The Career and Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, part 3

Nimai now set up His own Academy in the Hall (mandap) of the family temple of the goddess Chandi which formed part of the frontal division of the residence of Mukunda-Sanjaya, a person of great good fortune and an opulent citizen of Nabadwip. The whole family of Mukunda-Sanjaya was devoted to the Lord. The spacious Chandi-Mandap accommodated a very large number of students. The Lord organised the body of His students into a school and taught them at this place. Thus was formed the Academy under Sree Gauranga as Professor for the pursuit of learning.

The figure of Sree Gaursundar as professor (adhyapaka) has been described in some detail by Thakur Brindavandas. He was constantly surrounded by a host of admiring pupils. He was extremely proud of His learning and took a particular pleasure in ridiculing and exposing the ignorance of everybody. He cared for nothing except His books. He had an extraordinarily Beautiful Appearance and was in the bloom of His Youth. Grace and Beauty marked His every Limb. His Hands reached down to the Knee. His wide Eyes resembled the petals of the lotus flower. His Lips were always tinged by betel. He wore the most handsome clothing.

From the point that we reached in the previous Chapter begin, with a staggering suddenness, the overwhelming series of direct Manifestations which are also at first necessarily unrecognized. The beginning of this change is thus described by Thakur Sree Brindavandas. On a certain day the Lord under pretense of nervous break-down manifested all the perturbations of loving devotion. All on a sudden he began to utter words that are not of this world, rolled on the ground, laughed and smashed the house. He spoke with a deep, loud voice, girded up His loins and beat all persons whom He chanced to find about Him. His whole Body repeatedly attained the state of suspended animation and these fits of exclusiveness were so peculiar that they filled all beholders with terror. The friends came soon to learn the tidings of His supposed indisposition and turned up in a body. They busied themselves with devising the proper treatment of His mental derangement for so it appeared to them to be. Buddhimanta Khan and Mukunda-Sanjaya came to the House of the Lord with all members of their families. They applied to His Head medicinal oils, technically known as Vishnu and Narayana oils. Everyone offered the kind of help that suggested itself to him. But the Lord does everything by His own uncontrolled Will. How could He be cured by any external aid?

Sree Gaursundar as Professor chose the afternoons for visiting the citizens of Nabadwip in the company of His pupils. He graciously accosted all the people; and everyone entertained feelings of the deepest regard for the Lord. This respectful attitude towards Him, which was universal, was a matter of instinct, as at this period no one was aware of the Divinity of the Lord. The Lord frequented all the streets of the city affording the people an opportunity of beholding Him Who is inaccessible even to the gods.

Professor Nimai used to stroll in the streets of the city in the company of His pupils. Men of the highest rank stepped down from their conveyances to accost Him as they came across Him on His way and made obeisance to His Feet with all humility. All persons felt an instinctive awe on meeting the Lord. There was none in the whole of Nabadwip who did not now unreservedly admit His pre-eminence as a scholar. Whenever a citizen performed any religious function he made it a point, as was the custom of the times, to send offerings of food and clothing to the House of the Lord.

After staying for a while in East Bengal the Lord made up His mind to return Home. On being apprised of the intention of the Lord the people of those parts brought various offerings of all their treasure. The presents included gold, silver, pots for holding water, excellent seats, finely dyed blankets, a great variety of clothing, etc. All persons gladly made an offering of all the best things of their households. Lord Gauranga-Sree Hari was pleased to accept their offerings, bestowing His Merciful Glance on all. Having taken His leave of all persons Lord Sree Gauranga set out for His Own Home, Many students from East Bengal followed the Lord to Nabadwip to study under Him there.

The Lord continued to indulge in the sweet taste of learning and thereby prevented any one from understanding His Real Nature. He bathed early in the morning in the Ganges and, after performing His morning worship, made His way to the house of Mukunda Sanjaya, the father of Purushottamdas.

After the Lord had taken His Seat in the Chandimandap of Mukunda Sanjaya His students would turn up one by one. If any of them by chance appeared without the tilaka mark on his forehead on any day the Lord sent him back home observing 'that the forehead of a Brahmana without the tilaka resembles the charnel ground being proof that he has not performed his worship of that day., Thus the Lord took care that all His students strictly followed the injunctions of the Shastras in all particulars.