AFFECTIONATE GUIDANCE: CHAPTER FOURTEEN
Srila Madhavendra Puripad—
Today is a most auspicious day—the holy Disappearance Day of Srila Madhavendra Puripad. The sprout of divine love for Krishna (Krishna-premankur) appeared in this world in the form of Srila Madhavendra Puri. Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu glorified Srila Madhavendra Puri so much. Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu were disciples of Srila Madhavendra Puri.
Isvara Puri and so many other sannyasis of that time were very famous, and you know Isvara Puri was the very devoted and intimate servitor of Srila Madhavendra Puri, and it was he who appeared as the Guru of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So Srila Madhavendra Puri's position is so high in our sampradaya.
Actually, we formally introduce our sampradaya as the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Sampradaya, but Madhvacharyya received initiation from Vyasadev in Badarikasram, and Vyasadev received inititation from Narad Goswami; and the famous Narad Goswami is both the son and disciple of Lord Brahma; and Brahma was initiated by Krishna.
So our sampradaya started from Krishna, but at a certain period after Madhvacharyya, the Krishna conception was hidden but again took a very brilliant form through Srila Madhavendra Puri. By the grace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, we consider him to be the actual Guru of raga-marga. The path of loving service divine made its appearance in this world through Srila Madhavendra Puri. The sprout of Krishna-prema has appeared as Srila Madhavendra Puri, and after that came the great tree in the form of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. As you know, Mahaprabhu is the non-different form of Sri Sri Radha- Govinda. All His associates such as Sri Rupa Goswami, Sri Sanatan Goswami, etc., appeared in our exalted Rupanuga Sampradaya. From Krishna to Srila Madhavendra Puri is one part, and another part is from Srila Madhavendra Puri up to our Guru Maharaj. Today is the Disappearance Day of that Srila Madhavendra Puri.
He was a very intimate devotee of Krishna and Radharani. Radharani Herself fully bestowed Her mercy upon Srila Madhavendra Puri. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was on His way to Puri Dham, He told the transcendental story of Srila Madhavendra Puri to His associates as they halted at Remuna, Orissa. Mahaprabhu said that He had heard this from Isvara Puri.
Srila Madhavendra Puri was of a very renounced mentality. He never asked anything from others, but whatever came to him, he accepted as the mercy of Krishna. He never begged for food, but he would accept whatever he required when it was given to him. If he didn't receive anything at all, he would fast that day; but he would not go to anyone's house for begging. That was his nature. He was always chanting the Name of Krishna. In this way, he circumamulated all over India, especially Vrindavan. Now, Mahaprabhu told his story to his devotees in Remuna.
One day, Srila Madhavendra Puri was circumambulating Govardhan, and at night he stayed there under a tree at Govinda Kunda. He did not beg at any house for food; Krishna appeared to him in the form of a cowherd boy, bringing milk. Krishna said, "Oh, Puri Gosani, I see that you don't go to anyone's house for food; now, the ladies of this village have sent this milk for you. Take it."
Srila Madhavendra Puri was very surprised at how they could have known he was fasting. So he asked that boy, "How do you know I am fasting?" The boy said, "The ladies came for taking water from the pond, and they saw you. They felt that you were hungry, so they sent this milk. Take it. I have some duties to do, milking the cows, so I shall go for that and come back again and take this pot back."
Seeing that boy's effulgence, Madhavendra Puri was astonished. Anyway, he took that milk and waited to return the pot to the boy, but the boy didn't return. Madhavendra Puri sat there chanting the Name of Krishna until after midnight, when he fell asleep. He saw that boy come to him in his dream, revealing his identity:
'sri-gopal' nama mora,—govarddhana-dhari
"My name is Sri Gopal, and I am the master of this village; and Vajra (Krishna's grandson) installed Me as Sri Gopal, and from that day I have lived here.
"But there were disturbances from the anti-religious section, and they wanted to disturb Me, so My servitor kept me in a kunja (grove) of Govardhan and fled. From that day I am living in this grove. See, here is that place. I am suffering very much here from the cold, heat, rain and wind. So bring the people of the village and bring Me out of this place. Establish My worship in a math on top of the Govardhan Hill. For so long I have been waiting for you, Madhava, to come and do My service."
