Guru - parampara biographies of Madhavendra Puri and Isvara Puri

Srimad Krsnadasa Kaviraja has described Sri Madhavendra Puri as the root of all
transcendental joy. When Lord Caitanya was absorbed in his childhood pastimes, Sri Madhavendra Puri was quite an old man. There is no mention of any meeting between Mahaprabhu and Sri Madhavendra Puri in CC or CBh. But in CBh., when Sri Vrndavana dasa Thakura describes the pilgrimage of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, he mentions that Nityananda Prabhu did meet Madhavendra Puri. He also states that Nityananda Prabhu spent a few days serving Sri Madhavendra Puri and accepted him as His spiritual master. Vrndavana dasa has also described Madhavendra Puri's delight upon having the company of Sri Nityananda.

After spending a few days with Madhava Puri, Sri Nityananda returned to Vrndavana, and Madhava Puri left on pilgrimage for South India. Generally Madhavendra Puri was accompanied by Sri Isvara Puri, Sri Ranga Puri, Paramananda Puri and some other sannyasis.

When Sri Madhavendra Puri left this material world, the following sloka was uttered by him (CC 2.17):

ayi dinadayadaranatha hey mathuranatha kadavalokyase,
hrdayam tvadlokakataram dayita bhramyati kim karomyayam
The people of Gauda have accepted this stanza as the sum and substance of the mood of separation. Lord Caitanya was overwhelmed with joy upon remembering this sloka.

Outwardly, Madhava Puri was a sannyasi belonging to the Dasanami Sankara sect. But in fact, he was the root of the tree of prema bhakti. Before the Lord appeared in this world he sent His personal associates beforehand, Sri Madhavendra Puri was one of them. Krsnadasa Kaviraja and Sri Vrndavana dasa Thakura have not mentioned anything regarding Madhavendra Puri's caste or creed.

Sri Madhavendra Puri lived for many years, and taught love and devotion throughout the world. He visited many places throughout India, and the exact number of his disciples is not known. Some of his prominent disciples were Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Sri Paramananda Puri, Sri Ranga Puri, Sri Brahmananda Puri, Sri Brahmananda Bharati, Sri Kesava Bharati, Sri Krsnananda Puri, Sri Ramacandra Puri, Sri Nrsimha Tirtha, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Isvara Puri, Sri Raghupati Upadhyaya, Sri Sukhananda Puri etc. (Bhaktiratnakara 5.2272-2274, 5.2330,2332; CBh. 1.9.158-188, 1.9.160, 1.9.175, 1.11.125, 3.3.59, 3.3.172, 3.4.433-507). Five padas composed by Madhavendra Puri have been included in Padyavali (nos. 79,96,164,286,330)

His worshipable Deity, Gopalji, is presently residing at Nathdwar in Rajasthan, and is worshiped by the followers of Vallabhacarya.

2. Isvara Puri
He was the diksa-guru of Lord Caitanya. He was born in a brahmana caste of the Radha clan in Kumarahatta village, presently known as Halisahar. His father was Syamasundara Acarya. The family name of Isvara Puri is not known. He was instrumental in inspiriting Nityananda Prabhu to leave home (Premavilasa 7 and 23). The following are the references showing Isvara Puri in the biographies of Lord Caitanya: CBh. 1.9.161-170, 1.11.70-126, 1.17.46-162; CC 2.10.131-150, 2.8.26-30. Three slokas composed by Isvara Puri have been included in Padyavali (nos. 16, 62 and 75). Also see Bhaktiratnakara 12.2206-2209.

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