Sri Krsna's Vrindavan Associates Subala, Part 4


The Cowherd Boys of Vraja
Kangra, c. 1780

Jan 20, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Sri Krsna's transcendental Vrindavan associates.

Sri Krsna's Vrindavan friend, Subala, also manifested during Lord Caitanya's Lila. This is stated in Sri Gaura Ganodesa Dipika by Srila Kavi Karnapura:

    "Lord Krsna's dearest friend Subala appeared in Lord Caitanya's pastimes as Gauridasa Pandita." (128)

In the Ananta-samhita, which is part of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Narada-pancaratra, there are statements wherein the Lord predicts His coming Appearance in Navadvipa as Sri Caitanya:

    "In Kali-Yuga, I will descend to the earth with My associates. In Navadvipa, which is surrounded by the Ganges, I will take birth in Saci-devi 's womb.

    They who are bewildered by My illusory potency will not understand the great secret of the appearance in this world of Me in My personal form, in My form as the incarnation of devotion, in My form as the incarnation of a devotee, in My form bearing the name of a devotee, in My form as a devotee, and in My form as the giver of devotional service.

    This secret is not to be revealed to them. Only the saintly, pure, renounced devotees, diligently engaged in My devotional service, will be able to understand Me in these five forms.

    My dear male and female associates, headed by Sridama and Subala, who came to this world at the time of My advent as Lord Krsna, will come again during the Kali-Yuga.

    The Gopas will become the sixty-four mahantas and the twelve gopalas. To establish the truth of religion, I will enjoy many pastimes with them.

    In this way I will again reveal the path of devotional service, which has been destroyed in the course of time. My sons should also descend to the earth, assume the forms of devotees, and, by My order, also work to re-establish the principles of true religion.

    At this time My names will be: Krsna Caitanya, Gauranga, Gauracandra, Sacisuta, Mahaprabhu, Gaura and Gaurahari. Chanting these names will bring devotion to Me."

    (Ananta-Samhita, Verse 70)

In Caitanya Lila, Subala, the person of Gauridas Pandita, is very devoted to Nityananda Prabhu. And as Sri Krsna loves His confidential friend Subala in Vraj, so Mahaprabhu loves His dearmost friend, Gauridasa Pandit. The Lord's affection for Gauridasa is also compared to His love for Svarupa Damodara.

In his Sri Stavavali, Srila Raghunatha das Goswami writes:

    Sri Gauranga-stava-kalpa-vriksha
    The Desire Tree of Prayers to Lord Gauranga

    Text 10

    dayam yo govinde garuda iva lakshmi-patir alam
    puri-deve bhaktim ya iva guru-varye yaduvarah
    svarupe yah sneham giridhara iva srila-subale
    vidhatte gaurango hridaya udayan mam madayati

    dayam-mercy; yah-who; govinde-to Govinda; garude-to Garuda; iva-like; lakshmi-patih-the Lord of the goddess of fortune; alam-greatly; puri-deve-to Isvara Puri; bhaktim-devotion; yah-who; iva-like; guru-varye-great spiritual master; yaduvarah-the best of the Yadus; svarupe-to Svarupa; yah-who; sneham-love; giridharah-Lord Giridhari; iva-like; srila-subale-to Subala; vidhatte-places;

    "As Lord Narayana is kind to Garuda, He is kind to Govinda dasa. As Lord Krishna is devoted to His guru, He is devoted to Isvara Puri. As Lord Giridhari loves Subala, He loves Svarupa Damodara. May that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rise in my heart and make me mad with love."

    (Sri Stavavali, Volume One by Srila Raghunath das Goswami)

It is also said that Ramananda Raya had the same type of relationship with Caitanya Mahaprabhu that Subala had in Vraj with Sri Krsna, as His friend and helper.

In the biographical narrative of Sri Syamananda Pandita, we learn more about Subala's appearance and lineage in Caitanya Lila:

    "Sri Shyamananda Prabhu was a servant of a servant of Subala in Krishna-lila. He was the disciple of Hridayananda or Hriday Chaitanya, who was a disciple of Gauri Das Pandit. Gauri Das was Subala in Krishna-lila.

    yam loka bhuvi kirtayanti hridayanandasya shishyam priyam
    sakhye shri-subalasya yam bhagavatah preshthanushishyam tatha
    sa shriman rasikendra-mastaka-manish citte mamaharnisham
    shri-radhapriya-narma-marmasu rucim sampadayan bhasatam

    Sri Shyamananda was known in this world as Hridayananda's dear disciple; he was the grand-disciple of Subala sakha, the most dear friend of the Supreme Lord; he was the crest-jewel of the enjoyers of sacred rapture. May he appear day and night in my mind, bringing an appreciation for the essence of the joys of the beloved of Sri Radha. (Shyamananda-shataka)"

There are wonderful passages found in various Vaisnava literatures about both Lord Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu manifesting ecstatic symptoms in which They were remembering the Lord's pastimes in Vraj in the company of Subala.

In his Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur writes:

    Description of Ritudvipa and Radha-kunda

    "They came to Ratupura and saw the beauty of that town. Sri Nityananda said, "We have now come to Ritudvipa. This place is extremely attractive. The trees are bending down their heads in respect, the breeze is blowing gently, and the flowers are blooming everywhere. The humming of the bees and the fragrance of the flowers intoxicate the travelers' minds here."

    As He was saying this, Nityananda became like a madman and exclaimed, "Quickly, bring My horn! The calves have gone far off, and Krishna is fast asleep and won't come. He is acting like a baby. Where are Subala and Dama? All alone I cannot go and herd the cows!" Shouting, "Kanai! Kanai!" Nityananda jumped a few yards.

    Seeing His state, the devotees immediately supplicated at Nityananda's feet, "O Prabhu Nityananda, Your brother, Gauracandra is no longer here. He has taken sannyasa and gone to Nilacala, leaving us poor beggars."

    Upon hearing those words, Nityananda became dejected and fell to the ground crying, "You have put us in such sorrow, Kanai, My brother! You have taken sannyasa and left us to go to Nilacala. I will not continue My life. I will jump in the Yamuna River!" Saying this, Sri Nityananda lost consciousness.

    Sensing Nityananda Prabhu's elevated state of spiritual emotional, they began to chant the holy name. After two hours had passed, Nityananda still did not rise. Finally, when the devotees began chanting the glories of Gauranga, Nitai awoke."

    (Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Parikrama-khanda, Chapter Twelve by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur)

In his Sri Navadvipa Bhava-taranga, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur also writes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's ecstasies of Vraj Lila:

    "Enchanting Ritudvipa is filled with attractive forests. The seasons headed by spring perform eternal service to the Lord here. This Ritudvipa is the abode of transcendental bliss, for it is part of the area of Radha-kunda in Vraja.

    While singing the glories of Krishna and remembering Krishna's pastimes as a cowherd, sometimes Gauranga would loudly call again and again the names of the cows, "Syamali! Dhubali!" He would then cry as He called out for Subala and Sridama.

    When will I wander in Ritudvipa, seeing the beauty of the forest and remembering the Lord's pastimes? Then I will become stunned as the pastimes at Radha-kunda manifest before my eyes.

    Here, on the bank of Manasa-ganga, Krishna and Balarama with Dama, Bala, and Mahabala, go to solitary forests with countless cows and calves. While playing various games, all the boys sing the glories of Krishna.

    As the cowherd boys engage in various discussions, the calves go off grazing in distant forests. Losing sight of the calves, all the boys become anxious, but the calves immediately come running at the sound of Krishna's flute.

    As I see this pastime, it suddenly vanishes, and I will fall to the ground unconscious. Then, regaining my senses, I will rise up and wander slowly through the forests.

    "O Gauranga! O Krishnacandra, ocean of mercy! You are the wealth of the wretched and poor, and I am the lowest rascal!"

    (Sri Navadvipa Bhava-taranga, Ecstatic Waves of Navadvipa by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur)

In tomorrow's segment, we will present a biographical sketch of Gauridasa Pandita, the great devotee Subala in his Caitanya-lila manifestation.


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