have met with a similar fate. The rich treasures of the Royal treasury were looted by Asafkhan, and were carried away by him. The ravage done was so complete that no definite marks of this illustrious princess’s kingdom could now be traced by historians. The traces of Vitthales’vara’s stay in Gadha are fortunately preserved by his Bethak, near Jubbulpore which is said to be the place where his second marriage with Padmavati was celebrated as mentioned above.
From Gadha, Vitthales’vara seems to have migrated to Prayaga (Allahabad). Here he stayed for some time in great happiness. He engaged himself in the worship of Krishna and the performance of Somayaga.
From Prayaga Vitthales’vara seems to have migrated to Gokula on Bhadrapadkrishna 3, 1622. Here he resided in a place where his father and his elder brother used to reside during their visits in Chaturamasa. Vitthales’vara is said to have stayed in Gokula for about 84 dyas. Then on Kartikshukla 11, 1623 he seems to have removed to Mathura. He lived in Sat-gara built by Rani Durgavati. From 1623 to 1629 Vitthales’vara passed his time in Mathura. In 1623 when he visited Gujurat, the image of Shree nathaji was brought by Giridharaji from the Govardhana Hill to his house and was installed in his house in Sat-gara. The image continued to be worshipped for about two months and 21 days in Vitthales’vara’s house in Mathura. Vitthales’vara house in Mathura. Vitthales’vara did not approve perhaps of this on account of the irksome prepondereance of Mahomedan influence. After his visit to Mathura Vittales’vara gave up the public celebration of Rathotsava festival for the same reason. Vitthales’vara seems to have preferred the place ofGovardhana Hill selected by his father. And by the time he reached Mathura, from his visit to gujurat in 1623, the image of Shrinathaji was again taken over to Giriraja and again installed therein on the 14 th day of the bright half of Vaishkh, Sun 1624. Vitthales’vara some-how preferred
The quit place of Gokula to the city of mathura and in the year 1629 Falguna Krishan 7 he adopted Gokula as his permanent residence.
From the year 1628 upto his passing away in 1642 vithaleshwara resided at Gokula and carried on his literary and other religious activities. Emperor Akbar took delight discussion of questions relating to the world byond. He is said to have paid a visit to Goswamis of Brindawan by this time. Vitthales’vara Dikhita was invited by emperor Akbar was much pleased with his explanations, and and he requested him to ask for a gift. Vitthaleshwara asked the Emperor to give him Gokula which being a quit palce was congenial to his tastes an requirements, being situated on the banks of the river Yamuna near Maha Vana. Thereupon Emperor Akbar made a grant to him of Gokula under his Royal Seal and handed over the Fireman to Vitthales’vara in the year samvat 1634 corresponding with 29 th of jamadi the 2 nd, A. H. 985 (1577 A.D.) Vitthales’vara was the recipient of three other Firmans granting him the privilage of grazing his cattle on all lands including khalsa or jagir. Another Firmans was granted to him by Hamidah Banu Begum, mother of Emperor Akbar. He was also the recipient of the grant of the Jatipura village where the Shrine of Govardhanadhara was situated. During his stay at Gokula he visited Gujarat twice, once in the year 1631, and then in 1639. It was perhaps During this last visit that Gopaldasa, the author of Navakhyana, came into his contact and wrote his beautiful poem describing In the last chapter the whole family of vitthaleshwara. This last chapter mentions seven sons of Vittaleshwara and their wives. It dose not mention the name of wither of the wives of Vitthaleshwara. The inference is that this poem is written after Vitthales’vara’s both Vitthales’yama, if not actually married, was betrothed to Krishnavati. Al his four daughters of his elder brothers Gopinatha, Lakshmi and Satyabama, were residing with him and passed their widowhood in comleate happiness in the service of shree navanitapriya.