Madhavendra Puri awoke, and fell to weeping. Then he composed himself to follow the order of the Lord. He assembled many of the villagers with implements like spades, shovels, etc., and they all worked hard to clear the entrance to the grove, which had become thickly overgrown with jungle creepers and plants. The Thakur was extremely heavy and only the strongest men together were able to lift Him. Then Madhavendra Puri had them bring Him to the top of Govardhan Hill, where He was placed on a large rock altar, with another rock behind as a support. Madhavendra Puri arranged many brahmanas for the Lord's grand worship. He made all those brahmanas into Vaisnavas, and arranged for the great festival of anna-kut where a mountain of rice and other foods is offered to the Lord. That festival was seen to be identical with the same festival that was performed by Nanda Maharaj by the wish of Krishna. The news spread, and thousands and thousands of people from different villages attended that festival with great joy. Everyone was astonished to see the transcendental power of Srila Madhavendra Puripad.
There were hundreds of different preparations offered to the Lord; yet, that night, Madhavendra Puri put the Lord to rest, and himself took nothing but a little milk. And every day there was such a grand festival. Madhavendra Puri accepted as disciples two of those brahmanas, and they continued the worship of Gopal in a royal style as befitting the Lord.
Then Srila Madhavendra Puri got a dream in which Gopal told him to fetch Malayaja sandlewood and have it smeared on His body, to give Him relief from the burning heat. Madhavendra Puri arranged for the Lord's proper worship in his absence and went to Bengal. At Santipur he initiated Sri Advaita Prabhu. Then he continued on to Remuna in the South, eight kilometres from Balesvara. There, he had the darsan of Gopinath.
As before, he never asked anyone for food. But he wanted to know what was being offered to Gopinath. The brahmana there described to him all the offerings, and told him how in the evening they were offering Gopinath twelve pots of ksir or condensed milk. For a moment Madhavendra Puri thought, "If I could get a little of that ksir and taste it, I could make the same thing to offer to Krishna when I go back to Vrindavan." But immediately he felt to revile himself as unchaste, only for the thought to taste that ksir. He left, and went to the village market, and sat under a tree there, chanting the Holy Name of the Lord.
In the meantime, the pujari made the offering (bhog) to Gopinath as usual. He or the other brahmanas there didn't particularly think anything about Madhavendra Puri. After the offering they all took the Prasadam. After going to sleep, the head pujari got a dream in which Gopinath told him, "Oh, pujari, you don't know it, but I have stolen one pot of ksir for Madhavendra Puri and hidden it under my cloth. He is My best devotee, and he has come here, and now he is staying in a marketplace. He is fasting; go and give this ksir Prasadam to him. You thought that you took twelve pots back out from the offering, but it is not so; by My illusion you took only eleven pots, and one pot is still underneath my cloth. Take that, and give it to Madhava Puri."
That pujari was astonished. Anyway, he went and opened the door, and found the pot of ksir under the cloth of Gopinath. A beautiful fragrance emanated from that ksir Prasadam. He immediately took it and went from one marketplace to another, calling loudly.
ksira laha ei, yara nama 'madhava-puri'
"Oh! Madhava Puri! Where are you? Take this ksir— Gopinath has stolen it for you.
"He knows you are hungry and He has stolen this ksir just for you. Where is the person called Madhava Puri?"
Madhavendra Puri was surprised and finally admitted his identity, "I am here." And that pujari glorified profusely, saying, "Gopinath Himself stole this ksir for you. So take it." Madhavendra Puri took that ksir. He was so much intoxicated with divine love; he ate that ksir Prasadam with great ecstasy and kept the remains of the clay pot, tying it in a knot of his cloth.
But he thought, tomorrow this news would spread to all corners and everyone would consider him a great soul. So he fled Remuna out of the fear of fame, and went to Jagannath Puri. But when he arrived at Puri Dham, he found that everyone knew who he was, and how Gopinath had stolen the ksir for him. The news had already reached Puri before him. So he could not conceal himself from anyone.
