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Title: The Holy Appearance of Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana

User: Damodara Svarupa dasa      Date: 2005-03-01 20:16:01


The Holy Appearance of Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana -- By Swami Gaurangapada


Lord, Shri Krishna, appeared as Lord Gauranga to establish the true

religion for this age of quarrel. When God Himself originates a

religious tradition, who may dare question its legitimacy?"


"The Ramanandis do question it" Visvanatha replied, "and they rest their

criticism on the statement in Padma Purana that in this age there are

four sampradayas, or lines of disciplic succession. The Purana says:

shri-brahma-rudra-sanaka vaishnava-ksiti-pavanah catvaras te kalau bhavya

hy utkale purusottama

The meaning is that the four Vaishnava sampradayas--Shri, Brahma, Rudra,

and Kumara--purify the earth."

"Yes," replied Baladeva, "I know this verse. And the Ramanandis say that

the words utkale purusottama mean that these four sampradayas have their

monasteries in Orissa, in Purusottama-ksetra, the town of Jagannatha



"But the real meaning is that the Supreme Lord, Purusottama, is the

quintessence of these four sampradayas. And when He appears in

Kali-yuga, He lives in Jagannatha Puri as Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. So

the Gaudiya lineage is not a fifth sampradaya but the essence of the



Visvanatha and Baladeva spent the night discussing the Ramanandis other

points of contention about Lord Gauranga's movement. They developed the

strategy by which they would defeat the Ramanandis.


Visvanatha sent Baladeva with Krishnadeva Sarvabhauma to Amber. Baladeva's

arrival there was unheralded. He was new to the Gaudiya community,

unknown even among the Gaudiya mahantas of Amber. And he was young. No

one, even of his own tradition, suspected that a philosophical giant

lived within the unpretentious form of this Gaudiya holyman from

Vrndavana. Baladeva had difficulty gaining audience with the king. And

when he was finally able to do so, the Ramanandis in the court were

ready for him.


"Sir," Baladeva said to the king, "I have come to resolve doubts about

the Gaudiya-sampradaya and its methods of worship." "Your Highness," a

Ramanandi pandita broke in, "we request to speak to him directly!" Jai

Singh turned to Baladeva. "You may speak," the king said, confident that

if Krishna were indeed the Supreme Lord, Krishna would arrange for His own

defence. The Ramanandis opened with an offensive they felt sure would

guarantee their authority. "The problem," they told Baladeva, "is that

you do not belong to a proper sampradaya. Therefore we cannot accept the

literature written by your panditas." "I am from the Madhva-sampradaya,"

Baladeva asserted confidently. "I have been initiated in Mysore by a

Tirtha of the Madhva order. But Radha-Damodara Gosvami and Visvanatha

Cakravati of the Gaudiya-sampradaya are also my gurus. They have taught

me Bhagavata philosophy."


The Ramanandis were surprised. Baladeva's Madhva initiation meant that

they had to accept him as a qualified sannyasi and pandita of an

authorised lineage. But they hoped his youth might indicate a lack of

skill. They rallied themselves. "You may be from the Madhva-sampradaya,

but the other Gaudiyas are not!"


Baladeva retained his dignity and produced a key piece of evidence.

"That is the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, written by Kavi Karnapura more than

one hundred years ago. This manuscript details our lineage from Madhva."

Baladeva presented the manuscript for inspection.


The Ramanandis again argued, "If the Gaudiyas claim descent from Madhva,

then you must base your arguments on Madhva's Brahma-sutra commentary.

We know the Gaudiyas have no commentary of their own."


Baladeva thought. The Gaudiyas had never written a commentary on

Vedanta- sutra, because they accepted the Shrimad-Bhagavatam as the

natural commentary. Vyasa is the author of both of these works, and Lord

Chaitanya taught that when the author comments on his own work, his

opinion is the best.


Baladeva knew that the Ramanandis would reject this argument. But he

also knew that if he used Madhva's commentary he would have problems,

for Madhva's commentary would not justify the style of worship practiced

by the Gaudiyas. So Baladeva decided he would need to write a Gaudiya

commentary himself. This commentary is based on Madhva's, but could have

some allowable differences. "I will show you our commentary," Baladeva

said. "Please allow me to bring it."


"Indeed, send for it," granted the Ramanandi spokesman. "That won't be

possible," replied Baladeva. "It will require several days to write it."

The Ramanandis were stunned. Could Baladeva produce a commentary within

a few days? How audacious! But if Baladeva could indeed produce it, the

Ramanandis position might be threatened. Should they grant him the time

he required?


Before they could speak, King Jai Singh interjected. "Yes, the time is

granted. Prepare your commentary and notify us when it is ready. You

should know that unless you present a suitable commentary, we shall

accept the criticisms of the Ramanandis as valid. But I shall not act on

any of their demands until you have had an opportunity to present your

commentary and your arguments."


Govindaji Inspires Baladeva


Baladeva left the assembly, followed by Krishnadeva Sarvabhauma. Baladeva

saw himself a puppet in the hands of the Lord. He had spoken boldly in

the assembly, but would the divine puppeteer guide his pen?


Baladeva went to Govindapura. Presenting himself before Govinda, he

knelt and prayed. "O Govinda, Your devotee Visvanatha has sent me here

to defend You and Your devotees, but I cannot do it! I am just a soul

fallen in ignorance. If You wish, You may empower me to write a

Vedanta-sutra commentary that will glorify You. If You wish, I shall

write the truths I have learned from Your devotees and Your scripture.

And I have faith that by Your mercy these truths will appear most



Then Baladeva began to write. Pausing scarcely to rest, he wrote and

prayed and wrote again. Days passed and nights, but he did not stop.

Some historians say he wrote for one month. Others say it took him only

seven days.


In any event, Baladeva soon returned from Govindapura. By now, keen

expectancy had been aroused in all the various parties. Jai Singh,

hoping to see the Gaudiyas vindicated, was especially eager to see the

commentary. The Ramanandis, however, awaited the commentary with some

trepidation, hoping they could defeat it readily.


Baladeva entered the court of debate convened in Galta. He stood on one

side with the Gaudiya mahantas. Facing them were the Ramanandi panditas.

King Jai Singh presided, and an audience of nobles and scholars was in



With the king's permission, Baladeva rose. "This commentary," he said,

putting forward his work, "is based on Madhva's, but there are some

important differences. If you examine it, you will find that it upholds

the Gaudiya philosophy taught by Lord Chaitanya." A Ramanandi pandita

stepped forward and received Baladeva's commentary. "Who is the author

of this work?" He asked. Baladeva replied, "The name of the commentary

is Govinda-bhasya. Govinda has inspired this work. I have given the

direct meanings of the sutras according to the wish of Shri Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu. And my comments are based on the teachings of my gurus." The

learned members of the Ramanandi contingent examined the first portion

of the bhasya to determine whether it was as Baladeva had claimed.


