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Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura Appearance

On the appearance day of Sri Vrindavana dasa Thakura, I will briefly discuss his life history. Vrindavana dasa Thakura is known as chaitanya-lila Vyasa. In his Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika, Kavi Karnapura explains that Vyasadeva appeared in this Kali-yuga in the form of Vrindavana dasa Thakura. Who is Vyasa? The one who spreads the sweet pastimes of Krishna. In His incarnation of Srila Dvaipayana Vedavyasa, Krishna manifested Srimad-Bhagavatam, which included all of His lilas.

In the same way, Vrindavana dasa Thakura manifested the sweet pastimes of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. For this regard, he is called chaitanya-lila Vyasa.

There is not much written in our shastras regarding Vrindavana dasa Thakura’s life history. Vrindavana dasa Thakura was very humble, so he did not write many things about his own life. Not many know who his father was even as his name is not openly mentioned. Vrindavana dasa Thakura’s mother was Narayani-devi dasi. Have you heard of her? Narayana-devi was the niece of Srivasa Thakura. She was the daughter of Srivasa Thakura’s brother.

During the time when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu enacted His household-life lilas in Navadvipa-dhama, at the age of four or five, Narayana-devi was very much attached to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, especially when He would perform nama-sankirtana in the house of Srivasa Thakura. As a small child, Narayani used to come very close to Gaurasundara and He would show so much love and affection towards her. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sometimes even gave His own remnants to Narayani.

From a young age, Narayani was an expert dancer. No one ever taught her how to dance, still, she danced very nicely. Most of the time, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was absorbed in the ecstatic moods of krishna-lila and the young Narayani would be dancing along very nicely; her gopi dance was especially nice which made Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu very happy. Mahaprabhu would ask Narayani to dance every day because she was such an expert. Also, she brought water from the Ganges river every day to offer to Sriman Mahaprabhu.

It is explained, when Narayani became mature, she married and gave birth to a baby boy and he was named Vrindavana dasa Thakura. When we perform Navadvipa-dhama parikrama, we always visit Mamagachi, the birth place of Vrindavana dasa Thakura. There, he lived with his mother Narayani-devi. In Treta-yuga, when Lord Ramachandra manifested, He also stayed a few months in that place. There is also a very beautiful temple there.

Having received the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Vrindavana dasa Thakura manifested a very nice grantha called Chaitanya-bhagavata. Initially, Vrindavana dasa Thakura titled his grantha Chaitanya-mangala. But another devotee, who also wrote on Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lilas, gave his grantha the same name, Chaitanya-mangala. For this regard, Vrindavana dasa Thakura changed his grantha’s name to Chaitanya-bhagavata.

Vrindavana dasa Thakura was thinking, “First, I have to glorify Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His gaura-lilas.” But how could he possibly write about gaura-lilas without first receiving the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu? So he thought, “I have to glorify Nityananda Prabhu first.”

nitāiyer koruṇā habe, braje rādhā-kṛṣṇa pābe

dharo nitāi-caraṇa du'khāni

Nitai Pada Kamala

by Narottama dasa Thakura

[If you actually want to approach the association of Radha-Krishna, you must first achieve the mercy of Lord Nityananda. When He is merciful toward you, then you will be able to approach Radha-Krishna. Therefore, you should firmly grasp the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.]

If you receive the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, then you will also receive the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu; with the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, you will attain the Divine Couple, Radha and Krishna in Goloka Vrindavana. Because nityananda-tattva is called guru-tattva, baladeva-tattva. What does Baladeva mean? Bala means shakti or energy. Without this transcendental energy, chit-shakti, you cannot develop your bhajana and sadhana. All the transcendental energy comes from Baladeva Prabhu. Baladeva Prabhu is known as our original guru-tattva. Guru destroys all kinds of anarthas from the hearts of his disciples through hari-katha. By a sadhaka’s own endeavors or efforts, he cannot remove anarthas from his heart. Try to understand this. What is needed? The mercy of Baladeva Prabhu, Nityananda Prabhu. Conditioned souls have many kinds of desires, but without the desire of the Lord, you cannot attain any fruits. This means, when Krishna’s desire will come, all of our desires will be fulfilled, otherwise not. In the same way, we cannot develop our spiritual life without the mercy of Baladeva Prabhu.

So, Vrindavana dasa Thakura very humbly thought, “First, I will glorify Nityananda Prabhu. Because Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the heart and soul of Nityananda Prabhu.” Similarly, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami first thought, “I will go to Jagannatha Puri and meet with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.” Raghunatha dasa Gosvami left his house but first went to meet with Nityananda Prabhu in Panihati. Then Nityananda Prabhu caught his choti and told Raghunatha, “You are a thief, chora!” Nityananda continued, “Because Gaurasundara is My heart and soul. Gaurasundara, He is the treasure of My heart. Why do you want to break My treasure chest and take My very valuable things? You are a thief. I will have to punish you.” Then Nityananda Prabhu gave His mercy to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and ordered him to organise a flat-rice festival, known as Chida-dadhi Mahotsava. Meaning, in this lila, Nityananda Prabhu established this siddhanta - Without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, no one can attain Gaurasundara. Our main objective is how to receive the mercy of gurupada-padma Nityananda Prabhu or Baladeva Prabhu.

When Vrindavana dasa Thakura started to write about gaura-lila, he first glorified nityananda-lila. As he was writing and writing, he became completely absorbed in Nityananda, and forgot to write about gaura-katha. He then thought, “I have written everything about Nityananda Prabhu, but I did not include much about gaura-katha.” He only briefly covered gaura-lila in his writings. Only later did Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami manifest the Chaitanya-charitamrita, which included all gaura-lilas.

Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami very humbly said, “I am wretched, I have no bhakti. But, Nityananda Prabhu gave me mercy.” In a dream, Nityananda Prabhu directly ordered Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, “You must write gaura-lilas.” He gave him this instruction directly. Though Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami never directly met with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he wrote about all gaura-lila-kathas which he heard from Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami also gave him the karcha (diary) about Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu written by Svarupa Damodata. This is referred to as svarupere karcha. With this, and the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami was able to manifest Chaitanya-charitamrita. So in Chaitanya-charitamrita, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami wrote, “I am writing something as the remnants of Vrindavana dasa Thakura.”

In this way, our shastras explain why Vrindavana dasa Thakura is called gaura-lila vyasa-avatara and how we should give respect to him. In Chaitanya-bhagavata, Vrindavana dasa Thakura mostly glorified the period prior to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa-lila. And when Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami wrote about Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila, he wrote mainly about Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa-lila, His pastimes in Jagannatha Puri.

Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami did write about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s bala-lilas, His childhood pastimes; he wrote about everything, because all of Mahaprabhu’s lilas are very, very touching, heart melting and full of compassion, karuna.

Bolo Vrindavana dasa Thakura ki jaya!

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

Date: 03 May 2016 Location: Russia


Transcriber: Jayshree dasi (UK) Editor: Sanatana dasa (UK) Proofreader: Chandrika dasi (UK) Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Image: Navina-krishna dasa (Holland)

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