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S/L No. NAME SOURCE
B. 1. BALABHADRA GVA
B. 2. BALABHADRA BHATTACARYA GVA
B. 3. BALABHADRA BHATTACARYA BHRTA GVA
B. 4. ALABHADRA GVA
B. 5. BALABHADRA VAIDYA GVA
B. 6. BALADEVA DASA GVA
B. 7. BALADEVA VIDYABHUSANA GVA, GPC
B. 8. BALAI DASA GVA
B. 9. BALAKA GVA
B. 10. BALAKADASA VAIRAGI GVA
B. 11. BALARAMA GVA
B. 12. BALARAMA GVA, BMO,
B. 13. BALARAMA GVA
B. 14. BALARAMA GVA
B. 15. BALARAMA ACARYA GVA
B. 16. BALARAMA CAKRAVARTI GVA
B. 17. BALARAMA DASA GVA
B. 18. BALARAMADASA (MAHANTA) GVA
B. 19. BALARAMA DASA GVA
B. 20. BALARAMA DASA GVA
B. 21. BALARAMA DASA GVA
B. 22. BALARAMA DASA GVA, BMO
B. 23. BALARAMADASA BABAJI MAHARAJA GVJ
B. 24. BALARAMA DASA BABAJI MAHASAYA GVJ
B. 25. BALARAMA DASA MADHAVI GVA
B. 26. BALARAMA DASA GHANASYMA GVA
B. 27. BALARAMA KAVIPATI GVA
B. 28. BALARAMA KAVIPATI GVA
B. 29. BALARAMA MAHITI GVA, BMO
B. 30. BALARAMA MISRA GVA
B. 31. BALARAMA ODRA CCU, BMO
B. 32. BALARAMA PUJARI GVA
B. 33. BALARAMA THAKURA GVA
B. 34. BALARAMA VASU GVA
B. 35. BALARAMA VIPRA (SARMA) GVA
B. 36. BALI GVA
B. 37. BANOYARILAL SIMHA GVJ
B. 38. BAUDDHACARYA GVA
B. 39. BHADRAVATI GVA
B. 40. BHADRAVATI GVA
B. 41. BHAGAVAN GVA
B. 42. BHAGAVAN GVA
B. 43. BHAGAVAN GVA
B. 44. BHAGAVAN ACARYA GVA,CCU, GPC
B. 45. BHAGAVAN DASA GVA
B. 46. BHAGAVAN DASA BABAJI GVJ
B. 47. BHAGAVAN KAR GVA
B. 48. BHAGAVAN KAVIRAJA GVA
B. 49. BHAGAVAN MISRA GVA
B. 50. BHAGAVAN PANDIT GVA,CCU
B. 51. BHAGAVATA GVA
B. 52. BHAGAVATA ACARYA GVA, CCU
B. 53. BHAGAVATA ACARYA GVA, CCU
B. 54. BHAGAVATA ACARYA GVA, CCU
B. 55. BHAGAVATA ACARYA GVA, CCU
B. 56. BHAGAVATA DASA GVA, CCU
B. 57. BHAGAVATA DASA GVA
B. 58. BHAGAVATI GVA
B. 59. BHAGAVANTA MUDITA GVA
B. 60. BHAGIRATHA ACARYA GVA
B. 61. BHAGIRATHA DASA GVA
B. 62. BHAGIRATHA KAVIRAJA GVA
B. 63. BHAGIRATHA VASU GVA
B. 64. BHAIYA DEVAKINANANDANA GVA
B. 65. BHAKTA DASA GVA
B. 66. BHAKTA DASA GVA
B. 67. BHAKTA DASA PUJARI GVA
B. 68. BHAKTA BHAUMIKA GVA
B. 69. BHAKTA KALIDASA GVA, CCU, GPC
B. 70. BHAKTA KASI GVA
B. 71. BHAKTACAND KAJI GVA, GPC
B. 72. BHAKTACARANA DASA GVA
B. 73. BHAKTARAMA DASA GVA
B. 74. BHAKTIKEVALA AUDULOMI GPC
B. 75. BHAKTIPRADIPA TIRTHA GPC
B. 76. BHAKTIPRASADA PURI GPC
B. 77. BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI GOSVAMI GVA, GPC
B. 78. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI
B. 79. BHAKTIVINODE THAKURA GVA, GPC
B. 80. BHANJANA ADHIKARI GVA
B. 81. BHARATA MALLIK GVA
B. 82. BHARGAVA ACARYA CCU
B. 83. BHARGAVA PURI CCU
B. 84. BHASKARA THAKURA GVA, CCU
B. 85. BHATTATHARI GVA
B. 86. BHATUA GOPALA GVA
B. 87. BHAVADEVA BHATTA GVA
B. 88. BHAVAKA CAKRAVARTI GVA
B. 89. BHAVANANDA GVA
B. 90. BHAVANANDA GOSWAMI GVA, GPC, BMO
B. 92. BHAVANATHA KAR GVA
B. 93. BHAVANI DEVI GVA
B. 94. BHAVESA DUTTA GVA
B. 95. BHIKA SAHEB GVA
B. 96. BHILA VAISNAVA GVA
B. 97. BHIMA GVA
B. 98. BHIMALOCANA SANYAL GVA
B. 99. BHOLANATHA GVA
B.100. BHOLANATHA DASA GVA, CCU
B.101. BHUDHARA GVA
B.102. BHUDHARA GVA
B.103. BHUGARBHA GOSVAMI GVA, CCU, GPC
B.104. BHUPATI GVA
B.105. BHUVANA DASA GVA
B.106. BHUVANAMOHANA THAKURA GVA
B.107. BHUVANAMOHINI GVA
B.108. BRAHMAGOPALAJI GVA
B.109. BRAHMANANDA GVA
B.110. BRAHMANANDA GVA
B.111. BRAHMANANDA BHARATI GVA
B.112. BRAHMANANDA GOSVAMI PRABHU GVJ
B.113. BRAHAMANANDA PURI GVA
B.114. BRAHMANANDA SVARUPA GVA
B. 1. BALABHADRA:
A resident of Rajagrama in the Midnapur district. He was a disciple of Syamananda Prabhu.
B. 2. BALABHADRA BHATTACARYA:
He belonged to the descending line from Lord Chaitanya. In Vrajalila he was Madhureksana. (See Gaura-ganodesa-dipika 171, Cc. Adi 10.146, 2.17.15-17,20, 2.18.99, 103-106, 3.4.209-210.)
B. 3. BALABHADRA BHATACARYERA BHRTYA:
He was an attendant of Balabhadra Bhattacarya (See B.2). He accompanied Lord Chaitanya to Vrndavana (Cc 2.17.16-17). Some believe that the name of this attendant was Krishnadasa.
B. 4. BALABHADRA DASA:
He was the owner of Hijalimandala, and father-in-law of Rasikananda Prabhu. Iccadevi was Balabhadra's daughter. (Rasikamangala purva 10.86,91)
B. 5. BALABHADRA VAIDYA:
Balabhadra was one of Rasikananda's childhood teachers. (Rasikamangala purva 9.24)
B. 6. BALADEVA DASA:
A Vaishnava poet who composed pada No. 2842 included in Padakalpataru. It cannot be ascertained whether this Baladeva dasa was the same person as Baladeva Vidyabhusana.
B. 7. BALADEVA VIDYABHUSANA:
He was born during the eighteenth century AD., in a village near Remuna in the Balasore district of Orissa. He studied Vyakarana, Alamkara, and Nyayasastra in an academic center on the bank of Lake Cilka. Afterwards he went to Karnataka to study the Vedas. At that point he was initiated into the Madhva Sampradaya. After taking sannyasa he defeated the scholars of Puri (Purusottamaksetra) in a debate on Sastra.
Baladeva stayed at the Tattvavadi Matha, but after studying Satsandarbha under Radhadamodara, a resident of Kanauj and a disciple of Rasikananda Prabhu, he became attracted to the profound philosophical essence of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Thus he became a disciple of his teacher, Radhadamodara. It is said that Baladeva studied Bhaktisastra under Pitamvaradasa, and Shrimad Bhagavatam under Visvanatha Cakravarti.
After adopting Virakta Vaishnava Vesa, Baladeva became known as "Ekanti-Govinda dasa". It was Baladeva who installed the Deity of Syamasundara in Vrndavana. Uddhava dasa and Nandamisra were the two foremost disciples of Baladeva.
In Visvanatha Cakravarti's old age he received news that the Bengali sevaits from the temple of Jaipur had been branded as a-sampradaya and deprived of their right to offer seva. Visvanatha immediately sent Baladeva, accompanied by Krishnadeva and Sarvabhauma, to Jaipur. There Baladeva defeated his opponents in a debate and re-instated the Gaudiyas in their seat at the mountainous region of Galta. He also installed the Deity of Vijaya Gopala there. (This temple and Deity is still existing.)
At this same time Baladeva wrote the book Shri Govindabhasya, a glorious contribution to the Gaudiya Vaishnava community. The following is a list of Baladeva's other works:
(1) Tika of Satsandarbha
(2) Tika of Laghubhagavatamrta
(7) Tika of Syamanandasataka
(8) Tika of Natakacandrika (rare)
(12) Vaishnavanandini tika of Shrimad Bhagavatam
(13) Shri Gopalatapnai, and bhasya of Shrimad Bhagavadgita
(14) Tika of Stavamala
(For a descriptive account of Baladeva's biography see GPC p. 711-720).
B. 8. BALAI DASA:
He was a Vaishnava poet. (See pada 1212 in Padakalpataru).
B. 9. BALAKA:
He was a disciple of Rasikananda Prabhu (Rasikamangala Pascima 14.151). He was one of the astasisu (eight children) who dressed up in Gopivesa during the festival of "Rasa" at Gopiballavpur (Rasikamangala Pascima 2.46).
B.10. BALAKADASA VAIRAGI:
He was a disciple of Narottama Thakura. (Premavilasa 20, Narottamavilasa 12).
He was the fourth son of Advaita Prabhu. (Cc 1.12.27).
A resident of Orissa and devotee of Lord Chaitanya. this Balarama was the second son of Kanai Khuntiya (Vaishnavavandana). Some say that Kanai Khuntiya use to worship Shri Baladeva and Lord Jagannatha as his sons. (BMO p. 79)
He was the younger brother of Syamananda Prabhu. (Rasikamangala Purva 2.36)
He was the eldest son of Gauridasa Pandita.
B.15. BALARAMA ACARYA:
He worked in Saptagrama as a priest in the house of Govardhana dasa and Hiranyadasa Majumdar (the family of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami) (Cc 3.3.165-166). Balarama was from Candpura, when Haridasa Thakura visited there he stayed with Balarama for some days. During that time Raghunatha dasa was studying there and would daily visit Haridasa Thakura at Balarama's house. Once Balarama brought Haridasa along to the house of Govardhana, where they sang nama-mahatmya. At that time an employee of Govardhana dasa's, named Gopala Cakravarti, entered into an argument with Haridasa Thakura. As a result of this argument Gopala became ill. (See also "Gopala Cakravarti")
B.16. BALARAMA CAKRAVARTI:
Balarama was from the Suvarna clan of the Radhi ethnic group in Bengal. He was a resident of Kheturi and his brothers name was Rupanarayana Cakravarti. Balarama took initiation from Narottama Thakura, after receiving the instruction to do so in a dream. He was entrusted with the responsibility for serving the Deity worshipped by Narottama and became well-known as Balarama Pujari. (Narottamavilasa 11, Premavilasa 19).
He was a devotee of Lord Chaitanya and accomplished player of the Ramsina (a wind instrument made of a buffalo's horn). When Lord Chaitanya arrived in Puri after his travels in the south, Balarama joyously welcomed him, playing his Ramsina.
