An assortment of Gaudiya‑Vaisnava Nectar
About Sri Vishnu Priya‑devi:
Vishnupriya is bhu‑shakti. She is also Satyabhama. Daughter of Sanatana
Mishra, who was a very learned brahmana and Vaishnava. From childhood she was
very religious, following all vratas and worships. She especially worshipped
Tulasidevi and bathed 2 or 3 times daily in the Ganga. This is where she met
Sacidevi who would bless her saying, “May you have a good husband.” From
that time Saci thought of making her her daughter‑in‑law.
She was Lord Chaitanya’s second wife after Lakshmipriya departed this world.
The pious brahmana Sri Kashinatha mishra arranged this marriage. The marriage
was held with great pomp and proper rituals. The whole Navadwipa came to see
this divine pastime that even demigods cannot see. The Lord hardly gave
her attention after this marriage. She bore all this quietly. The night
he left to take sannyasa He showed His 4‑armed form to her.
She would put one grain of rice in a pot for every round of HKM she chanted,
and cook that and share with mother Saci. Ideal widow.
About Sri Raghunandana Thakur:
He was the son of Mukunda dasa (who is brother to Sri Madhava and Narahari
Sarkar). This family hailed from Srikhanda. R.T. was Kandarpa Manjari in
Vrajalila and Krishna’s son also named Kandarpa in Dwaraka lila. One when
his father went on business, the 8‑year old R.T. fed the home Deity laddu.
He was fearful his father would think he hadn’t done the offering when the
Deity didn’t consume the offering, so he cried and the Deity took. When pop
returned, pop thought the kid had eated it. But later he arranged the same
would happen and spied from outside. He also saw the Deity eat the laddu.
The boy composed Gaurbhavamrta at age 8.
A Kadambha tree always yielded to the boy 2 bloomed flowers in any season
for his worship of the Lord.
When dancing ecstatically he wanted to bless his disciple Krsna dasa.
One of his ankle bells flew off and fell 4 miles away in a pond near that
disciple’s house. The pond is called Nupurkunda and the ankle bell can
still be seen on display there in the village of Akaihati.
He told Srinvasa Acharya that the future of Vaishnavism in Bengal would look
bleak because of factionalism. But later he blessed Srinivasa that he would
generate a revival of the SK movement.
At the end of his life he entered nama‑kirtana continuously for 3 days.
On the 4th day he chanted ‘Sri Krsna Chaitanya’ repeatedly and left his
He was King Vrishabhanu in Vrajalila. A rich landowner. Disciple of
Madhavendra Puri. Good friend of Madhava Mishra, father of Gadadhara Pandit.
G.P. took diksha from him. Even before they met Mahaprabhu called out his
name, “Oh my father” while in kirtana. L.C. called him Premnidhi. Good
friend of Swarupa Damodara.
Gadadhara went with Mukunda datta to see him because Mahaprabhu had said
that G.P. (who was very attached to Srimad Bhagavatam) should learn S.B,
from P.V. P.V. was sitting on an opulent bed, wearing fancy silk clothes
and was even smoking a hookah. G.P. doubted him, but M.D. sang a verse from
S.B. and P.V. fell off his bed, crying in ecstacy. The verse was about the
goal attained by Putana in 3rd Canto.
Raghunatha dasa Goswami
Rasamanjari, or Ratimanjari, or Bhanumati.
Appeared in Krishnapur in 1492. Diksha guru was Yadunandana Acarya. He
got voishnoba‑kripa from young age. Studied under Balarama dasa Acharya
(family pujari) and Haridasa Thakur had visited his house, and gave him
instructions. Hearing about LC and L Nitai’s many pastimes attracted him.
Once he ran to Advaita’s house, got blessings of LC, Who advised him not
to be crazy, but to return. Later he got Nitai’s great mercy.
Story of his meditation on cooking, offering and honoring sweet rice to
Giridhari; he got sick from overeating in his mind.
Someone once brought him a beautiful leaf cup with some sweet prasadam.
He inquired where the leaf cup had come from, and when he heard the answer,
he threw it aside, saying, “That’s the place of Chandravali ‑ I’ll never
accept anything from there.”
A businessman gave him money for the excavation of Radha Kunda. As it was
being dug up, trees were also cut. RDG had a dream that 5 trees were the
5 Pandavas who were absorbed in meditation on RK‑lila.
Ballabhaacharya once visited Rupa Goswami. Seeing him working on a literature,
Ballabha inquired to see it and pointed out a mistake. Rupa asked him to
correct the work while he took bath. When he was out Jiva pointed out to
Vallabha that there was no mistake, and Ballabha was satisfied. So he told
Rupa when he returned that your cousin has shown me I was mistaken ‑ don’t
worry, this work is perfectly composed. After Ballabha left, Rupa was angry
with Jiva and told him to return to the east (he meant Bengal). But Jiva went
east of Rupa and Sanatana’s ashram and moved into an old crocodile cave.
