Jagannath Puri

By the causeless mercy of guru and Gauranga, we are performing Sri Kshetra parikrama mandala and we have come to this very important place, Tota Gopinath. Caitanya Mahaprabhu named this deity “Gopinath” and as the deity was found in a garden, which is called “tota” in Oriya language, devotees started to address this deity as “Tota Gopinath”. While living in Gambira He gave the deity of Gopinatha to Srila Gadadhara Pandita and told him, “Today I will give you a very good thing. Will you accept it?” Srila Gadadhara Pandita replied, “Yes, why not? I'll keep it on my head.”

In the mood of Radhika, Mahaprabhu began to search here and there in the sand. All of a sudden He touched the mukut (crown) of Gopinatha and told the others, “Take out the sand.” He then placed Gopinatha in the lap of Gadadhara Pandita and said, “You should never leave Him.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu descended to this world, with all his parikars from Goloka Vrindavan.
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu jīve dayā kôri’
sva-pārṣada svīya dhāma saha avatari’ (1)
(Sri Krsna-Caitanya Prabhu Jive Daya Kori, Bhaktivinod Thakur)
[“Out of compassion for the living beings, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu descended in this world along with His personal associates and divine abode.”]

Gadadhara is Srimati Radhika, Svarupa Damodar is Lalita Sakhi, Ray Ramananda is Visaka Sakhi, Rupa Gosvami is Rupa Manjari, Sanatan Gosvami is Lavanga Manjari, Jiva Gosvami is Vilas Manjari, Raghunath Gosvami is Rati Manjari and so on. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu stayed in this material world for forty-eight years; His first twenty-four years, He performed household life (grhastha jivan) and the last twenty-four years He performed His renounced order, sanyas lila. Like this, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu showed us how to be an ideal grhastha and sannyasi and how one should do sadhan and bhajan. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us that bhakti does not depend on whether one is grhastha or sannyasi.
kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī, śūdra kene naya
yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, sei 'guru' haya
(CC Madhya 8.128)
[“Whether one is a brahmana, a sannyasi, a sudra or whatever, if he is fully conversant with Krsna-tattva, he is eligible to become a Guru.”]

What is the meaning of guru? Guru means one who has presented his sadhan and bhajan in front of his followers. Guru is the embodiment of the servitude mood of divine couple Radha and Krishna. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada said bhakti means bhava-seva, you should have servitude mood. Here you are physically serving according to your senses; just manifest your mood. In the world of transcendental Goloka Vrindavan, you will serve with your transcendental mood; this is called bhava-seva.
seva sadhaka-rupena 
siddha-rupena catra hi
tad bhava lipsuna karya
(BRS 1.2.295)
[“A sadhaka who has lobha for raganuga-bhakti should serve Sri Krsna both is the sadhaka-rupa and the siddha-rupa in accordance with the bhava of the Vrajavasis who possess the same mood for which he aspires.”]

Srila Rupa Goswami has written in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu devotee has two forms, in his sadhaka-rupa he serves accordingly and in his siddha-rupa he serves in his transcendental form he serves his ista-deva Radha and Krishna.

Although the associates of Caitanya Mahaprabhu are eternal associates of Radha and Krishna they are acting the role of ordinary sadhakas.
sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih kalavasani-kritau
nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau catyanta-dinau ca yau
radha-krishna-guna-smriter madhurimanandena sammohitau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau
(Sri  Sad-gosvamyastakam 6)
[“They would pass their time by daily chanting a fixed number of holy names, singing particular songs, and offering regulated obeisances [to saints, deities, and the Lord’s pastime places]. Thus they fully conquered the urges of eating, sleeping, recreation, and so forth. Always considering themselves to be unlimitedly lowly and insignificant, they became enchanted in sweet rapture by remembering Śrī Śrī Rādhā- Kṛṣṇa’s qualities. I worship Śrī Rūpa, Sanātana, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa, Raghunātha dāsa, Jīva, and Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmīs.”]

