Om Sri Sri Vishnupad 108 TRIDANDISWAMI BHAKTI SRAVAN TIRTHA MAHARAJ
In the BELATI Village of Chattagram Dist lived Madhav Mishra & his wife Ratnawati. They had two sons who were called Baninath & Gadadhar. Madhav Mishra left Chattagram & moved to Navadwip. This was the birthplace of Gadadhar.
Gadadhar was a childhood friend of Nimai Pandit, and both were students in the same “Tol”. They used to discuss various topics about transcendent literature together. Their teacher was Sri Advaita Acharya. On the way to their “Tol” (School) Nimai Pandit caught hold of Gadadhar & told him “What do you think of yourself, you think you are a really a great pundit”? Gadadhar who excelled in debating was asked, “What are the symptoms of a liberated soul”? Gadadhar gave his explanation with support from the scriptures. Nimai told him that he had given an absolutely wrong answer. Nimai said, the display of severe pain & unhappiness are the symptoms of a liberated soul. Gadadhar tried to argue further on his point. Nimai cancelled all his logic & told him that he should go home and that he would understand the answer to that question a little later. Galahad also couldn’t understand why Advaita Acharya looked up to Nimai with such intense faith & devotion. Even Srivas Pundit was very respectful to him. Every body knew that Nimai was a very intelligent student but it seemed that Advaita Acharya looked beyond the intellectual level up to some other realm which he could not understand or reach to. Could it be because he was so close to Nimai that he could not see what others saw in him? Nimai had turned into a completely different sort of being after returning from Gaya.
Once, while Gadadhar was plucking flowers at the residence of Srivas Pandit, Sriman Pandit came closer to Gadadhar with a basket for the flowers, beaming with joy. Gadadhar inquired “why are you so happy”? Srivas Pandit told him that Nimai has returned from Gaya just yesterday. It is unbelievable that the cheeky and arrogant boy has turned into an ocean of compassion, humility and politeness. All that he is doing is shedding a stream of painful tears with one pointed devotion …… he is writhing in pain with the words, “ Krishna Krishna “. He does not look like a human being any more; he seems to be someone sent from above. Srivas Pandit said, “ Our desire seems to be on the edge of fulfillment. He has called us to congregate at the house of Shuklambar Brahmachari. May be he would like to share the reasons of his pain with us “. Gadadhar instantly responded: “even though I am not invited, I will also go. I also want to know the reason behind Nimai’s pain”. Gadadhar went as he so resolved to do; only difference was that he hides himself from the rest. He was not invited to participate in the secret congregation that took place in Shuklambar’s courtyard.
The beautiful, effulgent, golden Nimai stood in the middle of the courtyard and viewed the large gathering before his Lotus eyes. He could not help it, he burst out crying & lamented loudly “Where is my lord Sri Krishna, he was here just now, where has he disappeared, where has be hidden from me “? The sincerity and desperateness in his call was heart breaking. Nimai then fell down, lost consciousness. Upon coming back to his senses, Nimai heard some one crying very loudly. He was perplexed and could make out that this cry was coming from within the house. He went into the house to inquire about who it was that was crying so pathetically. Shuklambar told him : “It is your Gadadhar who is crying like this”. Note that Shuklambar did not just say Gadadhar. Gadadhar had roamed around behind Nimai as if he were his shadow from the very childhood days to until now. Gadadhar was quite unattached to the world; the object of his love was only Nimai. Nimai called Gadadhar and told him “Gadadhar, you have been devotee of Lord Krishna since you were a small boy, but I have not achieved anything. I have just wasted my time with false pursuits and desires. I also was close to Sri Krishna at one time but due to my own fault I have lost this invaluable treasure. Please tell me where I could go to find him?” Nimai lost consciousness again.
After few days upon seeing Gadadhar alone, Nimai asked “where is Lord Krishna, please tell me “. Gadadhar answered : “Your Krishna is hidden within your heart”. Nimai started using his nails to break open his chest. Gadadhar leaped forward & held Nimai tightly. Sachimata happened to have witnessed this event, and she ran forward & told Gadadhar that he has saved Nimai. She blessed Gadadhar and told him that she would like Gadadhar to stay with Nimai for his whole life; so that Nimai may be protected. She felt that Gadadhr was Nimai’s bodyguard, so to say, in Navadwip.
