Gadadhara Das Thakura
Sri Gadadhara dasa Thakura used to live in Nabadwipa dhama, but after the disappearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he moved to Katwa. Finally he moved to a village called Endiyadaha-grama, where he made his ultimate residence. Gadadhara dasa Thakura had a disciple in Katwa named Yadunandana Cakravarti. Gadadhara dasa was one of the eternal associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu. The Gaura-ganodesa-dipika mentions Gadadhara dasa as the extension of Srimati Radharani's beauty and luster. There it is written: “The gopi named Candrakanti, who was a vibhuti (expansion) of Sri Radha, appeared in Gaura-lila as Gadadhara dasa, a close associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” Sri Gadadhara dasa was not one of the Gopalas who served Nityananda Prabhu in the mood of sakhya-rasa, friendship. Rather he was always merged in the mellow of madhurya-rasa.
Sripad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja writes as follows of Gadadhara dasa in his Caitanya-Caritamrta commentary: “About eight or ten miles from Calcutta on the banks of the Ganges is a village known as Endiyadaha-grama. Srila Gadadhara dasa was known as an inhabitant of this village...After the disappearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu Gadadhara dasa came from Nabadvipa to Katwa. Thereafter he came to Endiyadaha-grama and resided there. He is stated to be the luster of the body of Srimati Radharani, just as Srila Gadadhara Pandita is an incarnation of Srimati Radharani Herself. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is sometimes explained to be radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalita, or characterized by the emotions and bodily luster of Srimati Radharani. Gadadhara dasa is this dyuti or luster. He counts among the associates of both Srila Gaurahari and Nityananda Prabhu....Even though he was an associate of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, he was not among the cowherd boys but was situated in the transcendental mellow of conjugal love. He established a temple of Sri Gaurasundara in Katwa.
“In 1434 sakabda (1534 A.D.) when Lord Nityananda Prabhu was empowered by Lord Caitanya to preach the sankirtana movement in Bengal, Sri Gadadhara dasa was one of Lord Nityananda's chief assistants. He preached the sankirtana movement by requesting everyone to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra....When Srila Gadadhara dasa was preaching the cult of hari-kirtana, there was a magistrate who was very much against his sankirtana movement. Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Gadhadhara dasa one night went to the house of the Kazi and requested him to chant the Hare Krsna mantra. The Kazi replied, “All right, I shall chant Hare Krsna tomorrow.” On hearing this, Srila Gadadhara dasa Prabhu began to dance, and he said, “Why tomorrow? You have already chanted the Hare Krsna mantra, so simply continue.”
“...Srila Gadadhara dasa is considered to be a united form of Candrakanti, who is the effulgence of Srimati Radharani, and Purnananda, who is an expansion of Lord Balarama's dear girlfriend. Thus Srila Gadadhara dasa was one of the associates of both Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu. Once while Srila Gadadhara dasa Prabhu was returning to Bengal from Jagannatha Puri with Nityananda Prabhu, he forgot himself and began talking very loudly as if he were a girl of Vrajabhumi selling yogurt, and Srila Nityananda Prabhu noted this. Another time, while absorbed int he ecstasy of the gopis, he carried a jug filled with Ganges water on his head as if he were selling milk. When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the house of Raghava Pandita while going to Vrndavana, Gadadhara dasa went to see Him, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so glad that He put His foot on his head. When Gadadhara dasa Prabhu was present in Endiyadaha he established a Balagopala murti for worship there. Sri Madhava Ghosh performed a drama known as Dana-khanda with the help of Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Gadadhara dasa.
“The tomb of Gadadhara dasa Prabhu, which is in the village of Endiyadaha, was under the control of the Samyogi Vaisnavas and later under the direction of Siddha Bhagavan dasa Babaji of Kalna. Byhis order, Sri Madhus¨dana Mullik, one of hte members of the aristocratice Mullik family of the Narikeladanga in Calcutta, established a patavadi (monastery) there in the Bengali year 1256. He also arranged for the worship of a Deity named Sri Radhakanta. His son, Balaicanda Mullik, established Gaura-Nitai Deities there in the Bengali year 1312. Thus on the throne of the temple are both Gaura-Nityananda Deities and Radha-Krsna Deities.”
