viernes, 18 de junio de 2010

Santos Vaishnavas - Y

Vèndâvana Dâsa Ùhâkura

Vèndâvana dâsa Ùhâkura was the son of the brahmana Vaikuntha dâsa and his wife Narayani. Ärî Narayani devi was the niece of Ärîvasa Paòàita. Ärîvasa had three brothers who all came from Ärîhatta to live in Navadvipa. Ärîvasa's only son died at a very early age.

Vèndâvana dâsa lost his father before he was born. When poverty struck Narayani devi she had no other alternative but to accept work in the house of Ärî Vasudeva Datta Ùhâkura. Narayani was entrusted with the responsibility for offering service to the Deity installed by Vasudeva Datta at Mamagachi village. There Ärîla Vèndâvana dâsa took his birth and started his education. It seems that the childhood of Vèndâvana dâsa was spent only at Mamagachi.

At the time when Mahâprabhu began to manifest His divine nature in the courtyard of Ärîvasa, Narayani devi was four years old. Vèndâvana dâsa describes in the Caitanya-bhagavata that his mother was very dear to Lord Gaurâôga.

"Narayani-devi received the entire remnants of Mahâprabhu's meal. Though she was only an insensible child He bestowed His mercy on her in this way."

Also as a result of this mercy, Ärîla Vèndâvana dâsa Ùhâkura, whose life and soul was Gaura-Nityânanda, took his birth from her womb. Gaura-gaòodeäa-dîpikâ (109) describes he is the manifestation of Vyasa and Kusumapida.

narayani--caitanyera ucchista-bhajana

tanra garbhe janmila Ärî-dâsa-Vèndâvana

"Narayani eternally eats the remnants of the foodstuffs of Lord Caitanya Mahâprabhu. Ärîla Vèndâvana dâsa Ùhâkura was born of her womb." (Cc Adi 8.41)

The Gaura-gaòodeäa-dîpikâ describes that when Lord Kèëòa was a child, He was nursed by a woman named Ambika who had a younger sister named Kilimbika. During the time of Lord Caitanya's incarnation, the same Kilimbika used to eat the remnants of foodstuffs left by Ärî Lord Caitanya Mahâprabhu. That Kilimbika was Narayani.

bhagavate Kèëòa-lila varnila vedavyasa

caitanya-lilate vyasa--Vèndâvana-dâsa

"Ärîla Vyasadeva described the pastimes of Kèëòa in the Ärîmad-Bhâgavatam. The Vyasa of the pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahâprabhu was Vèndâvana dâsa. (CC Adi 11.55)

Ärî Gaura-Nityânanda were his life. In his writings he never mentions the identity of his father but frequently speaks of his mother. A devotee of Lord Kèëòa is celebrated in terms of devotional service rendered to the Lord; thus we know Ärîla Vèndâvana dâsa Ùhâkura as the son of Narayani. Ärîla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ùhâkura notes in this connection that there is no reference to his paternal ancestry because there is no need to understand it. In the introduction of Caitanya-bhagavata, Ärîla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada states that Vèndâvana dâsa was born in the house of Malini devi.

Just four years before the birth of Ärî Vèndâvana dâsa, Ärî Gaurasundara took sannyasa. When Mahâprabhu disappeared, Ärî Vèndâvana dâsa was not more than twenty years old. He received initiation from Ärî Nityânanda and was His last disciple. Ärî Vèndâvana dâsa visited Kheturi with Jahnava Mata. Ärî Kèëòadâsa Kaviraja specifically sings the glories of Ärî Vèndâvana dâsa.

Vèndâvana dâsa acquired a profound command of several theological works which is born out by his own work Caitanya-bhagavata. He was the last disciple of Lord Nityânanda at whose command he took up writing the divine sports of Lord Gaurâôga in Caitanya-Bhâgavata. Some of the lyrical poems composed by Vèndâvana dâsa are found in Padakalpataru.

CCUP. 692-693 states as follows: (VV. of Jiva 83-84, Devaki 126, Vrnd. 120-121). JayaKèëòa dâsa writes that Vèndâvana dâsa was born at Kumarahatta and lived at Mamagachi. Like the Vaisnava poet Uddhava dâsa, JayaKèëòa writes that Vèndâvana dâsa's mother Narayani was a child widow. (Manuscripts no. 1691 in the collection of Bangiya Sahitya Parisat is a Sanskrit translation of Caitanya-Bhâgavata)

Nrsimha, the seventh descendant from Vasudeva, a contemporary of Lord Caitanya, wrote the Sanskrit work `Caitanya-Mahabhagavata' based on Caitanya-Bhâgavata of Vèndâvana dâsa. Cintaharana Cakravarti wrote about this work based on the mss. preserved in Sahitya Parisad. See Sahitya Parisat Patrika 1342: 2: P. 89. One more copy of this work was collected by Haridâsa Gosvâmî of Navadvipa from the collection of the Ùhâkura family of Daksinakhanda.

