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The Transcendental Madness of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu

The following is a summary of the fifteenth chapter. After seeing the upala-bhoga ceremony of Lord Jagannātha, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu once more began to feel ecstatic emotions. When He saw the garden on the beach by the sea, He again thought that He was in Vṛndāvana, and when He began to think of Kṛṣṇa engaging in His different pastimes, transcendental emotions excited Him again. On the night of the rāsa dance, the gopīs, bereaved by Kṛṣṇa’s absence, searched for Kṛṣṇa from one forest to another. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu adopted the same transcendental thoughts as those of the gopīs and was filled with ecstatic emotion. Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī recited a verse from the Gīta-govinda just suitable to the Lord’s emotions. Caitanya Mahāprabhu then exhibited the ecstatic transformations known as bhāvodaya, bhāva-sandhi, bhāva-śābalya and so on. The Lord experienced all eight kinds of ecstatic transformations, and He relished them very much.

Text 1: The ocean of ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa is very difficult to understand, even for such demigods as Lord Brahmā. By enacting His pastimes, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu submerged Himself in that ocean, and His heart was absorbed in that love. Thus He exhibited in various ways the exalted position of transcendental love for Kṛṣṇa.

Text 2: All glories to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead! All glories to Lord Nityānanda, whose body is always filled with transcendental bliss!

Text 3: All glories to Śrī Advaita Ācārya, who is very dear to Lord Caitanya! And all glories to all the devotees of the Lord, headed by Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura!

Text 4: Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu forgot Himself throughout the entire day and night, being merged in an ocean of ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.

Text 5: The Lord would maintain Himself in three states of consciousness: sometimes He merged totally in ecstatic emotion, sometimes He was in partial external consciousness, and sometimes He was in full external consciousness.

Text 6: Actually, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was always merged in ecstatic emotion, but just as a potter’s wheel turns without the potter’s touching it, the Lord’s bodily activities, like bathing, going to the temple to see Lord Jagannātha, and taking lunch, went on automatically.

Text 7: One day, while Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was looking at Lord Jagannātha in the temple, Lord Jagannātha appeared to be personally Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja.

Text 8: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu realized Lord Jagannātha to be Kṛṣṇa Himself, Lord Caitanya’s five senses immediately became absorbed in attraction for the five attributes of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Text 9: Just as in a tug-of-war, the single mind of Lord Caitanya was attracted in five directions by the five transcendental attributes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Thus the Lord became unconscious.

Text 10: Just then, the upala-bhoga ceremony of Lord Jagannātha concluded, and the devotees who had accompanied Lord Caitanya to the temple took Him back home.

Text 11: That night, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was attended by Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Rāmānanda Rāya. Keeping His hands around their necks, the Lord began to lament.

Text 12: When Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was very much agitated due to feeling great separation from Kṛṣṇa, She spoke a verse to Viśākhā explaining the cause of Her great anxiety and restlessness.

Text 13: Reciting that verse, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu expressed His burning emotions. Then, with great lamentation, He explained the verse to Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāmānanda Rāya.

Text 14: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “‘Though the hearts of the gopīs are like high-standing hills, they are inundated by the waves of the nectarean ocean of Kṛṣṇa’s beauty. His sweet voice enters their ears and gives them transcendental bliss, the touch of His body is cooler than millions and millions of moons together, and the nectar of His bodily fragrance overfloods the entire world. O My dear friend, that Kṛṣṇa, who is the son of Nanda Mahārāja and whose lips are exactly like nectar, is attracting My five senses by force.’

Text 15: “Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s beauty, the sound of His words and the vibration of His flute, His touch, His fragrance and the taste of His lips are full of an indescribable sweetness. When all these features attract My five senses at once, My senses all ride together on the single horse of My mind but want to go in five different directions.

Text 16: “O My dear friend, please hear the cause of My misery. My five senses are actually extravagant rogues. They know very well that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they still want to plunder Kṛṣṇa’s property.

Text 17: “My mind is just like a single horse being ridden by the five senses of perception, headed by sight. Each of My senses wants to ride that horse, and thus they pull My mind in five directions simultaneously. In what direction will it go? If they all pull at one time, certainly the horse will lose its life. How can I tolerate this atrocity?

Text 18: “My dear friend, if you say, ‘Just try to control Your senses,’ what shall I say? I cannot become angry at My senses. Is it their fault? Kṛṣṇa’s beauty, sound, touch, fragrance and taste are by nature extremely attractive. These five features are attracting My senses, and each wants to drag My mind in a different direction. In this way the life of My mind is in great danger, just like a horse ridden in five directions at once. Thus I am also in danger of dying.

Text 19: “The consciousness of each woman within the three worlds is certainly like a high hill, but the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa’s beauty is like an ocean. Even a drop of water from that ocean can flood the entire world and submerge all the high hills of consciousness.

Text 20: “The sweetness of Kṛṣṇa’s joking words plays indescribable havoc with the hearts of all women. His words bind a woman’s ear to the qualities of their sweetness. Thus there is a tug-of-war, and the life of the ear departs.

Text 21: “Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body is so cool that it cannot be compared even to sandalwood pulp or to millions upon millions of moons. It expertly attracts the breasts of all women, which resemble high hills. Indeed, the transcendental body of Kṛṣṇa attracts the minds of all women within the three worlds.

Text 22: “The fragrance of Kṛṣṇa’s body is more maddening than the aroma of musk, and it surpasses the fragrance of the bluish lotus flower. It enters the nostrils of all the women of the world and, making a nest there, thus attracts them.

Text 23: “Kṛṣṇa’s lips are so sweet when combined with the camphor of His gentle smile that they attract the minds of all women, forcing them to give up all other attractions. If the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa’s smile is unobtainable, great mental difficulties and lamentation result. That sweetness is the only wealth of the gopīs of Vṛndāvana.”

Text 24: After speaking in this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu caught hold of the necks of Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara. Then the Lord said, “My dear friends, please listen to Me. What shall I do? Where shall I go? Where can I go to get Kṛṣṇa? Please, both of you, tell Me how I can find Him.”

Text 25: Thus absorbed in transcendental pain, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu lamented day after day in the company of Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Rāmānanda Rāya.

Text 26: To enhance the ecstatic mood of the Lord, Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī would sing appropriate songs and Rāmānanda Rāya would recite suitable verses. In this way they were able to pacify Him.

Text 27: The Lord especially liked to hear Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura’s Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta, the poetry of Vidyāpati, and Śrī Gīta-govinda, by Jayadeva Gosvāmī. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu felt great pleasure in His heart when His associates chanted verses and sang songs from these books.

Text 28: One day, while going to the beach by the sea, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu suddenly saw a flower garden.

Text 29: Lord Caitanya mistook that garden for Vṛndāvana and very quickly entered it. Absorbed in ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa, He wandered throughout the garden, searching for Him.

Text 30: After Kṛṣṇa disappeared with Rādhārāṇī during the rāsa dance, the gopīs wandered in the forest looking for Him. In the same way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wandered in that garden by the sea.

Text 31: Absorbed in the ecstatic mood of the gopīs, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wandered here and there. He began to inquire after Kṛṣṇa by quoting verses to all the trees and creepers.

Text 32: “[The gopīs said:] ‘O cūta tree, priyāla tree, panasa, āsana and kovidāra! O jambu tree, O arka tree, O bel, bakula and mango! O kadamba tree, O nīpa tree and all other trees living on the bank of the Yamunā for the welfare of others, please let us know where Kṛṣṇa has gone. We have lost our minds and are almost dead.

Text 33: ‘O all-auspicious tulasī plant, you are very dear to Govinda’s lotus feet, and He is very dear to you. Have you seen Kṛṣṇa walking here wearing a garland of your leaves, surrounded by a swarm of bumblebees?

Text 34: ‘O plants of mālatī flowers, mallikā flowers, jātī and yūthikā flowers, have you seen Kṛṣṇa passing this way, touching you with His hand to give you pleasure?’ ”

Text 35: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “‘O mango tree, O jackfruit tree, O piyāla, jambu and kovidāra trees, you are all inhabitants of a holy place. Therefore kindly act for the welfare of others.

Text 36: ‘Have you seen Kṛṣṇa coming this way? Kindly tell us which way He has gone and save our lives.’ ”

Text 37: When the trees did not reply, the gopīs guessed, “‘Since all of these trees belong to the male class, all of them must be friends of Kṛṣṇa.

Text 38: ‘Why should the trees tell us where Kṛṣṇa has gone? Let us rather inquire from the creepers; they are female and are therefore like friends to us.

Text 39: ‘They will certainly tell us where Kṛṣṇa has gone, since they have seen Him personally.’ ” Guessing in this way, the gopīs inquired from the plants and creepers, headed by tulasī.

Text 40: ‘O tulasī! O mālatī! O yūthī, mādhavī and mallikā! Kṛṣṇa is very dear to you; therefore He must have come near you.

Text 41: ‘You are all just like dear friends to us. Kindly tell us which way Kṛṣṇa has gone and save our lives.’ ”

Text 42: When they still received no reply, the gopīs thought, “ ‘These plants are all Kṛṣṇa’s maidservants, and out of fear they will not speak to us.’ ”

Text 43: The gopīs then came upon a group of she-deer. Smelling the aroma of Kṛṣṇa’s body and seeing the faces of the deer, the gopīs inquired from them to ascertain if Kṛṣṇa was nearby.

Text 44: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “‘O wife of the deer, Lord Kṛṣṇa has been embracing His beloved, and thus the kuṅkuma powder on Her raised breasts has covered His garland of kunda flowers. The fragrance of this garland is flowing here. O my dear friend, have you seen Kṛṣṇa passing this way with His dearmost companion, increasing the pleasure of the eyes of all of you?’

Text 45: ‘O dear doe, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is always very pleased to give you pleasure. Kindly inform us whether He passed this way in the company of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. We think They must certainly have come this way.

Text 46: ‘We are not outsiders. Being very dear friends of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, we can perceive the bodily fragrance of Kṛṣṇa from a distance.

Text 47: ‘Kṛṣṇa has been embracing Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and the kuṅkuma powder on Her breasts has mixed with the garland of kunda flowers decorating His body. The fragrance of the garland has scented the entire atmosphere.

Text 48: ‘Lord Kṛṣṇa has left this place, and therefore the deer are feeling separation. They do not hear our words; therefore how can they reply?’ ”

Text 49: The gopīs then came upon many trees so laden with fruits and flowers that their branches were bent down to the ground.

Text 50: The gopīs thought that because all the trees must have seen Kṛṣṇa pass by they were offering respectful obeisances to Him. To be certain, the gopīs inquired from the trees.

Text 51: Lord Caitanya continued, “‘O trees, kindly tell us whether Balarāma’s younger brother, Kṛṣṇa, welcomed your obeisances with loving glances as He passed this way, resting one hand on the shoulder of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, holding a lotus flower in the other, and being followed by a swarm of bumblebees maddened by the fragrance of tulasī flowers.

Text 52: ‘To stop the bumblebees from landing on the face of His beloved, He whisked them away with the lotus flower in His hand, and thus His mind was slightly diverted.

Text 53: ‘Did He or did He not pay attention while you offered Him obeisances? Kindly give evidence supporting your words.

Text 54: ‘Separation from Kṛṣṇa has made these servants very unhappy. Having lost consciousness, how can they answer us?’ ”

Text 55: Saying this, the gopīs stepped onto the beach by the Yamunā River. There they saw Lord Kṛṣṇa beneath a kadamba tree.

Text 56: Standing there with His flute to His lips, Kṛṣṇa, who enchants millions upon millions of Cupids, attracted the eyes and minds of all the world with His unlimited beauty.

Text 57: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw the transcendental beauty of Kṛṣṇa, He fell down on the ground unconscious. At that time, all the devotees, headed by Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, joined Him in the garden.

Text 58: Just as before, they saw all the symptoms of transcendental ecstatic love manifested in the body of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Although externally He appeared bewildered, He was tasting transcendental bliss within.

Text 59: Once again all the devotees brought Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu back to consciousness by a concerted effort. Then the Lord got up and began wandering here and there, looking all around.

Text 60: Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Where has My Kṛṣṇa gone? I saw Him just now, and His beauty has captivated My eyes and mind.

Text 61: “Why can’t I again see Kṛṣṇa holding His flute to His lips? My eyes are wandering in hopes of seeing Him once more.”

Text 62: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then recited the following verse, which was spoken by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī to Her dear friend Viśākhā.

Text 63: ‘My dear friend, the luster of Kṛṣṇa’s body is more brilliant than that of a newly formed cloud, and His yellow dress is more attractive than newly arrived lightning. A peacock feather decorates His head, and on His neck hangs a lovely necklace of brilliant pearls. As He holds His charming flute to His lips, His face looks as beautiful as the full autumn moon. By such beauty, Madana-mohana, the enchanter of Cupid, is increasing the desire of My eyes to see Him.’ ”

Text 64: Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s complexion is as polished as powdered eye ointment. It surpasses the beauty of a newly formed cloud and is softer than a blue lotus flower. Indeed, His complexion is so pleasing that it attracts the eyes and minds of everyone, and it is so powerful that it defies all comparison.

Text 65: “My dear friend, please tell Me what I should do. Kṛṣṇa is as attractive as a wonderful cloud, and My eyes are just like cātaka birds, which are dying of thirst because they do not see such a cloud.

Text 66: “Kṛṣṇa’s yellow garments look exactly like restless lightning in the sky, and the pearl necklace on His neck appears like a line of herons flying below a cloud. Both the peacock feather on His head and His vaijayantī garland [containing flowers of five colors] resemble rainbows.

Text 67: “The luster of Kṛṣṇa’s body is as beautiful as the glow of a spotless full moon that has just risen, and the vibration of His flute sounds exactly like the sweet thundering of a newly formed cloud. When the peacocks in Vṛndāvana hear that vibration, they all begin to dance.

Text 68: “The cloud of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes is drenching the fourteen worlds with a shower of nectar. Unfortunately, when that cloud appeared, a whirlwind arose and blew it away from Me. Being unable to see the cloud, the cātaka bird of My eyes is almost dead from thirst.”

Text 69: In a faltering voice, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu again said, “Alas, go on reciting, Rāma Rāya.” Thus Rāmānanda Rāya began to recite a verse. While listening to this verse, the Lord was sometimes very jubilant and sometimes overcome by lamentation. Afterwards the Lord personally explained the verse.

Text 70: ‘Dear Kṛṣṇa, by seeing Your beautiful face decorated with tresses of hair, by seeing the beauty of Your earrings falling on Your cheeks, and by seeing the nectar of Your lips, the beauty of Your smiling glances, Your two arms, which assure complete fearlessness, and Your broad chest, whose beauty arouses conjugal attraction, we have simply surrendered ourselves to becoming Your maidservants.’ ”

Text 71: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “After conquering the moon and the lotus flower, Kṛṣṇa wished to capture the doelike gopīs. Thus He spread the noose of His beautiful face, and within that noose He placed the bait of His sweet smile to misguide the gopīs. The gopīs fell prey to that trap and became Kṛṣṇa’s maidservants, giving up their homes, families, husbands and prestige.

Text 72: “My dear friend, Kṛṣṇa acts just like a hunter. This hunter does not care for piety or impiety; He simply creates many devices to conquer the cores of the hearts of the doelike gopīs.

Text 73: “The earrings dancing on Kṛṣṇa’s cheeks are shaped like sharks, and they shine very brightly. These dancing earrings attract the minds of all women. Over and above this, Kṛṣṇa pierces the hearts of women with the arrows of His sweetly smiling glances. He is not at all afraid to kill women in this way.

Text 74: “On Kṛṣṇa’s chest are the ornaments of the Śrīvatsa marks, indicating the residence of the goddess of fortune. His chest, which is as broad as a plunderer’s, attracts thousands upon thousands of damsels of Vraja, conquering their minds and breasts by force. Thus they all become maidservants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Text 75: “The two very beautiful arms of Kṛṣṇa are just like long bolts. They also resemble the bodies of black snakes that enter the space between the two hill-like breasts of women and bite their hearts. The women then die from the burning poison.

Text 76: “The combined cooling effect of camphor, roots of khasakhasa and sandalwood is surpassed by the coolness of Kṛṣṇa’s palms and the soles of His feet, which are cooler and more pleasing than millions upon millions of moons. If women are touched by them even once, their minds are enticed, and the burning poison of lusty desire for Kṛṣṇa is immediately vanquished.”

Text 77: Lamenting in ecstatic love, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then recited the following verse, which was spoken by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī while exposing the lamentation of Her heart to Her friend Śrīmatī Viśākhā.

Text 78: ‘My dear friend, Kṛṣṇa’s chest is as broad and attractive as a door made of indranīla gems, and His two arms, as strong as bolts, can relieve the mental anguish of young girls distressed by lusty desires for Him. His body is cooler than the moon, sandalwood, the lotus flower and camphor. In this way, Madana-mohana, the attractor of Cupid, is increasing the desire of My breasts.’ ”

Text 79: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then said, “I just now had Kṛṣṇa, but unfortunately I have lost Him again.

Text 80: “By nature, Kṛṣṇa is very restless; He does not stay in one place. He meets with someone, enchants his mind and then disappears.

Text 81: ‘The gopīs became proud of their great fortune. To subdue their sense of superiority and show them special favor, Keśava, the subduer of even Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, disappeared from the rāsa dance.’ ”

Text 82: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then said to Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, “Please sing a song that will bring consciousness to My heart.”

Text 83: Thus for the pleasure of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī began very sweetly singing the following verse from the Gīta-govinda.

Text 84: ‘Here in the arena of the rāsa dance, I remember Kṛṣṇa, who is always fond of joking and performing pastimes.’ ”

Text 85: When Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī sang this special song, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately got up and began to dance in ecstatic love.

Text 86: At that time, all eight kinds of spiritual transformations became manifest in Lord Caitanya’s body. The thirty-three symptoms of vyabhicāri-bhāva, beginning with lamentation and jubilation, became prominent as well.

Text 87: All the ecstatic symptoms, such as bhāvodaya, bhāva-sandhi and bhāva-śābalya, awakened in the body of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. A great fight arose between one emotion and another, and each of them became prominent.

Text 88: Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu had Svarūpa Dāmodara sing the same verse again and again. Each time he sang it, the Lord tasted it anew, and thus He danced again and again.

Text 89: After the Lord had been dancing for a long time, Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī stopped singing the verse.

Text 90: Over and over again Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Go on! Sing! Sing!” But Svarūpa Dāmodara, seeing the Lord’s fatigue, did not resume singing.

Text 91: When the devotees heard Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu say “Go on singing!” they all gathered around Him and began to chant the holy name of Hari in unison.

Text 92: At that time, Rāmānanda Rāya made the Lord sit down and dissipated His fatigue by fanning Him.

Text 93: Then all the devotees took Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to the beach and bathed Him. Finally, they brought Him back home.

Text 94: After they fed Him lunch, they made Him lie down. Then all the devotees, headed by Rāmānanda Rāya, returned to their respective homes.

Text 95: Thus I have described Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes in the garden, which He entered, mistaking it for Vṛndāvana.

Text 96: There He exhibited transcendental madness and ecstatic ravings, which Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī has described very nicely in his Stava-mālā as follows.

Text 97: “Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the topmost of all devotees. Sometimes, while walking on the beach, He would see a beautiful garden nearby and mistake it for the forest of Vṛndāvana. Thus He would be completely overwhelmed by ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa and begin to chant the holy name and dance. His tongue worked incessantly as He chanted, ‘Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa!’ Will He again become visible before the path of my eyes?”

Text 98: The pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are unlimited; it is not possible to write of them properly. I can give only an indication of them as I try to introduce them.

Text 99: 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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