Sri Caitanya's Nectarian River Pastimes, Part 10


Fisherman pulls Sri Caitanya from the Sea
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

Oct 09, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) — Sri Caitanya's transcendental pastimes with rivers.

We have already mentioned the pastime from Caitanya-caritamrta in which Lord Caitanya dove into the sea, seeing it as the holy Yamuna River: "Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu fully merged in the pastimes Lord Krishna performed with the gopis in the waters of the Yamuna." (Antya-lila 18.32)

This lila mood is mentioned many other places, such as this verse in Madhya lila chapter 2:

    kāhāṅ se tri-bhaṅga-ṭhāma, kāhāṅ sei veṇu-gāna,
    kāhāṅ sei yamunā-pulina
    kāhāṅ se rāsa-vilāsa, kāhāṅ nṛtya-gīta-hāsa,
    kāhāṅ prabhu madana-mohana

    "Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to lament by saying, "Where is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whose form is curved in three places? Where is the sweet song of His flute, and where is the bank of the Yamunā? Where is the rāsa dance? Where is that dancing, singing and laughing? Where is My Lord, Madana-mohana, the enchanter of Cupid?'"
    (Madhya 2.56 )

After the fisherman rescued Mahaprabhu from seemingly drowning in the sea, catching Him in his net, the Lord uttered many amazing things as He began returning ardha-bāhya, the state of half-external consciousness. In His explanation to the devotees for having jumped into the sea, we have the explanation for Sri Caitanya's ecstatic tendency to fall into the rivers and ocean, seeing it as the holy Yamuna:

    "Seeing the river Yamunā," He said, "I went to Vṛndāvana. There I saw the son of Nanda Mahārāja performing His sporting pastimes in the water. Lord Kṛṣṇa was in the water of the Yamunā in the company of the gopīs, headed by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. They were performing pastimes in a great sporting manner.

    I saw this pastime as I stood on the bank of the Yamunā in the company of the gopīs. One gopī was showing some other gopīs the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in the water. All the gopīs entrusted their silken garments and ornaments to the care of their friends and then put on fine white cloth. Lord Kṛṣṇa, taking His beloved gopīs with Him, bathed and performed very nice pastimes in the water of the Yamunā.

    My dear friends, just see Lord Kṛṣṇa's sporting pastimes in the water! Kṛṣṇa's restless palms resemble lotus flowers. He is just like the chief of mad elephants, and the gopīs who accompany Him are like she-elephants.

    The sporting pastimes in the water began, and everyone started splashing water back and forth. In the tumultuous showers of water, no one could be certain which party was winning and which was losing. This sporting water fight increased unlimitedly. "

    (Antya lila 18.80-85)

Because Sri Krsna Caitanya is the manifest presence of Sri Sri Radha Krsna in Their combined form, naturally the prevalence of Their Vraja-lila pastimes in the Yamuna also manifest in Mahaprabhu's eternal Kali-yuga lila. Thus we have so many nectarean stories of the Lord associating with the holy rivers.

    kṛṣṇa-līlā amṛta-sāra, tāra śata śata dhāra,
    daśa-dike vahe yāhā haite
    se caitanya-līlā haya, sarovara akṣaya,
    mano-haṁsa carāha' tāhāte

    "The pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa are the essence of all nectar, and that nectar is flowing in hundreds of rivers in all directions. The pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are an eternal reservoir, and one is advised to let his mind swim like a swan on this transcendental lake."

    (Madhya 25.271)

    Bhaktivedanta Book Trust


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