Lord Caitanya's Prasadam Pastimes, Part 3
BY: SUN STAFF
Sacimata's Vision of Lord Krsna Caitanya
Dec 19, CANADA (SUN) The Sankirtan travels and prasadam pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Mother Saci and Raghava Pandita's Coconut Offering
"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Nityananda Prabhu,"Go to Bengal and, without restriction, manifest devotional service to the Lord, Krsna consciousness."
PURPORT: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu thus ordered Nityananda Prabhu to deliver all the Bengalis to devotional service. In Bhagavad-gita (9.32) it is said:
mam hi partha vyapasritya
ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah
striyo vaisyas tatha sudras
te 'pi yanti param gatim
"O son of Prtha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth-women, vaisyas [merchants], as well as sudras [workers]-can approach the supreme destination." Whoever takes to Krsna consciousness and follows the regulative principles can return home, back to Godhead.
In his Anubhasya, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura writes: "There is a class of so-called devotees called prakrta-sahajiyas who think that Nityananda Prabhu is an ordinary human being. They have spread the news that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Nityananda Prabhu to return to Bengal from Orissa just to marry and beget children. This is certainly a great offense against Nityananda Prabhu."
Such an offense is called pasanda-buddhi, or an atheistic remark. Offenders consider Nityananda Prabhu to be like one of them, an ordinary human being. They do not know of Nityananda Prabhu's identity with the visnu-tattva. Thinking Nityananda Prabhu to be an ordinary human being is the business of mental speculators known as kunapatma-vadis. These people accept the material body, which is a bag of three material elements (kunape tri-dhatuke), as themselves. They think that Nityananda Prabhu's body was similarly material and that it was meant for sense gratification. Whoever thinks in this way is a candidate for the darkest regions of hell. Those who hanker after women and money, who are self-interested and have the mentality of merchants, can certainly discover many things with their fertile brains and speak against the authorized revealed scriptures. They also engage in some moneymaking businesses to cheat innocent people, and they try to support their business programs by making such offensive statements. Actually Nityananda Prabhu, being the expansion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is the most munificent incarnation. No one should consider Him an ordinary human being or an entity like the prajapatis, who were ordered by Brahma to increase generation. Nityananda Prabhu should not be considered instrumental for sense gratification. Although professional so-called preachers support this, such statements are not found in any authorized revealed scriptures. Actually there is no support for these statements made by sahajiyas or other professional distributors of krsna-bhakti."
Nityananda Prabhu was given assistants like Ramadasa, Gadadhara dasa and several others. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "I give them to You to assist You.
"I shall also go to see You at intervals. Keeping Myself invisible, I shall watch You dance."
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then embraced Srivasa Pandita and, with His arm about his neck, began to speak to him in sweet words.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu requested Srivasa Thakura, "Perform congregational chanting daily, and be assured that I shall also dance in your presence. You will be able to see this dancing, but not others.
"Take this prasada of Lord Jagannatha's and this cloth and deliver them to My mother, Sacidevi. After offering her obeisances, please request her to excuse My offenses.
"I have given up the service of My mother and have accepted the sannyasa order. Actually I should not have done this, for by so doing, I have destroyed My religious principles.
"I am subordinate to the love of My mother, and it is My duty to serve her in return. Instead of doing so, I have accepted this renounced order. Certainly this is the act of a madman.
"A mother is not offended by her mad son, and, knowing this, My mother is not offended by Me.
"I had no business in accepting this renounced order and sacrificing My love for My mother, which is My real property. Actually I was in a crazy state of mind when I accepted sannyasa.
"I am staying here at Jagannatha Puri, Nilacala, to comply with her orders. However, at intervals I shall go see her lotus feet.
"Indeed, I go there daily to see her lotus feet. She is able to feel My presence, although she does not believe it to be true.
"One day My mother, Saci, offered food to Salagrama Visnu. She offered rice cooked from sali paddies, various kinds of vegetables, spinach, curry made of banana flowers, fried patola with nimba leaves, pieces of ginger with lemon, and also yogurt, milk, sugar candy and many other foods.
"Taking the food upon her lap, Mother was crying to think that all that food was very dear to her Nimai.
"My mother was thinking, 'Nimai is not here. Who will accept all this food?' As she meditated upon Me in this way, her eyes filled with tears.
"While she was thus thinking and crying, I immediately went there with great haste and ate everything. Seeing the dish empty, she wiped her tears away.
"She then began to wonder who had eaten all that food. 'Why is the plate empty?' she wondered, doubting that Bala-gopala had eaten it all.
"She began to wonder whether there was actually anything on the plate in the first place. Then again she thought that some animal might have come and eaten everything.
"She thought, 'Perhaps by mistake I did not put any food on the plate.' So thinking, she went into the kitchen and saw the pots.
"When she saw that all the pots were still filled with rice and vegetables, there was some doubt in her mind, and she was astonished.
