19820429 Caitanya Caritamrita Adi-lila.16.1 Pastimes of Young Lord Caitanya Part 01 Evening Darshan
The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on April 29th, 1982. The class begins with a reading from the Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter 16, Verse 1.
krpa-sudha-sarid… sarid yasya
visvam aplavayanty api
nica-gaiva sada bhati
tam caitanya-prabhum bhaje
I worship Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, whose nectarean mercy flows like a great river, inundating the entire universe. Just as a river flows downstream, Lord Caitanya especially extends Himself to the fallen.
jaya jaya sri-caitanya jaya nityananda
jayadvaitacandra jaya gaura-bhakta-vrnda
All glories to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityananda! All glories to Advaitacandra! And all glories to all the devotees of the Lord!
Narottama dasa Thakura has sung, sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu daya kara more. He prays for Lord Caitanya’s mercy because He is the mercy incarnation, having appeared especially to reclaim the fallen souls. The more fallen one is, the greater one’s claim to the favor of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One must only be very sincere and serious. Despite being contaminated by all the bad qualities of this Kali-yuga, if one surrenders unto the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord will surely and certainly deliver him. The best example is Jagai and Madhai. In this Age of Kali practically everyone is like Jagai and Madhai, but the sankirtana movement inaugurated by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is still flowing like a great river, inundating the entire world, and thus the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is successfully claiming all fallen souls to free them from contamination.
So Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the mercy incarnation, having appeared especially to deliver the fallen souls, and this International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been described as uh, being the waters here of Lord Caitanya’s mercy flowing like a great river, for inundating the entire world.
That there are so many difficult and complicated practices for becoming self-realized, for becoming religiously perfected, or God-realized but all of those different methods are beset with so many obstacles, with so many difficulties that there is no guarantee of success in this short life. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He is so merciful that He has given a process which is able to purify the material consciousness of anyone, even the most fallen.
It mentions, here Jagai Madhai. Jagai Madhai were two great ruffians of the middle age, when Lord Caitanya came, five hundred years ago. They were like the organized crime of that day. They were the mafia leaders but Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu delivered them.
In fact by the mercy of Lord Nityananda they became completely sanctified although initially they tried to kill Lord Nityananda, but in the end His mercy prevailed. So it was such a feat that it was as if Baby Face Nelson and Al Capone had become Hare Krishna (Devotees laughing) swamis, and in fact it had that effect because all the people came from literally hundreds and hundreds of miles to see how these great criminals had become uh, great devotees. So there is no limit to the power of purification of this chanting of this great mantra for deliverance:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Here, we have another Sanskrit verse.
laksmyarcito ’tha vag-devya
“Long live Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His kaisora age! Both the goddess of fortune and the goddess of learning worshiped Him. The goddess of learning, Sarasvati, worshiped Him in His victory over the scholar who had conquered all the world, and the goddess of fortune, Laksmidevi, worshiped Him at home. Since He is therefore the husband or Lord of both goddesses, I offer my obeisances unto Him.”
It is very hard, you have the two, one is Saraswati and one is Lakshmi. Saraswati is the goddess of learning and Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth or fortune. Generally someone has learning but then they are not so wealthy. Or someone has lots of wealth but they are not so learned or cultured, but here because Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself He is the Lord of both.
So He has not only learning, culture but He has all opulence also. So similarly, the devotees like to see Lord Caitanya in His kaishora age, kaishora age means around 12-18 or you can say 14-16 – 18 like that, 16, center… Just in His youthful prime. So, when He was just a young man, just a teenager, He was already at the full opulence in so many different ways that He was considered to be the greatest scholar in Navadvipa.
Actually we should understand that just as we come here, in this way the Lord can also come here, but we come here under very stringent laws. We come here under the law of karma and we are forced to transmigrate through various bodies accordingly to our mentality, our desires and our activities, but when the Lord comes, He is independent. He is coming out of His own free will.
That in human civilization there are periods when the human beings become more materialistic and they forget the real spiritual purpose of life. At that time the Lord sends some great devotees, some son of God, a prophet, a acarya, spiritual master or He Himself comes to reestablish principles of self-realization of religion like Lord Buddha, a partial incarnation of Krishna, we accept Jesus as a saktyavesa or empowered living entity coming, empowered by Krishna.
So, Caitanya Mahaprabhu though is Krishna Himself. Krishna came five thousand years ago and spoke the Bhagavad-gita. In the Bhagavad-gita he said aham sarvasya prabhavah, “Everything is coming from Me.”, and Mattah parataram nanyat kiscit… uh kascit… kincid asti dhananjaya, that there’s no higher truth than Me. Arjuna saw Krishna’s universal form, countless living entities saw Krishna’s universal form, then Arjuna praised Krishna that You are Parabrahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan, “You are the Supreme Absolute Truth, You are the shelter of everything, You are the unknowable, You are the transcendental Lord.” So Krishna when He comes, He is considered swarat that means completely independent.
