Like the Sun and the Moon

Commentary on the second verse of Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta.

vande śr-kṛṣṇa‑chaitanya-nitynandau sahoditau
gauḍodaye puṣpavantau chitrau śan-dau tamo-nudau
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 1.2)

I bow to the givers of the highest auspiciousness, the dispellers of the darkness of ignorance, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya and Nityānanda, who appeared simultaneously in the eastern land of Nabadwīp in the district of Gauḍa like an astonishing sun and moon.”

dvitya ślokete kari viśeṣa vandana
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 1.83)

In this verse, the author has offered obeisance to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya in a special way. Here, in the cited verse of reference, he states that he will offer obeisance only to Chaitanya but he then offers obeisance to both Chaitanya and Nityānanda. The purport of this is as follows:

dui bhi eka-tanu—samna-prakśa
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 5.175)

[“The two brothers are one body—They are equal manifestations.”] 

abhinna chaitanya se ṭhākura avadhauta
(Śrī Chaitanya-maṅgala: Sūtra-khaṇḍa)

[“Nityānanda Prabhu is nondifferent from Śrī Chaitanya.”] 

According to these references, Gaura and Nitāi are nondifferent; to establish this principle, or, to convey that his Guru Nityānanda is nondifferent from Chaitanya—that the two are one—the author offers obeisance to Them both. Thus, in effect, he has offered obeisance only to Chaitanya. Nadīyā-udaya-giri (Cc: Ādi, 13.98): in this reference, Gaura and Nitāi, like the sun and the moon, have arisen simultaneously in the eastern land of Nabadwīp, that is, when Śrī Nityānanda met Śrī Gaurāṅga in Śrī Nabadwīp after visiting many holy places, They appeared together in one place (Nabadwīp); They did not, however, take birth at the same time, as the times of Their births are not the same.

To negate that Chaitanya and Nityānanda have actual births, the author has said that They have arisen like the sun and the moon, that is, as the material sun and moon, which rise at the appropriate time each day, have a continuous form and no birth or death, so Chaitanya and Nityānanda, who similarly appear once in a day of Brahmā, have eternal forms and no birth or death. As the sun and moon set at the appropriate time and rise the next day at the appropriate time, so too do Chaitanya and Nityānanda disappear at the appropriate time and again appear in the next day of Brahmā.

brahmra eka dine tih eka‑bra
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 3.6)

[“Once in a day of Brahm, He …”]

eta bhvi’ kali‑kle prathama sandhyya
avatrṇa hail kṛṣṇa pani nadyya
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 3.29)

[“Kṛṣṇa personally descends at Nadia during the first phase of the Age of Kali.”] 

One with whom a comparison is made becomes greater. Thus, it is not that the material moon and sun are greater than Gaura and Nitāi. Rather, Chaitanya and Nityānanda are ten millions times more lustrous that the material sun and moon.

koṭ-srya-chandra jini’ dhra nija-dhma
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 2.85)

[“Their lustres surpass that of ten million suns and moons.”] 

We must, therefore, interpret the meaning of the verse to be that They are not comparable to the sun and moon in this way. There is another reason for mentioning the sun and moon.

kalāv api tathā śṛṇu
(Śrmad Bhāgavatam: 11.5.31)

[“(People also worship the Lord) in the Age of Kali. Please now hear about this.”] 

satya-tretā-dvāpara-kali-yugera gaṇana
śukla-rakta-kṛṣṇa-pīta—krame chāri varṇa
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 20.229–330)

[“There are four ages: Satya, Tretā, Dvāpar, and Kali, and (the Lord appears in each of them in) four colours: white, red, black, and yellow.”] 

prati-yuge karena kṛṣṇa yuga-avatāra
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 20.229–330)

[“Kṛṣṇa appears as the Avatār for the age in every age.”] 

kali-yuge yuga-dharma—nmera prachra
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 3.40)

[“The dharma of the age in the Age of Kali is glorification of the Name.”] 

According to these and other references, Chaitanya descends as the Avatār of the age in every Age of Kali. But:

yuga-manvantare dhari’ nānā avatāra
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 5.113)

[“In every age and the reign of every Manu, He descends in various forms.”] 

According to this reference, other Avatārs of Chaitanya in others Ages of Kali are partial Avatārs of Kṣīrodaśāyī Viṣṇu; They are not complete manifestations.

kṛṣṇas tu bhagavn svayam
(Śrmad Bhgavatam: 1.3.28)

[“Kṛṣṇa is the Lord Himself.”] 

na chaitanyt krṣṇj jagati para-tattva param iha
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 1.3)

[“There is no higher truth in this world than Śr Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya.”] 

prṇa bhagavn kṛṣṇa vrajendra-kumra
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 3.5)

[“Kṛṣṇa, the son of the King of Vraja, is the Supreme Lord.”] 

aṣṭviśa chatur-yuge dvparera śeṣe
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 3.10)

[“At the end of the Age of Dvpar in the twenty-eighth Divya-yuga, …”] 

eta bhvi’ kali‑kle prathama sandhyya
avatrṇa hail kṛṣṇa pani nadyya
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 3.29)

[“Kṛṣṇa personally descended at Nadia during the first phase of the Age of Kali.”] 

According to these and other references, the sun and the moon Śrī Chaitanya and Nityānanda appeared in full form during the current, the twenty-eighth, Age of Kali of Vaivasvata Manu.

The sun and moon never appear in the eastern land at the same time, but the sun and the moon Chaitanya and Nityānanda appeared at the same time in the eastern land of Nabadwīp. Their manifestation, therefore, is wonderful. It is also wonderful that the material sun and moon cannot dispel darkness from objects within a cave but the supramundane sun and moon Chaitanya and Nityānanda dispel the darkness of ignorance from the cave of the heart of the soul.

By this, it is also shown that even though a comparison with the sun and moon has been made, the superiority of Chaitanya and Nityānanda over them has remained intact.

As the sun and moon appear, dispel darkness, and reveal all objects, so Chaitanya and Nityānanda dispel the darkness of ignorance within the heart and reveal the object of the highest auspiciousness—love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa, that is, because the soul’s eternal nature of being a servant of Kṛṣṇa is covered by the darkness of ignorance, the soul’s eternal love for Him is also covered, but Chaitanya and Nityānanda dispel this form of darkness and reveal that eternally existent love within the heart.

jīvera svarūpa haya kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 20.108)

[“The soul is by nature an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.”] 

nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa‑prema ‘sdhya’ kabhu naya
śravaṇdi śuddha-chitte karaye udaya
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 22.104)

[“Love for Kṛṣṇa is eternally existent; it is never something attained. By hearing, chanting, and so on, it arises within the pure heart.”] 

When full light does not shine, objects are not fully manifest. Similarly, if the Supreme Lords Chaitanya and Nityānanda had not appeared, then full divine love—the divine love of Vraja—would never appear in the heart.

Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya and Nityānanda are like the sun and the moon.” In this regard, who is like the sun and who is like the moon? The conclusion is as follows: if the line is taken in order—Śrī Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya, Nityānanda, sun, and then moon—then Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya is like the sun and Nityānanda is like the moon. Alternately, according to scriptures on astrology, if the glowing disc of the sun is reflected off of a body of water, it appears in the form of the moon. In this case, Nityānanda is a manifest form of Chaitanya, and thus Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya is like the sun, and Nityānanda is like the moon. Or, because They are equally effective at dispelling the darkness of ignorance, giving divine love, and performing other activities, and because They are nondifferent from one another, They both are like the sun and the moon, that is, Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya is like the sun and Nityānanda is like the moon, or Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya is like the moon and Nityānanda is like the sun.