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The Deliverance of Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka

The ninth chapter is summarized as follows. Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka, the son of Bhavānanda Rāya, was engaged in the service of the government, but he misappropriated some funds from the treasury. Therefore the baḍa-jānā, the eldest son of King Pratāparudra, ordered that he be punished by death. Thus Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka was raised on the cāṅga to be killed, but by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he was delivered. Moreover, he was even promoted to a higher post.

Text 1: The innumerable, glorious followers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu brought a constant flood to the desertlike hearts of the unfortunate with an inundation of ecstatic love.

Text 2: All glories to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the most merciful incarnation! All glories to Lord Nityānanda, whose heart is always compassionate!

Text 3: All glories to Advaita Ācārya, who is very merciful! All glories to the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who are always overwhelmed by transcendental bliss!

Text 4: Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu lived at Nīlācala [Jagannātha Purī] with His personal devotees, always merged in ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.

Text 5: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu always felt waves of separation from Kṛṣṇa, externally and internally. His mind and body were agitated by various spiritual transformations.

Text 6: During the day He chanted, danced and saw Lord Jagannātha in the temple. At night He tasted transcendental bliss in the company of Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara.

Text 7: People from the three worlds used to come visit Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Anyone who saw Him received the transcendental treasure of love for Kṛṣṇa.

Text 8: The inhabitants of the seven higher planetary systems — including the demigods, the Gandharvas and the Kinnaras — and the inhabitants of the seven lower planetary systems [Pātālaloka], including the demons and serpentine living entities, all visited Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the dress of human beings.

Text 9: Dressed in different ways, people from the seven islands and nine khaṇḍas visited Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 10: Prahlāda Mahārāja, Bali Mahārāja, Vyāsadeva, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and other great sages came to visit Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Upon seeing Him, they became unconscious in ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.

Text 11: Being unable to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the populace outside His room would make a tumultuous sound. Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would go outside and tell them, “Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.”

Text 12: All kinds of people would come to see the Lord, and upon seeing Him they would be overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa. In this way Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu passed His days and nights.

Text 13: One day people suddenly came to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and informed Him, “Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka, the son of Bhavānanda Rāya, has been condemned to death by the baḍa-jānā, the eldest son of the King, and has been raised on the cāṅga.

Text 14: “The baḍa-jānā has placed swords beneath the platform,” they said, “and will throw Gopīnātha upon them. O Lord, only if You protect him will he be saved.

Text 15: “Bhavānanda Rāya and his entire family are your servants. Therefore it is quite fitting for You to save the son of Bhavānanda Rāya.”

Text 16: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired, “Why is the King chastising him?” Thereupon the people described the entire incident.

Text 17: They said, “Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka, the brother of Rāmānanda Rāya, has always been a treasurer for the government.

Text 18: “He served in the place known as Mālajāṭhyā Daṇḍapāta, soliciting and collecting money there and depositing it in the government treasury.

Text 19: “Once when he deposited the collection, however, a balance of 200,000 kāhanas of conchshells was due from him. Therefore the King demanded this sum.

Text 20: “Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka replied, ‘There is no money I can immediately give you in cash. Please give me time. Gradually I shall purchase and sell my gross goods and in this way fill your treasury.

Text 21: ‘There are ten to twelve good horses. Take them immediately for a proper price.’ After saying this, he brought all the horses to the door of the King.

Text 22: “One of the princes knew how to estimate the price of horses very well. Thus the King sent for him to come with his ministers and friends.

Text 23: “The prince, however, purposely gave a reduced estimate for the value of the horses. When Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka heard the price quoted, he was very angry.

Text 24: “That prince had a personal idiosyncrasy of turning his neck and facing the sky, looking here and there again and again.

Text 25: “Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka criticized the prince. He was unafraid of the prince because the King was very kind toward him.

Text 26: “Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka said, ‘My horses never turn their necks or look upward. Therefore the price for them should not be reduced.’

Text 27: “Hearing this criticism, the prince became very angry. Going before the King, he made some false allegations against Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka.

Text 28: ‘This Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka,’ he said, ‘is unwilling to pay the money due. Instead, he is squandering it under some pretext. If you issue an order, I can put him on the cāṅga and thus realize the money.’