B.18. BALARAMA DASA (MAHANTA):
A devotee from Orissa and close companion of Nityananda Prabhu (Vaishnavavadana).
B.19. BALARAMA DASA:
A devotee mentioned in CBh. 3.5.734 and Cc. 1.11.34.
B.20. BALARAMA DASA:
See "Nityananda dasa".
B.21. BALARAMA DASA:
An Orissa brahmana by caste and disciple of Shrinivasa Prabhu. (Karnananda 2).
B.22. BALARAMA DASA:
Balarama was a great devotee of Lord Jagannatha. He was a resident of Puri and the eldest of the Panchasakhas. In his Jagamohana Ramayana, Balarama dasa says that his father's name was Somanatha Mahapatra and his mother was Manamaya. In Vaishnavavandana Balarama's name is mentioned with great reverence, describing him as a profound devotee of Lord Jagannatha and Balarama. He had a number of encounters with Lord Chaitanya throughout his life. Dibakara dasa, the author of Jagannatha Charitamrtia, mentions him as the disciple of Hrdayananda, in the line of Gauridasa Pandita. On Lord Chaitanya's request Balarama initiated Jagannatha dasa. Thereafter, Balarama left to travel throughout India on pilgrimage.
In the Chaitanya-bhagavata Isvara dasa describes Balarama's first meeting with Lord Chaitanya in his native village of Chandrapur which is situated near Jagpur. Lord Chaitanya stayed at Chandrapur on his way to Puri. Upon seeing Him there, Balarama fell down at the Lord's feet. The Lord kindly raised him up and embraced him affectionately. Lord Chaitanya addressed Balarama as Subala and imparted the "Rama-Taraka-Brahma" mantra into his ear.
According to the Sunyasamhita and Chaitanya-bhagavata, Balarama dasa always accompanied the sankirtana party. In the Chaitanya-bhagavata the story is related of how one elephant of Gajapati Prataparudra became mad and killed his own mahuta (keeper). Balarama dasa caught hold of the wild elephant and chanted the holy name in his ear. The elephant suddenly became docile and bowed to the feet of Lord Chaitanya. Astonished to see the divine power of Balarama, Lord Chaitanya embraced him, calling him "Matta". From that day on Balarama was known as Matta. In his Jagannatha Charitamrita Dibakar dasa also refers to Balarama as Matta. In the Vedantasaraguptagita it is said that Balarama was gifted with divine powers.
In the Chaitanya-bhagavata by Isvara dasa (compiled by Dr. A.B. Mohanty), Lord Chaitanya asked the Panchasakhas about their writings. The eldest, Balarama, said that he had composed the Ramayana in seven kandas and one lakh of padas, Bhagavad-gita in eighteen chapters, Vedantasaraguptagita in the guise of Brahmabidya. Besides the works mentioned in Chaitanya-bhagavata he wrote a number of books such as: 1.Brahmapurana, 2.Kanta Koile, 3.Guptagita, 4.Bata Aavakash, 5.Bhava Samudra, 6.Amarkoshgita, 7.Brahmandabhagola, 8.Saptanga Yogasaragita, 9.Bhagavatatika, 10.Bedaparikrama, 11.Arjunagita, etc.
Once the brahmanas of Puri challenged Balarama, accusing him of being an ignorant, low-born man. In response to this accusation Balarama brought a deaf and dumb man named Haridasa before the assembly and touched the head of Haridasa. Suddenly Haridasa began explaining the Vedanta. Everyone present, including Prataparudra, was astonished to see Balarama's spiritual potency. From that day the king honored him as "Paramaguru", as he was in some ways greater than Lord Chaitanya, who was Balarama's own guru.
According to Chaurasi Ajna Balarama was present at the Mukti Mandapa along with Lord Chaitanya and King Prataparudra, when the famous jackfruit episode took place. It is also found in the above book, that Balarama referred to himself as Subala of Dvaparayuga, and as Sudra in the Kaliyuga. Shri Krishna appeared to Balarama in a dream and informed him that He would appear in Navadvipa as Lord Chaitanya. The Lord ordered Balarama to serve the Lord and His followers.
In Gurubhaktigita (by Achyutananda dasa, Vol.111, Chapter XLIX, p.176) Balarama dasa is referred to as the companion, Samadira, of Radha. This fact is supported by Chaitanyaganodesa, in which Balarama dasa is referred to as sakhi Sumandira which leads us to believe that Balarama was Samadira in a previous birth. (Krishnadasa Kaviraja, Shri Chaitanyaganoddesadipika, manuscript preserved in Orissa State Museum, Cat. No. L 470(B).)
B.23. BALARAMADASA BABAJI MAHARAJA:
At the age of forty Balarama received diksha from Siddha Krishnadasa babaji. Within a short time he mastered the Sanskrit language. Thereupon he translated Shrimad Bhagavatam, in his own handwriting and presented it to Krishnadasa babaji.
He lived an austere, detached life at Jhadumandala in Vrndavana, and expected others to live in the same way. Balarama's uncompromising attitude is exhibited in the following story: At one time Jagadananda dasa of Orissa adopted the life of Vaishnava asceticism, under Nityananda dasa babaji of Mandana Mohana Thoura. Afterwards he visited Balarama dasa and offered his obeisances, still wearing his sacred thread. Balarama dasa became very annoyed and remarked: "You have changed your garb yet you retain your sacred thread to display your brahmana caste (ego)." Feeling very ashamed Jagadananda threw his sacred thread into the Yamuna and returned to Balarama dasa to receive his blessings. Balarama dasa was a great devotee and commanded reverence from all.
At that time it was the custom to send to all distinguished Vaishnavas and descendants of Acaryas, a notification, twenty four hours in advance, regarding any up-coming nagara-sankirtana programs. Simply upon receiving such news Balarama's body automatically assumed a dancing posture and he became absorbed in devotional ecstacy.
He always kept himself at a safe distance from women, never looking upon their faces, nor talking to them. It is said that sometimes he visited temples in Vrndavana walking blind-folded, with the help of a stick, just to avoid the sight of women. Once a young servant of Shri Radharamana temple named Madhusudana Gosvami challenged Balarama dasa, asking why such an old, emaciated man was still so afraid of women. Balarama dasa replied that according to Lord Chaitanya, the inherent desire for physical pleasure exists as long as one is still situated within a body of flesh and blood, therefore the association of women must always be avoided.
Prabhupada Nilamani, a Gosvami of Vraja, ordered that whenever any festival was held at his temple a responsible devotee should be sent to deliver two plates of prasada to Balarama dasa's cottage at Jhadumandala. Only after receiving Balarama's approval would his devotees accept the prasada. The prasada was then hung on the wall, inside a wire-net bag and Balarama dasa would respect the prasada at his will.
On one occasion prasada was brought from Prabhu Nilamani's temple and kept inside the wire-net bag, as usual. When Balarama was about to respect the prasada, he looked up and saw that the prasada had become stained with blood, and fresh drops of blood were dripping on the floor.
On receiving an urgent call from Balarama, Nilamani Prabhu quickly came to Jhadumandala and offered his obeisances to Balarama dasa Maharaja. In great anguish Balarama showed Nilamani the prasada. Nilamani immediately conducted an enquiry, which revealed that the mahotsava at his temple had been performed with finances received from some women of questionable profession from Calcutta.
Another incident connected with prasada which was offered to Balarama dasa on the occasion of a mahotsava is recorded as follows: Everyday Balarama dasa sat on the bank of the Yamuna at Jhadumandal and recited from the Shrimad Bhagavatam before the assembled Vaishnavas of Vraja. On one such occasion while Balarama was sitting on the Vyasasana giving a lecture, his vision happened to rest upon the breasts of a young woman devotee. The upper portion of her saree had fallen, exposing her breasts. Balarama suddenly became physically excited, in utter disgust he abruptly stopped speaking. He then confessed before his audience that he no longer considered himself fit to be addressed as a Siddha baba. He declared that he intended to atone for his sin, then and there, by drowning himself in the Yamuna.
His devotees somehow persuaded Balarama dasa not to take such drastic action, but to at least give them time to check back on the source of the prasada from Shri Govinda temple which Balarama had eaten that morning. After a thorough investigation they found that the festival at the Govinda temple had been organized with donations received from an aged Gosvami-mata from a temple in Bengal, who admitted that the money she donated had been earned in her earlier days through a dishonest profession. From that very day Balarama dasa never accepted any prasada offered on the occasion of any utsava. (GVJ. pp no. 177-180)
B.24. BALARAMA DASA BABAJI MAHASAYA:
From the age of twelve years he was engaged in the service of SiddhaA baba at Suryakunda. After eighteen years at Suryakunda Balarama became disenchanted when he discovered that one of the babaji's in their cottage went out nightly, incognito, to enjoy the performance of music and dance performed by some local girls. It appeared that the babaji concerned had an unholy relation with one of the dancing girls. Thus, with due reverence to Siddha baba, Balarama left Vrndavana to settle down at Gauda-mandala.
Balaramadasa established an `Akhara' to accommodate all visiting Vaishnavas from Vrajamandala and Gaudadesa. He organized programs for the celebration of various festivals every year and made adequate arrangements for everyone's comfort. With pleasure he served the Vaishnavas for almost thirty years. One day he happened to meet a saintly old acquaintance from Shri Vrndavana who revived joyful memories of life in Vraja. Upon discussing with the devotee, Balarama dasa babaji found out that Siddha baba of Govardhana, Siddha baba of Suryakunda, and many other former associates had all passed away. In anguish Balarama dasa set out for Vrndavana, leaving behind all his possessions.
He lived a detached life alone in Vrndavana. He carried on with life as a mere formality, eating anything which was offered to him with affection. Out of the one rupee babaji mahasaya received daily from a retired post master, he spent two paise to buy some puris and cooked vegetables for his evening meal. He regularly attended kirtana at various places. He listened to kirtana attentively with deep concentration, but turned a deaf ear to all other conversations around him. Babaji mahasaya could quote, from memory, verses from Padavali composed by Rayasekhara, and would walk away after kirtana reciting verses from Padavali.
During the later years of his life, at the request of Shri Madhava dasa, Babaji mahasaya gave recitals at his place from Govindalilamrta, Padakalpataru, and verses composed by Jagadananda Thakura, which Madhava dasa himself attended at times. Babaji Mahasaya also did Vraja parikrama with Madhava dasa.
Balarama dasa lived in a thatched cottage within the premises of Rajarshi Bahadura, whose mother Babaji mahasaya initiated into vesasraya. (See GVJ pp.No. 181-182)
B.25. BALARAMA DASA MADHAVI:
Shridama Tarafdara was a big landowner from Kamyasatpura, which is situated about four miles away from Ranaghat. His wife was named Kripamayi. Balarama, who was born of Kripamayi during the early 15th century Saka (1478 AD), was a contemporary of Haridasa Thakura.
As a child Balarama stayed at Phulia, where he learned the Persian language from Munsi Qutab Khan. Appreciating Balarama's command of Persian, Ali Khan, the Kazi of Santipura, sent Balarama dasa Madhavi, with a note of recommendation, to Hussain Shah, the King of Gauda. Balarama quickly rose to occupy the highest post of a writer in the army section under Hussain Shah. When Chittagong was attacked by the pirate mags, Balarama, acting as the fourth Commander, displayed remarkable skill in warfare, which pleased Paragal Khan. Hussain Shah rewarded Balarama by giving him the title `Khan' and a village named Chutipur, about twenty four miles away from Tanaghat.
At this point in Balarama's life he had the good fortune of meeting Nityananda Prabhu one day while walking on the road. Nityananda showered His mercy upon Balarama by immediately initiating him and placing him under the care of Kanu Thakura. Later Balarama wrote the book entitled Shripatitapavanavatara. (See Gauranga-sevaka, Vol. 7, No. 6)
B.26. BALARAMA GHANSYAMA (also known as GHANASYAMA BALARAMA:)
He was a Vaishnava poet. No further information about him is available so far.
