Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi
puëòaréka vidyänidhi——baòa-çäkhä jäni
yäìra näma laïä prabhu kändilä äpani
Vidyänidhi, the third big branch, was so dear to Lord Caitanya
Mahäprabhu that in his absence Lord Caitanya Himself would sometimes
Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi, the third big branch, was so dear to
Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu that in his absence Lord Caitanya Himself
would sometimes cry.
In the Gaura-gaëoddeça-dépikä Çréla
Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi is described as the father of Çrématé Rädhäräëé in
kåñëa-lélä. Caitanya Mahäprabhu therefore treated him as His father.
Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi’s father was known as Bäëeçvara or, according to
another opinion, Çuklämbara Brahmacäré, and his mother’s name was
Gaìgädevé. According to one opinion, Bäëeçvara was a descendent of Çré
Çivaräma Gaìgopädhyäya. The original home of Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi was
in East Bengal, in a village near Dacca named Bäghiyä, which belonged
to the Värendra group of brähmaëa families. Sometimes these Värendra
brähmaëas were at odds with another group known as Räòhéya brähmaëas,
and therefore Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi’s family was ostracized and at that
time was not living as a respectable family. Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté
informs us that one of the members of this family is living in
Våndävana and is named Sarojänanda Gosvämé. One special characteristic
of this family is that each of its members had only one son or no son
at all, and therefore the family was not very expansive. There is a
place in the district of Caööagräma in East Bengal that is known as
Häta-häjäri, and a short distance from this place is a village known as
Mekhalä-gräma in which Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi’s forefathers lived. One
can approach Mekhalä-gräma from Caööagräma either on horseback, by
bullock cart or by steamer. The steamer station is known as
Annapürëära-ghäöa. The birthplace of Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi is about two
miles southwest of Annapürëära-ghäöa. The temple constructed there by
Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi is now very old and much in need of repair.
Without repair, the temple may soon crumble. There are two inscriptions
on the bricks of that temple, but they are so old that one cannot read
them. There is another temple, however, about two hundred yards south
of this one, and some people say that this is the old temple
constructed by Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu called
Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi “father,” and He gave him the title Premanidhi.
Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi later became the spiritual master of Gadädhara
Paëòita and an intimate friend of Svarüpa Dämodara’s. Gadädhara Paëòita
at first misunderstood Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi to be an ordinary
pounds-and-shillings man, but later, upon being corrected by Çré
Caitanya Mahäprabhu, he became his disciple. Another incident in the
life of Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi involves his criticizing the priest of the
Jagannätha temple, for which Jagannätha Prabhu chastised him personally
by slapping his cheeks. This is described in Çré Caitanya-bhägavata,
Antya-lélä, Chapter Seven. Çré Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura
informs us that there are still two living descendants of the family of
Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi, who are named Çré Harakumära Småtitértha and Çré
Kåñëakiìkara Vidyälaìkära. For further information one should refer to
the dictionary known as Vaiñëava-maïjuñä.(A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada. Sri Chaitanya Charitamrta Adi lila 10:14. purport.)
baòa çäkhä,——gadädhara paëòita-gosäïi
teìho lakñmé-rüpä, täìra sama keha näi
Paëòita, the fourth branch, is described as an incarnation of the
pleasure potency of Çré Kåñëa. No one, therefore, can equal him.(Sri
Chaitanya Charitamrta Adi lila 10:15.txt.)
There is an
interesting story how Srila Gadahar Pandit first met Pundarik
Vidyanidhi. He had heard that he was a very great devotee and one
worthy of seeking out. So he want to his home for a darshan. His
initial seeing him sent confusion through his being. As before him sat
what appeared to be the personification of sense gratification -
dressed in oppulent silk clothing, hair oiled and nicely combed back,
seated upon a huge silken cushion with a water-pipe for smoking in
front of him and beautiful young women seated around the room.
Pandit came there expecting to see a sadhu, a guru, someone he could
approach for spitual knowldge, to learn from, and take shelter of. But
to his surprise he saw this sense gratifier...
"I came here to
learn from you about Krishna" Gadadhar said, ....but no sooner the word
Krishna were uttered Pundarik Vidyanidhi fell to the ground his body
his body became strangely transformed and he mumbled the name of
Krishna , Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare
Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.....