Caitanya-Bhâgavata of Vèndâvana dâsa stands as a unique store of nectar of the divine pastimes of Lord Gaurâôga and Nityânanda. Deeply immersed in the stream of this nectar, Vèndâvana dâsa seems to have delivered for other devotees what he himself enjoyed. Being thoroughly dedicated to the task of describing the lila of Lord Nityânanda, the size of the book grew larger and Vèndâvana was unable to describe the last days of Lord Gaurâôga. Devotees of Vèndâvana were so fascinated by reading Caitanya-Bhâgavata that they commanded Kèëòadâsa Kaviraja to complete what had not been finished by Vèndâvana dâsa.

There is no way of knowing for certain exactly when Vèndâvana dâsa wrote Caitanya-Bhâgavata. One can at best make an attempt to guess the probable date based on the following information: In 1431 Sakabda Lord Caitanya accepted sannyasa at the age of 24 years. For a year preceding that date the Lord performed kirtana at the house of Ärîvasa and manifested his divine nature. Somewhere within this period of one year the Lord showered His mercy upon Narayani, possibly early in 1431 Sakabda or late 1430 Sakabda. Narayani was then only four years old. It seems that Vèndâvana dâsa was born when Narayani was about 14 or 15 years old which leads us to conclude that around 1440 Saka Vèndâvana dâsa was born. In Gaura-gaòodeäa-dîpikâ 109 Vèndâvana dâsa is referred to as Vedavyasa. Gaura-gaòodeäa-dîpikâ was written in 1498 Sakabda which is clearly stated by Kavikarnapura himself. Hence one can conclude that Vèndâvana dâsa's Caitanya-Bhâgavata became fai rly well known before 14 98 Saka. Some think that Caitanya-Bhâgavata was written in 1495 Sakabda and some say 1497 Sakabda. But it seems improbable that the book gained wide fame within the span of only one or two years, so much so that in 1498 Saka Vèndâvana dâsa was recognized as Vyasa himself.

According to Ramagati Nyayaratna Caitanya-Bhâgavata was written in 1548 A.D. (1470 Sakabda). This seems acceptable. At that time Vèndâvana dâsa was about thirty years old and when Kavikarnapura described Vèndâvana dâsa as Vedavyasa, Vèndâvana dâsa was about 58 years old.

It is said that the title of Vèndâvana dâsa's book was originally Caitanyamangala and was later changed to Ärî Caitanyabhagavata. In several places throughout Caitanya-caritamrta, even in the last chapter of Antya-lila, Vèndâvana dâsa's book is referred to as Caitanyamangala. This clearly shows that until the time of writing Caitanya-caritamrta (Sakabda 1537) the book still was known as Caitanyamangala. Thus the idea that the Vèndâvana devotees were instrumental in changing the title does not hol d as it was only after studying and analyzing Vèndâvana dâsa's work that Caitanya-caritamrta was written at the command of the Vèndâvana devotees. Had these devotees already changed the title of Vèndâvana dâsa's work then Kèëòadâsa Kaviraja would surely have mentioned that in Caitanya-caritamrta.

There is, however, some evidence to refute this idea. In Gauraganoddesadipika, which was written early in 1498 Saka, Kavikarnapura refers to Vèndâvana dâsa as Vedavyasa. This indicates that at the time Gaura-gaòodeäa-dîpikâ was written Vèndâvana dâsa's book was quite well known as Caitanya-Bhâgavata.

In Caitanyamangala Locana dâsa also refers to Vèndâvana dâsa's work as Caitanya-Bhâgavata. Caitanyamangala was written sometime between 1482 and 1488 Saka. It appears therefore that the book Caitanya-Bhagavta which attained fame by 1482/1488 Sakabda was mentioned by Kèëòadâsa Kaviraja repeatedly as Caitanyamangala, the reason for this is not clear.

According to some scholars the title of Vèndâvana dâsa's work was entitled Caitanya-Bhâgavata right from the beginning, but since it is traditional to refer to books which are written in glorification of a particular deity by adding the suffix `mangala' (e.g. Candimangala, Manasamangala), it is natural to refer to a book describing the glories to Lord Caitanya as Caitanyamangala.

