The Ultimate Sacrifice of Love. In the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta,…
The Ultimate Sacrifice of Love.
In the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, it is described how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu along with His associates in the Panca-tattva broke open the sealed storehouse of love of Godhead, and became so intoxicated by it, that they simply couldn’t keep it to themselves, and decided to freely distribute it. Sri Nitai opened the marketplace of the holy name, allowing anyone and everyone to purchase the holy names for the price of faith.
Sri Nityananda Prabhu is understood be the most merciful – even more than Patita-pavana Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself! Sri Nitai risked His life trying to save the most wretched of people, and saved the offender Kazi from the wrath of Sriman Mahaprabhu, such was His mercy and compassion.
In his song “Madhur E Harinama”, Bhaktivinoda Thakura states: “Sri Nitai is more merciful than Sriman Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Sri Gaurasundara (Lord Caitanya) is wonderfully merciful. Sri Nitai is more merciful than Sri Gaurasundara. Sri Nitai is so merciful. He saw that the jivas have been suffering here, drowning in this ocean of materialistic existence from time immemorial. His heart bleeds, so Sri Nitai felt love, affection and compassion for them. He became sympathetic for the suffering souls, so He brought the Holy Name from Sri Vrajabhumi for those Kali-yuga people.”
Lord Nityananda is the embodiment of service in separation – the ultimate sacrifice of love. He only met Mahaprabhu after 32 long years in separation. He stayed by Lord Gauranga’s side until He was instructed by Mahaprabhu in Puri to go back to Bengal to get married so that he could preach to the householders. This broke Nitai’s heart. Lord Gauranga was His very life; how could He possibly live without Him? However, Nityananda took that instruction to heart and went back to Navadvipa, got married and preached.
No one can even begin to imagine the burning pain of separation the Nityananda Prabhu felt, but it was His sacrifice of love. His sacrifice of not having the Lord’s physical association was for the benefit of all the struggling conditioned souls, and ultimately for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord. He followed the Lord’s instructions without complaint, all the while enduring the burning pangs of separation.
The acaryas say that no one can get the mercy of Lord Gauranga without the mercy of Lord Nityananda. Sri Nitai is Adi-guru (original Guru), and only by the mercy of the Guru can one make progress on their spiritual path. With determination and faith in Guru, who is the representative of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, we must push on with our sadhana and service. Every endeavour for the pleasure of the Lord is a sacrifice that one has to make in order to execute his or her duty.
heno nitai bine bhai, radha-krsna pāite nāi
dṛḍha kori’ dharo nitāir pāy
“Unless one takes shelter under the shade of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, it will be very difficult for him to approach Radha-Krsna.”
Srila Locana Das Thakura, in Caitanya Magala, writes a beautiful song which describes the magnanimity of Sri Nityananda Prabhu.
“The noble Lord Nityananda is never angry, for He is the personification of supreme transcendental bliss. Devoid of any concept of false ego, Nitai wanders about the town.
“Going from door to door in the residences of the most fallen and wretched souls, He freely distributes the gift of the Hari-nama mahamantra.
“He exclaims to whomever he sees while holding straw between his teeth, ‘Please purchase me by worshipping Gaurahari!’
“Saying thus, Nityananda Prabhu rolls about on the ground, appearing like a golden mountain tumbling in the dust.
“Locana Dasa Thakura says, ‘Whoever has not experienced the awakening of affection for such an avatara as this, that sinful person simply comes and goes uselessly in the cycle of repeated birth and death.’ ”