The Lord's early life was recorded by one of His chief devotees and contemporaries namely Srila Murari Gupta, a medical practitioner of that time and the later part of the life of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was recorded by His private Secretary Sri Damodar Goswami or Srila Swarup Damodar who was practically a constant companion of the Lord at Puri. These two devotees, recorded practically all the incidences of the Lord's activities and later on all the books regarding the Lord were composed on the basis of Karchas of Srila Damodar Goswami and Murari Gupta.
The Lord advented Himself on the Phalgooni Purnima evening of 1407 Shakabda and it was by the will of the Lord there was a Lunar eclipse on that evening. It is the custom of the Hindu public to take bath in the Ganges or any other sacred river during the hours of eclipse and chant the Vedic mantras for purification. When Lord Chaitanya was born during the Lunar eclipse, the whole of India was roaring with holy sound of Sri Hari or the Hare Krishna Mantra (hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare). These sixteen Names of the Lord are mentioned in many Puranas and Upanishads and they are described as the Tarak Brahman Name of this age (kali-yuga).
It is recommended in the Shastras that offenseless chanting of these holy names of the Lord can deliver a fallen soul from the material bondage. There are innumerable Names of the Lord both in India and outside and all of them are equally good because all of them indicate to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But because these sixteen Names are specially recommended for this age, it is better that people may take advantage of the great Acharyas and their path who attained success by their practice of the rules in the Shastras (revealed scriptures).
This co-incidence of the Lord's appearance and occurrence of the Lunar eclipse make it clear about the mission of the Lord. The mission of the Lord was to preach the importance of chanting the holy names of the Lord in this age of kali (quarrel). The present age is meant for quarrel even on trifle things and therefore the Shastras have recommended for this age a common platform of chanting the holy name of the Lord. Accompanied by melodious music people can hold meetings for glorifying the Lord in their respective languages and if such performances are executed in an offenseless manner, it is sure and certain that such persons will gradually attain spiritual perfection without any effort to undergo any other rigid methods. In such meeting every one, the learned and the fool, the rich and the poor, the Hindus and Muslim, the Englishman and the Indian or the Chandala and the Brahmin, all can give an aural reception to the transcendental sound and thus purify the dust accumulated on the mirror of one's heart by unwanted association of material surroundings. And to confirm the Lord's mission all the people of the world will accept the holy name of the Lord as the common platform for Universal religion of the mankind. In other words the Advent of the Holy name took place along with the Advent of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
When the Lord was on the lap of His mother, the child would at once stop crying as soon as the ladies surrounding Him chanted the holy name with the clap of hands. The peculiar incidence was observed by the neighbors of the Lord with awe and veneration. Sometimes the younger ladies took pleasure in making the Lord crying and then stop him by chanting the holy name. So from the very childhood the Lord began to preach the importance of the holy name. Lord Sri Chaitanya was known as Nimai in His early age. This name was given by His beloved mother because the Lord took his birth underneath a Neem Tree in the courtyard of His paternal house.
When the Lord was offered solid foodstuff at the age of six months in the Annaprashan ceremony, the Lord indicated His future activities. It is a rule to offer the child at the time both coins and books to see the future taste of the child. The Lord was offered both sides coins and the Bhagavatam. But the Lord accepted Srimad Bhagavatam instead of the coins.
When He was five years old He was initiated for learning and He showed Himself a naughty boy. And When He was a mere baby crawling on the yard, one day it so happened that a snake appeared before the baby and the Lord began to play with it. All the members of the house were struck with fear and awe but after a little while the snake went away and the baby was taken away by His mother. Sometime He was stolen by a thief in order to take away His ornaments but the Lord took a pleasure trip on the shoulder of the bewildered thief. The thief was searching for a solitary place in order to rob the baby and it so happened that the thief wondering hither and thither, arrived at last just before the house of Jagganath Misra and he was afraid of being caught hold of. He, therefore, dropped the baby at once and the anxious parents and relatives were glad to see the lost child.
Once upon a time a pilgrim Brahmin was received at the house of Jagannath Misra and when the Brahmin was offering the food stuff to Godhead, the Lord appeared before him and partook of the prepared foodstuff. The eatables were rejected on being touched by a child and the Brahmin again prepared the foodstuff. The next time the same incidence happened. For the third time the same attempt was made and the baby was forcibly made to go asleep at night within the room. At about 12 in the night when all the members of the house were fast asleep within the closed room, the pilgrim Brahmin offered his prepared food stuff to his Deity and in the same way, the baby Lord appeared before the pilgrim and spoiled his offerings. The Brahmin again began to cry but as every one was fast asleep nobody could reply. At that time child Lord appeared before the fortunate pilgrim Brahmin and disclosed His identity as Krishna Himself. The Brahmin was forbidden to disclose the incidence and the baby went back to the lap of his mother as fast asleep.
There are many such incidences in His childhood life. As a naughty boy sometimes He used to tease the orthodox Brahmins who used to take bath in the Ganges. When they complained to His father the boy appeared before the father as if just coming from the School. And at the bathing Ghat he used to play jokes with the neighboring girls who were engaged in the worship of Shiva with hope of getting good husband. That is a practice amongst the unmarried girls in the Hindu family. While engaged in such worship the Lord as a naughty boy appeared before them and said "My dear sisters, please give me all the offerings you have just brought for Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is my devotee and Parvati is my maid servant. If you worship Me the Lord Shiva and all other demigods will be more satisfied." Some of them refused to obey the naughty Lord and He would curse them that on refusal she would be married with an old man with seven children by his previous wife. The girls out of fear and sometimes out of love also would offer Him all materials and then the Lord would bless them with assurance that they would have very good young husband and that they would be mother of dozens of children. These blessings would enliven the girls but they used to complain the incidence to their respective mothers.
In this way the Lord passed His early childhood and when He was just sixteen years old He started His own Chatuspathi (village school conducted by a learned Brahmin) And in the school teachings, He would simply explain Krishna even in the readings of grammar. Srila Jiva Goswami in order to please the Lord had later on composed a grammer in Sanskrit in which all the rules of the grammar are examplified with the holy names of the Lord. This grammar is still current and is known as "Harinamamrita Vyakaran" and is prescribed by the syllabus of Sanskrit Schools in Bengal till now.
During this time a great Kashmiri scholar of the name Keshav Kashmiri came to Navadvipa to hold meetings on the discourse of Shastras. The Kashmiri Pandit was a champion scholar and he had travelled all the places of learning in India. At last he came to Navadvipa to contest the learned Pandits there. The Pandits of Navadvipa decided to put forward Nimai Pandit (Lord Chaitanya) before the Kashmiri Pandit thinking it wise if Nimai Pandit was defeated they would have another chance with a plea that Nimai Pandit was a boy only. And if the Kashmiri Pandit was defeated then they would be more glorified because people will know that a boy of Navadvipa defeated such a champion scholar of all India repute. And it so happened that Nimai Pandit met the Kashmiri Pandit while strolling on the bank of the Ganges. The Lord requested the Kashmiri Pandit to compose a Sanskrit verse in praise of the Ganges and the Pandit within a short time composed a verse of 100 slokas in praise of the mother Ganges. He recited the verses like storm and showed sufficient strength of his vast learning. Nimai Pandit also at once took by heart all the slokas without deviation of a line. He quoted the 64th sloka and pointed out some deficiencies in the calculation of retorhical and literary irregularities. He particularly pointed out one word bhavani bharta and pointed out that this word coveys opposite meaning. Bharani means the wife of Shiva and who else can be Her Bharta or husband. In this way he pointed out several discrepancies in one sloka and the Kashmiri Pandit was struck with wonder. He was astonished as to how a student of grammar could point out such literary mistakes of an erudite scholar. The matter was ended prior any public meeting and the news was spread all over Navadvipa like wild fire. At last Keshav Kashmiri was ordered in a dream by the goddess of learning to submit before the Lord and the Kashmiri Pandit became a follower of the Lord.
