A summary of the First Chapter is given by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya as follows. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Jagannātha Purī from Vṛndāvana, all His devotees from other parts of India, upon receiving the auspicious news, came to Puruṣottama-kṣetra, or Jagannātha Purī. Śivānanda Sena took a dog with him and even paid fees for it to cross the river. One night, however, the dog could not get any food and therefore went directly to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī. The next day, when Śivānanda and his party reached Jagannātha Purī, Śivānanda saw the dog eating some coconut pulp offered to it by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. After this incident, the dog was liberated and went back home, back to Godhead. Meanwhile, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī reached Bengal, after returning from Vṛndāvana.
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Vrndavana (CC Antya)
In a temple of jewels in Vṛndāvana, underneath a desire tree, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, served by Their most confidential associates, sit upon an effulgent throne. I offer my humble obeisances unto Them.
When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Jagannātha Purī from Vṛndāvana, Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosāñi immediately sent news of the Lord's arrival to the devotees in Bengal.
Meanwhile, following the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī returned to Vṛndāvana. He desired to write dramas concerning the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
In Vṛndāvana, Rūpa Gosvāmī began to write a drama. In particular, he composed the introductory verses to invoke good fortune.
"I have brought together in one work all the pastimes performed by Lord Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana and in Dvārakā. Now I shall have to divide them into two dramas."
"In Prayāga I heard that he had already gone to Vṛndāvana." Rūpa Gosvāmī next informed the Lord about the death of Anupama.
“Do not try to take Kṛṣṇa out of Vṛndāvana, for He does not go anywhere else at any time.
""The Kṛṣṇa known as Yadu-kumāra is Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa. He is different from the Kṛṣṇa who is the son of Nanda Mahārāja. Yadu-kumāra Kṛṣṇa manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathurā and Dvārakā, but Kṛṣṇa the son of Nanda Mahārāja never at any time leaves Vṛndāvana.""
"My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Kṛṣṇa on this field of Kurukṣetra. I am the same Rādhārāṇī, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but I would still like to go to the bank of the Yamunā beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vṛndāvana."
"I do not know how much nectar the two syllables "Kṛṣ-ṇa" have produced. When the holy name of Kṛṣṇa is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert."
This verse is included in the Vidagdha-mādhava (1.15), a seven-act play written by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī describing the pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.
""My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Kṛṣṇa on this field of Kurukṣetra. I am the same Rādhārāṇī, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but I would still like to go to the bank of the Yamunā beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vṛndāvana.""
Svarūpa Dāmodara replied for Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī: “He wanted to compose a drama about the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He planned to describe in one book both the pastimes of Vṛndāvana and those of Dvārakā and Mathurā.
“He began it in that way, but now, following the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he has divided it in two and is writing two plays, one concerning the pastimes of Mathurā and Dvārakā and the other concerning the pastimes of Vṛndāvana.
“"The devotees now present are constantly thinking of the Supreme Lord and are therefore highly advanced. This work named Vidagdha-mādhava depicts the characteristic pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa with decorations of poetic ornaments. And the inner grounds of the forest of Vṛndāvana provide a suitable platform for the dancing of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs. Therefore I think that the pious activities of persons like us, who have tried to advance in devotional service, have now attained maturity."
"(Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī said to Her constant companion Viśākhā:) "My dear friend, if Kṛṣṇa is unkind to Me, there will be no need for you to cry, for it will not be due to any fault of yours. I shall then have to die, but afterwards please do one thing for Me: to observe My funeral ceremony, place My body with its arms embracing a tamāla tree like creepers so that I may remain forever in Vṛndāvana undisturbed. That is My last request.""
Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya further inquired, “How have you described Vṛndāvana, the vibration of the transcendental flute, and the relationship between Kṛṣṇa and Rādhikā?
“"The sweet, fragrant honey oozing from newly grown mango buds is again and again attracting groups of bumblebees, and this forest is trembling in the softly moving breezes from the Malaya Hills, which are full of sandalwood trees. Thus the forest of Vṛndāvana is increasing My transcendental pleasure."
“"My dear friend, see how this forest of Vṛndāvana is full of transcendental creepers and trees. The tops of the creepers are full of flowers, and intoxicated bumblebees are buzzing around them, humming songs that please the ear and surpass even the Vedic hymns."
