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For Sri Srivas Pandit Disapearance Day

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The Pancha Tattva

“There is no difference between the energy and the energetic in regard to the Lord’s appearance as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His four associates — Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. Amongst these five diverse manifestations of the Supreme Lord (as the Lord Himself and His incarnation, expansion and energies) there is no spiritual difference. They are five in one Absolute Truth. For the sake of relishing transcendental flavors in the Absolute Truth, there are five diverse manifestations. These are called the form of a devotee, the identity of a devotee, the incarnation of a devotee, the pure devotee and devotional energy.

Out of the five diversities in the Absolute Truth, the form of Lord Caitanya is that of the original Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Lord Nityananda is the manifestation of the first expansion of the Supreme Lord. Similarly, Advaita Prabhu is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. These three–Caitanya, Nityananda and Advaita–belong to the category of Visnu-tattva, or the Supreme Absolute Truth. Srivasa represents the pure devotee, and Gadadhara represents the internal energy of the Lord for the advancement of pure devotion. Therefore Gadadhara and Srivasa, although included in Visnu-tattva, are dependent, diverse energies of the Supreme Lord. In other words, they are not different from the energetic, but they are manifest diversely for the sake of relishing transcendental relationships. The whole process of devotional service involves a transcendental reciprocation in the relationship between the worshiper and the worshiped. Without such a diverse exchange of transcendental flavors, devotional service has no meaning.” [Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 17 by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada]

Srivas Pandit’s Origins

srivasa-pandita dhiman yah pura narado munih
parvatakhyo muni-varo ya asin narada-priyah
sri-rama-panditah sriman tat-kanistha-sahodarah
namnambika vraje dhatri stanya-datri sthita pura
saiveyam Malini namni srivassa-grhini mata

Srivas is Narada, who plays such an important part in Krishna’s lila. Narada Muni’s friend Parvata Muni appeared as Srivas’ younger brother Ramai. Srivas’ wife Malini Devi was Krishna’s wet nurse in Vraja, Ambika. (Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika 90)

Srivas Pandit hailed from Sylhet. He later came to live in Nabadwip where he made an immense contribution to Gauranga lila. From the Chaitanya Bhagavata and Chaitanya Charitamrita we learn that Srivas had three brothers living with him in Navadvipa: Srirama Pandit, Sripati Pandit and Srikanta or Srinidhi Pandit. All four were participants in Mahaprabhu’s lila.

Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana cites Prema-vilasa in saying that Srivas’ father was a Vedic Brahmin of the name Sri Jaladhar Pandit. Srivas Pandit was the second of five sons. The eldest son, Sri Nalina Pandit, had a daughter named Narayani, the mother of the author of the Chaitanya Bhagavata, Vrindavan Das. Narayani’s husband Vaikuntha Das Vipra died while she was pregnant with Vrindavan Das, so she left her husband’s house in Kumarahatta (Halisahar) and came to live with Srivas in Nabadwip.

Kirtan Pastimes at Srivas Angan

After a night of kirtan at Srivas’ house, when Mahaprabhu returned to external awareness, He would go with all the devotees to bathe in the Ganges. Sometimes the devotees would ceremonially bathe the Lord at Srivas Angan. One of Srivas’ servant girls named Dukhi would watch Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic dancing with tears in her eyes. She also performed the service of filling jugs of water from the Ganges for Mahaprabhu’s morning bath. One day, Mahaprabhu observed her devotion and was pleased; He changed her name from Dukhi (“unhappy”) to Sukhi (“happy”).

Another day, Srivas’ only son died while sankirtana was being performed in his house. Srivas was afraid that the sounds of mourning from the women’s quarters would disturb Mahaprabhu while He was engaged in singing the Holy Names. So he went directly into the house and tried to quiet the women by explaining spiritual truths to them. When they still didn’t stop their loud lamentations, Srivas threatened to throw himself into the river and drown if they did not stop making noise. This had the desired result.

