Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 1 Chapter 10
Festivities at Gaura's Wedding
Then the Lord gave to each and every member of the twice-born, chewing pān with spices and a fragrant flower garland. Then He anointed them with pulp of sandal and scented oils of matchless fragrance. All the people exultantly sang out of gladness.
Śrī Vallabha Ācārya came with saintly brāhmaṇas, accompanied by their chaste wives and others. He worshipped his son-in-law by offering Him scented oils and fragrant garlands.
Then at dawn when the clear sky was reddened by the rising sun, Gaura Hari took His bath according to the guidance of scripture, and with the assistance of brāhmaṇas He ritually honoured His forefathers and offered them oblations to relieve them of any distress. He also offered oblations to the gods and to all godly beings.
Then a great festival flourished throughout the day as the pleasing vibrations of the brāhmaṇas intoning mantras from the Yajur Veda combined with the rhythmic beats of mridangas, kettle drums, tabors and other drums, as well as the charming and auspicious sounds of ululating from the lotus-like lips of the lovely ladies.
Śacī Devī joyously welcomed the ladies of her family as well as the gentlemen in every way she could. She requested of them, "How can I, a poor widow, perform this wedding alone? Kindly assist me by doing all that requires to be done."
Hearing such pitiable words from His mother, Gaura Hari's mind became much distressed by thoughts of His dear father, and from His eyes tear-drops larger than pearls fell upon the mounds of His chest, making the illusion of a necklace.
Standing amongst the chaste women, Śacī Devī became struck with wonder, to see her son so sorrowful. "O father Nimāi," she said, "On this auspicious occasion, why do You let these inauspicious tears fall from Your eyes?"
Nimāi sighed, His face became dark by remembrance of His father, and He reproached His mother for these words. Standing by her, He replied in a deep voice, resounding like a water-laden cloud newly arrived in the sky.
"O Mother, do you speak today as if distressed because I have no wealth and followers, or is it rather because My father, who gave shelter to others, is no longer visible to our eyes?
"You saw the pots filled with fine betelnut given thrice to the saintly brāhmaṇas and how they were all anointed with fragrant oils.
"You know how much wealth was spent on other deserving persons and how I satisfied their every desire. Truly My real power lies in spiritual duties, yet still I am acting in this way to show an exemplary character for all people.
"Although bereft of My father, I possess unfathomable power. Still, dear mother, I am filled with sorrow to hear you speak such words." Hearing this, His mother consoled Him sweetly.
At that auspicious moment, noble and faithful Brāhmaṇa’s sons assembled to anoint Gaura Candra, that best among males, whose attractive luster was enchanting to the womenfolk, with the pulp of sandal and oil of aguru. They adorned the only friend of all living beings with silken cloths embroidered by jewels, as well as garlands of choice flowers and precious necklaces.
At that moment, the venerable Vallabhācārya's duty to his forefathers and to the devatās, concerning his daughter were complete. His daughter Lakṣmī had been decorated with ornaments and her complexion shone with a lustre like precious white gold.
Then he brought the exalted brāhmaṇas, whom he had invited, and after introducing them to the bridegroom, the brāhmaṇas said, "To invoke auspiciousness let us immediately start the festive procession with hymns from the Sāma-Veda."
Then, just as Śiva went with Pārvatī to be wed on a golden peak of Mount Śumeru, Gaura Hari went to the Ācārya's home in a palanquin carried by godly men engaged by Vallabhācārya. All the gentlemen called, "Jaya! Jaya!" and lit the way with blazing torches.
When they arrived at his āśrama, the Ācārya himself ushered in Śrī Gaurāṅga and giving Him a heart-felt welcome. He bathed the Lord's feet, offered valuable gifts, poured refreshing spiced water to sip, adorned Him with fragrant flower garlands interwoven with gold tinsel, and burned incense scented with aguru.
The golden luminescence of the bridegroom's smiling face shone with the brightness of the full moon, defeating Cupid, and His slender body was as brilliant as Mount Śumeru.
His hands with beautiful lotus palms glittered with rings, bracelets and bangles, defeating the opulence of a forest of desire trees, for Śrī Hari fulfils the desires of all those who surrender unto Him.
The moon-like lustre of Śrī Vallabha's nicely ornamented daughter dispelled all darkness. Leading her forward, he offered her at the feet of the guru of all the worlds. Thus joined together, that couple's beauty shone forth most effulgently.
When the brilliant opulence of those two luminous faces met, their sublime splendor brought to mind the conjunction of the moon with the auspicious star Rohiṇī. Then, like Śiva and Pārvatī, they took delight in showering one another with heaps of flowers.
The Lord of Lakṣmī was seated, and Lakṣmī also shyly sat down. Then after purifying himself by acamana, Vallabhācārya, who was well conversant with Vedic precepts, approached the Lord to ritually present his daughter to Him.
In ancient times Śrī Brahmā washed those lotus feet. Thus he attained the intelligence for universal creation. Now Śrī Vallabha bathed those same feet. The Ācārya desired to eradicate the darkness in his heart by taking shelter of Viśvambhara's dazzling toe-nails.
When Gaura appeared in a former avatāra, the great Indra once presented Him his own imperial lion-throne, bedecked with gems and the royal blanket. Now Śrī Vallabha offered a regal seat of silk to that same Lord, Śrī Gaurāṅga Hari, who was dressed in splendid yellow garments. Then he drank the beauty of the Lord through his eyes.
He honoured the Lord according to the Vedic process of etiquette, beginning with the offering of arghya (hand-wash) and so forth and the hairs of his body stood erect out of bliss. Feeling very grateful to Him, Vallabha placed the hand of his lotus-eyed daughter in the hand of Śrī Hari.
When that great and joyous festival ended, the all-pervasive and sense-controlled Lord Viśvambhara, who takes away the burden of material existence from all the worlds, brought Lakṣmī Devī to His home. They rode on palanquins and were applauded by the townsfolk.
Thus ends the Tenth Sarga entitled "Festivities at Gaura's Wedding," in the First Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.