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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Other Scriptures by Acharyas > Navadvipa Krishna Chaitanya Holy Land > Parikrama Places > Svarupa Damodara

Shri Svarupa Damodara


Shri Svarupa Damodara was born in Navadwip. His previous name was Purushottama Acarya and in Vraja lila he is Lalita sakhi. His father, Shri Padmagarbha Acarya, received initiation from Shripad Laksmipati, the guru of Madhavendra Puri. His maternal grandfather's name was Shri Jai Rama Cakravarti, and it was he who raised Shri Svarupa Damodara while he studied at school with Mahaprabhu. When Lord Chaitanya accepted sannyasa in Katwa from Keshava Bharati, Purushottama Acarya, going to Kasi and accepting sannyasa, was given the name Svarupa Damodara. At Kasi he studied the Vedas and other scriptures but he was not attracted to the imper­sonal intepretations given by the Kasi pandits or the mayavadi com­mentaries on the Vedanta-sutras given by Sankaracarya. Feeling that he was wasting his time, he departed for Jagannath Puri and became an intimate associate of Lord Shri Chaitanya.


During the last 18 years of Mahaprabhu's manifest lila, Svarupa Damodara prabhu was one of the three and a half intimate associates with whom Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would discuss confidential and intimate topics concerning Shrimati Radhika and Krishna. The three were Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya and Sikhi Mahiti. The 'half was Sikhi Mahiti's sister, Madhavidevi. (Both brother and sister are eternally gopi assistants to Shrimati Radharani in Vraja.)Svarupa Damodara is the original recorder of the pastimes of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, which he composed in Sanskrit slokas known as karacha. These slokas were later recited by Raghunath das Goswami for Krishnadas Kaviraj. Based on these slokas, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami wrote Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita. Svarupa Damodara used to recite the songs of Vidyapati, Candidas and the Gita Govinda by Jayadeva in accordance with the inner mood of Lord Shri Chaitanya. Svarupa Damodara sang as sweetly as a Gandharva and his sastric knowledge was like the knowledge of Brhaspati. He was very dear to Shri Nityananda Prabhu and Shri Advaita Acarya, and he was the life and soul of Shrila Rupa Goswami and Shri Raghunath das Goswami, who Lord Chaitanya placed in Svarupa Damodara Goswami's care.No literary composition, sloka, song or poem could be presented to Lord Chaitanya unless it was first approved by Svarupa Damodara. If the composition contained even the slightest hint of unharmonious transcendental mellows, rasabhasa, Svarupa Damodara would imme­diately reject the work. Such deviations would cause Lord Shri Chaitanya great pain and He would become extremely angry if He heard them. So as one of His regulative principles, He would not hear anything unless Svarupa Damodara heard it first.Although no ruins currently exist which would indicte the exact location of Svarupa Damodara's place of residence, it is nevertheless known that his place of residence was near Mahaprabhu's. Humbly folding our hands we beg the mercy of Shri Svarupa Damodara Prabhu. Hare Krishna!