Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 3 Chapter 5
The Breaking of Mahāprabhu's Sannyāsa Staff
Thereafter, the Lord set forth together with Mukuṇḍa, Gadādhara, and other saintly brāhmaṇas. He placed the avadhūta in front of the party and Himself just behind him, and together they appeared like the radiant moon in conjunction with Venus.
While they travelled, at times Śrī Gaurāṅga would sing songs of Kṛṣṇa, and sometimes He would explain their meaning. Sometimes He would faint; sometimes He would run very swiftly, at other times walk slowly, and sometimes He would walk with a stumbling gait because His composure was smashed to pieces by ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.
At evening, if some suitable food had been obtained, Gaura Hari would eat after it was offered to Kṛṣṇa. At night, abandoning sobriety, that Divine Person sang of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and cried out for Him. Thus He brought happiness to the great souls accompanying Him.
The Blessed Lord personally taught them one verse. Please hear it, for through it one can obtain undeviating attachment for His lotus feet:
rāma rāghava rāma rāghava rāma rāghava pāhi mām
Kṛṣṇa keśava Kṛṣṇa keśava Kṛṣṇa keśava trāhi mām
rāma - O reservoir of pleasure!; rāghava - O best of the Raghu dynasty!; pāhi mām - protect me; kṛṣṇa - O all-attractive Lord!; keśava - O Lord whose hair is beautiful!; trāhi mām - preserve me.
O Rāma! O Rāghava! O Rāma! O Rāghava! O Rāma! O Rāghava! Please protect Me. O Kṛṣṇa! O Keśava! O Kṛṣṇa! O Keśava! O Kṛṣṇa! O Keśava! Please preserve Me.
With a melodious tone and smiling face, the greatest of sages, the eternal protector of mankind, sang these two lines to instruct bhakti to the people in general.
Sometimes a toll collector would approach them, taking them to be some travelling beggars. Upon hailing them, that man would spontaneously feel joyful and free from fatigue.
Once, another toll collector approached the jagad-guru, who was surrounded by His fellow travellers on the path. This person was desirous to extract some money from the party, and so he detained the Lord from continuing on.
The Lord gestured with a wave of His hand, saying to that man, "Go far away from here!" At that, the toll collector left them, and the illustrious Gaura went blissfully on His way.
Once the guru of the universe placed His daṇa in the avadhūta's hand and went ahead, while Nityānanda walked slowly behind.
Munificent Nityānanda, His mind fraught with anguish, thought, "My Prabhu carries a daṇa, but I shall take it from Him.
"One can easily understand Him to be the Supreme Lord, the reservoir of all opulence, for His presence is brilliant like fire. He is the Supreme Divine Person. He is filled with splendor, and eternally bears in His four hands the conch, disc, club and lotus. Therefore, enough of this stick!
"At present Śrī Hari displays the behaviour of an ordinary man, and therefore He holds the staff of a renunciate. In His previous avatāra, He played upon the muralī flute and His form enchanted the mind of all living beings.
"Thus He enjoyed pleasure pastimes with Śrī Rādhā." At that moment, Nityānanda came alongside Śrī Gaura Hari, who seeing Him, said, "Now give back My daṇa."
The avadhūta apprehensively replied, "By the design of Providence, while walking my foot slipped upon the ground, and Your daṇa snapped and is broken."
Becoming angry the Lord said to the avadhūta, "All the devas headed by Śiva together with their śaktis resided on My daṇa.
"By breaking my daṇa you have given them pain. Do you think that giving devatās pain is of no consequence?"
Hearing this, Nityānanda-deva replied, "I have rather done them great good." A moment later, the Lord gave up His anger and said:
"When I have travelled to see Lord Jagannātha, the Supreme Male and wielder of the cakra, I must stay a few months by His side.
"My daṇa must be abandoned. Such is My opinion. Nityānanda has thrown it on the ground and broken it. What else can I do?"
So saying, He embraced Nityānanda and commanded Him in a charming tone, "Always act in compliance with My wishes."
Thus ends the Fifth Sarga entitled "The Breaking of Mahāprabhu's Sannyāsa Staff," in the Third Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.