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Nitai
Nitai
or Nityananda (Bengali: শ্রী নিত্যানন্দ, b 1474 CE), was a Vaishnava
Vaishnava
saint, famous as a primary religious figure within the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition of Bengal, is an expansion of Balarama.[1] Nitai
Nitai
was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's friend and disciple. They are often mentioned together as Gaura- Nitai
Nitai
(Gaura, "golden one", referring to Chaitanya, Nitai
Nitai
being a shortened form of Nityananda) or Nimai- Nitai
Nitai
(Nimai being another name of Chaitanya).[2] Followers often refer to Nitai
Nitai
as 'Sri Nityananda', 'Prabhu Nityananda' or 'Nityananda Rama'. According to Gaudiya- Vaishnava
Vaishnava
tradition Nitai
Nitai
is an incarnation of Balarama, with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
being his eternal brother and friend, Krishna.[3] He is considered the 'most merciful' incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead
Supreme Personality of Godhead
[4] (a term popularized by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami).

Contents

1 Life

1.1 Jagai-Madhai episode 1.2 Marriage and descendants

2 Legacy 3 Principal sobriquets 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Life[edit]

Sri Chaitanya and Nitai, is shown performing a 'kirtan'( devotional song ) in the streets of Nabadwip, Bengal.

Nityananda Prabhu was born to a religious Bengali Brahmin, known as Pandit Hadai and Padmavati[5] in Ekachakra[6] (a small village in Birbhum district
Birbhum district
of present West Bengal) around the year 1474. His devotion and great talent for singing Vaishnava
Vaishnava
hymns (bhajan) were apparent from a very early age. In his youth, he would generally play the part of Lakshman, Rama's younger brother, in dramatic re-enactments of Lord Rama's pastimes, along with the other boys of Ekachakra.[citation needed] At the age of thirteen, Nitai
Nitai
left home with a travelling renunciate (sannyasi) known as Lakshmipati Tirtha. Nitai's father, Hadai Pandit, had offered the travelling sannyasi anything he wished as a gift. To this Lakshmipati Tirtha
Lakshmipati Tirtha
replied that he was in need of someone to assist him in his travels to the holy places (he was about to begin a pilgrimage) and that Nitai
Nitai
would be perfect for the job. As he had given his word Hadai Pandit reluctantly agreed and Nitai
Nitai
joined him in his travels. This started Nitai's long physical and spiritual journey through India
India
which would get him in contact with important Gurus of the Vaishnava
Vaishnava
tradition. Apart from Lakshmipati Tirtha, who at some point initiated him, he was also associated with Lakshmipati Tirtha's famous other disciples: Madhavendra Puri, Advaita Acharya, and Ishvara Puri, the spiritual master of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.[citation needed] Jagai-Madhai episode[edit]

Gaura Nitai
Nitai
shrine at ISKCON
ISKCON
temple, Delhi

The episode of Jagai-Madhai relates to Chaitanya and Nitai. There are a few versions of the story, but the basics outline of the traditional tale is as follows:

Once while chanting the name of Krishna
Krishna
in the streets, Nitai
Nitai
was attacked by Jagai and Madhai, two irreverent drunk brothers. Madhai threw an earthen pot which cut his forehead. At this point Nitai
Nitai
is said to have uttered the now famous sentence, "Merechhish kolshir kana, tai bole ki prem debona" (Shall I stop giving you love because you have hit me with an earthen pot?). Chaitanya heard of the episode, flew to a rage, and wanted to kill the brothers with his divine Chakra. Nitai
Nitai
begged him to pardon them and they became Chaitanya's disciples, converted by Nitai's compassion.[citation needed]

Marriage and descendants[edit]

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v t e

Prabhu Nityananda, Mata Vasudha (left), Mata Janhava (right) (Srivas Angan, Nabadwip, WB)

Nitai
Nitai
married two daughters of Suryadasa Sarakhela, Vasudha and Jahnava. After marriage, he settled in Khardaha
Khardaha
in 24 Parganas district in West Bengal. He had a son, Virachandra Goswami or Virabhadra, and a daughter, Ganga, by his first wife Vasudha. Virabhadra was later initiated to vaishnava rites by his stepmother Jahnava.[7] Legacy[edit] The exploits of Chaitanya and Nitai
Nitai
have had deep religious and cultural implications in Bengal. They are credited with the revival of Hinduism
Hinduism
in Eastern India, plagued mainly by the caste system, which they denounced. Much of Vaishnava
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literature, regarded as one the finest literary heritage of medieval Bengal, came from them or their disciples. Even in secular literature, their brotherly love towards each other has been celebrated.[citation needed] Principal sobriquets[edit]

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Nityananda -- He Who embodies eternal bliss Avadhutendu -- The Moon of divine madmen Vasudha-prana-vallabha -- The beloved of the life-breath of Vasudha Jahnavi-jivita-pati -- The eternal divine husband of Shrimati Jahnavi-devi and the maintainer and sustainer of Her life and soul Krsna-prema-prada -- He Who bestows ecstatic love for Krishna Prabhu -- The Lord and Master of the devotees Padmavati-suta -- The dear son of Padmavati Sriman -- He of splendorous transcendental majesty Saci-nandana-purvaja -- The older brother of mother Saci's son Bhavonmatta -- He Who is maddened in overwhelming ecstatic emotions Jagat-trata -- The savior of the universe Rakta-gaura-kalevara - He Whose complexion is golden tinged with red

from the writings of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, usually combined into a single prayer: Nityananda vadhutendur, vasudha-prana-vallabha jahnavi-jivita-pati krsna-prema-prada prabhu Padmavati-suta sriman, Saci-nandana-purvaja bhavonmatto jagat trata Rakta gaura kalevara Pranam Mantra
Mantra
of Nityananda Nityananda mahang vande, Karne lambita mouktikam, caitanya aagraja rupena, kritarthi kritabhutalam. See also[edit]

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Gaudiya Vaishnava Mayapur Pancha Tattva (Vaishnavism)

References[edit]

^ Sen, D.; Sen, D.C. (1917). Chaitanya and His Companions: Being Lectures Delivered at the University of Calcutta as Ramtanu Lahiri Research Fellow for 1913-14. University of Calcutta.  ^ Dimock, E.C. (1958). "The Place of Gauracandrika in Bengali Vaisnava Lyrics". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 78 (3): 153–169. doi:10.2307/595285. JSTOR 595285.  ^ Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila, 5.6 Archived 3 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Rosen, S.J. (2004). "Who Is Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu>". The Hare Krishna
Krishna
Movement: the Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant. ISBN 978-0-231-12256-6. Retrieved 2008-06-07.  ^ Sen, Sukumar (1991, reprint 2007). Bangala Sahityer Itihas, Vol.I, (in Bengali), Kolkata: Ananda Publishers, ISBN 81-7066-966-9, p.293 ^ Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila,13.61, purport Archived 3 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Sen, Sukumar (1991, reprint 2007). Bangala Sahityer Itihas, Vol.I, (in Bengali), Kolkata: Ananda Publishers, ISBN 81-7066-966-9, pp.236, 321-2

External links[edit]

Life Story of Nitai A Biography of Nityananda Prabhu Nityananda Trayodasi Festival Lecture on Nitai
Nitai
& Chaitanya: 'The Darkness Dispellers' Nityananda Rama
Rama
at Panihati Nityananda Janmasthan - Nitai's birthplace The Lotus Feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu Nitai's Name Descendants of Nitai

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