Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Second Meeting with the Lord
A summary of the first chapter is given by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya as follows. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Jagannātha Purī from Vṛndāvana, all His devotees from other parts of India, upon receiving the auspicious news, came to Puruṣottama-kṣetra, or Jagannātha Purī. Śivānanda Sena took a dog with him and even paid fees for it to cross the river. One night, however, the dog could not get any food and therefore went directly to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī. The next day, when Śivānanda and his party reached Jagannātha Purī, Śivānanda saw the dog eating some coconut pulp offered to it by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. After this incident, the dog was liberated and went back home, back to Godhead.
Meanwhile, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī reached Bengal, after returning from Vṛndāvana. Although he could not follow the Bengali devotees, after some time he also came to Jagannātha Purī, where he stayed with Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī composed an important verse beginning with the words priyaḥ so ’yam, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu relished it very much. One day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Rāmānanda Rāya, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and others went to the place of Haridāsa Ṭhākura and heard some of the verses Rūpa Gosvāmī had composed for his books Lalita-mādhava and Vidagdha-mādhava. After examining the manuscripts of these two books, Rāmānanda Rāya approved and appreciated them very much. After the period of Cāturmāsya, all the devotees who had come from Bengal returned to their homes. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, however, remained at Jagannātha Purī for some time.
Text 1: I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by whose mercy even a lame man can cross over a mountain and a dumb man recite Vedic literature.
Text 2: My path is very difficult. I am blind, and my feet are slipping again and again. Therefore, may the saints help me by granting me the stick of their mercy as my support.
Texts 3-4: I pray to the lotus feet of the six Gosvāmīs — Śrī Rūpa, Sanātana, Bhaṭṭa Raghunātha, Śrī Jīva, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa and Dāsa Raghunātha — so that all impediments to my writing this literature will be annihilated and my real desire will be fulfilled.
Text 5: Glory to the all-merciful Rādhā and Madana-mohana! I am lame and ill advised, yet They are my directors, and Their lotus feet are everything to me.
Text 6: In a temple of jewels in Vṛndāvana, underneath a desire tree, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, served by Their most confidential associates, sit upon an effulgent throne. I offer my humble obeisances unto Them.
Text 7: Śrī Śrīla Gopīnātha, who originated the transcendental mellow of the rāsa dance, stands on the shore at Vaṁśīvaṭa and attracts the attention of the cowherd damsels with the sound of His celebrated flute. May they all confer upon us their benediction.
Text 8: All glories to Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityānanda! All glories to Advaita Ācārya! And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu!
Text 9: I have briefly described the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu known as the madhya-līlā. Now I shall attempt to describe something about His last pastimes, which are known as the antya-līlā.
Text 10: I have briefly described the antya-līlā within the description of the madhya-līlā.
Text 11: I am now almost an invalid because of old age, and I know that at any moment I may die. Therefore I have already described some portions of the antya-līlā.
Text 12: In accordance with the synopsis previously written, I shall describe in detail whatever I have not mentioned.
Text 13: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Jagannātha Purī from Vṛndāvana, Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosāñi immediately sent news of the Lord’s arrival to the devotees in Bengal.
Text 14: Upon hearing this news, mother Śacī and all the other devotees of Navadvīpa were very joyful, and they all departed together for Nīlācala [Jagannātha Purī].
Text 15: Thus all the devotees of Kulīna-grāma and Śrī Khaṇḍa, as well as Advaita Ācārya, came together to meet Śivānanda Sena.
Text 16: Śivānanda Sena arranged for the journey. He maintained everyone and provided residential quarters.
Text 17: While going to Jagannātha Purī, Śivānanda Sena allowed a dog to go with him. He supplied it food to eat and maintained it.
Text 18: One day, when they needed to cross a river, an Orissan boatman would not allow the dog to get in the boat.
Text 19: Śivānanda Sena, unhappy that the dog had to stay behind, paid the boatman ten paṇa of conchshells to take the dog across the river.
Text 20: One day while Śivānanda was detained by a tollman, his servant forgot to give the dog its cooked rice.
Text 21: At night, when Śivānanda Sena returned and was taking his meal, he inquired from the servant whether the dog had gotten its meals.
Text 22: When he learned that the dog had not been supplied food in his absence, he was very unhappy. He then immediately sent ten men to find the dog.
Text 23: When the men returned without success, Śivānanda Sena became very unhappy and fasted for the night.
Text 24: In the morning they looked for the dog, but it could not be found anywhere. All the Vaiṣṇavas were astonished.
Text 25: Thus in great anxiety they all walked to Jagannātha Purī, where Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu met them as usual.
Text 26: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went with them to see the Lord in the temple, and on that day He also took lunch in the company of all those devotees.
Text 27: As previously, the Lord provided them all with residential quarters. And the next morning all the devotees came to see the Lord.
Text 28: When all the devotees came to the place of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they saw the same dog sitting a little apart from the Lord.
