Appearance Day – Sri Gadadhara Pandita

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nijesu radhikatmata-vapuh-prakacanagraham

asesa-bhakti-sastra-siksayojjvalamrta-prabam bhajamy

aham gadadharam supanditam gurum prabhum

I worship the greatly learned spiritual master, Srila Gadadhara Prabhu, who expands the mellows of devotional service and whose lotus feet are worshipped by the kings of the brahmanas. Among his confidential associates, he reveals his actual form as Srimati Radharani. He distributes the nectar of the ecstatic mellow of the gopis conjugal love, strictly following the instructions of all the devotional scriptures.

Sri Gadadharastakam by Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami

All glories to Shri Gadadhar Pandit, who is none other than Shrimati Radharani, appearing in this material world, on the auspicious Amavasya tithi in the month of Vaishakh, blessing the household of Madhava Mishra and Ratnavati devi, to assist Shri Chaitanya in fulfilling his innermost heart’s desire, to taste the mood of Shrimati Radharani and her love for Shyamsundar. In their childhood, both Gadadhar pandit and Nimai pandit were very close and intimate friends, going to each other’s houses to play and studying in the same school. However, unlike Mahaprabhu, who was a very naughty and proud young scholar, always eager to debate and defeat others in grammar, Gadadhar pandit was from the very beginning very sober and renounced, due to which he would try and keep some distance from Nimai so as to not be challenged by him with various questions on grammar and nyayashastra.

Growing up in Nawadwip, Gadadhar pandit, always being absorbed in devotion to the lotus feet of Krishna and being very dear to Mukunda datta, would often go with him to hear from any exalted vaishnava who would be visiting Nawadwip. Once the great devotee Pundarik Vidyanidhi came there and both of them went to visit him. When Gadadhar pandit saw Pundarik Vidhyanidhi, his heart filled with doubt about Pundarik Vidyanidhi’s exalted position because of the external appearance that he had of being a person fully engrossed in the senses, as he was seated on a kingly couch chewing pan while being fanned by his servants. Understanding Gadadhar’s heart, Mukunda datta, with the intention to bring forth the true identity of Pundarik Vidyanidhi, recited a shloka from the Bhagwatam that described Krishna’s causeless mercy that he showed on Putana by giving her the position of a mother even though she had come with the intention to kill him. Despite the fact that she had smeared her breasts with poison, just due to her having performed the service of feeding him her milk, being extremely merciful, Krishna blessed her with the position of a mother. As soon as Pundarik Vidyanidhi heard this sholka, he immediately lost all composure and wept torrents of tears in love for Krishna and displayed various ecstatic symptoms such as hair standing on ending and rolling on the ground. Seeing this and realizing his mistake in having doubted the excellence of Pundarik Vidyanidhi’s devotion, Gadadhar pandit felt remorseful and in order to rectify himself he took shelter of the lotus feet of Pundarik Vidyanidhi and accepted him as his spiritual master.

After some time, when Mahaprabhu had returned from Gaya and had started exhibiting his love for Madhav, he was once crying pitifully while calling out for his Prananath, Vrajendranandan Vanamali. Seeing Gadadhar coming near him, he asked,’’Where is Krishna?’’, to which, Gadadhar, after deliberating upon how to best answer his question, said that Krishna was in his heart. Hearing this Mahaprabhu without a moments delay started tearing at his chest and crying and saying that he wanted to open his heart so that he could see his Lord. Seeing Mahaprabhu like this Gadadhar pacified him and consoled him by saying that Krishna would be coming really soon. Sachimata, who had witnessed the entire incident, requested Gadadhar to henceforth always stay with Nimai and take care of him, as even she herself was afraid of going near him when he was in such a state because she did not know how to pacify him.

Following Mother Sachi’s instruction Gadadhar would always stay with Mahaprabhu and therefore after Mahaprabhu accepted the Sanyas order of life and took up his residence in Shri Kshetra, Gadadhar pandit also moved to Puri dham and took Kshetra sanyas, in which he would never leave Jagannath puri. While residing there he would recite the Shrimad Bhagwatam for Shriman Mahaprabhu, and the various esoteric topics mentioned therein, such as the moods of the Gopis, which no one could explain better than him, as he was Shrimati Radhika herself, explaining her moods so that Mahaprabhu could imbibe them to the fullest and fulfill his desire to experience the love of Shrimati Radhika for Shyamsundar. However, due to Gadadhar pandit being Shrimati Radharani herself, he would never be with Mahaprabhu in Gambhira, when he would be tasting the highest mellows of love, as in his presence he would not be able to give up his mood of being Krishna and would therefore not be able to taste the feelings of separation from Krishna as Shrimati Radhika feels.

Once while sitting with Gadadhar on top of the Chatak parvat, which reminded Mahaprabhu of Govardhan hill, he dug up the deities of Gopinath, Shrimati Radharani and Lalite, which are still currently being worshiped in the Tota Gopinath temple nearby Yameshvar tota, and entrusted their worship to Gadadhar pandit, who very expertly carried out the service of Gopinath with great love and devotion. However, due to his service to Gopinath and his vow to never leave Shri Kshetra, he was unable to accompany Mahaprabhu to Vrindavan, which gave him immense grief, so much so that he was even willing to break all his vows to go with Mahaprabhu, but upon the insistence of Mahaprabhu he stayed back and carried on with his service instead of going with him. In this way he resided in Puri, always serving the deities of Tota Gopinath. The disappearance of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu nonetheless put Gadadhar pandit in such a state of excruciating pain of separation that he became old very fast, even though he was only 47 at that time and due to this, performing service to Gopinath was getting difficult for him. Seeing this Gopinath mercifully sat down and accepted his service in a sitting position. Yet, the pain of separation continued to be unbearable for him and therefore he also left his body just one year after Mahaprabhu, by entering into the deity of Tota Gopinath.

Gadadhar pandit is truly a very special personality, as he is Shrimati Radharani herself, who came to help Krishna in understanding her mood. However, contrary to her general vaam(left wing) nature, in Gaur lila, in the form of Gadadhar, she is very submissive and acts as a servant trying to facilitate the mood of Mahaprabhu in whatever way possible. It is her mood that Mahaprabhu is trying to understand and without Gadadhar pandit his attempt would be incomplete and therefore he plays a very crucial role in Gaur lila and hence the worship of Gaur Gadadhar is considered to be the highest and many of our acharyas such as Bhaktivinod thakur and others have worshiped Gaur Gadadhar and therefore we pray to Gadadhar pandit to please bestow his mercy upon us so that we may be able to serve Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.