sri-isvarapuri-rupe ankura pusta haila
apane caitanya-mali skandha upajila
sri-isvara-puri—by the name Sri Isvara Puri; rupe—in the form of; ankura—the seed; pusta—cultivated; haila—became; apane—Himself; caitanya-mali—the gardener of the name Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; skandha—trunk; upajila—expanded.
The seed of devotional service next fructified in the form of Sri Isvara Puri, and then the gardener Himself, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, became the main trunk of the tree of devotional service.
Isvara Puri appeared in a brahmana family and was the most beloved disciple of Srila Madhavendra Puri. In the last portion of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya 8.28-31), it is stated:
isvara-puri gosani kare sri-pada sevana
sva-haste karena mala-mutradi marjana
nirantara krsna-nama karaya smarana
krsna-nama krsna-lila sunaya anuksana
tusta hana puri tanre kaila alingana
vara dila krsne tomara ha-uka prema-dhana
sei haite isvara-puri premera sagara
"At the last stage of his life Sri Madhavendra Puri became an invalid and was completely unable to move, and Isvara Puri so completely engaged himself in his service that he personally cleaned up his stool and urine. Always chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and reminding Sri Madhavendra Puri about the pastimes of Lord Krsna in the last stage of his life, Isvara Puri gave the best service among his disciples. Thus Madhavendra Puri, being very pleased with him, blessed him, saying, 'My dear boy, I can only pray to Krsna that He will be pleased with you.' Thus Isvara Puri, by the grace of his spiritual master, Sri Madhavendra Puri, became a great devotee in the ocean of love of Godhead." Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti states in his Gurv-astaka prayer, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi: "By the mercy of the spiritual master one is blessed by the mercy of Krsna. Without the grace of the spiritual master one cannot make any advancement." It is by the mercy of the spiritual master that one becomes perfect, as vividly exemplified here. A Vaisnava is always protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if he appears to be an invalid, this gives a chance to his disciples to serve him. Isvara Puri pleased his spiritual master by service, and by the blessings of his spiritual master he became such a great personality that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted him as His spiritual master.
Srila Isvara Puri was the spiritual master of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but before initiating Lord Caitanya he went to Navadvipa and lived for a few months in the house of Gopinatha Acarya. At that time Lord Caitanya became acquainted with him, and it is understood that he served Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by reciting his book, Krsna-lilamrta. This is explained in Sri Caitanya-bhagavata, Adi-lila, Chapter Eleven.
To teach others by example how to be a faithful disciple of one's spiritual master, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, visited the birthplace of Isvara Puri at Kamarhatta and collected some earth from his birthsite. This He kept very carefully, and He used to eat a small portion of it daily. This is stated in the Caitanya-bhagavata, Adi-lila, Chapter Seventeen. It has now become customary for devotees, following the example of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to go there and collect some earth from that place.
Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/cc/adi/9/11