Nityananda (Bangla: শ্রী নিত্যানন্দ ; Oriya: ନିତ୍ୟାନନ୍ଦ ) (b 1474 CE), was a Vaishnava saint, famous as a primary religious figure within the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition of Bengal, by whom he is worshipped as an incarnation of Balarama. Nityananda was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's friend and disciple. They are often mentioned together as Gaura-Nitai (Gaura, "golden one", referring to Chaitanya, Nitai being a shortened form of Nityananda) or Nimai-Nitai (Nimai being another name of Chaitanya). Followers often refer to Nityananda as 'Sri Nityananda', 'Prabhu Nityananda' or 'Nityananda Rama'.
According to Gaudiya-Vaishnava tradition Nityananda is an incarnation of Balarama, with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu being his eternal brother and friend, Krishna. He is considered the 'most merciful' incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Nityananda Prabhu was born to a religious Bandyaghati Brahmin, Mukunda Pandit (also known as Hadai Pandit) and Padmavati in Ekachakra (a small village in Birbhum district of present West Bengal) around the year 1474. His devotion and great talent for singing Vaishnava hymns (bhajan) were apparent from a very early age. He became well known in his youth for his dramatic re-enactments of Lord Rama's pastimes, wherein he would generally play the part of Lakshman, Rama's younger brother along with the other boys of Ekachakra.
At the age of thirteen, Nityananda left home with a travelling renunciate (sannyasi) known as Lakshmipati Tirtha. Nityananda's father, Hadai Pandit, had offered the travelling sannyasi anything he wished as a gift. To this 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 Nityananda would be perfect for the job. As he had given his word Hadai Pandit reluctantly agreed and Nityananda joined him in his travels. This started Nityananda's long physical and spiritual journey through India which would get him in contact with important Gurus of the 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.
The Jagai-Madhai episode
The episode of Jagai-Madhai is arguably most well known of tales related to Chaitanya and Nityananda. 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 in the streets, Nityananda was attacked by Jagai and Madhai, two irreverent drunk brothers. Madhai threw an earthen pot which cut his forehead. At this point Nityananda 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. Nityananda begged him to pardon them and they became Chaitanya's disciples, converted by Nityananda's compassion.
Marriage and the descendants
Nityananda married two daughters of Suryadasa Sarakhela, Vasudha and Jahnava. After marriage, he settled in Khardaha. He had a son, Virachandra or Virabhadra, and a daughter, Ganga, by his first wife Vasudha. Virabhadra was later initiated to vaishnava rites by his stepmother Jahnava.
The exploits of Chaitanya and Nityananda have had deep religious and cultural implications in Bengal. They are credited with the revival of Hinduism in Eastern India, plagued mainly by the caste system, which they denounced. Much of Vaishnava 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.
Principal Sobriquets of Nityananda
- 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.
Caitanya Sampradaya Sampradaya Acaryas
Post Caitanya Modern (Pre-ISKCON Guru System)
- ^ 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
- ^ Rosen, S.J. (2004). "Who Is Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu>". The Hare Krishna Movement: the Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant. ISBN 9780231122566. http://books.google.com/?id=mBMxPdgrBhoC&pg=PA63&dq=Nityananda+Prabhu. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- ^ Sen, Sukumar (1991, reprint 2007). Bangala Sahityer Itihas, Vol.I, (Bengali), Kolkata: Ananda Publishers, ISBN 81-7066-966-9, p.293
- ^ Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila,13.61, purport
- ^ Sen, Sukumar (1991, reprint 2007). Bangala Sahityer Itihas, Vol.I, (Bengali), Kolkata: Ananda Publishers, ISBN 81-7066-966-9, pp.236, 321-2
- Life Story of Nityananda
- A Biography of Nityananda Prabhu
- Nityananda Trayodasi Festival
- Lecture on Nityananda & Chaitanya: 'The Darkness Dispellers'
- Nityananda Rama at Panihati
- Nityananda Janmasthan - Nitai's birthplace
- The Lotus Feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu
- Nityananda's Name
- Descendants of Nityananda
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Nityananda Mohapatra — Born 17 July 1912 (1912 07 17) (age 99) Bhadrak, Orissa Residence Bhubaneswar … Wikipedia
Nityananda, Swami Bhagawan — (c. 1900–1961) Shaivite siddha yogi Swami Bhagawan Nityananda was an inspiring teacher of siddha yoga MEDITATION, who attracted thousands of followers and disciples. The early years of Bhagawan Nityananda are shrouded in mystery of the… … Encyclopedia of Hinduism
Nityananda (disambiguation) — The Indian name Nityananda (Sanskrit: nitya, eternal + ananda, bliss) may refer to: Nityananda, the Vaishnava saint (born 1474 CE) Nityanand Swami (Swaminarayan) (1754–1850), a paramhansa from Swaminarayan Sampraday Bhagawan Nityananda… … Wikipedia
Nityananda Palit — Nitai Palit (eigentlich Nityananda Palit; * 8. März 1923 in Cuttack; † 26. Juli 1990) war ein indischer Regisseur des Oriya Films. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Filmografie (Regiearbeiten) 3 Weblinks 4 Ein … Deutsch Wikipedia
Bhagawan Nityananda — Infobox Hindu leader name=Bhagawan Nityananda image size =150px birth date=1897 birth place= India birth name= death date=August 8 1961 death place=Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra, India guru= philosophy= honors= quote= footnotes=Bhagawan Nityananda… … Wikipedia
Mahamandaleshwar Nityananda — For other uses, see Nityananda (disambiguation). Mahamandaleshwar Swami Nityananda (born Subhash Shetty in Mumbai, India, 1962) is a Hindu guru. He was trained from childhood by Swami Muktananda. In 1980, he was initiated into the Saraswati order … Wikipedia
Rajaram Nityananda — Infobox Scientist name = Rajaram Nityananda caption = birth date = 1948 birth place = residence = India nationality = Indian field = Physics work institution = National Centre for Radio Astrophysics alma mater = doctoral advisor = doctoral… … Wikipedia
Bhagawan Nityananda — Maître et saint hindou du Siddha Yoga, personnage assez mystérieux qui eu pour disciple Muktananda, qui fut plus tard à son tour le maître de Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, maître actuel du Siddha Yoga dans le monde. Portail du monde indien … Wikipédia en Français
Ekachakra — (Sanskrit:एकचक्र, Bangla: একচক্র) is a small village, located 20 km away from the town of Rampurhat in the Birbhum District of West Bengal [ [http://vedabase.net/cc/adi/13/61/en1 Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi lila,13.61, purport] ] . Within Hindu… … Wikipedia
Нитай — Кришнаизм Международное общество сознания Кришны Ачарьи сампрадаи до Чайтаньи Кришна · Брахма · Нарада · Вьяса · Мадхва … Википедия