Later on that night, however, the kirtan came to a stop and Mahaprabhu said, “Something doesn’t seem right. Has some tragedy taken place in the pandit’s house?” Srivas answered, “How can anything be wrong, when I have Your smiling face in my home?”

“However, some of the other devotees said, “Prabhu, Srivas’ only son died in the evening about an hour after sunset.”

Mahaprabhu asked, “Why did no one say anything before now?”

The devotees answered, “Lord, Srivas told us not to, because he was afraid that it would interfere with Your pleasure in kirtana.”

Mahaprabhu said, “How could I ever abandon devotees who love Me to this extent!” and started to cry. After this, He went inside and sat down beside the child’s dead body and brought him back to consciousness. He asked, “Child! Why do you want to leave the house of such a great devotee as Srivas?”

The dead child answered, “The few days that I was to spend in Srivas’ house are over, and now I am following Your wishes in going elsewhere. I am a living being without any independence; I cannot go against Your wishes. Please be merciful to me that I never forget Your lotus feet, wherever I go.”

When Srivas’ family members heard the child speak such wisdom, they immediately forgot their distress and stopped mourning. Mahaprabhu said to Srivas, “From this day on, Nityananda and I will be your sons. We will never leave you.”

[Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj]

 

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For Sri Syamananda Prabhu’s Disapearance Day

srilasyamanandaprabhu

Sri Shyamananda Prabhu was a servant of a servant of Subala in Krishna-lila. He was the disciple of Hridayananda or Hriday Chaitanya, who was a disciple of Gauri Das Pandit. Gauri Das was Subala in Krishna-lila.

yam loka bhuvi kirtayanti hridayanandasya shishyam priyam
sakhye shri-subalasya yam bhagavatah preshthanushishyam tatha
sa shriman rasikendra-mastaka-manish citte mamaharnisham
shri-radhapriya-narma-marmasu rucim sampadayan bhasatam

Sri Shyamananda was known in this world as Hridayananda’s dear disciple; he was the grand-disciple of Subala sakha, the most dear friend of the Supreme Lord; he was the crest-jewel of the enjoyers of sacred rapture. May he appear day and night in my mind, bringing an appreciation for the essence of the joys of the beloved of Sri Radha.
(Shyamananda-shataka)

While in Vrindavan, he was given the name Shyamananda because he brought great joy to Shyamasundar. When Jiva saw his charming activities, he kept him nearby and instructed him in the Vaishnava scriptures.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 1.401-2)

Radharani’s Special Mercy on Shyamananda

SyamanandaPrabhu04findsanklet

Even though Shyamananda Prabhu was Hriday Chaitanya’s initiated disciple, his guru had entrusted him to the care of Jiva Goswami Prabhu. Through the association of Jiva and service to him, Shyamananda developed a taste for serving Radha and Krishna in the conjugal mood. Hriday Chaitanya Prabhu himself was a disciple of Gauri Das Pandit, who was one of the twelve Gopals, Subala sakha. He worshiped Gaura-Nitai in the mood of friendship. Those who think that Shyamananda committed an offense to his initiating spiritual master by abandoning his mood and trying to directly serve Krishna in a higher mood, are wrong. The mood of friendship is contained within the conjugal mood. If a disciple makes further progress in spiritual life it enhances the reputation of his teacher.

An extraordinary incident, which took place in Vrindavan prior to his being ordered by Jiva to return to Orissa, demonstrates how dear Shyamananda was to Radharani. One day, Shyamananda Prabhu was sweeping the Rasa-mandala in Vrindavan, absorbed in ecstatic trance. Suddenly, by Radharani’s transcendental mercy, he found her ankle bracelet lying on the ground. In his excitement, he touched the ankle bracelet to his forehead, where it left a mark which is preserved to this day as the tilaka marking of the disciple descendants of Shyamananda. It is known as nupura-tilaka.

