Nectar about Srila Murari Gupta's Gaura Nitai deities
Translated by Mukunda Datta das
Submitted by Krpa Moya Gauranga Das
Dandavats. Jaya Prabhupada!
Something like this happened to one Bengali lady who happened to see Them in Their form as Murari Gupta's Gaura-Nitai Deities. These Gaura-Nitai Deities used to be worshipped in Bengal, about a hundred years ago, she brought Them to Vrindaban. Below is a summary of some of the activities of Smt. Chandrashashi Mukherjee, better known as Pishima Gosvamini and her Gaura-Nitai. I hope you find this I inspiring. Hare Krishna!
Your humble servant,
Mukunda Datta dasa
In a village named Rayapura (Siudi District), there were Deities of Sri Gaura-Nitai that were worshipped by the descendents of Sri Murari Gupta, the eternal associate of Lord Caitanya. These Deities of the Lords Caitanya and Nityananda in childhood form were worshipped until there was no one left in Murari Gupta's family to look after them; after an outbreak of malaria, everyone had left the area and it became overgrown by the jungle. The temple was abandoned, the Deities were eventually buried beneath so much foliage and dirt, and having forgotten the history of the place, people began to use the area a pasturing ground for their cows. Once, a gopa noticed that his most productive cow used to drip her milk into a spot on the ground. Curious, they dug in that spot and found the Deities there. Removing Gaura-Nitai, they saw that the word "dasa murari gupta" was written on their base.
The Deities were again established in a temple with first-class worship. After some time, and according to directions he had received in a dream, one resident of Orissa, Balaramadasa Babaji, came there and began to worship Gaura-Nitai.
Fortuitously, a respectable young brahmani named Candrasasi Mukhopadhyaya had come to Rayapura on business related to her wealthy family's nearby land holdings. She happened to be staying near the Gaura-Nitai temple. Daily taking darsana of the Deities, a desire to render Them service arose in her-she wanted to make Them some payesh (sweet rice khir) for Their bhoga-offering. She later had a dream in which Gaura and Nitai came to her, saying, "Ma, we're very hungry. Feed us some payesh that you've cooked for us." When she later told the temple priest Balaramadasa Babaji about this, he said, "According to Vaishnava sastras, an un initiated person cannot cook for the Deity." Smt. Candrashashi Mukherjee then accepted her mantra from Balaramadasa and thus she fulfilled her desire to prepare bhogas for Gaura-Nitai with her own hands.
That very night in a dream, gaura-Nitai came again and pulling on her ancala (the edge of her sari) said, "Ma! Don't go away. If you go away, who will feed us payesh? You are our Mata. We won't let you go." Candrasasi affectionately smiled and told Them to let go of her cloth, but They wouldn't let go; from Their repeated tugging at her ancal, a piece of it finally ripped and the swatch of her cloth was in Gaura's hand. Candrasasi's dream broke and she woke up. But she saw that the corner of her ancala had indeed ripped! At that very moment, she went to inform Balaramadasa everything about her dream.
At that time, before the sun had risen, the temple wasn't opened yet. Balaramadasa went to the temple to wake the Deities. To the amazement of all present, everyone saw that the piece missing from Candrasasi's cloth was in Gaura's hand. All were immersed in premananda, and everyone began to praise Candrasasi's good fortune. Candrasasi lost all sense of her body and mind, and began to dive and surface in thousands of unprecedented, transcendental feelings all at once.
She forgot all thoughts of going back to her native place. The illusions of family, prestige, wealth, and so forth had been lost. She began to serve Gaura-Nitai in the temple, as her life and soul. On account of her leaving home at such an age (she was only 20 at that time) to live in the temple along with the Babaji, people naturally began to talk about their relationship in so many ways, and this gave her intolerable mental distress. One night, after praying repeatedly and having emptied her heart before Gaura-Nitai, she eventually fell asleep in that state. Gaura-Nitai came to her in a dream, and, hanging on to her neck, They said, "Ma, take us to Vrndavana now-chalo (let's go)."
