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Who is Sri Nityananda?
(translated from Bengali from The Harmonist)

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!

Pavitra Kumar Ghosh


In the first stanza of the prologue in Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita Sri Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami has greeted Sri Nityananda, saying that Prabhu is God incarnated. The lines are:

Bande Gurunishbhaktanish mishavatarkam
Tatprakashanch Tachhatiktah Krishnachaitanya Sangyakam.

Breaking the verses: Guru+ish. bhaktan+ish+avatarkan. Tatprakashan+ch Tat+shaktih.

Meaning: Glories to the Diksha gurus and teachers like Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatan. Glories to the devotees like Srivasa. I salute the holy persons like Sri Advaita. Salutations to the holy appearance of Sri Nityanandaa. I bow to the power of god-like Sri Gadadhar. Prostrations to Sri Chaitanya who is God Himself.

In the first stanza Kaviraj Goswami has written a simple prologue. That is, he has paid his respects to several persons at one time. So this prologue is not special in anyway. In the next stanza, a special tribute is written. But in the first stanza of the prologue, Nityananda's form is described. It is said that he is himself non-different from God. God himself is Sri Chaitanya. One of His forms is Nityananda. What form? Not an ordinary form. Nityananda has taken the form of Sri Chaitanya.

Kaviraj Goswami has said :"Nityananda Rai is God himself". (CC 1/1/22). So it can be said that Sri Nityananda is Sri Chaitanya. But then there are two forms. One is manifestation and the other is pleasure expansion. If a deity with many forms has no difference in their appearance, size and form, in color of the skin, in words and conduct - if all the idols are same - then it is called formation.

As Sri Krishna appeared in various forms in the Rasa mandali, each Gopi had one Krishna, each Krishna in their form, behaviour, dancing, playing flute and other characteristics was identical.

Srimad Bhagwatam describes:

Rasoutsavah Samprabrito Gopimandal manditah
Yogeshswaren krishnen tasanh madhey dwayordwayoh
Prabishthen grihitanahn kanthe swanikatan striyah
yan maneyran nabhastab dwiman shatsankulam
Diboukasang sadaranamatou sukyabhutatmanam(10/33/3)

Translation: The rasa festival started along with the Gopis. Yogeshwara Sri Krishna appeared between each Gopi and embraced each one of them. Every Gopi thought that Sri Krishna was with her alone. The demigods in the heavens along their wives became anxious to watch this. As such the sky was filled with hundred and hundred of airplanes of the demigods.

Every Gopi saw Krishna by her side. If only the Gopis thought this way, then it could be said that it was their illusion. Perhaps they were affected by some vision ailment, or else they were so much overwhelmed with Krishna's love that they were imagining it. But every one physically touched Krishna's body, hence, they happily danced and sang loudly - those songs resounded in the universe.

Uchchayarajgunrityanama raktakanthan ratipriya.
Krishna abhimanmudita yadgitenedmabritam (10/63/9)

The Gopis placed their hand on Krishna's shoulder, touched his hand etc. This is not an illusion. On that Rasa night one Krishna, spread Himself amongst his Gopis in such a way, that every Gopi had one Krishna.

Shruti had also said that one Krishna can be many. Vyasadev in his Brahmasutra and Vedanta sutra has written—

Na sthanohapi parsyobhayaling sarvatra hi—
(IIIrd chapter, 2nd stanza, 11th line).

Translation- God is seen in different places but his own self is not different. He with his power can appear everywhere at the same time.

Sri Baldev Vidya Bhushan has defined the following sutras as --

Hi yasmadekmev swarupamchintya shaktya yugpat sarvatra abhyatrokohapi sannitishruteh

One God with his inconceivable power can be seen everywhere at the same time. Shruti proves it.

The various moods of the devotees like--modesty, timidity, friendliness, affection, pleasure are the aspects of God in different forms.

Teshu sarveswekmev swarupan bibhati.

His attributes appear in different type of his devotees.

