Kasisvara Pandit

 

     Sri Kasisvara Pandita was a disciple of Sri Isvara Puri. His father’s name was Sri Vasudeva Bhattacarya. He was from section of family brahmanas coming from the dynasty of Kanjilal Kanu. His last name was Chaudhuri. Sri Bhaktivedanta Swami writes: “His nephew, his sister’s son, who was named Rudra Pandita, was the original priest of Vallabhapura, whic his situated about one mile from the Srirampura railway station in the village of Catara. Installed there are the Deities of Radha-Govinda and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Kasisvara Gosani was a very strong man, and therfore when Lord Caitanya visited the temple of Jagannatha, he used to protect the Lord from the crowds. Another of his duties was to distribute prasada to the devotees after the kirtana.  He was also one of the contemporaries of the Lord who was with the Lord in Jagannatha Puri. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati also visited this temple at Vallabhapura.  At that time, the person in charge was a Saivite, Sri Sivacandra Caudhuri, who was a descendant of Kasisvara Gosani’s brother. In Vallabhapura there was a permanent arrangement to cook nine kilos of rice, vegetables and other foodstuffs, and near the village there is sufficient land, which belongs to the Deity, on which this rice was grown....It is said in the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika that the servant of Krsna in Vrndavana named Bhrngara descended as sasisvara Gosani during the pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  In our householder life we also sometimes visited this temple of Vallabhapura and took prasada there at noon.  The Deities of this temple, Sri Sri Radha-Govinda and the Gauranga vigraha, are extremely beautiful. Near Vallabhapura is another beautiful temple of Jagannatha. We sometimes used to take prasada in this temple also. These two temples are situated within a one-mile radius of the Srirampura railway station near Calcutta.”

     Caitanya-Caritamrta records: “Brahmacari Kasisvara and Sri Govinda were dear disciples of Sri Isvara Puri.  When Isvara Puri passed into the eternal lila of the Lord and thus attained perfection, the two of them went to Jagannatha Puri to serve Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on his order. Since both Kasisvara and Govinda were his godbrothers, the Lord honored them as his peers. Only after considering the orders of Isvara Puri did he accept them as his personal servants, having been instructed to do so by his guru. Sri Govinda attended Mahaprabhu personally as his servant, whereas Kasisvara was engaged as a bodyguard to protect the Lord from the crowds when he visited the temple of Jagannatha. Thus he would walk in front of the Lord. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to the temple of Jagannatha, Kasisvara, being very strong, cleared the crowds aside with his hands so that Caitanya Mahaprabhu could pass untouched.”

     Sri Kasisvara Pandita was extremely strong. Sri Kavikarnapura Goswami writes: “Kasisvara Pandita and Sri Govinda were formerly those servants of Krsna in Vraja named Bhrngara and Bhangura who used to bear water from the Yamuna for Krsna.”  Kasisvara Pandita spent much time in Puri-dhama in the service of Sri Caitanya. He used to serve prasada to the devotees after the kirtanas.

     Kasisvara Pandita had a disciple named Sri Govinda Gosani who was a great servant of the Sri Govinda Deity. When Sri Rupa Goswami was in Vrndavana, he established the service of the Govinda Deity. Upon hearing this, Caitanya Mahaprabhu was highly pleased. He quickly sent Kasisvara Pandita to Vrndavana to assist Rupa Goswami. But Kasisvara Pandita did not want to give up the association of the Lord in Puri. Sri Caitanya, as the Paramatma, the Supersoul living in everyone’s heart, could understand the mind of his devotee. He gave him a deity which was identical with his very self.  Kasisvara Pandita took that deity of Caitanya Mahaprabhu with him, and by serving and feeding that deity, he was solaced in his separation from Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In this connection, Sri Narahari Cakravarti Thakura remarks in his Bhakti-ratnakara as follows: “Kasisvara Pandita told Caitanya Mahaprabhu, ‘I cannot bear to leave you behind.’ The Lord understaood the heart of Kasisvara Pandita and gave him a deity of Himself which was so carefully formed as to resemble the Lord exactly. Seeing that deity of Caitanya Mahaprabhu eating all the offerings placed before Him, Kasisvara Pandita experienced great ecstasy.  Caitanya Mahaprabhu told him to call the deity ‘Gaura-Govinda.’ Taking that deity with him, Kasisvara Pandita went to Vrndavana. That deity sat to the left of the Sri Govinda deity and in this way wonderful service was performed for the pleasure of the Sri Govinda deity.”

    Sri Isvara Puri sent his disciples, Govinda and Kasisvara Pandit, to Jagannatha Puri to humbly serve Lord Caitanya. Reluctant to accept service from His Godbrothers, Sri Caitanya finally agreed since it was His guru's wish. Named Kalavati and Sasi-rekha in Vraja lila, Govinda and Kasisvara bring Yamuna water to Lord Sri Krishna. Kasisvara Pandit, who was strong and powerful­ly built, used to walk before Lord Caitanya keeping the crowds from touching Him. And after kirtans he would serve prasadam to all the devotees.

    Sri Gaurasundara asked Kasisvara to move to Vrndavana for worshiping Sri Rupa Gosvami's Deity of Govindaji. Fearing separation from Lord Caitanya, Kasisvara said, "My Lord, if I must give up Your association my heart will split in two." Out of com­passion for His devotee Lord Gauracandra gave him a Deity of Himself that was so perfectly formed it exactly resembled the Lord. "Gaura-Govinda," the Deity's name, is a golden form of Krishna playing flute. Then Kasisvara Pandit happily went to Vrndavana to serve Gaura-Govinda and Govindaji.

    Sri Sadhana Dipika says, "I worship Sri Kasisvara Pandit whose power of love and devotion brought Sri Caitanya to Western India as a Deity." Today the original Deities of Gaura-Govinda and Govindaji are lovingly adored by thousands of devotees in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

     Kasisvara Pandita’s glories are innumerable and exalted. His disappearance day is on the full moon day in the month of Asvin, on the festival day which is also celebrated at the Maharasa dance of Radha-Govinda.

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