Front page of the Pada-kaustubha
This is the front page of the manuscript Pada-kaustubha, a treatise on Sanskrit grammar composed by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana.
According to the Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana, this text was seen by Haridas Baba in the library of one of the Goswamis of the Radha-Ramana temple in Vrindavan more than 60 years ago. Later on, that collection was either sold or given away, and since then the whereabouts of the Pada-kaustubha was unknown. One of the important features of this manuscript is that Srila Vidyabhusana tells us the name of his grammar teacher, Shiva-Rama, “by whose mercy I was given access to the nectarean ocean of Panini’s grammar.”
Original manuscript of the Govinda-bhasya handwritten by Baladeva Vidyabhusana
Baladeva Vidyabhusana Brief Biography:
Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana (Sri Govinda Dasa) appeared in the 1600’s near Remuna, Orissa. In his youth, he mastered Sanskrit grammar, poetry, and logic. After carefully studying the commentries of Sankara and Madhva he took initiation in the Tattva-vadi disciplic succession of Sripad Madhvacarya. Baladeva Vidyabhusana became a dig vijaya pandit (conqueror of all opponents) and began visiting the holy places. Wherever he went he defeated the local sages, scholars, and sannyasis.
In Jagannatha Puri, he learned the superexcellent philosophy of Sri Krishna Caitanya from Sri Radha-Damodara Gosvami, and took initiation after converting to Gaudiya Vaisnavism. In Vrndavana, he studied Srimad Bhagavatam under Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and worshiped Radha-Syamasundara.
In 1706 A.D. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura sent him to Gulta (near Jaipur, Rajasthan) to uphold the credibility of Mahaprabhu’s movement. The local Ramanandis (a branch of Sri Vaisnavas) were claiming that the Bengali Vaisnavas had no right to worship Govindaji because they had no commentary on the Vedanta-sutra.
Lord Govindaji Himself directly revealed the Govinda-bhasya (a Vaisnava commentary on Vedanta) to Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Using it, Baladeva solidly established Gaudiya Vaisnavism as an independent philosophy. He also reinstated the Bengali Vaisnavas in Govindaji’s service in Jaipura. Govinda-bhasya is the only bhakti commentary on Vedanta-sutra.
Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana was a niskincana-parama bhagavata, fully-renounced topmost devotee of Lord Krishna. His more than twenty-four books and commentaries have helped thousands of Vaisnavas understand the sublime philosophy of Krishna consciousness and the intimate writings of the six Gosvamis. Since he was devoid of false prestige, he never wrote about his birth, parents, lineage, personal life. According to Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Navadvipa-dhama mahatyam, in Caitanya lila Baladeva Vidyabhusana is Sri Gopinatha Acarya, the brother-in-law of Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. In Vraja he serves as Sri Radha’s eternal maidservant Ratnavali Devi.