Sincere devotees yearn for the shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord. The Lord’s lotus feet is not easily attainable. Yogis meditate on them for years but still His lotus feet is elusive to them. Only by pure unalloyed devotional service can one attain the shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord.
BG 18.55: One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.
Therefore for a pure devotee like Sivananda Sena, it is his good fortune that Lord Nityananda kicked him. Anyone who is not a devotee and does not have faith in the transcendental pastimes of the Lord will be agitated and disturbed by the Lord’s kicking pastime. The story is Lord Nityananda kicked Sivananda Sena because Sivananda could not arrange a suitable residence for the Lord in time. Now come to think of it. Lord Nityananda, in His form as Ananta Sesa, carries unlimited universes on His head. Why would the Lord, who is the shelter of all the universes, be bothered about His residence which is limited in space? The example is given that small lamps may be agitated by a slight breeze, but the greatest lamp or the greatest illuminating source, the sun, is never moved, even by the greatest hurricane. So do we think Lord Nityananda, who is Lord Balarama Himself, would be provoked by unavailability of a mere residential quarter?
A devotee will see Lord Nityananda kicking Sivananda Sena as the bestowing of His mercy. Which sincere devotee wouldn’t be liked to be kicked and touched by the Lord’s lotus feet? By the mere touch of His lotus feet, millions and millions of lifetimes of sins accumulated are eradicated; he becomes purified of all contamination and becomes qualified to engage in unalloyed devotional service.
Therefore Lord Nityananda’s kicking pastime must be perceived with the right mood and knowledge. Look at how different people perceived this differently. A jiva is bounded by three modes of material nature. Each one perceives an incident according to his/her dominant mode of nature.
Sivananda Sen’s nephew, Srikanta, displayed mode of ignorance by feeling offended and distressed.
CC Antya 12.34-36 — Śivānanda Sena’s nephew, Śrīkānta, the son of his sister, felt offended, and he commented on the matter when his uncle was absent. “My uncle is well known as one of the associates of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but Lord Nityānanda Prabhu asserts His superiority by kicking him.” After saying this, Śrīkānta, who was only a boy, left the group and traveled on alone to the residence of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Sivananda Sen’s wife displayed mode of passion by displaying signs of grief when Lord Nityananda cursed her sons to die. This happens because of attachment for one’s family.
CC Antya 12.21-22 — Hearing this curse, Śivānanda Sena’s wife began to cry. Just then, Śivānanda returned from the toll station. Crying, his wife informed him, “Lord Nityānanda has cursed our sons to die because His quarters have not been provided.”
However Sivananda Sen displayed mode of pure goodness by considering Lord’s kick as pure mercy upon him. He said: “Today You have accepted me as Your servant and have properly punished me for my offense. My dear Lord, Your chastising me is Your causeless mercy. Who within the three worlds can understand Your real character? The dust of Your lotus feet is not attainable even by Lord Brahmā, yet Your lotus feet have touched my wretched body. 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 Kṛṣṇa.” (CC Antya 12.25-30)
This is how a pure devotee like Sivananda Sen receives the mercy of the Lord. For him, there is nothing inauspicious or ill-intention when it comes to the Supreme Lord. Good or bad, he takes everything as Lord’s mercy. This is the right mood to have.
Lord Nityananda must have thought, “Here is my pure devotee Sivananda Sen who is going through so much trouble to arrange for the devotees meeting with Lord Caitanya. He is managing the payment of tolls at different places. He is maintaining all devotees by arranging their places of stay. He is bringing all the devotees from Bengal closer to Mahaprabhu. Therefore He is the true recipient of my pure mercy. Let me bless him by kicking Him.”
This kicking pastime of the Lord is meant to test the faith of the devotees. People who have less faith will be disturbed by the pastime. They will just look at the external manifestation of the pastime and will miss the inner meaning of it. But pure devotees will try to perceive the inner meaning of the pastime. Rather than their faith being disturbed, they faith will become stronger. Just as mine is just by reading this pastime. I would not only like Lord Nityananda to kick me, but crush me to pieces if that bring happiness to the Lord.
Who wouldn’t want to serve the lotus feet of the Lord? Forget the lotus feet of the Lord. Even the Supreme Lord gives so much value to the lotus feet of great sages and saints. Look at what Lord Krsna said to Bhrgu Muni, ““My dear lord, My chest has now become sanctified because of the touch of your feet, and I am now assured that the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, will be very glad to live there perpetually.”
Therefore when we read Lord’s pastimes, we should not be judgmental of the external behavior of the Lord’s and His devotees pastimes and behavior. We should always ask, “What is the inner meaning of this pastime? What is the Lord trying to teach us through this pastime? How can I build more faith through this pastime?” The pastimes of the Lord and His devotees are sometimes inconceivable. We should read and hear about them from the right bona-fide source and in the right mood.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!