The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna-Chaitanya Part II
Sarbabhauma Bhattacharyya having made an attempt to bring about an interview of Maharaj Prataparudra with the Supreme Lord He peremptorily refused to entertain the proposal on the ground that it is contrary to the injunction of the Shastras for a Sannyasi to look upon the face of worldly people. The Lord in the role of a Sannyasi adopted this line of conduct in order to teach the duty of a Sannyasi by His own practice. Rai Ramananda came to the Lord at Puri at this time giving up his office in the service of the King. The attitude of the Lord towards the King underwent a change when Rai Ramananda narrated to Him the good qualities of Prataparudra befitting a Vaishnava.
The Supreme Lord betook Himself to Alalnath during the period of anabasur when no one is permitted to have a sight of Sri Jagannathdeva. On His return to Puri from Alalnath the Lord joined Advaita and the other devotees who arrived from Gauda (Bengal). Prataparudra arranged residence and mahaprasad for the Gaudiya devotees. In the evening a great congregational kirtan was chanted in the Temple of Sri Jagannathdeva by dividing Vaishnavas into four separate parties corresponding to the four traditional communities (Sampradaya).
The devotees led by Nityananda communicated to the Supreme Lord the great anxiety experienced by Pratparudra for having a sight of the Lord. Lord Nityananda deemed it advisable for the consolation of the King to send him a piece of cloth that had been worn by the Supreme Lord as outer covering. Thereafter as the result of the eagerness of Ramananda the Supreme Lord embraced the King’s son who was allowed to approach His person and whom the Lord took to be Krishna. By the touch of his son who was inbubed with the divine love the King was enabled to obtain the mercy of the Lord and love for Krishna. On the eve of the Car Festival the Supreme Lord in the company of His devotees manifested the lila of cleansing the gundicha. In the midst of the function one of the devotees from Gauda having drunk the water touched by the feet of the Lord He made Swarup Damodar the head of the Gaudiyas to turn him out of the Gundicha in order to make it known to all persons as World Teacher that it was an offence in respect of Divine service for a jiva to allow his feet to be washed inside the Temple of God.
The Supreme Lord with His devotees next witnessed the Festivity of Juvenation of Sri Jagannath. As the Lord was engaged in watching the ceremony of Pandu-Vijaya of Sri Jaganath (leaving the Temple preparatory to mounting the Car) He was very much pleased towards Prataparudra on finding the King in the act of performing the humble service of sweeping with a golden broom the pathway over which the cars were to pass. Then Sri Gaursundar formed the party of kirtan organised in seven groups and danced in their midst in front of the Car as they chanted the kirtan manifesting His Divine powers. When the kirtan was concluded as the Lord was resting in a fit of love in the Balagundi Gardens Prataparudra attired as a Vaishnava applied himself to tending the feet of the Lord. On hearing from the King’s mouth certain Slokas from the Bhagabat that were in keeping with the occasion the Supreme Lord clasped him in His embrace. The Lord had been softened towards the King by noticing his zealous service of the Vaishnavas and thereafter regarding him no longer as a worldly minded person but as a servant of the Vaishnavas vouchsafed to best His mercy on him.
As Sri Jagannathdeva took up His station at Sundrachal the transcendental activities of Brindaban manifested themselves to the Supreme Lord. During the festivity of the Nine Nights the Lord stayed in the Jagannath-ballava Gardens and after He had witnessed the Hera Panchami lila on the fifth day therein sued a prolonged confidential discussion between the Lord, Sribash Pandit and Sri Swarup Damodar regarding the nature of Lakshmi and the milkmaids respectively. At the conclusion of the kirtan and other devotional activities in connection with the return of the Cars the Supreme Lord commanded Satyaraj Khan and Ramananda Basu of Kulingram to bring with them every year a supply of silken ropes for the Cars.
