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Biographies of various saints.

Sri Gauridasa Pandita - Disappearance on Trayodasi

Madhava - Wed, 21 Aug 2002 21:45:26 +0530

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Gauridasa, a disciple of Nityananda Prabhu, was one of the twelve gopalas who descended from Vraja along with Him. He was Subala Sakha, the foremost among priya-narma-sakhas, in his past incarnation. His father’s name was Sri Kamsari Misra and his mother’s name Sri Kamala Devi. Together they had six sons: Damodara, Jagannatha, Surya dasa, Gauri dasa, Krsna dasa and Nrsimha Caitanya.

The seventh wave of Bhakti Ratnakara (7.321-323, 330-388) describes the glory and pastimes of Gauridas Pandit as follows:
“How can I describe the pastimes of these two Lords to whom Pandita Gauridasa offered his service? Gauridasa Pandita was famous throughout the world, for the Lord was bound by his love. Gauridasa Pandita was an abode of love just like Sri Subla, the friend of Krsna in Vrndavana. Sri Subala, the favorite friend of Sri Krsna, is most beautiful, and his qualities have been perfectly sung by the Pandits.

Sarkhela Suryadasa was a scholar and a broad minded person. His brother was Gauridasa Pandita. They lived at Saligram, but after taking his elder brother’s permission Gauridasa settled at Ambika by the side of the Ganga.

As an introvert Gauridasa would always live in seclusion. The Lord understood his mind very well. One day Sri Caitanya went to Ambika after crossing the Ganga from Santipur. He told the Pandit, “I had gone to Santipura and from there I went to the village Harinadi by boat. I crossed the Ganga by rowing the boat with an oar. This is the oar; take it; I am giving it to you. With this oar mankind can cross the ocean of this material world.” Saying this the Lord embraced Gauridasa Pandita.

The Lord took the Pandita with him to Nadia and engaged him in wonderful activities. Who can understand the plan of Gaura Candra? He gave the Pandita scriptures that He Himself had written.

After some days the Pandita returned to Ambika where he regularly read the Gita given to him by Prabhu. Simply seeing the handwriting of the Lord on the manuscripts of the Gita gave the Pandita extreme pleasure. Fortunate visitors to Ambika can have darshan of the handwritten manuscripts of the Gita by Prabhu and also the oar.

Who can describe the fame of the Pandita, to whom Krsna Caitanya and Nityananda were the life and soul of? He was constantly absorbed in singing the glory of Nitai and Caitanya and knew nothing but their lotus feet. Nitai and Caitanya were the lights within his eyes. Who can understand his complete devotion? One sight of the Lord gave him immense pleasure, and a moment of separation threw him in great sorrow.

Understanding the mind of the Pandita, Lord Gaurahari once told him to bring a neem tree from Navadvipa and carve deities of Caitanya and Nityananda. He assured Gauridasa that he would find no trouble carving the deities and that all of his desires would be fulfilled. The Pandita was ecstatic with joy and carefully carved the wooden deities.

He who made the deities was only a recipient of the Lord’s grace. It was the Lord’s own manifestation and the others were merely instruments in the Lord’s desire. Beholding the deities, Pandita Gauridasa was overwhelmed with joy and could not restrain his tears. Considering himself most fortunate, he made arrangements for the installation ceremony of the deities and took help from some of his favorite companions.

Following the prescribed rituals, he bathed and anointed the deities at an auspicious moment and then seated them on their throne. The devotees of the Lord were extremely happy to see the deities of Nitai and Caitanya properly installed. The beauty of these two deities pleased the whole world but true realization of their presence was reserved for the followers of Mahaprabhu.


t was well known that Nitai and Caitanya were bound by the love of Gauridasa. The pastimes revealed by Nitai and Caitanya at the house of Gauridasa are also well known. How can I describe the activities of Gauridasa Pandita, who was always engaged in serving the two Lords?

Out of love Nitai and Caitanya once told Gauridasa smilingly who can know your activities when you even do not know that you are always absorbed in love and devotion?

“O Subala, my friend, can you remember your first life? Can you remember the great fun we had when we took the cows to the bank of the Yamuna?”

