Sri Gadadhara dasa Thakura previously lived at Navadwip. When
the Lord went to live at
Nilacala Sri Dasa Gadadhara also there to be with Him. Later on
Mahaprabhu sent him back with Nityananda Prabhu to preach in
Bengal. He first stayed at Eriyadahagram, which is situated
on the banks of the Ganges.
Then he spent some time in Navadwipa, taking care of Saci Mata and Visnupriya, but after
their disappearance he came to live at Katwa, where Mahaprabhu had
accepted sannyasa from Kesava Bharati.
He was a very confidential associate of Sri Sri Gaura-Nityananda.
In Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika it is stated that he is an incarnation
of the effulgence of Srimati
Radharani's body, as well as an expansion of Purnananda gopi.
Though he was one of the associates of Nityananda Prabhu, the
majority of whom were cowherd boys and thus situated in the mellow
of friendship, he was always absorbed in the mood of a gopi.
Once, as he was carrying a pot of Ganges water on his head, he
called loudly, "Who wants to
buy some milk?" Sometimes he would say, "Here is some first class yogurt. Whoever wants to
buy some, come here." Calling out like this, he would then laugh
When Mahaprabhu instructed Nityananda Prabhu to preach in Bengal,
He sent Sri Rama dasa and Sri Gadadhara dasa along with Him. [C.C.
One day Nityananda Prabhu came to Dasa Gadadhar's temple at
Eriyadahagram. In the temple was a very beautiful Deity of Sri Bala Gopala, which
Nityananda Prabhu carefully picked up from the altar. While holding
Him against His chest, He began to dance in ecstasy. When all of
the devotees saw that Gopala had taken shelter of the heart of Sri
Anantadeva, they made the heavens resound with the vibrations of
"Hari! Hari!" Nityananda Prabhu, who was very robust and heroic,
then began to roar very loudly while engaging in His ecstatic dance
Then Madhavananda Ghosa began to sing some songs describing Krsna's
dan-lila (from Dan-keli-Kaumadi). Hearing his sweet voice and the
poetic descriptions of Krsna's dan-lila, Nityananda exhibited all
of the ecstatic symptoms within His body simultanously as He danced
like one intoxicated. The gestures He exhibited while dancing were
like slashes of lightning; His limbs moved with unparalleled grace.
His expressive eye movements, His sweet smiling and eruptive
laughter, and the shivering and quaking of His head, provided a
feast for the devotees' eyes and ears. Bringing His two beautiful
lotus feet together, He would then jump in such a way as to
completely captivate ones mind. Whomever He would look at would
find themselves floating in an ocean of the mellows of love of
Krsna, and by His merciful glance they forgot about the existence
of their physical body. The level of devotion that is sought by
great yogis and munis was attained that day by the ordinary men and
women of that place, as they relished the remnants of Lord
Nityananda's love for Krsna.
Someone as fat as an elephant becomes so thin and weak if he fasts
for three days that he can barely walk. However, by the mercy of
Nityananda Prabhu, one small child of that village didn't eat
anything for one month, yet his movements and behavior were like
those of a lion. Such was the mysterious influence of Nityananda
Prabhu, though no one could understand His activities due to the
Lord's yogamaya potency. Nityananda Prabhu thus enjoyed various
pastimes at the temple of Gadadhar dasa Thakura.
In Sri Caitanya-bhagavata, Sri Vrindavana dasa Thakura has
described the glories of Dasa Gadadhara in this way: "Nityananda
Prabhu was personally present within the body of Sri Gadadhara das; such
are his glories."
Amongst Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associates, no one wanted to go near
the Mohammedan Kazi for fear that he might lose his caste. Simply
by looking at the face of a Mohammedan, a Hindu would lose his name
in society. It was Dasa Gadadhara who had the power to influence
the notorious Kazi, and so he bestowed his merciful glance upon
him. Even at their first meeting, he was able to lift that Kazi
beyond the limits of his
caste and creed, and thus those limitations completely fell
One day Sri Gadadhara dasa Thakura, intoxicated in ecstatic love
while chanting the Holy Names of Hari, came to the house of the
Kazi at Eriyadahagram and began to call him. The Kazi, in a fit of
anger, came storming out of his internal apartment, but upon seeing
the transcendentally serene appearance and mood of Dasa Gadadhara
Prabhu, he became stunned. His anger softened and his expression
became friendly. The Kazi inquired, "Thakur, why have you come just
Dasa Gadadhara Thakura answered, "I should like to have a few words
"Yes, whatever you have to say, just speak up."
