The place and time of Srila Jagadananda Pandit's appearance and disappearance are generally considered unknown. On the basis of Prema-vivarta, in which Jagadananda Pandit refers to Kavi Karnapur as a 'resident of my village' (Pv: 8.15), it is understood that he spent his early life in Kanchan Palli, a town seventy kilometres south of Nabadwip (now known as Kanchrapara). He further explains that Sivananda Sen, Kavi Karnapur's father, taught him Bhagavad-gita in his youth and brought him to Nadia (Pv: 8.17–8). It appears that this took place while Jagadananda was still quite young, as elsewhere he sweetly describes having a quarrel with Sri Gaurasundar as a schoolboy in Nadia (Pv: 2.18). From this time on, Jagadananda Pandit spent his entire life in the Lord's association. Through descriptions in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita and Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat, it is known that Jagadananda was present throughout the Lord's Pastimes in Nadia, accompanied the Lord to Puri after His sannyas, and, apart from once visiting Vrindavan and making periodic trips to Bengal on the Lord's order, lived and served in the Lord's close association for the remainder of His Pastimes.
Sri Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (51) identifies Srila Jagadananda Pandit as a manifestation of Satyabhama, and in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita Srila Jagadananda Pandit's extraordinary character and unique relationship with Sriman Mahaprabhu are glorified profusely:
pandita jagadananda prabhura prana-rupa
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Adi-lila, 10.21)
"Jagadananda Pandit is the life of the Lord. He is known everywhere as a manifestation of Satyabhama."
prabhura atyanta priya pandita-jagadananda
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Antya-lila, 19.4)
"Jagadananda Pandit was extremely dear to the Lord. The Lord derived great pleasure from his character."
Jagadananda Pandit's relationship with the Lord was on the highest platform of intimacy—madhura-rasa.
purira vatsalya mukhya ramanandera suddha-sakhya
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 2.78)
"The vatsalya of Paramananda Puri, pure sakhya of Ramananda Ray, pure dasya of Govinda, and the joy of the madhura rasa of Gadadhar, Jagadananda, and Svarup Damodar—the Lord was captivated by these four moods."
Jagadananda Pandit's love was characterised by vamya-bhava, the mood predominant in Vrindavan amongst Srimati Radharani and Her entourage (as well as their expansions in Dvaraka—Satyabhama and her attendants).
jagadananda-panditera suddha gadha bhava
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Antya-lila, 7.138)
"Jagadananda Pandit has deep, pure devotion, and, like Satyabhama, his love is 'leftist'. Again and again, he lovingly quarrels with the Lord. There are always disagreements between them."
pritye karite chahe prabhura lalana-palana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Adi-lila, 10.22–3)
"Out of love, Jagadananda desires to comfort the Lord, but because the Lord is a renunciant and thus concerned about public opinion, He never accepts this. Thus, they disagree and quarrel."
jagadanande-prabhute prema chale ei-mate
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Antya-lila, 12.152–3)
"Divine love flowed between Jagadananda and the Lord as we hear in Srimad Bhagavatam that it did between Satyabhama and Krishna. Who can describe the extent of Jagadananda's fortune? He is the only comparison that there is for his fortune (his fortune is incomparable)."
Jagadananda Pandit not only had profoundly intimate Pastimes with the Lord, he also had the deepest form of association with the Lord's devotees—he would relieve them of their sorrow in separation from the Lord.
prati-vatsara prabhu tare pathana nadiyate
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Antya-lila, 19.5, 96, 99–100)
"Knowing His mother to be sorrowful in separation, the Lord sent Jagadananda Pandit to Nadia every year to console her. Jagadananda would also meet with all the other devotees in Nadia, and they would all be overjoyed to meet him. They would hear confidential discussion of Sri Chaitanya from his mouth and forget themselves in the joy of the discussions. In every home Jagadananda visited, the devotees forgot themselves out of joy."
Jagadananda Pandit is thus most dear to the Lord and all His devotees. May his service and teachings be worshipped eternally.
chaitanyera prema-patra jagadananda dhanya
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Antya-lila, 19.101)
"All glory to Jagadananda, the carrier of Sri Chaitanya's love! Whoever meets him feels, 'I have met Sri Chaitanya!'"
