S peaker: Bhakti Vigna Vinasa Narasimha Swami
Venue: Sri Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir
Jaya Jaya Sri Caitanya Jaya Nityananda!
Jaya Advaitacandra Jaya Gaurabhakta vrnda!
So today the auspicious day of the appearance day of Lord Nityananda. We will attempt to speak some of the glories of Lord Nityananda for the pleasure of the devotees.
Lord Nityananda appeared in Ekacakra dhama. Just last week we had the opening of the ISKCON branch there in Ekacakra. Lord Nityananda was the son of Hadai Ojha and Padmavati. Hadai Ojha was brahmana. Padmavati was the daughter of a king, Mukuta Roy. I had the opportunity last week of going to some of the places around Ekacakra with HH Bhakti Nityananda Swami. Of course he is Bengali, so he able to research many of the places and he showed me the place actually where Nityananda’s father in law lived. His name was Mukuta Roy. Actually that place today, there is a saw mill there in that place. But for us its the birthplace of one of the family members in the line of Lord Nityananda.
So Mukuta Roy was a king and as a king he had to go and fight wars. His daughter Padmavati was six years old when he left home. And when he returned home it was twelve years later and his daughter had grown up quite a bit. So much so that when he first saw his daughter he did not recognise her. Instead he looked at her as simply as an attractive young woman. And the girl could understand the thinking of her father. And she went and told her mother. The mother came and told her husband, “You foolish man! This is your own daughter. She is eighteen years old now. You’ve been away from home so long, you do not recognise her.”
So Mukuta Roy when he heard these words he vowed, tomorrow morning I will our daughter married to the first man we meet. And that was Hadai Ojha. So Hadai Ojha and Padmavati were married but Hadai Ojha is a brahmana. He was just doing puja in the different temples there, in Ekacakra, there is many Shiva temples there. He said, “I have no money! How can I take care of your daughter? You are a king. She is used to opulence!” But Mukuta Roy said, “Don’t worry, I will provide everything.” And he donated lands, and treasure, all kinds of dowry were given for the marriage to take place.
So Lord Nityananda appeared in that family and He lived with Padmavati and Hadai Ojha for twelve years. The pastimes of Lord Nityananda there in Ekacakra are described in Caitanya Bhagavata. How in the association of the other children there, they reenacted all the pastimes of the Lord in His different incarnations. And even the local people were amazed that how the children know all of these things. Even we don’t know, we are learning from them. But it was all known to Lord Nityananda. He could guide them and inform them how to perform all of these different pastimes.
Lord Nityananda understood that His parents were deeply attached to Him and that He somehow or other had to get free from their attachment. So it was arranged that a sadhu would come and visit their home. And Hadai Ojha being a dutiful brahmana offered this sannyasi to come to his home and take food and offered all kinds of charities – “Whatever I can provide for you, please tell me! Don’t hesitate to ask.”
So then when it came time for the sannyasi to leave then he said, “You just give me your son! That will be the best thing you can do. I am alone, I am travelling alone. I am a sannyasi.” Just like Lord Caitanya as a sannyasi, He was travelling alone. He wanted to travel alone but the devotees told Him, “No, You should have someone with You. Someone can carry Your danda, or carry Your waterpot, when You have to go begging.”
So in this way this sannyasi told Hadai Ojha that “If your son can come with me it will help me a lot in my travels. I am going to visit all the holy places.” So in this way Lord Nityananda went with this sannyasi, visited all the holy places. But it was not a new experience for Lord Nityananda because Lord Nityananda is not different from Lord Balarama. And Lord Balarama had also visited all the holy places. In order to avoid taking part in the Kuruksetra war Lord Balarama had gone off on pilgrimage and visited all the holy places. In the same way Lord Nityananda was desiring to visit all of these holy places again. Just like once we come to Mayapur and Vrindavana we leave our heart here, right? We have to come back, find our heart again. So this is the nature of the holy places that we can never forget them. And in the same way Lord Nityananda was eager to visit all of those holy places which He had seen in His previous incarnation.