The Lord was then married with great pomp and gay and began to preach the congregational chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord at Navadvipa. Some of the Brahmins became envious of His popularity and they put many hindrances on His path. At last such Brahmins complained the matter before Muslim Magistrate at Navadvipa. Bengal was then governed by Pathans and the Governor of the Province was Nawab Hussain Shah. The Muslim Magistrate of Navadvipa took up the complaints, of the Brahmins, seriously and at first he warned the followers of Nimai Pandit not to chant loudly the Name of Hari. But Lord Chaitanya asked His followers to disobey the orders of the Kazi and they went on with their Samkirtan Party as usual. The Magistrate then sent constables and broke some of the Mridangas where Samkirtan was taking place. When Nimai Pandit heard this incidence he organised a civil disobedience movement at Navadvipa. He is the pioneer of civil disobedience movement in India for the right cause. He organised a procession of one lac of men with thousands of Mridangas and Karatals and the procession passed over the roads of Navadvipa without any fear of the Kazi who issued the order. At last the party reached the house of the Kazi who went upstairs out of fear of the mass movement. The men, assembled there at the house of Kazi, showed haughty temper but the Lord asked them to be peaceful.
At this the Kazi came down and pacified the Lord by addressing Him as his nephew. He said that Nilambar Chakrabarty was called by him as Chacha or the uncle and as such Srimati Sachidevi the mother of Nimai Pandit became his sister. He asked Nimai Pandit whether a sister's son can be angry upon his maternal uncle? The Lord replied that rightly the Kazi was his maternal uncle but when the nephew is a guest at the house of his maternal uncle why he shall not be well received. In this way the whole thing was mitigated and there was a long discussion on Koran and Hindu Shastras between the two learned scholars. The question of cow killing was also raised by the Lord and they were properly replied with reference to the order of the Koran. The kazi also questioned the Lord about cow sacrifice in the Vedas and the Lord replied that sacrifice of cow mentioned in the Vedas is not cow-killing. In that sacrifice an old bull or cow is sacrificed to give it fresh younger life by the power of Vedic Mantras. In the Kali-yuga such cow sacrifice is forbidden on account of absence of such learned Brahmin able to conduct such sacrifice. In the Kaliyuga, therefore, all Yajnas are forbidden because they are useless attempt by the foolish men. In the Kaliyuga only the Samkirtan yajna is recommended for all practical purposes. The Kazi was convinced and he became a follower of the Lord. He declared thence forward no body will put hinderances in the Samkirtan Movement started by the Lord. The Kazi of Navadvipa has left his will for his future descendants that nobody would hinder the Samkirtan Movement started by the Lord. The Kazi's crematorium is still existent within the area of Navadvipa and all Hindu pilgrims go there to show their respects to the Kazi's Graveyard. The Kazi's descendants are residents of that place but they never objected Samkirtan even during the Hindu Moslem riot days.
This incidence of Lord chaitanya's life shows clearly that the Lord was not a timid so called Vaishnava. A Vaishnava means a fearless devotee of the Lord. For the right cause they can take any step suitable for the purpose. A Vaishnava is by nature a non-violent peaceful living being and he has all the good qualities of God. But when there is the question of blaspheming the Lord or His devotee, the Vaishnava never tolerates such impudency on the part of the nondevotee.
After this incidence the Lord began to preach and propagate his Bhagavat Dharma or Samkirtan movement more vigorously and whoever stood against this propagation of the Yuga Dharma or duty of the age, was properly punished by various chastisement. Two Brahmin gentlemen called by the names of Chapala and Gopala who also happened to be maternal uncles of the Lord were also chastised by infliction of leprosy upon them and later on when they were repentant they were accepted by the Lord. In course of His vigorous preaching work, He used to send every day all His followers including Srila Nityananda Prabhu and Thakur Haridas two chief whips of His party to go from door to door and preach the cult of Srimad Bhagavatam. The whole of Navadvipa was surcharged with His Samkirtan Movement and the H. Q. was situated at the house of Shrinivas Thakur and Sri Advaita Prabhu another couple of chief whips amongst the householders. These two heads of the Brahmins and learned community were most ardent supporters of Lord Chaitanya's movement. Sri Advaita Prabhu is the chief agent to bring in the advent of the Lord. When Advaita Prabhu saw that the complete society is full of materialistic activities without any tinge of devotional service which alone could save them from the threefold miseries of material existence, he out of his causeless compassion for the age-worn human society, he prayed fervently for the incarnation of the Lord with continued worship by the water of the Ganges together with the leaves of Tulsi. So far preaching was concerned every body was to do his bit of work daily according to the order of the Lord.
Once Nityananda Prabhu accompanied by Srila Haridas Thakur both were passing the main road and on the way they saw an assembly of crowd roaring on the way. On enquiry from the passers-by it was understood that two brothers of the name Jagai and Madhai were creating public disturbances in drunken state. It was also gathered from informations that the two brothers were born in a respectable Brahmin family but on account of low association, both of them had turned to be debauches of the first order. They were not only drunkards but also they were meateaters, women hunters, dacoits and sinners of all description. Srila Nityananda Prabhu heard all these stories and decided that these two fallen souls must be delivered first. If they are delivered from this sinful life then the good name of Lord Chaitanya will be still more glorified. Thus thinking both Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas pushed into the crowd and asked the two brothers to chant the Holy Name of the Lord Hari. The drunken brothers got enraged on this request and attacked Nityananda Prabhu with filthy languages. Both Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur hurriedly left the place and the drunken brothers chased them to a considerable distance. In the evening the report of the preaching work was submitted to the Lord and He was glad to learn that such a pair of stupid fellows were attempted for deliverance.
The next day again Nityananda Prabhu went to see the brothers and as soon as He approached them one of them threw a piece of broken earthen pot hurled on the body of Nityananda Prabhu. At once the broken part struck on the forehead of the Lord squizing out a flow of blood. Srila Nityananda Prabhu was so kind upon them that instead of protesting against the heinous act, He said 'it does not matter that you have thrown stone upon me but still I request you to chant the holy name of Lord Hari.'
One of the brothers was astonished to see this behaviour of Nityananda Prabhu and he at once fell down on the feet of Him asking Him to pardon his sinful brother. The other one was again attempting to hurt Him but Jagai checked him and implored him to fall down unto the feet of Nityananda Prabhu. In the meantime the news of hurting Nityananda reached the Lord and he at once came up to the spot in an angry mood like fire. The Lord at once asked for Sudarshan (the Lords weapon, a disc of fire) to kill the sinners but Nityananda Prabhu reminded Him about His mission. The mission of the Lord is to deliver the hopelessly fallen souls of the Kaliyuga and the two brothers Jagai and Madhai were typical examples of the present day population. The population of the present age are ninety nine per cent like the two brothers although some of them are born of very respectable families of the higher caste. According to the verdict of the revealed scriptures all the population of the world, of this age, will be of the lowest Sudra quality or less than that the Chandala quality. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu never acknowledged the stereotyped caste system by birth right and He strictly followed the verdict of the Shastras in the matter of one's Swarupa real-identity.
When the Lord was asking for the Sudarshan Chakra and Srila Nityananda Prabhu was imploring Him to forgive them, both the brothers fell on the lotus feet of the Lord and begged to be pardoned for their gross misbehaviour. The Lord was asked by them as well as by Nityananda Prabhu to accept the repenting souls and the Lord asked them only one condition that thence forward they will completely give-up the habit of debauchery and sinful activities. Both the brothers agreed and promised to give up their sinful habits and the kind Lord accepted them without reference to their past misdeeds and sinful acts.
That is the specific kindness of Lord Chaitanya. In this age no body can say very boldly that he is free from all kinds of sinful acts. Rather it is impossible for every one to say like that. But Lord Chaitanya accepts all kinds of sinful persons only on one condition that such repenting soul promises not to indulge in the sinful habits after one is spiritually initiated by the bonafide spiritual master.
There are instructive things in this incidence of deliverance of the two brothers Jagai and Madhai by Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. One thing is that in this age of Kali-Yuga practically all the people are specimen of Jagai and Madhai. But if they want to be relieved from the reaction of their misdeeds, they must take shelter of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and after spiritual initiation such persons must refrain from the prohibitory things enjoined in the Shastras. We shall deal in the prohibitory rulings in connection with the Lord's teachings to Srila Rupa Goswami.
During His householder life the Lord did not display much of the miracles as are generally expected from such personalities. But once He showed an wonderful miracle in the house of Shrinivas Thakur while Samkirtan was going on in full swing. He asked the devotees what they wanted to eat and when He was informed by the devotees that they wanted to eat mangoes, although the time was out of season, the Lord asked for a seed of mango. When it was brought before Him He sowed the seed in the yard of Shrinivas Thakur and at once the creeper began to grow. Within no time the creeper gradually became a full grown mango tree and there was ripen fruits more than necessary. The tree remained there thence forward and the devotees used to take mangos from the tree daily and as many as they wanted.