Text 29: “The King replied, ‘You can adopt whatever means you think best. Any device by which you can somehow or other realize the money is all right.’

Text 30: “Thus the prince went back, raised Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka onto the platform of the cāṅga and spread swords below upon which to throw him.”

Text 31: After hearing this explanation, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied with affectionate anger. “Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka does not want to pay the King the money that is due,” the Lord said. “How then is the King at fault in punishing him?

Text 32: “Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka is in charge of collecting money on behalf of the government, but he misappropriates it. Not fearing the King, he squanders it to see dancing girls.

Text 33: “If one is intelligent, let him perform service to the government, and after paying the government, he can spend whatever money is left.”

Text 34: At that time another person came there in great haste, bringing the news that Vāṇīnātha Rāya and his entire family had been arrested.

Text 35: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “The King must personally realize the money that is due. I am but a sannyāsī, a member of the renounced order. What can I do?”

Text 36: Then all the devotees, headed by Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, fell at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and submitted the following plea.

Text 37: “All the members of Rāmānanda Rāya’s family are Your eternal servants. Now they are in danger. It is not befitting for You to be indifferent to them in this way.”

Text 38: After hearing this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu spoke in an angry mood. “You want to order Me to go to the King,” He said.

Text 39: “Your opinion is that I should go to the King’s palace and spread My cloth to beg money from him.

Text 40: “Of course, a sannyāsī or brāhmaṇa may beg for up to five gaṇḍās, but why should he be granted the inappropriate sum of 200,000 kāhanas of conchshells?”

Text 41: Then another person came with the news that Gopīnātha had already been set up to be thrown upon the points of the swords.

Text 42: Hearing this news, all the devotees again appealed to the Lord, but the Lord replied, “I am a beggar. It is impossible for Me to do anything about this.

Text 43: “Therefore if you want to save him, you should all pray together at the lotus feet of Jagannātha.

Text 44: “Lord Jagannātha is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He possesses all potencies. Therefore He is able to act freely and can do and undo whatever He likes.”

Text 45: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied in this way, an officer named Haricandana Pātra went to the King and spoke with him.

Text 46: “After all,” he said, “Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka is your faithful servant. To condemn a servant to death is not good behavior.

Text 47: “His only fault is that he owes some money to the government. If he is killed, however, what profit will there be? The government will be the loser, for it will not get the money.

Text 48: “It would be better to take the horses for a proper price and let him gradually repay the balance. Why are you killing him unnecessarily?”

Text 49: The King answered in surprise, “I did not know about all this. Why should his life be taken? I only want the money from him.

Text 50: “Go there and adjust everything. I want only the payment, not his life.”

Text 51: Haricandana then returned and informed the prince of the King’s desire, and immediately Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka was taken down from the cāṅga.

Text 52: Then he was told that the King demanded the money due him and asked what means he would adopt to pay it. “Kindly take my horses,” he replied, “for a proper price.

Text 53: “I shall gradually pay the balance as I can. Without consideration, however, you were going to take my life. What can I say?”

Text 54: Then the government took all the horses for a proper price, a time was set for payment of the balance, and Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka was released.

Text 55: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired from the messenger, “What was Vāṇīnātha doing when he was arrested and brought there?”

Text 56: The messenger replied, “He was fearlessly, incessantly chanting the mahā-mantra — Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

Text 57: “He counted the chants on the fingers of both hands, and after he had finished chanting one thousand times, he would make a mark on his body.”

Text 58: Hearing this news, the Lord was very pleased. Who can understand the mercy of the Lord upon His devotee?

Text 59: At that time Kāśī Miśra came to the residence of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and the Lord talked with him with some agitation.

Text 60: “I cannot stay here any longer,” the Lord said. “I shall go to Ālālanātha. There are too many disturbances here, and I cannot get any rest.

Text 61: “All the family members of Bhavānanda Rāya are engaged in government service, but they spend the government’s revenue in various ways.

Text 62: “What is the fault on the part of the King? He wants the government’s money. However, when they are punished for failing to pay the government its due, they come to Me to release them.

