Gadadhara Pandit accepts Pundarika Vidyanidhi as guru
Gadadhara Pandita and Mukunda were very dear friends and always kept in each
other's company. Mukunda thus told Gadadhara Pandita, "Listen carefully
Gadadhara, a very great devotee has come to Navadvipa. You have been
hankering for the association of pure vaisnava's and today your desire will be fulfilled. I will take you to see a wonderful Vaisnava devotee, in return for this I simply want you to think of me as your dear servant."
The excited and happy Gadadhara Pandita called out the name of Krsna as they proceeded towards the great vaisnava's residence. Ariving there they found Pundarika Vidyanidhi sitting comfortably. Gadadhara offered his obeisances and was respectfully seated.
Vidyanidhi inquired from Mukunda, "What is his name and which village does he come from? I can see that his body is effulgent due to rendering devotional service to the Supreme Lord Visnu, both his form and demeanor are
"His name is Sri Gadadhara", Mukunda replied, "He is very fortunate because from early childhood he has been totally detached from family life. His external, material identity is that he is the son of the brahmana Sri Madhva
Misra. Because he is totally absorbed in devotional service he only associates with Vaisnava's, and he is extremely dear to all the devotees. When he heard about you he was anxcious to meet you."
After hearing the wonderful qualities of Gadadhara Pandita, Vidyanidhi was very pleased to meet him. That great personality, Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, sat like a prince. His beautiful bed was made of wood, covered with
intricate brass and a reddish stone inlay work. Above were three tiers of ornamental overhangings, made of glittering brocade strips. He was seated on a soft mattress covered with clean expensive sheets and silk pillows were placed under his back. On either side of him many small and large water pots sat within his reach, as well as a nice shining brass plate with betel pan neatly prepared on it. Two large ornate mirrors hung on either side of him which he continuely glanced into while smiling with lips reddened from chewing pan. He wore a sandalwood paste tilaka mark on his forehead and his face was decorated with dots made from a mixture of sandalwood and perfume. As for his hair, it was well groomed and shining with delicately perfumed hair oil. Two persons stood behind him fanning him gently with long peacock feathers and in front of him was a nicely prepared hammock. Because he followed a life of pure devotional service, he looked as charming as Cupid himself. Those who did not know him would consider him to be a prince as everything about him and around him gave the impression that he was a man of easy and comfortable life given to pleasure.
When Gadadhara Pandita saw these luxurious items and a general atmosphere of materialistic life he became suspicious. Since Gadadhara was a fully renounced soul from his early childhood, naturally some doubts regarding the character of Pundarika Vidyanidhi entered his heart. He thought, "What sort of a Vaisnava is he, surrounded by so much finery and lavish living? Hearing about his devotional mood I developed great respect for this person, but now on seeing him it is slowly giving way to doubt and suspicion." Mukunda understood the mind and heart of Gadadhara Pandita, thus he took upon himself to reveal the true nature of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. By the special mercy of Lord Krsna, Gadadhara Pandita was allowed to perceive everything, nothing remained unknown to him.
In a very sweet voice Mukunda began to sing a verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam describing the glories of devotional service: "Alas how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of a mother to the she-demon Putana? Putana was unfaithful and always hankering for the blood of human children. With that desire in mind she prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breats and came to kill Krsna, but because she offered her breasts to the Lord she attained the greatest achievement."
As soon as these words concerning devotional service entered his ears, Pundarika Vidyanidhi began to weep, tears of ecstatic love welled up in his eyes, rolling down his face profusely like streams of the Ganga. Simultaneously all the symptoms of ecstasy manifested on his person. He wept, trembled, rolled, horipilated, roared and finally fell into an unconscious state of ecstasy. Then suddenly regaining consciousness he said in a loud voice, "Speak, speak," and again fell down to the ground. Agitated with spiritual emotions he kicked everything that was near him and all the
luxurious paraphernalia went crashing to the ground. The shining brass pots of water, the container of betel pan, pillows, bed sheets, everything became a confused mass. He began tearing his fine clothes, and his well groomed
hair went haywire as he wept and rolled in the dust. He cried out, "O Krsna, My Lord, My soul, My very life, You have made me hard hearted like a stone." He lamented loudly, piteously crying out, "I have been deprived of the Lord's association in His most merciful incarnation." He rolled around and crashed down to the ground. Everyone was afraid he might break his bones. He to trembled so violently that three persons could not hold him down. He
kicked everything that was in his way, as his disciples stood by helplessly, unable to control him. In this way the storm of ecstatic love continued until it finally abated and he fell into an unconscious state of bliss. He lay down without breathing, totally submerged in an ocean of spiritual ecstasy.
Amazed at what he witnessed Gadadhara Pandita began to worry thinking, "What inauspiciousness has overcome me to make me think in such an offensive manner about this great personality." He embraced Mukunda, being extremely pleased with him. Drenching him with tears of love he said, "Mukunda you have acted like a true friend, you have shown me a pure and unalloyed devotee of the Lord. It would be difficult to find another pure Vaisnava
like him anywhere in this entire creation. One can become totally purified simply by observing his devotional attitude. Today, because you are right next to me I have been able to avoid a great catastrophe. When I saw all the luxurious paraphernalia surrounding Pundarika Vidyanidhi I was convinced that he was a materialistic Vaisnava given to the pleasures of life. You could read my mind and being a great magnanimous soul you revealed to me the unlimited extent of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's love of for God, yet today I have been offensive and the extent of my offense can only be mitigated by your mercy. You must be merciful to me and purify my heart. All these devotees who have taken to the process of surrender through devotional service to the Lord have all accepted the shelter of a guide under whose instructions they act. Yet I do not have such an instructor, so I have decided to take shelter of Pundarika Vidyanidhi and follow devotional service under his quidence. I know that I can counteract all my offenses to him by becoming his disciple."
Thus Gadadhara Pandita revealed to Mukunda his desire to become a disciple
of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Mukunda was extremely pleased with the decision and patted him on the back saying, "very good, very good."
Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi was in a state of ecstatic coma for six hours, gradually he returned to his normal state and sat down quietly. It was impossible for Gadadhara Pandita to control the tears of joy which rolled profusely down his face. wetting his entire body. When Sri Vidyanidhi saw this he embraced Gadadhara Pandita, holding him to his heart. Overwhelmed by Pundarika Vidyanidhi's ecstatic devotion, Gadadhara was unable to sleep.(?) Mukunda spoke up, revealing Gadadhara Pandita's mind, "Doubt arose in Gadadhara's mind when he first saw your extravagant appearance and surroundings, but now he is repentant and wants to accept initiation from you. He is a renounced devotee of the Lord. Although he is young he is mature in spiritual realisation, and comes from the very good family of Madhva Misra. From early childhood he has always been very attached to the Supreme Lord. I think it is a very good match--a very elevated spiritual master like Pundarika Vidyanidhi having an equally able disciple like
Gadadhara Pandita. Please consider these points and choose an auspicious day to initiate him with your diksa mantra."
Pundarika Vidyanidhi smiled and said, "Be assured that I will do as you say, for by the Lord's mercy I have had the great fortune to meet a person who is like a precious gem. The result of many lifetimes of pious activities is that one may find a disciple such as him. The forthcoming twelfth day of the waxing moon is very auspicious, come here to meet me and your plan will become successful." Overjoyed, Gadadhara Pandita offered his obeisances and took leave of Pundarika Vidyanidhi.