So Lord Nityananda after twenty years of travelling came to live in Vrindavana. And it was in Vrindavana that He heard how the pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu were beginning. Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His early childhood, in His youth, He had been a scholar, He had been a logician and He had His own school. But after going to Gaya and being initiated by Isvara Puri, then His bhava, His love for the Lord had been aroused. And He had began having regular kirtana with the devotees. So Lord Nityananda being not different from Lord Caitanya could understand that Lord Caitanya was beginning His pastimes, beginning to inaugurate the sankirtana movement.
Lord Nityananda returned to Mayapur. But before He returned to Mayapur Caitanya Mahaprabhu was informing the devotees there in Mayapur, that very soon a great personality is going to come and visit us. He is going to come here. All the devotees were wondering, “Who is this? We don’t know! What’s happening! Who is this person who is going to come?” And then Lord Caitanya after a few days He said, “That personality came in My dream! He is already here in Mayapur! He came in My dream and He told Me, He is My brother. He is not different from Me. He appeared in My dream and in My dream, He came to My house and He was speaking Hindi!” Could you imagine it? In Bengal speaking Hindi? Nowadays of course because of Hindi movies, and Hindi songs and so on Bengalis also know Hindi. But five hundred years ago it was a different situation. So to be in Bengal, to speak Hindi, its like speaking Chinese. Nobody could understand, right!
So in the dream Lord Caitanya said, “I saw this personality and He was speaking in Hindi – ‘Is this the home of Mahaprabhu? Is this the home of Nimai Pandita.’ ?” And He asked ten or twenty times because no one could understand of course. So Lord Caitanya told all the devotees, “This personality has now come to Mayapur. We have to find Him. You have to go and bring Him here.” So He instructed Srivasa Pandita and Haridasa Thakura, His two very intimate associates who were both maha-bhagavata devotees. And He told them, “Go find this person! He is here in Mayapur! You bring me here!”
So Haridasa and Srivasa Pandita left and they went all over Mayapur. They came back after nine hours and they told Lord Caitanya, “We have searched everywhere! We didn’t just go to the grhastha’s homes, we visited the sannyasi’s. We even went to the homes of the atheists. We went to every home we could find. We cannot find this personality anywhere!”
This the mystery of Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda is not different from Lord Balarama. And He is the original spiritual master. Without the mercy of Krishna, we cannot contact a spiritual master. In the same way without Lord Caitanya we cannot get connection to Lord Nityananda. We were hearing in the song, we have to have a connection with Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda is not different from Lord Balarama. He is the original spiritual master. He is visnu-tattva. He is not different from the Lord but He comes in the mood of the servant of the Lord. He is the servitor personality of Godhead. And He comes to teach all of us the mood of rendering service to the Supreme Lord.
So Srivasa Pandita and Haridasa Thakura, they told Lord Caitanya, “We cannot find this person anywhere.” Lord Caitanya said, “I will take you to Him.” And Lord Caitanya then arose and all the devotees followed Him with kirtana and they proceeded to the home of Nandana Acarya. Nandana Acarya’s house is very near, its the next house you could say, its the next temple down the road, on the way to Jalangi we pass the home of Nandana Acarya. Nandana Acarya is also a maha-bhagavata devotee. It is described in the Caitanya Caritamrta that he is the seventeenth branch of the tree of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And it is noteworthy that in his home, it was in his home that not only Lord Nityananda was hiding but later on Advaita Acharya would hide in his home. And sometimes also Lord Caitanya would also come hide in the home of Nandana Acarya.
Lord Caitanya brought all the devotees to the home of Nandana Acarya and they saw this wonderful effulgent personality. His effulgence was like millions of suns and He was tall, decorated in blue garments and a blue turban on His head and with His lips He was chanting the holy names of Krishna. All of the associates of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu were astonished to see this personality. But for Lord Caitanya it was like meeting an old friend.
