After Lakshmipriya Devi (Nimai Pandita’s first wife) passed away, suffering an intense separation from her husband, Saci Mata endeavored to get Nimai married for the second time. Sri Sanatana Mishra was a pious and charitable brahmana of Navadvipa. He was exceedingly educated and being a great scholar, had received the title of ‘Raja Pandita’. Gaura Gannoddesha Dipika reveals that Sanatana Mishra was the incarnation of King Satrajit. His daughter, Srimati Vishnupriya Devi was a chaste, beautiful woman of noble character. She embodied all the divine qualities of Lakshmi Devi.
Tanra kanya aachen parama Sucharita
Murtimati Lakshmi-praya sei jaganmata
(Sri Caitanya Bhagavata)
Mother Saci and Vishnupriya Devi would often meet with each other on the bank of the Ganges. On each occasion, Vishnupriya Devi would humbly touch Saci Mata’s feet and beg for her blessings. Mother Saci would bless Her by saying, ’May Lord Krishna give You a worthy husband’. Saci Mata thought to herself how nice it would be if Vishnupriya Devi and Lord Chaitanya got married to each other. At the same time, Sanatana Mishra also desired to have Viswambhara as his son-in-law.
Saci Mata approached Sri Kashinath Pandita, the matchmaker, and requested him to convey her desires to Sanatana Mishra, Vishnupriya devi’s father. When Kasinath proposed the marriage between Viswambhara and Vishnupriya, Sanatana Mishra became very pleased. Sanatana Mishra replied :
‘Bhagya thake yadi sarva-bangsher amara,
Tabe heno su-sambandha haibe kanyar’
‘If my entire family is fortunate enough, then let my daughter be blessed with this wonderful relationship (with Viswambhara and His family)’.
Sri Buddhimanta Khan, an eternal associate of Mahaprabhu, was a wealthy gentleman of Navadvipa. He was the incarnation of King Suvarna Sena, who in the previous yugas, had ruled over these lands.Suvarna Vihara, the place where Suvarna Sen’s palace once stood, can be taken darsana of at Godrumadvipa till this day. Ancient relics of prehistoric architecture have been excavated from this place that tells a tale of an opulent past.Sri Buddhimanta Khan, subsequently bore the entire expense of Mahaprabhu and Vishnupriya devi’s marriage.
Adhivasa ceremony :
The marriage arena was lavishly decorated, musicians were hired to add melody to the surroundings and all the brahmanas, vaishnavas and notable gentlemen of Navadvipa were invited. During the adhivasa ceremony, held the day before the marriage,a grand feast was served and people honored the prasada to their heart’s content. The Brahmanas were bestowed with several gifts in charity and some of them ,being greedy, accepted the gifts twice or even thrice.The whole atmosphere was surcharged with the loud chantings of the Lord’s holy names and the ululations of the ladies. Sounds of Mridanga, Kartala, Shehnai and drums filled the land and skies of Nadia. Below is a beautiful excerpt from Chaitanya Mangala, reciting the wonderful pastimes of the Lord’s adhivasa ceremony:
Anandita Saci-devi aiha sukh laiya
Putra mahotsava kare nana drabya diya
Taila, Haridra ara Lalate sindura
Khai , kadalaka ara sandesha, tambula
Anande mangala gaya yata aihagana
Prabhu adhivasa kare yateka brahmana
Brahmanete veda pare , baje shubho sankha
Nanabida badya baje pataha mridanga
Choudikete kulabadhu dei jaya jaya
Prabhu adhivasa haila uttama samaya
(Chaitanya mangala – Adi, 6.83-87)
A delighted Saci devi ,along with the other elderly ladies ,celebrated this great adhivasa ceremony of her son with great bliss.Various articles including oil and turmeric were used.Red vermillion was smeared on Nimai’s forehead. Patched paddy, bananas, sweets and betel nuts were also used during this wonderful ceremony. The married ladies sang various auspicious songs. The brahmanas were entrusted with performing the adhivasa ceremony of the Lord. The brahmanas recited mantras from the Vedas while auspicious conch shells were blown. Various musical instruments like Mridangam added to the charm of the event .The sounds of ‘Jaya ! Jaya!’ resounded on all four directions. The Adhivasa ceremony of the Lord was celebrated with great glory.
