By Dwaipayan De
Srila Vrindavan Das Thakura has written one song whose first few lines are as follows:
are bhai nitai amara dayara avadhi
jivera karuna kari dese dese phiri phiri
prema-dhana yace nirabadhi
Here Vrindavan Das Thakura sings the glories of Lord Nitai who wanders from one place to another, distributing the ecstatic love of Godhead to one and all without any discrimination.
Lord Nityananda,is none other than Lord Balaram, who advents in this age of Kali, as the most merciful incarnation (Dayara avadhi) to assist His elder brother Sri Krishna in His pastimes. Sri Krishna, however sacrifices His original blackish hue, and accepts the devotional mood and golden complexion of Sri Radha, to perform and relish the most amazing and beautiful pastimes as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Gouranga).
The word ‘doya’ translates to ‘mercy’ and the word ‘avadhi’ means limit. Lord Nityananda or Nitai as he is lovingly addressed, is the most supremely merciful. There is no limit to His mercy; its unfathomable and unlimited. If there is any limit to it at all, then He is the Limit (avadhi).
The reader, if unaware of the beautiful nectarian pastimes performed by Lord Gouranga and Nityananda during their advent 500 years ago, is requested to dive deep into the riches of devotional gems left behind by stalwart devotees such as Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami and Vrindavan Das Thakura in their renouned literary works Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata respectively, which is sure to impart a Higher Taste upon the reader; a taste that would last forever.
The scope of this article ,however, is limited to discussions about Lord Nityananda, His imparting of ecstatic love to one and all without discrimination and how obtaining His mercy is the key to the devotional life of an aspiring spiritualist.
Heno Nitai Bine Bhai ,Radha Krishna Paite Nai
(Unless one takes shelter under the shade of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda,
it will be very difficult for him to approach Radha-Krishna)
In his book Prarthana, Narottama Das Thakur writes :
je chayay jagata juray
heno nitai bine bhai, radha-krishna paite nai
dridha kori’ dharo nitair pay
Translation– The lotus feet of Lord Nityananda are a shelter where one will get the soothing moonlight not only of one,but of millions of moons. If the world wants to have real peace, it should take shelter of Lord Nityananda.Unless one takes shelter under the shade of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, it will be very difficult for him to approach Radha-Krishna. If one actually wants to enter into the dancing party of Radha-Krishna, he must
firmly catch hold of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.
The lotus feet of Lord Nitai , is the shelter of all the fallen souls like us, all the sinful living entities like us, who have no qualifications whatsoever, to approach God. Nitai’s mercy is the only factor which can rescue us from this illusory, enticing and suffering world of Maya, and help us re-establish our lost connection with the Supreme.
If one thinks that he can approach Radha and Krishna directly, then he is surely a fool for without Lord Nitai’s mercy, none of us can gain entrance into the eternal pastimes of the divine couple.
The only quality we should possess, however, is the strong desire to hold onto Lord Nitai’s feet ; to cry out for His mercy and Doyal Nitai would surely give us protection.
We all know of the pastime where Raghunath Das Gosani received the mercy of Doyal Nitai in Panihati , (Bengal, India) after he had served and fed all the vaishnavas sumptuously with curd and chipped rice. Raghunath Das, who had previously fled from his home, in order to join the Lord Chaitanya in His Sankirtana movement, was asked by the Lord to return back to His home. In other words Raghunath didn’t receive Lord Gauranga’s mercy at that time.
But when Raghunath Das approached merciful Nitai and satisfied Him by feeding all the vaishnavas as mentioned above, Lord Nitai blessed him wholeheartedly . Raghunath Das Goswami, subsequently became one of the highly revered of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan, and is known as the prayojana Acharya of our sampradaya. Such was his exalted status, that Srimati Radharani Herself used to hold her Saree over Raghunath Das Gosani’s head while he was busy chanting his rounds,in order to block the scorching rays of sun from hurting him.
The implication is quite evident – If Lord Nitai glances mercifully upon someone, Lord Chaitanya, the other members of panchatattva ,as well as Radha and Krishna are automatically merciful upon him/her.
On the other hand, if someone offends Nitai, he is rejected by all of them, as we are going to discuss below.
We must be knowing the pastime of the Landlord Ramachandra Khan, who being envious towards the vaishnavas, had insulted Nityananda Prabhu by denying him shelter inside his house and asked him to go and stay in a cow-shed instead. As a reaction to this, within a few days, the Mohammedan ministers came to Ramachandra’s house, finding discrepancies with his income tax, and punished him by plundering his wealth,his followers and destroyed the sanctity of his house by killing and eating a cow over there.
We also find the instance of Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami’s elder brother falling down, when he made offensive remarks regarding the position of Lord Nitai to Mineketan Ramdas. Though the elder brother was very devoted to Lord Chaitanya, still on account of his disregarding Lord Nitai, he was denied of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy and hence he fell down.
So Locana Das Thakura writes:
je deshe mora nitai nai, se deshe na jaba;
Nitai vimukha janara, mukha na heriba
Translation – I have taken a determined lifelong vow that I will never ever visit that place even in my dreams where the Holy Name of Nityananda is not known. I will never even desire to see the face of a person who is even minutely or indirectly averse to the Holy Name
and Glories of Lord Nityananda.
