Nityananda Prabhu

From Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-lila, Chapter Nine

Chapter Summary

     This chapter describes the childhood pastimes of  Nityananda up to his twelfth year, during which time he re-enacted the divine pastimes of Krsna, Rama, Vamana,  and the other avataras of Vishnu.  This chapter also describes his tour of different holy places which continued until his twentieth year.

     On the order of  Gaura Krsna, Ananta Deva had already made his appearance in the village of Ekacakra in Radades.  In this way, Nityananda Prabhu appeared like the moon from the sea of  the womb of Padmavati, the wife of Hadai Oja.  And just like the rising moon, he dispelled all the darkness covering the land of Radha by his auspicious appearance.  As a child,  Nityananda constantly played with his boyhood friends imitating the pastimes of Krsna.

     Once, his friends took the role of the assembly of gods, who were desirous of petitioning the Lord to relieve the burden of evil oppressing the Earth.  Nityananda Prabhu took with him a child who was dressed as the earth, and together with the children who acted the roles of the different assembled gods, he went to the banks of the river Ganges.  There he addressed the Lord who rests in the ocean of milk, Ksirodaksayi Visnu.  At that time, one of the children  took the part of Lord Vishnu, and hiding unseen by the other children spoke in a grave voice that all could hear: "I shall surely be born in Goloka Mathura to lighten the burden of the Earth."

     And so Nityananda Prabhu enacted the different pastimes of Krsna that the Lord performed during the Dvapara age.  He enacted the pastimes of the marriage of Vasudeva and Devaki, the birth of Sri Krsna in the prison of Kamsa, the journey of Vasudeva to Nandagram and how he carried Krsna over the Yamuna river, as well as his return from Nandagram and how he brought Mahamaya who had just appeared as the daughter of Yasoda with him. 

     He enacted the slaying of Putana, the breaking of the cart, Krsna's butter stealing pastimes, the slaying of the demons, Dhenuka, Agha, and Baka.  He also displayed the pastimes of the pasturing of the cows, the lifting of Govardhan hill, the stealing of the gopis clothes and the Lord's bestowal of mercy upon the wives of the sacrificial brahmanas.  He performed the pastimes of sending secret advice to Kamsa in the guise of Narada, the killing of the Kuvalaya elephant and the wrestlers Canura and Mustika, and the killing of Kamsa. 

     Nityananda Prabhu also enacted the pastime of Vamanadeva's cheating Bali of the three worlds,  and took the role of Ramachandra.  His friends acting the part of monkey soldiers pretended to build a bridge of floating stones across the ocean, in imitation of the pastimes of Rama.  Once,  Nityananda took the part of Laksman, and, bow in hand, would storm the palace of Sugriva.  Once he took the part of Rama Himself, enacting the pastime of breaking Parasurama's pride.  Once, taking the role of Laksman he pretended to kill Indrajit and then swoon, hit by the powerful arrows of Ravana, the demon-king.

     He would enact the pastime of having the medicine from Gandamadana Hill brought by Hanuman and would recover from his wounds after receiving the medicine.  Nityananda spent twelve years enacting these kinds of pastimes.  At that time, he went to visit the different holy places in order to purify them from the sins left behind by the pilgrims who visit them.

     He toured the holy places in both Northern and Southern India, on the pretext of pilgrimage and in this way was occupied until his twentieth year when he arrived in Nabadwip and met  Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  In the course of his wandering through the different holy places, Nityananda Prabhu met Madhavendra Puri, Isvara Puri, and Brahmananda Puri.  Nityananda passed many days enjoying the ecstasy of Krsna-katha in the company of Madhavendra Puri and his disciples.  He then visited Setubandha, Danatirtha, Mayapuri, Avanti, Godavari Jiyura Nrsmha, Devapari, Trimala, Kurmaksetra and many other holy places.

     At last he arrived at Jagannatha Puri, where he took darshan of  Jagannatha Deva and was profoundly moved to ecstasy upon seeing  the Deity.  From Jagannatha Puri, he returned again to Mathura.  The chapter closes with an explanation of Lord Nityananda's renunciation.

     Lord Nityananda who is identical with the powerful Balarama himself, manifest during this period his pastimes of preaching the holy name in love of God.  The chapter concludes with a description of greatness of Nityananda Balarama



     All glories to Sri Krsna Caitanya, the ocean of mercy.  All glories to Nityananda Prabhu, the friend of the helpless.  All glories to the life and soul of Sri Advaita Candra.  All glories to He who is the only shelter of Srivasa and Gadadhara.  All glories to Visvambhara, the son of Jagannatha Misra and Sacidevi who is always beloved by his devotees and followers.

     Before the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Ananta deva himself had appeared on the order of the Lord.  He took birth in the Radha Desa to help enact the divine lila of the Lord.  His father's name was Hadai Oja and his mother's name was Padmavati.  He appeared in the village of Ekacakra within the land of Gauda.  From infancy he was sober, highly intelligent and supremely qualified.  The baby boy was millions of times more beautiful than cupid. 

     From the moment of his birth there appeared within the Radha Desa, all-auspicious symptoms.  All varieties of famine, poverty, and unhappiness immediately disappeared.  On the day that Sri Gaurachandra made his advent in Sridhama Nabadwip, Nityanadna Prabhu shouted with joy.  The vast universe was pervaded with the sound of his cries and the whole world became astonished.  Some said, "The thunderbolt has descended to Earth."  Many could understand that the mighty disturbance was the result of some divine power.  Some said, "We know the cause.  The master of Gauda has spoken in a voice of thunder.  And in this way, everyone gave their different opinions.  But by the power of the illusory energy of Krsna, no one could recognize the transcendental position of Nityananda Prabhu.

