|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Holy Days of the Year > Holy Days > The Day of Seven Festivals|
Title: The Day of Seven Festivals
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2005-02-13 03:24:14
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Today is a very Auspicious Holy Day as there are the following Seven Festivals together :x
Vasanta Panchami (Beginning of Spring)
Shrimati Vishnupriya Devi - Holy Appearance Day
Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur - Holy Disappearance Day
Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi - Holy Appearance Day
Shri Raghunandana Thakur - Holy Appearance Day
Shri Raghunatha Das Goswami - Holy Appearance Day
Vasanta Pancami (the first day of spring)
This is the first day of spring in India (Northern Hemisphere). On the fifth
day of the waxing moon one should celebrate the coming of spring to
Vrndavana by offering Krishna many types of leaves and flowers, and fresh
shoots of sprouting grasses. Things that symbolise life and new growth.
Following in the footsteps of the Vraja-basis of Vrindavana, one should
paint designs on His (Krishna's) body and perform a special aratrika for
Him. It is appropriate to offer yellow flowers too.
The vasanta raga should be played on this day. The Deities in the temples,
especially in Vrindavana wear yellow or yellow-green on this day.
In places like Vrindavan, Mayapur, Jagannath Puri and Udupi many of the
women folk dress in yellow also. As it is the first day of spring many
fertility rites are performed at this time - for the family, for the women
folk, for the crops, for the cows, etc. It's a very festive time.
Many new projects are begun, weddings performed.......
fields of yellow mustard flowers growing
Celebrated on the onset of spring, it marks the beginning of new life with
yellow mustard flowers starting to bloom and nature displaying her majestic
best. Thus the colour of the festival is yellow and women can be seen dotted
in saffron dresses. The puja on this day is devoted to Saraswati and people
pray for wisdom and understanding. There are several ways in which puja is
conducted on this day. In Bengal, the place where the statue of Saraswati is
kept is decorated with a rangoli. The design of a fish is considered
auspicious. Family members bathe early in the morning and dress in whit or
yellow coloured clothes. Then they gather around the idol, where the priest
commences the puja.
Aarti is taken of the idol and the flame is passed arounfd the devotees to
warm there hands and touch there foreheads. Children place their books at
the goddesses feet. No books our touched that day, signifying that the books
are being blessed by the goddess. In Rajsthan also the puja is conducted in
a very colourful manner. The youngest girl of the house present sets the
stage for the puja by putting a teeka on everyone's forehead. This is
followed by the devotees sprinkling water, aipun and roli on the diety. The
puja ends with the lady of the house giving a few bers, some sangaris and a
laddoo and a paan to everyone present.
SRIMATI VISNU-PRIYA DEVI
Shri, Bhu and Nila are three of the energies of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. Shrimati Vishnu-priya Devi is the manifestation of
Krishna's Bhu sakti. She is also known to be the same as Satyabhama in
Krishna-lila. She has appeared with Shri Gaurasundara to assist in the
distribution of love of Godhead and His Holy Names.
There lived in Navadvipa one brahmana, Sanatanaa Misra by name, who
was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He used to maintain many people,
providing them with food and cloth and was also renowned as a great scholar
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 Vishnu-priya. 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 meet Sacimata at the bathing ghat of the Ganga, she
used to offer her obeisances and Sacimata would in turn bless her saying,
"Yogga pati hauk." (May you get a qualified husband). Saci Mata used to
think to herself that she would make a very fine daughter-in-law.
In the meantime Nimai was married to Laksmipriya, who after a short
time passed on to the next world. Ma Saci was very aggrieved at this but 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
Gaurasundara didn't oppose His mother and gave his consent.
Sacimata sent one of the servants to call Kasinathaa Panditaa, the
match-maker. Receiving her summons, the Panditaa immediately came to see Ma
Saci, who brought up the point of Shri Gaurasundara's marriage. Kasinatha
Pandita 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, "Sanatana Misra's daughter, Vishnu-priya."
Kasinatha exclaimed, "Thakurani! I was also thinking to mention her name."
Ma Saci 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."
Kasinatha replied, "Thakurani, if Sanatana Misra doesn't 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
Sanatana Misra's house.
Sanatana 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 qualified young
man. Sanatana 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 have accumulated any pious merits in my previous
lifetimes then let the result of those be that my daughter gets Nimai
Pandita as her husband."
Finally he brought up the topic of their daughter's marriage with
his wife. Just then who should appear at the door, but Kasinatha Pandita.
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,
"Panditaji, what is the news?"
Smiling broadly the Pandita replied, "You should give your daughter
in marriage to Vishvambhara Pandita. 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 Vishnu-priya and Nimai
When they heard this proposal, Sanatana Misra and his wife felt such
joy that they forgot themselves. Sanatana Misra thought to himself, "The
all-cognizant Supersoul has fulfilled my desires."
Sanatana 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
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 Mahadaya discussed various matters in order to
finalize the betrothal agreement. Having arranged everything suitably,
Kasinatha returned to Saci Mata's house and informed her of the proceedings.
Sacimata replied, "The Lord is looking out for me, because I have no
one else to."
