1. Lord Nitai Balarama’s Exclusive Deities
🌺 Below are some of the Only Nitai or Balarama Deities in Lila Sthalis in the Dhams. Thus, we can conclude Lord Nitai or Lord Balarama can be worshiped independently also. So Nitai Bhakti is bona-fide. Lord Nitai is Eternally Worshiped Independently With His Consorts Jahnava and Vasudha in His Own Yogapeeth As the Supreme Enjoyer. Similarly, Lord Balarama is worshiped independently with His Purnananda Gopi in Vraja or with Revati and Varuni in Dvaraka.
🌺 Worshiping only Nitai or Balarama Deities does not mean we are minimizing Gaura or Krishna at all. Krishna is pleased in the topmost manner by the one-pointed full focus of the manjaris only on Radha’s service. Manjaris don’t desire even Krishna’s service without Radha. Similarly, Gaura is extremely pleased also with millions of those associates who serve Nitai exclusively in Nitai’s own Yogapeeth with Jahnava and Vasudha, or with the cowherd friends of Nitai who do not know anything except Nitai (CC 1.11.37: nityānanda-candra vinu nahi jāne āna, CC 1.11.47: nityānanda-pada vinu nāhi jāne āna).
🌺 By thinking that Gaura is not present in only Nitai’s Deity, Form or Name; or that Krishna is not present in only Radha’s Deity, Form or Name; one becomes a victim of Kaliyuga. Because Nitai’s and Radha’s hearts and bodies are playgrounds of Gaura’s and Krishna’s form, qualities, and pastimes at every moment. Niravadhi sei dehe karane vihara (CB 1.1.17): “Lord Gauranga wanders in the body of Nitai at every moment and performs His pastimes.”
🌺 So Gaura is always in Nitai and Nitainam. Nitai worship and Nitainam is not only Nitai worship but the topmost Gaura worship also, even if only Nitai’s Diety or Nitainam is there, because Gaura eternally resides in Nitai’s body, heart, name, or deity.
🌺 There are so many Deities of Nitai worshiped separately, of Radha worshiped separately, of Nitai Gaura worshiped together, and of Radha Krishna worshiped together. All are bona-fide forms of worship! When Nitai’s partial expansion Lord Advaita Acharya is worshiped alone in Shantipur dham from 500 years, why can’t Nitai be worshiped by humming HIs name alone?
2. Nitai’s Direct Order to Worship Him
🌺 The following is the Direct Order of Nitai to Worship Him Exclusively, to Raghava Pandita and All Devotees in Panihati, in Chaitanya Bhagavata Antya Khanda, 5th Chapter, Verse 265:
AJNA HAILA abhisheka
“Lord Nitai sat on a throne and ORDERED Raghava Pandita to worship and bathe Him.”
shri ange chandana. 270
“All devotees applied sandalwood after dressing Lord Nitai with new clothes.”
pinavaksa purna kari
lena nana mate. 271
tabe divya-khatta svarne
kariya bhusita. 272
“They decorated His chest with wild flowers and tulasi. They made Lord Nitai sit on an ornate throne of bright gold.”
chatra dharilena shire
shri raghavananda. 273
“Srila Raghavananda held an umbrella over Lord Nitai who sat on the throne for three months in Panihati.”
kadambera mala jhata
anaha tvarita. 277
“Quickly get a Kadamba garland for Me and worship Me.”
3. Nitai Orders His Own Decoration
How Can an Insignificant Soul Dare to Deny Nitai His Right to be Worshiped Individually Also Without Gaura? Who Says Nitai Does Not Want His Own Worship? More Proof that He does from Chaitanya Bhagavata 3.5.333-347:
🌺 “During these three months in Panihati, Lord Nityananda felt the desire to decorate Himself with ornaments and fine dresses. No sooner He felt the urge, fineries were being brought by different people without prior information.
“All these gifts were very precious and of the best quality. The finest silks, exquisite gold jewellery studded with brilliant gems. The people came with their gifts and offered them to the Lord Nitai with great reverence. The Lord tried on all the different ornaments.
“There was such a wide variety of all shapes and designs of jewellery that one had never seen before. Gold ornaments studded with pearls, emeralds, rubies, the gold intricately worked upon to give exquisite designs.
“Lord Nitai wore beautiful rings on all His ten fingers. Many brilliant necklaces of priceless gems decorated His neck and chest. Then showing special favor to Lord Shiva, He slipped two Rudraksa necklaces around His neck.
“As He moved, the light set afire the gems set into His golden earrings. The silver anklets around His lotus feet tinkled pleasingly. White, cream, blue and yellow silks draped Him in flowing grace. An enchanting sight it was indeed.
“Devotees who had lovingly made beautiful garlands of fragrant flowers like malati, malika, yuthi, and champaka now put them over His head to sit delicately on His chest with the rest of the shimmering gems. But with each motion they swayed.
“The fragrance of these garlands mingled with the aroma of fresh sandalwood paste that were applied on His body filled the air with a heavy sweet scent. Soft shining silks of different hues were tied around His head to make a multi-colored turban. Bright flower garlands were also neatly placed on the turban to make a unique headgear.”
4. Why Gaura’s Order Is Also Important?
🌺 Why did Nitai normally instruct souls to sing Gauranam and Harinam and not His Own Name? And why did Lord Gaura and Acharyas instruct us to sing Nitainam and Nitai Lila then?
sei dike maha-
yahare cahena, se-i
preme murccha paya,
vastra na samvare, bhume
padi’ gadi’ yaya.
“There was a shower of maha-premabhakti in every direction which Nitai looked at. Whoever He looked at, fainted in pure love swooning in infinite bliss.” (Chaitanya Bhagavata 3.5.313-314)
1. Since Nitai awarded love just by glancing, pure Harinam and Gauranam were automatically granted to these souls. So they may not need to sing the more merciful Nitainam, because all Names became equal in mercy to those who received Kripa-siddhi by Nitai’s direct glance and presence.
2. But right now, Nitai is not there to glance on us directly. So for us the even more merciful instructions of Lord Gaura and our Acharyas to approach Nitai first by singing Nitainam and Nitai Lila become even more important than Nitai’s instructions to take Harinam and Gauranam, as only Nitai can truly destroy our offenses and award us pure Harinam and Gauranam.
3. Due to Nitai’s humility, He did not tell them to sing His Name but still they sang it in front of Him and He was happy. So we follow both the orders of both the Lords.
5. Krishna-Prema by Only Nitainam Too
🌺 Why Nitainam taken ALONE or Nitainam taken with Gauranam both give us Krishna-prema?
“Nitai na bolilo mukhe”
(Narottama das Thakura)
If it was compulsory to always take Nitainam only with Gauranam and if Nitainam can never be taken alone, Srila Narottama would have said “Nitai Gaura na bolilo mukhe” instead of only “Nitai na bolilo mukhe”.
“nityananda balite habe
Srila Krishna das Kaviraja in Caitanya Caritamrta 1.8.23 would have said “Nitai Gaur balite habe Krishna premodaya” if just Nitainam was not independently capable of giving Krishna-prema, or if Nitai or Gaura were even a little displeased by us taking only Nitainam. Hence, the correct understanding is that taking/hearing Nitainam ALONE gives us Krishna-prema, and taking Nitainam and Gauranam together also gives us Krishna-prema.
“ek baar nityananda bale
manusya janma dhari”
Lord Gaura proclaimed in Chaitanya Mangala 2.6.99: “One who takes Nitainam ONCE becomes Mine”.
There would be NO REFERENCES of taking Nitainam ALONE or worshiping Nitai ALONE at all in any scripture if Nitainam or Nitai worship always had to be accompanied with Gauranam, Gaura worship, or Pancha Tattva worship.
6. Do Bhakti of Nitai’s Kaupina
🌺 Lord Gaura Instructed All To Do Bhakti Even of Nitai’s Kaupina and the Water of His Lotus Feet With MAHA-YATNA or one-pointed devotion. And some say that we can’t do even GENERAL Nitai Bhakti. How foolish? And how much it is against the direct wishes of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu?
bhakti kari ihana
kaupina vanda’ shire,
maha-yatne iha puja
kara giya ghare. 30
paiya prabhura ajna
sarva bhakta gana,
parama adare shire
karila vandana. 31
“Do Bhakti of Nitai’s kaupina, touch it to your heads, and worship it with one-pointed devotion in your home. Receiving pieces of this kaupina from Gaura and His direct order, all devotees worshiped Nitai’s kaupina with the highest love.” (Chaitanya Bhagavata, Madhya Khanda, 12th Chapter)
While Lord Gaura Himself ordered every single devotee to do Bhakti exclusively of even Nitai’s kaupina, some dare to challenge even the General Bhakti of Nitai, wrongly speculating that it separates Nitai from Gaura. Alas! May Nitai forgive them!
sakala bhakta gana,
karaha grahana. 32
Lord Gaura again ordered every single devotee, “Honor the holiest water by washing the lotus feet of My Nitai.”
And they say again that this is not Nitai Bhakti, it is just the normal worship of a Vaishnava. They conveniently forget that Lord Gaura knows very well that Lord Nitai is Avatari, not just a Bhakta. Lord Gaura never performed this same pastime with respect to any Vaishnava or Guru. He is ordering all the devotees here to worship the Supreme Lord Nitai AS HE IS, not just as Bhakta Nitai or Guru Nitai only. And that is what Nitai Bhakti is!