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1. PADMAGARBHA ACARYA GVA
2. PADMANABHA GVA
3. PADMANABHA CAKRAVARTI GVA
4. PADMANABHA MISRA GVA
5. PADMAVATI DEVI GVA,CCU
6. PADMAVATI DEVI GVA
7. PAGALA HARANATHA GVJ
8. PAKHIYA GOPALA DASA GVA
9. PARAMANANDA GVA
10. PARAMANANDA GVA
11. PARAMANANDA GVA
12. PARAMANANDA AVADHUTA GVA,CCU
13. PARAMANANDA BHATTACARYA GVA
14. PARAMANANDA GUPTA GVA,CCU
15. PARAMANANDA KIRTANIYA GVA,CCU
16. PARAMANANDA MAHAPATRA GVA,CCU,BMO
17. PARAMANANDA MISRA GVA
18. PARAMANANDA PANDITA GVA,CCU
19. PARAMANANDA PURI GVA,CCU,GPC
20. PARAMANANDA SEN GVA,GPC
21. PARAMANANDA UPADHYAYA GVA,CCU
22. PARAMANANDA VAIDYA GVA
23. PARAMANANDA MODAKA GVA,CCU
24. PARAMESVARI (PARAMESVARA DASA THAKURA) GVA,CCU
25. PARANA DASA GVA
26. PARASURAMA GVA
27. PARVATINATHA MUKHUTI GVA
28. PATHAN VAISNAVA BIJALI KHAN GPC
29. PHAGU CAUDHURI GVA
30. PHULLA THAKURJI (OR THAKURANI) GVA
31. PILLAI PERUMAL IYENGAR ENCYCLOPEDIA
32. PISIMA GOSVAMINI GVJ
33. PITAMVARA GVA,CCU
34. PITAMVARA DASA GVA
35. PITAMVARA DVIJA BMO,GVA
36. PRABHUCANDRA GOPALA GVA
37. PRABHURAMA DATTA GVA
38. PRADYUMNA BRAHMACARI GVA,CC(RGN ED.)
39. PRADYUMNA GIRI CCU
40. PRADYUMNA MISRA CCU,GPC,BMO
41. PRADYUMNA MISRA BMO
42. PRAHARARAJA MAHAPATRA CCU,GVA,BMO
43. PRAKASANANDA GVA
44. PRAKASANANDA SARASVATI CC(RGN ED),GVA
45. PRANAGOPAL GOSVAMI GVA
46. PRANAKISOR GOSVAMI GVA
47. PRANAKRSNA DASA BABAJI GVJ
48. PRANAVALLABHA (PARANA) DASA GVA
49. PRASADA DASA GVA
50. PRASADA DASA (PRAKASA DASA) GVA
51. PRASADA DASA VAIRAGI GVA
52. PRATAPARUDRA GVA,BMO,ENCYCLOPEDIA
53. PRAVODHANANDA GVA
54. PREMADASA GVA
55. PREMADASA GVA
56. PREMADASA SIDDHANTAVAGIS GVA
57. PREMANANDA GVA
58. PREMANANDA BHARATI GVJ
59. PREMANANDA GOSVAMI GVJ
60. PREMI KRSNADASA GVA
61. PRIYADASAJI GVA
62. PUNDARIKAKSHA GVA
63. PUNDARIKA VIDYANIDHI GVA,CCU,CC,GPC
64. PURANDARA ACARYA GVA,CCU,CC(RGN ED.)
65. PURANDARA DASA ENCYCLOPEDIA
66. PUTANDARA KHAN GVA
67. PURANDARA MISRA GVA
68. PURANDARA PANDITA GVA,CCU,CC(RGN ED.)
69. PURNANANDA GVA
70. PURUSOTTAMA GVA
71. PURUSOTTAMA GVA,CCU
72. PURUSOTTAMA GVA,CCU
73. PURUSOTTAMA GVA
74. PURUSOTTAMA GVA
75. PURUSOTTAMA GVA
76. PURUSOTTAMA GVA
77. PURUSOTTAMA BMO
78. PURUSOTTAMA ACARYA GVA
79. PURUSOTTAMA BRAHMACARI GVA
80. PURUSOTTAMA BRAHMACARI CCU
81. PURUSOTTAMA CAKRAVARTI GVA
82. PURUSOTTAMA DASA GVA,CCU,DVADAS GOPAL
83. PURUSOTTAMA DATTA GVA,CCU
84. PURUSOTTAMA DATTA GVA
85. PURUSOTTAMA DEVA GVA
86. PURUSOTTAMA GUPTA GVA
87. PURUSOTTAMA JANA GVA
88. PURUSOTTAMA MISRA GVA
89. PURUSOTTAMA NAGAR GVA,CCU
90. PURUSOTTAMA NAGAR GVA
91. PURUSOTTAMA PANDITA GVA,CCU
92. PURUSOTTAMA PANDITA GVA,CCU
93. PURUSOTTAMA PURI GVA
94. PURUSOTTAMA SANJAYA GVA
95. PURUSOTTAMA THAKURA GPC
96. PURUSOTTAMA TIRTHA GVA
97. PUSPAGOPAL GVA,CCU
1. PADMAGARBHA ACARYA:
He was a brahmana by caste whose title was Lahidi. He was the father of Shrila Svarupa Damodara. He lived at Bhitadiya village on the bank of the river Brahmaputra. After coming to Navadvipa he married the daughter of Shri Jayrama Cakravarti and shortly thereafter Svarupa Damodara was born. Padmagarbha left his wife and son in Navadvipa and went to Mithila, then to Varanasi to study Veda, Vedanta and philosophy. In Mithila he was initiated by Shri Lakshmipati, the guru of Shri Madhavendra Puri. From Varanasi, Padmagarbhacarya returned to Bhitadia, where he married for the second time and had many sons. Padmagarbha wrote Paingirahasya Brahman Bhasya, Dvaitabhasya of Upanisad, tika of Kramadipika.
He was the paternal great-grandfather of Shri Rupa and Sanatana and the great-grandson of Jagatguru Sarvajna. Due to a family feud, Padmanabha left Karnata and settled in the kingdom of Sikharesvara in Paurastya desa. In his old age he built a house in Navahatta (or Naihati) on the bank of the Bhagirathi. King Danujamardana helped him considerably. Padmanabha had eighteen daughters and five sons. His youngest son, Mukunda, had a son named Kumardeva who was the father of Shri Rupa, Sanatana and Anupama (Vallabha).
As a student Padmanabha went to Santipura where he took shelter in the house of Advaita Prabhu. Later he took spiritual initiation from Advaita Prabhu and became full absorbed in the study of Shrimad Bhagavatam. After receiving initiation Padmanabha went to Talkhari and occasionally visited Santipura and Navadvipa to attend discourses on Bhakti. Padmanabha's wife, Sita devi, was an equally ardent devotee. Around 1405 Saka (1583 AD) Lokanatha Gosvami was born to this couple. (See `Lokanatha Gosvami')
3. PADMANABHA CAKRAVARTI:
He was a kulin Radhi brahmana of Varadvaja caste who lived at Talakhadi village in the district of Jasahara. He was the father of the famous Shri Lokanatha Gosvami and his wife, Sita devi. He had four sons.
4. PADMANABHA MISRA:
He was the third son of Upendra Misra. (CC. 1.13.57)
5. PADMAVATI DEVI:
She was the daughter of King Mukuta Roy of Maudesvara and mother of Shri Nityananda Prabhu. She was Rohini and Sumitra in Krishnalila. Her charitable disposition was displayed when she gave up her twelve year old son, Nityananda, to the hands of a Vaishnava sannyasi. Her devotion to her husband, Shri Hadai Pandita, was beyond compare. (CBh. 2.3.93)
6. PADMAVATI DEVI:
She was the wife of Shrinivasa Acarya and the daughter of Raghu Cakravarti of Gopalapura. Her previous name was Gaurangapriya. (See `Gaurangapriya')
7. PAGALA HARANATHA:
In 1865 AD. he was born in the family of Jayrama Bandopadhya and Bhagavati Sundari in the village of Sonamukhi in Bankura. When he was two years old he lost his father. In 1884-85 AD. he passed the Entrance Exam from the Kuciakola School and after passing the F.A. Exam was admitted in the B.A. class of the Metropolitan College in 1887 AD. At that time he suffered from a severe attack of cough. He appeared thrice for the B.A. Examination but could not pass. He searched for service for two years and at last accepted a position under the King of Kashmir in 1893 AD. During that time Lata Atalabihari Nandi came in contact with Haranatha and being impressed with his supernatural powers, became his disciple. Later he kept in contact with Haranatha through letters. Haranatha's entire biography is written in Pagala Haranatha. Bhagavatacandra Mitra, Akincana Nandi and Kshirodacandra Bhattacarya individually wrote detailed accounts of the life of Haranatha.
8. PAKHIYA GOPALA DASA:
According to Abhirama dasa's Pata Paryatana, he was a disciple of Abhirama and his Shripata was at Helagrama.
He was a disciple of Rasikananda. (Rasikamangala Pascima 14.84)
He was a disciple of Rasikananda. (Rasikamangala Pascima 14.107)
He was a disciple of Rasikananda. (Rasikamangala Pascima 148)
12. PARAMANANDA AVADHUTA:
He belonged to the sakha of Shri Nityananda.
13. PARAMANANDA BHATTACARYA:
He lived in Vrndavana and belonged to the branch of Shri Gadadhara. He was the guru of Shri Rupa and Sanatana who studied devotional scriptures under him. He obtained the Deity of Shri Shri Gopinatha in Vamsivata. (CC. 1.11.49, Namamrtasamudra 246)
14. PARAMANANDA GUPTA:
He belonged to the lineage of Nityananda Prabhu and was Manjumedha in Krishna lila (GGD 193, 199). According to Jayananda's Chaitanyamangala Paramananda was the author of Shri Gaurangavijaya. (CC. 1.11.49)
15. PARAMANANDA KIRTANIYA:
He was a kirtana singer and the companion of Tapana Misra and Candrasekhar Acarya in Kasi. He wanted to go with Mahaprabhu to Puri, but the Lord ordered him to stay in Kasi and continue singing kirtana there. (CC. 2.25.172)
16. PARAMANANDA MAHAPATRA:
A great devotee of Lord Chaitanya who lived in Orissa and was employed in the temple of Shri Jagannatha deva. Paramananda was introduced to Lord Chaitanya by Sarvabhauma in the house of Kasi Misra. Sarvabhauma introduced Paramananda as a friend of Prahararaja Mahapatra and a follower of the Lord (CC. 1.10.135, 2.10.46). Vrndavana dasa also refers to Paramananda as a companion of Lord Chaitanya (CBh. 3.8.212-Atul Krishna Gosvami edition)
17. PARAMANANDA MISRA:
He was the second son of Upendra Misra. (CC. 1.13.57)
18. PARAMANANDA PANDITA:
He was a friend and classmate of Lord Chaitanya. According to Yadunatha, Paramananda belonged to Gadadhara sakha. B.B. Majumdar argues in CCU p. 658, that Paramananda Bhattacarya and Paramananda Pandita were most likely the same person. Bhaktiratnakara p. 19, states that Paramananda Pandita lived in Vrndavana and was fond of Madhu Pandita. B.B. Majumdar's argument is based on the statement made by Sanatana Gosvami in the beginning of Vrhad Vaishnavatosani.
19. PARAMANANDA PURI:
He was born in a brahmana family in Trihuta. At present the districts Muzahffarpur, Darbhanga and Chapra are under Trihuta. Shri Paramananda Puri was a very dear disciple of Madhavendra Puri. (CBh. 3.3.178)
When Mahaprabhu went to Rsabha mountain in South India, he met Paramananda Puri and they spent three days in intense discussions about Krishna lila. Thereafter they decided to meet again in Nilacala. (CC. 2.9.167-175)
According to GGD 118, Paramananda Puri was Uddhava in Krishna lila. The seed of devotion was Shri Madhavendra Puri and its nine roots were Paramananda Puri, Kesava Bharati and seven others. (CC. 1.9.13)
Later Shri Paramananda Puri came to meet Mahaprabhu in Nilacala. After some time he went to Navadvipa with the desire of taking bath in the Ganges. There he went to the house of Mahaprabhu and Saci Mata very cordially received and fed him. Paramananda Puri stayed there for one day. (CC.2.10.92)
When Puri Gosvami came to know that Prabhu was staying in Nilacala, he at once started for Nilacala, along with Dvija Kamalakanta. When they meet in Puri, Mahaprabhu worshiped his feet, and Puri embraced Him affectionately. The Lord requested him to stay in Puri. Paramananda told the Lord that the devotees from Gauda were waiting anxiously for Mahaprabhu, and thus had decided to come to see Him in Nilacala. (CC. 2.10.98)
Mahaprabhu made arrangements for Puri to stay in a solitary room in the house of Kasi Misra, and a servant was engaged to look after him. Puri Gosvami loved Prabhu greatly, and the Lord respected him as His teacher. Wherever the Lord was invited, He took Puri Gosvami along with Him. Later Puri shifted to a monastery on the western side of the temple.
One day Mahaprabhu and Gadadhara Pandita came to visit Puri Gosvami. Puri had just finished digging a well and was unhappy to find that the water in the well was not good. Seeing Puri's disappointment the Lord lifted His arms and said, "Oh Lord Jagannatha, grant Me the boon that the Ganges will enter this well." Saying this the Lord departed.
In answer to the Lord's prayer, the holy Ganga devi entered into the well and in the morning all the devotees saw that the well was filled with pure and clear water. (CBh. 3.3.237-246)
The devotees understood that this miracle had taken place by the grace of Mahaprabhu and thus they circumambulated the well offering their respects. The Lord soon arrived there and announced to all, "Whoever drinks this water and takes his bath here will certainly get the result of bathing in the sacred Ganges and love for Krishna will manifest within his heart." (CBh. 3.3.252)
Puri Gosvami loved the Lord dearly, the Lord similarly respected Puri Gosvami. Puri visited Mahaprabhu daily, and the Lord always looked after the well-being of Puri Gosvami. The Lord said, "I am only here in this world due to the love and affection of Puri Gosvami--I belong to Puri Gosvami and anyone who has his darsana will become dear to Lord Krishna." (CBh. 3.3.255-256, See also Murari Gupta 3.15.19, Kavikarnapura's Mahakavya 13.14, Nataka 8.4, Jayananda's CM. p.2, Locana's CM. p.2)
20. PARAMANANDA SEN (KAVI KARNAPURA GOSVAMI):
Sivananda Sen was a favorite disciple of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He had three sons, namely Shri Chaitanya dasa, Shri Ramadasa and Shri Paramananda (Kavi Karnapura). Shrinath Pandita, a disciple of Advaita Acarya, was the spiritual master of Kavi Karnapura. Paramananda lived in Kancrapara, about half a mile from Kumarahatta. Shri Krishnaraya, the Deity installed and worshiped by Shrinath Pandita, still exists there. In the beginning of the book Shri Ananda-Vrndavana Campu, Shri Kavi Karnapura Gosvami glorified Shrinath Pandita.