Everyone became very jubilant to hear that Nimai Pandita's wedding
was to take place. His disciples began to discuss among themselves, "We'll
all donate some things for Panditaji's wedding."
Buddhimanta Khan, who was quite wealthy spoke up, "I will bear all
the costs of the wedding."
To this Mahaprabhu's friends Mukunda and Sanjaya replied, "Our dear
brother, won't 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 Navadvipa about the upcoming
marriage of Nimai Pandita, and gradually the preparations for the wedding
began. First a huge canopy was suspended above the 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 Navadvipa at that time were invited to the
invocation ceremony preceding the wedding.
On the evening of that day the musicians began to play on their
instruments, while the courtyard of Saci's house began to fill 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
gaiety. 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 Lord's Holy Names, "Hari! Hari!"
In all directions an ocean of happiness began to swell, in
anticipation of the Supreme Lord's marriage ceremony. Following this
preliminary ceremony, sweet preparations of betel nuts and pan leaves were
served, as many as anyone wanted. Gaurasundara personally applied sandalwood
paste and garlanded with flower garlands all those Vaishnavas and brahmanas
who attended the function. In turn they very cheerfully offered their
blessings. No one had ever before seen such a pleasant adhibasa ceremony
(the function preceding the major ceremony). The city of Nadiya 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
Gaurasundara 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 offer His obeisances to Shrimati Ganga Devi. Then after again getting into
the palanquin, to the accompaniment of the playing of instruments and
auspicious shouting of "Jai! Jai!", which filled up the sky in all
directions, the party began to again proceed along the banks of the Ganges.
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 Godhuli-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 Sanatana Misra's house. Sanatana
Misra and his wife presented various articles of worship before the
bridegroom, thus welcoming him and at the same time offering their
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 Narayana, offered her entire being at His lotus
feet. Shri Gaura Raya, 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 Gaurachandra, smiling
slightly, placed a flower garland around Shri Vishnu-priya-devi's neck. Thus
having exchanged flower garlands Shri Shri Laksmi Narayana began Their divine
Shri Sanatana Misra felt himself crowned with success in having
presented his daughter to Shri Gaurasundara with a large dowry. As King
Janaka presented Sita-devi to Ramacandra, as King Bhismaka presented Rukmini
to Shri Krishna, so Sanatana Misra presented Vishnu-priya 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 within the
house of Shri Sanatana Misra. Practically the entire night the musicians
played on their instruments while others sang and danced. In the early
morning, Shri Gaurasundara and his wife Laksmi-devi, got up from Their bed,
and after having washed Their hands and mouths they completed Their morning
bhajana. Shri Sanatana Misra, along with his family and relatives, having had
arranged this grand festival, enjoyed such pleasure as is not possible to
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 Vishnu-priya Gauranga and began to comment, "This highly fortunate
girl must have served Laksmi and Parvati for many lifetimes." (in order to
get such a husband).
Someone else said, "They look like Haragauri (Lord Siva and Gauri),"
as some one else commented, "I think they must be Laksmi 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."
In this way the pious ladies of Nadiya made various remarks as the
procession passed their houses.
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 darshan 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 beggars who were
present were also presented gifts of cloth and money by Shri Gaurasundara.
Thus they went on their way feeling quite happy. Then the Lord Vishvambhara
lovingly embraced Buddhimanta Khan who had born all of the expenses of the
Hereafter Shri Vrindavana dasa Thakura only occasionally mentions Shri
Vishnu-priya devi in Chaitanya Bhagavata. When Lord Chaitanya returned from
Gaya dham, Shri Vishnu-priya, 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 Vishnu-priya and sat her down before her husband.
However, Mahaprabhu, even though looking in her direction, didn't even see
her. He simply used to call out "Krishna! Krishna!", all the while crying.
Another time His mother brought His meal, placing the plate before
Him as she also sat down in front of Him. Meanwhile Vishnu-priya was watching
everything from within the other room.
Mahaprabhu was always absorbed in various ecstatic moods. He had
come to hear of some oppressive behaviour by some atheist miscreants and
exclaimed, "I will destroy them!"
One day Sacimata and Shri Gaurasundara were sitting in the room
talking, while Vishnu-priya was quietly sitting outside listening. Sacimata
told Gaurasundara, "Early this morning, I saw a dream in which You and
Nityananda were playing with our Deities, Balarama and Krishna. Then the four
of You sat down to take some food and ultimately ended up fighting with one
another. In this way I saw so many of your sports!"
Gaurasundara replied, "Such a wonderful dream, Mother! But don't
tell anyone. Balarama and Krishna are personally living in our house. So many
days I saw that someone is stealing and eating their prasadam. I used to
doubt your daughter-in-law. But now I don't have this doubt any more. "
(i.e. Balarama and Krishna are directly eating what is offered to them).
Sacimata exclaimed, "Baba, You shouldn't speak like that."
Then Vishnu-priya who was overhearing everything began to laugh.
