Sri Vaishnava and local history:
Gaudiya associated history
at Sri Rangam
It is a traditional belief that Adi Sankara installed at Srirangam,
a Yantra called Janakarshana Yantra to attract pilgrims to this sacred
temple, just as at Tirupati
he installed the Dhanakarshana Yantra (to attract wealth). Sankara infused immense power to this Yantra, which has proved by its action perfectly true to its name. Tirupati is the richest temple in the South, may be in whole of India, and Srirangam is the most visited temple in the South.
Though it is primarily a Vaishnavite temple, believers in different tenets of faith do pay their homage at the temple of Ranganatha, the Adi Purusha in blissful slumber, floating on the Banyan leaf during cosmic deluge. The Adi Purusha in his eternal happiness remained afloat on the Milky Ocean, for how long nobody can say. He wanted to create the Universe. Lord Vishnu appeared before Brahma in the form of a swan. Brahma questioned its identity, to which the swan replied with two monosyllables 'OM' and 'THAP' and disappeared.
Brahma construed this bewildering reply as a direction to start penance uttering the word 'OM'. After long years of penance, the four Vedas appeared. After years of further penance, Bhoomi (land, the earth) appeared, then the fire, the sky and Devaloka, the heaven where angels stay, and human beings, animals, etc., gradually appeared. At that time, a demon, by name Madhu Kaitabha, appeared from the ear of Brahma and snatched the Vedas from him and disappeared into the ocean. This incident annoyed Brahma, who also plunged into the ocean to search for the miscreant.
Vishnu took the form of a horse (Hayagriva) and annihilated the ace of Madhu Kaitabha and recovered the Vedas and taught the same to Brahma. After the initiation by Lord Vishnu himself, Brahma started creating the Universe, which is made of the five elements, Prithvi, A.P. Marut, Tejas, Vyoma, and sixteen spheres of the Universe and gave a start to the natural law of the Universe.
Creation only being his main port folio, when he set the natural law in motion, his work was completed and the Universe would go on in the cycle of Karma, i.e., and action done by the created beings. As one's karma becomes the decisive factor for the continuance of the universe under the influence of natural law, Brahma realised in his observation that a time might come when his own action will be put to judgement.
He felt the necessity of getting advice from Narayana. To invoke him, he started penance in the Milky Ocean. After long years of penance, Lord Narayana appeared before him on Garuda and asked him what he wanted. Brahma requested Narayana to show him his real form.
Lord Narayana replied that nobody has seen his real Jyothi (effulgent) Swarupam. He said further: "It is I who appeared before you as a swan. It is I who brought you the Vedas. It is I who took the form of Hayagriva. And annihilated the demon. And now I have come on my Garuda. I have taken up the responsibility of protecting the Universe and if you want to visualize my real form, you will have to utter the Ashtakshara Mantra in deep veneration.
At this Brahma started penance. Like this a thousand years elapsed, and at the end, Lord Vishnu appeared in a Ranga Vimanam from the Milky Ocean. Ranga Vimanam is the name given to a special chariot-like conveyance carried by Veda Murtis on their head, having Lord Vishnu inside the Vimanam (vehicle).
Nagaraja was holding the white umbrella in attendance. Senapati Vishwaksena was holding a cane and chamaram (fan). Narada with Tumburu, uttering the hymns in praise, along with Devas, Angels, Kinnaras (heavenly beings) were in prayerful attention. Sages Sanat kumara and others, the usual mythological attendants of Vishnu, were following the chariot. Lord Vishnu appeared ha this procession to Brahma.
In deep veneration Brahma went round the chariot four times chanting the four Vedas with his four mouths and stood before Lord Vishnu in prayerful pose representatives of all the worlds of the Universe, including Durga, Saraswati, Sapta Rishis, Navagrahas, constellations of stars and the Ashta Palakas (eight doorkeepers) and others were also in attendance.
Being pleased with the penance of Brahma, for the first time the real Swarupam of Vishnu in Ranga Vimanam with his attendants was shown to him as desired. Since that day the RangaVimanam became most famous, as the real seat of the Universal God. Brahma wanted to worshipLord Vishnu in the Vimanam forever. Lord Vishnu agreed to his request and Brahma took him to his abode in Satyaloka.
Brahma was happy to worship the Vimanam. News spread in course of time
to Manu, the son of Sun God Surya, who was attracted and desired to have
darshan, for which he performed a penance and fulfilled his desire by a visit to Satyaloka and, paying homage’s to the Ranga Vimanam, then in the custody of
Brahma, he attained liberation. Manu's son Ikshwaku cherished the desire of possessing the Ranga Vimanam for the benefit of the people on earth. He consulted his family preceptor, Vasishtha (priest of the Surya vamsha), who advised him to start penance uttering the sacred Ashtakshara Mantra.
Accordingly, Ikshwaku started a severe penance which puzzled even the devas, foreboding evil days for them. They attempted to spoil the penance by deputing Maninatha and the celestial nymphs to distract his attention. Indra took the lead in this affair and did not even hesitate to send the Vajraayudha (lightning weapon) to foil the penance. But all failed in their attempts. In disappointment, they prayed to Brahma, to save them from the baffling catastrophe. Brahma on his part approached Ranganatha for advice.
Ranganatha consoled Brahma by expressing his desire to go to Ayodhya where he would be worshipped by the descendant of the Solar dynasty for four yugas, and at the end of the fourth yuga he would go to the kingdom of the Cholas in the South, on the banks of the Kaveri, where he would stay for 700 years. At the end, of this period he would return to Brahmaloka. Brahma was directed to part with the Ranga Vimanam to Ikshwaku.
Vibhishana kept the Ranga Vimanam on the bank and had his holy bath in the river Kaveri and started worshipping the Ranga Vimanam. He stayed there for the day at the request of the Chola king and wanted to start next morning to perform the Adi Brahmotsava at his own palace in Lankha.
The Chola king and the Rishis present requested Vibhishana to perform the Adi Brahmotsava there itself instead of in Lankha. Vibhishana agreed to this request and in great pomp the Adi Brahmotsava was performed on the banks of River Kaveri. In commemoration of this incident, the Brahmotsava is performed on the day of the full moon in the month of Panguni, Uttaram day. When the celebrations were over, Vibhishana started to carry the Ranga Vimanam to his kingdom, Lanka.
To his utter dismay, he found that the Vimanam would not move. This
must have caused almost heartbreak to Vibhishana who went on praying to
Lord Ranganatha to save him from the situation. Ranganatha advised him
that He (the Lord) desired to stay there for some time, looking towards
South, to bless an including Vibhishana and Lanka, and asked Vibhishana
to go back to his principality.
Accordingly Brahma placed the Ranga Vimanam on the shoulders of Garuda who delivered it to Ikshwaku at Ayodhya. Ikshwaku erected a big temple in between the rivers Sarayu and Dhamasu, and installed the Ranga Vimanam therein. Ceremonial rites and rituals went on for ages. Ikshvaku's son Dasharatha ruled the country in the Tretayuga and he, being childless, performed a great sacrifice, Putrakameshti Yaga, and got four sons.
During the performance of the great Yaga all the celebrated kings of
the neighboring countries attended the function. Among them, Dharma Varma,
a Chola prince,
was also present. After visiting the Ranga Vimanam, he desired to have it in his own country on the banks of the Kaveri. On return from Ayodhya, he started a
severe penance to get the Ranga Vimanam in his country.
Some sages, who had fore-knowledge of the coming events, requested him to stop his penance as it was already destined that the Ranga Vimanam would go to the Chola country after some time.
Dasharatha’s illustrious son Sri Rama went out on banishment for 14 years, during which he had to kill the ten headed demon of Lankha, who managed to take away his consort Sita. Ravana's brother Vibhishana, a great devotee of Rama, helped him in his mission of annihilating the ten headed demon Ravana.
Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya and his coronation ceremony was celebrated with great pomp. On invitation, the neighboring princes and friends, who helped Rama during his banishment, attended the ceremony with rare presents. Vibhishana the king of Lankha, and Dharma Varma the king of the Chola country were also present. At the end of the ceremony, according to custom, gifts in exchange were presented to the invitees. As Vibhishana helped Rama to annihilate the demon Ravana, his service was the greatest and he was presented with the highest gift namely Ranga Vimanam. Vibhishana carried the Ranga Vimanam to his kingdom Lanka and, on the way, when he was about to cross River Kaveri, it was mid-day, and therefore pooja had to be offered to the Vimanam. The day he reached Kaveri was a Saturday-Rohini Star-Sukla Paksha Ekadashi-in the Tamil month of Panguni (March-April).
There's another similar story that says that Vibhisana was to carry the Deity back to Lankha but had to stop for a call of nature, and that Lord Rama had addressed stating that He in the form of Sri Ranganatham would allow Himself to be carried back to Lankha by Vibhisana and then placed down He would not move. Vibhisana understanding that, and with the call of nature at hand needed someone to hold the Deity while he relieved himself and bathed and returned. He found nearby one brahmin boy and entrusted the task of holding the Deity of Raganath to him to which he agreed. And to NOT put the Deity down..... Anyway when Vibhisana returned he found the boy gone and the Deity firmly fixed to the spot facing the south.
Vibhisana's rakshasa nature came out and he became so angry at the boy taking out his sword he cased him. The small boy ran and ran crossing the river Kaveri and climbed with great speed the steps to the top of the elephant mountain in Trichy where Vibhisana saw the boy enter the Deity room at the top and the door close. Vibhisana forced the door and in a flash saw a movement and struck it with his fist. To this day the Deity in the Ganesh temple a top the elephant mountain has an indentation of Vibhisana's fist on the top of his head, which reveals that the boy was non other than Vinayaka (Ganesh - Ganapati) himself engaged in the Lord's pastimes.
Either way - News of the Ranga Vimanam being carried to Lankha had spread throughout the country and sages and saints were anxiously waiting with the Chola king Dharma Varma at the Kaveri to have a darsan.
Inscrutable is the ways of God. The desire of Dharma Varma, the Chola prince, was fulfilled in this miraculous way. He started constructing a gigantic structure for installing the Ranga Vimanam. Dharma Varma worshipped the Ranga Vimanam for a long time and attained salvation. Years passed and once an unprecedented flood came in River Kaveri, which brought an enormous quantity of silt and sand and flooded the entire country. It is said that the flood was so devastating that even the peak of the gopuram of the temple was submerged under sand and looked like a sand dune.
