Jaya Sri Nityananda Rama!
Published on February 17th, 2019 | by Harmonist staff2
By B. R. Sridhara Deva Goswami
Nityananda Prabhu traveled throughout Bengal making his humble appeal. Nityananda Prabhu would knock at the door and fall at the feet of his customers, crying, “Please accept this! Don’t dismiss me, don’t drive me away. Please do what I say. Give all your attention to Gauranga and you will be benefited beyond expectation. This is my request to you.” He would shed tears, roll at their door, and say, “You are reluctant to accept this, but have no doubts. I implore you—take it! Believe me, please accept Gauranga!” In this way, Nityananda Prabhu used to wander down both sides of the Ganges, roaming here and there and preaching about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Nityananda Prabhu knows only Gauranga. He is represented in Krishna lila as Baladeva. Baladeva apparently performed the rasa lila, but at heart was only arranging rasa lila for Krishna: His nature shows the experts of devotion that he is always dedicated to Krishna. Otherwise he would not be Baladeva. He has no individual thoughts for his own enjoyment; every atom of his body is always eager to make arrangements for the enjoyment of Krishna. In a similar way, every atom of the body of Nityananda Prabhu is conscious transcendental substance. And every atom of his body is meant only for the service and satisfaction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
This is the nature of Nityananda Prabhu’s relationship with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He has nothing of his own; his everything is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. As Baladeva is to Krishna, Nityananda Prabhu is to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The aim of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s descent was to distribute the devotional service of Vrindavana most generously. On the other hand, Nityananda Prabhu used to sing, “Bhaja gauranga, kaha gauranga, laha gauranger nama, yei jana gauranga bhaje sei amara prana: worship Gauranga, speak of Gauranga, chant Gauranga’s name. Whoever worships Sri Gauranga is my life and soul.” Nityananda Prabhu tried his best to make the people at large accept Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. What did he say? “Come straight to the campaign of Sri Caitanya and you will safely attain Vrindavana.”
Nityananda Prabhu’s mercy sometimes exceeds the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because it may create a bad precedent, Mahaprabhu sometimes cannot accept certain fallen souls—he has to consider their status as well as other things. Nityananda Prabhu’s mercy, however, does not care for any unfavorable circumstances; his mercy is very lavish and almost blind. He does not discriminate between different degrees of sinners. His mercy is all-embracing. And Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu cannot dismiss his recommendation. Even those who Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rejected, Nityananda Prabhu sheltered, and gradually Mahaprabhu had to accept them. So the grace of Nityananda is greatest both in magnitude and circumference, and that is our solace, for by his mercy even the most fallen souls can attain the supreme goal.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu once told his followers, “Even if Nityananda Prabhu is found with a fallen girl of the lowest kind drinking wine in a wine shop, still you should know that he is above all these things.” Although you may find him apparently engaged in lower activities, he is never implicated. He may appear connected with so many fallen activities, but you should know that he is always revered by the creator of the universe, Lord Brahma, and other exalted devotees. Nityananda Prabhu’s mercy is so powerful that if one simply takes a piece of his loincloth and wears it respectfully on his body, he will be saved from all the disturbances of the mundane senses. Therefore we pray, “May my mind always stick to his holy feet; I offer my obeisances to Sri Nityananda Prabhu.”
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Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura says on the sixth verse of his renowned poem: balāt saṁsārāmbhonidhi-harana-kumbhodbhavam aho | “Oh!, he is Kumbhodbhava [Agastya Muni], who violently removes the ocean of rebirths”. Why this Bengali poet compares Śrī Nityānanda to Agastya Muni?
Because kālakeyas demons are devastating the universe and since the strength of the demigods could not access their insurmountable bastion under the sea, on the advice of Viṣṇu all the devas had to resort to the powerful sage Agastya looking for help. Agastya would drink the whole ocean and so the demigods could attack the kālakeyas. It is said that:
samudraṁ sa samāsādhya vāruṇīrbhagavānṛṣiḥ |
uvāca sahitāndevānṛṣīṁścaiva samāgatān ||1||
eṣa lokahitārthaṁ vai pibāni varuṇālayam
bhavadbhiryadanuṣṭheyaṁ taccīghraṁ saṁvidhīyatām ||2||
etāvaduktvā vacanaṁ maitrāvaruṇiracyutaḥ |
samudramapibatkruddhaḥ sarvalokasya paśyataḥ ||3||
pīyamānaṁ samudraṁ tu dṛṣṭvā devāḥ savāsavāḥ |
vismayaṁ paramaṁ jagmuḥ stutibhiścāpyapūjayan ||4||
tvaṁ nastrātā vidhātā ca lokānāṁ lokabhāvanaḥ |
tvatprasādātsamuccedaṁ na gaccetsāmaraṁ jagat ||5||
On arriving at the shores of the ocean, the mighty ṛṣi Vāruṇī [Agastya] told the demigods and sages who had come there to their meeting: | 1 |. “For the benefit of mankind, which is now filled with fear, I’ll drink all the Varuṇa’s abode. As you observed it, get ready” | 2 |. These were the words of the infallible descendant of Varuṇa. And full of anger, he began to drink the ocean while everyone looked at him | 3 |. And as the demigods were watching how the ocean was drunk, they felt extremely amazed; so they offered their praise and reverence: | 4 |. “You are our protector, the creator of all the worlds; for the welfare of mankind, your mercy never destroys the lineage of the immortals of the universe” | 5 |. (Mahābhārata 3.105.1-5).
Again, why Ādi-Vyāsa compares Śrī Nityānanda to Kumbhodbhava?