Tag Archive | Dissapearance day

For Srila Gauridas Pandit DISAPPEARANCE

 

“Gauridasa Pandit, the emblem of the most elevated devotional service in
love of Godhead, had the greatest potency to receive and deliver such love.
Making Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda the Lords of his life, Gauridasa
Pandit sacrificed everything for the service of Lord Nityananda.”
(Caitanya-caritamrta)

Before taking sannyasa, Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda visited Gauridasa
Pandit in Ambika Kalna. Fearing their impending separation, Gauridasa cried
and begged the Lord to stay longer. Mahaprabhu made life-like neem wood
Deities of Gaura Nitai to console his loving servant. “Gauridasa, My murti
form is as good as I am,” said Lord Gauranga, “We will forever remain in
your home to accept your service.”

Gauridasa Pandit worshiped Gaura Nitai in many intimate ways–talking
sweetly to Them, cooking a variety of tasty foods, discussing sastra with
Them, attending to Their every need throughout the day. Even when old and
feeble, Gauridasa ceaselessly served his worshipable Lords Sri-Sri
Gaura-Nitai.

Although poor, he desired to decorate Gaura-Nitai with costly beautiful
ornaments. Knowing his mind, Gaura-Nityananda lavishly adorned Themselves.
Beholding Their exquisite beauty Gauridasa became astonished. “Where did
They get these ornaments?” he thought. Sri-Sri Gaura-Nitai would often enact
such transcendental pastimes in the home of Their pure devotee, Sri
Gauridasa Pandit.

One time, Caitanya Dasa, Gauridasa’s foremost disciple, organized a huge
sankirtana festival on the bank of the Ganges. Enraptured by the kirtana,
Gauridasa’s Deities jumped off the altar and joined the devotees in chanting
and dancing. Discovering the Deities missing from the temple, Gauridasa
grabbed a stick and ran to catch Gaura-Nitai. Seeing his angry mood,
Gaura-Nitai vanished. At that moment, Gauridasa watched in amazement to see
Gaura-Nitai enter the heart (hrdaya) of Caitanya Dasa. Gauridasa embraced
his beloved disciple, bathed him with tears, and said, “You are most
fortunate. From today your name will be Hrdaya Caitanya, one who holds Sri
Caitanya within his heart.”

Since then Gaura-Nitai’s darsana at Gauridasa Pandit’s temple is offered in
many brief intervals like Banke-bihariji in Vrndavana. To keep Gaura-Nitai
from jumping off the altar, the pujaris open and quickly close the curtain
throughout the darsana time.

While doing bhajana in Dhira Samira Kunja in Vrndavana, Gauridasa Pandit
entered the eternal go carana lila (cowherding pastimes) of
Krishna-Balarama. In Vraja he is Subala, a dvadasa gopala. His samadhi is
within the Shyama-Raya temple compound in Dhira Samira, Vrndavana. (20,47)

Gauridasa, a disciple of Nityananda Prabhu, was one of the twelve
gopalas of Krsna in Vrindavana. He was Subala sakha in his past incarnation
(Gauraganoddesadipika 128). His Sripata is at Amvikanagara near the
district of Kalna. Before setting up his Sripata, he lived at Saligrama
near the Mudagacha railway station in the Nadia district. (Bhaktiratnakara
7.330-331)

Advertisements

For Srila Rupa Goswami’s Dissapearance day

Sri Rupa Goswami’s Siksha

by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaja

Through Rupa Goswami, Mahaprabhu taught the world about Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes and the process for attaining Krishna in Vrindavan. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami writes, “Through the mercy of Sanatan I have learned the devotional doctrines, while by the grace of Rupa I have been able to discover the extensiveness of the divine aesthetics of devotion.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.5.203)

The Lord taught about sacred rapture and Vraja’s pastimes of love through Rupa Goswami. Who can effectively describe the subtleties of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila? (Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.5.87)

vrndavaniyam rasa-kelivartam
kalena luptam nija-saktim utkah |
sancarya rupe vyatanot punah sa
prabhor vidhau prag iva loka-srstim ||

Just as the Lord enlightened the heart of Lord Brahma with the details of the creation and thus made the manifestation of the cosmos possible, so did Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu eagerly impregnate the heart of Rupa Goswami with spiritual potency so that he could revive Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes which had almost been lost to memory. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.19.1)

While in Prayag, Mahaprabhu gave Rupa the direct order to write Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. This has been stated by Rupa himself in the introductory verses to that book:

hrdi yasya preramaya pravartito’ham varaka-rupo’ pi |
tasya hareh pada-kamalam vande caitanya-devasya ||

I worship the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, known as Lord Chaitanya-deva, for by his inspiration I have set out to write this book even though I am nothing but a ignorant wretch. (Brs 1.1.2)

Particularly relevant in this connection is Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur’s commentary on the importance of studying and writing books as an element of devotional practice: “The lives of the Goswamis were exemplary in their renunciation. Sometimes they would engage in chanting the holy names of the Lord, sometimes they would worship him by writing books on divine aesthetics, and sometimes they would remember or glorify Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

