Advaita Prakasha, Chapter 16

BY: SUN STAFF - 18.1 2023

Advaita Prakasha: Lord Advaita Acarya by Shrila Ishana Nagara, translated by HH Subhag Swami.

All glories to Shri Chaitanya! All glories to Sitanatha! All glories to Nityananda, along with all the devotees!

One day Shri Krishna Chaitanya privately told His devotees that He wanted to go to Vrindavana. The devotees said to Him, "It is the rainy season. We don't think this is a good time for You to go to Vraja."

Gaura accepted their statement, saying, "The words of saintly devotees are as good as Vedic injunctions. Indeed, transgressing their instructions diminishes all auspiciousness." He then took His associates and went to Bengal. When He arrived in Shantipura, He went to the house of Advaita, who became overwhelmed in ecstasy on seeing Gaura.

Advaita Prabhu roared and jumped high as He danced, and He repeatedly declared, "How fortunate I am today!"

The loving devotion of mother Sita cannot be described. Tears flowed from her eyes like the Ganges and washed Gaura's entire body. Sita's sons were most powerful. Among them, three—Shri Acyutananda, Krishna Mishra, and Shri Gopala dasa—were prominent in devotional service. Advaita Prabhu was always pleased by their saintly behavior. They all dedicated their lives to Lord Gauranga's service and bathed in the nectar of His love while observing His pastimes. Their loud singing of the holy names defeated the singing of Gandharvas. Sometimes, intoxicated with love, they would cry out loudly in ecstasy.

Gauranga and Nityananda raised Their arms and danced in the sankirtana party along with the devotees. I took bath in the nectarean waters of the Ganges, and then out of boundless good fortune I was engaged in Gauranga and Nityananda's service.

Sita cooked nectarean preparations, which the three Lords honored along with the devotees. Such ecstasy as was experienced there cannot be described. Only the most fortunate were able to taste Their maha-prasada.

Receiving the auspicious news of Gaura's arrival in Shantipura, mother Shaci joyfully came there. On seeing His mother, Gaura offered her obeisances, and mother Shaci affectionately took the Lord on her lap. The devotees then relished in their hearts the mood of mother Yashoda taking Krishna on her lap at Kurukshetra. Who wouldn't be moved by seeing this pastime? Everyone's heart was attracted by the waters of that ocean of love.

Mother Shaci then cooked a variety of vegetables, especially those that were dear to Gaura like batuya shak. She cooked other preparations like squash in milk and cakes that were so delicious there could be no comparison.

Shri Krishna Chaitanya then sat down to eat, with Nitai on His right and Advaita on His left. Mahaprabhu said, "The spinach preparation is the best."

Nityananda said, "If I get a little more it would be very nice."

My Prabhu, Advaita, smiled and said to Nityananda, "Your love for the conditioned souls is like the flow of the Ganges."

Nityananda then said, "Your face is turned upwards, so how can You see anything below You?"

The three Lords all laughed loudly. Only the most fortunate could understand why. Mother Shaci gradually increased the excellence of her service, as they held daily festivals in the house of Advaita Prabhu.

After some days the Supreme Lord Shri Chaitanya departed quickly for Vrindavana. On the way, He eventually arrived in the village of Ramakeli, where He met Rupa and Sanatana.

Shri Rupa and Sanatana were oceans of knowledge in all subjects. They were ministers to the king and as wise as Brihaspati. Mahaprabhu bestowed great mercy on them, so they could give up all sense enjoyment and become nonenvious.

When Shri Chaitanya told them He was going to Vrindavana, Rupa and Sanatana privately discouraged Him. The two brothers said, "O ocean of mercy, Mahaprabhu! Please don't go anywhere with so many people."

Hearing this from His devotees, Gaura decided to go south, and after a few days He arrived again in Shantipura. On His return, the devotees' ecstasy of love overflooded Shantipura, as my Prabhu organized daily sankirtana festivals.

Seeing mother Shaci there again, Gaura received her permission to visit Vraja, but then He went south. On the way He met Raghunatha dasa, whose devotional service enchants all devotees. In the waves of the aroma of the cooling desire tree of Gauranga, Raghunatha dasa easily gave up the poison of sense enjoyment. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself glorified His renunciation, a subject that I am unable to describe.

One day Shri Chaitanya left for Shri Kshetra. On again seeing Lord Jagannatha, Gaura was saturated with loving sentiments. The devotees became intoxicated with bliss on seeing Gaura, and they held a grand sankirtana festival.