The entire city surrounding it was utterly devastated. The Chola king shifted the capital from Tri (Uraiyur) to Tanjore. The Ranga Vimanam temple was left uncared for, submerged under sand, which gradually gave rise to other growth of vegetation, that at last became a wasteland. Then it so happened that once Chola prince went out for a pleasure hunt. He rested for some time under a tree in this forest
A parrot living on the tree suggested to king that down below be lying submerged the sacred Ranga Vimanam. (The prince thereafter came to be known as Kilikanda Chola, the who saw the parrot). The Chola king had heard about the Ranga Vimanam and found its location in the forest from the parrot.
The information was also corroborated by a dream seen by the prince. Upon validation, the king started excavation work and unearthed the temple walls and prakarams. He also developed it further and made additions and alterations to the temple particularly the addition of a mandaparn in the name of the parrot, still known as Kili Mandaparn. He re-established the religious rite rituals in the temple as before. He became an ardent devotee of Ranganatha and attained liberation later.
The other major vicissitude in the history of the topple occurred during the reign of Raja Mahendra Chola, when a sudden spring sprouted up emitting a huge quantity of water during the flood in the which blocked the passage of the entrance to the temple and threatened to engulf the temple base. The King had the passage blocked and gopuram constructed over it, making a second prakaram like the wall of defence.
For this beneficial work done by him he too attained liberation.
Another interesting incident happened during the period of Nanda Chola. Nanda Chola was childless. He started penance for getting it so happened that he once found in his lily pond a heavenly child floating on a lotus. The indication was quite enough for Nanda Chola for rearing the child as his own and a gift from God Almighty. Because he found the child lying on the petals of a lotus flower, she was named Kamalavalli.
The Chola king stopped all penance and engaged himself in attentively looking after and lovingly fondling the child, who in due course grew of age and had to be given marriage. It caused great worry in the mind of Nanda Chola. On other side, the Lord was playing a mystery.
When Kamalavalli was engaged in sports with her friends one-day, Ranganatha riding horse went that way on his usual visit to the neighboring Pala Teertham. On seeing Ranganatha on horseback, Kamalavalli fell in love with him. The celestial Virgin Kamalavalli went on admiring Ranganatha and him in her mind's eye as her future husband.
Like lovesick persons took the first sight so seriously that she gave up food and drink. This Caused anxiety to her foster- father Nanda Chola who, on inquiry, learnt of the love episode. Nanda Chola was greatly pleased to hear that his daughter had fallen in love with Lord Ranganatha, the tutelary Deity of the family. He consummated the marriage with great pomp. However, once when Kamalavalli, the heaven-born daughter of Nanda Chola, was taken inside the sanctum sanctorum, she was seen to enter into the Deity of Lord Ranganatha in a blaze of light. This incident turned the mind of the Chola and he began to spend all his wealth in developing the temple and performing the rites and rituals connected therewith.
To commemorate the marriage of his daughter, Nanda Chola constructed two temples, one for Kamalavalli his heavenly daughter and the other for Alagiya Manavala (charming bridegroom), at his capital, Uraiyur. The temples are still existing. Time passed and the Chola principality lost its original strength and power, and the country was divided into many territories, ruled by different princes, giving opportunity for invasion from outside. The Moguls established their suzerainty over Northern India and they were gradually turning their eyes towards the South.
During the absence of Manavala Perumal narrated above, the temple doors were opened again but, to the surprise of all it was found that the idol of Nachiyar, which was kept hidden under Vilva leaves, was also missing. Consequently,' they had to install new idols of both Manavala Perumal and Nachiyar. When 60 years had already passed since the incident of the loss of idols from Srirangam temple, and subsittutes had been installed in their places, public memory being short, people forgot about the original idol of Manavala Perumal.
Therefore they did not readily believe the story of the regaining of the original idol under mysterious circumstances.
At Tirupati they separated and left the idol in the charge of one Kodavar, his son and his nephew. As the Mogul soldiers were still despirate to locate the idol at Srirangam, they went on questioning the people. On the way back to Delhi, they gathered the information that the idol was kept hidden the Tirupati temple in Tirumalai Hills.
When this news reached Srirangam, the people there did not readily believe it, as by then 60 years had elapsed, and the persons connected with the incident were dead. The idol was not allowed to be taken to the innermost precincts of the temple, but was allowed to be kept to the west of the Aryapatal entrance in the third prakaram.
The next day, the mysterious re-appearance of the original idol of Nachiyar was noticed. It must then have come to their mind that when Manavala Perumal was taken away, Nachiyar had also mysteriously disappeared, - but now the presence of the idol being there, Nachiyar had mysteriously reappeared. They therefore informed the king of the locality about this. The King heard the full story from the old man but probably could not readily believe it. To ascertain the truth, he wanted to speak to the oldest man of the locality, as the incident happened 60 years back.
Excepting a blind old man of 93 years, a washerman by caste engaged in temple services, nobody else was available. The old washerman was requested to describe the particular featuresof Manavala Perumal and the description given by him tallied exactly with that already given by the old man who brought the idol.
The washerman further said that he could distinguish the ablution water of the original Manavala Perumal by its special taste. The bathing water after the ablution (abhishek) of the two deities was brought separately to the washerman and, on tasting the ablution water of the newly brought, idol, he felt it to be of the real taste as he had tasted in the past and', in great joy, he went on uttering, "this is our Perumal, this is our Perumal".
After this Manavala Perumal was taken to the original place in old temple and since then he is known with the new name Nam Perumal, meaning Our Perumal. As Nachiyar, the Goddess, had reappeared, was installed at her appropriate place by the side of Nam Perumal. With the advent of the original deities, a separate temple was structed in the northwest corner for the Mogul princess.
The Chief Priest and others decided to meet the Mogul emperor at Delhi and request him to return the deity. A batch of 60 persons under the guidance of Pinsendra Valli, with a group of famous dancer and musicians, proceeded towards Delhi to bring back the idol by pleasing the emperor by musical entertainment. Their plan worked out successfully, and the dancing troupe of musicians could entertain the Mogul emperor satisfactorily by their jangini dance.
The emperor was pleased and offered a reward to the troupe. The party submitted their desire get back the idol of Alagiya Manavala Perumal. The emperor wanted to know where it was. The troupe informed the emperor that the idol was with the emperor's daughter in the harem. The emperor agreed their request and permitted them to take it away. It was difficult get it from the princess. So they planned to make her sleep with the wonderful music, when it would bepossible to remove the idol.Went on entertaining her with enchanting music as a lullaby to induce her to sleep. When the princess fell asleep the idol was quickly removed and carried fast to Srirangam.
At last she could locate the idol in the bedroom of the Princess. She returned to Srirangam and conveyed the news to the Chief Priest. She was nicknamed Pinsendra Valli (the lady who followed--the idol). When the deity of Alagiya Manavala was taken away, the priests became afraid that the deity of the Goddess might also be taken away, and they thought it better to keep her covered with Vilva leaves (Bilva leaves), and hidden in a secret place. They closed the entrance to the temple at the southern gopuram by stones in fear of further depredations.
The Mogul emperor found the next morning that his daughter in a bad state of despair at the loss of the idol from her bed chamber. The princess was in a love-lorn state and, when it was found difficult to bring her to normalcy, the Mogul emperor sent her to Srirangam along with a posse of soldiers under a commander with orders to bring the idol back. When the princess and her escort reached Srirangam they found the temple doors closed.
The soldiers however went inside found that the idol was not there. On hearing the princess fainted and passed away at the temple entrance itself. Only the mortal remains lay prostrate at the temple doorstep, her spirit or soul obviously gone to be with the Lord. She thus showed the climax of love towards the idol, which was none else than God himself in visible form. When they came to know that the emperor had sent his troops to get the idol back, troupe of songsters carrying the idol of Manavala Perumal thought wise to disperse without going in a group lest they should be readily recognized.
When this news reached Srirangam, the people there did not readily believe
it, as by then 60 years had elapsed, and the persons connected with the
incident were dead. The idol was not allowed to be taken to the innermost
precincts of the temple, but was allowed to be kept to the west of the
Aryapatal entrance in the third prakaram.
No idol had been made for the Princess, but to commemorate this incident, there a painting of the Princess on the wall. Only bread and-butter is offer as oblation to the Princess, even now, as she was a Mogul. When the Mogul emperor heard the news of beautification his daughter, he sent rich presents to the temple, which are still being used. The washerman who could readily distinguish the taste of ablution water was named thereafter as Iram Kolli, water taster Kodavar's son who brought back the idol to Srirangam was named Tiruttazhvarai Dasar.
The troupe of dancers, who helped in regaining the idol, was named as Isai Ariyum Perumal Kootattar, the troupe that brought back the idol by music. In the 13th century again, for the third time, Muslims attempted to remove the idol of Ranganatha from the temple. When devotee’s got scent of this iconoclastic intention of the heretic invaders the idol was secretly removed to some unknown place.
As the Mogul armies were fond of dance and music even in their camp
near the battlefield, some local devotees mooted a very intelligent plan.
They procured a
very famous dancing girl and deputed her the army camp to persuade the Commander-in-chief not to destroy the idol of the temple. The dancing girl by her music and dance could win the heart of the Commander-in-chief who became almost mad in love with her.
One day the dancing girl brought the captain to the top of Vellai gopuram
from where he was pushed off. At the loss of their Commander-in-chief,
the army lost their moral and retreated Delhi. In appreciation of the service
rendered by the dancing girl, who was also a great devotee of Ranganatha,
the holy fire was
sent from the kitchen of the temple for cremation of the body of the dancing girl after her death. The custom is being followed till today in respect of her
Srirangam is spoken of as a paradise on earth (Bhoolokavaikuntham). Some festival or other is taking placethroughout the year. The idol of Ranganatha is very impressive and one who worships Him gets all his desires fulfilled and attains moksha. Property such as lands, buildings, gold and silvers vessels, pearls and diamonds jewels, etc., worth lakhs of rupees, provided by the various kings of the South, belong to the temple. Lord Ranganatha is tastefully decorated on all-important occasions. Abhishekam is being done to the deity daily with Kaveri water brought in a silver vessel placed on the Devasthanam elephant in a procession accompanied by pipers. Learned Brahmins chant Vedas and Mantras when pujas and abhishekams are performed.
There are 21 gopurams in the temple. The temple is so big that a stranger
who enters the temple without a guide cannot find his way out. Thousands
of rupees are being spent every year for its maintenance alone. There is
a big mandapam. One of the kings of he South who undertook the construction
of this mandapam with 1000 pillars was attacked -and defeated by his enemy
when the work was in progress. So the mandapam was left incomplete.
There are only 936 pillars. The images carved out on these pillars attract our attention and reveal the remarkable talents of the sculptors of those days.