In this world we all want to be independent, everyone says they want to be independent, they want freedom, they want liberty to do everything and anything they want but unfortunately we are not able to do so. We are actually forced to follow our senses. We are forced to suffer and enjoy due to stringent laws of material nature, we are not independent. But, when Krishna comes, He is independent. Whatever He does there is no reaction; He is not suffering or enjoying the effects of karma.
Everyone sees how the successful man down the street has set up his business and he does only have to go to office two hours a day and he spends most of his time in southern California or Miami and just comes up and he is making so many millions of dollars and somebody opens up a small business and wants to become a multi-millionaire, but it doesn’t happen. Not everyone that opens up a business becomes rich. In fact a lot of small businesses fail, but everyone has that hope.
So why someone succeeds and someone doesn’t? It’s not… there’s five causes for every action,
• the doer,
• the thing to be done,
• the place, uh,
• the circ.. the time and
• daiva, providence.
One’s karma, the will of the Supreme. So, someone succeeds, in his previous lives or in the prev… in this life he has performed such activities where he has good karma. Therefore he succeeds to enjoy to some extent the fruits of his work.
Someone else comparatively enjoys less; these are not within the complete control of the individual. Even if we like to be free, our freedom is limited by so many stringent laws, some of which we are aware of and some of which we may not be aware of. If we know what are the laws, if we know how we are limited, if we know where we actually stand, then we can chalk out for ourselves what is the actual course we should take in this life.
A person who knows where he stands is in a much better situation than a person who is in… completely in the dark. So, Krishna consciousness is meant to distribute knowledge to people so that they can know what is their actual position in this material world, and so that they can achieve good fortune in this life. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He has made it very simple. When He came down, He came in disguise. He didn’t reveal Himself as God. In the Kali-yuga this particular age of destruction, age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the original Personality of Godhead does not come in His original form.
There’s four main ages, golden, silver, bronze and iron, this is the Iron Age. The Lord is known as tri-yuga because He comes in a golden, silver and bronze ages, He does not come in this Iron Age in His original form. But He comes in empowered forms or in covered forms. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna but He has come in a covered form. Covered from our vision, not that He is covered but we are… we are not able to see Him as He has put a veil of maya over Himself. He has come as a devotee. Something like a professor when he teaches his students, “You write like this.” Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita and in the Bhagavad-gita He said so many things that, today there are about 600 different translations of Bhagavad-gita each with their own interpretation.
So it is very bewildering if you want to be a student in the Bhagavad-gita, which one to believe. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu could understand the same thing 500 years ago, Krishna knew. He had spoken the Bhagavad-gita, and so many people were misinterpreting it, that He personally came to show this is how you practice it.
Just like when we buy an amateur radio set or some kind of, you know, do it yourself kit and if you can’t ultimately figure out the directions, then you can go to the manufacturer and then they’ll send for the man. He’ll say, “You do it like this.”, and he’ll show you how you do it. Then of course you feel like a fool because it was so simple. It was written right there! Similarly everything is right there in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and the Srimad Bhagavatam. Lord Caitanya said, “I have not come to give anything new, I have come simply to speak Krishna-katha.”, but He Himself is Krishna, but He showed practically, how to practice. So in His early life He was in Navadvipa, then He went to Jagannath Puri, then He toured. He went to Benaras, to Jagannatha… to Vrndavana and through the whole South India He toured up to… practically up to Bombay.
In this way He toured the whole India by foot preaching this Harinama sankirtan. Even today in the farthest tip of Kerala people are chanting Hare Krishna and there are some temples of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, still there and His footprints are established in temples all around India. And of course in Eastern India He is worshipped very uh emphatically, very uh enthusiastically and now He is worshipped all over the world, thanks to His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our Founder-Acarya who brought this movement all over the world. So Krishna, when He was in Vrndavana nobody knew that He was God. He kept it a secret. He really only revealed it once He left Vrndavana. Of course people could understand, but He kept Himself covered by yoga-maya, just a cowherd boy. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He kept Himself covered by yoga-maya and His pastime was He was a young scholar.