     In this way, keeping his divine nature unmanifest, the supreme Lord, Nityananda Prabhu delighted in the company of children.  In all the games that the Lord played with the children, Krsna was the center.  Indeed, their play was nothing but the lila of the Lord.  Nityananda Prabhu would hold an assembly of the gods with one of the children acting the part of the Earth presenting the petition of the demigods to the supreme Lord Visnu.  All of them would go along with the Earth to the banks of the river where together they would pray to the hidden Lord of the universe, Ksirodaksayi Visnu.

     Unseen by all, one of the boys would loudly proclaim from his hiding place, "I will shortly be born in the cowherd village of Mathura."  Another day, Nityananda Prabhu and his childhood friends would gather in the village to celebrate the marriage of Vasudeva and Devaki.  Once, having made their playhouse into the prison of Kamsa, he re-enacted the pastime of Krsna's divine appearance in the dead of night.  Nityananda Prabhu built a cowherd settlement and took Krsna there, deceiving Kamsa by substituting Yogamaya for Krsna within the prison.

     Another time he dressed up one of his childhood friends as Putana, while another boy, climbing his body pretended to such his breast like the baby Krsna.   Once, having built a cart made of reeds with the help of the children, Nityananda Prabhu broke it.   Nityananda Prabhu would bring his childhood friends to the house of the local milkman and steal milk and yogurt, following in the footsteps of Krsna.  His friends never left his company, nor would they return to their homes, but day and night they would play in the company of Nityananda Prabhu.

     Nor did their mothers and fathers complain, but all loved Nityananda with their hearts and souls. He would hold his relatives and friends in affectionate embrace. Upon beholding his amazing childhood pastimes, everyone  would say, "We have never seen such wonderful playing.  How is it possible that this child has learned all these activities of Krsna.  One day having made serpents out of the leaves of trees, he brought the children to a pond.  One of the children would enter the water and float motionless. Nityananda Prabhu would awaken him.

      One day he took the children into a grove of palm trees, where they played at killing the demon Dhenuka and tasting the palm fruits known as tal fruits.  He would often go to the pasturing grounds and there play many different games with the children.  After constructing toy demons and naming them Baka, Agha, and Vatsa, he would kill them. Nityananda Prabhu would return home with his childhood in the afternoon, all of them blowing on buffalo horns. 

     One day he would imitate Krsna's pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill.  Another day after constructing a replica of Vrndavana, he would play there with his friends.  One day he would steal the clothes of the gopis and another day  would visit the wives of the brahmanas engaged in sacrifice.  One of the children would take the part of Narada Muni and disguising himself with a beard he would give confidential advice to Kamsa.  One day one of the boys dressed as Akrura and took Krsna and Balarama away from Vrndavana on the order of Kamsa.  Nityananda Prabhu cried in grief, feeling separation from Krsna in the mood of the gopis. Streams of tears would flow from his eyes in the view of all the children.

     Influenced by the illusory energy of Visnu, no one could understand the transcendental nature of Nityananda Prabhu's divine lila as all the children played in his company.  After building a replica of Mathura, he would roam with the boys.  Some of them would take the position of garland-makers and some would wear the garlands.  Nityananda Prabhu would dress one of them as Kubja and would become perfumed by her.

     One day, upon making a bow, Nityananda Prabhu broke it with a thundering noise.  After killing the elephant Kuvalayapida and the wrestlers Canura and Mustika, he would knock to the ground and drag away by the hair one of the boys who had been made to play the role of Kamsa.  Having killed Kamsa he would dance merrily with the children.  In this way, Nityananda Prabhu's pastimes as a boy made all the people of Ekacakra laugh with delight.

     Nityananda Prabhu imitated in his pastimes the transcendental activities of all the avatars of Godhead.  One day Nityananda Prabhu played Vamana and another child played Bali Maharaja.  In this way, Nityananda Prabhu would deceive him into giving the three worlds in charity as one of the children, dressed as an old man, played the role of Sukracarya and forbid the gift.  Then, Nityananda Prabhu as Vamana, after accepting the alms of Bali, placed his lotus feet upon that boy's head. 

     One day, Nityananda Prabhu played at constructing  a bridge of trees and stones across the ocean as all the children played the role of monkey soldiers.  In this way he could chop veranda plants and throw them into the water, pretending they were giant trees as the children would shout Jaya Rama! Jaya Raghunatha!  Victory to Rama!  Victory to the Lord of the Raghu dynasty!

     The Lord Himself assumes the role of Laksman, and bow in hand, he made his way to the palace of Sugriva in a fit of anger, saying, " You wretched monkey!  My Lord, Rama, is becoming distressed by your actions.  My Lord is waiting on Malyavan mountain, burdened with grief.  And you, O wicked monkey, are busy making merry with women!  If I am to spare your life, then go to Rama as fast as you can, and offer him your help. "

     Another day, in the mood of Laksman, he would chastise Parasurama in anger, saying, "O brahmana--I can't be held accountable for what happens to you if you do not flee at once."  The children, in their innocence, would take Nityananda Prabhu's absorption in the mood of Laksman to be nothing more than childish play.  They did have any knowledge of  his position as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.   Some of them would roam about as the five monkeys, and taking the role of Laksman, Nityananda Prabhu would ask, "Who are you monkeys who roam the forests?  Tell me! I am the servant of Raghunatha!"

