SHREE VALLABH !
Baithakji Charitra :
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT GOVIND GHAT, SHRIMAD GOKUL
There are three baithaks at Gokul. The first one is at Govind Ghat on the banks of the holy river Yamuna under a chhonkar tree. Shri Mahaprabhuji visited Gokul during His first pilgrimage to Vraja. He was accompanied by His disciple, Shri Damodardas Harsaniji, whom He lovingly called Damala. On arriving here, Shri Mahaprabhuji saw two identical ghats and got confused which one of them was Govind Ghat and Thakurani Ghat respectively.
At that moment, Shri Yamunaji, looking splendid in divine ornaments, appeared and cleared His doubt. She said that where He was standing was Thakurani Ghat and to HIs left was Govind Ghat.
On seeing Shri Yamunaji, Shri Vallabha sang Yamunashtakam in Her praise. This event took place at Thakurani Ghat on the third day of the brighter half in the lunar month of Shravana (Shravana Shukla 3). This day is also called as Thakurani Teeja.
Then Shri Yamunaji wished that Shri Mahaprabhuji should sit on Her banks and read the entire Bhagavatam. On Her request, Shri Mahaparabhuji sat under a chhonkar tree at Govind Ghat and read the Bhagavatam which took seven days to complete.
On the midnight of the eleventh day of the bright halh of Shravana, Damala had retired to sleep while deep thoughts had kept Shri Mahaprabhuji awake. He was seriously concerned that how He could reunite the All Perfect Lord, Shri Krishna with the sinful souls ?
Deeply perturbed with such thoughts, Shri Mahaprabhuji suddenly saw the All Charming Shri Krishna (Shri Govardhan Nathji) right before Him. Having nothing besides Him in the wee hours of the night, Shri Mahaprabhuji could offer Him only 'Pavitra' and 'Mishri'. He then sang Madhurashtakam in His praise which unveils His infinite splendour. After this, Shri Nathji consoled Him and said that He should not worry. He mercifully initiated Shri Mahaprabhuji with the Gadya Mantra (Brahma Sambandha) and instructed Him to initiate the divine souls with the same. He also assured that He would personally see for the upliftment of the divine souls who sought refuge in Him. After saying this Shri Nathji disappeared.
The following morning, Shri Mahaprabhuji questioned Damala, "Did you hear anything?" Damala demurely replied, "I did hear but could not understand a word. How can an ordinary soul like me understand the divine speech of the Supreme Lord ?"
Extremely pleased with his humbleness, Shri Mahaprabhuji explained to him the secrets of the divine instructions (Siddhanta Rahasyam) of the Brahma Sambandha. Damala then prayed to be initiated. Shri Mahaprabhuji obliged him and firmly established the Path of Divine Grace in his heart.
This day Shravana Shukla Dvadashi or Pavitra Barasa is marked as the Birthday of Pushtimarg. Vaishnavas celebrate this day by offering Pavitra and Mishri to their respective Gurus or any Goswami Balak.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BADI BAITHAK
This is perhaps the largest of the three baithaks at Gokul. Here Shri Mahaprabhuji used to have His meals and give discourses. At this place, Shri Nathji told the devotees of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a renowned saint from Bengal that the right to His personal services lay only with Shri Vallabhacharya Mahaprabhu and that their liberation would be by the chanting of the holy name.
Once, the saints of Vrindavana, curious to know about the greatness of Shri Mahaprabhuji, sent Shyamananda to Gokul. On arriving there, he hung his Shaligram on a tree and sought darshan of Shri Mahaprabhuji. Upon returning he saw that his Shaligram was no longer on the tree. So he went to Shri Mahaprabhuji and said complaining perhaps one of His disciples must have stolen the idol. Shri Mahaprabhuji asked him to go there and see again.
When he went there, he saw that the tree was covered with shaligrams and he couldn't identify his own. He once again approached Shri Mahaprabhuji and said that he was unable to recognise his Shaligram. Shri Mahaprabhuji then questioned him that how could he serve his Shaligram if he couldn't recognise it ? He then asked him to go to the tree again.
Returning to the tree, he found his Shaligram. Taking it, he went to Vrindavan and reported the strange incident to his guru brothers.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S SHAYYA MANDIR BAITHAK
Shri Mahaprabhuji used to sleep at this place. At that spot, a sage, who had been living underground for thousands of years, saw Shri Mahaprabhuji and said to him that he attained the fruits of his austerities by having his darshan. He said that there would be seven temples of Lord Krishna in Gokul and this place would be inhabited by Krishna devotees. He prayed to Shri Mahaprabhuji that he should bless him by giving him a permanent place to dwell without being removed.
Many years later Lord Shri Dvarkanathji's temple was to be constructed on that spot. On being asked by the Lord to vacate the place, the sage refused claiming to have been blessed by Shri Mahaprabhuji to remain there and went to his hut forty feet below the ground.
Meanwhile, Lord Shri Dvarkanathji's temple was built. Many years later, when Shri Gokulnathji, the grandson of Shri Mahaprabhuji found some insects in the offerings, asked the Lord what was the reason. The Lord yawned and said in sanskrit that "fruits are received according to one's actions".
For quite some time, the idol of Shri Dvarkanathji was seated with Shri Mathuradhishji in an adjacent temple in Gokul.
Many more events might have occured here but only this has been recorded.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT VRINDAVANA
At Vrindavana, Shri Mahaprabhuji offered prasada to his disciple Shri Prabhudasa Jalota, which he did not accept as he had not taken bath. Shri Mahaprabhuji then recited the following shloka "vrikshe vrikshe venudhari patre patre chaturbhuja" (Lord Shri Krishna who plays the flute resides in every tree and every leaf) and said that the dust of this holy land of Vraja is self purifying.By the grace divine of Shri Mahaprabhuji, Prabhudasa had the divine vision of Shri Krishna as described in the shloka. He then partook the prasada before taking bath.
One day, Gopaladasa, a disciple of Shri Krishna Chaitanya requested his guru to grant him a deity to worship who in turn entrusted to him a Shaligrama. Gopaladasa worshipped the Shaligram but was distressed by heart as he desired to worship a deity which he could adorn with clothes and jewels. He once again prayed to his guru for a deity but in despair.
One night, Shri Krishna Chaitanya, who had left for Jagannathpuri, appeared in his dream and told him that he was incarnated to establish the greatness of the chanting of the Lord's holy names, but his wish would be fulfilled by Shri Vallabhacharya Mahaprabhuji, who had the right to grant the service of the Lord's deity.
When Shri Mahaprabhuji arrived in Vrindavana, Gopaladasa pleaded Him to grant him a deity for worship. Shri Mahaprabhuji, instead of giving him a deity said that if he worshipped with pure sentiments then his Shaligrama would transform into a deity of his desire. He asked Gopaladas to wait until morning to see the change in his Shaligrama.
The following morning, by the grace of Shri Mahaprabhuji, his Shaligrama had transformed into the most enchanting and charming form of Shri Krishna which he called as Radha Ramana (this deity is still in Vrindavana).
Gopaladasa, realising that Shri Mahaprabhuji was Krishna Himself, approached Him with the hope of becomming His disciple. But Shri Mahaprabhuji told him that He would accept him in his next birth. So, after many years, Gopaladasa was reborn as Gopala Naga, the renowned devotee of the Path of Grace.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT MATHURA
Shri Mahaprabhui seated at Vishram Ghata on the banks of the holy river Yamuna gave discourses on Shrimad Bhagavatam. At that time, that area was scarcely inhabited by people and nearby was also a graveyard. On Shri Mahaprabhuji's instructions, Shri Krishnadasa Meghana sprinkled some holy water in between Asa and Suriya lakes which purified the area. From here, Shri Mahaprabhuji went to Dhruva Ghata where He met Rupa and Sanatana Goswami, the famous disciples of Shri Krishna Chaitanya. They questioned Him, " Your path is called Pushtimarga which means path of grace or nourishment, but why is it that many of your disciples are thin ?" Shri Mahaprabhuji replied," I told them not to enter this path but they did not heed my advice."
Not understanding Shri Mahaprabhuji's subtle reply they left for Jagannathpuri where their guru was residing. They informed Chaitanyaji about their meeting with Shri Mahaprabhuji and also his reply. On hearing it Shri Chaitanyaji fell unconscious to the ground. When he regained consciousness, he inquired about Shri Mahaprabhuji's reply and again fell lifeless to the ground. This happened thrice. The essence of Shri Mahaprabhuji's reply is thus explained, ' The gopis left their family and homes at the call of Shri Krishna's flute and sought His presence deep in the forest. Lord Shri Krishna then told the gopis that it was not proper for them to stay with Him in the night and asked them to return to their homes. But, the gopis did not heed His advice and consequently achieved the highest fruit of experiencing union and separation with the Lord. Similarly, those who did not heed Shri Mahaprabhuji's advice, received the same sentiments of the divine gopis and subsequently became thin'. Only Shri Cahitanyaji was able to grasp the transcendental significance of Shri Mahaprabhuji's reply.
At Vishram Ghata, the muslim ruler had cast cast a spell that any hindu who passed under it would have their tuft of hair removed and would find a muslim beard. At that time, Shri Mahaprabhuji arrived there with His disciples and passed under it unaffected. He also read the Bhagavatam for a week. During those days all the hindus remained unaffected by the spell. After the completion of the reading, when He decided to move to Madhuvana, all the brahmins approached Him requesting Him to put a permanent end to the spell. On enquiry, Shri Mahaprabhuji learnt that the spell was by the orders of the emperor from Delhi. So He sent Vasudevadasa and Keshava Bhatta to Delhi in order to put spells on all the gates within the city whereby, any muslim who passed under it would find his beard removed and find a hindu tuft of hair on his head.
As a result of this, thousands of muslims fell victim to the spell. The terrified muslims told the emperor about this, who summoned the two disciples and orered them to remove the spell. To this, they said that this was carried out by the orders of Shri Mahaprabhuji and it would be removed only if he removed the spell at Mathura.
Realising the supreme powers of Shri Mahaprabhuji, the emperor ordered his men to remove the spell at Mathura. Only then Vasudevadasa and Keshava Bhatta removed all the spell in Delhi.
Upon returning to Mathura, the two of them narrated the incident to their guru who was amused by their adventures. He later said that henceforward, all muslim spells would be harmless and ineffective.
Shri Mahaprabhuji then bathed in the river Yamuna and sought permission from the Purohita to circumbulate the holy land of Vraja.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT MADHUVANA
Shri Mahaprabhuji visited the temple of Lord Madhuvaniyana, established by Shri Vajranabhaji. After bathing in the lake there, He began a seven day discourse (Saptah Parayanam) on Shrimad Bhagavatam. The Lord regularly came to listen to the discourses. The temple priest got worried on not finding the Lord in the temple. When the Lord returned, He told the priest to perform the rituals early in the morning so that He could go to hear Shri Mahaprabhuji's discourses on the sacred text.
