Madhavendra Puri: Wikis


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The deity rediscovered by Madhavendra Puri and worshiped by Vallabhacharya at Govardhan hill

Madhavendra Puri (Mādhavendra Purī in IAST) also known as Madhavendra Puri Goswami is a Vaishnava saint who appeared in the 14th century.



Very little is known about early years of Madhavendra Puri, as in majority of sources he is figuring already a mendicant, sannyasi. After making an extensive pilgrimage of India as a sannyasi he passed his life in Vrndavana and Orissa.[1] The main source of knowledge about this personality is Caitanya Caritamrita. What is known that he was a sannyasi of the Sankara sampradaya order, however he also belongs to Madhva line being a disciple of Lakshmipati Tirtha and it appears that Madhavendra was the founder of the Vaishnava centre at Mathura, Vrindavana.[2] He is considered a fountainhead of devotional worship of Krishna and he has started the worship of the Gopala deity,[3] better known as Shrinathji. He is attributed to mysterious discovery of the famous deity of Gopala near Govardhana that was later worshiped by Vallabhacharya, follower of Vishnuswami in Rudra sampradaya,[4] who in turn was influenced by devotional mood of Vrindavana.[5]

Close-up of Govardhan hill, Vrindavan, area where Madhavendra puri worshiped Bala-Gopala

He is also famed for receiving direct instructions and gifts from the deity of Gopinatha, who commanded him to travel for the supply of scarce sandal wood paste from the Orissa to Malaya Mountains.[6]


Initiating sankirtana movement

Madhavendra Puri is often accepted as initial inspiration or initiator of the movement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu,[7][8] who accepted Madhavendras intimate disciple, Isvara Puri as ones diksa guru.[9] He is believed to be preaching the principles of Gaudiya Vaishnavism prior to Caitanya.[10]

Service in separation

It is believed that Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s service in feelings of separation viraha begins with a single verse spoken by Madhavendra Puri, (his grand preceptor)[1]:

"O, my beloved Lord, the friend of the afflicted! He Mathura-natha, when, when shall I see you? Without seeing you, my heart is perplexed, my beloved, and I am very restless! What am I to do?"[11]


In accordance with Gaudiya Vaishnava sources his is believed to belong to Madhvacharya lineage,[12] parampara, that has been transcribed in the books like Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika,[13] Prameya-ratnavali[14] and the writings of Gopala Guru Goswami. There is a version of this line of gurus recorded as a version found in the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika[15] which matches other historical records.[16] He had many disciples but Advaita Acarya and Isvara Puri are believed to be the chief disciples of Madhavendra Puri.

Early History of the famous deity of Gopinatha (Ksirachora) is not given in Gaudiya texts – it is given by Vinod Bijaya Babaji in Gopinatha Caritamrta. However there is large account of his interactions with this Deity in Caitanya caritamrita, the foundational book for the Gaudiya Vaishnavas.


Madhavendra Puri died in Remuna, his memorial Samādhi and sandals are still worshiped there.[17] It is a place of pilgrimage for many Vaishnava groups.