     They would tell him, "We wander here in fear of Bali.  Lead us to Rama!  We accept the dust of your feet upon our heads."  Giving them hearty embrace, he would lead them to his master and bow down before the feet of Rama, falling flat like a rod.  In the role of Laksman, one day Nityananda Prabhu was beaten by Indrajit.  Another day he would play at killing Indrajit.  Having made one of the boys take the role of Vibhisana, he would lead Vibhisana in the presence of Rama and then install him as the king of Lanka. 

     Another child would shout, "Lo! Hear I come as Ravana. Beware the shafts from my bow.  Let Laksman protect you if he can."  With this, the child playing the role of Ravana hurled a lotus flower at Nityananda Prabhu, who dropped to the ground, senseless, in the mood of a defeated Laksman.

     Having swooned away, Nityananda Prabhu would not arise.  Although the boys tried in many ways to arouse him in many different ways, Nityananda Prabhu showed no sign of life in any part of his body.  The children all put their hands to their heads and wept and cried.  Hearing their cries Nityananda Prabhu's mother and father  hastened to the spot. Finding no life in their child, both of them fell upon the ground senseless.

     All the people of the village gathered there and gazed upon the scene in amazement.  The children explained everything.  Someone from the crowd said, "I understand the reason for all this.  A long time ago, an actor who was playing the role of Dasaratha gave up his life upon hearing of the exile of Rama to the forest."  Another said, "The boy is only acting his part.  As soon as Hanuman brings the medicine and administers it to him,  he will recover.

     Of course, Nityananda Prabhu had already explained this to the children.  He had told them, "As soon as I fall down, all of you make a circle around me and cry.  After a short period of time, send away Hanuman.  My life will return if the medicine is applied to my nose." But as soon as the Lord, who was perfectly playing his role, became unconscious, the children became very much upset.  They completely lost their judgment and no one could remember Nityananda Prabhu's instruction.

     They simply cried and cried, and called out, "O brother: get up!"  But the bystander's remarks made them remember the Lord's advice.  So, one of the children walked off as Hanuman and another child, dressed as a sage stood in his way.  Greeting him with an offer of fruits and roots, the sage said, "Please stay with me a while, dear friend, and bless my humble retreat.  Only by great good fortune can one attain the company of one like yourself. "

     Hanuman replied, "My work is urgent.  I must make haste.  I cannot stop; please excuse me but I must say goodbye. You must have heard of Laksman, the younger brother of Rama.  Ravana has struck him unconscious with his sakti arrow.  I must hurry to Gandhamadana mountain.  His life may be saved only if I bring the proper medicine."  The child who played the role of Hanuman spoke all these lines as he was trained by Nityananda Prabhu.  Everyone looked on in amazement.

     At the request of the sage, Hanuman went to a nearby lake to bathe.  Another child caught hold of his feet from under the water.  In this way, the child took the part of a crocodile and pulled Hanuman into the water.  The child-actor playing Hanuman dragged the crocodile to the bank and the defeats him.  Then Hanuman encountered an even more formidable foe. 

     A child disguised as a Raksasa ran after Hanuman and threatened to eat him, saying, "You have defeated the crocodile, but now you must defeat me.  Who will revive Laksman if I swallow you alive?"  Hanuman answered, "Your Ravana is a worthless dog.  Take  to your heels and be gone." In this way the two children fought with each other until they had each other by the hair.  They began beating each other with their fists.  After some time, Hanuman defeated the Raksasa.

     Finally, the child playing the role of Hanuman made his way to Gandhamadana mountain.  There, some boys dressed as Gandharavas fight with him for some time, and, after defeating the Gandharvas, Hanuman brought Gandhamadana mountain away on his head.  One of the children, acting as a doctor, remembering Rama, applied the medicine to the nose of Nityananda Prabhu, who was playing the part of Laksman. At last, the great Lord,  Nityananda Prabhu regained consciousness and came to his feet.

     At this, all the parents and everyone else laughed.  Hadai Pandit took the child into his arms and all the boys were delighted.  Everyone asked, "My dear child, "Where did you learn all these things?"  And the Lord would laughingly answer, "These are all my divine pastimes."

     In his early childhood, the Lord's body was delicately fair.  No one wanted to give up embracing him.  Everyone loved him more than they loved their own sons.  By the illusory potency of the Lord, no one could recognize him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  In this way, from his early childhood, Nityananda Prabhu  enjoyed nothing better than rehearsing the pastimes of Krsna.

     All the children, giving up their parents and their homes, would  constantly play in the company of Nityananda Prabhu.  I offer my humble obeisances hundreds of times unto the lotus feet of all those boys who thus played with the Supreme Lord Nityananda Prabhu.  In this way, Nityananda Prabhu perfromed his pastimes, and from infancy, nothing pleased him except the lila of Sri Krsna.

     Who has the power to describe the transcendental pastimes of Ananta?  They are only revealed through his mercy, of his own accord.  And so, Nityananda Prabhu stayed at home for the first twelve years of his life.  At that time he went on pilgrimage, visiting the different holy places of India.  He wandered as a pilgrim until his twentieth year and at that time he appeared before Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. 

     Listen to the account given in this Adi-lila of Caitanya-Bhagavata of the pilgrimage of Nityananda Prabhu the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is blasphemed only by wicked and sinful atheists.  Nityananda Prabhu delivered the whole world.  He is an unparalleled ocean of mercy.  Only by his mercy do I understand the truth about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  Only by his means has the greatness of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu been proclaimed.  Listen to how Nityananda Prabhu, the best beloved of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, traveled to all the holy tirthas in India.

