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Sri Madhavendra Puri Disappearance

Today is a super excellent auspicious day as it is the disappearance day of Madhavendra Puripada. I want to speak about him, who among our Gaudiya Vaishnavas, is called the sprout of prema of Vrindavana. That is prema-ankuraprema means divine love and ankura means sprout. Combined, it means the sprout of divine love of Sri Radha and Krishna.

So, Madhavendra Puripada is very important in our guru-parampara. He was a disciple of Lakshmipati Tirtha, and he gave diksha to Ishvara Puripada. Thereafter, Ishvara Puripada gave diksha to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and in turn Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spread this prema to our Rupa Gosvamipada, Jiva Gosvamipada, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Narottama, Shyamananda and Srinivasa — in this way, our guru-parampara manifested.

Ragatmika Nature of Vrajavasis

In Chaitanya-charitamrita, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami very clearly explained, ‘mathura viraha katara bhajana’, which means that when Krishna left Vrindavana for Mathura, all the residents of Vrindavana felt pangs of separation from Him. Consequently, Krishna sent Uddhava from Mathura to Vrindavana [to pacify the Vrajavasis], this is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam by Sri Shukadeva Gosvamipada:

gacchoddhava vrajaṁ saumya

pitror nau prītim āvaha

gopīnāṁ mad-viyogādhiṁ

mat-sandeśair vimocaya

Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.46.3)

[Dear gentle Uddhava, go to Vraja and give pleasure to Our parents. And also relieve the gopis, suffering in separation from Me, by giving them My message.]

When Uddhava arrived in Vrindavana he saw how much love and affection the Vrajavasis have with Krishna, and thus he was completely surprised and astonished by their prema.

This is why the Vrajavasis are called ragatmika, they have spontaneous love and affection, with Krishna dwelling in their hearts. When Uddhava came to Vrindavana he met with Nanda Maharaja, Mother Yashoda and especially saw the prema of the gopis, and amongst the gopis, Uddhava witnessed Srimati Radhika's highest prema— divya-unmada-dasha, transcendental madness. And when Uddhava saw such an exalted state of Radharani, he again and again bowed his forehead down to Her lotus feet. Then, Uddhava quoted one verse:

sarvātma-bhāvo ’dhikṛto

bhavatīnām adhokṣaje

viraheṇa mahā-bhāgā

mahān me ’nugrahaḥ kṛtaḥ

Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.27)

[You have rightfully claimed the privilege of unalloyed love for the transcendental Lord, O most glorious gopis. Indeed, by exhibiting your love for Krishna in separation from Him, you have shown me great mercy.]

Uddhava told the vraja-gopis, “O vraja-gopis! Actually you have no viraha, separation from Krishna, you have only manifested your viraha or separation because you are giving your blessings or kripa to me. Your prema towards Krishna is unique and unparalleled as even mahishi-prema, the love from the Queens of Dvaraka, does not even reach these types of prema.”

Then, Uddhava quoted this verse, “Mahishi api sudurlabham.” The Queens of Dvaraka-puri, mahishi, even though they are eternal consorts of Krishna and despite them always meeting with Him, these types of prema cannot possibly manifest in their hearts. Since this prema is unique and unparalleled, Uddhava again and again bowed down his forehead and asked for just one sprinkle of foot dust from the vraja-gopis, especially from Srimati Radhika.

How can this prema be known during a time of viraha or separation? In Brihad-bhagavatamrita, Srila Sanatana Gosvamipada explains that when a lover and beloved are meeting, you cannot measure their prema. However, when a lover and beloved are separated from each other, then, you can measure their love or prema. The hearts of the devotees melt from separation, and thus their love takes on the nature of liquid. In this state, it is possible to measure it. For example, you can easily place your hand into a bucket of water when it is liquid, but when that water is transformed into solid ice, you can no longer place your hand in.

Shloka Realised Only by Three Personalities

For this reason, when Srimati Radhika felt pangs of separation from Krishna, She would again and again recite one verse which Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami wrote in Chaitanya-charitamrita:

ayi dīna-dayārdra nātha he

mathurā-nātha kadāvalokyase

hṛdayaṁ tvad-aloka-kātaraṁ

dayita bhrāmyati kiṁ karomy aham

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila, 4.197)

[“O My Lord! O most merciful master! O master of Mathura! When shall I see You again? Because of My not seeing You, My agitated heart has become unsteady. O most beloved one, what shall I do now?”]

