Mahāprabhu stayed in the Gambhīrā for eighteen years. He there relished the moods of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. He carried Kṛṣṇa in His heart, just like Śrīmatī Rādhikā does, and He experienced the sentiments She feels when She serves Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa’s beauty and sweetness appeared in Mahāprabhu’s heart. How could
He tolerate this? He entered transcendental madness and would be absorbed day and night in ecstasy and the agony of separation. Before Kṛṣṇa did not understand His own sweetness and beauty, so He appeared as Mahāprabhu to comprehend this, and He took shelter of Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s complexion and mood to do so.

Mahāprabhu stayed in the Gambhīrā always absorbed in the moods of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Sometimes He heard Kṛṣṇa’s flute, and He then ran out of the Gambhīrā, just like the Vraja-devīs’ left their homes and
all their relatives. They ran to Kṛṣṇa in the forest and there Kṛṣṇa tested them to see how much love and dedication they had. If they became angry at Kṛṣṇa or left, then it would show that they had no pure love. Sometimes we are tested to see if we have love or if we are selfish. If any disturbance or obstacle comes, and we then become agitated and angry, it is a symptom that we do not have selfless love.

ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā—tāre bali ‘kāma’

kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 4.165

The desire to gratify one’s own senses is kāma (lust), but the desire to please the senses of Lord Kṛṣṇa is prema.

Kṛṣṇa tested to see why the gopīs had come to Him. But He saw that the fruits of the tree of the gopīs’ love were very sweet. When the sādhakas practice bhakti and cross the various stages, then Guru and Kṛṣṇa test them at different check posts. When the Four Kumāras were stopped at the check post of Vaikuṇṭha, then their anger at being tested caused all living entities in the universe to suffer as a result. But Kṛṣṇa tested the gopīs so much, yet still, they did not become angry, and they humbly waited, without any anger fire. They were cool like the Himālayas. They only felt spotless selfless love and they only had one tendency—to serve God.

Prahlāda Mahārāja was connected to the Lord 24 hours of the day; therefore, he did not become disturbed even for a moment by the atrocities of his demonic father. The nītya-siddha gopīs are expansions of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and also they were sādhana-siddhas who had become qualified by taking shelter of the nitya-siddhas. They passed Kṛṣṇa’s test. They did not want anything from Him other than His service. The gopīs were internally serving Kṛṣṇa while He spoke to them and tested them, but they became so blissful while engaged in these services, that they considered their happiness an obstacle in their service. They thought, “Two enemies are attacking us: ānanda and Madana.” The gopīs took Kṛṣṇa in to their hearts through their eyes and embraced Him. Then they considered ānanda and madana (bliss and amorous desire) as two enemies that came between them and Kṛṣṇa. They contemplated, “How can we serve Kṛṣṇa?” While Kṛṣṇa was talking, the gopīs were completely absorbed internally in many varieties of service.

Mahāprabhu would pray in the mood of the gopīs, “How can I see and serve Kṛṣṇa? I want to be strong and watch Kṛṣṇa but ānanda and madana have caused an obstacle in this. I want to decorate Him with ornaments, garlands, and flowers, but I become senseless in ecstasy and then cannot see anything.”

Absorbed in this manner, Mahāprabhu would fall senseless in the Gambhīrā. Later, when Mahāprabhu entered bāhya-daśā, external awareness, He asked Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāmānanda Rāya, “What happened? What did I say?” After Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāmānanda Rāya explained His condition to Him, saying He was experiencing pure love for Kṛṣṇa, Mahāprabhu replied, with great lamentation. He said, “You are My real friends. But I have no love for Kṛṣṇa. I am very poor. I always serve My body and senses; they are not ready to serve Kṛṣṇa, therefore I have come back to My external senses.

“O Svarūpa, O Rāmananda-rāya, alas, alas, really I have no love for Kṛṣṇa! I am only wasting My time out of love for external objects, therefore I do not serve Kṛṣṇa constantly. I am a hypocrite. If I had love for Kṛṣṇa in truth, I would not be able to remain alive. I would have no friend with this body. I feel no separation. If I had love for Kṛṣṇa, then I would not be able to feed, decorate, and take care of this body. One who has love for Kṛṣṇa cannot give up His service for a moment. If one really has love, if he is separated from Kṛṣṇa for a moment, he gives up his body.