The gosvamis, in their physical sadhaka-rupa chanted holy names, sankhya-purvaka-nama... in this way they performed their sadhan and bhajan, chanting holy names, paying their obeisances, dandavat pranam, remembering Krishna’s holy places, glorifying divine couple Radha and Krsna.  Rupa Gosvami, Raghunath Gosvami, they are eternal associates of Radha and Krishna but here they are acting the role of sadhaka. In their sadhaka-rupa they chanted holy names.
(kṛṣṇa) deva! bhavantaḿ vande
man-mānasa-madhukaram arpaya nija-pada-pańkaja-makarande (1)

yadyapi samādhiṣu vidhir api paśyati na tava nakhāgra-marīcim
idam icchāmi niśamya tavācyuta! tad api kṛpādbhuta-vīcim (2)
(Krsna Deva! Bhavantam Vande)
[“O Kṛṣṇa! O Deva! I am offering a prayer to You. Kindly place the bee of my mind within the honey of Your lotus feet. (1)

Although Brahmā in full samādhi cannot catch a glimpse of even a ray of the effulgence emanating from the tips of Your toenails, still, O Acyuta, having heard of the waves of Your astonishing mercy, I long to receive Your grace. (2)”]

In this way, our six gosvamis glorified the divine couple Radha and Krishna, “Oh, Krsna I am offering prayer, kindly place the bee of my mind within the honey of your lotus feet”. The six gosvamis, in their sadhaka form, chanted holy names, remembering the pastimes of Radha and Krishna. According to their siddha-svarupa (transcendental form), they did direct service to the divine couple Radha and Krishna.
munīndra-vṛnda-vandite triloka-śoka-hāriṇi
prasanna-vaktra-pańkaje nikuñja-bhū-vilāsini
vrajendra-bhānu-nandini vrajendra-sūnu-sańgate
kadā kariṣyasīha māḿ kṛpā-katākṣa-bhājana (1)

pravāla-vāla-pallava prabhā ’ruṇāṅghri-komale
varābhaya-sphurat-kare prabhūta-sampadālaye
kadā kariṣyasīha māṁ kṛpā-kaṭākṣa-bhājanam (2)
(Sri Radha-krpa-kataksa-stava-raja)
[“O Śrīmatī Rādhikā, who is glorified by great sages! O You who dispel the lamentation of the three worlds, whose lotus face blossoms with a humorous smile, and who sports in the kuñjas. O beloved daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu! O most near and dear to the son of the king of Vraja, when will You make me the recipient of Your merciful sidelong glance?

O You who are present in a pavilion made of creepers that are entwined around Aṣoka trees, whose beautiful, tender reddish feet have the luster of coral and newly sprouting reddish leaves, and whose [raised] hand grants benedictions and fearlessness. O abode of infinite opulence, when will You make me the recipient of Your Merciful sidelong glance?”]

[The far-sighted sages, reflecting on the terrible distress of the living entities in the frightful age of Kali, asked Sūta Gosvāmipādā, “O Saumya, how can the conditioned living entities, who are attached to material existence, become liberated?”. Sūta replied, “Association with devotees of Bhagavan is the only means. Bathing in the Gangā destroys sins, but all sins are nullified solely by having darsana of a devotee who is dedicated to the holy name. The direct result of associating with Bhagavān’s devotees and serving them is the attainment of prema. If a living entity merely utters the holy name at the time of death, Nāma Prabhu will bestow prema upon him.]

Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.37) states:
bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād
īśād apetasya viparyayo ’smṛtiḥ
tan-māyayāto budha ābhajet taṁ
bhaktyaikayeśaṁ guru-devatātmā
(SB 11.2.37)
[“Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is caused by the potency for illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshipable deity and as his very life and soul.”]

The jiva who is averse to Bhagavan forgets his own constitutional nature because of his association with maya. Due to this forgetfulness, he becomes absorbed in the conception that he is the material body and thus thinks, “I am a demigod”, “I am a human being”. In this state of bodily identification, he fears old age, disease and so forth. Therefore those who know the truth should consider their own guru as isvara, the Supreme. In other words, they should see him as their master who is non-different from Bhagavan and who is very dear to Him. Through exclusive devotion, they should perform one-pointed worship of that isvara, their guru.

Like this, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought all His associates, especially Gadadhara Pandita. He took sannyas and then He came to Jagannath Puri. Gadadhara Pandita also came with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Jagannath Puri. Mahaprabhu promised Sachi-devi that He would always stay in Jagannath Puri because Sachi-mata felt pangs of separation from Nimai, so Sachi-mata told Mahaprabhu, “Do not go to Vrindavan”. At that time there were no airplanes or trains, therefore, Sachi-mata told Mahaprabhu, “If you go to Vrindavan I will not get any messages from you”.