Another day, the Lord Visvambhara was sitting with Laksmi-devi
(Vishnu-priya) in His room. Laksmi-devi was feeling such happiness in being
able to serve her husband by giving Him tambul (pan and betel nut) that she
wasn't aware whether it was night or day. Whenever Laksmi would stay by
Visvambhara's side, Saci felt very content.
The Lord Gaura Narayana eternally engages in His divine lila with
Laksmi (Vishnu-priya) in Nadiya. He feels very happy to taste the tambul
which Vishnu-priya supplies Him. She, by her husband's happiness, then
forgets whether it is day or night. This is the subject of meditation for
the eternal worshipper of Shri Shri Gaura Vishnu-priya.
When Mahaprabhu played the part of Rukmini-devi in a drama enacted
at the house of Shri Candrasekhara Acarya, Vishnu-priya accompanied Sacimata
when she went to see that performance.
Hereafter, in the descriptions of the Lord's acceptance of the
sannyasa order, Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura hasn't mentioned Vishnu-priya's
name anywhere. Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has only briefly described
her marriage with Shri Gaurasundara in the 8th chapter of the Adi-lila of Shri
Locana dasa Thakura, however, in his Chaitanya Mangala, has given the
following narration about the instructions that Mahaprabhu gave to Shri
Vishnu-priya on the night of His departure for the acceptance of sannyasa.
Mahaprabhu is speaking to Vishnu-priya, "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 in song."
"Sons, husbands and friends, all of these family relationships are
false. In the end no one belongs to anyone else. Other than the lotus feet
of Shri Krishna, we have no other refuge. Krishna is the Husband (Master) of
everyone and other than Him, everything else is His energy. But no one
understands this. Your name is Vishnu-priya. If you worship Shri Vishnu, then
your name has been given substance. Don't feel any sorrow needlessly. I am
explaining to you the genuine Truth. Just fix your mind at the lotus feet of
Vishnu-priya replied, "You are the Supreme Controller, therefore
please withdraw Your illusory energy. Then Vishnu-priya can be cheerful."
Vishnu-priya then 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 couldn't give up thinking of the Lord as her
Lord (husband) and falling at His lotus feet, 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?"
Mahaprabhu replied, "Please hear me, Devi Vishnu-priya. 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 the order of her Lord, Shri Krishna, Vishnu-priya 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
In the middle of the night, leaving the side of Vishnu-priya,
Mahaprabhu came before his Mother's door and offered His salutations to her.
After revealing some of His transcendental opulences He left her in a
bewildered state and crossed the Ganges by swimming. Now He set off in the
direction of Katwa.
Shri Vasu Ghosha Thakura has described Vishnu-priya's and Sacimata's
condition when they woke up at the end of the night.
Vishnu-priya, thinking that Shri Gaurasundara 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, she went to Sacimata's room without binding
her hair. Vishnu-priya's 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 Vishnu-priya. 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 the Holy Names 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
In the diary of Murari Gupta there is a description of the
appearance of Mahaprabhu's Deity and Shri Vishnu-priya devi's worship of that
murti. Mahaprabhu's very own expansion, in the form of His Deity, was
present before Shri Vishnu-priya. He intimated to her, "Shri Krishna is present
in this form."
Laksmi devi, (as Vishnu-priya) engaged in the worship of this Deity.
This Deity is at present being worshipped in the town of Navadvipa as
Dhameshvara (the Isvara of the Dhama). After Mahaprabhu went away from
Nadiya, Isana Thakura (a servant in the house of Sacimata) used to look
after Vishnu-priya and Sacimata. Shri Vamsivadana Thakura also used to stay
Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu received the darshan of Vishnu-priya when he
went to Navadvipa.
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.
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 hadn't 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 Raghunandan's simple request,
which was made entirely in love, and thus he stealthily ate up everything
without leaving any remnants.
After some time Raghu-nandan's 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 didn't 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 Gopinatha's 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 Krishna's son Kandarpa. Raghunandan's son
is Kanai Thakur. His descendants 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.
Shrila Pundarika Vidyanidhi's Appearance day.
The Supreme Personality if Godhead Lord Shri Gauranga called the
respectable Pundarika as father. He was also known as Premanidhi or
Acaryanidhi. Shri Kavi Karnapura referred to him as King Vrsabhanu, the
father of Shrimati Radharani in his previous incarnation(GGD). Pundarika was
the disciple Madhavendra Puri. His father's name was Vanesvara (Suklamvara
brahmacari) and his mother's name was Gangadevi. Suklamvara belonged to the
Varendra sect of brahmanas. Ratnavali was the name of Pundarika's wife.
Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami accepted Pundarika as his spiritual master. His
Shripata was in Mekhala village which is situated under Hat-hazari police
station a few miles north of Chittagong city. The temple of Shri Vidyanidhi
is now in a dilapidated condition. (CC. 1.10.14, Premavilasa 22, CBh. 10.52,
Now hear the story of Vidyanidhi Prabhu's arrival in Navadvipa.
Pundarika was a very dear associate of Shri Krishna. By the Lord's arrangement
he appeared in the village of Cattagrama in East Bengal, and purified that
land. The Lord Himself appeared in Navadvipa and when He could not find
Pundarika Vidyanidhi there He sighed heavily, feeling separation from him.
