Lord Caitanya's Prasadam Pastimes, Part 6
BY: SUN STAFF
Dec 22, CANADA (SUN) The Sankirtan travels and prasadam pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Nrsimhananda Brahmacari Cooks for the Lord
"After meditating for two days, Nrsimhananda Brahmacari told Sivananda Sena, "I have already brought Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to the village known as Panihati.
Tomorrow at noon He will come to your home. Therefore please bring all kinds of cooking ingredients. I shall personally cook and offer Him food.
In this way I shall bring Him here very soon. Be assured that I am telling you the truth. Do not be doubtful.
Bring all the ingredients very soon, for I want to begin cooking immediately. Please do what I say."
Nrsimhananda Brahmacari said to Sivananda, "Please bring whatever cooking ingredients I want." Thus Sivananda Sena immediately brought whatever he asked for.
Beginning early in the morning, Nrsimhananda Brahmacari cooked many varieties of food, including vegetables, cakes, sweet rice and other preparations.
After he finished cooking, he brought separate dishes for Jagannatha and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
He also separately offered dishes to Nrsimhadeva, his worshipable Deity. Thus he divided all the food into three offerings. Then, outside the temple, he began to meditate upon the Lord.
In his meditation he saw Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu quickly come, sit down and eat all three offerings, leaving behind no remnants.
Pradyumna Brahmacari was overwhelmed by transcendental ecstasy upon seeing Caitanya Mahaprabhu eating everything. Thus tears flowed from his eyes. Nevertheless, he expressed dismay, saying,"Alas, alas! My dear Lord, what are You doing? You are eating everyone's food!
"My dear Lord, You are one with Jagannatha; therefore I have no objection to Your eating His offering. But why are You touching the offering to Lord Nrsimhadeva?
"I think that Nrsimhadeva could not eat anything today, and therefore He is fasting. If the master fasts, how can the servant live?"
Although Nrsimha Brahmacari felt jubilation within his heart to see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu eating everything, for the sake of Lord Nrsimhadeva he externally expressed disappointment.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Therefore there is no difference between Him, Lord Jagannatha and Lord Nrsimhadeva.
Pradyumna Brahmacari was deeply eager to understand this fact. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed it to him by a practical demonstration.
After eating all the offerings, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started for Panihati. There, He was greatly satisfied to see the different varieties of vegetables prepared in the house of Raghava.
Sivananda said to Nrsimhananda, "Why are you expressing dismay?" Nrsimhananda replied, "Just see the behavior of your Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
"He alone has eaten the offerings for all three Deities. Because of this, both Jagannatha and Nrsimhadeva remain fasting."
When Sivananda Sena heard this statement, he was unsure whether Nrsimhananda Brahmacari was speaking that way because of ecstatic love or because it was actually a fact.
When Sivananda Sena was thus perplexed, Nrsimhananda Brahmacari said to him, "Bring more food. Let me cook again for Lord Nrsimhadeva."
Then Sivananda Sena again brought the ingredients with which to cook, and Pradyumna Brahmacari again cooked and offered the food to Nrsimhadeva.
The next year, Sivananda went to Jagannatha Puri with all the other devotees to see the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
One day, in the presence of all the devotees, the Lord raised these topics concerning Nrsimhananda Brahmacari and praised his transcendental qualities.
The Lord said, "Last year in the month of Pausa, when Nrsimhananda gave me varieties of sweetmeats and vegetables to eat, they were so good that I had never before eaten such preparations."
Hearing this, all the devotees were struck with wonder, and Sivananda became confident that the incident was true.
In this way Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to eat at the temple of Sacimata every day and also visit the house of Srivasa Thakura when kirtana was performed.
Similarly, He was always present when Nityananda Prabhu danced, and He regularly appeared at the house of Raghava.
Lord Gaurasundara is greatly influenced by the love of His devotees. Therefore wherever there is pure devotion to the Lord, the Lord Himself, subdued by such love, appears, and His devotees see Him.
Influenced by the loving affairs of Sivananda Sena, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came again and again. Therefore who can estimate the limits of his love?
Thus I have described the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Anyone who hears about these incidents can understand the transcendental opulence of the Lord."
Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya lila 2:54-83
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.
(Black Pepper Rice Cakes)
Urad dal (Black Gram), 1 Pound
Rice, 2-1/4 Cups
Coconut, 2 Cups
Jaggery, 2-1/4 Cups
Salt, 2 Teaspoons
Ginger, fresh, 2 Inches
Black Pepper, medium ground, 2 Teaspoons
Ghee, 2 Teaspoons
Soak the dal and rice together for 8 hours. Drain and grind to a fine paste using scant water. Add salt and mix well, then set aside for 2 or 3 hours to ripen. Grate the coconut. Cut the ginger into very small pieces. Combine the coconut, jaggery, ginger and black pepper and mix well. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a baking pan with ghee and pour the paste into pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. When the poda is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, itís done. Cool for 10 minutes, cut into small pieces, and offer. Alternatively, pour the batter into an idli pan and steam on low until a toothpick comes out clean.