Sri Bhakti Ratnakara, Part 113


Sri Krsna Caitanya Sankirtana
Hand-colored Lithograph, Calcutta, c. 1876

Mar 16, 2017 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Sri Bhakti Ratnakara by Srila Narahari Cakravarti Thakur.

Chapter Eleven

All glories to Bhaktavatsala Gauracandra Prabhu. All glories to Nityananda the resort of the helpless. All glories to Sri Advaita Candra who is loved by everyone. All glories to Gadadhara, Srivasa Pandita, and Rupa-Sanatana. All glories to Lokenatha, Gopala, Srinivasa, Narottama and Ramacandra. All glories to the companions of Sri Gauracandra and to the listeners of Bhaktiratnakara.

Now I will begin a new narration. Before long the grand festival of Kheturi was glorified throughout the universe. Whoever attended the festival returned to his own home. The people of Kheturi felt fortunate because they had the association of the great mahantas. Daily they enjoyed the beauty of the deities Gauranga, Vallabhi Kanta and the others and regularly brought offering for their worship. Narottama carefully explained the glory of the courtyard of the Gauranga mandir to everyone who visited the place regularly. The courtyard was always dusty because of the hundreds of pilgrims who passed through there daily.

Narottama passed his time composing songs, singing, dancing and accompanying his own songs with various musical instruments.

Sri Radha and Krsna hear the kirtana of Sri Narottama

Narottama remained always absorbed in sankirtana with his favorite associates Ramacandra, Gokula and others. On the day of the full moon Narottama began the kirtana by playing various musical instruments and then broke into song glorifying the rasa lila of Radha and Krsna. Even the demigods were enchanted by this beautiful kirtana.

Suddenly the entire environment became effulgent like a cloud struck by lightning. A sweet scent gently filled the air and the sound of Nipura could be heard. When the sound of those nipura's faded away, Narottama, Ramacandra, Devidasa, Gokula and others fell on the ground unconscious. They rose up crying out of disappointment and grief and then fainted again on the ground. They all realised that Sri Radha Krsna had appeared there simply to hear their sweet kirtana. By the wish of Krsna they gradually controlled their emotions.

Sri Jahnava travels to Vrndavana

As an ignorant person I am unable to perfectly describe the devotional qualities of Sri Jahnava Devi, yet I will describe what I have heard from others.

While travelling to Vrndavana Sri Jahnava passed through a large village and wanted to stop there for sometime, but she heard that the village was the residence of many heretics who continually harassed the Vaisnavas. That evening the Bhagavatas of the village came forward to meet Sri Iswari and bowed at her feet while the heretics gathered around criticising that the Vaisnavas had no knowledge and therefore they bowed to a human being instead of worshipping demigods.

One villager thought that perhaps the Vaisnavas bowed to her thinking she was the personification of Goddess Candi. "What do these Vaisnavas know of the grace of Sri Candi!" said another villager in rebuttal. The simple villagers felt they might have offended Sri Candi by comparing her to Sri Isvari so they went immediately to the temple of Sri Candi and prayed that she might kill the foolish Vaisnavas. Then they all returned to their houses and went to sleep.

Goddess candi, however, became angry not with the Vaisnavas but with the foolish heretics and her eyes grew red while her lips quivered in anger. Carrying a sharp falchilm, she appeared in the dream of each of those villagers and addressed them angrily, "you are wicked, heretical, and proud and you have deliberately insulted the Parama Bhagavatas," said the Goddess. She raised her falchilm to kill each heretic, simultaneously chastising him for considering Sri Isvari an ordinary brahmin woman. Sri Isvari was the wife of Nityananda who was himself the incarnation of Balarama and was to be worshipped by the whole universe and even by Sri Candi herself. Jahnava Isvari was competent to carry the living entities over their miseries and fears of this world. She was the personification of love and kindness and had no interest but showing mercy on the living entities. She warned them that if they did not try to get the mercy of Sri Jahnava Isvari, then her mighty falchulm would send them to eternal damnation. In a roaring fury Goddess Candi spoke to the village people and then disappeared.

They awoke at once from their sleep and they shivered in fear as they realised their dangerous situation. When morning arrived they went straight to meet the mahantas carrying deep remorse within their hearts. Soaked by theirown tears of self-condemnation, the villagers fell at the feet of the mahantas and prayed for forgiveness. They wanted the mercy of the mahantas, knowing that if the mahantas forgave them surely Sri Isvari would also forgive them. They admitted their guilt and prayed for an opportunity to take shelter of her feet. Observing their humble and repentant mood, the mahanta Prabhus forgave them and Sri Isvari also accepted them.

She remained two to four days in that village after the blessing of the heretics and then resumed her journey. The heretics had been transformed into devotees.

A similar incident occurred when she decided to stay in another village. She was camped on the bank of the river near that village when she was sighted by two indomitable bandits who felt that she must be carrying various valuable jewels and other possessions. Deciding to rob her they prepared many weapons and sent one of their men to find out everything about her camp. The spy reported that after finishing namakirtana she and her followers had all fallen asleep.

During the second half of the night the leader of the gang of bandits took many men and weapons and ran towards the camp. Somehow the short distance he had to cover could not be crossed as it continually grew further and further to the camp where they were sleeping. Because of their wicked desires they could not understand what was happening. The distance to the camp became so far that the bandits spent the whole night running and when dawn was breaking they became frightened. The leader of the gang was quite confused as they had run the entire night but were in their original place in the morning. He thought he had reached the spot and seen the woman but it was only imaginary. They had run the entire night but accomplished nothing.

The leader of the bandits had the dire premonition that a serious misfortune awaited them because of the wrath of that Gauriya Gosvami. Out of fear he decided that he would give up dacoity from that very day and he advised his men to do the same he knew that he had committed sinful activities throughout his life and he would have to suffer substantial punishment in hell. He advised his men to approach that Vaisnava woman and request her mercy.

They took off their bandit's clothing and humbly approached Sri Isvari. As they came before the mahantas their minds became completely transformed. They prostrated themselves on her feet and cried for mercy. Sri Isvari immediately forgave them and blessed them and the news of her mercy towards the dacoits spread far and wide.

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