Parishad: Sri Vakresvara Pandit

July 5, 2007 at 7:29 am Leave a comment

 Jul 05, KUALA LUMPUR (THU) — The Appearance Day of Sri Vakreshvara Pandita.
vyuhas turyo’niruddho yah sa vakreshvara-panditah
krishnaveshaja-nrityena prabhoh sukham ajijanat
sahasra-gayakan mahyam dehi tvam karuna-maya
iti caitanya-pade sa uvaca madhuram vacah
sva-prakasha-vibhedena shashirekha tam avishat

Vakresvara Pandit is the fourth member of the catur-vyuha, Aniruddha.He brought happiness to the lord by dancing in the mood of Krishna. He would sweetly say to Mahaprabhu, “O merciful lord! Give me a thousand singers so that I can dance.” Radha’s dear sakhi Sasirekha also entered into him.
(Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 71)

Sri Vakresvara Pandit revealed such great potency that he danced non-stop for three days. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami wrote the following about Vakresvara Pandit:

Vakresvara Pandit is the Lord’s dear servant, who danced without rest for seventy-two hours. Mahaprabhu himself sang as he danced when Vakresvara fell down at his feet and said, “O moon-faced lord! Give me ten thousand Gandharvas. I will be happy if I can dance while they sing. The Lord answered, “You are like a wing. If I had another like you, I would be able to fly in the sky!”
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.10.17-20)

Vakresvara and Devananda Pandit

He was also present at the houses of Srivasa and Chandrasekhara, where he would also dance during kirtan. Vakresvara was so dear to Mahaprabhu that when Devananda Pandit was able to receive Mahaprabhu’s mercy by serving him. In this way he was able to become free of the offenses he had made to Srivasa Pandit. Mahaprabhu explained how to atone for offenses to the Vaishnavas in answer to a Brahmin’s question.

Listen, Brahmin, if someone eats poison then he must take ambrosia through the very same mouth. Then the poison will be digested and the body will become immortal by the power of the divine ambrosia. Now let me answer your question. Whatever blasphemies you have unknowingly made are exactly like poison which you have eaten. Now you must use the same mouth to constantly glorify Krishna’s name and qualities, which are like ambrosia. You have used this mouth to insult the devotees, now use it to glorify them. Glorify the devotees as the best of humanity, glorify them in songs and poetry. I will destroy all the poison of blasphemy through the ambrosia of the ecstasies of Krishna’s glories. You have all unknowingly committed offenses; this is the truth. If you should stop all kinds of offensive activity and simply engage in praising Krishna and his devotees, then you will be free from all the sins you have committed, however numerous they may be. You will not be able to achieve the same results by millions of atonements.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 3.3.449-458)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur comments: “An offensive person will only attain auspiciousness if he uses the mouth through which he made his blasphemous comments to acknowledge his offense and then to glorify Krishna and his devotees. If you take poison it will disrupt the body’s functioning, but you can remedy the situation by taking a medicine that destroys its effects. Similarly, the way to become free from the poisonous effects of Vaishnava-ninda is to first of all stop; then, rather than performing thousands of other ineffective atonement rituals, one should glorify the Vaishnava.

“Through serving the devotee, Kuliya’s Devananda Pandit became a believer in Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet. This good fortune visited him when Vakresvara came to stay in his house. Devananda was a follower of the smarta path, but was nevertheless a great scholar and very renounced. He read no scripture other than the Bhagavatam. He was devoted to the Supreme Lord and was free from the domination of his senses. Nevertheless, he was not a believer in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. By Vakresvara’s mercy, this foolish misunderstanding was dispelled and he developed faith in the lord.”
(Gaudiya-bhashya to Chaitanya Bhagavat 3.3.453, 481)

Vakresvara Pandit was very dear to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Anyone who remembers him will purify the entire creation. He is the embodiment of Krishna prema and the gods and the demons would all become enchanted by his dancing.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 3.3.469-70)

Mahaprabhu himself described Vakresvara’s glories to Devananda Pandit:

The Lord said, “You have served Vakresvara, therefore I have come to know you. Vakresvara Pandit is the Lord’s complete energy and whoever pays homage to him attains Krishna. Krishna has made his home in Vakresvara’s heart. Krishna dances in order to make Vakresvara dance. If any place becomes associated with Vakresvara, it immediately becomes the equivalent of Vaikuntha and equal to all the holy places.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 3.3.493-6)

When Mahaprabhu had absolved Devananda of his offenses, then he instructed him with great affection. Those vain egoists who are proud of their scholarship cannot understand the meaning of the Bhagavatam; that is the prerogative of those who are surrendered, the sharanagata. The only object of the Bhagavatam is to elucidate pure devotion; it is not different from the pure devotee. One is the book Bhagavatam, the other is the person Bhagavatam. One who speaks from the Bhagavatam with this knowledge will attain the supreme auspiciousness.

One who thinks, “I understand the Bhagavatam” does not really know the Bhagavatam’s central meaning. On the other hand, an ignorant person who takes shelter of the Bhagavatam will directly perceive its meaning. The Bhagavatam is pure love, it is the incarnation of Krishna himself. It recounts Krishna’s most intimate activities. After recounting the Vedas and the Puranas, Vedavyasa felt unsatisfied, but as soon as the Bhagavatam manifested on his tongue, his mind was immediately satisfied.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 3.3.514-8)

Gopal Guru Goswami

When Vakresvara came to live at Puri, he would accompany Mahaprabhu, Advaita Acharya and other devotees to Tota Gopinath to hear Gadadhara Pandit give discourses on the Bhagavatam. One should hear the book Bhagavatam from the devotee Bhagavatam.

Gopal Guru Goswami was Vakresvara Pandit’s disciple. Gopal Guru’s previous name was Makaradhvaja Pandit; his father’s name was Murari Pandit. It is said that Gopal Guru also displayed extraordinary powers. In his childhood, Gopal Guru personally served Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. When Abhirama Thakur came to pay him obeisances, Mahaprabhu took him on his lap to protect him. Mahaprabhu gave Gopal the name Guru because he instructed people to chant Krishna’s names in all circumstances, whether pure or impure.

Before leaving his body, Gopal Guru turned over the service of his Krishnakanta deity to his disciple, Dhyanachandra Goswami. After his death, when Gopal Guru’s body was taken to the Svarga-dvara to be cremated, some representatives of the king came and closed the Radhakanta Math. Dhyanachandra was so distressed that he began to cry aloud. Gopal Guru arose from the funeral pyre, returned to Radhakanta’s temple and resolved the problem before going back to the crematorium. Even after that, however, Gopal Guru appeared in Vrindavan, where devotees were amazed to witness him engaged in his devotions. A murti of Gopal Guru is still worshiped at Radhakanta Math. Most of Vakresvara Pandit’s disciples’ descendants in Orissa consider themselves to be Gaudiya Vaishnavas.

During Rathayatra at Puri, Vakresvara was the chief dancer in the fourth kirtan sampradaya whose lead singer was Govinda Ghosh. He is sometimes described as a branch of Chaitanya, or as a branch of Gadadhara Pandit.

Vakresvara’s disappearance day is the sixth day of the waxing moon in the month of Asharh.

Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj
Mandala Publishing 2001.

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