The auspicious day of Krishna Paksha Dwadashi in the month of Phalgun marks the divine disappearance day of Shri Ishvara puri, the initiating spiritual master of Prem purushottam Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Shrila Ishvara puripad, who was born in Kumarhatta was a very dear disciple of Shri Madhavendra Puri and performed various services to his spiritual master, especially just before his departure from this world. Thereafter also, he resided most of the time in his guru’s ashram in Gaya.
While Mahaprabhu was still a young scholar, Shrila Ishvara puri once visited Navadweep, and while residing at the house of Shri Gopinath Acharya, gave immense pleasure to all the Vaishnavas like Shrila Advaita Acharya and Mukunda datta, who despite his humble presentation could understand his actual elevated position when he fell to the ground and drenched the earth with tears of love upon hearing a bhajan sung by Mukunda datta glorifying Shri Krishna. During his stay in Navadweep, he once came across Nimai Pandit and was mesmerized by his effulgent demeanor, and when requested by Nimai, he went to his house and honored Prasad with him, which he would thereafter occasionally do. He was exceedingly affectionate towards Gadadhar Pandit, who at the time was also a young boy, and would recite to him a book named Krishna Lilamrita, which he had composed. He also requested Nimai to check the book and tell what corrections should be made, to which Nimai humbly replied that the Lord joyously accepts whatever is written by his devotees, and finding fault with his book would be an offence for him. In this way, Shrila Ishvara puri stayed in Navadweep for a few months before returning back to gaya.
Later, when Shri Vishwambhar decided to reveal his true purpose of spreading Krishna Conciousness throughout the world, on the pretext of performing Pinda daan for his deceased father, he went to Gaya, and there, after performing all religious rights, he came to the temple of Lord Vishnu, where he fainted due to experiencing divine ecstatic moods. At that time, Ishvara puri was also present there and after regaining his external consciousness, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, offering his respectful obeisances to him, requested him to give him initiation, which he did very gladly. He gave Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the Mahamatra and the Gopal Mantra, and thus initiated him. Later, on the way back to Mayapur, Mahaprabhu passed by Kumarhatta, the birthplace of his spiritual master, Shri Ishvara puri, where he reverentially placed some dust on his forehead and also tied some in the corner of his cloth, proclaiming it to be dearer to him than his very life. In this way, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu always gave all respect to Shri Ishvara puri, and accepted him as his spiritual master, although he is the Supreme Personality of Godhead himself, and the spiritual master of all the living entities.
Once, after taking sanyas, some strict sanyasis questioned Maharabhus act of loudly singing the holy names of the Lord and dancing, and told him that being a sanyasi he should not act like a madman, rather he should engage himself in the study of the Vedanta. To this, Mahaprabhu replied that knowing him to be unintelligent and incapable of studying the Vedanta, his Guru Shri Ishvara puri had instructed him to loudly chant the names of the Lord and always remember that
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari.
Therefore, ignoring the sanyasis he simply continued his congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
At the time of Mahaprabhu’s sanyas, Shrila Ishvara Puri was no longer present on this planet, but before leaving this world he instructed two of his disciples, Govinda and Kashishvara to go and serve Mahaprabhu, and they later became close associated of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
May Shri Ishvara Puripad, the great Vaishnava who was accepted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself as his guru, bestow his mercy upon us.