Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 3 Chapter 1

First Sarga

Words of the Intelligent Ladies of Kaṇṭaka Town


After hearing the wonderful narrative of these transcendental pastimes of Śrī Hari, Dāmodara requested further Murāri Gupta, "Please narrate how our all-opulent Lord accepted the renounced order of life, and how He travelled to other lands as well as the city of Puruṣottama-deva.


"There are many tīrthas frequented and rendered service by sages. After that primeval Personality, whose mercy enchants my mind, saw the city of Puruṣottama, which of them did He visit?" Hearing these requests from that best of the twice- born, the physician replied, "Listen to me attentively as I narrate to you that history which is enlivening to the heart."


May Bhagavān now endow me with unparalleled ability so that my words delineating His glories may be very suitable and pleasing. May He give such sublime words that award nectar to the tongues of those who recite and astound the ears of those who hear. Words about Him are fully enriched by His names, and he who remembers and relishes their sublime meaning automatically receives total freedom from material bondage.


I adore that unborn, eternal form of radiant pure golden hue, the faultless personality of Śrī Caitanya-deva. Those souls whose hearts are cleansed of material desire and thus come to know that Supreme Truth at once are delighted within their minds by the lustrous nails of His lotus feet.


The Lord's feet are by nature transcendental and imbued with the immortal nectar of His devotional service. I offer my prayers unto those feet, which are offered elaborate worship by the host of devas. Even Bhagavān Śrī Śaṅkara incessantly sips that flower-honey of His lotus feet and thus becomes ever more complete in affectionate attachment for Śrī Hari's service.


After the tranquil Lord Gaura Candra, the emperor of rasikas, had instructed the physician whom he should accept as shelter, He returned to His home accompanied by His potencies, who had accepted the form of His devoted servitors. Then after passing that night in bemusement He rose up and departed.


The illustrious Lord crossed the banks of the divine river and set forth. When the chiefs of the twice-born heard this, their hearts sank as they felt unlimited perplexity. Their minds became bereft of sense, and agitated by a burning sorrow, they wept.


After a week had passed, Śrī Candra Śekhara Ācārya-Ratna, whose lustre was like the hue of molten gold, returned to Navadvīpa. There he met the devotees, whose lustre had wholly dissipated. By his effulgence, he appeared to cast even the beautiful full moon into oblivion.


All the bhaktas requested him to tell the nectar-topics of the lotus-eyed Lord. Śrī Candra Śekhara replied, "Yes, I shall tell you all about Him." Then that best of the immortals addressed those illustrious heads of the brāhmaṇa community with a choked voice.


"As the great and sense-controlled Lord walked the path, all of the people glanced upon His countenance and through their eyes drank the beauty of His body, which is the ornament of all male forms. When they learned that He was on His way to accept the sannyāsa order, they joyously offered their obeisances unto His lotus feet.


Then while the great souls led by Ācārya Ratna sang songs of Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, Gaura Mukuṇḍa began to dance. His chest became wet with tears of prema and His hairs thrilled out of rapture.


Meanwhile, in the town of Kaṇṭaka, many exalted saintly transcendentalists and brāhmaṇas were assembled, as also were women, boys, very joyful elders, as well as the deaf, the blind, and the hunch-backed, who arrived while holding the hands of others.


Some women held full waterpots on their heads, some held ingredients for worship on the side of their hips, others who were fully pregnant walked swiftly arm-in-arm with their companions.


All of them drank the elixir of Janārdana's lotus face with melting hearts. They gazed with full absorption and great astonishment at that brāhmaṇa who resembled the newly rising sun, as if He were some mystic golden lotus.


Talking among themselves, the people said, "O, who can be the father of this Person, whom we have never seen before, the lustre of whose face resembles the rising full moon? In order that He might take birth and benefit souls entangled in the cycle of birth and death, surely a saintly mother must have carried Him within her womb."


"By His beauty this virtuous and heroic boy has defeated Kāmadeva, and by His speech even the eloquent Bṛhaspati lies vanquished. By some devout deed a woman became His wife, but now by some ill-fated deed she is agitated by His separation!"


"Not seeing any more the face of her son, His mother must live as if in death, burned by many sorrows, like the residents of Vraja who felt pain, when Śrī Kṛṣṇa departed from Vṛndāvana, desiring to see Mathurā."


Certain intelligent women said, "It is clear that He is experiencing the ecstatic moods experienced by the Vraja-gopīs. Undoubtedly He is Nanda's son, who has appeared to execute His mission in the garb of a sannyāsī."


Many other sweet words of this nature were spoken amongst those groups of women, and as they drank the nectar of Viśvambhara's lotus face, they became entirely forgetful of their own bodies.

Thus ends the First Sarga entitled "Words of the Intelligent Ladies of Kaṇṭaka Town," in the Third Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.