Lord Nityananda Prabhu
Balarama appeared as Lord Nityananda
Lord Nityananda is the eternal associate of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu cannot be approached or understood without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, He serves as an intermediary between Mahaprabhu and His devotees. He is the second body of the Lord, manifesting as Balarama to Sri Krishna; Lakshmana to Sri Rama and Nityananda Prabhu to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Nityananda Prabhu has the whitish complexion of Lord Balarama. He has a deep melodious voice, constantly singing the glories of Sri Krishna and carries a red stick with benedictions for the devotees, but feared by the demoniac. He has the mood of an avadhuta and He is so absorbed in love of Godhead.
Nityananda Prabhu was born in Ekachakra, a small village in present West Bengal, around the year 1474. His birth site is commemorated by a temple named Garbhavasa and is visited by pilgrims even today. His father, Hadai Ojha and mother Padmavati, were pious brahmanas originally from Mithila. Nityananda Prabhu was born on the auspicious thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Magha. As a child, Nitai loved to enact the pastimes of Sri Krishna and Sri Rama.
The village of Ekachakra was completely absorbed in the love of little Nitai, where He spent the first 12 years of His earthly life. In the 13th year, a travelling sannyasi, enchanted by Nitai’s devotion and service, requested Nitai from His parents, as a travelling companion. His parents, bound by Vedic culture, could not refuse the request of a guest and reluctantly parted with Nitai.
Nityananda Prabhu met Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in 1506, when He was 32 years old and Chaitanya 20 years. Nityananda Prabhu in His role as the original spiritual master was instrumental in spreading the yuga dharma of sankirtana all over the Gauda desh (Bengal, Odisha). His mercy knew no bounds, and fortunate were the people who tasted the nectar of His instructions.
He married Jahnava devi and Vasudha, the two daughters of Suryadasa Sarakhel, who was the brother of Gauridasa Pandit (an intimate associate of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the spiritual master of the famous Shyamananda Pandit). Nityananda Prabhu had a son (Virabhadra) and a daughter (Gangadevi) from Vasudha.
Lord Nityananda wound up His earthly pastimes, by entering into the Deity of Krishna, known as Bankima Raya, not far from Ekachakra. Vaishnava acharyas emphatically state that people who try to understand Chaitanya Mahaprabhu without getting the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu will never succeed and one must pray very sincerely to Lord Nityananda Prabhu as the adi-guru (original spiritual master) to be delivered to the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.