This is called mathura-viraha. I again remind you that mathura-viraha refers to Krishna leaving from Vrindavana to Mathura. And at that time, Srimati Radhika felt pangs of separation from Krishna; during the day Her separation would rise up and up. And in those moments, in Her viraha-dasha (state of separation), Srimati Radhika would use harsh words to Krishna, or display very left-wing and right-wing moods, called vamya-bhava and dakshina-bhava— which have been expressed in this shloka. Hence, in a simple way, Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami here explains that Srimati Radhika very humbly spoke these words:

ayi dīna-dayārdra nātha he

mathurā-nātha kadāvalokyase

Srimati Radhika says, “O Krishna, You are very kind-hearted and compassionate to all living entities. You have shown so much love and affection to us in Vrindavana. Except now, You have left us here alone, and now You are staying in Mathura. So Mathura-natha (The King of Mathura), when will we see Your lotus face? Our hearts cannot survive.”

hṛdayaṁ tvad-aloka-kātaraṁ

dayita bhrāmyati kiṁ karomy aham

[“What can I do? Now, My heart and mind are completely bewildered. What to do and what not to do? Without Your darshana we cannot survive our lives.”]

Actually, these are the highest forms of prema called rudha, adhirudha, madana, mohana and madhanakhya-mahabhava. In these stages of prema, Srimati Radhika again and again recites this verse, and this shloka was also recited by Sri Madhavendra Puripada. Thus, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami explains:

ei śloka kahiyāchena rādhā-ṭhākurāṇī

tāṅra kṛpāya sphuriyāche mādhavendra-vāṇī

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila, 4.194)

[Actually this verse was spoken by Srimati Radharani Herself, and by Her mercy only was it manifest in the words of Madhavendra Puri.]

In this verse, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami explains that this mathura-viraha-bhava manifested first in the heart of Srimati Radhika. Then, by the causeless mercy of Srimati Radhika, Madhavendra Puripada spoke this shloka. And then, by the causeless mercy of Madhavendra Puripada, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu again and again recited this verse. For this reason, in Chaitanya-charitamrita, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami explains:

kibā gauracandra ihā kare āsvādana

ihā āsvādite āra nāḥi cauṭha-jana

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila, 4.195)

[Only Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has tasted the poetry of this verse. No fourth man is capable of understanding it.]

Hence, this verse was only recited by three personalities, and the verse relishes the inner meaning of separation mood. This means, Srimati Radhika was first to speak this verse, second was Madhavendra Puripada, and third to recite it was Gaurasundara. For this regard, Madhavendra Puripada also entered into shringara-rasa, the conjugal mood, vraja-parakiya mood, as only this Vraja paramour mood can manifest the highest prema of Vrindavana.

Madhavendra Puri - The Sprout of Prema

The highest paramour moods are only manifested in Vraja in the hearts of vraja-gopis. So, in Chaitanya-charitamrita, shringara-rasa means vraja-parakiya-rasa. Therefore, Madhavendra Puripada is called the original source of vraja-parakiya-rasa in this material world. And by this cause, this same sprout of vraja-parakiya-rasa also manifested in the heart of Ishvara Puripada, and then from the heart of Ishvara Puripada to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus, Mahaprabhu is called skandha. Skandha means trunk, and all of His followers are called branches and sub-branches. And the Lord spread this prema everywhere; He especially gave this prema to Srila Rupa Gosvamipada. In Vidagdha-madhava, Srila Rupa Gosvamipada explained these things:

anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau

samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam

hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ

sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ

Vidagdha-madhava (1.2)

[“May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Shachi-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.”]

Shachinandana Gaurahari is called the embodiment of munificence and magnanimity. He is always showing so much compassion towards all living entities. He has tasted this highest prema and then, He indiscriminately distributed this prema everywhere. Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami also explains that the conditioned soul has to first feel separation from Krishna. And Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu manifested this viraha mood — viraha means separation. Without separation, He cannot enter in our hearts. This is why our shastras state that viraha is like fire, viraha-agni. If you place something into the fire, or agni, everything will melt.

Therefore, only when you feel separation from Krishna will your heart melt. For this regard, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami also explained in Chaitanya-charitamrita, and also Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in their commentaries, that first, conditioned souls need to feel separation from Krishna. And Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself recited the eight verses of Shikshashtaka in order to show us how to feel separation from Krishna— by regularly chanting the holy names, we will realise our transcendental constitutional form, siddha-deha, and with our siddha-deha we will serve our ishtadeva.

