The Magnanimous Nature of Sri Nityananda Prabhu
by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
Today is the appearance day of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. He is supposed to be the incarnation of Baladeva in Vrajamandala. Narottama das Thakur says ‘Balaram haila Nitai’. Sanatana Goswami also mentions Nityananda Prabhu as the incarnation of Baladeva in Vrndavana, but some persons within the Gaudiya sampradaya preach that Nityananda Prabhu is the incarnation of Radharani.
So, a vehement protest is given from the side of the Gaudiya Math and we cannot recognize them as the true followers of Gaudiya Vaisnava faith and Mahaprabhu. Nityananda Prabhu took His birth in the district of Virbhum on the Western side of Katwa, north west of Ekachakra, where the Pandavas in disguise lived for sometime.
Nearby is also shown a tree where the Bakaraksasa was killed by Bhimasena. In Ekachakra near Garbhavasa and many other places, we can trace the pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu.
Nityananda Prabhu’s son establised a temple nearby, and Sri Murtis were installed by Him. About two hundred years ago there was a great storm in that area and many ancient arrangements were devastated. A big Zamindar and devotee of the Gaudiya Sampradaya came and restored the puja, the worshipping arrangements at Virachandrapura. All were desolated at that time.
Nityananda Prabhu’s mother’s name was Padmavati, and His father’s name was Hadai Pandit. Ojha was their title although now we do not find any such title.
When Nityananda Prabhu was about 12 years old one sannyasi came and begged Hadai Pandit for his son “I want your son.” The sannyasi came and begged for the child, only one son, and son like Nityananda Prabhu who was very charming. It was almost impossible to live bidding goodbye to such a son, but what to do? A sannyasi has come and asked for him and begging they could not avoid; they could not avoid the sannyasi, they had to give their only son to him. We are told, that sannyasi was no other than Sri Madhavendra Puri, the guru of Iswara Puri, Advaita Acharya, and Pundarika Vidyanidhi. That sannyasi came and took Nityananda Prabhu away from His house when he was only 12 years old; and Nityananda Prabhu wandered with him through the whole of India, visiting all the holy places.
Mahaprabhu did not visit so many holy places. He generally travelled through the south of India, not northern India entirely, only Vrndavana and Prayag. Dvaraka and Badrinarayana were excluded by Mahaprabhu, but Nityananda Prabhu visited all the holy places that exist in India. After Madhavendra Puri disappeared, he was wandering in the holy places. In the meantime Mahaprabhu coming back from Gaya began his Sankirtana Lila in Nabadwipa.
Nityananda Prabhu was wandering here and there and lastly he went to Vrndavana. He was searching for something because of His inner identification with that of Baladeva. When Krsna came he was feeling some tendency of attraction towards him. In the last period, he began searching in Vrndavana very scrutinizingly but did not find that. Then he got some inspiration, “Where to find Krsna?” ‘He is now in Nabadwip,’ “I shall go there,” with this inspiration in his heart he came to Navadwipa Dhama.
Mahaprabhu had already begun his sankirtana movement, and he had a dream at night that someone came in a chariot and at the peak of the chariot there was a palm tree; and he is searching, “Where is Nimai pandit’s house? Where is Nimai Pandit’s house?” Someone then said, “Here is Nimai Pandit’s house.” Mahaprabhu then told to the devotees, “A great personage has come here to Nabadwipa Dhama last night. You (Srivasa and others) try to find out that great person.” The followers tried their best, they searched in every nook and corner but could not find Nityananda Prabhu. They reported to Mahaprabhu “we tried our best but could not trace any noble person, any saint, or any big man.
“Then Mahaprabhu told, ‘Let us try with the followers.” He then went straight to the southern side of Nandana Acharya’s Bhavan. Mahaprabhu went directly to a particular house which is known as Nandana Acharya’s house, and there they found a new gentleman, stout and strong, and golden in appearance, sitting on the veranda of that house. The devotees of Mahaprabhu could then understand him to be the man of whom Sri Gaurangadeva was telling about. He was sitting there in red robes, all others were white dressed. Someone then chanted some Bhagavata sloka, and so many spiritual symptoms gradually appeared in his body.
