Achambita vayu vahe, juraye shakala dehe
Koti chand jini yeno jyoti
Sripadapadama gandhe , aulaye sharira bandhe
Ye dekhiye tohi kama kanti
Suddenly a breeze began blowing, which brought coolness to Narada’s entire body. He saw an effulgence brighter than millions of moons. Smelling the fragrance of the Lord’s lotus feet, his body became overwhelmed with ecstasy. He gazed upon a person more beautiful than Kama deva.
Aneka madana raya, anugata kaje dhay
Prema binu na dekhiye loka
Na diba-rajani jani, na dekhiye vinavini
Sarvajana harish ashoka
There were thousands of cupids running about to serve Him. No one saw Him without experiencing a feeling of great love for Him.They did not know whether it was day or night. They did not see narada as being any different from them. All the residents were blissful and free from any grief.
Gamana natana leela, vachana sangita kala
Nayana chahani akarsana
Ranga binu nahi anga, bhava binu nahi sanga
Rasamaya dehera gathana
Every walk of theirs, was a dance, every word they spoke was a song. Their eyes and vision were attracted to the Lord. Each and every limb of their body was ecstatic, and a God-centric spiritual mood permeated their association. Their bodies were built with nectarean mellows of love of God.
Tanu chidanandamoy , bhumi chintamani haya
Kalpataru sarvataru tatha
Surabhi yateka sab, kamdhenu yena naba
Uddhavadira asha gulma-lata
Their bodies were infused with knowledge and bliss and the ground was made of touchstone jewels.Every tree was a wishfulling tree and all the cows were surabhis. This is where Uddhava and the other great devotees yearn to take birth as a bush or a creeper.
Taking a birth as a creeper in this realm would enable one to receive the dust from the lotus feet of such exalted associates of the Lord or perhaps even the Lord Himself. What more can one ask for ?
Sarvataru kalpadruma, tahi ek nirupama
Ratnabedi tar dui pashe
Svarna simhasana tay, basiya Gauranga raya
Sarasa madhura lahu hashe
All the trees in that realm were wish fulfilling. Amidst them, Narada saw a peerless platform bedecked with jewels. Upon it was a golden throne on which sat Lord Gauranga. He adorned a sweet nectarian smile.
Sashakha mangala ghote, simhasana sunikate
Ratana-pradipa jvale , yena divakara kare
Alokita jagata bhoriya
An auspicious waterpot, which touched the lord’s left toe, rested near the throne. The place was illuminated by a bejewelled lamp , which shone brightly like the sun. The lamp as if illuminated the whole world with light.
Radhika dakshina pashe , anuchari kari kaje
Ratna kalasa kari kare
Bampashe Rukmini, kachhe kari sangini
Svarna ghate ratna jol bhore
Srimati Radharani, along with Her followers stood on the Lord’s right.They were holding jewelled waterpots. On the Lord’s left was Rukmini devi along with Her friends, holding golden waterpots with jewelled water.
Nagnajita jol bhore, dei mitravrinda kare
Mitravrinda sulakshana kare
Se dei Rukmini hathe, devi dhale prabhu mathe
Avisheka suranadi jole
Nagnajita filled the pot with water and handed it over to Mitravrinda who in turn gave it to Sulakshana.She gave it to Rukmini devi who then poured it upon Lord Gauranga’s head. In this way the abhisheka of Lord Gauranga was performed with water from the celestial ganges.
Tilottama jol bhore, sei madhupriya kare
Madhupriya chandramukhi kare
Se dei Radhika hathe, Rai dhale Prabhu mathe
Avisheka kare Gangajale
Tilottama filled the pot with water and handed it over to Madhupriya who in turn gave it to Chandramukhi.She gave it to Radharani who then poured the celestial ganges upon Lord Gauranga’s head. In this way the abhisheka of Lord Gauranga was performed.
