Sri Nityananda Trayodasi
BY: SUN STAFF
Jan 30, INDIA (SUN) Today is the glorious Appearance Day of Sri Nityananda Prabhu.
The Life of Sri Nityananda Prabhu
Excerpts from Chapter 11 of Sri Sri Bhakti-ratnakara
by Sri Narahari Cakravarti Thakur
Sri Nityananda's Family
In Ekchakra lived a pious brahmin who was famous because of his title `Ojha'. He was a wealthy man but had affection for his Yajamanas on whose behalf he performed his worship. His wife was a lady of sweet disposition but she was unhappy because she had no child although she was able to bear children. Each of her children died at the time of birth.
At last she got a son who was born at a very auspicious moment. The Ojha felt both happy and sad simultaneously and dedicated his only son to the mercy of Paravati Sankara. He and his wife analysed the fate of their son and out of dissatisfaction they named him Haro. But others in the village kept different sweet names for the child and would often visit the Ojha's house to see the nice child. Day by day the child grew into a beautiful boy.
Ojha performed the ceremony which celebrates the time that a Hindu child can take rice for the first time and other social ceremonies as the child grew and grew. When it was time for the boy to get married his father selected a girl for him from a nearby village. Padmavati was the name of the bride and she was equal to the bridegroom in every way. A few days after the marriage Ojha and his wife disappeared from the world. Haro was overwhelmed by the absence of his parents and he spent a deal of money performing the funeral rites for his parents. Haro Ojha gradually became a respected scholar in all Sastras and eventually got the title Harai Pandita. He was a devout Vaisnava and a scholar in Visnu Bhakti tattva. His wife was also a devoted Vaisnavi and the villagers came to respect the couple for their sincere worship of Lord Visnu.
Lord Nityananda's Lotus Feet
The Birth of Nityananda Prabhu
Harai Pandita was very happy when he heard that his wife Parvati was pregnant. She gave birth to a beautiful child on a auspicious day and the religious minded ladies of the village came to see the child and bless him. Each gave a different opinion of the child. One woman questioned whether the child was actually a boy or a doll made of golden butter. Another woman commented that she had never seen a child who could cool both the eyes and the heart. Everyday a crowd gathered at the house of Harai Ojha and for the well being of his son Harai Ojha would distribute money to needy people and perform other types of charitable activities. Harai Ojha's son grew like the waxing moon and remained the center of pleasure for his parents. His mother loved him so much that she never put him down from her lap. At the time of his name giving ceremony someone suggested the name Rama and someone else suggested the name Nityananda for the child. When he was old enough to crawl on the ground people spontaneously called him Nitai and wanted to hold him on their laps. People were enchanted by his sweet smile and his tiny teeth, which looked like drops of milk. Nityananda became the centre of life for the people of Ekchakra.
The old man continued to tell his story to Jahnava Isvari and her associates. He said that one day he felt disturbed for some reason so he went to the house of Harai simply to see Nitai. When he took the child in his lap, all his miseries seemed to vanish. Harai Pandita's affection for his son was boundless and he would never go anywhere far from the child. Once he went to the house of a Yajamana but returned immediately to his home to check on Nityananda. His mother used to smear the dust of haridya on his body to brighten his complexion but the haridya seemed dull next to Nityananda's own golden color. She smeared scented oil on his head to cool it but his body was cooler and sweeter than the oil itself. After giving him a bath his mother would dry him with a soft piece of cloth. Then she would dress him in silk and advise him to play in the house. But Nityananda could smilingly ask her who he should play with, for he had no friends.
Nityananda Prabhu's Vraja Lila and Other Avatara Lilas
From that time on many boys would come to Nityananda's house to play with him. Nityananda was a very gentle child. Gradually he grew to the age of ten and with his friends he would play only those sports which Lord Krsna had played with his friends. He would choose a particular type of sport and then teach his friends. Sometimes, for example, he would want to re-enact a pastime from the birth of Krsna. They would create the prison where Krsna was born and act out each of the events related to Krsna going to Gokula to live with Nanda. He also enacted other pastimes like birthday of Krsna in Nanda's house, various incidents which proved the love of mother Yosoda for Krsna, the killing of Putina, the breaking of the cradle, the killing of Trinavata etc. Sometimes he chose to act out the pastime where mother Yasoda tied Krsna to a mortar and later Krsna uprooted the Yamalarjuna trees. During each pastime Nityananda would dress in different types of clothes and play just like Krsna had played in Gokula. He would assign the roars of Baka and Aga to his different boyfriends and then as Krsna he would mockingly kill them. He would build a snake-shaped structure and put it in the water so that they could re-enact the pastime of Kaliya danana. Just like Krsna, Nityananda would sometimes kill Dhanuka or Pralambra while playing in the grazing grounds.