There is an idea which has some currency amongst the prakrta-sahajiyas that devotional practice entails the renunciation of studying and writing devotional scriptures, indeed that any kind of scriptural study should be stopped so that one can attain to a state of ignorance. Those who follow in the footsteps of Rupa Goswami have no patience with such ideas. However, if a devotional practitioner studies or writes devotional scriptures for the sake of making money through which to satisfy his material senses or attain material fame, respect or any of the other insignificant and superficial goals which are classed as distractions or weeds in the garden of devotional service, then he will not attain the auspicious results which are the real fruit such activity. A real Rupanuga has no fruitive ambition for such petty results.” (Anubhasya, 2.19.131)

When Mahaprabhu was giving Rupa the outline for his book on sacred rapture, he described the characteristics of the different mellows and showed him how to get a taste of the fathomless ocean of sacred rapture, he pointed out how difficult it was to attain devotional service to Krishna. The jiva or living entity is an atomic spark of conscious energy.

There are countless jivas, who are divided into two categories–those which are mobile and those which are stationary. Those which have mobility are again divided into three: those which move on the land, in the air or in the water. Amongst those who live on the land, a small number are human beings, of which only a minority accept the Vedic principles. Outcastes such as Pulindas, Mlecchas, Savaras and Buddhists are in the majority. Of those who accept the Vedas, some do so in name only and engage in sinful activity. Those who practice the Vedic principles are in the minority. Those who are engaged in religious practices toward some fruitive end form the majority in this group.

Amongst millions of such karma-nistha followers of the Veda, one person may perhaps attain the level of spiritual knowledge; yet only one of many millions of such jnanis will be an actual liberated soul. And out of millions of liberated souls, it will still be difficult to find a devotee of Krishna. Devotion to Krishna which is thus so rare can take birth when a certain merit is attained through great good fortune. The seed to the devotional creeper comes through the mercy of the Lord and his devotee. The creeper of spontaneous ecstatic devotion does not flower anywhere within this world, not even in Vaikuntha in the spiritual world, but only in Vrndavan at Krishna’s lotus feet. Krishna’s feet are like the wish-fulfilling tree around which the vine of devotion wraps itself and bears fruit. This is described in a most clear and wonderful manner by Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami in Chaitanya Charitamrita:

After wandering through this entire universe, birth after birth, some fortunate souls receive the seed of devotion (bhakti-lata-bija) by the mercy of Krishna and the guru. Upon receiving the seed of devotional service, one should take care of it by becoming a gardener and sowing it in his heart. If he waters the seed gradually by the process of sravana and kirtan [hearing and chanting], the seed will begin to sprout. As one waters the bhakti-lata-bija, the seed sprouts, and the creeper gradually increases to the point where it penetrates the walls of this universe and goes beyond the Viraja River between the spiritual world and the material world. It passes through the Brahma-loka, the Brahman effulgence until it finally reaches the spiritual sky and the spiritual planet Goloka Vrindavan where it takes shelter of the desire tree of the lotus feet of Krishna. There the creeper expands greatly and produces the fruit of love for Krishna, while the gardener continues to regularly sprinkle the creeper with the water of hearing and chanting here in the material world.

An offense to the Vaishnavas is like a mad elephant that uproots or breaks the creeper, causing its leaves to dry up.

The gardener must therefore take care to protect the creeper by making a fence around it so that the elephant of offenses may not enter. Even so, unwanted creepers, such as the weeds of desire for material enjoyment or release from the world, may grow along with the creeper of devotional service. Such weeds are countless in their variety. Some examples are forbidden activity, faultfinding and duplicity, causing suffering to other creatures, seeking wealth, adulation or mundane importance. All these weeds grow alongside the main creeper as one waters it, causing its growth to be curtailed.

As soon the devotee sees one of these weeds growing beside the original creeper, he must cut it down instantly. Then the real bhakti-lata can grow nicely all the way to Vrindavan where it will find shelter under the lotus feet of Krishna. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.19.151-61)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur has commented on this passage in his Anubhasya: “Through the act of watering the creeper of devotional service by hearing and chanting, weeds may also grow which results in the growth of the bhakti-lata being stifled. If one does not avoid bad association, which is the only way to be free of offenses while hearing and chanting, then one becomes attached to sense gratification, the idea of liberation from material bondage, various mystic achievements, or the practice of deception. One may also become addicted to the illicit association of women or practice other false manifestations of devotion practiced by the prakrta-sahajiyas or a dweller of the five places given by Pariksit to Kali, namely wherever there is gambling, intoxication, prostitution, animal slaughter and the accumulation of gold.

He starts to take the Vaishnavas to be members of a particular race or caste, he finds dishonest ways of collecting money, or makes a show of practicing spiritual life in seclusion while secretly harboring desires for fame and adulation. Or one’s desire for mundane reputation may result in his making compromises with nondevotees, compromising one’s philosophy or spiritual life, or becoming a supporter of the hereditary caste system by professing discipleship to a so-called guru who opposes Vishnu and the Vaishnavas. The sum and substance of these aberrant paths is that one becomes intoxicated in the gratification of one’s own senses and, in order to attain these superficial and destructible ends, in short, anything besides pure devotion, one presents oneself as a great saintly person or as a religious person in order to accumulate followers. None of these things is useful in attaining pure devotional service to Krishna.

