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SRI VAKRESVARA PANDITA
Shri Bakreshwar Pandit was present with Shriman Mahaprabhu during His pastimes in Navadwipa and after his accep tance of Sannyasa he also accompanied Him to Jagannath Puri. During the time of the Lords residence in Puri he continued to live with Him there as well. Shri Bakreswar Pandit took birth in the village of Guptipara near Triveni. He was an especially proficient dancer and kirtaniya and could dance continously for 72 hours.
When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began His pastimes of congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Shri Hari in Navadwip, Shri Bakreswar Pandit was an important singer and dancer in that assembly. It was by His mercy that Devananda Pandit was delivered from the wrath of Mahaprabhu. He was also present during the Lords journey to Ramakeli. Devananda Pandit was, at one time, known as the foremost lecturer on the Bhagavat. One day Shrivas Pandit went to hear his discourse, and being moved in ecstatic love by hearing the Bhagavatam, he began to cry.
A few of the ignorant students of Devananda Pandit, thinking that this was creating a disturbance, removed Shrivas Pandit from the assembly and left him outside. Though this was done in front of Devananda he didnt restrain his students from this act of disregard to the devotee - Bhagavat. There are two types of Bhagavat - the book bhagavat and the devotee bhagavat. For this reason, Devananda Pandit became implicated in an offense to a great devotee (maha-bhagavat).
When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to hear how his dear devotee, Shrivas Pandit, had been disrespected, he gave many instructions concerning the Bhagavat. He told that those who read the book Bhagavat but dont offer respects to the devotee-Bhagavat, are simply offenders, though they may read the Bhagavat for eons, still they will never attain love of Godhead. The devotee bhagavata and the book bhagavata are non-different. In order to understand the book bhagavat one must first sincerely serve the devotee-bhagavata. Therefore Mahaprabhu neglected Devananda and didnt bestow His mercy on him.
One evening Bakreswar Pandit came to perform dancing and chanting of the Holy Name at the house of one devotee from Kulia, across the bank of the Ganga from Nadia. Receiving this auspicious news Devananda proceeded there, and upon seeing the appearance of the symtoms of divine love in the person of Shri Bakreswar Pandit he became charmed. Gradually a great crowd gathered at that place, and Devananda Pandit, taking a cane in his hand, kept the crowd in order so as not to obstruct the ecstatic dancing of Shri Bakreswar Pandit. In this way, Bakreswar Pandit performed chanting, and dancing for two praharas (six hours), on into the night.
When he finished dancing and sat down, Devananda came and offered dandavats at the lotus feet of Shri Bakreswar Pandit, who became pleased with this service and blessed Devananda with the words:
Krishna-bhakti hauk - May you attain devotion to Shri Lord Krishna. From that day devotion was awakened in the heart of Devananda by the mercy of Bakreswar Pandit.
Thereafter when Mahaprabhu came to Nadia to have darsan of his mother and mother Ganges, he bestowed His mercy on Devananda at Kulia.
Because you have served Bakreswar I have noticed you. Bakreswar is fully imbued with the Lords transcendental energy, and whoever becomes devoted to him, attains to the lotus feet of Shri Krishna. His heart is the personal abode of Shri Krishna and as shri Krishna dances, so Bakreswar also dances. Wherever one can get the association of Bakreswar, that place is the sum total of all Holy places and is as good as Shri Vaikuntha.
Bakreswar Pandits disciple was Gopal Guru Goswami and Gopal Guru Goswamis disciple was Shri Dhyancananda Goswami. In his Dhyan Candra Paddhati - Dhyan Candra Goswami has written - that person who was previously very expert in the arts of singing and dancing, the gopi, Tungavidya, is presently renowned in the world as Bakreswar Pandit. He has appeared on the fifth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Asar and he closed his pastimes in this world on the sixth day of the bright fortnight of the month Asar.
While Bakreswar danced, Mahaprabhu Himself would sing and Bakreswar would catch hold of His lotus feet, saying; O moon-faced one, give me 10,000 gandharvas, and let them sing while I dance. Then I will be happy. Mahaprabhu answered, You are one of my wings. If I had another (like you) I could fly in the sky. [C. C. Adi 10.17].
Bakreswar Pandits worshippable deity is Shri Shri Radha-kanta, whom he worshipped in Kasi Misras house, which was also the residence of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Gambhira). These deities are still being worshipped there to this day.
SRI SWARUP DAMODAR GOSWAMI
Shri Swarup Damodar is the eternal associate of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His previous name was Shri Purusottam acarya and he resided at Navadwip.
He was always present with Mahaprabhu. When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His pastimes of accepting sannyasa, Swarup Damodara became like a madman and, journeying to Baranasi he also accepted sannyasa from one sannyasi named Chaitanyananda. His sannyasa guru ordered him that, You should yourself study the Vedanta and also teach it to others. Shri Purusottama acarya didnt accept the garments of sannyasa, but simply gave up his sikha and brahmana thread. Therefore his name became Swarup (a brahmacari name). Thereafter, by the order of his guru, he came to Shri Nilacal, where he again met Mahaprabhu.
Then one day, Swarup Damodar, who was very intimate with Maha”prabhu, and an ocean of the mellows of devotion, came to Shri Jagannath Puri. His previous name was Purusottam acarya and he resided at Navadwip, at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu. Seeing that Mahaprabhu had accepted sannyasa, he became like a madman and also accepted sannyasa at Varanasi. [C. C. Mad. 10.102].
Though his scholarship was practically unlimited, he spoke very little with others and preferred to remain alone. Thus very few were aware of his actual position. He was complete ly conversant with the understanding of the mellows of devotion to Shri Krishna and his body was fully imbued with love for Him. He was as though a second Mahaprabhu. Whenever anyone wanted to present to Mahaprabhu some book, verse or song that they had composed, Swarup Damodar would first hear what they had written before it could be presented to Mahaprabhu. If these compositions contained any points which were in contradiction to the superior position of bhakti, as concluded in scriptures, then hearing these writings would not be a source of transcendental pleasure for Mahaprabhu. Therefore Swarup Gosai would first examine what had been composed and if it was untainted then it could be presented to Mahaprabhu.
Usually he would recite Shri Gita Govinda, and the writings of Candidas and Vidyapati, for the transcendental happi ness of Mahaprabhu. In music and singing he was lika a Gandhar va and in knowledge of the sastras he was like Brhaspati. There was no one to compare with him in talent and intelligence. He was extremely dear to Shri Advaita and Nityananda Prabhu and was the life and soul of devotees like Shrivas and others.
When Shri Swarup Damodar arrived in Puri from Kasi ( Baranasi) he recited this sloka in praise of Mahaprabhu: Oh You, who are the personification of mercy - Shri Chaitanya. That which very easily causes grief to retreat far away, and which is spotlessly pure; which causes the appearance of the highest happiness, and by whose appearance disputa tion over the intricacies of scriptural statements ceases; that which causes the spirit to become extremely agitated in ecstatic love, by a shower of grace and beauty; may that extremely expansive and auspicious mercy by its sweetness and dignity shine its rays upon me. (Shri Chaitanya Candrodoy Natak.)
Seeing that Swarup Damodar was offering his dandavats to Him, Mahaprabhu picked him up and as He embraced him he said, I saw in a dream this morning that you had come. Just as a blind man finds unlimited happiness by regaining his eyesight, so I am feeling by regaining your association.
Swarup Damodar replied: Prabhu, please forgive me. By leaving You and running off to Baranasi, I made a great mistake. I dont have even a hint of attachment to your lotus feet, and I have actually become a great sinner by leaving you and going to a distant country. I gave up your associa tion, but You didnt give me up. Binding the rope of mercy around my neck You brought me again to Your lotus feet. [C. C. Mad 10]
Hearing these words of Swarup Damodar, spoken in such humility, Mahaprabhu again embraced him and said: Krishna is very kind. He has very mercifully brought us together again.
Mahaprabhu kept Swarup Damodar close to Him. Whenever Mahaprabhu became immersed in a particular ecstatic emotion, Swarup Damodar would perform a kirtan in that particular mood. During this period Shri Ray Ramananda also arrived from Vidyanagar in South India. Thus the two of them, Swarup Damodar and Ramananda Ray would enhance the ecstatic moods of Mahaprabhu by singing different songs and reciting various poetic verses. During the day, Mahaprabhu would engage in his pastimes of sankirtan with His devotees, and at night He would taste the mellows of the ecstatic love of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna in the company of these two. As Lalita and Visakha were very intimate with Shrimati Radharani, Ray Ramananda and Swarup Damodar were similarly intimate with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Swarup Damodars place of residence in Puri was the Satasan Math. This is located near Bhaktivinode Thakurs bhakti kutir, near the ocean at Svarga Dwar. Mahaprabhu entrusted him to look after and instruct Raghunath Das Goswami.
Swarup Damodar Goswami disappeared on the second day of the bright fortnight in the month of Asar.
SRI SIVANANDA SEN
Shri Sivananda Sen was a very intimate servant of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Just before the rainy season (Caturmasya) he would lead the associates of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from Bengal to Puri, where they would go each year, to see the Lord. All of the expenses of this journey were born by him, Sen Sivananda. [C. C. Adi 10.54].
Wealth and opulences are properly engaged in the sevice of Shri Hari, the guru and the Vaishnavas. Sivananda Sen used his property and possessions in this way, in the service of Shri Gauranga and His devotees. His entire family, sons and servants were all devotees of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
His three sons, Shri Chaitanya Das, Shri Rama das and Shri Karnapur das, were extremely devoted to Mahaprabhu. His two nephews, Shri Ballabh sen and Shri Kanta Sen were also great devotees.
Sen Sivananda used to reside at Kumar hatta, which is presently known as Halisahir. The location of his worshipable Deities, Shri Shri Gour-gopal is unknown at present. However, the Deities worshipped by Shrinath Pandit, the guru of Kavi Karnapur, are still residing at Kalyani. This is the temple of Kesto Ray, and is located a few miles from Chaitanya Doha.
In his Gaur-ganoddesa-dipika, the son of Sivananda, Shri Kavi Karnapur has written that the gopi in Brindavan by the name Bira, who was the messenger of Shrimati Radharani, is presently known as Shri Sivananda Sen.
The devotees would depart for Puri one month before the Ratha-yatra festival and travelling by foot, they would arrive one month later.
One day, the devotees set out on their trip, as it was an auspicious day to begin a journey. At first they came to Shri Advaita Acaryas house in Santipur. After conducting a festival there for one day, Advaita prabhu, his wife and son accompanied the party to Mayapur where they would have the darsan of Chaitanya Mahaprabhus mother, Saci mata. She was somehow or other passing her days in great separation from her son.
The devotees all offered their obeisances to her and she in turn offered obeisances to the feet of Advaita Acarya and his wife Sita Thakurani. Then, while remembering her son, she began to cry. Advaita Acarya Prabhu and his wife consoled Saci Mata as best as they could, and then, along with the other devotees, they commenced their journey.
Though Lord Chaitanya had ordered Nityananda Prabhu to preach in Bengal, he would also accompany the devotees to see Mahaprabhu. Also present were Shri Acaryaratna, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Shrivas Pandit, along with his brothers and their wives, Vasudeva, Govinda, Madhava Ghosh, Murari Gupta Ojha, Shri Raghava Pandit, Shri Khandavasi Narahari, Shri Gunaraja Khan, etc. Sen Sivananda would bring his wife and their sons, and many of the other devotees as well would bring their wives. The Thakuranis (ladies) would prepare foodstuffs, which were the favourite preparations of Mahaprabhu. Sivananda would make the arrangements for everyones meal as well as the paying of the tolls at the ferry gates. Wherever they would halt for the night, they would hold a festival of dancing and chanting of the Holy names.
Sivananda Sen knew all the paths through Orissa. One day he remained behind at the ghat to settle their account with the toll collector, while the rest of the party went ahead. After walking some distance they sat down to rest underneath a tree. Sivananda, however, was held up and not able to come right away and thus there was no arrangements for their meals. Having walked quite some distance that day, everyone was very hungry. Nityananda began to abuse his name and was ready to curse him.
Where is that Siva? Everyone is dying of hunger but still he hasnt come. No one is arranging any prasadam. Let his son die as well!
Just then Sivananda arrived. His wife went to him with tears in her eyes, You didnt manage any prasadam and now Gosai is very angry. He has cursed your sons to die. Sivananda replied, Now dont you become crazy. No need to cry needlessly. Just try to get a hold of yourself.
Consoling his wife he came to where Nityananda Prabhu was and offered his dandavats. Nityananda, still in angry mood, gave him a good kick. Sivananda felt great pleasure to get this mercy from Shripad Nityananda and immediately went to the house of one Gaudiya Vaishnava to arrange prasadam and a place to stay for the devotees. Then he went to bring Nityananda Prabhu there.
Nityananda Prabhu accepted prasadam with the devotees after which Sivananda came, and offering his obeisances at Nityananda Prabhus lotus feet he prayed to him; Today in accepting me as your servant, you punished me fittingly, according to my offense. But such is your tenderness that under the pretense of punishment you actually awarded me such great mercy. Who within the three worlds can understand your character? The dust of your lotus feet is very difficult to obtain even for Lord Brahma, but even such a low, vile wretch as me received the touch of these lotus feet on his body. Today my birth and the heritage of my forefathers has become successful, and today I have received devotion to Shri Krishna, as well as the ordinary objects of attainment for human beings - religion, economic development and sense gratification.
Hearing these words of Sivananda, Nityananda Prabhu became very happy and he rose up and very lovingly embraced him. [C. C. Ant. 12.31]
One year Sivananda came to Puri, bringing his son, Chaitanya Das with him. One day Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked the child: What is your name? To this the child replied, Chaitanya Das. Then Mahaprabhu asked Sivananda: What kind of name is this? Sivananda: As I received inspiration in my heart, so I have chosen this name.
One day Sivananda suggested to his son that he invite Mahaprabhu for lunch. When Chaitanya das made this request, Mahaprabhu accepted the affectionate invitation offered by the boy. Thus Sivananda along with his wife prepared many preparations of foodstuffs, feeling very happy in heart that Mahaprabhu would be taking his lunch at their house that day. When Mahaprabhu arrived Sivananda offered his obeisances, and after washing Mahaprabhus feet he seated Him for lunch. At this point Mahaprabhu told, that todays invitation has been extended by Chaitanya Das. Then Chaitanya Das placed in front of Mahaprabhu yogurt, limes, ginger, flower pakoras and other salty preparations, arranged very nicely. Seeing this arrangement Mahaprabhu said: This boy understands My mind. Therefore today I am very pleased to accept his invitation. [C. C. Ant. 20.180]
Thus Mahaprabhu very happily accepted the prasadam and after finishing, He called Chaitanya das and gave him His remnants.
SRI MADHU PANDITA
There is no mention of Shri Madhu Pandit in Chaitanya Charitamrita. Only it is mentioned in Bhakti Ratnakar that Shri Gopinathji manifested Himself before Him. [B. R. 2.473]
Oh Shrinivas! What more can I say? The Lord reveals Himself to his pure devotee, who then preaches his glories to the world. Who can describe their incomprehensible activities by which the Lord becomes subservient to their love. Thus did Shri Brajendra Kumar reveal himself to Paramananda Bhattacarya and Shri Madhu Pandit, who is the abode of many wonderful qualities.
Thus has Shri Gopinathji, who is an ocean of mercy, and who sports on the enchantingly beautiful banks of Bansibat, become manifested by the grace of Shri Madhu Pandit. [Sadhan Dipikayam]
Thus Shri Madhu Pandit became the servant of Shri Gopinath, whose bodily luster steals away the minds of everyone. Hundreds and thousands of people came running to see Him, famed as He is as sweetness personified. When the soothing sweetness and coolness of his charming form entered their hearts through their eyes, they found that the burning fire of material existence which had previously been burning there, was now extinguished.
The Deity of Shri Nanda Dulal which was fashioned from the same sila as Shri Shyamsundar (Khardaha) and Shri Ballabajiv (Ballabhapur), and which was brought from the Nawabs palace, is considered by some, to have been worshipped previously by Shri Madhu Pandit.
Shri Nanda Dulal is still residing in the village of Saibona, which can be reached by bus from Khardaha. One has to get down at Matarangi Mor, and then proceed by rikshaw to the temple of Shri Nandadulal. The seva-puja is at present being conducted by disciples of Shrila Omkarnath.
When Shrinivas and his companions were preparing to depart from Shri Brindavan Dham with the bullock cart of books, Madhu Pandit presented him the flower garland of Shri Gopinathji as his blessing.
Madhu Pandit was the disciple of Shri Gadadhar Pandit.
SRI RAGHUNANDAN THAKUR
Shri Mukunda Das, Madhava Das and Shri Narahari Sorkar Thakur were three brothers who lived in the village of Shri Khanda. Raghunandan was the son of Shri Mukunda Das. [C. C. Mad 15]
In the house of Shri Mukunda Das, who lives at Shri Khanda, Lord Shri Gopinath is served with great devotion. One day Mukunda was called out to do some work, and then he instructed his son Raghunandan to worship the deity and asked him to serve the Lord Gopinath that day. He explained to him that this deity is in our family for many generations and thus He has been worshipped by my father and his father and his father on and on, in this way for many years. Just as your mother feeds you and I everyday, so also He has to be fed everyday. Having explained to Raghunandan that this is a very big responsibility and he should be very careful to give his full attention to this service, Mukunda went out.
Raghunandan meanwhile having been instructed by his father, collected the items for offering to Shri Gopinathji and entered into the deity room. Raghunandan was at that time barely 5 years old and therefore, when he saw that Gopinath hadnt eaten the offering after he had imitated how his father offered the bhoga, he became very worried.
Ultimately he simply requested Gopinath with tears in his eyes:
Please eat! Eat! Gopinath became completely subjected by Raghunandans simple request, which was made entirely in love, and thus he stealthily ate up everything without leaving any remnants.
After some time Raghunandans father, Mukunda, returned and asked his son if he had done as he was told? When his son replied Yes, then Mukunda asked him to bring some of the prasadam. Raghunandan replied, Prasadam? I offered everything just like you told me, and Gopinath ate everything; so what should I bring you now? Mukunda was completely taken aback. This boy is not naughty and is always accustomed to speak the truth. I doubt if he could have eaten everything. I wonder what actually happened?
Musing on this matter in this way for some time, on another day his curiosity was so stirred that he again requested Raghunandan to offer the bhoga to Gopinath on that day. On this day however, having gone out of the house, he again came in by another way and remained hiding in one place. Raghunandan was very happy to be able to serve Shri Gopinathji again and brought everything into the deity room. As before, he again very insistently persuaded Gopinath to take his meal. As Gopinath had eaten half of a laddu, he espied Mukunda peering out from his hiding spot. He didnt try to cover up the fact that he had eaten what he had, but neither did he eat anymore. Seeing all this Mukunda was completely immersed in ecstatic love and picked up his son and put him on his lap. He extolled his virtues in a voice trembling with ecstasy, all the while torrents of tears of joy falling from his eyes. Even today, those who are greatly fortunate can still see that half-eaten laddu in Gopinathas lotus hand. Thus Shri Uddhav das sings the glories of Raghunandan, who is non different from Madan (Cupid).
Raghunandan was present at the khetori utsob. In Krishna lila he was Kandarpa manjari & in Dwaraka lila he was Shri Krishnas son Kandarpa. Raghunandans son is Kanai Thakur. His descendents are still residing at Shri Khanda. Shri Khanda can be easily reached from Katwa by bus or train. He was born in the year 1432 sakabda.
SRI MURARI GUPTA THAKUR
An expert physician by the name Murari Gupta could cure people of their disease of material existence. Along with so many other Vaishnavas, Advaita Acarya, Sen Sivananda, Jagannath Misra, Nilambar Cakravarti, he also appeared in Sylhet. [C. B. Adi 2.35]
Shrivas Pandit, Candrasekhara Acarya and Shri Murari Gupta Thakur were all from Shrihatta. Murari Gupta came from there to live in Navadwip, near the home of Jagannath Misra. He was a few years older than Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Murari Gupta, Kamalakanta, Shri Krishnananda, etc. all used to study together with Nimai Pandit. Nimai used to like a debate in disputations on logical fallacy but no one could defeat him; rather he could defeat all of them put together. Finally being exasperated by his uncanny sharpness of intelligence, Murari Gupta would resort to slinging mood, until finally they were all pushing one another back and forth as they came to the Ganges to take their bath.
There arose such a hue and cry at the ghat that the ladies couldnt fill their water pots, the water having become so muddy. Neither the brahmanas could properly take their bath. In this way Shri Gaursundor would play with his friends on the banks of the Ganges. [C. B. Adi 8]
When they entered the school of Ganga Das Pandit, Nimai immediately became first in the class, having attained the highest marks. Then all of the other students were forced to accept defeat. Murari Gupta however would neither accept defeat, nor would he engage in local debate. Therefore Nimai became angry and told him; You are a doctor; what is the use of you studying these subjects? Your business is to collect leaves & creepers to heal the sick. Grammatical science is very abstruse, you wont find anything in it to help you in dealing with mucus, bila and dyspepsia.
Hearing this challenge, Murari was pricked, and became angry within, but he didnt exhibit his anger. He simply gazed peacefully at Nimai.
Nimais divine form was so enchanting and the touch of his lotus soft hands so pacifying that no one became agitated by his dealings. At that time, Nimai had just began his studies in grammar. Therefore Murari began to discuss rhetoric with Him but still he could not defeat him. Completely astonished, he thought to himself, Is it possible that such scholarship is found in ordinary mortals. He must be some kind of divine personage. Not one student in Navadwip has been able to defeat him in argument. In this way they used to sometimes argue together but they would go together in a friendly mood to take bath in mother Ganges. When Mahaprabhu returned from Gaya and began to manifest symptoms of ecstatic love, Murari Gupta became intensely devoted to Him. When he saw Mahaprabhu crying in ecstatic love at the house of Suklambar Pandit he became struck with wonder.
Shri Murari Gupta used to worship Shri Shri Sita Ram. One day, Mahaprabhu suddenly arrived st Murari Guptas house. Roaring in the mood of Varaha deva he picked up a water pot in His teeth, while Murari Gupta fell down on the floor to offer his dandavats, being dumbstruck with wonder at having seen this divine form. Then Mahaprabhu said; Murari! Just sing some hymns in my praise. Then Murari recited some slokas at which Mahaprabhu became very happy and thus addressed him, Murari! I am just speaking this truth to you. I am the essence of all scriptures. I have come to engage in Harinam sankirtan Myself, as well as to induce others also to chant My Holy Names. I cannot tolerate malice towards my devotee. If someone tries to harm my devotee, even if he is my son I will tear off his head. The proof of this is Narakasur. After telling Murari so many secret things about Himself, Mahaprabhu returned home.
During the time when Mahaprabhu exhibited for 21 hours His transcendental existence as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He was calling His various devotees and bestowing various blessings to them.
He next called Murari: Murari! For so many days you couldnt recognize who I am? Just see My divine form. Then Murari saw Mahaprabhu was His most worshipable Deity, Lord Raghunatha, His body the colour of green grass. Sitting in the Birasana, hi beneath His body, and holding a great bow in His hand, Lakshman and Janaki were seated on each side of Him. In all directions the chiefs of the monkeys were reciting prayers and hymns. Then when he saw himself amongst those monkeys in his original form, he fainted straight away. Mahaprabhu called him: Murari! Get up! Just see My divine form. Have you forgotten who set Ravanas Lanka on fire? It was you, Hanuman! Get up and gaze on the form of Laksmana, who is the very embodiment of your life. Offer your obeisances to that one for whose sadness you cried so much (Sita devi).
Hearing Mahaprabhus voice Murari regained his consciousness and seeing that form again he offered his dandavats again while crying in ecstatic love. Seeing this divine display of the Lords infinite mercy towards Murari, the devotees filled the sky with the sounds of Hari! Hari!
One evening, Mahaprabhu & Nityananda Prabhu were sitting in the courtyard of Shrivas Pandit when Murari Gupta arrived there. First he offered his obeisances to Mahaprabhu and then to Nityananda Prabhu. Mahaprabhu told him; Murari! You have made a mistake. You offered your obeisances in the opposite order. Murari; Prabhu! As you have inspired me, so I have done. Mahaprabhu; Allright. Go home now and later you will be able to understand everything.
Murari Gupta went to his house and after having his meal, lay down to take rest. That night he saw a dream. In his dream he saw the chief of the Maha-bhagavat; Lord Nityananda, his cloth tied up behind in the fashion of a wrestler, proceeding in front. Above his head was a great, manyheaded serpent. In his hands were a plow and club. Nityananda Prabhu appeared just as Balaram. Following behind, with a peacock feather on his head, was Shri Bishwambar. [C. B. Mad. 20.14]
Lord Nityananda is no one other than Haladhar, the manifestation of Anantadeva, and the greatest devotee. Now Murari could understand who is greater.
Mahaprabhu, smiling sweetly called him; Murari! Now have you understood? If you breach proper conduct then how will it look. Murari Gupta, in the depth of his dream began to call out Nityananda!
Nityananda! with tears in his eyes. His wife then called out Krishna! Krishna! and woke him up. Murari Gupta could understand the greatness of Nityananda Prabhus position now. It is he who reveals Lord Gauranga. Without his mercy one cannot get the mercy of Lord Chaitanya.
On another day, Murari Gupta came to Shrivass courtyard and saw Mahaprabhu seated very regally on a decorated sitting place, being served by his various devotees. Gadadhar was offering pan and betel nuts which Mahaprabhu was chewing very happily, while Narahari was fanning Him with a camara. Murari Gupta offered his obeisances and Prabhu offered him some of the remnants of the chewed betel. Murari placed the betel in his mouth and then wiped his hand on his head. Mahaprabhu told him: Murari! My offal has touched your body! Murari replied; Today my entire body has become purified. The prasadam of the Lord is completely non-material. His self, His name, His prasadam, all are not different. If anyone thinks that His prasadam has become offal, by being in contact with His mouth then this is a great aparadh. The mouths of ordinary human beings are considered unclean but this doesnt apply to the supremely pure Personality of Godhead.
Having received the tambula (pan and betel) prasadam of Mahaprabhu, Murari became intoxicated with love of Godhead and arrived at his house in this condition. His devoted wife, seeing that her husband had returned home, spread an asana and having seated him, she brought a plate of prasadam and placed it before him. Murari, who was still in an ecstatic mood, was forming the rice in his hand into balls and saying Eat! Eat! He was then placing it on the ground. His wife could understand what was going on and thus she requested her husband, Swamin! That is enough, dont give (Him) anymore, now you eat something.
Thereafter Murari, still under the influence of ecstatic love, ate a little and then lay down to take rest. In the morning Mahaprabhu came to Muraris house and began to call him. Murari called out, Krishna! Krishna! and quickly got up from bed. Coming to the door he saw Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and thus offered his obeisances and inquired what had brought the Lord to his house so early in the morning. Mahaprabhu replied; Murari! You forgot already? Last night, all the while saying Eat! Eat! you fed Me so much rice with ghee. If you offer me, then how can I refuse? But eating rice with so much ghee I have gotten indigestion. Now give me some medicine. Hearing this, Murari felt very sorry, but Mahaprabhu immediately told him, Murari! By eating your nice rice I got indigestion, the medicine for that is your water. [C. B. Mad. 20.69]
Then seeing a lota of water which was sitting there, Mahaprabhu began to drink it up. Seeing this Murari exclaimed, Prabhu! I am a fallen, low class person. The water in my house is not fit for You. (Generally at that time brahmanas would not accept water or foodstuffs from the houses of non-brah manas). The Lord is known as bhakta-vatsala, who is very affectionate to His devotees. He accepts foodstuffs in the house of His devotee, and submissive to their love for Him, He is happy to remain in whatever condition they keep Him. Whatever they feed Him, He accepts very happily. Whatever they like, He likes. In this way the Lord enacted so many pastimes with His dear devotee, Hanuman (or Garuda, according to others opinion).
One day Murari Gupta began to reflect, If I can leave my body in the Lords presence then that will be very good. For this purpose he fashioned a large dagger and hid it in his house. But the supreme Lord Shri Chaitanya, who is totally omniscient im”mediately came to his house and called, Murari!, I have so many pastimes to complete in your company. If you go away then how will I go on? I know everything.
Murari caught hold of the Lords feet and began to cry. Thereafter Mahaprabhu consoled him and after explaining to him many things He returned to His own house. Murari Gupta was present with the Lord during all of his pastimes in Nadiya Nagar.
Every year when the devotees would go to Puri, Murari Gupta would go along with his wife and they would take many preparations of foodstuffs to offer to the Lord.
This was brought by Vasudeva Datta and this by Murari Gupta! This was brought by Buddhimanta Khan. Just see all these various preparations! [C. C. Antya lila].
There has been a temple constructed by Gaudiya Math, in memory of Murari Gupta Thakur, near Ballal dighi in Shridham Mayapur.
SRIMATI JAHNAVA MATA
Shri Surjadas Sarekhela was a resident of Shaligram. He had five brothers - Damodar, Jagannath, Gauri das, Krishna das and Nrsimha Chaitanya. His fathers name was Shri Kamsari Misra. His mothers name, Shri Kamala devi. He received the title Sarakhela as he used to keep the accounts for the king of Gaur desh. His two daughters were named Shri Vasudha and Shri Jahnava, who was the youngest.
In Gaur-ganoddesh-dipika it is stated that they are the expansions of Baruni and Revati in Brindaban and Surjadas Sarakhela, whose body effulgence is like the sun, is an expansion of Kakudmir, the king of Raivat. The two Lords Gauranga and Nityananda were very affectionate to him. Seeing that his two daughters had reached the full bloom of their youth, he began to contemplate their marriage. Thinking in this way, he fell asleep; and in his dream he saw that in a very happy mood he was presenting his two daughters to Nityananda Prabhu. Having seen such a wonderful dream, he began to float in an ocean of bliss.
In the morning when he awoke, he told his dream to one brahmana friend of his, I saw in my dream that Nityananda Prabhu is none other than Baladeva. His bodily effulgence was shining in all directions and his body was decorated with various shining ornaments. On either side of him my two daughters appeared as Baruni and Revati. Now if I cannot give my daughters in marriage to Nityananda Prabhu then there will be no peace for me. Having confided in his friend in this way, he sent him to the house of Shrivas Pandit in Navadwip.
That brahmana came to Navadwip very quickly and found that Nityananda Prabhu was living at Shrivas Pandits house. The brahmana explained everything in detail to Shrivas Pandit who later at the proper time divulged all of this news to Nityananda Prabhu. Lord Nityananda having assured the brahmana that he would fulfill the desire of Surja das, sent him back to Saligram. Advaita Acarya as well as Shrivas Pandit were very happy to have heard this news and urged that the marriage take place as soon as possible. The brahmana, in the meantime having returned to Saligram, delivered this auspicious news to Surja das who was overjoyed that his dream would now come true.