A spokesman conceded, "The influence of Madhva is certainly demonstrable

in this commentary, but we should examine some of the differences."

Baladeva then addressed each of the Ramanandis' objections to Gaudiya

worship. "I have expounded on every aspect of Gaudiya practice in

chapter three," he said. "Since your criticisms concern our style of

worship, you should turn to chapter three to see how Vyasa, the author

of Vedanta-sutra, has provided for our worship.


"You object to our worship of Radha with Govinda on the superficial

grounds that They are not married. In verses forty through forty-two I

have presented the true position of Radha in relation to Krishna. Radha is

the eternal energy of the Krishna and is never separated from Him. Their

relationship may be parakiya or svakiya, but that does not affect the

eternality of Their union. The separation of Radha and Govinda you have

effected is artificial and therefore offensive to the Lord, who holds

deep affection for His female energy.


"You have criticised our predilection for worshiping only Krishna,

neglecting the worship of Narayana, Vishnu, which you say is mandatory

for all Vaishnavas. I have addressed that point in my comments to verse

forty-three. According to the Vedanta-sutra, Narayana may be worshiped

in any of His forms, including Krishna. No scriptural injunction prohibits

the worship of Govinda exclusive of Narayana."


Baladeva continued speaking while the Ramanandis stood defenceless. He

spoke eloquently and exhaustively. A rebuttal from the Ramanandis never


At the end of Baladeva's presentation, King Jai Singh waited, weighing

the evidence. The Ramanandis' silence confirmed his own opinion.


He delivered his decision in a brief but conclusive statement. "The

evidence supporting the Gaudiya legitimacy is unassailable. Hereafter,

the Gaudiyas shall be recognised and respected as an authorised

religious sect. I order the reunion of Radha with Govinda."

The Gaudiya mahantas in Amber, free at last from condemnation by the

Ramanandis, celebrated by building a temple of victory on the hill

overlooking the Galta Valley. The temple Deity was appropriately named

Vijaya Gopala, "Victorious Gopala."


At The Feet of Govinda


Baladeva returned to Vrndavana, where he assumed leadership of the

Gaudiya community. He continued to write. Faithful to Jiva Gosvami and

devoted to Lord Chaitanya, he produced commentaries on ten principle

Upanisads and nine works of the Vrndavana Gosvamis. He also wrote

original works on grammar, drama, prosody, and poetics. He remained the

unquestioned authority on Vaishnava theology until his death. (The date

of Baladeva's demise is unknown. His last known written work, Stavamala,

was dated 1764.)


With Baladeva's victory over the Ramanandis, Jai Singh was satisfied. He

had found the synthesis of Vaishnava religions. And Radha had been

reunited with Govinda on the altar, as She is in eternity. Jai Singh

dedicated himself to Govinda and passed a long, and productive life as a

king and scholar.


In 1714 Jai Singh moved Govinda to the Jai Nivasa Gardens and installed

Him in a garden house, where He was worshiped for twenty-one years. In

1735 the king built a temple for Govinda within the Jaipur palace

compound. Jai Singh later installed Govinda as the king of Jaipur and

accepted the position of minister for himself. From that time his royal

seal read, shri govindadeva carana savai jai singh sarana: "Lord Govinda,

at whose lotus feet Jai Singh takes refuge."


Lord Shri Nityananda states to Shrila Jiva Goswami in the



"Previously, Lord Gauranga bestowed His mercy on Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya

and explained Vedanta to him according to the Bhagavata tradition.

Sarvabhauma then taught this carefully to Madhusudana in Puri. On the

order of Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Madhusudana Vacaspati now resides in

Varanasi. Go there and meet him.

"Externally he acts like a traditional Vedantist, and many followers of

Sankaracarya study under him. Gradually, however, he gives them mercy by

teaching them the precepts of Gauranga through the Vedanta-sutras.

"At this time there is no necessity for a separate commentary on the

Vedanta-sutras, for the Bhagavatam explains all the sutras. When there

will be need of another commentary, Shri Govinda-bhasya will be revealed.

Along with Sarvabhauma, Gopinatha Acarya heard the Lord's commentary.

Later, by the wish of Shri Gauranga, Gopinatha Acarya will take birth as

Baladeva Vidyabhusana, and he will conquer Jaipur with his philosophical

commentary. In Jaipur, he will serve Gauranga by writing the

Govinda-bhasya, and thus free all living entities from material bondage.

Your two uncles, Rupa and Sanatana, will tell you all these confidential



Shrimad Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu was a pure devotee of the highest

order, who cared for nothing but the service of the Lord. He didn't have

a spot of desire for name and fame. He was the composer of many

scriptures which are as priceless as precious gems, for the ultimate

benefit of all those who have taken human birth.

The exact location of his birth, the names of his mother and father, and

their family tree is not known. The exact circumstances of his birth and

childhood are, therefore, unknown. Still, some are of the opinion that

he took birth in a place called Baleshvara, a village neighboring

Remuna, in the early part of the 18th century A.D, as the son of a

vaisya, an agriculturist.


At an early age he became learned in Sanskirt grammar, poetry, rhetoric,

and logic. After becoming expert in all these subjects, he began

wandering to different places of pilgrimage. After wandering about in

this way for some time, and after visiting many holy places, he happened

to stay at a temple of the Tattvavadi followers of Shri Madhvacharya.

There, he became fluent in his understanding of the

tattvavada-siddhanta, that is, the philosophical and theological

conclusions of the followers of Madhva. After this, he took sannyasa,

and preached the tattvavada-siddhanta very vigourously throughout the

length and breadth of India.


As he wandered from one place to the next, he gradually came to

Jagannatha Puri. There he remained and preached for a few days. At that

time, he chanced to meet one of the foremost disciples of Shri

Rasikananda Deva, Pandit Shri Radha-Damodara, with whom he discussed

devotional principles. At that time, Shrimad Radha-Damodara deva Goswami

instructed Baladeva on the subject of Shri Gourasundara's pastimes of

mercy and His teachings on Gaudiya Vaishanva siddhanta to Sarvabhauma



After hearing the divine wisdom spoken by Shri Radha-Damodara Goswami,

Baladeva's heart was deeply moved. After a few days of hearing from him,

he accepted initiation into the Radha-Krishna mantra, and began studying

the Sat-Sandarbhas of Jiva Goswami at the holy feet of his gurudeva,

Radha-Damodara Goswami.