He was a great pandita. Pandita means someone who knows the scriptures inside and out. In the West a professor would be… also you consider a “pundit”, a PhD. So like that, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He was a pundit. He was known as nimai-pandita, a teacher. But He started early as is said in text 4:
ei ta’ kaisora-lilara sutra-anubandha
sisya-gana padaite karila arambha
“At the age of eleven Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to teach students. This marks the beginning of His kaisora age.” He started His kaishora age at the age of 11 normally people start at 16, but He started a little earlier.
sata sata sisya sange sada adhyapana
vyakhya suni sarva-lokera camakita mana
“As soon as the Lord became a teacher, many, many students came to Him, every one of them astonished to hear His mode of explanation.”
sarva-sastre sarva pandita paya parajaya
vinaya-bhangite karo duhkha nahi haya
The… uh, Translation:
“The Lord defeated all kinds of scholars in discourses about all the scriptures, yet because of His gentle behavior, none of them were unhappy.”
vividha auddhatya kare sisya-gana-sange
jahnavite jala-keli kare nana range
“The Lord, as a teacher, performed various kinds of pranks in His sporting pastimes in the water of the Ganges.” So I wanted to discuss today some of the pastimes. This is just in a very br… brief form they have described here. So, I thought I could explain some of the details of what Lord Caitanya did when He was in His kaishora age. After he went to the uh… He went to Eastern Bengal and uh, preached Hari naam sankirtan and uh, at the same time after that He got married to Lakshmi Priya. He met Tapan Misra, Tapan Misra wanted to go Navadvipa but Lord Caitanya sent him to Benaras. He said they would meet there again which happened. In this way Lakshmi Devi, she was very unhappy that Lord Caitanya had gone.
So before He went to Eastern Bengal which our, where our Bhakti das was preaching for several years, taking up great personal risk and sacrifice, but in those days it was very opulent. Now it’s uh, more difficult. So what happened was Lord Caitanya, He gradually collected literally hundreds of uh, of students even though He was only 11 or 12 years old, because He was so expert… actually He was about say… I’ll discuss about the period just before He left, when He was about 14 when He just had got married and, even then He was already, of course about… full grown He’s 7 feet tall, and He was approaching that height already.
He’s is known as ajanu lambita bhujau, meaning that His arms reach down to His knees when He is standing up. They were so long, and He is very beautiful to look at. All good qualities. So, Lord Caitanya, He was so expert that He would explain all of the scriptural, all of the Sanskrit grammar everything in terms of syllable… different type of stories and uh, syllables, uh… similes using Krishna’s pastimes and uh, Krishna’s names and it was very interesting. So, so many students like to hear.
So in this way, Lord Caitanya, He would be with His students and say, He would study for about six hours a day. Then they would wander go… walk around the town and He would go surrounded by all of His students. Many of them were much older than He was, but because He was so brilliant… As mentioned here, He had actually defeated a great scholar who was 50 years old… great… the greatest scholar who had defeated everyone in the whole of India, when he met Lord Caitanya, Lord Caitanya defeated him. That is a whole other long story, where Lord Caitanya revealed to him that He was actually Krishna, when he… this great scholar worshipped the goddess of learning, Saraswati, his worshippable deity and she revealed to him that actually, “This is Krishna. That’s why you were defeated.”, and then Lord Caitanya revealed Himself, that is a whole other story, happens a little later.
So Lord Caitanya’s going and He sees the different scholars. He’d meet a scholar and immediately He would say, oh, “My dear Brahmana,”, “My dear Bhattacharji,”, “My dear Pandey,”, “My dear…” whatever, and then He’d say, “How are you today?” He said, “Please I want to learn something from you. Can…” Then He would ask a question which would be so difficult, that the person couldn’t answer, or if he answered, then Lord Caitanya would say… would then say, “Oh, your answer is very wonderful.” He said, “It is so filled with good points and so filled with defects.” and then you know, “Could you point out the good points, and the defects?” and then then person may actually… would see the defects in his own work. And then Lord Caitanya would take it apart and show these are the good points and these are the defects, in this way they would all accept defeat at Lord Caitanya, that actually He had perfect understanding of Sanskrit and of all the sastras.
But basically Lord Caitanya was teaching His students Sanskrit grammar, the basics. So, He saw Mukunda and Mukunda was trying to avoid Lord Caitanya, but He called out, “Mukunda, Mukunda! Why are you avoiding Me?” He was caught.
He thought I am going to teach this Lord Caitanya. I am going to teach this Nimai pandita, now. He is just a grammarian. He doesn’t know the poetic things about Sanskrit, what’s the use of uh… He… He wants everyone to follow… He just… follow Him. I am going to deflate Him today.
This is… Mukunda was thinking. This is, you see… before… Later Mukunda became a very great devotee of Lord Caitanya, but this time, he came and he said, “Why should I follow You? You only know grammar. What do You know about alankara, about Sanskrit poetry?” So, then Lord Caitanya said well, you compose some poetry and then we’ll see if I know anything on that.
And so then again the same thing happened where Mukunda got caught. He… he… he made a… he made a verse and Lord Caitanya completely dissected it, and pointed out its good and bad points, and Lord Caitanya started speaking so much other poetry and then all of His students started laughing. Mukunda turned red and then Lord Caitanya said, “Well, you just consider this thing and uh, we can again, meet tomorrow and discuss some more poetry.”, and then Mukunda was thinking “If just He was a… a… if He was a pure devotee, He wasn’t so much into these scholastic pursuits, then I would stay with Him all the time.”, that is what he was thinking.
