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The Ecstatic Dancing of the Lord at Ratha-yātrā

A summary of this chapter is given by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya as follows. After bathing early in the morning, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw the deities (Jagannātha, Baladeva and Subhadrā) get aboard their three cars. This function is called Pāṇḍu-vijaya. At that time, King Pratāparudra took a broom with a golden handle and began to cleanse the road. Lord Jagannātha took permission from the goddess of fortune and then started in the car for the Guṇḍicā temple. The road to the temple led along a broad, sandy beach, and on both sides of the road were residential quarters, houses and gardens. Along that road the servants called gauḍas began to pull the cars. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu divided His saṅkīrtana party into seven divisions. With two mṛdaṅgas in each division, there were altogether fourteen mṛdaṅgas. While performing kīrtana, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu exhibited various symptoms of transcendental ecstasy, and Jagannātha and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu exchanged Their feelings very blissfully. When the cars reached the place known as Balagaṇḍi, the devotees offered the deities simple food. At this time, in a nearby garden, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His devotees took a brief rest from the dancing.

Text 1: May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, who danced in front of the car of Śrī Jagannātha, be all glorified! By seeing His dancing, not only was the whole universe held in wonder, but Lord Jagannātha Himself became very much astonished.

Text 2: All glories to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and Prabhu Nityānanda! All glories to Advaitacandra! And all glories to the devotees of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu!

Text 3: All glories to the listeners of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta! Please hear the description of the dancing of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu at the Ratha-yātrā festival. His dancing is very enchanting. Please hear of it with great attention.

Text 4: The next day, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His personal associates got up in the dark and attentively took their early-morning baths.

Text 5: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His personal associates then went to see the ceremony of Pāṇḍu-vijaya. During this ceremony, Lord Jagannātha leaves His throne and gets up onto the car.

Text 6: King Pratāparudra in person, as well as his entourage, allowed the Pāṇḍu-vijaya ceremony to be seen by all the associates of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 7: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His prominent devotees — Advaita Ācārya, Nityānanda Prabhu and others — were very happy to observe how Lord Jagannātha began the Ratha-yātrā.

Text 8: The very strongly built dayitās [carriers of the Jagannātha Deity] were as powerful as drunken elephants. They manually carried Lord Jagannātha from the throne to the car.

Text 9: While carrying the Deity of Lord Jagannātha, some of the dayitās took hold of the shoulders of the Lord, and some caught His lotus feet.

Text 10: The Lord Jagannātha Deity was bound at the waist by a strong, thick rope made of silk. From two sides the dayitās caught hold of this rope and raised the Deity.

Text 11: Strong, puffed-up cotton pads called tulīs were spread out from the throne to the car, and the heavy Deity of Lord Jagannātha was carried from one pillowlike pad to the next by the dayitās.

Text 12: While the dayitās carried the heavy Jagannātha Deity from one pad to the next, some of the pads broke, and the cotton contents floated into the air. When they broke, they made a heavy cracking sound.

Text 13: Lord Jagannātha is the maintainer of the whole universe. Who can carry Him from one place to another? The Lord moves by His personal will just to perform His pastimes.

Text 14: While the Lord was transported from the throne to the car, tumultuous sounds were made on various musical instruments. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was chanting “Maṇimā! Maṇimā!” but He could not be heard.

Text 15: While the Lord was being carried from the throne to the car, King Pratāparudra personally engaged in the Lord’s service by cleansing the road with a broom that had a golden handle.

Text 16: The King sprinkled the road with sandalwood-scented water. Although he was the owner of the royal throne, he engaged in menial service for the sake of Lord Jagannātha.

Text 17: Although the King was the most exalted respectable person, still he accepted menial service for the Lord; he therefore became a suitable candidate for receiving the Lord’s mercy.

Text 18: Upon seeing the King engaged in such menial service, Caitanya Mahāprabhu became very happy. Simply by rendering this service, the King received the mercy of the Lord.

Text 19: Everyone was astonished to see the decorations on the Ratha car. The car appeared to be newly made of gold, and it was as high as Mount Sumeru.

Text 20: The decorations included bright mirrors and hundreds and hundreds of cāmaras [white whisks made of yak tails]. On top of the car were a neat and clean canopy and a very beautiful flag.

