Bhakti Tattva – Part Thirteen

After instructing Santana Goswami the Lord bestowed His mercy on the Mayavadis of Benares. The Lord travelled all over India for the next six years as a parivrajakacarya or travelling monk. It is a custom in Sanatana Dharma that a person who has undertaken Sanyasa has to travel around the country for a few years and instruct the general populace on aspects relating to Dharma and Bhagawan. The Lord, during these six years attended to this duty of His, after Sanyasa.

mahapabhu-chaitanyaIn the end after His extensive travel, the Lord settled down at Jagannath Puri after His visit to Vrindavana. He thus remained at Puri nowhere to go in the next eighteen years and thus consummated His earthly pastimes. During these eighteen years devotees from Bengal regularly visited Him and stayed at Nilacala for four full months during the Holy period of Chatur Masya and would then return to Nabadwipa. This practice carried on for eighteen years. At Puri the Lord displayed His pastimes of Sankirtana unceasingly. He showered His causeless mercy to one and all in Puri and awarded pure Love of God even to the lowliest of men. There were a few devotees who originally belonged to Nabadwipa who continued to reside in Puri with the Lord during those eighteen years. They were Pandita Goswami (Gadadhara Pandita) , Vakreshwara, Damodara , Sankara and Haridas Thakhura. Other devotees who continued to live with the Lord at all times were Jagadananda, Govinda, Kasiswara, Paramananda Puri and Swarupa Damodar. Other devotees who originally belonged to Jagannath Puri like Ramananda Raya also took up residence with the Lord.

During these eighteen years Haridas Thakhura left the world and Sriman Mahaprabhu performed a great festival to celebrate the departure of Srila Haridas Thakhura to the spiritual world. Srila Rupa Goswami met the Lord again at Puri and the Lord empowered Him with all transcendental power. Later Srila Sanatana Goswami met the Lord again and the Lord tested him during the month of Jyaishtha. After this Santana was sent back to Vrindavana, the Lord having been pleased. During the course of the later years there is a beautiful episode of Advaita Acarya feeding the Lord. Then the Lord blessed Nityananda Prabhu and asked Him to preach the Holy name in Bengal. Soon afterwards Vallabha Bhatta met the Lord at Puri and the Lord explained to Him the import of the Holy name of Krishna. Vallabha Bhatta was the head of the Pushti Marga Sampradaya that preached service to Krishna in the mood of parenthood. Sri Vallabha was proud of His erudition and spiritual knowledge and he considered his works to be greater than Sridhara Swami who was an antecedent of Vallabha Bhatta. The Lord corrected Sri Vallabha and indicated that a Vaishnava should be humble and should always follow the footsteps of its predecessors and one who is a successor should always revere his predecessor. Only then will one will become a candidate for receiving the infinite mercy of the Lord. The Lord clearly told Vallabha Bhatta that his pride of trying to establish Himself superior to Sridhara Swami was not at all befitting a true Vaishnava.

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