In the village of Borgachi lived the son of Raja Hari Hora, Shri Krishna das, who was a very dear devotee of Nityanan da Prabhu. He offered to bear all of the expenses for the wedding and to have it conducted at his house. With this in mind he requested Nityananda Prabhu to kindly come to his house, and after bringing him there he began to make the necessary arrangements for the wedding. Shrivas Pandit, Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Candrasekhar, Shri Murari Gupta and many other devotees all arrived and began Harinam Sankirtan. Surja das Pandits brother, Shri Krishna das soon arrived at Bordachi and then Nityananda Prabhu and the other devotees accompanied Him to Saligrama.
When Surjadas saw that the devotees along with Nityananda Prabhu had arrived, in great happiness he came out to greet them and then ushered them into his house where he offered his dandavats to Lord Nityananda. Surja das fell down at the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, his eyes brimming with tears of ecstatic love. He caught hold of His two lotus feet and wanted to offer some prayers but he could not express anything due to being overcome by ecstatic emotions. Lord Nityananda smiled sweetly and embraced him in great love. Surjadas was always absorbed in intense happiness. Who can understand his inner self.
Seeing these loving pastimes of his brother, Gauri das lost his patience and felt great bliss within himself. Then, after worshipping the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, he offered his two daughters in marriage to him.
Thus the marriage ceremony was very auspiciously performed and Nityananda Prabhu remained at Salagram with his two newly wedded wives for a few days. Thereafter he came to Shri Krishna dass house at Borgachi, where he remained for a couple of days. Next He came to Navadwip. Along with his two wives He offered His obeisances at the feet of Saci Mata. Saci Ma was extremely pleased to see them and she showed a great deal of affection to the new brides. The other Vaishnavas also began to show them great affection.
Then taking leave of Sacimata, Nityananda came to Advaita Acaryas house in Santipur. Shri Sita Thakurani began to float in the ocean of bliss after seeing Vasudha and Jahnava devi. Taking them in her lap she was very affectionate to the new brides. After remaining there for a few days Nityananda Prabhu came to Uddharon Datta Thakurs house at Saptagram at his insistent invitation. There they all engaged in a festival of sankirtan for a few days after which Nityananda Prabhu came to Khardaha. [Bhakti-Ratnakar 12th Taranga]
After the disappearance of Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shrivas Pandit and various other associates of Shri Goursundar, three especially empowered manifestations of the compassion of the Lord, Mahaprabhu, namely Shrinivas Acarya, Narottama Thakur Mahasoy and Shyamananda Prabhu continued to flood the land with Hari Nam Sankirtan. Shri Nityananda Prabhus sakti Shri Jahnava Mata, was especially requested by these three Acaryas to be present at the celebrated festival which was conducted by them at Kheturigram, under the patronage of Narottama Thakur Mahasoys cousin, Raja Santosh Datta. Present with her were Shri Krishna das Misra (her uncle), Mineketan Ramdas, Murari Chaitanya, Jnana das, Shri Paramesvari das, Balarama das, Shri Brindavan das Thakur, and other dear devotees of Lord Nityananda Prabhu.
First she came to her uncle Gauri das Pandits temple at Kalna where she was nicely received by Hrdoy Chaitanya Prabhu. Here she cooked for the two Lords, Nitai-Gauranga, and in the evening they had a festival of sankirtan. When she came to Navadvip and realized that she wouldnt be able to see Shri Saci Mata any more, she was very sad and cried. Then Shripati and Shrinidhi came and took her to their house. But again she was plunged into grief due to the pangs of separation at not being able to see Shrivas Pandit and Malini devi. At Santipur Shri Acyutananda and Gopal tried to console her in the absence of Advaita Acarya and Sita Thakurani.
Then she came by way of Kantak Nagar to Teliya Bhudari gram where Shri Govinda Kaviraj received her with all respect. The next day the party set out for Kheturi. When they reached the banks of the Padma river they found that Raja Santosh Datta had already made arrangements for crossing the river. From the opposite bank palanquins were waiting to take them to Kheturi.
After presiding over the festival of Kheturi, Ma Jahnava decided to go to Brindavan. One day when she was bathing in the Jamuna, a small black hand grabbed the end of her cloth as she was getting out of the water. When she looked, however, there was no one there. Then Gopinath spoke to her, I want to come and stay with you. When youre taking bath in the Ganga one day Ill come and join you.
After passing some days in great happiness in Shri Brindaban Dham, Shri Jahnava Mata set out on the path back to Gaur desh. First she came to Kheturi, and then to Bhudari gram where she arranged the marriage of Bor Ganga das with Shri Hemalata, the daughter of Shri Shyamdas Cakravarti (brother of Bansi das). After the marriage, Shri Iswari entrusted the worship of Shyamsunderji to Borganga das. Then she came to Ekcakra, the birthplace of her worshippable Lord. From there she passed through Kantak Nagar, Jajigram, Navadwip, Ambika kalna, Saptagram, before finally arriving back at Khardaha.
As she was bathing in the Ganges one day, something touched her body in the water. Then she lifted that object out of the water and beheld the enchanting form of Shri Gopinathji, while tears of love streamed from her eyes. This Deity is at present being worshipped by the descendant of Ganga devi, the daughter of Nityananda Prabhu, at Jirat, Hugli. There is a rail station at Jirat between Bandel and Kalna station. From the Jirat station one should proceed by rickshaw to Gopinath Tala.
Having fallen into the ocean of material existence I am com”pletely distraught and filled with anxiety. Floating in this ocean, without any refuge, I am trying to find a shore; but without any success, I am losing all hope of ever finding it. What activity will bring me there?; or what knowledge will bring me there? Conducting some fruitive sacrifices, engaging in some mystic yoga process or conducting austerities - none of these have any power or effect. I am getting very weak and I cannot swim much longer. Now in this extremely dangerous situation, will no one come to save me? Alas! To make matters worse, having caught sight of the crocodile of wordly affairs, I am petrified with fear and the current of lust is always churning the water. I can barely keep my head above the water, the winds carrying the results of activities performed in previous lives, is blowing and making the water so choppy. I am losing my mind and now I am simply crying frantically. I cant see anyone who can get me out of this ocean of woes. O my dear Shri Jahnava devi, please have compassion on your servant and bless me with some of your divine qualities. Please extend me the rope of your mercy and alleviate this intense pain that I am experiencing.
I have taken shelter of the boat of your lotus feet and I have full faith that you can carry me across this ocean. You are the divine energy of Lord Nityananda and the bestower of Krishna bhakti. Please bless me at your feet, which can bestow all ones desires. You have already delivered so many despicable creatures, now today here is one more destitute and hateful wretch, come to your lotus feet. [Kalyan Kalpataru]
SRI SITA THAKURANI
Shri Sita Thakurani, like Shri Sacimata is the eternally worshipable mother of the universe. She was always intensely absorbed in parental affection for Shri Gaursundor, and she used to give friendly advice to Sacimata and Jagannath Misra as to how they should raise their son, Nimai.
Shri Sita Thakurani is the incarnation of yoga-maya - Bhagavati Paurnamasi. Her other expansion (prakash murti) is her sister, Shri. [Gaur-ganoddesa-dipika]
Sita Thakurani gave the name Nimai to the child with the idea in mind that witches and female sorcerers would not be able to harm Him. The neem tree is highly antiseptic and evil spirits cannot go near it, so also, with the name Nimai, evil spirits will not be able to go near such a person with this name. In this connection Sitadevi was completely absorbed in parental affection. In comparison to the mellows of devotional love, the opulences, strength, etc. of Bhagavan have to admit defeat. In fact, by this affection, in which one forgets the supreme position of the Lord and considers Him to be an ordinary human, the Lord obtains great satisfaction. [C. C. Adi 13.111]
At this time Sita Thakurani spent a few days at Mayapur and gave various instructions to Jagannath Misra and Sacidevi regarding the upbringing of the child. Jagannath Misra and Sacimata in turn presented valuable cloths and other fineries to Sita devi during the birth festival of their son.
Besides his house at Santipur, Advaita Acarya also had another house at Shridham Mayapur. After the birth of Shri Gaursundor he and Sita Thakurani began to spend most of their time at Mayapur. Shri Saci devi always remained very reverential towards Sitadevi. They were extremely close friends and Sita Thakurani would come everyday to Jagannath Misras house to check on the child. As Nimai began to grow up, He increased the pleasure of the devotees, like the waxing moon in the sky increases our happiness by its cooling effect.
A few years later when Jagannath Misras oldest son (Viswarup) suddenly took sannyasa and left home, Jagannath and Sacidevi, as well as Nimai, were very aggreived. At that time Shri Advaita Acarya and Sita devi would especially try to console them and look after Nimai.
When Shri Gaursundor returned from Gaya-dhama in a god-intoxicated state and began to reveal his true self, Advaita Acarya and Sita Thakurani came from Santipur and were the first ones to offer worship at His lotus feet.
One day, Saci kumar, smiling very sweetly, entered the courtyard of Advaitas temple and sat down. Nityananda was present with Him and Advaita Acarya also sat down to join them. Then the three of them very happily decided to hold a sankirtan festival. Hearing their conversation Sita Thakurani felt great bliss and coming out of the house she very enthusiastically suggested to Shachinandana````@P@````PP@P°`° `@```š`@°°`°° @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞 how she could assist in the preparations. Seeing her enthusiasm, the ecstatic bliss of Shri Gaursundor increased that much more and He told her, Thakurani, please invite many Vaishnavas to your house. Those who are singers and those who can expertly play the mrdanga and other instruments; each one should be respectfully invited to come here for a sankirtan festival.
Then when Shri Gaursundor started in the direction of Brindavan, after taking sannyasa, Sita Thakurani, like Sacimata herself, was extremely afflicted and having fallen down on the earth, remained there for four days as though almost dead. Bhakti-vatsala, Shri Gaursundor, being bound by his devotees love, was not able to go to Brindaban, and instead came to Santipur. Sita Thakurani and Advaita Acarya having gotten to see him again also got back their life. Then Sita devi cooked for and fed Mahaprabhu who had also been fasting for a few days.
Having spoken to her about this, Shri Gaura Ray instructed everyone to extend invitations to all the Vaishnavas. Then he told them to bring mrdanga and kartals and with the oil of aguru and sandalwood paste, to establish a sacred water pot. [This is a process whereby; performing some puja, the presence of a sacred divinity is invoked and established within the water pot.] He instructed how the place where the kirtan would be held, should be carefully cleansed and decorated with banana trees and flower garlands. He then explained how, in the evening, with flower garlands, sandalwood paste, betel nuts, ghee, honey and yoghurt, the invocation ceremony should be performed.
Hearing these nectarean instructions of Mahaprabhu, everyone felt great joy and they immediately began to bring the auspicious articles by which the whole area became perfumed with a pleasant fragrance and sweet scent. Then, the heavens resounding with the transcendental sound vibration of Hari! Hari! the kirtan began. Parameswar thus concludes his description of the sankirtan festival performed at the house of Advaita Acarya; himself floating in the bliss of those ecstatic mellows. [Shri Padakalpa taru]
Three sons took birth from the womb of Sita Thakurani - Acyutananda, Krishna Misra and Gopala Misra. They were all followers of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sita Thakuranis fathers name was Nrsimha Bhaduri. She had a sister, Shri, who was also married to Advaita Acarya. [B. R. 12.1785]
She cooked many preparations for Mahaprabhu, and when all the devotees were in Puri for Rathayatra, Mahaprabhu would be invited to accept His lunch. He accepted their loving offerings as though one charmed by mantra. She was always very affectionate to Mahaprabhu and treated Him like her own son. Mahaprabhu as well saw her as non-different than his own mother and treated her with the same devotion.
SRI VISNUPRIYA DEVI
Shri, Bhu and Nila are three of the energies of the supreme personality of Godhead. Shri Vishnupriya¬devi is the manifestation of Krishnas Bhu sakti. She is also known to be the same as Satyabhama in Krishnalila. She has appeared with Shri Gaursundor to assist in the distribution of love of Godhead and His Holy Names.
There lived in Navadwip one brahmana, Sanatan Misra by name, who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He used to maintain many people, providing them with food and cloth and he was renounced as a great scholar (raja-pandit).
In Dvapara-yuga he was the King Satrajit. As he was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, from the fruits of his faithful worship of Him, he obtained a very beautiful jewel of a daughter endowed with all good qualities, by the name Shri Vishnupriya. From her very childhood she used to take bath in the Ganga two or three times a day and in imitation of her elders she would perform various worship ceremonies, vows and service to the Deity and Tulasi devi. When she would offer her obeisances and Sacimata would in turn bless her saying Yogya pati hauk. (May you get a qualified husband). Saci Mata used to think to herself that this would make a very fine daughter-in-law.
In the meantime Nimai was married to Lakshmipriya, who after a short time passed on to the next world. Ma Saci was very aggrieved at this and the days passed on. Then she thought to get her son married again. All of her relatives and close friends all felt this would be a good idea.
Shri Gaursundor didnt oppose His mother and gave his consent. Saci mata sent one of the servants to call Kasinath Pandita, the match-maker. Receiving her summons, the Pandita immediately came to see Ma Saci, who brought up the point of Shri Gaursun dars marriage. Kasinath Pandit thought this was a very good idea, and urged that the marriage take place as soon as possible. When he inquired if she had any suitable bride in mind, Sacima replied, Sanatan Misras daughter - Vishnupriya. Kasinatha exclaimed, Thakurani! I was also thinking to mention her name. Saci Ma replied; But I am very poor. Do you think he will want to present his daughter to us? You please discuss this matter with him.
Kasinath replied, Thakurani, if Sanatan Misra doesnt give his daughter to such a beautiful boy and a qualified son as your Nimai, then who will he give her to? Having spoken these consoling words he set out for Sanatan Misras house.
Sanatan Misra, seeing that his daughter had attained marriageable age, was also looking for a suitable bridegroom. But in Nadiya there was no one more qualified than Nimai Pandita. He was the most handsome, had the best qualities and was still quite young. One would be considered very fortunate indeed to be able to give their daughter to such a young man. Sanatan Misra was thinking like this, but was feeling shy to mention his plan to anyone. Simply in his mind he was praying to the Lord, O my Lord, oh Hari, If I had accumulated any pious merits in my previous lifetimes then let the result of those be that my daughter gets Nimai Pandit as her husband. Finally he brought up the topic of their daughters marriage with his wife. Just then who should appear at the door, but Kasinatha Pandit.
Sanatana Misra got up to receive him and after having respectfully seated him brought some sweetmeats and water. As he thought to himself, Certainly he has some news of a suitable bridegroom, he inquired, Panditji, what is the news? Smiling broadly the Pandit replied, You should give your daughter in marriage to Bishwambhar Pandit. After having considered the matter in every respect, this is the best decision. With this in mind I have come to see you. That excellent boy is the most qualified for your daughter, and your daughter, being extremely chaste, is the most suitable for him. As Shri Krishna and Rukmini devi are mutually compatible, so are Vishnupriya and Nimai Pandit. [C. B. Adi 15.57]
Having received this proposal, Sanatan Misra and his wife felt such joy that they forgot themselves, The all-cognizant supersoul has fulfilled my desires. Sanatan Misra spoke to Kasinatha, In this regard, what can I say? If there is any good fortune in my family, then I have a hope to obtain such a son-in-law. Some of the others present spoke up, Unless one is highly fortunate, is it possible to get such a boy? If your daughter is lucky enough then certainly she will get such a husband. Thereafter Misra Mahodoy discussed various matters in order to finalize the betrothal agreement. Having arranged everything suitably, Kasinatha returned to Saci Matas house and informed her of the proceedings. Sacimata replied, The Lord is looking out for me, because I have no one else to.
Having heard that Nimai Pandits wedding was to take place, everyone became very jubilant. His disciples began to discuss among themselves, Well all donate some things for Panditjis wedding. Buddhimanta Khan, who was quite wealthy spoke up, I will bear all the costs of the wedding. To this Mahaprabhus friends Mukunda and Sanjoy replied, Our dear brother, wont you even share some of the expenses with us. This wedding has to be so gorgeous, that no prince has ever seen the likes of it.
News spread throughout the whole of Navadwip about the upcoming marriage of Nimai Pandit, and gradually the preparations for the wedding began. First a huge canopy was suspended above the actual place where the marriage ceremony would take place. On the ground various floral and other auspicious designs were painted with rice flour and then the pavilion was decorated with banana trees, water pots, mango leaves, lamps, paddy, yogurt and other auspicious articles. All the Vaishnavas, brahmanas and other noble and virtuous gentlemen who lived in Navadwip at that time were invited to the invocation ceremony preceeding the wedding.
On the evening of that day the musicians began to play on their instruments, while the courtyard of Sacis house began to till up with relatives and friends. First the worship of the Lord was performed followed by arati and the offering of foodstuffs, all conducted with great pomp and gaity. Then the preliminary ceremonies to be performed by Shri Gaura before the wedding were smoothly executed. Within the inner apartments of the house, the ladies contributed their efforts to the ceremony by yodelling and blowing conchshells, while the Vaishnavas filled the sky with the vibrations of the Lords Holy Names, Hari! Hari!
In all directions an ocean of happiness began to swell, in anticipation of the Supreme Lords marriage ceremony. Following this preliminary ceremony sweet preparations of betel nuts and pan leaves were served, as many as anyone wanted. Gaursundara personally applied sandalwood paste and garlanded with flower garlands all those Vaishnavas and brahmanas who attended the function, and in turn they very cheerfully offered their blessings. No one had ever before seen such a pleasant adhivas ceremony (the function preceeding the major ceremony). Nadiya nagara began to float in the midst of an ocean of bliss.
On the next day a very vast arrangement began to take place in preparation for the actual wedding ceremony. In the afternoon Shri Gaursundor put on an excellent dhoti and upper garments and then after first making salutations at the feet of His mother and other Vaishnavas present, He ascended the palanquin and took his seat within. First they came to the banks of the Ganges where Shri Gauranga got down out of the palanquin, to the accom paniment of the playing of instruments and auspicious shouting of Jaya! Jaya!, which filled up the sky in all directions, the party began to again proceed along the banks of the Ganga. Thousands and thousands of lamps were glittering in the evening like so many little stars coming out. The musicians played their various instruments while some engaged in singing and dancing.
During the Go-dhuli lagna (the time when the cows return home from the pasture and the dust from their hoofs fills the air), the bridegroom and his party entered the courtyard of Shri Sanatan Misras house. Sanatan Misra and his wife presented various articles of worship before the bridegroom, thus welcoming him and at the same time offering their blessings.
Meanwhile the new bride had been decorated with various ornaments and she was now brought out of the house and into the wedding pavilion. The Supreme Goddess of Fortune, after seven times having circumambulated her eternal consort, Shri Gaura Narayan, offered her entire being at His lotus feet. Shri Gaura Ray, after having seated His eternal consort on his left side, then exchanged flower garlands with her.
First of all the Goddess of Fortune, the Mother of the Universe, kneeling before the lotus feet of the Lord, placed a flower garland around His neck, thus surrendering herself to Him. Then Shri Gaurcandra, smiling slightly, placed a flower garland around Shri Vishnupriya devis neck. Thus having exchanged flower garlands Shri Shri Laxmi-Narayana began Their divine sports. [C. B. Adi 15.176]
Shri Sanatan Misra thus having presented his daughter to Shri Gaursundor, with a large dowry, became himself crowned with success. As Janaka Raja presented Sitadevi to Ramacandra, as Bhismaka Raja presented Rukmini to Shri Krishna, so Sanatan Misra presented Vishnupriya devi to Shri Gaurasundara.
After the wedding ceremony, the bride and bridegroom entered their bridal suite and lay down on a bed of flowers. That night the bliss of Vaikuntha made its appearance at the house of Shri Sanatan Misra. Practically the entire night the musicians played on their instruments while others sang and danced. In the early morning, Shri Gaursundara and his wife Laxmidevi, got up from their bed, and after having washed Their hands and mouths they completed Their morning bhajan. Shri Sanatan Misra, along with his family and relatives, having had arranged this grand festival, enjoyed such pleasure as is not possible to describe. [C. B. Adi 15.199]
In the afternoon, Shri Gaurasundara along with his new bride, proceeded to His own house, being accompanied by the party of musicians, singers and dancers. As they passed through the town of Nadiya, along the banks of the Ganga, the local inhabitants, gazed at the unprecedented beauty of Shri Shri Vishnupriya-Gauranga, and began to comment: This highly fortunate girl must have served Laxmi and Parvati for many lifetimes (in order to get such a husband). Someone else said: They look like Hara-gauri (Lord Siva and Gauri) and some one else commented: I think they must be Laxmi and Shri Hari. No they must be Kamadeva (Cupid) and Rati. While someone else offered: I think they look like Lord Indra and Saci. Another suggested: They must be Ramacandra and Sita. Like this the pious ladies of Nadiya made various remarks as the procession passed their houses. [C. B. Adi 15.205].
Even after executing penances and austerities for many lifetimes, the yogis are still unqualified to see the divine pastimes of the Lord, but the ordinary inhabitants of Nadiya, down to the very lowest, were able to have darsana of this divine pastime of the Lord - therefore He is called Dinanatha. The brahmanas and family members were presented with valuable cloths and all of the dancers, performers (panegyrists) and beggers who were present were also presented gifts of cloths and money by Shri Gaurasun”dara. Thus they went on their way feeling quite happy. Then the Lord Bishwambhar lovingly embraced Buddhimanta Khan who had born all of the expenses of the wedding.
Hereafter Shri Brindaban das Thakur only occassionaly mentions Shri Vishnupriya devi in Chaitanya Bhagavat. When Lord Chaitanya returned from Gaya dham, Shri Vishnupriya, who had been suffering great separation, became again very happy. But Mahaprabhu was a completely changed person. Sacimata thought that perhaps he had become afflicted with some disease. She worshipped Mother Ganges and Lord Vishnu for the welfare of her child and brought Shri Vishnupriya and sat her down before her husband. However, Mahaprabhu, even though looking in her direction, didnt even see her. He simply used to call out Krishna! Krishna!, all the while crying.
Another time His mother brought His meal, and placing the plate before Him, she also sat down in front of Him. Meanwhile Vishnupriya was watching everything from within the other room. Mahaprabhu was always absorbed in various ecstatic moods. One day He came to hear of some oppressive behavior of some atheist miscreants and exclaimed, I will destroy them! Sacimata couldnt understand what was going on and told Vis nupriya to go and sit next to Him. Seeing Vishnupriya Mahaprabhu started to beat her. But then he regained His external consciousness and felt embarrassed. [C. B. Mad 2.87].
One day Sacimata and Shri Gaursundor were sitting in the room talking, while Vishnupriya was quietly sitting outside listening. Sacimata told Gaursundor, Today in the night, I saw a dream in which You and Nityananda were playing with our Deities, Rama and Krishna. As the four of You sat down to take some food and ultimately you ended up fighting with one another. In this way I saw so many of your sports! Gaursundor replied: Such a wonderful dream, Mother! But dont tell anyone. Rama and Krishna are personally living in our house. So many days I saw that someone is stealing and eating their prasad. I used to doubt your daughter-in-law. But now I dont have this doubt anymore (i.e. Balaram and Krishna are directly eating what is offered to them). Sacimata exclaimed, Baba, You shouldnt speak like that. Then Vishnupriya who was overhearing everything began to laugh.
Another day, the Lord Visvambhara was sitting with Laxmidevi (Vishnupriya) in His room. Laxmidevi was feeling such happiness in being able to serve her husband by giving Him tambula (pan and betel nut) and in this bliss she wasnt aware whether it was night or day. Whenever Laxmi would stay by Viswambharas side, then Saci would feel very content. [C. B. Mad 11.65]
The Lord Gaur-Narayan eternally engages in His divine lila with Laxmi (Vishnupriya) in Nadia. Vishnupriya is supplying Him tambula and chewing that He feels very happy. She, by her husbands happiness forgets whether it is day or night. This is the subject of meditation for the eternal worshiper of Shri Shri Gaur Vishnupriya.
When Mahaprabhu played the part of Rukmini devi in a drama enacted at the house of Shri Candrasekhara Acarya, Vishnupriya accompanied Sacimata when she went to see that performance. [C. B. Mad 18.29].
Hereafter, in the descriptions of the Lords acceptance of the sannyasa order, Shri Vrndavan Das Thakur hasnt mentioned Vishnupriyas name anywhere. Shrila Krishna das Kaviraja Goswami has only described briefly her marriage with Shri Gaursundara in the 8th chapter of the Adi lila of Chaitanya Charitamrita.
Locana dasa Thakura, however, in his Chaitanya Mangala, has given the following narration about the instructions that Mahaprabhu gave to Shri Vishnupriya on the night of his departure for acceptance of sannyasa:
(You can write this down). Everything that you see in this universe is completely false; the only reality is Bhagavan and his devotees; everything else is for nothing (and this is fit to be sung). Sons, husbands & friends; all of these family relationships are false. In the end no one belongs to anyone else.
Besides the lotus feet of Shri Krishna, we have no other refuge. Krishna is the husband (master) of everyone, and besides Him everything else is His energy - but no one understands this. Your name is Vishnupriya; if you worship Shri Vishnu, then your name has been given substance. Dont feel any sorrow needlessly; I am explaining to you the genuine Truth. Just fix your mind at the lotus feet of Shri Krishna.
Vishnupriya replied: You are the Supreme controller, therefore please withdraw your illusory energy. Then Vishnupriya can be cheerful. Then Vishnupriya felt her sadness and affliction leave her and her heart full of ecstasy, she found herself gazing at the four armed form of the Lord. Nevertheless, she couldnt give up thinking of the Lord as her Lord (husband) and falling at the lotus feet of the Lord, she told Him, I just have one thing to say - I have come into this world, a completely vile and abominable wretch, but you are my life, my Lord. My worth is that I am your servant. Now, for what reason am I condemned to become a useless nothing again.
Then Mahaprabhu replied: Please hear me, Devi Vishnupriya. I am telling you this - Whenever and wherever you think of Me, I will immediately come to be with you, please know this to be a firm fact. Hearing he order of her Lord, Shri Krishna, Vishnupriya thought to herself - You are the Supreme, independent Lord. Whatever makes you happy, you should do that. Who will try to obstruct you? Therefore I have no further reply.
In the middle of the night, leaving the side of Vishnupriya, Mahaprabhu came before his Mothers door and offered His salutations to her. Then after revealing some of His transcendental opulences and leaving her in a bewildered state, by speaking some words to her, he crossed the Ganges by swimming and set off in the direction of Katwa. Shri Vasu Ghosh Thakur has described the state of Vishnupriya and Sacimata when they woke up at the end of the night: Vishnupriya, thinking that Shri Gaursundara was lying by her side, put her hand out to touch Him, but found simply emptiness beside her. Touching that empty space, a thunderbolt fell on her head. Alas! Providence has cheated me.
Crying very piteously & without binding her hair, she went to Sacimatas room. Vishnupriyas crying was rending the very earth itself and the birds, beasts, creepers and trees, even the rocks were also crying. Oh why is it that, being such a sinful person my life is not leaving this body? Falling down and rolling on the ground, her piteous wail caused her breath to come in gasps. Her mouth dried up and her body was trembling. Feeling such intense separation from Mahaprabhu, sleep renounced the eyes of Shri Vishnupriya. If sometimes she might sleep for a little while, then she would lie down on the ground. Though her bodily radiance could defeat that of gold, now she appeared very pallid, like a jewel covered with dirt.
Her body was as thin as the moon on the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight. She would count the chanting of Harinama with the aid of grains of rice, and however much rice would accumulate, that she would cook and offer to Mahaprabhu. Then a small amount of that she would accept as prasadam. No one could understand how it was that she was maintaining her life. [B. R. 4.48]
In the diary of Murari Gupta is a description of the appearance of Mahaprabhus Deity and Shri Vishnupriya devis worship of that murti. Mahaprabhus very own expansion, in the form of His Deity, was present before Shri Vishnupriya. He intimated to her, Shri Krishna is present in this form. Laxmi devi, as Vishnupriya engaged in the worship of this Deity. This Deity is at present being worshiped in the form of Navadwipa as Dhameshwar.
After Mahaprabhu went away from Nadia, Isana Thakura (a servant in the house of Saci mata) used to look after Vishnupriya and Sacimata. Shri Bansibadan Thakur also used to stay with them. Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu received the darsana of Vishnupriya when he went to Navadwipa.
A brahmana pandit of the name Shri Vallabha Acarya used to live in Navadwip. He had a very well behaved and beautiful daughter who was just like Laksmidevi and whose name was Laksmipriya. Thinking that the time for her marriage had arrived he called the match maker, Vanamali Acarya.
Vanamali Acarya considered Nimai Pandit to be the most suitable match for Vallabha Acaryas daughter and so he came to see Saci mata. He spoke to her thusly: The time for your sons marriage has come but why is it that you havent thought to arrange a nice bride for Him? There is a brahmana by the name Shri Vallabha Acarya, who is from a very good family and who is very well behaved. There is no taint whatsoever on his name. He has a daughter who is just like the goddess of fortune in beauty and good qualities. Why dont you accept this proposal if you have a mind to. [C. B. Adi 10.54]
Shri Saci devi replied, My son has no father. Let Him get a little older first. Now he is absorbed in studies. Vanamali was not very engladdened by Saci matas reply and so, in a melancholy mood he went away. However, just by chance, he happened to meet Nimai Pandit on the way. Nimai inquired, Acarya Mahasaya, where had you gone? Vanamali replied, I have just been to your house, to see your mother. You see, Ballabha Acarya has a very nice daughter and he considered You to be a quite suitable bridegroom in this respect. However I didnt notice any enthusiasm on your mothers part regarding this matter. Therefore I am going home now. Hearing this, Nimai Pandit smiled. After bidding farewell to the brahmana He Himself returned home but kept completely silent.
His mother accosted Him, Nimai why are you so grave today. You are not speaking?
Nimai replied, Why couldnt you speak nicely with Vanamali Pandita? By this Saci Mata could understand that Nimai had a desire to marry that girl. Therefore she sent someone to call the match maker again. This time she addressed him, Vipra! That which you spoke to me about yesterday - please complete the arrangements quickly. I am in full agreement with your proposal. [C. B. Adi 10.45].
