History of Sri Mukunda Datta
Madhukantha and Madhuvrata were two very pleasant singers who came from Vraja. Both of them appeared as singers who sang in the society of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Chaitanya-Lila as Mukunda and Vasudeva Datta. Born in district Chattagrama, village Chanhara Sri Mukunda Datta’s birthplace was about 32 km from the house of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Lord Chaitanya and Mukunda Datta were friends and classmates who often encountered logical arguments. Such instances are mentioned in chapters eleven and twelve of Chaitanya-Bhagavata, Adi-Lila.
As Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu returned from Gaya, Mukunda Datta made him feel nice by reading verses from Shrimad-Bhagavatam about Krishna-Lila. It was for him that Gadadhara Pandita Goswami became a follower of Pundarika Vidyanidhi, as mentioned in chapter seven of Shri Chaitanya-Bhagavata, Madhya-Lila. Mahaprabhu would dance while Mukunda Datta sang in the courtyard of Shrivasa Prabhu. Mukunda Datta also sang at the function where Lord Chaitanya displayed a euphoric manifestation for twenty-one hours known as SATA-Prahariya.
As mentioned in Chaitanya-Bhagavata, Madhya-Lila, chapter ten, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would often refer to Mukunda Datta as Khadahathiya beta as he was an attendee in multiple functions conducted by different classes of non-devotees. Mukunda Datta began the first son when Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dressed as the goddess of fortune and danced in the house of Chandrashekhara.
Mukunda Datta asked Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to continue the sankirtana movement.
Before Lord Chaitanya revealed his wish to take the renounced order of life, he visited Mukana Datta at his house. Mukunda Datta pleads with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to continue his Sankirtana Movement for a few more days before taking sannyasa. This instance is mentioned in champion twenty-six of Chaitanya-Bhagavata, Madhya-Lila.
Gadadhara Pandita, Chandrashekhara Acharya, and Mukunda Datta were made aware that Lord Chaitanya accepted the renounced order by Nityananda Prabhu. Which made all three of them go to Katwa and prepare for Kirtana and all the paraphernalia for Lord Chaitanya’s wish to accept sannyasa. Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Gadadhara Prabhu, and Govinda followed him to Purushottama-kshetra after the Lord took sannyasa.
To know more about this, one can read chapter two of Shri Chaitanya-Bhagavata, Aunty-Lila.
Nityananda Prabhu broke the sannyasa at a place know as Jaleshvara. Mukunda Datta travelled from Bengal every year to visit Lord Chaitanya at Jagannatha Puri. Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu helped with Mukunda Datta’s depression by giving him punishment.
Story of Vasudeva Datta, the brother of Sri Mukunda Datta
Mukunda Datta’s brother Vasudeva Datta (often referred to as Mukunda Datta’s father) was also a Cattagrama inhabitant. Vasudeva Datta was such a great devotee that he purchased Krishna; according to the Chaitanya-Bhagavata, yanra sthane Krishna haya apane vikraya.
Vasudeva Datta was put up at Shrivasa Pandita’s home,. In Chaitanya-Bhagavata, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very impressed with Vasudeva Datta and fond of him. Indicating his fondness, he used to say, “I belong to Vasudeva Datta,” My body is devoted to pleasing him, and he can sell me as he wishes. He vowed thrice that these statements should be taken as facts, and no one should disown or not believe these statements. Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Aunty-Lila, Sixth Chapter, verse 161 mentions that Vasudeva Datta started as Shri Yadunandana Acharya, the spiritual master of Ragunatha Dasa, who later came to become Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. Vasudeva Datta was very liberal regarding spending money; that is why Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked Shivananda Sena to act as his secretary, aka sarakhela, to control the abundance of expenses Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to make.
As described in the fifteenth chapter of Chaitanya-charitamrita’s Madhya-Lila, verses 159 to 180, Vasudeva Datta was a kind soul towards living beings and wanted to take all their sinful actions so Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu could deliver them.
Why Mukunda Datta chose suicide as atonement
One time Lord Chaitanya blessed all the devotees leaving Mukanda without the blessings. He did so because Mukunda offended Bhakti Devi. Mukunda placed her on an equal pedestal with karma, jnana, and even MAyavada philosophy while talking to the followers of that path. At the same time, glorifying bhakti to bhaktas and arguing unnecessary mundane topics with karmis.
Mukunda Datta decided to commit suicide to make amends for the significant offence he caused to Bhati Devi. Mukunda asked Lord Chaitanya if he would receive the mercy of Lord Chaitanya in the next life. Lord Chaitanya said, “You will receive my mercy after passing one million births.
Mukunda Datta was overwhelmed and joyful to know that he would get Mahaprabhu’s mercy one day. He kept on shouting in joy, only a million births, only a million births!
On seeing how determined and devoted Mukunda Datta was, lord Chaitanya’s heart melted. Lord Chaitanya gave his blessing to Mukunda and accepted Mukunda with the words, “By your faith and conviction in what I said, I destroy all your offences immediately. According to Krishna-Lila, he has a honey-sweet throat and is known as Madhukantha, a pleasant and sweet singer. The location of his samadhi is within the 64 samadhis area.
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