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CANDRASEKHARA ACARYARATNA

Page history last edited by Juan Castañeira 15 years, 1 month ago

CANDRASEKHARA ACARYARATNA

 

 

Sri Candrasekhara Deva or Candrasekhara Acaryaratna was the uncle of Mahaprabhu, the husband of the sister of His mother. According to Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, he was one of the nine Nidhis. Along with other residents of Sri Hatta he came to live at Navadwipa, near the house of Jagannath Misra, in anticipation of the Lord's appearance, for which they had all been praying.

 

Candrasekhara and his wife were present in the home of Jagannatha Misra and Sacidevi since the time of the birth of their child Nimai, and took part in his upbringing. Sometimes they would take Nimai with them to their house, and as they had no children of their own, they considered Nimai to be their own son.

 

After the disappearence of Jagannath Misra, Candrasekhara accepted the responsibility of looking after the family. Sacimata would always consult with him before undertaking any important activity. Later on, Sri Gaurasundara used to hold congregational chanting at Candrasekhara's house as well in Srivasa Pandita's courtyard.

 

One day Sri Gaurasundara expressed his desire to put on a play at Candrasekhara's house. Just before sunset all the devotees gathered at Acaryaratna's house. No one had ever before anticipated such happiness at the prospect of witnessing a dramatic performance. Advaita Acarya, Srivasa Pandita, Haridasa Thakura and Candrasekhara Acaryaratna each appeared in various guises and acted our their parts on the stage with Sri Gaura Hari.

 

Sacimata was present along with Visnupriya. Sri Gaurasundara entered the stage, dressed as Laksmidevi. Everyone thought that the goddess Herself had descended from Vaikunthanagar, and thus they were stunned. Sacimata inquired, "Is this the goddess Laksmidevi herself?" Acaryaratna's wife replied, "Can't you recognise your son Nimai?" Startled, Sacimata wondered, "That's my Nimai? No it couldn't be."

 

For some days, Mahaprabhu enjoyed this pastime with His devotees, holding dramatic performances, and this increased the ecstasy of the inhabitants of Navadwipa.

 

Candrasekhara was also present during the Lord's pastime of holding a torchlit nama sankirtan procession in defiance of the Kazi.

 

Amongst the thousand names of Visnu recorded in Mahabharata one is: sannyaskrt samah nistha santi parayanah. Eventually the time came for the Lord to enact this pastime. It was as though the ocean of nectar became severly agitated by great waves. The devotees' hearts became greatly afflicted by anticipation of the pain of separation. Candrasekhara fell to the ground unconsious. As he regained his senses the earth became soaked with his tears. Nityananda consoled him saying, "Candrasekhara, if you want to witness the further divine transcendental pastimes of the Lord, then try to get the hold of yourself. Prabhu will remain by your side, bound by your love for Him."

 

Candrasekhara came to the Lord's house in the evening. Unable to bear the pangs of impending separation, he broke into tears while gazing at the serenely pure face of the Lord. Mahaprabhu could understand everything and so He got up and embraced Candrasekhara very firmly. Candrasekhara asked Him, "Are you going to plunge Nadia into darkness by going away?" Mahaprabhu replied, "Acaryaratna, just try to be patient. I am eternally bound by your love for me. How lovingly you raised me as a child!. Do you think that I will ever be able to make up this debt to you?"

 

As He spoke, tears welled up in His eyes. Candrasekhara caught hold of Sri Gaurasundara and held Him tightly to his chest. For some time the two of them silently shed tears. Finally Mahaprabhu said, "My pastimes are meant to deliver all living beings. Even though I may accept sannyasa, I'll always remain bound within the temple of your heart. Please don't be impatient. You have to perform the requisite ceremonies for my acceptance of sannyasa."

 

Hearing these words of Mahaprabhu, Candrasekhar was a little consoled. As per the instructions of Mahaprabhu, Candrasekhara came quietly to Keshava Bharati's asrama. As his guardian, Candrasekhara, though his heart was splitting in two, performed the requisite rites. After completing the ceremony, Mahaprabhu sent Acaryaratna back to Navadwipa. When the devotees heard from Candrasekhara what had transpired, they sent up a heart-rending cry. Acaryaratna tried to console everyone and informed them of Lord's future pastimes. [C.B.Ant 1.33]

 

When after wandering in Radhadesa for three days, Nityananda managed to bring Mahaprabhu to Santipur, Candrasekhara, Sacimata and the other devotees from Navadwip came there to meet Him. Then, after passing a few months in great distress, they came to Nilacala during the rainy season to again see the Lord of their life. When they reached Atharo Nala, Mahaprabhu came to greet them and presented flower garlands from Lord Jagannatha to Adwaita Acarya, Srivasa Pandita and Candrasekhara. Then He embraced them all while everyone shed tears of ecstasy.

 

After taking up their various residences there, they all began to extend invitations to Mahaprabhu. The first was from Sita Thakurani, then Malinidevi and then Acaryaratna's wife, whom Mahaprabhu considered as nondifferent from his mother. She herself had cooked many preparations and those preparations which Sacimata had sent, these also she fed Him. With great affection Mahaprabhu told his aunt, "Masima, please offer my obeisances to my mother and inform her that I come to visit her every day. She thinks that she is seeing a dream but I actually come there to take my meal."

 

The main branch of Sri Caitanya Matha was established at Braja Pattan, the home of Candrasekhar, by Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.

 

 

 

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