From here, Shri Mahaprabhuji proceeded further with His close disciples, on His pilgrimage of the holy land of Vraja.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT KAMODAVANA
From Madhuvana, Shri Mahaprabhuji went to Talavana and had a holy bath. Circumbulating the lake, he proceeded to Kamodavana where he halted for three days.
While residing there, Shri Krishnadasa Meghana asked Him, "Why is this place called as Kamodavana ?" Shri Mahaprabhuji replied, " Once Radha & Krishna blessed this place with their presence. Radha then requested Her beloved Krishna to create a beautiful forest of Kamodini trees with bowers of lotuses. The Lord carried out Her wish, hence, the name of this place Kamodavana, the forest of Kamodini trees.
Shri Mahaprabhuji then blessed His disciples with the divine vision of the holy place. On having this sight, they all lost consciousness. Shri Mahaprabhuji thought that due to the absorbing sight they might not regain consciousness, so He took away their celestial sight and brought them back to their material existence.
From here, Shri Mahaprabhuji went to Bahulavana and took holy dips in Shantanu and Gandharva lakes.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT BAHULAVANA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here for three days and gave discourses on the Bhagavatam. Overe here He came to know from the brahmins that the local ruler had ordered to stop worshipping the sacred stone-cow called Bahula. He said that they could commence her worship only if she ate grass. Shri Mahaprabhuji ordered the rulers presence and showed him the cow partaking the offered grass. The ruler lay prostrate at His lotus feet and prayed to make him His disciple. Shri Mahaprabhuji said that He would be accepted in his next birth.
After his death, he took birth in the family of boatmen as Meha Dhemar who became Shri Vitthalanathaji's disciple.
From here, He went to Jikhan, where He had darshan of Shri Balarama. From there, he went to Radhakunda.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT RADHAKUNDA
Once an argument erupted between Radha and Krishna on who looked better of the two. So to see their respective images in the water, Radha dug the lake (Radha Kunda) with Her finger nails and Krishna with His flute (Krishna Kunda), thus, making the waters of the lakes very sacred. Within the holy waters of Radhakunda exists a divine palace of Shri Radha, studded with precious jewels.
One day, Shri Mahaprabhuji saw the divine couple walking hand-in-hand in the caves of mount Govardhana. Shri Mahaprabhuji, with His disciples approached the divine couple. The other vaishnavas, upon seeing the Lord's divine sport lost consciousness and fell on the ground. The divine couple ordered Shri Mahaprabhuji to come with Them.
Three days later, Shri Mahaprabhuji returned to that spot and found His disciples in the same unconscious condition. He then told Damala, His very dear disciple of what had happened and sprinkled some holy water on His disciples who immediately regained consciousness.
Later, Shri Mahaprabhuji took holy dips in all the eight lakes situated there.
From, here He went to Kusum Sarovar. After bathing in the lake, He met Uddhavaji, who requested Him to explain the purport of the Bhramara Geeta, a chapter from the tenth canto of the Bhagavatam. Shri Mahaprabhuji began explaining the meaning of one verse. It took nine hours to explain only one-fourth part of the verse. He remained standing for all this while, totally engrossed in the nectar of the Bhagavatam. Shri Uddhavaji then said that he would not be able to listen the whole chapter but would like to hear the purport of the ongoing verse. Shri Mahaprabhuji then discussed for thirty-six hours just one verse. Everybody present there were caught unaware by His enchanting and mesmerising talk that they did not suffer from sleepiness, hunger or even thirst.
From there, He proceeded to Gwala pokhara and then to Manasi Ganga at Govardhana.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT GOVARDHANA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here to complete the reading of the Bhagavatam in seven days. Chakleshvara Mahadeva (Shiva), whose temple is situated on the banks of the lake, regularly came to listen to His discourses.
At that time, Shri Krishna Chaitanya was also living there in a nearby hut who had vowed not to speak before completing one hundred and twenty five thousand chanting of the Lord's holy name. But before he could finish the desired number of chanting, he learnt of Shri Mahaprabhuji's arrival. So he went to see Him to pay his respects. On being asked by Shri Mahaprabhuji about the duration of his stay over there, he said, ''Six months." He said that he bathed in the lake everyday with the hope that one fine day he might get to see it's divine form as being milky, as described in the scriptures.
Shri Mahaprabhuji, on hearing this, sprinkled the holy water on Shir Krishna Chaitanya's eyes as well as on ther vaishnavas with him. As a result, they were gifted with the divine sight of the Manasi Ganga with milk. They all had bath in it. Soon after, the divine vision vanished from their eyes.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT PARASOLI
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here for seven days to complete one reading of the entire Bhagavatam. He used to bathe in the holy Chandra Sarovara. While staying there, He showered infinite grace upon His disciples and showed them the divine Rasa Lila of Shri Krishna.
One day, a vaishnava asked Shri Mahaprabhuji, " How could we have the divine vision of Shri Girirajaji ?" Shri Mahaprabhuji replied, " If you circumbulate the sacred mountain thrice without taking rest, then you shall certainly be blessed to see His divine form. The vaishnava sought permission from his guru and set on his way to circumbulate mount Giriraja.
After making one circumbulation, he saw a white snake. Taking it as a bad omen, he stood still for an hour and set off again. Near the southern end of the hill, he met a cowherd who adviced him not to go any further. Without paying much attention to his advice, he went further to find a lion standing in the path. Feeling afraid, he started remembering Shri Mahaprabhuji. In a short while, the lion disappeared. He walked further till the Sundara Shila where he saw a cow roaming.
Like this, he finished three circumbulations of Shri Girirajaji and went straight to Shri Mahaprabhuji. He paid prostrate obeisance to his guru and humbly said that it was only by His powers and grace that he was able to walk so much. (one circumbulation is of 14 miles [Sapta Kosa] ) but was also disappointed of not having the divine darshana of the sacred hill.
Shri Mahaprabhuji explained that it is mentioned in the scriptures that mount Giriraja has four forms: cow, lion, cowherd and white snake. The vaishnava realised that he was blessed with the divine vision only by the grace of his guru. He demurely bowed to the lotus feet of Shri Mahaprabhuji. Later Shri Mahaprabhuji told Damala that " the Lord grants His divine sight, but one cannot recognise Him without His wish."
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT ANYORA
At Anyora, Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed at Shri Sadu Pande's house. It was from Sadu Pande and other Vrajavasis that He learnt of the mysterious sports of Shrinathji. The other day, Shri Mahaprabhuji climbed on mount Giriraja to have the first glimpse of the All Charming Shrinatji. Shrinathaji too, appeared out of the kandara and ran to embrace Shri Mahaprabhuji. All present there were blessed to have such a wonderful sight.
Shri Mahaprabhuji then built a small temple for Shrinathji and started the divine services. He also gave discourses on Shrimad Bhagavatam
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT GOVINDA KUNDA
Shri Mahaprabhuji passed three days speaking about the divine sports of Shri Krishna. Krishnadasa Meghana prayed to his guru to have the divine vision of the realm within the sacred mount of Govardhana. But, Shri Mahaprabhuji kept silent to his request.
Two days later, they went on the sacred hill. Krishnadasaji discovered a cave out there. Shri Mahaprabhuji told him that his desire would be fulfilled if he entered the cave. Taking permission from his guru, he went inside the cave and was amazed to see the private mansion of the Yugala Svaroopa with all the celestial paraphernalia used in the divine play. Sitting on the edge of a lake he saw a parrot, uninterruptedly chanting the Ashtakshara Mahamantra "SHRI KRISHNAH SHARANAM MAMA". When Krishnadasaji repeated the mantra thrice, he fell unconscious on the ground only to recover after two days, back on mount Giriraja.
A very excited Krishnadasaji reported the strange incident to Shri Mahaprabhuji. Shri Mahaprabhuji explained that this parrot was born in Sarasvata Kalpa. He had formed a habit of chanting the mahamantra (Shri Krishnah Sharanam Mama). So strong was his addiction that he did not even took water for fear that during that time the chanting of the mahamantra would pass unnoticed. When the parrot heard Krishnadasaji taking the Lord's name, he got an opprtunity to take three sips of water. Shri Radha was so pleased with the parrot that She granted him a permanent place in the Lord's eternal abode.
Once, Radha experienced separation from Her beloved Krishna. The separation was so intense that a moment without Krishna seemed as if a million years had passed. While in this mood, She comtemplated the Lord's union and breathing deeply repeated one hundred and eight holy names of Krishna, which later came to be known as Krishna Premamrita Stotram. On repeating these names, Radha once again established Her union with the Blessed Lord. She then asked Krishna," To whom should the divine names be presented ?" Krishna replied, " To the person who is similar to you in virtues."
Shri Radha wrote that prayer on a stone of mount Giriraja. Later, Shri Mahaprabhuji found that stone with clusters of words overlapping one another. He revealed the secret writing and recited the divine names before Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Keshava Bhatta. He then gifted this prayer to Shri Krishna Chaitanya as he had promised to give him one writing.
From here, He proceeded to Apsara Kunda before reaching to Sundara Shila, where he sat under a small tree near a temple.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT SUNDARA SHILA
Shri Mahaprabhuji was sleeping with His head on the laps of His beloved disciple Damala. At that time, Shrinathaji gracefully walked down from mount Giriraja. When Damala saw Him approaching, he signaled Him to stop there, not to come closer as the sweet sound of His anklets would disturb Shri Mahaprabhuji.
After a while, when Shri Mahaprabhuji awoke, He came to know of Damala's unjust deed. He started firing him. Shrinathaji then appeared there and told Shri Mahaprabhuji not to get angry on Damala as he had carried out his duty as a sincere, devoted disciple.
Shrinathaji then sat in Shri Mahaprabhuji's laps.
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here to celebrate the festivals of Dipavali and Annakoota. Many years later, His grandson, Shri Gokulanathaji had a divine vision of Shri Mahaprabhuji celebrating this festival.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK ON MOUNT GIRIRAJA
Once, after doing Shrinathaji's shringara, Shri Mahaprabhuji was sitting in the corridor, outside the main sanctum waiting for the meal to arrive so that He could offer to the Lord. In a short while, He heard sweet sound of anklets. He turned and saw in amusement Shri Radha running hurriedly with a tray of samagri (offerings) in Her hand.
Shri Mahaprabhuji later explained Damala that " We should never be late in offerring meals to the Lord. On doing so, it troubles the Divine Couple."
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here until Deva-Probodhini and gave discourses on the Bhagavatam. After circumbulating the sacred mount Giriraja, He then went ahead on His pilgrimage of Vraja.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT KAMAVANA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed for seven days besides the lake (Shri Kunda) and completed one reading of the Bhagavatam. The local brahmins warned Him not to stay there in the night as that place was haunted by a demon who was known to devour people. Despite of their warning, Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed there with His disciples.
At midnight, one disciple got up to wash clothes and saw the demon roaming about near the camp. He reported this event to Shri Mahaprabhuji who said that this demon was a brahmin in his previous birth. Once he had gifted some land to another brahmin and then took it back. Due to this impious act, he took the form of a demon. The vaishnava then enquired how he could be liberated. Shri Mahaprabhuji went outside and sprinkled some water from the wet cloth over the demon, who was instantaneously liberated.