“If one uproots the various weeds as soon as one sees them beginning to sprout, then the creeper of devotional service will be able to grow as far as Goloka Vrindavan where it will give forth transcendental fruits. If not, one will end up being cut off from the devotional life and, remaining in the material world, whether in the higher or lower planets, will have to suffer its vagaries.” (Anubhasya, 2.19.160-1)

There are twelve devotional sentiments. The five primary sentiments are those of peacefulness, servitude, friendship, parenthood, and erotic love. The seven secondary sentiments are humor, astonishment, heroism, compassion, anger, disgust and fear.

The five primary sentiments remain permanently within the devotee’s heart, while the secondary sentiments are adventitious, appearing only when there is cause. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.19.188)

The secondary rasas act as supporting elements for the primary sentiments, coming and going when propitious circumstances arise.

After serving their function, they again disappear, whereas the primary sentiments are permanently ensconced in the devotee’s heart.

In his teachings to Rupa Goswami, Mahaprabhu established that of the five primary rasas, the divine sentiment of conjugal love is foremost. The characteristics of santa-rasa abandonment of other desires and steady attachment to Krishna. Over and above these characteristics, the possessor of the serving mood has his service, the friend has an intimacy, while the parent has a sense of being the protector. The devotee in madhura-rasa has all these qualities with the addition of serving with her own body. Just as all the qualities of the other elements starting with the ether are added together to be united in earth, so are all the qualities of the other devotional moods united in the mood of erotic love. Since all the sentiments are present in madhura-rasa, it is the best.

Rupa Goswami’s samadhi temple can be found in the courtyard of the Radha Damodar temple in Vrindavan. This is also where he performed his bhajana at the end of his life. Other places consecrated to Rupa’s memory in the Vraja area include his place of worship near Nandagrama, called Terikadamba. In this place, Radha came in disguise to give Rupa milk, rice and sugar so that he could cook a sweet-rice preparation for Sanata n Goswami. When Sanatan tasted the sweet rice, he felt divine ecstasies invade his body. Upon learning how he had received the ingredients, however, Sanatan forbad Rupa to ever cook sweet rice again, so that Radharani would not have to go to any trouble on his behalf.

Rupa Goswami’s pastimes in this world came to an end in the month of Bhadra, on the twelfth day of the waxing moon, the day after Jhulana Ekadasi.

—-excerpt from the book “Sri Chaitanya: His Life and Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj.

For Srila Gadadhara Pandit’s Disappearance Day

The following is an excerpt from the book “Sri Chaitanya: His Life and Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj.

shri-radha-prema-rupa ya pura vrindavandeshvari
sa shri-gadadharo gaura-vallabhah panditakhyakah
nirnitah shri-Svarupair yo vraja-lakshmitaya yatha
pura vrindavane lakshmih shyamasundara-vallabha
sadya gaura-prema-lakshmih shri-gadadhara-panditah
radham anugata yat tal lalitapy anuradhika
atah pravishad esha tam gaura-candrodaye yatha

The incarnation of love who previously was the queen of Vrindavan, Radha, is now the beloved of Gaura named Srila Gadadhara Pandit. Svarupa Damodar himself indicated that he was Vraja’s goddess of fortune, the Lakshmi who was previously the beloved of Shyamasundara in Vrindavan. She today has become the goddess of fortune of love for Gaura and is known as Srila Gadadhara Pandit. Lalita, who is also known as Anuradha, is Radha’s closest friend and confidante. She has also entered into Gadadhara, as was shown in the play Chaitanya-candrodaya.
(Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 147-150)

Gadadhara-tattva

gadadhara panditadi prabhura nija-shakti
tan sabhara carane mora sahasra pranati

Gadadhara Pandit and others are the lord’s own energies. I pay thousands of obeisances to their feet. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.1.41)

“Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appears in six features, namely as the two types of guru, the devotees of the lord, the lord himself, his incarnation, his expansion and his energy. According to the principle of simultaneous oneness and difference, they are all identified with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself.”
(Anubhashya to Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.1.37-45)

She who was Radha in Krishna’s pastimes became Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami in Gaura’s lila. When Gaura manifests his identity with Narayan, his shaktis are his wives Lakshmipriya and Vishnupriya. When identifying with Krishna, his shakti is Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami.

païcatattvatmakam krishnam
bhakta-rupa-Svarupakam
bhaktavataram bhaktakhyam
namami bhaktashaktikam

I offer my obeisances to Krishna who appears in five features, as a devotee, as the expansion of a devotee, as an incarnation of a devotee, as the pure devotee and as the devotional energy.

These five features all appeared with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in his incarnation, and in their association, he joyfully performed the congregational chanting of the Holy Names. Though he appears in these five forms, there is in fact no difference between them. The distinctions arise due to his desire to relish different devotional flavors.

Sri Gauranga, Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara and Srivasa, etc., make up the Pancha Tattva and there is spiritually no difference between them. The supreme truth has unlimited different pastimes in order to relish the different tastes of transcendental relationship and thus he separates into these five forms as the form of devotee, the devotional manifestation, the devotional incarnation, the devotional energy and the pure devotee.

jaya jaya nityananda-gadadharera jivana
jaya jaya advaitadi bhaktera sharana

All glories, all glories, to the life of Nityananda and Gadadhara!
All glories, all glories, to the shelter of all the devotees, headed by Advaita!

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur comments on words “the life of Gadadhara” as follows: “Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami is chief amongst the most intimate devotees of Sri Chaitanya. He is the fountainhead of the entire shakti-tattva and is thus present equally in Mahaprabhu’s lilas in Nabadwip and in Nilachala. His childhood home was in Nabadwip; later when he took sannyas, he went to live in Jagannath Puri, in a garden or tota by the seashore. Pure devotees who wish to enter into the madhura-rasa of worship to Radha and Govinda take shelter of Gadadhara Pandit and are known as Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s intimate devotees. Those devotees who are not so inclined take shelter of Nityananda Prabhu and engage in pure devotional service in his mood. Some of Mahaprabhu’s devotees, such as Narahari, were followers of Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami. They took refuge in him because they knew him to be his dearest associate and thus worthy of their service. Some devotees therefore call Chaitanya ‘the life of Nityananda’ while others called him ‘the life of Gadadhara.’”

Read the full article here:

For Sri Madhavendra Puri Appearance Day

Mahaprabhu’s seniors, His parents and gurus, are all his servants and eternal associates and they take their birth prior to His appearance in order to serve Him in their own way.

Whenever Krishna descends to the earth, He first sends down His elders. These include His father, mother, guru and all the other persons He considers to be the objects of His respect. He arranges that these persons should accept birth before He does. Madhavendra Puri, Ishvara Puri, Sachi, Jagannath, and Advaita Acharya are amongst those who appeared in this way.
(Chaitanya-Charitamrita 1.3.92-4)

Later in the Chaitanya Charitamrita (1.13.52-55), the same thing is stated in the following way:

Whenever the son of the king of Vraja decides to appear on earth in order to fulfill a particular desire, He first sends down His seniors. I will briefly name some of them as it is not possible to mention everyone: Sachi Devi, Jagannath Mishra, Madhava Puri, Keshava Bharati, Ishvara Puri, Advaita Acharya, Srivas Pandit, Acharyaratna, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Hari Das Thakur.

The Disciplic Succession

Srila Madhavendra Puri appeared in the 14th century. He was a guru of the Brahma or Madhva sampradaya, one of the four (Brahma, Sri, Rudra and Sanaka) Vaishnava lineages that purify the world in the age of Kali. The Madhva lineage has been transcribed in books like Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, Prameya-ratnavali and the writings of Gopal Guru Goswami. The same set of verses is found with some slight differences in the Bhakti-ratnakara (5.2549-2162). The following is the version as found in the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika:

paravyomesvarasyasic chisyo brahma jagat-patih
tasya sisyo narado ‘bhut vyasas tasyapa sisyatam
suko vyasasya sisyatvam prapto jnanavabodhanat
vyasal labdha-krsna-dikso madhvacaryo mahayasah
tasya sisyo naraharis tacchisyo madhava-dvijah
aksobhyas tasya sisyo ‘bhut tac-chisyo jayatirthakah
tasya sisyo jnana-sindhus tasya sisyo mahanidhih
vidyanidhis tasya sisyo rajendras tasya sevakah
jayadharma munis tasya sisyo yad-gana-madhyatah
srimad-visnu-puri yas tu bhaktiratnavali-krtih
jayadharmasya sisyo ‘bhud brahmanyah purusottahmah
vyasatirthas tasya sisyo yas cakre visnusamhitam
sriman laksmipatis tasya sisyo bhaktirasasrayah
tasya sisyo madhavendro yad-dharmo ‘yam pravartitah
tasya sisyo ‘bhavat sriman isvarakhya-puri-yatih
kalayamasa srngaram yah srngara-phalatmakah
advaitam kalayamasa dasya-sakhye phale ubhe
isvarakhya-purim-gaura urarikrtya gaurave
jagad aplavayamasa prakrtaprakrtatmakam

Brahma, the master of this universe, was the disciple of the Lord of the spiritual world. His disciple was Narada and Vyasa became the disciple of Narada. Suka became the disciple of Vyasa through the endowment of spiritual knowledge. Madhvacharya took initiation in the Krishna mantra from Vyasa. His disciple was Padmanabhacarya, whose disciple was Narahari, who was followed by Madhva Dvija. Akshobhya was his disciple, then Jayatirtha, Jnanasindhu, Mahanidhi, Vidyanidhi and Rajendra followed. Jayadharma Muni was one of Rajendra’s many disciples and Vishnu Puri, the author of Bhakti-ratnavali and Purushottam, the lover of Brahmin culture became his disciples. Vyasa Tirtha, the author of Visnu-samhita, was the disciple of Purushottam. Lakshmipati Tirtha, a reservoir of devotion, was Vyasa Tirtha’s disciple. Madhavendra Puri was the disciple of Lakshmipati, and it is by him that the religion was founded. His disciple, the sannyasi Ishvara Puri, took up the mood of conjugal devotion, while Advaita Acharya (also the disciple of Madhavendra) took up the moods of servitude and friendship. Gaura accepted Ishvara Puri as his guru, and then flooded the material and spiritual worlds (with love).

Thus, Madhavendra Puri was the disciple of Lakshmipati-Tirtha. Madhavendra Puri’s disciples included Ishvara Puri, Advaita Acharya, Paramananda Puri (a Brahmin from the Tirhu area), Brahmananda Puri, Sri Ranga Puri, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Raghupati Upadhyaya, and others. Nityananda Prabhu is said by some to be Madhavendra Puri’s disciple, others say that Lakshmipati was his guru, while the Prema-vilasa states that he was Ishvara Puri’s disciple.

Bhaktivinoda Thakur writes: “Madhavendra Puri was a well known sannyasi of the Madhva sampradaya. His grand-disciple was Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Prior to his appearance, there was no evidence of prema bhakti in the Madhva line. In his verse, ayi dinia-dayardra-natha (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.4.197), the seed of the religious doctrines of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu can be found.”

To this, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada adds, “Madhavendra Puri was the fist shoot of the desire tree of divine love that came out of the Madhva lineage. Prior to his appearance, there was no sign of the conjugal mood of devotion in the Madhva line.” …

Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati writes: “The feeling of separation from Krishna, or transcendental vipralambha is the only practice by which the spirit soul can achieve perfection. Material feelings of separation give rise to a despondency that reveals the attachment one has for matter, whereas the despondency that results from the feelings of separation for Krishna are the best proof of one’s desire to bring pleasure to His senses. The desire to bring pleasure to Krishna’s senses shown by Madhavendra Puri, the great soul who is the root of this movement, is the ideal example to follow for anyone who wishes to serve the Lord. It is especially worth remarking that Mahaprabhu and His closes followers later adopted this example and made it their standard.”

 

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

For Srila Gauridas Pandit DISAPPEARANCE

 

“Gauridasa Pandit, the emblem of the most elevated devotional service in
love of Godhead, had the greatest potency to receive and deliver such love.
Making Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda the Lords of his life, Gauridasa
Pandit sacrificed everything for the service of Lord Nityananda.”
(Caitanya-caritamrta)

Before taking sannyasa, Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda visited Gauridasa
Pandit in Ambika Kalna. Fearing their impending separation, Gauridasa cried
and begged the Lord to stay longer. Mahaprabhu made life-like neem wood
Deities of Gaura Nitai to console his loving servant. “Gauridasa, My murti
form is as good as I am,” said Lord Gauranga, “We will forever remain in
your home to accept your service.”

Gauridasa Pandit worshiped Gaura Nitai in many intimate ways–talking
sweetly to Them, cooking a variety of tasty foods, discussing sastra with
Them, attending to Their every need throughout the day. Even when old and
feeble, Gauridasa ceaselessly served his worshipable Lords Sri-Sri
Gaura-Nitai.

Although poor, he desired to decorate Gaura-Nitai with costly beautiful
ornaments. Knowing his mind, Gaura-Nityananda lavishly adorned Themselves.
Beholding Their exquisite beauty Gauridasa became astonished. “Where did
They get these ornaments?” he thought. Sri-Sri Gaura-Nitai would often enact
such transcendental pastimes in the home of Their pure devotee, Sri
Gauridasa Pandit.

One time, Caitanya Dasa, Gauridasa’s foremost disciple, organized a huge
sankirtana festival on the bank of the Ganges. Enraptured by the kirtana,
Gauridasa’s Deities jumped off the altar and joined the devotees in chanting
and dancing. Discovering the Deities missing from the temple, Gauridasa
grabbed a stick and ran to catch Gaura-Nitai. Seeing his angry mood,
Gaura-Nitai vanished. At that moment, Gauridasa watched in amazement to see
Gaura-Nitai enter the heart (hrdaya) of Caitanya Dasa. Gauridasa embraced
his beloved disciple, bathed him with tears, and said, “You are most
fortunate. From today your name will be Hrdaya Caitanya, one who holds Sri
Caitanya within his heart.”

Since then Gaura-Nitai’s darsana at Gauridasa Pandit’s temple is offered in
many brief intervals like Banke-bihariji in Vrndavana. To keep Gaura-Nitai
from jumping off the altar, the pujaris open and quickly close the curtain
throughout the darsana time.

While doing bhajana in Dhira Samira Kunja in Vrndavana, Gauridasa Pandit
entered the eternal go carana lila (cowherding pastimes) of
Krishna-Balarama. In Vraja he is Subala, a dvadasa gopala. His samadhi is
within the Shyama-Raya temple compound in Dhira Samira, Vrndavana. (20,47)

Gauridasa, a disciple of Nityananda Prabhu, was one of the twelve
gopalas of Krsna in Vrindavana. He was Subala sakha in his past incarnation
(Gauraganoddesadipika 128). His Sripata is at Amvikanagara near the
district of Kalna. Before setting up his Sripata, he lived at Saligrama
near the Mudagacha railway station in the Nadia district. (Bhaktiratnakara
7.330-331)

For Srila Rupa Goswami’s Dissapearance day

Sri Rupa Goswami’s Siksha

by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaja

Through Rupa Goswami, Mahaprabhu taught the world about Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes and the process for attaining Krishna in Vrindavan. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami writes, “Through the mercy of Sanatan I have learned the devotional doctrines, while by the grace of Rupa I have been able to discover the extensiveness of the divine aesthetics of devotion.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.5.203)

The Lord taught about sacred rapture and Vraja’s pastimes of love through Rupa Goswami. Who can effectively describe the subtleties of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila? (Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.5.87)

vrndavaniyam rasa-kelivartam
kalena luptam nija-saktim utkah |
sancarya rupe vyatanot punah sa
prabhor vidhau prag iva loka-srstim ||

Just as the Lord enlightened the heart of Lord Brahma with the details of the creation and thus made the manifestation of the cosmos possible, so did Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu eagerly impregnate the heart of Rupa Goswami with spiritual potency so that he could revive Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes which had almost been lost to memory. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.19.1)

While in Prayag, Mahaprabhu gave Rupa the direct order to write Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. This has been stated by Rupa himself in the introductory verses to that book:

hrdi yasya preramaya pravartito’ham varaka-rupo’ pi |
tasya hareh pada-kamalam vande caitanya-devasya ||

I worship the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, known as Lord Chaitanya-deva, for by his inspiration I have set out to write this book even though I am nothing but a ignorant wretch. (Brs 1.1.2)

Particularly relevant in this connection is Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur’s commentary on the importance of studying and writing books as an element of devotional practice: “The lives of the Goswamis were exemplary in their renunciation. Sometimes they would engage in chanting the holy names of the Lord, sometimes they would worship him by writing books on divine aesthetics, and sometimes they would remember or glorify Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

There is an idea which has some currency amongst the prakrta-sahajiyas that devotional practice entails the renunciation of studying and writing devotional scriptures, indeed that any kind of scriptural study should be stopped so that one can attain to a state of ignorance. Those who follow in the footsteps of Rupa Goswami have no patience with such ideas. However, if a devotional practitioner studies or writes devotional scriptures for the sake of making money through which to satisfy his material senses or attain material fame, respect or any of the other insignificant and superficial goals which are classed as distractions or weeds in the garden of devotional service, then he will not attain the auspicious results which are the real fruit such activity. A real Rupanuga has no fruitive ambition for such petty results.” (Anubhasya, 2.19.131)

When Mahaprabhu was giving Rupa the outline for his book on sacred rapture, he described the characteristics of the different mellows and showed him how to get a taste of the fathomless ocean of sacred rapture, he pointed out how difficult it was to attain devotional service to Krishna. The jiva or living entity is an atomic spark of conscious energy.

There are countless jivas, who are divided into two categories–those which are mobile and those which are stationary. Those which have mobility are again divided into three: those which move on the land, in the air or in the water. Amongst those who live on the land, a small number are human beings, of which only a minority accept the Vedic principles. Outcastes such as Pulindas, Mlecchas, Savaras and Buddhists are in the majority. Of those who accept the Vedas, some do so in name only and engage in sinful activity. Those who practice the Vedic principles are in the minority. Those who are engaged in religious practices toward some fruitive end form the majority in this group.

Amongst millions of such karma-nistha followers of the Veda, one person may perhaps attain the level of spiritual knowledge; yet only one of many millions of such jnanis will be an actual liberated soul. And out of millions of liberated souls, it will still be difficult to find a devotee of Krishna. Devotion to Krishna which is thus so rare can take birth when a certain merit is attained through great good fortune. The seed to the devotional creeper comes through the mercy of the Lord and his devotee. The creeper of spontaneous ecstatic devotion does not flower anywhere within this world, not even in Vaikuntha in the spiritual world, but only in Vrndavan at Krishna’s lotus feet. Krishna’s feet are like the wish-fulfilling tree around which the vine of devotion wraps itself and bears fruit. This is described in a most clear and wonderful manner by Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami in Chaitanya Charitamrita:

After wandering through this entire universe, birth after birth, some fortunate souls receive the seed of devotion (bhakti-lata-bija) by the mercy of Krishna and the guru. Upon receiving the seed of devotional service, one should take care of it by becoming a gardener and sowing it in his heart. If he waters the seed gradually by the process of sravana and kirtan [hearing and chanting], the seed will begin to sprout. As one waters the bhakti-lata-bija, the seed sprouts, and the creeper gradually increases to the point where it penetrates the walls of this universe and goes beyond the Viraja River between the spiritual world and the material world. It passes through the Brahma-loka, the Brahman effulgence until it finally reaches the spiritual sky and the spiritual planet Goloka Vrindavan where it takes shelter of the desire tree of the lotus feet of Krishna. There the creeper expands greatly and produces the fruit of love for Krishna, while the gardener continues to regularly sprinkle the creeper with the water of hearing and chanting here in the material world.

An offense to the Vaishnavas is like a mad elephant that uproots or breaks the creeper, causing its leaves to dry up.

