Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 1 Chapter 7

Seventh Sarga

Lord Viśvambhara's Boyhood Pastimes


Hearing this, Dāmodara Paṇḍita, who was feeling great delight as he meditated on these pastimes of Śrī Hari's lotus feet, requested to hear the story of the Śrī Hari's older brother, saying:


"Please narrate factually the celebrated story of Viśvarūpa." Murāri replied, "So be it, O brāhmaṇa. Now listen carefully, as I relate it to you."


So saying, the physician then began to tell the glorious and pleasing history of Viśvarūpa, who was actually a direct expansion of Śrī Baladeva.


Śrī Viśvarūpa was an ocean of good qualities. At the age of sixteen, through following the path of hearing about and contemplating the Lord's name, form, paraphernalia, entourage and pastimes, that very pure soul had achieved the qualification of ācārya, a teacher by example. He possessed very powerful intelligence, and His qualities were exemplary of one matured in love for Kṛṣṇa. He was all-knowing, and His mind was at all times attached to the feet of Narahari. Hence he was very jubilant, peaceful and fully satisfied. He was unattached to the material world, and was conversant with the Vedic wisdom and rasa-tattva, the science of transcendental relationships.


When his father was alone, he would consider the selection of a suitable bride for his son. Over and over he pondered over this question. The brāhmaṇa's son knew full well about this.


Forbearing Viśvarūpa knew everything of His father's thoughts. Therefore desiring to remain within the association of sādhus, He gave up his home, crossed the Gaṅgā and accepted the order of sannyāsa, which is difficult for others.


When His father heard of this he became delirious, and His saintly mother lamented very woefully. However, as well-wishers of their son, they nobly said, "Our son is attached to the renounced order. So be it."


Thus offering blessings for the welfare of their elder son, they themselves took the vow of sages by practicing forbearance, and thereby abandoned their lamentation. Then they placed their remaining son, the shelter of the universe, upon their laps and at once tasted bliss.


Then Gaura Hari spoke, "Pitājī, My brother has departed for distant countries, and given up your service. I will surely serve you and Mātā. May you always be happy."


As they heard the words of their son, which were not trivial but profound, meaning- ful and charming, the father and mother became happy, and they embraced Him with tears of joy in their eyes.


Their limbs were made content by the intimate touch of His body. Their hearts became melted and for that instant they knew nothing else, in the same way that accomplished yogīs attain trance and consider neither this world nor the next.


Then Viśvambhara studied with a mind to serve His father, but at times He became absorbed in play in the midst of other boys. While so engaged, His body became grey from the dust and He became oblivious to all else, including food, although He was hungry.


Once when His father observed the independent Supreme Lord in that condition, he chastised the boy, desiring His welfare, "Why have You abandoned Your study and all other duties in order to play in the midst of boys while tormented by hunger?"


That night towards the end of His rest, a noble brāhmaṇa spoke to him in a dream, "Why do you think so little of your son? You are just like an animal who thinks nothing of a touchstone.


"Such an animal, if his body is decorated with a silken garment embroidered with jewels, will he not chew the garment?" The Miśra fearlessly answered the brāhmaṇa, "Even though Gaura may be Nārāyaṇa Himself, still in this life He is my son.


"And thus it is my assured dharma to chastise Him." At this the vipra replied, "Very good!" and then he departed. The affectionate father, feeling much enlightened, described the dream many times over.


When the people of Navadvīpa heard of this dream, they jubilantly thought that Viśvambhara must be a very unique and exalted personality who had come just to fulfil their every desire. But the father and mother were content just to think of Him as their son.


Once while dwelling in their home, suddenly the son of Śacī stood up, displaying a brilliant red luster like the rising sun. As His entire body shone with His potency, He commanded, "Mother, do as I bid you!"


Glancing timidly at her son who had become so dazzling with power, she felt mystified and replied, "Dear son, whatever You say, I shall do! Come, tell me what is on Your mind."


Hearing this, He replied with His nectarine voice , "Mātā, henceforward on the holy day of Hari, Śrī Ekādaśī, you must fast." Hearing her son's order, Śacī accepted it enthusiastically, saying, "So be it!"


Once after Nimāi had eaten an offering of betel nut and chewing spices, presented by a visiting brāhmaṇa, the brāhmaṇa said to Śacī Mātā, "Now I am departing. Kindly take great care for the body of your son; do not be inattentive for even half a moment."


Just after the brāhmaṇa had thus spoken, Gaura abruptly stood up and swooned, falling like a rod to the ground. Seeing Viśvambhara's condition, His mother became stricken with anxiety.


She bathed him with the waters of the Gaṅgā, which are equal to immortal nectar. Then He awoke, restored to wellbeing and happily continued His life with natural vigour as before. Jagannātha Miśra became astonished to hear of this event, and he exclaimed to his wife, "Certainly we cannot comprehend the power of the Lord's illusory energy!"


Upon hearing this divine narration from Murāri Gupta, the brāhmaṇa Dāmodara Paṇḍita said, "Blessed sir, what is this tale which you have narrated? Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the spiritual master of this cosmic manifestation has by His free will taken birth as Viśvambhara.


"Why then did the brāhmaṇa say to Śacī Mā, I shall go now. Therefore take care for your son, dear lady.' For what reason did he speak thus? I am much confused at this.


"For how can the Lord's illusory energy affect the Lord? Kindly speak of this. And may this history of Śrī Hari bring benefit to all the people of the world!"

Thus ends the Seventh Sarga entitled "Lord Viśvambhara's Boyhood Pastimes," in the First Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.