|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Krishna dasa > Shyamananda Prakash > CHAPTER 3|
Eager to sing the glories of Shri Shyamananda, I continue writing this book.
The devotees first circumambulated Vraja then happily started their long journey home, carrying the letter of Shri Jiva. Reaching Gauda, they immediately handed the letter to Hrdayananda.
Goswami read the letter and thoughtfully considered its contents. "What Shri Jiva has written may not be correct," he said. "I cannot understand him. When did I appear in Shyamananda's dream? I do not remember such an incident. I have not given the name Shyamananda. How absurd that I know nothing about it. Perhaps, out of fear, Krishnadas has made up this ridiculous story. Are we expected to believe that his dream has become reality, and what we have witnessed with our own eyes is illusion? These are all deceiving talks. The whole world knows that dreams are meaningless, no one pays any heed to dreams. This is a trick of Shri Jiva, surely he has taken my Krishnadas. Now he is afraid of me and has written this deceiving letter. I shall go to Vrndavana with all of the Vaishnavas and prove it to everyone."
In an angry mood he started for Gauda to request the mahantas to accompany him to Vraja. Along the way Goswami asked his disciples, "What kind of tilak did you see on the forehead of Krishnadas?"
"We saw the tilak drawn like the temple of Hari, with a dot in the middle of it(?)," they replied.
"Jiva has given his own mark," Goswami said, "and to avoid the offense he has placed a dot in its middle. The name of that type of tilaka is Shri Radhavallavi. Now I know who they are worshipping, and it is certain that Krishnadas has taken refuge in Shri Jiva."
Speaking in this way, he entered Gauda and addressed the mahantas, "Please be kind and accompany me to Vrndavana, as Krishnadas has ruined my life. If you do not go I shall commit suicide before you to save my prestige. You can take advantage of this opportunity to see Vrndavana, and at the same time my purpose can also be served."
The Mahantas agreed to go to speak with Shri Jiva, and taking their chief disciples with them they started for Vraja. Along the way they passed the house of Gauridas Thakur and also brought his chief disciple along with them.
After a long journey the mahantas reached Vrndavana. Arriving at Dhira Samira, near the bank of the Yamuna, they took bath, cooked, and took prasadam. Afterwards they blissfully performed nama-sankirtan along the bank of the Yamuna. Meanwhile Hrdayananda sent one of his disciple to inform Shri Jiva of their arrival.
Shri Jiva hastily came before the Vaishnavas and offered his obeisnaces falling flat on the ground. All the mahantas embraced Shri Jiva. Some of them paid their respects, while others offered their blessings.
"This is a very auspicious day," Shri Jiva said happily. "Although I am the most insignificant person, today I am blessed with the association of so many great sages. It is certainly a wonderful day for me."
The mahantas requested Shri Jiva to be seated and inquired about his well-being.
"There are always waves of happiness flowing in Vraja," Shri Jiva replied. Because Radha Krishna perform Their pastimes here the atmosphere is surcharged with spiritual bliss, thus Vrndavana is the ideal resting place for all devotees.
Shortly afterwards Shyamananda arrived there and offered his obeisances to the feet of his spiritual master, as well as the mahantas.
Shri Hrdayananda Goswami asked Shyamananda, "To whom is Duhkini Krishnadas bowing?"
"Prabhu," Krishnadas said with surprise, "I am bowing to your feet, as well as all the saintly persons here."
Hrdayananda replied curtly, "You are relating to me having the name and tilak given by me, why are you bowing to others?"
"Prabhu," Shyamananda said, "By your mercy I have received the name Shyamananda and this new tilak."
"Listen to me," Goswami said, "Dreams cannot be accepted as fact. Acting without my approval you have become the servant of others and deceived me by sending a false letter."
"But I have not deceived you," Shyamananda protested. "Everything written in the letter is true."
"I shall wash off your tilak," Goswami said, "and see whether it spontaneously reappears on your forehead. I shall wipe the name Shyamananda from your body and let us see if it again appears written in the same place. If this happens then you will receive my blessings, otherwise I shall reject you."
