All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Vakresvara Pandit

Excerpt from Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion, Volume III, Chapter 3
by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Devotee: Our Guru Maharaj, Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupad, used to say, athatho means, "now that we have come to the human form of life," "after coming to the human form of life."

Srila Guru Maharaj: But the human form of life alone is not sufficient. Sat-sanga, sadhu-sanga, is necessary, sad-guru charanasraya. Anyone who has received the grace of a sadhu can have that nectar, whereas, ya'o pada Bhagavata Vaisnavera sthane, even a brahmana may not be qualified to enter into the Bhagavatam. Sriman Mahaprabhu said, "Go to a Vaisnava, from him you will get the real stand-point of Bhagavatam and how to approach it."

Devananda Pandit, a real brahmana of noted scholarship, was a 'professor' of Bhagavatam. Many people used to come to hear from him. But although a scholar, his stand-point was that of the Shankara school. Srivasa Pandit also lived locally but he was an expert in the real explanations of Bhagavatam.

Mahaprabhu suddenly one day said, "Oh, that Devananda Pandit, he teaches Bhagavatam to so many students, but he himself does not know its real purport. He is spreading poison in the name of Bhagavatam. I shall go and tear up his books!" Inspired one day with such a spirit Mahaprabhu suddenly ran towards that place, but Srivasa Pandit, and others perhaps, stopped Him, saying, "No, no, this won't look good for you."

Anyhow, on another day Mahaprabhu met Devananda Pandit and told him, "You are teaching Srimad-Bhagavatam to the students, but do you know what is there in Bhagavatam? You yourself do not know what nectar is there." In a very ridiculing way, Mahaprabhu told him:

   paripurna kariya ye saba jane khaya
   tabe bahirddese giya se santosa paya
      (Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat, Madhya 21.73)

"When one who has eaten and has a full belly goes to the latrine, while passing stool he feels some relief, but you do not even get that sort of meagre pleasure!
"But in Srimad-Bhagavatam there is such high nectar, such high taste, but you, such a mean fellow with your mean mind, approach the Bhagavatam and teach it in such a filthy way. What do you know about Bhagavatam?"

On another occasion, Srivasa Pandit came to hear Bhagavatam from Devananda's tol, Sanskrit school. While Devananda was pronouncing the slokas, Srivasa was understanding them in his own way thus causing many feelings to come in him: sometimes he shed tears and sometimes he shivered. Devananda Pandit told his students, "Oh, that man has come to disturb us with all these lower sentiments. Take him out!" So, his students took Srivasa Pandit from there and left him outside; but that enraged Mahaprabhu.

Later on Mahaprabhu's intimate devotee, Vakresvara Pandit, came to Devananda's house. He came and had a private talk with Devananda, and Devananda was converted: "Yes, I did not know that such meanings may be found in Srimad-Bhagavatam. I was influenced by Sankaracharyya's teaching that brahman is all-in-all, therefore I considered these topics of Bhagavatam to be all saguna, all under Maya." So, when Mahaprabhu after five years of sannyasa came again to visit this area, Kuliya here in Nabadwip Dham, Devananda fell at His feet, crying, "I have made such great offences!"

Mahaprabhu said, "Yes, but you have committed offences not so much against Me as against Srivasa Pandit. Go and beg forgiveness from him and you will be absolved from your offences."

   kuliya-gramete asi' sri-krsna-caitanya
   hena nahi, ya 're prabhu na karila dhanya

      (Chaitanya-bhagavat, Antya 3.541)

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
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