Letters : 1968 Correspondence : February : Letter to: Upendra — Los Angeles 13 February, 1968 : 68-02-13 :
There are four Sampradayas from the beginning of the creation. One is called Brahma Sampradaya, and is coming down by disciplic succession from Brahma; another Sampradaya is coming down from Laksmi, called Sri Sampradaya; another is coming down from the Kumaras, they are known as Nimbarka Sampradaya; another Sampradaya is coming from Lord Siva, Rudra Sampradaya or Viṣṇu Svāmī. These are four bona fide Sampradayas that are accepted by the bona fide spiritualists. The Impersonalist Sampradaya is not original neither the Impersonalist Sampradaya or party can help us. At the present moment there are so many Sampradayas, but we have to test them about their method of disciplic understanding. Anyway, all the four Sampradayas above mentioned, they are after worshiping the Supreme Lord Visnu, in His different Expansions, and some of them are in favor of worshiping Radha Krishna. In the later age the Brahma Sampradaya was handed down though Madhva Acarya; in this Madhva Acarya disciplic succession came Isvara Puri. This Isvara Puri was accepted as Spiritual Master of Lord Caitanya. Therefore, we being in disciplic succession of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we are known as the Madhva Sampradaya. And because Lord Caitanya appeared in Bengal, which country is called Gaudadesa, our Sampradaya party is known as Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya. But all these Sampradayas are non-different from one another because they believe and worship the Supreme Lord. Any other Sampradaya who are Impersonalist or voidist or nondevotee, they are rejected by us.
My Guru Maharaja was in the 10th generation from Lord Caitanya. We are 11th from Lord Caitanya. The disciplic succession is as follows: 1. Sri Krishna, 2. Brahma, 3. Narada, 4. Vyasa, 5. Madhva, 6. Padmanabha, 7. Nrihari, 8. Madhava, 9. Akshobhya, 10. Jayatirtha, 11. Jnanasindhu, 12. Purusottama, 13. Vidyanidhi, 14. Rajendra, 15. Jayadharma, 16. Purusottama, 17. Vyasatirtha, 18. Laksmipati, 19. Madhavendra Puri, 20. Isvara Puri (Advaita, Nityananda) 21. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, 22. (Svarupa, Sanatana) Rupa, 23.(Jiva) Raghunath, 24. Krishna dasa, 25. Narottama, 26. Visvanatha, 27. (Baladeva.) Jagannatha, 28. (Bhaktivinode) Gaura-kisora, 29. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Sri Barshabhanavidayitadas, 30. Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta.
Srila Prabhupada describes the exalted position of Isvara Puri
tad vidhehi namas tubhyaṁ
O worshipful one, please give us your direction for the execution of duty within our working capacity so that we can follow it for fame in this life and progress in the next.
This line of disciplic succession from Brahmā is spiritual, whereas the genealogical succession from Manu is material, but both are on the progressive march towards the same goal of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 3: “The Status Quo” : SB 3.13: The Appearance of Lord Varaha : SB 3.13.8 :
Srila Prabhupada describes the position of Isvara Puri in the Gaudiya Vaishnava parampara,
This is the method of paramparā, or disciplic succession. Similarly, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam explains that Kṛṣṇa imparted knowledge into the heart of Brahmā, the first created creature within the universe. Brahmā imparted those lessons to his disciple Nārada, and Nārada imparted that knowledge to his disciple Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva imparted it to Madhvācārya, and from Madhvācārya the knowledge has come down to Mādhavendra Purī, to Īśvara Purī, and from him to Caitanya MahāprabhuBooks : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Introduction
Srila Prabhupada explains the appearance of Sri Isvara Puri.
mādhava-īśvara-purī, śacī, jagannātha
advaita ācārya prakaṭa hailā sei sātha
mādhava—Mādhavendra Purī; īśvara-purī—Īśvara Purī; śacī—Śacīmātā; jagannātha—Jagannātha Miśra; advaita ācārya—Advaita Ācārya; prakaṭa—manifested; hailā—were; sei—this; sātha—with.
Mādhavendra Purī, Īśvara Purī, Śrīmatī Śacīmātā and Śrīla Jagannātha Miśra all appeared with Śrī Advaita Ācārya.