“"My dear friend, this forest of Vṛndāvana is giving great pleasure to our senses in various ways. Somewhere bumblebees are singing in groups, and in some places mild breezes are cooling the entire atmosphere. Somewhere the creepers and tree twigs are dancing, the mallikā flowers are expanding their fragrance, and an overabundance of juice is constantly flowing in showers from pomegranate fruits."
“"The beauty of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī"s eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of Her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold into a painful situation. Thus the wonderful, unprecedented beauty of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is awakening in Vṛndāvana.’
“"The dust from cows and calves on the road creates a kind of darkness indicating that Kṛṣṇa is returning home from the pasture. Also, the darkness of evening provokes the gopīs to meet Kṛṣṇa. Thus the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs are covered by a kind of transcendental darkness and are therefore impossible for ordinary scholars of the Vedas to see."
This verse from the Lalita-mādhava (1.23) is spoken by Paurṇamāsī in a conversation with Gārgī.
Kṛṣṇa states in the Bhagavad-gītā (2.45), trai-guṇya-viṣayā vedā nistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna. Thus He advised Arjuna to rise above the modes of material nature, for the entire Vedic system is filled with descriptions involving sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. People are generally covered by the quality of rajo-guṇa and are therefore unable to understand the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs of Vraja. Moreover, the quality of tamo-guṇa further disturbs their understanding. In Vṛndāvana, however, although Kṛṣṇa is covered by the hazy darkness of the dust, the gopīs can nevertheless understand that within the dust storm is Kṛṣṇa. Because they are His topmost devotees, they can perceive His hand in everything. Thus even in the dark or in a hazy storm of dust, devotees can understand what Kṛṣṇa is doing. The purport of this verse is that under no circumstances is Kṛṣṇa ever lost to the vision of exalted devotees like the gopīs.
“"My dear friend, who is this fearless young man? He is as bright as a lightning cloud, and He wanders in His pastimes like a maddened elephant. From where has He come to Vṛndāvana? Alas, by His restless movements and attractive glances He is plundering from the vault of My heart the treasure of My patience."
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu requested all His personal associates to bless Rūpa Gosvāmī so that he might continuously describe the pastimes of Vṛndāvana, which are full of emotional love of Godhead.
"I empowered both of these brothers to go to Vṛndāvana to expand the literature of bhakti."
"Because of Your causeless mercy toward Your devotees, You want to describe the transcendental pastimes in Vṛndāvana. Anyone empowered to do this can bring the entire world under Your influence."
"Now go to Vṛndāvana and stay there," the Lord said. “You may send here your elder brother, Sanātana.
“When you go to Vṛndāvana, stay there, preach transcendental literature and excavate the lost holy places.
"Establish the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa and preach the mellows of Lord Kṛṣṇa's devotional service. I shall also go to Vṛndāvana once more."
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī took leave of all the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and returned to Vṛndāvana by the path through Bengal.
If one dies in such a celebrated holy place as Prayāga, Mathurā or Vṛndāvana, one can be relieved of the reactions to sinful life and then attain the shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“My dear Lord, all the incidents that took place while You were going to Vṛndāvana through the forest known as Jhārikhaṇḍa have been related to me by Your servant Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya.
“Formerly, when Lord Kṛṣṇa descended in Vṛndāvana, He freed all living entities in the universe from material existence in the same way.
One day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to Sanātana Gosvāmī, "Your decision to commit suicide is the result of the mode of ignorance. One cannot get love of God simply by committing suicide. You have already dedicated your life and body to My service; therefore your body does not belong to you, nor do you have any right to commit suicide. I have to execute many devotional services through your body. I want you to preach the cult of devotional service and go to Vṛndāvana to excavate the lost holy places." After having thus spoken, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu left, and Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Sanātana Gosvāmī had many talks about this subject.
Because his disease produced wet sores on his body, Sanātana Gosvāmī used to avoid embracing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but nevertheless the Lord would embrace him by force. This made Sanātana Gosvāmī very unhappy, and therefore he consulted Jagadānanda Paṇḍita about what he should do. Jagadānanda advised him to return to Vṛndāvana after the car festival of Jagannātha, but when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard about this instruction, He chastised Jagadānanda Paṇḍita and reminded him that Sanātana Gosvāmī was senior to him and also more learned. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu informed Sanātana Gosvāmī that because Sanātana was a pure devotee, the Lord was never inconvenienced by his bodily condition. Because the Lord was a sannyāsī, He did not consider one body better than another. The Lord also informed him that He was maintaining Sanātana and the other devotees just like a father. Therefore the moisture oozing from Sanātana's itching skin did not affect the Lord at all. After speaking with Sanātana Gosvāmī in this way, the Lord again embraced him, and after this embrace, Sanātana Gosvāmī became free from the disease. The Lord ordered Sanātana Gosvāmī to stay with Him for that year, and the next year, after seeing the Ratha-yātrā festival, he left Puruṣottama-kṣetra and returned to Vṛndāvana.
