Lord Chaitanya’s visit to Vrindavan


Venue: Mayapur 2006

Hare Krishna!!! Everybody say Hare Krishna.Thank You. Thank you also for joining us once again. As we continue to narrate the pastimes of Guaranga, pastimes in connection with his visit to Vrindavan.

Yesterday! Was that yesterday?? Ok. Yes, it was yesterday. We did talk of how soon after taking sanayasa, first place he wanted to go to was Vrindavan.

“Where is Vrindavan??? Where is Vrindavan??? And as he inquired, he was misdirected. Even Supreme Lord could be misdirected, this was the job of those cowherd boys, you remember them. Haribol!!! They were all chanting ‘Hari Bol.’ Mahaprabhu was pleased with them, so they misdirected, misguided and ofcourse, our Lord Nityananda Prabhu, he had a role to play, gave the dictation; you tell Him if he asks, you tell him which way to Vrindavan. Tell Him where to go, just follow the path to the banks of Ganga and following that path as we heard Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ended up in Shantipur Dham. Shantipur Dham ki jay! That is where we also went. We were directed there today, not misdirected; we were directed to go to Shantipur. After spending some days in Shantipur, ofcourse Lord does not waste his time, He was using every minute, every second of his time.

Always, where ever He is, He does that and He did the samething in Shantipur. How did he spend his time? Chanting, dancing and feasting, meeting devotees and meeting Sachi Mata and ofcourse I am yours, this body is mine. You just order me, ofcourse; I cannot ask you to come back to Mayapur. “Dear son, could you please stay at Jaggannath Puri?” So it was settled that way and Caitnaya Mahaprabhu proceeded to Jaggannath Puri and on the way, as we were talking at Shantipur today, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He did stop at many places and one of those places was Remuna. As the name, we should be remembering today, if not everyday or all the times. Today is the day, Madhavendra Puri’s disappearance day and he disappeared at Remuna at Shirchor Gopinath temple.

As Lord spent one night, what did He do? He spent all night talking about Madhavendra Puri, the glories of Madhavendra Puri. Chaitanya spent all night talking about Madhavendra puri to the assemble devotees. Madhavendra Puri was Lord’s grand spiritual master also. Ishwar puri the spiritual master and his spiritual master Madhavendra puri so he was his grand spiritual master, then Lord proceeded to Puri and well, we were talking how, where else Chaitanya Mahyaprabhu could be or could have stayed, this was the best location, best destination for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Jaggannath is the match. They go well together, we spent yesterday sometime describing how, our Guar Govind Maharaj talks, these were the two Lords, two crying Lords.Two lords were crying in Jaggannath Puri. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu crying. He is in the mood of Radharani and he’s crying for Krishna and other Lord, Lord Jaggannath, crying for his devotees and specially Radharani. One is looking for Krishna, and the other is looking for Radharani and they meet, the great meeting took place in Jaggannath Puri, they spent time together, 24 years. Out of which, ofcourse, 6 years Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spent traveling and finally 18 years, He was there with Jaggannath. Also taking part in ‘Rathyatra’ festivals and playing the role of Radharani. Jaggannath Krishna in the cart and Radharani right in the front, in the form of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

When Lord arrived for first time to Jaggannath Puri. Jag….Jag….. he couldn’t even utter the full name Jaggannath. Jag…. Jag…. Is all that he could say or utter. His voice was chocked up and next minute He was rolling on the ground right there in the Darshan mandap of Lord Jaggannath. And Lord taking part in Jaggannath Rath Yatra, yesterday also we spoke about this, that way, He brings Krishna Jaggannath to Vrindavan that is Gundicha temple. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stayed in Vrindavan. Gundicha is replica of Vrindavan. All those gardens around are non different from the forests of Vrindavan. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu thus proclaimed and he was introducing all surroundings and they were simply talking about Radha and Krishna for seven days and seven night. That is how much time Jaggannath spent in Gundicha temple, and there another Rath Yatra back to the main temple called Ulta Rath. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as they were proceeding towards Gundicha, His mood was,

“Mora Mann Vrindavan”

All the devotees were pulling the cart of Jaggannath. Trying to bring him to Vrindavan in the mood of Braj vasis.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, his mood, my mind, my mind is Vrindavan, ‘Mora Mann is Vrindavan’; Mora Mann, ‘My Mind is Vrindavan’. “O Krishna, please enter my mind, reside in my mind, reside in my heart, please make my heart your residence, O Lord.”

