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An assortment of Gaudiya-Vaishnava Nectar
About Shri Vishnu Priya-devi:
Vishnupriya is bhu-shakti. She is also Satyabhama. Daughter of SanatanaMishra, who was a very learned brahmana and Vaishnava. From childhood she was very religious, following all vratas and worships. She especially worshippedTulasidevi and bathed 2 or 3 times daily in the Ganga. This is where she metSacidevi who would bless her saying, "May you have a good husband." Fromthat time Saci thought of making her her daughter-in-law.
She was Lord Chaitanya's second wife after Lakshmipriya departed this world.The pious brahmana Shri Kashinatha mishra arranged this marriage. The marriage was held with great pomp and proper rituals. The whole Navadwipa came to seethis divine pastime that even demigods cannot see. The Lord hardly gaveher attention after this marriage. She bore all this quietly. The nighthe left to take sannyasa He showed His 4-armed form to her.
She would put one grain of rice in a pot for every round of HKM she chanted,and cook that and share with mother Saci. Ideal widow.
About Shri Raghunandana Thakur:
He was the son of Mukunda dasa (who is brother to Shri Madhava and Narahari Sarkar). This family hailed from Shrikhanda. R.T. was Kandarpa Manjari in Vrajalila and Krishna's son also named Kandarpa in Dwaraka lila. One when his father went on business, the 8-year old R.T. fed the home Deity laddu. He was fearful his father would think he hadn't done the offering when the Deity didn't consume the offering, so he cried and the Deity took. When pop returned, pop thought the kid had eated it. But later he arranged the same would happen and spied from outside. He also saw the Deity eat the laddu.
The boy composed Gaurbhavamrta at age 8.
A Kadambha tree always yielded to the boy 2 bloomed flowers in any seasonfor his worship of the Lord.
When dancing ecstatically he wanted to bless his disciple Krishna dasa.One of his ankle bells flew off and fell 4 miles away in a pond near thatdisciple's house. The pond is called Nupurkunda and the ankle bell can still be seen on display there in the village of Akaihati.
He told Shrinvasa Acharya that the future of Vaishnavism in Bengal would lookbleak because of factionalism. But later he blessed Shrinivasa that he wouldgenerate a revival of the SK movement.
At the end of his life he entered nama-kirtana continuously for 3 days.On the 4th day he chanted 'Shri Krishna Chaitanya' repeatedly and left hisbody.
He was King Vrishabhanu in Vrajalila. A rich landowner. Disciple ofMadhavendra Puri. Good friend of Madhava Mishra, father of Gadadhara Pandit.G.P. took diksha from him. Even before they met Mahaprabhu called out hisname, "Oh my father" while in kirtana. L.C. called him Premnidhi. Goodfriend of Swarupa Damodara.
Gadadhara went with Mukunda datta to see him because Mahaprabhu had saidthat G.P. (who was very attached to Shrimad Bhagavatam) should learn S.B,from P.V. P.V. was sitting on an opulent bed, wearing fancy silk clothesand was even smoking a hookah. G.P. doubted him, but M.D. sang a verse fromS.B. and P.V. fell off his bed, crying in ecstacy. The verse was about thegoal attained by Putana in 3rd Canto.
Raghunatha dasa Goswami
Rasamanjari, or Ratimanjari, or Bhanumati.
Appeared in Krishnapur in 1492. Diksha guru was Yadunandana Acarya. Hegot voishnoba-kripa from young age. Studied under Balarama dasa Acharya(family pujari) and Haridasa Thakur had visited his house, and gave himinstructions. Hearing about LC and L Nitai's many pastimes attracted him.Once he ran to Advaita's house, got blessings of LC, Who advised him notto be crazy, but to return. Later he got Nitai's great mercy.
Story of his meditation on cooking, offering and honoring sweet rice toGiridhari; he got sick from overeating in his mind.
Someone once brought him a beautiful leaf cup with some sweet prasadam.He inquired where the leaf cup had come from, and when he heard the answer,he threw it aside, saying, "That's the place of Chandravali - I'll neveraccept anything from there."
A businessman gave him money for the excavation of Radha Kunda. As it wasbeing dug up, trees were also cut. RDG had a dream that 5 trees were the5 Pandavas who were absorbed in meditation on RK-lila.