From here, Shri Mahaprabhuji went to Kadama Khandi and then further on His pilgrimage.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT GAHAVARAVANA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed by a lake and read the Bhagavatam in seven days. One day, while roaming in the forest with Krishnadasa Meghana, He saw a python with many ants brutally biting it. Krishnadasaji wondered, " Why are these ants biting it ?" Shri Mahaprabhuji explained, " This python was a sage in Vrindavana in his previous birth. He had many disciples. He used their money in worldly pleasures. Neither he worshipped the Lord nor he inspired his disciples to worship. These ants are his disciples who are crying in anguish, " You rouge ! You ruined our lives. Why did you make us your disciple if you did not have the power to liberate us."
Pity rushed to the hearts of Shri Mahaprabhuji, the mercy incarnate. He ordered Shri Krishnadasaji to sprinkle holy water on the python and the ants. By His Divine Grace they were liberated and ascended to the heavens in celestial chariots.
After bathing in Piri and Prem Sarovara, Shri Mahaprabhuji proceeded to Sanketa Vana.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT SANKETA VANA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here by the Krishna lake and gave discourses on the Bhagavatam. During His discourse, a girl of sixteen years adorned with beautiful ornaments, used to come daily and fan Shri Mahaprabhuji and when the discourse got over, she would suddenly disappear.
On the seventh day, after the completion of the discourses, one vaishnava asked Shri Mahaprabhuji who the young girl was. Shri Mahaprabhuji then said, " She is the Goddess of this Sanketa Vana. She had for long cherished the desire to serve me, so now her wish is fulfilled."
From here, Shri Mahaprabhuji went to Nadagama stopping at Rithora to seek darshana of Shri Chandravaliji.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT NANDAGAMA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here for six months and discussed the secrets of the Bhagavatam. Uddhavaji stayed with Him for a month to acquire true knowledge of the sacred text. Nadarayaji, Lord Krishna's father too came regularly to listen to His discourses.
One day, while Shri Mahaprabhuji was sitting by the lake, a muslim brought his horse to make him drink water from the lake. The horse fell dead after drinking too much of water. Suddenly, a divine form with four arms appeared out of his body and ascended to Vaikuntha. All present there were blessed to see the divine occurance.
The muslim came upto Shri Mahaprabhuji and prayed Him to make him His disciple. Shri Mahaprabhuji said that he would be accepted in his next birth. After leaving his material body, he took rebirth as Sangji as shoemaker's son. As he grew up, he became very proficient in the use of charms and spells. Once he tried to cast his spell upon a devout disciple of Shri Vitthalanathaji, the son of Shri Mahaprabhuji, who remained absolutely unaffected. Realising him to be a great saint, he thought of surrendering to him. The vaishnava told him to leave such evil practices and seek refuge in Shri Vitthalanathaji's lotus feet.
A few days later, Shri Vitthalanathaji arrived in Nandagama to initiate Sangji who, by His infinite grace became an accomplished devotee.
The king came to know of this. So he summoned Sangji and said that a common shoemaker cannot lead a lifestyle of a brahmin. Sangji said that he was a disciple of Shri Vitthalanathaji, therefore, he had risen to that level.
The king then said, " Milk can turn into curd, but curd can never be made into milk. Similarly, someone from a priestly class can fall to the class of a shoemaker, but a shoemaker can never rise to become a priest."
Sangji confidently replied that he could turn the curd into milk. He loudly proclaimed, " If Shri Vitthalanathaji has qualified me to live the way I do, then this curd would turn into milk, otherwise I am the lowest of all shoemaker."
To the king's stupefaction, the curd miraculously turned into milk. All present there were convinced by the divinity of Shri Vitthalanathaji and they all became His disciples.
From here, Shri Mahaprabhuji proceeded to Karhala, Anjano and a few other places and finally to Kokila Vana.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT KOKILA VANA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here for a month by the Krishna lake. One day, Chaturanaga, a devotee of Nimbarka Sampradaya, came to Him and requested Him to feed a thousand hermits living there with porridge. Shri Mahaprabhuji asked Krishnadasaji to make five kilos of porridge. Once it was prepared, He glanced over it and it became inexhaustible. Even after the thousand hermits were properly fed, five kilos of porridge still remained. Shri Mahaprabhuji then asked Krishnadasaji to distribute the porridge to the birds and animals, but even after that the original five kilos of porridge still remained. It finally got over only when Vasudevadasa consumed it.
Seeing this miracle, Chaturanaga begged to become His disciple. Shri Mahaprabhuji promised him that he would live for a hundre and fifty years and that His grandson, Shri Gokulanathaji would shower His grace upon him.
For many years, Chaturanaga wandered in the holy precints of Vraja. Once, while rambling about, his hair got tangled on a tree branch. He could not free himself for three days. Then, Shri Krishna came and untangled the hair.
During those days, emperor Jehangir had ordered that no one should be seen with Tilaka and tulasi necklaces. Chaturanaga fell victim to it. One day, Shri Gokulanatahaji passed him in Mathura. He questioned him, " Although we are married and have a family, still we did not remove the tulasi mala. How is it that you being a hermit have done so ?"
Chaturanaga prostrated before Shri Gokulanathaji holding His feet and said, " After a long wait, I have finally met you. Please accept me."
Shri Gokulanathaji knew His grandfahters promise. He mercifully showered His Divine Grace upon him by initiating him with tulasi mala. From that time, he always sang the glories of his guru. At the age of 150, he left his material body at Govinda Kunda and entered the Eternal Divine Abode.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT BHANDIRA VANA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here and completed a seven day reading of the Bhagavatam. One day, Vyasatirtha, the head of the Madhva Sampradaya came to see Him and said, " I have 10,000 disciples, out of them are many famous kings. Before I leave this material world, I have decided to pass over my position to as you are capable for it. I am also giving you 10,000 rupees along with my seat."
Shri Mahaprabhuji thought for a while and said that He would reply him the next morning. That night the Lord's servants came and started beating Vyasatirtha badly. The reason behind the beating was that Vyasatirtha had the pride to give something to Shri Mahaprabhuji and also his words to Him were unbefitting. They would stop him beating only if he fell on Shri Mahaprabhuji's feet and apologised.
The next morning, Vyasatirtha lay prostrate before Shri Mahaprabhuji who inturn showered His mercy upon him.
From here, Shri Mahaprabhuji went to Belavana, Bhadravana and then Mana Sarovara.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT MANA SAROVARA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here for three days to give discourses on the Bhagavatam. One night, when Damala awoke from sleep, he saw his guru missing. At that time, the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna appeared before him. Damala was in ecstasy to see Him. The Lord said, " Today Shri Radha is very displeased with me."
When Shri Mahaprabhuji returned, Damala told Him about it. A few hours later, both Shri Mahaprabhuji and Damala had the sight of the Divine Couple enjoying their union, while the other vaishnavas were in deep sleep.
From Mana Sarovara, Shri Mahaprabhuji went to Lohavana, Ravala, Mahavana where he bathed in the holy river Yamuna. Over there, all the vaishnavas had the vision of Krishna playing with His cowherd friends. From here, He went to Govinda Ghata at Gokula where He celebrated the festival of Janmashtamai by swinging Shri Navanita Priyaji in a swing made of cloth. All the vaishnavas exprienced Shri Krishna swinging in a jewel studded cradle and Nanda-Yashoda rocking Him. Shri Mahapraabhuji requested them that in future they should not appear like this because everyone was not qualified to have their divine sight. Instead, He and His clan would dress up like them and they should, at that time, reside in them.
From here, Shri Mahaprabhuji came to Mathura and gave 100 rupees to the Purohita in honour of completing His first all India pilgrimage. Shri Mahaprabhuji in all made three pilgrimages of Vraja and India sanctifying ever place He went.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT SORAM GHATA
Shri Krishnadasa Meghana went to see his former guru without seeking permission from Shri Mahaprabhuji. His previous guru asked him why he had made another guru. He replied, " You are my guru and it is by your grace that I have met the Lord, Shri Vallabhacharya Mahaprabhu."
His guru then asked him, " Can you prove that He is the Supreme Lord ?" Krishnadasji then took burning coals in his hand and declared, " If the fire does not burn my hands then know what I say is true."
The fire failed to have any effect on his hands. Thus, his previous guru was convinced with Shri Mahaprabhuji's divinty.
Once, while Shri Mahaprabhuji was bathing in the Ganges, his older brother Keshava Puri arrived there. He showed off to his brother that he could walk on the waters of the river. Shri Mahaprabhuji was least amused and said that the man's greatest power was in worshipping the Lord. Keshava Puri then asked his brother to exhibit some of His powers, but Shri Mahaprabhuji was not pleased with such boasterous talk and remained silent.
The other day, his brother again boasted of walking on the water, but when he reached in the middle of the river, he began to drown. He shouted at his brother for help, who was then sitting on the river bank, offering prayers. Shri Mahaprabhuji, without moving an inch, extended His arms and saved His brother from drowning.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT CHITRAKOOTA
On the foot-hills of mount Kantanatha, under a shady tree, Shri Mahaprabhuji conducted a discourse on the Bhagavatm and Ramayanam. Shri Hanumanaji, the foremost devotee of Lord Rama, came daily to hear the discourse while standing on one foot. Shri Mahaprabhuji requested him to sit but he said that to stand was his oath of austerity.
Kantanatha mountain was the older brother of mount Giriraja. He had a burning desire to experience the touch of the lotus feet of Shri Mahaprabhuji. One day, he came upto Shri Mahaprabhuji, disguised as a brahmin and said, "Rama and Sita who resides on top of the mountain, has asked me to tell you that you should bring them some food as they are hungry."
Shri Mahaprabhuji could identify him easily. He took some food and ascended the mountain where He saw Rama and Sita sitting with Lakshmana standing behind while Hanimanaji stoob by with folded hands. Lord Rama welcomed Shri Mahaprabhuji and made Him sit by His side on the throne. Shri Mahaprabhuji then made the offerings to the Divine Couple. Shri Hanumanaji took the remains as prasada.
After a delightful meeting, Shri Mahaprabhuji took His leave to return to His Baithak. He later explained Damala and Krishnadasaji, who had raised doubts about Him feeding Rama, that there was no difference in Rama and Krishna except that "Rama is controlled by laws and Krishna is governed by grace."
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT AYODHYA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here at the banks of the river Saryu. Once, He saw Hanumanaji listening to a discourse on Ramayana. Shri Hanumanaji was quite amused to see Shri Mahaprabhuji. He approached Him and asked, " What makes a Krishna devotee come to the land of Rama ?" Shri Mahaprabhuji replied, " I am visiting the home of Krishna's in-laws."
"How come ?" enquired Hanumanaji curiously. Shri Mahaprabhuji said, " Agnijita ruled Ayodhya. Once he proclaimed that whoever tamed his seven fierce bulls could have his daughter Satyta's hand. Krishna succeeded in taming the bulls and married Satya. Therefore, Rama and Krishna are related."
