Shrivasa Pandit – Biography 2
asyaartho vivrtas tair yah
sa sankshipyaa vilikhyate
yato 'sau nandanandanah
vraje yah Shri-halayudhah
'dvaito yah Shri-sadaasivah
yatas te bhakta-rupinah
bhakta-shaktir dvi jaagranyah
"I shall now summarily explain the meaning of these words. In this Pancha-tattwa, the bhakta-rupa (form of a Devotee) is Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who formerly appeared as Shri Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaj. The bhakta-swarupa (devotional incarnation) is Lord Nityananda, who formerly appeared in Vrajabhumi as Lord Balarama. The bhaktaavatara (devotional manifestation) is Lord Advaita Acharya, who is not different from Sadaashiva. The bhataakhya (pure Devotee) is Shrinivasa and other great Devotees as well. The bhakta-shakti (devotional energy) is Gadadhara Pandita, the foremost of brahmanas." (Gaura Ganodesh Dipika 11.)
atra trayah samunneyaa
vighraha prabhavaash ca te
eko mahaaprabhur jneyah
prabhu dvau Shri-yutau nityaa-
goswaamino vighrash ca
te dvi jaash ca gadaadharah
Shrinivaasas ca panditah
"Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda Avadhuta, and Lord Advaita, are all incarnations of the supremly exalted Personality of Godhead, and They are all known by the title Prabhu (Master). Among Them, Lord Chaitanya, Who is an ocean of mercy, is known as Mahaprabhu (The Great Master), and the great personalities Lord Nityananda and Lord Advaita are known only as Prabhu (Master). All three are also known as Goswami (Master of the Senses). Gadaadhara is called by the title Dvija (Brahmana, and Shrinivaasa is called by the title Pandita (Learned Scholar). These are the titles of the members of the Pancha-tattwa." (Gaura Ganodesha Dipika 13.)
"O my Lord Gaurahari, You are the abode of auspiciousness which is as beautiful as the kirtana of Krishna. You are the ocean of elegance, bestower of constant flow of devotion and mountain of love which is as bright as gold. Your beautiful features give soothing relief to the eyes of every living being and you are mankind's salvation from all kinds of misfortune. You are the center of the Lila Vilasa, and the life of the Devotees. Be kind to me." (Bhakti-ratnakara. KJA1.)
"O my Prabhu, Shri Gopala Bhatta, the bee at the lotus like feet of Shri Gaura. You are the sun which destroys the darkness of illusion, the ocean of kindness and the greatest of all the brahmanas. You are the son of Shri Venkata Bhatta and a valuable ornament of divine love and devotion. You are the destroyer of worldly miseries and a resort of happiness to the misery stricken people. O Lord save me." (Bhakti-ratnakara. KJA.2.)
"O my Prabhu, Shrila Gopala Bhatta, a bee at the lotus like feet of Mahaprabhu. You are the most skillful Devotee of the Lord. O my Prabhu Shrinivasa, whose complexion is as golden as Shri Sachinandana, you are the king amongst all the brahmanas. Please bless me." (Bhakti-ratnakara. KJA3.)
"I constantly worship the companions of Shrinivasa Prabhu who is like the wishing tree of devotional love of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Cahndra." (Bhakti-ratnakara. KJA4.)
"My dear listeners, please repeatedly and joyfully hear the Bhaktiratnakara which is the life of all Vaishnavas and the destroyer of all miseries and misfortunes." (Bhakti-ratnakara. KJA5.)
"Shri Gadadhara is expansion Radharani and Shrinivasa is the expansion of Narada Muni, or in other words they are the internal and the devotional energy respectively." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. 27th May 1970. Letter to Tamal Krishna.)
yah pura narado munih
ya aasin narada-priyah
sa raama-panditah Shrimams
"Intelligent Shrivasa Pandita had previously been Narada Muni, the best of the sages. Shrivasa's younger brother, Shriman Rama Pandita, had previously been Narada's close friend Parvata Muni" (Gaura Ganodesh Dipika 90.)
Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, the Vyasadeva of Shri Gaurasundara's pastimes, has sung the praises of Shrivasa Pandita in this way:
"It was in Shrivasa Pandita's house that Shri Chaitanya enacted His pastimes of sankirtana. Those four brothers (Shrivasa, Shri Rama, Shripati and Shrinidhi) were continuously engaged in singing the names of Shri Krishna. They worshipped Shri Krishna and bathed in the Ganges thrice daily."
