Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, had mercifully appeared at Yogpeeth (in Mayapur, West Bengal, India) about 500 years ago (in the year 1486 AD), to bless us with the most wonderful, deep and ecstatic pastimes of Gaura lila. Eminent brahmana, Sri Jagannatha Misra and Saci devi were the proud parents of Lord Chaitanya. The below article is a humble attempt to address and ponder upon the most blissful pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the golden avatar, in His boyhood and youth. The identity of Lord Chaitanya as the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be verified in a number of Vedic scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, Garuda Purana, Nrsimha Purana, Padma purana, Bhavishya Purana, Narada Purana etc. We are quoting two of such scriptural references below, for the pleasure of the devotees.
aham purno bhavisyami yuga sandhyau visesatah
mayapure navadvipe bhavisyami saci sutah
Translation – In the future, in first part of Kali yuga, I shall appear in my complete spiritual form at Mayapura, Navadvipa and become the son of Saci.
The mission of the Lord, along with a description of His golden complexion and how He descends along with His confidential associates in this age of Kali ,to inaugurate the Sankirtana Yajna is revealed in Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata purana) –
Krishna varnam tvishakrishnam sangopangastra-parsadam
yajnaih sankirtana prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32)
Lord Chaitanya’s life and teachings have been instrumental in uniting people across different nationalities, across different backgrounds – be it social, economic, linguistic, cultural. Eminent personalities have concluded that Sri Chaitanya’s life & teachings have no parallel in human history. Sri Chaitanya’s pastimes defy the investigative and the descriptive abilities of phenomenologists and psychologists of religious experience. The below verses depicting the wondrous pastimes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu have been composed by Srila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his book – Srimad Gauranga Lila Smarana Mangala Stotram.
laksmi devim pranaya vidhina vallabhacarya kanyam
angi kurvan grha makha parah purva desam jafama
vidyalapair bahu dhanam atho prapa yah sastra vrttis
tam gaurangam grha pati varam dharma murtim smarami
Following the sacred rites of marriage, He accepted Srimati Lakshmi devi (Lakshmipriya devi), the daughter of Vallabhacarya, and devotedly fulfilled His responsibilities as a householder. A professional scholar, He traveled to East Bengal and earned great wealth by teaching. I meditate on Lord Gauranga, the best of husbands, and the personification of religious duty.
varanasyam sujana tapanam sangamayya sva desam
labdhva lakshmi viraha vasatah soka taptam prasutim
tattvalapaih sukhada vacanaih santvayam asa yo vai
tam gaurangam virati sukh-adam santa murtim smarami
He instructed pious Tapana Misra to travel (from East Bengal) and stay in Benares. Returning home to find His mother mourning the death of Lakshmipriya devi, He solaced her with pleasing words describing the spiritual truth. I meditate on tranquil Lord Gauranga, who provides the joy of renunciation.
matur vakyat parinaya vidhau prapa visnupriyam yo
ganga tire parikara janair dig jito darpa hari
reme vidvaj jana kulamanih sri navadvipacandro
vande ‘ham tam sakala visaye simham adhyapakanam
Lord Gauranga married Srimati Vishnupriya devi at His mother’s request. On the bank of the Ganges with His many disciples, He struck down the pride of scholar Keshava Kashmiri who had previously conquered all directions. Lord Gauranga, the jewel of all learned scholars and the transcendental moon of Navadvipa, had jubilantly performed many pastimes. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Gauranga, who is the lion among scholars.
vidya vila-sair nava khanda madhye
sarvan dvijan yo viraraja jitva
smartams ca naiyayika tantrikams ca
tam jnana rupam pranamami gauram
Lord Gauranga manifested His educational pastimes in Navadvipa where He effortlessly and playfully defeated the smarta brahmanas, naiyayikas (followers of nyaya philosophy), and tantrikas (followers of tantra). He shone with great splendor. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Gaura, the personification of transcendental knowledge.
vipra padodakam pitva
yo babhuva gatamayah
tam smarami mahaprabhum
He became cured of a disease by drinking water that has washed a brahmana’s feet. I meditate on Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the protector of Varnasrama dharma.
preta ksetre dvija parivrtah sarva deva pranamyo
mantram lebhe nija guru parivaktrato yo dasarnam
gaudam labdhva svam ati vikrti cchadmanovaca tattvam
tam gaurangam nava rasapparam bhakta murtim smarami
Surrounded by brahmanas and offered respect by all the demigods, Lord Gauranga received the Hare Krishna mantra from the mouth of His spiritual master (Isvara Puri) at Gaya. When He returned to Bengal, on the pretense of suffering from a grave disease He explained the actual truth. I meditate on Lord Gauranga, the personification of a devotee expert at tasting the nine mellows of devotional service.
