SRI KAVI KARNAPURA GOSVAMI
Kavi Karnapura was born in 1524 AD as the son of Sivananda Sena. Sivananda Sena had three sons, Caitanya dasa, Rama dasa and Paramananda. The guru of Paramananda was Srinatha Pandita, a disciple of Advaita Acarya. In the beginning of Sri Ananda Vrindavana Campu, Kavi Karnapura has offered prayers to his guru:
“I offer my humble respects to Srinatha, my guru, who appeared in a brahmana family like the moon rising from the ocean. Being the object of Mahaprabhu’s love, he was the crest-jewel of the earth. Whoever tasted the pure hari-katha flowing form his mouth immediately lost all attachments to worldly pleasures, and desired only to serve Radha and Krishna in Vrindavana.”
Sri Natha Pandita resided at Kanca Para, one and a half miles from Kumar Hatta. His Deity of Sri Krishna Raya is still residing there. Kavi Karnapura’s sripat was there as well.
After spending the four months of the rainy season (Caturmasya) with Mahaprabhu, the devotees were preparing to return to Bengal. At that time, Mahaprabhu met Sivananda and his family. This is related in the Caitanya Caritamrita (Antya-lila, chapter 12) as follows:
“Sivananda Sena introduced his three sons to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because they were his sons, the Lord showed the boys great mercy. Lord Caitanya asked the youngest son’s name, and Sivananda Sena informed the Lord that his name was Paramananda dasa.
Once before when Sivananda Sena had visited Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at His residence, the Lord had told him, ‘When this son is born, give him the name Puri dasa.’ The son was in the womb of Sivananda’s wife, and when Sivananda returned home the son was born. The child was named Paramananda dasa in accordance with the Lord’s order, and the Lord jokingly called him Puri dasa. When Sivananda Sena introduced the child to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord put His toe in the child’s mouth.
No one can cross over the ocean of Sivananda Sena’s good fortune, for the Lord considered Sivananda’s whole family His own. The Lord ate lunch in the company of all the devotees, and after washing His hands and mouth He gave an order to Govinda. ‘As long as Sivananda Sena’s wife and children stay in Jagannatha Puri,’ He said, ‘they must be given the remnants of My food.’”
One year Sivananda again met Sri Caitanya. The sixteenth chapter of Antya-lila narrates:
“That year, Sivananda Sena brought with him his wife and youngest son, Puri dasa. Taking his son, Sivananda Sena went to see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at His residence. He made his son offer respectful obeisances at the lotus feet of the Lord. Again and again Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked the boy to chant the name of Krishna, but the boy would not utter the holy name. Although Sivananda Sena tried with much endeavor to get his boy to speak Krishna’s holy name, the boy would not utter it.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘I have induced the whole world to take to the holy name of Krishna. I have induced even the trees and immovable plants to chant the holy name. But I could not induce this boy to chant the holy name of Krishna.’ Hearing this, Svarupa Damodara Gosvami began to speak.
‘My Lord,’ he said, ‘You have given him initiation into the name of Krishna, but after receiving the mantra he will not express it in front of everyone. This boy chants the mantra within his mind but does not say it aloud. That is his intention, as far as I can guess.’
Another day, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said to the boy, ‘Recite, My dear Puri dasa,’ the boy composed the following verse and expressed it before everyone.
akhilaM harir jayati
‘All glory to Hari, who is a bluish lily for the ears, ointment for the eyes, and a necklace of indranila gems ornamenting the chests of the young brides of Vrindavana!’
Although the boy was only seven years old and still had no education, he composed such a nice verse. Everyone was struck with wonder. This is the glory of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s causeless mercy, which even the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, cannot estimate.”
He became known as Kavi Karnapura, or the poet who satisfies everyone’s ears. He compiled following literatures: Caitanya-candrodaya-nataka, Ananda-vrindavana-campu, Caitanyamrta Mahakavya, Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, Sri Krishnahnika-kaumudi, Alankara-kaustubha, Arya-sataka. Kavi Karnapura is one of the eight Kavirajas worshiped on the outer petals of yoga-pithambhuja. His samadhi is located in the 64 samadhis' yard in Vrindavana.