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Sri Visvarupa Mahotsava

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In the Adi-khanda of his Caitanya Mangala (422-456), Locana Das narrates the story of Visvarupa's renouncing the world.



<font face="Georgia" color="darkblue">Song 12 (Sindhuda raga)


Now I will describe a conversation of Murari Gupta and Damodara Pandita. Damodara Pandita asked Murari Gupta: “I would like to ask one question I have long considered in my heart. Dear Murari Gupta, this question I ask you: How did the Lord’s brother, Visvarupa, leave home and accept sannyasa? This question I respectfully ask about His qualities and pastimes.”


With a happy heart Murari Gupta replied: “Please listen. Listen, O Damodara, O best of the panditas, and I will tell whatever I know. Visvarupa was Lord Visvambhara’s elder brother. He was the abode of transcendental virtues. How can I describe all His virtues and pastimes? In a short time He became learned in all the scriptures. He was devoted to duty and detached from matter. He was happy at heart. He was devoted to His spiritual master, the Supreme Lord, and the brahmanas. He very affectionately served His mother and father. He understood the conclusion of Vedanta. He knew the secret heart of all duties. He knew that no pious deed is separate from devotional service to Lord Visnu. He was loved by everyone. He was very perfect. In his heart lived renunciation, spiritual knowledge, spiritual faith, and true intelligence. One day as, a book in his left hand, he conversed with a fellow student as they walked on the royal path, Jagannatha Misra noticed Him.


Jagannatha Misra thought: ‘My son is 16 years old. Now, in the prime of his youth, he should be married.’ Father Jagannatha Misra thought in his heart: ‘I should consider what girl will be suitable for Visvarupa.’ Thinking and thinking, the brahmana Jagannatha Misra returned to his home. In his heart he was thinking of Visvarupa’s marriage. At that moment the brahmana Visvarupa also returned home. His father was surprised to see Him. Visvarupa knew what was in His father’s heart. Glancing at him, the great brahmana Visvarupa knew what His surprised father was planning.


In His heart Visvarupa thought: ‘He is thinking how to arrange My marriage. It is not right for Me to marry. But if I don’t marry, mother will be very unhappy.’ As He thought of all this, night turned to sunrise. Then, a book in His left hand, He left home. Saintly Visvarupa crossed the Ganga and accepted sannyasa.


Song 13 (Patha-manjari raga)


In their hearts Mother Saci and Father Jagannatha Misra thought: ‘Nine hours have passed. Why has our son not returned?” Jagannatha Misra searched for Him. He went to every house, but he did not find His son. From person to person, from ear to ear, the news circulated: Visvarupa accepted sannyasa. The news went to you and also to me. Finally hearing it himself, Father Jagannatha Misra fell unconscious. When Saci-devi heard it, she also fell unconscious to the ground. For them a blinding darkness covered the three worlds. “Visvarupa!”, Saci called out. “Son, come back. We want to gaze on You. Why did You leave home and accept sannyasa? Your limbs are so beautiful! Your feet are so beautiful! How can You travel on long journeys, walking on the roads? You cannot let even three hours pass without eating. Now You will not find even a single sesame seed. Before whom will You place Your requests now? Now that my son has gone there is no peace in my heart. Moment after moment I yearn for His return. When I go to bathe, I am not peaceful. I think: My Visvarupa may return.


“When You call out, `Mother!’, that sound is more dear to me than millions and millions of treasures. When i gaze at Your face I forget myself. What sufferings did You feel that now You throw fire at my face, that now You have become a poverty-stricken sannyasi? I do not know. O father of Visvarupa, wherever Visvarupa went, go there. Go and bring my son home. Let the people say whatever they say. Bring my son back. Again I will arrange for His sacred-thread ceremony.”


Then Jagannatha Misra said: “O goddess, O queen Saci, please listen. Please be peaceful at heart. Don’t lament any more. This whole material world is a lie. Visvarupa is a very exalted person. Good fortune has now come to our families. Visvarupa is a very good son. From childhood He was always a sannyasi in spirit. Please give Him your blessings. Bless Him that He will be always steady on the spiritual path, that He will easily maintain His vow of sannyasa. Listen. Don’t think in terms of calamity or good fortune. Don’t lament without reason. When a man accepts sannyasa he delivers ten million of his kinsmen. Visvarupa is a jewel among men.”


Hearing Jagannatha Misra’s words, Saci again said: “What did you say? Please say it again, O saintly one.” Jagannatha Misra repeated: “When a man accepts sannyasa he delivers ten million of his family members. Therefore our son has done good.”


In this way the two of them felt both grief and joy in their hearts. How can I describe their glories? Their good fortune has no end. They had Visvarupa as their son. Murari Gupta then said to Damodara Pandita: Now you have heard the story of Visvarupa accepting sannyasa. Repeating the conversation of those two, Locana dasa sings this song glorifying Lord Visvarupa.


At that time Lord Visvambhara sat on His mother’s lap. She gazed at her dear son’s face. He said: “Where did My brother go? Listen. Listen, O mother and father. I will protect you.” Hearing these words, Jagannatha Misra and Saci-rani hugged their son. Gazing at Lord Visvambhara’s face, they forgot all their sorrows. Locana dasa recounts this story.</font>

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