The Career and Teachings of the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya

by Sri Narayan Das Bhakti Sadhukar


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.

The making of the tilaka mark on twelve different limbs of the body is prescribed by the Shastras as the indispensable duty of every Brahmana. The tilaka is made with the earth of holy ground sanctified by its association with the Lord or His devotees. It is to be made in the form of a line pointing upwards with all aperture running from the base to the top to represent the Temple of the Lord. The horizontal tilaka which is technically called tripundra, is forbidden to Brahmanas who are candidates for the study of the Veda. The tripundra is deprecated as being the mark of a non-Brahmana. The tripundra is worn by those who claim to be themselves Narayana. The urdhapundra or the upward tilaka is worn by those who regard themselves as the servants of Vishnu. No one who is not a Vaishnava can be a true Brahmana. Access to the Veda is closed to a person who does not recognize the superiority of the servants of Vishnu. The non-Brahmana do not admit the eternal superiority of the spiritual preceptor. They are sudras. They paint on their forehead the tripundra sign symbolizing their identity with Godhead. This is the most deadly of sins and accordingly it is laid down that if one meets by chance a Brahmana ( ?) wearing the tripundra mark, he must forthwith bathe with all his clothes on, in order to be purged of the pollution caused by the unholy sight.

There is really no worship for one who refuses on principle to recognize the eternal superiority of the Lord. Those who do not worship the Lord are sudras. On the other hand it is the bounden duty of every Brahmana, who is a servant of the Lord, to worship Him daily. Unless this is strictly complied with no one must be admitted to the status of a student of the Vedas. Those, who demur to the stringency of such regulations on the pleas of liberalism and toleration, suppose that education freely imparted produce a change of heart even of those who behave improperly through sheer perversity. It is also assumed that secular knowledge, which is capable of being irregularly acquired, is necessarily better than secular ignorance. Nimai Pandit was the Teacher of Vyakarana which forms the primary course of study that has to be gone through by every student of secular learning. Nimai Pandit did not admit into His Grammar-class anyone who had not performed his daily worship of Vishnu and had not painted his forehead with the mark of the upward tilaka.

Should this be regarded as intolerant? It is no doubt a proposal to ban all education not based on the true religion professed by a Brahmana. Nimai Pandit did not say that non-Brahmanas were to be banished or suppressed forcibly. Atheism has always flourished in this world and is the creed more or less of the vast majority, nay strictly speaking, of almost all persons, of this world. It is the paramount duty of every God-fearing man to try his best to help in reducing this appalling volume of atheism. Secular education happens to be such by reason of its total dissociation from religion. It is the outcome of the open atheistic attitude. The pseudo-Vaishnavas are masked atheists and are also advocates and apologists of spurious liberalism, compromise and willing toleration of all forms of unspiritual conduct. The highest devotees are tolerant for a different reason. To the devotee the Truth is the only Object of worship and he does not recognize any value of any method separated from the Object. According to current empiric Ethics the method and the object must be severally moral. In other words the method of the empiric thinker is not identical with the object. Grave harm is apprehended by empiricists if this vital and salutary difference between method and object, insisted upon by empiric morality, is ignored. This is one of the elementary principles of empiric ethics and need not be laboured. This separation between method and object does not exist in spiritual conduct. For example toleration is considered by empiric ethics as a good principle by itself. At any rate they expect that every consideration should be given to it in coming to any decision in regard to really ethical conduct. If it is necessary to be intolerant under any circumstances, and such contingence is by no means impossible nor rare in practice, the necessity itself is regarded by empiric ethics as an evil which is unavoidable in the present imperfect conditions of this world. Empiric morality is thus perpetually reduced to the form of unprincipled compromise between the principles of hypocritical good and necessary evil, which is regarded as undesirable in theory but unavoidable in practice. Nay it even recommends as our duty to adopt any compromise, however objectionable, which may be necessitated by an impartial consideration of the specific circumstances of each case. But as there is no such necessity for compromise on the spiritual plane the difficulty does not exist and the method there is always identical with the object. The apparent intolerance displayed by Sree Gaursundar towards novices on the spiritual path is not a necessary evil, a departure under pressure of circumstances from the standard of the absolute good, but the perfect good itself.

It is necessary to consider this vital point a little more in detail. Why is empiric ethics under the necessity of viewing the method of an activity as separate from its object? Because it is not possible, circumstanced as we are at present, to understand the whole purpose of any person. A practical code of conduct, the formulation of which is the object of empiric ethics, therefore seeks to correct our unavoidably imperfect knowledge of the complete, the whole purpose of another by providing a confessedly imperfect safeguard by attaching a presumptive value to the external features of an act, attempting to join method and object in a separable combination to obtain a rule of conduct which at best possesses only a negative value. In the case of the Absolute Truth the obstructive circumstances are altogether absent. Absolute knowledge is perfect knowledge. Conduct issuing from such knowledge has no separable external features that belong even to the so called ethical conduct of this world. The conduct proceeding from perfect knowledge possesses the perfection of its source. This is not all. This perfection is unattainable on the material plane, whereas it is natural and inevitable on the spiritual plane. On the spiritual plane the object and method of conduct are alike spiritual. The objects, with which we have to deal on the spiritual plane, are themselves spiritual, that is to say, capable of communicating the knowledge of their real nature to us. This establishes that perfect unity between method-and object which is denoted by the term identity, if we want to express it by the nearest material analogy.

It is only if we bear in mind this categorical difference between ethical and spiritual conduct that we would be enabled to avoid the blunder of judging spiritual conduct by the empiric ethical ( ?) standard. And it should also be possible for us to understand the perfect validity of the contention that conduct that is sanctioned by the spiritual test, is the only truly ethical conduct even as regards also its external appearance. In consequence of this rational conviction such pseudo-ethical fetishes as the so-called principles of toleration, chastity, truthfulness, etc., etc., professed to be worshipped by empiric ethics, cease to impress or frighten and can even be discarded without any chance of being overtaken by those dire immoral consequences which they are utterly unable to prevent or modify.

The question of the spiritual value of any external 'symbol' has been confidently decided by empiric thought against the claimant of such value on grounds which that science is equally at a loss to explain. This point has already been treated in another part of the present narrative. It will suffice to say here that the regulation of the connection between the material world and the spiritual, if it is to be at all properly performed, must be placed wholly under the jurisdiction of the latter. That the human body is the temple of the Lord may appear to be no more than a 'symbol' to the empiricist who really understands by 'symbol' as indicating what is not wholly non-existent. But if the empiricist really cares for his own logic he should call the wholly abstract as also the symbol of the non-existent and vice versa. The spiritual is neither concrete nor abstract mundanity. It is quite different from the concrete and abstract of our mental speculation, both of which are perverted deluding reflections of the Substantive Truth. The abstract which the empiricist is pleased to call spiritual for reasons which he cannot explain, is really only the abstract of the relative and is situated at the furthest distance from the Absolute Reality. The spiritual is neither the concrete gross matter nor the abstract speculation about gross matter. This world, although it seems to have an existence of its own, has really no independent substantive existence. The impersonal or abstract worship, which the empiricist is so anxious to provide, is a figment of his perverted imagination and has no substantive existence even at its source. He is himself only a pseudo-symbolist and his condemnation of improper symbolization applies really to himself. It is for the deliverance of such blundering pseudo-symbolists from the clutches of this fatal form of delusion that the process of worship enjoined by the Shastras have been laid down by those who are themselves free from such delusion.

The tilaka mark is no doubt a symbol. But it is a symbol of the Reality to Whom we have no access at present except by means of the real symbol. This symbol is intended, and authorized, to arouse the consciousness of the Reality in those who are at present devoid of the same. Those who oppose the symbol on the ground that it does not correspond, like their own unreal symbols, to the perverted, deluding shadow of the Truth, are only worshippers of the changing symbol of untruth. The pseudo-symbolists have, indeed, no objection to decorate their gross physical bodies with all manner of symbols of this material world, conceived by them as being the only Reality, an assumption which effectively prevents all realization of the very existence of the spiritual symbol.