We should understand that without clinging onto Lord Nitai’s lotus feet, there is absolutely no hope of any deliverance from this dark ocean of material existence. Nothing ,absolutely nothing, should deter us from seeking out His all-merciful compassionate glance, which is the very objective of our lives.
Hence, Locana Das Thakura further writes :
samsara sukhera mukhe, tule dibe chai;
nagare magiya khaba, gaiya nitai.
Translation : I will spit in distaste at even the thought of enjoying the insignificant and flickering pleasures of this material world. Instead with full determination I will dedicate my life to chant, sing, preach and relish the unlimited nectar in the Holy Name of Lord Nityananda in every town and village and eat whatever is obtained by begging at a few houses.
Gadadhara Pandita, who is none other than Srimati Radharani ,the hladini potency of the Supreme Lord,never accepts anyone who offends Lord Nityananda. Below is a reference from Chaitanya Bhagavata which reiterates the absolute necessity of Doyal Nitai’s mercy for seeking entrance into the eternal pastimes of Radha and Krishna.
gadadhara-devera sankalpa ei-rupa
nityananda-nindakera na dekhena mukha
“This is the vow of Gadadhara: he would never see the face of one who offends Nityananda.”
Heno avatare jar rati na janmilo, locana bole sei papi elo ar gelo
(Whoever has not experienced the awakening of affection for such an avatara as this (Nitai) , that sinful person simply comes and goes uselessly in the cycle of repeated birth and death)
Locana Das Thakur in his book Chaitanya Mangala, describes Lord Nityananda as a jewel of virtues.
He vividly describes the pastimes performed by Lord Nitai, after He was ordered to return from Puri by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in order to spread the sankirtan movement here in Bengal.
Locana Das Thakura writes :
dina hina patita pamara nahi bache
brahmar durlabha prema sabakare jace
Translation : Lord Nityananda freely offered this exalted prema, which is difficult for Lord Brahma to attain, even to the fallen and wretched souls who did not desire it.
This is the magnanimity of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. He freely distributes the ecstatic love of Godhead, which is difficult for even Brahma or Shiva to achieve and which eludes even the denizens of Mathura and Dvarka, to the general populace. He doesn’t discriminate between the deserving and the fallen, nor does He judge the recipient before bestowing His causeless mercy upon him. Doyal Nitai imparts this rare gem of Krishna prema(ecstatic devotional love) unto everyone.
Lord Nitai,along with His associates, flooded Bengal with Harinaam Sankirtan. He delivered one and all, by immersing them in the ecstatic love of the Supreme Lord.
abaddha karuna-sindhu nitai katiya muhan
ghare ghare bule prema-amiyar ban
Translation – The ocean of mercy had formerly been sealed tight, but Nitai cut a channel in its boundary to allow the great flooding waves of nectarean love to splash from house to house.
We have all heard how Jagai and Madhai, the sinful drunkards,cow-eaters and murderers from Navadwip, were delivered due to the causeless mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. We all know how they attacked Nityananda prabhu by hurling broken pots towards Him, when He urged them to chant the holy names of the Lord.
Inspite of being hurt, inspite of the blood oozing from His forehead, Doyal Nitai kept urging Jagai and Madhai to chant the holy name. Later when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to kill them with His Sudarshan chakra for offending Nityananda prabhu, it was Lord Nitai who again saved them .
By bestowing His causeless mercy upon these two poor souls, Nitai was instrumental in delivering them and transforming them into elevated vaishnavas. Jagai and Madhai gave up their sinful lives and atoned for their past sins by begging forgiveness from all the people whom they had previously offended. They also constructed a bathing place on the shore of the Ganges, in Navadwip , as a service to all who would come to bathe over there.
So what was the qualification of Jagai and Madhai , that made them the recipient of such a supreme benediction ?
Well, the answer is none. It was simply the causeless mercy of Nityananda Prabhu that delivered these two poor souls.
jare dekhe tare kohe dante trna dhori’
amare kiniya loho bolo gaura-hari
Translation : He exclaims to whomever he sees while holding straw between his teeth, “Please purchase me by worshipping Gaurahari!”
Lord Nitai, was intoxicated with an intense love of God and he wanted to distribute it to the others .In such a state of utter ecstasy, he would sometimes dance in joy, jumping high up in the air, sometimes cry, sometimes laugh or sometimes roll over on the ground.
eto boli’ nityananda bhume gadi jay
sonara parvata jeno dhulate lotay
Translation : Saying thus, Nityananda Prabhu rolls about on the ground, appearing like a golden mountain tumbling in the dust.
How can we possibly attempt to describe our Doyal Nitai ?
His magnanimous qualities are simply beyond any human definition. How can we possibly comprehend the activities of the First expansion of the Supreme Lord , who left behind all His wealth,fame and position in Vaikuntha, and acted in such a degraded manner of – holding straws between His teeth, begging from door to door urging people to chant, rolling over on the dusty grounds, getting attacked by drunkards, bestowing mercy even upon His offenders, roaming around without wearing any clothes, etc
In the words of Locana Das Thakura :
locan bole mor nitai jeba na bhajilo
janiya suniya sei atma-ghati hoilo
Translation : Locana dasa says, “Whoever has not worshiped my Nitai or taken advantage of this excellent opportunity offered by Him knowingly commits suicide.”
So let us not commit spiritual suicide by wasting the precious moments of this valuable human form of life any further, and start utilizing it to cultivate Rati(love) for our Doyal Nitai, without any further delay.