He was a Vaidya by caste. In his past incarnation he was Vira Duti (GGD. 176). His Shripata was located at Kumarahatta at Halisahara (Pata Paryatana).
Shivananda had three sons named Chaitanyadasa, Ramadasa, and Paramanandadasa (Kavi Karnapura).
Shivananda was one of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's intimate associates. As directed by the Lord, he escorted the Gaudiya Devotees to Nilachala every year, providing them with food and lodging along the way.
During one pilgrimage to Nilachala a dog joined their party and Shivananda took personal care of him, even paying extra fare to allow the dog to across the river along with them. One night Shivananda was detained for sometime and arrived at the camp late in the evening, only to find that the dog had not been given Prasada and, despite a thorough search, the dog was nowhere to be found.
Thus Shivananda did not accept any food that night. When their party arrived in Nilachala, they found the dog in the presence of the Lord. The dog was eating some coconut given by the Lord and was chanting, "Krishna, Krishna." Shivananda offered his humble obeisances at the feet of the dog and apologized.
On another occasion Shivananda was detained and thus accommodations for the party had not been made. It was quite late at night and Lord Nityananda appeared to be restless and hungry, thus He said, "I am so hungry yet still there is no sign of Shivananda, therefore I curse his three sons to die." Hearing this Shivananda's wife began to cry. When Shivananda returned and his wife informed him what had happened, he consoled her saying, "Why are you crying? Let my three sons die if it is the desire of Lord Nityananda."
Shivananda then went before Lord Nityananda, who kicked him.
Shivananda, however, was extremely happy and said, "Lord, at last I know that you have accepted this wretched soul as Your servant.
Vasudeva Datta was an extraordinarily generous man, thus he never saved any money. Lord Chaitanya therefore directed Shivananda as follows:
"You should become the accountant of Vasudeva and take charge of his expenses."
Once Lord Chaitanya appeared within the body of Nakula Brahmachari at Ambika. Upon hearing this Shivananda went to Ambika but instead of meeting Nakula, he remained hidden.
Hoping to test the authenticity of Nakula brahmachari, Shivananda thought "If that brahmachari calls me by name and speaks out my Ishtamantra, then I will be convinced that the omniscient Lord Gauranga has truly entered his body. It happened as Shivananda desired; the brahmachari called him and spoke out his Ishtamantra.
Once Lord Chaitanya, without manifesting Himself physically, partook of food presented by Nrsimhananda in the house of Shivananda. Not having personally seen the Lord, Shivananda was uncertain of this incident. However, the next year when visiting the Lord in Puri, Lord Chaitanya mentioned the time which He had come to accept Prasada at Shivananda's house, thus clearing up Shivananda's doubts. Before writing his books Kavi Karnapura collected considerable information about Lord Chaitanya's life from Shivananda.
The following are references to Shivananda given in CC:
1.20.52 A close Devotee of Lord Gauranga.
1.10.52-53 Responsible caretaker of the Gaudiya Devotees in their pilgrimage to Nilachala.
2.1.129, 2.16.18-19;25-26, 3.2.160;3.10.11,
2.15.98 Directed by Lord Chaitanya to guide all Gaudiya Devotees to Nilachala.
2.1.130;3.1.12-28 Paid equal attention to a stray dog along the journey.
2.15.94-97 Directed by Lord Chaitanya to take charge of Vasudeva Datta's accounts.
2.16.203 Lord Chaitanya visits Shivananda's house on his way from Nilachala to Gauda.
3.2.21-31 Test of Nakula brahmachari.
3.2.41-42;3.2.44-77 Lord Chaitanya partaking of food in a subtle form.
3.6.178-180 Letter from Govardhana dasa to Shivananda after the former's son, Raghunatha dasa, renounced home.
3.6.242-244 At Nilachala Raghunatha dasa was informed about his father's letter.
3.6.245-253 On return from Nilachala the messenger of Govardhana is informed about Raghunatha dasa's condition.
3.6.255-258 Govardhana sends money through messenger to Shivananda after learning about his son; Shivananda's advice to the messenger.
3.6.139-148 Shivananda's eldest son, Chaitanyadasa, meets Lord Chaitanya; the Lord invites Chaitanyadasa and the latter also invites the Lord.