These four brothers previously lived in the district of Shri Hatta. Later on they came to reside on the banks of the Ganges. There they regularly used to attend the assembly of Devotees who gathered at Shri Advaita Acharya's house to hear the Shrimad Bhagavatam and engage in congregational chanting of the Holy Names. Gradually the brothers became very close friends of Shri Jagannatha Mishra, with whom they would chant and listen to the Bhagavatam.
In all matters Shrivasa was the leader of the four brothers. By the strength of his devotion, he could understand that Shri Krishna was going to appear in the house of Jagannatha Mishra.
Shrivasa Pandits's wife's name was Shri Malini Devi. She was a very close friend of Shri Sachi Devi and was always very helpful to her.
Seeing the wretched state of the fallen living entities in Kali yuga, the Devotees began to plaintively pray to the Lord for their deliverance. Krishna hears the call of His Devotees. On the full moon day in the month of Phalguna, in the year 1407 (Christian era 1486), the Lord incarnated Himself. With His appearance there was the simultaneous dawning of all auspiciousness within the world as it became filled with Harinama. Just as Shri Advaita Acharya, from Shantipura, could understand that the Lord had appeared, similarly, Shrivasa and some of the other Devotees of Navadwipa also understood.
Since previously Malini Devi was engaged in attending upon Sachi Devi, Shrivasa and Jagannatha Mishra came to her at this time and hinted that she was especially needed now. As long as the Lord chooses not to reveal Himself, no one can possibly recognize Him. Therefore, even though from His childhood the Lord exhibited many supernatural abilities, still, due to His deluding potency, the Devotees could not fully understand His true nature.
Their hearts were simply filled with parental affection for Him, without a trace of awe or reverence. Shrivasa and Malini gave Sachi Devi and Jagannatha much advice how to raise their new son. Shrivasa and Malini were just like a mother and father to Shri Gaurasundara. Because young Nimai Pandita seemed to have grown arrogant by His scholarship, one day Shrivasa Pandita decided to give Him good counsel.
"Why do people study? So that they might understand what is devotion to Shri Krishna," he told Nimai. "If by scholarship one doesn't gain devotion to Shri Krishna, then how will that learning help him? It becomes simply a tedious endeavour which in the end is nothing but a waste of time. If you have actually learned something then begin your worship of Shri Krishna now. Make haste. This is the purpose of your life."
Nimai laughed as He replied, "By your mercy certainly that will come to be. If you are all kind enough for Me, then definitely I'll attain devotion to Shri Krishna's lotus feet."
Shortly thereafter Mahaprabhu journeyed to Gaya where He performed the pastimes of accepting initiation from Shri Ishvara Puri. Thus gradually, He began to take up His real work of distributing loving devotion to Shri Krishna.
One day, in an ecstatic mood, Lord Gauranga entered Shrivasa's house asking, "Shrivas, whom do you worship? Whom do you meditate upon? Now with your own two eyes, see that person standing before you." [C.B. Madhya 2/258]
Saying this, Mahaprabhu entered the Deity room within Shrivasa's home Temple and sat down on the simhasana of Lord Visnu, revealing His own four-armed form, holding the conch, disc club and lotus flower. Seeing this form, Shrivasa was totally stupefied.
Shri Gaurasundara then said, "Due to being called by your sankirtana and the loud roaring of Shri Advaita Acharya, I have left Vaikuntha and have descended upon this mortal world, accompanied by My eternal associates, will destroy the miscreants and deliver the pious. Now, without fear, you can chant My glories."
Hearing these words of His Lord, which dispelled all fear, Shrivasa fell on the ground, offering his obeisances. Then he began to recite hymns in praise of the Lord.
"My obeisances at the lotus feet of the support of the entire universe Vishvambhara, Whose bodily colour is like that of a newly arrived rain cloud and wore garments which are the color of a thunderbolt. My obeisances at the lotus feet of the son of Sachi, who is bedecked with ornaments of peacock feathers and a garland of read beads (gunja-mala). My obeisances at the lotus feet of the pupil of Ganga dasa, the beauty of whose lotus face conquers that of ten million moons. My obeisances at your lotus feet, You who carry a buffalo horn, stick and flute. The four Vedas have proclaimed You to be the son of Nanda. Unto You my dear Lord, my obeisances I offer again and again." (C.B.Madhya 2/272)
"Today my birth, my activities, my everything has become successful. Today my very existence has been crowned with the greatest auspiciousness. Today the race of my forefathers has finally born fruit, and my house, which was also their house, has become blessed. Today the great fortune of my eyes is completely beyond calculation, because I have been able to see that person whose lotus feet are served by the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi Devi".
