The pastimes of the devotees of the Lord are as astonishing and mesmerizing as the pastimes of the Lord himself. One such associate of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who mesmerized everyone with his graceful, ecstatic and expert dancing in the Harinaam Sankirtan of Gaurahari, was the great devotee Sri Vakreshwar Pandit. Sri Vakreshwar Pandit, none other than Srimati Tungavidya Sakhi, the expert dancer and singer and one of Radharani’s eight principal gopi friends, made his appearance in the village of Guptipara near Triveni on Krishna panchami (fifth day of the dark fortnight) in the month of Ashadh, in order to participate in the Sankirtan movement of Sachinandan Gaurahari and dance beautifully for his pleasure. He is particularly well known amongst the vaishnavas for having danced for 72 hours continuously in great ecstacy. He was also the lead dancer in one of the sankirtan parties that Mahaprabhu made during the Rathayatra festival of Sri Jagannath dev. Having been an associate of Nimai Pandit in Nadia, he also later onwards came to Sri Kshetra to stay with Mahaprabhu after his taking of Sanyas. There he worshiped his deities Sri Sri Radha Radhakant with great love and devotion in the house of Kashi Mishra, where Mahaprabhu was also residing in a small room famously known as Gambhira. He went on to initiate and become the Spiritual master of Sri Gopal Guru, who was given the title of Guru by none other than Sriman Mahaprabhu himself. The disciple of Sri Gopal Guru, Sri Dhyan Chandra Goswami, has glorified his Param Guru Sri Vakreshwar Pandit in his famous book Sri Dhyan Chandra paddhati, saying that Mahaprabhu would himself sing while Sri Vakreshwar Pandit would dance in the ecstacy of Krishna prem.
Sri Vakreshwar Pandit also mercifully bestowed his blessings upon Devananda Pandit, which brought him under the shelter of the Lotus feet of Sri Gaurasundar, who had previously refused to accept him. The story goes as such that once while Devananda Pandit was giving a discourse on Srimad Bhagwatam, being famous as a proficient speaker of this foremost of all Vedic Scriptures, when Sri Srivas Pandit came in that assembly and hearing Srimad Bhagwatam he started crying with great transcendental moods. However, unable to understand his exalted position, some of the students of Devananda Pandit, thinking his crying to be a distraction, removed him from the assembly and Devananda Pandit, not having stopped them from doing so, was regarded by Mahaprabhu as having committed an offense at the lotus feet of the exalted vaishnava Srivas Pandit. Therefore, Gaurahari deprived him of his causeless mercy and did not grant his association upon him. However, once, when Sri Vakreshwar Pandit was dancing in ecstacy for six hours in sankirtan, Devananda Pandit took up a stick and started ensuring that no one came too close to Vakreshwar Pandit to obstruct him in his dancing. And being struck with awe upon seeing the transcendental moods of Vakreshwar Pandit, he offered his respects at his lotus feet. Being pleased with his service, Vakreshwar Pandit blessed him with Krishna prem, after which, Sriman Mahaprabhu also accepted him and bestowed his mercy upon Devananda Pandit. On the auspicious occasion of his appearance day, we pray to receive the dust of his lotus feet, so that we too may be blessed with Krishna prem.