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Nityananda Trayodashi

Today is the super excellent and auspicious appearance day of Nityananda Prabhu, who is the direct manifestation of Baladevа Prabhu. In the morning class, I explained how Baladevа Prabhu appeared in krishna-lila. He is very near and dear to Lord Krishna. Our shastra explains that in gaura-lila the same Baladeva Prabhu appeared in the form of Nityananda Prabhu, and in rama-lila He appeared in the form of Lakshmana— meaning, He appeared in Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga and Kali-yuga. 

The Lord comes in this material world to establish varnashrama-dharma and also to kill demons and to protect sadhus. In Srimad Bhagavad-gita Krishna says: 

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ

vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām


sambhavāmi yuge yuge

Bhagavad-gita (4.8) 

[To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.] 

The Lord said, “Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ…,” because sadhus (saintly devotees of God), rishis (learned sages of the Vedas) and munis (spiritual scholars), for thousands of lives performed bhajana (devotional activities) and sadhana (process of devotional service) hankering to take darshana (auspicious vision) of the Lord. In this regard, the Lord descended from Goloka Vrindavana to this material world, with His transcendental dhama (abode) and His own associates, parikaras

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu jīve doyā kori’

swa-pārṣada swīya dhāma saha avatari’

atyanta durlabha prema koribāre dāna

śikhāya śaraṇāgati bhakatera prāna

Sri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu jive doya kori (1)

[Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, being merciful to all the living beings, descended with His own divine abode and personal associates. To bestow freely that rarest treasure of prema-bhakti, spontaneous love, He taught sharanagati (surrender), the life and soul of the devotees.] 

Our acharyas explain that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu descended from Goloka Vrindavana, with His own parikaras, and He is teaching us conditioned souls how to surrender to the Lord — śikhāya śaraṇāgati. There are six limbs of sharanagati or surrender.

ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlya-vivarjanam

rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso goptṛtve varaṇaṁ tathā

ātma-nikṣepa kārpaṇye ṣaḍ-vidhā śaraṇāgatiḥ

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya 22.100)

[The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favourable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavourable things, the conviction that Krishna will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one’s guardian or master, full self-surrender, and humility.] 

With His parikaras, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is teaching us how we can serve the Lord. But, Nityananda Prabhu is especially merciful to everyone. Nityananda Prabhu is baladeva-tattva, without whose mercy no one can attain the Lord. ‘Bala’ means strength or power. Bala hina na labhyah — without bala or strength, you cannot attain the perfection of your goal. And this particular bala is coming from Baladeva Prabhu— chit-bala (transcendental strength). Without the mercy of Baladeva Prabhu, you will not be able to attain shuddha-bhakti (pure devotional service). 

Baladeva-tattva is also called guru-tattva or akhanda-guru-tattva (undivided guru principle), the personification of which is Baladeva Prabhu. Only by the causeless mercy of sri guru, can we realise spiritual subject matters, and be able to perform sadhana and bhajana

In krishna-lila, we see that Baladeva Prabhu serves Krishna in ten ways. He serves as Krishna’s asana (seat), vasana (cloth), bhushana (ornaments), paduka (shoes), chatra (umbrella), chamara (fan), etc. At the time Krishna appeared in the jail of Kamsa, Vasudeva Maharaja was told to take Krishna to Gokula. There was a storm, causing it to rain heavily and lightning lit up the sky. Vasudeva Maharaja was thinking, “How will I cross the Yamuna and reach Gokula with Krishna?” At that moment, Baladeva Prabhu manifested in the form of Shesha — the serpent with a thousand hoods, and He gave shelter to Vasudeva and Krishna as an umbrella.

In rama-lila, Baladeva Prabhu manifested in the form of Lakshmana. If you read Ramayana, your heart will completely melt and you will surely have to cry. Lakshmana is completely and absolutely surrendered to the lotus feet of Lord Ramacandra. When He was exiled in the forest for fourteen years, Lakshmana was always with Him. Day and night Lakshmana served Lord Ramacandra. For fourteen years, Lakshmana did not eat or sleep. And for fourteen years He did not see the face of Sita-devi. Ramayana very nicely explains this philosophy. If you try one Ekadashi or one Nityananda Trayodashi without eating, you may not survive the whole day. However, Lakshmana did not eat or sleep for fourteen years! At night, He served by standing guard around the hermitage.

