Sri Srivasa Pandita

asyaartho vivrtas tair yah
sa sankshipyaa vilikhyate
bhakta-rupo gaurachandro
yato ‘sau nandanandanah

bhakta-swarupo nityanando
vraje yah sri-halayudhah
bhaktaavatara acaryo
‘dvaito yah sri-sadaasivah

bhaktaakhyaah srinivaasaadyaa
yatas te bhakta-rupinah
bhakta-shaktir dvi jaagranyah

“I shall now summarily explain the meaning of these words. In this Pancha-tattwa, the bhakta-rupa (form of a devotee) is Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who formerly appeared as Sri Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaj. The bhakta-swarupa (devotional incarnation) is Lord Nityananda, who formerly appeared in Vrajabhumi as Lord Balarama. The bhaktaavatara (devotional manifestation) is Lord Advaita Acarya, who is not different from Sadaashiva. The bhataakhya (pure devotee) is Srivasa and other great devotees as well. The bhakta-shakti (devotional energy) is Gadadhara Pandita, the foremost of brahmanas.” (Gaura Ganodesh Dipika 11.)

atra trayah samunneyaa
vighraha prabhavaash ca te

eko mahaaprabhur jneyah
sri-caitanya dayaambudhih
prabhu dvau sri-yutau nityaa-
nandaadvaitau mahaashayau

goswaamino vighrash ca
te dvi jaash ca gadaadharah
pancha-tattwaatmaka ete
srinivaasas ca panditah

“Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda Avadhuta, and Lord Advaita, are all incarnations of the supremly exalted Personality of Godhead, and They are all known by the title Prabhu (Master). Among Them, Lord Chaitanya, Who is an ocean of mercy, is known as Mahaprabhu (The Great Master), and the great personalities Lord Nityananda and Lord Advaita are known only as Prabhu (Master). All three are also known as Goswami (Master of the Senses). Gadaadhara is called by the title Dvija (Brahmana, and Srinivaasa is called by the title Pandita (Learned Scholar). These are the titles of the members of the Pancha-tattwa.” (Gaura Ganodesha Dipika 13.)

“O my Lord Gaurahari, You are the abode of auspiciousness which is as beautiful as the kirtana of Krsna. You are the ocean of elegance, bestower of constant flow of devotion and mountain of love which is as bright as gold. Your beautiful features give soothing relief to the eyes of every living being and you are mankind’s salvation from all kinds of misfortune. You are the center of the Lila Vilasa, and the life of the devotees. Be kind to me.” (Bhakti-ratnakara. KJÄ1.)

“O my Prabhu, Sri Gopala Bhatta, the bee at the lotus like feet of Sri Gaura. You are the sun which destroys the darkness of illusion, the ocean of kindness and the greatest of all the brahmanas. You are the son of Sri Venkata Bhatta and a valuable ornament of divine love and devotion. You are the destroyer of worldly miseries and a resort of happiness to the misery stricken people. O Lord save me.” (Bhakti-ratnakara. KJÄ.2.)

“O my Prabhu, Srila Gopala Bhatta, a bee at the lotus like feet of Mahaprabhu. You are the most skillful devotee of the Lord. O my Prabhu Srivasa, whose complexion is as golden as Sri Sacinandana, you are the king amongst all the brahmanas. Please bless me.” (Bhakti-ratnakara. KJÄ3.)

“I constantly worship the companions of Srivasa Prabhu who is like the wishing tree of devotional love of Sri Krsna Caitanya Candra.” (Bhakti-ratnakara. KJÄ4.)

“My dear listeners, please repeatedly and joyfully hear the Bhaktiratnakara which is the life of all Vaisnavas and the destroyer of all miseries and misfortunes.” (Bhakti-ratnakara. KJÄ5.)

“Sri Gadadhara is expansion Radharani and Srivasa is the expansion of Narada Muni, or in other words they are the internal and the devotional energy respectively.” (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. 27th May 1970. Letter to Tamal Krishna.)

srivas-pandito dhimaan
yah pura narado munih
purvataakhyo muni-varo
ya aasin narada-priyah
sa raama-panditah srimams

“Intelligent Srivaasa Pandita had previously been Narada Muni, the best of the sages. Srivaasa’s younger brother, Sriman Rama Pandita, had previously been Narada’s close friend Parvata Muni” (Gaura Ganodesh Dipika 90.)

Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, the Vyasadeva of Sri Gaurasundara’s pastimes, has sung the praises of Srivasa Pandita in this way:

“It was in Srivasa Pandita’s house that Sri Caitanya enacted His pastimes of sankirtana. Those four brothers (Srivasa, Sri Rama, Sripati and Srinidhi) were continuously engaged in singing the names of Sri Krsna. They worshipped Sri Krsna and bathed in the Ganges thrice daily.”

These four brothers previously lived in the district of Sri Hatta. Later on they came to reside on the banks of the Ganges. There they regularly used to attend the assembly of devotees who gathered at Sri Advaita Acarya’s house to hear the Srimad Bhagavatam and engage in congregational chanting of the Holy Names. Gradually the brothers became very close friends of Sri Jagannatha Misra, with whom they would chant and listen to the Bhagavatam.

In all matters Srivasa was the leader of the four brothers. By the strength of his devotion, he could understand that Sri Krsna was going to appear in the house of Jagannatha Misra.

Srivasa Pandits’s wife’s name was Sri Malinidevi. She was a very close friend of Sri Sacidevi and was always very helpful to her.

Seeing the wretched state of the fallen living entities in Kali yuga, the devotees began to plaintively pray to the Lord for their deliverance. Krsna hears the call of His devotees. On the full moon day in the month of Phalguna, in the year 1407 (Christian era 1486), the Lord incarnated Himself. With His appearance there was the simultaneous dawning of all-auspiciousness within the world as it became filled with Harinama. Just as Sri Advaita Acarya, from Santipura, could understand that the Lord had appeared, similarly, Srivasa and some of the other devotees of Navadwipa also understood.

Since previously Malinidevi was engaged in attending upon Sacidevi, Srivasa and Jagannatha Misra came to her at this time and hinted that she was especially needed now.

As long as the Lord chooses not to reveal Himself, no one can possibly recognize Him. Therefore, even though from His childhood the Lord exhibited many supernatural abilities, still, due to His deluding potency, the devotees could not fully understand His true nature.

Their hearts were simply filled with parental affection for Him, without a trace of awe or reverence. Srivasa and Malini gave Sacidevi and Jagannatha much advice how to raise their new son. Srivasa and Malini were just like a mother and father to Sri Gaurasundara. Because young Nimai Pandita seemed to have grown arrogant by His scholarship, one day Srivasa Pandita decided to give Him good counsel.

“Why do people study? So that they might understand what is devotion to Sri Krsna,” he told Nimai. “If by scholarship one doesn’t gain devotion to Sri Krsna, then how will that learning help him? It becomes simply a tedious endeavour which in the end is nothing but a waste of time. If you have actually learned something then begin your worship of Sri Krsna now. Make haste. This is the purpose of your life.”

Nimai laughed as He replied, “By your mercy certainly that will come to be. If you are all kind enough for me, then definitely I’ll attain devotion to Sri Krsna’s lotus feet.”

Shortly thereafter Mahaprabhu journeyed to Gaya where He performed the pastimes of accepting initiation from Sri Isvara Puri. Thus gradually, He began to take up His real work of distributing loving devotion to Sri Krsna.

One day, in an ecstatic mood, Lord Gauranga entered Srivasa’s house asking, “Srivas, whom do you worship? Whom do you meditate upon? Now with your own two eyes, see that person standing before you.” [C.B. Madhya 2/258]

Saying this, Mahaprabhu entered the Deity room within Srivasa’s home temple and sat down on the simhasana of Lord Visnu, revealing His own four-armed form, holding the conch, disc club and lotus flower. Seeing this form, Srivasa was totally stupefied.

Sri Gaurasundara then said, “Due to being called by your sankirtana and the loud roaring of Sri Advaita Acarya, I have left Vaikuntha and have descended upon this mortal world, accompanied by My eternal associates, will destroy the miscreants and deliver the pious. Now, without fear, you can chant my glories.”

Hearing these words of His Lord, which dispelled all fear, Srivasa fell on the ground, offering his obeisances. Then he began to recite hymns in praise of the Lord.

“My obeisances at the lotus feet of the support of the entire universe Visvambhara, Whose bodily colour is like that of a newly arrived rain cloud and wore garments which are the color of a thunderbolt. My obeisances at the lotus feet of the son of Saci, who is bedecked with ornaments of peacock feathers and a garland of read beads (gunja-mala). My obeisances at the lotus feet of the pupil of Ganga dasa, the beauty of whose lotus face conquers that of ten million moons. My obeisances at your lotus feet, You who carry a buffalo horn, stick and flute. The four Vedas have proclaimed You to be the son of Nanda. Unto You my dear Lord, my obeisances I offer again and again.” [C.B.Madhya 2/272]

“Today my birth, my activities, my everything has become successful. Today my very existence has been crowned with the greatest auspiciousness. Today the race of my forefathers has finally born fruit, and my house, which was also their house, has become blessed. Today the great fortune of my eyes is completely beyond calculation, because I have been able to see that person whose lotus feet are served by the goddess of fortune, Laksmi­devi”.