There he wrote Gopala Champu, desiring not to offend Vaishnava’s point of
view. He wrote it on coconut leaves strung together with banyan tree roots.
But after composing it he became angry at himself out of humility and threw
the manuscript in the Yamuna. At the same time, Sanatana and Rupa were bathing
downstream, and the manuscript touched Sanatana’s body. He recoverd the
manuscript and could tell it was Jiva’s. So he went looking for him.
Villagers told him, “Barobaba, there is a wonderful young sadhu living in
that cave on the bank of the Yamuna. He is more austere than even you and
your brother, and he chants and cries constantly.” So he found Jiva and
embraced him, bringing him back to Rupa.
When Rupa was writing the Radhikastakam, he compared Radharani’s hairdo
with Her gem on top of it to a black cobra. Sanatana didn’t like this.
So Rupa said, Well, that’s the only way I can describe it, but I’ll think
about it. So Sanatana went out. While walking he saw some young girls
playing on a swing; two were pushing and one was riding the swing. As
he got closer he saw the one on the swing had a cobra in her hair. He
returned to Rupa, saying, You are my guru. Whatever you write is exactly
Narada Muni is Madhumangala.
Narada caused a fight between Radha and Krishna over Lalita (swing pastime).
Krishna and Balarama ‑ Balaram (formerly Laxman, who had sworn to never appear
as the younger brother): friends taunted, “Your not the son of Yashoda,
you’re black”, and Balaram confirmed. When parents asked why, he said,
“I’m taking spite for our last lives relationship.”
Sanatana took diksa from Madhusudana Vacaspati, and Rupa took diksa from
Bhaktivinode Thakur says the 6 Goswamis are the original brijbasis.
Raghunatha dasa Goswami says that he’d rather hear the prajalpa of the
Brijbasis than Krishna katha anywhere outside of Vrindavana.
Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakur: disciple of Radharamana Chakravarti who
is in the disciplic line of Srila Narottama dasa Thakur. He spent many years
in his guru’s house studying bhakti under his tutelage. During his student
years he defeated a famous digvijaya pandit and wrote many small compositions
known as bindhus. His parents married him early but he had no interest
in family life. On his guru’s instruction he spent one night with his
wife and read Srimad Bhagavatam to her until dawn. Then he left for Radha
Kunda and stayed in the bhajana kutir of Sri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami.
He was known as Hariballabha Dasa and later got the title of Vishvanatha
Chakravarti Thakur for his uncanny perceptions into the mellows of Krshna
bhakti. He was called Rasacharya. He could stop the rainfall by his writing
of S.B. commentaries, because the rain didn’t want to disturb him or drip
on his manuscripts.
He re‑established parakiya‑bhajan by at Radha Kunda by writing a tika on
Gopala Champu. For this, some envious persons tried to kill him when he
went for his ablutions in the forest, but he took his siddha‑deha form of
a young girl and they couldn’t discern him.
His disciple was Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, who wrote the Gobinda‑bhasya.
“Aham vritti suka vritti vyasa vritti nivritti va…” appeared on the
manuscript of Sridhara Swami’s commentary of S.B. after if had been laid in
front of the Lord Vishvanatha in Benares because of controversy over
Lord Nityananda married upon the request of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Who gave
Him this instruction in Puri along with ordering Him to return to Bengal for
preaching. The Lord married Vasudha, daughter of a famous brahmin. During the
marriage feast, Lord Nityananda saw Vasdha’s sister Jahnavi serving out
prasadam in her 4‑armed form. He recognized her as his eternal potency. So
He took her as His wife also.
NAROTTAMA DASA THAKUR
He appeared 45 years after Lord Caitanya’s disappearance in Raj Sathi district
in modern Bangladesh as son of King Krishnanandana Dhatu. His father had
waited long for a son. Astrologers had predicted he’d be a big acharya ‑
parents took this to mean a good ruler.
He was smart boy. He learned his subjects quickly. Narottama was attracted
to the katha of Mahaprabhu which was very prominent at that time. He wanted
to go to Vrndavana.
Previously in one kirtana Lord Chaitanya had cried out “Narottama!” Nobody
except Lord Nityananda knew the meaning of this. Lord Chaitanya and Lord
Nityananda went to the Padmavati River and left prema bhakti with her for
Narottama. She asked, “How will I know him?” LC said, when his body
touches your waters you’ll overflood in ecstacy.
