Tad-Visnoh-Paramam-padamTad Viṣṇoḥ Paramaṁ Padaṁ
Grha-PravesaGṛha Praveśa (Entering a House)
By Published On: April 20, 2012Tags: 9.5 min read

In this article, "Paṇḍita Śrī Gadādhara Gosvāmī" Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja explains the unique position of Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita in relation to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This article was originally written in Bengali and published in Śrī Gauḍīya Darśana Vol.2, Number 1, 12th August 1956. It was translated into English by Swami B.V. Giri and Sanātana Dāsa.

Amongst the dear associates of Śrī Gaurāṅga, Śrī Gadādhara Gosvāmī is the topmost. Just as the position of Śrī Rādhikā, in comparison to others, is undisputedly the topmost in the mādhurya pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, similarly in the most magnanimous pastimes of Gaura-Kṛṣṇa, in the service of audārya-mādhurya-rasa, the character of Śrī Paṇḍita Gosvāmī, in comparison to others, is the topmost object of attraction for Śrī Gaurāṅga – the embodiment of sweetness with magnanimity. The mahājanas see rādhā-tattva within Paṇḍita Gadādhara.

The appearance day of Paṇḍita Gadādhara is during the summer time, on the new moon of the month of Jyeṣṭha (May/June); his disappearance is one month after on the new moon of the month of Āṣāḍha (June/July). The specialty of the character of Paṇḍita Gosvāmī as an intimate companion is the offering of silent and complete self-submission. Only those that are capable of relishing within their hearts the incredible bliss of seeing the astonishing contradiction of a begging-bag upon the shoulder of Lakṣmī Devī, are qualified to directly experience the extraordinary glories of the personality of Śrīmat Paṇḍita Gosvāmī.

During his childhood he was very simple, indifferent, modest and extremely courteous, devoted to the Lord and the brāhmaṇas and affectionate towards his friends. He was polite, yet timid; he was surrendered to the Lord, yet he felt offensive; he was fully realized, yet he felt ignorant; he was a leader, yet considered himself an obedient servant. Though he had firm faith in his dear Lord Śrī Gaurāṅga, the sidelong glances of the ordinary followers that had taken shelter of Gaurasundara made him hesitant and timid. Being madly engrossed in thoughts of his guru, Gaura, caused him to forget His Deity mantras. Even a little faith in Śrī Gaurāṅga attracts His heart – so much so that due to His affection towards such a person, he accepts even an insult from him as an honour. Basically, Śrī Paṇḍita Gosvāmī’s character is the neglected personification of one who has willingly accepted a beggar’s garb after giving away all his personal wealth.

Śrī Gadādhara’s wealth is not like the external wealth of Hariścandra’s kingdom nor is his sacrifice like that of Śibi’s or Dadhīci’s sacrifice of their material bodies. It is not like the sacrifice made by the nurse Panna of her dear son, nor like the self-immolation of Queen Padminī etc. Similarly, it is also not like Socrates’ reason for propagating self-realisation or Jesus Christ’s bodily sacrifice for the sake of the delivery of the world. For the knower of the self who is situated on a higher plane, bodily sacrifice is a very ordinary thing.

The wealth that is derived from the svarūpa or inherent nature makes any other type of sacrifice seem futile. Even if the devotional wealth of the liberated souls or even the nature of the object of prema is realized in our hearts – still, deeply understanding and conceiving the cordial nature of the incontestable sacrifice of the inner wealth of Paṇḍita Gosvāmī is only possible through his compassion and that of his intimate associates.

It is not possible for all these esoteric subjects to be immediately understood as if they were ordinary mundane topics. Nevertheless, considering the necessity, we are giving a general overview. Moreover, just as it is a responsibility to ascertain particular limits while considering what substance is worth giving, similarly it is certainly wise to ascertain the specialty of a gift while considering the qualification of its recipient.

As much as the recipient of the gift is highly qualified, that much is the glory and the result of giving the gift. In the same line of thought there is no comparison of objective and subjective excellence of Paṇḍita Gosvāmī’s self-surrender. After all, the wealth of Śrī Rādhā’s love is the topmost substance and Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra, the son of a brāhmaṇa (as Śrī Caitanya), is the topmost recipient.

While reflecting on this subject, we are reminded of the tale of Śrī Yājñavalkya. Having studied the highest knowledge of the self and after reaching the final stage of questioning, in answer to the curiousness of the curious of even higher truths, Yājñavalkya Ṛṣi, in a serious way, declares it as being the limit of curiosity.

We are incapable to fully comprehend the glories of Śrī Paṇḍita Gosvāmī, therefore the mahājanas have left us that divine knowledge concerning the true identity of Gadādhara. Yet due to our misfortune, we are unable to establish our faith in this matter. We commit offences due to our lack of faith and become absorbed in our own selfish pursuits.

Moreover, some claim that Gadādhara, the very wealth of Śrī Rādhā’s form, is a part of Nityānanda-Baladeva, while others say that he is concealed within a part of Gadādhara Dasa. But by flying one’s own flag of mental speculation one will become an offender to sambandha-tattva and one’s attainment of svarūpa-siddhi will be obstructed. Some people are unable to understand the method of Gadādhara’s worship of Gaura-Kṛṣṇa, and consider the Lord of Viṣṇupriya, Gaura-Nārāyaṇa, as being influenced by a mood of enjoyment and sambhoga, addressing Narayana as one who takes the role of a nāgara. Śrī Gaura is Śrī Kṛṣṇa with the mood of Rādhā, and Gaura without Rādhā is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the object of worship for all rasas beginning with madhura. He is not in the same category of bhagavat-tattva as Śrī Rāma etc. Śrī Gaurasundara, as the son of a brāhmaṇa or as the best of sannyāsīs, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, never accepted the mood of a nāgara, nor did He ever enter into discussions and the like with the wives of other men at any time. The notion that He was an example of parakīya-sambhoga is rasābhāsa, it is an offence, it is against the conclusions of the mahājanas and is an atheistic misconception.

In Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta and other authorised works of the mahājanas there is absolutely no example of gaura-nāgara philosophy. This ideology is not mentioned and does not exist therein.

A husband engages in Deity worship and his dutiful wife serves him by trying to help him in his worship. But at that time, she will not think of conjugality and engage in amorous talks with him, as this will impede his worship of the Deity. Similarly, when He is in the bhāva of Śrī Rādhā, the only concern of Kṛṣṇacandra is selfless service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa – in other words, Śrī Gaurāṅga’s nature is to worship Śrī Kṛṣṇa through His own līlā, and Śrī Rādhikā’s form as Śrī Gadādhara devotedly worships His adorable Lord accordingly throughout his whole life. Thus, Gadādhara’s form is an eternal manifestation.

Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa eternally personify the divine pastimes of Vraja, and Śrī Gadāi-Gaurāṅga, eternally residing in Navadvīpa, personify the mood of audarya (magnanimity). When there is the sweetness of Vraja, that is Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa – when there is the audārya of Navadvīpa, that is Śrī Gadādhara-Gaurāṅga. By being fully absorbed in one or the other, all other conceptions are eliminated. Sādhakas reject all types of common ideologies and should accept that revered path prescribed by the mahājanas.

Śrī Gaurāṅga is the Lord of love divine. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is also the Lord of love divine, but because His predominant rasa is sambhoga not everyone has the qualification to fully understand Him as such. However, Śrī Gaurāṅga, who is the shelter of the rasas of vipralambha and audārya, is the Lord of love divine even for the ordinary fallen souls who have cultivated faith in Him.

Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu distributes that Lord of love to even the lowest of mankind and in the form of Śrī Guru, he wanders door to door for the sake of the living entities.

Also Śrī Advaita Prabhu invoked the prema-avatāra, Śrī Caitanya-candra, and brought Him down to earth, showing the path to that supremely benevolent Lord.

Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita and others participated in the saṅkīrtana pastimes of the Lord of Love, Śrī Gaurāṅga, and were valuable assistants that served the Golden Lord in His pastimes.

Śrī Svarūpa, Rūpa, Sanātana, Raghunātha. Jīva etc. were the currents springing from the fountain of ambrosial prema who enlivened the entire world (this fallen and most hopeless soul begs and yearns for just a single drop of that ambrosia. His one and only hope is the mercy of Śrī Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas).

Śrī Gaurāṅga, the Lord of Love Divine, accepted that form in order to sing the glories of the topics of divine love of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Amongst all the treasures of prema, the dearest to Him is the bhāva of His most beloved, which He fully accepts. When this realisation dawns on Him and Śrī Rādhā is in His proximity then He plunders Her bhāva. Śrī Kṛṣṇa does this in order to worship Himself in the same mood as Śrī Rādhā.

But even when Śrī Kṛṣṇa is amongst the devotees in gaura-līlā, He is the same Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This means that the subordinate gopī-prīti of Śrī Rādhā’s must also fully manifests there. Gadādhara’s love for Gaura is extraordinary. But the form of his love is the opposite. When Kṛṣṇa adorned Himself with the garment of Rādhā’s bhāva, Śrī Rādhā became bereft of Her bhāva. That is the form of Gadādhara.

Hidden behind Gaura’s worship of Kṛṣṇa in the bhāva of Rādhā is the beloved of Śrī Gadādhara – the One for whom everything is dedicated, whose direct and most glorious form the eyes hanker to see, in whom is reflected the look of the most close associate – an exceedingly eager and thirsty look hankering for prema. The One who is worshipped accepted the role of a worshipper. The worshipper offers to the Worshipped (who has taken the role of a worshipper) everything up to the very award of worship and appears as the personification of the greatest fortune of sarvātmārpana – completely offering the self to Godhead.

Therefore, one who has attraction or love towards the worshippable Worshiper and strongly desires to attain the invaluable wealth of the shelter of Gaura’s associate, Śrī Gadādhara, should follow his type of bhajana for Śrī Gaurāṅga and thus they will discover the results of such bhajana. The followers of Śrī Gadādhara becomes the relishers of Śrī Rādhā’s vipralambha-rasa which is greater than the highest form of bhāva.

gadāi-gaurāṅga jaya jāhnavī-jivana
sītā-pati jaya śrīvāsādi-bhakta-gana

Tad-Visnoh-Paramam-padamTad Viṣṇoḥ Paramaṁ Padaṁ
Grha-PravesaGṛha Praveśa (Entering a House)
Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī appeared in this world in the village of Hapaniya, West Bengal, in 1895 within a high class Bhaṭṭācārya brāhmaṇa family. After studying philosophy at Krishnanath College in Berhampore, he met his guru, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, and accepted initiation from him in 1926 and sannyāsa in 1930. In 1942 he founded the Śrī Caitanya Sārasvata Maṭha and remained there till his departure in 1988. He was recognised by his godbrothers for his dispassionate nature and common sense, as well as for his superlative Sanskrit compositions and profound philosophical insights.
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