The gardener must therefore take care to protect the creeper by making a fence around it so that the elephant of offenses may not enter. Even so, unwanted creepers, such as the weeds of desire for material enjoyment or release from the world, may grow along with the creeper of devotional service. Such weeds are countless in their variety. Some examples are forbidden activity, faultfinding and duplicity, causing suffering to other creatures, seeking wealth, adulation or mundane importance. All these weeds grow alongside the main creeper as one waters it, causing its growth to be curtailed.

As soon the devotee sees one of these weeds growing beside the original creeper, he must cut it down instantly. Then the real bhakti-lata can grow nicely all the way to Vrindavan where it will find shelter under the lotus feet of Krishna. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.19.151-61)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur has commented on this passage in his Anubhasya: “Through the act of watering the creeper of devotional service by hearing and chanting, weeds may also grow which results in the growth of the bhakti-lata being stifled. If one does not avoid bad association, which is the only way to be free of offenses while hearing and chanting, then one becomes attached to sense gratification, the idea of liberation from material bondage, various mystic achievements, or the practice of deception. One may also become addicted to the illicit association of women or practice other false manifestations of devotion practiced by the prakrta-sahajiyas or a dweller of the five places given by Pariksit to Kali, namely wherever there is gambling, intoxication, prostitution, animal slaughter and the accumulation of gold.

He starts to take the Vaishnavas to be members of a particular race or caste, he finds dishonest ways of collecting money, or makes a show of practicing spiritual life in seclusion while secretly harboring desires for fame and adulation. Or one’s desire for mundane reputation may result in his making compromises with nondevotees, compromising one’s philosophy or spiritual life, or becoming a supporter of the hereditary caste system by professing discipleship to a so-called guru who opposes Vishnu and the Vaishnavas. The sum and substance of these aberrant paths is that one becomes intoxicated in the gratification of one’s own senses and, in order to attain these superficial and destructible ends, in short, anything besides pure devotion, one presents oneself as a great saintly person or as a religious person in order to accumulate followers. None of these things is useful in attaining pure devotional service to Krishna.

“If one uproots the various weeds as soon as one sees them beginning to sprout, then the creeper of devotional service will be able to grow as far as Goloka Vrindavan where it will give forth transcendental fruits. If not, one will end up being cut off from the devotional life and, remaining in the material world, whether in the higher or lower planets, will have to suffer its vagaries.” (Anubhasya, 2.19.160-1)

There are twelve devotional sentiments. The five primary sentiments are those of peacefulness, servitude, friendship, parenthood, and erotic love. The seven secondary sentiments are humor, astonishment, heroism, compassion, anger, disgust and fear.

The five primary sentiments remain permanently within the devotee’s heart, while the secondary sentiments are adventitious, appearing only when there is cause. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.19.188)

The secondary rasas act as supporting elements for the primary sentiments, coming and going when propitious circumstances arise.

After serving their function, they again disappear, whereas the primary sentiments are permanently ensconced in the devotee’s heart.

In his teachings to Rupa Goswami, Mahaprabhu established that of the five primary rasas, the divine sentiment of conjugal love is foremost. The characteristics of santa-rasa abandonment of other desires and steady attachment to Krishna. Over and above these characteristics, the possessor of the serving mood has his service, the friend has an intimacy, while the parent has a sense of being the protector. The devotee in madhura-rasa has all these qualities with the addition of serving with her own body. Just as all the qualities of the other elements starting with the ether are added together to be united in earth, so are all the qualities of the other devotional moods united in the mood of erotic love. Since all the sentiments are present in madhura-rasa, it is the best.

Rupa Goswami’s samadhi temple can be found in the courtyard of the Radha Damodar temple in Vrindavan. This is also where he performed his bhajana at the end of his life. Other places consecrated to Rupa’s memory in the Vraja area include his place of worship near Nandagrama, called Terikadamba. In this place, Radha came in disguise to give Rupa milk, rice and sugar so that he could cook a sweet-rice preparation for Sanata n Goswami. When Sanatan tasted the sweet rice, he felt divine ecstasies invade his body. Upon learning how he had received the ingredients, however, Sanatan forbad Rupa to ever cook sweet rice again, so that Radharani would not have to go to any trouble on his behalf.

Rupa Goswami’s pastimes in this world came to an end in the month of Bhadra, on the twelfth day of the waxing moon, the day after Jhulana Ekadasi.

—-excerpt from the book “Sri Chaitanya: His Life and Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj.

For Sri Madhavendra Puri Appearance Day

Mahaprabhu’s seniors, His parents and gurus, are all his servants and eternal associates and they take their birth prior to His appearance in order to serve Him in their own way.

Whenever Krishna descends to the earth, He first sends down His elders. These include His father, mother, guru and all the other persons He considers to be the objects of His respect. He arranges that these persons should accept birth before He does. Madhavendra Puri, Ishvara Puri, Sachi, Jagannath, and Advaita Acharya are amongst those who appeared in this way.
(Chaitanya-Charitamrita 1.3.92-4)

Later in the Chaitanya Charitamrita (1.13.52-55), the same thing is stated in the following way:

Whenever the son of the king of Vraja decides to appear on earth in order to fulfill a particular desire, He first sends down His seniors. I will briefly name some of them as it is not possible to mention everyone: Sachi Devi, Jagannath Mishra, Madhava Puri, Keshava Bharati, Ishvara Puri, Advaita Acharya, Srivas Pandit, Acharyaratna, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Hari Das Thakur.