Text 63: “When the King put Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka on the cāṅga, messengers came four times to inform Me about the incident.

Text 64: “As a beggar sannyāsī, a mendicant, I wish to live alone in a solitary place, but these people come to tell Me about their unhappiness and disturb Me.

Text 65: “Jagannātha has saved him once from death today, but if tomorrow he again does not pay what he owes the treasury, who will give him protection?

Text 66: “If I hear about the activities of materialistic persons, My mind becomes agitated. There is no need for Me to stay here and be disturbed in that way.”

Text 67: Kāśī Miśra caught hold of the Lord’s lotus feet and said, “Why should You be agitated by these affairs?

Text 68: “You are a renounced sannyāsī. What connections do You have? One who worships You for some material purpose is blind to all knowledge.”

Text 69: Kāśī Miśra continued, “If one engages in devotional service for Your satisfaction, this will result in his increasingly awakening his dormant love for You. But if one engages in Your devotional service for material purposes, he should be considered a number-one fool.

Text 70: “It is only for Your sake that Rāmānanda Rāya resigned from the governorship of South India and Sanātana Gosvāmī gave up his post as minister.

Text 71: “It is for Your sake that Raghunātha dāsa gave up all his family relationships. His father sent money and men here to serve him.

Text 72: “However, because he has received the mercy of Your lotus feet, he does not even accept his father’s money. Instead he eats by begging alms from centers for the distribution of food.

Text 73: “Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka is a good gentleman. He does not desire material benefits from You.

Text 74: “It is not Gopīnātha who sent all those men so that You would release him from his plight. Rather, his friends and servants, seeing his distressed condition, informed You because they all knew that Gopīnātha is a soul surrendered unto You.

Text 75: “Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka is a pure devotee who worships You only for Your satisfaction. He does not care about his personal happiness or distress, for that is the business of a materialist.

Text 76: “One who engages in Your devotional service twenty-four hours a day, desiring only Your mercy, will very soon attain shelter at Your lotus feet.

Text 77: ‘One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words and body, and who always offers obeisances unto You is certainly a bona fide candidate for becoming Your unalloyed devotee.’

Text 78: “Kindly stay here at Jagannātha Purī. Why should You go to Ālālanātha? Henceforward, no one will approach You about material affairs.”

Text 79: Finally Kāśī Miśra told the Lord, “If You want to give protection to Gopīnātha, then Lord Jagannātha, who protected him today, will also protect him in the future.”

Text 80: After saying this, Kāśī Miśra left the abode of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and returned to his own temple. At noon King Pratāparudra came to Kāśī Miśra’s home.

Text 81: As long as King Pratāparudra stayed in Puruṣottama, he performed one regular duty.

Text 82: He would come daily to the house of Kāśī Miśra to massage his lotus feet. The King would also hear from him about how opulently Lord Jagannātha was being served.

Text 83: When the King began pressing his lotus feet, Kāśī Miśra informed him about something through hints.

Text 84: “My dear King,” he said, “please hear one uncommon item of news. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wants to leave Jagannātha Purī and go to Ālālanātha.”

Text 85: When the King heard that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was going to Ālālanātha, he was very unhappy and inquired about the reason. Then Kāśī Miśra informed him of all the details.

Text 86: “When Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka was lifted onto the cāṅga,” he said, “all his servants went to inform Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 87: “Hearing about this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was extremely sorry at heart, and in anger He chastised Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka.

Text 88: ‘Because he is mad after sense gratification,’ the Lord said, ‘he acts as a government servant but spends the government’s revenue for various sinful activities.

Text 89: ‘The revenue of the government is more sacred than the property of a brāhmaṇa. One who misappropriates the government’s money and uses it to enjoy sense gratification is most sinful.

Text 90: ‘One who serves the government but misappropriates the government’s revenue is liable to be punished by the king. That is the verdict of all revealed scriptures.

Text 91: ‘The King wanted his revenue paid and did not want to enforce punishment. Therefore the King is certainly very religious. But Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka is a great cheat.

Text 92: ‘He does not pay the revenue to the King, but he wants My help for release. This is a greatly sinful affair. I cannot tolerate it here.

