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Madhya 17: The Lord Travels to Vṛndāvana

The following summary of the seventeenth chapter is given by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya. After attending the Ratha-yātrā ceremony of Śrī Jagannātha, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu decided to start for Vṛndāvana. Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī selected a brāhmaṇa named Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya to personally assist Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Early in the morning before sunrise, the Lord started for the town of Kaṭaka (Cuttack). North of Kaṭaka, He penetrated a dense forest and came upon many tigers and elephants, whom He engaged in chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Whenever the Lord had a chance to visit a village, Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya would beg alms and acquire some rice and vegetables. If there were no village, Balabhadra would cook whatever rice remained and collect some spinach from the forest for the Lord to eat. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very pleased with the behavior of Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya.

In this way the Lord passed through the jungle of Jhārikhaṇḍa (Jharkhand) and finally reached Vārāṇasī. After taking His bath at the Maṇikarṇikā-ghāṭa at Vārāṇasī, He met Tapana Miśra, who took the Lord to his place and respectfully gave Him a comfortable residence. At Vārāṇasī, Vaidya Candraśekhara, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s old friend, also rendered service unto Him. Seeing the behavior of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, a Maharashtriyan brāhmaṇa informed Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, the leader of the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. Prakāśānanda made various accusations against the Lord. The Maharashtriyan brāhmaṇa was very sorry about this, and he brought the news to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, inquiring from Him why the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs did not utter the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. In reply, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that they were offenders and that one should not associate with them. In this way the Lord bestowed His blessings upon the brāhmaṇa.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu next passed through Prayāga and Mathurā and then took His lunch at the home of a Sānoḍiyā brāhmaṇa, a disciple of Mādhavendra Purī. He bestowed His blessings upon the brāhmaṇa by accepting lunch at his place. Thereafter the Lord visited the twelve forests of Vṛndāvana and was filled with great ecstatic love. As He toured the Vṛndāvana forests, He heard the chirping of parrots and other birds.

CC Madhya 17.1 On His way to Vṛndāvana, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu passed through the forest of Jhārikhaṇḍa and made all the tigers, elephants, deer and birds chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and dance. Thus all these animals were overwhelmed by ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 17.2 All glories to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityānanda! All glories to Advaitacandra! And all glories to all the devotees of the Lord!
CC Madhya 17.3 When autumn arrived, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu decided to go to Vṛndāvana. In a solitary place, He consulted with Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī.
CC Madhya 17.4 The Lord requested Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī to help Him go to Vṛndāvana.
CC Madhya 17.5 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “I shall leave early in the morning and go incognito, taking the road through the forest. I shall go alone — I shall not take anyone with Me.
CC Madhya 17.6 “If someone wants to follow Me, please stop him. I don’t want anyone to go with Me.
CC Madhya 17.7 “Please give Me your permission with great pleasure and do not be unhappy. If you are happy, I shall be happy on My way to Vṛndāvana.”
CC Madhya 17.8 Upon hearing this, Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī replied, “Dear Lord, You are completely independent. Since You are not dependent on anyone, You will do whatever You desire.
CC Madhya 17.9 “Dear Lord, kindly hear our one petition. You have already said that You will derive happiness from our happiness. This is Your own statement.
CC Madhya 17.10 “If You will please accept just one request, we shall be very, very happy.
CC Madhya 17.11 “Our Lord, please take one very nice brāhmaṇa with You. He will collect alms for You, cook for You, give You prasādam and carry Your waterpot while traveling.
CC Madhya 17.12 “When You go through the jungle, there will be no brāhmaṇa available from whom You can accept lunch. Therefore please give permission for at least one pure brāhmaṇa to accompany You.”
CC Madhya 17.13 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “I shall not take any of My associates with Me, because if I choose someone, all the others will be unhappy.
CC Madhya 17.14 “Such a person must be a new man, and he must have a peaceful mind. If I can obtain such a man, I shall agree to take him with Me.”
CC Madhya 17.15 Svarūpa Dāmodara then said, “Here is Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya, who has great love for You. He is an honest, learned scholar, and he is advanced in spiritual consciousness.
CC Madhya 17.16 “In the beginning, he came with You from Bengal. It is his desire to visit and see all the holy places of pilgrimage.
CC Madhya 17.17 “In addition, You may take another brāhmaṇa who will act as a servant en route and make arrangements for Your food.
CC Madhya 17.18 “If You can also take him with You, we will be very happy. If two people go with You through the jungle, there will certainly be no difficulty or inconvenience.
CC Madhya 17.19 “The other brāhmaṇa can carry Your cloth and waterpot, and Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya will collect alms and cook for You.”
CC Madhya 17.20 Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted the request of Svarūpa Dāmodara Paṇḍita and agreed to take Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya with Him.