Whenever the Supreme Personality of Godhead descends in His human form, He sends ahead all His devotees, who act as His father, teacher and associates in many roles. Such personalities appear before the descent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Before the appearance of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, there appeared His devotees like Śrī Mādhavendra Purī; His spiritual master, Śrī Īśvara Purī; His mother, Śrīmatī Śacīdevī; His father, Śrī Jagannātha Miśra; and Śrī Advaita Ācārya. Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.95
Srila Prabhupada explains the connection between Madhavendra Puri and Isvara Puri
Śrī Mādhavendra Purī is one of the ācāryas in the disciplic succession from Madhvācārya. Mādhavendra Purī had two principal disciples, Īśvara Purī and Śrī Advaita Prabhu. Therefore the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya is a disciplic succession from Madhvācārya. This fact has been accepted in the authorized books known as Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā and Prameya-ratnāvalī, as well as by Gopāla Guru Gosvāmī. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā clearly states the disciplic succession of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas as follows: “Lord Brahmā is the direct disciple of Viṣṇu, the Lord of the spiritual sky. His disciple is Nārada, Nārada’s disciple is Vyāsa, and Vyāsa’s disciples are Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Madhvācārya. Padmanābha Ācārya is the disciple of Madhvācārya, and Narahari is the disciple of Padmanābha Ācārya. Mādhava is the disciple of Narahari, Akṣobhya is the direct disciple of Mādhava, and Jayatīrtha is the disciple of Akṣobhya. Jayatīrtha’s disciple is Jñānasindhu, and his disciple is Mahānidhi. Vidyānidhi is the disciple of Mahānidhi, and Rājendra is the disciple of Vidyānidhi. Jayadharma is the disciple of Rājendra. Puruṣottama is the disciple of Jayadharma. Śrīmān Lakṣmīpati is the disciple of Vyāsatīrtha, who is the disciple of Puruṣottama. And Mādhavendra Purī is the disciple of Lakṣmīpati.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 6: The Glories of Sri Advaita Acarya : Adi 6.40 : PURPORT
Srila Prabhupapa presents Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s explanation of the flow of the plant of bhakti with Madhavendra Puri and Isvara Puri as the second fructification of the seed of bhakti plant.
A summary of Chapter Nine has been given as follows by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya. In the Ninth Chapter the author of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta has devised a figurative example by describing the “plant of bhakti.” He considers Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is known as Viśvambhara, to be the gardener of this plant because He is the main personality who has taken charge of it. As the supreme enjoyer, He enjoyed the flowers Himself and distributed them as well. The seed of the plant was first sown in Navadvīpa, the birthsite of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and then the plant was brought to Puruṣottama-kṣetra (Jagannātha Purī) and then to Vṛndāvana. The seed fructified first in Śrīla Mādhavendra Purī and then his disciple Śrī Īśvara Purī. It is figuratively described that both the tree itself and the trunk of the tree are Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The devotees, headed by Paramānanda Purī and eight other great sannyāsīs, are like the spreading roots of the tree. From the main trunk there extend two special branches, Advaita Prabhu and Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, and from those branches grow other branches and twigs. The tree surrounds the entire world, and the flowers of the tree are to be distributed to everyone. In this way the tree of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu intoxicates the entire world. It should be noted that this is a figurative example meant to explain the mission of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 9: The Tree of Devotional Service
śrī-iśvarapurī-rūpe aṅkura puṣṭa haila
āpane caitanya-mālī skandha upajila
śrī-īśvara-purī—by the name Śrī Īśvara Purī; rūpe—in the form of; aṅkura—the seed; puṣṭa—cultivated; haila—became; āpane—Himself; caitanya-mālī—the gardener of the name Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; skandha—trunk; upajila—expanded.
The seed of devotional service next fructified in the form of Śrī Īśvara Purī, and then the gardener Himself, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, became the main trunk of the tree of devotional service.