Where there is yoga, union, there can be no viyoga, separation. Therefore I have no love. I only show some symptoms to garner respect from others. I don’t have a drop of love for Kṛṣṇa. If I had love for Kṛṣṇa really, I would be like a firefly racing towards the blazing fire. When I heard the flute of Kṛṣṇa, I ran to Him, but because I have no love for Him, I have come back here. Demons like Rāvaṇa and Kaṁsa had no love for Kṛṣṇa, therefore even after seeing Him, they made no relation with Him, and they did no service.”

Mahāprabhu then said:

na prema-gandho ’sti darāpi me harau

krandāmi saubhāgya-bharaṁ prakāśitum

vaṁśī-vilāsy-ānana-lokanaṁ vinā

bibharmi yat prāṇa-pataṅgakān vṛthā

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 2.45

My dear friends, I have not the slightest tinge of love of Godhead within My heart. When you see Me crying in separation, I am just falsely exhibiting a demonstration of My great fortune. Indeed, not seeing the beautiful face of Kṛṣṇa playing His flute, I continue to live My life like an insect, without purpose.

dūre śuddha-prema-gandha, kapaṭa premera bandha,

seha mora nāhi kṛṣṇa-pāya

tabe ye kari krandana, sva-saubhāgya prakhyāpana,

kari, ihā jāniha niścaya

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 2.47

Actually, My love for Kṛṣṇa is far, far away. Whatever I do is actually an exhibition of pseudo love of Godhead. When you see Me cry, I am simply falsely demonstrating My great fortune. Please try to understand this beyond a doubt.

Mahāprabhu wept bitterly. He said, “Rāmananda-rāya, Svarūpa, I heard Kṛṣṇa’s flute, but I have no love, therefore I did not stay with Him and serve Him. I only cry to show everyone that I am an advanced personality. If I had real love, I would be clean within and without like the pure water of the Gaṅgā. I carry My body because of attachment for it and have no taste for the ocean of nectar. One who has anurāga cannot hide it, just like a black spot cannot be concealed on a spotlessly white sheet. O Svarūpa, O Rāma-rāya, please give Me a drop of your love.”

Mahāprabhu continued, “When I go to the maṅgala-āratī of Jagannātha, Baladeva, Subhadrā, and Sudarśana, then I feel My life successful seeing the lotus eyes of Jagannātha. Then My mind, body, and senses are cooled with the transcendental nectar of Lord Jagannātha’s beauty, as I stand at the Garuda-stambha.”

In the morning Mahāprabhu would go to see Jagannātha, but He would burn in separation, feeling the moods of Rādhārānī when She went to Kurukṣetra and saw Kṛṣṇa there. Kṛṣṇa-prema is outwardly like a blazing fire, and if one drinks this prema, one is burnt inside, but at the same time, this love is so sweet, that once tasting it, one cannot give it up. Mahāprabhu was very far away from Jagannātha—at the Garuda-stambha, the pillar at the entrance of the temple reserved for Garuḍa, the eagle carrier of Viṣṇu. From there, Mahāprabhu wept while gazing at Jagannātha, and many people surrounded him. He thought with the mood of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, “How can I go and see Him? We are separated by so many people. There are so many obstacles to our meeting.”

When Mahāprabhu returned to the Gambhīrā, He was still thinking of Lord Jagannātha, who He perceived as Vrajendra-nandana Śyāmasundara, and He would lament and cry out:

amūny adhanyāni dināntarāṇi

hare tvad-ālokanam antareṇa

anātha-bandho karuṇaika-sindho

hā hanta hā hanta kathaṁ nayāmi

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līla 2.58

O My Lord, O friend of the helpless! You are the only ocean of mercy! Because I have not met You, My inauspicious days and nights have become unbearable. I do not know how I shall pass the time.

Mahāprabhu continued, “Please come to Vṛndāvana. Don’t stay here in Kurukṣetra any longer. Please return to Vṛndāvana. There is too much opulence here, and Your mood and service here is very strange. So please come to Vṛndāvana. O Kṛṣṇa, without seeing You in Vṛndāvana, My heart is burning in agony. You are My only friend and You are the ocean of mercy. I cannot tolerate being separated from You any longer.”