Text 29: Furthermore, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was throwing remnants of green coconut pulp to the dog. Smiling in His own way, He was saying to the dog, “Chant the holy names ‘Rāma,’ ‘Kṛṣṇa’ and ‘Hari.’ ”
Text 30: Seeing the dog eating the green coconut pulp and chanting “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa” again and again, all the devotees present were very surprised.
Text 31: When he saw the dog sitting in that way and chanting the name of Kṛṣṇa, Śivānanda, because of his natural humility, immediately offered his obeisances to the dog just to counteract his offenses to it.
Text 32: The next day, no one saw that dog, for it had obtained its spiritual body and departed for Vaikuṇṭha, the spiritual kingdom.
Text 33: Such are the transcendental pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the son of mother Śacī. He even delivered a dog simply by inducing it to chant the mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Text 34: Meanwhile, following the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī returned to Vṛndāvana. He desired to write dramas concerning the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Text 35: In Vṛndāvana, Rūpa Gosvāmī began to write a drama. In particular, he composed the introductory verses to invoke good fortune.
Text 36: On his way to Gauḍa-deśa, Rūpa Gosvāmī had been thinking of how to write the action of the drama. Thus he had made some notes and begun to write.
Text 37: In this way the two brothers Rūpa and Anupama reached Bengal, but when they arrived there Anupama died.
Text 38: Rūpa Gosvāmī then departed to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, for he was very eager to see Him.
Text 39: There was some delay because of the death of Anupama, and therefore when Rūpa Gosvāmī went to Bengal to see the devotees there, he could not get in touch with them because they had already left.
Text 40: In the province of Orissa there is a place known as Satyabhāmā-pura. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī rested for a night in that village on his way to Jagannātha Purī.
Text 41: While resting in Satyabhāmā-pura, he dreamed that a celestially beautiful woman came before him and very mercifully gave him the following order.
Text 42: “Write a separate drama about me,” she said. “By my mercy it will be extraordinarily beautiful.”
Text 43: After having that dream, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī considered, “It is the order of Satyabhāmā that I write a separate drama for her.
Text 44: “I have brought together in one work all the pastimes performed by Lord Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana and in Dvārakā. Now I shall have to divide them into two dramas.”
Text 45: Thus absorbed in thought, he quickly reached Jagannātha Purī. When he arrived, he approached the hut of Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
Text 46: Out of affectionate love and mercy, Haridāsa Ṭhākura told Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, “Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has already informed me that you would come here.”
Text 47: After seeing the upala-bhoga ceremony at the Jagannātha temple, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would regularly come to see Haridāsa every day. Thus He suddenly arrived there.
Text 48: When the Lord arrived, Rūpa Gosvāmī immediately offered his obeisances. Haridāsa informed the Lord, “This is Rūpa Gosvāmī offering You obeisances,” and the Lord embraced him.
Text 49: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then sat down with Haridāsa and Rūpa Gosvāmī. They inquired from one another about auspicious news and then continued to talk together for some time.
Text 50: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired about Sanātana Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī replied, “I did not meet him.
Text 51: “I came by the path on the bank of the Ganges, whereas Sanātana Gosvāmī came by the public road. Therefore we did not meet.
Text 52: “In Prayāga I heard that he had already gone to Vṛndāvana.” Rūpa Gosvāmī next informed the Lord about the death of Anupama.
Text 53: After allotting residential quarters there to Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu left. Then all of the Lord’s personal associates met Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.
Text 54: On the next day, Caitanya Mahāprabhu again met Rūpa Gosvāmī, and with great mercy the Lord introduced him to all the devotees.
Text 55: Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī offered his respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of them all, and all the devotees, by their mercy, embraced him.
Text 56: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told Advaita Ācārya and Nityānanda Prabhu, “You should both show Your mercy wholeheartedly to Rūpa Gosvāmī.
Text 57: “May Rūpa Gosvāmī, by Your mercy, become so powerful that he will be able to describe the transcendental mellows of devotional service.”
Text 58: Thus Rūpa Gosvāmī became the object of love and affection for all the devotees of the Lord, including those who came from Bengal and those who resided in Orissa.
Text 59: Every day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would go to see Rūpa Gosvāmī, and whatever prasādam He received from the temple He would deliver to Rūpa Gosvāmī and Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
Text 60: He would talk for some time with them both and then leave to perform His noontime duties.
Text 61: In this way Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s dealings with them continued every day. Thus receiving the transcendental favor of the Lord, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī felt unlimited pleasure.
Text 62: After Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, taking all His devotees with Him, performed the Guṇḍicā-mārjana [washing and cleansing of the Guṇḍicā temple], He went to the garden known as Āiṭoṭā and accepted prasādam at a picnic within the garden.
Text 63: When Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Rūpa Gosvāmī saw that all the devotees were accepting prasādam and chanting the holy name of Hari, they both were greatly pleased.
