From a lecture given by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja on Hawaii’s North Shore, on January 30, 2007
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: During the rainy season in India, on guru-pūrṇimā (vyāsa-pūrṇimā), devotees of all sampradāyas – Rāmānuja, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇusvāmī, Nimbāditya, and even Śaṅkarācārya – worship Śrīla Vyāsadeva.
In Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes, as that day was approaching, Mahāprabhu asked Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, “Where will we perform Vyāsa-pūjā?”
Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita boldly said, “I have all the paraphernalia for worship in my house, and I have the book that contains all procedures for the observance of Vyāsa-pūjā (Vyāsa-pūjā Paddhati). So, I request it be performed at my home.”
Mahāprabhu then declared, “Tomorrow will be Vyāsa-pūjā; everyone should come.” The next day all of Mahāprabhu’s associates came. Everything was ready, but Mahāprabhu was purposely somewhat late in entering the area of the worship.
Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita told Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, “Mahāprabhu is a little late, but we should begin. Please give the garland to Śrīla Vyāsadeva and let us begin Vyāsa-pūjā.” In an evasive way, Nityānanda Prabhu began to make the sounds “hmm, hmm,” and said, “I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it.”
When Mahāprabhu finally arrived, Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura complained to Him, saying, “Your Śrīpāda (Nityānanda Prabhu) is not performing Vyāsa-pūjā.”
Mahāprabhu then approached Nityānanda Prabhu and told Him, “O Nityānanda Prabhu, do it now.” Now seeing Mahāprabhu before Him, Nityānanda Prabhu took the garland and all the paraphernalia for worship, and offered them to Him – to show everyone that He is the supreme guru. Mahāprabhu is the guru of Vyāsa and all Vyāsas (all the Vyāsas that have appeared in the creation thus far). Thus, Nityānanda Prabhu declared that Mahāprabhu is Kṛṣṇa Himself.
While Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu was travelling with Lakṣmīpati throughout many of the pilgrimage places of India, after some time He came to Vṛndāvana. There, He was searching and calling out, “Where is Kṛṣṇa? Where is Kṛṣṇa?”
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: “Where is Kanhaiyā, where is Kanhaiyā?”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: He was caressing the cows and cowherd boys. He would run here and there, weeping like a mad person and calling out, “Oh, where is My Kṛṣṇa? Where is Kṛṣṇa?” Those who heard and saw Him ran away, thinking, “Who is this person? He is totally mad.” Actually He was totally mad.
Then, one day an aerial voice called to Him, “Nityānanda Prabhu, Your brother is not here now. He is in Navadvīpa. He has taken birth there and is now in His youth.”
Nityānanda Prabhu at once left Vṛndāvana and went to the border of Navadvīpa-dhāma, near the Ganges, where He hid Himself in the house of Śrī Nandana Ācārya. He considered, “If Mahāprabhu – if Kṛṣṇa – is here, and He will search for Me, only then will I know that He is really Nanda-nandana Kṛṣṇa; otherwise not.”
At that time, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was at Śrīvāsa-aṅgana, and He told the devotees, “A very great Vaiṣṇava has come to Navadvīpa. Please go to Him and bring Him here.” Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita and the other devotees searched everywhere, but they could not find Him. Then Mahāprabhu said, “Oh, I am coming. Let us find Him.”
When Mahāprabhu and His associates arrived at the house of Nandana Ācārya and entered there, Nityānanda Prabhu and Mahāprabhu saw each other. This was their first meeting, and for some time they both simply stared at each other. They embraced, and both fainted. Mahāprabhu later told Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita to recite a verse, which he uttered:
barhāpīḍaṁ naṭa-vara-vapuḥ karṇayoḥ karṇikāraṁ
bibhrad vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśaṁ vaijayantīṁ ca mālām
randhrān veṇor adhara-sudhayāpūrayan gopa-vṛndair
vṛndāraṇyaṁ sva-pada-ramaṇaṁ prāviśad gīta-kīrtiḥ
[Śyāmasundara is entering the forest of Vṛndāvana accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends. He wears a peacock feather in His turban, a yellow karṇikāra flower on His ears, a yellow-gold garment, and a victory garland strung with five kinds of fragrant forest flowers. Thus He displays His form as the greatest of dancers. The nectar of His lips flows through the holes of the flute [and thus the glorious vibrations of His flute-song echo throughout the forest groves]. Singing His glories, the cowherd boys follow from behind. In this way, Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma [which is more charming than Vaikuṇṭha], becomes delighted by the touch of His lotus feet.]
Both the Lords then returned to external consciousness and began to dance. Mahāprabhu told Nityānanda Prabhu, “Oh, please come with Me,” and brought Him to Śrīvāsa-aṅgana.
After that, Nityānanda Prabhu would sometimes reside at Śrīvāsa-aṅganā with Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita and his family. Sometimes He would be naked, at which time He would sit on the lap of Mālinī-devī, the wife of Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, like a baby, and Mālinī-devī would give Him her breast-milk.
Once, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu took off His dhoti and put it on His head (as a turban), and in this way He went to Śacīmātā’s house, calling, “Mother! Mother! I am very hungry!” Then, totally absorbed in the mood of Śrī Baladeva Prabhu, He searched for Kṛṣṇa, calling, “Where is Kanhaiyā?” Mahāprabhu then gave Nityānanda Prabhu His chaddar, personally wrapping it around Him, and Śacīmātā gave Him prasādam.
Mālinī-devī had a bowl…
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: A silver bowl.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: A silver bowl that was full of ghee and was meant for offering to the Deity. Once a big crow came and flew away with the bowl, and Mālinī-devī began to weep. Seeing this, Nityānanda Prabhu called to the crow, “Come on, come on. Bring back that pot!” The crow at once came back with the bowl.
Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu was present when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took sannyāsa. After taking sannyāsa, Mahāprabhu wanted to go to Vṛndāvana, but Nityānanda Prabhu brought Him by a trick to Advaita-bhavana (the house of Śrī Advaita Ācārya) in Śāntipura. There, all the residents of Nadia, including Śacīmātā, came and met with Him.
Nityānanda Prabhu broke Mahāprabhu’s daṇḍa in Orissa, in a place that later became known as Daṇḍa-bhāṅgā-nadī.
He sometimes used to mock quarrel with Śrī Advaita Ācārya. Nityānanda Prabhu kī jaya!
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Padmavātī-devī kī jaya! Hāḍāi Paṇḍita kī jaya! Viśvarūpa Prabhu kī jaya! Śacī Maiya kījaya! Gaura Nityānanda Prabhu kī jaya! Gaura Premānande! Hari hari bol!
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Thank you for coming to hear.
Vrajanātha dāsa: Gurudeva, did Śrī Viśvarūpa enter into Nityānanda Prabhu when He left the world?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: In Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā it is written that when Viśvarūpa disappeared, His power manifested in Īśvara-purīpāda, and afterward, when Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu met with Mahāprabhu, Viśvarūpa manifested in Nityānanda Prabhu.
Vṛndā-devī dāsī: I was discussing with Ratikalā in Bali. You had given a couple of lectures on Nityānanda Prabhu there, and you were testing the devotees to see if they knew whether Nityānanda Prabhu can give gopī-prema. Ratikalā answered correctly.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: During the manifest pastimes of Mahāprabhu, Nityānanda Prabhu married the two sisters, Vasudhā and Jāhṇavā, who were none other than Revatī and Vāruṇī, Śrī Baladeva Prabhu’s wives during the pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
When Nityānanda Prabhu married, many people became confused and did not want to honour Him as before. But Mahāprabhu always respected Him, and told Him to preach in Bengal. In this regard Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has said, “If anyone, after hearing the glories of Nityānanda Prabhu, criticizes Him, I will kick that person on his head.”
Advaita Ācārya had six sons. Three of his sons, Balarāma, Svarūpa, and Jagadīśa, used to respect Mahāprabhu and Advaita Ācārya, but they were confused about Nityānanda Prabhu and did not honour Him. Advaita Ācārya therefore rejected these sons, and accepted only Acyutānanda as his son.
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