[Yesterday, 29 January 2018, we were observing Nityananda-trayodashi. Here is hari-katha given on this auspicious day in 2014, Vrindavan]
Today is the appearance day of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. He gives svarūpa sattā to the living entities, bringing them to eternal Vraja-dhāma. He performed all different plays in Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. This is not any ordinary or mundane drama. Guru-pāda-padma gives knowledge of one’s svarūpa; relation with one’s svarūpa; liberation from one’s mundane body, and entrance into one’s soul body.
We heard this morning how Nityānanda Prabhu appeared in this world. And we heard how He left Ekacakra and came to Vṛndāvana, after traveling on pilgrimage throughout India. There, He went to all the temples and searched everywhere for Kṛṣṇa. But He could not find Kṛṣṇa. He would ask the cowherd men He met, but they told Him, “Now Kṛṣṇa is not here.” He went to Govardhana and all around Vraja, and wept and rolled in the dust of Vraja, remembering Dvāpara-yuga and the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. But He could not find Nanda, Yaśodā, Kṛṣṇa, and the Vrajavāsīs. He came to Mathurā and, seeing the palace of Kaṁsa, He was infuriated. He saw one piece of stone there covered with bloodstains. The stone had drunk the blood from the infants of Devakī that Kaṁsa had dashed upon it.
Seeing this, Nityānanda Prabhu threw the stone in the Yamunā. But, as He went on His way, the stone floated along the river behind Him, all the way to Khar Daha.
After sannyāsa, Nityānanda Prabhu went with Mahāprabhu to Advaita bhavana and then to Jagannātha Purī. Nityānanda Prabhu broke the daṇḍa of Mahāprabhu.
One day Nityānanda Prabhu asked Mahāprabhu, “Prabhu, You have taken sannyāsa. The rule of sannyāsīs is to go house to house begging for one’s maintenance. But You never went to beg alms.”
Mahāprabhu said, “Save My daṇḍa and kamaṇḍalu, I am going.”
Mahāprabhu went and begged alms with His uttarīya. Seeing Mahāprabhu, people gave so much that Mahāprabhu could not carry it all. When Mahāprabhu came back, Nityānanda Prabhu was present there. Mahāprabhu asked, “Where is My daṇḍa?”
“We carry Mahāprabhu in our own heart,” the devotees thought, “and Mahāprabhu carries you?”
daṇḍa-bhaṅga-līlā ei—parama gambhīra
sei bujhe, duṅhāra pade yāṅra bhakti dhīra
[The pastime of the breaking of the staff is very deep. Only one whose devotion is fixed upon the lotus feet of the two Lords can understand it.]
“Now You have been carried in the hand of Mahāprabhu for a long time,” Nityānanda Prabhu said to the daṇḍa. “After leaving everyone else, Mahāprabhu is now your servant, carrying you everywhere. I can’t tolerate this.”
Nityānanda Prabhu broke Mahāprabhu’s daṇḍa in three pieces and threw it in the Bhargavi River.
When Mahāprabhu returned, He saw His daṇḍa was not present. He asked, “Where is My daṇḍa?”
For sannyāsīs, a daṇḍa is the svarūpa of Nārāyaṇa.
“Where did My daṇḍa go?” Mahāprabhu asked.
“I don’t know,” Nityānanda Prabhu said. “You always dance in ecstatic moods. Who knows where You threw it.”
“No,” Mahāprabhu said, “I gave it to You.”
“Oh,” Nityānanda Prabhu said. “No. You must have accidentally broken it while dancing. Anyhow, it was only a cheap piece of bamboo. Seeing it broken, I threw it in the Bhargavi.”
Mahāprabhu said, “Alas! A daṇḍa is a sannyāsī’s only guardian. You broke My daṇḍa! Alas! Śrīpāda! What have You done? Now I have no more relation with anyone. Go first to Jagannātha Purī; otherwise I will go first. What is Your choice?”
“You should go first.”
