Sri Nityananda Prabhu: The Original Guru

By Srila B. R. Sridhara Deva Goswami, adapted from Sri Guru and His Grace.

The original spiritual master is Nityananda Prabhu. He is the general representation of guru. In the spiritual world, he is the guru-tattva principle in the four primary mellows of devotion, excluding the conjugal mellow. In madhurya-rasa, Baladeva’s representation is Ananga Manjari, the sister of Radharani.

The position of Nityananda is greater than that of Baladeva. Why? He is distributing prema, divine love. And what is prema? It is higher than all other achievements. If one can give divine love, then all others must be subordinate to him. If Krishna is subordinate to Mahaprabhu, then of course, Balarama is subordinate to Nityananda. They are similar, but when magnanimity is added, Balarama becomes Nityananda. That Balarama who can distribute divine love, who can perform that higher function, has come here as Nityananda. Our foundation must be solid and proper. Then the structure should be erected. Otherwise the whole thing will go down (heno nitai vine bhai radha krsna paite nai). We can get a solid foundation from Nityananda Prabhu.

One day Nityananda Prabhu came to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s house in Mayapura. Mahaprabhu’s mother, Saci devi, and Visnupriya devi, his wife, were also there, as well as other devotees. Suddenly, Nityananda arrived, quite naked. Mahaprabhu managed to give him some cloth. And perhaps He was concerned that the devotees might have some misconception about Nityananda Prabhu. So, to prevent this he asked Nityananda Prabhu for his kaupina, his loincloth. He tore it up and distributed it amongst the householders that were present, instructing them, “Keep a piece of his loincloth, as a kavaca, an amulet, and tie that with a thread to your arm or wear it around your neck. Please keep it with you. Then you will be able to achieve sense control very soon.” Nityananda Prabhu has control of his senses to the extreme degree; he does not know anything of this world. His vairagya, indifference to the world of mundane transaction, is of such a degree that he can appear naked amongst both male and female. So, the grace of Nityananda Prabhu will construct a firm foundation for us. If there is a firm foundation, then we may build a great structure over it. If we have faith in Nityananda, then that faith can bear any amount of weight. It won’t betray us.

To get the grace of Nityananda Prabhu, we should try as far as possible to study the character of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, to serve him, to serve his dhama, and his devotees. That will easily help us attain the grace of Nityananda Prabhu. And there will always be so many practical dealings in our present stage, but we must always keep the highest ideal over our heads. With this ideal we shall be able to make progress. Our ideal, our highest model—that is our all in all in life. To be acquainted with the conception of the highest ideal and to be on the path of realization of that goal is the greatest wealth in one’s life.

So, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has laid stress amongst the Westerners on devotion to Nityananda. First, we must get his mercy. And then, afterwards, we can get the mercy of Radha-Krishna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu means Radha-Krishna (sri krsna caitanya radha-krsna nahe anya). First achieve the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, and then Gauranga Mahaprabhu, and then Sri Radha Govinda. In these three stages, we must raise ourselves up.

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