B.27. BALARAMA KAVIPATI:
He was a disciple of Syamananda Prabhu. His Shripata is at Budhuri (Premavilasa 20).
B.28. BALARAMA KAVIPATI:
He was a disciple of Ramacandra Kaviraja. (Karnananda 2)
B.29. BALARAMA MAHITI:
A resident of Orissa and devotee of Lord Gauranga (Vaishnavavandana). BMO p.77 refers to him as Baladeva.
B.30. BALARAMA MISRA:
He was one of the sons of Advaita Prabhu. (Cc. 1.1.27)
B.31. BALARAMA ODRA:
The title `Odra' was added to differentiate this Balarama from others. Although some say that this Balarama was identical with Matta Balarama, there is no evidence to substantiate this claim. (Vaishnavavandana of Jiva Gosvami 230, of Devakinanadana 110, and of Vrndavana dasa 102).
B.32. BALARAMA PUJARI:
See "Balarama Cakravarti."
B.33. BALARAMA THAKURA:
Balarama was born in 1655-66 AD in the village of Baladakhan in the district of Dhaka. His fathers name was Taracand Bhagyavanta. Some of his forefathers were devotees of Advaita Prabhu, but Balarama himself belonged to the lineage of Nityananda Prabhu. From Baladakhan he later migrated to the village of Bhuikhali in the Pabna district, where he established his Shripata and was awarded the title of Gosvami.
During his childhood Balarama left home in an ecstatic state of Gaura-prema and went on pilgrimage. He constantly carried the Deity of Shri Kesavaraya with him and would not part with it for even a second. The story regarding this Deity is related as follows: In a former birth Balarama Thakura was known as Sukadeva Gosvami and was born in the family of Advaita Prabhu. In that birth Sukadeva had a brahmana disciple which he gave the Deity of Shri Kesavaraya to, instructing him as follows: "You should take the utmost care of this Deity until I come back, but as soon as I return you must give back my treasure. You will not die until I come again." Sukadeva then left and soon after passed away. The disciple continued to worship the Deity with great care. Many years later this brahmana disciple suddenly met Balarama, understanding him to be his guru (Sukadeva) he danced joyfully and handed over the Deity to Balarama. The brahmana then left his body peacefully. From that time wherever Balarama traveled he always carried the Deity with him.
Balarama's serene appearance, coupled with his power to perform miracles, commanded the reverence of both Hindus and Muslims. Attracted by the qualities of Balarama, the Nawab of Mushidavad offered him a Zamindary estate named `Bore'. However, Balarama declined the offer. The Nawab believed that if a saint, such as Balarama, lived on his land, no calamity could take place there. Thus he insisted that Balarama accept his offer. When the Nawab expressed his desire to settle Balarama in a good area named Biyajitpur near the Daulatpur police station in the district of Nadia, Balarama finally agreed. However, instead of taking a whole village, he accepted only 20 bighas of land, on which he installed his Deity of Kesavaraya.
Long after, the Maharaja of Nator, having heard the glories of Balarama, came for his darsana. He was so impressed that he coaxed and cajoled Balarama until he agreed to settle at Bhuinkhali village near the Saithia police station in the district of Pabna, within his own Zamindary estates.
Balarama was divinely inspired to marry at a fairly advanced age. He had two sons; the eldest was named Nandakisora and the younger, Saccidananda. Apart from the Deity of Kesavaraya, there is also a Nilamurti which was worshipped by Balarama. One wooden staff which was used by Balarama Thakura is kept by the side of these Deities and is also worshipped. The festival of Rasayatra of Kesavaraya is still celebrated in a grand manner.
B.34. BALARAMA VASU:
He was a Vaishnava poet. (Balaramadasera padavali p.27)
B.35. BALARAMA VIPRA (SARMA):
He was the maternal grandfather of Shrinivasa Acarya and the father of Laksmipriya devi. He lived at Jajigrama near Katoa. (Bhaktiratnakara 2.68.141)
He was a disciple of Rasikananda Prabhu. (Rasikamangala Pascima 14.123)
B.37. BANOYARILAL SIMHA:
He was born in 1760 Saka (1838 AD.) in a respectable uttara (north) radhi kayastha family in the village of Pancathupi under Kandi sub-division in Mursidabad district. As a boy the spirit of renunciation awoke within him by associating with one of the villagers named Krishnadayala, a great devotee, scholar, and kirtaniya of the Manoharasahi school of music. When his renunciation and devotion developed further, Banoyarilal established `Shri Harivasara' at his home. Thereafter, with the help of some devotees from his village he organized a movement to spread the message of `love', which created a sensation across the land of Radha.
Banoyarilala always generously served the Vaishnavas and visiting guests. Many ascetic Vaishnavas from Vraja, Shriksetra, and Gauda-mandala lived under his shelter at Shri Harivasara and performed bhajana there. Banoyarilala Simha passed away on the third day of the new moon in the month of Phalguna in the Bengali year 1313 (1906 AD.). It is said that even nine years after the death of Simhaji, Mahanta Mahasaya experienced Simhaji's `aprakatalila' (divine activities in non-manifest existence) at Shri Harivasara. Simhaji's residence at Pancathupi became a place of pilgrimage for Vaishnava devotees. (See GVJ p. 333)
During His travels in the south Lord Chaitanya stayed at a village near Brddhakasi, where He converted all the panditas into Vaishnava's. When the Buddhists of that region heard what had happened they sent their acarya to argue with Lord Chaitanya. However, Bauddhacarya surrendered to Lord Chaitanya and embraced Vaisnavism. (Cc 2.9.54-56).
She was the wife of Suryadasa Pandita and mother of Jahnava.
She was the mother of Uddharana Datta Thakura and wife of Shrikara Datta. (See "Uddharana Datta")
He was a disciple of Rasikananda Prabhu. (Rasikamangala 14.107.)
He was the nephew and disciple of Rasikananda Prabhu. (Rasikamangala 14.119-129)
He was a disciple of Rasikananda Prabhu's lineage. (Rasikamangala 14.142)
He was a disciple of Rasikananda Prabhu's lineage. (Rasikamangala 14.148)
B.44. BHAGAVAN ACARYA:
He belonged to the lineage of Lord Chaitanya. He constituted a Kala (usually applied to 1/16th part of the moon) of Lord Gauranga (GauraA ganoddesa-dipika 74). Bhagavan was a lame resident of Halisahara. (Cc 1.10.136, 3.14.90,31, 2.84-85, 3.2.94-100, 101-167, 3.5.91-158, and Sakhinirnayamrta 38).
B.45. BHAGAVAN DASA:
He translated Shri-Gitagovinda into Bengali.
B.46. BHAGAVAN DASA BABAJI MAHARAJA (Kalana):
He became a disciple of Siddha Krishnadasa babaji of Govardhana. It is said that Bhagavan dasa was originally from Orissa, but he always conversed in Bengali. He introduced the worship of the Deity of Nama-Brahmah at Kalana, which is still going on.
Bhagavan dasa was a reserved person who rarely discussed Raganuga bhajana with anyone. Even with his disciple, Jagadisa dasa, he only spoke on the subject matter in brief. He did not approve of the emotional behaviour of Chaitanya dasa babaji of Navadvipa (during his bhava state), referring to him as a `facke' (frivolous).
On one occasion when the pujari of Nama-Brahmah ran away with the ornaments of the Deity, close associates of Bhagavan dasa suggested that the theft be reported to the police. Bhagavan dasa did not agree and explained to his devotees that Nama-Brahmah had allowed the pujari to take the ornaments away because Nama-Brahmah did not wish to wear them any longer.
After a few months the pujari suddenly appeared one day with all the ornaments. He admitted to stealing out of greed, but said that his conscience would not allow him to sell the ornaments, and begged Bhagavan dasa to forgive him. The pujari was allowed to return and Bhagavan dasa remarked that the Deity of Nama-Brahmah had changed his mind like a `facke' and wished to be re-decorated with the ornaments.
On one occasion the servants of Bhagavan dasa purchased a bundle of wood for three annas from a poor woman vendor. Bhagavan dasa, who was observing the transaction, called the woman over and found out that she had two older sons, besides the little one with her, and no one else in her family. Thinking that three annas would be of very little use to her, Bhagavan dasa told his servant to pay her three more annas. After that vendors were not allowed within the sight of Bhagavan dasa.
One day a snake was found inside the asrama and one of the devotees picked it up and threw it away at a safe distance. When Bhagavan dasa came to know about it he was very annoyed and ordered the devotee to leave the asrama and stay away. It is said that the snake happened to be an elder brother of Nama-Brahmah in one of its earlier births. Bhagavan dasa would not take prasada until the snake had taken a portion of it.
Bhagavan dasa regularly took his evening meals after his daily bhajana recitals. On some days he was so absorbed in bhajana that he forgot about his meal, which was usually kept close to his seat. One pet cat of the asrama regularly shared prasada with babaji, thus when Bhagavan dasa remained absorbed in prayer till late, the cat would mew repeatedly, going around and around babaji to attract his attention. Bhagavan dasa would lift the lid of the bowl of prasada, allow the pet to help itself and then replacing the lid, continue with his bhajana.
On occasions when Bhagavan dasa failed to derive the inspiration desired from his bhajana, he would advise his devotees to take their meals and on pretext of his own illness, he refrained from eating. If the devotees tried to convince him to eat, babaji would simply reply: "In that case let us all retire to bed without any meal." Thus the devotees would reluctantly take their meals.
On the other hand, sometimes when a bhajana session would run late into the night, babaji would suddenly declare himself to be very hungry. If no food was available at the asrama, he sent the devotees to buy sweets from an outside shop. He made sure that the sweets were sanctified with sprinkles of charanamrita, then offered them to Nama-Brahmah.
He was a virtuous man both in his practices and behaviour. He did not allow any prasada received as offerings, to be placed on the floor unless the devotees mopped the place clean. If a devotee failed to do so, babaji would pull him up and call him a Mussulman. When flowers or garlands were offered to Bhagavan dasa, he touched them to his forehead with care, making sure the flowers did not come in contact with his garments.
One of his disciples, Vishnu dasa, came down with a fever for three continuous days. When Bhagavan dasa advised his disciple to take medicine the latter said that there was no need to do so as he would be cured by the grace of Nama-Brahmah. Bhagavan dasa angrily remarked that, "A man suffers illness as a part of his penance and should act upon a doctor's advice, rather than pass the responsibility for the disease, and also its cure, to Nama-Brahmah. After all, it is a doctor's job to provide aid to a sick person." Vishnu dasa promptly took some medicine and was cured.
One day Bhagavan dasa had a sudden desire to eat talsansa (the edible kernel of the stone of a palmyra fruit). For days he continued to eat talsansa, without touching his normal food. After some days, due to the excessive intake of fruits, he became very sick with dysentery, nevertheless he insisted on eating the talsansa. His devotee, having failed to restrain babaji, devised a plan; They had a mali (gardener) come before the Deity of Nama-Brahmah and proclaim, while beating a drum (dheran), that the sale of talsansa would no longer be permitted in the market. Any vendor defying this order must pay a fine of twenty five rupees. After some initial resistance Bhagavan dasa reverted to his normal diet.
