Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Having taken the intrinsic mood and beauty of Shrimati Radhika, Shri Krishna is now Sacinandana Gaurahari. His elder brother Baladeva Prabhu, the son of Rohini devi, who was playing with Shri Krishna in Vraja, is now Nityananda Prabhu. Baladeva Prabhu of Vraja in Krishna-lila has a vaibhava-prakasha manifestation in Dvaraka named Sankarshana, and His vaibhava-prakasha in Vaikuntha is named Maha-Sankarshana.
In Dvaraka, Baladeva Prabhu took up His plough and club and killed many demons, and it was in Dvaraka that He married Varuni-devi and Revati-devi. From Sankarshana (Baladeva) of Dvaraka manifests Maha-Sankarshana of Vaikuntha, and His manifestation is Karanodakasayi Visnu, then from Him Garbodakasayi Visnu, and from Him Ksirodakashayi Visnu. Another of His manifestations is Sesa, who becomes the seat, throne, fan, slippers, and all other paraphernalia of Shri Krishna. Sesa, in the form of an unlimited hooded serpent, also carries the totality of universes upon His thousands and thousands of hoods. In this connection there is a verse:
Sankarshana karana toya-sayi
garbodha-sayi ca payobhdi-sayi
sesas ca yasamsa-kalah sa nitya-
nandakhya-ramah saranam mamastu
“Sankarshana, Sesa-Naga, and the Visnus who lie on the Karana, Garbha, and Ksira Oceans, are the plenary portions and portions of the plenary portions of Shri Nityananda Rama. May He give me shelter.” (from the diary of Shri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami)
Baladeva is Rohini-nandana, the son of Rohini-devi, in Vraja, but in Dvaraka and Mathura He is the son of Vasudeva and Devaki. When Devaki became pregnant, Rohini used to visit Vasudeva Maharaja and Devaki in the jail of Kamsa, to serve them. During one visit Rohini also became pregnant, and therefore both Devaki and Rohini were pregnant at the same time. After some time Rohini went to Gokula, to the house of Nanda and Yasoda, and some time after that, Krishna ordered Yogamaya to take the son of Devaki and place Him in the womb of Rohini. In this way, Devaki-nandana merged with Rohini-nandana and They became one.
The same thing happened with Krishna. He appeared in Mathura before Vasudeva and Devaki in a four-armed form like Narayana, whereupon Vasudeva and Devaki prayed to Him, “Kamsa will come and kill You, so please become a baby with only two arms.
Meanwhile, Yasoda-nandana was born in Gokula from the womb of Mother Yasoda in a two-armed form. Hearing their prayer that the four-armed Krishna transform into a two-armed baby form, Yasoda-nandana from Gokula appeared there in Mathura and took that son of Devaki-nandana into His own form. Thus They became one, and the two-armed baby was brought to Gokula by Vasudeva.
Krishna’s twin younger sister, Yogamaya, was then brought to Mathura by Vasudeva Maharaja. Kamsa took that baby girl in his hands to kill Her. She immediately became Mahamaya and flew up in the air, holding many weapons in Her various hands. She kicked Kamsa on his forehead and made him almost unconscious. Kamsa exclaimed, “This is my worshipful Deity! Now I cannot be saved! Durga-devi has taken birth from Devaki, so I will not be excused. She will not tolerate that I have tortured her parents. I will be killed no matter what. He began to pray to her, and then she said, “The person who will kill you has already taken birth elsewhere.
In the same way, Rohini-nandana Baladeva of Gokula took Devaki-nandana within His own form, and now that very Baladeva Prabhu has come in the form on Nityananda Prabhu.
Nityananda Prabhu’s birthplace was in Ekachakra-grama in the district of Radhadesa. His father was Hadai Pandita and His mother was Padmavati-devi. In their childhood Shri Nityananda (Nitai) and His young friends performed dramas based on the Supreme Lord’s pastimes. In the dramas depicting Lord Rama’s pastimes, Nitai took the role of Laksmana, and in the dramas of Krishna’s pastimes He would take the role of Balarama – and He completely absorbed Himself in His role.
