhmaá¹a came to him and offered respectful obeisances. Then, very humbly folding his hands, he spoke as follows.
: âYou have promised to give your daughter in charity to me. Now you do not say anything. What is your conclusion?â
: After the young brÄhmaá¹a submitted this statement, the elderly brÄhmaá¹a remained silent. Taking this opportunity, his son immediately came out with a stick to strike the younger man.
: The son said, âOh, you are most degraded! You want to marry my sister, just like a dwarf who wants to catch the moon!â
: Seeing a stick in the hand of the son, the younger brÄhmaá¹a fled. The next day, however, he gathered together all the people of the village.
: All the people of the village then called for the elderly brÄhmaá¹a and brought him to their meeting place. The young brÄhmaá¹a then began to speak before them as follows.
: âThis gentleman has promised to hand over his daughter to me, yet now he does not follow his promise. Please ask him about his behavior.â
: All the people gathered there asked the elderly brÄhmaá¹a, âIf you have already promised to give him your daughter in charity, why are you not fulfilling your promise? You have given your word of honor.â
: The elderly brÄhmaá¹a said, âMy dear friends, please hear what I have to submit. I do not exactly remember making a promise like that.â
: When the elderly brÄhmaá¹aâs son heard this, he took the opportunity to juggle some words. Becoming very impudent, he stood before the assembly and spoke as follows.
: âWhile touring various holy places of pilgrimage, my father carried much money. Seeing the money, this rogue decided to take it away.
: âThere was no one besides this man with my father. Giving him an intoxicant known as dhuturÄ to eat, this rogue made my father mad.
: âHaving taken all my fatherâs money, this rogue claimed that it was taken by some thief. Now he is claiming that my father has promised to give him his daughter in charity.
: âAll of you assembled here are gentlemen. Please judge whether it is befitting to offer this poor brÄhmaá¹a my fatherâs daughter.â
: Hearing all these statements, all the people gathered there became a little doubtful. They thought it quite possible that because of attraction for riches one might give up his religious principles.
: At that time the young brÄhmaá¹a said, âMy dear gentlemen, please hear. Just to gain victory in an argument, this man is lying.
: âBeing very satisfied with my service, this brÄhmaá¹a said to me of his own accord, âI promise to hand over my daughter to you.â
: âAt that time I forbade him to do this, telling him, âO best of the brÄhmaá¹as, I am not a fit husband for your daughter.
: â âWhereas you are a learned scholar, a rich man belonging to an aristocratic family, I am a poor man, uneducated and with no claim to aristocracy.â
: âStill this brÄhmaá¹a insisted. Again and again he asked me to accept his proposal, saying, âI have given you my daughter. Please accept her.â
: âI then said, âPlease hear. You are a learned brÄhmaá¹a. Your wife, friends and relatives will never agree to this proposal.
: â âMy dear sir, you will not be able to fulfill your promise. Your promise will be broken.â Yet, again and again the brÄhmaá¹a emphasized his promise.
: â âI have offered you my daughter. Do not hesitate. She is my daughter, and I shall give her to you. Who can forbid me?â
: âAt that time I concentrated my mind and requested the brÄhmaá¹a to make the promise before the GopÄla Deity.
: âThen this gentleman said in front of the GopÄla Deity, âMy dear Lord, please bear witness. I have offered my daughter to this brÄhmaá¹a in charity.â
: âAccepting the GopÄla Deity as my witness, I then submitted the following at His lotus feet.
: â âIf this brÄhmaá¹a later hesitates to give me his daughter, my dear Lord, I shall call on You as a witness. Please note this with care and attention.â
: âThus I have called upon a great personality in this transaction. I have asked the Supreme Godhead to be my witness. The entire world accepts the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.â
: Taking this opportunity, the elderly brÄhmaá¹a immediately confirmed that this was really true. He said, âIf GopÄla personally comes here to serve as a witness, I shall surely give my daughter to the young brÄhmaá¹a.â
: The elderly brÄhmaá¹a thought, âSince Lord Ká¹á¹£á¹a is very merciful, He will certainly come to prove my statement.â
: The atheistic son thought, âIt is not possible for GopÄla to come and bear witness.â Thinking thus, the father and son agreed.