Śrī Īśvara Purī was a resident of Kumāra-haṭṭa, where there is now a railroad station known as Kāmarhaṭṭa. Nearby there is also another station named Hālisahara, which belongs to the Eastern Railway that runs from the eastern section of Calcutta.
appeared in a brāhmaṇa
family and was the most beloved disciple of Śrīla Mādhavendra Purī. In the last portion of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
-31), it is stated:
īśvara-purī gosāñi kare śrī-pada sevana
sva-haste karena mala-mūtrādi mārjana
nirantara kṛṣṇa-nāma karāya smaraṇa
kṛṣṇa-nāma kṛṣṇa-līlā śunāya anukṣaṇa
tuṣṭa hañā purī tāṅre kaila āliṅgana
vara dilā kṛṣṇe tomāra ha-uka prema-dhana
sei haite īśvara-purī premera sāgara
“At the last stage of his life Śrī Mādhavendra Purī became an invalid and was completely unable to move, and Īśvara Purī so completely engaged himself in his service that he personally cleaned up his stool and urine. Always chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and reminding Śrī Mādhavendra Purī about the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the last stage of his life, Īśvara Purī gave the best service among his disciples. Thus Mādhavendra Purī, being very pleased with him, blessed him, saying, ‘My dear boy, I can only pray to Kṛṣṇa that He will be pleased with you.’ Thus Īśvara Purī, by the grace of his spiritual master, Śrī Mādhavendra Purī, became a great devotee in the ocean of love of Godhead.” Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī states in his Gurv-aṣṭaka prayer, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi: “By the mercy of the spiritual master one is blessed by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. Without the grace of the spiritual master one cannot make any advancement.” It is by the mercy of the spiritual master that one becomes perfect, as vividly exemplified here. A Vaiṣṇava is always protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if he appears to be an invalid, this gives a chance to his disciples to serve him. Īśvara Purī pleased his spiritual master by service, and by the blessings of his spiritual master he became such a great personality that Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted him as His spiritual master.
Śrīla Īśvara Purī was the spiritual master of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but before initiating Lord Caitanya he went to Navadvīpa and lived for a few months in the house of Gopīnātha Ācārya. At that time Lord Caitanya became acquainted with him, and it is understood that he served Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by reciting his book, Kṛṣṇa-līlāmṛta. This is explained in Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-līlā, Chapter Eleven.
To teach others by example how to be a faithful disciple of one’s spiritual master, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, visited the birthplace of Īśvara Purī at Kāmarhaṭṭa and collected some earth from his birthsite. This He kept very carefully, and He used to eat a small portion of it daily. This is stated in the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-līlā, Chapter Seventeen. It has now become customary for devotees, following the example of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, to go there and collect some earth from that place.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 9: The Tree of Devotional Service : Adi 9.11 :
paramānanda purī, āra keśava bhāratī
brahmānanda purī, āra brahmānanda bhāratī
viṣṇu-purī, keśava-purī, purī kṛṣṇānanda
śrī-nṛsiṁhatīrtha, āra purī sukhānanda
ei nava mūla nikasila vṛkṣa-mūle
ei nava mūle vṛkṣa karila niścale
paramānanda purī—of the name Paramānanda Purī; āra—and; keśava bhāratī—of the name Keśava Bhāratī; brahmānanda purī—of the name Brahmānanda Purī; āra—and; brahmānanda bhāratī—of the name Brahmānanda Bhāratī; viṣṇu-purī—of the name Viṣṇu Purī; keśava-purī—of the name Keśava Purī; purī kṛṣṇānanda—of the name Kṛṣṇānanda Purī; śrī-nṛsiṁha-tīrtha—of the name Śrī Nṛsiṁha Tīrtha; āra—and; purī sukhānanda—of the name Sukhānanda Purī; ei nava—of these nine; mūla—roots; nikasila—fructified; vṛkṣa-mūle—in the trunk of the tree; ei nava mūle—in these nine roots; vṛkṣa—the tree; karila niścale—became very steadfast.
Paramānanda Purī, Keśava Bhāratī, Brahmānanda Purī and Brahmānanda Bhāratī, Śrī Viṣṇu Purī, Keśava Purī, Kṛṣṇānanda Purī, Śrī Nṛsiṁha Tīrtha and Sukhānanda Purī-these nine sannyāsī roots all sprouted from the trunk of the tree. Thus the tree stood steadfastly on the strength of these nine roots.
