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Shrila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura
A Short Biographical Sketch Of The Author of Nityananda Charitamrita:
Shrila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura
Shrivasa Pandita, an intimate associate of Lord Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, had an elder brother named Nalina Pandita. His daughter, Shri Narayani Devi, was the mother of Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura. Mahaprabhu advented in this world to distribute love of God. He inaugurated His pastimes of distribution by first giving this prema to the four year-old Narayani Devi, who later became the mother of Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura. The Lord gave her remnants of His chewed betel nuts and thus empowered her. Later, because of being transcendentally empowered, Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura was born to her. Shri Narayani Devi personally saw the pastimes of Lord Gauranga. Whatever Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura heard from his mother and later found in Murari Guptaís diary about the transcendental pastimes of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu, he wrote down in Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata. Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura was a direct disciple of Lord Nityananda and was His companion in various pastimes. This book, Nityananda-caritamrita, was written by him. There is no direct evidence that Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura ever met Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu, but he was born during the time of Lord Chaitanya. A book called Shri Prema-vilasa describes his birth and family identification as follows:
There was a brahmana named Vaikuntha dasa, who lived in the village of Kumarahatta. Shri Narayani Devi was married to him. From the womb of Narayani Devi, Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura was born. He was the incarnation of Shrila Vyasadeva. When Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura was within the womb of his mother, his father Vaikuntha dasa left this world and went to the spiritual world. When Shrivasa Pandita saw that his niece was pregnant and a widow, he brought her to his home. When Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura was five years old, he lived with his mother at Mamagachi. Vasudeva Datta, a famed recipient of Lord Gaurangaís mercy, took responsibility for the maintenance of Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura and his mother. At the house of Vasudeva Datta, Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura grew and studied various scriptures. Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura came and lived in a village called Denuda after the disappearance of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, and Shri Advaita Prabhu.
Regarding the previous identification of Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, Shrila Kavi Karnapura mentions in Shri Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 109:
vedavyaso ya evasiddaso vrindavanodhuna, sakha yah kusumapida karyatstam samavisat
The combined form of Vedavyasa, the son of Satyavati, and Kusumapida, a cowherd boy in Vraja, is Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura.
Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura spent some time at Mamagachi and then went to Denuda where he compiled Chaitanya-bhagavata. Shri Prema vilasa describes Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura's residing in Denuda:
After traveling and preaching all over Radha-desa, I arrived at Denuda. This is the place where Kesava Bharati enjoyed his childhood pastimes before going to Shringeri-matha to take sannyasa. His nephew Gopala Brahmacari had a well-behaved son named Gopinatha. He lived in this village with Lord Nityananda when I came here. I met Lord Nityananda along with many devotees such as Gopinatha and Bhakta Rama Haridasa. I offered my respectful obeisances to the Lord and began to sing and dance. After taking lunch, Lord Nityananda asked me for some mouth freshener. I had saved a haritaki for a long time. I immediately broke it into pieces and gave it to the Lord. The Lord accepted it and said with a smile, Stay at this place and glorify the transcendental qualities of Shri Gauranga. Do not worry for you will see the Lord here. Stay here and work for the benefit of all living entities. Install the Deities of the Lord here. Whenever you will feel separation from the Lord, you will be able to see Him here.
By the causeless mercy of Lord Nityananda, the storekeeper of Lord Gaurangaís love, we hope we will be successful in our attempt to glorify Him. May Lord Nityananda destroy all our obstacles and help us spread the transcendental qualities and glories of Him and His associates. This is our heartfelt desire. We conclude this life sketch of Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura by singing the following songs composed by the Thakura himself.
antare nitai bahire nitai nitai jagatamaya
nagara nitai nagari nitai katha ye kaya
sadhana nitai bhajana nitai nitai nayana tara
dasadika maya nitai sundara nitai bhuvana bhara
radhara madhuri ananga manjari nitai nitu se seve
koti sasadhara vadana sundara sakha sakhi baladeve
radhara bhagini syamasohagini sava sakhigana prana
janhara labari mandapa sajani shri mani mandira nama
nitai sundara yogapitha dhare ratna simhasana seje
basana nitai bhushana nitai vilase sakhira majhe
ki kahiba ara nitai sabara ankhi mukha sava anga
nitai nitai nitai nitai nitai nutara ranga
nitai baliya dubahu tuliya caliba vrajera pure
dasa vrindavana ei nivedana nitai na chado more
"Nitai is within and without. He is everywhere within this world. He is the lover and He is the sweetheart. Everyone says it. Nitai is my regulative principles, my object of worship, and the light of my eyes. Nitai is in all ten directions. In fact, He fills all the three worlds. Nitai as Ananga Manjari eternally serves sweet Shrimati Radhika. He is non-different from Baladeva, whose beautiful face resembles millions of moons and is surrounded by sakhas and sakhis. The sister of Radharani, Ananga Manjari, is very dear to Shri Syama, and she is the life and soul of all the sakhis. She decorates the arena of the temple named Mani Mandira. Nitai sustains the yogapitha and becomes a throne for the Lord to rest on. Nitai is also the dress and ornaments. He enjoys pastimes with the sakhis. What more can I say? Nitai is the eyes, mouth, and limbs of everyone. Nitai, Nitai, Nitai, Nitai, I see only Nitai dancing. Raising my hands and chanting Nitai, I will go to Vraja. I, Vrindavana dasa, only request Nitai to kindly never leave me."