3.12.17-31 Receives grace showered by Lord Nityananda on the pretext of chastisement.
3.12.43-48 Lord Chaitanya meets the three sons of Shivananda; mystery associated with the name of Puridasa, the youngest son.
3.12.52 Lord Chaitanya directs Govinda to pass on the remnants of the Lord's food to the wife and sons of Shivananda as long as they stay at Nilachala.
3.12.101-102 Arrival of Jagadananda at Shivananda's house and preparation of herbal oil.
3.16.60-70 Grace showered by Lord Chaitanya on Puridasa.
Further information from GPC :
Shivananda Sena utilized his entire property and wealth in the service of Hari-guru-Vaisnavas. All his family members, including his friends, servants and three sons (Shri Chaitanya dasa, Shri Rama dasa and Shri Karnapura), even his nephew Shri Vallabha Sena were great Devotees of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Shri Shivananda lived in Kumarahatta, which is known as Halisahara. The Deity Gaura-Gopala which was worshiped by him, is now at Kanchrapada, one and a half miles away from Halisahara.
In GGD, Kavi Karnapura writes that Shivananda Sena was the associate of Shri Radha in Dvapara yuga and was known as Vira. Every year Shivananda took full responsibility for bringing the Gaudiya Devotees to Puri on foot. Once the Devotees started their journey on an auspicious day and on their way came to the house of Advaita Acharya at Shantipura. After spending one day there performing sankirtana, they went to the house of Shri Sachi Devi in Navadwipa, along with Advaita Acharya, his wife and his son. Mother Sachi was living in distress due to separation from her son. She offered her respects to the Devotees, and after serving Shri Advaita Acharya and Sita Devi, she began to weep in remembrance of Shri Gauranga. After consoling her the Devotees continued on their journey.
Though Mahaprabhu had advised Shri Nityananda Prabhu to preach and spread love of God, Nityananda set off with the Devotees to meet Mahaprabhu. Amongst the Devotees were Shri Acharyaratna, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Shrivasa Pandita and his wife and brothers , Vasudeva Ghosh, Govinda Ghosh, Madhava Ghosh, Murari Gupta Ojha, Shri Raghava Pandita, Narahari from Shrikhanda, Gunaraja Khan and many others. Shivananda Sena's wife and three sons also accompanied the party. Many of the Devotees brought along their wives, who eagerly collected many varieties of food for the pleasure of Mahaprabhu. Shivananda took charge of paying the fares and food of the Devotees. Wherever they spent the night, they engaged in sankirtana.
One year Shri Shivananda, along with his first son Shri Chaitanya dasa, came to Puri.
When Mahaprabhu asked Shivananda why he named the boy as such, Shivananda replied that he had been inspired from within. One day, by his father's instruction, Chaitanya dasa invited Mahaprabhu to their house for Prasada. Mahaprabhu accepted the invitation and when He came to their house, Shivananda and his wife showed Him great respect and offered Him various types of food. Being very pleased the Lord said, "Today Chaitanya dasa invited Me." Chaitanya dasa then placed various items such as curd, lemon, ginger, fry, salt, etc. in front of Mahaprabhu, who happily said, "This boy knows Ny mind, therefore I am very satisfied with his service."
With those words Mahaprabhu began eating with great pleasure and after finishing He gave the food left on His plate to Chaitanya dasa. After spending four months in the Lord's association, the Devotees from Bengal were preparing to leave when Mahaprabhu told Shivananda that he should name his next son Puri dasa. Shivananda became very happy and with the blessings of Mahaprabhu, returned to Gauda.
After a few months a son was born and the astrologer gave him the name Paramananda. The next year Shivananda and the Devotees visited Puri. As usual Shivananda arranged for their boarding and food and the Devotees eventually arrived in the presence of the Lord. Along with the Devotees, Shivananda happily participated in singing and dancing before the Ratha of Shri Jagannatha Deva.
One day Shivananda and his wife came to Mahaprabhu and the little child fell down at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu and fixed his eyes on the reddish feet of the Lord. A bit amused, Mahaprabhu gently placed His toe in front of the little boy, who began to suck the toe with great pleasure.The Devotees present were filled with joy and began chanting the Holy nName. This child later became the poet Kavi Karnapura Goswami.