It is rational to try to demolish this suicidal idolatry by substituting in the place of the worship of the symbols of this world the real symbol of the most fundamental fact of the world of the soul, viz., that Godhead in His True Form does not in-dwell the physical body or the materialized mind, but has His Eternal Abode in the pure consciousness of the immaculate soul who, in his natural position, is free from all connection with matter and who is our only real self.

Forgetfulness of our true self is perpetuated by any arrangement that is based upon confusion of the physical body and the materialized mind with the soul or self proper. The decorations naturally coveted by the physical body at the instance of the renegade mind entangles the soul in the meshes of worldly wants. The only decoration of the Temple of Godhead is Godhead Himself. But neither His Temple nor Godhead Himself,

Who dwells therein, are symbols of shadows as the empiricists want us to believe, but the Reality Himself Who possesses the qualities of self-conscious, personal and eternal existence which is His perfectly consistent logical connotation.

Candidates for the knowledge of the Truth must be required to prove their bona fide before they are admitted into the Academy of the Truth. This is also imitated by the empiricists in admitting students to institutions of empiric knowledge. Secular learning, sedulously divorced from spiritual living, is responsible for all the miseries of this world. He is a bad physician who hopes to cure his patient by allowing the disease to be aggravated by deliberate and persistent mal-treatment. It is the duty of the wise physician to act on the less enterprising maxim that the readiness to prevent is always better than effecting a cure. The uncompromising intolerance of mal-treatment fully represents the principle of toleration by its regard for the Absolute Truth. Real toleration may be defined as extreme partiality for the Truth. Toleration and partiality are equally good when they are exercised on behalf of the Truth and are utterly condemnable and terribly mischievous when they are made to serve untruth.

The Lord evinced a very particular pleasure in tearing to pieces and exposing mercilessly the pedantic defects of everybody

One of His favourite Pastimes consisted in caricaturing the language of the people of Sylhet and East Bengal. The infuriated Sylhetese retorted to the jokes of the Renegade Son of a Sylhetese by emphatically reminding the irascible Tormentor of His Own Lineage, telling Him that He Himself, both His parents, in fact every one of His family, belonged to Sylhet. 'What sense could there be', they demanded with a natural indignation, 'on the part of such a Person to get up a hypocritical condemnation of what also equally concerned Himself'. But the Lord was not to be denied His Pastimes by any manner of argument to the contrary and His jocular propensity only increased by every effort to convince Him of its mischievous and self-condemnatory nature. The Lord, indeed, carried the joke to most unseemly lengths, till at last the angry Sylhetese, losing all patience, grasped at the skirts of the cloth worn by the Lord and dragged Him many a day. to the King's Court to have Him punished by the law. The friends of the Lord could extricate Him from the clutches of the law on such occasions only by the greatest, exertions. The Lord was equally unreasonable towards East Bengal people. He would lie in wait for an opportunity, and take to His Heels after breaking the Bangali's begging bowl of dried gourd.

The Lord, even while He was following the responsible occupation of Teacher, displayed an irrepressible disposition for every kind of prank, with one and only one remarkable exception. He kept strictly aloof from all association with, or talk about, women. The Lord never looked at women, even by a side-glance. 'Whence, says Thakur Brindavandas, all eminent persons avoid praising Lord Gauranga by describing Him as Amorous Lover. Because although every kind of praise is applicable to the Lord yet the wise sing only what is appropriate in regard to the Distinctive Nature of the Subject of their praise.'

Against this clear warning, conveyed by Sree Brindavandas Thakur, who is the only authority universally recognized by the followers of Sree Chaitanya in regard to the Activities of the Lord during the period of His Householder Life, there has nevertheless sprung up a definite school which calls itself the community of the Gaur-Nagaris (i.e., sweet-hearts of Gaur) on the ostensible ground that Gaursundar is identical with Sree Krishna, and, therefore, the inner meaning of His Activities, according to this school, must also be the same as the obvious meaning of the Leela of Sree Krishna. Such a view is opposed to the Facts of the Narrative described in this work, as also to the specific and explicit testimony of Thakur Brindavandas regarding the practice of the most eminent devotees. The doctrine, therefore, seems to be a concoction of the brains of persons who allow their sensuous imaginations to carry them off their legs even in a matter which lies wholly beyond the reach of our material senses. To such temperaments the Activities of Sree Gaursundar, both as Householder and Sannyasin, must ever remain utterly unintelligible. The only course, that is open to them for getting rid of their error, is to practice unconditional submission at the feet of the transcendental seers and to cherish absolute faith in the truth of their words. Our ribald imagination has no place in the Spiritual sphere. The ordinary rules of empiric history strictly subordinate the function of imagination to reasoning based on dependable evidence. In forming the true idea of the Personality of Sree Chaitanya it will serve no useful purpose to ignore alike the method of empiric as well as that of spiritual history. The latter requires the imagination to be subordinated to Scriptural evidence recorded by the Acharyyas. The Gaur-Nagaris are opposed to the Acharyyas. They are also opposed to the ordinary method of empiric history. For these reasons they deserve no hearing either from historians or from those persons who follow the true method laid down in the Shastras. They may be appreciated only by those who want to turn sacred subjects into a means of their own sensuous gratification.

It should be enough to remark in this connection that as a Householder Sree Gaursundar exhibited the Leela of leading the life of the ideal devotee, following the path of spiritual endeavour according to the rules laid down in the Shastras and in accordance of their meaning as expounded by the Acharyyas. In the latter half of His Career the Lord put before us the model of the life led by a devotee who has attained the condition of amorous devotion to the Absolute. In both cases His example makes it necessary for us to give a wide berth to association with females as females in the direct or indirect manner.

If it be asked how one is required to conduct himself towards females the answer that is furnished by the Life of Sree Gaursundar is that carnality in thought and deed is to be wholly avoided. We have already had an occasion to discuss this very point in connection with the marriage of Sree Lakshmi Devi with the Lord and in describing the relationship that existed between Her and Sree Gaursundar after the wedding.

We must guard ourselves against the error of begging the question by assuming as an axiomatic truth the opinion that the race requires to be presented and propagated by cautious and systematic exercise of the sexual power. But this in itself need not be considered as necessary, or even as harmless when it is looked at from the absolute point of view. The race may cease to exist in spite of all our endeavour to preserve it. Where is the guarantee that the human race will endure for ever? If one protests against such discussion on the ground that it is profitless for man, such a person may be asked whether he is sure that he is eternally mortal. In discussing the absolute Truth it is necessary to avoid dogmatism prompted by the conditions under which we happen to live at present. Whenever any limit is set to any discussion by means of empiric dogmatism, it ceases to be applicable to the Absolute. Therefore, it is necessary not to pre-suppose the conclusion in a discussion of the Absolute.

The race may lose the re-productive power or the Earth itself may be destroyed by a cosmic disturbance. The Absolute Truth should stand in all circumstances. Sree Gaursundar shows the method by which the Absolute Truth can be attained. We may attain to Him if we patiently listen to the story of His Life from the lips of those who themselves realize His true meaning, viz., from the Acharyyas. There is no other way. The Gaur Nagaris follow their own unbridled imaginations and pretend to attain to the Absolute Truth by an intensive admiration for the mundane sexual activity and sexual thought. Such practice is wholly condemned by the Acharyyas. The Acharyyas refuse to accept the argument that the preservation of the human race is the object of human life. They are thus in a position to consider the value of perfect abstention from carnality, without prejudice.

Birth, reproduction and death are the natural condition of all living things in this world. All other worldly functions are derivatives from these. The question before us is, whether it is our duty to perform these functions in the way that may appear to us to be most effective. This, as I have already pointed out, is really begging the question. We should rather ask, if we really want a solution of the problem, 'Why are we reduced to the necessity of undergoing birth, life and death at all'? Once this point has been cleared up we should be able to understand what we have to do.

