Devotees make no inner distinction between Satyabhama and Jagadananda Pandit.
Jagadananda Pandit is the very life of the Lord. He is known everywhere as being a manifestation of Satyabhama. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.10.29)
All glories to Gauranga, the life of Jagadananda and Shrigarbha! All glories to the wealth of Vakreshvara Pandit! (Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.7.3)
The date and place of Jagadananda Pandit’s birth are unknown. Devotees who are seeking devotion as the goal of their lives do not consider detailed information about a spiritual master’s material identity to be essential. From Chaitanya Bhagavat we learn that Jagadananda Pandit was present at Shrivasa Angan and at Chandrasekhara’s house after Mahaprabhu returned from Gaya and participated in the beginnings of the sankirtan movement.
All the Vaishnavas felt great enthusiasm when they heard that Mahaprabhu had begun His sankirtan movement. Every night, these kirtans took place in the house of Shrivasa Pandit, and on certain occasions, in the house of Chandrashekhara Acharya. Nityananda, Gadadhara, Advaita, Shrivasa, Vidyanidhi, Murari, Hiranya, Hari Das, Ganga Das, Vanamali, Vijaya, Nandana, Jagadananda, Buddhimanta Khan, Narayan. These were some of the personalities who stayed with the Lord as He danced. Other than such intimate associates, no one was allowed entrance into the sankirtan.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.8.110-113, 117)
Thus from Vrindavan Das’s account, we know that Jagadananda Pandit is an eternal associate of the Lord and participated with Him in His Navadwip sankirtan pastimes. From this we can surmise that he was born somewhere in Bengal.
Jagadananda Accompanies the Lord to Puri
According to the Chaitanya Bhagavat, Jagadananda Pandit was in the group of Devotees who accompanied Mahaprabhu from Shantipur to Puri after He took sannyas, the others being Nityananda Prabhu, Gadadhara Pandit, Mukunda Datta, Govinda and Brahmananda. The Chaitanya Charitamrita version has the Lord being accompanied by Nityananda, Jagadananda, Damodar and Mukunda.
On their way to Puri, as they travelled through Atisara, Chatrabhog, Northern Orissa, Suvarnarekha, Jaleshvara, Remuna, Yajpur, Vaitarani, Katak (Cuttack), Sakshigopala, Bhuvaneshvara, Kamalapura, Atharanala, etc., Mahaprabhu gave his companions many lessons in how to depend on the Lord and other matters. In one place named Gangaghata, just across the frontier into Orissa, Mahaprabhu himself told His companions to wait in a Temple while He went to the village to beg. He came back with rice and vegetables in His cloth which He gave to Jagadananda to cook. When He had finished preparing the meal, Mahaprabhu and His other companions ate His cooking with great relish.
According to the Chaitanya Bhagavat, Mahaprabhu gave His danda (staff) to Jagadananda to carry as they walked. One day, Jagadananda gave the danda to Nityananda Prabhu to hold as he went to collect foodstuffs. Nityananda Prabhu is non-different from Balaram and he took this opportunity to break Mahaprabhu’s staff into three pieces, so teaching his followers to take the tridanda, a staff of three branches. According to the Chaitanya Bhagavat, Jagadananda took the broken staff to Mahaprabhu, and He became extremely unhappy to have lost His only possession. Mahaprabhu then told His companions that He wished to travel alone, giving them the choice of whether He would walk in front or behind them. The Devotees answered that they would walk behind Him, not in front.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 3.2.202-4)
While walking in front of the other Devotees, from Atharanala Mahaprabhu saw a vision of Krishna playing His flute on the pinnacle of the Jagannath Puri Temple. He ran toward the Temple and entered to behold the form of Jagannath, whereupon He fell into a swoon. Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya noticed Him and took Him to his own house where he saw to His care. Nityananda, Jagadananda, Mukunda and Damodar arrived at the Jagannath Temple not long afterwards. There they heard that the Lord was at Sarvabhauma’s residence and they immediately went there. This was Jagadananda’s first meeting with Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya.
