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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Krishna dasa > Shyamananda Prakash > CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 1

 

 

All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, and all the devotees of Ma ause he is a perfect reresentative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself. (Paramesta Paratpara) 

I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life.I worship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.

Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami, bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja.  Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world.  He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once.  His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.  

Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him.  Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.  Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands. 

He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.

Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja.  It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body.  Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken.  Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house.  A long twenty seven hours (tritya prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up.  He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.

Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, "Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire.  Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna."

Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa.  Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)(imagination and love based on imagination)(?). These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda.  Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship (bhajan)(?).

By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously.  Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika) (?). With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja.  He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna.  Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.

Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila.  Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic-avaidika, or non-brahmanas and causeless-ahaituki persons.?) are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.

One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja.  Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.

When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance.  The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna.  While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells(nupura?) became lose and fell to on the ground.  Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.  Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed.  After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell.  Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show her mercy to Shyamananda.  

In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunj (nikunj?).  He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru).  There he found the golden ankle bell.

The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence.  Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror(?).  It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally.  Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head.  Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.  Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.

After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna.  Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships.  Unable to find them, he was filled with distress.  Mad with love, he cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krishna."  Eventually he pacified himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she ordered Lalita to go there and search for it.  Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.

Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini Krishnadasa".  "Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired.  "She came to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj.  If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you."

"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?

"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."

Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours.  It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.  My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious.  No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings.  Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back.  Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.

Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive you.  This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimate Radharani.  I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell.  The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."

Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity.  Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.

Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha.  Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear." 

"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.

Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes."

Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krishna das."  Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious.  Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body.  Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.

Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.  Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.""I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna."

Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature.  You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan.  Come with Shri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna.  Then you can witness all of our true identities.  For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.  At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika.  Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna.  Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."  Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami.  Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head,  then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.  

Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade(?).  In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth.  Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the ankle bell.  Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head.  He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.

Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's head saying, "Let the touch of Shri Radhika's feet be on your head."  Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.

Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today", Lalita said, "You will be known by the name Shyamananda.  Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate.  Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long."

Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.  Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.

Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is Lalita."  Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.

By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.

"Where have you been for so long", Shri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has your complexion become golden?"

Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj.  It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."

"You have become so beautiful," Shri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on your forehead?  Who painted it there?  Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari(?), who has given you this new tilak?  You are definetly hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead.  Now you must explain everything to me.  

"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body", Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.  Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm.

Syamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth?  Show me and I'm sure I will understand everything.

Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"

"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you.  Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear.  Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.  Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee."

Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place."

Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.

"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalita devi and receive the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book.  Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.CHAPTER 1

 

 

All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, and all the devotees of Ma ause he is a perfect reresentative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself. (Paramesta Paratpara) 

I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life.I worship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.

Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami, bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja.  Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world.  He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once.  His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.  

Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him.  Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.  Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands. 

He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.

Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja.  It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body.  Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken.  Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house.  A long twenty seven hours (tritya prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up.  He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.

Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, "Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire.  Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna."

Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa.  Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)(imagination and love based on imagination)(?). These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda.  Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship (bhajan)(?).

By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously.  Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika) (?). With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja.  He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna.  Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.

Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila.  Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic-avaidika, or non-brahmanas and causeless-ahaituki persons.?) are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.

One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja.  Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.

When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance.  The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna.  While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells(nupura?) became lose and fell to on the ground.  Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.  Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed.  After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell.  Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show her mercy to Shyamananda.   

In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunj (nikunj?).  He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru).  There he found the golden ankle bell.

The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence.  Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror(?).  It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally.  Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head.  Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.  Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.

After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna.  Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships.  Unable to find them, he was filled with distress.  Mad with love, he cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krishna."  Eventually he pacified himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she ordered Lalita to go there and search for it.  Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.

Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini Krishnadasa".  "Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired.  "She came to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj.  If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you."

"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?

"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."

Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours.  It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.  My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious.  No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings.  Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back.  Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.

Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive you.  This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimate Radharani.  I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell.  The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."

Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity.  Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.

Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha.  Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear." 

"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.

Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes."

Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krishna das."  Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious.  Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body.  Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.

Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.  Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.""I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna."

Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature.  You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan.  Come with Shri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna.  Then you can witness all of our true identities.  For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.  At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika.  Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna.  Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."  Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami.  Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head,  then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.  

Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade(?).  In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth.  Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the ankle bell.  Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head.  He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.

Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's head saying, "Let the touch of Shri Radhika's feet be on your head."  Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.

Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today", Lalita said, "You will be known by the name Shyamananda.  Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate.  Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long."

Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.  Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.

Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is Lalita."  Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.

By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.

"Where have you been for so long", Shri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has your complexion become golden?"

Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj.  It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."

"You have become so beautiful," Shri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on your forehead?  Who painted it there?  Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari(?), who has given you this new tilak?  You are definetly hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead.  Now you must explain everything to me.  

"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body", Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.  Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm.

Syamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth?  Show me and I'm sure I will understand everything.

Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"

"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you.  Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear.  Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.  Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee."

Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place."

Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.

"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalita devi and receive the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book.  Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.CHAPTER 1

 

 

All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, and all the devotees of Ma ause he is a perfect reresentative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself. (Paramesta Paratpara) 

I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life.I worship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.

Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami, bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja.  Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world.  He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once.  His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.  

Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him.  Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.  Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands. 

He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.

Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja.  It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body.  Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken.  Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house.  A long twenty seven hours (tritya prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up.  He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.

Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, "Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire.  Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna."

Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa.  Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)(imagination and love based on imagination)(?). These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda.  Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship (bhajan)(?).

By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously.  Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika) (?). With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja.  He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna.  Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.

Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila.  Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic-avaidika, or non-brahmanas and causeless-ahaituki persons.?) are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.

One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja.  Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.

When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance.  The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna.  While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells(nupura?) became lose and fell to on the ground.  Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.  Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed.  After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell.  Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show her mercy to Shyamananda.  

In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunj (nikunj?).  He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru).  There he found the golden ankle bell.

The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence.  Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror(?).  It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally.  Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head.  Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.  Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.

After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna.  Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships.  Unable to find them, he was filled with distress.  Mad with love, he cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krishna."  Eventually he pacified himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she ordered Lalita to go there and search for it.  Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.

Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini Krishnadasa".  "Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired.  "She came to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj.  If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you."

"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?

"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."

Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours.  It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.  My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious.  No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings.  Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back.  Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.

Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive you.  This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimate Radharani.  I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell.  The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."

Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity.  Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.

Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha.  Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear." 

"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.

Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes."

Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krishna das."  Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious.  Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body.  Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.

Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.  Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.""I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna."

Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature.  You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan.  Come with Shri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna.  Then you can witness all of our true identities.  For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.  At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika.  Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna.  Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."  Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami.  Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head,  then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.  

Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade(?).  In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth.  Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the ankle bell.  Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head.  He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.

Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's head saying, "Let the touch of Shri Radhika's feet be on your head."  Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.

Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today", Lalita said, "You will be known by the name Shyamananda.  Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate.  Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long."

Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.  Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.

Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is Lalita."  Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.

By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.

"Where have you been for so long", Shri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has your complexion become golden?"

Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj.  It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."

"You have become so beautiful," Shri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on your forehead?  Who painted it there?  Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari(?), who has given you this new tilak?  You are definetly hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead.  Now you must explain everything to me.  

"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body", Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.  Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm.

Syamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth?  Show me and I'm sure I will understand everything.

Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"

"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you.  Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear.  Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.  Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee."

Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place."

Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.

"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalita devi and receive the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book.  Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.CHAPTER 1

 

 

All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, and all the devotees of Ma ause he is a perfect reresentative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself. (Paramesta Paratpara) 

I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life.I worship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.

Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami, bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja.  Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world.  He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once.  His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.  

Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him.  Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.  Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands. 

He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.

Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja.  It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body.  Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken.  Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house.  A long twenty seven hours (tritya prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up.  He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.

Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, "Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire.  Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna."

Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa.  Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)(imagination and love based on imagination)(?). These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda.  Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship (bhajan)(?).

By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously.  Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika) (?). With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja.  He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna.  Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.

Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila.  Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic-avaidika, or non-brahmanas and causeless-ahaituki persons.?) are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.

One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja.  Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.

When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance.  The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna.  While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells(nupura?) became lose and fell to on the ground.  Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.  Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed.  After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell.  Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show her mercy to Shyamananda.  

