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The Inconceivable Behavior of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu

The following summary of chapter nineteen is given by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya. Every year, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked Jagadānanda Paṇḍita to visit His mother in Navadvīpa with gifts of cloth and prasādam. After one such visit, Jagadānanda Paṇḍita returned to Purī with a sonnet that Advaita Ācārya had written. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu read it, His ecstasy was so great that all the devotees feared that the Lord would very soon pass away. The Lord’s condition was so serious that at night He would bruise and bloody His face by rubbing it against the walls. To stop this, Svarūpa Dāmodara asked Śaṅkara Paṇḍita to stay at night in the same room with the Lord.

This chapter further describes how Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu entered the Jagannātha-vallabha garden during the full-moon night of Vaiśākha (April-May) and experienced various transcendental ecstasies. Overwhelmed with ecstatic love at suddenly seeing Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa beneath an aśoka tree, He exhibited various symptoms of spiritual madness.

Text 1: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the most exalted of all devotees of mothers, spoke like a madman and rubbed His face against the walls. Overwhelmed by emotions of ecstatic love, He would sometimes enter the Jagannātha-vallabha garden to perform His pastimes. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.

Text 2: All glories to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityānanda! All glories to Advaita Ācārya! And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu!

Text 3: In the ecstasy of love of Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu thus behaved like a madman, talking insanely all day and night.

Text 4: Jagadānanda Paṇḍita was a very dear devotee of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Lord derived great pleasure from his activities.

Text 5: Knowing His mother to be greatly afflicted by separation from Him, the Lord would send Jagadānanda Paṇḍita to Navadvīpa every year to console her.

Text 6: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told Jagadānanda Paṇḍita, “Go to Nadia and offer My obeisances to My mother. Touch her lotus feet in My name.

Text 7: “Tell her for Me, ‘Please remember that I come here every day and offer My respects to your lotus feet.

Text 8: ‘Any day you desire to feed Me, I certainly come and accept what you offer.

Text 9: ‘I have given up service to you and have accepted the vow of sannyāsa. I have thus become mad and have destroyed the principles of religion.

Text 10: ‘Mother, please do not take this as an offense, for I, your son, am completely dependent upon you.

Text 11: ‘I am staying here at Nīlācala, Jagannātha Purī, according to your order. As long as I live, I shall not leave this place.’ ”

Text 12: Following the order of Paramānanda Purī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sent His mother the prasāda clothing left by Lord Jagannātha after His pastimes as a cowherd boy.

Text 13: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu very carefully brought first-class prasādam from Lord Jagannātha and sent it in separate packages to His mother and the devotees at Nadia.

Text 14: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the topmost gem of all devotees of mothers. He rendered service to His mother even after He had accepted the vow of sannyāsa.

Text 15: Jagadānanda Paṇḍita thus went to Nadia, and when he met Śacīmātā, he conveyed to her all the Lord’s salutations.

Text 16: He then met all the other devotees, headed by Advaita Ācārya, and gave them the prasādam of Jagannātha. After staying for one month, he took permission from mother Śacī to leave.

Text 17: When he went to Advaita Ācārya and also asked His permission to return, Advaita Prabhu gave him a message to deliver to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 18: Advaita Ācārya had written a sonnet in equivocal language with an import that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu could understand but others could not.

Text 19: In His sonnet, Advaita Prabhu first offered His obeisances hundreds and thousands of times unto the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He then submitted the following statement at His lotus feet.

Text 20: “Please inform Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is acting like a madman, that everyone here has become mad like Him. Inform Him also that in the marketplace rice is no longer in demand.

Text 21: “Further tell Him that those now mad in ecstatic love are no longer interested in the material world. Also tell Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu that one who has also become a madman in ecstatic love [Advaita Prabhu] has spoken these words.”

Text 22: When he heard Advaita Ācārya’s statement, Jagadānanda Paṇḍita began to laugh, and when he returned to Jagannātha Purī, Nīlācala, he informed Caitanya Mahāprabhu of everything.

