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CC Antya 4 Summary

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The Fourth Chapter is summarized by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya as follows. Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī came alone from Mathurā to Jagannātha Purī to see Lord Caitanya. Because of bathing in bad water and not getting enough food every day while traveling on the path through Jhārikhaṇḍa (Jharkhand) Forest, he developed a disease that made his body itch. Suffering greatly from this itching, he resolved that in the presence of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he would throw himself under the wheel of Jagannātha’s car and in this way commit suicide.

When Sanātana Gosvāmī came to Jagannātha Purī, he stayed under the care of Haridāsa Ṭhākura for some time, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very happy to see him. The Lord informed Sanātana Gosvāmī about the death of his younger brother, Anupama, who had great faith in the lotus feet of Lord Rāmacandra. One day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to Sanātana Gosvāmī, “Your decision to commit suicide is the result of the mode of ignorance. One cannot get love of God simply by committing suicide. You have already dedicated your life and body to My service; therefore your body does not belong to you, nor do you have any right to commit suicide. I have to execute many devotional services through your body. I want you to preach the cult of devotional service and go to Vṛndāvana to excavate the lost holy places.” After having thus spoken, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu left, and Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Sanātana Gosvāmī had many talks about this subject.

One day Sanātana Gosvāmī was summoned by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who wanted him to come to Yameśvara-ṭoṭā. Sanātana Gosvāmī reached the Lord through the path along the beach by the sea. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked Sanātana Gosvāmī which way he had come, Sanātana replied, “Many servitors of Lord Jagannātha come and go on the path by the Siṁha-dvāra gate of the Jagannātha temple. Therefore, I did not go by that path, but instead went by the beach.” Sanātana Gosvāmī did not realize that there were burning blisters on his feet because of the heat of the sand. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was pleased to hear about Sanātana Gosvāmī’s great respect for the temple of Lord Śrī Jagannātha.

Because his disease produced wet sores on his body, Sanātana Gosvāmī used to avoid embracing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but nevertheless the Lord would embrace him by force. This made Sanātana Gosvāmī very unhappy, and therefore he consulted Jagadānanda Paṇḍita about what he should do. Jagadānanda advised him to return to Vṛndāvana after the car festival of Jagannātha, but when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard about this instruction, He chastised Jagadānanda Paṇḍita and reminded him that Sanātana Gosvāmī was senior to him and also more learned. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu informed Sanātana Gosvāmī that because Sanātana was a pure devotee, the Lord was never inconvenienced by his bodily condition. Because the Lord was a sannyāsī, He did not consider one body better than another. The Lord also informed him that He was maintaining Sanātana and the other devotees just like a father. Therefore the moisture oozing from Sanātana’s itching skin did not affect the Lord at all. After speaking with Sanātana Gosvāmī in this way, the Lord again embraced him, and after this embrace, Sanātana Gosvāmī became free from the disease. The Lord ordered Sanātana Gosvāmī to stay with Him for that year, and the next year, after seeing the Ratha-yātrā festival, he left Puruṣottama-kṣetra and returned to Vṛndāvana.

After meeting Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī also returned to Bengal, where he remained for one year. Whatever money he owned, he distributed among his relatives, the brāhmaṇas and the temples. In this way he completely retired and returned to Vṛndāvana to meet Sanātana Gosvāmī.

After narrating these incidents, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī has given a list of the main books of Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Jīva Gosvāmī.