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Glorification of Shri Gaura and his associates.
Glory to Gaura, Nityananda, Gadadhara, Shrivasa, Murari and Vakresvara. Glory to Shri Mukunda, Gauridasa, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Suklambara, Suryadasa, Krishnadasa and Dhananjaya.
Glory to Narahari, Raghunandana, Vijaya, Vasu Ramananda, Jagadisa, Shri Sankaranandamaya and Kashimisra. Glory to Kashiswara, Karnapura, Chakravarty and Shri Nath Thakura. Glory to Shri Sundarananda, Abhirama, Raghunatha Bhatta, Sanatana and Rupa. Glory to Shri Bugarva, Lokanatha, Shri Gopala Bhatta, Dasa Raghunatha and Shri Jiva Gosvami. Glory to Krishnadasa Kaviraja, Vrndavanadasa, Vyasa and Haridasa. Glory to Narottama, Ramacandra and Syamananda. Glory to the listeners.
One day Shri Acarya told his companions about the devotional qualities of Shri Syamananda. Meanwhile, much to the pleasure of Shri Acarya, two disciples of Syamananda arrived with a letter from Syamananda. Shrinivasa welcomed the two disciples with great affection and sent a reply to Syamananda through them, which was also very happily received by Syamananda.
The character of Shrila Syamananda Prabhu and the mercy he bestowed upon Shri Rasikananda.
Syamananda traveled from Vraja to Gauramandala, then quickly went to Utkala via Amvika. He halted at his birthplace, Dharenda village, in Dandeswara, and from there went to Rayani. The village Rayani was situated in Mallabhumi by whose side the river Suvarnarekha flowed in the northern direction. Near Rayani was a village named Varayita, by whose side flowed the river Dolangi, which was a very beautiful place. In Varayita, the son of Dasaratha, Rama, had installed a Deity of Siva named Rameswara. During His exile in the forest Rama stayed there with Janaki and Laksmana. The king of this city was named Acyuta and his loving disposition greatly endeared him to his subjects. The king and his wife, Shri Vabani, had two sons, Shri Rasikananda and Shri Murari. From the time of their youth these two boys were famous for their extraordinary intelligence. They were devoted sons and served their parents lovingly.
Once Shri Murari's wife expressed her desire to spend some time in Ghantasila village. Ghantasila was situated near the river Suvarnarekha. It was beautiful spot, noted as the place where the Pandavas had taken rest during their exile in the forest.
One day while in Ghantasila, Murari was sitting alone wondering how he would find a spiritual master to guide him. Suddenly a voice from the sky assured him that he should worry no longer because soon he would meet his spiritual master,Shri Syamananda. Rasika Murari was overwhelmed with happiness and immediately began chanting the name of Syamananda over and over. Waiting in excited anticipation, Murari gradually became impatient and cried incessantly. He was unable to sleep and simply lay awake calling out the name of Syamananda. Late into the night Murari finally drifted off. Syamananda appeared to him in his dream and assured Murari that he would arrive at his place the following morning. Syamananda then disappeared and Rasikananda was filled with joy.
In the morning Shri Rasika told no one about his dream but waited for his spiritual master with great anticipation. After some time he suddenly saw Syamananda, along with Kisordasa and other disciples, approaching in the distance. Shri Rasika was stunned by the beauty of Syamananda's smiling face. Syamananda was absorbed in chanting Shri Krishna Chaitanya, and due to the powerful influence of the holy name he was unable to walk properly as he approached Rasika. At once Rasika-Murari fell on the ground and touched his feet. Syamananda embraced him to his chest and wept emotionally. Syamananda bestowed his mercy upon Murari and gave him diksa in Radha-Krishna mantra. Syamananda also accepted Shri Rasikananda as his disciple and dedicated him to the lotus feet of Nityananda-Chaitanya.
