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The glorification of Shri Gaurasundara and his associates.
Glory to Shri Krishna Chaitanya, the only shelter of mankind.
Glory to Nityananda Rama, the son of Rohini. Glory to Shri Advaitacandra, the son of Kuvera. Glory to Gadadhara, Gauranga was the center of his heart. Glory to embodiments of love, Shrivasa and Murari. Glory to Vakreswara, the devotional genius.
Glory to Haridasa, Dasa Gadadhara, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Suklambara, Narahari, Gaurdasa and Dhananjaya. Glory to Ramananda, the son of Vabananda. Glory to Shri Vijaya Vasu, Madhava, Mukunda, Kashiswara, Yadu and Shri Paramananda. Glory to Rupa and Sanatana, the favorite associates of Gaurachandra.
Glory to Raghunatha dasa, Raghunatha Bhatta, Shri Gopala, Shri Bugarba, Shri Lokanath and Shri Jiva Gosvami. Glory to all the devotees of Shri Gaurachandra, through their association mankind may attain the priceless gem of devotional service. Lastly, glory to the listeners who attentively relish Bhakti Ratnakara.
The exchange of letters from Vrajamandala and Gauramandala.
Shri Acarya Thakura remained happily engaged in teaching his pupils and disciples all the religious books. By the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, Shri Acarya was a veritable genius, well versed in all scriptures. He was constantly feared by irreligious persons, who were certain to be defeated by him in debates on religion and devotion.
Shri Jiva Gosvami was very affectionate towards Shrinivasa Acarya and sent him a letter from Vraja. One day Acarya inquired from his followers whether any letter had arrived from Shri Gosvami, just as he asked the question Shri Vasanta Rai came before him to deliver the letter from Shri Gosvami. Acarya happily took the letter and wept with joy as he read its contents. Shri Jiva Gosvami inquired about the well-being of Vrndavanadasa, who was the eldest son of Acarya and whose name had been given by Shri Jiva. He also asked about Vyasa and Vasudeva, the two disciples of Acarya. With great appreciation he mentioned the name of king Shri Vira Hamvira. He also sent his deepest respects to the all the disciples of Shri Acarya. Within a few days Acarya received another letter from Shri Gosvami, which he read in the presence of all his disciples. In this letter Shri Gosvami inquired about the well-being of Shyamadasacarya, the son of Vyasacarya, as well as the brothers and sisters of Vrndavana dasa. He also asked about Shri Gopaladasa, son of Vira Hamvira who was also famous by the name of Shri Dhari Hamvira. Thus Jiva Gosvami expressed his thoughtful concern about all the Vaishnavas, and Shri Acarya sent his reply answering all his questions with great pleasure. In this way, through letters, the Vaishnavas communicated amongst themselves.
While living at Yajigrama, Shri Acarya Thakura once became very keen to see Ramacandra. At that time Ramacandra, Narottama and Shri Govinda were fully absorbed in the ecstasy of sankirtana in Shri Khetari. One day while the three of them were sitting in a quiet place, a messenger arrived with a letter from Shri Jiva. They eagerly took the letter and respectfully touched it to their heads. Govinda delightfully to read it and they others listened with great admiration for Shri Gosvami.
Thereafter Shri Govinda Kaviraja left Shri Khetari and went to Budhari. There he sat in solitude and organized all the songs which he had composed. During that time Govinda received a letter from Shri Gosvami in Vraja. Govinda was delighted by the letter and, with the permission of his elder brother, took the initiative to send his book Gitamrita to Shri Gosvami.
Ramacandra Kaviraja's visit to the house of Shrinivasa Acarya.
Attracted by Shri Acarya, Ramacandra went to Yajigrama from Khetari. Ramacandra was overwhelmed with emotion when he saw Shri Acarya and fell at his feet. Weeping with joy, Acarya immediately lifted Ramacandra and placed him in his lap. He asked Ramacandra about the well being of Narottama and then brought him inside his house. Shri Ramacandra happily bowed to the feet of Acarya's two wives, Draupadi Iswari and Shri Gauranga-priya. They greeted him very affectionately, as if he were their own son. Ramacandra was introduced to all the associates of Shri Acarya, who were all greatly impressed by Ramacandra's devotion.
One night when the moon was fully bloomed in the sky, Ramacandra suddenly burst into laughter. Draupadi Iswari was astonished by his outburst and asked her husband what had caused the outburst. Acarya explained that Shri Radhika and Krishna along with their confidantes had been plucking flowers in the garden. Shri Radha was plucking white kunda flowers which were as white as moonlight, whereas Krishna was trying to pluck the moonlight which He had mistaken for kunda flowers. Observing Krishna's mistake, the confidantes of Radha began to laugh, which also caused Ramacandra to laugh along with them. Shri Iswari was so bewildered by this explanation that she was unable to speak.
Shri Acarya took pleasure in discussing Gosvami scriptures with Ramacandra, who was a great scholar. They spent their days very happily in Yajigrama, absorbed in sankirtana.
Shrinivasa prabhu's tour.
After a few days Acarya and his followers went to visit the village of Kanchangaria. There they performed sankirtana and relieved the miseries of the residents there. After some time he and his followers went to Budhari. Acarya sent a message to Shri Khetari to inform Thakura Mahasaya that he would like to see him. Upon receiving the message Shri Thakura Mahasaya and his men happily rushed to Budhari without delay. The fortunate residents of Budhari were overwhelmed with delight to observe the meeting of these great Vaishnavas who were as spirited as the sun. Everyone admired the beauty and devotional qualities of both Shrinivasa and Narottama. Acarya and all the Vaishnavas took great pleasure in performing sankirtana together.