     The Lord first visited the holy place known as Vakreswara.  From there he traveled all alone to the grove of Vaidyanatha.  After visiting Gaya,  he went to Kasi, the seat of Lord Siva, where the current of the Ganges begins to flow northwards.  Nityananda Prabhu became filled with joy at the sight of the Ganges.  At Kasi he bathed in the Ganges, and with an unsatiated thirst drank its sweet waters.  He performed his morning bath at Prayaga in the month of Magha and from there went to the place of his previous birth in Mathura.  Having sported in the waters of the Yamuna at Visrama-ghata, the Lord wandered about Govardhana hill in great ecstasy and in this way he walked through all twelve forests of Vrindavan. 

     He visited the house of Nanda Maharaja at Gokula, and sitting down at that holy place, he wept out of emotion.  Offering his obeisances to Madana Gopala the Lord journeyed to Hastinapura, the home of the Pandavas and beholding the place of those great devotees, the Lord shed tears.  All those who loved there, being nondevotees, could not understand.  He bowed down, beholding the glories of Balarama in the city of Hastinapura and in his ecstasy, shouted, "May Balarama, the holder of the plow, deliver us all."           

    Then, Nityananda Prabhu went to Dvaraka where he bathed in the sea in great joy.  He went to Siddhapura, the seat of Kapila, and at the holy place known as the tirtha of the fish, Matsya-tirtha, distributed large quantities of cooked rice at a great festival.   Nityananda Prabhu visited Siva-Kanchi and Visnu Kanchi and laughed upon seeing the bitter schism between the followers of Vishnu and the followers of Siva. 

     He went to Kuruksetra, Priti-daksa, Bindhu-sarovara, Prabasa, and Sudarsana tirtha, and after paying a visit to the holy tirtha of Trita-kupa, he went to Nisala and from there to Brahma-tirtha and then to Cakra-tirtha.  The Lord visited Pratisrota which is near the Saraswati of the West.  And from there, that great magnanimous personality, Nityananda Prabhu, travelled to Naimisaranya. 

     At that time, Nityananda Prabhu went on to the city of Ayodhya and wept much upon beholding the holy birthplace of Sri Rama.  Then he went to the kingdom of Guhaka, the candala, where Nityananda Prabhu fell unconscious out of ecstasy.  Remembering the devotion of Guhaka-candala, Nityananda Prabhu was unconscious for three days.  In all those forests,  where the Supreme Lord Rama had stopped to spend a few days, Nityananda Prabhu rolled on the ground in the agony of separation. 

     He went to the banks of the Sarayu river and bathed in her waters and from there went to Kausaki and from there to the sacred retreat of Paulastya the sage.  After bathing in all the holy tirthas of the Gomati, Gandhaki and Soma rivers, he climbed to the summit of Mount Mahendra, and having paid his obeisances there to Parasurama, he proceeded to Hardwara, where the flow of the Ganges originates on this Earth.  He then visited Pampa, Bhima-rati, and Sapta-Godavari, after bathing in the Tirthas of Benva and Bhipasa.

     The great Nityananda Prabhu then had a view of Karttika and went to the mountain of Sri, where Siva and Parvati dwell.   In the forms of a brahmana and his wife, Siva and Parvati resided on the top of the mountain known as Sri.  Both of them recognized their own cherished Deity, Nityananda Prabhu, who had thus journeyed to the holy places disguised as an avadhuta.  Both of them rejoiced upon beholding their guest, and the goddess Parvati herself, with her own hands, joyfully cooked prasadam for Nityananda Prabhu.  As Siva and Parvati made offerings of food to Nityananda Prabhu with great regard, he smiled and offered his obeisances to both of them.

     The confidential talks which they held between one another can be understood only by Krsna Himself.  Taking his leave, Nityananda Prabhu went to Dravida.  After visiting Vyenkattanatha, Kamakosti-puri, and Kanch, he arrived at the famed stream of the Kaveri and from there went to the holy place of Sri Rangam, where he stayed for some time.  From there he went to Hari-ksetra, and then visited Mount Rsabha.  Then he traveled to South Matura, Krtamala, Tamraparni, and then journeyed northward to the Yamuna, where he visited the home of Augustya on Malaya mountain.

     The people there were filled with great joy on beholding the magnanimous Nityananda Prabhu who accepted their hospitality, and from there with great pleasure, he traveled to Badarikasrama. Nityananda Prabhu stayed for some time at the abode of Naranarayana Rishi and passed his time in complete seclusion.  From there he journeyed to the residence of Vyasa, who recognized Nityananda Prabhu as the mighty Balaram Himself.

     Making himself visible, Vyasa welcomed his guest and the Lord offered his obeisances before Srila Vyasadeva.  At that time, Nityananda Prabhu traveled to the seat of the Buddhists, where the Lord found them sitting together with one another.  He questioned them, but no one replied in answer.  Being angered by the Buddhists, the Lord kicked them on the head.  Laughing, the Buddhists fled and Nityananda Prabhu continued on his pilgrimage undismayed. 

     At that time, the Lord arrived at the town of Kanyaka, and after visiting Durga-devi, traveled to the South Indian sea.  Thereafter Nityananda Prabhu went to the town of Sri Ananta and from there to the pond of the five dancing apsaras or celestial nymphs.  The Lord then visited the temple of Siva called Gokarna.  He travelled from door to door over Kerala and Trigartha and after beholding the honored wife of Dvaipayana, Nityananda Prabhu traveled to Nirbindhya, Payosni, and tapti, in the course of his divine activities.