Once Mukunda Dutta came to Gadadhar & told him : “Since that you are very fond of seeing Vaishnavs, come let me show you a really great Vaishnav”. Gadadhar was very happy and got up immediately. He did not want to waste any more time, he wanted to go to see this particular Vaishnav at once. They arrived at the palatial residence of Pundarik Vidya Nidhi. Gadadhar bowed down before the Vaishnav but was little apprehensive upon seeing the sight before him. This Vaishnav was sitting on a plush velvet bed, with all kind of beautiful cushions around him, he looked like a king. Vidya Nidhi’s lips were soaked with the red juice of “ Pan (Tambul)”. His servants were fanning him with peacock-feathered fans; and spraying scented oil all over the place. Gadadhar was disgusted & disappointed. Pundarik inquired from Mukunda Dutta about who this young lad was. Mukunda introduced him as Madhav Mishra’s son, Gadadhar. He further elucidated that Gadadhar was studying the transcendental sciences but that would not be a good introduction of Gadadhar. A more accurate one would he that he is a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna from a very small age. Pundarik answered that he could make out from the boy’s beautiful visage and demeanor that he is no ordinary boy. Mukunda Dutta understood that Gadadhar was very put off. To save him from the offence of “Vaishnav Aparadh”, Mukunda Dutta started reciting a sloka on the “ Putna Lila “. He wanted to show Gadadhar Pundarik’s real level of devotion.
After hearing this sloka, Pundarik lost all his calm & composure and the tumbler of water next to him fell down due to his rolling around in the mood of separation
from the Lord. He lost the sense of his position and due to movement his clothing started looking a little displaced. He cried out aloud to the Lord of his heart Sri Krishna, to bless him with faith, devotion and love. Pundarik fell to the ground and rolled further in his anguish. Gadadhar got scared and felt worried upon seeing Pundarik’s condition. He felt he had betrayed this man, as he did not understand how great a devotee Pundarik was. He completely had underestimated Pundarik’s devotion just because of his elaborate life style. Gadadhar had learnt a very big lesson today; -- the saffron garb is not the only measure of a person’s devotion. Using expensive aromatic oils does not mean that a person lacks depth in the soul. Mukunda told Gadadhar, “see, you though that this man was a fraud, now your eyes have opened to the truth “. Gadadhar was very upset and ashamed. He said that he would like to take initiation from Pundarik, as only by accepting him as a Guru he will be forgiven his offence. Only the Guru can set you free from any offence committed, as he is the Lord’s emissary in this world “. After hearing Gadadhar proposal, Pundarik’s happiness and pleasure knew no bounds. He said that a disciple like Gadadhar only comes after doing a lot of good deeds. He told Galahad that he would initiate him on Sukla Dadwashi. Galahad went to take Nimai’s advice on this matter. He asked Nimai if his offence would be forgiven by taking ‘Diksha’ (initiation) from Pundarik. Nimai told him to get about this as soon as possible, not to delay at all. Galahad was then initiated by Pundarik.
Gadadhar was Nimai’s eternal companion; he offered his service in various forms like making his bed, offering “Tambul” to Nimai etc. Gauranga had a lot of love for Gadadhar; he thought of him as his own – his one and all. When the preparation for a drama was taking place at the house of Chandrasekhar, Nimai played the part of Mother Lakshmi, and Gadadhar was made to play the part of Rukmini. When Nimai was to leave from Navadwip for his “Sanyas “, Gadadhar brought up a lot of arguments against leaving home. However, Nimai was not convinced by any one of them. Galahad told Nimai that you can practice any from of devotion even while staying at home. This logic was refuted by Nimai. Gadadhar had to finally give in to his defeat and told his soulmate to do what ever he so pleases to do.
Gadadhar then tried to persuade Nimai to take him with him, but Nimai would not listen to his cries and please. Gadadhar was left behind burning in the fire of separation. Gadadhar wondered how would be survive without seeing the beautiful face of Nimai.