The Shastras say that we are not subject to birth, nor death, but possess eternal life. It is not necessary for us to try to prolong a state of existence which is not our real life. On the contrary our duty is to get rid of ignorance and to attain to our true life which according to the Shastras is perfectly free from all ignorance and unwholesomeness. The eternal life is both real and attainable. It is not a figment of the deluding imagination. We should try to attain this eternal and perfect life by all means. It is also our duty to use our present perishable life for the attainment of the eternal life. The practice of mundane sexual act and sexual thought is the greatest obstacle in the way of our realization of the Absolute Truth. This is the teaching of Sree Chaitanya exemplified by His Own Life. The subject will he positively considered in connection with the nature of spiritual amour in a subsequent chapter of this work.

Sexual act and sexual association in every form are definitely condemned. This fact should not be whittled down by explaining the word 'stri' as meaning all forms of worldly enjoyment or worldliness as a whole. The context does not support this otherwise plausible explanation. Sexuality has been specifically condemned. The question whether perfect freedom from carnality is possible in the married state, is beside the point. The sexual inclination may also be present without actually practicing the physical act. If the inclination itself is merely destroyed, it is tantamount to self-destruction. The real spiritual principle, corresponding to carnality, is not condemned. The present unwholesome perversion of outlook is sought to be remedied. Sex in the worldly sense is not valued, but at the same time the existence of the principle in the spirit is admitted. What is asserted is that there should be no confusion between sex in the material sense and the corresponding spiritual principle. The one stands in the way of the realization of the other. The complete elimination of mundane sexual act and thought is not the cause but the inevitable result of the attainment of the spiritual sex. The two can never co-exist. In the spiritual the whole outlook is radically changed. It is not, therefore, possible to understand the nature of the married state of a Vaishnava without taking into account the whole position. It should be enough for our present purpose to state that the Vaishnava loves his wife or husband not as husband or wife but as the spiritual associate of his soul, which precludes the idea of the mundane sex. It Is not Platonic love, which is a figment of the imagination and has no substantive existence except by reference to mundane sex. The love, that joins together pure jiva souls, is not and cannot be carnality. Spiritual amour, in the case of the highest souls, is capable of being reciprocated only by Krishna Chandra Himself. The love that forms the bond of union between only the highest souls, is of the nature of affection that is experienced towards one another by the friendly confidantes of the Gracious Mistress of the One Amorous Hero. It is the Mistress's delight which is absolutely and naturally preferred to one's own and for the promotion of which one's own spiritual inclination for amorous association with Krishna is wholly discarded not in the spirit of sacrifice but in the spirit of positive and real exercise of the highest natural instinct. All this falls flat on those who retain any trace of the taste for mundane sexuality. The purpose of the institution of marriage is fulfilled by the complete elimination of sexuality following on the associated pursuit of this spiritual end by the married couple. They must have no ideal of carnal connection as husband and wife. When this state has been realized the marriage tie ceases automatically to have any sexual import. The Vaishnava has no husband or wife except Sree Sree Radha.-Krishna. This is the necessary disappearance of the apparent on the appearance of the true self and the complete fulfillment of the spiritual instinct reflected in a perverted form in the principle of sex.

The doubt, regarding the questionable kind of society that will result from the carrying out of the idea, troubles us only so long as we continue to confound the soul with the physical body. The soul is neither born nor does he die. When the soul realizes his own nature, his prospects are at once and radically changed. He begins to function on a different plane. The selfish and unwholesome ambition, that necessitated his incarceration in the house of correction of this world, naturally disappears on the attainment of other and purer ambitions and a larger vision. Those things which appear to be vital in this world, e.g., the preservation of the species by the exertion of the reproductive power, etc., etc., .are rendered unnecessary in the realm of the spirit, which is the real home of the eternal souls that are unborn and imperishable.

The Lord continued to teach His pupils in the Chandi-Mandap of Mukunda Sanjaya. He sat there in the midst of His pupils expounding the Shastras, while medicinal oil, named after Vishnu, was applied to His Head by some favoured person, to afford relief to the nervous malady which it was His Pastime to manifest. He explained the texts in endless ways. The Lord taught His pupils from early morning till mid-day when He repaired to the Ganges to bathe. He was engaged till midnight everyday in teaching and helping His students to prepare their lessons. All those, who studied at the Feet of the Lord, became Pandits in course of the year by attaining the knowledge of the principles of the Shastras. This was the daily Life of Sree Chaitanyadeva as Professor. The Lord relished nothing except the sweet taste of learning.

The view, that Sree Chaitanya was never in a perfectly sound state of mind, has been put forward by a few persons out of sheer malice and ignorance. The motive of such unfortunate people is to find, or even invent, a reason for proving their ignorance. If the brain of an insane Person be capable of supplying the clue to the Knowledge of the Reality to the sane ignorant persons of this world the latter need not neglect to be benefited thereby.

Worldly people are never considered to be out of their proper senses by the Allopaths, Homeopaths, Hakims and Vaidyas of this world, who pride themselves on the infallibility of their power of diagnosing all kinds of mental and physical ailments. But if all worldly people are proved to be irrational and deluded should the Medical Sciences condescend to take serious notice of such aberration? Disease is one of the ordinary devices of the Deluding Power of Sree Chaitanya intended by His Mercy to shake the confidence of worldly people in the certainty and value of the pleasures derivable from the hallucinative workings of the medically sound (?) mind and body. A medically. sound mind in a medically sound body is the summum bonnum of the Medical Sciences. Is it altogether impossible for a sound mind in a sound body, which can pass the medical test, to be really utterly unsound (?) What else can be the cause of the impermanence of this particular form of the summum bonnum in the wise Providence of the All merciful? The Deluding Power tries to cure the spiritual malady of the conditioned souls by the device of the bodily and mental diseases which demonstrate conclusively the worthlessness and trivial nature of the ideal that promises to secure for the possessor of a sound mind in a sound body, an abundance of the so-called sensuous happiness obtainable in this world. But the lesson is lost on pedantic medical men whose horizon is straitly squeezed between the earth and sky of the body and mind utterly engrossed in the reckless pursuit of worldly enjoyment. But disease can for this reason neither terrify nor delude the pure soul of the Vaishnava. The nature of the malady of Sree Chaitanya, if rightly diagnosed on the lines indicated, has also the power of curing both the physicians and their patients of the spiritual disease of organized hypocrisy and self-deception willfully nursed by all worldly people which prevent them from knowing the Truth by subjecting them to the mental delusions of the flesh.

The Lord's Marriage with Sree Vishnupriya Devi took place about this time. A detailed account of the event has been recorded by Thakur Sree Brindavandas. Before we enter upon those details it is necessary to dispose of certain considerations that may naturally arise in our minds in connection with this particular event. The Marriage of the Lord for a second time seems to require an imperative explanation. Strict monogamy on the part of both husband and wife is the highest ideal of marriage, as embodied in the Narrative of Sree Sree Rama Chandra and Seeta Devi. Conjugal love in the worldly sense also seems to be best guaranteed by such ideal which makes it the right-reserved of two particular persons to be the mutual recipients of connubial love. This alone, it is supposed, can make conjugal love both perfect and pure. According to this test Nimai Pandit, if He is to be regarded as an ideal Husband of His First Consort, should have abstained from marrying a second time. He can not be supposed to have been subject in an abnormal degree to this particular frailty of the flesh and should have been able to remain constant to His First Married 'Love' even after Her Departure from this world.

But the nature as well as the object of the Lord's Marriage are altogether different from those made on this Earth. The Lord's Marriage is the only real marriage. The marriages that take place among the people of this world is an unwholesome caricature of the Reality. The proper way of putting the question mooted above would, therefore, be not that the Marriage of the Lord should conform to the human ideal, but that the human ideal itself may be lived down by the realization of the substantive Truth, viz., the Marriage of the Lord, of which it happens to be the distorted, unwholesome reflection. With the attainment of the Substantive Truth the automatic subsidence of the malady of the sensual appetite, the basis of the human institution of marriage, needs must be inevitable.