So… but… then Mukunda, he left. Then like this, Lord Caitanya’d be walking, going through the town, then He saw Gadadhar. “Hey Gadadhara! it’s been so long! Why you are hiding?” He was caught. Everyone was a very af… they knew that if he got caught by Lord Caitanya, that was it. He was going to… any Brahmana, any other scholar, He would put them right against the wall.
So then Lord Caitanya asked him that uh, “Please, I just have one question. Could you tell Me what is the meaning of mukti? What is the meaning of liberation?” So then, you know, this is how Lord Caitanya very humbly, very ni… come up and just grab hold of some person. Seemingly very simple question, “What is liberation?”, but everyone knows that any question by Lord Caitanya is loaded (Devotees laughing), by Nimai pandita. So in this way He had a very great sense of humor, but He was very sweet, how He behaved with everyone and was in complete control of every situation.
Just like Krishna was enjoying with the cowherd boys and with cow… Lord Caitanya, He was enjoying this type of uh, university-type rasa, you know, going with the students and… So, then Gadadhar, he quoted from Upanishads that liberation means the complete ending of all type of material misery.
Then Lord Caitanya said, “This is not…” Then, Lord Caitanya started quoting from so many different scriptures. Gadadhara started thinking that, “He never studied all these scriptures. (devotees laughing) How does He know every scripture… every Vedic scripture… every Vedic literature, that even… even, we only know the name but we haven’t… we can’t even find, hardly, the manuscript! How He can pick out slokas and verses just from every one of these? Without… I never remember that He ever studied these. How… how is it humanly possible?”, and He started to establish that the real liberation is not just negation of material misery, but it’s actually establishment of Krishna consciousness, the establishment uh, of one’s uh, relationship with Krishna.
The liberation which is simply negation of material misery, that is not complete. Complete liberation means not only is material misery negated, but positive spiritual anandam, sac-cid-ananda vigraha, the full, eternal knowledge is realized, the complete form of Krishna is realized. That is complete liberation.
So, Gadadhara, He had nothing… he didn’t know what to say. So Lord Caitanya said, “Well, You can think about it and tomorrow again, we will meet, and discuss some more.” In this way, it would go on and on. They’re going, and sometimes they would meet other scholars and they’d do the same. Grab… In this way, all the teachers and all the older, you see Navadvipa at that time was the seat of Sanskrit learning in India.
Of course Benaras has always been a very big seat, and I would say that today, probably Benaras is more the center. But, what we can understand that, particularly in that period that uh, Navadvipa was considered to be the center since the time of the Gauda kings, the king of Lakshan and Balalsena, Sena dynasty, before the Moghul rule, when they established their capital from Malda, and put it in Navadvipa that became a great, great… a great seat of scholars. Jayadeva, he was there before he went to Jagannath Puri, he spoke the Jagannath stotram and the uh, other great poetry that he wrote and uh, many great scholars had all collected around Navadvipa, even during that time when people were coming from all over India to go to Navadvipa.
So there was no shortage of great scholars in the town.
…even as a young boy as a young man like that, He had defeated everyone, He would meet someone and He would ask these different kind of questions and that person he would be stuck and he would say, “Long live Nimai Pandita, You are the greatest scholar.” So, in this way He had a chivalrous spirit but in a very mellow kind of nice mood, not, not harsh at all.
Then the older people, they were seeing that well, obviously He is a devotee but this is not pure devotional service. I mean, this is getting into vidya, into simply knowledge and education and… and uh, although definitely it’s all philosophical and everything, but nonetheless it is not really a pure practice of Krishna consciousness or bhakti-yoga. So they would be praying that, “May Krishna bless this Nimai Pandita to become a devotee. If He becomes a pure devotee then that will be very great for our… for our… for the whole humanity.” Sometimes old people they would meet Lord Caitanya in front of His students and chastise Him. They would say, “What is the use of all this materialistic learning and all this big show of scholastic feats without pure bhakti to Krishna? You should simply surrender unto the spiritual master and You should simply uh, preach pure God consciousness, this is the actual practice… God consciousness, practice Krishna consciousness, bhakti, there’s nothing else.”
Lord Caitanya also He… but He was very… He said, “Yes, I… I want to… just a little longer. Short time, I am just enjoying this scholastic pursuit, but as soon as I reach My spiritual master and get the mercy I will definitely take up pure devotional service.”
In this way He would… He would not argue with them, He would agree. He would then continue His rounds. So, in this way Nimai Pandit, the name of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in those days, became, of course known and loved by everyone. He would uh, sometimes, what would happen though is that He would hear the name of Krishna, or He would somehow become just ecstatic, and at that time, uh, He would completely uh, become absorbed in uh,… in a uh, maha-bhava ecstasy, and tears coming from His eyes, and He would be shaking and crying. These are all type of spiritual ecstasies in Krishna consciousness on a very advanced platform.