They could then understand what a great man he is for he was filled with divine love. He was the agreed personage and gradually coming in intimate connection with him they could understand that he was Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Outwardly his movements were not like a scholarly person, or an ordinary man; he was surcharged with a high type of energy and divinity coming forth from his complexion.
Mahaprabhu gradually began preaching, Haridasa Thakura and Nityananda Prabhu were both given orders. “Go from door to door and request them to leave everything aside and take the name of Krsna. Whomever you may meet going from door to door, approach and ask them to take the name of Krsna leaving aside everything else.” At that time Nabadwip Dhama was mostly filled with trantrics, that is the worship of Sakti Devi and Maya Devi.
“This Maya is disturbing us, so we must take shelter under her feet. When she will be satisfied then she will loosen, open the door and we will get out and become Siva. By nature, by birth, jiva means Siva, Siva means the master of Maya. We are now in the clutches of Maya, misunderstanding. When the goddess of misunderstanding is satisfied with us, she will then withdraw and we shall find a door out, we shall go to the other side.
There are so many liberated souls there and we shall join them. They are all enjoying the position of Siva, the master of Maya. Maya cannot force them to do anything and everything as she wills, rather she serves her masters. Maya serves Siva, the liberated souls. Maya serves them though in the relativity of Maya, but they cannot control so they render some service to the liberated souls and they are known as Siva. Pasa baddho bhavet jiva pasa mukta Sadasiva.
When within bondage he is jiva, a fallen soul, when he is outside the bondage of this Maya, this misunderstanding, then he’s always Siva. He can then move here and there at his sweet will and Maya cannot force him, rather she will come to serve him, and that is liberation. We shall then serve Maya devi, and the tantric process involves something, in this way she will be satisfied.
They use many things, they may drink wine and eat meats. They offer them to the deities Maya, Sakti and Kali. They also enjoy the women in different moods. They think that the application of mixing with ladies is such, that they will get liberation from the charm of the ladies. In this way in their process, they approve of the wine, the meat and the ladies it seems to be very harmful to us but these are the underlying principles of the tantric upasana.
In our method, our process of approaching these things which we feel temptation for, we shall get liberation from them. They come to attract us towards them but by a particular process we shall handle them. We shall be masters of those poisonous things, and at that time Navadwipa was filled with such persons.
When Mahaprabhu, Sri Gauranga begun his preaching attempt that everyone should give up everything and take to the name of Krsna, Narayana, he then said, “Not only will you, be out of Maya but you will attain positive life in Vaikuntha, in Vrndavana.” That is higher attainment, and what is to be attained by worshipping the sakti in the method they are following, that is reactionary and sometime again they will have to evolve. This is mentioned in the sastra, but not very extensively. If you are very particular, then you will have to see that in the relativity of this negative world; but it is not safe.
You must enter the positive world then you will be safe. That is not only mere liberation, emancipation from the opposite forces, but practical participation in the serving line, which is very pure. Not to be non-selfish, but must be God-centred, God-serviced. The positive world is there and that is full of pervasive happiness, and that we can attain only through service. Here we are an enjoying unit, an exploiting unit, but it must be given up to get out of the reactionary tendency of life; but we must not wait on the fence, for that is not a safe position.
Then again, that is not paying much because withdrawal from the negative side is not enough. There is a positive world and that is meant for a real high form of life, and that can be attained through service. Service is great, to sacrifice ones own interest, not for any part but for the whole, the absolute good, that is great. Nothing can be compared to that. It is calculative and automatic. To reach the automatic stage of service with love is high pay; so give up all these habits and these former engagements with a lower standard of worshipping, penance and all these things. “Die to Live.” A radical change must be welcome in life.
Life is worth living, life is worth living and it is only open to the human section. In other species it is impossible to get a glimpse of such high light and to begin that way of life, for there are only a very few human beings in the creation. What are the number of human bodies, very small compared to the whole of creation, and that is the door to heaven so you must try to have a positive life. He is Krsna, He is all attractive, He is beautiful, He is the highest reality, He is all accommodating and most charming.
Our life will receive its fulfillment if we can approach that Lord, especially by taking His Holy name. In this age of Kali a special sanction has been given to us that by taking the holy name with satsanga, with the real saints, then we can make progress, enter and approach that high line of preaching.