Saying this the deities turned themselves into Krsna and Balarama with black and fair complexions. In that form they held the Sringa (horn), flute, cane, peacock feathers and ornaments. How beautiful they looked in the dress of cowherd boys. Beholding their beauty Gauridasa was overwhelmed with ecstatic joy. Only by the will of the Lord could he regain his consciousness and therefore he stared steadily at the deities on the throne. When the two Lords displayed their pastimes in this way, Gauridasa experienced ecstatic love.

One day Gauridasa prepared food and requested the two Lords to eat. The Lords heard the sweet request of Gauridasa, but without touching the food they remained silent. Seeing the attitude of his two Lords he told them in mock anger, “If you are satisfied without food, then why do you force me to cook?” It was then Gauridasa’s turn to keep quiet and the Lord’s spoke gently, “Gauridasa, you can never be satisfied by preparing a small quantity of food. Your habit is to prepare different varieties of dishes in large quantities. When we request you not to cook like this you never listen. Your laborious efforts are painful to us. Remember, whatever can be prepared most easily will be most satisfying to us.”

“I shall never do it again,” replied Gauridasa. From now on I shall offer you only rice with boiled saka.” This statement made the two Lords laugh and then they began to eat the meal he had prepared. “You have made such tasty dishes that we are very satisfied,” said Nitai and Caitanya in praise of Gauridasa’s cooking. The sight of his deities eating brought unlimited pleasure to the eyes of Gauridasa Pandita.

One day Gauridasa Pandita wanted to dress the two Lords with jewellery. Reading the mind of the Pandita the two deities decorated themselves with different ornaments fitted with rare jewels. When he entered the temple, the Pandita saw that the deities one the throne were already decorated. The Pandita was overwhelmed with emotion and when he regained his normal composure he saw the deities dressed as usual. I have never seen that type of ornaments before, thought Gauridasa.

“I wanted to decorate the body of my Lords with ornaments but I did not know what type of ornaments to use. My ignorance has now been removed.” As the Pandita was contemplating the Lord said, “Ornaments made of flowers please me the most.” The Pandita decorated Nitai and Caitanya with flower ornaments. Long flower garlands draped from the neck to the feet of the Lorda created unparallel beauty. For fun the Pandita placed a mirror in front of the Lords.

The devotional activities of Gauridasa Pandita became well known but I have described them only in brief.”
Gauridasa’s dear disciple, Hridaya Caitanya, was the guru of the famous preacher Syamananda Prabhu of Orissa. Gauridasa’s granddaughter was married to the son of Hridayacaitanya. Gauridasa Pandita’s loving dealings with Hridaya Caitanya are described in the Bhakti Ratnakara (7.389-448) as follows:
“Hridaya Pandita was a disciple of Pandita Gauridasa. Formerly he was known as Sri Hridayananda and was a great devotee of the Lord. I shall now narrate how Hridayananda was re-named Hridaya Caitanya and how he received the mercy of Pandita Gauridasa. Early one morning Gauridasa went to meet Gadadhara Pandita.

With a broad smile Gadadhara cordially received Gauridasa and said, “Since I have seen you in the morning, I know

it will be a good day for me.” But Gauridasa sweetly replied, “No it is for my own good that I have come here.” Gadadhara said, “With what can I please you?” and Gauridasa replied, “I must pray to you for something.”

“Everythins here is your,” said Gadadhara. “Take what ever you like without any hestitation.”

“I want Hridayananda,” said Gauridasa, whereupon Gadadhara called for Hridayananda. With an elated heart Hridayananda came forward and bowed at the feet of the two Pandits.
Gadadhara Pandita spoke to Hridaya Pandita and then dedicated him to the care of Gauridasa Pandita.

The manner in which Gadadhara Pandita showered his mercy on Sri Hridaya is well known to all. He raised Hridaya from his childhood and taught him the scriptures. Although Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami was overwhelmed by his affection for the boy, yet he happily gave Hridayananda to Gauridasa Pandita. Without receiving the grace of the Lord, who can understand the aims and objectives of Gadadhara and Pandita Gauridasa?

