Srila Vrndavana Dasa Thakura
In her childhood, Narayani Devi, neice of Srivasa Pandit, became mad with love of God upon receiving the mercy of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Later she gave birth to Vrndavana Dasa, who was the last disciple of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. On his guru’s order he wrote Sri Caitanya Bhagavata.
It is practically a law among Vaisnava writers like Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Krishna Dasa Kaviraja, and Vrndavana Dasa Thakura to always keep themselves in the background. They never mention anything about their family lineage or personal history. The authors of the best written and most relishable verses collected in Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Padyavali remain unknown.
During the sixteenth century, entire books of exceptional transcendental prose and poetry were penned by prideless Vaisnavas preferring to remain anonymous. Feeling utmost humility, such Vaisnava writers express themselves only in relation to their preceptors. Krishna Dasa Kaviraja glorifies his gurus at the end of each chapter of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: sri rupa raghunatha-pade yara asa, caitanya caritamrta kahe krsnadasa.
“Praying at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha, always desiring their mercy, I, Krishna Dasa, narrate Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, following in their footsteps.”
Srila Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Gosvami shows his supreme homage and gratitude by honoring Vrndavana Dasa Thakura with the appelation “Vyasa” in the Caitanya-caritamrta Antya 20.82: “Vrndavana Dasa Thakura is Lord Nityananda’s favorite devotee. And therefore he is the original Vyasadeva in describing the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” As Srila Vyasadeva told Sri Krishna’s pastimes in Bhagavatam and other Puranas, Srila Vrndavana Dasa Thakura described Caitanya lila in Caitanya Bhagavata.
The humble heart of Krishna Dasa Kaviraja pours out more praises of Vrndavana Dasa Thakura: “Hearing Caitanya Bhagavata destroys all misfortune. By reading Caitanya Bhagavata one will understand the glories of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda. And he will attain the highest perfection of knowledge—-pure love of Krishna.
“Since such a wonderful book could not be written by a human being, it seems that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself has spoken it through the mouth of Srila Vrndavana Dasa Thakura. I offer millions of respectful obeisances to the lotus feet of Vrndavana Dasa Thakura. By compiling such a valuable book he has delivered everyone from the cycle of birth and death.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 8.33-42)
At Mamagacchi in Modadrumadvipa (Navadvipa), Vrndavana Dasa Thakura establised Deities of Nitai-Gauranga and Sri Jagannatha Deva. He lived there as a celibate and worshiped his beloved Deities. Vrndavana Dasa Thakura had many disciples including Gopinatha Brahmacari, a descendent of Sri Kesava Bharati.