In the Lila, Padmanabhdas is Champaklata, a sakhi of Shri Swaminiji. When Padmanabhdas said to Shri Acharyaji, “I am a Brahmin, so I will live by taking alms,” Shri Acharyaji was very pleased to see Padmanabhdas’ resolve and said, “Such resolve is the greatest dharma of a Vaishnava.”
Later when Padmanabhdas brought his entire family to Shri Acharyaji to have them accepted into the guru’s shelter, Padmanabhdas requested, “Maharaj! What shall I do now?”
“Make the blessed Lord’s seva,” Shri Acharyaji replied.
“Maharaj,” Padmanabhdas answered, “I have spent a lot of time studying the Puranas, the Mahabharat, and other scriptures. For that reason, it will be difficult for me to have faith in the actual form of Shri Thakurji. My faith would only become firm if I were to actually behold the glory of the Lord’s form.” Hence faith itself is the reward.Shri Acharyaji replied, “Come with me to Vraj. I will show you the Lord’s greatness.”
Padmanabhdas accompanied Shri Acharyaji to Vraj. They came to a remote area near Mahavan. Shri Acharyaji rested across from there on the banks of the Yamuna River, at a place named Karnaaval. That morning, a sand cliff in the banks of the Yamuna River broke apart, and out of it emerged an actual form of the Lord, as tall as an enormous tree. He came before Shri Acharyaji and commanded, “Perform My seva.”
Shri Acharyaji replied, “Maharaj! These days Vaishnavas do not have the power to perform Your seva and shringar. If it is Your wish to arrange for Your worship from the Vaishnavas, then present Yourself such that You can sit in my lap. Then Your seva will be possible.”
Then Shri Thakurji took a smaller form and sat in Shri Acharyaji’s lap, with His head reaching just to Shri Mahaprabhuji’s chin. Within His divine form were the markings of Shri Yamunaji, Shri Girirajji, His ‘Sakha’ cowlad friends and ‘Sakhi’ Gopis, cows, forest bowers, and the 84 kosh (252 kilometer) Vraj pilgrimage. Shri Acharyaji thus named Him “Shri Mathuranathji.”
Shri Acharyaji turned to Padmanabhdas and asked, “Has you heart’s desire been fulfilled?” Overwhelmed with love, Padmanabhdas replied, “Maharaj! You are my true master. What is not possible with your grace?” “Now perform Shri Krishna’s seva and be content with whatever comes to you,” Shri Acharyaji advised.
Padmanabhdas took his guru’s permission and then brought Shri Mathuranathji to his home in Kanauj, where he began to lovingly perform the blessed Lord’s seva. Previously Padmanabhdas had taken alms, but now it occurred to him, “I have become a Vaishnava, so why should I go around asking for alms? Shri Acharyaji told me to be content with whatever comes; that is the superior way.”
Shri Mahaprabhuji taught in How to Increase Devotion, “If you are free from all other occupations, worship Shri Krishna lovingly. Serve him with song, perform devotional listening, and undertake other exalted activities. [Bhaktivardhini 2]” As he was without occupation, Padmanabhdas began to worship Shri Krishna in this way, applying his heart and mind to the divine service of Shri Mathuranathji.
After Padmanabhdasji left his body, his daughter Tulsa and daughter-in-law, Parvati served Shri Mathuresh Prabhu. After Parvatibai too returned to the Lila, Shri Mathureshji was returned to Shri Gusainji.