Jagannatha Dasa BabajiA New Year (Nava-varṣa)
The Inclination to Engage in Pāpa on the Strength of the Name (Nāma Bale Pāpe Pravṛtti)The Inclination to Engage in Pāpa on the Strength of the Name (Nāma Bale Pāpe Pravṛtti)

Overview

'Śrī Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī Prabhu, Śrī Śrī Kṛṣṇa Dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī Prabhu and Śrī Śrīnivāsa Ācārya Prabhu' was first published in Sajjana Toṣaṇī, Vol.2 issues 10 and 11 in 1885. Herein, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gives a short biography of each of these famous Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava ācāryas.

(translated by Swami B.V. Giri)

The tenth and eleventh issues of Sajjana Toṣaṇī have been published. These two editions are called the “Śrī Śrī Raghu-Kṛṣṇa-Śrīnivāsa” editions. Monday the 5th of Kārttika is the disappearance observance of Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī and Śrī Kṛṣṇa Dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī.

Raghunātha Dāsa was born in a Kāyastha family. During his youth, this mahātmā was intoxicated with prema for Śrī Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu, and giving up abundant wealth and a young wife who possessed all good virtues, he passed through the jungle and after three days, came to Śrī Puruṣottama Dhāma and finally fell at the feet of Śrīman Mahāprabhu. Mahāprabhu was supremely happy, and taking Raghunātha, He fully embraced him.

Raghunātha’s renunciation was extremely severe. Mahāprabhu praised Raghunātha’s renunciation and said that, “Raghunātha’s renunciation is not possible for any jīva.” Raghunātha did not beg. He used to go to Śrī Kṣetra, and initially stand in front of the Siṁha-dvārā of Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadeva with cupped hands. People would place alms of mahā-prasāda in his cupped hands. When his hands were full of prasāda, he would return to his residence and eat it. Raghunātha was not satisfied even with following this method. He thought, “Is not standing at the Siṁha-dvārā with cupped hands just like the activity of a harlot? They also stand at their doorsteps to maintain their lives. Therefore, I will stop following this method and maintain my life by eating that prasāda which is stale and has been rejected.”
That supreme Vaiṣṇava Raghunātha began to do just that. One day the merciful Caitanyadeva saw Raghunātha eating the abandoned prasāda and asked, “What are you eating, Raghunātha?”
Raghunātha, without giving any other response to Caitanyadeva’s words, simply replied, “Ājñā?”*(1)
At that time, the omniscient Caitanya-cānda, began to smile, and taking a handful of prasāda from Raghunātha’s pot, ate it and said, “Raghunātha! Are you deceiving Me and secretly eating such nectar alone?” Raghunātha felt especially embarrassed by this kind of behaviour of Mahāprabhu. The pastimes at Puruṣottama between Raghunātha and Mahāprabhu remain unknown even to the most learned Vaiṣṇavas.

With Mahāprabhu’s permission, Raghunātha left Puruṣottama and travelled to Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma, where he met with Sanātana Gosvāmīpāda and others, and there, he resided on the banks of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa. Suddenly, one day, as if in a dream, a thought arose in his heart that, “If the excavation of Śrī Śyāma-kuṇḍa and Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa were to be done again, wouldn’t that be wonderful?”
O reader! Isn’t Śrī Śrī Kṛṣṇa always ready to fulfil the desires of His devotees? From Bādarikāśrama, Śrī Nārāyaṇadeva gave some gold coins to one man and ordered, “You will give these gold coins to Raghunātha Dāsa, the main Vaiṣṇava residing at Ārīṭa-grāma in Vraja-dhāma. If he refuses to accept them, you should say that these gold coins have been sent by Śrī Nārāyaṇa from Bādarikāśrama. You should take these gold coins and excavate Śyāma-kuṇḍa and Rādhā-kuṇḍa.”
On the order of Nārāyaṇa, the man came to Ārīṭa-grāma and offered the coins to Raghunātha, but Raghunātha refused to accept them. Subsequently, the person sent by Nārāyaṇa reported all the words spoken by Nārāyaṇa in his presence. Raghunātha listened, and feeling astonished, exclaimed, “O Lord! O Master! O fulfiller of the desires of those who are surrendered!” Uttering such sentences he wept. After he had composed himself, he called the residents of Vraja and advised that they begin excavating the two kuṇḍas. All the people present advised that an old tree standing by the bank of Śyāma-kuṇḍa should be cut down so that all the four corners of Śyāma-kuṇḍa would be equal. When this was settled, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira told Raghunātha in a dream that night, “Don’t cut us! We five brothers are situated near the banks of Śyāma-kuṇḍa in the form of five trees.” Due to this, Raghunātha did not allow the tree to be cut. For this reason, Śyāma-kuṇḍa was made in a curved way.

The astounding characteristics of Śrī Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī are not unknown to the Vaiṣṇava community, thus our pen will pause at this point.

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Śrī Śrī Kṛṣṇa Dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī Prabhu took birth in a Vaidya family. His birth place is Jhamatpur village in Bardhaman district.  Śrī Kṛṣṇa Dāsa Kavirāja’s pāṭa (holy place) is the reason why Jhamatpur is famous. Kavirāja Gosvāmī was conversant with all śāstras. This is beautifully realised when reading the texts of Śrī Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrī Śrī Govinda Līlāmṛta and the Sāraṅga-raṅgadā commentary of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Karṇāmṛta. Some say that Kavirāja was born in the village of Kaṅcaḍapāḍā, near to Kumāra-haṭṭa, in other words, in the locality of Hālisahara. An opinion cannot be definitively held based upon their statement  because, upon examining the language of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, it becomes evident that Kavirāja was a resident of Rāḍha-deśa. Be that as it may, we need not say more about this matter.