     He visited Reva, the town of Mahismati and Malatirtha and then the Lord turned westwards, journeying by way of Suparakha.  Nityananda Prabhu was devoid of all fear.  He was never afraid of anyone, thorughout the whole of his travels.  His body appeared weak, by reason of constant absorption in Krsna consciousness.  Nityananda Prabhu laughed and cried at intervals.  Who could understand his transcendental moods? Such were the travels of Lord Nityananda Prabhu as he wandered from one place to the next, visiting the holy tirthas. 

     At that time, quite by accident, he met Madhavendra Puri.  The body of Madhavendra Puri was surcharged with divine love for Sri Krsna.  Madhavendra Puri was accompanied by all his disciples, who were filled with Krsna prema. Madhavendra Puri tasted no other food besides the mellow qualities of Krsna. The mellows of Krsna consciousness were his only sustenance.  His holy body was the place of Krsna's pastimes.  There can be no greater praise of his love for Krsna than to say that the great Advaita Acarya Prabhu was the disciple of Madhavendra Puri.

       As soon as Nityananda Prabhu beheld Madhavendra Puri he lost external consciousness,  and lay motionless, being overpowered with divine love.   As soon as Madhavendra Puri saw Nityananda Prabhu he also lost external consciousness and became oblivious of the world around him.  Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu himself declared again and again that Madhavendra Puri is the original teacher of pure devotion.  As Nityananda Prabhu and Madhavendra Puri fainted upon seeing one another, Isvara Puri and all the other disciples of Madhavendra Puri wept.

     After regaining external consciousness, both of them began to embrace one another, crying tears of ecstasy.  The two great teachers rolled on the ground in the ecstasy of divine love, and, transformed by their jubilation, shouted words of joy with voices of thunder.  Tears of love flowed like rivers from the eyes of those two great masters.  And wet with their tears, the Earth felt blessed.  There was no end to the display of transcendental ecstasy shown by those two great souls whose bodies shivered as tears flowed from their eyes and their hair stood on end,  for Caitanya Mahaprabhu himself danced within their hearts.

     Nityananda Prabhu said, "Today I have obtained the complete fulfillment of all the pilgrimages that I have ever performed, for today, my eyes have beheld the holy feet of Madhavendra Puri.   My life is glorified by witnessing such divine love as his.  Holding Nityananda Prabhu in a close embrace,  Madhavendra Puri, choked with divine love, could utter no words of reply.  And in his joy, Madhavendra Puri had no wish to release Nityananda Prabhu from his embrace.  Isvara Puri, Brahmananda Puri, and all the other disciples of Madhavendra Puri,  felt irresitably attracted to Nityananda Prabhu.  Although they had met so many renounced saints, they could detect no trace of love for Krsna in any of them.  And by meeting those unfortunate and wicked souls, they gained nothing but grief.

     And being aggrieved, they sought refuge in the forests. But now they were relieved of all their sorrows upon beholding in one another the manifestation of love for Krsna.  For days, Nityananda Prabhu traveled in the company of Madhavendra Puri, delighting in discussing the pastimes of Krsna.  Madhavendra Puri's devotional service is wonderful to speak of.  He would faint upon seeing a blackish cloud.  Day and night, intoxicated by love for Krsna, he laughed and cried, ranted and raved, and shouted  in grief just like a drunkard.

     And Nityananda Prabhu, intoxicated with the nectar of Govinda's sweetness, would stagger and stumble.  Falling on the ground, he would laugh heartily.  On beholding the wonderful mood of Madhavendra Puri and Nityananda Prabhu, the brotherhood of disciples constantly chanted the name of Hari.  Intoxicated by the sweet taste of divine love, no one knew when it was day or night, and time lost all meaning.  Who can understand  the talks that Nityananda Prabhu had with Madhavendra Puri?  Only Krsna knows their meaning.  Madhavendra Puri could not bear to part company with Nityananda Prabhu, but took delight in his constant association.  He said, "Although I have traveled to many holy tirthas, I could find no divine love of Godhead such as yours anywhere.  Having obtained the company of such a friend as Nityananda Prabhu, I have realized the mercy of Krsna.  Krsna is so kind! Wherever one can get the association of Nityananda Prabhu,  that place is more than Vaikuntha and all the holy tirthas combined.  If one only hears of the devotion of such a devotee as Nityananda Prabhu, he is sure to attain Sri Krsnacandra.  And whoever has the least bit of aversion to Nityananda Prabhu, can never be loved by Krsna even if he is a devotee of Krsna. 

     In this way, Madhavendra Puri gloriifed Nityananda Prabhu day and night and served him with love and attention. Nityananda Prabhu himself thought of Madhavendra Puri as his guru and thus engaged, those two great souls were so absorbed in love of Krsna that they could not tell whether it was day or night.   In this way, after passing some time in the company of Madhavendra Puri, Nityananda Prabhu set out on his journey to the bridge of Rama known as Setubandha, at the southernmost tip of India.

     Madhavendra Puri went off to visit the Sarayu river. Being completely absorbed in Krsna, neither of them could remember anything of their own physical bodies.   Completely forgetful of their own selves, they passed their days in the agony of separation from each other and  so their life was preserved.  For if any external consciousness had remained, it would have been impossible for them to survive the agony of separation.  Whoever hears this account of Nityananda Prabhu and Madhavendra Puri with faith and devotion, obtains the treasure of love for Krsna.

