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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Biographical Works > Lord Chaitanya Eternal Associates > Srila Baladeb Biddabhusan;

Shrila Baladeb Biddabhusan;

 

Shrila Baladeb Vidyabhusana was a highly renounced, pure devotee, who had not even a fraction of desire for name or fame. He compiled many literatures in order to benefit mankind. He never mentioned his birth place or anything about his family background however and therefore the details are not known for sure. Historians have estimated that he was born sometime in the eighteenth century, most probably in Orissa (possibly near Remuna).

 

At a very early age he finished his studies of grammar, poetry, rhetoric and logic and then went on pilgrimage. During this time he spent some time with the Tattvavadis in South India and thus became conversant with the teachings of Shri Madhvacarja. He became a powerful exponent of this philosophy throughout India. During his travels he again came to Utkaladesa (Orissa) and met with a grand-disciple of Shri Rasikananda Deb, Shri RadhaDamodara Deb by name, with whom he discussed philosophy. Shri RadhaDamodara Deb explained the conclusions of Gauriya Baisnab philosophy as expounded by Shri Gaursundara and requested him to consider the unlimited mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. These talks penetrated his heart and awakened divine love within. After a few days he was initiated with RadhaKrishna mantra and began to study the Satsandarbha of Shri Jiva Gosvami.

 

In a very short time he became very expert in Gauriya Baisnab philosophy. With the permission and blessings of his guru he moved to Shri Brindaban Dhama to further study these teachings under Shri Biswanatha Cakravartti Thakur. Shri Biswanatha Cakravartti Thakur was extremely pleased to see the humble and gentle nature as well as the renunciation and profound mastery of the Vedas that characterized Baladeb. He carefully instructed him in acintyabhedabhedatattva. Baladeb fully accepted the Gauriya Baisnab philosophy and began to preach it with great vigour.

 

Around this time the members of the Shri sampradaya began to raise some arguments in the court of the king at Jaipur. They complained that since the Gauriya Baisnabs had no commentary on the Vedantasutra they were not qualified to worship the Deity and therefore the worship should be turned over to the Shri sampradaya. They also objected to the worship of Shrimati Radharani along with Shri Shri GobindaGopinatha as not being authorised anywhere in the sastras.

 

The king at that time (Raja Jay Simha II), was however initiated within the Gauriya sampradaya. Therefore he quietly sent word to Brindaban, informing the devotees there of what had happened. Nevertheless, it is rumoured that at that point the king was obliged to remove Radharani from the Deity room and as well suspend the (Bengali) Gauriya Baisnab pujaris from partaking in the Deity worship. At that time Shrila Viswanath Cakravarttipada was very aged, so it was not possible for him to make the journey to Jaipur. In his place he sent his students, Shri Baladeb and Shri Krishnadeb, who were fully conversant with the sastras and thus able to competently face the challenge.

 

In a great assembly Shri Baladeb posed such forceful arguments to the followers of the Ramanandi Sect that they could not reply to him. He further explained to them, "The originator of the Gauriya Baisnab sampradaya, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, has accepted Shrimad Bhagavatam as the natural commentary on the Vedantasutra, as composed by Shrila Vyasadeb Himself. This is proven in the Satsandarbha." The scholars in the assembly however refused to accept anything other than a direct commentary on the sutra. Having no other recourse, Baladeb promised to present them one within 18 days. Feeling very aggrieved, Shri Baladeb came to Shri Govindaji's mandira and after offering his prostrated obeisances informed Shri Gobinda of everything that had happened. That night the Lord appeared to him in a dream and instructed him to write a commentary on the Vedantasutra. "I will dictate to you what to write and therefore no one will be able to refuse to accept it."

 

Having seen such a wonderful dream, Baladeb was totally enlivened and felt renewed strength flow into his heart. Thus he began to write and within a few days completed the commentary which was titled Shri Gobinda Bhasya.

Vidya rupam bhusanam me pradaya kyatim nitye tena yo mamudarah |

Shri Gobinda svapna nirdista bhaso Radha bandhubandhurangah sa jiyat ||

"May He Who was so mercifully and munificently kind towards me, and bestowed his favour by ordering me in a dream to write down the commentary of His own composition, which He would compose, and which attained such renown amongst the learned circles that they bestowed upon me the title `Vidyabhusana'; may that dear friend of Shrimati Radharani, Who holds Him dearer than Her own life, be glorified. May that Shri Gobinda be glorified."

 

Bringing the commentary with him, Shri Baladeb again came to the assembly of the Ramanandi scholars. After reading the commentary they were simply speechless. The victory of the Gauriya sampradaya was announced far and wide and the king, as well as the other devotees, began to float in the ocean of bliss. The scholars then bestowed upon Shri Baladeb the title `Vidyabhusana'.

 

This assembly took place in the year 1628 Sakabda, at Golta near the present city of Jaipur. Baladeb Vidyabhusana installed the Deity of Vijay Gopal there at Golta Mandir, but the whereabouts of this Deity is at present not known. From this day the Maharaja of Jaipur announced that Shri Gobinda's arati would be performed first and then the other temples could perform their aratis.

 

After accepting defeat, the Ramanandi scholars expressed their desire to accept initiation from Shri Baladeb Vidyabhusana. However, he declined their request by stating that amongst the four authorized sampradayas, the Shri sampradaya was highly respectable and the foremost adherent of dasyabhakti (devotion in servitorship). If there was any cause of loss of respect to the sampradaya this might be considered an offence.

 

Returning from Jaipur to Brindaban, Shri Baladeb presented the certificate of victory to Shrila Biswanatha Cakravartti Thakur and narrated all of the events that had transpired. All of the devotees were in great ecstasy to receive this news and Cakravarttipada bestowed his full blessings on Shri Baladeb. At this time, Shri Baladeb Vidyabhusana began to write a commentary on Shrila Jiva Gosvami's Satsandarbha.

 

Their most beautiful Lordships, Shri VijoyGobinda, residing at Gokulananda Mandir in Brindaban, are reputed to have been personally worshipped by Baladeb Vidyabhusana. According to the opinion of some devotees, the Deities of Syamananda Prabhu, Shri Shri RadhaShyamasundor, were also installed by Shri Baladeb Vidyabhusana.

 

After Shri Biswanatha Cakravartti Thakur finished his pastimes in this world, Shri Baladeb Vidyabhusana became the next acarja of the Gauriya Baisnab sampradaya. At the end of Vedantasyamantaka, Shri Baladeb Vidyabhusana acknowledges his spiritual master thus: "I have been sent here to Brindaban by one brahmana guru, Shri RadhaDamodar Deb, to present a composition named Vedantasyamantaka, composed by his mercy for the pleasure of Shrimati Radharani." Shrila Baladeb Vidyabhusana became known later as Shri Ekanti Gobinda da. He had two well known disciples: Shri Uddhar das and Shri Nandan Misra.

 

He is the compiler of the following books: Bhasyapithaka, Samsayasatini, Shri Govindabhasya, Siddhantaratnam, Sahityakaumudi Vedantasyamantaka, Prameyaratnavali, Siddhantadarpana, Kavyakaustubha, Vyakaranakaumudi, Padakaustubha, Isadi upanisad bhasya, Gitabhusanabhasya, Shri Bisnunamasahasrabhasya, Sanksepabhagavatamrtatippanisarangarangada, Stavamalavibhusanabhasya, Krishnanandini, Baisnabnandini, Chandah Kaustubha, Shri Gopal Tapani, Shri BhagavadGita Bhasya, Aisvarya kadambini, Govindabhasyasuksmatika, Siddhantaratnatika, Stavamalatika, Krishnabhavanamrtatika, Gopala Campu tika, Tattvasandarbhatika, Natakacandrikatika, Candralokatika, Sahityakaumuditika, Sat Sandarbha tika, LaghuBhagavatamrta tika, SyamanandaSatak tika, ShrimadBhagavatatika.

 

.Begin Table C.