Similarly ,the adhivasa ceremony of Vishnupriya devi was also performed. Her limbs sparkled with various jems and jewels (apane apana kanya adhivasa kare, jhalamala kare anga ratna alankare). She worshipped the Supreme Lord and Her own ancestors as per the prevalent customs.Her adhivasa was performed amidst sacred chants from the vedas which was accompanied by melodious music and loud glorification by all present.When the Brahmanas chanted their mantras, auspicious sounds from conch shells were produced. Loud chants of ‘Jaya !Jaya !’ continuously resounded on all directions.
The Marriage :
The next morning , Lord Chaitanya bathed in the Ganges and performed the worship of Lord Vishnu. Though lord Chaitanya, is none other than the Supreme Lord Himself, yet He performed His duties as per the prevalent customs, just like a common person. His ecstatic awe-inspiring pastimes were yet to be revealed to the world.Thereafter He sought blessings of mother Sashti (a form of goddess Durga) and returned to His residence in Yogpeeth.
As per the ritual, the elderly ladies bathed His body and smeared it with patched paddy, banana, oil, betel nuts and vermillion.There seemed to be present an infinite stock of all the ingredients and necessary paraphernalia.The brahmanas were bestowed with several gifts in charity and fed sumptuously.
As the evening approached, people began preparing Mahaprabhu for His marriage.His forehead was decorated with a beautiful half-moon design created out of sandalwood paste. An enchanting Tilaka also marked His forehead. He adorned a wonderful crown and several garlands of fragrant flowers graced His beautiful body.He wore a fine silk dhoti that emitted the golden-yellow hue of the setting sun. The beauty of the Lord who adorned black kajal on His pink eyes, and golden jewellery upon His blissful body, surpassed that of millions of cupids. People were mesmerized beholding the wonderful form of the Lord and became oblivious of everything else. Sri Chaitanya Mangala, recites the wonderful form of the Lord :
Tabe sei Mahaprabhu Viswambhara Raya
Angera subesh kare yateka yuyaya
Divya ratna alankara raktapranta baash
Maha maha kare Gaura angera batash
Sahaje Sri Anga gandha ara divya Gandha
Chandana Tilake bhale Sri Mukhachandra
Nokh chandra shobha kare angule anguri
Jhalamala anga tyejah chahite na pari
Ati sukamala ranga adhara bimbaka
Sravane shobhoye ganda kusuma kanthaka
Angada , kankana kare charane nupur
Dekhiya nagari hiya kare duur duur
(Chaitanya Mangala, adi , 6.99-104)
Then Lord Chaitanya’s limbs were finely dressed in wonderful garments.His body was anointed with heavenly ornaments .His wonderful garments had red borders upon them. Fragrant breeze emitted out of His beautiful body.His transcendental form is naturally fragrant and the other heavenly fragrances added to its aroma.His face was anointed with sandalwood paste and Tilaka.His nails appeared just like the moon .Rings sparkled upon His fingers. His form was so brilliantly effulgent that He could not be stared at. His demeanour was graceful and His lips resembled Bimba trees. Shark shaped earrings dangled from His perfectly shaped ears.Bracelets, armlets and anklets graced His beautiful body. Gazing at Him, agitated the hearts of all young girls.
The Lord then circumambulated mother Saci and sought blessings from the respected brahmanas. He was then made to ascend a gorgeous palanquin , and was paraded around the entire city.Hundreds of lamps lit up the surroundings and symphony of the music added to the charm.Buddhimanta’s men held up colored flags and led the procession.Hundreds of dancers, musicians and the guests accompanied the Lord’s palanquin. The people of Navadvipa, let go of their reservations and also joined in the procession as it passed by.Who can estimate the great fortune of the residents of Navadvipa who could behold the enchanting form and beauty of the Supreme Lord. The brahmanas with their unmarried daughters bitterly lamented as to why their daughters were not getting married to Nimai Pandita. No one had ever seen a marriage as glorious and as opulent as that of Mahaprabhu.
‘Bada bada bibha dekhiyachi’- loke bale
Emata samriddhi nahi dekhi kon-kaale
‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ offers its humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of the fortunate residents of Navadvipa who were blessed to behold these wonderful transcendental pastimes of the most munificent Lord. Sri Locana das Thakura describes in Sri Chaitanya Mangala, how the people of Navadvipa were amazed to gaze upon the beauty of Lord Gauranga.
