To celebrate Gaura Purnima – the holy appearance of Sri Caitanya, I will share some verses of the book Sri Caitanya Candramrita by Sri Prabhodhananda Saraswati. Please forgive the lack of the original Sanskrit as well as my ignorance of the translator (Kushakrata dasa?) and the artist of the painting above. The verses below, Texts 57 through 79, comprise the Seventh Chapter of Sri Caitanya Candramrita entitled Upasya Nistha (Resolute Devotion to the Worshipable Lord). They are a beautiful example of Sri Prabhodananda Saraswati’s vivid and dramatic style.
Chapter Seven – Upasya Nistha
57. O foolish mind, please take shelter of Lord Gauranga, who is the Lord, who is hidden from the view of the Vedas, and who with His own transcendental potency plunged the entire world into the great nectar ocean of love for the lotus feet of Lord Krsna.
58. If someone can attain the supreme goal of life by devotedly hearing about, meditating upon, or glorifying Lord Murari, then that is very good for him. Let him do it. For myself, however, I shall only worship the hidden sweetness that fills the great shoreless nectar ocean of pure love of Krsna that flows from Lord Gauranga.
59. Some may worship the Lord with the hope to attain the four goals of life (material piety, sense gratification, economic development and liberation). Others may reject all other objects of worship and simply become the servants of Lord Krsna. For myself, my mind is greedy to attain the great secret of pure love of Krsna, and for this reason I take shelter of the feet of Lord Caitanyacandra.
60. My faith in Vedic and ordinary duties, my embarrassment to sing, dance, and laugh, and my natural tendency to be absorbed in material activities, have all been stolen away by a very powerful golden-complexioned thief.
61. Who is this divine person showering millions of nectar oceans of intensely blissful, splendid, and sweet pure love of Krsna from the corners of His eyes, glistening with mercy? Who is this person whose fair-complexioned form is as splendid as a golden young plantain tree? Who is this person who has suddenly made my heart become so ardently devoted to His feet?
62. His complexion as fair as molten gold, and His form filled with the splendid and blissful nectar of pure transcendental love, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has mercifully appeared in the town of Navadvipa. In Navadvipa every home celebrates great festivals in honor of Bhakti-devi, the goddess of devotion. Navadvipa is sweeter than Vaikuntha. My heart finds its happiness in the transcendental abode of Navadvipa.
63. Let the Vedic scriptures say whatever they like! Let the learned logicians comment as they like! Whatever they say, the nectar of Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet shall always remain my life and soul.
64. If the rare mystic perfections were to fall into my hand, if the demigods approached to become my servants, and if my form became the four-armed form of a resident of Vaikuntha, my mind would still not swerve from Lord Gauracandra for even a moment.
65. Let me live in a terrible cage of fire! I shall never associate with those averse to Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet! My heart has no desire to go to Vaikuntha or any other auspicious place if for a single moment I could not taste the pollen of the lotus flower of Lord Caitanya’s feet.
66. I may become famous in this world, or I may attain wonderful mystic powers, or by worshipping Lord Visnu I may attain a handsome four-armed spiritual form like His. Still, if these things separated me from devotional service to Lord Gaura, my heart would not love them.
67. O Lord Caitanya, O merciful one, O supremely generous one, O Lord who fills the hearts of the living entities with the different mellows of devotional love, O wonderfully splendid Lord, O golden-complexioned Lord, O ocean of transcendental virtues, O personified nectar of devotional service, O Lord who is fond of chanting His own holy names, I pray that without ever becoming fatigued I may pass my life always chanting Your holy names in this way.
68. O Lord Krsna, Your golden form is the life of the devotees. It is the philanthropist that gives in charity the nectar of pure love of God. When shall I whole-heartedly love this golden form? When, because I have finally understood the secret of this golden form, will the splendor of Srimati Radharani’s jewel toenails shine in my heart?
69. I meditate on the Lord, who bears the name Caitanya. He wears a garland of fully blossomed damanaka flowers. He pleases everyone. He enjoys pastimes in a secluded garden. He continually chants the holy names of Lord Krsna. He is the abode of compassion. His fair complexion is as effulgent as gold.
70. I pray that my mind may always remember Lord Gauranga, the sannyasi whose eyes are like two bumblebees drawn to the glistening lotus flower of Lord Jagannatha’s face in the festive city of Nilacala, who is tossed by great waves of ecstatic love of God, and who is the same Lord Krsna who appeared like Cupid to the doe-eyed girls of Vraja.
71. I take shelter of Lord Gaura Hari, who has accepted the saffron garment of a sannyasi, whose bodily hairs stand up in ecstasy, and whose handsome form is decorated with pearl-like tears flowing from His lotus eyes.
72. When will Lord Gaura Hari, who is more handsome than Cupid, more purifying than the celestial Ganges, more cooling than the moon, more sweet than madhvika nectar, more generous than the desire creeper, and more affectionate than a mother, appear in my meditation, and lovingly place His lotus feet in my heart?
73. I pray that the merciful Lord, whose complexion eclipses the splendor of millions of lightning flashes, whose hips are covered with a charming manjistha flower colored saffron cloth, and who delights this universe by again and again flooding it with the sweetest nectar of pure love of Krsna, may become very dear to me.
74. Will Lord Gaura, whose splendor condemns millions and millions of Cupids, whose handsome face eclipses millions and millions of rising autumn moons, and whose generosity makes millions and millions of desire trees seem insignificant, place His lotus feet in my heart after I have accumulated pious deeds in millions and millions of births?
75. I pray that the splendid moonlight of Lord Caitanyacandra, which violently uproots the darkness in the hearts of the entire world, which brings limitless tidal waves to the nectar ocean of the bliss of pure love of Krsna, and which brings coolness to the universe burning day and night in the threefold miseries of material existence, may shine in our hearts.
76. Plunged into Radha’s lamentation in separation from Krsna, at one moment He would become emaciated and devastated. Thinking that Lord Krsna had appeared before Him, at another moment He would become chubby with happiness, at another moment shed tears of joy, at another moment smile, and at another moment become very cool. Burning in the fire of separation from Lord Krsna, at another moment He would become feverish. Thinking that He saw Lord Krsna in the distance, at another moment he would run after Him. Considering that he had just touched Krsna, He would become stunned with bliss. At one moment He would talk as if Krsna were present, and at another moment He would become silent. I pray that Lord Gaura, the golden form of the Lord, may appear in my heart.
77. He does not consider whether a person is qualified or not. He does not see who is His own and who is an outsider. He does not consider who should receive and who not. He does not consider whether it is the proper time. The Lord at once gives that nectar of pure devotional service that is difficult to attain even by hearing the message of the Lord, seeing the Deity, offering obeisances, meditating, or following a host of spiritual practices. That Lord Gaurahari, is my only shelter.
78. Even the greatest sinners, even the lowest of men, even men of the basest character, even those in the vanguard of sinful acts, even the dog eaters, even those whose hearts are filled with sinful desires, even those born or residing in sinful countries, and even those destroyed by bad company have all been rescued by the mercy of Lord Gaura. Let me take shelter of Lord Gaura.
79. Leaving the charming forest on the bank of the Yamuna and entering a flower garden by the shore of the salt-water ocean, rejecting His yellow garment and accepting a saffron cloth, Lord Hari has now concealed His own bodily luster and manifests a golden complexion. Let me take shelter of that golden Lord Hari.