 

Shyamananda Prabhu’s Preaching

Narottama Thakur and Shyamananda primarily preached the message of Mahaprabhu through kirtan. Srinivas sang kirtan in a style called Manohara-sahi, Narottama in Gariana-hati, and Shyamananda in Reneti. He would enchant the listeners with his heartfelt singing of kirtan. These styles of kirtan are no longer extant.

As a result of his preaching in Orissa, many Muslims also became Shyamananda’s disciples. The most important of his innumerable disciples was Rasika Murari. Rasikananda was the son of Achyutananda, the zamindar of Rohini village. He had another name, Murari, and was thus most commonly known as Rasika Murari. He was a very powerful preacher and his fame is still widespread through the villages of Orissa. A list of some of Shyamananda’s prominent disciples is given in the Bhakti-ratnakara:

Shyamananda made disciples all over the place. A person can be purified by hearing their names: Radhananda, Purushottam, Manohara, Cintamani, Balabhadra, Jagadishvara, Uddhava, Akrura, Madhuvana, Govinda, Jagannath, Gadadhara, Anandananda, and Radhamohana. Shyamananda was constantly immersed in the joys of kirtan in the association of these disciples. Poets have described his wonderful pastimes for the pleasure of everyone.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 15.62-66)

Other than these disciples, Shyamananda converted a yogi named Damodar. Narahari Chakravarti has written the following account of that conversion:

There was a practitioner of yoga named Damodar. Shyamananda mercifully flooded him with devotional rasa. After becoming Shyamananda’s disciple, Damodar cried and chanted the names of Nitai-Chaitanya. Who could remain untouched by his ecstatic absorption. He danced, crying out “bhakti is the best of all!” After delivering Damodar, Shyamananda continued to travel about, distributing the jewel of devotion to all.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 15.55-8)

Shyamananda put on a large festival at Dharenda with Rasika Murari and Damodar which is still remembered today. When he left the world, Shyamananda turned over the service of Govinda at Gopivallabhapura. Shyamananda’s disciples and their descendants still worship his deity Radha-Shyamasundar in Vrindavan. This temple is still one of the principle pilgrimage sites in Vrindavan.

Shyamananda Prabhu lived the last part of his life in Nrisinghapura in Orissa where he continued preaching Vaishnavism. His earthly pastimes came to an end on the first day of the waning moon in the month of Asharh in 1552 of the Shaka era (1630 AD).

—-Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj

 

 

 

For Srimati Gangamata Gosvamini Appearance

Ganga Mata Goswamini was initiated in the line of Gauranga’s shakti, Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami, by Hari Das Pandit Goswami. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami himself has described this Hari Das’s character in his Chaitanya Charitamrita:

The chief servitor of the Govinda temple was Sri Hari Das Pandit. His qualities and fame are known all over the world; he was gentle, tolerant, peaceful, magnanimous, grave, sweet in his words, and very sober in his endeavors. He was respectful to everyone and worked for the benefit of all. Diplomacy, envy and jealousy were unknown to his heart.The fifty general qualities of Lord Krishna were all present in his body… Ananta Acharya, a disciple of Gadadhara Pandit, was always absorbed in love of Godhead, magnanimous and advanced in all respects. He was a reservoir of all good qualities. No one can estimate how great he was. Pandit Hari Das was his beloved disciple.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.8.54-7, 59-60)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur writes in his Anubhashya: “During the advent of Lord Sri Krishna, Ananta Acharya was Sudevi, one of the eight gopis. This is stated in the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika, verse 165, as follows: ‘Ananta Acharya Goswami was formerly Sudevi-gopi in Vraja [Vrindavan].’ According to the disciplic succession descending from him at the famous Ganga-mata monastery, he is known as Vinoda manjari. One of his disciples was Hari Das Pandit Goswami, who is also known as Sri Raghu Gopal and as Sri Rasa manjari. He had two important disciples: Lakshmipriya and her niece, Ganga-mata, daughter of the Raja of Puntiya.”

More is learned about Ganga-mata’s holy life from Hari Das Das’s Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhana and, in more detail, from Sundarananda Vidyavinoda’s Shrikshetra, where an elaborate account is given.

Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: HisLife & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj

Available here from Mandala Publishing

For Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura Appearance Day

vedavyaso ya evasid daso vrindavano’dhuna
sakha yah kusumapidah karyatas tam samavishat

Vedavyasa became Vrindavan Das Thakur. Krishna’s friend Kusumapida also entered into him for special purposes. (Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 109)

Vedavyasa described Krishna-lila in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Non-different from Vyasa, Vrindavan Das described Mahaprabhu’s lila in his Chaitanya Bhagavat. His book was first called Chaitanya Mangala, but when Locana Das gave the same name to his biography of the Lord, it was dubbed “Chaitanya Bhagavat”.

Vrindavan Das’s Mother, Narayani

Vrindavan Das was born on the Krishna-dvadashi of the month of Vaishakh in 1429 of the Shaka era (1507 AD). Some say he was born in Mamgachi in the Nabadwip area, others say his birthplace was in Kumarahatta. His father was Vaikunthanatha Vipra, who originally came from Sylhet (Sylhet), his mother Narayani Devi. Narayani was the daughter of Srivasa Pandit’s elder brother, Shrinalina Pandit. Kavi Karnapura has also mentioned her name in his Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika:

ambikayah svasa yasin namna shrila-kilimbika
krishnocchishtam prabhuïjana seyam narayani mata

Kilimbika, who used to eat Krishna’s remnants, was the younger sister of Krishna’s nurse Ambika (Srivasa’s wife, Malini). In Mahaprabhu’s lila, she became Narayani.

Narayani also achieved fame because she received Gaurasundara’s mercy when he gave her his remnants. When the Lord displayed his divine form in the Mahaprakasha in Srivasa Angan, Narayani was only a small child of four, but the Lord made her intoxicated with the ecstasy of prema. Whether born in Mamagachi or in Kumarahatta, Vrindavan Das later lived in the village of Denuria, within the Matreshvara precinct of Burdwan district. Thus Denuria is considered to be his Shripata. He spent some of his childhood with his mother in Mamagachi, at the home of his maternal grandparents where Narayani was married. Vrindavan Das’s Gaura-Nitai deities are still worshiped at the Mamagachi home. When his father died, he and his mother moved to Srivasa’s house where he received Mahaprabhu’s special blessings.

Vrindavan Das Writes Chaitanya Bhagavat

Because of the copious blessings he received from Nityananda Prabhu, Vrindavan Das is said to have been his initiated disciple.

Vrindavan Das is the recipient of Nityananda’s blessings. He is the original Vyasa of Chaitanya’s pastimes. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.20.82)

He wrote Chaitanya Bhagavat in 1535 AD. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, the author of Chaitanya Charitamrita, has written the following in praise of Vrindavan Das Thakur:

Vrindavan Das, the son of Narayani, wrote the Chaitanya Mangala. Vedavyasa described Krishna’s life in the Srimad Bhagavatam and Vrindavan Das is the Vyasa of Chaitanya-lila. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.11.54-5)

Just as Vyasadeva compiled Lord Krishna’s pastimes in Srimad Bhagavatam, Thakur Vrindavan Das depicted Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes. His Chaitanya Mangala annihilates all misfortune. From it, I learned the wonders of Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda and came to know all the most subtle doctrines of devotional service to Krishna. Vrindavan Das Thakur has summarized the essence of the teachings of the Srimad Bhagavatam in his Chaitanya Mangala. If even a Muslim or an atheist should listen to Chaitanya Mangala, he immediately becomes a great Vaishnava. An ordinary human being could not have composed such a sublime work; Lord Chaitanya himself has spoken through the mouth of Vrindavan Das. I offer millions of obeisances unto the lotus feet of Vrindavan Das Thakur who has delivered the entire universe through his book. He was born in the womb of Narayani who eternally enjoys Sri Chaitanya’s remnants. How wonderful is his description of the activites of the Lord, simply by hearing which the three worlds have become sanctified! (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.8.34-42)

Vrindavan Das became so absorbed in the description of Nityananda Prabhu’s lila that he did not elaborately relate all of Mahaprabhu’s activities, only summarizing them in abbreviated form. Krishnadas then elaborated on these undescribed activities in his Chaitanya Charitamrita.

Vrindavan Das the authorized biographer of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and equal to Srila Vyasadeva. He has described the Lord’s pastimes in such a way as to make them sweeter and sweeter. I shall try as far as possible to fill in the accounts he left out out of fear of excessively enlarging his book. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.13.48-9)

The original Deities Srila Vrindavana Das
Thakur worshiped at the village of Denur

Vrindavan Das’s Criticisms of Vaishnava Aparadha

Vrindavan Das primarily Mahaprabhu’s early activities such as his pastimes as a student, his childhood, his chastisement of the Qazi, his departure from Nabadwip, as well as some aspects of his life in Puri. Vrindavan Das Thakur demonstrated infinite mercy on the fallen souls by warning them:

eta parihare-o je papi ninda kare
tabe lathi maron tar shirera upare

Even after being told how objectionable it is, if someone still blasphemes the Vaishnavas, then I will kick him in the head.

These same words are repeated in the Adi, Madhya and Antya-khandas of the Chaitanya Bhagavat. Some foolish and arrogant persons misunderstand such statements and criticize Vrindavan Das for having made them. Such criticism leads them into the mud of offensiveness. In this connection, the remarks of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur, the founder of the Sri Chaitanya Math and all the Gaudiya Maths, are well worth studying: “‘I am ready to kick the heads of those envious and hellish persons who blaspheme Nityananda Prabhu, if by so doing I will be able to forever prevent them from repeating their attempts to show disrespect for the Supreme Lord. Not only that, but if by so doing I can bring about a clear conception of the truth, I will be performing them the greatest service.’

“So says Vrindavan Das, the incarnation of Vyasa and acharya of the Vaishnava faith. If even a single fleck of dust should fall from his foot on the head of a sinful blasphemer, then that person will be blessed and all his sinful conditioning will inevitably be eradicated. In words which embody the Goddess of Learning and a flood of pure devotion, the Thakur reveals compassion for even the most atheistic blasphemer with the unswerving faith appropriate to a servant of Nityananda Prabhu, the supreme guru. He tells them that though they should be the object of indifference due to their foolishness, nevertheless, because of their ignorance of the truth of Nityananda, their insistence on rushing headlong on the path to hell, and their reluctance to act in their own real self-interest, he and other compassionate Vaishnavas like him who practice and preach the Lord’s doctrines unselfishly and disinterestedly act for their welfare. The compassion which is manifested in Vrindavan Das’s statement is beyond the comprehension of those who have no understanding of what is truly in their own self interest. Anyone who follows in the footsteps of Vrindavan Das, the incarnation of Vyasa, and both practices and preaches the Vaishnava religion is always engaged in an effort to bring about the ultimate well-being of everyone. Though he may make a superficial show of wishing to punish the enemies of the Lord, in fact he harbors a compassion toward them which knows no limit.”

Vrindavan Das Thakur’s disappearance day is the Krishna Dashami of Vaishakh. There is some dispute the exact year of his disappearance which was likely 1511 Shaka (1589 AD).

[Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj]

For Lord Sri Balaram’s Appearance Day


Sri Balabhadra-stava-raja
The King of Prayers to Lord Balarama
>From Chp13, Sri Garga Samhita

Text 1

duryodhana uvaca

stotram sri-baladevasya
pradvipaka maha-mune
vada mam krpaya saksat
sarva-siddhi-pradayakam

Duryodhana said: O Pradvipaka, O great sage, please kindly tell me the prayer of Lord Balarama, which grants all perfection.