After some days, some Gaudiya devotees went to visit Shri Chaitanya in Nilachal. Gadadhar did not come back, he stayed on in Puri. Gadadhar started staying in Jameshwar’s Tota, near the resplendent ocean. Gadadhar used to go to Jameshwar’s Tota. Everyday Gadadhar used to preach on the “ Srimad Bhagavatam “ for the pleasure of Mahaprabhu, whenever, he came to visit him. Once while sitting on the beach, discussing some topics about the past times of Sri Krishna, Nimai got this idea. He told Gadadhar, to dig at a particular spot. After digging for sometime, the deity of Sri Gopinath was discovered. Gadadhar took a resolve of “ Kshetra Sanyas “ (limiting yourself to staying in one particular place only) and to do “ The Seva “ (worship of Sri Gopinath).
Once while Mahaprabhu decided to go to Vrindavan, Gadadhar got very upset. He told Prabhu that he would go with him as well. Mahaprabhu was astonished and asked what will happen to Gadadhar’s resolve not to leave his “Sri Kshetra “ in Nilachal. Gadadhar told Mahaprabhu that he was his “Sri Kshetra “and his Gopinath. Prabhu became very pensive and told Gadadhar that this was not proper. “ You should not break your resolution “. Gadadhar said that he did not care for any moral lectures, he was resolved to go with Prabhu even if that meant breaking his vow. The sin will be his and not Prabhu’s. Gadadhar said, “ if you do not want me in your entourage I will stay far from you. I will also eat on my own, I will give you no trouble “. Prabhu replied, “ Even then the main reason for going would be me & my objective to go is to visit my Sachimata”. Prabhu asked, “ why are you being so stubborn, seems like you only care for your own desire and not mine “. Gadadhar became numb. He understood, Krishna’s happiness comes first, not our own. He was being mulish for no reason, he should have understood.
Gadadhar nearly passed out with a great sense of loss and grief. Prabhu told Sarbabhauma to take him back to “ Sri Kshetra “’ he would not let him break his vow. On this particular journey, Prabhu’s Vrindavan trip got cancelled. Prabhu told every one, that he felt his Vrindavan journey was cancelled because he had made Gadadhar unhappy.
Gadadhar asked Prabhu for a “ Mantra”. He wanted to be re-initiated. He said that he had disclosed his “ Mantra “ to some one so, therefore, it seems to have lost its power, its potency. Prabhu told him to ask Pundarik for a “ Mantra” once again. He also said that Pundarik would be arriving in Nilachal soon. That is exactly what happened. Pundarik came and Gadadhar was re-initiated. Ballabh Bhatta wanted to get initiated by Gadadhar. Gadadhar told him that he was not independent and could only give initiation if Prabhu agreed to it.
Ballabh Bhatta also told Gadadhar he had taken out a lot of meanings from the word “ Krishna”. He wanted Gadadhar to hear them. Gadadhar told Ballabh that he only understood one meaning of the word “Krishna” and this was Shaym Sundar Yasoda Nandan. He did not care for any other meaning. Ballabh begged Gadadhar that he would be honoured if Gadadhar heard his commentary on the meaning of Krishna. Ballabh started reading out his commentary before Gadadhar could do anything. Gadadhar was in a fix, and he did not know what to do. He wanted this man to stop without being impolite. The inhabitants of Nilachal accused Gadadhar for listening to Ballabh. They told him that he should have left the spot instead of standing & listening to Ballabh.
Gadadhar understood that this was actually Mahaprabhu’s anger that was being forecast through another medium. Gadadhar thought even if Mahaprabhu blamed him directly he would not give any counter defense, he would remain silent. “ I will accept anger and love equally,” he thought. Only simplicity can buy Gouranga’s love, nothing else. Prabhu came and tried to provoke Gadadhar, tried to make him angry. Gadadhar remained as meek as a lamb. Prabhu gave in to Gadadhar & understood that this man will not get agitated no matter what he does.
He then gave Gadadhar a big hug. Prabhu also told Gadadhar to give Ballabh the “ Kishore Gopal Mantra “. Another disciple of Gadadhar was his nephew Nayananda. He presented Gadadhar with his most beloved idol of Sri Krishna & a copy of the Srimad Bhagavatam in which Prabhu had quoted a few “ slokas” in his own handwriting. After Mahaprabhu left this world, Srinivas used to come & read the Srimad Bhagavatam for Gadadhar. Gadadhar told Srinivas to go to Bengal & get him a new copy of Bhagavatam as his copy had been torn apart. On his way back from Bengal, Srinivas got the news that Gadadhar had left his body.