Narrations on the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna.
Sri Caitanya and Narasimha Deva - Nrsimha Caturdasi celebration
Raga - Sat, 25 May 2002 10:32:59 +0530
Today is the avirbhava-tithi of Sri Narasimha Deva. Aside His well-known pastimes with Prahlad Maharaja, Sri Narasimha is famous among the Gaudiya Vaishnavas as the protector of the sankirtana movement of Sri Caitanya. On occasions, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself became absorbed in the mood of Sri Nrsimha.
The following excerpts are from Sri Caitanya Bhagavata of Vrindavan Das Thakura.
Madhya-lila, Chapter 2
Srivasa was engaged in worshiping Lord Nrsimhadeva behind closed doors. The Lord came and kicked the door. The Lord screamed out, "Who are you worshiping? Whom are you meditating on? The person whom you are worshiping is here!"
Srivasa trembled, and sat awestruck. The Lord spoke to Srivasa calling out, "Oh Srivasa, all this time you did not know who I was. I left My spiritual abode of Vaikuntha and came down to this material world at your beckoning, because of your loud chanting of the holy name, and Advaita Acarya Prabhu's loud calling. Not recognizing Me, you are living completely complacent and unconcerned. And avoiding Me, Advaita Acarya Prabhu has gone back to Santipura. I have come to protect the pious and punish the miscreants. There is no need for you to worry, just go on worshiping Me."
Tears filled Srivasa's eyes and his heart swelled with love for the Lord. All his fears were destroyed by His assuring words. Currents of joy passed through his body, and he stood up with folded hands, offering prayers to the Lord. Srivasa Pandita was a good and pure devotee, and a great scholar. Having received the Lord's order, he began to offer prayers to Him.
Raga - Sat, 25 May 2002 10:36:52 +0530
Antya-lila, Chapter 3
Gradually all the associates and servitors of the Lord began to come to Nilacala. Those associates who were born in Utkala or modern Orissa also came one by one to join the Lord. Elevated souls like Pradyumna Misra, who was always absorbed in love of God, and Paramananda ans Ramananda came and joined the others. Damodara Pandita and Sri Sankara Pandita came shortly after. Pradyumna Brahmacari also came. He was a pure servant of Lord Nrsimhadeva. It is described that Lord Nrsimha manifested Himself in his body and that while he performed kirtan he looked like Lord Nrsimha as a sannyasi.
Mahaprabhu also called Pradyumna Brahmacari as "Nrsimha Brahmacari" on account of his devotion to Nrsimha. There is a famous story related with Nrsimhananda Brahmacari in the Madhya-lila of Caitanya Caritamrta, first chapter, where he mentally decorates the road on which Lord Caitanya travels.
Raga - Sat, 25 May 2002 10:43:18 +0530
The following incidents are from Sri Caitanya Caritamrta.
Adi-lila, Chapter 17
One day the Lord ordered Srivasa Thakura to read the Brhat-sahasra-nama [the thousand names of Lord Visnu], for He wanted to hear them at that time.
As he read the thousand names of the Lord, in due course the holy name of Lord Nrsimha appeared. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard the holy name of Lord Nrsimha, He became fully absorbed in thought.
In the mood of Lord Nrsimhadeva, Lord Caitanya ran through the city streets, club in hand, ready to kill all the atheists.
Seeing Him appearing very fierce in the ecstasy of Lord Nrsimha, people ran from the street and fled here and there, afraid of His anger.
Seeing the people so afraid, the Lord came to His external senses and thus returned to the house of Srivasa Thakura and threw away the club.
The Lord became morose and said to Srivasa Thakura, “When I adopted the mood of Lord Nrsimhadeva, people were greatly afraid. Therefore I stopped, since causing fear among people is an offense.”
Srivasa Thakura replied, “Anyone who takes Your holy name vanquishes ten million of his offenses immediately.
“There was no offense in Your appearing as Nrsimhadeva. Rather, any man who saw You in that mood was immediately liberated from the bondage of material existence.”
After saying this, Srivasa Thakura worshiped the Lord, who was then greatly satisfied and returned to His own home.
Raga - Sat, 25 May 2002 10:49:52 +0530
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited several temples of Sri Nrsimha during his travels.
Madhya-lila, Chapter 8
According to His previous program, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went forward on His tour and after some days arrived at the place of pilgrimage known as Jiyada-nrsimha.
Upon seeing the Deity of Lord Nrsimha in the temple, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered His respectful obeisances by falling flat. Then, in ecstatic love, He performed various dances, chanted, and offered prayers.
“sri-nrsimha, jaya nrsimha, jaya jaya nrsimha
prahladesa jaya padma-mukha-padma-bhrnga”
“‘All glories to Nrsimhadeva! All glories to Nrsimhadeva, who is the Lord of Prahlada Maharaja and, like a honeybee, is always engaged in beholding the lotuslike face of the goddess of fortune.’
ugro ’py anugra evayam
“‘Although very ferocious, the lioness is very kind to her cubs. Similarly, although very ferocious to nondevotees like Hiranyakasipu, Lord Nrsimhadeva is very, very soft and kind to devotees like Prahlada Maharaja.’”