As Krishna Das Kaviraj mentioned in his Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, "It's well-known in the world that name and fame runs after those who are indifferent to it." This is the nature of fame, and such was the case with Madhavendra Puri. When he was recognized by everyone, he also thought of the positive side of it—he would be helped in collecting that sandlewood for Gopal. The King's ministers and entourage, and so many servitors of Sri Jagannathdev came to see Madhavendra Puri, and he told them about his necessity. There would have been many dangerous obstacles from the mlechchhas on the way from Orissa to the place where sandlewood was available, but by the King's influence he gained much help. The King also owned much jungle area containing sandlewood. He was given two men to help him carry that sandlewood, and they set out for Vrindavan. Remuna is on the way to Vrindavan, so they stopped there. Again, everyone recognised Madhavendra Puri and he was received with great honour and reverence. The servitors of Gopinath gave him much ksir Prasadam and other kinds of Prasadam.
That night, again a dream came to him, in which Gopal told him, "Myself and Gopinath are non-different; it's not necessary for you to bring this sandlewood all the way to Vrindavan. Offer it to Gopinath and give full worship and regard to Him with this sandlewood, and I shall receive it in that way."
Madhavendra Puri was astonished, thinking, "How merciful Gopal is to me! He has again instructed me." Then he engaged two more men to grind the sandlewood and it was offered all over Gopinath's whole body for the entire summer season.
Every day Madhavendra Puri joined the arati of Gopinath, and by the Lord's will thousands of people visited, and grand festivals were conducted by the grace of Srila Madhavendra Puri. Gopal was happy with his service. Gopal had told him, "It's not necessary for you to return to Vrindavan, but you will see Me here in Remuna and thus attain everything."
Madhavendra Puri stayed there, and after that he departed the world at that very place of Remuna. We have seen there the Samadhi Temple of Srila Madhavendra Puri, a very small and charming temple.
Thus, Mahaprabhu tasted the ecstasy of the story of Madhava Puri. Madhavendra Puri, before he disappeared, was very much intoxicated by Krishna-prema, Divine Love, and he felt severely the separation of Krishna. He was always crying in that separation.
Isvara Puri served Madhavendra Puri for that last period of his pastimes in this world. Isvara Puri rendered his personal service to the last detail, for which Madhavendra Puri praised him so much. In his deep mood of separation, at that time Madhavendra Puri sang a particular sloka; and Mahaprabhu heard that sloka from Isvara Puri, and Mahaprabhu tasted that sloka with His devotees, in Remuna Dham.
ayi dina-dayardra natha he
Again and again, chanting this sloka, Mahaprabhu was overwhelmed in His ecstasy. Mahaprabhu said that this sloka was the direct words of Radharani, revealed in the heart of Madhavendra Puri. Krishna Das Kaviraj has given this very beautiful explanation:
ei sloka kahiyachhena radha-thakurani
Radharani was very much intoxicated with the mood of separation from Krishna, and She cried for Krishna with this sloka. And that kind of pain in the separation of Krishna appeared in the heart of Madhavendra Puri. Mahaprabhu said that no one in this world can fully understand the substance of this sloka. It was chanted by Radharani, and revealed in the heart of Madhavendra Puri, and he tasted that separation; and now, Gaura Mahaprabhu, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu—He is tasting that sloka. There is no fourth person who can taste it properly.
When I heard this sloka from Srila Guru Maharaj, the question immediately arose in my mind, "Present there is Nityananda Prabhu, who is the disciple of Madhavendra Puri, and many other greatly qualified personalities were present there. But Kaviraj Goswami said, iha asvadite ara nahi chautha-jana—'No fourth person can taste it—that type of wealth is in this sloka.'"
If we try understand the internal wealth of this sloka, we must fail. Only by the mercy of Radharani can it be tasted. When will that day come? Maybe it will never come, no doubt, but by the grace of Radharani, in Her non-different form of Gurudev, that mood of separation may be revealed in our hearts.
We have heard various explanations of this sloka from Guru Maharaj. And when he was tasting this sloka, I was amazed to see his face. By his extraordinary expression, we could get a glimpse of the great depth of his divine feelings for this highest of the high and finest quality of divine essence.