Ki Naari , purusha, dhaya ek mukh
Keho kahe nahi mane
Thelatheli path, dhaya unmata
Dekhite Gauranga badane
Baal, briddha ,andha, pangur ,bhangura
Atur dekhoye swadhe
Keho keho bandhu , kare kara diya
Dhaye thira nahi bandhe
Madana bedana , badana dekhiya
Adhira haila nari
Pashu pakhi sab, Gauranga dekhiya,
rahe sabhe saari saari
Boyoshye bestita divya alankrita
Mukuta nikata lalate
Locana bale Hari , bhullo Nagari
Ghucholo hrodoy kapate
(Chaitanya Mangala, Adi- 6.141-144)
Whether it be a woman or a man – pushing and shoving they ran wildly only in one direction in order to behold the wonderful face of Lord Gauranga.Whether one was young, old, blind, lame or sick – all yearned to catch a glimpse of Gaurahari.Though they were not shackled to each other, yet the friends, held each other’s hands as they ran. Seeing His cupid-like face, the ladies became impatient, while the birds and beasts stood still. Lord Gauranga was surrounded by His friends and He was decorated with heavenly ornaments. His forehead was decorated with a beautiful wedding crown. Locana das says that in order to alleviate the distress of the ladies of Nadiya, lord Hari had entered through their hearts.
Gradually the procession reached Sanatana Misra’s house, who along with his relatives, warmly welcomed the groom along with His associates. Everyone showered flowers of welcome, as Nimai was taken inside.The bride’s mother placed a three bladed grass upon the Lord’s head and worshipped Him with ghee lamps.Lord Viswambhara’s feet were washed with water and He was offered clothes ,ornaments and other sacred paraphernalia.Srimati Vishnupriya devi was also exquisitely dressed, and seeing Her beauty all were very impressed and satisfied. Chaitanya Mangala describes that Vishnupriya devi’s bodily complexion embarrassed even the brilliance of lightning.Her hairs were like the hoods of a cobra, Her eyes were like that of a doe,Her nose and eyebrows surpassed perfection,Her palms were as red as the finest of lotus flowers,and Her teeth were just like a string of pearls.Her beauty could bewilder even the soberest of sages.Her head was slightly lowered in shyness, and Her moistened eyes brimmed with love as She smiled gently and glanced at Her beloved Lord.
Thereafter Vishnupriya devi circumambulated Nimai seven times and offered respect with folded hands.Once the other formalities were complete, Vishnupriya devi placed a flower garland upon Nimai’s lotus feet.Mahaprabhu smilingly picked it up and placed it upon the bride’s neck. The relatives showered flowers upon the divine couple. Invisible to everyone’s eyes, the demigods headed by Lord Brahma also appeared at that place and participated in showering flowers upon the divine couple.
Brahmadi devata sab alakshitarupe
Pushpa Bristi lagilen karite kautuke
There was a jovial competition that then took place between the relatives of the bride and the groom as to who could raise the bride or the groom higher. Sometimes the relatives of the bride won while sometimes the relatives of the groom were victorious.The bride and the groom then exchanged their glances amidst the joyful sound of music.The marriage ceremony commenced and at its conclusion Sanatana Mishra handed over his daughter unto Her eternal consort ,Sri Gaurahari.He prayed so that his daughter develops a loving attachment towards Lord Vishnu.Along with his daughter, Sri Sanatana gifted nice cows, lands, bedding,furniture,servants and other valuable gifts unto the Groom. The house of Sanatana Mishra was indeed transformed into Vaikuntha. All the guests then enjoyed a sumptuous feast. Previously, just as Nagnajit ,Janaka Maharaj, Jambavan, etc had obtained the great fortune of receiving the Supreme Lord as their son-in-law, similarly, Sanatana Mishra , on the strength of his previous devotional credits, had then become the fortunate father-in-law of Nimai Pandita.After spending the night happily at Sanatana Misra’s house, the divine couple took their leave and proceeded towards Yogpeeth, the next day.
Srila Vrindavana Das Thakura concludes this wonderful chapter of Chaitanya Bhagavata, with the assurance that anyone who reads or hears of this pastime, definitely obtains the association of Lord Gauranga and accompanies Him in His pastimes :
E saba Iswara Leela, ye pare , ye shune
Se abasya viharaye Gaurachandra-sane
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 15.224)
‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ worships the lotus feet of our spiritual master and humbly prays so that we may advance in our bhakti, develop loving attachment unto the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga and are able to serve the Vaishnavas, by our honest and sincere efforts. We seek his blessings and compassion, in successfully rendering this humble service of reciting the pastimes and revealing the pastime places of the Supreme Lord and His beloved associates. We shall consider ourselves greatly fortunate and our existence meaningful if Lord Gaurahari and our dear spiritual master are kindly pleased with our endeavors.