Jun 182022

Today is the appearance day of Sri Vakresvara Pandita, one of Lord Chaitanya’s most dear associates. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 10.17–20) states, “Vakresvara Pandita, the fifth branch of the [Caitanya] tree, was a very dear servant of Lord Caitanya’s. He could dance with constant ecstasy for seventy-two hours. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally sang while Vakresvara Pandita danced, and thus Vakresvara Pandita fell at the lotus feet of the Lord and spoke as follows. ‘O Candramukha! Please give me ten thousand Gandharvas. Let them sing as I dance, and then I will be greatly happy.’ Lord Caitanya replied, ‘I have only one wing like you, but if I had another, certainly I would fly in the sky!’ ”

In his purport to text 17, Srila Prabhupada writes, “In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (71) it is stated that Vakresvara Pandita was an incarnation of Aniruddha, one of the quadruple expansions of Visnu (Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Aniruddha and Pradyumna). He could dance wonderfully for seventy-two continuous hours. When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu played in dramatic performances in the house of Srivasa Pandita, Vakresvara Pandita was one of the chief dancers, and he danced continuously for that length of time. Sri Govinda dasa, an Oriya devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, has described the life of Vakresvara Pandita in his book Gaura-krsnodaya. There are many disciples of Vakresvara Pandita in Orissa, and they are known as Gaudiya Vaisnavas although they are Oriyas. Among these disciples are Sri Gopalaguru and his disciple Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami.”

A contemporary of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu named Devananda Pandita had no faith in Mahaprabhu and thus avoided Him, but fortunately, Devananda Pandita developed great faith in Vakresvara Pandita and rendered service to him. And by Vakresvara Pandita’s mercy, Devananda Pandita developed faith in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and ultimately achieved His shelter.

Concerning this incident, Sri Caitanya-bhagavata (Antya 3.485–487) confirms the efficacy of serving pure devotees and the results one attains by doing so: “The service of Vaishnavas is superior to the service of Krishna. All scriptures, headed by Srimad-Bhagavatam, confirm this. There may be a doubt whether the servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead will attain perfection, but there is absolutely no doubt that those who are attached to serving the Lord’s devotees will attain perfection. Therefore service to the Vaishnavas is the best means of deliverance.”

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

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