In this way Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recited different verses from the sastra. The priest of Lord Nrsimhadeva then brought garlands and the remnants of the Lord’s food and offered them to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Raga - Sat, 25 May 2002 10:58:27 +0530
Sri Nrsimha is often praised as the protector of His devotees. However, there is one incident of such a mighty ghost who would not flee upon hearing the Nrsimha-mantra even. The ghost was so powerful that its influence over the obsessed one only doubled upon chanting this mantra.
Antya-lila, Chapter 18
Svarupa Damodara proceeded east with others, looking for the Lord on the beach or in the water.
Everyone was overwhelmed with moroseness and almost unconscious, but out of ecstatic love they continued to wander here and there, searching for the Lord.
Passing along the beach, they saw a fisherman approaching with his net over his shoulder. Laughing, crying, dancing and singing, he kept repeating the holy name “Hari, Hari.”
Seeing the activities of the fisherman, everyone was astonished. Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, therefore, asked him for information.
“My dear fisherman,” he said, “why are you behaving like this? Have you seen someone hereabouts? What is the cause of your behavior? Please tell us.”
The fisherman replied, “I have not seen a single person here, but while casting my net in the water, I captured a dead body.
“I lifted it with great care, thinking it a big fish, but as soon as I saw that it was a corpse, great fear arose in my mind.
“As I tried to release the net, I touched the body, and as soon as I touched it, a ghost entered my heart.
“I shivered in fear and shed tears. My voice faltered, and all the hairs on my body stood up.
“I do not know whether the corpse I found was the ghost of a dead brahmana or an ordinary man, but as soon as one looks upon it, the ghost enters his body.
“The body of this ghost is very long, five to seven cubits. Each of its arms and legs is as much as three cubits long.
“Its joints are all separated beneath the skin, which is completely slack. No one could see it and remain alive in his body.
“That ghost has taken the form of a corpse, but He keeps his eyes open. Sometimes He utters the sounds ‘gon- gon,’ and sometimes He remains unconscious.
“I have seen that ghost directly, and He is haunting me. But if I die, who will take care of my wife and children?
“The ghost is certainly very difficult to talk about, but I am going to find an exorcist and ask him if he can release me from it.
“I wander alone at night killing fish in solitary places, but because I remember the hymn to Lord Nrsimha, ghosts do not touch me.
“This ghost, however, overcomes me with redoubled strength when I chant the Nrsimha mantra. When I even see the form of this ghost, great fear arises in my mind.
“Do not go near there. I forbid you. If you go, that ghost will catch you all.”
Hearing this, Svarupa Damodara could understand the full truth of the matter. He spoke sweetly to the fisherman.
“I am a famous exorcist,” he said, “and I know how to rid you of this ghost.” He then chanted some mantras and placed his hand on top of the fisherman’s head.
He slapped the fisherman three times and said, “Now the ghost has gone away. Do not be afraid.” By saying this, he pacified the fisherman.
The fisherman was affected by ecstatic love, but he was also fearful. He had thus become doubly agitated. Now that his fear had subsided, however, he had become somewhat normal.
Svarupa Damodara said to the fisherman, “My dear sir, the person you are thinking is a ghost is not actually a ghost but is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
“Because of ecstatic love, the Lord fell into the sea, and you have caught Him in your net and rescued Him.
“Simply touching Him has awakened your dormant love of Krsna, but because you thought Him a ghost, you were very much afraid of Him.
“Now that your fear has gone and your mind is peaceful, please show me where He is.”
Raga - Sat, 25 May 2002 11:05:04 +0530
Finally, we have the famous story of Sri Nrsimha appearing to Chand Kazi on account of his interrupting the sankirtan pastimes of Sri Caitanya.
Adi-lila, Chapter 17
“My dear maternal uncle, I wish to ask you another question. Please tell Me the truth. Do not try to cheat Me with tricks.
“In your city there is always congregational chanting of the holy name. A tumultuous uproar of music, singing and dancing is always going on.
“As a Muslim magistrate, you have the right to oppose the performance of Hindu ceremonies, but now you do not forbid them. I cannot understand the reason why.”
The Kazi said, “Everyone calls You Gaurahari. Please let me address You by that name.
“Kindly listen, O Gaurahari! If You come to a private place, I shall then explain the reason.”
The Lord replied, “All these men are My confidential associates. You may speak frankly. There is no reason to be afraid of them.”
The Kazi said, “When I went to the Hindu’s house, broke the drum and forbade the performance of congregational chanting, in my dreams that very night I saw a greatly fearful lion, roaring very loudly, His body like a human being’s and His face like a lion’s.
“While I was asleep, the lion jumped on my chest, laughing fiercely and gnashing His teeth.
“Placing its nails on my chest, the lion said in a grave voice, ‘I shall immediately bifurcate your chest as you broke the mrdanga drum!
“‘You have forbidden the performance of My congregational chanting. Therefore I must destroy you!’ Being very much afraid of Him, I closed my eyes and trembled.
“Seeing me so afraid, the lion said, ‘I have defeated you just to teach you a lesson, but I must be merciful to you.
“‘On that day you did not create a very great disturbance. Therefore I have excused you and not taken your life.
“‘But if you perform such activities again, I shall not be tolerant. At that time I shall kill you, your entire family and all the meat-eaters.’
“After saying this, the lion left, but I was very much afraid of Him. Just see the marks of His nails on my heart!”
After this description, the Kazi showed his chest. Having heard him and seen the marks, all the people there accepted the wonderful incident.
Madhava - Tue, 04 May 2004 05:49:59 +0530