So, while He was in that ecstatic trance, He would say so many things about Krishna. Sometimes He would say what His own purpose was, that He was Krishna, or various things and uh, no one knew what to make of it, and then when He came uh, down from His uh… from His uh, ecstatic trance then He would uh, be a little bit uh, bashful. He would only come down… especially when people would chant Hare Krishna that would bring Him down. So then He would just say, “Well, must be some disorder in My airs.” Sometimes, people, if their airs get disordered, their limbs start to move and various things happen… went out of their control.
So people we… were praying that, “Oh He must…”, and they used to… would chant Hare Krishna so that, they thought that He was being attacked by some disorder of the airs in His body, so they would chant Hare Krishna and pray for His health, and when He heard the chanting that would bring Him back down from His ecstasy. But they thought that well, you know, that He was coming… He was being uh, helped from this disease, and so then uh, He was uh, “Yes of course, what is this temporary body? It is not going to be here forever, you also… not going to be here forever in this body. It’s only the permanent soul that counts.” In this way, He would joke with them and they would think that “Yes, yes, He was just sick and now He’s alright.”
In this way then Lord Caitanya, He would keep His identity a secret. Then sometimes, He would take His uh, followers like Mukunda and others in a private place and sit and uh, discuss with them, and then sometimes He would uh, sit with all of, uh… all of His students on all sides. Just like the Lord when He previously came, Nara-narayana came in Badriasrama… Badarikasrama in the Himalayas. At that time He was teaching the four Kumaras and other such celestial great uh, sages who even came from other planets, and He would teach them, and they were… all these sages there, and Nara Narayana… Narayana and… was tra… uh, teaching them. So again we see the same type of pastime that Lord Caitanya’s teaching all of His students, and uh, the original Narayana, coming as Lord Caitanya and He’s teaching all of His students who are on all His sides, so in this way it was very beautiful to See Lord Caitanya with all of His students, and passersby would see that how beautiful Lord Caitanya was, how wonderful this was, they would become absorbed.
Lord Caitanya became practically the talk of the whole town. Then Lord Caitanya, He’d go home after finishing His class… first, He’d go to the Ganges and have sports, a little swimming in the Ganges. After taking His bath in the Ganges, then He’d go home. Immediately after going home after His bath, then He’d worship His Shaligram-sila, self-manifested deity of Vishnu, but He would see it as Krishna.
After worshiping His Narayana, then He would water the Tulasi tree and circumambulate the Tulasi. Then, He would sit down and the wonderful prasadam which was cooked by mother Sachi and Hi… and uh, His wife Lakshmipriya. Lakshmipriya would bring that uh, prasadam, big mound of rice with uh, su… uh, sukta, bitter, spinaches sak, different types of green leafy vegetables, different kinds of uh, chachories, burnt purposely charcoaled, boiled type of uh, vegetables and various kinds of vegetables and uh, preparations and this would be personally served by His wife, Lakshmipriya and His mother would just see how this was going.
She would very, very, satisfied to see Lord Caitanya taking prasadam. She would be very satisfied by that. So people, they didn’t know that Lord Caitanya was actually uh, actually Krishna. They took that He was of course leading a very holy life, very pure life, doing… as a pure brahmana, they had that respect. He was a great scholar, great pandita, but He was keeping His actual identity hidden from them, and He was always uh, joking with different people in various subtle ways.
This was of course uh, very humorous in a way. You see, Lord Caitanya would like… He would go around the town with His friends, with His students and tell… He would go like… He’d go into the handloomer house. He was equal with everyone. He would just go… and just you know, knock and go in someone’s house, and they would welcome Him. They give Him a nice seat.
He’d go into the handloomer’s house, and the handloomer would pay his obeisances because He was a very… the greatest scholar in the town. He’d just come and he’d say, you know, “What can we do for you?”, and He says, “What cloth do you have? Bring Me some cloth. What’s the… what’s the latest cloth?” (Devotees laughing) Then He’d look at the cloth, and say, “Alright. Give Me this one, and give me this dhoti.”, and about every ten days He’d get a whole new set. (Devotees laughing) Very, very, very good uh, dresser. (Devotees laughing)
Sometimes the person would give it free, sometime, “How much?”, they would say, “Well You know the price. What do You want to give?”, so He’d give some conch shells. In those days they didn’t use money so much, they used mainly conch shells. Of course, for big things they’d use money but for little things like cloth and that, they just used some conch.
So, He’d buy it, put on His new set, give the old set to the students, and then go off. Then uh, He went over to the cowherds… from the handloomers He’d go over to the cow herders. When He’d go to the cowherders, say “He Gopala! Hey cow-herders!” Then they… They’d say, “Oh! It’s Nimai Pandit!” and say, “Come on, come on!”