: The young brÄhmaá¹a took this opportunity to speak: âPlease write this down on paper in black and white so that you may not again change your word of honor.â
: All the assembled people got this statement down in black and white and, taking the signatures of agreement from both of them, served as the mediators.
: The young brÄhmaá¹a then said, âWill all you gentlemen present please hear me? This elderly brÄhmaá¹a is certainly truthful and is following religious principles.
: âHe had no desire to break his promise, but fearing that his kinsmen would commit suicide, he deviated from the truth.
: âBy the piety of the elderly brÄhmaá¹a, I shall call the Supreme Personality of Godhead as a witness. Thus I shall keep his truthful promise intact.â
: Hearing the emphatic statement of the younger brÄhmaá¹a, some atheists in the meeting began to cut jokes. However, someone else said, âAfter all, the Lord is merciful, and if He likes, He can come.â
: After the meeting, the young brÄhmaá¹a started for Vá¹ndÄvana. Upon arriving there, he first offered his respectful obeisances to the Deity and then narrated everything in full detail.
: He said, âMy Lord, You are the protector of brahminical culture, and You are also very merciful. Therefore, kindly show Your great mercy by protecting the religious principles of us two brÄhmaá¹as.
: âMy dear Lord, I am not thinking to become happy by getting the daughter as a bride. I am simply thinking that the brÄhmaá¹a has broken his promise, and that is giving me great pain.â
: The young brÄhmaá¹a continued, âMy dear Sir, You are very merciful and You know everything. Therefore, kindly be a witness in this case. A person who knows things as they are and still does not bear witness becomes involved in sinful activities.â
: Lord Ká¹á¹£á¹a replied, âMy dear brÄhmaá¹a, go back to your home and call a meeting of all the men. In that meeting, just try to remember Me.
: âI shall certainly appear there, and at that time I shall protect the honor of both you brÄhmaá¹as by bearing witness to the promise.â
: The young brÄhmaá¹a replied, âMy dear sir, even if You appear there as a four-handed Viá¹£á¹u Deity, still, none of those people will believe in Your words.
: âOnly if You go there in this form of GopÄla and speak the words from Your beautiful face will Your testimony be heard by all the people.â
: Lord Ká¹á¹£á¹a said, âIâve never heard of a Deityâs walking from one place to another.â
The brÄhmaá¹a replied, âThat is true, but how is it that You are speaking to me, although You are a Deity?
: âMy dear Lord, You are not a statue; You are directly the son of MahÄrÄja Nanda. Now, for the sake of the old brÄhmaá¹a, You can do something You have never done before.â
: ÅrÄ« GopÄlajÄ« then smiled and said, âMy dear brÄhmaá¹a, just listen to Me. I shall walk behind you, and in this way I shall go with you.â
: The Lord continued, âDo not try to see Me by turning around. As soon as you see Me, I shall remain stationary in that very place.
: âYou will know that I am walking behind you by the sound of My ankle bells.
: âCook one kilo of rice daily and offer it. I shall eat that rice and follow behind you.â
: The next day, the brÄhmaá¹a begged permission from GopÄla and started for his country. GopÄla followed him, step by step.
: While GopÄla followed the young brÄhmaá¹a, the tinkling sound of His ankle bells could be heard. The brÄhmaá¹a became very pleased, and he cooked first-class rice for GopÄla to eat.
: The young brÄhmaá¹a walked and walked in this way until he eventually arrived in his own country. When he neared his own village, he began to think as follows.
: âI have now come to my village, and I shall go to my home and tell all the people that the witness has arrived.â
: The brÄhmaá¹a then began to think that if the people didnât directly see the GopÄla Deity, they would not believe that He had arrived. âBut even if GopÄla stays here,â he thought, âthere is still nothing to fear.â
: Thinking this, the brÄhmaá¹a turned to look back, and He saw that GopÄla, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was standing there smiling.
