Sastra Caksusa

seeing through the eyes of scriptures

The Disappearance day of Sri Devananda Pandit is observed on December 29th.

Purananam artha-vetta sri devananda-panditah
Purasin nanda-parisat-pandito bhandarir munih

The scholar Devananda Pandit knew the meaning of all the Puranas. Previously, he was bhandari Muni, the scholar in Nanda Maharaj's court. Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika 106

Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's father was named Mahesvara Visharada. Mahaprabhu visited his house, which was situated on an embankment. Devananda Pandit, a peaceful Brahmin who desired liberation, made his home nearby. Chaitanya Bhagavata 2.21.6-7

The Lord delivered Devananda Pandit in the town of Kuliya. Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.1.152

According to Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada, Kuliya was a suburb of Nabadwip situated on the west bank of the Ganges. In that time, the central part of the town of Nabadwip, also known as Mayapur, was situated on the eastern bank of the river. The modern city of Nabadwip stands on the site of the former Kuliya, which is also known as "the place where offenses are forgiven" (aparadha-bhanjaner pata). Proof of this is found in the old names of many neighborhoods, such as Koler Ganj, Koler Daha, and Gadkhali Kol. Gaudiya-bhasya to Chaitanya Bhagavata 2.9.98

Each of the nine islands of Nabadwip Dham represents one of the nine types of devotional service. Koladwip is the island of service to the Lord's lotus feet (pada-sevana). The word kola had been distorted into the popular speech as Kuliya.

Just look - this is Visharada's embankment. Here the Lord met Devananda Pandit and chastised him for the offense he had committed to Srivas Pandit, causing him to repent. Bhakti-ratnakara 12.2976-7

From the above evidence from Chaitanya Bhagavata, Chaitanya Charitamrita and Bhakti-ratnakara, it is clear that Devananda Pandit's house was somewhere near to the house of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's father, Mahesvara Vishrada. It is thus clearly indicated that his school (tol) was situated somewhere in Juliya village.

Devananda's Offense

Devananda Pandit was a scholar and an ascetic who had been indifferent to the world from an early age. Although he had won a reputation for his erudition, he nevertheless had no real feeling of devotion to Krishna and so failed to understand that bhakti was the ultimate purport of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Being a mumuksu, or one who seeks impersonal liberation, moksa, Devananda Pandit praised dry austerities and renunciation in his discourses on the Bhagavatam and did not glorify devotional service.

One day, Srivas Pandit came to hear a Bhagavatam recital at Devananda's house. As he listened to the text of the Bhagavatam, Srivas Pandit became absorbed in a mood of loving devotion and started to cry. Devananda Pandit's faithless disciples threw him out of the assembly for causing a disturbance. Since Devananda did not object to the action of his students, he was responsible for their offense to a devotee. Mahaprabhu was thus angry with him.

The Lord said: "Whoever recites the Bhagavatam without glorifying devotional services is an ignorant fool who known nothing. This rascal recites the Bhagavatam and never mentions bhakti. I will go and tear up his manuscript, just watch Me." Chaitanya Bhagavata .21.20-21

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur comments on this verse as follows: "When those bereft of devotion forget their actual identify, they become completely indifferent to the service of the Lord. When they identify this indifference as the ultimate goal of life, they become a source of profound irritation to the Lord, even though He is by nature supremely merciful. Here Lord Gaurasundara shows His irritation and informs us that this attitude of the non-devotee is not only unnecessary, but reprehensible. He also indicates that both the acts of enjoying and renouncing the fruits of material actions are improper. The devotees find great satisfaction in seeing the Lord become angry in this way.

Devananda Gains Faith in the Lord

Some time after Devananda Pandit committed this offense to Srivas Pandit, Mahaprabhu passed nearby his house and saw that he was engaged in giving a discourse on the Bhagavtam. He became angry and rebuked him severely for his lack of faith in the Vaishnavas. Just as blasphemy of the devotees is the best way to be deprived of the Lord's mercy and destined for downfall, glorying them and engaging in their service is the best way to find the mercy of the Lord and become freed from all sinful activity.