     In this way, Nityananda Prabhu wandered about in the ecstasy of divine love and after some time arrived at Setubandha, the bridge of Rama.  After bathing in the ghat at Dana-tirtha, he went to Ramesvara, and from there, arrived in Vijayanagar.  Having visited Mayapuri, Avanti, and Godavari, the Lord arrived at the seat of Jiyur-Nrsmhadeva.  He visited Trimala, and the sacred shrine of Kurmanatha.  At last he set out to behold Sri Jagannatha-deva, the moon of Nilacala. 

     As soon as he entered the city of Lord Jagannatha, the blissful master of Nilacala, he fainted away upon beholding the sight of the Lord's cakra.  He took darsan of Jagannatha, seeing his fourfold form as the Caturvyuha fully manifest in all his joyousness with the whole body of his servitors.  Nityananda Prabhu lost his consciousness in the ecstasy of that vision, and once recovering, lost it again.  This went on again and again.  Nityananda Prabhu experienced shivering, perspiration, tears of joy falling on the ground, shouting words of ecstasy in a thunderous voice.

     Who can describe the ecstasy of Nityananda Prabhu?  After spending some time in this way in Jagannatha Puri, Nityananda Prabhu resumed his journey and with great enthusiasm, visited the place where the Ganges meets the ocean.  Who can fully describe all his travels to the different holy places?  I have only recorded a fraction of them, by his mercy.  After visiting the holy tirthas in this way, Nityananda Prabhu returned to Mathura.  he took up residence in Vrindavana and stayed there day and night absorbed in thoughts of Krsna.

     He ate nothing, and only now and then would drink some milk if someone gave it to him without his asking for it.  Nityananda Prabhu thought to himself, "Sri Gauracandra is staying in Nabadwip, but his divine glory is remaining concealed.  As soon as the Lord chooses to manifest his divinity, I shall immediately go to Nabadwip and fulfill my role in his service.  In this way, having made up his mind, Nityananda Prabhu neither went to Nabadwip, nor left Mathura, but sported constantly in the waters of the Yamuna and played in the dust of Vrindavana with the children.

     And although Nityananda Prabhu possesses complete potency in all respects, he abstained from bestowing devotion for Visnu upon anyone.  Thinking for himself that when Lord Gauracandra would manifest himself, then the time would come for performing the pastime of distributing divine love on the order of the Lord.  By thinking that nothing should be done except by the command of sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the greatness of the lord's service is not reduced, and so Nityananda Prabhu awaited the command of the Lord. 

     Nothing moves without the order of the Supreme Lord, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And no one can do anything without his sanction, even if he is Ananta, Brahma, Siva, or any of the gods.  The destroyers, rulers, and maintainers of the universe do their duty only upon the order of Sri Caitanya.  Those sinners who are aggrieved in their minds by this, are completely unfit to be seen by a Vaishnava.  The three worlds are witness to the fact that everyone obtained the treasure of love of god by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. He is the first of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's devotees. His tongue treasures the glorious praise of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

     Nityananda Prabhu discourses on Caitanya night and day; by serving him, devotion to Sri Caitanya is obtained.  All glories to Nityananda Prabhu the primeval Lord, by whose mercy we can understand the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  Attachment to Nityananda Prabhu is the gift of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy.  For one who knows Nityananda Prabhu there is no danger anywhere.  If someone wishes to cross beyond this world of darkness and dive into the ocean of devotion, let him serve the moonlike Nityananda.  Some say that Nityananda Prabhu is Balarama Himself.  others say that he is the abode of divine love for Sri Caitanya; let them say whatever they like.  Whether Nityananda Prabhu is an ascetic, a devotee, or a sage; whatever he may be in relationship to Sri Caitanya, may his lotus feet be implanted firmly within the hearts of everyone.  If after hearing all the good qualities of Nityananda Prabhu, there is still a sinful soul left who doesn't appreciate him or who wants to slander him or blaspheme him in any way, then I kick on his face with my left foot.

     Certain followers of Sri Caitanya speak of Nityananda Prabhu in such a way that although they appear to speak ill of him, they are really praising him.  Such exalted Vaishnavas [like Advaita Acarya] are always pure in heart and transcendentally honest.  Their seeming disagreement and quarrel is simply lila or sport.  If one looks at their disagreement externally and takes the side of one, slandering the other, he will be finished.  By following only those who deprecate all slander of Nityananda, Sri Caitanya is attained.  When will that day be mine when I shall obtain the divine vision of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, surrounded by the assembly of devotees?  May Nityananda Prabhu be my eternal master in every way.  Remaining loyal to Nityananda Prabhu, may I serve the holy feet of Sri Gauracandra.  May I read the holy Bhagavata at the feet of Nityananda Prabhu birth after birth.

     This is my aspiration.  All glories to the Supreme Lord, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  You gave us Nityananda Prabhu and you took him away from us.  And yet, O Mahaprabhu, grant me this one favor--that my mind may remain always attached to you and to Nityananda Prabhu.  He is your greatest devotee; without your consent, no one can attain his lotus feet.  Nityananda Prabhu roamed throughout Vrndavana and different holy places until Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu manifest his divinity.  Whoever listens to this account of the pilgrimages of Nityananda Prabhu attains the treasure of divine love.  Sri Krsna Caitanya is the life and soul of Nityananda Prabhu.  Vrindavan Das, praying at their lotus feet sings Sri Caitanya Bhagavata.