After some days, Shriman Vishvambhara made up His mind to go to Vrindavana. One day at the close of night He secretly left for Vrindavana in a blissful state of mind. He abandoned the main path and traveled by side paths. As He traveled through the forest of Jharikhanda, everyone who saw Him was astonished. He loudly chanted the holy names, and the animals that saw Him all gave up their violent nature.

Mahaprabhu said, "O forest animals! Chant Krishna's names and cry, then you will be freed from all material bondage."

The order of the Supreme Lord is certainly infallible, therefore all the animals chanted the name of Krishna and cried in love. Thus there was a great festival in that dense forest, as all the birds and beasts were delivered by the strength of the holy names. How can I describe the greatness of Shri Chaitanya's mercy? Even the inanimate objects were delivered from material existence by the strength of the holy names.

Shri Chaitanya's pastimes are like a great ocean that even four-headed Brahma cannot fathom. An insignificant soul like me can hardly know anything of them. Out of jubilation I am writing just a fragment of those pastimes. Although ignorant persons do not have any faith in the Lord's pastimes, intelligent persons are certainly able to understand them. What to speak of the Lord's pastimes, even the devotees' transcendental potency can be understood only by a fortunate person.

As Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued on His way, He preached the glories of the holy name and induced many persons to become Vaishnavas. After some days Mahaprabhu arrived at Kashi, where He bathed at the Manikarnika-ghata. Tapana Mishra saw Gaura there and happily offered Him obeisances. He invited Gaura to his house, and Gaurachandra stayed there for some days.

While in Kashi, Gaura went and danced before the Deity of Bindu Madhava with raised arms. His dancing stole the hearts of everyone present. Then Gaura controlled His ecstatic love and offered obeisances and various prayers to the Lord. Gaura also had darshana of Lord Vishveshvara, Shiva, and became overwhelmed in ecstasy. While there, only the words, "Harihara! Harihara!" came from His mouth. He offered obeisances and recited transcendental prayers to Lord Shiva, just as Lord Brahma recites the Vedas with his four heads. Seeing Gaura's uncommon devotion and form, everyone called Him the emperor amongst devotees. Then Shri Chaitanya went to see Annapurna Devi, whom He addressed as Paurnamasi.

Sometimes Gaura laughed, sometimes He cried, and sometimes He fell unconscious. While dancing, He sometimes roared in ecstasy. On seeing Mahaprabhu's activities, the residents of Kashi were struck with wonder. Some people exclaimed, "He must be an incarnation of God!"

Tapana Mishra then took the Lord to his house and offered Him many food preparations. As Chaitanya Mahaprabhu honored the maha-prasada with the others present, Candrashekhara came there and met Him.

Thereafter Shri Gauranga became enchanted with loving sentiments while seeing the Deity of Adi-keshava. In this way Gaura had various festivals in Kashi and then continued on to Shri Prayaga.

Visiting the confluence, or Triveni, He was agitated in love and called out, "Kalinda-nandini! How fortunate I am to have darshana of the Yamuna!" He then jumped into the waters of the river.

Gaura spent the entire day under the waters of the Yamuna, and in the evening, out of compassion, He came out. A fisherman then lifted the Lord out of the water into his boat. While sitting in the boat, Gaura engaged in sankirtana. Everyone was enchanted by His sweet singing, until Gaura was happily brought back to the shore.

Shri Shacinandana then attended Madhava's arati, during which He cried in ecstatic love. He raised His arms and repeatedly cried out, "Give Me bhakti! Give Me bhakti!" Such wonderful dancing as the Lord exhibited was never before seen by the people there. Moving and nonmoving entities all cried, fearing His impending separation. After a long time Gaura controlled His loving sentiments. He then felt amused when He saw Bhima's club.

Then Gaura left Prayaga on His way to Vrindavana. On the way, He delivered many living entities, by giving them the treasure of loving devotion. Gradually Gauranga arrived in Mathura-mandala, whereupon He became absorbed in the mood of the gopis and forgot Himself while chanting,

kanha kanu kanha kanu kanha tare pao
viccheda anale poda parana judao

"Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna? Where will I find Him? Please save Me, I am burning in the fire of separation." As Gaura repeatedly sang this verse, His voice choked and He could say only, "kanha, kanha." Gaura passed the morning in this mood of separation, and finally He frightened everyone as He rolled on the ground.

Later, as Gaura became absorbed in His previous pastimes, He began running here and there in search of Kamsa. He roared like a lion, wildly waved His arms, and then suddenly jumped high. Who could understand His mind?

As Gaura manifested various moods in this way, day and night passed by like a moment. Shri Shacinandana then visited Dhruva-ghata, where He cried in ecstasy while remembering the pastimes of Dhruva Maharaja. When He saw a crowd of people gathering, He controlled His loving symptoms. After bathing in the river, He took darshana of the Deity.

Shriman Mahaprabhu then went on to Vrindavana. Upon arriving there, He fell down unconscious in ecstatic love. After a long time Gauranga regained His consciousness. Then His voice choked up, and He rolled in the transcendental dust of Vrindavana. In a mood of ecstatic love, He lamented, "Where is My beloved? Where is Krishna?" Day and night He searched for Krishna in this mood.

Tears of love incessantly flowed from His eyes. As He traveled from forest to forest, He would sometimes loudly cry out. Sometimes He would laugh loudly for up to three hours, and sometimes He would roar like a lion. Who can understand His moods?

The topmost loving sentiments exhibited by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are beyond the conception of even the demigods. Who has the ability to describe those moods? As Gauranga wandered on the various paths around Vraja, He repeatedly asked people to chant the name of Krishna. By the order of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, moving and nonmoving beings all chanted the name of Krishna as Ananta Shesha does.

When the cows and calves smelled the fragrance of Krishna's body, they surrounded Gaura and began licking His body. All the cows relished the nectarean taste of Gaura's body and cried in ecstatic love. Seeing this, Gaura said, "Vraja has inconceivable qualities. The residents of Vraja all have natural devotion to Krishna."

Gaura then touched the cows with His lotus hand, and the cows all began to dance almost like gopis. Seeing the dancing of the cows, Gaura was inundated with love. He chuckled and danced like an intoxicated person.

Here in Shantipura, Acyutananda, the son of Advaita, asked the whereabouts of Gauranga like a madman. Sometimes he would roar and ask, "Where is Gauranga?" Sometimes he would call out "Gauranga!" and cry incessantly. Sometimes he would ask, "Where is Gaurachandra, my life and soul?"

Gauranga could understand the miserable condition of His dear devotee, and He called for Acyutananda to come. The son of Sita then went there like a yogi. The path from Shantipura to Vraja takes many days, but Acyutananda immediately went there on the flower chariot of Gaura's calling.

Krishna and His devotees have inconceivable power; for them, anything is possible and nothing is unbelievable. When Acyutananda saw Gauranga, he exclaimed, "O Gauranga! You have come to this distant place, taking my life with You. Leaving the Vraja of devotional service, You have come to the Vraja of the gopis. Will You return to the Vraja of devotional service, or will You remain absorbed in the mood of the gopis here? Although the Vraja of the gopis is full of transcendental bliss, the best part of that land is the Vraja of devotional service. Because of You, Shri Yashoda and other Vrajavasis have appeared in Navadvipa, the Vraja of devotional service. I have come here to understand the mood that You accepted in this deserted Vraja of the gopis."

Shri Gauranga said, "You are the topmost amongst pure devotees. You see Krishna manifest within all living entities. In ecstatic love, you say so many things to madmen. You even say the place of Radha-Krishna's eternal pastimes is deserted."

Shri Acyuta said, "Radha and Krishna have now combined together in one form, and for what reason?

That transcendental form which even Ananta and the demigods have not seen is manifest before me due to my unlimited good fortune. Still, if I have made a great offense when I said that Vrindavana is deserted, then please excuse me out of Your own saintly nature."

Gauranga said, "Those who are eternal associates of Lord Krishna see the manifestation of Radha-Krishna everywhere. Krishna considers them as dear as His life. He never considers their offenses. You are Krishna's eternal confidential devotee. In your association loving sentiments awakened within Me."

Shri Acyuta said, "I consider Your instruction more important than the Vedic injunctions. You indiscriminately shower Your pure mercy on the living entities. By Your kindness You speak so humbly, but Your greatness is understood by Your pure devotees. Only because I have taken shelter of Your lotus feet do I consider myself most fortunate, although I am insignificant and ignorant of the Absolute Truth."

Gaura said, "You have deep love for Krishna. Simply by the touch of your body a living entity becomes fortunate."

Saying this, Shri Chaitanya firmly embraced Acyuta and then chanted the name of Hari in transcendental love. Shri Acyuta was overwhelmed by Gaura's transcendental affection, and in the mood of a gopi he began to dance like a mad person. Then Shri Chaitanya remembered Radha-kunda, and in ecstatic love He began to ask everyone the whereabouts of Radha-kunda.

The residents of Vraja replied, "No one knows where Radha-kunda is."

On hearing their reply, Gaura fell unconscious. When Acyuta saw Gauranga's display of maha-bhava, he called out the names of Radha-Krishna and tears flowed from his eyes. Hearing the name of Radha, Gauranga cried out, "Where is Radha-kunda?"