As referred to above the Lord had very high estimation for the affection of the damsels of Vrajabhumi for Krishna and in appreciation of their unalloyed service to the Lord, once Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was chanting the holy names of the Gopis instead of chanting the name of the Lord. Some of His student disciples accidentally came to see Him and when they saw that the Lord was chanting the names of the Gopis they were astonished and out of sheer foolishness they advised the Lord to chant the Name of Krishna and asked Him why He would chant the Name of the Gopis. The Lord was in ecstacy and He was disturbed by the students in this foolish way. He therefore wanted to chastise the students and chased them while they were flying away. The students were almost of the same age like the Lord and thus very wrongly they thought of the Lord as equal in position. As such they held a meeting and wanted to retaliate the attitude of the Lord and resolved that they would also attack Him if Nimai Pandit dared again to punish them in that manner. This incidence gave an impetus to the general public by the agitation of the discontent students and thus here and there were malicious talks about the Lord.
When the lord was aware of this fact he began to think within Himself that there are different varieties of men in the society. Specially the students, the professors, the fruitive workers, yogis, enemies of the devotional cult, and different types of atheists all are against the cult of devotional service of the Lord. He thought within Himself as follows: "My mission is to deliver all the fallen souls of this age but if they commit offence on Me thinking Me as an ordinary man, it will go against their interest. Some way or other they must offer obeisances unto Me and that will be the beginning of their spiritual realisation." So the Lord decided to accept the renounced order of life (Sanyas) so that people in general may be inclined to offer respect to a Sannyasi.
Five hundred years before the condition of the Society was not so much degraded. At that time people would show respects to a Sannyasi and the Sannyasi was also rigid in the matter of regulations of the renounced order of life. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was not very much in favour of the renonnced order of life in this age of Kali but that was only for the reason that very few of the Sannyasins would be able to observe the rules and regulations of Sanyas life. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, therefore, decided that He would accept the order of an ideal Sannyasi so that people in general would show Him respect as one is duty bound to show to a Sannyasi. A Sannyasi is considered to be the master of all the Varnas and Ashramas.
While He was contemplating of accepting the Sannyas order of life, it so happened that Keshav Bharati a Sannyasi of the Mayavada school and resident of Katowa (Dist Burdwan in Bengal) visited Navadvipa and he was invited by the Lord to dine with Him. When Keshav Bharati came at His house, the Lord requested him to award Him the Sannyas order of life. The formality of accepting the Sannyas order is to accept it from another Sannyasi. Although the Lord was independent in all respects still to keep up the formalities of the Sastras, He desired to accept the Sannyas order from Keshav Bharati though not in the Vaishnava Sampradaya (school or lineage).
After this consultation, the Lord left Navadvipa for Katowa to accept the Sannyas order of life and He was accompanied by Srila Nityananda Prabhu, Chandra Shekhar Acharya and Mukunda Dutt all who assisted Him in the details of the ceremony. As mentioned above this incidence of accepting the Sannyas order by the Lord, is very elaborately described in the Chaitanya Bhagavat by Srila Vrindavana das Thakur.
Thus at the end of twenty four years of His age the Lord accepted the Sannyas order of life in the month of Magh. After accepting the Sanyas order of life He became a full fledged preacher of the cult of Bhagavat Dharma. Although He was doing the same preaching work in His householder life yet when He experienced some obstacles in His way of preaching, He sacrificed even the comforts of His homely life for the sake of the fallen souls. In His householder life, His chief assistants were Srila Advaita Prabhu and Srila Shrivas Thakur. But after accepting the Sannyas order of life His chief assistants were Srila Nityananda Prabhu who was deputed to preach in Bengal specially and the six Goswamis headed by Srila Rupa and Sanatan who were deputed to go to Vrindavana and excavate the present places of pilgrimage by His order. The present city of Vrindavana and the importance of Vrajabhumi were thus practically disclosed by the will of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The Lord, after accepting the Sannyas order of life, at once wanted to start for Vrindavana. For three days continually He travelled in the Radha Desha (places where the Ganges does not flow) in full ecstacy with the idea that He was going to Vrindavana. Srila Nityananda Prabhu waylaid Him and brought Him at the house of Advaita Prabhu at Shantipur. The Lord stayed at the house of Sri Advaita Prabhu for a few days after Sannyas and knowing it well that the Lord was leaving His hearth and home for good Sri Advaita Prabhu sent his men to Navadvipa to bring in Sachi Mata to have the last meeting with her son. Some unscrupulous people say that Lord Chaitanya met His wife also after Sannyas and offered her His wooden slipper for worship, but so far we get informations from authentic sources, we do not see any such meeting with His wife after Sannyas. His mother met Him at the house of Advaita Prabhu and it was practically a tragic scene when the mother saw the son in Sanyas dress. The mother desired that Lord Chaitanya may make His head quarter at Puri so that she may get informations of the son often and as such the Lord accepted the last desire of His beloved mother. And after this incidence the Lord started for Puri leaving all the residents of Navadvipa in the ocean of lamentation on account of the Lord's separation from the place.
The Lord then started for Puri visiting many important places on the way. He visited the temple of Gopinath Ji Who had stolen condensed milk for His devotee Srila Madhvendra Puri. Since then Deity Gopinathji is well known as 'Kirchora Gopinath'. The Lord relished the story of stealing by Gopinathji, with great pleasure.
After visiting the temple of Kirchora Gopinath of Remuna at Balasore in Orissa, the Lord proceeded towards Puri and on the way He visited the temple of Sakshi Gopal who appeared as the witness in the matter of two Brahmin devotees' family dissension. The Lord heard the story of Sakshi Gopal with great pleasure because He wanted to impress upon the atheistic class of men that the worshipable deities, in the temples approved by the great Acharyas, are not idols as it is alleged by a class of men with poor fund of knowledge. The deity in the temple is the Archa incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, and as such the deity is identical with the Lord in all respects. He responds to the proportion of the devotee's affection for Him. In this instance there was seemingly a family misunderstanding by two devotees of the Lord and inroder to mitigate the turmoil as well as to show specific favour to His servitors, the Lord in His Archa incarnation was pleased to come down from Vrindavana to Vidyanagar a village in Orissa. From there the deity was brought to Cuttack and the temple of Sakahi (wittness) Gopal is still visited by thousands of pilgrims on the way to Jagannath Puri.
The Lord passed over night there and began to proceed towards Puri. On the way His Sannyas rod was broken by the conspiracy of Lord Nityananda Prabhu on which the Lord became apparently angry with Him and went alone to Puri leaving behind His reputed companions.
At Puri when He entered the temple of Jagannath He became at once saturated with transcendental ecstacy and fell down on the floor of the temple, unconscious. The care takers of the temple could not understand the transcendental feats of the Lord but there was a great learned Pandit of the name Sarvabhauma Bhatacharya who was the chief appointed Pandit in the court of the king of Orissa Maharaj Prataprudra. Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was attracted by the youthful lustre of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and he could understand that the feats, of unconsciousness just after meeting Lord Jaggannath in the temple, was not a thing of ordinary affair. Such transcendental feats are rarely exhibited by the topmost advanced devotees who are already on the transcendental plane in complete forgetfulness of material existence. Except a liberated soul nobody could show such transcendental feats and as the Bhattacharya was vastly learned, he could understand that with reference to the context of transcendental literature on which he had considerable authority.
He asked, therefore, the caretakers of the temple not to disturb the unknown Sannyasi; better he advised them to take Him at his home for further observation on the unconscious state. The Lord was at once carried to the house of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya who was at that time the most influential learned scholar with sufficient power of authority on account of his becoming the Sabha-Pandit or the State Dean of Faculty in Sanskrit literatures.
The learned Pandit wanted to test scrutinisingly the transcendental feats of Lord Chaitanya because it so happens that unscrupulous pseudo-devotees sometimes immitate such feats of body to make a false show of transcendental achievements just to attract the innocent people within the influence. A learned scholar like Bhattacharya, therefore, can detect such foolish show of spiritual advancement and when he finds out the artificial caricature, at once he rejects such pseudo-transcendentalists.
In this case of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Bhattacharya tested all the symptoms in terms of the Shastras just like a scientific man and not as a foolish sentimentalist. He tested the movement of the stomach, beating of the heart and breathing in the nostrils. He felt also the pulse of the Lord and he saw that all such actions were completely in suspension; but when he put a small cotton swab before the nostrils, he found out that there is slight breathing only and the fine fibres of cotton swab was slightly in movement. And thus he came to know about the genuineness of the Lord's trance in unconsciousness and he began to treat Him in terms of prescribed formula. But in the case of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He would be treated in a specific way of resounding the Holy Name of the Lord by His devotees. This specific treatment was unknown to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya because the Lord was still unkown to him. He saw Him for the first time in the temple and took Him as one of the influx of pilgrims.
