Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

“Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sent Nityānanda Prabhu from Jagannātha Purī to Bengal, which is known as Gauḍa-deśa, and Lord Nityānanda Prabhu overflooded that country with the transcendental loving service of the Lord.”[1] “Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then sent the two brothers Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī to Vraja. By His order, they went to Śrī Vrndāvana-dhāma. After going to Vrndāvana, the brothers preached devotional service and discovered many places of pilgrimage. They specifically initiated the service of Madana-mohana and Govindajī. Both Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī brought various scriptures to Vrndāvana and collected the essence of these by compiling many scriptures on devotional service. In this way they delivered all rascals and fallen souls.”[2]

So from this you can see the branches of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Mahaprabhu is sitting in Jagannath Puri, which is a very famous pilgrimage place. What is there in Jagannath Puri? Lord Jagannath on the first place. Second this place was for certain time occupied by the Buddhists, it was a center of Buddhists’ practices. And also Shankara founded one of his main ashrams in Jagannath Puri. So you can see all the different lines are coming together, merging and meeting and sometimes competing with each other in Jagannath Puri, because this is so important place. Nevertheless Mahaprabhu is sitting there and instructing His disciples: “You go to this place, you go to that place.”

Nityananda Prabhu was sent to Bengal, which is not very far from Jagannath Puri, it takes one night by bus to cover that distance. But, you know, to ride a bus inIndia- midnight bus with no windows – is quite difficult. And as usual when you arrive to Kolkata, for example, the bus is broken down, so you cannot get to your final destination but stop somewhere. Still it is much closer than Vrindavana. Because to reach from Puri to Vrindavana you have to take… well, I don’t suggest you take a bus, better take a train. Nevertheless sometimes devotees take a slow train, which takes about two-three days to reach. So this is quite a distance. And imagine five hundred years back – with no cars, no buses, no trains, but only the instruction of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: “Go to this place and preach!” If you would receive such a message: “Go to Trigrad, establish a center there and preach the cult of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu”, now you could do it very easily, because we are sitting here. But you know, to start, to go out and depend fully onKrishna’s grace this is one of the greatest – well, I would not say challenges, but this is one of the greatest chances to improve our dedication.

So – Nityananda toBengaland Rupa-Sanatana to Vrindavana He has sent. And from this slowly-slowly the main branches of the Chaitanya tree were formulated. One is the Vraja line and the other is the Bengali.

[1] “Chaitanya Charitamrita” Madhya-lila, 1.24

[2] “Chaitanya Charitamrita” Madhya-lila, 1.31-33

Leave a Reply