"Thus wondering, she called Isana, the servant, and had the place cleaned again. She then offered another plate to Gopala.
"Now whenever she prepares some good cooked food and wants to feed it to Me, she cries in great anxiety.
"Being obliged by her love, I am brought there to eat. Mother knows all these things internally and feels happiness, but externally she does not accept them.
"Such an incident took place on the last Vijaya-dasami day. You can ask her about this incident and thus make her believe that I actually go there."
While describing all this, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was a little overwhelmed, but just to finish bidding farewell to the devotees, He remained patient.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu next spoke some relishable words to Raghava Pandita. He said, "I am obliged to you due to your pure love for Me."
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then informed everyone, "Just hear about the pure devotional service rendered to Krsna by Raghava Pandita. Indeed, Raghava Pandita's service is supremely pure and highly accomplished.
"Apart from other commodities, just hear about his coconut offering. A coconut is sold at the rate of five gandas each.
"Although he already has hundreds of trees and millions of fruits, he is still very eager to hear about the place where sweet coconut is available.
"He collects coconut with great endeavor from a place twenty miles away, and he gives four panas each for them.
"Every day five to seven coconuts are clipped and put into water to keep cool.
"At the time of offering bhoga, the coconuts are again clipped and cleansed. After holes are made in them, they are offered to Lord Krsna.
"Lord Krsna used to drink the juice from these coconuts, and sometimes the coconuts were left drained of juice. At other times the coconuts were filled with juice.
"When Raghava Pandita saw that the juice had been drunk from the coconuts, he was very pleased. He would then break the coconut, take out the pulp and put it on another plate.
"After offering the pulp, he would meditate outside the temple door. In the meantime, Lord Krsna, having eaten the pulp, would leave the plate empty.
"Sometimes, after eating the pulp, Krsna would fill the plate again with new pulp. In this way, Raghava Pandita's faith increases, and he floats in an ocean of love.
"One day it so happened that about ten coconuts were properly clipped and brought by a servant to offer to the Deity.
"When the coconuts were brought, there was little time to offer them because it was already late. The servant, holding the container of coconuts, remained standing at the door.
"Raghava Pandita then saw that the servant touched the ceiling above the door and then touched the coconuts with the same hand.
"Raghava Pandita then said, 'People are always coming and going through that door. The dust from their feet blows up and touches the ceiling.
" 'After touching the ceiling above the door, you have touched the coconuts. Now they are no longer fit to be offered to Krsna because they are contaminated.'
PURPORT: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura states that Raghava Pandita was not simply a crazy fellow suffering from some cleansing phobia. He did not belong to the mundane world. In lower consciousness, accepting something to be spiritual when it is actually material is called bhauma-ijya-dhih. Raghava Pandita was an eternal servant of Krsna, and everything he saw was related to the service of the Lord. He was always absorbed in the transcendental thought of how he could always serve Krsna with everything. Sometimes neophytes, devotees on the lower platform, try to imitate Raghava Pandita on the platform of material purity and impurity. Such imitation will not help anyone. As explained in Caitanya-caritamrta, (Antya-lila 4.174): bhadrabhadra-vastu-jnana nahika 'prakrte'. On the transcendental platform there is no higher or lower, pure or impure. On the material platform, distinction is made between good and bad, but on the spiritual platform everything is of the same quality.
'dvaite' bhadrabhadra-jnana, saba----'manodharma'
'ei bhala, ei manda',----ei saba 'bhrama'
"In the material world, conceptions of good and bad are all mental speculations. Therefore, saying, 'This is good, and this is bad, is all a mistake."(Cc. Antya 4.176)
"Such was the service of Raghava Pandita. He did not accept the coconuts but threw them over the wall. His service is purely based on unalloyed love, and it conquers the whole world.
"Thereafter, Raghava Pandita had other coconuts gathered, cleansed and clipped, and with great attention he offered them to the Deity to eat.
"In this way he collected excellent bananas, mangoes, oranges, jackfruits and whatever first-class fruits from distant villages he had heard about.
"All these fruits were collected from distant places and were bought at a high price. After trimming them with great care and purity, Raghava Pandita offered them to the Deity.
"Thus with great care and attention Raghava Pandita would prepare spinach, other vegetables, radishes, fruits, chipped rice, powdered rice and sweetmeats.
"He prepared cakes, sweet rice, concentrated milk and everything else with great attention, and the cooking conditions were purified so that the food was first class and tasteful.
"Raghava Pandita would also offer all kinds of pickles, such as kasamdi. He offered various scents, garments, ornaments and the best of everything.
"Thus Raghava Pandita would serve the Lord in an incomparable way. Everyone was very satisfied just to see him."
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then mercifully embraced Raghava Pandita. The Lord also offered all the other devotees a reception with similar respect."
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya lila 15:42-92
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.