BIOGRAPHY OF LORD NITYANANDA as told by Radhanatha Swami

Birth and Childhood of Lord Nityananda

    Lord Nityananda born in a Brahmana family in Ekachakra. His father’s name was Hadaya Pundit and his mother’s name was Padmavati. He was the one of the most wonderful child. He had such beautiful and charming features in every respect. In his childhood he knew no other pleasure but be an acting the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He would gather his friends together and throughout the entire day they would simply put on places be in acting the pastimes of the lord. One of his friend’s would pretend to be bhumi (mother earth) in the form of cow, another friend would pretend to be Lord Brahma and she would plead with Lord Brahma, please the demons in the form of Kings are causing me great difficulties and they would – approach the ocean of milk and another friend would take the form of Lord Vishnu and he would say, all you demigods, you all take birth in the Yodu and – dynasty and I’ll soon appear as lord Krishna.

    Sometimes His friends, they would pretend to be Devaki and Vasudeva to give birth to Krishna. Sometimes one friend would play Putana and another friend would jump on him and suck his breast and kill him. Sometimes his friends would play Aghasura, KC, Dhenukasura. In this way they would act all these transcendental pastimes and everyone was stuck with thunder. How do they know these pastimes. They never heard them. They have never study them. They are just little children. Lord Nityananda was very fond of organizing these beautiful dramas all day long. And sometimes they would go and take cows and all day long they would just herd the cows and dance with their sticks and play flutes and pretend to be Krishna and Balaram and the cowherd boys. And then they would come home, they would break into the entire neighbors house and steal the butter and steal the yogurt. People were stuck with wonder. Nobody mind it. Everyone is full of affection.

    Everyone simply wanted to hold Nityananda in their hands. His body was soft like the butter. They just wanted to embrace him and love him and so their affection to him. One time he was playing the role as the small child of Lakshmana and another child was taking the part of Ravana. And Lakshmana challenge Ravana and then Ravana took that great empowered shakti ashtra and threw it at Lakshmana. Of course what they are using in game for the powerful weapon of Ravana was the lotus flower. So he threw this beautiful soft lotus flower and hit Lord Nityananda in the chest and Lord Nityanda playing Lakshmana fell to the ground and went completely unconscious. There was not any sign of life in the body. And all his friends gather around and they talk my god, he has no life. He is dead. And they all began to cry. They did not know what to do. And then Lord Nityananda’s parents came Padmavati and Hadai Pundit. They were gathered around and they were crying what we supposed to do. There is no life in his body. They were doing everything they could to try to revitalize his life. But nothing worked. He laid their completely motionless and silent. Everyone in entire Ekachakra was in a great dilemma their life and soul was lying there life less, what to do? They could not understand, what a just lotus flower touched him, why he is like this? Then someone watching, he said I know what the problem is.

    Recently he was playing the lila of Dasarath and he also fainted and appeared like this, when of his friend was playing Rama has left him. So we want to cure Lord Nityananda who is playing Lakshmana then we have to call Hanuman to get the Gandhamadhana mountain so then one of the children put on the dress of Hanuman, he said I am Hanuman I’ll get the mountain. Then the children remembered, before we started playing this game Lord Nityananda told us that if I fall unconscious get that mountain and bring it here. But they forgot. Now they are remembered. So one of His friends playing Hanuman, he began running and so many other friends playing Rakshasas, they were trying to stop him. He was defeating, smashing them all and finally he came and he brought the mountain. Another friend played a physician and he took the mountain and put it next to Nityananda’s nose and then Nityananda stood up. And everyone began to embrace him. In this way he spent his childhood.

    Day and night he was completely emerged in the lila of the lord. They asked him, how is it? That you know perfectly all the lines of the sashtras, we have never taught you any of these things. Then he would reply that I have simply speaking what I have spoken in my previous incarnations and everyone would just laugh, because they did not believe him.


Lord Nityananda leaves Ekachakra

    When he was 12 years old one day a sannyasi came to the house of Hadai Pundit. Hadai Pundit being a very gentle and pure hearted devotee of the Lord. He offered a nice sitting place to the sannyasi, he offered him nice food, he offered a place to sleep at night, and he offered all of his services. Then in the next morning just before the sannyasi was about to leave, Hadai Pundit said, whatever I have is yours, is there anyway I can serve you. And the sannyasi said, yes it is. He said I am traveling alone and will be most helpful to me, if I have very nice brahmana as a servant and associate. I would like to take your elder son Nityananda with me. When Hadai Pundit heard this, he did not know what to do. He was like a sharp flaming arrow tears in his heart. He began to consider. I have promised him to give him everything that I have I cannot break my word, but at the same time I cannot live without my son. He is everything to me. He began to think of about how Dasaratha maharaja in order to preserve the principle of truth and respect those who are in renounced order. He gave his sons Rama and Lakshmana away to Vishwamitra Muni, even you know what’s difficult for him. So he was thinking that I must follow in the foot steps of these great souls, however painful may be. So he went to his wife Padmavati and said what should I do? Ans she being a very faithful and very loving wife.

    She said my dear husband, whatever you decide is what I decide. So with tears in his eyes he went to the Brahmana, he said if you really want my son then you can take. Now Lord Nityanada he wanted to be with him and preach the glories of the Lord. But he knew that his mother and father were so much attached to him. He could not break their hearts. When the sannyasi came he accepted this divine arrangement and he left home. As soon as he left Hadai Pundit fell unconscious. He could not bear the separation. He was simply crying day and night. He was drowning in an ocean of grief. There was nothing in life that had any meaning or favor to him without the presence of Nitai. He remembered the day where everywhere he went, he bring his son Nitai. When he go to the market Nitai would be behind him and he would be looking around making sure he was right always with him, always worried for his welfare. Indeed wherever he went he could not bear a moment separation from his loving son and now his son going into the forest with the sannyasi. It was too much for him to bear. He could not eat, he could not sleep, he could only wail in a piteous voice with tears streaming from his eyes day and night. Because he was always absorbed in thought of the supreme personality of godhead, his life was somehow or other being maintained without eat, without sleep. And in the last due to the affliction of an utterly broken heart, he left his body and went to the eternal abode of vaikuntha.