One day, in the midst of His young friends, Nityananda Prabhu said, “Today we will play Rama-lila, and I will be Laksmana.” He told one friend, “You should be Rama, he will be Ravana, and he will be Hanuman.” In this way they began to play in two parties. Nityananda Prabhu had told them, “When the appropriate time comes, Ravana’s demonic brother Meghnatha will shoot Me with his sakti weapon and I will faint. When this happens, you should remember to send Hanuman to bring the mountain of the ayurvedic medicine called sanjivani-bhuti. The ayurvedic doctor Susena will then come and put that herb under my nostrils, and immediately afterwards I will wake up.”
Thus, they began to play in their drama. They made some bows from bamboo, began to play-fight, and a great battle ensued. Near the end of the battle, Meghnatha shot Laksmana. Nityananda Prabhu was so absorbed in the mood of Laksmana fighting in Lanka that He actually became unconscious by the power of Meghanatha’s blow to His chest. Seeing this, Rama wept and His associates were greatly saddened, but they forgot how to wake Him up. He lay there as though dead, and everyone began to weep. He remained in that condition for so long that the other boys tearfully went to inform His parents.
The villagers came to the spot of the drama. One of the villagers, who was a very learned pandita, said, “He is going to die. Has He told you what to do when this happens?”
The boys said, “Yes, He told us what to do.”
“What was it?”
They said, “He told us to send Hanuman to bring sanjivani-bhuti. Hanuman should bring the entire mountain, and when Laksmana smells the sanjivani-bhuti from the Gandha-madana Mountain, He will regain consciousness.”
The villagers then told the boy who was playing Hanuman, “O Hanuman, you should go,” after which ‘Hanuman’ went somewhere and brought something back that would represent sanjivani-bhuti. The villager then said, “Now, you should be the doctor Susena and put this under His nostril.” When the ‘doctor’ did this, Nityananda Prabhu awoke saying, “Jai Shri Rama!”
When Nityananda Prabhu became about ten or twelve years old, a saintly brahmana named Laksmipati Tirtha came to His home and told His father, “I want to take your son with me on a pilgrimage to India’s holy places. Please give Him to me.” Hadai Pandita began to weep, while someone told him, “You should give him your son, just as King Dasaratha gave Rama to the sage Visvamitra. The outcome was very auspicious.” Hadai Pandita and Padmavati thus gave Nityananda Prabhu to Laksmipati Tirtha, who travelled to all the places of pilgrimage in India. Together They went in all four directions – north, south, east, and west. They went to Dvaraka, Ayodhya, Vrndavana, and all other holy places.
When He became a youth, Nityananda Prabhu began to search for Krishna in Vrndavana, calling out, “Where is My brother Kanai (a nickname of Krishna)?” He would embrace cows, deer, and cowherd boys, and the Vrajavasis thought that he was a mad person. Somewhere in a temple, an aerial voice said, “Your brother is not here in Vrndavana. He is now in Mayapura, Bengal. You can go and search for Him there.”
He then went to Navadvipa, hid Himself in Nandana Acarya’s house, and said, “If My Sacinandana comes here searching for Me, and He recognizes me, then I will know that He is my brother Krishna.”
Meanwhile, Mahaprabhu ordered Shrivasa Pandita and other associates, “Please search to see if any mahabhagavata has come to Navadvipa.” For the entire day they searched everywhere, in temples and in houses, but they could not find a mahabhagavata. Then Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who was Nimai Pandita at that time, personally came to Nandana Acarya’s house with Shri Gadadhara Pandita and many associates.
Then They saw each other – Nimai saw Nityananda Prabhu and Nityananda Prabhu saw Nimai – after which They embraced each other and fainted.
At that time, Gadhadhara Prabhu began to recite the verse:
barhapidam´ nataa-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram´
bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam
randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair
vrndaranyam´ sva-pada-ramanam´ pravisad gita-kirtih
“Wearing a peacock-feather ornament upon His head, blue karnikara flowers on His ears, a yellow garment as brilliant as gold, and the Vaijayanti garland, Lord Krishna exhibited His transcendental form as the greatest of dancers as He entered the forest of Vrndavana, beautifying it with the marks of His footprints. He filled the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sang His glories.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.21.5)
When Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu regained consciousness, Mahaprabhu took Nityananda Prabhu to meet Mother Saci.
Nityananda Prabhu used to treat the wife of Shrivasa Pandita, Malini devi, as His mother, so He would sit in her lap naked to drink her breast milk . One day Nityananda Prabhu went naked to the house of Mother Saci and Mahaprabhu said, “What are you doing?” He then gave him a chadar (cloth) to cover Himself. There are so many pastimes like this.