Remembering Kṛṣṇa’s beauty in Vṛndāvana, Mahāprabhu wept and thought, “Where can I meet You? Please tell Me.” Thinking like this, Mahāprabhu’s body experienced many bhāvas, and it was like His body became a battlefield. The different ecstasies of hairs standing on end, horripilation, changing of colors, choked voice, incessant tears, and so forth, were like soldiers attacking the divine form of Mahāprabhu. These ecstasies were like many elephants entering a field of sugarcane. The elephants generally eat plants and grass that are not sweet, so when they taste sugarcane they become intoxicated. They take up twenty sugarcane stalks at once, smash them all, and drink the juice. They then rampage through the field and roll in the sugarcane in bliss. But what befalls the sugarcane field? The elephants eat more and more sugarcane and cannot stop, and the sugarcane field is destroyed. Similarly, when one drinks the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s beauty, the body becomes so happy, so full of ecstasy—the body cannot tolerate this and it begins to collapse.

People think that Vaiṣṇavas suffer from strokes and different material illnesses. They cannot understand antara-daśā—internal awareness.
What can help at that time? Only mahā-saṇkīrtana. Advanced Vaiṣṇavas do not pass away from any material cause. Their condition is transcendental.

Śrīman Mahāprabhu prayed:

he deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho

he kṛṣṇa he capala he karuṇaika-sindho

he nātha he ramaṇa he nayanābhirāma

hā hā kadā nu bhavitāsi padaṁ dṛśor me

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 2.65

he deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho

he kṛṣṇa he capala he karuṇaika-sindho

he nātha he ramaṇa he nayanābhirāma

hā hā kadā nu bhavitāsi padaṁ dṛśor me

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 2.65

O My Lord! O dearest one! O only friend of the universe! O Kṛṣṇa, O restless one, O only ocean of mercy! O My Lord, O My enjoyer, O beloved to My eyes! Alas, when will You again be visible to Me?

Mahāprabhu lamented, “Why haven’t You come? Why are You late? You must have had many problems and many responsibilities. Please give Me darśana just for a minute and then leave. I only want Your darśana.”

Mahāprabhu said, “If you come, I will make You a garland. Will You wear it? Are You afraid someone will doubt Your character if You wear it? Please accept My service.”

The Lord then began to speak like a madman. He shouted, “Fire, fire, fire, I am burning!”

“Where is the fire?” the bhaktas asked.

But the Lord did not reply to the devotees. He addressed Kṛṣṇa,
“O Prabhu, You have many followers and friends, why would You come to Me? I am unqualified for You. I am only a simple village girl and have no qualification to please and serve You.”

Mahāprabhu continued:

tomāra capala-mati, ekatra nā haya sthiti,

tā’te tomāra nāhi kichu doṣa

tumi ta’ karuṇā-sindhu, āmāra parāṇa-bandhu,

tomāya nāhi mora kabhu roṣa

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 2.69

My dear Kṛṣṇa, Your mind is always restless. You cannot remain in one place, but You are not at fault for this. You are actually the ocean of mercy, the friend of My heart. Therefore I have no reason to be angry with You.

Kṛṣṇa then appeared before Mahāprabhu in His mind’s eye and Mahāprabhu raced to embrace Him, but just as suddenly Kṛṣṇa disappeared. Weeping, Mahāprabhu said, “O Kṛṣṇa, why have You given darśana if You were just going to leave immediately? You should never give Your darśana to anyone. It is not good. People can remain happy as long as they have not seen You. Until then they do not know the meaning of love and sweet friend. But You come close, and then You hide in the heart. But a little later, You steal everything and then run away.

You then don’t give darśana, and we are devoid of any dear friend. I am ready to serve You, but You have run away, and I wait for You for what seems like eternity. Did You become angry at Me for not doing some service?

Please don’t be angry. I am fallen and unqualified; therefore, how can
I serve You? I never took any training. But why did You come and steal My heart and then run away? O beloved.”

Chanting, “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Madana, Madana,” Mahāprabhu fell senseless. Then, in inward awareness, He saw, “Kṛṣṇa has come.” He jumped up and roared: “Now I will never let You go! I will bind You with ropes in My heart!”