Having described the glories of Shri Gaurasundara in various ways, Shri Gaurasundara showed even more compassion to Shrivasa by revealing Himself to all of his family members. Seeing the niece of Shrivasa Pandita present before Him, Prabhu called to her, "Narayani! Call upon Shri Krishna with tears in your eyes."
And immediately this little girl, only four years of age, as if in a delirious frenzy began to cry out, "Hari! Krishna!" while shedding tears incessantly. In fact the flood of tears coursed down her body to such an extent that the ground around her feet became soaked." (C.B. Madhya. 2).
Seeing little Narayani totally agitated in ecstatic love, Shrivasa's wife and even the household servants also began to shed tears of love. The courtyard of Shrivasa took on a very beautiful appearance, being decorated with ecstatic love for Krishna.
There was one maidservant in Shrivasa Pandita's house by the name Duhkhi. Every day she used to bring water from the Ganga for Mahaprabhu's bath. One day Gaurasundara asked Shrivasa, "Who brings this water?"
"Duhkhi brings it," Shrivasa replied.."From today her name is Sukhi." Thus the Lord indicated that those who serve the Lord and the Lord's Devotees are not duhkhi (sad); rather, they are sukhi (happy). At this time Shri Gaursundara began His lila as the yuga-avatara at the house of Shrivasa Pandit. Having been reunited with Shri Nityananda Prabhu He started congregational chanting of the Lord's Holy Names in the courtyard of Shrivasa's house. Nityananda Prabhu took up His residence there. Shri Malini Devi served Nityananda as though He were her own son. Shri Nityananda was actually Shri Baladeva Himself, and in His pastimes as Lord Nityananda He behaved somewhat like a madman. He was always overwhelmed by love of Krishna, and was not aware of the state of His outward dress or ornaments.
One evening, Shri Gaurasundara, accompanied by His associates, was engaged in chanting and dancing at the house of Shrivasa Thakura when one of Shrivas Thakur's sons passed away after having suffered the effects of some disease. Within the inner apartment of his house, the women began to wail in lamentation at the boy's untimely death. Shrivasa Pandita, who was outside in the courtyard, understood some tragedy must have taken place. He quickly entered the house only to find that his son had passed on to the next world. As he was a very grave Devotee and completely conversant in the science of the Absolute Truth, he was able to console the women in their grief.
"You are all aware of Krishna's glories, so please restrain yourselves and don't cry. Whoever during his last moment hears the Lord's Holy Name, even though he might be the greatest sinner, attains Krishna's abode. And that incomparably wonderful Lord, He whose glories are sung by all His servants up to and including Lord Brahma, is now personally dancing in the courtyard of your house.
"This moment is so auspicious that it is sure this boy has successfully completed his journey from this world. Is there anything to be lamented at in this? His good fortune is completely assured. I can understand that whatever part I have played in this is also crowned with success." [C.B.M 25.30]
He concluded by telling them, "If you can't control your emotions because of your family affection to the boy, then at least don't cry now, you can cry later. The Supreme Lord of Gokula Himself, Shri Gaurasundara, is performing sankirtana accompanied by His Devotees in this house. If, due to your crying, the happiness that He is experiencing from dancing in ecstasy during sankirtana is disturbed, then I will just this minute jump into the Ganges and thus give up my own life."
"Not a blade of grass moves unless by Krishna's will. To see in this happiness or distress, or knowledge or ignorance is simply imagination. Know that whatever Krishna wills is good, and thus, giving up your own selfish desires, become free from confusion and unnecessary botheration. Krishna is giving and Krishna is taking away, and it is Krishna alone Who is maintaining everyone. Someone He protects and someone He destroys, all according to His will. If someone contemplates something contrary to Krishna's will, then as a result of His desire He only get torment. Giving up all lamentation, simply hear Krishna's name, and thus pass through all difficulties feeling great happiness. Then your desires will actually be fulfilled.'
Having given all of these instructions to those present, Shrivasa again went outside to join Mahaprabhu in ecstatic chanting and dancing. The women, leaving the dead body, came to hear the kirtan of Mahaprabhu. And so Mahaprabhu continued His chanting until the middle of the night.
