Before Lord Chaitanya appeared He sent His eternal associates like Shri Advaita Acharya, Shri Jagannatha Mishra, Sachi Mata, Madhavendra Puri, Ishvari Puri to earth. Shri Madhavendra Puri took initiation from Shri Lakshmipati Tirtha in the Madhvacharya sampradaya. He had many but Shri Advaita Acharya and Shri Ishvara Puri were the chief disciples of Madhavendra Puri. In one way or another, all the Vaisnavas in Bengal and Kshetra mandala (Jagannatha Puri) were connected with Shri Madhavendra Puri. After Lord Chaitanya came many of his disciples joined Mahaprabhu's sankirtana movement.
"Madhavendra Puri's body was completely full of divine love; so were his followers. He displayed uncommon love of God. Seeing a dark blue raincloud, he would fall down unconscious. Day and night he was intoxicated from drinking the ambrosia of Krishna prema." (Vrindavana Dasa Thakura)
After making an extensive pilgrimage of Bharata-bhumi (India) he passed his life in Vrindavana and Orissa. He began the restoration work of Vrindavana that Shri Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis continued later. Wandering from grove to grove, remembering Radha-Krishna's sweet Vrindavana pastimes, Madavendra Puri would faint in ecstasy.
In a dream, Shri Gopala ordered Madhavendra Puri to uncover a buried Gopala Deity and install Him atop Govardhana Hill. Madhavendra Puri celebrated Gopala's installation with an annakuta (grand festival offering a mountain of foodstuffs to Krishna). This Annakuta festival, also called Govardhana Puja, is one of the most important Vaishnava festivals in Vrindavana, in India, and around the world. The original Gopala Deity, known' as Shri Nathaji, is now worshiped in Nathadvara, Rajasthan.
Madhavendra Puri introduced the conception of madhurya bhava (conjugal love) in the Madhvacarya sampradaya. Madhavendra Puri sowed the seed of prema bhakti. And Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu became the towering tree dropping honey sweet fruits of prema upon everyone. He also revealed viraha bhava, the mood of love relished in separation from God. His branch of the Madhva sect distinguished itself by this ecstatic love of God. It is known as the Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya.
In Jagannatha Puri, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu showed an intense mood of viraha bhava. This increased unlimitedly when the Lord heard verses from Shrimad Bhagavatam tenth canto, Krishna Karnamrta, Gita Govinda, Padyavali, and the love poems of Chandidasa and Vidyapati. Mahaprabhu's viraha begins with a single verse spoken by Madhavendra Puri, His param guru (grand preceptor)
ayi dina dayadra natha he
mathura natha kadavalokyase
hrdayam tvad aloka kataram
dayita bhramyati kim karoty aham
"0 compassionate Lord of the poor and humble! 0 Lord of Mathura! When shall I see You again? Without seeing You, My heart has become very much afflicted. Oh My beloved, I am overwhelmed. What shall I do now?" (Chaitanya-charitamrta Madhya 4.197)
Shri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja says that as the diamond kaustubha jewel is the most precious amongst all rare valuable jewels, this sloka is the rasa kavya (the best verse in the entire treasury of rasa poetry). Actually, this verse was spoken by Shrimati Radharani Herself. It was Radha's pathetic cry to Shyamasundara, who had gone to Mathura leaving Her alone, desperate in Vrindavana. Radharani's mercy brought this same verse from the mouth of Madhavendra Puri.
Reciting even a few words of this shloka would tear open the door of Mahaprabhu's ecstatic love, making Him swoon in ecstasy falling unconscious. Peeling intense separation from Krishna, Madhavendra Puri constantly chanted this verse when departing this world.
Krishna Dasa Kaviraja says that with this verse Madhavendra Puri teaches Devotees how to achieve Krishna prema by cultivating intense feelings of separation from Shri Krishna. Gaudiya Vaishnavas accept that this verse expresses the essence of the mood of separation.
The Gaudiya sampradaya teaches that worship of Radha and Krishna in separation represents the highest level of devotional service. At this stage of realization the Devotee feels completely "vacant in the world in the absence of Krishna." A moment without Madhava feels like a millenium. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu always swam in the ocean of divyonmada mahabhava, the maddened ecstatic emotions shown by Shri Radha in Brahmar Gita (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.47). In this verse Madhavendra Puri discloses similar emotions. The Gaudiya Vaishnavas conclude that the mon-soon shower of ecstatic love exhibited by Lord Gauranga during His manifest pastimes began with Madhavendra Puri. It then came through Ishvara Puri, who played the role of Lord Chaitanya's spiritual master.
Madhavendra Puri's samadhi is in Remuna, Orissa near the Temple of Kshira-chora Gopinatha.