bhakty alapair niravadhi tadadvaita mukhya mahantah
prapta yasyasrayak atisayah kirtanadyair murareh
nityanandodaya ghatanaya yo babhuvesa cesto
vande gaurah nayana sukhadah daksinah sad bhujah tam
Endlessly discussing the truth of devotional service, great devotees headed by Advaita Acharya took shelter of Lord Gauranga while chanting Lord Murari’s holy names. When Nityananda Prabhu appeared (in Navadvipa), Lord Gauranga manifested His pastimes as the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s pastimes. I offer my respectful obeisances to all-powerful Lord Gaurasundara who, revealing His six-armed form, enchants the eyes.
yah kola rupa dhrg aho varaniya murtir
gupte kripah ca mahatih sahasa chakara
tak vyasa pujana vidhau baladeva bhavan
madhvika yachana parah paramah smarami
Suddenly manifesting Lord Varaha’s beautiful form, Lord Gauranga was very merciful to Murari Gupta. During His worship of Vyasa deva, He imbibed the mood of Balarama and called out for madhvika liquor. I meditate on Lord Gaura, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
advaitacandra vibhuna saganena bhaktya
nityam ca Krsna manuna paripujyate yah
srivasa mandira nidhim paripurna tattvam
tam sridharadi mahatam saranam smarami
Being confident that Lord Chaitanya is, in reality, the Supreme Lord Krishna, moonlike Lord Advaita, and His associates worshiped Him at Srivasa’s house. I meditate on Lord Chaitanya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the shelter of Sridhara and the other devotees.
srivasa phalyam yavanam visodhya
cakre subhaktam svagunam pradarsya
premna sumatto visayad virakto
yas tam prabhum gaura vidhum smarami
Revealing His transcendental opulence, He purified Srivasa’s Muslim servant and transformed him into a pure devotee. I meditate on the golden moon of Lord Gauranga, who is free of all material desire and maddened with pure love.
sri rama rupa dhrg aho bhisaja murareh
srutva stavam raghupater mudam apa yo vai
cakre kusanga rahitam krpaya mukundam
tam suddha bhakti rasada pravaram smarami
Delighted to hear physician Murari Gupta’s prayers glorifying Lord Rama, Lord Chaitanya assumed the form of Lord Rama in the presence of His devotee. He also mercifully freed His devotee Mukunda from bad association (of Mayavadis). I meditate on Lord Chaitanya, the philanthropist who bestows the sweet nectar of pure devotional service.
ajnapaya ca bhagavan avadhuta dasau
danaya gokulapater nagaresu namnam
sarvatra jivanicayesu paravaresu
yas tam smarami purusam karunavataram
The Lord ordered His two avadhuta (renounced and detached from material concerns) devotees (Lord Nityananda and Haridasa Ṭhakura) to freely distribute the holy names of Lord Krishna, the master of Gokula, to all living entities, living everywhere – whether be it in towns or villages, whether they be of high or low birth. I meditate on Lord Chaitanya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who mercifully incarnated in this world.
yo ‘dvaita sadma vicalan saha cagrajena
sannyasa dharma rahitam dhvajinam surapam
tattvam visuddham avadal lalitakhya puryam
tam suddha bhakti nilayam sivadam smarami
Traveling to the home of Advaita Acharya along with His elder brother (Nityananda Prabhu), Lord Chaitanya, instructed about the purity of genuine spiritual life to a wine-drinking-pseudo-sannyasi in the town of Lalita Puri. I meditate on Lord Chaitanya, who is the auspicious abode of pure devotional service.
yo dvaitavada sathatasrita desikasya
pristham vyatadayad aho sahasa harir yah
premnapi bhakti pathagam ca cakara tam tam
maya haram suvimalam satatam smarami
When Advaita Acharya began preaching the cheating philosophy of impersonal monism (Advaita vada), Lord Chaitanya, driven by love and affection, suddenly started beating Him on His back, forcing Him again on the path of pure devotional service. I eternally meditate on Lord Chaitanya, who removes the illusions of impersonalism.
sri rupa dhrg bhajana sagara magna hrbhyo
yas candrasekhara grhe pradadau sva dugdham
svam darsayan vijayam uddharati sva bhutim
tam sarva shakti vibhavasrayanam smarami
At Chandrasekhara’s house, Lord Chaitanya manifested the form of Lakshmi devi and fed all the devotees present with His milk. The devotees were all plunged into an ocean of pure devotion. The Lord revealed His transcendental opulence to Vijaya Dasa and delivered him. I meditate on Lord Gauranga, the abode of all transcendental potencies and opulence.
