Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Sacimata was so aggrieved that she couldn’t even speak. Seeing Saci sobbing, Vishnupriya Devi fainted upon becoming aware of the imminent disaster. After taking His evening meal, Gauranga went to take rest in His bed chamber. Vishnupriya rushed to the Lord and sat by His lotus feet.
Her face was sad. She sighed heavily as she looked at Gauranga. Vishnupriya wrapped her creeper-like hands around Gauranga’s feet and took them into her heart. Tears streamed down her face, wet the sari covering her breasts, and fell upon Gauranga’s feet.
Suddenly, Gauranga woke up. Sitting up in bed, the Lord said, “My dear, why are you crying? You are most dear to Me. I don’t understand why you are crying.”
Sitting Vishnupriya on His lap, Gauranga affectionately touched her chin and spoke some sweet words. Crying and feeling helpless, Vishnupriya didn’t respond. Although Gauranga repeatedly asked her, Vishnupriya remained silent, simply clutching the Lord’s lotus feet. Knowing all the ways of love, the Lord dried the tears from her face with His cloth. Again He asked her the cause of her grief.
In a half-choked voice Vishnupriya said, “O Lord of my life and heart. Please place Your hands on my head. I have heard that You’re going to take sannyasa. This news crushes my heart. I feel like entering the fire. My life, wealth, beauty, dresses, ornaments, glances and gestures are all meant only for You. If You leave me, what value is my life? My heart is burning in the fire of this poison.
“Let my life go to waste. But I want to know how You’ll walk to distant countries. Your feet are softer than sirisha flowers. They’re so soft that even I don’t touch them in fear of giving You pain. With Your feet of reddish-hue, how will You travel through the thorn-filled forests?
“Your moonlike face is a pool of nectar. With the slightest endeavor, pearl-like drops of perspiration appear on Your lotus face. During the monsoon season it will be constantly raining. At other times, scorching sunshine will dry up everything. A sannyasi must endure a life full of suffering.
“I know nothing other than Your lotus feet. Under whose shelter are You leaving me? Your Mother Saci is old and weak. How can You leave her? What will You accomplish by leaving Your dear devotees such as Advaita, Srivasa, Murari, Mukunda and others?
“How can You just leave them and take sannyasa? You are the personification of love, and You love everyone in the world. But the way that You’re acting now seems contradictory. For when You travel far away to distant countries, all Your devotees will die in separation.
“Is it because of me, the worthless one who’s keeping You bound in material existence, that You’re leaving to take sannyasa? If that’s so, then let me take a last loving glance at You before I kill myself by drinking poison. Then You can stay happily here in Your home. O my Lord, please don’t go to distant countries. There is nobody else in my life. When I look at Your face, my heart burns, anticipating our imminent separation.”
Vishnupriya fell silent, incapable of expressing the deep pain within the core of her heart. She kept weeping and clutching the feet of Lord Gauranga. Gently smiling, the Lord picked up Vishnupriya, and sat her on His lap. To alleviate Vishnupriya’s distress, the Lord joked with her.
Gauranga said, “Who told you that I’ll go away and take sannyasa? I will always tell you about My plans. Don’t be overwhelmed by lamenting without a cause.” Then the Lord tenderly kissed Vishnupriya, and pacified her in various ways. They passed the night enjoying the unlimited pleasures of love.
At the end of the night, Vishnupriya still felt a burning pain within her heart. While looking at the dearmost Lord of her life, she put Gaura’s hand on her breast and said:
“Prabhu, don’t tell a lie in fear of hurting me. I can guess that You’re cleverly trying to trick me. Without my knowledge, You’ll just run away suddenly. You are Your own controller; nobody else controls You. Now do whatever You like, and take sannyasa if You want. But please tell me definitely. Are You going to take sannyasa?”
Gauranga Speaks On Reality
Gauranga smiled sweetly and said, “Listen, O, most dear one. Please listen very carefully, because I’m speaking for your benefit. Everything you see in this creation is temporary and always changing. God and the Vaisnavas are the only ever-lasting truths. Besides these two, everything else is temporary and illusory.”
“Sons, husbands, mother, father, man and woman are all false, temporary designations. Ultimately, who belongs to whom? Except the lotus feet of Krishna, no one else can be called our near and dear one. Whatever you see in this world is the Lord’s impermanent external energy.”
“Krishna is the soul of all living entities, be they men or women. Due to maya’s conditioning, they appear as two. Krishna is the purusa, supreme enjoyer. Krishna is the actual husband of everyone. Everything else is prakrti, Krishna’s enjoyable energy. Nobody understands this.”
