The Trunk, Branches and Subbranches of the Caitanya Tree
madhupebhyo namo namaḥ
kathañcid āśrayād yeṣāṁ
śvāpi tad-gandha-bhāg bhavet
śrī-caitanya—Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; pada-ambhoja—the lotus feet; madhu—honey; pebhyaḥ—unto those who drink; namaḥ—respectful obeisances; namaḥ—respectful obeisances; kathañcit—a little of it; āśrayāt—taking shelter of; yeṣām—of whom; śvā—dog; api—also; tat-gandha—the aroma of the lotus flower; bhāk—shareholder; bhavet—may become.
Let me repeatedly offer my respectful obeisances unto the beelike devotees who always taste the honey of the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. If even a doggish nondevotee somehow takes shelter of such devotees, he enjoys the aroma of the lotus flower.
The example of a dog is very significant in this connection. A dog naturally does not become a devotee at any time, but still it is sometimes found that a dog of a devotee gradually becomes a devotee also. We have actually seen that a dog has no respect even for the tulasī plant. Indeed, a dog is especially inclined to pass urine on the tulasī plant. Therefore the dog is the number one nondevotee. But Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's saṅkīrtana movement is so strong that even a doglike nondevotee can gradually become a devotee by the association of a devotee of Lord Caitanya. Śrīla Śivānanda Sena, a great householder devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, attracted a dog on the street while going to Jagannātha Purī. The dog began to follow him and ultimately went to see Caitanya Mahāprabhu and was liberated. Similarly, cats and dogs in the household of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura were also liberated. Cats and dogs and other animals are not expected to become devotees, but in the association of a pure devotee they are also delivered.
jaya jaya śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nityānanda
jayādvaitacandra jaya gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
jaya jaya—all glories; śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya—to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu; nityānanda—Lord Nityānanda; jaya advaita-candra—all glories to Advaita Prabhu; jaya—all glories; gaura-bhakta-vṛnda—to the devotees of Lord Caitanya, headed by Śrīvāsa.
All glories to Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Lord Nityānanda! All glories to Advaita Prabhu, and all glories to the devotees of Lord Caitanya, headed by Śrīvāsa!
ei mālīra--ei vṛkṣera akathya kathana
ebe śuna mukhya-śākhāra nāma-vivaraṇa
ei mālīra—of this gardener; ei vṛkṣera—of this tree; akathya kathana—inconceivable description; ebe—now; śuna—hear; mukhya—chief; śākhāra—branches; nāma—of the names; vivaraṇa—description.
The description of Lord Caitanya as the gardener and the tree is inconceivable. Now hear with attention about the branches of this tree.
caitanya-gosāñira yata pāriṣada-caya
guru-laghu-bhāva tāṅra nā haya niścaya
caitanya—Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; gosāñira—of the supreme spiritual master; yata—all; pāriṣada-caya—groups of associates; guru-laghu-bhāva—conceptions of high and low; tāṅra—of them; nā—never; haya—become; niścaya—ascertained.
The associates of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu were many, but none of them should be considered lower or higher. This cannot be ascertained.
yata yata mahānta kailā tāṅ-sabāra gaṇana
keha karibāre nāre jyeṣṭha-laghu-krama
yata yata—as many as there are; mahānta—great devotees; kailā—made; tāṅ-sabāra—of all of them; gaṇana—counting; keha—all of them; karibāre nāre—can not do; jyeṣṭha—elder; laghu—younger; krama—chronology.
All the great personalities in the line of Lord Caitanya enumerated these devotees, but they could not distinguish between the greater and the lesser.
ataeva tāṅ-sabāre kari' namaskāra
nāma-mātra kari, doṣa nā labe āmāra
ataeva—therefore; tāṅ-sabāre—to all of them; kari'-doing; namaskāra—offer my obeisances; nāma-mātra—that is also a token; kari—I do; doṣa—fault; nā—do not; labe—take; āmāra—of me.
I offer my obeisances unto them as a token of respect. I request them not to consider my offenses.
vande—I offer my obeisances; śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya—to Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; prema-amara-taroḥ—of the eternal tree full of love of Godhead; priyān—those who are devotees; śākhā-rūpān—represented as branches; bhakta-gaṇān—all the devotees; kṛṣṇa-prema—of love of Kṛṣṇa; phala—of the fruit; pradān—the givers.
I offer my obeisances to all the dear devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the eternal tree of love of Godhead. I offer my respects to all the branches of the tree, the devotees of the Lord who distribute the fruit of love of Kṛṣṇa.
Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī sets the example of offering obeisances to all the preacher devotees of Lord Caitanya, without distinction as to higher and lower. Unfortunately, at present there are many foolish so-called devotees of Lord Caitanya who make such distinctions. For example, the title Prabhupāda is offered to a spiritual master, especially to a distinguished spiritual master such as Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī Prabhupāda or Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. When our disciples similarly wanted to address their spiritual master as Prabhupāda, some foolish people became envious. Not considering the propaganda work of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, simply because these disciples addressed their spiritual master as Prabhupāda they became so envious that they formed a faction along with other such envious persons just to minimize the value of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. To chastise such fools, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī very frankly says, keha karibāre nāre jyeṣṭha-laghu-krama. Anyone who is a bona fide preacher of the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu must be respectful to the real devotees of Lord Caitanya; one should not be envious, considering one preacher to be very great and another to be very lowly. This is a material distinction and has no place on the platform of spiritual activities. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī therefore offers equal respect to all the preachers of the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who are compared to the branches of the tree. ISKCON is one of these branches, and it should therefore be respected by all sincere devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
śrīvāsa paṇḍita, āra śrī-rāma paṇḍita
dui bhāi--dui śākhā, jagate vidita
śrīvāsa paṇḍita—of the name Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita; āra—and; śrī-rāma paṇḍita—of the name Śrī Rāma Paṇḍita; dui bhāi—two brothers; dui śākhā—two branches; jagate—in the world; vidita—well known.
The two brothers Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita and Śrī Rāma Paṇḍita started two branches that are well known in the world.
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 90, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita (Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura) is described as an incarnation of Nārada Muni, and Śrī Rāma Paṇḍita, his younger brother, is said to be an incarnation of Parvata Muni, a great friend of Nārada's. Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita's wife, Mālinī, is celebrated as an incarnation of the nurse Ambikā, who fed Lord Kṛṣṇa with her breast milk, and as already noted, his niece Nārāyaṇī, the mother of Ṭhākura Vṛndāvana dāsa, the author of Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, was the sister of Ambikā in kṛṣṇa-līlā. We also understand from the description of Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata that after Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu's acceptance of the sannyāsa order, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita left Navadvīpa, possibly because of feelings of separation, and domiciled at Kumārahaṭṭa.
śrīpati, śrīnidhi--tāṅra dui sahodara
cāri bhāira dāsa-dāsī, gṛha-parikara
śrīpati—of the name Śrīpati; śrīnidhi—of the name Śrīnidhi; tāṅra—their; dui—two; sahodara—own brothers; cāri—four; bhāira—brothers; dāsa-dāsī—family members, manservants and maidservants; gṛha-parikara—all counted in one family.
Their two brothers were named Śrīpati and Śrīnidhi. These four brothers and their servants and maidservants are considered one big branch.
dui śākhāra upaśākhāya tāṅ-sabāra gaṇana
yāṅra gṛhe mahāprabhura sadā saṅkīrtana
dui śākhāra—of the two branches; upaśākhāya—on the subbranches; tāṅ-sabāra—of all of them; gaṇana—counting; yāṅra gṛhe—in whose house; mahāprabhura—of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; sadā—always; saṅkīrtana—congregational chanting.
There is no counting the subbranches of these two branches. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu held congregational chanting daily at the house of Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita.
cāri bhāi sa-vaṁśe kare caitanyera sevā
gauracandra vinā nāhi jāne devī-devā
cāri bhāi—four brothers; sa-vaṁśe—with all family members; kare—do; caitanyera—of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; sevā—service; gauracandra—Gaurasundara (Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu); vinā—except; nāhi jāne—they do not know; devī—goddess; devā—or god.
These four brothers and their family members fully engaged in the service of Lord Caitanya. They knew no other god or goddess.
Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has said, anya-devāśraya nāi, tomāre kahinu bhāi, ei bhakti parama-kāraṇa: if one wants to become a pure, staunch devotee, one should not take shelter of any of the demigods or -goddesses. Foolish Māyāvādīs say that worshiping demigods is as good as worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but that is not a fact. This philosophy misleads people to atheism. One who has no idea what God actually is thinks that any form he imagines or any rascal he accepts can be God. This acceptance of cheap gods or incarnations of God is actually atheism. It is to be concluded, therefore, that those who worship demigods or self-proclaimed incarnations of God are all atheists. They have lost their knowledge, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.20): kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ prapadyante 'nya-devatāḥ. "Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto demigods." Unfortunately, those who do not cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness and do not properly understand the Vedic knowledge accept any rascal to be an incarnation of God, and they are of the opinion that one can become an incarnation simply by worshiping a demigod. This philosophical hodge-podge exists under the name of the Hindu religion, but the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement does not approve of it. Indeed, we strongly condemn it. Such worship of demigods and so-called incarnations of God should never be confused with the pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
'ācāryaratna' nāma dhare baḍa eka śākhā
tāṅra parikara, tāṅra śākhā-upaśākhā
ācāryaratna—of the name Ācāryaratna; nāma—name; dhare—he accepts; baḍa—big; eka—one; śākhā—branch; tāṅra—his; parikara—associates; tāṅra—his; śākhā—branch; upaśākhā—subbranches.
Another big branch was Ācāryaratna, and his associates were subbranches.
ācāryaratnera nāma 'śrī-candraśekhara'--
yāṅra ghare devī-bhāve nācilā īśvara
ācāryaratnera—of Ācāryaratna; nāma—name; śrī-candraśekhara—of the name Śrī Candraśekhara; yāṅra—of whom; ghare—in the home; devī-bhāve—as the goddess; nācilā—danced; īśvara—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Ācāryaratna was also named Śrī Candraśekhara Ācārya. In a drama in his house, Lord Caitanya played the goddess of fortune.
Dramatic performances were also enacted during the presence of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but the players who took part in such dramas were all pure devotees; no outsiders were allowed. The members of ISKCON should follow this example. Whenever they stage dramatic performances about the lives of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu or Lord Kṛṣṇa, the players must be pure devotees. Professional players and dramatic actors have no sense of devotional service, and therefore although they can perform very artistically, there is no life in such performances. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura used to refer to such an actor as yātrā-dale nārada, which means "farcical Nārada." Sometimes an actor in a drama plays the part of Nārada Muni, although in his private life he is not at all like Nārada Muni because he is not a devotee. Such actors are not needed in dramatic performances about the lives of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to perform dramas with Advaita Prabhu, Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura and other devotees in the house of Candraśekhara. The place where Candraśekhara's house was situated is now known as Vrajapattana. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura established a branch of his Śrī Caitanya Maṭha at this place. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu decided to accept the renounced order of life, Candraśekhara Ācārya was informed of this by Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, and therefore he was also present when Lord Caitanya accepted sannyāsa from Keśava Bhāratī in Katwa. It is he who first spread the word in Navadvīpa of Lord Caitanya's accepting sannyāsa. Śrī Candraśekhara Ācārya was present during many important incidents in the pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He therefore forms the second branch of the tree of Lord Caitanya.
puṇḍarīka vidyānidhi--baḍa-śākhā jāni
yāṅra nāma lañā prabhu kāndilā āpani
puṇḍarīka vidyānidhi—of the name Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi; baḍa-śākhā—another big branch; jāni—I know; yāṅra nāma—whose name; lañā—taking; prabhu—the Lord; kāndilā—cried; āpani—Himself.
Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, the third big branch, was so dear to Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu that in his absence Lord Caitanya Himself would sometimes cry.
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā Śrīla Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi is described as the father of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in kṛṣṇa-līlā. Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore treated him as His father. Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi's father was known as Bāṇeśvara or, according to another opinion, Śuklāmbara Brahmacārī, and his mother's name was Gaṅgādevī. According to one opinion, Bāṇeśvara was a descendent of Śrī Śivarāma Gaṅgopādhyāya. The original home of Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi was in East Bengal, in a village near Dacca named Bāghiyā, which belonged to the Vārendra group of brāhmaṇa families. Sometimes these Vārendra brāhmaṇas were at odds with another group known as Rāḍhīya brāhmaṇas, and therefore Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi's family was ostracized and at that time was not living as a respectable family. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī informs us that one of the members of this family is living in Vṛndāvana and is named Sarojānanda Gosvāmī. One special characteristic of this family is that each of its members had only one son or no son at all, and therefore the family was not very expansive. There is a place in the district of Caṭṭagrāma in East Bengal that is known as Hāta-hājāri, and a short distance from this place is a village known as Mekhalā-grāma in which Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi's forefathers lived. One can approach Mekhalā-grāma from Caṭṭagrāma either on horseback, by bullock cart or by steamer. The steamer station is known as Annapūrṇāra-ghāṭa. The birthplace of Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi is about two miles southwest of Annapūrṇāra-ghāṭa. The temple constructed there by Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi is now very old and much in need of repair. Without repair, the temple may soon crumble. There are two inscriptions on the bricks of that temple, but they are so old that one cannot read them. There is another temple, however, about two hundred yards south of this one, and some people say that this is the old temple constructed by Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu called Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi "father," and He gave him the title Premanidhi. Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi later became the spiritual master of Gadādhara Paṇḍita and an intimate friend of Svarūpa Dāmodara's. Gadādhara Paṇḍita at first misunderstood Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi to be an ordinary pounds-and-shillings man, but later, upon being corrected by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he became his disciple. Another incident in the life of Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi involves his criticizing the priest of the Jagannātha temple, for which Jagannātha Prabhu chastised him personally by slapping his cheeks. This is described in Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-līlā, Chapter Seven. Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura informs us that there are still two living descendants of the family of Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, who are named Śrī Harakumāra Smṛtitīrtha and Śrī Kṛṣṇakiṅkara Vidyālaṅkāra. For further information one should refer to the dictionary known as Vaiṣṇava-mañjuṣā.
baḍa śākhā,--gadādhara paṇḍita-gosāñi
teṅho lakṣmī-rūpā, tāṅra sama keha nāi
baḍa śākhā—big branch; gadādhara paṇḍita-gosāñi—the descendants or disciplic succession of Gadādhara Paṇḍita; teṅho—Gadādhara Paṇḍita; lakṣmī-rūpā—incarnation of the pleasure potency of Lord Kṛṣṇa; tāṅra—his; sama—equal; keha—anyone; nāi—there is none.