The Disciplic Succession

Srila Madhavendra Puri appeared in the 14th century. He was a guru of the Brahma or Madhva sampradaya, one of the four (Brahma, Sri, Rudra and Sanaka) Vaishnava lineages that purify the world in the age of Kali. The Madhva lineage has been transcribed in books like Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, Prameya-ratnavali and the writings of Gopal Guru Goswami. The same set of verses is found with some slight differences in the Bhakti-ratnakara (5.2549-2162). The following is the version as found in the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika:

paravyomesvarasyasic chisyo brahma jagat-patih
tasya sisyo narado ‘bhut vyasas tasyapa sisyatam
suko vyasasya sisyatvam prapto jnanavabodhanat
vyasal labdha-krsna-dikso madhvacaryo mahayasah
tasya sisyo naraharis tacchisyo madhava-dvijah
aksobhyas tasya sisyo ‘bhut tac-chisyo jayatirthakah
tasya sisyo jnana-sindhus tasya sisyo mahanidhih
vidyanidhis tasya sisyo rajendras tasya sevakah
jayadharma munis tasya sisyo yad-gana-madhyatah
srimad-visnu-puri yas tu bhaktiratnavali-krtih
jayadharmasya sisyo ‘bhud brahmanyah purusottahmah
vyasatirthas tasya sisyo yas cakre visnusamhitam
sriman laksmipatis tasya sisyo bhaktirasasrayah
tasya sisyo madhavendro yad-dharmo ‘yam pravartitah
tasya sisyo ‘bhavat sriman isvarakhya-puri-yatih
kalayamasa srngaram yah srngara-phalatmakah
advaitam kalayamasa dasya-sakhye phale ubhe
isvarakhya-purim-gaura urarikrtya gaurave
jagad aplavayamasa prakrtaprakrtatmakam

Brahma, the master of this universe, was the disciple of the Lord of the spiritual world. His disciple was Narada and Vyasa became the disciple of Narada. Suka became the disciple of Vyasa through the endowment of spiritual knowledge. Madhvacharya took initiation in the Krishna mantra from Vyasa. His disciple was Padmanabhacarya, whose disciple was Narahari, who was followed by Madhva Dvija. Akshobhya was his disciple, then Jayatirtha, Jnanasindhu, Mahanidhi, Vidyanidhi and Rajendra followed. Jayadharma Muni was one of Rajendra’s many disciples and Vishnu Puri, the author of Bhakti-ratnavali and Purushottam, the lover of Brahmin culture became his disciples. Vyasa Tirtha, the author of Visnu-samhita, was the disciple of Purushottam. Lakshmipati Tirtha, a reservoir of devotion, was Vyasa Tirtha’s disciple. Madhavendra Puri was the disciple of Lakshmipati, and it is by him that the religion was founded. His disciple, the sannyasi Ishvara Puri, took up the mood of conjugal devotion, while Advaita Acharya (also the disciple of Madhavendra) took up the moods of servitude and friendship. Gaura accepted Ishvara Puri as his guru, and then flooded the material and spiritual worlds (with love).

Thus, Madhavendra Puri was the disciple of Lakshmipati-Tirtha. Madhavendra Puri’s disciples included Ishvara Puri, Advaita Acharya, Paramananda Puri (a Brahmin from the Tirhu area), Brahmananda Puri, Sri Ranga Puri, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Raghupati Upadhyaya, and others. Nityananda Prabhu is said by some to be Madhavendra Puri’s disciple, others say that Lakshmipati was his guru, while the Prema-vilasa states that he was Ishvara Puri’s disciple.

Bhaktivinoda Thakur writes: “Madhavendra Puri was a well known sannyasi of the Madhva sampradaya. His grand-disciple was Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Prior to his appearance, there was no evidence of prema bhakti in the Madhva line. In his verse, ayi dinia-dayardra-natha (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.4.197), the seed of the religious doctrines of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu can be found.”

To this, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada adds, “Madhavendra Puri was the fist shoot of the desire tree of divine love that came out of the Madhva lineage. Prior to his appearance, there was no sign of the conjugal mood of devotion in the Madhva line.” …

Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati writes: “The feeling of separation from Krishna, or transcendental vipralambha is the only practice by which the spirit soul can achieve perfection. Material feelings of separation give rise to a despondency that reveals the attachment one has for matter, whereas the despondency that results from the feelings of separation for Krishna are the best proof of one’s desire to bring pleasure to His senses. The desire to bring pleasure to Krishna’s senses shown by Madhavendra Puri, the great soul who is the root of this movement, is the ideal example to follow for anyone who wishes to serve the Lord. It is especially worth remarking that Mahaprabhu and His closes followers later adopted this example and made it their standard.”

 

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