Bowing to the feet of his guru, requesting his permission, Shyamananda replied: "In the presence of all of you I shall prove that this name and tilak is autorised. If I am unable to do so then I am quilty of a very serious offense."
Hrdayananda Goswami then gathered all the mahantas of Shri Vrjamandala under the kalpataru in the Rasasthali of Shri Vrndavana. The mahantas took their seats and called Shyamananda before them. Falling prostrate on the ground, Shyamananda offered his obeisances.
"Who is your guru," the mahanatas asked, "And from where did you get your name?"
"Shri Hrdayananda Goswami is my master, "Shyamananda said, "And I am his servant."
Listen to us Krishnadas," they replied. "Dreams are always false. If you are found quilty of this offense you will lose the association of devotees, and the opportunity to attain salvation. If the Lord is amgry with someone, his guru can save him, but if his guru becomes angry with him, no one can save him. Now tell the truth, and we shall protect you. Don't lie before all these saintly persons. Otherwise, you will certainly suffer the miseries of hell for as long as the sun and moon exist. This is the infallible verdic of Vyasa in the Shrimad Bhagavatam. If you have secretly accepted another guru, tell us about him. We shall be kind enough to save you from this offense. You will prove yourself to be an imposter if you lie about your name and tilak."
"Whether you are right or wrong I know within my own mind," Shyamananda replied. "Please allow me one or two more days to think about my answer." Remembering his spiritual master, Shyamananda then sat down and became fully absorbed in a blissful state of deep meditation. Chanting the mantra given to him by Lalita, he felt the presence of Shri Radhika within his heart. His soul, mind, life and knowledge entered into siddha (accomplishment)(?), and within his spiritual body he entered the temple of Shri Radha. Sitting on the doorstep of Her room he began to cry. The sakhis of Shri Radha asked why he was crying. Bowing to them Shyamananda explained, "I am a Vrajavasi named Kanakamanjari. I am the maidservant of Lalita. I spent the whole day and night with Thakurani, then when I returned home and tried to enter my house my husband tried to beat me, so I ran away in fear and came here. Go tell Lalita to save my life by giving me her darshan." Filled with anxiety he bowed again, crying helplessly.
The sakhis went to Lalita and reported, "One maidservant of yours has come here crying in great distress. Previously she stayed in your house with you, then when she returned home her husband tried to beat her."
"Bring her here," Lalita ordered. "I am preparing the betel leaves now."
One of the sakhis called her in and Kanakamanjari found herself in the presence of Shri Radha. Radhika was sitting on a cot eating betel leaves as Lalita prepared them. Shri Rupamanjari massaged her legs, and Champaklatika fanned her with a camara.
Overwhelmed with ecstatic love, Kanakamanjari fell flat on the ground. Thakurani ordered the sakhis to lift her and Lalita took Kanaka on her lap. Holding the feet of Lalita she began to cry. Shri Radha affectionetly called Kanakamanjari and placed her lotus feet on her head. Kanaka fell unconscious on the feet of Shri Rupamanjari, who then pushed her under the lotus feet of Radha.
"Be kind to me Thakurani," Kanaka cried, "I am your maidservant. Give me shelter under your reddish feet."
"Why are you crying so helplessly," Radha asked. "What is your name? Who do you serve? Where do you live, and who are your parents?"
"My name is Kanakamanjari. I have always cherished the hope of receiving the dust of your feet. I am a Vrajavasi, and the maidservant of your maidservant, Shri Rupamanjari. She is my father, mother, master, and caretaker. She has bestowed loving devotion upon me, and by her mercy I received the darshan of Lalita. Now, by the grace of Lalita, I am able to see your lotus feet."
"Oh supreme goddess, listen to my story then you shall understand why I am crying. I am the disciple of Shri Hrdayananda Goswami. Previously I carried the mark of his grace, in the form of a tilak, on my forehead. By his merciful order I came to Vraja, where I stayed with Jiva Goswami. Shri Jiva helped me immensely by explaining the wonderful pastimes of Radha Krishna in Vraja. Tasting only a drop of your nectarean pastimes, my mind fell deep into the ocean of love. When I was thirsty for the water of your love, Shri Jiva helped me to drink the nectar. He advised me that my ultimate goal should be to attain the grace of your feet. For that reason he put me under the care of the gracious feet of Shri Rupamanjari."