Gadādhara Paṇḍita, the fourth branch, is described as an incarnation of the pleasure potency of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. No one, therefore, can equal him.
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verses 147 through 153, it is stated: "The pleasure potency of Śrī Kṛṣṇa formerly known as Vṛndāvaneśvarī is now personified in the form of Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita in the pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu." Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī has pointed out that in the shape of Lakṣmī, the pleasure potency of Kṛṣṇa, she was formerly very dear to the Lord as Śyāmasundara-vallabhā. The same Śyāmasundara-vallabhā is now present as Gadādhara Paṇḍita. Formerly, as Lalitā-sakhī, she was always devoted to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. In the Twelfth Chapter of this part of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta there is a description of the descendants or disciplic succession of Gadādhara Paṇḍita.
tāṅra śiṣya-upaśiṣya,--tāṅra upaśākhā
eimata saba śākhā-upaśākhāra lekhā
tāṅra—his; śiṣya—disciples; upaśiṣya—granddisciples and admirers; tāṅra—his; upaśākhā—subbranches; eimata—in this way; saba—all; śākhā—branches; upaśākhāra—subbranches; lekhā—to describe by writing.
His disciples and granddisciples are his subbranches. To describe them all would be difficult.
vakreśvara paṇḍita--prabhura baḍa priya bhṛtya
eka-bhāve cabbiśa prahara yāṅra nṛtya
vakreśvara paṇḍita—of the name Vakreśvara Paṇḍita; prabhura—of the Lord; baḍa—very; priya—dear; bhṛtya—servant; eka-bhāve—continuously in the same ecstasy; cabbiśa—twenty-four; prahara—a duration of time comprising three hours; yāṅra—whose; nṛtya—dancing.
Vakreśvara Paṇḍita, the fifth branch of the tree, was a very dear servant of Lord Caitanya's. He could dance with constant ecstasy for seventy-two hours.
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 71, it is stated that Vakreśvara Paṇḍita was an incarnation of Aniruddha, one of the quadruple expansions of Viṣṇu (Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Aniruddha and Pradyumna). He could dance wonderfully for seventy-two continuous hours. When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu played in dramatic performances in the house of Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, Vakreśvara Paṇḍita was one of the chief dancers, and he danced continuously for that length of time. Śrī Govinda dāsa, an Oriyā devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, has described the life of Vakreśvara Paṇḍita in his book Gaura-kṛṣṇodaya. There are many disciples of Vakreśvara Paṇḍita in Orissa, and they are known as Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas although they are Oriyās. Among these disciples are Śrī Gopālaguru and his disciple Śrī Dhyānacandra Gosvāmī.
āpane mahāprabhu gāya yāṅra nṛtya-kāle
prabhura caraṇa dhari' vakreśvara bale
āpane—personally; mahāprabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; gāya—sang; yāṅra—whose; nṛtya-kāle—at the time of dancing; prabhura—of the Lord; caraṇa—lotus feet; dhari'-embracing; vakreśvara—Vakreśvara Paṇḍita; bale—said.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally sang while Vakreśvara Paṇḍita danced, and thus Vakreśvara Paṇḍita fell at the lotus feet of the Lord and spoke as follows.
"daśa-sahasra gandharva more deha' candramukha
tārā gāya, muñi nācoṅ--tabe mora sukha"
daśa-sahasra—ten thousand; gandharva—residents of Gandharvaloka; more—unto me; deha'-please deliver; candra-mukha—O moon-faced one; tārā gāya—let them sing; muñi nācoṅ—let me dance; tabe—then; mora—my; sukha—happiness.
"O Candramukha! Please give me ten thousand Gandharvas. Let them sing as I dance, and then I will be greatly happy."
prabhu bale--tumi mora pakṣa eka śākhā
ākāśe uḍitāma yadi pāṅ āra pākhā
prabhu bale—Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied; tumi—you; mora—My; pakṣa—wing; eka—one; śākhā—one-sided; ākāśe—in the sky; uḍitāma—I could fly; yadi—if; pāṅ—I could get; āra—another; pākhā—wing.
Lord Caitanya replied, "I have only one wing like you, but if I had another, certainly I would fly in the sky!"
paṇḍita jagadānanda prabhura prāṇa-rūpa
loke khyāta yeṅho satyabhāmāra svarūpa
paṇḍita jagadānanda—of the name Paṇḍita Jagadānanda; prabhura—of the Lord; prāṇa-rūpa—life and soul; loke—in the world; khyāta—celebrated; yeṅho—who; satyabhāmāra—of Satyabhāmā; svarūpa—personification.
Paṇḍita Jagadānanda, the sixth branch of the Caitanya tree, was celebrated as the life and soul of the Lord. He is known to have been an incarnation of Satyabhāmā [one of the chief queens of Lord Kṛṣṇa].
prītye karite cāhe prabhura lālana-pālana
vairāgya-loka-bhaye prabhu nā māne kakhana
prītye—in intimacy or affection; karite—to do; cāhe—wanted; prabhura—the Lord's; lālana-pālana—maintenance; vairāgya—renouncement; loka-bhaye—fearing the public; prabhu—the Lord; nā—did not; māne—accept; kakhana—any time.
Jagadānanda Paṇḍita [as an incarnation of Satyabhāmā] always wanted to see to the comfort of Lord Caitanya, but since the Lord was a sannyāsī He did not accept the luxuries that Jagadānanda Paṇḍita offered.
dui-jane khaṭmaṭi lāgāya kondala
tāṅra prītyera kathā āge kahiba sakala
dui-jane—two persons; khaṭmaṭi—fighting over trifles; lāgāya—continued; kondala—quarrel; tāṅra—his; prītyera—affection; kathā—narration; āge—ahead; kahiba—I shall speak; sakala—all.
They sometimes appeared to fight over trifles, but these quarrels were based on their affection, of which I shall speak later.
tāṅra eka śākhā mukhya--makaradhvaja kara
rāghava paṇḍita—of the name Rāghava Paṇḍita; prabhura—of the Lord; ādya—original; anucara—follower; tāṅra—his; eka—one; śākhā—branch; mukhya—chief; makaradhvaja—of the name Makaradhvaja; kara—surname.
Rāghava Paṇḍita, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's original follower, is understood to have been the seventh branch. From him proceeded another subbranch, headed by Makaradhvaja Kara.
kṛṣṇāyādād vraje 'mitām
saiva sāmprataṁ gaurāṅga-
tāṅhāra bhaginī damayantī prabhura priya dāsī
prabhura bhoga-sāmagrī ye kare vāra-māsi
tāṅhāra—his; bhaginī—sister; damayantī—of the name Damayantī; prabhura—of the Lord; priya—dear; dāsī—maidservant; prabhura—of the Lord; bhoga-sāmagrī—cooking materials; ye—who; kare—does; vāra-māsi—throughout the whole year.
Rāghava Paṇḍita's sister Damayantī was the dear maidservant of the Lord. She always collected various ingredients with which to cook for Lord Caitanya.
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 167, it is mentioned, guṇamālā vraje yāsīd damayantī tu tat-svasā: The gopī named Guṇamālā appeared as Rāghava Paṇḍita's sister Damayantī. On the East Bengal railway line beginning from the Sealdah station in Calcutta, there is a station named Sodapura, which is not very far from Calcutta. Within one mile of this station, toward the western side of the Ganges, is a village known as Pāṇihāṭī, in which the residential quarters of Rāghava Paṇḍita still exist. On Rāghava Paṇḍita's tomb is a creeper on a concrete platform. There is also a Madana-mohana Deity in a broken-down temple nearby. This temple is managed by a local Zamindar of the name Śrī Śivacandra Rāya Caudhurī. Makaradhvaja Kara was also an inhabitant of Pāṇihāṭī.
se saba sāmagrī yata jhālite bhariyā
rāghava la-iyā yā'na gupata kariyā
se saba—all those; sāmagrī—ingredients; yata—all of them; jhālite bhariyā—packing in bags; rāghava—Rāghava Paṇḍita; la-iyā—carried; yā'na—goes; gupata kariyā—very confidentially.
The foods Damayantī cooked for Lord Caitanya when He was at Purī were carried in bags by her brother Rāghava without the knowledge of others.
vāra-māsa tāhā prabhu karena aṅgīkāra
'rāghavera jhāli' bali' prasiddhi yāhāra
vāra-māsa—the whole year; tāhā—all those foods; prabhu—Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; karena—did; aṅgīkāra—accept; rāghavera jhāli—the bags of Rāghava Paṇḍita; bali'-so called; prasiddhi—celebrated; yāhāra—of which.
The Lord accepted these foods throughout the entire year. Those bags are still celebrated as rāghavera jhāli ["the bags of Rāghava Paṇḍita"].
se-saba sāmagrī āge kariba vistāra
yāhāra śravaṇe bhaktera vahe aśrudhāra
se-saba—all these things; sāmagrī—ingredients of the foods; āge—further on; kariba—I shall describe; vistāra—vividly; yāhāra—of which; śravaṇe—by the hearing; bhaktera—of a devotee; vahe—flowing; aśru-dhāra—tears.
I shall describe the contents of the bags of Rāghava Paṇḍita later in this book. Hearing this narration, devotees generally cry, and tears glide down from their eyes.
prabhura atyanta priya--paṇḍita gaṅgādāsa
yāṅhāra smaraṇe haya sarva-bandha-nāśa
prabhura—of the Lord; atyanta—very much; priya—dear; paṇḍita gaṅgādāsa—of the name Paṇḍita Gaṅgādāsa; yāṅhāra—who; smaraṇe—by remembering; haya—it becomes; sarva-bandha-nāśa—freedom from all kinds of bondage.
Paṇḍita Gaṅgādāsa was the eighth dear branch of the tree of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One who remembers his activities attains freedom from all bondage.
pitā kari' yāṅre bale gaurāṅga-sundara
caitanya-pārṣada—associate of Lord Caitanya; śrī-ācārya purandara—of the name Śrī Ācārya Purandara; pitā—father; kari'-taking him; yāṅre—whom; bale—says; gaurāṅga-sundara—Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Śrī Ācārya Purandara, the ninth branch, was a constant associate of Lord Caitanya. The Lord accepted him as His father.
It is described in the Caitanya-bhāgavata that whenever Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited the house of Rāghava Paṇḍita, He also visited Purandara Ācārya immediately upon receiving an invitation. Purandara Ācārya is to be considered most fortunate because the Lord used to greet him by addressing him as His father and embracing him in great love.
dāmodara-paṇḍita śākhā premete pracaṇḍa
prabhura upare yeṅho kaila vākya-daṇḍa
dāmodara-paṇḍita—of the name Dāmodara Paṇḍita; śākhā—another branch (the tenth branch); premete—in affection; pracaṇḍa—very much advanced; prabhura—the Lord; upare—upon; yeṅho—he who; kaila—did; vākya-daṇḍa—chastisement by speaking.
Dāmodara Paṇḍita, the tenth branch of the Caitanya tree, was so elevated in love of Lord Caitanya that he once unhesitatingly chastised the Lord with strong words.
daṇḍa-kathā kahiba āge vistāra kariyā
daṇḍe tuṣṭa prabhu tāṅre pāṭhāilā nadīyā
daṇḍa-kathā—the narration of such chastisement; kahiba—I shall speak; āge—ahead; vistāra—detailed description; kariyā—making; daṇḍe—in the matter of chastisement; tuṣṭa prabhu—the Lord is very much satisfied; tāṅre—him; pāṭhāilā—sent back; nadīyā—Nadia (a district in Bengal).
Later in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta I shall describe this incident of chastisement in detail. The Lord, being very much satisfied by this chastisement, sent Dāmodara Paṇḍita to Navadvīpa.
tāṅhāra anuja śākhā--śaṅkara-paṇḍita
'prabhu-pādopādhāna' yāṅra nāma vidita
tāṅhāra—his (Dāmodara Paṇḍita's); anuja—younger brother; śākhā—the eleventh branch; śaṅkara-paṇḍita—of the name Śaṅkara Paṇḍita; prabhu—the Lord's; pāda-upadhāna—shoes; yāṅra—whose; nāma—name; vidita—celebrated.
The eleventh branch, the younger brother of Dāmodara Paṇḍita, was known as Śaṅkara Paṇḍita. He was celebrated as the shoes of the Lord.
sadāśiva-paṇḍita yāṅra prabhu-pade āśa
prathamei nityānandera yāṅra ghare vāsa
sadāśiva-paṇḍita—of the name Sadāśiva Paṇḍita; yāṅra—whose; prabhu-pade—unto the lotus feet of the Lord; āśa—constant desire; prathamei—in the beginning; nityānandera—of Lord Nityānanda; yāṅra—of whom; ghare—in the home; vāsa—residence.
Sadāśiva Paṇḍita, the twelfth branch, was always anxious to serve the lotus feet of the Lord. It was his good fortune that when Lord Nityānanda came to Navadvīpa He resided at his house.
prabhu tāṅra nāma kailā 'nṛsiṁhānanda' kari'
śrī-nṛsiṁha-upāsaka—the worshiper of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva; pradyumna brahmacārī—of the name Pradyumna Brahmacārī; prabhu—the Lord; tāṅra—his; nāma—name; kailā—turned into; nṛsiṁhānanda—of the name Nṛsiṁhānanda; kari'-by such a name.
