Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 4 Chapter 18

Eighteenth Sarga

Pleasure Pastimes in Narendra Sarovara


All of the devotees experienced feelings of ecstasy and became overwhelmed by transcendental bliss. They bowed down to one another, falling flat like rods upon the earth, and their mouths became filled with utterances of "Hari!"


Although He is the Supreme Lord, Śrī Gaurāṅga also offered obeisances to the vaiṣṇavas along with the other vaiṣṇavas, showing that despite all spiritual and social positions the principle of honouring the vaiṣṇava is of paramount importance.


"Even though a person may perform the most degraded deed, if he worships Me, giving up all other interest, he should be accepted as a sādhu." So spoke Śrī Kṛṣṇa (Bhagavad Gītā 9.30).


Revealing this principle for the benefit of all classes of men, the Jagadīśvara performed worship of the vaiṣṇavas and thus smashed the false pride of persons in high positions, beginning with those in the sannyāsa order.


The vaiṣṇavas' bodies became pervaded by trembling, tears, and eruptions. While dancing and singing, they were ornamented by the dust of the earth as they offered prostrated obeisances to each other again and again.


Being intoxicated by the joy of seeing Śrī Gaurāṅga, they became oblivious to their own bodies and thus chanted, "Gaurāṅga! Jaya Gaurāṅga! Gaurāṅga!"


As the wives of the vaiṣṇavas gazed upon Mahāprabhu from a distance, they also chanted, "Jaya Gaurāṅga!" Indeed, who is able to comprehend their transcendental excellence of prema, and who is qualified to speak of it?


Without a doubt, their hearts were wholly pervaded by devotion for Śrī Hari, their mouths filled with the names of Kṛṣṇa, their bodies covered by tears of love, and their bodily hairs thrilled by rapture.


Then, as the festival Deity of Śrī Govinda entered within Narendra Sarovara to play water sports, Rāma and Kṛṣṇa also entered the water.


The personal servants of Gaura Govinda, who were decorated very opulently, came with Them, accompanied by the various groups of bhaktas performing congregational chanting of Śrī Hari's holy names.


As soon as They had boarded the boat, the Govinda Deity along with Rāma and Kṛṣṇa enjoyed great delight by engaging in water sports.


Gaura Candra together with His devotees eagerly entered the waters. He delighted in His rasa with Gadādhara, and gave joy to Nityānanda.


There in the company of all the bhaktas who were led by Svarūpa, the beloved of Advaita sported in a mood of transcendental festivity, just as in a former age He had once sported within the waters of Yamunā.


Śrī Hari, who is the Lord of the hearts of Sanātana, Rūpa and Raghunātha, who is dear to the hearts of Murāri, Rāma, Śrīvāsa and Gaurīdāsa, accepted assistance from Paramānanda Purī, Vaśī and Rāmānanda. He gave honour to Kāśīśvara and charmed the heart of Haridāsa.


Through His all-pervasive potency, Gaura Govinda, the Lord of the forest glades of Vraja and the delight of the heart of Śacī, sported individually with every one of His bhaktas.


Each of them knew that, "Gaurāṅga sports only with me." Thus did the entire group of bhaktas perform water sports with Śrī Caitanya.


In a former time within Yamunā's waters Śrī Govinda eagerly relished the mellows of rāsa-līlā, and He played a variety of games with the milkmaids of Vraja. And the gopīs also gave pleasure to Kṛṣṇa, who was enthusiastic for water sports, through their feminine gestures and novel amorous dalliances to provoke His love.


In the same way, Śrī Gaurāṅga enacted water-sports with His bhaktas in a manner just suitable to His different relationships with them. Thereafter, the festival Deity of Govinda in the company of Rāma and Kṛṣṇa rose from the waters of the lake. They were then decorated by exquisite ornaments and honoured by valuable presentations, being cared for by Their personal servitors.


Rāma and Kṛṣṇa with Śrī-Yātrā-Govinda proceeded happily towards Their temple, accompanied by Their servants, who danced, played musical instruments and sang sweetly.


Absorbed in the mood of a devotee, Gaurāṅga went towards the mandira of Śrī Hari along with His own devotees, who were absorbed in Kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana.


Then taking shelter behind the pillar of Garuḍa-deva, He stood amongst His devotees, eager to get a glimpse of the Lord, and when He saw the face of Jagannātha, He became overwhelmed with love.


In the company of the bhaktas, Gaura Candra shone in perpetual bliss as He gazed at Balarāma and Jagannātha on both sides of the altar.

Thus ends the Eighteenth Sarga entitled "Pleasure Pastimes in Narendra Sarovara," in the Fourth Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.