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Vyenkatta Bhatta – Biography

He was a resident of Shrirangam and belonged to the Shri sampradaya.  It was at his earnest request that Lord Chaitanya stayed with him for four months during the Lord's pilgrimage in the South.  Being a Vaishnava in the Ramanupa-sampradaya, Vyenkata Bhatta worshiped the Deity of Laksmi and Narayana. Seeing his pure devotion, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very satisfied.  Constantly associating with one another, Mahaprabhu and Vyenkata Bhatta gradually developed a friendly relationship.  Indeed, sometimes they laughted and joked together.  The Lord told Bhattacarya, "Your worshipable goddess of fortune, laksmi, always remains on the chest of Narayana, and she is certainly the most chaste woman in the creation.  However, my Lord is Lord Shri Krishna, a cowherd boy who is engaged in tending coes. Why is it that Laksmi, being such a chaste wife, wants to associate with My Lord?"

Venkata Bhatta then said, "Lord Krishna and Lord Narayana are one and the same, but the pastimes of Krishna are more relishable due to their sportive nature.  Since Krishna and Narayana are boththe same personality, Laksmi's association with Krishna does not break her vow of chastity.  Rather, it was in great fun that the goddess of fortune wanted to associate with Lord Krishna.  Mother Laksmi, the godess of fortune, is also an enjoyer of transcendental bliss; therefore if she wanted to enjoy herself with Krishna, what fult is there?  Why are You joking so about this?"
Lord Chaitanya replied, "I know that there is no fault on the part of the goddess of fortune, but could you tell me why she could not enter into the rasa dance, whereas the authroities on Vedic knowledge could?"
Venkata Bhatta admitted, "I cannot enter into the mysteries of this behavior.  I am an ordianry human being. Since my intelligence is very limited and I am easily agitated, my mind cannot enter within the deep ocean of the pastimes of the Lord.  You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna Himself.  You know the purpose of Your activities, and the person whom You enlighten can also understand Your pastimes."
The Lord replied, "One who worships the Lord by following in the footsteps of the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi attains the Lord and gets to know Him as He is known in the transcendental planet of Vraja. There He is known as the son of Maharaja Nanada.  The authorities in Vedic literatures known as srutiA gna wroshiped Lord krishna in the ecstasy of the gopis and followed in their footsteps.  The personified authorities on the Vedic hymns acquired bodies like those of the gopis and took birth in Vrajabhumi.  In those bodies they were allowed to enter into the Lord's rasa-lila dance.  Lord Krishna belongs to the cowherd comunity, and the gopis are the dear-most lovers of Krishna. Although the wives of the denizens of the heavenly planets are most opulent within the material world, neither they nor any other women in the material universe can acquire Krishna's assocaition.  The goddess of fortune, Laksmi, wanted to enjoy Krishna and at the same time retain ehr spiritual body in the form of Laksmi.  However, she did not follow in the footsteps of the gopis in her worship of Krishna."
Before this explanation was given by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Venkata Bhatta thought that Shri Narayana was the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  Thinking in this way, Venkata Bhatta believed that worship of Narayana was the supreme form of worship, superior to all other processes of devotional service, for it was followed by the Shri Vaishnava disciples of Ramanujacarya.  Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu understood this misconception of Venkata Bhatta, and to correct it the Lord talked so much in a joking way.
The Lord then continued, "My dear Venkata Bhatta, please do not continue doubting.  Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Gdohead, and this is the conclusion of Vedic literatures."  In this way the Lord deflated the pride of Venkata Bhatta.
Venkata Bhatta said, "I am an ordinary fallen living entity, but You are Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.  The transcendental pastimxes of the Lord are unfathomable, and I do not know anything about them.  Whatever You say I accept as the truth.  I have been engaged in the service of Laksmi-Narayana, and it is due to Their mercy that I have been able to see Your lotus feet.  Out of Your causeless mercy You have told me of th glories of Lord Krishna. No one can reach the end of the opulence, qualities and forms of the Lord.  I can now understand that devotional service unto Krishna is the sureme form of worship.  Out of Your causeless mercy You havemade my life successful simply by explaining the facts."  After saying this Venkata Bhatta fell down before the lotus feet of the Lord, and the Lord, out of His causeless mercy, embraced him.
When the period of Caturmasya was completed, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took permission to leave Venkata Bhatta.  Venkata Bhatta did not want to return home but also wanted to go with the Lord.  It was with great endeavor that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bade him farewell.  When He did so, Venkata Bhatta fell down unconscious.