Abhirama Goswami


Jul 31, 2013 — CANADA (SUN) — A nectarian description of the pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His transcendental associates by Srila Vidhubhusana Bhattacharya, in two parts.

Appearance of Sri Caitanyadeva and His Associates

The Hindu kingdom in India had come to an end. The glorious flag of the Muslims had been flying very proudly in the sky of India. The huge tree like Hindu religion with its many branches and twigs had become uprooted by the blow of the bigotry of the Muslims of their inclination towards one particular religion. The Mohamedan preachers had been trying to seduce the low caste people of the Hindu society to convert themselves into Muslims. The low caste Hindus being hated by the brahmins began to run after Muslim religion. The Muslim kings began to destroy the Hindu temples to erect their Musjids there. At this precarious condition of India, the brahmins who were once very powerful and influential in India, had gradually become helpless to protect the Hindu religion with all its sanctity. They began to regard the new Muslims as sinners and their shadows as most harmful.

The spiritually superior Hindu society had been heading towards destruction due to the lack of proper religious teachings. Above all the laws and rituals of Hindu religion were very stiff and hard to grasp.

The socialist brahmins paid no heed to this tremendous draw back and never tried to reform all these things. They used to absorb in their studies. As they tried to realise God through these dry dry scriptures, gradually they became less devotional and lover of God. The once religious minded Hindus now became most professional in their outlook. So selfish interests began to preoccupy their minds and cheap enjoyment of life became predominant.

Observing the wretched condition India which had once been the abode of God Himself, Advaitacarya and some of the great men became very much aggrieved and they began to pray to God, "oh God why this eternally blissful India which had once been the abode of your divine sports and had once given birth to great men like Dhruva, Prahlada etc. has now become so devoid of love and devotion and has become full of selfish people?"

"Oh Narayana, why this India which had always been rewarded by your grace and had been the place of great sages like Suka, Narada and others, has now become the fighting ground of the heretic Muslims? Whose sins have made India like this?"

"Even if any place in India used to face any impure attack or religion, you used to appear there yourself taking any feature to protect the wise and virtuous and to destroy the sinners and to deliver them from damnation. But why do not you do this time, oh my deliverer of sinners!" "Hey Prabhu, when India had been suffering from the tyrannical rule of Kamsa and Jarasandha, you appeared as Hari, the destroyer of demons to protect the helpless and to ruin the tyrants."

"Oh Prabhu why aren't you hearing us? Where is you our Lord of life, why aren't you coming to rescue us? Please do come oh my Lord in your loving feature and wipe the whole country by the wave of your grace and favour. This place has become a desert. Please come one as an oasis in it."

These earnest prayers of the devotees most probably moved the heart of God. He Himself began to cry to observe the helpless condition of His favorite land." So he decided to appear in India.

At the end of the Dvapara yuga, God had appeared in Vrndavana, washed by the water of Yamuna and had performed many sports not only with the gopa boys and girls but also with the grown up gopinies, the most significant of whom was Sri Radhika, daughter of Vrsabhanu and she had no other love than Krsna. That God i.e. Krsna Himself reappeared in a brahmin family of Navadvipa village situated near the bank of Janhavi (Ganga).

Sri Caitanyadeva sent Nityananda to Vrndavana to Bring Sridama to Navadvipa

Having appeared in Navadvipa, Narayana became known as Nimai. Nimai was a love to everybody in Navadvipa because of his divine beauty, extreme knowledge and wonderful gestures and postures. Even the great scholars of Navadvipa could not feel offended though invariably they used to be defeated by Nimai in debates.