Without realising our own constitutional form, siddha-deha, we cannot feel separation from Krishna. So, we must first remove all anarthas from our hearts. Then slowly, we will realise our siddha-deha, our transcendental constitutional form. And once siddha-deha-parichaya (realisation of transcendental constitutional form) is reached, we will feel separation from Krishna, and our ishtadeva.

Unparalleled Feeling of Separation by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

In this way, Sri Madhavendra Puripada, day and night, also felt pangs of separation from Krishna. And in the same way, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also felt pangs of separation from Krishna, as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was absorbed in the moods of Srimati Radhika. Mahaprabhu was thinking, “I am Radha, and now My beloved Krishna has left Vrindavana for Mathura.” Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami also explained how we will feel these things when he quoted this verse:

he deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho he kṛṣṇa he capala he karuṇaika-sindho he nātha he ramaṇa he nayanābhirāma hā hā kadā nu bhavitāsi padaṁ dṛśor me

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila, 2.65)

[“O My Lord! O dearest one! O only friend of the universe! O Krishna, O restless one, O only ocean of mercy! O My Lord, O My enjoyer, O beloved to My eyes! Alas, when will You again be visible to Me?”]

Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami wrote, “He deva he dayita,” meaning that in Her mana-dasha, sulky mood, Srimati Radhika has four kinds of separation moods, called purvaraga, mana, pravasa and prema-vaichittya. And here, during Srimati Radhika’s mana-dasha She recites this verse, teasing Krishna, “He deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho.” Srimati Radhika said, “O Deva! O Krishna! O friend of the universe!” Deva means, ‘devayati karayati iti deva’, - One who dances in the hearts of all living entities. This is why one of Krishna’s names is Deva.

(kṛṣṇa) deva! bhavantaḿ vande

man-mānasa-madhukaram arpaya nija-pada-pańkaja-makarande

Krishna Deva Bhavantam Vande (1)

by Srila Rupa Gosvami

[“O Lord Sri Krishna! I am offering a prayer unto You. Please let the bee of my mind be offered the nectarian honey of Your lotus feet.”]

Here Deva means - You are very beautiful and attractive. Like Srimati Radhika, She is called Devi. Devi is the feminine term, whereas Deva is the masculine.

devī kṛṣṇa-mayī proktā

rādhikā para-devatā

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi-lila 4.83)

[The transcendental goddess Srimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Sri Krishna.]

Here, Devi means:

‘devī’ kahi dyotamānā, paramā sundarī

kimvā, kṛṣṇa-pūjā-krīḍāra vasati nagarī

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi-lila 4.84)

[“Devi” means “resplendent and most beautiful.” Or else it means “the lovely abode of the worship and love sports of Lord Kṛṣṇa.”]

Hence, devī and paramā sundarī here means one who is very beautiful and attractive, unique and unparalleled. And in the same way, Krishna is very beautiful, attractive and unparalleled. Our Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads also explain this:

na tat-samaś cābhyadhikaś ca dṛśyate

Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.8)

[No one is greater than Him or equal to Him.]

No one is equal to Him. “Who is higher than Me?” For this regard, in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Shukadeva Gosvamipada also explains that Krishna's rupa-madhurya, lila-madhurya, prema-madhurya and venu-madhurya are all unique and unparalleled. One of Krishna's madhurya, sweetness, is called rupa-madhurya, the sweetness of His beauty.

For this reason, in Her mana-dasha, Srimati Radhika teases Krishna by saying, “Bhuvanerа nari yata — all of the young girls are automatically intoxicated with Your beauty.”

kā stry aṅga te kala-padāyata-veṇu-gīta-

sammohitārya-caritān na calet tri-lokyām

trailokya-saubhagam idaṁ ca nirīkṣya rūpaṁ

yad go-dvija-druma-mṛgāḥ pulakāny abibhran

Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.29.40)

[“Dear Krishna, what woman in all the three worlds wouldn’t deviate from religious behaviour when bewildered by the sweet, drawn-out melody of Your flute? Your beauty makes all three worlds auspicious. Indeed, even the cows, birds, trees and deer manifest the ecstatic symptom of bodily hair standing on end when they see Your beautiful form.”]

