On the auspicious day of Jagannatha Ratha-yatra in Puri, two of Lord Chaitanya’s most confidential associates, Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and Srila Sivananda Sena, left this world to return to the supreme abode.
The inner moods of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, especially in Puri, were not easy to understand, and they were unknown to most devotees. Only Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, who was the most intimate associate of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri, could really understand them, and by his grace we have been given the chance to understand them, too.
svarupa-gosani-prabhura ati antaranga
tahate janena prabhura e-saba prasanga
“Svarupa Gosani is the most intimate associate of the Lord. He therefore knows all these topics well.” (Cc Adi 4.105)
In the purport to this verse, Srila Prabhupada tells us about Svarupa Damodara’s historyand identity: “Prior to the Lord’s acceptance of the renounced order, Purusottama Bhattacarya, a resident of Navadvipa, desired to enter the renounced order of life. Therefore he left home and went to Benares, where he accepted the position of brahmacarya from a Mayavadi sannyasi. When he became a brahmacari, he was given the name Sri Damodara Svarupa. He left Benares shortly thereafter, without taking sannyasa, and he came to Nilacala, Jagannatha Puri, where Lord Caitanya was staying. He met Caitanya Mahaprabhu there and dedicated his life for the service of the Lord. He became Lord Caitanya’s secretary and constant companion. He used to enhance the pleasure potency of the Lord by singing appropriate songs, which were very much appreciated.”
In the context of Lord Chaitanya’s experience of the Ratha-yatra in Puri, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 13.168) confirms:
prabhura bhavanurupa svarupera gana
yabe yei rasa taha kare murtiman
“Svarupa Damodara used to sing exactly according to the ecstatic emotion of the Lord. Whenever a particular mellow was being tasted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara would personify it by singing.”
Srila Prabhupada’s purport continues: “Svarupa Damodara could understand the secret mission of Lord Caitanya, and it was by his grace only that all the devotees of Lord Caitanya could know the real purpose of the Lord.
“Svarupa Damodara has been identified as Lalita-devi, the second expansion of Radharani. However, text 160 of Kavi-karnapura’s authoritative Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika describes Svarupa Damodara as the same Visakha-devi who serves the Lord in Goloka Vrndavana. Therefore it is to be understood that Sri Svarupa Damodara is a direct expansion of Radharani who helps the Lord experience the attitude of Radharani.”
Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami ki jaya!
Sivananda Sena is another confidential associate of the Lord who also assisted Him in His pastimes, especially at the time of the Puri Ratha-yatra. He is one of the important branches of the Chaitanya tree.
sivananda sena-prabhura bhrtya antaranga
prabhu-sthane yaite sabe layena yanra sanga
“Sivananda Sena, the twenty-fourth branch of the tree, was an extremely confidential servant of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Everyone who went to Jagannatha Puri to visit Lord Caitanya took shelter and guidance from Sri Sivananda Sena.
rativarse prabhu-gana sangete la-iya
nilacale calena pathe palana kariya
“Every year he took a party of devotees from Bengal to Jagannatha Puri to visit Lord Caitanya. He maintained the entire party as they journeyed on the road.” (Cc Adi 10.54–55)
In a purport in the same part of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 10.60), which describes Sivananda Sena, Srila Prabhupada writes, “Srila Sivananda Sena has been described by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja as follows: ‘Sivananda Sena was a resident of Kumarahatta, which is also known as Halisahara, and was a great devotee of the Lord. About one and a half miles from Kumarahatta is another village, known as Kancadapada, in which there are Gaura-Gopala Deities installed by Sivananda Sena, who also established a temple of Krsnaraya that is still existing. Sivananda Sena was the father of Paramananda Sena, who was also known as Puri dasa or Kavi-karnapura. Paramananda Sena wrote in his Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (176) that two of the gopis of Vrndavana, whose former names were Vira and Duti, combined to become his father. Srila Sivananda Sena guided all the devotees of Lord Caitanya who went from Bengal to Jagannatha Puri, and he personally bore all the expenses for their journey. This is described in the Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, Chapter Sixteen, verses 19 through 27. Srila Sivananda Sena had three sons, named Caitanya dasa, Ramadasa, and Paramananda. As mentioned above, this last son later became Kavi-karnapura and wrote the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika. His spiritual master was Srinatha Pandita, who was Sivananda Sena’s priest. Due to Vasudeva Datta’s lavish spending, Sivananda Sena was engaged to supervise his expenditures.’