They’d give Him a nice seat and they’d uh, wash His feet and they’d bow down and they would say that, “Yes?”, and He would say, “Well, come on! Bring on the milk! Bring on the yogurt! Bring on the ghee! Bring on the cheese!” But then uh, “But I don’t have any money, so how will I…” They said, “That’s alright.” They brought, and then they… they got… they gave Him and His students, they gave them so many offerings of milk products. This way, they’d have various little exchanges. Sometimes Lord Caitanya would encourage them in various ways. So then, Lord Caitanya, He’d go from the cowherder… like this He’d go in the whole town, make His little rounds. He’d go to the… to the scented oil merchant. Again, give a nice seat, He says, “Well, what do you have today?” The scented oil, he said, “Well, I have got such an oil that if You put on today, go to bed tonight, tomorrow morning if You still don’t have the scent, You can get Your money back.” (Devotees laughing)
Lord Caitanya said, “Well, but I don’t have any money. I am just a poor brahmana, just a poor scholar, what do I have of money?” So, they would all melt when they’d see Lord Caitanya, these were all you see… after performing many, many austerities they were able to… to be in Navadvipa and in the Lord’s… in this informal way, is going, visiting their house, visiting their establishment and talking with them.
So then they gave some oil. Disciples, rubbed Lord Caitanya special oil for His head, oil on His uh… on His body. Then again, they left the oil man’s house, going down the street, all the other scholars would, “Here comes Nimai Pandita! swoosh and they would all run (Devotees laughing), kind of like the lion coming with the whole flock.
After that Lord Caitanya then, went to the florist to the person who makes these malas, and all the mala… with great respect offered a seat to Lord Caitanya and Lord Caitanya said, “Well, you have any malas for any humble brahmana?”, And then he gave a beautiful garland to Lord Caitanya and uh, He said “Well, I don’t have any money.”. He said, “Well, You give or not give that is not a problem, actually. This is all for Your worship.” So, in this way, Lord Caitanya gave His merciful glance on the… on the florists and again, He went on with His students. They were wan… wandering around, and then uh He went to the uh house of the uh… of the uh, pan, betel merchant. So, there He sat down; the betel merchant gave a nice seat, offered Him all respect. Then uh, he offered Him, “Here have some nice pan.” Then he brought out different type of spices for Lord Caitanya, and He took His pan, gave His blessings, and then went on out through the town again.
In this way He was going with all of His followers and uh, visiting everyone and everyone was reciprocating with Him. In this way, just like when Lord Krishna, He went to Mathura, He used through walk through the whole town and everyone would come out and see Him, from Kubja to this one and that one, and Lord Caitanya He was going just like Krishna was going through Mathura, He was going through the whole of Navadvipa from house to house, person to person, and everyone was uh… was conscious of Lord Caitanya and actually, they were hoping that Lord Caitanya would again visit. It wasn’t every day that He would visit, He was going like this gradually, one to another. So then Lord Caitanya went to the house of uh, Sanka Bone that means one who makes jewelry from conch shells. So he offered Lord Caitanya some conch shells for His uh… for His wife, Lord Caitanya… and can’t remember there’s so many… every one, there’s a little jokes that Lord Caitanya would play with them, to embrace… can’t remember all the details, but uh… Then uh, Lord Caitanya went out, then there was one astrologer, who had some special power to see the future. So, Lord Caitanya went there, and He… very respectfully He told him, “You are a great scholar, you know the past, present and the future by your astrological and your visionary ability, could you tell Me what was I in My previous birth… in My previous birth?”
So the astrologer started to chant a Gopala-krishna mantra to… to give him the vision. Then he started looking at Lord Caitanya… closed his eyes, meditating. All of a sudden, his vision, he saw sanka, gada, padma, cakra. He saw there lotus flower, he saw the uh, conch shell, the uh, club and the uh, Sudarsana cakra discus, and the form of Narayana.
He was completely astounded and there he was seeing Narayana. Then, gradually his vision was coming, and there, he saw that there was, inside of a prison house, and there was a baby, and then became… then the Narayana became a baby in the hand of Vasudeva, and Devaki. Vasudeva took the baby over to uh, across the raging river, to the place of uh Krishna in uh… to the place of Nanda and uh, Yasoda in uh, Gokula, and uh, changed the babies and gave the baby boy, blue color, Krishna to mother Yashoda and saw the boy grow up, saw Him breast-feeding from mother Yashoda, saw Him growing up and then saw Him playing on the flute, dancing in the rasa-lila, and tending the cows. And, like this he saw Krishna… the whole Krishna-lila went before him. He said, “Why am I seeing this?” Then he… then he looked and there he’d see Lord Caitanya, Sacinandana, and then he couldn’t understand, “Why… why am I seeing?”, then again he closed his eyes and meditate, and then he, he saw… there, he saw Ramacandra, green color, with His bow, and Hanuman, the great monkey, and he saw that uh, the form of Ramacandra.