CC Madhya 17.21 On the previous night, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had visited Lord Jagannātha and taken His permission. Now, near the end of the night, the Lord got up and started immediately. He was not seen by others.
CC Madhya 17.22 Because the Lord had departed, the devotees, unable to see Him early in the morning, began to search for Him with great anxiety.
CC Madhya 17.23 While all the devotees were searching for the Lord, Svarūpa Dāmodara restrained them. Then everyone fell silent, knowing the mind of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
CC Madhya 17.24 The Lord abandoned walking on the well-known public road and went instead along a bypass. He thus kept the city of Kaṭaka on His right as He entered the forest.
CC Madhya 17.25 When the Lord passed through the solitary forest chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, the tigers and elephants, seeing Him, gave way.
CC Madhya 17.26 When the Lord passed through the jungle in great ecstasy, packs of tigers, elephants, rhinoceros and boars came, and the Lord passed right through them.
CC Madhya 17.27 Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya was very much afraid to see them, but by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s influence, all the animals stood to one side.
CC Madhya 17.28 One day a tiger was lying on the path, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, walking along the path in ecstatic love, touched the tiger with His feet.
CC Madhya 17.29 The Lord said, “Chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa!” The tiger immediately got up and began to dance and to chant “Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa!”
CC Madhya 17.30 Another day, while Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was bathing in a river, a herd of maddened elephants came there to drink water.
CC Madhya 17.31 While the Lord was bathing and murmuring the Gāyatrī mantra, the elephants came before Him. The Lord immediately splashed some water on the elephants and asked them to chant the name of Kṛṣṇa.
CC Madhya 17.32 The elephants whose bodies were touched by the water splashed by the Lord began to chant “Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa!” and dance and sing in ecstasy.
CC Madhya 17.33 Some of the elephants fell to the ground, and some screamed in ecstasy. Seeing this, Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya was completely astonished.
CC Madhya 17.34 Sometimes Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu chanted very loudly while passing through the jungle. Hearing His sweet voice, all the does came near Him.
CC Madhya 17.35 Hearing the Lord’s great vibration, all the does followed Him left and right. While reciting a verse with great curiosity, the Lord patted them.
CC Madhya 17.36 “ ‘Blessed are all these foolish deer because they have approached Mahārāja Nanda’s son, who is gorgeously dressed and is playing on His flute. Indeed, both the does and the bucks worship the Lord with looks of love and affection.’ ”
CC Madhya 17.37 While Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was passing through the jungle, five or seven tigers came. Joining the deer, the tigers began to follow the Lord.
CC Madhya 17.38 Seeing the tigers and deer following Him, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately remembered the land of Vṛndāvana. He then began to recite a verse describing the transcendental quality of Vṛndāvana.
CC Madhya 17.39 “ ‘Vṛndāvana is the transcendental abode of the Lord. There is no hunger, anger or thirst there. Though naturally inimical, human beings and fierce animals live together there in transcendental friendship.’ ”
CC Madhya 17.40 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said “Chant ‘Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa!’ ” the tigers and deer began to chant “Kṛṣṇa!” and dance.
CC Madhya 17.41 When all the tigers and does danced and jumped, Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya saw them and was struck with wonder.
CC Madhya 17.42 Indeed, the tigers and deer began to embrace one another, and touching mouths, they began to kiss.
CC Madhya 17.43 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw all this fun, He began to smile. Finally He left the animals and continued on His way.
CC Madhya 17.44 Various birds, including the peacock, saw Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and began to follow Him, chanting and dancing. They were all maddened by the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.
CC Madhya 17.45 When the Lord loudly chanted “Haribol!” the trees and creepers became jubilant to hear Him.
CC Madhya 17.46 Thus all living entities in the forest of Jhārikhaṇḍa — some moving and some standing still — became maddened by hearing the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa vibrated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
CC Madhya 17.47 In all the villages through which the Lord passed and in all the places He rested on His journey, everyone was purified and awakened to ecstatic love of God.
CC Madhya 17.48-49 When someone heard the chanting of the holy name from the mouth of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and someone else heard this chanting from that second person, and someone again heard this chanting from the third person, everyone in all countries became a Vaiṣṇava through such disciplic succession. Thus everyone chanted the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and Hari, and they danced, cried and smiled.
CC Madhya 17.50 The Lord did not always manifest His ecstasy. Being afraid of a great assembly of people, the Lord kept His ecstasy concealed.
CC Madhya 17.51 Although Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not manifest His natural ecstatic love, everyone became a pure devotee simply by seeing and hearing Him.
CC Madhya 17.52 In this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally toured Bengal, East Bengal, Orissa and the southern countries, and He delivered all kinds of people by spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
CC Madhya 17.53 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to Jhārikhaṇḍa on His way to Mathurā, He found that the people there were almost uncivilized and were devoid of God consciousness.