Kavi Karnapura himself has identified his father in GGD, "The gopika named Vira in Krishna lila, has now become my father named Sivananda Sen." Shri Sivananda Sen lived in Kumarahat (Halisahara). His Deity is still being served in Kancrapada, about one and a half miles from Halisahara.
Before Paramananda's birth, Sivananda and his wife went to see the Lord in Puri. Mahaprabhu blessed them and told them that their son would be named Puridasa. In the year 1524 AD a nice son was born to them and the name Paramananda was given to him. A few months later, Sivananda Sen along with his wife and children started for Puri and reached there after walking for one month. Upon seeing the lotus face of Mahaprabhu all the exhaustion and fatigue of the long journey was immediately mitigated. The Lord made arrangements to house and feed the devotees. One day Sivananda Sen and his three sons fell prostrate before the Lord and Mahaprabhu wanted to know the name of his younger son. When He heard that his name was Paramananda dasa, He smiled and said, "His name is Puri dasa." The mother then placed her son in front of the Lord's feet. Seeing the pinkish lotus feet of Prabhu, the child wanted to suck His toe. Mahaprabhu then placed His toe in the child's mouth and the child happily sucked it. Seeing the Lord's boundless mercy upon Sivananda's son the devotees began chanting the holy names joyfully. Mahaprabhu then ordered that as long as Sivananda and his family remained in Nilacala they should receive Mahaprabhu's remnants. After the Rathayatra festival, Sivananda Sen took permission from the Lord to return home. (CC. 3.16.75)
The next year Sivananda Sen went back to Puri along with the Gaudiya devotees and his youngest son, Puri dasa. Again, Mahaprabhu arranged for their stay. Puri dasa touched the feet of the Lord respectfully and Mahaprabhu placed his palm on the boy's head and asked him to chant the name of Krishna. But the boy did not comply with the request. Again Sivananda Sen asked the boy the same thing, but still he did not utter the name of Krishna. Then Mahaprabhu said, "I have made innumerable animate and inanimate objects in the world chant the name of Krishna but I have failed this time." Svarupa Damodara then said, "I can understand that he will not disclose the mantra of Lord Krishna which he received from you to anyone and he is chanting the mantra within his mind." When Sivananda Sen returned to his room with the boy, everyone asked the boy why he did not utter the name of Lord Krishna, but Puri dasa did not answer them.
Another day Sivananda brought Puri dasa to see Mahaprabhu and the boy worshipped the Lord's lotus feet. Then Prabhu asked him to read any subject. Puri dasa began speaking, "All glories to Shri Hari, whose beautiful blue lotus-like eyes are anointed with balm...(CC.3.16.74-76). All the devotees were astonished to hear the descriptive sloka from the young boy, and concluded that he must have received the special mercy of Gaurasundara. Hearing the sloka, Mahaprabhu was overwhelmed with ecstasy and blessed the boy, "May you always lovingly remember the pastimes of Lord Krishna." Shri Svarupa Damodara said, "Since this sloka has satiated the ears of the devotees, let this boy's name be Karnapura (karna-means ears, and pura means satiation). Thus Puri later became famous as Shri Kavi Karnapura.
Every year Sivananda Sen paid all the expenses for the journey on foot to Nilacala of nearly two hundred devotees. Whatever wealth and resources he possessed were offered to Mahaprabhu. Sometimes Shri Nityananda Prabhu stayed at the house of Sivananda, and whenever Mahaprabhu went to Gauda, He always came to his house.
The books written by Kavi Karnapura Gosvami are: Shri Chaitanya Candradaya Nataka, Shri Ananda Vrndavana Campu, Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Mahakavya, Shri Gauraganoddesa Dipika, Shri Radha Krishna Ganoddesa Dipika, Shri Krishnahnika Kaumudi, Alankara Kaustuva and Arya Sataka.
21. PARAMANANDA UPADHYAYA:
He belonged to the branch of Shri Nityananda Prabhu. His name is mentioned on P. 145 of Jayananda's CM., CBh. 3.6.474, CC. 1.11.44, Namamrtasamudra 239.
22. PARAMANANDA VAIDYA:
He was the paternal grandfather of Shri Jagadananda. (See `Jagadananda')
23. PARAMESVARA MODAKA:
He was a sweet-maker and great devoted of Lord Chaitanya. His house and shop were located near the house of Mahaprabhu in Nadia and he used to make varieties of sweets for the Lord. His son was Mukunda. Some time after the Lord accepted sannyasa and went to Puri, Modaka Mahasaya and his wife went to visit Him. Paramesvara could not control himself upon seeing the Lord, whom he had known from His childhood. Afraid that the Lord may have forgotten him, Paramesvara immediately gave his identity. Mahaprabhu at once recognised him and inquired about his well-being. Paramesvara innocently told the Lord that Mukunda's mother had also come to see Him, not knowing that a sannyasi should not see the face of a woman. Mahaprabhu, however, was impressed by Paramesavara's simplicity and did not say anything that might hurt his feelings. (CC. 3.12.53-54,60)
24. PARAMESVARI (PARAMESVARA DASA THAKURA:
He was one of the twelve Gopalas. A Vaishnava poet and a brahmana by caste, Paramesvara belonged to the lineage of Nityananda Prabhu. His Shripata was at Ketugrama (or Kaugrama), though he later settled at Khardaha. According to GGD. 132, he was Arjuna in his past incarnation. (CC. 1.11.29)
Bhaktiratnakara (13.244-246) states that on his way from Vrndavana Paramesvara stayed briefly at Garalgacha village. At the command of Jahnava devi, Paramesvara installed the Deity of Radha Gopinatha at Tada Atpur.
Paramesvara accompanied Jahnava devi to Vrndavana. He is said to have had supernatural powers. When Narottama Thakura came to Khardaha, Paramesvara thoroughly informed him about the route to Puri. (Bhaktiratnakara 8.219)
He died on a full-moon day in the month of Vaisaka (April-May). The cooking spud which Paramesvara used during sankirtana is placed by the side of his samadhi on the occasion of his death anniversary.
25. PARANA DASA:
He was the translator of Jagannatha vallabha Nataka. (See Calcutta University manuscript no. 3820)
A brahmana by caste, he was the son of Madhusudan Raya of Campaknagari. He wrote two books titled Krishnamangala and Madhava Sangita. He took spiritual vesa from Aulia Manohar dasa.
27. PARVATINATH MUKHUTI:
He was the husband of Bhuvanmohini and son-in-law of Virachandra Prabhu. (Premavilasa 24)
28. PATHAN VAISNAVA BIJALI KHAN:
Bijali Khan, along with nine Pathan soldiers while passing through a road, found a saint lying unconscious under a tree, surrounded by four people. He at once stopped his horse, thinking that the sannyasi had probably been traveling with many valuable things and these four persons had poisoned him in order to steal his belongings. Thus he ordered his soldiers to imprison the four men.
Krishnadasa Rajput, one of the four persons, said, "Please don't misunderstand us. This saint is our religious teacher but suffers from hysteria, thus we always remain with him to protect him against sudden attacks. If you wait, you will see that he will soon regain consciousness."
What had actually happened is that after visiting Shri Vrndavana and crossing the river Yamuna, Mahaprabhu and His associates were passing through the forest on their way to Prayaga. While taking rest under a tree, the Lord heard the sound of a flute being played by a nearby shepherd boy and as a result He was filled with ecstatic emotions and lost consciousness. At that time the Pathan soldiers appeared there.
After some time the Lord awoke and began loudly chanting the holy name. The Pathans were charmed by the melodious sound of the Lord's chanting and they freed the imprisoned devotees. Bijali Khan offered his obeisances to Mahaprabhu saying, "Oh respect saint! These four bandits poisoned you and robbed you of all your belongings." Mahaprabhu replied, "I am a saint, I have no money with Me and these four people rescue Me whenever I become unconscious due to a sudden attack of hysteria."
Bijali Khan had a Mohammedan teacher with him who was well-versed in both Hindu and Muslim scriptures. He said, "We are extremely glad to have your association and would like to hear something from you." The Lord said, "You are at liberty to ask any question." The teacher asked, "What is the difference between the two theories-nirvisesa-vad and savisesa-vad? Our scriptures also deal with the Advaita-vad. I am very interested to know the inner meaning of these two theories." The Lord replied, "In your scriptures sometimes the Lord is described as nirvisesa, and sometimes as savisesa. But the Supreme Lord is full of all opulence and His bodily complexion is darkish. The only way to be freed from this world is to serve Him. The perfection of life is to worship His lotus feet." (CC. 2.18.177,190)
After hearing these explanations from Mahaprabhu, both Bijali Khan and the teacher were very happy. They worshiped His lotus feet and said, "We think that You are the Supreme Lord Himself, be kind upon us fallen and worthless souls. I have studied the Mohammedan scripture very extensively but from it I cannot conclusively decide what the ultimate goal of life is or how I can approach it. Now that I have meet you, my tongue simply wants to chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra spontaneously. My false prestige and vanity of being a learned scholar is now gone. Please guide me on the path of worship and meditation." Saying this the teacher fell at the feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The Lord said, "Please get up. You have chanted the holy name of Krishna, therefore the sinful reactions you have acquired for many millions of lives are now gone. You are now pure. Now continue to chant the holy name." (CC. 2.18.190)
The Lord then named the Mohammedan teacher Ramadasa. Seeing all this, Bijali Khan also fell at the lotus feet of the Lord saying, "Krishna, Krishna." Mahaprabhu gave him many instructions and by the grace of the Lord, the Pathans were converted into Vaishnavas. (CC. 2.18.201-206)
29. PHAGU CAUDHURI:
He was a disciple of Narottama Thakura. (Premavilasa 20, Narottamavilasa 12)
30. PHULLA THAKURJI (OR THAKURANI):
She was the disciple of Shrinivasa. Her father was Kumuda Cattaraja and her sister was Malati devi. She lived at Kancanagadia. Her husband's name was Rajendra and was also a disciple of Shrinivasa. (Karnananda 1-2, Premavilasa 20)
31. PILLAI PERUMAL IYENGAR:
A Tamil poet of the 13th century, he had other names such as Alagiyaman-Valadasar and Divyakavi. The latter name is perhaps indicative of the literary quality of his poems. Some historians assign him to the 16th and 18th century. His literary works are collectively referred to as the `Astaprabandha' and extol the glories of the Shrivaishnava cult. He seems to have refused to sing panegyrics to any Deity other than Ranganatha.
32. PISIMA GOSVAMINI:
(Piscima is the name given to a paternal aunt in Bengal). These biographies have been prepared in the shadow of the compilation of hagiographies made by Haridasa Gosvami titled Shri Shri Nitai Gaura Shri Vigrahalila Kahini (stories relating to the pastimes of Gaura-Nitai)
It is said that once a cow was giving milk daily on the same spot in a bush in the center of two villages named Ghoradanga Parulia and Kalipur Kadya in the district of Birbhum. The curious milkman dug up that spot and unearthed the following objects: A pair of wooden Deities of Lord Gauranga and Nityananda seated on a an old wooden throne, one Deity of Radha Gopinatha and a salagrama named Shridhara. The name "Dasa Murari Gupta" was found engraved on the bottom of the throne carrying the Deities of Gaura-Nitai. These four Deities were taken to Suiri where they were worshiped in a grand fashion. This took place about two hundred years ago (around 1770 AD.)
Shortly afterwards, Balarama dasa Babaji, a saint from Orissa on pilgrimage, arrived at Siuri and took shelter at the above mentioned temple. Balarama dasa was deeply attracted by the divine beauty of the Deities and upon receiving a command from Them in a dream, dedicated himself to Their service, abandoning his pilgrimage plans.
Around this time, Candrasasi devi, a member of the Mukhopadhyay household of Ulagram in the district of Nadia, came to Siuri in connection with some Zamindari estate work of her family. During her stay at the accommodation attached to the temple of Gaura-Nitai, she received a command from Gaura Nitai in a dream. They addressed her as "mother" and expressed Their desire to partake of food cooked by her. As the Deities were undergoing the ritual of Anugaraga (cleaning and painting of the Deities), she took Vishnudiksa, as advised by Mahanta Balarama dasa, and cooked food for the Deities. Candrasasi then began preparing to return home, when the Deities again appealed to her as follows: "Mother, please don't go from here. If you go away who will feed us? You are our mother and we won't let you go." The two boys pulled on the edge of her sari begging her to stay, They tugged so hard that her sari was torn. When she woke up she discovered with awe that the edge of her sari was partly torn. When the Mahanta heard everything he opened the temple door early in the morning and found the remaining torn part of the sari in the hands of the Deities. Candrasasi could not leave. She continued to stay in Siuri serving the Deities.
There was a big scandal involving Candrasasi and finally in a state of exasperation, she appealed to Gaura Nitai. Their divine command was that they should all move to Vrndavana. Mahanta Balarama dasa and Candrasasi carried the Deities to Vrndavana where they took shelter in a newly built temple at Luibajar, in Banakhandi Mahalla.
Two women devotees named Bhakta and Menaka from Nadia where staying in that temple. Of these two, Bhakta was the aunt and Menaka, the niece. Everyone in the area of Banakhandi called the devoted Bhakta "Piscima" (aunt). Candrasasi and Bhakta became close like sisters and together carried out the service to the Deity. Hence everyone also began calling Candrasasi "Piscima Gosvamini" and her Deities were named "Pisimar Gaura Nitai." The two brothers surrendered Themselves to the affectionate care of Candrasasi. She performed all the seva of the Deities and took bath thrice daily in the Jamuna.
Once she was cooking food to be offered to the Deities when she suddenly began menstruating. Feeling unclean and extremely depressed, Candrasasi laid down in the open temple yard. In a state of semi-consciousness she received the divine command as follows: "Listen mother, we are your dotting children. Please calm down and act as any ordinary mother would do under similar circumstances. Go take a bath and serve us food. Henceforth you will not menstruate." She got up, bathed and offered food to the Deities and from that time she never menstruated again.