Then he started seeing, “Here’s Matsya, swimming.”, the… the incarnation of God as a fish, swimming in the big ocean, saving the Vedas. Then, he saw, “Here’s Bali saved by Vamanadeva.” Saw the form of the Lord as Vamanadeva.
Then he saw the form as Nrsimhadeva, killing Hiranyakashipu. Saw the form of the Lord as uh, Varaha, lifting up the earth from the uh… from the uh, lower regions of the universe where it… where it had become dislocated from orbit, and then again reestablished.
In this way he saw… and then again he looked at Lord Caitanya and uh, he saw that He was just very powerful and and uh, effulgent and uh, filled with spiritual potency, and he said that, “This is some great mystic yogi, or this is a great demigod, who has come, and somehow he is giving me all these visions, just to bewilder me.” This is somehow, some test or something; he’s not an ordinary person.
But because of the illusion, you see, he couldn’t figure out that actually why he was seeing… whether this was Krishna Himself. He was seeing what is His previous birth, and then he’s seeing that this is all Krishna’s avatars. Because see, the illusion is there, covering Krishna. Krishna doesn’t want someone to realize, even He’s standing in front of you, you won’t be able to actually have faith, or have understanding, that “This actually Krishna. This is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
So, that was what the… So then, he became completely just bewildered, and he offered his obeisances to Lord, but he thought… to Lord Caitanya, but he thought that He was some demigod or something that came down. He couldn’t understand who Lord Caitanya was, but he knew He was someone very powerful, but he didn’t tie the two things together although he had all these visions, which was the same thing that happened in Krishna’s pastime when an astrologer went to see Krishna, Garga muni. Then the… Nanda asked Garga muni to “Please, do the horoscope for Krishna.”, then he saw that, “In the previous births Krishna was green, He was yellow, He was red.” In this way He also had the vision of Krishna, previous incarnations.
So then, Lord Caitanya, He went with His followers and He went over to see banana peddler Sridhara, a very poor man. (Devotees laughing) He used to sell bananas, banana flowers, banana thor… thor, what do you call it? Core of banana tree...
Devotee: Peel… Peel?
Jayapataka Swami: The..the thor, the center part of the tree, the core of the banana tree. And also all types of see… vyanjana, or various types of vegetables, and uh… but he was very, very poor. So, Lord Caitanya would see him though, and uh, he would give Lord Caitanya a very nice seat, and again, there was a nice reciprocation. So then uh, Lord Caitanya asked, “How everything is going?”, and he said “We’re… whatever I’m getting, am trying to offer 50% to the Ganges and uh, puja.”, and so then Lord Caitanya would say that uh, “But uh, your cloth has got holes in it, (Devotees laughing), and your house is not… the roof is not repaired, there’s some holes in the roof, you see. Look at all…”
He would joke you see in this way, He’d say “Look at all the materialists that are worshipping various demigods. They are so rich, and you are so poor. So why… You are… you are a devotee of the Supreme Lord, who is the husband of the goddess of fortune. Why you are poor, and why these people who are worshipping demigods, who are doing other materialistic things, why they are rich?” So then, ko… banana peddler Sridhara, he said that “My cloth may be short or maybe long, or may have one or two rips, or not, but after all I have a cloth. You see. I have some cloth, that’s enough. And the house is air conditioned, (Devotees laughing) the house is cool. It’s not too hot. It’s temperate. And he said that whether one is uh… whether one is a big king and he’s got so many jewels, and so many servants and so much wealth, and opulence and eats off of golden plates, or whether on the one hand you see that there’s a bird in the tree and it doesn’t have any cloth, he doesn’t have any helper, he goes alone and picks up branches from here and there and builds his own house, with no helper, and he picks up some grains and he feeds his family and that’s about it, but whether one is a big king or whether one is a bird in the tree, the standard of happi… the happiness is there in both, and misery is there in both.
I am simply concerned with serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, simply practicing my uh, devotional service. I don’t care to try to imitate the materialists. Actually, Kolevecha Sridhara, or banana-peddler Sridhara in English, he knew that in this material world, no matter what arrangement you make there is always a mix of happiness and distress. You may be a President Reagan, but you have your headaches, you see, and you have got your… and you’ve got… he’s also got maybe, his joys but he doesn’t have pure joy, neither pure headache, it is mixed. But Kolevecha Sridhara, banana-peddler Sridhara, he is offering simply whatever he has; he is offering it to Krishna. “If Krishna wants to make me rich, He’ll make me rich; I am doing my honest living. I am selling my vegetables; I am doing what I can. I am not going to stop worshipping Krishna, for some kind of material desire.” So, actually, he was always happy. He was happy because he wasn’t dependent on a material situation. Even he was in the poorer situation, he was actually the richest person. So then Lord Caitanya told him “Actually you are a very, very rich person. I know that you have somewhere stashed, somewhere hidden, huge wealth. You have concealed your wealth and I am going to reveal it one day and then let everyone know that this is all a show. Actually you are the richest person, here in Navadvipa.
