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By Radhanath Swami
The Supreme Mercy of The two Lords
In Vedanta Sutra there is a famous – “anandamyo bhyasat”. This sloka explains the constitutional position of every living being. Everyone is looking for pleasure. The soul and it’s natural condition is Sachidananda, eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss, full of ecstasy. Therefore the heart of every living being is constantly seeking beauty, charm, and ecstasy. Therefore the Lord descends into this world to distribute prema bhakti divine love. Because – which nourishes the heart and fulfill all its desires. When the lord appears in this world, he appears by his causeless mercy. Mercy is such a nature, when the lord descends that it is not subjected to any material laws, any laws of logic or any laws of reasoning. In fact the mercy of the lord is available to anyone in any position of life, who will simply accept it. It is described by Srila Rupa Gosvami
namne gaura-tvise namah”
Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya 19.53
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the most munificent, merciful, and magnanimous all the incarnations. Because without considering, who is fit or who is unfit, he is distributing the mercy of the lord freely to everyone. Simply chant the name of Krishna, follow the simple principles of devotion and your life will be fulfilled with divine love. And the ecstasy, the charm, the beauty, that your heart is always seeking will be realized forever eternally. But unfortunately even the Supreme Lord Himself appears, many will not accepted. Therefore Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Lord Nityananda Prabhu to approach those persons, who will not accept love of God. Those persons who are too much attached to fallen sinful activities, those who are too attached to piety in material life, those who are too much attached to mental speculation, and so called religiosity. Thus due to pride will not accept the love of Krishna, even from Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. The Lord instructed Lord Nityananda that these people they are yours. So Lord Nityanda is the very essence of mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
It is described by Narottamdasa Thakur “vrajendra-nandana yei, saci-suta haila sei balarama haila nitai”. That the beautiful divine son of Sri Nanda Maharaja, Lord Gopal, He has appeared in the age of Kali Yuga in the form of Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Balaramji, his eternal associate, his elder brother and His constant companion in Vraja dhama has appeared as Lord Nityananda. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu appealed to Lord Nityananda that you go and without any discrimination that who is fit or unfit, you somehow or other get everyone to accept the mercy of the holy name. And Lord Nityananda, although he is the supreme God Himself, he is appearing in the position of the devotee. In fact in Goloka Vrindavana we must understand that Balaram, although He is Krishna Himself, He is the supreme Bhagavan. He eternally appears as the servant of Krishna. In the form of Sankarshana, Anantasesha, He is Narayana’s bed, His shoes, His umbrella. He is constantly simply trying to increase the pleasure of Lord Narayana. Similarly in the form of Lakshmana during Rama Lila. Lakshmana’s only business was to give pleasure to Sri Rama. When they went into the Jarikanda forest, Lakshmana would not eat. He would not sleep. His only business was to protect Sri Rama. He was the supreme most devoted servant of Lord Rama. And similarly that same Lakshmana, that same balarama has appeared as Sri Nityananda Prabhu. His life, soul and everything is the pleasure of Sri Gaurasundra. He has no other ambition, no other mode of in life. Therefore Lord Nityananda is declared by all the acaryas to be the original spiritual master. Because he is the first expansion of godhead and appears exclusively for the pleasure of Godhead. Although He is Krishna, He could easily accept this same position. But he would never accept that position. Sometimes people that Balaram he also had His rasa lila. He was also supreme enjoyer. But Balaram never engaged in the rasa lila for his enjoyment. He simply came to the Vrindavana to specify the gopis in the service of Krishna. Everything Balaramji did, everything Lakshamana did, everything Anantasesa does is only exclusively for life and soul to satisfy and to increase the enjoyment of Krishna, Rama, and Lord Narayana.