Having heard this latest development, Vanamali went to Vallabha Acaryas house. Seeing the cheerful face of Vanamali, Vallabha Acarya could guess that his work had turned out successfully, and so his own mind became filled with joy. Receiving him with all due respects he seated him and inquired about the good news. Vanamali replied, Very auspicious news: you can now begin the arrangements for your daughters marriage to Nimai Pandit. To get a boy like this as a son-in-law is a matter of great fortune.
Having heard this happy news the household members of Vallabha Acarya felt unlimited joy. Shri Ballabha told Banamali, If Krishna is pleased with me and if Laxmi devi and Gauri devi are satisfied with my daughter, then such a son-in-law as this might be obtainable. Please arrange everything as soon as possible.
But the only thing is that I am not able to give a proper dowry. I am just a poor brahmana. Ill only be able to give 5 haritaki (dried fruits) as a dowry along with my daughter. You will have to plead this on my behalf.
So Banamali came to Saci mata and spoke to her on this point. Sacimata replied,Since she is a nice girl, we wont demand any dowry. Whatever he gives, we will be satisfied with that. Vanamali returned to Vallabha Acarya and informed him that again he had arranged everything satisfactorily.
Hearing those glad tidings the members of Vallabha Acrayas house were completely delighted. Meanwhile Sacidevi informed Shrivas Pandit, Advaita Acarya and the other well wishers of her son about Nimais impending marriage. Everyone was very happy to receive this news and requested her to complete everything as soon as possible.
Saci Mata then called the astrologers (Bhat tacharya) and re”quested them to ascertain when the next favorable conjunction of the constellations would take place. Vallabha Acarya had also done likewise so the two families discussed it together and then set a date for the wedding.
With the wedding date finalized, Saci Mata, in joyful anticipa”tion of the event, now sent out people to personally invite the familys friends and relatives to the preliminary ceremony, which would be held at her house before the wedding. Having received the news of Nimai Pandits marriage, everyone was very happy and began to look forward to the event.
On the morning of the adhivas ceremony, the professional dancers and musicians arrived and by their music and dancing created a festive atmo sphere. Meanwhile the ceremonial pavilion was very nicely and charmingly constructed, with banana trees, mango leaves, decora tive designs painted on the ground with rice flour, and flower garlands. The brahmanas known as Bhattacarya recited various hymns from the Vedas, such as Nandi Mukh sraddha, as the preliminary rites. Then the invocation ceremony began as Shri Ballabha Acarya arrived with many auspicious articles to present to the bridegroom. These articles are waved before the bridegroom as in an aroti ceremony, in order to convey the blessings of the father upon his future son-in-law. As the rituals were performed the musicians filled the air with the vibrations of their instruments while Sacimata was very busy in receiving the many guests with sweets and plates of pan leaves and betel. In this way the invocation ceremony was completed.
Early the next morning preparations for the wedding ceremony began as the friends and relatives of Jagannath Misra began to arrive. Sacimata received the ladies by annointing their heads with oil and arranging their bath. After arranging their hair she placed the vermilion dot between the eyebrows. Then by presenting them new cloths and offerings of puffed rice, bananas and sweets, etc., she satisfied everyone to the fullest extent. They all felt as though they were floating in an ocean of happiness having been welcomed so nicely by Shri Sacimata.
On the morning of the wedding, Shri Gaursundara, after taking bath in the Ganges, first performed the daily worship of Lord Vishnu and then worshipped his forefathers. In all directions the sweet sound of the musicians playing on their instruments could be heard as the singers and dancers began their activities. Demigods and Demigoddess from the heavenly planets, having disguised themselves as ordinary human beings, arrived in anticipation of seeing the Lords marriage ceremony.
Meanwhile, Shri Vallabhacarya had also completed his duties on the evening of the preceeding day by conducting the invocation ceremony and worshipping his forefathers. At his house also, the air was filled with the sound of singing and dancing, playing on instruments and chanting auspicious hymns. During the go-dhuli lagna Shri Gaursundara set out from his house with a huge crowd of friends, relatives, students and musicians, after first offering His salutations at the feet of His mother and the other elders present. To the accompaniment of the musicians music and the singers and dancers, the party proceeded towards the Ganga. There, Shri Gaursundara got down from His palanquin and offered His obeisances to Mother Ganges. Then they proceeded along the banks of the Ganges, finally approaching the house of Shri Vallabha Misra. Vallabhacaryaji, seeing that the bridegrooms party had arrived was completely in ecstasy and came out to greet them. He very respectfully led his future son-in-law in the the courtyard and seated Him within the wedding pavilion. Then he brought his daughter, who had been decorated very beautifully with ornaments and tilok markings on her face, and seated her next to Shri Gaursundor.
The ladies all began to yodel while the musicians made the heavens resound with the sound of their instruments. After Laksmipriya was seated on a wooden seat, she was picked up along with the seat and caused to circumambulate Shri Gaursundara seven times. Finally Laksmidevi, after having offered water at the lotus feet of her husband, offered her obeisances to Him. She placed a garland of flowers around the neck of her Prabhu, Who, in placing His garland on her neck, duly accepted her as His wife. In this way Shri Shri Laksmi-Narayana were united with auspicious shouts of joy.
Shri Gaursundara now seated Laksmipriya on His left side, after performing the Mukhcandrika ritual. Prabhu, still in the bloom of youth, was defeating the beauty of Cupid himself. With Laksmi”devi seated on His left side, Their radiant beauty increased manifold, and the waves of ecstatic bliss which were felt at that moment in Shri Ballabh Misras house are beyond description. [C. B. Adi 10.102]
It was late into the night when the ladies completed their various family customs and social rites and rituals. Finally the Supreme Lord along with His eternal consort Laxmidevi lay down on a bed of flowers and slept.
In the early morning they rose and completed their morning duties. After spending the day at Vallabha Misras house, Shri Gaursundor set out for His own house during the go-dhuli lagna. At the time of bidding farewell to his daughter and son-in-law, Shri Ballabha Acarya along with his family members became com”pletely overwhelmed. The divine couple, having been decorated with sandalwood paste, flower garlands, ornaments, crowns and eye shadow, looked radiant, as they were seated in the palanquin.
The people along the path were very pleased to see the newly wedded couple and exclaimed, This young girl must have worshiped Hara-Gauri for a long time in order to have obtained such a handsome husband. Admist the music of the musicians and the joyous shouts of those accompanying him, Shri Gaursundara entered the courtyard of His own house. Saci Mata along with many other brahmana ladies received the couple by offering aroti and many auspicious articles. The house of Sacimata became inundated with an ocean of happiness as the musicians music filled the sky.
In this way the marriage of Shri Gaursundor was performed very auspiciously and thus the whole world became filled with joy. All of the guests, brahmanas, dancers, musicians and various performers received presents of money, cloth and foodstuffs from the Lord as tokens of appreciation and as a means of bidding them farewell.
All of the desires of Sacimata were thus fulfilled and she began to float in an ocean of happiness. Her house was as though filled with a divine aura and the scent of lotus flowers emanat”ing from the body of Laksmipriya. From this Sacima could under stand that the goddess of Fortune, Laksmidevi, was personal”ly present in the body of Laksmipriya. Sacima treated her with great affection, as though Laksmipriya was dearer to her than her own life. Laxmipriya was extremely well-behaved and could understand by simple gestures what activities were to be ac”complished by her. Sometimes Shri Gaursundor would come and sit next to Laksmipriya when she was in the company of Sacimata, simply to increase the happiness of His mother.
In the mornings, Laksmi would clean the Deity room, make rice paintings on the floor, pick flowers and Tulasi leaves, and then begin to cook. Every day Mahaprabhu would invite some guests and serve them in his house. Mahaprabhu, as the instructor of religion to the householders, taught that their main duty is to receive guests in their house. Those who do not serve guests are inferior to birds and beasts. If due to ones previous bad activities, he has nothing to offer, then he can at least offer a grass mat on the ground as a sitting place and some water. [C. B. Adi 14.21]
The Lord descends to this world to disseminate the principles of religion. He is very affectionate to His devotees and thus enacts many pastimes for their pleasures. Laksmidevi, as His eternal consort, would act in such a way as to enhance these pastimes. She was always engaged in the service of Tulasi and above and beyond that, her primary attention was the service of Sacimata. Hearing of the activities of his wife, Shri Gaursundor remained externally silent but was very pleased within. [C.B. Adi 14.43]
After entering the grhastha ashram, and accepting the responsibility of maintaining others, Shri Gaursundara decided to go to East Bengal as a teacher, for the purpose of earning some wealth. After submitting this proposal to His mother He instructed His new bride, During this time you should give your full attention to seving My mother. Thereafter, on an auspicious day for begining a journey, He set out for Bangadesh, with a small number of students. Gradually they reached the Padma River, as the news of Nimai Pandits arrival spread far and wide. Being invited to stay in the houses of various greatly fortunate householders, he would hold classes which were attended by thousands of students. By obtaining the sight of His divine personage, the residents of that land became blessed.
Even to this day the virtuous gentlemen and ladies of this land are so fortunate that they still sing the glories of the Lord (Hari-nam-sankirtan). This is due to the fact that the Lord came here and cast His merciful glance on this land. [Chaitanya Bhagavat]
In this way the Lord of Vaikuntha engaged in His pastimes of scholarship while in the land of Bangadesh. Meanwhile, in Navadwip, Laxmipriya had given up eating and sleeping due to intense feelings of separation from Mahaprabhu. All the family members tried to console her but to no avail. In name only she would place a few morsals of food in her mouth and her nights were spent simply crying. Unable to bear separation from the Lord of Vaikuntha, the Goddess of Fortune relinquished her mortal frame and went to join her eternal consort. As She is the Supreme Goddess of Fortune and endowed with unlimited opulences, She is capable of accomplishing anything. Giving up her reflected form of this world, she went to join her Lord in her original form. Her disappearance from this world was not like that of an ordinary human being, however. For her, separation from the Lord was like a dose of strong poison; thus having taken this form, she was bit by the snake of separation and being unable to bear the pain of that poison she gave up her existence in this world. [C.B. Adi 14.104]
Seeing that Laksmidevi had left this world, all of the family and friends were plunged into grief. Sacimata became completely immersed in sorrow. The all omniscient Lord became aware of everything and thus returned home in the company of many students and with many possessions earned through His teaching profession. Arriving home he came to know of Laxmipriyas deparure and in imitation of ordinary mortals he displayed some sorrow. Then He consoled His mother and imparted many transcendental instructions to her.
Saci Ma somehow tried to restrain her grief while Shri Gaursundara again engaged in His pastimes of scholarship.
SRI HARIDASA THAKURA
Shri Haridas Thakur appeared in this world in the village of Buron, in the present district of Sat-kira, which was previously a sub-division of Khulna, Bangladesh. By this great fortune that land has been blessed, in that the chanting of the Holy Names of Hari-Nam Sankirtan, became revealed there. After remaining there for some time, he came to the banks of Ganga at Fulia, near Santipur. Advaita Acarya was overjoyed to get his association and roared very loudly. The two of them thus began to float in the waves of the mellows of pastimes of Shri Krishna-Govinda. [C. B. Adi 16.18]
Shri Haridas Thakur is an eternally liberated associate of the Lord. The associates of the Lord are worshippable wherever they make their appearance. Just as Garura appeared as a bird, and Hanuman as a monkey, Haridas Thakur appeared in a family of Yavanas (Mohammedans). From his very birth he was very deeply devoted to the Holy Names of Shri Krishna.
When he came to live by the banks of the Ganges, Advaita Acarya was very happy to get his association. The brahmana residents of Fulia were very pleased to see how he worshipped the Holy Name, and they used to come everyday to have his darsan. Gradually word began to spread of his glories. When the Mohammedan administrator came to know of all this he began to burn with malice and went to the local Mohammedan king to inform him, Though he is Mohammedan, he behaves as a Hindu, are therfore he should be brought here for trial. Hearing the words of that sinful man, the local king who was also very sinful, had Hari das Thakur brought there immediately. [C. B. Adi 16.37].
The Mohammedan King told Haridas, Just give up this chanting and say the Kalma (prayer of the Mohammedans).
Haridasa Thakura replied, The Supreme Lord is one, though His names might be different. The Hindu sastras are the Puranas and the Muslim sastra is the Koran. Everyone acts as he is inspired by the Lord, as also do I. Some yavanas become Hindus and some Hi ndus become yavanas, to worship the Lord. O Maharaja, you can now judge me.
Hearing these words the Kazi replied that it would be necessary to punish him. Hearing the decree of the Kazi, the Muluk pati addressed Haridasa, My brother, just follow your own religion. Then you will have nothing to worry about. Otherwise you will have to be punished.
In reply to this Haridasa Thakura exclaimed, Even if you cut my body into pieces, I will never give up the chanting of Hari nama. [C. B.
After hearing these words of Haridasa spoken with great deter”mination, the Kazi declared, He should be beaten in twenty two market places. If he doesnt die after this, then I will know that the learned gentleman speaks the truth. Thus having heard the words of the Kazi, the sinful Muluk pati then ordered that Haridasa Thakura be beaten in twenty¬two market places. Haridasa remembered the Lord by chanting Krishna Krishna, and in the happiness of that remembrance, he didnt feel any bodily inconvenience. [C. B. Adi 16.102].
As the demoniac associates of Hiranyakasipu tried in so many ways to kill Shri Prahlada Maharaja, but were unsuccessful, similarly the demoniac Mohammedans, though they tried to harm Haridasa Thakura, were unable to do so. Haridasa Thakur was immersed in the nectar of the Name and thus gradually the Mohammedans could understand that he wasnt an ordinary person.
Thus they humbly submitted to the Thakura, Haridasa! We can understand that you are a genuine saintly person. No one can do anything to you. But the Mulukpati wont understand any of this. Rather he will have our heads. Hearing their frightened pleas Haridasas external consciousness ceased and he entered into deep meditation on the Lords Holy Name.
Then the Mohammedans carried his body on their shoulders to the Mulukpati, who surmised that he was dead. Thinking as such he ordered that his body be thrown in the Ganga. Haridasas body floated down the Ganga until he reached Fulia ghat, where he got out of the water and began to loudly chant Hari Nama. Seeing the greatness of Haridasa Thakura, the Mulukpati became fearful. Along with the other Mohammedans he came there and begged Haridas Thakur to forgive him for his offense.
Considering him to be a holy man, they all offered their saluta”tions and thus were delivered from their offences. Having witnessed the pastimes of the Thakura the devotees were in ecstacy.
Haridasa Thakur used to chant Hari Nama in a hollowed out cave¬like hole at the base of a tree. This cave still exists near Fulia, on the banks of the Ganga. One can get there by train from Santipura. Within the roots of this tree also lived a poisonous snake. Being fearful of this snake the devotees couldnt remain there for very long and one day they mentioned to the Thakura about this snake which was worrying them. Seeing the distress of the devotees Haridasa Thakur called to that snake and spoke to him, My dear sir, if in fact you are residing here, then I am requesting that you please leave by tomorrow, otherwise I myself will definitely leave here.
Hearing these words of the Thakura, that snake immediately came out of its hole and after offering namaskar to the Thakura, it went elsewhere. Seeing this pastime, the devotees were struck with wonder and they developed profound and deep devotion for Haridasa Thakura.
One time Haridasa Thakura came to a village within Jessore dis¬trict named Harinode gram, which was predominantly inhabited by brahmanas. One day during a religious discussion one puffed up brahmana approached Haridasa Thakura and remarked, O Haridasa! Why do you chant the holy name loudly? In the scrip”tures it is recommended to chant within the mind. In reply Hari dasa Thakura told him, The birds, beasts and insects cannot chant themselves, but if they get to hear Hari Nama then they also become delivered. If one chants only to himself then he delivers only himself, but if one chants loudly, the benefit is a hundred times greater. This is the conclusion of the scriptures. [C. B. Adi 16.180]
Hearing this objective statement of Haridasa Thakura that sinful brahmana couldnt tolerate it and exclaimed, In Kali yuga sudras will recite the sastras, now I am seeing this with my own eyes. In answer to this personal insult delivered by that miscreant brahmana, Haridasa Thakura simply silently walked out of that assembly. Within a few days that brahmana contracted ulcerous leprosy. The result of vaishnava aparadha became immediately manifest. In Kali yuga, Raksasas take birth in brahmana families in order to give trouble to the honest, virtuous people. [C.B. Adi 16.300]
Another time, Haridasa desired to have darsana of the Vaishnavas of Navadwipa. Everyone there became overwhelmed with ecstasy, to see Haridasa. Adwaita Acarya loved Haridasa as much as His own life and he would offer the first prasadam to Haridasa Thakura (which is to be offered only to high class brahmanas) after performing Pitr-sraddha (worship of his forefathers).
Haridasa Thakura lived for some time at Benapol, which was within Jessore district. Every day and night he would chant three hundred thousand Holy Names. At the time, when Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu displayed His divine opulences by manifesting Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the courtyard af Shrivasa Panditas house, He was calling his dear devotees: Haridasa! when those Mohammedans were beating you I was ready to destroy them with My Sudarsana Cakra, but as you were praying for their welfare I was unable to do anything. [C. B. Madhya 10.42]
Therefore I accepted their blows on My own body. Just see, the scars are still here on My body. Seeing those marks Hari-dasa fainted in ecstatic love. Regaining his consciousness he began to praise the Lord of his life, O Lord Viswambhara, master of the universe, please have mercy on this sinner, who has fallen at Your feet. I have no good qualities and am a vile wretch, rejected by all classes of men. How can I describe Your divine character? [C. B. Mad 20.58]
Thakura Haridasa was present during most of the Lords pastimes in Nadia, and when the Lord went to Jagannatha Puri, Haridasa also went and took up residence there. Everyday, after attending Lord Jagannaths mongol aroti, Lord Chaitanya would come to see Haridasa Thakura and would bring him some of Lord Jagannaths prasadam. When Shri Sanatana Goswami and Shri Rupa Goswami would come from Vrindavana to Puri they used to stay with Hari¬ dasa Thakura. Haridasa, in order to maintain the etiquette, would not go near Lord Jagannathas temple but would offer his obeisances to the Cakra on top of the temple, from a distance. As he was considered to be a Mohammedan by birth, his presence in the temple would be objectionable to those who were caste conscious.
Mahamaya devi took initiation in the maha-mantra from Haridasa Thakura and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appointed him as the acarya of the Holy Name. His departure from this world, in the presence of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is fully described by Shri Krishna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami in the Antya-lila of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita.
Shri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has described in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita that the first sprout of the desire tree of devotion was manifested in the person of Shri Madhavendra Puri, and that that sprout developed into a sapling in the person of Shri Isvar Puri. Then, in the person of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Who was also the gardener Himself, that sapling become the trunk of a enormous tree, the desire tree of devotion. [C. C. Adi 9.10-11]
Shri Isvara Puri appeared in this world on the full moon day of the month of Jyestha. He served his guru, Shri Madhavendra Puri, very faithfully, especially during the end of Shri Puripadas life. [C. C. Antya 8.26]
Shri Isvara Puri, in his travels to various holy places, once came to Shridhama Navadwipa, where he stayed in the house of Shri Gopinatha Acarya. At that time Shri Nimai Pandita was absorbed in His pastimes of learning. Iswara Puri entered Nadiya nagara in disguise and thus no one could understand who he really was.
That noble minded gentleman, was always absorbed in the mellows of devotion to Shri Krishna. He was thus extremely dear to Shri Krishna and he was an ocean of mercy. No one, however, could recognize him by his dress. By the will of fate, he came to Shri Advaita Acaryas house. [C. B. Adi 11]
He came to where Shri Advaita Acarya was engaged in worshipping Shri Krishna and quietly sat down there. By his divine lustre one Vaishnava cannot remain hidden from another. Advaita Acarya began to look in his direction again and again. Finally he asked him: Bap! Who are you? I have a feeling you are a Vaishnava sannyasi.
Shri Isvara Puri very humbly replied: I am a low class sudra, come to view your lotus feet. Mukunda Datta, who was also present could also understand that this is a Vaishnava sannyasi and thus he contrived to expose him. In his sweet voice, he began a kirtana describing Shri Krishnas pastimes. When Shri Isvara Puri heard that kirtan he at once fell to the ground, and the earth beneath him became wet with his tears. The devotees present were dumbstruck. We havent seen a Vaishnava like this before. Advaita Acarya very firmly embraced him. Now everyone could understand that this is Madhavendra Puris dearmost disciple, Shri Isvar Puri. Loud shouts of Hari! Hari! rose up into the air.
Shri Isvara Puri remained at Navadwipa for some days. One day when Nimai Pandita was returning home from the school, he happened by chance to meet Shri Isvara Puri on the way. Shri Isvara Puri was as though mesmerized while looking at the son of Saci, and thought to himself, He has all the indications of being a divine personage, and appears very grave indeed. Shrila Isvara Puri inquired, Oh Viprabor! May I know your name? Where do you live? What is that manuscript in Your hand? Mahaprabhu very humbly offered His namaskara. Some of his disciples replied, His name is Nimai Pandit. Exclaiming, You are the famous Nimai Pandita! Isvara Puri felt very happy to meet Him. Mahaprabhu, coming forward and bowing his head, humbly requested, Shripada, please come with Me to My house and be My guest for lunch.
Isvara Puri thought to himself, What a pleasant demeanor He has! As though charmed by some mantra he quietly came along with the Pandit to His house. Arriving there, Mahaprabhu personally washed his feet, while in the Deity room, Saci Mata offered the various preparations that she had prepared to the Lord. Then Mahaprabhu served that prasadam to Shri Isvara Puri and afterwards accepted his remnants. Thereafter they sat in the temple (Vishnugrha) and discussed Krishna-katha, by which they both became filled with ecstatic love.
Shri Iswara Puri thus remained at Navadwipa for a few months, staying at the house of Shri Gopinatha Acarya. Everyday Mahaprabhu would come to have darsan of his lotus feet and occasionally He would invite him for lunch. At that time Shrila Gadadhara Pandita was just a young boy and Isvara Puri was very affectionate to him. He began to teach him from the book which he had composed - Shri Krishna Lilamrta.
One evening when Mahaprabhu had come to offer His obeisances to Isvara Puri, Shrila Puripada spoke to him, You are a great pandita. I have composed a manuscript about Shri Krishnas pastimes. If you would please hear it, then I can recite it before You, and You can correct any mistakes that there might be. I will be very pleased if You do this.
Mahaprabhu replied smilingly, Whatever a devotee speaks is dictated by Shri Krishna Himself. If anyone sees any fault in this then he is simply a sinful wretch. Whatever poems he composes, certainly Krishna is very pleased by that. Krishna accepts the mood in which things are offered as the most substantial part of the offering. To Isvara Puri these words were like drops of nectar and he could understand that Shri Nimai Pandita was an extraordinary person. After passing some days in Nadia, Isvara Puri continued his tour of the holy places.
Meanwhile Mahaprabhu was bringing His pastimes of learning to a close and now desired to reveal His true Self and establish the religion of the age by distributing love of Godhead through the chanting of His Holy Names. Thus He came to Gaya, ostensibly to offer pinda for His departed father and forefathers. Shri Isvara Puri was present at that time at Gaya.
After having offered pinda at the various holy shrines, he finally came to the place where the lotus footprints of Shri Vishnu are. While taking darsana and hearing of the glories of the shrine Mahaprabhu fainted and fell to the ground. By the arrangement of Providence, Shri Isvara Puri happened to come to that spot just then and learned from Shri Candrashekar Acarya what had transpired. After a short time Mahaprabhu regained His consciousness, and seeing Isvara Puri He got up to offer His obeisances. Shri Isvara Puri embraced Him and the two of them were drenched by each others tears of love.
Mahaprabhu addressed Isvara Puri, My journey to Gaya is successful just by My seeing your lotus feet. If one offers Pinda at this holy place, then his forefathers become delivered. But simply by seeing you, tens of millions of forefathers get liberation. Therefore your presence is even more auspicious than that of this holy tirtha. All of the holy tirthas pray for the dust of your lotus feet. Therefore, O Puripada, I am praying at your lotus feet to ferry me across the ocean of material existence and to cause me to drink the nectar from Krishnas lotus feet.
Shrila Isvara Puri replied, Please hear me Panditji, I have understood that You are an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. This morning I saw a very auspicious dream and now that has actually materialized. From the first day I saw you at Navadwipa, I have always thought of You. I get such pleasure by seeing You, as much pleasure as I get by seeing Krishna.
Hearing this, Mahaprabhu bowed his head and smilingly replied, This is my great fortune.
On another day Mahaprabhu approached Shri Isvar Puri and requested that he initiate Him with the divine mantra. My mind is becoming very restless in anticipation of this initiation. Shrila Puripada very blissfully replied, What to speak of mantras, I am prepared to offer You my very life. [C. B. Adi 17.10]
Thereafter Shrila Isvara Puri initiated Mahaprabhu with the divine mantra.
One morning Shrila Isvara Puri came to where Mahaprabhu was staying. Mahaprabhu was extremely pleased to see him and after offering His obeisances He invited him to stay for lunch. Isvara Puri replied that, Being able to accept foodstuffs from Your hand is a matter of great fortune for me. Mahaprabhu Himself cooked and then very carefully served His guru the prasadam. Afterwards he smeared sandalwood paste on his body and put a garland of flowers around his neck. Thus the Supreme Lord Himself taught how one should serve his guru. Without serving the great devotees, it is not possible to receive love of Godhead. Service to the guru is the door to devotion.
On his return from Gaya, Mahaprabhu came by way of Kumarhatta, the birthplace of His guru, and began to roll on the ground in ecstasy there, as the ground became wet with His tears. Finally He collected some dust from that holy place and bound it in the corner of his upper garment, saying, This dust is as dear to me as My life. then he set out for Nawadvipa. The birthplace of Shrila Isvara Puri is located within the present town of Halyahor, which is near the Kanchra-para rail station, which is on the Sealdah-Krishnanagar line. One should get down at Kanchra-para station and then proceed by rickshaw to Chaitanya Doha. Doha means pond, which is what was created when many followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, following in His footsteps, came here and collected earth from the birthplace of Shrila Isvara Puri.
Thereafter Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa and by the order of His mother came to live at Jagannath Puri. By this time Isvara Puri had already left this world. He sent two of his disciples Shri Govinda and Kasisvara brahmacari to serve the Lord at Nilacala.
SRI BHUGARBHA GOSWAMI
As there is not much mention of Shri Lokanatha Goswami in Vaishnava literatures, similarly there is not much mention either of Shri Bhugarbha Goswami, who was his very close friend. Follow ing Mahaprabhus order, they both came to live at Vraja-dham. Their hearts were inseparable.
Shri Bhugarbha Goswami was the disciple of Shri Gadadhar Pandit. He in turn had a number of disciples, namely: Shri Chaitanya Das (the pujari of Shri Govinda deva), Shri Mukundananda Cakravarti, Premi Krishna das, etc.
In the Sr Chaitanya-charitamrita, it is mentioned that Shri Bhugarbha das and Shri Bhagavat das came to Brndavan and took up residence there. [C. C. Adi 12.81]
In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, Shri Bhugarbha Gosvamis identity as Premamanjari in Krishna lila, has been given.
His disappearance is on the 14th day of the bright fortnight in the month of Kartik. His samadhi is near the samadhi of Shri Rupa Gosvami, within the courtyard of Shri Radha-Damodar temple.
Shrila Bhugarbha Gosvami and Shrila Lokanath Goswami were one, only their bodies were different. [Bhakti Ratnakara]
SRI LOKANATHA GOSWAMI
I worship Shri Lokanatha Prabhu, the son of Shri Padmanabha, who possessed great wealth of devotion to Shri Shri Radha-vinoda, and always engaged in Their service.
Shrila Loknatha Gosvami was born in the village of Talkhari, within the district of Jessore, Bangladesh, as the son of Shri Padmanabha Bhattacarya and his wife, Shri Sita devi. Thalkhari can be reached from Sonakhali and Khejura.
Shri Padmanabha Bhattacarya was a devoted follower of Shri Adwaita Acarya, who was very fond of Shri Padmanabha. The younger brother of Lokanatha was Pragalbha Bhattacarya. His descendants are still residing at Talkhari.
From his childhood Lokanath was disinterested in worldly affairs. He decided to leave his home and came to Navadwip to have darsana of Mahaprabhu. Shri Gaursundara very lovingly embraced Lokanatha and instructed him to go to Vrindavana as soon as possible. Lokanath could understand that Mahaprabhu would renounce His family life within a few days and he was aggrieved at this. Mahaprabhu consoled him and told him that they would meet again in Vrindavana.
With tears flowing from his eyes Lokanath offered his obeisances to Mahaprabhu. The all-omniscient Lord lovingly embraced him and after explaining some hidden truths to him, He instructed him to go to Vrindavana. Thus Lokanatha, after surrendering his self at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu, set out for Vrindavana. [B. R. 1st Taranga]
Lokanatha never returned home. Being afflicted greatly by separation from the Lord, he set out to tour the holy places, and then finally came to Vrindavana. Meanwhile Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa and then came to Nilacala. After some time, when Mahaprabhu set out on His tour of South India, Lokanatha, having received this news also journeyed to the south. Then Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavana;
Lokanatha followed Him there. But by the time he reached Vraja-bhumi, Mahaprabhu had already left for Prayaga. Lokanatha was extremely sad. Again having missed darsan of his Prabhu, He decided to leave the next morning for Prayaga.
In a dream however, Prabhu came to console Lokanatha and requested him to stay at Vrindavana. Thus Lokanatha remained at Vrajadhama, not wanting to neglect the order of Mahaprabhu. He stayed alone, his presence unknown to anyone. But after some days he met the dear disciples of Mahaprabhu - Shri Rupa, Shri Sanatana, Shri Gopal Bhatta, Shri Bhugarbha, and others. They were all very affectionate to one another and it was as though they were of one mind.
Amongst the Goswamis, Lokanatha was the eldest. He was always intensely absorbed in loving ecstatic mellows. In Hari-bhakti-vilasa we find this verse: I worship Shrimat Kasisvara, Shrimat Lokanath and Shrimad Krishna das Kaviraj, who have taken shelter at the lotus feet of Shri Govinda and who are very dear to Shri Vrindavana.
Lokanatha Goswami used to visit the many places of Krishnas pastimes within Vrajadhama and in this way he was always absorbed in intense ecstasy. Lokanath came to the banks of Kisori-kunda within the village of Umrao, by the side of Chatrabon, and remained there for a few days. Lokanatha wanted very much to be able to worship the Deity form of the Lord, and Shri Krishna, who is within the heart of everyone, thus presented a Deity form of Himself to Lokanatha to worship. This Deitys name is Radha-Vinoda. Having received this Deity, Lokanath looked up to see who had brought Him, but seeing no one present he began to reflect on the mystery of His appearance.