In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunj (nikunj?).  He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru).  There he found the golden ankle bell.

The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence.  Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror(?).  It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally.  Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head.  Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.  Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.

After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna.  Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships.  Unable to find them, he was filled with distress.  Mad with love, he cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krishna."  Eventually he pacified himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she ordered Lalita to go there and search for it.  Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.

Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini Krishnadasa".  "Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired.  "She came to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj.  If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you."

"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?

"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."

Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours.  It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.  My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious.  No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings.  Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back.  Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.

Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive you.  This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimate Radharani.  I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell.  The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."

Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity.  Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.

Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha.  Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear." 

"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.

Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes."

Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krishna das."  Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious.  Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body.  Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.

Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.  Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.""I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna."

Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature.  You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan.  Come with Shri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna.  Then you can witness all of our true identities.  For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.  At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika.  Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna.  Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."  Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami.  Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head,  then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.  

Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade(?).  In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth.  Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the ankle bell.  Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head.  He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.

Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's head saying, "Let the touch of Shri Radhika's feet be on your head."  Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.

Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today", Lalita said, "You will be known by the name Shyamananda.  Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate.  Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long."

Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.  Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.

Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is Lalita."  Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.

By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.

"Where have you been for so long", Shri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has your complexion become golden?"

Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj.  It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."

"You have become so beautiful," Shri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on your forehead?  Who painted it there?  Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari(?), who has given you this new tilak?  You are definetly hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead.  Now you must explain everything to me.  

"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body", Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.  Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm.

Syamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth?  Show me and I'm sure I will understand everything.

Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"

"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you.  Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear.  Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.  Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee."

Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place."

Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.

"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalita devi and receive the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book.  Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.CHAPTER 1

 

 

All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, and all the devotees of Ma ause he is a perfect reresentative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself. (Paramesta Paratpara) 

I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life.I worship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.

Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami, bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja.  Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world.  He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once.  His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.  

Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him.  Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.  Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands. 

He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.

Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja.  It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body.  Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken.  Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house.  A long twenty seven hours (tritya prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up.  He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.

Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, "Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire.  Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna."

Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa.  Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)(imagination and love based on imagination)(?). These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda.  Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship (bhajan)(?).

By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously.  Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika) (?). With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja.  He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna.  Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.

Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila.  Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic-avaidika, or non-brahmanas and causeless-ahaituki persons.?) are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.

One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja.  Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.

When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance.  The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna.  While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells(nupura?) became lose and fell to on the ground.  Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.  Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed.  After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell.  Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show her mercy to Shyamananda.  

In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunj (nikunj?).  He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru).  There he found the golden ankle bell.

The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence.  Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror(?).  It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally.  Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head.  Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.  Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.

After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna.  Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships.  Unable to find them, he was filled with distress.  Mad with love, he cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krishna."  Eventually he pacified himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she ordered Lalita to go there and search for it.  Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.

Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini Krishnadasa".  "Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired.  "She came to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj.  If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you."

"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?

"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."

Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours.  It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.  My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious.  No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings.  Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back.  Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.

Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive you.  This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimate Radharani.  I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell.  The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."

Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity.  Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.

Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha.  Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear." 

"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.

Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes."

Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krishna das."  Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious.  Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body.  Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.

Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.  Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.""I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna."

Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature.  You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan.  Come with Shri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna.  Then you can witness all of our true identities.  For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.  At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika.  Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna.  Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."  Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami.  Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head,  then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.  

Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade(?).  In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth.  Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the ankle bell.  Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head.  He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.

Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's head saying, "Let the touch of Shri Radhika's feet be on your head."  Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.

Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today", Lalita said, "You will be known by the name Shyamananda.  Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate.  Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long."

Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.  Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.

Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is Lalita."  Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.

By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.

"Where have you been for so long", Shri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has your complexion become golden?"

Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj.  It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."

"You have become so beautiful," Shri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on your forehead?  Who painted it there?  Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari(?), who has given you this new tilak?  You are definetly hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead.  Now you must explain everything to me.  

"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body", Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.  Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm.

Syamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth?  Show me and I'm sure I will understand everything.

Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"

"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you.  Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear.  Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.  Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee."

Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place."

Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.

