The Travels of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

BY: SUN STAFF


Aug 10, CANADA (SUN) — During His manifest lila, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu spent a great deal of time traveling and preaching across the Indian subcontinent. What follows is a collection of brief excerpts, paraphrased from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, which describe just some of the Lord's inconceivable transcendental traveling pastimes.


Adi lila 16
Lord Caitanya's kaisora-lila, or the activities He performed just before attaining youth. He went to East Bengal to secure financial assistance, cultivate knowledge and introduce the sankirtana movement. While Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was touring East Bengal, His wife, Laksmidevi, was bitten by a serpent or by the serpent of separation, and thus she left this world.

Madhya lila 3
After accepting the sannyasa order at Katwa, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu traveled continuously for three days in Radha-desa and, by the trick of Nityananda Prabhu, eventually came to the western side of Santipura. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was induced to believe that the river Ganges was the Yamuna. When He was worshiping the sacred river, Advaita Prabhu arrived in a boat. Advaita Prabhu asked Him to take His bath in the Ganges and took Him to His (Advaita's) house. There all the Navadvipa devotees, along with mother Sacidevi, came to see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This house was located at Santipura. Mother Sacidevi cooked for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu. Mother Sacidevi requested LCM to make Jagannatha Puri, Nilacala, His headquarters. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu granted His mother's request and, followed by Nityananda, Mukunda, Jagadananda and Damodara, left Santipura. Bidding farewell to mother Sacidevi, they all proceeded toward Jagannatha Puri, following the path of Chatrabhoga.

Madhya lila 4
Passing along the path of Chatrabhoga and coming to Vrddhamantresvara, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu reached the border of Orissa. On His way He enjoyed transcendental bliss by chanting and begging alms in different villages. In this way He reached the celebrated village of Remuna, where there is a Deity of Gopinatha. There He narrated the story of Madhavendra Puri, as He had heard it from His spiritual master, Isvara Puri. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu narrated this story for Lord Nityananda Prabhu and other devotees and praised the pure devotional service of Madhavendra Puri. When He recited some verses composed by Madhavendra Puri, He went into an ecstatic mood. But when He saw that many people were assembled, He checked Himself and ate some sweet rice prasada. Thus He passed that night, and the next morning He again started for Jagannatha Puri.

Madhya lila 5
After passing through Yajapura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu reached the town of Kataka (Cuttak) and there went to see the temple of Saksi-gopala. While there, He heard the story of Saksi-gopala from the mouth of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. After hearing this narration, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited the temple of Gopala in great ecstasy of love of God. From Kataka He went to Bhuvanesvara and saw the temple of Lord Siva. In this way, He gradually arrived at Kamalapura, and on the banks of the Bhargi River He came to the temple of Lord Siva, where He entrusted His sannyasa staff to Nityananda Prabhu. However, Nityananda Prabhu broke the staff into three pieces and threw it into the Bhargi River at a place known as Atharanala. Being angry at not getting His staff back, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left the company of Nityananda Prabhu and went alone to see the Jagannatha temple.

Madhya lila 7
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the renounced order of life in the month of Magha (January-February) and went to Jagannatha Puri in the month of Phalguna (February-March). He saw the Dola-yatra festival during the month of Phalguna, and in the month of Caitra He liberated Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. During the month of Vaisakha, He began to tour South India. When He proposed to travel to South India alone, Sri Nityananda Prabhu gave Him a brahmana assistant named Krsnadasa. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was beginning His tour, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya gave Him four sets of clothes and requested Him to see Ramananda Raya, who was residing at that time on the bank of the river Godavari. Along with other devotees, Nityananda Prabhu accompanied the Lord to Alalanatha, but there Lord Caitanya left them all behind and went ahead with the brahmana Krsnadasa. The Lord began chanting the mantra "krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna he." In whatever village He spent the night, whenever a person came to see Him in His shelter, the Lord implored him to preach the Krsna consciousness movement. After teaching the people of one village, the Lord proceeded to other villages to increase devotees. In this way He finally reached Kurma-sthana. While there, He bestowed His causeless mercy upon a brahmana called Kurma and cured another brahmana, named Vasudeva, who was suffering from leprosy. After curing this brahmana leper, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu received the title Vasudevamrta-prada, meaning "one who delivered nectar to the leper Vasudeva."

