Lord Nityananda was born in Ekachakra, a small village in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, around the year 1474. He was born to Hadai Ojha and his mother Padmavati. Nityananda Prabhu was born on the auspicious thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of Magha month. As a child, Nitai would love to enact the different pastimes of the Lord. So much so that the entire village would be immersed in the love of Godhead. Once while he played the part of Lakshman and remained unconscious as long the child who was playing the part of Hanuman did not bring the medicine as had happened during the original pastime during Lord Rama’s time.
He spent the first 12 years of His life in Ekachakra. In the 13th year, a traveling sannyasi, famous Lakshmipati Tirtha, requested Nitai from his parents, as a traveling companion. His father, although could not refuse the request, was devastated by the separation with Nitai, and soon gave up his life. Nitai traveled with Lakshmipati Tirtha for about 20 years, during which He visited all the holy places in the country.
vrajendra-nandana yei, śacī-suta haila sei,
balarāma haila nitāi.
Lord Nityananda is non different from Lord Balaram. To fight with the onslaught of this material energy, we need spiritual strength and therefore it is advisable to seek the shelter of Lord Nityananda which not only provides us strength but also is more soothing than a million moons. nitāi-pada-kamala koṭi-candra-suśītala. The material nature is unceasingly tossing us, the only shelter is Lord Nityananda’s lotus feet. In this world full of anxieties, His lotus feet are the only hope for peace.
Lord Nityananda is guru-tattva, the original spiritual master. A bona fide spiritual master is the representative of Lord Nityananda. By following the instructions of a bona fide spiritual master, one pleases Lord Nityananda and thereby receives His blessings to make advancement on the path of pure devotional service to Lord Gauranga.
Lord Nityananda is an embodiment of compassion. Thus having been hit by Madhai, He was considering how to deliver them with pure love of Godhead. Lord Nityananda was instructed by Lord Caitanya to come back to Bengal and preach Krishna consciousness. He lived in Khardah, a place near Panihati, with his two wives Vasudha and Jahnava, the daughters of Gauri Das Pandit. In the famous Panihati Cida dahi mahotsav, Lord Nityananda could feel and see the presence of Lord Caitanya wearing South Indian garlands. Lord Nityananda could not tolerate Lord Caitanya’s taking sanyasa and living like a mendicant, that once He broke the sannyasa danda of Lord Caitanya.
Lord Nityananda himself distributes the holy name in the market of holy name based on a person’s faith.
(nitāi) nām eneche, nāmer hāṭe,
śraddhā-mūlye nām diteche re.
Only by the mercy of Lord Nityananda does one receive the favor of Radha Krishna. heno nitāi bine bhāi, rādhā-kṛṣṇa pāite nāi. Nitāiyer koruṇā habe, braje rādhā-kṛṣṇa pabe, dharo nitāi-caraṇa du’khāni. If one takes shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, one can get the mercy of Radha Krishna in Vraj. It is only by His mercy that our material attachment will be vanquished. Nitāi caraṇa satya, tāhāra sevaka nitya. Lord Nityananda’s lotus feet are eternal and therefore one who takes shelter at His lotus feet becomes eternal. Nitya means eternal and Ananda means happiness. Thus by taking His shelter all one’s distress is vanquished. ha ha prabhu nityananda, premananda sukhi
kripabalokana koro ami boro dukhi.
On this auspicious occasion of Lord Nityananda’s appearance, we may seek His blessings so that empowers us with spiritual strength, compassion, and enthusiasm to relish and distribute the holy name.
Jun 25, 2022
Radhapriya Chawla, ISKCON Toronto Communications