The Divine Intervention of Sri Nityananda Prabhu

Feb 25 2021 - Krishna Talk 229

(The following was adapted from a lecture on the Nityananda Trayodashi given on 4th February 2004 at Govindaji Gardens, Srirangapatna South India.)

vande gurūn īśa-bhaktān īśam īśāvatārakān
tat-prakāśāṁś ca tac-chaktīḥ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-saṁjñakam

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the spiritual masters, the devotees of the Lord, the Lord’s incarnations, His plenary portions, His energies and the primeval Lord Himself, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. (CC Adi 1.1)

vande śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nityānandau sahoditau
gauḍodaye puṣpavantau citrau śandau tamo-nudau

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauḍa to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all. (CC Adi 1.2)

This is the second verse from Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta, offering obeisances to both Śrī Caitanya Deva and Lord Nityānanda, who have both appeared on the horizon of Gauḍadeśa (Gauramañḍala), just as the sun and the moon may appear on the same horizon. But such a phenomenon is very rare. Sun and moon on the same horizon and both full? that’s very rare, maybe impossible. Has anyone seen it, besides on the cover of this book, Kīrtana Mañjūṣā? We did the graphics where we showed the sun and moon rising together on the same cover, but that is almost impossible. So, such a great benediction came to the world at the time of Caitanya Līlā when both Nityānanda prabhu and Lord Gaurāṅga appeared simultaneously on the horizon of Gauḍa.

Sun and moon (puṣpavantau) — which is compared to which? Gaurāṅgacandra — Candra is moon. Gaurāṅga is compared to the moon and Nityānanda prabhu is compared to the sun. In the Vedic knowledge there are descriptions of the universe, which of course include the sun, the moon and so forth, and all of these are given from a personal platform. Candra is the deva behind the moon. Suryadeva is behind the sun. The universe is described, but everything is a personal conception. Devas are situated everywhere. In the modern world almost cent percent the same description is given, but everything is given in a godless way. No personality anywhere in the universe and ultimately above the universe is also nothing, no personality, godless, atheistic knowledge. But in so many places the Vedic knowledge and the scientific knowledge coincide with each other.

I was pointing out the other day that the devotees say God created the world and the atheists say that the world evolved from an explosion. I said that God created the world with an explosion. This is the point. And if you go around in the world, you'll see the phenomena of the world, evolution of the world taking place. But behind that is a supreme controller. And within that there are many subsidiary controllers, appointed controllers — devas.

First, in the old Vedic conception, the moon, Candra has his effulgence. He is the source of the light which we see from the moon, and the sun also has that same type of effulgence. Surya has his power of effulgence. It is said, however, that the light in the sun is the source of all light in this world. And behind the source of the sun is the brahmajyoti. And behind brahmajyoti is Kṛṣṇa. So the sun is the most powerful illuminating force and all light is derived from there.

Yet in another place it is said that Candra has his own effulgence. In the modern sense it is simply said that the moon has light only due to the sun. So today, I thought that this is a very good day to accept the scientific version that the moon has only got light due to the sun. When we compare Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to the moon and Nityānanda prabhu to the sun, then how will we be able to see the moon? Only with the help of the sun. The sun will identify the moon that it is there. The light comes from the sun.

Our fortune begins from Nityānanda Prabhu

So similarly, it is said that unless one has the mercy of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, he cannot discover the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. You can wander for millions of lifetimes together and never know the divinity of Mahāprabhu. Just like we experience here in South India, Mahāprabhu is accepted as a great saint, but this is actually like a needle in our ear. We don't really appreciate that. Actually, that is painful. Mahāprabhu is a “great saint?” Rather Mahāprabhu is the Supreme Lord upon whose feet hundreds of crores of saints are praying to become a spark, a particle of dust at his lotus feet. But they will not say like that, they'll say he's a “great saint.” They do not have the mercy of Nityānanda Prabhu. Without the mercy of Nityānanda Prabhu, no one can understand who is Śrī Caitanya. So first we must come to the grace of Nityānanda prabhu, and particularly it is remembered that Nityānanda prabhu delivered the two famous dacoits, goondas, rascal's number one — Jagai and Madai.

