Seeing Nimai (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) grow up into a handsome young man, Saci mata started thinking about His marriage. Vallabha acharya was a pious brahmana residing at Nabadwip during those days. Sri Vallabha acharya was equal to King Janaka (father of Sita devi) in every respect. His daughter, Lakshmipriya, was as beautiful as Goddess Lakshmi. By the will of providence, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Lakshmipriya devi met one day at the bank of the Ganges while she had gone for bathing. Recognizing His eternal consort, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Nimai) sweetly smiled looking at Lakshmipriya. She too recognized her eternal master and mentally worshipped His lotus feet.
Daive Lakshmi ekdin gela Ganga snane
Gaura-chandra henoi somoye seikhane
nija-Lakshmi chiniya hashila Gaura-chandra
Lakshmi-o bandilo mane Prabhu-pada-padma
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 10.49-50)
By the will of providence, a matchmaker whose name was Vanamali, visited the residence of Saci mata on that very day. He urged Saci Mata to consider getting Nimai married soon. He suggested that Lakshmipriya, who was in no way inferior to goddess Lakshmi, would be the perfect match of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He added that Lakshmipriya devi was the daughter of the Vallabha acharya, the renowned brahmana of Nabadwip. However Saci Mata replied that, “My son has lost His father. Let Him grow a bit older and study further. Then I shall consider His marriage”. The apathetic reply made Banamali feel dejected and he left Saci devi’s house. But by divine arrangement, on his way out he met Lord Chaitanya. As soon as the Lord saw Vanamali, He affectionately embraced him. On being asked, Vanamali described what had happened and also the fact that Saci mata did not respond positively to his proposal. The Lord fell silent. Reaching home, He asked His mother as to why she had not responded to the brahmana’s proposal favorably. Receiving her son’s indication, an elated Saci devi summoned the matchmaker Vanamali the next day and asked him to act on his proposal immediately.
Marriage proposal of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Lakshmipriya devi – Vanamali speaks to Vallabha Acharya
Vallabha Acharya welcomed the brahmana with all respect and offered him a seat. Vanamali revealed that he had found a suitable husband for Lakshmipriya, Vallabha’s daughter. Vanamali exclaimed –
Misra Purandara putra – nama Viswambhara
Parama pandita, sarva gunera sagara
Tomara kanyara yogya sei mahasaya
Kahilaun ei, kara, chitte yadi laya
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 10.69-70)
His name is Viswambhara and He is the son of Jagannatha Misra. He is most scholarly and is an ocean of all good qualities. He is most suitable to marry your daughter. Please consider these points. Let me know if you like this proposal and want to proceed with it.
Vallabha Acharya became exceedingly pleased and expressed,” Only by earning immense piety can a girl obtain such a husband. If Krishna were satisfied with me or if the Goddess of Fortune were pleased with my daughter, only then could I ever hope for such a son-in-law. Please do not delay. Proceed with this proposal and perform all the necessary details”. He also shyly admitted he did not possess the means of presenting anything as a dowry. “I can simply give my daughter and five pieces of auspicious haritaki fruit. Please convey this to them”, Vallabha Acharya said. The news spread. Everyone was overjoyed. Friends and relatives came forward to make themselves useful on the occasion.
Day before the marriage (Adhivasa)
The adhivasa ceremony was performed by all the acharyas.There was happiness and bliss all around. The sacred chants of Vedic mantras were accompanied by the auspicious melodies of conch and Mridangas. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who resembled a moon, sat in the midst of the brahmanas and participated in the adhivasa ceremony.
Dvipa, mala, pataka bhushita digantare
Sugandhi chandan mala ati manohare
Shakala brahmane prabhura kaila adhivasa
Koti kama-rupa deho kaila parakasha
Jhalmala kare anga chhota alokita
Dekhiya brahmana saba bhelo chamakita
(Chaitanya Mangala, adi, 4.11-13)
The entire place was decorated with lamps, flags, flower garlands and fragrant sandalwood. Lord Gauranga’s body shone like the beauty of millions of cupids. The brahmanas, while performing His adhivasa, became astounded beholding the Lord’s dazzling effulgence.
Sri Vallabha Acharya performed the adhivasa ceremony on the behalf of His daughter Lakshmipriya. He presented beautiful sandalwood and garlands to Viswambhara.
Lakshmipriya marries Viswambhara (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu)
Waking up, the Lord bathed and performed charity. He respectfully offered oblations unto His forefathers. As per the prevalent customs, the barber cut His hair while the housewives cleansed His body. The sound of delightful music and the tinkle of a dancer’s ankle bells swelled the air. Joyful chatter appeared from all directions. Numerous guests and groups of chaste women thronged the place. Mother Saci satisfied all the chaste housewives with gifts of fruits, grains, vermilion, oils, and other commodities. Demigods, along with their wives, also arrived in human forms to attend in the marriage of the Lord. With tears in her eyes mother Saci related to her guests, “I am without my husband and my son has lost His father. I am poor, so how can I properly serve you?” Hearing His mother’s words, Lord Chaitanya lowered His head. His heart burned feeling separation from His father. With loving words, Saci devi pacified her son, who then proceeded to satisfy the brahmanas in charity.
As Lord Viswambhara set out for marriage, the people of Nadia felt euphoric. They seemed to be going crazy in transcendental bliss. Huge crowds assembled to catch a glimpse of the Lord. Although the people were pushing and shoving each other, yet no one could move forward as they stood awestruck beholding the beauty of the Lord. Some women could not tie their hair in excitement. Throwing away their shyness and breathing heavily, they ran to catch a glimpse of Lord Gaurahari. Dropping their arrogance, and calling each other, all of them ran down the road in Nabadwip. Even the demigods stopped their celestial airplanes to relish the enchanting form of Lord Gauranga. Their wives could not take their eyes off the beautiful face of Lord Gauranga-sundara. The celestial women filled all directions with their auspicious songs.
