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SRIMATI JAHNAVA MATA
Shri Surjadas Sarekhela was a resident of Shaligram. He had fivebrothers - Damodar, Jagannath, Gauri das, Krishna das and NrsimhaChaitanya. His father's name was Shri Kamsari Misra. His mother'sname, Shri Kamala devi. He received the title "Sarakhela" as heused to keep the accounts for the king of Gaur desh. His twodaughters were named Shri Vasudha and Shri Jahnava, who was theyoungest. In Gaur-ganoddesh-dipika it is stated that they are the expan-sions of Baruni and Revati in Brindaban and Surjadas Sarakhela,whose body effulgence is like the sun, is an expansion ofKakudmir, the king of Raivat. The two Lords Gauranga and Nit-yananda were very affectionate to him. Seeing that his twodaughters had reached the full bloom of their youth, he began tocontemplate their marriage. Thinking in this way, he fell asleep;and in his dream he saw that in a very happy mood he was presenting his two daughters to Nityananda Prabhu. Having seen such a wonderful dream, he began to float in an ocean of bliss. In the morning when he awoke, he told his dream to one brahmanafriend of his, "I saw in my dream that Nityananda Prabhu is noneother than Baladeva. His bodily effulgence was shining in alldirections and his body was decorated with various shiningornaments. On either side of him my two daughters appeared asBaruni and Revati. Now if I cannot give my daughters in marriageto Nityananda Prabhu then there will be no peace for me." Havingconfided in his friend in this way, he sent him to the house ofShrivas Pandit in Navadwip. That brahmana came to Navadwip very quickly and found that Nityananda Prabhu was living at ShrivasPandit's house. The brahmana explained everything in detail toShrivas Pandit who later at the proper time divulged all of thisnews to Nityananda Prabhu. Lord Nityananda having assured thebrahmana that he would fulfill the desire of Surja das, sent himback to Saligram. Advaita Acarya as well as Shrivas Pandit werevery happy to have heard this news and urged that the marriagetake place as soon as possible. The brahmana, in the meantimehaving returned to Saligram, delivered this auspicious news to Surja das who was overjoyed that his dream would now come true. In the village of Borgachi lived the son of Raja Hari Hora, ShriKrishna das, who was a very dear devotee of Nityanan,da Prabhu. Heoffered to bear all of the expenses for the wedding and to haveit conducted at his house. With this in mind he requestedNityananda Prabhu to kindly come to his house, and after bringinghim there he began to make the necessary arrangements for thewedding. Shrivas Pandit, Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Candrasekhar, ShriMurari Gupta and many other devotees all arrived and beganHarinam Sankirtan. Surja das Pandit's brother, Shri Krishna das soonarrived at Bordachi and then Nityananda Prabhu and the otherdevotees accompanied Him to Saligrama. When Surjadas saw that thedevotees along with Nityananda Prabhu had arrived, in great happiness he came out to greet them and then ushered them into his house where he offered his dandavats to Lord Nityananda.
Surja das fell down at the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, hiseyes brimming with tears of ecstatic love. He caught hold of Histwo lotus feet and wanted to offer some prayers but he could notexpress anything due to being overcome by ecstatic emotions. LordNityananda smiled sweetly and embraced him in great love.Surjadas was always absorbed in intense happiness. Who canunderstand his inner self. Seeing these loving pastimes of his brother, Gauri das lost hispatience and felt great bliss within himself. Then, afterworshipping the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, he offered histwo daughters in marriage to him. Thus the marriage ceremony was very auspiciously performed andNityananda Prabhu remained at Salagram with his two newly weddedwives for a few days. Thereafter he came to Shri Krishna das's houseat Borgachi, where he remained for a couple of days. Next He cameto Navadwip. Along with his two wives He offered His obeisancesat the feet of Saci Mata. Saci Ma was extremely pleased to seethem and she showed a great deal of affection to the new brides. The other Vaishnavas also began to show them great affection. Thentaking leave of Sacimata, Nityananda came to Advaita Acarya'shouse in Santipur. Shri Sita Thakurani began to float in the oceanof bliss after seeing Vasudha and Jahnava devi. Taking them inher lap she was very affectionate to the new brides. Afterremaining there for a few days Nityananda Prabhu came to UddharonDatta Thakur's house at Saptagram at his insistent invitation. There they all engaged in a festival of sankirtan for a few daysafter which Nityananda Prabhu came to Khardaha. [Bhakti-Ratnakar12th Taranga] After the disappearance of Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shrivas