Shukadeva Gosvamipada also said, “Who does not want to meet with Krishna? What to speak of the young damsels of Vraja?” Srimati Radhika continued, “So, everybody loves You and You are always dancing in their hearts.” This is why in this verse She says, ”He deva.” And in Her mana-dasha, Srimati Radhika, very humbly says, ”All the young girls love You. But, when will You have time to come meet with Me?”

For this reason, She has called Him — “He deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho” — dayita means, You are very nearest and dearest, and bhuvanaika-bandho means, “You are the friend of the universe, everybody makes friendships with You, even in Vaikuntha, Ayodhya, Dvaraka, Mathura and Goloka Vrindavana. And Lakshmi-devi is known as a chaste lady, and even she is completely intoxicated with Your beauty. And for this reason, she is performing hard austerities in order to enter into Your rasa dance.”

Finally, ‘He kṛṣṇa' - means, ‘Another name of Yours is ‘Krishna’. ‘Krsh dhatu, akarshayati iti krishnah’ - that means, ‘Everybody becomes attracted to Your different qualities’.

‘Krishnati akarshayati nasta nivritti vachaka premam dadati’ — this means, ‘You attract all the living entities towards You and give them prema, for this regard You are called Krishna’.

And chapala means, ‘You are very restless, because You are also a connoisseur’; one who is very expert in tasting very powerful alcohol. And in the same way, the gopis here say this phrase, “You are the great connoisseur and in this regard everybody is intoxicated by You, and everybody is also chasing behind You.”

Also, chapala means someone who is not staying in one place, like a very intoxicated bumblebee. The bumblebee goes from one flower to another, from morning to evening. In the same way, Srimati Radhika said, “You are called the great connoisseur and You are going from one gopi to another gopi, so this is Your nature and therefore You are called chapala (restless).”

'He kṛṣṇa he capala he karuṇaika-sindho’ — karuṇaika-sindho means, ‘You are the ocean of compassion’. Srimati Radhika continued, “But we have one hope, You are called the ocean of compassion, so You must give mercy to us and one day You will return back to us.”

he deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho he kṛṣṇa he capala he karuṇaika-sindho he nātha he ramaṇa he nayanābhirāma hā hā kadā nu bhavitāsi padaṁ dṛśor me

Srimati Radhika asks, “How will I see Your lotus face again?” In this way, She sometimes displays Her left-wing mood, vamya-bhava and sometimes Her right-wing mood, called dakshina-bhava. And She also glorifies Krishna, actually, this is called the highest shringara-rasa, parakiya-shringara-rasa. And this parakiya-shringara-rasa first manifested in the heart of Madhavendra Puripada, then from Madhavendra Puripada, it came to the heart of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. While Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was staying in Gambhira, throughout the day and night, Svarupa Damodara and Raya Ramananda would pacify Him. Thus, Madhavendra Puripada is called our prema-ankura— even Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, glorified Madhavendra Puripada’s life history. Mahaprabhu Himself asked Nityananda Prabhu:

prabhu kahe, — nityānanda, karaha vicāra

purī-sama bhāgyavān jagate nāhi āra

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 4.171)

[Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked Nityananda Prabhu to judge whether there was anyone within the world as fortunate as Madhavendra Puri.]

No one in this material world can compare with Madhavendra Puripada’s great fortune as Krishna directly met with him and even gave him some milk. Our shastras say:

dugdha-dāna-chale kṛṣṇa yāṅre dekhā dila

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 4.171)

[Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Madhavendra Puri was so fortunate that Krishna personally appeared before him on the plea of delivering milk.”]

Pastimes of Gopala and Gopinatha

In Chaitanya-charitamrita, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami explained this pastime. Once, after taking darshana of Vrindavana, Madhavendra Puripada went to Govardhana. There, he performed bhajana and sadhana very close to Govinda-kunda. And in the middle of Sankarshana-kunda, called the lap of Giriraja Govardhana, he was chanting the holy names day and night, feeling separation from Krishna.

Sri Madhavendra Puripada possessed a mood of ayachaka-vritti, which means he never asked for any madhukari (alms) from anyone. If someone would give him something, he would accept it. Otherwise, he completely fasted and chanted the holy names— in this regard, Madhavendra Puripada’s vritti (propensity) is referred to as ayachaka-vritti.