After a short time, Baladeva became expert in the Gaudiya Vaishanva

siddhanta. After staying with Radha-Damodara Goswami for some time, he

was ordered to further his studies in Gaudiya Vaishnavism by going to

Vrindavan and taking shelter at the holy feet of Vishvanatha Cakravarti



After first visiting Nabadwipa, he soon arrived in Vrindavan. Shri

Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakur (Shri Harivallabha dasa), was very happy to

see Baladeva's submission, modesty, learning, and renunciation. From

that day forward, for some time, he kept Baladeva by his side and taught

him the acintya-bheda-abheda philosophy of Shri Chaitanya and many other

important siddhantas related to the Gaudiya Vaishnava conception of

Krishna-bhakti. From this point on, Shri Baladeva's life and soul was

fully dedicated to the theistic conception of the Gaudiya Sampradaya.

His mind was fixed on this, and with one-pointed determination, he now

began preaching this line to the exclusion of all others.


One day, in Jaipur, in the royal court, the Ramanuja sampradaya began

arguing a case in connection with the Gaudiya sampradaya. They informed

the king that the Gaudiya sampradaya had no commentary on the most

important revealed scripture of Vedic religionShVedanta; therefore they

had no siddhanta and no real sampradaya, or school. As a consequence

they should give up their service of the deities of Govinda and

Gopinatha, and entrust with those who were bona fide members of a

genuine sampradaya.

At that time, the king of Jaipura was a follower of the Gaudiya

sampradaya. He immediately sent word of the controversy by messenger to

Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur in Vrindavan, wanting to know if the

Gaudiya sampradaya actually did have any commentary on theVedanta. If

there was, the king wanted that the commentary be sent immediately to

Jaipur to satisfy the scrutiny of the pandits from the Ramanuja



At this time, Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti was very old and infirm. It

was impossible for him to make the arduous journey to Jaipur. He sent

his student and disciple, Shri Baladeva, in his place. Baladeva

Vidyabhusana was an expert scholar in all the important scriptures. In

the midst of a huge assembly of pandits from the Ramanuja sampradaya,

Baladeva challenged them all to argue with him in scholarly debate. A

long, and hard-fought debate took place, with tumultuous arguing from

the Ramanuja school. Still, none of them could stand before his

conclusive statements, keen scholarship, and penetrating intellect.

Baladeva argued that the founder of the Gaudiya Sampradaya, Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu established the Shrimad-Bhagavatam as the topmost

commentary on Vedanta.

The Bhagavatam itself claims that it is bhashyanam brahma-sutranam, the

natural commentary on Vedanta. This is confirmed on the basis of

evidence given by Jiva Goswami in his Sat Sandarbha. Therefore, the

Gaudiya sampradaya has chosen to accept Shrimad-Bhagavatam as the

original commentary on Vedanta, and sees no need for a separate



At that point, the pandits from the Ramanuja sampradaya shouted: "He

admits that there is no commentary! They have no commentary!"

Having no other recourse, Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana promised to show

them the Gaudiya commentary on Vedanta within a few days. The pandits

were astonished to think that such a thing existed. They were suspicious

that this might be some kind of trick, but were silenced for the time



Very troubled within his mind, Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana went to the

temple of Shri Govinda, the deity of Rupa Goswami. After offering his

eightfold obeisances before the deity, he related everything that had

taken place.

That night in a dream, Shri Govinda told him, "You must compose the

commentary. That commentary will be personally sanctioned by me. No one

will be able to find any fault in it."


Seeing this in his dream, Baladeva became very happy, and his heart was

full of strength, ready for the task at hand. After this, he meditated

on the lotus feet of Govinda and began writing his commentary. Within a

few days it was completed. This commentary became known as the Govinda

Bhashya commentary on Vedanta.


In an addendum appended to the Govinda Bhashya, after it was published,

Shri Baladeva has written, ³vidyarupam bhushanam ye pradaya, khatim nitye

teno yo mamudarah, Shri govinda-svapna-nirdishtha bhashye,

radhabandhurangah sa jiyat.² "May Shri Govinda be all glorious. By his

mercy, he revealed this commentary to me in a dream. The commentary

revealed by him is especially appreciated by the highly learned, and as

a result of this I have been given the name Vidyabhushana, but it is Shri

Govinda who deserves all credit. May that Shri Govinda who is the most

dear life and soul of Shri Radhika, be all-victorious."


With the Govinda Bhashya commentary in hand, Baladeva Vidyabhushana

arrived at the assembly hall of the king, where the pandits were waiting

for him. When he showed them his commentary, they were speechless. The

Gaudiya sampradaya was proclaimed victorious. The king and all the

Gaudiya Vaishnavas were supremely happy. At that time the pandits gave

Shri Baladeva the name ³Vidyabhushana,² or one whose ornament is

knowledge, in honor of his great scholarship. The year was 1628, Shaka

era. From the day forward, the king of Jaipur decreed, everyone would

attend the aroti of Shri Govinda, the deity beloved by the Gaudiya

Vaishnavas, who was ultimately responsible for such a wonderful

commentary on Vedanta.


The Ramanuja pandits, falling under the influence of Shri Baladeva

Vidyabhusana, accepted him as their acharya and wanted to become his

disciples. With great humility, Baladeva Vidyabhushana refused,

explaining that there are four sampradayas, among which the Shri

Sampradaya is a genuine school that preaches servitude to God as the

best religious process. By advancing the views of the Gaudiya

sampradaya, he meant no disrespect to the Shri sampradaya. To insult the

Shri sampradaya would be a great offense, he said.


Shripad Baladeva Vidyabhushana returned from Jaipur to Vrindavana

carrying the message of his victory. Upon returning, he submitted to the

lotus feet of Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura and told him the news.

All the visiting Vaishnavas and the residents of Vrindavan were

delighted and Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura bestowed his blessings

upon Baladeva Vidyabhusana.


After this, Baladeva Vidyabhusana began writing a commentary on the Sat

Sandarbha. Soon Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura passed away, and the

Vaishnava community felt as if a great beacon of divine light had been

extinguished. At that time, Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana became regarded

among the Vaishnava community as the keeper of the flame, the leader

among those who understood the teachings of Shri Chaitanya.