Gauridasa spent time with Gadadhara Pandita discussing the glories of the Lord. Then taking leave of Pandita Gadadhara, Gauridasa and Hridayananda went home. In due course of time he gave diksha mantra to Hridayananda and dedicated him at the feet of Nityananda and Caitanya. Hridaya truly dedicated himself to the service of the Lord and this pleased Gauridasa very much. Who can understand the activities of Gauridasa who floated continually in waves of love.

One day he told Hridayananda that the Lord’s birthday was approaching. “I shall visit the houses of my followers to collect provisions for the festvial and I shall return soon,” said Gauridasa. “Be very careful in your service to the Lord.” Then Gauridasa left his house.

Gauridasa passed some time in solitary places with other devotees singing about the glories of the Lord. Meanwhile Hridayananda began to think, “Why is the master so late in returning? Only two more days remain before the ceremony and enough provisions have already been collected here.”

Considering these points and remembering the feet of his spiritual master he decided to send invitations everywhere for the great occasion. andita Gauridasa returned just one day before the festival and when he heard that Hridaya had sent invitations everywhere, even without his permission, Gauridasa felt happy right to the core of his heart. Outwardly, however he showed his displeasure and scolded Hridaya angrily. “While I am still living, you have acted in an independent manner. You have sent invitation letters at your own will but I shall not join you.”

Hridaya bowed at his mater’s feet and went to the bank of the Ganges where he lived under a tree. Gauridasa started the festival and mahantas from far and near assembled there. One wealthy man sent a large quantity of provisions in a boat. The rich man met Sri Hridayananda on the bank of the Ganges and handed the provisions to him. Hridaya Pandita sent a message to Pandita Gauridasa. In mock anger the Pandita told the messenger to tell Hridayananda that he could use the provisions for his own celebration. On the order of his guru Sri Hridaya happily began to celebrate the occasion using those provisions. A large number of Vaishnavas assembled there and in their association Hridayananda performed wonderful sankirtana.

As the sound of the khola nd kartala reached the sky, it seemed that the ocean of happiness would overflow its banks. Vaisnavas danced in a circle, with tears flowing continuously down their faces. Suddenly Hridaya observed that both Lord Nitai and Lord Caitanya – the incarnations of love – were dancing within the circle. They style of their dancing was indescribable and their physical beauty brightened the whole world. The faces of those two Lords defeated the pride of the moon and Hridayananda cried in joy as he observed them.

Hearing the joyous sound of that sankirtana, Gauridasa became very pleased although he remained in his own place. He gently told Gangadasa, “It is now time to worship. G

o to the temple.”

But when Hara Gangadasa entered the temple he found no deities on the throne. When he reported this to the Pandita, Gauridasa was overwhelmed in ecstasy as he realized that the two Lords had been bound in love of Hridayananda. With a smile he took his stick in his hand and although he was happy to the core of his heart, he displayed outward anger and headed for that san kirtana gathering by the side of the Ganga. There he saw his two Lords dancing. Observing the mock anger of the Pandita the two Prabhus clandestinely entered the temple again.

Gauridasa witnessed that Sri Caitanya had entered into the heart of Hridayananda. Seeing Caitanya present in the heart of Hridayananda, Gauridasa could not control his tears. He looked continually with unblinking eyes. He forgot his mock anger and unconsciously the stick fell from his hand. Stretching out his arms in ecstatic love he went forward to embrace Hridaya.

“How fortunate you are,” said Gauridasa. “From this day I name you Hridaya Caitanya - the one in whose heart Sri Caitanya always resides. He drenched Hridaya with his tears and the disciple fell at he feet of his master. Together they returned to the temple. Acknowledging the special effulgence of the Lord, Gauridasa appointed Hridaya Caitanya to the full service of the deities.

The Vaisnavas were all happy about this and the great festival they held defies description. The grace of the Lord on Hridaya became known to all. This is the story about Hridayananda’s obtaining the name Hridaya Caitanya.
Disciples of the present gosvamis of Amvikanagara, who are descendants from the family-line of Hridaya Caitanya, worship the Lord in sakhya-rasa.

