Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes- The nourishment for the soul- Part 13

Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes- The nourishment for the soul- Part 13

The Gopal pastime

Once Jagannath Mishra had a dream where a Brahmin appeared and advised
him against scolding his son Nimai. “You do not know but your son is
the Supreme Lord”, said the Brahmin, “You should not scold him like
that.” Jagannath Mishra replied, “He may be who he is, but I am his
father and it’s my duty to correct him and help him. If I don’t
educate him, who will?” Thus Jagannath Mishra’s paternal affection
blinded him to the reality of his son’s divinity. Excited, he shared
his dream with his wife and friends, and they all marvelled at
Vishwambar’s pastimes.

One late evening, a travelling Brahmin, a devotee of Lord Gopal,
arrived at Jagannath Mishra’s doorstep. The parents of Nimai honoured
the guest and wished to serve him. The humble Brahmin didn’t want
anything personally but to appreciate the hospitality, asked for
ingredients so that he could cook for his Gopal deity. It was already
night and he would also eat only food that he cooked and offered to
his Gopal.

Jagannath Mishra arranged rice and other ingredients. After cooking
and offering the bhoga, the Brahmin opened his eyes to see the
sanctified food, and to his great shock, he saw little Nimai in front
of him eating the Prasad, with his both hands mixed with food grains.

“Hai! Hai!” the Brahmin exclaimed, “The child has spoiled the
offering. This is meant for my Lord. Oh no!” Jagannath Mishra was
angry at the child and chased him, but Nimai ran away smiling. The
Brahmin told Jagannath Mishra that Nimai is only a child and its okay;
he is happy with little fruits and there is no need to offer rice to
Gopal. Jagannath Mishra was profusely apologetic and requested the
Brahmin to cook again. Reluctantly, after many appeals by Jagannath
Mishra, the Brahmin agreed and first the kitchen was cleaned and fresh
bhoga was arranged, and he then cooked rice for his deity.

Meanwhile Jagannath Mishra asked the ladies to guard Nimai and ensure
that he doesn’t spoil the offering of the Brahmin next time. The child
was taken to the neighbour’s house and the women there played with
Nimai, and kept him engaged. They asked him, “Oh child, why did you
eat the food of this Brahmin? You don’t even know who he is and from
where he has come. You shouldn’t spoil your caste by eating from
unknown strangers.” Nimai replied, “I am a cowhered boy and I always
eat food offered by brahmins.”

Nimai was speaking the truth; after all as Krishna He always ate food
offered by devotees. But the simple women couldn’t understand the
young boy’s chatter.

To be continued…

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