When Ravana kidnapped Sita-devi, Lord Ramacandra asked Lakshmana to identify the discovered ornaments as belonging to Sita-devi’s hair. But, Lakshmana said, “I don’t recognise them because I did not see Sita-devi’s face.” However, when Lord Ramacandra showed him Sita-devi’s ankle bells He immediately said, “Yes, I recognise them to be Sita-devi’s ankle bells!” Showing us that Lakshmana only looked at Sita’s lotus feet. 

It is also explained in the Ramayana, that Indrajit (the son of Ravana) was so powerful that only one who had these three qualifications could defeat him: one who has not slept, eaten and seen a woman’s face for fourteen years. 

There are so many lilas to tell. Lakshmana always carried out all the instructions of Lord Ramacandra. When ramacandra-lila was finished, Lakshmana said, “I will not become Your younger brother again, because according to Vedic culture, the younger brother has to always follow the instruction of his elder brother.” For this reason, Lakshmana said, “ I will not come again as Your younger brother, instead I will come as Your elder brother.” Therefore, at the end of Dvapara-yuga, in krishna-lila, Lakshmana appeared in the form of Baladeva Prabhu— just before the same Ramacandra appeared in the form of Krishnacandra. Although Baladeva Prabhu is older than Krishna, He has the abhimana (ego) that, “I am the servant of Krishna.” 

Baladeva Prabhu is bhagavat-tattva, because there is no difference between Krishna and Him. That is, the same soul but different body. However, Their minds and souls are the same. ‘Dui deha, eka atama — dui means ‘two’, deha means ‘bodies’, and atma means ‘soul’. Baladeva Prabhu also serves Krishna with dasya-bhava (service mood), sakhya-bhava (friendship mood), vatsalya-bhava (parental mood) and madhurya-bhava (sweetness/conjugal mood). Baladeva Prabhu serves Krishna in all the different types of rasa-madhurya (sweet mellows). 

In dasya-bhava, Baladeva Prabhu massages the lotus feet of Krishna. In sakhya-bhava, with a mood of friendship, He has so much love and affection and embraces Krishna and plays with Him. In vatsalya-bhava Baladeva Prabhu serves Krishna in a parental mood. When Krishna is taking rest, like a parent, He is giving love and affection. And just like parents give their children good instructions, Baladeva Prabhu gives instructions to Krishna.  

In the same way, Baladeva Prabhu, with vatsalya-bhava, serves Krishna. Sometimes by feeding Him, and sometimes Krishna lies down on the lap of Baladeva Prabhu, just like babies, at times, lie down in the lap of their parents. In madhurya-bhava, a mood of sweetness, Baladeva Prabhu serves Srimati Radhika as Ananga Manjari. This is very confidential.  

After krishna-lila comes gaura-lila. And the same Krishna appeared in the form of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. ‘Vrajera kanhai gaura and vrajera balai nitai’ — Sri Krishna of Vrindavana appears in this Kali-yuga in the form of Gaurasundara in Navadvipa-dhama. And the same Baladeva appears in this Kali-yuga in the form of Nityananda Prabhu. Wherever Krishna is, Baladeva Prabhu must also be. And wherever Gaura is, Nitai is also there— Nitai-Gaura, They are always together.  

Nityananda Prabhu was born in Bengal, in Ekachakra-grama. You will be surprised how beautiful this place is. And why is that place called Ekachakra? In krishna-lila, at the end of Dvapara-yuga, at the beginning of the battle of Kurukshetra, the Kauravas and Pandavas assembled to fight each other. Krishna promised that He would not take up any weapons to fight. Hearing this, Bhishma Pitamaha promised that he would make Krishna hold a weapon. 

