Madhya 16: The Lord’s Attempt to Go to Vṛndāvana
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gives the following summary of this chapter in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to go to Vṛndāvana, Rāmānanda Rāya and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya indirectly presented many obstructions. In due course of time, all the devotees of Bengal visited Jagannātha Purī for the third year. This time, all the wives of the Vaiṣṇavas brought many types of food, intending to extend invitations to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī. When the devotees arrived, Caitanya Mahāprabhu sent His blessings in the form of garlands. In that year also, the Guṇḍicā temple was cleansed, and when the Cāturmāsya period was over, all the devotees returned to their homes in Bengal. Caitanya Mahāprabhu forbade Nityānanda to visit Nīlācala every year. Questioned by the inhabitants of Kulīna-grāma, Caitanya Mahāprabhu again repeated the symptoms of a Vaiṣṇava. Vidyānidhi also came to Jagannātha Purī and saw the festival of Oḍana-ṣaṣṭhī. When the devotees bade farewell to the Lord, the Lord was determined to go to Vṛndāvana, and on the day of Vijaya-daśamī, He departed.
Mahārāja Pratāparudra made various arrangements for Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s trip to Vṛndāvana. When He crossed the river Citrotpalā, Rāmānanda Rāya, Mardarāja and Haricandana went with Him. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu requested Gadādhara Paṇḍita to return to Nīlācala, Jagannātha Purī, but he did not abide by this order. From Kaṭaka (Cuttack), Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu again requested Gadādhara Paṇḍita to return to Nīlācala, and He bade farewell to Rāmānanda Rāya from Bhadraka. After this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu crossed the border of Orissa state, and He arrived at Pānihāṭi by boat. Thereafter He visited the house of Rāghava Paṇḍita, and from there He went to Kumārahaṭṭa and eventually to Kuliyā, where He excused many offenders. From there He went to Rāmakeli, where He saw Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana and accepted them as His chief disciples. Returning from Rāmakeli, He met Raghunātha dāsa and after giving him instructions sent him back home. Thereafter the Lord returned to Nīlācala and began to make plans to go to Vṛndāvana without a companion.