The thirteenth branch was Pradyumna Brahmacārī. Since he was a worshiper of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu changed his name to Nṛsiṁhānanda Brahmacārī.
Pradyumna Brahmacārī is described in the Antya-līlā, Second Chapter, of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. He was a great devotee of Lord Caitanya's who changed his name to Nṛsiṁhānanda. While coming from the house of Rāghava Paṇḍita at Pānihāṭī to the house of Śivānanda, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared in the heart of Nṛsiṁhānanda Brahmacārī. To acknowledge this, Nṛsiṁhānanda Brahmacārī used to accept as eatables the food of three Deities, namely, Jagannātha, Nṛsiṁhadeva and Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This is stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā, Second Chapter, verses 48 through 78. Upon receiving information that Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was proceeding toward Vṛndāvana from Kuliyā, Nṛsiṁhānanda absorbed himself in meditation and by his mental activities began constructing a very nice road from Kuliyā to Vṛndāvana. All of a sudden, however, he broke his meditation and told the other devotees that this time Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu would not go to Vṛndāvana but only as far as the place known as Kānāi Nāṭaśālā. This is described in the Madhya-līlā, Chapter One, verses 155 through 162. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 74, says, āveśaś ca tathājñeyo miśre pradyumna-saṁjñake: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu changed the name of Pradyumna Miśra, or Pradyumna Brahmacārī, to Nṛsiṁhānanda Brahmacārī, for in his heart Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva was manifest. It is said that Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva used to talk with him directly.
nārāyaṇa-paṇḍita eka baḍa-i udāra
caitanya-caraṇa vinu nāhi jāne āra
nārāyaṇa-paṇḍita—of the name Nārāyaṇa Paṇḍita; eka—one; baḍai—very; udāra—liberal; caitanya-caraṇa—the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya; vinu—except; nāhi—not; jāne—know; āra—anything else.
Nārāyaṇa Paṇḍita, the fourteenth branch, a great and liberal devotee, did not know any shelter but Lord Caitanya's lotus feet.
śrīmān-paṇḍita śākhā--prabhura nija bhṛtya
deuṭi dharena, yabe prabhu karena nṛtya
śrīmān-paṇḍita—of the name Śrīmān Paṇḍita; śākhā—branch; prabhura—of the Lord; nija—own; bhṛtya—servant; deuṭi—torch light; dharena—carries; yabe—while; prabhu—Lord Caitanya; karena—does; nṛtya—dance.
The fifteenth branch was Śrīmān Paṇḍita, who was a constant servitor of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He used to carry a torch while the Lord danced.
śuklāmbara-brahmacārī baḍa bhāgyavān
yāṅra anna māgi' kāḍi' khāilā bhagavān
śuklāmbara-brahmacārī—of the name Śuklāmbara Brahmacārī; baḍa—very; bhāgyavān—fortunate; yāṅra—whose; anna—food; māgi'-begging; kāḍi'-snatching; khāilā—ate; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The sixteenth branch, Śuklāmbara Brahmacārī, was very fortunate because Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu jokingly or seriously begged food from him or sometimes snatched it from him forcibly and ate it.
It is stated that Suklāmbara Brahmacārī, an inhabitant of Navadvīpa, was Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu's first companion in the saṅkīrtana movement. When Lord Caitanya returned from Gayā after initiation, He stayed with Śuklāmbara Brahmacārī because He wanted to hear from this devotee about the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Śuklāmbara Brahmacārī collected alms of rice from the inhabitants of Navadvīpa, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took pleasure in eating the rice that he cooked. It is said that Śuklāmbara Brahmacārī was one of the wives of the yajñic brāhmaṇas during the time of Lord Kṛṣṇa's pastimes in Vṛndāvana. Lord Kṛṣṇa begged food from the wives of the yajñic brāhmaṇas, and Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu performed a similar pastime by begging rice from Śuklāmbara Brahmacārī.
nandana-ācārya-śākhā jagate vidita
lukāiyā dui prabhura yāṅra ghare sthita
nandana-ācārya—of the name Nandana Ācārya; śākhā—the seventeenth branch; jagate—in the world; vidita—celebrated; lukāiyā—hiding; dui—two; prabhura—of the Lords; yāṅra—of whom; ghare—in the house; sthita—situated.
Nandana Ācārya, the seventeenth branch of the Caitanya tree, is celebrated within the world because the two Prabhus [Lord Caitanya and Nityānanda] sometimes hid in his house.
Nandana Ācārya was another companion of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu during His kīrtana pastimes in Navadvīpa. Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu, as Avadhūta, traveled on many pilgrimages, and when He first came to Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma He remained hidden in the house of Nandana Ācārya. It is there that He first met all the devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu exhibited His mahā-prakāśa, He asked Rāmāi Paṇḍita to call Advaita Prabhu, who was hiding in the home of Nandana Ācārya, for Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu could understand that He was hiding. Similarly, Lord Caitanya also sometimes hid in the home of Nandana Ācārya. In this connection one may refer to Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-līlā Chapters Six and Seventeen.
śrī-mukunda-datta śākhā--prabhura samādhyāyī
yāṅhāra kīrtane nāce caitanya-gosāñi
śrī-mukunda-datta—of the name Śrī Mukunda Datta; śākhā—another branch; prabhura—of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; samādhyāyī—class friend; yāṅhāra—whose; kīrtane—in saṅkīrtana; nāce—dances; caitanya-gosāñi—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Mukunda Datta, a class friend of Lord Caitanya's, was another branch of the Caitanya tree. Lord Caitanya danced while he sang.
vraje sthitau gāyakau yau
"In Vraja there were two very nice singers named Madhukaṇṭha and Madhuvrata. They appeared in caitanya-līlā as Mukunda and Vāsudeva Datta, who were singers in the society of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu." When Lord Caitanya was a student, Mukunda Datta was His class friend, and they frequently engaged in logical arguments. Sometimes Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu would fight with Mukunda Datta, using tricks of logic. This is described in the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-līlā, Chapters Eleven and Twelve. When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned from Gayā, Mukunda Datta gave Him pleasure by reciting verses from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam about kṛṣṇa-līlā. It was by his endeavor that Gadādhara Paṇḍita Gosvāmī became a disciple of Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, as stated in Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-līlā, Chapter Seven. When Mukunda Datta sang in the courtyard of Śrīvāsa Prabhu, Mahāprabhu danced with His singing, and when Lord Caitanya for twenty-one hours exhibited an ecstatic manifestation known as sāta-prahariyā, Mukunda Datta inaugurated the function by singing.
Sometimes Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu chastised Mukunda Datta by calling him khaḍajāṭhiyā beṭā because he attended many functions held by different classes of nondevotees. This is stated in the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-līlā, Chapter Ten. When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu dressed Himself as the goddess of fortune to dance in the house of Candraśekhara, Mukunda Datta began the first song.
Before disclosing His desire to take the renounced order of life, Lord Caitanya first went to the house of Mukunda Datta, but at that time Mukunda Datta requested Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to continue His saṅkīrtana movement for a few days more before taking sannyāsa. This is stated in Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-līlā Chapter Twenty-six. The information of Lord Caitanya's accepting the renounced order was made known to Gadādhara Paṇḍita, Candraśekhara Ācārya and Mukunda Datta by Nityānanda Prabhu, and therefore all of them went to Katwa and arranged for kīrtana and all the paraphernalia for Lord Caitanya's acceptance of sannyāsa. After the Lord took sannyāsa, they all followed Him, especially Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Gadādhara Prabhu and Govinda, who followed Him all the way to Puruṣottama-kṣetra. In this connection one may refer to Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-līlā, Chapter Two. In the place known as Jaleśvara, Nityānanda Prabhu broke the sannyāsa rod of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Mukunda Datta was also present at that time. He went every year from Bengal to see Lord Caitanya at Jagannātha Purī.
vāsudeva datta--prabhura bhṛtya mahāśaya
sahasra-mukhe yāṅra guṇa kahile nā haya
vāsudeva datta—of the name Vāsudeva Datta; prabhura—of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; bhṛtya—servant; mahāśaya—great personality; sahasra-mukhe—with thousands of mouths; yāṅra—whose; guṇa—qualities; kahile—describing; nā—never; haya—becomes fulfilled.
Vāsudeva Datta, the nineteenth branch of the Śrī Caitanya tree, was a great personality and a most confidential devotee of the Lord. One could not describe his qualities even with thousands of mouths.
Vāsudeva Datta, the brother of Mukunda Datta, was also a resident of Caṭṭagrāma. In the Caitanya-bhāgavata it is said, yāṅra sthāne kṛṣṇa haya āpane vikraya: Vāsudeva Datta was such a powerful devotee that Kṛṣṇa was purchased by him. Vāsudeva Datta stayed at Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita's house, and in the Caitanya-bhāgavata it is described that Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was so pleased with Vāsudeva Datta and so affectionate toward him that He used to say, "I am only Vāsudeva Datta's man. My body is only meant to please Vāsudeva Datta, and he can sell Me anywhere." Thrice He vowed that this was a fact and that no one should disbelieve these statements. "All My dear devotees," He said, "I tell you the truth. My body is especially meant for Vāsudeva Datta." Vāsudeva Datta initiated Śrī Yadunandana Ācārya, the spiritual master of Raghunātha dāsa, who later became Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. This will be found in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līla, Sixth Chapter, verse 161. Vāsudeva Datta spent money very liberally; therefore Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked Śivānanda Sena to become his sarakhela, or secretary, in order to control his extravagant expenses. Vāsudeva Datta was so kind to the living entities that he wanted to take all their sinful reactions so that they might be delivered by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This is described in the Fifteenth Chapter of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta's Madhya-līlā, verses 159 through 180.
There is a railway station named Pūrvasthalī near the Navadvīpa railway station, and about one mile away, in a village known as Māmagāchi, which is the birthplace of Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura, there is presently a temple of Madana-gopāla that was established by Vāsudeva Datta. The Gauḍīya Maṭha devotees have now taken charge of this temple, and the sevā-pūjā is going on very nicely. Every year all the pilgrims on the navadvīpa-parikrama visit Māmagāchi. Since Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura inaugurated the navadvīpa-parikrama function, the temple has been very well managed.
jagate yateka jīva, tāra pāpa lañā
naraka bhuñjite cāhe jīva chāḍāiyā
jagate—in the world; yateka—all; jīva—living entities; tāra—their; pāpa—sinful activities; lañā—taking; naraka—hell; bhuñjite—to suffer; cāhe—wanted; jīva—the living entities; chāḍāiyā—liberating them.
Śrīla Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura wanted to suffer for the sinful activities of all the people of the world so that Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu might deliver them.
haridāsa-ṭhākura śākhāra adbhuta carita
tina lakṣa nāma teṅho layena apatita
haridāsa-ṭhākura—of the name Haridāsa Ṭhākura; śākhāra—of the branch; adbhuta—wonderful; carita—characteristics; tina—three; lakṣa—hundred thousand; nāma—names; teṅho—he; layena—chanted; apatita—without fail.
The twentieth branch of the Caitanya tree was Haridāsa Ṭhākura. His character was wonderful. He used to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa 300,000 times a day without fail.
Certainly the chanting of 300,000 holy names of the Lord is wonderful. No ordinary person can chant so many names, nor should one artificially imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura's behavior. It is essential, however, that everyone fulfill a specific vow to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Therefore we have prescribed in our Society that all our students must chant at least sixteen rounds daily. Such chanting must be offenseless in order to be of high quality. Mechanical chanting is not as powerful as chanting of the holy name without offenses. It is stated in the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-līlā, Chapter Two, that Haridāsa Ṭhākura was born in a village known as Buḍhana but after some time came to live on the bank of the Ganges at Phuliyā near Śāntipura. From the description of his chastisement by a Muslim magistrate, which is found in the Sixteenth Chapter of the Ādi-līlā of Caitanya-bhāgavata, we can understand how humble and meek Haridāsa Ṭhākura was and how he achieved the causeless mercy of the Lord. In the dramas performed by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Haridāsa Ṭhākura played the part of a police chief. While chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra in Benāpola, he was personally tested by Māyādevī herself. Haridāsa Ṭhākura's passing away is described in the Antya-līlā of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Eleventh Chapter. It is not definitely certain whether Śrī Haridāsa Ṭhākura appeared in the village named Buḍhana that is in the district of Khulnā. Formerly this village was within a district of twenty-four pargaṇas within the Sātakṣīrā division.
tāṅhāra ananta guṇa--kahi diṅmātra
ācārya gosāñi yāṅre bhuñjāya śrāddha-pātra
tāṅhāra—Haridāsa Ṭhākura's; ananta—unlimited; guṇa—qualities; kahi—I speak; diṅ-mātra—only a small part; ācārya gosāñi—Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu; yāṅre—to whom; bhuñjāya—offered to eat; śrāddha-pātra—prasāda offered to Lord Viṣṇu.
There was no end to the transcendental qualities of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Here I mention but a fraction of his qualities. He was so exalted that Advaita Gosvāmī, when performing the śrāddha ceremony of his father, offered him the first plate.
prahlāda-samāna tāṅra guṇera taraṅga
yavana-tāḍaneo yāṅra nāhika bhrū-bhaṅga
prahlāda-samāna—exactly like Prahlāda Mahārāja; tāṅra—his; guṇera—qualities; taraṅga—waves; yavana—of the Muslims; tāḍaneo—even by the persecution; yāṅra—whose; nāhika—there was none; bhrū-bhaṅga—even the slightest agitation of an eyebrow.
The waves of his good qualities were like those of Prahlāda Mahārāja. He did not even slightly raise an eyebrow when persecuted by the Muslim ruler.
teṅho siddhi pāile tāṅra deha lañā kole
nācila caitanya-prabhu mahā-kutūhale
teṅho—he; siddhi—perfection; pāile—after achieving; tāṅra—his; deha—body; lañā—taking; kole—on the lap; nācila—danced; caitanya-prabhu—Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; mahā-kutūhale—in great ecstasy.
After the passing away of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, the Lord Himself took his body on His lap, and He danced with it in great ecstasy.
tāṅra līlā varṇiyāchena vṛndāvana-dāsa
yebā avaśiṣṭa, āge kariba prakāśa
tāṅra—his; līlā—pastimes; varṇiyāchena—described; vṛndāvana-dāsa—Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura; yebā—whatever; avaśiṣṭa—remained undescribed; āge—later in the book; kariba—I shall make; prakāśa—manifest.
Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura vividly described the pastimes of Haridāsa Ṭhākura in his Caitanya-bhāgavata. Whatever has remained undescribed I shall try to explain later in this book.
tāṅra upaśākhā--yata kulīna-grāmī jana
satyarāja-ādi--tāṅra kṛpāra bhājana
tāṅra upaśākhā—his subbranch; yata—all; kulīna-grāmī jana—the inhabitants of Kulīna-grāma; satyarāja—of the name Satyarāja; ādi—heading the list; tāṅra—his; kṛpāra—of mercy; bhājana—recipient.
One subbranch of Haridāsa Ṭhākura consisted of the residents of Kulīna-grāma. The most important among them was Satyarāja Khān, or Satyarāja Vasu, who was a recipient of all the mercy of Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
Satyarāja Khān was the son of Guṇarāja Khān and father of Rāmānanda Vasu. Haridāsa Ṭhākura lived for some time during the Cāturmāsya period in the village named Kulīna-grāma, where he chanted the holy name, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, and distributed his mercy to the descendants of the Vasu family. Satyarāja Khān was allotted the service of supplying silk ropes for the Jagannātha Deity during the Rathayātrā festival. The answers to his inquiries from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu about the duty of householder devotees are vividly described in the Madhya-līlā, Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen. The village of Kulīna-grāma is situated two miles from the railway station named Jaugrāma on the Newcord line from Howrah to Burdwan. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu very highly praised the people of Kulīna-grāma, and He stated that even a dog of Kulīna-grāma was very dear to Him.
śrī-murāri gupta śākhā--premera bhāṇḍāra
prabhura hṛdaya drave śuni' dainya yāṅra
śrī-murāri gupta—of the name Śrī Murāri Gupta; śākhā—branch; premera—of love of Godhead; bhāṇḍāra—store; prabhura—of the Lord; hṛdaya—the heart; drave—melts; śuni'-hearing; dainya—humility; yāṅra—of whom.
Murāri Gupta, the twenty-first branch of the tree of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, was a storehouse of love of Godhead. His great humility and meekness melted the heart of Lord Caitanya.
Śrī Murāri Gupta wrote a book called Śrī Caitanya-carita. He belonged to a vaidya physician family of Śrīhaṭṭa, the paternal home of Lord Caitanya, and later became a resident of Navadvīpa. He was among the elders of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Lord Caitanya exhibited His Varāha form in the house of Murāri Gupta, as described in the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-līlā, Third Chapter. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu exhibited His mahā-prakāśa form, He appeared before Murāri Gupta as Lord Rāmacandra. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu were sitting together in the house of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura, Murāri Gupta first offered his respects to Lord Caitanya and then to Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu, however, was older than Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and therefore Lord Caitanya remarked that Murāri Gupta had violated social etiquette, for he should have first shown respect to Nityānanda Prabhu and then to Him. In this way, by the grace of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Murāri Gupta was informed about the position of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, and the next day he offered obeisances first to Lord Nityānanda and then to Lord Caitanya. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave chewed pan, or betel nut, to Murāri Gupta. Once Śivānanda Sena offered food to Lord Caitanya that had been cooked with excessive ghee, and the next day the Lord became sick and went to Murāri Gupta for treatment. Lord Caitanya accepted some water from the waterpot of Murāri Gupta, and thus He was cured. The natural remedy for indigestion is to drink a little water, and since Murāri Gupta was a physician, he gave the Lord some drinking water and cured Him.
When Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared in the house of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura in His Caturbhuja mūrti, Murāri Gupta became His carrier in the form of Garuḍa, and in these pastimes of ecstasy the Lord then got up on his back. It was the desire of Murāri Gupta to leave his body before the disappearance of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but the Lord forbade him to do so. This is described in Caitanya-bhagāvata, Madhya-līlā, Chapter Twenty. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu one day appeared in ecstasy as the Varāha mūrti, Murāri Gupta offered Him prayers. He was a great devotee of Lord Rāmacandra, and his staunch devotion is vividly described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā, Fifteenth Chapter, verses 137 through 157.
pratigraha nāhi kare, nā laya kāra dhana
ātma-vṛtti kari' kare kuṭumba bharaṇa
pratigraha nāhi kare—he did not accept charity from anyone; nā—not; laya—take; kāra—anyone's; dhana—wealth; ātma-vṛtti—own profession; kari'-executing; kare—maintained; kuṭumba—family; bharaṇa—provision.
Śrīla Murāri Gupta never accepted charity from friends, nor did he accept money from anyone. He practiced as a physician and maintained his family with his earnings.
It should be noted that a gṛhastha (householder) must not make his livelihood by begging from anyone. Every householder of the higher castes should engage himself in his own occupational duty as a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya, but he should not engage in the service of others, for this is the duty of a śūdra. One should simply accept whatever he earns by his own profession. The engagements of a brāhmaṇa are yajana, yājana, paṭhana, pāṭhana, dāna and pratigraha. A brāhmaṇa should be a worshiper of Viṣṇu, and he should also instruct others how to worship Him. A kṣatriya can become a landholder and earn his livelihood by levying taxes or collecting rent from tenants. A vaiśya can accept agriculture or general trade as an occupational duty. Since Murāri Gupta was born in a physician's family (vaidya-vaṁśa), he practiced as a physician, and with whatever income he earned he maintained his family. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, everyone should try to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the execution of his occupational duty. That is the perfection of life. This system is called daivī-varṇāśrama. Murāri Gupta was an ideal gṛhastha, for he was a great devotee of Lord Rāmacandra and Caitanya Mahāprabhu. By practicing as a physician he maintained his family and at the same time satisfied Lord Caitanya to the best of his ability. This is the ideal of householder life.
cikitsā karena yāre ha-iyā sadaya
deha-roga bhāva-roga,--dui tāra kṣaya
cikitsā—medical treatment; karena—did; yāre—upon whom; ha-iyā—becoming; sadaya—merciful; deha-roga—the disease of the body; bhāva-roga—the disease of material existence; dui—both; tāra—his; kṣaya—diminished.
As Murāri Gupta treated his patients, by his mercy both their bodily and spiritual diseases subsided.
Murāri Gupta could treat both bodily and spiritual disease because he was a physician by profession and a great devotee of the Lord in terms of spiritual advancement. This is an example of service to humanity. Everyone should know that there are two kinds of diseases in human society. One disease, which is called adhyātmika, or material disease, pertains to the body, but the main disease is spiritual. The living entity is eternal, but somehow or other, when in contact with the material energy, he is subjected to the repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. The physicians of the modern day should learn from Murāri Gupta. Although modern philanthropic physicians open gigantic hospitals, there are no hospitals to cure the material disease of the spirit soul. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has taken up the mission of curing this disease, but people are not very appreciative because they do not know what this disease is. A diseased person needs both proper medicine and a proper diet, and therefore the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement supplies materially stricken people with the medicine of the chanting of the holy name, or the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, and the diet of prasāda. There are many hospitals and medical clinics to cure bodily diseases, but there are no such hospitals to cure the material disease of the spirit soul. The centers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are the only established hospitals that can cure man of birth, death, old age and disease.
śrīmān sena prabhura sevaka pradhāna
caitanya-caraṇa vinu nāhi jāne āna
śrīmān sena—of the name Śrīmān Sena; prabhura—of the Lord; sevaka—servant; pradhāna—chief; caitanya-caraṇa—the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; vinu—except; nāhi—does not; jāne—know; āna—anything else.
Śrīmān Sena, the twenty-second branch of the Caitanya tree, was a very faithful servant of Lord Caitanya. He knew nothing else but the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
śrī-gadādhara dāsa śākhā sarvopari
kājī-gaṇera mukhe yeṅha bolāila hari
śrī-gadādhara dāsa-of the name Śrī Gadādhara dāsa; śākhā-another branch; sarva-upari-above all; kājī-gaṇera-of the Kāzīs (Muslim magistrates); mukhe-in the mouth; yeṅha-one who; bolāila-caused to speak; hari-the holy name of Hari.
Śrī Gadādhara dāsa, the twenty-third branch, was understood to be the topmost, for he induced all the Muslim Kāzīs to chant the holy name of Lord Hari.
About eight or ten miles from Calcutta on the banks of the Ganges is a village known as Eṅḍiyādaha-grāma. Śrīla Gadādhara dāsa was known as an inhabitant of this village (eṅḍiyādaha-vāsī gadādhara dāsa). The Bhakti-ratnākara (Seventh Wave), informs us that after the disappearance of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Gadādhara dāsa came from Navadvīpa to Katwa. Thereafter he came to Eṅḍiyādaha and resided there. He is stated to be the luster of the body of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, just as Śrīla Gadādhara Paṇḍita Gosvāmī is an incarnation of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī Herself. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is sometimes explained to be rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-suvalita, or characterized by the emotions and bodily luster of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Gadādhara dāsa is this dyuti, or luster. In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā he is described to be the expansion potency of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. He counts among the associates of both Śrīla Gaurahari and Nityānanda Prabhu; as a devotee of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he was one of the associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa in conjugal love, and as a devotee of Lord Nityānanda he is considered to have been one of the friends of Kṛṣṇa in pure devotional service. Even though he was an associate of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, he was not among the cowherd boys but was situated in the transcendental mellow of conjugal love. He established a temple of Śrī Gaurasundara in Katwa.
In 1434 śakābda (A.D. 1513), when Lord Nityānanda Prabhu was empowered by Lord Caitanya to preach the saṅkīrtana movement in Bengal, Śrī Gadādhara dāsa was one of Lord Nityānanda's chief assistants. He preached the saṅkīrtana movement by requesting everyone to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. This simple preaching method of Śrīla Gadādhara dāsa can be followed by anyone and everyone in any position of society. One must simply be a sincere and serious servant of Nityānanda Prabhu and preach this cult door to door.
When Śrīla Gadādhara dāsa Prabhu was preaching the cult of hari-kīrtana, there was a magistrate who was very much against his saṅkīrtana movement. Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrīla Gadādhara dāsa one night went to the house of the Kāzī and requested him to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. The Kāzī replied, "All right, I shall chant Hare Kṛṣṇa tomorrow." On hearing this, Śrīla Gadādhara dāsa Prabhu began to dance, and he said, "Why tomorrow? You have already chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, so simply continue."
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (verses 154-55) it is said:
candrakāntiḥ purā vraje
pūrṇānandā vraje yāsīd
sāpi kārya-vaśād eva
prāviśat taṁ gadādharam
Śrīla Gadādhara dāsa is considered to be a united form of Candrakānti, who is the effulgence of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and Pūrṇānandā, who is the foremost of Lord Balarāma's very dear girlfriends. Thus Śrīla Gadādhara dāsa Prabhu was one of the associates of both Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu.
Once while Śrīla Gadādhara dāsa Prabhu was returning to Bengal from Jagannātha Purī with Nityānanda Prabhu, he forgot himself and began talking very loudly as if he were a girl of Vrajabhūmi selling yogurt, and Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu noted this. Another time, while absorbed in the ecstasy of the gopīs, he carried a jug filled with Ganges water on his head as if he were selling milk. When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared in the house of Rāghava Paṇḍita while going to Vṛndāvana, Gadādhara dāsa went to see Him, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was so glad that He put His foot on his head. When Gadādhara dāsa Prabhu was present in Eṅḍiyādaha he established a Bāla Gopāla mūrti for worship there. Śrī Mādhava Ghoṣa performed a drama known as "Dāna-khaṇḍa" with the help of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and Śrī Gadādhara dāsa. This is explained in the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-līlā 5.318-94.
The tomb of Gadādhara dāsa Prabhu, which is in the village of Eṅḍiyādaha, was under the control of the Saṁyogī Vaiṣṇavas and later under the direction of Siddha Bhagavān dāsa Bābājī of Kālnā. By his order, Śrī Madhusūdana Mullik, one of the members of the aristocratic Mullik family of the Nārikelaḍāṅgā in Calcutta, established a pāṭavāṭī (monastery) there in the Bengali year 1256 (A.D. 1849). He also arranged for the worship of a Deity named Śrī Rādhākānta. His son Balāicāṅda Mullik established Gaura-Nitāi Deities there in the Bengali year 1312 (A.D. 1905). Thus on the throne of the temple are both Gaura-Nityānanda Deities and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deities. Below the throne is a tablet with an inscription written in Sanskrit. In that temple there is also a small Deity of Lord Śiva as Gopeśvara. This is all described on a stone by the side of the entrance door.
śivānanda sena--prabhura bhṛtya antaraṅga
prabhu-sthāne yāite sabe layena yāṅra saṅga
śivānanda sena—of the name Śivānanda Sena; prabhura—of the Lord; bhṛtya—servant; antaraṅga—very confidential; prabhu-sthāne—in Jagannātha Purī, where the Lord was staying; yāite—while going; sabe—all; layena—took; yāṅra—whose; saṅga—shelter.
Śivananda Sena, the twenty-fourth branch of the tree, was an extremely confidential servant of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Everyone who went to Jagannātha Purī to visit Lord Caitanya took shelter and guidance from Śrī Śivananda Sena.
prativarṣe prabhu-gaṇa saṅgete lā-iyā
nīlācale calena pathe pālana kariyā
prati-varṣe—every year; prabhu-gaṇa—the devotees of Lord Caitanya; saṅgete—along with; lā-iyā—taking; nīlācale—to Jagannātha Purī; calena—goes; pathe—on the road; pālana—maintenance; kariyā—providing.