In this way, Madhavendra Puripada was performing bhajana and sadhana on the bank of Govinda-kunda. Then one day, Gopala, meaning Krishna, manifested in the form of a cowherd boy with a pot of milk and He said, “Baba, Baba, take this milk.” He used very sweet words, “In Vraja no one can remain without eating any foodstuffs.” Then, Sri Madhavendra Puripada asked, “How did You know I am fully fasting, and that I was starving? How did You know these things?” Krishna replied, ”Actually, My mother and other ladies came here to fetch water from Govinda-kunda and they saw that your face was completely dry. For this reason, My mother sent this milk. Will you please accept it?”

However, Madhavendra Puripada was just looking at the very beautiful form of this boy. And Sri Madhavendra Puri was thinking, “I am a sannyasi, my mind is never attached to anything, yet now, when this boy arrives, my mind is completely intoxicated and attracted to this boy.” Then, the boy told, “You take this milk, because I need to go and do something,” and thus He left the milk pot. When Madhavendra Puripada drank the milk, then all kinds of ecstatic symptoms of love manifested in his heart, romancha-kampashru.

Afterwards, Madhavendra Puripada realised, “Oh, this milk is not ordinary milk,” and he chanted the holy names and closed his eyes. Next, he began recalling the beauty of this boy, and also His very sweet words, “O Madhavendra Puripada! Take this milk, in our Vraja no one will starve.”

Madhavendra Puripada continued chanting the holy names, and then at midnight, he just closed his eyes and the same boy appeared and said, “O Madhavendra Puripada! Listen, now we are here in Vraja in the lap of Giriraja Govardhana and My name is Gopala. This deity was manifested by Vajranabha, who is Krishna’s great-grandson, praputra. As a pujari he worshipped Me. However later on, when the Muslims caused a disturbance, they left Me here, and for so many years now I have been under the earth. So, you have to manifest Me.”

Thus, he had this dream of the same boy, and when Madhavendra Puripada awoke early in the morning, he called all of the Vrajavasis, with whom he manifested the very nice and beautiful deity, called Gopala. Now, all of the Vrajavasis were very happy and they placed Him on top of Giriraja Govardhana. There, they made one small cottage for Gopala and Madhavendra Puripada performed abhisheka to Thakuraji with five ingredients. Also, Madhavendra Puripada had invited all the traders from Mathura, and they donated a lot of money to celebrate the festival.

Then for one full month, Madhavendra Puripada performed Annakuta maha-mahotsava, as done in the time of Dvapara-yuga, like when Krishna performed Annakuta maha-mahotsava on the lap of Giriraja Govardhana. Similarly, Madhavendra Puripada performed Annakuta maha-mahotsava for one month, and all of the Vrajavasis very enthusiastically joined the festival. Then, after Annakuta maha-mahotsava, Thakuraji Himself said one day, “O Madhavendra Puripada! For so many years I was under the earth and so much heat is now coming from My body.”

bahu-dina tomāra patha kari nirīkṣaṇa kabe āsi’ mādhava āmā karibe sevana

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 4.39)

[“For many days I have been observing you, and I have been wondering, ‘When will Madhavendra Puri come here to serve Me?”]

Gopala said, “Now you are serving Me, but still, so much heat is inside My body, and I cannot survive the heat. So, you have to go to South India and bring Malaya chandana (a special sandalwood pulp). Take that chandana then add camphor and smear it on My body, then My body will be cooled.”

According to the instruction of Gopala, Sri Madhavendra Puripada proceeded to South India. On the way, he arrived in Shantipura and met with Advaita Acharya. There, he gave diksha-mantra to Advaita Acharya. For this reason, Advaita Acharya is called the disciple of Madhavendra Puripada. Also, Madhavendra Puripada gave diksha-mantras to Nityananda Prabhu, although some explain that it was Lakshmipati Tirtha who gave Him diksha-mantras— anyhow, this is known as mata-antara, a difference in opinion. However, everybody knows that Nityananda Prabhu served Madhavendra Puripada as His Guru.

Sri Madhavendra Puripada also met with Jagannatha Mishra (father of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu)—our shastras and Vaishnavas have provided different explanations stating that they met in Jagannatha Mishra’s house, and at that time, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was not yet born. While there, Shachimata and Jagannatha Mishra served Madhavendra Puripada. I am recalling what I have read in one grantha, where it stated that while Madhavendra Puripada was staying in Navadvipa-dhama for a few days, he also met with Jagannatha Mishra and gave a blessing to him. However, these things are not mentioned in Chaitanya-bhagavata and Chaitanya-charitamrita, perhaps it was written in Bhakti-ratnakara grantha.

Anyhow, Sri Madhavendra Puripada proceeded to Remuna where now there is Kshira-chora Gopinatha. And when he arrived, the pujari was worshipping the Thakuraji and thousands and thousands of people were standing in front of Him. A very nice and beautiful arati was going on in this way, and a sweet smell emanated from the temple. After arati, Madhavendra Puripada asked the pujari, “What kinds of prasada are you offering to the Lord?” The pujari answered, “Here, we offer amrita-keli,” which is one type of sweet rice.

Madhavendra Puripada then began thinking, “If I were to take a little bit of this amrita-keli (sweet rice), then I can taste it so when I return back to Govardhana I can also cook it for Thakuraji.” He only thought this in his mind. After arati, the pujari closed the temple and Madhavendra Puripada began performing bhajana and sadhana, chanting the holy names in a nearby market. Then, at midnight, Thakuraji Gopinatha appeared in the dream of the pujari and told him, “O pujari! Please wake up, everyday you offer twelve pots of amrita-keli. There is one pot I stole, which I placed under My simhasana and covered with My cloth. However, by My Yogamaya, you are thinking you took twelve, except only you took eleven — one stayed here with Me underneath My cloth. And you must give this amrita-keli kshira to Madhavendra Puripada.”

The pujari very quickly woke up and took his bath, and it was after midnight when he entered the temple. Upon entering, the pujari noticed one covered pot under the simhasana of Thakuraji. Next, he took the pot and came out of the temple, loudly calling, “Who is Madhavendra? Who is Madhavendra Puri?”

kṣīra laha ei, yāra nāma ‘mādhava-purī’

tomā lāgi’ gopīnātha kṣīra kaila curi

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 4.133)

[Holding the pot of sweet rice, the priest called, “Will he whose name is Madhavendra Puri please come and take this pot! Gopinatha has stolen this pot of sweet rice for you!”]

Then, Madhavendra Puripada very humbly said, “My name is Madhavendra Puri.” Now the pujari was very happy, and he gave the sweet rice, amrita-keli maha-prasada, to him. Once Madhavendra Puri just tasted a little bit, ecstatic symptoms, sattvika-vikara, manifested in his heart and he began dancing and singing. Madhavendra Puripada began thinking, “If I stay here, early in the morning, when this pujari returns, everyone will realise and begin saying how I am now a great devotee as Thakuraji stole and hid some sweet rice for me.” For this reason, at night, Sri Madhavendra Puripada left that place and proceeded towards Jagannatha Puri. Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has explained:

pratiṣṭhāra bhaye purī gelā palāñā

kṛṣṇa-preme pratiṣṭhā cale saṅge gaḍāñā

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 4.147)

[Being afraid of his reputation, Madhavendra Puri fled from Remuna. But the reputation brought by love of Godhead is so sublime that it goes along with the devotee, as if following him.]

You see, Madhavendra Puripada feared attaining name, fame and reputation, and because of this, he left that place. However, pratishtha, name and fame, automatically chased behind him.

Now, Madhavendra Puripada arrived in Jagannatha Puri and he took darshana of Lord Jagannatha. He also explained about the Malaya chandana and camphor to the King, then the King of Jagannatha Puri, arranged for Malaya chandana and also camphor to be brought. However, during that time, there were so many dacoits and muslim kings who would attempt to steal any valuable things they saw. For this reason, the King himself offered some of his personal security guards as protection to cross the border safely with Madhavendra Puripada.

Once more he arrived at Gopinatha Remuna, and if you recall, the deity is called Kshira-chora Gopinatha by everyone because this He stole kshira (sweet rice) for Madhavendra Puripada. Actually, this Gopinatha was originally manifested by Lord Ramacandra. Once, Lord Rama was staying in a forest and a little bit of rain began falling. Then, the cowherd boys and cows there started running around. As the scene unfolded, Ramacandra was smiling, and Sita-devi asked why He was smiling. Lord Rama replied, “After My rama-lila, I will manifest My krishna-lila, and in My krishna-lila I will also herd the cows.” Sita-devi responded, “How is Your beautiful form of Krishna?” Then, Lord Ramacandra manifested this deity with the tip of His arrows. Now, Sita-devi was very pleased and began worshipping this Thakuraji. While Ramacandra was staying in Dandakaranya, She would worship this Gopinatha deity every day. And when Ravana kidnapped Sita-devi, Brahmaji himself would come every day to worship Thakuraji.