Paramānanda Purī: Paramānanda Purī belonged to a brāhmaṇa family of the Trihut district in Uttara Pradesh. Mādhavendra Purī was his spiritual master. In relationship with Mādhavendra Purī, Paramānanda Purī was very dear to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-līlā, there is the following statement:
sannyāsīra madhye īśvarera priya-pātra
āra nāhi eka purī gosāñi se mātra
sannyāsi-pārṣade ei dui adhikārī
niravadhi nikaṭe thākena dui jana
prabhura sannyāse kare daṇḍera grahaṇa
purī dhyāna-para dāmodarera kīrtana
yata-prīti īśvarera purī-gosāñire
dāmodara-svarūpereo tata prīti kare
“Among his sannyāsī disciples, Īśvara Purī and Paramānanda Purī were very dear to Mādhavendra Purī. Thus Paramānanda Purī, like Svarūpa Dāmodara, who was also a sannyāsī, was very dear to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and was His constant associate. When Lord Caitanya accepted the renounced order, Paramānanda Purī offered Him the daṇḍa. Paramānanda Purī was always engaged in meditation, and Śrī Svarūpa was always engaged in chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. As Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu offered full respect to His spiritual master, Īśvara Purī, He similarly respected Paramānanda Purī and Svarūpa Dāmodara.” It is described in the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-līlā, Chapter Three, that when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu first saw Paramānanda Purī He made the following statement:
āji dhanya locana, saphala āji janma
saphala āmāra āji haila sarva-dharma
prabhu bale āji mora saphala sannyāsa
āji mādhavendra more ha-ilā prakāśa
“My eyes, My mind, My religious activities and My acceptance of the sannyāsa order have now all become perfect because today Mādhavendra Purī is manifest before Me in the form of Paramānanda Purī.” The Caitanya-bhāgavata further states:
kathokṣaṇe anyo ‘nye karena praṇāma
paramānanda-purī caitanyera priya-dhāma
“Thus Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu exchanged respectful obeisances with Paramānanda Purī, who was very dear to Him.” Paramānanda Purī established a small monastery behind the western side of the Jagannātha temple, where he had a well dug to supply water. The water, however, was bitter, and therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu prayed to Lord Jagannātha to allow Ganges water to come into the well to make it sweet. When Lord Jagannātha granted the request, Lord Caitanya told all the devotees that from that day hence, the water of Paramānanda Purī’s well should be celebrated as Ganges water, for any devotee who would drink it or bathe in it would certainly get the same benefit as that derived from drinking or bathing in the waters of the Ganges. Such a person would certainly develop pure love of Godhead. It is stated in the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-līlā:
prabhu bale āmi ye āchiye pṛthivīte
niścaya-i jāniha purī-gosāñira prīte
“Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to say: ‘I am living in this world only on account of the excellent behavior of Śrī Paramānanda Purī.’ ” The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 118, states, purī śrī-paramānando ya āsīd uddhavaḥ purā. “Paramānanda Purī is none other than Uddhava.” Uddhava was Lord Kṛṣṇa’s friend and uncle, and in caitanya-līlā the same Uddhava became the friend of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His uncle in terms of their relationship in the disciplic succession.
Keśava Bhāratī: The Sarasvatī, Bhāratī and Purī sampradāyas belong to the Śṛṅgerī Maṭha in South India, and Śrī Keśava Bhāratī, who at that time was situated in a monastery in Katwa, belonged to the Bhāratī-sampradāya. According to some authoritative opinions, although Keśava Bhāratī belonged to the Śaṅkara-sampradāya, he had formerly been initiated by a Vaiṣṇava. He is said to have been a Vaiṣṇava on account of having been initiated by Mādhavendra Purī, for some say that he took sannyāsa from Mādhavendra Purī. The temple and Deity worship started by Keśava Bhāratī are still existing in the village known as Khāṭundi, which is under the postal jurisdiction of Kāndarā in the district of Burdwan. According to the managers of that maṭha, the priests are descendants of Keśava Bhāratī, and some say that the worshipers of the Deity are descendants of the sons of Keśava Bhāratī. In his householder life he had two sons, Niśāpati and Ūṣāpati, and a brāhmaṇa of the name Śrī Nakaḍicandra Vidyāratna, who was a member of the family of Niśāpati, was the priest in charge at the time that Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī visited this temple. According to some, the priests of the temple belong to the family of Keśava Bhāratī’s brother. Still another opinion is that they descend from Mādhava Bhāratī, who was another disciple of Keśava Bhāratī’s. Mādhava Bhāratī’s disciple Balabhadra, who also later became a sannyāsī of the Bhāratī-sampradāya, had two sons in his family life, named Madana and Gopāla. Madana, whose family’s surname was Bhāratī, lived in the village of Āuriyā, and Gopāla, whose family’s surname was Brahmacārī, lived in the village of Denduḍa. There are still many living descendants of both families.