Shri Mahaprabhuji, then told Hanumanaji not to listen to holy discourses without any clothes. So from that day, he always wore some clothing.
Once Lord Rama asked Hanumanaji to bring some foodstuff for Shri Mahaprabhuji. When he presented the offering, he saw Shri Mahaprabhuji as Lord Rama. He at once reported the amazing experience to Shri Rama. The Lord said, " Shri Mahaprabhuji can take my form, but I cannot take His."
The reason for this is that Lord Rama is the incarnation of the laughter while Shri Vallabhacharya is Krishna's entire face. Therefore, Rama is only a partial manifestation while Shri Vallabha is complete incarnation of Krishna.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT NAIMISHARANYA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here by the Gomati lake and spoke on the Bhagavatam for seven days. Once, while He was making His prayers, eighty thousand sages came and took Him to a sacrifice which they were performing. After paying respects, they requested Him to explain the true import of the sacrifice. For nine hours, Shri Mahaprabhuji enlightened them before returning to His camp.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT VARANASI
At Varanasi, Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed at the house of Sheth Purushottamadasa. He celebrated the festival of Janmashtamai where Krishna's parents, friends and the blessed ladies of the Vraja all appeared. Shiva too joined in the celebrations.
During His stay, He was terribly harrassed by the followers of the mayavadis. In order to silence them, He wrote a short work called Patravalambanam and put it up on the wall of the main Shiva temple. He declared that His theory of the Shuddhadvaita Brahmavada was absolutely correct and true to the nature of the Vedas and other Shastras and that the theory of Mayavada, established by Shankaracharya was false.
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed in Varanasi for many days. He had spent His childhood over here. He was initiated with the sacred thread (Yajnopavita) here and He also married in the holy city of Varanasi.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT HANUMANA GHATA - VARANASI
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed at Hanumana Ghata, on the banks of the Ganges for one month after He took sanyasa. He sat on a stone completely silent without eating or drinking anything. Here He wrote a work revealing the secrets of the inner renunciation.
On the third day of the brighter half in the lunar month of Ashadha (Ratha Yatra), Shri Mahaprabhuji decided to leave the materialistic world and enter the Eternal Abode. Both His sons, Shri Gopinathaji and Shri Vitthalanathaji sat by His side and asked Him about their duties. He then wrote three and a half verses with His finger on the sand. These were His final instructions.
After this, He entered the Ganges upto His waist and while singing the glorious Gopi-Gita ascened to the Divine Abode in a stream of light before hundreds of people.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT HARIHARA KSETRA
Where the Ganges and the Gallika river meet, resides Shri Mahaprabhuji's disciple Bhagavandasa. After the physical disappearance of Shri Mahaprabhuji from the world, all His followers were struck with deep grief. Some devotees went to Bhagavandasa's house to tell him the news. Bhagavandasa consoled them and immediately opened the curtains of the temple. All the vaishnavas were surprised and thrilled to see their guru reading the Bhagavatam.
Many years previous to this incident, Shri Mahaprabhuji was leaving after initiating Bhagavandasa. who could not take the pangs of separation and fell unconscious. Seeing this, Shri Mahaprabhuji took Him along on the pilgrimage. On reaching Jagannathapuri, He asked him to return. He granted him a pair of His wooden sandal (Paduka) and said that, " Whenever you have a yearning to see Me, I shall appear from them."
From that day, Shri Mahaprabhuji daily gave him darshana.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT JANAKPURA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed in Bhagavandasaji's garden above the Manasi Kunda which was sanctified at the time of Sita and Rama's marraige. It was here that Bhagavandasaji became Shri Mahaprabhuji's disciple.
One day, Kevalarama Naga of the Vishnu Svami Sampradaya came and praised Him on His establishing the Path of Grace and disproving the mayavada philosophy. He requested Him to initiate Him and also 500 other hermits who lived there into His path. After initiating Kevalarama, Shri Mahaprabhuji asked him to initiate the other hermits. Kevalarama then requested a feast for all the hermits. There were lots of sweets with Him as it was the day after the birth festival of Lord Rama. Shri Mahaprabhuji ordered Yadavaendradasa to distribute them amongst all. Even after Yadavendradasa had served all the hermits, the quantity of the sweets did not diminish. This greatly astonished Kevalarama.
Kevalarama then requested Shri Mahaprabhuji if He could join him on his pilgrimage but was advised to undetake his own.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT GANGA SAGARA
Shri Mahaprabhuji spent six months in the dense forest of Kapilavana at Kapila Ashrama. He finished His commentary (Subodhini) on the third canto of the Bhagavatam. He was accompanied by five disciples.
Once, Krishnadasa prepared a wonderful dish of maize for his guru who was pleased with the preparation and granted him a boon.
One morning, after bathing in the ocean, Shri Mahaprabhuji pondered over the Lord's command to him to uplift divine souls. He thought, "Divine souls are ignorant; it is only by re-establishing their long forgotten relation with Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, their ignorance can be removed and they can be eligible to perform the Lord's divine services. It is only through this relation with the Blessed Lord they receive His Divine Grace and attain transcendental bliss. It is said that after the demoness Putana's ignorance was removed, only a divine fragrance remained. Shri Krishna removes the ignorance connected with the body, sense, inner witness, breath and forgetfulness of our true form. This can be realised by resorting to the Lotus Feet of the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna."
Once, Shri Mahaprabhuji went to the top of a hill with His five disciples. A divine smell emerged from His feet. All ignorant beings like snakes and other animals who came in contact with that divine aroma dropped their bodies. A musk (kasturi) like fragrance emerged from their bodies. They all acheived human birth and were qualified for the Lord's divine services.
All disciples seeing this pastime were very much astonished.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT CHAMPARANYA
After the completion of the hundredth Soma Yajna, Shri Lakshmana Bhattaji along with his family and other caste-fellows decided to migrate back to their native town in the South due to regular invasions of the muslims. One night, while fast asleep, Lord Krishna appeared in Lakshmana Bhattaji's dream and advised him to proceed to Champaranya where He would incarnate as his child. He also gave him His scarf, chewed betal leaf, two tulasi malas; one with smaller beads and other with large beads. He instructed him to cover the child with the scarf and feed him with the nectar of the chewed betal leaf. He asked him to make the child wear the tulasi mala with small beads on his neck and the one with larger beads to be used as rosary when he grows up.
When Lakshmana Bhattaji awoke, he was surprised to see the auspicious things on his cot. He at once awoke his wife Illammagaru and told her about the divine experience. According to the instructions, they proceeded to Champaranya.
While at Champaranya, Illammagaru delivered a premature (7th month) child. Shri Lakshmana Bhattaji remembering the Lord's order reasoned that the Lord would not appear in a normal way and put the seemingly still born child in the hollow of a tree and proceeded to a nearby town. Shri Laksmana Bhattaji noticed that the time was very auspicious. The trees were blooming with fresh leaves and flowers, the birds were chirping in merry and the stars moved into favourable positions. That night, Shri Krishna told Bhattaji to return to the place where they had left the child. The next day, upon returning to the same spot, they saw a sweet delicate child resting within a ring of fire, eagerly awaiting his parents arrival.
This auspicious day was the eleventh day of the brighter half in the lunar month of Vaishakha, in V.S. 1535, at mid-day. At that time, Shesha (celestial serpent) appeared to provide shade and all the Demigods and hundreds of celestial damsels arrived to have a glimpse of the Divine Child and to celebrate His birth. The fire-ring moved back to give way to the mother who was equally anxious to touch her child. As she took the child in her loving arms, the Demigods and celestial damsels showered flowers upon the child and played instruments. At that time, Nanda-Yashoda, Radha, Yamunaji and a host of other Gopis arrived all superbly adorned with jewels, to participate in the celebrations.They splashed milk and curd all around. The celebration was similar to the one occured at the time of Shri Krishna's birth.
Shri Lakshmana Bhattaji wrapped the scarf around the child and put the Lord's chewed betal leaf in His mouth. He also made the child wear the tulasi mala with smaller beads around His neck. Shri Lakshmana Bhattaji then proceeded to distribute gifts to everybody.
Gargacharya arrived and said that the child would lift countless divine souls through His graceful glance. He also revealed that since the child is most dear to the Lord as well as the blessed devotees of the Vraja, He shall be named as 'Vallabha'.
Coincidently, on the same day, at the same time, Shrinathaji's face was seen for the first time by the vrajavasis on the sacred mount Giriraja.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT CHAMPARANYA
After 28 years of severe penance, Madhavananda, a celibate, was granted a boon by the holy river Ganges that he would have the sight of Krishna's divine realm at Champaranya, where the Blessed Lord would take birth. Meanwhile, another renunciate Mukundadasa who lived in Pushkara (Rajasthan) was also granted a similar boon and was asked to proceed to Champaranya. They both reached there after the birth of Shri Vallabha. They went and told Shri Lakshmana Bhattaji the purpose of their visit. When they saw the Divine Child they left their material bodies and entered the Eternal Abode.
In the meanwhile, peace was restored in Kashi. Knowing this, Shri Lakshmana Bhattaji and all others proceeded to the town of Choura where the king warmly greeted them and supplied them with horses and escorts for the trip back to Kashi where Shri Vallabha spent His childhood.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT PURUSHOTTAMA KSETRA (JAGANNATHAPURI)
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed in Puri for one year outside the main temple's south gate. Once, the king of Puri, Vishnudeva, had arranged a debate to resolve which was the highest scripture ? Who was the Supreme Personality of Godhead ? Which was the most powerful mantra ? and what was the highest action (karma)? Everybody answered according to their beliefs but the king was not satisfied. So he requested Shrimad Vallabhacharya to come and pass His opinion. Shri Mahaprabhuji gave the answers but some envious pundits did not accept it. So He requested the king to keep a paper and pen in frint of Lord Jagannathaji and await His reply. Accordingly, the king kept a pen and paper in front of the Lord and shut the door of the sanctum. After some time when the doors were opened, everybody was stupefied to see that the Lord had written the same what Shri Mahaprabhuji had said. The Lord wrote :
" ekam shastram devakiputra gitam, eko devo devakiputra eva
mantro api ekas tasya namani yani, karma api ekam tasya devasya seva "
The one scripture is Bhagavd Gita, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the most powerful mantra is His name (Shri Krishnah Sharanam Mama) and His Divine Service is the highest action.
Reading that paper, everyone was convinced except one brahmin. The Lord then said, "Whoever is hostile towards the Lord should be known to have been conceived from a sinful womb". The king called for the brahmins mother and asked her who the father was. She disclosed that her child's father was a washerman. The brahmin was asked to leave the city immediately.
One day, when Shri Mahaprabhuji was returning after having darshana of Lord Jagannathaji, one brahmin gave Him some rice prasada. It was the eleventh lunar day, the day of fasting. Because of this day, He could neither eat the prasada nor could He throw it. So He held the prasada in His hands and sang the glories of the prasada mentioned in the vedas. The next morning, when the sun rose, He partook the prasada.
