Please listen to this wonderful pastime where the son of Jagannatha Misra, bestowed His causeless mercy upon a pious brahmin pilgrim. The brahmin was a devout worshiper of Gopala and used to chant the sixteen syllable Gopala Mantra. The brahmin did not eat anything other than the remnants of the food offered to his beloved Gopala. Salagram sila and Lord Gopala decorated his beautiful neck. He was covered with an aura of great spiritual effulgence. With his eyes half-closed the brahmin continuously relished the mellows of Lord Govinda’s transcendental pastimes. Wandering from one place to the other, the brahmin finally reached the residence of Lord Chaitanya. Seeing the exalted personality, Jagannatha Misra stood up and offered his respects. Washing his feet and offering him a seat, Jagannatha Misra enquired where the brahmin had hailed from.
By the arrangement of providence, Sri Jagannatha Misra saw a dream one day, that swelled his heart with mixed feelings of happiness and pain. When his dream broke, he fell prostrated and prayed as follows –
Svapna dekhi staba pari dandavat kare ‘He Govinda, Nimai rahuka mor ghore Sabe ei vara, Krishna magi tor thaain Grihasta haiya ghore rahuk Nimai’ – He bowed down and prayed, ‘O Govinda, let Nimai remain at my home. O Krishna, I only beg for this benediction – Let Nimai become a householder and continue to stay at my house’.
Saci Mata was taken by surprise and asked Jagannatha Misra as to why he was praying for such benedictions? To this Jagannatha Misra replied that he had just witnessed a dream where Nimai had shaved off His Shikha. He was unusually and stunningly dressed in the robes of a sannyasi. Incessantly chanting Krishna’s holy names, Nimai laughed, danced, and cried in ecstasy.
Jaya jaya kamala nayana Gaurachandra Jaya jaya tomara premera bhakta-vrinda Heno shuvodristi prabhu karaha amayaya Aharnish chitta yeno bhajaye tomaye (Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 4.1-2) – All glories, all glories to the lotus eyed Lord Gaurachandra. All glories to Your loving devotees. O Master! Kindly bestow Your merciful glance upon me so that I may engage in Your worship day and night.
With every passing day, their young child (Nimai) carried great joy to Saci Mata and Jagannatha Misra. They floated in an ocean of bliss. Viswarupa picked up His younger brother and smiling gleefully, played with Him. Friends and relatives surrounded the Lord affectionately all the time. Everyone was concerned with protecting the young boy. Some invoked Lord Vishnu’s prayers while some chanted Goddess Durga’s mantras.
When the Lord would cry, tears would glide down His lotus eyes. Only chanting the Holy Name of Krishna could pacify Him during these times. Everyone understood this and chanted the holy name of Krishna to appease Nimai whenever He would cry. In this way, the Lord induced others to chant the holy name of Krishna since His very childhood.
The demigods played jokes with the devotees who encircled Nimai at all times. They roamed about without being noticed by anyone. But when the people saw shadowy figures move about the house, they thought they had seen thieves. Alarmed, some chanted ‘Nrsimha, Nrsimha’ while others murmured the Aparajit stotra (prayers to Parvati devi) for the child’s protection.
Nimai exhibited His wonderful childhood pastimes along with His mischievous friends. Absorbing Himself in various frivolous games, the Lord spent His days blissfully. One such day, the Lord and His friends stumbled upon a litter of puppies. The Lord picked up one of the pups. His friends protested that Nimai had selected the best-looking pup leaving the rest for everyone else. Nimai replied that the puppy that He had picked up was not only for Himself but instead was for everyone to play with. He continued that He would provide shelter to the puppy in His home.
Tabe Viswambhara kahila uttara, ei shan sabakara Sabe ek haiya, khelo iha laiya, thakibe amara ghara (Chaitanya Mangala, Adi, 2.285) – Then Viswambhara answered ,”This puppy belongs to everyone. Get together all of you and play with it. The puppy would stay at my home”.
The pastime of Sri Jagannatha Misra’s disappearance is very painful for the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Though both the appearance and the disappearance of a Vaishnava is considered to be auspicious, yet the apparent misery of our beloved Gauranga and Mother Saci are very difficult to overlook. It is exactly for this reason that not much is written about it in Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, where Sri Vrindavana das Thakura mentions –
Dukha bada – e shakala vistara karite Dukkha haya – ataeb kahiluun sankhepe (Chaitanya Bhagavata , Adi, 8.112) – It is very painful for me to describe all of this in detail. It hurts a lot and hence I am describing it in brief.
aha se chaitanya pada bhajanera sampada kotha ebe gelo ama chhadi amake feliya gela mrityu mor na haila shoke ami yai gadagadi
(Sri Prema Vivarta, 2.17)
O! the feet of Lord Chaitanya are the wealth of one’s devotion. Where have they gone now abandoning me? They have left me alone; and yet I continue to live. I roll about in the ground suffering this intense agony of separation.