"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalita devi and receive the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book.  Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.CHAPTER 1

 

 

All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, and all the devotees of Ma ause he is a perfect reresentative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself. (Paramesta Paratpara) 

I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life.I worship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.

Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami, bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja.  Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world.  He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once.  His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.  

Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him.  Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.  Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands. 

He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.

Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja.  It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body.  Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken.  Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house.  A long twenty seven hours (tritya prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up.  He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.

Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, "Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire.  Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna."

Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa.  Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)(imagination and love based on imagination)(?). These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda.  Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship (bhajan)(?).

By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously.  Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika) (?). With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja.  He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna.  Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.

Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila.  Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic-avaidika, or non-brahmanas and causeless-ahaituki persons.?) are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.

One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja.  Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.

When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance.  The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna.  While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells(nupura?) became lose and fell to on the ground.  Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.  Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed.  After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell.  Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show her mercy to Shyamananda.  

In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunj (nikunj?).  He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru).  There he found the golden ankle bell.

The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence.  Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror(?).  It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally.  Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head.  Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.  Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.

After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna.  Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships.  Unable to find them, he was filled with distress.  Mad with love, he cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krishna."  Eventually he pacified himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she ordered Lalita to go there and search for it.  Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.

Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini Krishnadasa".  "Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired.  "She came to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj.  If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you."

"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?

"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."

Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours.  It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.  My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious.  No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings.  Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back.  Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.

Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive you.  This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimate Radharani.  I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell.  The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."

Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity.  Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.

Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha.  Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear." 

"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.

Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes."

Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krishna das."  Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious.  Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body.  Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.

Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.  Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.""I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna."

Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature.  You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan.  Come with Shri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna.  Then you can witness all of our true identities.  For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.  At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika.  Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna.  Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."  Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami.  Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head,  then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.  

Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade(?).  In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth.  Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the ankle bell.  Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head.  He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.

Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's head saying, "Let the touch of Shri Radhika's feet be on your head."  Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.

Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today", Lalita said, "You will be known by the name Shyamananda.  Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate.  Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long."

Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.  Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.

Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is Lalita."  Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.

By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.

"Where have you been for so long", Shri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has your complexion become golden?"

Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj.  It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."

"You have become so beautiful," Shri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on your forehead?  Who painted it there?  Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari(?), who has given you this new tilak?  You are definetly hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead.  Now you must explain everything to me.  

"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body", Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.  Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm.

Syamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth?  Show me and I'm sure I will understand everything.

Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"

"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you.  Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear.  Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.  Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee."

Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place."

Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.

"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalita devi and receive the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book.  Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.CHAPTER 1

 

 

All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, and all the devotees of Ma ause he is a perfect reresentative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself. (Paramesta Paratpara) 

I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life.I worship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.

Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami, bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja.  Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world.  He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once.  His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.  

Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him.  Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.  Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands. 

He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.

Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja.  It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body.  Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken.  Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house.  A long twenty seven hours (tritya prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up.  He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.

Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, "Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire.  Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna."

Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa.  Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)(imagination and love based on imagination)(?). These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda.  Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship (bhajan)(?).

By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously.  Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika) (?). With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja.  He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna.  Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.

Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila.  Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic-avaidika, or non-brahmanas and causeless-ahaituki persons.?) are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.

One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja.  Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.

When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance.  The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna.  While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells(nupura?) became lose and fell to on the ground.  Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.  Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed.  After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell.  Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show her mercy to Shyamananda.  

In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunj (nikunj?).  He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru).  There he found the golden ankle bell.

The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence.  Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror(?).  It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally.  Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head.  Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.  Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.

After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna.  Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships.  Unable to find them, he was filled with distress.  Mad with love, he cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krishna."  Eventually he pacified himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she ordered Lalita to go there and search for it.  Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.

Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini Krishnadasa".  "Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired.  "She came to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj.  If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you."

"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?

"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."

Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours.  It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.  My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious.  No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings.  Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back.  Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.

Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive you.  This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimate Radharani.  I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell.  The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."

Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity.  Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.

Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha.  Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear." 

"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.

Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes."

Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krishna das."  Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious.  Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body.  Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.

Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.  Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.""I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna."

Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature.  You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan.  Come with Shri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna.  Then you can witness all of our true identities.  For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.  At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika.  Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna.  Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."  Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami.  Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head,  then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.  

Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade(?).  In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth.  Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the ankle bell.  Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head.  He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.

Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's head saying, "Let the touch of Shri Radhika's feet be on your head."  Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.

Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today", Lalita said, "You will be known by the name Shyamananda.  Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate.  Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long."

Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.  Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.

Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is Lalita."  Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.

By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.

"Where have you been for so long", Shri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has your complexion become golden?"

Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj.  It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."

"You have become so beautiful," Shri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on your forehead?  Who painted it there?  Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari(?), who has given you this new tilak?  You are definetly hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead.  Now you must explain everything to me.  

"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body", Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.  Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm.

Syamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth?  Show me and I'm sure I will understand everything.

Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"

"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you.  Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear.  Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.  Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee."

Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place."

Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.

"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalita devi and receive the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book.  Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.CHAPTER 1

 

 

All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, and all the devotees of Ma ause he is a perfect reresentative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself. (Paramesta Paratpara) 

I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life.I worship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.

Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami, bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja.  Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world.  He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once.  His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.  

Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him.  Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.  Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands. 

He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.

Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja.  It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body.  Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken.  Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house.  A long twenty seven hours (tritya prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up.  He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.

Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, "Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire.  Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna."

Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa.  Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)(imagination and love based on imagination)(?). These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda.  Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship (bhajan)(?).

By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously.  Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika) (?). With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja.  He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna.  Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.

Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila.  Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic-avaidika, or non-brahmanas and causeless-ahaituki persons.?) are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.

One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja.  Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.

When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance.  The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna.  While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells(nupura?) became lose and fell to on the ground.  Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.  Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed.  After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell.  Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show her mercy to Shyamananda.  

In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunj (nikunj?).  He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru).  There he found the golden ankle bell.

The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence.  Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror(?).  It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally.  Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head.  Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.  Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.

After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna.  Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships.  Unable to find them, he was filled with distress.  Mad with love, he cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krishna."  Eventually he pacified himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she ordered Lalita to go there and search for it.  Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.

Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini Krishnadasa".  "Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired.  "She came to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj.  If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you."

"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?

"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."

Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours.  It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.  My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious.  No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings.  Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back.  Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.

Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive you.  This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimate Radharani.  I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell.  The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."

Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity.  Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.

Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha.  Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear." 

"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.

Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes."

Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krishna das."  Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious.  Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body.  Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.

Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.  Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.""I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna."

Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature.  You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan.  Come with Shri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna.  Then you can witness all of our true identities.  For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.  At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika.  Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna.  Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."  Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami.  Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head,  then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.  

Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade(?).  In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth.  Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the ankle bell.  Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head.  He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.

Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's head saying, "Let the touch of Shri Radhika's feet be on your head."  Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.

Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today", Lalita said, "You will be known by the name Shyamananda.  Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate.  Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long."

Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.  Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.

Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is Lalita."  Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.

By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.

"Where have you been for so long", Shri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has your complexion become golden?"

Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj.  It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."

"You have become so beautiful," Shri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on your forehead?  Who painted it there?  Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari(?), who has given you this new tilak?  You are definetly hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead.  Now you must explain everything to me.  

"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body", Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.  Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm.

Syamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth?  Show me and I'm sure I will understand everything.

Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"

"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you.  Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear.  Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.  Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee."

Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place."

Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.

"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalita devi and receive the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book.  Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.CHAPTER 1

 

 

All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, and all the devotees of Ma ause he is a perfect reresentative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself. (Paramesta Paratpara) 

I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life.I worship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.

Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami, bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja.  Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world.  He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once.  His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.  

Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him.  Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.  Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands. 

He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.

Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja.  It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body.  Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken.  Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house.  A long twenty seven hours (tritya prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up.  He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.

Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, "Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire.  Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna."

Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa.  Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)(imagination and love based on imagination)(?). These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda.  Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship (bhajan)(?).

By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously.  Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika) (?). With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja.  He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna.  Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.

Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila.  Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic-avaidika, or non-brahmanas and causeless-ahaituki persons.?) are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.

One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja.  Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.

When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance.  The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna.  While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells(nupura?) became lose and fell to on the ground.  Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.  Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed.  After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell.  Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show her mercy to Shyamananda.  