In his teachings, Baladeva establishes the transcendental position of

the Vedas, and then argues that they are the best evidence for knowing

the supreme truth. In his Siddhanta-darpana, Baladeva has explained the

position of transcendental sound in relationship to Krishna and his holy

name as follows:



ekameva pram tattvam vachyavachaka bhavabhak

vachyah sarveshvaro devo vachakah pranavobhavet

matsya-kurma-adibhir-rupair-yatha vachyo bahur-bhavet

vachako'pi tatharthadi-bhavadbahur-udiryate

adyantarahitatvena svayam nityam prakirtite

avirbhava tirobhavau syatamasya yugeyuge

"The one absolute truth has two categories: the named (Krishna) and the

name (Om). Parameshvara, Shri Krishna, the absolute person is the named;

pranava, or omkara (Om) is the name. The named, or Parameshvara Shri

Krishna, reveals himself in different forms as Matsya, Kurma, and many

other forms. In the same way the name of the Supreme Lord expands into

many different forms; such as the transcendental syllable Om, the

gayatri mantram, and the Vedas themselves. There is no limit to the

Supreme Personality of Godhead; he has no beginning and no end. As a

consequence, his glorification is also eternal. He appears within this

material world, stays for some time, and again disappears according to

his own sweet will."


Baladev explains the potency of Godhead in his Siddhanta-darpana: "The

Lord has three potenciesShthinking (jnana) feeling (kriya) and willing

(bala). Through these three potencies he causes the material creation to

come into being. The rays of consciousness emanating from himShthe jiva

soulsShare his separated parts and parcels. By his thinking, feeling, and

willing, they too come into being. The Vedas are spoken by the Lord, who

is all-perfect. The Vedas are therefore free from the four defects of

material existence: error, cheating, illusion, and imperfect perception.

And so, the Vedas are the perfect form of evidence for understanding the

Supreme Truth. The Vedas glorify Krishna as the absolute truth. The

Puranas and Itihasas are as good as the Vedas. They too glorify Krishna

as the absolute truth."


In his Vedanta-samantaka, Baladeva has expanded on this thesis of the

Vedas being the best evidence for understanding the Supreme Godhead.

There he says:


tadevam sarvatah shreishtha shabdasya sthite tattvanirnayakastu

shrotilakshana eva na tvarshalakshanopi.


"There are different ways of knowing what is truth: pratyaskha (direct

perception), anuman (inference, hypothesis, and deduction), shabda (the

words of the authorities), arthapati (interpretation), anupalabdhi

(negative inference), sambhava (the laws of probability) and aitihya


Of all these methods of arriving at truth, shabda, hearing from

authorities, is best. The best source of knowledge about the absolute is

the shruti: revealed truth received from Vedic authority. Different

scholars always entertain different opinions about reality, but the

Vedic shastras are eternal and transcendental, moreover they are free

from the four defects of material existence, having sprung directly from

the Supreme Lord Himself. Therefore they are the best evidence for

knowing the absolute truth." (Vedanta Samantaka 1/51)


What has been proved on the basis of solid evidence, pramana, is called

prameya. Baladeva has written a book called Prameya Ratnavali, in which

he states nine principles that he has established are facts, proven by

the incontrovertible evidence of the Vedas. The teachings of

Madhva-Gaudiya Vaishnavism as it has descended from Madhvacharya to Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu have been summarised in the Prameya Ratnavali. His

nine principles are stated in the following verse (PR 8):


Shri madvhah praha vishnum paratamam akhilamnaya vedyam ca cisvam

satyam bhedam ca jivam hari carana jusas tartamyam ca tesham

moksham vishnv-anghri-labham tad-amala-bhajanam tasya hetum pramanam

pratyaksadi trayam cety upadisati hari krishna-chaitanya chandra

"Shri Madhvacaharya taught that:

1) Krishna, who is known as Hari is the Supreme Lord, the Absolute.

2) That Supreme Lord may be known through the Vedas.

3) The material world is real.

4) The jivas, or souls, are different from the Supreme Lord.

5) The jivas are by nature servants of the Supreme Lord.

6) There are two categories of jivas: liberated and illusioned.

7) Liberation means attaining the lotus feet of Krishna, that is,

entering into an eternal relationship of service to the Supreme Lord.

8) Pure devotional service is the cause of this relationship.

9) The truth may be known through direct perception, inference and Vedic

authority. These very principles were taught by Shri Chaitanya



According to Baladeva there are five categories of tattvas or truths

which constitute reality: ishvara, God; jiva, soul; prakriti, matter;

kala, time; and karma, action. Ishvara or God, is the greatest. He is

all-knowing, he is the utmost realization of transcendental bliss, and

his very nature is ecstasy. He is full in all qualities and is the

absolute person. He is the master of everything and is eternally free

from birth and death. He is the master of all the gods headed by Brahma

and Shiva. He is the supreme husband, the Lord of lords, and the Supreme

Person, the worthiest of receiving prayers. He alone remains as the

absolute truth even after this material world (which is his separated

material energy) is destroyed along with all the demigods such as

Brahma, Shiva, and Indra.


Baladeva further explains that Krishna has three energies, parashakti,

kshetrajna-shakti, and maya-shakti.

Parashakti means svarupa-shakti or the Lord's internal potency.

Kshetrajna-shakti means jiva-shakti or the living beings, and

maya-shakti means the Lord's external potency, his potency for keeping

the souls in illusion.

This explanation is on the basis of the Vishnu Purana. He goes on to

explain that there is no difference between the body and soul of God.

They are one and the same. As Krishna, the Supreme Lord has two hands,

he plays a flute, he has a transcendental form of eternity, knowledge

and bliss, and he is known by the names Govinda and Gopal.

Lakshmidevi is nondifferent from Him, in that he is the Supreme

Energetic and She is His Supreme Energy. (sei jaganmata lakshmi vishnur

anapayini shakti)

This confirmed throughout the shastra. Whatever form the lord appears

in, there is a corresponding Lakshmi form who acts as his eternal

consort. When the Lord appears as a god, Lakshmi appears as a goddess.

When the Lord advents as an ordinary human being, Lakshmi also descends

upon this earth as an ordinary human being.


Baladeva Vidyabhushan says:



teshu sarveshu lakshmi-rupeshu radhayah svayam laksmitvam

mantavyam sarveshu bhagavad-rupeshu krishnasya svayam bhagavatvavat

(Vedanta-samantaka 2.37)

"Of all the manifestations of Lakshmidevi, Shrimati Radharani is the

Supreme Goddess, just as amongst so many avatars of Godhead, Krishna is

the supreme Personality of Godhead."


This is confirmed in the Brihad-Gautamiya Tantra,which states, "Shri

Radhika is the Supreme Goddess. Her very nature is Krishna, for her very

existence is permeated by Krishna. Therefore she is known as Krishnamayi

or one who is full of Krishna. She is known as Paradevata, for she is

the Supreme Goddess. All other goddesses are subordinate to her. She is

the Supreme Lakshmi and her transcendental effulgence surpasses all

conceptions of brilliance. She is the supreme enchantress, for she

enchants Krishna Himself, who is capable of charming millions of



Baladeva cites Shaunaka Muni who says in Shrimad-Bhagavatam that of all

the avatars, expansions of Godhead and Personalities of Godhead, Krishna

is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The worship of Krishna, must

therefore be regarded as the highest form of worship.