Therefore Sachi-mata requested to Nimai, “My dear son, do not stay long in Vrindavan, however, you can stay in Jagannath Puri”. Because our scriptures explain: Sanyasi hoiya Nayana jaya nidha desh: Sanyasi cannot go to his birthplace, this is strictly prohibited. Therefore Sachi-mata said, “You cannot stay in Navadvipa, but you can stay in Jagannath Puri. During Ratha Yatra festival, most of the devotees from Bengal will attend Ratha Yatra festival, and hence I will get your messages”. So Ramani Siromani, Mahaprabhu who is known as the jewel of devotional service, He promised His mother Sachi-devi that He will always stay in Jagannath Puri.

After taking sannyas, Mahaprabhu came to Jagannath Puri and there He delivered Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. (Maybe in the evening we will go to the Gambhira and also to  the siddha-bakula, the bhajan-kutir of Haridas Thakur.)

Gadadhara Pandita was very nearest and dearest of Mahaprabhu, because Gadadhara is non-different from Srimati Radhika. One is Gadadhara Pandita and the other is Gadadhara Das.

In Caitanya-caritamrta, two names are there; one is Gadadhara Pandita and the other is Gadadhara Das. Gadadhara Pandita is the direct manifestation of Srimati Radhika and the other, Gadadhara Das is an expansion of the prakas of Srimati Radhika. Gadadhara was very scholar and also he was born in Goswami Parivar, therefore, he was called Panditji. At that time anyone from the Gosvami Parivar, even a small boy, would give diksa, because this was the tradition of their family.

Gadadhara Pandita came to Jagannath Puri and he took chakra-sannyas. Chakra-sannyas means he can only stay in one place. Gadadhara Pandita thought that Mahaprabhu would follow His mother’s instruction, which was to stay in Puri, and therefore Gadadhara Pandita took chakra-sannyas and he was staying in this place, Tota Gopinath, the garden of Gopinath.

Now there are buildings here but at the time of Mahaprabhu, this place was full of beautiful flowers and trees. Gadadhara Pandita used to stay here and did his bhajan. Mahaprabhu had so much love and affection for Gadadhara Pandita, so everyday Mahaprabhu used to come here, from Gambhira to Tota Gopinath, to listen to Srimad Bhagavatam katha from the lotus lips of  Gadadhara Pandita.

Gadadhara Pandita was an expert speaker of the Bhagavatam; he is non-different from Srimati Radhika and the Bhagavatam is also non-different from Srimati Radhika. Sometimes Mahaprabhu used to be completely absorbed in the mood of the gopis.

He was thinking, “Now I am Radha and I am feeling pangs of separation from Krishna”. In the uttam-bhagavat’s heart, there is a lot of stimulation (uddipana) coming.
vana dekhi’ bhrama haya — ei ‘vṛndāvana’
śaila dekhi’ mane haya — ei ‘govardhana’
(CC Madhya 17.55)
[“When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu passed through the Jhārikhaṇḍa forest, He took it for granted that it was Vrindavan. When He passed over the hills, He took it for granted that they were Govardhana.”]
yāhāṅ nadī dekhe tāhāṅ mānaye — ‘kālindī’
mahā-premāveśe nāce prabhu paḍe kāndi’
(CC Madhya 17.56)
[“Similarly, whenever Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw a river, He immediately accepted it as the river Yamunā. Thus while in the forest He was filled with great ecstatic love, and He danced and fell down crying.”]

Uttam-bhagavat is absorbed in ecstatic mood; if he sees a mountain, he thinks it is Giriraj Govardhan; if he sees a river, he thinks it is Yamuna; if he sees any forest, he is thinking it is Vrindavan.

In the same way, when Mahaprabhu used to come to these places, He used to think like this. When there was a banyan tree, Mahaprabhu used to think that “this is Vamsi-vat”. When there was a mountain of sand, Mahaprabhu used to think it was Giriraj Govardhan.

Our gosvamis glorified Giriraj Govardhan:
hantāyam adrir abalā hari-dāsa-varyo
yad rāma-kṛṣṇa-caraṇa-sparaśa-pramodaḥ
mānaṁ tanoti saha-go-gaṇayos tayor yat
(SB 10.21.18)
[“O sakhis, this mountain, Govardhana, is the crown jewel of Hari’s servants. Blessed is his fortune! By the touch of the lotus feet of our prana-vallabha Sri Krsna and Baladeva Prabhu, who is most pleasing to the eyes, Govardhana is blossoming with delight and supplying crystal-clear water, soft grass, wonderful caves and varieties of roots. By thus serving Sri Krsna and Balarama, who are surrounded by the cowherd boys and cows, he highly honors them.”]