On the conclusion of the Car Festival Sri Advaita Prabhu worshipped the Supreme Lord with offering of flowers and tulasi by the mantra ‘Whoever Thou art, Thou art He’. After this on the invitation of Advaita the Lord dined at his place. On the Nandotsab day the Lord with His associates dressed as cowherds indulged in various rejoicings. On the Bejoyadasami day He decked out His devotees in the garb of the army of monkeys while He Himself in the mood of Hanuman gave vent to His great joy. Having witnessed all the other festivals the Lord commanded those devotees who had come from Gauda to return thither. He also despatched Lord Nityananda to Gauda-deas with a party of Vaishnavas consisting of Ramdas, Das Gadadhar and several others. The Lord commanded Advaita to bestow on all persons down to chandalas devotion to Krishna and told Nityananda to preach the message of Divine Love in the country of Gauda without let or hindrance. He then sent clothing etc which had been offered to Jagannath and many humble greetings per Srivash Pandit to His mother Sri Sachi Devi. He then took His leave of Sri Raghaba Pandit, Sri Vasudevedatta Thakur, the devotees of Kulingram and all the Vaishnavas by expatiating on the many good qualities of all.
In reply to the questions of Ramananda and Satyaraj the Supreme Lord laid it down as the function of householder Vaishnavas the duty of serving those Vaishnavas who were well established in chanting the pure Name. Sri Gaursundra thereafter declared the greatness of the Vaishnavas of Khanda and settled their form of service, commanded Sarbabhauma and Vidyavachaspati to worship Brahman in his watery and wooden forms and after explaining the nature of Murarigupta’s devotion to Sri Ramchandra established the conclusion, in conformity with the prayer of Sri Vasudevadatta Thakur which was wholly of a Vaishnava, that Krishna possessed the power of delivering the world with ease.
At the time when the Lord was taking His meal at the house of Sarbabhauma a certain perversion of judgement having manifested itself in Sarbabhauma’s son-in-law Amogh he was attacked with cholera the following morning. The Lord mercifully freed him from the malady and imparted to him attachment for the Name of Krishna.
Sri Advaita and the other Gaudiya devotees were helped by Sivananda Sen to come up to Nilichal in the third year for having a sight of the Supreme Lord. A devoted dog accompanied them on this occasion. The dog disappeared after it had seen the feet of the Lord and honoured the remainder of His tasted food. On this occasion also the Supreme Lord displayed the activities of dancing in front of the car of Jagannath and sweeping the Gundicha. He manifested the lila of the cow-herds on the eighth day of the dark fortnight, the birth-day of Sri Krishna. In answer to the questions of Satyaraj and other devotees of Kulingram the Lord declared that one who chanted the Name of Hari at intervals is a Vaishnava, one who continuously chanted the holy Name was a Vaishnava of a superior order and the best of Vaishnavas was one the sight of whom made the Name of Hari manifest Itself on the lips of beholders.
After the devotees had left the Supreme Lord announced His definite resolve to proceed to Brindaban and He set out on the journey on the Bejoya Dasami day. Ramananda Rai accompanied the Lord up to Bhadrak. Gadadhar Pandit preferred to follow the Lord in violation of the rules of asceticism which require that an ascetic who has once taken the vow of residing in the holy tirtha which happens to be the Abode of Divinity must not give up the service of continuous and zealous residence in the tirtha. The Supreme Lord by a threat of His displeasure sent Pandit Goswami back to Sri Purushottam from Katak in the company of Sarbabhauma and parted from Ramananda at Bhadrak. Subsequently on reaching the frontiers of the country of Odra He made His way by boat to Panihati escorted by a Mahammedan officer. From Panihati where the Lord put up at the house of Raghaba Pandit He made His was to the home of Sribash at Kumarhatta and from there He went to Sivananda’s which was not far from the place and thence to the house of Vachaspati and Vidyanagar from where He cam secretly to the village of Kulia where He procured the absolution of the offences of Devananda Pandit and Chapal Gopal at the feet of Sribash Pandit.
The modern town of Nabadwip occupies the site of the old Kulia or Koladwip. For the reason that the Supreme Lord obtained at this place the pardon of those persons guilty of offence against a Vaishnava the locality has ever borne the famous appellation of ‘the place of absolution of offence’. Although Devananda Pandit undoubtedly possessed the greatest scholarship, high social position and purity of character and although he was famous as an extraordinarily convincing expounder of the Bhagabat he happened to harbour the pernicious notion that the book Bhagabat was different from the devotee of God who is also called Bhagabat. This led him to offend at the feet of Sribash Pandit and it was for this that one day the Supreme Lord Himself in great anger appeared at the place where Devananda was at the time engaged in expounding the Bhagabat and severely censured him declaring that his reading of the Bhagabat was absolutely useless. At the present day mercenary readers of Bhagabat who appear to be always bent upon offending against the Vaishnava are unworthy of obtaining the reward of the mercy of the Supreme Lord’s punishment.