Kavirāja Gosvāmī was one of the most prominent scholars in the Caitanya sampradāya, and also a great devotee. This statement does not require any additional evidence to prove it. Kavirāja’s books alone are a beautiful testament to that. The incomparable glories of Kavirāja would charm anyone who saw his compassion. He showed compassion towards those who are devoid of knowledge of the śāstra – how beautifully he composed the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta! In our estimation, if Kavirāja had not shown such compassion, those lacking in knowledge of the śāstra and philosophy would never have understood the eternal Vaiṣṇava doctrine as taught by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and their fate would remain uncertain.

Blessed Kavirāja! Both the learned and the ignorant within the Vaiṣṇava community remain indebted to you. How many songs concerning your virtues can I sing with one mouth? The Vaiṣṇava world always sings your virtues. Kavirāja! If someone remembers your perfect words, would even an atheist refrain from seeking refuge at your feet? You have said in the Caritāmṛta, yadi vā na jāne keha, śunite śunite sei etc.*(2) By the virtue of your perfect statements only it is seen in Caritāmṛta that many fools who are members of this Vaiṣṇava sampradāya attained an advanced position (uttama-adhikāra). We offer countless praṇāmas unto your feet.

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Sunday the 1st of the month of Agrahāyaṇa is the disappearance observance of Śrī Śrīnivāsa Ācārya Prabhu. Śrīnivāsa Ācārya was born into a brāhmana family in the village of Chākhandī in the Bardhaman district. During his childhood, Śrīnivāsa took shelter at the feet of Śrī Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu after hearing his father’s praises of Mahāprabhu, Surrendering unto Him, he took the permission of his mother and father and accepted the vairāgya-āśrama (renounced order) during his youth.

Embarking on the path of renunciation, Śrīnivāsa first went to Śrī Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma, desiring to have darśana of Mahāprabhu’s potency Śrī Śrīmatī Viṣṇupriyā Ṭhākurāṇī, her guardian, Mahāprabhu’s intimate associate, Śrī Śrī Vaṁśīvadanānanda Prabhu, as well as the pastime-places of Mahāprabhu. When Śrīnivāsa arrived in Nabadvīpa, he stayed at the house of Viṣṇupriyā Mātā for a few days, listening to Mahāprabhu’s līlā-kathā from Vaṁśīvadanānanda and visiting all the pastime-places. Then, after taking leave of Viṣṇupriyā and Vaṁśī, he took darśana of twelve pāṭas*(3) and other glorious places where the devotees of Caitanya were residing. In this way, after a few days meeting the devotee community, he went to Śrī Puruṣottama Dhāma. There, accompanied by all the associates of Mahāprabhu, he took darśana of Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadeva every day and heard topics and kīrtana of Mahāprabhu.  According to the opinion of some householders, after accepting renunciation, Śrīnivāsa first travelled to Śrī Puruṣottama. Whatever it may be, there is no need for any decision regarding this.

Having returned from Śrī Puruṣottama, Śrīnivāsa stayed in Gauḍa-maṇḍala for some time. He then journeyed to take darśana of Śrī Vṛndāvana Dhāma. Śrīnivāsa crossed into Vṛndāvana and, in association with the Gosvāmī Prabhus, he took darśana of Vrajapura and constantly experienced ever-fresh ecstatic feelings of bhāva. After staying in Vraja for many days in this way, he returned to Gauḍa-maṇḍala, the land of divine touchstone, and delivered all the unfortunate people there. Śrīnivāsa’s miraculous life is elaborately described in Śrī Caitanya-prema-līlāmṛta and Bhakti Ratnākara.*(4)

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NOTES:

*(1) The word ājñā means “Will you instruct me?”

*(2)

yadi va na jāne keha, śunite śunite sei,
ki adbhuta caitanya-carita
kṛṣṇe upajibe prīti, jānibe rasera rīti,
śunilei baḍa haya hita

If one does not understand it, but constantly hears about the astounding life of Śrī Caitanya, divine love for Kṛṣṇa will arise and one will know the process of rasa. Thus, merely by hearing there is great benefit. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 2.87)

Some versions of this verse are slightly different.

*(3) A pāṭa, or Śrīpāṭa, is a holy place connected to a renowned Vaiṣṇava.

*(4) The book Śrī Caitanya-prema-līlāmṛta is unknown.

(‘Śrī Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī Prabhu, Śrī Śrī Kṛṣṇa Dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī Prabhu and Śrī Śrīnivāsa Ācārya Prabhu’ was first published in Sajjana Toṣaṇī, Vol.2. Issue 10 and 11 in 1885, and translated into English by Swami B.V. Giri)
Jagannatha Dasa BabajiA New Year (Nava-varṣa)
The Inclination to Engage in Pāpa on the Strength of the Name (Nāma Bale Pāpe Pravṛtti)The Inclination to Engage in Pāpa on the Strength of the Name (Nāma Bale Pāpe Pravṛtti)

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