Text 93: ‘Therefore I shall leave Jagannātha Purī and go to Ālālanātha, where I shall live peacefully and not hear about all these affairs of materialistic people.’ ”

Text 94: When King Pratāparudra heard all these details, he felt great pain in his mind. “I shall give up all that is due from Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka,” he said, “if Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu will stay here at Jagannātha Purī.

Text 95: “If even for a moment I could get an interview with Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, I would not care for the profit of millions of cintāmaṇi stones.

Text 96: “I do not care about this small sum of 200,000 kāhanas. What to speak of this, I would indeed sacrifice everything at the lotus feet of the Lord, including my life and kingdom.”

Text 97: Kāśī Miśra hinted to the King, “It is not the Lord’s desire that you forfeit the payment. He is unhappy only because the whole family is troubled.”

Text 98: The King replied, “I had no desire to give pain to Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka and his family, nor did I know about his being lifted onto the cāṅga to be thrown on the swords and killed.

Text 99: “He sneered at Puruṣottama Jānā. Therefore the prince tried to scare him as a punishment.

Text 100: “Go personally to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and keep Him at Jagannātha Purī with great attention. I shall excuse Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka from all his debts.”

Text 101: Kāśī Miśra said, “Excusing Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka of all his debts will make the Lord unhappy, for that is not His intention.”

Text 102: The King said, “I shall absolve Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka of all his debts, but don’t speak of this to the Lord. Simply let Him know that all the family members of Bhavānanda Rāya, including Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka, are naturally my dear friends.

Text 103: “Bhavānanda Rāya is worthy of my worship and respect. Therefore I am always naturally affectionate to his sons.”

Text 104: After offering obeisances to Kāśī Miśra, the King returned to his palace and called for both Gopīnātha and the eldest prince.

Text 105: The King told Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka, “You are excused for all the money you owe the treasury, and the place known as Mālajāṭhyā Daṇḍapāṭa is again given to you for collections.

Text 106: “Do not again misappropriate the revenue of the government. In case you think your salary insufficient, henceforward it will be doubled.”

Text 107: After saying this, the King appointed him by offering him a silken wrapper for his body. “Go to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu,” he said. “After taking permission from Him, go to your home. I bid you farewell. Now you may go.”

Text 108: By the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one can certainly become spiritually advanced. Indeed, no one can estimate the results of His mercy.

Text 109: Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka achieved the result of kingly opulence due to but a glimpse of the Lord’s mercy. Therefore no one can calculate the full value of His mercy.

Text 110: Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka was lifted onto the cāṅga to be killed, and all his money was taken away, but instead his debts were excused, and he was appointed collector in the same place.

Text 111: On one hand Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka was unable to clear his debt even by selling all his possessions, but on the other his salary was doubled, and he was honored with the silken wrapper.

Text 112: It was not the desire of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu that Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka be excused of his debt to the government, nor was it His desire that his salary be doubled or that he be reappointed collector at the same place.

Text 113: When Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka’s servant went to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and informed the Lord of his plight, the Lord was somewhat agitated and dissatisfied.

Text 114: The Lord had no intention of awarding His devotee the happiness of material opulence, yet simply because of His being informed, such a great result was obtained.

Text 115: No one can estimate the wonderful characteristics of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Even Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva cannot understand the intentions of the Lord.

Text 116: Kāśī Miśra went to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and informed Him in detail of all the King’s intentions.

Text 117: Upon hearing about Kāśī Miśra’s tactics with the King, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Kāśī Miśra, what have you done? You have made Me indirectly take help from the King.”

Text 118: Kāśī Miśra said, “My dear Lord, the King has done this without reservations. Kindly hear his statement.

Text 119: “The King said, ‘Speak to the Lord in such a way that He will not think, “For My sake the King has forfeited 200,000 kāhanas of kauḍis.”

Text 120: ‘Inform Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu that all the sons of Bhavānanda Rāya are especially dear to me. I consider them like members of my family.

Text 121: ‘Therefore I have appointed them collectors in various places, and although they spend the government’s money, eat, drink, plunder and distribute it as they like, I do not take them very seriously.

Text 122: ‘I made Rāmānanda Rāya the governor of Rajahmundry. There is practically no account of whatever money he took and distributed in that position.