Having described the glories of Sri Gaurasundara in various ways, Sri Gaurasundara showed even more compassion to Srivasa by revealing Himself to all of his family members. Seeing the niece of Srivasa Pandita present before Him, Prabhu called to her, “Narayani! Call upon Sri Krsna with tears in your eyes.”

And immediately this little girl, only four years of age, as if in a delirious frenzy began to cry out, “Hari! Krsna!” while shedding tears incessantly. In fact the flood of tears coursed down her body to such an extent that the ground around her feet became soaked.” [C.B. Madhya. 2].

Seeing little Narayani totally agitated in ecstatic love, Srivasa’s wife and even the household servants also began to shed tears of love. The courtyard of Srivasa took on a very beautiful appearance, being decorated with ecstatic love for Krsna.

There was one maidservant in Srivasa Pandita’s house by the name Duhkhi. Every day she used to bring water from the Ganga for Mahaprabhu’s bath. One day Gaurasundara asked Srivasa, “Who brings this water?”

“Duhkhi brings it,” Srivasa replied.

“From today her name is Sukhi.” Thus the Lord indicated that those who serve the Lord and the Lord’s devotees are not duhkhi (sad); rather, they are sukhi (happy).

At this time Sri Gaursundor began His lila as the yuga-avatara at the house of Srivasa Pandit. Having been reunited with Sri Nityananda Prabhu He started congregational chanting of the Lord’s Holy Names in the courtyard of Srivasa’s house. Nityananda Prabhu took up His residence there. Sri Malinidevi served Nitya­nanda as though He were her own son.

Sri Nityananda was actually Sri Baladeva Himself, and in His pastimes as Lord Nityananda He behaved somewhat like a madman. He was always overwhelmed by love of Krsna, and was not aware of the state of His outward dress or ornaments.

One evening, Sri Gaurasundara, accompanied by His associates, was engaged in chanting and dancing at the house of Srivasa Thakura when one of Srivas Thakur’s sons passed away after having suffered the effects of some disease. Within the inner apartment of his house, the women began to wail in lamentation at the boy’s untimely death. Srivasa Pandita, who was outside in the courtyard, understood some tragedy must have taken place.
He quickly entered the house only to find that his son had passed on to the next world. As he was a very grave devotee and completely conversant in the science of the Absolute Truth, he was able to console the women in their grief.

“You are all aware of Krsna’s glories, so please restrain yourselves and don’t cry. Whoever during his last moment hears the Lord’s Holy Name, even though he might be the greatest sinner, attains Krsna’s abode. And that incomparably wonderful Lord, He whose glories are sung by all His servants up to and including Lord Brahma, is now personally dancing in the courtyard of your house.

“This moment is so auspicious that it is sure this boy has successfully completed his journey from this world. Is there anything to be lamented at in this? His good fortune is completely assured. I can understand that whatever part I have played in this is also crowned with success.” [C.B.M 25.30]

He concluded by telling them, “If you can’t control your emotions because of your family affection to the boy, then at least don’t cry now, you can cry later. The Supreme Lord of Gokula Himself, Sri Gaurasundara, is performing sankirtana accompanied by His devotees in this house. If, due to your crying, the happiness that He is experiencing from dancing in ecstasy during sankirtana is disturbed, then I will just this minute jump into the Ganges and thus give up my own life.”

“Not a blade of grass moves unless by Krsna’s will. To see in this happiness or distress, or knowledge or ignorance is simply imagination. Know that whatever Krsna wills is good, and thus, giving up your own selfish desires, become free from confusion and unnecessary botheration. Krsna is giving and Krsna is taking away, and it is Krsna alone Who is maintaining everyone. Someone He protects and someone He destroys, all according to His will. If someone contemplates something contrary to Krsna’s will, then as a result of His desire He only get torment. Giving up all lamentation, simply hear Krsna’s name, and thus pass through all difficulties feeling great happiness. Then your desires will actually be fulfilled.’

Having given all of these instructions to those present, Srivasa again went outside to join Mahaprabhu in ecstatic chanting and dancing. The women, leaving the dead body, came to hear the kirtan of Mahaprabhu. And so Mahaprabhu continued His chanting until the middle of the night.