On another occasion Bhagavan dasa announced that he had a strong desire to perform his bhajan seated on a high platform overlooking a pond near the Deity of Nama-Brahmah. He ordered his disciple Pranakrishna dasa to begin excavating a tank very early the following morning. Another disciple named Jagadisa dasa was put in charge of the construction of the platform. Pranakrishna hired fifty laborers, paying each man two annas per day, and completed the tank within 24 hours, on the day of ekadashi. Jagadisa also executed his part of the platform work, with some assistance from Pranakrishna, carrying the necessary bamboo poles from the market on his shoulder and completed the work the following day (dvadasi). Bhagavan dasa was very happy to see the job completed on time and sat down to perform bhajan sitting on the high platform overlooking the pond. However, after a few days, Bhagavan dasa saw a calf accidentally fall into the pond. Immediately he shouted for his men to rescue the calf from the water, but they were unsuccessful. From that day babaji shifted his seat of prayer back to its original place and had the pond filled up with earth so as to prevent any other cow from falling in.
One day while Bhagavan dasa was absorbed in bhajan, he was heard to shout "go away". It came to be known later that he was shouting to scare away a goat which was chewing the leaves of a Tulasi plant in the courtyard of the Govinda temple, far away in Vrndavana. On that same day the Maharaja of Burdwan, having heard about the powers of Bhagavan dasa, came to Nama-Brahmah Asrama for darsana. It so happened that Maharaja entered the asrama at the same time that Bhagavan dasa shouted, "go away". Naturally, the Maharaja thought that Babaji, for some reason, wanted Maharaja to leave the premises. Thus, in disappointment, he left NamaA Brahmah Asrama.
Afterwards the devotees told babaji of Maharaja's arrival and why he had left without getting babaji's darsana. Bhagavan dasa immediately sent a messenger requesting the Maharaja to visit Nama-Brahmah again. When the Maharaja again visited the asrama babaji begged forgiveness and explained the circumstances which had led to the misunderstanding on Maharaja's previous visit. The Maharaja was understanding, but skeptical as to whether Bhagavan dasa Maharaja actually possessed the power to see something which was taking place in Vrndavana. To satisfy his own curiosity the Maharaja sent a telegram to Vrndavana to verify the truth of the incident. The reply corroborated the statement made by Bhagavan dasa. From that time Bhagavan dasa was known as Siddhababa Bhagavan dasa Babaji Maharaja.
Siddhababa rarely discussed `lila', but occasionally mentioned the topic amongst a few confidential devotees. Once he told Jagdisa dasa to note down some divine-nama which would be of great value to Jagadisa in the future. Sometimes in the course of speaking with his disciples, Siddhababa would suddenly laugh out loud, without any relevance to the subject of discussion. Though Bhagavan dasa did not talk of his internal meditation, his communion with the Lord continued ceaselessly like the flow of a stream; and his sudden laughter, without any apparent reason, could perhaps, be attributed to the manifestation of his actual state of mind. Siddhababa Bhagavan dasa expired on the eighth day of the new moon in the month of Kartika (Oct.-Nov.). (GVJ p. 190-194)
B.47. BHAGAVAN KAR:
A disciple of Advaita Prabhu, Bhagavan Kar is mentioned in the Gaudiya edition of Cc. as Bhavanath Kar.
B.48. BHAGAVAN KAVIRAJA:
A disciple of Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu, from the Vaidya caste. According to Anuragavalli his Shripata was at Birbhum. Rupa Kaviraja was his brother's name, and Nimu Kaviraja was the name of Bhagavan's son. However, Bhaktiratnakara 10.138 mentions that Rupa and Nimu were brothers of Bhagavan Kaviraja. He accompanied Jahnava to Vrndavana. (Narottamavilasa)
B.49. BHAGAVAN MISRA:
He descended from the lineage of Lord Chaitanya. (Cc. 1.10.110)
B.50. BHAGAVAN PANDITA:
He belonged to the lineage of Lord Chaitanya (Cc. 1.10.69, Namamrtasamudra 134, CBh. 3.9.491, and Murari's KCC. 4.17.19).
He was the son of a disciple of Sanatana Gosvami named Jivana Cakravarti (Bhaktamala 2.5). He lived in the village of Mada in the district of Burdwan, where his descendants continue to live.
B.52. BHAGAVATA ACARYA:
He belonged to Advaita Prabhu's disciple-line (Cc. 1.12.58). Premavilasa 24 mentions that this Bhagavata Acarya was a reputed scholar, whose previous name was Bada (elder) Syamadasa. Bhagavata surrendered to Advaita Prabhu after being defeated by him in an argument.
B.53. BHAGAVATA ACARYA:
He belonged to the lineage of Lord Chaitanya. (Cc. 1.10.113, 119)
B.54. BHAGAVATA ACARYA:
He belonged to the disciple-line of Lord Chaitanya (Cc. 1.12.58).
B.55. BHAGAVATA ACARYA:
He real name was Raghunatha Pandita. He belonged to the disciple-line descending from Gadadhara Pandita (Cc. 1.12.80, 3.5.110-121). A brahmana by caste, this Bhagavata Acarya was Svetamanjari in Vrajalila. His work entitled Krishnaprematarangini is a metrical translation of Shrimad Bhagavatam wherein the poet gives some information on his lineage, (Gaura-ganoddesaA dipika 195, 203, and Krishnapremtarangini p. 2). Raghunatha Pandita was awarded the title of `Bhagavatacarya' by Lord Chaitanya (CBh. 3.5.110-121). The Shripata of Bhagavata is situated in the Matipada locality of Varahanagar in the present northern suburb of Calcutta. There the handwritten manuscript of Bhagavata Acarya has been preserved and displayed.
B.56. BHAGAVATA DASA:
He lived in Vrndavana and was a disciple of Gadadhara Pandita. (Cc. 1.12.81, Sakhanirnayamrta 16)
B.57. BHAGAVATA DASA:
He was a disciple of Narottama Thakura. (Premavilasa 20)
She was a disciple of Narottama Thakura. Her Shripata is at Pachapada. She was the wife of Vipra dasa and her sons were named Yadunatha and Ramanatha (Premavilasa 20). A Deity of Lord Gauranga was found in the granary of Bhagavati.
B.59. BHAGAVANTA MUDITA:
The Hindi Bhaktamala mentions him as the seva adhikari of Shri Govinda. He translated Shri Vrndavana Mahimamrta into Vrajabhasa.
B.60. BHAGIRATHA ACARYA:
He was the foster-father of Madhava, who was the husband of Nityananda Prabhu's daughter, Gangadevi. Jayadurga, one of Bhagiratha's several wives, gave birth to two sons named Shripati and Shrinidhi. When Madhava's mother, Mahalaksmi devi, died, his father, Visvesvara acarya, left Madhava in the custody of Bhagiratha and Jayadurga and left to take sannyasa, renouncing worldly life.
B.61. BHAGIRATHA DASA:
He was the author of Chaitanya-samhita.
B.62. BHAGIRATHA KAVIRAJA:
He was the father of Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, the writer of Cc. Sunanda was the name of Bhagiratha's wife, they had two sons named Krishnadasa and Syamadasa. (See "Krishnadasa Kaviraja")
B.63. BHAGIRATHA VASU:
He was the husband of Indumati and father of Gunaraj Khan.
B.64. BHAIYA DEVAKINANADANA:
It has been stated in chapter seventeen of Bhaktimala that Bhaiya was a wealthy man who occupied the position of a Faujdar in the Nawab's government, and a follower of Tantric practices. He married the daughter of a Vaishnava and through his wives association he was influenced to become a devotee and take spiritual guidance from the descendants of Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu at Malihati. The Deity of Shri Nandadulala served by Bhaiya Devakinanadana still exists at Kisoranagara Jalalapura.
B.65. BHAKTA DASA:
He was a disciple of Narottama Thakura (Narottamavilasa 12).
B.66. BHAKTA DASA:
He was a disciple of Rasikananda Prabhu (Rasikamangala Pascima 14.150).
B.67. BHAKTA DASA PUJARI:
He was a disciple of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami and the founding father of the sevait family which serves Shri Radharamana (Bhaktamala 2.7). (See "Gopinatha Pujari")
B.68. BHAKTA BHAUMIKA:
He lived at the Maliyada temple near Raghunathapur, at the border of Vana-Vishnupura. (See "Shrinivasa Acarya.")
B.69. BHAKTA KALIDASA:
B. 70. BHAKTA KASI:
He was a disciple of Kasisvara Pandita. Premavilasa 18 states that Bhakta Kasi was a brahmana by caste and a Vrajavasi.
B. 71. BHAKTACAND KAZI:
See "Cand Kazi".
B. 72. BHAKTACARANA DASA:
He was a Vaishnava poet from Orissa. His Mathuramangala, written in thirty different prosodical styles, contains a brief account of Uddhava's role as a messenger after Akrura brought Krishna to Mathura. He also wrote Mana-Vodha-Cautisa.
B. 73. BHAKTARAMA DASA:
He was the author of Gokulamangala. He lived in the village Anwara in the Chittagong district about 250 years ago.
B. 74. BHAKTIKEVALA AUDULOMI:
Bhaktikevala, known as Pramoda Bihari from birth, was born in 1895 AD. in the Bengali month of Agrahayana (Nov-Dec), on the eighth day of the dark fortnight, in the village of Banaripara, Barisal district. His father was Shri Saratcandra Guhathakurata and mother, Shrimati Bhuvanamohini, both were extremely pious. From childhood Audulomi was endowed with a calm and quiet temperament. He graduated with distinction from the Calcutta University in 1919, thereafter he studied philosophy in Kasi for a few months and later was employed as a teacher. However, understanding the transient nature of this world, he soon became disenchanted with his work and took shelter of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.
At his initiation Prabhupada Sarasvati gave him the name Patitapavana dasa brahmacari. During his brahmacari days he was engaged in temple services, such as caring for the Deity. Some years later Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati initiated him into tridanda sannyasa, giving him the name Bhaktikevala Audulomi Maharaja. From that time he was engaged in preaching throughout India. He was one amongst the sannyasi and brahmacari disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta who was chosen to preach the message of Lord Chaitanya throughout the world. He was also fortunate enough to be blessed with the darsana of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, whereupon he became inspired to seriously take up the study of the sastras.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, the founder of the Gaudiya Math, left this world on January 1, 1937 AD. Afterwards, Bhaktiprasada Puri Gosvami succeeded as the Acarya of the Gaudiya Math mission. In March 1940, Bhaktiprasada Puri gave Audulomi the assignment of undertaking Navadvipadhama parikrama. Thus for seven consecutive years, Audulomi Maharaja not only led the parikrama, but also acted as the head of the entire Navadvipa mandala and Shri Chaitanya Matha. In 1943 he was selected as a member of the Gaudiya Mission Paricarya committee. He also took an active part in publishing and distributing devotional books. He translated Lord Chaitanya's Siksamrta into English. Around this time Bhaktiprasada Puri gave a series of discourses on Bhaktisandarbha at Mayapura, which Audulomi attended and listened to with rapt attention.
For some years, while observing Urjavrata, Audulomi Maharaja traveled and preached widely throughout Maimansimha, Naryanaganj, and Dhaka in East Bengal. After completing his vow in October 1953, and bathing in the Yamuna, he took up the garb of paramahamsa.
At the Kumbha Mela festival held in Prayaga in January 1954, a huge sankirtana procession was organized by the Shri Rupa Gaudiya Math and the procession was led by Audulomi. For some days afterwards Maharaja gave classes in the hall of the Math on Shri Bhaktisandarbha.
In December 1953 the president of the Gaudiya Mission, Bhaktipradipa Tirtha Gosvami, expired. Afterwards, February 16, 1954, Bhaktikevala Audulomi became the next president/acarya of the Mission. At that point Sundarananda Vidyavinod resigned from the post of secretary, whereupon Shrirupa Bhagavata Maharaja became the acting secretary, and Shripad Bhavavandhacchida dasa Bhaktisaurabha was appointed the joint secretary. After taking the position of president/acarya, Bhaktikevala Audulomi visited various parts of India to inspect the Mathas. In the course of his travels he gave instructions and diksa to many devotees.