A Permanent Associate of the Lord at Puri
The first time that Mahaprabhu wished to go to Vrindavan, He came to Gauda-mandala from Puri. He stayed in Vidyanagara for five days; from there He went on to Kuliya, and then through Maldah district to the village of Ramakeli where He met with Rupa and Sanatan. Jagadananda was amongst the associates of Mahaprabhu present on that occasion along with Nityananda, Hari Das, Shrivasa, Gadadhara, Mukunda, Murari and Vakreshvara.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.1.219)
Jagadananda Pandit was a permanent associate of the Lord at Puri: Gadadhara Pandit, Vakreshvara, Damodar, Shankara, Hari Das, Jagadananda, Bhavananda, Govinda, Kashishvara, Paramananda Puri and Svarupa Damodar, all came and made their residence in Puri. They, along with Ramananda Raya and other long-time residents of Shri Kshetra, were Mahaprabhu’s permanent companions.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.1.252-4)
Jagadananda Pandit’s mood was primarily that of madhura-rasa, which was very pleasing to Mahaprabhu and won His heart. In the Chaitanya Charitamrita, this is described as follows:
Paramananda Puri had parental affection for Mahaprabhu; Ramananda Raya had love for Him in pure friendship; Govinda Das’s love for Him was as a servant. Gadadhara, Jagadananda and Svarupa Damodar worshiped in the ecstasy of the chief rasa. Mahaprabhu's heart was won by these four different loving attitudes.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.2.78)
By Mahaprabhu’s mercy, Saravabhauma Bhattacharya gave up his predilection for the impersonal philosophy of Mayavada and took up the path of devotion. He then had a vision of Mahaprabhu in a six-armed form which inspired him to compose a Sanskrit hymn to the Lord in a hundred verses. He wrote the first two verses glorifying Mahaprabhu on a palm leaf and gave it to Jagadananda to bring to the Lord. Mukunda Datta was there when Jagadananda came from Sarvabhauma’s house, carrying Jagannath Prasad and the palm leaf. He took the precaution of copying the two verses down on the wall in front of the Lord’s residence before Jagadananda carried it in to show Him. As soon as Mahaprabhu saw the verses, which glorified Him as an incarnation of the Supreme Lord, he tore up the palm leaf. Because Mukunda had preserved the verses on the wall, however, the Devotees were able to obtain great joy from reading them. The verses are as follows:
shikshartham ekah purushah puranah
kripambudhir yas tam aham prapadye
kalan nashtam bhakti-yogam nijam yah
avirbhutas tasya padaravinde
gadham gadham liyate citta-bhringah
Let me take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ocean of transcendental mercy, Shri Krishna, who has descended in the form of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to teach us detachment, real knowledge and His own devotional service.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has taken the name of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, has appeared to reveal the ancient system of devotional service to Himself which had almost been lost due to the influence of time. I pray that the honey bee of my mind will drink deeply of the honey of His lotus feet.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.6.253-4; Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka 6.74)
Mahaprabhu took sannyas during the fortnight of the waxing moon of the month of Magh (January-February). He arrived in Nilachala in the month of Phalguna (February-March). In the month of Chaitra (March-April), he converted Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya to Vaishnavism. In the month of Vaishakh (April-May), He left for His pilgrimage to the south of India. When Mahaprabhu said that He wanted to go on this pilgrimage alone, Nityananda Prabhu told Him that He should not travel by Himself and suggested that he would accompany Him. At this time, Mahaprabhu showed His great affection for His companions (Nityananda Prabhu, Damodar Brahmachari, Jagadananda Pandit, etc.) by remonstrating with them and refusing their company on this pilgrimage. Of Jagadananda, he said:
"Jagadananda wants me to enjoy sense gratification. I try to do whatever he tells Me because I am afraid of him. Whenever I act contrary to his wishes, he gets angry and stops talking to Me for three days at a time."
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.7.21-2)
"As soon as Nityananda heard of Mahaprabhu’s arrival, he immediately got up to go to see Him. Indeed, his love for the Lord made him very impatient. Jagadananda, Damodar Pandit and Mukunda, danced as they went to greet the Lord, their bodies unable to hold back their ecstasy."