When everyone was at last leaving to take rest, Mahaprabhu spoke. “Today My mind is feeling some tribulation. I think some sad event has occurred in Srivasa’s house.”

The pandit replied, “What possible unhappiness could there be in that person’s house where Your divinely blissful countenance is seen?”
“Srivasa! Why wasn’t I feeling bliss in kirtana today? What inauspicious thing transpired in your house?”

Srivasa answered, “My Lord, You are Yourself all auspicious. Where You are present, no sorrow can be found anywhere!” But the other devotees informed the Lord that Srivasa’s son had passed away.

Hearing this news, Gaura Raya cried out, “Alas, what a tragic event. Why didn’t you tell me of this unfortunate news before?”

“I will explain,” Srivasa Pandita replied. “I couldn’t tolerate disturbing You while You were enjoying sankirtana. If one of my sons dies, what sorrow is there in that for me? If we all die while seeing You, that would actually be a matter of great happiness. On the other hand, if You would have to stop dancing, then perhaps I would have died. My Lord, this was the danger that I feared, and thus I didn’t tell you at the time.”

Seeing Srivasa Pandita’s profound devotion, Sri Gaurasundara said, “How can I give up such company as this?” With tears in His eyes He continued. “Due to love for Me, he didn’t even feel lamentation at the death of his son. How will I abandon their companionship?”

The Lord continued to cry, and the devotees began to worry within, having heard Him speak of leaving them.

Thereafter Mahaprabhu came to where the dead body of the infant was lying. Touching it, He called, “Boy! Why are you going away and leaving Srivasa Pandita?”

The life of the dead child returned at the touch of Mahaprabhu’s hand. After offering obeisances to the Lord, he replied, “O Prabhu! Whatever You ordain is absolute. No one can do anything but what is sanctioned by You. As many days as I was destined to remain here, that many days I have stayed. Now that my time has elapsed, I have proceeded to leave.

“My Lord, I have taken birth and died repeatedly. But this time, at the time of death, I passed away quite happily, having taken darsana of Your beautiful face.”

After saying this, the child became silent. Sri Gauranga Raya thus enjoyed a kind of transcendental sport. Having heard the uncommon words of the dead child, the devotees floated in the ocean of bliss. Srivasa Pandita, along with his family members, then fell at the lotus feet of Sri Gaursundara and cried in ecstatic love.

Mahaprabhu then told him, “Since Myself and Nityananda are your two sons, please don’t feel any more distress in your mind over what has happened.” Hearing these compassionate words of their Lord, the devotees cheers were resounded throughout the heavens.
Proving the statements of sastra, Their Lordships Gaura-Nitya­nanda became deeply indebted to Srivasa due to his great love for and service to Them.

After Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, Srivasa Pandit came to live at Kumarhatta. Every year he would go with His brothers to see Mahaprabhu at Puri. He also regularly came to see Sri Sacimata in Navadwip and would spend a few days there during those times.

When Mahaprabhu came from Nilacala to see His mother and the river Ganges, He also stopped at Kumarhatta to see Srivasa.

“After staying some days at Advaita’s house, Mahaprabhu came to Srivasa’s temple at Kumarhatta.” [C.B]

It was at this time that Mahaprabhu gave this benediction to Srivasa: “There will never be poverty in your house. If you simply remain indoors, never even venturing out of your house, whatever you require for your worship will come to your door.”

Srivasa Pandita, along with his three brothers, eternally serve Sri Gaurasundara. He is the incarnation of Narada and accompanied Mahaprabhu in all His Navadwipa lilas.

Across the Ganges from Halisahar (the present name of the village of Kumarhatta), there is a town of the name Chuchura. Located here are some very beautiful Deities of Sri Sri Nitai-Gauranga. At present the seva-puja is becoming carried on by Devananda Gaudiya Matha. The resident Swami Maharaja recalls that when the Gaudiya Math took over the sevaitship of this temple, its name was Srivasa- Mahaprabhu Mandir. Thus there is a strong possibility that these are the worshippable Deities of Srivasa Pandita. The temple is at present named ‘Uddhavar Gaudiya Math.’ It is near ‘Chaumatha’, close to the ‘Chori Mor’ intersection where the town clock stands.

There is a rail station at Chuchura (Chinsura) on the Bandel-Navadwip line. Chuchura may also be reached by ferry from Halisahar on the other side of the Ganga, where Caitanya Boda, the birthplace of Sri Isvara Puri, is located.