When someone asked in India, "What is your caste?" I told them, “Jagai and Madai, is my caste.” So Nityānanda Prabhu by his great mercy, he delivered these two most fallen souls in all recorded history. Even it is said in Caitanya Maṅgala by Locana Dās Ṭhākura, that these two when admitting their sins said, “We have even killed thousands of brāhmaṇas, women and children.” Means in their previous lives they were the killers of brāhmaṇas, women, and even children. But they were delivered by the mercy of Nityānanda Prabhu. So our concern is in that way, the line of mercy. The mercy will come down to the world through Nityānanda Prabhu. He is considered the mercy expansion of the supreme personality of Godhead. By His mercy one may have access to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And in Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one will have access to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and everything divinely related to vrajarasa.

We also see that there are many people that want to live in the Vraja, without the mercy of Lord Gaurāṅga. In their own fancy way, they go on with some bhajan and pūja and these things. But actually they are not to be considered the devotees of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. In some distant way, they are devoted to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, but they have no access into vrajarasa. In almost every case, they perform rasābhāsa, because without getting a proper introduction they fall victim to some mistake. So first is Nityānanda Prabhu, then the introduction will come to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And through Caitanya Mahāprabhu (yathā yathā gaura padāravinde...) we will get introduction to Kṛṣṇa Līlā, and we will be properly situated in Kṛṣṇa Līlā. But if we try to go direct to Kṛṣṇa Līlā, we will face some difficulty there. Similarly, if we tried to go directly to Mahāprabhu leaving Nityānanda Prabhu, it is compared to the half-a-hen philosophy (ardha-kukkuṭī-nyāya). What do you get from half a hen? Nothing. If you want an egg, you must have a full hen. So if someone says I accept the divinity of Mahāprabhu but not the divinity of Nityānanda Prabhu, then he is a philosopher of this half-hen philosophy. The whole thing is spoiled. So from Nityānanda Prabhu, our fortune begins.


Today is the day Nityānanda Prabhu manifests in this world. His place is Ekacakra. I think a few devotees from here have been to Ekacakra, but myself, I've never had that good blessing to visit Ekacakra yet. But through the kindness of other devotees, I hear something about Ekacakra. A beautiful, charming village in an area of Gauḍadeśa which is known as Rāḍhadeśa, which is the characteristic of the place where the Ganges does not flow. It is primarily a dry land, just like when you go towards Melukoṭe. Here we are in the wetlands. If you go a little distance, 30 or 40 kilometers, it gets dry, really dry. Irrigation is a problem. In dry lands, the villages are not so prosperous because water is necessary for agricultural development. So Rāḍhadeśa is characteristically dry land which means staying on the impoverished side or economically destitute. But from the time of Nityānanda Prabhu, that place flourished. It became lush and beautiful, and all benedictions came upon the people of Ekacakra.

The ontology of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu

Nityānanda Prabhu’s father is Hāḍāi Paṇḍita, and His mother is Padmāvatī. So who is Nityānanda Prabhu? He is not actually an incarnation, but He is the source of incarnations. All incarnations of the Supreme Lord come first to Baladeva. From Balarāma expands Saṅkarṣaṇa, from Saṅkarṣaṇa expands the caturvyūha, and this caturvyūha expands further. And then from Saṅkarṣaṇa and caturvyūha, Maha Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśayī Viṣṇu, Kṣīrodakaśayī Viṣṇu, the supersoul, all the avatārasdaśāvatāras, they are coming to the world.

Nityānanda Prabhu is directly Lord Balarāma, not just His incarnation, but directly, parallel, and non-different to Lord Balarāma. Anantaśeṣa is the expansion of Nityānanda Prabhu. When we say Baladeva, it is synonymous with Nityānanda Prabhu. When you tell Nityānanda Prabhu, it is synonymous with Baladev. His expansion is Anantaśeṣa. Anantaśeṣa carries the world on his hoods and Anantaśeṣa expands as all the paraphernalia for worshipping the Supreme Lord — His bed, His home, His slipper, His cloth. Similarly, here in the temple where the Lord is worshiped, the dīpam, the bell, and all these things, they are considered non different from Ananta. The siṃhāsana, the garbhaguḍī itself is a manifestation of Anantaśeṣa. And that Ananta is an expansion of Baladeva. In Kṛṣṇa Līlā, yogamāyā is the potency of Baladeva in vātsalya, sākhya, dāsya, and also śānta rasa — four rasas. His potency yogamāyā expands the Līlā of Kṛṣṇa there and provides all the paraphernalia for Kṛṣṇa's pastimes.