Mahāprabhu went forward doing kīrtana and dancing in His own mood. He ran to Jagannātha Purī, to the temple of Jagannātha. Mahāprabhu ran to embrace Jagannātha, fainted, and was brought to the home of Sārvabhauma Paṇḍita. Nityānanda Prabhu later came to the temple of Jagannātha and ran to embrace Him.
The priests said, “Before one madman came and fell senseless, now another one has come!”
They caught Him in the temple, saying, “You cannot go inside the inner sanctum.”
Nityānanda Prabhu desired to go inside the temple sanctum to embrace Jagannātha, Baladeva, and Subhadrā.
Mahāprabhu was at the house of Sārvabhauma Paṇḍita. The priests informed Sārvabhauma Paṇḍita of the devotees who had come, and they were also brought to his house.
Seeing Mahāprabhu senseless, the devotees started loud saṅkīrtana. Then Mahāprabhu awoke from His trance and began dancing ecstatically.
Mahāprabhu later gave an order to Nityānanda Prabhu, “Go! Don’t stay here any longer with Me.”
Was He angry with Nityānanda Prabhu? No. “Go help all the living entities,” Mahāprabhu said. “Bestow prema-bhakti upon the living entities. You have come here. I will be happy if You stay with Me. But if You go and help all living entities, this gives Me even more happiness.”
Nityānanda Prabhu came back to Navadvīpa-dhāma with a huge saṅkīrtana party. Any place He passed through, the villagers would come with Nityānanda Prabhu and follow Him. They would not want to stay any longer in their homes. They realized their residential permit in their bodies and homes was temporary. They thought, “I will go with Nityānanda Prabhu. I will relish eternal bliss.” They forgot mundane happiness, jaḍa ānanda, and became absorbed in nitya ānanda, eternal bliss. They entered Nityānanda Prabhu’s saṅkīrtana party and danced hour to hour, day to day, sometimes playing and doing kīrtana in the water and sometimes jumping on the top of trees and doing kīrtana in their branches. Sometimes they did not eat for a month, only doing kīrtana, dancing back and forth through the countryside, not know which way they were going.
Nityānanda Prabhu made the people mad in the bliss of chanting harināma, and they forgot everything by drinking kīrtana-rasa and bhakti-rasa. They had no need for any mundane food while with Nityānanda Prabhu. Was their strength and energy lost?
Nityānanda Prabhu gave them svarūpa-siddhi. Dvādaśa Gopāla, the Cauṣaṭṭi-mahānta, Aṣṭa Kaviraja, and millions of devotees came with Nityānanda Prabhu, performing maha saṅkīrtana. The devotees did kīrtana day and night with Nityānanda Prabhu.
saṅkīrtana-rase mete’ nāma bilāilo
nāmera hāṭe ese preme jagat bhāsāilo
[Deeply absorbed in saṅkīrtana-rasa, He distributed the holy name, and having come to the marketplace of the holy name, He caused the whole universe to swim in prema.]
Nityānanda Prabhu performed saṅkīrtana throughout the land. Before Mahāprabhu had not given Him order, but now that Mahāprabhu had instructed Him, He began showering everyone with prema-bhakti through the medium of harināma-saṅkīrtana.
He came to Adi Saptagrāma, where Raghava Paṇḍita, Śivānanda-sena, and other devotees were waiting for His arrival with the devotees.
Nityānanda Prabhu is patita-pāvana. Where He will go and when—there is no guarantee. He goes to deliver the most fallen, and changes the hearts of all.
He once went to the place of Rāmacandra Khān, the wealthy landlord. When Nityānanda Prabhu came with His saṅkīrtana party to that area, He sent some sevakas, telling them, “Go ask if we can stay and perform kīrtana at his house.”
“You are Kṛṣṇa’s followers,” Rāmacandra Khān said. “Living in the cowshed is good for you. My temple is for Durgā-devī. You can’t enter my palace and do kīrtana there. You follow Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa likes the cows, forest, and jungle. So why are you madmen coming here? There is no place for you here.”