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 52, it is said:
purā kṛṣṇāya yo muniḥ
dadau sāndīpaniḥ so ‘bhūd
“Sāndīpani Muni, who formerly offered the sacred thread to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, later became Keśava Bhāratī.” It is he who offered sannyāsa to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There is another statement from the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 117: iti kecit prabhāṣante ‘krūraḥ keśava-bhāratī. “According to some authoritative opinions, Keśava Bhāratī is an incarnation of Akrūra.” Keśava Bhāratī offered the sannyāsa order to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the year 1432 śakābda (A.D. 1510) in Katwa. This is stated in the Vaiṣṇava-mañjuṣā, Part Two.
Brahmānanda Purī: Śrī Brahmānanda Purī was one of the associates of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu while He was performing kīrtana in Navadvīpa, and he also joined Lord Caitanya in Jagannātha Purī. We may note in this connection that the name Brahmānanda is accepted not only by Māyāvādī sannyāsīs but by Vaiṣṇava sannyāsīs also. One of our foolish Godbrothers criticized our sannyāsī Brahmānanda Svāmī, saying that this was a Māyāvādī name. The foolish man did not know that Brahmānanda does not always refer to the impersonal. Parabrahman, the Supreme Brahman, is Kṛṣṇa. A devotee of Kṛṣṇa can therefore also be called Brahmānanda; this is evident from the fact that Brahmānanda Purī was one of the chief sannyāsī associates of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Brahmananda Bhāratī: Brahmānanda Bhāratī went to see Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha-dhāma. At that time he used to wear only a deerskin to cover himself, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu indirectly indicated that He did not like this deerskin covering. Brahmānanda Bhāratī therefore gave it up and accepted a loincloth of saffron color, as used by Vaiṣṇava sannyāsīs.
For some time he lived with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 9: The Tree of Devotional Service : Adi 9.13-15
Sri Isvara Puri ordered two of his disciples to assist Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Jagannatha Puri
tāṅra siddhi-kāle doṅhe tāṅra ājñā pāñā
nīlācale prabhu-sthāne milila āsiyā
tāṅra siddhi-kāle—at the time of Īśvara Purī‘s passing away; doṅhe—the two of them; tāṅra—his; ājñā—order; pāñā—getting; nīlācale—at Jagannātha Purī; prabhu-sthāne—at the place of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; milila—met; āsiyā—coming there.
In the list of prominent devotees at Nīlācala [Jagannātha Purī], Kāśīśvara was the eighteenth and Govinda the nineteenth. They both came to see Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī, being thus ordered by Īśvara Purī at the time of his passing away.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 10: The Trunk, Branches and Subbranches of the Caitanya Tree : Adi 10.139
gurura sambandhe mānya kaila duṅhākāre
tāṅra ājñā māni’ sevā dilena doṅhāre
gurura sambandhe—in relationship with His spiritual master; mānya—honor; kaila—offered; duṅhākāre—to both of them; tāṅra ājñā—his order; māni‘-accepting; sevā—service; dilena—gave them; doṅhāre—the two of them.
Both Kāśīśvara and Govinda were Godbrothers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and thus the Lord duly honored them as soon as they arrived. But because Īśvara Purī had ordered them to give Caitanya Mahāprabhu personal service, the Lord accepted their service.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 10: The Trunk, Branches and Subbranches of the Caitanya Tree : Adi 10.140
Sri Isvara Puri is one of the devotees who appeared before Lord Caitanya at the request of Lord krsna.
keśava bhāratī, āra śrī-īśvara purī
advaita ācārya, āra paṇḍita śrīvāsa
ācāryaratna, vidyānidhi, ṭhākura haridāsa
śrī-śacī-jagannātha—Śrīmatī Śacidevī and Jagannātha Miśra; śrī-mādhava purī—Śrī Mādhavendra Purī; keśava bhāratī—of the name Keśava Bhāratī; āra—and; śrī-īśvara purī—of the name Śrī Īśvara Purī; advaita ācārya—of the name Advaita Ācārya; āra—and; paṇḍita śrīvāsa—of the name Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita; ācārya-ratna—of the name Ācāryaratna; vidyānidhi—of the name Vidyānidhi; ṭhākura haridāsa—of the name Ṭhākura Haridāsa.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, before appearing as Lord Caitanya, requested these devotees to precede Him: Śrī Śacīdevī, Jagannātha Miśra, Mādhavendra Purī, Keśava Bhāratī, Īśvara Purī, Advaita Ācārya, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, Ācāryaratna, Vidyānidhi and Ṭhākura Haridāsa:
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 13: The Advent of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu : Adi 13.54-55
tabeta karilā prabhu gayāte gamana
īśvara-purīra saṅge tathāi milana
tabeta—thereafter; karilā—did; prabhu—Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; gayāte—to Gayā; gamana—travel; īśvara-purīra saṅge—with Īśvara Purī; tathāi—there; milana—meeting.