Similarly, Nityānanda Prabhu expands the Līlā of Mahāprabhu in this world. When Lord Gaurāṅga wants to broadcast the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, He chooses Nityānanda Prabhu to spread the holy name. Through Nityānanda Prabhu, the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, spreads throughout Navadvipa, Orissa and other parts of India at that time. But not just the name of Kṛṣṇa, but also the name of Gaurāṅga.

bhaja gaurāńga kaha gaurāńga laha gaurāńgera nāma re
je jan gaurāńga bhaje, sei (hoy) āmāra prāṇa re

Nityānanda Prabhu used to shout like this in a loud voice. “If you chant the name of Gaurāṅga, if you worship Gaurāṅga, I will give myself to you. You become the heart of my heart.” So that is whoever takes shelter of Gaurāṅga and whoever chants Gaurāṅga's name. It means to take the name of Gaurāṅga, but then, it also means that the mahāmantra must be taken at His feet. Before the all merciful glance of Mahāprabhu, you can take the name of Kṛṣṇa. That is, we should not take the name of Kṛṣṇa independent of Gaurāṅga.

When Kṛṣṇa wants to expand His Līlā, that is the affair of Baladeva and His potency Yogamāya. Similarly in Gaura-līlā when Mahāprabhu wants to expand the influence of the holy name, He calls upon Nityānanda Prabhu for that work. So Nityānanda Prabhu was the first of the foremost preachers in the nāma-saṅkīrtana movement of Mahāprabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu being Baladeva, means that He is also the guru-tattva. The first line of guru-tattva is traced from that world to Baladeva. That's the first line. Similarly, in Gaura-līlā, Nityānanda Prabhu is the guru-tattva. The guru is considered to be His representative. But again that has to do with vātsalya, sākhya, dāsya, and śānta rasas. One rasa is remaining and that is mādhurya rasa. So in Kṛṣṇa Līlā, the guru of mādhurya rasa is Śrīmatī Rādhārāni. In Caitanya-līlā the guru for the mādhurya rasa is Gadādhara Paṇḍita. Gadādhara Paṇḍita in Caitanya-līlā is guru-tattva for the mādhurya rasa. Though our parampara is mādhurya rasa parampara, we begin with Baladeva — the general conception of guru-tattva. First, we come to the lotus feet of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu.

Viśvarūpa and Nityānanda Prabhu

Jagannath Miśra is Nanda Mahārāja, Sacidevī is Yaśoda. So similarly, the parents of Nityānanda Prabhu must be Vasudeva and Rohiṇī. At the time of Kṛṣṇa-līlā, Rohiṇī was in the house of Nanda Mahārāja because her husband, Vasudeva, was imprisoned. As was the trend in those times, Vasudeva had more than one wife. One wife, Devaki, is in prison along with him, and Rohiṇī is staying in Nanda Mahārāja's house, where Lord Balarāma appears.

Similarly, the first male child from the womb of Mother Saci was an expansion of Nityānanda Prabhu, who is the older brother, Viśvarūpa. Later on in Caitanya-līlā, Mahāprabhu went to look for His brother in South India. That was one of his primary excuses or reasons, so to speak, to tour South India. He was searching for His brother who had become a renunciate, who had taken sannyāsa and had left while Mahāprabhu was still very young. So he was looking for his brother and he toured all of South India. He reached this place called Pandharpur, in Maharashtra, a place which is famous for the deity known as Viṭṭhala (Viṭṭhaleśvara), the place of Saint Tukārām. Mahāprabhu reached that place, after touring all the south and coming up and going all the way around, some say as far as Dwaraka and coming back, He came to this place. Then He got information about this sannyasi of Bengal and He could understand who it was. He had achieved his final samadhi (perfection) there on the banks of the river Bhīma. No detail is described there other than that Viśvarūpa merged into the body of Nityānanda Prabhu from whom he had originally expanded. Mahāprabhu then went back from his South India tour.

