All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

The Holy Appearance Day of
Lord Nityananda Prabhu

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The Unlimited, Unconditional Mercy of Nityananda Prabhu


The Deities of Parama Karuna Sri-Sri Nitai-Gaurachandra, chosen by Srila Gurudev and now installed in the Temple of Caracas, Venezuela, recently graced by his divine presence.

parama koruna, pahun dui jana,
     nitai gauracandra
saba avatara- sara siromani,
     kevala ananda-kanda

'The two Lords, Nitai-Gauracandra, are very merciful. They are the essence of all incarnations. The specific significance of these incarnations is that They introduced a process of chanting and dancing that is simply joyful.'

From a discourse by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj on the Appearance Day Festival of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, February 15, 2003, Nabadwip, India

Today is a very auspicious day for this world because Sri Nityananda Prabhu appeared, who is so merciful, more merciful even than Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu is chastising someone a little, Nityananda Prabhu is giving much nourishment to him. Kala Krsna Das was unwanted in the Sampradaya, this was shown by Mahaprabhu, but Nityananda Prabhu didn't care. He took him and gave him so much mercy, and took him as His own parsada. Like that, Nityananda Prabhu's character is very, very deep and very merciful. What can I say about Nityananda Prabhu!

We have seen Srila Guru Maharaj show us that he is always depending on the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. A servitor wanted to give Srila Guru Maharaj his Harinam japa mala to chant, but he said, "No, no, no my only hope now is Nityananda Prabhu. Dayal Nitai! Dayal Nitai! Dayal Nitai!" This we have seen in Guru Maharaj's character.

Anyhow, that Nityananda was so merciful to Jagai and Madhai, to the Kazi Muslim leader, and to so many others, fallen souls and asuras. By the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu they all received liberation and Prema Bhakti ó not only liberation. That Nityananda Prabhu is more merciful than Mahaprabhu. Sri Vrindavan Das Thakur and Sri Krsna Dasa Kaviraj Goswami told us that Nityananda appeared in Rarha-desa, Birbhum District. He was the only son of Hadai Pandit and Padmavati Devi, but from that day Rarha-desa became so much enriched with Krsna-Bhakti, and Nityananda Prabhu played at Ekachakra Dham. Ekachakra village later took the name Virachandrapur. At that time Virachandra Prabhu bestowed his mercy more than Nityananda Prabhu all over the world at that time.

The Play of the Lord

All the children would play with Nityananda Prabhu in the village, but His play was Krsna lila. Krsna played in Braja Dham, and Nityananda Prabhu played all the pastimes of Krsna in the form of Nityananda, as Balaram. His nature was like that. And that Nityananda Prabhu was just twelve years old when a sannyasi came to his father's house. As soon as the sannyasi saw Nityananda, he immediately understood that He was not an ordinary boy. He asked His father, Hadai Pandit, "I am going to many pilgrimage places, and it is my prayer that you give this boy to me." Hearing this was like a thunderbolt to Hadai Pandit and he fainted, but finally he gave Nityananda Prabhu to that sannyasi.

"The pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are revealed by Nityananda's mercy only, because His personal expansion, Ananta Sesa, is the storehouse of information about Lord Chaitanya and Lord Krsna's pastimes."

-Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi Lila, Chapter One

This Deity of Lord Anantadev holds the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Sridhar Seva Ashram of Veracruz, Mexico, recently visited by Srila Gurudev.

In this way Nityananda Prabhu left His house when He was twelve years old, but His pastimes were miraculous. Everywhere He went he gave Krsna-Prema but He Himself was hiding from all the circumstances. Until joining with Mahaprabhu's pastimes, Nityananda Prabhu did not reveal much of His actual nature.

Some said the sannyasi was Madhavendra Puri, and some said he was another sannyasi but that later Nityananda met Madhavendra Puri at the pilgrimage places. Anyhow Nityananda Prabhu and Madhavendra Puri could understand each other easily, and Madhavendra Puri accepted Nityananda Prabhu, by divine will, as his disciple.