“Sri Sivananda Sena actually experienced Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s features of saksat, avesa, and avirbhava. He once took along a dog while on his way to Jagannatha Puri, and it is described in the Antya-lila, First Chapter, that this dog later attained salvation by his association. When Srila Raghunatha dasa, who later became Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, fled his paternal home to join Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, his father wrote a letter to Sivananda Sena to get information about him. Sivananda Sena supplied him the details for which he asked, and later Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s father sent some servants and money to Sivananda Sena to take care of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Once, Sri Sivananda Sena invited Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to his home and fed Him so sumptuously that the Lord felt indigestion and was somewhat sick. This became known to Sivananda Sena’s eldest son, Caitanya dasa, who gave the Lord the kinds of food that would help His digestion, and thus Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very pleased. This is described in Antya-lila, Tenth Chapter, verses 142 through 151.
“Once, while going to Jagannatha Puri, all the devotees had to stay underneath a tree, without the shelter of a house or even a shed, and Nityananda Prabhu became very angry, as if He were greatly disturbed by hunger. Thus He cursed Sivananda’s sons to die. Sivananda’s wife was very much aggrieved at this, and she began to cry. She very seriously thought that since her sons had been cursed by Nityananda Prabhu, certainly they would die. When Sivananda later returned and saw his wife crying, he said, ‘Why are you crying? Let us all die if Sri Nityananda Prabhu desires.’ When Sivananda Sena returned and Srila Nityananda Prabhu saw him, the Lord kicked him severely, complaining that He was very hungry, and asked why he had not arranged for His food. Such is the behavior of the Lord with His devotees. Srila Nityananda Prabhu behaved like an ordinary hungry man, as if completely dependent on the arrangements of Sivananda Sena.
“A nephew of Sivananda Sena’s named Srikanta left the company in protest of Nityananda Prabhu’s curse and went directly to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Jagannatha Puri, where the Lord pacified him. On that occasion, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu allowed His toe to be sucked by Puri dasa, who was then a child. It is by the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu that he could immediately compose Sanskrit verses. During the misunderstanding with Sivananda’s family, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered His personal attendant, Govinda, to give them all the remnants of His food. This is described in Antya-lila, Chapter Twelve, verse 53.”
As Svarupa Damodara Gosvami is considered to be the incarnation of Lalita-devi, the direct expansion of Srimati Radharani and one of Her most confidential gopi friends, Sivananda Sena is considered to be the incarnation of two gopis of Vrindavan in krsna-lila. In Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes, Sivananda Sena played the part of a householder. He was very concerned for the welfare of all the devotees, and every year he would make the arrangements for the devotees to travel from Bengal to Jagannatha Puri during the rainy season to meet Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He took care of them in every respect. He would arrange for their transportation, accommodations, and prasada. Although they mainly walked, when they came to rivers that they had to cross by boat, he would pay the tolls and taxes. From his example we can understand the importance of service to the Vaishnavas. Sivananda Sena pleased Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to the greatest extent just by being a humble servant of the Vaishnavas—not only by being a humble servant, but by being expert in his service of taking care of them and pleasing them.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter One begins by describing how all the devotees departed together for Jagannatha Puri. They assembled in Navadvipa, offered respects to Sachimata, and then prepared to leave.
sivananda kare sabara ghati samadhana
sabare palana kare, deya vasa-sthana
Sivananda Sena arranged for the journey. He maintained everyone and provided residential quarters.
eka kukkura cale sivananda-sane
bhaksya diya lana cale kariya palane
While going to Jagannatha Puri, Sivananda Sena allowed a dog to go with him. He supplied it food to eat and maintained it.
eka-dina eka-sthane nadi para haite
udiya navika kukkura na cadaya naukate
One day, when they needed to cross a river, an Orissan boatman would not allow the dog to get in the boat.
kukkura rahila,-sivananda duhkhi haila
dasa pana kadi diya kukkure para kaila
Sivananda Sena, unhappy that the dog had to stay behind, paid the boatman ten pana of conch shells to take the dog across the river.