: The Lord told the brÄhmaá¹a, âNow you can go home. I shall stay here and shall not leave.â
: The young brÄhmaá¹a then went to the town and informed all the people about GopÄlaâs arrival. Hearing this, the people were struck with wonder.
: All the townspeople went to see the witness GopÄla, and when they saw the Lord actually standing there, they all offered their respectful obeisances.
: When the people arrived, they were very pleased to see the beauty of GopÄla, and when they heard that He had actually walked there, they were all surprised.
: Then the elderly brÄhmaá¹a, being very pleased, came forward and immediately fell like a stick in front of GopÄla.
: Thus in the presence of all the townspeople, Lord GopÄla bore witness that the elderly brÄhmaá¹a had offered his daughter in charity to the young brÄhmaá¹a.
: After the marriage ceremony was performed, the Lord informed both brÄhmaá¹as, âYou two brÄhmaá¹as are My eternal servants, birth after birth.â
: The Lord continued, âI have become very much pleased by the truthfulness of you both. Now you can ask for a benediction.â Thus with great pleasure the two brÄhmaá¹as begged for a benediction.
: The brÄhmaá¹as said, âPlease remain here so that people all over the world will know how merciful You are to Your servants.â
: Lord GopÄla stayed, and the two brÄhmaá¹as engaged in His service. After hearing of the incident, many people from different countries began to come to see GopÄla.
: Eventually the King of that country heard this wonderful story, and he also came to see GopÄla and thus became very satisfied.
: The King constructed a nice temple, and regular service was executed. GopÄla became very famous under the name of SÄká¹£i-gopÄla [the witness GopÄla].
: Thus SÄká¹£i-gopÄla stayed in VidyÄnagara and accepted service for a very long time.
: Later there was a fight, and this country was conquered by King Puruá¹£ottama-deva of Orissa.
: That King was victorious over the King of VidyÄnagara, and he took possession of his throne, the MÄá¹ikya-siá¹hÄsana, which was bedecked with many jewels.
: King Puruá¹£ottama-deva was a great devotee and was advanced in the civilization of the Äryans. He begged at the lotus feet of GopÄla, âPlease come to my kingdom.â
: When the King begged Him to come to his kingdom, GopÄla, who was already obliged for his devotional service, accepted his prayer. Thus the King took the GopÄla Deity and went back to Kaá¹aka.
: After winning the MÄá¹ikya throne, King Puruá¹£ottama-deva took it to JagannÄtha PurÄ« and presented it to Lord JagannÄtha. In the meantime, he also established regular worship of the GopÄla Deity at Kaá¹aka.
: When the GopÄla Deity was installed at Kaá¹aka, the Queen of Puruá¹£ottama-deva went to see Him and, with great devotion, presented various kinds of ornaments.
: The Queen had a very valuable pearl, which she wore on her nose, and she wished to give it to GopÄla. She then began to think as follows.
: âIf there were a hole in the Deityâs nose, I could transfer the pearl to Him.â
: Considering this, the Queen offered her obeisances to GopÄla and returned to her palace. That night she dreamed that GopÄla appeared and began to speak to her as follows.
: âDuring My childhood My mother made a hole in My nose and with great endeavor set a pearl there.
: âThat very hole is still there, and you can use it to set the pearl you desired to give Me.â
: After dreaming this, the Queen explained it to her husband, the King. Both the King and the Queen then went to the temple with the pearl.
: Seeing the hole in the nose of the Deity, they set the pearl there and, being very pleased, held a great festival.
: Since then, GopÄla has been situated in the city of Kaá¹aka [Cuttack], and He has been known ever since as SÄká¹£i-gopÄla.
: Thus ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu heard the narration of GopÄlaâs activities. Both He and His personal devotees became very pleased.
: When ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu was sitting before the GopÄla Deity, all the devotees saw Him and the Deity as being of the same form.