One day after ecstatic dancing the Lord sat down and exclaimed,"O My
father Pundarika," and began to cry. "O Pundarika, O My father when will I
be able to see You again." Such was the extent of the Lord's affection for
Pundarika Vidyanidhi. In this way Lord Gaurachandra revealed His intimate
associates by performing such wonderful pastimes.
All the devotees surrounding the Lord were unable to comprehend the
import of the name He continued to repeat and the reason for the tears which
flowed from His eyes. They conjectured that Pundarika naturally implied
Krishna, and Vidyanidhi could have many different explanations, but no one
could understand that this person was a very confidential associate of the
Lord. When the Lord finally came out of trance the devotees asked Him, "For
which associate of Yours are You weeping my Lord? Please reveal to us who
he is, when he was born and what he does, tell us Lord so that we may have
the good fortune to know him."
The Lord replied, "You are certainly fortunate because you desire to
hear about him. His activities and character are most wonderful, the whole
world can be purified simply by hearing his name. His ecstatic appearance
is almost like an ordinary man, therefore no one can recognize Him as a pure
devotee of the Lord. This highly learned scholar brahmana was born in
Cakragrama, He strictly executed the prescribed religious principles and was
respected by everyone, He always floats in the ocean of nectar of love of
Krishna, and his body constantly displays various ecstatic symptoms such as
crying, horripilation, etc. He never went for ablutions to the Ganga to
cleanse himself of his sins like everyone else, nor did he enter her wa
ters, he also avoided touching her with his feet. However he came to see
and pay his respects to her everyday in the evening when the teeming crowds
had all gone. He could not bear to see Mother Ganga disrespected and
utilized by people who spat into her, cleaned their mouth with her waters,
and washed their hair and dirty clothes in her, thus he preferred to come to
her in the evenings when there was no one around.
"Another wonderful characteristic of Pundarika Vidyanidhi is that he
always drank Ganga water before worshipping the Lord, then he performed all
his daily prescribed religious duties. This was meant to give a lesson to
all the puffed up scholars about the greatness of Mother Ganga.
"He is presently in Cakragrama, but he is soon coming to Navadvipa
where he also has a house. None of you will be able to recognize him, as on
first sight one would be inclined to think he was an ordinary materialistic
person. I am very anxious to see him, so all of you must endeavor and pray
to bring him here very quickly."
Talking about Pundarika Vidyanidhi threw the Lord into an ecstatic
trance and He began to weep saying, "O My father Pundarika." The Lord
lamented loudly, for only He could understand the extent of the greatness of
such a pure Vaishnava, and through His mercy only can that wonderful and
unique position of a pure devotee be revealed.
When the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself attracts a living
entity there is no way that one cannot respond, thus Pundarika Vidyanidhi
suddenly desired to go to Navadvipa. He made arrangements and came to
Navadvipa with many disciples. In Navadvipa he remained incognito and all
the ordinary men considered him to be a lavish materialist, attached to a
life of comfort and self enjoyment.
With the exception of Mukunda, no one amongst the Vaishnava's knew about
Pundarika Vidyanidhi's arrival in Navadvipa. Shri Mukunda was a ayurvedic,
brahmana doctor who was born in Caktagrama, thus he knew about the wonderful
Vaishnava qualities of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. When Mukunda found out that he
was in Navadvipa, he was so overwhelmed that it was difficult for him to
control himself. However, Mukunda did not reveal Pundarika Vidyanidhi's
identity to anyone thus Pundarika remained a materialistic self enjoyer,
in the eyes of the ordinary folks. Only Mukunda and his brother Vasudeva
Dutta knew about the intensity of Pundarika's love for God.
Gadadhara Pandita and Mukunda were very dear friends and always kept in
each other's company. Mukunda thus told Gadadhara Pandita, "Listen
carefully Gadadhara, a very great devotee has come to Navadvipa. You have
been hankering for the association of pure vaishnava's and today your desire
will be fulfilled. I will take you to see a wonderful Vaishnava devotee, in
return for this I simply want you to think of me as your dear servant."
The excited and happy Gadadhara Pandita called out the name of Krishna as
they proceeded towards the great Vaishnava's residence. Arriving there they
found Pundarika Vidyanidhi sitting comfortably. Gadadhara offered his
obeisances and was respect
Vidyanidhi inquired from Mukunda, "What is his name and which village
does he come from? I can see that his body is effulgent due to rendering
devotional service to the Supreme Lord Vishnu, both his form and demeanor
are extremely wonderful."
"His name is Shri Gadadhara", Mukunda replied, "He is very fortunate
because from early childhood he has been totally detached from family life.
His external, material identity is that he is the son of the brahmana Shri
Madhva Misra. Because he is totally absorbed in devotional service he only
associates with Vaishnava's, and he is extremely dear to all the devotees.
When he heard about you he was anxious to meet you."