When Nimai was a bright young man, he left his house as an ascetic. From that time he became known as Sri Caitanya. He used to be ecstatic in the love for Sri Krsna like Sri Radha to whom Krsna was the life. He became very eager to distribute this divine love to one and all. To assist him in this job God Nityananda, great devotee Advaitacarya etc. used to meet him. Prabhu Nityananda being the right hand of Caitanya, began to help Caitanya to great extent. Even the laymen became so impressed by the qualities of Nityananda that when Nityananda used to request them to do or sing Harinama, however heretics they might be, they used to do that unhesitantly. Even getting the company of Nityananda, Caitanya could not be satisfied because he began to think that if he could not get the company of Sridama who had been the main help to Krsna in His Vrndavana lila, his project of distributing the love for Krsna would be half-hearted. After thinking a lot, he told Nityananda, "Oh my brother, though there is no flaw in your sincere service in distributing Krsna love, yet it is my request to you that you should go to Vrndavana and fetch Sridama who has been lying in the cave of Govardhana Hill in a trance. It is my assumption that without him, we aren't be able to accomplish this great job."

Prabhu Nityananda became glad to hear this and without hesitation started for Vrndavana to fetch Sridama.

Now in modern times, it may be seemed doubtful, was he really Sridama of Dvapara yuga who came to Navadvipa come four or five thousand years later at the time of Sri Caitanya? Could he live for such a long time? Was Sridama of Dvapara yuga be Abhirama of kaliyuga? To remove them doubt, I request them to think seriously that there will be no impossibility in the dictionary of a superman who has transcendental power like God Himself. In period after period all incarnated persons had appeared in this world having some transcendental powers by which they used to enlighten this world. Thinking about their great contributions to mankind, our heads used to bow down spontanesouly. So all these assumptions about Abhirama may not be exaggerations at all.

The meeting of Nityananda and Sridama in Vrndavana

Nityananda reached Vrndavana. While taking rest on the bank of Yamuna, he could commemorate the Vrajalila of dvapara. He could see How he as Balarama used to play with Krsna and Sridama and other gopa boys in Vrndavana. So he became so restless that without any delay he started for Govardhana hill to fetch Sridama.

Coming near to the hill, Nityananda became absorbed into trance. He began to feel as if he had been living in Vrndavana as Balarama of Dvapara yuga, as if Krsna to protect Vrajabhumi from the fury of King Indra had been lifting Govardhana most easily. The continuous rain had become a failure to do any harm to Vrajabhumi.

Nityananda in a trance to walk round Govardhana and to shout in name of Sridama. His sincere call awakened the eternal sleep of Sridama who had been lying in the cave of the hill. He came out of the cave and found that a divinely beautiful person had been standing there. As soon as Sridama looked at Nityananda, his heart seemed to leap in joy as if he had seen some one very dear to him. His heart became full of divine pleasure and most lovingly he asked Nityananda, "Who are you? Your sight has been giving me a wonde3rful divinely pleasure which one can get only from a dear one. Speak out quickly who are you? I cannot keep my patience any longer."

Nityananda answered, "Oh my dear friend Sridama, do you not recognize me? I am your most favorite Valai." These words at once made Sridama dumbfounded and he used to stare at Nityananda for a while. Then he asked, "If you are Valai, now see I am starting to run and catch me." Saying so Sridama began to run very fast. Nityananda began to run after him. While Sridama completed four rounds of Govardhana by running, he found that Valaihad been standing behind him. Then Sridama embraced Nityananda very lovingly and said, "Ah, you are my Valai because no one except you can catch me in this way. I failed to recognise you because you are lacking that gorgeous dress and that mesmerising beauty, oh my brother, you are very tired. Now take some rest." After some discussions, Sridama asked Nityananda why he had come to Vrndavana.

Nityananda said, "The human being of Kali yuga has become Very heretical and has given up sadhana and bhajana fully. The lay people are giving up their own eternal Hindu religion and are becoming interested in the religion of the heretics. To remove this type of obstacle from the path of Hindu religion Krsna has appeared in the brahmin family of Navadvipa in the name of Nimai. The aim of Sri Krsna is to bring the flood of love in the country and to do this He himself will practise it in this life. He will guide the people how to obtain the grace of God. We, the friends of His Vrajalila, have all appeared with him. Only you are absent. So Nimai has become very much eager to get you with him and for this reason he has sent me here to fetch you. So don't make any delay and go with me."

After listening to Nityananda, Sridama told him, "My dear brother, I do not want to go to Navadvipa in this utterly dark kali yuga. I shall stay here and spend my days in the practice of yoga. I don't want to suffer the pain of remaining in anyone's womb again. If I want to be with you I have to do this. So go back to Navadvipa and tell Krsna that I am helpless to keep the request."

Nityananda told Sridama, "Oh my brother Sridama, go with me in this body. If Sri Caitanyam, the incarnation of Sri Krsna permits you to be in this body, then with this body and energy, you can assist him in his task."

So Sridama without leaving his Dvapara feature started for Navadvipa with Nityananda for meeting Sri Caitanya. Being very inquisitive about the different changes in the kali yuga, Sridama began to ask many questions to Nityananda on their way to Navadvipa by taking the bank side road of the river Ganga.

Sridama came to Navadvipa and Met Sri Caitanya

Sri Caitanya heartily welcomed Sridama in Navadvipa and asked, "Oh my brother Sridama, why were you living in a cave of Govardhana lonely without coming to us? Don't you know that I used to appear with my cmpanion in period after period in this Bharatabhumi to protect the religion? You are my best help. So I had sent Nityananda to you. Now come on and help me to my complete sport! Meeting Sri Caitanya as the incarnation of Sri Krsna, Sridama became overwhelmed in joy and began to shed tears of joy. Embracing Mahaprabhu, he began to say in a shocked voice, "Krsna, why do you appear in Vangadesa instead of Vrndavana? And where is Sri Radha, the supreme power of yours? Why have you given up your gorgeous dresses of Vrndavana and are wearing a dress of an ascetic? I cannot bear this."

Sri Caitanya seeing him so perturbed said in a smiling face, "This Navadvipa has become the center of all knowledge and scriptures in the whole of Bharatabhumi. But the over educated and proud brahmanas by their dry discussions have become less interested in God Himself. I have taken my birth here to defeat them in debates and for this reason I had made myself a great scholar. The heretics of Kali have no faith in Prematattva. They understand bodily pleasure only. So I avoided to appear with Sri Radha. In this Kaliyuga, I shall be Sri Radha and teach a lesson to the people how to attain God through divine love. So to attract their attention towards devotion, I have rejected my "mohanavesa" (beautiful dress) and accepted the dress of an ascetic. I want to teach the mankind what is Krsna lila and for this reason I have to perform Caitanya lila. So I shall be known as Sri Krsna Caitanya in Bharata and you will be Abhirama."

Then Caitanya told Nityananda, "From now on you should call Sridama as Abhirama and mind that as Sridama was to Krsna, so Abhirama is to me." Nityananda said, "Sridama can be Abhirama but his big and stout physique won't be suitable for this Kaliyuga."

The super-human power by which Krsna had done so many transcendental activities in Vraja, that said power, Sri Caitanya, the incarnation of Krsna, wanted to use to minimize Sridama into Abhirama.

Nityananda and Sri Caitanya began to swing from the shoulder of Sridama by holding his two hands with the help of the power of the Godhead, Abhirama became short in his figure. He became ecstatic in joy and began to dance madly. Then Sri Caitanya told the ecstatic Abhirama, "Friend, all my friends of Vraja have come here and met me but where are the loving Gopinies of Vraja?"

Realising the mind of Sri Caitanya, Abhirama said, "Oh the great lover, you know everything. But I know that you have raised this question just to test me. However I am telling you about the Vraja ladies. All of them to satisfy and complete your sports have given up their women features and appeared in Navadvipa in male features. Except me and Vrndavati will help you by remaining in two opposite sex."