Gadhadhara then realised that this was no ordinary man, but a very advanced devotee absorded in blissful Krishna consciousness.
Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya lila 16th Chapter Summary
The Lord’s Attempt to Go to Våndävana
Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura gives the following summary of this chapter in his
Amåta-praväha-bhäñya. When Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu wanted to go to
Våndävana, Rämänanda Räya and Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya indirectly
presented many obstructions. In due course of time, all the devotees of
Bengal visited Jagannätha Puré for the third year. This time, all the
wives of the Vaiñëavas brought many types of food, intending to extend
invitations to Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu at Jagannätha Puré. When the
devotees arrived, Caitanya Mahäprabhu sent his blessings in the form of
garlands. In that year also, the Guëòicä temple was cleansed, and when
the Cäturmäsya period was over, all the devotees returned to their
homes in Bengal. Caitanya Mahäprabhu forbade Nityänanda to visit
Néläcala every year. Questioned by the inhabitants of Kuléna-gräma,
Caitanya Mahäprabhu again repeated the symptoms of a Vaiñëava.
Vidyänidhi also came to Jagannätha Puré and saw the festival of
Oòana-ñañöhé. When the devotees bade farewell to the Lord, the Lord was
determined to go to Våndävana, and on the day of Vijaya-daçamé, He
Mahäräja Pratäparudra made various arrangements for Çré
Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s trip to Våndävana. When He crossed the River
Citrotpalä, Rämänanda Räya, Mardaräja and Haricandana went with Him.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu requested Gadädhara Paëòita to go to Néläcala,
Jagannätha Puré, but he did not abide by this order. From Kaöaka, Çré
Caitanya Mahäprabhu again requested Gadädhara Paëòita to return to
Néläcala, and He bade farewell to Rämänanda Räya from Bhadraka. After
this, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu crossed the border of Orissa state, and
He arrived at Pänihäöi by boat. Thereafter He visited the house of
Räghava Paëòita, and from there He went to Kumärahaööa and eventually
to Kuliyä, where He excused many offenders. From there He went to
Rämakeli, where He saw Çré Rüpa and Sanätana and accepted them as His
chief disciples. Returning from Rämakeli, He met Raghunätha däsa and
after giving him instructions sent him back home. Thereafter the Lord
returned to Néläcala and began to make plans to go to Våndävana without
a companion. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Sri Chaitanya
Charitamrta. 16th Chapter Summary.)
ei-mata saba vaiñëava gauòe calilä
vidyänidhi se vatsara nélädri rahilä
Finally all the Vaiñëavas returned to Bengal, but that year Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi remained at Jagannätha Puré.
svarüpa-sahita täìra haya sakhya-préti
dui-janäya kåñëa-kathäya ekatra-i sthiti
Dämodara Gosvämé and Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi had a friendly, intimate
relationship, and as far as discussing topics about Kåñëa, they were
situated on the same platform.
gadädhara-paëòite teìho punaù mantra dila
oòana-ñañöhéra dine yäträ ye dekhila
Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi initiated Gadädhara Paëòita for the second time, and on the day of Oòana-ñañöhé he saw the festival.
the beginning of winter, there is a ceremony known as the Oòana-ñañöhé.
This ceremony indicates that from that day forward, a winter covering
should be given to Lord Jagannätha. That covering is directly purchased
from a weaver. According to the arcana-märga, a cloth should first be
washed to remove all the starch, and then it can be used to cover the
Lord. Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi saw that the priest neglected to wash the
cloth before covering Lord Jagannätha. Since he wanted to find some
fault in the devotees, he became indignant.
jagannätha parena tathä ‘mäòuyä’ vasana
dekhiyä saghåëa haila vidyänidhira mana
Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi saw that Lord Jagannätha was given a starched
garment, he became a little hateful. In this way his mind was polluted.
sei rätrye jagannätha-baläi äsiyä
dui-bhäi caòä’na täìre häsiyä häsiyä
That night the brothers Lord Jagannätha and Balaräma came to Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi and, smiling, began to slap him.
gäla phulila, äcärya antare ulläsa
vistäri’ varëiyächena våndävana-däsa
his cheeks were swollen from the slapping, Puëòaréka Vidyänidhi was
very happy within. This incident has been elaborately described by
Öhäkura Våndävana däsa(in his Chaitanya Bhagavat).