Bhakti Tattva – Part Six

The Lord spent great time with all His associates and His mother at the house of Sri Advaita Acarya and then proceeded towards Jagannath Puri. He heard the story of His parama guru (His guru’s guru) Madhavendra Puri and also heard the story of how Sri Gopal was installed. The Lord heard the story of Sri Kshira Chora Gopal, the thief of sweet rice, from the mouth of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. During the course of journey to Sri Jagannath Puri, Sri Nityananda Prabhu broke the Sanyasa rod of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sriman Mahaprabhu apparently was very angry with His elder brother Nityananda Prabhu and angrily left His company to reach the Jagannath temple before His elder brother Nityananda Prabhu.

The Lord was greeted by Lord Jagannath and Sriman Mahaprabhu immediately lost all external consciousness as He floated in divine ecstasy on entering the temple precincts. After having fallen to the ground; He was spotted by Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, who was Sri Brihaspati, the chief preceptor of the Devas in Indra Loka or at court of Lord Indra in a previous incarnation. Sri Sarvabhauma was a maha pandita or scholar of Vedanta caitanyaShastra. Sarvabhauma carried the Lord to his residence nearby the temple at Puri. The Lord only regained external consciousness by afternoon time. Lord Nityananda along with His associates namely Jagadananda, Damodara and Mukunda came looking for Lord Mahaprabhu and enquired about His whereabouts after they reached the temple at a later point. They were guided to the residence of Sri Sarvabhauma during the course of their search. They became very pleased after they spotted the Lord at Sri Sarvabhauma’s residence. The Lord later bestowed His immense mercy on Sri Sarvabhauma and showed him His original form as the Supreme Lord.

The Lord then undertook a visit to the South of India in the role of parivrajakacarya or travelling monk in the Vaishnava line. He first visited Kurma Kshetra where he delivered a leper named Vasudeva. He visited there, a temple of Sri Narsinghdeva and introduced the chanting of the mahamantra in every village in the south. The Kali-Santaranopinashad states that the original mahamantra was Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare; however the Supreme Lord Mahaprabhu reversed the mantra and introduced renewed efficacy into the mantra and made it Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare especially for the sake of the fallen souls of Kaliyuga. The Lord met Sri Ramananda Raya once on the bank of river Godavari. The Lord also visited the holy shrine at Tirumala or Tirupati and extensively preached the chanting of the Holy Name there. The Lord also defeated the atheistic cult there and also visited the holy shrine of Ahobilam in Andhra Pradesh. The Lord visited the Ranganatha Kshetra and had darshana of Sri Ranganatha. He was overwhelmed with the ecstasy of Love of Godhead when He beheld the deities there. This was the time of Chatur masa or the holy four month period of Vaishnavas and hence He remained in Ranganatha Kshetra at the house of Sri Venkata Bhatta there. Venkata Bhatta hailed from the Ramanuja Sect of the south that preached Vishishta Advaita. He was a scholar of Vaishnavism and became overwhelmed and astonished on witnessing the simplicity and spiritual clout of Sriman Mahaprabhu. Sriman Mahaprabhu passed the holy four month period in great association of the Vaishnavas at Ranganatha Kshetra and usually spent His time in spiritual discussions and Hari Nama Sankirtana. Sriman Mahaprabhu continued His journey southwards and met Sri Paramananda Puri. Sriman Mahaprabhu also visited the state of Kerala and made visits to places of Vaishnava importance. There He saved His personal servant named Krishnadasa from the clutches of the women folk from the Bhattatiri caste. He popularized the chanting of Sri Krishna’s name amongst the Brahmana caste who were accustomed to chanting Lord Ramachandra’s names.

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