According to Baladeva, the jiva souls are the atomic spiritual energy of

the Lord. The souls are eternal and can never be destroyed by any means.

The soul's true eternal nature is to be filled with transcendental




sa ca jivo bhagavadaso mantavyah dasabhuto

harereva nanyasyaive kadacaneti padmat

(Vedanta-samantaka 3.11)

"It is the constitutional nature of the soul to be a servant of Bhagavan

Shri Krishna. It is the version of the Padma-Purana that the soul is an

eternal servant of Hari, and has no other genuine position."

By surrender to the lotus feet of a spiritual master who is a devotee of

Krishna, one attain Krishna-bhakti by the guru's mercy. Upon attaining

Krishna-bhakti one gets Krishna Himself.


In His Vedanta-samantaka, Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana offers the following

prayer to the lotus feet of his gurudeva, Shri Radha-Damodara Goswami:



radhadidamodara nama vibhrata,

viprena vedantamayah syamantaka

Shri radhikayairviniveditomaya

tasyah pramodam sa tanotu sarvada

"Having been deputed to do so by my gurudeva, the brahmana named Shri

Radha-Damodara Goswami, I have compiled this commentary on the Vedanta

known as Vedanta-syamantaka for the sake of Shrimati Radharani's

pleasure. This commentary is a summary of the important points of

Vedanta. May it be pleasing to Shri Radhika."


Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana had two superexcellent disciples who were

perfected souls. Their names were Shri Uddhava Dasa and Shri Nandana

Mishra. Among the books compiled by Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana were as


His commentary on Vedanta called the Govinda-bhashya;

the ³jewel of conclusions² or Siddhanta Ratna;

Sahitya Kaumudi;

a summary of Vedanta philosophy known as Vedanta Syamantaka;

the ³jewel of factual principles² (outline the nine principles held in

common by both the Madhva and Chaitanya schools) known as Prameya


a summary of Gaudiya Vaishnava principles called the Siddhanta Darpana;

the Kavya Kaustubha (a book of selected Sanskrit verses for Vaishnavas);


the Aishvarya Kadambini;

Vyakarana Kaumudi (a book on grammar);

Padakaustubha (selected prayers);

commentaries on important Upanishads beginning with the Isha Upanishad

and including the Gopala Tapani Upanishad;

a commentary on Bhagavad-gita known as Gitabhushana Bhashya;

as well as commentaries on: Vishnu-Sahasra-nama, Shrimad-Bhagavatam

(Vaishnava-nandini-tika), Jiva Goswami's Tattva-Sandarbha, Rupa

Goswami's Stavamala, Nata-chandrika, Jayadeva Goswami's Chandraloka, his

own Sahitya Kaumudi, Laghu-bhagavatamrita, Nataka-Chandrika, and

Shyamananda Shataka.


Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana disappeared in the Christian year 1768.




He was born during the eighteenth century AD., in a village near Remuna

in the Balasore district of Orissa. He studied Vyakarana, Alamkara, and

Nyayasastra in an academic center on the bank of Lake Cilka. Afterwards

he went to Karnataka to study th

e Vedas. At that point he was initiated into the Madhva Sampradaya.

After taking sannyasa he defeated the scholars of Puri

(Purusottamaksetra) in a debate on Sastra.


Baladeva stayed at the Tattvavadi Matha, but after studying Satsandarbha

under Radhadamodara, a resident of Kanauj and a disciple of Rasikananda

Prabhu, he became attracted to the profound philosophical essence of

Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Thus he became

a disciple of his teacher, Radhadamodara. It is said that Baladeva

studied Bhaktisastra under Pitamvaradasa, and Shrimad Bhagavatam under

Visvanatha Cakravarti.


After adopting Virakta Vaishnava Vesa, Baladeva became known as

"Ekanti-Govindadasa". It was Baladeva who installed the deity of

Syamasundara in Vrndavana. Uddhavadasa and Nandamisra were the two

foremost disciples of Baladeva.


In Visvanatha Cakravarti's old age he received news that the Bengali

sevaits from the temple of Jaipur had been branded as a-sampradaya and

deprived of their right to offer seva. Visvanatha immediately sent

Baladeva, accompanied by Krishnadeva and Sarvabhauma, to Jaipur. There

Baladeva defeated his opponents in a debate and re-instated the Gaudiyas

in their seat at the mountainous region of Galta. He also installed the

deity of Vijaya Gopala there. (This temple and deity is still existing.)


At this same time Baladeva wrote the book Shri Govindabhasya, a glorious

contribution to the Gaudiya Vaishnava community. The following is a list

of Baladeva's other works:

(1) Tika of Satsandarbha

(2) Tika of Laghubhagavatamrta

(3) Siddhantaratna

(4) Vedantasyamantaka

(5) Prameyaratnavalir

(6) Siddhantadarpanda

(7) Tika of Syamanandasataka

(8) Tika of Natakacandrika (rare)

(9) Sahityakaumudi

(10) Chandahkaustubha

(11) Kavyakaustubha

(12) Vaishnavanandini tika of Shrimad Bhagavatam

(13) Shri Gopalatapnai, and bhasya of Shrimad Bhagavadgita (14) Tika of


(15) Aisaryakadamvini






Shriyuta Naresh Narayana was the king of Puntiya, which was located in

the district of Rajshahi, part of the present country of Bangladesh.

His only daughter was named Saci, and she was devoted to God from her

very chidhood. In a very short time she became quite proficient in her

studies, especially in grammar and poetry. As she grew up everyone

became stunned by her blossoming youthful beauty. However, Saci was not

attracted by any earthly, good-looking, well-to-do young men. She was

only interested in Shri Madana Gopala.


The king, Naresh Narayana began to think about his daughter's marriage.

When she came to know of this she told her father that she wouldn't

marry anyone who was subject to death. The king and queen put their

hand's to their heads and sat down. Their only daughter refused to

marry! Thus they passed on from this world, having no further work to

do here. The responsibility for governing the people now fell on Saci.

For some days she attended to her duties and then, after appointing her

representatives she set out to visit the holy places of pilgrimage. But

she didn't feel satisfied within herself anywhere. Thus she began to

search out a guru. She eventually came to Jagannatha Puri, and after

having darsana of Lord Jagannatha there for a few days, she set out for

Shri Vraja Dham. It was here that the benediction moon of her good

fortune rose. Seeing the spiritual prowess and renunciation of Shri

Haridas Pandit Goswami, who was a staunch follower of Shri Shri

Nitai-Gaura, she became very happy within herself and thought, "After so

many days I have finally found shelter." After falling at his lotus

feet and offering her obeisances, with folded hands she prayed for his


"Ananta Acarya was a disciple of Gadadhara Pandit... a reservoir of all

good qualities. No-one can estimate how great he was. Pandit Haridasa

was his beloved disciple. Pandit Haridasa had great faith in Lord

Chaitanya and Nityananda.