Shri Acyuta said, "O Krishna Chaitanya, listen as I describe the confidential truths regarding Radha-kunda."

Gaura said, "You are Krishna's eternal associate. You know the truth about the transcendental holy places."

Shri Acyuta said, "I offer my obeisances to Your mercy. You always expand the glories of Your devotees. You have made up Your mind to manifest the glories of these two holy places and to propagate the omniscience of Your devotees. Radharani has invested all transcendental potencies in Her kunda, and those same potencies are certainly invested in Shyama-kunda. Anantadeva and others are unable to fathom the extent of those potencies, so how can an insignificant soul like me know them?

"You should know that I am like a wooden puppet that dances according to Your sweet will. My preceptor is Your dear Gadadhara Pandita, who is a storehouse of love. My father says that he is an expansion of Shrimati Radhika, and one can easily attain devotion to Krishna by his association. I simply repeat whatever he has mercifully told me, without considering whether it is right or wrong.

"That place where Kundeshvari Radha eternally resides is called Radha-kunda. Who can understand the glories of that kunda? The predominating deities of all holy places reside there in unmanifest forms. The holy places deliver sinful persons from their sins, but the sins accumulate and remain at those places. When saintly persons visit those places, the sins are finally eliminated and the holy places again become sanctified. This is the statement of the Vedic literature.

"Radha-kunda is the form of Krishna's internal energy. It is eternally perfect and the source of all energies. By remembering Radha-kunda, all sins are destroyed. By reciting the glories of Radha-kunda, one's faith in eternal religious principles increases. By seeing Radha-kunda, devotional service is awakened. And simply by touching Radha-kunda, one attains pure devotional service.

"One certainly attains Krishna by taking bath in the waters of Radha-kunda. If one gives up his body on the shores of Radha-kunda, he attains the service of Lord Krishna. Who can describe the unlimited qualities of Radha-kunda? Listen now to the secondary qualities of Radha-kunda.

"Those who live on the shore of Radha-kunda and have attained perfection cry when they hear the names of Radha and Krishna. Simply by visiting Radha-kunda, all one's miseries are mitigated, material existence in forgotten, and one becomes joyful at heart. The waters of Radha-kunda naturally act medicinally. By either bathing in or drinking those waters, one's diseases are destroyed and the duration of one's life is increased.

"Shri Shyama-kunda is connected with Radha-kunda and is as spiritual and dear to Krishna as Radha-kunda. Shri Nanda-nandana always resides there in His eternal form. By seeing Shyama-kunda, Krishna's form becomes manifested. Even Anantadeva does not know the extent of Shyama-kunda's glories. One attains Radha-Krishna simply by bathing there or drinking the water."

Saying this, Shri Acyuta offered his obeisances to Gauranga, and Gaura firmly embraced him in ecstatic love. Then Gaura said to Acyuta, "I feel that My body, mind, and soul have become sanctified by hearing the glories of Radha-kunda today."

They then went in great ecstasy to the practically lost site of Radha-kunda. Shri Krishna Chaitanya said, "O son of Advaita! Here is Radha-kunda! See the symptoms. Even though this holy place is practically lost from vision, one's distress is mitigated simply by seeing it. Otherwise, how have we suddenly become so joyful?"

Gaura then loudly cried out the name of Radha, and on hearing that name, all the animals and birds cried in ecstatic love like topmost devotees of the Lord. Radha's name is the source of eternal ecstasy, and when that name emanated from the mouth of Shri Gauranga it satisfied all living entities' desire for pure love. Why loving devotion should not manifest on hearing that sound? Both moving and nonmoving living beings shed tears in ecstatic love.

Shri Gauranga then said, "O son of Advaita, see how all living entities awaken to transcendental love on hearing Radha's name. There is no doubt that this is Radha-kunda, and the pond connected to it is Shyama-kunda. Oh, how fortunate I am to have the darshana of Radha-kunda! This is the inconceivable transcendental result of associating with devotees."

Saying this, the omniscient Lord Gauranga became overwhelmed in ecstatic love and jumped into the waters of the kunda. He first immersed Himself in Radha-kunda, and then He went to Shyama-kunda. He took bath in Shyama-kunda and then came to Radha-kunda. After completing His bath, He took mud from the kunda and smeared it over His entire body in ecstatic love. With deep affection, Gaurahari offered hundreds of obeisances and various prayers to the kundas.

Shri Acyuta became intoxicated with love while watching Gaura. He wandered around roaring and exclaiming, "This is that transcendental kunda!"