Thereafter the Lord went to Gayā. There He met Śrīla Īśvara Purī.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to Gayā to offer respectful oblations to His forefathers. This process is called piṇḍa-dāna. In Vedic society, after the death of a relative, especially one’s father or mother, one must go to Gayā and there offer oblations to the lotus feet of Lord Viṣṇu. Therefore hundreds and thousands of men gather in Gayā daily to offer such oblations, or śrāddha. Following this principle, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu also went there to offer piṇḍa to His dead father. Fortunately He met Īśvara Purī there.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 17: The Pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His Youth : Adi 17.8
dīkṣā-anantare haila, premera prakāśa
deśe āgamana punaḥ premera vilāsa
dīkṣā—initiation; anantare—immediately after; haila—became; premera—of love of Godhead; prakāśa—exhibition; deśe—in His home country; āgamana—coming back; punaḥ—again; premera—of love of God; vilāsa—enjoyment.
In Gayā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was initiated by Īśvara Purī, and immediately afterwards He exhibited signs of love of Godhead. He again displayed such symptoms after returning home.
When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to Gayā, accompanied by many of His disciples, He became sick on the way. He had such a high fever that He asked His students to bring water that had washed the feet of brāhmaṇas, and when they brought it the Lord drank it and was cured. Therefore everyone should respect the position of a brāhmaṇa, as indicated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Neither the Lord nor His followers displayed any disrespect to brāhmaṇas.
The followers of the Lord must be prepared to offer brāhmaṇas all due respect. But preachers of Lord Caitanya’s cult object if someone presents himself as a brāhmaṇa without having the necessary qualifications. The followers of Lord Caitanya cannot blindly accept that everyone born in a brāhmaṇa family is a brāhmaṇa. Therefore one should not indiscriminately follow the Lord’s example of showing respect to brāhmaṇas by drinking water that has washed their feet. Gradually the brāhmaṇa families have become degraded because of the contamination of Kali-yuga. Thus they misguide people by exploiting their sentiments.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 17: The Pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His Youth : Adi 17.9
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard the narration of Saksi Gopala from Isvara Puri
mahāprasāda-kṣīra-lobhe rahilā prabhu tathā
pūrve īśvara-purī tāṅre kahiyāchena kathā
mahā-prasāda—for the remnants of food; kṣīra—sweet rice; lobhe—in eagerness; rahilā—remained; prabhu—the Lord; tathā—there; pūrve—before that; īśvara-purī—Īśvara Purī, His spiritual master; tāṅre—unto Him; kahiyāchena—told; kathā—a narration.
The Lord remained there because He was very eager to receive the remnants of sweet rice offered to the Gopīnātha Deity, having heard a narration from His spiritual master, Īśvara Purī, of what had once happened there
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 4: Sri Madhavendra Puri’s Devotional Service : Madhya 4.18
Srila Prabhupada explains the unique contribution of Sri Madhavendra Puri and Sri Isvara Puri in the Gaudiya Sampradaya.
ayi dīna-dayārdra nātha he
dayita bhrāmyati kiṁ karomy aham
ayi—O My Lord; dīna—on the poor; dayā-ārdra—compassionate; nātha—O master; he—O; mathurā-nātha—the master of Mathurā; kadā—when; avalokyase—I shall see You; hṛdayam—My heart; tvat—of You; aloka—without seeing; kātaram—very much aggrieved; dayita—O most beloved; bhrāmyati—becomes overwhelmed; kim—what; karomi—shall do; aham—I.
“O My Lord! O most merciful master! O master of Mathurā! When shall I see You again? Because of My not seeing You, My agitated heart has become unsteady. O most beloved one, what shall I do now?”
