“I worship the greatly learned spiritual master, Shrila Gadadhara Prabhu. Even a conditioned soul, whose mind becomes anointed by the colourful waves of spontaneous devotional service as delineated by Shrila Gadadhara Prabhu, quickly acquires the highest level of devotional service. He becomes a maddened bumble bee whose brain is anointed with ujjvala-rasa (conjugal love).”
Sri Gadadhara Pandita’s Childhood:
Gadadhara Pandita had been associated with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu since he was young. The dark moon day of the month of Vaisakha is Sri Gadadhara Pandita Goswami’s appearance day.
Sri Gadadhara Pandita was named after his father, Sri Madhava Misra, and his mother, Sri Ratnavati Devi, who lived near Jagannatha Misra’s residence in Mayapur. Sri Ratnavati Devi regarded Sacidevi with the affection of a big sister. They were constantly spending time with each other. Gaurahari spent a lot of time with Gadadhara Pandita when he was younger.
Gadadhara Pandita was Gaurahari’s younger brother by a year. They both studied at the village school together. Gadadhara adored Gaurahari so much that he couldn’t bear to be separated even for a second.
Gadadhara Pandita’s devotion:
According to the Caitanya Bhagavata, Isvara Puri visited Navadvipa Mayapur; he resided at Sri Gopinatha Acarya’s residence for a few months. Gadadhara Pandita was a thoughtful and collected young man from the start. He was quiet, renounced, and enjoyed his alone time. Isvara Puri was quite fond of Gadadhara then and tutored him from his book Krsna-lilamrta. Gaurasundara, on the other hand, appeared to be fickle, unsteady, and whimsical as a child. When they were in school, he would annoy Gadadhara by asking witty questions to perplex Gadadhara.
This bothered Gadadhara’s intellect and studies; thus, he didn’t enjoy it. As an outcome, he had no option but to keep Gaurahari at arm’s length. But he couldn’t stand being apart from the Lord any longer.
Gadadhara Pandita was caught in a difficult situation. “Gadadhara!” the Lord exclaimed, “I will soon become such a great Vaisnava that even Brahma and Siva will bow to me.”
Gadadhara Pandita’s Initiation:
Sri Gadadhara Pandita greatly loved Mukunda Datta. Mukunda Datta would inform Gadadhara whenever sadhus or sannyasis arrived in Nabadwipa from somewhere else, and they would visit the holy man together. Pundarika Vidyanidhi arrived in Nabadwipa from Chattagrama at one point.
Mukunda invited Gadadhara to come with him to take his darshans. Gadadhara was extremely exhilarated to meet such an exalted Vaisnava, and thus the two of them excitedly set out together to take most of the sadhu-sanga with the renowned Pundarika Vidyanidhi.
When Gadadhara noticed that Pundarika Vidyanidhi was dressed and behaved like a wealthy materialist, he felt disappointed, and the high regard within him fell even before speaking to him. Gadahara pondered within himself, “How can a Vaisnava act and look as if he was so obsessed with sensing enjoyment?”
However, Mukunda knew Pundarika Vidyanidhi’s real nature and could also understand the doubts arising in Gadadhara Pandita’s mind. To surface the truth, he began singing some slokas from the Srimad Bhagavatam in a very sweet voice. When Pundarika Vidyanidhi heard the marvellous recitation of these slokas, in a round of ecstasy, he began to shed tears of love while pitifully calling out to his lord, “Krsna, Krsna,” and finally fainted dead away on the floor. [Chaitanya Bhagavat. Madhylila 7.78-79].
Gadadhara immediately regretted thinking otherwise. He lamented, “What a grave offence have I committed by considering such a holy soul to be like an ordinary materialist due to my ignorance! To save myself from the effect of this offence, I think the only way is to accept his initiation.”
Gadadhara Pandita presented his proposition to Mukunda, who proposed it to Pundarika Vidyanidhi with full details of Pandit’s high qualifications.
“Providence has given me a great jewel; I will accept him. You shouldn’t doubt that. It is the result of several lifetimes of good fortune that one gets a disciple like this. [Chatanya Bhagavat. Madhylila.
Lord of the Life of Gadadhara:
Kavi Karnapura explains in the Gaura-ganodesa-Dipika that Sri Gadadhara Pandita was the daughter of Vrsabhanu-Srimati Radharani in Vraja-Lila. This is proven in Svarupa Damodara’s notes and Sri Vasudeva Ghosa Thakura’s songs.
Sri Caitanya Caritamrta explains: “No one can define Gadadhara Pandita’s traits or intense love. As a result, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is also known as Gadadhara Prananatha, or “the life and soul of Gadadhara Pandita.”
This is proven in Svarupa Damodara’s notes and Sri Vasudeva Ghosa Thakura’s songs.
