Lord Nityananda is the eternal associate of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Rarely is the name Nimai (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) taken without that of Nitai (Lord Nityananda). Mahaprabhu cannot be approached or understood without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, who is the cardinal guru of all the universes and serves as an intermediary between Mahaprabhu and His Devotees. He is the Lord’s active principle in both creation and lila. He is the second body of the Lord, manifesting as Balaram to Shri Krishna, Lakshman to Shri Ram and Nityananda Prabhu to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. All other forms and expansions of the Lord emanate from this second body. Nityananda Prabhu is thus the source of Sankarshan, all the Vishu’s, and Ananta Shesha. As Vishnu tattva He and Advaita Acharya are worshipped in the same category as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the manifested earthly lila, Nityananda Prabhu is senior to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by more than a decade. He is statue like His Master, with the whitish complexion of Lord Balarama. His garments resemble a cluster of blue lotus flowers and His effulgence is said to surpass the grandeur of a rising moon at sunset. He has a deep melodious voice, constant singing the glories of Shri Krishna and carries a red stick with benedictions for the Devotees, but feared by the demoniac. He has the carefree mood of a wild avadhuta, so absorbed is He in the love of Godhead, and no one knows what He will do next.
Nityananda Prabhu was born in Ekachakra, a small village in present West Bengal, around the year 1474. His birthsite is commemorated by a Temple named Garbhashva and is visited by throngs of pilgrims today. His father, Hadai Ojha and mother Padmavati, were pious Brahmans originally from Mithila. Nityananda Prabhu was born on the auspicious thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Maga. As a child, Nitai (as Nityananda Prabhu was called), loved to enact the pastimes of Shri Krishna or Lord Rama. He did this so authoritatively and with such rapture, that the entire village would be immersed in the love of Godhead.
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