Lord Nityananda – The epitome of Compassion
So Lord Nityananda, he was in the sublime mood. Although he was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he took the most humble position in order to satisfy Lord Gaurasundara. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was Patitapavana Avatara. That means He came especially to claim the most fallen and sinful of all living beings. And there is nothing that satisfies Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu more than distributing love of god to another. Therefore lord Nityananda, he would go on both banks of the Ganges and he would approach every house, in every town, and in every village, anybody individually with folded palms come to the most fallen, sinful people of Kali yuga and plead with them, “take with them of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu”.
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was preaching to chant the name of Krishna. And Lord Caitanya told Lord Nityananda, you go out and spread the glories of the chanting of the name of Krishna. But Lord Nityananda He had the full realization “Sri Krishna Caitanya Radha Krishna nahi anya”. That Radha and Krishna have both combine of singular form of Sri Gaurasundar Mahaprabhu. Therefore Lord Nityananda he understood that Lord Caitanya is so merciful; you cannot commit an offence to Him as He is so merciful. Therefore let me convince everyone to worship Gauranga, to chant the name of Gauranga. Whoever is doing like this, that person is my life and soul and if they worship Sri Gaurasundara Mahaprabhu, then they will automatically attain the love of Krishna, automatically they will attain Vrindavana Dham.
So Lord Nityananda wherever he would go, he would sing the song “bhajo gouranga kaho gauranga lavo gaurangera namare, je jana gourang bhaje se hoi more prana re” Worship Gouranga, chant the name of Gouranga, take the mercy of gouranga, anyone who worships Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu that person he is my life and soul. So he would plead in this way, wherever he would go and if someone was so hard hearted, that even one the embodiment of divine love and compassion, he was begging take the name of Gouranga. Take the name of Krishna. If they still would refuse, then the supreme godhead in the form of Nityananda would get on his hand and knees, he would beg, please I beg you do not reject me, do not spoil your human life, take the name of Gouranga. Worship gouranga. If they still refuse, he laid for straight in the ground, rolling in the dust, touching their feet, pleading with them with tears in his eyes. Do not spoil your human life. I beg you, I plead with you, I’ll do anything, I’ll eternally be your servant but chant the holy names. In this way there was no incarnation of god, who has ever manifested, such mercy. Lord Sri Krishna to the wicked demons, He cut of their heads with His Sudarshan Chakra. That was His mercy. In this way they attain mukti.
Lord Sri Rama with His sharpen bows and arrows, he would severally limbs, the heads, He tears the heart of the asuras. In this way they attain mukti. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu with his astra with the weapon of holy name, He would give pure love of god to any one who would accept it. But Lord Nityananda would not accept no pronouncer. God Himself is at your feet begging you rolling in the dust with tears in his eyes, waiting in anxious to be your eternal servant if you simply take the name of Krishna. Simply take the name of Gouranga. Therefore in Lord Nityananda we find the ultimate expression of the supreme mercy of god. Lord Nityanda, he was converting millions and millions of people wherever he went. He would go to towns, to cities, to villages, and he would transform the entire atmosphere, where everyone was joyfully chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” and dancing in sublime ecstasy. Lord Nityananda, it is described he had this complete dedication to fulfilling the heart’s desire Lord Caitanya that all living beings accept the holy name. It is described that one time mother Sachidevi, she had a dream. Sachidevi was the mother of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And in this dream, she was worshiping Krishna and Balaram on her altar. And at that time Lord Nityananda came and He told balaram that you most get off the altar. This altar is now for Lord Caitanya. Krishna has appearing in Kali Yuga as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. You are out dated now.