Madhya lila 8
After visiting the temple of Jiyada-nrsimha, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to the banks of the river Godavari, to a place known as Vidyanagara. There LCM met Sri Ramananda Raya, who requested Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to remain in the village for some days. In the evening, Srila Ramananda Raya used to come to see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu questioned him on the object and process of worship and also asked him to recite verses from Vedic literature. Gradually Ramananda Raya could understand the position of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His real form, Ramananda Raya fell unconscious. After some days, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked Ramananda Raya to retire from government service and come to Jagannatha Puri.

Madhya lila 9
A summary of the Ninth Chapter is given by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After leaving Vidyanagara, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited such places of pilgrimage as Gautami-ganga, Mallikarjuna, Ahovala-nrsimha, Siddhavata, Skanda-ksetra, Trimatha, Vrddhakasi, Bauddha-sthana, Tirupati, Tirumala, Pana-nrsimha, Siva-kanci, Visnu-kanci, Trikala-hasti, Vrddhakola, Siyali-bhairavi, Kaveri-tira and Kumbhakarna-kapala.

Finally the Lord went to Sri Ranga-ksetra, where He converted a brahmana named Venkata Bhatta, who, along with his family, became a devotee of Krsna. After leaving Sri Ranga, Caitanya Mahaprabhu reached Rsabha-parvata, where He met Paramananda Puri, who later arrived at Jagannatha Puri. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then proceeded farther, arriving at Setubandha Ramesvara. At Sri Saila-parvata, the Lord met Lord Siva and his wife Durga in the dress of a brahmana and brahmani. From there He went to Kamakosthi-puri and later arrived at southern Mathura. A brahmana devotee of Lord Ramacandra's talked with Him. Then the Lord took His bath in the river Krtamala. On the hill known as Mahendra-saila, the Lord saw Parasurama. Then the Lord went to Setubandha and took His bath at Dhanus-tirtha. He also visited Ramesvara, where He collected some papers connected with Sitadevi, whose illusory form was kidnapped by Ravana. The Lord next visited the places known as Pandya-desa, Tamraparni, Naya-tripadi, Ciyadatala, Tila-kanci, Gajendra-moksana, Panagadi, Camtapura, Sri Vaikuntha, Malaya-parvata and Kanya-kumari. The Lord then met the Bhattatharis at Mallara-desa and saved Kala Krsnadasa from their clutches. The Lord also collected the Brahma-samhita, Fifth Chapter, on the banks of the Payasvini River. He then visited Payasvini, Srngavera-puri-matha and Matsya-tirtha. At the village of Udupi He saw the Gopala Deity installed by Sri Madhvacarya. He then defeated the Tattvavadis in sastric conversation. The Lord next visited Phalgu-tirtha, Tritakupa, Pancapsara, Surparaka and Kolapura. At Sri Rangapuri the Lord received news of Sankararanya's disappearance. He then went to the banks of the Krsnavenva River, where He collected from among the Vaisnava brahmanas a book written by Bilvamangala, Krsna-karnamrta. The Lord then visited Tapti, Mahismati-pura, Narmada-tira and Rsyamuka-parvata. He entered Dandakaranya and liberated the seven palm trees. From there He visited a place known as Pampa-sarovara and visited Pancavati, Nasika, Brahmagiri and also the source of the Godavari River, Kusavarta. Thus the Lord visited almost all the holy places in South India. He finally returned to Jagannatha Puri by taking the same route, after visiting Vidyanagara again.

Madhya lila 10
When the Lord returned to Jagannatha Puri from His South Indian tour, He lived at the home of Kasi Misra. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya introduced many Vaisnavas to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu after His return. Nityananda Prabhu sent Krsnadasa to Bengal to inform the Navadvipa devotees about the Lord's return to Jagannatha Puri. All the devotees of Navadvipa thus began arranging to come to Jagannatha Puri. Devotees from many different areas come to see Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and they are exactly like many rivers that come from many places to finally flow into the sea.

Madhya lila 11
During Anavasara, while Lord Jagannatha was resting for fifteen days, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, being unable to see Lord Jagannatha, went to Alalanatha. Later, when the devotees from Bengal came to see Him, He returned to Jagannatha Puri.