Antarikshe deva-gana divya-yane chahe
Gaura-anga dekhibare anurage dhaye
Sura-badhugana Viswambhara mukha chahe
Chaturdike divya nari sumangala gaye
(Chaitanya Mangala, Adi, 4.83-84)
Flooded with great joy and excitement, the ladies of Nadia sang as follows –
Kesh besh kari, pat-sari pari
Kajara deho nayane
Sri Viswambhara biha, saba jana meli
Sajiya karala payane
Nupura parala jhat
Alaka nikate, sindura lalate
Chandana bindu tar hetha
Tambula adhare, tambula baam kare
Lilaye dhuli dhuli yaye
Dekhi Viswambhara, yena panch sara
Dhairaj dharite na paya
(Chaitanya mangala, Adi,4.85-87)
Now comb your hair and put on a colorful new sari
Decorate your eyes with black Kajjala
Let us all observe the marriage of Viswambhara by dressing up nicely.
Quickly put on your necklaces, bracelets, armlets, waist-bells, ankle bells,
and other glittering ornaments.
Brush vermillion on the parting of your hair and put a dot of sandalwood paste on your forehead.
Place betel nuts on your lips and take a betel leaf in your left hand. Walk with playful, languid grace.
The sight of Viswambhara pierces our heart with five arrows of cupid.As a result we cannot control ourselves anymore.
In the evening just before sunset, Nimai reached the house of Sri Vallabha Acharya at the chosen auspicious time. Witnessing the Lord, the guests were flooded with waves of ecstasy. Vallabha Acarya offered the Lord a seat with the utmost regard. He felt an indescribable joy within himself. Finally, he brought his daughter Lakshmipriya, entirely decorated with beautiful ornaments, and presented her before the Lord. According to the marriage customs, Lakshmipriya was lifted off the ground and carried seven times around the Lord. Loud chanting of Lord Hari’s name resounded in all directions. Lakshmipriya devi sat with folded hands and offered silent prayers unto the Lord of her life. During the auspicious ritual of exchanging glances between bride and bridegroom, people showered flowers jubilantly from all directions on Sri Lakshmi and Narayana. Sri Narayana has now appeared as Lord Gauranga, while Sri Lakshmi devi has appeared as Lakshmipriya, the daughter of Vallabha Acharya. Lakshmipriya offered Lord Viswambhara a garland of flowers at His lotus feet. She worshipped Him, surrendering herself as though she were those very flowers. Joyful sounds accompanied by ecstatic chanting of Lord Hari’s name, tore the air. The Lord gazed at the moon-like beautiful face of Sri Lakshmi devi as He sat with her on His left. Who can possibly express the amazing ecstatic rapture that permeated Vallabha’s house on that day?
Thereafter Sri Vallabha, resembling Bhishmadeva, handed over his daughter unto the Lord. Vallabha Acarya then poured water on Viswambhara’s lotus feet. These are the same lotus feet that are washed and worshipped by Lord Brahma and Shiva to gain strength and power to create this material world. The fortunate brahmana offered his daughter according to the scriptural regulations and felt immense waves of ecstasy within his heart. The rest of the ceremonies were then properly concluded. The Lord spent that night in their house before leaving with His wife, the next morning.
Lakshmipriya devi and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu arrive at Yogpeeth
The Lord and His wife returned on palanquin and people flocked to catch a glimpse of the newly wedded couple. Beautifully anointed with flowers, gold ornaments, studded crowns and sandalwood paste, the couple were effulgent with a transcendental glow. People all around acknowledged their good fortune seeing this divine couple. The ladies stood mesmerized beholding the sublimely beautiful sight. Few ladies expressed that perhaps Lakshmipriya had performed severe austerities worshiping Shiva and Parvati with great devotion. It is only due to her pious activities that she had now obtained such a good husband. Some compared the couple with Shiva and Parvati, some compared them with Indra and Saci. Some compared them with Madana and Rati, while some suggested that they must be Lakshmi and Narayana.”They look exactly like Sita and Lord Rama,” said another woman, “and they are so charming as they ride on the palanquin”.
The ladies expressed their opinions as they watched the divine couple with wonder and delight. The Lord brought His new bride home in the evening amidst joyous chants, sweet music, and laughter. Mother Saci went out to meet the newly-wed couple and brought them inside the house. She felt infinite pleasure hustling around distributing valuable gifts to everyone and pleasing the guests with sweet words.
Prabhu-parshe Lakshmira haila avasthana
Saci-griha haila parama jyotir-dham
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 10.120)
At this time Saci mata witnessed a few miraculous pastimes. Saci Mata felt that her house was illuminated with a new bright light. Now that Lakshmi devi was in her rightful position next to Lord Narayana, Sri Gauranga, Saci devi could see an amazing light everywhere, inside as well as outside the house. She was wonderstruck and could not describe the phenomenon. Sometimes she saw a fiery ray of light right next to her son, but when she looked again it was no longer to be seen. At other times she could smell the divine fragrance of flowers and lotuses and this surprised her beyond description. She thought that Lakshmipriya must be Goddess Lakshmi or Her expansion. “My previous sufferings and our poverty seems to have vanished. I don’t know how I have received this girl as my daughter-in-law for she is certainly Lakshmi devi”, Saci mata considered. Saci Mata had concluded rightly. In the Gaura Gannodesha Dipika, Sri Kavi Karnapura writes that Lakshmipriya devi was the combined incarnation of Rukmini (Krishna’s queen), mother Sita (Lord Rama’s consort) and Maha-Lakshmi. Whoever devotedly hears this narration of the Lord’s marriage, certainly breaks the ties of material bondage.