Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 1 Chapter 8

Eighth Sarga

Jagannātha Miśra Attains the Highest Perfection


Hearing Dāmodara's words, Murāri considered and pondered over them. Then first bowing to Śrī Hari, he spoke as follows, "Please hear me with rapt attention."


When a very pure soul meditates on Śrī Hari, or speaks and hears about Him, the Lord thereby enters and arises within his heart.


The Lord creates a semblance of Himself in the bhakta, endowing him with His own eternal potencies and prowess, and thus the bhakta forever forgets all identification with his material mind, body, and related attachments.


With the passage of time, as he becomes more and more aloof from externals, at last he performs his bodily functions spontaneously, as did the enduringly jubilant devotee, Prahlāda Mahārāja, in ancient times.


One who bathes in the ocean feels a oneness with it. However upon reaching the shore, one remembers once more the separate state of his body. Similarly the saintly wives of the cowherd men of Vraja would on occasion taste oneness with Lord Kṛṣṇa (as in the rāsa dance but when again they engaged in their household chores, they felt duality).


The Lord performed this pastime to show the exalted stage attainable by the Kṛṣṇa- bhakta, who has awakened his svarūpa in relation to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.


So that people are not confused regarding this point, the Gaura Hari taught here that He lives and acts through the body of His devotee. Of this there is no doubt.


When Lord Kṛṣṇa slew the Keśī demon, and thus displayed His glory and power to Nārada, that exalted sage fell to the earth offering obeisances like a rod. Thus that vaiṣṇava's transcendental quality became magnified one hundred times as he departed for Mathurā.


Similarly Śrī Rāmacandra, the cause of the cosmic manifestation showed His universal form to Śiva and thereafter He performed further human-like activities.


O brāhmaṇa, listen further to the sublime history of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. A mortal being who hears it with full faith becomes freed from the bondage of birth and death.


While staying in the house of His guru, the victorious Lord, the husband of Sarasvatī, studied all the Vedas. Thereafter He began to teach His own students.


While Śrī Gaura Hari was happily studying Vedānta-sūtra and the other scriptures, His most fortunate father the exalted brāhmaṇa, Jagannātha Miśra returned to the Lord's abode.


By the will of providence, Jagannātha became afflicted with a fever that plundered his very life force. Seeing that His father was in such a condition, Viśvambhara Hari together with His mother brought His father to the bank of the Gaṅgā surrounded by bhagavad-bhaktas all of whom were fully absorbed in Hari-kīrtana.


Embracing His father's feet, Śrī Hari addressed him in a voice choked with tears, "O venerable master, dear father, you are abandoning Me so suddenly. Where will you now go?"


His father eagerly drank through his ears his son's nectarine words, and replied, "I have wholly dedicated You wholly to the feet of Lord Rāghunātha."


When the best of the gods with mighty Indra appeared in the sky and the people on earth were immersed in hari-saṅkīrtana, then that best of the twice-born entered the waters of the Gaṅgā, abandoning his mortal coil. Taking his seat on a chariot of the celestials, he departed for Śrī Hari's abode. He was an eternally liberated soul, who came by his free will to benefit humanity by showing an example of pure paternal devotion.


When Jagannātha Miśra had departed for the destination of perfected souls, Śacī Devī was deeply afflicted with grief. Surrounded by a group of women, she fell lamenting at the feet of her prabhu, as the female osprey laments for her lost mate.


As the ocean of mercy repeatedly grieved for His father, tears cascaded down from His eyes and glistened on His chest creating an illusion of a lustrous string of pearls.


Though filled with sadness, Prabhu was pacified by His kinsmen. Then He performed acts of purification to invoke an auspicious future for His father. All these were performed by brāhmaṇas according to the guidance of scripture.


Apparently dejected, the Lord feeling very affectionate for His father, used His accumulated wealth to perform a yajña for his father's welfare utilizing clay pots and other pure ingredients. Afterwards, He honoured each of the brāhmaṇas present according to their seniority and age.


A man who recites with attention this narration of the entrance of Śrī Gaurāṅga's father into the spiritual abode will also attain the sky-Gaṅgā at death. Immediately giving up all contamination, he will attain the abode of Śrī Hari.

Thus ends the Eighth Sarga entitled "Jagannātha Miśra Attains the Highest Perfection," in the First Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.