In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunj (nikunj?).  He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru).  There he found the golden ankle bell.

The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence.  Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror(?).  It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally.  Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head.  Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.  Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.

After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna.  Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships.  Unable to find them, he was filled with distress.  Mad with love, he cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krishna."  Eventually he pacified himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she ordered Lalita to go there and search for it.  Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.

Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini Krishnadasa".  "Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired.  "She came to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj.  If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you."

"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?

"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."

Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours.  It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.  My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious.  No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings.  Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back.  Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.

Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive you.  This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimate Radharani.  I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell.  The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."

Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity.  Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.

Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha.  Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear." 

"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.

Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes."

Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krishna das."  Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious.  Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body.  Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.

Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.  Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.""I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna."

Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature.  You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan.  Come with Shri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna.  Then you can witness all of our true identities.  For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.  At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika.  Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna.  Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."  Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami.  Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head,  then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.  

Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade(?).  In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth.  Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the ankle bell.  Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head.  He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.

Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's head saying, "Let the touch of Shri Radhika's feet be on your head."  Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.

Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today", Lalita said, "You will be known by the name Shyamananda.  Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate.  Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long."

Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.  Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.

Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is Lalita."  Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.

By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.

"Where have you been for so long", Shri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has your complexion become golden?"

Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj.  It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."

"You have become so beautiful," Shri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on your forehead?  Who painted it there?  Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari(?), who has given you this new tilak?  You are definetly hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead.  Now you must explain everything to me.  

"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body", Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.  Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm.

Syamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth?  Show me and I'm sure I will understand everything.

Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"

"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you.  Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear.  Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.  Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee."

Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place."

Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.

"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalita devi and receive the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book.  Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.CHAPTER 1

 

 

All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, and all the devotees of Ma ause he is a perfect reresentative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself. (Paramesta Paratpara) 

I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life.I worship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.

Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami, bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja.  Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world.  He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once.  His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.  

Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him.  Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.  Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands. 

He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.

Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja.  It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body.  Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken.  Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house.  A long twenty seven hours (tritya prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up.  He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.

Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, "Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire.  Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna."

Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa.  Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)(imagination and love based on imagination)(?). These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda.  Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship (bhajan)(?).

By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously.  Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika) (?). With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja.  He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna.  Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.

Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila.  Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic-avaidika, or non-brahmanas and causeless-ahaituki persons.?) are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.

One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja.  Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.

When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance.  The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna.  While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells(nupura?) became lose and fell to on the ground.  Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.  Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed.  After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell.  Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show her mercy to Shyamananda.  

In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunj (nikunj?).  He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru).  There he found the golden ankle bell.

The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence.  Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror(?).  It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally.  Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head.  Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.  Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.

After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna.  Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships.  Unable to find them, he was filled with distress.  Mad with love, he cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krishna."  Eventually he pacified himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she ordered Lalita to go there and search for it.  Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.

Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini Krishnadasa".  "Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired.  "She came to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj.  If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you."

"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?

"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."

Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours.  It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.  My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious.  No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings.  Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back.  Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.

Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive you.  This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimate Radharani.  I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell.  The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."

Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity.  Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.

Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha.  Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear." 

"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.

Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes."

Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krishna das."  Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious.  Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body.  Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.

Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.  Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.""I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna."

Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature.  You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan.  Come with Shri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna.  Then you can witness all of our true identities.  For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.  At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika.  Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna.  Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."  Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami.  Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head,  then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.  

Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade(?).  In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth.  Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the ankle bell.  Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head.  He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.

Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's head saying, "Let the touch of Shri Radhika's feet be on your head."  Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.

Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today", Lalita said, "You will be known by the name Shyamananda.  Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate.  Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long."

Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.  Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.

Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is Lalita."  Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.

By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.

"Where have you been for so long", Shri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has your complexion become golden?"

Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj.  It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."

"You have become so beautiful," Shri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on your forehead?  Who painted it there?  Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari(?), who has given you this new tilak?  You are definetly hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead.  Now you must explain everything to me.  

"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body", Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.  Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm.

Syamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth?  Show me and I'm sure I will understand everything.

Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"

"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you.  Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear.  Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.  Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee."

Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place."

Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.

"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalita devi and receive the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book.  Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.