After meeting Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī also returned to Bengal, where he remained for one year. Whatever money he owned, he distributed among his relatives, the brāhmaṇas and the temples. In this way he completely retired and returned to Vṛndāvana to meet Sanātana Gosvāmī.
When Sanātana Gosvāmī returned from Vṛndāvana, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu affectionately saved him from his determination to commit suicide. Then, after testing him, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu purified his body.
“Mathurā-Vṛndāvana is My own very dear abode. I want to do many things there to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to accomplish many purposes through the exegetical endeavors of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī. First Sanātana Gosvāmī compiled the book called Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta to teach people how to become devotees, execute devotional service and attain love of Kṛṣṇa. Second, he compiled the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, wherein he collected authoritative scriptural injunctions regarding how a Vaiṣṇava should behave. Only by the endeavors of Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī were all the lost places of pilgrimage in the Vṛndāvana area excavated. He established Madana-mohana, the first Deity in the Vṛndāvana area, and by his personal behavior he taught how one should act in the renounced order, completely devoted to the service of the Lord. By his personal example, he taught people how to stay in Vṛndāvana to execute devotional service. The principal mission of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Mathurā and Vṛndāvana are the abodes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Therefore these two places are very dear to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and He wanted to develop their glories through Sanātana Gosvāmī.
“By the order of My mother I am sitting here in Jagannātha Purī; therefore, I cannot go to Mathurā-Vṛndāvana to teach people how to live there according to religious principles.
Jagadānanda Paṇḍita said, “The most suitable place for you to reside is Vṛndāvana. After seeing the Ratha-yātrā festival, you can return there.
“The Lord has already ordered both of you brothers to situate yourselves in Vṛndāvana. There you will achieve all happiness.
Sanātana Gosvāmī replied, "You have given me very good advice. I shall certainly go there, for that is the place the Lord has given me for my residence."
The words prabhu-datta deśa are very significant. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's devotional cult teaches one not to sit down in one place but to spread the devotional cult all over the world. The Lord dispatched Sanātana Gosvāmī and Rūpa Gosvāmī to Vṛndāvana to excavate and renovate the holy places and from there establish the cult of bhakti. Therefore Vṛndāvana was given to Sanātana Gosvāmī and Rūpa Gosvāmī as their place of residence.
“Therefore I see that I will get nothing auspicious by staying here. Kindly give me orders allowing me to return to Vṛndāvana after the Ratha-yātrā festival.
"I have consulted Jagadānanda Paṇḍita for his opinion, and he has also advised me to return to Vṛndāvana."
"Stay with Me at Jagannātha Purī for one year, and after that I shall send you to Vṛndāvana."
After they saw the Dola-yātrā festival, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed Sanātana Gosvāmī fully about what to do in Vṛndāvana and bade him farewell.
Sanātana Gosvāmī decided to go to Vṛndāvana by the very forest path Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had traversed.
In this way Sanātana Gosvāmī reached Vṛndāvana. Later Rūpa Gosvāmī came and met him.
Thus after finishing all the tasks he had on his mind, he returned to Vṛndāvana fully satisfied.
The brothers met at Vṛndāvana, where they stayed to execute the will of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī also compiled many other books. Who can enumerate them? The basic principle of all these books is to show us how to love Madana-mohana and Govindajī.
The Bhakti-ratnākara refers to the following books by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī: (1) the Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta, (2) the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa and his commentary known as Dig-darśinī, (3) the Līlā-stava and (4) the commentary on the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam known as Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī. Sanātana Gosvāmī compiled many, many books, all with the aim of describing how to serve the principal Deities of Vṛndāvana—Govinda and Madana-gopāla. Later, other Deities were gradually established, and the importance of Vṛndāvana increased.
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī compiled 100,000 verses, beginning with the book Dāna-keli-kaumudī. In all these scriptures he elaborately explained the transcendental mellows of the activities of Vṛndāvana.
