Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s travel from Navadvipa to Jagganath Puri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s travel from Navadvipa to Jagganath Puri
Venue: Theur, Pune
08 04 2020
jai jai sri caitanya jai Nityanandaa jai advaitcandra jai gaura-bhakta-vrnda
Welcome yet again, this is our seventh and final of the series of talks of katha of karuna avatar Gaura Bhagawan katha. We end here with this seventh and final presentation. We will tell you at the end how we wish to continue this at least for another week in lockdown period. So,
anarpita-carim cirat karunay avatirnah kalua
samarpayi tum unnatojjvala-rasamsva-bhakti-sriyam
sadahrdaya-kandaresphura tu vah sacinandanah
This invocation mangalacaran at the very beginning of Caitanya Caritamrita, Krisnadasa Kaviraja Goswami is talking of the karunya, magnanimity of Gauranga. ‘karunaya avtirna kalau’, at the beginning of this age of kali, Gauranga appeared and he says, He is appearing after long time. ‘carim cirat avatirnah’ that meant, I think we mentioned one day, that after one kalpa, one day of Brahma which is a long time, Gauranga has appeared again and what does He do as He appears, ‘samarpayitum unnatojjaval rasam’ and He distributes, in fact He relishes madhurya rasa, sweetest of the mellows and that’s called brilliant rasa the topmost rasa.
So as we hear the pastimes of Lord Gauranga, they are full of madhurya, they are full of sweetness. The sweetest thing in the existence is Mahaprabhu’s madhuryalila,
Gauranger madhurlila jara karne pravesila hrdaynirmal bhelo tara
So that is Gauranger madhurlila. It cleanses the heart, the consiouness and there is the cooling effect of that lila, cooling effect on the mind and the heart. In fact the soul, ultimately the soul is in the heart. So as the soul hears, who hears? Whatever you are hearing, you are doing some kirtan, you are doing sravanam, you are hearing. So who is the hearer, not the ears, they are just a medium. They are in between you, the soul and the speaker. So soul or atma is the actual hearer of this katha. As one hears katha of Gauranga Mahaprabhu,
Sadahrdaya-kandaresphura tu vah sacinandanah
And that Sachinandana, within the heart and heart is described here as hrdaya-kandara. Hrdaya is heart and kandara is a cave. So, we reside, the soul resides in the cave called heart. So Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami this is his, he is wishing mangalya, all auspiciousness for the listeners.
So, Gauranga Mahaprabhu He is only solace and shelter specially difficult trouble time like this. It’s time to take shelter of Gauranga. So, we also pray on behalf of Krsnadasa Kaviraja. Let that effect, desirable effect of katha, this Gaur Bhagavan katha Gauranga Nityanandaa katha may sphuratu vah sachinandanah.That Gauranga inspire you, delight you, make you happy, full of bliss, the ananda that we are looking for.
So as Lord is non different from His pastimes. So as we recite His pastimes, as we speak His pastimes, as we hear His pastimes then as we remember the pastimes, Lord is even appearing in that particular lila that is being spoken and is being heard. So, it is expected that we feel the presence of Gauranga Mahaprabhu as we hear about Him or hear His pastimes. And as, as we hear with attention, with devotion, with faith, and Lord makes His appearance, He appears to us in our hearts or He appears on something called smriti patala. There is screen in our, in our heart or soul’s consciousness, there is a screen smriti patala and on the screen we begin visualizing Lord’s pastimes. And ultimately in most purified state, we see them literally, scene darsana of lilas which we talk and hear. I was going to say that, that is yoga, we relink, we reestablish our lost relationship with the Lord and there is yoga bhakti yoga. The soul and Supreme soul are connected, they are united, what unites is, the bhakti unites. We say soul is a bhakta and Lord is Bhagavana and the bhakti, the devotional service is sravanam kirtanam connects soul with the Supreme soul atma with paramatma bhagavana. It’s perfection as that union reunion takes place that yoga the link takes place.
So today we, we are thought of talking to you like yesterday we talked about Mahaprabhu, His visit of Vrndavana and H is tour of Vrajamandal Vrndavana. Today we thought of talking about Lord’s travel from one dhama that is Navadvipa to another dhama Jagganath Puri and this takes place as Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu takes sanyasa. He is now twenty-four years old and He is in Navadvipa. So in middle of the night, one night Mahaprabhu and of course He had informed selected five persons about his plans. No one knew only Sachimata knew, Nityananada Prabhu knew and like that.
So middle of the night Gauranga Mahaprabhu gets up and He leaves home for his destination which is Katwa which is some 27 kilometers or so, away on the banks of Ganga. So as Sun rises in the east and normally devotees would come to Nimai’s home to meet Him, to greet Him and later on to go on sankirtan prabhat-pheri, as we, we go on to take darsana of the Lord in the temple. We take darsana of the deity arcavigraha. For the residents of Navadvipa, their murti their vigraha was Gauranga. They didn’t have to go to some other temple other than Yogapitha, the home of Jagganatha Misra and Sachimata and their son Nimai. Of course, Hare Krisna I just want to say that Jagganath Misra wasn’t there as Lord has taken sanyasa and He also had a brother called Visvarupa, He also had taken sanyasa. This was a second person of the family taking sanyasa, second son of Sachimata.
Next morning everyone arrives to meet and greet Gauranga but He is nowhere to be found. They saw Sachimata just sitting very morose and shading tears and saying nothing. After a while all those who had come to visit Nimai, they realized what have transpired during middle of the night that Nimai had left home for good to take sanyasa.
So as they realized they were all broken hearted and Hari Hari, they all start crying and calling out, Gauranga!!Gauranga!!Nimai!! where are you? They also crying and falling on the ground and rolling and tears and what not. Whole scene was there. They were also saying, “yes, let’s go to home, our respective homes, let’s put our homes on fire and let’s go. Why should we stay here in this village or town, Mayapur, where there is no Gauranga here.”Such was the affection of all residents of Navadvipa, of Mayapur.
When Sachimata, she had some clue in which direction He hadgone. So she begins running in that direction. Soon she comes on the bank of Ganga. There was a small small village. And she was inquiring from the residents, “Have you seen my Nimai?” They did not know what to say. They were just speechless, clueless. So she was approaching this person, that person, “Have you seen my Nimai? Have you seen my Nimai?”As there was no response from nobody there, Sachimata declared, ”You all residents of this village, you are heartless, you are nirdaya, you have no daya.”Even these days, even to this day you could visit that village not far from Navadvipa, not far from Mayapur and it is called Niday in Bengali, Bengalis say niday, it’s nirday, niday. So that village was named after, named Nirday because Sachimata thought that these are heartless people.
So disappointed as she was she returns from. So by this time CaitanyaMahaprabhu had reached Katwa and those who are, they were informed by Mahaprabhu about His plan for taking sanyasa they also had arrived. Nityanandaa and three others, Candrasekhara, Mukunda. So as Nimai or Visvambhara, Sachinandan approached the acarya and begged from him, “Please”, Keshav Bharti was, Kesavabharti was his name, “Please make me free, please liberate me. I want to take sanyasa.” So initially he was not ready. Finally, “Ok, I will give you sanyasa.” And so by this time lots of people had gathered in Katwa, huge crowd and this is observed in Caitanya Mahaparabhu’s pastimes that you know people from nowhere villages gathered in big, big numbers. So as He is to be given sanyasa, so first the shaving has to happen. So many barbers have been asked to come and shave.
They were coming and they were trying but they do not wish to shave Mahaprabhu’s golden hair. So they come and go. Finally one barber agreed to finish the task of shave Him up but as he was also attempting his hands were trembling and all those who were in the assembly there, they, “No, no, no,no sanyasa, why take sanyasa? Who has come up with this sanyasa business or this process or vidhi of taking sanyasa? And this person’s mother, old mother at home and young wife, oh, what would happen to them? How would they survive? And also what about the residents of Navadvipa Mayapur.”
And some of them are also residents of Navadvipa or Gaur mandal. There is Navadvipa mandal Gaura mandal, bigger mandal, bigger circle. So somehow barber manage to shave up Gauranga Mahaprabhu. And He goes to Ganga take holy dip, back on the scene with sanyasa robes put tilaka, all that.
Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami and Vrndavandas Thakur, they described how Mahaprabhu looked extraordinarily beautiful that day as He was taking sanyasa, shaved up and saffron robes and soon he was going to be holding dand and kamandalu in his hand. That was the beauty to be hold.So just before giving, receiving sanyasa mantra, there is sanyasa mantra.
Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, whispers a mantra right into the ear of Keshav Bharati Maharaja (mantra) and He asks, “Is this mantra ok?” Yes, yes this is perfect mantra. “Ok, now you give this mantra to me”. So, Lord has tricked Keshav Bharti. He belongs to impersonal advait school of thought. So Mahaprabhu gave him, Keshav Bharti the mantra, kind of initiated him, made him into vaisnava and said, “Ok, ok, ok, if this ok, mantra, please give me this mantra. So that’s what the Keshav Bharti did said, “Your name is Sri Krisna Caitanya.” Hari Haribol! Haribol! Everyone shouted Haribol! Mahaprabhu,Vishvambhara, Nimai received sanyasa diksa name Sri KrisnaCaitanya.
Now He was going to even exhibit, display more of Caitanya. This is jada and cetana. Jada means dead and cetana means living or lively. So He has received name Sri Krisna Caitanya. That Krsna who is lively Krsna, very ecstatic, very dynamic, enthusiastic, enthusiastic Krsna. So He is Sri Krsna Caitanya. So now as soon as he has taken sanyasa he is free, mukta and immediately He thought of going to Vrndavan. And after this ceremony is over now Caitanya Mahaprabhu along with very selected handful associates, Nityanandaa Prabhu and others they, they departed. Mahaprabhu wants to go Vrndavan but in His ecstasy He has lost the sense of direction. He has to go to the west worldly direction, Katwa or Navadvipa, this is in Bengal, in east India and He has to go to Vrndavan which is to the west.
But He is going round and round not making much progress, He is trying to ask, which way and they are giving some replies. Also, Nityanandaa Prabhu and he has a strategy. Of course, he doesn’t want Mahaprabhu immediately, atleast, not immediately go to Vrndavana. He should meet those broken hearted residents of Navadvipa especially mother Sachi must meet otherwise how could she survive? So, this was the plan of Nityananada Prabhu. So as Mahaprabhu was proceeding and there were some cowherd boys, boys taking care of the cows from nearby village, villager’s boys. So Niytananda Prabhu assured that Mahaprabhu would ask these, these boys which way is Vrndavana? So Nityanandaa Prabhu goes ahead of them. Tells these boys, “You know boys, this mendicant just now coming if he asks you which way to Vrndavana, tell Him this way.” And that way met to the banks of Ganga Yamuna and Shantipur. So that is what happened Mahaprabhu for sure he asks these boys, “Will you please show me the way to Vrndavana?” And boys exactly did as Nityanandaa Prabhu had prompted them.
And then now Gauranga, Sri Krisna Caitanya now and Nityanandaa they arrived to the bank of Ganga and Nityanandaa Prabhu is asking Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “Where do you want to go?” and Mahaprabhu says, to Vrndavana” and Nityanandaa Prabhu says, “You have reached Vrndavana, see this is Jamuna.” When Caitanya Mahaprabhu looked at the bluish waters of the river He thought, “Yes, yes, yes, this is Jamuna. And He jumped into Jamuna, Jamuna maiya ki, He wanted to take holy dip inJamuna and as He was bathing, enjoying swimming in Jamuna. In fact, it was Jamuna also it is explained because in as the river flows through Navadvipa it turns into two rivers again.
The confluence has taken place sangam, at Prayag, Ganga, Jamuna, Saraswati, also here in Navadvipa they again become two rivers, the eastern bank is Ganga and western bank is Jamuna. So the side Nityananda Prabhu and CaitanyaMahaprabhu were on the western bank of the river, so that was Jamuna.So soon,as Mahaprabhu was still taking his Jamuna maiyaki, taking his holy dipin Jamuna He saw Advaitacaryain a boat and He was wondering,“Aye!Advaitacarya and inVrndavanaa?”He was wonderingand then soon Mahaprabhu, Sri KrsinaCaitanyaMahaprabhu realizedthat He was not far from Shantipurand Advaitacarya had come with the boat.
Andthis wasagain strategy made between Advaitacarya and Nityananda Prabhu. Idea was to bring Mahaprabhu to Shantipur and as they arrived with the boat to the other side of the Ganga, arrived in Shantipur, by that time it was also planned. The whole strategy was there. Thousands of, hundreds and thousands of residents of Vrindavana had reached and so was Sachimata brought there to Shantipur. And the great reunion takes place. The separation has taken place. There is viyoga as He had left for.
He left Navadvipa for Katwa to take sanyasa. Now yoga the reunion was happening here. They had gone through vipralamba experience and now it was sambhoga, meeting with the Lord. Sothe meeting between Lord and his dear devotees, dearest of all the devotees, Navadvipa devotees, Sachimata and his very close associates of Navadvipa, Mayapur. We cannot even imagine the happiness they all must have experienced as they united. They got united again, that milanmilanotsav and Mahaprabhu had to, had to stay. They would not going to be happy just meeting for few minutes or just for a day. So Mahaprabhu stayed in Shantipur for several days and they were always extending His stay appealing to Him, “please stay longer, please stay longer in Shantipur.”
So Sachimata as usual as she used to cook for her Nimai in Mayapur she immediately take charge of the kitchen. She has become a head cook of the deity, deity kitchen head cook. Who is deity? Her Nimai is her deity and she wants to cook and she is cooking for Nimai and feeding Him. ForSachimata He is not Sri Krsna Caitanya, He is just Nimai for Sachimata.“Nimai!Nimai!”
And, and those days during the stay of Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Shantipur there were performances of great kirtans. Kirtan,“mahaprabhau kirtan nrtya-gitavaditra-madyanmanso-rasen”. It’s Mahaprabhu’s kirtan and nrtya and udandanrtya.
He would jump high.
ajanu lambit bhujo kanakavdatau sankirtanai kapitarau kamalayatakso
Just Lord golden bodied Lord long arms, kasturitilakam, nice tilak and He has also brahmin thread around arunvasana, His sanyasa robes and He is dancing, He dancing up high and falling, crashing down to landing to the ground and when that landing, crashing would happen for Sachimata, it was heartbreaking experience.“No!No!”She would think, “my Nimai must be getting hurt so much.” So Sachimata has prayed those days or maybe she prayed once and for all the time to mother earth, “My dear mother earth, whenever whenever and wherever my Nimai falls, comes down heavily and gets dropped please make sure He is not hurt. Take him in your lap.”So these are the feeling emotion bhava, vatsalya rasa of Sachimata and then finally.
So there is, one day Sachimata and Nimai are meeting and as Sachimata, she has found out that Nimai is planning to go to Vrndavana and she doesn’t want this to happen. So she sat down with Nimai and make a very special appeal, “Why Vrndavana? It’s very far.”Of course she also says, “The best thing would be that you come back home to Mayapur.” But then Sachimata is thinking and also said, “But then people also would criticize you, you are sanyasi and you have come back to your family and that criticism would hurt me.
So, you can’t come. I know you can’t come and you should not come to home. But why not at least stay nearby dham Jagannath Puri and if you stay there, I will get some news about you. Devotees coming going to Puri, returning would get the news.”So Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, “Tathastu mother! Your wish is my command. Yes, I will stay in Jagannath Puri.”
And then Mahaprabhu He prepares to leave for Jagannath Puri. Initially everyone, everyone wants to go right behind, right with him to Jagannath Puri. But Mahaprabhu, He fixed up few handful of His associates, Nityananda Prabhu Mukund, Jagadanand Pandit and Damodara Pandit. So Mahaprabhu plus four others were selected allowed to go with Him. So journey now from Shantipur to Jagannath Puri. So they are travelling. This is not air, air travel or rail travel or, they are walking bare feet and throughout the journey Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is nonstop, as we say akhanda akhanda kirtan, nonstop kirtan, that was Mahaprabhu’s lifestyle. kirtaniyasada Hari, that is what He did. He always chanted and danced. Not walked, or even some kind of walking also was like a dance.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
He is going from village to village to town to village to town on the way to Jagannath Puri.Those passersby people encountered with Mahaprabhu on the way, Niyananda Prabhu and these party and they are they would get immediately enchanted and attracted and drowned to Mahaprabhu like a magnet. Mahaprabhu was a powerful magnet and they were some kind of iron particles. So people from some distance away as soon as they noticed Mahaprabhu chanting and dancing and His effulgence and His influence, like a magnet has afield, magnetic field depending on the size or the power of the magnet, each magnet has it’s field smaller or bigger field, magnet has a field. So magnet has a influence, surrounding iron particles they get drowned to the magnet. So Mahaprabhu also like a huge big magnet, moving magnet, so all people were getting drowned to him as they came closer and then they would want to go with Him.
But Mahaprabhu not want them to accompany Him. He would appeal to them, “Please stay wherever you are and chant Hare Krisna.
yare dekha, tare kahakrsna-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hanatara’eidesa
Some instructions like that, “Bolo krsna bhajo krsna karo krsna siksa” and He would give them deep embrace and appeal them to stay behind.