Under his guidance and inspiration a new temple, along with a nataA mandira (congregation hall), residence for devotees, and a bhajana kutir were constructed at Cirulia village in the district of Midnapur. Similar construction work was done at Kisorapura in Vrndavana, as well as Godrumadvipa, Navadvipa, Patna, Puri, and Lucknow. Audulomi continuously visited various mathas to deliver lectures on the teachings of Lord Gauranga, leaving deep impressions upon the minds of his listeners. Annual Vrajamandala parikrama, introduced by Audulomi (1957-1960), is still being observed regularly.
B. 75. BHAKTIPRADIPA TIRTHA:
He was born in the village of Sandvipa Hatiya in the district of Noakhali, now in Bangladesh. His father was Rajanikanta Vasu and mother Bidhumukhi Vasu. Rajanikanta was a government employee and a disciple of the Gosvami family of Baghnapada. Rajanikanta and his wife were both initiated by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Later in life Rajanikanta accepted the vow of babaji from Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and Bidhumukhi spent her last days in Navadvipa.
As a child Bhaktipradipa Tirtha Maharaja was called Jagadisa. After graduating from the Calcutta University, Jagadisa worked as a teacher, living with his wife in Calcutta. His younger brother, Ananta Vasu, was well-known as Bhaktiprasad Puri Gosvami.
Leaving from the Dhubulia railway station on March 25, 1910 AD. Jagadisa, accompanied by Vaikunthanatha Ghosal Bhaktitattva Vacaspati, walked to Mayapura for the anniversary of Lord Chaitanya's appearance. There he met Bhaktivinoda Thakura for the first time. He was sitting near the Mahaprabhu Mandira, delivering a lecture, in the presence of Siddhanta Sarasvati, Jatindranatha, Chaudhuri, the Zamindar of Taki, and other devotees. After being introduced by Vaikuntha Ghosal, Jagadisa fell prostrate on the ground, tearfully seeking the shelter of Bhaktivinoda. Acknowledging him, Thakura said: "You are a qualified and respectable person, if you take up the responsibility of preaching on Lord Chaitanya's behalf certainly large numbers of people will be attracted to the message."
That same afternoon Siddhanta Sarasvati preached to Jagadisa for several hours. He advised that Jagadisa ask permission from Bhaktivinoda Thakura to meet Gaurakisora dasa Babaji at Kuliya. Early the next morning Jagadisa reached Kuliya, paid his obeisances, and offered a watermelon to Gaura Kisora. Although Babaji did not usually accept offerings from outsiders, he accepted Jagadisa's gift. After hearing that Jagadisa had been sent by Bhaktivinoda, Babaji requested Jagadisa to lead kirtana. Gaura Kisora was very pleased to hear Jagadisa recite the verse of Narottama Thakura which says: " Chanting the holy name of Gauranga makes the body tremble with ecstacy."
Afterwards Babaji encouraged Jagadisa to become as humble as a blade of grass and more tolerant than the tree, to avoid the association of dishonest persons, and to chant the holy name of the Lord constantly. Jagadisa told Babaji that he had not taken initiation yet and Babaji consoled him saying that Bhaktivinoda Thakura was waiting to shower his mercy upon him and that Mayapura was the proper place for dedicating oneself to the service of the Lord.
Following the advice of Babaji Maharaja, Jagadisa returned to Mayapura. At mid-day, after shaving his head and taking bath in the Ganges, Jagadisa received mantra diksha from Bhaktivinoda Thakura at his cottage in Godruma. Afterwards Jagadisa relished the remnants of prasada from his spiritual master's plate. At 2 pm. that same afternoon Bhaktivinoda read from Sikshastaka and explained the meaning to the devotees. Krishnadasa Babaji also recited from Cc. and Bhaktivinoda offered comments.
A few days after their initiation, Jagadisa, Vasanta babu, and Manmatha babu underwent the `Upanayana' purification, under the guidance of Siddhanta Sarasvati, and received Brahman Gayatri, Guru Gayatri, and Gauranga Gayatri. Appreciating Jagadisa's dedication to the study of sastras and his service to the Vaishnavas, Siddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada bestowed upon Jagadisa the title of "Bhaktipradipa." Later, after completing the examination introduced by Siddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Jagadisa also earned the title "Vidyavinod Bhaktisastri Sampradaya Vaibhavacarya."
Jagadisa spent considerable time at Godruma serving his spiritual master, Bhaktivinoda. He would recite from Cc. and Bhaktivinoda would comment. In the early morning Jagadisa, Krishnadasa Babaji, and other local devotees would go on sankirtana throughout Godruma, chanting loudly; "Nadia Godruma Nityananda Mahajana.
On June 23, 1914 AD., the evening of his disappearance day, Bhaktivinoda Thakura offered invaluable advice in the presence of Jagadisa and other devotees, refuting the arguments of the materialists' and the smartavada.
When his wife died, Jagadisa accepted the renounced order under the guidance of Siddhanta Sarasvati in the month of Kartika (Oct-Nov) 1920 AD. and came to be known as Tridandi Svami Bhaktipradipa Tirtha Maharaja. Afterwards, following the order of Bhaktisiddhanta, he left for the eastern part of Bengal to propagate the teachings of Lord Chaitanya.
Bhaktipradipa was a handsome man, qualified scholar, and expert preacher. In the course of his missionary work he went from East Bengal to Orissa via Calcutta, Burdwan and Midnapur. He was the first sannyasi disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. Later twenty-four disciples who were qualified with western education, took sannyasa from Siddhanta Sarasvati and were sent to different parts of India to preach the message of Lord Gauranga. On March 18, 1933 Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati delivered a farewell address in honour of Bhaktipradipa, Bhaktihridaya, and Samvidananda Bhaktisastri prior to their departure for preaching in the European countries. During his stay in the west, apart from propagating the teachings of Shri Chaitanya, he wrote many articles as well as translated the life of Gaurasundara and also Bhagavad gita into English.
Bhaktipradipa was present when Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati departed from this world on the 15th day of Pausa in 1343 (Dec. 31, 1936 AD.).
In Mayapura on March 26, 1937, Gaura Purnima, Bhaktiprasad Puri Gosvami was officially appointed "Acarya" of the Yogapitha. On behalf of the sannyasi's, Bhaktipradipa Tirtha delivered the inaugural address.
At the first annual general meeting held at the Shri Chaitanya Math in 1941 AD. (Feb-Mar) Bhaktipradipa was elected the president of the Gaudiya Mission (registered under the 1860 Act). At the age of 82 years he went to the Purusottama Math in Jagannatha-Ksetra where he was engaged, under the collective advice of some gurus, in meditation until he passed away on the auspicious Purnima tithi in the month of Agrahayana in 1360 (1954 AD.)
In the early morning of that day Bhaktipradipa Maharaja called his devotees to his side and affectionately gave his last instructions. He meticulously performed his daily sadhana as usual, reciting from Gaurangasmaranamangalam and Svaniyamadasakam by Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. He also read from the tenth chapter of Shrimad Bhagavatam (Brahmastavas) until 11:30 am. Afterwards he took his massage, bathed and dressed in new clothing. Sitting on a new asana he put on tilaka, recited his daily prayers, offered water to tulasi, then accepted some prasada. After a little rest he gathered all the devotees around him, sat on a new asana with his japa in hand and listened to Anathanatha dasa read about Lord Chaitanya's sankirtana pastimes from the madhya-lila of CBh. He listened up to the stanza ..."That Supreme Lord who is constantly glorified by Lord Siva Digamvara Bhola, that same Lord is now moving about here, manifesting his sankirtana-lila." At that point Bhaktipradipa placed his japa on the stool, bowed his head, and with folded hands uttered Oh Gaura, Oh Nitai, Oh Gadadhara, and breathed his last.
B.76. BHAKTIPRASADA PURI:
He was born on the sixth lunar day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhadra 1302 (August 25, 1895). He was one of the five sons born of Bidhumukhi and Rajanikanta Vasu of Sandvipa Hatiya village in the district of Noakhali (now Bangladesh). His original name was Ananta and his elder brother, Yogindra, was well known as Bhaktipradipa Tirtha Maharaja.
Ananta was a lover of kirtana from early childhood. He had great reverence for the Bhagavata sastra and by the age of eight could quote from memory various parts of the Ramayana, Mahabarata, and Bhagavad gita. His melodious voice charmed everyone as he sang Narottama dasa Thakura's compositions, skillfully handling the mrdanga. (revealing the nitya siddha bhagavata svabhava). At the age of sixteen he went to Bhaktibhavana, located at Ramabagan in Calcutta, with his father and elder brother Yogindra, where he received the blessings of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and Krishnadasa babaji were also present there.
He completed his Intermediate course in Krishnanatha college of Baharampur and graduated in the first class from Calcutta University.
After the demise of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Ananta again visited Ramabagan in 1918 with Yogindra to receive the darshan of Bhaktisiddhanta. During their discussion Ananta enquired from Prabhupada whether it was possible to convincingly establish through sound logic that the conclusions put forth within the Shrimad Bhagavatam truly represent the philosophy enjoined in the Vedanta. Ananta was concerned about the arguments raised by Raja Ramamohan Raya, and another Gosvami, who were attempting to vilify Vaisnavism and the Bhagavata sastra.
Prabhupada Sarasvati took sannyasa in the year 1918 on the anniversary day of Lord Chaitanya's appearance. At that time the Shri Chaitanya Matha was established and the Deity of Shri Shri Vinodapran was installed. On the following day Prabhupada gave mantra-diksha to Ananta, Haripada Vidyaratna, and Dhirendra Natha Bandopadhayaya. Ananta was given the name Ananta Vasudeva brahmacari. Later, on behalf of the `Pracarini Sabha' at Navadvipa, Prabhupada conferred on Ananta the title of Paravidyabhusana.
From 1925 Ananta was fully engaged in the service of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. He took notes on Prabhupada's lectures, performed secretarial work, and traveled with him to East Bengal. Ananta was a `srutidhara'; he remembered everything Prabhupada said about Bhagavata slokas. In fact, when Bhaktisiddhanta lectured, Ananta would instantly provide clarification of slokas, when called upon by Prabhupada. Ananta was a very surrendered devotee, he would not even take his meals unless asked to do so by Prabhupada, consequently he went without food on several occasions.
After the Shri Chaitanya Matha was established Paramananda Vidyaratna, Vasudeva Prabhu, Kunjavihari Vidyabhusana, Jagadisa Bhaktipradipa, and some other devotees lived at the Matha with Prabhupada. With the object of establishing a center for the propagation of bhakti in Calcutta, Prabhupada, with assistance from Vasudeva and Kunjavihari, selected a house at No. 1 Ultadingi Road, at a monthly rental of Rs. 50. Some of Prabhupada's grhastha devotees collectively paid the rent. In the year 1918 (Nov-Dec) Prabhupada installed a seat in memory of Bhaktivinoda in the house, and in 1919, on the day of the advent of Vishnupriya devi (Vasanta Pancami) the international court for Vaishnavas was re-established there. Around that time Prabhupada initiated his first sannyasi disciple, Bhaktipradipa Tirtha. In the same year Prabhupada visited the house of Atulcandra Bandopadhayaya at Dhanbad.
From 1919 Ananta took charge of the Shri Bhagavata press and published many religious books. When Prabhupada reached the age of fifty, Ananta introduced the Vyasa Puja and composed the first `sraddhanjali' (hymns) in praise of his spiritual master.
After Bhaktisiddhanta passed away on December 31, 1936, Ananta was unanimously elected the President\Acarya of the Gaudiya Matha and Mission, under the chairmanship of Kunjavihari Vidyabhusan. In the evening of the same day Ananta initiated over one hundred disciples. From that day Ananta was addressed as Acaryadeva.
