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Srila Srivasa Pandit

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!


Srila Srivasa Pandit, the fifth member of the Panca-tattva, appeared in Srihatta, West Bengal, about 30 years before the appearance of Lord Gauranga. Srivasa Pandit lived in Navadvip before the advent of Lord Chaitanya.

Living the traditional brahminical life, he and his younger brothers, Srinidhi, Sripati and Srirama, worshipped Lord Krishna, performing devotional service and bathing thrice daily in the Ganges. On his order, they moved to Navadvip and began to associate with the senior and respected Sri Advaita Acharya.

They regularly used to attend the assembly of devotees who gathered at Sri Advaita Acharya's house to hear the Srimad-Bhagavatam and engage in congregational chanting of the Holy Names.

"Intelligent Srivasa had previously been Narada Muni, the best of the sages. Srivasa's younger brother, Sriman Rama Pandit, had previously been Narada's close friend Parvata Muni" (Gaura Ganodesh Dipika 90).

Srivasa Pandit and his wife Malini Devi became intimate friends of Jagannatha Misra and Sachi Devi. When Lord Visvambhara appeared, the hearts of all the devotees were filled with parental affection for the child. After the birth of Nimai, Malini would regularly visit and give advice to the younger Sachi mata on how to raise her mischievous child. Nimai looked upon Srivasa Pandit and Malini just like His parents. Gaurachandra loved Malini as a second mother. Malini Devi was Krishna's wet nurse in Vraja, Ambika. (Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika 90)

Srila Vrindavan das Thakur, the Vyasadeva of Sri Gaurasundara's pastimes, has sung the praises of Srivasa Pandit in this way:

"It was in Pandit's house that Sri Chaitanya enacted His pastimes of sankirtana. Those four brothers (Srivasa, Sri Rama, Sripati and Srinidhi) were continuously engaged in singing the names of Sri Krishna.”

Srivasa's house was located 200 yards north of Nimai's house. His palatial home had large comfortable rooms, a high protective boundary wall and lush gardens and groves. Every night Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu and His dearest friends would enjoy ecstatic kirtan here and relish the mellows of Vrindavan.

It was in this house, Srivasa Angan, that the angry Muslim Kazi broke the sacred mrdanga in his foolish attempt to stop Sri Krishna's sankirtana movement. From then on, Srivasa’s house was known as KHOL BANGA DANGA (place where the mrdanga was broken).

As Nimai grew and acquired knowledge, he became a famous teacher and displayed some arrogance and disdain for religious principles. One day Srivasa Pandit decided to have a talk with him.

Srivasa said, "Why do people study? So that they might understand what is devotion to Sri Krishna. If by learning and scholarship one doesn't gain devotion to Sri Krishna, then all his learning is useless. It is nothing but a waste of time. If you have actually learned something then begin your worship of Sri Krishna now. Make haste. This is the sole purpose of your life."

Nimai laughed and He replied, "By your mercy certainly that will also happen. If you are all kind enough to me, then definitely I'll attain devotion to Sri Krishna."

Shortly thereafter Mahaprabhu travelled to Gaya where He met Isvara Puri and accepted diksha from him. Thus gradually, He began to take up His real work of spreading Krishna bhakti.

One day, in a transcendental mood, Sri Gauranga entered Srivasa's house and addressed him in an imperious tone, "Srivasa, who is it that you worship everyday? Whom do you meditate upon? Now with your own two eyes, see that very person standing before you." [C.B. Madhya 2/258]

Saying this, Mahaprabhu entered the puja room in Srivasa's home and sat down on the simhasana of Lord Vishnu, revealing His four-armed form, holding the conch, disc, club and lotus flower. Seeing that form, Srivasa Pandit was totally stupefied.

Sri Gaurasundara then said, "Your sankirtana and the loud roaring of Nada (Sri Advaita Acharya) are the chief reasons that I was compelled to leave Vaikuntha and descend to this mortal world, accompanied by My eternal associates. I will destroy the miscreants and deliver the pious. Now, without fear, perform my archana.”

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

Mahaprabhu showed even more compassion to Srivasa Pandit by revealing Himself to all his family members. Seeing the little niece of the Pandit standing in a corner, Mahaprabhu called to her, "Narayani! Call upon Sri Krishna with tears in your eyes."

Iimmediately the little girl, only four years of age, as if in a trance began to cry out, "Hari! Krishna!" while shedding tears incessantly. In fact a flood of tears coursed down her body to such an extent that the ground around her feet became soaked." [C.B. Mad. 2].

Seeing little Narayani overcome with saatvik bhava, Srivasa's wife and even the household servants began to shed tears of love. The courtyard took on a wondrous ambiance, filled with the transcendental mellow of Bhakti.

There was a maidservant in Pandit’s house by the name of Dukhi. Every day she used to fetch water from the Ganga for Mahaprabhu's bath. One day Gaurasundara asked , "Who brings this water?"

"Dukhi 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 dukhi (sad); rather, they are sukhi (happy).

