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Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s Feelings of Separation from Kṛṣṇa

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gives the following summary of the fourteenth chapter. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s feelings of separation from Kṛṣṇa resulted in highly elevated transcendental madness. When He was standing near the Garuḍa-stambha and praying to Lord Jagannātha, a woman from Orissa put her foot on the Lord’s shoulder in her great eagerness to see Lord Jagannātha. Govinda chastised her for this, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu praised her eagerness. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to the temple of Lord Jagannātha, He was absorbed in ecstatic love and saw only Kṛṣṇa. As soon as He perceived this woman, however, His external consciousness immediately returned, and He saw Jagannātha, Baladeva and Subhadrā. Caitanya Mahāprabhu also saw Kṛṣṇa in a dream, and He was overwhelmed with ecstatic love. When He could no longer see Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu compared Himself to a yogī and described how that yogī was seeing Vṛndāvana. Sometimes all the transcendental ecstatic symptoms were manifest in Him. One night, Govinda and Svarūpa Dāmodara noticed that although the three doors to the Lord’s room were closed and locked, the Lord was not present inside. Seeing this, Svarūpa Dāmodara and the other devotees went outside and saw the Lord lying unconscious by the gate known as Siṁha-dvāra. His body had become unusually long, and the joints of His bones were loose. The devotees gradually brought Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu back to His senses by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and then they took Him back to His residence. Once Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu mistook a sand dune known as Caṭaka-parvata for Govardhana Hill. As He ran toward it, He became stunned, and then the eight ecstatic transformations appeared in His body due to great love for Kṛṣṇa. At that time all the devotees chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra to pacify Him.

Text 1: I shall now describe a very small portion of the activities performed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu with His mind, intelligence and body when He was bewildered by strong feelings of separation from Kṛṣṇa.

Text 2: All glories to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead! All glories to Lord Gauracandra, the life and soul of His devotees!

Text 3: All glories to Lord Nityānanda, who is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s very life! And all glories to Advaita Ācārya, who is extremely dear to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu!

Text 4: All glories to Svarūpa Dāmodara and all the other devotees, headed by Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura! Please give me the strength to describe the character of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 5: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s emotion of transcendental madness in separation from Kṛṣṇa is very deep and mysterious. Even though one is very advanced and learned, he cannot understand it.

Text 6: How can one describe unfathomable subject matters? It is possible only if Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gives him the capability.

Text 7: Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī recorded all these transcendental activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in their notebooks.

Text 8: In those days, Svarūpa Dāmodara and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī lived with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, whereas all other commentators lived far away from Him.

Text 9: These two great personalities [Svarūpa Dāmodara and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī] recorded the activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu moment by moment. They described these activities briefly as well as elaborately in their notebooks.

Text 10: Svarūpa Dāmodara wrote short notes, whereas Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī wrote elaborate descriptions. I shall now describe Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s activities more elaborately, as if fluffing out compressed cotton.

Text 11: Please hear faithfully this description of Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s ecstatic emotions. Thus you will come to know of His ecstatic love, and ultimately you will achieve love of Godhead.

Text 12: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu felt separation from Kṛṣṇa, His condition exactly corresponded to that of the gopīs in Vṛndāvana after Kṛṣṇa’s departure for Mathurā.

Text 13: The lamentation of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī when Uddhava visited Vṛndāvana gradually became a feature of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s transcendental madness.

Text 14: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s emotions exactly corresponded to those of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī when She met Uddhava. The Lord always conceived of Himself in Her position and sometimes thought that He was Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī Herself.

Text 15: Such is the state of transcendental madness. Why is it difficult to understand? When one is highly elevated in love of Kṛṣṇa, he becomes transcendentally mad and talks like a madman.

Text 16: “When the ecstatic emotion of enchantment gradually progresses, it becomes similar to bewilderment. Then one reaches the stage of astonishment [vaicitrī], which awakens transcendental madness. Udghūrṇā and citra-jalpa are two among the many divisions of transcendental madness.”

