Ananda Sambada

Oriya Biographies of Mahaprabhu

Vaisnava Lilamrita

The author, Madhava Pattanayaka, was a resident of Puri dhama and a direct disciple of Gadadhar Pandit. He wrote Vaianava lilamrta, afer hearing of them from his guru, and as an eye witness to the events, in the year 1535. Srila Jiva Goswami writes in verse 110 of his vaisnava-vandanam, “vande-param-bhavena-madhavam-pattanayakam - my salutations to Madhava Pattnayaka who is possessed of a magnificent bhava."

Summary of Chapter One, by Jagannath Misra das

The kavi in the beginning of his poem describes the swarupa of Sri Jagannath in the mangalacarana (propitious incantation) and conveys tattvas of Vaisnava doctrine in an easily comprehensible manner; The hare rama krsna mahamantra; pranava (OM) dwells in the limbs of Sri Jagannath; Lord Jagannath’s nama arises from the sunya and from nama the pranava appears then from pranava the four Vedas are manifest; The poet defines Sri Jagannath’s form as rasa-ghana-maya (replete with condensed rasa);The nitya-lila of Radha and Krsna is orchestrated inside the body of Lord Jagannath; Nilacala is a nitya-dhama in which exists the nitya-goloka-dhama; Therein Krsna’s nitya-lila unfolds and hence sadhus in each and every yuga seek refuge in Nilacala; The eminence of bhakti over mukti; In the past as also at present many sadhus find sanctuary at Sri Jagannath’s lotus feet in Nilacala; The kavi confesses that he will tell us of uncommon Vaisnava lilas and writes of those who created a raft out of sri-krsna-nama whilst dwelling in the nitya-dhama of Nilacala; The poet yet again proposes to reveal depictions of those who offer bhakti to Radha and Krsna passing their days and nights solely preoccupied with uttering nama; The kavi confides that he feels exceedingly privileged to write of these sadhus who discovered an exclusive shelter in sankirtan such as the Panca-Sakhas, Sri Caitanya, Raya Ramananda, Guru Pandit Gadadhara and Swarupa Damodhara.

Some verses from Chapter One, Glorifying Lord Jagannath


nama-to-sarva-purusartha (1)

O Lord Jagannath! Your nature is of eternal, blissful awareness and your name possess all purusarthas.1


caturtha-rupaku-dhailu (2)

You assemble all the tirthas together and resting them in one location abide therein in a four-fold form.2


to-ange-achi-gopyana (3)

The blessed names of hare, rama and krsna discretely dwell in your limbs.3


agamya-sastre-tu-deva (4)

The whole universe abides in your belly and you are Lord of the deeply profound sastras.


sarva-devata-tora-name (5)

Each and every tirtha dwells at your feet and all the devas abide in your name.


suddha-sattvika-anupama (18)

Nilacala is a nitydhama which is comprised of suddha-sattva and remains beyond all comparison.1


nitya-krusnara-ethe-khela (19)

The nitya-goloka is in Nilacala and therein Krsna forever sports.2


nilacalare-e-udaya (20)

This lila is eternal, pure and arises in Nilacala.


na-rahe-pranira-tamisra (21)

The very moment a being finds refuge in this nityadhama any residual tama they may harbour can by no means remain.


samsaru-prani-hele-tari (22)

Taking sanctuary in Nilacala a person is redeemed from this existence of birth and death.


asrile-to-dham-kamale (23)

Thus from age to age visnu-bhaktas have sought asylum in the lotus of your dham.

Verse 1; The poet opens with a mangalacarana in praise of Nilacalanath Jagannath.

Verse 2; Caturdha-rupa is the four-fold form of Jagannath, Baladeva, Subhadra and Sudarsana.

Verse 3; The hare-rama-krsna-mahamantra is depicted as being situate within the body of Sri Jagannath. This mahamantra typically appears in the works of the Panca-Sakhas and herein the poet reveals how their ed circulated in Nilacala.

Verse 18 Oriya Vaisnavas declare that Nilacala is a nitya-dhama. During the Panca-Sakha yuga this view was widely broadcast. Yet owing to recurrent Mogul invasions on Orissa and on Lord Jagannath the glory of Nilacal fell into decline. Taking this occasion the Goswami’s of Vrindavana started to present Vrindavana as the nityadhama. At this time the doctrines of Puri had not spread to every quarter of India because the writings of the Panca-Sakhas were in Oriya whereas the Goswamis wrote in Sanskrit.

Verse 19 Panca-Sakhas ascertain that Nilacala is nitya-goloka and herein Radha and Krsna perform their lila.

Some verses from Chapter Seven, Describing Mahaprabhu's ecstatic dancing and maha-bhava

(Translator's note on chapter 7 verses 102-148; Approximately around 1519-20 Sri Caitanya displays divyaunmadamaya-mahabhava and as a consequence discards his customary ritual of calculating nama-japa on the knotted string kept around his waist. The unpretentious sentiment and unguarded manners of a simple child are now his reigning disposition. The occasion of ratha arrives. Surveying Caitanya’s dancing in front of the ratha, the Gajapati is thoroughly astounded. Immersed in kirtan before the ratha, Caitanya’s dancing rises and falls in undulating crescendo. The proceeding moment he has altogether vanished from every ones vision. Immersed in radha-bhava copious tears flow from his eyes. Discerning his divyaunmadamaya-mahabhava the Gajapati is readily disposed to embrace Caitanya is an avatar of bhagavan and, as advised by Ramananda Raya, the Gajapati publicly announces that Caitanya is mahaprabhu to a crowd of curious pilgrims. The descriptions of divyaunmadamaya-mahabhava in these passages are truly unprecedented.)


nrutya-se-ratha-age-kala (104)


mahabhava-se-rasaraja (105)


ksanake-antarddan-hoi (106)

The celebrated occasion of the chariot festival arrives and Prabhu’s dancing commences before the ratha. Who can perchance depict the genuine and lively image of his dancing? For he is the prince of those who savour divine mellows (rasaraja) and his exclusive zeal is the exquisite prompting of mahabhava. One moment his dance touches the heights of exuberance, only to fade away the following instant. The next moment he has entirely disappeared from every ones vision.


ksanake-nayane-lotake (107)


nrupamani-se-anuragi (108)


saksate-ate-radhabhava (109)

Copious tears incessantly flow from his eyes as he is verily possessed of Radha’s own sentiments. The king feels a profound magnetism as he witnesses the free and unfettered fashion of his dancing, and confesses that he is surely no mortal, but rather the living and direct embodiment of radha-bhava.


e-nohe-manusyati-bhale (110)


nrutya-rangare-prakatai (111)


ratha-yatrara-loka-mele (112)


caitanya-prabhu-e-visesa (113)

Rama Raya had also confided to the king that Prabhu was no mere mortal but rather one who is surely animated by a divine temperament which he reveals through the medium of his dance. Rama Raya encourages him to make a formal declaration that he is indeed the Lord himself to the all pilgrims gathered at the ratha-yatra. All delightfully welcome his announcement, and likewise applaud Prabhu’s uncommon and unique aspect.


ke-taha-varnina-pariva (114)


gambira-bhitare-se-lave (115)


ha-krusna-boli-ucarai (116)


krusnare-anuragi-hoi (117)


prabhura-sarire-prakati (118)

The precise measure and extent of Prabhu’s mahabhava can never be truly ascertained by anyone. Who can proclaim even a drop of the mahabhava he undergoes in the gambhira which prompts him to rise, then induces him to sit and next impels him to roll on the ground whilst uttering “ha-krsna!” as tears endlessly drop from his eyes in his krsna-anuraga. Notwithstanding the separation he endures being segregated from Krsna which is explicitly apparent on his every limb.


chadai-ganiba-swabhava (119)


sisu-paraya-bhava-bahe (120)


krusna-mo-kahin-dekhibaku (121)


kebe-ba-nija-rupa-ninde (122)

Captivated (by mahabhava) he renounces his innate custom of nama-japa performed upon a knotted string that rests around his waist and now bears the demeanour of a child. Sometimes (in an impassioned trance) he dashes toward the temple exclaiming, “show me where Krsna is!” Then as he weeps aloud uttering ha-krsna! he begins to bewail and ridicule his nija-rupa.

(Translator’s note; nija-rupa-ninde; verse 122 2nd line; literally translates as he “ridicules his own form.” We may justifiably conjecture that Gauranga Mahaprabhu utters this in radha-bhava. Could we then suppose that just as Radha may deride the faultless composition of her own limbs when she fears that Krsna is no longer attracted to her (and hence not arriving at the appointed hour in her kunja) similarly Gauranga, in radha-bhava, now berates his own body?)


krusnara-rupa-dekhibaku (123)


dekhina-hoai-katara (124)


kebe-ba-base-kunjamathe (125)

At other times he runs, swiftly careering toward the ocean animated by an overbearing expectation of catching a glimpse of Krsna there. If he happens to spy a cloud in the sky he becomes wholly distraught. Every so often he sits down within the flowery blossoming groves at Tota-Gopinath.


mandape-basina-bhavanta (126)


rahai-bhava-aswadane (127)


kete-ba-romancita-kaye (128)


sarvange-dhuli-boli-hoi (129)

Occasionally he strays into the Gundica, and reclining on a mandapa seems to be entirely engrossed in profound ruminations. Shortly afterwards, he is then animated by an exclusive contemplation solely upon the form of krsna, and he remains as such, savouring and relishing this particular bhava. From time to time he repeatedly drops, falling in a fainting swoon. At other times his limbs are irrepressibly assailed by horripulation. Once in a while he is seen to roll in the dust, and each and every limb of his body is now smothered in dust.


kebe-markenda-avagahe (130)


nrutya-karai-pravirala (131)


hunkare-sehu-lampa-dei (132)


sukhare-alapa-se-kare (133)


kirtan-rasa-anurage (134)

Next he takes off and hastily darts in a running pace to the Narendra pond. At other times he is noted to be bathing in the waters of the Markenda lake. He is altogether enchanted with kirtan-rasa and dances in a unique and exceptional style leaving a trail of tears scattered behind and before him as he roars aloud leaping to and fro. Every so often he will simply remain outside conducting a jovial discourse with nature. Then, possessed of a singular bhava, he dances in delight and in anuraga for the kirtan-rasa.


na-thai-taharati-jana (135)


bhunjae-balatakara-kari (136)


mahabhava-se-parakase (137)


bujanti-prabhura-udanta (138)

He now has no awareness whatsoever whether it is day, or whether it is night. Swami draws near with a dish of rice, and has to gently force him to dine. Next, he drifts into Swarupa Damadhara’s presence inflamed with mahabhava, which astonishes Swarupa, but he is one who comprehends the Lord’s mood.


prabhu-e-bolibati-jana (139)


prema-rasara-ehu-swami (140)

Understand that Prabhu is the prema-dhana of Nilacala. He is the veritable embodiment of prema and Swami is the prema-rasa.


swami-janai-e-swabhava (141)


kirtan-rase-mana-dia (142)


manusya-chara-ki-bujanti (143)

No one can truly fathom Prabhu’s bhava apart from Swami, who is naturally able to do so. He says to Prabhu, “compose yourself, and unreservedly entrust your heart to the kirtan-rasa, as kirtan is verily your bhava-murati”. How may wretched mortals possibly conceive of this?


ananta-acyuta-jasovanta (144)


kirtan-rase-mati-dali (145)


sada-tu-amba-tule-thâa (146)

Balarama, Jagannath, Ananta, Acyuta and Jasovanta, these five assembled round Prabhu and their hearts melt in the kirtan-rasa. Prabhu ardently petitions them to forever keep themselves in his close companionship saying, “Always stay by my side.”


manusya-lila-e-bolai (147)

In this manner Prabhu discloses his bhava as he enacts his manusya-lila.


prabhu-padaku-kari-asa (148)

And so speaks Madhava a servant true, while he longs for the feet of this Prabhu.

Some Verses from Chapter Eight, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Ancestral Home

Translator's note: *1Verses 68-80: Every year in the month of caitra the kirtan party goes from Cuttack to viraja-ksetra in Jajpur, and after bathing in the Vaitarani river at the daswamedha-ghata they perform kirtan. Caitanya’s ancestors are from Jajpur. Caitanya’s grand father was Upendra Misra who was a Viraja pandita and a petty sovereign. The vatsasa-gotra is a noble brahmana lineage who have long been established as feudatory chiefs under the king. Among autocratic brahmanas this family held an honourable position, indicative of panditas, and was perhaps first created and conferred upon them during the reign of the Ganga dynasty; but was perhaps no more than an elective and impotent magisterial office of an aristocratic prince. Somehow or other Upendra Misra earned the disapproving glance of Kapilendra Deva and in trepidation of receiving the kings punishment fled into Bengala as far as Srihatta. Upendra’s son was Jagannath Misra, from whose virility Sri Caitanya made his advent in Navadwipa. Sri Caitanya with the Panca-Sakhas would come to the viraja-ksetra in Jajpur every year to distribute kirtan-rasa. The auspicious place of his own nativity attracted the grateful reverence of the residents of Jajpur, who celebrated his name and protected his memory; and they offer him the expected and appropriate regard. If a sannyasi travels to his father’s ancestral grounds it was the custom to receive them with due honour in Orissa during this time, and is likewise still the custom nowadays. Smearing the door step with cow dung, lighting lamps and placing full water pots by the family descendants to receive a sannyasi who has renounced home is not a new phenomenon in Jajpur enacted solely to receive Sri Caitanya. This rule is a befitting custom in Orissa passed down for generations. It is not that they necessarily recognised Caitanya’s divinity, and therefore honoured him, but rather because he was a sannyasi.


vaitaranire-avagahi1 (68)


karanti-vaisnave-kirtane (69)


jajanagrati-e-bolai (70)


vatsasa-samanta-kulina (71)


vaidika-sasanadhikari (72)


naya-vedante-samaratha (73)


aneka-kalai-taraja (74)


srihate-jai-basakale (75)

Next they arrive in Viraja, bath in the Vaitarani river at the dasaswamedha-ghata, and hold kirtan with the vaisnavas. This was Prabhu’s father’s ancestral home, known as the town of Jajpur. Prabhu’s grandfather’s name was Upendra who was from the respectable vatsasa-samanta. Upendra Misra had earned this title and held the office of a regulatory governor. He was a chada-darasan-pandita, and competent with logic and vedanta. Kapileswar Maharaja chastised him very much, and in fear of the king he fled, and took up residence in Srihatta.


ta-tahun-prabhu-hoe-jata (76)


pramode-kirtan-mandale (77)


karanti-pada-se-bandani (78)


thapanti-dipa-purnakumbha (79)


mahabhava-je-prakasile (80)

His son was Jagannath who is intimately connected with the Lord’s appearance. The kirtan-mandala was delighted to arrive in Jajpur. Acquainted with Prabhu’s identity all the residents worshipped his feet. They smeared their porches with cow-dung, placed lamps there and vessels full of water; and adored the Lord with much feeling; and showed him much love.