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.9.339-40)
Nityananda Prabhu, Jagadananda and the others advised Mahaprabhu to send Krishna Das to Gauda to tell Sachi that the Lord had returned from His pilgrimage to South India. Mahaprabhu approved of the idea out of a desire to give pleasure to His Devotees. Gradually, in the company of Jagadananda, Mahaprabhu met with all the Devotees who had come to live in Puri, including Svarupa Damodar, Raya Ramananda, Hari Das Thakur, etc. One of Jagadananda’s most enjoyable services to the Lord and His Devotees was to satisfy them with the foodstuffs that He had Himself cooked.
The Bengal Devotees came annually during the Chaturmasya period to be with the Lord in Nilachala. They did this three years in a row before Mahaprabhu announced His determination to go to Vrindavan. On this occasion, Jagadananda was amongst His companions when He travelled through Orissa and Gauda. They went to Panihati, Kumarahatta, Kuliya village, Ramakeli, etc., before finally turning back from the village of Kanair Natshala to return to Puri, abandoning the pilgrimage to Vrindavan because of the large crowd of companions which had gathered around Him. The Lord vowed that the next time He would travel to Vrindavan alone. When He did go again, He took the path through the Jharikhanda jungles, accompanied only by a servant named Balabhadra Bhattacharya. When He returned by the same path, He was once again reunited with His loving Devotees including Jagadananda, who had once again been suffering greatly in His absence. This reunion was so joyful that it is beyond description.
Sanatan Comes to Puri
Once Sanatan Goswami took the Jhariikhanda route to Nilachala from Vraja. On the way, he developed blistering sores all over his body due to drinking bad water and fasting. Sanatan became extremely troubled by the disease because his physical impurity would make him an obstacle to the servants of Jagannath. In view of this potential offense, he decided that he would throw himself under the wheels of Jagannath’s chariot during the Rathayatra festival. Mahaprabhu, the indweller of all beings, knew that he had made this decision and said to him, "You cannot attain Krishna through suicide. You can only attain Him through bhajana. You have no right to destroy the body which has been given to you so that you can render service."
"Jagadananda is just a newcomer, a boy. Yet, he has become so proud that he thinks that he can give even you advice. You are his guru in every respect, both in material and spiritual terms. Yet he gives you advice? Doesn’t he know his own worth? You are My teacher; you are an authority. And yet, like an impudent child, he is giving instruction to even someone as qualified as you." (Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.4.158-60)
The Devotee and the Lord occasionally chastise their intimates. If the Devotee is chastised by the Lord, he should consider it a great good fortune. Sanatan reacted to Mahaprabhu’s criticism of Jagadananda as a sign of His great fortune and his own misfortune.
You accept Jagadananda into Your inner circle, while You venerate me. It is as though You were giving him ambrosia to drink and me the bitter juice of neem and tobacco leaves.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.4.163)
Even though Mahaprabhu had long been won over by Jagadananda’s devotion to Him, He made a point of teaching all of His followers Vaishnava etiquette and the importance of offering the proper respect to senior Vaishnavas such as Sanatan Goswami Prabhu through Him. He said to him:
"Jagadananda is not more dear to Me than you, but I cannot tolerate transgressions of etiquette."
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.4.166)
When Mahaprabhu was telling Vallabha Bhatta about the greatness of Devotees, He said that through the association of preachers of the Holy Name like Jagadananda Pandit, one could attain devotion to Krishna.
Acharyaratna, Acharyanidhi, Gadadhara Pandit, Jagadananda, Damodar, Shankara, Vakreshvara, Kashishvara, Mukunda, Vasudeva, Murari and so many other great Devotees have appeared in Gaudadesha. They have preached the glories of the Holy Name throughout the world. It is through their association that I have a little devotion to Krishna.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.7.48-50)
Jagadananda as Satyabhama
Jagadananda Pandit had a deep and pure love for the Lord, like that of Satyabhama for Krishna. He was moody, being possessed of the vamya nature. He would repeatedly provoke loving arguments with the Lord and there always seemed to be some misunderstanding between them.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.7.142-3)
In the Chaitanya Charitamrita, at the beginning of the eighth chapter of the Antya-lila, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami contrasts the sincere loving attitude of Jagadananda Pandit with the hypocrisy of Ramachandra Puri. Even though Ramachandra Puri was officially a disciple of Madhavendra Puri, he had no proclivity for service. Because of his lack of sincerity and his false piety, he was ultimately deprived of his guru’s mercy.