Madhavendra Puri's meeting with Nityananda Prabhu made a turning point in His life, and after that, Nityananda Prabhu went to so many pilgrimage places. Nityananda Prabhu was perhaps one year senior in age to Mahaprabhu. Then, when He was seeing all the pilgrimage places with ecstasy of Krsna-Prema He went to Vrindavan, where He searched, "Where is Krsna? Where is Krsna?" And Krsna himself in the human form came to him and said: "I have now appeared in a household in Nabadwip." Then Nityananda Prabhu came to Nabadwip. At that time, Mahaprabhu also came back from Gaya Dham and showed His Krsna-Prema in the devotees' assembly. When the devotees understood what was the form of Mahaprabhu, they were very happy and they understood that this is the incarnation of the Lord and that the Lord Himself had appeared for bestowing His mercy through Harinam Sankirttan.

Mahaprabhu started there, little by little, a Sankirttan programme. After coming back from Gaya Dham, Mahaprabhu started some Sankirttan program every night in Srivas Pandit's house. This way Mahaprabhu was spending His time and waiting for Nityananda. Nobody knew why Mahaprabhu wasn't widely starting, but when Nityananda came, they understood that this is the cause. Adwaita Prabhu declared that Mahaprabhu is Bhagavan. Srivas Pandit, Gadadhara Pandit, all declared everywhere that Mahaprabhu is Bhagavan, and Mahaprabhu also showed them that. But Mahaprabhu was not showing His full manifestation as the giver of Krsna-Prema. He was waiting for Nityananda. We see this in the Scriptures.

Where is Krsna?

Sriman Mahaprabhu at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, London, visited by Srila Gurudev in September 2004.

bhajo bhajo bhai, caitanya nitai, sudrdha bisvasa kori'
visaya chadiya, se rase majiya, mukhe bolo hari hari

'My dear brother, I request that you just worship Lord Caitanya and Nityananda with firm conviction and faith. If one wants to be Krsna conscious by this process, one has to give up his engagement in sense gratification. One simply has to chant, "Hare Krsna! Hari Hari!" without any motive.

Nityananda Prabhu came, searching, "Where is Krsna? Where is Krsna?" But when He understood that Mahaprabhu was living in Jagannath Misra's house, and He is also searching for Nityananda, then Nityananda came to Nabadwip to Nandan Acharyya Bhavan. Nandan Acharyya was a great disciple of Mahaprabhu, and He stayed hiddenly in his house.

That morning, Mahaprabhu said to the Vaisnava group: "Last night I have seen in My dream that in Haladhar's chariot, Baladeva's chariot, there is one mahapurusa and He is searching where is Nimai Pandit's house. That chariot came in front of My house and met with Me. I have seen that mahapurusa. I am thinking that Baladeva Himself has taken the form of a mahapurusa and He has already come to Nabadwip. You go and search where He is!"

The devotees searched in so many places, but they could not discover where Nityananda Prabhu was. They came back, and they were thinking it was simply Mahaprabhu's dream. But Mahaprabhu said, "It is not only a dream, it is a truthful dream. Then I shall go." Then Mahaprabhu went to search in Nandan Acharyya's Bhavan, and there they saw Nityananda Prabhu seated. When Mahaprabhu saw Nityananda, He was with full joy in His heart with Krsna-Prema and He was very much intoxicated. And Nityananda Prabhu also saw Mahaprabhu and could not move, He was so full of ecstasy and joy in His heart and He became like a senseless man, with Krsna-Prema. Mahaprabhu came forward and embraced Nityananda, and They both fainted. They both took Their divine form, and the devotees understood that Nityananda Prabhu was not an ordinary sannyasi or ordinary brahmachari. They did not know Nityananda Prabhu, but they saw Mahaprabhu's expression and Nityananda Prabhu's expression and they immediately understood that They both appeared from the divine abode.

In many places in the Scriptures it is said that Mahaprabhu is non-different from Krsna, Abhinna-swarup, and in that way they also considered Nityananda Prabhu. When Nityananda Prabhu joined in the party of Mahaprabhu, the party of Mahaprabhu took full form. Haridas Thakur also joined. So Mahaprabhu got two generals at once: Haridas Thakur and Nityananda Prabhu. Then Mahaprabhu started to preach widely His conception.

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha

Mahaprabhu said to Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur: "Now you go door to door and tell everyone: Bolo Krsna, bhaja Krsna, koro Krsna siksa. Nothing else is necessary to do, and whoever will take it with a clean heart, I shall be a slave of them, and whoever will be 'anti,' I shall punish them." This way Mahaprabhu gave orders to Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas. At first they started preaching to the gentle families without any problem, but then they saw Jagai and Madhai in the road. Jagai and Madhai were prestigious in the city as Circle Inspectors of the government, but they were very bad character men, always drinking, eating meat and doing many wrong things. That day they were drinking in the road in front of everyone.