Ballabhaacharya once visited Rupa Goswami. Seeing him working on a literature, Ballabha inquired to see it and pointed out a mistake. Rupa asked him to correct the work while he took bath. When he was out Jiva pointed out toVallabha that there was no mistake, and Ballabha was satisfied. So he told Rupa when he returned that your cousin has shown me I was mistaken - don't worry, this work is perfectly composed. After Ballabha left, Rupa was angry with Jiva and told him to return to the east (he meant Bengal). But Jiva went east of Rupa and Sanatana's ashram and moved into an old crocodile cave.There he wrote Gopala Champu, desiring not to offend Vaishnava's point of view. He wrote it on coconut leaves strung together with banyan tree roots. But after composing it he became angry at himself out of humility and threw the manuscript in the Yamuna. At the same time, Sanatana and Rupa were bathing downstream, and the manuscript touched Sanatana's body. He recoverd the manuscript and could tell it was Jiva's. So he went looking for him. Villagers told him, "Baro baba, there is a wonderful young sadhu living in that cave on the bank of the Yamuna. He is more austere than even you and your brother, and he chants and cries constantly." So he found Jiva and embraced him, bringing him back to Rupa.
When Rupa was writing the Radhikastakam, he compared Radharani's hairdo with Her gem on top of it to a black cobra. Sanatana didn't like this. So Rupa said, Well, that's the only way I can describe it, but I'll think about it. So Sanatana went out. While walking he saw some young girls playing on a swing; two were pushing and one was riding the swing. As he got closer he saw the one on the swing had a cobra in her hair. He returned to Rupa, saying, You are my guru. Whatever you write is exactly correct.
Narada Muni is Madhumangala.
Narada caused a fight between Radha and Krishna over Lalita (swing pastime).
Krishna and Balarama - Balaram (formerly Laxman, who had sworn to never appearas the younger brother): friends taunted, "Your not the son of Yashoda,you're black", and Balaram confirmed. When parents asked why, he said,"I'm taking spite for our last lives relationship."
Sanatana took diksa from Madhusudana Vacaspati, and Rupa took diksa fromSantana.
Bhaktivinode Thakur says the 6 Goswamis are the original brijbasis.
Raghunatha dasa Goswami says that he'd rather hear the prajalpa of theBrijbasis than Krishna katha anywhere outside of Vrindavana.
Shrila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakur: disciple of Radharamana Chakravarti whois in the disciplic line of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakur. He spent many yearsin his guru's house studying bhakti under his tutelage. During his studentyears he defeated a famous digvijaya pandit and wrote many small compositionsknown as bindhus. His parents married him early but he had no interestin family life. On his guru's instruction he spent one night with hiswife and read Shrimad Bhagavatam to her until dawn. Then he left for RadhaKunda and stayed in the bhajana kutir of Shri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami.
He was known as Hariballabha Dasa and later got the title of Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakur for his uncanny perceptions into the mellows of Krshnabhakti. He was called Rasacharya. He could stop the rainfall by his writingof S.B. commentaries, because the rain didn't want to disturb him or dripon his manuscripts.
He re-established parakiya-bhajan by at Radha Kunda by writing a tika onGopala Champu. For this, some envious persons tried to kill him when hewent for his ablutions in the forest, but he took his siddha-deha form ofa young girl and they couldn't discern him.
His disciple was Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, who wrote the Gobinda-bhasya.
"Aham vritti suka vritti vyasa vritti nivritti va..." appeared on themanuscript of Shridhara Swami's commentary of S.B. after if had been laid infront of the Lord Vishvanatha in Benares because of controversy overits validity.
Lord Nityananda married upon the request of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Who gave Him this instruction in Puri along with ordering Him to return to Bengal for preaching. The Lord married Vasudha, daughter of a famous brahmin. During the marriage feast, Lord Nityananda saw Vasudha's sister Jahnavi serving out prasadam in her 4-armed form. He recognized her as his eternal potency. So He took her as His wife also.
NAROTTAMA DASA THAKUR
He appeared 45 years after Lord Chaitanya's disappearance in Raj Sathi district in modern Bangladesh as son of King Krishnanandana Dhatu. His father had waited long for a son. Astrologers had predicted he'd be a big acharya - parents took this to mean a good ruler.
He was smart boy. He learned his subjects quickly. Narottama was attractedto the katha of Mahaprabhu which was very prominent at that time. He wantedto go to Vrndavana.
Previously in one kirtana Lord Chaitanya had cried out "Narottama!" Nobodyexcept Lord Nityananda knew the meaning of this. Lord Chaitanya and LordNityananda went to the Padmavati River and left prema bhakti with her forNarottama. She asked, "How will I know him?" LC said, when his bodytouches your waters you'll overflood in ecstacy.
