Purushottama dasa Thakura

 

     From the time he was a small boy, Purusottama dasa Thakura was dedicated to constantly meditating on the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. In Caitanya-Caritamrta (C.C. adi 11.38—39), Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami has written: “The twenty-third and twenty fourth prominent devotees of Nityananda Prabhu were Sadasiva Kaviraja and his son Purusottama dasa, who was the tenth gopala. Since birth, Purusottama dasa Thakura was merged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, and he always engaged in childish play with Lord Krsna.”  The Caitanya-Bhagavata records (C.B. Antya 5.741—742): “Sadasiva Kaviraja was greatly fortunate. His son was named Sri Purusottama dasa. Purusottama dasa Thakura had no concern for his external body; Sri Nityananda Prabhu always resided within the core of his heart.

     Sri Bhaktivedanta Swami writes: “Sadasiva Kaviraja and Nagara Purusottama, who were father and son, are described in the Caitanya-Bhagavata as maha-bhagyavan, greatly fortunate. They belonged to the vaidya caste of physicians. The Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika,  verse 156, says that Candravali, a most beloved gopi  of Krsna, later took birth as Sadasiva Kaviraja were great devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Purusottama dasa Thakura sometimes lived at Sukhasagara, near the Cakadaha and Simurali railway stations. All the Deities installed by Purusottama Thakura were formerly situated in Beledanga-grama, but when the temple was destroyed, the Deities were brought to Sukhasagara. When that temple merged inthe bed of the Ganges, the Deities were brought with Jahnava-mata's Deity to Sahebasanga Bedigrama. Since that place also has been destroyed, all the Deities are now situated in the village named Candudegrama, which is situated one mile up from Palapada, as referred to above.”

     Kaviraja Goswami remarks about the son of Purusottama dasa Thakura, “Sri Kanu Thakura, a very respectable gentleman, was the son of Purusottama dasa Thakura. He was such a great devotee that Lord Krsna always liked in his body.”

     Sri Purusottama dasa Thakura had three principle disciples: Sri Madhvacarya, Sri Yadavacarya, and Devakinandana dasa. They were from brahmana families.  Sri Madhvacarya later became the husband of Nityananda Prabhu's daughter Gangadevi. Sri Devakinandana dasa was the author of an important book glorifying the lives of different Vaisnavas.

     Purusottama dasa Thakura's wife's name was Jahnava.  She passed away just after bearing Purusottama dasa Thakura's son Kanu. Hearing this news, Nityananda Prabhu went to the house of Purusottama dasa Thakura and took his son Kanu with him to his own village of Khadadaha. Kanu Thakura was born on the ratha-yatra day in the year 1450 Saka era. Seeing his great devotion, Nityananda Prabhu gave him the name Sisu Krsnadasa.

     When he was five years old, Kanu Thakura was taken to Vrndavana by Jahnava Mata. Upon seeing the great devotion of the boy, Jiva Goswami and the other Goswami's called him Kanai Thakura.  The people say that one day Kanai Thakura was in Vrndavana, dancing in the ecstasy of kirtana and while dancing, a bangle fell from his feet. At that time he said, “At the place where this bangle has fallen I shall make my residence.”  At present that bangle is kept in a temple in a village called Khana grama in the Yasohara district of Bengal, which is where the original family home of Kanai Thakura was located

     The book called Prema-vilasa observes that Kanai Thakura was present at the great festival of Kheturi-grama with Sri Jahnava Mata. Just as his father Purusottama dasa Thakura had accepted many disciples from brahmana families, so also did Kanai Thakura.

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