Lord Caitanya wanted all of the devotees to understand the position of Lord Nityananda. So He requested Srivasa Pandita, “Please recite some verses from the scriptures!” And Srivasa Pandita began to recite a beautiful verse describing Lord Krishna as He enters the forest of Vrindavana. How His head is decorated with peacock ornament and how His ears are decorated with blue coloured flowers and round His neck is the vijayanti garland. His body is covered with a golden coloured cloth and He appears as a best of all the dancers as He enters into the forest of Vrindavana, decorating the earth of Vrindavana with His footprints, with His beautiful footprints on the soil of Vrindavana. He fills the flute with the nectar from His lips and all the cowherd boy are singing His glories.
So Srivasa Pandita recited this verse. And when Lord Nitayananda heard this verse. Then His love for Krishna was aroused. And He began to exhibit all kinds of ecstatic symptoms. He fell to the ground unconscious. Then His body was trembling. His hairs were standing on end. Tears were flowing, all of His cloth became very wet with the tears from His eyes. Lord Caitanya told Srivasa, “Keep reciting!” And he continued to recite. As he recited Lord Nityananda came more to consciousness and continued exhibiting ecstatic symptoms, rolling on the ground in front of all the devotees. All of the devotees seeing Lord Nityananda display this ecstatic love for Krishna, they could understand His exalted position.
Lord Caitanya took Lord Nityananda in His arms and began to caress His body bringing Him back to external consciousness. Lord Caitanya taking Lord Nityananda into His arms caused, brought a smile on the face of Gadadhara Pandita because Gadhadhara Pandita knew the identity of these two personalities. And he understood that usually the situation is reversed because Lord Nityananda is not different from Lord Balarama, not different from His plenary portion Sesa and on the body of Sesa lies the Supreme Lord Lord Naryana. In the same way Lord Balarama is the servant of Lord Krishna. But here Lord Caitanya is taking Lord Nityananda on His lap and started giving service to Him, just the reverse of how it is in the spiritual world.
Lord Caitanya wanted to bring Lord Nityananda back to external consciousness, He began to speak to him and he asked Him, “Where did you come from?” Lord Nityananda replied that, “I visited many places connected with the pastimes of Lord Krishna and I visited many of the temples of the Lord. But everywhere I was not able to find Lord Krishna. I went to so many places of the Lord’s pastimes. ButI could not find Lord Krishna anywhere. I inquired from some learned persons where is Lord Krishna? And they told me that He has appeared in Navadvipa. And He is performing His pastime in chanting the holy name. He has come to inaugurate the sankirtana movement to deliver everyone in the Kaliyuga.” In this way Lord Nityananda was glorifying Lord Caitanya. He wanted everyone to understand the identity of Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya wants to glorify Lord Nityananda and Lord Nityananda comes to glorify Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
This is the mood of devotional service. We give service to the Lord and the Lord serves the devotees. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda reveal to us the mood of confidential loving service. Lord Nityananda we said, He came here in Mayapur in the home of Nandana Acarya but generally His pastimes would be performed in the home of Srivasa Pandita. Actually Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu also chose the home of Srivasa Pandita to perform His pastimes. Just as Lord Krishna appeared in Mathura but His pastimes were performed in Vrindavana, in Gokula. In the same way Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared at the Yogapitha, but He came to the home of Srivasa Pandita. And similarly Nityananda came from Ekacakra to the home of Srivasa Pandita and there they inaugurated the sankirtana movement.
Lord Nityananda appeared in the home of Srivasa Pandita, just sometimes behaving almost like a child because Srivasa Pandita and his good wife Malini, are in the mood of vatsalya rasa. They see this Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya just like their sons. When Lord Nityananda was living there He was just like a child. He behaved just like a child. But Lord Caitanya instructs all the devotees that never doubt the character of Lord Nityananda. That if you worship to Lord Krishna but do not offer respect to Lord Shiva then you will go Yamaraja. In the same way if you worship Lord Caitanya but do not have respect for Lord Nityananda then it is a great offence. You can never get the goal of life.
