The following is an article I wrote when I was 12:
If you have ever been on Navadwip dhama parikrama, then Mamagachi must ring a bell to you. Mamagachi is a place in northern Burdawan and is a part of Modadrumadwip, one of the nine islands of Navadwip. Modadrumadwip symbolizes the process of dasyam- service to the supreme lord. What is special about Mamagachi is that it is the birthplace of a powerful acharya. That acharya is Vedavyas himself coming to assist Lord Chaitanya in his pastimes. His name is Vrindavan das Thakur.
Vrindavan das Thakur was born in Mamagachi in 1507 A.D; about 4 years after Lord Chaitanya took sanyassa- the renounced order of life. He was the son of Narayani Devi. Not much is known about his father but there is a reference about him in Sri Prem Vilas. There it is stated his father’s name was Vaikuntha das and he was from Kumarhatta. According to some obscure sources it is also known that he did not follow the process of bhakti before leaving the world.
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p>The life of his mother, Narayani Devi is more elaborated upon. In Gaur Ganoddesa-Dipika it is mentioned: Kilimbika, who used to eat Krishna’s remnants, was the younger sister of Krishna’s nurse Ambika (in Gaur Lila, Srivas’s wife Malini Devi). In Mahaprabhu’s Lila, she became Narayani Devi.
Narayani Devi had received the special mercy of Lord Chaitanya at the tender age of four. Lord Chaitanya had bestowed to her the highest form of spiritual ecstasy- prema at the residence of Srivas Thakur. Srivas Thakur happened to be Narayani Devi’s uncle. Lord Chaitanya had wanted to prove that even children could immerse themselves into the highest spiritual ecstasy. In Chaitanya Bhagavat it states: The golden moon, Sri Gauranga revealed himself as the soul of all souls. At that time he ordered Narayani to chant the name of Krishna. Although she was only four years old, she became mad with love of God. Crying “Krishna, Krishna” she swooned in ecstasy. As she lay on the ground in a trance of bliss, her eyes filled with tears, overwhelmed with divine love.It is also said in Chaitanya Bhagavat:
"As a result of her great piety, Narayani would get whatever remnants the Lord might leave after eating. Although she was only an unschooled little girl, the Lord would favor Srivas Thakur's niece by giving her the leftovers of food touched by His holy lips. Indeed it was the mercy of that prasadam that caused Vrindavan das Thakur to appear in this world."
As already mentioned Vedavyas became Vrindavan das Thakur. Krishna’s friend Kusumapida also entered into him for the sake of the Lord’s pastimes.
As Narayani Devi had become a widow while Vrindavan das Thakur was in her womb she maintained herself by working as a servant in Vasudev Datta’s house. Soon after Vrindavan das Thakur was born and his studies began.
<o:p></o:p>Vrindavan das Thakur lived in Mamagachi as a child and sometimes went to visit his granduncle in Kumarhatta. As he grew up he started to notice the mentality of the smarta Brahmins- Brahmins by birth. He noticed they always opposed the Vaishnavas and always envied Nityananda prabhu.
Vrindavan das Thakur eventually got married but nothing much is known about his married life. One of his disciples who were born a ksatriya named Sri Ramahari was appointed to be the sole heir of his property at Denduda. His descendents still live at the house in Denduda and continue to serve the Sri Sri Gaur Nitai deities that Vrindavan das Thakur had installed.
The words of the smarta Brahmins were starting to become very disturbing to Vrindavan das Thakur. Vrindavan das Thakur looked for shelter from several acharyas and then he surrendered at Nityananda Prabhu’s lotus feet. He is known to be the last disciple Nityananda Prabhu ever made.
On the instructions of Nityananda Prabhu, Vrindavan das Thakur started to write the Chaitanya Mangal in 1535 A.D. This was recognized by Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami in Chaitanya Charitamrita. He says:
Krishna lila bhagavate kahe veda vyasa/ Chaitanya lilera vyasa vrindavana das
Vrindavana das kaila Chaitanya mangala/ yanhara sravane nase sarva amangala
Chaitanya-nitaira yate janiya mahima/yate jani krsna bhakti siddhanters sima
Manusya racite nare aiche grantha dhanya/vrindavana das mukhe vakta sri Chaitanya
“As Vyasadev compiled all the pastimes of Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagavatam, Vrindavan das Thakur has depicted the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya. Vrindavan das Thakur has composed Sri Chaitanya Mangala. Hearing this book annihilates all misfortune. By reading this book one can understand all the truths of Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda and come to the ultimate conclusion of devotional service of the Lord. The subject matter of this book is so sublime that it appears that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has personally appeared through is writing.”
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur told his disciples to read Chaitanya Mangal before reading Chaitanya Charitamrita. Chaitanya Mangal focuses more on the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya while Chaitanya Charitamrita also includes many pastimes while intertwining the tatva- understanding part of the pastime. Thus, generally Chaitanya Charitamrita is a little bit harder to follow. Also Chaitanya Mangal is shorter in length. When Vrindavan das Thakur finished writing the Lord’s pastimes in Navadwip, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com<st1:place w:st="on">Gaya</st1:place></st1:City> and Puri, he became so overwhelmed in describing Nityananda Prabhu he only gave a brief account of Lord Chaitanya’s later life. Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami later elaborated on these points that were very briefly described. Lastly, some people misunderstand the way Vrindavan das Thakur writes. Many times in Chaitanya Mangal Vrindavan das Thakur writes: eta parihare-o je papi ninda kare/ tabe lathi maron tar sirera upare. “If someone blasphemes the Vaishnavas even after being told how objectionable it is, I will kick him in the head.” Some people misunderstand this point. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur explains what Vrindavan das Thakur meant to say: “I am ready to kick the heads of the greedy and envious people who are always engaged in blasphemy of Nityananda Prabhu, and I by doing so I can prevent them from committing unlimited offenses unto the Supreme Lord it is well worth it. Not only that, but if by doing so I can bring about a clear conception of the truth, I will be actually performing them the greatest service.” That is the real meaning of what Vrindavan das Thakur said. Saraswati Thakur continues to say that this is Vrindavan das Thakur’s intense compassion for the fallen living entities. If even a speck of the dust from his lotus feet falls on the head of a sinful person that person’s sins will be eradicated. Vrindavan das Thakur ki jaya!<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>Vrindavan das Thakur left this world in 1589. However we can still associate with him by reading the literature he wrote, namely Sri Chaitanya Mangal and Sri Nityananda Charitamrita. He has also left us a lot of songs that reveal the potency of Sri Sri Gaur Nitai.
<o:p></o:p>Nowadays, this book is known as Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat, because when Lochan das Thakur wrote a book with the same title, all the Vaishnavas decided Lochan das Thakur’s book would stay as Chaitanya Mangal and Vrindavan das Thakur’s book would be called Chaitanya Bhagavat. These books are still available today in volumes at www.krishna.com/store. It is important to read this book because after all it is an essential tool to develop pure devotional service to the Lord.
Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.