Vasanta Pancami – Sarasvati Puja – Visnupriya Devi & other Acaryas

January 23, 2007 at 8:10 pm Leave a comment


Sri Vasanta Pancami
Srimati Visnupriya Devi – Appearance
Srimati Sarasvati Puja
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur – Disappearance
Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi – Appearance
Sri Raghunandana Thakur – Appearance
Sri Raghunatha Das Goswami – Appearance

Vasanta Pancami (the first day of spring)

This is the first day of spring in India (Northern Hemisphere). On the fifth day of the waxing moon one should celebrate the coming of spring to Vrndavana by offering Krishna many types of leaves and flowers, and fresh shoots of sprouting grasses. Things that symbolise life and new growth.

Following in the footsteps of the Vraja-basis of Vrindavana, one should paint designs on His (Krishna’s) body and perform a special aratrika for Him. It is appropriate to offer yellow flowers too. The vasanta raga should be played on this day. The Deities in the temples, especially in Vrindavana wear yellow or yellow-green on this day.

In places like Vrindavan, Mayapur, Jagannath Puri and Udupi many of the women folk dress in yellow also. As it is the first day of spring many fertility rites are performed at this time – for the family, for the women folk, for the crops, for the cows, etc. It’s a very festive time.

Many new projects are begun, weddings performed…….
fields of yellow mustard flowers growing.

Local tradition:

Celebrated on the onset of spring, it marks the beginning of new life with yellow mustard flowers starting to bloom and nature displaying her majestic best. Thus the colour of the festival is yellow and women can be seen dotted in saffron dresses. The puja on this day is devoted to Saraswati and people pray for wisdom and understanding. There are several ways in which puja is
conducted on this day. In Bengal, the place where the statue of Saraswati is kept is decorated with a rangoli. The design of a fish is considered auspicious. Family members bathe early in the morning and dress in white or yellow coloured clothes. Then they gather around the idol, where the priest commences the puja.

Aarti is taken of the idol and the flame is passed around the devotees to warm there hands and touch there foreheads. Children place their books at the goddesses feet. No books are touched that day, signifying that the books are being blessed by the goddess. In Rajsthan also the puja is conducted in a very colourful manner. The youngest girl of the house present sets the stage for the puja by putting a teeka on everyone’s forehead. This is followed by the devotees sprinkling water, aipun and roli on the diety. The puja ends with the lady of the house giving a few bers, some sangaris and a laddoo and a paan to everyone present.


Sri, Bhu and Nila are three of the energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Srimati Visnu-priya Devi is the manifestation of Krsna’s Bhu sakti. She is also known to be the same as Satyabhama in Krsna-lila. She has appeared with Sri Gaurasundara to assist in the distribution of love of Godhead and His Holy Names.

There lived in Navadvipa one brahmana, Sanatanaa Misra by name, who was a great devotee of Lord Visnu. He used to maintain many people, providing them with food and cloth and was also renowned as a great scholar (raja-Panditaa).

In Dvapara-yuga he was the King Satrajit. As he was a great devotee of Lord Visnu, from the fruits of his faithful worship of Him, he obtained a very beautiful jewel of a daughter endowed with all good qualities, by the name Sri Visnu-priya. From her very childhood she used to take bath in the Ganga two or three times a day and in imitation of her elders she would perform various worship ceremonies, vows and service to the Deity and Tulasi Devi. When she would meet Sacimata at the bathing ghat of the Ganga, she used to offer her obeisances and Sacimata would in turn bless her saying, “Yogga pati hauk.” (May you get a qualified husband). Saci Mata used to think to herself that she would make a very fine daughter-in-law.

In the meantime Nimai was married to Laksmipriya, who after a short time passed on to the next world. Ma Saci was very aggrieved at this but the days passed on. Then she thought to get her son married again. All of her relatives and close friends all felt this would be a good idea. Sri
Gaurasundara didn’t oppose His mother and gave his consent. Sacimata sent one of the servants to call Kasinathaa Panditaa, the match-maker. Receiving her summons, the Panditaa immediately came to see Ma Saci, who brought up the point of Sri Gaurasundara’s marriage. Kasinatha Pandita thought this was a very good idea, and urged that the marriage take place as soon as possible. When he inquired if she had any suitable bride in mind, Sacima replied, “Sanatana Misra’s daughter, Visnu-priya.”

Kasinatha exclaimed, “Thakurani! I was also thinking to mention her name.” Ma Saci replied, “But I am very poor. Do you think he will want to present his daughter to us? You please discuss this matter with him.”

Kasinatha replied, “Thakurani, if Sanatana Misra doesn’t give his daughter to such a beautiful boy and a qualified son as your Nimai, then who will he give her to?” Having spoken these consoling words he set out for Sanatana Misra’s house.

Sanatana Misra, seeing that his daughter had attained marriageable age, was also looking for a suitable bridegroom. But in Nadiya there was no one more qualified than Nimai Pandita. He was the most handsome, had the best qualities and was still quite young. One would be considered very fortunate indeed to be able to give their daughter to such a qualified young man. Sanatana Misra was thinking like this, but was feeling shy to mention his plan to anyone. Simply in his mind he was praying to the Lord, “O my Lord, Oh Hari! If I have accumulated any pious merits in my previous lifetimes then let the result of those be that my daughter gets Nimai Pandita as her husband.”

Finally he brought up the topic of their daughter’s marriage with his wife. Just then who should appear at the door, but Kasinatha Pandita.

Sanatana Misra got up to receive him and after having respectfully seated him brought some sweetmeats and water. As he thought to himself, “Certainly he has some news of a suitable bridegroom”, he inquired, “Panditaji, what is the news?”

Smiling broadly the Pandita replied, “You should give your daughter in marriage to Vishvambhara Pandita. After having considered the matter in every respect, this is the best decision. With this in mind I have come to see you. That excellent boy is the most qualified for your daughter, and your daughter, being extremely chaste, is the most suitable for him. As Sri Krsna and Rukmini-devi are mutually compatible, so are Visnu-priya and Nimai Pandita.”

When they heard this proposal, Sanatana Misra and his wife felt such joy that they forgot themselves. Sanatana Misra thought to himself, “The all-cognizant Supersoul has fulfilled my desires.”

Sanatana Misra spoke to Kasinatha, “In this regard, what can I say? If there is any good fortune in my family, then I have a hope to obtain such a son-in-law.”

Some of the others present spoke up, “Unless one is highly fortunate, is it possible to get such a boy? If your daughter is lucky enough then certainly she will get such a husband.”

Thereafter Misra Mahadaya discussed various matters in order to finalize the betrothal agreement. Having arranged everything suitably, Kasinatha returned to Saci Mata’s house and informed her of the proceedings.