In the mood of Kundeshvari Shri Radha, Mahaprabhu then cried out, "Where is the Lord of My life?" He displayed various ecstatic symptoms—one moment He was stunned, another moment He shivered, one moment He laughed loudly, the next moment He roared, one moment He danced, and another moment He spoke some humble words. The great waves of the ocean of His ecstasy gradually grew, and as a result He fell unconscious to the ground.

Seeing the motionless body of Gauranga, Acyuta incessantly cried, "Alas! What has happened to Gauranga, my life and soul?"

After some time, the son of Sita regained his composure and began to gravely chant the name of Hari. Gaura regained His consciousness in the afternoon, and He began to dance and exclaim, "I found Radha-kunda! These two kundas, belonging to Radha and Krishna, have combined together to bestow mercy on the fallen souls of Kali-yuga."

Then, holding Acyuta's hand, Gaurachandra circumambulated the kundas while chanting the maha-mantra. In ecstatic love, Shri Acyuta offered hundreds of obeisances to the kundas and then took bath there. Hearing Acyuta's humble devotional prayers, Gaura sat there at the base of a tree and recovered His composure. He then said to Acyuta, "By dint of your association, Radha-kunda has mercifully manifested."

Acyuta replied, "Why do make me an offender? I am always under the shelter of Your lotus feet. You perform transcendental pastimes in every millennium, and You uncover the lost places of pilgrimage to deliver the conditioned souls. Love of God and Radha-kunda had remained hidden for a long time, but now Radha-kunda has mercifully manifested."

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then said, "This is an exaggeration. This is your father's habit, but I don't like it. Krishna is the Supreme Lord, and everyone else is His servant. One who considers an ordinary living entity to be the Supreme Lord is doomed."

Shri Acyuta said, "In Your present pastimes it is Your nature to speak humbly and thus cover Your real identity. But just as the sun cannot hide behind the clouds, Krishna cannot hide during His manifest pastimes."

Acyuta then chanted the name of Hari, and Gaura said, "The holy name is the only truth. Give up this other talk."

Acyuta then said, "After millions of pious activities, I have obtained the person who possesses the name." Saying this, he held Gaura's feet and cried.

Gaura, the ocean of mercy, then manifested His eternal transcendental form of Lord Krishna, the reservoir of all pleasure. Appearing on His left was Radharani, the personification of ecstatic love of Godhead. Seeing those two personalities, Shri Acyuta was overwhelmed with ecstatic love and offered his obeisances and composed many prayers. Gaura asked him, "Why are you glorifying Me?"

Then Shri Acyuta again saw Gaura as a sannyasi, and he said, "You have covered Your form with the complexion of Shri Radha. By serving You, Radha and Krishna are both served." Saying this, Acyuta placed the lotus feet of the Lord upon his head.

Gaura said, "You are the emperor of love for Krishna. Wherever you go, Radha and Krishna manifest before you."

After saying this, Lord Chaitanya embraced Acyuta, who then began to dance in ecstatic love. When everyone heard about the location of the kundas, they became purified as they took darshana, bathed there, and drank its waters.

Then Mahaprabhu went to Giri-Govardhana, the site of Krishna's pastimes, where He lost consciousness due to ecstatic love. Regaining consciousness, He said, "O best of mountains! It seems You have become reduced in the absence of Krishna. Oh, how wonderful! I see that You have the fragrance of Krishna's body. Come, let Me embrace You and thus pacify My burning heart. Then I will go see if I can find My beloved life and soul."

Speaking these words, Shri Chaitanya stretched out His arms and rushed forward to embrace Govardhana. Sometimes He stood up, and sometimes He fell to the ground. He could not discriminate whether He was in a proper place or not. He then circumambulated the hill while chanting the holy names.

Gaura's inconceivable pastimes were filled with transcendental love, He showered the nectar of His mercy and thus delivered the living entities. Being overwhelmed with love, Shri Acyutananda sometimes cried, sometimes danced, and sometimes rolled on the ground.

Gauranga wandered throughout the sacred forests of Vraja, but when He saw the site of the rasa dance He became overflooded with ecstatic love. In the topmost state of maha-bhava, Gaura felt the mood of separation from Krishna and cried while reciting the Gopi-gita, the song of the gopis. One moment He imitated the pastimes of Radha-Krishna, the next moment He sang, and another He danced.

Even Lord Anantadeva is unable to describe the great ocean of Gauranga's transcendental love. I am an insignificant insect, devoid of all knowledge. Under the instructions of the Vaishnavas, I am giving this brief account.

Although Gaura had no desire to leave Vraja, to satisfy the desires of His devotees He left Vraja with tears flowing from His eyes.

Praying at the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya and Shri Advaita, always desiring Their mercy, I, Ishana Nagara, narrate Shri Advaita Prakasha.