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Who Is Gadadhara Pandita?

This article, which a portion of Srila Prabhupada's translation and commentary of the Shri Caitanya-Caritamrta, will elaborate on the science and personality of Shri Gadadhara, one of the principal associates of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

ei tina tattva, -- 'sarvaradhya' kari mani

caturtha ye bhakta-tattva, -- 'aradhaka' jani

The three predominators [Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu] are worshipable by all living entities, and the fourth principle [Sri Gadadhara Prabhu] is to be understood as Their worshiper.

In his Anubhasya, Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, describing the truth about the Panca-tattva, explains that we should understand that Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the supreme predominator and that Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu are His subordinates but are also predominators. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Lord, and Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu are manifestations of the Supreme Lord. All of Them are visnu-tattva, the Supreme, and are therefore worshipable by the living entities. Although the other two tattvas within the category of Panca-tattva -- namely, sakti-tattva and jiva-tattva, represented by Gadadhara and Srivasa -- are worshipers of the Supreme Lord, they are in the same category because they eternally engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.

srivasadi yata koti koti bhakta-gana

'suddha-bhakta'-tattva-madhye tan-sabara ganana

There are innumerable pure devotees of the Lord, headed by Srivasa Thakura, who are known as unalloyed devotees.

gadadhara-panditadi prabhura 'sakti'-avatara

'antaranga-bhakta' kari' ganana yanhara

The devotees headed by Gadadhara Pandita are to be considered incarnations of the internal potency of the Lord. They are confidential devotees engaged in the service of the Lord.

In connection with verses 16 and 17, Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains in his Anubhasya: "There are specific symptoms by which the internal devotees and the unalloyed or pure devotees are to be known. All unalloyed devotees are sakti-tattvas, or potencies of the Lord. Some of them are situated in conjugal love and others in parental affection, fraternity and servitude. Certainly all of them are devotees, but by making a comparative study it is found that the devotees or potencies who are engaged in conjugal love are better situated than the others. Thus devotees who are in a relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in conjugal love are considered to be the most confidential devotees of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Those who engage in the service of Lord Nityananda Prabhu and Lord Advaita Prabhu generally have relationships of parental love, fraternity, servitude and neutrality. When such devotees develop great attachment for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they too become situated within the intimate circle of devotees in conjugal love." This gradual development of devotional service is described by Sri Narottama dasa Thakura as follows:

gauranga balite habe pulaka sarira

hari hari balite nayane ba'be nira

ara kabe nitaicanda karuna karibe

samsara-vasana mora kabe tuccha habe

visaya chadiya kabe suddha habe mana

kabe hama heraba sri-vrndavana

rupa-raghunatha-pade ha-ibe akuti

kabe hama bujhaba sri-yugala-piriti

"When will there be eruptions on my body as soon as I chant the name of Lord Caitanya, and when will there be incessant torrents of tears as soon as I chant the holy names Hare Krsna? When will Lord Nityananda be merciful toward me and free me from all desires for material enjoyment? When will my mind be completely freed from all contamination of desires for material pleasure? Only at that time will it be possible for me to understand Vrndavana. Only if I become attached to the instructions given by the Six Gosvamis, headed by Rupa Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, will it be possible for me to understand the conjugal love of Radha and Krsna." By attachment to the devotional service of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one immediately comes to the ecstatic position. When he develops his love for Nityananda Prabhu he is freed from all attachment to the material world, and at that time he becomes eligible to understand the Lord's pastimes in Vrndavana. In that condition, when one develops his love for the Six Gosvamis, he can understand the conjugal love between Radha and Krsna. These are the different stages of a pure devotee's promotion to conjugal love in the service of Radha and Krsna in an intimate relationship with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

yan-saba lana prabhura nitya vihara

yan-saba lana prabhura kirtana-pracara

yan-saba lana karena prema asvadana

yan-saba lana dana kare prema-dhana

The internal devotees or potencies are all eternal associates in the pastimes of the Lord. Only with them does the Lord advent to propound the sankirtana movement, only with them does the Lord taste the mellow of conjugal love, and only with them does He distribute this love of God to people in general.

Distinguishing between pure devotees and internal or confidential devotees, Sri Rupa Gosvami, in his book Upadesamrta, traces the following gradual process of development. Out of many thousands of karmis, one is better when he is situated in perfect Vedic knowledge. Out of many such learned scholars and philosophers, one who is actually liberated from material bondage is better, and out of many such persons who are actually liberated, one who is a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is considered to be the best. Among the many such transcendental lovers of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the gopis are the best, and among the gopis Srimati Radhika is the best. Srimati Radhika is very dear to Lord Krsna, and similarly Her ponds, namely, Syama-kunda and Radha-kunda, are also very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments in his Anubhasya that among the five tattvas, two are energies (sakti-tattva) and the three others are energetic (saktiman tattva). Unalloyed and internal devotees are both engaged in the favorable culture of Krsna consciousness untinged by philosophical speculation or fruitive activities. They are all understood to be pure devotees, and those among them who simply engage in conjugal love are called madhurya-bhaktas, or internal devotees. The loving services in parental love, fraternity and servitude are included in conjugal love of God. In conclusion, therefore, every confidential devotee is a pure devotee of the Lord.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu enjoys His pastimes with His immediate expansion Nityananda Prabhu. His pure devotees and His three purusa incarnations, namely, Karanodakasayi Visnu, Garbhodakasayi Visnu and Ksirodakasayi Visnu, always accompany the Supreme Lord to propound the sankirtana movement.

Adi 7.15-19

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