Srila Jagadananda Pandit explains in Prema-vivarta how he came to compose this book:
"I prostrate myself at the feet of my beloved Gaura and write this Prema-vivarta, having received the order of the devotees." (Pv: 3.7)
"I write whatever comes to my mind about Gauranga's Pastimes, whenever it does, even if it is out of sequence." (Pv: 15.1)
"Svarup Damodar asked me, 'O Pandit, what are you writing?' I replied, 'I am writing about whom I love.' (Pv: 2.4)
"Svarup Damodar said, 'Then write about the Pastimes of the Lord that the world will be greatly benefitted by reading about.' (Pv: 2.6)
"I replied, 'I don't know what is beneficial for the world. I simply write whatever I like.' Svarup left, considering me mad. Sitting alone, I write, meditating on the Lord. My mind cries, my heart cries, my eyes cry, and whenever something comes to mind, I write it down." (Pv: 2.7, 8, 10)
In Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami writes,
jagadanandera 'prema-vivarta' sune yei jana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Antya-lila, 12.154)
"Anyone who hears of Jagadananda Pandit's prema-vivarta understands the nature of divine love and attains its wealth."
In his commentary on Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur explains the meaning of 'prema-vivarta': "One meaning intended is (Jagadananda Pandit's) transformations of love (premera vivarta)—his indignant behaviour during loving affairs. A second meaning is the book entitled 'Prema-vivarta' written by Jagadananda Pandit himself about Sriman Mahaprabhu."
Throughout Prema-vivarta, Srila Jagadananda Pandit describes the reveries, emotions, and ecstasies he experiences:
"The pangs and transformations of love constantly dance within my mind. I quarrel with Gaura every day, and thus I am known as 'Angry Jagai'." (Pv: 5.1)
"I cannot tolerate a moment of separation as Gaura dances in my heart. He does not let me die, but when I live, we quarrel. How does my life go on?" (Pv: 13.10)
"Transformations of love make me dance, but, not understanding them, I am dying." (Pv: 13.4)
"Those who have love for Gora undergo distress: that love pulls their hearts in opposite directions simultaneously." (Pv: 13.13)
Srila Jagadananda Pandit's only known writing, Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, is immensely valuable to the followers of Sriman Mahaprabhu. Srila Jagadananda Pandit describes his Pastimes with the Lord in a sweet, loving manner as though he is reminiscing with an intimate friend, adding details that deepen the meaning of many of the Pastimes recorded in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, such as his travelling to Vrindavan, his conversations with Srila Sanatan Goswami, and his quarrel with the Lord over a pot of sandalwood oil. He also recounts Pastimes of the Lord that are not recorded anywhere else, such as his quarrelling with the Lord as a schoolboy (Pv: 2.18) and the Lord showing affection to the cowherd boys of Nadia by liberating a crocodile (Pv: 12.15). Weaved throughout these narrations are profound expressions of union in separation that reveal the mood and ideal with which the Lord's intimate associates serve Him.
Throughout Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, prominent teachings of the Gaudiya–Vaisnavas as given in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita are highlighted:
Sri Gaurasundar is Sri Radha and Sri Krishna combined (Cc: Adi, 1.5):
"The Absolute is sometimes two, as Radha and Krishna, and sometimes one, as Sri Chaitanya, the Supreme Being." (Pv: 1.2)
Svayam Bhagavan Sri Krishna appeared as Sri Gaurasundar to explore the mystery of Sri Radha's love for Him (Cc: Adi, 1.6):
[The Lord decided:] "I will take Radha's heart and halo, become Gaura, and relish Krishna's sweetness in the mood of a devotee." (Pv: 11.10)
Sri Gaurasundar's Pastimes are superior to all other lilas and forms of the Lord (Cc: Madhya, 25.264):
"Golden Krishna appeared to fulfil His desires, and feels more joy in Nabadwip Dham than He does in Vraja." (Pv: 1.39)
Radha-dasyam is the essence of Sri Gaurasundar's ideal and gift (Cc: Madhya, 8.97):
[Jagadananda Pandit:] "I am a maidservant of Radha's feet, and I love the form of the Lord that is adorned with Her halo (Sri Gauranga)." (Pv: 1.53)
The Lord appeared both as Sri Gauranga and as His Name to deliver the souls of Kali-yuga (Cc: Adi, 1.4, 17.22):
"Being merciful to the conditioned souls, Krishna appeared as His Name, and being compassionate to the souls of Kali-yuga, He appeared as Gaura." (Pv: 7.17)
Sri Hari-nam-sankirtan is the dharma of the modern age (Cc: Adi, 7.74):
"O devotees, hear about the dharma in the Age of Kali: there is no duty other than chanting the Name of Sri Krishna." (Pv: 19.3)
True devotees of the Name always avoid the association of non-devotees and those attached to the pleasures of the world (Cc: Madhya, 22.84):
"Brother, the Name of Krishna never appears in bad association: the letters of the Name may appear, but the Name never does." (Pv: 7.1)