(Çré Raìgam) is a very famous place. It lies in the
district of Tiruchchiräpalli, about ten miles west of Kumbhakonam
and near the city of Tiruchchiräpalli, on an island in the Käveré
River. The Çré Raìgam temple is the largest in India,
and there are seven walls surrounding it. There are also seven roads leading
to Çré Raìgam. The ancient names of these roads are
the road of Dharma, the road of Räjamahendra, the road of Kulaçekhara,
the road of Älinäòana, the road of Tiruvikrama, the Tirubiòi
road of Mäòamäòi-gäisa, and the road of Aòa-iyävala-indäna.
The temple was founded before the reign of Dharmavarma, who reigned before
Räjamahendra. Many celebrated kings like Kulaçekhara and Yämunäcärya
(Älabandäru) resided in the temple of Çré Raìgam.
Yämunäcärya, Çré Rämänuja, Sudarçanäcärya
and others also supervised this temple.
The incarnation of the goddess of fortune known as Godädevé or Çré Äëòäl was one of the twelve Älvärs, liberated persons known as divya-süris. She was married to the Deity of Lord Çré Raìganätha, and later she entered into the body of the Lord. An incarnation of Kärmuka named Tirumaìga (also one of the Älvärs) acquired some money by stealing and built the fourth boundary wall of Çré Raìgam. It is said that in the year 289 of the Age of Kali, the Älvär of the name Toëòaraòippaòi was born. While engaged in devotional service he fell victim to a prostitute, and Çré Raìganätha, seeing His devotee so degraded, sent one of His servants with a golden plate to that prostitute. When the golden plate was discovered missing from the temple, there was a search, and it was found in the prostitute’s house. When the devotee saw Raìganätha’s mercy upon this prostitute, his mistake was rectified. He then prepared the third boundary wall of the Raìganätha temple and cultivated a tulasé garden there.
There was also a celebrated disciple of Rämänujäcärya’s known as Küreça. Çré Rämapilläi was the son of Küreça, and his son was Vägvijaya Bhaööa, whose son was Vedavyäsa Bhaööa, or Çré Sudarçanäcärya. When Sudarçanäcärya was an old man, the Muslims attacked the temple of Raìganätha and killed about twelve hundred Çré Vaiñëavas. At that time the Deity of Raìganätha was transferred to the temple of Tirupati, in the kingdom of Vijaya-nagara. The governor of Gingee, Goppaëärya, brought Çré Raìganätha from the temple of Tirupati to a place known as Siàha-brahma, where the Lord was situated for three years. In the year 1293 Çaka (A.D. 1371) the Deity was reinstalled in the Raìganätha temple. On the eastern wall of the Raìganätha temple is an inscription written by Vedänta-deçika relating how Raìganätha was returned to the temple. (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya lila 9:79. purport.)
käveréte snäna kari’
stuti-praëati kari’ mänilä kåtärtha
käveréte—in the river known as Käveré; snäna kari’—after bathing; dekhi’—visiting; raìga-nätha—the Raìganätha temple; stuti—prayers; praëati—obeisances; kari’—offering; mänilä—thought Himself; kåta-artha—very successful.
After bathing in the river Käveré, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu saw the temple of Raìganätha and offered His ardent prayers and obeisances. Thus He felt Himself successful.
premäveçe kaila bahuta
dekhi’ camatkära haila saba lokera mana
prema-äveçe—in the ecstasy of love; kaila—did; bahuta—various; gäna—songs; nartana—dancing; dekhi’—seeing which; camatkära—astonished; haila—were; saba—all; lokera—of persons; mana—minds.
In the temple of Raìganätha, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu chanted and danced in ecstatic love of Godhead. Seeing His performance, everyone was struck with wonder.
eka,——‘vyeìkaöa bhaööa’ näma
prabhure nimantraëa kaila kariyä sammäna
çré-vaiñëava eka—a devotee belonging to the Rämänuja-sampradäya; vyeìkaöa bhaööa—Veìkaöa Bhaööa; näma—named; prabhure—unto Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu; nimantraëa—invitation; kaila—did; kariyä—offering; sammäna—great respect.
A Vaiñëava known as Veìkaöa Bhaööa then invited Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu to his home with great respect.
Çré Veìkaöa Bhaööa was a Vaiñëava brähmaëa and an inhabitant of Çré Raìga-kñetra. He belonged to the disciplic succession of Çré Rämänujäcärya. Çré Raìga is one of the places of pilgrimage in the province of Tamil Nadu. The inhabitants of that province do not retain the name Veìkaöa. It is therefore supposed that Veìkaöa Bhaööa did not belong to that province, although he may have been residing there for a very long time. Veìkaöa Bhaööa was in a branch of the Rämänuja-sampradäya known as Baòagala-i. He had a brother in the Rämänuja-sampradäya known as Çrépäda Prabodhänanda Sarasvaté. The son of Veìkaöa Bhaööa was later known in the Gauòéya-sampradäya as Gopäla Bhaööa Gosvämé, and he established the Rädhäramaëa temple in Våndävana. More information about him may be found in a book known as the Bhakti-ratnäkara, by Narahari Cakravarté.
nija-ghare laïä kaila päda-prakñälana
sei jala laïä kaila sa-vaàçe bhakñaëa
nija-ghare—to his own home; laïä—bringing; kaila—did; päda-prakñälana—washing of the feet; sei jala—that water; laïä—taking; kaila—did; sa-vaàçe—with all the family members; bhakñaëa—drinking.
Çré Veìkaöa Bhaööa took Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu to his home. After he washed the Lord’s feet, all the members of his family drank the water.
kichu kaila nivedana
cäturmäsya äsi’ prabhu, haila upasanna
bhikñä karäïä—after offering lunch; kichu—some; kaila—did; nivedana—submission; cäturmäsya—the period of Cäturmäsya; äsi’—coming; prabhu—my Lord; haila upasanna—has already arrived.
After offering lunch to the Lord, Veìkaöa Bhaööa submitted that the period of Cäturmäsya had already arrived.
kari’ raha mora ghare
kåñëa-kathä kahi’ kåpäya uddhära’ ämäre
cäturmäsye—during this period of Cäturmäsya; kåpä kari’—being merciful; raha—please stay; mora ghare—at my place; kåñëa-kathä—topics of Lord Kåñëa; kahi’—speaking; kåpäya—by Your mercy; uddhära’ ämäre—kindly deliver me.
Veìkaöa Bhaööa said, “Please be merciful to me and stay at my house during Cäturmäsya. Speak about Lord Kåñëa’s pastimes and kindly deliver me by Your mercy.”
täìra ghare rahilä
bhaööa-saìge goìäila sukhe cäri mäse
täìra ghare—in his home; rahilä—stayed; prabhu—Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; kåñëa-kathä-rase—enjoying the transcendental mellow of discussing Lord Kåñëa’s pastimes; bhaööa-saìge—with Veìkaöa Bhaööa; goìäila—passed; sukhe—in happiness; cäri mäse—four months.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu remained at the house of Veìkaöa Bhaööa for four continuous months. The Lord passed His days in great happiness, enjoying the transcendental mellow of discussing Lord Kåñëa’s pastimes.
käveréte snäna kari’
pratidina premäveçe karena nartana
käveréte—in the river known as Käveré; snäna kari’—taking a bath; çré-raìga darçana—visiting the temple of Çré Raìga; prati-dina—every day; prema-äveçe—in great happiness; karena—does perform; nartana—dancing.
While there, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu took His bath in the river Käveré and visited the temple of Çré Raìga. Every day the Lord also danced in ecstasy.
dekhibäre äise, dekhe, khaëòe duùkha-çoka
saundarya-ädi—the beauty of the body, etc.; prema-äveça—His ecstatic love; dekhi—seeing; sarva-loka—all men; dekhibäre—to see; äise—come there; dekhe—and see; khaëòe duùkha-çoka—are relieved from all unhappiness and distress.
The beauty of Lord Caitanya’s body and His ecstatic love of God were witnessed by everyone. Many people used to come see Him, and as soon as they saw Him, all their unhappiness and distress vanished.
lakña lakña loka äila
sabe kåñëa-näma kahe prabhuke dekhite
lakña lakña—many hundreds of thousands; loka—of people; äila—came there; nänä-deça—different countries; haite—from; sabe—all of them; kåñëa-näma kahe—chant the Hare Kåñëa mahä-mantra; prabhuke—the Lord; dekhite—seeing.
Many hundreds of thousands of people from various countries came to see the Lord, and after seeing Him they all chanted the Hare Kåñëa mahä-mantra.
vinä keha nähi kahe ära
sabe kåñëa-bhakta haila,——loke camatkära
kåñëa-näma vinä—without chanting the Hare Kåñëa mahä-mantra; keha—anyone; nähi—does not; kahe—speak; ära—anything else; sabe—all of them; kåñëa-bhakta—Lord Kåñëa’s devotees; haila—became; loke—the people; camatkära—astonished.
Indeed, they did not chant anything but the Hare Kåñëa mahä-mantra, and all of them became Lord Kåñëa’s devotees. Thus the general populace was astonished.
vaise yata vaiñëava-brähmaëa
eka eka dina sabe kaila nimantraëa
çré-raìga-kñetre—in Çré Raìga-kñetra; vaise—residing; yata—all; vaiñëava-brähmaëa—Vaiñëava brähmaëas; eka eka dina—every day; sabe—all of them; kaila nimantraëa—invited the Lord.
All the Vaiñëava brähmaëas residing in Çré Raìga-kñetra invited the Lord to their homes. Indeed, He had an invitation every day.
eka eka dine cäturmäsya
kataka brähmaëa bhikñä dite nä päila
eka eka dine—day by day; cäturmäsya—the period of Cäturmäsya; pürëa haila—became filled; kataka brähmaëa—some of the brähmaëas; bhikñä dite—to offer Him lunch; nä—did not; päila—get the opportunity.
Each day the Lord was invited by a different brähmaëa, but some of the brähmaëas did not get the opportunity to offer Him lunch because the period of Cäturmäsya came to an end.
sei kñetre rahe eka vaiñëava-brähmaëa
devälaye äsi’ kare gétä ävartana
sei kñetre—in that holy place; rahe—there was; eka—one; vaiñëava-brähmaëa—a brähmaëa following the Vaiñëava cult; deva-älaye—in the temple; äsi’—coming; kare—does; gétä—of the Bhagavad-gétä; ävartana—recitation.