Once a woman from a respectable family of Serpur in Bagura went to Vrndavana during the festival of Jhulan and hired accommodations in the Banakhandi area. One monsoon day, Pisima sat on the veranda of the temple, pulling the fan and counting japa. The light drizzle in the afternoon made Pisima doze off and in that state she saw Gaura-Nitai walk out into the yard and, although being drenched in the rain, They continued walking off somewhere. Pisima asked where They were going, but the brothers rushed off saying, "Just see where we plan to go." They went to the woman from Serpur and said: "Have you come here to sleep? Come, wake up." When the woman inquired who the boys were, They introduced themselves as the two sons of Pisima of Banakhandi. The woman asked again what made the boys approach her and they answered, "Look as us, we are covered with slush from the rain, we feel chilly, please arrange to supply both of us with a pair of shoes." When the woman woke up she immediately began investigating and eventually found the Deities worshiped by Pisima exactly as they appeared before her in a dream. She presented two pairs of silver shoes to the Deities. On another occasion the Deities collected anklets from someone else.
Once the Deities gave away all their ornaments to a Vaishnava priest who was serving in the temple. When Pisima questioned Them about this They answered, "Look here, dear mother! This Vaishnava is utterly impoverished, yet on several occasions he fed us condensed milk. We have given him the ornaments and we request you not to embarrass him for any reason."
On another occasion the two brothers commanded Pisima in a dream to take Them on Vrajaparikrama covering eighty-four krosa (168 miles). Pisima was accompanied by two Vaishnavas named Mathuradasa and Krishnadasa. The two Deities went around Vrajamandala carried in a palanquin covered with a piece of red cloth. A few curious English soldiers tried to forcibly look inside the palanquin, but an extremely dazzling ray of light momentarily blinded them and they ran off in fear.
As Pisima grew more advanced in age she handed over the responsibility for the Deity service to the most competent Gopisvara prabhu. One winter morning Gopisvara bathed the Deities in cold water and the Deities came down with a cold. Pisima, who was sitting upstairs, could understand, despite the fact that she had lost her vision, that the Deities were suffering from cold and fever. With great pain she came down and admonished Gopisvara as follows: "Look what a mess you have made! See how my dear children are suffering and Their noses' are running. Saying this, she put the edge of her cloth on the nose of the two Deities and requested Them to blow their nose. Immediately phlegm came out from Their nose.
Krishnadasa Babaji, the disciple of Gopisvara, was an ardent devotee of Lord Gauranga and helped Pisima considerably with her Deity service. Once during the hour of offering bhoga, Krishnadasa was busy meditating seated at the temple door. In his meditation he saw the village on the south of Vishnupur where he had lived before accepting sannyasa. There he saw two women plucking fruits from a tree at the house of Santhals named Haran and Madhu. He also saw Gaura Nitai standing beneath the tree relishing those fruits. Krishnadasa could even hear the song the two women were singing inviting Gaura Nitai to visit their village, tempting Them with fruits. In a state of deep absorption Krishnadasa also sang along and offered Srngara to the two Deities with proper rituals and ingredients. Later, when Gopisvara arrived there and heard the story, he wrote a letter to Vishnupur and confirmed the report that on the same day and hour in the same village the same pastimes were celebrated involving Gaura-Nitai in a festival of Santhals.
A chandelier with ten lamps was lit daily at the temple door. On one full moon night, Gopisvara, not wanting to waste oil, turned the lamp out early in the evening and went out. Pisima was seated in the yard of the temple chanting the holy name. Inside the temple room one ghee wick was burning in a brass lamp-stand weighing about seven kilos and about two and a half cubic feet long. Gaura Nitai were extremely angry that the lamp on the veranda had been turned out. Suddenly they heard a great noise. The lamp-stand was thrown in one corner of the room and the one wick had gone out, leaving the room in darkness. Pisima immediately called Gopisvara and rebuked him, "See, today you did not bring Gaura Nitai out on the veranda and you put off the chandelier, thus the Deities became angry and threw the lamp-stand. Now They remain in total darkness. Please never make this mistake again."
On numerous occasions Gopisvara recovered from severe ailments, including smallpox, without taking medicine and depending completely on the mercy of Gaura Nitai.
Pisima Gosvamini was a spiritual jewel amongst women and her devotion to Lord Gauranga was without parallel. By the grace of Mother Saci, Piscima attained vatsalya rasa. She died at the age of one hundred and six years, while chanting the name of Lord Gauranga seated on the veranda of the temple of Gaura Nitai. She had previously foretold to Gopisvara the date of her death.
Gopisvara, a descendant of Lord Nityananda's family, was also a completely renounced soul. He went on pilgrimage to all the holy places of India, lived a strictly austere life, and finally, fell in love with Nitai-Gaura and dedicated the rest of his life to serving Them. Gopisvara once told Haridasa dasa that when Pisima gave him the charge of serving the Deities the two Deities were rather small in size. Gopisvara expressed his reluctance to serve such small Deities. Pisima immediately went into the temple room, pulled the chins of the two Deities and They at once became larger in size.
One day, long after the death of Pisima, Gopisvara felt disturbed and complained: "This service to the Deity is of no value. If I would have been performing bhajan all this time I would have certainly made great spiritual advancement. Thinking in this way he engaged another priest to take charge of the Deity service and went to Kusum Sarovara with the intention of performing bhajan there. It was summer time and hot wind blew continuously. On the third night he sat beneath a Bakul tree near Kusum Sarovara, feeling a little restless due to the heat, chanting the holy name. It was past midnight and deep silence reigned all around. Just then Gopisvara noticed a charming flame emerging from the center of Kusum Sarovara. Soon the flame began to come closer to him. It climbed up the bank of the pond and crossing the flight of steps stood steady beneath the Bakul tree. Then taking the shape of Nitya-Gaura the light spoke sweetly to him: "Oh elder brother! For the last three days we have been starving. Please come with us." Gopisvara could not resist and left immediately.
Eventually he arrived at the house of a Vaishnava saint, who upon opening the door exclaimed joyfully, "Come in Gopisvara! Good you have come, the Lords informed me in a dream that They haven't eaten for the last three days. My brother, please rush to Vrndavana and offer Them food." On hearing this again Gopisvara felt annoyed and said, "I'm not going to go to Vrndavana, I shall continue to practice bhajan in the village." The saint repeatedly coaxed him and after offering him prasada, sent Gopisvara off to Vrndavana.
It was evening by the time Gopisvara reached Datiha. A sudden storm flooded the entire area within one or two hours. Gopisvara took shelter in the house of a Vrajavasi and thought that now he would not have to leave for Vrndavana. However, early in the morning one bullock cart driver, after receiving a divine command, came in search of him. Gopisvara had to take the cart and went to Vrndavana.
When he crossed the first gate of the temple building he got whiffs of an extremely foul smell and called the priest to inquire what was wrong. The priest said he knew nothing as he could not enter the temple for the last three days. Gopisvara quickly entered the temple and found that a dead rat was lying on top of the mosquito curtain. He promptly cleaned the place and offered the ritual-service. Till the final hour of his life Gopisvara continued to serve Gaura-Nitai.
He belonged to the lineage of Lord Nityananda. In his past incarnation he was Kaveri. (GGD. 168, CC. 1.11.52)
34. PITAMVARA DASA:
He was the son of Ramagopal dasa. He belonged to the sakha of Raghunandana Thakura and was a disciple of Shachinandana````@P@````PP@P°`° `@```š`@°°`°° @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞 Thakura. He compiled the collection of padavali's titled Rasamanjari. He also wrote the Sanskrit work Shriman Naraharisakhanirnaya (See Shrikhandera Pracina Vaishnava P. 113). Also see the collection of manuscripts belonging to Rakhalananda Thakura, preserved at Shrikhanda.
35. PITAMVARA DWIJA (PANDITA):
Pitamvara was known by various titles. He was the brother of Damodara and Sankara Pandita (Murari Sen, Govinda Ghosh?). He is mentioned in the following manuscripts: (1) Barja Bihar, by Dasarathi dasa (manuscript preserved in the library of the Utkal University, catalogue no. 49, (2) Anuragakalpalata, by Gajapati Shyamasundara Deba ( a ms. preserved in the library of the Utkal University, catalogue no. O.L. 97).
It is said that Pitamvara was a disciple of Nityananda. Pitamvara is referred to as Premamanjari in Swarupabarnana (a work by Rupa Gosvami-manuscript preserved in the library of the Utkal University, catalogue no. 382) and in Gurubhaktigita (a work by Achyutananda, Utkal University, 1975, Vol. 3, Chapter 49, P. 176). He is also mentioned in Shri Chaitanyaganoddesodipika as Manjarika. Scholars argue that Pitamvara Dwija was possibly the famous Pitamvara Purohit as stated in Vedanta saraguptagita of Balarama dasa and Amarakoshagita of Daibangya Balarama.
36. PRABHUCANDRA GOPALA:
He was a disciple of Lord Nityananda and the younger brother of Rama Raya. Prabhucandra wrote a commentary titled Shri Radhamadhava Bhasya on Rama Raya's Brahmasutra treatise titled Gauravinodini. In the commentary Prabhucandra upholds the doctrine of `acintya-bhedabhedavada'. This commentary is dated fifteenth Saka century (1578 AD. onwards). In Prabhucandra's other work, titled Mahavani and composed in Vrajbhasa, the poet depicts Lord Gauranga as inseparable from Lord Krishna and Radha.
37. PRABHURAMA DATTA:
He was a disciple of Narottama Thakura. (Narottamavilasa 12)
38. PRADYUMNA BRAHMACARI:
(Also see `Nrsimhananda Brahmacari') The following is some additional information given by R.G. Nath ed. CC., Appendix Volume PP. 278-279, under Nakula Brahmacari.
Pradyumna Brahmacari was his name before initiation. His Shripata was at Piariganj near Kalna. He was a worshiper of Nrsimha. Seeing Pradyumna's extraordinary devotion to his Nrsimha Deity, Lord Chaitanya gave him the name Nrsimhananda (CC. 1.10.55-56). He was also extremely devoted to Lord Chaitanya.
When the Lord left Orissa on pilgrimage to Vrndavana via Gauda and arrived at Kulia, Nrsimhananda began to imagine within his mind that he was preparing the route for Lord Chaitanya. The road was lined with jewels and beautiful flowers. There were divine ponds along the path filled with bright lotuses. Birds chirped melodiously in the sky and cool breezes blew all around. Thus Pradyumna prepared an imaginary route up to Kanai Natsala, but he failed to go beyond this point. Thus Pradyumna predicted that this time Lord Chaitanya would not go to Vrndavana, but would turn back at Kanai Natsala's place, which proved to be exactly what happened.
Once at Ambika, Pradyumna underwent a state of transcendence wherein he experienced the avesa (presence) of Lord Chaitanya within himself. In that state he laughed like a madman, wept, danced and sang as if he were insane. People from all over Gauda arrived to look at Pradyumna who advised everyone to chant the name of Lord Krishna. After just one meeting with him visitors felt ecstatic love for Krishna arise within their hearts.
Sivananda Sen heard all this and desired to test Pradyumna's authenticity. Thus he thought to himself, "Only if Pradyumna calls me by name and recites my Istamantra, will I be convinced that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has actually manifested within his body." Pradyumna successfully passed the test.
When Shrikanta Sena, the nephew of Sivananda Sena, was about to return to Bengal, the Lord told him, "Forbid the devotes of Bengal to come to Jagannatha Puri this year. This year I shall personally go to Bengal and meet all the devotees there headed by Advaita Acarya. Please inform Sivananda Sena that this December I shall certainly go to his home. Jagadananda is there and he can give Me offerings of food. Inform them all that no one should come to Jagannatha Puri this year."
When Shrikanta Sena returned to Bengal and delivered this message, the minds of all the devotees were very pleased. When the month of Pausa arrived, both Jagadananda and Sivananda collected al kinds of paraphernalia for the Lord's reception. Every day, they waited impatiently until evening for the Lord to come. As the month passed by and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not come, Jagadananda and Sivananda became most unhappy.
Suddenly Nrsimhananda arrived, and Jagadananda and Sivananda arranged for him to sit near them. Seeing them both so unhappy, Nrsimhananda inquired, "Why are you both so despondent?"
Sivananda Sena explained, "Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu promised that He would come. Why, then, has He not arrived?"
Hearing this, Nrsimhananda Brahmacari replied, "Please be satisfied. I assure you that I shall bring Him here three days from now."
Sivananda and Jagadananda knew of Nrsimhananda Brahmacari's influence and love of Godhead. Therefore they now felt assured that he would certainly bring Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
After meditating for two days, Nrsimhananda Brahmacari told Sivananda Sena, "I have already brought Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to the village known as Panihati. Tomorrow at noon He will come to your home. Therefore please bring all kinds of cooking ingredients. I shall personally cook and offer Him food. In this way I shall bring Him here very soon. Be assured that I am telling you the truth. Do not be doubtful. Nrsimhananda thus cooked for the Lord and in his mediation he saw Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu quickly come, sit down and eat everything. The next year, Sivananda went to Jagannatha Puri with all the other devotees to see the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. One day, in the presence of all the devotees, the Lord raised these topics concerning Nrsimhananda Brahmacari and praised his transcendental qualities. The Lord said, "Last year in the month of Pausa, when Nrsimhananda gave me varieties of sweetmeats and vegetables to eat, they were so good that I had never before eaten such preparations." Hearing this all the devotees were struck with wonder, and Sivananda became confident that the incident was true.
39. PRADYUMNA GIRI:
He is mentioned in the Chaitanyamangala of Jayananda P. 88.
40. PRADYUMNA MISRA:
A brahmana by caste who belonged to the lineage of Lord Chaitanya. He came from Sylhet and later settled in Orissa. He is mentioned in the Bengali Vaishnava vandana no. 66, of Devakinandana and included in the published addition of Vaishnava Vandana edited by Atul Krishna Gosvami. (Also see Chaitanyacandrodayanatakam of Kavi Karnapura, edited by Acarya Ramacandra Misra, Varanasi, Choukhamba Sanskrit Series office, 1366, Ch. 8, p. 258)
Chaitanyacandrodayanataka (Nirnayasagar Press edition) states that it was Sarvabhauma who introduced Pradyumna Misra to Lord Chaitanya. According to Bimanbihari Majumdar this Pradyumna could not be the cousin brother of Lord Chaitanya hailing from Sylhet. Pradyumna is considered to have been the author of Shri Krishna Caitanyodayavali. CC. 1.10.135, 2.1.120, 2.10.43, 3.5.4-67 explains how Lord Chaitanya praised Pradyumna as a great lover of Lord Krishna and recited Krishna katha in his presence. Lord Chaitanya was extremely kind to Pradyumna and advised him to take spiritual guidance from Ramananda. (One manuscript in the name of Siksastaka is available in the Utkal University library, catalogue no. cy 336. Also see CBh. 3.3.409)
41. PRADYUMNA MISRA:
He was a cousin-brother of Lord Chaitanya. Some argue that he was the nephew of the Lord. This Pradyumna belonged to the family-line of Kirti Misra, residing at Burunga in Sylhet district.
