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Biographies of various saints.

Vakresvara Pandit - Biography and Other Accounts of His Life

Madhava - Sun, 30 Jun 2002 03:01:59 +0530

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Sri Vakresvar Pandit took birth in the village of Guptipara near Triveni.  He was present with Sriman Mahaprabhu during His pastimes in Navadwipa, and after His acceptance of sannyasa Vakresvar also accompanied Him to Jagannath Puri. During the time of the Lord's residence in Puri he continued to live with Him there as well. He was an especially proficient dancer and kirtaniya and could dance continously for 72 hours.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began His pastimes of congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Sri Hari in Navadwip, Sri Vakresvar Pandit was an important singer and dancer in that assembly. It was by His mercy that Devananda Pandit was delivered from the wrath of Mahaprabhu. He was also present during the Lord's journey to Ramakeli. Devananda Pandit was, at one time, known as the foremost lecturer on the Bhagavat. One day Srivas Pandit went to hear his discourse, and being moved in ecstatic love by hearing the Bhagavatam, he began to cry.

Some of the ignorant students of Devananda Pandit, thinking that this was creating a disturbance, removed Srivas Pandit from the assembly and left him outside. Though this was done in front of Devananda, he didn't restrain his students from this act of disregard to the devotee-Bhagavat. There are two types of Bhagavat - the book bhagavat and the devotee bhagavat. For this reason, Devananda Pandit became implicated in an offense to a great devotee (maha-bhagavat).

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to hear how his dear devotee, Srivas Pandit, had been disrespected, he gave many instructions concerning the Bhagavat. He told that those who read the book Bhagavat but don't offer respects to the devotee-Bhagavat, are simply offenders, though they may read the Bhagavat for eons, still they will never attain love of Godhead. The devotee bhagavata and the book bhagavata are non-different. In order to understand the book-bhagavat one must first sincerely serve the devotee-bhagavata. Therefore Mahaprabhu neglected Devananda and didn't bestow His mercy on him.

One evening Vakresvar Pandit came to perform dancing and chanting of the Holy Name at the house of one devotee from Kulia, across the bank of the Ganga from Nadia. Receiving this auspicious news Devananda proceeded there, and upon seeing the appearance of the symtoms of divine love in the person of Sri Vakresvar Pandit he became charmed. Gradually a great crowd gathered at that place, and Devananda Pandit, taking a cane in his hand, kept the crowd in order so as not to obstruct the ecstatic dancing of Sri Vakresvar Pandit. In this way, Vakresvar Pandit performed chanting, and dancing for two praharas (six hours), on into the night.

When he finished dancing and sat down, Devananda came and offered dandavats at the lotus feet of Sri Vakresvar Pandit, who became pleased with this service and blessed Devananda with the words "Krsna-bhakti hauk" - "May you attain devotion to Sri Lord Krsna." From that day devotion was awakened in the heart of Devananda by the mercy of Vakresvar Pandit.

Thereafter when Mahaprabhu came to Nadia to have darsan of his mother and mother Ganges, he bestowed His mercy on Devananda at Kulia.

"Because you have served Vakresvar, I have noticed you. Vakresvar is fully imbued with the Lord's transcendental energy, and whoever becomes devoted to him, attains to the lotus feet of Sri Krsna. His heart is the personal abode of Sri Krsna and as Sri Krsna dances, so Vakresvar also dances. Wherever one can get the association of Vakresvar, that place is the sum total of all Holy places and is as good as Sri Vaikuntha."

Vakresvar Pandit's disciple was Gopal Guru Goswami and Gopal Guru Goswami's disciple was Sri Dhyancananda Goswami. In his Paddhati Dhyan Candra Gos

wami has written, "That person who was previously very expert in the arts of singing and dancing, the gopi, Tungavidya, is presently renowned in the world as Vakresvar Pandit. He has appeared on the fifth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Asar and he closed his pastimes in this world on the sixth day of the bright fortnight of the month Asar.

While Vakresvar danced, Mahaprabhu Himself would sing and Vakresvar would catch hold of His lotus feet, saying: "O moon-faced one, give me 10,000 Gandharvas, and let them sing while I dance. Then I will be happy." Mahaprabhu answered, "You are one of my wings. If I had another (like you) I could fly in the sky." [C. C. Adi 10.17].