The Lord's marriage, which is eternally enacted on the spiritual plane, made its appearance apparently under the conditions of limited time and space in order to effect the cure of the disease of sexuality to which the perverse soul is found to be addicted. Amorous love between male and female, which is cherished as one of the rarest privileges of man and as the source of his highest, purest and most exquisite happiness available on this Earth, is not really a blessing at all but on the contrary may become by its abuse the greatest of all the curses that afflict those who choose to be the temporary denizens of this world. But it is by no means possible to get rid of the distemper even if we could be convinced that it is such a possible evil. The Shastras have recommended marriage in place of promiscuous and unrestrained sexual relationship in order to provide a salutary check on sexual indulgence in the only practicable form. This is intelligible. But it is not perfectly clear while they also direct that the sexual act, which must be practiced with restraint, should also be performed for pleasing Vishnu, and not for the gratification of the sensuous appetite itself. The Shastras declare that by pleasing Vishnu parents as well as their issue will be really benefited by obtaining lasting immunity from the clutches of mundane lust.

But it is very difficult to understand what the Shastras really mean when they enjoin the performance of the sexual act of generation to please Vishnu. Are we to suppose that the sexual act is pure in itself and as such is a fit offering for the Lord? That it is, therefore, our duty to indulge in sexual activity desired by God Himself. This does not however, appear to be the proper meaning of the Shastric injunctions regarding 'satvika marriage.' The object of the Shastras is to discourage sensuality in any form. The sexual act minus sensuality is a contradiction in terms. The Shastras do not plainly tell us so, but they nevertheless clearly leave it to be inferred that the institution of marriage is for the purpose of getting rid of sensuality.

Why is Vishnu dragged into this sensuous affair at all? But how else also is sensuousness to be overcome, if it is desirable to get rid of it? By the Touch of the Lord alone the hold of the flesh on our souls slackens automatically. If one marries really for pleasing Vishnu, the Lord accepts the offering that is sincerely made. The acceptance of the Lord helps the realization of the object of the offering. But when such an offering is made, the person making it should do so in the right spirit. He is instructed as to the right spirit by the Shastras. If his prayer is offered really to please the Lord, or, in other words, for the purpose enjoined by the Shastras which tell us how the Lord is pleased, the Lord fulfills such prayer by granting its object. The devotee experiences the effect of his conduct in the simultaneous increase of his peace of conscience, the increasing realization of the spiritual existence centered in the Lotus Feet of Vishnu and subsidence of sensuous hankering for the things of this world. It is as if fire had burnt up all impurities by its introduction into the scavenger's heap.

Strength and health of body are coveted, among other things for the purpose that they are necessary for the procreation of strong and healthy children. But is not this a begging of the question to be proved? If I have myself no use for strength of body and mind except its blind, mechanical exercise my condition will be altogether chaotic. Order, specially moral order, is impossible without conscious subordination to one supreme purpose. There must be some intelligible object to which all our faculties may be unhesitatingly directed. That object is the attainment of the Lotus Feet of Vishnu where dwells eternally all highest activity, knowledge and bliss. Strength and health of body are by their nature perishable. We do not really know why they come to us and why they leave us. So we should not be unduly attached to them for their sake. If God permits us to possess them for a time we should use them solely for attaining the abiding shelter of the Holy Feet of the Lord.

There is, no doubt, marriage in the Realm of the Absolute. That is the True Marriage. That Marriage is eternal. There the Lord is the only Lover and Husband and all souls are the recipients of His Perfect Love. This is possible only in the Lord and in the spiritual world. If any mortal attempts to have many wives or mistresses in this world he is warned by the Shastras against the utter folly and wickedness of such conduct. The self-same Shastras declare that the Lord is the only Enjoyer of every creature and that Marriage with the Lord is the summum bonum of the spiritual condition. There is, of course, no room for any mental or physical activity in such relationship. It is the exercise of the eternal relationship of the pure souls, in their spiritual non-material state, with the All-soul.

Conditioned souls, who happen to be under the lure of the flesh, cannot think of marriage except by reference to mundane sex. But the Shastras enjoin marriage as a help in realizing the life eternal by spiritual co-operation between husband and wife, for living down the mundane sensual instinct. They instruct us to succeed in this by cultivating the effective spiritual desire of pleasing the Lord by our every act. As the Lord can be served under all circumstances and in every externally mundane act, why should the sexual act be an exception to the rule? It should be possible to serve the Lord by the sexual act as by any other form of apparent worldly activity. But the sexual act that is performed as service of the Lord cannot, for that very reason, belong to this mundane plane. It becomes spiritual activity which is absolutely free from all sensuous unwholesomeness. It is better than any negative process.

Sree Chaitanya enacted the Leela of abstaining from all ordained sexual activity during the period of His Married Life. On this point Sree Chaitanya differs wholly from Sree Krishna who apparently begot numberless children and also cultivated unconventional amorous relationships with the milk-maids who were not His wedded wives. In Essence, there is of course no difference between the Two. On the spiritual plane abstinence and enjoyment are alike wholesome and are really un-opposed to one another. The Conduct of Sree Chaitanya need not, therefore be regarded as moral or wholesome in the worldly sense, or as either more or less pure than That of Sree Krishna or than that of His own married followers. On the spiritual plane there is no unwholesomeness or objectionable factor. There is only an infinite range of the most varied excellences and exquisiteness. The Conduct of Sree Chaitanya as Married House-holder is far above the level of that of every other house-holder as setting, in a way that is capable of being grasped by the conditioned soul, the spiritual ideal for his special benefit and safe-guard him from radical misconceptions regarding the Nature of the Union of Sree Radhika with Sree Krishna, the Only. Perfect and Substantive Marriage.

Sree Krishna has really only One sweet-heart, viz., Sree Radhika as Sree Radhika Herself has no other tie except Her Love for Krishna. The realization of Sree Krishna by Sree Radhika is the only Absolute Realization of the Absolute. All other realizations are secondary and derivative but true, and are attainable only by the Grace of Sree Radhika. The secondary realizations are, however, both possible and perfect so long as they happen to subserve the Supreme Purpose of Sree Radhika. The devotees of Sree Chaitanya attain this dependent perfection of service by following loyally His Teaching as well as Example. Dissociated from either, all souls descend automatically into the sphere of sensuous imperfection.

But the Source of all perfect service is Sree Radhika Who is the Counter-whole of Sree Krishna. Sree Chaitanya personates the Function of Sree Radhika towards Her Eternal Consort, in order to bestow the Loving service of Sree Radhika to conditioned souls who have no taste at all for the spiritual service of the Lord. He is the Ideal Devotee, devoted to His Lord. Such Devotee admits no relationship with anything except the Lord. So long as Sree Chaitanya continued to exhibit the Leela of leading the life of a married house-holder He showed clearly that it is possible to marry in order to serve the Lord which is incompatible with the least attachment or love for anybody ,else except Godhead. He was a dutiful Son, Brother, Husband, Friend, without being attached in the least to Brother, Husband, Friend or Father in the worldly sense. Krishna was all along His sole Father, Mother, Brother, wife, Friend. The devotees were no doubt loved by Sree Chaitanya; as they served Krishna in the same way that He Himself did. He refused to be led by any of His devotees and compelled all who desired His Favour to serve only Krishna. This Quality of Absolute Independence and Aggressive Superiority of His Service of Krishna raises Him above all His associates and followers. But this Superiority must not be imitated by any other person. All other persons should serve Sree Krishna in obedience to Sree Chaitanya; that is to say by submission to Sree Radhika Who is Krishna Himself and Who cannot be disobeyed by His devotees. This premier position of Sree Radhika and its rationale has been made intelligible to souls under the thralldom of Maya by the Career of Sree Chaitanya. The jiva souls should stand to Sree Radhika in the same relation as His followers stand to Sree Chaitanya Himself. Sree Krishna is served independently by Sree Radhika alone, Who employs an infinite army of Her own servants, i.e., either inseparable or separable portions of Her essence in Her Service of Krishna.