"Sri Sri Gaura-Nityananda have appeared on this earth to distribute
the nectar of the Holy Names to all classes of men, from the
highest to the lowest, even to the most sinful, despicable persons.
Why haven't you accepted this sweet treat? Why haven't you taken up
the chanting of these nectarean Holy Names?"
"We'll accept it tomorrow."
"Why tomorrow?! Today you should accept. I have come here today to
deliver you from the depths of ignorance and sin by the power of
these Holy Names. So you please take this supremely auspicious
Harinama. I will deliver you from all your sinful activities this
Having listened to Gadahara dasa Thakura's sweet speech, the
became a little bewildered. He began to laugh and said, "Tomorrow
I'll say Hari."
When he heard the two syllables 'ha' and 'ri' emanate from the
Kazi's mouth, Dasa Gadadhara Thakura became overwhelmed in the
happiness of ecstatic love and exclaimed, "Tomorrow?! Sir, you said
Hari just now! All of your sins have fled far away. You have become
supremely pure." Saying this he began to dance in ecstasy.
The Kazi, having been purified by the transcendental vibration of
Hari, took shelter at das Gadadhara Thakura's lotus feet. In this
way, das Gadadhara Thakura delivered many sinful, wicked yavanas
and other such people.
He disappeared on the eighth day of the bright fortnight in the
month of Kartik.
Eriyadaha gram is reached from Calcutta by bus from Esplanade.
Gadadhara dasa Thakura's samadhi-mandir and the samadhi of the hair
of Lord Caitanya shaved off by the barber Madhi Sil when He
accepted sannyasa are united within the same tomb at Kesava
Bharati's ashrama at Katwa.
Sri Dasa Gadadhara Thakura established a temple at the place where
Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa, and the Deity of Lord Gauranga was
personally installed by him. This deity is one of three Deities
which were carved from one Nimba tree as per the order of Sriman
Mahaprabhu, which he communicated to Narahari Sarkar Thakura and
the bhakar (deity-maker) on the same night through the medium of
their dreams. The next day, when the two met and learned that they
had both had the same dream, they could understand that they should
carry out the Lord's instruction immediately. The other two Deities
are at Sri Khanda. There is also a Deity of Balarama (Nityananda)
who is about half the size of Mahaprabhu and who came later on.
Thus the Deities here are known as Sri Sri Nitai-Gauranga.
There is a local anecdote concerning this Deity of Balarama. He is
said to have once been worshiped by Mineketana Rama dasa, who used
to carry this Deity of Balarama with him wherever he went.
Mineketana Rama's body was very strongly built, so he would carry
Balarama upon a simhasana mounted on his back. The simhasana itself
weighed perhaps twenty kilos. When he became somewhat advanced in
years and it was difficult to carry the simhasana, he entrusted the
worship of his Balarama to the pujari of Lord Gauranga here.
There is another story that claims that as Mineketana was a
non-Bengali, his native tongue was a non-Bengali dialect. In his
language, the word for hair was awa. Thus the name of the place
where Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa became Katwa, literally meaning
'cutting hair' or 'the place where Prabhu's head was shorn of its
beautiful locks.' The previous name of this place was Kantak Nagar,
supposedly given by Saci Mata. Kantak means thorn. The disciple of
Dasa Gadadhara was Yadunandana Cakravarti. The present sevakas of
this temple are his descendents. This is a very nice temple where
many of the local people attend the arati ceremonies and classes on
the devotional scriptures. There is a railway station at Katwa.
From there one should go by ricksaw to Gauranga Bari.
ISKCON Desire Tree is an operational entity of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousnes), a charitable trust having registered office at Hare Krishna Land, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 400049).