"Relishing the sweetness of your lotus feet, I served the kunj daily. Although I am the most helpless and worthless person, you bestowed your kindness upon me by intentionally dropping your ankle bell in the kunj. You sent Lalita to retrieve the ankle bell and she mercifully appeared before me. She was so pleased to have found the ankle bell that she blessed me saying that the mark of your ankle bell should be on my forehead. Touching the ankle bell to my forehead a mark was permanently painted there. She told me, 'My Shyama will be extremely happy to get back the ankle bell, therefore from today, you shall be known as Shyamananda.' She asked me what boon I would like and I requested to become the maidservant of Radha Krishna. She agreed, but forbade me to tell anyone accept Shri Jiva. Otherwise, she said, I would lose my life."
"Still today I am carrying the mark on my forehead and I have not told anyone, but seeing this mark my guru misunderstood and thought that I had rejected him. He asked about my new name and tilak and I said that he had appeared to me in a dream and changed my name and tilak. I explained that in the dream he had asked me why I had not come to see him. I replied that because I was fully engaged in serving the kunj, and absorbed in remembrance of Shri Radha, I had not found time to meet him. Hearing this my Prabhu became very happy and advised me to carry on with my duties. Bestowing his mercy upon me, he told me that through serving Radha Krishna and the kunj I would certainly attain the darshan of Shyama Shyam. Thus he gave me the name Shyamananda. Blessing me he put his foot on my head. After circumabulating the kunj he entered into it and took his seat."
"I told Goswami that the mark of his lotus feet had become my tilak, but he did not believe it. He became very angry, saying that I had ignored my real name and tilak and followed a dream. 'I know nothing about this dream,' he said. 'If you want to be my disciple accept my mark and tell everyone that your name is Krishnadas and nothing else.'
I told Goswami to personally wipe the tilak from my forehead and he replied, 'I shall wash your tilak and see whether it spontaneously reappears. I will also wipe off the name Shyamananda and see whether it is spontaneously written again. Then your name will be acknowledged and you will receive my mercy.'
"Hearing this I accepted his order, bowing to his feet. Goswami then told me, 'I must prove your name and tilak to all the mahantas, otherwise I shall commit suicide.'
"Calling together all the mahantas from Gauda and Vraja, Goswami formed a society in the Kalpakunj of the Rasasthali in Vrndavana. He requested me to appear before them to prove the truth. The mahantas strongly advised me to speak truthfully, otherwise I would be cast out from the association of devotees and suffer the miseries of hell."
"I asked them to wait patiently and I began meditating on your lotus feet. In my meditation my mind and soul traveled here. Now I have attained the great fortune of seeing your lotus feet. I am ignorant, worthless, and wicked but your grace will help me to cross over this ocean of birth and death. Oh Thakurani, please be merciful to me, save me from the harassement of the mahantas. Show me how I can satisfy your feet, as well as the feet of my spiritual master. Now I have told you both the cause of my crying and my desire."
Lalita and Shri Rupamanjari both requested Radharani to be merciful to Shyamananda. Holding the hands of Kanakamanjari, Lalita pushed her on the feet of Radha, who mercifully placed her fet on the head of Kanaka.
Shri Radha called Suvalachand (Subala?) and told him everything: "Krishnadas, the servant of your servant, has taken refuge under my feet. He always serves the kunj and has dedicated his life and soul to me. By your order I have accepted him."
"It is my great fortune that one of my servants has become your maidservant," Suvala said. Even I am always desirous of becoming your maidservant."
Hearing this Shri Radha was very pleased and pushed Kanakamanjari on the feet of Suvala. Kanaka bowed to his feet and Suvala took her in his lap. Blessing her Suvala said, "You are extremely fortunate as you have received the love of Radha Krishna and become a favorite maidservant of Radha."
Radha ordered Suvala to give Shyamananda the tilak and prove it before the society of mahantas. She also requested him to write the name Shyamananda on the chest of Krishnadas, and to tell the mahantas that by his grace Krishnadas attained the mark of Shri Radha's feet as his tilak and the name Shyamananda, by which he should be known in the world.