Therefore, he took great satisfaction in knowing about their pastimes

and qualities."

In the disciplic succession of the Ganga-mata Matha, Ananta Acarya is

known as Vinoda-manjari. One of his disciples was Haridasa Pandit

Goswami, who is also known as Shri Raghu Gopala and as Shri Rasa-manjari.

His disciple Laksmipriya was the maternal aunt of Ganga-mata. Shri

Haridas Pandit Goswami, in order to test Saci, told her that it wouldn't

be possible for the daughter of a king to practice the renunciation

required in order to serve the Lord in Vraja. Saci, however, could

understand that this was simply a pretence. Thus she began her service

in total indifference to the material world. Gradually she completely

gave up wearing any ornaments or fine cloth. One day Shri Haridas told

her, "If you can give up shyness, fear and pride and beg from door to

door then you'll be qualified to receive my mercy."


Hearing this Saci became very happy and covering her body with one

soiled cloth she went from door to door of the residents of Vraja, to

beg something to eat. Her body became very thin and pale. But the

Vrajabasis could understand that she was not an ordinary woman because

of her bodily effulgence The Vaishnavas were astonished by her great

austerities. Though she became quite thin, she took no notice of that

and continued to regularly bathe in the Yamuna, clean the temple of the

Lord, go on parikrama, attend the arati ceremonies and hear discussions

about Krishna. Seeing her intense renunciation, Haridas became eager to

award her. He called her and told her, "Though you are the daughter of

a king, the exertion with which you have worshiped Shri Krishna and the

degree of renunciation you have shown have pleased me very much. Now be

pleased to accept the divine mantra."


Thereafter, on the thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of the month

of Caitra, Shri Saci was initiated in Radha-Krishna mantra by Shri Haridas

Pandit Goswami. Having received the eighteen-syllable mantra, Saci

became completely imbued with love of Krishna. Though she was very

destitute, she began to serve Sr Guru and Govinda with intense devotion.

Every day she would listen to her guru explain the sastras. Within a

short time she became quite conversant with the literatures of the

Goswamis, and this was very pleasing to everyone.


Around this time, one other female disciple of Haridas named

Laksmipriya, who had a very pleasant demeanour, came to Vrndavana.

Laksmipriya used to chant three lakhs of holy names every day. Haridas

instructed her to take Saci with her to Radha-kunda and worship the Lord

there. Thus the two of them came there and began to circumambulate

Govardhana hill every day. All at once Shri Haridas Pandit called Saci

back and instructed her to go to Puri to preach the message of Lord

Gaurasundara to the pious people there. At this time almost all of the

associates of Mahaprabhu had given up their earthly pastimes in Puri.

In accordance with the order of her guru, Saci came there and took up

residence in the house of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. As no one had lived

there for so many days, the place was very run down. Only the

Damodara-sila that Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya used to worship was remaining

there. Saci resumed the regular worship of the Lord and recited the

Shrimad-Bhagavatam daily. Many people were very impressed to hear her

conclusive explanations of the sastras and thus they used to congregate



Saci's fame as an accomplished lecturer on the sastras began to spread

far and wide. One day the king Mukunda Deva came to hear her class. He

was very pleased to hear such authoritative conclusions coming from the

mouth of this saintly mataji, so in his mind he wished to present

something to her. That very night he had a dream in which Lord

Jagannatha told him, "You should offer the place known as Sweta-Ganga to

Saci." Early the next morning, the king came to see her, and Saci very

meekly offered him a seat and inquired as to the purpose of his visit.

The king thus related to her the order of Lord Jagannatha and requested

her to accept the piece of land adjacent to Sweta-Ganga. Saci, however,

was not interested in acquiring property, and she declined the offer.

But the king insisted she accept this royal grant of land, and finally

she agreed after considering that it was after all the order of Lord

Jagannatha. Most pleased that he could render her some service, the

king presented her with the deed to the parcel of land.


After the royal grant of land became known to the public, gossip that

Saci was previously the daughter of a king began to circulate around

Puri. Once, shortly before Mahavaruni (a day very auspicious for

bathing in the Ganga), Saci thought to herself how very much she would

like to leave Puri and make a pilgrimage to the Ganga for this occasion.

But after considering that it was her guru's order to remain in Shri

Ksetra, she decided to abandon the idea. But that night, Lord

Jagannatha spoke to her in a dream, "Saci! Don't worry. On the day of

the Mahavaruni you should bath in the Sweta-Ganga. Ganga devi herself

will personally come to join you there." Having seen this dream, Saci

was very jubilant. When the day of the Varuni bath arrived, in the

middle of the night Saci went to the Sweta-Ganga alone. As she entered

into the water, a strong current suddenly gripped her and carried her

inside the Jagannatha Mandir, which was now flooded, much to her

amazement, by the sacred waters of the Ganges. There she saw thousands

and thousands of the residents of Shri Ksetra taking their baths. A

great uproar resounded in all directions from the recitation of prayers

and hymns. In the midst of these festivities, Saci very religiously

performed the Varuni bath in the water of the Ganga.


Hearing the sound of what seemed to be a large crowd of people within

the temple, the watchmen outside hurried to the temple superintendent

who in turn informed the king. The king ordered them to enter the

temple to investigate. To the astonishment of everyone, they found Shri

Saci devi, the reciter of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, standing there alone. The

priests of the temple surmised that she must have smuggled herself into

the building in order to steal the ornaments of Lord Jagannatha. But

others present felt it was impossible for her to have done this. "There

must be some mystery behind it all," they said. So it was decided to

confine her for trial and judgement.

Sacidevi didn't mind and very blissfully continued to chant the Holy

Name. Meanwhile, the king had a dream in which Lord Jagannatha very

angrily told him, "You should immediately release Saci. I personally

caused the Ganga to flow from my own foot; it was this that brought her

into the temple so that she could take bat on this auspicious day. If

you are concerned for the welfare of your subjects and your own god

fortune, then along with the temple priests you had better go and beg

forgiveness at her feet and request to become her disciple."


After seeing this dream, the king awoke in a very worried state. He

quickly completed his morning bath and called for the temple priests.