When he was 12 LC and LN appeared in a dream and told him to bathe in the
Padmavati which was 1 mile from Khekuri, the capital. This was during the
calm season. As soon as he stepped in the river, big waves appeared.
Padmavati endowed him with prema‑bhakti and he turned gold. His parents
thought he was sick.
When his father and uncle Purushottama were called to the capital of Bengal
NDT ran off to Vrndavana. He travelled quickly, not eating, but got a boil
on his foot and had to stop beneath a tree for 3 days. A brahmin came with
a pot of milk and left it for him. He prayed to the Lord for direction and
had a dream of Rupa and Sanatana who told him to drink the milk and just go.
He did and was healed and ran.
He went to Jiva Goswami who told him to go to Lokanatha Goswami who got san‑
nyasa from LC. LG didn’t want disciples. So NDT served him secretly for
a long time, cleaning stool place and putting a pot of fresh water there and
fresh dirt. He would hold the broom to his breast and weep. LG was impressed
as NDT was a prince, so he gave him initiation.
NDT is Champaka Manjari and a direct potency of Lord Nityananda. She is a
personal associate of Anangamanjari.
NDT would do manas seva. Once he burned his hands while cooking in his mind,
and this was noticed by Lokanatha Goswami. LG told him, “take full shelter of
Jiva Goswami.” He he became siksha disciple of JG, with contemporaries
Srinivasa and Shyamananda Prabhu.
JG wanted his books sent to Bengal. He sent them in a trunk with these 3
siksha disciples. Hambi, a king near Varanasi, was a dacoit and had an astro‑
loger who told him these three mendicants had an enormous treasure in their
trunk, so he stole that trunk during the night. Srinivasa was deputed to
get the books back while Narottama went on to Bengal. He sat on the bank of
the Bhagirathi and cried, thinking about the Lord and desiring to know
the place of His appearance. Just then an old brahmana came and asked him why
he was crying, and he told him. That brahmana said, “I’ve seen so many past‑
times”, and he took him to the place of LC’s appearance, where Isana Thakur
was staying. NDT got the blessings of the senior Vaishnavas ‑ Raghunandana,
Jahnavi, Bir Chandra.
In his old kingdom, his father and uncle had passed away and his cousin‑brother
Santosh had become king. Santosh welcomed NDT with all ceremonies and took
initiation from him. This was a big thing ‑ others took initiation also. In
Kethari he held the first Gaur Purnima festival and installed six Deities ‑
one is now in Vrndavana in Gokulananda temple near the Radha Ramana temple
(Deity of Lord Chaitanya). All great Vaishnavas of that time in Bengal came
to this festival, including Shyamananda, Jahnavi, Mineketana Rama, Achuta‑
nanda, Mukunda Datta and others. NDT started Gauranghatti style of kirtana
(because ragas, which are only celestial, do not invoke spiritual emotions).
Srinivasa Acharya and Mukunda began singing this style at this first GP festi‑
val. After this festival many took Nishi from NDT. But smartas opposed this.
He was even making sudras into brahmanas and giving brahmins initiation. He
didn’t care for the criticisms of the smarta brahmins.
Once he was going with his dear friend Rama Chandra Kaviraja (disciple of
Srinivasa ‑ NDT could have been his guru in their relationship, but accepted
him as friend). As they walked along they saw two brahmin boys who were
bringing goats for a sacrificial slaughter. The two devotees spoke among
themselves about the nastiness of this practice, and the reactions to it.
When the brahmin boys heard, they became alarmed and, inquiring further, be‑
came ND’s disciple. Their father was a shakta and was very disturbed. He
got a pandit to discuss with his boys but they defeated him. So he went to
a big big pandit named Rupa Narayana Chakravarti and that pandit complained
to the local governor, who said “I’ll arrange that you debate NDT. You defeat
him and we’ll settle this matter once and for all.”
So Ramachandra Kaviraja and another brahmin disciple of NDT set up a pottery
stand and a pan stand near NDT’s ashrama. The governor came there with the
pandit, and as was the custom, sent servants to the shops for pots and pan.
So these “wallahs” talked with the servants only in Sanskrit. Hearing this
the 2 bigshots came to see for themselves; shudras talking first‑class Sans‑
krit, and telling that they were disciples of NDT. This alarmed the two, who
When he was 80‑85 he decided to leave the planet. He got a disease in the
throat and couldn’t speak. Smartas said, “just see.” Disciples begged him,
“Don’t go now. We’ll be finished.” But he left anyway, wanting to serve
Krishna directly in spiritual world. But Madhavacharya prayed, “If you go
now, the movement will be destroyed.” So he came back to life as his body was
being taken on procession to be interred. He became too much famous for this.