One pana is eighty kadis, or small conch shells. Formerly, even fifty or sixty years ago, there was no paper currency in India. Coins were generally made not of base metal but of gold, silver, and copper. In other words, the medium of exchange was really something valuable. Four pieces of kadi made one ganda, and twenty such gandas equaled one pana. This kadi was also used as a medium of exchange; therefore Sivananda Sena paid for the dog with dasa pana, or eighty times ten pieces of kadi. In those days one paisa was also subdivided into small conch shells, but at the present moment the prices for commodities have gone so high that there is nothing one can get in exchange for only one paisa. With one paisa in those days, however, one could purchase sufficient vegetables to provide for a whole family. Even thirty years ago, vegetables were occasionally so inexpensive that one paisa’s worth could provide for a whole family for a day.
eka-dina sivanande ghatiyale rakhila
kukkurake bhata dite sevaka pasarila
One day while Sivananda was detained by a tollman, his servant forgot to give the dog its cooked rice.
ratre asi’ sivananda bhojanera kale
“kukkura panache bhata?”—sevake puchile
At night, when Sivananda Sena returned and was taking his meal, he inquired from the servant whether the dog had gotten its meals.
kukkura nahi paya bhata suni’ duhkhi haila
kukkura cahite dasa-manusya pathaila
When he learned that the dog had not been supplied food in his absence, he was very unhappy. He then immediately sent ten men to find the dog.
cahiya na paila kukkura, loka saba aila
duhkhi hana sivananda upavasa kaila
When the men returned without success, Sivananda Sena became very unhappy and fasted for the night.
prabhate kukkura cahi’ kanha na paila
sakala vaisnavera mane camatkara haila
In the morning they looked for the dog, but it could not be found anywhere. All the Vaisnavas were astonished.
Sivananda Sena’s attachment to the dog was a great boon for that animal. The dog appears to have been a street dog. Since it naturally began to follow Sivananda Sena while he was going to Jagannatha Puri with his party, he accepted it into his party and maintained it the same way he was maintaining the other devotees. It appears that although on one occasion the dog was not allowed aboard a boat, Sivananda did not leave the dog behind but paid more money just to induce the boatman to take the dog across the river. Then when the servant forgot to feed the dog and the dog disappeared, Sivananda, being very anxious, sent ten men to find it. When they could not find it, Sivananda observed a fast. Thus it appears that somehow or other Sivananda had become attached to the dog.
We find in the case of Raghunatha Bhatta that Lord Chaitanya instructed him to serve his parents in Varanasi until they passed away, and then to join Him at Jagannatha Puri. In the purport Srila Prabhupada remarks that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would never have advised Raghunatha Bhatta to serve ordinary parents, but because they were devotees, the Lord instructed him to serve them.
In this case, Sivananda Sena extended his mercy even to a dog, just because it had followed the devotees. By the mercy of a Vaishnava, even a dog can be elevated and ultimately delivered.
As will be evident from the following verses, the dog got the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and was immediately promoted to Vaikuntha to become an eternal devotee. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has therefore sung, tumi ta’ thakura, tomara kukkura, baliya janaha more (Saranagati 19). He thus offers to become the dog of a Vaisnava. There are many other instances in which the pet animal of a Vaisnava was delivered back home to Vaikunthaloka, back to Godhead. Such is the benefit of somehow or other becoming the favorite of a Vaisnava. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has also sung, kita-janma ha-u yatha tuya dasa (Saranagati 11). There is no harm in taking birth again and again. Our only desire should be to take birth under the care of a Vaisnava. Fortunately we had the opportunity to be born of a Vaisnava father who took care of us very nicely. He prayed to Srimati Radharani that in the future we would become a servant of the eternal consort of Sri Krsna. Thus somehow or other we are now engaged in that service. We may conclude that even as dogs we must take shelter of a Vaisnava. The benefit will be the same as that which accrues to an advanced devotee under a Vaisnava’s care.