Gauridasa Pandita’s disappearance is on the thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Sravana. In Vrindavana, on the banks of the Yamuna, there is a place called Dhira Samira. Gauridasa Pandita’s samadhi is located here, as are his worshipable Deities, Sri Sri Syama-Raya.
Madhava - Wed, 21 Aug 2002 22:42:59 +0530


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gADhAnurAga bharatO virahasya bhItyA
svapne’pi gokula-vidhor na jahAti hastam
yo rAdhikA praNaya nirjhara sikta cetAs
taM prema vihvala-tanuM subalaM namAmi

“I offer my obeisances unto Subala, the embodiment of overwhelming love, who loves Krishna, the moon of Gokula, so much that even in dreams he won’t let go of His hand, afraid he will be separated from Vim, and whose heart is showered by the stream of Sri Radhika’s love.”
Sri Ananta Dasji's Stavamrita Kana Vyakhya: In this verse Sripada Raghunatha praises Krishna’s priya narma sakha Sri Subala. The priya narma sakhas are Krishna’s greatest friends in Vraja, and of them Subala is the chief.

priya narma vayasyAs tu purvato ‘pyabhito varAH;
atyantika rahasyeSu yukta bhAva vizeSiNaH;
subalArjuna gandharvAs te vasantojjvalAdayaH
(Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu 3.3.43)

“The priya narma sakhds are greater even than the suhrit, sakhas and priya sakhas, because they have a special mood towards Krishna (an absorption of sakhi-bhava) and are engaged in very intimate services (like secretly assisting Krishna’s sweethearts). Subala, Arjuna, Gandharva, Vasanta, Ujjvala and Madhumangala are some of Krishna’s priya narma-friends.”

Their intimate friendship is depicted as follows:

rAdhA-sandeza-vRndaM kathayati subalaH pasya kRSNasya karNe
zyAmA kandarpa-lekhaM nibhRtam upaharatyujjvalaH pAni-padme
pAlI tAmbUlam Asye vitarati caturah kokilo mUrdhNi-dhatte
tArA-dAmeti narma praNayi sahacarAs tanvi tanvanti sevAm
(Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu 3.3.44)

“One of Krishna’s dutis (girl-messenger) told another one: ‘Look, Subala is whispering news about Radha into Krishna’s ear, Ujjvala places Syama’s love-letter into His lotus hand in a secret place, Catura places a pan in His mouth from Pali and Kokila places a garland made by Tara on His head. In this way the priya narma sakhas remain engaged in Sri Krishna’s service.”

priya narma vayasyeSu prabalau subalojjvalau
(ibid.- 45)

“Subala and Ujjvala are the greatest of the priya narma sakhas.”

Subala’s beauty is extraordinary -

tanu ruci viracita hiraNyaM hari-dayitaM hAriNam harid vasanam
subalaM kuvalaya-nayanaM nayanandita bAndhavaM vande
(ibid 46)

“I praise Hari’s dear friend Subala, whose bodily luster defeats gold, who wears a necklace and a green dhoti, whose eyes resemble blue lotus flowers and who delights his friends!”

Raghunatha says: “...he who loves Krishna, the moon of Gokula, so much that even in dreams he won’t let go of His hand, afraid he will be separated from Him.” A great lover cannot tolerate separation from the beloved. In sakhya bhava the separation from the beloved is naturally felt very strongly.

For a santa bhakta there is no meeting or separation. They know that the Lord, who is the Supreme Brahma, pervades the world warp and woof. Therefore their hearts are peaceful and still like the quiet ocean. The ocean of their hearts is not stirred by waves of meeting and separation. They are always satisfied by seeing the Lord in their hearts.