Hence Kèëòadâsa Kaviraja termed the Bengali book by Vèndâvana dâsa which was written for the glorification of Lord Caitanya as Caitanyamangala (See CCU by B.B. Majumdar)

The doubt which arises here is that had Caitanya-Bhâgavata been the title of the work right from the beginning and was only popularly referred to as Caitanyamangala then the book of Kèëòadâsa Kaviraja would have surely contained some reference to this, direct or indirect.

It appears from statements of Locana dâsa and Kavikarnapura that Vèndâvana dâsa's work was titled Caitanya-Bhâgavata right from the beginning. Unlike Kaviraja Gosvâmî, who concludes every chapter of Caitanya-caritamrta with the statement "Thus Kèëòadâsa narrates Caitanya-caritamrta.", Vèndâvana dâsa did not refer to the title of his book. All the editions of Caitanya-Bhâgavata consulted by R.G. Nath, except one, write the concluding lines as "Ärî Kèëòa caitanya nityanandacand jana Vèndâvanadâsa tac hu padayuge gana" (Vèndâvana dâsa sings following the footsteps of Lord Caitanya-Nityânanda). In the AtulKèëòa Gosvâmî edition of Caitanya-Bhâgavata 3rd edition, the concluding verse of the first chapter is written as follows: "Contemplating the lotus-feet of Lord Caitanya, Vèndâvanadâsa sings Caitanyamangala." In the footnote Prabhupada A.K. Gosvâmî writes that at the end of each chapter the text varies (stated in other editions noted earlier) in some books. This shows that A.K. Gosvâmî found the bhanita with reference to Caitanyamangala in all the other chapters although he never repeated this bhanita at the end of any other chapter except the first one.

It therefore leads one to conclude that had the bhanita "Vèndâvana dâsa kahe caitanyamangala" been there in the book of Vèndâvana dâsa right from the beginning at least in chapter one and since the author nowhere in the book specifies the title Caitanya-Bhâgavata then it is natural for some to argue that the book was known as Caitanyamangala. The mss. copy of Caitanya-Bhâgavata found in Vèndâvana possibly had the bhanita of "Vèndâvana dâsa gana caitanyamangala" hence Kaviraja Gosvâmî mentioned the book as Caitanyamangala throughout his own work. It is also not known whether any other biographer except Kaviraja Gosvâmî called Vèndâvana dâsa's work Caitanyamangala.

The lyrical poems composed by Vèndâvana dâsa show that he was an authority on music also. There are some poems circulated with the name and bhanita of Vèndâvana dâsa which are not found in any authentic compilations nor do they stand in harmony with the well known views of Vaisnava Âcâryas and Gosvâmîs. These were perhaps compositions of some other Vèndâvana dâsa and to add literary weight to the work the bhanita of Vèndâvana dâsa was inserted.

Vèndâvana dâsa was a worshiper of Sakhyabhava.

Vèndâvana dâsa Ùhâkura's Ärîpat, where his worshipable Deities of Ärî Ärî Gaura-Nitai are still residing, is at Denur. Denur can be reached by bus from Navadvipa.

"O fools, just read Caitanya-mangala! By reading this book you can understand all the glories of Ärî Caitanya Mahâprabhu. As Vyasadeva has compiled the pastimes of Lord Kèëòa in the Ärîmad-Bhâgavatam, Ùhâkura Vèndâvana has depicted the pastimes of Lord Caitanya. Ùhâkura Vèndâvana has composed Caitanya-mangala. Hearing this book will annihilate all misfortune. By reading Caitanya-mangala one can understand the glories or truths of Lord Caitanya and Nityânanda and come to the ultimate conclusion of devotional service to Lord Kèëòa. In the Caitanya-mangala (later known as Caitanya-bhagavata) Ärîla Vèndâvana dâsa Ùhâkura has given the conclusion and essence of devotional service by quoting from the authoritative statements of Ärîmad-Bhâgavatam. If even a great atheist hears Caitanya-mangala, he immediately becomes a great devotee. The subject matter of this book is so sublime that it appears that Ärî Caitanya Mahâprabhu has personally spoken through the writings of Ärî Vèndâvana dâsa Ùhâkura. I offer millions of obeisances unto the lotus feet of Vèndâvana dâsa Ùhâkura. No one else could write such a wonderful book for the deliverance of the fallen souls. (CC Adi 8.33-40)


He was the brother of Viëòupriya Devi and a resident of Vèndâvana (CC. 1.8.67). Kèëòadâsa Kaviraja sought his permission before taking up the task of writing CC.

