Chaitanya Mahaprabhu defeats Keshava Kashmiri | Chaitanya Bhagavata recitation

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The following is a recitation from Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi Khanda, Chapter 13, Verses 59-190. In these verses, Srila Vrindavan das Thakur recites how Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu met with the digvijayi Pandita Keshava Kashmiri, how He defeated the scholar and how Keshava submitted himself unto the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya. 


A few words on these verses – Lord Chaitanya defeats Keshava Kashmiri :

Sri Keshava Kashmiri was a Digvijayi Pandita, who had defeated scholars from all over India. When he came to Nabadwip seeking debate, all the scholars of Nabadwip shied away from encountering him, fearing their drubbing. Feigning excuses, they hid themselves. Finally, finding no one else, the proud Pandita decided to debate with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who was a grammar teacher back then. Keshava Kashmiri met with Mahaprabhu on the bank of the Ganges. Sri Chaitanya was encircled by His students. Seeing the Pandita approach, Lord Chaitanya warmly greeted him. Lord Chaitanya then requested Keshava Kashmiri to recite a few verses in the glorification of mother Ganges. Keshava Kashmiri started reciting thousands of verses, composing them on the fly. People began wondering whether such a feat was even humanly possible (manushyera emata ki sphuroye kathan?). The ornamentation of his language was unique and his words emerged like thunder (koto megh suni yeno koroye garjana). After he had finished, Mahaprabhu quoted a few of the verses that Keshava had recited and requested for clarification. Keshava Kashmiri attempted to clarify, but Sri Chaitanya found three faults in them – one, at the beginning, one at the middle, and one at the end. Keshava Kashmiri tried to give counter-arguments but failed. Somehow, his acumen and qualities seemed to have abandoned him on that day. He returned, being defeated. 

See also  Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s daily activities in Nabadwip | Chaitanya Bhagavata Recitation

chaitanya mahaprabhu Lakshmipriya vishnupriya godruma keshava kashmiri

Keshava considered how he could be defeated by a mere Sanskrit grammar teacher. He had previously vanquished great scholars of the world. He had also obtained a boon from goddess Saraswati that no one could match him in arguments. But here he was soundly defeated. At night goddess Saraswati appeared in his dream and revealed to Keshava the Supreme identity of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The goddess revealed that Lord Chaitanya was none other than her worshipable master, and the supreme cause of all causes. It was Keshava’s great fortune that he could attain the darshan of Sri Chaitanya, the Supreme Lord. The goddess urged Keshava Kashmiri to seek shelter at the Lord’s lotus feet. Accordingly, the Pandita fell at Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet the next morning. Lord Chaitanya instructed Keshava to quit his false pride and engage himself in worshiping Krishna. He also asked Keshava to keep His identity a secret.
Thereafter, abandoning all of his opulence, Keshava Kashmiri engaged himself in selfless devotional service. The news of Keshava being defeated and being delivered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spread like wildfire. The scholars of Nabadwip anointed Mahaprabhu with the title of ‘badi simha’ for this unprecedented feat.

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