They went to the place of Saci's confinement. The king opened the door

and fell down at her lotus feet to offer his obeisances. He very humbly

begged her forgiveness and submitted Lord Jagannatha's instruction that

he become her disciple. Seeing the wonderful behaviour of the king, she

placed her hand on his head that he might be benedicted. On the next

auspicious day she initiated the king with Radha-Krishna mantra. Many of

the priests also accepted the shelter of her lotus feet at this time.

From that day she became known as Shri Ganga Mata Goswamini.


The king wanted to donate some land to Shri Ganga Mata as guru-daksina,

but she declined, saying that she only wanted the king to attain loving

devotion to Lord Krishna's lotus feet. "I am not qualified to accept

anything more than this," she told him. But the king repeatedly

entreated to her to accept something from him as guru-daksina. Finally,

for the purpose of serving the Vaishnavas, she agreed. Thereafter, daily

two pots of Mahaprasad, one pot of vegetables, one remnant of Lord

Jagannatha's cloth and one hundred and sixty kauris (small conchshells)

were sent to the asrama every day. That service is still observed to

this day, the articles are offered first to her samadhi.

On one occasion a Pandit of the name Mahidhara Sarma came to the banks

of the Sweta-ganga to offer oblations to his forefathers. He happened

to hear of the wonderful qualities of Shri Ganga Mata and thus was

inspired to have darsana of her lotus feet. He approached her and in

turn Ganga Mata very respectfully received him, offered him seat and

inquired as to the purpose of his visit. This brahmana, although a

Pandit, was a very simple and straightforward man, so he honestly stated

that he'd come to have her darsana and to receive spiritual knowledge

from her. She was very pleased with his simplicity and mercifully began

to speak the philosophy of Shrimad-Bhagavatam to him. The pandit

listened very intently to her wonderful elucidation and thereafter

accepted shelter at her lotus feet. On an auspicious day she initiated

him with Radha-Krishna mantra.


Mahindhara Sarma's birthplace was Dhananjaypur. On the order of Shri

Ganga Mata he preached the glories of Shri Shri Nitai-Gaura at various

localities in the district of Ganjam. In the town of Jaipur within

Rajasthan lived one devoted and religious-minded brahmana named of the

name Shri Carma Sarma. In his house was a deity of Krishna called Shri

Rasika Raya. The brahmana, however, was very poor and thus could not

offer foodstuffs properly to the Deity. One night Lord's Jagannatha

appeared to the brahmana in a dream and told him, "The service of Shri

Rasika Raya who is present n your house is not being conducted properly.

You should straight away bring Him here to Shri Ksetra and deliver Him to

Shri Ganga Mata, who resides on the banks of Sweta-Ganga. Otherwise,

some misfortune will befall you."

Having received this order from Lord Jagannatha, the brahmana didn't

delay but immediately set out for Shri Ksetra. Arriving there, he

inquired as to the whereabouts of Shri Ganga Mata and thus presented

himself before her. Seeing the Deity of Shri Krishna, Ganga Mata became

very happy. But when the brahmana explained to her the reason he had

come she replied, "But I am simply a beggar. I eat by begging at a few

houses every day. How will I be able to serve this Deity? You had

better take your Deity with you. Please don't make me an offender."

The brahmana didn't know what to do. He thought deeply about it and

finally saw no other recourse than to place the Deity of Shri Rasika Raya

in the tulasi garden of Shri Ganga Mata and flee away. Shri Rasika Raya

appeared that night in a dream to Ganga Mata and informed her, "I have

come here to accept your service. That brahmana put me in your tulasi

garden and then left this place. I haven't eaten anything for a whole

day. Please feed me." Shri Ganga Mata was struck with wonder. "The

Supreme Lord Hari Himself is asking me to feed Him. Meditating on this,

she became filled with ecstatic love . The hairs on her body stood on

end. She quickly took bath and entered into the tulasi garden. There

she saw Shri Rasika Raya, shining in His own effulgence. With her eyes

full of tears, she fell down and offered her prostrated obeisances.

"Here He is," she thought joyfully, "still hungry." She picked Him up

and carried Him into her room, feeling very doubtful as to what she

should do. Finally she bathed Him and made a simple offering of

foodstuffs. Shri Rasika Raya immediately ate everything. Ganga Mata was

floating in an ocean of happiness. She spread out a new piece of cloth

and laid Him down to rest. In the morning, when the devotees came to

Ganga Mata's house, they were astonished to see Shri Rasika Raya. When

they heard the details of what had happened, they all cheered and

chanted, "Hari! Hari!"


Every day, Shri Ganga Mata would lovingly prepare many varieties of

vegetables and cakes to offer to Shri Rasika Raya. She would spend at

least twelve hours every day serving her Deity. For some days she

served Shri Rasika Raya by begging at people's houses. But as she got on

in years this became somewhat difficult for her. Noticing this, Shri

Rasika Raya by some trick or other would collect the necessary

ingredients and paraphernalia from some rich merchants. But when Ganga

Mata saw that there were many deficiencies in the worship due to her

advanced age, she went before Shri Rasika Raya to pray for His

forgiveness and to inform Him that she was unable to serve Him nicely

now. For this reason she didn't want to remain alive any longer. Shri

Rasika Raya told her in a dream, "I am very pleased with your service.

You shouldn't lament. For a few more days you should continue to serve

Me." Some days passed, but again she told Him that she didn't want to

remain any longer. Her only request was that she might leave this world

while chanting His Holy Name. Shri Rasika Raya replied, "All right,

don't worry any more. After handing over My service to one of your

qualified disciples, you should come join me in my eternal abode.

Thereafter, she entrusted the worship of Shri Rasika Raya to one very

peaceful and self-controlled disciple of hers called Vanamali dasa. At

the age of one hundred and twenty years, in the Christian year of 1721,

on the eleventh day of the bright fortnight of the month of Aswin, Shri

Ganga Mata Goswamini, while seeing the graceful three-fold bending form

of Shri Rasika Raya and meditating on His lotus feet, entered into His

eternal pastimes. Her appearance was in the Christian year 1601. The

Deity of Shri Rasika Raya is still present in the house of Sarvabhauma

Bhattacarya, next to the Sweta-Ganga.




She was the only daughter of King Naresanarayana of Puntiya in the

district of Rajsahi (now in Bangladesh). During her childhood she was

called Saci. She was endowed with a religious temperament from youth

and within a short time Saci became conversant with Vyakarana, Kavya and

various scriptures. When Saci grew up, her beauty and grace charmed

everyone. However, Saci felt no attraction for any man however handsome

or wealthy he may be. Her heart belonged to her Madanagopala.


When she came to know that her parents were concerned about her

marriage, Saci very firmly told them that she would never marry a mortal

being. The king and queen were so disturbed by their daughters decision

that they both passed away, leaving Saci to shoulder the responsibility

of running the royal administration. She performed her royal duties for

some time, but after a short while she set out on a pilgrimage, leaving

the royal administration in the charge of her relatives.