Madhya lila 12-13
Cleaning of Gaudica Temple and Jagannath Ratha Yatra, Puri

Madhya lila 16
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to go to Vrndavana, Ramananda Raya and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya indirectly presented many obstructions. In due course of time, all the devotees of Bengal visited Jagannatha Puri for the third year. This time, all the wives of the Vaisnavas brought many types of food, intending to extend invitations to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Jagannatha Puri. When the devotees arrived, Caitanya Mahaprabhu sent his blessings in the form of garlands. In that year also, the Gundica temple was cleansed, and when the Caturmasya period was over, all the devotees returned to their homes in Bengal. When the devotees bade farewell to the Lord, the Lord was determined to go to Vrndavana, and on the day of Vijaya-dasami, He departed. When He crossed the River Citrotpala, Ramananda Raya, Mardaraja and Haricandana went with Him. Later, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu crossed the border of Orissa state, and He arrived at Panihati by boat. Thereafter He visited the house of Raghava Pandita, and from there He went to Kumarahatta and eventually to Kuliya, where He excused many offenders. From there He went to Ramakeli, where He saw Sri Rupa and Sanatana and accepted them as His chief disciples. Returning from Ramakeli, He met Raghunatha dasa and after giving him instructions sent him back home. Thereafter the Lord returned to Nilacala (Jag Puri) and began to make plans to go to Vrndavana without a companion.

Madhya lila 17
After attending the Ratha-yatra ceremony of Sri Jagannatha, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu decided to start for Vrndavana. Sri Ramananda Raya and Svarupa Damodara Gosvami selected a brahmana named Balabhadra Bhattacarya to personally assist Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Early in the morning before sunrise, the Lord started for the town of Kataka. North of Kataka, He penetrated a dense forest and visited many tigers and elephants, whom He engaged in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Whenever He had a chance to visit a village, He would beg alms and acquire some rice and vegetables. If there were no village, He would cook whatever rice remained and collect some spinach from the forest to eat. In this way the Lord passed through the jungle of Jharikhanda and finally reached Varanasi. The Lord took His bath at the Manikarnika-ghata at Varanasi. Prakasananda Sarasvati, the leader of the Mayavadi sannyasis, made various accusations against the Lord. In reply, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that they were offenders and that one should not associate with them. In this way the Lord bestowed His blessings upon the brahmana. The Lord visited the twelve forests of Vrndavana and was filled with great ecstatic love. As He toured the Vrndavana forests, He heard the chirping of parrots and other birds.

Madhya lila 18
In the village of Arit-grama, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu discovered the transcendental lakes known as Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda. He then saw the Deity Harideva at Govardhana Village. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had no desire to climb Govardhana Hill because the hill is worshiped as Krsna. The Gopala Deity could understand the mind of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; therefore on the plea of being attacked by Muslims, Gopala transferred Himself to the village of Ganthuli-grama. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then went to Ganthuli-grama to see Lord Gopala. After visiting Nandisvara, Pavana-sarovara, Sesasayi, Khela-tirtha, Bhandiravana, Bhadravana, Lohavana and Mahavana, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Gokula and then finally returned to Mathura. Seeing a great crowd in Mathura, He moved His residence near Akrura-ghata, and from there He went every day to Vrndavana to see Kaliya-hrada, Dvadasaditya-ghata, Kesi-ghata, Rasa-sthali, Cira-ghata and Amli-tala. At Kaliya Lake, many people mistook a fisherman for Krsna. Balabhadra Bhattacarya decided to take Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Prayaga after visiting the holy place known as Soroksetra. While stopping near a village on the way to Prayaga, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu fainted in ecstatic love. Some Pathana soldiers who were passing through saw Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and falsely concluded that the Lord's associates, Balabhadra Bhattacarya and others, had killed the Lord with a poison named dhutura and were taking His wealth. Thus the soldiers arrested them. However, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu regained His senses, His associates were released. He talked with a person who was supposed to be a holy man in the party. From the Koran, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu established devotional service to Krsna. Thus the leader of the soldiers, named Vijali Khan, surrendered to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he and his party became devotees of Lord Krsna. The same village today is known as the village of Pathana Vaisnavas. After bathing in the Ganges at Soro, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu arrived at Prayaga at the confluence of three rivers-the Ganges, Yamuna and Sarasvati.

