Antya 9: The Deliverance of Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka
The ninth chapter is summarized as follows. Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka, the son of Bhavānanda Rāya, was engaged in the service of the government, but he misappropriated some funds from the treasury. Therefore the baḍa-jānā, the eldest son of King Pratāparudra, ordered that he be punished by death. Thus Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka was raised on the cāṅga to be killed, but by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he was delivered. Moreover, he was even promoted to a higher post.
maruḥ śaśvad anūpatām
jaya jaya nityānanda karuṇa-hṛdaya
jaya gaura-bhakta-gaṇa saba rasamaya
nīlācale vāsa karena kṛṣṇa-prema-raṅge
nānā-bhāve vyākula prabhura mana āra aṅga
rātrye rāya-svarūpa-sane rasa-āsvādana
yei dekhe, sei pāya kṛṣṇa-prema-dhana
sapta-pātālera yata daitya viṣadhara
nānā-veśe āsi’ kare prabhura daraśana
āsi’ prabhu dekhi’ preme haya acetana
According to the opinion of some historians, Prahlāda Mahārāja was born in Tretā-yuga in the city of Multan, in the state of Punjab. He was born of Hiraṇyakaśipu, a king of the dynasty of Kaśyapa. Prahlāda Mahārāja was a great devotee of Lord Viṣṇu, but his father was very much against Viṣṇu. Because the father and son thus differed in their consciousness, the demon father inflicted all kinds of bodily pain upon Prahlāda. When this torture became intolerable, the Supreme Lord appeared as Nṛsiṁhadeva and killed the great demon Hiraṇyakaśipu.
Bali Mahārāja was the grandson of Prahlāda Mahārāja. The son of Prahlāda Mahārāja was Virocana, and his son was known as Bali. Appearing as Vāmana and begging Bali Mahārāja for three feet of land, the Lord took possession of the entire three worlds. Thus Bali Mahārāja became a great devotee of Lord Vāmana. Bali Mahārāja had one hundred sons, of whom Mahārāja Bāṇa was the eldest and most famous.
Vyāsadeva was the son of the great sage Parāśara. Other names for him are Sātyavateya and Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Bādarāyaṇa Muni. As one of the authorities on the Vedas, he divided the original Veda, for convenience, into four divisions — Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg and Atharva. He is the author of eighteen Purāṇas as well as the theosophical thesis Brahma-sūtra and its natural commentary, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He belongs to the Brahma-sampradāya and is a direct disciple of Nārada Muni.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the son of Vyāsadeva. He was a brahmacārī fully conscious of Brahman realization, but later he became a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He narrated Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to Mahārāja Parīkṣit.
‘kṛṣṇa kaha’ balena prabhu bāhire āsiyā
ei-mata yāya prabhura rātri-divase
gopīnāthere ‘baḍa jānā’ cāṅge caḍāila
The cāṅga was a device for killing a condemned person. It consisted of a raised platform on which the condemned was made to stand. Underneath the platform, there were stationary upright swords. The condemned man would be pushed down onto the swords, and in this way he would die. For some reason, Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka had been condemned to death and had therefore been raised upon the cāṅga.
prabhu rakṣā karena yabe, tabe nistāribe
tāṅra putra — tomāra sevake rākhite yuyāya
tabe sei loka kahe saba vivaraṇa
sarva-kāla haya teṅha rāja-viṣayī
sādhi’ pāḍi’ āni’ dravya dila rāja-dvāra
dui-lakṣa kāhana kauḍi rājā ta’ māgila
krame-krame veci’ kini’ dravya bhariba
eta bali’ ghoḍā āne rāja-dvāre dhari’
tāre pāṭhāila rājā pātra-mitra sane
gopīnāthera krodha haila mūlya śuniyā
ūrdhva-mukhe bāra-bāra iti-uti cāya
rājā kṛpā kare tāte bhaya nāhi māne
tāte ghoḍāra mūlya ghāṭi karite nā yuyāya’
rājāra ṭhāñi yāi’ bahu lāgāni karila
ājñā deha yadi, — ‘cāṅge caḍāñā la-i kauḍi’
ye upāye kauḍi pāi, kara se upāya”
khaḍaga-upare phelāite tale khaḍaga pātila”
“rāja-kauḍi dite nāre, rājāra kibā doṣa?