Everything that Mahaprabhu Chaitanyadev gave to the world is within this sloka, as the very gist of Krishna-prema. Many varieties of moods of devotion are present within this sloka, and that was explained by Srila Guru Maharaj. How much have we got that? We hesitate even to think about it. And Kaviraj Goswami cautioned us to be conscious of our own position:
ei sloka kahiyachhena radha-thakurani
If Radharani had not been merciful to Madhavendra Puri, it was impossible for this to have been revealed in his heart, and he would never have chanted it. And Krishna Himself tasted it in the form of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna with the heart and halo of Radharani. Therefore, Krishna Das Kaviraj says that really there is no fourth person who can taste it.
Still, by the grace of Madhavendra Puri, that mood may be revealed within our hearts. But we cannot expect it. We are living in this mundane world, full of illusion. And when the illusion leaves our vision, and the transcendental world will reveal itself in our hearts and before us—that day we may understand something of it by the grace of Radharani in Her non-different form of Gurudev.
You know, in the Brahma-samhita, the famous sloka:
sriyah kantah kantah parama-purusah kalpa-taravo
With the proper vision, we can know this comment of Brahma-samhita, and the comment of Kaviraj Goswami, and the comment of Bhaktivinod Thakur, to be one and the same. Bhaktivinod Thakur also commented, "If you think you know everything about Krishna, you are living in a fool's paradise."
We have seen many that think they are enlightened by Krishna consciousness, they have much knowledge about Krishna consciousness—but they are living in a fool's paradise. Here it is indicated in this sloka of Brahma-samhita: vidantas te santah ksiti-virala-charah katipaye. There are very, very few saints of that calibre, almost none, who can understand this. Amongst many saints, sadhus, devotees—scarcely one can understand this.
This is the real line of the teachings of Srila Rupa Goswami. He has given the perfect knowledge, but it will not be revealed to anyone without surrender to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. No doubt, in one respect this comment of Kaviraj Goswami makes us feel very hopeless, but on the other hand, we do have the possibility to gain entrance to that Abode which is full of Krishna-prema.
How sweet is this expression! Mahaprabhu Himself brought this to the world. From here we cannot conceive the divine love of all the entities in that transcendental abode of Krishna. But one day, by the grace of Gurudev, it may be possible for it to be revealed in our hearts. Still, we are always hopeful, and we will not be satisfied with anything else.
These are the teachings of Sri Gurudev. Srila Rupa Goswami said,
virachaya mayi dandam dinabandho dayami va
The chataka bird will not be satisfied with water found anywhere on this earth. But only a few drops of water from the blue cloud in the sky will satisfy him. There is so much water in the pond, the river, the ocean—he won't take one drop of it. That is the nature of the chataka.
The blue cloud may punish him with a thunderbolt, but he never stops singing the glories of the cloud. This is chastity, this is surrender. This sloka shows us this in full. "I do not want anything else from anywhere; I want nothing but Your mercy. Please give it to me."
Das Goswami also expressed the same. Sri Rupa- Sanatan, Sri Jiva Goswami, Sri Raghunath Das Goswami —they are all in that mood, and that group is our heart, our life.
asabharair amrta-sindhuh mayaih kathanchit
"O Radharani, it is my only hope that You will bestow Your mercy on my head, and to this day I have sustained that hope for my whole life." At that time, Raghunath Das was perhaps eighty or eighty-two years old, when he composed this.
"This is my only hope: You will bestow Your mercy upon me. This is all I want. Without Your mercy I do not want even Krishna. What shall I do without Your mercy? I do not want Krishna's mercy either. If Krishna will come to me, I must say to Him, 'Please wait here; only if Radharani gives Her permission can I talk to You.' And I am praying my whole lifetime, O Radharani, for Your mercy. Your mercy is my only objective. I am living in Vraja Dham for that purpose alone. Otherwise, if You do not bestow Your mercy, I have no interest even in a relationship with Krishna." This is the most special kind of devotion.
We are always loudly declaring everywhere: "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." But here we find that Krishna has no position for the Rupanuga Vaisnava.
isvarah paramah krsnah
"Krishna, Govinda, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His divine form is all eternity, consciousness and bliss, and He is the Cause of all causes."
Such is Krishna's supreme position. But what value is His supremacy to the Rupanuga Vaisnavas? They are very intimate to the Asraya-Vigraha, Srimati Radharani, and they are always under Her control. Radharani is serving Krishna with full energy, and they are supplying the devotional ingredients.
