Sri Nityananda Prabhu is none other than Lord Balarama, the first expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Narottam das Thakur sings ‘vrajendra nandana yei, saci suta haila sei, balarama haila Nitai’. Vrajendra Nandana is Lord Krishna, the master of Vraja (Vrindavana) and Saci suta means the son of mother Saci.So the same person who previously had been the darling of Vrindavana has now incarnated as Sri Chaitanya, the son of Saci mata. Similarly, the person who previously had been Lord Balarama has now appeared as Nityananda Prabhu.
Lord Nityananda was born on shukla trayodashi tithi of 1474 AD (the year 1395 of the Saka era) in the village of Ekachakra (Birbhum, West Bengal, India). Nityananda Prabhu freely distributed the treasure of the Lord’s love, attaining which is rare even for demigods like Brahma, to one and all without judging one’s qualification (Brahma-ra durlabha prema sabakare yache). His uncommon unique pastimes moved even the atheists to cry tears of love.
Lord Nitai was almost completely devoid of any external consciousness and remained intoxicated in an ecstatic love of God. In such a state of utter ecstasy, He would sometimes jump high up in the air or at other times roll over the ground, while continuously glorifying the Supreme Lord.
#1 Lord Nityananda and Advaita Acharya- Two main branches of the Chaitanya tree
Chaitanya Charitamrita clarifies that Lord Nityananda and Advaita Acharya are the two main branches that have sprouted of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s desire tree of devotional service. These two great personalities were primarily responsible for freely distributing the love of Godhead to one and all.
Advaita acharya, nityananda, dui anga
Dui jana lana prabhura yata kichu ranga
(CC, Adi, 5.146)
Sri Advaita Acharya and Lord Nityananda are two principal associates of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. With these two personalities, Lord Chaitanya performs His pastimes in various ways.
#2 Spiritual identity – Lord Nityananda and Balarama are non-different
Sri Balarama Gosani mula sankarsana
Pancha rupa dhari karena sevana
Apane karena krsna lilara sahaya
Srishti lila karya kare dhari chari kaya
(CC, Adi, 5.8-9)
Lord Balaram is the original Sankarsana and He assumes five forms to serve Sri Krishna. He Himself helps in Lord Krishna’s pastimes, and with four other forms, He conducts the work of creation.
Mayatite vyapi vaikuntha loke
Purnaisvarye sri catur vyuha madhye
Rupam yasyodhbhati sankarsanakhyam
Tam sri Nityananda ramam prapadye
(CC, Adi, 1.8)
I surrender unto the lotus feet of Nityananda Rama, who is known as Sankarsana among the Catur-Vyuha (Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha). He possesses complete opulence and resides in Vaikuntha (Spiritual world) far beyond material creation.
Vrajendra-nandana jei, saci-suta hoilo sei,
balarama hoilo nitai
dina-hina jata chilo, hari-name uddharilo,
tara sakshi jagai madhai
(hari hari bifale – Vaishnava Bhajan by Narottama das Thakur)
Lord Krishna, the son of the King of Vrindavan, has now incarnated as the son of mother Saci (Lord Chaitanya), and Balarama has incarnated as Nitai (Lord Nityananda). The holy name has delivered all the lowly and wretched souls. The two sinners Jagai and Madhai are evidence of this.
#3 Lord Nityananda – the source of Purusha avatars
Maya bhartajanda sanghasrayangah
Sete saksat karanambhodhi madhye
Yasyaikamsah sri puman adi devas
tam sri nityananda ramam prapadye
(CC, Adi, 1.9)
I offer my full obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, whose partial incarnation is Karanodakasayi Vishnu. Karanodakasayi Vishnu, who lies on the Karana ocean (causal ocean), is the original Purusha (Maha Vishnu), the master of illusory energy and the shelter of all universes.
Yasyamsamsah srila garbhoda sayi
Yan nabhy abjam loka sanghata nalam
Loka srastuh sutika dhama dhatus
Tam sri nityananda ramam prapadye
(CC, Adi, 1.10)
I offer my full obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, a partial expansion of whom is Garbhodakasayi Vishnu. From the navel of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu shoots the lotus stem that is the birthplace of Brahma, the architect of the universe. The stem of that lotus is the resting place of the multitude of planets.
Posta visnur bhati dugdhabdhi sayi
Ksauni bharta yat kala so py anantas
tam sri nityananda ramam prapadye
(CC, Adi, 1.11)
I offer my full obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, whose secondary expansion is Ksirodakasayi Vishnu who lies in the ocean of milk. That Ksirodakasayi Vishnu is the supersoul of all living entities and the maintainer of all the universe. Sesha Naga is His further expansion.