dārī-nāṭuyāre diyā kare nānā vyaya
rāja-dravya śodhi’ pāya, tāra karuka vyaya”
‘vāṇīnāthādi savaṁśe lañā gela bāndhiyā’
āmi — virakta sannyāsī, tāhe ki kariba?”
prabhura caraṇe sabe kailā nivedana
tomāra ucita nahe aichana udāsa”
“more ājñā deha’ sabe, yāṅa rāja-sthāne!
kauḍi māgi’ laṅ muñi āṅcala pātiyā
māgile vā kene dibe dui-lakṣa kāhana?”
khaḍegara upare gopīnāthe diteche ḍāriyā
prabhu kahe, — “āmi bhikṣuka, āmā haite kichu naya
sabe meli’ jānāha jagannāthera caraṇe
kartum akartum anyathā karite samartha”
haricandana-pātra yāi’ rājāre kahilā
sevakera prāṇa-daṇḍa nahe vyavahāra
prāṇa nile kibā lābha? nija dhana-kṣaya
krame krame dibe, vyartha prāṇa kene laya”
prāṇa kene la-iba, tāra dravya cāhi āmi
dravya yaiche āise, āra rahe tāra prāṇa”
cāṅge haite gopīnāthe śīghra nāmāila
‘yathārtha-mūlye ghoḍā laha’, teṅha ta’ kahila
avicāre prāṇa laha, — ki balite pāri?’
āra dravyera muddatī kari’ ghare pāṭhāila
“vāṇīnātha ki kare, yabe bāndhiyā ānila?”
‘hare kṛṣṇa, hare kṛṣṇa’ kahe aviśrāma
sahasrādi pūrṇa haile, aṅge kāṭe rekhā”
ke bujhite pāre gaurera kṛpā-chanda-bandha?
prabhu tāṅre kahe kichu sodvega-vacane
nānā upadrava ihāṅ, nā pāi soyātha”
nānā-prakāre kare tārā rāja-dravya vyaya
dite nāre dravya, daṇḍa āmāre jānāya
cāri-bāre loke āsi’ more jānāila
āmāya duḥkha deya, nija-duḥkha kahi’ āsi’
kāli ke rākhibe, yadi nā dibe rāja-dhana?
The Supreme Personality of Godhead will certainly protect a devotee who does something sinful accidentally. As the Lord says in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.30-31):
api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ saṁyag vyavasito hi saḥ
kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā śaśvac-chāntiṁ nigacchati
kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati
“Even if one commits the most abominable actions, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination. He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.” However, if a devotee or so-called devotee purposefully commits sinful activities continually in the hope that Kṛṣṇa will give him protection, Kṛṣṇa will not protect him. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, kāli ke rākhibe, yadi nā dibe rāja-dhana?: “Jagannātha has saved Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka from being killed by the King today, but if he commits the same offense again, who will give him protection?” Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu thus warns all such foolish devotees that Jagannātha will not protect them if they continue to commit offenses.
tāte ihāṅ rahi’ mora nāhi prayojana”
“tumi kene ei bāte kṣobha kara mane?
vyavahāra lāgi’ tomā bhaje, sei jñāna-andha
Becoming a devotee of the Lord to serve material purposes is a great mistake. Many people become showbottle devotees for material profits. Indeed, materialistic persons sometimes take to professional devotional service and keep Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as a means of livelihood. None of this, however, is approved. In the book known as Sapta-śatī, as mentioned by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, one can discover how a person worshiping the goddess Durgā begs her for different varieties of material profit. Such activities are very popular among people in general, but they are the attempts of foolish, blind people (sei jñāna-andha).