In the holy place of Çré Raìga-kñetra, a brähmaëa Vaiñëava used to visit the temple daily and recite the entire text of the Bhagavad-gétä.
açuddha paòena, loka kare upahäse
añöädaça-adhyäya—eighteen chapters; paòe—reads; änanda-äveçe—in great ecstasy; açuddha paòena—could not pronounce the text correctly; loka—people in general; kare—do; upahäse—joking.
The brähmaëa regularly read the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad-gétä in great transcendental ecstasy, but because he could not pronounce the words correctly, people used to joke about him.
keha häse, keha ninde, tähä
äviñöa haïä gétä paòe änandita-mane
keha häse—someone laughs; keha ninde—someone criticizes; tähä—that; nähi mäne—he does not care for; äviñöa haïä—being in great ecstasy; gétä paòe—reads the Bhagavad-gétä; änandita—in great happiness; mane—his mind.
Due to his incorrect pronunciation, people sometimes criticized him and laughed at him, but he did not care. He was full of ecstasy due to reading the Bhagavad-gétä and was personally very happy.
pulakäçru, kampa, sveda,——yävat
dekhi’ änandita haila mahäprabhura mana
pulaka—standing of the hairs of the body; açru—tears; kampa—trembling; sveda—perspiration; yävat—during; paöhana—the reading of the book; dekhi’—seeing this; änandita—very happy; haila—became; mahäprabhura—of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; mana—the mind.
While reading the book, the brähmaëa experienced transcendental bodily transformations. The hairs on his body stood on end, tears welled up in his eyes, and his body trembled and perspired as he read. Seeing this, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu became very happy.
Although the brähmaëa could not pronounce the words very well due to illiteracy, he still experienced ecstatic symptoms while reading the Bhagavad-gétä. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu was very pleased to observe these symptoms, and this indicates that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased by devotion, not by erudite scholarship. Even though the words were imperfectly pronounced, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, Lord Kåñëa Himself, did not think this very serious. Rather, the Lord was pleased by the bhäva (devotion). In Çrémad-Bhägavatam (1.5.11) this is confirmed:
yasmin prati-çlokam abaddhavaty api
nämäny anantasya yaço-’ìkitäni yat
çåëvanti gäyanti gåëanti sädhavaù
“On the other hand, that literature
which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name,
fame, forms and pastimes of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation,
full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution
in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization. Such transcendental
literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted
by purified men who are thoroughly honest.”
The purport to this verse may be considered for further information on this subject.
mahäprabhu puchila täìre,
kon artha jäni’ tomära eta sukha haya
mahäprabhu—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; puchila—inquired; täìre—from him; çuna—please hear; mahä-äçaya—My dear sir; kon—what; artha—meaning; jäni’—knowing; tomära—your; eta—so great; sukha—happiness; haya—is.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu asked the brähmaëa, “My dear sir, why are you in such ecstatic love? Which portion of the Bhagavad-gétä gives you such transcendental pleasure?”
vipra kahe,——mürkha ämi,
çabdärtha nä jäni
çuddhäçuddha gétä paòi, guru-äjïä mäni’
vipra kahe—the brähmaëa replied; mürkha ämi—I am illiterate; çabda-artha—the meaning of the words; nä jäni—I do not know; çuddha-açuddha—sometimes correct and sometimes not correct; gétä—the Bhagavad-gétä; paòi—I read; guru-äjïä—the order of my spiritual master; mäni’—accepting.
The brähmaëa replied, “I am illiterate and therefore do not know the meaning of the words. Sometimes I read the Bhagavad-gétä correctly and sometimes incorrectly, but in any case I am doing this in compliance with the orders of my spiritual master.”
This is a good example of a person who had become so successful that he was able to capture the attention of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu even while reading the Bhagavad-gétä incorrectly. His spiritual activities did not depend on material things such as correct pronunciation. Rather, his success depended on strictly following the instructions of his spiritual master.
yasya deve parä bhaktir yathä
deve tathä gurau
tasyaite kathitä hy arthäù prakäçante mahätmanaù
“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.”(Çvetäçvatara Up. 6.23)
Actually the meaning of the words of the Bhagavad-gétä or Çrémad-Bhägavatam are revealed to one strictly following the orders of the spiritual master. They are also revealed to one who has equal faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, being faithful to both Kåñëa and the spiritual master is the secret of success in spiritual life.
arjunera rathe kåñëa
vasiyäche häte totra çyämala sundara
arjunera—of Arjuna; rathe—in the chariot; kåñëa—Lord Kåñëa; haya—is; rajju-dhara—holding the reins; vasiyäche—He was sitting there; häte—in the hand; totra—a bridle; çyämala—blackish; sundara—very beautiful.
The brähmaëa continued, “Actually I only see Lord Kåñëa sitting on a chariot as Arjuna’s charioteer. Taking the reins in His hands, He appears very beautiful and blackish.
arjunere kahitechena hita-upadeça
täìre dekhi’ haya mora änanda-äveça
arjunere—unto Arjuna; kahitechena—He is speaking; hita-upadeça—good instruction; täìre—Him; dekhi’—seeing; haya—there is; mora—my; änanda—transcendental happiness; äveça—ecstasy.
“While seeing Lord Kåñëa sitting in a chariot and instructing Arjuna, I am filled with ecstatic happiness.
yävat paòoì, tävat
päìa täìra daraçana
ei lägi’ gétä-päöha nä chäòe mora mana
yävat—as long as; paòoì—I read; tävat—so long; päìa—I get; täìra—His; daraçana—audience; ei lägi’—for this reason; gétä-päöha—reading the Bhagavad-gétä; nä chäòe—does not quit; mora mana—my mind.
“As long as I read the Bhagavad-gétä, I simply see the Lord’s beautiful features. It is for this reason that I am reading the Bhagavad-gétä, and my mind cannot be distracted from this.”
tumi se jänaha ei gétära artha-sära
prabhu kahe—the Lord replied; gétä-päöhe—in reading the Bhagavad-gétä; tomäräi adhikära—you have the proper authority; tumi—you; se—that; jänaha—know; ei—this; gétära—of the Bhagavad-gétä; artha-sära—the real purport.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu told the brähmaëa, “Indeed, you are an authority in the reading of the Bhagavad-gétä. Whatever you know constitutes the real purport of the Bhagavad-gétä.”
According to the çästras: bhaktyä bhägavataà grähyaà na buddhyä na ca öékayä. One should understand the Bhagavad-gétä and Çrémad-Bhägavatam by hearing them from a real devotee. One cannot understand them simply by erudite scholarship or sharp intelligence. It is also said:
ca yenäpi bhakti-bhävena cetasä
veda-çästra-puräëäni tenädhétäni sarvaçaù
To one who reads the Bhagavad-gétä with faith and devotion, the essence of Vedic knowledge is revealed. And according to the Çvetäçvatara Upaniñad (6.23):
yasya deve parä bhaktir yathä
deve tathä gurau
tasyaite kathitä hy arthäù prakäçante mahätmanaù
“Only unto those great souls who
have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the
imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.”
All Vedic literatures are to be understood with faith and devotion, not by mundane scholarship. We have therefore presented Bhagavad-gétä As It Is. There are many so-called scholars and philosophers who read the Bhagavad-gétä in a scholarly way. They simply waste their time and mislead those who read their commentaries.
eta bali’ sei vipre kaila äliìgana
prabhu-pada dhari’ vipra karena rodana
eta bali’—saying this; sei vipre—that brähmaëa; kaila äliìgana—He embraced; prabhu-pada—the lotus feet of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; dhari’—catching; vipra—the brähmaëa; karena—does; rodana—crying.
After saying this, Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu embraced the brähmaëa, and the brähmaëa, catching the lotus feet of the Lord, began to cry.
tomä dekhi’ tähä haite
dvi-guëa sukha haya
sei kåñëa tumi,——hena mora mane laya
tomä dekhi’—by seeing You; tähä haite—than the vision of Lord Kåñëa; dvi-guëa—twice as much; sukha—happiness; haya—there is; sei kåñëa—that Lord Kåñëa; tumi—You are; hena—such; mora—my; mane—in the mind; laya—takes.
The brähmaëa said, “Upon seeing You, my happiness is doubled. I take it that You are the same Lord Kåñëa.”
täìra mana haïäche nirmala
ataeva prabhura tattva jänila sakala
kåñëa-sphürtye—by revelation of Lord Kåñëa; täìra—his; mana—mind; haïäche—did become; nirmala—purified; ataeva—therefore; prabhura—of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; tattva—truth; jänila—could understand; sakala—all.
The mind of the brähmaëa was purified by the revelation of Lord Kåñëa, and therefore he could understand the truth of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu in all details.
tabe mahäprabhu täìre
ei bät kähäì nä kariha prakäçana
tabe—then; mahäprabhu—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; täìre—unto the brähmaëa; karäila—made; çikñaëa—instruction; ei bät—this version; kähäì—anywhere; nä—do not; kariha—do; prakäçana—revelation.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu then taught the brähmaëa very thoroughly and requested him not to disclose the fact that He was Lord Kåñëa Himself.
sei vipra mahäprabhura baòa
cäri mäsa prabhu-saìga kabhu nä chäòila
sei vipra—that brähmaëa; mahäprabhura—of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; baòa—big; bhakta—devotee; haila—became; cäri mäsa—for four months; prabhu-saìga—association of the Lord; kabhu—at any time; nä—did not; chäòila—give up.
That brähmaëa became a great devotee of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, and for four continuous months he did not give up the Lord’s company.
nirantara bhaööa-saìge kåñëa-kathänanda
ei-mata—in this way; bhaööa-gåhe—in the house of Veìkaöa Bhaööa; rahe—remained; gauracandra—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; nirantara—constantly; bhaööa-saìge—with Veìkaöa Bhaööa; kåñëa-kathä-änanda—the transcendental bliss of talking about Kåñëa.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu remained at the house of Veìkaöa Bhaööa and constantly talked with him about Lord Kåñëa. In this way He was very happy.
bhaööa seve lakñmé-näräyaëa
täìra bhakti dekhi’ prabhura tuñöa haila mana
çré-vaiñëava—a devotee of the Rämänuja-sampradäya; bhaööa—Veìkaöa Bhaööa; seve—used to worship; lakñmé-näräyaëa—the Deities of Lord Näräyaëa and the goddess of fortune, Lakñmé; täìra—his; bhakti—devotion; dekhi’—seeing; prabhura—of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; tuñöa—happy; haila—became; mana—the mind.
