Nityananda Trayodasi

Nityananda Trayodasi The Appearance day of Sri Nityananda Prabhu On 5th February 2012, Sunday On February 5th, 2012 is Nityananda Trayodasi – the appearance day of Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda Prabhu appeared as Lord Chaitanya’s principal associate for spreading the congregational chanting of the holy names of God. He especially spread the holy names of Krishna throughout Bengal. He is considered an incarnation of Lord Balarama, Krishna’s elder brother.   Lord Nityananda's Appearance Lord Nityananda, whose name literally means, “eternally blissful”, appeared around 1474 AD in the village of Ekachakra, near Mayapur, West Bengal. In the Caitanya Caritamrita and other scriptures He is declared to be the avatar of Lord Balarama, the direct expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna.   As a child He was called Nitai and had a close circle of friends. Together they used to imitate the pastimes of Krishna and His associates. All the adults of Ekachakra were fascinated by this unique little boy, and they loved Him as their own. Seeing His total absorption in Krishna and the avatars of Vishnu, they suspected that He might be some sort of incarnation Himself. He was relentless, day after day enacting a different pastime, and did it so skillfully that His neighbors wondered, “How is it that He is so talented? How does He know the stories so well? No one has explained all these details to Him.” On one occasion, one of the boys dressed as Akrura and took Krishna and Balarama away from Vrindavana on the order of Kamsa. Nitai cried in grief, feeling the separation of the cowherd girls who loved Krishna with their whole being. Tears of love flowed from His eyes. His acting was so authentic that it made all who watched question whether He was merely acting or in some way experiencing the part He played. This was true whether He was playing Krishna, Balarama, or even Vamana and other Incarnations of the Lord. When questioned, Nitai would respond: “They are My own divine pastimes, and I am allowing you to see them.”   Among His most convincing roles was that of Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, which intimated His divine identity as Balarama. For His first twelve years, Nityananda Prabhu stayed in Ekachakra and shared loving pastimes with His neighbors. Traveling on Pilgrimage Just before His thirteenth year, however, a traveling mendicant came to His home and was welcomed as a guest by Hadai Pandita, Nityananda’s affectionate father. With deep respect and brahminical hospitality, Hadai Pandita offered his eminent guest all that he had. “Please feel free to take whatever you like,” he said. “My home is your home.” The visiting ascetic explained that his was a simple life, and that his needs were minimal. However, he said, he needed a traveling companion, and young Nitai would be an appropriate person for such a service. Nitai was eager, and reluctantly, Hadai Pandita agreed to let his son go.   Nitai traveled from holy place to holy place for the next twenty years, until He was thirty-two, receiving instruction and friendship from His elderly sannyasi companion. He journeyed the length and breadth of India and sanctified the subcontinent by His presence, making holy places even holier. As Nitai continued to travel, feeling the ecstasy of these sacred areas, He more and more took on the character of an avadhuta, or a spiritually elevated person who appears crazy to the uninformed. His mode of activity and general behavior became increasingly unexplainable and erratic; no one could understand what motivated Him or why He behaved in the way that He did. For example, He was known to dance ecstatically with the cloth...