Sacimata replied, “The Lord is looking out for me, because I have no one else to.”

Everyone became very jubilant to hear that Nimai Pandita’s wedding was to take place. His disciples began to discuss among themselves, “We’ll all donate some things for Panditaji’s wedding.”

Buddhimanta Khan, who was quite wealthy spoke up, “I will bear all the costs of the wedding.”

To this Mahaprabhu’s friends Mukunda and Sanjaya replied, “Our dear brother, won’t you even share some of the expenses with us. This wedding has to be so gorgeous, that no prince has ever seen the likes of it”.

News spread throughout the whole of Navadvipa about the upcoming marriage of Nimai Pandita, and gradually the preparations for the wedding began. First a huge canopy was suspended above the place where the marriage ceremony would take place. On the ground various floral and other auspicious designs were painted with rice flour and then the pavilion was decorated with banana trees, water pots, mango leaves, lamps, paddy, yogurt and other auspicious articles. All the Vaisnavas, brahmanas and other noble and virtuous gentlemen who lived in Navadvipa at that time were invited to the invocation ceremony preceding the wedding.

On the evening of that day the musicians began to play on their instruments, while the courtyard of Saci’s house began to fill up with relatives and friends. First the worship of the Lord was performed, followed by arati and the offering of foodstuffs, all conducted with great pomp and gaiety. Then the preliminary ceremonies to be performed by Sri Gaura before the wedding were smoothly executed. Within the inner apartments of the house, the ladies contributed their efforts to the ceremony by yodelling and blowing conchshells, while the Vaisnavas filled the sky with the vibrations of the Lord’s Holy Names, “Hari! Hari!”

In all directions an ocean of happiness began to swell, in anticipation of the Supreme Lord’s marriage ceremony. Following this preliminary ceremony, sweet preparations of betel nuts and pan leaves were served, as many as anyone wanted. Gaurasundara personally applied sandalwood paste and garlanded with flower garlands all those Vaisnavas and brahmanas who attended the function. In turn they very cheerfully offered their blessings. No one had ever before seen such a pleasant adhibasa ceremony (the function preceding the major ceremony). The city of Nadiya began to float in the midst of an ocean of bliss.

On the next day a very vast arrangement began to take place in preparation for the actual wedding ceremony. In the afternoon Sri Gaurasundara put on an excellent dhoti and upper garments and then after first making salutations at the feet of His mother and other Vaisnavas present, He ascended the palanquin and took his seat within. First they came to the banks of the Ganges where Sri Gauranga got down out of the palanquin to offer His obeisances to Srimati Ganga Devi. Then after again getting into the palanquin, to the accompaniment of the playing of instruments and auspicious shouting of “Jai! Jai!”, which filled up the sky in all directions, the party began to again proceed along the banks of the Ganges. Thousands and thousands of lamps were glittering in the evening like so many little stars coming out. The musicians played their various instruments while some engaged in singing and dancing.

During the Godhuli-lagna (the time when the cows return home from the pasture and the dust from their hoofs fills the air), the bridegroom and his party entered the courtyard of Sri Sanatana Misra’s house. Sanatana Misra and his wife presented various articles of worship before the bridegroom, thus welcoming him and at the same time offering their blessings.

Meanwhile the new bride had been decorated with various ornaments and she was now brought out of the house and into the wedding pavilion. The Supreme Goddess of Fortune, after seven times having circumambulated her eternal consort, Sri Gaura Narayana, offered her entire being at His lotus feet. Sri Gaura Raya, after having seated His eternal consort on his left side, then exchanged flower garlands with her.

“First of all the Goddess of Fortune, the Mother of the Universe, kneeling before the lotus feet of the Lord, placed a flower garland around His neck, thus surrendering herself to Him. Then Sri Gauracandra, smiling slightly, placed a flower garland around Sri Visnu-priya-devi’s neck. Thus having exchanged flower garlands Sri Sri Laksmi Narayana began Their divine sports.”

Sri Sanatana Misra felt himself crowned with success in having presented his daughter to Sri Gaurasundara with a large dowry. As King Janaka presented Sita-devi to Ramacandra, as King Bhismaka presented Rukmini to Sri Krsna, so Sanatana Misra presented Visnu-priya devi to Sri Gaurasundara. After the wedding ceremony, the bride and bridegroom entered Their bridal suite and lay down on a bed of flowers.

That night the bliss of Vaikuntha made its appearance within the house of Sri Sanatana Misra. Practically the entire night the musicians played on their instruments while others sang and danced. In the early morning, Sri Gaurasundara and his wife Laksmi-devi, got up from Their bed, and after having washed Their hands and mouths they completed Their morning bhajana. Sri Sanatana Misra, along with his family and relatives, having had arranged this grand festival, enjoyed such pleasure as is not possible to describe.

In the afternoon, Sri Gaurasundara, along with His new bride, proceeded to His own house, being accompanied by the party of musicians, singers and dancers. As they passed through the town of Nadiya, along the banks of the Ganga, the local inhabitants gazed at the unprecedented beauty of Sri Sri Visnu-priya Gauranga and began to comment, “This highly fortunate girl must have served Laksmi and Parvati for many lifetimes.” (in order to get such a husband).

Someone else said, “They look like Haragauri (Lord Siva and Gauri),” as some one else commented, “I think they must be Laksmi and Sri Hari.” “No they must be Kamadeva (Cupid) and Rati,” while someone else offered, “I think they look like Lord Indra and Saci.”

Another suggested, “They must be Ramacandra and Sita.” In this way the pious ladies of Nadiya made various remarks as the procession passed their houses.

Even after executing penances and austerities for many lifetimes, the yogis are still unqualified to see the divine pastimes of the Lord, but the ordinary inhabitants of Nadiya, down to the very lowest, were able to have darshan of this divine pastime of the Lord. Therefore He is called Dinanatha. The brahmanas and family members were presented with valuable cloths and all of the dancers, performers (panegyrists) and beggars who were present were also presented gifts of cloth and money by Sri Gaurasundara. Thus they went on their way feeling quite happy. Then the Lord Vishvambhara lovingly embraced Buddhimanta Khan who had born all of the expenses of the wedding. [CB Adi 15]

Hereafter Sri Vrindavana dasa Thakura only occasionally mentions Sri Visnu-priya devi in Caitanya Bhagavata. When Lord Caitanya returned from Gaya dham, Sri Visnu-priya, who had been suffering great separation, became again very happy. But Mahaprabhu was a completely changed person.

Sacimata thought that perhaps he had become afflicted with some disease. She worshipped Mother Ganges and Lord Visnu for the welfare of her child and brought Sri Visnu-priya and sat her down before her husband. However, Mahaprabhu, even though looking in her direction, didn’t even see her. He simply used to call out “Krsna! Krsna!”, all the while crying. Another time His mother brought His meal, placing the plate before Him as she also sat down in front of Him. Meanwhile Visnu-priya was watching everything from within the other room.

Mahaprabhu was always absorbed in various ecstatic moods. He had come to hear of some oppressive behaviour by some atheist miscreants and exclaimed, “I will destroy them!”

One day Sacimata and Sri Gaurasundara were sitting in the room talking, while Visnu-priya was quietly sitting outside listening. Sacimata told Gaurasundara, “Early this morning, I saw a dream in which You and Nityananda were playing with our Deities, Balarama and Krsna. Then the four of You sat down to take some food and ultimately ended up fighting with one another. In this way I saw so many of your sports!”

Gaurasundara replied, “Such a wonderful dream, Mother! But don’t tell anyone. Balarama and Krsna are personally living in our house. So many days I saw that someone is stealing and eating their prasadam. I used to doubt your daughter-in-law. But now I don’t have this doubt any more. ” (i.e. Balarama and Krsna are directly eating what is offered to them).

Sacimata exclaimed, “Baba, You shouldn’t speak like that.”

Then Visnu-priya who was overhearing everything began to laugh.

Another day, the Lord Visvambhara was sitting with Laksmi-devi (Visnu-priya) in His room. Laksmi-devi was feeling such happiness in being able to serve her husband by giving Him tambul (pan and betel nut) that she wasn’t aware whether it was night or day. Whenever Laksmi would stay by Visvambhara’s side, Saci felt very content.

The Lord Gaura Narayana eternally engages in His divine lila with Laksmi (Visnu-priya) in Nadiya. He feels very happy to taste the tambul which Visnu-priya supplies Him. She, by her husband’s happiness, then forgets whether it is day or night. This is the subject of meditation for the eternal worshipper of Sri Sri Gaura Visnu-priya.

When Mahaprabhu played the part of Rukmini-devi in a drama enacted at the house of Sri Candrasekhara Acarya, Visnu-priya accompanied Sacimata when she went to see that performance.

Hereafter, in the descriptions of the Lord’s acceptance of the sannyasa order, Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura hasn’t mentioned Visnu-priya’s name anywhere. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has only briefly described her marriage with Sri Gaurasundara in the 8th chapter of the Adi-lila of Sri Caitanya Caritamrta.

Locana dasa Thakura, however, in his Caitanya Mangala, has given the following narration about the instructions that Mahaprabhu gave to Sri Visnu-priya on the night of His departure for the acceptance of sannyasa.

Mahaprabhu is speaking to Visnu-priya, “You can write this down. Everything that you see in this universe is completely false. The only reality is Bhagavan and His devotees. Everything else is for nothing and this is fit to be sung in song.”

“Sons, husbands and friends, all of these family relationships are false. In the end no one belongs to anyone else. Other than the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, we have no other refuge. Krsna is the Husband (Master) of everyone and other than Him, everything else is His energy. But no one understands this. Your name is Visnu-priya. If you worship Sri Visnu, then your name has been given substance. Don’t feel any sorrow needlessly. I am explaining to you the genuine Truth. Just fix your mind at the lotus feet of Sri Krsna.”

Visnu-priya replied, “You are the Supreme Controller, therefore please withdraw Your illusory energy. Then Visnu-priya can be cheerful.”

Visnu-priya then felt her sadness and affliction leave her and her heart full of ecstasy, she found herself gazing at the four armed form of the Lord. Nevertheless, she couldn’t give up thinking of the Lord as her Lord (husband) and falling at His lotus feet, she told Him, “I just have one thing to say. I have come into this world, a completely vile and abominable wretch, but you are my life, my Lord. My worth is that I am Your servant. Now for what reason am I condemned to become a useless nothing again?”

Mahaprabhu replied, “Please hear me, Devi Visnu-priya. I am telling you this. Whenever and wherever you think of Me, I will immediately come to be with you. Please know this to be a firm fact.”

Hearing the order of her Lord, Sri Krsna, Visnu-priya thought to herself, “You are the Supreme, independent Lord. Whatever makes You happy, You should do that. Who will try to obstruct You? Therefore I have no further reply.”

In the middle of the night, leaving the side of Visnu-priya, Mahaprabhu came before his Mother’s door and offered His salutations to her. After revealing some of His transcendental opulences He left her in a bewildered state and crossed the Ganges by swimming. Now He set off in the direction of Katwa.

Sri Vasu Ghosha Thakura has described Visnu-priya’s and Sacimata’s condition when they woke up at the end of the night.

Visnu-priya, thinking that Sri Gaurasundara was lying by her side, put her hand out to touch Him, but found simply emptiness beside her. Touching that empty space, a thunderbolt fell on her head. “Alas! Providence has cheated me.”

Crying very piteously, she went to Sacimata’s room without binding her hair. Visnu-priya’s crying was rending the very earth itself and the birds, beasts, creepers and trees, even the rocks, were also crying.

“Oh why is it that, being such a sinful person my life is not leaving this body?!” Falling down and rolling on the ground, her piteous wail caused her breath to come in gasps. Her mouth dried up and her body was trembling. Feeling such intense separation from Mahaprabhu, sleep renounced the eyes of Sri Visnu-priya. If sometimes she might sleep for a little while, then she would lie down on the ground. Though her bodily radiance could defeat that of gold, now she appeared very pallid, like a jewel covered with dirt.

Her body was as thin as the moon on the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight. She would count the chanting of the Holy Names with the aid of grains of rice, and however much rice would accumulate, that she would cook and offer to Mahaprabhu. Then a small amount of that she would accept as prasadam. No one could understand how it was that she was maintaining her life.

In the diary of Murari Gupta there is a description of the appearance of Mahaprabhu’s Deity and Sri Visnu-priya devi’s worship of that murti. Mahaprabhu’s very own expansion, in the form of His Deity, was present before Sri Visnu-priya. He intimated to her, “Sri Krsna is present in this form.”

Laksmi devi, (as Visnu-priya) engaged in the worship of this Deity. This Deity is at present being worshipped in the town of Navadvipa as Dhameshvara (the Isvara of the Dhama). After Mahaprabhu went away from Nadiya, Isana Thakura (a servant in the house of Sacimata) used to look after Visnu-priya and Sacimata. Sri Vamsivadana Thakura also used to stay with them.

Srinivasa Acarya Prabhu received the darshan of Visnu-priya when he went to Navadvipa.