Nityananda Prabhu was a dynamo of energy and Haridasa Thakura could not follow, a little trouble to carry out the order of Mahaprabhu, what to do?
One day there were so many gunda type persons, they came with an attacking spirit, “You are disturbing us, we are not religious and you have come to preach religion to us; what right have you got? Why do you come to disturb us? As a big society we are following a particular creed, and you are so bold as to blame us for not been religious men. You have come with a new idea of religion and we are to accept that, you fools!
If again you come here you will be taught a good lesson.” In this way they were threatened, but Mahaprabhu still says you must go. Then one day they met Jagai and Madhai. Jagai and Madhai were from Brahmin birth but they did not have any care for religion. They were also entrusted with some administration in the Muslim Government. They had some connection with the Government and they themselves were gundas, although Brahmins by birth. They used to take anything and everything. They were a notorious pair of gundas, Jagadananda and Madhavananda.
Then one day they met him “Oh! You rogues, we have heard of you, you have come to create a new religion here – Never! If we find you again on the street you will receive a licking and will have to weep.” Anyhow, they were given such warning. Nityananda Prabhu had to report every day what progress they had made in their preaching campaign and he almost challenged Mahaprabhu. He said “our life was saved today from the worst pair in the whole of Navadwipa Dham, but if you can deliver them, then I shall think that you have really come to render some service.
They are the greatest rogues ever found in this area and must be converted. If you can do that then we shall say that you have got some power with some objective, and you will be able to do something.” Mahaprabhu felt, “If it is Krsna´s will then everything will be possible.” They again went out preaching and they met those two gundas, Haridasa Thakura coming back and Nityananda Prabhu stood courageously. There was an earthen pot cast away after used on the side of the way. It was taken and thrown on the head of Nityananda Prabhu and his forehead was cut, blood oozing, Nityananda Prabhu standing.
Some person came to Gaurangadeva saying that Nityananda Prabhu was wounded by the rogues. Mahaprabhu very enraged and excited came there. There was blood oozing, “Who has caused this wound on the body of Nityananda Prabhu? I shall finish the whole town, come forward” Mahaprabhu was besides Himself. Then Nityananda Prabhu came, “No! No! Don´t be excited my Lord, in this incarnation we are not to use any force; remember it.” Nityananda Prabhu then reminded Mahaprabhu.
In the meantime there another man approached and told “No, no! They are red-clad mendicants what fame is there in striking them. They are not wholly established rich men or party men, only red-clad sannyasis – there is no credit by killing them or beating them,” and they took Jagai and Madhai away. Nityananda Prabhu then appealed to Mahaprabhu. “What to do, this is not proper. In this age in this time at this juncture what have we come to do, use force? Never!”
In the meantime Madhai came to hit Nityananda Prabhu but Jagai saved him by just opposing him and Mahaprabhu turned around suddenly, “You Jagai, you have protected my Nityananda.” Mahaprabhu then embraced him and Jagai fell at his feet and began to cry “Hare Krsna.” Mental transformation came in Jagai, then Madhai who was standing there said, “for this deed we are two, such a sin, and Jagai´s condition is such,” In that atmosphere his transformation also began.
Then Nityananda Prabhu came to recognize that in the same place with similar persons, one will gain and the other will fail and so he must also be saved.
Then Mahaprabhu said, “Nityananda Prabhu himself is pleading for you, and so you Madhai, you should also be absolved,” Mahaprabhu then embraced him, he also fell, began to weep, and took the holy name Krsna, and there was wholesale conversion of these two great demons. There was within minutes an uproar in the town. “Who is this Nimai Pandita, a scholar, so far we can understand but he is endowed with supernatural power. These two great demons, whoever they came across, or whoever would see them would enter their homes and close their doors, such demoniac persons they were, and they were converted by Nimai Pandita within one hour, what miraculous power.”
So in this way Nimai Pandit, got some footing there. Nimai Pandit is not an ordinary, he is not merely a scholar but he is endowed with some supernatural power, original power. Nityananda Prabhu was famous from that time. Although he was hit on the forehead and blood oozed still he had so much of an extraordinary, patient, forbearing and affectionate heart, that he recommended that gunda who had caused him mischief. Nityananda Prabhu´s position was very safe and very high, a divine position from that time. Nityananda Prabhu has neither an exploiting nor enjoying mood, he is wholeself given to Krsna. Sanatana Goswami has given this in his commentary: In the rasa lila of Krsna, Krsna was enjoying all the gopis, at that time Balarama also had his separate rasa lila.