Nityananda and Haridas both thought, "This is the best place to bestow the mercy of Mahaprabhu." Then Nityananda Prabhu proposed to Haridas, "I shall go there," and Haridas, being a little aged, told him, "If they will chastise You, You may be able to run, but I cannot run, then it will be dangerous for us, so it is not necessary to go there." He was testing the mind of Nityananda, but Nityananda Prabhu said, "No, this is a first class opportunity for showing Mahaprabhu's quality."

Then Nityananda Prabhu went to Jagai and Madhai and said: "You chant 'Hare Krsna!' Take Krsna's Name! Bolo Krsna, bhaja Krsna, koro Krsna siksa." Jagai and Madhai said: "Oh, You are a sannyasi and trying to teaching us! Get out from here, nonsense person, otherwise we shall kill You!" Nityananda again approached, but then they came to beat Nityananda and Haridas. They ran away that day by some means, but Mahaprabhu received a report and smiled to hear that.

Nityananda Prabhu's determination

"Nityananda Prabhu's approach was somewhat peculiar. His strategy was to uplift the most fallen. Like Napoleon, whose policy was to attack the strongest position of the opposing army, Nityananda Prabhu wanted to capture the most sinful."

-The Golden Volcano of Divine Love, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

The next day Nityananda Prabhu settled, "I must give Krsna-Prema to them." That next day He went, and that day also He saw Jagai and Madhai drinking wine. Nityananda Prabhu said, "Jagai and Madhai, anything you can do, but you chant 'Hare Krsna!' It is the order of Mahaprabhu."

"Oh, the order of Mahaprabhu! You ran away that day but today again you have come?" There was a wine pot nearby, and they threw that wine pot to the head of Nityananda and cut it. Blood was falling, and Nityananda Prabhu exclaimed, "This is more mercy of Mahaprabhu to Me," and He again told them: "You can beat Me more and more, but you chant 'Hare Krsna!' It is the order of Mahaprabhu. You will get liberation."

Madhai said, "Now again you are coming to me!" Then again Madhai took a wine pot, a clay wine pot as used at that time, and wanted to throw it at Nityananda Prabhu, but Jagai took his hand and told him, "Nonsense! He is a sannyasi. Why you are behaving with Him like this? Nonsense. Leave him!"

Like this, Jagai made some good comment and stopped him. In the meantime other people saw what was happening, and they gave news to Mahaprabhu that Nityananda Prabhu was hit and that He did not want to come back, determined to give them Harinam and Krsna-Prema. Then Mahaprabhu went there with His big devotee party, and He saw the blood on Nityananda Prabhu's head, and Mahaprabhu was very angry. He forgot His mundane appearance and He called the sudarshan chakra and He wanted to cut off the heads of Jagai and Madhai. In the meantime, Nityananda Prabhu took the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu and said, "What are You doing? This is not dwarpa-yuga. It is kali-yuga. Here tolerance and humility are necessary. If You want to bestow Your mercy to others, through tolerance and humility You can do that. You cannot use the chakra in this Avatar. This incarnation is not for that."

And Mahaprabhu said, "I cannot tolerate this type of activity of the asuras." Nityananda Prabhu said, "But both of them are not offenders. One is an offender but one rescued us from him. One saved us from the other's stupidity." After hearing of Jagai's activity to save Them, Mahaprabhu excused Jagai. Jagai took the Hare Krsna Mahamantra and fell down thinking of his previous karmma. He took the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu: "Mahaprabhu, please forgive my offences. There is no other way." Jagai then received Krsna-Prema.

The circumstances there were very heavy, but in the meantime Madhai also became a little conscious to see Jagai's activities. Seeing that, Madhai also took the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu, but Mahaprabhu said, "I cannot do the same for you. You go to Nityananda. If He will give you forgiveness, then you will get My embrace. Otherwise, it is not possible." Then Madhai took Nityananda's lotus feet.

preme matta nityananda kapa-avatara
uttama, adhama, kichu na kare vicara
ye age padaye, tare karaye nistara
ataeva nistarila mo-hena duracara

If anyone will take shelter of Nityananda Prabhu, He is very merciful to him. Then He gave all forgiveness with Krsna-Prema to Madhai, and Mahaprabhu also embraced Madhai. Jagai and Madhai then chanted 'Hare Krsna' and danced with Krsna-Prema.