42. PRAHARARAJA MAHAPATRA:
A brahmana by caste and a resident of Orissa, Prahararaja was introduced by Sarvabhauma to Lord Chaitanya (CC. 2.10.46). Kavi Karnapura in his Chaitanya Candrodayanataka 8.2, describes Prahararaja as an ardent devotee. Bhakti Movement in Orissa P. 88, states that it is possible that Prahararaja and Praharaja were two persons but in course of time they came to be known as one person.
He was the paternal uncle of Thakura Jagannatha Acarya, a resident of Kasthakata village in Dhaka (Bangladesh), as mentioned in the CC. Prakasananda was the youngest son of Ratnakara Misra and brought up Thakura Damodara as a child. In a shack on the bank of Ghasipukur in the village of Kasthakata, he worshiped a Damodara salagrama which had been handed down in his family for generations. Upon receiving a divine command from Lord Chaitanya, Thakura Jagannatha rushed to Santipura and Prakasananda followed him. After a day or two they arrived at Santipura and met Lord Gauranga and His associates.
Advaita Prabhu gave spiritual initiation to Prakasananda with the mantra of Lord Krishna. Due to not hearing the mantra correctly, Prakasananda began chanting the wrong mantra and as a result, had a vision of mother goddess whenever he mediated on Lord Krishna. Prakasananda asked Advaita Prabhu what was wrong. Advaita then asked him to write down the mantra that he was chanting and Prakasananda did so on a banyan leaf. Advaita told Prakasananda, "You have not yet attained perfection in Saktimantra, hence you should go back to your native place and continue to worship the mother-goddess with this mantra. This will lead you to your cherished goal."
Shortly thereafter Prakasananda and Thakura Jagannatha returned home, only to find that the Salagrama Damodara was no longer there. They both lay prostrate on the bank of the Ghasipukur awaiting a divine command. Finally the command came that the Damodara would accept service from members belonging to the fifth generation of Prakasananda's family line. For many years the salagrama remained in the household of a local Muslim and after the specified period of time had passed, the salagrama gave a divine command and came back to Prakasananda's family to accept worship. Descendants of Prakasananda's family continue to receive spiritual initiation in Saktimantra from the Gosvami family of Cakphera in Santipura and serve Damodara in Adial village. The following is the genealogical line from Prakasananda:
1. Ramajivan and Ramagopa
2. Ramakesava and Ramvallabha
10. Dhurjati and Surendra
44. PRAKASANANDA SARASVATI:
He was an extremely influential Mayavadi sannyasi who resided in Varanasi. He had several thousands of sannyasi disciples. Prakasananda often criticized Lord Chaitanya as a sannyasi by name, a charlatan, etc. Devotees of Lord Chaitanya in Varanasi, namely Tapan Misra, Candrasekhar Vaidya, Paramananda Kirtaniya etc., felt deeply hurt to hear the Lord criticized in this way.
During Lord Chaitanya's pilgrimage to Vrndavana when he arrived at Varanasi one brahmana from Maharastra met Lord Chaitanya and instantly obtained love for Krishna. One day this brahmana spoke of the glory of Lord Chaitanya in a meeting held by Prakasananda. But Prakasananda continued to criticize the Lord saying, "I advise you to attend my meetings and listen to discourses on Vedanta, do not go to Lord Chaitanya as both your spiritual and material life may be spoiled by association with wayward men. The Maharastrian brahmana, however, thought to himself, "I wish I could somehow arrange a meeting where these sannyasis could have a look at Lord Chaitanya and instantly upon seeing Him they will realize that He is the Lord. Then they will stop criticizing Him and instead surrender at His feet. But how is it possible to arrange such a meeting? Lord Chaitanya generally does not accept any invitations. If I do not try to carry out this plan, I shall certainly continue to suffer mental depression." Thinking like this, the Maharastrian brahmana extended an invitation to all the sannyasis of Varanasi. After this, he finally approached Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to extend Him an invitation. He immediately fell at the lotus feet of the Lord and requested Him to accept his proposal. Lord Chaitanya smiled and accepted the invitation of the brahmana. He made this gesture to show His mercy to the Mayavadi sannyasi.
As soon as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw the sannyasis He immediately offered obeisances, and then went to wash His feet. After washing His feet, He sat down by the place where He had done so. After sitting on the ground, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His mystic power by manifesting an effulgence as brilliant as the illumination of millions of suns. When the sannyasis saw the brilliant illumination of the Lord's body, their minds were attracted, and they all immediately gave up their sitting places and stood in respect.
The leader of all the Mayavadi sannyasis present was named Prakasananda Sarasvati, and after standing up he addressed Lord Chaitanya as follows with great respect, "Please come here. Please come here, Your Holiness. Why do You sit in that unclean place? What has caused Your lamentation?"
The Lord replied, "I belong to a lower order of sannyasis. Therefore I do not deserve to sit with you." Prakasananda Sarasvati, however, caught Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally by the hand and seated Him with great respect in the midst of the assembly.
Prakasananda then said: "I understand that Your name is Krishna Chaitanya. You are a disciple of Shri Kesava Bharati, and therefore You are glorious. You belong to our SankaraA sampradaya and live in our village, Varanasi. Why then do You not associate with us? Why is it that You avoid even seeing us? You are a sannyasi. Why then do You indulge in chanting and dancing, engaging in Your sankirtana movement in the company of fanatics? Meditation and the study of Vedanta are the sole duties of a sannyasi. Why do You abandon these to dance with fanatics? You look as brilliant as if You were Narayana Himself. Will You kindly explain the reason that You have adopted the behavior of lower-class people.?"
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "My dear sir, kindly hear the reason. My spiritual master considered Me a fool, and therefore he chastised Me. `You are a fool,' he said. "You are not qualified to study Vedanta philosophy and therefore You must always chant the holy name of Krishna. This is the essence of all mantras or Vedic hymns. In this age of Kali there is no other religious principle than the chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all Vedic hymns. This is the purport of all scriptures.' Since I received this order from My spiritual master, I always chant the holy name, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Krishna sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically."
After hearing Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's words, all the Mayavadi sannyasis were moved. Their minds changed, and thus they said, "Dear sir, there is no objection to Your being a great devotee of Lord Krishna. Everyone is satisfied with this. But why do You avoid discussion on the Vedanta-sutra? What is the fault in it?"
Smiling slightly the Lord said, "My dear sirs, if you don't mind I can say something to you regarding Vedanta philosophy." The Lord then began pointing out the deficiencies of Sankaracarya's commentary. He explained how Sankara concentrated on the secondary aspects of Sruti (Upanishad), ignoring the primary ones, and hence a number of deficiencies are found in his bhasya. Lord Chaitanya then explained the meaning of the Vedanta sutra, drawing attention to the limitations of the Mayavad bhasya of Sankara.
When all the Mayavadi sannyasis thus heard the explanation of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu they spoke very humbly. "Dear sir, You are Vedic knowledge personified and are directly Narayana Himself. Kindly excuse us for the offenses we previously committed by criticizing You." From that moment their minds changed, and on the instruction of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, they too chanted "Krishna! Krishna!" always. Thus Lord Chaitanya excused all the offenses of the Mayavadi sannyasis and very mercifully blessed them with Krishna-nama. (CC. Adi.)
On another occasion Lord Chaitanya went to have darsana of Bindumadhava and was filled with ecstatic love. Tapan Misra, Candrasekhar Vaidya, Sanatana Gosvami and others who accompanied Lord Chaitanya began singing kirtana, and hundreds of people flocked there to join the chanting. Hearing the tumultuous sound of kirtana, Prakasananda and his disciples rushed to the premises of the Bindumadhava temple. Prakasananda himself joined in singing kirtana and his body showed signs of ecstatic tears and shivering. Lord Chaitanya regained his external consciousness, stopped the singing and offered His humble obeisances to Prakasananda. Prakasananda fell at the Lord's feet begging forgiveness for his past arrogance and expressed his desire to hear the Lord's interpretation of the primary tenets of Vedanta.
Lord Chaitanya replied, "Vyasadeva was the author of Vedantasutra, he also wrote Shrimad Bhagavatam as a commentary to Vedanta. Thus the primary tenets of Vedanta can be understood from the Shrimad Bhagavatam. You should therefore wholeheartedly study the Shrimad Bhagavatam."
From that day Prakasananda and his disciples underwent a complete change; they considered themselves blessed and took shelter under the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya. (CBh. 2.3.37A 40, CC. 2.17.104-143, 188.8.131.52, Bhaktamala 22.7)
45. PRANAGOPAL GOSVAMI:
He was a descendant of Lord Nityananda. An erudite interpreter of Bhaktisastra, he arranged, with the assistance of his disciples, to translate and publish Premasamputa, Shri Krishnasandarbha, Bhaktisandarbha, and Pritisandarbha. He edited a Vaishnava periodical also.
46. PRANAKISOR GOSVAMI:
He belonged to the family line of Lord Nityananda. Apart from writing excellent books in Bengali such as Bhaktacaritra, Sandhanira Sadhusanga, Jnanesvari Gita (a translation), Pranakisor was an eloquent interpreter of Bhaktisastra.
47. PRANAKRSNA DASA BABAJI:
He was born near Kalna in the district of Burdwan and belonged to the family line of Lord Nityananda. He stayed for considerable time with Bhagavandasa Babaji of Kalna, and later settled at Kaliyadaha in Vrndavana where he practiced bhajan. The care Pranakrishna took of Siddha Jagadisa Babaji and Dayaldasa Babaji in their old age was very exemplary. Though not an erudite scholar, Pranakrishna chanted the holy name with such simple-hearted emotion and sincerity that he touched the hearts of all. Pranakrishna gave care and attention to everyone irrespective of sex or position. He offered some prasada and water to drink to anyone who came to meet him. He had a large number of Hindi-speaking followers. He practiced bhajan in a hut next to that of Jagadisa Baba and lived for more than one hundred years. After his death, Pranakrishna's body was buried in front of his hut.
48. PRANAVALLABHA (PARANA) DASA:
He was a follower of Vyasacarya, who was a disciple of Shrinivasacarya prabhu. He composed a voluminous poetical work on Vrajlila titled Rasamadhuri in 1778 AD.
49. PRASADA DASA:
He was a disciple of Syamananda prabhu. His name is found in the book Rasikamangala.
50. PRASADA DASA (PRAKASA DASA):
He was a disciple of Shrinivasacarya and his title was `Biswas'. His father was Kamalakar dasa and his brother was Janakiram dasa. His family hailed from Vanavisnupura in the district of Bankura. Formerly they held the title of `Majumdar' but Shrinivasa prabhu awarded them the title `Biswas'. (Karnananda 1)
50.A PRASADA DASA:
See `Guruprasad Sengupta'.
51. PRASADA DASA VAIRAGI:
He was a disciple of Narottama Thakura. (Premavilasa 20, Narottamavilasa 12)
He was the Gajapati King of Orissa belonging to the Ganga dynasty. His parents were Purusottama deva and Rupamvika (Shri Padmavati). Shri Purusottama deva considered himself the servant of Lord Jagannatha and arranged various kinds of performances on festive occasions. At the time of Rathayatra he swept the road in front of the Lord with a golden broom stick. Shri Jagannatha deva was so pleased with Shri Purusottama deva that He helped him to defeat the ruler of the Kanci Kingdom. After the ruler was defeated, his daughter, Padmavati, was taken by Shri Jagannatha deva and offered to Shri Purusottama deva. Shri Prataparudra was born of this Padmavati.
As soon as Shri Prataparudra was enthroned, he, like his father, devoted himself to the service of Jagannatha deva. His capital was at Cuttack, although he sometimes lived in Puri. Prataparudra was an ardent devotee and servant of Lord Jagannatha. He was Indradyumna in his past incarnation. All this has been described in detail in the book Sarasvati vilasa. Shri Kavi Karnapura Gosvami composed the drama Shri Chaitanya Candrodaya, as per the instruction of Maharaja Shri Prataparudra.
(From BMO. PP. 88-90):
Prataparudradeva Gajapati was the king when Lord Chaitanya came to live in Orissa. The king was well known for his military strength, though he was finally defeated by Krishnadevaraya. He was fond of luxury, as is explained in the literary works of Narasimha Sena, a contemporary poet. In Gopakeli the poet describes the king as a `rasika' who indulges with his queens. In Saraswativilas, written by King Prataparudra, references are given to four queens namely Padma, Padmalaya, Ila and Pratila.. Later Oriya biographers of Lord Chaitanya, such as Iswara Dasa and Divakar Dasa, have mentioned in their books names of more than four queens. In his later life, the king came in contact with Lord Chaitanya, which proved to be the turning point in his life.
Some scholars suggest that Lord Chaitanya was responsible for the downfall of the Gajapati Kingdom, although this is not based on historical evidence. The political condition during that period was highly unstable due to other causes, such as dissension amongst the Hindu feudal kings, the internal enemies, and the invasion of Muslims, all of which combined to hasten the downfall of the Suryavansi Kingdom.
Prataparudra died in 1534 AD., one year after the death of Lord Chaitanya. There is no Oriyan work written by him. He is however credited with the authorship of Saraswativilas, Prouddha Pratapamartanda, Koutakachintamani and Nirnanyasamgrapha. A manuscript of Parachesamgita or Padurlabhasagraha, on Oriya Kavya composed by Prataparudra is also available
After accepting sannyasa, Lord Gaurasundara went to Puridhama. By the grace of the Lord, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was converted to Vaisnavism. After a few months, Mahaprabhu started for South India. The king of Orissa, Gajapati Prataparudra, heard from the people about the glories of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and thus became eager to meet Him. One day he called Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya to his house. He offered him a seat and asked, I have heard that a very great saint has come to your house from Gauda and that He is very merciful to you. Please make arrangements for me to meet Him." Sarvabhauma said that what he had heard was correct but it was not possible to arrange a meeting, as He was a sannyasi of the highest order and was without material attachment. However, Sarvabhauma agreed to try to help him, but at the present time Mahaprabhu was on pilgrimage. Prataparudra deva asked why Sarvabhauma had not implored Mahaprabhu to stay in Puri and Sarvabhauma replied, "He is the independent Supreme Lord, not to be guided by anyone." The King was impressed and said, "If such a wise man as yourself has accepted Him as God, I must also accept. When He visits Nilacala next time, please arrange for me to see Him." Sarvabhauma explained that He would be returning within a few days and a room was necessary for His residence. The king said that the house of Kasi Misra, which was secluded and near to the temple, would be a suitable place for the Lord's residence. Bhattacarya then took leave of the king. The same day, he went to see Kasi Misra and told him everything. Kasi Misra was overjoyed to have the Lord stay in his house.