Before beginning his account of the Marriage of Sree Gaursundar and Vishnupriya Devi Thakur Brindavandas takes particular care to mention that the Supreme Lord, Sree Chaitanya never even listened to the name of a female. This precautionary remark is followed up by the observation that Sree Gauranga must on no account be prayed to as the Amorous Lover notwithstanding His identity with Sree Krishna. This salutary and most important and explicit prohibition has been too often deliberately ignored by the Gaur Nagaris by deviating deliberately or through ignorance from the path enjoined by Sree Chaitanya Himself and His most authentic biographer and associates. This Sect, arguing from the fact of identity between Sree Chaitanya and Sree Krishna, persists in regarding Sree Chaitanya as taking delight in amorous dalliances with His Consorts and Sweethearts at Nabadwip. Under the lead of a corrupt duty these misguided people have not even scrupled to invent imaginary stories of Sree Chaitanya's amorous escapades in order to bring His Activities into line with Those of Sree Krishna. This is an unpardonable and immoral travesty of authentic history and an offense at the Holy Feet of Sree Chaitanya and His associates. In fact there cannot be a greater blunder, nor one that is more disastrous in its spiritual and moral consequences, than this open attempt to ignore that very feature of the Career of Sree Chaitanya which constitutes the most characteristic distinction between His Leela and That of Sree Krishna. The Activities of Sree Chaitanya are absolutely free from even the appearance of mundane sexuality.

Let us follow in the footsteps of Thakur Brindavandas in describing the Marriage of the Lord for a second time, and being armed with this basic principle of His Career, try to understand a little more definitely the real significance of the Marriage of Sree Gauranga with Sree Vishnupriya Devi as we proceed with the narrative itself.

The Narrative is presented by Thakur Brindavandas in the following manner. The Supreme Lord was wholly absorbed with tasting the sweets of learning and teaching His students after the Departure of Sree Lakshmi Devi from this world. But Sachi Devi had no other thought than that of finding a suitable maiden to marry her Son a second time. She at last arrived at a satisfactory decision. She had noticed with approbation the conduct of a Young Maiden, Vishnupriya, the Daughter of a well-known father, Rajpandit Sanatan Misra. Sachi Devi had frequently met this Girl at the bathing ghat of the Ganges. Sanatan Misra was a native of Nabadwip. He was of a most merciful disposition. He was possessed of a frank and generous nature and the. highest faith in Vishnu. His occupation consisted in doing good to others and showing hospitality to all chance-guests. He was truthful, self-controlled, born of a high family. He was well to do and had a large number of dependents.

Sree Vishnupriya Devi, Mother of the world, was the Very Self of Lakshmi Devi, the Eternal Consort of Sree Narayana. Sachi Devi had conceived a great affection for the Maiden at the very first sight and regarded Her as worthy of being the Consort of her Son. Vishnupriya was accustomed from infancy to bathe in the Ganges twice and even thrice every day and had no other interest in Her life save devotion to Her father, mother and Vishnu. She daily met Sachi Devi at the bathing ghat of the Ganges and greeted her feet with great humility. The mother also blessed Her with the greatest affection, 'May Krishna bestow on You the Favour of a Worthy Husband., During her baths in the Ganges Sree Sachi Devi conceived the desire of joining the Girl to her Son in the bond of nuptial union. As a matter of fact the very idea had also already occurred to the Rajpandit and his family, and Sanatan Misra was no less anxious to bestow his Daughter or Sree Gaursundar.

It so chanced that one day Sachi Devi, having sent for Kasinath Pandit, requested him to make the formal proposal of the Marriage of his Daughter with her Son to the Rajpandit and also to arrange the same in a definite manner if he was agreeable. Kasinath Pandit immediately made his way to the Rajpandit and after being received with great respect, submitted his proposal. It was to this effect, 'I have a proposal to make to you. I would ask you by all means to do what I am going to propose if you consider it desirable. Give your Daughter to Viswambhar Pandit. I consider the connection altogether suitable. He is the proper Husband for your Daughter as this Best of maidens is also in every way Fit Bride for Him. They suit One Another exactly as Krishna and Rukmini.'

On this the Rajpandit held a hurried consultation with the members of his family who also pressed upon him the desirability of unhesitating and immediate acceptance of the proposal. Thereupon the Rajpandit informed Kasinath Pandit that he had no objection to bestow his Daughter on Viswambhar Pandit. If such a connection could be settled for his Daughter he would regard it as nothing less than the reward of the previous good deeds of himself and his whole family.' He informed Kasinath Pandit to return to Sachi Devi and inform her of his decision. He repeated his assurance that he was prepared to carry out his word by all means. On hearing this Kasinath Pandit with great satisfaction took his leave and laid his information of what had happened before Sachi Devi. The mother was delighted on hearing the success of her endeavour and busily set about making the necessary preparations for the Marriage of her Son.

On learning of the approaching Nuptials of the Lord all His disciples felt the utmost gladness in their hearts. The great Buddhimanta was the first to offer his services in this connection. He said that he would bear all the expenses of the Marriage. Mukunda Sanjaya protested as it would completely shut himself out. Buddhimanta Khan replied that the Marriage would not be celebrated on the paltry scale of the wedding of a Brahmana, but on that of a Prince.

The adhibas ceremony (preliminary to Wedding) was celebrated with great éclat by all friends and followers at the auspicious Moment on the auspicious Day. Huge canopies were hung up and the grounds were enclosed by rows of plantain trees on all sides. Pitchers filled with water, lighted lamps, paddy-grain, milk-curd, twigs of the mango and every other kind of auspicatory articles were collected on the spot in huge quantities and the whole ground was beautifully painted with the solution of powdered rice (Ålipana). All Vaishnavas, Brahmanas and other worthy persons of Nabadwip were invited to partake, in the afternoon, the betel-nut of the adhibas ceremony ? Musicians duly turned up as soon as it was afternoon and struck up a delightful concert; The music was swelled by the sounds of mridanga, sanai, jai-dhak kartal and other instruments. The 'bards' began to recite the praises of the family and loyal matrons uttered glorificatory ejaculations. The Brahmanas raised the Vedic chant as the Jewel of the best community of the twice-born made His Appearance and assumed His Seat in the center of the assembled people. The Brahmanas, who had congregated, thereupon experienced a great joy in their minds as they sat in a circle round Sree Gaursundar.

Then they brought out the perfumes, sandal paste, betel, excellent garlands and distributed among the Brahmanas. They ,placed the garland round the head, smeared all parts of the body with the sandal-paste and offered a pot-full of betels, to every single guest. Nadia was but the community of the Brahmanas. There was no end of Brahmanas at Nadia. It was not possible to ascertain the number of the Brahmanas as they continued to arrive and depart. Among them there were also not a few who were extremely greedy and who, after receiving their presents once, returned in a different dress. Presenting themselves in the thick of the crowd these greedy Brahmanas carried away repeatedly sandal, betel-nut and garlands. All were mad with joy. Who could recognize anybody ? The Lord laughingly gave the command to give away sandal and garlands three times to every one. By this Command the Lord condoned the offense of those who, having taken once, persisted to take the articles over and over again. The Lord loves the Brahmanas. He thought in His Mind that if a Brahmana was caught in the act of taking more than once he ran the risk of being chide by some careless ,person. It is however, an offense to take anything by cunning in matters spiritual. The Lord, therefore, provided against all these contingencies by ordering all the articles to be given away three times to every one. All Persons were highly delighted by obtaining them in a triple measure and no one again took anything by cunning. Garlands, sandal, betel-nut and betel that were given away in this manner exceeded all limits. The secret how this was possible no one knew. Let alone what men actually received, that portion of it, which was dropped on the ground in the act of giving away, would have sufficed for five ordinary marriages, if the quantity could be available in the house-hold of any other person. All persons were exceedingly gladdened in their hearts. All said, All praise to this adhibas ! We have seen millionaires in this Nabadwip. No one's ancestor ever performed such a grand adhibas ceremony. No one gave away so ungrudgingly such excellent sandal, garlands, betel-nut and betel.