In Dvapara Yuga you want Krishna would good friends playing together. But in kali yuga, you are His servant. Balaram said, no no. I am here with Krishna. Nityananda said, no no. You come down, you become the servant. They had an argument. They began to fight. Nityananda and Balaram were pulling at each other. But Nityananda was more powerful and he pull Balaram down. Of course Nityananda is Balaram. But in this dream Mother Sachidevi could understand that in Kali Yuga, Balaram appears simply as the order carrier of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is described Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally in order to distribute love of god and gain the responsibility for His mission. He left His family life and took sannyasi. And by taking sannyasi, he had to be very strict to follow principles of social addicate. Because the people criticizes a sannyasi then mission is destroyed. So therefore Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he was basically preaching to great scholars, like Sarvauma Bhattacarya, Prakashnanda Sarasvati. He was preaching from place to place town to town village to village. But in Kali yuga there is so many conditions of life that Lord Caitanya due to being a sannyasi they are too degraded for him to enter into. To freely met with attached family members in a grihamedi ashram. He could not do that to into the bars, the brothels, the houses of prostitution, and the place at meat eaters. The sannyasi cannot do that, especially in those days. People looked upon sannyasi with very strict eyes.
So therefore Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu although Lord Nityananda was basically a mendicant. Lord Caitanya told Lord Nityananda to marry, why? Because then no one will criticize you. You can go to the most fallen. You can go everywhere and anywhere and you can preach. So Lord Nityananda began to travel and he made his base in Bengal at the home of Suryadasa Pundit, who happen to be the brother of Gouridasa pundit a great devotee of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda. There Surydasa Pundit gave as gift Lord Nitryananda his two daughters Jaanav Devi and Vishudhi. Lord Nityananda was known as Abhadhuta, which means he could go anywhere and everywhere to spread the mercy of the Lord. And Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally with say about Lord Nityananda that, if Lord Nityananda goes into a liquor house. If he goes into a house of prostitution, if he is seeing with low class undesirable company, never criticize him or you go to hell. Because you can know is only there to show his causeless mercy to the most fallen. In Kali Yuga we are all candidates of Lord Nityananda’s mercy, because we are all most fallen. If you do not think you are most fallen then you are really most fallen.
Today is the appearance day of Lord Nityananda. We should understand his divine nature before attempting to understand his divine lila. He is the supreme godhead, who appears to distribute the mercy of love of god. It is described that he appeared in the holy city of Ekachakra. Ekachakra is a district of Radhadesha. It is a place where he was not very well known for being a religious place. Generally the religious place is in India in those days were situated in the banks of holy rivers like Ganges and Yamuna. And further you went from those holy rivers, generally the place is become more and more degraded. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally appeared in the holy land of Navadvipa in the bank of Ganga. But he sent his eternal associates to the places of mlechas, yavanas, and low class man to take birth amongst them.
Birth and Childhood of Lord Nityananda
Lord Nityananda born in a Brahmana family in Ekachakra. His father’s name was Hadaya Pundit and his mother’s name was Padmavati. He was the one of the most wonderful child. He had such beautiful and charming features in every respect. In his childhood he knew no other pleasure but be an acting the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He would gather his friends together and throughout the entire day they would simply put on places be in acting the pastimes of the lord. One of his friend’s would pretend to be bhumi (mother earth) in the form of cow, another friend would pretend to be Lord Brahma and she would plead with Lord Brahma, please the demons in the form of Kings are causing me great difficulties and they would – approach the ocean of milk and another friend would take the form of Lord Vishnu and he would say, all you demigods, you all take birth in the Yodu and – dynasty and I’ll soon appear as lord Krishna.
Sometimes His friends, they would pretend to be Devaki and Vasudeva to give birth to Krishna. Sometimes one friend would play Putana and another friend would jump on him and suck his breast and kill him. Sometimes his friends would play Aghasura, KC, Dhenukasura. In this way they would act all these transcendental pastimes and everyone was stuck with thunder. How do they know these pastimes. They never heard them. They have never study them. They are just little children. Lord Nityananda was very fond of organizing these beautiful dramas all day long. And sometimes they would go and take cows and all day long they would just herd the cows and dance with their sticks and play flutes and pretend to be Krishna and Balaram and the cowherd boys. And then they would come home, they would break into the entire neighbors house and steal the butter and steal the yogurt. People were stuck with wonder. Nobody mind it. Everyone is full of affection.