So Shruti says--"Akohapi san bahuda yohb bhati". Rishi Yagyavalka gives Brahmoupdesh to his wife Maitreye:

Rupam Rupam Pratirupo babhub tadasysa rupan pratichakhanaya Indro Mayabhih Pururupa eiyete yukta hasyah harayah shata dush.

Translation: God expanded Himself into different forms. He wanted the universe to understand His philosophical presence and enlightenment. He appears not only in ten forms (ten avatars), but in hundred and hundred of forms (Hari Ananta – Hari is Infinite- Bhagavatam).

In Rasostava we see one God become many. In Dwarka, He is present with every one of His 16,108 wives at the same time and in the same form. Even Narada Rishi is astounded by his inconceivable potency.

In Brahma-mohan leela, young Krishna appeared as many thousands of shepherd boys and cattle - and kept up this ‘appearance’ for one whole year!

Sri Krishna appears in different forms. But sometimes he cannot be differentiated and sometimes he is different. Krishna was the same in both the places, whether in Rasamandali or with his 16000 wives. In Dashavatara (ten forms) he appeared as Matsya (fish), kurma(turtle), Varaha (Boar), Nrisimha (half human and half lion) etc. In Brahma-mohan leela, He appeared as shephards and cattle.

The forms may be different but the Person is one. As there are variations between different images of Sri Krishna i.e. they have different characteristics, merits and deeds. So these images are called His vilaswarup (pleasure forms). In the same way, Sri Chaitanya and Sri Nityanandaa are one. But their forms, character, actions and complexion are different. Krishna and Balaram have different forms on the outside, but are one in the inner self. Sri Krishna is dark and Sri Baldev is fair. They both look alike, yet the way of working is different. So Sri Baldev is Sri Krishna's Vilas-swarup (pleasure expansion).

Just as Sri Nityananda is Sri Chaitanya's Vilas (pleasure). Krishna Das Kaviraj said :

Dui rupe hoye bhagwaner prakash, Eke to prakash are to vilas
(CC 1/1/35)

When one deity is seen in different forms, but it has no difference with the own self (swarup), the forms are also not different then we call it Prakash (reflection).

Mahishivivahe Jaichhe Jaichhe Kailo Rash, Ihake Kahiye Krishner Mukhya Prakash
(CC 1/1/37)

But when an idol is different in everyway then we call it Vilas (pleasure).

Ekai Bigrah Kintu Aakare Hoye Aan, Anek Prakar Hoye Vilash Tar Nam
(CC 1/1/38)


Sri Rupa Goswami in his book "Laghu Bhagavatamrita" has written

“Swarupmanyakaran Jatasya Bhati Vilashtah,
Prayen Atansamn Shaktye Sh Vilasho Nigadatye (1/15)

Translation: when the swarupa (own self) appears in different forms for enhancing pleasure, and those forms are like the actual being it is called Vilas (pleasure), and the pleasure form and the actual form are not the same. Prayen Atmasamn = almost like swarupa (own self) but is not fully like swarupa.

Baldeva Vidyabhushan says that there is certain difference between the actual form and pleasure expansions of Sri Balarama, Pradyunma, Anirudha and Sri Krishna Vilas (pleasure) forms. Even the Supreme Lord Narayana is also Sri Krishna's pleasure expansion. Because Sri Krishna can assume different attributes such as – leela madhurya (pleasure), prem madhurya (love), venu madhurya (flute), and rupa-madhurya (beauty), these forms are not present in Sriman Narayana.

In Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita the first stanza is an ordinary prologue. But the special reference is in the second stanza. In this second stanza, only two persons are described specifically, our mind and soul are centralised in them.

The stanza is :

Vande Sri Krishna-chaitanya-Nityanandaaou sahouditau
Goroudaya pushpadantou chitrou shandou, tamonudou (CC 1/1/2)

Translation: Nityananda and Sri Chaitanya appeared at the same time in Gaur. Their appearance is like the sun and moon in Udaygiri and it is so ashtonishing that they appeared at the same time, like sun and moon. They are auspicious and have destroyed all the darkness.