Shri Mahaprabhuji visited Puri three times but only a few incidents have been recorded.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT PANDHARAPURA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed by the banks of the Chandrabhaga river. It was here that Lord Vitthoba came and greeted Shri Mahaprabhuji and told Him to marry so that He could take birth as His son.
In the Puranas, there is a story of a brahmin boy. His name was Pundarika. He used to trouble his parents a lot. Once he took bath in the river. Suddenly, a Goddess appeared from the river and said, " One who serves his parents faithfully, I shall give him a sacred bath within his home."
From that day, he was a completely changed person. He went home and sincerely apologised to his parents for all the sins he had previously incurred. He humbly walked around (parikrama) his parents and lay prostrate at their feet.
One day, Lord Vitthoba along with Laksmiji came to bless Pundarika but he asked them to wait until he finished massaging his father's feet. The Lord was so pleased that He offered him three boons of his choice. Pundarika requested the Lord to always remain in his house, to always speak His names and to have the divine sight of the Vraja with all His divine sports.
The Lord agreed and said; " I shall appear as Panduranga Vitthalanatha and those who come to my temple here, will have their impurities removed. You will have the divine sight of Vraja when Shri Vallabhacharya Mahaprabhu arrives here.
Many years later, Shri Mahaprabhuji arrived here. He visited the temple of Lord Vitthoba and offered seven gold coins which were made into anklets. Later He took Pundarika and seven other vaishnavas into a deep forest. Thereafter, He sprinkled some holy water on everyone. By His divine grace, they all had the divine sight of Vraja with all eternal sports of Krishna.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT PANCHAVATI (NASIK)
When Shri Mahaprabhuji visited there, He told Damala, "Lord Rama had stayed in this forest and this is where Sita was kidnapped by Ravana." He then made a seven day reading of the Bhagavatam.
Many followers of mayavada came to discuss the scriptures. Within no time, Shri Mahaprabhuji would make them speechless. Seeing this unequaled knowledge of Shri Mahaprabhuji, they all prayed to Him to be initiated in the Path of Grace. Shri Mahaprabhuji mercifully gave them the sacred tulasi mala and initiated them with the Ashtakshara Mahamantra (Shri Krishnah Sharanam Mama).
From here, He proceeded to the South.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT PANNA NRISINHJI
When Shri Mahaprabhuji came here, ShriNrisinhji appeared before Him and asked Him to pay a visit to His temple.
Shri Mahaprabhuji asked Krishnadasa to prepare bananas in sugar and rose water. Damala asked, " Is this a special offering ?" Shri Mahaprabhuji replied, " When Lord Nrisinhji killed the demon Hiranyakashipu, He got very exhausted. Bananas and sugar will give Him energy. Also, He is very fond of it."
With the offering, Shri Mahaprabhuji with His disciples went to the temple. Nrisinhji told the head priest to receive Him. On His arrival, He served Nrisinhji with the offering which the Lord took half and gave the remains to Shri Mahaprabhuji.
Shri Mahaprabhuji then insisted the Lord to take the full. Nrisinhji consented and left a little of the remains for Shri Mahaprabhuji. After returning to the camp, Shri Mahaprabhuji gave discourses on the Bhagavatam. Nrisinhji came daily to listen to His discourses. Numerous divine souls were uplifted by the dust of Shri Mahaprabhuji's lotus feet.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT LAKSHMANA BALAJI
Shri Mahaprabhuji accompanied His parents on a pilgrimage to the South. On reaching here, they camped at a lonely site. Later, the entire family went to the Balaji's temple. While Shri Lakshmana Bhattaji, Shri Vallabha's father was adorning the Diety, the Lord yawned and Shri Lakshmana Bhattaji entered into His mouth and acheived liberation. His mother was grieved but was confronted by the soothing words of her son that His father's spiritual form was of the Akshara Brahma and he had returned to his eternal position.
After the final rites of Shri Lakshmana Bhattaji, Shri Vallabha told His mother to proceed to His uncle's house at Vidyanagaram, while He stayed there for fifteen days under a tree near the temple. There he gave seven day discourse on the Bhagavatam. After the completion of the discourse, He went to the temple and made food offerings (Naivedya) and performed the Divine Services.
Lord Balaji appeared before Shri Mahaprabhuji three other times, but these meetings have not been recorded.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT SHRI RANGAJI
At Shri Rangaji, Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed under a tree by the banks of river Kaveri. Lord Shri Rangaji came to see Him and curiously enquired about the divine appearance of Shri Nathaji atop the Govardhana hill. Later on, Shri Mahaprabhuji visited Shri Rangaji's temple and the head priest upon Seeing His divine form, took initiation from Him.
During His stay there, He made a seven day reading of the Bhagavatam. Many followers of the mayavada philosophy were impressed by His paramount knowledge and became His devotees.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT VISHNU KANCHI
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here by the banks of river Surabhi. Shri Mahaprabhuji explained that there are 7 Puris (spiritual centres) in India. Three and one half are Vishnu's and three and one half are Shiva's. Mathura, Ayodhya, Dvarika and one half of Kanchi are of Vishnu's.
Shri Mahaprabhuji had a burning desire to visit the temple of Lord Varadaraja Svami, but hesitated because the stairways which led to the temple had writings of the famous devotional poet Jayadeva. This forced Him from not having the darshana of the Lord.
Sensing the inability of Shri Vallabha, Lord Varadaraja Svami Himself appeared before Him. Shri Mahaprabhuji bowed down to Him and said, "O Merciful Lord ! Why did You take this trouble ?" The Lord said, " I want You to visit My temple. You do not worry about the writings on the steps. I assure You that when You come, the writings will shift on the side walls." Saying this the Lord disappeared.
The next day, Shri Mahaprabhuji prepared some samagri (Idli) and went to the temple. As the Lord had said, the devotional songs inscribed on the steps had shifted on the side walls. For two hours, Shri Mahaprabhuji had intimate discussions with the Lord who very pleasingly accepted the food offerings.
The priest realising the divinity of Shri Mahaprabhuji fell into a transc and when He awoke him, the priest said that he had a divine sight of Vraja with Govardhana Hill and river Yamuna. Shri Mahaprabhuji blessed him and assured him that if he faithfully served the Lord, he would again have this divine sight.
Shri Mahaprabhuji made a seven day reading of the Bhagavatam.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT RAMESHVARAM
Upon arriving at Rameshvaram, Shri Mahaprabhuji explained to Krishnadasa Meghana that it was from here that Lord Ramachandra had crossed by bridge over the sea to Lanka to rescue His wife Sita from the demon Ravana. Here, Lord Rameshvaram came to visit Shri Mahaprabhuji.
In the meanwhile, one of the devotees, took a vow not to eat or drink until he had the darshana of the Lord. He waited for nine hours before the Lord arrived. He asked Him, " Why is it that You are late today ?" The Lord replied, " I have been visiting Shri Mahaprabhuji. You should also go to listen to His discourses."
The magnetic power of His speech attracted many divine souls who after hearing Him, became qualified for the Lord's worship.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT MALAYACHALA MOUNTAIN
Shri Mahaprabhuji halted under a tree in a sandalwood forest. Lord Henmagopala appeared before Him and said that He was extremely pleased to see Him. He also warned Him that He should take care of Himself from the ferocious animals who inhabitate the area.
Later, Shri Mahaprabhuji visited the Lord's temple and applied sandalwood paste on Him and offered bananas and coconuts. After that, Lord Henmagopala would daily come to Shri Mahaprabhuji to hear His enchanting speech.
On the last day of the discourse, Indra the Rain God came to see Lord Henmagopala but did not find Him in the temple. After several hours, when He did finally return, Indra asked Him where He had been. The Lord replied, "I had been to hear Shri Vallabhacharya's discourse. He is an incarnation of Krishna. It is He who held up mount Giriraja to protect the people of Vraja from your devastating rains. He is incarnated for the upliftment of countless divine souls by establishing the Path of Grace."
Indra immediately sought Shri Mahaprabhuji's blessings and returned to his heaven.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT LOHAGARH (GOA)
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed under a tree by a large rock which had the impression of an elephant's foot. The place was very exotic with scenic surroundings. Damala requested His guru that He should read the Bhagavatam for the benevolance of numerous ignorant souls who inhabitated this place. Krishnadasa Meghana said that though the place was good, the only problem was that there was no water.
Shri Mahaprabhuji then revealed, "On this mountain there is a waterfall and on the adjoining mountain there is a lake and under this rock with an elephant's foot-print there is a cave with three ponds. In one pond celestial ladies bathe, in the second celestial musicians and in the third Indra and other Demigods."
Here, Shri Mahaprabhuji spoke on the Bhagavatam and liberated numerous divine souls.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT TAMRAPARNI RIVER
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed by the Tamraparni river on the outskirts of the city of Palamakota. It's king was suffering from serious illness. Some priest advised him to donate a statue of gold to a brahmin, fit for bestowal of alms. This would cure him. The king did accordingly, but nobody would accept it due to fear of death. The statue was death personified. Everybody called it Kala-Purusha.
Under such circumstances, the queen and other well-wishers requested the family priest to accept the charity. A very apprehensive family priest went and told his problem to Shri Mahaprabhuji, who immediately ordered His brahmin disciple to do the needful on His behalf.
The brahmin was escorted to the palace by the family priest. As the king came forward to grant the statue to him, Kala-Purusha pointed one finger at him. Responding to this gesture, the brahmin showed him three fingers. Kala-Purusha immediately surrendered to the brahmin vouchsafing him to accept him. The king affably granted the gold statue to the brahmin who after accepting it, requested the king to distribute its gold equally amongst all the brahmins.
By the infinite powers of Shri Mahaprabhuji, the king was cured. He then curiously asked him the reason for showing each other finger. To this he explained, "When Kala-Purusha pointed a finger, he wanted to know whether I performed the Sandhya (Vedic ritual) atleast once daily, but I informed him that I did it thrice daily by showing him three fingers."
The king took his wife for Shri Mahaprabhuji's darshana. After paying due respect, he prayed to Him to make him and his wife His disciple and also honour him by visiting his palace. Shri Mahaprabhuji showered His divine grace upon the couple. He made them His disciple and the next day visited the palace. The king offered loads of gold at his guru's lotus feet. The entire hall echoed with overwhelming cheers of "Victory to Lord Vallabhacharya Mahaprabhu" !
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT KRISHNA RIVER
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed by the banks of Krishna river. Here, He spoke on the Bhagavatam. Followers of all four streams of vaishnavism came upto Him and complained about the problems they faced by the mayavadis. On their request, the mayavadis were called for a debate. Within no time, Shri Mahaprabhuji proved them that their theory of formless (Nirakara) Brahma was false and contradicting to the vedas. The mayavadis surrendered before Him. Shri Mahaprabhuji continued on His pilgrimage.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT PAMPA SAROVARA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed by the Pampa Lake for three days. Krishnadasa Meghana, A young man, came here in search of the Lord. Upon seeing Shri Mahaprabhuji, he had the darshana of the Lord. He prayed to Him to make him His disciple. Shri Vallabha, the Lord of Mercy, initiated Krishnadasa in the Path of Grace. Since then, Krishnadasa always stayed with his guru for His divine services.