CC Madhya 17.54 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave even the Bheels an opportunity to chant the holy name and come to the platform of ecstatic love. Thus He delivered all of them. Who has the power to understand the transcendental pastimes of the Lord?
CC Madhya 17.55 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu passed through the Jhārikhaṇḍa forest, He took it for granted that it was Vṛndāvana. When He passed over the hills, He took it for granted that they were Govardhana.
CC Madhya 17.56 Similarly, whenever Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw a river, He immediately accepted it as the river Yamunā. Thus while in the forest He was filled with great ecstatic love, and He danced and fell down crying.
CC Madhya 17.57 Along the way, Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya collected all kinds of spinach, roots and fruit whenever possible.
CC Madhya 17.58 Whenever Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited a village, a few brāhmaṇas — five or seven — would come and extend invitations to the Lord.
CC Madhya 17.59 Some people would bring grain and deliver it to Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya. Others would bring milk and yogurt, and still others would bring ghee and sugar.
CC Madhya 17.60 In some villages there were no brāhmaṇas; nonetheless, devotees born in non-brāhmaṇa families came and extended invitations to Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya.
CC Madhya 17.61 Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya used to cook all kinds of vegetables gathered from the forest, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very pleased to accept these preparations.
CC Madhya 17.62-63 Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya used to keep a stock of food grain that would last from two to four days. Where there were no people, he would cook the grain and prepare vegetables, spinach, roots and fruits collected from the forest.
CC Madhya 17.64 The Lord was always very happy to eat these forest vegetables, and He was even happier when He had an opportunity to stay in a solitary place.
CC Madhya 17.65 Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya was so affectionate to the Lord that he was rendering service just like a menial servant. His assistant brāhmaṇa carried the waterpot and garments.
CC Madhya 17.66 The Lord used to bathe three times a day in the warm water of the waterfalls. He also used to heat Himself morning and evening with a fire made with the limitless wood.
CC Madhya 17.67 While traveling in this secluded forest and feeling very happy, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu made the following statement.
CC Madhya 17.68 “My dear Bhaṭṭācārya, I have traveled very far through the forest, and I have not even slightly received any trouble.
CC Madhya 17.69 “Kṛṣṇa is very merciful, especially to Me. He has shown His mercy by bringing Me on this path through the forest. Thus He has given Me great pleasure.
CC Madhya 17.70 “Before this, I decided to go to Vṛndāvana and on the way see My mother, the river Ganges and other devotees once again.
CC Madhya 17.71 “I thought that once again I would see and meet all the devotees and take them with Me to Vṛndāvana.
CC Madhya 17.72 “Thus I went to Bengal, and I was very happy to see My mother, the river Ganges and the devotees.
CC Madhya 17.73 “However, when I started for Vṛndāvana, many thousands and millions of people gathered and began to go with Me.
CC Madhya 17.74 “In this way I was going to Vṛndāvana with a big crowd, but through the mouth of Sanātana, Kṛṣṇa taught Me a lesson. Thus by making some impediment, He has brought Me to Vṛndāvana on the path through the forest.
CC Madhya 17.75 “Kṛṣṇa is an ocean of mercy. He is especially merciful to the poor and fallen. Without His mercy, there is no possibility of happiness.”
CC Madhya 17.76 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then embraced Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya and told him, “It is only by your kindness that I am now so happy.”
CC Madhya 17.77 Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya replied, “My dear Lord, You are Kṛṣṇa Himself, and therefore You are merciful. I am a fallen living entity, but You have bestowed a great favor upon me.
CC Madhya 17.78 “Sir, I am most fallen, yet You have brought me with You. Showing great mercy, You have accepted food prepared by me.
CC Madhya 17.79 “You have made me Your carrier Garuḍa, although I am no better than a condemned crow. Thus You are the independent Personality of Godhead, the original Lord.
CC Madhya 17.80 “ ‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead has the form of sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha — transcendental bliss, knowledge and eternity. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him, who turns the dumb into eloquent speakers and enables the lame to cross mountains. Such is the mercy of the Lord.’ ”
CC Madhya 17.81 In this way Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya offered his prayers to the Lord. By rendering service unto Him in ecstatic love, he pacified the Lord’s mind.
CC Madhya 17.82 Finally the Lord arrived with great happiness at the holy place called Kāśī. There He took His bath in the bathing ghat known as Maṇikarṇikā.
CC Madhya 17.83 At that time, Tapana Miśra was taking his bath in the Ganges, and he was astonished to see the Lord there.
CC Madhya 17.84 Tapana Miśra then began to think, “I have heard that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has accepted the renounced order.” Thinking this, Tapana Miśra became very jubilant within his heart.
CC Madhya 17.85 He then clasped the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and began to cry. The Lord raised him up and embraced him.
CC Madhya 17.86 Tapana Miśra then took Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to visit the temple of Viśveśvara. Coming from there, they saw the lotus feet of Lord Bindu Mādhava.