Being a Vaiñëava in the Rämänuja-sampradäya, Veìkaöa Bhaööa worshiped the Deities of Lakñmé and Näräyaëa. Seeing his pure devotion, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu was very satisfied.
nirantara täìra saìge
häsya-parihäse duìhe sakhyera svabhäva
nirantara—constantly; täìra saìge—being associated with him; haila—there was; sakhya-bhäva—a friendly relationship; häsya—laughing; parihäse—joking; duìhe—both of them; sakhyera—of fraternity; svabhäva—nature.
Constantly associating with each other, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu and Veìkaöa Bhaööa gradually developed a friendly relationship. Indeed, sometimes they laughed and joked together.
prabhu kahe,——bhaööa, tomära
prabhu kahe—Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu said; bhaööa—My dear Bhaööäcärya; tomära—your; lakñmé-öhäkuräëé—goddess of fortune; känta—of her husband, Näräyaëa; vakñaù-sthitä—situated on the chest; pati-vratä—chaste woman; çiromaëi—the topmost.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu told the Bhaööäcärya, “Your worshipable goddess of fortune, Lakñmé, always remains on the chest of Näräyaëa, and she is certainly the most chaste woman in the creation.
sädhvé haïä kene cähe täìhära saìgama
ämära öhäkura—My worshipable Deity; kåñëa—Lord Kåñëa; gopa—cowherd; go-cäraka—a tender of cows; sädhvé haïä—being so chaste; kene—why; cähe—wants; täìhära—His; saìgama—association.
“However, my Lord is Lord Çré Kåñëa, a cowherd boy who is engaged in tending cows. Why is it that Lakñmé, being such a chaste wife, wants to associate with My Lord?
ei lägi’ sukha-bhoga chäòi’
vrata-niyama kari’ tapa karila apära
ei lägi’—for this reason; sukha-bhoga—the enjoyment of Vaikuëöha; chäòi’—giving up; cira-käla—for a long time; vrata-niyama—vows and regulative principles; kari’—accepting; tapa—austerity; karila apära—performed unlimitedly.
“Just to associate with Kåñëa, Lakñmé abandoned all transcendental happiness in Vaikuëöha and for a long time accepted vows and regulative principles and performed unlimited austerities.”
kasyänubhävo ’sya na deva
yad-väïchayä çrér lalanäcarat tapo
vihäya kämän su-ciraà dhåta-vratä
kasya—of what; anubhävaù—a result; asya—of the serpent (Käliya); na—not; deva—O Lord; vidmahe—we know; tava aìghri—of Your lotus feet; reëu—of the dust; sparaça—for touching; adhikäraù—qualification; yat—which; väïchayä—by desiring; çréù—the goddess of fortune; lalanä—the topmost woman; acarat—performed; tapaù—austerity; vihäya—giving up; kämän—all desires; su-ciram—for a long time; dhåta—a law upheld; vratä—as a vow.
Caitanya Mahäprabhu then said, “‘O Lord, we do not know how the serpent Käliya attained such an opportunity to be touched by the dust of Your lotus feet. Even the goddess of fortune, for this end, performed austerities for centuries, giving up all other desires and observing austere vows. Indeed, we do not know how the serpent Käliya got such an opportunity.’”
This verse from Çrémad-Bhägavatam (10.16.36) was spoken by the wives of the Käliya serpent.
bhaööa kahe, kåñëa-näräyaëa——eka-i
kåñëete adhika lélä-vaidagdhyädi-rüpa
bhaööa kahe—Veìkaöa Bhaööa said; kåñëa-näräyaëa—Kåñëa and Näräyaëa; eka-i svarüpa—one and the same; kåñëete—in Lord Kåñëa; adhika—more; lélä—pastimes; vaidagdhya-ädi-rüpa—sportive nature.
Veìkaöa Bhaööa then said, “Lord Kåñëa and Lord Näräyaëa are one and the same, but the pastimes of Kåñëa are more relishable due to their sportive nature.
tära sparçe nähi
kautuke lakñmé cähena kåñëera saìgama
tära sparçe—by the touching of Kåñëa by Lakñmé; nähi—does not; yäya—disappear; pati-vratä-dharma—the vow of chastity; kautuke—in great fun; lakñmé—the goddess of fortune; cähena—wants; kåñëera—of Lord Kåñëa; saìgama—association.
“Since Kåñëa and Näräyaëa are the same personality, Lakñmé’s association with Kåñëa does not break her vow of chastity. Rather, it was in great fun that the goddess of fortune wanted to associate with Lord Kåñëa.”
This is the answer to Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s question, and from this we can understand that Veìkaöa Bhaööa knew the truth. He told Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu that Näräyaëa is a form of Kåñëa associated with transcendental opulence. Although Kåñëa is two-armed and Näräyaëa four-armed, there is no difference in the person. They are one and the same. Näräyaëa is as beautiful as Kåñëa, but Kåñëa’s pastimes are more sportive. It is not that the sportive pastimes of Kåñëa make Him different from Näräyaëa. Lakñmé’s desiring to associate with Kåñëa was perfectly natural. In other words, it is understandable that a chaste woman wants to associate with her husband in all his different dresses. Therefore one should not criticize Lakñmé for wanting to associate with Kåñëa.
siddhäntatas tv abhede ’pi
rüpam eñä rasa-sthitiù
siddhäntataù—in reality; tu—but; abhede—no difference; api—although; çré-éça—of the husband of Lakñmé, Näräyaëa; kåñëa—of Lord Kåñëa; svarüpayoù—between the forms; rasena—by transcendental mellows; utkåñyate—is superior; kåñëa-rüpam—the form of Lord Kåñëa; eñä—this; rasa-sthitiù—reservoir of pleasure.
Veìkaöa Bhaööa continued, “‘According to transcendental realization, there is no difference between the forms of Näräyaëa and Kåñëa. Yet in Kåñëa there is a special transcendental attraction due to the conjugal mellow, and consequently He surpasses Näräyaëa. This is the conclusion of transcendental mellows.’
This verse quoted by Veìkaöa Bhaööa is also found in the Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (1.2.59).
pativratä-dharma nahe näça
adhika läbha päiye, ära räsa-viläsa
kåñëa-saìge—in the association of Lord Kåñëa; pati-vratä—of chastity; dharma—vow; nahe—is not; näça—lost; adhika—more; läbha—profit; päiye—I get; ära—also; räsa-viläsa—the enjoyment in the räsa dance.
“The goddess of fortune considered that her vow of chastity would not be damaged by her relationship with Kåñëa. Rather, by associating with Kåñëa she could enjoy the benefit of the räsa dance.”
haya kåñëe abhiläña
ihäte ki doña, kene kara parihäsa
vinodiné—the enjoyer; lakñméra—of the goddess of fortune; haya—there is; kåñëe—for Lord Kåñëa; abhiläña—desire; ihäte—in this; ki—what; doña—fault; kene—why; kara—You do; parihäsa—joking.
Veìkaöa Bhaööa further explained, “Mother Lakñmé, the goddess of fortune, is also an enjoyer of transcendental bliss; therefore if she wanted to enjoy herself with Kåñëa, what fault is there? Why are You joking so about this?”
prabhu kahe,——doña nähi,
ihä ämi jäni
räsa nä päila lakñmé, çästre ihä çuni
prabhu kahe—the Lord replied; doña nähi—there is no fault; ihä ämi jäni—this I know; räsa nä päila lakñmé—Lakñmé, the goddess of fortune, could not join the räsa dance; çästre ihä çuni—we get this information from revealed scriptures.
Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu replied, “I know that there is no fault on the part of the goddess of fortune, but still she could not enter into the räsa dance. We hear this from the revealed scriptures.
näyaà çriyo ’ìga
u nitänta-rateù prasädaù
svar-yoñitäà nalina-gandha-rucäà kuto ’nyäù
räsotsave ’sya bhuja-daëòa-gåhéta-kaëöha-
labdhäçiñäà ya udagäd vraja-sundaréëäm
na—not; ayam—this; çriyaù—of the goddess of fortune; aìge—on the chest; u—alas; nitänta-rateù—one who is very intimately related; prasädaù—the favor; svaù—of the heavenly planets; yoñitäm—of women; nalina—of the lotus flower; gandha—having the aroma; rucäm—and bodily luster; kutaù—much less; anyäù—others; räsa-utsave—in the festival of the räsa dance; asya—of Lord Çré Kåñëa; bhuja-daëòa—by the arms; gåhéta—embraced; kaëöha—their necks; labdha-äçiñäm—who achieved such a blessing; yaù—which; udagät—became manifest; vraja-sundaréëäm—of the beautiful gopés, the transcendental girls of Vrajabhümi.
“‘When Lord Çré Kåñëa was dancing with the gopés in the räsa-lélä, the gopés were embraced around the neck by the Lord’s arms. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or the other consorts in the spiritual world. Nor was such a thing ever imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, girls whose bodily luster and aroma exactly resemble the beauty and fragrance of lotus flowers. And what to speak of worldly women, who may be very, very beautiful according to material estimation?’
This is a verse from Çrémad-Bhägavatam (10.47.60).
lakñmé kene nä
päila, ihära ki käraëa
tapa kari’ kaiche kåñëa päila çruti-gaëa
lakñmé—the goddess of fortune; kene—why; nä—did not; päila—get; ihära—of this; ki—what; käraëa—cause; tapa kari’—undergoing severe austerities; aiche—how; kåñëa—Lord Kåñëa; päila—attained; çruti-gaëa—Vedic authorities.
“But can you tell Me why the goddess of fortune, Lakñmé, could not enter the räsa dance? The authorities of Vedic knowledge could enter the dance and associate with Kåñëa.
munaya upäsate tad arayo ’pi yayuù smaraëät
vayam api te samäù samadåço ’ìghri-saroja-sudhäù
nibhåta—controlled; marut—the life air; manaù—the mind; akña—the senses; dåòha—strong; yoga—in the mystic yoga process; yujaù—who are engaged; hådi—within the heart; yat—who; munayaù—the great sages; upäsate—worship; tat—that; arayaù—the enemies; api—also; yayuù—obtain; smaraëät—from remembering; striyaù—the gopés; uraga-indra—of serpents; bhoga—like the bodies; bhuja—the arms; daëòa—like rods; viñakta—fastened to; dhiyaù—whose minds; vayam api—we also; te—Your; samäù—equal to them; sama-dåçaù—having the same ecstatic emotions; aìghri-saroja—of the lotus feet; sudhäù—the nectar.
