One of the members of Panchattatva (eternal 5 associates of Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu) was Sri Srivas Pandit. He helped Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu to spread his mission which is Naam Sankirtan. He was considered Tathastha Shakti, which is the marginal energy of Krishna. He is the incarnation of Narad Muni; that’s why as Sri Srivas Thakur, he always used to engage in the mood of devotion and is Narad muni himself, so he always used to glorify Krishna. He was very dear to Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu, and the devotees were under the guidance of Srivas Thakur.
Those devotees are considered as the different body parts of the transcendental body of Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu. His Samadhi now is situated in the 64 samadhi area. He was completely surrendered to Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu. He and his whole family members were pure devotees of Lord Krishna.
History of Srivas Pandit
He was thirty years older than Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu. His father’s name was Sri Jaladhar Pandita, and he had four brothers named Nalina, Srivasa, Srinidhi, Sripati, and Sriram. He also trained and guided his brother toward the devotion to Sri Krishna. He used to read Bhagwatam with Sri Advaita Acharaya as he had a regular association with Sri Advaita Acharaya. His wife was named Malini, and she was also a great devotee of Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu. In Krishna Lila, she was a nurse, and now at that current time (500 years ago), she was also a nurse of Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu. She was also a friend of Sachi Mata (mother of Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu).
First, he lived in Srihatta with his family, and then he moved to Nawadveep. His house was located 200 yards away from Nimai’s house (Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu).
Even, Mahaprakash’s pastime also happened in his house. He served his family because his family members were very dear devotees of Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu.
The Greatness of Srivas Pandit
Srivas Pandit lost his son at a young age. At that time, when all family members were mourning for the son, then Srivas Thakur was saying and instructing all the family members to mourn slowly, not in a loud voice as, by their voice, the Sankirtan of Mahaprabhu could be disturbed. When Mahaprabhu got the news that his dearest devotee’s family was in mourning, he brought back the dead son of Srivas Pandit. Everyone got so happy, but Srivas Pandit said to Mahaprabhu that he was happy in that situation, but there was no need for it. These incidents of life he will have to endure.
Srivas Pandit was a family man. Once, Mahaprabhu asked him to do something for family nourishment because he only used to chant holy names and serve the Lord with his family. So Mahaprabhu was surprised by that. Then Srivas Pandit answered that if he did not get anything to eat, he would only wait for three days with his family, and after the third day, he and his family would give their lives by jumping into the Ganges.
By seeing this full devotion towards Krishna of Srivas Pandit, Mahaprabhu gave this boon to Srivas Pandit that ‘he and his family will never ever have to suffer for daily body requirements, his house will be fully wealthy; even the dogs, cats of his house will be delivered.’
When Sri Nityananda Prabhu was living in the house of Srivas Pandit, Mahaprabhu decided to test Srivas Pandit.
Mahaprabhu said to Srivas Pandit that “Srivas, do you know about Nityananda? What is his caste? From which family does he belong? If you don’t know anything about him yet, then you are allowing him to live in your house!”
Then Srivas Pandit understood that Mahaprabbu was testing him. He answered that “Nityananda Prabhu is Lord Balram (Anantashehsa) himself. He is fortunate to have this opportunity to do this biggest service of the Lord.”
Then Mahaprabhu got very happy and again gave boon him that ‘even! If Goddess Laxmi has to beg even then, your house will be full of wealth’.
Khol Banga Danga
As mentioned, the house of Srivas Pandit was 200 yards away from the house of Mahaprabhu, which was called Srivas Angan. Every night in the Srivas Angan, ecstatic Naam Sankirtan used to happen. Still, the usual atheistic people were not allowed in that Sankirtan, and thus, those all were very much envious of devotees and Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu.
At that time, the Muslim empire was ruling India, and in Bengal, there was the governance of Nawab Hussain Shah. One of the ministers was Chand Kazi, and as well as Chand Kazi was the spiritual advisor of Nawab. At that time, there was a predominance of his reign in most areas and in the court of Nawab. The house of Chand Kazi was not far from the Srivas Angan, and already he was annoyed by the night Sankirtan, and when he heard the complaints of those atheistic and envious people, he decided to warn and stop this Sankirtan. Once, a Sankirtan was going on, and when Sankirtan yatra came near his house, he came out and snatched the Mridanga from a devotee and hit that Mirdanga on the ground furiously, and broke it. That’s why the place is also known as Khol Banga Danga (a place where Kazi broke the Mirdanga).
Then, at night Lord Narsinghadeva came into the dream of Chand Kazi and threatened him that if he ever dared to stop the Sankirtan again, then he and his family would be finished by Lord Narshinghdeva. So by the warning, Kazi got frightened for his life and of the people he loved.
When Mahaprabhu got the news that Kazi had broken the mridanga, he got so furious with him and organized a massive Sankirtan yatra for that night. Many people joined that sankirtan, and when the yatra reached the house of Kazi, Mahaprabhu searched for that Kazi, but he was already afraid. When he was called out, he had a long conversation with Mahaprabhu and announced that he would never ever stop the sankirtan.
Thus by that day, the house of Sri Srivas Pandit is also known as Khol Banga Danga.
Sri Srivas Pandit was very devoted to Mahaprabhu. There is a lot about him in Chaitnya Charitramrit; this shows his significance to the Lord. He was a great Acharya. On the Appearance and Disappearance days of Acharya, we can directly approach them. So, on the transcendental day of the Disappearance of Srivas Thakur, we should pray to him that may we grow in our devotion to Krishna and may our degree of devotion to Lord Gauranga increase.
We all should follow the footprints of Srivas Pandit.