I Want to Take Him Back

scm kirtanaSrila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Deva Goswami explains Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s view of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and few other devotees are very attached to Navadvipa-lila where Gadadhara Pandit and the other members of the Panca Tattva; Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, and Srivasa Pandit are playing with Sriman Mahaprabhu. Every day there is lila in the house of Srivasa Pandit, and all night there is sankirtana. At that time, Sriman Mahaprabhu shows his supreme bhava, mahabhava, to the devotees and gives them all nourishment. They always get to chant in front of Mahaprabhu and dance with him. Sometimes, Mahaprabhu very happily gives some extra nourishment to the devotees and in the early morning, he goes with all the devotees to bathe in the Ganges as they chant the Hare Krsna mahamantra. They dance, chant, and walk around, wandering along the Ganges. Generally at noon, after sankirtana—chanting, dancing, and so on—Mahaprabhu comes with the devotees to the garden known as Isodyan which is full of fruits and flowers. There he has lilas of feasting each day at noon with the devotees.

This is Nadiya-lila, Navadvipa-lila, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura likes this so much. Like Jagadananda Pandit, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura cannot tolerate Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa-lila. He likes Mahaprabhu’s Navadvipa-lila.

Five years or so after Mahaprabhu went to Nilachala, Jagannatha Puri, he came back to Navadvipa and stayed in the house of Vidya Vachaspati Misra, the elder brother of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. He did not return exactly to Mayapura, but he came to Kulia, Koladvipa, where our Math, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, is present. He did not go to the other side of Ganges where Mayapura is now present.

Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura’s expression of seeing Mahaprabhu at that time is,

ami chai gaurachandre la-ite mayapure,
yathaya kaisora-vese sri-angete sphure

“I feel very pained to see this form of Mahaprabhu who has no hair and no dress like the Mahaprabhu we know. I do not want this Mahaprabhu. He is dressed as a sannyasi;  I do not like his sannyasi appearance. I want to take Mahaprabhu back to Mayapura.” (Sri Navadvipa-bhava-taranga, 70)

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s bhajana was for the Mahaprabhu who is always present in Navadvipa. We know that Krishna is always present in Vrindavana.

vrndavanam parityajya sa kvachin naiva gachchhati

“Krishna does not go out of Vrindavana even for a moment.” (Sri Laghu-bhagavatamrta, Purva-khanda, 165)

Similarly, there is a hidden lila of Mahāprabhu always present in Navadvipa Dhama, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura tried to worship that lila. He showed that he worshipped all lilas, but his heart’s desire is here:

ami chai gaurachandre la-ite mayapure
yathaya kaisora-vese sri-angete sphure
yathaya chachara kesa tri-kachchha-vasane
isodyane lila kare bhakta-jana sane

“I want to bring Gaurachandra back to Mayapura, where his youthful dress shines on his divine form; where, with his wavy hair and dhoti tucked in three places, he performs pastimes at Isodyana with his devotees.” (Sri Navadvipa-bhava-taranga, 70)

Mahaprabhu’s lila in the garden of Isodyana is most preferable and gives the greatest happiness to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.


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