“‘Great sages conquer the mind and senses by practicing the mystic yoga system and controlling the breath. Thus engaging in mystic yoga, they see the Supersoul within their hearts and ultimately enter into impersonal Brahman. But even the enemies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead attain that position simply by thinking of the Supreme Lord. However, the damsels of Vraja, the gopés, being attracted by the beauty of Kåñëa, simply wanted to embrace Him and His arms, which are like serpents. Thus the gopés ultimately tasted the nectar of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, we Upaniñads can also taste the nectar of His lotus feet by following in the footsteps of the gopés.’”
This verse is from Çrémad-Bhägavatam (10.87.23).
çruti päya, lakñmé
nä päya, ithe ki käraëa
bhaööa kahe,——ihä praveçite näre mora mana
çruti päya—the Vedic authorities got admission; lakñmé nä päya—and the goddess of fortune could not get admission; ithe ki käraëa—what must be the reason for this; bhaööa kahe—Veìkaöa Bhaööa replied; ihä—this; praveçite—to enter; näre—is not able; mora—my; mana—mind.
Having been asked by Caitanya Mahäprabhu why the goddess of fortune could not enter into the räsa dance whereas the authorities on Vedic knowledge could, Veìkaöa Bhaööa replied, “I cannot enter into the mysteries of this behavior.”
ämi jéva—I am an ordinary living being; kñudra-buddhi—possessing limited intelligence; sahaje asthira—very easily agitated; éçvarera lélä—the pastimes of the Lord; koöi-samudra—as millions of oceans; gambhéra—as deep.
Veìkaöa Bhaööa then said, “I am an ordinary human being. Since my intelligence is very limited and I am easily agitated, my mind cannot enter within the deep ocean of the pastimes of the Lord.
tumi säkñät sei
kåñëa, jäna nija-karma
yäre jänäha, sei jäne tomära lélä-marma
tumi—You; säkñät—directly; sei—that; kåñëa—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; jäna—You know; nija-karma—Your activities; yäre jänäha—and unto whom You make it known; sei—that person; jäne—knows; tomära—Your; lélä-marma—the purport of the pastimes.
“You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa Himself. You know the purpose of Your activities, and the person whom You enlighten can also understand Your pastimes.”
The Supreme Personality of Godhead Kåñëa and His pastimes cannot be understood by blunt material senses. One has to purify the senses by rendering transcendental loving service unto the Lord. When the Lord is pleased and reveals Himself, one can understand the transcendental form, name, qualities and pastimes of the Lord. This is confirmed in the Kaöha Upaniñad (2.23) and Muëòaka Upaniñad (3.2.3): yam evaiña våëute tena labhyas tasyaiña ätmä vivåëute tanüà sväm. “Anyone who is favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead can understand His transcendental name, qualities, form and pastimes.”
eka svabhäva vilakñaëa
sva-mädhurye sarva citta kare äkarñaëa
prabhu kahe—the Lord replied; kåñëera—of Lord Kåñëa; eka—one; svabhäva—characteristic; vilakñaëa—special; sva-mädhurye—His conjugal love; sarva—all; citta—hearts; kare—does; äkarñaëa—attraction.
The Lord replied, “Lord Kåñëa has a special characteristic: He attracts everyone’s heart by the mellow of His personal conjugal love.
vraja-lokera bhäve päiye
täìre éçvara kari’ nähi jäne vraja-jana
vraja-lokera—of the inhabitants of Goloka Våndävana; bhäve—in the ecstasy; päiye—one gets; täìhära—Lord Kåñëa’s; caraëa—lotus feet; täìre—unto Him; éçvara—the Supreme Person; kari’—accepting; nähi—do not; jäne—know; vraja-jana—the inhabitants of Vrajabhümi.
“By following in the footsteps of the inhabitants of the planet known as Vrajaloka or Goloka Våndävana, one can attain the shelter of the lotus feet of Çré Kåñëa. However, in that planet the inhabitants do not know that Lord Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
keha täìre putra-jïäne
keha sakhä-jïäne jini’ caòe täìra kändhe
keha—someone; täìre—Him; putra-jïäne—by accepting as a son; udukhale—to a big mortar; bändhe—ties; keha—someone; sakhä-jïäne—by accepting as a friend; jini’—conquering; caòe—gets up; täìra—His; kändhe—on the shoulder.
“There someone may accept Him as a son and sometimes bind Him to a grinding mortar. Someone else may accept Him as an intimate friend and, attaining victory over Him, playfully mount His shoulders.
‘vrajendra-nandana’ bali’ täìre
aiçvarya-jïäne nähi kona sambandha-mänana
vrajendra-nandana—the son of Nanda Mahäräja, the King of Vrajabhümi; bali’—as; täìre—Him; jäne—know; vraja-jana—the inhabitants of Vrajabhümi; aiçvarya-jïäne—in opulence; nähi—there is not; kona—any; sambandha—relationship; mänana—regarding.
“The inhabitants of Vrajabhümi know Kåñëa as the son of Mahäräja Nanda, the King of Vrajabhümi, and they consider that they can have no relationship with the Lord in the rasa of opulence.
vraja-lokera bhäve yei karaye
sei jana päya vraje vrajendra-nandana
vraja-lokera—of the inhabitants of Vrajabhümi; bhäve—in the ecstasy; yei—anyone who; karaye—does; bhajana—worship; sei jana—that person; päya—attains; vraje—in Vraja; vrajendra-nandana—Lord Kåñëa, the son of Mahäräja Nanda.
“One who worships the Lord by following in the footsteps of the inhabitants of Vrajabhümi attains Him in the transcendental planet of Vraja, where He is known as the son of Mahäräja Nanda.”
The inhabitants of Vrajabhümi, or Goloka Våndävana, know Kåñëa as the son of Mahäräja Nanda. They do not accept Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as people in general do. The Lord is the supreme maintainer of everyone and the chief personality among all personalities. In Vrajabhümi Kåñëa is certainly the central point of love, but no one knows Him there as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Rather, a person may know Him as a friend, son, lover or master. In any case, the center is Kåñëa. The inhabitants of Vrajabhümi are related to the Lord in servitude, friendship, parental love and conjugal love. A person engaged in devotional service may accept any one of these transcendental relationships, which are known as mellows. When such a person reaches the perfectional stage, he returns home, back to Kåñëa, in his pure spiritual identity.
näyaà sukhäpo bhagavän
yathä bhakti-matäm iha
na—not; ayam—this Lord Çré Kåñëa; sukha-äpaù—easily available; bhagavän—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; dehinäm—for materialistic persons who have accepted the body as the self; gopikä-sutaù—the son of mother Yaçodä; jïäninäm—for persons addicted to mental speculation; ca—and; ätma-bhütänäm—for persons performing severe austerities and penances; yathä—as; bhakti-matäm—for persons engaged in spontaneous devotional service; iha—in this world.
Caitanya Mahäprabhu then quoted, “‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, the son of mother Yaçodä, is accessible to those devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realization by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self.’
This verse, also given in Madhya-lélä 8.227, is quoted from Çrémad-Bhägavatam (10.9.21).
vrajeçvaré-suta bhaje gopé-bhäva laïä
çruti-gaëa—the authorities of Vedic hymns; gopé-gaëera—of the gopés; anugata haïä—following in the footsteps; vrajeçvaré-suta—the son of mother Yaçodä; bhaje—worship; gopé-bhäva—the ecstasy of the gopés; laïä—accepting.
“The authorities in the Vedic literature who are known as the çruti-gaëas worshiped Lord Kåñëa in the ecstasy of the gopés and followed in their footsteps.
The authorities in the Vedic literature who are known as the çruti-gaëas desired to enter into Lord Çré Kåñëa’s räsa dance; therefore they began to worship the Lord in the ecstasy of the gopés. In the beginning, however, they were unsuccessful. When they could not enter the dance simply by thinking of Kåñëa in the ecstasy of the gopés, they actually accepted bodies like those of the gopés. They even took birth in Vrajabhümi just like the gopés and consequently became engrossed in the ecstasy of the gopés’ love. In this way they were allowed to enter into the räsa-lélä dance of the Lord.
vraje yabe päila
sei dehe kåñëa-saìge räsa-kréòä kaila
bähya-antare—externally and internally; gopé-deha—the body of a gopé; vraje—in Vrajabhümi; yabe—when; päila—they got; sei dehe—in that body; kåñëa-saìge—with Kåñëa; räsa-kréòä—pastimes of the räsa dance; kaila—performed.
“The personified authorities on the Vedic hymns acquired bodies like those of the gopés and took birth in Vrajabhümi. In those bodies they were allowed to enter into the Lord’s räsa-lélä dance.
devé vä anya stré kåñëa nä kare aìgékära
gopa-jäti—belonging to the cowherd community; kåñëa—Lord Kåñëa; gopé—the damsels of Vrajabhümi, the gopés; preyasé—dearmost; täìhära—His; devé—the wives of the demigods; vä—or; anya—other; stré—women; kåñëa—Lord Kåñëa; nä—does not; kare—do; aìgékära—acceptance.
“Lord Kåñëa belongs to the cowherd community, and the gopés are the dearmost lovers of Kåñëa. Although the wives of the denizens of the heavenly planets are most opulent within the material world, neither they nor any other women in the material universe can acquire Kåñëa’s association.
lakñmé cähe sei
dehe kåñëera saìgama
gopikä-anugä haïä nä kaila bhajana
lakñmé—the goddess of fortune; cähe—wants; sei—that; dehe—in the body; kåñëera saìgama—the association of Kåñëa; gopikä—of the gopés; anugä—follower; haïä—becoming; nä—did not; kaila—perform; bhajana—worship.
“The goddess of fortune, Lakñmé, wanted to enjoy Kåñëa and at the same time retain her spiritual body in the form of Lakñmé. However, she did not follow in the footsteps of the gopés in her worship of Kåñëa.
anya dehe nä päiye räsa-viläsa
ataeva ‘näyaà’ çloka kahe veda-vyäsa
anya dehe—in a body other than those of the gopés; nä—not; päiye—one gets; räsa-viläsa—the pastimes of the räsa dance; ataeva—therefore; näyam—beginning with the word näyam; çloka—the Sanskrit verse; kahe—says; veda-vyäsa—Dvaipäyana Vedavyäsa.
“Vyäsadeva, the supreme authority on Vedic literature, composed the verse beginning ‘näyaà sukhäpo bhagavän’ because no one can enter into the räsa-lélä dance in any body other than that of a gopé.”
This verse confirms a verse of the Bhagavad-gétä (9.25):
yänti deva-vratä devän
pitèn yänti pitå-vratäù
bhütäni yänti bhütejyä yänti mad-yäjino ’pi mäm
Lord Kåñëa said, “Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods, those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors, those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings, and those who worship Me will live with Me.”