It is also mentioned in Bhagavatam and other puranas, that Krnsa had His rasa lila and that Baladeva also had his rasa lila, but Sanatana Goswami has given the meaning. That is very fine, very subtle and very difficult to understand. Baladeva continued rasa externally, but in his heart he was making Krsna to participate in that rasa. He was not the party to enjoy the gopis. He is aloof, he is aside, he is only performing, managing the rasa lila with the gopis and Krsna. He is not only indifferent but with so much serving tendency and wholeself serving attitude.
In Vrndavan mandala in vatsalya rasa and sakhya rasa, they also have marriages, they have their sons, but not in any enjoying mood. There is union of men and women but not in an enjoying mood, or then they will have to be left here in the material world. Both parties meet and are united in a serving mood, that is particularly another type of mood, never an enjoying mood, or then they are not to be allowed to enter that domain.
They will be thrown here in the land of exploitation. When they go through the door of emancipation, liberation and enter Vaikuntha, from there also the exploiting tendency is eliminated, what avoidance! They are outwardly participating but internally in a serving mood. It may be impossible to think but it is such, not only the human form but also the birds and beasts, they are also apparently mixing in an enjoying mood, but really their mood is of service attitude. Such a wholesale transformation has to be effected in ones heart, mind and body, before wholly attempting to enter into that domain.
So Hegel said, “Die to live”, if you really want to live in that plane then you will have to die wholesale as you think you are in this life as flesh blood and bones. It is of opposite type, the purity is there, it can be measured; it is not non-scientific but it is really scientific. It is the process of “die to live”! And love is there, the dying tendency for the object of love, that is love proper otherwise it is imitation, it is hypocracy, it is conspiracy to ones own suicidal attainment. The pure thing is that if we have got faith for such divine conception of life then we should come to Bhagavatam, the last gift in the sastric world of vedic literatures.
Vyasadeva´s last gift in the world of vedic literatures is Bhagavatam. The Bhagavatam is so high, so high, prithi vite yata katha dharma nam chole. Our Guru Maharaj´s translation dharmah projjhito kaitavo all the words and tales that are running in this world in the name of religion, Srimad Bhagavatam says all is false, all is false, all is tampered with and not pure, not pure! The pure type of religion is not yet spoken. It is there, all self-centered, the current is towards the centre, not only selflessness but self sacrificing, self forgiving, self forgetfulness, in that way we are to start, we are to start, we are to go.
Sri Nityananda Prabhu came and appealed, “Come to Gauranga, He is the depot, He is the dynamo to send you there very easily. He sang these names of Gauranga on the banks of the Ganges.“Bhaja Gauranga, kaha Gauranga, laha Gauranga nam je jan Gauranga bhaje se amar pran; all you people come and take refuge under the divine feet of Gauranga, give up everything and come fall at the feet of Gauranga. Take His name, remember Him and throw yourself wholly at His disposal. He is my own life, I consider Him to be my life, my soul, my everything.” Nityananda Prabhu saying this began to roll at the door of the householders “Householders! You must do this.” He is rolling and crying, “Accept Gauranga, you don´t know what great benefit you will receive by doing this.”
He is rolling in the dust at the door of the householders with such an appeal. He came to the ordinary masses to give them shelter at the lotus feet of Gauranga, that is Nityananda Prabhu. He came to give Mahaprabhu even to Jagai and Madhai and he appealed to all from door to door to accept Gaurangadeva. You do not know what will be your prospect in life, the highest prospect in life! Nityananda Prabhu is our only hope, He is so benevolent, so generous, so gracious, that very easily we can draw his attention and we can get his recommendation. Gaurangadeva will not be able to disregard his recommendation, and when we have got the grace of Gauranga then the Radha-Krsna lila is within our fists. Nityananda Prabhu´s grace means to get Mahaprabhu´s grace within our clutches and to get Mahaprabhu, means to get Radha-Govinda, Vrndavana, and then everything is within our fists.