Caitanya said, "Oh my friend, you are a genius. Sri Krsna and you are the same. I have no objection if you7 and Vrndavati want to teach lesson of love to the world. You are so powerful that still you are able to keep your Dvapara feature with the help of yoga. You are addicted to the love of Krsna in such a great extent that if the change of your feature tried to stand as a hindrance in the way of Krsna love, you used to lie in the cave for such a long time because your desire was to disappear in the soul of Krsna at long last. You are the embodiment of divine love. Let you with your Vrndavati madden the men and women of Bengal in the love for Krsna. But my friend, your appearance has filled my heart with blissful pleasure. Now I am very eager to observe the holy places of Vrndavana where Krsna used to perform his sports with Sri Radha and the Gopinis who were mad for Krsna."

Observing the ecstatic condition of Sri Caitanya, Abhirama said, "My friend if you really wish to visit Vrndavana, then hand over all the duties to Nityananda and start for Vrndavana."

Conversation Between Sri Caitanya and Abhirama in Vrndavana

Sri Caitanya being ecstatic in love for Krsna started for Vrndadavana with Abhirama. Then he used to visit all the places of Vrndavana one by one where Krsna used to perform his sports with Sri Radha. He became overwhelmed in joy.

He asked Abhirama, "Friend, you are dearer to me more than my heart. I cannot explain how I feel excited when I used to listen to the episodes of Vrajalila from you. I am always bound by your extraordinary qualities." On hearing this Abhirama said humbly, "oh my dear, my Prabhu, I am a worthless man. I have only Radha in my heart. As Radha used to be maddened in love while looking at the face of her love Krsna, so I am to look at your face. I used to forget my own entity and only try to please you by any means." "I used to fetch fruit for my sadha Krsna when he used to remain in the duty of cattle grazing. I used to be mad in joy if my sakha used to be happy to take the taste of the fruits. I used to regard myself the most fortunate creature if I can please my Kanai. His happiness was mine, his sorrow was mine. Both of us used to become the single unseparable soul." "Now my dear friend, you have created a madhura bhava in me. You are Radha and Krsna both and you have become absorbed in your created love. As fire and fuels are the same, so also Krsna and Radha. The love Radha Krsna is divine and it is above the touch of material pleasure. To make people realise this sort of love, you have appeared in this world."

Sri Caitanya's Return to Navadvipa

In this way while conversing happily over the topic of Radha Krsna lila, Abhirama and Sri Caitanya used to spend their days in Vrndavana. Being ecstatic in love for Krsna, Caitanya forgot everything. His all world became full of Krsna. So he forgot the duty of teaching the maya and kama-bound mankind the lessons of divine love for which he had appeared in this world. Speculating all these bhavas of Caitanya, Abhirama began to think in his mind, "Kaliyuga you are fortunate and Navadvipa, you too. Radha Krsna in one feature like Sri Caitanya has appeared in this world to flood the whole country in the waves of divine love. But Prabhu by coming to this place of sport of Dvapara yuga has become absorbed in that bhava of Dvapara."

One day Caitanya used to float in the water of Yamuna which was full of the fragrance of sandal and began to cry like Radha in the name of Krsna and his lotus like eyes began to shed tears like streams of a river. He used to laugh sometimes and to cry sometimes. Sometimes he used to request invisible somebody. His whole body began to shed sweats and tremble. At that time Abhirama by putting his hand on the body of Caitanya, began to say, "Oh my friend, have you forgotten the aim of your taking human feature? Your devotees of Navadvipa have become very restless for not seeing you. So control yourself and let us return to Navadvipa."

The words of Abhirama brought back Caitanya to senses. He became very eager to perform his duty. He said to Abhirama, "Come on my friend, let us return to Navadvipa. As you and me are the same, I don't want to return to Navadvipa alone."

Being unable to avoid the request of Sri Caitanya, Abhirama told him, "Oh my friend, it is impossible for me to disobey your request. Your happiness is mine. When in the Dvapara Yuga, you had left me without my knowing, I used to remain absorbed in your dedication from that day. Oh Gauranga, now you are the united entities of Radha and Krsna and you are now grown up enough. But I have not got my Vrndavati as yet I shall stay in Vrndavana until I find Vrndavati."