After hearing the wonderful qualities of Gadadhara Pandita, Vidyanidhi
was very pleased to meet him. That great personality, Shri Pundarika
Vidyanidhi, sat like a prince. His beautiful bed was made of metal, covered
with intricate brass inlay work, from it extended an attached brass lamp
stand with three bright lights hanging down. He was seated on a soft
mattress covered with clean expensive sheets and silk pillows were placed
under his back. On either side of him many small and large wat
er pots sat within his reach, as well as a nice shining brass plate with
betel pan neatly prepared on it. Two large ornate mirrors hung on either
side of him which he continually glanced into while smiling with lips
reddened from chewing pan.
He wore a sandalwood paste tilaka mark on his forehead and his face was
decorated with dots made from a mixture of sandalwood and perfume. As for
his hair, it was well groomed and shining with delicately perfumed hair
oil. Two persons stood behind him fanning him gently with long peacock
feathers and in front of him was a nicely prepared hammock. Because he
followed a life of pure devotional service, he looked as charming as Cupid
himself. Those who did not know him would consider him to be a prince as
everything about him and around him gave the impression that he was a man of
easy and comfortable life given to pleasure.
When Gadadhara Pandita saw these luxurious items and a general
atmosphere of materialistic life he became suspicious. Since Gadadhara was
a fully renounced soul from his early childhood, naturally some doubts
regarding the character of Pundarika Vidyanidhi entered his heart. He
thought, "What sort of a Vaishnava is he, surrounded by so much finery and
lavish living? Hearing about his devotional mood I developed great respect
for this person, but now on seeing him it is slowly giving way
to doubt and suspicion."
Mukunda understood the mind and heart of Gadadhara Pandita, thus he
took it upon himself to reveal the true nature of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. By
the special mercy of Lord Krishna, Gadadhara Pandita was allowed to perceive
everything, nothing remained unknown to him.
In a very sweet voice Mukunda began to sing a verse from the Shrimad
Bhagavatam describing the glories of devotional service: "Alas how shall I
take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of a
mother to the she demon Putana? Putana was unfaithful and always hankering
for the blood of human children. With that desire in mind she prepared
deadly poison to be sucked from her breasts and came to kill Krishna, but
because she offered her breasts to the Lord she attained the
As soon as these words concerning devotional service entered his ears,
Pundarika Vidyanidhi began to weep, tears of ecstatic love filled his eyes,
rolling down his face profusely like streams of the Ganga. Simultaneously
all the symptoms of ecstasy manifested on his person. He wept, trembled,
rolled, roared and finally fell into an unconscious state of ecstasy. Then
suddenly regaining consciousness he said in a loud voice, "Speak, speak,"
and again fell down to the ground. Agitated with spiritual emotions he
kicked everything that was near him and all the luxurious paraphernalia went
crashing to the ground. The shining brass pots of water, the container of
betel pan, pillows, bed sheets, everything became a confused mass. He be
gan tearing his fine clothes, and his well groomed hair went haywire as he
wept and rolled in the dust. He cried out, "O Krishna, My Lord, My soul, My
very life, You have made me hard- hearted like a stone." He lamented
loudly, piteously crying out,
"I have been deprived of the Lord's association in His most merciful
incarnation." He rolled around and crashed down to the ground. Everyone was
afraid he might break his bones. He to trembled so violently that three
persons could not hold him down. He kicked everything that was in his way,
as his disciples stood by helplessly, unable to control him. In this way
the storm of ecstatic love continued until it finally abated and he fell
into an unconscious state of bliss. He lay down without
breathing, totally submerged in an ocean of spiritual ecstasy.
Amazed at what he witnessed Gadadhara Pandita began to worry thinking,
"What inauspiciousness overcame me to make me think in such an offensive
manner about this great personality." He embraced Mukunda, being extremely
pleased with him. Drenching him with tears of love he said, "Mukunda you
have acted like a true friend, you have shown me a pure and unalloyed
devotee of the Lord. It would be difficult to find another pure Vaishnava
like him anywhere in this entire creation. One can become totally purified
simply by observing his devotional attitude. Today, because you are right
next to me I have been able to avoid a great catastrophe. When I saw all
the luxurious paraphernalia surrounding Pundarika Vidyanidhi I was convinced
that he was a materialistic Vaishnava given to the pleasures of life. You
could read my mind and being a great magnanimous soul you revealed to me
the unlimited extent of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's love of for God, yet today I
have been offensive and the extent of my offense can only be mitigated by
your mercy. You must be merciful to me and purify my heart. All these
devotees who have taken to the process of surrender through devotional
service to the Lord have all accepted the shelter of a guide under
whose instructions they act. Yet I do not have such an instructor, so I
have decided to take shelter of Pundarika Vidyanidhi and execute devotional
service under his guidance. I know that I can counteract all my offenses to
him by becoming his disciple." Thus Gadadhara Pandita revealed to Mukunda
his desire to become a disciple of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Mukunda was
extremely pleased with the decision and patted him on the back saying,
"very good, very good."
Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi was in a state of ecstatic coma for six
hours, gradually he returned to his normal state and sat down quietly. It
was impossible for Gadadhara Pandita to control the tears of joy which
rolled profusely down his face. wetting his entire body. When Shri
Vidyanidhi saw this he embraced Gadadhara Pandita, holding him to his
heart. Overwhelmed by Pundarika Vidyanidhi's ecstatic devotion, Gadadhara
was unable to sleep.(?)