Seeing Lokanatha deep in thought, Radha-Vinoda laughed, Who would have brought Me here! I have come Myself! I live here on the banks of Kisori-kunda and this is My village - Umrao. Now please give me some thing to eat.
Lokanatha was beside himself with bliss and being immersed in that ecstasy, he prepared some foodstuffs and offered them to Radha-Vinoda. Then he made a bed of flowers and made the Deity lie down to take rest. He fanned the Deity with some leaves and meditated on massaging the lotus feet of his Lord. Having surrendered his body, mind and very life itself, he was totally absorbed as though drinking a flow of honey-like nectar.
Lokanatha Goswami had no permanent abode. Some Vrajavasi villagers wanted to build a little hut for him but he wouldnt agree. He made a bag for Radha-Vinoda which he kept around his neck. Rahda-Vinoda was as though a rare gem suspended on a necklace round the neck of Lokanatha. His activities represented the crest jewel of asceticism and the other Goswamis managed to keep him in their company only by great endeavor.
It is very difficult to describe the character of Lokanatha Goswami, who was so dear to Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu and some of the other Goswamis began their pastimes of disappearance, Lokanatha maintained his life only due to the desire of Mahaprabhu. Shri Lokanatha Goswami initiated Narottama dasa Thakur Mahasaya in the divine mantra. There is no mention anywhere of any other disciple of his. It is not possible to describe the care with which Narottama Thakura served his guru. In the early morning he would clean the place where his guru passed stool and urine.
Lokanatha Goswami, having become quite advanced in years, entered into his eternal pastimes, while residing at Khadir bon (Khoyra gram). There is a large lake there called Shri Yugal-kunda on the banks of which his samadhi has been established. His worshipable Deities Shri Shri Radha-Vinoda are at present being worshiped in Jaipur, Rajasthan. His puspa-samadhi is within the courtyard of Shri Gokulananda Mandira.
It is said that Shrila Krishna das Kaviraja Goswami approached Lokanatha Goswami for his blessings and any information that he might be able to supply in order that he might satisfactorily compose Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita. At that time, Lokanatha forbade Kaviraj Goswami to mention his name or describe anything about him. In order to honor the request of this great Vaishnava, he therefore didnt write anything about him. His disappearance is on the eighth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Sravon.
Shri Narottama dasa Thakur Mahasaya has prayed at the lotus feet of his guru as follows: Oh My Lord, Lokanatha! Please keep me at your feet, and if it pleases you, please let your glance of mercy fall upon me. I have a great longing that my minds desires might be fulfilled. Wherever one gets the association of Lord Chaitanya, there also he gets the association of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. If you are not merciful to me, then who will be? This time, please fulfill my minds desires. In the three worlds I have no one other than you. Please keep me near your lotus feet, where I might hear, day and night, your songs describing the lila of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. Without you, the desire of Narottama cannot be fulfilled.
SRI SANATANA GOSWAMI
In his Laghu-Vaishnava-Tosani, Shri Jiva Goswami has mentioned their family lineage beginning with Shri Sarva, who was a yajur vedi brahmana, Bharadvaja gotriya, from Karnataka. His son was Shri Aniruddha deva who had two sons Shri Rupesvara and Shri Harihar-deva.
There was apparently some altercation between the two brothers, who had different mothers (Aniruddha deva had two wives) as a result of which Shri Rupesvara along with his wife and eight horses, came to Paulastya desa, where he was befriended by the ruler of that land, Shri Sekaresvar. Shri Padmanabha deva, the son of Shri Rupesvar was extremely learned in all the Vedas. He came with his family to live at Naihati, on the banks of the Ganga. He had eight daughters and five sons. His five sons, following in the footsteps of their predecessors, were very expert in the study of Vedas. Their names were Purusottama, Jagannatha, Narayana, Murari and Mukundadeva.
Mukundadevas son, Shri Kumara deva, being oppressed by some of the other family members, came to live at Bakla Candradvip. Shri Kumaradeva had many sons, amongst whom Shri Amar (Sanatana), Shri Santosh (Shri Rupa) and Shri Vallabha (Anupama) were great devotees.
Shri Sanatana was born in the Christian year 1488 (Sakabda 1410). He, along with his brothers, began his studies from their maternal uncles house, in a small village, Sakurma, near the capital of Gaura-desa.
The Badsa Hassain Shah, having heard of their profound scholarship and intelligence, decided to engage the two brothers as his ministers. Though they were unwilling, the order of the Badsa could not be entirely neglected. Thus they came to live at Ramakeli, the capital of Gaura-desa at that time, and were presented much wealth by the Badsa. Many brahmanas and pandits from distant lands would stay with Rupa and Sanatana whenever they would come to Ramkeli, specially, those from Karnataka and Navadwipa. There is still a house near the Ganga, called Bhattabati, which is said to have been their residence.
They had many instructors and professors. In rhetoric their teacher was Shri Vidyabhusanapada. They were trained in philosophy by the brother of Sarvabhyuma Bhattacarya, Shri Vidyavacaspati, as well as Shri Paramananda Bhattacarya, Shri Rampada Bhadrapada. Their names have been mentioned in the commentary of the tenth canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam.
These three brothers were from childhood endowed with great devotion to the Lord. In memory of Shri Vrindavana, near their residence they planted many auspicious trees such as Tamal, Kadamba, Juthika and Tulasi. In the midst of these gardens constructed Shyama-kunda and Radha-kunda. In these auspicious surroundings they always remained absorbed in service to Shri Madana Mohana. Having heard something about the famous Nimai Pandita they became very anxious to have His darsana, and always meditated on when they might get such a chance.
One morning, Sanatana Goswami, saw a dream in which one brahmana was presenting the Shrimad Bhagavatam to him. Suddenly he woke up, but seeing that no one was there, he felt sad. Later on, in the morning after he had finished his bath and performance of puja, one brahmana came to his house and presented him with the Bhagavata, instructing him to study it very thoroughly. Having received it in this way, he was beside himself with bliss, and from that day, considering the Bhagavata to be the essence of all scriptures, he began its thorough study.
My only constant companion, my only friend, guru, wealth, that which has delivered me, my great fortune and the source of my good luck, the form through which I taste pleasure, my obeisances to you, Shrimad Bhagavatam. [Shri Krishna-lila stava].
When the brothers learned that Nimai Pandita, the life and soul of Nadia, had accepted sannyasa and gone to stay at Puri, they fainted dead away, having lost hope of getting His darsana. They were a little pacified only after a celestial voice informed them that they would be able to see the Lord, here in Ramakeli itself.
After five years had passed, Mahaprabhu decided to come to Bengal to have darsana of his mother and mother Ganga. All of the devotees were in ecstasy and Saci mata was so overjoyed that she was not even aware of her own body. After spending a few days with Advaita Acarya in Santipur, He came to Ramakeli. [C. C. Mad 1.166]
Sakara Mallik (Sanatan) and Dabir Khas (Rupa), along with their brother Shri Ballabha (Anupama), who had a son who was just a small child (Shri Jiva), they offered salutations at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu.
After Mahaprabhu had left Ramakeli to return to Puri, the brothers began to observe some vows and rituals in order to obtain shelter at His lotus feet. After sending the family members to their residences at Candradwip and Fateyabad, Shri Rupa and Anupama loaded a boat with their accumulated wealth and left Ramakeli. Sanatan remained there alone. Thereafter, Rupa and Anupama, having received news of Mahaprabhus journey to Vrindavana, set out to meet Him. Arriving at Prayaga, their desire was fulfilled. At that time they informed Mahaprabhu that their brother had been incarcerated at Ramakeli. Mahaprabhu simply smiled and replied that he would get his freedom very soon.
Meanwhile, after the successful departure of Rupa and Anupama, Sanatan was planning how he also could make his getaway. The Badsa had entrusted Dabir Khas and Sakar Mallik with the main responsibility of managing the affairs of his kingdom. When Sanatana stopped attending his darbar on the plea of being ill, he sent his personal doctor to examine him. The doctor informed him that there was nothing wrong with Sakara Mallik, and so the Badsa personally came there to find out what was the matter. The Badsa addressed Sanatana Gosvami, My doctor says that you are perfectly healthy. All my affairs depend on you, but you are simply sitting in your house, in the company of these pandits. Your brother has also left. In this way my kingdom will topple. I dont know what you are trying to do to me.
Sanatana Gosvami said, We will no longer be able to assist you in the affairs of your government.You had better find someone else to do it.
The Badsa got up in great anger and declared, You brothers have ruined all my plans. Sanatan replied, You are the independent ruler of Gauda. If you feel anyone has committed any misdeed, then you can punish him as you see fit.
The Badsa had Sanatan imprisoned. During this time the Badsa was preparing to go to Orissa to engage in warfare with the king of that country, so he requested Sanatana to accompany him. Sanatana refused, telling him, As you will naturally try to give pain to the Deities in the temples and the sadhus, I will not be able to accompany you.
Therefore the Badsa set out for Orissa leaving Sanatana imprisoned. At this time Sanatana received a letter from Shri Rupa, stating that he had depositied eight hundred gold coins with one grocer. With the help of this money, Sanatana should immediately arrange his release. The account of his escape and journey to meet Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Varanasi is found in C.C., Madhya-lila ch. 20. After that he went to Vrndavana.
In a kutir cottage made from leaves, Sanatana Gosvami lived for some time at Mahabon, the birth place of Shri Krishna. One day, he was walking along the banks of the Yamuna, going to beg some foodstuffs in a nearby village. Madana Gopaladeva was playing with some cowherd boys there, and when he saw Sanatana Gosvami he came running towards him, Baba! Baba!. Catching hold of Sanatanas hand he told him, I want to go with you!
Lala! replied Sanatana, Why do you want to go with me?
I want to stay where you live.
If you stay with me, what will you eat?
Baba! Whatever you eat.
But I only eat some dry capatis and chick peas.
Then that is what I will eat.
No that wont be enough for you. You should stay with your mother and father.
Na. baba. na. I want to stay with you.
Sanatan Goswami patiently explained that the boy might feel difficulty if he stayed with him, and sent him home. Then he went to beg some capatis in the village.
That night, in a dream, he saw that boy again come to him. Smiling very sweetly, he caught hold of Sanatanas hand and said, Baba! I am coming tomorrow to stay with you. My name is Madana Gopal. His dream ended and he woke up. Losing himself in great ecstasy, he said to himself, What did I see? Such a beautiful boy! Thinking of Lord Krishna he opened the door to his hut and saw standing outside a beautiful Deity of Gopal. His effulgence shone in all directions. For a few seconds Sanatana was completely stunned as he gazed upon Gopals radiant smile. He expected that the Deity might say something or come towards him. Finally, tears of love gliding down his cheeks, Sanatana fell to the ground, offering his dandavats.
Gradually, he performed Gopalas abhiseka (bathed the Deity) and offered worship to Him. Sanatanas brother Rupa came there and, seeing the Deity, was deeply moved in ecstatic love. Sanatana kept the Deity with him in his leaf hut and began to worship Him in great happiness. Shrila Rupa Gosvami immediately sent word of this auspicious event to Mahaprabhu, at Puri.
According to the different perspectives of vision of various devotees, Krishnas pastimes might sometimes be described in different ways, putting more or less emphasis on the external events that surround the internal moods and sentiments felt by Krishna and His devotees. In light of this, it has been described in the Prema-vilas that the Madana Mohana Deity resided at the home of one Mathura brahmana, Damodar Caube by name. Subsequent to the period of time during which He was worshipped by Shri Advaita Acarya, Damodar Caube, his wife Ballabha and their son, Madan Mohan, used to worship the Deity in the mood of parental affection and friendship. Damodar Caubes son used to play together with Lord Madana Gopala. Sometimes, like naughty brothers, they would slight one another and then complain to the parents. Their parents would feed them together at the same time and lay them down to rest together.
Sanatana Gosvami used to sometimes beg chapatis from Caubes house. When he saw how the Deity was being worshipped he would instruct Damodaras wife Ballabhadevi in the rules and regulations of proper Deity worship. However, she found all of these rules very difficult to follow. One day when Sanatana saw the Deity Madana Gopala and the boy Madan Mohan eating their lunch together, he became moved by the transcendental mood there and the symptoms of ecstatic love appeared in his body. Then he told Ballabhadevi that she should worship Madana Gopala according to the dictates of her heart.
One night Sanatana Gosvami and Damodar Caubes wife both had a dream simultaneously in which Madana Gopala requested to be able to come and live with Sanatana Gosvami. In great happiness Sanatana received Madana Gopala from the family and Him to a small hillock near Surja ghat, where he constructed a small hut made of branches and leaves. Then he began to serve Madana Gopala, preparing offerings for Him from whatever he obtained by begging.
One day Madana Gopala refused to eat, complaining that there wasnt even any salt in the chapatis. Sanatana replied, Today its salt and tomorrow it will be ghee. But I am sorry. I dont have the time or the inclination to chase around after rich men requesting special items from them. Having silently listened to this reply Madana Mohana didnt say anything further, but rather arranged that Krishna dasa Kapoor would come that way, as will subsequently be described.
Sanatana Gosvami would beg some flour from the village and then with that prepare capatis for Madana Gopala. Sometimes he would collect some forest vegetables, roots or spinach and also prepare some vegetables. If sometimes there was no ghee or oil, or salt, then he would just cook dry capatis. But he felt very bad about this. On the other hand, he could not see an alternative. Mahaprabhu had ordered him to compile Bhakti-sastras (devotional scriptures) and the major portion of his time was devoted to that. Sometimes it simply wasnt possible to find time to beg some money with which to purchase salt and oil.
Madana Mohana is the son of a Maharaj. Seeing that He is simply eating dry capatis Sanatana felt very sad; Madana Mohana, who is within the heart of everyone could understand, Sanatana wants to render greater service to Me. Then Madana Mohana Himself desired that His service might be increased.
Within a few days a wealthy Ksatriya named Shri Krishna dasa Kapoor came to Mathura to engage in trade and business. By chance, however, his boat became stuck on a sand bar in the Yamuna and by no means could he manage to free it. By the by, he came to learn that a sadhu by the name of Shri Sanatan Gosvami was living nearby. In order to seek the blessings of the sadhu, Krishna dasa Kapoor came to his hermitage and found Sanatana Gosvami engaged in writing.
Sanatana Gosvamis body was very lean and thin from the practice of great austerities and he was wearing only a kaupin. Krishna das offered his dandavats and Sanatana Gosvami in turn offered him a grass mat to sit on. Krishna dasa touched the mat with his hand and sat on the ground. He appealed to the Gosvami, Baba! Please bestow your mercy on me.
Sanatana replied, I am a beggar. What mercy can I bestow upon you?
I simply want your blessings. My boat is stuck on a sand bar in the Yamuna, and we cant free it by any means.
I am completely ignorant about all these matters You can speak to Madana Gopala about it.
Krishna das offered his dandavats to Madana Mohanji and spoke to Him, O Madana Gopala Deva! If, by Your mercy my boat is freed, then whatever profit is realized from the sale of its cargo, I will give to this Gosvami to be engaged in Your service.
Praying this way, Kapoor Seth took leave from Sanatan Gosvami. That afternoon there was such a downpour of rain that the boat very easily floated off the sand bar and on to Mathura. Krishna dasa could understand that this was the mercy of Lord Madana Gopala Deva. His goods were sold at a very handsome profit and with this money he constructed a temple and kitchen and made all the necessary arrangements for the royal execution of Shri Madana Gopalas worship. Seeing this arrangement, Sanatana Gosvami was very happy and after some period initiated Krishna dasa Kapoor as his disciple.
Shri Madana Mohana Deva is presently worshiped at Karauli, Rajasthan. When the daugher of the king of Jaipur was offered in marriage to the king of Karauli, she very insistently requested that her father send Lord Madana Mohana with her as a dowry, as she was very attached to Him. Her father was very reluctant and agreed only after stipulating one condition: Madana Mohana would be placed in a room with many other Deities. Whoever she chose while blindfolded could go with her to Karauli.
Madana Mohana reassured her by telling her that she would be able to recognize Him by the soft touch of His arm. By this stratagem, she easily recognized Madana Mohana who still resides in Kaurali till this day. There is a direct bus to Karauli from Jaipur. Otherwise, one can go by train from Mathura to Hindaun and then from there to Karauli by bus.
One day Sanatana Gosvami came to Radha-kunda to meet Shri Rupa and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Upon his arrival they both got up to greet him and after respectfully seating him, they immersed themselves in discussion of the nectarean pastimes of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. At that time Shrila Rupa Gosvami was composing some hymns in praise of Shrimati Radharani, collectively known as Catu uspanjali.
Sanatan Gosvami, while reading these, came across one verse: anava gorocana gauri / praba rendi barambaram / amani stavak vidyoti / veni byalangana fanam. Here byalangana fanam means that the braids of Radharanis hair appeared very beautiful like the hoods of a snake. Sanatana Gosvami reflected, Is that a proper comparison like the hood of a poisonous snake?
At noon Sanatan came to the banks of Radha-kunda, and after offering prayers there, he began to take his bath. Then, on the opposite bank of the kunda, he noticed some cowherd girls playing under the shade of a large tree. As he watched them from the distance, it appeared that a black snake, hanging from the tree, was about to wrap itself around the neck and shoulders of one of those cowherd girls. Sensing some danger he called out to her, Ohe Lali! Look out! There is a snake just behind you! But the girls were absorbed in their play and didnt take notice of him. So he immediately took off running to save them from the impending danger. Seeing him approaching them, Shrimati Radharani and Her friends began to laugh. Then they disappeared. Sanatana was completely stunned but then gradually the understanding came to him that Shri Rupas comparison was appropriate.
Coming to the banks of Pavan Sarovar, Sanatana Gosvami entered into some woods there, and giving up food and water, he became absorbed in intense meditation on the lotus feet of Shri Shri Radha-Govinda. Shri Krishna, who is within the heart of everyone, could understand that His devotee was going without food, so He came there in the dress of a cowherd boy, with a pot of milk in His hand, and stood smiling before Sanatana Gosvami. [B.R. 5/1303]
Baba! I brought some milk for you.
Oh Lala! Why have you gone to such trouble for me?
I saw you are sitting here for so long without any food.
How do you know that I am not eating anything?
I come here to pasture my cows and I watch you to see what you are doing. But you never take any food.
You should have sent someone else, you are just a small boy. You have suffered some difficulty in bringing this milk here for me.
Na, na, Baba. It was no trouble. At home everyone else was busy, so I was happy to be able to come myself.
Sanatan Gosvami requested the boy to sit down while he transfered the milk into another container.
Na Baba! I cant sit down now. It is almost sunset. I have to milk my cows now. I will come to get the pot tomorrow.
When Sanatana looked up there was no one there. He could understand Shri Krishna Himself had brought him this milk. With tears of love streaming down his cheek, he drank the milk. From that day he gave up fasting and would go to beg some food-stuffs from the Brijabasis. The Brijabasis also built him a small hut.
One day Rupa Gosvami had a desire to cook some sweet rice for his elder brother, Sanatana, but he had none of the necessary ingredients, Shri Radha Thakurani, who fulfills the desires of her devotees, could understand everything. Dressing Herself as a cowherd girl, she came there carrying a basket containing rice and sugar with a pot of milk in her other hand. Svamin! Svamin! Please accept this offering which I have brought.
Hearing someone calling in such a sweet voice, he opened the door of the kutir and saw an extremely beautiful cowherd girl standing there with a present of rice, sugar and milk in her hands.
Lali! What brings you here so early this morning?
Svamin, I came to bring you this present.
Oh! But you have gone to so much trouble.
What trouble? I have come to serve the sadhus.
Shri Rupa requested her to sit down, but she replied that there was much work at home, so she couldnt sit down just now. And then she was gone. Shri Rupa looked up and saw that there was no one there and was a little startled. Now where did she run off to so quickly?
He prepared the sweet rice and after offering to Shri Giridhari, he gave the prasadam to Shri Sanatana. Sanatana was in total ecstasy while accepting this prasadam and inquired, From where did you get the rice and milk?
Shri Rupa replied, One cowherd girl brought everything.
Sanatana asked, Just like that? Suddenly she brought everything?
Yes. This morning I was thinking to make some sweet rice for you. Just after that I saw one cowherd girl standing before our kutir with all the ingredients in her hands.
As Sanatana heard this, tears began to glide down his cheeks. The taste of this sweet rice is from another world. Who else could have brought such ingredients but Shrimati Radha Thakurani herself. Dont desire like this again. [B.R. 5.1322]
Everyday Shri Sanatana Gosvami would circumambulate the fourteen mile circumference of Govardhan hill. As he became advanced in years this became somewhat difficult, but he was not inclined to give up his vow. Krishna, however could understand that it was difficult for him, so He came to him one day dressed as a cowherd boy.
Baba! You have become old now, so I think it isnt necessary for you to circumambulate Govardhan hill anymore.
No. Lala! This is my regular vow, my worship.
You can renounce this vow in your old age.
No Lala. One should never renounce his vows.
Baba. I have a very good idea, if you will accept it.
If it is acceptable surely I will accept it.
Then Shri Krishna presented him a stone from Govardhan hill with the imprint of His foot, a calfs foot print and the impressions of a stick and flute in it. Baba! This is a Govardhan sila.
What will I do with this?
You can circumambulate this sila, and that will be the same as circumambulating Giri Govardhan. Saying this much the cowherd boy disappeared. Then Sanatana could understand that Giriraja Himself had presented His worshippable form to him and from that day he would circumambulate this sila.
Sometimes Shri Sanatana used to stay at Mahaban. One day he saw some cowherd boys playing on the banks of the Yamuna, and amongst them was one boy whom he thought was Madana Gopala.
Is that my Madana Gopala playing there? No it must be one of the local village boys. Then on another day as he was passing by the Yamuna, there again he saw that same boy and thought, This time let me wait and see where he goes. Finally as the evening approached the boys finished playing and set out for their respective homes. Following behind that particular boy, sure enough, Sanatana saw him enter the temple. Then he could understand that Madana Gopala goes every day to the banks of the Jamuna to play with the other boys.
Wherever Shri Sanatana and Shri Rupa would go throughout Vraja, in all the various villages the two brothers were much adored by the Brajabasis, who would feed them milk and yogurt. They in turn would see the Vrajavasis as Krishnas own family members and respect them in that way. Though it was not their business to engage in ordinary gossip, with the Brajavasis they would inquire about their well-being, e.g. how many sons and daughters they had and who had been married where, what everyones various names were, how their cows were giving milk, how the bulls were working in the fields, how the harvest was going on, who had fallen ill and if they were getting better or not.
In this way Rupa and Sanatana became the life of the villagers and the Brijabasis also became the life of Rupa and Sanatana.
Shri Sanatana would sometimes stay at Cakleswar, near Govardhan. At that place there were many mosquitos, which was a great disturbance. When he was one day being harassed by these insects, Sanatan remarked, I wont stay here anymore. It is impossible to concentrate on anything. Neither can I write, nor chant.
That night, Lord Siva came to Sanatan and told him, Sanatan! Please continue your service here in a happy frame of mind. From tomorrow there will be no more disturbance from mosquitos.
After that there were no more mosquitos and Sanatana continued his bhajan free from disturbance.
Shri Sanatana Gosvami compiled many scriptures. These include: Shri Brhat-bhagavatmrta, Shri Hari-bhakti-vilas and its Dig-darsani-tika, Shri Krishna-lilastava (dasam carit), Shri Bhagavata-tipani, (commentary on Shrimad Bhagavatam) and Brihat-vaishnava-tosani.
Shri Sanatan Gosvami was born - 1488 (Christian) 1410 (Sakabda). At the age of 27 he came to live at Braja where he remained for 43 years. He thus lived to be 70 years old. His disappearance was on the full moon day of Asar in the year 1558 (Christian calendar). His name in Braja-lila is Rati-manjari.
very day to the banks of the Jamuna to play with the other boys.
Wherever Shri Sanatana and Shri Rupa would go throughout Vraja, in all
the various villages the two brothers were much adored by the
Brajabasis, who would feed them milk and yogurt. They in turn would
SRILA RUPA GOSVAMI
Shrila Rupa Gosvami was extremely dear to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Through him and his elder brother, Shri Sanatan, Mahaprabhu disseminated His own teachings, the essential conclusions of all the scriptures. Amongst the devotees of Mahaprabhu these two were known as His generals.
In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, Kavi Karnapura has written that Shri Rupa Gosvami was known as Shri Rupa Manjari during Krishna lila.
There is an anecdote as to how they came to be the ministers of the king of Gaudadesa, Hussain Shah Badsa. Even at a very young age they had become quite learned in all of the scriptures. The guru (moulabi) of Hussain Shah was supposedly capable of seeing into the future. Hussain Shah inquired him about the prosperity of his kingdom.
The moulabi replied, There are two extremely learned brahmana boys who are endowed with all good qualities. If you appoint them as your ministers then you will attain a very opulent kingdom.
Having heard of the glories of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Rupa had written a letter to Him praying for His darsan. In His reply Mahaprabhu explained to him, As a woman who is attached to another man makes a show of being devoted to her husband, so you should, while being internally attached to the lotus feet of Shri Krishna, externally make a show of being engaged in your worldly duties. Krishna will bestow His mercy on you very soon.
While residing at Ramakeli, Shri Rupa and Shri Sanatana were visited by many brahmanas and panditas from Navadwipa, Karnataka and various other parts of India. They were always careful to receive these guests and serve them in a befitting manner. They lived in a very opulent surroundings at Ramakeli. Their court, which rivalled that of Lord Indra, was always attended by brahmanas, pandits from many lands as well as poets, singers, musicians and dancers. At great expense they maintained these guests and were always very careful that no one was disrespected in any way. They were always engaged in studying the sastras and could establish and defeat the same philosophical arguments alternatively.
Near their house were solitary gardens of Kadamba and other trees in the middle of which were Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda. There they would meditate on the Vrndavana pastimes of Shri Shri Radha-Syama and thus, losing their patience, a constant stream of tears would flow from their eyes. They were always absorbed in the service of Shri Madana Mohana and constantly assuaged their grief by praying for His mercy. Hearing of the pastimes of Shri Gaurasundara at Nadia they were always meditating when they might get His darsan. [B.R. 1/585].
Rupa Gosvamis worshipable Deity in Vrndavana was Shri Govinda Deva. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had instructed the Gosvamis to re-discover the holy places of Krishnas pastimes in Braja and to establish worship of His Shri vigraha. One day Shri Rupa was sitting on the banks of the Jamuna, lamenting that they hadnt been able to properly carry out His instructions.
It was known to them that Shri Krishnas grandson Vajranabha had installed a number of Deities in Braja, among them Hari Deva, Madana Mohana Deva, Gopinath Deva and Shri Govinda Deva. Shri Rupa had tried to locate these Deities, but to no avail. As he was sitting and thinking in this way a very beautiful cowherd boy came along and asked him, He Swamin! Why do you look so sad?
Hearing the boys cheerful voice, Shri Rupas melancholy reverie was broken and his heart felt engladdened. He replied that he was feeling sad because he hadnt been able to follow Mahaprabhus instructions properly. The cowherd boy told him, Swamin! Please come with me. I know where what you are looking for is.
Then the boy brought him to Gomatila and explained, Everyday a cow comes on top of this hill and pours down her milk here. There is a good chance you will find what you are looking for inside. Now I have to go.
Shri Rupa turned to see the cowherd boy off, but found no one present. He began to reflect, Who was that cowherd boy and where did he run off so suddenly? His body thrilled with ecstatic symptoms as he intently gazed at the Mahayoga Pith (Gomatila), and then went back to his kutir. The next morning he again came to Gomatila and quietly waited. After a little while an exquisitely beautiful Surabhi cow came there and poured milk down on top of the hill which immediately disappeared inside the earth. Then she sauntered on into the woods.
Now Shri Rupa was positive that Shri Govinda Deva must be within the earth here. He came very quickly to the village of cowherds nearby and excitedly told them everything that had happened. The cowherd men hurriedly gathered up some spades and hatchets and came running to Gomatila. Digging where Shri Rupa indicated they saw, after removing a small amount of earth, the all enchanting form of Shri Govinda. They all erupted in shouts of ecstasy, Hari! Hari! Shri Govinda has again manifested Himself. Shri Rupa with tears flowing from his eyes fell down at the lotus feet of Shri Govinda deva to offer his obeisances, all the while reciting prayers and hymns.
Very quickly the news spread and the other Gosvamis, floating in an ocean of joy, came there also. Soon an incessant flow of people from all quarters began to arrive, carried by waves of joy. Lord Brahma and the other demigods, having assumed mortal appearances, mixed in with the other people and gazed upon the body of Shri Govinda. There was not a lull in the crowd for even a moment as people continued to pour in from places unknown.
Shri Rupa Gosvami immediately sent word to Mahaprabhu in Puri concerning this auspicious event. Shri Gaurasundara along with His associates couldnt contain their ecstasy on receiving this happy news. Meanwhile the brahmanas performed the abhiseka of the Deity and began to prepare offerings of bhoga from the milk, yogurt, rice, flour and vegetables which the villagers were bringing. Mahaprabhu sent Kasisvar Pandit from Puri to assist in worshiping the Deity. Shri Govinda Deva is presently being worshiped in Jaipur, Rajasthan, which is easily reached by bus from Vrindavana. One has to proceed by rickshaw to Shri Shri Radha-Govinda Mandir from the bus stand.
Overjoyed that Shri Govindaji and Madan Mohan had re-appeared and thus the responsibilities which Mahaprabhu had given them were gradually being carried out, Shri Rupa and Sanatan began to compose the Bhakti-sastras, in compliance with Mahaprabhus further instructions.
After completing Vidagdha-madhava, Lalita-madhava, and various other books, Shri Rupa began to work on Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.
One day Shri Vallabhacarya (of the Vishnuswami sampradaya) came to visit Rupa Gosvami. After offering him a seat the two of them began to discuss Krishna-katha. In the house of their conversation, Shri Rupa presented the opening verse of Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhu to Vallabhacarya to read. After studying this verse for some time Vallabha commented that there were a few mistakes. At this time Shri Jiva, who had arrived from Bengal a few days before, was fanning his uncle Shri Rupa. He was extremely learned in all the sastras and was unsatisfied with Vallabhas remark.
When Vallabhacarya went to the Jamuna to take his bath, Shri Jiva also came there on the pretext of fetching some water. He inquired from the acarya as to what actually were the mistakes in that verse. Vallabhacarya, after discussing some points with him, was amazed at the boys scholarship.
