The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Santipura
BY: SUN STAFF
Mayadevi distracts Srila Haridasa
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Jun 30, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 133.
For our last installment on Santipura, we will briefly mention two more pastimes described in sastra. One is the temptation of Haridasa Thakur, and the other is Lord Chaitanya's mercy on Sri Advaita's son.
In Caitanya-caritamrita 3.3.254-6 we find the pastime of Mayadevi, coming to tempt Srila Haridasa at his bhajan kutir near Santipura. While he was absorbed in chanting the Holy Names, the Lord's great devotee Maya Devi herself came to test him. Taking on the form of a beautiful woman, she called out to him sweetly in a voice that would have entangled other great sages. Haridasa, however, simply told her that he would first complete the chanting of his rounds. Admitting defeat, Mayadevi asked for his mercy and took initiation in the Maha-mantra from Haridasa Thakur, our Nama Acarya, then she departed.
The story of Lord Caitanya's exchange with Sri Advaita Acarya's son, Achyutananda, is described in both Caitanya-caritamrta and Caitanya Bhagavat, as summarized here in Sri Chaitanya: His Life and Associates:
"After taking sannyas in Katwa, Mahaprabhu descended on Shantipur. Achyutananda was either three or five years old (as Vrindavan Das Thakur gives both ages in different places).
Advaita's son Achyutananda, a gloriously effulgent naked child, was omniscient by the Lord's inconceivable power. Greatly fortunate, he was Advaita's worthy heir. His entire body was covered with dust, but knowing the Lord had arrived he came to see him, his face covered with laughter. He fell at the Lord's feet and the Lord picked him up, dust and all, and held him on his lap. (Chaitanya Bhagavat 3.1.213-6)
While holding him, Mahaprabhu said to Achyutananda: "Since Advaita is my father, you are my brother." When he heard this, Achyuta responded by displaying a profound understanding of Mahaprabhu's spiritual identity by saying that the Lord was the friend of every single living being, and that all scriptures say that he is the father of all the creation. The devotees were astonished when they heard Achyuta say this.
Achyutananda came to Puri every year to celebrate the Rathayatra festival during which he danced in the sixth kirtan group that came from Shantipur. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.13.45) He was also participated as a dancer in the beria-sankirtan, when the Lord danced around the temple.
According to Narahari Chakravarti's Narottama-vilasa, Achyutananda remained in Puri until Mahaprabhu's disappearance. In Narahari's opinion, he spent the rest of his life living at the family home in Shantipur. He also participated in the Kheturi festival."
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