Text 21: The car was also decorated with silken cloth and various pictures. Many brass bells, gongs and ankle bells rang.

Text 22: For the pastimes of the Ratha-yātrā ceremony, Lord Jagannātha got aboard one car, and His sister, Subhadrā, and elder brother, Balarāma, got aboard two other cars.

Text 23: For fifteen days the Lord had remained in a secluded place with the supreme goddess of fortune and had performed His pastimes with her.

Text 24: Having taken permission from the goddess of fortune, the Lord came out to ride on the Ratha car and perform His pastimes for the pleasure of the devotees.

Text 25: The fine, white sand spread all over the path resembled the bank of the Yamunā, and the small gardens on both sides looked just like those in Vṛndāvana.

Text 26: As Lord Jagannātha rode in His car and saw the beauty on both sides, His mind was filled with pleasure.

Text 27: The pullers of the car were known as gauḍas, and they pulled with great pleasure. However, the car sometimes went very fast and sometimes very slow.

Text 28: Sometimes the car would stand still and not move, even though it was pulled very vigorously. The chariot therefore moved by the will of the Lord, not by the strength of any ordinary person.

Text 29: As the car stood still, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gathered all His devotees and, with His own hand, decorated them with flower garlands and sandalwood pulp.

Text 30: Paramānanda Purī and Brahmānanda Bhāratī were both personally given garlands and sandalwood pulp from the very hands of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This increased their transcendental pleasure.

Text 31: Similarly, when Advaita Ācārya and Nityānanda Prabhu felt the touch of the transcendental hand of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, They were very pleased.

Text 32: The Lord also gave garlands and sandalwood pulp to the performers of saṅkīrtana. The two chief performers were Svarūpa Dāmodara and Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura.

Text 33: There were altogether four parties of kīrtana performers, comprising twenty-four chanters. In each party there were also two mṛdaṅga players, making an additional eight persons.

Text 34: When the four parties were formed, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, after some consideration, divided the chanters.

Text 35: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered Nityānanda Prabhu, Advaita Ācārya, Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Vakreśvara Paṇḍita to dance in each of the four respective parties.

Text 36: Svarūpa Dāmodara was chosen as the leader of the first party and was given five assistants to respond to his chanting.

Text 37: The five who responded to the singing of Svarūpa Dāmodara were Dāmodara Paṇḍita, Nārāyaṇa, Govinda Datta, Rāghava Paṇḍita and Śrī Govindānanda.

Text 38: Advaita Ācārya Prabhu was ordered to dance in the first group. The Lord then formed another group with Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura as the chief man.

Text 39: The five singers who responded to the singing of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura were Gaṅgādāsa, Haridāsa, Śrīmān, Śubhānanda and Śrī Rāma Paṇḍita. Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu was appointed as a dancer.

Text 40: Another group was formed consisting of Vāsudeva, Gopīnātha and Murāri. All these were responsive singers, and Mukunda was the chief singer.

Text 41: Another two persons, Śrīkānta and Vallabha Sena, joined as responsive singers. In this group, the senior Haridāsa [Haridāsa Ṭhākura] was the dancer.

Text 42: The Lord formed another group, appointing Govinda Ghoṣa as leader. In this group the younger Haridāsa, Viṣṇudāsa and Rāghava were the responding singers.

Text 43: Two brothers named Mādhava Ghoṣa and Vāsudeva Ghoṣa also joined this group as responsive singers. Vakreśvara Paṇḍita was the dancer.

Text 44: There was a saṅkīrtana party from the village known as Kulīna-grāma, and Rāmānanda and Satyarāja were appointed the dancers in this group.

Text 45: There was another party that came from Śāntipura and was formed by Advaita Ācārya. Acyutānanda was the dancer, and the rest of the men were singers.

Text 46: Another party was formed by the people of Khaṇḍa. These people were singing in a different place. In that group, Narahari Prabhu and Raghunandana were dancing.

Text 47: Four parties chanted and danced in front of Lord Jagannātha, and on either side was another party. Yet another was at the rear.

Text 48: There were altogether seven parties of saṅkīrtana, and in each party two men were beating drums. Thus fourteen drums were being played at once. The sound was tumultuous, and all the devotees became mad.

Text 49: All the Vaiṣṇavas came together like an assembly of clouds. As the devotees chanted the holy names in great ecstasy, tears fell from their eyes like rain.