One day, Shri Mahaprabhuji sent Krishnadasaji to bring leaves to prepare the offering. While he was busy collecting the leaves, a terrible beast suddenly appeared and said, "I am here since the time of Lord Rama. Now that Shri Mahaprabhuji is here, request Him to liberate me."
Upon returning, he told Shri Mahaprabhuji about the beast who mercifully gave him some sacred water and asked Krishnadasaji to sprinkle at the beast. Upon doing so, the beast took a divine form and ascended to Vaikuntha on a celestial chariot.
Krishnadasaji was very curious to know who that beast was. Shri Mahaprabhuji revealed, "The beast was of the time of Lord Rama. When Jatayu fought with Ravana, there were many other birds also in the jungle. They all lost their lives in order to save Sita. But, at that time this beast made no efforts to save Sita. Due to this sin, he always attains this form in his every life. I have specially come here to liberate him. I intentionally sent you to bring leaves so that you could be instrumental in his liberation."
After speaking on Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shri Mahaprabhuji and His disciples moved on.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT PADMANABHAJI
Shri Mahaprabhuji made His stay at a very lovely spot. He told Damala that Brahmaji emerged on a stem of a lotus from the navel of Shri Padmanabhaji who lies resting on a Serpent God (Shesha). After saying this, the Lord appeared. Shri Mahaprabhuji greeted Him with folded hands.
The next day, Shri Mahaprabhuji went to the Lord's temple to perform divine services. Padmanabhaji insisted that He must partake of the offerings with Him. The head priest was surprised to see this. He had a vision of the divine realm of Vraja and requested Shri Mahaprabhuji to make him His disciple. The guru advised that he would achieve everything by the grace of Lord Padmanabhaji. But the Lord insisted that He must accept him as he was a divine soul. On the Lord's order, He initiated him in the Path of Grace.
Later, seeking permission from the Lord, He continued on His pilgrimage to spread the Path of Grace.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT JANARDANAJI
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed by a beautiful lake. He visited Lord Janardanaji's temple. While He adorned the Lord with ornaments, the Lord said, " Today I had the opportunity to have the touch of your sacred hands."Shri Mahaprabhuji revealed to Lord Janardana about the appearance of Shrinathaji. He then spoke on the Bhagavatam for seven days. The audience got so absorbed in the divine nectar that they became absolutely unaware of the time. Many souls were inititated by Him.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT VIDYANAGARA
Shri Vallabha came to know that the vaishnavas were on the verge of defeat in a religious debate arranged by the king of Vidyanagara, Krishnadeva Raya. Shri Vallabha immediately headed for Vidyanagara and stayed at His maternal uncle's house who was the king's treasurer. Later in the evening, when Shri Vallabha was called to take His meals, He replied that He only ate what He prepared Himself. His uncle and other relatives felt insulted and said a few harsh words. His uncle even went to the king and advised him to not allow anyone now as it would delay the result.
That night, Shri Vallabha awoke His disciples and silently moved out of the house and stayed by the lake on the outskirts of the city.
The next day, Shri Vallabha entered the court where the debate was going on. He was shinning like countless suns. Mesmerised by the splendor and charishmatic personality of a fourteen year old boy, everybody stood up and the king bowed at His feet and offered Him his throne to sit on. After 27 days of lengthy discussions, finally, Shri Vallabha emerged victorious. He proved the supremacy of the Shuddhadvaita Brahmavada theory over the Kevaladvaita vada and other streams of thought. The judge, head of the Madhva Sampradaya, with the unanimous consent of all the Acharyas confered this title to Shri Vallabha -
"Akhanda Bhumandalacharya Chakrachudamani Jagadguru Mahaprabhu Shrimad Vallabhacharya."
The king then made huge offerings of gold (100 mana apprx. 60 seers) at the Acharya's lotus feet but the Acharya refused to accept it as it was of no use to Him. Instead, He asked the king to distribute it amongst the brahmins and scholars. And also, He would accept any offerings only by His disciples, which the king was not. Knowing this, the king lay prostrate at the Acharya's feet and prayed to Him to make him and both his wives His disciple and requested Him to once again visit the palace and give him the opportunity to worship his guru.
The following day, the king made arrangements for a grand ceremony. The entire city was decorated and festooned with floral garlands. A grand procession escorted Shri Vallabhacharya to the palace. Raya and his two wives stood at the gate to welcome Him. They showered flowers as He arrived. Raya made Him sit on his throne. Shri Vallabhacharya Mahaprabhu initiated Raya and his wives with the Ashtakshara Mahamantra (Shri Krishnah Sharanam Mama).
After the initiation, Raya presented several trays full of gold coins to His guru from which He accepted only seven coins. He used these seven coins to make anklets for Lord Vitthalanathaji and asked the king to use the other coins for a good cause.
On the king's request , Shri Mahaprabhuji then gave a discourse. He also granted His wooden -sandal (charana paduka) to the king. He stayed in Vidyanagara for seven days and made one reading of the Bhagavatam
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT TRILOKABHANAJI
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed at a very lovely spot. Many mayavadis, who worshipped the Goddess, came to debate upon hearing His arrival. Within no time, Shri Mahaprabhuji revealed to them the true meaning of the scriptures. They all became His disciples. Later, Lord Trilokabhanaji appeared before Shri Mahaprabhuji. He offered the Lord some fruits and performed His Divine Services.
After staying here for a few days, Shri Mahaprabhuji proceeded to Totadri mountain.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT MOUNT TOTADRI
Shri Mahaprabhuji camped in the midst of a dense jungle. Krishnadasa Meghana mentioned that there was no water around. Shri Mahaprabhuji said, "There is a large rock on the right side of the Kadamba tree. Under it is a fresh water lake." After the lake was discovered, it was called as Vallabha Kunda. Shri Mahaprabhuji read the Bhagavatam over here.
When the mayavadis came to know of it, came to investigate. They were highly surprised to find water in such a dry place. When Krishnadasa showed them the lake they thought, " We have lived here for so long but never knew of the lake. Shri Mahaprabhuji must definitely be the Supreme Person." They prayed to become His disciple.
There is a temple of Lord Totadri in a small village near the mountain. There is a pond inside the temple. It is believed that the Baithak is situated there, yet to be revealed.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT DARBHASHAYANA (DARAVASENA)
Shri Mahaprabhuji camped in the midst of a dense jungle inhabitated by ferocious animals. Lord Darbhashayanaji came to see Shri Mahaprabhuji and said, "Since you have taken the trouble to come here, then I take this opportunity to request you to liberate the divine souls who live here." Shri Mahaprabhuji was extremely pleased to have the Lord's divine sight. By the powere of the dust of His lotus feet, countless divine souls were emancipated.
Shri Mahaprabhuji gave discourses on the Bhagavatam. The Lord came to hear His nectar like speech.
Many Veera Vaishnavas came to debate with Him. After making them speechless He proceeded further on His pilgrimage.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT SURAT
Shri Mahaprabhuj stayed by the banks of Tapti river near Ashvini Kumar's ashrama and spoke on the Bhagavatam. While the guru spoke on the text, a beautiful young lady, after bathing in the river, stood by His left side and fanned Him for the entire discourse. Krishnadasaji was extremely curious to know the identity of the divine lady.
Shri Mahaprabhuji explained, "She is the divine form of the Tapti river, the daughter of the Sun God."
His disciples then said, " We can understand your divinity only when you shower your grace divine."
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT BHARUCHA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed by the banks of river Narmada. A young lady decked with celestial ornaments appeared and very affectionately paid obeisance to Shri Mahaprabhuji and requested Him to bless her by bathing in the river. Shri Mahaprabhuji assured her that He would surely bathe in the river. After this the lady went away. Shri Mahaprabhuji revealed to Damodaradasa Harsaniji that she was the Goddess of the Narmada river. He pleased Narmada by daily bathing in the river. He then made a seven day reading of the Bhagavatam.
Once, many mayavadis came there to debate with Shri Mahaprabhuji. In just a short time, they were defeated by the majestic power of His speech.
Here, many divine souls took refuge in the lotus feet of His Divine Grace.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT MORABI
Upon arriving in Morabi, Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed in a lovely spot by the lake. He told Krishnadasa that this town owes it's name to it's ruler Mayuradhvaja, who was very pious and truthful. This place was also earlier visited by Lord Krishna and Arjuna. Shri Mahaprabhuji expressed his desire to read the Bhagavatam at this sacred place.
Once, two brahmins Bala and Bada came to have Shri Mahaprabhuji's darshana. realising His divinity, they prayed, "We have been lost in this ocean of materialism, now kindly shower your grace divine over us."
The Lord of Mercy, Shri Mahaprabhuji initiated them in the Path of Grace and taught them about the path. He then granted them an idol of Shri Balakrishnalalaji to worship. Their complete story can be read in the accounts of 84 vaishnavas.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT NAVANAGARA (JAMNAGARA)
Shri Mahaprabhuji camped by the scenic banks of the Nagamati river and gave meaningful discourses on the bhagavatam. Jamatmochi, the king of a nearby kingdom, humbly requested to be made a disciple. After receiving the sacred Mahamantra (Shri Krishnah Sharanam Mama), the king prayed, " Please help my troubled kingdom."
Shri Mahaprabhuji consoled him, "You shall now enter into a favourable time. Always take Shri Krishna's shelter."
From here, He proceeded to Khambhaliya.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT KHAMBHALIYA
Shri Mahaprabhuji halted by the banks of a beautiful pond. That evening, a brahmin came and advised Him not to stay over there as there was a ghost who killed humans. But Shri Mahaprabhuji did not heed his advise and remained there.
Later in the night, when Krishnadasaji was returning after washing his guru's clothes, saw the ghost. His hands were folded as if requesting for his liberation.
When Shri Mahaprabhuji came to know of it, He asked Krishnadasaji to sprinkle sacred water on the ghost. Upon doing so, the ghost dropped its demonical form and taking a divine body, ascended the eternal realms.
From the next day, Shri Mahaprabhuji commenced the seven day reading of the Bahagavatam. Many people hearing the miracle came to seek his darshana and also hear the discourses.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT PINDATARAKA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed under a large tree where He mentioned to His disciple that when Krishna was the king of Dvarika, He had visited all these holy places. He also pointed at sage Durvasa's hermitage.
One brahmin came daily to hear the discourses on the Bhagavatam. On being asked by Shri Mahaprabhuji, he said that he lived in the holy area and had been awaiting His arrival for long.
After the completion of the discourse on the seventh day, Krishnadasa asked who the brahmin was. Shri Mahaprabhuji explained that he was the divine personified of that holy area.