In the meantime the companions of Lord Chaitanya who reached the temple a little after, could not see the Lord there but they heard about the incidence of the Lord's transcendental feats and His being carried away by the Bhattacharya, from the men who were still gossiping on the incidence. One of them by chance met Gopinath Acharya known to Gadhadhar Pandit and both of them greeted each other. From him it was learnt that the Lord was lying in unconscious state at the residence of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya who happened to be the brother-in-law of Gopinath Acharya. All the members of the party were introduced by Gadadhar Pandit to Gopinath Acharya and the latter took them all to the house of Bhattacharya where the Lord was lying unconscious in spiritual trance. All the members then chanted loudly the holy Name of the Lord Hari as usual and the Lord regained His consciousness. After this Bhattacharya received all the members of the party including Lord Nityananda Prabhu and asked them to become his guest of honour. The party including the Lord went for a bath in the sea and the Bhattacharya arranged for their residence and meals properly at the house of Kashi Misra with attention of Gopinath Acharya his brother-in-law. There was some friendly talks about the Lord's divinity between the two brother-in-laws and in this argument Gopinath Acharya who knew the Lord before, also, wanted to establish that the Lord was the Personality of Godhead but the Bhattacharya wanted to establish Him as one of the great devotees. Both of them argued from the angle of vision of authentic Shastras and not on the strength of sentimental vox-populi. The incarnations of God are known in terms of the authentic Shastras and not on the popular votes as it is the practice amongst the foolish fanatics. Because Lord Chaitanya was an incarnation of God in fact, foolish fanatics have pushed forward so many so called incarnations of God in this age or after Lord Chaitanya and that also without any reference of the authentic scriptures. But Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya or Gopinath Acharya did not indulge in such foolish sentimentalism; on the contrary both of them wanted to establish Him (the Lord) on the strength of authentic Shastras.
Later it was disclosed that Bhattacharya was also hailing from the Navadvipa area and it was understood from him that Nilambar Chakarabarty the maternal grand-father of Lord Chaitanya happened to be a class-fellow of the father of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. In that sense the young Sannyasi Lord Chaitanya attracted a filial affection from the side of Bhattacharya. Bhattacharya was the professor of many Sannyasins in the order of the Shankaracharya Sampradaya and he himself also belonged to that lineage. As such the Bhattacharya desired that the young Sannyasi Lord Chaitanya may also hear from him about the teachings of Vedanta.
Those who are followers of the Shankara succession are generally known as the Vedantist. It does not, however, mean that Vedanta is a monopoly study of Shankara Sampradaya. Vedanta is studied by all the bonafide Sampradayas but they have their own interpretations. But the Shankara Sampradaya is generally known as the Vedantist without any knowledge of the Vedantist Vaishnavas.
The Lord agreed to take lessons from Bhattacharya on the Vedanta and they sat together in the temple of Lord Jaggannath. The Bhattacharya went on speaking continually for seven days and the Lord heard him with all attention without any interruption. This dumb like hearing of the Lord before the Bhattacharya raised some doubts in his heart and he asked the Lord how it was that He did not ask anything good or bad in the matter of hearing the explanations of Vedanta.
The Lord posed Himself before the Bhattacharya as a foolish student and pretended that He heard the Vedanta from him because he wanted Him to do so as the duty of a Sannyasi; otherwise He hardly could follow or understand the lectures delivered by him.
By this the Lord indicated that the so called Vedantist amongst the Shankara Sampradya or any other Sampradaya who do not follow the instructions of Srila Vyasadev, are mechanical students of the Vedanta without any introspection within the great knowledge. The explanation of the Vedanta Sutras is given by the author himself in the text of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Anyone who has no study or knowledge in the Bhagavatam will hardly be able to know what the Vedanta says.
The Bhattacharya as a vastly learned man could follow the sarcastic remarks on the popular vedantist by the Lord. He therefore asked Him why He did not question on any point which He could not follow. The Bhattacharya could understand the purpose of His dead-silence for the days He heard him. This shows clearly that the Lord had something else in His mind and he requested Him to disclose his mind.
Upon this the Lord spoke as follows: "My dear sir, I can undelstand the meaning of the Sutras like 'janmadyasya yatah' 'shastrayo nitvat' 'athato brahmajijnanasa' of the Vedanta Sutras but when you explain them in your own way it becomes difficult for me to follow them. The purpose of the Sutras is already explained in them but your explanations are just like covering them with something else. You do not purposely take the direct meaning of the Sutras but indirectly you give your own interpretations."
The Lord thus attacked all Vedantists who interpret the Vedanta Sutras fashionably according to their limited power of thinking and also to serve their own purpose. Such indirect interpretations of the authentic literatures like the Vedanta is hereby condemned by the Lord.
The Lord continued to say, "Srila Vyasdeva has summarised the direct meanings of the Mantras in Upanishads in the Vedanta Sutras. Unfortunately you do not take the direct meaning of them and indirectly you interpret them in a different way".
"The authority of the Vedas is unchallengeable and goes with out any question of doubt. And whatever is stated in the Vedas must be accepted in toto otherwise it becomes a challenge to the authority of the Vedas".
"The conchshell and cowdung are bone and stool of two living beings. But because they have been recommended by the Vedas as pure people accept them as such and that is the authority of the Vedas".
The example of the conchshell and that of the cowdung given by the Lord is very much appropriate in this connection. If some body argues that cowdung is the stool of a living creature and therefore the stool of a learned Brahmin will be still more pure, that sort of argument will not be accepted. The cowdung will be accepted and the stool of a highly posted Brahmin will be rejected with equal abhorrence. The Lord therefore continued to say.
"The Vedic injunctions are self-authorised and if some mundane creature wants to adjust the interpretations of the Vedas certainly he will commit blunder upon the authority of the Vedas. It is foolish to think of oneself as more intelligent than Srila Vyasadeva. He has already expressed himself in his Sutras and there is no need of help from personalities of lesser importance. His set up of the Vedanta Sutras are as much dazzling as the midday Sun and when somebody wants to give his own interpretations on the self effulgent Sun-like Vedanta Sutras, certainly such person attempts to cover the sun with a kind of cloud of one's own imagination."
"The purpose of the Vedas and Puranas are one and the same. They want to ascertain the Absolute Truth and the Absolute Truth is greater than everything else. The Absolute Truth is ultimately realised as the Absolute Personality of Godhead with Absolute Controlling Power. As such the Absolute Personality of Godhead must be completely full of opulence, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. And as such the transcendental Personality of Godhead is astonishingly ascertained as impersonal."
"The impersonal description of the Absolute Truth in the Vedas is meant for nullifying the mundane conception of the Absolute whole. Personal features of the Lord are completely distinguished from all kinds of mundane features. The living entities are all individual persons and they are all parts and parcels of the Supreme whole. If the parts and parcels are individual persons, the source of their emanation must not be impersonal. He is the Supreme Person amongst all the relative persons."
The Vedas inform us that from Him (Brahman) everything emanates and on Him only everything rests. And after annihilation everything merges in Him only. Therefore, He is the ultimate dative causative and accommodating cause of all causes. And all these causes cannot be ascertained to an impersonal object."
"The Vedas inform us that He alone becomes many and when He so desires He puts His glance over the material Nature".
"Before His such glance over the material Nature, there was no material cosmic creation. And, therefore, His glancing over the material nature is certainly not one of material creation. Material mind or senses were unborn when the Lord placed His glance over the material Nature; and all these evidences of the Vedas prove it without any doubt that the Lord has transcendental eyes and mind distinguished from the material one. His impersonality therefore is negation of material but not denial of His transcendental Personality".
"Brahman means ultimately the Personality of Godhead. Impersonal Brahman realisation is just the negative conception of the mundane creations. Paramatma realisation is localised aspect of Brahman within all kinds of material bodies. Ultimately the Supreme Brahman realisation is the realisation of the Personality of Godhead. Lord Sri Krishna is that Supreme Personality of Godhead according to all evidences of the revealed scriptures. He is the ultimate source of Vishnu Tattva".