Text 50: When the saṅkīrtana resounded, it filled the three worlds. Indeed, no one could hear any sounds or musical instruments other than the saṅkīrtana.

Text 51: Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu wandered through all seven groups chanting the holy name, “Hari, Hari!” Raising His arms, He shouted, “All glories to Lord Jagannātha!”

Text 52: Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu then exhibited another mystic power by performing pastimes simultaneously in all seven groups.

Text 53: Everyone said, “Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is present in my group. Indeed, He does not go anywhere else. He is bestowing His mercy upon us.”

Text 54: Actually, no one could see the inconceivable potency of the Lord. Only the most confidential devotees, those in pure, unalloyed devotional service, could understand.

Text 55: Lord Jagannātha was very much pleased by the saṅkīrtana, and He brought His car to a standstill just to see the performance.

Text 56: King Pratāparudra was also astonished to see the saṅkīrtana. He became inactive and was converted to ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa.

Text 57: When the King informed Kāśī Miśra of the glories of the Lord, Kāśī Miśra replied, “O King, your fortune has no limit!”

Text 58: The King and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya were both aware of the Lord’s activities, but no one else could see the tricks of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 59: Only a person who has received the mercy of the Lord can understand. Without the Lord’s mercy, even the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, cannot understand.

Text 60: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had been very satisfied to see the King accept the menial task of sweeping the street, and for this humility the King received the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He could therefore observe the mystery of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s activities.

Text 61: Although the King had been refused an interview, he was indirectly bestowed causeless mercy. Who can understand the internal potency of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu?

Text 62: When the two great personalities Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and Kāśī Miśra saw Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s causeless mercy upon the King, they were astonished.

Text 63: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu performed His pastimes for some time in this way. He personally sang and induced His personal associates to dance.

Text 64: According to His need, the Lord sometimes exhibited one form and sometimes many. This was being executed by His internal potency.

Text 65: Indeed, the Personality of Godhead forgot Himself in the course of His transcendental pastimes, but His internal potency [līlā-śakti], knowing the intentions of the Lord, made all arrangements.

Text 66: Just as Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa formerly performed the rāsa-līlā dance and other pastimes at Vṛndāvana, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu performed uncommon pastimes moment after moment.

Text 67: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s dancing before the Ratha-yātrā car could be perceived only by pure devotees. Others could not understand. Descriptions of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s uncommon dancing can be found in the revealed scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Text 68: In this way Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced in great jubilation and inundated all the people with waves of ecstatic love.

Text 69: Thus Lord Jagannātha mounted His car, and Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu inspired all His devotees to dance in front of it.

Text 70: Now please hear about Lord Jagannātha’s going to the Guṇḍicā temple while Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced before the Ratha car.

Text 71: The Lord performed kīrtana for some time and, through His own endeavor, inspired all the devotees to dance.

Text 72: When the Lord Himself wanted to dance, all seven groups combined together.

Text 73: The Lord’s devotees — including Śrīvāsa, Rāmāi, Raghu, Govinda, Mukunda, Haridāsa, Govindānanda, Mādhava and Govinda — all combined together.

Text 74: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu desired to jump high while dancing, He placed these nine people in the charge of Svarūpa Dāmodara.

Text 75: These devotees [Svarūpa Dāmodara and the devotees in his charge] sang along with the Lord, and they also ran beside Him. All the other groups of men also sang.

Text 76: Offering obeisances to the Lord with folded hands, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu raised His face toward Jagannātha and prayed as follows.

Text 77: ‘Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the worshipable Deity for all brahminical men, who is the well-wisher of cows and brāhmaṇas, and who is always benefiting the whole world. I offer my repeated obeisances to the Personality of Godhead, known as Kṛṣṇa and Govinda.’

Text 78: ‘All glories unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as the son of Devakī! All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as the light of the dynasty of Vṛṣṇi! All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose bodily luster is like that of a new cloud, and whose body is as soft as a lotus flower! All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appeared on this planet to deliver the world from the burden of demons, and who can offer liberation to everyone!’