“Please give your son to me”

In Ekacakra, Nityānanda Prabhu’s childhood pastimes were shown much to the pleasure of everyone. Then, at an early age, maybe twelve or thirteen, (Nityānanda was actually considerably older than Caitanya Mahāprabhu), one sannyāsi came to Ekacakra and he requested Hādāi Paṇḍita, “You please give your son to me.” Nowadays no one will give their son. If I go to any village, they will invite, “Oh Mahārāja, please come, have some milk,” have this and that. But if I say, “Sir, you please give your son,” they'll pick up a stick and chase me out of the village. But in those days, society was different and the supreme will of the Lord was also there in this particular case. The boy was given to this sannyāsi as a servant. Nityānanda Prabhu became the traveling companion or assistant of that sannyāsi (It is not mentioned directly, but it is traced to those who have the eye to map out the position of divine things, and all agree that this sannyāsi is Mādhavendra Purī, and he took away Lord Nityānanda Prabhu). Shortly after that Hāḍāi Paṇḍita expired from the world. He could not bear that separation of his son, and he expired from the world. Similarly, when Viśvarūpa left home and went out into the world as a renunciate, Jagannātha Miśra also could not tolerate that separation, and after some time, he also expired from the world due to separation. So when traveling Nityānanda went everywhere in India. He traveled to all the holy places with this sannyāsi.

Darśana, not Through the artist

Mādhavendra Purī initiated many of the associates of Mahāprabhu who had come ahead of Him. Mādhavendra Purī initiated Nityānanda Prabhu, Advaitācārya, and Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, among others. Generally you see in the pañcatattva pictures, that Śrīvāsa looks very young, but actually he's almost the same age or in the same age category as Advaitācārya and Haridāsa Ṭhākura. They are much older than Mahāprabhu. When He appeared, they were in their forties. So don't put everything behind the pen of the artist. The artists, what can they show us? Often, the artist takes his own idea there. So don't put your darśana, your faith, fully behind that. Behind the scripture is a safer position and there also realization is required. But don't put your everything in the artist, the painters, because they very often take liberties and introduce some distortion to the picture.

Nityānanda Prabhu is found by Mahāprabhu

After the disappearance of Madhavendra Puri also, He continued traveling for some time. Then Nityānanda Mahāprabhu could understand that now Gaurāṅga has started his saṅkīrtana movement in Navadvīpa. And at that time he came back to Navadvīpa to the house of one Nandanācārya. They call that place Nandanācārya Bhavana. At that time, Mahāprabhu got a vision that Lord Balrāma appeared on a great chariot. He told some of the devotees, "I have seen in my dream that Baladeva has come to Navadvīpa, on a grand chariot. So surely a great vaiṣṇava must have come here. So please go and find who is that great personality who has come today to Navadvīpa.” So Mahāprabhu’s associates went out. That means Advaitācārya, Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, they all went out in Navadvīpa, but they couldn't find anybody. They reported back and Mahāprabhu said, “No, surely a great Mahātma has come. A great devotee has come. Go out again.” They went out three times and searched all around, but they couldn't find anyone. They came back to Mahāprabhu, "No one has come, my lord."

Then Mahāprabhu said "Follow me.” With a saṅkīrtana party He went straight to Nandanācārya's house, and Nityānanda Prabhu was sitting there in the house on the veranda. So, the devotees could not discover Nityānanda Prabhu. The devotees went out to look but they couldn't find. What is the meaning? That means Nityānanda Prabhu will also be understood by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu. By the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu we are given Nityānanda Prabhu, and by the mercy of Nityānanda Prabhu we will receive a position in the entourage, in the vicinity of Mahāprabhu.

Nityānanda avadhūta

At different times in His pastimes, Mahāprabhu would repeatedly point to Nityānanda Prabhu, so that people may not misunderstand his importance in His entourage. On one particular occasion, He told all the householders that they should keep a piece of His kaupina (loin cloth), and wear it on their body as a kavaca, on their neck or their arm, to quickly achieve control of their senses. He told them, “Do not think that Nityānanda Prabhu is an ordinary man.”