Text 17: One day while He was resting, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu dreamed He saw Kṛṣṇa performing His rāsa dance.

Text 18: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw Lord Kṛṣṇa standing with His beautiful body curved in three places, holding His flute to His lips. Wearing yellow garments and garlands of forest flowers, He was enchanting even to Cupid.

Text 19: The gopīs were dancing in a circle, and in the middle of that circle, Kṛṣṇa, the son of Mahārāja Nanda, danced with Rādhārāṇī.

Text 20: Seeing this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was overwhelmed with the transcendental mellow of the rāsa dance, and He thought, “Now I am with Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.”

Text 21: When Govinda saw that the Lord had not yet risen, he awakened Him. Understanding that He had only been dreaming, the Lord was somewhat unhappy.

Text 22: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu performed His customary daily duties, and at the usual time He went to see Lord Jagannātha in the temple.

Text 23: As He viewed Lord Jagannātha from behind the Garuḍa column, hundreds and thousands of people in front of Him were seeing the Deity.

Text 24: Suddenly, a woman from Orissa, unable to see Lord Jagannātha because of the crowd, climbed the column of Garuḍa, placing her foot on Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s shoulder.

Text 25: When he saw this, Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s personal servant, Govinda, hastily got her down from her position. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, however, chastised him for this.

Text 26: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to Govinda, “O ādi-vasyā [uncivilized man], do not forbid this woman to climb the Garuḍa-stambha. Let her see Lord Jagannātha to her satisfaction.”

Text 27: When the woman came to her senses, however, she quickly climbed back down to the ground and, seeing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, immediately begged at His lotus feet for forgiveness.

Text 28: Seeing the woman’s eagerness, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Lord Jagannātha has not bestowed so much eagerness upon Me.

Text 29: “She has fully absorbed her body, mind and life in Lord Jagannātha. Therefore she was unaware that she was putting her foot on My shoulder.

Text 30: “Alas! How fortunate this woman is! I pray at her feet that she favor Me with her great eagerness to see Lord Jagannātha.”

Text 31: Just previously, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had been seeing Lord Jagannātha as Kṛṣṇa, the son of Mahārāja Nanda, in person.

Text 32: Becoming fully absorbed in that vision, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had assumed the mood of the gopīs, so much so that everywhere He looked He saw Kṛṣṇa standing with His flute to His lips.

Text 33: After seeing the woman, the Lord’s external consciousness returned, and He saw the original deity forms of Lord Jagannātha, Subhadrā and Lord Balarāma.

Text 34: When He saw the deities, Lord Caitanya thought He was seeing Kṛṣṇa in Kurukṣetra. He wondered, “Have I come to Kurukṣetra? Where is Vṛndāvana?”

Text 35: Lord Caitanya grew very much agitated, like a person who has just lost a recently acquired jewel. Then He became very morose and returned home.

Text 36: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sat down on the ground and began to mark it with His fingernails. He was blinded by tears, which flowed from His eyes like the Ganges.

Text 37: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “I found Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Vṛndāvana, but I have lost Him again. Who has taken My Kṛṣṇa? Where have I come?”

Text 38: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu dreamed of the rāsa dance, He was fully absorbed in transcendental bliss, but when His dream broke, He thought He had lost a precious jewel.

Text 39: Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would chant and dance, always absorbed in the bliss of transcendental madness. He carried out the necessities of the body, such as eating and bathing, merely out of habit.

Text 40: At night, Lord Caitanya would reveal to Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāmānanda Rāya the ecstatic feelings of His mind.

Text 41: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “At first My mind somehow achieved the treasure of Kṛṣṇa, but it again lost Him. Therefore it gave up My body and home because of lamentation and accepted the religious principles of a kāpālika-yogī. Then My mind went to Vṛndāvana with its disciples, My senses.”