Text 79: ‘Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is He who is known as jana-nivāsa, the ultimate resort of all living entities, and who is also known as Devakī-nandana or Yaśodā-nandana, the son of Devakī and Yaśodā. He is the guide of the Yadu dynasty, and with His mighty arms He kills everything inauspicious, as well as every man who is impious. By His presence He destroys all things inauspicious for all living entities, moving and inert. His blissful smiling face always increases the lusty desires of the gopīs of Vṛndāvana. May He be all-glorious and happy!’

Text 80: ‘I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya or a śūdra. Nor am I a brahmacārī, a householder, a vānaprastha or a sannyāsī. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the maintainer of the gopīs. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with brilliance.’ ”

Text 81: Having recited all these verses from scripture, the Lord again offered His obeisances, and all the devotees, with folded hands, also offered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Text 82: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced and jumped high, roaring like thunder and moving in a circle like a wheel, He appeared like a circling firebrand.

Text 83: Wherever Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stepped while dancing, the whole earth, with its hills and seas, appeared to tilt.

Text 84: When Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced, He displayed various blissful transcendental changes in His body. Sometimes He appeared as though stunned. Sometimes the hairs of His body stood on end. Sometimes He perspired, cried, trembled and changed color, and sometimes He exhibited symptoms of helplessness, pride, exuberance and humility.

Text 85: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu fell down with a crash while dancing, He would roll on the ground. At such times it appeared that a golden mountain was rolling on the ground.

Text 86: Nityānanda Prabhu would stretch out His two hands and try to catch the Lord when He was running here and there.

Text 87: Advaita Ācārya would walk behind the Lord and loudly chant “Haribol! Haribol!” again and again.

Text 88: Just to check the crowds from coming too near the Lord, the devotees formed three circles. The first circle was guided by Nityānanda Prabhu, who is Balarāma Himself, the possessor of great strength.

Text 89: All the devotees headed by Kāśīśvara and Govinda linked hands and formed a second circle around the Lord.

Text 90: Mahārāja Pratāparudra and his personal assistants formed a third circle around the two inner circles just to check the crowds from coming too near.

Text 91: With his hands on the shoulders of Haricandana, King Pratāparudra could see Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu dancing, and the King felt great ecstasy.

Text 92: While the King beheld the dancing, Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura, standing in front of him, became ecstatic as he saw the dancing of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 93: Seeing Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura standing before the King, Haricandana touched Śrīvāsa with his hand and requested him to step aside.

Text 94: Absorbed in watching Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu dance, Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura could not understand why he was being touched and pushed. After he was pushed again and again, he became angry.

Text 95: Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura slapped Haricandana to stop him from pushing him. In turn, this made Haricandana angry.

Text 96: As the angered Haricandana was about to speak to Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura, Pratāparudra Mahārāja personally stopped him.

Text 97: King Pratāparudra said, “You are very fortunate, for you have been graced by the touch of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura. I am not so fortunate. You should feel obliged to him.”

Text 98: Everyone was astonished by the dancing of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and even Lord Jagannātha became extremely happy to see Him.

Text 99: The car came to a complete standstill and remained immobile while Lord Jagannātha, with unblinking eyes, watched the dancing of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 100: The goddess of fortune, Subhadrā, and Lord Balarāma both felt great happiness and ecstasy within their hearts. Indeed, they were seen smiling at the dancing.

Text 101: When Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced and jumped high, eight wonderful transformations indicative of divine ecstasy were seen in His body. All these symptoms were visible simultaneously.

Text 102: His skin erupted with goose pimples, and the hairs of His body stood on end. His body resembled the śimulī [silk cotton tree], all covered with thorns.

Text 103: Indeed, the people became afraid just to see His teeth chatter, and they even thought that His teeth would fall out.

Text 104: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s whole body flowed with perspiration and at the same time oozed blood. He made the sounds “jaja gaga, jaja gaga” in a voice choked with ecstasy.

Text 105: Tears came forcefully from the eyes of the Lord, as if from a syringe, and all the people surrounding Him became wet.

Text 106: Everyone saw the complexion of His body change from white to pink, so that His luster resembled that of the mallikā flower.

Text 107: Sometimes He appeared stunned, and sometimes He rolled on the ground. Indeed, sometimes His legs and hands became as hard as dry wood, and He did not move.

Text 108: When the Lord fell to the ground, sometimes His breathing almost stopped. When the devotees saw this, their lives also became very feeble.

