Bhakti Tattva – Part Eight

In the garden, Sriman Mahaprabhu showed mercy to King Prataparudra, the devotee King of Puri. Sriman Mahaprabhu was greatly revered by both Sri Sarvabhauma and his wife. Once Sriman Mahaprabhu was criticized at the home of Sarvabhauma by the host’s son-in-law on account of the sumptuous meal served to Him by Sarvabhauma’s wife. This deeply pained the host and the hostess. Sathi’s mother (Sathi was the daughter of Sarvabhauma) cursed her own son-in-law to die because of the insult meted out by him to Lord Mahaprabhu.

chaitanya-mahaprabhu-meets-ramanada-raya-fd709The next year, the Ratha Yatra festival came by and again the devotees of Nabadwipa were ready to meet their Lord at Puri. Sri Sivanand Sen was in charge of their maintenance this time. Residential quarters were duly allotted to them in Puri by the Lord.  A street dog accompanied the devotee group on their visit to Puri. After having being blessed by Sriman Mahaprabhu, by His special mercy the dog departed to the spiritual world. The devotees joined Sriman Mahaprabhu and entered into water sports with Him in a playful mood. As usual, the devotees washed the Gundica temple thoroughly under the benign leadership of the Lord and gleefully witnessed their Lord dancing before the car of Sri Jagannath during the festivities. On Janmashtami day Lord Mahaprabhu dressed Himself as a cow-herd boy and carried a balance of pots of yogurt wheeling a rod in His hand. After the wonderful ceremony the Lord bid adieu to all the devotees from Nabadwipa while He himself remained in the company of some of the permanent Bengali residents at Puri and continued chanting.

The Lord then undertook a visit to Bengal soon after the festival at Puri on His way to Sri Vrindavana Dham. Sri Ramananda Raya accompanied the Lord as far as the city of Bhadraka. As the Lord reached Bengal, He stopped at the house of Vidya Vacaspati, who was the dear brother of Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. When the Lord arrived there, the place was flocked by an unprecedented crowd. The Lord stayed there for five days and the crowd continued unabated. Sriman Mahaprabhu left at night and went to Kuliya grama, modern day Nabadwipa city. Hearing about the arrival of the Lord many hundreds and thousands of people came to see the Lord. The Lord showed special mercy on miscreants like Devananda Pandita and a brahman named Gopala Capala who had earlier committed serious offense at the feet of Srivasa Pandita. The Lord showed mercy on many transgressors and gave them Love of Godhead. Sri Narasimhananda Brahmacary was an ardent devotee of the Lord and he mentally decorated the path which Lord Mahaprabhu took on the way to Sri Vrindavana Dhama. Sri Brahmacary contemplated a broad pleasant road bedecked on both sides with beautiful trees and flowers. He filled the roads mentally with precious gems upon which he placed stemless flowers so that the Lord’s feet remained protected. He contemplated many lotus-filled lakes which had beautifully filled bathing places, the water of the lakes itself that tasted like nectar. The roads were surcharged with the chirping of birds and cool breezes all the way. He carried on the mental construction work as far as a place called Kanai Natashala. However the construction work in the mind of Sri Narasimhananda Brahmacary could not be carried beyond Kanai Natashala. He himself could not understand why he could not mentally contemplate beyond this place and thus he was astonished at his own inability to proceed. With great assurance he told other devotees that Sriman Mahaprabhu would not go to Sri Vrindavana Dhama, although he himself was not sure about the reason.

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