Everyone simply wanted to hold Nityananda in their hands. His body was soft like the butter. They just wanted to embrace him and love him and so their affection to him. One time he was playing the role as the small child of Lakshmana and another child was taking the part of Ravana. And Lakshmana challenge Ravana and then Ravana took that great empowered shakti ashtra and threw it at Lakshmana. Of course what they are using in game for the powerful weapon of Ravana was the lotus flower. So he threw this beautiful soft lotus flower and hit Lord Nityananda in the chest and Lord Nityanda playing Lakshmana fell to the ground and went completely unconscious. There was not any sign of life in the body. And all his friends gather around and they talk my god, he has no life. He is dead. And they all began to cry. They did not know what to do. And then Lord Nityananda’s parents came Padmavati and Hadai Pundit. They were gathered around and they were crying what we supposed to do. There is no life in his body. They were doing everything they could to try to revitalize his life. But nothing worked. He laid their completely motionless and silent. Everyone in entire Ekachakra was in a great dilemma their life and soul was lying there life less, what to do? They could not understand, what a just lotus flower touched him, why he is like this? Then someone watching, he said I know what the problem is.
Recently he was playing the lila of Dasarath and he also fainted and appeared like this, when of his friend was playing Rama has left him. So we want to cure Lord Nityananda who is playing Lakshmana then we have to call Hanuman to get the Gandhamadhana mountain so then one of the children put on the dress of Hanuman, he said I am Hanuman I’ll get the mountain. Then the children remembered, before we started playing this game Lord Nityananda told us that if I fall unconscious get that mountain and bring it here. But they forgot. Now they are remembered. So one of His friends playing Hanuman, he began running and so many other friends playing Rakshasas, they were trying to stop him. He was defeating, smashing them all and finally he came and he brought the mountain. Another friend played a physician and he took the mountain and put it next to Nityananda’s nose and then Nityananda stood up. And everyone began to embrace him. In this way he spent his childhood.
Day and night he was completely emerged in the lila of the lord. They asked him, how is it? That you know perfectly all the lines of the sashtras, we have never taught you any of these things. Then he would reply that I have simply speaking what I have spoken in my previous incarnations and everyone would just laugh, because they did not believe him.
Lord Nityananda leaves Ekachakra
When he was 12 years old one day a sannyasi came to the house of Hadai Pundit. Hadai Pundit being a very gentle and pure hearted devotee of the Lord. He offered a nice sitting place to the sannyasi, he offered him nice food, he offered a place to sleep at night, and he offered all of his services. Then in the next morning just before the sannyasi was about to leave, Hadai Pundit said, whatever I have is yours, is there anyway I can serve you. And the sannyasi said, yes it is. He said I am traveling alone and will be most helpful to me, if I have very nice brahmana as a servant and associate. I would like to take your elder son Nityananda with me. When Hadai Pundit heard this, he did not know what to do. He was like a sharp flaming arrow tears in his heart. He began to consider. I have promised him to give him everything that I have I cannot break my word, but at the same time I cannot live without my son. He is everything to me. He began to think of about how Dasaratha maharaja in order to preserve the principle of truth and respect those who are in renounced order. He gave his sons Rama and Lakshmana away to Vishwamitra Muni, even you know what’s difficult for him. So he was thinking that I must follow in the foot steps of these great souls, however painful may be. So he went to his wife Padmavati and said what should I do? Ans she being a very faithful and very loving wife.