Text 109: Water flowed from His eyes and sometimes through His nostrils, and foam fell from His mouth. These flowings appeared to be torrents of nectar descending from the moon.

Text 110: The foam that fell from the mouth of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was taken and drunk by Śubhānanda because he was very fortunate and expert in relishing the mellow of ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa.

Text 111: After Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had performed His devastating dance for some time, His mind entered into a mood of ecstatic love.

Text 112: After abandoning the dancing, the Lord ordered Svarūpa Dāmodara to sing. Understanding His mind, Svarūpa Dāmodara began to sing as follows.

Text 113: ‘Now I have gained the Lord of My life, in the absence of whom I was being burned by Cupid and was withering away.’ ”

Text 114: When this refrain was loudly sung by Svarūpa Dāmodara, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu again began rhythmically dancing in transcendental bliss.

Text 115: The car of Lord Jagannātha began to move slowly while the son of mother Śacī went ahead and danced in front.

Text 116: While dancing and singing, all the devotees in front of Lord Jagannātha kept their eyes on Him. Caitanya Mahāprabhu then went to the end of the procession with the saṅkīrtana performers.

Text 117: His eyes and mind fully absorbed in Lord Jagannātha, Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to play the drama of the song with His two arms.

Text 118: When Caitanya Mahāprabhu was dramatically enacting the song, He would sometimes fall behind in the procession. At such times, Lord Jagannātha would come to a standstill. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu again went forward, Lord Jagannātha’s car would slowly start again.

Text 119: Thus there was a sort of competition between Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Lord Jagannātha in seeing who would lead, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu was so strong that He made Lord Jagannātha wait in His car.

Text 120: While Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was dancing, His ecstasy changed. Raising His two arms, He began to recite the following verse in a loud voice.

Text 121: ‘That very personality who stole away my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of mālatī flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, yet still my mind is not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Revā under the Vetasī tree. That is my desire.’ ”

Text 122: This verse was recited by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu again and again. But for Svarūpa Dāmodara, no one could understand its meaning.

Text 123: I have already explained this verse. Now I shall simply describe it in brief.

Text 124: Formerly, all the gopīs of Vṛndāvana were very pleased when they met with Kṛṣṇa in the holy place Kurukṣetra.

Text 125: Similarly, after seeing Lord Jagannātha, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu awoke with the ecstasy of the gopīs. Being absorbed in this ecstasy, He asked Svarūpa Dāmodara to sing the refrain.

Text 126: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu spoke thus to Lord Jagannātha: “You are the same Kṛṣṇa, and I am the same Rādhārāṇī. We are meeting again in the same way that We met in the beginning of Our lives.

Text 127: “Although We are both the same, My mind is still attracted to Vṛndāvana-dhāma. I wish that You will please again appear with Your lotus feet in Vṛndāvana.

Text 128: “In Kurukṣetra there are crowds of people, elephants and horses, and also the rattling of chariots. But in Vṛndāvana there are flower gardens, and the humming of the bees and chirping of the birds can be heard.

Text 129: “Here at Kurukṣetra You are dressed like a royal prince, accompanied by great warriors, but in Vṛndāvana You appeared just like an ordinary cowherd boy, accompanied only by Your beautiful flute.

Text 130: “Here there is not even a drop of the ocean of transcendental happiness that I enjoyed with You in Vṛndāvana.

Text 131: “I therefore request You to come to Vṛndāvana and enjoy pastimes with Me. If You do so, My ambition will be fulfilled.”

Text 132: I have already described in brief Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s statement from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Text 133: In that ecstatic mood, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recited many other verses, but people in general could not understand their meaning.

Text 134: The meaning of those verses was known to Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, but he did not reveal it. However, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī has broadcast the meaning.

Text 135: While dancing, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to recite the following verse, which He tasted in the association of Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī.

Text 136: “[The gopīs spoke thus:] ‘Dear Lord, whose navel is just like a lotus flower, Your lotus feet are the only shelter for those who have fallen into the deep well of material existence. Your feet are worshiped and meditated upon by great mystic yogīs and highly learned philosophers. We wish that these lotus feet may also be awakened within our hearts, although we are only ordinary persons engaged in household affairs.’ ”

Text 137: Speaking in the mood of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “For most people, the mind and heart are one, but because My mind is never separated from Vṛndāvana, I consider My mind and Vṛndāvana to be one. My mind is already Vṛndāvana, and since You like Vṛndāvana, will You please place Your lotus feet there? I would deem that Your full mercy.