Lord Nityananda Prabhu’s pastimes are very difficult to understand. We know that in His previous incarnation as Lord Balarama He went to Naimisaranya. And in Naimisaranya He took a kusa grass and pierced the heart of Romaharsana Suta. That same Lord Balarama comes as Lord Nityananda and in Kaliyuga He takes kusa grass between His own teeth and He falls at the feet of Jagai and Madhai and asks them to chant the holy name. This is the difference in Kaliyuga, that Caitanya Mahaprabhu comes to teach all of us the mood of devotional service, to offer all respects to others and not to be anxious to be respected. Sri Nityananda Prabhu personifies this mood of amanina mana dena (Siksastakam). He would go to all the fallen souls and engage them in the service of Lord Krishna. Of course this was His instruction. Caitanya Mahaprabhu had requested Lord Nityananda and Haridasa that they should go door to door to every home and fall at the feet of the people and beg them to chant the holy name of Krishna, to worship Krishna, and to read the books of Krishna.
Lord Nityananda however sometimes He could become a little, He could behave differently in a manner which would sometimes confuse people as to His identity. And we see this, there is one pastime which takes place when Lord Nityananda is going to Jaganath Puri with all the devotees. Now usually the party would be under the care of Sivananda Sen. Sivananda Sen would have to deal with all the different formalities in the course of the journey to Jagannath Puri. So on one occasion they had to pay taxes on the way and Sivananda Sen was delayed. Lord Nityananda and all the devotees were left without any shelter in the hot sun. On that particular day Lord Nityananda felt hunger. He was feeling very hungry and He had to wait for Sivananda Sen for a long time. During this wait Lord Nityananda became angry and He cursed Sivananda Sen that his sons would die. Hearing the curse of Lord Nityananda the wife of Sivananda Sen began to cry because she thought if Lord Nityananda wants my sons to die, certainly they would die. When Sivananda Sen finally came Lord Nityananda showed His anger and kicked Sivananda Sen. And then when Sivananda Sen heard about how Lord Nityananda had cursed his sons to die, Sivananda Sen replied, “If Lord Nityananda wants our sons to die, let them die!” This is the loving dealing between Lord Nityananda and His confidential devotees.
There is one song taken from the Caitanya Mangala, akrodha paramananda nityananda raya, Lord Caitanya (Nityananda) is described as one who never becomes angry. But this is His transcendental anger. He is performing these pastimes behaving like a hungry man, affected by hunger, affected by anger. But actually it is all His transcendental pastime to exhibit the wonderful qualities of His devotees like Sivananda Sen. Some of the family members became confused however. And one of them had gone off on his own to Jagannath Puri. And it is recorded in the Caitanya Caritamrta that in order to heal the misunderstandings of the family of Sivananda Sen, Lord Caitanya personally instructed His servant Govinda that, “All the remnants of My prasadam should be given to the family of Sivananda Sen.” This is the loving exchange. This is how these two Lord’s reciprocated their loving dealings.
Another wonderful pastime between Lord Nityananda, and Advaita and Caitanya Mahaprabhu took place in Shantipur after Lord Caitanya had taken sannyasa. Lord Nityananda tricked Caitanya Mahaprabhu into coming to Shantipur and then bringing mother Saci and all the devotees. So then a big feast was arranged and Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very happy to see that they were offering so many wonderful preparations for the pleasure of Lord Krishna. However Advaita Acarya then instructed that “These plates are for You, one is for You my Lord. I want You to eat.” But Caitanya Mahaprabhu would say, “No, I am a sannyasi. I cannot eat so much.” But Advaita Acarya told Him, “You cannot fool me. I know that in Jagannath Puri everyday You eat 56 offerings, with many big pots at every offering. So why, this is just a mere morsel for You!” In this way Caitanya Mahaprabhu was induced to sit down and along with Lord Nityananda and Advaita Acarya they began to take prasadam.
