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Srila Sridhara Pandita - Disappearance

There was a great devotee of Lord Caitanya known as Kholaveca Sridhara, who was a very poor man. He was doing a small business selling cups made from the leaves of plantain trees, and his income was almost nothing. Still, he was spending fifty percent of his small income on the worship of the Ganges, and with the other fifty percent he was somehow living. Lord Caitanya once revealed Himself to this confidential devotee, Kholaveca Sridhara, and offered him any opulence he liked. But Sridhara informed the Lord that he did not want any material opulence. He was quite happy in his present position and wanted only to gain unflinching faith and devotion unto the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya. That is the position of pure devotees. If they can be engaged twenty-four hours each day in devotional service they do not want anything else, not even the happiness of liberation or of becoming one with the Supreme. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Nectar of Devotion. Chapter 1. Characteristics of Pure Devotional Service.)
 
kholavechaataya khyaatah
panditah shridharo dvijah
aasid vraje haasya kaari
yo naamnaa kusumaasavah
“The cowherd boy named Kusumaasava, who joked with Lord Krishna and made Him laugh in Vrajabhumi, appeared in Lord Cgaitanta’s pastimes as the learned braahmana named Kholavecha Shridhar.” (Gaura-ganodesh-dipika 133.)
 
kholaveca sevakera dekha bhagya-sima
brahma siva kande yara dekhiya mahima
dhane jane panditye krishna nahi pai
kevala bhaktira vasa caitanya-gosani
“Behold the great fortune of the devotee Kholaveca. Lord Brahma and Siva shed tears upon seeing his greatness. One cannot attain Lord Krishna by any amount of wealth, followers, or learning. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is controlled only by pure devotion. “Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had a very sincere devotee whose name was Kholaveca Sridhara and whose only business was to sell pots made of the skin of banana trees. Whatever income he had, he used fifty percent for the worship of mother Ganges, and with the other fifty percent he provided for his necessities. On the whole, he was so very poor that he lived in a cottage that had a broken roof with many holes in it. He could not afford brass utensils, and therefore he drank water from an iron pot. Nevertheless, he was a great devotee of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is a typical example of how a poor man with no material possessions can become a most exalted devotee of the Lord. The conclusion is that one cannot attain shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna or Sri Caitanya Gosani through material opulence; that shelter is attainable only by pure devotional service. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srimad Bhagavatam 5:19:7 purport.)
 
khola-veca sridhara prabhura priya-dasa
yanha-sane prabhu kare nitya parihasa
TRANSLATION
“The twenty-ninth branch was Sridhara, a trader in banana-tree bark. He was a very dear servant of the Lord. On many occasions, the Lord played jokes on him.”
PURPORT
Sridhara was a poor brahmana who made a living by selling banana-tree bark to be made into cups. Most probably he had a banana-tree garden and collected the leaves, skin and pulp of the banana trees to sell daily in the market. He spent fifty percent of his income to worship the Ganges, and the balance he used for his subsistence. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started His civil disobedience movement in defiance of the Kazi, Sridhara danced in jubilation.The Lord used to drink water from his water jug. Sridhara presented a squash to Sacidevi to cook before Lord Caitanya took sannyasa. Every year he went to see Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Jagannatha Puri. According to Kavi-karnapura, Sridhara was a cowherd boy of Vrindavana whose name was Kusumasava. In his Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 133, it is stated:
 
khola-vecataya khyatah
panditah sridharo dvijah
asid vraje hasya-karo
yo namna kusumasavah
“The cowherd boy known as Kusumasava in krishna-lila later became Kholaveca Sridhara during Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila at Navadvipa.”
Adi 10.68
prabhu yanra nitya laya thoda-moca-phala
yanra phuta-lauhapatre prabhu pila jala
TRANSLATION
“Every day Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu jokingly snatched fruits, flowers and pulp from Sridhara and drank from his broken iron pot.”
“There is the story of Kholaveca Sridhara, a devotee of Lord Caitanya, who although he was a very poor man, gave half of his meager income for worshiping Mother Ganges, and by so doing, he greatly pleased the Lord. It is not so much important the quantity of books that we distribute, but that we serve Krishna as best we can, and depend on Him for the results.” (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Letter to Dharma – 22nd April1972. Tokyo

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