(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Mayapur, November 2011) Lecture – Caitanya-caritamrta Part 4
The story of Sākṣi-gopāla. It’s an ancient story about a deity in Vrindavan who was acting as a witness between the elderly brāhmaṇa and a younger brāhmaṇa. In Vrindavan, the younger brāhmaṇa served the elderly brāhmaṇa very nicely and so he said:
“I want you to marry my daughter”.
But the elderly brāhmaṇa was rich and the younger brāhmaṇa was quite poor. The poor young brāhmaṇa said:
“Your family are not going to accept me, and they are not going to like it”.
“I can do whatever I want! I am the head of the family and if I say that I want to give my daughter to you, then I will give my daughter to you and no one can change that!”
The younger brāhmaṇa said:
“Well, all right but I want a witness. So why don’t you say it in front of the deity of Gopāla?”
He said it in front of the deity of Gopāla. So Gopāla was a witness. Later, they went back to his village which was the on the other side of India, near Puri. There the family threw a tantrum and his wife said;
“If you marry off my daughter to that boy then I will commit suicide!”
It was a big thing and the son said:
“Yes we will all commit suicide!”
It was getting too much, and he didn’t know what to do, so he said:
“Well, what can I do? I made a promise.”
So the son took over and said:
“Don’t worry. Just say that you don’t remember”.
When the young brāhmaṇa who claimed for the promise had come to get married, the elder brāhmaṇa said that he didn’t remember. So the young brāhmaṇa brought all the villagers and there was a big discussion and then the eldest son started to say:
“This rascal! He harassed my father. He robbed him whilst he was in Vrindavan and he gave him dhustura, and now my father cannot remember anything”.
So his father was saying:
“I cannot remember….I cannot remember”.
The villagers became all confused. Then the young brāhmaṇa said:
“But I have a witness”.
“Okay. You have a witness. So who is your witness?”
“The deity is my witness. Gopāla – I will bring Him.”
So the son of the elder brāhmaṇa said:
“Yes you go and bring Him.”
So the young brāhmaṇa went home, stood before the deity and was speaking to the deity, by telling Him that He should come since he needs Him as the witness. So the deity said:
“But I am a deity, so how can I walk?”
“If you can talk, then you can walk”.
So Krishna agreed to walk behind him and said:
“Everyday you cook some rice for Me and you will hear that I am behind you by the tinkling of my ankle bells. But if you turn around…and if you look at me, then I will not go further and will stop on that spot”.
They walked until they came to the village of where they lived and suddenly he could not hear any ankle bells. So he thought that the deity had left and looked over his shoulder and the deity just stayed there.
Then the deity said:
“I’m not going any further. Now call all the villagers, and say that your witness has come”.
Everybody came and they all saw the miracle……the old brāhmaṇa also confirmed it, and then there was a happy ending. Anyway, Jayadvaita Maharaja would say:
“An unhappy ending”.
The young brāhmaṇa got his bride and the whole family was united and together they worshiped the deity!