After a few days Vallabha again came to Shri Rupa. After inquiring about the boy scholar, he greatly praised his learning. After Vallabha had gone to his residence, Shri Rupa dalled Jiva and spoke to him, Those whom we respect as our Guru and to whom we offer our obeisances you are ready to debate with on an equal level. This is not at all polite. What he spoke was for my benefit but you couldnt tolerate that. You should return home and when you can control your mind then you can come back to Vrindavana. [B.R. 5.1643]
Hearing this decision of his uncle Shri Jiva left that place and decided to proceed eastwards. When he came to an old dilapidated temple at Nanda-ghat, he sat down and began to cry. Soon the villagers began to worry: Such a handsome young man, but he sits there crying for so long without taking food.
After a while, Shri Sanatana Gosvami came by and the villagers informed Sanatana of the boys presence at the old temple. Sanatana went there and saw his nephew, who looked very pale from not eating. Sanatana picked him up from the ground and affectionately asked him what was the matter. Shri Jiva explained everything that had happened. Sanatana Gosvami pacified him and, taking his nephew with him, went to see his brother.
At first Sanatana spoke with Rupa alone. When Shri Rupa happened to mention Jiva, Sanatana explained everything. Shri Rupa immediately called Jiva. Seeing his forlorn and pale appearance, he gradually nursed him back to health and a happy state of mind. Then he entrusted him with proof reading and various litratures which he had composed. Just as he was very strict with his young nephew, so also he was very affectionate and loving. Their relationship was an ideal example of how the guru and sisya behave together.
When Shri Rupa had finished writing Lalita-madhava, he gave it to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami to read. Lalita-madhava is a description of Krishnas pastimes after he left Vrindavana and is thus full with sentiments in the mood of separation. By reading this book Dasa Gosvami began to cry day and night, having become completely absorbed in love in separation to the point of being ready to leave his body. [B.R.5.768]
He became as though deranged in mind from sadness, and he compeletely lost all patience. When Shri Rupa requested Shri Dasa Goswami to return the manuscript so that he could correct it, Raghunatha dasa held on to it very tightly, not saying anything, refusing to part with it.
After considering what to do, Shri Rupa composed Dana-keli-kaumudi. He managed to exhange this manuscript with Lalita-madhava. By reading Dana-keli-kaumudi, full of narrations of Krishnas Vrindavana pastimes, Raghunatha dasa Goswami now became totally absorbed in the ecstacy of happiness.
On another occasion the Goswamis were having a discussion about the ecstatic feelings of separation of Radha-Krishna and Their associates. Some of the Vaishnavas were fainting to the ground, while Shri Rupa Goswami began to breath very heavily. His heart felt as though it was burning. At one point as he sighed his breath happened to fall on the body of one devotee present there. Shortly thereafter a boil developed on that devotees body where Shri Rupas breath had touched it. [B.R. 5.1326]
After the re-appearance of Shri Govinda, Madana Mohana and the Yoga Pith, Shri Rupa began to contemplate where Vrindadevi might be. One night she came to him in a dream and said, I am on the banks of Brahma-kunda. You can have my darsan there.
The next morning, after finishing his bath and puja, he came to Brahma-kunda and began to look everywhere. Suddenly he saw a heavenly damsel whose bodily effulgence defeated the luster of gold. All the directions were illuminated by this glow and the atmosphere created by her presence was very sweet and cooling. Shri Rupa offered his dandavats and various prayers and hymns. In this way, Vrindadevi reappeared in Vrajabhumi.
Shri Gaurasundara established the glories of Shri Vrajadhama through His two generals Shri Rupa and Shri Sanatan Goswamis. Within their hearts He awakened, through oral transmission, the knowledge of what was in His own heart. Shri Rupa Goswami has established in this world the mission to fullfill the desire of Lord Chaitanya. When will he give me the shelter at his lotus feet? [Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura in his Shri Rupa Pranama].
Shri Rupa Goswami completed many literatures, among them: Shri Hamsaduta Kavya, Shri Uddhava-sandesh, Shri Krishna-janma-tithi-vidhi, Brhat Radha-Krishna-ganoddesa-dipika, Laghu Radha-Krishna-ganoddesa-dipika, Stavamala, Vidagha-madhava, Lalita-madhava, Dana-keli-kaumudi, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Ujjvala-nilamani, Prayuktakhyata-manjari, Mathura-mahima, Padyavali, Nataka-candrika, Laghu-Bhagavatamrta, among others.
Birth: 1493 (Christian calendar), 1415 (Sakabda) Disapearance: 1564 (Christian calendar), 1486 (Sakabda) Appearance day? Disappearance day:
12th day of the bright fortnight of Sravan. Householder life: 22 yrs.
Braja: 51 yrs. Age: 73
SRILA JIVA GOSVAMI
Shri Sanatana, Shri Rupa and Shri Vallabha were three brothers, all employed in the service of the Badsa Hussain Shah. Amongst the three, there was only one descendent, Shri Jiva. Having been rewarded richly by the Badsa for their sevices, their household life was very opulent. There was nothing lacking in whatever was necessary for the upbringing of the only son. The house was illuminated by the effulgence of the childs golden complexion; his eyes were like the expanded petals of the lotus; every part of his body was graced with a lusterous, radiant splendor.
When Shri Gaurasundara came to Ramakeli, Shri Jiva was blessed by having darsana of His worshippable lord, though he was just a baby at the time. Placing the dust of His lotus feet on the childs head, Mahaprabhu indicated him to be the future sovereign preceptor of the Gaudiya sampradaya. Though he was only a child, Shri Jiva kept the form of the Lord, which fascinates all the world, within his heart. As he grew up, while eating, lying down, in his dreams, while he was awake, at all times, he would meditate on that form.
Later on, when his father and uncles renounced their family life in order to be with Mahaprabhu, the only child, Shri Jiva, was left with his mother in the family palace at Fateyabad. Lying in her lap, which was wet with tears of separation, he gradually began to grow as the waxing moon. Seeing that the mother and the childs face were always wet with tears, their friends also fell under the shadow of sadness and only with great difficulty managed to assuage their grief. Whenever Shri Jiva would remember his father and uncles, or the lotus feet of Shri Gaura Hari, he would lose consiousness and fall to the ground.
As he got a little older, Shri Jiva took up the worship of the Deities of Shri-Shri Rama-Krishna. He would carefully decorate Them and offer bhoga and aroti, serving Them with his full attention. Even in his play, whatever games he played were connected with Shri Krishnas pastimes.
While studying under the local panditas he became proficent in grammar, poetry and rhetoric. Noting his great intellect, his teachers commented, Such brilliance is not often found in a child so young as this. No doubt he will be a very high-souled, saintly person.
Even while engaged in his studies Jiva always thought of Shri Shri Nitai-Gauranga. Once he saw in a dream that Shri Rama-Krishna had taken the forms of Nitai-Gauranga and were dancing. [B.R.1.732] Giving him the dust of Their lotus feet, the Two Lords then disappeared.
Having seen such a wonderful dream, Shri Jiva was consoled somewhat. Then he began to think, When will I be able to crawl out of this well of family life and devote my full time and energy, my very self, to serving these two most magnanimous Lords? But he was the only son of the family. Only in his company could his mother forget somewhat the pangs of separation in her heart. When Shri Jiva learned that his father had given up his life on the banks of the Ganga, he was compeletely unsettled. After that his eyes were never dry. The family members and friends tried to console him but to little avail. Family life had become the source of his utter sadness.
Someone suggested to Jiva to go to Navadwipa and bathe himself in the coolness emanating from the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda Prabhu so that his mind and body, burning with with grief, could be refreshed. Thus Shri Jiva set our for Navadwipa with a group of pilgrims.
Nityananda Prabhu, the omniscient Lord, could understand that Shri Jiva was on his way to Navadwipa. Therefore He also left for there from Khardaha. After a few days, Jiva arrived at Navadwipa. Seeing the beauty of that place he was charmed. Falling down on the ground, he offered his dandavats to Mother Ganges. Inquiring from the villagers the directions to Mayapura, he learned that Nityananda Prabhu was residing at Shrivasa Panditas house. At last arriving there, he fell down at the door to offer his dandavats. Nityananda Prabhu came out with Shrivasa Pandita and picked him up and embraced him, asking, Are you the nephew of Shri Rupa and Shri Sanatana?
As an answer, Jiva again fell down on the ground at the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu. This time Nityananda Prabhu brought him in the house and began to inquire after the welfare of his family at Fateyabad. Then Shri Jiva was introduced to the devotees present in Navadwipa; he offered his salutations at their lotus feet. Everyone was very happy to meet the nephew of Shri Rupa and Sanatana. That day Shri Jiva received the remnants of Nityananda prabhus prasadam.
The next day, the two of them came to Saci Mataa house. Seeing the birthplace of Shri Gaurasundara, which was filled with such splendor, Shri Jiva was greatly pacified and fell down on the ground to roll in the dust. In the large courtyard the devotees were singing songs praising the glories of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Seeing Nityananda Prabhu, everyone stood up and then fell down, offering their dandavats at His lotus feet. Then Jiva saw Saci Mata sitting on the veranda.
Dressed in white with silk chadder around her shoulders she looked radiant, the white of her hair blending with her white sari. Though her body trembled with old age and was very thin, still the courtyard was illuminated by her divine effulgence. Forgetting herself in rememberance of Shri Gaursundara, she was sitting with her eyes closed. Becoming aware that Nityananda Prabhu had arrived, she covered her head with her sari and called her servant. Isana! Srpada has arrived. Please wash His feet.
After this was done, Nityananda offered namaskar to the mother of the Supreme Lord and took His seat. He then introduced Shri Jiva to her. Saci Mata placed her hand on his head to bless him, and Shri Jiva floated in the ocean of happiness. Saci Mata then requested the two of them to honor the Lords prasada. Take prasada here at your mothers house today, my child. I offered there preparations in secret to Shri Gaurcandra.
Shri Jiva spent some days with Nityananda Prabhu, touring the nine islands of Navadwipa, in order to have darsana of the holy places of the Lords pastimes there. Then, as ordered by Nityananda Prabhu, he set out for Kasi (Varanasi) . At Kasi he studied Vedanta under Shri Madhusudana Vacaspati, a disciple of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. The conclusions of Vedanta contained in Shrimad-Bhagavatam that were expounded by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya in Puri had been in turn taught by the Bhattacarya to Madhusudana Vacaspati, who established a tol at Kasi. From him, Shri Jiva mastered the same conclusions.
From here Shri Jiva set out for Shri Vrindavana where he received shelter at the lotus feet of his two uncles. Shri Rupa and Sanatana. They were very pleased to see him and received from him all the news.
Jiva stayed with Shri Rupa, who began to teach him Shrimad Bhagavatam. After initiating him with the divine mantra, Rupa engaged him in the service of Shri Shri Radha-Damoda ra. According to Sadhana-dipika, this Deity of Damodara was fashioned by Rupa Gosvamis own hand for his dear disciple Shri Jiva. Shri Shri Radha-Damodara are presently being worshipped in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Seeing that Jiva had quickly become conversant with the conclusion of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Shri Rupa engaged him in proof-reading his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. At this time Shri Jiva compiled a commentary on Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu called Durgama-sangamani. In the year 1476 (Sakabda) Shri Sanatana Gosvami compiled Shri Vaishnava-tosani, a commentary on the tenth canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which he gave to Shri Jiva for proof-reading. Under the order of Shri Sanatana, Shri Jiva compiled a commentary on that named Laghu Vaishnava-tosani in the year 1500 (Sakabda).
His writings, along with those of Shri Rupa and Shri Sanatana, Shri Gopal Bhatta, Shri Raghunatha Bhatta, Shri Raghunath das, Shri Krishna das, Shri Kasisvar Pandit, and Shri Madhu Pandit, completely captivated the learned men of that time. It was the beginning of a golden age at Shri Vraja-dhama.
Shri Jiva regurlarly brought water for Shri Rupa and Sanatanas bath. He massaged their heads with oil, cleaned their ashram, worship the Deity, cooked and corrected manuscripts.
After the disappearance of Shri Rupa and Sanatana, Shri Jiva continued the tradition that they had inaugerated. Once Shri Jiva travelled to Agra to debate with the Rajputs concerning the glories of Jamuna and Ganga rivers. He established that the Jamuna is more glorious than the Ganga as the Ganga emanates from Krishnas lotus feet whereas the Jamuna is His own consort. At this the Moghul emperor was very much satisfied and wanted to present him something. Shri Jiva replied that he would accept some blank papers. So the emperor presented Jiva some stained paper. (At that time paper was very rare and most manuscripts were usually composed on leaves.)
There is also a legend that once, when a moghul emperor (possibly Akbar) wanted to confer something on the Goswamis of Vrindavana, they requested a farman (emperors order) that no living beings would be killed within Vraja. As a result of this no king would come to hunt there anymore. The disciple of Lokanatha Gosvami, Narottama dasa Thakura Mahasaya, Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvamis disciple Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu, and the disciple of Hrdaya Chaitanya Prabhu, Shri Syamananda Prabhu, were greatly favored by Shrila Jiva Goswami. Under his tutelage they studied all the literatures of the Gosvamis. Later he sent them to preach this knowledge in Bengal.
Shrila Jiva Gosvami composed many literatures, amongst them: Harinamamrta-vyakarana, Sutra-malika, Rasamrta-sesa, Gopala-virudavali, Shri-Madhava-mahotsava, Shri-Sankalpa-kalpavrksa, Brahma-Samhita-tika, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-tika (Durgama-sangamani), Ujjvala-nilamani-tika (Locana-rocani), Gopala-campu, Sat-sandharbha (Tattva-sandarbha), Bhagavata-sandarbha, Paramatma-sandarbha, Krishna-sandarbha, Bhakti- sandharbha, Priti-sandarbha, Shrimad-Bhagavata-tika (Krama-sandarbha), Laghu-vaishnava-tosani (Tenth Canto Bhagavatam commentary), Sarva-sambadina (commentary on Sat-sandarbha), Gopala-tapani-tika (Shri-Suhkha-bodhini), Padma-puranastha-yogasara-stotra-tika, Gayatri-vyakhya-vivrti (A commentary on the Gayatri mantra as described in the Agni Purana, chapters 216-217), Radha-Krishnarcana-candrika, Dhatu-sangraha, Bhavartha-sucaka-campu.
Birth: 1533 (Christian calendar), 1455 (Sakabdha), 12th day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhadra. Disappearance : 1540
(Sakabdha), 3rd day of bright fortnight, Pausa Age: 85 years
SRI GOPAL BHATTA GOSWAMI
The all merciful Lord Shri Gaur Hari, as He travelled from village to village throughout the south of India, continued to distribute love of Godhead wherever He went. Hearing the nectarean names of Hari from His lotus mouth, thousands and thousands men and women felt relief from the blazing fire of material existence. Various wretched, miserable and fallen souls lives were completely rejuvenated and thus they became virtuous and happy.
While causing rains of love of God to fall anywhere and everywhere, without consideration of time or place, Shri Gaurasundor came to the holy place of Shri Rangaksetra. The temple of Shri Ranga Ksetra was extremely large, the crest of the temple tower pierced the sky. Throughout the day and night hundreds and thousands of pilgrims were going and coming to take darsan of Lord Ranganath. The temple hall resounded with the sounds of hundreds and thousand of brahmanas chanting Vedic hymns.
In the midst of this scene from Vaikuntha, entered Shri Gaurasundor chanting the names of Krishna in his sweet voice that defeated the voices of 10 million gandharvas. Everyone in the temple became dumbstruck, amazed and thrilled with wonder. What unprecedented beauty;
His bodily effulgence makes molten gold appear lack-lustre. From His eyes which are like the full blown petals of a lotusflower trickled down tears of ecstatic love. Every limb, every part of His body was filled with such exquisite grace that even the mind of cupid gets stolen away. The brahmanas began to consider, Is this a demigod? Can such symptoms and emotions be found in human beings?
Again resounding the halls with the transcendental vibrations of Shri Haris name, when He came before the Deity and fell down as a tree is blown down by the wind, some people thought that a mountain of gold was rolling on the ground. Shri Vyenkata Bhatta seeing this divine personage became restless with ecstasy. His heart being flooded with devotion he got up and began to move the crowds away so that the Lord could engage in chanting and dancing.
When the Lord had regained His external consiousness after engaging in sankirtan, Vyenkata Bhatta approached Him and took the dust of His lotus feet. Mahaprabhu gazed towards him and saying, Krishna! Krishna! embraced him firmly. Shri Vyenkata Bhatta invited Mahaprabhu to come to his house and having brought Him there, very reverantly washed His lotus feet and along with the other family members, he drank the water. Shri Bhattajis house became filled with joy.
Mahaprabhu came to Ranga Ksetra in the Christian year 1511. Vyenkata Bhatta had two brothers, Trimalla Bhatta and Prabodhananda Sarasvati. They all belonged to the Ramanuja sampradaya and Prabodhananda Sarasvati was a tridandi sannyasi of that order. Vyenkata Bhatta had a son named Gopal, who was then just a child. When the boy came to offer his obeisances at the lotusfeet of Mahaprabhu picked him up and very affectionately seated him in His lap. Mahaprabhu would call Gopal after He had finished His meal and offer His remnants to the boy. In this way He prepared him for the positon of Acarya.
After remaining at Vyenkata Bhattas house during the four months of the rainy season (Caturmasya) Mahaprabhu prepared to continue His journey of the South. Vyenkata Bhattas house began to ebb in a tide of tears in anticipation of His departure. Gopal fell at His lotus feet in a dead faint. Therefore Mahaprabhu remained for a couple of more days in order to console the by. He instructed him to serve his mother and father and always engage in chanting Krishnas glories and thereafter to come to Brindavan.
Very quickly Gopal became expert in grammar, poetry and rhetoric and then began his study of Vedanta. His uncle Prabodhananda, specifically began to instruct him from the devotional scriptures (Bhakti-sastra).
Gopal Bhatta always remained thinking of the lotusfeet of Mahaprabhu and when he might ver he couldnt leave his aged mother and father. Finally having reached their final days they called their son Gopal and instructed him to go to the lotusfeet of Mahaprabhu in Brindaban. Then while meditating on His lotusfeet themselves they went to join Him in His eternal lila.
Thus Gopal set out for Brindavan and when he arrived there Rupa Gosvami immediately went word to Mahaprabhu to inform Him of Gopals arrival there.
Mahaprabhu had previously indicated to Rupa and Sanatan that Gopal Bhatta would one day come there to Brindavan, so upon his arrival they treated him with the same care and affection they would their own brother. They immediately became life long companions.
When Mahaprabhu received word that Gopal Bhatta had come to Brindavan, He was very pleased and sent with that messenger a wooden sitting plank which He had used along with a pair of His undergarments and one of His cloths. Having received these gifts Gopal Bhatta was in ecstasy and he worshipped them as the prasad of Mahaprabhu. When he would worship his Deities he would sit on that wooden plank. This piri (wooden seat) and Mahaprabhus clothes are still being worshipped at Radha-Ramana Mandir. Gopala Bhatta, like Rupa and Sanatana, had no fixed residence and would spend the night in various kunjas (forest groves). He spent his time studying the scriptures and composing various literatures.
Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami used to worship eleven Saligram-silas. Wherever he would go he would bring them with him in a piece of cloth tied at the corner. One time a rich Seth came to meet Gopala Bhatta to have his darsana. Being very impressed with the Gosvami he wanted to render some service which he presented in the form of some valuable cloths and ornaments.
Gopala Bhatta kept the cloths and ornaments with his silas and thought that, If I had a Deity then I would be able to decorate Him so nicely with these clothes and ornaments. In the evening after offering some bhoga and arotika to his salagram silas, Gopala Bhatta put them to rest, covering them with a wicker basket.
Late in the night, Gopala Bhatta took a little rest and then, in the early morning went to take bath in the Yamuna. Returning from his bath, he uncovered the salagramas in order to wake Them, and saw amongst Them a Deity of Krishna playing the flute. There were now eleven silas and this Deity. Floating in the ocean of ecstasy, he fell to the ground in order to offer his dandavats and then recited various prayers and hymns.
When Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis as well as many other devotees received news of this miraculous event they came running to see the Lord. Gazing on the Lords transcendental form, which bewildered all the living entities of the many various planets, they all bathed Him with their tears. This Deity whom the Gosvamis named, Shri Radha-raman Deva made His appearance on the full moon day of Vaisakha in the year 1542. Except for Vrindadevi, Shri Radha-Ramanaji is the only one of the original Deities of Vrindavana who never left to go to Jaipur. He is still being worshipped in Vrindavana near Nidhuban kunj.
Shri Radha-ramana Deva, unlike other Deities, has very intricate features, including fingernails and even teeth. On the back side of His body parts of the original salagram sila from which He manifested Himself can be seen.There is a story that the small son of one of the sevaits was playing with the Deity once and put a small stick in one ear of the Deity and pushed it through out the other ear. The stick however, had blood on it, and that boy died vomiting blood that very day.
Once Shri Gopala Bhatta went to Haridwar. As he was returning, suddenly a downpour started and thus he took shelter in the house of one brahmana. This brahmana was very devoted and he very carefully began to serve Shri Gopala Bhatta, who thus became very pleased. As this brahmana had no children Shri Bhattaji blessed him that he might have a son who would be a devoted follower of Lord Hari. The brahman replied that, My first son I will send to you in order to serve you.
Approximately ten years later when Gopala Bhatta returned from bathing in the Yamuna one day, he saw a young boy sittin at the door of his kutir. When the boy saw the Gosvamiji approaching, he got up and then fell down to offer his dandavats. Gopala Bhattaji inquired who the boy was, to which he replied, My home was in Devandyagram within Saharanpur near Haridwar. My father has sent me here to serve you. My name is Gopinatha. Then Gopal Bhatta could remember the time when he went to Haridwar many years ago. So this boy remained with him and very carefully began to serve him.
Eventually he became known as Shri Gopinatha Pujari Gosvami as he served Shri Radha-ramana Deva through his life as a brahmacari. His younger brother Shri Damodara dasa, along with his family, accepted iniation from Shri Gopinathaji and also became engaged in the service of the Deity. Shri Damodara dasas three sons were named Harinatha, Mathuranatha and Harirama.
Shri Gopala Bhatta, in his worship of Shri Radha-ramana would sometimes see that He had taken the form of Shri Gaurasundara, Becoming subservient to the love of Shri Gopala Bhatta, Shri Radha-ramana would sometimes accept the form of Shri Gausundara.
Shri Gopala Bhatta was the initiating guru of Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu.
He wrote many books including: Sat-sandarbha-karika, Shri-Krishna- vallabha (Krishna-karnamrta-tika), Sat-kriya-sara-dipika, and Laghu Hari-bhakti-vilasa with Dig-darsini tika. From this work, Shri Sanatana Gosvami compiled the Hari-bhakti-vilasa now followed by Gaudiya Vaishnavas.
In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, Gopala Bhatta Gosvamis name in Vraja-lila has been given as Guna manjari.
His birth was on the day of the dark fortnight of the month Pausa in the year 1503 (Christian), 1425 (Saka).
His disappearance was on the sixth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Sravon in the year 1578 (Christian), 1500 (Sakabda).
Age: 75 years
SRI RAGHUNATHA BHATTA GOSWAMI
While Raghunath Bhatta was walking from Benarasi to Puri, he was thinking, I wonder if Mahaprabhu will remember me? I was a small child then, and here at Puri He was so many devotees, I doubt if he would remember such a worthless wretch as me. And even if He does I wonder if he will still show the same affection to me as He did at our house in Kasi. But when he arrived in Puri and was about to offer his dandavats to Mahaprabhu, Shri Gaurasundor called out, Raghunath and before Raghunath could offer his obeisances, Mahaprabhu embraced him very firmly.
Raghunaths eyes filled with tears of joy and as he cought hold of the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu he spoke to Him, Oh most merciful Lord, You still remember me. Mahaprabhu, What to speak of this life! I remember the affection that you and your mother and father have showed to Me life after life. How your mother lovingly fed Me everyday when I stayed at Kasi.
Then Mahaprabhu introduced Raghunath to the other devotees who were very pleased to meet him. Raghunath conveyed his mothers and fathers obeisances and the news of Candrashekara vaidya and the other devotees in Kasi to Mahaprabhu. Then he brought out the various preparations from his bag, which his mother had prepared for Shri Gaurasundor. Mahaprabhu was very pleased and called Govinda to come and store everything away carefully.
Raghunaths fathers name was Shri Tapan Misra. when Nimai Pandit travelled to East Bengal as a teacher he had met with Tapan Misra at that time. Though Tapan Misra was a learned scholar and had discussed the conclusions of the scriptures with many other pandits still he was uncertain as to the actual goal and how to achieve it. One night after having thought on these matters for some time, he saw a dream in which one divine person was telling him, Misra! Dont worry yourself on this subject anymore. Nimai Pandit is coming here very soon. If you can, you should meet Him and He will be able to explain to you lifes goal and how to attain it.
He is not an ordinary human being. But an incarnation of Nara-Narayana. He has come into this world as a human being to perform His pastimes but He is actually the cause of the universe. [C.B Adi 14/123] Saying this much that demigod disappeared.
In the morning after finishing his bath and puja, Tapan Misra set out to meet Nimai Pandit. Having arrived at the place where he was staying, he saw that the Pandit was seated on the bedstead, the whole house being illuminated by His bodily effulgence. His eyes were like the petals of the full blown lotus, His head was covered with curly hari, on His chest was a white brahmana thread, and he was wearing yellow cloth. All around Him were seated His disciples like various constellations sorrounding the full moon.
Tapan Misra paid his dandavats and with folded hands spoke to Mahaprabhu, Oh You who are full of compassion! I am very lowly and fallen. Please bestow your mercy on me. Mahaprabhu smiled and, seating Tapan Misra next to Him, requested his introduction. After introducing himself Tapan Misra inquired about the goal of life and how to attain it.
Mahaprabhu replied that, In every age the Supreme Lord advents Himself, and for the welfare of the living entities he gives instructions how to attain His association. In Satya-yuga the process was meditation, in Treta-yuga sacrificial rituals, in Dvapara-yuga worship of the Deity and in Kali-yuga congregational chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord - Harinam sankirtan. [C.B. Adi 14/137]
Considering the strengh, prowess and longetivity of the living beings, the Supreme Lord accepted the form of the Acarya and ascertained these various processes for various ages. If anyone follows any other process than the authorised one he achieves no result. Therefore in the age of Kali, the essence of all the scriptual processes is the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare. These are the Holy Names of the Lord and are to be chanted at all times. By this process you will be able to understand what is the goal of life and how to achieve it. There is no difference between these names and whom they indicate.
There is no other way than Shri Nama-sankirtan. Giving up all other processes one should always chant the Holy Name of Shri Krishna.
By the influence of this mantra you will be able to understand everything about the goal of life and how to attain it. Shri Nama is Himself what we are striving to realise and repeating this Name is the process for realising what the name is. There is no difference between the Holy Name of the Lord and Himself.
Having received these invaluable instructions from Nimai Pandit, Tapan Misra offered his dandavats at the lotus feet of the Pandit and asked if he might accompany Him on his return to Navadwip. To his request Mahaprabhu replied that he should immediately go to Kasi where they would again meet together in the future. At that time I will particularly describe all of these transcendental topics regarding the Absolute Thruth in complete detail. Thus Nimai Pandit began His return journey to Navadwip while Tapan Misra set out for Kasi Dham, accompanied by his wife.
Some years thereafter when the Incarnation of Mercy, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was proceeding to Brindavan on the path through the jungles of Jharikhanda by way of Choto Nagpur, He arrived at Shri Kasi Dham. While Tapan Misra was bathing at Manikarnika ghat, a sannyasi arrived there and began to make the heavens resound with the sounds of Hari bol! Hari bol! Tapan Misra was startled to suddenly hear the sound of the Holy Name. In the middle of the desert, to hear the sound of rushing flow of water is uncommon; so to hear the Holy Name of Hari admist so many Mayavadis was not an ordinary occurance.
Then standing behind so many sannyasis, Tapan Misra sighted one sannyasi, whose effulgence made everything around Him glow. He began to think, Who could that be? I have heard that Nimai Pandit accepted sannyasa but could that be Him? Coming out from the water he became convinced that it mus be the same Nimai Pandit that he had met with in East Bengal and thus falling at His lotus feet he began to shed tears of ecstasy. Mahaprabhu picked him up and embraced him in great love and then Tapan Misra very affectionately led Mahaprabhu to his house. After so many days they had once again been able to meet together.
Arriving at his house Tapan Misra washed Mahaprabhus lotus feet and along with his family members drank that water in great ecstacy. The pastimes that took place at that time with Raghunath are nicely described in the Chaitanya charitamrita.
Mahaprabhu gave Raghunath Bhatta His own neckbeads and later on a Tulasi garland of Lord Jagannaths , 14 hands in length, as well as the betel and pan prasad remnants of Lord Jagannath. [C.C. Ant.13/126]
Unlike the other Gosvamis it is not known if Raghunath Bhatta Gosvami worshipped any particular Shri Vigraha of the Lord or not. His worshippable Deity of Shrimad-Bhagavatam however is still being worshipped at Gadadhar Bhatta Pith within another Madan Mohan temple which is nearby the Radha-Ballabha Mandir in Brindaban. There is also a very beautiful painting of Shri Shri Gaur-Gadadhar here. Raghunatha Bhatta was the disciple of Shri Gadadhar Pandit.
In the Gaur-Ganoddesa-Dipika it is described that Raghunath Bhatta was Raga Manjari in Krishna lila. His birth was in 1427 (Saka), 1505 (Christian) on the 12th day of the bright fortnight of Aswin. His disappearance was in 1501 (Saka), 1579 (Christian) on the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Jyestha.
SRI RAGHUNATHA DASA GOSWAMI
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami used to reside on the bank of Shri Radha-kunda. At the time Radha-kunda was just a small pond of water, and therefore sometimes Raghunatha would meditate on enlarging the kund. Then he would chastise himself for desiring something which would require a large amount of money.
Around this time one very wealthy Seth underwent great austerity by walking to Badarikasrama in the Himalayas. Arriving there he very reverently worshiped Shri Badrinarayana and offered much wealth at His lotus feet. That night as he slept there, he had a dream in which Shri Badarinarayana instructed him to proceed to Vraja, where he should present all his wealth to Shri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, who was residing at Aritgram. If he declines to accept it, then you can mention My name and remind him about renovating Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda.
That Seth was very happy to have seen such a wonderful dream and after returning to his home he very joyfully set out for Vraja. There he met Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and related all of these events to him. Dasa Gosvami was somewhat taken aback to hear this news, but then immediately gave his consent. Thus Sethji began to work of re-digging the two kunds.