Sri-Sri Nitai-Chaitanyadev at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Sri Jagannath Puri Dham.

dekho ore bhai, tri-bhuvane nai emona doyala data
pasu pakhi jhure, pasana vidare,
suni jara guna-gatha

'My dear brother, just try and examine this. Within the three worlds there is no one like Lord Caitanya or Lord Nityananda. Their merciful qualities are so great that upon hearing them even birds and beasts cry and stones melt.

To see Mahaprabhu's pastimes as rescuer of the conditioned souls, the general people were so astonished and they glorified Mahaprabhu so much. Mahaprabhu said to Jagai and Madhai, "Jagai and Madhai, if you do not do this again, I can forgive your offences forever. Now chant 'Hare Krsna!'" Jagai and Madhai asked Mahaprabhu, "Please give some service to us, Your servitors." Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu said, "You chant 'Hare Krsna' and give this Hare Krsna Mantra to everyone, and sweep the pathway by the Ganges and keep it clean. Then with a clean heart you can proceed." Jagai and Madhai every day did that, and that place is still known as Madhai Ghat. Our parikrama party crosses the Ganges from that place.

Anyhow, everyone knows that Nityananda Prabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead's second incarnation. That is Nityananda Prabhu. Madhavendra Puri initiated Nityananda Prabhu. Haridas Thakur, Adwaita Acharyya Prabhu and others there also received initiation from Madhavendra Puri.

Iswara Puri was a sannyasi, and he was always with Madhavendra Puri. Many times Madhavendra Puri came to Nabadwip and Shantipur, and stayed with Isvara Puri in the house of Adwaita Acharyya. Sometimes they took prasadam in Mahaprabhu's father's house, Jagannath Misra's house.

Nityananda Prabhu is the main pillar of preaching Krsna consciousness of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu took sannyas. Before that, at a function, Mahaprabhu gave permission for Nityananda Prabhu to hold a Vyasa-puja ceremony. Nityananda Prabhu did that puja, but He gave the final garland to Mahaprabhu, thereby showing Chaitanya's glories. Mahaprabhu chanted the Holy Name of Lord Krsna: "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." This was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's preaching, but more than that, He was the non-different form of Hare Krsna ó the non-different form of Radha Krsna. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bestowed His mercy to the general people.

The Nectarine Fountain of Chaitanya-lila

By His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

From The Golden Volcano of Divine Love, Section One

It is the nature of divine mercy to extend itself without caring for any law. The only consideration is our eagerness to accept it. Mercy is offered in this way: "Do you want this?" If we simply agree, "Yes, it is wonderful and most tasteful," then we can have it. If our prayer is genuine, then nothing else is required. It is a simple transaction. If we want it, we will get it. Krsna consciousness is most simple. Whether one is fit or unfit is unimportant. Anyone who simply wants it may have it.

And what of those who don't want this divine gift? For them, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu distributed special mercy though His most magnanimous canvassing agent, Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Nityananda Prabhu won't allow even those who want to avoid Krsna consciousness to escape. If someone says, "I don't want it," Nityananda Prabhu won't allow it. He will say, "No! You must want it. I request you earnestly-take it! Use it and you will be able to feel the value of Krsna consciousness."

To capture the market, a clever merchant may distribute free samples of his product to his customers, saying, "Take one free! There is no question of paying any price now. I am giving this away. Use it, and if you feel the value, the utility of my product-buy it." And then afterwards everyone will purchase.

"Please accept Gauranga!"

In a similar way, Nityananda Prabhu traveled throughout Bengal making His humble appeal. Nityananda Prabhu would knock at the door and fall at the feet of His customers, crying, "Please accept this! Don't dismiss Me. Don't drive Me away. Please do what I say. Give all your attention to Gauranga and you will be benefited beyond expectation. This is My request to you." He would shed tears, roll at their door, and say, "You are reluctant to accept this, but have no doubts. I implore you - take it! Believe Me. Please accept Gauranga!" In this way, Nityananda Prabhu used to wander down both sides of the Ganges, roaming here and there and preaching about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Nityananda Prabhu knows only Gauranga. He is represented in krsna-lila as Baladeva. Baladeva apparently performed the rasa-lila, but at heart was only arranging rasa-lila for Krsna: His nature shows the experts of devotion that He is always dedicated to Krsna. Otherwise He would not be Baladeva. He has no individual thoughts for His own enjoyment; every atom of His body is always eager to make arrangements for the enjoyment of Krsna. In a similar way, every atom of the body of Nityananda Prabhu is conscious transcendental substance. And every atom of His body is meant only for the service and satisfaction of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

"Come Down From Your Throne!"