Pandit and various other associates of ShriGoursundar, three especially empowered manifestations of thecompassion of the Lord, Mahaprabhu, namely Shrinivas Acarya,Narottama Thakur Mahasoy and Shyamananda Prabhu continued toflood the land with Hari Nam Sankirtan. Shri Nityananda Prabhu'ssakti Shri Jahnava Mata, was especially requested by these threeAcaryas to be present at the celebrated festival which wasconducted by them at Kheturigram, under the patronage of Narottama Thakur Mahasoy's cousin, Raja Santosh Datta. Present withher were Shri Krishna das Misra (her uncle), Mineketan Ramdas,Murari Chaitanya, Jnana das, Shri Paramesvari das, Balarama das, Shri Brindavan das Thakur, and other dear devotees of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. First she came to her uncle Gauri das Pandit's temple at Kalnawhere she was nicely received by Hrdoy Chaitanya Prabhu. Here shecooked for the two Lords, Nitai-Gauranga, and in the evening theyhad a festival of sankirtan. When she came to Navadvip andrealized that she wouldn't be able to see Shri Saci Mata any more,she was very sad and cried. Then Shripati and Shrinidhi came andtook her to their house. But again she was plunged into grief dueto the pangs of separation at not being able to see Shrivas Pandit and Malini devi. At Santipur Shri Acyutananda and Gopal tried to console her in the absence of Advaita Acarya and Sita Thakurani.Then she came by way of Kantak Nagar to Teliya Bhudari gram where Shri Govinda Kaviraj received her with all respect. The next daythe party set out for Kheturi. When they reached the banks of thePadma river they found that Raja Santosh Datta had already madearrangements for crossing the river. From the opposite bankpalanquins were waiting to take them to Kheturi. After presiding over the festival of Kheturi, Ma Jahnava decidedto go to Brindavan. One day when she was bathing in the Jamuna, asmall black hand grabbed the end of her cloth as she was gettingout of the water. When she looked, however, there was no onethere. Then Gopinath spoke to her, "I want to come and stay withyou. When you're taking bath in the Ganga one day I'll come andjoin you." After passing some days in great happiness in Shri Brindaban
Dham,Shri Jahnava Mata set out on the path back to Gaur desh. First shecame to Kheturi, and then to Bhudari gram where she arranged themarriage of Bor Ganga das with Shri Hemalata, the daughter of ShriShyamdas Cakravarti (brother of Bansi das). After the marriage,Shri Iswari entrusted the worship of Shyamsunderji to Borgangadas. Then she came to Ekcakra, the birthplace of her worshippableLord. From there she passed through Kantak Nagar, Jajigram,Navadwip, Ambika kalna, Saptagram, before finally arriving backat Khardaha. As she was bathing in the Ganges one day, something touched herbody in the water. Then she lifted that object out of the waterand beheld the enchanting form of Shri Gopinathji, while tears oflove streamed from her eyes. This Deity is at present beingworshipped by the descendant of Ganga devi, the daughter ofNityananda Prabhu, at Jirat, Hugli. There is a rail station atJirat between Bandel and Kalna station. From the Jirat stationone should proceed by rickshaw to "Gopinath Tala". "Having fallen into the ocean of material existence I am com-pletely distraught and filled with anxiety. Floating in thisocean, without any refuge, I am trying to find a shore; butwithout any success, I am losing all hope of ever finding it.What activity will bring me there?; or what knowledge will bringme there? Conducting some fruitive sacrifices, engaging in somemystic yoga process or conducting austerities - none of thesehave any power or effect. I am getting very weak and I cannotswim much longer. Now in this extremely dangerous situation, willno one come to save me? Alas! To make matters worse, havingcaught sight of the crocodile of wordly affairs, I am petrifiedwith fear and the current of lust is always churning the water. Ican barely keep my head above the water, the winds carrying theresults of activities performed in previous lives, is blowing andmaking the water so choppy. I am losing my mind and now I amsimply crying frantically. I can't see anyone who can get me outof this ocean of woes. O my dear Shri Jahnava devi, please have compassion on your servant and bless me with some of your divinequalities. Please extend me the rope of your mercy and al,leviate this intense pain that I am experiencing. \n\"I have taken shelter of the boat of your lotus feet and I have full faith that you can carry me across this ocean. You are the divine energy of Lord Nityananda and the bestower of Krishna bhakti. Please bless me at your feet, which can bestow all one's desires. You have already delivered so many despicable creatures, now today here is one more destitute and hateful wretch, come to your lotus feet." [Kalyan Kalpataru]