Date of Birth: V.S 1556 (A.D 1499)
Place of Birth: Jamunavata
Left the World: V.S 1640 (A.D 1583) at Shankarshankund.
Sung before whom: Shri Goverdhannathji
Favourite Raag: Sung in almost all raags
First meeting with Shri Mahaprabhuji: At Anyor
Shri Goverdhannathji revealed to Shri Mahaprabhuji while he was at Jharkhand during his Bharat pilgrimage (parikrama): “I have manifested Myself at Shri Goverdhan. Get me out and start system of service (seva prakar)”. Shri Mahaprabhuji then went to Anyor. Shri Kumbhandasji and his wife met Him at Anyor at that time and requested Him to take them in His refuge. Shri Mahaprabhuhji constructed a small worship place for Shri Goverdhannathji and started the system of service (seva prakar) there. Shri Mahaprabhuji deputed Shri Kumbhandasji for the kirtan seva of Shri Goverdhannathji at that time. Shri Kumbhandasji then settled there and performed this duty throughout his life.
Shri Mahaprabhuji according to Shri Goverdhandhar’s wish returned to Shri Goverdhan from Jharkhand during his pilgrimage and got the swaroop of Shri Goverdhandhar out up the mountain (Giriraj). After that he went to Anyor to Sadu Pande’s house to help him start the seva of Shri Goverdhandhar. Shri Kumbhandasji who was staying at Jamunavata on receiving this information told his wife that some great personality has arrived at Anyor and has got Shri Goverdhandharji up on the mountain of Shri Goverdhan. Many persons have become his followers and it will become beneficial if we too become His followers. Both then went to Anyor and requested Shri Mahaprabhuji to take them under His refuge. Shri Mahaprabhuji bestowed them with Ashtakshar Diksha (Naam Mantra). Shri Mahaprabhuji after that got Shri Goverdhandharji established in a temple there and deputed Shri Ramdas Chauhan for seva and Shri Kumbhandasji for kirtan seva.
Kumbhandasji’s kirtan became so popular that emperor Akbar sitting at Fatehpur got anxious to hear him. He therefore sent his attendants to call Shri Kumbhandasji. Receiving the call order from emperor Akbar, though not willing Shri Kumbhandasji had to go to Sikri Fatehpur. Emperor Akbar ordered Shri Kumbhandasji to sing Vishnu’s pada. Unhappy Shri Kumbhandas at that time sang ‘Bhakt ko kaha sikri ka kaam. Avat jaavat kanhaiya tuti bisri gayo Harinaam’.(Meaning what a devotee has to do with Sikri. He will only get torn his slippers and on top will forget to remember Hari’s name). Emperor Akbar thought that had he any greed for anything he would have flattered me. But he has the relation only with his Lord. Ultimately Emperor Akbar requested Shri Kumbhandasji to express his desire for anything he loves to have. Shri Kumbhandasji at that time suggested to Akbar that he need not be called again like this in future.
Shri Gusaiji knew from his followers that Shri Kumbhandasji has paucity of funds. He therefore on suggestions of his followers insisted that Shri Kumbhandasji should accompany him to Shri Dwarika. How could Shri Gusaiji be disobeyed? Shri Kumbhandasji hence went with Shri Gusaiji unwillingly. They came at the camp at Apsara Kund. Here Shri Kumbhandasji came out of the tent and while he was pondering upon the situation the agony of separation from Shri Goverdhandharji increased immensely. Tears started flowing from his eyes and the kirtans of separation started coming from his mouth. Shri Gusaiji saw this and thought that Shri Goverdhanji also must be feeling similar agony of separation from Shri Kumbhandasji. Immediately Shri Gusaiji ordered Shri Kumbhandasji to return to Shri Goverdhannathji for his darshan and told him not to accompany him to Shri Dwarika.
Shri Kumbhandasji had seven sons. Once Shri Gusaiji asked him “How many sons do you have?”. Shri Kumbhandasji spontaneously replied: “One and a half”. Shri Gusaiji said :”You have seven sons then why you are saying like this”? In reply Shri Kumbhandasji told:”My five sons are attached only to the material world. So how can I call them my sons? One is Shri Chatturbhujdas and half is Shri Krshnadas. Chatturbhujdas stays near Shri Thakorji, worships him, does seva and experiences joy of swaroop (swaroopanand) and thereby gets himself absorbed in his union. When Shri Thakorji goes to Vraj for grazing cows he gets absorbed in the agony of separation of Shri Goverdhandhar. Likewise he gets experiences of both union and separation. One who has such experience is said to be a complete vaishnav. Krshnadas is attending cows and also has darshan of Shri Thakorji but does not have the experience of the sport (leela) of Shri Goverdhandhar. Consequently does not have any experience of the agony of the separation. Hence he is my half son.
After Shri Kumbhandasji became old and very weak, he sat at Shankarshan Kund near Anyor. His son Chatturbhujdas told him to take him to Jamnavata village where he used to live. Shri Kumbhandasji refused to go there and said “only little time is left for me to leave this body”. Meanwhile, Shri Gusaiji came there. Shri Kumbhandasji offered him dandvat pranaam and sang some kirtans of childhood sport and lastly his mind got engrossed in Shri Goverdhannathji and he left this world singing the pada of His leela. Shri Gusaiji remained very much upset that whole day and expressed his feeling that Bhagwadiya (divine soul) exists no more. He has unrevealed himself.