Text 138: “My dear Lord, kindly hear My true submission. My home is Vṛndāvana, and I wish Your association there. But if I do not get it, then it will be very difficult for Me to keep My life.

Text 139: “My dear Kṛṣṇa, formerly, when You were staying in Mathurā, You sent Uddhava to teach Me speculative knowledge and mystic yoga. Now You Yourself are speaking the same thing, but My mind doesn’t accept it. There is no place in My mind for jñāna-yoga or dhyāna-yoga. Although You know Me very well, You are still instructing Me in jñāna-yoga and dhyāna-yoga. It is not right for You to do so.”

Text 140: Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “I would like to withdraw My consciousness from You and engage it in material activities, but even though I try, I cannot do so. I am naturally inclined to You only. Your instructions for Me to meditate on You are therefore simply ludicrous. In this way, You are killing Me. It is not very good for You to think of Me as a candidate for Your instructions.

Text 141: “The gopīs are not like the mystic yogīs. They will never be satisfied simply by meditating on Your lotus feet and imitating the so-called yogīs. Teaching the gopīs about meditation is another kind of duplicity. When they are instructed to undergo mystic yoga practice, they are not at all satisfied. On the contrary, they become more and more angry with You.”

Text 142: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “The gopīs have fallen into the great ocean of separation and are being devoured by the timiṅgila fish of their ambition to serve You. The gopīs are to be delivered from the mouths of these timiṅgila fish, for they are pure devotees. Since they have no material conception of life, why should they aspire for liberation? The gopīs do not want that liberation desired by yogīs and jñānīs, for they are already liberated from the ocean of material existence.

Text 143: “It is amazing that You have forgotten the land of Vṛndāvana. And how is it that You have forgotten Your father, mother and friends? How have You forgotten Govardhana Hill, the bank of the Yamunā and the forest where You enjoyed the rāsa-līlā dance?

Text 144: “Kṛṣṇa, You are certainly a refined gentleman with all good qualities. You are well-behaved, softhearted and merciful. I know that there is not even a tinge of fault to be found in You. Yet Your mind does not even remember the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. This is only My misfortune, and nothing else.

Text 145: “I do not care for My personal unhappiness, but when I see the morose face of mother Yaśodā and the hearts of all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana breaking because of You, I wonder whether You want to kill them all. Or do You want to enliven them by coming there? Why are You simply keeping them alive in a state of suffering?

Text 146: “The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana do not want You dressed like a prince, nor do they want You to associate with great warriors in a different country. They cannot leave the land of Vṛndāvana, and without Your presence, they are all dying. What is their condition to be?

Text 147: “My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are the life and soul of Vṛndāvana-dhāma. You are especially the life of Nanda Mahārāja. You are the only opulence in the land of Vṛndāvana, and You are very merciful. Please come and let all the residents of Vṛndāvana live. Kindly keep Your lotus feet again in Vṛndāvana.”

Text 148: After hearing Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s statements, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s love for the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana was evoked, and His body and mind became very much perturbed. After hearing of their love for Him, He immediately thought Himself to be always indebted to the residents of Vṛndāvana. Then Kṛṣṇa began to pacify Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī as follows.

Text 149: “My dearest Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, please hear Me. I am speaking the truth. I cry day and night simply upon remembering all you inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. No one knows how unhappy this makes Me.”

Text 150: Śrī Kṛṣṇa continued: “All the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana-dhāma — My mother, father, cowherd boyfriends and everything else — are like My life and soul. And among all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, the gopīs are My very life and soul. And among the gopīs, You, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, are the chief. Therefore You are the very life of My life.

Text 151: “My dear Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, I am always subservient to the loving affairs of all of you. I am under your control only. My separation from you and residence in distant places have occurred due to My strong misfortune.

Text 152: “When a woman is separated from the man she loves or a man is separated from his beloved woman, neither of them can live. It is a fact that they live only for each other, for if one dies and the other hears of it, he or she will die also.

Text 153: “Such a loving, chaste wife and loving husband desire all welfare for each other in separation and do not care for personal happiness. Desiring only each other’s well-being, such a pair certainly meet again without delay.