The devotees were beside themselves with joy when the Lord returned to Nilacala. As soon as Sarvabhauma offered his obeisances, Mahaprabhu embraced him. Sarvabhauma introduced Him to Kasi Misra, Bhavananda and many other devotees of Puri. When Kasi Misra offered his respects, the Lord immediately embraced him and Misra was filled with transcendental joy. Kasi Misra respectfully ushered the Lord to his house, where all the members of his family surrendered to Him. Mahaprabhu mercifully allowed them to see His four-armed form.
In one of the solitary rooms of Kasi Misra's garden house, Mahaprabhu stayed comfortably. One day, Sarvabhauma told Prabhu that the king of Orissa, Gajapati Shri Prataparudra, was attracted by the glories of Prabhu and was eager to meet Him. Hearing this, Mahaprabhu blocked his ears saying, "Narayana, Narayana! Bhattacarya why are you speaking like this? I am a sannyasi and free from all attachment to the world. I am forbidden to see a king, it is as poisonous as seeing a woman. Bhattacarya, please do not talk about this again or I shall leave this place today." Bhattacarya was frightened by these words. He offered his obeisances, begged the Lord not to leave, and returned home. But he began to think deeply about how a meeting with the king could be arranged.
On the other hand, under the instruction of Mahaprabhu, Shri Ramananda left his estate in South Godavari and went to Puri. There he met King Shri Prataparudra, who was very pleased to hear that he had left his property and other worldly possessions. The king engaged him in the service of Mahaprabhu, telling him that he would receive the same salary as he had drawn before.
Shri Ramananda went to Mahaprabhu and offered obeisances. The Lord ecstatically embraced him and they spent sometime discussing topics related to Krishna. Afterwards, Shri Ramananda explained to Mahaprabhu how nicely he had been treated by King Prataparudra. He also said that he did not possess even an iota of the love and devotion that King Prataparudra had. Hearing this Mahaprabhu said, "You are a great devotee of Krishna. He who loves you, is very fortunate. The king has shown affection to you, therefore Krishna will be merciful to Him."
When Sarvabhauma Pandita told Maharaja Prataparudra what Lord Chaitanya said, the king replied, "The Lord has promised that He will not see, so I also promise that without His mercy I will not maintain my life. If I cannot have His compassion then there is no use to this life, kingdom and wealth." Sarvabhauma consoled him and asked him to be patient, "The Lord is very kind, certainly He will show His mercy eventually.
Rathayatra was drawing near. On this occasion many devotees of Mahaprabhu came from Gauda to Puri and King Prataparudra wished to meet all of them. He went to the terrace of his palace with Sarvabhauma and watched the devotees as they arrived, while Sarvabhauma introduced each devotee one by one. Seeing the lustrous bodies of Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Nityananda, Shrivasa and other devotees, the king offered obeisances from the terrace. As a gesture of hospitality, he made very nice arrangements for everyone.
Returning to Cuttack, Maharaja wrote a letter to Sarvabhauma, "If Gaurahari will not be merciful to me, I shall give up my kingdom and become a beggar living on alms." When Sarvabhauma showed the letter to the devotees everyone became worried. The devotees then went to appeal to Lord. When they arrived Mahaprabhu asked if they had something to say. Shri Nityananda Prabhu replied, "You are omniscient, You know everything, but still I put this to You--Maharaja Prataparudra earnestly aspires after Your darsana. If he is deprived of this, he will give up everything and become a yogi. Without Your darsana he considers everything in this world to be useless." Hearing this the Lord said, "It is your desire to take me to Cuttack to see him, but people will speak ill of Me, and Damodara will reprimand Me." At this, Damodara said, "You know what is Your duty and what is not. I am a small living creature, what advice can I give You.? You are affectionate to your devotees and the king has devotion for you, so I am sure that one day both of you will meet. The king's devotion will draw you towards him. Although you are the Supreme Lord, you are always subordinate to the love of your devotees."
After consulting with the devotees, Shri Nityananda Prabhu sent a piece of Mahaprabhu's cloth to the king. The king adored the piece of cloth and worshipped it as Mahaprabhu Himself.
One day Shri Ramananda Roy accompanied by the prince, came to see Mahaprabhu. The complexion of the prince was darkA blue, he was dressed in yellow cloth with and was decorated with earrings and a pearl necklace. He looked radiant and when Mahaprabhu saw him, He was reminded of Lord Krishna and began dancing and chanting "Krishna, Krishna." Mahaprabhu was very merciful to the prince. When Shri Ramananda Roy told the king what had happened the king was extremely happy. Having touched the body of his son, the king felt as if he had touched the Lord Himself.
The day before the Rathayatra festival Mahaprabhu swept the Gundica temple. On the day of Rathayatra, Mahaprabhu and His devotees watched the celebration of Shri Jagannatha Deva's Rathayatra festival. Leaving his royal dress, Shri Prataparudra, holding a gold broom stick, swept the path from the temple to the Ratha and washed it with sandal water. Seeing the king serving Shri Jagannatha deva with such humility, Mahaprabhu became compassionate. When the Ratha started for Gundica, Mahaprabhu and fourteen different groups danced and sang in front of it. The king was beside himself with joy to see this. The king, himself, along with his friends and courtiers, controlled the crowd. While singing and dancing in ecstasy, Mahaprabhu fell unconscious on the ground in front of Maharaja. Shri Prataparudra immediately caught hold of Him. When the Lord regained consciousness and realized that the king had taken care of Him, although internally He was pleased with the service of the king, He outwardly appeared disgusted, "Fie, fie, the king has touched Me." Seeing the Lord's contempt towards him, the king was extremely dejected, but Sarvabhauma consoled him.
Slowly the Rath arrived at Galagandi. There, while dancing and singing with the devotees, Mahaprabhu fainted in ecstasy just when it was time to offer bhoga to Jagannatha. The devotees took Mahaprabhu to Jagannathavallava garden where He was laid on an altar under a tree. The beauty of the garden was like that of Vrndavana. On the advice of Shri Sarvabhauma, Maharaja Prataparudra dressed as a Vaishnava and entered the garden. With the permission of the devotees, he began massaging the feet of Mahaprabhu and while doing so, in a melodious voice, he read out the slokas from the fifth chapter of Bhagavata. While listening, Prabhu was delighted beyond measure and asked him to read it again and again. When the king read the lines, "Your nectar-like words..." Mahaprabhu suddenly got up and embraced the king saying, "Splendid, splendid! You have given me many valuable things, but I have only given you an embrace." Thus, having noted the king's devotion and service, Mahaprabhu finally became compassionate and bestowed His mercy upon the king. The devotees' joy knew no bounds when they saw Mahaprabhu's mercy upon the king.
Later Mahaprabhu set out for Vrndavana. Along the way he arrived at Cuttack and had darsana of Sakshi Gopala. There He took his mid-day meal in the house of a brahmana named Svapnesvara. After that Mahaprabhu rested under a tree. When the news reached the king, he hastened to see the Lord. Seeing Lord Chaitanya from a distance, he began singing His praises. Noting the kings devotion, Mahaprabhu embraced him affectionately. Afterwards, Mahaprabhu instructed the king about Krishna consciousness. When the devotees saw how compassionate the Lord had been to the king, they named Him `The Liberator of Prataparudra.'
In the evening the members of the Royal family came on elephants for darsana at the bathing place where Mahaprabhu was to cross the river Mahanadi. Accompanied by his courtiers, Maharaja waited at the bank with a new boat to ferry Mahaprabhu across the river. When Mahaprabhu arrived there Maharaja tearfully fell at the Lord's feet and requested Him to embark the boat. With His heart full of love, Mahaprabhu cast a merciful glance at the royal family and boarded the vessel. The royal family cried in ecstasy and the king fainted on the ground. Sarvabhauma caught hold of the king and consoled him, while the king cried, "Krishna, Krishna." The king then instructed Ramananda Roy that pillars should be erected at the sacred places where Mahaprabhu had boarded the ferry and where He took rest. The king stated that he would take his bath daily at that very bank of the river and would breath his last breath at that spot.
Description of Shri Prataparudra in Chaitanya Bhagavata:
According to CBh., when Mahaprabhu first visited Nilacala, Gajapati Prataparudra was away from the capital conquering Vijaynagar. After spending a few days at Puri, Mahaprabhu went to Gauda to see Sacimata and the Ganges river. Then, again he started for Nilacala via Ramakeli. At that time Prataparudra came to Puri from his capital, Cuttack, and requested the devotes to arrange a meeting for him with Mahaprabhu. Seeing his eagerness, the devotees advised the king to observe Mahaprabhu's singing and dancing from a distance. Thus while watching from a distance, Prataparudra saw Mahaprabhu faint on the ground in a transcendental state. He rolled on the earth and saliva came from His mouth. His entire body was soaked with tears and saliva. Maharaja could not understand the Lord's celestial beauty. Feeling disgusted, Maharaja returned home.
That night he had a dream in which he saw Lord Jagannatha's body full of dust. Tears were rolling down His cheeks. Water was coming out from His nostrils and His body was soaked with saliva. When the king was about to touch the feet of Jagannatha, he heard Him say, "Your body is fully anointed with sandal paste and camphor, My body is full of dust and saliva. Do not touch Me. When I was dancing you despised Me, seeing dust and saliva on My body." Immediately the king understood that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was identical with Jagannatha Deva. Maharaja then fell prostrate on the ground, begging for mercy.
The family history of Shri Prataparudra:
The last king of the Surya dynasty was Shri Curanga deva. Seventh and ....? was Shri Ananga Bhimadeva. He ? built the present temple of Jagannatha about 800 years ago. His seventh descendent was Shri Kapilendra deva (1435-70 AD.). His son was Shri Purusottama deva (1470-1497 AD.). His son, Shri Prataparudra deva (1497-1541 AD.), had four queens; Padma, Padmalaya, Shri Ila and Mahila. He had three sons; Purusottama Jana, Kaluadeva and Kakhad-adeva. Prataparudra's daughter was Tukka. In Sarasvativilasa a detailed description of the Utkala royal family is given.
Being ordered by Shrimati Radharani in a dream, Shri Purusottama jana came to Shri Govinda deva in Vrndavana.
In 1497 AD. the boundary of Shri Prataparudra's kingdom extended from the district of Hooghly and Midnapura in Bengal, to Guntur in Madras, as well as a major portion of Telengana. In 1510 AD., when the powerful King Shri Krishnadevaraya, ascended the throne of Vijaynagar, he conquered the southern portion of Orissa. It was at that time that Mahaprabhu arrived at Nilacala, but Shri Prataparudra had already left his capital to protect his kingdom. It is said in CC. that the barbarians had come to the south up to South Godavari and to the north up to Pichalda, on the bank of the Rup-narayana river.
No authentic information is available about the disappearance of Shri Prataparudra deva. Baripada is the capital of Mayurbhanja state. Eleven miles to the south of Baripada and to the east of it there is a village named Pratapapur. It is said that the tomb of Shri Prataparudra was there. When the bank of the river crumbled, the tomb was swept away in river. The Deities of Mahaprabhu, Jagannatha and Dadhivamana were shifted to another location. On the appearance day of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu a great festival is performed. (Shrikshetra Gaudiya Mission).
He was a brahmana sannyasi from Shriranga. In his past incarnation he was Tungavidya (GGD. 163).
Pravodhananda used the expression "Gaura nagaravaro" in sloka no. 132 of Shri Chaitanya Candramrta. According to B.B. Majumdar, because of Pravodhananda's support of Nagaribhava, neither Vrndavanadasa or Krishnadasa Kaviraja have mentioned his name.
In Vishnupriya Patrika, 407 Chaitanyavda (1894 AD.), Sisirkumar Ghosh writes that Pravodhananda gave shelter to Hita Harivamsa even though Harivamsa's guru, Gopala Bhatta, had rejected him due to the offense of eating betel-leaf. In the invocation of Haribhaktivilasa Gopala Bhatta offers his obeisances to Pravodhananda. However, B.B. Majumdar argues that this Pravodhananda is a different person from Prakasananda.
The following is some additional information supplied by Haridasa dasa, PP. 1,289-1,290: Bhaktiratnakara (1.83-84) states that Pravodhananda was the paternal uncle of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami and a worshipper of the Deities of Laksminarayana. However, by the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, he became absorbed in Radha Krishna rasa. The following are the books written by Pravodhananda:
2. Shri Radharasasudhanidhi
3. Shri Chaitanya Candramrta
Growse, in his book Mathura, refers to the above second title as a work by Harivamsa. There are two manuscripts of this Radharasasudhanidhi available in the Govindaji collection, Jaipur. Of these two mss. one contains two additional slokas, one at the beginning and one at the end, which relate to Lord Chaitanya. The other mss. contains the name of Harivamsa. Considering the language and theme of these five works, Haridasa dasa concludes that all these five titles were written by Pravodhananda. (See Hindi Bhaktamala PP. 876).
Some scholars argue that it was Prakasananda, whose Vaishnava name was Pravodhananda, who wrote the above-stated five titles. From these books, and the concluding sloka of Sudhanidhi, it is clear that the author was formerly a Mayavadi sannyasi from the frequent references to terms such as "maha", "Brahman," "Jyotih," etc. This assumption is further borne out by the introductory sloka of Shri Chaitanya Candramrta of Anandi dated 1640 Saka (1718 AD.).
He was a "virakta" (renunciate) disciple of Jiva Gosvami. After the death of Jiva Gosvami, Premadasa installed Deities of Radha Damodara beneath the shade of a banyan tree at Puri near the well of Puri Gosvami. Since Premadasa hailed from northwest India and was a total renunciate, the people of Puri addressed him as "Naga" (naked). Thus the monastery built by him with the Deities of Radha Damodara is known as "Nagamatha."
He was a disciple of Shrinivasa Acarya and his brother was Rasika dasa. (Karnananda 1)
56. PREMADASA SIDDHANTAVAGIS:
Born in Kulia in a Kasyapa clan, his real name was Purusottama Misra. His father was Gangadasa Misra. He had four brothers; two died young, and the other two were Govindarama and Radhacarana. Premadasa's grandfather, Mukundananda, was a contemporary of Lord Chaitanya.
At the age of sixteen Premadasa renounced home and traveled extensively visiting several holy places. Eventually he arrived at Vrndavana, where he accepted the service of a priest in the Govindaji Mandira. Some say that Premadasa was placed in charge of preparing the food for the Deity, a service which in those days was only given to one who was extremely clean.
Premadasa was a Sanskrit scholar. In 1634 (AD?) he translated Kavi Karnapura's Shri Chaitanyacandrodaya Nataka into Bengali verse and wrote a book titled Vamsisika. According to some scholars, Premadasa and Premananda dasa were one and the same person. Thus many believe that it was this Premadasa who wrote the famous book Manahsiksa.