Anyone in any condition of life who takes shelter of a Vaishnava can be purified and attain the highest destination. Sometimes people find fault with some of the devotees of Srila Prabhupada because of their birth, and they even suggest that because of their birth they cannot become pure devotees. But here we see that even a dog who takes shelter of a Vaishnava like Sivananda Sena can be purified and delivered, so why not living entities in various human bodies who take shelter of such an empowered Vaishnava as Srila Prabhupada? Why can’t they be purified, delivered?
utkanthaya cali’ sabe aila nilacale
purvavat mahaprabhu milila sakale
Thus in great anxiety they all walked to Jagannatha Puri, where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu met them as usual.
saba lana kaila jagannatha darasana
saba lana mahaprabhu karena bhojana
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went with them to see the Lord in the temple, and on that day He also took lunch in the company of all those devotees.
purvavat sabare prabhu pathaila vasa-sthane
prabhu-thani pratah-kale aila ara dine
As previously, the Lord provided them all with residential quarters. And the next morning all the devotees came to see the Lord.
asiya dekhila sabe sei ta kukkure
prabhu-pase vasiyache kichu alpa-dure
When all the devotees came to the place of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they saw the same dog sitting a little apart from the Lord.
The dog had disappeared, so the devotees were astonished to see the very same dog in the presence of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
prasada narikela-sasya dena phelana
“rama” “krsna” “hari” kaha”—balena hasiya
Furthermore, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was throwing remnants of green coconut pulp to the dog. Smiling in His own way, He was saying to the dog, “Chant the holy names ‘Rama,’ ‘Krsna,’ and ‘Hari.’ ”
sasya khaya kukkura, ‘krsna’ kahe bara bara
dekhiya lokera mane haila camatkara
Seeing the dog eating the green coconut pulp and chanting “Krsna, Krsna” again and again, all the devotees present were very surprised.
sivananda kukkura dekhi’ dandavat kaila
dainya kari’ nija aparadha ksamaila
When he saw the dog sitting in that way and chanting the name of Krsna, Sivananda, because of his natural humility, immediately offered his obeisances to the dog just to counteract his offenses to it.
This is the humility of a Vaishnava. He saw that the dog had received the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and he, Sivananda Sena, felt guilty because he had not served the dog properly. So to get relief from his feeling of offense, he offered obeisances.
ara dina keha tara dekha na paila
siddha-deha pana kukkura vaikunthete gela
The next day, no one saw that dog, for it had obtained its spiritual body and departed for Vaikuntha, the spiritual kingdom.
This is the result of sadhu-sanga—consequent association with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the Vaisnava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees.
Srila Prabhupada says that the effect of associating with a Vaishnava is that one gets the association of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and goes back home, back to Godhead. Devotees in ISKCON are getting the association of a Vaishnava—of an empowered Vaishnava such as Srila Prabhupada—by hearing from him through his books and by serving him through his mission and devoted servants. And the result will be that they will get the association of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and be promoted back home, back to Godhead.
By rendering a little service, even by eating prasada, not to speak of chanting and dancing, everyone could be promoted to Vaikunthaloka. It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community become pure Vaisnavas . . .
Did you hear? “It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community”—not just in the temple but in the ISKCON community.
It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community become pure Vaisnavas, so that by their mercy all the people of the world will be transferred to Vaikunthaloka, even without their knowledge. Everyone should be given a chance to take prasada and thus be induced to chant the holy names Hare Krsna and also dance in ecstasy. By these three processes, although performed without knowledge or education, even an animal went back to Godhead.
Devotee: Even without their knowledge?
Giriraj Swami: Yes. Srila Prabhupada often said that Krishna consciousness consists of four elements—chanting, dancing, feasting, and philosophy. But here in the purport Srila Prabhupada says that just by chanting, dancing, and taking prasada, one can go back to Godhead—in other words, even without being educated in the philosophy of Krishna consciousness. Of course, one has to be fortunate enough to be spontaneously attracted to chanting, dancing, and taking prasada in order to continue the process without knowledge of the benefits. Generally, because of material contamination, conditioned souls are not so attracted to chanting, dancing, and taking prasada. They are more attracted to material enjoyment and sinful activities. Therefore we preach the message of the Bhagavad-gita, the message of Lord Chaitanya, to convince them of the value of Krishna consciousness, the value of austerity, the value of chanting, so that they will do it even if they do not feel like it. But if someone is prepared to chant and dance and take prasada and refrain from sinful activities, then even without knowledge of the science, just by the potency of the process, he can be delivered. But actually, we do need to read Srila Prabhupada’s books. We do need to attend Srimad-Bhagavatam class to remind ourselves of the importance of Krishna consciousness and the necessity of pure habits. Otherwise, we can very easily degenerate into animal life.
Sometimes in India we would go to a new place and some gentleman would become very enthusiastic about the devotees. He would receive the devotees, host them, and serve them day and night. He would arrange programs for them and invite people to meet them. He would take them to meet other gentlemen, and in general he would seem more enthusiastic than even the devotees themselves. Similarly, sometimes in South Africa we would do hari-nama–sankirtana in the townships and homelands and the Africans would seem more eager to chant and dance than the devotees in the party. We would become tired and want to return to the temple, but they would want to continue chanting and dancing.
Srila Prabhupada has explained that someone may spontaneously become attracted to chanting and dancing or to serving the devotees who are spreading Krishna consciousness. Citing the example of some of our hosts in India, Srila Prabhupada said that as karma-yogis working for the sake of Krishna with great enthusiasm, they were actually acting on a more advanced level than the devotees following vaidhi-bhakti without much taste or enthusiasm. But Srila Prabhupada said that the difficulty with such spontaneous service is that the service may end. After some time, these people may lose interest and start thinking of their wives and children and businesses. The enthusiasm they initially exhibited may wane and even disappear, whereas even if the devotees do not have so much taste or enthusiasm, if they follow the rules and regulations as a matter of duty, in pursuance of the orders of the spiritual master and the scriptures, they will continue to make progress gradually and eventually come to spontaneous devotional service—the purest love of Godhead.
So, every year, Sivananda Sena would lead the devotees from Bengal to Jagannatha Puri for Ratha-yatra, and it was a major effort. The party, which numbered two or three hundred, went by foot, and he arranged prasada and accommodations for them, and sometimes boats to take them across rivers. One day, when the party was being checked by a toll collector, the other devotees went ahead while Sivananda Sena remained behind to pay the taxes. Because no one else could arrange for their accommodations, the devotees waited beneath a tree. Meanwhile, Nityananda Prabhu, who was with the party that year, became very hungry and upset. And when Sivananda finally arrived, Nityananda stood up and kicked him severely. Of course, Sivananda accepted the kicking as the greatest blessing. After bringing Nityananda Prabhu to His residence, he told Him, “The dust of Your lotus feet is not attainable even by Lord Brahma, yet Your lotus feet have touched my wretched body. Today my birth, my family, and my activities have all become successful.” We read in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter Twelve:
carane dhariya prabhure vasaya lana gela
vasa diya hrsta hana kahite lagila
Sivananda Sena touched the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu and led Him to His residence. After giving the Lord His quarters, Sivananda Sena, being very pleased, spoke as follows.
“aji more bhrtya kari’ angikara kaila
yemana aparadha bhrtyera, yogya phala dila
“Today You have accepted me as Your servant and have properly punished me for my offense.
“‘sasti’-chale krpa kara,—e tomara ‘karuna’
trijagate tomara caritra bujhe kon jana?
“My dear Lord, Your chastising me is Your causeless mercy. Who within the three worlds can understand Your real character?
“brahmara durlabha tomara sri-carana-renu
hena carana-sparsa paila mora adhama tanu
“The dust of Your lotus feet is not attainable even by Lord Brahma, yet Your lotus feet have touched my wretched body.
