Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Everyone in Katwa– old men, women, children, the blind and invalid, scholars and fools– ran to look at the all-attractive form of Lord Gaurahari. Some women carried water pots on their hips. Others stood motionless, captivated by the mystifying beauty of the Lord. People ridiculed Kesava Bharati for giving sannyasa to such a handsome young man.
Everyone praised the mother who gave birth to such a remarkable son of matchless beauty. They thought to themselves, “Sacidevi, the fortunate mother of Gauranga, is as glorious as Devaki, the famous mother of Lord Sri Krishna. Whoever got Gauranga as her husband is the most fortunate woman in the three worlds.
“No one can take their eyes off the indescribably attractive form of Gaurasundara. Any woman would die simply by hearing that He’s taking sannyasa. How can we tolerate His taking sannyasa?” The people who were thinking like this began weeping loudly.
Feeling compassionate, Gauranga called them together telling them not to lament. He said, “Please bless Me that I may fulfill My desire to dedicate My life to serving the lotus feet of Krishna. Everyone wants to get a proper master. One’s beauty and youth should be utilized in service of the right master. Without a master or husband all of one’s talents and qualities are useless.
“The service of the feet of Krishna is My only shelter. I will serve the beloved master and lord of My life by offering everything that I have.” Then Gauranga paid obeisances to Kesava Bharati, smiled, and begged him for sannyasa again.
The next day, Gaurahari followed the orders of His guru in performing all the rituals for taking sannyasa. The Vaisnavas shook in fear, and bit the edge of their garments during the head-shaving of Sri Gaurasundara.
His long, beautiful curly hair tied in a topknot, and decorated with fragrant malati flowers, had previously enchanted the three worlds. Devotees maintained their lives just by meditating on Gauranga’s hair. In a previous yuga, that hair forced the gopis to give up their shyness, abandon their homes, families and everything else. That hair which Brahma, Siva, Narada and other demigods had formerly glorified would now be cut off. All the men and women of Kantaka-nagara wept loudly.
His hands trembling in fear, the barber flatly refused even to touch Lord Gauranga’s head. He said, “O my Lord, I humbly request You. I don’t have the power to shave You. I’ve never seen such beautiful, curly hair which captivates the three worlds. Please don’t cut Your hair for it pleases the hearts of everyone. There’s no one like You in the whole world. Now I realize that You are the Lord of the whole creation.”
On hearing this, Lord Gauranga became displeased. The barber became worried seeing the Lord’s unhappiness. The barber knew it was inevitable, yet he insisted, “My Lord, how can I cut Your hair? I’m shaking in fear that I may commit an offense to You. And if I do that, then whose feet could I touch to nullify my aparadha? I’m just a simple barber coming from a low-class family.”
Lord Visvambhara said, “After today you can give up this hair-cutting business. By the mercy of Sri Krishna you’ll live a happy, prosperous life. And at the end you will return to My abode in the spiritual world.” So at the time of shaving the Lord’s head, the barber received this boon.
With a saddended heart, Locana Dasa narrates this pastime.
Gauranga’s head-shaving and sannyasa ceremony took place during the auspicious constellation of Makara Sankranti in the month of Magh (January 14, 1510 a.d) The Lord heard the sannyasa mantra from Kesava Bharati while the Vaisnavas filled the atmosphere with the holy name of Hari.
Visvambhara was inundated by waves of love of Krishna which increased in size hundreds of times. His body exploded in bumps of ecstasy. Tears of prema flowed without cessation from His reddish eyes. Hiking up His dhoti, Gauranga made roaring sounds. Laughing slowly and deeply, He shouted in ecstasy, “I’ve taken sannyasa!” (excerpt from Chaitanya Mangala)