Eventually Premadasa's elder brother brought him back from Vrndavana. However, after receiving a divine command in a dream, Premadasa continued to write about the pastimes of Lord Gauranga. In Vamsisiksa Premadasa wrote in verse an account of Shripat Baghnapara.
He was one of the brothers of Lord Nityananda. (Premavilasa 24)
58. PREMANANDA BHARATI:
In 1779 Saka, Surendranatha Mukhapadhya was born in Calcutta. After accepting sannyasa in 1824 AD. he was known as Premananda Bharati. He visited Europe and America to preach the doctrine of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He initiated 5,000 men and women in America into the Vaishnava religion. "The Society of Krishna Consciousness", was established by him in New York. He was the first to install the Deity of Shri Radha Govinda in the western countries. In 1909 he, along with four of his American disciples, came back to Calcutta to preach. His disciple, Krishna Gopala Duggul of Punjab, published the 6,000 page book Shri Nimaicand in Urdu. Premananda Bharati died in 1914 AD.
59. PREMANANDA GOSVAMIPADA:
Premananda was the second of the three sons born to Shri Purnananda Gosvami of Shringaravata by the blessings of Siddha Vaishnava dasa babaji of Kosi. Shri Premananda took initiation from his eldest brother, Shri Nrsimhananda prabhu. However, Nrsimhananda prabhu died shortly after his marriage leaving two daughters behind. Thus Shri Premananda became the patriarch of the family. Having inherited substantial wealth, property, status and power at such an early age went to his head and Premananda became a little wayward and wanton. He recklessly spent the family wealth, almost becoming bankrupt. Then a Mahatma Vaishnava from the temple of Shri Madanamohana took him aside privately and affectionately said, "Prabhu, how long will you carry on like this? You are the descendant of Shri Nitaicand and have been sent into this world to benefit mankind. When will you fulfill that mission?"
Premananda was genuinely ashamed of his conduct and immediately changed his ways. Just prior to this he had lost his two year old daughter. After receiving the mercy of Shri Babaji, he stopped sleeping in the inner bedroom and stayed only in the outer room. He also dressed in a simply loin cloth like an ordinary inhabitant of Vraja. In the winter he used a very ordinary blanket and in the summer, if he had any business outside, he would wear a coarse chaddar on his body. No outsider or newcomer would ever have guessed that he was the patriarch of the family. If asked by anyone, he introduced himself as a servant and disciple of Srngaravata. He always offered his obeisances to everyone. If any distinguished person came to inquire from him, he directed them to Shri Brahmananda Gosvami. He regarded his elder brother's wife as the wife of his guru and addressed her as "Bada ma" (senior mother). The cash box was kept in her room and whenever it was necessary to open it, he took off his loin cloth, placed it on the floor and kneeling on it, moved across the floor on his knees. He was so obedient to the wife of his guru that even when drinking water, if asked by her to stop, he would immediately do so. He accepted his food on an ordinary leaf plate and drank water from an earthen cup. None of his disciples were allowed to either eat his remnants or bow to him.
His favorite disciple, Madhava dasa babaji, once said sorrowfully, "All other disciples get the opportunity to eat the remnants of their guru or drink the water which has washed his feet, but our gurudeva never allows us to even have a bit of dust from his feet." At that time Premananda was taking his evening walk nearby and overheard the remark. He replied, "Madhava dasa! I am no scholar, I cannot even read or write. But I have had the opportunity to memorize a sloka from the Shrimad Bhagavatam: `Offer your obeisances to all, even the animals, candalas and poisonous snakes.' Tell me whether you are outside of these categories?"
Premananda Gosvami was the embodiment of humility and his love for the Vaishnavas was boundless. Whenever he heard that any Vaishnava was ill, he immediately rushed to him, bringing everything required to treat him and offered financial help. Whenever a Vaishnava left his body, Premananda performed his last rites. If any gathering of Vaishnavas took place he sent a disciple to find out how many devotees were there and then sent cooked food for them, always keeping his identity hidden. Sometimes when a disciple wanted to spend money to serve the Vaishnavas, he would invite some devotees to Srngaravata and fed them sumptuously. He had many disciples in Vraja from both the brahmana and mercantile class. In accordance with the special status of the temple he never allowed any Vrajavasi brahmana to enter inside the temple and he himself never took cooked rice from them as prasada. But among the Bihari sadhus it was the custom to take any bread offered by a Vaishnava women. Thus if any Vaishnava women were desirous of feeding him, he would accept breads offered by them as prasada.
Although he dressed like a poor man, he took good care of the Zamindary and strictly maintained law and order within its boundary. He was such an efficient administrator that none dared to disregard him. Once he was requested to appear in court, but did not show up. By the grace of Nitaicand, the government could not find him and the case was dismissed by the court.
He had great affection for his disciples, both male and female, and also for their families. Because of his congenial character he had quite a large number of disciples all over India, in places such as Bihar, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, North-western India, Sindh and even Kabul in Afghanisthan. Thus his spiritual influence spread far and wide.
Seeing Premananda bestowing his mercy upon a devotee from Maldaha, another devotee from there took shelter at his feet. Premananda gave him the vesa-asraya and allowed him to take the garment of a Vaishnava sannyasi, naming him Shri Madhava dasa. Finding him to be very intelligent and devotional, Premananda turned over considerable responsibilities to him. After some time Madhava realized that the mantra which he had received from his diksa guru in his native village was not quite right. Taking the advice of the devotees, Madhava brought this to the attention of Premananda and begged to take diksa for a second time. However, Premananda did not immediately accept the idea, which made Madhava a little worried. Premananda fully understood Madhava's mind, thus one year he put him fully in charge of the various duties required to arrange for the fesitval of Shri Nityananda Prabhu and was very satisfied by his efficiency. When Madhava was returning to his cottage at the end of the ceremony, he called him savying, "Many flowers are strewn on the courtyard of the temple, go and pick up one." Madhava did so and Premananda said, "I am going to give you mantra diksa." After initiating him he said, "Now go around me and bow down to me." Madhava did as requested. In this same way many disciples of Premananda were initiated.
Premananda observed the yearly ceremony in honor of his guru magnificently and meticuluosly, setting the example of how to properly execute this service. Though Premananda was an ideal example of humility, he was also very particular about preserving the respect due to others. Once a maid servant of the family came to take some prasada for Premananda's young nephew, Shri Sadananda prabhu. Shri Madhava dasa brought some prasada and standing on the upper verandah, handed it over to the maid servant, who was standing below him on the courtyard. When the maid servant went away Premananda called Madhava dasa and asked, "What have you given and to whom?" Madhava dasa became nervous and said, "I gave the kind of prasada you told me to give for Shrila Dada prabhu." Premananda replied, "If you want to give prasada to anyone, is it proper to give it standing on a high place? Prasada should be given to others while standing on the same level or lower. Moreover you were giving prasada to your guru's brother. If you transgress the laws of etiquette your devotion will cease to exist."
Premananda was not extravagant, but at the proper time and place he donated money generously. Yet he was against unnecessary wastage of funds. One evening he asked his disciple Madhava dasa to go and prepare some cold drink. When it was prepared he drank it. The next morning when Madhva came to offer his obeisances, he said, "Well, my son, bowing is enough for me. There is no need for you to render any other service. Your service means wasting your guru's wealth, yesterday you left three peppers on the floor." Yet a day before this he had said, "Now there is one hundred thousand rupees in the store of Shri Nitaicand."
He departed in 1896 AD. on the third day of the full moon. Among his disciples the famous kirtan singer Shri Navadvipa Vrajvasi is still alive.
60. PREMI KRSNADASA:
He was a disciple of Shri Bhugarbha Gosvami. (Namamrtasamudra 160, See `Krishnadasa Premi')
He was the disciple of Kaviraja Manohara dasa and wrote the commentary on Bhaktamala titled, Bhaktirasavodhini. Around 1635 Saka he wrote the books titled, Ananyamodini, Cahaveli, Rasikamohini, Bhaktasumirani.
A resident devotee of Vrndavana. (CC. 2.18.52)
63. PUNDARIKA VIDYANIDHI:
Shri Gaurasundara called the respectable Pundarika as father. He was also known as Premanidhi or Acaryanidhi. Shri Kavi Karnapura referred to him as King Vrsabhanu (GGD). Pundarika was the disciple Madhavendra Puri. His father's name was Vanesvara (Suklamvara brahmacari) and his mother's name was Gangadevi. Suklamvara belonged to the Varendra sect of brahmanas. Ratnavali was the name of Pundarika's wife. Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami accepted Pundarika as his spiritual master. His Shripata was in Mekhala village which is situated under Hat-hazari police station a few miles north of Chittagong city. The temple of Shri Vidyanidhi is now in a dilapidated condition. (CC. 1.10.14, Premavilasa 22, CBh. 10.52, 67-187)
Now hear the story of Vidyanidhi Prabhu's arrival in Navadvipa. Pundarika was a very dear associate of Shri Krishna. By the Lord's arrangement he appeared in the village of Cattagrama in East Bengal, and purified that land. The Lord Himself appeared in Navadvipa and when He could not find Pundarika Vidyanidhi there He sighed heavily, feeling separation from him.
One day after ecstatic dancing the Lord sat down and exclaimed,"O My father Pundarika," and began to cry. "O Pundarika, O My father when will I be able to see You again." Such was the extent of the Lord's affection for Pundarika Vidyanidhi. In this way Lord Gaurachandra revealed His intimate associates by performing such wonderful pastimes.
All the devotees surrounding the Lord were unable to comprehend the import of the name He continued to repeat and the reason for the tears which flowed from His eyes. They conjectured that Pundarika naturally implied Krishna, and Vidyanidhi could have many different explanations, but no one could understand that this person was a very confidential associate of the Lord. When the Lord finally came out of trance the devotees asked Him, "For which associate of Yours are You weeping my Lord? Please reveal to us who he is, when he was born and what he does, tell us Lord so that we may have the good fortune to know him."
The Lord replied, "You are certainly fortunate because you desire to hear about him. His activities and character are most wonderful, the whole world can be purified simply by hearing his name. His ecstatic appearance is almost like an ordinary man, therefore no one can recognize Him as a pure devotee of the Lord. This highly learned scholar brahmana was born in Cakragrama, He strictly executed the prescribed religious principles and was respected by everyone, He always floats in the ocean of nectar of love of Krishna, and his body constantly displays various ecstatic symptoms such as crying, horripilation, etc. He never went for ablutions to the Ganga to cleanse himself of his sins like everyone else, nor did he enter her waters, he also avoided touching her with his feet. However he came to see and pay his respects to her everyday in the evening when the teeming crowds had all gone. He could not bear to see Mother Ganga disrespected and utilized by people who spat into her, cleaned their mouth with her waters, and washed their hair and dirty clothes in her, thus he preferred to come to her in the evenings when there was no one around.
"Another wonderful characteristic of Pundarika Vidyanidhi is that he always drank Ganga water before worshipping the Lord, then he performed all his daily prescribed religious duties. This was meant to give a lesson to all the puffed up scholars about the greatness of Mother Ganga.
"He is presently in Cakragrama, but he is soon coming to Navadvipa where he also has a house. None of you will be able to recognize him, as on first sight one would be inclined to think he was an ordinary materialistic person. I am very anxious to see him, so all of you must endeavor and pray to bring him here very quickly."
Talking about Pundarika Vidyanidhi threw the Lord into an ecstatic trance and He began to weep saying, "O My father Pundarika." The Lord lamented loudly, for only He could understand the extent of the greatness of such a pure Vaishnava, and through His mercy only can that wonderful and unique position of a pure devotee be revealed.
When the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself attracts a living entity there is no way that one cannot respond, thus Pundarika Vidyanidhi suddenly desired to go to Navadvipa. He made arrangements and came to Navadvipa with many disciples. In Navadvipa he remained incognito and all the ordinary men considered him to be a lavish materialist, attached to a life of comfort and self enjoyment.
With the exception of Mukunda, no one amongst the Vaishnava's knew about Pundarika Vidyanidhi's arrival in Navadvipa. Shri Mukunda was a ayurvedic, brahmana doctor who was born in Caktagrama, thus he knew about the wonderful Vaishnava qualities of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. When Mukunda found out that he was in Navadvipa, he was so overwhelmed that it was difficult for him to control himself. However, Mukunda did not reveal Pundarika Vidyanidhi's identity to anyone thus Pundarika remained a materialistic self enjoyer, in the eyes of the ordinary folks. Only Mukunda and his brother Vasudeva Dutta knew about the intensity of Pundarika's love for God.
Gadadhara Pandita and Mukunda were very dear friends and always kept in each other's company. Mukunda thus told Gadadhara Pandita, "Listen carefully Gadadhara, a very great devotee has come to Navadvipa. You have been hankering for the association of pure vaishnava's and today your desire will be fulfilled. I will take you to see a wonderful Vaishnava devotee, in return for this I simply want you to think of me as your dear servant."
The excited and happy Gadadhara Pandita called out the name of Krishna as they proceeded towards the great Vaishnava's residence. Arriving there they found Pundarika Vidyanidhi sitting comfortably. Gadadhara offered his obeisances and was respectfully seated.
Vidyanidhi inquired from Mukunda, "What is his name and which village does he come from? I can see that his body is effulgent due to rendering devotional service to the Supreme Lord Vishnu, both his form and demeanor are extremely wonderful."
"His name is Shri Gadadhara", Mukunda replied, "He is very fortunate because from early childhood he has been totally detached from family life. His external, material identity is that he is the son of the brahmana Shri Madhva Misra. Because he is totally absorbed in devotional service he only associates with Vaishnava's, and he is extremely dear to all the devotees. When he heard about you he was anxious to meet you."
After hearing the wonderful qualities of Gadadhara Pandita, Vidyanidhi was very pleased to meet him. That great personality, Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, sat like a prince. His beautiful bed was made of metal, covered with intricate brass inlay work, from it extended an attached brass lamp stand with three bright lights hanging down. He was seated on a soft mattress covered with clean expensive sheets and silk pillows were placed under his back. On either side of him many small and large water pots sat within his reach, as well as a nice shining brass plate with betel pan neatly prepared on it. Two large ornate mirrors hung on either side of him which he continually glanced into while smiling with lips reddened from chewing pan. He wore a sandalwood paste tilaka mark on his forehead and his face was decorated with dots made from a mixture of sandalwood and perfume. As for his hair, it was well groomed and shining with delicately perfumed hair oil. Two persons stood behind him fanning him gently with long peacock feathers and in front of him was a nicely prepared hammock. Because he followed a life of pure devotional service, he looked as charming as Cupid himself. Those who did not know him would consider him to be a prince as everything about him and around him gave the impression that he was a man of easy and comfortable life given to pleasure.