After renouncing everything, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī went to Vṛndāvana. Later he also wrote many books on devotional service and expanded the work of preaching.
He also compiled the book named Gopāla-campū, which is the essence of all Vedic literature. In this book he has exhibited the ecstatic loving transactions and pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.
Lord Nityānanda Prabhu ordered, "Yes, go soon to Vṛndāvana. That place has been awarded to your family, to your father and uncles, by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and therefore you must go there immediately."
By the order of Nityānanda Prabhu, he went to Vṛndāvana and actually achieved the result of His order, for he compiled many books for a long time and preached the cult of bhakti from there.
Also, the Lord fully exhibited the ecstatic love and transcendental pastimes of Vṛndāvana through Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Considering all this, who can understand the deep plans of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu?
“(Lord Indra said:) "This Kṛṣṇa, who is an ordinary human being, is talkative, childish, impudent and ignorant, although He thinks Himself very learned. The cowherd men in Vṛndāvana have offended me by accepting Him. This has not been greatly appreciated by me."
Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī had been attempting to come to the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu for a long time, and finally he left his home and met the Lord. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had gone to Śāntipura on His way to Vṛndāvana, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī had offered to dedicate his life at the Lord's lotus feet.
“Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and within your mind render service to Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya that when a man and woman are married, they beget children and are thus entangled in family life. Talk concerning such family life is called grāmya-kathā. A person in the renounced order never indulges in either hearing or talking about such subjects. He should not eat palatable dishes, since that is unfit for a person in the renounced order. He should show all respect to others, but should not expect respect for himself. In this way, one should chant the holy name of the Lord and think of how to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.
Previously, when Śaṅkarānanda Sarasvatī had returned from Vṛndāvana, he had brought the stone from Govardhana Hill and also the garland of conchshells.
“The word "ātma-bhūta" means "personal associates." Through the understanding of the Lord's opulence, the goddess of fortune could not receive the shelter of Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja.
Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, has complete knowledge of Kṛṣṇa's opulences, but she could not achieve the association of Kṛṣṇa by dint of such knowledge. The devotees in Vṛndāvana, however, actually enjoy the association of Kṛṣṇa.
“It is impossible to describe the influence and knowledge of Rāmānanda Rāya, for only by his mercy have I understood the unalloyed love of the residents of Vṛndāvana.
“The transcendental mellows of ecstatic love are personified by Svarūpa Dāmodara. By his association I have understood Vṛndāvana's transcendental mellow of conjugal love.
“"The gopīs of Vṛndāvana have given up the association of their husbands, sons and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Kṛṣṇa, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to become one of the bushes, creepers or herbs in Vṛndāvana, for the gopīs trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet."
This verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.47.61) was spoken by Uddhava. When Uddhava was sent by Kṛṣṇa to see the condition of the gopīs in Vṛndāvana, he stayed there for a few months in their association and always talked with them about Kṛṣṇa. Although this greatly pleased the gopīs and other residents of Vrajabhūmi, Vṛndāvana, Uddhava saw that the gopīs were severely afflicted by their separation from Kṛṣṇa. Their hearts were so disturbed that their minds were sometimes deranged. Observing the unalloyed devotion and love of the gopīs for Kṛṣṇa, Uddhava desired to become a creeper, a blade of grass or an herb in Vṛndāvana so that sometimes the gopīs would trample him and he would receive the dust of their lotus feet on his head.
Indra, the King of heaven, was very proud of his position. Therefore when the residents of Vṛndāvana decided not to perform the Indra-yajña but instead to perform the Govardhana-yajña in accordance with the instructions of Kṛṣṇa, Indra, because of his false pride, wanted to chastise the residents of Vṛndāvana. Thinking himself extremely powerful, Indra poured incessant rain upon Vṛndāvana, but Lord Kṛṣṇa immediately cut down his pride by lifting Govardhana Hill as an umbrella to save the residents of Vṛndāvana. In this way Kṛṣṇa proved Indra's power most insignificant in the presence of His own omnipotence.
Kāśī Miśra continued, “If one engages in devotional service for Your satisfaction, this will result in his increasingly awakening his dormant love for You. But if one engages in Your devotional service for material purposes, he should be considered a number-one fool.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments that there are many materialistic persons who become preachers, gurus, religionists or philosophers only for the sake of maintaining a high standard of living and sense gratification for themselves and their families. Sometimes they adopt the dress of a sannyāsī or preacher. They train some of their family members as lawyers and continually seek help from a high-court to acquire riches on the plea of maintaining temples. Although such persons may call themselves preachers, live in Vṛndāvana or Navadvīpa, and also print many religious books, it is all for the same purpose, namely to earn a living to maintain their wives and children.