Immediately she took Gaura-Nitai, and along with Balaramadasa Babaji, proceeded by boat to Vrndavana. As They arrived there, a devoted lady from Nadiya named Bhakta devi was bathing in the Yamuna and saw Them. She respectfully invited Them to her home in Vanakhandi-mohalla. In great ecstacy, Candrasasi began to serve Gaura-Nitai in her home, and Bhakta devi used to assist her. People in the nieghborhood called Bhakta "Pishima," and so they began to call Candrasasi "Pishima" as well. Consistent with the Lords' statement to that effect,
Pishima used to dandle and nurture Gaura-Nitai as if They were her own sons. Gaura-Nitai were always pleased by her service. One day, as she was busily cooking for Them, she noticed indications of her monthly stri-dharma. Going outside of the temple kitchen, she remained in the courtyard looking again and again in the direction of Gaura-Nitai and crying-"Today I won't be able to offer my own cooking for Gaura-Nitai's bhoga!" Thus suffering over the matter, she saw a kind of dream-vision, even though she was awake. Both brothers, Gaura and Nitai, came and said, "Ma, there's nothing to be sad about. You just do what mothers in your condition usually do. There's no fault in that. Get up. Take your bath and give us something to eat. We're very hungry. From now on, you'll be free of this disease." Pisi Ma did as she was told. After that, she never had her courses again.
After coming to Vrndavana, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai began to play with many other devotees and perform various pastimes. Sometimes, if there was a need for this or that, they would beg, borrow, or steal it from anywhere and everywhere. For example, Gaura-Nitai had no shoes. They asked
Pishima for them, but since she didn't want Them to leave her even for a moment she probably simply told Them, "What do You need shoes for? Do you have to come or go anywhere?" Thus, Gaura-Nitai remained on the watch for some other devotees who might come there.
Once, in the month of Savan, a woman of a Bengali family travelling from Serpura Beguda came to Vrndavana to see the swing festival. They stayed near Gaura-Nitai's temple, in Cidiyakunja. That very day, in the midmorning it was raining.
Pishima was sitting on the temple veranda. With her left hand, she was pulling the rope attached to Gaura-Nitai's fan. With her right hand, she was chanting on her japa-mala. It began to rain very hard.
Pishima dozed off a little. At that time, she saw that Nitai had left the temple and was running about the courtyard in the water. Gaura then followed Him.
Pishima shrieked, OH! Where are you going? You'll catch a cold!" This dream was as clear as if it weren't a dream at all-it seemed as if she saw it while yet awake. But she again began pulling on the pankha, and eventually dozed off again.
Meanwhile, Nitai-Gaura had arrived in Cidiyakunja. The woman from Serpura Beguda was sleeping at that time. Gaura-Nitai went in and sat at the end of the bed. Shaking Their heads, they said, "Have you come here to sleep? Get up!"
In her sleeping state, the woman mumbled, "Wha...who are you?"
"Our names are Nitai and Gaura; we're the sons of Pishima of Vanakhandi."
"Pishima's kids? How's that?"
"People in the mohalla just call us Pishima's boys. Everybody in Vrndavana knows we're her children."
"So why are you here?"
"Look at how our feet are covered with mud. Give us some shoes."
Upon seeing Gaura-Nitai's extraordinary beauty, the woman became fascinated. She had never before imagined such beauty. Awakening, she began to cry, remembering the two boys. Weeping thus, she left the house, even though it was still pouring rain. On the road, she asked anybody she saw where
Pishima's children lived. One Brajavasi showed her Nitai Gaura's mandira at Banakhandi. The woman went inside.
Pishima was still pulling the pankha and chanting japa. The woman asked, "Is this the house of
"Yes, mother, this is the home of Pishima's Gaura Nitai. Mataji, why are you crying?"
"Where are your two boys? I want to see them," the highly agitated woman said, trying to be demure and respectful.
Pishima respectfully seated the woman and opened the mandira. Taking Gaura-Nitai's darsana in the temple, which exactly resembled the vision in her dream, the woman burst into tears. Her very being was filled with trembling in all her limbs. She was simply unable to do anything at all; for a long time time, she remained fallen on the floor in a state of faint. Upon coming to consciousness and controlling herself, she related the whole story of her dream to
Pishima. Pishima too told of what she had seen. For quite some time, both simply remained in an embrace, shedding tears of ecstasy. That fortunate woman later made silver shoes for Gaura-Nitai, which remain in Their possession even today. Nitai and Gaura continue to use them with love.
Prasanna dasi of Serpura Beguda lived in Vrndavana. One day she dreamt that Gaura and Nitai were decorated with all kinds of dazzling ornaments and came before her. Showing Their lotus feet, which were marked with falgakuza, thunderbolt, etc., and which are desired even by Brahma and Shiva, they said: "Look at all the ornaments We got. But We don't have nupura (footbells). Give us nupura." Upon awakening, Prasanna dasi went to
Pishima and narrated the whole story, streaming tears of love. Having them made, and then putting the golden nupura on Gaura-Nitai's lotus feet, her life became successful.