Satyabhama antare, divya gandha kari kare
Divya malya, vastra, alankara
Lakshana subhadra, bhadra, satyabhama paratantra
Anukrame kare dei tar
Satyabhama devi gave celestial scents, flowers, clothes, ornaments to (her maidservants) Laksmana, Subhadra and Bhadra. Satyabhama devi, who is completely subservient, handed over these items one by one in order.
Ara divya nari yata, chari pashe shata shata
Divyabhusha divya upahar
Ratana stabaka kare, rahe prabhu barabare
Jaya jaya mangala uchhara
Hundreds and hundreds of celestial ladies, who surrounded all the four directions, came with celestial clothes and celestial gifts. They glorified the Lord with select prayers and offering Him jewels. They loudly chanted the auspicious sounds of ‘Jaya ! Jaya !’
Goloka nathera snan, iha bahi nahi aan
Agame kahila maha dhyan
Hema Gaur Kalebara, mantra chari akshara
Sahaja vaikunthanatha shyama
The Vedic scriptures say that the best meditation is to always remember the abhisheka of the Lord of Goloka. The body of Lord Gauranga shone like molten Gold and He is worshipped with a four syllable mantra. When He is the King of Vaikuntha, His form is dark.
According to the Vedic scriptures, the best form of meditation is to meditate upon the abhisheka (bathing) pastimes of the Supreme Lord. One can contemplate upon the pastimes of Lord Gauranga’s abhisheka at Srivasa angan, during the maha-prakash Leela. Below is an excerpt from one of our books in ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ series describing this pastime :
“…One day, Lord Gaurahari stood up to dance at Srivasa Pandita’s house, but instead of doing so He went and sat upon Lord Vishnu’s throne.On the previous occasions, whenever the Lord had mounted upon the altar, he had done so in devotional ecstasy .But this time, He did this on purpose. In fact the Lord remained seated upon the throne for the next 21 hours ,enacting one of His most awe inspiring pastimes.This pastime is sometimes also referred to as Sath-prahariya- bhava (sath – seven, Prahar – 1 prahar is equivalent to 3 hours).Understanding His mood, the devotees arranged for pots of water from the holy Ganges and performed His abhishek (bathing ceremony). After mixing the ganges water with saffron,camphor,musk,sandalwood paste ,the devotees bathed the Lord, one by one. Usually 108 pots of water are utilized for doing abhishek but on this case, the number far exceeded. One of Srivasa Pandita’s maidservants, who was named Dukhi (meaning one who is sad) was engaged in this service of bringing the water from the Ganges. Seeing her thus immersed in service, sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was so happy, that He gave her the name Sukhi (meaning one who is happy) thereby indicating that He had taken away all her material distresses.
After the abhishek ceremony, the lord wanted His devotees to offer Him various of food to eat. Here it must be noted that the Lord wants His devotees to serve Him in order to shower His mercy upon them and further purify them. He accepts even if His devotee offers Him a tulasi leaf and water with love. But the Lord would accept nothing from one who is not devoted unto Him. Hundreds of pots of Dahi (curd),milk,bunches of bananas,coconuts,sweets,etc were offered unto the lord who immediately consumed them to the pleasure of all present…”
Shyama dehe chari haath, dhoroye Vaikunthanatha
Chari hasthe chari astra tanr
Hema-kiraniya pahun, Hema ange hashe lahu
Dvibhuje sarira shuno sar
When He manifests Himself as the Lord of Vaikuntha, His dark form has four hands, each holding a particular weapon. However in His effulgent golden form (as Gauranga) with golden limbs, He manifests two hands and smiles gently. Please hear more.
Lord Narayana ,the Lord of Vaikuntha, reveals :
E mor antara hiya, tomare kahila iha
Sambari rakhoho nija mone
Saba avatara sar , Kali Gora avatara
Nistariba lok nijagune
(Chaitanya Mangala, text 272)
(Lord Narayana continued) ‘Now I have revealed my heart to you. Please keep this secret carefully locked away in your heart. Lord Gauranga, who shall appear in this age of kali, is the essence of all the other incarnations of the supreme. By the strength of His transcendental qualities, He shall deliver all people in Kali Yuga’.
