The following is a recitation from Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi Khanda, Chapter 9, Verses 101-153. In these verses, Srila Vrindavan das Thakur describes Lord Nityananda’s extensive pilgrimage. These pastimes had taken place during the early years of Lord Nityananda’s life and was before He met with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
A few words on these verses – Lord Nityananda’s pilgrimage :
Srila Vrindavan das Thakur touches upon the extensive pilgrimage undertaken by Lord Nityananda, during the early years of His life. Lord Nityananda had traveled for twelve long years (bingsati batsara) visiting various sacred places before finally meeting with Lord Chaitanya at Mayapur. First He visited the holy site of Vakresvara and thereafter roamed the forests of Baidyanath all alone. After visiting Gaya Dham, Nityananda left for Kasi, the principal pilgrimage place for the Shaivites. He visited Prayag in the month of Magh (January-February) and then proceeded to Mathura, where He (Balarama) and Krishna had appeared in Dvapara Yuga. Attracted by river Yamuna, the Lord sported in her gentle waters at Visram-Ghat, in Vrindavan. He then circumambulated Govardhan Hill and experienced spiritual ecstasy. He visited all the twelve forests including Sri Vrindavan. In Gokula, Lord Nityananda saw the residence of Nanda Maharaja. In ecstasy, He sat down and wept profusely. After worshiping the deity of Madana Gopal, the Lord proceeded to Hastinapur, which was once the fortress of the Pandavas. Then He traveled to Dwarka (Gujarat), and thereafter visited Siddhapur, the exalted dham of Kapila Muni. The Lord then moved to Mastysa Tirtha where He gave away grains in charity. He next visited Shiva-Kanchi and Vishnu Kanchi. He travelled to Kuruksetra, Prithu daka, Bindu Sarovar, Prabhasa, Sudarsana Tirtha, Tritakupa, Visala, Brahma-tirtha, and Chakra Tirtha. He proceeded to Pratisrota where the Praci-Sarasvati flows gently.
into the sea. From there He visited the forest of Naimasaranya. He traveled to the city of Ayodhya, where He incessantly cried upon seeing the birthplace of Lord Rama. He traveled next to the tribal kingdom of King Guhaka (Srnga Verapura) who reigned during the time of Lord Rama. Visiting the various forests that Lord Ramachandra had once roamed, Lord Nitai bathed in the Kaushiki river, before continuing to Pulastha Ashrama.
Thereafter Sri Nityananda went to Gomati and bathed in the waters of Gandaki and Sona. He climbed the Mahendra Hill where He offered obeisances to Lord Parasurama. From there He traveled to Haridwar. He bathed in Pampa, Bhima, Godavari, Benva, and in the Bipasa (or Vyasa) river. Lord Nityananda visited the temple of Lord Kartika. He then met with Shiva and Parvati in a mountain who were residing disguised as a brahmana and his wife. Mother Parvati cooked palatable dishes for the pleasure of Lord Nitai. Traveling to South India, Lord Nityananda visited Vyenkatanatha, Kamakosthipuri, and Kanchi, arriving at last to the sacred river Kaveri. Visiting the temple of Lord Rama, He proceeded to Rsabha hills, Madurai, Krtamala, Tamraparni, and Uttara Yamuna. In the Malaya hills, He visited Sage Agastya’s hermitage. Arriving at Badarikasrama, He spent a few days at the ashrama of Nara-Narayana in solitude.
From there He trekked to the hermitage of Srila Vyasadeva where Vyasa met with Nityananda and immediately recognized Him to be Baralaram. He then visited a place where Buddhist monks were sitting. Not getting any replies to His questions, He chastised them causing them to flee. He visited Kanyakumari where He saw a temple of Maa Durga. He proceeded to Anantapur and Pancha-apsara lake. In Gokarna, He visited the temple of Lord Shiva. He then proceeded to Payonci, Tapti, Reba, Mahishmati, Mallatirtha, and Surparaka before heading westward. In this way, Lord Nityananda traveled all over the country in a joyful mood, being fearless and carefree. He remained absorbed in the ecstatic love for Krishna. Overcome with ecstasy, sometimes He cried and sometimes He laughed. Who can comprehend the transcendental divine sentiments of His heart?