——————————————————————————————Sri Raghunandan Thakur

Sri Mukunda Das, Madhava Das and Sri Narahari Sorkar Thakur were three brothers who lived in the village of Sri Khanda. Raghunandan was the son of Sri Mukunda Das. [C. C. Mad 15]

In the house of Sri Mukunda Das, who lives at Sri Khanda, Lord Sri Gopinath is served with great devotion. One day Mukunda was called out to do some work, and then he instructed his son Raghunandan to worship the deity and asked him to serve the Lord Gopinath that day. He explained to him that this deity is in our family for many generations and thus He has been worshipped by my father and his father and his father on and on, in this way for many years. Just as your mother feeds you and I everyday, so also He has to be fed everyday. Having explained to Raghunandan that this is a very big responsibility and he should be very careful to give his full attention to this service, Mukunda went out. Raghunandan meanwhile having been instructed by his father, collected the items for offering to Sri Gopinathji and entered into the deity room. Raghunandan was at that time barely 5 years old and therefore, when he saw that Gopinath hadn’t eaten the offering after he had imitated how his father offered the bhoga, he became very worried. Ultimately he simply requested Gopinath with tears in his eyes: “Please eat! Eat!” Gopinath became completely subjected by Raghunandan’s simple request, which was made entirely in love, and thus he stealthily ate up everything without leaving any remnants.

After some time Raghu-nandan’s father, Mukunda, returned and asked his son if he had done as he was told? When his son replied “Yes”, then Mukunda asked him to bring some of the prasadam. Raghunandan replied, “Prasadam? I offered everything just like you told me, and Gopinath ate everything; so what should I bring you now?” Mukunda was completely taken aback. “This boy is not naughty and is always accustomed to speak the truth. I doubt if he could have eaten everything. I wonder what actually happened?” Musing on this matter in this way for some time, on another day his curiosity was so stirred that he again requested Raghunandan to offer the bhoga to Gopinath on that day. On this day however, having gone out of the house, he again came in by another way and remained hiding in one place. Raghunandan was very happy to be able to serve Sri Gopinathji again and brought everything into the deity room. As before, he again very insistently persuaded Gopinath to take his meal. As Gopinath had eaten half of a laddu, he espied Mukunda peering out from his hiding spot. He didn’t try to cover up the fact that he had eaten what he had, but neither did he eat anymore. Seeing all this Mukunda was completely immersed in ecstatic love and picked up his son and put him on his lap. He extolled his virtues in a voice trembling with ecstasy, all the while torrents of tears of joy falling from his eyes. Even today, those who are greatly fortunate can still see that half-eaten laddu in Gopinatha’s lotus hand. Thus Sri Uddhav das sings the glories of Raghunandan, who is non different from Madan(Cupid).

Raghunandan was present at the khetori utsob. In Krsna lila he was Kandarpa manjari; in Dwaraka lila he was Sri Krsna’s son Kandarpa. Raghunandan’s son is Kanai Thakur. His descendants are still residing at Sri Khanda. Sri Khanda can be easily reached from Katwa by bus or train. He was born in the year 1432 Sakabda.

Srila Pundarika Vidyanidhi’s Appearance day

The Supreme Personality if Godhead Lord Shri Gauranga called the respectable Pundarika as father. He was also known as Premanidhi or Acaryanidhi. Sri Kavi Karnapura referred to him as King Vrsabhanu, the father of Shrimati Radharani in his previous incarnation(GGD). Pundarika was the disciple Madhavendra Puri. His father’s name was Vanesvara (Suklamvara brahmacari) and his mother’s name was Gangadevi. Suklamvara belonged to the Varendra sect of brahmanas. Ratnavali was the name of Pundarika’s wife. Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami accepted Pundarika as his spiritual master. His Sripata was in Mekhala village which is situated under Hat-hazari police station a few miles north of Chittagong city. The temple of Sri Vidyanidhi is now in a dilapidated condition. (CC. 1.10.14, Premavilasa 22, CBh. 10.52, 67-187)

Now hear the story of Vidyanidhi Prabhu’s arrival in Navadvipa.

Pundarika was a very dear associate of Sri Krsna. By the Lord’s arrangement he appeared in the village of Cattagrama in East Bengal, and purified that land. The Lord Himself appeared in Navadvipa and when He could not find Pundarika Vidyanidhi there He sighed heavily, feeling separation from him.

One day after ecstatic dancing the Lord sat down and exclaimed,”O My father Pundarika,” and began to cry. “O Pundarika, O My father when will I be able to see You again.” Such was the extent of the Lord’s affection for Pundarika Vidyanidhi. In this way Lord Gauracandra revealed His intimate associates by performing such wonderful pastimes.

All the devotees surrounding the Lord were unable to comprehend the import of the name He continued to repeat and the reason for the tears which flowed from His eyes. They conjectured that Pundarika naturally implied Krsna, and Vidyanidhi could have many different explanations, but no one could understand that this person was a very confidential associate of the Lord. When the Lord finally came out of trance the devotees asked Him, “For which associate of Yours are You weeping my Lord? Please reveal to us who he is, when he was born and what he does, tell us Lord so that we may have the good fortune to know him.”

The Lord replied, “You are certainly fortunate because you desire to hear about him. His activities and character are most wonderful, the whole world can be purified simply by hearing his name. His ecstatic appearance is almost like an ordinary man, therefore no one can recognize Him as a pure devotee of the Lord. This highly learned scholar brahmana was born in Cakragrama, He strictly executed the prescribed religious principles and was respected by everyone, He always floats in the ocean of nectar of love of Krsna, and his body constantly displays various ecstatic symptoms such as crying, horripilation, etc. He never went for ablutions to the Ganga to cleanse himself of his sins like everyone else, nor did he enter her waters, he also avoided touching her with his feet. However he came to see and pay his respects to her everyday in the evening when the teeming crowds had all gone. He could not bear to see Mother Ganga disrespected and utilized by people who spat into her, cleaned their mouth with her waters, and washed their hair and dirty clothes in her, thus he preferred to come to her in the evenings when there was no one around.

“Another wonderful characteristic of Pundarika Vidyanidhi is that he always drank Ganga water before worshipping the Lord, then he performed all his daily prescribed religious duties. This was meant to give a lesson to all the puffed up scholars about the greatness of Mother Ganga.

“He is presently in Cakragrama, but he is soon coming to Navadvipa where he also has a house. None of you will be able to recognize him, as on first sight one would be inclined to think he was an ordinary materialistic person. I am very anxious to see him, so all of you must endeavor and pray to bring him here very quickly.”