Every year he took a party of devotees from Bengal to Jagannātha Purī to visit Lord Caitanya. He maintained the entire party as they journeyed on the road.
bhakte kṛpā karena prabhu e-tina svarūpe
'sākṣāt,' 'āveśa' āra 'āvirbhāva'-rūpe
bhakte—unto devotees; kṛpā—mercy; karena—bestows; prabhu—Lord Caitanya; e—these; tina—three; svarūpe—features; sākṣāt—directly; āveśa—empowered by the Lord; āra—and; āvirbhāva—appearance; rūpe—in the features.
Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bestows His causeless mercy upon His devotees in three features: His own direct appearance [sākṣāt], His prowess within someone He empowers [āveśa], and His manifestation [āvirbhāva].
The sākṣāt feature of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is His personal presence. Āveśa refers to invested power, like that invested in Nakula Brahmacārī. Āvirbhāva is a manifestation of the Lord that appears even though He is personally not present. For example, Śrī Śacīmātā offered food at home to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu although He was far away in Jagannātha Purī, and when she opened her eyes after offering the food she saw that it had actually been eaten by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Similarly, when Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura performed saṅkīrtana, everyone felt the presence of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, even in His absence. This is another example of āvirbhāva.
'sākṣāte' sakala bhakta dekhe nirviśeṣa
nakula brahmacāri-dehe prabhura 'āveśa'
sākṣāte—directly; sakala—all; bhakta—devotees; dekhe—see; nirviśeṣa—nothing peculiar but as He is; nakula brahmacārī—of the name Nakula Brahmacārī; dehe—in the body; prabhura—the Lord's; āveśa—symptoms of power.
The appearance of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in every devotee's presence is called sākṣāt. His appearance in Nakula Brahmacārī as a symptom of special prowess is an example of āveśa.
'pradyumna brahmacārī' tāṅra āge nāma chila
'nṛsiṁhānanda' nāma prabhu pāche ta' rākhila
pradyumna brahmacārī—of the name Pradyumna Brahmacārī; tāṅra—his; āge—previously; nāma—name; chila—was; nṛsiṁhānanda—of the name Nṛsiṁhānanda; nāma—the name; prabhu—the Lord; pāche—afterward; ta'-certainly; rākhila—kept it.
The former Pradyumna Brahmacārī was given the name Nṛsiṁhānanda Brahmacārī by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
tāṅhāte ha-ila caitanyera 'āvirbhāva'
alaukika aiche prabhura aneka svabhāva
tāṅhāte—in him; ha-ila—there was; caitanyera—of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; āvirbhāva—appearance; alaukika—uncommon; aiche—like that; prabhura—of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; aneka—various; svabhāva—features.
In his body there were symptoms of āvirbhāva. Such appearances are uncommon, but Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu displayed many such pastimes through His different features.
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (74) it is said that Nakula Brahmacārī displayed the prowess (āveśa) and Pradyumna Brahmacārī the appearance (āvirbhāva) of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There are many hundreds and thousands of devotees of Lord Caitanya among whom there are no special symptoms, but when a devotee of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu functions with specific prowess, he displays the feature called āveśa. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally spread the saṅkīrtana movement, and He advised all the inhabitants of Bhāratavarṣa to take up His cult and preach it all over the world. The visible bodily symptoms of devotees who follow such instructions are called āveśa. Śrīla Śivānanda Sena observed such āveśa symptoms in Nakula Brahmacārī, who displayed symptoms exactly like those of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Caitanya-caritāmṛta states that in the Age of Kali the only spiritual function is to broadcast the holy name of the Lord, but this function can be performed only by one who is actually empowered by Lord Kṛṣṇa. The process by which a devotee is thus empowered is called āveśa, or sometimes it is called śakty-āveśa.
Pradyumna Brahmacārī was formerly a resident of a village known as Piyārīgañja in Kālnā. There is a description of him in the Antya-līlā of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Second Chapter, and in the Antya-līlā of Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, chapters Three and Nine.
āsvādila e saba rasa sena śivānanda
vistāri' kahiba āge esaba ānanda
āsvādila—tasted; e—these; saba—all; rasa—mellows; sena śivānanda—Śivānanda Sena; vistāri'-describing vividly; kahiba—I shall speak; āge—later on; esaba—all this; ānanda—transcendental bliss.
Śrīla Śivānanda Sena experienced the three features sākṣāt, āveśa and āvirbhāva. Later I shall vividly describe this transcendentally blissful subject.
Śrīla Śivānanda Sena has been described by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Mahārāja as follows: He was a resident of Kumārahaṭṭa, which is also known as Hālisahara, and was a great devotee of the Lord. About one and a half miles from Kumārahaṭṭa is another village, known as Kāṅcaḍāpāḍā, in which there are Gaura-Gopāla Deities installed by Śivānanda Sena, who also established a temple of Kṛṣṇarāya that is still existing. Śivānanda Sena was the father of Paramānanda Sena, who was also known as Purī dāsa or Kavi-karṇapūra. Paramānanda Sena wrote in his Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (176) that two of the gopīs of Vṛndāvana, whose former names were Vīrā and Dūtī, combined to become his father. Śrīla Śivānanda Sena guided all the devotees of Lord Caitanya who went from Bengal to Jagannātha Purī, and he personally bore all the expenses for their journey. This is described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā, Chapter Sixteen, verses 19 through 27. Śrīla Śivānanda Sena had three sons, named Caitanya dāsa, Rāmadāsa and Paramānanda. This last son later became Kavi-karṇapūra, and he is the author of Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā. His spiritual master was Śrīnātha Paṇḍita, who was Śivānanda Sena's priest. Due to Vāsudeva Datta's lavish spending, Śivānanda Sena was engaged to supervise his expenditures.
Śrī Śivānanda Sena actually experienced Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's features of sākṣat, āveśa and āvirbhāva. He once picked up a dog while on his way to Jagannātha Purī, and it is described in the Antya-līlā, First Chapter, that this dog later attained salvation by his association. When Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa, who later became Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, fled his paternal home to join Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, his father wrote a letter to Śivānanda Sena to get information about him. Śivānanda Sena supplied him the details for which he asked, and later Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī's father sent some servants and money to Śivānanda Sena to take care of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Once Śrī Śivānanda Sena invited Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to his home and fed Him so sumptuously that the Lord felt indigestion and was somewhat sick. This became known to Śivānanda Sena's son, who gave the Lord the kinds of food that would help His digestion, and thus Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very pleased. This is described in the Antya-līlā, Tenth Chapter, verses 142 through 151.
Once while going to Jagannātha Purī all the devotees had to stay underneath a tree, without the shelter of a house or even a shed, and Nityānanda Prabhu became very angry, as if He were greatly disturbed by hunger. Thus He cursed Śivānanda's sons to die. Śivānanda's wife was very much aggrieved at this, and she began to cry. She very seriously thought that since her sons had been cursed by Nityānanda Prabhu, certainly they would die. When Śivānanda later returned and saw his wife crying, he said, "Why are you crying? Let us all die if Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu desires." When Śivānanda Sena returned and Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu saw him, the Lord kicked him severely, complaining that He was very hungry, and asked why he did not arrange for His food. Such is the behavior of the Lord with His devotees. Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu behaved like an ordinary hungry man, as if completely dependent on the arrangements of Śivānanda Sena.
There was a nephew of Śivānanda Sena's named Śrīkānta who left the company in protest of Nityānanda Prabhu's curse and went directly to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī, where the Lord pacified him. On that occasion, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu allowed His toe to be sucked by Purī dāsa, who was then a child. It is by the order of Caitanya Mahāprabhu that he could immediately compose Sanskrit verses. During the misunderstanding with Śivānanda's family, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered His personal attendant Govinda to give them all the remnants of His food. This is described in the Antya-līlā, Chapter Twelve, verse 53.
śivānandera upaśākhā, tāṅra parikara
putra-bhṛty-ādi kari' caitanya-kiṅkara
śivānandera—of Śivānanda Sena; upaśākhā—subbranch; tāṅra—his; parikara—associates; putra—sons; bhṛtya—servants; ādi—all these; kari'-taking together; caitanya-kiṅkara—servants of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
The sons, servants and family members of Śivānanda Sena constituted a subbranch. They were all sincere servants of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
caitanya-dāsa, rāmadāsa, āra karṇapūra
tina putra śivānandera prabhura bhakta-śūra
caitanya-dāsa—of the name Caitanya dāsa; rāmadāsa—of the name Rāmadāsa; āra—and; karṇapūra—of the name Karṇapūra; tina putra—three sons; śivānandera—of Śivānanda Sena; prabhura—of the Lord; bhakta-śūra—of the heroic devotees.
The three sons of Śivānanda Sena, named Caitanya dāsa, Rāmadāsa and Karṇapūra, were all heroic devotees of Lord Caitanya.
Caitanya dāsa, the eldest son of Śivānanda Sena, wrote a commentary on Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta that was later translated by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his paper Sajjana-toṣaṇī. According to expert opinion, Caitanya dāsa was the author of the book Caitanya-carita (also known as Caitanya-caritāmṛta), which was written in Sanskrit. The author was not Kavi-karṇapūra, as generally supposed. This is the opinion of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. Śrī Rāmadāsa was the second son of Śivānanda Sena. It is stated in the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (145) that the two famous parrots named Dakṣa and Vicakṣaṇa in kṛṣṇa-līlā became the elder brothers of Kavi-karṇapūra, namely, Caitanya dāsa and Rāmadāsa. Karṇapūra, the third son, who was also known as Paramānanda dāsa or Purī dāsa, was initiated by Śrīnātha Paṇḍita, who was a disciple of Śrī Advaita Prabhu. Karṇapūra wrote many books that are important in Vaiṣṇava literature, such as Ānanda-vṛndāvana-campū, Alaṅkāra-kaustubha, Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā and the great epic Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka. He was born in the year 1448 śakābda (A.D. 1527). He continually wrote books for ten years, from 1488 until 1498.
śrī-vallabhasena, āra sena śrīkānta
śivānanda-sambandhe prabhura bhakta ekānta
śrī-vallabha-sena—of the name Śrīvallabha Sena; āra—and; sena śrīkānta—of the name Śrīkānta Sena; śivānanda—Śivānanda Sena; sambandhe—in relationship; prabhura—the Lord's; bhakta—devotees; ekānta—unflinching.
Śrīvallabha Sena and Śrīkānta Sena were also subbranches of Śivānanda Sena, for they were not only his nephews but also unalloyed devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
When Lord Nityānanda Prabhu rebuked Śivānanda Sena on the way to Purī, these two nephews of Śivānanda left the company as a protest and went to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī. The Lord could understand the feelings of the boys, and He asked His personal assistant Govinda to supply them prasāda until the party of Śivānanda arrived. During the Ratha-yātrā saṅkīrtana festival these two brothers were members of the party led by Mukunda. In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 174, it is said that the gopī whose name was Kātyāyanī appeared as Śrīkānta Sena.
prabhu-priya govindānanda mahābhāgavata
prabhura kīrtanīyā ādi śrī-govinda datta
prabhu-priya—the most dear to the Lord; govindānanda—of the name Govindānanda; mahā-bhāgavata—great devotee; prabhura—of the Lord; kīrtanīyā—performer of kīrtana; ādi—originally; śrī-govinda datta—of the name of Śrī Govinda Datta.
Govindānanda and Govinda Datta, the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth branches of the tree, were performers of kīrtana in the company of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Govinda Datta was the principal singer in Lord Caitanya's kīrtana party.
śrī-vijaya-dāsa-nāma prabhura ākhariyā
prabhure aneka puṅthi diyāche likhiyā
śrī-vijaya-dāsa—of the name Śrī Vijaya dāsa; nāma—name; prabhura—of the Lord; ākhariyā—chief singer; prabhure—unto the Lord; aneka—many; puṅthi—literatures; diyāche—has given; likhiyā—by writing.
Śrī Vijaya dāsa, the twenty-seventh branch, another of the Lord's chief singers, gave the Lord many books written by hand.
Formerly there were no printing presses or printed books. All books were handwritten. Precious books were kept in manuscript form in temples or important places, and anyone who was interested in a book had to copy it by hand. Vijaya dāsa was a professional writer who copied many manuscripts and gave them to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
'ratnabāhu' bali' prabhu thuila tāṅra nāma
akiñcana prabhura priya kṛṣṇadāsa-nāma
ratnabāhu—the title Ratnabāhu; bali'-calling him; prabhu—the Lord; thuila—kept; tāṅra—his; nāma—name; akiñcana—unalloyed; prabhura—of the Lord; priya—dear; kṛṣṇadāsa—of the name Kṛṣṇadāsa; nāma—name.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave Vijaya dāsa the name Ratnabāhu ["jewel-handed"] because he copied many manuscripts for Him. The twenty-eighth branch was Kṛṣṇadāsa, who was very dear to the Lord. He was known as Akiñcana Kṛṣṇadāsa.
Akiñcana means "one who possesses nothing in this world."
kholā-vecā śrīdhara prabhura priya-dāsa
yāṅhā-sane prabhu kare nitya parihāsa
kholā-vecā—a person who sells the bark of banana trees; śrīdhara—Śrīdhara Prabhu; prabhura—of the Lord; priya-dāsa—very dear servant; yāṅha-sane—with whom; prabhu—the Lord; kare—does; nitya—daily; parihāsa—joking.
The twenty-ninth branch was Śrīdhara, a trader in banana-tree bark. He was a very dear servant of the Lord. On many occasions, the Lord played jokes on him.
