devananda pandita

Living in Kuliya during Sri Chaitanya's pastimes, Sri Devananda Pandit gave professional readings of Srimad Bhagavatam tainted with Mayavada philosophy. One day Shrivasa Pandit heard his Bhagavata-katha, began crying, and fell to the ground. Becoming disturbed by this display, the foolish disciples of Devananda threw Shrivasa out of the assembly. By silently observing this misbehavior of his disciples Devananda committed the hati-mata aparadha, the mad elephant offense of blaspheming a pure Devotee of Lord Chaitanya.
 Later, by the mercy of Vakreshvara Pandit, an intimate Devotee of Sri Gaura Raya, Devananda understood the divinity of Sri Krishna Chaitanya and surrendered to Him. The Lord pardoned his offense and blessed him with bhakti. He serves in Krishna lila as Bhaguri Muni. 

The house of Vidhya -vachaspati was located at Vidhyanagara, which was near Koladvipa, or Kuliya. It was here that Devananda Pandita was residing. This information is found in Chaitanya-bhagavata (Madhya-lila, Chapter Twenty-one).

In Chaitanya-chandrodaya-nataka, the following statement is given about Kuliya. “From there the Lord went to the house of Srivasa Pandita in Kumarahatta.”

“From the house of Srivasa Acharya, the Lord went to the house of Advaita Acharya, where He was offered obeisances by Haridasa Thakura. The Lord then took a boat to the other side of Navadvipa to a place called Kuliya, where He stayed seven days at the house of Madhava dasa. He then proceeded along the banks of the Ganges.”

In the Sri Chaitanya-charita-maha-kavya, it is stated: “The Lord went to the eastern side of the Ganges at Navadvipa, and everyone was pleased to see the Lord coming.”

In the Chaitanya-bhagavata (Antya-khaṇḍa, Chapter Three), it is stated: “The Lord suddenly came to Vidhyanagara with a full party and stayed there in the house of Vidhya-Vachaspati,”Navadvipadi sarva-dike haila dhvani: “Thus throughout Navadvipa, the Lord’s arrival was made known.”Vachaspati-ghare aila nyasi-cudamani: “Thus the chief of all the sannyasis, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, arrived at the house of Vidhya-vachaspati.” As further stated:

“When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stayed at Vidyha-vachaspati’s house, many hundreds and thousands of people went to see Him and chant the holy name of Hari. It was so crowded that people could not even find a place to walk; therefore, they made room by clearing out the jungles near the village.

Many roads were automatically excavated, and many people also came by boat to see the Lord. So many came that it was difficult for the boatmen to get them across the river. When Vidhya-vachaspati suddenly arrived, he made arrangements for many boats to receive these people, but the people would not wait for the boats.

Somehow or other they crossed the river and hurried toward the house of Vidhya-vachaspati. Due to this great crowd, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu secretly went to Kuliya-nagara. After the Lord left Vidhyanagara, however, all the people heard news of His leaving. They then accompanied Vachaspati to Kuliya-nagara.

Since the news of the Lord’s arrival was immediately broadcast, large crowds arrived and greeted Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with great jubilation. Indeed, when the crowd went to see Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, it increased ten thousand times in number.

No one could say how many people crossed the river to see Him, but many hundreds of thousands made a great tumult when crossing the River Ganges. After crossing the river, everyone began to embrace one another because they heard the good news of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s arrival.

Thus, all the inhabitants of Kuliya, the sinful, intermediate, and spiritually advanced, were delivered and glorified by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.”