The uncontaminated devotees who strictly depend on the Vedānta philosophy are divided into four sampradāyas, or transcendental parties. Out of the four sampradāyas, the Śrī Madhvācārya-sampradāya was accepted by Mādhavendra Purī. Thus he took sannyāsa according to paramparā, the disciplic succession. Beginning from Madhvācārya down to the spiritual master of Mādhavendra Purī, the ācārya named Lakṣmīpati, there was no realization of devotional service in conjugal love. Śrī Mādhavendra Purī introduced the conception of conjugal love for the first time in the Madhvācārya-sampradāya, and this conclusion of the Madhvācārya-sampradāya was revealed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu when He toured southern India and met the Tattvavādīs, who supposedly belonged to the Madhvācārya-sampradāya.
When Śrī Kṛṣṇa left Vṛndāvana and accepted the kingdom of Mathurā, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, out of ecstatic feelings of separation, expressed how Kṛṣṇa can be loved in separation. Thus devotional service in separation is central to this verse. Worship in separation is considered by the Gauḍīya-Mādhva sampradāya to be the topmost level of devotional service. According to this conception, the devotee thinks of himself as very poor and neglected by the Lord. Thus he addresses the Lord as dīna-dayārdra nātha, as did Mādhavendra Purī. Such an ecstatic feeling is the highest form of devotional service. Because Kṛṣṇa had gone to Mathurā, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was very much affected, and She expressed Herself thus: “My dear Lord, because of Your separation My mind has become overly agitated. Now tell Me, what can I do? I am very poor and You are very merciful, so kindly have compassion upon Me and let Me know when I shall see You.” Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was always expressing the ecstatic emotions of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī that She exhibited when She saw Uddhava at Vṛndāvana. Similar feelings, experienced by Mādhavendra Purī, are expressed in this verse. Therefore, Vaiṣṇavas in the Gauḍīya-Mādhva sampradāya say that the ecstatic feelings experienced by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu during His appearance came from Śrī Mādhavendra Purī through Īśvara Purī. All the devotees in the line of the Gauḍīya-Mādhva sampradāya accept these principles of devotional service: Sri Madhavendra Puri’s Devotional Service : Madhya 4.197 : PURPORT
Srila Prabhupada explains the relationship between Sri Isvara Puri, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His two disciples Govinda and Kasivara Gsowami.
eta śuni’ sārvabhauma prabhure puchila
purī-gosāñi śūdra-sevaka kāṅhe ta’ rākhila
eta śuni‘-hearing this; sārvabhauma—Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya; prabhure—unto the Lord; puchila—inquired; purī-gosāñi—Īśvara Purī; śūdra-sevaka—a servant who is a śūdra; kāṅhe ta’—why; rākhila—kept.
After hearing this, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya asked Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “Why did Īśvara Purī keep a servant who comes from a śūdra family?”
Both Kāśīśvara and Govinda were personal servants of Īśvara Purī. After Īśvara Purī‘s demise, Kāśīśvara went to visit all the holy places of India. Following the orders of his spiritual master, Govinda immediately went to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu for shelter. Govinda came from a śūdra family, but because he was initiated by Īśvara Purī, he was certainly a brāhmaṇa. Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya here asked Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu why Īśvara Purī accepted a disciple from a śūdra family. According to the smṛti-śāstra, which gives directions for the management of the varṇāśrama institution, a brāhmaṇa cannot accept a disciple from the lower castes. In other words, a kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra cannot be accepted as a servant. If a spiritual master accepts such a person, he is contaminated. Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya therefore asked why Īśvara Purī accepted a servant or disciple born of a śūdra family.
In answer to this question, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied that His spiritual master, Īśvara Purī, was so empowered that he was as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As such, Īśvara Purī was the spiritual master of the whole world. He was not a servant of any mundane rule or regulation. An empowered spiritual master like Īśvara Purī can bestow his mercy upon anyone, irrespective of caste or creed. The conclusion is that a spiritual master who is authorized and empowered by Kṛṣṇa and his own guru should be considered as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. That is the verdict of Viśvanātha Cakravartī: sākṣād-dharitvenaśā. An authorized spiritual master is as good as Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As Hari is free to act as He likes, the empowered spiritual master is also free. As Hari is not subject to mundane rules and regulations, the spiritual master empowered by Him is also not subject. According to the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Antya-līlā 7.11), kṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nahe tāra pravartana. An authorized spiritual master empowered by Kṛṣṇa can spread the glories of the holy name of the Lord, for he has power of attorney from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the mundane world, anyone possessing his master’s power of attorney can act on behalf of his master. Similarly, a spiritual master empowered by Kṛṣṇa through his own bona fide spiritual master should be considered as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. That is the meaning of sākṣād-dharitvena. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore describes the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the bona fide spiritual master as followsBooks : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 10: The Lord’s Return
to Jagannatha Puri : Madhya 10.136 : TRANSLATION
Sri Isvara Puri and Isvara are both completely independent.