When Virabhadra Gosvâmî arrived at Vèndâvana, Yadavacarya went with other devotees to welcome him. He was the disciple of Kasisvara Gosvâmî of Vèndâvana. (BRK. 13.323-325, Prema-vilasa 18)

The family priests of Mahâprabhu at Navadvipa claim to be descendants of Yadavacarya.


He belonged to the family of Ärînivâsa Âcârya. He was the elder brother of Râdhâmohana Ùhâkura, the compiler of Padamrtasamudra. His descendants live in the village of Daksinakhanda near Malihati. There are some padas which were composed by him. (See also "Ärînivâsa Âcârya")


He was a disciple of Virabhadra Gosvâmî and hailed from the Pippali clan in Ärîpata Jhamatpur. Virabhadra married Yadunândana's two daughters, Ärîmati and Narayani (Prema-vilasa 24, BRK. 13.250). Yadunândana's wife was Laksmi (BRK. 13.251-255)


He was a brahmana disciple of Dâsa Gadâdhara and hailed from Ärîpata Katoa (BRK. 9.352). On the occasion of the disappearance of Dâsa Gadâdhara, he invited devotees from all over to celebrate a festival in honor of Ärî Gadâdhara. According to Haridâsa Dâsa (GVA. P. 161) family priests who serve the Deity of Mahâprabhu at Katoa in Burdwan, are Yadunândana's descendants (See "Gadâdhara Dasa"). He made some contribution to Padavali literature.


He was the teacher of Rasikananda when the later was a child. (Rasikamangala Purva 9.27)

YADUnândana DASA/Ùhâkura

He was a Vaidya by caste and a disciple of Hemalata, the daughter of Ärînivâsa Âcârya. His Ärîpata was at Malihati village (or Meleti) to the north of Katoa. He wrote the book titled Karnananda which contains a biography of Ärînivâsa Âcârya.

Upon hearing this book Hemalata Devi was deeply impressed and named it Karnananda. Yadunândana acquired great fame for his lucid translations of Vidagdhamadhava, Govindalilamrta and Kèëòakarnamrta. His poems have been included in Padamrtasamudra. See the book Vaisnava Sahitya O Yadunândana for details.

The following is from GPC:

This Yadunândana dâsa was one of the five followers of Ärî Caitanya whose names were Yadunândana. In 1459 Saka the great composer Ärî Yadunândana dâsa was born in the village of Khalihati, which was situated on the western bank of the Bhagirathi and the northern part of Kantakanagara, 13 crosa south of the district of Mursidabad.

He belonged to a Vaidya family and was a favorite disciple of Ärîmati Hemalata, daughter of Ärînivâsa Âcârya. In his book Karnananda, Ärî Yadunândana dâsa mentions the name of his guru at the end of every chapter and respectfully glorifies her: "Hemalata, the daughter of Ärînivâsa Âcârya Prabhu, is just like a creeper of divine love and is a beautiful creation of the Supreme Lord. I, Yadunândana dâsa, take pleasure in writing the book Karnananda, keeping her lotus feet fixed within my heart."

He translated Ärî Govinda-lilamrta in verse and in that book he states:

"Worship the feet of guru which is the only abode of peace and which is the mine of all good qualities. The daughter of Âcârya Prabhu is Ärî Hemalata, whose name can bring fulfillment of all desires. Finding me in utter darkness of ignorance and in utter damnation, She gave me her kind refuge and by her mercy my eyes have been opened by throwing away the darkness of ignorance."

Ärîmati Hemalata Ùhâkurani was a wonderful genius amongst the Vaisnavas in Gauda. She, like her father Ärînivasa, preached the teaching of Lord Caitanya everywhere. Through her influence even the most wicked persons became interested and attracted to the path of devotion. Ärî Yadunândana dâsa was very sincere and devoted to his guru. He frequently stayed at the house of Ärîmati Hemalata in the village of Budhaipara on the western bank of the Bhagirathi, where he served her with utmost care. There are no records available about Yadunândana's marriage or children. He was a versatile genius, composing numerous songs and translating many books into verse. He wrote a book of poetry named Kunjarastava. His translated poetry books are as follows: Govindalilamrta, Kèëòakarnamrta, Karnamrta (the original one), Gauralilapada and Kèëòalila padas, etc.


A resident of Kulinagrama who belonged to the sakha of Lord Caitanya (CC. 1.10.80, Vaisnava Vandana of Jiva 268, Devaki 129, Vèndâvanadâsa 128).