Śrīdhara was a poor brāhmaṇa who made a living by selling banana-tree bark to be made into cups. Most probably he had a banana-tree garden and collected the leaves, skin and pulp of the banana trees to sell daily in the market. He spent fifty percent of his income to worship the Ganges, and the balance he used for his subsistence. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu started His civil disobedience movement in defiance of the Kāzī, Śrīdhara danced in jubilation.The Lord used to drink water from his water jug. Śrīdhara presented a squash to Śacīdevī to cook before Lord Caitanya took sannyāsa. Every year he went to see Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī. According to Kavi-karṇapūra, Śrīdhara was a cowherd boy of Vṛndāvana whose name was Kusumāsava. In his Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 133, it is stated:
paṇḍitaḥ śrīdharo dvijaḥ
āsīd vraje hāsya-karo
yo nāmnā kusumāsavaḥ
prabhu yāṅra nitya laya thoḍa-mocā-phala
yāṅra phuṭā-lauhapātre prabhu pilā jala
prabhu—the Lord; yāṅra—whose; nitya—daily; laya—takes; thoḍa—the pulp of the banana tree; mocā—the flowers of the banana tree; phala—the fruits of the banana tree; yāṅra—whose; phuṭā—broken; lauha-pātre—in the iron pot; prabhu—the Lord; pilā—drank; jala—water.
Every day Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu jokingly snatched fruits, flowers and pulp from Śrīdhara and drank from his broken iron pot.
prabhura atipriya dāsa bhagavān paṇḍita
yāṅra dehe kṛṣṇa pūrve hailā adhiṣṭhita
prabhura—of the Lord; atipriya—very dear; dāsa—servant; bhagavān paṇḍita—of the name Bhagavān Paṇḍita; yāṅra—whose; dehe—in the body; kṛṣṇa—Lord Kṛṣṇa; pūrve—previously; hailā—became; adhiṣṭhita—established.
The thirtieth branch was Bhagavān Paṇḍita. He was an extremely dear servant of the Lord, but even previously he was a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa who always kept the Lord within his heart.
jagadīśa paṇḍita, āra hiraṇya mahāśaya
yāre kṛpā kaila bālye prabhu dayāmaya
jagadīśa paṇḍita—of the name Jagadīśa Paṇḍita; āra—and; hiraṇya—of the name Hiraṇya; mahāśaya—great personality; yāre—unto whom; kṛpā—mercy; kaila—showed; bālye—in childhood; prabhu—the Lord; dayāmaya—merciful.
The thirty-first branch was Jagadīśa Paṇḍita, and the thirty-second was Hiraṇya Mahāśaya, unto whom Lord Caitanya in His childhood showed His causeless mercy.
Jagadīśa Paṇḍita was formerly a great dancer in kṛṣṇa-līla and was known as Candrahāsa. Regarding Hiraṇya Paṇḍita, it is said that once when Lord Nityānanda, decorated with valuable jewels, was staying at his home, a great thief attempted all night long to plunder these jewels but was unsuccessful. Later he came to Nityānanda Prabhu and surrendered unto Him.
ei dui-ghare prabhu ekādaśī dine
viṣṇura naivedya māgi' khāila āpane
ei dui-ghare—in these two houses; prabhu—the Lord; ekādaśī dine—on the Ekādaśī day; viṣṇura—of Lord Viṣṇu; naivedya—food offered to Lord Viṣṇu; māgi'-begging; khāila—ate; āpane—personally.
prabhura paḍuyā dui,--puruṣottama, sañjaya
vyākaraṇe dui śiṣya--dui mahāśaya
prabhura paḍuyā dui—the Lord's two students; puruṣottama—of the name Puruṣottama; sañjaya—of the name Sañjaya; vyākaraṇe—studying grammar; dui śiṣya—two disciples; dui mahāśaya—very great personalities.
The thirty-third and thirty-fourth branches were the two students of Caitanya Mahāprabhu named Puruṣottama and Sañjaya, who were stalwart students in grammar. They were very great personalities.
These two students were inhabitants of Navadvīpa and were the Lord's first companions in the saṅkīrtana movement. According to the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Puruṣottama Sañjaya was the son of Mukunda Sañjaya, but the author of Śrī Caitanya-caritamṛta has clarified that Puruṣottama and Sañjaya were two people, not one.
vanamālī paṇḍita śākhā vikhyāta jagate
soṇāra muṣala hala dekhila prabhura hāte
vanamālī paṇḍita—of the name Vanamālī Paṇḍita; śākhā—the next branch; vikhyāta—celebrated; jagate—in the world; soṇāra—made of gold; muṣala—club; hala—plow; dekhila—saw; prabhura—of the Lord; hāte—in the hand.
Vanamālī Paṇḍita, the thirty-fifth branch of the tree, was very celebrated in this world. He saw a golden club and plow in the hands of the Lord.
śrī-caitanyera ati priya buddhimanta khān
ājanma ājñākārī teṅho sevaka-pradhāna
śrī-caitanyera—of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; ati priya—very dear; buddhimanta khān—of the name Buddhimanta Khān; ājanma—from the very beginning of his life; ājñā-kārī—follower of the orders; teṅho—he; sevaka—servant; pradhāna—chief.
The thirty-sixth branch, Buddhimanta Khān, was extremely dear to Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was always prepared to carry out the Lord's orders, and therefore he was considered a chief servant of the Lord.
Śrī Buddhimanta Khān was one of the inhabitants of Navadvīpa. He was very rich, and it is he who arranged for the marriage of Lord Caitanya with Viṣṇupriyā, the daughter of Sanātana Miśra, who was the priest of the local Zamindar. He personally defrayed all the expenditures for the marriage ceremony. When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was attacked by vāyu-vyādhi (derangement of the air within the body) Buddhimanta Khān paid for all requisite medicines and treatments to cure the Lord. He was the Lord's constant companion in the kīrtana movement. He collected ornaments for the Lord when He played the part of the goddess of fortune in the house of Candraśekhara Ācārya. He also went to see Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu when He was staying at Jagannātha Purī.
garuḍa paṇḍita laya śrīnāma-maṅgala
nāma-bale viṣa yāṅre nā karila bala
garuḍa paṇḍita—of the name Garuḍa Paṇḍita; laya—takes; śrī-nāma-maṅgala—the auspicious Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra; nāma-bale—by the strength of this chanting; viṣa—poison; yāṅre—whom; nā—did not; karila—affect; bala—strength.
Garuḍa Paṇḍita, the thirty-seventh branch of the tree, always engaged in chanting the auspicious name of the Lord. Because of the strength of this chanting, even the effects of poison could not touch him.
gopīnātha siṁha--eka caitanyera dāsa
akrūra bali' prabhu yāṅre kailā parihāsa
gopīnātha siṁha—of the name of Gopīnātha Siṁha; eka—one; caitanyera dāsa—servant of Lord Caitanya; akrūra bali'-famous as Akrūra; prabhu—the Lord; yāṅre—whom; kaila—did; parihāsa—joking.
Gopīnātha Siṁha, the thirty-eighth branch of the tree, was a faithful servant of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Lord jokingly addressed him as Akrūra.
bhāgavatī devānanda vakreśvara-kṛpāte
bhāgavatera bhakti-artha pāila prabhu haite
bhāgavatī devānanda—Devānanda, who used to recite Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; vakreśvara-kṛpāte—by the mercy of Vakreśvara; bhāgavatera—of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; bhakti-artha—the bhakti interpretation; pāila—got; prabhu haite—from the Lord.
Devānanda Paṇḍita was a professional reciter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but by the mercy of Vakreśvara Paṇḍita and the grace of the Lord he understood the devotional interpretation of the Bhāgavatam.
In the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-līlā, Chapter Twenty-one, it is stated that Devānanda Paṇḍita and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya's father, Viśārada, lived in the same village. Devānanda Paṇḍita was a professional reciter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not like his interpretation of it. In the present town of Navadvīpa, which was formerly known as Kuliyā, Lord Caitanya showed such mercy to him that he gave up the Māyāvādī interpretation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and learned how to explain Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in terms of bhakti. Formerly, when Devānanda was expounding the Māyāvādī interpretation, Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura was once present in his meeting, and when he began to cry, Devānanda's students drove him away. Some days later, Caitanya Mahāprabhu passed that way, and when He met Devānanda He chastised him severely because of his Māyāvāda interpretation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. At that time Devānanda had little faith in Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as an incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, but one night some time later Vakreśvara Paṇḍita was a guest in his house, and when he explained the science of Kṛṣṇa, Devānanda was convinced about the identity of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Thus he was induced to explain Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam according to the Vaiṣṇava understanding In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 106, it is described that he was formerly Bhāguri Muni, who was the sabhā-paṇḍita who recited Vedic literature in the house of Nanda Mahārāja.
khaṇḍavāsī mukunda-dāsa, śrī-raghunandana
narahari-dāsa, cirañjīva, sulocana
ei saba mahāśākhā--caitanya-kṛpādhāma
prema-phala-phula kare yāhāṅ tāhāṅ dāna
khaṇḍa-vāsī mukunda-dāsa—of the name Mukunda dāsa; śrī-raghunandana—of the name Raghunandana; narahari-dāsa—of the name Narahari dāsa; cirañjīva—of the name Cirañjīva; sulocana—of the name Sulocana; ei saba—all of them; mahā-śākhā—great branches; caitanya-kṛpā-dhāma—of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the reservoir of mercy; prema—love of God; phala—fruit; phula—flower; kare—does; yāhāṅ—anywhere; tāhāṅ—everywhere; dāna—distribution.
Śrī Khaṇḍavāsī Mukunda and his son Raghunandana were the thirty-ninth branch of the tree, Narahari was the fortieth, Cirañjīva the forty-first and Sulocana the forty-second. They were all big branches of the all-merciful tree of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. They distributed the fruits and flowers of love of Godhead anywhere and everywhere.
Śrī Mukunda dāsa was the son of Nārāyaṇa dāsa and eldest brother of Narahari Sarakāra. His second brother's name was Mādhava dāsa, and his son was named Raghunandana dāsa. Descendants of Raghunandana dāsa still live four miles west of Katwa in the village named Śrīkhaṇḍa, where Raghunandana dāsa used to live. Raghunandana had one son named Kānāi, who had two sons-Madana Rāya, who was a disciple of Narahari Ṭhākura, and Vaṁśīvadana. It is estimated that at least four hundred men descended in this dynasty. All their names are recorded in the village known as Śrīkhaṇḍa. In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 175, it is stated that the gopī whose name was Vṛndādevī became Mukunda dāsa, lived in Śrīkhaṇḍa village and was very dear to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. His wonderful devotion and love for Kṛṣṇa are described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā, Chapter Fifteen. It is stated in the Bhakti-ratnākara (Eighth Wave), that Raghunandana used to serve a Deity of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Narahari dāsa Sarakāra was a very famous devotee. Locana dāsa Ṭhākura, the celebrated author of Śrī Caitanya-maṅgala, was his disciple. In the Caitanya-maṅgala it is stated that Śrī Gadādhara dāsa and Narahari Sarakāra were extremely dear to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but there is no specific statement regarding the inhabitants of the village of Śrīkhaṇḍa.
Cirañjīva and Sulocana were both residents of Śrīkhaṇḍa, where their descendants are still living. Of Cirañjīva's two sons, the elder, Rāmacandra Kavirāja, was a disciple of Śrīnivāsācārya and an intimate associate of Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. The younger son was Govinda dāsa Kavirāja, the famous Vaiṣṇava poet. Cirañjīva's wife was Sunandā, and his father-in-law was Dāmodara Sena Kavirāja. Cirañjīva previously lived on the bank of the Ganges River in the village of Kumāranagara. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 207, states that he was formerly Candrikā in Vṛndāvana.
kulīnagrāma-vāsī satyarāja, rāmānanda
yadunātha, puruṣottama, śaṅkara, vidyānanda
kulīna-grāma-vāsī—the inhabitants of Kulīna-grāma; satyarāja—of the name Satyarāja; rāmānanda—of the name Rāmānanda; yadunātha—of the name Yadunātha; puruṣottama—of the name Puruṣottama; śaṅkara—of the name Śaṅkara; vidyānanda—of the name Vidyānanda.
Satyarāja, Rāmānanda, Yadunātha, Puruṣottama, Śaṅkara and Vidyānanda all belonged to the twentieth branch. They were inhabitants of the village known as Kulīna-grāma.
vāṇīnātha vasu ādi yata grāmī jana
vāṇīnātha vasu—of the name Vāṇīnātha Vasu; ādi—heading the list; yata—all; grāmī—of the village; jana—inhabitants; sabei—all of them; caitanya-bhṛtya—servants of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; caitanya-prāṇa-dhana—their life and soul was Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
All the inhabitants of Kulīna-grāma village, headed by Vāṇīnātha Vasu, were servants of Lord Caitanya, who was their only life and wealth.
prabhu kahe, kulīnagrāmera ye haya kukkura
sei mora priya, anya jana rahu dūra
prabhu—the Lord; kahe—says; kulīna-grāmera—of the village of Kulīna-grāma; ye—anyone who; haya—becomes; kukkura—even a dog; sei—he; mora—My; priya—dear; anya—others; jana—persons; rahu—let them remain; dūra—away.
The Lord said, "What to speak of others, even a dog in the village of Kulīna-grāma is My dear friend.
kulīnagrāmīra bhāgya kahane nā yāya
śūkara carāya ḍoma, seha kṛṣṇa gāya
kulīna-grāmīra—the residents of Kulīna-grāma; bhāgya—fortune; kahane—to speak; nā—not; yāya—is possible; śūkara—hogs; carāya—tending; ḍoma—sweeper; seha—he also; kṛṣṇa—Lord Kṛṣṇa; gāya—chants.
"No one can describe the fortunate position of Kulīna-grāma. It is so sublime that even sweepers who tend their hogs there also chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra."
anupama-vallabha, śrī-rūpa, sanātana
ei tina śākhā vṛkṣera paścime sarvottama
anupama—of the name Anupama; vallabha—of the name Vallabha; śrī-rūpa—of the name Śrī Rūpa; sanātana—of the name Sanātana; ei—these; tina—three; śākhā—branches; vṛkṣera—of the tree; paścime—on the western side; sarvottama—very great.
On the western side were the forty-third, forty-fourth and forty-fifth branches-Śrī Sanātana, Śrī Rūpa and Anupama. They were the best of all.
Śrī Anupama was the father of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī and youngest brother of Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī and Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī. His former name was Vallabha, but after Lord Caitanya met him He gave him the name Anupama. Because of working in the Muslim government, these three brothers were given the title Mullik. Our personal family is connected with the Mulliks of Mahatma Gandhi Road in Calcutta, and we often used to visit their Rādhā-Govinda temple. They belong to the same family as we do. (Our family gotra, or original genealogical line, is the Gautama-gotra, or line of disciples of Gautama Muni, and our surname is De.) But due to their accepting the posts of Zamindars in the Muslim government, they received the title Mullik. Similarly, Rūpa, Sanātana and Vallabha were also given the title Mullik. Mullik means "lord." Just as the English government gives rich and respectable persons the title "lord," so the Muslims give the title Mullik to rich, respectable families that have intimate connections with the government. The title Mullik is found not only among the Hindu aristocracy but also among Muslims. This title is not restricted to a particular family but is given to different families and castes. The qualifications for receiving it are wealth and respectabilityi
Sanātana Gosvāmī and Rūpa Gosvāmī belonged to the Bharadvāja-gotra, which indicates that they belonged either to the family or disciplic succession of Bharadvāja Muni. As members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we belong to the family, or disciplic succession, of Sarasvatī Gosvāmī, and thus we are known as Sārasvatas. Obeisances are therefore offered to the spiritual master as sārasvata-deva, or a member of the Sārasvata family (namas te sārasvate deve), whose mission is to broadcast the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu (gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe) and to fight with impersonalists and voidists (nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādi-pāścātya-deśa-tāriṇe). This was also the occupational duty of Sanātana Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī and Anupama Gosvāmī.
The genealogical table of Sanātana Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī and Vallabha Gosvāmī can be traced back to the twelfth century śakābda, when a gentleman of the name Sarvajña appeared in a very rich and opulent brāhmaṇa family in the province of Karṇāṭa. He had two sons, named Aniruddhera Rūpeśvara and Harihara, who were both bereft of their kingdoms and thus obliged to reside in the highlands. The son of Rūpeśvara, who was named Padmanābha, moved to a place in Bengal known as Naihāṭī on the bank of the Ganges. There he had five sons, of whom the youngest, Mukunda, had a well-behaved son named Kumāradeva, who was the father of Rūpa, Sanātana and Vallabha. Kumāradeva lived in Bāklācandradvīpa, which was in the district of Jessore and is now known as Phateyābād. Of his many sons, three took to the path of Vaiṣṇavism. Later, Śrī Vallabha and his elder brothers Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana came from Candradvīpa to the village in the Maldah district of Bengal known as Rāmakeli. It is in this village that Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī took birth, accepting Vallabha as his father. Because of engaging in the service of the Muslim government, the three brothers received the title Mullik. When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited the village of Rāmakeli, He met Vallabha there. Later, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, after meeting Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, resigned from government service, and when he went to Vṛndāvana to meet Lord Caitanya, Vallabha accompanied him. The meeting of Rūpa Gosvāmī and Vallabha with Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Allahabad is described in the Madhya-līlā, Chapter Nineteen.
Actually, it is to be understood from the statement of Sanātana Gosvāmī that Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī and Vallabha went to Vṛndāvana under the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. First they went to Mathurā, where they met a gentleman named Subuddhi Rāya, who maintained himself by selling dry fuel wood. He was very pleased to meet Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī and Anupama, and he showed them the twelve forests of Vṛndāvana. Thus they lived in Vṛndāvana for one month and then again went to search for Sanātana Gosvāmī. Following the course of the Ganges, they reached Allahabad, or Prayāga-tīrtha, but because Sanātana Gosvāmī had come there by a different road, they did not meet him there, and when Sanātana Gosvāmī came to Mathurā he was informed of the visit of Rūpa Gosvāmī and Anupama by Subuddhi Rāya. When Rūpa Gosvāmī and Anupama met Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Benares, they heard about Sanātana Gosvāmī's travels from Him, and thus they returned to Bengal, adjusted their affairs with the state and, on the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, went to see the Lord at Jagannātha Purī.
In the year 1436 śakābda (A.D. 1515), the youngest brother, Anupama, died and went back home, back to Godhead. He went to the abode in the spiritual sky where Śrī Rāmacandra is situated. At Jagannātha Purī, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī informed Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu of this incident. Vallabha was a great devotee of Śrī Rāmacandra; therefore he could not seriously consider the worship of Rādhā-Govinda according to the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Yet he directly accepted Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Rāmacandra. In the Bhakti-ratnākara there is the following statement: "Vallabha was given the name Anupama by Śrī Gaurasundara, but he was always absorbed in the devotional service of Lord Rāmacandra. He did not know anyone but Śrī Rāmacandra, but he knew that Caitanya Gosāñi was the same Lord Rāmacandra."
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (180) Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī is described to be the gopī named Śrī Rūpa-mañjarī. In the Bhakti-ratnākara there is a list of the books Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī compiled. Of all his books, the following sixteen are very popular among Vaiṣṇavas: (1) Haṁsadūta, (2) Uddhava-sandeśa, (3) Kṛṣṇa-janma-tithi-vidhi, (4 and 5) Rādhā-kṛṣṇa-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, Bṛhat (major) and Laghu (minor), (6) Stavamālā, (7) Vidagdha-mādhava, (8) Lalita-mādhava, (9) Dāna-keli-kaumudi, (10) Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (this is the most celebrated book by Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī), (11) Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, (12) Ākhyāta-candrikā, (13) Mathurā-mahimā, (14) Padyāvalī, (15) Nāṭaka-candrikā and (16) Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī gave up all family connections, joined the renounced order of life and divided his money, giving fifty percent to the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas and twenty-five percent to his kuṭumba (family members) and keeping twenty-five percent for personal emergencies. He met Haridāsa Ṭhākura in Jagannātha Purī, where he also met Lord Caitanya and His other associates. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to praise the handwriting of Rūpa Gosvāmī. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī could compose verses according to the desires of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and by His direction he wrote two books named Lalita-mādhava and Vidagdha-mādhava. Lord Caitanya desired the two brothers, Sanātana Gosvāmī and Rūpa Gosvāmī, to publish many books in support of the Vaiṣṇava religion. When Sanātana Gosvāmī met Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Lord advised him also to go to Vṛndāvana.
Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī is described in the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (181). He was formerly known as Rati-mañjarī or sometimes Lavaṅga-mañjarī. In the Bhakti-ratnākara it is stated that his spiritual master, Vidyāvācaspati, sometimes stayed in the village of Rāmakeli, and Sanātana Gosvāmī studied all the Vedic literature from him. He was so devoted to his spiritual master that this cannot be described. According to the Vedic system, if someone sees a Muslim he must perform rituals to atone for the meeting. Sanātana Gosvāmī always associated with Muslim kings. Not giving much attention to the Vedic injunctions, he used to visit the houses of Muslim kings, and thus he considered himself to have been converted into a Muslim. He was therefore always very humble and meek. When Sanātana Gosvāmī presented himself before Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he admitted, "I am always in association with lower-class people, and my behavior is therefore very abominable." He actually belonged to a respectable brāhmaṇa family, but because he considered his behavior to be abominable, he did not try to place himself among the brāhmaṇas but always remained among people of the lower castes. He wrote the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa and Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī, which is a commentary on the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In the year 1476 śakābda (A.D. 1555) he completed the Bṛhad-vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī commentary on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In the year 1504 śakābda (A.D. 1583) he finished the Laghu-toṣaṇī.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught His principles through four chief followers. Among them, Rāmānanda Rāya is exceptional, for through him the Lord taught how a devotee can completely vanquish the power of Cupid. By Cupid's power, as soon as one sees a beautiful woman he is conquered by her beauty. Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya, however, vanquished Cupid's pride. Indeed, while rehearsing the Jagannātha-vallabha-nāṭaka he personally directed extremely beautiful young girls in dancing, but he was never affected by their youthful beauty. Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya personally bathed these girls, touching them and washing them with his own hands, yet he remained calm and passionless, as a great devotee should be. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu certified that this was possible only for Rāmānanda Rāya. Similarly, Dāmodara Paṇḍita was notable for his objectivity as a critic. He did not even spare Caitanya Mahāprabhu from his criticism. This also cannot be imitated by anyone else. Haridāsa Ṭhākura is exceptional for his forbearance because although he was beaten with canes in twenty-two marketplaces, nevertheless he was tolerant. Similarly, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, although he belonged to a most respectable brāhmaṇa family, was exceptional for his humility and meekness.
In the Madhya-līlā, Chapter Nineteen, the device adopted by Sanātana Gosvāmī to get free from the government service is described. He served a notice of sickness to the Nawab, the Moslem governer, but actually he was studying Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with brāhmaṇas at home. The Nawab received information of this through a royal physician, and he immediately went to see Sanātana Gosvāmī to discover his intentions. The Nawab requested Sanātana to accompany him on an expedition to Orissa, but when Sanātana Gosvāmī refused, the Nawab ordered that he be imprisoned. When Rūpa Gosvāmī left home, he wrote a note for Sanātana Gosvāmī informing him of some money that he had entrusted to a local grocer. Sanātana Gosvāmī took advantage of this money to bribe the jail keeper and get free from detention. Then he left for Benares to meet Caitanya Mahāprabhu, bringing with him only one servant, whose name was Īśāna. On the way they stopped at a sarāi, or hotel, and when the hotel keeper found out that Īśāna had some gold coins with him, he planned to kill both Sanātana Gosvāmī and Īśāna to take away the coins. Later Sanātana Gosvāmī saw that although the hotel keeper did not know them, he was being especially attentive to their comfort. Therefore he concluded that Īśāna was secretly carrying some money and that the hotel keeper was aware of this and therefore planned to kill them for it. Upon being questioned by Sanātana Gosvāmī, Īśāna admitted that he indeed had money with him, and immediately Sanātana Gosvāmī took the money and gave it to the hotel keeper, requesting him to help them get though the jungle. Thus with the help of the hotel keeper, who was also the chief of the thieves of that territory, he crossed over the Hazipur mountains, which are presently known as the Hazaribags. He then met his brother-in-law Śrīkānta, who requested that he stay with him. Sanātana Gosvāmī refused, but before they parted Śrīkānta gave him a valuable blanket.
Somehow or other Sanātana Gosvāmī reached Vārāṇasī and met Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu at the house of Candraśekhara. By the order of the Lord, Sanātana Gosvāmī was cleanly shaved and his dress changed to that of a mendicant, or bābājī. He put on old garments of Tapana Miśra and took prasāda at the house of a Maharashtran brāhmaṇa. Then, in discourses with Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Lord Himself explained everything about devotional service to Sanātana Gosvāmī. He advised Sanātana Gosvāmī to write books on devotional service, including a book of directions for Vaiṣṇava activities, and to excavate the lost places of pilgrimage in Vṛndāvana. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave him His blessings to do all this work and also explained to Sanātana Gosvāmī the import of the ātmārāma verse from sixty-one different angles of vision.
Sanātana Gosvāmī went to Vṛndāvana by the main road, and when he reached Mathurā he met Subuddhi Rāya. Then he returned to Jagannātha Purī through Jhārikhaṇḍa, the Uttar Pradesh jungle. At Jagannātha Purī he decided to give up his body by falling down beneath a wheel of the Jagannātha ratha, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu saved him. Then Sanātana Gosvāmī met Haridāsa Ṭhākura and heard about the disappearance of Anupama. Sanātana Gosvāmī later described the glories of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Sanātana observed the etiquette of Jagannātha's temple by going through the beach to visit Lord Caitanya, although it was extremely hot due to the sun. He requested Jagadānanda Paṇḍita to give him permission to return to Vṛndāvana. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu praised the character of Sanātana Gosvāmī, and He embraced Sanātana, accepting his body as spiritual. Sanātana Gosvāmī was ordered by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to live at Jagannātha Purī for one year. When he returned to Vṛndāvana after many years, he again met Rūpa Gosvāmī, and both brothers remained in Vṛndāvana to execute the orders of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
The place where Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī formerly lived has now become a place of pilgrimage. It is generally known as Gupta Vṛndāvana, or hidden Vṛndāvana, and is situated about eight miles south of English Bazaar. There the following places are still visited: (1) the temple of Śrī Madana-mohana Deity, (2) the Keli-kadamba tree under which Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu met Sanātana Gosvāmī at night and (3) Rūpasāgara, a large pond excavated by Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī. A society named Rāmakeli-saṁskāra-samiti was established in 1924 to repair the temple and renovate the pond.
tāṅra madhye rūpa-sanātana--baḍa śākhā
anupama, jīva, rājendrādi upaśākhā
tāṅra—within that; madhye—in the midst of; rūpa-sanātana—the branch known as Rūpa-Sanātana; baḍa śākhā—the big branch; anupama—of the name Anupama; jīva—of the name Jīva; rājendra-ādi—and Rājendra and others; upaśākhā—their subbranches.
Among these branches, Rūpa and Sanātana were principal. Anupama, Jīva Gosvāmī and others, headed by Rājendra, were their subbranches.
