Ādi-līlāChapter 13: The Advent of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 13.117

durvā, dhānya, dila śīrṣe, kaila bahu āśīṣe,

cirajīvī hao dui bhāi

ḍākinī-śāńkhinī haite, śańkā upajila cite,

ḍare nāma thuila 'nimāi'


durvā — fresh grass; dhānya — paddy; dila — gave; śīrṣe — on the head; kaila — did; bahu — with much; āśīṣe — blessing; cira-jīvī — live long; hao — become; dui bhāi — two brothers; ḍākinī-śāńkhinī — ghosts and witches; haite — from; śańkā — doubt; upajila — grew; citein the heart; ḍare — out of fear; nāmaname; thuila — kept; nimāi — Lord Caitanya's childhood name, derived from the nima (nimba) tree.


She blessed the newborn child by placing fresh grass and paddy on His head and saying, "May You be blessed with a long duration of life." But being afraid of ghosts and witches, she gave the child the name Nimāi.


Ḍākinī and Śāńkhinī are two companions of Lord Śiva and his wife who are supposed to be extremely inauspicious, having been born of ghostly life. It is believed that such inauspicious living creatures cannot go near a nima tree. At least medically it is accepted that nima wood is extremely antiseptic, and formerly it was customary to have a nima tree in front of one's house. On very large roads in India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, there are hundreds and thousands of nima trees. Nima wood is so antiseptic that the Āyurvedic science uses it to cure leprosy. Medical scientists have extracted the active principle of the nima tree, which is called margosic acid. Nima is used for many purposes, especially to brush the teeth. In Indian villages ninety percent of the people use nima twigs for this purpose. Because of all the antiseptic effects of the nima tree and because Lord Caitanya was born beneath a nima tree, Sītā Ṭhākurāṇī gave the Lord the name Nimāi. Later in His youth He was celebrated as Nimāi Paṇḍita, and in the neighborhood villages He was called by that name, although His real name was Viśvambhara.

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