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu sent Nityananda Prabhu to Bengal to preach the nectar of the holy name, he sent Sri Rama dasa and Sri Gadadhara dasa with him. Once when he was carrying a waterpot on his head, Gadadhara dasa, in the mood of a gopi called out “Who will buy milk? Who will buy yogurt?” Saying this, he laughed at the joke.
The details of how Gadadhara dasa delivered the Kazi are as follows: One day, Gadadhara dasa went to the house of the Kazi, overwhelmed with krsna-prema, madly dancing and performing hari-sankirtana. When he arrived at the Kazi's door, he began loudly calling for the Kazi. The Kazi, enraged, went outside his house ready to chastise Gadadhara dasa for disturbing the peace. But when he beheld the beautiful form of Gadadhara dasa, who was the personification of Sri Radhika's divine luster, he was stunned. When Gadadhara dasa embraced the Kazi with great affection the Kazi said, “Thakura! Why have you come?”
Gadadhara dasa said, “I want to have a talk with you.
“What do you wish to talk about?”
“Gaura-Nityananda have appeared upon this earth to deliver humankind with divine love by distributing the sweet nectar of the holy name of Hari. Why don't you chant this sweet name of Hari?”
“Tomorrow I shall chant the name Hari.”
“Why chant the holy name tomorrow? I have come to deliver you with the holy name of Krsna. Now you have begun your life of auspiciousness by vibrating the holy name of Hari. From today on all your sins and miseries will disappear by the grace of the holy name if you simply continue this chanting—this is why I have come: to deliver you.”
Hearing the words of Gadadhara dasa, the Kazi was bewildered. At length, he smiled and again said, “Tomorrow I will chant the holy name of Hari.” Upon hearing the holy name of Hari issuing from the mouth of the Muslim Kazi, Gadadhara dasa at once became mad in the ecstasy of Krsna prema. At last he said, “Why tomorrow! Just now you have said the name ‘Hari.’ All your sins will now melt away and you will become supremely purified by the power of the holy name.”
Purified by the grace of Gadadhara dasa and the holy name of Krsna, the Kazi took shelter of the holy feet of Gadadhara dasa.
In this way, Gadadhara
dasa delivered countless sinners, nonbelievers, and yavanas with the holy name
of Krsna. He disappeared on the eight day of the full moon in the month of
Kartika. All glories to Sri Gadadhara dasa Thakura Prabhu.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has basically two groups of associates. One group such as the dvadasa gopalas (Abhirama Gopala, Gauridasa Pandit, Dhananjaya and others) serve Sri Nityananda Prabhu in the mood of sakhya rasa (friendship). The second group always stay merged in the mellow of madhurya rasa (conjugal love).
Sri Gadadhara Gosvami is a united form of Candrakanti gopi (an expansion of Radharani's effulgence) and Purnananda (an expansion of Lord Balarama's dear girlfried). Thus, Gadadhara Dasa was an associate of both Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Krishna Dasa Kaviraja describes Lord Caitanya as radha-bhava-dyuti suvalita, "characterized by the emotions and bodily luster of Srimati Radharani." Gadadhara Dasa is this dyuti, luster. Gadadhara Dasa is sometimes called "the personification of Sri Radhika's divine effulgence."
While traveling with Lord Nityananda Gadadhara would sometimes become absorbed in madhurya prema and begin acting and speaking like a Vraja gopi. Putting a clay pot of Ganges water on his head, as if he were a gopi, he would call out, "Who wants to buy milk? Who wants to buy yogurt?"
As one of Lord Nityananda's chief preachers in Bengal Gadadhara Dasa delivered countless sinners, atheists, and yauvanas.Once while tasting Krishna prema he began dancing madly and chanting Krishna's holy names outside the Kazi's mansion. The irate Muslim magistrate stormed out of his house to chastize him for "disturbing the peace." But beholding the dazzingly attractive form of Gadadhara Dasa, the Kazi became stunned and dropped his anger.
Gadadhara affectionately embraced the Kazi and said, "Gaura-Nityananda have appeared to deliver everyone with divine love by distributing the sweet nectar of the holy name of Hari. Why don't you chant this sweet name of Hari?""Tomorrow I shall chant the name of Hari," replied the Kazi. Hearing the Kazi inadvertanly chant the holy name filled Gadadhara with happiness. He said, "Why tomorrow? You have already chanted today. And this powerful name of Hari will destroy your sins and purify your existence." From that day on the Kazi took shelter of Sri Gadadhara Dasa Gosvami.
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