If anyone disturbs the Saṅkīrtana Movement, or if anyone is not happy with saṅkīrtana, then Nityānanda Prabhu will be angry at that place. Otherwise, Nityānanda Prabhu never becomes angry or disturbed. Nityānanda Prabhu became angry and said, “Oh! There is no place here for the devotees and saṅkīrtana? Then this place is for mlecchas.”
Nityānanda Prabhu left that place. Before, Rāmacandra Khān had offended Haridāsa Ṭhākura, sending a prostitute to try and make him fall down. A little later, the Mughal ruler from Delhi sent many soldiers there. They went and took everything from Rāmacandra Khān, killed his family, and razed his house.
Nityānanda Prabhu went from that place to Panihati in another state. The son of Hiranya Govardhana, Raghunātha, came to meet with Nityānanda Prabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu was very happy.
His sevakas said, “Raghunātha has come and offered You obeisance from a far distance.”
Nityānanda Prabhu had His followers call forth Raghunātha, and then shouted, “Raghunātha, you are a big thief. You have hidden many things. Now I am giving you daṇḍa, punishment.”
On one side, Nityānanda Prabhu broke the daṇḍa of Mahāprabhu, and on the other side, He gave daṇḍa to Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.
“You must give prasādam to all the devotees,” Nityānanda Prabhu said. “You have come here in the early morning. I am remembering pulina-bhojana in Vraja on the bank of the Yamunā. Now arrange everything.”
Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī was very pleased.
bhakta dravyera khadi khadi khai
abhaktera dravyera bhoga kabhi nahi chai
If anyone has love for God, the Lord will go there and steal from him by force. But the Lord will never accept anything from those who have no love for Him. Even if they make a show offering something, the Lord will never accept it.
Now, Raghunātha is an eternal Vrajavāsī. He has great love. How did he follow the order of Nityānanda Prabhu? He arranged prasādam for millions of devotees there in a short span of time. Thousands and thousands of people were standing anywhere and everywhere, in the river water, and on trees.
Nityānanda Prabhu called Mahāprabhu from Jagannātha Purī. Mahāprabhu came and went to all the devotees, looking at what was being distributed. Nityānanda Prabhu wandered through the lines with Mahāprabhu, taking from all the pots of prasādam and feeding Mahāprabhu with His own hands, unseen by the devotees.
Then Nityānanda Prabhu gave a seat for Mahāprabhu on His right side. All were surprised, “No one is here. What is Nitāi doing?”
Only a few devotees could see Mahāprabhu present, like Śivānanda-sena, Raghava Paṇḍita, and Raghunātha.
Mahāprabhu never neglects the invitation of Nityānanda Prabhu. If anyone has love for Nityānanda Prabhu, Mahāprabhu promises to come to them. Mahāprabhu will not go anywhere Nityānanda Prabhu is not present.
After all took prasādam, Nityānanda Prabhu gave special mercy to Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. He placed both feet on top of Raghunātha’s head and said, “You will have no more problems in life. Go to Jagannātha Purī, near Mahāprabhu.”
Hearing this, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī felt great bliss and soon escaped from his house and went to Jagannātha Purī.
From there, Nityananda went to Ambikā-kālnā. On the bank of the Gaṅgā, He saw there was a large crowd. One young girl had left her body and was about to be burnt.
Nityānanda Prabhu had a relation with Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍita, the brother of Suridasa Paṇḍita. Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍita said, “My brother has two daughters, one is Jāhṇavā and the other is Vasudha. Jāhṇavā has left her body. Now we came to cremate her on the bank of the Gaṅgā.”
“How is this possible?” Nityānanda Prabhu said. He went and threw off the wood covering Jāhṇavā. In the middle, her body was present. Nityānanda Prabhu caught her hand and said, “Hey! Where do you think you are going without Me? I have come.”
Jāhṇavā woke as if from a deep sleep. She took the hand of Nityānanda Prabhu and came off the pyre. She went to leave with Nityānanda Prabhu, and her sister, Vasudha, came behind running. “I will go also,” she said. One took the right hand of Nitāi and the other His left. They were nine and seven years old, and Nityānanda Prabhu was in His thirties.
Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍita and Suridasa Paṇḍita watched in amazement, “What has happened?”
They saw the big saṅkīrtana going by and said, “What is this avadhūta doing today? Where is He taking these two small girls?”
Nityānanda Prabhu went to the king in Adi-saptagrāma and asked him, “Give me some residence.”
“Where did this mad avadhūta come from, bringing two young girls with Him?” he thought.
Then he said, “Yes, I will give You a room. Go to the lake area where all the cities’ garbage is thrown out. You can stay there with the garbage and dirt.”
“Yes,” Nityānanda Prabhu said. “You have a good choice. You have great attachment to dirt and rubbish. You are offering Me this? You have no love or respect? Okay, don’t worry. I will take whatever you give. I am Nityānanda, always happy.”
Nityānanda Prabhu went to the rubbish area given by the king and threw down a straw there. This place became renowned as Khara-daha. In Bengali, khara means straw and daha means a lake. Nityānanda Prabhu threw a piece of straw in this dirty area, and a palace manifested, more opulent than the king’s own palace. And the king’s palace became useless.
Suryadasa Paṇḍita came to the king, asking him, “Did my two daughters come to you, accompanied with an avadhūta?”
“Oh, they were your daughters?”
“Where did they go?”
“The avadhūta asked for some place to stay, and I told Him to go where we throw out all the garbage.”
They went there and saw that there was no more rubbish or rotten water and smell. There was a big palace there. The pathways and gardens were very beautiful. There were many servants. The king saw that this new place was millions of times greater than his own, and his own place was useless.
The king thought, “What have I done? I did wrong.”
Suryadasa Paṇḍita went inside and saw that Jāhṇavā and Vasudha were no longer young girls; they were fifteen or sixteen years old. Many servants were there, worshipping Kanai, Balai, Nanda Dulala, and Rādhā-Mādhava. Where did they come from?
Nityānanda Prabhu had thrown the stone piece in the Yamunā.
When Nityānanda Prabhu came to Gauda-desa, He saw this stone following behind Him and angrily said, “You have come here behind Me?”
“How can I leave You?” the stone said.
Nityānanda Prabhu took this stone out of the water and again dashed it to the ground. It broke into three pieces and manifested into three sets of Deities. These Deities, Rādhā-Mādhava, Rādhā Nanda Dulala, and Rādhā-Śyāmasundara.
One set of Deities is in Śrīrāmapura with Kamalakara Pippalai. Another set of Deities is in the palace of Khara-daha; They are Rādhā-Śyāmasundara.
During the parikramā of Navadvīpa-dhāma, if anyone sees these three Deities, they automatically get the mercy of Nityānanda Prabhu.
One small piece that was thrown by Nityānanda Prabhu remained. Every morning, Muslims would go and stand on top of the stone to pass stool. When they sat on the stone, they heard, “Hey! Why are you passing stool on me? I came from Vraja and you are passing stool on me!”
They looked around to see who was speaking, and gradually realized it was the stone.
Now, if you go to Khara Daha University, there is a temple where the rock was placed. Before it was small, but it gradually became bigger and bigger, and now has grown to be very large.
Jahnava and Vasudha stayed in the palace, and Nityānanda Prabhu went to continue His saṅkīrtana.
Once, He came to Katwa. Before, Jagāi and Mādhāi had received the mercy of Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu. Jagāi and Mādhāi saw that the avadhūta Nitāi came. They fell at His feet and prayed to Him, “Please, Prabhu, You have forgiven us and bestowed everything on us. But our hearts are still burning. We are suffering. Why is this? You gave us harināma and everything, but we are suffering, not feeling any happiness. We did so many sinful activities and are suffering because of this.”
Nityānanda Prabhu told them, “You are chanting harināma, but this is not enough. You must serve the Vaiṣṇavas.”
“How can we recognize who a Vaiṣṇava is?”
“Go to the bank of the Gaṅgā and touch the feet of anyone who comes, offer them praṇāma and help them with anything they need.”