"The Puranas are also supplimentary to the Vedas. The Vedic mantras are too stiff for an ordinary man. Women, Sudras and the socalled twice-born higher castes are unable to penetrate into the sense of the Vedas. And thus the Itihasha or the Mahabharata as well as the Puranas are made easy to explain the truths of the Vedas. In the prayers of Brahma before the boy Sri Krishna He said that there is no limit of the fortune of the residents of Vrajabhumi headed by Sri Nanda Maharaj and Yasodamayi; because the eternal Absolute Truth has become their intimate relative."
"The Vedic mantra describes that the Absolute Truth has no legs and no hands and yet goes faster than all and accepts everything that is offered to Him in devotion. These statements of going faster or accepting everything by hand definitely suggest the Personal features of the Lord, although He is distinguished from mundane hands and legs or other senses."
"Brahmam is, therefore, never Impersonal but when such Mantras are indirectly interpreted it is wrongly established that the Absolute Truth is impersonal. The Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead is full of all opulences and therefore He has a transcendental Form of full existence, knowledge and bliss. How one can establish thus the Absolute Truth as impersonal."
"Brahman being full of opulences, it is understood that He has manifold energies and all such energies are classified under three headings under the authority of Vishnu Puranam (6.7.60). It says that the transcendetal energies of the Lord Vishnu are primarily three. His spiritual energy as well as the energy of the living entities are classified as superior energy whereas the material energy is inferior one which is sprouted out of ignorance."
"The energy of the living entities is technically called Kshetrajna Energy. This Kshetrajna Shakti although equal in quality with the Lord, becomes over powered by material energy out of ignorance and thus suffers all sorts of material miseries. In other words the living entities are marginal energy between the superior spiritual and inferior material energy and in proportion of the living being's contact with either of the material or spiritual energies, the living entities become situated in proportionately higher and lower levels of existence."
"The Lord is beyond the inferior and marginal energies as above mentioned and His spiritual energy is manifested in three different phases. They are manifested as eternal existence, eternal bliss and eternal knowledge. So far eternal existence is concerned it is conducted by the Samdhini potency, similarly bliss and knowledge are conducted by the Ahladini and Samvit potencies respectively. As the Supreme energetic Lord, He is the Supreme controller of the spiritual marginal, and material energies. And all these different phases of energies are connected with the Lord in eternal devotional service."
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is thus enjoying in His transcendental eternal Form and therefore it is astounding that one may dare to call the Supreme Lord as non-energetic?"
"The Lord is the controller of all the above mentioned energies and the living entities are parts and parcles of one of the energies. Therefore, there is a gulf of difference between the Lord and the living entities. How then one can say that the Lord and the living entities are one and the same thing."
"In the Bhagavad-Gita also the living entities are described to belong to the Superior energy of the Lord. On the principles of intimate co-relation between the energy and the energetic, both of them are non-different also. Therefore, the Lord and the living entities are non-different as the energy and the energetic".
"Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intelligence and ego all these elements are inferior energies of the Lord but the living entities are different from all of them as superior energy and that is the version of the Bhagavad-Gita."
"The transcendental form of the Lord is eternally existent and full of transcendental bliss. How then such Form can be a product of the material mode of goodness? Anyone, therefore, who does not believe in the Form of the Lord, such person is certainly a faithless atheist (pashandi) and as such he should'nt be seen or touched. He is fit to be punished by the laws of Yamaraja."
"The Buddhist don't accept the Vedas, so they are 'nastika' (agnostic or atheist), but those who defy the Vedic conclusions as above mentioned under the cover of being follower of the Vedas, they surpass even the the Buddhists in their 'nastikya-vada' (path of atheism or agnosticism)."
"Sri Vyasadeva very kindly compiled the clause of the Vedic knowledge in his Vedanta Sutras and if somebody hears the commentation of the Mayavadi school (as represented by the Shankara Sampradaya), certainly such pure conclusions are destroyed".
"The theory of emanations is the beginning for the Vedanta Sutra and as such all the cosmic manifestations are emanations from the Absolute personality of Godhead by His inconceivable different energies."
"The example of the touchstone is verily comparable with the theory of emanation. The touchstone can convert unlimated quantity of iron into gold and still the touchstone remains as it is. Similarly the Supreme Lord can produce all the manifestive world by His inconceivable energies and yet He is full and unchanged. He is Purna (complete) and unlimited number of Purnas being emanated from Him, He is still Purna."
"The theory of illusion by the Mayavada school is advocated on the ground that the theory of emanation will cause transformation of the Absolute Truth. And in that case Vyasdeva will be put into error and to save this anomaly of the great Master, they have skillfully brought in the theory of illusion."
"The world or the cosmic creation is not illusion or false as it is advocated by the Mayavada school. But it has no permanent existence. A non-permanent thing cannot be called as false altogether. But the conception of the material body by the living being, as his self, is certainly wrong."
"Pranava (Om or the Omkara in the Vedas) is the primeval hymn and the transcendental sound is identical with the Form of the Lord. All the Vedic hymns and the material world are based on this Pranava."
"'Tat-twam-asi' is but a side word of the Vedic literatures and therefore this word cannot be the primeval hymn of the Vedas instead of the Pranava. Sripada Shankaracharya has given more stress on the side word 'tat-twam-as' than the primeval principle 'Pranava'".
The Lord thus spoke on the Vedanta Sutras and defied all the propaganda of the Mayavada school. The Bhattacharya tried to defend himself and his Mayavada school by jugglery of logic and grammer but the Lord was able to defeat all such jugglery of words by His forceful arguments. He affirmed that we are all related with the Personality of Godhead eternally and the devotional service is our eternal function to exchange dealings of our relations. And the result of such exchange of dealing is to attain Prema or Love of Godhead. When Love of Godhead is attained, love for all other beings automatically follows because the Lord is the sumtotal of all the living beings.
The Lord said except these three items namely eternal relation with God, exchange of dealings thereof and to attain to the stage Love of Godhead, all that are instructed in the Vedas are Superfluous only, and besides these three items everything is concocted imagination.
The Lord further added that the Mayavada Philosophy catered by Sripad Shankaracharya is something imaginary explanation of the Vedas but it had to be done by Him (Shankaracharya) because He was ordered to do so by the Personality of Godhead. In the Padmapuranam it is stated that the Personality of Godhead ordered His Lordship Shiva to deviate the human race from Him (the Personality of Godhead). The Personality of Godhead was to be so covered that people may be encouraged to generate more and more population. His Lordship Mahadeva said to the Devi: "I appear in the Kaliyuga in the garb of a Brahmin, and I shall preach Mayavada Philosophy which is nothing but clouded Buddhism." (this verse in the Chaitanya Charitamrita, 2.6.182, is a quote from the Padma-Purana, Uttara-khanda 25.7.)
After hearing all these speeches of the Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Bhattacharya was struck with wonder and awe and began to see Him in dead silence. The Lord then encouraged him with assurance that there was no cause of wonder, "I say that 'loving service unto Bhagavan', the personality of godhead, is the highest human interest". He than quoted a sloka from the Bhagavatam and assured him that even the liberated souls who are absorbed in the Spirit and spiritual realisation, do also take to the loving devotional service of the Lord Hari, because the Personality of Godhead has such transcendental qualities as He attracts the heart of the liberated soul too.
Then the Bhattacharya desired to listen to the explanation of the "Atmarama" sloka from the Bhagavat-Purana (1.7.10) on which the Lord first of all asked Bhattacharya to explain it and after that He would explain. The Bhattacharya then scholarly explained the sloka with special reference to logic. He explained the sloka in nine different ways chiefly based on logic because he was the most renowned scholar of logic of the time.
The Lord after hearing the Bhattacharya thanked him for the scholarly presentation of the sloka and then on the request of the Bhattacharya the Lord explained the sloka in sixty four different ways without touching the nine different explanations given by the Bhattacharya.
Thus after hearing the explanation of the 'Atmarama' sloka from the Lord, the Bhattacharya was convinced that such a scholarly presentation of the sloka is impossible to be done by any earthly creature. Before this he was tried to be convinced by Sri Gopinath Acharya about the Divinity of the Lord but at that time he could not so accept Him. At the present moment the Bhattacharya was astounded by the Lord's exposition of the Vedanta Sutra and explanations of the Atmarama sloka. And thus he began to think within himself that he committed a great offence at the lotus feet of the Lord without recognising Him to be Krishna Himself. He then surrendered unto Him repenting his past dealings with Him and the Lord was kind enough to accept the Bhattacharya. Out of His causeless mercy the Lord manifested before him first as four handed Narayana and then again as two handed Lord Krishna with the flute in His hand.