In the material world, every conditioned soul changes his material body again and again, but when the spirit soul is purified of all material coverings, there is no longer a chance of his accepting a material body. Such a soul then remains in his original, spiritual identity, a state that is possible to achieve only by understanding Kåñëa in truth through the practice of Kåñëa consciousness. As Kåñëa says in the Bhagavad-gétä (4.9),
janma karma ca me divyam evaà
yo vetti tattvataù
tyaktvä dehaà punar janma naiti mäm eti so ’rjuna
“One who knows the transcendental
nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body,
take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode,
Only when one regains his original spiritual body can he enter into the spiritual kingdom. As far as the räsa-lélä pastimes of the Lord are concerned, it is futile for one who is within the material world to attempt to imitate the Lord’s dances. One has to attain a spiritual body like that of a gopé to enter into the pastimes of the räsa-lélä. In the näyaà sukhäpo verse, the devotees are referred to as bhaktimat, that is, fully engaged in devotional service and devoid of material contamination. One cannot enter into Kåñëa’s räsa-lélä dance simply by artificially imitating it or artificially thinking oneself a sakhé and dressing up like one. Kåñëa’s räsa-lélä dance is completely spiritual; it has nothing to do with material contamination. Therefore no one can enter into this pastime by artificial, material means. That is the instruction of the näyaà sukhäpo verse, and it must be strictly understood.
pürve bhaööera mane
eka chila abhimäna
‘çré-näräyaëa’ hayena svayaà-bhagavän
pürve—before this; bhaööera—of Veìkaöa Bhaööa; mane—in the mind; eka—one; chila—there was; abhimäna—an impression; çré-näräyaëa—the form of the Lord as Näräyaëa; hayena—is; svayam—personally; bhagavän—the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Before this explanation was given by Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, Veìkaöa Bhaööa thought that Çré Näräyaëa was the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
çré-vaiñëave’ra bhajana ei sarvopari haya
täìhära bhajana—worship of Näräyaëa; sarva-upari—topmost; kakñä—department; haya—is; çré-vaiñëavera—of the followers of Rämänujäcärya; bhajana—worship; ei—this; sarva-upari haya—is the topmost.
Thinking in this way, Veìkaöa Bhaööa believed that worship of Näräyaëa was the supreme form of worship, superior to all other processes of devotional service, for it was followed by the Çré Vaiñëava disciples of Rämänujäcärya.
ei täìra garva prabhu
parihäsa-dväre uöhäya eteka vacana
ei—this; täìra—his (Veìkaöa Bhaööa’s); garva—pride; prabhu—Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu; karite khaëòana—to curb; parihäsa-dväre—by joking; uöhäya—raises; eteka—so many; vacana—words.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu had understood this misconception of Veìkaöa Bhaööa’s, and to correct it the Lord talked so much in a joking way.
prabhu kahe,——bhaööa, tumi
nä kariha saàçaya
‘svayaà-bhagavän’ kåñëa ei ta’ niçcaya
prabhu kahe—the Lord said; bhaööa—My dear Veìkaöa Bhaööa; tumi—you; nä kariha—do not do; saàçaya—doubt; svayam-bhagavän—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kåñëa—is Lord Kåñëa; ei ta’ niçcaya—this is the conclusion.
The Lord then continued, “My dear Veìkaöa Bhaööa, please do not continue doubting. Lord Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and this is the conclusion of the Vedic literatures.
ataeva lakñmé-ädyera hare teìha mana
kåñëera—of Lord Kåñëa; viläsa-mürti—form for enjoyment; çré-näräyaëa—Lord Näräyaëa; ataeva—therefore; lakñmé-ädyera—of the goddess of fortune and her followers; hare—attracts; teìha—He (Lord Näräyaëa); mana—the mind.
“Lord Näräyaëa, the opulent form of Kåñëa, attracts the minds of the goddess of fortune and her followers.
kåñëas tu bhagavän svayam
måòayanti yuge yuge
ete—these; ca—and; aàça—plenary portions; kaläù—parts of plenary portions; puàsaù—of the puruña-avatäras; kåñëaù—Lord Kåñëa; tu—but; bhagavän—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; svayam—Himself; indra-ari—the enemies of Lord Indra; vyäkulam—full of; lokam—the world; måòayanti—make happy; yuge yuge—at the right time in each age.
“‘All these incarnations of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the puruña-avatäras. But Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. In every age He protects the world through His different features when the world is disturbed by the enemies of Indra.’
This is a verse from Çrémad-Bhägavatam (1.3.28).
näräyaëa haite kåñëera
ataeva lakñméra kåñëe tåñëä anukñaëa
näräyaëa haite—over and above Näräyaëa; kåñëera—of Lord Kåñëa; asädhäraëa guëa—uncommon qualities; ataeva—therefore; lakñméra—of the goddess of fortune; kåñëe—unto Kåñëa; tåñëä—desire; anukñaëa—always.
“Because Kåñëa has four extraordinary qualities not possessed by Lord Näräyaëa, the goddess of fortune, Lakñmé, always desires His company.
Lord Näräyaëa has sixty transcendental qualities. Over and above these, Kåñëa has four extraordinary transcendental qualities absent in Lord Näräyaëa. These four qualities are (1) His wonderful pastimes, which are compared to an ocean, (2) His association in the circle of the supreme devotees in conjugal love (the gopés), (3) His playing on the flute, whose vibration attracts the three worlds, and (4) His extraordinary beauty, which surpasses the beauty of the three worlds. Lord Kåñëa’s beauty is unequaled and unsurpassed.
tumi ye paòilä çloka,
se haya pramäëa
sei çloke äise ‘kåñëa——svayaà bhagavän’
tumi—you; ye—which; paòilä—have recited; çloka—verse; se—that; haya—is; pramäëa—evidence; sei çloke—in that verse; äise kåñëa—Kåñëa is; svayam bhagavän—the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“You have recited the çloka beginning with ‘siddhäntatas tv abhede ’pi.’ That very verse is evidence that Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
siddhäntatas tv abhede ’pi
rüpam eñä rasa-sthitiù
siddhäntataù—in reality; tu—but; abhede—no difference; api—although; çré-éça—of the husband of Lakñmé, Näräyaëa; kåñëa—of Lord Kåñëa; svarüpayoù—between the forms; rasena—by transcendental mellows; utkåñyate—is superior; kåñëa-rüpam—the form of Lord Kåñëa; eñä—this; rasa-sthitiù—the reservoir of pleasure.
“‘According to transcendental realization, there is no difference between the forms of Kåñëa and Näräyaëa. Yet in Kåñëa there is a special transcendental attraction due to the conjugal mellow, and consequently He surpasses Näräyaëa. This is the conclusion of transcendental mellows.’
This is a verse from the Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (1.2.59). Here Çréla Kåñëadäsa Kaviräja says that Lord Caitanya spoke the verse to Veìkaöa Bhaööa, and earlier he said that Veìkaöa Bhaööa spoke it to the Lord. But since their conversation took place long, long before the Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu was composed, the question my be raised as to how either of them quoted the verse. Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura explains that this verse and many others like it were current among devotees long before the Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu was composed. Thus devotees would always quote them and explain their purport in ecstasy.
svayaà bhagavän ‘kåñëa’
hare lakñméra mana
gopikära mana harite näre ‘näräyaëa’
svayam bhagavän—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kåñëa—is Lord Kåñëa; hare—attracts; lakñméra—of the goddess of fortune; mana—the mind; gopikära—of the gopés; mana—the minds; harite—to attract; näre—is not able; näräyaëa—Lord Näräyaëa.
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, attracts the mind of the goddess of fortune, but Lord Näräyaëa cannot attract the minds of the gopés. This proves the superexcellence of Kåñëa.
kathä, çré-kåñëa äpane
gopikäre häsya karäite haya ‘näräyaëe’
näräyaëera—of Lord Näräyaëa; kä kathä—what to speak; çré-kåñëa—Lord Çré Kåñëa; äpane—Himself; gopikäre—the gopés; häsya karäite—to make them jubilant; haya—becomes; näräyaëe—in the form of Näräyaëa.
“To say nothing of Lord Näräyaëa personally, Lord Kåñëa Himself appeared as Näräyaëa just to play a joke on the gopés.
sei ‘kåñëe’ gopikära nahe anuräge
catur-bhuja-mürti—four-handed form; dekhäya—exhibits; gopé-gaëera—of the gopés; äge—in front; sei kåñëe—unto that Kåñëa; gopikära—of the gopés; nahe—not; anuräge—attraction.
“Although Kåñëa assumed the four-armed form of Näräyaëa, He could not attract the serious attention of the gopés in ecstatic love.
bhävasya kas täà kåté
vijïätuà kñamate durüha-padavé-saïcäriëaù prakriyäm
äviñkurvati vaiñëavém api tanuà tasmin bhujair jiñëubhir
yäsäà hanta caturbhir adbhuta-rucià rägodayaù kuïcati
gopénäm—of the gopés; paçupa-indra-nandana-juñaù—of the service of the son of Vraja’s King, Mahäräja Nanda; bhävasya—ecstatic; kaù—what; täm—that; kåté—learned man; vijïätum—to understand; kñamate—is able; durüha—very difficult to understand; padavé—the position; saïcäriëaù—which provokes; prakriyäm—activity; äviñkurvati—He manifests; vaiñëavém—of Viñëu; api—certainly; tanum—the body; tasmin—in that; bhujaiù—with arms; jiñëubhiù—very beautiful; yäsäm—of whom (the gopés); hanta—alas; caturbhiù—four; adbhuta—wonderfully; rucim—beautiful; räga-udayaù—the evoking of ecstatic feelings; kuïcati—cripples.
“‘Once Lord Çré Kåñëa playfully manifested Himself as Näräyaëa, with four victorious hands and a very beautiful form. When the gopés saw this exalted form, however, their ecstatic feelings were crippled. A learned scholar, therefore, cannot understand the gopés’ ecstatic feelings, which are firmly fixed upon the original form of Lord Kåñëa as the son of Nanda Mahäräja. The wonderful feelings of the gopés in ecstatic parama-rasa with Kåñëa constitute the greatest mystery in spiritual life.’”
This is a verse spoken by Närada Muni in the Lalita-mädhava-näöaka (6.14), a drama written by Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé.
eta kahi’ prabhu täìra
garva cürëa kariyä
täìre sukha dite kahe siddhänta phiräiyä
eta kahi’—saying this; prabhu—Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; täìra—his (of Veìkaöa Bhaööa); garva—pride; cürëa kariyä—smashing into pieces; täìre—unto him; sukha dite—to give happiness; kahe—says; siddhänta phiräiyä—turning the whole conversation.