At one point Mahāprabhu requested Nityānanda Prabhu to marry, to become a householder. After the saṅkīrtana movement was already going on, He requested that of Him. Prior to that Nityānanda Prabhu was showing avadhūta-veśa. Jāhnava Devī became the wife of Nityānanda Prabhu. Jāhnava Devī is Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune. But some people say, "Oh! Nityānanda was a sannyāsī. He gave up sannyāsa and became a gṛhastha." But this is not a bona fide version. He was never a sannyāsi, but from the time he traveled with that sannyāsi, He always used to exhibit extreme renunciation in the dress He wore, which was the most simple, and also in His way of life. So if you looked at Him, He looked like a sannyāsi. But He never had a danḍa of any type, or any of the other paraphernalia which were given to the sannyāsis in those days. Therefore, He is not known as Nityānanda Svāmī or Svāmī Nityānanda. He is known as Nityānanda Avadhūta. There is a type of sannyāsa called avadhūta sannyāsa, that is considered to be the highest stage of renunciation.

So he was an avadhūta as a brahmacāri, He was an avadhūta when He traveled as the servant of a sannyāsī, and He was an avadhūta also in His gṛhastha-līlā. Nityānanda Prabhu is always an avadhūta. He was always in a stage of extreme renunciation and detachment from the world. But His pastimes are peculiar at different times. They are peculiar and they are sometimes misunderstood. People think that He is an ordinary person or that He has given up sannyāsa and has lustfully entered gṛhasthāśrama, and all these things. They massacre the whole conception. But for that reason Mahāprabhu requested Nityānanda Prabhu to get married.

Mahāprabhu deceived

When Mahāprabhu took sannyāsa Nityānanda Prabhu deceived Mahāprabhu. Mahāprabhu took sannyāsa and He wanted to go to Vṛndāvana. He's asking, “Where's Vṛndāvana? Where’s Vṛndāvana?” Nityānanda Prabhu says, "It's this way my Lord," and He deviated Him. No one can do that but Nityānanda Prabhu. The lives of the devotees was going to be completely finished. Already, Mahāprabhu had accepted sannyāsa which was a maddening scene and almost unacceptable to everyone. The devotees were somehow adjusting with that. But then He wanted to leave and go to Vṛndāvana, some thousands of kilometres away. This would have killed all the devotees of Navadvīpa. Starting with mother Saci, they would all start to die, one by one. This would have finished them, because they would not be able to bear the separation of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So Nityānanda intervened there to save the lives of all the devotees and He simply deviated Mahāprabhu towards Śāntīpura.

When they reached the Ganga, Nityānanda Prabhu said that it was the Yamuna. Mahāprabhu took a bath there and suddenly Advaitācārya appeared in a boat. Mahāprabhu asked Advaitācārya, “How have you got to Vṛndāvana before us? How have you come here in a boat?” Then Advaitācārya said, "Śāntīpura is just here on the other side." Then He realised he had been deceived by Nityānanda, and he complained, “Nityānanda Prabhu said I have come to the Yamuna and taken a bath.” Then Advaitācārya Prabhu explained, “Actually, the Western Bank, the western side of the Ganga is considered to be the Yamuna.” Therefore, he said, He was actually not deceived, “You have bathed in the Yamuna.” Externally Mahāprabhu showed some anger but actually to save the lives of all the devotees, Nityānanda Prabhu intervened there.

Divine Intervention

What do we require in relation to the Supreme Lord? Divine intervention is always a necessity. And how to live in relation to the absolute truth? These words sometimes ring in my ear. Śrīla Sridhar Mahārāja says how to live in the relativity of the absolute truth. Relatively means, we may shift, we may move, we may adjust ourselves in relation to that. The absolute is fixed, but the relative is moving. The absolute may move in some unknown way and we will have to adjust ourselves. Absolute is infinite and it may also vanish. It does not come in a straight line but in a zig-zag line. So how to adjust ourselves? Always look for a divine intervention.

Not that everything will be within our power, that we will be the masters of knowledge. Sometimes a question is put, and many devotees feel they have to answer every question. But one can also say, "I don't know." That is not a shameful thing, because ultimately even Lord Balarāma will one day fold his hands and say, "I don't know." The supreme lord is above all, and He is an autocrat above all — ekala īśvara kṛṣṇa — only Kṛṣṇa is the supreme controller, āra saba bhṛtya — everyone else is a servant, even Baladeva. Nityānanda Prabhu considers Himself the servant of Caitanyadeva, and Balarama considers Himself the servant of Kṛṣṇa. So we should always try to adjust with divine intervention. The best divine intervention is the influence of a devotee and the help of a devotee in our life.

