Vaninatha Raya, Nayaka or Pattanayaka was one of the five sons of Bhavananda Raya. Ramananda Raya was his eldest brother. Bhavananda Raya offered his son Vaninatha Raya at the feet of Lord Chaitanya and thereafter Vaninatha stayed constantly with the Lord. In Krishna lila he was one of the pandavas.
tabe mahaprabhu tanre ghare pathaila
vaninatha-pattanayake nikate rakhila
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then sent Bhavananda Raya back to his home, and He kept only Vaninatha Pattanayaka in His personal service.
saksat pandu tumi, tomara patni kunti
pañca-pandava tomara pañca-putra maha-mati
“You are Maharaja Pandu himself, and your wife is Kuntidevi herself. All your highly intellectual sons are representatives of the five Pandavas.”
alingana kari’ tanre balila vacana
tumi pandu, pañca-pandava—tomara nandana
Embracing Raya Bhavananda, the Lord declared to him, “You formerly appeared as Pandu, and your five sons appeared as the five Pandavas.”
ramananda raya, pattanayaka gopinatha
kalanidhi, sudhanidhi, nayaka vaninatha
The five sons of Bhavananda Raya were Ramananda Raya, Pattanayaka Gopinatha, Kalanidhi, Sudhanidhi and Nayaka Vaninatha.
ei panca putra tomara mora priyapatra
ramananda saha mora deha-bheda matra
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Bhavananda Raya, “Your five sons are all My dear devotees. Ramananda Raya and I are one, although our bodies are different.”
In Caitanya Caritamrta, Antya Lila, Chapter 9: The Deliverance of Gopinatha Pattanayaka there is a description of how Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu saved Gopinatha Pattanayaka, the younger brother of Ramananda Raya, from being condemned to death by the King. Gopinatha Pattanayaka was imprisoned along with his younger brother Vaninatha Pattanayaka. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was asking about Vaninatha Pattanayaka's condition in the prison. However, the internal reason is that he wanted to glorify Vaninatha Pattanayaka's Krishna consciousness.
etha prabhu sei manusyere prasna kaila
“vaninatha ki kare, yabe bandhiya anila?”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inquired from the messenger, “What was Vaninatha doing when he was arrested and brought there?”
se kahe—“vaninatha nirbhaye laya krsna-nama
'hare krsna, hare krsna’ kahe avisrama
The messenger replied, “He was fearlessly, incessantly chanting the maha-mantra—Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
ankhya lagi’ dui-hate angulite lekha
sahasradi purna haile, ange kate rekha“
“He counted the chants on the fingers of both hands, and after he had finished chanting one thousand times, he would make a mark on his body.”
suni’ mahaprabhu ha-ila parama ananda
ke bujhite pare gaurera krpa-chanda-bandha?
Hearing this news, the Lord was very pleased. Who can understand the mercy of the Lord upon His devotee?