Srila Mukunda Datta

Çré Mukunda Datta was born in the Caööagräma district, in the village of Chanharä, which is under the jurisdiction of the police station named Paöiyä. This village is situated ten kroças, or about twenty miles, from the home of Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi. In the Gaura-gaëoddeça-dépikä (140) it is said:

vraje sthitau gäyakau yau
mukunda-väsudevau tau
dattau gauräìga-gäyakau

“In Vraja there were two very nice singers named Madhukaëöha and Madhuvrata. They appeared in caitanya-lélä as Mukunda and Väsudeva Datta, who were singers in the society of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu.” When Lord Caitanya was a student, Mukunda Datta was His class friend, and they frequently engaged in logical arguments. Sometimes Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu would fight with Mukunda Datta, using tricks of logic. This is described in the Caitanya-bhägavata, Ädi-lélä, Chapters Eleven and Twelve. When Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu returned from Gayä, Mukunda Datta gave Him pleasure by reciting verses from Çrémad-Bhägavatam about kåñëa-lélä. It was by his endeavor that Gadädhara Paëòita Gosvämé became a disciple of Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi, as stated in Çré Caitanya-bhägavata, Madhya-lélä, Chapter Seven. When Mukunda Datta sang in the courtyard of Çréväsa Prabhu, Mahäprabhu danced with His singing, and when Lord Caitanya for twenty-one hours exhibited an ecstatic manifestation known as säta-prahariyä, Mukunda Datta inaugurated the function by singing.

Sometimes Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu chastised Mukunda Datta by calling him khaòajäöhiyä beöä because he attended many functions held by different classes of nondevotees. This is stated in the Caitanya-bhägavata, Madhya-lélä, Chapter Ten. When Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu dressed Himself as the goddess of fortune to dance in the house of Candraçekhara, Mukunda Datta began the first song.

Before disclosing His desire to take the renounced order of life, Lord Caitanya first went to the house of Mukunda Datta, but at that time Mukunda Datta requested Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu to continue His saìkértana movement for a few days more before taking sannyäsa. This is stated in Caitanya-bhägavata, Madhya-lélä Chapter Twenty-six. The information of Lord Caitanya’s accepting the renounced order was made known to Gadädhara Paëòita, Candraçekhara Äcärya and Mukunda Datta by Nityänanda Prabhu, and therefore all of them went to Katwa and arranged for kértana and all the paraphernalia for Lord Caitanya’s acceptance of sannyäsa. After the Lord took sannyäsa, they all followed Him, especially Çré Nityänanda Prabhu, Gadädhara Prabhu and Govinda, who followed Him all the way to Puruñottama-kñetra. In this connection one may refer to Çré Caitanya-bhägavata, Antya-lélä, Chapter Two. In the place known as Jaleçvara, Nityänanda Prabhu broke the sannyäsa rod of Caitanya Mahäprabhu. Mukunda Datta was also present at that time. He went every year from Bengal to see Lord Caitanya at Jagannätha Puré. (CC Adi lila 10:41. purport.)

"Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu blessed Mukunda Datta with punishment and in that way vanquished all his mental depression."
Mukunda Datta was once forbidden to enter the association of Çri Caitanya Mahäprabhu because of his mixing with the Mäyävädé impersonalists. When Lord Caitanya manifested His mahä-prakäça, He called all the devotees one after another and blessed them, while Mukunda Datta stood outside the door. The devotees informed the Lord that Mukunda Datta was waiting outside, but the Lord replied, “I shall not soon be pleased with Mukunda Datta, for he explains devotional service among devotees, but then he goes to Mäyävädés to hear from them the Yoga-väçiñöha-rämäyaëa, which is full of Mäyäväda philosophy. For this I am greatly displeased with him.” Hearing the Lord speak in that way, Mukunda Datta, standing outside, was exceedingly glad that the Lord would at some time be pleased with him, although He was not pleased at that moment. But when the Lord understood that Mukunda Datta was going to give up the association of the Mäyävädés for good, He was pleased, and He at once called to see Mukunda. Thus He delivered him from the association of the Mäyävädés and gave him the association of pure devotees. (A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. CC Adi lila 17:65 purport.)

Väsudeva Datta, the brother of Mukunda Datta (in some places he is known as the father of Mukunda Datta), was also a resident of Caööagräma. In the Caitanya-bhägavata it is said, yäìra sthäne kåñëa haya äpane vikraya: Väsudeva Datta was such a powerful devotee that Kåñëa was purchased by him. Väsudeva Datta stayed at Çréväsa Paëòita’s house, and in the Caitanya-bhägavata it is described that Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu was so pleased with Väsudeva Datta and so affectionate toward him that He used to say, “I am only Väsudeva Datta’s man. My body is only meant to please Väsudeva Datta, and he can sell Me anywhere.” Thrice He vowed that this was a fact and that no one should disbelieve these statements. “All My dear devotees,” He said, “I tell you the truth. My body is especially meant for Väsudeva Datta.” Väsudeva Datta initiated Çré Yadunandana Äcärya, the spiritual master of Raghunätha däsa, who later became Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé. This will be found in the Caitanya-caritämåta, Antya-léla, Sixth Chapter, verse 161. Väsudeva Datta spent money very liberally; therefore Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu asked Çivänanda Sena to become his sarakhela, or secretary, in order to control his extravagant expenses. Väsudeva Datta was so kind to the living entities that he wanted to take all their sinful reactions so that they might be delivered by Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. CC Adi 10:41-42 purports)
This is described in the Fifteenth Chapter of the Caitanya-caritämåta’s Madhya-lélä, verses 159 through 180.

There is a railway station named Pürvasthalé near the Navadvépa railway station, and about one mile away, in a village known as Mämagächi, which is the birthplace of Våndävana däsa Öhäkura, there is presently a temple of Madana-gopäla that was established by Väsudeva Datta. The Gauòéya Maöha devotees have now taken charge of this temple, and the sevä-püjä is going on very nicely. Every year all the pilgrims on the navadvépa-parikrama visit Mämagächi. Since Çré Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura inaugurated the navadvépa-parikrama function, the temple has been very well managed.