In 1937 (April-May) he left with a sizeable number of sannyasis to preach in Dhaka, East Bengal. After a successfully preaching tour, Ananta came to Calcutta where a large public meeting had been organized to welcome him. Desiring to continue his preaching activities, Acaryadeva left for Rangoon on February 22, 1938, accompanied by Bhaktisaranga Gosvami and other associates. After a vigorous preaching tour, Ananta went to Hardwar and performed the opening ceremony of the Sat Siksha exhibition at the Kumbhamela, then again began preaching enthusiastically throughout various places.
In 1938 (Aug-Sept) a two month celebration was organized to commemorate the appearance of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. On that occasion Ananta delivered lectures in different areas of Calcutta.
Ananta Vasudeva accepted tridanda sannyasa at Gayadhama in 1939 on the fifth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Asada (1346) and came to be known as Bhaktiprasada Puri. In October 1939 he returned to Dhaka where the sevakas of Dhaka Madhva Gaudiya Matha had organized a reception in his honour, which was attended by many important respectable persons of the city. On that occasion regular kirtana and lectures were held at the Matha.
After accepting sannyasa Bhaktiprasada Puri changed his lifestyle; He discarded his garments-keeping only a kaupina, walked only with bare feet, never used any utensils made from metal, slept on the bare floor, and remained awake on Ekadashi nights. With loyalty to Isana Thakura, the domestic helper of Jagannatha Misra, Bhaktiprasada regularly watered and cleared the weeds from the plants in the temple garden.
As prescribed in the Haribhaktivilasa, Bhaktiprasada strictly followed the rituals to be practiced in the month of Vaisaka (April-May). In addition, he introduced the custom of observing the following holy occasions: Harivasara, the anniversary of Lord Gauranga's appearance, fasting on the day of Nityananda Prabhu's appearance day, Advaita Acarya's vrata, and Radhastami.
Between 1942 and 1945 Bhaktiprasada gave lessons on Shri Bhakti Sandarbha. From 1945 onwards he began publishing the works of the Gosvami's. In 1954 he appointed Bhaktikevala Audulomi Maharaja as the Acarya\President of the Gaudiya Mission and withdrew to Vrndavana as a complete renunciate.
During his earlier years of preaching with Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a great deal of intellectual discussion took place on the subject of Daiva Varnasrama Dharma. This was extremely disturbing to the Sahajiyavada, who strongly opposed the suddha Bhagavata Dharma preached by Lord Chaitanya. A critical evaluation of Samkhya Jnana was specially brought out to highlight the subject of Samvandha Jnana.
During his stay at Vrajadhama, Bhaktiprasada Puri was surrounded by Bhakti Shrirupa Bhagavata Maharaja, Sivadavastava Prabhu, Vrajasundara dasa, and others. Finally, early in the morning of March 8, 1958 at the Kunjavati of Shri Radharamanadeva, Bhaktiprasada delivered his parting advice to the devotees gathered there: "Try to be in touch with the Inner Self, draw inward. Preoccupation with the external world is of no use. You must return to your own real home. Give up the bondage of egoism and surrender to Krishna, He alone is the creator, doer, and sustainer. There is no other alternative for survival other than self-surrender. Krishna is the controller of the mortals' movements and it is sheer stupidity to pose oneself as the doer. In the present age of Kaliyuga Shri Syamakisora has appeared as Gaurakisora."
That afternoon Bhaktiprasada requested the devotees to continuously chant "Shri Krishna Chaitanya Sacisuta Gaura gunadhama". While listening intently, he passed away from this world.
B. 77. BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI GOSVAMI:
Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was one of ten children born to Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a great Vaishnava teacher in the disciplic-line from Lord Chaitanya Himself. While living in a house named Narayana Chata, just near the temple of Lord Jagannatha in Puri, Bhaktivinoda Thakura was engaged as a prominent Deputy Magistrate and also served as the superintendent of the temple of Lord Jagannatha. Yet in spite of these responsibilities, he served the cause of Krishna with prodigious energy. While working to reform Gaudiya Vaisnavism in India, he prayed to Lord Chaitanya, "Your teachings have been greatly depreciated and it is not in my power to restore them." Thus he prayed for a son to help him in his preaching mission. When, on February 6, 1874, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was born to Bhaktivinoda and Bhagavati devi in Jagannatha Puri, the Vaishnavas considered him the answer to his father's prayers. He was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and draped across his chest like the sacred thread worn by brahmanas.
Six months after the child was born, Bhaktivinoda arranged for his son to undergo the annaprasana ceremony with the prasada of Vimala devi, and thereafter named the boy Bimala prasada. Around the same time the carts of the Jagannatha festival stopped at the gate of Bhaktivinoda's residence and for three days could not be moved. Bhaktivinoda Thakura's wife brought the infant onto the cart and approached the Deity of Lord Jagannatha. Spontaneously, the infant extended his arms and touched the feet of Lord Jagannatha and was immediately blessed with a garland that fell from the body of the Lord. Seeing this the priests chanted the name of Hari and told the child's mother that the boy would certainly become a great devotee one day. When Bhaktivinoda Thakura learned that the Lord's garland had fallen on his son, he realized that this was the son for whom he had prayed.
Bimala Prasada stayed in Puri for ten months after his birth and then went to Bengal by palanquin on his mother's lap, his infancy was spent at Nadia District's Ranaghat hearing topics of Shri Hari from his mother.
Bhaktivinoda and his wife were orthodox and virtuous; they never allowed their children to eat anything other than prasada, nor to associate with bad company. One day, when Bimala Prasada was still a child of no more than four years, his father mildly rebuked him for eating a mango not yet duly offered to Lord Krishna. Bimala Prasada, although only a child, considered himself an offender to the Lord and vowed never to eat mangoes again. (This was a vow that he would follow throughout this life.) By the time Bimala Prasada was seven years old, he had memorised the entire Bhagavad gita and could even explain its verses. His father then began training him in proofreading and printing, in conjunction with the publishing of the Vaishnava magazine Sajjana-tosani.
In 1881, in the course of excavating for the construction of the Bhakti bhavana at Rambagan in Calcutta, a Deity of Kurmadeva was unearthed. After initiating his seven year old son, Bhaktivinoda entrusted Bimala with the service of the Deity of Kurmadeva.
On April 1, 1884, Bhaktivinoda was appointed the senior Deputy Magistrate of Serampore, where he admitted Bimala in the Serampore High School. When Bimala was a mere student in class five, he invented a new method of writing named Bicanto. During this period he took lessons in mathematics and astrology from Pandita Mahesacandra Cudamoni. However, he preferred to read devotional books rather than the school texts.
In 1892, after passing his entrance examination, Bimala was admitted into the Sanskrit College of Calcutta. There he spent considerable time in the library studying various books on philosophy. He also studied the Vedas under the guidance of Prithvidhara Sarma. As a student he contributed many thoughtful articles to various religious journals. However he did not continue with his college studies for long.
In 1897 he started an autonomous Catuspathi (Sanskrit school) wherefrom monthly journals entitled "Jyotirvid", "Vrihaspati", and many old treatises on astrology were published. In 1898, while teaching at Sarasvata Catuspathi, he studied Siddhanta Kaumudi under Prthvidhara Sarma, at Bhaktibhavana. By the time he was twenty-five he had become well versed in Sanskrit, mathematics, and astronomy, and he had established himself as the author and publisher of many magazine articles and one book, SuryaA siddhanta, for which he received the epithet Siddhanta Sarasvati in recognition of his erudition.
In 1895 Sarasvati Gosvami accepted service under the Tripura Royal Government as an editor for the biography entitled Rajaratnakara, the life histories of the royal line of the independent Tripura Kingdom. Later he was entrusted with the responsibility of educating the Yuvaraja Bahadur and Rajkumar Vrajendra Kisore, in Bengali and Sanskrit.
After a short period of time, Siddhanta Sarasvati took up the responsibilities for inspecting various ongoing activities in the royal palace for the state of Tripura. However, after finding enviousness, malice and corruption surfacing in ever corner of his inspection, Siddhanta Sarasvati very quickly developed an aversion to state affairs and gave notice of his intention to retire to Maharaja Radhakisore Manikya Bahadur. The Maharaja approved of Siddhanta Sarasvati's plans for renunciation and awarded him full-pay pension. However, after three years Siddhanta Sarasvati also renounced his pension.
With his father, he visited many tirthas and heard discourses from the learned panditas. In October 1898 Siddhanta Sarasvati accompanied Bhaktivinoda on a pilgrimage of Kasi, Prayag, Gaya and other holy places. At Kasi a discussion was held with Ramamisra Sastri regarding the Ramanuja Sampradaya. After this talk Siddhanta Sarasvati's life seemed to take a turn, his inclination towards renunciation increased, and he quietly continued to search for a sadguru.
When Siddhanta Sarasvati was twenty-six his father, understanding the mind of his son, guided him to take initiation from a renounced Vaishnava saint, Gaurakisora dasa Babaji. Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was the embodiment of vairagya and was very selective about giving diksa. He lived beneath a tree near the bank of the Ganga and wore the abandoned clothes of dead bodies as a waist band (kaupina). Generally he ate plain rice soaked in Ganga water garnished with chili and salt. Sometimes he utilized discarded earthen pots, after properly washing them he would cook rice in them, offer it to Krishna, and then take prasada.
Following the advice of his father, Siddhanta Sarasvati went to Gaurakisora dasa and begged to be accepted as his disciple. Gaurakisora replied that he would not be able to give diksa unless he received the approval of Lord Chaitanya. However, when Siddhanta Sarasvati returned again, Gaurakisora said that he had forgotten to ask Lord Chaitanya. On the third visit, Gaurakisora stated that Lord Chaitanya had said that erudition is extremely insignificant in comparison to devotion to the Supreme Lord.
Hearing this Siddhanta replied that since Gaurakisora was the servant of Kapatacudamani (the Supreme deceiver) hence he must be testing Sarasvati by with-holding his consent. However Siddhanta Sarasvati remained firmly determined and remarked that Ramanuja Acarya had been sent back eighteen times before he finally received the grace of Gosthipurna, thus he too would wait patiently until the day that Gaurakisora would bestow his benedictions upon him. Seeing the commitment of Sarasvati, Gaurakisora was impressed and gave him diksa in the blissful grove of Godruma and advised him, "to preach the Absolute Truth and keep aside all other works."
In March 1900 Sarasvati accompanied Bhaktivinoda on a pilgrimage of Balasore, Remuna, Bhuvanesvar, and Puri. As instructed by Bhaktivinoda, Sarasvati gave lectures from Cc. with profound purports. Through the initiative of Bhaktivinoda Thakura the flow of pure bhakti again began to inundate the world. After Lord Chaitanya's disappearance a period of darkness ensued in which the river of bhakti had been choked and practically dried up. The end of the period was brought about by the undaunted preaching of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He wrote a number of books on suddha bhakti siddhanta and published numerous religious periodicals. He inspired many to take up the service of Lord Gauranga and instituted various Namahatta and Prapannasrama (Gaudiya matha centers).
In 1905 Siddhanta Sarasvati took a vow to chant the Hare Krishna mantra a billion times. Residing in Mayapur in a grass hut near the birthplace of Lord Chaitanya, he chanted the mantra day and night. He cooked rice once a day in an earthen pot and ate nothing more; he slept on the ground, and when the rainwater leaked trough the grass ceiling, he sat beneath an umbrella, chanting.