They followed the order of Nityānanda Prabhu and served the devotees. Jagāi and Mādhāi served all the devotees who came to and fro from the Gaṅgā. They left their bodies and went to eternal Vraja-dhāma.
Sometime later, Nityānanda Prabhu went on saṅkīrtana with many people. Many people would give Him gold ornaments and other things. Nityānanda Prabhu was an avadhūta, going on saṅkīrtana.
Thousands followed Him and gave so many things, especially expensive jewelry. But He resided under different trees. One time, He was resting under a banyan tree in the open. Two big thieves came and saw all the wealth on Nityānanda Prabhu’s body. They thought, “When this man takes rest, he will be alone there. We will go and take everything. If He fights with us, we will kill him.”
They came and waited for a chance to steal from Nityānanda Prabhu. Late at night, they went forward to steal all His jewelry, and then they saw two boys standing guard over sleeping Nitāi with arrow, bow, and sword. The thieves retreated a distance to wait for the boys to go to sleep, and came back after some time, but saw the boys were still there.
They came back in the morning and asked Nityānanda, “Last night we came and saw two beautiful young boys guarding You as You slept. Who were they? Where did they come from? Please tell us.”
“Two boys were there at night?”
“Yes, we came and saw them as sentries, guarding You.”
“Why did you come?” Nityānanda Prabhu asked.
“You have so many jewels and costly ornaments. We came to steal them. But, we left seeing these two beautiful boys guarding over You. They were very beautiful. Now we don’t want Your wealth, we want to meet with those boys.”
“Yes,” Nityānanda Prabhu said, “you will meet with them. Go to Gaurahari.”
“Who is Gaurahari?”
“Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya, a sannyāsī in Jagannātha Purī. Going there, you can meet with Him, and He will introduce you to those two boys.”
Nityānanda Prabhu next went to Sri-khanda, Jhanji Grāma, and distributed vraja-bhakti and vraja-prema there. He did kīrtana in this area for a month. After a month, He called His followers, “Bring Varuni.”
Narahari Sarakara Ṭhākura went to a nearby pond and filled a large clay pot with water and gave it to Nityānanda Prabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu drank one hundred pots, and said, “This is a madhu-kuṇḍa.”
Nityānanda Prabhu said, “Bring davanala flowers.”
These grow in the summer season. There are two types of kadamba flowers. One is small and one is bigger.
Nityānanda Prabhu said, “Bring these flowers.”
“There are no kadamba trees here,” the devotees said.
“No, bring the flowers.”
Then they saw that two flowers suddenly had blossomed on a lemon tree. The devotees brought this to Nityānanda Prabhu, and He said, “Good! These two flowers will blossom daily. Bring them and offer them to Gopinātha. He doesn’t like any other flowers.”
Nityānanda Prabhu went with the saṅkīrtana party to Jagannātha Purī, before Ratha-yatra. On the way, many devotees came with Him. Sivananda Sena arranged facility for the party as they traveled from Navadvīpa-dhāma to Jagannātha Purī.
One day, Śivānanda Sena was late arranging to pay for crossing the boats from one place to another. Praśada was a little late, and there was no place yet for Nityānanda Prabhu to stay at.
When Śivānanda Sena came back, Nityānanda Prabhu kicked him and said, “I am very hungry, and you haven’t given Me any food. Your son will die!”
Śivānanda Sena fell to the ground and caught Nityānanda Prabhu’s feet, begging forgiveness. Śivānanda Sena’s wife was crying, “My young son will die! Nityānanda Prabhu cursed him!”
Avadhūta Nityānanda Prabhu took so much prasāda. After He was finished, He took Śivānanda Sena’s son and said, “Today you will dance in the kīrtana.”
This son danced and danced, and then fell down in ecstasy as if he was dead. Seeing her boy on the ground, his mother wept bitterly, exclaiming, “My son is dead, my son is dead.”
But Śivānanda Sena was without a care.
Nityānanda Prabhu said, “How will he die? He is with Mahāprabhu.”
Then Nityānanda Prabhu said, “Dance more!” He gave more strength, and the boy jumped up and began to dance even more. No matter what state you are in, if Nityānanda Prabhu empowers you, you will be surcharged with energy and bliss.