The Bhattacharya at once fell down on the lotus feet of the Lord and composed many suitable slokas in praise of the Lord by the Grace of Him. He composed almost one hundred slokas in praise of the Lord. The Lord then embraced him and out of transcendental ecstacy the Bhattacharya became unconscious of the physical state of life. Tears, tremoring, throbing of the heart, perspiration, emotional waves, dancing, singing, crying and all the eight symptoms of trance were manifested in the body of the Bhattacharya. Sri Gopinath Acharya became very glad and astonished on this marvellous conversion of his brother-in-law by the Grace of the Lord.
Out of the 100 celeberated slokas composed by the Bhattacharya in praise of the Lord, the following two are most important and these two slokas explain the mission of the Lord in gist. They are as follows:
1. "Let me surrender unto the personality of Godhead who has appeared now as Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He is the ocean of all mercy and has come down to teach us material detachment, learning and loving devotional service of Himself."
2. "Pure devotional service of the Lord having been lost in oblivion of time, the Lord has appeared to renovate the principles and therefore I do offer my obeisances unto His lotus feet."
The Lord explained the word Mukti as equivalent of the word Vishnu or the Personality of Godhead. And to attain Mukti or liberation from the bondage of material existence is to attain to the service of the Lord.
The Lord then proceeded towards South India for some time and converted every one He met on the way to become a devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. Such devotees also converted many others to the cult of devotional service or Bhagavat Dharma of the Lord and thus He reached on the bank of the Godavari where He met Srila Ramananda Roy the Governor of Madras on behalf of Maharaj Prataprudra the king of Orissa. His talks with Ramananda Roy is very important in the matter of higher realisation of transcendental knowledge. We shall however try to give herewith a gist of the conversation as follows:
Sri Ramananda Roy was a self realised soul although outwardly he belonged to a caste lower than the Brahmin in social convention. He was neither in renounced order of life and besides that he was a high government servant in the State. Still Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted him as one of the liberated soul on the strength of high order of realisation of transcendental knowledge. Similarly the Lord appointed Srila Haridas Thakur a veteran devotee of the Lord hailing from the Mohamedan family. And there are many other great devotees of the Lord who hailed from different communities groups and castes. But the Lord's only criterion was to see the standard of loving devotional service of the particular person. He was not concerned with the outward dress of a man but He was concerned only with the inner soul and its activities. Therefore the whole missionary activities of the Lord are to be understood as standing on the spiritual plane and as such the cult of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or the cult of Bhagavat-Dharma has nothing to do with mundane affairs of sociology, politics, economic development or any such spheres of life. The real important thing is only the purely transendental urge of the soul.
When he met Shri Ramananda Roy on the bank of the Godavari the conversation began with the subject matter of Varnashram-Dharma followed by the Hindus. Srila Ramananda Roy said that by following the principles of Varnashram-Dharma or the system of four castes and four orders of human life it should be followed by every one in order to realise transcendence. In the opinion of the Lord the system of Varna Ashram Dharma is superficial only and it has very little to do with the highest realisation of spiritual values. Because the highest perfection of life is to get detached from the material attachment and proportionately realise the transcedental loving service of the Lord. The personality of Godhead recognises a living being who is progressing in that line. Devotional service is, therefore, the culmination of the culture of all knowledge. When Sri Kishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared for the deliverance of all fallen souls, He advised for clear cut deliverance of all living entities as follows. The Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead from whom all living entities have emanated, must be worshipped by all by their respective engagements, because every thing that we see is also the expansion of His energy only. That is the way of real perfection and is approved by all bonafide Acharyas past and present. The system of Varnashram is more or less based on the principles of moral and ethical rules. There is very little realisation of the transcendence as such the Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rejected it as superficial and asked Ramananda Roy to go further up.
Sri Ramananda Roy then suggested renunciation of the fruitive actions unto the Lord. The Bhagavad-Gita advices in this connection as followes. "Whatever you do, whatever you eat and whatever you give as well as whatever you may perform in penance, all must be offered to Me alone". This dedication on the part of the worker suggests the Personality of Godhead a step higher than the impersonal conception of the Varnashram system but still the relation of the living being and the Lord is not distinct in that way. The Lord therefore rejected this proposition and asked Ramananda Roy to go further on.
Roy then suggested renunciation of the Varnashram-Dharma and acceptance of devotional service. The Lord did not approve of this suggestion also for the reason that all of a sudden one may not renounce his position and that will not bring in the desired result.
It was further suggested by Roy that attainment of spiritual realisation freed from the material conception of life is the topmost achievement by a living being. The Lord rejected this suggestion also because on the plea of such spiritual realisation many havoc may be done by the unscrupulous persons and therefore all of a sudden this is not possible.
Sri Ramananda Roy then suggested sincere association of self-realised souls and to hear submissively the transcendental message of the pastimes of the Personality of Godhead from any wordly position. This suggestion of Sri Ramananda Roy was welcomed by the Lord. This suggestion was made following the foot prints of Brahmaji who said that the Personality of Godhead is known as 'Ajita' or 'the One who cannot be conquered' or approached by anyone. But such Ajita also becomes Jita (conquered) by one method which is very simple and easy. The simple method is that one must be very meek and submissive and try to live peacefully by lending the ear to the speeches of the transcendentally self-realised soul who speaks on the message of Bhagavat Dharma or the Religion of 'Glorifying the Supreme Lord and His devotees'. To glorify a great merit is a natural instinct for living being. Perfection of life is attained simply by glorifying the Lord in association of self-realised devotee of the Lord. Self-realised devotee is he who surrenders unto the Lord fully without any further attachment for material prosperity. Material prosperity and sense enjoyment and advancement of learning thereof, are all activities of ignorance in the human society. Peace and friendship are impossible propositions in the light of a detached society from the association of God and His devotees. It is imperative, therefore, that one should sincerely seek for the association of pure devotees and hear them patiently by submissive aural reception from any position of life. The position of a person in the higher or lower status of life does not hamper in the path of self-realisation. The only thing one has to do is to hear from self-realised soul with a routine programme. And the speaker may deliver lectures from the standard of Vedic literatures following the foot prints of the bygone Acharya who realised the Absolute Truth. Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu recommended this simple method of self realisation generally known as Bhagavat Dharma. Srimad Bhagavatam is the perfect guide for this purpose.
At the conclusion of this meeting of the Lord with Sri Ramananda Roy the latter was advised by the Lord to retire from the service and come to Puri so that they can live together and relish transcendental mellows. Some time after Sri Ramananda Roy retired from the Government service and took pension from the king. He came back to Puri at his residence and all along he was one of the most confidential devotees of the Lord.
The Lord extensively travelled all over the southern part of India.
The Lord excavated from the south Indian portion two very important old literatures namely the 'Brahma Samhita' and 'Krishna Karnamrita' and these two valuable books are authorised studies for the person in the devotional line. The Lord thus returned to Puri after a south Indian tour.
On His return to Puri all the anxious devotees of the Lord got back their life and the Lord remained there with continued pastimes of His transcendental realisations. The most important incidence during that time was to grant audience to the King Prataprudra. King Prataprudra was a great devotee of the Lord and he considered himself as one of the servants of the Lord entrusted with service of sweeping the temple. This submissive attitude of the king was very much appreciated by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The King requested both Bhattacharya and Roy to arrange for his meeting with the Lord. When however He was so requested by the two stalwart devotees of the Lord, He flatly refused to keep the request even though the same was put forward through the good office of such personal associates like Ramananda Roy and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. The reason is that it is dangerous for a Sannyasi to be in intimate touch with wordly men. The Lord was an ideal Sannyasi. No woman could approach the Lord even for offering respects. Women's seats were accomodated far away from the Lord. As an ideal teacher and Acharya He was very strict in the routine work of a Sannyasi. Apart from His part of Divine Incarnation, the Lord was an ideal character as a human being. His behaviour with respective persons were always above suspicion. In His dealing as Acharya He was harder than the thunderbolt and softer than the rose.
On the Principles of the order of life and discipline the Lord knew no compromise and therefore even though He knew that the King was a great devotee, He refused to see the King. By these examples the Lord wanted to emphasise on the point of behaviour by a sannyasi (monk). A sannyasi has nothing to do with women and money and he must always refrain from such intimate relations. The King was however favoured by the Lord by the expert arrangement of the devotees. This means that the beloved devotee of the Lord can favour a neophyte more liberally than the Lord. Pure devotees, therefore, never commit offence at the feet of another pure devotee. Offence at the lotus feet of the Lord is some times excused by the merciful Lord but offence at the feet of a devotee is very much dangerous for one who actually wants to make progress in the devotional service As long as the Lord remained at Puri thousands of His devotees used to come and see Him during the car-festival ceremony of Lord Jagannath. The Lord's congregational Samkirtan movement at Puri was an unique exhibition for the mass of people and that is the way of turning the mass mind towards spiritual realisation.