Lord Nityananda’s Travel Across India

    Meanwhile it is described that Lord Nityananda began to travel all the holy places. First he went to Gaya and he worships the beautiful foot prints of Vishnugadadhar. Then he went to Kashi to worship the Vishwanatha murti. Then he traveled the holy place of Mathura. There he bathed in Vishnu Ghats and played in the water of beautiful water of Yamuna. He went to all the twelve forest of Vrindavana. And he was so happy in the mood of cowherd boy, identifying his previous incarnation of Balaram. He would simply play with children, herd with the cows and enjoy the sweet atmosphere of the supreme abode of Vraja. It is described that he was so absorbed in happiness of bring in Vrindavana, he did not ever consider eating or sleeping. When someone came of their own accord to offer him some little bit of milk. Sometimes he would accept it.

    Then he continued his journey, his pilgrimage. He traveled very widely, while he was in eastern India he met the most exulted of all spiritual personalities, his name was Madhavendra Puri. When he approach Madhevendra Puri, who is considered by all the Goudiya Vaishnavas to be the very root of love of god. It is through Madhavendra Puri’s love that Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda received either directly or indirectly the initiation. So when Lord Nityananda met with Madhavendra Puri, when they saw each other with their eyes they were filled with love. They were stunned. They both offer their obeisance to one another and began to embrace. Madhavendra Puri had such love for lord Nityananda, understanding that he was the supreme godhead himself. He could no let him go from his loving embrace. As they embraced tears flowed from their eyes, their hairs stand on and their limbs to shivering in transcendental ecstasy and all the disciples of Madhavendra Puri were simply stuck with wander. Lord Nityananda spoke, he said that I have traveled throughout the holy places but until today my hearts desires are not fulfilled. Because indeed wherever the pure servant of Krishna is all the holy places reside within his feet. Lord Nityananda and Madhavendra Puri remained together for many days and many nights. And throughout the days and throughout night they share their pleasure of Krishna Katha. They discussed Krishna amongst each other.

    It is described that their happiness knew no bounds. Because although both of them are wandering to holy places throughout the land, most all sannyasies, most all sadhus, most all so called holy men did not understand the real essence of love of god. But in each other they saw the association of true devotees of Krishna. Madhavendra Puri felt such happiness, he describe that never I have experience such a love of god is in your association. Indeed whatever Lord Nityananda may be, whatever his lotus feet is, anyone who is there in Vaikuntha. He is the supreme embodiment of highest charity the distribution of pure bhakti. Therefore anyone who meet such a person is most fortunate amongst all men. After spending some days together lord Nityanand continued on his Journey to the various places. He traveled to Setubandha, Rameswaram, Srirangam, Tirupati. Indeed he went to all the holy places and then he went to the north Ajyodha, Chitrakuta, Prayag. He went to Badrika ashram and there he met with Srila Vyasadeva and Srila Vyasadeva seeing him in is none other than his worshipable lord Balaram and worship the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.

    After traveling all these holy places he returned to Vrindavana, where he decided to stay and he had a vision. He had a vision that his eternal brother Lord Sri Krishna was performing Hid divine lila in Navadvipa dham in Bengal. But He was still acting like a ordinary little boy. He had not yet established his mission of the Sankirtana movement. So Lord Nityananda decided, he would simple wait in Vrindavana until the signal came that the Lord had began the sankirtana movement. So in a vision after twenty years traveling to various holy places in living in Vrindavana. At that time he could understand within the core of his heart that Lord Caitanya is now leading the devotees to the streets with His arms raised chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.


Lord Nityananda Arrives in Navadwip

    So he left Vrindavana. Then he went to Navadvipa, he did not announce his arrival to anyone. But he went to the home of Nandanacarya. The next morning Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu approached his devotees and He said last night I had a wonderful dream. I saw an extraordinary chariot appeared it had the flag of palm tree which is the chariot sign of Lord Balaram. And there was very large and beautiful personality on that chariot and he was repeating over and over again where is the house of Nimai Pundit. He said, this extraordinary person, I could understand that last night he has arrived in Navadvipa. He is none other than Balaram Himself. You must go out and you must find him. So the devotees headed by Srivas Thakur and Haridasa thakur, they went out and they went to every home, and every market place and inquired, have you seen an exulted personality that had come. And after searching everywhere they came back and they told Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu that we cannot find such a person. And Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu he said, I’ll personally lead the way. And at last they came to the house of Nandana acarya. From within the house Lord Nityananda was seeing the effulgent like millions of moons and He and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu first met, they both stood stunned, unable to speak with eyes glue to one another in divine love. In deed Lord Nityananda at last fell down in ecstasy onto the ground and Lord Caitanya embraced him and they embraced rivers of tears are flowing from their eyes. It was then Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda began to dance and chant together in the holy kirtan of the name of Krishna. And it was that from point that Lord Nityananda in the loving service of Sri Gaura sundara would travel everywhere possible to deliver the holy name. So it is described that without gaining the mercy of the Lord Nityananda, one cannot properly approach the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.  Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.

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