For some days one babaji, a very pure, dear servant of Lord, was assisting
Pishima in the seva-puja of Nitai Gaura. An impure idea arose in his mind. Opening the temple door at night, he stole the ornaments worth Rs. 500 and left with them. Arising early next morning,
Pishima was horrified to see that the door was opened and the Deities were without Their jewels. She thought, "Oh who has done this despicable thing? Is there anyone so sinful living in this world?" Full of anxiety, she fell down in the corridor of the temple and remained there, devastated and depressed. She saw Gaura-Nitai in her mind, and said, "Who took your jewelry? They replied, Ma, that Vaishnava is very poor, but he fed us brothers so much rabdI. So we gave it to him. Please, don't say anything to him about it."
What did she do? She was furious over the behavior of these spoiled children. From where would she get more jewelry? Personally, she had already left her own incomparable wealth long ago-coming to Vrndavana in beggar's dress, her only possession was now Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai. Laughing, she said, "Okay. You can either give Your things to somebody or keep them. What's it to me? If you need something again, then You'll get it from somewhere. You certainly aren't bashful about asking people for things."
In another dream, Gaura-Nitai told Pishima, "Take us out for Braja-mandala-parikrama." She then readied a palanquin and assembled some devotees for Harinama-sankirtana, and they set out the very next day. The Deities were extremely happy on this trip. After a month or so, when They were concluding the parikrama and were at the outskirts of Mathura,
Pishima went with one devotee, Krishnadasa, to make arrangements ahead. Mathuradasa followed behind with the palanquin. At that time, there were British soldiers camped in Mathura. Some of the soldiers were curious about the spectacle of the parikrama procession. Pointing at the palanquin, they asked, "What's in that?"
Mathuradasa replied, "Thakuraji is inside."
The soldiers garrulously said, "Let's see Thakuraji!"
Mathuradasa became afraid-somehow the mlecchas shouldn't touch the Deities. He replied in a very humble voice, "Just now Thakuraji's darsana won't be possible."
His comment had escaped the attention of the soldiers, who overwhelmed him and tried to see the Deities. At that very moment, a blinding flash of light bolted from the palanquin, as powerful as thunder, and blasting them away, scorched the eyes of the soldiers. Screaming out, "Oh God!" they all fled in terror.
When Mathuradasa later narrated the whole episode to Pishima, she said, "Now my boys are able to take care of themselves. I'm very happy to know this. Now I have no anxiety."
Pishima thus passed many years, serving Gaura-Nitai faithfully. Even when she was 100 years old, she continued to take three baths daily in the sacred Yamuna and personally performed Gaura-Nitai's seva herself. But gradually, this became impossible for her to continue, and so she entrusted the seva-puja to Gopesvara Gosvami, a devotee in the family line of Lord Nityananda. He was a staunch bhakta, but wasn't very experienced in Deity seva. Thus he happened to bathe Gaura-Nitai in cool water once, at the beginning of the cold season. They caught a cold, and Their noses began to drip. But Gopesvara Gosvami didn't even notice this.
Pishima mostly stayed on the second floor-she could not easily negotiate the stairs anymore. But in temple, the Deities were sad because
Pishima wasn't there anymore to pamper Them with her maternal attentions. Somehow
Pishima percieved this. She came down one day and saw that Gaura-Nitai's eyes were red and Their noses were dripping. Going near Them, she felt that They were hot. She could not bear this. She wiped Their noses with the edge of her sari and called for Gopesvara Gosvami. Crying, she said in disbelief, "How could you do this? Bathing Them in cold water, you've now made Them sick! See how Their noses are running!" She wiped Their noses and showed it to him. Gopezvara didn't believe it, and he told her so.
Pishima fairly bristled with anger. She indignantly held the other end of her sari to Gaura's nose and then thrust it into his face, saying, "Gaura's snot!" Just then, Gaura's nose began to drip again. This filled the temple with an unprecedented, Divine fragrance from beyond this world. Astonished and full of remorse, Gopesvara fell at
Pishima's feet and begged forgiveness.
When she was 103, Pishima mentioned to Gopesvara Gosvami that she would someday leave her body. On that very day, in good health, while sitting before Gaura-Nitai, beholding Their beautiful moonlike faces and chanting Their names, she gave up her earthly body and entered the eternal pastimes of the Lord.