Suvalachand happily painted the mark of the feet of Shri Radha on Krishnadas' forehead, placing a dot in the middle. He wrote Shyamananda on the chest of Krishnadas and advised him to say everyday, "Pandit Thakur, in the form of my guru has favoured me."
"When you are asked to prove the sanctity of the name and tilak," Suvala said, "Just remember me and the name and tilak will spontaneously appear on your body."
Hearing this Shyamananda fell at the feet of Suvala. Placing his feet on the head of Shyamananda, Suvala blessed him and took his leave.
After offering obeisances at the feet of Shri Radha, Lalita, Visakha, Shri Rupamanjari, and the other sakhis, Shyamananda stood before Shri Radha with folded hands. Drinking in the nectar of her beautiful face, he was unable to check the tears of ecstacy flowing from his eyes. Shyamananda humbly requested Radha to help him to dedicate his life, body and soul to her reddish lotus feet.
The image of love, Shri Radha, assured him that he would always have her blessings. Radhika advised him to tour Orissa with Rasika Murari and afterwards return to Vraja. Shyamananda then took his leave and one of the sakhis accompanied him for some distance.
Meanwhile the mahantas in Vrndavana were astonished to see Shyamananda's body become lifeless. Doubts began to pierce their hearts and they wondered if they had committed a great offense. Overcome with lamentation they rolled on the ground crying.
Only Shri Jiva could understand what had taken place. Consoling them Jiva suggested, "Everyone begin nama-sankirtan, Shyamanand will certainly come to life again.
The mahantas eagerly began chatning the holy name: "Govinda, Shyamasundara, Kamala Lochana."
After sometime Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up reciting the name of Shri Hrdayananda. Greatly relieved the mahantas cheered loudly, chanting the name of Hari. When Shyamananda opened his eyes fully they requested him to proclaim his verdict.
"It is my opinion," Shyamananda replied, "that Gauridas Pandit Thakur, in the form of my spiritual master, has mercifully appeared before me in a dream. If I am a sincere servant of my guru's feet then I shall prove the sanctity of this name and tilak before your eyes."
The mahantas then painted the tilak like the temple of Shri Hari on Shyamananda's forehead, placing a dot in its middle, and wrote the name Shyamananda on his chest. Praying to Shri Krishna Chaitanya to maintain the prestige of His devotee, they requested Hrdayananda to preside over the mahanta society and wash the tilak off with water.
Goswami anxciously brought a water pot, while Shyamananda happily called out to Shri Gauridas Pandit to come and save his reputation. In the presence of everyone Shri Hrdayananda Goswami washed off the tilak, as well as the name Shyamananda from his chest.
Shyamananda loudly called to Shri Lalita Thakurani to save him, and immediately the tilak and name spontaneously reappeared in their proper places, even brighter than before. The mahantas were astonished, and Hrdayananda hung his head in shame.
Holding the hands of Shyamananda the mahantas joyfully called out the name of Hari. Some of them kissed and embraced him, while others shouted the name Shyamananda. Someone said that for the first time a dream has become reality, and another said that Suvalachanda has shown special mercy to Shyamananda, making him his companion. Someone else said that Shyamananda has pleased Shyama (Radha) and thus has thus attained this name.
Shyamananda offered his obeisances to all the mahantas, and fell at the feet of Hrdayananda. Filled with joy Goswami placed Shyamananda on his lap and lovingly kissed his face again and again. Accepting Shyamananda as the best of his disciples he decided to keep his precious association always.
The mahantas then took bath, cooked and offered the food to Krishna.
Meanwhile Shyamananda came before Shri Jiva falling prostrate at his feet. Taking him on his lap Shri Jiva kissed Shyamananda saying, "I dedicate myself to you, for you are not merely a devotee, you are my life and my life has become a captive to your love." Shri Jiva advised Shyamananda to stay with Hrdayananda Goswami and serve his lotus feet.
Although I have no qualification, by the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyamananda, I have received the ability to write this book. Assisted by the rememberance of Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the third chapter of Shri Shyamananda Prakash.