Later, a religious guide of that area approached Shri Mahaprabhuji and requested initiation. Shri Mahaprabhuji said, "The holy place will liberate you." After giving him generous gifts, He headed onwards.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT MULA GOMATA
Shri Mahaprabhuji took shelter under a shady tree. Krishnadasa Meghana asked about the origin of the Mula Gomati river. The guru said, " Mula Gomati descended from the eternal realm as a princess. She told her father that she would marry the person of her choice. Lord Dvarikanathaji appeared and told her that she should come to Him in Dvarika. She then said to herself, " If I take the form of a river then I can merge in the ocean and reach to my Lord." Even today Gomatiji resides at Dvarika in the form of a river. Hearing this everybody was pleased.
The next day, a renunciate came to Shri Mahaprabhuji and said, "I used to live in the South and am a disciple of Vishnu Svami. My family is no more. I have now chosen the path of renunciation and read the Bhagavatam daily. Four times the death has come to take me, but each time I sent him back. After several years, Lord appeared and I requested Him to give me the sight of His childhood pastimes and a permanent stay in the holy land of Vraja. He said that my demands were difficult but could be acheived by your grace. He told me in a dream that you were coming here."
Shri Mahaprabhuji replied, "You have resorted to your own means to acheive the Lord and therefore have had difficulty." Shri Mahaprabhuji initiated him with the Mahamantra (Shri Krishnah Sharanam Mama) and completed reading the Bhagavatam in seven days. He then told the renunciate that he would leave his body in three days and would reborn as Harji Gvala near the Govardhana Hill and His son, Shri Vitthalanathaji would see to his liberation.
From here, He proceeded to Dvarika.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT DVARIKA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed by the banks of the river Gomati. On Lord Dvarikadhishaji's request He spent the four months of the rainy season over there. The Lord informed Govindadasa, the head-priest, about the divinity of Shri Mahaprabhuji who then brought the guru to the temple to perform the Lord's divine services.
Govindadasa was anxious to hear Shri Mahaprabhuji's discourses. One day, when the discourse was about to start, Shrinathaji told Dvarikadhishaji, "Govindadasa is passionately attached to the pastimes of Dvarika. After hearing Shri Vallabha's discourse he will get attached to the pastimes of Vraja. You should talk to him about this."
Shri Mahaprabhuji overheard Lord Dvarikadhishaji speaking with Govindadasa. He at once stopped the discourse and only later when the Lord explained the entire situation, He became pleased again.
Shri Mahaprabhuji then revealed the secrets of the divine Rasa Lila. Deeply engrossed in the mood of the Rasa, many listeners lost consciousness of their bodies. Suddenly, some rain clouds covered the area. Realising that if it rained, it would spoil the mood of the guru as weel as the listeners, Shesha (the Serpent God) appeared and covered them with his thousand hoods while all the area around them got drenched.
After celebrating Annakuta and Prabodhini, Shri Mahaprabhuji left for Gopi Talava.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT GOPI TALAVA
Shri Mahaprabhuji camped by the lake under a shady tree. Shri Krishnadasa Meghana asked his guru why this lake was near Dvarika when the gopis lived in Vraja. The guru explained, "Once Lord Krishna praised the gopis in front of His queen Rukmini in Dvarika. The Lord said, "Though you are My queen but still you cannot come to Me in the forest in the middle of the night at a mere call of My flute, unlike the gopis of Vraja, who broke all their worldly ties for My sake." Queen Rukmini confidently said that she certainly would.
"That evening, Shri Krishna came here to Gopi Talava and played the flute. When Rukmini and other sixteen thousand queens of Krishna heard the divine music, they stopped adorning themselves and began to run towards the direction of the mesmerising sound. All of a sudden, they hesitated when they realised what would they say to their relatives on being asked where they had been. Ultimately, they thought of staying back and not to leave the palace.
When the gopis heard the sweet music of the flute, hundred miles away in Vraja, they left everything and came to the spot and sported with their beloved Krishna."
Shri Mahaprabhuji then granted the divine sight of the Rasa Lila to Krishnadasa and other vaishnavas. After making a seven day reading of the Bhagavatam, He proceeded to Shankhoddhara.
Many divine souls became His disciples here.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT SHANKHODDHARA
Shri Mahaprabhuji camped near the Shankha Kunda where the Lord had killed the demon Shankhasura and took his conch. Lord Shankha Narayana rules this place to this day and because it is a beautiful place, Shri Dvarikanathaji sports here.
After Shri Mahaprabhuji performed the divine services, Lord Shankha Narayana requested Him to speak on 'Venu Gita,' a chapter of the tenth canto of the Bhagavatam. For three days and three nights, He explained just one verse of the chapter. The area beacme so bliss that none noticed the passage of time.
From here, He went to Narayana Sarovara.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT NARAYANA SAROVARA
Shri Mahaprabhuji visited the hermitage of the great sage Markandeya. There He mentioned to Damala, "This area is blessed with the Lord's presence, therfore the Narayana lake manifest. After bathing in the holy lake, He began His teachings on the Bhagavatam. Lord Shiva came to hear His teachings.
Shiva had a devotee who would not eat or drink without taking his darshana. When Shiva returned very late to the temple, he explained his devotee the reason for getting late.
Later Shri Mahaprabhuji mentioned that there were many divine souls in Sindh (now in Pakistan). Due to His unability to cross the holy river Sarasvati, He would not go to there but ensured that His descendants would some day go there and bless the souls.
Although He did not go there but the aroma of His lotus feet was enough to liberate souls as far as Kabul.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT JUNAGARH
Mount Girnara, also known as Revatachala, came as young brahmin boy to seek darshana of Shri Mahaprabhuji who had camped by the bank of Revati lake. He requested Shri Mahaprabhuji to bless him with the touch of His lotus feet. Shri Mahaprabhuji then sat on one of the mountain's rock which became as soft as butter. The Acharya's foot-print became embedded on the rock.
When Shri Mahaprabhuji bathed in the Damodara Kunda, He found an idol of Shri Damodaraji, which was later given to Goraja-Samarai (read varta).
One day, a yogi approached Shri Mahaprabhuji and said, "I have been waiting for ages to hear the Bhagavatam from You. Kindly fulfil my desire." Shri Mahaprabhuji enlightened the yogi with insightful discourses on the sacred text for seven days.
Krishnadasa Meghana was very curious to know who the yogi was. The guru revealed that he was Ashvatthama, the son of Dronacharya and lived on mount Girnara.
Countless divine souls were blessed by the aroma of the dust of His lotus feet.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT PRABHASA KSHETRA
Shri Mahaprabhuji halted in a cave under a shady tree. He explained to His disciples, "This place is auspicious because Lord Krishna had left for Eternal abode from here and also Lord Balarama, Krishna's elder brother, took the form of Shesha and ascended the Eternal Abode. Therefore, this place is ideal for reading Bhagavatam."
After bathing in Hiranya river, He began to speak on the Bhagavatam. Shiva, regularly came to listen to His discourse from the temple nearby. When one of Shiva's devotee did not find him in the temple, he got upset. Upon returning, Shiva told him that he had been listening Shri Mahaprabhuji's discourses on the Bhagavatam and he suggested that he should take shelter in Shri Mahaprabhuji's lotus feet.
Heeding Shiva's advice, he resorted to Shri Mahaprabhuji's lotus feet. After initiating him in the Path of Grace, He proceeded to other sacred places.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT MADHAVAPURA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stopped near the Kadam lake and mentioned to Damala, "It was here that Krishna and Rukmini got married and in this lake they bathed. Afterwards, all the saints and hermits present at the ceremony also bathed."
Later, Shri Mahaprabhuji went for Lord Madhavarayaji's darshana. The Lord informed Him that the priest daily bathed Him with cold water and He should instruct the priest with the proper modes of worship.
The following day, Shri Mahaprabhuji taught the priest all modes of divine services. The priest apologised for his mistakes.
He then went to His seat and spoke on the Bhagavatam. Many people, impressed with His mesmerising speech and infinite glory, became His disciples.
He then proceeded to Gupta Prayaga.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT GUPTA PRAYAGA
Shri Mahaprabhuji's Baithak is situated near the Sarasvati river. He revealed to Damala the importance of this place. He said, "The confluence of the three holy rivers (Ganga-Yamuna-Sarsavati) was originally here. But now, with passage of time it is hidden. Nevertheless, there are these three lake which acts as proxy to the rivers. The construction of these lakes is such that the water from one lake flows into the other." Realising the divinity of that place Shri Mahaprabhuji decided to make a seven day reading of the Bhagavatam.
While He was about to commence the reading, an old brahmin arrived there and lay prostrate before Him. Shri Mahaprabhuji asked him, "Where are you coming from and where do you reside ?" The brahmin replied, "I was living at Pandharapura and used to read Bhagavatam daily. Lord Vitthalanathaji became pleased with me. I requested Him to grant me the divine sight of Krishna's mysterious sports in the holy land of Vraja. He assured me that my wishes will be fulfilled when I meet you over here."
Shri Mahaprabhuji asked him to bathe and then initiated him with the sacred Ashtakshara Mantra (Shri Krishnah Sharanam Mama) and explained to him, "You will leave this body on the eighth day from now and take birth in Vraja as Gopinatah Gvala. Your duty will be to look after Shrinatahji's cows. You will be blessed by my son, Shri Vitthalanathaji and then you shall experience the bliss of Krishna's divine sports."
From here Shri Mahaprabhuji went to Tagadi
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT TAGADI
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed with His disciples under a shady tree in front of a brahmin's house. The brahmin had some ten cows and buffaloes from whose milk he daily made butter. One morning, after churning the butter, his wife went to fetch water from a distant well. Meanwhile, the brahmin saw his two sons eating butter. He ran in excitement and called Shri Mahaprabhuji to see them eating butter like Krishna and Baladeva. Shri Mahaprabhuji was very pleased with his imagination. He said, "You are fortunate to visualise such divine sports. Show this play to your wife."
The brahmin said that if his wife saw them stealing butter she would beat them. The guru told him that he should tell her about the divine sports of the Lord to make her understand.
As insructed by Shri Mahaprabhuji, the brahmin described the whole incident and explained her about the divinity of Shri Mahaprabhuji. By the infinite grace of Shri Mahaprabhuji, the brahmin's wife's attitude changed and was happy with her sons. Shri Mahaprabhuji blessed everybody with the auspicious sight.
After this incident, the brahmins entire family became Shri Mahaprabhuji's disciple. He stayed there for seven days and finished one reading of the Bhagavatam before He proceeded to Naroda.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT NARODA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed at Gopaladas' home in Naroda. Gopaladasa was initiated by Him in Pushtimarga and was enlightened with the knowledge of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By his guru's grace, he acheived transcendental bliss and sang glories of his guru and Shri Krishna.
After speaking on the Bhagavatam, He proceeded to Godhara.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT GODHARA
At Godhara, Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed at the home of His disciple, Rana Vyasa. Before he took initiation, he was a great scholar of the shastras and was very proud of his extensive knowledge. Once, when he was defeated in a debate, he was so depresed that he decided to drown himself in the Ganges. At that time, Shri Mahapraabhuji was making His prayers on the nearby bank and Krishnadasaji asked him what was the fruit received on drowning oneself in the Ganges.The guru replied, "That soul would undergo seven hellish lives and would aceive no fruits here or elsewhere."