On the banks of Radha-kunda, the five Pandavas were residing in the form of trees. As the work was proceeding it was decided that on the following day these trees would have to be cut down, but that night the five Pandavas appeared in a dream of Raghunatha dasa and forbade the cutting of those trees. Today they are still residing there. When the work of beautifying the kundas was complete, the devotees bliss knew no bounds. Nearby the kundas, the kunjas of the eight gopies were also constructed. Seeing all this, Raghunatha dasa forgot himself in ecstasy.
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami lived on the banks of Radha-kunda without any fixed residence, staying under a different tree every night. Sometimes he would stay on the banks of the Manasa Ganga. At that time these areas were jungles filled with ferocious animals. One day Sanatana Gosvami came to the banks of Manasa Ganga to meet Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Before accepting his noon meal at Gopal Bhattas bhajan kutir, he went to take bath at the Pavan ghat of Manasa Ganga. From there he saw two tigers come to the kund and after drinking some water saunter off. Just near that spot Raghunatha das Gosvami was sitting under a tree absorbed in his bhajana. Sanatana Gosvami was startled to see this but even more so when he saw Shri Krishna standing at some distance observing everything. He then requested Raghunatha to do his bhajana within a hut.
On another occasion, Raghunatha dasa, who still hadnt bothered to have a kutir constructed, was sitting in the noon day sun absorbed in his bhajana. Shrimati Radharani happened to pass that way at this time and, seeing that the sun was beating down on Raghunathas head, she stood behind him and held the end of her sari to shield him from the suns rays. Then one of the Gosvamis came along and saw this heart-rending scene, while profuse perspiration continued to flow from Shrimati Radharanis transcendental body. This time when he was again requested to do his bhajan in a kutir, he immediately agreed to comply.
In Vraja, Krishna is served by Radharani and Candravali, who each have unlimited maid servants. According to the mellows of paramour love, Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami counted himself as a maidservant of the friends of Shrimati Radharani. As Candravali is the chief comperitor of Radharani, Shri dasa Gosvami would never go to her kunja or talk with any of the sakhis. Thus he served the servants of Radharani within his mind in this way.
One Brajabasi known as Shri dasa Brijabasi used to bring Shri das Gosvami a leafcup of buttermilk every day. Drinking this much only Raghunath dasa would engage in bhajana throughout the day. One day Shri Das Brijabasi went to Candravalis kunda, known as Sakhi-sthali, to herd his cows. There he saw a palash tree with very large leaves, so he collected some leaves to make leafcups. The next day, in one of the new leafcups he brought some buttermilk to das Gosvami. Raghunatha dasa accepted the leafcup of buttermilk and inquired, Shri dasji, where did you get these nice palash leaves? Shri dasji replied, While I was pasturing the cows I came to Sakhi-sthali and found them there.
Simply hearing the word Sakhi-sthali Raghunatha dasa flew into a rage and threw the leafcup of buttermilk away saying, The followers of Shrimati Radharani never accept anything from that place. Seeing the loyal devotion of Raghunatha dasa for Shrimati Radharani Shridasji was amazed.
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami used to always serve Shri Shri Radha-Govinda in his mind. One day in his meditation he cooked sweet rice and offered it to Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. In great pleasure they accepted the offering and the other sakhis also relished this prasadam. Then Raghunatha himself honored the remnants of their prasadam and in great ecstasy, due to the pleasure of having been able to satisfy Shri Shri Radha-Govinda and Their loving attendants, he ate a little more than was his custom.
In the afternoon Raghunatha dasa used to speak about Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. However, this day when the devotees came in the afternoon to hear him speak, they found that the door to his kutir was closed. They waited for some time but when it appeared that there was no movement inside they became a little anxious and called out, Gosvamiji, are you all right? Shri dasa Gosvami answered, My body is not well.
The devotees became concerned and immediately sent word to Sanatana Gosvami in Mathura. At that time Shri Sanatana Gosvami was staying with Shri Vallabhacaryas son Shri Vithalnathji, who immediately sent two physicians to Radha-kunda to examine Shri dasa Gosvami. After checking his pulse, the doctors concluded that, due to eating a combination of rice and milk his body is feeling very heavy.
Hearing this diagnosis everyone was struck eith wonder. That Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who subsisted on only a little buttermilk each day, should fall ill from eating too much sweet rice was astonsihing, especially because it was eaten only in meditation.
There are various opinions on Shri Raghunath das Gosvamis identity in Krishna-lila. Some have ascertained that he was Rasa Manjari, some that he was Rati Manjari, while still others that he was Bhanumoti.
The Govardhana-sila given by Shriman Mahaprabhu to Raghunatha dasa to worship is still worshiped at Shri Gokulananda Mandira, in Vrindavana.
He compiled following books: Stavavali, Dana-carita, and Mukta-carita, among others.
Birth: 1428 (Sakabda) Disappearence: 1504 on the 12th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Asvin.
SRI KRSNA DASA KAVIRAJ GOSVAMI
Shri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami was born in a Nadiya family of physicians at the village of Jhamatpur, within the district of Barddhaman, near Naihati. His father was Shri Bhagiratha, and his mother was Shri Sunanda. He had a younger brother named Syama das. The deity of Gaura-Nityananda installed by Shri Kaviraja Gosvami is still being worshiped there. It appears that his family line is no more. More information about the early life of Shri Kaviraja is available in a book called Ananda-ratnavali.
In Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila chapter five, Shri Kaviraja relates the cause of his leaving family life:
Lord Nityananda Prabhu had a servant named Shri Minaketana Ramadasa, who was a reservoir of love. At my house there was sankirtana day and night, and therefore he visited there, having been invited. Absorbed in emotional love, he sat in my courtyard, and all the Vaishnavas bowed down at his feet. In a joyful mood of love of God he sometimes climbed upon the shoulder of someone offering obeisances, and sometimes he struck others with his flute or mildly slapped them. When someone saw the eyes of Minaketana Ramadasa, tears would automatically flow from his own eyes, for a constant shower of tears flowed from the eyes of Minaketana Ramadasa. Sometimes there were eruptions of ecstacy like kadamba flowers on some parts of his body, and sometimes one limb would be stunned while another would be trembling. Whenever he shouted aloud the name Nityananda, the people around him were filed with great wonder and astonishment.
One respectable brahmana named Shri Gunarnava Misra was serving the Deity. When Minaketana was seated in the yard, this brahmana did not offer him respect. Seeing this, Shri Ramadasa became angry and spoke.
Here I find the second Romaharsana-suta, who did not stand to show honor when he saw Lord Balarama.
After saying this, he danced and sang to his hearts content, but the brahmana did not become angry, for he was then serving Lord Krishna. At the end of the festival Minaketana Ramadasa went away, offering his blessings to everyone. At that time he had some controversy with my brother. My brother had firm faith in Lord Chaitanya but only a dim glimmer of faith in Lord Nityananda. Knowing this, Shri Ramadasa felt unhappy in his mind. I then rebuked my brother.
These two brothers, I told him, are like one body; They are identical manifestations. If you do not believe in Lord Nityananda, you will fall down. If you have faith in one but disrespect the other, your logic is like the logic of accepting half a hen. It would be better to be an atheist by slighting both brothers than a hypocrite by believing in one and slighting the other. Thus Shri Ramadasa broke his flute in anger and went away, and at that time my brother fell down.
That night, because He was pleased with the chastisement that Krishnadasa gave his brother for offending His dear devotee Mineketana Ramadasa, Lord Nityananda appeared in his dreams and declared:
Are are krishnadasa, na karaha bhaya, vrndavana yaha, tanha sarva larya haya O my dear Krishnadasa, do not be afraid. Go to Vrndavana, for there you will attain all things. [C.C. Adi 5.195]
Thus receiving the mercy of Lord Nityananda in his dream, he started for Vrndavana with a joyful mind. The lotus feet of the spiritual master of Shri Kaviraja are none other than those of Lord Nityananda Himself.
He accepted the Gosvamis Shri Rupa, Shri Sanatana, Shri Jiva, Shri Raghunatha, Shri Raghunatha Bhatta and Shri Gopala Bhatta as his instructing spirit ual masters. From Shri Lokanatha Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami he begged permission to write Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita. Lokanatha directed Shri Kaviraja that he desired to be unmentioned in his book; that is why, in Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita, hardly a reference about Lokanatha Gosvami is to be found.
Shri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami compiled the following books still extant: Shri Govinda-lilamrta, Krishna-karnamrta commentary (Saranga-rangada [kangada?] tika) and of course, Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita.
Diappearence: 12th day bright fortnight month of Asvin (the year is not known).
SRI KASISVARA PANDITA GOSVAMI
Shri Kasisvara Pandita Gosvami had a temple near Shri Rampura at Catara. Mahaprabhu sent him to Vrindavana later on in his life. His disciple was Shri Govinda Gosai, the pujari of Shri Govinda Deva.
When Shrila Rupa Gosvami discovered Shri Govinda Devas Shri Vigraha at
Gomati tila, he immediately sent word to Mahaprabhu at Puri. Mahaprabhu in turn requested Shri Kasisvara Pandita to go to Vrindavana. Kasisvara however expressed that to have to give up your association will cause my heart to be split in two. Therefore please consider how I can honor your request without giving up my life.
Mahaprabhu could understand the heart of Kasisvara and therefore he gave him a self-manifested Deity of Himself. Mahaprabhu sat down along with this Vigraha and accepted prasad at which Kasisvaras faith was kindled. Mahaprabhu intimated to him with this Deity and established him on the right side of Shri Govinda Deva. Then he began to serve Them with great love.
SRI GANGA DASA PANDITA
My obeisances to Shri Gangadasa Pandita, who is the disciple of the husband of Sarasvati, the master of the Vedas. [C.B.Mad 1.283]
After the ceremony in which Shri Gaursundara was invested with the sacred thread, He took up his studies at home, under the tutorship of his father. When Shri Jagannatha Misra saw that his son was very eager to be admitted to an academic institutution, his father took him to the house of Shri Ganga dasa Pandita, to get Him admitted into Ganga dasa Panditas tol. In Krishna-lila Ganga dasa Pandita was the teacher of Balarama and Krishna, Sandipani Muni.
When he saw Jagannatha Misra had come to his house, Ganga dasa got up to respectfully receive him and after embracing him, he very affectionately requested him to take his seat. Jagannatha Misra addressed him, I have brought my son to you. Please become his teacher and instruct him how to read and write. Shri Ganga dasa Pandita replied, Only unless one is greatly fortunate does he get the chance to instruct a child who is endowed with the symptoms of such a high-souled saintly person. I will teach him to the best of my ability.
Thus Shri Jagannatha Misra presented his son Nimai into the hands of Ganga dasa Pandita and then returned home.
While looking at his new disciple, Gangadas became immersed in great happiness and kept Nimai with him just as if he was his own son. [C.B. Adi 8.32]
Ganga dasa could undestand by the divine appearance and nature of this boy that he was not ordinary, and so he began to carefully instruct him while treating him just like his own son. The boy Nimai had such a miraculous intellect that after hearing the sutras only once, he had completely committed them to the memory. Within a few days he came to occupy the seat at the head of the class. Gradually it came to pass that sometimes Nimai would explain the sutras even better than his teacher. Not one amongst hundreds and hundreds of students in the tol could rival him. Ganga dasa undestood very quickly that Nimai was his best student. Whatever pastimes the Lord enacts He does so to the penultimate degree.
Amongst the better students of the Pandit was Shri Kamalakanta, Murari Gupta, Shri Krishnananda and others, to whom Nimai would pose many tricky questions. Their discussions would usually end up at the bathing ghat at the Ganga with loud arguments and eventually pushing and mud slinging. Nimai would establish one conclusion, then defeat that by establishing another, and then establish the original conclusion again with better arguments. Seeing his genius the other students were simply struck with wonder and Ganga dasa Pandita was in total ecstasy.
After practising logic and rhetoric for some days under the tutelage of Ganga das Pandit, Shri Nimai then opened his own grammar tol by the order of His guru. His tol was held at the house of Mukunda Sanjoy in the pavilion where they conducted Durga Puja. Day by day his students increased and even at such a young age he attained such proficiency in scholarship that everyone including even Ganga dasa Pandita was simply amazed.
While He engaged in His pastimes of learning His mother Saci Mata was very happy. Eventually the time came for Him to go to Gaya under the plea of offering rites for His deceased father. After being initiated by Shri Isvari Puri He returned from there a changed person. Now he explained all the sutras in relationship to Shri Krishna. Besides that, he knew nothing else. Finally his students went to Ganga dasa Pandita to inform him of the new developments.
That afternoon when Nimai came to offer his respects to his guru, Ganga dasa Pandita very affectionately blessed him saying, Bap Visvambhara (Bap is an affectionate term which literally means father, but which is used loosely even by mothers to address their sons), now hear my words. The scholarship of brahmanas is not a matter of small fortune. On both sides of your family Nilambara Cakravarti, your maternal grandfather, and your father Jagannath Misra werent uneducated fools. You are also very qualified to explain ins and outs of logic. If by giving up teaching one attains devotion, then why didnt your father and grandfather give it up? Were they not devotees?
Considering all this, please continue your studies. By study one becomes a Vaishnava brahmana. If a brahmana becomes a fool then how will he distinguish between good and bad. Reflecting on these matters you should pursue your studies and continue to teach your students nicely. On my honor I am stating this, that you might not explain things in a contrary fashion.
Nimai replied, By your mercy, there is not a soul in Navadwipa who can defeat me in philosophical debate. Let me see which of these great panditas can refute the explanations of the sutras that I will now give. I am going to the tol to begin instructing these points just now. Hearing these words of Shri Gaurasundor, Ganga dasa was pleased. Thus Mahaprabhu took the dust of his lotus feet and went of to the tol.
(Then what happened?)
What is left for Ganga dasa to accomplish, who has most worshipable person in the fourteen worlds as his disciple?
SRI BHAGAVATA ACARYA
Shri Raghunatha Bhattacarya resided at Barahanayar. When Mahaprabhu was journeying to Nilacala after taking sannyasa, He came to Barahanagar after passing through Kumar Hatta and Panihati.
Then Mahaprabhu came to Barahanagar, to the house of one brahmana who had attained the limits of good fortune. This brahmana was very learned in Shrimad-Bhagavatam and upon seeing Mahaprabhu he began to recite various slokas. When Mahaprabhu heard these slokas, describing the excellence of the path of devotion (Bhakti yoga) He (Gauranga-Narayana) became overwhelmed with ecstaticd love, saying again and again, Speak on, speak on. Thus Shri Gauranga Raya began to roar very loudly. [C.B. Ant. 5.110]
Prabhu told him, I never heard anyone recite the Bhagavata like this before. Therefore your name should be Bhagavatacarya, and this should be your only activity - to recite the Bhagavata. Hearing this blessing bestowed by the Lord, Raghunatha was very pleased and as he prepared to offer his obeisances to the Lord, Mahaprabhu caught hold on him and embraced him very firmly. Mahaprabhu spent the night there in great happiness.
In Shri Krishna-prema-tarangini, Bhagavatacarya has introduced himself as the disciple of Shri Gadadhara Pandita. Pandita Gosais (Shri Gadadhara Pandita) glories are sung throughout the three worlds. He has so mercifully descended on this mortal soil to deliver numberless wicked souls. He is the pleasure potency of the Hero of Vaikuntha, Shri Krishna Chaitanya, and is thus non-different from Him. He is my most worshipable Losd, my Gurudeva, and His lotus feet are the shelter of my body, words and mind. (Shri Krishna-prema-tarangini)
Shri Bhagavatacarya had just began to compose Shri Krishna-prema-tarangini when he first met Shri Gaurasundara, thus throughout this work, in many places, extremely beautiful descripitions of Mahaprabhu can be found. Just north of Calcutta on the banks of the Ganga within Mali para palli, of Barahanagar, can be found Shri Bhagavatacaryas Shripat. Handwritten copies of his compositons are still kept very carefully there, as well as many manuscripts of other Vaishnava writers. In fact there is an entire museum containing many of the personal effects of the Pancatattva and Their associates. This place, now known as Pat Bari, is managed by the followers of Rama dasa Babaji. It can easily be reached by bus from Shyam bazaar.
Mahaprabhu first visited Shri Bhagavatacarya on the 12th day of the dark fortnight of Caitra. All glories to the source of the total manifestationsa of Brahman, Shri Krishna, who has variagated pastimes. All glories to Lord Jagannatha, the incarnation of Nilacala and all glories to Shri Gauranga the form of consiousness (Chaitanya). Listen carefully about the incarnation of Kali-yuga, who inaugerated the yuga dharma of sankirtana, with every step and every word, saying, Krishna, Krishna, Krishna. Know that this name of Krishna who is not Krishna (blackish) but whose complexion is like molten gold, is Gauranga and His appearance is a known fact predicted by the scriptures. With His associates who are His various limbs and weapons, He enjoys the ecstasy of sankirtan as Lord Gauranga.
All glories to Gaurachandra, whose sports are fully imbued with consiousness. He is the life and soul of the devotees, and He Himself is an incarnation of His devotee. In the company of Shri Advaita, Shrinivasa and Hari dasa, and with Nityananda by his side, he enjoys the pastimes of sankirtan. The Lord of the life of Gadadhara, the Lord of His eternal associates, the assembled devotees. The master of the world in the form of His own devotee. [Shri Krishna-prema-tarangini]
SRI MADHAVENDRA PURI
During Nityananda Prabhus tour of all the holy places of India for the purpose of purifying them, by the will of providence, he happened to meet Madhavendra Puripada somewhere in western India. When Nityananda Prabhu saw Madhavendra Puri he fainted away in a swoon of ecstatic love and His transcendental body became completely still. Similarly, when Madhavendra 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 Madhavendra Puri. When the disciples of Madhavendra Puri, headed by Isvara Puri, saw their spiritual master and the Prabhu fallen in a faint of ecstatic love, they began to cry. Gradually, Nityananda Prabhu and Madhavendra got back their external consiousness. When their eyes opened and they again got sight of one another, they put their arms around each others 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 to be blessed in being flooded by that inundation. With the appearance of the transformations brought by bhava, 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 Madhavendra Puri, I have received the treasure of love of God, and thus my life has become blessed.
Madhavendra 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. Isvara Puri, Brahmananda Puri and the other disciples of Shri Puripada present, became compeletely enamoured by Nityananda Prabhu. Some other pilgrims were present at that place but due to being devoid of devotion, they couldnt understand what was going on and continued to converse amongst themselves. The devotees felt some sorrow to see the behaviour of those dullheaded brutes so they retreated into the forest to be rid of their company. When they were alone together again, their distress was destroyed and they continued to relish the mellows of Krishna-prema. In this way Nityananda Prabhu and Madhavendra Puri spent some days together in the happiness of Krishna-katha.
Madhavendra Puris love of God was very uncommon. Simpy upon seeing a dark raincloud he would fall down unconsiouss. Day and night he imbibed the spirituous liquor of Krishna-prema, 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, Madhavendra Puris disciples continuously remained engaged in hari-kirtana. No one knew whether it was day or night. Having become completely absorbed in the mellows of Krishna-prema, the days were passing though it seemed to them that not even a moment had elapsed yet. Whatever was discussed between Madhavendra and Nityananda is known only to them and Shri Krishnacandra. Who else is capable of understanding such subject matter? Madhavendra Puri was unable to give up Nityanandas company and so he continued to roam about, keeping Nityananda with him.
Madhavendra Puri told his disciples, Never before anywhere 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. Whenever one gets His association, that place becomes the sum total of all holy places and non-different from Vaikuntha itself. Whoever simply hears about Him will definitly 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, Madhavendra praised the attractive qualities of Nityananda Prabhu.
Lord Nityananda respected Madhavendra Puri as his guru and always behaved with him in that relationship. After travelling together for some days finally Nityananda Prabhu set of in the direction of Setu Bandha while Madhavendra Puri started for Sarayu. Having lost contact with the external world neither of them was aware of his own body. In order to maintain body and soul together, they thus remained in these transcendental states of consiousness. If in external consiousness, they would cease to live. [C.B. Adi 9.158-192]
At the time of his departure from this world, Madhavendra Puri was completely absorbed in separation from Krishna and constantly repeated one sloka. This verse is considered by Gaudiya Vaishnavas to be the essence of expression of the mood of separation. Quote it here
Among his associates and disciples were Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Iswara Puri, Shri Paramananda Puri, Shri Ranga Puri, Shri Ramacandra Puri, Shri Nrsimha Tirtha, Shri Raghupati Upadhyaya, Shri Sukhananda Puri, among others.
Madhavendra Puris body is totally imbued with divine love, as are his followers as well. 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 9.155]
His worshippable Deity, Gopalji, is presently residing at Nathdwar in Rajasthan, and is worshipped by the followers of Vallabhacarya.
SRI JAYADEVA GOSWAMI
Shri Jayadeva Goswami made his appearance at Kendubilvagram within the district of Birhum, during the 11th century. His fathers name was Bhojadeva and his mothers name was Bama devi. Little is known about his early life, but it is said that he was a Sanskrit scholar at an early age and was inclined towards spiritual life. Some of his contemporaries have described him as the incarnation of melody.
Jayadeva is also famous as the great poet of Gita-govinda. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to especially relish hearing the Gita-Govinda as well as the works of Candidas, Vidyapati, Ramananda Raya and the Krishna-karnamrta by Bilvamangala Thakura. Shri Gita-Govinda is full of intimate pasimes of Shri Shri Radha-Govinda and is therefore meant for those who have acquired sufficient spiritual piety.
For those who relish the remembrance of the pastimes of Shri Hari and are always anxious to hear those transcendental divine narrations, these verses, sweet as honey, have been composed by Jayadeva with the blessings of Mother Saraswati.
As a young man, Jayadeva went to Jagannatha Puri after visiting many holy places. There he married a girl named Padmavati, who was devoted to the Deity of Lord Jagannatha. Jayadeva also developed deep love for the Lord. Inspired by the beauty of Puri and Lord Jagannatha, he composed Gita-Govinda, and it quickly became the joy of the Vaishnava community.
At the time, Gajapati Purusottamadeva was the provincial king. He was openly envious of Jayadeva and soon posed an ill-fated challenge. The king considered himself a master poet, on a par with Jayadeva, and composed a work called Abhinava Gita-Govinda. One day, he summoned his advisors and asked them to widely circulate his work, in an attempt to make it more popular than Jayadevas. The kings own men, however, ridiculed his attempt, telling him that it was impossible to compare a lamp to the sun. Still, the king was relentless.
A controversy soon arose, and the brahmanas (the kings priests) decided that the matter would be settled by placing both manuscripts before the Deity of Lord Jagannatha for the night. By morning, they said, the Lord Himself would decide. When the devotees went to greet the Deity the next day, they found Jayadevas Gita-Govinda clasped against the Deitys chest, and the kings manuscript scattered about the floor. The decision was clear.
During the time that he became engaged as the chief pandita of Raja Laksman Sena, he resided at Navadvipa on the banks of the Ganga. Also present were three other panditas whose names he has mentioned in Shri Gita-Govinda. Shri Umapatidhar, Acarya Shri Govardhan and Kavi Ksamapati, who were his close friends. At that time, Laksmana Sena, aware of Jayadevas position as a great Vaishnava, went to see Jayadeva to request him to become his minister, to become the royal pandita for the whole kingdom. However, when the king arrived with his ministers in full regalia, Jayadeva became very angry, as he was a brahmana and his residence was being intruded by a king.
Jayadeva began to rebuke the king. Im leaving Navadvipa, I refuse to reside here any longer. Because kings are always involved in so much worldly activity, my residence has now become polluted. Therefore, Im leaving. Im very offended. Then Laksmana Sena, he paid his obeisances to Jayadeva and he pleaded, Please dont leave my kingdom. I meant no offense. Its true, this royal order is such a despicable occupation. We have to be involved in so many undesirable activities to protect the country, but if you leave our kingdom then it will be a great loss. Youve given your word, I know you cant break it, so please just take your residence across the Ganga.
At that time Jayadeva was living just near the place where the Mayapur Chandradaya Mandir is now located. This is proof that the original Navadvipa was on the Chandradaya Mandir side, because the king told Jayadeva to take his residence across the river. At least then youll still be in our kingdom. Otherwise, if we lose the association of such a great Vaishnava this will be very inauspicious for everyone. We want the blessings of the Vaishnavas, and only for this reason have I come to you, to request you to use your knowledge for the upliftment of the entire kingdom.
So Jayadeva, seeing that after criticising the king he did not become puffed up but instead took a humble position, realized that he was a devotee and not just a materialistic king who wanted to exploit him for his own name and fame. So then Jayadeva said, Alright, Ill live across the river. You can also come and visit me, but dont come as a king, come in ordinary dress like a Vaishnava brahmana. You can come and see me in secret and we can discuss Krishna-katha.
In the Gita-Govinda, while writing about the pastimes of Radharani as She repented after Krishna had gone away, he became lost in thought. Not being able to decide whether or not he should write a particular verse regarding Krishna becoming the servant of his devotee, he decided to first take his bath and return to his writing later. While taking his bath, Krishna himself personally appeared in the form of Jayadeva, took his meal and then wrote down that very verse with his own hand.
Then, while Padmavati was accepting her meal Jayadeva returned from taking his bath in the Ganga. Padmavati was completely startled to see her husband, and Jayadeva aswell was very surprised to see that his wife was accepting her meal before him (which is never done by Hindu wives). Finally she explained that he had already taken his bath once, taken his meal and then gone to his room.
Jayadeva went to his room and saw the verse that he had been considering whether to write or not, now composed in golden letters. With tears in his eyes and voice choked up he called out to his wife, Padmavati! You are so fotunate! You had darsana of the Supreme Lord!
Lokasvana Sena, devotee-king, built a hut made of leaves at Campahati for Jayadeva. Lord Krishna appeared there to Jayadeva and his wife. Changing the colour to that of the golden campa tree which grew in the area, He revealed His form of Lord Chaitanya. He told them He would soon appear in Navadvipa to perform congregational chanting before taking sannyasa and going to Puri, where He would relish Jayadevas Gita-govinda. Lord Chaitanya asked them also to go to Puri.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura has commented that even though Shri Gauranga Deva hadnt revealed his internal pastimes at that time, within the heart of Shri Jayadeva, Shri Bilvamangala, Shri Candidas, and Shri Vidyapati, the transcendental mood of Mahaprabhu was awakened even before He Himself actually made His appearance.
Jayadeva Goswami also composed a book named Candraloka. His disappearance is on Pausa Sankranti. His worshippable Deities, Shri Shri Radha-Madhava, are being worshipped in the former temple of Radha-Govinda just outside the present city of Jaipur.
Shri Candrasekhara Deva or Candrasekhara Acaryaratna was the uncle of Mahaprabhu, the husband of the sister of His mother. According to Gaur-ganoddesa-dipika, he was one of the nine Nidhis. Along with other residents of Shri Hatta he came to live at Navadwipa, near the house of Jagannath Misra, in anticipation of the Lords appearence, for which they had all been praying.
Candrasekhara and his wife were present in the home of Jagannatha Misra and Sacidevi since the time of the birth of their child Nimai, and took part in his upbringing. Sometimes they would take Nimai with them to their house, and as they had no children of their own, they considered Nimai to be their own son.
After the disappearence of Jagannath Misra, Candrasekhara accepted the responsibility of looking after the family. Sacimata would always consult with him before undertaking any important activity. Later on, Shri Gaurasundara used to hold congregational chanting at Candrasekharas house as well in Shrivasa Panditas courtyard.
One day Shri Gaurasundor expressed his desire to put on a play at Candrasekharas house. Just before sunset all the devotees gathered at Acaryaratnas house. No one had ever before anticipated such happiness at the prospect of witnessing a dramatic performance. Advaita Acarya, Shrivasa Pandita, Hari dasa Thakura and Candrasekhara Acaryaratna each appeared in various guises and acted our their parts on the stage with Shri Gaura Hari.
Sacimata was present along with Vishnupriya. Shri Gaurasundara entered the stage, dressed as Laksmidevi. Everyone thought that the goddess Herself had descended from Vaikunthanagar, and thus they were stunned. Sacimata inquired, Is this the goddess Laksmidevi herself?
Acaryaratnas wife replied, Cant you recognise your son Nimai?
Startled, Sacimata wondered, Thats my Nimai? No it couldnt be.
For some days, Mahaprabhu enjoyed this pastime with His devotees, holding dramatic performances, and this increased the ecstasy of the inhabitants of Navadwipa.
Candrasekhara was also present during the Lords pastime of holding a torchlit nama sankirtan procession in defiance of the Kazi.
Amongst the thousand names of Vishnu recorded in Mahabharata one is: sannyaskrt samah nistha santi parayanah. Eventually the time came for the Lord to enact this pastime. It was as though the ocean of nectar became severly agitated by great waves. The devotees hearts became greatly afflicted by anticipation of the pain of separation. Candrasekhara fell to the ground unconsious. As he regained his senses the earth became soaked with his tears. Nityananda consoled him saying, Candrasekhara, if you want to witness the further divine transcendental pastimes of the Lord, then try to get the hold of yourself. Prabhu will remain by your side, bound by your love for Him.
Candrasekhara came to the Lords house in the evening. Unable to bear the pangs of impending separation, he broke into tears while gazing at the serenely pure face of the Lord. Mahaprabhu could understand everything and so He got up and embraced Candrasekhara very firmly. Candrasekhara asked Him, Are you going to plunge Nadia into darkness by going away? Mahaprabhu replied, Acaryaratna, just try to be patient. I am eternally bound by your love for me. How lovingly you raised me as a child. Do you think that I will ever be able to make up this debt to you.
As He spoke, tears welled up in His eyes. Candrasekhara caught hold of Shri Gaurasundara and held Him tightly to his chest. For some time the two of them silently shed tears. Finally Mahaprabhu said, My pastimes are meant to deliver all living beings. Even though I may accept sannyasa, Ill always remain bound within the temple of your heart. Please dont be impatient. You have to perform the requisite ceremonies for my acceptance of sannyasa.
Hearing these words of Mahaprabhu, Candrasekhar was a little consoled. As per the instructions of Mahaprabhu, Candrasekhara came quietly to Keshava Bharatis asrama. As his guardian, Candrasekhara, though his heart was splitting in two, performed the requisite rites. After completing the ceremony, Mahaprabhu sent Acaryaratna back to Navadwipa. When the devotees heard from Candrasekhara what had transpired, they sent up a heart-rending cry. Acaryaratna tried to console everyone and informed them of Lords future pastimes. [C.B.Ant 1.33]
When after wandering in Radhadesa for three days, Nityananda managed to bring Mahaprabhu to Santipur, Candrasekhara, Sacimata and the other devotees from Navadwip came there to meet Him. Then, after passing a few months in great distress, they came to Nilacala during the rainy season to again see the Lord of their life. When they reached Atharo Nala, Mahaprabhu came to greet them and presented flower garlands from Lord Jagannatha to Adwaita Acarya, Shrivasa Pandita and Candrasekhara. Then He embraced them all while everyone shed tears of ecstasy.
