Guru-parampara: The List of 32, Part 28

BY: ROCANA DASA - 5.10 2018


As a subsection under Laksmipati Tirtha, there is a brief biographical sketch of Visnu Puri, previously mentioned in the section about Jayadharma. In his Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, Kavi Karnapura wrote:

"Vidyanidhi's disciple was Rajendra. Rajendra's disciple was Jayadharma Muni. Among Jayadharma Muni's disciples was Sriman Visnupuri, the famous author of the Bhakti-ratnavali. Another disciple of Jayadharma was Brahmana Purusottama."

However, neither Baladeva Vidyabhusana in his Prameya-ratnavali, nor Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati in his Sri Guru-parampara poem mention Visnu Puri, nor is he included in Srila Prabhupada's List of 32.

Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa writes:

"Filling in the details over the past couple of generations, the Gaura Ganoddesa Dipika (Text 22) of Kavikarnapura says: "Rajendra's disciple was Jayadharma Muni. Among Jayadharma's disciples was Sriman Visnu Puri, the famous author of the Bhakti-ratnavali. Another disciple was Brahmanya Purusottama." But in the Kantimala, it states:

iti sri purusottama-caranaravinda-
krpa makaranda-bindu pronmilita-
sri visnu-puri grathita-sri
bhagavatamrtabdhi labdha-
sri bhaktiratnavali kantimala samapata

This indicates that Visnu Puri had some kind of disciple relationship with Purusottama Tirtha (Brahmanya); at least this confirms the time, if not his particular kind of guru-disciple relationship."

Jaya Tirtha Charan prabhu does not offer a citation for this Kantimala. He also doesn't mention how anomalous Brahmanya is in the various recensions of the guru-parampara list. As we mentioned above, there are a few names that have been particularly anomalous through nearly all iterations of the guru-parampara list: Dayanidhi/Mahanidhi, and Purusottama/Brahmanya. Just to reiterate, here are the key variations:

Kavi Karnapura wrote: "Another disciple of Jayadharma was Brahmana Purusottama. Purusottama's disciple was Vyasatirtha".

Baladeva Vidyabhusana wrote: "Rajendra, Jayadharman, and also Purusottama, Brahmanya, and Vyasatirtha."

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's Guru-parampara verse in Sanskrit: sri-vidyanidhirajendra-jayadharman-kramadvayam | purusottama-brahmanya-vyasatirthams ca samstumah"

In his Bengali poem version of the Sanskrit, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta wrote:

"jayadharma-dasye khyati, sri purusottama yati, | ta'ha ha'te brahmanya-tirtha suri"

The English translation of the Bengali (translator unknown) states: "His disciple was Rajendra Tirtha, whose principle disciple was Jayadharma, also known as Vijayadhvaja Tirtha, the famous Bhagavatam commentator. His disciple was Purusottama Tirtha, whose foremost disciple was Brahmanya Tirtha."

Based on this chain of evidence, we see that Kavi Karnapura is the earliest recorded source who has combined the two names as "Brahmana Purusottama". But Baladeva Vidyabhusana clearly indicates they are two different individuals, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta does the same, most specifically in the lines of his Bengali poem.

Srila Prabhupada follows Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, including both names as separate numbered items in his List of 32 in Bhagavad-gita As It Is. He mentions only Purusottama in Caitanya CaritamrtaAdi 6.40, specifying that Vyasatirtha is the disciple of Purusottama (not Brahmanya). He again omits Brahmana in his letter to Upendra (Feb 13, 1968), but includes Purusottama twice.

This concludes 'Biographies of the Sampradaya Acaryas'