Dhanurdhara Swami December 4th, 2002
Several readers of the journal expressed interest in a copy of Vaisnava Vandana by Devakinandana dasa. I found a translation in the magazine “Sri Krishna-Kathamrita,” which I recommend–especially the last issue on Vaishnava aparadha. It also has an article on Devakinananda dasa. An excerpt follows:
“…After offending Srivas Thakur, as described in Caitanya-caritamrita (Adi 17.38-59), Mahaprabhu instructed Gopal Capala that, to be forgiven for that offense, he would have take shelter of Srivas Pandit. Srivas Pandit in turn instructed him to take shelter of Purushottam dasa. Purushottam dasa gave him initiation and the name Devakinandana dasa. He then ordered Devakinandana to worship and pray to the Vaishnavas by which he would become free from his offenses. Taking this order on his head, Devakinandana traveled from country to country, collecting the names of all Vaishnava devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for including in his Vaisnava Vandana.”
The article goes on to explain that Vaisnava Vandana is technically the name of a much longer work by Devakinandana dasa. It is the final 12 verses of this work that are popularly sung by many Gaudiya Vaishnavas as a means to help purify one of past offenses, as well as to prevent Vaishnava aparadha.
The article references Caitanya Caritamrita to supportthe potency of glorification of the Vaishnavas:
“What I say is truth. If a person who has committed blasphemy stops blaspheming others and instead praises Lord Vishnu and the Vaisnhavas, then all of the person’s sins and offenses will be destroyed. That is the right way to destroy them. Millions of rituals of atonement will not destroy them.” (Cc. Antya
Sri Vaisnava Vandana
vrndavana-basi jate vaisnavera gana
prathame vandana kori sabara carana
First of all, I offer my worship to the lotus feet of the residents of Vrindavan, all of whom are Vaishnavas.
nilacala-basi jataa mahaprabhura gana
bhumite-padiya vandon sabara carana
Next, I fall down on the ground and worship the lotus feet of all of Mahaprabhu’s associates who live in Nilacala, Jagannatha Puri-dhama.
navadvipa-basi jata mahaprabhura bhakta
sabara carana vandon hoiya anurakta
I then worship the devotees of Mahaprabhu in Nabadvipa and pray for loving attachment to their lotus feet.
mahaprabhura bhakta jata gauda-dese sthiti
sabara carana vandon koriya pranati
I then worship the lotus feet of all Mahaprabhu’s devotees residing in Gaudadesh, Bengal.
ye dese ye dese baise gaurangera gana
urdhva-bahu kori’ vandon sabara carana
With upraised arms, I worship the lotus feet of Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s dear devotees, in whatever country they may reside.
hoiyachena hoibena prabhura jata dasa
sabara carana vandon dante kori’ ghasa
With straw in my teeth, I worship the lotus feet of the servants of Mahaprabhu that were in the past or that will ever be in the future.
brahmanda tarite sakti dhare jane jane
e veda purane guna gaya jeba sune
In the Vedas and Puranas it is said that each of the dear devotees of Sriman Mahaprabhu has the potency to deliver the entire universe.
mahaprabura gana saba patita pavana
tai lobhe mui papi loinu sarana
The devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are deliverers of the most fallen. Being greedy for that deliverance, this sinner surrenders unto them.
vandana korite mui kata sakti dhari
tamo-buddhi-dose mui dambha matra kori
What power or ability do I have to glorify the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Being engrossed in ignorance, it is only out of pride that I attempt
to do so.
tathapi mukera bhagya manera ullasa
dosa ksami’ mo-adhame koro nija dasa
Even though I have no ability to glorify them, still I am feeling great pleasure in the attempt. Please overlook my faults, O Vaishnavas, and make me your
sarva-vancha siddhi haya yama-bandha chute
jagate durlabha hioya prema-dhana lute
The Vaishnavas bestow the perfection of all desires, including freedom from death, and even the treasure of prema so rare in this world.
manera vasana purna acirate hoya
devakinandana dasa ei lobhe koya
Being greedy that the desire of his heart be fulfilled very soon, Devakinandana dasa writes this song glorifying and praying to the Vaishnavas.
(Note: I have taken the liberty to edit the translation found in Krishna-Kathamrita.)