Sri Radhika uttered this verse hantāyam adrir abalā hari-dāsa-varyo, “O sakhis! This Giriraj Govardhana is the topmost servant of Sri Hari. When Krsna used to climb on Giriraja, Giriraja used to tremble. Giriraja gives flowers, fruits, herbs, and waterfalls. Hence Srimati Radhika said how nicely Govardhana serves Krsna.

How can one say one is a great devotee? By his service mood. You can serve Lord in three ways: with your mind, with your body, and with your heart. Kayi (body) vachi (with the mouth, speaking harikatha) or mansik (with your mind). In this way, Giriraja Govardhana serves our beloved Krishna.
pramada-madana-līlāḥ kandare-kandare te
racayati nava-yūnor dvandvam asminn amandam
iti kila kalanārthaṁ lagnakas tad-dvayor me
nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ dehi govardhana! tvam (2)
(Śrī Govardhana-vāsa-prārthanā-daśakam, Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī)
[“The youthful Divine Couple performs delightful amorous pastimes within each and every one of your caves. Thus, since you facilitate the witnessing of Their līlās, O Govardhana, please give me residence by your side.”]

He makes beautiful caves, where Radha and Krishna perform amorous sweet pastimes.

So when Mahaprabhu used to come to this place, so much ecstatic mood used to develop.
govardhana-parvata, yāmuna-tīra (1)

kusuma-sarovara, mānasa-gaṅgā
kalinda-nandinī vipula-taraṅgā (2)
(Radha-kunda-tata, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)
[“A vine-covered bower on the banks of Radha-kunda; Govardhana Hill; the shores of the Yamuna...

...Kusuma-sarovara; Manasa-ganga; the daughter of the Kalinda Mountain (Yamuna) with her expansive waves...”]

Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur narrated this verse:
cintāmaṇi-maya, rādhā-kuṇḍa-taṭa, tāhe kuñja śata śata
prabāla-vidruma-maya taru-latā, muktā-phale abanata (1)
(Cintamani-maya, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)
[“The banks of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa are made of transcendental desire fulfilling gems. Nearby, there are hundreds and hundreds of beautiful kuñjas. The trees and creepers, which are made of coral, are weighty with an abundance of pearl-fruits.”]

When Mahaprabhu used to come here, He would jump into the ocean, thinking it to be Yamuna and going towards Konarka. Sometimes He used to go to chaktra-tirtha, so in this way, Mahaprabhu used to be absorbed in ecstatic moods. Gadadhara Pandita narrated Srimad Bhagavatam, especially Gopi-gita katha, very sweetly. Especially when Krishna disappeared from the rasa dance and all the gopis felt great separation from Krishna. When Gadadhara Pandita used to recite Gopi-gita, everyone used to be completely intoxicated with divine love.
gopya ūcuḥ
jayati te ’dhikaṁ janmanā vrajaḥ
śrayata indirā śaśvad atra hi
dayita dṛśyatāṁ dikṣu tāvakās
tvayi dhṛtāsavas tvāṁ vicinvate (1)

śarad-udāśaye sādhu-jāta-sat
sarasi jodara-śrī-muṣā dṛśā
surata-nātha te ‘śulka-dāsikā
vara-da nighnato neha kiṁ vadhaḥ (2)
(Gopi-gita/ Srimad Bhagavatam 10.31)
[“The gopīs said: O most beloved, because of Your birth in this land of Vraja, it has become even more glorious [than Vaikuṇṭha and other planets. It is for this reason that Lakṣmī eternally decorates it with her presence. It is for Your sake alone that we, Your gopīs, maintain our lives. We are searching for You in all directions. Therefore, please show Yourself to us.

O master of amorous pleasure, Śrī Kṛṣṇa! O bestower of benedictions, is killing us, your unpaid servants, by the glance of Your eyes, which steal even the proud beauty of the perfectly formed blossomed lotus, not considered murder?”]

This Gopi-gita can be sung in many different tunes. But the best tune is called kanaka manjari canda. Kanaka is a flower that produces intoxicated-drugs, I am sure you all know. Ganja drugs come from dhkura. You are all devotees so do not take any kind of drugs; otherwise, you will go to hell.

