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CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU REVEALS HIS DIVINITY

CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU REVEALS HIS DIVINITY

When Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to South India he met the great devotee, Rāmānanda Rāya, and spoke to him about the highest perfection of devotional service. In great ecstasy, appreciating what a great devotee Rāmānanda Rāya was, Caitanya Mahāprabhu blessed him by revealing his, Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s, identity.

Rāmānanda Rāya already knew he was Kṛṣṇa, but to give Rāmānanda a special blessing, Caitanya Mahāprabhu revealed he was none other than Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa combined.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu also revealed his true identity to an astrologer. This astrologer realized that Caitanya Mahāprabhu was Kṛṣṇa himself who had already appeared in previous ages. Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked the astrologer a question, “Please tell me by your astrological calculations who I was in my previous birth?”

The astrologer immediately began to calculate. Seeing Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to be the same Absolute Truth, the Supreme Brahman, Personality of Godhead, the astrologer was confused.

Struck with wonder the astrologer remained silent, unable to speak. But when the Lord again put the question before him, he replied as follows.

“My dear sir, in Your previous birth You were the shelter of all creation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full of all opulences. You are now the same Personality of Godhead that You were in Your previous birth. Your identity is inconceivable eternal happiness.”

When the astrologer was speaking so highly of him, Caitanya Mahāprabhu stopped him and began to smile.

“My dear sir,” He said, “I think you do not know very clearly what I was, for I know that in My previous birth I was a cowherd boy. In My last birth I was born in the family of cowherd men and I gave protection to the calves and cows. Because of such pious activities I have now become the son of a brāhmaṇa.”

The astrologer said:

“What I saw in meditation was full of opulence and therefore I was confused. I am certain that Your form and the form I saw in my meditation are one and the same. If I see any difference, this is an act of Your illusory energy.”

The all-knowing astrologer concluded:

“Whatever You may be or whoever You may be, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You!” By His causeless mercy, the Lord then gave him love of God, thus rewarding him for his service. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 17.104, 106–114)

Caitanya Mahāprabhu also exhibited his non-difference from Lord Balarāma, taking on Balarāma’s mood and playing out his pastimes:

One day the Lord sat down in the corridor of the Viṣṇu temple and began calling very loudly, “Bring some honey! Bring some honey!” Nityānanda Prabhu Gosāñi, understanding the ecstatic mood of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, brought a pot of Ganges water as a token and put it before Him. After drinking the water Lord Caitanya became so ecstatic that He began to dance. Thus everyone saw the pastime of attracting the river Yamunā.  When the Lord, in His ecstasy of Baladeva, was moving as if intoxicated by the beverage,  Advaita Ācārya, the chief of the ācāryas [ācārya-śekhara] saw Him in the form of Balarāma. Vanamālī Ācārya saw a golden plough in the hand of Balarāma, and the devotees all assembled together and danced, overwhelmed by ecstasy. In this way they danced continuously for twelve hours, and in the evening they all took a bath in the Ganges and then returned to their homes. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi- līlā, 17. 115–120)

Caitanya Mahāprabhu, being non-different from Kṛṣṇa, is the source of all forms of Godhead and therefore it is not surprising that from time to time he reveals these different forms.

—From the book “Paravidya-mala, Higher Knowledge Series: Volume One” by Krishna Kshetra Swami, 2021.