And ofcourse by doing all this, as He is playing a role of a devotee,‘Bhaktavatar’ as he is known. He is teaching by example, it’s for all of us to take note of, watch him and understand Him, His mood, try to cultivate that kind of consciousness. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was there in Jaggannath Puri for some time. Then he does take his tour of South India. Travels extensively throughout South India and returns to Jaggannath Puri, we will not be talking details of that.

We could only take one drop of the ocean of pastimes of Guaranga. We are not very big, right!!! Even one drop good enough for us to get drowned. Kind of size that we understand, what we are one, 10,000th and that is also tips of the hair. I have a hair, tip of hair, you see, break that into 10,000, then take one, that’s our size. So that size we are, just one drop of the ocean of pastimes is just enough for us to get drowned. So He returned to Jaggannath Puri. Great to read and understand how he traveled, how he was spreading and chanting the holy name of the Lord everywhere. His purpose that time was to, he was looking for his brother Viswaroopa that was given as a reason. “I must go find my brother”. That was kind of a private, personal reason but than,

“Dharmasanthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge” (4.8)

His purpose is also, different purposes to establish the chanting of the holy name as yuga dharma for this age of Kali. So he did that, and finally in Pandharpur, finally He comes to Pandhapur, Pandhapur dham ki jai! Which is one of the very dear dhams for us. He found out that Viswaroop, he was there in Pandhapur and that is where he departed from, he had taken Sanayasa. So he found out that his brother was no more and so then he comes back to Jaggannath Puri, then he had desire to go to Vrindavan.

King Pratap Rudra, the great devotee of the Lord. He found out Chaitanya Mahaprabhu contemplating on going to Vrindavan. King Pratap Rudra made a special request to Sarvabhom Bhatthacharya and Ramanand Rai, “please, please make sure that Lord Chaitanya doesn’t leave Jaggannath Puri” and not only King Pratap Rudra but no one wanted Guaranga, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to leave Jaggannath Puri. So as now Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he was appealing to the devotees, Ramanand Rai and Swaroop Damodhar, “please make arrangements for me to go to Vrindavan.” But devotees where, when he proposed for the first time, the devotees said, “Oh! This is not the proper time, this is rainy season, not good time for traveling.” Ok, rainy season was over. “So could you now make arrangement for me to go?” “No, no! It is too cold in Vrindavan now”. Then again he wanted to go.

“No, no! It’s time for Ratha Yatra. Soon the devotees would be coming from Bengal, looking for you also, besides taking part in Jaggannath Puri. Please stay. Please stay on”.
And like that, two years, they came up with this excuse and that reason, “No not now”. This time, that time. And two years passed that way. But finally Lord said, “No, I must go! Please make arrangements. Oh! Please let me go, please permit me to go, please happily give me permission to go. Then I’ll be happy on my way; on the way to Vrindavan.” So finally Mahaprabhu was ready to go and whole Jaggannath Puri was also ready to go with him, all devotees were there. As he started leaving Jaggannath Puri, all devotees were right behind him like an ocean. There is also an ocean, the Bay of Bengal, like that the ocean of devotee following Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He forbade them. He had to do so many things to keep them behind and it was very very difficult for those devotees to see Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu leaving right in front of them. And some devotees traveled with him up to Cuttack, some more devotee’s upto some more points, and finally Lord practically by himself, Ok, we mentioned.