I noticed something some years ago in Vṛndāvana. Many devotees were disappointed with the movement, mostly with the guru situation, or some other significant problem. I noticed many of the devotees were taking shelter in śāntarasa. That is, they would come to Vṛndāvana. They give up their previous beads by initiation, get new beads from the market and go to the Yamuna or Rādhākuṅḍa to get them blessed. Many devotees told me that they are taking shelter of Vṛndāvana. Vṛndāvana means śāntarasa section. Limited intervention there. Vṛndāvana does have its influence and guidance. Similarly, Navadvīpa or Jagannātha Purī will have its divine influence—the śāntarasa section. But if we can connect with any living representative in the form of a vaiśṇava, that will include whatever the śāntarasa section can give us, and that will give us maximum support in our endeavours to make progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So, without divine intervention, we're lost. We should try to see divinity in a vaiṣṇava. That is the primery plane of divinity.

When you look towards the material world, in India, where people are religious, gradually you see that they look less towards the devotee and more towards the phenomenal world. They believe in something because of a miracle. They believe in the oil of Nanguneri (a town in Tamil Nadu) because it gets rid of leprosy or some skin disease. But in our line we will see that if a devotee puts that on his head, then as prasāda, we will believe in that. Not because it has the power to cure diseases, but because a senior vaiṣṇava has accepted that.

But some devotees started to believe that LSD was sacred since the time they gave some to Śrīdhara Mahārāja. When they put it in his hand, he didn’t know what it was. It was some sort of a pill. He touched it to his head, and gave it to a servant. So because he touched it to his head, they said, "See, this means it's sacred.” So, sometimes divinity can also be misused.

But generally, that's how you find the reality of something. It says in the scripture that one should take bath in Rādhākuṇḍa. But it is not easy to understand the scripture. How do we know what is the proper standard? When we look towards the higher devotees, we find that the proper bath for a sādhaka devotees like ourselves is actually three drops of water over the head. That is traced back to Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, who established the standard for the Gaudiya mission — the Mahāprabhu's mission in an organized way, the giver of the tridanḍa sannyāsa, the giver of the sannyāsa mantra. So many things come from him. The standard of devotion — pūjala rāgapatha gaurava bhānge. The highest plain of divinity in service is Rādhākuṇḍa, and it is not to be dealt with lightly, but always to be held in greatest respects. He took three drops of water on his head and all his followers, our Prabhupāda, Śrīdhara Mahārāja, Purī Gosvāmī Mahārāja and so many others are following in this way.

But some other section, they are going and jumping into Rādhakuṇḍa, and having their sacred bath. They are putting water on the head but also stepping in with their feet first. I also made that mistake in the old days before coming in touch with a higher representative who can guide and adjust. Divine intervention will save us in many ways. It will save us from making offences and it will give life. It will save us from many types of death.

Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī in his despair went to Vṛndāvana to take the final step and jump off the Govardhan Hill. He was a stout man in his middle age, late 20s or early 30s, stout and strong, maybe a little thin from renunciation, but in good health and strong. He was not dying, but in his heart he was dying because Mahāprabhu was no longer manifest on the earth. And Mahāprabhu's associates were quickly going, one by one. They were all vanishing from the earth and he was being left behind. In his heart, he was dying due to separation. So he went to Vṛndāvana to commit the final step. He wanted to jump off the Govardhan Hill. But have you seen Govardhana Hill? You can jump and jump, but it is not big enough to harm you. However, his sentiment was like that. But when he went there a divine intervention saved his life. His heart was revived when he found Rūpa and Sanātana. Mahāprabhu was dwelling within them. He found in Rūpa-Sanātana all the affection and shelter that he had found in Mahāprabhu. He was very happy and gave up his idea of jumping from Govardhana Hill. He eventually lived out his years, they say, to well over a hundred and some years. That divine intervention of Rūpa and Sanātana came to him.

