Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 4 Chapter 24

Twenty-fourth Sarga

Gaura's Pastimes Among the Circle of His Devotees


Meanwhile, Śrī Gaurāṅga Candra was in Jagannātha Puri, accompanied by intimate devotees headed by Svarūpa Dāmodara, and He became fully absorbed in the sweetnesses of the ecstatic moods felt by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and He knew nothing else.


By His own wish, Śrī Hari accepts the control of His devotees' pure love. Thus, through the assistance of Rāmānanda Rāya, He tasted the glories of Kṛṣṇa's sweetness and then induced His other devotees to also taste it.


He was constantly engaged in remembrance of Vṛndāvana. of There He would search for Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the divine groves and bowers. Once, thinking the ocean to be the Yamunā, He fell into the ocean and was later found by His bhaktas led by Svarūpa Dāmodara. At all times, His five senses - eyes, ears, tongue, nose, and skin - were forcibly attracted to the five features of Kṛṣṇa, namely His transcendental form, sound, taste, smell, and touch.


Once, in a devotional trance He fell down amidst a herd of cows, and His body took on the shape of a tortoise. After returning to external consciousness, He chattered incessantly and described the rāsa dance pastimes while absorbed in deep remembrance of that experience.


Seeing the Caṭaka sand dune, He mistook it for Govardhana Hill. Wherever He was, being absorbed in the ecstatic mood of the gopīs, He would relish the nectar of Kṛṣṇa's lips.


Simply by such sweet remembrance, the symptoms of divine madness automatically appeared in the body of Bhagavān Caitanya, who is the very personification of the mellows of prema-bhakti-rasa.


Śrī Gaurāṅga's entire body was thus always pervaded by the eight sāttvika-bhāvas, the physical manifestations of transcendental ecstasy. He was rendered service by Rāmānanda and Svarūpa, who were well conversant with the science of rasa.


In accordance with the Lord's ecstatic moods, they sang verses describing Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's rāsa-līlā. Thus, the science of pleasure-pastimes was proclaimed.


Because of His spotless love for Kṛṣṇa in the mood of Śrī Rādhā, Śrī Caitanya, the original form of transcendental rasa, incessantly drank from that wonderful fountain of ambrosia for the ears.


The Lord's person is formed of condensed eternity, cognizance and bliss, and He is at all times the lover of Rādhā. Thus, while cherishing the moods felt by Her, the son of Śaci became drowned in the liquid mellows of bliss.


Without being a recipient of His mercy, could anyone possibly describe the pastimes performed by Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the supreme controller of all controllers?


While absorbed in the mood of a devotee, Kṛṣṇa Caitanya was rendered service by devotees who were highly learned in the science of rasa and immersed in Kṛṣṇa- saṅkīrtana, such as Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya, Svarūpa Dāmodara, Paramānanda Purī, Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita, Vāsudeva Datta, and still others headed by Govinda, his doorkeeper.


After Śrī Nityānanda Īśvara arrived in Navadvīpa, He became intoxicated by the divine rasa of Śrī Caitanya through the process of chanting His names and qualities.


Being proud of the transcendental qualities shown by Śrī Gaurāṅga, Nityānanda experienced total fulfilment. Following Gaurāṅga's order, He remained in Gauḍa- deśa, experiencing the expansion of Mahāprabhu within His heart.


However, that sage of rasa is fully independent in His desires. Who can comprehend the purpose of His activities? Feeling a great eagerness to behold His Lord, Nityānanda returned to Śrī Puruṣottama Kṣetra.


Upon reaching the flower garden where the Lord was resting, Nityānanda saw the form of Gaurāṅga Sundara and entered into trance. Then He arose and bowed down on the earth. Again and again He rose and fell while offering prostrated obeisances and prayers to Śrī Caitanya.


With deep roaring cries of "Jaya Gaurāṅga!" Nityānanda Prabhu praised Gaura Candra in great love and happiness.


In this same manner, the two Supreme Lords, Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, offered one another praise, Their hearts fascinated with the mellows of prema-bhakti.


The splendid son of Śacī said to Śrī Nityānanda Īśvara, "O son of Nanda, Your Grace is forever devoted to the service of Your father's cows.


"Yet I perceive that within Your body, which is the blissful oceanic abode of Kṛṣṇa's sportive līlās, the nine-fold processes of bhakti are present in the form of various ornaments.


"That extremely rare devotion exhibited by the residents of Nanda's Gokula can only be experienced by devotees in totally purified consciousness. Thus it may rarely be attained by humankind, if at all.


"But by Your own sweet will, You lovingly award that most rare jewel of bhakti even to women, children and others. Oh! Frankly tell Me - is there any other charitable person to be found such as Your Grace?"


Nityānanda laughed and replied, "He Nātha! It is You who give, who take away, and who maintain us all. It is only You who mercifully bestows prema on those souls, for You inspire all living beings within their hearts."


On one side stands Nityānanda with His associates, and on the other stands Viśvambhara, accompanied by Svarūpa and his assistants such as Raghunātha Dāsa. Both of the Lord's blissful forms are forever filled with prema.


The two Lords enjoy Themselves according to Their unique natures, and They are rendered service continuously by Gadādhara. They become overwhelmed with love for Kṛṣṇa as They chant His various names as follows:


"The delightful son of Yaśodā (Yaśodā-nandana) is all-attractive (Kṛṣṇa) and more dear to the gopīs than their own life-breath (Śrī Gopī-prāṇa-vallabha). He is the lover of Śrī Rādhā (Śrī Rādhā-Ramaṇa), the younger brother of Rāma (Rāma-anuja), and is ever eager for the mellows of the rāsa dance (Rāsa-rasa-utsuka)."


"The delightful son of Rohiṇī (Rohiṇī-nandana) stops the repetition of birth and death (Kṛṣṇa). He is personified sacrifice (Yajña), the supreme enjoyer (Rāma), and all-powerful (Bala). He steals away the misfortune of conditioned souls (Hari), and is the Lord of Revatī's life-breath (Revatī-prāṇa-nātha). He revels in the great festival of rāsa sports (Rāsa-keli-mahotsava)."


Thus should one indeed remember these two - Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and Śrī Nityānanda Rāma - as They proclaim in song Their own holy names accompanied by their devotees.

Thus ends the Twenty-fourth Sarga entitled "Gaura's Pastimes Among the Circle of His Devotees," in the Fourth Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.