Srivas Thakur - ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry

Srivas Thakur

Srivas Thakur (Srivas Pandit) is one of the most important personalities who assisted Lord Caitanya in His pastimes. As the treasurer of the Holy Name, he would select the participants in Lord Caitanya’s confidential kirtans. He is Narada Muni and he is Madhumangala in Krsna Lila. He was very attached to the Holy Name.

Once Lord Caitanya even declared that He appeared in this world by hearing Srivas Thakur loudly chanting the Holy Name of Krsna. Srivas Thakur is a humble and natural devotee of the Lord. The main quality in his heart was simplicity. Simplicity means lack of pride, the total absence of selfishness, at the same time it also means very simple faith and trust in God’s ways.

He appeared in this material world for the benefit of the conditioned souls in the mood of a devotee, bhata-akhya. He played a significant role in Lord Caitanya’s pastimes by spreading and protecting the congregational chanting of the Holy Name. It is from his house, Srivas Angana, that the congregational chanting of the Holy Name, the Sankirtan Movement, flooded the entire land of Nabadwip.

Srivas Acarya was also a married man! But he would always remember Krsna. Getting married is not an obstacle for a Krsna-Conscious life, because the only worrying possibility is to forget Krsna. But Srivas Thakur, together with Advaita Acarya, gave an example of being Krsna Conscious and having a family.

Srivas Thakur and his wife, Mother Malini, had very close relationships with Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya, when He was known as Nimai Pandit, the greatest scholar in the land of Nabadwip, would often challenge Srivas Thakur. Srivas Thakur was disappointed by this and once told Him, ‘What is the use of all this Sastric knowledge if one does not have the love for Krsna?’ To which Lord Caitanya replied that He would become a devotee if Srivas Thakur prayed to the Lord for Him. From this, we understand that it is only by the mercy and blessings of the devotees that we can become one as well and learn who Krsna is.

Srivas Pandit and his family members were so dear to Lord Caitanya that He chose Srivas Angana for manifesting His different pastimes. It was in the house of Srivas Acarya where Lord Caitanya would perform kirtans every night, and where He showed His Viratrup, Vishnu form, to Srivas Thakur and his family members. Mahaprabhu manifested His Mahaprakash Lila there for the first time by revealing Himself as Lord Nrisimhadev, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Anyone who was coming to the sessions of these kirtans was blessed and attained Krsna prem. The only qualification that one had to have to enter the house of kirtan was an absence of duplicity or an offensive mood towards the devotees.

Srivas Thakur is jiva-tattva, the only one in Sri Pancha-tattva. He represents a pure devotee.

At the end of the prayer to Pancha-tattva we have a line: ‘srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda’ where the ‘gaura-bhakta-vrnda’ means, ‘all the devotees of Lord Caitanya, beginning with Srivas Thakur’. There is a reason, why we are praying for the mercy of Srivas Acarya and all the devotees. He is giving us access to the Sankirtan movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is opening the door for us!

On this very auspicious day of his appearance, let us beg at the dust of his divine lotus feet to allow us to spread the congregational chanting of the Holy Name all around the world. Join us!

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