Jagadananda was present at Hari Das Thakur’s funeral celebration, serving Prasad to the senior associates of the Lord. By his behavior, he showed that giving Prasad to the Devotees was an important element of devotional service.
During the Chaturmasya all the Devotees would come to meet the Lord in Nilachala and would return at the end of the four month period. In the same year that Mahaprabhu told Nityananda not to come to Puri, He also sent Jagadananda to Navadwip with a message for His mother. Jagadananda recounted that which Mahaprabhu had told him about the exact times when Sachi Mata thought that she had dreamt or hallucinated His coming and eating her food offerings. When she heard this from Jagadananda, she believed that these secret visits were not hallucinations, but had in fact been real–He really had come. When the other Devotees met Mahaprabhu’s intimate associate, Jagadananda, they all were submerged in an ocean of happiness.
Jagadananda then went to Shivananda Sena’s house where he collected a fragrant sandalwood oil for rubbing on Mahaprabhu’s head. He filled an earthen jug with the oil and brought it back with him to Puri where he gave it to Govinda, the Lord’s servant. Govinda then told Mahaprabhu, "Jagadananda Pandit has brought aromatic sandalwood oil back from Gaudadesha with him. If you rub it on Your head, it will relieve the symptoms of disturbed bile and wind." In order to set a proper example, Mahaprabhu answered, "Sannyasis are forbidden the use of body oils. It is even more reprehensible to use aromatic oils. Since he has gone to the trouble of bringing the oil all the way here, you can give it to the Jagannath temple. They can use the oil to light lamps for the Deity. That will make all his troubles worthwhile."
Govinda told Jagadananda of Mahaprabhu’s decision. Jagadananda began to sulk and stopped talking. After ten days, Govinda again told Mahaprabhu that Jagadananda still wished him to use the oil. Mahaprabhu became angry and in order to teach the world, said:
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.12.112-4)
Govinda was speechless at Mahaprabhu’s tirade. The next morning, Jagadananda Pandit came to Mahaprabhu who again said to him, "A sannyasi shouldn’t use fragrant oils. The best thing to do is to offer it to Jagannath for His service." Jagadananda became angry and proudly said, "Who told You I brought this oil all the way from Gauda? It’s a lie." He then threw down the earthen jug in the courtyard and broke it. Then he went to his own room, locked the door and lay down.
After he had fasted for three days, Mahaprabhu finally went Himself to assuage him, knocking on his door and saying gently, "Jagadananda! Open the door. I am going now to bathe and then to the Temple for darshan of Jagannath. When I come back I will take whatever food you have prepared for Me. So start cooking." Out of his love for the Lord, Jagadananda immediately got up, bathed and started preparing the Lord’s lunch. After performing His noonday rituals, the Lord returned, let Jagadananda wash His feet and then sat down to eat. Jagadananda set a banana leaf before Him and then covered it with fine rice soaked in clarified butter, numerous vegetable preparations and then cakes and sweet rice. Mahaprabhu told Jagadananda to set another banana leaf and fill it with food as he had done so that he could eat beside Him. He lifted His hands in the air and refused to eat a bite until Jagadananda sat down and ate with Him. Finally, Jagadananda’s pride melted and he agreed to take the Lord’s Prasad once he had finished. As he ate, Mahaprabhu repeatedly praised the food that Jagadananda had cooked in his loving anger.
"This is the kind of nectar that you offer to Krishna. Who can estimate the extent of your good fortune?"
