Sri Gundicha Marjan Lila

The cleansing of the Guṇḍichā Temple is summarised by Śrīla Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāj Goswāmī in Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta.

sri-gundicha-mandiram atma-vrindaih
sammarjayan kshalanatah sa gaurah
sva-chitta-vach chhitalam ujjvalam cha
krishnopavesaupayikam chakara
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.1)
“Sri Gaurasundar swept and cleansed the Gundicha temple with His devotees, making it as cool and bright as His own Heart and a befitting sitting place for Sri Krishna.”

Sriman Mahaprabhu cleansed the temple with brooms, waterpots and His own cloth, accompanied by hundreds of devotees.

premollase sodhena, layena krishna-nama
bhakta-gana ‘krishna’ kahe, kare nija-kama
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.85)
The Lord swept in the ecstasy of prema while calling the Holy Name of Krishna. The devotees also called out, ‘Krishna!’ as they engaged in their service.

dhuli-dhusara tanu dekhite sobhana
ka̐ha ka̐ha asru-jale kare sammarjana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.86)
The body of the Lord became covered with dust and dirt and was beautiful to behold. The Lord cleansed some areas of the temple with His tears.

trina, dhuli, jhinkura, saba ekatra kariya
bahirvase lana phelaya bahira kariya
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.88)
Combining all the grass, dust and sand into a pile, the Lord began to gather it into His outer cloth and throw it outside.

ei-mata bhakta-gana kari’ nija-vase
trina, dhuli bahire phelaya parama harishe
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.89)
In this way all the devotees, in great ecstasy, then started throwing all the grass and dust outside using their own cloths.

prabhu kahe,—ke kata kariyachha sammarjana
trina, dhuli dekhilei janiba parisrama
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.90)
The Lord said to the devotees, “By seeing how much grass and dust you throw outside the temple, I will know how much you have laboured and cleaned.”

sabara jhya̐tana bojha ekatra karila
saba haite prabhura bojha adhika ha-ila
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.91)
The dirt collected by all the devotees was combined into one pile yet the pile made by the Lord was greater.

ei-mata abhyantara karila marjana
punah sabakare dila kariya vantana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.92)
In this way the interiors of all the temple’s rooms were swept. Following this, the Lord again assigned all the devotees areas to clean.

sukshma dhuli, trina, ka̐kara, saba karaha dura
bhala-mate sodhana karaha prabhura antahpura
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.93)
“Throw out even finer bits of dust, grass and sand and clean the Lord’s inner-room nicely.”

saba vaishnava lana yabe dui-bara sodhila
dekhi’ mahaprabhura mane santosha ha-ila
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.94)
After viewing the temple once He and all the devotees had swept everything for a second time, Sriman Mahaprabhu became satisfied.

jala ana’ bali’ yabe mahaprabhu kahila
tabe sata ghata ani’ prabhu age dila
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.96)
When Sriman Mahaprabhu called, “Bring water!” a hundred devotees brought a hundred waterpots and presented them before the Lord.

prathame karila prabhu mandira prakshalana
urdhva-adho bhitti, griha-madhya, simhasana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.97)
At first the Lord and His devotees rinsed the ceiling, the walls, the floor, the altar and everything within the temple.

nija-vastre kaila prabhu griha sammarjana
mahaprabhu nija-vastre majila simhasana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.104)
The Lord mopped the rooms with His own cloth. Indeed, Sriman Mahaprabhu polished the altar within His own cloth.

nirmala, sitala, snigdha karila mandire
apana-hridaya yena dharila bahire
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.106)
The Lord made the temple spotlessly clean, cool and pleasing. In this way the temple became just like an external manifestation of His own heart.

jala bhare, ghara dhoya, kare hari-dhvani
‘krishna’ ’hari’ dhvani vina ara nahi suni
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.111)
Everyone called the Holy Name of Hari as they filled waterpots and cleaned the temple. Nothing could be heard except the sounds of the Holy Names ‘Krishna’ and ‘Hari’.

krishna’ ’krishna’ kahi’ kare ghatera prarthana
‘krishna’ ’krishna’ kahi’ kare ghata samarpana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.112)
One devotee would ask for a waterpot by saying, ‘Krishna Krishna’ and another devotee would offer them one saying, ‘Krishna Krishna’.

yei yei kahe, sei kahe krishna-name
krishna-nama ha-ila sanketa saba-kame
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.113)
Whoever spoke said only the Holy Name of Krishna. The Holy Name of Krishna became the indicator of all desired ends.

bhala karma dekhi’ tare kare prasamsana
mane na milile kare pavitra bhartsana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.116)
When the Lord saw a devotee doing a good job He praised them. If He did not approve (of their service), He benevolently chastised them.

tumi bhala kariyachha, sikhaha anyere
ei-mata bhala karma seho yena kare
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.117)
(To devotees whose cleaning He approved of, He would say:) “You have done well. Teach this to others so that they also perform good work in this way.”

tabe mahaprabhura mane santosha ha-ila
sari kari’ dui pase sabare vasaila
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.130)
After the temple was cleansed, the heart of Sriman Mahaprabhu became satisfied and He sat everyone down in two lines and spoke as follows:

ke kata kudaya, saba ekatra kariba
yara alpa, tara thani pitha-pana la-iba
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.132)
“I will gather together everything everyone has collected and I will take pitha-pana (a type of cake and condensed-milk preparation) from whoever has collected the least.”
ei mata saba puri karila sodhana
sitala, nirmala kaila—yena nija-mana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 12.133)
In this way the Lord cleansed the whole compound of the Gundicha temple and made it as cool (sital) and spotlessly clean (nirmal) as His own heart.

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj has commented on the importance of chanting the Lord’s Holy Name while engaged in practical service as follows:

For the transformation of the mind’s nature, cheto-darpana-marjanam, it is necessary to remember the Lord constantly. One who is able to do this will experience that transformation. You will see an example of this in the cleaning of the Gundicha Mandir. There, in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, everyone chants, “Krishna Krishna,” while they are working with their hands. If someone needs a water bucket he asks, “Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna, give me … Krishna Krishna Krishna.” Then another devotee gives him a water bucket, and the devotee throws that water bucket while chanting, “Krishna Krishna.”

Devotees perform many activities, but while they are doing their work they will always try to chant the Name of Krishna. Then, through their habit of chanting, their mood and mind will transform.

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