"Listen, Brahmin, if you want to be cured after consuming poison, you must ingest ambrosia through the very same mouth you took the poison. In this way, not only will the poison be digested, but your body will become immortal through the ambrosia's divine power." Chaitanya Bhagavata 3.3.449-50

Through great good fortune, Mahaprabhu's dear associate Vakresvara Pandit came to stay at Devananda Pandit's house. Because Devananda took excellent care of Vakresvara, Mahaprabhu softened towards him. Previously, Devananda had been completely without any faith in the Lord, but when he heard of Mahaprabhu's glories from Vakresvara, his attitude changed. Through the association of the Lord's devotee, he began to develop a taste for pure devotional service.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur writes in this regard, "For Devananda Pandit of Kuliya, the fruit of service to the Vaishnava was faith in Mahaprabhu's lotus feet. Vakresvara Pandit's visit to his house was the source of this auspiciousness. Although Devananda was a Smarta, he was a great scholar and self-controlled. He studied nothing but the Shrimad Bhagavatam. He believed in God and had control of his senses. All he lacked was faith in Mahaprabhu. By the grace of Vakresvara Pandit, this faulty intelligence was wiped away and he became a believer in Lord Gaurasundara."

Devananda was a scholar of the Bhagavatam, but it was through Vakresvara's mercy that he was able to understand its meaning from Mahaprabhu. Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.10.77

Mahaprabhu told Devananda to explain the Bhagavatam in terms of devotional service. It was Devananda Pandit's great fortune that he was able to receive the mercy of the Lord in the form of a chastisement.

Devananda Pandit was a great pious soul, for Mahaprabhu verbally punished him. The chastisement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the greatest pious act. Even if one should die as a result of the Lord's punishment, he still goes to Vaikuntha. Chaitanya Bhagavata 2.21.77-8

Devananda received this mercy due to living in Kuliya or Koladwip, the place where offenses are forgiven. Gopal Chapal was also forgiven his offenses in Kuliya.

Devananda Pandit's disappearance day is celebrated on the Krsna ekadasi of the month of Paush.

Mandala Publishing 2001.

Excerpted from "Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates" by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj 

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Comment by Paramananda das on December 29, 2021 at 11:27am

SRI DEVANANDA PANDIT
ŚRĪLA BHAKTI SIDDHĀNTA SARASVATĪ GOSVĀMĪ ṬHĀKURA WRITES IN THIS REGARD, “FOR DEVANANDA PANDIT OF KULIYA, THE FRUIT OF SERVICE TO THE VAIṢṆAVA WAS FAITH IN MAHĀPRABHU’S LOTUS FEET. VAKRESVARA PANDIT’S VISIT TO HIS HOUSE WAS THE SOURCE OF THIS AUSPICIOUSNESS. ALTHOUGH DEVANAND PANDIT WAS A SMARTA, HE WAS A GREAT SCHOLAR AND SELF-CONTROLLED. HE STUDIED NOTHING BUT THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM. HE BELIEVED IN GOD AND HAD CONTROL OF HIS SENSES. ALL HE LACKED WAS FAITH IN MAHĀPRABHU. BY THE GRACE OF VAKRESVARA PANDIT, THIS FAULTY INTELLIGENCE WAS WIPED AWAY AND HE BECAME A BELIEVER IN LORD GAURASUNDARA.”
purāṇānām artha-vettā śrī devānanda-paṇḍitaḥ
purāsīn nanda-pariṣat-paṇḍito bhāgurir muniḥThe scholar Devananda Pandit knew the meaning of all the Puranas. Previously, he was Bhaguri Muni, the scholar in Nanda Mahārāja’s court.
(Gaura gaṇoddeśa dīpikā 106)
Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya’s father was named Mahesvara Visharada. Mahāprabhu visited his house, which was situated on an embankment. Devananda Pandit, a peaceful Brahmin who desired liberation, made his home nearby.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.21.6-7)
The Lord delivered Devananda Pandit in the town of Kuliya.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.1.153)
According to Bhakti Siddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupada, Kuliya was a suburb of Nabadvīpa situated on the west bank of the Ganges. In that time, the central part of the town of Nabadvīpa, also known as Mayapur, was situated on the eastern bank of the river. The modern city of Nabadvīpa stands on the site of the former Kuliya, which is known as the place where offenses are forgiven (aparādha-bhaṣjaner pāṭa). Proof of this is found in the old names of many neighborhoods, such as Koler Ganj, Koler Daha, Gadkhali Kol.
(Gauḍīya-bhāṣya to Chaitanya Bhagavata 2.9.98)
Each of the nine islands of Nabadvīpa Dhāma represents one of the nine types of devotional service. Koladvipa is the island of service to the Lord’s lotus feet (padasevana). The word kola has been distorted into the popular speech as kuliyā. The word kol also means a boar (varaha). The Lord revealed His Varaha Form to Vasudeva vipra in Satya Yuga.
Just look–this is Visharada’s embankment. Here the Lord met Devananda Pandit. He chastised him for the offense he had committed to Srivas Pandit, which caused him to repent.
(Bhakti ratnākara 12.2976-7)
From the above evidence from Chaitanya Bhagavata, Chaitanya Charitamrita and Bhakti ratnākara, it is clear that Devananda Pandit’s house, was somewhere near to the house of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya’s father, Mahesvara Visharada. It is thus clearly indicated that his school (ṭol) was situated somewhere in Kuliya village.
Devananda Pandit was a scholar and an ascetic who had been indifferent to the world from an early age. Although he had won a reputation for his erudition, he nevertheless had no feeling of devotion to Kṛṣṇa and so failed to understand that bhakti is the ultimate purport of the Śrīmad Bhagavatam. Being a mumukṣu, or one who seeks impersonal liberation, mokṣa, Devananda Pandit praised dry austerities and renunciation, and did not speak devotional purports to Śrīmad Bhagavatam.
One day, Srivas Pandit came to hear a Bhagavatam recital at Devananda Pandit’s house. As he listened to the text of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Srivas Pandit became absorbed in a mood of loving devotion and started to cry. Devananda Pandit’s faithless disciples threw him out of the assembly for causing a disturbance. Since Devananda Pandit did not object to the action of his students, he was responsible for their offense to a devotee. For this reason, Mahāprabhu was thus angry with him.
The Lord said: “Whoever recites Śrīmad Bhāgavatam without glorifying devotional service is an ignorant fool who knows nothing. This rascal recites Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and never mentions bhakti. I will go and tear up his manuscript, just watch Me.
(Chaitanya Bhagavata 2.21.20-21)
Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura comments on this verse as follows: “When those bereft of devotion forget their actual identity, they become completely indifferent to the service of the Lord. When they identify this indifference as the ultimate goal of life, they become a source of great displeasure to the Lord, even though He is by nature supremely merciful. Here Lord Gaurasundara shows His dissatisfaction and informs us that this attitude of the non-devotee is not only unnecessary but reprehensible. He also indicates that both the acts of enjoying and renouncing the fruits of material actions are improper. The devotees find great satisfaction in seeing the Lord become angry in this way.”
Some time after Devananda Pandit committed this offense to Srivas Pandit, Mahāprabhu passed nearby his house and saw that he was engaged in giving a discourse on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. He became angry and rebuked him severely for his lack of faith in the Vaiṣṇavas. Just as blasphemy of the devotees makes one deprived of the Lord’s mercy and destined for downfall, glorifying them and engaging in their service is the best way to find the mercy of the Lord and become freed from all sinful and offensive activity.
“Listen, Brahmin, if you want to be cured after consuming poison, you must ingest ambrosia through the very same mouth you took the poison. In this way, not only will the poison be digested, but your body will become immortal through the ambrosia’s divine power.”
(Chaitanya Bhagavata 3.3.449-50)
Through great good fortune, Mahāprabhu’s dear associate Vakresvara Pandit came to stay at Devananda Pandit’s house. Because Devananda took excellent care of Vakresvara Pandit, Mahāprabhu softened towards him. Previously, Devananda Pandit had been completely without any faith in the Lord, but when he heard of Mahāprabhu’s glories from Vakresvara Pandit, his attitude changed. Through the association of the Lord’s devotee, he began to develop a taste for pure devotional service.
Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura writes in this regard, “For Devananda Pandit of Kuliya, the fruit of service to the Vaiṣṇava was faith in Mahāprabhu’s lotus feet. Vakresvara Pandit’s visit to his house was the source of this auspiciousness. Although Devanand Pandit was a Smarta, he was a great scholar and self-controlled. He studied nothing but the Srimad Bhagavatam. He believed in God and had control of his senses. All he lacked was faith in Mahāprabhu. By the grace of Vakresvara Pandit, this faulty intelligence was wiped away and he became a believer in Lord Gaurasundara.”
Devananda was a scholar of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, but it was through Vakresvara’s mercy that he was able to understand its meaning from Mahāprabhu.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.10.77)
Mahāprabhu told Devananda to explain Śrīmad Bhāgavatam in terms of devotional service. It was Devananda Pandit’s great fortune that he was able to receive the mercy of the Lord in the form of a chastisement.
Devananda Pandit was a great pious soul, for Mahāprabhu verbally punished him. The chastisement of Chaitanya Mahāprabhu is the greatest pious act. Even if one should die as a result of the Lord’s punishment, he still goes to Vaikuntha.
(Chaitanya Bhagavata 2.21.77-8)
Devananda Pandit received this mercy due to living in Kuliya or Koladvipa, the place where offenses are forgiven. Gopal Chapala was also forgiven his offenses in Kuliya.
Devananda Pandit’s disappearance day is celebrated on the kṛṣṇā ekādaśi of the month of Paush.
From “Sri Chaitanya: His Life and Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj

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