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 195, it is said that Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī was formerly Vilāsa-mañjarī gopī. From his very childhood Jīva Gosvāmī was greatly fond of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He later came to Navadvīpa to study Sanskrit, and, following in the footsteps of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, he circumambulated the entire Navadvīpa-dhāma. After visiting Navadvīpa-dhāma he went to Benares to study Sanskrit under Madhusūdana Vācaspati, and after finishing his studies in Benares he went to Vṛndāvana and took shelter of his uncles, Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana. This is described in the Bhakti-ratnākara. As far as our information goes, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī composed and edited at least twenty-five books. They are all very celebrated, and they are listed as follows: (1) Hari-nāmāmṛta-vyākaraṇa, (2) Sūtra-mālikā, (3) Dhātu-saṅgraha, (4) Kṛṣṇārcā-dīpikā, (5) Gopāla-virudāvalī, (6) Rasāmṛta-śeṣa, (7) Śrī Mādhava-mahotsava, (8) Śrī Saṅkalpa-kalpavṛkṣa, (9) Bhāvārtha-sūcaka-campū, (10) Gopāla-tāpanī-ṭīkā, (11) a commentary on the Brahma-saṁhitā, (12) a commentary on the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, (13) a commentary on the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, (14) a commentary on the Yogasāra-stava, (15) a commentary on the Gāyatrī-mantra, as described in the Agni Purāṇa, (16) a description of the Lord's lotus feet derived from the Padma Purāṇa, (17) a description of the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, (18) Gopāla-campū (in two parts) and (19-25) seven sandarbhas: the Krama-, Tattva-, Bhagavat-, Paramātma-, Kṛṣṇa-, Bhakti- and Prīti-sandarbha. After the disappearance of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī in Vṛndāvana, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī became the ācārya of all the Vaiṣṇavas in Bengal, Orissa and the rest of the world, and it is he who used to guide them in their devotional service. In Vṛndāvana he established the Rādhā-Dāmodara temple, where we had the opportunity to live and retire until the age of sixty-five, when we decided to come to the United States of America. When Jīva Gosvāmī was still present, Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī compiled his famous Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Later, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī inspired Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Duḥkhī Kṛṣṇadāsa to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness in Bengal. Jīva Gosvāmī was informed that all the manuscripts that had been collected from Vṛndāvana and sent to Bengal for preaching purposes were plundered near Viṣṇupura, in Bengal, but later he received the information that the books had been recovered. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī awarded the designation Kavirāja to Rāmacandra Sena, a disciple of Śrīnivāsa Ācārya's, and to Rāmacandra's younger brother Govinda. While Jīva Gosvāmī was alive, Śrīmatī Jāhnavī-devī, the pleasure potency of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, went to Vṛndāvana with a few devotees. Jīva Gosvāmī was very kind to the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, the Vaiṣṇavas from Bengal. Whoever went to Vṛndāvana he provided with a residence and prasāda. His disciple Kṛṣṇadāsa Adhikārī listed all the books of the Gosvāmīs in his diary.
The sahajiyās level three accusations against Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. This is certainly not congenial for the execution of devotional service. The first accusation concerns a materialist who was very proud of his reputation as a great Sanskrit scholar and approached Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana to argue with them about the revealed scriptures. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī, not wanting to waste their time, gave him a written statement that he had defeated them in a debate on the revealed scriptures. Taking this paper, the scholar approached Jīva Gosvāmī for a similar certificate of defeat, but Jīva Gosvāmī did not agree to give him one. On the contrary, he argued with him regarding the scriptures and defeated him. Certainly it was right for Jīva Gosvāmī to stop such a dishonest scholar from advertising that he had defeated Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī, but due to their illiteracy the sahajiyā class refer to this incident to accuse Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī of deviating from the principle of humility. They do not know, however, that humility and meekness are appropriate when one's own honor is insulted but not when Lord Viṣṇu or the ācāryas are blasphemed. In such cases one should not be humble and meek but must act. One should follow the example given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Lord Caitanya says in His Śikṣāṣṭaka (3):
tṛṇād api sunīcena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
"One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." Nevertheless, when the Lord was informed that Nityānanda Prabhu was injured by Jagāi and Mādhāi, He immediately went to the spot, angry like fire, wanting to kill them. Thus Lord Caitanya has explained His verse by the example of His own behavior. One should tolerate insults against oneself, but when there is blasphemy committed against superiors such as other Vaiṣṇavas, one should be neither humble nor meek; one must take proper steps to counteract such blasphemy. This is the duty of a servant of a guru and Vaiṣṇavas. Anyone who understands the principle of eternal servitude to the guru and Vaiṣṇavas will appreciate the action of Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī in connection with the so-called scholar's victory over his gurus, Śrīla Rūpa and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī.
Another story fabricated to defame Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī states that after compiling Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī showed the manuscript to Jīva Gosvāmī, who thought that it would hamper his reputation as a big scholar and therefore threw it into a well. Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī was greatly shocked, and he died immediately. Fortunately a copy of the manuscript of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta had been kept by a person named Mukunda, and therefore later it was possible to publish the book. This story is another ignominious example of blasphemy against a guru and Vaiṣṇava. Such a story should never be accepted as authoritative.
According to another accusation, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī did not approve of the principles of the pārakīya-rasa of Vraja-dhāma and therefore supported svakīya-rasa, showing that Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are eternally married. Actually, when Jīva Gosvāmī was alive, some of his followers disliked the pārakīya-rasa of the gopīs. Therefore Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, for their spiritual benefit, supported svakīya-rasa, for he could understand that sahajiyās would otherwise exploit the pārakīya-rasa, as they are actually doing at the present. Unfortunately, in Vṛndāvana and Navadvīpa it has become fashionable among sahajiyās, in their debauchery, to find an unmarried sexual partner to live with to execute so-called devotional service in pārakīya-rasa. Foreseeing this, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī supported svakīya-rasa, and later all the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas also approved of it. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī was never opposed to the transcendental pārakīya-rasa, nor has any other Vaiṣṇava disapproved of it. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī strictly followed his predecessor gurus and Vaiṣṇavas, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī, and Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī accepted him as one of his instructor gurus.
mālīra icchāya śākhā bahuta bāḍila
bāḍiyā paścima deśa saba ācchādila
mālīra icchāya—on the desire of the gardener; śākhā—branches; bahuta—many; bāḍila—expanded; bāḍiyā—so expanding; paścima—western; deśa—countries; saba—all; ācchādila—covered.
By the will of the supreme gardener, the branches of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī grew many times over, expanding throughout the western countries and covering the entire region.
ā-sindhunadī-tīra āra himālaya
vṛndāvana-mathurādi yata tīrtha haya
ā-sindhu-nadī—to the border of the river Sindhu; tīra—border; āra—and; himālaya—the Himalayan Mountains; vṛndāvana—of the name Vṛndāvana; mathurā—of the name Mathurā; ādi—heading the list; yata—all; tīrtha—places of pilgrimage; haya—there are.
Extending to the borders of the river Sindhu and the Himalayan Mountain valleys, these two branches expanded throughout India, including all the places of pilgrimage, such as Vṛndāvana, Mathurā and Haridvāra.
dui śākhāra prema-phale sakala bhāsila
prema-phalāsvāde loka unmatta ha-ila
dui śākhāra—of the two branches; prema-phale—by the fruit of love of Godhead; sakala—all; bhāsila—became overflooded; prema-phala—the fruit of love of Godhead; āsvāde—by tasting; loka—all people; unmatta—maddened; ha-ila—became.
The fruits of love of Godhead which fructified on these two branches were distributed in abundance. Tasting these fruits, everyone became mad after them.
paścimera loka saba mūḍha anācāra
tāhāṅ pracārila doṅhe bhakti-sadācāra
paścimera—on the western side; loka—people in general; saba—all; mūḍha—less intelligent; anācāra—not well behaved; tāhāṅ—there; pracārila—preached; doṅhe—Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī; bhakti—devotional service; sad-ācāra—good behavior.
The people in general on the western side of India were neither intelligent nor well behaved, but by the influence of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī they were trained in devotional service and good behavior.
Although it is not only in western India that people were contaminated by association with Muslims, it is a fact that the farther west one goes in India the more he will find the people to be fallen from the Vedic culture. Even until five thousand years ago, when the entire planet was under the control of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the Vedic culture was current everywhere. Gradually, however, people were influenced by non-Vedic culture, and they lost sight of how to behave in connection with devotional service. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī very kindly preached the bhakti cult in western India, and following in their footsteps the propagators of the Caitanya cult in the Western countries are spreading the saṅkīrtana movement and inculcating the principles of Vaiṣṇava behavior, thus purifying and reforming many persons who were previously accustomed to the culture of mlecchas and yavanas. All of our devotees in the Western countries give up their old habits of illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling. Of course, five hundred years ago these practices were unknown in India-at least in eastern India-but unfortunately at present all of India has been victimized by these non-Vedic principles, which are sometimes even supported by the government.
śāstra-dṛṣṭye kaila lupta-tīrthera uddhāra
vṛndāvane kaila śrīmūrti-sevāra pracāra
śāstra-dṛṣṭye—according to the directions of revealed scriptures; kaila—did; lupta—forgotten; tīrthera—places of pilgrimage; uddhāra—excavation; vṛndāvane—in Vṛndāvana; kaila—did; śrī-mūrti—Deity; sevāra—of worship; pracāra—propagation.
In accordance with the directions of the revealed scriptures, both Gosvāmīs excavated the lost places of pilgrimage and inaugurated the worship of Deities in Vṛndāvana.
The spot where we now find Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa was an agricultural field during the time of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. A small reservoir of water was there, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bathed in that water and pointed out that originally Rādhā-kuṇḍa existed in that location. Following His directions, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī renovated Rādhā-kuṇḍa. This is one of the brilliant examples of how the Gosvāmīs excavated lost places of pilgrimage. Similarly, it is through the endeavor of the Gosvāmīs that all the important temples at Vṛndāvana were established. Originally there were seven important Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava temples established in Vṛndāvana, namely, the Madana-mohana temple, Govinda temple, Gopīnātha temple, Śrī Rādhāramaṇa temple, Rādhā-Śyāmasundara temple, Rādhā-Dāmodara temple and Gokulānanda temple.
mahāprabhura priya bhṛtya--raghunātha-dāsa
sarva tyaji' kaila prabhura pada-tale vāsa
mahāprabhura—of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; priya—very dear; bhṛtya—servant; raghunātha-dāsa—Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī; sarva tyaji'-renouncing everything; kaila—did; prabhura—of the Lord; pada-tale—under the shelter of the lotus feet; vāsa—habitation.
Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, the forty-sixth branch of the tree, was one of the most dear servants of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He left all his material possessions to surrender completely unto the Lord and live at His lotus feet.
Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī was most probably born in the year 1416 śakābda (A.D. 1495) in a kāyastha family as the son of Govardhana Majumdāra, who was the younger brother of the then Zamindar, Hiraṇya Majumdāra. The village where he took birth is known as Śrī Kṛṣṇapura. On the railway line between Calcutta and Burdwan is a station named Triśābaghā, and about one and a half miles away is the village of Śrī Kṛṣṇapura, where the parental home of Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī was situated. A temple of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda is still there. In front of the temple is a large open area but no large hall for meetings. However, a rich Calcutta gentleman named Haricaraṇa Ghoṣa, who resided in the Simlā quarter, recently repaired the temple. The entire temple compound is surrounded by walls, and in a small room just to the side of the temple is a small platform on which Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī used to worship the Deity. By the side of the temple is the dying River Sarasvatī.
The forefathers of Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī were all Vaiṣṇavas and were very rich men. His spiritual master at home was Yadunandana Ācārya. Although Raghunātha dāsa was a family man, he had no attachment for his estate and wife. Seeing his tendency to leave home, his father and uncle engaged special bodyguards to watch over him, but nevertheless he managed to escape their vigilance and went away to Jagannātha Purī to meet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This incident took place in the year 1439 śakābda (A.D. 1518). Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī compiled three books, named Stava-mālā (or Stavāvalī), Dāna-carita and Muktācarita. He lived a long time. For most of his life he resided at Rādhā-kuṇḍa. The place where Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī performed his devotional service still exists by Rādhā-kuṇḍa. He almost completely gave up eating, and therefore he was very skinny and of weak health. His only concern was to chant the holy name of the Lord. He gradually reduced his sleeping until he was almost not sleeping at all. It is said that his eyes were always full of tears. When Śrīnivāsa Ācārya went to see Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, the Gosvāmī blessed him by embracing him. Śrīnivāsa Ācārya requested his blessings for preaching in Bengal, and Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī granted them. In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (186) it is stated that Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī was formerly the gopī named Rasa-mañjarī. Sometimes it is said that he was Rati-mañjarī.
prabhu samarpila tāṅre svarūpera hāte
prabhura gupta-sevā kaila svarūpera sāthe
prabhu—Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; samarpila—handed over; tāṅre—him; svarūpera—Svarūpa Dāmodara; hāte—to the hand; prabhura—of the Lord; gupta-sevā—confidential service; kaila—did; svarūpera—Svarūpa Dāmodara; sāthe—with.
When Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī approached Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī, the Lord entrusted him to the care of Svarūpa Dāmodara, His secretary. Thus they both engaged in the confidential service of the Lord.
ṣoḍaśa vatsara kaila antaraṅga-sevana
svarūpera antardhāne āilā vṛndāvana
ṣoḍaśa—sixteen; vatsara—years; kaila—did; antaraṅga—confidential; sevana—service; svarūpera—of Svarūpa Dāmodara; antardhāne—disappearance; āilā—came; vṛndāvana—to Vṛndāvana.
He rendered confidential service to the Lord for sixteen years at Jagannātha Purī, and after the disappearance of both the Lord and Svarūpa Dāmodara, he left Jagannātha Purī and went to Vṛndāvana.
vṛndāvane dui bhāira caraṇa dekhiyā
govardhane tyajiba deha bhṛgupāta kariyā
vṛndāvane—at Vṛndāvana; dui bhāira—the two brothers (Rūpa and Sanātana); caraṇa—feet; dekhiyā—after seeing; govardhane—on the hill of Govardhana; tyajiba—will give up; deha—this body; bhṛgupāta—falling down; kariyā—doing so.
Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī intended to go to Vṛndāvana to see the lotus feet of Rūpa and Sanātana and then give up his life by jumping from Govardhana Hill.
Jumping from the top of Govardhana Hill is a system of suicide especially performed by saintly persons. After the disappearance of Lord Caitanya and Svarūpa Dāmodara, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī keenly felt separation from these two exalted personalities and therefore decided to give up his life by jumping from Govardhana Hill in Vṛndāvana. Before doing so, however, he wanted to see the lotus feet of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī.
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