When this boy came to the lotus feet of Mahāprabhu, he sucked the toes of Mahāprabhu. Mahāprabhu never gave such a chance to others. But this boy sucked the toes of Mahāprabhu. He soon became renowned as Kavi Karṇapura Gosvāmī. He beautifully explained the glories and pastimes of Mahāprabhu and Kṛṣṇa with great love.
When Śivānanda Sena was traveling with the party of devotees going to Jagannātha Purī, one dog followed along with them.
Śivānanda Sena would give double or triple the boat fare just so that the dog could cross the rivers. One day the devotees did not feed the dog. This dog would not eat without getting the mahā-prasāda of Nityānanda Prabhu. He would take the remnants of Nityānanda Prabhu before taking anything else. But on that day, all Nityānanda Prabhu’s prasāda was distributed, and nothing was given to the dog. Later, unable to find this dog, Śivānanda Sena asked the devotees what had happened to it, and heard that it had disappeared after they neglected to feed it.
When the devotees reached Jagannātha Purī and came for darśana of Mahāprabhu, they saw that Mahāprabhu was taking coconut pieces of Jagannātha’s mahā-prasāda and throwing them to that dog to eat, and saying, “Chant: Hare Kṛṣṇa! Hare Kṛṣṇa!”
The dog chanted and danced before Mahāprabhu and was given prema. Nityānanda Prabhu is patita-pāvana. Whoever one may be, animal or man, Nityānanda Prabhu doesn’t check one’s qualification. He only waits to see who has the desire to serve God with love.
eka-bār dekhle cakṣe jala
gaura bale nitāi dena sakala sambala
[If, even once, Nitāi sees tears flowing from someone’s eyes, He chants the name of Gaura and gives that person the entire wealth of prema.]
Nityānanda Prabhu is the dhāma-svarūpa. He led the first parikramā of Navadvīpa-dhāma, taking Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī to all the places Mahāprabhu had enacted His pastimes.
He said, “Gaura’s pastimes will appear in the heart of anyone who comes and circumambulates Gaura-dhāma. And one dives in the ocean of gaura-prema will arise in Vraja, and become an intimate servant of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.”
gaura prema rasārṇave, se taraṅge jebā ḍūbe,
[Gaura-prema is an ocean of rasa. One who dives deep in the waves of that ocean becomes a confidential associate of Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava.]
śrī gauḍa-maṇḍala bhūmi, jebā jāne cintāmaṇi,
tā’ra hoya vraja-bhūme vāsa
[One who knows the divine abode of Śrī Gauḍa-maṇḍala, Śrī Navadvīpa, to be transcendental touchstone (cintāmaṇi) is in truth a resident of Vraja-bhūmi, Śrī Vṛndāvana.]
A person that goes on parikramā of Nityānanda Prabhu’s dhāma and who offers obeisances to Nityānanda Prabhu, will at once make a relation with Vraja-dhāma.
Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura and other great devotees extol and write the glories Lord Nityānanda. We offer puṣpāñjali at His lotus feet and pray for His mercy. His glories are unlimited. One who respects Nityānanda Prabhu will achieve nitya ānanda, eternal bliss. We pray for a place nearby His lotus feet. When we receive Nityānanda Prabhu’s mercy, we will become related to the Vaiṣṇavas, harināma, the dhāma, and will attain the service of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Nityānanda Prabhu arranges for all the devotees’ welfare.
Today is the appearance day of that Nityānanda Prabhu. If we drink one drop of the nectar of His pastimes, and if we remember and offer Him respects, Nityānanda Prabhu will make our hearts into kuñjas and will give us our svarūpa-siddhi.
Nityānanda Prabhu kī jaya! Nityānanda Prabhu āvirbhāva tithi kī jaya! Śukla trayodaśī kī jaya! Hadai Paṇḍita, Padmavati-devī kī jaya! Saba parikara Gaura Nityānanda Prabhu kī jaya! Gaura Premānande Hari Haribol!