When Ramacandra killed Ravana, He then rescued Sita-devi. Afterwards, Ramacandra took His original Sita-devi from the agni and proceeded from Lanka to Ayodhya. On the way, Sita-devi took the deity back. However, when they arrived in Remuna, Gopinatha Himself said, “I will not go any further, I have to stay here.” Then, Lakshmana placed Thakuraji there in Remuna. Remuna means ‘Ramaniya’, that place which is very beautiful and attractive. If you ever visit Remuna, you will see how beautiful their deities are, and the Ganga river and Sapta Tirtha are also found there— all of the tirthas are there. Thus, Thakuraji remains there until the present day, and the pujaris continue to worship Him.

Again, since Thakuraji stole kshira for Madhavendra Puripada, His name was Kshira-chora Gopinatha. Previously, His name was just Gopinatha, but now everybody calls Him Kshira-chora Gopinatha. So, when Madhavendra Puripada again returned back to that place [Jagannatha Puri], Thakuraji told him [in a dream], “O Madhavendra Puripada! There is no need to bring sandalwood and camphor from Malaya to Govardhana as you are very old, and also there are many dacoits on the way who will disturb you. Be here and place this sandalwood on My body every day.”

Still now, so many brahmanas are making sandalwood paste each day and smearing it on the body of Gopinatha. Traditionally, during the hotter months, when Thakuraji feels so much heat, it is done every day throughout these months— this is perfect chandana. Thus, every day, in many different temples, they are applying chandana over Thakuraji’s whole body. And in the same way, the brahmanas in Remuna would apply sandalwood paste over the entire body of Kshira-chora Gopinatha daily.

The Gopala deity once told Madhavendra Puripada, “Actually, Myself and Gopinatha are non-different.” You see, according to tattva-siddhanta, there are no differences between Gopinatha and Gopala. Accordingly, Madhavendra Puripada also placed sandalwood paste over the body of Gopala, who is also non-different from Gopinatha, which pleased Thakuraji.

However, now Gopinatha is in Nathadvara, near Udaipur— a very nice and beautiful Thakuraji. You can go there yourself and see this very beautiful Thakuraji. Every day, early in the morning, you can see them perform Thakuraji's very nice service; thousands and thousands of people come each day to take darshana of this very beautiful form of the Lord.

When Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu manifested in this material world 500 years ago, He once travelled to Vrindavana and He went to Govardhana. The Lord very humbly instructed:

śīghra āsiha, tāhāṅ nā rahiha cira-kāla

govardhane nā caḍiha dekhite ‘gopāla’

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Antya-lila 13.39)

[“You should remain in Vrindavana for only a short time and then return here as soon as possible. Also, do not climb Govardhana Hill to see the Gopala Deity.”]

Mahaprabhu said, “You may go to Vrindavana, but do not stay long, and also, do not climb on top of Giriraja Govardhana.” Meaning, you should never place your feet on Giriraja Govardhana. For this reason, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not climb to the top of Giriraja Govardhana and He did not take darshana of Gopala.

However, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu still felt pangs of separation from Gopala and a nice lila manifested, as Thakuraji Himself came down from Giriraja Govardhana to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. At that time, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was staying in a brahmana’s house near a village called Gatholi-grama. In this village there is one very beautiful pond. During the time of Holi, its waters completely transform to a lovely saffron colour. As Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was residing there, Gopala came down from Govardhana and gave darshana to Him.

Madhavendra Puripada also travelled to South India, visiting many different pilgrimage places and Nityananda Prabhu travelled with him. Finally, Madhavendra Puripada returned to Remuna where he left his transcendental body and entered his aprakata-lila.

Today, in Remuna, his samadhi-mandira can still be found there.

Madhavendra Puripada ki jaya!

Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Gaura Premanande! Hari Hari Bol!

Date: 8 May 2020 Location: Zoom


Transcriber: Chandrika dasi (UK) Editor: Chandrika dasi (UK), Sanatana dasa (USA) Proofreader: Chandika dasi (UK), Damodara dasa (UK), Sanatana dasa (USA) Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Image: Ananda-svarupini dasi (Poland)

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