When Gadadhara Pandita saw these luxurious items and a general atmosphere of materialistic life he became suspicious. Since Gadadhara was a fully renounced soul from his early childhood, naturally some doubts regarding the character of Pundarika Vidyanidhi entered his heart. He thought, "What sort of a Vaishnava is he, surrounded by so much finery and lavish living? Hearing about his devotional mood I developed great respect for this person, but now on seeing him it is slowly giving way to doubt and suspicion."
Mukunda understood the mind and heart of Gadadhara Pandita, thus he took it upon himself to reveal the true nature of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. By the special mercy of Lord Krishna, Gadadhara Pandita was allowed to perceive everything, nothing remained unknown to him.
In a very sweet voice Mukunda began to sing a verse from the Shrimad Bhagavatam describing the glories of devotional service: "Alas how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of a mother to the she-demon Putana? Putana was unfaithful and always hankering for the blood of human children. With that desire in mind she prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breasts and came to kill Krishna, but because she offered her breasts to the Lord she attained the greatest achievement."
As soon as these words concerning devotional service entered his ears, Pundarika Vidyanidhi began to weep, tears of ecstatic love filled his eyes, rolling down his face profusely like streams of the Ganga. Simultaneously all the symptoms of ecstasy manifested on his person. He wept, trembled, rolled, roared and finally fell into an unconscious state of ecstasy. Then suddenly regaining consciousness he said in a loud voice, "Speak, speak," and again fell down to the ground. Agitated with spiritual emotions he kicked everything that was near him and all the luxurious paraphernalia went crashing to the ground. The shining brass pots of water, the container of betel pan, pillows, bed sheets, everything became a confused mass. He began tearing his fine clothes, and his well groomed hair went haywire as he wept and rolled in the dust. He cried out, "O Krishna, My Lord, My soul, My very life, You have made me hard- hearted like a stone." He lamented loudly, piteously crying out, "I have been deprived of the Lord's association in His most merciful incarnation." He rolled around and crashed down to the ground. Everyone was afraid he might break his bones. He to trembled so violently that three persons could not hold him down. He kicked everything that was in his way, as his disciples stood by helplessly, unable to control him. In this way the storm of ecstatic love continued until it finally abated and he fell into an unconscious state of bliss. He lay down without breathing, totally submerged in an ocean of spiritual ecstasy.
Amazed at what he witnessed Gadadhara Pandita began to worry thinking, "What inauspiciousness overcame me to make me think in such an offensive manner about this great personality." He embraced Mukunda, being extremely pleased with him. Drenching him with tears of love he said, "Mukunda you have acted like a true friend, you have shown me a pure and unalloyed devotee of the Lord. It would be difficult to find another pure Vaishnava like him anywhere in this entire creation. One can become totally purified simply by observing his devotional attitude. Today, because you are right next to me I have been able to avoid a great catastrophe. When I saw all the luxurious paraphernalia surrounding Pundarika Vidyanidhi I was convinced that he was a materialistic Vaishnava given to the pleasures of life. You could read my mind and being a great magnanimous soul you revealed to me the unlimited extent of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's love of for God, yet today I have been offensive and the extent of my offense can only be mitigated by your mercy. You must be merciful to me and purify my heart. All these devotees who have taken to the process of surrender through devotional service to the Lord have all accepted the shelter of a guide under whose instructions they act. Yet I do not have such an instructor, so I have decided to take shelter of Pundarika Vidyanidhi and execute devotional service under his guidance. I know that I can counteract all my offenses to him by becoming his disciple." Thus Gadadhara Pandita revealed to Mukunda his desire to become a disciple of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Mukunda was extremely pleased with the decision and patted him on the back saying, "very good, very good."
Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi was in a state of ecstatic coma for six hours, gradually he returned to his normal state and sat down quietly. It was impossible for Gadadhara Pandita to control the tears of joy which rolled profusely down his face. wetting his entire body. When Shri Vidyanidhi saw this he embraced Gadadhara Pandita, holding him to his heart. Overwhelmed by Pundarika Vidyanidhi's ecstatic devotion, Gadadhara was unable to sleep.(?)
Mukunda spoke up, revealing Gadadhara Pandita's mind, "Doubt arose in Gadadhara's mind when he first saw your extravagant appearance and surroundings, but now he is repentant and wants to accept initiation from you. He is a renounced devotee of the Lord. Although he is young he is mature in spiritual realization, and comes from the very good family of Madhva Misra. From early childhood he has always been very attached to the Supreme Lord. I think it is a wonderful good match--an extremely elevated spiritual master like Pundarika Vidyanidhi having an equally able disciple like Gadadhara Pandita. Please consider these points and choose an auspicious day to initiate him with your diksa mantra."
Pundarika Vidyanidhi smiled and said, "Be assured that I will do as you say, for by the Lord's mercy I have had the great fortune to meet a person who is like a precious gem. The result of many lifetimes of pious activities is that one may find a disciple such as him. The forthcoming twelfth day of the waxing moon is very auspicious, come here to meet me and your plan will become successful." Overjoyed, Gadadhara Pandita offered his obeisances and took leave of Pundarika Vidyanidhi.
Mukunda and Gadadhara went straight to meet Lord Gaurachandra, who happily received the news of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's arrival.
During the night, without being seen by anyone, Pundarika left all his associates behind and came to the place of Lord Gaurachandra. As soon as he saw the Lord he fell down like a rod, offering his obeisances. Overwhelmed with ecstatic trance he lay on the ground experiencing waves of joy. Shortly afterwards he regained external consciousness and roared loudly, then despising(?) himself he began to weep saying, "O my dear Krishna, You are my Lord and father. I am a great offender, please punish this wretch. O Lord You have liberated everyone in the world, only I have been deprived of such goof fortune."
Hearing his lamentation all the assembled Vaishnavas, who knew Pundarika Vidyanidhi to be a great and elevated Vaishnava, felt pained and began to cry.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Chaitanya, is especially inclined to His pure devotees, therefore upon seeing His beloved devotee, He got up and embraced him. Crying the Lord said, "O My father Pundarika, finally I am able to see you today." The Vaishnavas were overjoyed to have the association of such an elevated devotee as Pundarika Vidyanidhi and their eyes filled with tears. So wonderful was this scene that no pen could possibly describe it.
Lord Gaurasundara held Pundarika Vidyanidhi in a loving embrace, wetting him with His tears. Understanding how dear Pundarika was to the Lord, the devotees immediately felt affection, respect and a sense of closeness with him. The Lord continued to hold Pundarika Vidyanidhi closely as if He wanted to merge His body into his. For sometime the Lord was unable to move. Remaining like a statue He held Vidyanidhi in His close embrace. When the Lord came out of trance He began to chant the name of Hari, and said, "Today Lord Krishna has been very merciful to me, He has fulfilled all My desires. I have met a person of My heart's desire."
Pundarika Vidyanidhi greeted all the Vaishnavas fondly and they began to chant the holy name together. The Lord then introduced Pundarika saying, "His name is Pundarika Vidyanidhi, the Lord has specially created him to distribute love of Godhead."
Hearing this the devotees happily responded by lifting their arms and chanting "Hari, Hari." The Lord said, "Today is a special day, a wonderful thing has happened, I woke up from sleep and my eyes beheld the ocean of love of Godhead directly in person."
All this went on while Pundarika Vidyanidhi was absorbed within himself in an ecstatic trance, totally unaware of his immediate external surroundings. Suddenly he became aware of the devotees around him and he immediately offered obeisances to the Lord, properly recognizing Him for the first time since their meeting. Then he offered his obeisances to Advaita Acarya Prabhu and exchanged obeisances with all the other Vaishnavas. It was a glorious scene, as all the devotees floated on waves of ecstasy, thrilled to have met Pundarika Vidyanidhi who himself is an ocean of love of Godhead. Only an extremely pious and fortunate person is able to describe this marvelous scene.
Gadadhara Pandita took Lord Visvambhara's permission to accept initiation from Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Gadadhara said, "I could not understand the uncommon behavior of this great personality and so I became disrespectful. Therefore in order to cleanse myself of this sin I want to become his disciple, for certainly as my spiritual master he will exonerate me."
Appreciating Gadadhara Pandita's mood, the Lord said, "Yes, perform it quickly." Thus Gadadhara Pandita formerly accepted initiation from Pundarika Vidyanidhi,the ocean of ecstatic loving devotion. (CBh. Madhya)
Pundarika Vidyanidhi was present to see Mahaprabhu liberate the great sinners Jagai and Madhai and enjoyed sporting in the water with the Lord and the other devotees thereafter. Vidyanidhi was one of the chief companions of Mahaprabhu in Nadia, as well as Puridhama. During Mahaprabhu's candan festival at Puri when He played in Narendra lake, Vidyanidhi also sported in the water with Svarupa Damodara
One day at Puri, Shri Gadadhara Pandita told Mahaprabhu, "I cannot pronounce my mantra properly....(?)". Mahaprabhu said, "Your spiritual master, Vidyanidhi, will come here soon, at that time you can discuss this with him." Just at that time, Shri Vidyanidhi arrived in Puri and the devotees were overjoyed to have him in their midst again. Thus Shri Gadadhara Pandita's wish was fulfilled. Accommodations for Shri Vidyanidhi were arranged by the sea-side at Yamesvara. He and Svarupa Damodara were very close friends, they constantly enjoyed talking about topics related to the Lord together and going for darsana of Jagannatha.
Around this time, the festival of Odana Sasthi began at Puri and Lord Jagannatha was dressed in new clothes--all starched. Although starched cloth is considered improper and impure, the purjaris nevertheless dressed Him in this way. On this day the ceremony of `wearing new starched clothes' was being celebrated with pomp and grandeur. Shri Gaurasundara watched the ceremony along with the devotees. Lord Jagannatha was dressed in various bright colored starched clothes (white, pink and green), and was decorated with garlands and flowers. Varieties of festive music played and Mahaprabhu enjoyed the festival with great pleasure until late in the evening. He then returned to His residence along with His devotees. On the way home the two friends, Svarupa Damodara and Shri Vidyanidhi, raised a discussion regarding the Lord's starched clothes. Vidyanidhi said, "In this part of the country there is considerable discussion regarding Sruti and Smrti, yet how is it that the Lord is dressed in un-holy starched clothing?
Svarupa Damodara replied, "Perhaps it is the custom of this place. If it is the custom, then where is the fault? Had it not been the wish of the Lord, the King would have forbidden it."
Vidyanidhi replied, "God can do whatever He likes, but why should His priest attendants put starched clothes on Him.? Starched cloth is so un-holy that the hand which has touched it has to be washed. These things are not decided by the estate officers. I see that the King also wore starched cloth on his head today."
Svarupa Damodara said, "Brother, perhaps there is nothing wrong in using this cloth on the day of Odana Sasthi. Because the Lord Himself has appeared on this earth in the form of Jagannatha Deva, rules and regulations are not applicable to Him."
Vidyanidhi protested, "Jagannatha Deva is the Lord, He is omniscient. But can these people be like Him? Are they beyond all rules and regulations?" In this way the two friends discussed in a jovial mood until reaching their residence, then took rest.
That night Vidyanidhi dreamed that Jagannatha and Balarama were very annoyed with him. They slapped Vidyanidhi on his two cheeks and said, "I have no caste, and neither do my attendants. It is I who have made the rules which you think there is deviation from." Weeping, Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi put his head on the feet of Jagannatha and said, "Oh Lord, I have been rightly served according to my offence. Today is very auspicious for me, Your good hand has touched my forehead. I do not now what good deed I performed in my previous birth to have such a benediction." The Lord then disappeared. When Vidyanidhi awoke in the morning, he found that his two cheeks were swollen as a result of the slapping by Shri Jagannatha and Balarama.
Every morning Svarupa Damodara came to Vidyanidhi's place and they went to the Jagannatha Mandira for darsana together. That morning Svarupa Damodara arrived as usual, but found Vidyanidhi still lying in bed. When he inquired as to why he was still in bed, Vidyanidhi called him to his side and explained his extraordinary dream. Hearing this and seeing Vidyanidhi's swollen cheeks, Svarupa Damodara was overwhelmed with joy. He said, "I don't know of any other such instance where the Lord has punished a man in his dream, but today I have seen this with my own eyes. Is there any man so fortunate as you in the three worlds?" Svarupa Damodara joyfully praised Shri Vidyanidhi. As a friend feels delighted at the well-being of his friend, so Svarupa Damodara thought himself extremely lucky because of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's fortune.
Shri Vrndavana dasa wrote: "He who hears about the character of Pundarika Vidyanidhi is certain to attain devotion to Krishna. (CBh. Antya)
The Deities of Laksmi Govinda installed by Pundarika still exist today. In his birth place one still finds an earthen pitcher bearing Pundarika's handwriting. On the upper part of the temple there are two plaques containing sanskrit slokas. Though damaged severely by fire, the text can still be read with some effort. In the archives of the Chittagong Collectorate names of Baneswar Brahmacari and Pundarika Vidyanidhi are found in Tanji no.s 17697, 26837, 17781. There road-cess(?) is still collected in those names. The thirteenth generation descendants of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's family live in Mekhala.
64. PURANDARA ACARYA:
He lived in Navadvipa and was a brahmana belonging to the branch of Lord Chaitanya. Mahaprabhu's father, Jagannatha Misra, also possessed this title, "Purandara Acarya," thus Mahaprabhu addressed Purandara respectfully as "father." (CBh. 3.8.31, CC. 1.10.30)
65. PURANDARA DASA:
Among the devotional poets of Karnataka, he ranks very high and is often described as the "dasasrestha." His musical contribution was also commendable. Born in an aristocratic family he renounced all his wealth and took to begging alms for his livelihood. He was initiated by Vyasaraya at Vijayanagara.
It was in Purandaragarh near Pune that he was born in 1484 and named Krishnappanayaka. Starting as a jeweller by profession, he went by the name of Purandaravithala after he became a "Haridasa" with a Madhva orientation.
His contribution to Kannada literature is two-fold, music and poetry. His compositions are divisible into five categories: (1) those extolling his spiritual masters and the Supreme Lord, (2) those which present an introspective analysis of himself, (3) those which deal with the childhood pastimes of Krishna, (4) those which critically view society and its ways, and (5) those which are didactic in nature. All of these compositions are set to music. Apart from these kirtanas, he wrote a number of other compositions called the Sulas and the Ugabhogas. The Sulas are musical compositions in which the beating of time is the most essential element, while the Ugabhoga's are those which can be rendered musically in different tunes and time. He was undoubtedly extremely proficient in music, yet how he acquired this talent is unknown.
Up until Purandara's time (15th century), Karnataka music had remained a sophisticated art reserved for the scholars and panditas. It was Purandara dasa who devised a novel scheme to bring music to the masses, not only through his own public singing, but by devising a fresh method of teaching music.