Conventionally the special prologue is only attributed to the tutelary deity, but here he has honoured both Sri Chaitanya and Sri Nityananda. This shows that mainly they are in the same category. They have no difference in appearance. It seems Sri Chaitanya is like sun - bright and shining. And Nityananda is moon, it gets light from the sun.

In Udayachal the sun and moon do not appear at the same time. When the sun sets the moon rises, and when the moon sets the sun rises. The sun and moon are never seen at the same time. But it is surprising that in Gaur Sri Chaitanya and Sri Nityananda appeared at the same time and illuminated the world. The whole world was showered with blessings; the people received the priceless love of Sri Krishna.

Sri Krishna Das Kaviraj in later four stanzas has described Sri Chaitanya's magnitude and Sri Chaitanya's principles in rhythmic form. After that he has described the principles of Sri Nityananda. He has grouped 3,4,5 and 6 stanzas only for Sri Chaitanya. All these lines are not written by him. He has taken 4th stanza from the drama "Vidagadh Madhav" by Srila Rupa Goswami and 5 and 6 lines are from Swarup Damodar's biography.

Later Kaviraj Goswami has described Sri Nityananda's principle in 7,8,9,10 and 11 lines. The first five lines are the key to understanding Sri Nityananda's principle. Now, I will discuss about these lines.

Sankarshanah karontoshaye garbhadashaye cha payohabdhishaye
Sheshashchay yasyanshaklah sa Nityanandaakhyaramah sharnan mamastu (CC 1/1/7)

Translation--I take refuge of Balarama who is renamed as Sri Nityananda—who is the part of Vishnu--the Lord of Gravity, the Lord lying in Karon Samudra, the Supreme Lord of the universe, the Lord lying in Kshirodsagar and Anantdev.

Maya atite byapi baikunthaloke punyaishwarya Srichaturbyuhmadhey
Rupan yasyodabhati sankarshanakhyan tan Sri Nityanandaraman prapadye (CC 1/1/8)

Translation: In the spiritual universe, beyond the material universe, in all the 16 elements of pleasure, the Supreme Lord dwells in the form of Vasudeva, Sankarshan, Pradyumna and Anirudha and these are the four plenary expansions of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. Among all these expansions I take refuge under the Sankarshan (the gravitational power) of Sri Balarama who has taken the form of Nityananda.

Sankarshan is the second plenary expansion of Sriman Narayana. That Shankarshan is a portion of Sri Nityananda, and Sri Narayana is the portion of Sri Krishna.

Mayabhartajantu sanghashrayangah shete sakshat karona ombhodhi madhey
Yasaykansheh Sripumandidebastan Sri Nityanandaraman prapadhey.

Translation: I take refuge in Balarama who is renamed as Sri Nityananda, the one who is the supreme of this world (Mayadhish), whose every part is the part of this Universe (Brahmanda), He lies in the Causal Ocean (Karon samudra), the first Purushavatar, Adidev is a part of him.

Adidev. Because He is the first avatar, first Purush. God has endless powers. There are three main powers--Antrang,Tatstha,and Bahiranga. Swarupshakti is called Anatranga-shakti. Tatstha shakti is Jeev-shakti--that is every living thing is part of Him. Bahirang shakti is named as maya shakti or jar-shakti (material energy/nature).

Sri Krishna is the supreme owner/proprietor of all these shaktis (powers), but He plays (interacts) evidently with Swarupa shakti and Jeev shakti. By his wish Balarama keeps maya, jara and bahiranga shaktis under his control and maintains the Universe.

To look after the Sristhi karya (activity of creation) one portion of Sri Sankarshan descends from the Spiritual Universe, and lays down in Karon Samudra (causal ocean). Karon samudra is in the centre of Chinmaya Bhumi and Mayik Brahmanda (material universe). Karon samudra is also chinmaya. As such, one part of Sri Sankarshan lies in the samudra. From here He directs his maya shakti.

