Ādi 17: The Pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Youth
The seventeenth chapter, as summarized by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya, describes Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes from His sixteenth year until the time He accepted the renounced order of life. Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has already vividly described these pastimes in the Caitanya-bhāgavata; therefore Kṛṣṇa dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī describes them only briefly. Vivid descriptions of some portions of His pastimes are seen in this chapter, however, because Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has not elaborately described them.
In this chapter we shall find descriptions of the mango distribution festival and Lord Caitanya’s discourses with Chand Kazi. Finally, the chapter shows that the same son of mother Yaśodā, Lord Kṛṣṇa, tasted four transcendental mellows of devotional service in His form of Śacīnandana, the son of mother Śacī. To understand Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s ecstatic love for Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa assumed the form of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The attitude of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is considered the superexcellent devotional mentality. As Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa Himself assumed the position of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī to taste Her ecstatic situation. No one else could do this.
When Śrī Kṛṣṇa assumed the form of the four-armed Nārāyaṇa, the gopīs showed their respect, but they were not very interested in Him. In the ecstatic love of the gopīs, all worshipable forms but Kṛṣṇa are rejected. Among all the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī has the highest ecstatic love. When Kṛṣṇa in His form of Nārāyaṇa saw Rādhārāṇī, He could not keep His position as Nārāyaṇa and again assumed the form of Kṛṣṇa.
The King of Vrajabhūmi is Nanda Mahārāja, and the same person in Navadvīpa is Jagannātha Miśra, the father of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Similarly, mother Yaśodā is the Queen of Vrajabhūmi, and in the pastimes of Lord Caitanya she is Śacīmātā. Therefore the son of Śacī is the son of Yaśodā. Śrī Nityānanda occupies an ecstatic position of parental love in servitude and fraternal attraction. Śrī Advaita Prabhu exhibits the ecstasy of both fraternity and servitude. All the Lord’s other associates, situated in their original love, engage in the service of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
The same Absolute Truth who enjoys as Kṛṣṇa, Śyāmasundara, who plays His flute and dances with the gopīs, sometimes takes birth in a brāhmaṇa family and plays the part of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, accepting the renounced order of life. It appears contradictory that the same Kṛṣṇa accepted the ecstasy of the gopīs, and of course this is very difficult for an ordinary person to understand. But if we accept the inconceivable energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we can understand that everything is possible. There is no need of mundane arguments in this connection, because mundane arguments are meaningless in regard to inconceivable potency.
At the end of the seventeenth chapter, Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, following in the footsteps of Śrīla Vyāsadeva, has summarized all the ādi-līlā pastimes separately.