Then, it came to the point where Arjuna and Bhishma Pitamaha were face to face in a fierce battle. Bhishma Pitamaha was a superior, more powerful warrior. How could Arjuna possibly defeat Bhishma? Bhishma Pitamaha was shooting very sharp arrows at Arjuna, who was at the point of almost being defeated. However, Krishna foretold that Arjuna would be victorious. 

Seeing Arjuna’s imminent defeat, Krishna became very angry. Then, Krishna jumped down, took the wheel of the chariot in His hand and ran toward Bhishma Pitamaha. Arjuna also jumped down from the chariot, and held the lotus feet of Krishna trying to stop Him exclaiming, “You took a vow not to take up any weapon!’’ Seeing Krishna holding the wheel of the chariot on His finger like a chakra (Lord’s spinning disc weapon), coming toward him, Bhishma Pitamaha stopped, put down his weapons, smiled and said “Just see how Krishna has broken His own vow!’’ 

Try to understand, in this context, our acharyas (prominent spiritual preceptors) have explained that when Krishna ran towards Bhishma Pitamaha and held the wheel of the chariot to kill him, at that moment, Krishna’s cloth fell and touched the ground. And if you recall, who is the cloth of Krishna? That cloth is none other than Baladeva Prabhu. So this means that Baladeva Prabhu actually stopped Krishna. It was not possible for Arjuna to stop Krishna. Externally, it appears as if Arjuna held Krishna back, but it is only Baladeva Prabhu who can control Krishna.  

After this, Krishna calmed down. Except, what will He now do with His chakra? Krishna threw the wheel, and that wheel went from Kurukshetra to Ekachakra. For this reason, this place is named Ekachakra. In this way, Krishna indicated, “In My gaura-lila, I will take birth in Navadvipa-dhama. Then, My second body, Baladeva Prabhu will appear in Ekachakra-grama in the form of Nityananda Prabhu.”  

Bolo Nityananda Prabhu ki jaya

During Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila, at the time of Jagannatha Ratha-yatra, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was absorbed in the mood of Srimati Radhika. While dancing and singing, He was thinking, “O Jagannatha, You are not only a deity, vigraha, You are the son of Nanda Maharaja. 

pratimā naha tumi — sākṣāt vrajendra-nandana

vipra lāgi’ kara tumi akārya-karaṇa

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya 5.96) 

[My dear Lord, You are not a statue; You are directly the son of Maharaja Nanda. Now, for the sake of the old brahmana, You can do something You have never done before.] 

As Mahaprabhu was dancing and singing, jumping up and down, all kinds of ecstatic symptoms manifested, romancha kampashru — hairs standing on end, tears rolling down His face and so much sweat dripping from His body. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dances in front of Lord Jagannatha, especially during Ratha-yatra, you cannot believe what kinds of moods were exhibited.  

And when Mahaprabhu danced, because of His tapta kanchana gaurangi, molten golden body, it appeared as if one big golden mountain was jumping up and down. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the tallest. And when He danced and sang, it seemed like the whole world was shaking. Who could hold Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at that time? Sometimes it looked like the Lord was almost about to fall down. Just then, Nityananda Prabhu would come and hold Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu up— only Nityananda Prabhu could do this. Whenever Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was absorbed in the mood of Srimati Radhika, Nityananda Prabhu was absorbed in the mood of Ananga Manjari. Only at that time would He hold Mahaprabhu, otherwise He would not. 

Vrindavana dasa Thakura wrote about Nityananda Prabhu’s childhood pastimes in his book Chaitanya-bhagavata. Nityananda Prabhu’s father’s name was Hadai Mishra and his mother’s name was Padmavati-devi. When Nityananda was a very small boy, He learned all the shastras (scriptures) such as the Vedas, Puranas, and Upanishads. Everyone was very attracted to Him. When He was between the ages of three and five, He was mostly absorbed in the mood of Baladeva Prabhu or Lakshmana. 

When small village children were acting out the pastimes of Lord Ramacandra, Nityananda Prabhu mostly participated as the role of Lakshmana. When the demon King of Lanka, Ravana, kidnapped Sita-devi and brought her to his kingdom, Rama and Lakshmana arrived there shortly after. Indrajit, the son of Ravana fought against Lord Ramacandra and Lakshmana— Indrajit was very powerful. He first focused his attack on Lakshmana with special arrows that caused Lakshmana to faint. Then, Hanuman went to get the antidote of sanjivani, life rejuvenating herbs, from the Himalayas to administer and bring Lakshmana back to life. 