When everyone was at last leaving to take rest, Mahaprabhu spoke. "Today My mind is feeling some tribulation. I think some sad event has occurred in Shrivasa's house." The pandit replied, "What possible unhappiness could there be in that person's house where Your divinely blissful countenance is seen?" "Shrivasa! Why wasn't I feeling bliss in kirtana today? What inauspicious thing transpired in your house?"
Shrivasa answered, "My Lord, You are Yourself all auspicious. Where You are present, no sorrow can be found anywhere!" But the other Devotees informed the Lord that Shrivasa's son had passed away. Hearing this news, Gaura Raya cried out, "Alas, what a tragic event. Why didn't you tell Me of this unfortunate news before?"
"I will explain," Shrivasa Pandita replied. "I couldn't tolerate disturbing You while You were enjoying sankirtana. If one of my sons dies, what sorrow is there in that for me? If we all die while seeing You, that would actually be a matter of great happiness. On the other hand, if You would have to stop dancing, then perhaps I would have died. My Lord, this was the danger that I feared, and thus I didn't tell you at the time."
Seeing Shrivasa Pandita's profound devotion, Shri Gaurasundara said, "How can I give up such company as this?" With tears in His eyes He continued. "Due to love for Me, he didn't even feel lamentation at the death of his son. How will I abandon their companionship?"
The Lord continued to cry, and the Devotees began to worry within, having heard Him speak of leaving them.Thereafter Mahaprabhu came to where the dead body of the infant was lying. Touching it, He called, "Boy! Why are you going away and leaving Shrivasa Pandita?"
The life of the dead child returned at the touch of Mahaprabhu's hand. After offering obeisances to the Lord, he replied, "O Prabhu! Whatever You ordain is absolute. No one can do anything but what is sanctioned by You. As many days as I was destined to remain here, that many days I have stayed. Now that my time has elapsed, I have proceeded to leave.
"My Lord, I have taken birth and died repeatedly. But this time, at the time of death, I passed away quite happily, having taken darshana of Your beautiful face."
After saying this, the child became silent. Shri Gauranga Raya thus enjoyed a kind of transcendental sport. Having heard the uncommon words of the dead child, the Devotees floated in the ocean of bliss. Shrivasa Pandita, along with his family members, then fell at the lotus feet of Shri Gaurasundara and cried in ecstatic love.
Mahaprabhu then told him, "Since Myself and Nityananda are your two sons, please don't feel any more distress in your mind over what has happened." Hearing these compassionate words of their Lord, the Devotees cheers were resounded throughout the heavens. Proving the statements of shastra, Their Lordships Gaura-Nityananda became deeply indebted to Shrivasa due to his great love for and service to Them.
After Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, Shrivasa Pandit came to live at Kumarhatta. Every year he would go with his brothers to see Mahaprabhu at Puri. He also regularly came to see Shri Sachimata in Navadwip and would spend a few days there during those times.
When Mahaprabhu came from Nilachala to see His mother and the river Ganges, He also stopped at Kumarhatta to see Shrivasa.
"After staying some days at Advaita's house, Mahaprabhu came to Shrivasa's Temple at Kumarhatta." [C.B]
It was at this time that Mahaprabhu gave this benediction to Shrivasa: "There will never be poverty in your house. If you simply remain indoors, never even venturing out of your house, whatever you require for your worship will come to your door."
Shrivasa Pandita, along with his three brothers, eternally serve Shri Gaurasundara. He is the incarnation of Narada and accompanied Mahaprabhu in all His Navadwipa lilas.
Across the Ganges from Halisahar (the present name of the village of Kumarhatta), there is a town of the name Chuchura. Located here are some very beautiful Deities of Shri Shri Nitai-Gauranga. At present the seva-puja is becoming carried on by Devananda Gaudiya Matha. The resident Swami Maharaja recalls that when the Gaudiya Math took over the sevaitship of this Temple, its name was Shrivasa-Mahaprabhu Mandir. Thus there is a strong possibility that these are the worshippable Deities of Shrivasa Pandita. The Temple is at present named 'Uddhavar Gaudiya Math.' It is near 'Chaumatha', close to the 'Chori Mor' intersection where the town clock stands.
There is a rail station at Chuchura (Chinsura) on the Bandel-Navadwip line. Chuchura may also be reached by ferry from Halisahar on the other side of the Ganga, where Chaitanya Boda, the birthplace of Shri Ishvara Puri, is located.