The Lord inaugurated this system of mass Samkirtan Movement and leaders of all countries may take advantage of this spiritual movement in order to keep the mass of people in pure state of peace and friendship with one another which is now the demand of the present human society all over the world.
After some time the Lord again started on his tour towards Northern India and He wanted to visit Vrindavana and its neighbouring places. He passed through the Jungles of Jharikhanda (Madhya Bharat) and all the wild animals also joined with His Samkirtan movement. The wild tigers, elephants, bears and deers all together accompanied the Lord and the Lord accompanied them in His mode of Samkirtan movement. By this He proved that by the propagation of the Samkirtan Movement (congregational chanting and glorifying the names of the Lord) even the wild animals can live in peace and friendship and what to speak of men who are supposed to be civilised. No man in the world will refuse to join the Samkirtan movement nor the Lord's Samkirtan movement has any restriction of caste creed and colour for joining His movement. Herein is direct evidence of His great mission that He admitted even the wild animals to partake in His great movement.
On His way back from Vrindavana He first came to Prayag where He met Rupa Goswami along with his younger brother Anupam. Then He came down to Benares. He instructed for two months Sri Sanatan Goswami all about transcendental science. The instruction to Sanatan Goswami is itself a big narration. The gist ideas are given as follows:
Sanatan Goswami (formerly known as Dabir Khan) was in the cabinet service of the then Bengal Government under the regime of Nawab Husain Shah. He decided to join with the Lord and thus retired from the service. On His way back from Vrindavana when He reached Varanasi, the Lord became the guest of Sri Tapan Mishra and Chandra Shekhar assisted by a Maharastra Brahmin. At that time Varanasi was headed by a great Sannyasi of the Mayavada school and his name was Sripad Prakashananda Saraswati. When the Lord was at Varanasi the people in general became more attracted with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on account of His mass movement of Samkirtan. Wherever He visited specially during the time of His going to Vishwanath temple, thousands of pilgrims used to follow Him some being attracted by His bodily features and others being attracted by His melodious songs in glorifying the Lord.
The Mayavadi Sannyasins designate themselves as Narayana. And Varanasi is still overflooded with many Mayavadi Sannyasins. Some people who saw the Lord in the mode of His Samkirtan movement, considered Him to be actual Narayana and the report was reached in the camp of the great Sannyasi Prakashananda.
In India there is always a kind of spiritual rivalry between the Mayavada and the Bhagavata school and as such when the news of the Lord reached Prakashananda he could know that the Lord was a Vaishnava-Sannyasi and therefore, he minimised the value of the Lord before those who brought him the news of the Lord. He deprecated the activities of the Lord on account of His preaching the Samkirtan Movement which was in his opinion nothing but a religious sentiment. He was a profound student of the Vedanta and he advised his followers to give attention to the Vedanta than indulge in the so called Samkirtan.
One devotee Brahmin, who became a devotee of the Lord, did not like the criticism of Prakashananda upon the Lord and he came to the Lord to express His sorry feelings. He said to the Lord that on his utterance of the Lord's Name Chaitanya before the Sannyasi Prakashananda, the latter strongly criticised Him although he heard him uttering several times the name Chaitanya. The Brahmin was astonished to see that the Sannyasi Prakashananda could not vibrate the sound Krishna even for once although he uttered the name Chaitanya several times.
The Lord smilingly replied to the devotee Brahman about the reasons of non-utterance of the holy name of Krishna by the Mayavadi Sannyasi. He said as follows: "The Mayavadis are offenders at the Lotus feet of Krishna although they utter always 'Brahman', 'Atma', or 'Chaitanya' etc. and because they are offenders at the Lotus feet of Krishna, they are practically unable to utter the holy name of Krishna. The name Krishna and the Personality of Godhead Krishna are identical. There is no difference in the Absolute realm between the Name, Form or Person of the Absolute Truth, because in the Absolute Realm everything is transcendental bliss. There is no difference of body and soul in the Personality of Godhead Krishna distinguished from that of the living being who is always different from the outward body. On account of this transcendental position of Krishna, it is very difficult for a lay man to know actually about the Personality of Godhead Krishna, His holy name and Fame etc. His name fame form and pastimes all are one and the same transcendental identity and they are not knowable by the exercise of material senses."
"The transcendental mellow of the Pastimes of the Lord is the source of still more bliss than one can experience by realisation of Brahman or becoming one with the Supreme. Had it not been so then those who are already situated in the transcendental bliss of Brahman would not have been attracted by the transcendental bliss of the Pastime of the Lord."
After this a great meeting was arranged by the devotees of the Lord in which all the Sannyasins were invited including the Lord and Prakashananda Saraswati. In this meeting both the scholars (the Lord and Prakashanada) had a long discourse on the spiritual values of the Samkirtan movement and the gist idea is given below.
The great Mayavadi Sannyasi Prakashananda enquired from the Lord as to the reason of His diversion to the Samkirtan movement instead of studying the Vedanta Sutras. He said that it is the duty of a Sannyasi to read the Vedanta Sutras and what was the cause that He indulged in Samkirtan.
After such enquiry the Lord submissively replied as follows: "The reason of my diversion to the Samkirtan movement from the Study of Vedanta is that I am a great fool." The Lord thus represented Himself as one of the numberless fools of this age who are absolutely incapable to study the Vedanta Philosophy. Fool's indulgence in the study of Vedanta has caused so many havocs in the society and, therefore, He continued to say "And because I am a great fool so my spiritual master forbade Me to play with Vedanta Philosophy. He said better I may chant the holy Name of the Lord and that would deliver Me from the material bondage".
"In this age of Kali there is no other religion than glorifying the Lord by utterance of His holy name and that is the injunction of all the revealed scriptures. And my spiritual Master has taught me one sloka (from the Brihan Naradiya Purana) which is as follows:
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha."
"So on the order of my spiritual master I chant the holy name of Hari and I am now mad after this holy Name whenever I utter the holy Name. I forget myself completely and as such some times I laugh, cry, dance, like a mad man. I thought within myself if I have not gone actually mad by this process of chanting the holy Name and therefore enquired from my Spiritual Master about it. I told him that I have become now mad by chanting the holy Name and what is this please let me know."
"My spiritual master informed me that it is the real effect of chanting the holy Name that it produces a transcendental emotion which is a rare manifestation. It is the sign of love of God which is the ultimate end of life. The Love of God is transcendental to liberation (Mukti) and as such it is called the fifth stage of spiritual realisation above the stage of liberation. Actual result of chanting the holy Name of Krishna is to attain the stage of Love of God and it was good that fortunately I was favoured with the blessings."
On hearing this statement from the Lord the Mayavadi Sannyasi enquired from the Lord what was the harm if He would study the Vedanta along with the chanting of the Holy Name. Prakashananda Saraswati knew it well that the Lord was formerly known as Nimai Pandit a very learned scholar of Navadvipa and His representation as a great Fool was certainly impregnated with some purpose. So on this enquiry by the Sannyasi the Lord smiled and said "My dear sir, if you do not mind it then I can reply your enquiry."
All the Sannyasins there were very much pleased on the Lord for His simple dealings and they unanimously replied that they would not mind for whatever He may reply. The Lord then began to say as follows:
"Vedanta Sutra is transcendental words or sounds uttered by the transcendental Personality of Godhead. As such in the Vedanta there cannot be any human deficiencies like mistake, illusion, cheating or inefficiencies. The message of Upanishads is expressed in the Vedanta Sutras and what is said there directly is certainly glorified by themselves."
"Whatever interpretations have been given by Shankaracharya have no direct bearings on the Sutras and therefore such commentation makes everything spoiled for the purpose."
"The word Brahman indicates the greatest of all, full with transcendental opulences without anyone else on the same level. Such Brahman who is ultimately the Personality of Godhead is covered by such indirect interpretations and established as Impersonal".
"Every thing that is in the spiritual world is full of transcendental bliss including the Form, body, place and parapharnalia of the Lord; all are eternally cognisant and blissful. But it is not the fault of the Acharya Shankara that he has so interpreted but if somebody accepts it then certainly he becomes doomed. Anyone who accepts the transcendental body of the Personality of Godhead as something mundane, certainly commits the highest order of offences."