One critical brahmin then got leprosy; he came to NDT and begged forgiveness,
was cured and took initiation.
At age 105 he decided to leave this world. One day he told disciples,
I want to bathe in the Ganga. But they wouldn’t let him step into the
river, they just dug a shallow area where he sat and they splashed.
But as they splashed his body melted away into the Ganga.
LOCAN DASA THAKUR
Born in Burdwan in Ayurveda doctor family. Disciple of Narahari Sarkar. He
was only son, pampered, but devotee from childhood. He wrote the Chaitanya
Mangal in Lokerpachali style ‑ 5 meters combined (folk song style). He was
married when young, but he was detached from family life. He spent his youth
with his guru in Srikhanda. Murari Gupta’s writings on the life of LC was
inspiration of CM; Vaishnavas changed VdT’s CM to CB because VdT is Vyasa
of Chaitanya‑lila, and Vyasa wrote Srimad Bhagavatam. CM by LdT expands on
pastimes of CB.
From CM by LdT: Mahaprabhu leaving Vishnupriya‑devi to take sannyasa:
Vpd: “Please put your hand on my head and tell me you are not taking sannyasa.
This rumor I have heard from others ‑ if it is true, I will enter fire. My
life, youth, beauty, dressing, ornamental opulence is only for You. Without
you, My life is useless. My heart is burning with grief.”
LC, a smile playing on his lips: Listen, my dear. Don’t sully your heart with
these thoughts. I now speak for Your benefit, please listen. This world
is illusion. The only truths are Vishnu and the Vaishnavas. Our sons,
parents, relatives ‑ who is related to whom? Our only sweet relationship
is with Krishna’s lotus feet. Whether man, woman ‑ such designations are
only external. We are spirit soul. Forgetting this, we fall into duality.
Only Lord Krishna is our husband. This body is a combination of flesh, blood,
mucous, stool and urine. When we are born, we are covered by maya. We go
through youth, maturity, old age, experiencing so many distresses but always
maintaining the body as the self. Those whom we think are our friends chastise
us and leave us when we are old. We become blind and cry in an ocean of
distress. Still, we don’t serve the lotus feet of Govinda. Actually, we’ve
taken this birth only to serve Krishna, but we fall down, forgetting the Lord,
and suffer in hell. You have to live up to your name of Vishnupriya. Don’t
burden Your heart with useless remorse. These are my instructions. You
now drive away all other thoughts and just think about Krishna.”
With these words the Lord showed His 4 armed form to Vishnupriya‑devi. She
became ecstatic to see this wonderful display; understanding that everything
and everyone is eternally connected with Lord Caitanya (because He is Vishnu
Himself), She became overwhelmed with joy. But still, She was fixed in Her
Own mood of devotion, thinking of the Lord as Her husband.
She fell down at His lotus feet and declared, “I am most fallen. You are my
dear husband. After having gotten this priceless treasure of the opportunity
to be Your maidservant, what misfortune has now brought this great downfall
upon Me?” She then began to wail loudly and piteously, in great grief.
Seeing one so dear to Him in such a heartbroken condition, Lord Caitanya’s
eyes filled with tears, and He embraced Her. The cooling rays of His moonlike
form calmed Her turbulent emotions.
“Listen, dear Vishnupriya”, the Lord spoke again. “I declare to You that when‑
ever You think of Me, I am there beside You, regardless of where I am. Vishnu‑
priya could understand He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He continued:
“You please just engage Yourself in Your daily activities, and nobody will
disturb You.” She silently lowered Her head and cried. Hearing His sweet
words and wonderful behavior, Locan dasa is greatly pained, but continues
to sing the Lord’s glories.
Kartabhaja: “Guru is all, follow blindly” ‑ but Jiva Goswami says we should
know that KC is never blind, and even guru may be infallible.
Gaur Nagari: Sri Chaitanya as Krishna (Lampat).
Naraneyi: Buddhistic worship of Lord Chaitanya (started in L.C.’s time).
Atibari: these started in L.C.’s time; LC is God Almighty (ignores His lila as
Sahajiya: “Easy”; bodily bhava.
Aula: something like Baul.
Baul: pretends to be mad (from Batul: “becoming mad.”)
Curadhari: imitate Lord Nityananda.
Smarta: smarta brahmins.
Jat Goswamins: family goswamis.
Daravesha: Muslim mendicants influenced by Mahaprabhu.