Absorbed in transcendental ecstasy, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went out one night without opening the doors to His room. After crossing over three walls, He fell down among some cows belonging to the district of Tailaṅga. There He remained unconscious, assuming the aspect of a tortoise.
Ecstasy (CC Antya-lila)
This is the result of sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83)—consequent association with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the Vaiṣṇava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees. By rendering a little service, even by eating prasādam, what to speak of chanting and dancing, everyone can be promoted to Vaikuṇṭhaloka. It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community become pure Vaiṣṇavas, so that by their mercy all the people of the world will be transferred to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, even without their knowledge. Everyone should be given a chance to take prasādam and thus be induced to chant the holy names Hare Kṛṣṇa and also dance in ecstasy. By these three processes, although performed without knowledge or education, even an animal went back to Godhead
When they received the remnants of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's prasādam through Govinda, they respected it, and then they both began to dance in ecstasy.
The Lord always manifested His āvirbhāva appearance in the following four places: (1) the house of Śrīmatī Śacīmātā, (2) wherever Nityānanda Prabhu danced in ecstasy, (3) the house of Śrīvāsa (when kīrtana was performed), and (4) the house of Rāghava Paṇḍita. Lord Caitanya Himself appeared in these four places.
Pradyumna Brahmacārī was overwhelmed by transcendental ecstasy upon seeing Caitanya Mahāprabhu eating everything. Thus tears flowed from his eyes. Nevertheless, he expressed dismay, saying, “Alas, alas! My dear Lord, what are You doing? You are eating everyone's food!
My dear sir, you are the foremost devotee. Simply seeing you and hearing you chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa has purified my consciousness. Now I want to chant the holy name of the Lord. Please be kind to me by instructing me about the ecstasy of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.
He taught them how to express the symptoms of continuous, natural and transitional ecstasies with the movements of their faces, their eyes and the other parts of their bodies.
Through the feminine poses and dances they were taught by Rāmānanda Rāya, the two girls precisely exhibited all these expressions of ecstasy before Lord Jagannātha.
Nevertheless, the mind of Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya never changes, although he teaches the girls how to physically express all the transformations of ecstasy.
A mellow temporarily appearing transcendental but contradicting mellows previously stated and lacking some of a mellow's necessities is called rasābhāsa, an overlapping mellow, by advanced devotees who know how to taste transcendental mellows. Such mellows are called uparasa (submellows), anurasa (imitation transcendental mellows) and aparasa (opposing transcendental mellows). Thus the overlapping of transcendental mellows is described as being first grade, second grade or third grade. When the twelve mellows—such as neutrality, servitorship and friendship—are characterized by adverse sthāyi-bhāva, vibhāva and anubhāva ecstasies, they are known as uparasa, submellows.
As the Lord ran in ecstasy to meet the singer, thorny hedges pricked His body.
The author of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, however, has tried to explain this divyonmāda as far as possible, and it is our duty simply to appreciate it as far as possible. Therefore the author has made the following request in verse 11:
- tāte viśvāsa kari' śuna bhāvera varṇana
ha-ibe bhāvera jñāna, pāibā prema-dhana
"My dear readers, simply try to hear this description with faith and love. That will help you understand transcendental ecstasy, and at last you will achieve love of Godhead very easily."
These ecstasies are not described in the śāstras, and they are inconceivable to common men. Therefore people in general do not believe in them.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was running with the speed of the wind, but He suddenly became stunned in ecstasy and lost all strength to proceed further.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu performed His external activities, but His mind was filled with ecstatic love. With great difficulty He tried to restrain His mind, but it would always be overwhelmed by very deep ecstasy.
Loudly chanting the holy name of Hari, all of them tasted the prasādam. As they tasted it, their minds became mad in the ecstasy of love.
Absorbed in ecstasy, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu acted and talked like a madman day and night.
To complement the ecstasy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Rāmānanda Rāya would quote verses from the books of Vidyāpati and Caṇḍīdāsa, and especially from the Gīta-govinda, by Jayadeva Gosvāmī.
enly, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard the vibration of Kṛṣṇa's flute. Then, in ecstasy, He began to depart to see Lord Kṛṣṇa.
