Ādi 5: The Glories Of Lord Nityānanda Balarāma
This chapter is chiefly devoted to describing the essential nature and glories of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the absolute Personality of Godhead, and His first expansion in a form for pastimes is Śrī Balarāma.
Beyond the limitation of this material world is the spiritual sky, paravyoma, which has many spiritual planets, the supreme of which is called Kṛṣṇaloka. Kṛṣṇaloka, the abode of Kṛṣṇa, has three divisions, which are known as Dvārakā, Mathurā and Gokula. In that abode the Personality of Godhead expands Himself into four plenary portions — Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma, Pradyumna (the transcendental Cupid) and Aniruddha. They are known as the original quadruple forms.
In Kṛṣṇaloka is a transcendental place known as Śvetadvīpa or Vṛndāvana. Below Kṛṣṇaloka in the spiritual sky are the Vaikuṇṭha planets. On each Vaikuṇṭha planet a four-handed Nārāyaṇa, expanded from the first quadruple manifestation, is present. The Personality of Godhead known as Śrī Balarāma in Kṛṣṇaloka is the original Saṅkarṣaṇa (attracting Deity), and from this Saṅkarṣaṇa expands another Saṅkarṣaṇa, called Mahā-saṅkarṣaṇa, who resides in one of the Vaikuṇṭha planets. By His internal potency, Mahā-saṅkarṣaṇa maintains the transcendental existence of all the planets in the spiritual sky, where all the living beings are eternally liberated souls. The influence of the material energy is conspicuous there by its absence. On those planets the second quadruple manifestation is present.
Outside of the Vaikuṇṭha planets is the impersonal manifestation of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which is known as Brahmaloka. On the other side of Brahmaloka is the spiritual kāraṇa-samudra, or Causal Ocean. The material energy exists on the other side of the Causal Ocean, without touching it. In the Causal Ocean is Mahā-Viṣṇu, the original puruṣa expansion from Saṅkarṣaṇa. Mahā-Viṣṇu places His glance over the material energy, and by a reflection of His transcendental body He amalgamates Himself within the material elements.
As the source of the material elements, the material energy is known as pradhāna, and as the source of the manifestations of the material energy it is known as māyā. But material nature is inert in that she has no independent power to do anything. She is empowered to make the cosmic manifestation by the glance of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Therefore the material energy is not the original cause of the material manifestation. Rather, the transcendental glance of Mahā-Viṣṇu over material nature produces that cosmic manifestation.
Mahā-Viṣṇu again enters every universe as the reservoir of all living entities, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. From Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu expands Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the Supersoul of every living entity. Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu also has His own Vaikuṇṭha planet in every universe, where He lives as the Supersoul or supreme controller of the universe. Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu reclines in the midst of the watery portion of the universe and generates the first living creature of the universe, Brahmā. The imaginary universal form is a partial manifestation of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.
On the Vaikuṇṭha planet in every universe is an ocean of milk, and within that ocean is an island called Śvetadvīpa, where Lord Viṣṇu lives. Therefore this chapter describes two Śvetadvīpas — one in the abode of Kṛṣṇa and the other in the ocean of milk in every universe. The Śvetadvīpa in the abode of Kṛṣṇa is identical with Vṛndāvana-dhāma, which is the place where Kṛṣṇa appears Himself to display His loving pastimes. In the Śvetadvīpa within every universe is a Śeṣa form of Godhead who serves Viṣṇu by assuming the form of His umbrella, slippers, couch, pillows, garments, residence, sacred thread, throne and so on.
Lord Baladeva in Kṛṣṇaloka is Nityānanda Prabhu. Therefore Nityānanda Prabhu is the original Saṅkarṣaṇa, and Mahā-saṅkarṣaṇa and His expansions as the puruṣas in the universes are plenary expansions of Nityānanda Prabhu.
In this chapter the author has described the history of his leaving home for a personal pilgrimage to Vṛndāvana and his achieving all success there. In this description it is revealed that the author’s original paternal home and birthplace were in the district of Katwa, in the village of Jhāmaṭapura, which is near Naihāṭī. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja’s brother invited Śrī Mīnaketana Rāmadāsa, a great devotee of Lord Nityānanda, to his home, but a priest named Guṇārṇava Miśra did not receive him well, and Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī’s brother, not recognizing the glories of Lord Nityānanda, also took sides with the priest. Therefore Rāmadāsa became sorry, broke his flute and went away. This was a great disaster for the brother of Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. But on that very night Lord Nityānanda Prabhu Himself graced Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī in a dream and ordered him to leave on the next day for Vṛndāvana.