A materialist does not actually know why one should become a devotee. A devotee’s only concern is to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Pure devotional service is defined by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī:
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu- śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
One should be completely free from all material desires and should serve Kṛṣṇa simply to please Him. When people become interested in their own sense gratification (bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī), some of them desire to enjoy the material world to the fullest extent, some of them desire to be liberated and merge into the existence of Brahman, and others want to perform magic through mystic power and thus become incarnations of God. These are all against the principles of devotional service. One must be free from all material desires. The desire of the impersonalist to merge into the existence of Brahman is also material because such an impersonalist wants to gratify his senses by merging into the existence of Kṛṣṇa instead of serving His lotus feet. Even if such a person merges into the Brahman effulgence, he falls down again into material existence. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.2.32):
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
patanty adho ’nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ
Because Māyāvādī philosophers have no information regarding the transcendental service of the Lord, even after attaining liberation from material activities and merging into the Brahman effulgence, they must come down again to this material world.
viṣaya lāgi’ tomāya bhaje, sei mūrkha jana
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments that there are many materialistic persons who become preachers, gurus, religionists or philosophers only for the sake of maintaining a high standard of living and sense gratification for themselves and their families. Sometimes they adopt the dress of a sannyāsī or preacher. They train some of their family members as lawyers and continually seek help from a high court to acquire riches on the plea of maintaining temples. Although such persons may call themselves preachers, live in Vṛndāvana or Navadvīpa, and also print many religious books, it is all for the same purpose, namely to earn a living to maintain their wives and children. They may also professionally recite the Bhāgavatam or other scriptures, worship the Deity in the temple and initiate disciples. Making a show of devotional paraphernalia, they may also collect money from the public and use it to cure the disease of some family member or near relative. Sometimes they become bābājīs or collect money on the plea of worshiping the poor, whom they call daridra-nārāyaṇa, or for social and political upliftment. Thus they spread a network of business schemes to collect money for sense gratification by cheating people in general, who have no knowledge of pure devotional service. Such cheaters cannot understand that by offering devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can be elevated to a position of eternal servitude to the Lord, which is even greater than the position of Brahmā and other demigods. Unfortunately, fools have no understanding of the perpetual pleasure of devotional service.
tomā lāgi’ sanātana ‘viṣaya’ chāḍilā
hethāya tāhāra pitā viṣaya pāṭhāila
chatre māgi’ khāya, ‘viṣaya’ sparśa nāhi kare
tomā haite viṣaya-vāñchā, tāra icchā naya
tomāre jānāila, — yāte ‘ananya-śaraṇa’
āpanāra sukha-duḥkhe haya bhoga-bhogī’
acirāt mile tāṅre tomāra caraṇa
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk
This is a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.8).
keha tomā nā śunābe viṣayīra bāt
āji ye rākhila, sei karibe rakṣaṇa”
madhyāhne pratāparudra āilā tāṅra ghare
yata dina rahe teṅha śrī-puruṣottame
jagannātha-sevāra kare bhiyāna śravaṇa
tabe miśra tāṅre kichu bhaṅgīte kahilā
mahāprabhu kṣetra chāḍi’ yābena ālālanātha!”
tabe miśra kahe tāṅre saba vivaraṇa
tāra sevaka saba āsi’ prabhure kahilā
krodhe gopīnāthe kailā bahuta bhartsana
nānā asat-pathe kare rāja-dravya vyaya
tāhā hari’ bhoga kare mahā-pāpī jana
rāja-daṇḍya haya sei śāstrera vicāre
rājā — mahā-dhārmika, ei haya pāpī bhaṇḍa!
ei mahā-duḥkha ihāṅ ke sahite pāre?