Because of pure love, the devotees of Kṛṣṇa in Goloka Vṛndāvana, Vrajabhūmi, loved Kṛṣṇa as an ordinary human being like them. Yet although they considered Kṛṣṇa one of them, their love for Kṛṣṇa knew no bounds.
All glories to Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī and Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana! They are all my masters.
With the permission of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Jagadānanda Paṇḍita went to Vṛndāvana, where he discussed many devotional subjects with Sanātana Gosvāmī.
Formerly, when Jagadānanda Paṇḍita had desired to go to Vṛndāvana, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had not given His permission, and therefore he could not go.
Grasping the Lord's feet, Jagadānanda Paṇḍita then said, “For a long time I have desired to go to Vṛndāvana.
Jagadānanda then submitted a plea to Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī. "For a very long time," he said, “I have wanted to go to Vṛndāvana.
"Naturally I have a desire to go to Vṛndāvana; therefore please humbly request Him to grant His permission."
Thereafter, Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī submitted this appeal at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: “Jagadānanda Paṇḍita intensely desires to go to Vṛndāvana.
"You permitted him to go see mother Śacī in Bengal, and You may similarly permit him to go see Vṛndāvana and then return here."
“You may go as far as Vārāṇasī without encountering disturbances, but beyond Vārāṇasī you should be very careful to travel on the path in the company of the kṣatriyas.
In those days the path from Vārāṇasī to Vṛndāvana was infested with robbers, and therefore there were kṣatriyas to protect travelers.
“Do not mix freely with the residents of Mathurā; show them respect from a distance. Because you are on a different platform of devotional service, you cannot adopt their behavior and practices.
The residents of Vṛndāvana and Mathurā are devotees of Kṛṣṇa in parental affection, and their feelings always conflict with the opinions of smārta-brāhmaṇas. Devotees who worship Kṛṣṇa in opulence cannot understand the parental devotional feelings of the residents of Mathurā and Vṛndāvana, who follow the path of spontaneous love. Devotees on the platform of vidhi-mārga (regulative devotional principles) may misunderstand the activities of those on the platform of rāga-mārga (devotional service in spontaneous love). Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed Jagadānanda Paṇḍita to remain apart from the residents of Vṛndāvana, who were spontaneous devotees, so as not to become disrespectful toward them.
“Visit all twelve forests of Vṛndāvana in the company of Sanātana Gosvāmī. Do not leave his association for even a moment.
“You should remain in Vṛndāvana for only a short time and then return here as soon as possible. Also, do not climb Govardhana Hill to see the Gopāla Deity.
In his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura advises that one avoid remaining in Vṛndāvana for a very long time. As the saying goes, "Familiarity breeds contempt." If one stays in Vṛndāvana for many days, he may fail to maintain proper respect for its inhabitants. Therefore those who have not attained the stage of spontaneous love for Kṛṣṇa should not live in Vṛndāvana very long. It is better for them to make short visits. One should also avoid climbing Govardhana Hill to see the Gopāla Deity. Since Govardhana Hill itself is identical with Gopāla, one should not step on the hill or touch it with his feet. One may see Gopāla when He goes elsewhere.
"Inform Sanātana Gosvāmī that I am coming to Vṛndāvana for a second time and that he should therefore arrange a place for Me to stay."
After saying this, the Lord embraced Jagadānanda Paṇḍita, who then worshiped the Lord's lotus feet and started for Vṛndāvana.
After Sanātana Gosvāmī had taken Jagadānanda to see all twelve forests of Vṛndāvana, concluding with Mahāvana, the two of them remained in Gokula.
They passed two months in Vṛndāvana in this way. Finally they could no longer tolerate the unhappiness of separation from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Jagadānanda Paṇḍita therefore gave Sanātana Gosvāmī the message from the Lord: "I am also coming to Vṛndāvana; please arrange a place for Me to stay."
Soon afterward, Sanātana Gosvāmī selected a place where Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu could stay while in Vṛndāvana. It was a temple in the highlands named Dvādaśāditya-ṭilā.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu kept all the gifts except the pīlu fruits, which He distributed to the devotees. Because the fruits were from Vṛndāvana, everyone ate them with great happiness.