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.12.133)
Jagadananda kept serving more and more vegetables to the Lord, who out of fear refused nothing, eating everything that he was given. He was afraid that if He refused even a single preparation Jagadananda would again start fasting, so on that day, He ate ten times as much as He did normally. After the meal, Jagadananda gave Him some aromatic spices, sandalwood and a garland. Mahaprabhu then insisted that he sit down and take his meal in front of Him. Jagadananda pleaded with Mahaprabhu to go and rest, as he was well aware of the demands of etiquette. Ramai and Raghunath Bhatta had also helped with the cooking, so he wanted them to eat also before sitting down himself, but he assured the Lord that he would. Mahaprabhu was still not convinced and so he told Govinda to remain there and report to Him whether or not Jagadananda had eaten. But Jagadananda immediately told Govinda to go and massage the Lord’s feet. After he had given Ramai, Nandai, Govinda and Raghunath Bhatta to eat, Jagadananda took the remnants of Mahaprabhu’s plate. When Mahaprabhu heard that Jagadananda had finally eaten, He was able to rest peacefully.
Jagadananda’s love for the Lord was just like the descriptions of Satyabhama’s love for Krishna in the Bhagavat. Who can describe the extent of Jagadananda’s good fortune? His love is the standard by which that of others is to be compared. Anyone who hears about the loving exchanges (prema-vivarta) between Jagadananda Pandit and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will know the characteristics of prema and will attain the wealth of pure love.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.12.152-4)
Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur writes that the words prema-vivarta in this verse can mean both the kind of confused transformations of love that Jagadananda underwent with the Lord, or the book of that name which he wrote.
The Lord Sleeps on Plantain Bark
Due to His intense feelings of separation from Krishna, Mahaprabhu started to increase His vows of renunciation. He decided to sleep on a bed of dried plantain bark, which caused Him pain by rubbing against His bones. The Devotees were greatly distressed to see the Lord’s suffering. Jagadananda decided to take steps to alleviate the Lord’s pain by getting some cloth and dying it saffron, and then filling it with cotton from the silk cotton tree. In this way he made both a mattress and a pillow for the Lord’s comfort. Jagadananda then asked Govinda Das to give the mattress and pillow to the Lord and Svarupa Damodar to convince Him to use them. When it was time for the Lord to go to bed, He saw the cotton pillow and became angry. However, when He heard that Jagadananda Pandit had givrsquo;s house, carrying Jagannath Prasad and the palm leaf. He took the precaution of copying the two verses down on the wall in front of the nbsp; Lord en it, He hesitated. So He made a pretense of anger, "A mattress and pillow? Why don’t you just go and get Me a bed? A sannyasi is nbsp;su/divpp osed to sleep on the ground. Jagadananda wants Me to become a sense enjoyer. This is shameful." Jagadananda was saddened when he heard from Svarupa Damodar that Mahaprabhu had refused the bedding. However, Svarupa Damodar cleverly made some bedding out of dried banana leaves which the Lord accepted. This satisfied all the Devotees with the exception of Jagadananda.
Though he said nothing about it, Jagadananda was angry and asked Mahaprabhu for permission to go to Vrindavan. The Lord was able to understand the real reason for his dissatisfaction and said to him in a consoling voice, "You are angry and blame Me for it. And so you want to go to Mathura and become a beggar?" The petulant Jagadananda hid his true feelings and simply said, "I have wanted to go to Vrindavan for a long time. Previously You wouldn’t give me permission, so I could not go."
Mahaprabhu out of His affection for Jagadananda would not give him permission even though he asked Him repeatedly. Finally, Jagadananda asked Svarupa Damodar to intercede on his behalf and get the Lord’s permission to go. Svarupa Damodar went to Mahaprabhu and said, "Jagadananda’s desire to see Vrindavan is very strong. I think it would be a good idea if Tou send him to Vrindavan just as You previously sent him to Navadwip with a message for Sachi Mata." Thus, Mahaprabhu finally allowed Himself to be persuaded and accorded permission to Jagadananda to go to Vraja. Out of His affection for him, however, He gave him elaborate instructions for his voyage. "The road up to Varanasi is free from any problems. After Varanasi, however, the road is full of robbers, so be careful. You should take some soldiers with you for your protection. If the highwaymen see a single Bengali on the road, they will be sure to attack and loot him. When you get to Mathura, first go and see Sanatan. Offer your respects to the Caube Brahmins of Mathura, but don’t associate with them. You will not be able to understand their behavior, so respect them at a distance. Do the Vraja-parikrama with Sanatan, do not leave his side for even a moment. Don’t climb Govardhana to see Gopal. Don’t stay in Vraja for a long time. Hurry back."