After taking up their various residences there, they all began to extend invitations to Mahaprabhu. The first was from Sita Thakurani, then Malinidevi and then Acaryaratnas wife, whom Mahaprabhu considered as nondifferent from his mother. She herself had cooked many preparations and those preparations which Sacimata had sent, these also she fed Him with great affection. Mahaprabhu told his aunt, Masima, please offer my obeisances to my mother and inform her that I come to visit her every day. She thinks that she is seeing a dream but I actually come there to take my meal.
The main branch of Shri Chaitanya Matha was established at Braja Pattan, the home of Candrasekhar, by Shri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.
SRI ADVAITA ACARYA
The foremost of all the Vaishnavas who reside at Navadwip is Shri Advaita Acarya, whose virtuous presence has made all the worlds blessed. He is the most preminent preceptor in all fields including knowledge, renunciation and devotion. In explaining Krishna-bhakti he is like unto Lord Sankara himself, and whatever scriptures that exist within the three worlds he explains in the light of Krishna-bhakti.
With the intense eagerness he continually worships Shri Krishna with Tulasi manjaris and Ganges water. By the momentum of his spiritual force, his loud shouts pierce the coverings of this universe and, resounding throughout Vaikuntha, reach the ears of Shri Krishna. Hearing this loving summons saturated with devotion, Shri Krishna advents Himself.
On the seventh day of the bright fortnight of the month of Magh, the great ocean of ecstasy swelled to its limits, being forcibly attracted by the moon of Adwaita, Who appeared from the womb of Shri Nabhadevi as the moon appears in the autumn sky. His father, Shri Kuvera Pandit floated in that ocean of joy. In great happiness gave many gifts in charity to the brahmanas (who voluntarily accept vows of poverty).
Very quietly he approached the maternity room to get a glimpse of his newborn son. Then his own face began to shine by the reflected light of that moon-like personage. The residents of Nabagram came running to see the child. Everyone remarked that they had never seen such a beautiful baby. What a pious activities his father must have been performed to get such a jewel of a son, and that in his old age. Thus Ghanasyama sings about this occasion. [B.R.12.1759] The child was named Mongal and his other name was Kamalaksa.
Advaita Acarya is the combined incarnation of Maha Vishnu and Sadasiva (who resides in Goloka). His two consorts, Sita and Shri are manifestations of Yoga Maya. Once when Advaita performed worship, whatever gods and demigods He used to meditate upon He saw all gathered at Lord Chaitanyas lotus feet, offering prayers. Raising up his two hands, Advaita exclaimed in great ecstasy, Today all the days of my life have produced a succesful result, as all my desires have been fulfilled. My birth and activities have finally born fruit. I have directly perceived Your two lotus feet, which are proclaimed throughout the four Vedas but are unattainable thereby. Now, by Your causeless mercy, You have revealed Yourself to Me.
Mahaprabhu replied, Acarya, now you should perform My worship. First Advaita Acarya washed the Lords two lotus feet with water scented by flower petals and then with water scented with sandalwood. Then He placed on His lotus feet Tulasi manjari dipped in sandalwood paste along with arghya - an auspicious offering of rice, durbagrass, yoghurt etc. His eyes brimming with tears, he offered incense, ghee lamps, flowers, sandalwood paste, and some foodstuffs.
After offering various prayers he loudly proclaimed the Lords glories with auspicious shouts. All glories to the Lord and maintainer of the universe, the Lord of all that lives. All glories to Gaurachandra, the ocean of mercy. All glories to the most munificent incarnation of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, whose form is all-enchanting. All glories to He who is decorated with the ornaments of Shrivatsa and Kaustubha. All glories to He who has revealed the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra. All glories to He who enjoys the pastimes of accepting devotion unto Himself. All glories to Mahaprabhu who reclines on the bed of Ananta Sesa. All glories to the refuge of all living entities. [C.B.Mad.6.116]
Hearing Advaitas prayers Mahaprabhu replied, My dear Acarya, I am very pleased by your prayers. Now you can ask from me any benediction you like. Then Advaita requested that, My only request is that you distribute love of Krishna even to women, labourers and the ignorant fools as well. [C.B. Mad. 6.167]
A Nrsimha-sila and Deities, fashioned after a picture of Shri Shri Madan-Gopal that were worshipped by Advaita Acarya are still residing at Santipur in Madan-Gopal Para. Santipur is a short distance from Krishnanagar by bus.
The place on the banks of the Ganga where Advaita Acarya worshipped Salagram and called out to the Lord to please descend to the world is known today as Babla. A temple has been built in memory of Advaita Acaryas pastimes there. This place can be reached by riksaw from Santipur.
SRI ISANA THAKURA
Shri Isana Thakura was a household servant of Shri Jagannatha Misra. After the disappearance of Misra Mahasaya, Isana accepted the responsibility of looking after the household. He respected Sacimata as his own mother and she in turn was affectionate to him as though he was her son.
All of the various household duties such as bringing water from the Ganges, growing vegetables in the garden, collecting the yearly supply of rice paddy from the temple, going to the market, receiving guests and washing their feet and so on were carried out by Isana.
When Nityananda Prabhu came to Sacimatas house Isana washed His feet.
[C.B. Mad. 1.59]
He would also clean the room after meals.
When Nimai was a small boy, He was very restless and would make many capricious demands which Isana would eventually have to fullfill. [B.R. 12.97]
Shachinandana````@P@````PP@P°`° `@```š`@°°`°° @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞 Nimai, the very life of Isana, wouldnt go anywhere without him. Isan was always engaged in Sacimatas service, and thus he is extremely fortunate amongst the inhabitants of the fourteen planetary systems. Sacidevi was affectionate to him. [Chaitanya-Bhagavat where?]
I offer my obeisances to Shri Isana Thakura to whom Sacidevi was very affectionate. (Vaishnava-vandana/Devakinandana)
After Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, the entire responsibility of looking after Sacimata and Vishnupriya fell on the shoulder of Isana. After the disappearence of Sacimata, Vansivadananda looked after Vishnupriya and Isana Thakura. The first time Shrinivasa Acarya went to Mayapur from Puri he had darsana of Vishnupriya, but when the three of them, Shrinivasa, Narottama and Ramacandra went to Mayapura, only Isana Thakura was present. They saw Isana sitting alone, his body shining with the effulgence of the sun. Though he tried to restrain his emotions, still tears flowed out from his closed eyes. [B.R. 12.113]
After offering their obeisances, the three companions introduced themselves to Isana. When Isana could undestand that they were the favorites of Mahaprabhu, he embraced them very affectionately. Thereafter, the three of them took the elderly Isana with them and made a pilgrimage around the nine islands of Navadwipa to have darsana of the places of pastimes of Shri Gaura-sundor. After completing their parikrama, they took leave of Isana, offering their prayers at his feet. [B. R. 13.9]
After having spent some days in his company, the pain of separation was very acute. When the three stalwart devotees arrived at Raghunandana Bhavan at Shri Khanda, they were respectfully given seats. Shortly thereafter the news arrived from Mayapura that Isana Thakura had concluded his final pastimes. [B.R. 13/21]
SRI SARVABHAUMA BHATTACARYA
Shri Vasudeva Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was the very dear associate of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His birthplace is a few miles from Campahati, which is just near the present town of Navadwipa; it was formely known as Kulia. His fathers name was Maheswara Visarada, and his brothers name was Vidya Vacaspati.
Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was at that time the foremost logician in all of India. He had travelled to Mithila where he studied logic under Shri Pakkadhar Misra, his guru. He was not able to bring any of the manuscripts from which Shri Pakkadhar Misra taught logic, therefore it was necessary for him to memorize all of the verses in entirety before he could return to Navadwip. After his return, Navadwipa very quickly became the foremost center for the study of logic (it was the Oxford of India).
At that time the foremost student of the Bhattacarya was Raghunath Siromani, who wrote a commentary on logic entitled Didhiti. In order not to damage the pride of this Raghunatha Siromani, Mahaprabhu (Nimai Pandita) threw his own commentary into the river Ganges.
Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was also a renowned scholar of the Vedanta of Sankaracarya, which he taught to thousands of his students. Due to the earnest desire of Shri Prataparudra Deva, the king of Orissa, he came to Jagannatha Puri to teach the Vedanta.
MAHARAJ SRI PRATAPARUDRA DEVA
The King of Elephants, Gajapati Prataparudra was the King of Orissa decended in the line of Ganga kings. His capital was at Cuttak. Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika states, He who was formerly the worshiper of Lord Jagannatha, the king Indrayumna, is now present at Shri Prataparudra, who, endowed with the opulence of Indra, rules over Utkaladesa (Orissa).
His fathers name was Shri Purusottama Deva and his mothers name Shri Rupanvika or Shri Padmavati Devi. Shri Purusottama Deva, who considered himself to be the servant of Lord Jagannatha, arranged fo the observance of Lord Jagannathas various festivals and rituals. During the Ratha Yatra he would personally sweep the ground before the Ratha with a golden handled broom. Lord Jagannatha was so merciful to Shri Purusottama that He personally defeated the king of Kanchi, whose daughter He then presented to Purusottama Deva. From the womb of this Padmavati Devi Shri Prataparudra took his birth.
After Prataparudra ascended the throne, he, like his father, engaged himself in the service of Lord Jagannatha. This is all explained in the book Shri Sarasvati-vilasa.
Kavi Karnapura Gosvami composed Shri Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka in accordance with the request of King Prataparudra Deva: I have been ordered by Shrimat Prataparudra to compose a drama in glofication of the lotus feet of Shri Hari.
When Mahaprabhu first came to Puri, Prataparudra had at that time gone to conquer Vijaya Nagar. However, when Mahaprabhu returned to Puri from Ramakeli, Prataparudra came there from Cuttack with the purpose of having His darsana.
Prataparudra begged the devotees to please arrange that he might have the darsana of Mahaprabhu. They advised him that he might, from a concealed place, have a view of the Lord during His performance of sankirtan in the temple of Lord Jagannatha. At that time Prataparudra saw that Lord Chaitanya, in the ecstasy of divine madness, was fainting and falling to the ground. Recovering His consiousness he would roll in the dust as His body became wet with tears from His eyes and the saliva drooling from His mouth. Not being able to understand these transcendntal ecstatic symptoms, the king felt some repulsion in his mind.
After returning to his palace, that night he saw in a dream that Lord Jagannathas body was covered with dust and from His lotus eyes water was flowing like the Ganges river. His body had thus become wet with those tears and the mucus and saliva drooling from His nose and mouth.
When the king went to touch the lotus feet of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Jagannath exlaimed, Please, dont touch Me! Your body is besmeared with camphor and sandalwood paste whereas I am covered with dust. When you saw my ecstatic dancing you felt repulsed to see My body soiled with the dust and the saliva drooling from My mouth. Then the king saw that in place of Lord Jagannath, Lord Chaitanya was sitting on the simhasana. His body being similarly covered with the dust, He laughed as He told the king, It is not very deserving of you to be repulsed by Me for this reason. [C.B.Antya 5.168-177]
Then the king could understand that Lord Chaitanya was non-different from Lord Jagannath Himself. Thus he fell on the ground and begged forgiveness for his offense.
The last king of the Surya dynasty was Shri Curanga Deva. Seven generations after him appeared Shri Anga Bhimadeva, who constructed the present temple of Lord Jagannath (about 800 years ago). In the seventh generation after him appeared Shri Kapilendra Deva (1435-1470 of the Christian era). His son was Shri Purusottama Deva (1470-14979), whose son was Shri Prataparudra (1497-1541).
The four queens of Maharaja Prataparudra were Padma, Padmalaya, Shri Ila and Mahila. He had 3 sons: Purusottama Jana, Kaluya Deva and Kakhara Deva. He also had one daughter, Shrimati Tukka.
After Shrimati Jahnava Mata had a Deity of Radharani made and sent to Vrindavana for Lord Gopinath, Purusottama Jana sent two Deities of Radharani to Vrindavana, one for Madanamohana and one for Govindaji. When the Deities arrived in Vrindavana by boat, They were unloaded at Madanamohana Mandira which was on the banks of the Yamuna. That night the pujari of Madanmohana had a dream in which Madanamohana told him, You all are thinking that these two Deities are Radharani, but actually the smaller one is Radharani and the bigger one is Lalita, so you should put Radharani on My left side and Lalita on My right side. In this way, Madanamohana took both of those Deities and Govindaji remained alone.
When word was sent back to Purusottama Jana in Puri he was perplexed. That night however, he had a dream in which Radharani told him, I am here within the cakra of Lord Jagannathas temple. Everyone thinks that I am Laksmi, but actually Im not. I used to live in Vraja from where one brahmana brought me to his house at Shri Radhanagar here in Orissa. His name was Brhadbhanu and he was very affectionate to Me, just as though he was My father and I was his daughter. But when he passed away I was brought to Lord Jagannathas temple by the king. Anyway, now you should send Me to Vrindavana to be with Govinda.
When he woke up from this dream Purusottama Jana was very astonished.
He immediately prepared a retinue to accompany Shrimati to Vrindavana. When She arrived in Vrindavana and stood by the side of Govinda the bliss of the inhabitants of Vrindavana knew no bounds. [Sadhama-dipika: B.R.6.63-113]
The kingdom of Prataparudra extended from the present district of Hugli and Medinipura to Guntur district in Madras. Also the major part of Telenganar was under his rule. In 1510, when Maharaja Krishnadevaraya ascended the throne in Vijaya Nagar, he seriously applied himself to conquering the southern portion of Prataparudras kingdom. (Well, did he do it or not?)
There is no specific information regarding the disappearance of Maharaja Prataparudra, though his samadhi is reported to have been in a village named Pratap Pur, which is located eleven miles from the capitol of Mayur Bhanj, Baripada. Due to the shifting currents of the river there however, there is nothing remaining of that samadhi. There are Deities of Mahaprabhu, Jagannatha and Dadhi Ramon. The appearence festival of Mahaprabhu is celebrated there with great pomp.
Within the area of the old palace of the king (Puruna Nahor) at Bat Sagor there are a number of temples including Radhakantha Matha, Gangamata Matha, Govardhana Matha, Astasambhur Mandira, Shri Gaura-Nityananda Mandira and Shri Shri Gaura-Gadadhara Mandira.
SRI GOPALA GURU GOSVAMI
Shri Gopala Guru Gosvami was the disciple of Shri Vakresvara Pandita. He was an Orissan brahmana. His previous name was Makara Dhuvaja Pandita. From his very childhood he was in the care of his guru. Mahaprabhu was very affectionate to him and used to enjoy a humorous relation with him. Mahaprabhu would address him as Guru. Thus from his childhood he retained this title.
During the time of Gopala Guru the temple of Radhakantha was renovated, and he installed Deities of Radha and Lalita on each side of Radhakanta as well as Deities of Shri Shri Nitai Gaurachandra, in very beautiful dancing posters.
By the influence of his accociation of Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, he became very expert in worshiping the Deity with loving devotion. Vakresvara Pandita later took up residence at Kasi Bhavan, after the disappearance of Mahaprabhu. The room where Mahaprabhu stayed is known as Gambhira. After the disappearance of Bakreswar Pandit, Gopal Guru took up residence there and he continued to worship the Deity of Shri Shri Radhakanta within Kasi Misra Bhavan.
One story has it that when Mahaprabhu was going to answer the call of nature, he was biting his tongue which was incessantly and uncontrolably engaged in chanting the Holy Name. When Gopal saw this, in his innocence as a small boy, he remarked, Prabhu! You are the independent Supreme Lord. But just suppose if one of us ordinary jivas, in following Your example, happens to quit his body while so indisposed. In the absence of the chanting of Your Holy Name, what will his future be?
Prabhu replied, Gopal! You have spoken correctly. From today your title will be guru. The news of this incident spread far and wide. Soon thereafter Abhirama Thakur wanted to come and offer his obeisances to Gopala. [vide: Abhiram Gosvami]. When Gopala received this news he was terrified and ran to Mahaprabhu and sat in His lap. In order to allay his fears, Prabhu put His lotus footprint on Gopalas forehead which remained in the form of tilaka. Thus he was easily able to withstand the force of Abhirama Thakuras pranama.
He compiled a book called Smarana Paddhati, which is composed of twenty four chapters. Gopala Guru Gosvamis disciple was Dhyanacandra Gosvami who was a very influential acarya. He composed a book known as Dhyancandra Paddhati.
After Gopal Gurus disappearance, as soon as his transcendntal body was placed in its samadhi at Swargadwar, the kings men declared that since the sevaitship of Radhakantha Mandira within Kasi Misra Bhavan had been bestowed upon Dhyanacandra Gosvami without their permission, they were going to seize the temple, which they did. Thus Dhyanacandra was plunged into an ocean of grief, being doubly distressed. His guru had just left and he was feeling great separation from him. Now on the top that the kings men had barred him from worshiping Shri Shri Radhakantha, the very service that had been bestowed upon him by his guru.
After Ratha Yatra, however, someone went on a pilgrimage to Vrindavana where they saw Gopala Guru sitting underneath a Pankura tree near Bansivat. When Dhyanacandra received this information he rushed to Vrindavana where he in fact found his guru maharaja. He begged and begged his guru to return to Puri, but Gopala Guru replied, I already left my body there. Now I am in Vrindavana so why should I go back there. If you are feeling separation from me then you can have a Deity made of me from a neem tree in the garden of Siddha Bakula. I will be personally present in that murti and will also straighten out the servants of the king. In this way all of Dhyanacandras problems were solved by his guru in the form of this murti.
The murti of Gopala Guru in Puri is still being worshiped at Radha-Kanta Mandir and another branch of Radhakanta temple with a samadhi mandir and murti of Gopala Guru was founded near Vansivat In Vrindavana. There are also branches of Radhakanta Mandira founded by some followers of Gopala Guru at: Vidhuban, Vrindavana; Kangali Mahaprabhu Math, Vrindavana; Arunananda Kunj, Radhakunda; Kisori Kund, Yavat; Gambhirar Matha, Koladwipa; Madhavi devis Gopinatha Mandir, Bentpur.
Narottama dasa Thakura met Gopala Guru Gosvami at Kasi Misra Bhavan.
His disappearence is on the ninth day of the bright fortnight of Kartik.
SRI PARAMANANDA PURI
Shri Paramananda Puri took birth in the province of Trihuta, which is today comprised of Majahfarpur, Dwarbhanga and Chapra districts. He was the dear disciple of Shri Madhavendra Puri. [C.B.Ant 3/178]
The first meeting of Mahaprabhu and Paramananda Puri took place in South India at Rsabha Parvata. Mahaprabhu recited many prayers and hymns while taking darsana of Lord Narayana at Rsabha Parvata. Paramananda Puri was present there at that time for the four months of the rainy season (caturmasya). Hearing this auspicious news, Mahaprabhu went to meet him and offered his obeisances at his feet. Paramananda Puri in turn embraced Him in great love. For three days they remained absorbed in talks of Shri Krishna, staying together in Puri Gosais room. Paramananda Puri told Mahaprabhu that he would be going to Purusottama (Puri) and then on to Gauda (Bengal) to take bath in the Ganges.
Mahaprabhu then requested him to return from there to Nilacala as He would Himself be going there from Satubandha. Mahaprabhu expressed His desire that the two of them could reside there together. Being kind upon me, please come to Nilacala. Saying this He took permission to leave and set out for the South, feeling very joyful. Then Paramananda Puri began his journey to Puri. According to Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, Paramananda Puri was formely Shri Uddhava in Krishna-lila.
Mahaprabhu respected Puri Gosai as his guru and whenever he received any invitation to honor the Lords prasadam, He would always take Paramananda Puri with Him. Puri Gosvami was in turn very affectionate to Mahaprabhu in the mood of parental love. Mahaprabhu arranged one room and a servant for him at Kasi Misra Bhavan. Later on Puri Gosai took up residence at one Math on the western side of Lord Jagannathas temple.
One day Lord Chaitanya took Gadadhara Pandit with him and paid a visit to Paramananda Puri. There at the Matha, one well had been dug but the water was not very nice. Therefore Paramananda Puri was somewhat dissatisfied. Mahaprabhu, being aware of everything. inquired, Gosaiji, how is the water in your well now? Puri replied, This well is very unfortunate. The water is more like mud than water.
Hearing this Mahaprabhu was sad and therefore He raised up His two arms and prayed to Lord Jagannatha, Lord Jagannatha, please bestow this blessing upon Me, that Ganga water will enter into this well. At that very moment, Ganga-devi accepted the Lords order on her head and entered into that well and filled it with her presence.
The devotees could understand that due to the Lords prayer, Ganga-devi had made her appearence. They circumbulated that well and offered their obeisances. Having received this auspicious news Mahaprabhu immediately came there and, seeing the pristine water, remarked, Please hear me. O devotees. Whoever takes bath in or drinks this water will receive the same benefit as one does by bathing in or drinking Ganges water. He will attain pure devotion to Krishna.
Every day, Puri Gosai would first come to take darsana of Mahaprabhu, and then attend to any other activities. Mahaprabhu would in turn always look after him and see to his needs. Mahaprabhu announced, I am in this world only due to the affection of Puri Gosvami. I belong to him and not to any other. He can sell Me anywhere He likes. Whoever simply sees him becomes the object of Shri Krishnas affection.
As Puri Gosai was the life and soul of Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu was similarly the life and soul of Puri Gosai. [C.B.Ant. 3.237-255]
Puri Gosvamis well can still be found at Jagannatha Puri within one police camp on the way to Lokanatha Mandira.
Shri Acyutananda was the eldest son of Shri Advaita Acarya. He was born in the year 1428 Sakabda. He was extremely dear to Shri Gaurasundara. When Lord Chaitanya came from Puri to Santipur, Acyutananda was only 8 years old.
The small son of Advaita who was without any clothes, came to the lotus feet of Shri Gaurachandra. Though his body was covered with dust, Prabhu picked him up and placed him in His lap. He spoke to him, Acyuta! Acarya is my father. Therefore you and I are brothers. [C.B.Ant 1.216]
According to Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika he is Kartikkeya. According to others he is Acyuta-gopika. Advaita Acarya had three sons by Sita devi: Acyutananda, Krishna Misra and Gopala. By his wife Shri Devi he had another three sons: Balarama, Swarupa and Jagadisa. The three sons of Shri Devi were adverse to Mahaprabhu and were smarta mayavadis. Acyutananda was the disciple of Gadadhara Pandit. Until the disappearance of Mahaprabhu, Acyutananda resided at Nilacala. He used to dance in the kirtana party of his father before the chariot of Lord Jagannatha during the Ratha Yatra.
From his childhood he was deeply devoted to Mahaprabhu. One time a sannyasi who was a guest at Advaita Acaryas house inquired, What is the relationship of Shri Chaitanya with Kesava Bharati? The acarya replied, Kesava Bharati is the guru of Shri Chaitanya.
Acyutananda who was then only a child, overheard this and in an angry mood approached his father, When you have said that Lord Chaitanya has a guru, there can be no other explanation than that you have become deluded by the external potency. By his own desire unlimited universes merge into the pores of the body of Chaitanya Gosai. How can you state that He who is the original source of all knowledge can have a spiritual master? You are my father and whatever I know I have learned from you. As you are my siksa guru how is it that now you are speaking something different? [C.B. Ant 4.161]
Advaita replied, I think that you are the father, and I am the son.
Just to teach me you have appeared as my son.
Acyutananda never married. He had one sister named Nandini. Krishna Misra had two sons: Raghunath and Dola Govinda. The descendents of Raghunatha still worship the Deity of Madana Gopala in Santipura. Dola Govinda had threee sons who resided at Malda. Acyutananda was present at the Kheturi Utsava. Towards the end of his life he resided at Santipura.
PARAMANANDA SENA / KAVI KARNAPURA
Sivananda Sen had three sons: Shri Chaitanya dasa, Shri Rama dasa and Paramananda. The guru of Paramananda was Shri Natha Pandita who was the disciple of Advaita Acarya. In the beginning of Shri Ananda Vrindavana Campu, Kavi Karnapura has offered prayers to his Shri Gurudeva, who resided at Kanca Para, one and a half miles from Kumar Hatta. His Deity of Shri Krishna Raya is still residing there. The Kesto Ray temple can be reached by ricksaw from either Kanca Para railstarion or from Halisahar.
In his Gaur-ganoddesa-dipika, Kavi Karnapura states, He who was previously known as the gopi Bira and who was the messenger (duti) of Radharani, has now become my father, Sivananda Sen. After spending the four months of the rainy season (Caturmasya) with Mahaprabhu, the devotees were preparing to return to Bengal. At that time, Mahaprabhu called Sivananda and told him, You should name your next son Puri das.
Having received that benediction, Sivananda very joyfully proceeded on the way back to his home. A few months later a son was born to him and after consulting with an astrologer the boy was named Paramananda dasa. (What happened to Puri dasa?)
The following year Sivananda again brought the devotees, along with his wife and new born son, to Puri, to see Mahaprabhu. Sivananda induced his son to offer his dandavats at the lotus feet of Prabhu and thus placed him at His lotus feet. The boy was simply looking at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu, who laughed gently and placed His foot in front of the baby. Then the child in great ecstasy, caught hold of Prabhus foot with both hands, and began to suck on His toe, while the devotees resounded in joy, Hari! Hari! This boy later became known as Shri Kavi Karnapura Gosvami.
One day Sivananda brought his son Puri das with him to see Mahaprabhu. The boy offered his obeisances at the lotus feet of Prabhu at which Prabhu addressed him, Puri das! Let me hear you recite something. The boy replied, Svavasoh kuvaloy maksemaranja namuraso mahendra mani dam vrindavan ramaninam mandanama khilam harir jayati. (Which means?)
Everyone was astonished that a seven year old boy, with no education could recite sanskrit verses. All the devotees remarked that surely he has received the Lords mercy. Mahaprabhu was moved to ecstasy by hearing this verse and embraced the boy in great love, showering His blessings upon him, May you always be enlivened in the ecstasy of Krishnas pastimes.
Svarupa Damodara remarked This verse that he has recited is the prime object of satisfation for the ears of the devotees. Therefore one of his names will be Karnapura. (But why?) Thus the son of Sivananda later became famous as Kavi Karnapur.
He compiled following literatures: Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka, Ananda- vrindavana-campu, Chaitanyamrta Mahakavya, Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, Radha-Krishna-ganoddesa-dipika, Shri Krishna-chika-kaumadi, Alankara- kaustubha, Arya-sataka.
SRI SARANGA MURARI THAKURA
Shri Saranga Murari Thakura used to reside at Modadrumadwipa Mam gachi, where his Deities of Shri Shri Radha-Gopinath are still present. There is also a Bakul tree there which is perhaps existing since the time of Saranga Thakura. There is a local legend concerning this tree. One day when Mahaprabhu came there, he noticed that the Bakul tree in the courtyard of Sarangas temple was dying. So he asked Saran ga, This Bakul tree is dying, so what are you going to do?
Saranga Thakura replied, Besides Your mercy Prabhu, I dont see any hope for this tree. Then Mahaprabhu embraced that tree, which has remained healthy to this day and is now quite large.
Saranga Thakura had resolved that he would not accept any disciples but Mahaprabhu nevertheless repeatedly requested him to do so. Finally he relented and agreed by saying, Tomorrow morning the first person I see I will initiate with the divine mantra.
The next day, in the early morning, he went to take his bath in the Ganges. By change a dead body came and touched his feet as he entered the water. Picking up this body he said, Who are you? Get up. From behind Mahaprabhu who was witnessing everything called out, Saranga! Say the mantra in his ear! Then when Saranga said the mantra into the ear of that dead child, the body became consious. He said, My name is Murari. I am your servant. Please bestow your mercy upon me.
On the day when this boy was to be invested with the sacred thread he was by chance bitten by a snake and died. As he was only a boy, the custom was not to burn the body but rather to place it on a raft of banana trees and float it down the Ganga. When his parents received the news that their child was alive, they came there to take him home. However Murari declined to accompany them to his former home. He told them, I and will remain in the service of he who has given me life again, for I am indebted to him.
Vrindavana dasa Thakura has described this Murari Chaitanya das as follows: There was an external consiousness present in Chaitanya dasas transcendental body. He would enter into the forest just to chase tigers. Sometimes he would jump on the back of a tiger, who by his influence remained inert. At other time he would put a phyton on his lap and play with great delight. It was by the mercy of Avadhuta Mahasaya (Nityananda Prabhu) that he was able to play in this way with tigers and snakes. Shri Nityananda Raya is very affectionate to his servants, and thus by a simple wink of his eye they are able to enjoy mellows which are not even accessible to Lord Brahma.
Chaitanya was constantly in forgetfulness of himself, absorbed as he was in the bliss of speaking his inner thoughts. Sometimes he would remain in the within the water for 2 or 3 days without suffering any bodily inconveniences. He appeared to be almost insentient and therefore his activities were imperceivable. Such was the fierce intensity of his immeasurable prowess. How much can I describe of the interminable transformations of his devotional sentiments? [C.B. Ant. 5.426-434] The descendants of his family are still residing at Sargram in Barddhaman district.
According to Gaur-Ganoddesa-Dipika Saranga Thakura was previously Nandi Mukhi, in Braja lila.
His appearence is on the 14th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Asar. His disappearance is on the 13th day of dark fortnight of the month Agrahayon.
The temple of Saranga Thakura and his worshipable Deities, Shri Shri Radha-Gopinath are still being worshipped at Mamgachi (Jaharnagar), just North of the present town of Navadwip. The worshipable Deities of Vasudeva Datta Thakur, Shri Shri Radha-Madan Gopal are also residing there. One can go there by riksaw or tram from Navadwip town. By train one should go north towards Katwa and get down at the 2nd stop, Bhandar tikuri.
SRI VANSIVADANANDA THAKURA
Shri Vansivadananda Thakura appeared on the full moon day of the month of Caitra. Within Kuliya exist the villages, Teghari. Beciyava, Bedrapara and Cinedanga. The sons of Shrikar Catto-padhyay moved from Bilvagram (Patuli) to Beciyanagram. Shri Shri Yudhisthir Cattopadhyay had three sons: Madhava das (Chakari Cattopadhyoy), Shri Hari dasa (Tin Kari) and Shri Krishna Sampati (Dui Kari).
When Mahaprabhu came from Puri to have darsan of his mother and the river Ganges he stayed for seven days in the house of Madhava dasa at Kulia. At this time he excused Devananda Pandit along with all of the offences of everyone else. Therefore the place came to be known as Aparadh Banjan Pat.
