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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Biographical Works > Lord Chaitanya Eternal Associates > Sri Gobinda Kabiraj

Shri Gobinda Kabiraj


Cironjib Was A very staunch follower of Shri Chaitanya and a resident of Shri Khanda. Shri Gobinda Kabiraj and his brother Ramacandra Kabiraj were the two sons of Ciranjib Sen and his wife, Sunanda.


The custom in Bengal is, that when a lady becomes pregnant she goes to her father's house to have the baby. So Gobinda Kabiraj was born in the home of his maternal grandfather, Shri Damodar Kabi. Because he stayed within his mother's womb for an excessive period of time, his mother was feeling very uncomfortable. A maidservant came to Shri Damodar Kabi to inform him of his daughter's distress just when he was performing puja. Because he was engaged in performing puja, he could not speak, but indicated to the maidservant by eye signals that she should show the debijantra to Sunanda. By seeing this she would immediately be able to give birth. The maidservant misunderstood his indication and instead bathed the debijantra and then gave that water to Sunanda to drink. In any case she immediately gave birth without complication.[BhaktiRatna 9]


Soon after Gobinda's birth, his father passed on to the next world. The two brothers now came to stay with their maternal grandfather. As he was a Sakta (worshipper of Bhagavati debi), they were also influenced in this way.


Ramacandra was initiated by Shrinibas Acarja Prabhu but Gobinda remained very attached to Bhagavati debi. Though many explained to him the super- excellent stage of worship of Shri Krishna he remained unmoved.

Other than talks of Bhagavati, he discussed nothing else. Other than her puja, he worshipped no one else. Finally it came to pass that Gobinda was stricken with a very serious illness.

While in this distressed condition he considered deep within his heart, "By worshipping Bhagavati doesn't one get released from material life?" Just then he thought he heard Bhagavatidebi say, "Without worshipping Shri Krishna, no one's distress can be alleviated." Therefore Gobinda now began to think of accepting shelter at the lotus feet of Shri Shrinibas Acarja Prabhu.

"Previously the Baisnabs, concerned for my eternal welfare, told me about the good qualities of my father and how he was very much favoured by Shri Gaursundor. Though I am his son, I have been practically reduced to nothing by my bad fate. Now by the mercy of Bhagavati, I have understood my plight. If I can accept the shelter of a bonafide spiritual master I am sure that my fate will change. But Acarja Prabhu has gone to Brindaban. What will become of me now, I cannot fathom."


Gobinda's son Dibyasing wrote to his uncle, Ramcandra Kabiraj, at Jajigram, informing him that his younger brother was now on his death bed, and in this situation was very anxious to have darshan of the lotus feet of Acarja Prabhu. His brother Ramacandra was very pleased to hear of these events.


In the meantime, the disciples of Acarja Prabhu were experiencing terrible separation from their guru; so they decided to send Ramacandra to Brindaban to bring him back. On the way there he stopped at Kumarnagar to see his younger brother. He assured Gobinda that all his desires would be fulfilled, and requested him to go from Kumarnagar to Teliya Bhudarigram and make his residence there.

Some months thereafter Acarja Prabhu returned to Gauradesh in the company of Narottam das Thakur and Syamananda Prabhu. By their presence in Bengal an inundation of harinamsankirtan began to flood the land. Soon Acarja Prabhu arrived at Bhudarigram and went straight to Gobinda's house. By the touch of his lotus feet Gobinda forgot himself in happiness and all traces of his disease were driven far away. On the following auspicious day he was initiated with RadhaKrishna mantra by Acarja Prabhu and so a new life for him began. It was perhaps at this time that he composed his famous song, Bhaja hunre mana.


Gobinda was a very learned and proficient poet. By the request of Raja Santosh Datta (cousin brother of Narottam), he composed one Sanskrit drama called SangitaMadhab. As well as being an excellent composer of songs, he was also an expert singer. Shri Jiva Gosvami, Shrinibas Acarja, Shri Jahnava Mata and the other Gosvamis were so pleased with his songs that they bestowed upon him the title Kabiraj. He composed many songs in the moods of the various rasas of servitorship, friendship, parenthood and conjugal love. They are beautifully ornamented with poetic debices such as alliteration, and are in such a simple language, that yet carries such deep emotion that the listeners' hearts naturally soften in love of Godhead.


"Gobinda Kabiraj is decidedly the best and most prolific of all Gauriya poets. The whole of Bhakti rasa, in its various aspects, has found its musical expression in his poems. He illustrates in Bengali verse the living sports of Radha and Krishna in accordance with every item of elaboration on rasa that is found in the Ujjval Nilamani of Rupa Gosvami. He also delightfully describes the noble deeds of Shri Chaitanya and the greatness of Baisnabs like Nityananda, Adwaita, Narottam, Ramacandra, Shrinibas, etc. During the period of Shrinivas he adopted poetry and music to a great extent as vehicles for extolling the faith. It was through the poetical and musical genius of Gobinda that Shrinibas could charm the general public. Various types of music and song were created during this period. Narottam developed the Garanhati style of kirtan (named after the province he lived in Garer hat) and his disciple, Ganga Narayan Cakravartti, composed in the style which came to be known as Manoharsahi. Another disciple of Acarja Prabhu developed the style called Reneti. Gobinda composed songs set to this music.

The Pada songs were composed particularly to be sung in various ragas and raginis. Gobinda evinces extraordinary command of musical quality in his poems, every one of which has been set with a particular melody which he himself mentions in every case. He had a captivating gift for lyrical expressions of a very high order, in regard to the spiritual depths of Vaisnavism.

The graceful, mellow quality of his poems is primarily due to his acceptance of Brajabuli as the fitting vehicle for his sweet imagination. Baisnab poets for so long had primarily used pure Bengali in conformity with a Sanskrit model. Gobinda definitely broke down the traditional language and introduced Brajabuli, which is an admixture of Sanskrit, Maithili and Hindi (Brajbhasa) introduced into Bengali. This proved to be especially sweet and became popular in other provinces, especially in Brindaban.

When Gobinda left Brindaban after his visit there, Jiva Gosvami Prabhu requested him to send his other poems as soon as they were composed. Also, in an exchange of letters Jiva mentions that he has sent some of his Sanskrit works to Shrinibas and acknowledges receipt of two instalments of Gobinda's songs. He asks for further poems, saying that they drank them in like nectar, and were always eager to receive more.

As regards the metre of Gobinda's poems, not only do all the metres found in previous works freely dance in his hand, but he introduced many new metres and modified many old ones, so that the Bengali language and literature are infinitely indebted to Gobinda, who enriched them in many ways.

The number of his songs is considerable. Radha Mohan Thakur (early 18th century) has collected no fewer than 240, in his anthology Padamrta Samudra. Baisnab das includes about 500 in his Pada kalpataru."


                   {extracted from: The History and Literature of the Gauriya Baisnabas and Their Relation to other Medieval Baisnab Schools Sambhidananda das, June 1935 / unpublished}