All three doors were fastened as usual, but Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, in great ecstasy, nevertheless got out of the room and left the house.
In great ecstasy, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to Svarūpa Dāmodara in a faltering voice, "My ears are dying of thirst. Please recite something to quench this thirst. Let Me hear it."
Upon hearing this verse, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, overwhelmed with the ecstasy of the gopīs, began to explain it.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “The gopīs entered the arena of the rāsa dance in ecstasy, but after hearing Kṛṣṇa's words of negligence and detachment, they understood that He was going to renounce them. Thus they began to chastise Him in anger.
While Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu lamented in this way, agitation and ecstasy awoke in His mind, and He became very restless. Many transcendental ecstasies combined in Him, including anxiety, lamentation, attention, eagerness, fear, determination and remembrance.
The aggregate of all these ecstasies once awoke a statement by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in the mind of Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura (Līlā-śuka). In the same ecstatic mood, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu now recited that verse, and on the strength of madness He described its meaning, which is unknown to people in general.
Suddenly, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became calm and considered His state of mind. He remembered the words of Piṅgalā, and this aroused an ecstasy that moved Him to speak. Thus He explained the meaning of the verse.
Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s ecstasy also made Her think of Kṛṣṇa as Cupid, and this understanding frightened Her. She said, "This Cupid, who has conquered the whole world and entered My heart, is My greatest enemy, for He does not allow Me to forget Him."
Then great eagerness conquered all the other soldiers of ecstasy, and an uncontrollable desire arose in the kingdom of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s mind. Greatly unhappy, She then chastised Her own mind.
Thus I have described Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's ecstatic transformation of becoming like a tortoise. In that ecstasy, He talked and acted like a madman.
He sang and danced in ecstatic love and sometimes imitated the rāsa dance in emotional ecstasy.
He sometimes ran here and there in the madness of ecstasy and sometimes fell and rolled on the ground. Sometimes He became completely unconscious.
Even Lord Kṛṣṇa is struck with wonder at seeing the transformations of ecstasy in His devotees. If Kṛṣṇa Himself cannot estimate the limits of such emotions, how could others?
Every year, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked Jagadānanda Paṇḍita to visit His mother in Navadvīpa with gifts of cloth and prasādam. After one such visit, Jagadānanda Paṇḍita returned to Purī with a sonnet that Advaita Ācārya had written. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu read it, His ecstasy was so great that all the devotees feared that the Lord would very soon pass away.
This chapter further describes how Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu entered the Jagannātha-vallabha garden during the full-moon night of Vaiśākha (April-May) and experienced various transcendental ecstasies. Overwhelmed with ecstatic love at suddenly seeing Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa beneath an aśoka tree, He exhibited various symptoms of spiritual madness.
In the ecstasy of love of Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu thus behaved like a madman, talking insanely all day and night.
As His feelings of separation in the ecstasy of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī increased at every moment, the Lord's activities, both day and night, were now wild, insane performances.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stayed awake all night, chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, His mind overwhelmed by spiritual ecstasy.
In ecstasy, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu rubbed His face against the walls all night long, making a peculiar sound, "goṅ-goṅ," which Svarūpa Dāmodara could hear through the door.
A class of so-called devotees known as prākṛta-sahajiyās sometimes display devotional symptoms to exhibit their good fortune. They are pretending, however, because these devotional features are only external. The prākṛta-sahajiyās exhibit these symptoms to advertise their so-called advancement in love of Kṛṣṇa, but instead of praising the prākṛta-sahajiyās for their symptoms of transcendental ecstasy, pure devotees do not like to associate with them.
In the same spirit of ecstasy, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recited that verse, and as soon as He did so, He felt like Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.
That chapter also tells how the attributes of Kṛṣṇa's sound attracted the mind of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who then described in ecstasy the meaning of the "kā stry aṅga te" verse.
In the Eighteenth Chapter is an account of how the Lord fell into the ocean and in ecstasy saw in a dream the pastimes of a water fight between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs.