Sri Sridhara Pandita (kholaveca) tirobhava tithi [disappearance day]
Sri Mukunda datta tirobhava tithi [disappearance day]
Friday, June 9, 2017 Mayapura, West Bengal, Bharata Bhumi tim
ecompiled by Yasoda nandana dasa
Srila Prabhupada describes the glories of Sridhar Kolaveca
Srila Prabhupāda: “That is karma” means that whatever happiness he has to enjoy, that will come automatically. Otherwise, he is destined to have something—that will come. Yathā dukham ajajñātaḥ. So our only point is that human life is very valuable. We should not waste it for nothing. Modern…, modern method of civilization is to develop economic development, to live very comfortably. That’s all right. Do it. Everyone do his own business. But you don’t forget Kṛṣṇa. That is not good. The point is, our real business is to understand Kṛṣṇa. But people do not try to understand Kṛṣṇa; they simply try for economic development. Their first business should be to understand Kṛṣṇa. Other business should be secondary. So at the present moment, it is very difficult task.
Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Srila Prabhupāda: Hmm.
Devotee: Wasn’t it true when…, when they developed Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that they, at that time even had better economic development, higher economic development, when they were Kṛṣṇa conscious?
Srila Prabhupāda: (laughs) But we don’t take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness for developing higher economic position.
Srila Prabhupāda: No, that is not…
Devotee: No, but I mean it goes to show that even though no matter how much we try to develop…
Srila Prabhupāda: But that is, that is Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Yoga–kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham. Teṣāṁ satata–yuktānām [Bg. 10.10]. Those who are engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, they are never put into distress. Kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati [Bg. 9.31]. Kṛṣṇa’s devotee is never vanquished. Even they are artificially put into distresses… Just like Pāṇḍavas, they were put into distresses, artificially. Prahlāda Mahārāja was put into distresses by his father even, but ultimately he came out victorious. So one…, we should not be disturbed, even superficially we see that a devotee is in distress. Devotee, real devotee, he does not take anything as distress. He takes everything as Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Tat te ‘nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo [SB 10.14.8]. Otherwise that is not pure devotion. Actually devotee’s never in distress. People may see that he is in distress. Just like there is a very good example. You are going to Māyāpur, you’ll find. His name was Śrīdhara, Kolaveca Śrīdhara. His income was very poor. At night he would chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra very loudly: “Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa...” His neighboring friends would say, “This man has no income, and because he is hungry now he is chanting ‘Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa.’ He’s hungry.” So one day Caitanya Mahāprabhu Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to take away his possession, flowers. He was selling, making business, making some donā, donā. What is called donā?
Srila Prabhupāda: Cup, yes, that was his business. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu take away some of his fruits and donā, as a friend. So one day Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that “Śrīdhara, you take benediction from Me.” So he said “What benediction, Sir?” “Well, you are so poor that your house is not even properly repaired. There are so many holes in the roof.” He, “Still, I have a nice house because it is better than the bird’s nest. They have no roof. (laughter) They have no roof, and they live on a tree. I have got a shelter. What is the difficulty? There is no difficulty.” In this way Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to offer him so many thing, and he said that “No, I have no trouble for this. If You want to benedict me, please give me pure devotion on Your lotus feet.” Bhakti. So that is pure devotion. That we should hanker after, how to fix up our mind always in the service of the Lord. That we are trying to teach, that’s all.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 17: The Pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His Youth : Adi 17.18 : PURPORT :
Some devotees call this exhibition of ecstasy by the Lord sāta-prahariyā bhāva, or “the ecstasy of twenty-one hours,” and others call it mahābhāva-prakāśa or mahā-prakāśa. There are other descriptions of this sāta-prahariyā bhāva in the Caitanya-bhāvagata, Chapter Nine, which mentions that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu blessed a maidservant named Duḥkhī with the name Sukhī. He called for Kholāvecā Śrīdhara, and showed him His mahā-prakāśa. Then He called for Murāri Gupta and showed him His feature as Lord Rāmacandra. He offered His blessings to Haridāsa Ṭhākura, and at this time He also asked Advaita Prabhu to explain the Bhagavad-gītā as it is (gītāra satya-pāṭha) and showed special favor to Mukunda
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 14: Performance of the Vrndavana Pastimes : Madhya 14.18 : PURPORT :
The greatest achievement for a devotee is to become a servant of the servants. Actually no one should desire to become the direct servant of the Lord. That is not a very good idea. When Prahlāda Mahārāja was offered a benediction by Nṛsiṁhadeva, Prahlāda rejected all kinds of material benediction, but he prayed to become the servant of the servant of the Lord. When Dhruva Mahārāja was offered a benediction by Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods, Dhruva could have asked for unlimited material opulence, but he simply asked for the benediction of becoming the servant of the servants of the Lord. Kholāvecā Śrīdhara was a very poor man, but when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to give him a benediction, he also prayed to the Lord to be allowed to remain a servant of the servants of the Lord. The conclusion is that being the servant of the servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest benediction one can desire
panditah shridharo dvijah
aasid vraje haasya kaari
yo naamnaa kusumaasavah
“The cowherd boy named Kusumaasava, who joked with Lord Krishna and made Him laugh in Vrajabhumi, appeared in Lord Cgaitanta’s pastimes as the learned braahmana named Kholavecha Shridhar.” (Gaura-ganodesh-dipika 133.)
kholaveca sevakera dekha bhagya-sima
brahma siva kande yara dekhiya mahima
dhane jane panditye krishna nahi pai
kevala bhaktira vasa caitanya-gosani
“Behold the great fortune of the devotee Kholaveca. Lord Brahma and Siva shed tears upon seeing his greatness. One cannot attain Lord Krishna by any amount of wealth, followers, or learning. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is controlled only by pure devotion. “Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had a very sincere devotee whose name was Kholaveca Sridhara and whose only business was to sell pots made of the skin of banana trees. Whatever income he had, he used fifty percent for the worship of mother Ganges, and with the other fifty percent he provided for his necessities. On the whole, he was so very poor that he lived in a cottage that had a broken roof with many holes in it. He could not afford brass utensils, and therefore he drank water from an iron pot. Nevertheless, he was a great devotee of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is a typical example of how a poor man with no material possessions can become a most exalted devotee of the Lord. The conclusion is that one cannot attain shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna or Sri Caitanya Gosani through material opulence; that shelter is attainable only by pure devotional service. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srimad Bhagavatam 5:19:7 purport.)
khola-veca sridhara prabhura priya-dasa
yanha-sane prabhu kare nitya parihasa
“The twenty-ninth branch was Sridhara, a trader in banana-tree bark. He was a very dear servant of the Lord. On many occasions, the Lord played jokes on him.”
Sridhara was a poor brahmana who made a living by selling banana-tree bark to be made into cups. Most probably he had a banana-tree garden and collected the leaves, skin and pulp of the banana trees to sell daily in the market. He spent fifty percent of his income to worship the Ganges, and the balance he used for his subsistence. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started His civil disobedience movement in defiance of the Kazi, Sridhara danced in jubilation.The Lord used to drink water from his water jug. Sridhara presented a squash to Sacidevi to cook before Lord Caitanya took sannyasa. Every year he went to see Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Jagannatha Puri. According to Kavi-karnapura, Sridhara was a cowherd boy of Vrindavana whose name was Kusumasava. In his Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 133, it is stated:
panditah sridharo dvijah
asid vraje hasya-karo
yo namna kusumasavah
“The cowherd boy known as Kusumasava in krishna-lila later became Kholaveca Sridhara during Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila at Navadvipa.”
prabhu yanra nitya laya thoda-moca-phala
yanra phuta-lauhapatre prabhu pila jala
“Every day Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu jokingly snatched fruits, flowers and pulp from Sridhara and drank from his broken iron pot.”
“There is the story of Kholaveca Sridhara, a devotee of Lord Caitanya, who although he was a very poor man, gave half of his meager income for worshiping Mother Ganges, and by so doing, he greatly pleased the Lord. It is not so much important the quantity of books that we distribute, but that we serve Krishna as best we can, and depend on Him for the results.” (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Letter to Dharma – 22nd April1972. Tokyo