viṣayīra bhāla manda vārtā nā śunimu’ ”
“saba dravya chāḍoṅ, yadi prabhu rahena ethā
koṭi-cintāmaṇi-lābha nahe tāra sama
prāṇa-rājya karoṅ prabhu-pade nirmañchana”
tārā duḥkha pāya, — ei nā yāya sahana”
cāṅge caḍā, khaḍge ḍārā, — āmi nā jāniye
sei ‘jānā’ tāre dekhāila mithyā trāsa
ei mui tāhāre chāḍinu saba kauḍi”
kauḍi chāḍile prabhu kadācit duḥkha māne”
sahaje mora priya tā’rā, — ihā jānāibā
tāṅra putra-gaṇe āmāra sahajei prīta”
gopīnāthe ‘baḍa jānāya’ ḍākiyā ānilā
sei mālajāṭhyā daṇḍa pāṭa tomāre ta’ diluṅ
āji haite diluṅ tomāya dviguṇa vartana”
“prabhu-ājñā lañā yāha, vidāya tomā dila”
ananta tāhāra phala, ke balite pāre?
tāhāra gaṇanā kāro mane nāhi āise!
kāhāṅ saba chāḍi’ sei rājyādi-pradāna!
kāhāṅ dviguṇa vartana, parāya neta-dhaḍi!
dviguṇa vartana kari’ punaḥ ‘viṣaya’ dibe
tāte kṣubdha haila yabe mahāprabhura mana
nivedana-prabhāveha tabu phale eta phala
brahmā-śiva ādi yāṅra nā pāya antarbhāva
rājāra caritra saba kailā nivedane
rāja-pratigraha tumi āmā’ karāilā?”
When the King heard the details of Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka’s unfortunate condemnation, he was induced to excuse his debt, in particular because he felt that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very sorry about this incident. The Lord did not like the idea that the money forfeited to Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka was indirectly a contribution to Him. Therefore He immediately protested.
akapaṭe rājā ei kailā nivedane
dui-lakṣa kāhana kauḍi dileka chāḍiyā
The kauḍi is like an American cent or Japanese yen. In the old medium of exchange, the first unit of currency was a small conchshell called a kauḍi. Four kauḍis made one gaṇḍā, twenty gaṇḍās made one paṇa, and sixteen paṇas made one kāhana. Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka owed the government 200,000 kāhanas. The King absolved him of this debt, reappointed him to his post and doubled his salary.
iṅhā-sabākāre āmi dekhi ātma-sama
khāya, piye, luṭe, vilāya, nā karoṅ vicāra
ye khāila, yebā dila, nāhi lekhā-dāya
Near Rajahmundry is a famous railway station. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī notes that the present Rajahmundry City is located on the northern bank of the Godāvarī. At the time when Rāmānanda Rāya was governor, however, the state capital, which was known as Vidyānagara or Vidyāpura, was located on the southern side of the Godāvarī, at the confluence of the Godāvarī and the sea. That was the part of the country which at that time was known as Rajahmundry. North of Kaliṅga-deśa is Utkaliṅga, or the state of Orissa. The capital of southern Orissa was known as Rajahmundry, but now the location of Rajahmundry has changed.
dui-cāri-lakṣa kāhana rahe ta’ khāñā
‘jānā’-sahita aprītye duḥkha pāila ei-bāra
bhavānandera putra-sabe ātma-sama mānoṅ
‘sahajei mora prīti haya tāhā-sane’ ”
hena-kāle āilā tathā rāya bhavānanda
uṭhāñā prabhu tāṅre kailā āliṅgane
bhavānanda-rāya tabe balite lāgilā
e vipade rākhi’ prabhu, punaḥ nilā mūla
pūrve yena pañca-pāṇḍave vipade tārilā”
rājāra kṛpā-vṛttānta sakala kahilā
punaḥ ‘viṣaya’ diyā ‘neta-dhaṭī’ parāilā
kāhāṅ ‘neta-dhaṭī’ punaḥ, — e-saba prasāda!