Talking about Pundarika Vidyanidhi threw the Lord into an ecstatic trance and He began to weep saying, “O My father Pundarika.” The Lord lamented loudly, for only He could understand the extent of the greatness of such a pure Vaisnava, and through His mercy only can that wonderful and unique position of a pure devotee be revealed.

When the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself attracts a living entity there is no way that one cannot respond, thus Pundarika Vidyanidhi suddenly desired to go to Navadvipa. He made arrangements and came to Navadvipa with many disciples. In Navadvipa he remained incognito and all the ordinary men considered him to be a lavish materialist, attached to a life of comfort and self enjoyment.

With the exception of Mukunda, no one amongst the Vaisnava’s knew about Pundarika Vidyanidhi’s arrival in Navadvipa. Sri Mukunda was a ayurvedic, brahmana doctor who was born in Caktagrama, thus he knew about the wonderful Vaisnava qualities of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. When Mukunda found out that he was in Navadvipa, he was so overwhelmed that it was difficult for him to control himself. However, Mukunda did not reveal Pundarika Vidyanidhi’s identity to anyone thus Pundarika remained a materialistic self enjoyer, in the eyes of the ordinary folks. Only Mukunda and his brother Vasudeva Dutta knew about the intensity of Pundarika’s love for God.

Gadadhara Pandita and Mukunda were very dear friends and always kept in each other’s company. Mukunda thus told Gadadhara Pandita, “Listen carefully Gadadhara, a very great devotee has come to Navadvipa. You have been hankering for the association of pure vaisnava’s and today your desire will be fulfilled. I will take you to see a wonderful Vaisnava devotee, in return for this I simply want you to think of me as your dear servant.”

The excited and happy Gadadhara Pandita called out the name of Krsna as they proceeded towards the great Vaisnava’s residence. Arriving there they found Pundarika Vidyanidhi sitting comfortably. Gadadhara offered his obeisances and was respect fully seated.

Vidyanidhi inquired from Mukunda, “What is his name and which village does he come from? I can see that his body is effulgent due to rendering devotional service to the Supreme Lord Visnu, both his form and demeanor are extremely wonderful.”

“His name is Sri Gadadhara”, Mukunda replied, “He is very fortunate because from early childhood he has been totally detached from family life. His external, material identity is that he is the son of the brahmana Sri Madhva Misra. Because he is totally absorbed in devotional service he only
associates with Vaisnava’s, and he is extremely dear to all the devotees. When he heard about you he was anxious to meet you.”

After hearing the wonderful qualities of Gadadhara Pandita, Vidyanidhi was very pleased to meet him. That great personality, Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, sat like a prince. His beautiful bed was made of metal, covered with intricate brass inlay work, from it extended an attached brass lamp
stand with three bright lights hanging down. He was seated on a soft mattress covered with clean expensive sheets and silk pillows were placed under his back. On either side of him many small and large water pots sat within his reach, as well as a nice shining brass plate with betel pan neatly prepared on it. Two large ornate mirrors hung on either side of him which he continually glanced into while smiling with lips reddened from chewing pan.

He wore a sandalwood paste tilaka mark on his forehead and his face was decorated with dots made from a mixture of sandalwood and perfume. As for his hair, it was well groomed and shining with delicately perfumed hair oil. Two persons stood behind him fanning him gently with long peacock feathers and in front of him was a nicely prepared hammock. Because he followed a life of pure devotional service, he looked as charming as Cupid himself. Those who did not know him would consider him to be a prince as everything about him and around him gave the impression that he was a man of easy and comfortable life given to pleasure.

When Gadadhara Pandita saw these luxurious items and a general atmosphere of materialistic life he became suspicious. Since Gadadhara was a fully renounced soul from his early childhood, naturally some doubts regarding the character of Pundarika Vidyanidhi entered his heart. He
thought, “What sort of a Vaisnava is he, surrounded by so much finery and lavish living? Hearing about his devotional mood I developed great respect for this person, but now on seeing him it is slowly giving way to doubt and suspicion.”

Mukunda understood the mind and heart of Gadadhara Pandita, thus he took it upon himself to reveal the true nature of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. By the special mercy of Lord Krsna, Gadadhara Pandita was allowed to perceive everything, nothing remained unknown to him.

In a very sweet voice Mukunda began to sing a verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam describing the glories of devotional service: “Alas how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of a mother to the she demon Putana? Putana was unfaithful and always hankering for the blood of human children. With that desire in mind she prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breasts and came to kill Krsna, but because she offered her breasts to the Lord she attained the greatest achievement.”

As soon as these words concerning devotional service entered his ears, Pundarika Vidyanidhi began to weep, tears of ecstatic love filled his eyes, rolling down his face profusely like streams of the Ganga. Simultaneously all the symptoms of ecstasy manifested on his person. He wept, trembled, rolled, roared and finally fell into an unconscious state of ecstasy. Then suddenly regaining consciousness he said in a loud voice, “Speak, speak,” and again fell down to the ground. Agitated with spiritual emotions he kicked everything that was near him and all the luxurious paraphernalia went crashing to the ground. The shining brass pots of water, the container of betel pan, pillows, bed sheets, everything became a confused mass. He be gan tearing his fine clothes, and his well groomed hair went haywire as he wept and rolled in the dust. He cried out, “O Krsna, My Lord, My soul, My very life, You have made me hard- hearted like a stone.” He lamented loudly, piteously crying out,

“I have been deprived of the Lord’s association in His most merciful incarnation.” He rolled around and crashed down to the ground. Everyone was afraid he might break his bones. He to trembled so violently that three persons could not hold him down. He kicked everything that was in his way, as his disciples stood by helplessly, unable to control him. In this way the storm of ecstatic love continued until it finally abated and he fell into an unconscious state of bliss. He lay down without breathing, totally submerged in an ocean of spiritual ecstasy.

Amazed at what he witnessed Gadadhara Pandita began to worry thinking, “What inauspiciousness overcame me to make me think in such an offensive manner about this great personality.” He embraced Mukunda, being extremely pleased with him. Drenching him with tears of love he said, “Mukunda you have acted like a true friend, you have shown me a pure and unalloyed devotee of the Lord. It would be difficult to find another pure Vaisnava like him anywhere in this entire creation. One can become totally purified simply by observing his devotional attitude. Today, because you are right next to me I have been able to avoid a great catastrophe. When I saw all the luxurious paraphernalia surrounding Pundarika Vidyanidhi I was convinced that he was a materialistic Vaisnava given to the pleasures of life. You could read my mind and being a great magnanimous soul you revealed to me the unlimited extent of Pundarika Vidyanidhi’s love of for God, yet today I have been offensive and the extent of my offense can only be mitigated by your mercy. You must be merciful to me and purify my heart. All these
devotees who have taken to the process of surrender through devotional service to the Lord have all accepted the shelter of a guide under  whose instructions they act. Yet I do not have such an instructor, so I have decided to take shelter of Pundarika Vidyanidhi and execute devotional service under his guidance. I know that I can counteract all my offenses to him by becoming his disciple.” Thus Gadadhara Pandita revealed to Mukunda his desire to become a disciple of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Mukunda was extremely pleased with the decision and patted him on the back saying, “very good, very good.”

Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi was in a state of ecstatic coma for six hours, gradually he returned to his normal state and sat down quietly. It was impossible for Gadadhara Pandita to control the tears of joy which rolled profusely down his face. wetting his entire body. When Sri Vidyanidhi saw this he embraced Gadadhara Pandita, holding him to his heart. Overwhelmed by Pundarika Vidyanidhi’s ecstatic devotion, Gadadhara was unable to sleep.

Mukunda spoke up, revealing Gadadhara Pandita’s mind, “Doubt arose in Gadadhara’s mind when he first saw your extravagant appearance and surroundings, but now he is repentant and wants to accept initiation from you. He is a renounced devotee of the Lord. Although he is young he is
mature in spiritual realization, and comes from the very good family of Madhva Misra. From early childhood he has always been very attached to the Supreme Lord. I think it is a wonderful good match an extremely elevated spiritual master like Pundarika Vidyanidhi having an equally able
disciple like Gadadhara Pandita. Please consider these points and choose an auspicious day to initiate him with your diksa mantra.”

Pundarika Vidyanidhi smiled and said, “Be assured that I will do as you say, for by the Lord’s mercy I have had the great fortune to meet a person who is like a precious gem. The result of many lifetimes of pious activities is that one may find a disciple such as him. The forthcoming
twelfth day of the waxing moon is very auspicious, come here to meet me and your plan will become successful.” Overjoyed, Gadadhara Pandita offered his obeisances and took leave of Pundarika Vidyanidhi.

Mukunda and Gadadhara went straight to meet Lord Gauracandra, who happily received the news of Pundarika Vidyanidhi’s arrival.

During the night, without being seen by anyone, Pundarika left all his associates behind and came to the place of Lord Gauracandra. As soon as he saw the Lord he fell down like a rod, offering his obeisances. Overwhelmed with ecstatic trance he lay on the ground experiencing waves of joy.

Shortly afterwards he regained external consciousness and roared loudly, then despising himself he began to weep saying, “O my dear Krsna, You are my Lord and father. I am a great offender, please punish this wretch. O Lord You have liberated everyone in the world, only I have been deprived of such goof fortune.”

Hearing his lamentation all the assembled Vaisnavas, who knew Pundarika Vidyanidhi to be a great and elevated Vaisnava, felt pained and began to cry.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Caitanya, is especially inclined to His pure devotees, therefore upon seeing His beloved devotee, He got up and embraced him. Crying the Lord said, “O My father Pundarika, finally I am able to see you to day.” The Vaisnavas were overjoyed to have the association of such an elevated devotee as Pundarika Vidyanidhi and their eyes filled with tears. So wonderful was this scene that no pen could possibly describe it.

Lord Gaurasundara held Pundarika Vidyanidhi in a loving embrace, wetting him with His tears. Understanding how dear Pundarika was to the Lord, the devotees immediately felt affection, respect and a sense of closeness with him. The Lord continued to hold Pundarika Vidyanidhi closely as if He wanted to merge His body into his. For sometime the Lord was unable to move. Remaining like a statue He held Vidyanidhi in His close embrace. When the Lord came out of trance He began to chant the name of Hari, and said, “Today Lord Krsna has been very merciful to me, He has fulfilled all My desires. I have met a person of My heart’s desire.” Pundarika Vidyanidhi greeted all the Vaisnavas fondly and they began to chant the holy name together. The Lord then introduced Pundarika saying, “His name is Pundarika Vidyanidhi, the Lord has specially created him to distribute love of Godhead.”

Hearing this the devotees happily responded by lifting their arms and chanting “Hari, Hari.” The Lord said, “Today is a special day, a wonderful thing has happened, I woke up from sleep and my eyes beheld the ocean of love of Godhead directly in person.”

All this went on while Pundarika Vidyanidhi was absorbed within himself in an ecstatic trance, totally unaware of his immediate external surroundings. Suddenly he became aware of the devotees around him and he immediately offered obeisances to the Lord, properly recognizing Him for the first time since their meeting. Then he offered his obeisances to Advaita Acarya Prabhu and exchanged obeisances with all the other Vaisnavas. It was a glorious scene, as all
the devotees floated on waves of ecstasy, thrilled to have met Pundarika Vidyanidhi who himself is an ocean of love of Godhead. Only an extremely pious and fortunate person is able to describe this marvelous scene.

Gadadhara Pandita took Lord Visvambhara’s permission to accept initiation from Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Gadadhara said, “I could not understand the uncommon behavior of this great personality and so I became disrespectful. Therefore in order to cleanse myself of this sin I want to become his disciple, for certainly as my spiritual master he will exonerate me.”

Appreciating Gadadhara Pandita’s mood, the Lord said, “Yes, perform it quickly.” Thus Gadadhara Pandita formerly accepted initiation from Pundarika Vidyanidhi,the ocean of ecstatic loving devotion. (CBh. Madhya)

Pundarika Vidyanidhi was present to see Mahaprabhu liberate the great sinners Jagai and Madhai and enjoyed sporting in the water with the Lord and the other devotees thereafter. Vidyanidhi was one of the chief companions of Mahaprabhu in Nadia, as well as Puridhama. During Mahaprabhu’s candan festival at Puri when He played in Narendra lake, Vidyanidhi also sported in the water with Svarupa Damodara

One day at Puri, Sri Gadadhara Pandita told Mahaprabhu, “I cannot pronounce my mantra properly….(?)”. Mahaprabhu said, “Your spiritual master, Vidyanidhi, will come here soon, at that time you can discuss this with him.” Just at that time, Sri Vidyanidhi arrived in Puri and the devotees were overjoyed to have him in their midst again. Thus Sri Gadadhara Pandita’s wish was fulfilled. Accommodations for Sri Vidyanidhi were arranged by the sea-side at Yamesvara. He and Svarupa Damodara were very close friends, they constantly enjoyed talking about topics related to the Lord together and going for darsana of Jagannatha.