More information

References and notes

  1. ^ a b Chaitanya: His Life and Associates. Mandala Publishing. 2001. ISBN 1-886069-28-X. 
  2. ^ Sen, Sukumar. (1971). History of Bengali Literature. Sahitya Akademi.  Page 78: “It appears that Madhavendra was the founder of the Vaishnav centre at Mathura”
  3. ^ Sukumar Sen, 1971. Page 77: “Started the worship of image of Gopala (Bala Gopala) in Vrindavana.”
  4. ^ Bhandarkar, Ramkrishna.G. (1995). Vaisnavism Saivism and Minor Religious Systems. Asian Educational Services. Page 109: “Vallabha lived for some time in Vrndavana and for some time at Mathura.” It is alleged that Gopala-Krsna manifested himself on the Govardhana. Vallabha Vedantic system is the same as his predecessor Vishnuswami. This Vishnuswami was the son of a councillor of a Dravida vassal under Emperior of Delhi. “In his disciplic succession others such as Jnanadeva, Namdeva, Trilochana and Vallabha appeared.”
  5. ^ The Philosophy and Religion of Śrī Caitanya. Page 31 O. B. L. Kapoor, 1977,248 pages - Caitanya Caritamrta also records how Vallabha, who had introduced the worship of Bala-Gopala in his sect, was influenced by the Madhura Rasa .
  6. ^ Page 36 Stuart Mark Elkman, Jīva Gosvāmī - 1986 “After being commanded by the deity to worship him with sandalwood from the South, Madhavendra set off for the Malaya Mountains”
  7. ^ The Hare Krishnas in India - Page 46 Charles R. Brooks – 1992 “Some writers would even give Madhavendra Puri credit for initiating the movement which Chaitanya would eventually inspire”
  8. ^ Kennedy, M.T. (1925). The Chaitanya Movement: A Study ofVaishnavism ofBengal. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  9. ^ History of Medieval Vaishnavism in Orissa - Mukherjee Prabhat 65 “Madhavendra puri is preceptor of Caitanya Mahaprabhus guru”
  10. ^ Hare Krsna Movement: The Unifying Force of the Hindu Religion, Haripada Adhikary – 1995 Page 116
  11. ^ ayi dIna-dayArdra nAtha he mathurA-nAtha kadAvalokyase hRdayaM tvad-aloka-kAtaraM dayita bhrAmyati kiM karomy aham
  12. ^ "20. Madhavendra Puri". Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  13. ^ "Pocket-Size Sri Gaura-Ganoddesa-Dipika by Kavi Karnapura". Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  14. ^ Sri Prameya-ratnavali (The Jewel Necklace of Truths) 32pp ISBN 0-89647-015-6
  15. ^ paravyomesvarasyasic chisyo brahma jagat-patih
    tasya sisyo narado 'bhut vyasas tasyapa sisyatam
    suko vyasasya sisyatvam prapto jnanavabodhanat
    vyasal labdha-krsna-dikso madhvacaryo mahayasah
    tasya sisyo naraharis tacchisyo madhava-dvijah
    aksobhyas tasya sisyo 'bhut tac-chisyo jayatirthakah
    tasya sisyo jnana-sindhus tasya sisyo mahanidhih
    vidyanidhis tasya sisyo rajendras tasya sevakah
    jayadharma munis tasya sisyo yad-gana-madhyatah
    srimad-visnu-puri yas tu bhaktiratnavali-krtih
    jayadharmasya sisyo 'bhud brahmanyah purusottahmah
    vyasatirthas tasya sisyo yas cakre visnusamhitam
    sriman laksmipatis tasya sisyo bhaktirasasrayah
    tasya sisyo madhavendro yad-dharmo 'yam pravartitah
    tasya sisyo 'bhavat sriman isvarakhya-puri-yatih
    kalayamasa srngaram yah srngara-phalatmakah
    advaitam kalayamasa dasya-sakhye phale ubhe
    isvarakhya-purim-gaura urarikrtya gaurave
    jagad aplavayamasa prakrtaprakrtatmakam
    Brahma, the master of this universe, was the disciple of the Lord of the spiritual world. His disciple was Narada and Vyasa became the disciple of Narada. Suka became the disciple of Vyasa through the endowment of spiritual knowledge. Madhvacharya took initiation in the Krishna mantra from Vyasa. His disciple was Padmanabhacarya, whose disciple was Narahari, who was followed by Madhva Dvija. Akshobhya was his disciple, then Jayatirtha, Jnanasindhu, Mahanidhi, Vidyanidhi and Rajendra followed. Jayadharma Muni was one of Rajendra's many disciples and Vishnu Puri, the author of Bhakti-ratnavali and Purushottam, the lover of Brahmin culture became his disciples. Vyasa Tirtha, the author of Visnu-samhita, was the disciple of Purushottam. Lakshmipati Tirtha, a reservoir of devotion, was Vyasa Tirtha's disciple. Madhavendra Puri was the disciple of Lakshmipati, and it is by him that the religion was founded. His disciple, the sannyasi Ishvara Puri, took up the mood of conjugal devotion, while Advaita Acharya (also the disciple of Madhavendra) took up the moods of servitude and friendship. Gaura accepted Ishvara Puri as his guru, and then flooded the material and spiritual worlds (with love).
  16. ^ The same set of verses is found with some slight differences in the Bhakti-ratnakara (5.2549-2162).
  17. ^ Mukherjee, P. (1940). The History of Medieval Vaishnavism in Orissa. R. Chatterjee. ISBN 8120602293. p. 66

See also


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