In this way Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu deflated the pride of Veìkaöa Bhaööa, but just to make him happy again, He spoke as follows.
duùkha nä bhäviha,
bhaööa, kailuì parihäsa
çästra-siddhänta çuna, yäte vaiñëava-viçväsa
duùkha—unhappiness; nä—do not; bhäviha—bear; bhaööa—My dear Veìkaöa Bhaööa; kailuì parihäsa—I was simply making a joke; çästra-siddhänta—the conclusion of the revealed scriptures; çuna—hear; yäte—in which; vaiñëava-viçväsa—the faith of the Vaiñëavas.
The Lord pacified Veìkaöa Bhaööa by saying, “Actually whatever I have said is by way of jest. Now you can hear from Me the conclusion of the çästras, in which every Vaiñëava devotee has firm faith.
yaiche eka-i svarüpa
gopé-lakñmé-bheda nähi haya eka-rüpa
kåñëa-näräyaëa—Lord Kåñëa and Lord Näräyaëa; yaiche—as; eka-i—one; svarüpa—form; gopé—the gopés; lakñmé—the goddess of fortune; bheda—difference; nähi—there is not; haya—there is; eka-rüpa—one form.
“There is no difference between Lord Kåñëa and Lord Näräyaëa, for They are of the same form. Similarly, there is no difference between the gopés and the goddess of fortune, for they also are of the same form.
éçvaratve bheda mänile haya aparädha
gopé-dväre—through the gopés; lakñmé—the goddess of fortune; kare—does; kåñëa-saìga-äsväda—tasting the sweetness of the association of Lord Kåñëa; éçvaratve—in the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bheda—difference; mänile—if one considers; haya—there is; aparädha—offense.
“The goddess of fortune enjoys the association of Kåñëa through the gopés. One should not differentiate between the forms of the Lord, for such a conception is offensive.
eka-i vigrahe kare nänäkära rüpa
eka éçvara—the Lord is one; bhaktera—of the devotees; dhyäna—meditation; anurüpa—according to; eka-i—one; vigrahe—in form; kare—exhibits; nänä-äkära—different; rüpa—forms.
“There is no difference between the transcendental forms of the Lord. Different forms are manifested due to different attachments of different devotees. Actually the Lord is one, but He appears in different forms just to satisfy His devotees.
In the Brahma-saàhitä (5.33) it is stated:
advaitam acyutam anädim ananta-rüpam
ädyaà puräëa-puruñaà nava-yauvanaà ca
The Lord is advaita, without differentiation. There is no difference between the forms of Kåñëa, Räma, Näräyaëa and Viñëu. All of them are one. Sometimes foolish people ask whether when we chant “Räma” in the Hare Kåñëa mantra we refer to Lord Rämacandra or Lord Balaräma. If a devotee says that the name Räma in the Hare Kåñëa mahä-mantra refers to Balaräma, a foolish person may become angry because to him the name Räma refers to Lord Rämacandra. Actually there is no difference between Balaräma and Lord Räma. It does not matter whether one refers to Balaräma or to Lord Rämacandra when chanting Hare Räma, for there is no difference between Them. However, it is offensive to think that Balaräma is superior to Lord Rämacandra or vice versa. Neophyte devotees do not understand this çästric conclusion, and consequently they unnecessarily create an offensive situation. In text 154 Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu clarified this in a very lucid way: éçvaratve bheda mänile haya aparädha. “It is offensive for one to differentiate between the forms of the Lord.” On the other hand, one should not think that the forms of the Lord are the same as the forms of the demigods. This is certainly offensive, as confirmed by the Vaiñëava-tantra:
yas tu näräyaëaà
samatvenaiva vékñeta sa päñaëòé bhaved dhruvam
[Cc. Madhya 18.116]
“A päñaëòé is one who considers the great demigods such as Lord Brahmä and Lord Çiva equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Näräyaëa.” (Hari-bhakti-viläsa 7.117)
The conclusion is that we should neither differentiate between the forms of the Lord nor equate the forms of the Lord with the forms of demigods or human beings. For instance, sometimes foolish sannyäsés, thinking the body of the Lord to be material, equate daridra-näräyaëa with Näräyaëa, and this is certainly offensive. Unless one is instructed by a bona fide spiritual master, he cannot perfectly understand these different forms. The Brahma-saàhitä confirms, vedeñu durlabham adurlabham ätma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. One cannot understand the differences between the forms of the Lord simply by academic study or by reading Vedic literature. One must learn from a realized devotee. Only then can one learn how to distinguish between one form of the Lord and another. The conclusion is that there is no difference between the forms of the Lord, but there is a difference between His forms and those of the demigods.
maëir yathä vibhägena
maëiù—jewel, specifically the jewel known as vaidürya; yathä—as; vibhägena—separately; néla—blue; péta—yellow; ädibhiù—and with other colors; yutaù—joined; rüpa-bhedam—difference of form; aväpnoti—gets; dhyäna-bhedät—by different types of meditation; tathä—similarly; acyutaù—the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“‘When the jewel known as vaidürya touches various other materials, it appears to be separated into different colors, and consequently its forms also appear different. Similarly, according to the meditational ecstasy of the devotee, the Lord, who is known as Acyuta [“the infallible one”], appears in different forms, although He is essentially one.’”
This is a verse quoted from Çré Närada-païcarätra.
ämi jéva pämara
kähäì tumi sei kåñëa,——säkñät éçvara
bhaööa kahe—Veìkaöa Bhaööa said; kähäì—whereas; ämi—I; jéva—an ordinary living being; pämara—fallen; kähäì—whereas; tumi—You; sei kåñëa—the same Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa; säkñät éçvara—directly the Lord.
Veìkaöa Bhaööa then said, “I am an ordinary fallen living entity, but You are Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.
kichui nä jäni
tumi yei kaha, sei satya kari’ mäni
agädha—unfathomable; éçvara-lélä—pastimes of the Lord; kichui—anything; nä jäni—I do not know; tumi—You; yei—whatever; kaha—say; sei satya—that is right; kari’ mäni—I accept.
“The transcendental pastimes of the Lord are unfathomable, and I do not know anything about them. Whatever You say I accept as the truth.
This is the way to understand the truth about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After hearing the Bhagavad-gétä, Arjuna said very much the same thing:
sarvam etad åtaà manye
yan mäà vadasi keçava
na hi te bhagavan vyaktià vidur devä na dänaväù
“O Kåñëa, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the demigods nor the demons, O Lord, can understand Your personality.” (Bg. 10.14)
It is not possible to understand the truth about the pastimes of the Lord simply by using our own logic, argument and academic education. We must receive bona fide information from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as Arjuna received information when Kåñëa spoke the Bhagavad-gétä. We have to accept the Bhagavad-gétä or any other Vedic literature in good faith. These Vedic literatures are the only source of knowledge about the Lord. We must understand that we cannot comprehend the Absolute Truth by the speculative process.
more pürëa kåpä
täìra kåpäya päinu tomära caraëa-daraçana
more—unto me; pürëa—complete; kåpä—mercy; kaila—did; lakñmé-näräyaëa—the Deity of mother goddess of fortune and Näräyaëa; täìra kåpäya—by Their mercy; päinu—I have gotten; tomära—Your; caraëa-daraçana—vision of the lotus feet.
“I have been engaged in the service of Lakñmé-Näräyaëa, and it is due to Their mercy that I have been able to see Your lotus feet.
kåpä kari’ kahile more
yäìra rüpa-guëaiçvaryera keha nä päya sémä
kåpä kari’—showing causeless mercy; kahile—You have spoken; more—unto me; kåñëera—of Lord Kåñëa; mahimä—the glories; yäìra—whose; rüpa-guëa-aiçvaryera—of forms, qualities and opulence; keha—anyone; nä—not; päya—gets; sémä—the limit.
“Out of Your causeless mercy You have told me of the glories of Lord Kåñëa. No one can reach the end of the opulence, qualities and forms of the Lord.
ebe se jäninu kåñëa-bhakti
kåtärtha karile, more kahile kåpä kari’
ebe—now; se—that; jäninu—I understand; kåñëa-bhakti—devotional service to Lord Kåñëa; sarva-upari—above all; kåta-artha—successful; karile—You have made; more—unto me; kahile—You have spoken; kåpä kari’—by Your causeless mercy.
“I can now understand that devotional service unto Lord Kåñëa is the supreme form of worship. Out of Your causeless mercy You have made my life successful simply by explaining the facts.”
eta bali’ bhaööa paòilä
kåpä kari’ prabhu täìre kailä äliìgane
eta bali’—saying this; bhaööa—Veìkaöa Bhaööa; paòilä—fell down; prabhura caraëe—at the lotus feet of the Lord; kåpä kari’—showing him mercy; prabhu—Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; täìre—unto him; kailä—did; äliìgane—embracing.
After saying this, Veìkaöa Bhaööa fell down before the lotus feet of the Lord, and the Lord, out of His causeless mercy, embraced him.
haila, bhaööa-äjïä laïä
dakñiëa calilä prabhu çré-raìga dekhiyä
cäturmäsya—the period of Cäturmäsya; pürëa haila—became completed; bhaööa-äjïä laïä—taking permission from Veìkaöa Bhaööa; dakñiëa—south; calilä—proceeded; prabhu—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; çré-raìga dekhiyä—visiting Çré Raìga.
When the period of Cäturmäsya was completed, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu took permission to leave from Veìkaöa Bhaööa, and after visiting Çré Raìga, He proceeded further toward southern India.
saìgete calilä bhaööa,
nä yäya bhavane
täìre vidäya dilä prabhu aneka yatane
saìgete—along with Him; calilä—began to go; bhaööa—Veìkaöa Bhaööa; nä yäya bhavane—does not return to his home; täìre—unto him; vidäya dilä—gave farewell; prabhu—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; aneka yatane—with great endeavor.
Veìkaöa Bhaööa did not want to return home but also wanted to go with the Lord. It was with great endeavor that Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu bade him farewell.
prabhura viyoge bhaööa
ei raìga-lélä kare çacéra nandana
prabhura viyoge—on account of separation from Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; bhaööa—Veìkaöa Bhaööa; haila—became; acetana—unconscious; ei—this; raìga-lélä—pastime at Çré Raìga-kñetra; kare—does; çacéra nandana—the son of mother Çacé.
When He did so, Veìkaöa Bhaööa fell down unconscious. Such are the pastimes of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, the son of mother Çacé, at Çré Raìga-kñetra.
(Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya lila 9:81 - 165.Texts and purports.)