Overhearing these words, Rana Vyasa approached Shri Mahaprabhuji and surrendered to His lotus feet. Rana Vyasa admiitted the reason for his unjustified act. Shri Mahaprabhuji showered His Grace Divine upon him by accepting him in the Path of Grace. He then taught him a small, four versed doctrine (Chatuh Shloki) and assured him that he would now be able to defeat anybody in debate.
After seeking permission from his guru, Rana Vyasa returned to the debate with loads of confidence. Within a short time, he defeated the opponents. Pleased with the victory of His disciple, Shri Mahaprabhuji granted him a beautiful idol of Shri Navanita Priyaji, which he devoutly served at his home in Godhara.
When Shri Mahaprabhuji visited his home in Godhara, He initiated his wife and explained to them the chapter of Venugita from the Bhagavatam.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT KHERALU
At Kheralu, Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed at Jagannatha Joshi's home. After taking prasada, Jagannatha Joshi requested Shri Mahaprabhuji to explain to him the meaning of the 'Yugala Gita', from the tenth canto of the Bhagavatam. For nine hours Shri Mahaprabhuji spoke on the Gita. Everybody present there attained transcendental bliss.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT SIDDHAPURA
Shri Mahaprabhuji rested by the side of the Bindu Sarovara where once used to be the hermitage of the great sage Kardama. He told Damala that at this spot Lord Kapila taught his mother Devahuti, the Sankhya Yoga system. From then, Devahuti resides here in the form of this lake.
After bathing in the lake, Shri Mahaprabhuji spoke on the Bhagavatam. Many mayavadis came to him for debate. In short discussions, Shri Mahaprabhuji would import the truth of His teachings to them. Many souls took His refuge.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT AVANTIKA PURI (UJJAIN)
Shri Mahaprabhuji sat by the side of lake Gomati. He wished to read the Bhagavatam there as it was a sacred place of Lord Shiva, but could not find a shady tree where He could sit at peace. Damala said to Him, "If You want, You can create a forest. So to find one tree should not be a problem."
Suddenly, a leaf of a Peepul tree flew and came in front of Shri Mahaprabhuji. He ploughed that leaf and sprinkled holy water over it and said, "Here I shall speak on the Bhagavatam."
The next morning after bathing in the Kshipra river, Shri Mahaprabhuji arrived with His disciples at the same spot. Everybody were surprised to see a fully grown tree in just one night. Taking His seat under that tree, He began the discourse. The mayavadis had heard of this but did not dare to confront Him.
Shiva had two sincere devotees there. He told them that on the Lord's wish I was incarnated to establish the theory of the Mayavada, but now the Lord has come Himself in the form of Shri Vallabhacharya. Shiva expressed his desire to hear the Acharya's discourse and asked his devotees to accompany him if they wished.
After the discourse was over, Shri Mahaprabhuji requested Shiva to call all the mayavadis for a religious debate. Shiva appeared in all the mayavadis' dreams and told them that they should fearlessly face Shrimad Vallabhacharya. The following day, they all came to debate but coud not withstand the majestic power of the Acharya's paramount knowledge and splendor.
Shiva, who was privately seeing the proceedings, approached Shri Mahaprabhuji and said that he was extremely pleased. Shri Mahaprabhuji then said to him, "When you manifested as Shankaracharya, you had five faces to debate with, while Ramanujacharya (incarnation of Shesha) had a thousand faces. Today, since you did not enlighten your followers, I could reply them in single answer."
Shri Mahaprabhuji, with His infinite grace instilled divine love for Krishna in the hearts of many people. From there, He proceeded to Pushkara.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT PUSHKARA
Shri Mahaprabhuji's baithak is situated at Vallabha Ghata under a shady tree. Here, He mentioned to Krishnadasa Meghana that Ganges was the mother of all the holy places while Pushkara was the father.
At Pushkara there is a temple devoted to Bramaji, the Creator. One day, he came to Shri Mahaprabhuji in the garb of a brahmin and requested Him to sanctify the area.
Shri Mahaprabhuji questioned him, "Why are you, the king of all holy places concerned about purification ?" Brahmaji replied, "In this age of Kali, all the holy places have lost their divinity."
Later, Shri Mahaprabhuij and His disciples bathed in the lake and made a seven day reading of the Bhagavatam, making the area pure and full of devotional bliss.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT KURUKSHETRA
Shri Mahaprabhuji seated by the Kurukshetra lake told Krishnadasa Meghana that it was here that the great war of Mahabharata took place and it was also the place where Krishna preached Arjuna, the Bhagavad Gita.
Shri Mahaprabhuji later gave discourses on the Bhagavatam and explained in detail the various divine sports of Krishna. Everybody who heard Him speaking experienced transcendental bliss.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT HARIDVARA
In the year 1510 A.D., Shri Mahaprabhuji visited Haridvara during the Kumbha Mela. He stayed above the Kankhal Kshetra. Over one hundred thouasnd people had gathered for the sacred bath in the Ganges. At that time, Shri Mahaprabhuji summoned Yoga Maya and Time (Kala). He ordered the Yoga Maya to put everyone coming at night to deep sleep and told the Time to make the auspicious time for bathing just before sunrise so that everyone could acheive the fruits of the holy bath.
At that time, Damala. Krishnadasa Meghana, Vasudevadasa Chhakada, Madhava Bhatta Kashmiri and Govinda Dubey were with Shri Mahaprabhuji. When the auspicious time arrived, everybody awoke and took the sacred bath and coming to know of Shri Mahaprabhuji's greatness, they sang His praises and many became His followers.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT BADRIKASHRAMA
Shri Mahaprabhuji arrived here on the appearance day of Lord Vamana. He asked Krishnadasa to bring some fruits as it was the day to observe fast. Lord Badrinatha, taking the form of a brahmin, stopped Krishnadasa and said that he would not find fruits in the area.
Later, the Lord told Shri Mahaprabhuji that although it was a fasting day, yet He and His disciples could break the traditional rule and eat food-grains as fruits weren't available.
Shri Mahaprabhuji then made a seven day rading of the Bhagavatam and blessed many souls living in that area.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT KEDARANATHA
Shri Mahaprabhuji spoke on the Bhagavatam by the Kedaranatha lake. Lord Kedaranatha, disguised as a yogi, daily came to listen to His discourses. Krishnadasa wondered who he was until his guru revealed his identity.
Countless divine souls were liberated by experiencing the divine arome arising from the Acharya's lotus feet.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT VYASA ASHRAMA
Shri Mahaprabhuji visited Shri Veda Vyasa, the Knowledge Incarnate, at his ashrama in the Himalayas. He told Krishnadasa Meghana to wait outside the cave until He returned. Inside, Shri Mahaprabhuji discussed constantly for three nights and three days, one line of Bhramara Gita from Shri Vyasaji's Bhagavatam. Vyasaji was extremely pleased with the Acharya's commentary.
After the meeting got over, when Shri Mahaprabhuji came out of the cave, He was surprised to find Krishnadasaji standing in the same position. He asked him why he was standing there. He humbly said that he was just obeying his orders. Shri Mahaprabhuji was extremely pleased with him and told him to ask any three boons. Krishnadasa asked to have all the sins of speech be removed, to have the teachings of the Path of Grace established firmly in his heart and Shri Mahaprabhuji should accept his former guru.
Shri Mahaprabhuji mercifully granted the first two boons but not the last. (read Krishnadasaji's varta).
After reading the entire Bhagavatam, He proceeded further.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT HIMACHALA
Shri Mahaprabhuji's baithak is situated on top of the Himachala mountain. Krishnadasa requested Him to make a reading of the Bhagavatam. Mount Himachala dressed as a brahmin, came for Acharya's darshana. By Shrimad Acharyacharana's blessings his heart was filled with devotion. Many souls were enlightened by the sacred reading.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT VYASA GANGA
Shri Mahaprabhuji's baithak is situated on top of the Himachala mountain. Krishnadasa requested Him to make a reading of the Bhagavatam. Mount Himachala dressed as a brahmin, came for Acharya's darshana. By Shrimad Acharyacharana's blessings his heart was filled with devotion. Many souls were enlightened by the sacred reading.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT MANADARACHALA
Shri Mahaprabhuji's baithak is situated on the summit of mount Mandarachala. After visiting the Lord's temple, He began reading the Bhagavatam which the Lord came to listen. Later, Shri Mahaprabhuji performed divine services of the Lord
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT ADELA
Shri Mahaprabhuji made His residence here at the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati rivers. He used to worship Shri Navanita Priyaji. He considered His mother to take initiation but did not know if He could initiate her. So He requested the Lord to do so.
One day, when He was busy in discussions with the mayavadis, Shri Navanita Priyaji felt thirsty. He asked Illammagaruji (Shri Mahaprabhuji's mother) to fill the Jhariji. She hesitated because she was not allowed to do the seva. Shri Navanita Priyaji then initiated her thus, enabling her to perform the divine services. She then gifted a pearl necklace to the Lord.
When Shri Mahaprabhuji saw her doing the seva, He got angry. But when He came to know from Thakurji of what had happened, He felt happy.
In the year V.S.1567, Shri Mahaprabhuji's first son Shri Gopinathaji was born here. Later, Shri Krishna appeared before Him and told Him that He would appear as His next son and that He should go with His family to Charanata, on the banks of the Ganges river.
Many other events have occured here, but this has been recorded in the Baithak Charitra.
SHRI MAHAPRABHUJI'S BAITHAK AT CHARANATA
Shri Mahaprabhuji stayed here in a bower and daily read the Bhagavatam. A few miles away from where He stayed, lived a brahmin who daily chanted Vishnu Sahasra Nama (thousand names of Lord Vishnu). One day, he found a beautiful deity from the Ganges. He only served milk to the deity. The Lord stayed with him for a month and then on the eve of Shri Vitthalanathaji's birth, he ordered him to take him to Shrimad Vallabhacharya, whom he would find sitting by the lake offering prayers.
The next day, at about noon, he took the idol and presented to Shrimad Acharyacharana. At that very moment, He got the joyous news of the birth of His second son. He was so thrilled with joy to receive the deity and it's worshipper at the same time. It was the ninth day of the darker half in the lunar month of Pausha, year V.S.1572.
The birthday celebrations were similar to that of Shri Krishna's birth. Gods and Goddesses appeared in the sky and showered flowers. Celestial musicians played drums in joy. The blessed ladies of the Vraja dressed at their best, thronged in large groups to have a glimpse of the divine child. Shri Mahaprabhuji, after taking a holy bath, distributed gems and jewels with free hands. The Vrajabhaktas danced in circular motion.
Later, Shri Gargacharya came to bless the child. He predicted Him to be the incarnation of Shri Krishna, the Supreme Lord and had appeared for the upliftment for countless divine souls and to strongly condemn the mayavada theory.
This child was named Shri Vitthalanathaji, who later became the Acharya of Pushtimarga and whose contribution to the sect in terms of Bhoga, Raga and Shringara is unimaginable.