Text 23: After hearing the equivocal sonnet by Advaita Ācārya, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu quietly smiled. “That is His order,” He said. Then He fell silent.

Text 24: Although he knew the secret, Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī inquired from the Lord, “What is the meaning of this sonnet? I could not understand it.”

Text 25: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “Advaita Ācārya is a great worshiper of the Lord and is very expert in the regulative principles enjoined in the Vedic literatures.

Text 26: “Advaita Ācārya invites the Lord to come and be worshiped, and to perform the worship He keeps the Deity for some time.

Text 27: “After the worship is completed, He sends the Deity somewhere else. I do not know the meaning of this sonnet, nor do I know what is in Advaita Prabhu’s mind.

Text 28: “Advaita Ācārya is a great mystic. No one can understand Him. He is expert in writing sonnets that even I Myself cannot understand.”

Text 29: Hearing this, all the devotees were astonished, especially Svarūpa Dāmodara, who became somewhat morose.

Text 30: From that day on, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s emotional state changed markedly; His feelings of separation from Kṛṣṇa doubled in intensity.

Text 31: As His feelings of separation in the ecstasy of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī increased at every moment, the Lord’s activities, both day and night, were now wild, insane performances.

Text 32: Suddenly there awoke within Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu the scene of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s departure to Mathurā, and He began exhibiting the symptom of ecstatic madness known as udghūrṇā.

Text 33: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu spoke like a madman, holding Rāmānanda Rāya by the neck, and He questioned Svarūpa Dāmodara, thinking him to be His gopī friend.

Text 34: Just as Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī inquired from Her personal friend Viśākhā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, reciting that very verse, began speaking like a madman.

Text 35: ‘My dear friend, where is Kṛṣṇa, who is like the moon rising from the ocean of Mahārāja Nanda’s dynasty? Where is Kṛṣṇa, His head decorated with a peacock feather? Where is He? Where is Kṛṣṇa, whose flute produces such a deep sound? Oh, where is Kṛṣṇa, whose bodily luster is like the luster of the blue indranīla jewel? Where is Kṛṣṇa, who is so expert in rāsa dancing? Oh, where is He, who can save My life? Kindly tell Me where to find Kṛṣṇa, the treasure of My life and best of My friends. Feeling separation from Him, I hereby condemn Providence, the shaper of My destiny.’

Text 36: “The family of Mahārāja Nanda is just like an ocean of milk, wherein Lord Kṛṣṇa has arisen like the full moon to illuminate the entire universe. The eyes of the residents of Vraja are like cakora birds that continuously drink the nectar of His bodily luster and thus live peacefully.

Text 37: “My dear friend, where is Kṛṣṇa? Kindly let Me see Him. My heart breaks at not seeing His face even for a moment. Kindly show Him to Me immediately; otherwise I cannot live.

Text 38: “The women of Vṛndāvana are just like lilies growing hot in the sun of lusty desires. But moonlike Kṛṣṇa makes them all jubilant by bestowing upon them the nectar of His hands. O My dear friend, where is My moon now? Save My life by showing Him to Me!

Text 39: “My dear friend, where is that beautiful helmet with a peacock feather upon it like a rainbow upon a new cloud? Where are those yellow garments, shining like lightning? And where is that necklace of pearls that resemble flocks of herons flying in the sky? The blackish body of Kṛṣṇa triumphs over the new blackish rain cloud.

Text 40: “If a person’s eyes even once capture that beautiful body of Kṛṣṇa, it remains always prominent within his heart. Kṛṣṇa’s body resembles the sap of the mango tree, for when it enters the minds of women, it will not come out, despite great endeavor. Thus Kṛṣṇa’s extraordinary body is like a thorn of the seyā berry tree.

Text 41: “Kṛṣṇa’s bodily luster shines like the indranīla gem and surpasses the luster of the tamāla tree. The luster of His body drives the entire world mad because Providence has made it transparent by refining the essence of the mellow of conjugal love and mixing it with moonshine.

Text 42: “The deep vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute surpasses the thundering of new clouds and attracts the aural reception of the entire world. Thus the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana rise and pursue that sound, drinking the showering nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s bodily luster like thirsty cātaka birds.

Text 43: “Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of art and culture, and He is the panacea that saves My life. O My dear friend, since I live without Him, who is the best among My friends, I condemn the duration of My life. I think that Providence has cheated Me in many ways.

Text 44: “Why does Providence continue the life of one who does not wish to live?” This thought aroused anger and lamentation in Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who then recited a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that chastises Providence and makes an accusation against Kṛṣṇa.

Text 45: ‘O Providence, you have no mercy! You bring embodied souls together through friendship and affection, but before their desires are fulfilled, you separate them. Your activities are like the foolish pranks of children.’

Text 46: “Providence, you do not know the purport of loving affairs, and therefore you baffle all Our endeavors. This is very childish of you. If We could catch you, We would give you such a lesson that you would never again make such arrangements.

Text 47: “Oh, cruel Providence! You are very unkind, for you bring together in love people who are rarely in touch with each other. Then, after you have made Them meet but before They are fulfilled, you again spread Them far apart.

Text 48: “O Providence, you are so unkind! You reveal the beautiful face of Kṛṣṇa and make the mind and eyes greedy, but after they have drunk that nectar for only a moment, you whisk Kṛṣṇa away to another place. This is a great sin because you thus take away what you have given as charity.

Text 49: “O misbehaved Providence! If you reply to Us, ‘Akrūra is actually at fault; why are You angry with me?’ then I say to you, ‘Providence, you have taken the form of Akrūra and have stolen Kṛṣṇa away. No one else would behave like this.’

Text 50: “But this is the fault of My own destiny. Why should I needlessly accuse you? There is no intimate relationship between you and Me. Kṛṣṇa, however, is My life and soul. It is We who live together, and it is He who has become so cruel.

Text 51: “He for whom I have left everything is personally killing Me with His own hands. Kṛṣṇa has no fear of killing women. Indeed, I am dying for Him, but He doesn’t even turn back to look at Me. Within a moment, He has broken off Our loving affairs.

Text 52: “Yet why should I be angry with Kṛṣṇa? It is the fault of My own misfortune. The fruit of My sinful activities has ripened, and therefore Kṛṣṇa, who has always been dependent on My love, is now indifferent. This means that My misfortune is very strong.”

Text 53: In this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu lamented in the mood of separation, “Alas, alas! O Kṛṣṇa, where have You gone?” Feeling in His heart the ecstatic emotions of the gopīs, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu agonized in their words, saying, “O Govinda! O Dāmodara! O Mādhava!”

Text 54: Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāmānanda Rāya then devised various means to pacify the Lord. They sang songs of meeting that transformed His heart and made His mind peaceful.

Text 55: As Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu lamented in this way, half the night passed. Then Svarūpa Dāmodara made the Lord lie down in the room known as the Gambhīrā.

Text 56: After the Lord was made to lie down, Rāmānanda Rāya returned home, and Svarūpa Dāmodara and Govinda lay down at the door of the Gambhīrā.

Text 57: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stayed awake all night, chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, His mind overwhelmed by spiritual ecstasy.

Text 58: Feeling separation from Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was so distraught that in great anxiety He stood up and began rubbing His face against the walls of the Gambhīrā.

Text 59: Blood oozed from the many injuries on His mouth, nose and cheeks, but due to His ecstatic emotions, the Lord did not know it.

Text 60: In ecstasy, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu rubbed His face against the walls all night long, making a peculiar sound, “goṅ-goṅ,” which Svarūpa Dāmodara could hear through the door.

Text 61: Lighting a lamp, Svarūpa Dāmodara and Govinda entered the room. When they saw the Lord’s face, they were filled with sorrow.

Text 62: They brought the Lord to His bed, calmed Him and then asked, “Why have You done this to Yourself?”

Text 63: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “I was in such anxiety that I could not stay in the room. I wanted to go out, and therefore I wandered about the room, looking for the door.

Text 64: “Unable to find the door, I kept hitting the four walls with My face. My face was injured, and it bled, but I still could not get out.”

Text 65: In this state of madness, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mind was unsteady. Whatever He said or did was all symptomatic of madness.

Text 66: Svarūpa Dāmodara was very anxious, but then he had an idea. The following day, he and the other devotees considered it together.

Text 67: After consulting with one another, they entreated Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to allow Śaṅkara Paṇḍita to lie down in the same room with Him.

Text 68: Thus Śaṅkara Paṇḍita lay at the feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and the Lord placed His legs upon Śaṅkara’s body.

Text 69: Śaṅkara became celebrated by the name Prabhu-pādopādhāna [“the pillow of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu”]. He was like Vidura, as Śukadeva Gosvāmī previously described him.

Text 70: “When submissive Vidura, the resting place of the legs of Lord Kṛṣṇa, had thus spoken to Maitreya, Maitreya began speaking, his hair standing on end due to the transcendental pleasure of discussing topics concerning Lord Kṛṣṇa.”

Text 71: Śaṅkara massaged the legs of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but while massaging he would fall asleep and thus lie down.

Text 72: He would lie asleep without a covering on his body, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would get up and wrap him with His own quilt.

Text 73: Śaṅkara Paṇḍita would always fall asleep, but he would quickly awaken, sit up and again begin massaging the legs of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In this way he would stay awake the entire night.

Text 74: Out of fear of Śaṅkara, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu could neither leave His room nor rub His lotuslike face against the walls.

Text 75: This pastime of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s has been described very nicely by Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī in his book known as Gaurāṅga-stava-kalpavṛkṣa.

Text 76: “Because of separation from His many friends in Vṛndāvana, who were like His own life, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu spoke like a madman. His intelligence was transformed. Day and night He rubbed His moonlike face against the walls, and blood flowed from the injuries. May that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu rise in my heart and make me mad with love.”

Text 77: In this way Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stayed immersed day and night in an ocean of ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa. Sometimes He was submerged, and sometimes He floated.

Text 78: One full-moon night in the month of Vaiśākha [April-May], Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to a garden.

Text 79: The Lord, along with His devotees, entered one of the nicest gardens, called Jagannātha-vallabha.

Text 80: In the garden were fully blossomed trees and creepers exactly like those in Vṛndāvana. Bumblebees and birds like the śuka, śārī and pika talked with one another.

Text 81: A mild breeze was blowing, carrying the fragrance of aromatic flowers. The breeze had become a guru and was teaching all the trees and creepers how to dance.

Text 82: Brightly illuminated by the full moon, the trees and creepers glittered in the light.

Text 83: The six seasons, especially spring, seemed present there. Seeing the garden, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was very happy.

Text 84: In this atmosphere, the Lord had His associates sing the verse from the Gīta-govinda beginning with the words “lalita-lavaṅga-latā” as He danced and wandered about with them.

Text 85: As He thus wandered around every tree and creeper, He came beneath an aśoka tree and suddenly saw Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Text 86: When He saw Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began running very swiftly, but Kṛṣṇa smiled and disappeared.

Text 87: Having gotten Kṛṣṇa and then lost Him, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu fell to the ground unconscious.

Text 88: The entire garden was filled with the scent of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu smelled it, He fell unconscious at once.

Text 89: But the scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body incessantly entered His nostrils, and the Lord became mad to relish it.

Text 90: Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī once spoke a verse to Her gopī friends describing how She hankers for the transcendental scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recited that same verse and made its meaning clear.

Text 91: ‘The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body surpasses the aroma of musk and attracts the minds of all women. The eight lotuslike parts of His body distribute the fragrance of lotuses mixed with that of camphor. His body is anointed with aromatic substances like musk, camphor, sandalwood and aguru. O My dear friend, that Personality of Godhead, also known as the enchanter of Cupid, always increases the desire of My nostrils.’

Text 92: “The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body surpasses the fragrances of musk and the bluish lotus flower. Spreading throughout the fourteen worlds, it attracts everyone and makes the eyes of all women blind.

Text 93: “My dear friend, the scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body enchants the entire world. It especially enters the nostrils of women and remains seated there. Thus it captures them and forcibly brings them to Kṛṣṇa.

Text 94: “Kṛṣṇa’s eyes, navel and face, hands and feet are like eight lotus flowers on His body. From those eight lotuses emanates a fragrance like a mixture of camphor and lotus. That is the scent associated with His body.

Text 95: “When sandalwood pulp is mixed with aguru, kuṅkuma, musk and camphor and spread on Kṛṣṇa’s body, it combines with Kṛṣṇa’s own original bodily perfume and seems to cover it.

Text 96: “The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body is so attractive that it enchants the bodies and minds of all women. It bewilders their nostrils, loosens their belts and hair, and makes them madwomen. All the women of the world come under its influence, and therefore the scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body is like a plunderer.

Text 97: “Falling completely under its influence, the nostrils yearn for it continuously, although sometimes they obtain it and sometimes not. When they do they drink their fill, though they still want more and more, but if they don’t, out of thirst they die.

Text 98: “The dramatic actor Madana-mohana has opened a shop of scents that attract the women of the world to be His customers. He delivers the scents freely, but they make the women all so blind they cannot find the path returning home.”

Text 99: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, His mind thus stolen by the scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body, ran here and there like a bumblebee. He ran to the trees and plants, hoping that Lord Kṛṣṇa would appear, but instead He found only that scent.

Text 100: Both Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāmānanda Rāya sang to the Lord, who danced and enjoyed happiness until the morning arrived. Then the Lord’s two associates devised a plan to bring Him to external consciousness.

Text 101: Thus, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, the servant of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, have sung of four divisions of the Lord’s pastimes in this chapter: the Lord’s devotion to His mother, His words of madness, His rubbing His face against the walls at night, and His dancing at the appearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s fragrance.

Text 102: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu thus returned to external consciousness. He then bathed and went to see Lord Jagannātha.

Text 103: The pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa are uncommonly full of transcendental potency. It is a characteristic of such pastimes that they do not fall within the jurisdiction of experimental logic and arguments.

Text 104: When transcendental love of Kṛṣṇa awakens in someone’s heart, even a learned scholar cannot comprehend his activities.

Text 105: “The activities and symptoms of that exalted personality in whose heart love of Godhead has awakened cannot be understood even by the most learned scholar.”

Text 106: The activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are undoubtedly uncommon, especially His talking like a madman. Therefore, one who hears of these pastimes should not put forward mundane arguments. He should simply hear the pastimes with full faith.

Text 107: The evidence of the truth of these talks is found in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. There, in the section of the Tenth Canto known as the Bhramara-gīta, “The Song to the Bumblebee,” Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī speaks insanely in ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.

Text 108: The songs of the queens at Dvārakā, which are mentioned at the end of the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, have a very special meaning. They are not understood even by the most learned scholars.

Text 109: If one becomes a servant of the servants of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Lord Nityānanda Prabhu and is favored by Them, he can believe in all these discourses.

Text 110: Just try to hear these topics with faith, for there is great pleasure even in hearing them. That hearing will destroy all miseries pertaining to the body, mind and other living entities, and the unhappiness of false arguments as well.

Text 111: Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta is ever-increasingly fresh. For one who hears it again and again, the heart and ear become pacified.

Text 112: 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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