With Purandaradasa began the institution of "Dasakuta" which had its roots in the spiritual legacy from Naraharitirth Shripadaraya. The preceptor of Purandara, the musician-saint, was Vyasaraya, who designated his pupil's works as the Purandaropanisad.
66. PURANDARA KHAN:
His real name was Gopinatha Basu. Born in a Kayastha caste, he hailed from Seakhala village in the Hugli district, where the site named "Purandargad" still exists. He was the Vazir, or the Chief Advisor, of King Hussain Shah. His grandfather was Suvuddhi Khan, who was also an employee of the King of Gauda. They were devotees of Lord Chaitanya. (See `Hussain Shah')
67. PURANDARA MISRA:
He was a disciple of Narottama Thakura. (Premavilasa 20)
68. PURANDARA PANDITA:
He belonged to the sakha of Lord Nityananda and was a resident of Khardaha in 24 Parganas. It is stated in CC. 1.11.28 and BRK. 8.165-166, 12.3702-5 that Purandara Pandita had his Shripata at Khardaha long before Lord Nityananda chose to settle there. Lord Nityananda visited Purandara's house and had kirtana there. Purandara was with Lord Chaitanya in Puri for sometime. When Nityananda Prabhu was ordered by the Lord to preach in Gauda, Purandara accompanied Him (CBh. 3.5.241 and 423).
It is written, however, in Vaishnava-acardarpan that Purandara Pandita had his Shripata at Padpur.
He was one of the brothers of Lord Nityananda. (Premavilasa 24)
He belonged to the lineage of Lord Chaitanya. He was Lord Gauranga's student and accompanied Him during performance of kirtana. (CC. 1.10.72, CBh. 1.15.5, 3.8.20)
A devotee of Lord Gauranga and a resident of Navadvipa. (Vaishnava-vandana)
He belonged to the sakha of Lord Chaitanya. (CC. 1.10.112)
He belonged to the sakha of Lord Chaitanya and was a resident of Kulingram. (CC. 1.10.80)
He was a disciple of Syamananda prabhu. His Shripata was at Nrsimhapura, although some say it was at Kasiari. (Premavilasa 20)
He was a disciple of Rasikananda prabhu. (Rasikamangala Pascima 14.150)
He was a disciple of Narottama Thakura. (Premavilasa 20)
A resident of Orissa, he composed the famous historical kavya which deals with the conquest of Kanci by King Purusottamadeva Gajapati of Orissa. Chaitanyabandana of S. Rath refers to him as the author of Kanchikaveri. In Gurubhaktigita Purusottama Pandita was known as Madanlata gopi (Utkal University, 1975, Vol. III, Ch. 49, P. 176)
In Brajabihar (Dasarathi Das Brajabihar, Oriya manuscript preserved in the Utkal University Library, Catalogue no. 49) Purusottama is referred to as a pandita by title and a brahmana by caste. In Swarupabarnana (Rupa Gosvami, Swarupabarnana Ms. found in the Utkal University Library, Catalogue no. 382) and in Shri Chaitanyaganoddesadipika (of Krishnadasa Kaviraja, Ms. preserved in Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar, Catalogue no. L470[B]) Purusottama is described as Madanalasa sakhi in his past incarnation. He is also referred to as Mahabala in Chaitanyaganoddesadipika.
78, PURUSOTTAMA ACARYA:
This was the past name of Svarupa Damodara, one of the closest associates of Lord Chaitanya. (See `Svarupa Damodara')
79. PURUSOTTAMA BRAHMACARI:
He belonged to the lineage of Advaita Acarya. (CC. 1.12.62, Namamrtasamudra 244)
80. PURUSOTTAMA BRAHMACARI:
He was a resident of Kancisali. (Vaishnava vandana of Shri Jiva Gosvami 240, of Devakinandana 116, of Vrndavana dasa 109)
81. PURUSOTTAMA CAKRAVARTI:
He was the disciple of Gatigovinda, the son of Shrinivasa Acarya. (Karnananda 2)
82. PURUSOTTAMA DASA:
He was the son of Sadasiva Kaviraja and a disciple of Lord Nityananda. He is considered to be the eighth of the twelve Gopalas (For details see Shri Dvadasa Gopala of Amulyadhar Rayabhatta P. 131-138). Purusottama's disciple, Daivakinandana dasa composed Vaishnava-vandana and wrote the Sanskrit book Vaishnavabhidhan. The padavali's composed by Purusottama deserve praise. Descendants of his family later settled at Bodhakhana of Jessore (Bangladesh) and at Bhajanghat of Nadia.
GGD 130 describes Purusottama as Stokakrishna in his past incarnation. Purusottama's name is also mentioned in the book Candraprabha P. 74, written by Bharat Mallik.
According to B.B. Majumdar CCU. P. 660-662, in CBh. 3.6.474 the name of Sadasiva Kaviraja's son is given as Purusottama dasa. However in GGD, Nagar Purusottama and Purusottama dasa are names of two different persons.
83. PURUSOTTAMA DATTA:
His name is mentioned in Chaitanyamangala of Jayananda P. 145.
84. PURUSOTTAMA DATTA:
Haridasa dasa wonders if this Purusottama studied grammar under Lord Gauranga.
85. PURUSOTTAMA DATTA:
He was the paternal uncle of Narottama Thakura. (BRK. 1.464-468)
86. PURUSOTTAMA DEVA:
He was the father of King Prataparudra deva. According to Sarasvati Vilasa, he was the son of Kapilendra deva and Parvati devi. In Gangavamsanucarita it is stated that although Purusottama was not the eldest son, by the divine order of Shri Shri Jagannatha Deva, he inherited the kingdom of his father. This outraged his other brothers who challenged the righteousness of the order of Jagannatha Deva. Purusottama stood before his brothers unarmed as they threw weapons at him. When Purusottama remained unharmed the brothers accepted that the throne belonged to him.
According to the Odiya book Kancikaveri, when Kanciraja came to Puri to arrange the marriage of his daughter Padmavati, it was the time of Rathyatra. When he saw that Purusottama was sweeping the street in front of Lord Jagannatha with a golden handled broom, the King of Kanci refused to give his daughter in marriage to Purusottama, considering him to be a sweeper. Purusottama was extremely offended and thus immediately left for Kanci with the permission and a pledge of divine assistance from Lord Jagannatha Deva. On the way he met a milk-maid named Manika who gave him a ring and said that two soldiers who passed by earlier had given this ring to her in lieu of curd and milk. They told Manika that their King was coming behind them soon and that she should return the ring to the king and request the payment for the milk and curd. Seeing the ring, the king at once understood that the soldiers were Jagannatha and Balarama Themselves. The king paid for the milk and curd and thereafter defeated the King of Kanci in battle. He captured the jewelled throne of the Kanci King and offered it to Jagannatha Deva. He took with him the deity of Ganesa which had been worshiped by the King of Kanci. Because the deity of Ganesa had helped the Kanci King in battle, Purusottama deva named the deity Bhanda Ganesa (fake), and he is still famous by this name.
Due to the wish of Jagannatha Deva, Purusottama married Padmavati. From the Anantavarman inscription of Prataparudra deva, it is understood that his father also defeated the King of Karnataka, Nrsimha, and brought the Deity of Sakshi Gopala to Cuttack. Purusottama was a great scholar and poet. Following the style of the drama Venisanhara, he wrote a Sanskrit drama named Abhinava Veni Sanharana. He also wrote Abhinava Gitagovinda (vide report 1895-1900), by Mm. H.P. Sastri) and Mukticintamoni (Patvadi Punthi Smr. 147)
87. PURUSOTTAMA GUPTA:
He was the maternal grandfather of Locana dasa, the author of Chaitanyamangala.
88. PURUSOTTAMA JANA:
He was a disciple of Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami and the son of Gajapati Prataparudra, the independent King of Orissa. (BRK. 6.65)
When Purusottama found out that there was no Deity of Radharani on the left side of either Govindadeva or MadanaA mohana in Vrndavana, he immediately arranged to send two Deities to Vrndavana. However, the brahmana priest of MadanaA mohana received a divine command in a dream saying: "Of the two Deities, the bigger was an image of Lalita and the smaller one was of Radha. The Deity of Radha should be installed on the left and that of Lalita on the right of Madana-mohana." This left Govindaji without a Deity of Radha.
Purusottama was extremely happy to hear this and ordered another Deity of Radha to be made. But the same night Purusottama received a command from Govindadeva in a dream as follows: "The Deity which is being worshipped as Laksmi within the Cakrabeda of Lord Jagannatha at Puri is not Laksmi, it is Radha and should be sent to Govindaji in Vrndavana.
Sadhanadipika P. 128-129, gives a brief history of this Deity of Laksmi. She was originally in Vrndavana and some devotee brought her to Orissa. Later a South Indian brahmana named Vrhadbhanu, a resident of Radhanagar village in Orissa, brought the Deity home and served her. After the death of this brahmana, some devotee King of Orissa brought the Deity to Puri and installed her within the Cakrabeda of Lord Jagannatha where she was worshipped as Laksmi. After receiving the instruction in a dream, Purusottama arranged to send the Deity to Govindaji in a grand manner.
See CC. 2.12.58-64 for the story regarding Lord Chaitanya's mercy showered upon the crown-prince of Orissa, Purusottama.
89. PURUSOTTAMA MISRA:
This was another name of Premadasa Siddhantavagis, who served as a priest in the Govindaji Mandira in Vrndavana. (See `Premadasa Siddhantavagis')
90. PURUSOTTAMA NAGAR:
He was Damagopal in his past incarnation. Some say `Nagar' was a title added to his name, while others hold that he came from `Nagar' land. He drank snake venom in a state of ecstasy but suffered nothing. (Bhaktamala 3)
91. PURUSOTTAMA NAGAR:
The eldest son of Isan Nagar, he lived at the village Teotha Jhankpal in the district of Dhaka on the eastern bank of the Padma.
It is said that one day when Purusottama was half submerged in the water of Ruda Sagara (situated in the southA western part of the village) absorbed in meditation, a large boat belonging to a wealthy man passed towards the north. Not caring for the poor Vaishnava worshipping in the river, they did not stop rowing their boat. However, one of the boatmen could not continue to row seeing a Vaishnava devotee in the water. The rich owner of the boat wanted to test the devotion of the Vaishnava and ordered the boatmen to throw a piece of stone in the river and said, "Let me see whether the stone can float in the water due to the desire of a Vaishnava." Seeing this, Purusottama let out a loud roar and the stone floated towards him. He picked it up from the water and placed it on his head. Later he placed it by the side of the throne of Jagannatha Deva and worshipped it everyday with the utmost care. It is said that his descendants once tried to cut the stone into pieces to distribute it amongst the various family members, but when they saw blood coming from the stone they stopped their attempt. That stone is still worshipped in Vamandi village. (Introduction in Advaita Prakasa)
92. PURUSOTTAMA PANDITA:
He belonged to the sakha of Lord Nityananda and lived at Navadvipa. (CC. 1.11.33, CBh. 3.5.737)
93. PURUSOTTAMA PANDITA:
He belonged to the sakha of Advaita prabhu. (CC. 1.12.63, Vaishnava Vandana)
94. PURUSOTTAMA PURI:
He was a devotee of Lord Gauranga. B.B. Majumdar in CCU. P. 662, states that the Purusottama Tirtha mentioned by Jiva Gosvami and Vrndavanadasa in their Vaishnava-vandana (260 and 129 respectively) is called Purusottama Puri by Devakinandana in his Vaishnava-vandana 130.
95. PURUSOTTAMA SANJAYA:
A brahmana by caste from Navadvipa who was a student of Lord Gauranga (CC. 1.10.70, CBh. 1.10.109 and 2.1.144. However, CC. refers to Purusottama and Sanjaya as two different persons. (Also see Murari's Krishnachaitanyacaritam 4.17.7, Jayananda P. 4 and CC. 2.11.79)
96. PURUSOTTAMA THAKURA:
From his childhood he was completely devoted to the feet of Shri Nityananda Prabhu. According to CC. 1.11.38-39 and CBh. 3.5.741-742, Shri Purusottama dasa was the son of Shri Sadasiva Kaviraja.
Shri Purusottama Thakura had four main disciples, namely, Shri Madhavacarya, Shri Yadavacarya and Devakinandana, who were all Kulina brahmanas. Shri Madhavacarya was the husband of Shri Nityananda Prabhu's daughter Ganga devi, and Shri Devakinandana was the author of Vaishnava-vandana.
Originally, Purusottama Thakura's Deities were in his Shripata in Sukhasagara, near the railway station of Cakdaha and Simurali. After the village of Sukhasagara was ruined, the Deities were brought to Candudiya. At present the Deities of Purusottama Thakura are being worshipped, along with other Deities, under the management of the Ganga dynasty in Jirst. The Shripata of Purusottama was known as the pata of `Basu Jahnava.' One of the priests' name was Shri Sitanatha Dasa. (CC. 1.11.38-39)
Shri Purusottama's son was Shri Kanu Thakura (CC. 1.11.40). It is said that just after the birth of Shri Kanu Thakura, his mother Jahnava, the wife of Purusottama died. When Shri Nityananda came to know about this He went to Purusottama's house and took the child Kanu with him to Khardaha. Shri Kanu Thakura was born in the saka era of 1457, in the month of Asadha, on the 2nd day of the bright fortnight. Seeing Kanu Thakura's intense devotion for Lord Krishna, Shri Nityananda Prabhu named him Sisu Krishna dasa.
It is said in Premavilasa that Shri Kanai Thakura (Sisu Krishnadasa) was present at the festival of Kheturi, along with Mata Jahnava. Like Purusottama, he also had many Soukra brahmana disciples.
During the period of Maratha's invasion the descendants of Shri Kanai Thakura left Vodhkhana, along with their Deity, and went to live at the village of Bhajana ghat in the district of Nadia. When the situation normalized, Harikrishna Gosvami, the descendant of Kanai Thakura's youngest son, returned to Bodhkhana, where he established the Deity of Pranavallava. Shrirama was one of the famous disciples of Shri Kanai Thakura. The disciples of Kanai Thakura lived at Gadaveta village near Silavati river in Midnapore district.
97. PURUSOTTAMA TIRTHA:
He was a sannyasi and close associate of Lord Gauranga. (GGD. 97-101)
According to B.B. Majumdar in CCU. P. 660, there were perhaps two Purusottama Tirtha's. He is mentioned in Vaishnava-vandana of Jiva in two places (p.211 and p.269), and two places in Vrndavana dasa's (p. 89 and p.129)
98. PUSPA GOPALA:
A resident of Svarnagram at Dhaka who belonged to the sakha of Gadadhara Pandita. (CC. 1.12.84, Namamrtasamudra 126, Sakhanirnayamrta 45)