Saci could not find peace of mind anywhere. Finally in her search for a

sat-guru, she came to Puri. She felt inspired after spending a few days

there and then left for Vrndavana. There Saci had the good fortunate to

meet Haridasa Pandita, an ardent devotee of Gaura-Nitai and a disciple

of Ananta Acarya. Saci fell prostrate at the feet of Haridasa and with

tears in her eyes prayed for his refuge.


Haridasa tested Saci's conviction; "Since it is not possible for a

princess to practice bhajana in Vrndavana without relinquishing all

worldly possessions, it would be better for you to go back and perform

your bhajana at your own house."


Although Saci understood the significance of Haridasa's remark, she did

not pay and heed to his words and instead, continued performing her

bhajana with great renunciation. Gradually she gave up wearing costly

garments and refrained from using any ornaments. One day Haridasa said

to Saci, "If you can give up your sense of pride, dignity, and fear and

go out in Vraja with a begging bowl (madhukari), then and then only the

divine grace shall be showered upon you."


Saci was very pleased to hear Haridasa's advice and from then on went

out regularly on madhukari, covering herself with only a tattered

garment. Despite being dressed as vairagi, when she went from door to

door in Vraja, her graceful appearance led people to believe that she

was not a common woman. Saci gradually became very thin and looked

emaciated. Nevertheless, she went on with her daily routine; bathing in

the Yamuna, cleaning the temple yard, parikrama, attending arati and

religious discourses.


Seeing Saci meticulously carrying out his instructions, Haridasa became

compassionate towards her. One day he called Saci before him and said:

"Although you are a princess, your personal sacrifice and devotion to

Krishna has pleased me greatly. You may prepare yourself to receive

mantra diksa right now." Thus Saci devi was initiated in Radha Krishna

mantra from Haridasa on the thirteenth day of the bright fortnight in

the month of Chaitra, and thereafter devoted herself fully to the

service of guru and Govinda. Everyday she attended discourses on

Gosvami sastra given by Haridasa and listened with rapt attention.

Within a short period of time, to everyone's pleasure, Sacidevi became

thoroughly conversant with Gosvami-siddhanta.


Around that time Laksmipriya, an ardent devotee of Haridasa who was

known to regularly chant Harinama three lakhs daily, arrived in

Vrndavana. Under Haridasa's instructions, Laksmipriya and Sacidevi began

regularly practicing bhajana at Radhakunda.


They also performed Govardhana parikrama together daily. When Haridasa

was convinced of Saci's purity in bhajana and total devotion, he called

her one day and instructed her to move to Puridhama to perform her

bhajana there and to preach the teachings of Lord Chaitanya among the

respectable residents of Puri.


By the time she arrived at Puri the majority of Lord Chaitanya's

companions had disappeared from the world. In Puri Saci devi lived and

performed her bhajana in the dilapidated house of Sarvabhauma Pandita.

Of all the Deities worshipped during Sarvabhauma's time only the

Damodara salagrama still remained there. Everyday Sacidevi would recite

from Shrimad Bhagavatam in the presence of the respectable residents of

Puri. Very shortly she became well-known as an accomplished commentator

of Shrimad-Bhagavatam.


One day Mukunda-deva, the Maharaja of Puri, came to hear Saci devi's

recital from Shrimad-Bhagavatam. He was very impressed by her speaking

and felt inspired to offer her something as a token of his appreciation.

That very night Lord Jagannatha appeared to the Maharaja in a dream and

commanded him to award Saci devi a site close to Sveta-ganga.

Accordingly, Mukunda-deva met Saci devi the following morning, explained

his dream, and requested Saci to accept his humble offering of the land

near Sveta-ganga. At first Saci devi declined, but later, in

consideration of the command of Lord Jagannatha, and repeated requests

of the Maharaja, Saci devi accepted the offer and the land was

eventually turned over to her. Incidentally, the fact that Saci devi

was a princess by birth was generally known to the people of Puri.


Once Saci devi expressed her desire to take a bath in the Ganges on the

auspicious day of Varuni. However, she gave up the idea as it was her

guru's order that she stay at Shriksetra. That night Lord Jagannatha

appeared in her dream and said, "Saci, do not worry, on the day of

Varuni you take your bath in Sveta-Ganga, the Ganges will flow to meet

you at your bathing place."


When the auspicious day came Saci devi went out alone at midnight to

take a dip in Sveta-Ganga. As soon as she touched the water, Saci felt

herself being swept away by swelling waves, similar to that of the

Ganges. Saci devi was carried along in the

current until she finally found herself inside the private restricted

bathing place within Lord Jagannatha's temple premises. Therein Saci

devi saw herself amidst thousands of people of Puri taking bath in great

joy while the chanting of hymns filled the air.


Hearing unusual sounds emanating from within the temple, the security

staff of the temple woke up. The Maharaja was informed of the incident

and under his order the temple door was opened. To everyone's surprise

they found the well known reader of Shrimad Bhagavatam, Saci devi,

standing alone inside the temple. The sevaka pandas of the temple

suspected that she had intended to steal the ornaments of Lord

Jagannatha, although some others thought the idea of Saci devi being a

thief was incredible. Ultimately, Saci devi was taken away and locked up

in prison. Saci devi, completely oblivious to the external

circumstances, simply chanted Krishna nama happily.


Very late that night Maharaja Mukunda-deva saw Lord Jagannatha in a

dream. This time the Lord angrily commanded him: "It is I who brought

the Ganges, under My feet, in order to enable Saci to take a bath in the

Ganges as she desired. Go and release Saci immediately. Also you,

along with your priests and pandas, pray at her feet for forgiveness and

receive mantra-diksa from her."


Early the following morning Maharaja took his bath and went to Saci

devi. After releasing her from prison he fell prostrate at her feet,

begging for mercy. He explained his dream to her and sought refuge at

her feet. In compliance with the Lord's wish, on the next auspicious

day Saci devi gave Mukunda, and numerous priests, Radha Krishna mantra

diksa. From that day Saci devi came to be known as Gangamata Gosvamini.


As a token offering to his guru, Maharaja Mukundadeva expressed his

desire to donate some land to Gangamata. At first she declined to

accept any material gift, but after repeated humble requests from

Mukundadeva, Gangamata had to relent. She permitted the Maharaja to

offer certain items and nothing else; two vessels full of mahaprasada of

Lord Jagannatha for the Vaishnavas to relish, one vessel of vegetable,

one piece of cloth first offered to the Lord, and 160 paise. These

items were to be sent to the Matha of Gangamata daily after the noon

offering. This custom is still continued today.