Sri Caitanya Caritamrta further explains: “No one can define Gadadhara Pandita’s traits or intense love. As a result, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is also known as Gadadhara Prananatha, or “the life and soul of Gadadhara Pandita.”
No one can express the Lord’s kindness to Gadadhara Pandita but Gadadhara. Gaura, “the Lord Gauranga of Gadadhara Pandita,” is how the Lord is known. Their glories are sung by everyone as Gadai- Gauranga.”
Sachimata’s Plea to Gadadhara:
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to manifest Krsna-prema upon returning from Gaya Dham. There he had performed the pastime of accepting Sri Isvara Puri as his spiritual master.
Day and night, He floated in the ocean of love of Krsna. Gadadhara, upon seeing the Lord of Life drown in tears of love for Krsna, also began to cry in ecstatic love. From this time, Gadadhara Pandita stayed on Mahaprabhu’s side.
Mahaprabhu exclaimed, “Gadadhara! You are pious and virtuous. Since your childhood, you have been devoted to Krsna. My life has been wasted. Due to my evil activities, I cannot attain the collaboration of the Lord of my life.
Saying this, Gaurahari embraced Gadadhara lovingly to his chest.
One day Sri Gadadhara offered some pan to Sri Gauranga, who, in a burst of emotion, questioned him, “Gadadhara! Where is that beautiful blackish boy Who is dressed in yellow garments?” After asking this, He began to shed a stream of tears.
Gadadhara held his hands and, to appease the lord’s burning heart, said, “He is in your heart.” Upon hearing this, Gaurahari began to tear his chest with his nails, but Gadadhara quickly took hold of his hands. Mahaprabhu begged him, “Gadadhara! Leave My Hands. I cannot stand to remain even a moment of not seeing Krsna anymore.”
Gadadhara assured him, “Be patient and take hold of Yourself. Krsna will come any minute now.” After hearing this, Mahaprabhu became somewhat calm.
Sacimata saw this unfold from a distance and then rushed there. Being extremely pleased with Gadadhara, she announced, “He is just a boy, but He is very intelligent. I am scared to go before my son when He is in these moods. But Gadadhara has very cleverly pacified him.”
Sacimata told Gadadhara, “Gadadhara! You must please remain with Nimai always. If you stay with Him, I won’t have to worry.”
Lord Gauranga’s Chief Companion:
In Navadvipa, Gadadhara was a chief companion of Mahaprabhu. Gadadhara was the Lord’s principal companion when he performed his Navadvipa-Lila. In these pastimes in Navadvipa on the banks of the Ganges, Radha-Krsna in Vrindavan adopts the Lord’s pastimes in Navadvipa by performing kirtan.
One day, the Lord was traveling along the Ganges’ banks when he came across a tiny wooded grove and sat down. Gradually, he grew immersed in reminiscing about his time in Vrindavan.
Mukunda Datta began gently performing Purva-raga tunes. After picking flowers in the jungle, Gadadhara decked the Lord’s neck with a garland. Just like Sri Radha used to decorate Lord Krishna in Vrindavan, Gadadhara decked Lord Gauranga’s pure form similarly. Someone sang a lovely tune, and someone danced gracefully. Gauranga finally sat Gadadhara on a raised platform made from the root of a tree.
Two of them had their arati conducted by Sri Advaita Acharya. Sri Nityananda Prabhu was sitting on their left, and Srivasa Pandita arranged flowers in a vase. The camara was being waved by Narahari. Suklambhara was making a candana offering. Murari Gupta was praising the Lord and singing sweet praises to Him. Madhava, Vasudeva, Pursottama, Vijaya, and Mukunda, among others, sang many raga-based songs.
The Lord completed his Nadiya-Lila this way; he completed his sannyasa-lila and left his mother and country to reside in Jagannatha Puri. Gadadhara Pandita followed Him at the time and settled in Jagannath Puri. Sri Gadadhara Pandita would regularly recite Srimad Bhagavatam. Sri Gaurasundara, along with His associates, would listen to Jagannath Puri.
Gadadhara Pandit’s Disappearance Lila:
After performing His pastimes on this planet for 48 years, Sri Gaurachandra wrapped up his manifest pastimes by entering into the deity of Shri Tota-Gopinathji, who Shri Gadadhara Pandita served at Jagannath Puri.
After the disappearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Gadadhara was afflicted with severe pangs of separation and quickly aged. At the age of 47, he was now old and could not serve Tota Gopinath, the deity given to him by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Gopinath knelt to accept the flower garlands of His most beloved devotee to reciprocate His loving service.
At the age of 47, unable to bear separation from the Lord of his life, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, any longer, he wrapped up his pastimes by entering the deity of Srimati Radharani on the side of Tota Gopinath.
In this manner, Gadadhara Pandita helped Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to experience and taste the loving sentiments that Srimati Radharani felt for Lord Krishna, which was one of the main reasons for this incarnation of Lord Krishna.