Text 64: When they received the remnants of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s prasādam through Govinda, they respected it, and then they both began to dance in ecstasy.
Text 65: On the next day, when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to see Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the omniscient Lord spoke as follows.
Text 66: “Do not try to take Kṛṣṇa out of Vṛndāvana, for He does not go anywhere else at any time.
Text 67: “ ‘The Kṛṣṇa known as Yadu-kumāra is Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa. He is different from the Kṛṣṇa who is the son of Nanda Mahārāja. Yadu-kumāra Kṛṣṇa manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathurā and Dvārakā, but Kṛṣṇa the son of Nanda Mahārāja never at any time leaves Vṛndāvana.’ ”
Text 68: After saying this, Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to perform His noontime duties, leaving Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī somewhat surprised.
Text 69: “Satyabhāmā ordered me to write two different dramas,” Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī thought. “Now I understand that this order has been confirmed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text 70: “Formerly I wrote the two dramas as one composition. Now I shall divide it and describe the incidents in two separate works.
Text 71: “I shall write two separate invocations of good fortune and two different introductions. Let me think deeply about the matter and then describe two different sets of incidents.”
Text 72: During the Ratha-yātrā ceremony Rūpa Gosvāmī saw Lord Jagannātha. He also saw Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu dancing and chanting in front of the ratha.
Text 73: When Rūpa Gosvāmī heard a verse uttered by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu during the ceremony, he immediately composed another verse dealing with the same subject.
Text 74: I have already described all these incidents, but I still wish to add briefly something more.
Text 75: Generally Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recited a verse while dancing and chanting before the ratha, but no one knew why He was reciting that particular verse.
Text 76: Only Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī knew the purpose for which the Lord recited that verse. According to the Lord’s attitude, he used to quote other verses to enable the Lord to relish mellows.
Text 77: Rūpa Gosvāmī, however, could understand the intention of the Lord, and thus he composed another verse that appealed to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text 78: “That very personality who stole 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 79: “My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Kṛṣṇa on this field of Kurukṣetra. I am the same Rādhārāṇī, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but I would still like to go to the bank of the Yamunā beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vṛndāvana.”
Text 80: After writing this verse on a palm leaf, Rūpa Gosvāmī put it somewhere in his thatched roof and went to bathe in the sea.
Text 81: At that time, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went there to meet him, and when He saw the leaf pushed into the roof and saw the verse, He began to read it.
Text 82: After reading the verse, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was overwhelmed by ecstatic love. At that very time, Rūpa Gosvāmī returned, having finished bathing in the sea.
Text 83: Seeing the Lord, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī fell flat in the courtyard to offer obeisances. The Lord slapped him mildly in love and spoke as follows.
Text 84: “My heart is very confidential. How did you know My mind in this way?” After saying this, He firmly embraced Rūpa Gosvāmī.
Text 85: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took that verse and showed it to Svarūpa Dāmodara for him to examine. Then the Lord questioned him.
Text 86: “How could Rūpa Gosvāmī have understood My heart?” the Lord asked.
Text 87: “No one could otherwise understand this meaning. I can therefore guess that previously You bestowed upon him Your causeless mercy.”
Text 88: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “Rūpa Gosvāmī met Me at Prayāga. Knowing him to be a suitable person, I naturally bestowed My mercy upon him.
Text 89: “I thereupon also bestowed upon him My transcendental potency. Now you also should give him instructions. In particular, instruct him in transcendental mellows.”
Text 90: Svarūpa Dāmodara said, “As soon as I saw the unique composition of this verse, I could immediately understand that You had bestowed upon him Your special mercy.
Text 91: “ ‘By seeing a result, one can understand the cause of that result.’
Text 92: “ ‘The river Ganges flowing in the heavenly planets is full of golden lotus flowers, and we, the residents of those planets, eat the stems of the flowers. Thus we are very beautiful, more so than the inhabitants of any other planet. This is due to the law of cause and effect, for if one eats food in the mode of goodness, the mode of goodness increases the beauty of his body.’ ”
Text 93: After the four months of Cāturmāsya [Śrāvaṇa, Bhādra, Āśvina and Kārttika], all the Vaiṣṇavas of Bengal returned to their homes, but Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī remained in Jagannātha Purī under the shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text 94: One day while Rūpa Gosvāmī was writing his book, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu suddenly appeared.
Text 95: As soon as Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Rūpa Gosvāmī saw the Lord coming, they both stood up and then fell down to offer Him their respectful obeisances. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced them both and then sat down.
Text 96: The Lord inquired, “What kind of book are you writing?” He held up a palm leaf that was a page of the manuscript, and when He saw the fine handwriting, His mind was very pleased.
Text 97: Thus being pleased, the Lord praised the writing by saying, “The handwriting of Rūpa Gosvāmī is just like rows of pearls.”
Text 98: While reading the manuscript, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw a verse on that page, and as soon as He read it He was overwhelmed by ecstatic love.
Text 99: “I do not know how much nectar the two syllables ‘Kṛṣ-ṇa’ have produced. When the holy name of Kṛṣṇa is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert.”
Text 100: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu chanted this verse, Haridāsa Ṭhākura, upon hearing the vibration, became jubilant and began to dance while praising its meaning.
Text 101: One has to learn about the beauty and transcendental position of the holy name of the Lord by hearing the revealed scriptures from the mouths of devotees. Nowhere else can we hear of the sweetness of the Lord’s holy name.
Text 102: Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced Haridāsa and Rūpa Gosvāmī and left for the seaside to perform His noontime duties.
Texts 103-104: On the next day, after visiting the temple of Jagannātha as usual, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu met Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara. They all went together to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, and on the way the Lord greatly praised his qualities.
Text 105: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recited the two important verses, He felt great pleasure; thus, as if He had five mouths, He began to praise His devotee.
Text 106: Just to examine Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and Rāmānanda Rāya, the Lord began to praise the transcendental qualities of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī before them.
Text 107: Characteristically, the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not take seriously an offense committed by a pure devotee. The Lord accepts whatever small service a devotee renders as being such a great service that He is prepared to give even Himself, what to speak of other benedictions.
Text 108: “The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Puruṣottama, the greatest of all persons, has a pure mind. He is so gentle that even if His servant is implicated in a great offense, He does not take it very seriously. Indeed, if His servant renders some small service, the Lord accepts it as being very great. Even if an envious person blasphemes the Lord, the Lord never manifests anger against him. Such are His great qualities.”
Text 109: When Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Rūpa Gosvāmī saw that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had come with His intimate devotees, they both immediately fell down like logs and offered prayers to their lotus feet.
Text 110: Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His personal devotees met Rūpa Gosvāmī and Haridāsa Ṭhākura. The Lord then sat down in an elevated place with His devotees.
Text 111: Rūpa Gosvāmī and Haridāsa Ṭhākura sat at the foot of the elevated place where Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was sitting. Although everyone asked them to sit on the same level as the Lord and His associates, they did not do so.
Text 112: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered Rūpa Gosvāmī to read the verse they had previously heard, Rūpa Gosvāmī, because of great shyness, did not read it but instead remained silent.
Text 113: Then Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī recited the verse, and when all the devotees heard it, their minds were struck with wonder.
Text 114: “ ‘My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Kṛṣṇa on this field of Kurukṣetra. I am the same Rādhārāṇī, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but I would still like to go to the bank of the Yamunā beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vṛndāvana.’ ”
Text 115: After hearing this verse, Rāmānanda Rāya and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya said to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “Without Your special mercy, how could this Rūpa Gosvāmī have understood Your mind?”
Text 116: Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya said that previously Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had empowered his heart so that he could express elevated and conclusive statements to which even Lord Brahmā has no access.
Text 117: “Had You not previously bestowed Your mercy on him,” they said, “it would not have been possible for him to express Your internal feelings.”
Text 118: Then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “My dear Rūpa, please recite that verse from your drama which, upon being heard, makes all people’s unhappiness and lamentation go away.”
Text 119: When the Lord persisted in asking this again and again, Rūpa Gosvāmī recited that verse [as follows].
Text 120: “ ‘I do not know how much nectar the two syllables “Kṛṣ-ṇa” have produced. When the holy name of Kṛṣṇa is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert.’ ”
Text 121: When all the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, especially Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya, heard this verse, they were all filled with transcendental bliss and were struck with wonder.
Text 122: Everyone admitted that although they had heard many statements glorifying the holy name of the Lord, they had never heard such sweet descriptions as those of Rūpa Gosvāmī.
Text 123: Rāmānanda Rāya inquired, “What kind of drama are you writing? We can understand that it is a mine of conclusive statements.”
Text 124: Svarūpa Dāmodara replied for Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī: “He wanted to compose a drama about the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He planned to describe in one book both the pastimes of Vṛndāvana and those of Dvārakā and Mathurā.
Text 125: “He began it in that way, but now, following the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he has divided it in two and is writing two plays, one concerning the pastimes of Mathurā and Dvārakā and the other concerning the pastimes of Vṛndāvana.
Text 126: “The two plays are called Vidagdha-mādhava and Lalita-mādhava. Both of them wonderfully describe ecstatic emotional love of God.”
Text 127: Rāmānanda Rāya said, “Please recite the introductory verse of the Vidagdha-mādhava so that I can hear and examine it.” Thus Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, being ordered by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, recited the verse (1.1).
Text 128: “ ‘May the pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa reduce the miseries existing in the material world and nullify all unwanted desires. The pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are like śikhariṇī, a blend of yogurt and sugar candy. They overpower the pride of even the nectar produced on the moon, for they distribute the sweet fragrance of the concentrated loving affairs of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and the gopīs.’ ”
Text 129: Rāmānanda Rāya said, “Now please recite the description of the glories of your worshipable Deity.” Rūpa Gosvāmī, however, hesitated due to embarrassment because Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was present.
Text 130: The Lord, however, encouraged Rūpa Gosvāmī, saying, “Why are you embarrassed? You should recite it so the devotees can hear the good fruit of your writing.”
Text 131: When Rūpa Gosvāmī thus recited his verse, Caitanya Mahāprabhu disapproved of it because it described His personal glories. He expressed the opinion that it was an exaggerated explanation.
Text 132: “ ‘May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacīdevī be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.’ ”
Text 133: All the devotees present so greatly appreciated this verse that they expressed their gratitude to Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī for his transcendental recitation.
Text 134: Rāmānanda Rāya inquired, “How have you introduced the assembly of the players?”
Text 135: “ ‘When the entrance of the actors is set in motion by the arrival of a suitable time, the entrance is called pravartaka.’
Text 136: “ ‘Springtime had arrived, and the full moon of that season inspired the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is complete in everything, with new attraction to meet the beautiful Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī at night to increase the beauty of Their pastimes.’ ”
Text 137: Rāmānanda Rāya said, “Please recite the prarocanā portion so that I may hear and examine it.”
Text 138: “ ‘The devotees now present are constantly thinking of the Supreme Lord and are therefore highly advanced. This work named Vidagdha-mādhava depicts the characteristic pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa with decorations of poetic ornaments. And the inner grounds of the forest of Vṛndāvana provide a suitable platform for the dancing of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs. Therefore I think that the pious activities of persons like us, who have tried to advance in devotional service, have now attained maturity.’
Text 139: “ ‘O learned devotees, I am by nature ignorant and low, yet even though it is from me that the Vidagdha-mādhava has come, it is filled with descriptions of the transcendental attributes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, will not such a literature bring about the attainment of the highest goal of life? Although its wood may be ignited by a low-class man, fire can nevertheless purify gold. Similarly, although I am very low by nature, this book may help cleanse the dirt from within the hearts of the golden devotees.’ ”
Text 140: Then Rāmānanda Rāya inquired from Rūpa Gosvāmī about the causes of the loving affairs between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs, such as previous attachment, transformations of love, endeavors for love, and exchanges of letters disclosing the gopīs’ awakening love for Kṛṣṇa.
Text 141: Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī gradually informed Rāmānanda Rāya about everything he asked. Hearing his explanations, all the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu were struck with wonder.
Text 142: “[Experiencing previous attachment to Kṛṣṇa (pūrva-rāga), Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī thought:] ‘Since I have heard the name of a person called Kṛṣṇa, I have practically lost My good sense. Then, there is another person who plays His flute in such a way that after I hear the vibration, intense madness arises in My heart. And again there is still another person to whom My mind becomes attached when I see His beautiful lightninglike effulgence in His picture. Therefore I think that I am greatly condemned, for I have become simultaneously attached to three persons. It would be better for Me to die because of this.’
Text 143: “ ‘My dear friend, these palpitations of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s heart are extremely difficult to cure. Even if one applied some medical treatment, it would only end in defamation.’
Text 144: “ ‘O dearly beautiful one, the artistic loveliness of Your picture is now impressed within My mind. Since You are now living within My mind, wherever I wish to run because I am agitated by impressions of You, I find that You, O My friend, are blocking My way.”’
Text 145: “ ‘Upon seeing peacock feathers in front of Her, this girl suddenly begins trembling. When She sometimes sees a necklace of guñjā [small conchshells], She sheds tears and cries loudly. I do not know what kind of new ecstatic influence has entered the heart of this poor girl. It has imbued Her with the dancing attitude of a player creating wonderful, unprecedented dances on a stage.’
Text 146: “[Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī said to Her constant companion Viśākhā:] ‘My dear friend, if Kṛṣṇa is unkind to Me, there will be no need for you to cry, for it will not be due to any fault of yours. I shall then have to die, but afterwards please do one thing for Me: to observe My funeral ceremony, place My body with its arms embracing a tamāla tree like creepers so that I may remain forever in Vṛndāvana undisturbed. That is My last request.’ ”
Text 147: Rāmānanda Rāya inquired, “What are the characteristics of emotional love?”
Text 148: “ ‘My dear beautiful friend, if one develops love of Godhead, love of Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja, all the bitter and sweet influences of this love will manifest in one’s heart. Such love of Godhead acts in two ways. The poisonous effects of love of Godhead defeat the severe and fresh poison of the serpent. Yet there is simultaneously transcendental bliss, which pours down and defeats the poisonous effects of a snake, as well as the happiness derived from pouring nectar on one’s head. It is perceived as doubly effective, simultaneously poisonous and nectarean.’ ”
Text 149: Rāmānanda Rāya further inquired, “What are the natural characteristics of awakening love of Godhead?”
Text 150: “ ‘When one hears praise from his beloved, he outwardly remains neutral but feels pain within his heart. When he hears his beloved making accusations about him, he takes them to be jokes and enjoys pleasure. When he finds faults in his beloved, they do not diminish his love, nor do the beloved’s good qualities increase his spontaneous affection. Thus spontaneous love continues under all circumstances. That is how spontaneous love of Godhead acts within the heart.’
Text 151: “ ‘Upon hearing of My cruelty, moon-faced Rādhārāṇī may establish some kind of tolerance in Her aggrieved heart. But then She might turn against Me. Or, indeed, being fearful of the lusty desires invoked by the bow of formidable Cupid, She might even give up Her life. Alas! I have foolishly uprooted the soft creeper of Her desire just when it was ready to bear fruit.’
Text 152: “ ‘Desiring the happiness of His association and embraces, My dear friend, I disregarded even My superiors and relaxed My shyness and gravity before them. Furthermore, although you are My best friend, more dear to Me than My own life, I have given you so much trouble. Indeed, I even put aside the vow of dedication to My husband, a vow kept by the most elevated women. Oh, alas! Although He is now neglecting Me, I am so sinful that I am still living. Therefore I must condemn My so-called patience.’
Text 153: “ ‘I was engaged in My own playful activities in My home, and because of My childish innocence I did not know right from wrong. Therefore, is it good for You to have forced Us into being so much attracted to You and then to have neglected Us? Now You are indifferent to Us. Do You think this is right?’
Text 154: “ ‘Our hearts are so polluted by miserable conditions that we are certainly going to Pluto’s kingdom. Nevertheless, Kṛṣṇa does not give up His beautiful loving smiling, which is full of cheating tricks. O Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, You are very intelligent. How could You have developed such great loving affection for this deceitful debauchee from the neighborhood of the cowherds?’
Text 155: “ ‘O Lord Kṛṣṇa, You are just like an ocean. The river of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī has reached You from a long distance — leaving far behind the tree of Her husband, breaking through the bridge of social convention, and forcibly crossing the hills of elder relatives. Coming here because of fresh feelings of love for You, that river has now received Your shelter, but now You are trying to turn Her back by the waves of unfavorable words. How is it that You are spreading this attitude?’ ”
Text 156: Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya further inquired, “How have you described Vṛndāvana, the vibration of the transcendental flute, and the relationship between Kṛṣṇa and Rādhikā?
Text 157: “Please tell me all this, for your poetic ability is wonderful.” After offering obeisances to Rāmānanda Rāya, Rūpa Gosvāmī gradually began answering his inquiries.
Text 158: “ ‘The sweet, fragrant honey oozing from newly grown mango buds is again and again attracting groups of bumblebees, and this forest is trembling in the softly moving breezes from the Malaya Hills, which are full of sandalwood trees. Thus the forest of Vṛndāvana is increasing My transcendental pleasure.’
Text 159: “ ‘My dear friend, see how this forest of Vṛndāvana is full of transcendental creepers and trees. The tops of the creepers are full of flowers, and intoxicated bumblebees are buzzing around them, humming songs that please the ear and surpass even the Vedic hymns.’
Text 160: “ ‘My dear friend, this forest of Vṛndāvana is giving great pleasure to our senses in various ways. Somewhere bumblebees are singing in groups, and in some places mild breezes are cooling the entire atmosphere. Somewhere the creepers and tree twigs are dancing, the mallikā flowers are expanding their fragrance, and an overabundance of juice is constantly flowing in showers from pomegranate fruits.’
Text 161: “ ‘The flute of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes measures three fingers in length, and it is bedecked with indranīla gems. At the ends of the flute are aruṇa gems [rubies], glittering beautifully, and between its ends the flute is plated with gold set ablaze by diamonds. This auspicious flute, pleasing to Kṛṣṇa, is glittering in His hand with transcendental brilliance.’
Text 162: “ ‘My dear friend the flute, it appears that you have been born of a very good family, for your residence is in the hands of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. By birth you are simple and are not at all crooked. Why then have you taken initiation into this dangerous mantra that enchants the assembled gopīs?’
Text 163: “ ‘My dear friend the flute, you are actually full of many holes or faults. You are light, hard, juiceless and full of knots. But what kind of pious activities have engaged you in the service of being kissed by the Lord and embraced by His hands?’
Text 164: “ ‘The transcendental vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute blocked the movements of the rain clouds, struck the Gandharvas full of wonder, and agitated the meditation of great saintly persons like Sanaka and Sanandana. It created wonder in Lord Brahmā, wrought intense curiosity that agitated the mind of Bali Mahārāja, who was otherwise firmly fixed, made Mahārāja Ananta, the carrier of the planets, whirl around, and penetrated the strong coverings of the universe. Thus the sound of the flute in the hands of Kṛṣṇa created a wonderful situation.’
Text 165: “ ‘The beauty of Kṛṣṇa’s eyes surpasses the beauty of white lotus flowers, His yellow garments surpass the brilliance of fresh decorations of kuṅkuma, His ornaments of selected forest flowers subdue the hankering for the best of garments, and His bodily beauty possesses mind-attracting splendor greater than the jewels known as marakata-maṇi [emeralds].’
Text 166: “ ‘O most beautiful friend, please accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is standing before You full of transcendental bliss. The borders of His eyes roam from side to side, and His eyebrows move slowly like bumblebees on His lotuslike face. Standing with His right foot placed below the knee of His left leg, the middle of His body curved in three places, and His neck gracefully tilted to the side, He takes His flute to His pursed lips and moves His fingers upon it here and there.’
Text 167: “ ‘O beautiful-faced one, who is this creative person standing before us? With the sharp chisels of His loving glances, He is splitting the hard stones of many women’s devotion to their husbands. And with the luster of His body, surpassing the brilliance of countless emeralds, He is simultaneously constructing private meeting places for His pastimes.’
Text 168: “ ‘My dear friend, this newly youthful Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the moon in the family of Nanda Mahārāja, is so beautiful that He defies the beauty of clusters of valuable jewels. All glories to the vibration of His flute, for it is cunningly breaking the patience of chaste ladies by loosening their belts and tight dresses.’
Text 169: “ ‘The beauty of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of Her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold into a painful situation. Thus the wonderful, unprecedented beauty of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is awakening in Vṛndāvana.’
Text 170: “ ‘Although the effulgence of the moon is brilliant initially at night, in the daytime it fades away. Similarly, although the lotus is beautiful during the daytime, at night it closes. But, O My friend, the face of My most dear Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is always bright and beautiful, both day and night. Therefore, to what can Her face be compared?’
Text 171: “ ‘When Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī smiles, waves of joy flow over Her cheeks, and Her arched eyebrows dance like the bow of Cupid. Her glance is so enchanting that it is like a dancing bumblebee moving unsteadily due to intoxication. That bee has bitten the whorl of My heart.’ ”
Text 172: Having heard these verses recited by Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya said, “Your poetic expressions are like continuous showers of nectar. Kindly let me hear the introductory portion of the second drama.”
Text 173: Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī said, “In your presence, which is just like brilliant sunshine, I am as insignificant as the light of a glowworm.
Text 174: “It is even impudent for me to open my mouth before you.” Then, having said this, he recited the introductory verse of the Lalita-mādhava.
Text 175: “ ‘The beautiful moonlike glories of Mukunda give distress to the lotuslike faces of the wives of the demons and to their raised breasts, which are like gleaming cakravāka birds. Those glories, however, are pleasing to all His devotees, who are like cakora birds. May those glories forever give pleasure to you all.’ ”
Text 176: When Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya further inquired about the second introductory verse, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī was somewhat hesitant, but nevertheless he began to recite.
Text 177: “ ‘The moonlike Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as the son of mother Śacī, has now appeared on earth to spread devotional love of Himself. He is the emperor of the brāhmaṇa community. He can drive away all the darkness of ignorance and control the mind of everyone in the world. May that rising moon bestow upon us all good fortune.’ ”
Text 178: Although Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was inwardly greatly pleased when He heard this verse, externally He spoke as if angry.
Text 179: “Your exalted poetic descriptions of the mellows of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are like an ocean of nectar. But why have you put in a false prayer about Me? It is like a drop of detestable alkali.”
Text 180: Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya objected, “It is not alkali at all. It is a particle of camphor he has put into the nectar of his exalted poetic expression.”
Text 181: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “My dear Rāmānanda Rāya, you are jubilant at hearing these poetic expressions, but I am ashamed to hear them, for people in general will joke about the subject of this verse.”
Text 182: Rāmānanda Rāya said, “Instead of joking, people in general will feel great pleasure in hearing such poetry, for the initial remembrance of the worshipable Deity invokes good fortune.”
Text 183: Rāmānanda Rāya inquired, “By which subdivision of style do the players enter?” Rūpa Gosvāmī then began to speak specifically about this subject.
Text 184: “ ‘While dancing on the stage after having killed the ruler of uncivilized men [Kaṁsa], Lord Kṛṣṇa, master of all arts, will at the proper time accept the hand of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is qualified with all transcendental attributes.’
Text 185: “This introduction is technically called udghātyaka, and the whole scene is called vīthī. You are so expert in dramatic expression that each of my statements before you is like a wave from an ocean of impudence.
Text 186: “ ‘To explain an unclear word, men generally join it with other words. Such an attempt is called udghātyaka.’ ”
Text 187: When Rāmānanda Rāya requested Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī to speak further about various portions of the play, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī briefly quoted his Lalita-mādhava.
Text 188: “ ‘The dust from cows and calves on the road creates a kind of darkness indicating that Kṛṣṇa is returning home from the pasture. Also, the darkness of evening provokes the gopīs to meet Kṛṣṇa. Thus the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs are covered by a kind of transcendental darkness and are therefore impossible for ordinary scholars of the Vedas to see.’
Text 189: “ ‘May the sweet sound of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s flute, His authorized messenger, be glorified, for it expertly releases Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī from Her shyness and attracts Her from Her home to the forest.’
Text 190: “ ‘My dear friend, who is this fearless young man? He is as bright as a lightning cloud, and He wanders in His pastimes like a maddened elephant. From where has He come to Vṛndāvana? Alas, by His restless movements and attractive glances He is plundering from the vault of My heart the treasure of My patience.’
Text 191: “ ‘Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the Ganges in which the elephant of My mind enjoys pastimes. She is the shining of the full autumn moon for the cakora birds of My eyes. She is the dazzling ornament, the bright and beautiful arrangement of stars, on the border of the sky of My chest. Now today I have gained Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī because of the highly elevated state of My mind.’ ”
Text 192: After hearing this, Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya submitted at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu the superexcellence of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s poetic expression and began to praise it as if he had thousands of mouths.
Text 193: Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya said, “This is not a poetic presentation; it is a continuous shower of nectar. Indeed, it is the essence of all ultimate realizations, appearing in the form of plays.
Text 194: “The wonderful descriptions of Rūpa Gosvāmī are superb arrangements to express loving affairs. Hearing them will plunge the heart and ears of everyone into a whirlpool of transcendental bliss.
Text 195: “ ‘What is the use of a bowman’s arrow or a poet’s poetry if they penetrate the heart but do not cause the head to spin?’
Text 196: “Without Your mercy such poetic expressions would be impossible for an ordinary living being to write. My guess is that You have given him the power.”
Text 197: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “I met Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī at Prayāga. He attracted and satisfied Me because of his qualities.”
Text 198: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu praised the metaphors and other literary ornaments of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s transcendental poetry. Without such poetic attributes, He said, there is no possibility of preaching transcendental mellows.
Text 199: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu requested all His personal associates to bless Rūpa Gosvāmī so that he might continuously describe the pastimes of Vṛndāvana, which are full of emotional love of Godhead.
Text 200: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s elder brother, whose name is Sanātana Gosvāmī, is such a wise and learned scholar that no one is equal to him.”
Text 201: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told Rāmānanda Rāya, “Sanātana Gosvāmī’s renunciation of material connections is just like yours. Humility, renunciation and excellent learning exist in him simultaneously.
Text 202: “I empowered both of these brothers to go to Vṛndāvana to expand the literature of bhakti.”
Text 203: Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya replied to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “My Lord, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If You like, You can cause even a wooden doll to dance.
Text 204: “I see that the truths regarding transcendental mellows that You expounded through my mouth are all explained in the writings of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.
Text 205: “Because of Your causeless mercy toward Your devotees, You want to describe the transcendental pastimes in Vṛndāvana. Anyone empowered to do this can bring the entire world under Your influence.”
Text 206: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then embraced Rūpa Gosvāmī and asked him to offer prayers at the lotus feet of all the devotees present.
Text 207: Advaita Ācārya, Nityānanda Prabhu and all the other devotees showed their causeless mercy to Rūpa Gosvāmī by embracing him in return.
Text 208: Seeing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s special mercy toward Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and seeing his personal qualities, all the devotees were struck with wonder.
Text 209: Then, when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu left with all of His devotees, Haridāsa Ṭhākura also embraced Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.
Text 210: Haridāsa Ṭhākura told him, “There is no limit to your good fortune. No one can understand the glories of what you have described.”
Text 211: Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī said, “I do not know anything. The only transcendental words I can utter are those which Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu makes me speak.
Text 212: “Although I am the lowest of men and have no knowledge, the Lord has mercifully bestowed upon me the inspiration to write transcendental literature about devotional service. Therefore I offer my obeisances at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has given me the chance to write these books.”
Text 213: In this way Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī passed his time in close association with Haridāsa Ṭhākura by discussing the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa in great happiness.
Text 214: All the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu thus spent four months with Him. Then the Lord bade them farewell, and they returned to Bengal.
Text 215: Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, however, stayed at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and when the Dola-yātrā festival took place, he saw it in great happiness with the Lord.
Text 216: After the Dola-yātrā festival ended, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bade farewell to Rūpa Gosvāmī also. The Lord empowered him and bestowed upon him all kinds of mercy.
Text 217: “Now go to Vṛndāvana and stay there,” the Lord said. “You may send here your elder brother, Sanātana.
Text 218: “When you go to Vṛndāvana, stay there, preach transcendental literature and excavate the lost holy places.
Text 219: “Establish the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa and preach the mellows of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s devotional service. I shall also go to Vṛndāvana once more.”
Text 220: Having thus spoken, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced Rūpa Gosvāmī, who then placed the lotus feet of the Lord upon his head.
Text 221: Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī took leave of all the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and returned to Vṛndāvana by the path through Bengal.
Text 222: Thus I have described the second meeting of Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Anyone who hears of this incident will certainly attain shelter at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text 223: 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.