The dasa-bhaktas (servant-devotees), however, cannot be satisfied simply by seeing the Lord within the heart; they are anxious to attain the service of His lotus feet. Therefore they experience meeting and separation. Still, under the influence of hesitation and reverence, they think that they cannot remove these feelings of separation by themselves without the grace of the Lord and so they look towards the Lord for His merciful glance and get some peace of mind back. But the Lord’s friends in Vraja almost die of misery and lamentation when they don’t see Him for even a moment. Of them again Subala is called gADhAnurAgI, which means that not only in the daytime, when he is awake, he is afraid to be separated from Krishna, but even in his dreams he does not let go of His hand! Sri Krishna is called Gokula-vidhu, or the moon of Gokula, because like the moon he cools off the senses (go-kula) of Sri Subala, who is afflicted by feelings of separation from Him.

When Sri Krishna sports with Sri Radha and other sweethearts the lila-shakti arranges for Him to be separated from His cowherd boyfriends for a while. But the priya narma sakhas like Subala, who have taken shelter of sakhi bhava, are not even separated from Sri Krishna when He unites with His sweethearts. Therefore Sri Raghunatha says: yo rAdhikA praNaya nirjhara sikta cetAH – “Subala is always showered by the stream of Sri Radhika’s love.” Sri Radharani loves Subala even more than Her own life-airs, because he is Her greatest assistant in meeting Sri Krishna. Sri Subala, who takes shelter of sakhi-bhava in the ultimate stage, is blessed with the qualification to render many intimate services during Sri Radha-Krsna’s pastimes of meeting, by Srimati’s grace.

pratyAvartayati prasAdya lalanAM krIDA kali-prasthitAM
zayyAM kuJja-gRhe karotyaghabhidaH kandarpa-lIlocitAm
svinnam vIjayati priyA hRdi parisrastAGgam uccair amuM
kva zrImAn adhikAritAM naH subalaH sevA vidhau vindati
(Ujjvala Nilamani 2.14)

Sri Rupa Manjari addressed a girlfriend who was very devoted to Subala, saying: “Sakhi! For which services to Sri Krishna is Sriman Subala not eligible? When a quarrel arises between Sri Krishna and His beloveds in the course of their pastimes, Subala goes to Krishna’s sweethearts and pacifies them with different humble words, thus convincing them to return to Him. He makes a wonderful playbed fit for erotic pastimes for Sri Krishna in the kunja-cottages, and when Krishna becomes tired of lovemaking and falls exhausted on His beloved’s (Sri Radha’s) breasts, Subala picks up a fan and fans Them.”

Another explanation we have already mentioned – the word praNaya means that the beloved considers his own hands and feet to be nondifferent from the hands and feet of the beloved. The lila-sakti works so wonderfully that there is an amazing similarity between Subala’s face, hands and feet and the same limbs of Sri Radharani, so that Subala can wear Radha’s dress and stay in Jatila’s house, while Sri Radha can go out to meet Sri Krishna dressed like Subala without Jatila or Kutila noticing a thing. Because Subala renders such wonderful services, by which he saves virahini Radha’s life, Sri Radha constantly showers him with the stream of Her love. Sri Raghunatha offers his obeisances to this Sri Subala, who is called prema vihvala tanu, the embodiment of ecstatic loving devotional service.

gADha anurAge yei viraha bhayete;
svapne-o govinda hasta na pAre chadite
zrI rAdhAra aphuranta pranaya nirjhare;
citta abhiSikta yAra zuddha kalevara
kRSNa preSTha se subala sakhAya namaskAra

“I offer my obeisances unto Krishna’s dear friend Subala, who, out of great loving fear, cannot let go of Govinda’s hand even in dreams, whose heart is constantly showered by the endless stream of Sri Radha’s love and whose pure transcendental body is filled with prema.”
Madhava - Wed, 21 Aug 2002 23:12:42 +0530


subala nyasta sArUpyA subala prIti toSitA
mukharA dRk sudhA naptrI jaTilA dRSTi bhISitA