#4 Mission of Lord Nityananda
Prema pracharana ara pasanda dalana
Dui karye avadhuta karena bhramana
(CC, Antya, 3.149)
In order to propagate the cult of bhakti (devotional service) and to defeat and subdue the atheists, Lord Nityananda moved throughout the country.
#5 Glories of Lord Nityananda
Jaya jaya Nityananda, Nityananda Rama
Yanhara kripate painu Vrindavana dham
Jaya jaya Nityananda, jaya Kripa maya
Yanha haite painu rupa-sanatanasraya
Yanha haite painu raghunatha-mahasaya
Yanha haite painu sri-svarupa-asraya
Sanatana-kripaya painu bhaktira siddhanta
Sri-rupa-kripaya painu bhakti-rasa-pranta
Jaya jaya nityananda-caranaravinda
Yanha haite painu sri radha govinda
(CC, Adi, 5.200-204)
(Krishna das Kaviraja Goswami sings) All glories to lord Nityananda Balarama by whose mercy I have attained shelter in the transcendental abode of Vrindavan.
All glories to merciful Lord Nityananda, by whose mercy I have attained shelter of Rupa and Sanatana Goswami.
All glories to merciful Lord Nityananda, by whose mercy I have attained shelter of Raghunath das Goswami and by His mercy, I have attained the shelter of Swarupa Damodara.
By the mercy of Sanatan Goswami, I have learned the conclusions of devotional service and by the grace of Rupa Goswami I have tasted the highest nectar of devotional service.
All glories to Lord Nityananda, by whose mercy I have attained Sri Radha Govinda.
#6 Lord Nityananda is the savior of the fallen
Jagai madhai haite muni se papistha
Purisera kita haite muni se laghistha
Mora nama sune yei tara punya ksaya
Mora nama laya yei tara papa haya
Emana nirghrna mora keba kripa kare
Eka nityananda vinu jagat bhitare
Preme matta nityananda krpa avatar
Uttama, adhama, kichu na kare vichara
Ye age padaye tare karaye nistara
Ataeva nistarila mo hena durachara
(CC, Adi, 5.205-209)
(Krishna das Kaviraja Goswami sings) I am more sinful than Jagai and Madhai and even more fallen than the worms in stool. Anyone who hears my name loses the results of his pious activities. Whoever utters my name amasses sins. Who in the world but Lord Nityananda could shower His mercy upon an abominable person like me? Because He is intoxicated with ecstatic love and an incarnation of mercy, he does not differentiate between good and bad. He delivers all those who fall before Him. Therefore He has delivered such a sinful and wretched person as me.
#7 Mercy of Lord Nityananda awards Bhakti
Samsarera para hai bhaktira sagare
Ye dubibe se bhajuk nitai chandere
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 1.77)
One who wishes to transcend this material world and become engrossed in the ocean of devotional bliss, should worship the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.
#8 Nityananda Prabhu is incessantly engaged in glorifying Lord Chaitanya
Chaitanyera adi bhakta nityananda raya
Chaitanyera yaso vaise yanhara jihvaya
Aharnisa chaitanyera katha prabhu kaya
Tanre bhajile se chaitanye bhakti haye
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 9.217-218)
Lord Chaitanya’s first and foremost devotee is Lord Nityananda. The glories of Lord Chaitanya are always on His tongue. Day and night Lord Nityananda speaks only of Lord Chaitanya. One who worships Lord Nityananda develops loving devotion for Lord Gauranga (by Nityananda Prabhu’s mercy).
Nityananda avadhuta sabate agala
Chaitanyera dasya preme haila pagala
(CC, Adi, 6.48)
Nityananda, the traveling mendicant, is the foremost of all servants of Lord Chaitanya. He has become mad in the ecstasy of loving service to Lord Chaitanya.
#9 Faith in Lord Chaitanya without faith on Lord Nityananda or vice-versa is offensive and opposed to pure devotional service
Kimva donha na manha hao ta pasanda
Eke mani are na mani, ei mata bhanda
(CC, Adi, 5.177)
It is better to be an atheist by slighting both brothers (Gauranga and Nityananda) than being a hypocrite who accepts one and slights the other.
Dui bhai eka tanu samana prakasa
Nityananda na mana, tomara habe sarva-nasa
Ekete visvasa anye na kara sammana
“ardha kukkuti nyaya” tomara pramana
(CC, Adi, 5.175-176)
These two brothers are like one body; they are identical manifestations. If you have no faith in Lord Nityananda, you will fall from your spiritual position. If you have faith in one but do not respect the other, your logic is like the logic of accepting half a hen.
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