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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Holy Days of the Year > Holy Days > Shrila Ishvara Puri

Title: Shrila Ishvara Puri

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-05-20 01:31:16


Shrila 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.


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 Puripada's life.


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 Acarya's house."


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 shudra, 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 Krishna's 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 haven't seen a Vaishnava like this before."

Advaita Acarya very firmly embraced him. Now everyone could understand that

this is Madhavendra Puri's 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  Viprabori ! May I know your name? Where do

you live? What is that manuscript in Your hand?" Mahaprabhu very humbly

offered His namaskar. 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 demeanour 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 (Vishnu

grha) 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

darshan 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 Krishna's 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



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 darshan 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 Krishna's 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



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 Navadwipa.


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



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.