Guru Maharaj told me not to make too many maths, otherwise I may find myself in trouble. Then I said, "Maharaj, now our family has grown so much. The devotees are visiting Puri Dham, and Vrindavan, and they have no shelter to stay at those places; unhappily they have to use a hotel or some other outside place. You please give me permission, and I shall try to make something in Puri Dham and Vrindavan Dham." Guru Maharaj agreed to make something simple in Vrindavan, Puri and Nabadwip. I also told him that Calcutta was a transit station for the devotees, and a place for them to stop over was also necessary. Guru Maharaj also gave that permission.
So, it was then that Guru Maharaj said, "If you make something in the Vrindavan locality, make it in Govardhan. We will stay near to Radha-Kunda, but we will not stay in the Radha-Kunda area itself. There, Radha-Govinda are enjoying Their Pastimes; and They will stay at Radha-Kunda. My Guru Maharaj, Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur said, 'We shall go from Govardhan, very early in the morning, and on the order of Radharani we shall collect flowers at Kusum Sarovar and collect milk from all around; then we shall go to Radha-Kunda for service, and after Radha-Govinda go to sleep we shall return to our shelter at the lotus feet of Govardhan.' So if you want arrange a place there, make it in Govardhan."
That was the desire of Srila Saraswati Thakur, and Srila Guru Maharaj. Anyhow, by the grace of Srila Guru Maharaj, we have made a place for the shelter of the devotees—Sri Dayita Das Sevakunja has manifested there; we have named the ashram: Srila Sridhar Swami Sevasram.
So the exclusive devotional line of Srila Rupa Goswami is very rarely achieved in this world. If anyone wants to get it easily, they will be cheated and they will fall into the black hole of prakrta-sahajiyaism, and they won't be able to come back out of it again. One should not try to get it easily; but it will be easy—by the grace of Guru, by the grace of Radharani.
Before that, we must wait; and Raghunath Das Goswami showed us how much it was necessary to wait. He waited his whole life; and who is he? He is the associate of Radharani. But he showed his pastimes in Gaura-lila in the deepest mood of separation from Radha- Govinda.
The Goswamis are associates of Radha-Govinda, and they have other forms in Krishna-lila. They are always serving Radha-Govinda, but in the maha-bhaumya-lila they showed that they passed their lives in the mood of union in separation.
All this was manifest from that original sprout of Krishnaprema, Madhavendra Puripad. Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur took the name of Madhavendra Puri in this way:
madhavendra purivara, sisyavara sri-isvara,
There's a Bengali proverb, "Know a disciple by his Guru." Madhavendra Puri is great, and his great disciple is Isvara Puri; and not only Isvara Puri, but also Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu. All were shown in this world to be his disciples. Their other forms in Krishna-lila are so exalted, and in this world they showed themselves to be great devotees of Madhavendra Puri.
Very carefully, Srila Prabhupad also expressed that Gaura Mahaprabhu bestowed His mercy upon Isvara Puri by taking mantra from him as his disciple. Today is that Madhavendra Puri's Disappearance Day. We may consider it is the best day for our spiritual life, giving us the chance to discuss Madhavendra Puri's divine pastimes and remember His Divine Grace.
The sun rises and sets. It does not take birth or die. So the appearance and disappearance of the pure Vaisnava is like the sunrise and sunset. Both are good for the conditioned souls of this world. When they depart, they cast their merciful glance everywhere, and whoever remembers them will get that mercy.
Actually, we have seen that Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur, Srila Guru Maharaj and other disciples of Saraswati Thakur sometimes chant the Guru-Parampara from the beginning, and sometimes from the middle. From the middle, means we chant from Mahaprabhu Sri- Chaitanya, Radha-Krishna nahe anya; and, further to that, when necessary for the formal prestige of the sampradaya, we chant the Guru-parampara from Krishna haite chaturmmukha, haya krsna-sevonmukha. Still, in the absolute sense, our sampradaya manifests from Srila Madhavendra Puripad.
Section 1 — 'Siddhanta'
Section 3 — 'Our Devotional Line'
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