Around this time Sri Gaurasundara began to openly manifest His lila as the yuga-avatara at the house of the Pandit. Together with Sri Nityananda Prabhu He started the congregational chanting of the Lord's Holy Names in the courtyard of Srivasa's house. Nityananda Prabhu started living in Srivasa’s house. Sri Nityananda behaved somewhat strangely, like a madman. He was always in a state of spiritual rapture and hardly conscious of His outward appearance or dress. Sri Malini devi looked after Nityananda as though He were her own son.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu once tested Srivasa's devotion to Nityananda. Srivasa remarked that even if Nityananda took wine and mixed with women, even if he destroyed Srivasa's life and property, his (Srivasa's) love for Nityananda would not diminish. Lord Gauranga's joys knew no bounds at this remark of Srivasa. He showered his choicest blessings on Srivasa and said— "Mor Gopya Nityananda janila se tumi. Tomare santusta haiya bar diye ami." (Sri C. B. Middle Part 8/19). [You have realised the glory of My Nityananda whom I keep carefully concealed. So I am extremely pleased with you and want to grant you a boon. ]

A true surrendered devotee

One evening, Sri Gaurhari, accompanied by His associates was singing and dancing at Srivasa Angan when the Pandit’s young son, who had been ailing for some time, passed away. In the inner rooms of his house, the women began to wail in lamentation at the boy's untimely death. Srivasa Pandit, who was outside in the courtyard, understood that some calamity had taken place. He quickly entered the house only to find that his son had died. As he was true devotee and completely conversant in the science of the Absolute Truth, he was able to control his own sorrow and console the women in their grief.

"You are all aware of Krishna’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 Krishna’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 that any cause for sorrow? His good fortune is completely guaranteed. 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 sorrow because of your attachment to the boy, then at least don't cry now, you can cry later. The Supreme Lord of Gokul Himself, Sri Gaurasundara, is performing sankirtana accompanied by His devotees in this house. If, due to your crying, the joy of sankirtana is disturbed, then I will just this minute jump into the Ganga and end my life!"

"Not a blade of grass moves in this world without Sri Krishna’s will. Krishna gives and Krishna takes away, and it is Krishna alone Who maintains everyone. He protects and He finishes, all according to His will. Put aside all lamentation and simply hear Hari’s name, and thus pass through all difficulties with an undisturbed mind. Then your desires will actually be fulfilled.'

After instructing the grieving women in this way, he again went outside to join Mahaprabhu in ecstatic chanting and dancing. The women, leaving the dead body, also came out to hear the kirtan of Mahaprabhu. And so Mahaprabhu continued His chanting until the middle of the night.

But of course, the omniscient Lord knew everything. He wanted to show the glory of Srivasa’s devotion. When everyone was at last leaving, Mahaprabhu spoke. "Today My mind is feeling some tribulation. I think some tragedy has occurred in Srivasa's house."

The pandit replied, "What possible unhappiness can there be in that person's house where Your divinely blissful countenance is seen?"

"Pandit! Why did I not experience the usual bliss in kirtan today? What inauspicious event transpired in your house?"

Srivasa answered, "My Lord, You are Yourself all-auspicious. Where You are present, no sorrow can remain!" But the other devotees informed the Lord that Srivasa's young son had passed away.

Hearing the news, Gaura Raya cried out, "Alas, what a tragedy! Why didn't you tell me of this unfortunate news before?"

Pandit 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 stopped 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 his devotee’s profound devotion, Sri Gauranga cried, "Ah! How can I give up such selfless friendship as this?" With tears in His eyes He continued "Due to love for Me, he didn't even mourn the death of his son! How will I abandon their companionship?" He embraced Srivasa and cried.

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 child was lying. Touching it, He called, "Boy! Why are you going away and leaving Pandit?"

The life of the dead child returned at the touch of Mahaprabhu's hand. After offering obeisance to the Lord, the child said, "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 finished, I have to leave.”

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

After saying this, the child became silent. Having heard the uncommon words of the dead child, the devotees were wonder-struck. Srivasa Pandit, along with his family members, then fell at the lotus feet of Sri Gaurasundara and cried in ecstatic love.

Mahaprabhu then told him, "Since I 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 cheered loudly. Proving the statements of sastras, Sri Gaura-Nityananda became deeply indebted to Srivasa Acharya due to his selfless love and service to Them.

After Mahaprabhu took sanyasa, Srivasa came to live at Kumarhatta. Every year he would go with His brothers to see Mahaprabhu at Puri. He and Malini Devi also regularly visited Sri Sachi mata and Vishnupriya devi and would spend a few days with them.

When Mahaprabhu came from Nilachala to see His mother and the holy Ganga, He also stopped at Kumarhatta to see Srivasa . It was at this time that Mahaprabhu gave this benediction to Srivasa Acharya, "There will never be poverty or want in your house. Even if you simply remain indoors, never even venturing out of your house, whatever you require for your worship will automatically come to your door."

Srivasa Acharya’s house in Navadwip, famously known as Srivasa Angan is a hallowed place of pilgrimage in Mayapur and one of the most important places in Navadwip parikrama.


Sri Srivas Pandit ki Jai ! Sri Malini Devi ki Jai !

Sri Gaur Nityananda ki Jai !!

Jai Jai Sri Radhey !