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Śrī Nityananda Appearance Day

Śrī Nityananda Appearance Day

The following is my summary re-narration of Chapter 13, Madhya-kanda (Part 2) of the Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata. I have tried to make the layout as clear as possible and hope that I have succeeded to some extent:

Direct translations are in bold letters,
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s words are in golden color,
Shri Nityandanda’s words are in blue color,
Shri Haridas Thakur‘s words are in green color.

***

Verse 8-9

„Listen, Nityananda and Haridas! Go out and announce my instruction everywhere. Go to every house and ask: "Chante the names of Krishna! Worship Krishna! Follow Krishna's instructions!"

Verse 10-13

Other than that, you shouldn't be talking about anything else with anyone.

In the evening you will return and report to Me. And to all those who refuse to chant after you have asked them to, I will cut off their heads with My Fire Wheel!“

The Vaishnavas present laughed when they heard this statement - who should be able to resist His command?

Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur also smiled, and then marched immediately, dressed as Sannyasis, to proclaim the message of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So They happily roamed the streets of Nadia (Bengal), went from door to door and asked the people as follows:

Verse 16-17

“Chant the name of Krishna! Praise Krishna! Worship Krishna!

Krishna is your life and your soul, Krishna is your wealth, Krishna is your life. Oh brothers, chant Krishna's name with undivided attention!”

In most houses They were warmly welcomed and asked to stay for dinner.

Other people were less hospitable, some thought Nityananda and Haridas were simply crazy, and others even thought they were a scouting party of thieves.

One day, however, They met two drunkards on the street. They were two Brahmanas, but with slight character weaknesses. They regularly got drunk with wine, ate meat, stole other people's possessions and then burned down their houses. They had a reputation for having committed every crime and disgrace imaginable. They often rolled around on the ground and beat up innocent passers-by arbitrarily. Their names were Jagai and Madhai and they were of course widely known for their criminal activities.

In some ways, however, they were lucky. They only had fellowship with heavy alcoholics and therefore had no opportunity to insult Vaishnavas. 🙂

Verse 41-42

An assembly in which Vaishnavas are insulted is doomed, even if all other religious principles are observed.

When an assembly of Sannyasis indulges in blasphemy, it is considered more sinful than a horde of drunks.

After Shri Nityananda had informed Himself from passers-by of the reputation of Jagai and Madhai, He, in His generosity, considered how to deliver them, thinking to Himself:

Verse 54-58

“Mahaprabhu has descended to liberate the sinners. And where would He find sinners of their caliber?

Mahaprabhu's appearance is secret. Whoever does not see this makes fun of Him.

If Mahaprabhu shows His grace to these two, the whole world will know His glory. If I [Nityananda] could reveal Shri Chaitanya to them, I will become known as Mahaprabhu's servant.

Now they are in a state of intoxication and don't even know who they are. If only they could be similarly intoxicated by the effect of Krishna's name!“

Verse 63-64

After thinking so, Nityananda said: „Oh Haridas, look at their pitiful condition. Their behavior is so abominable even though they are Brahmanas. They will not escape the punishment of Yamaraja [Lord of Death].“

Contrary to numerous urgent warnings from the locals, Nityananda and Haridas finally approached Jagai and Madhai cheerfully and straight away, proclaiming Their good news to them:

Vers 84-85

„Chant the name of Krishna! Praise Krishna! Worship Krishna!

Krishna is your mother, Krishna is your father, Krishna is your life and your wealth!

Krishna appeared as avatar for your blessing. Therefore give up your sinful activities and worship Krishna!“

When Jagai and Madhai - who were just about to beat each other up - heard these pious words, they paused and turned in bewilderment. The sight of the two Sannyasis made their eyes blood-red with rage. They ran towards Nityananda and Haridas and shouted, „Hold them down, catch them!“

Nityananda and Haridas spontaneously opted for a diplomatic withdrawal and ran with all their might for their lives, their angry pursuers close on their heels, repeatedly screaming: „Stop! Stop!“ Scenes that took place in parallel:

Verse 89-91

People were talking to each other: „But we warned the Sannyasis before that. Now they are in danger of their lives.“

The atheists grinned gloatingly and said to each other: „ Narayana has given the two impostors their deserved punishment. “

 The pious Brahmanas, however, said thrust prayers: „Save Them, Krishna, save Them“ With these words they fled in fear.

Verse 93-95

Nityananda said: „We thought it would be nice to make them Vaishnavas, but now we can talk of luck if we survive today!“

Haridas replied: „Oh, my Lord, what can I say? I will die early today - and only because of your ideas!

Because You tried to give Krishna's teachings to drunks, we received the punishment we deserved and almost paid with our lives.

It is an offence to instruct unbelievers in the Chanting of the Names of Hari. Since we have dared to instruct unqualified wrong-doers, the just punishment for our offence is written on our foreheads.“

So Nityananda and Haridas laughed and joked together during their adventurous escape. Jagai and Madhai, however, were still following closely behind, hurling abuses at Them during the chase.

Verse 97

The two drunkards were extremely obese and could hardly walk properly, but they made surprisingly fast progress.

Somehow, Jagai and Madhai also seemed to have a lot of humor, as we'll see soon:

Verse 98-101

The two crooks shouted: „ Oh, brothers, where are you going? How are you going to escape Jagai and Madhai today?

You don't know that Jagai and Madhai live here. Wait a moment and see who's behind you!“

When Nityananda and Haridas heard these words, they ran even faster and cried out in fear for help: Save us Krishna! Krishna save us! Hey Govinda!“

Haridas [gasped heavily]: „I can't go on! Why only have I followed, in full awareness, this restless person?“

So They ran on towards the house of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the end, they actually managed to lose their pursuers or rather, Jagai and Madhai gave up at some point and did what they loved to do best, i.e. rolling around on the floor intoxicated.

Back home, They reported to Mahaprabhu about Their encounter with these extraordinary Brahmanas. Although Mahaprabhu was quite astonished about the behaviour of the two "Brahmanas", he visibly enjoyed the stories. Nityananda intercedes again for Jagai and Madhai and Mahaprabhu smilingly declared that they were already liberated, just because Nityananda simply wanted this.

Meanwhile Jagai and Madhai wandered around restlessly for days in search of a good base for their nightly raids and finally found it - „by divine providence“ - in the form of the personal bathing place Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhus on the banks of the Ganga!

One night Nityananda visited the two crooks there in their camp. Of course they were drunk as usual.

Verse 174-175

Jagai and Madhai [babbling]: „Who are you? Who are you?“

Nityananda replied: „I go to the house of Mahaprabhu.“

Still inebriated by the wine, they asked Him: „What is your name?“

Nityananda answered: „Avadhuta.“

At the sound of the word „Avadhuta“ Madhai was suddenly overwhelmed by great anger. He took a clay pot and smashed it on the head of Nityananda Prabhu, who immediately began to bleed heavily.

When Jagai saw the blood dripping down from Nityananda's head, he frightened and stopped his brother Madhai from beating Nityananda a second time by grabbing his hand and saying to Madhai:

Verse 182

„Leave Avadhuta alone. Don't hit him anymore. What do you get out of beating a Sannyasi?“

Verse 183-189

Some people quickly ran to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to tell him about the tragic incident. Mahaprabhu, together with His companions, rushed immediately to the scene of the crime.

Shri Nityananda's whole body was covered in blood as he stood between the two criminals, yet He smiled.  

When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw the blood, overwhelmed by burning rage, he lost consciousness and cried out loud: „Chakra! Chakra! Chakra!“ The Sudarshan chakra actually appeared in a flash, and Jagai and Madhai also saw it [surely with horror!].

The devotees became confused, and Nityananda appealed to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: 

„When Madhai hit me, Jagai saved me. Blood flowed because of providence, but I felt no pain.

Oh Mahaprabhu, give me these two as alms. You can calm down, for I feel no pain at all.“

When He heard the words: „Jagai has saved me“, Mahaprabhu was overjoyed and embraced Jagai on the spot. He said to Jagai:

„May Krishna show you mercy. By protecting Nityananda, you have bought Me. Ask Me for any blessing you wish. May you attain pure devotional service from this day on.“

 When the Vaishnavas heard the blessing granted to Jagai, they all cried out: „Jai! Jai! Hari!“

Jagai was immediately overwhelmed by divine love and lost consciousness. Jagai was then allowed to see the four-armed Vishnu form of Mahaprabhu with conch horn, chakra, club and lotus.

As Madhai witnessed this sudden transformation of his brother Jagai, he too got purified immediately. He stretched fell down like a stick at Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s feet and said:

Verse 203-204

„Oh Lord! My brother and I have always sinned together. Why do You separate us now that you are pouring out Your grace?

 Show me Your grace too, so that I can chant Your name. No one but You can save me!“

Verse 205-213

 Mahaprabhu: „I see no salvation for you because you shed the blood of Nityananda's body.“

Madhai: „But You can't say that! Why do you give up Your duty? Why did you even give your lotus feet to demons who pierced Your body with arrows?“

Mahaprabhu: „Your offence is greater than theirs because you spilled the blood of Nityananda's body. And Nityananda's body is more dear to Me than My own body, I tell you this fact emphatically.“

 Madhai: „Oh Lord, if You're telling the truth, tell me, how can I be saved? You destroy every disease because You are the crown jewel of all doctors. If you treat me, I will be healed. O Lord of the universe, please do not deceive me. Now that You are known, how will You hide?“

Mahaprabhu: „You've committed a grave offense. Go, and hold on to Nityananda's lotus feet!“

Of course, the desperate Madhai did this gladly and immediately and clung with both hands to the lotus feet of Nityananda.

Verse 216-218

Vishvambhara (Mahaprabhu) said: „Listen, Nityananda. Now that he has fallen at Your feet, it is appropriate that You show him Your mercy. Since he shed Your blood, only You can forgive him, and now he has fallen at Your feet.“ 

Nityananda replied: „Oh Mahaprabhu, what can I say? You have the power to show mercy even to a tree.“

Verse 219-220

„I hereby declare that if I have ever done pious deeds in any life, I hereby completely hand them over to Madhai. He is thus freed from all the transgressions he has committed against Me. No longer confuse him, but show Your grace to Your Madhai.“ 

Vishvambhara: „If You have actually forgiven Madhai, embrace him and make his life successful.“

Verse 221-222

At the command of Mahaprabhu, Nityananda locked Madhai firmly in His arms, which freed him from material bondage. Nityananda entered Madhai's body and Madhai was filled with all energies.

In this way both were liberated and they offered their prayers to the lotus feet of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda.

***

jaya jaya shri-chaitanya
jaya nityananda
 jayadvaita-chandra
jaya gaura-bhakta-vrnda