Presently the Rajpandit arrived with a glad heart and with all the requisites for the adhibas ceremony. He was accompanied by Brahmanas, relations and a great company of merry musicians, singers and dancers. The Rajpandit joyfully put the tilaka mark on the Forehead of the Lord in accordance with the method enjoined by the Vedas. This joyful Event was acclaimed by a great chorus of the chant of Hari and the singing of hymns of praise. All loyal matrons also acclaimed the Glorious Event. The greatest rejoicings manifested themselves in the form of music and song. Having in this manner performed the adhibas ceremony the prince of Brahmanas, Sanatan, returned home. The kinsfolk of the Lord also went forth and performed the adhibas ceremony of Lakshmi at the Latter's Home in the same way. Both sides also performed with the greatest zeal every other customary rite.



On the auspicious Morn following the adhibas ceremony the Lord bathed in the Ganges and performed the worship of Vishnu. Thereafter in the company of all relations and friends He applied Himself to the due performance of nandimukh and other rites.

There was a great uproar of music, dance and song. Auspicatory shouts of praise were raised on all sides. Innumerable pots filled with water, paddy-grain, milk-curd, lighted lamps, twigs of the mango, were placed at the doorways, inside the rooms and all about the yard. On all sides flags of diverse colours gaily waved in the breeze. Plantain-trees, to which branches of the mango were tied, were planted in every direction.

Then the mother was busily occupied in the company of all the matrons with the due performance of all customary rites. Having first of all worshipped the Ganges the joyful party proceeded to the site of the goddess Shasthi to the sound of music. Having worshipped Shasthi the mother and her entourage visited the homes of all friends and went through the customary performance at each household. The party returned home after having accomplished these protracted functions. Sachi Devi made all the ladies heavy presents of fried rice, plantain, oil, betel and vermilion. By the Will of the Lord the articles exceeded all measure and Sachi Devi gave away to every one in five and sevenfold measure. All the ladies literally swam in oil. There was none whose heart's desire was not completely fulfilled. There were similar high rejoicings in Lakshmi's home under the conduct of Lakshmi's mother. In a fit of ecstatic delight the Rajpandit flung away all his resources in these festivities.

After the due performance of all these ceremonies Sree Gaursundar had a respite which He utilized in making presents of eatables and clothing to all the Brahmanas, evincing, in the method, the greatest humility. He accorded the fullest respect to all of them in due proportion of the worth of each. The Brahmanas then returned to their homes for their meals after blessing the Lord with the greatest affection.

As the day wore into afternoon all the people applied themselves to the pleasant function of robing the Lord. This was an elaborate process. The Whole Body of the Lord was anointed with sandal-paste and other perfumes with well-designed interspaces. On the Forehead of the Lord a crescent was painted with sandal inside which was put the charming tilaka mark made of perfume. A wonderful Crown adorned His Beautiful Head. His Whole Frame was covered with garlands. Excellent cloth of the finest grain was worn in the triple girdled style (trikachha). His Beautiful Eyes were painted with collyrium. Paddy-grain, durba grass and cotton thread were tied to His Wrist. Tender shoots of the plantain with the mirror were placed in His Hand. A pair of golden pendants hung down from His Ears. The upper parts of His Arms were bound with dazzling chains of various precious jewels. Whatever decoration was likely to set forth the Beauty of each Limb was put in the ,proper part by all the people with the greatest delight. All persons of both sexes were fascinated by the Sight of the Appearance of the Lord attired as Bridegroom and in their joy had no thoughts on their own account.

When the last quarter of the day still lingered all people gave their opinion that it was time to make the auspicious start so that the Lord might arrive at the house of the Bride in the hour of twilight, after perambulating the whole of Nabadwip for the space of one full prahara.

And now Buddhimanta Khan joyfully brought up an excellent litter (dola) which he had specially made for the occasion. There arose a great tumult of song and music. The Brahmanas recited the auspicatory texts of the Veda. The bards began to recite eulogies. Joy assumed a visible form on all sides.

Then, after passing His mother on the right and having bowed with great respect to the Brahmanas, as Sree Gauranga seated Himself on the dola, there arose all around Him the triumphal shouts of benedictions. The ladies uttered jais. There could be heard nothing but auspicious sounds in every direction.

The Lord first of all proceeded to the side of the Ganges. There He saw the half-moon just overhead. Thousands of lights now began to burn. There was a great variety of fire-works. The soldiers of Buddhimanta Khan marched in front and were followed by his other employees in double file. Behind them marched the bearers of flags of different colours. Pantomimes and clowns in various guises followed. Dancers in innumerable groups danced along with the utmost gaiety. Jai-dhak, beer-dak, mridanga, kahal, pataha, dagarh, conch, flute of reed, karatal, baranga, horn, instruments with five different melodies, in countless number, made up the vast concert. The Lord laughed as He noted with pleasure millions of children dancing along with great merriment in the midst of the musicians. On beholding that great rejoicing not children only but all the wise men joined the procession dancing by discarding all shame.

Having arrived on the bank of the Ganges the party of the Bridegroom halted and performed, for a short while, dance, song and hilarious music. This was succeeded by incessant raining of flowers. After making obeisance to the Ganges the party traversed merrily the whole of Nabadwip. On beholding the equipages of the Marriage that are far above anything mortal, all people experienced a great ecstasy in their minds. The people said, 'We have seen many big marriages. Never did we see such grandeur'. Men and women of fortunate Nadia in this manner floated on the tide of happiness on beholding the Lord.

All were happy save only those Brahmanas who had beautiful unmarried daughters in their homes. Those Brahmanas gave vent to their sorrows. 'I could not bestow my daughter on such a Groom ! I have no luck; whence could it be otherwise?' Thakur Brindavandas describing the Marriage Festivities of the Lord, in the words quoted above, makes his obeisance to the feet of the residents of Nabadwip who possess the power of beholding beatific Sights like these.

Thus did the Lord merrily journey from one quarter of the town to another of the whole of Nabadwip. He then came to the residence of Rajpandit just in the hour of twilight and was received by multitudinous acclamations which mingled with the tumult raised by the musicians of the parties of Bride and Bridegroom vying with each another. Rajpandit, advancing with great respect, took the Lord in his arms from the dola and conveyed Him to His Seat. The Pandit scattered flowers with his own hands, being perfectly oblivious of his own body by joy on beholding his Son-in-law.

Then having brought out all the requisites of the ceremonial election of Bridegroom the Brahmana seated himself to accept the Lord formally as his Son-in-law. He duly performed this ceremony of election by the offering of water for washing the Feet, the requisites of worship, water to rinse the Mouth, clothing and ornaments. Then his spouse appeared with the other ladies and! began to perform the auspicatory rites according to the approved form. The ladies placed grains of paddy and blades of the durba grass on the Beautiful Head of the Lord and waved a lighted lamp, of seven wicks fed by clarified butter, in front of the Lord. They continued to ejaculate the glorificatory note as they cast at Him fried rice and shell. Thus did they perform the customary rites.

And now, having decked Her in all Her ornaments, they brought out Sree Lakshmi Devi, conveying Her on a seat. On this the friends of the Lord merrily lifted Him up by His seat. Then, according to the custom, having put up an inner screen round the Lord, the Bride was made to perambulate the Lord seven times by keeping Him on Her right. After perambulating the Lord seven times Lakshmi Devi placed Herself in front of Him in the attitude of obeisance.

Then there was a great throwing of flowers; and the instruments of both parties put up a great music. On all sides male and female continued to employ their voices in acclamation. Joy's own self came down from on high in his visible form.

Sree Lakshmi Devi, Mother of the world, made the surrender of Herself by placing the garland of flowers at the Feet of the Lord. Gaursundar, with a slight Smile, took up the garland and placed it round the Neck of Lakshmi. Then Lakshmi and Narayana began to throw flowers at Each Other with great alacrity. Brahma and other gods, remaining invisible, merrily sent showers of flowers. The partisans of Lakshmi and the Lord now got up a violent quarrel, on behalf of the Bride and Groom, with minds delirious with joy. The followers of Lakshmi and those of the Lord seemed to prevail alternately as the people continued with peals of laughter to inform the Lord. A slight Smile played on the Beautiful Face of the Lord. On beholding this all people swam in the current of transcendental bliss.

Thousands of great torches burnt brightly. Nothing could be heard on account of the tumultuous music. The music and acclamations of the charming rite of ' Catching the First Glimpse of Each Other's Moon-like Faces' pervaded all worlds, so great was that mighty uproar. Having thus gaily performed the ceremony of Srimukchandrika Sree Gaursundar took His Seat in the company of Sree Lakshmi.

Thereafter Rajpandit also assumed a seat, with his mind overflowing with delight, for the purpose of making the offering of his Daughter. Having duly offered water for washing the Feet, the requisites for worship, water for cleansing the Mouth he uttered the formula of his decision to offer his Daughter. The pious father of Sree Lakshmi Devi, desiring only the Pleasure of Vishnu, made over his Daughter into the Hands of the Lord. He then gave expression to his pent-up joy by giving away as dowry goodly cows, land, beds, male and female slaves, in great abundance. He then caused Sree Lakshmi Devi to be seated on the Left Side of the Lord and began to perform the ceremony of offering libation to fire. After performing all the Scriptural and customary rites he conducted the Bridegroom and Bride to the inner apartments. Vaikuntha manifested itself in the house of Rajpandit. At last the Couple sat down to meal. Lakshmi and Krishna remained joyously together during that night unto supreme benediction.

Who can express in words the joy that possessed Sanatan Pandit and his whole family? Sanatan and his family now realized the same high fortune as fell of yore to the lot of Nagnajit, Janaka, Vishmaka, Jambubanta, as the fulfillment of his previous devoted service of Vishnu.

At break of day, the Essence of all the worlds performed the remaining social rites. In the afternoon, as the hour of returning home drew near, there began a great display of music, song and dance. Loud acclamations rent every direction. The ladies shouted jais. The Brahmanas recited blessings and read slokas from the Veda in keeping with the occasion of starting. Dhak, pataha, sanai, baranga, karata1, played vociferously, vying with one another.

The Lord, having bowed to the superiors, ascended the dola in the company of Lakshmi. All the people raised the triumphant shout of the Name of Hari as they formed in procession and led away the Jewel of the race of the twice-born.

All those persons, who beheld Them as They proceeded on Their way, praised Them most admiringly and in many diverse ways. The ladies obtaining a Sight of the Pair said, 'This Girl is most fortunate. She must have served Kamala and Parbati during Her many lives.' Some of them said, 'They seem to be Hara and Gauri themselves.' Another lady declared, 'Methinks they are Kamala and Sree Hari.' There were those who expressed the view that the Couple were certainly Rati and Kamadeva. To the minds of others They seemed like Indra and Sachi. Some held that They most resembled Ramachandra and Seeta. Thus said all those ladies of excellent deeds. Thakur Brindavandas expressed once more his appreciation of the high fortune of the male and female inhabitants of Nabadwip who had power to witness these glories of the Lord. All people over the whole of Nadia overflowed with happiness by the Auspicious Glance of Lakshmi and Narayana.

The Marriage Procession moved along with the greatest merriment, with dance, song and music, amid a continuous shower of flowers. Then in an Auspicious Moment ushered by every blessing Lakshmi and Narayana merrily arrived at Their Home. The mother attended by the loyal matrons most gladly welcomed the Daughter-in-law into the House. As Lakshmi and Narayana entered Their Apartments and assumed Their Seats a mighty acclamation of Praise filled the whole universe.

Thakur Brindavandas, with due sense of the nature of the occasion, writes that the joy that manifested itself is beyond all expression and that no one can describe that Glory. If the eye but once beholds the Glow of the Person of the Lord that fortunate person is cleansed of all his sins and repairs to the Realm of Vaikuntha. All those people had a direct vision of the Marriage of the Lord. The Lord rightly bears the Appellations of 'Merciful' and 'Lord of the humble.'

Then the Lord satisfied all the dancers, bards and beggars, by the gift of clothing, money and kind words. The Lord with His Own Hands merrily gave away clothing to all the Brahmanas, relatives, friends and to everyone severally. The Lord bestowed His Embrace on Buddhimanta Khan whose joy no words can describe. These Leelas have never any interval. The Veda says of Their Appearance and Disappearance. Who can even in a hundred years describe all the Leelas that took place within the space of a single danda? 'Accepting on my head,' says Thakur Brindavandas, 'the Command of Nityananda Swarup, I write the mere summary in pursuance of His mercy.' He concludes the account of the Divine Marriage with the remark that whoever reads or listens to these Leelas of the supreme Lord, verily enjoys communion with Gauranga Himself.

We have attempted to give above the account of the Marriage of Sree Gaursundar and Sree Vishnupriya Devi in the words of Thakur Brindavandas himself in order that the reader may have, as far as possible, the actual words of the highest authority, the Vyasa, of the Leela of Sree Chaitanya. It will be our subordinate duty to try to understand this severely compressed account in the light of the commentators. An attempt on this line has already been made in a previous chapter in discussing the Marriage of the Lord with Sree Lakshmi Devi. We shall confine ourselves here to the task of adding a few remarks to what have already been presented to the reader on the same subject at that place.

The Lord makes His Appearance in this world with His Paraphernalia. When the Lord chooses to manifest the Leela of the Devotee He is attended by all His Consorts Each in Her corresponding appropriate role. Sree Chaitanya has Two Consorts, appearing successively One at a time. Sree Lakshmi Devi is that Aspect of the Divine Power Who is termed 'Sree' or 'Beauty' by the Scriptures. She represents Spiritual Law, Who is eternally in attendance on Her Lord. Even when the Lord chooses to appear in this world He is served by the Higher Law of the Spiritual Realm. This does not require to be masked as it is not liable to be misunderstood even by bound souls. But as the Divine Manifestation grows towards maturity the Regulated Service recedes to the background making way for Spontaneous Devotion. This also has to make room for the Highest Form, viz., Service in apparent separation.

It is not the purpose at this stage to enter fully into the subject of the Nature of the Divine Power, and Her various Faces. In Krishna Leela there is no use of any restraint by the Divinity in His Pastimes. The Realm and Consorts of Godhead appear in that Leela as They are in Chaitanya Leela They appear in Their mellower form of Relationship of love for the bound soul. The bound soul is not banished from the Pastimes of Krishna because Krishna makes no difference between one soul and another and is always prepared to deal with a person in accordance with the latter's disposition and according as service is rendered or refused. Sree Chaitanya Leela exhibits the indiscriminate Mercy of the Lord to bound souls. This means that Krishna Leela in the Positive Aspect is not altogether closed to the bound soul. The latter may even serve Krishna by His Grace even in this world by the process of service of the highest order.

The point that is to be specially noticed in this connection is the fact that the bound soul may serve the Lord in exactly the same way as the soul in the state of Grace. The Lord with a11 His Consorts, Associates, Realm and Paraphernalia is always at the door of the bound soul and ever Willing to offer Him His very Highest Service that is rendered to the Lord in the Divine Realm proper.

The very statement of the above proposition suggests a number of most reasonable objections. If the Lord is with the bound soul as much as He is with His eternal devotees why cannot the former always have the sight of Him and His? The reply is that this is so in order to add a special charm to his service and one that is coveted by even the purest souls but which is not available to all of them although it is unsolicitously open to every bound soul. The very condition, viz., the bound state, helps the most charming realization of the eternal function. The bound soul cannot see Krishna and His eternal devotees as They really are. But the bound soul is privileged to realize that Krishna and His eternal devotees are identical with Sree Chaitanya and His associates whom he can see and serve with his available faculties if he is only willing to do so.

But the bound soul can also see Lakshmi Devi and Vishnupriya Devi, Mother Sachi and Sree Jaggannath Misra, in Their real eternal Forms. This is so because unless they see at least the pure soul as he really is, they cannot understand the relationship of separation from the Lord to which they are doomed by the bound state. This vision is dependent on the fulfillment of the condition of willing acceptance of its real import. But this inclination is rarely, coveted for the very reason that the wish is realized without any difficulty. This is so unbelievable !