CC Madhya 17.87 With great pleasure Tapana Miśra brought Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to his home and rendered service unto Him. Indeed, he began to dance, waving his cloth.
CC Madhya 17.88 He washed the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and afterwards he and his whole family drank the wash water. He also worshiped Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya and showed him respect.
CC Madhya 17.89 Tapana Miśra invited Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to take lunch at his home, and he had Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya cook.
CC Madhya 17.90 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took His rest after lunch, the son of Tapana Miśra, named Raghu, used to massage His legs.
CC Madhya 17.91 The remnants of food left by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu were taken by the whole family of Tapana Miśra. When news spread that the Lord had come, Candraśekhara came to see Him.
CC Madhya 17.92 Candraśekhara happened to be a friend of Tapana Miśra’s, and he was long known to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as His servant. He was a physician by caste, and by profession he was a clerk. At the time he was living in Vārāṇasī.
CC Madhya 17.93 When Candreśekhara came there, he fell down before the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and began to cry. The Lord, standing up, embraced him out of His causeless mercy.
CC Madhya 17.94 Candraśekhara said, “My dear Lord, You have bestowed Your causeless mercy upon me because I am Your old servant. Indeed, You have come here personally to give me Your audience.
CC Madhya 17.95 “Due to my past deeds, I am residing at Vārāṇasī, but here I do not hear anything but the words ‘māyā’ and ‘Brahman.’ ”
CC Madhya 17.96 Candraśekhara continued, “There is no talk at Vārāṇasī other than discussions on the six philosophical theses. Nonetheless, Tapana Miśra has been very kind to me, for he speaks about topics relating to Lord Kṛṣṇa.
CC Madhya 17.97 “My dear Lord, we two think of Your lotus feet incessantly. Although You are the omniscient Supreme Personality of Godhead, You have granted us Your audience.
CC Madhya 17.98 “My Lord, I have heard that You are going to Vṛndāvana. Please stay here at Vārāṇasī for some days and deliver us, for we are Your two servants.”
CC Madhya 17.99 Tapana Miśra then said, “My dear Lord, as long as You stay at Vārāṇasī, please do not accept any invitation other than mine.”
CC Madhya 17.100 Even though He had not made such a plan, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu remained for ten days at Vārāṇasī, being obligated by the requests of His two servants.
CC Madhya 17.101 At Vārāṇasī there was a Maharashtriyan brāhmaṇa who used to come daily to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This brāhmaṇa was simply astonished to see the Lord’s personal beauty and ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.
CC Madhya 17.102 When the brāhmaṇas of Vārāṇasī would invite Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to lunch, the Lord would not accept their invitations. He would reply, “I have already been invited somewhere else.”
CC Madhya 17.103 Every day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu refused their invitations because He feared associating with Māyāvādī sannyāsīs.
CC Madhya 17.104 There was a great Māyāvādī sannyāsī named Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, who used to teach Vedānta philosophy to a great assembly of followers.
CC Madhya 17.105 A brāhmaṇa who saw the wonderful behavior of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and described the Lord’s characteristics.
CC Madhya 17.106 The brāhmaṇa told Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, “There is a sannyāsī who has come from Jagannātha Purī, and I cannot describe His wonderful influence and glories.
CC Madhya 17.107 “Everything is wonderful about that sannyāsī. He has a very well built and luxuriant body, and His complexion is like purified gold.
CC Madhya 17.108 “He has arms that extend to His knees, and His eyes are like the petals of a lotus. In His person are all the transcendental symptoms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
CC Madhya 17.109 “When one sees all these features, one takes Him to be Nārāyaṇa Himself. Whoever sees Him immediately begins to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.
CC Madhya 17.110 “We have heard about the symptoms of a first-class devotee in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and all those symptoms are manifest in the body of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
CC Madhya 17.111 “His tongue is always chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, and from His eyes tears incessantly fall like the flowing Ganges.
CC Madhya 17.112 “Sometimes He dances, laughs, sings and cries, and sometimes He roars like a lion.
CC Madhya 17.113 “His name, Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, is all-auspicious for the world. Everything about Him — His name, form and qualities — is unparalleled.
CC Madhya 17.114 “Simply by seeing Him, one understands that He possesses all the characteristics of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such characteristics are certainly uncommon. Who will believe it?”
CC Madhya 17.115 Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī laughed very much to hear this description. Joking and laughing at the brāhmaṇa, he began to speak as follows.
CC Madhya 17.116 Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī said, “Yes, I have heard about Him. He is a sannyāsī from Bengal, and He is very sentimental. I have also heard that He belongs to the Bhāratī-sampradāya, for He is a disciple of Keśava Bhāratī. However, He is only a pretender.”
CC Madhya 17.117 Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī continued, “I know that His name is Caitanya and that He is accompanied by many sentimentalists. His followers dance with Him, and He tours from country to country and village to village.