The manifestation of ecstasy of the devotees of Lord Gauranga, amazes even the denizens of Vaikuntha :
Aho vaikuntha sthair api ca bhagavata parshada varaih
Saromancahm drista yad anuchara Vakresvara mukhah
Mahascharya premojjvala rasa sadavesha vivasi
Kritangas tam Gauram katham akritah punyah pranayatu
(Chaitanya Chandramrita, Text 44)
When the exalted devotees of Vaikuntha behold the wonderful faces of the most intimate devotees of Lord Gauranga headed by Vakresvara Pandita, which are overwhelmed and agitated by continually tasting the splendid nectar of pure love for Lord Gauranga, the Lord’s associates in vaikuntha are filled with great wonder and the hairs on their body stand on their end. Without performing many pious deeds how can one become a devotee of Lord Gauranga ?
Aichhana samaye muni, dekhi Gauragunamani
Bibhora parila padatale
Ankhi milibare nare, punah chahe dekhibare
Sinaila nayanera jole
At this time, sage Narada, seeing Lord Gauranga, who is a jewel of all virtues, became overwhelmed and fell at His feet. With unblinking eyes, and wanting to see the Lord again and again, he continued gazing at Him. With his tears he bathed the
Snan samapiya pahun, hashi kahe lahun lahun
Narada tuliya laila kole
Ghuchila samsaya chinta , ghuchila manera byatha
Prabhu priya lahun lahun bole
Bathed in this way, the Lord gently smiled and picked up Narada onto His lap. All of Narada’s doubts were now removed, and the anguish in his hearts was now vanquished. Then narada, who was dear to the Lord, gently spoke.
Muni bole Mahaprabhu, heno aparupa kabhu
Na dekhila na shunila ami
Janama saphala aji, dekhila amiyaraji
Dhani dhani apnake mani
(Narada said) ‘I said Mahaprabhu, Never before have I seen or heard of a wonderful form like Yours. My birth has become successful today, having seen this flow of nectar and I consider myself very very fortunate’.
Narada muni explains below how Lord Gauranga is the essence of all the other incarnations :
Yata yata avatara saba haite sar
Kabhu nahi dekhi heno premar bhandar
Safal janam din, safal nayan
Ki dekhilun Gaura rupa , prasanna bayan
(Chaitanya Mangala , 2.121-122)
(Narada muni says) ‘Of all the Lord’s incarnations , Lord Gauranga is the best. I have never ever seen such a reservoir of pure ecstatic love. My life has become successful, my eyes have borne fruit, as today I have been able to behold the beautiful form of Lord Gauranga with His pleasant, blissful, smiling face’.
Sri Chaitanya Chandramrita reveals why Lord Gauranga is avatara sar :
Rakso-daitya-kulam hatam kiyad idam yogadi-vartma-kriya-
Margo va prakati-kritah kiyad idam sristy adhikam va kiyat
Mediny-uddharanadikam kiyad idam premojjvalaya maha-
Bhakter vartma-karim param bhagavatas Chaitanya-murtim stumah
(Chaitanya Chandramrita, Text 7)
What benefit did the world derive when the incarnations of the supreme Lord like Ramachandra, Nrsimha, and many others killed so many raksasa and Daityas ? What was the benefit derived when Lord kapila and other incarnations reveal the paths of sankhya and yoga ? Is it of great glory that Lord Brahma and other guna-avataras create, maintain and destroy the material universes ? How auspicious is it that Lord Varahadeva lifted and rescued the earth from the garbhodaka ocean ? We do not consider these pastimes to be so important. The most important of all things is that Lord Chaitanya has revealed the great splendour of pure ecstatic love for Himself. Let us glorify that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Vrindavana das Thakura glorifies the wonderful blissful form of Lord Gaurahari in one of his bhajans :
Madanamohana tanu Gauranga Sundara
Lalate Tilakashova urdhhe mahohara
Trikachha vasana shobhe kutila kuntala
Ayata nayana dui parama chanchala
Shukla-yajna-suta shobhe beriya sarire
Suksha-rupe ananta ye heno kalebare
Adhare tambula hashe adhara chapiya
Jaun Vrindavana Dasa se rupa nichiha
The exquisitely beautiful body of Lord Gauranga is more enchanting than that of a cupid. His forehead is adorned with a glistening Vaishnava tilaka.