In Padakalpataru there are sixteen padas containing the bhanita of Yadunatha. Editors Jagadvandhu Bhadra and Satisacandra Raya consider that the poet Yadu and Yadunatha are the same person and the author of Govinda-lilamrta. However, since no supporting evidence is cited for this argument, B.B. Majumdar in CCU p. 675 argues that the above mentioned persons were different people.


He belonged to the sakha of Lord Nityânanda (CC. 1.11.35). Some believe that he hailed originally from either Burunga village of Ärîhatta or Daksinagrama of Dhaka and later settled at Kulinagrama. His father was Ratnagarbha Âcârya. Yadunatha had two brothers namely Kèëòananda and Jiva. Yadunatha's father and Lord Gaurâôga's father were residents of the same village. Yadunatha was a contemporary of Lord Gaurâôga (CBh. 2.1.296-300)


According to Prema-vilasa 24 this Yadunatha entered into arguments with Haridâsa Ùhâkura and after acknowledging defeat surrendered and sought refuge at the feet of Haridâsa.


He was a disciple of Narottama Ùhâkura. At first he was a staunch critic of Narottama, but later he became a devout Vaisnava. (Prema-vilasa 19) (See also "Rûpanarayana")


She was the daughter of Ärînivâsa Âcârya. (Anuragavalli 7)


He was the guru of Ramanuja and a noted exponent of Visistadvaitavada. His other name was Alavandar. Some of the slokas composed by him under the title "Stotra-ratna" have been accepted with great respect by Gaudiya Gosvâmîs.


Yasobanta Dâsa was one of the five associates of the panchasakhas. According to Udaya Kahani, Yasobanta was born in the village Arabanga, near Jagatsinghpur in the district of Cuttack in 1487 A.D. His father's name was Jagu Mallik and mother was Rekha Devi. Some scholars are of the opinion that he was a Ksatriya or Mahanayaka. He came in contact with Ärî Caitanya Mahâprabhu when he went to Orissa. It is said that Yasobanta was initiated by Caitanya Mahâprabhu at Purî. After his initiation he returned home and began to lead a life of religious meditation and wrote books on the science of bhakti as taught by Ärî Caitanya Mahâprabhu.

The following is a popular story about Yasobanta:

When Yasobanta was in his teens, he was watching over the cornfield to keep out deer and wild boars when the Lord suddenly appeared before him and said, "Ärî Caitanya Mahâprabhu is My incarnation, thus you should accept initiation from Him and serve His feet. Thereafter you shall preach the message of Mahâprabhu and save the fallen souls from their sinful lives." The Lord vanished and Yasobanta set out to find his master. After some time he saw Lord Gaurâôga, the son of Saci, and fell prostrate at His feet. Mahâprabhu embraced Yasobanta and addressed him as SvaRûpa Tirtha. He initiated Yasobanta into the name of Hari, and named him Suvaher (Isvara Dasa's Ärî Caitanya Bhâgavata, compiled by A.B. Mohanty, Utkal University, Chapter XLVI).

It is also mentioned in Ärî Caitanya Bhâgavata (by Isvara Dasa) that Yasobanta was a constant singer in the sankirtana party. In Cuttack he joined the sankirtana party which was engaged in a Mahautsava organized by King Prataparudradeva. In Chourasi Ajna it is mentioned that he was present at the time of the demonstration and took a major role. During the demonstration Ärî Caitanya, King Prataparudradeva and Sarvabhauma were present (Sudarsana Dasa's Chourasi Ajna manuscript preserved in Utkal University Library, Chapter XLIII).

Taking initiation from Ärî Caitanya had a great impact on him and thus he wrote a number of books revealing the teachings of Ärî Caitanya Mahâprabhu. Among these works, Premabhakti Brahmagita elucidates the path of prema-bhakti in great detail. Previously he had been a follower of jnanamisrabhakti.


He acquired fame as the first poet to compose poems in Vrajvuli.


He was the provincial Muslim ruler referred to in the following entry "Yavana Cara" (CC. 2.16.178-199). For details see entries under "Mahapatra" or "Visvasa")


He worked as a spy under one of the provincial rulers of King Prataparudra of Orissa. When Lord Caitanya arrived at the border of Orissa on His way to Vèndâvana, Yavana Cara, knowing that the Lord drew large crowds wherever He went, wanted to avoid any political difficulties. Thus he approached the Lord to inquire about His intentions and was very moved by this meeting (CC. 2.16.168)


He was the eldest son of Nilambara Cakravarti and a resident of Belpukhuria, Navadvipa. (Prema-vilasa 7)

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