The Name must be chanted without offence (Cc: Adi, 8.24):
"Only by very carefully avoiding the offences to the Name does the soul attain all perfection and reach the Lord. Those who understand the offences but are unconcerned about avoiding them are foolish and suffer forever." (Pv: 19.115, 124)
Surrender is the essence of avoiding offences, chanting the Name, and the practice of devotion itself (Cc: Madhya, 22.33, 99):
"When you sincerely take shelter of the Lord, all your offences are destroyed, you never again have any taste for sin and suffering, your piety and sins disappear, and you conquer the illusory environment." (Pv: 19.108–9)
Only detachment produced by devotion is natural (Cc: Madhya, 16.238–9):
"Service to Krishna and the sadhus is relishable to the soul. By simply opposing material nature, you end up completely disheartened." (Pv: 9.7)
The soul, a part and parcel of Krishna's energy, is Krishna's eternal servant and naturally serves Him under the spell of His all-attractive nature (Cc: Madhya, 20.108–9, 21.102):
"The soul is a spiritual spark, and Krishna is the spiritual sun. Seeing eternal Krishna, the soul adores Him." (Pv: 6.1)
The only qualification for devotion is faith (Cc: Madhya, 22.64):
"Every human being—if they have faith—is qualified to chant the Name. The arguments and brashness of speculators about caste and class do not count for anything." (Pv: 10.1)
Having desires contrary to the Lord's will is the one and only cause of the soul's fall, illusion, and suffering (Cc: Madhya, 20.117):
"When souls become averse to Krishna and desire enjoyment, nearby Maya seizes them. Forgetting, 'I am an eternal servant of Krishna', souls become slaves of Maya and wander indefinitely (suffering the consequences of their actions in the material world)." (Pv: 6.2, 4)
Sadhu-sanga is the fundamental basis of deliverance and devotion (Cc: Madhya, 22.45, 80):
"When the souls' wandering throughout samsara comes to an end, then, according to their fortune, they attain the association of the sadhus. Brother, as a result of association with the sadhus, devotion to Krishna, the Lord of all Lords, appears within their hearts." (Pv: 12.3–4)
The combination of service to the devotees and service to the Name is the essence of the practice given by Sri Gaurasundar (Cc: Madhya, 22.124):
"I want only to chant the Name of Krishna in the association of the sadhus—there is no other way to conquer samsara." (Pv: 6.13)
Serving Vaisnavas is real service to the Lord (Cc: Madhya, 16.70):
"Serve Gaura's devotees with perfect sincerity, and then, brother, you will reach Sri Krishna's feet." (Pv: 7.18)
Divine love is the supreme goal of devotional practice (Cc: Madhya, 19.164):
"Be free from offences and chant the Name of Krishna. Then divine love will come with the Name and reside within your heart." (Pv: 19.156)
Divine love captivates the Lord Himself (Cc: Madhya, 8.88):
"The Lord never leaves the sincere hearts of those who have bound His lotus feet with the rope of divine love." (Pv: 12.25)
Divine love is the supreme fulfilment (Cc: Madhya, 2.49):
"Love for Krishna is perfectly pure, like the pure water of the Ganges; it is an ocean of nectar. Within such pure love, there is not even a trace of mundanity. It is like a white cloth free from even one spot of ink. Pure love is an ocean of joy. I have received one drop of it, and this drop floods the world." (Pv: 16.15–6)
Sri Sri Prema-vivarta thus serves as a comprehensive companion to Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita. In a text less than one-tenth of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita's length, Srila Jagadananda Pandit has presented the gist of Gaudiya–Vaisnava theology—sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojan—in clear-cut, energetic summaries composed in sweet vernacular rhyme. Those whose hearts are thrilled to hear the essential principles of sincerity, surrender, and devotion propounded with emphatic conviction are nourished in full by Sri Sri Prema-vivarta. Bearing in mind that our Guru-varga reveres Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita as the most revolutionary theological literature to have ever seen the light of day, when we read and reflect on Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, which presents Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita's wealth in a condensed and vibrant form, we can only marvel at the profundity of this simple gift. What will we not attain by taking its substance to heart?
Holding on our heads the ideal of unconditional devotion to Sri Gurudev, the Vaisnavas, Sri Gaurasundar, and the Lord's eternal associates, we invoke the blessings of Srila Jagadananda Pandit and pray that the words of Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami may soon shine true in the hearts of all the readers:
jagadanandera 'prema-vivarta' sune yei jana
"Anyone who hears Jagadananda's Prema-vivarta understands the nature of divine love and attains its wealth."
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