Text 2

sri-pradvipaka uvaca

stava-rajam tu ramasya
vedavyasa-krtam subham
sarva-siddhi-pradam rajan
chrnu kaivalyadam nrnam

Sri Pradvipaka Muni said: O king, please hear the regal and beautiful prayer of Lord Balarama, a prayer that brings liberation and all perfection.

Text 3

devadi-deva bhagavan
kama-pala namo ‘stu te
namo ‘nantaya sesaya
saksad-ramaya te namah

O master of the demigods, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O fulfiller of desires, obeisances to You! O Lord Ananta Sesa, obeisances to You! O Lord Balarama, obeisances to You!

Text 4

dhara-dharaya purnaya
sva-dhamne sira-panaye
sahasra-sirase nityam
namah sankarsanaya te

O Lord who maintains the earth, O glorious Lord, O perfect and complete Lord, O Lord who holds a plow in Your hand, O Lord who has a thousand heads, O Lord Sankarsana, eternal obeisances to You!

Text 5

revati-ramana tvam vai
baladevacyutagraja
halayudha pralamba-ghna
pahi mam purusottama

O husband of Revati, O Lord Balarama, O elder brother of Lord Krsna, O Lord who holds a plow-weapon, O killer of Pralambasura, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, please protect me!

Text 6

balaya balabhadraya
talankaya namo namah
nilambaraya gauraya
rauhineyaya te namah

O Lord Balarama, who carries a palm-tree flag, obeisances to You! O son of Rohini, O fair-complexioned Lord dressed in blue garments, obeisances to You!

Text 7

dhenukarir mustikarih
kutarir balvalantakah
rukmy-arih kupakarnarih
kumbhandaris tvam eva hi

You are the enemy of Dhenuka, the enemy of Mustika, the enemy of Kuta, the killer of Balvala, the enemy of Rukmi, the enemy of Kupakarna, and the enemy of Kumbhanda.

Text 8

kalindi-bhedano ‘si tvam
hastinapura-karsakah
dvividarir yadavendro
vraja-mandala-mandanah

You are the Lord who broke the Yamuna and dragged Hastinapura. You are the enemy of Dvivida. You are the king of the Yadavas. You are the ornament of Vraja’s circle.

Text 9

kamsa-bhratr-prahantasi
tirtha-yatra-karah prabhuh
duryodhana-guruh saksat
pahi pahi prabho tv atah

You are the killer of Kamsa’s brothers. You are the supreme master, the Lord who went on pilgrimage, and Duryodhana’s guru. O master, please protect me! Please protect me!

Text 10

jaya jayacyuta-deva parat para
svayam ananta-dig-anta-gata-sruta
sura-munindra-phanindra-caraya te
musaline baline haline namah

O infallible Lord, greater than the greatest, O Lord whose glories are heard in all directions without limit, glory to You! Glory to You! O Lord served by the demigods, the kings of the sages, and the kings of the serpents, O powerful Lord who holds a plow and a club, obeisances to You!

Text 11

yah pathet satatam stavanam narah
sa tu hareh paramam padam avrajet
jagati sarva-balam tv ari-mardanam
bhavati tasya dhanam sva-janam dhanam

A person who regularly recites this prayer attains Lord Hari’s transcendental abode. All the strength in the universe is his. He crushes his enemies. He attains great wealth and a great dynasty.

Varuni Beverage for Lord Balaram

Small amount:

7 litres Milk
6 litres Yogurt
1 litre Cream
5 kg Runny Honey
1 kg White Sugar
1/2 bottle Rose water  (7 Roses brand is very nice from Mumbai – 7oz)

Larger amount:

25 litres Milk
15 litres Yogurt
3 litres Cream
10 kg Runny Honey
3 kg White Sugar
1 bottle Rose Water

For Sri Srivas Pandit Appearance Day

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The Pancha Tattva

“There is no difference between the energy and the energetic in regard to the Lord’s appearance as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His four associates — Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. Amongst these five diverse manifestations of the Supreme Lord (as the Lord Himself and His incarnation, expansion and energies) there is no spiritual difference. They are five in one Absolute Truth. For the sake of relishing transcendental flavors in the Absolute Truth, there are five diverse manifestations. These are called the form of a devotee, the identity of a devotee, the incarnation of a devotee, the pure devotee and devotional energy.

Out of the five diversities in the Absolute Truth, the form of Lord Caitanya is that of the original Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Lord Nityananda is the manifestation of the first expansion of the Supreme Lord. Similarly, Advaita Prabhu is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. These three–Caitanya, Nityananda and Advaita–belong to the category of Visnu-tattva, or the Supreme Absolute Truth. Srivasa represents the pure devotee, and Gadadhara represents the internal energy of the Lord for the advancement of pure devotion. Therefore Gadadhara and Srivasa, although included in Visnu-tattva, are dependent, diverse energies of the Supreme Lord. In other words, they are not different from the energetic, but they are manifest diversely for the sake of relishing transcendental relationships. The whole process of devotional service involves a transcendental reciprocation in the relationship between the worshiper and the worshiped. Without such a diverse exchange of transcendental flavors, devotional service has no meaning.” [Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 17 by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada]

Srivas Pandit’s Origins

srivasa-pandita dhiman yah pura narado munih
parvatakhyo muni-varo ya asin narada-priyah
sri-rama-panditah sriman tat-kanistha-sahodarah
namnambika vraje dhatri stanya-datri sthita pura
saiveyam Malini namni srivassa-grhini mata

Srivas is Narada, who plays such an important part in Krishna’s lila. Narada Muni’s friend Parvata Muni appeared as Srivas’ younger brother Ramai. Srivas’ wife Malini Devi was Krishna’s wet nurse in Vraja, Ambika. (Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika 90)

Srivas Pandit hailed from Sylhet. He later came to live in Nabadwip where he made an immense contribution to Gauranga lila. From the Chaitanya Bhagavata and Chaitanya Charitamrita we learn that Srivas had three brothers living with him in Navadvipa: Srirama Pandit, Sripati Pandit and Srikanta or Srinidhi Pandit. All four were participants in Mahaprabhu’s lila.

Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana cites Prema-vilasa in saying that Srivas’ father was a Vedic Brahmin of the name Sri Jaladhar Pandit. Srivas Pandit was the second of five sons. The eldest son, Sri Nalina Pandit, had a daughter named Narayani, the mother of the author of the Chaitanya Bhagavata, Vrindavan Das. Narayani’s husband Vaikuntha Das Vipra died while she was pregnant with Vrindavan Das, so she left her husband’s house in Kumarahatta (Halisahar) and came to live with Srivas in Nabadwip.

Kirtan Pastimes at Srivas Angan

After a night of kirtan at Srivas’ house, when Mahaprabhu returned to external awareness, He would go with all the devotees to bathe in the Ganges. Sometimes the devotees would ceremonially bathe the Lord at Srivas Angan. One of Srivas’ servant girls named Dukhi would watch Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic dancing with tears in her eyes. She also performed the service of filling jugs of water from the Ganges for Mahaprabhu’s morning bath. One day, Mahaprabhu observed her devotion and was pleased; He changed her name from Dukhi (“unhappy”) to Sukhi (“happy”).

Another day, Srivas’ only son died while sankirtana was being performed in his house. Srivas was afraid that the sounds of mourning from the women’s quarters would disturb Mahaprabhu while He was engaged in singing the Holy Names. So he went directly into the house and tried to quiet the women by explaining spiritual truths to them. When they still didn’t stop their loud lamentations, Srivas threatened to throw himself into the river and drown if they did not stop making noise. This had the desired result.