Once in my childhood, I quarreled at school and fought with Sri Chaitanya. After this, I became filled with sadness and cried day and night, sitting on the bank of the Ganges at Mayapur. Feeling compassionate, the Lord came to me before dawn along with Gadadhara Pandita, and called out, ‘Jagadananda! Such anger is not good at all. Give up your stubbornness and speak to Me’. Seeing the Lord’s face my anger melted away and I asked, ‘Why have you come here so late at night? It must have caused You great pain to walk upon the hard roads of Nadia. Have You undertaken this difficulty just for my sake ?’ The Lord said, ‘Let’s go! The night has ended. Go to your house and eat. Understanding your sadness, even I had been fasting till now. I had left my bed and slept on the floor. At that time Gadadhara came to my house and we together came here searching for you. It is good that you have abandoned your anger. Now go to your house and tomorrow we can joyfully play together’. Holding onto the feet of Gadadhara, I slowly raised myself. I could not disobey the orders of Lord Chaitanya. Thereafter, I went to the Lord’s house. There I ate something and drank some water and laid down to rest for a few hours. In the morning, mother Saci and Jagannatha Misra fed me milk and rice and sent me to school with the Lord. After returning from school, the Lord came over to my house and we ate together. Love after a quarrel is like pure gold. I felt so blissful in my heart. The Lord said, ‘It is because of our love for each other that we get angry with each other. Each quarrel strengthens our love for each other’.Continue Reading…
One auspicious evening, after employing her servants in their evening chores, Saci Mata carried little Gaurahari out to the courtyard. It was a full moon night and an ascending moon was on the rise. At this time, little Viswambhara, very consciously and cleverly cried out “Mother! Mother!”. Saci Mata urged Him to quit His crying during the evening and assured she would give Him whatever He wants.
Saci bole – sandhyakale na kara krandana Yaha chaho taha diba- sunaha vacana (Chaitanya Mangala, Adi, 2.266)
Little Nimai replied, ”Please pluck the moon out of the sky and give it to Me”. Saci Mata laughed at His reply and joked at how stupid her son was. “Can anyone get the moon from the sky?”, she said. Nimai challenged, “Then why did you say that you shall give me whatever I ask for? That is why I had my hearts set on having the moon”. Saying this, He began to cry aloud. Holding the end of His mother’s saree, and rubbing His eyes with His other hand, He began beating the dirt with His feet. Holding His mother’s neck, Lord Gaura Raya kept crying and demanding the moon, with which He craved to play. At times, He rolled over the dirty soil, hit His own face and at times He pulled Saci Mata’s hair. Noticing this Saci Mata turned astonished and remarked, “O stupid boy! Your nature is so strange”.
One who does not worship moonlike Lord Chaitanya is crazy. If you worship Him, you shall relish the greatest joy. He is an embodiment of magnanimity. Who can possibly forget Him ? He bestows boundless mercy upon His servants. Lord Chaitanya is my Lord and I shall never desert Him. He is the Lord of my life. I get up and embrace anyone who utters His name and calls out ‘Chaitanya’ .That person becomes my dearest friend. I do not look at the face of anyone who doesn’t say ,’O Chaitanya ! You are the treasure of my life’. Seeing the face of anyone who has forgotten Lord Chaitanya, even if they are Gods or Goddesses , spoils my morning. I will beat anyone with a stick who neglects Chaitanya and honors other renunciates. I will throw fire into the mouth of anyone who leaves aside the discussion of Chaitanya and talks about frivolous or meaningless subjects. If I need to endure pain to please Lord Chaitanya, then let me suffer such anguish eternally. But if He gives up His pleasures and joys and accepts the life of a renunciant, I feel overwhelmed with grief.
(Sri Jagadananda Pandita says) I write whatever pastimes of Lord Gauranga come to my mind, even if they are not in proper chronological sequence.
Gauranga’s Prasada (Food remnants)
One day mother Saci, very affectionately, handed me over the plate containing Lord Gauranga’s food remains. I was delighted to taste Lord Gauranga’s prasad and it appeared just like nectar. Will I ever be able to relish such delicious food again? Mother Saci cooked foodstuffs with wild spinach (abona Acyuta Sak), banana flowers (mocha ghanta), edible roots (Kachu Sak) with balls of fried pulses, manchaki, nimba patal, and patties of fried pulses in yoghurt (dadhi-bari).
Visiting the village of Gadigacha
Having happily enjoyed my feast, I moved like a swan in the company of Nityananda, Gauranga, and their associates. Traversing along the bank of the Ganges, and chanting the holy names of Lord Hari, we finally reached the village of Gadigacha. Sri Govinda Ghosh played Mridanga while Sri Vasudeva Ghosh chanted Harinama. Sri Gadadhara Pandita and Vakresvar danced to the tunes. Hearing the sound of ‘Haribol’, there was cheering in all directions. Everyone was intoxicated in divine love with Gauranga. I do not know how to sing or dance. Yet I dance with my arms upraised. This is occurring because Lord Gauranga has entered my body and is driving me to do so. I have no sense of tune or rhythm. Yet I continue to dance and sing. I do not know how my moon-like Gauranga reasons.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, had mercifully appeared at Yogpeeth (in Mayapur) about 500 years ago (in the year 1486 AD). This day is celebrated as ‘Gaura Purnima’ by the Gaudiya Vaishnava devotees worldwide. The word ‘Yoga’ means ‘connection’ and the term ‘Yogpeeth’ denotes the place where the Supreme Lord connects with or descends into this material world. The identity of Lord Chaitanya as the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be verified in several Vedic scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, Garuda Purana, Nrsimha Purana, Padma Purana, Bhavishya Purana, Narada Purana, etc. We are quoting just two of such references below, for the pleasure of the devotees.
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 with His confidential associates in this age of Kali, to initiate the Sankirtana Yajna is revealed in Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) –
Gaura Purnima – The dire situation of Navadvipa before Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had appeared:
Before Sri Chaitanya had appeared in Navadvipa, its residents were largely preoccupied with material pursuits. People were egoistic about their material possessions and lacking in God consciousness. Those who engaged in discussing Bhagavad Gita or Srimad Bhagavatam, did not touch upon its essence of devotional service. The holy names of Krishna were nowhere to be heard in the entire town of Navadvipa. Being absorbed in the illusory potency of the Lord, people remained in forgetfulness of their eternal master. They misused their wealth in extravagant wedding ceremonies of their children.