Just like Krsna he would play in the pasturing grounds, occasionally killing a demon like Risasura or rescuing Braja by lifting Govardhana. Sometimes they enacted the pastime of stealing the dresses of the Gopis and other times they pretended to kill kamsa. But when they staged the drama of Krsna leaving Vraja where the Gopis lamented pitifully, Nityananda also cried in hopeless despair. He also enacted the various pastimes that Krsna had performed in Mathura.
Sometimes Nityananda taught his boyfriends the pastimes of Sri Ramacandra. For his drama he arranged everything as an exact replica of the places and incidents which had been described by Valmika in his book the Ramayana.
In the mood of Krsna Nityananda also played the role of Vamana, the incarnation of Visnu who tricked King Vali. He also played the role of Nrsimha and mockingly killed Hiranyakasipur. Whatever pastimes Lord Krsna had performed to please his devotees were also performed by the son of Padmavati as he played with his village friends.
The boys of Ekchakra liked to be with Nityananda and could not leave him for a second. The parents of Ekchakra never forbid their children to associate with Nityananda; rather, they would decorate them with ornaments and encourage to take part in Nityananda's transcendental play.
At the time for taking the sacred thread, Nityananda was just stepping into his adolescent period and the village people were enchanted by his beauty. In his boyhood he became a scholar in all Sastras and Vyakanas and when he was twelve years old he looked like a boy of fifteen. Because of this Harai Pandita anxiously sought out a wife for Nitai. The brahmin gentlemen of Ekchakra agreed to the idea and someone took the initiative to select a bride from a good brahmin family. Unfortunately, none of them could know the future.
Lord Nityananda's Lotus Hands
Nityananda Prabhu Leaves Home
One day a traveling Gosvami came as a guest to the house of Harai Pandita. Harai Pandita offered him alms and they passed the night together discussing Lord Krsna. At the time of parting, the sannyasi requested Harai Pandtia to give him Nityananda and Harai Pandita was obliged to give him, thinking that there must be some divine plan behind the request.
When the sannyasi left with Nityananda Harari Pandita fell on the ground unconscious and his wife dropped just like a dead body. Even the villagers of Ekchakra became half-dead when they heard the news. The friends of Nityananda fell on the ground and the entire village was lifeless in grief. People assembled at the house of Harai Ojha and tried to revive the Pandita and his wife. But regaining their consciousness, the parents of Nityananda simply cried and called out the name of Nityananda. Their profuse tears could have melted the hard stones.
The younger brother of Nitai also lamented, wanting to know why the sannyasi had not also taken him. One brahmin anxiously asked the crowd which direction the sannyasi had taken. He would catch up with them and fall at the feet of the sannyasi, begging him to release Nimai. After all, the boy the did not know how to cook or other household duties. The brahmin would offer the sannyasi his own son who knew how to perform all types of service, and then he would bring Nityananda back. People searched in all directions for the sannyasi but he was not to be found. The astrologers of Ekchakra met in a solitary place and discussed the prophecy of the astrologer who had predicted that Balarama would take his birth in Ekchakra. They realized too late that the prophecy had been fulfilled when Nityananda took birth in the house of Harai Pandita.
"At the time of Nityananda's birth all misfortunes vanished," said one man. "There have been no famines, the people are happy and there is adequate rainfall."
"Now I understand why flowers were showered from heaven at the time of Nitai's birth," said another man.
"Only a God could possess such divine beauty," said another.
"I have never seen the type of sports which Nitai used to enact with his friends," said one gentleman. "Once I saw Nitai in the role of a sannyasi. He wore a saffron colored dhoti and held a dhanda in one hand with a kamdalu in the other. The children were all wearing Vaisnava clothes and danced joyfully with Nitai in the center. Now Nityananda has made the play in reality."
"Oh, I am an ignorant person, lamented another villager. "How could I know that Rukmini Kumara and Nityananda were the same person."
"We have no ability to understand the wish of the Lord," consoled another man. "The arrival of the sannyasi was only a pretext under which the Lord would leave home. Just as Balarama had visited all the holy places on foot, so also Nityananda would go on pilgrimage."
"But this is not proper behavior," criticised another person. "Nityananda should not have gone while his parents were still living." Then the poor man broke down and cried loudly while calling out the name of Nityananda.
Listen to Sri Niityanandastakam
Chanted by Dravida dasa (MP3)