Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 3 Chapter 17

Seventeenth Sarga

The Lord Shows Mercy to Devānanda Paṇḍita


One day, when the all-opulent Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was in the presence of His bhaktas, He said, "If you gentlemen agree, I shall now depart for Mathurā."


Burning by distress, the bhaktas stood near Him with folded hands and said, "O lotus-eyed one, how could anyone desire to give up the shelter of Your feet?


"Besides, wherever Your Lordship is, there Vṛndāvana, Madhupuri, and all the personified holy places certainly stand by Your side, eager to render service.


"O Prabhu, You are journeying to Mathurā to enjoy pleasure-pastimes. However, You should also protect and uplift Your servants, who are now afflicted by grief."


The ocean of compassion consoled them, "Before long I shall surely return." Then He departed for the house of Vācaspati in order to take darśana of Gaṅgā.


When Nṛsihānanda Brahmacārī heard news of the Lord's departure, he meditated on the route of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Thus he mentally decorated the pathway from Jagannātha Purī all the way to Madhupuri with gold, silver, coral, pearls, jewels, very fine silken cloth, and festoons of choice flowers without stems.


He also constructed ponds of clear water, by the pathway, wherein multicolored fish swam, and which were beautified by many kinds of lotus flowers headed by the blue lotus, and also by young swans and variegated waterfowl. Jewelled steps gave access to the water of these ponds.


Thus, that brāhmaṇa gradually constructed the road in his mind up to the town of Kānāi Naṭaśālā. There he created scenes for Śrī Kṛṣṇa's forest pastimes while remembering the heroic qualities of the Lord.


Nṛsihānanda became happy while thinking of Mahāprabhu's special kindness to those who accept His shelter. Then laughing and dancing, he declared in the presence of all the devotees:


"For the present Bhagavān Śrī Caitanya will not reach Mathurā. Your graces should know that He will return here just after reaching a certain dancing pavilion prepared for Śrī Kṛṣṇa (at the town of Kānāi Naṭaśālā)."


All the bhaktas drank these welcome words through their ears like nectar. Then they circumambulated Nṛsihānanda and fell before him like rods on the earth.


 Nṛsihānanda, his heart completely overflowing with Gaura-prema, also prostrated himself before them. All of them embraced one another, and at that moment they felt the happiness of seeing Gaurāṅga and became profoundly jubilant.


Meanwhile, the infallible Lord Himself surrounded by His own men, was performing all auspicious Kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana, had just reached the house of the pure brāhmaṇa, Vācaspati.


When the Navadvīpa-vāsīs along with others, who were actually residents of the heavenly planets, received the refreshing glimpse of Gaura Prabhu's lotus face, they then desired to have hundreds of eyes on all sides of their bodies with which to behold Him.


While Śrī Kṛṣṇa dwelt for a few days in the home of that brāhmaṇa, He delivered all of the people there, including the foolish, the blind, the deaf and so on.


The excellent scholar Devānanda, who had become a recipient of Vakreśvara Paṇḍita's mercy, approached Gaura Prabhu's feet and confessed his former envy.


Then he inquired what he ought to do for his spiritual self-interest. The jewel of compassion replied, "You must understand that Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is directly the sac-cit-ānanda form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. If you recite it with this consciousness, free from envy and other base qualities, you will then become able to relish bhakti-rasa and awaken your spiritual nature of bliss."


Hearing this, the vipra bowed his head and covered it with the dust from the Lord's feet. Then immersed in the rasa of Śrī Gaura Candra, he danced in a very astonishing manner.

Thus ends the Seventeenth Sarga entitled "The Lord Shows Mercy to Devānanda Paṇḍita," in the Third Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.