Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Rama, Laksmana, and Nityananda
[Respected harikatha readers,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Gaura and Gauranga.
This year, 2015, the auspicious appearance day of Lord Rama is on March 28th (In India).
It may seem odd that for day of Lord Rama we are sending you an excerpt of a lecture given by Srila Gurudeva on the appearance day of Lord Nityananda (Australia: February 20, 1997). The reason is that in this lecture, Gurudeva beautifully describes the relationship of Lord Nityananda with Lord Rama and Laksmana. We pray that you will feel spiritually nourished by reading this first-time published discourse. Thank you to Visnurata prabhu for transcribing it so quickly. To hear the soundfile: 19970220_Australia Nityananda Trayodasi.mp3 Another lecture in Hindi https://soundcloud.com/srila-bv-narayan-maharaja/19910324-ram-navami-lecture-on-avatar-tattva
Your aspiring servants,
The Hari-katha team]
Your aspiring servants,
The Hari-katha team]
Today is a very auspicious day – the birthday of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Last week we observed the appearance day of Mahavisnu, Advaita Acarya, and today we are observing the appearance day of Nityananda Prabhu.
Without Nityananda Prabhu, Gaura (Caitanya Mahaprabhu) cannot do anything; He is helpless. Although Mahaprabhu is the abode of all powers (sarva-saktiman), yet, He always depends on the service of Nityananda Prabhu.
When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, wants to come into this world to sprinkle His mercy upon all jivas, He comes with Nityananda Prabhu – Baladeva Prabhu. Nityananda Prabhu will always be there in some form or other. Can you say how Nityananda Prabhu was with Krsna when He came in the form of Nrsimhadeva? All His weapons, and so on were Nityananda Prabhu. When Lord Sri Rama came, Baladeva Prabhu, or Nityananda Prabhu, came in the form of Laksmana.
When Krsna came, Nityananda came in the form of Baladeva. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu came, He came in the form of Nityananda Prabhu. When Krsna’s expansion as Maha-visnu sleeps within the Causal Ocean, innumerable universes are generated along with His breathing. These universes are floating, scattered all over the Causal Ocean, and they remain only during His breathing period. In each and every universal globe, the same Maha-visnu enters again as Garbhodakasayi Visnu and lies there on the serpent-like Sesa incarnation. That Sesa is an expansion of Nityananda Prabhu, and Laksmi also serves there. When Krsna wants to come in any way, anywhere in this world, or in any world, Baladeva Prabhu – Nityananda Prabhu, must surely come with Him.
When Nityananda Prabhu, as His expansion Laksmana, was with Rama in Treta-yuga, Rama ordered Him to do so many things that were very painful for Him. For example, when Dasaratha Maharaja ordered Rama to go to the forest for twelve years, and said that Bharata should be the King of Ayodhya, Rama gladly accepted this, but Laksmana did not.
[Sri Ramacandra, along with bhagavati Sri Sita devi and His brother Laksmana, then set out to dwell in the forest for fourteen years in order to honor and protect the word of His father, Dasaratha Maharaja; yet, in the pain of separation from Rama, Dasaratha Maharaja left his body, crying, “O Rama! O Rama!” Bharata was visiting his uncle at the home of his maternal grandmother when Vasistha Muni sent word for him to return. Upon his arrival in Ayodhya, he came to know what had happened there. He then decided to bring to the forest everything needed for a coronation in order to crown Sri Ramacandra as king and bring Him back to Ayodhyä. Under the supervision of guru Vasistha, Bharata arrived in Citrakuta with the three mothers of the royal household, the royal minister Sumanta, and all the citizens of Ayodhya. In His human-like pastime, Nityananda was neither aware of his father’s death nor of the reason for Bharata’s coming. (taken from the Harmonist magazine, Srila Gurudeva preaching report by Sripad Madhava Maharaja, 2008]
Laksmana took His bow and arrows and said, “Rama, please give the order; I will kill all of them, and that lusty Dasaratha as well. I think that he is not the appropriate person to be our father. You are my father and my elder brother. So please order me. I will fight against them. I will kill Maharaja Dasaratha and Bharata, and their entire army.”
He was ready to shoot, but Rama said, “No, no, no. Don’t do this.”
Years later, Rama told Laksmana, “Laksmana, take Sita. I have decided to leave her forever. Take her, and leave her in a very deep forest.”
Laksmana wanted to question Rama, “What fault has Sita committed? Why are You acting in this way? You are going to obey the orders of very nasty persons – a lusty person like a washerman? You are not believing on the words of Maharaja Dasaratha, Vasistha, the air-god Pavanadeva, Agnideva, the fire-god, and all the rsis such as Narada, who all proclaimed her purity? What fault has she committed?” But He could not say anything. He considered, “If Rama were not my elder brother, I would not be bound to obey Him.”