Come back quickly! Do not stay there for a long time. Don’t climb Govardhana to take darshan of Gopal."
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.13.39)
Jagadananda Chastises Sanatan
Jagadananda paid his obeisance to the Lord and left on foot for Varanasi where he met with Tapana Mishra and Chandrashekhara. From there he went on to Mathura where he met Sanatan Goswami. Sanatan took him around the twelve forests of Vraja and then they stayed together for some time in Gokula Mahavana. Sanatan Goswami used to live on madhukari, begging for pieces of bread from the local people, but since Jagadananda was not habituated to a wheat-based diet, he went to a local Temple and cooked rice. One day, Jagadananda invited Sanatan Goswami to eat. A certain sannyasi named Mukunda Saraswati had given a saffron cloth to Sanatan which he would wear wrapped around his head. When Jagadananda saw this, he thought that the cloth must have been given to Sanatan by the Lord and was overwhelmed with love. When he learned, however, that the cloth had been given by someone else, he became so angry that he was ready to hit Sanatan with the rice pot. He criticized Sanatan:
"You are Mahaprabhu’s most important associate. No one is dearer to Him than you. How could anyone tolerate you wearing another sannyasi’s cloth around your head?" Sanatan answered, "Well said! It is clear, Pandit Mahashaya, that you are unequalled in your love for the Lord. Only from you could I have learned this lesson, for you alone have such solid faith in the Lord. My purpose in binding the cloth around my head has been realized, for as soon as you saw it, I was able to witness the manifestations of your love for the Lord. A Vaishnava should not wear a saffron-colored cloth. I will give it to someone else, for I have no further need for it."
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.13.56-61)
Jagadananda offered the food he had cooked to Mahaprabhu and then took Prasad with Sanatan. After staying with him for two months, he started to feel his absence from Mahaprabhu too intensely and asked Sanatan for permission to return to Puri. Sanatan bid him goodbye, giving him sand from the place where Krishna held the rasa dance, a stone from Govardhana, a garland of gunja berries and some dried ripe pilu fruits for Mahaprabhu. Jagadananda was delighted to return to Puri and see Mahaprabhu and the other Devotees again. Mahaprabhu embraced him tightly and was extremely pleased with the gifts sent by Sanatan. Most of the Devotees did not know how to eat pilu fruits, but because they were from Vrindavan, they enjoyed them anyway.
Because of His love for His mother, Mahaprabhu would send Jagadananda every year to Navadwip with a prasadi cloth for her. Jagadananda would come and talk to her about Mahaprabhu and thus somewhat alleviate her suffering in separation from her son. The last time that he went, he went to Advaita Acharya's house to ask permission to return to Puri. On that occasion, Advaita gave a cryptic message to Jagadananda to deliver to Mahaprabhu. The riddle went as follows:
Tell the Lord that I pay Him a million obeisances and that I humbly submit to Him the following: Tell the Madman that everyone has gone mad. Tell the Madman that they are no longer selling rice in the market. Tell the Madman that the crazies are no longer good for anything. Tell the Madman that this is what the madman said.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.19.19-21)
Bhaktivinoda Thakur explains this riddle in this way: "Tell Mahaprabhu that everyone has become intoxicated with love for Krishna and so in the marketplace of love, no one is buying the rice of Krishna prema any longer. Tell Mahaprabhu that the saintly madmen (aul) are so intoxicated with love that they are no longer involved in their material duties. Tell Mahaprabhu that Advaita said this in a state of complete intoxication of prema. In short, the message was that the purpose for which Mahaprabhu had been called to earth by Advaita had been completed. Now the Lord may do as He wills."
The date and place of Jagadananda Pandit’s departure from this world are unknown.
[Excerpted from “Shri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Shrila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj]