Articles and essays on devotional topics belong to this section.
How is Bhaktivinoda Thakura linked to Gauranga's rasaraja-upasana? - Article by Gadadhara Prana Das
jiva - Wed, 08 Dec 2004 00:06:08 +0530
How Is Bhaktivinoda Thakura linked to Gauranga's rasaraja-upasana ?
by Gadadhara prana dasa
(from Introduction to Locana dasa's Dhamali )
Like Thakura Sri Narahari , Thakura Bhaktivinod staunchly worhiped Gaura and Gadadhara . But what does such a worship entail ? Dhamali itself provides the ideal response , for Gaura-Gadadhara bhajana essentially means Gauranga-nagari-bhajana . Srila Gadadhara's cousin and intimate disciple , Sri Nayananda Misra , captures this mood in his padavali . Here is a sample :
pandita mandita bhela gaura-nataraja
dura saiye dekhe saka nagara-samaja
nadiya-nagari-gana bujhila marame
jara prasade paya prema-ratane
gadadhara prema-vase gaura rasiya
kahaye nayananda ei rase bhasiya
Then Gaura Nataraja embraces Gadadhara Pandita , and the nagaris all watch from a distance ! Because the Nadiya-nagaris can understand about these intimate affairs , only by their mercy can one understand about these intimate affairs , only by their mercy can one attain such a jewel of love . Rasika Gaurasundara is completely subjugated by Gadadhara's prema . Thus floating in the rasa , Nayananda speaks .
Being a direct witness of Gaura and Gadadhara's madhura pastimes , Nayananda is the ideal person to accuratelly narrate them . But here he establishes an important siddhanta : bhaktas wanting to understand and participate in such lilas must certainly take shelter of Nadiya-nagaris .
Now doesn't this advice closely resemble Caitanya-caritamrta's siddhanta meant for those hankering to serve Radha-Govinda ? Let us compare :
radha-krsnera ei lila ati gudhatara /
dasya-vatsalyadi-bhavera na haya gocara //
sabe eka sakhiganera iha adhikara /
sakhi haite haya ei lilara vistara //
sakhi vinu ei lilara pusthi nahi haya /
sakhi lila vistariya sakhi asvadaya //
sakhi vinu ei lilaya nahi anyera gati /
sakhi bhave tare jei kare anugati //
radha-ksrnera kunja-seva sadhya sei paya /
sei sadhya paite ara nahika upaya // ( CC Madhya 8 )
Although they are very secret and confidential , Radha and Krsna's patimes are known to the sakhis , but are unfathomable to the devotees situated in dasya , vatsalya and the other devotional moods . As these pastimes are solely nourished , expanded upon and relished by the sakhis . There is no way one can attain Radha Krsna's nikunja-seva without following in their footsteps through sakhi-bhava .
So , as one follows in the sakhis' footsteps to attain Radha-Krsna , one follows in the Nadiya-nagaris' footsteps to attain Gadai-Gauranga . We should not forget that a major focus of Bhaktivinoda Thakura's personal bhajana and , for that matter , his siksa for the world at large , is that Gadai-Gauranga and Radha-Krsna are non-different . Moreover , in the following selection , Bhaktivinoda describes how Radha-Madhava can even appear from Gadai-Gauranga's forms .
ha ha mora gaura-kisora
kabe daya kari sri godruma-vane /
dekha dibe mana-cora //
gadadhare vame kari /
kancana-varana cancara cikura
natana-suvesa dhari //
dekhite dekhite sri radha madhava
rupete karibe ala /
O my Gaura Kisora ! O thief of my mind ! When will you mercifully reveal yourself to me within Godruma's forests ? I will see you standing within my bower ; both of you are golden complexion , with beautiful , curling hair , both dressed like dance performers . But aho ! As I watch , your yugala form will suddenly turn into the effulgent murti of Radha-Madhava !
This is called bhavera seva , service which directly pertains to one's nitya-svarupa in the spiritual world . With his transcendental eye , Thakura Bhaktivinoda envisions his home in Godruma as identical with his eternal residence at Radha Kunda , Sevananda-sukhada-kunja . And when worshiping Gadai Gauranga , he see Radha Madhava !
Returning to Narahari and Locana's viewpoint , we see them holding the same siddhanta : Gadai Gauranga and Radha-Madhava are identical . Here is what Locana's padavali says :
jaya jaya gadadhara gauranga sundara /
eka atma prakata bhava dui kalevara //
vrndavane radha-krsna nava-yuva-dvandva /
isanim prakata gadadhara gauracandra //
mahabhava svarupa radha vrndavanesvari /
sei ei gadadhara pandita avatari //
rasarajamaya murti vrajendra nandana /
sei ei gauracandra purna prakatana //
Glories , glories to Gadadhara and Gauranga-sundara . They are one soul manifest in two bodies . Radha and Krsna , the ever-youthful couple of Vrndavana , have now appeared as Gadadhara and Gauracandra . Radha Vrndavanesvari , the personification of mahabhava , has advented as Gadadhara Pandita . And rasaraja Vrajendranandana has become fully manifest as Sri Gauracandra .
In these passages Locana makes two noteworthy points : (1) Gauracandra is equated with Rasaraja Krsna and (2) Gadadhara Pandita is none other that Radha's avatari , or most complete feature . Here Gauranga does not take up Radha-bhava because Radha-Gadadhara draws out his Rasaraja Krsna bhava instead . In other words , bhakta-vatsala Gaurahari's mood varies according to the way his bhaktas wish to view him . Similarly , Vasudeva Ghosa , Sivananda Sena and many other Gaura associates worship Gauranga's Rasaraja aspect rather than viewing him in Radha [I]bhava . The following pada by Vasu Ghosa illustrates this attitude :
jiva - Wed, 08 Dec 2004 23:21:15 +0530
Sri Sri Gaura Govinda
( Gauranga in Krsna-bhava )
sonari puraba lila tribhanga haiya
mohana murari gora adhare laiya
muralira randhre phuka dila goracande
anguli nacaiya gaya sulalita cande
nagarera loka jata suniya mohita
suradhuni tire taru lata pulakita
bhuvana mohana gora muralira svare
vasudeva ghosa ite ki bolite pare
Remebering his previous Vrndavana lila , GorA takes the curbed tribhanga position while placing the mohana murali on his lips . Blowing into the murali , Goracand's fingers dance over the holes producing a melodious song . Hearing the sound , the Nadiya-vasis become enchanted while on the Ganga's banks , trees and creepers horripilate ! Thus GorA enchants the entire world ; so where can Vasudeva Ghosa find the words to describe the sweet murali's tune ?
Returning to Bhaktivinoda Thakura , a good question arises : How can we know that he worshiped Gadai Gauranga in the same mood as Vasudeva Ghosa , Narahari and Locana ? Is there any evidence which proves that the Thakura worshiped Gauranga in Krsna-bhava rather than in Radha-bhava ?
Although this is a confidential topic , the answer lies with the Gaura mantra in which Bhaktivinoda initiated his disciples . And to be frank , there are only a few who were fortunate enough to receive diksa from him . Nevertheless , Bhaktivinoda Thakura initiated them with a Gadadhara-Radha-Gaura-Krsna yugala mantra with appropriate kama and rati-bija . Thus we find Bhaktivinoda's refuge . In this mantra , Radha and Gadadhara are identical , and both the madhura rasa asraya . Similarly , Gaura and Krsna are identical and both the madhura-rasa's visaya . In other words , as Radha is a nagari and Krsna is a nagara , Gadadhara is a nagari and Gaura is a nagara . And this is Bhaktivinoda's ista-mantra . A mantra which will undoubtedly reveal both Gaura and Krsna's parakiya affairs to its reciters upon their attaining siddhi .
jiva - Thu, 09 Dec 2004 23:43:38 +0530
Yet another major factor linking Thakura Bhaktivinoda with Gauranga's rasaraja worship is the guru-parampara which he belongs to . We can begin our investigation by looking at the conclusion of Bhaktivinoda's book Bhagavatarka-marici-mala . There , the Thakura writes :
punataya mane haila sri guru carane
akrtajna haile bhakti sadhiba kemane
lajja tyaji likhi ebe tadiya ajnaya
aparadha jadi hay , khamo mahasay
vipina vihari prabhu mama prabhuvara
sri vamsivadanananda vamsa sasadhara
sei prabhupadera anujnaya sire dhari
bhagavata slokasvada nirantara kari
Once again I remember my guru' lotus feet ; yet without showing gratitude , how can I execute bhakti ? Putting aside all reticence , I am writing under his order . So , if I commit an aparadha , dear reader , please forgive me . Vipina Vihari is my master , for he is the nright moon appearing from Vamsivadanananda Thakura's vamsa ( family descendents) . Holding that Prabhupada's order respectfully upon my head , I constantly relish the slokas of the Bhagavata .
Thus , Bhaktivinoda reveres his guru , Vipina Vihari Gosvami , whose parampara begins woth Vamsivadanananda Thakura . Vamsivadana is Gauranga's eternal associate and the incarnation of Krsna's flute . In the book Vamsisiksa by Prema dasa Misra , Sriman Mahaprabhu teaches the rasaraja doctrine to Vamsivadana just to prior to leaving Navadvipa to take sannyasa . In the beginning of Vamsi-siksa it is stated ,
sarva sukhamaya vanda srigurucarana
jahara asraye pai nigudha bhajana
rasarajabhinna vandya caitanya gosani
emana dayala prabhu kabhu dekhi nai
kalipapa tapacchanna dekhi jiva gane
udaya haiya prabhu sacira bhavane
dui bhave dui karja karila sadhana
anye iha nahi jane jane bhaktagana
bahiranga bhave hare krna rama nama
pracarila jagamajhe gauragunadhama
antaranga bhakta antaranga bhaktagane
rasaraja upasana karila arpane
Glories to Sri Guru's lotus feet which bestow paramananda . By taking shelter of him , one can learn all the intimate topics of bhajana . I offer my prostrated dandavats to Sri Caitanya Gosai , who is non-different from Rasaraja Sri Krsna . Seeing the people of the Kali Yuga who are covered by sin and suffering , Sri Caitanya advented in the home of Saci Devi . Then he began two types of sadhana , which only the bhaktas know about . Externally , Gaura , the abode of all good qualities , distributed the names Hare Krsna Hare Rama .But his internal mission with his antaranga bhaktas was offering them rasaraja worship .
We find that Sri Caitanya imparted different branches of knowledge to many of his leading associates . And just as his teachings to Rupa , to Sanatana , to Raghunatha dasa or to Ramananda Raya are all very important , so is Sri Caitanya's rasaraja doctrine which he imparted to Vamsivadana . Yet moreover , akthough directed to all Vaisnavas , Vamsi-siksa is especially appreciated by those following Vamsi's guru-parampara , like Thakura Bhaktivinoda . Its author , Prema dasa , also belongs to this disciplic line .
jiva - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 00:48:06 +0530
Krsna's vamsi plays a key role in Vrndavana's madhura pastimes . For being Krsna's akarsini sakti ( alluring power ) , she is the guru of every gopi , including Srimati Radharani , because she allures and seduces them for Madana Mohana's pleasure . And just as Vamsi know the inside story about Krsna's love affairs , so does Vamsivadanananda know the secrets about Sri Gauranga's intimate love affairs . In fact , from Vamivadana's very birth , Gauranga's romance with the Nadiya-nagaris began .
In Sri Murali-vilasa we find the following passage :
vasanta kalera khapa purna candrodaya /
ananga ullase sabe kare jaya jaya //
hena kale sacira nandana gora raya
cattera durjaresisu sangete khelaya
tribhanga bhangima thama nace goracanda
nadiya nagarigana manadhara phanda
hena kale murali pariya gela mane
murali murali bali dhakena saghane
sei kale garbha haite parila bhumente
jaya jaya dhvani sabe lagila karite
Influenced by spring' rising full moon , all of the Nadiya-vasi' minds turned joyful under Cupid's spell . The son of Saci just happened to be playing with his young friends outside the house of Chakari Catta ( Vamsivadana's father ) . Suddenly , Goracanda began dancing in a threefold bending pose . His beautiful form is the net which traps all of the Nadiya-nagaris' minds ! Aho ! The murali suddenly came to mind , and Goracanda began loudly calling : '' O murali ! O murali ! '' Just then , with loud cries of ''Jaya ! Jaya ! '' Vamsivadana came out of from the womb .
Murali-vilasa goes on :
bhavavesa kabe gora vamsi kole laiya
purvarage nace gadadhara mukha caiya
Then Gauranga took the newly born Vamsivadana into his lap and began dancing . But when looking at Gadadhara's face , Gauranga feeling of romantic love began to blossom ( purva-raga ) .
Murali-vilasa narrates how Sri Bhaktivinoda's guruparampara came about . Here is a brief synopsis .
Vamsivadana Thakura had two sons , Caitanya dasa and Niati dasa . But when Vamsivadana was about to die , Caitanya dasa's wife began crying and implored him not to leave the world . Then Vamsi consoled her , saying , '' Oh ma , don't be aggrieved . I shall soon reappear in this world . I shall take birth from your womb as your beloved son '' . And thus it came true . Caitanya dasa's son became Vamsivadana's second avatara , known as Sri Ramai Thakura . Ramai later became the adopted son and disciple of Srimati Jahnava Thakurani . Murali-vilasa's author , Sri Rajavallabha Gosvami , is the nephew and disciple of Ramai Thakura .
In telling the life story of Vamsivadana , Ma Jahnava and Ramai , as well a presenting their siksa , Murali-vilasa is especially important and dear for the members of Bhaktivinoda's guruparampara , who are listed as follows :
(1) Nityananda sakti , Sri Jahnava Thakurani
(2) Sri Ramai Thakura ( Vamsivadana's second avatara )
(3) Sri Rajavallabha Gosvami (Murali-vilasa's author )
(4) Sri Kesava Candra Gosvami
(5) Sri Rudresvara Gosvami
(6) Sri Dayarama Gosvami
(7) Sri Mahesvari Gosvamini
(8) Sri Guna Manjari Gosvamini
(9) Sri Ramamani Gosvamini
(10) Sri Yajnesvara Gosvami
(11) Sri Vipinavihari Gosvami
(12) Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura
jiva - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 15:22:29 +0530
Murali-vilasa also lends support to the rasaraja doctrine . For example , Ramai Thakura discloses that Ma Jahnavi is a nagari therein :
tomara dasera dase hate vancha kari
caitanya vallabha tumi jagata isvari
Let me become the servant of your servants , for you are the Jagadisvari and the beloved of Sri Gauranga .
The term Caitanya-vallabha means that Ma Jahnava has a parakiya relationship with Gauranga Mahaprabhu . Similarly , Ma Jahnava's disciples , Jnana dasa and Balarama dasa are famous padakartas ( poets ) who write padas ( songs ) about nagari-bhava . In a pada by Vamsivadana , he describes Gauranga in Krsna-bhava as follows :
dekhiya gauranga rupa premara avesa
sire cura sikhi pakha natavara vesa
I saw Gauranga overtaken by prema ; there was a peacock feather tucked into his topknot of hair , and he was dressed like a dancer !
Now someone might ask : ''How do you know that Bhaktivinoda really supported Nadiya-nagari bhava ? ''
In reply , we here include an article translated from the Bengali journal The Visnupriya Gauranga Patrika 5:6.
The article's author , Sri Madhusudana Gosvami Sarvabhauma , was a close friend of Bhaktivinoda . The The article's title was ''Nadiya-nagari bhava and Thakura Bhaktivinoda . ''
Because Nadiya-nagari bhava is a lofty , high mellow of the bhakti-marga , very few are pure enough to take it to the heart . The evidence that Bhaktivinoda Thakura completely accepted it can be found in the following example : The Sajjana-tosani journal was personally edited by Bhaktivinoda and hence , every article published therein was subject to his approval . In Sajjana-tosani's eight year , no. 8 , under the heading , '' Sri Sri Jagadananda Thakura's Padavali ''* , he published a number of ancient padas ( poems ) . Bhaktivinoda also mentioned that these padas were sent by Sri Kisori Mohana Gosvami of Ukara village in the Burdwan district of West Bengal . Here is an example from the first pada :
gaura kalevara mauli manohara
cikura aiche nehari
jane hema mahadhara sikhare camara
dei manmathe jari
Ah ! The mohana-cuda of hair cresting Gaura's body looks like a black camara above a golden mountain . Seeing this cuda awakens the flames of Cupid with the nagaris' hearts .
Here is another pada which also appeared in Sajjana-tosani :
sahajei madhura madhura jacchu madhuri
tribhuvana janamana hari
jalaja ki sthalaja cala cala jagabhari
mari aparupa gora rupa kati
nirakhi jagate dharu , damini kamini,
cancala capala kheyati
haraki chalakiye taraka vilasai
gaganahi bhagana ramana nijaparijana
gani gani antarakari
kaha dekhi surapura nari nayana bhari
jhari jharata anibari
jagadananda bhana tahaki dhairaja dhara
dvijavata kulaja kumari
Aha re ! The sweetness of Gauranga's madhura madhura form steals the mind of everyone in the three worlds ! Whether they be land or water inhabitans , or moving or non-moving jivas , everyone in the universe is simply stunned ! Oh sakhi ! Just see Gauranga's effulgent form ! When the young , golden-complexioned girls view Him , they turn restless like the lightning . And just see the star-jewelled necklace dancing over his beautiful chest . It's making the heavenly devis constantly shed tears . Jagadananda says , what will be the plight of all the brahmana kumaris of Nadiya ? How will they be able to keep their calm ?
( Here brahmana kumaris being referred to are the Nadiya-nagaris . )
If Bhaktivinoda were not in favour of Nadiya-nagari bhava , he would never have published such padas in his own edited journal .
*Jagadananda Thakura is a member of the Srikhanda line , and a near contemporary of Narahari Sarkara
jiva - Sun, 19 Dec 2004 00:12:32 +0530
Here is another pada which appeared in Sajjana-tosani :
sasadhara jasohara , nalina malina kara
vayana nayana duhu tora
tarun aruna jini , dasana dasana gani
motima jyoti ujjora
citta cora gaura tuhu bhalo
jitali sitala kirone hiranamani
dalita Lalita haritala
pada kasa saradara vindai nindai
nakhavara nakhatara pati
rasana rasayana vadana chandama
hero motima rohita jati
sukha mukha duragati dharani varani naha
vidhika adhika niramana
ataeva teji kula juvati umati bhela
jagata jagate karu gana
Let those opposing Nadiya-nagari bhava cast aside their spectacles of disbelief to carefully examine this poetry . Here is a nagari address her prana-vallabha Gauranga :
‘’ O Gora , thief of my mind ! You are simply wonderful ! Your face and eyes defeat the splendour of the moon and the lotus . But your garments outshine the luster of the rising un , while your teeth eclipse the effulgence of pearls . Your swaying arms and hands defeat the cooling luster of the autumn lotus . Yet just the slightest rays of your effulgent fingernails and toenails outmatch the brilliance of a row of stars . Your lips are glossy red , and your voice defeats a parrot’s . No one on earth can describe the beauty of your happy face . Even the creator , who has become the most perplexed . Jagadananda says :’ So as long as the young girls of Nadia go mad to forsake their families , let all the world’s people sing about this.’ ‘’
(In other words , let them sing about what happens to the young girls who see Gauranga )
In Sajjana-tosani’s eight year , number 11 , the following pada appears :
nirakhite bharame sarame majhu paithila
jaba saiye gaura kisora
taba saiye kona ki kari kaha achiye
anubhava naha puna thora
kahala sapatha kari toya
dvijakula gauraka , gauraka saurabhe
cora sadrsya bhela mora
visarita cahi , nahata puna visarana
smrti pathagata mukhacanda
kare dhari katatra , jatana kari rakhaba
avirata vidhi nirbandhe
dhairaja adi , pahile dura bhagala
hetu ki bujhiye na pare
jagadananda saba , aba samujhayaba
rahu dina dui tina cari
A nagari tells her girlfriend ; ‘’ Oh sakhi ! I had no intention to look at Gauranga , but all the girls of my neighbourhood said , ‘ Just see the golden purusa dancing down the road .’ So by mistake I glanced upon him … and ever since I cannot forget him ! Where am I ? What am I doing ? I can hardly tell . O sakhi ! I confess , grom the moment Gauranga’s bodily fragrance entered my nostrils , my pride of belonging to a brahmana family was stolen away . I try to forget about GorA , but GorA’s sweet face always envelops my mind . O , I must be suffering for my past misdeeds ! How can I go on concealing these matters ? ‘’ The other girl replies : ‘’ O Sakhi ! You are a chaste woman , so stay calm . Do not lose your patience .’’ But the nagari replies , ‘’ O sakhi , my shyness and patience have already fled ; I cannot understand the reason .’’ The poet Jagadananda tells tells the second girl : just hold on . Upon seeing Gauranga , in three or four days , the same thing will happen to you .’’
Another pada is presented in Sajjana-tosani’s eight year , no.10 :
jiva - Mon, 20 Dec 2004 23:03:40 +0530
sarad indu (unreadable) bandhuka
jakara vadana vadanavali candana
nayana pada aravinda
dekha sacinandana soi
jachu guna ketana tanu heri cetana
hina minaketana hoi
herite jaka cikura ruci vigalita
kulavati hrdaya dukula
so kiye pamari camara jhamara
camara samatula mula
nirakhite nayana nahata puna tirapita,
aparupa rupa atirupa
jagadananda sati bhanai bhavini
so ase canaka svarupa
A Nadiya-nagari says : '' O sakhi ! Look at Sacinandana ! His face , teeth , lips , eyes , lotus feet and the candana moons on his body , all defy the autumn moon , flowers , the newly blosoming bandhuka and the blue lotus . What an abode of virtues ! Cupid faints upon seeing his beautiful bodily limbs . And while viewing the elegant , curling hair which tosses over his forehead , the young girls are losing their patience . The black camara whisks , feling themselves wretched in the face of hi splendid hair , burn themselves to the root . Aho , why didn't my eyes due after the demise of his exquisite , incomparable form ?'' Jagadananda says : ' After contemplating Gora's beauty , all of the chaste , pretty girls hanker to merge into his shining toenails .'
Sri Madhusudana Gosvami wrote this article because the majority of Bhaktivinoda's followers mistakengly group Nadiya-nagari-bhava along with the various Vaisnava pseudo sects ( apasampradayas ). This is still the case today . He states , '' If Bhaktivinoda Thakura were indeed of that opinion , why would he so highly honour this poetry in his Sajjana-tosani under the heading ''Sri Sri Jagadananda Prabhu's padavali '' ? Using the double sri , along with the title prabhu certainly shows a high regard for the author of such poems . And was this not Bhaktivinoda's intention ?
Observing a situation , another friend and admirer of Thakura Bhaktivinoda , Mahatma Sisira Kumara Ghosa , the author of Amiya Nimai Carita , offers the following opinion : '' Look , if Nadiya-nagari bhava is false , then where do the hundreds and thousands of songs describing the nagaris' love for Gauranga come from ? And if the nagaris doesn't exist , then why would countless Gaudiya mahajanas have taken the trouble to write those songs ? Therefore , O Vaisnavas , O bhaktas , let us not upset anyone's bhajana .''
Readers wishing to further investigate the sastric evidence behind Gauranga-nagari bhajana may read our volume , '' Rasaraja Sri Sri Gauranga . ''
The end of Introduction by Gadadhara Prana Dasa to Locana dasa's Dhamali
jiva - Sat, 15 Jan 2005 14:22:09 +0530
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Nadiya Nagari Bhava
the fallen sadhaka, Gadadhar prana dasa
The title of this essay at first glance might appear a bit strange to many. The question will arise: What would our revered Bhaktivinoda Thakur have to do with Nadiya nagari bhava? Don’t the Nadiya nagaris form some sort of pseudo-sahajiya sect, a topic that doesn’t merit discussion?
This common misconception has become an accepted belief for many Vaishnavas, and an article with the same title, “Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Nadiya nagari bhava,” was published about 75 years ago by a Vrajavasi Vaishnava named Sri Madhusudana Goswami Sarvabhauma.
This Vaishnava deserves an introduction. Madhusudana Goswami was a family decendent of Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami, and a sevaite of Vrindavan’s renowned Sri Radharamanaji. Although Madhusudana Goswami belonged to this prestigious vamsa, he became greatly infuenced by Mahatma Sisira Kumar Ghosh who instilled in him a yearning to worship Srimati Vishnupriya and Gauranga. Soon thereafter, he established the temple of Amiya Nimai Gauranga in Vrindavan’s Gopinath Bazaar, which some of our readers have perhaps visited?
Having said all this, the important thing that relates to this essay is that Madhusudana Goswami was a friend of Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s. He knew him intimately and both of them respected each other. Perhaps what spurred the Gosai to write his article is that after Srila Bhaktivinoda’s demise many of his followers took to severe criticism of Nadiya nagara bhava labeling it as a form of prakrta sahajiyaism. This hurt Madhusudana greatly, for he knew that indeed Srila Bhaktivinoda had a high regard for it.
In this article, I shall include some of the contents of Madhusudana Goswami’s article. I shall also summarize part of an article that I wrote entitled, “How is Bhaktivinoda Thakur linked to Gauranga’s Rasaraja upasana?” After reading that essay, however, some people still felt that Srila Bhaktivinoda’s actual stance on the issue had been left unclear. So now I shall now try and clarify the matter a little further.
History does repeat itself. Indignant criticism of Nadiya nagara vada and its aspirants still comes under fire – as was prevalent during Madhusudana Goswami’s time. It is true that Vaishnavas who follow this path are scarce. This in itself is a major reason why a lack of understanding concerning Nadiya nagari bhajan exists amongst Vaishnavas in general. Yet we can also point out that this rare caliber of bhajananandi Vaishnava forms a majority amongst the renowned siddha mahatmas of Bengal. To list a few names: there is Siddha Chaitanya Das Baba of Dhamesvara Mahaprabhu’s temple, Nabadwip, Siddha Bhagavan Das Baba of Kalna, Srila Bhaktivinoda’s siksha guru, Siddha Jagannath Das Baba, and Sri Vamsi Das Baba. Some other exhaulted mahatmas who worshiped Nadiya nagara Gauranga are Sisira Kumar Ghosh, Sri Haridas Goswami, Sri Ramadasa Babaji, Sri Harimohan Siromani, Sri Haridasa Das and Sri Basanta Kumar De.
Most Vaishnavas will be astonishaed to hear it, yet Nadiya nagari bhajana forms the original worship of Gauranga Mahaprabhu. This rasa was flourishing in Nadiya before the Six Goswamis met Sri Chaitanya. In Nadiya, nearly every antaranga associate of Gauranga worshiped him in nagari bhava. Perhaps the greatest misfortune in Vaishnava history is that our Six Goswamis missed experiencing Sri Gauranga’s madhura Nabadwip lila. Had they seen it, it would have been most unlikely that they could have refrained from writing about it. Krishnadasa Kaviraja wasn’t there either. Hence in Chaitanya Charitamrta we miss hearing about Srimati Vishnupriya and her lila with Gauranga, about Gadadhar and Gauranga’s lila, and about Sri Gaurasundara’s stupendous maha sankirtan rasa lila at Srivasa Angan. Now who has become unfortunate? Mahatma Sisira Kumar Ghosh elaborates on this in his famous work, Amiya Nimai Carita
. He begins by questioning : What is the gist of Gaura avatar? And why are the jivas and especially the people of India unfortunate? Let me say a few words about this:
jiva - Sat, 15 Jan 2005 14:29:56 +0530
In the Shaka year 1407 (1486 AD) Sri Bhagavan appeared in our world. Then countless thousands of people took his shelter, Krishna’s lila sthana Vrindavan was rediscovered, many Vaishnava sastras were written, and gopi anugata bhajan began. Of these activities which should be considered the most important ?