So it appeared to banana-salesman Sridhar, (Devotees laughing) a very simple devotee, that uh, Lord Caitanya was threatening to cause him, you know… you know, and he was a little bit afraid of Lord Caitanya, because He was much bigger than him (Devotees laughing) and if He wanted to He could probably beat him up and being… He’s a brahmana and I am just a banana salesman and I couldn’t make any objection any way, I wouldn’t want to also offend Lord Caitanya, so I better just cooperate with Him.
So then, Lord Caitanya said “You are very rich, so you should give me some bananas and some vegetables, but I don’t have any money.” So, he was thinking, “Well, any way actually… it’s a great opportunity for me, He’s a pure Brahmana… He’s… Alright, He’s a great Brahmana, He’s a great master, He is coming.”, so, he said alright. But there was a little bit of intimidation, there. He was a little bit afraid, but actually Lord Caitanya was doing it in a very friendly way, and he was taking it like that.
He di… actually didn’t want Lord Caitanya to go anywhere else. So he gave Lord Caitanya some bananas and some other vegetables and things and Lord Caitanya would regularly eat only the vegetables from Sridhara. But then again, Lord Caitanya said that, “I am going to reveal your real hidden wealth one day.” But, actually Lord Caitanya was telling the truth, because banana salesman Sridhara was the richest person.
He had actually pure devotion for Krishna. Krishna was keeping him in that poor condition just to show an example that a devotee even in a poor condition does not give up. It is not that just because it’s opulent a devotee is a devotee, that even if the going is rough, a devotee stays very dedicated in his service.
Sometimes Krishna takes a devotee and makes an example, puts him in a little difficulty just to show people that, “See, he is a pure devotee. This is the way a pure devotee should act even in difficulty.” So Kolevecha Sridhar, the banana-peddler Sridhar, Lord Caitanya, in the futu… eventually did reveal his actual glory. But, since He was not Himself revealing His position He naturally, also did not reveal Kolevecha Sridhara’s.
So then, Lord Caitanya said, “What… what about the mother Ganges? He said “Well, the Mother Ganges is purifying the whole world. All the… the sacred river Ganges uh, is uh, coming from the lotus uh, feet of Vishnu.” He said, “Who do you think I am?” “I think You are a part of Vishnu, You are uh, a brahmana, You are Vishnamsa, You are a part of Vishnu, therefore I respect You and uh, worship You in this way.” And then Lord Caitanya said that uh, “You don’t know that I am the source of the mother Ganges? “Vishnu Vishnu Vishnu! Normally when boys grow up they get more serious but day by day You become more mischievous. How can You say such a thing?” You see.
In this way there was a… actually Lord Caitanya, if He doesn’t want to let someone know, then they can’t understand who He is. So, even though He was making all these different comments, of course, no one would take Him seriously until later when actually He finally fully manifested the sankirtana movement, and then it was Advaita Gosai and Srivasa Thakura who actually could understand first who Caitanya Mahaprabhu, was and of course Nityananda.
In this way then… but Lord Caitanya as He was playing the part of a devotee, He would not let people call Him as Krishna. This was just a rare thing He was joking with… or He was playing some particular pastime with Kolevecha Sridhar. Otherwise ordinarily, especially when He started His preaching He would not let anyone call Him as Krishna. He’d cover His own ears and say it was a great offense. And then unless He was in some specific ecstatic mood where He sometimes rarely came into that mood when He actually manifested His mood as Krishna. Only that was only amongst His intimate associates. Like that there are so many very esoteric and very transcendental pastimes regarding Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
The most wonderful of course is the fact that He has engaged everyone in the chanting this Hare Krishna sankirtan. Actually this chanting of Hare Krishna is not new. It’s not that it was only in this Kali-yuga, in this particular age. In the Treta yuga the great sage Valmiki, he was previously Dasu Ratnakar, he was a… he was a fe… he was a ferocious dacoit, a armed robber and murderer, and he was approached by Narada muni and after a great long story, of course, but finally, he was told to chant the name of Rama. He said “I cannot chant the name of Rama, can’t chant the name.” Couldn’t say Rama, said, “I can’t chant any of these types of holy names. I have been a murderer too long, it is not possible.” So then Narada muni thought, he told him you just chant mara, mara means to kill. He said, “That, I can chant, hundred times over. I am used to those things.” So then, he started chanting:
mara mara mara mara
mara mara mara mara
mara mara mara mara
mara mara mara mara * chanting begins to blur *
mara mara mara mara
mara rama rama rama
mara mara mara...
and when he chanted together it comes out "Rama Rama Rama..."
[End of Recording]
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi 19 November 2014
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the Internati