The hot chili-like taste burned the tongues of those who chewed the seeds. Thus the eating of pīlu fruits from Vṛndāvana became a pastime of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's.
When Jagadānanda Paṇḍita returned from Vṛndāvana, everyone was jubilant. Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu enjoyed His pastimes while residing at Jagannātha Purī.
Many Māyāvādīs have recently begun reciting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in Vṛndāvana, and because they can present the Bhāgavatam with word jugglery, twisting the meaning by grammatical tricks, materialistic persons who go to Vṛndāvana as a matter of spiritual fashion like to hear them. All this is clearly forbidden by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
“My dear Raghunātha, on My order go to Vṛndāvana and live there under the care of Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmīs.
"In Vṛndāvana you should chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra twenty-four hours a day and read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam continuously. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will very soon bestow His mercy upon you."
Taking permission from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa then departed for Vṛndāvana. When he arrived there, he put himself under the care of Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmīs.
In this chapter I have spoken about three topics: Jagadānanda Paṇḍita's visit to Vṛndāvana, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's listening to the song of the deva-dāsī at the temple of Jagannātha, and how Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī achieved ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
When Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to the temple of Lord Jagannātha, He was absorbed in ecstatic love and saw only Kṛṣṇa. As soon as He perceived this woman, however, His external consciousness immediately returned, and He saw Jagannātha, Baladeva and Subhadrā. Caitanya Mahāprabhu also saw Kṛṣṇa in a dream, and He was overwhelmed with ecstatic love. When He could no longer see Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu compared Himself to a yogī and described how that yogī was seeing Vṛndāvana.
When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu felt separation from Kṛṣṇa, His condition exactly corresponded to that of the gopīs in Vṛndāvana after Kṛṣṇa's departure for Mathurā.
The lamentation of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī when Uddhava visited Vṛndāvana gradually became a feature of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's transcendental madness.
Seeing this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was overwhelmed with the transcendental mellow of the rāsa dance, and He thought, "Now I am with Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana."
When He saw the deities, Lord Caitanya thought He was seeing Kṛṣṇa in Kurukṣetra. He wondered, "Have I come to Kurukṣetra? Where is Vṛndāvana?"
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "I found Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Vṛndāvana, but I have lost Him again. Who has taken My Kṛṣṇa? Where have I come?"
These are the feelings of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. First Lord Caitanya felt that He had been taken to Vṛndāvana, where He saw Kṛṣṇa's rāsa dance with the gopīs. Then He was brought to Kurukṣetra to see Lord Jagannātha, His sister (Subhadrā) and Lord Balarāma. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu lost Vṛndāvana and Kṛṣṇa, the master of Vṛndāvana. At this time, Caitanya Mahāprabhu experienced divyonmāda, transcendental madness in separation from Kṛṣṇa. At Kurukṣetra, Kṛṣṇa displays His opulence, whereas in Vṛndāvana He is in His original position. Kṛṣṇa never goes even a step away from Vṛndāvana; therefore Kurukṣetra is less important for the gopīs than Vṛndāvana.
Although devotees who worship Kṛṣṇa in opulence (His Vaikuṇṭha aspect) may prefer to see Lord Kṛṣṇa at Kurukṣetra along with Subhadrā and Balarāma, the gopīs want to see Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana, performing the rāsa dance with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu showed by practical example how one can cultivate the mood of Rādhārāṇī and the other gopīs in separation from Kṛṣṇa. Devotees absorbed in this mood do not like to see Kṛṣṇa anywhere else but Vṛndāvana. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu lamented, "I found Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana, and now I have again lost Him and come to Kurukṣetra." Unless one is a very highly advanced devotee, he cannot understand these intricate feelings.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "At first My mind somehow achieved the treasure of Kṛṣṇa, but it again lost Him. Therefore it gave up My body and home because of lamentation and accepted the religious principles of a kāpālika-yogī. Then My mind went to Vṛndāvana with its disciples, My senses."
“The great yogī of My mind always studies the poetry and discussions of Lord Kṛṣṇa's Vṛndāvana pastimes. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other scriptures, great saintly yogīs like Vyāsadeva and Śukadeva Gosvāmī have described Lord Kṛṣṇa as the Supersoul, beyond all material contamination.
“The mystic yogī of My mind has assumed the name Mahābāula and made disciples of My ten senses. Thus My mind has gone to Vṛndāvana, leaving aside the home of My body and the great treasure of material enjoyment.
“In Vṛndāvana, he goes from door to door begging alms with all his disciples. He begs from both the moving and the inert inhabitants—the citizens, the trees and the creepers. In this way he lives on fruits, roots and leaves.
"At Akrūra's request, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma left the house of Nanda Mahārāja for Mathurā. At that time the mind of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was disrupted, and She became almost mad because of extreme separation from Kṛṣṇa. She experienced great mental pain and agitation, which caused Her to drown in mental speculation in the river of anxiety. She thought, "Now I am going to die, and when I die, Kṛṣṇa will surely come back to see Me again. But when He hears of My death from the people of Vṛndāvana, He will certainly be very unhappy. Therefore I shall not die."" This is the explanation of the word cintā.
When Uddhava returned to Mathurā after visiting Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa inquired from him about Rādhārāṇī and Viśākhā. Uddhava replied as follows: "Consider the condition of the gopīs! Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī especially is in a very painful condition because of separation from You. She has grown skinny, and Her bodily luster is almost gone. Her heart is immersed in pain, and because She has given up eating, Her breasts have become black, as if diseased. Because of separation from You, all the gopīs, especially Rādhārāṇī, appear like dried-up water holes under the scorching heat of the sun."
After seeing the upala-bhoga ceremony of Lord Jagannātha, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu once more began to feel ecstatic emotions. When He saw the garden on the beach by the sea, He again thought that He was in Vṛndāvana, and when He began to think of Kṛṣṇa engaging in His different pastimes, transcendental emotions excited Him again.
"Kṛṣṇa's lips are so sweet when combined with the camphor of His gentle smile that they attract the minds of all women, forcing them to give up all other attractions. If the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa's smile is unobtainable, great mental difficulties and lamentation result. That sweetness is the only wealth of the gopīs of Vṛndāvana."
Lord Caitanya mistook that garden for Vṛndāvana and very quickly entered it. Absorbed in ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa, He wandered throughout the garden, searching for Him.
“The luster of Kṛṣṇa's body is as beautiful as the glow of a spotless full moon that has just risen, and the vibration of His flute sounds exactly like the sweet thundering of a newly formed cloud. When the peacocks in Vṛndāvana hear that vibration, they all begin to dance.
Thus I have described Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's pastimes in the garden, which He entered, mistaking it for Vṛndāvana.
"Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the topmost of all devotees. Sometimes, while walking on the beach, He would see a beautiful garden nearby and mistake it for the forest of Vṛndāvana. Thus He would be completely overwhelmed by ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa and begin to chant the holy name and dance. His tongue worked incessantly as He chanted, "Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa!" Will He again become visible before the path of my eyes?"
"Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is just like a bluish lotus flower for the ears; He is ointment for the eyes, a necklace of indranīla gems for the chest, and universal ornaments for the gopī damsels of Vṛndāvana. Let that Lord Śrī Hari, Kṛṣṇa, be glorified."
""My dear friend, the all-surpassing nectar from the lips of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, can be obtained only after many, many pious activities. For the beautiful gopīs of Vṛndāvana, that nectar vanquishes the desire for all other tastes. Madana-mohana always chews pan that surpasses the nectar of heaven. He is certainly increasing the desires of My tongue.""
“"My dear gopīs, what auspicious activities must the flute have performed to enjoy the nectar of Kṛṣṇa"s lips independently and leave only a taste for us gopīs, for whom that nectar is actually meant. The forefathers of the flute, the bamboo trees, shed tears of pleasure. His mother, the river on whose bank the bamboo was born, feels jubilation, and therefore her blooming lotus flowers are standing like hair on her body.’”
This verse, quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.21.9), is part of a discussion the gopīs had among themselves. As the autumn season began in Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa was tending the cows and blowing on His flute. The gopīs then began to praise Kṛṣṇa and discuss the fortunate position of His flute.
“Some gopīs said to other gopīs, "Just see the astonishing pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, the son of Vrajendra! He will certainly marry all the gopīs of Vṛndāvana. Therefore, the gopīs know for certain that the nectar of Kṛṣṇa"s lips is their own property and cannot be enjoyed by anyone else.
“After hearing the vibration of a flute, I went to Vṛndāvana, and there I saw that Kṛṣṇa, the son of Mahārāja Nanda, was playing on His flute in the pasturing grounds.
"Seeing the river Yamunā," He said, “I went to Vṛndāvana. There I saw the son of Nanda Mahārāja performing His sporting pastimes in the water.
“There were cantaloupes, kṣīrikās, palm fruits, keśuras, water fruits, lotus fruits, bel, pīlus, pomegranates and many others. Some of them are variously known in different places, but in Vṛndāvana all of them are always available in so many thousands of varieties that no one can fully describe them.
"Suddenly, all of you created a great tumult and picked Me up and brought Me back here. Where now is the river Yamunā? Where is Vṛndāvana? Where are Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs? You have broken My happy dream!"
“While apparently unconscious, You witnessed the pastimes in Vṛndāvana, but when we saw You unconscious, we suffered great agony in our minds.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “In My dream I went to Vṛndāvana, where I saw Lord Kṛṣṇa perform the rāsa dance with all the gopīs.
“The women of Vṛndāvana are just like lilies growing hot in the sun of lusty desires. But moonlike Kṛṣṇa makes them all jubilant by bestowing upon them the nectar of His hands. O My dear friend, where is My moon now? Save My life by showing Him to Me!
“The deep vibration of Kṛṣṇa's flute surpasses the thundering of new clouds and attracts the aural reception of the entire world. Thus the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana rise and pursue that sound, drinking the showering nectar of Kṛṣṇa's bodily luster like thirsty cātaka birds.
“"O Providence, you have no mercy! You bring embodied souls together through friendship and affection, but before their desires are fulfilled, you separate them. Your activities are like the foolish pranks of children."
This verse, quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.39.19), was chanted by the damsels of Vraja when Kṛṣṇa left Vṛndāvana for Mathurā with Akrūra and Balarāma. The gopīs lamented that Providence had made it possible for them to meet Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in affection and love and had then separated them.
"Because of separation from His many friends in Vṛndāvana, who were like His own life, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu spoke like a madman. His intelligence was transformed. Day and night He rubbed His moonlike face against the walls, and blood flowed from the injuries. May that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu rise in my heart and make me mad with love."
In the garden were fully blossomed trees and creepers exactly like those in Vṛndāvana. Bumblebees and birds like the śuka, śārī and pika talked with one another.
"My dear bumblebee, you are a very cunning friend of Uddhava and Kṛṣṇa. You are very expert in touching people's feet, but I am not going to be misled by this. You appear to have sat on the breasts of one of Kṛṣṇa's friends, for I see that you have kuṅkuma dust on your mustache. Kṛṣṇa is now engaged in flattering all His young girlfriends in Mathurā. Therefore, now that He can be called a friend of the residents of Mathurā, He does not need the help of the residents of Vṛndāvana. He has no reason to satisfy us gopīs. Since you are the messenger of such a person as He, what is the use of your presence here? Certainly Kṛṣṇa would be ashamed of your presence in this assembly."
"Kṛṣṇa is now living like a gentleman at the gurukula in Mathurā, forgetting all the gopīs of Vṛndāvana. But does He not remember the sweet house of His father, Nanda Mahārāja? We are all naturally His maidservants. Does He not remember us? Does He ever speak about us, or has He forgotten us completely? Will He ever forgive us and once again touch us with those hands fragrant with the scent of aguru?"
The pure devotional service in Vṛndāvana is like the golden particles in the river Jāmbū. In Vṛndāvana there is not a trace of personal sense gratification. It is to advertise such pure love in this material world that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has written the previous verse and explained its meaning.
The Fourth Chapter also tells how Sanātana Gosvāmī was tested in the sunshine of Jyaiṣṭha (May-June) and was then empowered and sent back to Vṛndāvana.
Also in the Thirteenth Chapter is an account of how Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa met Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who by His causeless mercy sent him to Vṛndāvana.
The Fourteenth Chapter describes the beginning of the Lord's spiritual trance, in which His body was at Jagannātha Purī but His mind was in Vṛndāvana.
In the Fifteenth Chapter is a description of how Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu entered a garden on the seashore and mistook it for Vṛndāvana.
The Vṛndāvana Deities of Madana-mohana with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Govinda with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and Gopīnātha with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī are the life and soul of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas.
In Vṛndāvana in the year 1537 Śakābda Era (A.D 1615), in the month of Jyaiṣṭha (May-June), on Sunday, the fifth day of the waning moon, this Caitanya-caritāmṛta has been completed.