Later on that night, however, the kirtan came to a stop and Mahaprabhu said, “Something doesn’t seem right. Has some tragedy taken place in the pandit’s house?” Srivas answered, “How can anything be wrong, when I have Your smiling face in my home?”

“However, some of the other devotees said, “Prabhu, Srivas’ only son died in the evening about an hour after sunset.”

Mahaprabhu asked, “Why did no one say anything before now?”

The devotees answered, “Lord, Srivas told us not to, because he was afraid that it would interfere with Your pleasure in kirtana.”

Mahaprabhu said, “How could I ever abandon devotees who love Me to this extent!” and started to cry. After this, He went inside and sat down beside the child’s dead body and brought him back to consciousness. He asked, “Child! Why do you want to leave the house of such a great devotee as Srivas?”

The dead child answered, “The few days that I was to spend in Srivas’ house are over, and now I am following Your wishes in going elsewhere. I am a living being without any independence; I cannot go against Your wishes. Please be merciful to me that I never forget Your lotus feet, wherever I go.”

When Srivas’ family members heard the child speak such wisdom, they immediately forgot their distress and stopped mourning. Mahaprabhu said to Srivas, “From this day on, Nityananda and I will be your sons. We will never leave you.”

[Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj]

HDG Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura Appearance Day

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was born in the holy pilgrimage place of Jagannatha Puri to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a great Vaisnava acarya in the line of succession coming from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Although employed as a government magistrate, Srila Bhaktivinoda worked tirelessly to establish the teachings of Lord Chaitanya in India. He envisioned a worldwide spiritual movement and prayed for a son to help him achieve his dream. On February 6, 1874, in the sacred pilgrimage town of Jagannath Puri, where Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura served as superintendent of the famous Jagannatha temple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta appeared in this world. He was given the name Bimala Prasada. At the age of seven, Bimala Prasada had memorized the more than seven hundred Sanskrit verses of the Bhagavad-gita and could speak illuminating commentaries upon them. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the author of many important books and other writings on Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy, trained his son in printing and proofreading. By the time he was twenty-five years old, Bimala Prasada had acquired an impressive reputation as a scholar of Sanskrit, mathematics, and astronomy. His astronomical treatise, Surya-siddhanta, won him the title Siddhanta Sarasvati in recognition of his immense learning. In 1905, following the advice of his father, Siddhanta Sarasvati accepted spiritual initiation from Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji. Although Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji was illiterate, he was renowned throughout the continent as a great saint and Vaisnava acarya. Siddhanta Sarasvati, although a great scholar, exhibited humility and dedication in the presence of Srila Gaurakishora. Satisfied with such humility and dedication of his highly educated disciple, Srila Gaurakishora gave Siddhanta Sarasvati his full blessings and requested him to “preach the Absolute Truth and keep aside all other work.” Upon the disappearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in 1914, Siddhanta Sarasvati became editor of his father’s journal, Sajjana-tosani, and founded the Bhagawat Press for the publication of Gaudiya Vaisnava literature. In 1918 Siddhanta Sarasvati accepted the renounced order of spiritual life, assuming the title Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja. For purposes of propagating Gaudiya Vaisnavism throughout India, he organized the Gaudiya Math, with sixty-four branches throughout the country. The headquarters of his mission, the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, is located in Sridhama Mayapura, the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta adjusted ancient traditions to conform with technological and social conditions of the twentieth century. He considered the printing press a most effective means of spreading this message throughout the world and was himself the author of many important translations, commentaries, and philosophical essays. He was the first spiritual teacher in this line to allow his renounced preachers (sannyasis) to wear Western clothes and travel in modern conveyances rather that on foot. Throughout the 1930s, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta expanded and increased his missionary work and succeeded in reestablishing Gaudiya Vaisnavism as the leading force in Indian spiritual life. On January 1, 1937, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura passed from this world.

Original article from BVML.org read more

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