In the same way, Nityananda Prabhu played the role of Lakshmana in such a drama with His friends taking different roles. One boy played the part of Indrajit and pretended to shoot Lakshmana (Nityananda Prabhu). And when Nityananda Prabhu fainted, He became completely unconscious as Lakshmana did in the pastimes of the Ramayana. Then, all of the children became surprised and worried. They stopped their drama and tried to wake Nityananda Prabhu up by calling and shaking Him, “Nitai, Nitai, Nitai!” but Nityananda Prabhu was completely unconscious. 

All of the villagers came out to see the commotion. Eventually, Nityananda Prabhu’s father, mother Hadai Pandita and Padmavati-devi came and saw Nityananda Prabhu lying unconscious. One elderly person came and asked, “What drama were you performing today?” They replied, “We were performing the drama of Indrajit and Lakshmana. We reached the point where Indrajit shoots his poisonous arrows at Lakshmana, who then becomes unconscious.” Then the old man said, “What should happen next?” They told the man how Hanuman goes to the Himalayas to get sanjivani. However, they forgot this part of the lila and asked, “But, how do we do this?” The old man said, “All you have to do is, in Nityananda Prabhu’s ear, say, “O Lakshmana, I brought this sanjivani herb, please take it.” After doing this, they held the ‘sanjivani to the nose of Nityananda Prabhu and He returned to consciousness. In this way, Nityananda Prabhu was always absorbed with Baladeva Prabhu and sometimes Lakshmana.


In Chaitanya-bhagavata, Vrindavana dasa Thakura explains these pastimes very beautifully. They are so heart wrenching that if you read or hear about them, they will make you cry. After some years passed, Nityananda Prabhu was more grown. One day, a sadhu happened to come to visit the home of Hadai Pandita and Padmavati. Some people say that this sadhu was Madhavendra Puripada, and some say it was Lakshmipati Tirtha— different explanations are given on this matter. 

Hadai Pandita and Padmavati-devi served the sadhu very nicely— to the best of their ability. After a few days had passed and the sadhu was preparing to leave, he said “I have to go back to my own ashrama (place of worship) now, as according to shastra, I cannot stay in one place more than five days.” This is called ‘pancha dinani cha’. Unless we are engaged in Bhagavat-saptaha, a sadhu should not stay in one place for more than five days. The reason for this is that if a sadhu stays longer, there is a chance that attachments may develop. There is the English proverb, ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’. In Hindi we explain it in this way, ‘ramta jogi bahta pani’ — just like a river flows and stops in some place for a while, then moves on again to the ocean, similarly, a sadhu stops in a place for a while and then moves on. 

It was the duty of Nityananda Prabhu’s mother and father to give the sadhu a donation before he departed. They asked the sadhu how much donation should they give? The sadhu said, “There is no need to give any donation to me.” Hadai Pandita and Padmavati-devi insisted, “No, we must give some donation to you.”  Our shastra says that if a sadhu comes to your house, you have to give something in charity. If you do not have anything, you can at least offer one tulasi leaf. The sadhu replied, “I do not want any donation from you. But, I am getting very old now, so I need one brahmachari who can carry my blanket and water pot.” You see, the sadhu was indirectly telling Hadai Pandita to give him his son.

However, Hadai Pandita and Padmavati-devi had one son only. And also, Nityananda Prabhu was no ordinary child. Just imagine how Hadai Pandita and Padmavati-devi felt when they heard the sadhu say these words. But, Nityananda Prabhu was very eager to go with the sadhu. So, Hadai Pandita fulfilled the sadhu’s desire and gave his only son. Nityananda Prabhu was very happy to travel with the sadhu ,who took him to his ashrama, and to all the pilgrimage places of India— South, East, North and West. He served the sadhu, and accepted diksha-mantras (the mantras given by the guru at the time of initiation) from Lakshmipati Tirtha— some say he accepted diksha-mantras from Madhavendra Puripada.