In 1912 Manindra Nadi, the Maharaja of Cossimbazar, arranged to hold a large Vaishnava Sammilani at his palace. At the specific request of the Maharaja, Sarasvati Gosvami attended the Sammilani and delivered four very brief speeches on Suddha Bhakti on four consecutive days. However, he did not take any food during the Sammilani because of the presence of various groups of Sahajiyas. After fasting for four days Sarasvati Gosvami came to Mayapura and took the prasada of Lord Chaitanya. Later when Maharaja Manindra Nandy realized what had happened he was deeply aggrieved and came to Mayapura to apologize to Siddhanta Sarasvati.
During that time Bengal was full of Sahajiya sects, such as Aul, Baul, Kartabhaja, Neda-nedi, Darvesa, Sain etc., who followed worldly practices in the name of spiritualism. Siddhanta Sarasvati launched a severe attack against those irreligious sects and did not spare anyone who deviated from the teachings of Lord Chaitanya. Even some well known persons bearing the surname of Gosvamis patronized these Sahajiya sects during that period.
Siddhanta Sarasvati was deeply grieved to see these groups of Prakrita Sahajiyas, in the garb of Paramahamsa Gosvami Guru's, misleading the people. Thus he completely disassociated himself and resorted to performing bhajana in solitude. During this period of solitude, one day Lord Chaitanya, along with the six Gosvamis, suddenly manifested before Siddhanta Sarasvati's vision and said: "Do not be disheartened, take up the task of re-establishing Varnasrama with new vigour and preach the message of love for Shri Krishna everywhere. After receiving this message, Sarasvati Gosvami was filled with inspiration to preach the glories of Lord Chaitanya enthusiastically.
In 1911, while his aging father was lying ill, Siddhanta Sarasvati took up a challenge against pseudo Vaishnavas who claimed that birth in their caste was the prerequisite for preaching Krishna consciousness. The caste-conscious brahmana community had become incensed by Bhaktivinoda Thakura's presentation of many scriptural proofs that anyone, regardless of birth, could become a brahmana-Vaishnava. These smarta brahmanas, out to prove the inferiority of the Vaishnavas, arranged a discussion. On behalf of his indisposed father, young Siddhanta Sarasvati wrote an essay, "The Conclusive Difference Between the Brahmana and the Vaishnava," and submitted it before his father. Despite his poor health, Bhaktivinoda Thakura was elated to hear the arguments that would soundly defeat the challenge of the smartas.
On the request of Madhusudana dasa Gosvami of Vrndavana and Visvambharananda deva Gosvami of Gopiballavpur, Siddhanta Sarasvati traveled to Midnapur, where panditas from all over India had gathered for a three-day discussion. Some of the smarta panditas who spoke first claimed that anyone born in a sudra family, even though initiated by a spiritual master, could never become purified and perform the brahminical duties of worshiping the Deity or initiating disciples. Finally, Siddhanta Sarasvati delivered his speech. He began quoting Vedic references glorifying the brahmanas, and at this the smarta scholars became very much pleased. But when he began discussing the actual qualifications for becoming a brahmana, the qualities of the Vaishnavas, the relationship between the two, and who, according to the Vedic literature, is qualified to become a spiritual master and initiate disciples, then the joy of the Vaishnava-haters disappeared. Siddhanta Sarasvati conclusively proved from the scriptures that if one is born as a sudra but exhibits the qualities of a brahmana then he should be honoured as a brahmana, despite his birth. And if one is born in a brahmana family but acts like a sudra, then he is not a brahmana. After his speech, Siddhanta Sarasvati was congratulated by the president of the conference, and thousands thronged around him. It was a victory for Vaisnavism.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura passed away in 1916(1914?) on the day of Gadadhara Pandita's disappearance. On the eve of his death Bhaktivinoda instructed his son to preach the teachings of the six Gosvamis and Lord Chaitanya far and wide. He also requested that Siddhanta Sarasvati develop the birthsite of Lord Gauranga. Mother Bhagavati devi died a few years later. Before her death, she held the hands of Sarasvati Gosvami imploring him to preach the glories of Lord Gauranga and His dhama. Accepting the instructions of his parents as his foremost duty, Sarasvati Gosvami took up this task of preaching with intense enthusiasm and vigour.
With the passing away of his father, and his spiritual master a year later, Siddhanta Sarasvati continued the mission of Lord Chaitanya. He assumed editorship of Sajjana-tosani and established the Bhagvat Press in Krishnanagar. Then in 1918, in Mayapur, he sat down before a picture of Gaurakisora dasa Babaji and initiated himself into the sannyasa order. At this time he assumed the sannyasa title Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was dedicated to using the printing press as the best medium for large-scale distribution of Krishna consciousness. He thought of the printing press as a brhat mrdanga, a big mrdanga. The mrdanga drum played during kirtana could be heard for a block or two, whereas with the brhat mrdanga, the printing press, the message of Lord Chaitanya could be spread all over the world.
Rohinikumar Ghosh, a nephew of Justice Candramadhava Ghosh of Calcutta High Court and originally a resident of Bhola in Barisal (now in Bangladesh), decided to renounce the world and engage himself in Haribhajana. With this purpose in mind he came to Kulia in Navadvipa where he led the life of a Baul. However, he despised the practices of the sevadasis prevalent amongst the Baul sect. One day Rohini Ghosh happen to come to the Yogapitha when Sarasvati Gosvami was lecturing there. Rohini was delighted to see the luminous appearance of Sarasvati Gosvami and fascinated by his words. Late that night, after spending the whole day listening to Sarasvati Gosvami's teachings, Rohini returned to his Baul Guru's asrama at Kulia. Without taking any prasada, Rohini took rest contemplating the lessons on Suddha Bhakti which he had heard that day. In his dream Rohini saw a Baul and his consort appear before him in the form of a tiger and tigress which were about to devour him. Trembling in fear Rohini desperately called out to Lord Chaitanya. Suddenly Rohini found himself being rescued from the clutches of the tigers by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. From that day Rohini left the Baul guru forever and took shelter at the feet of Sarasvati Gosvami.
Annadaprasad Datta, the elder brother of Sarasvati Gosvami, suffered with severe headaches shortly before his death. On the day of Annada's death Sarasvati Gosvami remained by his side all through the night, chanting Harinama. Before Annada passed away he briefly regained consciousness and began apologizing to Sarasvati Gosvami, who simply encouraged him to remember the holy name of the Lord. Suddenly the tilak mark of the Ramanuja sampradaya became clearly visible on Annada's forehead. Annada explained that in his past birth he had been a Vaishnava belonging to the Ramanuja sect. But due to committing an offense at the feet of Sarasvati Thakura, Annada had to be reborn. However, as a result of his past merit he was fortunate enough to be born into Bhaktivinoda's family. After finishing his account Annada breathed his last.
Once on the day preceding Janmastami in the Bengali month of Bhadra, Sarasvati Gosvami was engaged in bhajana at Mayapura but was feeling disturbed as he was unable to arrange for milk to be offered to the Deity. As soon as he began to think in this way he chastised himself: "Have I thought like this for my own sake? That is wrong." Because it was the monsoon season, Lord Chaitanya's birth site was covered with water and was totally inaccessible except by boat. However, that afternoon, one milkman turned up there wading through water and slush carrying a large quantity of milk, ksira, butter, cottage-cheese etc. Apparently a zamindar named Harinarayana Cakravarti, guided by Lord Chaitanya, had sent the milkman with all the items.
After offering everything to the Deity the devotees partook of the prasada joyfully. Sarasvati Thakura was surprised to see so much prasada and the devotees explained what had happened. After taking prasada Siddhanta Sarasvati humbly appealed to the Lord: I am very sorry to have caused You so much trouble. Why did I have such an uncalled for thought? To fulfill my desire You have inspired another person and arranged to send these things."
The world was amazed to see the supernatural power of Sarasvati Gosvami. Many educated persons from highly respectable families were attracted to him and thus dedicated themselves to the service of Lord Gauranga. Between 1918 and 1937 Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati founded sixtyA four Suddha Bhakti Mathas at the following places: Navadvipa, Mayapura, Calcutta, Chaka, Mymensingh, Naryanaganj, Chittagong, Midnapore, Remuna, Babasore, Puri, Alalanatha, Madras, Covoor, Delhi, Patna, Gaya, Lucknow, Varanasi, Hardwar, Allahabad, Mathura, Vrndavana, Assam, Kuruksetra, and outside India in London, and Rangoon. Sarasvati Gosvami instituted Gaurapadapitha at Nrsimhacala on the top of the Mandara hill, and at several places in South India. He initiated twenty five highly educated persons into Bhagavata Tridandi sannyasa.
He published the following periodicals on Suddha Bhakti in different languages:
1. Sajjanatosani (a fortnightly Bengali)
2. The Harmonist (an English fortnightly)
3. Gaudiya (a Bengali weekly)
4. Bhagavata (a Hindi fortnightly)
5. Nadiya Prakasa (a Bengali daily)
6. Kirtana (an Assamese monthly)
7. Paramarthi (in Odiya)
In addition he published a large number of Vaishnava books. In fact, he heralded a new era in the spiritual world. He deputed well-disciplined Tridandi sannyasi's to preach the message of Lord Gauranga all over the world. For six years he continued to supervise this preaching work and when he found that his mission had attained its goal, to a reasonable extent, he decided to pass into the eternal service of Lord Gauranga.
A few days before his death Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati called his foremost disciples and showered his blessings upon all his devotees. He gave them the following instructions: " With the utmost enthusiasm preach the message of Rupa Raghunatha. Our ultimate goal is to become a speck of dust touching the lotus feet of the followers of Rupa Gosvami. All of you remain united in allegiance to the spiritual master (Asraya-vigraha) in order to satisfy the senses of the Transcendental Entity of Non-Dual Knowledge. Do not give up the worship of Hari even amidst hundreds of dangers, hundreds of insults or hundreds of persecutions. Do not become unenthusiastic upon seeing that the majority of people in this world are not accepting the message of Krishna's sincere worship. Never give up the glorification of the topics of Krishna, they are your own personal bhajana and your very all and all. Being humble like a blade of grass and tolerant like a tree, constantly glorify Hari.
In the early hours of the day on January 1, 1937 Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami passed away.
B. 78. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA:
B. 79. BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA:
See "Kedarnath Datta".
B. 80. BHANJANA ADHIKARI:
He was a Bhatta brahmana by caste of the Kasyapa clan and a disciple of Syamananda Prabhu. His Shripata is at Fatepur, postal-zone Gadadharpur in the district of Midnapore. Because of Bhanjana's exalted spiritual consciousness, Syamananda Prabhu awarded him the title `Adhikari'. The nearest relatives of Bhanjana, Niranjana Adhikari, Jivanakrishna Adhikari, and Paranakrishna Adhikari, were all disciples in Syamananda's line. All four were accomplished mrdanga players, who regularly accompanied Syamananda's kirtana.
Some of the descendants of Bhanjana Adhikari continue to live in the Shripata at Fatepur, ten or twelve miles from the Kantai road railway station. Descendants of the disciples of Bhanjana live in the surrounding villages of Fatepur, Hasimpur, Egada, Kenthad, Erang, Kusunda, Kamiyabag, Dodekhan, Gadia, Kotara, Gopalpur, Badalpur, etc.
B. 81. BHARATA MALLIKA:
Mahamahopadhyaya Bharata Sen appeared around the mid-seventeenth century and wrote commentaries on the following books: Kirata, Kumara, Ghatakarpara, Naisadha, Nalodaya, Amarakosa, Bhatti, Medgaduta, Sisupala etc. Two other treatises entitled Candraprabhu and Ratnaprabha record the ancient history of the Vaidya caste. Scholars hold that his book Karakollasa, composed in Anustupa prosody and consisting of 107 sections, was written in the same way as Jiva Gosvami's Harinamamrtavyakarana. An incomplete manuscript of his Suvodha tika of Shri Gitagovinda, consisting of chapters two to seven, is available in the collection of Bangiya Sahitya Parisad, Calcutta (ms, No. 39). From the viewpoint of the depth of rasa this Suvodha tika is far superior to Sarvangasundari of Narayana dasa, Rasikapriya of Rana Kumbha, and Rasamanjari of Sankara Misra. One manuscript of Bharata Sena's on grammar entitled Drutavodha is available in the collection of Sanskrita Sahitya Parisad, Calcutta (ms. no. 490, 490A) Bharata also wrote a tika on this work entitled Drutavodhini. He wrote two other treatises on Ayurveda entitled Ratnakaumudi and Sarakaumudi.