The grand festival at Borakuli Village.
After enjoying some days in Budhari, they gladly started for Borakuli village. Shri Govinda Chakravarty welcomed Shrinivasa Acarya in his house most cordially. Chakravarty was the favorite disciple of Acarya and was expert at singing and playing musical instruments. How Chakravarty came to settle in Borakuli from Mahula and became Acarya's disciple is known to all, thus the poet will not discuss here how that event took place.
Shri Govinda decided to hold a grand festival in his house and sent invitation cards to all the Vaishnavas. Among those invited were Virachandra and his followers, Krishna Misra and his followers, Shri Gopiramana-a disciple of Shri Hridayananda from Amvika, Thakura Ramai, Thakura Kanai-the son of Raghunandana with his followers from Khanda, Shri Yadunandana from Kantakanagara, and Shri Nayananda Misra with his followers.
When the guests began to arrive, Shrinivasa Acarya, Thakura Mahasaya, Ramacandra, Shridasa, Gokulananda and others rushed forward to receive their respected quests. They spent the day together singing the glories of Hari and dancing. The next morning, after finishing their morning duties, they assembled in the courtyard of the temple. Shrinivasa Acarya brought forward a beautiful Deity and requested the permission from the quests to perform the abhiseka for the installation. After the bathing ceremony was completed, they began to consider a suitable name for the Deity. Suddenly they heard a voice from the temple ordering them to name the Deity Shri Radhavinoda. The devotees accepted the prophetic words from the enchanting voice and named the Deity Shri Radhavinoda. With the utmost care Shrinivasa installed the Deity and performed all the necessary duties. He placed the Deity on a throne and decorated Him with beautiful dresses.
The next morning Virachandra prabhu, Krishna Misra and others finished their morning duties and assembled in the courtyard of Shri Radhavinoda where they began sankirtana. Syamadasa and Devidasa played mrdanga so sweetly but spiritedly that its sound seemed to thrust the sky. Gokula and others first sang prayers in glorification of Gaurachandra. Their singing was so sincere that Shri Gaurachandra and His associates were obliged to personally appear in the courtyard to participate in sankirtana. The extraordinary dancing and ecstatic symptoms displayed by Virachandra prabhu enchanted the hearts of everyone. Krishna Misra's body became wet from his own tears, and Thakura Kanai was overwhelmed with ecstatic love. Shri Nayananda MIsra rolled in the dust, and Thakura Ramai, while Shri Yadunandana and others danced and sang madly. When the sankirtana performance came to an end the Vaishnavas affectionately embraced each other in an ecstatic mood. Forgetting himself completely, one of the devotees rolled on the ground, while someone else grasped the feet of another crying. After a long time they composed themselves and sat down in the courtyard of the temple.
At that time the people gave the title of "Shri Vabuka Chakravarty" to Shri Govinda Chakravarty because of his extraordinary ecstatic emotions.
When Prabhu Virachandra, Krishna Misra and others decided to take their leave from Barakuli, everyone was extremely sad. When they actually left, Shri Acarya, Thakura Mahasaya and their followers tearfully accompanied them. Acarya then offered various commodities to Virachandra and his party.
Acarya and Narottama, along with some of their favorite companions, then remained in Borakuli for some days. Thereafter they left for Khetari. After crossing the river Padmavati they immediately went to the courtyard of Shri Gauranga where they met the companions of Prabhu. The people of Khetari happily relished the sankirtana performed by Acarya and his party. After a few days, Acarya spoke to Narottama privately then left for Budhari.
Observing Shri Acarya's character the people of Budhari considered him to be a pure devotee and the main force by which Shri Gaurachandra's mission would be carried out.
However, some foolish cheaters residing in that village tried to propagate their own glories, saying that they were the most learned persons in the village. Giving up the performance of Shri Krishna kirtana and Shri Chaitanya kirtana, they foolishly praised themselves. The people of the village were not fooled however, and used to say that these rascals would certainly be punished by the Kalki Avatara. In this way encouraging themselves they went to see Shrinivasa and to bow to his feet(?).
When Shri Acarya returned to Yajigrama he received word that Virachandra prabhu was establishing the Vaishnava cult on a strong footing.
In the village named Kandra in Radhadesa a kayastha named Jayagopala used to live in the house of Shri Mangala Gyanadasa. Jayagopala became very proud of his knowledge and deliberately began to flout his religious teacher. When Virachandra heard this he rejected his disciple Jayagopala. Shrinivasa was glad to hear about this incident. In the meantime Shri Acarya received a letter from Virachandra and read it with pleasure. Virachandra returned to Khardaha from Kandra and reported everything to his sons. Virachandra's sons were just like their father. The elder one was Gopijanavallava, the second son was Shri Ramakrishna-who was a very broad minded person, and the youngest one was Shri Ramacandra who was endowed with a very sweet disposition. They also rejected Jayagopala.
At Yajigrama Acarya remained engaged in discussing sastra and in singing and dancing in sankirtana with his companions.
The poet confesses that being an ordinary person how can I analyze the devotional characters of Shri Narottama and Shrinivasa. All I can say is that anyone who sincerely thinks of these two great souls Shrinivasa Acarya and Narottama Thakura, is sure to be freed of any unforeseen evils. Remembering the lotus feet of Shrinivasacarya, I, Narahari dasa, take great pleasure in writing this book Bhakti Ratnakara.