When he was 12 LC and LN appeared in a dream and told him to bathe in thePadmavati which was 1 mile from Khekuri, the capital. This was during thecalm season. As soon as he stepped in the river, big waves appeared.Padmavati endowed him with prema-bhakti and he turned gold. His parents thought he was sick.
When his father and uncle Purushottama were called to the capital of BengalNDT ran off to Vrndavana. He travelled quickly, not eating, but got a boilon his foot and had to stop beneath a tree for 3 days. A brahmin came witha pot of milk and left it for him. He prayed to the Lord for direction andhad a dream of Rupa and Sanatana who told him to drink the milk and just go.He did and was healed and ran.
He went to Jiva Goswami who told him to go to Lokanatha Goswami who got san-nyasa from LC. LG didn't want disciples. So NDT served him secretly fora long time, cleaning stool place and putting a pot of fresh water there andfresh dirt. He would hold the broom to his breast and weep. LG was impressedas NDT was a prince, so he gave him initiation.
NDT is Champaka Manjari and a direct potency of Lord Nityananda. She is apersonal associate of Anangamanjari.
NDT would do manas seva. Once he burned his hands while cooking in his mind,and this was noticed by Lokanatha Goswami. LG told him, "take full shelter ofJiva Goswami." He he became siksha disciple of JG, with contemporariesShrinivasa and Shyamananda Prabhu.
JG wanted his books sent to Bengal. He sent them in a trunk with these 3siksha disciples. Hambi, a king near Varanasi, was a dacoit and had an astro-loger who told him these three mendicants had an enormous treasure in theirtrunk, so he stole that trunk during the night. Shrinivasa was deputed toget the books back while Narottama went on to Bengal. He sat on the bank ofthe Bhagirathi and cried, thinking about the Lord and desiring to knowthe place of His appearance. Just then an old brahmana came and asked him whyhe was crying, and he told him. That brahmana said, "I've seen so many past-times", and he took him to the place of LC's appearance, where Isana Thakurwas staying. NDT got the blessings of the senior Vaishnavas - Raghunandana,Jahnavi, Bir Chandra.
In his old kingdom, his father and uncle had passed away and his cousin-brotherSantosh had become king. Santosh welcomed NDT with all ceremonies and tookinitiation from him. This was a big thing - others took initiation also. InKethari he held the first Gaur Purnima festival and installed six Deities -one is now in Vrndavana in Gokulananda temple near the Radha Ramana temple (Deity of Lord Chaitanya). All great Vaishnavas of that time in Bengal cameto this festival, including Shyamananda, Jahnavi, Mineketana Rama, Achuta-nanda, Mukunda Datta and others. NDT started Gauranghatti style of kirtana(because ragas, which are only celestial, do not invoke spiritual emotions).Shrinivasa Acharya and Mukunda began singing this style at this first GP festi-val. After this festival many took Nishi from NDT. But smartas opposed this.He was even making sudras into brahmanas and giving brahmins initiation. Hedidn't care for the criticisms of the smarta brahmins.
Once he was going with his dear friend Rama Chandra Kaviraja (disciple ofShrinivasa - NDT could have been his guru in their relationship, but acceptedhim as friend). As they walked along they saw two brahmin boys who werebringing goats for a sacrificial slaughter. The two devotees spoke amongthemselves about the nastiness of this practice, and the reactions to it.When the brahmin boys heard, they became alarmed and, inquiring further, be-came ND's disciple. Their father was a shakta and was very disturbed. Hegot a pandit to discuss with his boys but they defeated him. So he went toa big big pandit named Rupa Narayana Chakravarti and that pandit complained to the local governor, who said "I'll arrange that you debate NDT. You defeathim and we'll settle this matter once and for all."
So Ramachandra Kaviraja and another brahmin disciple of NDT set up a potterystand and a pan stand near NDT's ashrama. The governor came there with thepandit, and as was the custom, sent servants to the shops for pots and pan.So these "wallahs" talked with the servants only in Sanskrit. Hearing thisthe 2 bigshots came to see for themselves; shudras talking first-class Sans-krit, and telling that they were disciples of NDT. This alarmed the two, whofled.
When he was 80-85 he decided to leave the planet. He got a disease in thethroat and couldn't speak. Smartas said, "just see." Disciples begged him,"Don't go now. We'll be finished." But he left anyway, wanting to serveKrishna directly in spiritual world. But Madhavacharya prayed, "If you gonow, the movement will be destroyed." So he came back to life as his body wasbeing taken on procession to be interred. He became too much famous for this.One critical brahmin then got leprosy; he came to NDT and begged forgiveness,was cured and took initiation.
At age 105 he decided to leave this world. One day he told disciples,I want to bathe in the Ganga. But they wouldn't let him step into theriver, they just dug a shallow area where he sat and they splashed.But as they splashed his body melted away into the Ganga.
LOCAN DASA THAKUR
Born in Burdwan in Ayurveda doctor family. Disciple of Narahari Sarkar. Hewas only son, pampered, but devotee from childhood. He wrote the ChaitanyaMangal in Lokerpachali style - 5 meters combined (folk song style). He wasmarried when young, but he was detached from family life. He spent his youthwith his guru in Shrikhanda. Murari Gupta's writings on the life of LC wasinspiration of CM; Vaishnavas changed VdT's CM to CB because VdT is Vyasaof Chaitanya-lila, and Vyasa wrote Shrimad Bhagavatam. CM by LdT expands onpastimes of CB.
From CM by LdT: Mahaprabhu leaving Vishnupriya-devi to take sannyasa:
Vpd: "Please put your hand on my head and tell me you are not taking sannyasa.This rumor I have heard from others - if it is true, I will enter fire. Mylife, youth, beauty, dressing, ornamental opulence is only for You. Withoutyou, My life is useless. My heart is burning with grief."
LC, a smile playing on his lips: Listen, my dear. Don't sully your heart withthese thoughts. I now speak for Your benefit, please listen. This worldis illusion. The only truths are Vishnu and the Vaishnavas. Our sons, parents, relatives - who is related to whom? Our only sweet relationshipis with Krishna's lotus feet. Whether man, woman - such designations areonly external. We are spirit soul. Forgetting this, we fall into duality.
Only Lord Krishna is our husband. This body is a combination of flesh, blood,mucous, stool and urine. When we are born, we are covered by maya. We gothrough youth, maturity, old age, experiencing so many distresses but alwaysmaintaining the body as the self. Those whom we think are our friends chastiseus and leave us when we are old. We become blind and cry in an ocean ofdistress. Still, we don't serve the lotus feet of Govinda. Actually, we'vetaken this birth only to serve Krishna, but we fall down, forgetting the Lord,and suffer in hell. You have to live up to your name of Vishnupriya. Don'tburden Your heart with useless remorse. These are my instructions. Younow drive away all other thoughts and just think about Krishna."
With these words the Lord showed His 4 armed form to Vishnupriya-devi. Shebecame ecstatic to see this wonderful display; understanding that everythingand everyone is eternally connected with Lord Chaitanya (because He is Vishnu Himself), She became overwhelmed with joy. But still, She was fixed in HerOwn mood of devotion, thinking of the Lord as Her husband.
She fell down at His lotus feet and declared, "I am most fallen. You are mydear husband. After having gotten this priceless treasure of the opportunityto be Your maidservant, what misfortune has now brought this great downfallupon Me?" She then began to wail loudly and piteously, in great grief.
Seeing one so dear to Him in such a heartbroken condition, Lord Chaitanya'seyes filled with tears, and He embraced Her. The cooling rays of His moonlikeform calmed Her turbulent emotions.
"Listen, dear Vishnupriya", the Lord spoke again. "I declare to You that when-ever You think of Me, I am there beside You, regardless of where I am. Vishnu-priya could understand He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He continued:"You please just engage Yourself in Your daily activities, and nobody willdisturb You." She silently lowered Her head and cried. Hearing His sweetwords and wonderful behavior, Locan dasa is greatly pained, but continuesto sing the Lord's glories.
Kartabhaja: "Guru is all, follow blindly" - but Jiva Goswami says we should
know that KC is never blind, and even guru may be infallible.
Gaur Nagari: Shri Chaitanya as Krishna (Lampat).
Naraneyi: Buddhistic worship of Lord Chaitanya (started in L.C.'s time).
Atibari: these started in L.C.'s time; LC is God Almighty (ignores His lila as
Sahajiya: "Easy"; bodily bhava.
Aula: something like Baul.
Baul: pretends to be mad (from Batul: "becoming mad.")
Curadhari: imitate Lord Nityananda.
Smarta: smarta brahmins.
Jat Goswamins: family goswamis.
Daravesha: Muslim mendicants influenced by Mahaprabhu.