caraṇa-smaraṇa-prabhāve ei phala pāiluṅ
praśaṁse tomāra kṛpā-mahimā gāñā
‘phalābhāsa’ ei, — yāte ‘viṣaya’ cañcala
One can achieve the highest perfection of life simply by meditating upon the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Generally people are concerned with the four religious principles, namely religion, material opulence, sense gratification and liberation. However, as indicated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ’tra), success in these four kinds of material and spiritual gain are not the true results of devotional service. The true result of devotional service is the actual development of one’s dormant love for Kṛṣṇa in every circumstance. By the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka could understand that the material benefits he had achieved were not the ultimate result of meditating upon His lotus feet. The true result comes when one is detached from material opulences. Therefore Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka prayed to the Lord for such detachment.
sei kṛpā mote nāhi, yāte aiche haya!
nirviṇṇa ha-inu, mote ‘viṣaya’ nā haya”
kuṭumba-bāhulya tomāra ke kare bharaṇa?
janme-janme tumi pañca — mora ‘nija-dāsa’
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments that one should always remember that he is eternally a servant of Kṛṣṇa. Whether one is engaged in material activity involving pounds, shillings and pence or is in the renounced order, he should always think that he is an eternal servant of God, for that is the real position of the living being. Both taking sannyāsa and dealing in pounds, shillings and pence are external affairs. In any condition, one should always consider how to please and satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Thus even if one is involved in great material affairs, he will not become attached. As soon as one forgets that he is an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, he becomes involved in material attachments. However, if one is always conscious that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme master and that he is an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, he is a liberated person in any condition. Entangling material activities will not affect him.
‘vyaya nā kariha kichu rājāra mūla-dhana’
When a person forgets his position as an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, he commits many sinful activities, but one who maintains his position as an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa cannot deviate from the path of morality, religion and ethics. At the present, people all over the world, especially in India, have forgotten their relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His eternal servants. Therefore the principles of morality, religion and ethics have almost disappeared. This situation is most unprofitable for human society. Therefore everyone should try to accept Kṛṣṇa consciousness and follow the principles of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
sei dhana kariha nānā dharme-karme vyaya
eta bali’ sabākāre dilena vidāya
bhakta-vātsalya-guṇa yāte vyakta haila
The result of advancement in spiritual knowledge is not material improvement, but Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka how to use material opulence without incurring reactions to sinful life. From this advice, it appeared that the Lord encouraged Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka to enhance his material condition. Actually, however, He did not. In fact, this was but a manifestation of His great affection for His devotee.
hari-dhvani kari’ saba bhakta uṭhi’ gelā
tāhārā bujhite nāre prabhura vyavahāra
‘āmā’ haite kichu nahe — prabhu tabe kahila
When a person is sinful, he loses both the chance for spiritual advancement and the chance for material opulence. If one enjoys the material world for sense gratification, he is certainly doomed. Advancement in material opulence is not the direct mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; nevertheless, it indicates the indirect mercy of the Lord, for even a person too attached to material prosperity can gradually be detached and raised to the spiritual platform. Then he can offer causeless, purified service to the Lord. When Śrī Caitanya said, āmā haite kichu nahe (“It is not My business to do anything”), He set the ideal example for a person in the renounced order. If a sannyāsī takes the side of a viṣayī, a person engaged in material activities, his character will be criticized. A person in the renounced order should not take interest in material activities, but if he does so out of affection for a particular person, that should be considered his special mercy.
ei-mātra kahila — ihāra nā bujhibe bheda
udyoga vinā mahāprabhu eta phala dila
sei bujhe, tāṅra pade yāṅra mana ‘dhīra’
prema-bhakti pāya, tāṅra vipada yāya nāśa
caitanya-caritāmṛta kahe kṛṣṇadāsa
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports to Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā, ninth chapter, describing the deliverance of Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka and the manifestation of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s causeless mercy to His devotee.