Mukunda spoke up, revealing Gadadhara Pandita's mind, "Doubt arose in
Gadadhara's mind when he first saw your extravagant appearance and
surroundings, but now he is repentant and wants to accept initiation from
you. He is a renounced devotee of the Lord. Although he is young he is
mature in spiritual realization, and comes from the very good family of
Madhva Misra. From early childhood he has always been very attached to the
Supreme Lord. I think it is a wonderful good match an extremel
y elevated spiritual master like Pundarika Vidyanidhi having an equally able
disciple like Gadadhara Pandita. Please consider these points and choose
an auspicious day to initiate him with your diksa mantra."
Pundarika Vidyanidhi smiled and said, "Be assured that I will do as
you say, for by the Lord's mercy I have had the great fortune to meet a
person who is like a precious gem. The result of many lifetimes of pious
activities is that one may find a disciple such as him. The forthcoming
twelfth day of the waxing moon is very auspicious, come here to meet me and
your plan will become successful." Overjoyed, Gadadhara Pandita offered
his obeisances and took leave of Pundarika Vidyanidhi.
Mukunda and Gadadhara went straight to meet Lord Gaurachandra, who
happily received the news of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's arrival.
During the night, without being seen by anyone, Pundarika left all his
associates behind and came to the place of Lord Gaurachandra. As soon as he
saw the Lord he fell down like a rod, offering his obeisances. Overwhelmed
with ecstatic trance he lay on the ground experiencing waves of joy.
Shortly afterwards he regained external consciousness and roared loudly,
then despising(?) himself he began to weep saying, "O my dear Krishna, You are
my Lord and father. I am a great offender, please punish this wretch. O
Lord You have liberated everyone in the world, only I have been deprived of
such goof fortune."
Hearing his lamentation all the assembled Vaishnavas, who knew Pundarika
Vidyanidhi to be a great and elevated Vaishnava, felt pained and began to
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Chaitanya, is especially
inclined to His pure devotees, therefore upon seeing His beloved devotee, He
got up and embraced him. Crying the Lord said, "O My father Pundarika,
finally I am able to see you to day." The Vaishnavas were overjoyed to have
the association of such an elevated devotee as Pundarika Vidyanidhi and
their eyes filled with tears. So wonderful was this scene that no pen could
possibly describe it.
Lord Gaurasundara held Pundarika Vidyanidhi in a loving embrace,
wetting him with His tears. Understanding how dear Pundarika was to the
Lord, the devotees immediately felt affection, respect and a sense of
closeness with him. The Lord continued to hold Pundarika Vidyanidhi closely
as if He wanted to merge His body into his. For sometime the Lord was
unable to move. Remaining like a statue He held Vidyanidhi in His close
embrace. When the Lord came out of trance He began to chant the na
me of Hari, and said, "Today Lord Krishna has been very merciful to me, He has
fulfilled all My desires. I have met a person of My heart's desire."
Pundarika Vidyanidhi greeted all the Vaishnavas fondly and they began to
chant the holy name together. The Lord then introduced Pundarika saying,
"His name is Pundarika Vidyanidhi, the Lord has specially created him to
distribute love of Godhead."
Hearing this the devotees happily responded by lifting their arms and
chanting "Hari, Hari." The Lord said, "Today is a special day, a wonderful
thing has happened, I woke up from sleep and my eyes beheld the ocean of
love of Godhead directly
All this went on while Pundarika Vidyanidhi was absorbed within himself
in an ecstatic trance, totally unaware of his immediate external
surroundings. Suddenly he became aware of the devotees around him and he
immediately offered obeisances to
the Lord, properly recognizing Him for the first time since their meeting.
Then he offered his obeisances to Advaita Acarya Prabhu and exchanged
obeisances with all the other Vaishnavas. It was a glorious scene, as all
the devotees floated on waves of ecstasy, thrilled to have met Pundarika
Vidyanidhi who himself is an ocean of love of Godhead. Only an extremely
pious and fortunate person is able to describe this marvelous scene.
Gadadhara Pandita took Lord Visvambhara's permission to accept
initiation from Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Gadadhara said, "I could not
understand the uncommon behavior of this great personality and so I became
disrespectful. Therefore in order to cleanse myself of this sin I want to
become his disciple, for certainly as my spiritual master he will exonerate
Appreciating Gadadhara Pandita's mood, the Lord said, "Yes, perform it
quickly." Thus Gadadhara Pandita formerly accepted initiation from
Pundarika Vidyanidhi,the ocean of ecstatic loving devotion. (CBh. Madhya)
Pundarika Vidyanidhi was present to see Mahaprabhu liberate the
great sinners Jagai and Madhai and enjoyed sporting in the water with the
Lord and the other devotees thereafter. Vidyanidhi was one of the chief
companions of Mahaprabhu in Nadia, as well as Puridhama. During
Mahaprabhu's candan festival at Puri when He played in Narendra lake,
Vidyanidhi also sported in the water with Svarupa Damodara
One day at Puri, Shri Gadadhara Pandita told Mahaprabhu, "I cannot
pronounce my mantra properly....(?)". Mahaprabhu said, "Your spiritual
master, Vidyanidhi, will come here soon, at that time you can discuss this
with him." Just at that time, Shri Vidyanidhi arrived in Puri and the
devotees were overjoyed to have him in their midst again. Thus Shri
Gadadhara Pandita's wish was fulfilled. Accommodations for Shri Vidyanidhi
were arranged by the sea-side at Yamesvara. He and Svarupa Damoda
ra were very close friends, they constantly enjoyed talking about topics
related to the Lord together and going for darsana of Jagannatha.