Rasika-Murari took their spiritual master to Royani and delightfully engaged in nama sankirtana. Syamananda stayed there for sometime, during which many people took initiation from him. Eventually Syamananda and his disciples left Royani. During his travels Syamananda came across a yogi named Damodara who received the mercy of Syamananda and became a very exalted devotee, he used to become mad by chanting the name of Nitai-Chaitanya. Syamananda traveled on to Valaramapura where he showered his mercy upon many fortunate residents.
Thereafter Kisore, Murari, Damodara and other disciples of Syamananda held a grand festival in Dharenda village. Seeing Syamananda, the people of the village forgot all their worldly miseries. Syamananda and his numerous disciples; Radhananda, Shri Purushottama, Manohara, Chintamani, Balabadra, Shri Jagadiswara, Uddhava, Akrura, Madhuvana, Shri Govinda, Jagannatha, Gadadhara, Shri Anandananda, and Shri Radhmohana etc., engaged continuously in sankirtana, glorifying the holy names of Gaura-Nityananda, accompanied by mrdanga and kartalas. They sang and danced madly, sometimes rolling on the ground and crying profusely. Syamananda's dancing enchanted the demigods, and even the wicked hearts of the demons melted and they fell on the ground weeping with joy. They cried out to Syamananda requesting him to save them from their sins. Syamananda freely bestowed his mercy and everyone sank into the ocean of love of God. The crowd was amazed to see the extraordinary devotional qualities of Shri Syamananda and was swept away by the happiness of sankirtana. Syamananda also displayed these wonderful sankirtana pastimes in Shri Nrisimhapura.
Shri Rasika Murari subdues the heretics.
Thakura Syamananda went to Shri Gopivallavapura and showered his rain of devotion upon the residents there. While there he put Shri Govinda under the care of Rasika. Rasikananda was also blessed with great devotion and saved many fallen souls from hellish material life. He travelled to many villages, along with his disciples, and bestowed his mercy upon many yavanas. He also tamed a mad elephant which some rogue had sent to harm him. Seeing this the rascal yavana king submitted himself humbly to Rasika. In this way he delivered many distressed people, regardless of class or caste. Shri Rasikananda's constant absorbtion in ecstatic sankirtana enchanted the hearts of everyone. I apologize to the listeners because I am unable to describe the character of Syamananda in detail as this book would become too lengthy.
The people of Gaura were delighted to hear that Syamananda had conquered Utkala and other countries with his devotional love. In Gaura, Shrinivasa, Narottama and others were also very successful in distributing love of God, and accumulated many disciples. Ramacandra Kaviraja, who was famous for his exalted devotion, was one of the favorite disciples of Shrinivasa Acarya.
The character of Shri Hariramacarya.(from Shrinivasa's branch)
Shri Ramacandra's disciple, Hariramacarya, was renowned for his miraculous devotional activities. He always took pleasure in preaching the message of Shri Krishna Chaitanya and in delivering the fallen conditioned souls from their hellish life in material existence. Many poets have composed songs in glorification of his deep absorption in sankirtana.
The character of Shri Ramakrishnacarya. (from the branch of Shri Narottama.
The disciple of Shrila Narottama, Shri Ramakrishnacarya, was a great devotee and scholar. He was especially loving and kind hearted to the poor and wretched, and was expert at defeating heretical arguments. He was always absorbed in the pleasure of sankirtana.
The character of Shri Ganganarayana prabhu. (from the branch of Shrila Narottama)
Shri Thakura Narottama was regarded by all as the deliver of the sinful. His disciple, Ganganarayana Chakravarty, was also a powerful preacher and scholar. Many poets have praised the transcendental qualities of Ganganarayana and his absorption in sankirtana. In this way, the branches and twigs of Shrinivasa prabhu and Shri Narottama prabhu stretched their merciful hands to remove the evil tendencies of all mankind regardless of caste or class. I humbly confess that I am completely unqualified to describe the transcendental qualities of these great Vaishnavas, but by the mercy of Shrinivasa Acarya I am writing this book Bhakti Ratnakara.