The dearest disciple of Sri Chaitanya
Sri Chaitanya’s dearest disciple was Nityananda. Nityananda renounced the world and wanted only to follow the spiritual life. He had decided always to wear the simple cloth of a renunciate and to lead a very pure life. He made a vow never to get married.
Sri Chaitanya said to his disciple, “My son, your withdrawal from the world is not right for your spirituality. I want you to get married.”
Nityananda exclaimed, “Me, Master? You wish me to marry?”
“Yes, my son,” replied Sri Chaitanya.
This was beyond Nityananda’s wildest imagination. He had completely renounced the world and was leading a pure and simple life of prayer and meditation. He felt that this was precisely what his Master wanted him to do.
Sri Chaitanya said, “If you renounce the world, then others will feel that marriage and spirituality cannot go hand in hand. You have to get married, Nityananda. I want this for your own spiritual progress. I want you to accept the world. After all, you are my dearest disciple. Most of my disciples want to go through marriage. In their case, it is their own decision if they want to get married and have children. But in your case, you have to prove that even if you get married, you can still maintain your spirituality. I assure you, you will not drop even an inch in your spiritual height, Nityananda. Please get married.”
Nityananda listened to his Master.
Again, Sri Chaitanya did not advise many of his other disciples to get married. They were much weaker spiritually. Only those who were very strong spiritually would he allow to marry.
(Sri Chinmoy, The power of kindness and other stories, Agni Press, 2011)