Text 42: Having lost His acquired gem, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became overwhelmed with lamentation by remembering its attributes. Then, grasping the necks of Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, He cried, “Alas, where is My Lord Hari? Where is Hari?” Finally He became restless and lost all patience.

Text 43: “My dear friends,” He said, “please hear of Kṛṣṇa’s sweetness. Because of a great desire for that sweetness, My mind has given up all social and Vedic religious principles and taken to the profession of begging, exactly like a mystic yogī.

Text 44: “The ring of Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā, manufactured by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the most auspicious craftsman, is as pure as an earring made from a conchshell. The yogī of My mind is wearing that earring upon his ear. From a gourd he has carved out the bowl of My aspirations, and he has taken the bag of My expectations on his shoulder.

Text 45: “The yogī of My mind wears the torn quilt of anxiety on his dirty body, which is covered with dust and ashes. His only words are ‘Alas! Kṛṣṇa!’ He wears twelve bangles of distress on his wrist and a turban of greed on his head. Because he has not eaten anything, he is very thin.

Text 46: “The great yogī of My mind always studies the poetry and discussions of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Vṛndāvana pastimes. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other scriptures, great saintly yogīs like Vyāsadeva and Śukadeva Gosvāmī have described Lord Kṛṣṇa as the Supersoul, beyond all material contamination.

Text 47: “The mystic yogī of My mind has assumed the name Mahābāula and made disciples of My ten senses. Thus My mind has gone to Vṛndāvana, leaving aside the home of My body and the great treasure of material enjoyment.

Text 48: “In Vṛndāvana, he goes from door to door begging alms with all his disciples. He begs from both the moving and the inert inhabitants — the citizens, the trees and the creepers. In this way he lives on fruits, roots and leaves.

Text 49: “The gopīs of Vrajabhūmi always taste the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s attributes, His beauty, His sweetness, His aroma, the sound of His flute and the touch of His body. My mind’s five disciples, the senses of perception, gather the remnants of that nectar from the gopīs and bring them to the yogī of My mind. The senses maintain their lives by eating those remnants.

Text 50: “There is a solitary garden where Kṛṣṇa enjoys His pastimes, and in one corner of a pavilion in that garden, the yogī of My mind, along with his disciples, practices mystic yoga. Wanting to see Kṛṣṇa directly, this yogī remains awake throughout the night, meditating on Kṛṣṇa, who is the Supersoul, uncontaminated by the three modes of nature.

Text 51: “When My mind lost the association of Kṛṣṇa and could no longer see Him, he became depressed and took up mystic yoga. In the void of separation from Kṛṣṇa, he experienced ten transcendental transformations. Agitated by these transformations, My mind fled, leaving My body, his place of residence, empty. Thus I am completely in trance.”

Text 52: When the gopīs felt separation from Kṛṣṇa, they experienced ten kinds of bodily transformations. These same symptoms appeared in the body of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 53: “The ten bodily transformations resulting from separation from Kṛṣṇa are anxiety, wakefulness, mental agitation, thinness, uncleanliness, talking like a madman, disease, madness, illusion and death.”

Text 54: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was overwhelmed night and day by these ten ecstatic conditions. Whenever such symptoms arose, His mind became unsteady.

Text 55: After speaking in this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu fell silent. Then Rāmānanda Rāya began to recite various verses.

Text 56: Rāmānanda Rāya recited verses from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī sang of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. In this way, they brought Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to external consciousness.

Text 57: After half the night had passed in this way, Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī made Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu lie down on His bed in the inner room.

Text 58: Then Rāmānanda Rāya returned home, and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Govinda lay down in front of the door to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s room.

Text 59: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu remained awake throughout the entire night, chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra very loudly.

Text 60: After some time, Svarūpa Dāmodara could no longer hear Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu chanting. When he entered the room, he found the three doors locked, but Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was gone.

Text 61: All the devotees were very anxious when they saw that the Lord was not in His room. They wandered about searching for Him with a warning lamp.

Text 62: After searching for some time, they came upon Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu lying in a corner by the northern side of the Siṁha-dvāra gate.

Text 63: At first they were overjoyed to see Him, but when they saw His condition, all the devotees, headed by Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, were very anxious.

Text 64: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was lying unconscious, and His body had become elongated to five or six cubits. There was no breath from His nostrils.

Texts 65-66: Each of His arms and legs had become three cubits long; only skin connected the separated joints. The Lord’s body temperature, indicating life, was very low. All the joints in His arms, legs, neck and waist were separated by at least six inches.

Text 67: It appeared that only skin covered His elongated joints. Seeing the Lord’s condition, all the devotees were very unhappy.

Text 68: They almost died when they saw Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu with His mouth full of saliva and foam and His eyes turned upward.

Text 69: When they saw this, Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and all the other devotees began to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa very loudly into Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s ear.

Text 70: After they had chanted in this way for a long time, the holy name of Kṛṣṇa entered the heart of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and He suddenly arose with a loud shout of “Haribol!”

Text 71: As soon as the Lord returned to external consciousness, all His joints contracted and His entire body returned to normal.

Text 72: Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī has described these pastimes elaborately in his book Gaurāṅga-stava-kalpavṛkṣa.

Text 73: “In the house of Kāśī Miśra, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would sometimes be greatly aggrieved, feeling separation from Kṛṣṇa. The joints of His transcendental body would slacken, and His arms and legs would become elongated. Rolling on the ground, the Lord would cry out in distress in a faltering voice and weep very sorrowfully. The appearance of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, awakening in my heart, maddens me.”

Text 74: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very much astonished to find Himself in front of the Siṁha-dvāra. He asked Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, “Where am I? What am I doing here?”

Text 75: Svarūpa Dāmodara said, “My dear Lord, please get up. Let us go to Your place. There I shall tell You everything that has happened.”

Text 76: Thus all the devotees, supporting Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, took Him back to His residence. Then they all described to Him what had happened.

Text 77: Hearing the description of His condition while He had lain near the Siṁha-dvāra, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very much astonished. He said, “I do not remember any of these things.

Text 78: “All I can remember is that I saw My Kṛṣṇa, but only for an instant. He appeared before Me and then, like lightning, immediately disappeared.”

Text 79: Just then, everyone heard the blowing of the conchshell at the Jagannātha temple. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately took His bath and went to see Lord Jagannātha.

Text 80: Thus I have described the uncommon transformations of the body of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When people hear about this, they are very much astonished.

Text 81: No one has witnessed such bodily changes elsewhere, nor has anyone read of them in the revealed scriptures. Yet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the supreme sannyāsī, exhibited these ecstatic symptoms.

Text 82: These ecstasies are not described in the śāstras, and they are inconceivable to common men. Therefore people in general do not believe in them.

Text 83: Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī lived continuously with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. I am simply recording whatever I have heard from him. Although common men do not believe in these pastimes, I believe in them totally.

Text 84: One day, while Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was going to the sea to bathe, He suddenly saw a sand dune named Caṭaka-parvata.

Text 85: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu mistook the sand dune for Govardhana Hill and ran toward it.

Text 86: “[Lord Caitanya said:] ‘Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, as well as Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities — water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respect to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.’ ”

Text 87: Reciting this verse, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ran toward the sand dune as fast as the wind. Govinda ran after Him, but he could not approach Him.

Text 88: First one devotee shouted loudly, and then a tumultuous uproar arose as all the devotees stood up and began to run after the Lord.

Text 89: Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, Jagadānanda Paṇḍita, Gadādhara Paṇḍita, Rāmāi, Nandāi and Śaṅkara Paṇḍita are some of the devotees who ran after Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 90: Paramānanda Purī and Brahmānanda Bhāratī also went toward the beach, and Bhagavān Ācārya, who was lame, followed them very slowly.

Text 91: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was running with the speed of the wind, but He suddenly became stunned in ecstasy and lost all strength to proceed further.

Text 92: The flesh at each of His pores erupted like pimples, and His bodily hairs, standing on end, appeared like kadamba flowers.

Text 93: Blood and perspiration flowed incessantly from every pore of His body, and He could not speak a word but simply produced a gargling sound within His throat.

Text 94: The Lord’s eyes filled and overflowed with unlimited tears, like the Ganges and Yamunā meeting in the sea.

Text 95: His entire body faded to the color of a white conchshell, and then He began to quiver like the waves in the ocean.

Text 96: While quivering in this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu fell down on the ground. Then Govinda approached Him.

Text 97: Govinda sprinkled water from a karaṅga waterpot all over the Lord’s body, and then, taking His own outer garment, he began to fan Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 98: When Svarūpa Dāmodara and the other devotees reached the spot and saw the condition of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they began to cry.

Text 99: All eight kinds of transcendental transformations were visible in the Lord’s body. All the devotees were struck with wonder to see such a sight.

Text 100: The devotees loudly chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra near Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and washed His body with cold water.

Text 101: After the devotees had been chanting for a long time, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu suddenly stood up and shouted, “Haribol!”

Text 102: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stood up, all the Vaiṣṇavas loudly chanted, “Hari! Hari!” in great jubilation. The auspicious sound filled the air in all directions.

Text 103: Astonished, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stood up and began looking here and there, trying to see something. But He could not catch sight of it.

Text 104: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw all the Vaiṣṇavas, He returned to partial external consciousness and spoke to Svarūpa Dāmodara.

Text 105: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Who has brought Me here from Govardhana Hill? I was seeing Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, but now I cannot see them.

Text 106: “Today I went from here to Govardhana Hill to find out if Kṛṣṇa was tending His cows there.

Text 107: “I saw Lord Kṛṣṇa climbing Govardhana Hill and playing His flute, surrounded on all sides by grazing cows.

Text 108: “Hearing the vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and all Her gopī friends came there to meet Him. They were all very nicely dressed.

Text 109: “When Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī entered a cave together, the other gopīs asked Me to pick some flowers.

Text 110: “Just then, all of you made a tumultuous sound and carried Me from there to this place.

Text 111: “Why have you brought Me here, causing Me unnecessary pain? I had a chance to see Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, but I could not see them.”

Text 112: Saying this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to weep. When all the Vaiṣṇavas saw the Lord’s condition, they also wept.

Text 113: At that time, Paramānanda Purī and Brahmānanda Bhāratī arrived. Seeing them, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became somewhat respectful.

Text 114: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to complete external consciousness and immediately offered prayers to them. Then these two elderly gentlemen both embraced the Lord with loving affection.

Text 115: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to Purī Gosvāmī and Brahmānanda Bhāratī, “Why have the two of you come so far?”

Text 116: When He heard this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu felt somewhat ashamed. Then He went to bathe in the sea with all the Vaiṣṇavas.

Text 117: After bathing in the sea, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to His residence with all the devotees. Then they all lunched on the remnants of food offered to Lord Jagannātha.

Text 118: Thus I have described the transcendental ecstatic emotions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Even Lord Brahmā cannot describe their influence.

Text 119: In his book Gaurāṅga-stava-kalpavṛkṣa, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī has very vividly described Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastime of running toward the Caṭaka-parvata sand dune.

Text 120: “Near Jagannātha Purī is a great sand dune known as Caṭaka-parvata. Seeing that hill, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, ‘Oh, I shall go to the land of Vraja to see Govardhana Hill!’ Then He began running madly toward it, and all the Vaiṣṇavas ran after Him. This scene awakens in my heart and maddens me.”

Text 121: Who can properly describe all the uncommon pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu? They are all simply His play.

Text 122: I have briefly described them just to give an indication of His transcendental pastimes. Nevertheless, anyone who hears this will certainly attain the shelter of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.

Text 123: 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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