Here the obvious answer should be Sri Bhagavan’s advent as Gauranga. Let me elaborate: He who stands beyond our knowledge and beyond Maya’s influence, who is the Lord of millions of universes and whose shining toenails yogis fail to see even after executing tapasya for thousands of years, has appeared in our society. Yet, more than just that, for 48 years, Sri Bhagavan laughed, cried, danced, dined, slept, and exchanged wonderful, loving pastimes with the people of this world.
It is unfortunate, therefore, that we have overlooked Gauranga’s original worship. When he was manifest in Nabadwip, Gauranga’s attraction was such that the bhaktas even forgot about Radha and Krishna. They worshiped Vishnupriya and Gauranga in nagari-bhava. The evidence is found in the poetry of Vasu Ghosh, Narahari Sarkar, Sivananda Sena, Murari Gupta and Lochan Das. The madhura lila rasa of Nabadwip is the essence of his avatar. This is Gauranga’s first and foremost contribution to the people of Kali Yuga.
But when Gauranga became Krishna Chaitanya, his Nabadwip chapter ended and his mood changed. His headquarters shifted to Nilachala. Having missed Gauranga’s Nabadwip lila, the Six Goswamis met Prabhu after he had taken sannyas. Hence they became familiar with his Radha bhava feature, and they promoted this mode of worshiping him.
After Sri Chaitanya’s demise, the seat of Gaudiya Vaishnavaism shifted to Vrindavan. In following Sri Chaitanya’s order, the Goswamis established Radha and Krishna’s worship by writing volumes of Vaishnava shastra. When these shastras later reached Bengal, the original trend of Gauranga nagari worship that was left by his antaranga Nabadwip associates was gradually replaced by the Goswami’s siksha of Radha Krishna upasana.
In defending our Six Goswamis (and their followers) we can say that they are faultless for adhering to Sri Chaitanya’s mano’bhISTa
(inner desire). Yet in the next breath we can see that Sisira Ghosh’s historical account is correct. So it can be stated that although we have gained Radha bhava Gauranga and Radha Krishna worship from our Goswamis’ siksha – on the other side of the coin we have lost sight of Sri Gauranga’s original worship in Nabadwip.
Our Gauranga didn’t come simply to relish Radha’s bhava – he is the form of Radha and Krishna combined. So his Krishna bhava is also there, but he often keeps it hidden: antaH kRSNo bahir gauram
--Gaura is Krishna on the inside and Radha on the outside. Gauranga is called a pracchanna-nAgara
because, unlike Krishna’s Rasa lila affairs, his are kept more secret. Yet his antaranga Nabadwip parikaras are the ones who bring out this side of Gaura’s Rasaraja personality. When Gauranga revealed his identity to Sri Ramananda Raya he showed him both sides of his personality.
tabe hAsi prabhu tAre dekhAila svarUpa
rasarAja mahAbhAva dui eka rUpa
Then Gauranga smiled and showed (Ramananda) his svarupa – the form of rasaraja and mahabhava combined. (CC 2.8.281)
Gauranga’s rasaraja trait is first mentioned here, perhaps because his rasaraja lila in Nadiya preceeds his mahabhava lila at Nilachala. Now if someone says that it’s only proper to worship Gauranga in Radha bhava -- doesn’t this sound like a philosophy which accepts only half of the hen? Why should we limit Gauranga in this way? If we say that he cannot behave like Sri Krishna, then we are denying that Gauranga is purna Bhagavan, or the paratattva sima as the Goswamis depict him. Those who directly witnessed and shared a role in his madhura Nabadwip lila -- they are the ones who declare him to be the Rasaraja. And who could be a better authority than Sri Advaita Acharya, who says :
Sri Gauranga is the crown-jewel amongst all dancers, the crown jewel amongst all nagaras (including Sri Krishna) and thus the ornament of ornaments amongst all rasika persons.
What has prompted Sri Adwaita to depict Sri Gauranga in this way? Vaishnavas who are anubhava-sila and bhava-vijna (who have divine insight and who are experienced in pinpointing Sri Bhagavan’s internal moods) declare that Sri Krishna’s Rasalila and Sri Gauranga’s sankirtan pastimes at Srivas Angan are non different. Sri Adwaita was an eye witness to Sri Gauranga’s sankirtan Maharasa lila. Here Gadadhar and Narahari first dress Gauranga in his stunning nagara vesa (romantic attire). His long, curling hair is tied in a chura, and fragrant mallika malas are fashioned to hang on either side. Gadadhar takes up a brush and paints Kamadeva’s panca vana in artistic alaka tilaka designs over his forehead. Narahari affixes makara kuntala (earrings) which dangle over Gaura’s glossy cheeks. Below Gauranga’s cherry-red lips Gadadhar places a kasturi (musk) bindu, in the center of his chin. His lovely, emasculate limbs are anointed with agura-candana in all the befitting places. Gaura wears a dazzling chaddar and dhoti just like Krishna’s pitambara. Narahari ties golden ankle bells around his carana kamala and then garlands him with a vana mala that hangs to his knees. Gadadhar offers his specially made pan into his Pranaballabha’s mouth. Then Gadadhar and Narahari both step back to hold a full length mirror.
Because the jivas are attracted to beauty, Sri Bhagavan assumes a form that is simply manohara (mind stealing). And rupa akarsana (attraction for beauty) is the overriding impetus in madhura rasa. In seeing Gaura’s bhuvan mohana rupa it appears that the Creator has outdone himself !
Aho! Sri Gauranga is dancing to the pulse of his Harisankirtan overwhelmed in bhava ! He becomes like the full moon amidst the galaxy of his starlike bhaktas. As the singing and dancing escalates everyone horripulates – and their eyes pour tears ! Everyone’s glance is fixed upon the Sankirtan nataraja. What a superb dancer he is! His exquisite mohana-murati and prema bhava is churning the bhaktas’ minds.Everyone is devastated ! Then it happens :
pirIti phula sore marama bedola
bhAve sahacara bhora re
From Gaurasundara’s amorous glances stream Cupid’s flower arrows of piriti. Aho ! Everyone becomes steeped in the madhura prema ! (Adivasa kirtana, Sri Nayanananda Misra)
This is when Gauranga’s antaranga bhaktas assume their nagari svarupas. Then as the sankirtan maha rasa begins, Gauranga expands into as many forms that are required to accompany each bhakta. In his Caitanya-carita-mahakavya, Srila Kavikarnapura says : “Gaurasundara kisses the bhaktas and transferes his chewed pan into their mouths.”
O Vaishnavas ! Just consider, without the bhaktas first assuming their nagari-svarupas, would such pastimes ever be possible ? As the Jagat-pati, Sri Bhagavan is the atma-ramana of every jiva. So what does it matter if we happen to be male or female in our world – for we are all prakrti before him. And by Yogamaya’s arrangement, such a female svarupa can manifest from a male form.
In viewing the spectacular wonder, Sri Adwaita Acharya zealously offers his prayers (in his previous sloka) declaring our Gauranga to be the greatest dancer, the greatest nagara (amorous hero) and the topmost rasika amongst all of the other romantics (including even Sri Krishna).
jiva - Sat, 15 Jan 2005 14:59:06 +0530
Allured from Vrindavan
Readers, how does all of this relate to Thakur Bhaktivinoda? That discussion is arriving shortly. But to create the right setting, we will need to back up in history once again -- to a period of about 150 years ago. Let us now go to Sri Dhamesvara Mahaprabhu’s temple in Nabadwip. During this time Siddha Chaitanya Das Baba performed his nagari bhajan here. He viewed Dhamesvara Mahaprabhu as his Prana-ballabha (sweetheart), and served him just like a chaste wife. All of the seva, cooking and cleaning he would do as part of his Gaura-samsara. For those who are siddha, this is often the case; they innocently act out life’s play as if they were directly living in Sri Bhagavan’s lila. This avesh (constant absorption) forms the basis of their bhajan.
One day Prabhupada Vijaya Krishna Goswami came to visit Dhamesvara Mahaprabhu’s temple. Although this mahatma was born in Sri Adwaita Prabhu’s vamsa, for a period in his life he lost his faith in Gauranga’s prema dharma and became a brahmavadi. Seeing Siddha Baba’s devotion however, a mood of veneration awakened in him. So out of curiosity Vijaya Krishna Goswami asked him to explain bhakti’s definition. Upon hearing the word bhakti, Siddha Baba became overtaken by sattvika bhavas ! His body started shaking and goose-bumps appeared, his sikha stood erect ! He went on gazing at Vijaya Krishna – he was unable to speak!
Prabhupada was astonished, for he had received a very satisfying answer without hearing a word. Bhaktirani’s appearance became directly visible in Siddha Baba’s body. Why was this happening? In Gaura Avatar, Vishnupriya Devi is bhakti svarupini; she is Prema-bhakti personified. Srila Adwaita Acharya has disclosed this siddhanta in Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka
. Siddha Baba performed his nagari bhajan following in Vishnupriya’s footsteps. He would address Dhamesvara Mahaprabhu as Sri Vishnupriya-ballabha. So as he heard the word “bhakti,” Vishnupriya Devi directly appeared in his heart. Hence his whole body became decorated with sattvika emotions!
Siddha Bhagavan Das Baba was a contemporary of Siddha Chaitanya Das. He also worshiped Gauranga in nagari-bhava. Once upon a time he had a desire to visit Vrindavan, and he wanted to take Chaitanya Das with him. Upon starting his pilgrimage he left Kalna and arrived at Dhamesvara Mahaprabhu’s mandir to inform Chaitanya Das of his desire. Chaitanya Das fell into a dilemma. “How can I leave my Prana Gaura !” he implored.
Bhagavan Das had a great affection for Chaitanya Das, and he revered him. So he answered: “How can I go to Braja without you?” Bhagavan Das wasn’t relenting. After three days of coaxing and persuading, he finally got Chaitanya Das to surrender. He very reluctantly agreed to come. Then everything was set, they were to leave the next morning. When Chaitanya Das came before Dhamesvara Gauranga to say good-bye, he began crying immensely. Then he fainted and fell to the floor ! All of the mandir’s bhaktas came running. Harinam sankirtan began. The kirtan continued, but Siddha Baba’s consciousness didn’t return. Then Vishnupriya paribara’s Goswami bhaktas assembled, and they began Gaura kirtan. At last Chaitanya Das awakened.
Bhagavan Das exclaimed : “It won’t be right for me to take you. Your Vrindavan is Nabadwip!” Chaitanya Das felt a bit embarrassed, but then he returned a madhura smile to answer, “You’re my actual satina (competing co-wife). So were you conjuring up some pretext to give me the slip? This would have made things easier for you!”
Sri Bhagavan Das arrived in Braja. He then began having regular ishtagosthi with Siddha Jagannath Das Baba. The topic of Gaura katha and the genre of Nabadwip’s rasika mode of worship was often on Bhagavan Das’s tongue. A short time later he returned to Kalna. Jagannath Das was a siddha mahatma of the Vraja rasa. He was the most famous Vaishnava of his time throughout 64 kros Braja Mandala. And he was more than 130 years old. But after meeting Siddha Bhagavan Das, a new type of zeal awakened in him. In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu
, Sri Rupa Goswami says :
Greed (lobha) for worshiping the Lord (in any particular form) can awaken only by Sri Krishna’s mercy, or the mercy of his bhakta. (1.2.309)
In this way the special lobha required for worshiping Sri Gauranga nagara suddenly awakened in Jagannath Baba’s heart by Bhagavan Das Baba’s kripa.
Jagannath Das Baba’s vesa disciple, Rama Hari Das, had a disciple named Viswambhara Das Baba. He has recorded what happened next in his book entitled Sri Rasaraja Gauranga Svabhava.
Sri Jagannath Baba then requested his sisya, Bihari Das, to carry him to Nabadwip Dham so he could take shelter there. “What are you saying, Baba?” he implored. “Why do you want to leave your Vrindavan when you are almost ready to leave your body?
Jagannath replied : “Sri Krishna Chaitanya is the Paratattva-sima, the highest limit of transcendence. Hence the glories of his Dham surpass all others. Yet more confidential than his dhama tattva is his madhura lila, which you cannot understand. Alas! Nabadwip’s Prananath has stolen my heart! So quickly let me go – for I can remain here no longer! Oh please don’t create any impediment for me. My Prananath is calling me, so I cannot remain here for another second!”
On his way to Nabadwip, Jagannath Das Baba first went to Kalna where he spent some days hearing about Nabadwip’s madhura upasana pranali from Bhagavan Das. This further surcharged him. Arriving in Nabadwip, he first took up residence under a bakula tree by the Ganga. Here he performed his bhajan. However, the area where the Ganga flowed in those days has today become the center of Nabadwip town.
When Vaishnavas would approach Jagannath Das Baba asking for diksha, this would often disturb his bhajan. Hence he would advise them : “Why don’t you take diksha from Sri Narahari’s vamsa parampara, this is befitting. For those who maintain a relationship with Narahari will be privileged to attain rasamaya Gauranga as their paramour.”
A famous quote of Siddha Jagannath Das Baba can still be found inscribed on the Sri mandir’s wall at Srikhanda : “Vrindavan is gopi-braja, Nabadwip is bhakti-braja, and Srikhanda is rati-braja.”
At the last stage of his life, Siddha Jagannath Das Baba took to Srikhanda’s mode of rati-braja upasana.
jiva - Sat, 15 Jan 2005 15:11:18 +0530
On occasion, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur would come to take Siddha Baba’s darshan, and he respected him as his siksha guru. Bhaktivinoda Thakur also donated for the construction of his bhajan kutir, and later for his samadhi mandir.
On the occasion of Jagannath Das Baba’s disappearance day, I was personally fortune enough to hear his sucaka kirtan sung at his samadhi mandir (celebrated 14 days before Gaura Purnima). The Vrindavan babaji community also attend this festival every year before they begin Nabadwip Dham parikrama. During this viraha utsava, Holi also takes place. The sucaka kirtan starts by mentioning :
zrI jagannAtha mahAzaya jAra prANa-dhana
gaurAGga nAgara kAnta bhAve jAra upAsana
Sri Gauranga nagara was Jagannath baba’s life and soul…. And he worshiped him in kanta bhava.
It was a cause for joy to see Vrindavan’s babaji Vaishnava samaja singing in the kirtan too.
Although Siddha Baba’s vesa disciple, Rama Haridasa, and his disciple, Viswambhara Das took completely to his mood of worshiping Sri Gauranga nagara, we cannot say to what extent Srila Bhaktivinoda followed in his siksha guru’s footsteps. But from these historical events we can surely know that he had a high regard for Nadiya nagari bhava.
Here is another example that substantiates this. In his biography of Siddha Chaitanya Das Babaji Maharaja, Haridasa Goswami says :
“Srila Kedarnatha Datta Bhaktivinoda would come on occasion to have Siddha Chaitanya Das Baba’s darshan. There was a mood of piriti between the two. Babaji mahasaya’s nagari bhava would astonish him. As he was deeply absorbed in this mood he would speak on this topic with everyone. He never tried to hide the topic of his bhajan. For this reason he was highly respected by every Gaura bhakta.”
In the Vishnupriya Gauranga Patrika
, Sri Madhusudana Goswami Sarvabhauma contributed an article entitled “Nadiya nagari bhava and Thakur Bhaktivinoda.” In this article Madhusudana says the following:
“Because Nadiya nagari bhava is a lofty, high mellow of the bhakti marga, very few are pure enough to take it to heart. The evidence that Bhaktivinoda completely accepted it can be found in the following example :
The Sajjana Tosani
was a journal that was published and circulated by Thakur Bhaktivinoda. As Sajjana Tosani
’s editor, he personally took charge to see that every subject appearing therein met his approval. On a number of occasions Mahajana padavali depicting the prema anuraga of the nagaris for Gauranga were published in Sajjana Tosani
. If Bhaktivinoda were not in favor of Nadiya nagari bhava, he would have never published such padas in his own edited journal. Here is a sample :
nirakhite bharame sarame majhu paithala
jaba saiya gaura kisora
taba saiye kona ki kari kaha achiye
anubhavi naha puna thora
kahala sapatha kari toya
dvikula gauranga, gauraka saurabhe
cora sadrsya bhela mora
visarita cahi, nahata puna visarana
smrti pathagata mukhacanda
kare dhari katatra, jatana kari rakhaba
avirata vidhi nirbandhe
dhairaja adi, pahile dura bhagala
hetu ki bujhiye na pare
jagadananda saba aba samujhayaba
rahu dina dui tina cari
A nagari confesses to her girlfriend in confidence : “O sakhi ! I had no intention to look at Gaura kisora. Some girls told me: ‘Just see the golden youth dancing down the road.’ So I glanced upon him… and ever since I cannot forget him ! The moment Gauranga’s bodily fragrance entered my nostrils, he stole my pride of belonging to a brahmina family. O, I’m trying to forget about Gauranga, but his sweet face always
envelopes my mind.
The other girl holds the nagari’s hands to console her and says : “O sakhi, you’re a chaste, married girl, so try and remain calm. But the nagari replies : O sakhi ! my shyness and patience have already feld! I cannot understand the reason. The poet Jagadananda tells the second girl: “Just hold on. Upon seeing Gauranga, in three or four days, the same thing will happen to you.”
This selection is one of six other nagari padas which Madhusudana collected from Sajjana Tosani
to include in his article entitled “Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Nadiya nagari bhava.”
Before we go on to analyse this pada, let us ask a question: “Vaishnava readers, why would Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur personally select this poem, and others like it, to print them in his journal? Could we say that in so doing he was preaching Nadiya nagari bhava? For it isn’t unlikely that those who read such poetry will become attracted to this form of bhajan?
Can anyone deny that Nadiya’s Nimai canda is bhavan mohana sundara? His immaculate limbs light up the ten directions with Cupid’s lustrous glamour. Attraction for beauty is not only natural, it is devastating! Especially for young girls; they easily become enchanted when seeing a handsome youth. Yet such attraction is not only enchanting – it churns the young tarunis’ minds so that they crave romance. In this way the Nadiya nagaris were attracted to Gaura’s beauty. Their eyes had never seen such a sundara purush.
Sri Rasika Mohana Vidyabhushan, the author of Nilachala Vraja Madhuri
, says the following about Nadiya nagari bhava :
“At the winter’s end, when the mango buds appear amongst newly blossoming leaves which are kissed by the morning dew and freshened by the southern breezes, who, except for the kokilas are there to relish spring’s madhura arrival? Similarly, the topmost confidential Bhagavat-prema-rasa, which is related to Rasika sekhara Sri Gaursundara’s beautiful form and sweetness can be relished only within the flower- soft, bhava-filled hearts of the Nadiya nagaris. But alas! For those who criticize such auspicious, pure mellows, aren’t they exposing their own misfortune?”
On seeing the criticism, Srila Bhaktivinoda’s friend, Sisira Kumar Ghosh, also commented : “Look, if Nadiya nagari bhava is false, then where do the hundreds and thousands of songs describing the nagaris’ love for Gauranga came from? And if the nagaris don’t exist, then why would countless Gaudiya mahajanas have taken the trouble to write those songs? Therefore, O Vaishnavas, O Bhaktas, let us not upset anyone’s bhajan.”
jiva - Sat, 15 Jan 2005 15:16:51 +0530
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Link
Readers, we shall now discuss an article that I previously wrote entitled “How is Bhaktivinoda Thakura Linked to Gauranga’s Rasaraja upasana?” After reading my article some devotees still doubted the legitimacy of my claims. One bhakta wrote to offer several objections. Here is more or less the gist of what he said.
