Nimai Rests On Ananta Sesa

Nimai with Snake

“One day Nimai was crawling he didn’t know how to walk yet. Such a wonderful thing! In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells “I am strength of strong, the intelligence of the intelligent.” He is source of everything. But for the pleasure of his devotees he assumes a role where he cannot walk. He is crawling like a child.

One day a serpent came into the courtyard of Jagannath Misra’s house. Little Nimai was very enthusiastic to welcome him. He crawled very fast and grabbed the serpent by the tail. The serpent couldn’t move, so the serpent coiled up and little Nimai, laid on top of his coils.

And he very happily rested. When one of the family members comes out looking for Nimai and they see that he is lying in the coils of a monstrous snake. They cried out, “Hai Hai!” Then the rest of the family and neighbors came and saw little Nimai was laying on the coils of the serpent smiling. And Nimai was looking at them with a big smile on his face, glistening lotus like eyes as he was lying on this gigantic snake. They practically died! It was so much anguish. They all were helpless, afraid that if they approach, the snake might become very angry and may suffocate by squeezing Nimai or bite Nimai. So they didn’t know what to do. They felt so absolutely helpless. In that state they were thinking that Garuda(the bird carrier of Lord Vishnu) is very expert at protecting devotees from snakes, so they all cried out “Garuda Garuda” But Garuda didn’t come and Nimai was sleeping on this snake. They were weeping, crying, fainting, falling unconscious, & wailing. Actually this serpent was Ananta Sesa who came to witness Nimai’s pastimes. When he saw how much anxiety he was causing to all the relatives the serpent Ananta not wanting to cause any more anxiety slithered away. And as he was slithering away little Nimai was crawling very fast after him, and trying to grab his tail again. At that point the ladies of the house ran and grabbed little Nimai and put him on their laps and started chanting special mantras for his protection and thanking Lord Narayana for saving their child from such a fate. And meanwhile Nimai kept trying to escape and kept crawling after the snake and kept bringing him back again and again.

The scriptures of the world describe God as “The greatest”, or “All powerful”, or “The origin of all” which invoke a feeling of awe and reverence toward him. But the Vedic scriptures pierce the veneer of awe and reverence and reveal the supreme Lord in a way where he is described having intimate reciprocation with his devotees. Radhanath Swami explains the reason behind this:

Jaypataka Maharaj (one of the senior godbrothers of Radhanath Swami) was speaking how Krishna could lift the Govardhan hill, He could kill Aghasura, Putana, Trinavarta, Bakasura and yet because of the nature of the devotee’s love for Him, Krishna manifested his Yoga Maya potency and they could not understand that he was the supreme Lord. They still thought Him to be their child, their friend and how He needed them. This is the Madhurya bhava of Vrindavan. In vaikuntha every one understands the supreme power and the majesty of absolute truth, but in Vrindavan the supreme personality of Godhead appears very ordinary and simple, so that people could love Him, the devotees could love Him, spontaneously and intimately.”

“That same lila was performed here in Navadvip. Little Nimai would daily sneak secretly into the houses of neighbors and butter and sometimes steal rice. And if he couldn’t find anything to eat he would break everything he could see in the house. One day He was caught, somebody grabbed Him. And little Nimai, that person who’s mere plenary portion killed Hiranyakasipu, killed Hiranyaksa, killed Kamsa, that same person fell at the feet of this simple lady & started to cry. Said, “Please, please don’t tell my mother. Please let me go. I promise this.” His lips were trembling, his limbs were quivering, He said, “I promise you, I’ll never do it again, just give me one more chance and please let me go. Please don’t tell my mother.” This is the all powerful God. In the western scriptures we fear this God, who created plagues, destroys universes, throws thunderbolts and punishes the sinners. But in Navadwip Nimai is begging forgiveness for his sins. “I have sinned please forgive Me.”  But actually it was mercy; because he gave the greatest pleasure to these people the residents of Navadwip.”

“The ultimate perfection of everything we have is that Krishna accepts it, our intelligence, our abilities, whatever wealth or things we may have. Our power to speak, to see, to hear, to taste, everything is perfect when Krishna accepts the devotion in which it was offered. In this way Nimai was giving every one the opportunity to obtain the supreme perfection.”

– Radhanath Swami