Shri Vamsi Thakura appeared in the home of Shri Madhava dasa. His mothers name was Shrimati Candrakala Devi. Vansivadananda is the incarnation of Shri Krishnas flute. On the day of his birth Mahaprabhu was present in the house of Shri Madhava das, along with Shri Advaita Acarya. Madhava was very devoted to Mahaprabhu and Prabhu was also very affectionate to him and his son Vansi. Vansi das was present at Navadwipa when Acarya Prabhu came there.
Vamsi was engaged in the service of Vishnupriya and was the receptacle of her unlimited mercy. One time Vishnupriya devi and Vansi Thakura decided to give up taking food and water, there not being any point in maintaining their bodies which were so racked with the pain of separation from Mahaprabhu. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, however, didnt approve of this and manifested Himself before them. Then He requested them not to behave so rashly, and then instructed them both to worship His Deity form in order to mitigate their feelings of separation.
After Vishnupriyas disappearance Vamsivadana brought this Deity of Mahaprabhu from Mayapura to Kulia. This Deity of Mahaprabhu is very beautiful and is still being worshiped in the present town of Navadwip. The name of the temple and Deity is Dhameswara. It is said that the name Vansivadananda is carved into the underneath of the base of the Deity.
When his descendent, Ramacandra Gosvami came to live at Baghna Para by the mercy of Janhava Mata, the worship of the Deity passed into the hands of the residents of Malancha.
There was a Deity of Gopinath at Kulic worshipped by Vamsis ancestors and he personally installed a Deity of Pranaballabha at their home in Kulia. Where these Deities are at present is unknown. Vamsi Thakur resided at Bilvagram for some time with his relatives there. He had two sons, Shri Chaitanya dasa and Shri Nityananda dasa. The two sons of Chaitanya dasa were Shri Ramacandra and Shri Shachinandana````@P@````PP@P°`° `@```š`@°°`°° @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞. Ramacandra was the adopted son and disciple of Jahnava Mata. He established the worship of Shri Shri Kanai Balai at Baghna Para. As he never married the worship passed on to his brother Shachinandana````@P@````PP@P°`° `@```š`@°°`°° @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞 whose descendants are the resident Gosvamis there.
Shri Vansivadananda was a poet and composer of songs. He composed one song about the Lords acceptance of sannyasa based on the lamentations of Shri Sacimata and Shri Vishnupriya. Some say that Ramai (Ramacandra Gosvami), the son of Chaitanya dasa (Vansi Thakuras son) Gosai was an incarnation of Vansi Thakura.
SRI NAYANANANDA THAKURA
Shri Nayanananda Thakur is the nephew and dear disciple of Shri Gadadhara Pandita. Gadadhar Panditas younger brother was Shri Vaninatha whose two sons names were Nayanananda and Hrdayananda. The descendents of Nayanananda are still living at Bharatpur, near Kandi, within the district of Murshidabad.
It is described in Prem Vilasa that Gadadhara Pandita called Nayanananda to his bedside as he was about to depart from this world. He told him, I am entrusting to your care Shri Gopinathji and this copy of Bhagavad Gita in which, as I was copying the verses onto palm leaves, Shriman Mahaprabhu came and also wrote one verse in his own hand.
There was also a small Deity of Gopinatha which Gadadhara used to wear around his neck. Because he couldnt bear separation from the Lord, he always kept this Deity aroung his neck. This he also gave to Nayanananda who brought both Gopinatha forms to Bharatpur. There They are still nicely worshiped by the descendents of Nayanananda Thakur.
Nayanananda is mentioned in Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita as Misra Nayana. His previous name might have been Dhruvananda. There is a story that when Shri Shri Gaura-Gadadhara would perform kirtan in the ecstasy of their internal emotions, Shri Dhruvanath would write down the words simply hearing them for the first time. Thus he became the object of their mercy and was bestowed the name Nayanananda.
He was present at the Kheturi Utsava. In Braja-lila he was Nitya manjari.
SRI RAGHAVA PANDITA
On his return to Nilacala from Ramakeli (after He decided not to go to Vrindavana), Mahaprabhu came from Shrivasa Panditas house at Kumar Hatta to Raghava Panditas house at Panihati. [C.B.Ant. 5.75] Arriving there, Mahaprabhu remarked, Now that I am here in Raghava Panditas house, all the fatigue of my journey has completely left me. The same result that one gets by immersing himself in the Ganges is achieved by coming to Raghava Panditas house. Today we will have a festival here.
In Raghava Panditas house, Shrimati Radharani herself cooked. Thus within a short time, with Raghava Panditas expert assistance, many varietes of items were prepared. After the bhoga was offered to the Deity, the two prabhus, Shri Gauranga and Nityananda, sat down to honor the prasadam. What excellent cooking, the Lord declared. I never have eaten such tasteful sak anywhere else.
Raghava Pandita knew that the Lord was very fond of green vegetables and thus he would prepare many varieties of sak. After finishing their meal and washing their hands, the two Lords sat down at which time Shri Gadadhara dasa (P.T. Gadadhara?) arrived. He made dandavats to Mahaprabhu who in turn showed His mercy to Gadadhara. Then Purandara Pandita and Paramesvari dasa Thakura arrived. After a little while, Shri Raghunatha Vaidya came there. In great happiness Mahaprabhu discussed various matters with all of them. Gradually many devotees arrived and a great sankirtana festival began.
Damayanti was Raghava Pandits sister. She was extremely devoted to the service of Mahaprabhu.
One day Mahaprabhu told Raghava, My second body is Nityananda, whatever He makes me do, I do. Whatever pastimes of mine are secret I perform through Him. Later on you will be able to undestand all of this. What is very difficult to obtain even by the master of all mystics, you can very easily attain by Nityananda Prabhus Name. Saying this, Mahaprabhu set out for Varaha Nagar. As he was leaving, he told Makaradhuraj Kar, You should serve Raghava Pandit.
After a few days Nityananda Prabhu arrived at Raghava Bhavan at which Raghavas happiness soared to the limits. Raghava Pandita was spontaneously attracted to Nityananda in ecstatic love. Nityananda took up his residence there and Makaradhwaj Kar along with his family began to engage in His service. By the order of Nityananda Prabhu, many devotees began to assemble for a sankirtan festival. The great singer Madhava Ghosh arrived along with his two brothers, Dasu Ghosh and Govinda Gosh. The three of them were the emperors of song.
Finally Nityananda Prabhu inaugaurated the sankirtan festival by beginning His ecstatic dancing and singing. Soon Raghava Panditas house became transformed into an ocean of ecstasy. Eventually Nityananda sat down on the bedstead and ordered the devotees to perform His abhiseka. Raghava Pandita brought the necessary paraphanalia - sandalwood paste, flowers, lamps, offerings of foodstuffs and water. To the accompaniment of ecstatic chanting and dancing, the devotees began to pour water on Nitynanda Prabhus head.
Then, after he had put on fresh cloth, they began to smear sandalwood paste all over his body. A flower garland of forest flowers was placed on his neck while Raghava Pandita held an umbrella over his head. Two devotees on each side began to fan him with yaktail whisks. Thus all directions were filled with an uproar produced by the ecstatic emotions of the devotees, which were generated by the loving glances of Nityananda Prabhu.
At that time Nityananda told Raghava, Bring me a garland of kadamba flowers. Raghava Pandita asked, Prabhu, where will I get kadamba flowers? It isnt the rainy season now. Nityananda told him, Go and look in the garden. Raghava Pandita went into to the garden and saw a miraculous sight. On a lemon tree were many kadamba flowers in full blossom. Thus he became completely subdued by ecstatic love and his external sonsciousness receded. He at once picked all the flowers and strung a beautiful garland. Bringing this garland to Nityananda Prabhu, he placed it on His shoulders while the devotees roared with ecstasy. Seeing the glories of Nityandanda Prabhu, the devotees were completely transported to the world of utter amazement.
Then Nityananda Prabhu revealed to their eyes even further transcendental pastimes. At one point, as all the devotees were sitting down, the room became pervaded with the scent of a flower called Damanak. Nityananda asked them, Now which flower scent do you smell? Everyone replied, Damanak.
Nityananda Prabhu told them, I will explain to you this mystery. Today Chaitanya Gosai has come here from Nilacal, being attracted by your kirtana. On his transcendental body is a garland of damanak flowers, all picked from one tree. Thus this room has been filled with the ecstasy of that scent. Simply due to your ecstatic dancing and chanting, Mahaprabhu has come here from Nilacala. [C.B.Ant 5/294-297] Hearing His words the devotees became filled with wonder.
While eating, while lying down to rest, while wandering about Nityananda Prabhu spent not a single moment without the accompaniment of sankirtan. [C.B. Ant 5/360]
SRILA BALADEVA VIDYABHUSANA
Shrila Baladeva 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. However he never mentioned his birth place or anything about his family background 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 Madhvacarya. 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 Deva, Shri Radha-Damodara Deva by name, with whom he discussed philosophy. Shri Radha-Damodara Deva explained the conclusions of Gaudiya Vaishnava 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. Thus, after a few days he was initiated with Radha-Krishna mantra and began to study the Sat-sandarbha of Shri Jiva Gosvami.
In a very short time he became very expert in Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy. With the permission and blessings of his guru, he moved to Shri Vrindavana Dhama to further study these teachings under Shri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.
Shri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura was exteremly pleased to see the humble and gentle nature and the renunciation and profound mastery of the Vedas that characterized Baladeva. He carefully instructed him in acintya-bhedabheda-tattva. Baladeva fully accepted the Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy and began to preach it with great vigor.
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 as the Gaudiya Vaishnavas had no commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, 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 Govinda-Gopinatha as not being authorised anywhere in the sastras.
The king, Sadacari Raja, was initiated within the Gaudiya sampradaya. Thus he quietly sent word to Vrindavana, informing the devotees there of what had happened. But at the same time the king was obliged to remove Radharani from the Deity room as well as suspend the Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava pujaris from partaking in the Deity worship. At that time Shrila Viswanath Cakravartipada was very aged, so it was not possible for him to make the journey to Jaipur. In his place he sent his student, Shri Baladeva, who was fully conversant with the sastras and thus able to competently face the challenge.
In a great assembly he posed such forceful arguments to the followers of Ramanuja that they could not reply to them. He further explained to them, The originator of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, has accepted Shrimad Bhagavata as the natural commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, as composed by Shrila Vyasadeva Himself. This is proven in the Sat-sandarbha.
The scholars in the assembly however, refused to accept anything other than a direct commentary on the sutra. Having no other recourse, Baladeva promised to present them with one.
Feeling very aggrieved, Shri Baladeva came to Shri Govindajis mandira and after offering his prostrated obeisances, informed Shri Govinda of everything that had happened. That night the Lord appeared to him in a dream and instructed him to write a commentary on the Vedanta-sutra. 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, Baladeva was totally enlivened and felt renewed strengh flow into his heart. Thus he began to write, and within a few days copleted the commentary which was titled Shri Govinda Bhasya.
Vidya rupam bhusanam me pradaya kyatim nitya tena yo mamudarah Shri Govinda svapna nirdista bhaso radha bandhubandhurangah sa jiyat: May He Who so mercifully and munificiently was kind towards me, and bestowed his favour by ordering me in a dream to write down His own commentary, 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 Govinda be glorified.
Bringing the commentary with him, Shri Baladeva again came to the assembly of the Ramanandi scholars. After reading the commentary they were simply speechless. Thus the victory of the Gaudiya 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 Baladeva the title Vidyabhusana.
This assembly took place in the year 1628 Sakabda, at Golta near the present city of Jaipur. Baladeva Vidyabhusana installed the Deity of Vijaya Gopala there at Golta Mandira, but the whereabouts of this Deity are at present not known. From this day the Maharaja of Jaipur announced that Shri Govindas 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 Baladeva 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 dasya-bhakti (devotion in servitorship). If there was any cause of loss of respect to the sampradaya this might be considered an offense.
Returning from Jaipur to Vrindavana, Shri Baladeva presented the certificate of victory to Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and narrated all of the events that had transpired. All of the devotees were in great ecstacy to receive this news and Cakravartipada bestowed his full blessings on Shri Baladeva. At this time, Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana began to write a commentary on Shrila Jiva Gosvamis Sat-sandarbha.
Shri Jaya and Shri Vijaya Govinda, residing at Gokulananda Mandira in Vrindavana, were worshiped by Baladeva Vidyabhusana personally. According to the opinion of some devotees, the Deities of Syamananda Prabhu, Shri Shri Radha-Syamasundara, were installed by Shri Baladeva Vidybhusana.
After Shri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura finished his pastimes in this world, Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana became the next acarya of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya.
At the end of Vedanta-syamantaka, Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana acknowledges his spiritual master thusly: I have been sent here to Vrindavana by one brahmana guru, Shri Radha-Damodar Deva, to present a compositon named Vedanta-syamantaka, composed by his mercy for the pleasure of Shrimati Radharani.
Shrila Baladeva Vidybhusana became known later as Shri Govinda dasa. He had two well-known disciples: Shri Vidya dasa and Shri Nandan Misra.
He is the compiler of the following books: (Hey theres a lot more than this: Bhasya-pithaka, commentaries on Gopala Campu, Krishna- bhavanamrta, Samsaya-satini, etc.etc.) Shri Govinda-bhasya, Siddhanta- ratnam, Sahitya-kaumudi, Vedanta-syamantaka, Prameya-ratnavali, Siddhanta-darpana, Kavya-kaustubha, Vyakarana-kaumudi, Pada-kaustubha, Isadi-upanisad bhasya, Gitabhusana-bhasya, Shri Vishnunamasahasra-bhasya, Sanksepa-bhagatamrta-tippani-saranga-rangada, Tattva-sandarbha-tika, Stava-mala-vibhusana-bhasya, Nataka-candrika-tika, Candraloka-tika, Sahitya-kaumudi-tika, Krishna-nandini, Shrimad-Bhagavata-tika, Vaishnava-nandini, Govinda-bhasya-siksma-tika, Siddhanta-ratna-tika, Stava-mala-tika.
SRILA VISVANATHA CAKRAVARTI THAKURA
Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura took birth approximately in the year 1586 Sakabda, within the district of Nadia in the village of Deva-gram. His parents were Rarhi Sreni (?) brahmanas. He also had two brothers named Rambhadra and Raghunatha.
His initiating guru was Shriyuta Krishnacarana Cakravarti of Saiyadabad, Murshidabad, who was fourth in the line from Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, Shri Cakravarti Thakura resided with his guru for many years and composed many books during that time. In the last verse of Alankara-kaustubha he has written:
saidabadnivasi shri visvanatha sarmmana
cakravatiti namneyam krta tika subodhini
His studies of grammar, poetry and rhetoric were completed while he still lived at Nadia. There is a story that he defeated one conquering pandit while he himself was still only a student. From his childhood he was completely indifferent to household life. In order to keep him at home, his father had him married at a very young age. However, he finally renounced family life and came to live at Shri Vrindavana. His family members tried to bring him back but were unsuccessful.
Shri Cakravarti Thakura took up residence with Shri Mukunda das, who lived in Krishna dasa Kaviraja Gosvamis bhajana kutir at Radha-kunda. There he very intently studied the books and letters of the Gosvamis and composed many commentaries on their writings.
He used to worship a Deity named Golokananda. Another name of Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura was Shri Harivallabha dasa.
He composed the following books: Shrimad-bhagavata-sarartha-darsini- tika, Shrimad-Bhagavad-gita-savartha-varsini-tika, Alankara-kaustubha- subodhini-tika, Ananda-Vrindavana-sukhvarthini-tika, Vidagdha-madhava- nataker-tika, Shri-Krishna-bhavanamrta-maha-kavya, Swapna-vilasamrta- kavya, Madhurya-kadambini, Aiswarya-kadambini; Stavamrta-lahiri, Camatkara-candrika, Gauranga-lilamrta, Ujjvala-nilamani-tika, Gopala- tapani-tika, Shri Chaitanya-candramrta-tika, Ksanda-gita-cintamani. (Theres more, too: Ragavartma-candrika, Stavamrta-lahari, Smarana- mangala, etc).
His disappearance is on the Vasanta-pancami in the month of Magha.
SRI RAMACANDRA KAVIRAJA
Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura Mahasaya has sung: O Acarya Prabhu (Shrinivasa), please bestow your mercy upon me. I pray that I might also have the association of Ramacandra.
Shri Ramacandra Kaviraja was the disciple of Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu and the very intimate friend of Narottama dasa Thakura. His father was Ciranjiva Sena and mother Shri Sunanda. Ciranjiva was originally an inhabitant of Kumaranagar but after marrying the daughter of Shri Damodara Kavi he moved to Shri Khanda.
Ciranjiva Sena was a pure devotee very much loved by Narahari Sarkar and the other residents of Shri Khanda. He was extremely learned in all matters and his wife was very chaste and gentle. Her activities were completely transcendental. [C.C Mad. 11/92]
Shri Mukunda, Narahari, Raghunandana and Ciranjiva, who were all residents of Shri Khanda, were of one mind and one purpose. Every year they would come to Nilacala to have darsan of Mahaprabhu and to chant and dance in front of Lord Jagannatha during Ratha Yatra. Ciranjiva was from a family of physicians. His two jewel-like sons were Ramacandra and Govinda. Later they both became disciples of Acarya Prabhu and came to reside at Teliya Bhudari-gram in Murshidabad.
Ramacandra was very handsome, intelligent and perseverent. His maternal grandfather, Shri Damodara Kaviraja, was a well-known poet who was a worshiper of Krishnas energy (sakti) and was initiated in this cult. After their father passed away, the two brothers Ramacandra and Govinda came to live with their grandfather, who practiced the Sakta religion. Being influenced by him, both became inclined to worship the various personified forms of maya, Krishnas external deluding potency.
At this time Ramacandra practiced medicine and was also quite well-known as an accomplished poet.
After his marriage, Ramcandra was carried in a palaquin with his new bride to his home at Kumaranagara. As the procession passed Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhus house at Jajigram, he saw the Acarya seated on the veranda of his house, discussing Krishna-katha with some of his disciples. Simply upon seeing the Acarya he felt a strange new emotion dawn in his heart. It was as though he was seeing a very dear friend after long time of separation. Similarly, Acarya Prabhu, upon seeing Ramacandra seated in the palanquin, immediately inquired from those who were present with him, Who is that? What is his name? Which varna (caste) he belong to? And where does he reside? [B.R. 8/530]
His associates replied, He is great scholar of the name Ramacandra. He is very excellent poet as well as a physician and resides at Kumaranagara. Hearing this, Acarya Prabhu simply smiled.
Ramacandra Sena, still seated within the palanquin, after seeing Shrinivasa Acarya and hearing his sweet voice, became extremely anxious to meet him. After a short time the procession reached the house where much pomp and celebration took place. Everyone was overjoyed to see the new bride, Ratna Mala, and a great din and bustle ensued in welcoming her and her bridegroom into their new home. Ramacandras mind however was still back at Jagigram where he had seen that divine personage. With great difficulty he somehow or other passed the day there, but with the fall of night he returned to Gajigram, where he passed the night in the house of one brahman.
With the approach of morning he came to Shrinivasa Acaryas house and fell down at the Acaryas feet to offer his prostrated obeisances. Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu had similarly been continuously thinking of Ramacandra ever since hed seen him the day before. Upon seeing Ramacandra again, prostrated before him, he picked him up and embraced him in deep ecstasy. Then he told him, Birth after birth, you are my most dear friend. In the same way that the Lord caused my meeting with Shri Narottama dasa Thakura at Vrindavana, He has also re-united me with another dear friend.
Ramacandra stayed with Acarya Prabhu and studied the literatures of the six Gosvamis under his tutorship. Acarya Prabhu was extremely pleased to see his gentle and polite behavior and his deeply spiritual nature. On the next auspicious day he initiated Ramacandra with Radha-Krishna mantra.
After some time, Ramacandra returned to his house. When the Saktas saw he had been initiated into Vaishnava religion they became very upset. Ramacandra, however, was undaunted. With tilaka on his body in twelve places and a japa mala in his hand, he sat down in front of them and began to chant the holy names. One day, as Ramacandra was proceed ing to his house after having taken his bath, his Sakta neighbors called him.
Kaviraja, without worshiping Lord Siva, how is it that you are going home? Your grandfather was a great devotee of Lord Siva. Have you given up Lord Sivas worship?
Ramacandra replied, Lord Siva and Brahma are incarnations of two of the material modes created by Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna Himself is the source of all incarnations. Therefore, by worshipping Lord Krishna everyones worship is performed, just as by watering the roots of a tree all the leaves and branches become nourished. Prahlad, Dhruva, Vibhisana and others were dear devotees of Shri Krishna. Therefore Lord Siva and Brahma were naturally favorably disposed to them, whereas Ravana, Kumbakarna, Banasura and other demons were only devotees of Lord Siva and not devotees of Lord Krishna. Thus their ultimate end was to simply be destroyed.
The sastras say that Lord Brahma was able to create this world due to having successfully worshiped Shri Vishnu. Similarly, Lord Siva has become qualified to invoke auspiciousness in this world due to having received the foot wash water of Lord Vishnu (Ganges) on his head. Having heard these various statements from the sastras, those scholars remained speechless.
Ramacandra became very anxious to have darsana of Shri Vrindavana and the Gosvamis there. He petitioned Shri Raghunandana and various other Vaishnavas for their permission which they readily gave. Thus on the next day he set out for Shri Vrindavana Dhama. After passing through Gaya, Kasi and Prayaga, he finally arrived at Mathura. There he took bath and some rest at Visramaghat. After taking darsana of the Adi Kesava Temple, he started for Vrindavana.
At this time his guru, Shrinivasa Acarya, was present at Vrindavana. Ramacandra offered his prostated obeisances at the lotus feet of his guru and Shri Jiva Gosvami and conveyed the good news of the devotees from Gaudadesa.
As ordered by Shri Jiva Gosvami, Ramacandra took darsana of Shri Govinda, Shri Gopinatha, Shri Madanamohana and Shri Sanatana Gosvamis samadhi. Then he offered his respects to Shri Gopala Bhatta, Shri Lokanatha and Shri Bhugarbha Gosvami, who were very pleased with him and who offered him their benediction. Hearing some samples of his great poetic ability, everyone decided to present him with the title Kaviraja. [B.R.9/214]
After remaining in the Gosvamis association for some days, they finally instructed him to return to Gaudadesa. And so he returned, visiting Shri Khanda, Jajigram, Khandaha and Kalna on the way. Finally he came to Shri Mayapura, where he received the blessings of Shri Isana Thakur.
One time, some smarta brahmanas made a conspiracy to defame the name of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura Mahasaya. They were very upset that though he was only a kayastha by caste, he accepted those born in brahmana families as his disciples. They enlisted Raja Narasimha and the conquering pandita Shri Rupanarayana in a crusade to somehow expose Narottama dasa as a fraud. In a large party they made their way to Kheturi, where Shrila Narottama had his headquarters.
Coming to know of this conspiracy, Shri Ramacandra and Shri Ganga Narayana Cakravarti came forward to meet their challenge. They journeyed to Kumarapura where they each set up two small shops in the market; one a pan and betel nut shop and the other a store selling clay pots.
When the party of smarta brahmanas arrived at Kumarapura and sent their disciples out to purchase wares for cooking their meals, the students came to those shops. The shopkeepers (actually Ramacandra and Ganga Narayana in disguise) spoke to them in Sanskrit and began to raise a philosophical dispute with them. Seeing the profound learning of those two shopkeepers, the students were dumbfounded, but nevertheless took up the challenge. After a short time, however, it became obvious that they were no match for these shopkeepers. They called for their gurus, who arrived on the scene with Raja Narasimha and Rupanarayana. Rupanarayana himself was drawn into the debate and was defeated by the Bhagavata-based arguments of Ramacandra and Ganga Narayana.
When the king requested their introduction, those two shopkeepers informed him that they were two extremely insignificant disciples of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura Mahasaya. Having met defeat in this village marketplace, Rupanarayana and the smarta brahmanas were no longer interested in proceeding onward to Kheturi. Their crusade evaporated as they all decided to return immediate ly to their respective homes.
That night, after Raja Narasimha had returned to his house, he had a dream in which Durgadevi told him, Narasimha! You have committed a great offense at the feet of Narottama dasa Thakura. As a result of this Vaishnavaparadha, I will have to cut you all to pieces with this chopper. If you want to save yourself, then you had better immediately go and take shelter at Narottama dasa Thakuras lotus feet.
When his sleep broke the king quickly took his bath and set out for Kheturi. Rupanarayana had a similar dream and was also proceeding towards Kheturi at the same time. They met upon their arrival there and approached the temple of Shri Gauranga in order to meet Narottama Thakura. Thakur Mahasaya was absorbed in his bhajana, but when a disciple informed him of the arrival of the two guests, he came out to meet them. Simply by seeing his transcendental form, imbued with Krishna-prema, the two offenders became purified and fell down to offer their obeisances at Thakura Mahasayas feet. Thakura Mahasaya very humbly presented himself as being a fallen soul. Finally he initiated them with Radha-Krishna mantra.
Many sinful atheists were delivered by Shri Ramacandra Kaviraja. He was present at the Kheturi festival. He came to Vrindavana a second time on the order of Shrinivasa and Narottama, but this time he couldnt have darsana of the Gosvamis as they had all departed this world for Goloka Vrindavana. Feeling separation from them, he was very distressed at heart. Unable to tolerate that pain, he joined them in their eternal pastimes there in Vrindavana.
In Vraja-lila his name is Karuna-manjari. His disappearance is on the third day of the dark fortnight in the month of Pausa. His principal disciple was Harirama Acarya. The Deities worshipped by Ramcandra and Govinda Kaviraja have been brought from Jeliya-Bhudargram to Bhagavan Gola where they are at present being worshiped by the followers of Rama dasa Babaji. There is a station at Bhagavan Gola on the Sealdah-Lal Gola rail line.
SRI GOVINDA KAVIRAJA
Shri Govinda Kaviraja and his brother Ramacandra Kaviraja were the two sons of Ciranjiva Sena and his wife, Sunanda. The custom in Bengal used to be that when a lady became pregnant she would go to her paternal home to have the baby. So Govinda Kaviraja was born in the home of his maternal grandfather, Shri Damodara Kaviraja. Because he stayed within his mothers womb for an exessive period of time, his mother was made very uncomfortable just before his birth.
A maidservant came to Shri Damodara Kaviraja to inform him of his wifes distress just when he was performing puja. Because he was so engaged, he could not speak, but indicated to the maidservant by eye signals that she should show the devi-yantra to Sunanda. By seeing this she would immediately be able to give birth. The maidservant misundestood his indication and instead bathed the devi-yantra and then gave that water to Sunanda to drink. In any case she immediately gave birth without complication.
Soon after Govindas birth, his father passed on. Thus the two brothers stayed with their grandfather. As he was a Sakta, they were also influenced in this way.
Ramacandra eventually accepted the Vaishnava religion but Govinda remained a staunch Sakta. Besides talks of Bhagavati, he discussed nothing else; besides her puja, he worshipped no one else.
One day Govinda was considering in his mind, By worshiping Bhagavati doesnt one get released from material life?
Just then he thought he heard Bhagavati-devi say, Without worshipping Shri Krishna, no ones distress can be alleviated.
Thus Govinda began to think of accepting shelter at the lotus feet of Shri Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu. Previously, the Vaishnavas, concerned for my eternal welfare, told me about the good quali”ties of my father and how he was very much favored by Shri Gaurasundara. 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 Acarya Prabhu has gone to Vrindavana. What will become of me now, I cannot fathom.
Again he heard a voice saying, Your desire will be fulfilled. Just be patient. His brother Ramacandra was very pleased to hear of these events.
In the meantime, the disciples of Acarya Prabhu were missing his association very much, so they decided to send Ramacandra to Vrindavana to bring him back. On the way there he stopped at Kumaranagar to see his younger brother. He assured Govinda that all his desires would be fulfilled, and requested him to go from Kumaranagar to Teliya Bhudarigram and make his residence there. Govinda did so and constructed a house.
Some months thereafter Acarya Prabhu returned to Gaudadesa in the company of Narottama dasa Thakura and Syamananda Prabhu. By their presence in Bengal an inundation of harinama-sankirtana began to flood the land. Soon Acarya Prabhu arrived at Bhudari”gram where Govinda very humbly invited him to come to his house. There he and the other residents of Bhudarigram had made grand arrangements to receive him.
Govinda was very learned and very proficient poet. He composed one drama called Sangita-Madhava. As well as being an excellent composer of songs, he was also an expert singer. Shri Jiva Gosvami, Shrinivasa Acarya, Shri Jahnava Mata and the other Gosvamis were so pleased with his songs that they bestowed upon him the title Kaviraj. He composed many songs about the various rasas of servitorship, friendship, parenthood and conjugal love. They are beautifully ornamented with poetic devices such as alliteration, and are in such simple language that yet carries such deep emotion that the lis teners hearts naturally soften in love of Godhead.
SRI RAMACANDRA GOSWAMI (RAMAI GOSAI)
Shri Vansivadanananda Thakura had two sons, Shri Chaitanya dasa and Shri Nityananda dasa. Shri Chaitanya dasas sons were named Shri Ramacandra and Shri Shachinandana````@P@````PP@P°`° `@```š`@°°`°° @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞. Ramacandra was a very influential acarya and is also known as the second Vansivadanananda.
Ramacandra was the adopted son of Shri Jahnava Mata. He came to Vrindavana with her and lived there for some years. Then by the order of Jahnava Mata he brought Deities of Shri Shri Balarama-Krishna to Gaudadesa. He was very learned in the devotional scriptures and his devotion was firmly rooted in exceptional adherence to sadhana-bhakti. His glories spread far and wide and many learned and aristocratic gentlemen accepted initiation from him.
One morning as the sky turned a rosy hue, Ramcandra was bathing at the sacred tirta of Praskandan. At this time two Deities of Balarama and Krishna floated into his arms. (Vansi-sikha)
Four miles from Ambika Kalna on the banks of a small river named Baluka there was a dense jungle, the abode of many ferocious tigers. Ramacandra delivered a tiger here, and thus this place has come to be known as Baghnapara. He installed his Deities of Shri Balarama-Krishna (Kanai-Balai) at this place.
He resided sometimes at Budhari and sometimes at Radhanagar (near Baghnapara). His younger brother Shachinandana````@P@````PP@P°`° `@```š`@°°`°° @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞 was initiated by him and the worship of Shri Kanai-Balai was entrusted to him by Ramacandra.
He composed the following literatures: Kanca-manjari, Samputika and Pasanda-dalan.
There is a story that once Viracandra Prabhu wanted to test the spiritual merit of his adopted brother Ramai. He sent over a