If one reads this account without complete acceptance of and faith in its conclusions he will necessarily fail to realize its truth. Hypothetical or tentative acquiescence in certain assumptions, for the purpose of enjoying the charms of an artistic conception based on those assumptions, is not sufficient for a reader of the Chaitanya Bhagavat if one is really anxious to follow the method of self-discipline laid down in the work as the indispensable condition for the proper realization of the substantive Truth. This faith in the only cognisable Forms of the Reality is not natural to the bound state and is apparently opposed to the same. At this point the help and guidance of sadhus or self-realized souls become an absolute necessity.

The bound soul is ever tending to fly away after the illusive appearances of the Deluding Energy. He is convinced that he will find in such pursuit, in the long run, what his perverted nature most ardently desires, viz., boundless sensuous enjoyment for himself. It is, therefore, almost impossible to expect him to destroy these seemingly sole objects of his heart's desire by his own hands. This is the task that the sadhu has got to perform for him for the benefit of the bound soul. The sadhu is seconded in his efforts by the spiritual Scriptures but is opposed by everything else in this world. This is not inexplicable. The erring soul has to choose between the persuasions of the spiritual Scriptures supporting the sadhu and the dissuasions of the whole phenomenal world, on the very threshold of the spiritual life.

The decisive part is, therefore, played by one's own judgment. It is necessary to exercise one's judgment with a due sense of the far-reaching consequences to oneself that are involved. The Scriptures as well as the sadhus can only persuade but can never compel the bound soul to accept the course of self-discipline that is absolutely necessary for self-realization.

Sree Lakshmi Devi and Sree Vishnupriya Devi are the Eternal Consorts of the Supreme Lord and possess the special capacity of appearing with the Lord for the purpose of being visible in There actual Forms to the bound souls, in order to effect their deliverance. When it is further explained that Sree Lakshmi Devi is described in the Scriptures as the Power Who is identical with 'Beauty' or 'Law' the reader, who is not sufficiently mindful of the conditions to be fulfilled for the purpose of realizing the proper nature of the Consorts of Godhead, may be disposed to suspect that the Truth is being attempted to be figuratively set forth by a number of cleverly devised allegorical forms and that it should be sufficient to bear in mind in the abstract the principles involved without taking the concrete side into serious consideration. The less skeptical may fall into the opposite inconsistency of attempting to take everything in its literal worldly sense. Both may unconsciously ignore the function of the sadhus being absolutely necessary for obtaining access to the Reality.

There are, of course, those who may maintain that if the Reality cannot be realized without submitting to a sadhu as the condition of enlightenment how can one be sure that the sadhu and his Scriptures may not also mislead? They may also quote actual instances of persons who have gone astray, by admission of the sadhus .themselves, after a course of training with them. The validity of the objection consists in the fact that the initiative in the form of choice of course ever lies, and must ever lie, with the individual soul. The sadhu, if he is not properly served, will remain absolutely unknown to the disciple after the longest period of apparently strenuous and faithful service. The Truth will not submit to the dominating efforts of any individual soul, neither does He accept the compelled service, ( ?) of anyone. The pure soul accepts the whole responsibility of this position and is accordingly enabled to see the light by which to walk loyally.

The polemic and disbelieving trifler with Truth alone is ever effectively shut out from the Realm of the Absolute. The bound soul is accustomed to submit tentatively to hypothetical courses of instruction and training under hypothetical teachers of apparent truths. He is also insensibly but stubbornly disposed to carry the same procedure into the Realm of the Absolute. It is the function of the sadhu, of his own accord, to warn all erring souls against these confirmed errors of habit. It is for the individual soul himself to accept or reject the advice. Those, who have undue faith in the tentative method, resent the advice which they are naturally disposed to regard as uncalled-for and mischievous. The tendencies never fully eradicated till one stands face to face with the Realty. This is the cause of the risk and uncertainty that have to be faced by the novice, but they are quite inevitable and perfectly in accordance with the Absolute position itself.

So Sree Lakshmi Devi and Sree Vishnupriya Devi need neither be believed nor disbelieved as Consorts of the Divinity by any one prior to understanding the nature of the relationship in which one is required by the conditions of the case to place himself in order to be enabled to grasp the issue of the advocates of realizable Absolute Truth. The issue need not be confounded with any hollow hypotheses of erring mortals. Nor need it be conceded by one's condescending oral assent to possess the transcendental nature which is neither comprehensible by the intellect of the bound soul nor compatible in practice with any of his worldly interests. For such persons the proper attitude should be to try to understand the preliminary conditions with the help of the Narrative and abstain from all 'opinions' on the Nature of the Divine Power Herself till the she has had time to explain what he requires to know further.

These remarks hold also in the case of the Third Plenary Power that ever accompanies the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna Chaitanya whenever He chooses to appear in this world. She bears the name of 'Neela' in the Shastras and is no other than the Abode of Godhead, (Sridhama). The 'Place' where the Lord appears in this world is His own Plenary Power, or Eternal Consort. This would dispose of the gross and profane speculations of the sensualist schools regarding the subject of Divine Amour, the relationship that subsists between the Lord and His Plenary Powers Sree Bhu and Neela Who bear the names of Lakshmi, Vishnupriya and Nabadwipdhama in the transcendental vocabulary of the Scriptures Whose Natures are realizable only by the devotees of Lord Chaitanya.

All this at the first sight cannot but appear to be 'bizarre' and unsettling, to all persons contentedly moving on the plane of three dimensions. Such persons may even affect to regard the statements as the 'products' of a diseased imagination and their own 'fool's paradise' as the undoubted abode of sanity and wisdom.

But such a view does not remove every difficulty from the path even of those who choose deliberately to shut their ears to the pleadings of the rational instinct. The so-called mundane 'positivists' want a real standing-ground for their perverted speculations. Those wise persons cherish the wild faith that by putting the cart before the horse greater results are to be gained than by the ordinary method of obeying the voice of humdrum reason and bitter experience.

The names 'Lakshmi', 'Vishnupriya', 'Nabadwip' are not words denoting anything limited or worldly. Neither are they mere symbols or conceptions of any worldly entity. They are the Divine Consorts Themselves. The Transcendental Nomenclature is inconceivable except by Their Grace identical with the Mercy of Godhead Himself Who ever acts through His Plenary Powers in His Dealings with jivas who are dissociated emanations of the Pure Essence of His Marginal Potency.

As a matter of fact the Activities of the Lord, even when He chooses to Appear in this world, remain absolutely unintelligible to the conditioned soul as long as the latter persists in the attitude of refusal to seek the help of the Plenary Spiritual Power of Godhead for realizing the same. For understanding the Leela of Sree Gauranga it is necessary to approach the subject by willing, convinced and active submission to real Sadhus who are the eternal servants of Sridhama Nabadwip, the Eternal Realm of the Divinity, Who alone can confer the service of Lakshmi Devi and Vishnupriya Devi Who serve Sree Gaursundar with Amorous Devotion of the most distinctive delicious types that are comprehensible to conditioned souls only by Their Grace. This comprehension is the only proper goal of all individual souls gone astray and is identical with the service of Sree Sree Radha-Govinda attainable in the unalloyed spiritual state.

For these reasons we abstain from dealing with this subject more specifically at this place. The Doings of the Lord as Householder can be understood only in the light of the practice and teachings of the Lord as a Sannyasin after His apparent Renunciation of the world. The object of sitting at the Feet of Sree Krishna Chaitanya, the Practicing Ascetic Teacher of the Absolute Truth, is to be enabled to understand, through the practice of service taught by Himself by Example and Precept, the Absolute Truth as He is realizable by souls who appear to His loyal disciple in the Form of Sree Gaursundar dwelling eternally in Sridham Nabadwip served with Amorous Devotion by His Consorts Sree Lakshmi Devi and Sree Vishnupriya Devi by the method of loving separation. Such realization can alone enable a conditioned soul to attain the highest service of the Divine Pair Sree Sree Radha-Govinda on the termination of his wrong connection with the mundane plane.