: They were of the same complexion, and both had gigantic bodies. Both wore saffron cloth, and both were very grave.
: The devotees saw that both Lord Caitanya MahÄprabhu and GopÄla were brilliantly effulgent and had eyes like lotuses. They were both absorbed in ecstasy, and both Their faces resembled full moons.
: When NityÄnanda saw the GopÄla Deity and ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu in that way, He began to exchange remarks with the devotees, all of whom were smiling.
: Thus with great pleasure Lord ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu passed that night in the temple. After seeing the maá¹
gala-Ärati ceremony in the morning, He started on His journey.
: [In his book Caitanya-bhÄgavata] ÅrÄ«la Vá¹ndÄvana dÄsa á¹¬hÄkura has very vividly described the places visited by the Lord on the way to BhuvaneÅvara.
: When ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu arrived at Kamalapura, He took His bath in the BhÄrgÄ«nadÄ« River and left His sannyÄsa staff in the hands of Lord NityÄnanda.
: When Lord Caitanya MahÄprabhu went to the temple of Lord Åiva known as KapoteÅvara, NityÄnanda Prabhu, who was keeping His sannyÄsa staff in custody, broke the staff in three parts and threw it into the river BhÄrgÄ«nadÄ«. Later this river became known as Daá¹á¸a-bhÄá¹
: After seeing the temple of JagannÄtha from a distant place, ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu immediately became ecstatic. After offering obeisances to the temple, He began to dance in the ecstasy of love of God.
: All the devotees became ecstatic in the association of Lord Caitanya, and thus absorbed in love of God, they were dancing and singing while going along the main road.
: ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu laughed, cried, danced and made many ecstatic vibrations and sounds. Although the temple was only six miles away, to Him the distance seemed thousands of miles.
: Thus walking and walking, the Lord eventually arrived at the place known as Äá¹hÄranÄlÄ. Arriving there, He expressed His external consciousness, speaking to ÅrÄ« NityÄnanda Prabhu.
: When Lord Caitanya MahÄprabhu had thus regained external consciousness, He asked Lord NityÄnanda Prabhu, âPlease return My staff.â
: NityÄnanda Prabhu said, âWhen You fell down in ecstasy, I caught You, but both of Us together fell upon the staff.
: âThus the staff broke under Our weight. Where the pieces have gone, I cannot say.
: âIt is certainly because of My offense that Your staff was broken. Now You can punish Me on this account as You think proper.â
: After hearing the story about how His staff had been broken, the Lord expressed a little sadness and, displaying a bit of anger, began to speak as follows.
: Caitanya MahÄprabhu said, âYou have all benefited Me by bringing Me to NÄ«lÄcala. However, My only possession was that one staff, and you have not kept it.
: âSo all of you should go before or behind Me to see Lord JagannÄtha. I shall not go with you.â
: Mukunda Datta told ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu, âMy Lord, You should go ahead and allow all the others to follow. We shall not go with You.â
: ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu then began to walk very swiftly before all the other devotees. No one could understand the real purpose of the two Lords, Caitanya MahÄprabhu and NityÄnanda Prabhu.
: The devotees could not understand why NityÄnanda Prabhu broke the staff, why ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu permitted Him to do so, or why, after permitting Him, Caitanya MahÄprabhu became angry.
: The pastime of the breaking of the staff is very deep. Only one whose devotion is fixed upon the lotus feet of the two Lords can understand it.
: The glories of Lord GopÄla, who is merciful to brÄhmaá¹as, are very great. The narration of SÄká¹£i-gopÄla was spoken by NityÄnanda Prabhu and heard by ÅrÄ« Caitanya MahÄprabhu.
: One who hears this narration of Lord GopÄla with faith and love very soon attains the lotus feet of Lord GopÄla.
: Praying at the lotus feet of ÅrÄ« RÅ«pa and ÅrÄ« RaghunÄtha, always desiring their mercy, I, Ká¹á¹£á¹adÄsa, narrate ÅrÄ« Caitanya-caritÄmá¹ta, following in their footsteps.