Text 154: “You are My most dear, and I know that in My absence You cannot live for a moment. Just to keep You living, I worship Lord Nārāyaṇa. By His merciful potency, I come to Vṛndāvana every day to enjoy pastimes with You. I then return to Dvārakā-dhāma. Thus You can always feel My presence there in Vṛndāvana.

Text 155: “Our love affair is more powerful because of My good fortune in receiving Nārāyaṇa’s grace. This allows Me to come there unseen by others. I hope that very soon I will be visible to everyone.

Text 156: “I have already killed all the mischievous demons who are enemies of the Yadu dynasty, and I have also killed Kaṁsa and his allies. But there are two or four demons still living. I want to kill them, and after doing so I shall very soon return to Vṛndāvana. Please know this for certain.

Text 157: “I wish to protect the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana from the attacks of My enemies. That is why I remain in My kingdom; otherwise I am indifferent to My royal position. Whatever wives, sons and wealth I maintain in the kingdom are only for the satisfaction of the Yadus.

Text 158: “Your loving qualities always attract Me to Vṛndāvana. Indeed, they will bring Me back within ten or twenty days, and when I return I shall enjoy both day and night with You and all the damsels of Vrajabhūmi.”

Text 159: While speaking to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Kṛṣṇa became very anxious to return to Vṛndāvana. He made Her listen to a verse which banished all Her difficulties and which assured Her that She would again attain Kṛṣṇa.

Text 160: Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: “Devotional service unto Me is the only way to attain Me. My dear gopīs, whatever love and affection you have attained for Me by good fortune is the only reason for My returning to you.”

Text 161: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would sit in His room with Svarūpa Dāmodara and taste the topics of these verses day and night.

Text 162: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced completely absorbed in ecstatic emotion. While looking at the face of Lord Jagannātha, He danced and recited these verses.

Text 163: No one can describe the good fortune of Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, for he is always absorbed in the service of the Lord with his body, mind and words.

Text 164: The senses of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu were identical with the senses of Svarūpa. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to become fully absorbed in tasting the singing of Svarūpa Dāmodara.

Text 165: In emotional ecstasy, Caitanya Mahāprabhu would sometimes sit on the ground and, looking down, would write on the ground with His finger.

Text 166: Fearing that the Lord would injure His finger by writing in this way, Svarūpa Dāmodara checked Him with his own hand.

Text 167: Svarūpa Dāmodara used to sing exactly according to the ecstatic emotion of the Lord. Whenever a particular mellow was being tasted by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Svarūpa Dāmodara would personify it by singing.

Text 168: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu looked upon the beautiful lotuslike face and eyes of Lord Jagannātha.

Text 169: Lord Jagannātha was garlanded, dressed with nice garments and adorned with beautiful ornaments. His face was glittering from the rays of sunshine, and the entire atmosphere was fragrant.

Text 170: An ocean of transcendental bliss expanded in the heart of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and symptoms of madness immediately intensified like a hurricane.

Text 171: The madness of transcendental bliss created waves of various emotions. The emotions appeared like opposing soldiers staging a fight.

Text 172: There was an increase in all the natural emotional symptoms. Thus there were awakening emotions, peacefulness, joined, mixed, transcendental and prevalent emotions, and impetuses for emotion.

Text 173: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s body appeared like a transcendental Himalayan mountain bearing ecstatic emotional flower trees, all of them blooming.

Text 174: The sight of all these symptoms attracted everyone’s mind and consciousness. Indeed, the Lord sprinkled everyone’s mind with the nectar of transcendental love of Godhead.

Text 175: He sprinkled the minds of the servants of Lord Jagannātha, the government officers, the pilgrim visitors, the general populace and all the residents of Jagannātha Purī.

Text 176: Upon seeing the dancing and ecstatic love of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, everyone became astonished. In their hearts they became infatuated with love of Kṛṣṇa.

Text 177: Everyone danced and chanted in ecstatic love, and a great noise resounded. Everyone was overwhelmed with transcendental bliss just to see the dancing of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 178: Apart from the others, even Lord Jagannātha and Lord Balarāma, with great happiness, began to move very slowly upon seeing the dancing of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 179: Lord Jagannātha and Lord Balarāma sometimes stopped the car and happily observed Lord Caitanya’s dancing. Anyone who was able to see Them stop and watch the dancing bore witness to Their pastimes.

Text 180: When Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was dancing and wandering in this way, He fell down in front of Mahārāja Pratāparudra.

Text 181: Mahārāja Pratāparudra picked the Lord up with great respect, but upon seeing the King, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to His external senses.

Text 182: After seeing the King, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu condemned Himself, saying, “Oh, how pitiful it is that I have touched a person who is interested in mundane affairs!”

Text 183: Not even Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, Kāśīśvara or Govinda took care of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu when He fell down. Nityānanda was in great ecstasy, and Kāśīśvara and Govinda were elsewhere.

Text 184: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had already been satisfied by the King’s behavior, for the King had accepted the service of a sweeper for Lord Jagannātha. Therefore Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu actually desired to see the King.

Text 185: However, just to warn His personal associates, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, externally expressed feelings of anger.

Text 186: King Pratāparudra became frightened when Lord Caitanya showed external anger, but Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya told the King, “Don’t worry.”

Text 187: Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya informed the King, “The Lord is very satisfied with you. By pointing you out, He was teaching His personal associates how to behave with mundane people.”

Text 188: Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya continued, “I shall submit your petition when there is an opportune moment. It will then be easy for you to come and meet the Lord.”

Text 189: After circumambulating Jagannātha, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went behind the car and began pushing it with His head.

Text 190: As soon as He pushed, the car immediately started to move, making a rattling noise. The people all around began to chant the holy name of the Lord, “Hari! Hari!”

Text 191: As the car began to move, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took His personal associates in front of the cars occupied by Lord Balarāma and Subhadrā, the goddess of fortune. Greatly inspired, He then began to dance in front of them.

Text 192: After finishing the dance before Lord Baladeva and Subhadrā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came before Lord Jagannātha’s car. Upon seeing Lord Jagannātha, He began to dance again.

Text 193: When they reached the place called Balagaṇḍi, Lord Jagannātha stopped His car and began to look left and right.

Text 194: On the left side, Lord Jagannātha saw a neighborhood of brāhmaṇas and a coconut-tree grove. On the right side, He saw nice flower gardens resembling those in the holy place Vṛndāvana.

Text 195: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His devotees were dancing in front of the car, and Lord Jagannātha, having stopped the car, watched the dancing.

Text 196: It was customary that food be offered to the Lord at vipra-śāsana. Indeed, innumerable dishes of food were offered, and Lord Jagannātha tasted each one of them.

Text 197: All kinds of devotees of Lord Jagannātha — from neophytes to the most advanced — offered their best cooked food to the Lord.

Text 198: These devotees included the King, his queens, his ministers and friends and all other big and small residents of Jagannātha Purī.

Text 199: All the visitors who had come from different countries to Jagannātha Purī, as well as the local devotees, offered their personally cooked food to the Lord.

Text 200: The devotees offered their food everywhere — in front of the car and behind it, on the two sides and within the flower garden. Wherever possible, they made their offering to the Lord, for there were no hard and fast rules.

Text 201: While the food was being offered, a large crowd of people gathered. At that time Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stopped His dancing and went to a nearby garden.

Text 202: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu entered the garden and, immersed in great ecstatic emotion, fell flat on a raised platform there.

Text 203: The Lord was very much fatigued from the hard labor of dancing, and there was perspiration all over His body. He therefore enjoyed the fragrant, cool breeze of the garden.

Text 204: All the devotees who had been performing saṅkīrtana came there and took rest under each and every tree.

Text 205: Thus I have described the great performance of congregational chanting by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as He danced in front of Lord Jagannātha.

Text 206: In his prayer known as the Caitanyāṣṭaka, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has given a vivid description of the Lord’s dancing before the car of Jagannātha.

Text 207: “Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced down the main road in great ecstasy before Lord Jagannātha, the master of Nīlācala, who was sitting on His car. Overwhelmed by the transcendental bliss of dancing and surrounded by Vaiṣṇavas who sang the holy names, He manifested waves of ecstatic love of Godhead. When will Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu again be visible to my vision?”

Text 208: Anyone who hears this description of the car festival will attain Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He will also attain the elevated state by which he will have firm conviction in devotional service and love of Godhead.

Text 209: 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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