Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 1 Chapter 6

Sixth Sarga

The Playful Pastimes of Śrī Gaurāṅga's Childhood


As time passed, the husband and wife delighted to see the child crawling on His knees, and to hear the melodious sound of His prattle.


That monarch among the twice-born had a face resembling a red lotus. By the rays beaming from His sweet smile, He dispelled all darkness from the minds of godly men.


He is the maintainer of the universe since time immemorial. Thus His father intuitively gave Him the very beautiful name, "Viśvambhara."


Śrī Viśvambhara Hari's body was dazzling like molten gold. His sparkling eyes were wide-spread like the petals of a lotus. His garments were scattered and His beauty all-attractive. Curly locks clustered round His face, and His presence dispelled all inauspiciousness.


His face resembled the moon as it spreads nectar throughout the night, and His charming speech also was nectarine. His appearance was thus altogether charming, enhanced still further by His ornaments, loose bangles and arm-bands.


The gleaming palms of His lotus hands and the soles of His lotus feet had the ruddy hue of kuṅkuma powder. Day by day, He grew swiftly like the moon, lord of the night, in its waxing fortnight.


As time passed, that limitlessly lustrous Lord began to walk. Thus whenever He withdraw from her surface his reddish soles, He made the earth goddess experience pangs of separation.


Gaura Janārdana, who inspires the hearts of all men, thrice ate the rice cooked by a brāhmaṇa who was wandering on pilgrimage. He then reminded that brāhmaṇa of their previous association during the eternal festival within the house of Nanda Mahārāja.


As He played with other little boys of the same age, all the children would duel with one another, using the twigs of trees for their weapons, and they derived much joy from those games.


Śrī Hari, in the guise of an ordinary boy, would sometimes imitate the antics of monkeys. Standing with a single foot on the ground, He would touch the knee of another boy with His own knee.


Once seeing that His mother was exasperated with Him and was attempting to restrain Him, Gaura Hari became filled with fury and broke all her clay pots.


In ancient times this same child also broke pots. At that time Yaśodā Mātā bound Him with the ropes used for tying cows while Bāla Gopāla trembled fearfully. But at present that same Yaśodā, appearing as Śacī, trembled in fear to see the wrathful face of Viśvambhara.


Then, climbing on the very top of the dump of abandoned and smashed clay cooking pots, Gaura Hari sat down on that unclean spot in full view of His mother and laughed at her.


Seeing Him, Śacī said, "My dear boy, please leave that impure place. When You have bathed and are again clean, come and sit on my lap."


After she had spoken thus, the all-opulent Personality of Godhead, who is conversant with all truths, who gives wisdom to all wise men, spoke the philosophy which had formerly been propounded by Dattātreya, the avadhūta sage.


"Hear me! The concept of cleanliness or uncleanliness is simply imaginary. This universe is known to be composed of earth, water, fire, air and space and there is but one source, Śrī Hari. From His non-dual lotus feet the universe was formerly manifested and distributed. He is an ocean of mercy, and forever illuminates this world. There is no one beyond Him. Just have faith in Lord Hari.


"Hence I am in a purified state and am not at any time contaminated. Just understand this, Mother. You should have no further doubts in this matter."


After her son had spoken in this way, Śacī Mātā clasped His hand, and leading Him away, bathed Him in the crystal-clear waters of the sky-Gaṅgā.


Then after a short time had passed, she again saw her son sitting on the heap of clay cooking-pots, and she chastised Him:


"You dull-brained boy! Why are You sitting in that contaminated place, although I have already forbidden You to do so?" Hearing these words from His mother, Śrī Viśvambhara replied angrily, "O foolish woman! As I explained to you before, this place is not in the least impure. So why do you scold Me?"


So saying He angrily threw a fragment of brick at her face. Becoming agitated on account of that blow, Śacī Mātā fainted and tumbled to the ground.


Then all the women came there and sprinkled Śacī with cool water. and Śrī Hari, enacting the role of a human child, quickly came to her loudly crying, "Mātā! Mātā!" Affectionately He placed His graceful hand upon her face and thus alleviated all pain from her heart.


At that Śacī Devī suddenly became fully conscious, and taking her son on her lap she became filled with intense maternal affection and delighted in Him, oblivious to all else.


Then one light-hearted lady said jokingly to the spiritual master of the cosmos, "If You can pick two coconuts and give them to Your mother, then she will be well. Otherwise she will die. But how can a little boy like You do this?!"


At hearing these words from the lady, Gaura Hari speedily scrambled down from His mother's lap and went out of the house. Immediately He returned bearing two coconuts, and gave them to Śacī Mātā.


The two coconuts had clearly been felled that very moment together with leaf and stem. Seeing this, the ladies were amazed and inquired of the boy, "Oh! Where did You get them and how?"


Then the very clever Viśvambhara, whose ancestral flag bears a calf, with loud cries baffled the curious ladies' questions and presented to His mother His smiling face, which resembles the blossoming lotus.


Now please hear further of the potent, astonishing, superhuman and virtuous activities of the magnanimous Lord. He is the supreme mystic who expands Himself as the all-pervasive Super-soul.


Once, while Śacī Devī was resting, she saw that her home was apparently filled with people of a very exalted nature, who were only slightly visible. Being much perturbed and anxious for her son who was lying in her lap, she hastily sent Him to her husband's room. On the way, Śrī Viśvambhara Hari was offered worship by the demigods.


While their son was walking through the courtyard, His parents heard very distinctly the sound of anklebells ringing on His feet, although He was not been wearing any. Confused, Jagannātha and Śacī asked one another, "What is that? Where is that sound coming from?"


When Jagannātha came in front of his son, he was even more mystified, for he saw very clearly that His lotus feet were without anklebells as before. He wondered, "Whence did that melodious sound of anklebells come?" With great affection the brāhmaṇa warmly embraced His son and thereby tasted transcendental bliss.

Thus ends the Sixth Sarga entitled "The Playful Pastimes of Śrī Gaurāṅga's Childhood," in the First Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.