nidra tyagah snapanam asanam godrumadau viharo
grame grame vicharanam aho kirtanam calpa nidra
yame yame krama niyamato yasya bhaktair babhuvus
tam gaurangam bhajana sukhadam hy asta yamam smarami
Accompanied by His devotees, Lord Gauranga visited Godruma and many other villages where He enjoyed several pastimes. He bathed, ate, and continuously chanted the holy names of Lord Krishna, hardly sleeping. Throughout the day, I meditate on Lord Gauranga who grants the bliss of pure devotional service.
yo vai sankirtana parikaraih srinivasadi sanghais
tatratyanam patita jagadananda mukhya dvijanam
durvrttanam hrdaya vivaram prema purnam cakara
tam gaurangam patita saranam prema sindhum smarami
Accompanied by His sankirtana party headed by Srinivasa (Srivasa Pandita), Lord Gauranga filled the hearts of the brahmana Jagadananda and many other fallen and sinful brahmanas there, with ecstatic love of God. I meditate on Lord Gauranga, who is an ocean of pure ecstatic love of God and the shelter of the fallen.
bhavavesair nikhila sujanan shiksayam asa bhaktim
tesam dosan sadaya hridayo marjayam asa saksat
bhakti vyakhyam sujana samitau yo mukundas cakara
tam gaurangam svajana kalus ksanti murtim smarami
Being filled with ecstatic love of God, He instructed on devotional service to all the pious devotees. Compassionate at heart, He washed away their faults. The bestower of liberation, He explained devotional service in the assembly of devotees. I meditate on Lord Gauranga, the personification of forgiveness of the devotees’ faults.
yo vai sankirtana sukha ripum candakajim vimucya
lasyollasair nagara nicaye Krishna gitam cakara
varam varam kali gada haram sri navadvipadhamni
tam gaurangtam natana vivasam dirgha bahum smarami
After liberating Chand Kazi, the great enemy of the blissful sankirtana festival, the Lord jubilantly danced and chanted Krishna’s holy name in all the towns and villages of Navadvipa, again and again. I meditate upon that Lord Gauranga, who cured the disease of Kali, whose arms are very long, and who is overwhelmed by the ecstatic dancing in sankirtana.
gangadaso muraripu bhisak sridharah suklavastrah
sarve yasya pranati niratah prema purna babhuvuh
yasyocchistasana suratika srila narayani ca
tam gaurangam parama purusam divya murtim smarami
Gangadasa Pandita, the physician Murari Gupta, Kholaveca Sridhara, and Suklamabara Brahmacari were full of love and devotion for Lord Gauranga. Srila Narayani devi took great happiness in honoring the remnants of foodstuff eaten by Lord Gauranga. I meditate upon Lord Gauranga, the supreme person, whose form is splendid and transcendental.
srivasasya pranaya vivasas tasya sunor gatasor
vaktrat tattvam parama subhadam sravayam asa tasmai
tad dasebhyo pi subha matim dattavan yah paratma
vande gauram kuhaka rahitam jiva nistarakam tam
Overwhelmed with love, He made Srivasa Thakura hear the supremely auspicious truth of spiritual life from the mouth of his dead son. In this way, the Lord pacified the hearts of Srivasa and His servants. I bow down before Lord Gauranga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is free from all duplicity and who is the deliverer of the living entities.
gopi bhavat parama vivaso danda hastah pareso
vadasaktan ati jada matims tadayam asa mudhan
tasmat te yat pratibhatataya vaira bhavan atanvan
tam gaurangam vimukha kadane divya simham smarami
When He became greatly overwhelmed by experiencing the divine love felt by the Gopis (of Vrindavan), some fools criticized Him. When the Lord struck them with a stick in His hand, they began hating Him and planned for revenge. I meditate on Lord Gauranga, who became a splendid lion to chastise those who are averse to Him.
tesam papa prasamana matih kantake magha mase
lokesaksiprama vayasi yah keshavan nyasa lingam
lebhe loke parama vidusam pujaniyo varenyas
tam chaitanyam kaca virahitam danda hastam smarami
Wishing to eliminate the offenses of the smarta brahmanas, the Lord accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) from Keshava Bharati in the village of Katwa during the month of Magha. He was just 24 years of age. I meditate upon Lord Chaitanya, whose head is shaven, who is worshiped by the learned, and who holds a sannyasa danda in His hand.