Thus from the year 1629 to 1642 Vithaleshwara lived at gokula in complete tranquility. During his stay ther, he carried on and perfected the mode of worship both at Goverdhan, dhara’s temple at Jatipura and in Navnitapriya’s temple at Gokula. Poet Gopaladasa describes beautifully how vitthaleshwara daily webton horseback from Gokula to Goverdhana. “Turang Chalyo vayuvege Utavlo, jane nauka chali Sindhu tarva” Vitthales’vara translated his father’s teachings into actual practice and turned them into a divine religion. His father mentioned two alternatives in the verse Gruha Sarvatmana…………………………….. The first alternative of tyag (complete renunciation ) cannot be translated into into practice as an inflexible rule, by each and everyone. Hence Vitthaleshwara accepted the second alternative of Atyag by which everything was to be utilized for Krishna, theeby ultimately the gole enunciated in the first alternative of tyag was to be gradually reached. With this end in view he promulgated an elaborate mode of rituals for the Seva-marga. The Seva marg was based purely on the dictates of the of the finer sentiments of heart. The result was that the very household of Vitthales’vara. Became free from the experience of the miserable surroundings of th worldly life. The mode o worship was carried on in such a way that all the members of his family, young and old, males and female, could take part in the daily worship with such fervour and and placementness that his house was a sight which gods would envy. The poet Gopaladasa gives expression to this fact in the following couplets:-
Emperor Akbar’s two ministers todarmall and Birbal seem to have come into closer contact with him during this time and gave him their help whenever required. The shrine of Shreenathaji came into existence under which the followers of vallabhacharya and those of the Gaud school both worshipped it with equal reverence . Shreenathaji or Govardhandhara was worshipped by the local people as Devadamana. It is alleged that originally this shrine was set up by king Vraja of the Yadava race who was brought to muttra by Arjuna after the destruction of the Yadava race. The said images which remained under-ground was then discovered. When Vallabhacharya cisited Vraja, he installed this image of Goverdhanadhara or Sree nahaji in the year 1576, AkshyaTrutiya. He appointed Madhavendra-puri a tailanga Brahmana Sannyasi of the mahva school to carry on worship of Govardhana-dhara. This Madhavendra-puri was a Krishna-worshipper. He was the guru of Ishvarapuri who initiated the Bengal saint Chaitanya into Krishna-worship. Madhavendra-puri was instrumental in introdusing Krishna-worship in Bengal. To carry on the daily worship of S’ree Nathaji was a task difficult for the single individual. Hence he kept some Bengali Vaishnavas to help him. Ramdasa, another saint,was commissioned by Vallabhacharya to act as first MukhyaPracharak. He was a Chauhana Rajput. Krishnadas was appointed as the Adhikari. Vallabhacharya and his son Gopinatha used to visit Vraja during the Chatur-masya of every year, and during their absence they used to carry on the Seva themselves. After the passing away of Vallabhacharya and Gopinatha, some disagreement seems to have arisen between the Bengal Vaishnavas and Vallabhas. So long as Madhavndra-puri was there, no disagreement seems to have arisen. The image is spoken of as Gopala and Described as such in the work of Chitanya writers. When Madhavendra-puri went to the south to bring Malayagara chandana (Sandal-Wood) he passed away there at an advanced age of about 130 years an the Bengal Vaishnavas used to carry on the worship of S’ree Nathji under control and supervision of Krishnadasa Adhikari. Gopinatha’s Visit to Gujarat brought him about a lakh pr rupees as Seva. The same was dedicated by him to S’ree Nathji. Vitthalesvara’s frequent visits to Gujarat attractd its rich people to visit the shrine of S’ree Nathji and they made rich presents to the Deity. It seems, Bengal Vaishnavas who used to carry on worship, secretly carried away these presents to their Goswamis who lived at Brindavan. This created great dissatisfaction among the vaishnavas of Gujarat. One Anantadasa raised an emphatic protest against this miscues of the offerings to the Deity. He persuaded Krishnadasa Adhikari to put a stop to this and drive out the said Bengali worshippers. Krishnadasa could not do it unless he had the sanction of Vitthales'vara. For this purpose he was persuaded to approach Vitthales'vara, who at first hesitated, because these Bengalees were appointed by his father. But after some deliberations, Krishnadasa