Around this time, the festival of Odana Sasthi began at Puri and
Lord Jagannatha was dressed in new clothes--all starched. Although starched
cloth is considered improper and impure, the purjaris nevertheless dressed
Him in this way. On this day the ceremony of `wearing new starched clothes'
was being celebrated with pomp and grandeur. Shri Gaurasundara watched the
ceremony along with the devotees. Lord Jagannatha was dressed in various
bright colored starched clothes (white, pink and
green), and was decorated with garlands and flowers. Varieties of festive
music played and Mahaprabhu enjoyed the festival with great pleasure until
late in the evening. He then returned to His residence along with His
devotees. On the way home the two friends, Svarupa Damodara and Shri
Vidyanidhi, raised a discussion regarding the Lord's starched clothes.
Vidyanidhi said, "In this part of the country there is considerable
discussion regarding Sruti and Smrti, yet how is it that the Lord is dr
essed in un-holy starched clothing?
Svarupa Damodara replied, "Perhaps it is the custom of this place.
If it is the custom, then where is the fault? Had it not been the wish of
the Lord, the King would have forbidden it."
Vidyanidhi replied, "God can do whatever He likes, but why should
His priest attendants put starched clothes on Him.? Starched cloth is so
un-holy that the hand which has touched it has to be washed. These things
are not decided by the estate officers. I see that the King also wore
starched cloth on his head today."
Svarupa Damodara said, "Brother, perhaps there is nothing wrong in
using this cloth on the day of Odana Sasthi. Because the Lord Himself has
appeared on this earth in the form of Jagannatha Deva, rules and regulations
are not applicable to Him."
Vidyanidhi protested, "Jagannatha Deva is the Lord, He is
omniscient. But can these people be like Him? Are they beyond all rules
and regulations?" In this way the two friends discussed in a jovial mood
until reaching their residence, then took rest.
That night Vidyanidhi dreamed that Jagannatha and Balarama were very
annoyed with him. They slapped Vidyanidhi on his two cheeks and said, "I
have no caste, and neither do my attendants. It is I who have made the
rules which you think there is deviation from." Weeping, Shri Pundarika
Vidyanidhi put his head on the feet of Jagannatha and said, "Oh Lord, I have
been rightly served according to my offence. Today is very auspicious for
me, Your good hand has touched my forehead. I do not
now what good deed I performed in my previous birth to have such a
benediction." The Lord then disappeared. When Vidyanidhi awoke in the
morning, he found that his two cheeks were swollen as a result of the
slapping by Shri Jagannatha and Balarama.
Every morning Svarupa Damodara came to Vidyanidhi's place and they
went to the Jagannatha Mandira for darsana together. That morning Svarupa
Damodara arrived as usual, but found Vidyanidhi still lying in bed. When he
inquired as to why he was still in bed, Vidyanidhi called him to his side
and explained his extraordinary dream. Hearing this and seeing Vidyanidhi's
swollen cheeks, Svarupa Damodara was overwhelmed with joy. He said, "I
don't know of any other such instance where the Lord has punished a man in
his dream, but today I have seen this with my own eyes. Is there any man so
fortunate as you in the three worlds?" Svarupa Damodara joyfully praised
Shri Vidyanidhi. As a friend feels delighted at the well-being of his frien
d, so Svarupa Damodara thought himself extremely lucky because of Pundarika
Shri Vrndavana dasa wrote: "He who hears about the character of
Pundarika Vidyanidhi is certain to attain devotion to Krishna. (CBh. Antya)
The Deities of Laksmi Govinda installed by Pundarika still exist
today. In his birth place one still finds an earthen pitcher bearing
Pundarika's handwriting. On the upper part of the temple there are two
plaques containing sanskrit slokas.
Though damaged severely by fire, the text can still be read with
some effort. In the archives of the Chittagong Collectorate names of
Baneswar Brahmacari and Pundarika Vidyanidhi are found in Tanji no.s 17697,
26837, 17781. There road-cess(?) is still collected in those names. The
thirteenth generation descendants of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's family live in
Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura
Took birth in the year 1586 Shaka era within the Nadia district of West
Bengal in a place called Prasiddha Deva Gram.
He appeared in the Radhiya line of brahamanas. He had two brothers:
Shri Ramabhadra Chakravarti and Shri Raghunatha Chakravarti. Shrila
Chakravarti Thakura went on to live in the Murshidabad district of West
Bengal, in Saiyadabad, where he received mantra initiation from Shri Krishna
Charana Chakravarti. He lived for a long time in the house of his gurudeva,
where he wrote many books. Because Chakravarti Thakura lived for so long in
Saiyadabad, he became known as a resident of Saiyadabad. In one of the final
verses of his commentary on the Alankara Kaustubha, he himself has written:
saiyadabadanivasi shri vishvanatha sharmana, chakravartiti namneyam krita
tika subodhini. "Shri Vishvanataha Cakravarti, a brahmana residing in
Saiyadabad, has composed this commentary on the Alankara Kaustubha." When
Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura lived in Nadiya, he closely studied
the scriptures, beginning with a study of Sanskrit grammar, poetry, and
rhetoric. It is said that even as a boy in school, he was an undefeatable
scholar who could overcome anyone in argument and debate. From an early age,
he was indifferent towards family life. For the purpose of binding his son
in the contract of family life, Vishvanatha's father arranged for his
marriage when he was very young. He remained a married man for only a short
time. Soon he renounced his wife and home and went to live in Vrindavan.
After this, his parents and relatives made many unsuccessful attempts to
induce him to return to family life, but Vishvanatha Chakravarti was fixed
in his determination to renounce wordly life and surrender himself
completely to the service of Krishna.
After having come to Vrindavan Dhama, Shri Vishvanatha took up his residence
in the bhajan kutir of Shri Krishna Das Kaviraja Goswami on the banks of the
Radha-kunda, where there lived a disciple of Krishna das Kaviraja whose name
was Mukunda das. There, Shri Vishvanatha Cakravarti made a careful study of
the Goswami's literatures. In that holy place he later wrote many
commentaries on the books of the Goswamis.
Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura established the worship of the deity of
Shri Gokulananda. Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur was also sometimes known as
Harivallabha das. Vishvanatha's title, "Chakravarti" was awarded to him by
the devotees. Generally this title designates one who maintains (varti) a
circle (chakra) of influence. Hence chakravarti usually means "emperor," for
the emperor's maintains his power over a vast circle. A more devotional
explanation of this title is found in the introduction to Vishvanatha's
Svapna-Vilasamrita. There is has been written vishvasya natharupausau,
bhaktiratna pradarshanat, bhakta chakre vartitatva, chakravartamaya bhavat.
"He who reveals the jewel of devotion to Vishvanatha, the Lord of the
Universe, and thus expands the circle of bhakti is a"Cakravarti."
Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura has written many books, among which are
Commentaries on Shrimad-Bhagavatam (Sararthadarshini-tika), Bhagavad-gita
(Sararthavarshini-tika), Alankara Kaustubha (Subodhini-tika);
Ujjvala-nilamani, Ananda Vrindavana Champu (Sukhavartini-tika); Rupa
Goswami's Vidagdha-Madhava Natakam, Gopal-tapani-upanishad;
Chaitanya-charitamrita; and original works such as Shri Krishna-Bhavanamrita
Mahakavya; Svapnavilasamrita; Madhurya Kadambini; Stavamala-lahari;
Aishvarya Kadambini [Note: this is not the same Aishvarya Kadambini as that
of Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Baladeva Vidyabhusan's book describes the
opulences of Shri Krishna, whereas Vishvanatha's book by the same name deals
with the philosophy of achintya-bhedabheda-vada, Shri Chaitanya's philosophy
of inconceivable oneness and difference].
The diksha-guru-parampara of Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura is given
as follows: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lokanatha Goswami, Narottama Thakura,
Ganganarayan Chakravarti, Krishnacharan Chakravarti, Radharaman Chakravarti,
Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura. Shri Krishna Charan Chakravarti and Radha
Ramana Chakravarti both lived in Saiyadabad. Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura
studied extensively under them when he was in Saiyadabad before going to
Vrindavan, where he met Mukunda das Goswami, a disciple of Krishna das
Kaviraja Goswami and studied the Goswami literatures.
The siksha-guru-parampara is considered more important than the
diksha-guru-parampara,because it follows the descent of revealed truth
through its most significant representatives, as opposed to following a
strictly sacerdotal heirarchy. The siksha-guru-paramapara from Shri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura is, according to
Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, as follows: Shri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu, Svarup Damodara, Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami (along with
Raghunatha Das Goswami, Raghunath Bhatta Goswami, Gopal Bhatta Goswami),
Shri Jiva Goswami, Krishna das Kaviraja Goswami, Narottama Das Thakura
(along with Shyamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acharya), Vishvanatha
Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura disappeared on the Vasant Panchami day
in the month of Magh.
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
dreams. 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 Bhatta's 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 hadn't 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 Raghunatha's 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 Radharani's 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 Candravali's 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.
There are various opinions on Shri Raghunath das Gosvami's identity in
Krishna-lila. Some have ascertained that he was Rasa Manjari, some that he was
The Govardhana-sila given by Shriman Mahaprabhu to Raghunatha dasa to worship
is still worshiped at Shri Gokulananda Mandira, in Vrindavana.
Shrila Raghunatha dasa Goswami 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.