Caitanyadeva replied, "As Radha Krsna in one feature had appeared in this world for teaching divine love to loveless mankind of Kaliyuga, then Vrndavati, the foremost sakhi of Sri Radha also had appeared in this world no doubt. Go with me and I am sure you will get Vrndavati in Vangadesa."

Abhirama said, "Oh my friend, let me see through mediation where is my Vrndavati now. In the meantime you go to Navadvipa. Very soon I shall meet you there."

Caitanya said, "No it cannot be!"

Abhirama said, "Gauranga, you should not waste your time here. It will hamper you sport there. You won't be going alone because Ramadasa, a great Krsna devotee will go with you. This Ramadasa is empowered by me. Accept him due to my wish." Adhering tohis advice, Caitanyadeva with Ramadasa Mahanta left Vrndavana and after a few days reached Navadvipa.

Appearance of Vrindavati

Caitanyadeva started for Navadvipa and Abhirama sat for his meditation. In his trance, he came to know that Vrndavati had taken her birth in Kalipura vilage of Vangadesa. Nowadays Kalipura is known as Khanakula in the Arambag jurisdiction of Hoogly district. Some of the Vaisnava poets have written that after attracting Vrndavati in this world Abhirama had empowered her and made her a beautiful woman by his power of Godhead. Then he used to put her into a wooden box and threw in to the wave of Yamuna which at last reached the bank of Triveni near Hoogly. Here Ganga has been divided into three courses and began to flow towards the sea. That wooden box floating in the river Sarasvati at last reached at a flower garden on the side of the river near Kajipura. As soon as the wooden box touched the land of the garden, all the dry branches of the trees began to bloom into leaves and flowers. Their fragrance used to fill the air of that place. The sudden change of the trees made everyone started. The gardeners ran to the garden and saw the miraculous scene. They became overwhelmed in joy and thought that perhaps a certain saintly person had come their place and had done all these things.

They began to search in the garden but had not got anything. Then one of them in searching went to the river side and found a wooden box. He became overwhelmed in awe and began to tremble suddenly he fell on the ground being unconscious. The other men came running to him and helped him to come to sense. The former person attracted their attention towards the wooden box. He said "This wooden box has done all these. Come on and carry this to our home."

They all agreed and did that gladly. Then they opened the box and found a beautiful woman in it. They took her as a Deity and paid their respect. That beautiful woman sat on a seat near the door. Her glittering beauty lightened the whole atmosphere.

That gardener with his family bowed to her feet. The women of the gardener class washed her feet and drank that water with all their family members. Then the housekeeper asked her with folded hands, "Oh mother, have you come on this place to favor us all? As you are kind enough to us, then please tell me who you are." Hearing this humble question of the gardener, Vrndavati in sweet smile said, "You are a very pure hearted man. I shall stay at your home like your daughter. You all will call me as Malini. I haven't ate a long time. Oh my father, give me some food soon. After eating I will give my identity." The gardener became very pleased and gave her different varieties of food and sweets. Malini first of all offered all those food to Krsna and after saying "Jai Abhirama" began to eat. After taking ehr food, she said to the gardener, "Father, I am the Sakhi of Sridama, the friend of Krsna. Sridama had appeared in this world for distributing love for Krsna to mankind. He will come here soon taking the name as Abhirama. To help my Prabhu, I have come here in a wooden box floating in the streams of Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati. On my coming your dry garden has become full of flowers. Now I am completely under your control. Please look after me until I get the darsana of Abhirama."

The gardener became very glad to get the sakhi of Sri Radha as his daughter and began to look after her very carefully. With her touch all miseries and poverty of the gardener vanishes. The villagers became very jealous at this prosperity of the gardener and went o the Kazi and explained everything to him. They also revealed their suspicion that she must be a magician and for some forbidden cause she used to take shelter in the house of the gardener.


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