“By the union of semen and ovum a living being is created in the womb. He is born in total ignorance. After going through boyhood and youth, he suffers many miseries in old age. He becomes completely attached to his body and home. The old man spends his days lamenting to himself, ‘I spent my whole life working hard to maintain and protect my wife and family. And now they criticize and reject me in my old age. In the end I simply feel angry and cheated by those whom I loved.’ “
“Although he’s practically deaf and blind, morose and lamenting, and crying because of the pains of old age–still he will refuse to worship Govinda. Instead of serving Krishna, he accepts another material body, remaining trapped in material existence. Infatuated by false ego, he forgets Lord Krishna, his real master, and suffers severely.
“Your name is Vishnupriya, so make yourself worthy of your name. Don’t uselessly lament for nothing. Just remove all misgivings from your mind, and absorb yourself in Krishna consciousness.”
In this way, Gauranga consoled Vishnupriya, removing all her miseries and lamentation. Suddenly, Gauranga showed His four-armed Vishnu form to his wife. But Vishnupriya still thought of Gauranga as her beloved husband, even after seeing this four-armed form.
Vishnupriya fell down at Gauranga’s lotus feet and said, “Prabhu, please hear my request. I know I have taken a worthless birth in this miserable world of birth and death. Nevertheless, You are my husband and the lord of my life. I am so fortunate to be Your maidservant. Then why am I suffering such difficulty?” Saying this, Vishnupriya cried helplessly on the verge of going mad.
Feeling sorry for the distress of His dear one, Gauranga also cried. The Lord sat Vishnupriya on His lap and tried to comfort her. Gauranga said, “Listen, Vishnupriya Devi, no matter where I may go, if you simply think of Me within your heart, I will be right there to give you shelter. I solemnly promise this to you.”
Vishnupriya thought to herself for a moment and said, “Prabhu, You are the completely independent Supreme Lord. According to Your sweet will, You can do whatever You want. Who will obstruct Your actions?”
Lord Gauranga didn’t reply. Then Vishnupriya hung down her head to keep the Lord from seeing her gushing tears. Out of compassion, Gauranga spoke some affectionate words.
Thus Locana Dasa sings the heart-rending glories of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
Gauranga Tells a Secret to Murari
The days and nights pass slowly, burning everyone’s hearts in the fire of anxiety. The devotees found some relief by sitting together to discuss Gauranga’s glories. Sacimata and Vishnupriya sat together crying day and night. For them the ten directions seemed empty and full of darkness. Feeling disturbed and restless, friends and relatives just wandered aimlessly here and there.
At that time, Srivasa, the best among the brahmanas, his heart breaking in anguish, asked Gauranga, “Prabhu, I’m afraid to ask this. But if You permit, I would like to go with You. Let the others come too, for they’ll die if they can’t see You. Listen, Visvambhara, I’ll be the first to die. Thus, I’m revealing my heart to you.”
Smiling, Gaurahari said, “Listen Srivasa, don’t be apprehensive about our imminent separation. I’ll never leave the association of all the devotees and you. Just remember that I am always residing in the Krishna temple within your home.”
That evening after consoling Srivasa, the Lord and Haridasa visited Murari Gupta. Gauranga said confidentially, “Murari, since you are as dear to Me as My own life, I’m telling you this. Please listen attentively to My helpful advice.
“Advaita Acarya is honored throughout the three worlds. He is My best friend. Advaita is an expansion of the Supreme Lord, and he acts as the guru of the whole creation. Any self-interested person should serve Advaita Acarya. He’s the king of the Vaisnavas. He has appeared for the ultimate good of the world. So, one should worship him with unalloyed devotion. By worshiping Advaita, Krishna is worshiped.”
“Now, listen, I will tell you something confidential. Please keep this secret within your heart. You should know that I will exist within the bodies of Gadadhara Pandita, Nityananda, Advaita and Ramai [brother of Srivasa Pandita].”
Murari Gupta, the best among the doctors, fully understood the Lord’s inner intentions. Knowing clearly that Gauranga was leaving to take sannyasa, Murari fell flat on the earth weeping and weeping. He offered his respects to Haridasa, and surrendered himself with the utmost humility.
To pacify Murari, Gauranga said, “I am always with you. And there’s still some time before I take sannyasa. You will find solace by taking shelter of My instructions.”
His heart breaking in sadness, Locana Dasa sings about Gauranga’s sublime pastimes.
(An excerpt from the book Sri Caitanya Mangala)