Around this time, the festival of Odana Sasthi began at Puri and Lord Jagannatha was dressed in new clothes–all starched. Although starched cloth is considered improper and impure, the purjaris nevertheless dressed Him in this way. On this day the ceremony of `wearing new starched clothes’ was being celebrated with pomp and grandeur. Sri Gaurasundara watched the
ceremony along with the devotees. Lord Jagannatha was dressed in various bright colored starched clothes (white, pink and green), and was decorated with garlands and flowers. Varieties of festive music played and Mahaprabhu enjoyed the festival with great pleasure until
late in the evening. He then returned to His residence along with His devotees. On the way home the two friends, Svarupa Damodara and Sri Vidyanidhi, raised a discussion regarding the Lord’s starched clothes. Vidyanidhi said, “In this part of the country there is considerable discussion regarding Sruti and Smrti, yet how is it that the Lord is dressed in un-holy starched clothing?

Svarupa Damodara replied, “Perhaps it is the custom of this place. If it is the custom, then where is the fault? Had it not been the wish of the Lord, the King would have forbidden it.”

Vidyanidhi replied, “God can do whatever He likes, but why should His priest attendants put starched clothes on Him.? Starched cloth is so un-holy that the hand which has touched it has to be washed. These things are not decided by the estate officers. I see that the King also wore starched cloth on his head today.”

Svarupa Damodara said, “Brother, perhaps there is nothing wrong in using this cloth on the day of Odana Sasthi. Because the Lord Himself has appeared on this earth in the form of Jagannatha Deva, rules and regulations are not applicable to Him.”

Vidyanidhi protested, “Jagannatha Deva is the Lord, He is omniscient. But can these people be like Him? Are they beyond all rules and regulations?” In this way the two friends discussed in a jovial mood until reaching their residence, then took rest.

That night Vidyanidhi dreamed that Jagannatha and Balarama were very annoyed with him. They slapped Vidyanidhi on his two cheeks and said, “I have no caste, and neither do my attendants. It is I who have made the rules which you think there is deviation from.” Weeping, Sri Pundarika
Vidyanidhi put his head on the feet of Jagannatha and said, “Oh Lord, I have been rightly served according to my offence. Today is very auspicious for me, Your good hand has touched my forehead. I do not now what good deed I performed in my previous birth to have such a
benediction.” The Lord then disappeared. When Vidyanidhi awoke in the morning, he found that his two cheeks were swollen as a result of the slapping by Sri Jagannatha and Balarama.

Every morning Svarupa Damodara came to Vidyanidhi’s place and they went to the Jagannatha Mandira for darsana together. That morning Svarupa Damodara arrived as usual, but found Vidyanidhi still lying in bed. When he inquired as to why he was still in bed, Vidyanidhi called him to his side and explained his extraordinary dream. Hearing this and seeing Vidyanidhi’s swollen cheeks, Svarupa Damodara was overwhelmed with joy. He said, “I don’t know of any other such instance where the Lord has punished a man in his dream, but today I have seen this with my own eyes. Is there any man so fortunate as you in the three worlds?” Svarupa Damodara joyfully praised Sri Vidyanidhi. As a friend feels delighted at the well-being of his friend, so Svarupa Damodara thought himself extremely lucky because of Pundarika Vidyanidhi’s fortune.

Sri Vrndavana dasa wrote: “He who hears about the character of Pundarika Vidyanidhi is certain to attain devotion to Krsna. (CBh. Antya)

The Deities of Laksmi Govinda installed by Pundarika still exist today. In his birth place one still finds an earthen pitcher bearing Pundarika’s handwriting. On the upper part of the temple there are two plaques containing sanskrit slokas.

Though damaged severely by fire, the text can still be read with some effort. In the archives of the Chittagong Collectorate names of Baneswar Brahmacari and Pundarika Vidyanidhi are found in Tanji no.s 17697, 26837, 17781. There road-cess is still collected in those names. The thirteenth generation descendants of Pundarika Vidyanidhi’s family live in Mekhala.

23/1/2007 (TUE) – Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura

Took birth in the year 1586 Shaka era within the Nadia district of West Bengal in a place called Prasiddha Deva Gram.  He appeared in the Radhiya line of brahamanas. He had two brothers:
Shri Ramabhadra Chakravarti and Shri Raghunatha Chakravarti. Shrila Chakravarti Thakura went on to live in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal, in Saiyadabad, where he received mantra initiation from Shri Krishna Charana Chakravarti. He lived for a long time in the house of his gurudeva, where he wrote many books. Because Chakravarti Thakura lived for so long in Saiyadabad, he became known as a resident of Saiyadabad. In one of the final verses of his commentary on the Alankara Kaustubha, he himself has written:

saiyadabadanivasi shri vishvanatha sharmana, chakravartiti namneyam krita
tika subodhini.

“Shri Vishvanataha Cakravarti, a brahmana residing in Saiyadabad, has composed this commentary on the Alankara Kaustubha.”

When Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura lived in Nadiya, he closely studied the scriptures, beginning with a study of Sanskrit grammar, poetry, and rhetoric. It is said that even as a boy in school, he was an undefeatable scholar who could overcome anyone in argument and debate. From an early age, he was indifferent towards family life. For the purpose of binding his son in the contract of family life, Vishvanatha’s father arranged for his marriage when he was very young. He remained a married man for only a short time. Soon he renounced his wife and home and went to live in Vrindavan. After this, his parents and relatives made many unsuccessful attempts to induce him to return to family life, but Vishvanatha Chakravarti was fixed in his determination to renounce wordly life and surrender himself completely to the service of Krishna.

After having come to Vrindavan Dhama, Shri Vishvanatha took up his residence in the bhajan kutir of Shri Krishna Das Kaviraja Goswami on the banks of the Radha-kunda, where there lived a disciple of Krishna das Kaviraja whose name was Mukunda das. There, Shri Vishvanatha Cakravarti made a careful study of the Goswami’s literatures. In that holy place he later wrote many commentaries on the books of the Goswamis.

Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura established the worship of the deity of Shri Gokulananda. Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur was also sometimes known as Harivallabha das. Vishvanatha’s title, “Chakravarti” was awarded to him by the devotees. Generally this title designates one who maintains (varti) a circle (chakra) of influence. Hence chakravarti usually means “emperor,” for
the emperor’s maintains his power over a vast circle. A more devotional explanation of this title is found in the introduction to Vishvanatha’s Svapna-Vilasamrita. There is has been written

vishvasya natharupausau, bhaktiratna pradarshanat, bhakta chakre vartitatva, chakravartamaya bhavat.

“He who reveals the jewel of devotion to Vishvanatha, the Lord of the
Universe, and thus expands the circle of bhakti is a”Cakravarti.”

Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura has written many books, among which are the following:

Commentaries on Srimad-Bhagavatam (Sararthadarshini-tika), Bhagavad-gita (Sararthavarshini-tika), Alankara Kaustubha (Subodhini-tika); Ujjvala-nilamani, Ananda Vrindavana Champu (Sukhavartini-tika); Rupa Goswami’s Vidagdha-Madhava Natakam, Gopal-tapani-upanishad; Chaitanya-charitamrita; and original works such as Shri Krishna-Bhavanamrita Mahakavya; Svapnavilasamrita; Madhurya Kadambini; Stavamala-lahari; Aishvarya Kadambini [Note: this is not the same Aishvarya Kadambini as that of Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Baladeva Vidyabhusan’s book describes the opulences of Shri Krishna, whereas Vishvanatha’s book by the same name deals with the philosophy of achintya-bhedabheda-vada, Shri Chaitanya’s philosophy of inconceivable oneness and difference].

The diksha-guru-parampara of Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura is given as follows: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lokanatha Goswami, Narottama Thakura, Ganganarayan Chakravarti, Krishnacharan Chakravarti, Radharaman Chakravarti, Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura. Shri Krishna Charan Chakravarti and Radha Ramana Chakravarti both lived in Saiyadabad. Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura studied extensively under them when he was in Saiyadabad before going to
Vrindavan, where he met Mukunda das Goswami, a disciple of Krishna das Kaviraja Goswami and studied the Goswami literatures.

The siksha-guru-parampara is considered more important than the diksha-guru-parampara, because it follows the descent of revealed truth through its most significant representatives, as opposed to following a strictly sacerdotal heirarchy. The siksha-guru-paramapara from Shri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura is, according to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, as follows: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarup Damodara, Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami (along with Raghunatha Das Goswami, Raghunath Bhatta Goswami, Gopal Bhatta Goswami), Shri Jiva Goswami, Krishna das Kaviraja Goswami, Narottama Das Thakura (along with Shyamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acharya), Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura.

Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura disappeared on the Vasant Panchami day in the month of Magh.



Raghunatha dasa Gosvami used to reside on the bank of Sri Radha-kunda. At the time Radha-kunda was just a small pond of water, and therefore sometimes Raghunatha would meditate on enlarging the kund. Then he would chastise himself for desiring something which would require a large amount of money.

Around this time one very wealthy Seth underwent great austerity by walking to Badarikasrama in the Himalayas. Arriving there he very reverently worshiped Sri Badrinarayana and offered much wealth at His lotus feet. That night as he slept there, he had a dream in which Sri Badarinarayana
instructed him to proceed to Vraja, where he should present all his wealth to Sri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, who was residing at Aritgram. “If he declines to accept it, then you can mention My name and remind him about renovating Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda.”

That Seth was very happy to have seen such a wonderful dream and after returning to his home he very joyfully set out for Vraja. There he met Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and related all of these events to him. Dasa Gosvami was somewhat taken aback to hear this news, but then immediately gave his consent. Thus Sethji began to work of re-digging the two kunds.

On the banks of Radha-kunda, the five Pandavas were residing in the form of trees. As the work was proceeding it was decided that on the following day these trees would have to be cut down, but that night the five Pandavas appeared in a dream of Raghunatha dasa and forbade the cutting of those trees in his dreams. Today they are still residing there. When the work of beautifying the kundas was complete, the devotees bliss knew no bounds. Nearby the kundas, the kunjas of the eight gopies were also constructed. Seeing all this, Raghunatha dasa forgot himself in ecstasy.

Raghunatha dasa Gosvami lived on the banks of Radha-kunda without any fixed residence, staying under a different tree every night. Sometimes he would stay on the banks of the Manasa Ganga. At that time these areas were jungles filled with ferocious animals. One day Sanatana Gosvami came to the banks of Manasa Ganga to meet Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Before accepting his noon meal at Gopal Bhatta’s bhajan kutir, he went to take bath at the Pavan ghat of Manasa Ganga. From there he saw two tigers come to the kund and after drinking some water saunter off. Just near that spot Raghunatha das Gosvami was sitting under a tree absorbed in his bhajana. Sanatana Gosvami was startled to see this but even more so when he saw Sri Krsna standing at some distance observing everything. He then requested Raghunatha to do his
bhajana within a hut.

On another occasion, Raghunatha dasa, who still hadn’t bothered to have a kutir constructed, was sitting in the noon day sun absorbed in his bhajana. Srimati Radharani happened to pass that way at this time and, seeing that the sun was beating down on Raghunatha’s head, she stood behind him and held the end of her sari to shield him from the suns rays. Then one of the Gosvamis came along and saw this heart rending scene, while profuse perspiration continued to flow from Srimati Radharani’s transcendental body. This time when he was again requested to do his bhajan in a kutir, he immediately agreed to comply.

In Vraja, Krsna is served by Radharani and Candravali, who each have unlimited maid servants. According to the mellows of paramour love, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami counted himself as a maidservant of the friends of Srimati Radharani. As Candravali is the chief comperitor of Radharani, Sri dasa Gosvami would never go to her kunja or talk with any of the sakhis. Thus he served the servants of Radharani within his mind in this way.

One Brajabasi known as Sri dasa Brijabasi used to bring Sri das Gosvami a leafcup of buttermilk every day. Drinking this much only Raghunath dasa would engage in bhajana throughout the day. One day Sri Das Brijabasi went to Candravali’s kunda, known as Sakhi-sthali, to herd his cows. There he saw a palash tree with very large leaves, so he collected some leaves to make leafcups. The next day, in one of the new leafcups he brought some buttermilk to das Gosvami. Raghunatha dasa accepted the leafcup of buttermilk and inquired, “Sri dasji, where did you get these nice palash leaves?” Sri dasji replied, “While I was pasturing the cows I came to Sakhi-sthali and found them there.”

Simply hearing the word ‘Sakhi-sthali’ Raghunatha dasa flew into a rage and threw the leafcup of buttermilk away saying, “The followers of Srimati Radharani never accept anything from that place.” Seeing the loyal devotion of Raghunatha dasa for Srimati Radharani Sridasji was amazed.

There are various opinions on Sri Raghunath das Gosvami’s identity in Krsna-lila. Some have ascertained that he was Rasa Manjari, some that he was Rati Manjari,

The Govardhana-sila given by Sriman Mahaprabhu to Raghunatha dasa to worship is still worshiped at Sri Gokulananda Mandira, in Vrindavana.

Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswami compiled following books: Stavavali, Dana carita, and Mukta carita, among others.

Birth: 1428 (Sakabda) Disappearence: 1504 on the 12th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Asvin.

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Pictures of Maha Snana at Ardha Kumbha Mela Vasanta Pancami Snana

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