When Nityananda Prabhu came to Vrindavana, He was completely absorbed in the mood of Baladeva Prabhu. Like an avadhuta (an ascetic who is beyond all codes of social conduct), it was very difficult to understand His behaviour. It was extraordinary, sometimes He did not even wear any clothes. Other times, He held a club and plough thinking, “I am Baladeva Prabhu,” and cried day and night while saying, “Krishna Krishna, Kanhaiya Kanhaiya! Where are You?” Sometimes, He would go into the temples and ask the pujaris, “Have you seen My younger brother Krishna? I am Balarama, where is My younger brother, Kanhaiya?” People thought He was a madman and would kick him out. Nityananda Prabhu nevertheless, was completely absorbed in the mood of Baladeva Prabhu and continued to cry out loudly, “Kanhaiya, Kanhaiya, Kanhaiya! Where are you My Kanhaiya? The sun is almost ready to rise, it is brahma-muhurta (auspicious time, one hour and thirty six minutes before sunrise), You have to come with Me. We have to go and graze the cows.’’ 

In this way, Nityananda was absorbed in the mood of Baladeva Prabhu, shedding tears, crying and crying. In the mean-time, a transcendental sound came from the skies saying, “O Nityananda Prabhu do not fear, Your brother, Krishna has appeared in Navadvipa-dhama in the form of Gaurasundara. You can go to Navadvipa-dhama and meet with Him.” 

Then, Nityananda Prabhu left Vrindavana calling, “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, where is Krishna?” While chanting Krishna’s holy names, He arrived in Navadvipa-dhama. At the moment of His arrival, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nimai, was sitting with all His entourage, Srivasa Thakura, and other devotees— discussing krishna-katha. After a few minutes, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Last night, I had a sweet dream.” “What was the dream?” asked all of the devotees. “One divya maha-purusha, a great personality, came in front of My house in a golden chariot, wearing a blue dhoti (cloth) and blue turban with a wonderful earring hanging from His left ear. He indicated with His fingers, ‘Is this the house of Nimai Pandita? Nimai Nimai Nimai?’ And He came and asked everybody this. Then, after a few minutes He disappeared from My dream.” 

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told all of His followers, “This personality must be staying in this village somewhere. Everybody must go and search for Him.” Following the instruction of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nimai, all the devotees went in different directions, searching from house to house, but they could not find Him. 

Nityananda Prabhu arrived at the house of Nandana Acharya and was thinking, “I will not go and meet with Gaurasundara. Gaurasundara has to come and recognise Me, only then will I meet with Him.” From morning to evening, all of the devotees searched house to house, asking people if they had seen a person with the description Mahaprabhu gave them from His dream. 

But no one had seen such a personality. Then, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself came from His house to the house of Nandana Acharya. Upon arriving, He saw Nityananda Prabhu, sitting with His eyes closed in dhyana-mudra (meditation pose). Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came and sat in front of Nitai. Then, Nityananda Prabhu opened His eyes and saw Gaurasundara eye to eye. Their eyes connected with an indescribable explosion of internal emotions and They embraced each other in ecstatic love— this pastime is called gaura-nityananda milana.  

The purport of this pastime is to show that only when one receives the kripa, mercy of Krishna, will you be able to see akhanda-guru-tattva, the undivided principle of the philosophical truth of Sri Guru— the personification of which is Nityananda Prabhu. Without this mercy of Krishna, we cannot meet with him. And without Sri Guru’s kripa, we cannot meet Krishna. This is the philosophy.

kṛṣṇa yadi kṛpā kare kona bhāgyavāne

guru-antaryāmi-rūpe śikhāya āpane

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya 22.47) 

[Krishna is situated in everyone’s heart as the chaitya-guru, the spiritual master within. When He is kind to some fortunate conditioned soul, He personally gives him lessons so he can progress in devotional service, instructing the person as the Supersoul within and the spiritual master without.] 

In Chaitanya-bhagavata, Vrindavana dasa Thakura explains that if we are fortunate, we will receive the mercy of Krishna, and be able to meet with a bona fide guru. Then, after receiving the mercy of that guru, we can meet Krishna. This means that krishna-kripa, and guru-kripa, both manifest simultaneously. One cannot determine which mercy will be received first— Krishna’s mercy or Guru’s mercy. Generally, we say that when we receive the mercy of Gurudeva, we can attain Krishna. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna, and Nityananda is Baladeva— akhanda-guru-tattva. And, by the causeless mercy of Krishna we can recognise guru, and with the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, guru-tattva, we recognise Krishna. 

So, after their first meeting, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu brought Nityananda Prabhu to His house. All of the devotees were so absorbed in the ecstatic moods of nama-sankirtana (congregational chanting of holy names) while dancing, singing and chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra day and night. However, Nityananda Prabhu’s mood was like a small baby. Sometimes, He wore a cloth and sometimes not. Gaurasundara told Nitai, “Listen, in My house, My mother is here, and My wife, so you should not do this.” And Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would put a cloth on Him. At times, Nityananda Prabhu would stay in the house of Srivasa Thakura because Srivasa Thakura’s wife had so much affection with Nityananda Prabhu— she served Nityananda Prabhu like her own baby. 

So many lila-kathas can be spoken, nityananda-katha is very sweet. Everyday, throughout the whole day and night, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to come to the house of Srivasa Thakura and perform nama-sankirtana with Haridasa Thakura, Advaita Acharya, Nityananda Prabhu, Svarupa Damodara and all the other close associates.

hari haraye namaḥ kṛṣṇa yādavāya namaḥ

yādavāya mādhavāya keśavāya namaḥ

gopāla govinda rāma śrī-madhusūdana

giridhārī gopīnātha madana-mohana

Hari Haraye Namah Krish na Yadavaya Namah (1)

[I offer my humble obeisances to Krishna, the head of the Yadava dynasty, who, by chanting His various names such as Yadava, Madhava, Keshava, Gopala, Govinda, Rama, Sri Madhusudana, Giridhari Gopinatha Madana-Mohana, takes away all of one's reactions to sinful activities.]

After a few months, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Nityananda Prabhu: 

śuno śuno nityānanda! śuno haridāsa!

sarvatra āmāra ājñā karaha prakāśa

prati ghare ghare giyā kara ei bhikṣā

‘bala kṛṣṇa, bhaja kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa kara śikṣā

Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata (Madhya-lila 13.8–9) 

[Listen, listen, Nityananda! Listen, Haridasa! Make My command known everywhere! Go from house to house and beg from all the residents, ‘Please chant Krishna’s name, worship Krishna, and teach others to follow Krishna’s instructions.]

Our dharma is to be God consciousness, and the process by which this can be achieved in Kali-yuga is nama-sankirtana

nāma vinu kali-kāle nāhi āra dharma

sarva-mantra-sāra nāma, ei śāstra-marma

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi-ila 7.74)  

[In this Age of Kali there is no religious principle other than the chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all Vedic hymns. This is the purport of all scriptures.] 

The essence of all scriptures is nama-sankirtana, to chant: 

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

In Brihan-naradiya Purana, it is explained:

harer nāma harer nāma

harer nāmaiva kevalam

kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva

nāsty eva gatir anyathā 

Brihan-naradiya Purana (38.126)

[For spiritual progress in this Age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.] 

In this Kali-yuga, there are no other processes to attain the Lord other than the most powerful process of nama-sankirtana. And by this process, you can make your home like Vrindavana— this is the essence of our lives. 

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Nityananda, Advaita, Haridasa and all of His associates to go out and preach. Nityananda Prabhu first preached in a crematorium. He told Him to preach where the two drunkards Jagadananda Bandyopadhyay and Madhavananda Bandyopadhyay were residing. Nityananda Prabhu arrived there and was chanting, “Haribol, Haribol, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.” The two drunken brothers became very angry. Previously, they were actually brahmanas, but due to their bad habits, they became degraded. So, when they saw Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa Thakura, they shouted at them and abused them, saying, “Hey you! Why have you come here? Who do you think you are? What is this, ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,’ you are howling?” However, Haridasa Thakura and Nityananda continued their chanting. Then, despite Madhai’s attempt to stop him, Jagai threw an earthen pot and hit Nityananda on the head, causing Him to bleed. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu heard that a drunkard had hit the head of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, He became very angry. Absorbed in the mood of Vishnu, Lord Chaitanya called His Sudarshana chakra. But Nityananda Prabhu told Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, “O Prabhu, O My Lord, in this incarnation as Gaura, You took a vow not to take any weapon.” Rāmādi avatāre krodhe nānā astra dhare ebe astra na dharila prāṇe kare na mārila harināma diyā karila śodhila. 

Thus, according to the instruction of Nityananda Prabhu, Mahaprabhu agreed to send His Sudarshana chakra back. Afterwards, Mahaprabhu gave mercy to Madhai. However, feeling bereft, Jagai said, “Oh, I did not receive Your mercy.” Then, Nityananda Prabhu told Mahaprabhu to give him mercy. After receiving the Lord’s causeless mercy, they immediately gave up all kinds of bad activities. They stopped drinking alcohol, eating meat, fish and eggs. They stopped taking drugs and having illicit relationships and took up a complete vegetarian diet and chanted the holy names. 

In this way Nityananda Prabhu went house to house and distributed His mercy and the highest goal of prema (transcendental love). 

nitāiera karuṇā hobe braje rādhā kṛṣṇa pābe 

dhoro nitāi caraṇa du'khāni

Nitai-pada-kamala (3)

[Very carefully hold the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu then you will attain the mercy of Radha and Krishna and attain Goloka Vrindavana.]

In Sri Nityananda-ashtaka (verse 5) by Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, Nityananda’s activities have been described:

yatheṣṭaṁ re bhrātaḥ! kuru hari-hari-dhvānam aniśaṁ

tato vaḥ saṁsārāmbudhi-taraṇa-dāyo mayi laget

idaṁ bāhu-sphoṭair aṭati raṭayan yaḥ pratigṛhaṁ

bhaje nityānandaṁ bhajana-taru-kandaṁ niravadhi

[I perpetually worship Sri Nityananda Prabhu, the root of the krishna-bhakti tree, who wandering around Bengal, approached the door of every home, and with upraised arms exclaimed, “O Brothers! Without inhibition all of you together, continuously chant Sri Harinama. If you do so, I will take the responsibility to deliver you from the ocean of material existence.”]

Nityananda-kathas are very sweet. If you hear or read about them, your heart will be overjoyed. When Vrindavana dasa Thakura started to write Chaitanya-bhagavata, he began  by introducing Nityananda Prabhu. However, he became completely absorbed in Nityananda Prabhu to the point that almost the whole grantha became a glorification of Nityananda Prabhu. Then, he thought, “This grantha will be too large, I have to write something about Gaurasundara!” 

Thus, he finished it by writing something about Gaurasundara, but not as much as he would have liked to write. Afterwards, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami came and said “O Vrindavana dasa Thakura has left some gaura-lila undescribed.” And then, he composed Chaitanya-charitamrita, describing the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Hence, if you want to know about gaura-lila, you have to read two granthas: Chaitanya-charitamrita and Chaitanya-bhagavata. As mentioned, Chaitanya-bhagavata mostly glorifies nityananda-katha

There are so many more pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and other devotees, such as Minaketana Ramadasa, who was always absorbed with Nityananda Prabhu.

So, it is stated, ‘Nitaiyer karuna habe’ — without the mercy of Nityananda, who can receive the mercy of Gaurasundara? Always remember Nitai, Nitai, Nitai! 

Jaya Nityananda Prabhu ki jaya!

Jaya Nitai-Gauranga! 

Jaya Nitai! Jaya Nimai!

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

Date: 7 February 2020 Location: South Africa


Transcriber: Ananga-mohana dasa (UK) Editor: Damodara dasa (UK), Sanatana dasa (USA) Proofreading: Chandrika dasi (UK) Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Image: Navina-krishna dasa (Holland)

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