On the orders of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda and Haridasa Thakura, went over to each and every house in Nabadwip and begged the residents to chant the holy name of Krishna. Some people took it well and assured them that they would indeed start chanting, while some considered them to be utter mad men. Some of them concluded that it was due to the bad association of Nimai pandita, that the two of them, Nitai and Haridasa, had got spoilt as well. Being unable to comprehend their transcendental mission, some people thought of them to be thieves.
Anyways, the two of them did not lose their heart and reported their daily preaching activities to Lord Chaitanya. One day, while Haridasa Thakura and Nityananda Prabhu were preaching, they saw two drunkards in the street. Srila Vrindavana Das thakura mentions in Chaitanya Bhagavata , that their names were Jagai and Madhai. These two drunkards were actually born in brahmin families. However, there was not a single crime in the book that they had not committed. They were cow eaters, dacoits, criminals, whose mere sight struck fear in the hearts of others. The two of them, being completely intoxicated, attacked anyone who went near them. However Vrindavana das thakura also mentions, that though Jagai and Madhai were very sinful, yet they had not committed any Vaishnava aparadha. Since they associated mainly with drunkards and other criminals, they did not get the opportunity to offend Vaishnavas. Srila Vrindavana das thakura here mentions that offending a vaishnava is the worst thing that one can possibly do. If a vaishnava is offended in the assembly of even sannyasis, then that place becomes worse than the assembly of drunkards.
Sannyasi sabha-e yadi haya ninda karma
Madyaper sabha haite se sabha adharma
Seeing Jagai and Madhai, all merciful Nityananda Prabhu, felt very compassionate. He considered that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had incarnated to deliver the fallen and the sinful. It was hard to find a person more fallen than these two drunkard brothers. He thought that if these two brothers could somehow be delivered ,then Lord Chaitanya’s fame would spread far and wide. Nityananda prabhu wished that if only the two brothers were as intoxicated chanting the holy name ,as they were then drinking liquor, then it would be so wonderful. Considering this, Nityananda Prabhu expressed to Haridasa Thakura, His desires to deliver the two brothers.
Deliverance of Jagai and Madhai :
Thus Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa Thakura approached the two sinful brothers. The pious people of Nabadwip , who were present that day, warned them against getting any closer to Jagai and Madhai. They were afraid that the two would get killed.
Sadhuloke maana kare – ‘Nikate na jao
Nagal paile pache parana harao’
The people argued that Jagai and Madhai were so sinful, that they had no sense of giving any respect to the renunciates.Their consciousness was polluted by killing cows and brahmanas.
Anyways, Nitai and Haridasa thakura disregarded all advise. Approaching the two brothers, they urged them to chant the holy name of Lord Krishna.They also revealed to them that Krishna is the supreme father, the supreme mother, the lord of all riches, and all that there is.
Bala Krishna, bhaja Krishna, laha Krishna nama
Krishna Mata, Krishna Pita, Krishna dhana Praana
They advised Jagai and Madhai to give up their sinful habits and surrender themselves unto Krishna’s lotus feet.Hearing this, the two brothers became enraged. They charged towards Lord Nityananda and Haridasa Thakura, who fearfully ran for their lives. The local people thought that they had warned them already that this was about to happen. The two lords ran as fast as they could, and the intoxicated Jagai and Madhai chased them. Nityananda prabhu and Haridasa Thakura were relieved to find the two drunkards had given up chasing them after sometime. They embraced each other, having saved their lives, and then proceeded to narrate the incident to Lord Chaitanya.
When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu enquired about Jagai and Madhai, Gangadasa Pandita and Srivasa Pandita, revealed how the people of Nabadwip were terrified of these two brothers.Although born in brahmin families, the two always remained drunk and attached to sins.Nityananda Prabhu then requested Sri patita-pavana Chaitanya deva, to deliver these two miscreants as they qualified as the perfect example of fallen souls. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied that those two drunkards were delivered the moment they took darshana of Nityananda’s beautiful face.
Haridasa Thakura then jokingly began narrating the preaching experiences he has had with Nityananda prabhu.He said that Nityananda prabhu was so restless that it was very difficult to keep up with His pace. Sometimes He jumped into the Ganges and tried to tame crocodiles. If He saw any kid on the shore, He would try to beat him up. When the kid’s parents came complaining, Haridasa Thakura had to console and beg forgiveness from them. Sometimes Nitai stole milk and ghee from the cowsheds. Not finding Nityananda prabhu, people often thought that Haridasa thakura was the thief and tried to beat him. When Nityananda Prabhu would see an unmarried girl, He would propose to her. Seeing a bull, He would ride on its top, in the mood of Lord Shiva. Actually Nityananda prabhu remained always intoxicated with an intense love of God. In such a state of consciousness, He hardly had any sense of His external circumstances. Being absorbed in the mood of a cowherd boy of Vrindavana, He would act in such childish manner at times. All the devotees who heard this narration, were well aware of Nityananda Prabhu’s exalted mood and thus they became very satisfied.Advaita acharya proclaimed that soon Jagai and Madhai would become devotees and dance in ecstasy with Nimai and Nitai.
Dekho kaali sei dui madyapa aniya
Nimai Nitai dui nachibe miliya
So one night, Lord Nityananda was passing by the bank of the Ganges. Seeing Jagai and Madhai there, He approached them once again. He told them that He was on His way to meet Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. When they came to know that He was ‘Nityananda Avadhuta’, a sannyasi, Madhai took a broken clay pot and hurled it towards the Lord.It struck Nityananda prabhu on His forehead and as a result ,blood started oozing out.Jagai felt compassionate and stopped Madhai from striking the Lord any further.
Hearing the terrible news, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu , along with His associates, rushed to the spot.Seeing Nityananda Prabhu stained with blood, Lord Chaitanya became enraged. He immediately summoned His Sudarshana chakra and wanted to severe the heads of the two brothers. Seeing the sudarshana chakra with their own eyes, Jagai and Madhai felt terrified. Nityananda Prabhu tried to console Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and informed Him how Jagai ,in fact, had stopped Madhai from causing any further harm.Nityananda Prabhu begged Mahaprabhu to spare the lives of the two brothers. Hearing that Jagai had stopped Madhai, Mahaprabhu became very pleased and embraced him.He bestowed the highest benediction of pure love of God unto Jagai. Jagai fell down and surrendered unto the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya and devotees exploded with chants of Haribol Haribol !!! Seeing Lord Chaitanya with His four hands holding conch, chakra, club and lotus, Jagai fell onto the ground unconscious. Receiving the lotus feet of Vishwambhara, the greatest treasure of Lakshmi devi, Jagai wept in ecstasy.
Prayers of Madhai :
Seeing his brother delivered, and completely cleansed of his sins, Madhai grabbed the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu.He begged forgiveness.He argued that both Jagai and Madhai had committed their sins together and were partners in all crime. So it is not fair that Mahaprabhu delivers one and leaves out the other.Mahaprabhu was in no mood to forgive Madhai as he was the one who had struck Nityananda prabhu.Madhai continued, that Mahaprabhu, in His Vrindavana pastimes, had killed so many asuras, and delivered them. He had accepted all of them at His lotus feet. So why should Madhai be deprived of His shelter ? Mahaprabhu replied that Madhai’s sins were far greater as He had caused harm to Nityananda Prabhu. Mahaprabhu added Lord Nityananda was more dear to Him than His own self and hence He would not tolerate any offense towards Him.
Aama haite ei Nityananda-deha bara
Tora sthane ei satya kahilam drira
Madhai then went and surrendered unto the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu who readily forgave him. Nityananda Prabhu advocated for Madhai and requested Mahaprabhu to grant him, His shelter.
Srila Vrindavana das thakura here sings, that one’s surrender unto the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu never goes in vain.Srimati Revati devi knows the glories of those lotus feet.
Ye charana dharile na jai kabhu nash
Revati janen yei charanera prakash
Hearing Nityananda prabhu’s pleas, Lord Chaitanya forgave Madhai and accepted him as well. Jagai and Madhai promised that the two of them, would not commit any more offenses henceforward. Mahaprabhu accepted all of their sins, that had accumulated for millions and millions of lifetime.
By Lord Gauranga and Nityananda’s causeless mercy ,Jagai and Madhai subsequently became very elevated devotees and were considered prime examples of piety. They would daily bath in the Ganges and chant the holy names of the lord 2 lakh times a day. While contemplating upon the sweet pastimes of the Lord, they shed incessant tears of joy. Madhai had later moved on from Nabadwip, to a place now renowned as ‘Madhai tala’, in katwa. Madhai used to stay and perform his bhajana at this place. This is the same exalted place where Lord Chaitanya had once rested for sometime, coming to katwa for His sannyasa initiation.The Madhavi tree under which Sri Gaurasundara had sat still exists at this place.
It has been mentioned in Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat, that after witnessing the deliverance of Jagai and Madhai and contemplating upon the causeless mercy of Sri Chaitanya deva, Yamaraja, the Lord of Justice, became absorbed in an ecstatic trance and fainted. Actually Jagai and Madhai had committed so many sinful acts in their lifetime, that it had become impossible for even Chitragupta to keep track of all of them. Sensing Yamraja’s mood, the demigods began loudly chanting the Lord’s holy names , hearing which he regained his senses. Yamaraja joined the other demigods in their ecstatic dancing sankirtana glorifying Lord Chaitanya and His associates. The sankirtana spread like wildfire ,throughout the entire universe, and demigods like Lord Shiva,brahma and Indra began dancing like mad men being overwhelmed with ecstatic emotions.Yamaraja’s assistant Chitragupta, who was also very attached to Sri Krishna, joined in the celebrations. Lord Shiva’s matted hair moved up and down by the forceful movements of his body, and upon seeing his rapture, Ganesh and Kartikeya joined in as well. Narada ,who was dancing next to Brahma, wept tears of joy which flowed like incessant streams from his eyes. The wonderful narration of Sri Chaitanya’s deliverance of sinful Jagai and Madhai reverberated throughout the universe.