As it is said, before, that Sri Nityananda is a part of Sankarshan of the Spiritual Universe. Adiavatar, one who is lying in Karon samudra, is part of Sankarshan. So Adidev or Adiavatar is Sri Nityananada's portion. Hence, He is directly taking part in the maintenence of Maya. Sri Chaitanya in the name and form of Sri Nityananda is taking care of this living world. God Himself never works directly with the Jar-shakti.

Sri Nityananda is thus the refuge of all living beings. He is Maha Sankarshan. Krishnadas Kaviraj has explained:

Mahasankarshan sab jeever ashray
jaha haite vishoutpatti jahate pralay
shei purusher sankarshan samashray
sharbashray sarbadabhuta aishwarya apar
anant kahite nare mahima jahar
turiya vishudhsatwa sankarshan nam
tehon jahar ansh-shei Nityananda ram.
Yasanshanshah Srilgarbhodshaye yannabhyabjan loksangharnalmree
loksrasthuh shutikadham dhatustan Sri Nityananda raman prapadey
(CC Adi Leela, 5th chapter)


Translation: I take refuge of Sri Balarama who is renamed as Sri Nityananda; all the living beings of the 14 bhuvans (worlds), are in the lotus stem of His Nabhi padma, (navel lotus); His Nabhi-padma is the birth place of Brahma, His second Purushavtar who is Garbhodakashayee, is his expansion. Garbhodakashaye, while lying in Karon samudra, the first Purushavatar creates innumerable number of Brahmandas (universes). He then permeates each of the Brahmandas. All those parts of first Purushavatar, lying in the Karon samudra, when it enters and permeates every part of Brahmanda is called the second Purushavtar, and he is Garbhodakashaye Vishnu. He is the part of Karon samudra-shayee, so he is the part of Sri Sankarshan, who is in the Paravyom. So he is the minutest part of Sri Niyananda. But why is he Garbhodakashaye? Because he fills half of the Brahmanda (garbha) with his sweat (uda), and then lies there. A lotus stem grows from his navel and there the Creator of the Universe Brahma takes birth. That is why the lotus is called Shutika-griha (labour room). All the beings of the 14 bhuvans (worlds) are in that lotus stem.

The 14 bhuvans are--Patal, Rasatal, Mahatal, Talatal, Sutal, Bital and Atal--these are the 7 patal i.e.hells. Above this there are 7 lokas—Bhuh (earth), Bhuvah, Swaha, Mahah, Janah, Tapah and Satyalok. Shukadev told Raja Parikshit: the different parts of the body of the Lord are to be conceived of as--the feet is paataal, the front and the back of the feet is rasaatal, the calf is mahatal, two thighs are talaatal, the two knees are sutaal, upper part of the thighs are bitaal and atal. These are all lower planetary systems (hells).

Above this is Bhuh, the navel is Bhuvah, the breast is Swaha, neck is Mahar, face is Janah, forehead is Tapah and the head is Satyalok. (SB IInd lesson, 1 chapter 26-28 slokas).

Yasanshanshansah Paratmakhilanan
Posta Vishnubharti dugdhadhishayee
khinoubharta yatkala sohpanyantstan
Sri Nityanandarasan prapadey.


Translation--I take refuge in the Lord who is the savior of every living being in the universe; He is the part of Kshirodakshayee Vishnu, He is the part of the Anantdev, who has taken the burden of the earth,and who is Balarama renamed as Nityananda.

Krishnadas Kaviraj has described the magnitude of Sri Nityananda in five slokas. He has explained the actual self of Sri Nityananda. Sri Nityananda and Balarama are one. Sri Nityananda is the pleasure expansion of Sri Chaitanya. The second plenary expansion, Sankarshan is the part of Sri Nityananda. Narayana who is lying in Karan samudra, who is Garbhodakshaye, who is Kshirodakshaye and who is second purush avatar is also one minute part of Him. I take refuge of the One who is the saviour and soul of every living being

Sri Nityananda Prabhu ki Jai !!

Jai Jai Sri Radhey Shyam !!