He had to obey, because Rama was His elder brother. So He accepted this, but it was a very painful act for Him. He then took Sita, not telling her, “I’m taking you to the forest to leave You there.” Rather he told her, “We will return tomorrow, after distributing clothes to the munis’ and rsis’ wives and their sisters. But then, when He crossed the Ganges and came near the hut of Valmiki, He began to weep loudly.
Sita asked, “Why are You weeping?”
He told her, “It is better that I die before telling you this. My heart is made of stone or iron, and therefore I am not dying. Rama has left You forever. You cannot return to Ayodhya as His wife.” Sita immediately fell flat on the ground, unconscious, and while She was in that unconscious state, Laksmana returned to Ayodya, weeping.
Laksmana told himself, “From now on, I will come with Krsna, but not as a younger brother, with the obligation to obey Him. I must come as an elder brother. I cannot bear these greatly painful things. So He came as an elder brother in Krsna’s pastimes, and sometimes He would chastise Krsna, “Oh, You are doing wrong.” But of course, He did this only to please Krsna.
He again came when Krsna appeared as Gauracandra, Sacinandana Gaurahari. He came previous to the birth of Caitanya Mahaprabhu (Gauracandra); He was about ten years elder. In His childhood He never met with Gauracandra. He went on pilgrimage with a saint. He went over the whole of India, to almost all of the holy places. When He was in South India, in Pandarapura, he met a saint named Laksmipati Tirtha, a disciple in the line of Madhvacarya. Both saw each other, and both began crying, “Krsna Krsna He,” embracing each other. Nityananda Prabhu told him, “I have not taken initiation yet. I want to take initiation from you. You are My guru.”
Nityananda Prabhu asked him, “What mantra will you give to me?” Perhaps you want to give me this mantra?” That mantra was klim.…svaha,” the gopala-mantra. Laksmipati Tirtha became so happy and said, “How did you know this? How did you know this?” Nityananda Prabhu then gave him His darsana in the form of Baladeva Prabhu, at which time he fell flat at the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu.
Nityananda Prabhu took initiation by that mantra, and He became a renowned sannyasi. He then travelled everywhere alone, until He came to Vrndavana, where He was searching, “O Kanhaiya, where are You? Where are you?” Kanhaiya means Krsna. When He would see deer running here and there, He began to run after them and ask them, “Can you tell Me where is Krsna Kanhaiya, My younger brother?”
When He used to see grazing cows, He would take the cows’ necks in His arms. Sometimes naked; quite naked, and weeping so much. Sometimes He would run after cowherd boys, asking “Where is Kanhaiya? I want to meet Kanhaiya.” And then He would begin to weep and roll on the ground.
He once went to the temple, calling out, “Kanhaiya, Kanhaiya.” At that time He heard an aerial voice, which told Him, “Oh, Your Kanhaiya is not here now. Now He has taken birth in another form. Now He is Sacinandana, and He is in Navadvipa, Mayapura. If You want to meet Him, You can go there.”
He began to travel to Navadvipa-dhama along the Yamuna River to Prayaga, and then along the Ganges, and He came, at last, to Navadvipa. Once there, He saw a solitary place on the bank of the Ganges, the house of Nandanacarya, a very good devotee. He went there and thought, “I should not go to Nimai Pandita. He should come to Me. I will believe He is Kanhaiya when He will personally meet Me. If He is Kanhaiya, then He knows everything, past, future, and present. He is all-powerful, and also sarva-jna, all-knowing. So He must know I’m here. Why should I go to find Him?”
Sacinandana sent Srivasa Acarya, Srivas’ brothers, and so many other devotees to search for any mahapurusa (great personality), and told them, “A very good Vaisnava has come. Please search for Him and bring Him to Me.” They searched the whole day – here and there, on the bank of the Ganges, and in all the devotees’ houses, but they could not find Him. At last, in the evening, they returned and said, "Oh, we have not seen any newcomer sadhus, sannyasis, or Vaisnavas.”
“Oh,” Nimai Pandita (Sacinandana Gaurahari) said, “Where did you go?”
They replied, “To all Your associates.”
Then Nimai Pandita said, “Let us go to the house of Nandanacarya.” He took all His associates and devotees and entered the house. There they saw a very beautiful person, with long arms, looking like a golden mountain, weeping and calling out, “Krsna, Krsna, Kanhaiya, Kanhaiya.” When Mahaprabhu saw Him, He at once became dumbstruck. From there, Nimai was seeing Nityananda Prabhu and Nityananda Prabhu was seeing Nimai. For a couple of minutes there was complete silence,and after that, Nityananda and Gauracandra at once ran to each other, embraced so tightly. They both began to weep, Nityananda Prabhu calling out, “Kanhaiya,” and Mahaprabhu calling out, “Balai (Balarama).”
Both were weeping, with no sense at all of where They were or what they were doing. They fell flat on the earth. After some time, the devotees helped Them to come to Their external senses, and then Caitanya Mahaprabhu took the arm of Nityananda Prabhu and brought Him to His own house.
[to be continued next year, on the divine appearance day of Lord Nityananda Prabhu]