Sri Caitanya's Nectarian River Pastimes, Part 9

BY: SUN STAFF

Chaitanya's Dancing Causes Boat to Almost Lose its Balance (inset on Yamuna River)
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust


Oct 07, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) — Sri Caitanya's transcendental pastimes with rivers.

As we continue on the theme of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes of diving into various bodies of water, ecstatically thinking that they were the holy Yamuna River in which Sri Sri Radha Krsna sported, there is one more related pastime we should mention before going on to that of Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Advaita's tricks.

In the summary of Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 19 we read about Sri Rupa Gosvami's younger brother, Vallabha Bhatta (Anupama Mallika), and how he got the Lord's association:

    "When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu started for Vṛndāvana through the forest of Jhārikhaṇḍa, Rūpa Gosvāmī left home and sent news to Sanātana that he was leaving with his younger brother (Anupama Mallika) to meet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī finally reached Prayāga and met with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu for ten successive days. During this time, Vallabha Bhaṭṭa extended an invitation to the Lord with great respect. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu introduced Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī to Vallabha Bhaṭṭa."

Later in this series we will focus on the various holy confluences, or river sangams associated with Lord Caitanya, of which Prayaga is among the topmost:

    "Prayāga is located at the confluence of two rivers — the Ganges and the Yamunā. Although these rivers were not able to flood Prayāga with water, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu inundated the whole area with waves of ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa." (Madhya 19.40)

During this visit to Prayag, Sri Caitanya took up residence at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamunā, known as the Triveṇī, and brothers Rupa and Vallabha took up an abode nearby. (Madhya 19.60) After various transcendental discussions among themselves, Mahaprabhu accepted the invitation of Sri Vallabha to come to his home for a meal:

    "Vallabha Bhaṭṭācārya then put Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates aboard a boat and took them to his own place to offer them lunch. While crossing the river Yamunā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw the glossy black water and was immediately bewildered with ecstatic love. Indeed, as soon as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw the river Yamunā, He immediately made a great sound and jumped into the water. Everyone was filled with fear and trembling to see this. They all hastily grabbed Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and pulled Him out of the water. Once on the boat's platform, the Lord began to dance. Due to the Lord's heavy weight, the boat began to tilt. It began filling up with water and was on the verge of sinking.

    Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu tried to restrain Himself as far as possible before Vallabhācārya, but although He tried to keep calm, His ecstatic love could not be checked. Seeing the circumstances, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu finally became calm so that the boat was able to reach the shore of Āḍāila and land there. (Madhya 19.77-83)

After taking prasada, there was another amazing pastime in which the great scholar Raghupati Upādhyāya came to Vallabha's, and engaged in a discussion of transcendental subjects with the Lord. Raghupati's visit was followed by a deluge of other devotees who were anxious to get darshan of Sri Caitanya. However, wishing to safe-keep the Lord by preventing Him from again jumping into the Yamuna, Vallabha Bhatta turned the anxious visitors back, and accompanied Mahaprabhu back to Prayag:

    "Upon hearing that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had arrived, all the villagers went to see Him. Simply by seeing Him, they all became devotees of Kṛṣṇa. All the brāhmaṇas of the village were eager to extend invitations to the Lord, but Vallabha Bhaṭṭācārya forbade them to do so. Vallabha Bhaṭṭa then decided not to keep Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Āḍāila because the Lord had jumped into the river Yamunā in ecstatic love. Therefore he decided to bring Him to Prayāga. Vallabha Bhaṭṭa said, "If anyone likes, he can go to Prayāga and extend invitations to the Lord." In this way he took the Lord with him and departed for Prayāga.

    Vallabha Bhaṭṭācārya avoided the river Yamunā. Putting the Lord on a boat in the river Ganges, he went with Him to Prayāga. Due to the great crowds in Prayāga, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to a place called Daśāśvamedha-ghāṭa. It was there that the Lord instructed Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī and empowered him in the philosophy of devotional service." (Madhya 19.109-114)

    Bhaktivedanta Book Trust


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