He wears wonderful clothes which are tucked at three places (example- dhoti) with His hairs curled all over His head. His large eyes are very restless.
Manifesting a very slender subtle form Lord Ananta has become a white sacred thread that adorns Gauranga’s beautiful body.
Upon His lips rest a tambula and a gentle half smile.
Seeing this wonderful form, Vrindavana das worships Him.
Brahmadi na jane tattva, avatara abidita
Achintya boliya boli toma
Jyotirmaya bole keho, mukhe na nirvache seho
Kahibare nahika upama
(Narada continued) ‘Even the demigods headed by Lord Brahma do not understand You. That is why i say that Your incarnation is beyond the jurisdiction of knowledge. Some say that You are the Supreme effulgence; You are beyond the description of any words. There is no metaphor or simile that can sufficiently describe You’.
Keho bole paratpara, pradhana purusa bor
Vichare na kare nirupana
Sarvamoy tor shakti, dekhiya na paye mukti
Agochara tor acharana
(Narada continued) ‘Some say that You are greater than the Greatest, the Supreme person, who cannot be understood by analytical reasoning. Even seeing Your all pervading energies, one cannot obtain liberation. Your transcendental pastimes defy comprehension’.
Sahasra-phana ananta, na paiya gunera anta
Dvijiya dharila sab mukhe
Na paiya gunera or, aichhana thakura Gaur
Kripabale dekhilam toke
(Narada continued) ‘Even Lord Ananta with thousands of hoods, cannot reach the end of Your qualities.Although He is trying He cannot properly glorify You. I could behold Your beautiful form , O Gauranga, only by Your mercy’.
The Supreme Lord can only be known due to His causeless mercy. Without receiving His mercy, one cannot hope to understand the Lord by strength of his intelligence or mental speculation. The Lord is hence also known as ‘adhoksaja’ , or one who is beyond the perception of material senses.
Ye punah arati kare, tuya pada anusare
Nana budhhi nahe ekmat
Keho bale sarvabyapi, sukhha-vadi sankhya yogi
Sthula seva koroye bhakata
(Narada continued) ‘One who worships You , and follows Your feet, does not have his intelligence diverted into many paths.The Yogis and the sankhya-ites worship You as the all pervading subtle energy while You are grossly worshipped by the devotees’.
There are three classes of spiritual seekers , namely – the jnanis, yogis and devotees. The Jnanis worship the Supreme Truth as impersonal brahman. The Yogis meditate upon the supreme as paramatma in their heart. While the devotees worship the supreme as the supreme person having a beautiful form of eternity, knowledge and bliss. This can be compared to different people viewing the same sun differently. One class of men (jnanis) know only about the effulgence of the sun and its bright sun rays. The other class of men (yogis) go a bit deeper and can successfully behold the round disc shape of the sun beyond its glaring effulgence.While the remaining class of men (devotee) go even further and can visualize whatever is happening or the activities within sun. As is evident from the above example, the devotees have the most complete understanding of the Supreme truth. It is after many many births that the yogis and the jnanis realize the superiority of the path of devotion and surrender unto the Supreme Lord knowing Him to be the cause of all causes (bahunaam janmanam ante, jnanavan mam prapadyate – Bhagavad Gita, 7.19)
Keho ved anushare , nitya, dharma, karma kare
Varnasrama dharma anugata
Vedanta siddhanta yei, samadhan nahi pai
Na bujhiya kahe nana mata
(Narada continued) ‘Some follow the Varnasrama dharma prescribed in the vedas and act accordingly.They do not understand the conclusion of the Vedic scriptures, and therefore speak of different philosophies’.
In Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna reveals to Arjuna :
vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedanta krid vedavid eva caham
(Bhagavad Gita, 15.15)
By all the Vedas only I am to be known; I am the compiler of Vedanta and the knower of the Vedas.
Knowing the supreme Lord and becoming devoted unto Him, is the ultimate conclusion of the Vedic scriptures. A jiva or a living entity becomes situated in his constitutional position and attains the perfection of his life, only when he endeavours to serve the supreme Lord with his body,mind and words. In this way his propensity to render service is properly directed.
That is why Sri Chaitanya Chandramrita reveals :
Acharya dharmam paricharya visnum
Vicharya tirthani vicharya vedan
Vina na Gaura priyapada sevam
Vedadi dusprapa padam vidanti
(Chaitanya Chandramrita, Text 22)
Those who follow the rules of varnasrama dharma and occupational duties, or worship lord Vishnu for many many lives, visit places of pilgrimages, or scrutinizingly study the vedas but do not serve the lotus feet of the dear devotees of Lord Gauranga who are constantly absorbed in chanting, preaching and meditating upon His Holy glories and Pastimes – they shall never be able to understand or attain the transcendental abodes of Navadvipa or Vrindavana which is beyond the reach of the four vedas.
Anyanye virodh kene, iha nahi anumane
Kahe punah eki advaita
Na bujhi tomara marma, paksha dhari kare karma
Tor katha sarva abidita
(Narada continued) ‘Why do they ferociously debate between themselves ?Some say that the Absolute truth is non-differentiated oneness. Not understanding Your truth, they take sides and act accordingly. All of them are completely oblivious to Your truth’.
In this verse Narada muni clearly rejects the Mayavada philosophy. It is stated herein that God is the Supreme being who is different from the individual jivas. Though the jiva or the living entity is the same with the Supreme qualitatively yet the living being is infinitesimal while the Supreme Lord is infinite. The idea that everything is same and all is one (advaita) is rejected in this verse. The mayavadis desire to become one with God through their meditational process. At the end of their life, these practitioners wish to merge with the impersonal brahmajyoti, which is the glaring bodily effulgence of the Lord. This bodily effulgence of the Supreme is the highest conception (imperfect) of God that they know of. But though there is plenty of peace in this kind of impersonal liberation, yet there is no provision to serve the Supreme being. Hence inspite of being liberated the soul continues to hanker for the association of the supersoul. As a result, many of them fall down to the material world once more in order to revive their original subservient relationship with the Supreme. This kind of impersonal liberation , wherein one considers himself at par with the supreme Lord, is despised by the devotees who cannot stand even a moment without serving their beloved master. Ultimately, the jiva and the Supreme Being are two different entities and there is no possibility of them becoming one.
The Katha Upanishad clearly differentiates between the living entity (infinitesimal) and the Supreme being(infinite) :
nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman
(Katha Upanishad 2.2.13)
‘The Supreme Lord is eternal and the living beings are also eternal. The Supreme Lord is cognizant and the living beings are cognizant (the living entity is cognizant of his own self, whereas the supreme Lord is all cognizant). The difference is that the
Supreme Lord is supplying all the necessities of life for the other living
Ebe pada parashade, nirabadhi prana kande
Iha chhari prakrita murati
Punah janamiya ara, kari Krishna samsara
Achariye ei premabhakti
(Narada continued) ‘Receiving the mercy of Your feet, my heart cries. My Lord, Let me just die and take birth in a family of devotees where i can render loving devotional service unto You’.
Aichhana narada vani , shuni kahe gunamani
Chala chala chala muniraje
Kali-loka nistariba, nijabhakti prachariba
Janmiba Nadiya majha
Hearing the words of Narada, Lord Gauranga, who is a jewel of all virtues, said ,’Let us go, let us go, let us go, O king of sages. I shall take birth in the midst of Nadiya, and shall deliver the people of Kali, by preaching devotional service unto Myself’.
Kripa-sindhuh sandhyaruna-ruchi- vicitrambara-dharoj-
Jvalah purna-premamrita-maya-maha-jyotir amalah
Kalanathah sriman udayatu tava svanta nabhasi
(Chaitanya Chandramrita, Text 15)
Creating great tidal waves in the great ocean of causeless mercy, being splendidly dressed in wonderful and astonishing saffron garments that are as glorious as the sunrise, and glowing with the nectar of pure ecstatic love, may the handsome and wonderful moon of Lord Chaitanya, who has arisen from the supremely pure milk ocean of mother Saci’s womb, enter the sky of your heart.
Prithivi chaloho tumi, svetadvipe achhi ami
Balarama nama sahadara
Ananta yahara angsha, ekadash rudra vamsa
Seva kare Mahesh isvara
(The Lord continued) ‘Go to earth Narada. I reside in Svetadvipa along with my elder brother Balarama. Ananta sesha is His plenary expansion. He is served by Lord Shiva and the eleven Rudras’.
Revati Ramani sange, achhoye vilasa range
Kshir-jala-nidhi mahi majhe
Yata avatara haya , sei matra sahay
Age kari kare nija kaje
(The Lord continued) ‘Along with Revati (Balarama’s wife) He enjoys His pastimes on an island in the middle of the milk ocean. All the incarnations arise from Him. He is my only help.He incarnates before Me and does His necessary work’.
Lord Balarama incarnated as Nityananda Prabhu in Lord Gauranga’s pastimes. Lord Nityananda, in His plenary portion as Ananta sesha, holds the entire material world upon His hoods. Lord Nityananda is the first expansion of the supreme Lord and manifests Himself in various ways in order to assist the Lord in His various pastimes. When the Lord sleeps, He manifests Himself as His bed, when the Lord walks, He manifests Himself as His umbrella, when the Lord accepted His sannyasa, Nityananda Prabhu Himself manifested as the Lord’s sannyasa rod, etc. All the other incarnations of the supreme Lord, apart from Krishna and Lord Gaurahari, are either plenary portions or plenary portions of plenary portions of Lord Nityananda. Anyone who worships Nityananda Prabhu or seeks His shelter, at once becomes very dear to Lord Gauranga. Without Nityananda Prabhu’s mercy one cannot obtain the mercy of Lord Gauranga or achieve the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna (‘heno Nitai bine bhai, Radha Krishna paite nai’). Nityananda Prabhu is the most pleased when we worship Lord Gauranga with all our heart and soul and make Him the soul objective of our devotional lives (amare kiniya laha bhaja Gaurahari). In Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, it has been mentioned how Nityananda Prabhu always chants the glories and pastimes of Lord Gauranga and makes all of His associates and followers do the same as well.
Nirabadhi sri Krishna Chaitanya sankirtana
Karayen karen laiya bhaktagana
(Chaitanya Bhagavata 3.5.329)
Chala chala muniraj, gochara koroho kaaj
Kahiyo kahiya parabandha
Nija nija angsha laiya, Prithivite janama giya
Svanama dhoroho Nityananda
(The Lord continued) ‘Go Go, O king of sages, and in a beautiful literary manner, inform Him about the following words – “Take Your plenary portions and descend onto the earth. You should accept the name Nityananda” ‘.
Anande Naradamuni, shuniya Thakura vani
Hiya sukhe bole Haribol
Kahoye Locana das, e donyara sambhasa
Shuni uthe ananda hillol
Hearing the Lord’s words, Narada muni became blissful and chanted ‘Haribol’ being very happy at heart. Locana das says that anyone who hears the above conversation between the two shall be swept away with waves of bliss.