“Subala nyasta sarupya: Sri Radha has placed Her form in Subala; Subala priti tosita: She is happy when Subala is happy; Mukhara drk sudha naptri: She is a nectarean grand-daughter in Mukhara’s eyes; Jatila drsti bhisita: She is very scared of Jatila’s glances.”
Sri Ananta Dasji’s Stavamrta Kana Vyakhya: Srimati’s 34th and 35th names are subala nyasta sarupya, "She who has placed Her form in Subala", and subala priti tosita, She who is pleased with Subala's love." The supreme essence of prema is mahabhava, and the embodiment of mahabhava is Sri Radha. Therefore Her form, attributes and pastimes are likewise. No one can compare to Her. Still She has placed Her own sarupya, transcendental form, in Krishna priya narma sakha Subala. Subala has the same appearance as Sri Radharani, and since there are many obstacles in Her extramarital relationship with Krishna; Subala can help Her in many cases by coming to the house of Her mother-in-law's house, by dressing up just like Her and helping Her to dress like him, so that She can go and see Sri Krishna. Because Radharani and Subala have the same appearance, Jatila and others are fooled.

Once Jatila became very worried after hearing gossip about her daughter-in-law Radha's illicit affair with Krishna, so she decided to lock her daughter-in-law up in her house. She personally guarded the door to make sure that Nanda's son could not come to Her and Radha could also not go out to see Him. Meanwhile Krishna had come to the bank of Radhakunda, eager to meet Radha, and became very upset when He heard that She would not come anymore. Krishna dearest friend Subala, seeing how upset Krishna was, consoled Him and went off to Jatila's village of Yavata. He saw Jatila guarding the door of her house and bowed down to her feet. Jatila asked him: "Why have you come here?", and Subala replied: "I've come here to look for a lost calf. I am also very thirsty." Jatila said: "Go inside my house; my daughter-in-law Radha can give you something to drink."

Sri Subala thus entered Radha's chamber and told Her of Krishna precarious condition. Hearing of this, Radha became very upset, and they decided to exchange dress, so that Radha could escape in the appearance of Subala, and Subala would remain at home in Radha's place. Srimati managed to deceive Jatila into believing that She was Subala, explaining that Her voluminous breasts were actually the calf that Subala was looking for, that he found in her barn, and that he (Radha) was now going off to bring the calf back to the meadows. Jatila believed Her, and in this way Srimati safely reached Radhakunda. But when She came there She found out that She looked so much like Subala that even Krishna did not recognise Her! Krishna was so disappointed that Subala had not managed to bring Radharani to Him, that He became very upset.

When Srimati saw how much Krishna missed Her, She decided to make some fun with Him, and, imitating Subala's voice, She told Him: "Bhai Kanai (brother Krishna)! I couldn't find any way to bring Srimati here today! Her mother-in-law was so upset about all the gossip going around about You and Her that she decided to keep Her at home and to guard the door personally. But don't worry! After I failed at Yavata, I went to ask Candravali whether she wants to meet You and she says that she's, ready for You! If You tell me so, then I will bring her here to You now!" When Krishna heard these words He fell into a swoon, crying out: "Ha Radhe! Ha Radhe!" Radhika was very pleased that Krishna had passed the test that She had made for Him and She dropped the calf to embrace Him, thus reviving Him from His miserable swoon and giving Him the great bliss of meeting Her. It is for creating such wondrous lila rasa that Srimati has given Her own form to Subala, and hence She is also named subala nyasta sarupya.

Subala is not only externally like Srimati, but also internally! When Subala is happy, Srimati is also happy. She has bestowed Her mentality on Subala, so that during the Dana (tax collecting)-pastime near Govardhana Hill, when Krishna told Her and Her sakhis to pay Him tax He firmly embraced Sri Subala, and Srimati relished – be in it a more erotic way – the same pleasure that Subala felt. She hid these ecstatic feelings, and their consequent external symptoms like shivering and goose pimples, from Her friends, though, and asked them: "Dear friends! What kind of austerities Subala must have performed in his previous birth, so that he can now be firmly embraced by My beloved in front of everyone!" Because She is happy when Subala is happy, She is also called subala priti tosita. Another meaning of this name can be that She is very satisfied with Subala's love for Her.
Madhava - Thu, 22 Aug 2002 00:17:59 +0530
References to Subal Sakha are drawn from Sri Raghunatha Das Gosvami's Stavavali with the commentaries of Ananta Das Pandit, rendered into English by Sriman Advaita Das, available here.