Madhya lila 19
Meeting Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in a village called Ramakeli, two brothers, Rupa and Sanatana, began to devise means to get out of their government service. Both brothers appointed some brahmanas to perform purascarana ceremonies and chant the holy name of Krsna. Srila Rupa Gosvami was informed that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was going to Vrndavana from Jagannatha Puri through the forest of Madhya Pradesh; therefore he sent two people to Jagannatha Puri to find out when the Lord would leave for Vrndavana. In this way Rupa Gosvami retired, but Sanatana Gosvami told the Nawab that he was sick and could not attend to his work. Giving this excuse, he sat home and studied Srimad-Bhagavatam with learned brahmana scholars. The Nawab Hussain Shah first sent his personal physician to see what the real facts were; then he personally came to see why Sanatana was not attending to official business. Knowing that he wanted to resign his post, the Nawab had him arrested and imprisoned. The Nawab then went off to attack Orissa.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started for Vrndavana through the forest of Madhya Pradesh (Jharikhanda), Rupa Gosvami left home and sent news to Sanatana that he was leaving home with his younger brother (Anupama Mallika) to meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Rupa Gosvami finally reached Prayaga and met with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for ten successive days. During this time, Vallabha Bhatta extended an invitation to the Lord with great respect. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced Srila Rupa Gosvami to Vallabha Bhatta. After this, a brahmana scholar named Raghupati Upadhyaya arrived and discussed Krsna consciousness with the Lord. Kaviraja Gosvami then extensively describes the living condition of Sri Rupa and Sanatana at Vrndavana. During the ten days at Prayaga, Srila Rupa Gosvami was instructed by the Lord, who gave him the basic principles of the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. The Lord then sent Srila Rupa Gosvami to Vrndavana. The Lord Himself returned to Varanasi and stayed at the home of Candrasekhara.

Madhya lila 20
When Srila Sanatana Gosvami was imprisoned by Nawab Hussain Shah, he received news from Rupa Gosvami that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had gone to Mathura. Sanatana Gosvami thereafter satisfied the superintendent of the jail by sweet solicitations and bribery. After giving the jailer seven thousand gold coins, Sanatana Gosvami was released. Thus Sanatana Gosvami finally arrived at Varanasi. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very pleased with him, and thus Sri Sanatana Gosvami received knowledge of the Absolute Truth from the Lord Himself. In this way Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained and described everything to Sanatana Gosvami.

Madhya lila 25
After causing all the sannyasis of Varanasi to become devotees, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, before returning to His headquarters at Jagannatha Puri, advised Sanatana Gosvami to go to Vrndavana. The Lord then departed for Jagannatha Puri. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu returned to Jagannatha Puri through the great forest of Jharikhanda in central India.

Antya Lila 1
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu returned to Jagannatha Puri from Vrndavana, all His devotees from other parts of India, upon receiving the auspicious news, came to Purusottama-ksetra, or Jagannatha Puri.

Antya Lila 6
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had gone to Santipura on His way to Vrndavana, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had offered to dedicate his life at the Lord's lotus feet. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami secretly went to Jagannatha Puri, at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Antya Lila 10
Before the Ratha-yatra ceremony, all the devotees from Bengal started for Jagannatha Puri as usual. Raghava Pandita brought with him various kinds of food for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The food had been cooked by his sister, whose name was Damayanti, and the stock was generally known as raghavera jhali. Makaradhvaja Kara, an inhabitant of Panihati who accompanied Raghava Pandita, was the secretary in charge of accounting for the raghavera jhali, the bags of food carried by Raghava Pandita.

All the Vaisnavas used to invite Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to their homes. The Lord accepted the invitation of Caitanya dasa, the son of Sivananda Sena, and ate rice and yogurt there.

Antya Lila 18
On an autumn evening when the moon was full, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu walked along the seashore near the Aitota temple. Mistaking the sea for the Yamuna River, He jumped into it, hoping to see the water pastimes of Krsna and Srimati Radharani and the other gopis. As He floated in the sea, however, He was washed away to the Konarka temple, where a fisherman, thinking that the Lord's body was a big fish, caught Him in his net and brought Him ashore. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was unconscious, and His body had become unusually transformed. As soon as the fisherman touched the Lord's body, he became mad in ecstatic love of Krsna. His own madness frightened him, however, because he thought that he was being haunted by a ghost. As he was about to seek a ghost charmer, he met Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and the other devotees on the beach, who had been looking everywhere for the Lord. After some inquiries, Svarupa Damodara could understand that the fisherman had caught Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in his net. Since the fisherman was afraid of being haunted by a ghost, Svarupa Damodara gave him a slap and chanted Hare Krsna, which immediately pacified him. Thereafter, when the devotees chanted the Hare Krsna maha-mantra loudly, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to His external consciousness. Then they brought Him back to His own residence.

Antya Lila 20
For the twelve years Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu lived at Jagannatha Puri, He relished the taste of reciting such transcendental verses. The Lord was present in this mortal world for forty-eight years altogether.



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