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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Biographical Works > Lord Chaitanya Eternal Associates > Sri Debananda Pandit;

Shri Debananda Pandit;


Shri Debnanda Pandit used to live at Kuliya. He was a famous reciter of the Shrimad Bhagavatam and many people used to study the Bhagavatam under his guidance. In Braja lila he was Bhaguri Muni.

One afternoon, Shribas Pandit came to hear Debnanda Pandit's recitation of the Bhagavatam. Hundreds of students were seated around the Pandit and some were following his reading in their own personal copies of the manuscript. Shribas Pandit was a very advanced devotee and as such, when the sweet nectar of the Bhagavatam entered his ears, his heart became softened in love of God. He started to cry and roll on the ground, his body having become agitated by the waves of ecstatic love. When the students of Debnanda saw this, they thought, "This fellow must be crazy. He is disturbing our hearing of the recitation. Get him out of here." So they picked him up and carried him outside.

Though Debnanda saw all this taking place, he didn't prevent those foolish students of his from committing this offence. As the guru was ignorant, so his students were sinful.

Shribas said nothing, but simply went to his house feeling very sad. All of this occurred before the appearance of Shri Gaursundor.

During Mahaprabhu's exhibition of His divine position as the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Mahaprakash), which lasted for twenty one hours, He asked Shribas if he remembered this incident.


One day, when Mahaprabhu was taking a stroll around Nadiyanagar, he came to Mahesvara Visarada Pandit's house. At that time Debnanda resided there. Mahaprabhu could hear from outside his recitation of the Shrimad Bhagavatam and became very angry.

"What purport will that rascal explain? Not in any of his births has he ever understood the meaning of even one verse of the Shrimad Bhagavatam. The Bhagavatam is the avatar of Shri Krishna in book form. Devotion is the only subject it teaches. The four vedas are like yoghurt and the Bhagavatam is like butter. Shrila Sukadeb Gosvami did the churning and Maharaja Parikit ate that butter. Sukadeb Gosvami is very dear to Me. He knows very well that the Shrimad Bhagavatam is meant to describe the Truth about Me according to My own liking. Whoever sees any difference between Me, My own devotees and the Shrimad Bhagavatam simply brings destruction upon himself."                                                                                                    [C.B.Madhya 21]


Mahaprabhu made these statements in a voice loud enough for Debnanda to hear. Then He turned to go back to His home. The devotees following Him begged for more mercy.

He continued, "All the scriptures state that the Shrimad Bhagavatam enunciates the highest realization. Without having understood any of this, simply for the sake of name and fame as a religionist and a scholar, he poses himself as a teacher of this great book. But he doesn't know the purport.

"Only one who has understood that the Shrimad Bhagavatam is verily the inconceivable intelligence of the Supreme Lord Himself knows that the only meaning of the Bhagavatam is devotion. In order to understand the book Bhagavata, one has to serve the devotee Bhagavata."


Debnanda could hear all of these remarks from the distance, yet he thought nothing of it. After some time Gaursundor accepted sannyasa and went to live at Nilacal. It was then that Debnanda at last began to feel some remorse.

"Such a great soul, totally imbued with love of God, but I never even once went to have His association."


One day Shrila Vakresvar Pandit came to Kuliya to visit the house of a devotee there. In the evening he held a festival of dancing and chanting the Holy Names. Debnanda was present on this occasion, and was completely stunned by Shri Vakresvara's effulgence and ecstatic chanting and dancing. As the night progressed, more and more people came to listen to his kirtan until there was finally a huge crowd.

Debnanda took a cane and began to control the crowd so that Vakresvara's dancing wouldn't be disturbed. When Vakresvar fainted in ecstatic love, Debnanda carefully put his head on his lap and brushed the dust from his body with his own upper cloth. Then he smeared that dust on his own body. That day his service to the devotees had its auspicious beginning.

After some days, Mahaprabhu returned to Bengal to see his mother and the holy Ganges. He also came to Kuliya. At that time thousands upon thousands of people came to have darshan of His lotus feet. All of those who had previously committed offences against Nimai Pandit by thinking Him to be an ordinary human being, now came to seek His forgiveness and Mahaprabhu forgave each and everyone of them. Among those present was Debnanda, who fell down on the ground to offer his obeisances to Mahaprabhu. From that moment he became one of the Lord's foremost devotees. Still, he felt a little hesitant, and upon getting up, he stood to one side.

Mahaprabhu addressed him, "Because you have served My dear devotee Vakresvar, I am now pleased with you. By that service you have now been able to approach Me. Within Vakresvara's person is Shri Krishna's complete potency. Whoever serves him must receive Krishna's mercy."

Debnanda, in a faltering voice replied, "You are the Supreme Controller. Simply for the sake of reclaiming fallen souls You have advented Yourself here at Nadiya. I am a sinful wretch and have never served Your lotus feet and was thus cheated of Your causeless mercy for so many years. Oh my Lord, Who resides within the heart of all living entities, You are Supremely merciful. Only because You have shown Yourself to me have I been able to see You. O most compassionate One, please instruct me. Let me know the actual purport of the Shrimad Bhagavatam."


Mahaprabhu replied, "Now hear Me Oh brahmana, and know that the only way to explain the verses of the Bhagavatam is in terms of bhakti. In the beginning, middle and end of the Shrimad Bhagavatam there is only one teaching: devotion to Bisnu, which is eternally perfect and which is never destroyed or diminished. As Krishna's various incarnations such as Matsya and Kurma appear and disappear in this world by Their sweet will, in the same way the Shrimad Bhagavatam is not made or composed by any person. It makes Its appearance and disappearance by Its own sweet will. Due to the appearance of devotion, the Bhagavatam blossomed forth from Vyasadeb's mouth, by the mercy of Shri Krishna. As the Truths regarding the Supreme Authority are inconceivable, so are the Truths of Shrimad Bhagavatam. Many may pretend to know its meaning but they have no real grasp of the evidence the Bhagavatam presents. Whoever simply remembers the Shrimad Bhagavatam while admitting himself to be ignorant can understand the real meaning. The Bhagavat, which is saturated with loving devotion for Krishna, is an expansion of Krishna Himself and contains descriptions of His most confidential pastimes."


"Now you should beg forgiveness by catching hold of Shribas Pandit's feet. The book Bhagavat and the devotee Bhagavat are not different. If the devotee Bhagavata is merciful to us, then the book Bhagavat manifests its true meaning." Then Debnanda fell at Shribas Pandit's feet and begged forgiveness. Shribas embraced him and his offence retreated far away. All the devotees shouted in ecstasy, "Hari bol! Hari bol!"             [C.B.Antya 3]


His disappearance is on the 11th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Paush.