Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu pulled the chariot from the Jagannatha Temple

During a solar eclipse, people go to Kuruksetra to bathe and perform other rituals. In the scriptures, you will find descriptions of the immense glories of this practice. During the time of Lord Krishna’s pastimes on Earth, there was a solar eclipse where Lord Krishna came from Dvaraka to Kuruksetra with all His personal associates. At that time, Sri Krishna was the King, Emperor and Sole Proprietor of Dvaraka. All His subjects, consorts and personal associates were very eager to go to Kuruksetra during the solar eclipse so they could bathe, perform sandhya and other rituals. If they could perform these sacrifices with the brahmanas, they could get immense fruits. To fulfill this desire of His subjects, Sri Krishna said, “All right, we shall go.” So, all the numerous subjects, consorts and personal associates came to Kuruksetra. Sri Krishna intentionally invited everyone except the Vrajavasis-the devotees of Vraja.

Sri Narada Gosvami was very shocked by this. He approached Sri Krishna , saying, “The Vrajavasis love You so much. They are experiencing extreme separation grief by not seeing You. You are inviting everyone in the whole world but You are not inviting the Vrajavasis? What offense are they guilty of? Have they committed an offense by loving You? I cannot tolerate this!” Then Sri Krishna said, “They are our own people. No one has to send invitations to one’s own. Parents do not invite their children, and vice versa. They are our own. Outside people are invited. How can I invite the Vrajavasis? You are right, I intentionally did not invite them because they are saturated with love for Me. They have no interest in performing sacrifices to obtain mundane benefits. If they come, the results of all these ritual practices will be destroyed. For this reason, I have not invited them.”

Although not invited, the Vrajavasis came to learn that Sri Krishna was coming to Kuruksetra. The Vrajavasis thought, “Kuruksetra is much closer to Vraja-mandala than Dvaraka is. We should avail ourselves of this rare opportunity to see Sri Krishna ! We can have darsana of Sri Krishna ! We should not miss this chance!”

But they could not venture to go there. Why? They thought, ” Sri Krishna has become the Emperor. His standard is very high, and we are merely cowherd men and women. We are poor people. Perhaps Sri Krishna has forgotten us. If we go there, He will not recognize us. Someone of such a high position will not come to see ordinary people like us. Previously He was a cowherd boy in our Vraja-dhama, but now He has become King. But we are extremely grief-stricken. We cannot tolerate this separation.”

Thinking like this, the Vrajavasis reasoned, “A man might forget everything else, but he will never forget his parents, even if they live far away. If Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda go there, then Sri Krishna will bow down to them and make obeisances.” So they went to Nanda Maharaja, saying, ” Sri Krishna is coming to Kuruksetra! We are too grief-stricken with separation grief. We have not seen Him for such a long time, but we do not have the courage to go there. We do not know if Sri Krishna will give us the opportunity to see Him, as His present standard of living is so high. But, if His parents go there, then Sri Krishna will come to them as their son and offer obeisances.”

Then Nanda Maharaja and Sri Yasoda said, “No, no. This is not correct. He has not come here for such a long time! He has so many consorts and servants serving Him there. He is so wealthy now. His wives are also wealthy. We are only cowherd men and women. We have nothing. After so long, how can we go? If we go there, will He come to see us? If we go to Kuruksetra and are deprived of seeing Sri Krishna , we shall die!”

When Sri Krishna , the Emperor of Dvaraka, entered Kuruksetra, so many cavalry units, elephants, horses, etc. accompanied Him. Only those who had permission were allowed to go to speak with Him. He was surrounded by servants. There were four gatekeepers, one in each direction. The King’s parents, Vasudeva and Devaki were also there. The brahmanas had gone to start the sacrifices. So, no one was permitted to disturb the King.

Nanda Maharaja, Yasoda Devi and all the cowherd boys and other friends of Sri Krishna approached where He was. Nobody acknowledged them. Armed forces, cavalry and elephants surrounded Sri Krishna .

Nanda Maharaja approached one of the guards. “I have come to see my beloved son,” he said.

“Who is your beloved son?” a guard asked him.

” Sri Krishna .”

“How is that? You are a poor person. He is the King! His parents are already here-Vasudeva and Devaki. We do not believe you! From where have you come? Why are you claiming that He is your son? We do not believe you!”

Nanda Maharaja cried, “I shall die!”

The guard said, “I am doing my work as per the order of the King. If I do anything against His orders, I shall be dismissed. Do you have a permit?”

“No.”

“Then I cannot let you in,” the guard replied.

Then all the cowherd boys, carrying their small cow prods, cried, “My friend! My bosom friend! Kanhaiya!”

“What? He is the King! His friends are like this? You are paupers! I do not believe you!”

Then the gopis cried, “We are the consorts of Sri Krishna !”

“What? The consorts are already here. Satyabhama, Rukmini and all the other queens are here! From where have you come? Show me some permit from the King or His Prime Minister!”

Then, Yasoda Devi said, “I told you that, if I go to Kuruksetra and I am deprived of seeing Krishna, I shall die! I have nothing left. My life is finished!” She cried loudly, “Gopala!” and fell unconscious.

At that time, Sri Krishna was with the brahmanas, who requested Him to start the sacrifice. Sri Krishna removed all His royal garments and became a small, naked boy, crying, “Mother! O Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” He cried and cried and cried and ran to sit on the lap of Yasoda Devi. Now, without Sri Krishna ‘s presence, all the ritual sacrifices were destroyed. By hearing one single call from Yasoda Devi, Krsna could not remain there.

Then Sri Krishna met the gopis and the others. The gopis attracted Krsna. They said, “We are not very happy seeing You here. There are so many cavalrymen, elephants and chariots-we should go to Vrndavana. There, it is sweet. All this is Your majestic aspect. So, please allow us the opportunity to see You in better circumstances by coming with us to Vrndavana. Please do not remain here! “He Gopinatha! He Gopinatha! Vrndavane calo! He Gopinatha!”

In that mood of the gopis, saturated with gopi-bhava, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu pulled the chariot from the Jagannatha Temple (Kuruksetra) toward Gundica (Vrndavana). During the chariot festival, Sri Krishna , Sri Baladeva and Sri Subhadra make the trip in three chariots.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu pulled the chariot from the Jagannatha Temple
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu pulled the chariot from the Jagannatha Temple

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