Invocation     iii

PREFACE       v

INTRODUCTION       vi

Note on Pronunciation of Bengali Words and use of Diacritics     viii

SRI MADHABENDRA PURI    1

SRI ADWAITA ACARJA        4

SRI SRI PUNDARIK BIDDANIDHI BILAS     82

SRI GADADHAR PANDIT GOSWAMI 93

SRILA SRIBAS PANDIT        103

SRI MURARI GUPTA THAKUR         144

SRI CANDRASEKHAR ACARJARATNA          148

SRI JAGADISH PANDIT        164

SRI SIVANANDA SEN 166

SRI SRI BASUDEB & MUKUNDA DATTA THAKUR CARIT   169

SRI BAKRESHWAR PANDIT   175

SRI RAGHAB PANDIT 177

SRI NANDAN ACARJA 179

SRI GADADHAR DAS THAKUR         185

SRI KHOLABECA SRIDHAR THAKUR 188

SRI ABHIRAM GOPAL THAKUR       196

SRI SUNDORANANDA THAKUR       204

SRI UDDHARAN DATTA THAKUR     205

SRI PURUSOTTAM THAKUR  207

SRI MAHESH PANDIT 208

SRI PARAMESVARI DAS THAKUR     209

SRI KAMALAKAR PIPLAI      211

SRI DHANANJOY PANDIT     213

SRI KALIYA KRSNA DAS THAKUR    214

SRI SARANGA MURARI THAKUR     215

SRI NARAHARI SARKAR THAKUR    217

SRI SITA THAKURANI         220

SRI LAKKIPRIYA       223

SRI BISNUPRIYA DEBI        228

SRI ISAN THAKUR    234

SRI BAMSIBADANANANDA THAKUR 235

SRI ACYUTANANDA   237

SRI RAGHUNANDAN THAKUR         241

SRI BIRACANDRA PRABHU   243

SRIMATI JAHNAVA MATA    245

SRI GANGAMATA GOSWAMINI       248

SRI BHAGAVAT ACARJA       253

SRI DEBANANDA PANDIT     255

SRI JAGAI AND MADHAI      258

SRI LOKANATH GOSWAMI   261

SRI BHUGARBHA GOSWAMI 264

SRI SANATAN GOSWAMI     265

SRILA RUPA GOSVAMI        273

SRI GOPAL BHATTA GOSWAMI      277

SRI RAGHUNATH DAS GOSWAMI    281

SRI RAGHUNATH BHATTA GOSWAMI        284

SRILA JIVA GOSVAMI         287

SRI MADHU PANDIT  291

SRI KASISVAR PANDIT GOSVAMI    293

SRI BHAGAVAN ACARJA       294

SRI SWARUP DAMODAR GOSWAMI 295

SRI RAMANANDA RAY         298

SRI SARBABHAUMA BHATTACARJA 300

MAHARAJA SRI PRATAPARUDRA DEB        306

SRI PARAMANANDA PURI    309

SRI SIKHI MAHITI    311

SRI GOPAL GURU GOSVAMI 312

SRI KRSNA DAS KABIRAJ GOSVAMI 314

KABI KARNAPUR GOSVAMI / SRI PARAMANANDA SEN     315

SRILA BRINDABAN DAS THAKUR    317

SRI LOCAN DAS THAKUR     318

SRI RAMCANDRA KABIRAJ   320

SRI GOBINDA KABIRAJ       324

SRI NAYANANANDA THAKUR         327

SRI RAMACANDRA GOSWAMI (RAMAI GOSAI)     329

SRI SHYAMANANDA PRABHU         330

SRI RASIKANANDA DEB GOSVAMI  337

SRILA BISWANATH CAKRABARTI THAKUR 340

SRILA BALADEB BIDDABHUSAN      347

.End Table C.

 

 

                                                List of Shripats

Agradwip   .......................................Gobinda Ghosh Thakur

Tamluk     .......................................Vasudeb Ghosh Thakur

 

 

 {khunti- this is a symbol carried on a staff preceding the kirtana party. Supposedly its history dates from the time when the Kazi gave his promise that no one would ever disturb the sankirtan parties again. As this was an emblem of the Kazi, its presence in front of the sankirtan party indicated that the party was sanctioned by the Kazi. Thus no one should disturb them. Today it is decorated with eyes, tilak, flower garlands and cloths, and worshipped as a manifestation of Mahaprabhu Himself.}

 [This is a process whereby the presence of a sacred divinity is invoked and established within a water pot through the performance of puja.]

 Sambidananda das / The History and Literature of the Gauriya Baisnabs and Their Relation to Other Medieval Baisnab Schools 1935)

 In Orissan the final a is always pronounced.

 {Footnote: In those days books were hand copied onto dried leaves, usually those of the Palm tree.}