Lord Nityananda exhibited His joking mood and began to complain to Advaita that, “ I have been fasting for three days. This is not a mere morsel of food for Me.” Actually they had been coming from Navadvipa, all the way from Katwa where Lord Caitanya took sannyasa, all the way down to Shantipur. It would take some time to walk there. Maybe about three days, I don’t know, maybe not that long. But anyway He told jokingly to Advaita, “I have been fasting for three days. This is not a mere morsel food for Me.” And Advaita requested Him, “Please I am a poor brahmana. I know You can eat 4 or 500 kilos of rice every time. I am a poor brahmana. Kindly accept what I am offering to You.”
So they began to eat. At one point Lord Nityananda then rose up and said that “This is not at all satisfying My hunger.” And then He took some rice and He threw it and it hit the leg of Advaita Acarya. And when that rice stuck to the body of Advaita Acarya then Advaita Acarya began to dance. And this dancing, this shows something of the power of the maha prasadam. The remnants from the plate of pure devotee, actually maha maha prasadam. The remnants of Lord Nityananda touching the body of Advaita Acarya caused him to dance.
Advaita Acarya said, “Just see we do not know what is Your caste and I bring You in my home and You behave like a madman throwing the remnants of Your food at me.” Lord Nityananda told Advaita Acarya, “This is Lord Krishna’s own remnants. This is prasadam. You are making an offence by considering this foodstuff to be ordinary. It is Lord Krishna’s own remnants. For your offence you will have to invite a hundred sannyasi’s to your home and feed them all sumptuously.” Advaita Acarya replied, “After You have come to my home I will never bring another sannyasi to my home. I have lost all my smartha principles.” So this was the joking words between Lord Nityananda and Advaita Acarya.
The point is that Lord Nityananda is no ordinary person. And Advaita Acarya by his words, which not everyone could understand, they are meant to instruct us on the exalted position of Lord Nityananda, that He comes, just like we were singing the song about the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda. That lotus feet, Prabhupada explains that whenever we speak of feet, feet means service. And Lord Nityananda comes to teach all of us the glories of service to the Supreme Lord Krishna or Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Nityananda shows by His own example how to serve Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu by going to even the fallen souls like Jagai and Madhai and requesting to chant the holy names of Lord Krishna.
Our movement is founded in the same basis, to follow in the footsteps of Lord Nityananda, to hold tightly to His lotus feet means to hold firmly, to be fixed in this process of devotional service, to continue to preach the message of Krishna everywhere, to everyone, without discrimination. Lord Nityananda does not consider who is qualified and who is unqualified. Wherever He went He would give love of God.
Actually on one occasion I was telling how sometimes Lord Caitanya would go in hiding. One time they were having kirtana and Lord Caitanya stopped the kirtana and said, “I am not feeling any ecstasy today! What is wrong! I am not getting love of God!” and again they started the kirtana but again Lord Caitanya complained, “I am not getting this love for God anymore! Its not coming today!” Advaita Acarya told Lord Caitanya, he said “The problem is You have given everything to that Lord Nityananda. You put Him in charge of the storehouse of love of God. He has given it to everyone. He has given it to even the gardeners, even to the oil grinders. He has given it to all kinds of people.” Lord Caitanya was not very happy to hear these words. It was like a complaint. At that time Lord Caitanya left that place and hid Himself from Advaita Acarya.
Lord Caitanya was very happy to see devotees follow the mood of Lord Nityananda and to assist Him in the preaching mission. Lord Caitanya even instructed Lord Nityananda that “You don’t have to come to Puri every year. You can remain in Navadvipa, You can remain in Bengal.” Because He knew that if He was in Bengal the preaching would be going on and that is the important thing.
Srila Prabhupada also wants all of us to continue the preaching movement. We come here to Mayapur to imbibe something of the mood of Lord Nityananda and then to go back to our preaching places and continue in that mood of Lord Nityananda. So today, on this day we are all praying for the mercy of Lord Nityananda and that mercy is that without any discrimination we will distribute love of God to everyone. Not looking at their designation or their position or the colour of their skin or their language, without consideration. We will try to distribute this message of Krishna and in this way Lord Nityananda will bestow His mercy on us. By the mercy of Lord Nityananda only we can come to get shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and through Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu we can come to understand Radha and Krishna.
Thank you very much! Hare Krishna!