Painting by
Pariksit Dasa

The last twelve years of Lord Caitanya's manifest presence were simply devoted to relishing the pastimes of Krsna in separation. In the attitude of separation, Lord Caitanya appeared mad both day and night. Sometimes He laughed, sometimes He cried; sometimes He danced, and sometimes He chanted in great sorrow. At those times, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would visit Lord Jagannatha. Then His feelings exactly corresponded to those of the gopis when they saw Krsna at Kuruksetra after long separation.

When Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to dance in ecstasy before the Rath-yatra cart during the festival, He always sang the following stanza of a song:

"Now I have gotten that Lord of My life, for whom I was burning in the fire of lusty desires."

Lord Caitanya used to sing this song especially during the latter part of the day, and He would think,

"Let Me take Krsna and go back to Vrndavana."

This ecstasy was always filling His heart.

Lord Caitanya would also recite a special verse that almost no one could understand:

"That very personality who stole away my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship I am also the same lover, yet still my mind is not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire."

The actual deep meaning of this verse, which appears to be the hankering between some ordinary boy and girl, was known only to Svarupa Damodara. By chance, one year Rupa Gosvami was also present when Lord Caitanya recited it. After hearing the verse, Rupa Gosvami compose another verse, which described the meaning of the original verse. It was a verse spoken by Srimati Radharani to a gopi friend at Kuruksetra:

"My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krsna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavana."

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was thinking in this way when seeing the Jagannatha Deity, He saw Lord Jagannatha as Krsna, Himself as Srimati Radharani, Jagannatha Puri as Dvaraka, Gundica as Vrndavana, and the Rath-yatra festival as the process of taking Krsna back to Vrndavana to enjoy conjugal pastimes there with Him.

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