Sri Ishvara Puri


Sri Ishvara Puri appeared in this world on the full moon day of the month of Jyestha. He served his guru, Sri Madhavendra Puri, very faithfully, especially during the end of Sri Puripada’s life.

Sri Ishvara Puri, in his travels to various holy places, once came to Sridhama Navadvipa, where he stayed in the house of Sri Gopinatha Acharya. At that time Sri Nimai Pandita was absorbed in His pastimes of learning. Ishvara Puri entered Nadiya nagara in disguise and thus no one could understand who he really was.

He came to where Sri Advaita Acharya was engaged in worshipping Sri Krishna and quietly sat down there. By his divine lustre, one Vaishnava cannot remain hidden from another. Advaita Acharya began to look in his direction again and again. Finally he asked him: “Bap! Who are you? I have a feeling you are a Vaishnava sannyasi.”

Sri Ishvara Puri very humbly replied: “I am a low class shudra, come to view your lotus feet.” Mukunda Datta, who was also present, could also understand that this is a Vaishnava sannyasi and thus he contrived to expose him. In his sweet voice, he began a kirtana describing Sri Krishna’s pastimes. When Sri Ishvara Puri heard that kirtan he at once fell to the ground, and the earth beneath him became wet with his tears. The devotees present were dumbstruck. “We haven’t seen a Vaishnava like this before.”

Everyone could now understand that this is Madhavendra Puri’s dear most disciple, Sri Ishvara Puri. Sri Ishvara Puri remained at Navadvipa for a few months, staying at the house of Sri Gopinatha Acharya. Mahaprabhu would come to have darshan of his lotus feet every day and at times would invite him for lunch.

Mahaprabhu was bringing His pastimes of learning to a close and now desired to reveal His true self and establish the religion of the age by distributing love of Godhead through the chanting of His Holy Names. Thus He came to Gaya, ostensibly to offer pinda for His departed father and fore­fathers. Sri Ishvara Puri was present at that time in Gaya.

Mahaprabhu addressed Ishvara Puri, “My journey to Gaya is successful just by My seeing your lotus feet. All of the holy tirthas pray for the dust of your lotus feet. Therefore, O Puripada, I am praying at your lotus feet to ferry me across the ocean of material existence and to cause me to drink the nectar from Krishna’s lotus feet.”

Srila Ishvara Puri replied, “Please hear me Panditji, I have understood that You are an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. This morning I saw a very auspicious dream and now that has actually materialized. From the first day I saw you at Navadvipa, I have always thought of You. I get such pleasure by seeing You, as much pleasure as I get by seeing Krishna.” Hearing this, Mahaprabhu bowed his head and smilingly replied, “This is my great fortune.”