Sunday, June 16, 2013

SRI LAKSHMIPATI TIRTHA the disciple of VyasaTirtha and Master of Madhavendra Puri

                                          photo source :

    Lakshmipati Tirtha (1420–1487) was a Vaishnava saint. He was a disciple of Vyasatirtha who gave him the name 'Lakshmipati Tirtha' upon initiation. Lakshmipati Tirtha is credited as being the spiritual master/guru of Nityananda Prabhu, although Madhavendra Puri is often given this title in other versions of the story.

   The following is a story in connection with the disciple of Shripad Vyasa Tirtha who was given the name Laxmipati Tirtha, and who became the next to be recognised as the 'acharya' in the line in which we follow.

   Once Lord Balarama (Krishna's elder brother) appeared to Laxmipati Tirtha to break the ground for a change in the regular line of the Madhwa Sampradaya. Big changes were to take place that would eventuate in a revolution in thought and deed. Lord Shri Krishna and His brother Lord Balarama were about to appear in the dress of Devotees within the Madhwa 'sampradaya'.

                                                 brajendra nandana jei-Sachi-suta hoilo sei
                                                                  balarama hoilo nitai

   Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura sings in his "Ishta Deve Vijnapti", in simple Bengali language that "Lord Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, the King of Vraja, became the son of Sachi (Lord Chaitanya) and Balarama became Nitai (Nityananda).

   One story of this nature, which is quite heart rendering is the following story of Laxmipati Tirtha, the best of the 'sannyasis', who, on one occasion, was sitting in a solitary place performing his 'bhajan' throughout the night singing the glories of Lord Balarama. His unalloyed devotion was so intense he would sometimes cry or call out, "O Baladeva, kindly show me Your favour. I am so fallen and wicked." Tears would come from his eyes and he lost all patience and composure due to his old age and intense desire to see the Lord. He would sometimes collapse on the floor, stunned. This day, due to the devotional traumas he had undergone, he slept.

   It is described that Lord Nityananda, in His usual prankish mood, appeared to Laxmipati in His original form as Lord Balarama, Krishna's brother. How he appeared to Laxmipati was in a dream, telling him that a wandering Brahmin, in the form of an 'avadhuta', madman had arrived in town. "He will come to you. Initiate him into the Vaishnava 'diksha mantras' and accept him as your disciple." Then Lord Balarama spoke the 'mantra' into Laxmipati's right ear and Laxmipati awoke. After a short time Laxmipati saw the 'avadhuta Brahmin' and his mind became full with anxious anticipation. When they met, Laxmipati couldn't take his eyes off the beautiful form of the Lord, His aura and His Moonlike face and unblinking eyes. Hearing the sweet words of Lord Nityananda, Laxmipati's eyes brimmed over with swelling tears. That very day Laxmipati fulfilled the order of Lord Balarama, and Nityananda became the favourite of Laxmipati.

nityananda prabhu vande
Shrimad laxmipati priyam
Shri madhwa-sampradaya
vardhanam bhakta vatsalam

   "Respectful obeisances unto You, Nityananda Prabhu, the dear favourite of Laxmipati Tirtha. He (Nityananda) increases the bliss of the entire Madhwa 'sampradaya' and He has the innermost needs of the Devotees foremost at hand."

"Respectful obeisances unto You, Nityananda Prabhu, the dear favourite of Laxmipati Tirtha. He (Nityananda) increases the bliss of the entire Madhwa 'sampradaya' and He has the innermost needs of the Devotees foremost at hand." (In the wallpaper: Shri Nityananda Prabhu, ISKCON Chennai).
   Shripad Laxmipati Tirtha couldn't understand his intense attraction for Nityananda or the bliss he felt just being near Him. On Lord Nityananda's absence from his sight for a moment, intense separation came over him. Laxmipati stayed awake that night pondering over things. He had dozed off slightly, when again in a dream the Lord appeared. He was whitish in complexion, dressed in a blue dhoti. It was Nityananda in his dream, but then Nityananda transformed into Lord Balarama. Laxmipati was amazed and he bathed the Lord's feet with ecstatic tears from his eyes. He prayed to the Lord, "Surely You have made a fool of me and put this fallen wretch into much distress. Please show me Your mercy. You are my Lord. I take shelter at Your lotus feet." That same Shri Nityananda Rama (Balarama) fulfilled all of Laxmipati's cherished longings, though He forbade him from telling a soul of His identity, and then disappeared from sight.

