Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

A disciple of Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Bhugarbha Gosvami shared an intimate friendship with Sri Lokanatha Gosvami. Inspired by Lord Caitanya, they were the first and most senior devotees to settle in Vrndavana. Before the arrival of Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana Gosvamis they tried to uncover the lost holy places of Radha Govindaji.

Unlike the aggressive approach of modern scientists to discover the unknown, Bhugarbha and Lokanatha Gosvamis found Sri Krsna’s pastime forests by the humble method of surrender. They simply wandered around Vrndavana calling out the names of her twelve forests, “Bhandiravan, Kamyavan, Mahavan, Talavan … ” And Srimati Vrnda Devi (the maintainer of the forests and an expansion of Krsna’s pastime potency) revealed the exact location of each and every forest.

It is told that to avoid material distractions Bhugarbha would perform his bhajana underground. So, he received the name Bhugarbha (bhu means earth, garbha means cave, womb, hidden place) He is Prema manjari or Bhadra Rekhika in Radha Gopinatha’s nitya nikunja lila. His samadhi stands near Sri Rupa Gosvami’s in the Radha Damodara temple courtyard.

(An excerpt from the book Gaudiya Vaisnava Biographies and samadhis in Vrndavana by Mahanidhi Swami)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sri Isvara Puri sent his disciples, Govinda and Kasisvara Pandita, to Jagannatha Puri to humbly serve Lord Caitanya. Reluctant to accept service from His Godbrothers, Sri Caitanya finally agreed since it was His guru’s wish. Named Kalavati and Sasi rekha in Vraja lila, Govinda and Kasisvara bring Yamuna water to Lord Sri Krsna. Kasisvara Pandita, who was strong and powerfully built, used to walk before Lord Caitanya keeping the crowds from touching Him. And after kirtanas he would serve prasadam to all the devotees.

Sri Gaurasundara asked Kasisvara to move to Vrndavana for worshiping Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Deity of Govindaji. Fearing separation from Lord Caitanya, Kasisvara said, “My Lord, if I must give up Your association my heart will split in two.” Out of compassion for His devotee Lord Gauracandra gave him a Deity of Himself that was so perfectly formed it exactly resembled the Lord. “Gaura Govinda,” the Deity’s name, is a golden form of Krsna playing flute. Then Kasisvara Pandita happily went to Vrndavana to serve Gaura Govinda and Govindaji.

Sri Sadhana Dipika says, “I worship Sri Kasisvara Pandita whose power of love and devotion brought Sri Caitanya to Western India as a Deity.” Today the original Deities of Gaura Govinda and Govindaji are lovingly adored by thousands of devotees in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Kasisvara Pandita’s original samadhi is in 64 Samadhis Area.

(An excerpt from the book Gaudiya Vaisnava Biographies and Samadhis in Vrndavana).

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sri Nimbarkacarya

Accurate biographies are difficult to find, yet authorities agree that Sri Nimbarkacarya preached Krishna consciousness about three-hundred years before the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

In Navadvipa Dhama Mahatyam, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that Nimbarka had previously worshiped Lord Siva in Bilva Paksha, Rudradvipa (Navadvipa). Lord Siva appeared before Nimbarka instructing him to take initiation from the four Kumaras, who were meditating nearby. Nimbarka received Radha Krishna mantra and continued living in Navadvipa.

Following the teachings of the Sanat-Kumara Samhita, he worshiped Radha and Krishna with great love. Soon Radha and Krishna appeared before Nimbarka. Then the Divine Couple displayed Their unified form as Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

Lord Gauranga said, “Nimbarka, in the future when I begin My sankirtana movement I will personally preach the perfect transcendental philosophy of acintya-bheda-abheda-tattva. I will take the essence of the philosophies of Madhva, Ramanuja, Vishnuswami.

“From you, Nimbarka, I will take two important principles:

(1) The necessity of taking shelter of Srimati Radharani.
(2) The high esteem of the Vraja gopis love for Sri Krishna.”

Lord Gauranga disappeared after instructing Nimbarka. Shedding tears of ecstasy, Nimbarka left Navadvipa to begin his preaching mission.

In Caitanya lila, Nimbarka reappeared as Keshava Kasmiri and received love of Godhead directly from Nimai Pandit.

There are striking similarities between the Gaudiyas and Nimbarkas. The followers of Nimbarka accept the six forms of surrender, practice the nine limbs of bhakti, and believe in the dasa mula (ten cardinal points of Gaudiya philosophy). They also worship Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana.

They worship Srimati Radharani as the topmost devotee, and they accept the gopis love for Krishna is supreme. With beads, bhajans, and kirtans the Nimbarkas chant their version of the maha-mantra:

Radhe Krishna Radhe Krishna
Krishna Krishna Radhe Radhe,
Radhe Syama Radhe Syama,
Syama Syama Radhe Radhe

In Vrndavana, about one mile from Govardhana, there is the village of Nimgaon, named after Nimbarkacarya, who lived there from childhood and later performed bhajana there. Many of Radha-Krishna’s pastime places in Vrndavana are now maintained by the Nimbarka sect.

In Mathura-Vrndavana, innumerable devotees follow Nimbarka’s path of bhakti. The Sriji Mandir, just off Loi Bazaar in Vrndavana, serves as the center of Nimbarka sampradaya.

Sri Nimbarka Acharya ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!