“Because Srila Bhaktivinoda accepts that Gadai Gauranga and Radha Krsna are non-different -- this doesn’t really justify that he worshipped (Gadai Gauranga) in nagari bhava. This is not providing enough evidence. Most of Bhaktivinoda’s songs are in the mood of a maidservant, but the manjaris do not want to enjoy with Krsna, which is not the case for the sakhis of Vraja or the nagaris of Nadiya. So how can Bhaktivinoda follow two paths and cultivate two different moods when in most of his songs he prays as a sadhaka follower of Rupa and Raghunatha longing for Srimati Radharani’s seva. Moreover, Bhaktivinoda’s ultimate refuge is Radha Madhava, not Gaura Gadadhara. It seems that he is worshipping Radha and Madhava through the medium of Gaura and Gadadhara since both divine couples represent the same tattva.”
In answering this bhakta, let me compliment him saying that his vision in correct. Srila Bhaktivinoda is a staunch Rupanuga and his refuge is more in Vrndabana with Radha Krsna’s upasana in manjari bhava. His avesa in Navadvipa with Gaura and Gadadhara’s worship appears to be less. Let me state more clearly here that the purpose of my article wasn’t to declare that Bhaktivinoda worshipped in Nagari bhava. Rather, I am saying that he is linked to this mode of worship in a number of ways.
For example, to begin with, how are we linked to God? Our link comes through our diksa, our siksa, our guruparampara plus the mode of upasana that we perform. Now let me begin to narrate more clearly how all of these factors link Srila Bhaktivinoda to Nadiya nagari bhajan.
First of all, Srila Bhaktivinoda was initiated into a guru parampara wherein some of its members worshipped Gauranga in nagari bhava. In my article I have quoted Bhaktivinoda who says that his guru parampara begins with Vamisbadana Thakura, the Avatara of Krsna’s vamsi. Many people may not know it, yet Vamsivadana is Srimati Visnupriya’s disciple, and he also worshipped Gauranga in nagari bhava. It can be stated here also that not all of the nagaris nurture kanta bhava. In Vrndabana just as Srimati Radharani has both sakhis and dasis, so does Srimati Vishnupriya. So many of the Nadiya nagaris are Srimati Vishnupriya or Srimati Laksipriya’s dasis who help to unite their mistress with Gauranga. They themselves do not personally take part in Gauranga’s srngara. So those who nurture manjari bhava in Vraja can also nurture a similar bhava in Nadiya, if they so desire.
Because Srila Bhaktivinoda’s siksa guru,Sri Jagannatha dasa baba, worshipped in nagari bhava, surely this would be a contributing factor for him to be appreciative of this mellow. Yet what links Srila Bhaktivinoda the most to nagari bhajan is his tie with Gaura and Gadadhara. True, some may point out that Bhaktivinoda’s method of worshipping was like a Rupanuga approach wherein he first focuses on them to equate them with Radha Madhava and to then seek refuge in Vraja lila, but this is not the original form of Gaura Gadadhara upasana.
I think we should now look to see what is the mood that Gauranga’s nitya parsadas worshipped Gaura and Gadadhara. Because they take part in Gadai Gauranga’s nitya lila, they have established the standard of upasana for us to follow. (here I am not saying that Bhaktivinoda’s method of worship is unbonafide, he has shown a newer, contemporary mode of worship that may fit the ruci of others, too.)
In his Krsna bhajanamrta, Sri Narahari Sarkara states that just as Radha and Krsna’s jugal milan is satya (factual), so is Gadadhara and Gauranga’s jugal milana satya
( a factual union between a male and a female).
In Srila Bhaktivinoda’s edition of Krsna bhajanamrta , the mula goes on to say :
bhaktanam milaneva satyam jivanancati
“Yet the bhaktas jugal milana (in a female form) with Gaurasundara is not only factual – it forms their life and soul!”
Another eternal associate of Gauranga, and the disciple of Gadadhara Pandita, is Sri Yadhunatha dasa. He wrote a book which lists the names of Gadadhara’s other followers entitled: “Gadadhara Pandita Goswamira Sakha nirnayamrta.”
At the book’s conclusion he states:
panditera gana sarve srngaratha kalevarah.
“All of Gadadhara’s followers have divine (female) forms that a fit for exchanging srngara rasa with Sriman Gaurasundara.”
This simple statement says everything in a nutshell. It forms the bija to a very expansive madhura lila that Gauranga shares with his madhura bhaktas.
Even Srila Kaviraja Goswami verifies these lilas in Caitanya Critamrta when he says:
panditera gana sab bhagavata dhanya
prana ballabha sabara sri krsna caitanya.
“All of Gadadhara Pandita’s followers are maha Bhagavatas and very fortunate for their Pranaballabha is Sri Krsna Caitanya.”
Sri Yadunatha dasa and Sri Nayanananda Misra both wrote a host of padavali which describe Gauranga’s nagarali pastimes with Gadadhara.
jiva - Sat, 15 Jan 2005 15:19:30 +0530
In concluding this essay, let us ask :
Did our Golden Avatari Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu advent himself in Navadvipa with all of his nitya associates simply to direct everyone to Sri Vrndabana? And was the sole purpose of his expansive lila which lasted in our world 48 years simply to teach us how to become manjaris?
After reading Mahatma Sisira Ghosa’s “Amiya Nimai Carita” ,I tend to agree with him:
“The gist of Gauranga’s Avatara is Gauranga, the gist of Gauranga’s lila is in Navadvipa, and the gist of his Navadvipa lila is Gauranga’s pastimes with Visnupriya , Gadadhara, Narahari and the other nagaris. Hence Nadiya nagari bhava is Gauranga’s first and foremost contribution to the people of Kali yuga.”
O Rupanuga Vaisnavas! Please don’t be upset with me. For I am on your side too. We also relish the Vraja rasa. If my ranting on and on about nagari bhava appears to be excessive – it is only because this very sweet side of Gaudiya Vaisnavism has become very misunderstood and neglected. We also love your Radha bhajana. There is a sloka is Radharasa suddhanidhi where Prabodhananda says “In whichever direction Vrsabhanu nandini Radha happens to be – to that direction I offer my koti pranamas. ''
My siksa guru, Sacidulala baba, was once at Radha kunda where he heard the Pathaka explaining this verse saying:
'' When Radharani is at Nandagrama, we offer our dandavatas in that direction… when Radharani is at Radha kunda, we offer our dandavatas in that direction, and when Radharani is at Varsana, we offer our dandavatas in that direction, etc.”
Then Sacidulala’s face turned red, tears poured from his eyes and he started screaming:
“What about the direction where at Srivasa angana, during maha sankirtana Rasa, Radharani has lost herself in Krsna’s excruciating sambhoga madhuri in prema vycitya in the form of Gauranga nagara, and where Radha-Gadadhara is embracing that form and reeling in divine wonder overtaken by sudipta sattvic bhava !What about that direction? …What about that direction ?”
As Sacidulala went into bhava and started shaking like an epileptic, I thought to myself :
“ Yes, he is right. Perhaps it’s time that someone preach about this side of Radha’s madhuri .”
Jaya Sacinandana Jaya Gaurahari
Gadadharera prananatha Nadiya bihari.
the fallen sadhaka,
Gadadhara prana dasa