succeeded in obtaining a letter of recommendation to Raja Birbal to help him in his mission. With this letter Krishnadasa saw Birbal, then collected a number of men with him and set fire to the huts of the. Bengalees. The moment the latter came to know of this, they came down from the Govardhana hill where the shrine was situated. At first they offered great resistance to Krishnadasa, but ultimately yielded, and he got exclusive control and possession of the shrine. Raja Birbal was intimate with Giridharaji, the eldest son of Vitthales'vara. Perhaps to establish his absolute control, Giridharaji brought the shrine of Gopala-S'ree Nathaji to his own house in Mathura in 1623. From this date the mode of worship was greatly elaborated by Vitthales'vara. It became the excusive resort of Vallabha Vaishnava, and Bengal Vaishnavas began to forget their early connection with it. The personal relations of Vallabhacharya and Chaitanya were very cordial as can be inferred from the above facts regarding the setting up of the shrine of S'ree Nathaji. The Chaitanya writers, and especially Krishnadasa, who lived in Bengal and who is the author of Chaitanya-Charitamrita perhaps felt bitterly this loss of the control of the above shrine. In their zeal to extol Chaitanya they try to belittle the achievements of Vallabhacharya. Vallabhacharya's records are singularly devoid of any unpleasant reference to Chaitanya, while the statement of Chaitanya writers that Vallabhacharya, though praising Chaitanya, slighted his companions, and that he had to take lessons in Bhagavata at Puri from Jagadananda, pupil of Chaitanya, is merely out of prejudice and historically impossible. There can be no greater nonsense than this. The present Bengal writers like Dr. Sen and others who copy this, seem to be rather uncritical. We believe the above. Statements are the result of the disappointment felt by Chaitanya Goswamis of Brindabana on account of the loss of S'ree Nathaji as mentioned above. We are told that in an early work, Brindavandasa's Chaitanya Bhagavata, there is no reference to the incident of Puri. The transference of the control of the shrine to Vitthales'vara had very marked results. Emperor Akbar presented the j atipura village to Vitthales'vara by a special Firman. The inner worship became confined to the agnates of Vittales’vara and their wives and daughters only. Among Brahmanas, Geernaras and Sachoras who early joined the Faith were allowed to take part in the worship. But the mass of Vaishnavas were henceforth excluded for ever from the touch of holy shrine, a result which it is doubtful whether Vallabhacharaya or Vitthales’vara could have had in their minds, when Vallabhacharya installed the shrine and Vittales’vara got its exclusive control. His immediate object then was to exclude the Bengalees only. Perhaps it would not be out of place to remark that this was the occasion when Vittales’vara lost all traces of Chaitanya thought which he had gained during his visit to Jagannatha in 1616.
During his stay at Gokula in Samvat 1629, Raja Todarmal paid a visit to Vithales’vara. He ordered by Emperor Akbar to take the command of the Imperial forces in Behar against king Daud. This was an onerous task and before setting out on his expedition, Todarmall came to Vittales’vara to invoke his blessings. He was given by Vitthales’ vara , a ‘Pitamber” which Todarmall tied over his head, while he stated on his expedition. This would show that Todarmall held Vitthales’vara in very high esteem.
Raja Birbal’s connections with Vittales’vara were equally intimate as stated above. When Vitthales’vara was on his visit to Gujurat, a controversy seems to have arisen as regards the date on which the Janmashtami fast was to be observed. On his return he came to now about this and composed a work named Janmashtaminirnay stating his view about it with reasons. Possibly the ramnavminirnay was also written by him under similar circumstances. Having quietly settled at Gokula, he gave definiteness to the religious practices initiated by his father.
After Vallabhacharya, Vitthales’vara’s elder brother S’ri Gopinatha succeeded as Acharya. S’ri Gopinatha was a great devotee. Vitthales’vara entertained great respect for his brother. We have not got materials enough to learn how ‘ri Gopinatha understood and expounded the tenets promulgated by his father. We know that he used to reside at Adel for the most part of the year and like his father used to visit Vraja during the monsoon. There he used to perform Gopala- upasana. There is a work called Sadhana-Deepaka, the authorship of which is attributed to him.