B. 82. BHARGAVA ACARYA:
His name is mentioned in Jayananda's Chaitanyamangala p.88.
B. 83. BHARGAVA PURI:
His name is mentioned in Jayananda's Chaitanyamangala p.2.
B. 84. BHASKARA THAKURA:
He was a devotee of Lord Gauranga and possibly a skilled artisan (Vaishnava Vandana). Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika 114 notes that he was Visvakarma in an earlier incarnation.
B. 85. BHATTATHARI:
A large population of Nambudri brahmanas live on the Malabar-coast of India. Persons from the Bhattathari caste serve as priests of these Nambudri brahmana's. Bhattatharis are skilled in the art of black magic and sorcery. These priests are said to have hypnotised Krishnadasa, Lord Chaitanya's companion, during their pilgrimage in the south (Cc. 2.9.223A 226). The word Bhattathari came to be known in Bengal as Bhattamari.
B. 86. BHATUA GOPALA:
He was a devotee of Lord Gauranga (Namamrta samudra 226).
B. 87. BHAVADEVA BHATTA:
He was an official in the court of the king of Vanga, Harivarmadeva. He was expert at both wielding weapons and quoting sastra. He installed the Deity of Anantavasudeva in Bhuvanesvara, and wrote Dasakarma-paddhati.
B. 88. BHAVAKA CAKRAVARTI:
See "Govinda Cakravarti".
B. 89. BHAVANADA:
He was born in eastern Bengal in the sixteenth century, and wrote an ancient book named Harivansa.
B. 90. BHAVANANDA GOSVAMI:
He was the descendant of a subsidiary disciple-line from Gadadhara Pandita. He was the classmate of Madhu Pandita and a dedicated servant of Gopinatha. (Sakhanirnayamrta 42-43 and Bhaktiratnakara 13.320-321.
B. 91. BHAVANANDA RAYA PATTANAYAKA:
Bhavananda Pattanayaka was a devotee of Lord Jagannatha who lived in the village Bentapur in the district of Puri. One day his five sons, Ramananda (the eldest), Gopinatha, Vaninatha, Sudhanidhi, and Kulandidhi accompanied him to the house of Kasi Misra to pay respects to Lord Chaitanya. Upon arriving at Kasi Misra's house they all fell prostrate before the Lord as Sarvabhauma introduced each family member individually. It is stated by Kaviraja in Cc. that Lord Chaitanya embraced Bhavananda and praised Ramananda. The Lord compared Bhavananda with Pandu and his five sons, saying that there was no difference between him and his sons. Bhavananda replied to the Lord: "I am a low-class worldly minded sudra, yet when you embraced me I understood that You are the Supreme Lord. From this moment I offer to You everything in my possession; my five sons, all my servants, and anything else I have in this world. My son Vaninatha will become Your lifelong attendant" (Cc. 1.10.134, 2.10.49,50,52,54,57).
Kavikarnapura was full of praise for Bhavananda (ChaitanyaA candrodayanatakam 8.258). In Gurubhaktigita 3.49.176 Achyutananda describes him as a gopi. According to Chaitanya-candrodayanatakam 8.2, Cc Mahakavyam 12.130, and Cc. 2.10.46, Verse No. 30 and 89 of Padyavali could have been composed by Bhavananda.
B. 92. BHAVANATHA KAR:
He belonged to the disciple-line of Advaita Prabhu and was a Kayastha by caste (Cc. 1.12.60 and Namamrta-samudra 141).
B. 93. BHAVANI DEVI:
She was the sister of King Acyutananda, the mother of Rasikamurari, and the foremost disciple of Syamananda Prabhurabhu. (Bhaktiratnakara 15.29).
B. 94. BHAVESA DATTA:
He was the founding father of the family line of Uddharana Datta. He was a trader by profession who migrated from Ayodhya to Suvarnagrama in Vanga. Bhagavati, the daughter of Kanjilala Dhar, was his wife, and Krishnadatta, his son.
B. 95. BHIKHA SAHEB:
He was Muslim Vaishnava poet. His padavali has been reproduced in "Sant-Sahitya".
B. 96. BHILA VAISNAVA:
On the way to Vrndavana, Lord Chaitanya passed through Jharakhanda were He converted the violent Bhil tribe. (Cc. 2.17.53-54)
B. 97. BHIMA:
He was a horrible tyrant from the gopa caste who acted as the Zamindar of Dharend, a village near Khadagpur. By the grace of Rasikananda he later became a Vaishnava. (Rasikamangala Daksina 4.22-5.36)
B. 98. BHIMALOCANA SANYAL:
He translated Rupa Gosvami's Catupuspanjali into Bengali. (Bangiya Sahitya Sevaka)
B. 99. BHOLANATHA:
He belonged to the devotee-line of Advaita Prabhu (Premavilasa 19) and was present at the festival at Katoa. (Bhaktiratnakara 9.403)
B. 100. BHOLANATHA DASA:
He belonged to the disciple-line of Advaita Prabhu. (Cc. 1.12.60, Namamrtasamudra 139)
B. 101. BHUDHARA:
He was a disciple of Rasikananda Prabhu (Rasikamangala pascima 14.114).
B. 102. BHUDHARA:
He was another disciple of Rasikananda Prabhu. (Rasikamangala pascima 14.152)
B. 103. BHUGARBHA GOSVAMI:
The brahmana Bhugarbha and his brother's son, Lokanatha, were among the pioneers who settled in Vrndavana. According to Cc. and Jadunatha, Bhugarbha was included amongst the disciples of Gadadhara. Cc. mentions that Rupa Gosvami, along with Bhugarbha and other followers, visited Shri Krishna in the house of Bitthaleswar at Mathura. In Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika he is identified as Premamanjari. According to Premavilasa 7, at the command of Lord Chaitanya, Bhugarbha unearthed all the buried lila sites in Vrndavana. Bhugarbha Gosvami passed away on the 14th day of the bright fortnight in the month of Kartika (Oct-Nov).
B. 104. BHUPATI:
He was a Vaishnava poet, no further information is available.
B. 105 BHUVANA DASA:
He was a Vaishnava poet. His padavali entitled "Baramasi", included in Padakalpataru 4.9, is an excellent and enjoyable work.
B. 106. BHUVANAMOHANA THAKURA:
He was the brother of Radhamohana Thakura and a descendant of Shrinivasa Acarya. At present the descendants of Bhuvanamohana's family live at Manikyahara in Mursidavad. (See also "Radhamohana Thakura")
B. 107. BHUVANAMOHINI:
She was the daughter of Viracandra Prabhu, the wife of Parvatinatha, and a resident of Phulia.
B. 108. BRAHMAGOPALAJI:
Ramaraya Gosvami, previously known as Paramahamsa-Cudamani, was a disciple of Nityananda Prabhu. Brahmagopalaji was the grandson of Ramaraya's younger brother, Candragopalaji. He composed "Harilila" in 55 eloquent padas which deal with Astakalina lila. Each pada is preceded by a couplet. Throughout his composition the poet narrates Astakalila seva in the order of the eight groves of the eight sakhis. Brahmagopalaji wrote his commentary entitled Vastuvodhini based on the Gaura Vinodini Vritti of Ramarayaji and Shri Radhamadhavabhasya of Prabhucandra Gopala.
B. 109. BRAHMANANDA:
He was the younger brother of Nityananda Prabhu (Premavilasa 24).
B. 110. BRAHMANANDA:
He was a participant in the kirtana recital of Lord Gauranga at Navadvipa. (CBh. 2.8.116, 2.18.9,102-107, 2.28.12,104, 3.2.35)
B. 111. BRAHMANANDA BHARATI:
He is compared to the very root of the imaginary tree embodying Lord Chaitanya. (Cc. 1.10.136, 2.10.155-159)
B. 112. BRAHMANANDA GOSVAMI PRABHU:
Shripada Brahmananda Prabhu (later known as Shri Paramananda) was a fourth generation descendant of Nandakisora. He established the Shripata of Nityananda Prabhu in Vrndavana. Brahmananda was very handsome, when he and his cousin-brother, Nrisimhananda, performed kirtana together the audience was so moved they felt as if Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu were personally present. He was an accomplished kirtaniya and well versed in sastra, and also appreciated these qualities in others.
Under the guidance of an ascetic Vaishnava named Golokadasa babaji, Brahmananda mastered the art of kirtana. When people heard that Brahmananda was performing kirtana, they left all other work and rushed to hear him. Everyone, including distinguished persons and other kirtaniyas, became so absorbed in his recitals that they forgot the time of day. On occasions when kirtana continued until midnight, Brahmananda would pass a message to his supervisor to arrange food for about forty Vaishnavas.
Brahmananda meticulously performed two annual rituals in memory of his parents. On one such occasion a programme was arranged to hold a dayA long kirtana recital, followed by nagara-sankirtana the next day. The first days kirtana was lead by the famous Krishnadasa babaji, accompanied by his brother Gauradasa babaji (father and uncle of Navadvipa Vrajavasi respectively). At that time kirtana performed by Gaura and Krishnadasa was considered unparalled.
When the kirtana ended Brahmananda escorted Krishnadasa to his room where a separate bed had been placed alongside his own for Krishnadasa. Being very tired, Krishnadasa quickly fell asleep whereupon Brahmananda took the opportunity to quietly massage the body of Krishnadasa. When Krishnadasa awoke and asked what he was doing, Brahmananda put him back to sleep saying that he should be more concerned about the nagara-sankirtana than the massage.
Brahmananda Prabhu was a close friend of Siddha Jagannathadasa babaji. He was a dignified, blissful person, devoid of anger. He had no attraction for material pleasure and accepted whatever food was offered to him with love. Prabhupada Premananda once told his disciple, Madhavadasaji, that Brahmananda had earned more than two lakh rupees yet he had not kept a single paise for himself.
One day about 12:00 noon at Shripata Purulia, as Brahmananda was completing his sadhana, he came to know that his eldest son had passed away. Members of his family arrived their crying in grief. Brahmananda, however, completely unperturbed, walked across the temple, took prasada from the pujari, and carried on with his routine bhajana session, leaving his relatives and friends to perform the last funeral rites. Thereafter no one ever heard Brahmananda mention his son.
Brahmananda was a magnanimous person. When one of his devotees committed an act unbecoming of a true Vaishnava, Gosvami blamed himself for not properly guiding the devotee concerned. At the same time he made sure that the person was separated from the other devotees, and, if necessary, would send him away to live elsewhere at his own expense.
Once, in the presence of Brahmananda Prabhu, the second Siddha Krishnadasaji, a disciple of Siddhababa Krishnadasaji of Govardhana, recited Shri Radha's snana-shringara lila for twenty-four hours without cessation.
Brahmananda Prabhu died on the fourteenth day of the bright fortnight of Jaistha in the Bengali year 1305(1898 AD.). (GBJ:p.187-189)
B. 113. BRAHMANANDA PURI:
He was one of the nine sannyasis who are considered the main roots of the imaginary tree embodying Lord Chaitanya. (CBh. 1.9.170, Cc. 1.9.13)
B. 114. BRAHMANANDA SVARUPA:
He was a sannyasi companion of Lord Chaitanya. (Vaishnava Vandana, Namamrta samudra 219)