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Srila Vakresvara Pandita - Appearance

Sri Vakreshwar Pandit was present with Sriman Mahaprabhu duringHispastimes in Navadwipa and after his acceptance of Sannyasa healsoaccompanied Him to Jagannath Puri. During the time of theLord's residence in Puri he continued to live withHim there aswell. Sri Vakreshwar Pandit took birth in the villageof Guptiparanear Triveni. He was an especiallyproficient dancer and kirtaniyaand could dance continuously for 72hours.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began His pastimes ofcongregationalchanting of the Holy Name of Sri Hari in Navadwip,Sri VakreshwarPandit was an important singer and dancer in thatassembly. It wasby His mercy that Devananda Pandit was deliveredfrom the wrath ofMahaprabhu. He was also present during the Lord'sjourney toRamakeli. Devananda Pandit was, at one time, known as theforemostlecturer on the Bhagavat. One day Srivas Pandit went tohear hisdiscourse, and being moved in ecstatic love by hearingtheBhagavatam, he began to cry. A few of the ignorant studentsofDevananda Pandit, thinking that this was creating adisturbance,removed Srivas Pandit from the assembly and left himoutside.Though this was done in front of Devananda he didn'trestrain hisstudents from this act of disregard to the devotee -Bhagavat.

There are two types of Bhagavat - the book bhagavat and the devoteebhagavat. For this reason,Devananda Pandit became implicated in anoffense to a great devotee(maha-bhagavat). When Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu came to hear how hisdear devotee, Srivas Pandit, hadbeen disrespected, he gave manyinstructions concerning theBhagavat. He told that those who readthe book Bhagavat but don'toffer respects to the devotee-Bhagavat,are simply offenders, thoughthey may read the Bhagavat for eons,still they will never attainlove of Godhead. The devotee bhagavataand the book bhagavata arenon-different. In order to understandthe book bhagavat one mustfirst sincerely serve thedevotee-bhagavata. Therefore Mahaprabhuneglected Devananda anddidn't bestow His mercy on him. One eveningVakreshwar Pandit cameto perform dancing and chanting of the HolyName at the house ofone devotee from Kulia, across the bank of theGanga from Nadia.Receiving this auspicious news Devananda proceededthere, and uponseeing the appearance of the symptoms of divine lovein the personof Sri Vakreshwar Pandit he became charmed. Graduallya great crowdgathered at that place, and DevanandaPandit, taking acane in hishand, kept the crowd in order so as not to obstruct theecstaticdancing of Sri Vakreshwar Pandit.

In this way, Vakreshwar Pandit performed chanting, and dancingfortwo praharas (six hours), on into the night. When hefinisheddancing and sat down, Devananda came and offered dandavatsat thelotus feet of Sri Vakreshwar Pandit, who became pleased withthisservice and blessed Devananda with the words "Krsna-bhaktihauk" -"May you attain devotion to Sri Lord Krsna." From that daydevotionwas awakened in the heart of Devananda by the mercy ofVakreshwarPandit. Thereafter when Mahaprabhu came to Nadia to havedarshan ofhis mother and mother Ganges, he bestowed His mercy onDevananda atKulia. "Because you have served Vakreshwar I havenoticed you.Vakreshwar is fully imbued with the Lord'stranscendental energy,and whoever becomes devoted to him, attainsto the lotus feet ofSri Krsna. His heart is the personal abode ofSri Krsna and as SriKrsna dances, so Vakreshwar also dances.Wherever one can get theassociation of Vakreshwar, that place isthe sum total of all Holyplaces and is as good as SriVaikuntha."

Sri Vakreshwar Pandit's disciple was Gopal Guru Goswami andGopalGuru Goswami's disciple was Sri Dhyanchananda Goswami. In hisDhyanChandra Paddhati - Dhyan Chandra Goswami has written - "thatpersonwho was previously very expert in the arts of singing anddancing, the gopi, Tungavidya, is presentlyrenowned in the world asVakreshwar Pandit. He has appeared on thefifth day of the darkfortnight of the month of Asar (Ashadha -June-July - Vaman mase)and he closed his pastimes in this world onthe sixth day of thebright fortnight of the month Asar. WhileVakreshwar danced,Mahaprabhu Himself would sing and Vakreshwarwould catch hold of Hislotus feet, saying; "O moon faced one, giveme 10,000 gandharvas,and let them sing while I dance. Then I willbe happy." Mahaprabhuanswered, "You are one of my wings. If I hadanother (like you) Icould fly in the sky."

[C. C. Adi 10.17]. Vakreshwar Pandit's worshippable deity is SriSriRadha-kanta, whom he worshipped in Kasi Misra's house, whichwasalso the residence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (Gambhira).TheseDeities are still being worshipped there to this day.

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