And travelling and travelling the party arrived at Tota Gopinath. They have now crossed the border Bengal border. They have entered Orissa. There is town called Baleswara and near Baleswara is Remuna very famous holyplace. Ksircora Gopinath temple. They have, they were staying overnight there. Of course they had darsana of Gopinath and sure they enjoyed, relished ksira, ksira of Gopinath, Ksirchora Gopinath. So that night as the team was gathered, Caitanya Mahaprabhu recited the pastimes or glories of Madhavendra Puri for whom Gopinath had stolen the ksira and hence He gets the name Ksircora Gopinatha. Before He was only Gopinatha, because He stole the ksira, it’s condensed milk preparation, for His dear devotee Madhavendra Puri, He became known as Ksircora Gopinatha. And Madhavendra Puri was a very great, greatest of all the Gaudiya vaisnavas, in fact he was, he is origin of Gaudiya vaisnavism. He is the first one, Gaudiya vaisnavisam kind of was born, sprouted within, manifested within, his heart.And then he had initiated Isvarapuri and then Isvarapuri had initiated Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Hari Hari!!And this Madhavendra Puri.
Mahaprabhu personally glorified Madhavendra Puri, Madhavendra Puri’s samadhi is also there in Remuna. Then Mahaprabhu and party proceeds. They are heading toward Jagannath Puri. On the way there is big town called Kataka and there is famous temple of Saksi Gopal. So party has stayed there, spent overnight and Nityananda Prabhu was the one to narrate the story of Saksi Gopal, the deity of Gopal that was once upon a time was in Vrndavana. How and why He walked, a deity walked to Kataka to become witness, saksi, the pastime, and Nityananda Prabhu that night he, he took the microphone, he became narrator of glories of Saksi Gopal.
Now they are, party next morning they, they get up and proceed. They passed through Bhuvanesvara Lingaraja. They take darsana the pastimes in Bhuvanesvara also and now Jagannath Puri is some sixty kilometers away and they are hurrying towards Jagannath Puri. On the way as they were taking bath or Caithanya Mahaprabhu was taking bath in one river, Nityananda Prabhu there is inconceivable pastime that’s what happened, Nityananda Prabhu broke danda of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, sanyasa danda and threw in the river. As Mahaprabhu had returned and asked, “Where is my danda? And hearing what had happened Mahaprabhu was very upset and He said, “I cannot travel with you anymore. Either you go first or you stay behind and let me go first ahead of you.”And they said, “Ok you first.”
Mahaprabhu was heading towards, running towards Jagannath Puri temple. There comes a place called Atharanala, one bridge and those days kind of buildings and some skyscrapers we see in Jagannath Puri around Jagannath Puri temple that wasn’t there. So from Atharanala the Jagannath Puri temple, the dome and the chakra and everything would distinctly visible and by seeing that Mahaprabhu became very, very excited and He speeds up and literally runs to Jagannath Puri temple. And finally as He enters in temple, He is in darsana mandapa as He saw Jagganatha and He wanted to say Jagganatha but He couldn’t say. Only He could say was Jag, Jag, Jag and He falls on the temple floor and He lost, gone inside, no external consciousness and this is, luckily that time there was Sarvabhauma Bhattcarya was present. So he arranges Mahaprabhu to be brought to his home and then he does little, not little much of a pariksa, testing and comes to conclusion that this ecstasy, this is genuine, This is not just some Bhava but this is Mahabhava. Hari Hari.
And His pastimes are unlimited and then rest of the party soon comes and they also arrived at Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya’s place and they trying to chant holy name out loud and finally Mahaprabhu gets up and then He stayed there for two months during this visit. And, and then Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya had strongly recommended that whenever He goes for darsana in Jagannath Puri temple He should be all the way behind where these Garuda stambha pillar,Garuda pillar is there in the back. So that is where Mahaprabhu used to stand and take darsana of Jagganatha.
One of my last visit to Jagannath Puri temple as we had gone for darsana of Jagganatha and we had a panda, local panda guide, guiding us.
So he made me also stand next to the Garuda stambha. He held my hand and ask me, “Here do you see some hole marking here? I felt, “Yes, yes.”And he said, “Where you are standing Mahaprabhu used to stand right here and He used to hold pillar with His hands and by the touch of His hand the fingers, the pillar melted and that is, left the marks on the pillar.” When I heard that and when I was taking darsana of Jagganath, oh that was something happened inside.
I was following the footsteps of Caitanya Mahaprabhu taking darsana from the same spot taking darsana of Jagganath swami ki jay!
Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu ki jay!
Jagannath Puri dhama ki jay!
Gaur premanande hari haribol!!