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Shri Madhabendra Puri;
Baisnab Dharma has manifested from or been revealed by Madhabendra Puri. On the opposite bank of the Biraja River, in Brindaban, is a transcendental Desire Tree, full with the fruits of Prita (gratified love), Preya (affectionate love), Batsal (bestowed love) and Ujjval (flaming, amorous, passionate love). Madhabendra Puri is the self-same incarnation of these fruits. [Gaur Ganoddesh Dipika 22]
Madhabendra Puri is totally imbued, totally saturated with the mellows of loving devotion. One can attain perfection simply by remembering his name. All of his disciples, beginning with Shri Isvar Puri and Ranga Puri, are also similarly mad in the ecstacies of the mellows of devotion. Throughout Gaurdesh (Bengal) and Utkaldesh (Orissa) all of his disciples are found to be devotees of Krishna, addicted to the mellows of loving devotion. He is renowned within the Madhva sampradaya. Veritably, he is an ocean of good qualities, the favourite of Shri Lakkipati.
When Nityananda Prabhu was touring of all the holy places of India for the purpose of purifying them, he happened, by the will of Providence, to meet Madhabendra Puripada, near the holy place called Pratici.
Who can possibly describe the love that became manifest during that meeting? Only those who were present can understand something about it.
Madhabendra thought of Nityananda as his friend but Nityananda Prabhu respected Madhabendra as His guru.
Madhabendra Puripad exclaimed, "In getting such a friend as Nityananda I can now consider that Krishna truly has some love for me." [Bhakti Ratna 5]
When Nityananda Prabhu saw Madhabendra Puri he fainted away in a swoon of ecstatic love and His transcendental body became completely still. Similarly, when Madhabendra Puri gazed upon Nityananda Prabhu, he completely forgot himself and fainted to the ground.
Shri Gaurcandra used to repeatedly remark, that in relishing the mellows of love in devotion, there is no one to compare with Madhabendra Puri.
When the disciples of Madhabendra Puri, headed by Isvar Puri, saw their spiritual master and Nityananda Prabhu fallen in a faint of ecstatic love, they were completely struck with wonder and began to cry. They were so attracted by Nityananda that a deep bond of attachment was immediately formed.
Gradually, Nityananda Prabhu and Madhabendra got back their external consciousness. When their eyes opened and they again got sight of one another, they put their arms around each other's necks and cried tears of joy. Then they began to roll in the sandy earth, carried by the waves of ecstatic love, while rending the sky with their loud roaring.
As a river of love began to flow from their eyes, Mother Earth considered herself blessed to be flooded by that inundation. With the appearance of the transformations brought about by bhab: trembling, tears, and standing of the hairs on end; it could be understood that their bodies had become a place of pastimes for Chaitanya Gosai.
Nityananda exclaimed, "Today I have received the fruit of all my travels to the holy places. In seeing the feet of Madhabendra Puri, I have received the treasure of love of God, and thus my life has become blessed.
Madhabendra Puri continued to embrace Nityananda Prabhu tightly to his chest. He wanted to say something but his voice was choked up due to experiencing intense emotions.
Isvar Puri, Brahmananda Puri and the other disciples of Shri Puripada who were present, became completely enamoured by Nityananda Prabhu. Some other pilgrims were present at that place, but being devoid of devotion, they couldn't understand what was going on and continued to converse amongst themselves. The devotees felt some sorrow to see the behaviour of those dull headed brutes so they retreated into the forest to be rid of their company. When they were alone together again, their distress was alleviated and they continued to relish the mellows of Krishna prema. In this way Nityananda Prabhu and Madhabendra Puri spent some days together in the happiness of Krishna katha.
Madhabendra Puri's love of God was very uncommon. Simply upon seeing a dark raincloud he would fall down unconscious. Day and night he imbibed the spirituous liquor of Krishnaprema, and thus remained intoxicated, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, sometimes raising a tumultuous hue and cry.
Nityananda also behaved just like a madman, falling down on the ground, his body agitated by waves of ecstasy. As lava belches forth from a volcano, loud laughter erupted from his mouth while his whole body, as if in the throes of a great earthquake, trembled violently. Never before having seen such unprecedented displays of ecstatic emotions, Madhabendra Puri's disciples continuously remained engaged in Harikirtana. No one knew whether it was day or night. Having become completely absorbed in the mellows of Krishnaprema, the days were passing though it seemed to them that not even a moment had elapsed yet.
Whatever was discussed between Madhabendra and Nityananda is known only to them and Shri Krishnacandra. Who else is capable of understanding such subject matter? Madhabendra Puri was unable to give up Nityananda's company and so he continued to roam about, keeping Nityananda with him.
Madhabendra Puri told his disciples, "Never before, in all my travels to all the holy places, have I ever seen such love as this. I could understand that the Supreme Lord is merciful to me when I got a friend like Nityananda as my close companion. Wherever one gets His association, that place becomes the sum total of all holy places and non-different from Baikuntha itself. Whoever simply hears about Him will definitely get the association of Shri Krishnacandra. And whoever bears even the slightest enmity towards Him, though he may be a devotee, is not dear to Krishna."
In this way, day and night, Madhabendra praised the attractive qualities of Nityananda Prabhu. Lord Nityananda respected Madhabendra Puri as his guru and always behaved with him in that relationship. After travelling together for some days, finally Nityananda Prabhu set off in the direction of Setu Bandha while Madhabendra Puri started for Sarayu. Having lost contact with the external world through being totally absorbed in Krishna, neither of them was aware of his own body. In order to maintain body and soul together, they remained in these transcendental states of consciousness. For if external consciousness were to dawn, they would cease to live (due to intense feelings of separation).
[C.B. Adi 9.]
As it was the two of them were practically in the throes of death at being separated from one another. They remained together through mutual remembrance of Krishna and this was what kept them alive. [Bhakti Ratna 5]
Whoever hears this description of the meeting of Madhabendra and Nityananda will certainly obtain the wealth of Krishna prem.
At the time of his departure from this world, Madhabendra Puri was completely absorbed in separation from Krishna and constantly repeated one sloka. This verse is considered by Gauriya Baisnabs to be the essence of expression of the mood of separation.
Among his associates and disciples were Shri Adwaita Acarja, Shri Pundarik Vidyanidhi, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Iswar Puri, Shri Paramananda Puri, Shri Ranga Puri, Shri Ramacandra Puri, Shri Nrsimha Tirtha, Shri Raghupati Upadhyay, Shri Sukhananda Puri, Shri Brahmananda Puri and Shri Brahmananda Bharati.
"Madhabendra Puri's body is totally imbued with divine love, as are his followers. He takes nothing other than the juice of the mellows of love for Krishna as his foodstuffs. Thus his body has become the place of pastimes of Shri Krishna." [C.B.Adi 9]
His worshippable Deity, Gopalji, is presently residing at Nathdwar in Rajasthan, and is worshipped by the followers of Ballabhacarja.
ayi din dayardra nath he mathuranath kadavalokyase|
hrdayam tvadalokakataram dayita bhramyati kim karomyaham||
"Oh my Lord! Oh most Merciful Master! Oh Master of Mathura! When shall I see You again? Because by not seeing You, my agitated heart has become unsteady. Oh most Beloved One, what shall I do now?"
Whenever Shri Gaursundor recited this verse, He would faint due to ecstatic love and fall to the ground. There He would remain in an unconscious, paralyzed condition, oblivious to the external world.