Vakresvar Pandit's worshippable deity is Sri Sri Radha-kanta, whom he worshipped in Kasi Misra's house, which was also the residence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (Gambhira). These deities are still being worshipped there to this day.
Madhava - Mon, 15 Jul 2002 23:53:47 +0530
Today (Vamana Masa/Sasti/Variyana/Uttara-Phalguni) we are remembering the disappearance of Vakresvara Pandit. His appearance day was celebrated some two weeks prior to today, on the Pancami.
Madhava - Tue, 16 Jul 2002 00:07:37 +0530

When Lord Caitanya was still in family life in Navadvipa, where He performed many transcendental pastimes, Devananda Pandita had not the desire then to come and meet the Lord. He did not possess sufficient faith in the Lord so he avoided coming in contact with Him. Yet although having the required piety to see Him again, why did he not come accros tha Lord earlier? All such arrangements are actually in Krsna's hands. So when Lord Caitanya had accepted the sannyasa order and left home, Devananda Pandita had the good fortune to closely associate with Vakresvara Pandita.

Vakresvara Pandita was very dear to Lord Caitanya. He was such an elevated soul that he could purify the entire universe. He was always totally absorbed in relishing devotional mellows with Lord Krsna. When he danced, both the demigods and the demons were captivated. In fact, as soon as he would begin to dance, by Lord Caitanya's mercy all the ecstatic symptoms like crying, shivering, perspiring, laughing, horripilation, roaring, and swooning in divine bliss would all appear on his person. It is impossible to describe all the devotional symptoms in Vakresvara Pandita. By some provedential arrangement Vakresvara Pandita came to stay in Devananda Pandita's house, attracted by his devotional qualities.

Devananda Pandita was very pleased and impressed with Vakresvara Pandita's radiant appearance and his unalloyed devotion to yhe Supreme Lod. He began to serve Vakresvara Pandita with sincere devotion. When Vakresvara Pandita would dance, he would walk around him with a cane keeping the crowd away from disturbing him. And when on ocassion Vakresvara would fall swooning in ecstacy Devananda Pandita rushed to catch himin his arms. He would take the dust from Vakresvara's body and feet and smear it all over his own body with much humility and devotion. In this way, serving him and seeing his elevated devotional characteristics, there developed a strong faith in devananda Pandita for Lord Caitanya.

From this incident one can understand the words from the Puranas where it states that devotion to the Supreme Lord is developed only through serving the pure devotees of the Lord. Devananda Pandita was a very pious and noble person. From his childhood he was studying the Srimad-Bhaavatam. He was calm and peaceful, in control of his senses, unattached to material things, and had so many other good qualities. Inspite of these qualities he could not develop attraction to Lord Caitanya's lotus feet. But by Vakresvara's grace, his perverted intelligence became rectified. Therefore we find in Srimad-Bhagavatam that service to a pure devotee is even higher than service to the Supreme Lord Himself. Thus in the Bhagaavtam it is stated, “There may exist some doubt about the success in attaining perfection by serving the Supreme personality of Godhead, but there is absolutely no doubt whwtever in achieving perfection by serving the pure devoteed of the Supreme Lord.”

Therefore it is clear that to gain the mecy of Lord Krsna one must serve His unalloyed and surrendered devotee. Devananda Pandita developed the right devotional attachment for Lord Gauranga due to his intimate association with Vakresvara Pandita. Now he lay supine, hugging the Lord's lotus feet in great awe and humility. The Lord was very pleased to see Devananda Pandita's mood of devotion and humility. He reached out to him and made him sit. In this way He forgave all his previous offences and blessed him.

The Lord said, “Because you have served Vakresvara Pandita so well, I am able to see you here today. Vakresvara is a manifestation and embodiment of Krsna's transcendental potency, hence whosoever serves him well immediately attains the lotus feet of Krsna. Lord Krsna's favorite residence is the heart of Vakresvara Pandita. When Vakresvara dances

, Krsna Himself is induced to dance. Vakresvara Pandita's presence converts any place into a place of holy pilgrimage - into the spiritual abode of Krsna, Vaikuntha.”

(Caitanya Bhagavata, Antya-lila, Chapter three)