He wanted to go to Vrindavan but his idea was, “I’ll visit the devotees in Bengal first.” Especially he was thinking, “I should visit mother Ganga and mother Sachi.” He was thinking of these two mothers, I will go to Bengal and visit my mother Sachi Mata and Ganga Mata and also meet devotees there. And then via Bengal through Bengal then, I’ll head towards Vrindavan.” So with that idea, Mahaprabhu comes to Bengal side. One of the first places Mahaprabhu comes is Vidyanagar, you know Vidyanagar. Those who went on ‘Parikrama’, one day padayatra, parikrama stops at Vidyanagar, so just before Vidyanagar, there is a residence of Vidyavachaspati, the brother of Sarvabhom Bhattacharya and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was staying there. And as news leaked, “Mahaprabhu is back.” “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is here. “Guaranga! Guaranga! Guaranga is here”

The wave, the news was reaching; the news was reaching and the wave of people also coming back towards Vidyavachaspati’s home. There’s a description in Chaitanya Bhagavat, the kind of crowds came out and they were leaving for Vidyavachaspati home. Normally there are some paths for bullock carts or footpaths. But only few people could walk on those paths. When people came, they saw their path is blocked by the trees and bushes because there is only a little path. And they don’t want to go one after the other. They all wanted to go simultaneously like a wave. So it is described that people started cutting the trees and bushes and clearing the whole forest. And then they were walking on the trees, the bushes and crawling and proceeding towards Vidyavachaspati’s home. People just clearing the path, another wave came from the eastern side and then they have to stop.

Ganga was in the middle, there were few boats, but who wants to stand in a queue, ten people at a time and one boat coming back and another one going. It is also described that Vidyavachaspati personally arranged some additional boats for devotees. But they were not sufficient, they were not waiting for the boats to go and return, they were just jumping into the river, diving and trying to cross. There was a time, Ganga was filled with people, you could only see the heads of the people moving , not water, heads of people everywhere moving …moving…they did not care what would be the result, whether they could cross or whether would get drowned. All that they were thinking, “We want to see ‘Guaranga’.” “Where is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? Where is He? Where is He? This is all they are thinking, just thinking, there spirit is just moving and the bodies are just following. Finally as people arrived, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had realized that there is too much stamped could be too much to handle this crowd. So he had gone to kulingram. Devotees were disappointed and Vidyavachaspati was kind enough to bring all of them to bring to kulingram which is present in Navadvipa. And all the devotees met Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ki jay!

They met and they saw and they were just drinking the beauty of the personality of Guaranga. Full dandavats and ofcourse big kirtans. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu just sits and he gives darshan to everybody. He begins dancing and because he is very tall, everyone could take his ‘Darshan’. Bengalis are usually shorter people and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is seven feet tall. Easy for darshan right! And to make it yet easier what would Guaranga do? He would jump, the golden, the real gold in this world everyone is mad after gold and Guaranga…. ‘Go’ for Guaranga is real gold. So they had a great time and they were following Chaitanya Mahaprabhu everywhere, wherever he would go, they would go with him. One devotee Narsingh Bramhachari, Narsinghanand Narsinghanand Bramhachari, he found out that Mahaprabhu is planning to go to Vrindavan ofcourse he is going to be walking. “Oh! What could I do? What could I do? What service could I render?” And he had great idea of fixing the road. Starting from Navadvipa, kulingram, all the way to Vrindavan, he wanted to fix the road. But how did he do that? He did that in the mind, easy Job! No, that was his devotion. Lord is ‘Bhavgrahi Janardan’. Even your ‘bhava’ counts, you get credit for that.

So he sat down he started constructing the road and not with the stones it was with flowers, stemless translation is no stem, stemless. The stems were cut and the flowers being spread on the road, a bed of roses. There were bakuls, special bakul flower, they are very rare, but he had so many of them on either side, he had bakul flowers at intervals, there were lakes. If you need to go into the lake, you need a ghat or steps. They were made up of jewels and then he was filling up those lakes with the waters. The lake is there the water is there, what else is required??? Lotuses have to be there, lotuses were there. There were bushes and there were beautiful trees on the banks of those lakes. And he had birds’ chirping and singing. He was trying to do the best, road for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to walk on building and building and building, and making that bridge, I mean, the road, he went up to Kanhai Natshala.

It is the place in Bengal-Bihar border, up to there he built the road and from there onwards he had difficulty continuing the construction of the road, He had lots of flowers and more lakes, the idea, more trees, more birds everything was waiting, big stalk he had but he was not able to. He was struggling to go forward with the road construction but not possible. He was not even able to put one step forward and as he contemplated, he came to conclusion that this time Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will not go to Vrindavan, He will only go up to Kanhai Natshala. Upto that Kanhai Natshala he had built the road and he said only upto there, He will go and he will not go forward, he told the devotees, “You will see! You will see!” he was fully convinced; you will see it was like a prediction and he was convinced.

So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from kulingram, he goes to Ramkeli and he met Rupa Goswami and Sanatan, the Dabir Khash and Sakar Malik, the two brothers, they were ministers. First time ever they were meeting, great meeting! These two brothers were holding a straw in between their teeth, “Dante Trina Dhari” and full obeisances at the feet of the Lord, full humility, folded hands and trembling voice and faltering of the voices, and they are speaking, Lord did not want to even hear so much. We are worst than Jagai and Madhai and we are this and we are that. It’s too much, the humility. He said leave it. No, I can’t hear. Enough…enough. Stop! Stop! And Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “You are my eternal associates.”

Rupa Manjiri and Vilas Manjiri, they are meeting in Ramkeli for first time, so there was a nice dialogue, everything is wonderful. Sanatan Goswami says one thing and all those devotees were following the Lord. Ramkeli is in Bangladesh. The present day Bangladesh, that time ofcourse, there was no Bangladesh, that’s new creation, new country. Sanatan Goswami said this is not the way to go to Vrindavan, going with hundreads and thousands of devotees. No, don’t do this. Sanatan Goswami is giving a kind of good advice. Srila Prabhupad writes in the purport there that in those days, one of the thing mentioned that people use to take big tours to Vrindavan on some kind of commercial basis and charge people pandas giving tour and take money, what they would think of you?, you are no better as one thing that comes up and it’s a disturbance. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu now even after he had not taken it seriously and then he was traveling, he was on the way to Vrindavan and he was in Kanai Natsala spending night there and during the night, he was thinking what did Sanatan Goswami say?. No, No, dont go with hundreds and thousands of devotees to Vrindavan, then yes, that’s it. Mahaprabu decided I will not go to Vrindavan.

Narsinghananda Brahmacahri ki jai… Remember he had said he will not go. Mahaprabhu said I will return to Jagganath Puri. I will return to Nilachal, ofcourse yet he has not visited Sachimata, so Chaitanya Mahaprabu once again, he comes to Shantipur. Remember he had come after taking sanayasa and again he is in Shantipur and he meets Sachimata in Shantipur. First time also that meeting took place in Shantipur, second time also that meeting Sachimata in Shantipur. Spending time in Shantipur festival chanting, dancing, feasting and Lord proceeds to Jagannath Puri. Again every one wants to go with him and Lord had hard time keeping everyone behind in Bengal, only two devotees went with him, one is Balabhadra Bhattacharya and other is Damodhar Pandit, two devotees followed Mahaprabhu back to Jagannath Puri. Jagannath Puri dham ki jai! and he is in Jagannath Puri now.

He hadn’t forgotten his Vrindavan business, he wants to go to Vrindavan again, he calls Ramananda Rai and Swarupa Damodhar, “Please make arrangement for me to go to Vrindavan, but I dont want anybody, nobody will go with me to Vrindavan. I want to go by myself and then the whole dialogue.” No! No! No! (laughs) atleast take two and finally it was settled. Ok. Just one but make sure that devotee is peaceful in his mind, besides few other qualifications. Mahaprabhu said he has to be peaceful. You don’t know last time that Kaliya Krishna Das right, he was there but then he got into trouble, mind agitated. So make sure servant that goes with me, he has to be peaceful.

Who goes with Mahaprabhu? If someone wants to go with Mahaprabhu, then that is one of the requirements he has to be what? (Devotees saying) peaceful, not peaceful, then you will stay behind, you lag behind. So finally and then Oh! That Bhatacharya, Balabhadra Batacharaya, he is the one, he travelled with you from Bengal to Jagannath Puri, we are proposing his name, yes, yes, he could go and it was settled. So when Lord proposed that was kind of evening time and he said, “Tonight before sunrise, I will be out of here. Dont spread the news of my departure and I will go.”

So Lord, in the middle of the night, got up and took that one devotee with him and started his journey for Vrindavan. Next morning as devotees got up. Who are they thinking of? As soon as they got who are they thinking of, first who are they thinking?

“Guaranga” “Guaranga” “Guaranga”

First thing they think is of “Guaranga,” so morning, specially morning should be reserved for remembering the Lord and his devotees. Mornings are very very special, the best time of the day should be reserved for the best person best Lord and his devotees, so Jagannath Puri devotees were doing that. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is incognito, incognito, he is not going on the highways, he is taking some side ways, he is going through the forest, this is how he ends up in Jharkhand, forests of Jharkhand. Now just few years ago in India, there is a new state like our Maharashtra or U.P or Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat, one more state has been added Jharkhand, that’s part of Bihar, right, that’s part of Bihar, north India, that’s part of Bihar and so Bihar divided into two, Bihar state and Jharkhand, just to have some idea where is Jharkhand. So now He is going through Jharkhand forest, is He carrying gun with him? He has no gun, bombs, swords, stones (laughs). Nothing, He is empty handed and He is going through the forest and that forest, 500 years, that forest was full of tigers and lions and elephants and like that, it’s a real forest, forest like forest, thick forest, and Mahaprabhu is traveling through and ofcourse singing all the time.

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare (kirtan).

So we have little more time, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has not today, he will just reach outskirts of Vrindavan, Mathura, going through the forest quickly he took ofcourse many many days. He was in the forest many months, he was in the forest and just Him and
Balabhadra Bhattacharya. Balabhadra Bhattacharya had hard time.(laughs) And he was traveling (makes sound of tiger), Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he was walking and dancing and his feet touched sleeping tiger.

Tiger is on the ground, Mahaprabhu standing next and tiger looked and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says Hare Krishna (laughter) and tiger says (devotees saying), Hare Krishna. Get up, get up, he makes the tiger to get up and there is more chanting and dancing and that the tiger is singing, just like human beings, like you say Hare Krishna, tiger is saying Hare Krishna, not acting like a tiger any more. And another time, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he was on the lake taking his bath and now was chanting his gayatri. So he was murmuring his gayatri mantra and then comes the elephants, big herd, so many elephants comes to drink water and as they are drinking water, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu splashes some water and as water touches their bodies, they say Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, elephants (devotees saying). Hare Krishna Hare Krishna to you and elephants are not only chanting but their four legs are up in the air and they are dancing and singing. I wish some one had taken their video, you would have purchased one copy, right?

But as it is described in Chaitanya Caritamrita if you could hear or read and visualize in your mind, three dimensional, that’s the scriptures are like windows, through that you see the pastimes of Mahaprabhu, Krishna, Guaranga.. Then another time, he is walking through the forest and he has tigers and the deers they are walking side by side, is that ever possible? We can’t even imagine the deer, even if they see a human being, they run away, what to speak of tiger. They are walking next to each other, they are walking next to each other, not one, so many deers, so many tigers walking next to each other and next scene was, this was too much!

Well it’s difficult for us to understand this is all doing of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. But he is not giving credit to himself or he is not thinking, he is not thinking I am playing double role here, let me fix the tiger’s consciousness and the deers consciousness and this and that, let me revolutionize, fix them, and then I will be there again to witness, to watch how they act, how they behave, how they demonstrate, how they perform. He doesn’t have to fix them first and then put them on the stage and see their performance, it’s kind of simultaneously happening. As if Lord has nothing, nothing to do with it, how is this happening? What is this? This is going against nature, against the nature. The deer and the tiger next to each other and not next to each other but Mahaprabhu saw as he looked behind to the next scene. The deer and tiger, they were embracing each other like what, one tiger, one deer standup, who is the tiger? (Laughter) He is the deer (devotee who acted tiger and deer embracing each other) and Haribol and applause.

Embracing was the first act, next was they were kissing each other. Haribol! (Laughter). Even difficult to get human beings to (laughter). So when Mahaprabhu saw that he was reminded of Vrindavan, there is a verse here, now we are not giving scriptures in the front but its right there. He is reciting the verse which is from 10th canto of Bhagvatam describing the spirit of Vrindavan, where animals don’t act like ferocious animals although they have animal body, they have no enmity, no anger, no hatred they are friendly even animals are friendly with each other. So although Mahaprabhu was far from Vrindavan he was just there in the Jharkhand forest but their he experienced Vrindavan, this is Vrindavan for him, that was Vrindavan, that experience was Vrindavan experience, that spirit was Vrindavan spirit.

So as he was eager to go to Vrindavan, kind of Vrindavan was running towards him. Vrindavan was coming also in his direction, he was experiencing Vrindavan on the way to Vrindavan and again ofcourse as he was out of thick forest of Jharkhand, more villages and towns on the way to Varanasi and his chanting and dancing continues. His assistant is arranging some prasadam, cooking spinach from forest vegetables and simple meal, sometimes some brahmans are inviting. It is described that some low class people also forest people, uncivilized, so then his servant has to cook which he is doing, the people are coming to chant and dance with him. its amazing there is no, there is no advertisement, no banner, no poster, no one is doing campaign for Mahaprabhu’s travel, “Tonight he is in this village and next day in that town” but somehow people are finding out and coming in a big number. Where ever he goes, that was happening in south India, some more people are coming as he is going through, this Jharkhand in North India, on the way to Vrindavan.

Ofcourse Lord is the heart and it is easy for Him just to make announcement in the heart of each person quickly and they come, they all found out, He is coming, He is here, so they are coming in big numbers and he is getting them to chant and dance. Inspiring, inspiring them to chant and dance (saying loudly).

Haribol! Haribol! Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is lifting all of them and let them go. Haribol! Haribol!

Kind of Mahaprabhu does that lifting everybody. Haribol! And then, those people go return to their towns, villages and then preach to everybody “jare dako tare kaho” those people meet other people and they meet other people like that. Chanting and dancing holy name was spreading everywhere in Mahaprabhu’s time. Then he passed through Prayag and as heading towards Vrindavan, Mathura, Mathura dham ki jai!

Tomorrow will be, we will deal with some of the chapters of Chaitanya Caritamrita according to my estimation or my liking, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s another word Vraj Mandal Parikrama of Vrindavan. Starting with his bath, holy dip at Vishram Ghat, going for darshan of Keshavdev at janmasthan, birth place of Krishna. Then going from forest to forest and how the whole vraj, Mahaprabhu is kind of dealing, reciprocating, whole vraj mandal, wholw vraj mandal is also dealing with Mahaprabhu. Char-achar, there is something non living in vraj, char-achar, everything is welcoming Chaitanaya Mahaprabhu. And it’s their experience, they are all thinking, although Guarsundar has come to Vrindavan but they are all thinking Oh! Shyamsundar is here, although Guarsundar is there but they are thinking Oh! Shyamsundar is . strong, he goes to Hare Krishnahere, Shyamsundar is here and cows and trees, the birds, male parrot, female parrot talking, peacocks dancing and Mahaprabhu’s ecstasy, his emotions, its a whole flood. So we will be dealing with that tomorrow.

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  1. jayabhadra