One day, Mahaprabhu's mother, Sacidevi, had a dream that Krsna and Balarama were on a throne and Nityananda Prabhu was addressing Baladeva, "Come down from Your throne! Your days are over. Now my Lord Gauranga will be installed." Baladeva refused: "No. I have My Lord - Krsna." There was a fight, but Nityananda Prabhu was stronger and He took Baladeva down from the throne, saying, "Your day has gone. Now the time for My master, Gauranga, has come. You are a trespasser, an usurper - You must come down." And Baladeva could not defeat Nityananda, who took Him down from the throne.

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Sri Nabadwip Dham

"What is Krsna-lila? It is the real essence of nectar. It is the gist of sweetness, happiness and ecstasy. The sweetness of the sweetest thing that can ever be conceived of is represented in Krsna-lila. Then what is Chaitanya-lila? In Chaitanya-lila, that sweet nectar of Krsna-lila is flowing in all ten directions in hundreds of streams as is from a fountain. That fountain is Chaitanya-lila"

- The Divine Servitor, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

This is the nature of Nityananda Prabhu's relationship with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He has nothing of His own; His everything is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. As Baladeva is to Krsna, Nityananda Prabhu is to Sri Chaitanya Mah‰prabhu.

The aim of Sriman Mahaprabhu's descent was to distribute the devotional service of Vrndavana most generously. On the other hand, Nityananda Prabhu used to sing,

bhaja gauranga, kaha gauranga laha gauranger nama, yei jana gauranga bhaje sei amara prana

"Worship Gauranga, speak of Gauranga, chant Gauranga's name. Whoever worships Sri Gauranga is My life and soul." Nityananda Prabhu tried His best to make the people at large accept Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. What did He say? "Come straight to the campaign of Sri Chaitanya and you will safely attain Vrndavana."

Of course, Navadwipa, the abode of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is no less valuable than Vrndavana, the abode of Krsna. The same rasa which is found in Vrndavana is present in another feature in Navadwipa. Some devotees have a special attraction for vrndavana-lila, others have a special attraction for navadwipa-lila, and a third group represents both camps, but Navadwipa is the most generous. In Vrndavana, the pastimes of Krsna are confined to a confidential circle, but in Navadwipa, those pastimes are distributed. Gaura-lila is more generous than krsna-lila.

In the Chaitanya-charitamrita (Mad. 25.271), Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami explains his conception of the difference between gaura-lila and krsna-lila:

krsna-lila amrta-sara, tara sata sata dhara,
dasa-dike vahe yaha haite
se caitanya- lila haya, sarovara aksaya,
mano-hamsa caraha' tahate

He says, "There is no doubt that we find the highest nectarine taste of rasa in krsna-lila. But what is gaura-lila? In gaura-lila, the nectar of krsna-lila is not confined to a limited circle, but is being distributed on all sides. It is just as if from all ten sides of the nectarine lake of krsna-lila hundreds of streams are flowing."

Our highest aspiration is to achieve the service of Srimati Radharani, but in the beginning, we must approach Sri Nityananda Prabhu through His manifest representation, the Guru. Nityananda Prabhu consolidates the foundation which helps us progress further in devotion. Quick progress without a good foundation invites a negative reaction, so the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu is our primary necessity.

nitai-pada-kamala, koti-candra-susitala
ye chayaya jagata juray
heno nitai bine bhai, radha-krsna paite nai,
drda kori' dharo nitaira paya

The holy lotus feet of Nitai, cooling like ten million moons -
In the shade of which the world gains soothing relief;
Without that Nitai, O brother, no one can reach Radha and Krsna- Clasp His lotus feet with full conviction.

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President-Acharyya: Srila B. S. Govinda Maharaj - online since 1995. Updated regularly.