So here kanaka means “intoxicated leaves” and manjari means “soft budding flowers”. So if one takes this, then his head starts to spin. In the same way, if you chant Gopi-gita, then your head starts to spin and intoxication will come.
tava kathāmṛtaṁ tapta-jīvanaṁ
kavibhir īḍitaṁ kalmaṣāpaham
śravaṇa-maṅgalaṁ śrīmad ātataṁ
bhuvi gṛṇanti ye bhūri-dā janāḥ (9)
(Gopi-gita/ Srimad Bhagavatam 10.31)
[“Ambrosial narrations about You are the life and soul of those tormented by separation from You. Greatly learned devotees (such as Brahmā, Śiva, and the four Kumāras) sing of them. These narrations vanquish the distress of fructified (prārabda) and unfructified (aprārabda) sins. Simply hearing them bestows auspiciousness, and they bestow the wealth of prema. Persons who glorify Your pastimes expand the nectar of narrations about You. Therefore, that person who performs kīrtana of Your līlā-kathā in this world is the most generous benefactor.”]

So in this way, Caitanya Mahaprabhu relished these sweet different pastimes of Radha and Krishna.
Once Mahaprabhu and Gadadhara were walking on the beach and suddenly Mahaprabhu said to Gadadhara, “I want to give a very valuable thing to you.” Gadadhara said, “Yes, prabhu, what do want to give?” Mahaprabhu, with His fingers, started to dig into the sand, then Mahaprabhu manifested a beautiful vigraha, Gopinath. Gopinath Ki jay!!

Mahaprabhu told Gadadhara, “You take this and worship this thakurji.” At that time thakurji was in standing position. In all our Gaudiya temples, thakurji is standing, not sitting. Why is He standing, my Gurudev used to say, because thakurji is very eager to take darsan of His devotees;  if He was sitting, then it would be a bit late to welcome His devotees.

Durvasa went to Vaikuntha, at that time Laksmi-devi was doing carana-seva and the door was closed a little bit. Durvasa came and he was so angry, he said, “Are you not going to welcome me?” and he kicked the door. The door opened, so he went in and kicked Vishnu on His chest. Lord Vishnu said, “My heart is very hard but your feet are very soft and therefore I am sure you have pain, so let Me massage your feet.” Lord Vishnu told Durvasa, “The symbols from your feet will always remain in My heart.” Hence there are two symbols on Lord Vishnu’s chest, bhibu lanchika caran cin and shivaka which means one golden line that represents Laksmi-devi. So for this regard in all Gaudiya temples, Thakurji is standing to welcome His devotees without delay.

Gadadhara worshipped Gopinath. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu left, Gadadhara felt pangs of separation from Mahaprabhu and sometimes, in so much separation mood, Gadadhara could not lift the mala to put on Gopinathji, so what did thakurji do? He sat down.

If you come at 5 a.m. for mangal-arati, you will see that Gopinath is in sitting position. So this Tota Gopinath was worshipped by Gadadhara. When Mahaprabhu was staying in Navadvipa dhama, Gadadhara was always staying with Mahaprabhu, for this they are called yugala sarkar, where is Gadadhara, Mahaprabhu is also there. In Bengali they are called “Gadahigauranga”. In Navadvipa dhama everyone calls them “Gadahigauranga”. In Chapahati, “Gaura-Gadadhara”.

Question will arise, so why Mahaprabhu did not stay with Gadadhara, after He took sannyas, but he stayed in Gambhira instead? His sevaka Govinda was always staying with Mahaprabhu so why not Gadadhara? This is very confidential, maybe I will tell you later.

Mahaprabhu used to come here every day to listen confidential gopi-hari-katha. Thakurji here was directly manifested by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This thakurji is very nearest and beloved of our Srila Gurudev, I remember in 1992 or 1993’ at that time chatra parikrama was going on, all the high-class devotees came, Janaadhar Maharaj, Puri Maharaj, Trivirama Maharaj, Vaman Maharaj and our Gurudev, Srila Narayan Maharaj, they all came. Gurudev Vaman Maharaj said that “At night Gopinathji told me to give him cloth but I did not bring any cloth.” Sri Narayan Maharaj said, “I have brought cloth for Gopinathji”, so like this Thakurji used to directly speak to His beloved devotees.


[Translation and transcription: Radhakanti Dasi Didi
Editing: Acyuta Priya Devi Dasi]