The Lord thus spoke to the Sannyasi almost in the same line as He spoke to the Bhattacharya of Puri and by forceful arguments He nullified the Mayavada interpretations of the Vedanta Sutra. And all the Sannyasins present there reclaimed the Lord as Personified Vedas and directly the Personality of Godhead. All the Sannyasins became converted to the cult of Bhakti and all of them accepted the Holy Name of the Lord Sri Krishna. All of them dined together with the Lord in the midst of them. After this conversion of the Sannyasins the popularity of the Lord became more conspicuous at Varanasi and thousands of people assembled to see the Lord in person. The Lord thus established the primary importance of Srimad Bhagavata Dharma and He defeated all other systems of spiritual realisation. Since then every one at Varanasi became overwhelmed with the transcendental Samkirtan movement.
While the Lord was camping at Varanasi Sanatan Goswami also arrived there after retiring from office. He was formerly one of the state ministers in the government of Bengal then under the regime of Nawab Hussain Shah. He had some difficulty in getting relief from the state service as the Nawab was reluctant to leave him. He came to Varanasi and the Lord taught him all about the principles of devotional service. He taught him about the constitutional position of the living being the cause of his bondage under material conditions, his eternal relation with the Personality of Godhead. He was taught about the transcendental position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, how He expands Himself in different plenary portions of incarnations and how does He dominate in different parts of the universe and the nature of His transcendental abode. He was taught about the devotional activities, its different stages of development and the rules and regulations for achieving the gradual stages of spiritual perfection. He was taught about the symptoms of different incarnations in different ages and how to detect them with reference to the context of revealed scriptures.
The subject of teachings to Sanatan Goswami forms a big chapter in the text and essays of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita.
At Mathura He visited all the important places and then He reached Vrindavana. Lord Chaitanya appeared in the family of a high caste Brahmin and over and above that as Sannyasi He was the preceptor for all the Varnas and Ashramas. But He used to accept meals from all classes of Vaishnavas. At Mathura the Sanodhia Brahmins are considered in lower status of society but the Lord accepted meals in such family also because He (His host) happened to be a desciple of the Madhabendra Puri family.
At Vrindavana the Lord took bath in 24 important bathing places and ghats. He travelled to all the twelve important Vanas (forests). In these forests all the cows and birds welcomed Him, as if He was their very old friend. The Lord also began to embrace all the trees of those forests and by doing so He was feeling the symptoms of transcendental ecstacy. Some times He fell unconscious and He was made to regain consciousness by resounding the holy Name of Krishna. The transcendental symptoms that were visible on the body of the Lord during His travel within the forest of Vrindavanaa were all unique and inexplicable and we have just given a gist idea only.
From Vrindavana His personal servitor Krishnadas Vipra induced Him to go back to Prayag to take bath during the Magh Mela. The Lord accede this proposal and they started for Prayag. On the way they were met with some Pathanas amongst whom there was a learned Moulana who presented to the Lord Mayavada philosophy on the basis of the Koran. Whatever arguments he put forward, the Lord refuted them all. Finally the person became stunned and could not speak.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "The Koran certainly establishes impersonalism (Mayavada), but at the end it refutes that impersonalism and establishes the personal God. Your scripture accepts the fact that ultimately there is only one God. He is full of opulence, and His bodily complexion is blackish and the Lord has a supreme, blissful, transcendental body. He is the Absolute Truth, the all-pervading, omniscient and eternal being. He is the origin of everything. Creation, maintenance and dissolution come from Him. He is the original shelter of all gross and subtle cosmic manifestations. The Lord is the Supreme Truth, worshipable by everyone. He is the cause of all causes. By engaging in His devotional service, the living entity is relieved from material existence. No conditioned soul can get out of material bondage without serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Love at His lotus feet is the ultimate goal of life. The happiness of liberation, whereby one merges into the Lord's existence, cannot even be compared to a fragment of the transcendental bliss obtained by service unto the Lord's lotus feet. In the Koran there are descriptions of fruitive activity (karma), speculative knowledge (jnana) andmystic power (yoga), but ultimately all this is refuted and the Lord's personal feature established, along with His devotional service. Your learned scholars (of the Koran) are not very advanced in knowledge. Although there are many methods prescribed, they do not know that the ultimate conclusion should be considered the most powerful." So Mahaprabhu asked the scholar, "Seeing your own scripture and deliberating over what is written there, what is your conclusion?"
The saintly Muslim replied, "All that You have said is true. This has certainly been written in the Koran, but our scholars can neither understand nor accept it. Usually they describe the Lord's impersonal aspect, but they hardly know that the Lord's personal feature is worshipable. They are undoubtedly lacking this knowledge. Since You are that very same Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, please be merciful upon me. I am fallen and unfit. I have studied our scripture very extensively, but from it I cannot conclusively decide what the ultimate goal of life is or how I can approach it. Now that I have seen You, my tongue is chanting krishnas name. The false prestige I felt from being a learned scholar is now gone."
Saying this, the saintly Muslim fell at the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and requested Him to speak of life's ultimate goal and the process by which it could be obtained.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then told all the Muslims there, "Chant the holy name of Krishna! Chant the holy name of Krishna!" As they all began to chant, they were overwhelmed by ecstatic love. All the Pathanas were converted into His cult of chanting the holy name of Krishna.
Later these very Pathanas became celebrated as the Pathana Vaishnavas. They toured all over the country and chanted the glorious activities of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
When He came back to Prayag Srila Rupa Goswami along with his youngest brother met Him near Vindumadhava Temple. The Lord was this time welcomed by the people of Prayag more respectfully. Ballave Bhatta, who resided on the other bank of Prayag in the Village of Arail, came to receive Him at his place and while going there the Lord jumped on the river Jamuna. With great difficulty He was again picked up in unconscious state and thus visited the headquarters of Ballav Bhatta. This Ballav Bhatta was one of His chief admirers but later on he inaugurated his own party of the Ballave Sampradaya.
On the bank of the Dasaswamedh Ghat at Prayag for ten days continually the Lord instructed Rupa Goswami on the Science of Loving Devotional Service of the Lord. He tought the Goswami the divisions of the living creatures in 8'400'000 species of life. Then about the human species. Out of them He selected the followers of the Vedic principles. Out of them the fruitive workers. Out of them emperic philosophers. Out of them the liberated souls and out of the liberated souls He said there is only a few only who are actually the pure devotees of Lord Sri Krishna.
Srila Rupa Goswami was a younger brother of Sanatan Goswami and when he retired from service he brought with him two boats full of gold coins, accumulated by the labour of his service. And before leaving the home for Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu he divided the wealth as follows. 50 percent for the brahmanas and vaishnavas. 25 percent for the relatives and 25 percent for his personal needs in case of emergency. This is a practical example of how one can divide his money and retire from household life.
The Lord taught the Goswami about devotional service comparing the whole subject with a creeper. And He advised to protect the Bhakti creeper most carefully specially from the elephant of offensive act unto the pure devotees. Besides the giant elephant as above mentioned the creeper has to be protected from the desires of sense enjoyment, monistic liberation and perfection of the Yoga system. They are all detrimental on the path of devotional progress. Similarly violence on the living being, desire for worldly gain, worldly reception and worldly fame all are detrimental to the progress of Bhakti or a loving serving relationship with the supreme Lord.
Pure devotional service must be freed from all desires of sense-gratification and uncovered by fruitive aspirations and culture of monistic knowledge. One must be freed from all kinds of designations and when one is thus converted into transcendental purity, one can then only serve the Lord by those purified senses.
So long there is the desire to enjoy sensually or to become one with the Supreme or to possess the mystic powers, there is no question of attaining the stage of pure devotional service.
Devotional service is conducted under two categories namely primary practice and spontaneous emotion. When one can rise up to the platform of spontaneous emotional stage he can make further progress by spiritual attachment, feeling, love, and many other higher stages of devotional life for which there is no English words to express properly.
Transcendental devotional service has five stages of reciprocation.
Thus He instructed all about the devotional science to Rupa Goswami and deputed him to Vrindavana to excavate the lost sight of the places of transcendental pastimes of the Lord. After this He came back again to Varanasi and delivered the Sannyasins and instructed the elder brother of Rupa Goswami.
The Lord left only eight slokas of His instructions in writing and they are known as Sikshastakam.
All other literatures of His Divine cult were extensively written by the principal followers the six Goswamis of Vrindavana and their followers.
The eight slokas (Sikshastakam) completed by the Lord are as follows:
Compiled on the basis of the translations of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita