Who is Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Also Gauranga Mahaprabhu)
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu descended as the combined incarnation of Srimati Radharani and Nandanandana Sri Krishna.
His color and mood is Radharani and He Himself is Krishna, the Supreme Being.
Sriman Mahaprabhu symbolizes the tri-form of Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, and the Srimad Bhagavatham (Veda Vyasa).
In strictness and adherence to His promise, He is Rama, the great wielder of the bow.
He is Swayam Krishna in His Magnanimity.
Lord Gauranga is the fountainhead of the devotees.
He is non-different from the book of the devotees, the Srimad Bhagavatham.
Mahaprabhu in Nawadwip and Jagannatha Puri
Sriman Mahaprabhu’s pastimes work as reminders for the entire human race.
Every event in His life symbolizes an important lesson in the book of humanity.
His conversations with the great sage Sanatana Goswami can be life-changing.
This conversation sets the precedent to understand the life and Importance of Bhakti.
Sriman Mahaprabhu preferred the Srimad Bhagavatham over all other works of Sri Veda Vyasa.
Love for God is another synonym, for the great Avatara Sriman Gauranga Mahaprabhu, the lion among devotees.
Mahaprabhu spent His time mainly in Jagannatha Puri, following His Sanyasa.
He sometimes, came down to Nawadwip, at the request of His dear devotees.
His biological mother, Sachi Devi, took that opportunity and met with Him when He came down to see His dear devotees in Nawadwip.
The Lord dances at Jagannatha Puri
The chariot festival of Jagannatha Puri attained new meanings and splendor only during the lifetime of Sriman Mahaprabhu.
The great Lord of beauty and grace would dance splendidly in front of the Ratha.
Lord Jagannatha, waited upon His dear other-self (Lord Chaitanya), to lead the dance party at Puri to make Lord Jagannatha happy.
One rarely got a chance to get a drop of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s mood and exaltation Puri, although Mahaprabhu distributed Hari Nama freely.
Anyone who receives even a tiny drop of the Bliss Ocean known as Mahaprabhu will be extremely fortunate.
King Prataparudra of Kalinga
At that time, King Prataparudra ruled as the King of Kalinga, modern-day Orissa.
The King, an exalted devotee of Lord Gauranga and Jagannatha, served as a just ruler.
The first one to be on the streets, the King broomed the pavements and the paths of Puri, readying it for the Ratha Yatra.
A rasika devotee, at heart, the king yearned to meet and attain the grace of Sriman Mahaprabhu.
The king realized that Mahaprabhu was none other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Wealthy Men cannot get Bhakti easily
Mahaprabhu’s Leela is simple.
But the Leela is also transcendent and difficult to grasp for people, who are not infused with Dharmic qualities.
The Lord said “I have nothing against kings.
Yet I do not want to see any king.
They do not interest me.
Opulence and worldly possessions have their flip side.
One who possesses is unfortunate in many ways.
His heart cannot be empty and open.
How can Krishna fit into a cluttered heart?
How can I meet such wealthy people who have position and possession as their wealth?
All kings bloat with matter and desires.
That is my opinion.
I do not fit into meeting such people.”
He would simply laugh when His dear devotees would come up with the request of King Prataparudra wanting to meet Him.
Women present hindrance say the Shastras
Nevertheless, Lord Gauranga was very strict with His close associates.
He warned His devotees to keep away even from a wooden doll of a woman.
He said that our Shastras, through the examples of rishis such as Narada and Vishwamitra demonstrated how lethal it is to associate with women.
People easily get influenced by them.
One should always avoid women especially when one is serious on the path of Bhakti.
Wealth can become poison
The same goes with wealthy men, the Lord believed.
If we interact with the rich and wealthy, one’s consciousness shall get ruined within no time.
A common man has limited resources.
Interacting with wealthy men will soon make him corrupt and lead to corrosion of his qualities, the Lord emphasized.
Sriman Mahaprabhu knows the heart of all Men
Sriman Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the inner witness in the heart of all living beings.
Can He not understand King Prataparudra’s genuine intentions?
Yet, this is a great Leela of the Lord, to drive home a specific point into the heart of all His devotees.
The King yearned to meet Lord Chaitanya and drink deep the nectar of Krishna Prema.
He was now parched out in agony, not being allowed entrance into the chamber of our great Lord, Sriman Mahaprabhu.
The Lord would reject and get angry with anyone who tried to put King Prataparudra’s case.
Such was His Leela.
The King Consults Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya
The King would weep in front of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, a close associate of the internal circle of devotees of Lord Chaitanya.
The Bhattacharya often consoled the King.
He would say, “Lord Chaitanya is Krishna Himself.
He knows your heart.
The Bhattacharya reassuringly said, “Don’t worry, by the mercy of our Lord, I will try and work out a plan for you.
The Lord dances in great ecstasy in the form of Lord Jagannatha.
After a while, He shall enter the Gundicha garden to take some rest.
You will have a chance then, I promise”, the Bhattacharya proclaimed.
Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya continued, “You should approach the Lord and recite the Gopi Gita from the Srimad Bhagavatham.
You are an expert on that subject and you understand the mellows of that great work.
Simply sing to Him, the Gopi Gita.
The Lord can never reject you.”
The Ratha Yatra Begins
On the next day, the Ratha Yatra commenced.
The great garland of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s devotees collected in front of the Ratha.
The garland of devotees was like the chanting beads.
Sriman Mahaprabhu is like “Krishnamani” (The starting bead of chanting beads, the bead from where one starts chanting).
Sriman Mahaprabhu smeared with fresh sandalwood bedecked with fresh forest flowers appeared like the “The Golden Volcano”.
Thousands of devotees assembled there.
They danced around the Ratha of Lord Jagannatha and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu led the dance party.
As the Lord danced, He was sucked into a volcano of Mahabhava (The highest emotion of Love of God).
Tears shot from His eyes like bullets of water.
None can ape or mimic the Supreme Lord
It is not possible that such emotions could well up within a living entity or Jiva.
No Jiva has the capacity to withstand the surge of other-worldly emotions.
Tears drenched the Lord.
The Prabhava Manifestation of Lord Gauranga
The contours on His face resembled colored poppies waiting to spew honey.
Each devotee found that there was one version of the Lord dancing along with him.
This was the Prabhava Prakasha manifestation of the Lord.
The Lord is simultaneously present with different people at different places at the same time.
Three men namely Kashi Mishra, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, and King Prataparudra could detect all the manifestations of Lord Gauranga, at that time.
For all others, it was as if the Lord was specifically dancing only in their personal company.
Such was the great fortune of the elevated king, Prataparudra.
King Prataparudra in waves of Ecstasy
As it was getting crowded the King, used the shoulder of Harichandana, another devotee, to have a closer look at Sriman Mahaprabhu.
The king did not want to lose sight of the ecstatic moods of the Lord.
Waves of ecstasy soon engulfed the king who lost consciousness, due to the Love of God.
Lord Gauranga in the mood of a Gopi
After quite a bit of dancing and basking in the mercy of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Chaitanya entered the Gundicha temple.
He lay exhausted, in the mood of a Gopi, pining for her beloved Sri Krishna.
All devotees continued dancing, while Mahaprabhu lay in the Gundicha garden thinking,
“My Lord Krishna has left me and gone to Mathura.
I am devastated.”
Other devotees tried to pacify the Lord, to reduce the heat of separation welling up in the Lord’s heart.
Earlier the Lord had flatly refused to see a woman or a wealthy man.
Today He was consumed by the mood of the Gopi Radhika and muttered, “Hey Krishna… Hey Krishna”
The King appears before the Lord
The king now wore the dress of a menial servant and reluctantly approached the great Lord, lying in the garden.
The king bore the look of an ordinary man.
He took the Lotus Feet of the Lord into his hands.
Then he began to sing in a melodious voice, the Gopi Geet, an exalted work from the Bhagavatham.
Sriman Mahaprabhu drowns in the Gopi Geet
Mahaprabhu, listened ardently without moving.
The king’s mellifluous recitation nourished the Lord’s mood.
Sriman Mahaprabhu wept and wept.
But this weeping did not resemble the weeping of ordinary souls.
Ordinary souls weep for food, shelter, clothing, and fragile material relationships.
This weeping of the Lord was the emotion of transcendence that pierced the material plane.
It shot up to the annals of the spiritual realm, tearing the layers of the material plane.
Sriman Mahaprabhu, with His eyes, fixated on the infinity, goaded, “Go on Go on.”
The King impresses Lord Gauranga
The king sang with renewed fervor holding the Lotus Feet of the Lord in the most delicate manner.
Mahaprabhu’s heart melted.
The Lord then lost all consciousness for a while.
Then He got up.
He inquired, “Who is pouring ambrosia into my ears.
I am indebted to this soul.”
Sriman Mahaprabhu rose and held the king by His arms.
Mahaprabhu asked, “Who are you?”
To this King, Prataparudra replied, “I am the servant of your servant of your servant.”
Sriman Mahaprabhu was pleased to hear such words filled with humility.
The Lord Accepts and Embraces King Prataparudra
The Lord said, “I am pleased with you.
But I am a beggar.
What can I give you in return?”
The Lord looked at King Prataparudra helplessly.
I shall give you my embrace because that is the only wealth
I can give you”, the Great Lord said.
Mahaprabhu then embraced the king.
The king melted in the arms of the Lord.
Their hearts were mixed.
The great Lord transferred some of His transcendental moods into the heart of the wealthy King.
Mahaprabhu thus presented to the King, the priceless gift of all.