Prabhu kahe,-īśvara haya parama svatantra
īśvarera kṛpā nahe veda-paratantra
prabhu kahe—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said; īśvara—the Supreme Personality of Godhead or Īśvara Purī; haya—is; parama—supremely; svatantra—independent; īśvarera—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or of Īśvara Purī; kṛpā—the mercy; nahe—is not; veda-paratantra—subject to the Vedic rules.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Both the Supreme Personality of Godhead and My spiritual master, Īśvara Purī, are completely independent. Therefore neither the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead nor that of Īśvara Purī is subject to any Vedic rules or regulations.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 10: The Lord’s Return to Jagannatha Puri : Madhya 10.137 : TRANSLATION
“Shri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami has described in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrta that the first sprout of the desire tree of devotion was manifested in the person of Shri Madhavendra Puri, and that that sprout developed into a sapling in the person of Shri Ishvar Puri. Then, in the person of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Who was also the gardener Himself, that the sapling become the trunk of an enormous tree-the desire tree of devotion.” – [C. C. Adi 9.10-11]
“Shri Ishvara Puri appeared in this world on the full moon day of the month of Jyestha. He served his guru, Shri Madhavendra Puri, very faithfully, especially during the end of Shri Puripada’s life.” – [C. C. Antya 8.26]
“That noble minded gentleman, was always absorbed in the mellows of devotion to Shri Krishna. He was thus extremely dear to Shri Krishna and he was an ocean of mercy. No one, however, could recognize him by his dress. By the will of fate, he came to Shri Advaita Acharya’s house.” [C. B. Adi 11]
On His return from Gaya, Mahaprabhu came by way of Kumarhatta, the birthplace of His guru, and began to roll on the ground in ecstasy there, as the ground became wet with His tears. Finally He collected some dust from that holy place and bound it in the corner of His upper garment, saying, “This dust is as dear to me as My life.” then he set out for Navadwipa. (In the image: The birthplace of Shri Ishvara Puri).
When they met, Mahaprabhu and Ishvara Puri were overcome by the ecstasy of love and drenched each other in tears of prema that fell from their eyes. The Lord said, “My pilgrimage to Gaya is successful for today I have seen your lotus feet. When one makes the pinda (offerings to the ancestors at a holy place), then that ancestor is delivered. But simply by seeing you, ten million ancestors are delivered from all forms of bondage in a single moment. Therefore no holy place is your equal, and you are the primary source of auspiciousness for even the holy places. Please lift Me up from the ocean of material suffering: I offer this body up to your service. The only gift I ask of you is that you give Me the nectar of Krishna’s lotus feet to drink.”
(Chaitanya Bhagavata 1.17.49-55)
“Anyone who finds any fault with a Devotee’s description of Krishna is a sinner. If a Devotee writes a poem, no matter how poorly he does it, it will certainly contain his love for Krishna. A fool says ‘visnaya’ while a scholar knows the correct form is ‘visnave’, but Krishna accepts the sentiment in either case. If anyone sees a fault in this, the fault is his, for Krishna is pleased with anything the pure Devotee says. You too describe the Lord with words of love, so what arrogant person would dare criticize anything that you have written?”
(Chaitanya Bhagavata 1.11.105-110)
The same incident is described in the Bhakti-ratnakara in the following way:
Look here, this is the house of Gopinath Acharya where Vishvambhara would visit from time to time. Ishava Puri stayed here for a while and composed his book Shri Krishna-lilamrta. He had great affection for Gadadhara Pandit and when he saw the symptoms of love for Krishna in him, he taught him that book.
All glories to Madhava Puri, the ocean of love for Krishna! He was the first shoot of the desire tree of devotion. That first shoot was nourished and grew in the form of Ishvara Puri and from him the thick trunk of Chaitanya lila took shape.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.9.10-11)