She said my dear husband, whatever you decide is what I decide. So with tears in his eyes he went to the Brahmana, he said if you really want my son then you can take. Now Lord Nityanada he wanted to be with him and preach the glories of the Lord. But he knew that his mother and father were so much attached to him. He could not break their hearts. When the sannyasi came he accepted this divine arrangement and he left home. As soon as he left Hadai Pundit fell unconscious. He could not bear the separation. He was simply crying day and night. He was drowning in an ocean of grief. There was nothing in life that had any meaning or favor to him without the presence of Nitai. He remembered the day where everywhere he went, he bring his son Nitai. When he go to the market Nitai would be behind him and he would be looking around making sure he was right always with him, always worried for his welfare. Indeed wherever he went he could not bear a moment separation from his loving son and now his son going into the forest with the sannyasi. It was too much for him to bear. He could not eat, he could not sleep, he could only wail in a piteous voice with tears streaming from his eyes day and night. Because he was always absorbed in thought of the supreme personality of godhead, his life was somehow or other being maintained without eat, without sleep. And in the last due to the affliction of an utterly broken heart, he left his body and went to the eternal abode of vaikuntha.
Lord Nityananda’s travel across India
Meanwhile it is described that Lord Nityananda began to travel all the holy places. First he went to Gaya and he worships the beautiful foot prints of Vishnugadadhar. Then he went to Kashi to worship the Vishwanatha murti. Then he traveled the holy place of Mathura. There he bathed in Vishnu Ghats and played in the water of beautiful water of Yamuna. He went to all the twelve forest of Vrindavana. And he was so happy in the mood of cowherd boy, identifying his previous incarnation of Balaram. He would simply play with children, herd with the cows and enjoy the sweet atmosphere of the supreme abode of Vraja. It is described that he was so absorbed in happiness of bring in Vrindavana, he did not ever consider eating or sleeping. When someone came of their own accord to offer him some little bit of milk. Sometimes he would accept it.
Then he continued his journey, his pilgrimage. He traveled very widely, while he was in eastern India he met the most exulted of all spiritual personalities, his name was Madhavendra Puri. When he approach Madhevendra Puri, who is considered by all the Goudiya Vaishnavas to be the very root of love of god. It is through Madhavendra Puri’s love that Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda received either directly or indirectly the initiation. So when Lord Nityananda met with Madhavendra Puri, when they saw each other with their eyes they were filled with love. They were stunned. They both offer their obeisance to one another and began to embrace. Madhavendra Puri had such love for lord Nityananda, understanding that he was the supreme godhead himself. He could no let him go from his loving embrace. As they embraced tears flowed from their eyes, their hairs stand on and their limbs to shivering in transcendental ecstasy and all the disciples of Madhavendra Puri were simply stuck with wander. Lord Nityananda spoke, he said that I have traveled throughout the holy places but until today my hearts desires are not fulfilled. Because indeed wherever the pure servant of Krishna is all the holy places reside within his feet. Lord Nityananda and Madhavendra Puri remained together for many days and many nights. And throughout the days and throughout night they share their pleasure of Krishna Katha. They discussed Krishna amongst each other.
It is described that their happiness knew no bounds. Because although both of them are wandering to holy places throughout the land, most all sannyasies, most all sadhus, most all so called holy men did not understand the real essence of love of god. But in each other they saw the association of true devotees of Krishna. Madhavendra Puri felt such happiness, he describe that never I have experience such a love of god is in your association. Indeed whatever Lord Nityananda may be, whatever his lotus feet is, anyone who is there in Vaikuntha. He is the supreme embodiment of highest charity the distribution of pure bhakti. Therefore anyone who meet such a person is most fortunate amongst all men. After spending some days together lord Nityanand continued on his Journey to the various places. He traveled to Setubandha, Rameswaram, Srirangam, Tirupati. Indeed he went to all the holy places and then he went to the north Ajyodha, Chitrakuta, Prayag. He went to Badrika ashram and there he met with Srila Vyasadeva and Srila Vyasadeva seeing him in is none other than his worshipable lord Balaram and worship the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.