“aji mora saphala haila janma, kula, karma
aji painu krsna-bhakti, artha, kama, dharma”
“Today my birth, my family, and my activities have all become successful. Today I have achieved the fulfillment of religious principles, economic development, satisfaction of the senses and ultimately devotional service to Lord Krsna.”
suni’ nityananda-prabhura anandita mana
uthi’ sivanande kaila prema-alingana
When Lord Nityananda heard this, He was very happy. He rose and embraced Sivananda Sena in great love.
anandita sivananda kare samadhana
acaryadi-vaisnavere dila vasa-sthana
Being very much pleased by Nityananda Prabhu’s behavior, Sivananda Sena began to arrange residential quarters for all the Vaisnavas, headed by Advaita Acarya.
nityananda-prabhura saba caritra—‘viparita’
kruddha hana lathi mari’ kare tara hita
One of Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s characteristics is His contradictory nature. When He becomes angry and kicks someone, it is actually for his benefit.
Sivananda Sena, a pure devotee, understood that Nityananda Prabhu’s kick was for his benefit, but Srikanta, Sivananda’s nephew, who was only a boy, felt offended and left the group. He traveled to Jagannatha Puri on his own to meet Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. When Srikanta reached Mahaprabhu’s residence, Lord Chaitanya’s servant told him to remove his coat and shirt, because the rule is that when one comes before the Deity one must remove such garments. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Don’t disturb him. He has come in a distressed state of mind. Let him do as he pleases.” Lord Chaitanya considered the person’s emotional state, the person’s psychology. And when Srikanta heard the Lord say “He is distressed,” he understood that the Lord was omniscient. So when Lord Chaitanya asked him about all the Vaishnavas, the boy did not mention the incident of Lord Nityananda kicking Sivananda Sena.
In the meantime, Sivananda Sena and all the Vaishnavas arrived, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bestowed extraordinary mercy upon him and his family.
sivananda tina-putre gosanire milaila
sivananda-sambandhe sabaya bahu-krpa kaila
Sivananda Sena introduced his three sons to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because they were his sons, the Lord showed the boys great mercy.
chota-putre dekhi’ prabhu nama puchila
‘paramananda-dasa’-nama sena janaila
Lord Caitanya asked the youngest son’s name, and Sivananda Sena informed the Lord that his name was Paramananda dasa.
purve yabe sivananda prabhu-sthane aila
tabe mahaprabhu tanre kahite lagila
“e-bara tomara yei ha-ibe kumara
‘puri-dasa’ bali’ nama dhariha tahara”
Once before when Sivananda Sena had visited Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at His residence, the Lord had told him, “When this son is born, give him the name Puri dasa.”
tabe mayera garbhe haya sei ta’ kumara
sivananda ghare gele, janma haila tara
The son was in the womb of Sivananda’s wife, and when Sivananda returned home the son was born.
prabhu-ajnaya dharila nama-‘paramananda-dasa’
‘puri-dasa’ kari’ prabhu karena upahasa
The child was named Paramananda dasa in accordance with the Lord’s order, and the Lord jokingly called him Puri dasa.
sivananda yabe sei balake milaila
mahaprabhu padangustha tara mukhe dila
When Sivananda Sena introduced the child to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord put His toe in the child’s mouth.
In this connection one may refer to Antya-lila, Chapter Sixteen, verses 65–75, for information about the later manifestations of the Lord’s mercy on Puri dasa.
sivanandera bhagya-sindhu ke paibe para?
yanra saba gosthike prabhu kahe ‘apanara’
No one can cross over the ocean of Sivananda Sena’s good fortune, for the Lord considered Sivananda’s whole family His own.
From the example of Sivananda Sena, we can see how much mercy one can receive from the Lord by serving the Lord’s devotees. And we can also see how much mercy one can receive from the Lord if one comes under the care of the Lord’s devotee—even if one is a child or a dog.
[A talk by Giriraj Swami on Sivananda Sena’s and Svarupa Damodara Gosvami’s disappearance day, June 25, 1998, Los Angeles]