Never masters, always students

Even though he had a direct connection with Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and Mahāprabhu Himself had put him directly under Svarūpa Damodāra, such a high devotee, but yet Raghunātha Dāsa got solace in the company of Rūpa-Sanātana. Now there are slogans, "Everything is in Prabhupāda's books.", "I have Prabhupāda, that's all I need." This type of thing is going on in the world. "My guru is the best." In this way devotees limit themselves from divine intervention. We should always think of ourselves as a student and that we have a necessity, a prime necessity. We come from the order of the fallen souls and the most fallen and the most fallen of the most fallen. So how is it that we have finished off our necessity in a few years by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahamantra, that we can say that we don't need anything, that we are independent? That is not possible. The higher position is that we are eternally students of the truth. Here we may become masters in some place. Still within that we are students of the higher truth. Never masters, always students.

Śaktyāveśa Avatāra of Lord Nityānanda

Yajavara Mahārāja, who was the last person to take sannyāsa from Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta, and Śrīla Sridhar Mahārāja were quite close friends. Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja and our Guru Mahārāja were also very close friends. Just after the disappearance of our gurudeva, there were some programs held in Vṛndāvana. Śrīla Sridhar Mahārāja was in Navadvīpa so he could not come to Vṛndāvana, but he went to some program in Caitanya Candrodaya Mandir in Māyāpura. In Vṛndāvana, there were several days of the samādhi function and in one of those days, Yajavara Mahārāja came and gave a talk. In that talk he said that he considered Svāmī Mahārāja, our GuruMahārāja, A.C. Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda, to be a śaktyāveśa avatāra. He was the first one to voice that.

There was one purport mentioning the pure devotees, the good sons of the Lord, the śaktyāveśa avatāras—the empowered representatives. So in those days we could understand it in our feeble way, in our neophyte way, that our Guru Mahārāja, is all of those things — He is a pure devotee, he is a good son of the Lord, and that he is an empowered representative, a śaktyāveśa avatāra. But it never became prominent, until the words came from a higher vaiṣṇava. Only then it got the attention of everyone. Later some devotees reported to Śrīla Sridhara Mahārāja that they had heard from Yajavara Mahārāja that Svāmī Mahārāja was a śaktyāveśa avatāra. Then Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja also gave his consideration. In Particular he clarified śaktyāveśa, that is which śakti? Āveśa means garbed, or dressed. So śaktyāveśa means dressed in the śakti, the potency of the Lord. The Lord has many śaktis, so which śakti? Śrīdharadeva Gosvāmī Mahārāja said the śakti of Nityānanda Prabhu, Nityānanda śakti, the āveśa of Nityānanda, an empowered representative of Nityānanda Prabhu. And how did he trace it? He said because such a propagation work has been done by Svāmī Mahārāja, that is not humanly possible. There are so many great Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Ācāryas since then till now, coming from different maṭhas and mission. We have seen Śrīla Puri Mahārāja, Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja, and other great mahātma's. Still the propagation work of their god-brother superseded anything anyone could imagine. In just a short period of 12 years what was achieved, Śrīdhara Mahārāja said that this was not humanly possible just for a vaiṣṇava. This is only possible if directly Nityānanda Prabhu is engaged there, if His potency is engaged there, only then such a broad and dynamic program can be propagated. Then he said, “My consideration is that Nityānanda Prabhu lived for those twelve years in the body of Svāmī Mahārāja and made him dance.”

So that is a very wonderful thing. Kṛṣṇa Nāma came out, Gaurāṅga Nāma came out almost in every town and village. The god-brothers of our Guru Mahārāja once commented that this verse was sticking in their mind — pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma — "In every town and village, the chanting of My name will be heard.” Sticking in the mind means, how is this going to happen. Bon Mahārāja and Bhakti Sāraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja went to England and came back at first with two members, and one small house was established in London. Still that house is there. For so many years not even London could be taken, then what to speak of every town and village in the world, and big cities like New York, San Francisco, Paris, London, Rome etc. They said, "Only a miracle could make it happen. But because of Svāmī Mahārāja, we have seen how this happened, and how it was going on in every town and village." But that is not ordinarily humanly possible, even for a vaiṣṇava, unless the Supreme Lord himself has given the empowerment. So, by the mercy of Nityānanda Prabhu, the holy name is going all over the world. He is the giver of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and Gaurāṅga by his mercy. Gaura Nityānanda ki Jai!