Sri Gadadhara Pandita

Gadadhara Pandita

Gadadhara Pandita is among the group known as the Panca-tattva, consisting of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and four of His closest associates. Gadadhara Pandita spent most of his life in Jagannatha Puri worshiping the Tota-Gopinatha Deity, who is still worshiped in Puri. Gadadhara Pandita is considered an incarnation of Srimati Radharani. Lalita gopi always follows Srimati Radharani, and therefore she is known as Anuradha (Radha's follower). When Srimati Radharani appeared as Gadadhara Pandita, Lalita followed her, entering the body of Gadadhara Pandita. Therefore, Gadadhara Pandita is the incarnation of both Srimati Radharani and Lalita gopi. 
 
Sri Gadadhar was the consant companion of Mahaprabhu from the time of their childhood. His father's name was Sri Madhva Misra and his mother's name Sri Ratnavati-devi. They lived very near the house of Sri Jagannatha Misra in Mayapura. Ratnavati-devi thought of Saci-devi as her own sister, and always used to visit her. During their childhood, Sri Gaura Hari and Gadadhara would play together, sometimes at Mahaprabhu's house and sometimes at Gadadhara's house. They both studied together at the sameschool. Gadadhara was a few years younger then Nimai. Nimai couldn't remain without Gadadhara even for a moment and Gadadhara likewise couldn't stand to be separated from Nimai
 
Gadadhara Pandit also took the renounced order of life and went to Jagannatha Puri to be with Lord Caitanya. Accepting ksetra sannyasa (a renunciate who never leaves the dhama), he served the Deity of Tota-Gopinatha with full love and devotion. Regularly, Sri Krishna Caitanya carne to relish Sri Gadadhara's rasika reading of Srimad Bhagavatam. Lord Caitanya concluded His manifest pastimes by entering the Deity of Tota-Gopinatha. Although Gadadhara Pandit was barely forty-eight when the Lord departed, he quickly became old because of the intense anguish he felt in separation from his beloved Lord Gaurasundara. He couldn't stretch his arms to offer a garland to his Deity. Understanding His servant's difficulty, Sri Tota-Gopinatha sat down to facilitate Gadadhara's loving service. To this day, Sri Tota-Gopinatha is the only sitting Deity of Krishna. According to some authorities, a short time after Lord Caitanya's disappearance Sri Gadadhara Pandit joined His eternal pastimes by entering his beloved Deity of Tota-Gopinatha.