CC Madhya 17.118 “Whoever sees Him accepts Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since He has some mystic power by which He hypnotizes people, everyone who sees Him becomes illusioned.
CC Madhya 17.119 “Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya was a very learned scholar, but I have heard that he also has become a madman due to his association with this Caitanya.
CC Madhya 17.120 “This Caitanya is a sannyāsī in name only. Actually He is a first-class magician. In any case, His sentimentalism cannot be very much in demand here in Kāśī.
CC Madhya 17.121 “Do not go to see Caitanya. Just continue hearing Vedānta. If you associate with upstarts, you will be lost in this world and in the next.”
CC Madhya 17.122 When the brāhmaṇa heard Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī speak like this about Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he became very much grief-stricken. Chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, he immediately left.
CC Madhya 17.123 The mind of the brāhmaṇa was already purified by his seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He therefore went to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and described what had taken place before the Māyāvādī sannyāsī Prakāśānanda.
CC Madhya 17.124 Hearing this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu mildly smiled. The brāhmaṇa then spoke again to the Lord.
CC Madhya 17.125 The brāhmaṇa said, “As soon as I uttered Your name before him, he immediately confirmed the fact that he knew Your name.
CC Madhya 17.126 “While finding fault with You, he uttered Your name three times, saying ‘Caitanya, Caitanya, Caitanya.’
CC Madhya 17.127 “Although he spoke Your name three times, he did not utter the name ‘Kṛṣṇa.’ Because he uttered Your name in contempt, I was very much aggrieved.
CC Madhya 17.128 “Why could Prakāśānanda not utter the names ‘Kṛṣṇa’ and ‘Hari’? He chanted the name ‘Caitanya’ thrice. As far as I am concerned, simply by seeing You I am moved to chant the holy names ‘Kṛṣṇa’ and ‘Hari.’ ”
CC Madhya 17.129 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “The Māyāvādī impersonalists are great offenders unto Lord Kṛṣṇa; therefore they simply utter the words ‘Brahman,’ ‘ātmā’ and ‘caitanya.’
CC Madhya 17.130 “Because they are offenders unto Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is identical with His holy name, the holy name ‘Kṛṣṇa’ does not manifest in their mouths.
CC Madhya 17.131 “The Lord’s holy name, His form and His personality are all one and the same. There is no difference between them. Since all of them are absolute, they are all transcendentally blissful.
CC Madhya 17.132 “There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa’s body and Himself or between His name and Himself. But as far as the conditioned soul is concerned, one’s name is different from one’s body, from one’s original form and so on.
CC Madhya 17.133 “ ‘The holy name of Kṛṣṇa is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Kṛṣṇa Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Kṛṣṇa’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Kṛṣṇa Himself. Since Kṛṣṇa’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with māyā. Kṛṣṇa’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa Himself are identical.’
CC Madhya 17.134 “The holy name of Kṛṣṇa, His body and His pastimes cannot be understood by the blunt material senses. They are manifested independently.
CC Madhya 17.135 “Kṛṣṇa’s holy name, transcendental qualities and transcendental pastimes are all equal to Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. They are all spiritual and full of bliss.
CC Madhya 17.136 “ ‘Therefore material senses cannot appreciate Kṛṣṇa’s holy name, form, qualities and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Kṛṣṇa really is.’
CC Madhya 17.137 “The mellows of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, which are full of bliss, attract the jñānī from the pleasure of Brahman realization and conquer him.
CC Madhya 17.138 “ ‘Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, the son of Vyāsadeva, Śukadeva Gosvāmī. It is he who defeats all inauspicious things within this universe. Although in the beginning he was absorbed in the happiness of Brahman realization and was living in a secluded place, giving up all other types of consciousness, he became attracted by the most melodious pastimes of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He therefore mercifully spoke the supreme Purāṇa, known as Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is the bright light of the Absolute Truth and which describes the activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa.’
CC Madhya 17.139 “The transcendental qualities of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are completely blissful and relishable. Consequently Lord Kṛṣṇa’s qualities attract even the minds of self-realized persons from the bliss of self-realization.
CC Madhya 17.140 “ ‘Those who are self-satisfied and unattracted by external material desires are also attracted to the loving service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whose qualities are transcendental and whose activities are wonderful. Hari, the Personality of Godhead, is called Kṛṣṇa because He has such transcendentally attractive features.’
CC Madhya 17.141 “Apart from the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa, when tulasī leaves are offered at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, even the aroma of the leaves attracts the minds of self-realized persons.
CC Madhya 17.142 “ ‘When the breeze carrying the aroma of tulasī leaves and saffron from the lotus feet of the lotus-eyed Personality of Godhead entered through the nostrils into the hearts of those sages [the Kumāras], they experienced a change in both body and mind, even though they were attached to the impersonal Brahman understanding.’
CC Madhya 17.143 “Because the Māyāvādīs are great offenders and atheistic philosophers, the holy name of Kṛṣṇa does not come from their mouths.
CC Madhya 17.144 “I have come here to sell My emotional ecstatic sentiments in this city of Kāśī, but I cannot find any customers. If they are not sold, I must take them back home.
CC Madhya 17.145 “I have brought a heavy load to sell in this city. To take it back again is a very difficult job; therefore if I get but a fraction of the price, I shall sell it here in this city of Kāśī.”
CC Madhya 17.146 After saying this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted that brāhmaṇa as His devotee. The next morning, rising very early, the Lord started for Mathurā.
CC Madhya 17.147 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu started for Mathurā, all three devotees started to go with Him. But the Lord forbade them to accompany Him, and from a distance He asked them to return home.
CC Madhya 17.148 Feeling separation from the Lord, the three used to meet and glorify the holy qualities of the Lord. Thus they were absorbed in ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 17.149 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then went to Prayāga, where He bathed at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamunā. He then visited the temple of Veṇī Mādhava and chanted and danced there in ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 17.150 As soon as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw the river Yamunā, He threw Himself into it. Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya hastily caught the Lord and very carefully raised Him up again.
CC Madhya 17.151 The Lord stayed at Prayāga for three days. He delivered the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and ecstatic love. Thus He delivered many people.
CC Madhya 17.152 Wherever the Lord stopped to rest on the way to Mathurā, He delivered the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa. Thus He made the people dance.
CC Madhya 17.153 When the Lord toured South India, He delivered many people, and when He traveled in the western sector, He similarly converted many people to Vaiṣṇavism.
CC Madhya 17.154 While the Lord was going to Mathurā, He came across the river Yamunā several times, and as soon as He saw the river Yamunā, He would immediately jump in, falling unconscious in the water in the ecstasy of love of Kṛṣṇa.
CC Madhya 17.155 When He approached Mathurā and saw the city, He immediately fell to the ground and offered obeisances with great ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 17.156 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu entered the city of Mathurā, He took His bath at Viśrāma-ghāṭa. He then visited the birthplace of Kṛṣṇa and saw the Deity named Keśavajī. He offered His respectful obeisances to this Deity.
CC Madhya 17.157 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu chanted, danced and made loud vibrations, all the people were astonished to see His ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 17.158 One brāhmaṇa fell at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and then began to dance with Him in ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 17.159 The two of them danced in ecstatic love and embraced each other. Raising their arms, they said, “Chant the holy names of Hari and Kṛṣṇa!”
CC Madhya 17.160 All the people then began to chant, “Hari! Hari!” and there was a great uproar. The priest in Lord Keśava’s service offered Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu a garland.
CC Madhya 17.161 When the people saw Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s dancing and chanting, they were struck with wonder, and they all said, “Such transcendental love is never an ordinary thing.”
CC Madhya 17.162 The people said, “Simply by seeing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, everyone is maddened with love of Kṛṣṇa. Indeed, everyone is laughing, crying, dancing, chanting and taking the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.
CC Madhya 17.163 “Certainly Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is in all respects the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Now He has come to Mathurā to deliver everyone.”
CC Madhya 17.164 After this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took the brāhmaṇa aside. Sitting in a solitary place, the Lord began to question him.
CC Madhya 17.165 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “You are an elderly brāhmaṇa, you are sincere, and you are advanced in spiritual life. Wherefrom have you gotten this transcendental opulence of ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa?”
CC Madhya 17.166 The brāhmaṇa replied, “His Holiness Śrīla Mādhavendra Purī came to the city of Mathurā while he was on tour.
CC Madhya 17.167 “While at Mathurā, Śrīpāda Mādhavendra Purī visited my house and accepted me as a disciple. He even took lunch at my home.
CC Madhya 17.168 “After installing the Deity of Gopāla, Śrīla Mādhavendra Purī rendered Him service. That very Deity is still being worshiped at Govardhana Hill.”
CC Madhya 17.169 As soon as Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard about Mādhavendra Purī’s relationship with the brāhmaṇa, He immediately offered obeisances at his feet. Becoming fearful, the brāhmaṇa also immediately fell at the Lord’s feet.
CC Madhya 17.170 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “You are on the platform of My spiritual master, and I am your disciple. Since you are My spiritual master, it is not befitting that you offer Me obeisances.”
CC Madhya 17.171 Upon hearing this, the brāhmaṇa became afraid. He then said, “Why do You speak like this? You are a sannyāsī.
CC Madhya 17.172 “Upon seeing Your ecstatic love, I can just imagine that You must have some relationship with Mādhavendra Purī. This is my understanding.
CC Madhya 17.173 “This kind of ecstatic love can be experienced only when one has a relationship with Mādhavendra Purī. Without him, even a scent of such transcendental ecstatic love is impossible.”
CC Madhya 17.174 Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya then explained the relationship between Mādhavendra Purī and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. After hearing this, the brāhmaṇa became very pleased and began to dance.
CC Madhya 17.175 The brāhmaṇa then took Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to his home and, out of his own free will, began to serve the Lord in various ways.
CC Madhya 17.176 He asked Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya to cook Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s lunch. At that time the Lord, smiling, spoke as follows.
CC Madhya 17.177 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Mādhavendra Purī has already taken lunch at your place. Therefore you may cook and give Me the food. That is My instruction.”
CC Madhya 17.178 “Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.”
CC Madhya 17.179 The brāhmaṇa belonged to the Sanoḍiyā brāhmaṇa community, and a sannyāsī does not accept food from such a brāhmaṇa.
CC Madhya 17.180 Although the brāhmaṇa belonged to the Sanoḍiyā community, Śrīla Mādhavendra Purī had seen that he behaved like a Vaiṣṇava and had therefore accepted him as his disciple. The food he had cooked had also been accepted by Mādhavendra Purī.
CC Madhya 17.181 Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu willingly requested food from the brāhmaṇa, and the brāhmaṇa, feeling natural humility, began to speak as follows.
CC Madhya 17.182 “It is a great fortune for me to offer You food. You are the Supreme Lord, and being in the transcendental position, You are not restricted in any way.
CC Madhya 17.183 “Foolish people will blaspheme You, but I shall not tolerate the words of such mischievous people.”
CC Madhya 17.184 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “The Vedas, Purāṇas and great learned sages are not always in agreement with one another. Consequently there are different religious principles.
CC Madhya 17.185 “A devotee’s behavior establishes the true purpose of religious principles. The behavior of Mādhavendra Purī Gosvāmī is the essence of such religious principles.”
CC Madhya 17.186 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “ ‘Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.’ ”
CC Madhya 17.187 After this discussion, the brāhmaṇa served lunch to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Then all the people residing in Mathurā came to see the Lord.
CC Madhya 17.188 People came by the hundreds of thousands, and no one could count them. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came out of the house to give audience to the people.
CC Madhya 17.189 When the people assembled, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu raised His arms and said very loudly, “Haribol!” The people responded to the Lord and became ecstatic. As if mad, they began to dance and to vibrate the transcendental sound “Hari!”
CC Madhya 17.190 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bathed in the twenty-four ghats along the banks of the Yamunā, and the brāhmaṇa showed Him all the places of pilgrimage.
CC Madhya 17.191 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited all the holy places on the banks of the Yamunā, including Svayambhu, Viśrāma-ghāṭa, Dīrgha Viṣṇu, Bhūteśvara, Mahāvidyā and Gokarṇa.
CC Madhya 17.192 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to see the various forests of Vṛndāvana, He took the brāhmaṇa with Him.
CC Madhya 17.193 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited the different forests, including Madhuvana, Tālavana, Kumudavana and Bahulāvana. Wherever He went, He took His bath with great ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 17.194 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu passed through Vṛndāvana, herds of grazing cows saw Him pass and, immediately surrounding Him, began to moo very loudly.
CC Madhya 17.195 Seeing the herds approach Him, the Lord was stunned with ecstatic love. The cows then began to lick His body out of great affection.
CC Madhya 17.196 Becoming pacified, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to caress the cows, and the cows, being unable to give up His company, went with Him.
CC Madhya 17.197 It was only with great difficulty that the cowherd men were able to keep the cows back. Then when the Lord chanted, all the deer heard His sweet voice and approached Him.
CC Madhya 17.198 When the does and bucks came and saw the Lord’s face, they began to lick His body. Not being at all afraid of Him, they accompanied Him along the path.
CC Madhya 17.199 Bumblebees and birds like the parrot and cuckoo all began to sing loudly on the fifth note, and the peacocks began to dance in front of the Lord.
CC Madhya 17.200 Upon seeing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the trees and creepers of Vṛndāvana became jubilant. Their twigs stood up, and they began to shed tears of ecstasy in the form of honey.
CC Madhya 17.201 The tree branches and creepers, overloaded with fruits and flowers, fell down at the lotus feet of the Lord and greeted Him with various presentations as if they were friends.
CC Madhya 17.202 Thus all the moving and nonmoving living entities of Vṛndāvana became very jubilant to see the Lord. It was as if friends were made happy by seeing another friend.
CC Madhya 17.203 Seeing their affection, the Lord was moved by ecstatic love. He began to sport with them exactly as a friend sports with his friends. Thus He voluntarily came under the control of His friends.
CC Madhya 17.204 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to embrace each and every tree and creeper, and they began to offer their fruits and flowers as if in meditation.
CC Madhya 17.205 The Lord’s body was restless, and tears, trembling and jubilation were manifest. He said very loudly, “Chant ‘Kṛṣṇa!’ Chant ‘Kṛṣṇa!’ ”
CC Madhya 17.206 All moving and nonmoving creatures then began to vibrate the transcendental sound of Hare Kṛṣṇa, as if they were echoing the deep sound of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
CC Madhya 17.207 The Lord then clasped the necks of the deer and began to cry. There was jubilation manifest in the bodies of the deer, and tears were in their eyes.
CC Madhya 17.208 When a male and female parrot appeared on the branches of a tree, the Lord saw them and wanted to hear them speak.
CC Madhya 17.209 Both parrots flew onto the hand of the Lord and began to chant the transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa, and the Lord listened to them.
CC Madhya 17.210 The male parrot sang, “The glorification of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is beneficial to everyone in the universe. His beauty is victorious over the gopīs of Vṛndāvana, and it subdues their patience. His pastimes astound the goddess of fortune, and His bodily strength turns Govardhana Hill into a small toy like a ball. His spotless qualities are unlimited, and His behavior satisfies everyone. Lord Kṛṣṇa is attractive to everyone. Oh, may our Lord maintain the whole universe!”
CC Madhya 17.211 After hearing this description of Lord Kṛṣṇa from the male parrot, the female parrot began to recite a description of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.
CC Madhya 17.212 The female parrot said, “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s affection, Her exquisite beauty and good behavior, Her artistic dancing and chanting and Her poetic compositions are all so attractive that they attract the mind of Kṛṣṇa, who attracts the mind of everyone in the universe.”
CC Madhya 17.213 Thereafter the male parrot said, “Kṛṣṇa is the enchanter of the mind of Cupid.” He then began to recite another verse.
CC Madhya 17.214 The male parrot then said, “My dear śārī [female parrot], Śrī Kṛṣṇa carries a flute and enchants the hearts of all women throughout the universe. He is specifically the enjoyer of the beautiful gopīs, and He is the enchanter of Cupid also. Let Him be glorified!”
CC Madhya 17.215 Then the female parrot began to speak jokingly to the male parrot, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was struck with wonderful ecstatic love to hear her speak.
CC Madhya 17.216 The female parrot said, “When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is with Rādhārāṇī, He is the enchanter of Cupid; otherwise, when He is alone, He Himself is enchanted by erotic feelings even though He enchants the whole universe.”
CC Madhya 17.217 Both parrots then flew onto a tree branch, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to watch the dancing of the peacocks with curiosity.
CC Madhya 17.218 When the Lord saw the bluish necks of the peacocks, His remembrance of Kṛṣṇa immediately awakened, and He fell to the ground in ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 17.219 When the brāhmaṇa saw that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was unconscious, he and Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya took care of Him.
CC Madhya 17.220 They hastily sprinkled water over the Lord’s body. Then they took up His outer cloth and began to fan Him with it.
CC Madhya 17.221 They then began to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa into the Lord’s ear. When the Lord regained consciousness, He began rolling on the ground.
CC Madhya 17.222 When the Lord rolled on the ground, sharp thorns injured His body. Taking Him on his lap, Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya pacified Him.
CC Madhya 17.223 The mind of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wandered in ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa. He immediately stood up and said, “Chant! Chant!” Then He Himself began to dance.
CC Madhya 17.224 Being thus ordered by the Lord, both Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya and the brāhmaṇa began to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. Then the Lord, dancing and dancing, proceeded along the path.
CC Madhya 17.225 The brāhmaṇa was astounded to see the symptoms of ecstatic love exhibited by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He then became anxious to give the Lord protection.
CC Madhya 17.226 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mind was absorbed in ecstatic love at Jagannātha Purī, but when He passed along the road on the way to Vṛndāvana, that love increased a hundred times.
CC Madhya 17.227 The Lord’s ecstatic love increased a thousand times when He visited Mathurā, but it increased a hundred thousand times when He wandered in the forests of Vṛndāvana.
CC Madhya 17.228-229 When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was elsewhere, the very name of Vṛndāvana was sufficient to increase His ecstatic love. Now, when He was actually traveling in the Vṛndāvana forest, His mind was absorbed in great ecstatic love day and night. He ate and bathed simply out of habit.
CC Madhya 17.230 Thus I have written a description of the ecstatic love Lord Caitanya manifested in one of the places He visited while walking through the twelve forests of Vṛndāvana. To describe what He experienced everywhere would be impossible.
CC Madhya 17.231 Lord Ananta writes millions of books elaborately describing the transformations of ecstatic love experienced by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Vṛndāvana.
CC Madhya 17.232 Since Lord Ananta Himself cannot describe even a fragment of these pastimes, I am simply pointing out the direction.
CC Madhya 17.233 The whole world became merged in the inundation of the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One can swim in that water to the extent that he has the strength.
CC Madhya 17.234 Praying at the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha, always desiring their mercy, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, narrate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, following in their footsteps.