Once Lord Balarama (Krsna's elder brother) appeared to Laksmipati Tirtha to break the ground for a change in the regular line of the Madhva sampradaya. Big changes were to take place that would eventuate in a revolution in thought and deed. Lord Sri Krsna and His brother Lord Balarama were about to appear in the dress of devotees within the Madhva sampradaya.
brajendra nandana yei
saci-suta hoilo sei
balarama hoilo nitai
Narottama dasa Thakura sings in his "Ista Deve Vijnapti" in simple Bengali that "Lord Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, the King of Vraja, became the son of Saci (Lord Caitanya) and Balarama became Nitai (Nityananda). We have discussed in brief some of the situations that arose around this time that warranted these changes. We have also introduced some of the Vaisnavas who performed this task for the Lord. The change itself to many meant
seeing heart rendering devotion to the Lord, which was in many cases unable to be contained because of its intensity. Some objected to this as being mere sentimentalism, some even suggested that though the external sentiments were seen, other things were in the heart. This section from here on deals with some of those feelings. Obviously these situations are not to be imitated, as some cheaters do. As you will read shortly, these are insights to the personal relationships between the Lord and his pure devotees. This is not an ordinary thing, but by these personal dealings based on love is specifically how the Madhva sampradaya has come to be known all over the universe by the desire and preaching of it's members.

One story which is quite heart rending is the following story of Laksmipati Tirtha, the best of the sannyasis, who on one occasion was sitting in a solitary place performing his bhajana throughout the night. He was singing the glories of Lord Balarama. His unalloyed devotion was so intense he would sometimes cry or call out, "O Baladeva, kindly show me Your favor. I am so fallen and wicked." Tears would come from his eyes and he lost all patience and composure due to his old age and intense desire to see the Lord. He would sometimes collapse on the floor, stunned. This day, due to the devotional traumas he had undergone, he slept. It is described that Lord Nityananda, in His usual prankish mood, appeared to Laksmipati in His original form as Lord Balarama. Lord Balarama, Krsna's brother, appeared before Laksmipati in a dream, telling him that a wandering brahmana, in the form of an avadhuta madman had arrived in town. "He will come to you. Initiate him into the Vaisnava diksa mantras and accept him as your disciple." Then Lord Balarama spoke the mantra into Laksmipati's right ear and Laksmipati awoke. After a short time Laksmipati saw the avadhuta brahmana and his mind became full with anxious anticipation. When they met, Laksmipati couldn't take his eyes off the beautiful form of the Lord, His aura and His moonlike face and unblinking eyes. Hearing the sweet words of Lord Nityananda, Laksmipati's eyes brimmed over with swelling tears. That very day Laksmipati fulfilled the order of Lord Balarama and Nityananda became the favorite of Laksmipati.
nityananda prabhu vande
srimad laksmipati priyam
sri madhva-sampradaya
vardhanam bhakta vatsalam
"Respectful obeisances unto You, Nityananda Prabhu, the dear favorite of Laksmipati Tirtha. He (Nityananda) increases the bliss of the entire Madhva sampradaya and He has the innermost needs of the devotees foremost at hand."

Laksmipati couldn't understand his intense attraction for Nityananda or the bliss he felt just being near Him. On Nityananda's absence from his sight for a moment, intense separation came over him. Laksmipati stayed awake that night pondering over things. He had dozed off slightly, when again in a dream the Lord appeared. He was whitish in complexion, dressed in a blue dhoti. It was Nityananda in his dream, but then Nityananda transformed into Lord Balarama. Laksmipati was amazed and he bathed the Lord's feet with ecstatic tears from his eyes. He prayed to the Lord, "Surely You have made a fool of me and put this fallen wretch into much distress. Please show me Your mercy. You are my Lord. I take shelter at Your lotus feet." That same Sri Nityananda Rama (Balarama) fulfilled all of Laksmipati's cherished longings, though He forbade him from telling a soul of His identity, and then disappeared from sight.

When Laksmipati awoke in lamentation upon the Lord's disappearance, he saw that night had become the morning. Laksmipati changed from this day on. He didn't speak ever again, as his mind was always absorbed elsewhere. He looked terrible and his disciples became full of anxiety. Within a short while, without any warning, Laksmipati left this world. Who can understand properly the character and pastimes of the Lord and His pure devotee Laksmipati Tirtha? Just see the purity of Laksmipati, that the Lord appears directly to play with him.

Usually it is accredited to Madhavendra Puri Goswami, the disciple of Laksmipati, as being the spiritual master of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, but here it is mentioned otherwise.
Let us substantiate this story a little. In the Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya lila (3.85) Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami writes: "In Khadadaha, sometimes people misunderstood Nityananda Prabhu to belong to the sakta sampradaya whose philosophy is antah saktah bahih saivah sabhayam vaisnavo matah. According to the sakta sampradaya, a person called kaulavadhuta thinks materially while externally appearing to be a great devotee of Lord Siva. When such a person is in an assembly of Vaisnavas, he appears like a Vaisnava. Actually Nityananda Prabhu did not belong to such a community. Nityananda Prabhu was always a brahmacari of a sannyasi of the vaidika (Vedic) order. Actually He was a paramahamsa. Sometimes He is accepted to be a disciple of Laksmipati Tirtha. If He is so accepted, Nityananda Prabhu belonged to the Madhva sampradaya. He did not belong to the tantrika sampradaya of Bengal."

In a conversation I had with HH Bhakti Hridoy Mangal Maharaja, Secretary General of the Sri Caitanya Gaudiya Mutt, he remembered hearing personally an instance that was related by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada (sometime in the late 1920's during a class), wherein Lord Nityananda walked off with a sannyasi who came to beg alms at His parent's house (as mentioned in Caitanya Bhagavata). The sannyasi asked Hadai Pandit, the father of Lord Nityananda, as is traditional, for some alms and so Hadai Pandit as a dutiful householder agreed. But when the sannyasi asked him to give him the boy (Nityananda) as alms, Hadai Pandit nearly died. Considering his life useless and a bad example to the boy if he didn't fulfill the desires of his saintly guest, he gave the boy to the sannyasi as his assistant - this sannyasi was Laksmipati Tirtha. It is interesting to note that the boy Nityananda simply walked off with the sannyasi without even so much as looking back, just as Lord Rama left His father, Dasaratha, to go to the forest. Though different circumstances, both Maharaja Dasaratha and Hadai Pandit died within a very short time due to intense separation.

However in Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya lila (8.128) purport, Srila Prabhupada says: "Sri Nityananda Prabhu was initiated by Madhavendra Puri, a sannyasi. According to others, however, He was initiated by Laksmipati Tirtha."



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