Text 123: ‘Having been appointed collector, Gopīnātha, in the same way, also generally spends 200,000 to 400,000 kāhanas as he likes.

Text 124: ‘Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka would collect some and pay some, spending it at will, but I would not consider this very seriously. This time, however, he was put into trouble because of a misunderstanding with the prince.

Text 125: ‘The prince created this situation without my knowledge, but actually I consider all the sons of Bhavānanda Rāya to be like my relatives.

Text 126: ‘Because of my intimate relationship with them, I have absolved Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka of all his debts. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu does not know this fact. Whatever I have done is because of my intimate relationship with the family of Bhavānanda Rāya.’ ”

Text 127: Having heard from Kāśī Miśra all these statements concerning the King’s mentality, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very happy. At that time, Bhavānanda Rāya arrived there.

Text 128: Bhavānanda Rāya, along with his five sons, fell at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who lifted him up and embraced him.

Text 129: Thus Rāmānanda Rāya, all his brothers and their father met Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Then Bhavānanda Rāya began speaking.

Text 130: “All these members of my family,” he said, “are Your eternal servants. You have saved us from this great danger. Therefore You have purchased us for a proper price.

Text 131: “You have now demonstrated Your love for Your devotees, just as when You previously saved the five Pāṇḍavas from great danger.”

Text 132: Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka, his head covered with the silken wrapper, fell at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and described in detail the King’s mercy toward him.

Text 133: “The King has excused me for the balance due,” he said. “He has reappointed me to my post by honoring me with this silken cloth and has doubled my salary.

Text 134: “I was lifted upon the cāṅga to be killed, but instead I was honored with this silken cloth. This is all Your mercy.

Text 135: “On the cāṅga I began meditating upon Your lotus feet, and the power of that remembrance has yielded all these results.

Text 136: “Struck with wonder by my affairs, the populace is glorifying the greatness of Your mercy.

Text 137: “However, my Lord, these are not the principal results of meditating upon Your lotus feet. Material opulence is very flickering. Therefore it is simply a glimpse of the result of Your mercy.

Text 138: “Your real mercy has been granted to Rāmānanda Rāya and Vāṇīnātha Rāya, for You have detached them from all material opulence. I think that I have not been favored by such mercy.

Text 139: “Kindly bestow upon me Your pure mercy so that I may also become renounced. I am no longer interested in material enjoyment.”

Text 140: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “If you all adopt the renounced order and lose interest in dealing with pounds, shillings and pence, who will take charge of maintaining your large family?

Text 141: “Whether you are involved in material activities or become completely renounced, you five brothers are all My eternal servants, birth after birth.

Text 142: “However, just obey one order from Me. Do not spend any of the King’s revenue.

Text 143: “First you should pay the revenue due the King, and then you may spend the balance for religious and fruitive activities.

Text 144: “Don’t spend a farthing for sinful activities, for which you will be the loser both in this life and the next.” After saying this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bade them farewell.

Text 145: Thus the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was spoken of in the family of Bhavānanda Rāya. That mercy was clearly demonstrated, although it appeared to be something different.

Text 146: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced them all and bade them farewell. Then all the devotees got up and left, loudly chanting the holy name of Hari.

Text 147: Seeing the extraordinary mercy the Lord granted to the family of Bhavānanda Rāya, everyone was struck with wonder. They could not understand the behavior of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 148: Indeed, when all the devotees had requested the Lord to bestow His mercy upon Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka, the Lord had replied that He could do nothing.

Text 149: I have simply described the chastisement of Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s indifference. But the deep meaning of this behavior is very difficult to understand.

Text 150: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave so much to Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka without directly making requests of either Kāśī Miśra or the King.

Text 151: The intentions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are so deep that one can understand them only if he has complete faith in service to the lotus feet of the Lord.

Text 152: Whether or not one understands it, if one hears of this incident concerning the activities of Gopīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka and Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s causeless mercy upon him, certainly he will be promoted to the platform of ecstatic love for the Lord, and for him all dangers will be nullified.

Text 153: Praying at the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha, always desiring their mercy, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, narrate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, following in their footsteps.

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