   When Laxmipati awoke in lamentation upon the Lord's disappearance, he saw that night had become the morning. Shripad Laxmipati Tirtha had noticably changed from this day on. He didn't speak ever again, as his mind was always absorbed elsewhere. From an external perspective he looked terrible, and his disciples became full of anxiety. Within a short while, without any warning, Shripad Laxmipati left this world. Who can understand properly the character and pastimes of the Lord and His pure Devotee Laxmipati Tirtha? Just see the purity of Shripad Laxmipati Tirtha, that the Lord appears directly to play with him.

   Usually it is accredited to Shripad Madhavendra Puri Goswami, the disciple of Shripad Laxmipati Tirtha, as being the spiritual master of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, but here it is mentioned otherwise.

   We are not trying to create any controversy so let us substantiate some of this story a little. In the Chaitanya Charitamrta Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami writes: "In Khadadaha, sometimes people misunderstood Nityananda Prabhu to belong to the 'shakta-sampradayam' whose philosophy is 'antah saktah bahih saivah sabhayam vaisnavo matah'.  According to the 'shakta sampradaya', a person called 'kaulavadhuta' thinks materially while externally appearing to be a great Devotee of  Lord Shiva. When such a person is in an assembly of Vaishnavas, he appears like a Vaishnava. Nityananda Prabhu did not belong to such a community. Nityananda Prabhu was always a 'brahmachari' of a 'sannyasi' of the 'Vaidika' ('Vedic') order. Actually He was a 'paramahamsa'. Sometimes He is accepted to be a disciple of Laxmipati Tirtha. If  He is so accepted, Nityananda Prabhu belonged to the Madhwa-sampradaya. He did not belong to the Tantrika-sampradaya of Bengal."(Shri Chaitanya Charitamrta, Madhya lila 1:3:85. purport.). However in Chaitanya Charitamrta, Madhya lila (3:8:128) purport, Shrila Prabhupada says: "Shri Nityananda Prabhu was initiated by Madhavendra Puri, a 'sannyasi'. According to others, however, He was initiated by Laxmipati Tirtha."

   H.H.Bhakti Hridoy Mangal Maharaja, Secretary General of the Shri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, when he visited Australia 1989-90, mentioned that he remembered hearing personally an instance that was related by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada (sometime in the late 1920's during a class), wherein Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura told how Lord Nityananda walked off with a 'sannyasi' who came to beg alms at His parent's house (as mentioned in Chaitanya Bhagavata.) The 'sannyasi' asked Hadai Pandit, the father of Lord Nityananda, as is traditional, for some alms and so Hadai Pandit as a dutiful householder agreed. But when the 'sannyasi' asked him to give him the boy (Nityananda) as alms, Hadai Pandit, nearly died. Considering his life useless without the boy and a bad example to the boy if he didn't fulfill the desires of his saintly guest. So to fulfill 'dharma' he gave the boy to the 'sannyasi' as his assistant – this 'sannyasi' was Shripad Laxmipati Tirtha. It is interesting to note that the boy Nityananda simply walked off with the 'sannyasi' without even so much as looking back, just as Lord Rama left His father, Dasaratha, to go to the forest. Though different circumstances, both Maharaja Dasaratha and Hadai Pandit died within a very short time due to intense separation. Hadai Pandit and his wife's faces turned black, and never ate again.

   Source :


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