After traveling all these holy places he returned to Vrindavana, where he decided to stay and he had a vision. He had a vision that his eternal brother Lord Sri Krishna was performing Hid divine lila in Navadvipa dham in Bengal. But He was still acting like a ordinary little boy. He had not yet established his mission of the Sankirtana movement. So Lord Nityananda decided, he would simple wait in Vrindavana until the signal came that the Lord had began the sankirtana movement. So in a vision after twenty years traveling to various holy places in living in Vrindavana. At that time he could understand within the core of his heart that Lord Caitanya is now leading the devotees to the streets with His arms raised chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
Lord Nityananda arrives in Navadwip
So he left Vrindavana. Then he went to Navadvipa, he did not announce his arrival to anyone. But he went to the home of Nandanacarya. The next morning Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu approached his devotees and He said last night I had a wonderful dream. I saw an extraordinary chariot appeared it had the flag of palm tree which is the chariot sign of Lord Balaram. And there was very large and beautiful personality on that chariot and he was repeating over and over again where is the house of Nimai Pundit. He said, this extraordinary person, I could understand that last night he has arrived in Navadvipa. He is none other than Balaram Himself. You must go out and you must find him. So the devotees headed by Srivas Thakur and Haridasa thakur, they went out and they went to every home, and every market place and inquired, have you seen an exulted personality that had come. And after searching everywhere they came back and they told Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu that we cannot find such a person. And Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu he said, I’ll personally lead the way. And at last they came to the house of Nandana acarya. From within the house Lord Nityananda was seeing the effulgent like millions of moons and He and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu first met, they both stood stunned, unable to speak with eyes glue to one another in divine love. In deed Lord Nityananda at last fell down in ecstasy onto the ground and Lord Caitanya embraced him and they embraced rivers of tears are flowing from their eyes. It was then Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda began to dance and chant together in the holy kirtan of the name of Krishna. And it was that from point that Lord Nityananda in the loving service of Sri Gaura sundara would travel everywhere possible to deliver the holy name. So it is described that without gaining the mercy of the Lord Nityananda, one cannot properly approach the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The supreme auspiciousness of this Day
It is our good fortune in this evening on his holy day on his appearance that we can come together to pray for his causeless mercy. To understand our fallen condition in Kali Yuga and to beg Lord Nityananda to be kind upon us. Lord Nityananda is manifesting himself to the spiritual master. The spiritual master is the representative of Lord Nityananda. The mercy of Lord Nityananda can easily be attained by worshiping him under the guidance of a bona fide guru. So let us take very seriously the Lord’s supreme kindness in this most divine incarnation. As we have seen in this wonderful play, even though Lord Nityananda was rudely abused both verbally and physically by Jagai and Madhai, His only motive was of compassion. He did not care that his head was brutally cut with the blow which fit to kill ten men. He did not care that they blaspheming to him with so many insults. His only concern was that they were suffering due to sinful activities. And therefore rather than anger he responded with compassion. “aha prabhu Nityananda premanda sukhi” Anyone who understands the mercy of Nityananda becomes supremely happy in this world. So let us try to understand the nature of his mercy. And how to receive his mercy. It is very simply. We simply accept the name of Krishna. We simply accept the chanting of the holy name and we give up our sinful activities. That is all it is required. That is the great opulence of the mercy of lord Nityananda. “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” It is sasid that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would always present in four places. One of those four places was, whenever Lord Nityananda was dancing. His dancing was so graceful and so beautiful that anywhere and everywhere he would dance, lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in his spiritual body would manifest himself there to watch and to take part in that kirtan.
“parama koruna, pahu dui jana
saba avatara-sara siromani
Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda have descended to teach the simply process of chanting and dancing and feasting. So there is no greater way to receive the mercy of Lord Nityananda than to absorb our mind, to absorb our senses, to absorb our body, everything in the kirtan of the holy name. To eagerly chant with great enthusiasm so on this great occasion we are giving this opportunity to glorify Lord Nityananda by enthusiastically and eagerly taking part in Kirtan of the holy name. So now we will have the arati and let us all prays the glories of the lord Nityananda through our enthusiasm to chant, to dance, for his pleasure. After arati we will have the fortune tasting and honoring the sacred Prasad that has been offered to him on this auspicious night. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.