Mahāprabhu’s senses and body began to dance in ecstasy.
He exclaimed, “My Prāṇa-vallabha has come!” His senses were then like His disciples, following His instructions how to serve. Kṛṣṇa disappeared and then Mahāprabhu fell senseless again on the ground. He could not tolerate this. In this way, Mahāprabhu would get up, dance, and then fall senseless again and again. When Mahāprabhu fell senseless, all the joints of His body separated. He became twenty feet long, and His body remained connected together only by His skin. Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara would sing the songs of Caṇḍīdāsa, Vidyāpati, and Jayadeva, and over a long time, Mahāprabhu returned to His normal appearance. Mahāprabhu would listen to these songs in the moods of Śrīmatī Rādhikā throughout the day and night and experienced the ecstasy of love and separation from Kṛṣṇa.

To taste gopī-bhāva, Kṛṣṇa came as Mahāprabhu. He tasted this mood and taught the bhaktas how to enter Vraja-dhāma and make relation with the Vrajavāsīs. He distributed vraja-prema everywhere.
Brahmā, Śiva, and great yogīs could not achieve this vraja-prema even after extreme austerity, but without doing any hard sādhana, people received this prema from Mahāprabhu and entered Vraja-dhāma. By attaining the mercy of Mahāprabhu, one gets relation with His followers, and only then can one enter Vraja-dhāma.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes are the greatest treasure. This wealth was reserved with Svarūpa Dāmodara. He gave this to Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, who in turn gave it to Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī kept all these jewels in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī said, “If I do not keep this treasure here, people would not be able to achieve anurāga for Mahāprabhu and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. If people cannot understand this or disagree with anything, they should study and hear it repeatedly with a sincere and prayerful mood and then everything will be revealed. I have written completely under guidance of the Gosvāmīs and followed their opinion. I have not pandered to the opinions of the common people. Some may complain that there are many Sanskrit verses in this Caitanya-caritāmṛta, but they are explained also in the common tongue of Bengali. All the ślokas of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are in Sanskrit, but still, people hear the Bhāgavatam and listen to purports given by commentators, so similarly, this Caitanya-caritāmṛta can be heard and studied under guidance of Vaiṣṇavas. I will first write the pastimes of Mahāprabhu in synopsis because I am old and feeble and I don’t know how long I will live. As long as I am alive, I will continue to explain Mahāprabhu’s pastimes. If Mahāprabhu gives His mercy, then I will be able to write this completely. I am old and my senses are feeble. I can barely see or hear, but still, somehow, I am writing, even without knowing how. What I have now written is some indications about the Antya-līlā of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. If Mahāprabhu gives me a long life, then I will write everything in length nicely, but I don’t know how long I will live.”

Why does Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī speak like this? He experiences bhāva and the body cannot tolerate it. When a leaf is on the tree, it is very healthy, but when it dries and falls off the tree, then the leaf is lifeless. As long as the body is connected to the soul and the consciousness of the soul looks after the body, then the body is maintained. But when the soul is always absorbed in Kṛṣṇa and neglectful of maintaining the body, then the relation to the body is finished and the body falls apart.

Guru and Vaiṣṇavas become like this in their advanced age. They have no relation with their bodies. Their bodies become disconnected to them, like dry leaves. Their sevakas take care of them, otherwise they would leave very quickly. The Vaiṣṇavas feel, “Who will care for this useless body?” When you have a lot of time, then you bathe, feed, and clothe the body, and take it to doctors for pañca-karma and sat-karma, but when you are separate from the body, and always serving the Supreme Soul with your soul, then you will not look at the body or care if it has any disturbance. If someone takes care of the Vaiṣṇavas’ bodies at that time, they will get kṛṣṇa-prema.

Sometimes the Vaiṣṇavas will come to bāhya-daśā and ask their sevakas, “Why are you taking care of this body? What is the use?” And then they go again into internal consciousness. People think Vaiṣṇavas go into comas, but this is only their complete absorption in kṛṣṇa-sevā. They keep their bodies in this world for some time for the benefit of sādhakas, so that without difficult sādhana others can become connected to vraja-bhāvasevā in antara-daśā and achieve qualification to enter the prema-rājya, realm of pure love.

Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Guru Darshan”. Available from [email protected] )



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