Nityananda Prabhu breaks Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa Danda (rod)

Mahaprabhu travels to Jagannatha Puri :

On being requested by mother Saci, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ,who by then had already accepted sannyasa, decided to make Jagannatha Puri instead of Vrindavana, His headquarters. Nityananda Prabhu, Gadadhara Pandita, Mukunda, Govinda, Jagadananda and Brahmananda accompanied the Lord in His travel to Nilachala dham. The Lord asked them, whether any of them had any possession along with them. They replied that all they had with them was the treasure of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s association. Mahaprabhu was very pleased to hear this.He wanted His associates to depend entirely on Krishna for their own subsistence.

Travelling they reached the village of Atisara (Baruipura) where they rested for the night, at the Sripat of Sri Ananta acharya. Sri Ananta was an intimate associate of Mahaprabhu. The next morning they continued with their travel. Reaching the bank of the Ganges at Chhatrabhoga, the devotees happily bathed at the Ambulinga ghat.By the will of the Supreme, the landlord of that place, Sri Ramachandra Khan, arrived there at that time. Seeing the ecstatic symptoms of Mahaprabhu, he at once surrendered unto His lotus feet. Ramachandra informed the devotees that the relations between the two kingdoms of Bengal and Orissa were at an all time low. Hence it was very difficult for one to cross over the borders and escape into Orissa. However Ramachandra , being influential, secretly arranged for a boat which could carry Mahaprabhu to the other side. The Lord and His associates engaged in an ecstatic sankirtana, while the boat slowly crossed the river. Lord Chaitanya assured His associates that they had nothing to fear as the sudarshana chakra of the supreme Lord always protected His devotees.

Reaching Orissa, the devotees rested for the night. The next morning the devotees started for Jagannatha Puri. On the way, the toll tax collector stopped them and demanded them to pay their dues. Seeing Mahaprabhu’s divine symptoms and His sannyasi robes, however, he allowed Mahaprabhu to pass. But He did not want to let the others through. Mahaprabhu proceeded on His way, but finding that His associates were left behind, He began crying piteously. The tax collector then had a change of heart and surrendered unto Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet. He subsequently allowed all the devotees to pass through without charging a single penny from them. Blessing the tax collector Mahaprabhu continued on His way.

Lord Nitai breaks Mahaprabhu’s Sannyasa Danda :

Nityananda Prabhu exhibited His ecstatic intoxicated mood as He remained absorbed in an intense love for Mahaprabhu.Sometimes He laughed, at times He roared , while at times He jumped into the river and began to swim.

Kshane maha attahashi, kshane ba garjana,
Kshane ba nadira majhe erena santara
(Chaitanya Bhagavata)

Rolling upon the grounds, He bathed in its dust; seeing Him fall onto the ground so hard, the others feared that he had perhaps broken His bones.

Jagadananda Pandita, who was in charge of holding Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa danda (rod), entrusted it to Nityananda prabhu for sometime, as he was going out to beg alms.Jagadananda requested Lord Nityananda to keep it very carefully with Him, till he returned. Saying this he departed.

Holding the sannyasa danda, Nityananda Prabhu began laughing. Being absorbed in transcendental emotions, He began talking to the rod. He argued, that it was improper for the person (Lord Chaitanya) whom He carried in His heart, to carry the burden of that danda.

Ohe Danda, ami yanre bahi-e hridoye
Se tomare bahibek e to yukta nahe
(Chaitanya Bhagavata)

Saying this, unlimitedly powerful Nityananda Rama, broke the danda into three pieces and threw them away.Vrindavana das thakura here points out that only the Supreme Lord understands His own desires. It was not possible for anyone to know why Nitai actually broke the danda.Lord Nityananda knows the internal mood of Gaura Raya and vice versa, just as Lakshmana knows the heart of Sri Rama.

Senior vaishnavas have put forward many reasons as to why Nityananda Prabhu actually broke the rod. One of the probable reasons is that whatever Paraphernalia the Lord uses in performing His pastimes or those that are used to serve the Lord, like His bed, His shoes, His Camara, conch shell, etc are actually an expansion of Nityananda Prabhu. Now Nityananda Prabhu , who always worships and carries Lord Chaitanya in His heart, found it difficult to accept that Lord Chaitanya had to bear the burden of carrying Him (the rod is also His expansion). 

Another reason often put forward is that Mahaprabhu, being the Supreme Lord Himself, had no obligation to either accept sannyasa or carry the sannyasa danda. Hence Nityananda Prabhu wanted to relieve Mahaprabhu of this impediment.

Anyways, when Jagadananda Pandita came to know what had happened, he became shocked. When Mahaprabhu saw the broken pieces of the sannyasa rod, He enquired whether Jagadananda had a fight on his way. When He came to know what had actually happened , He asked Nityananda Prabhu to explain. Mahaprabhu, whose deep mood is very difficult to comprehend, then appeared to become very sad and exclaimed that Krishna had now taken away the only possession that was left with Him. Sri Gaurasundara’s pastimes are exceedingly mysterious. He might apparently show affection to one whom He wants to kill. Or sometimes He might behave indifferently with those who are dearer to Him than His own life. Only one who is blessed by the Lord can truly understand His actions. The fact is that the Lord , out of His own sweet will, broke the danda, and then appeared to become angry. All glories to Sacinandana Gaurahari !!! All glories to doyal Nitai !!!


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