Srila Gadadhara’s Kshetra-sannyas

Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami, devotee of Supreme Lord Sree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, went to live in Puri as a kshetra-sannyasi.

Srila Chaitanya Mahaprabu Mahaprabhu gave him the service of the Sri Tota Gopinath deity and told him to live in the Yamesvara Tota, or garden.

When Sri Mahaprabhu showed determination to go to Vrindavan, the devotees finally gave Him permission to leave after Vijaya-dashami.

Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami was unable to tolerate the idea of separation from the lord and also wished to remain with Him, but Sri Mahaprabhu reminded him of his vow to remain in Sri Jagannath Puri and forbade him to go to Vraja. Srila Gadadhara said to Him, “Sri Jagannath Puri is wherever You are. My vows to remain in Puri can go to hell.”

Sri Mahaprabhu again told him not to abandon his service to Lord Gopinath. Srila Gadadhara answered, “Seeing Your lotus feet is worth a million services to Lord Gopinath.”

When Sri Mahaprabhu said, “If you abandon your duties to Lord Gopinath, you will be at fault.”, Srila Gadadhara answered that he was willing to take that responsibility, but he would not disturb Sri Mahaprabhu by following alongside Him..

Other than Sri Mahaprabhu’s intimate associates, no one is able to understand the extent of Srila Gadadhara Prabhu’s devotion to Sree Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Love on the path of spontaneous devotion is not easy to comprehend. Srila Gadadhara was ready to abandon his vows, his service, everything for the sake of Sri Mahaprabhu.

When they all arrived at Cuttack, Sri Mahaprabhu called Srila Gadadhara and said, “Your decision to break your vows and leave your service has been made a reality. If you come with Me, that will make you happy. But do you want your own happiness or Mine? It will make Me unhappy if your vows to remain in Sridham Puri and to serve Lord Gopinath are broken. If you want My happiness, return to Puri and take up your vows again. That is all I have to say.”

When he heard Sri Mahaprabhu’s words, Srila Gadadhara fell to the ground in a faint. Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya comforted him on Sri Mahaprabhu’s order and then accompanied him back to Puri.

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