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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Narahari Chakravarti Thakura > Bhaktiratnakara > CHAPTER 9




Glory to Shri Shachinandana Gauricandra.


Glory to the son of Padmavati, Nityananda


Glory to the son of Navadevi, Shri Advaita.


Glory to the son of Ratnavati, Gadadhara.


Glory to Shrivasa and other favorite companions of Mahaprabhu.


I am an ignorant person and I requset the Vaishnava Prabhus to fulfil my mission. Glory to the listeners whose superb qualities know no bounds.


The repentence of King Vira Hamvira


The king of Vana Vinsupur, Shri Vira Hamvira, became eager to see Shri Acarya. He constantly wondered when his master would come to Vishnupur. He regarded himself as an orphan with no one to care for him in this world. Without Prabhu Shrinivasa he was gradually sinking into utter darkness. He repented his previous activities because of which the Gosvamis of Vrndavana had been offended by him. Becasue of those offenses he would never get the mercy of the Gosvamis. While remembering his offenses to the Gosvamis he grew reticent and tried to control his despair.


Seeing the king in this state of mind, his courtiers and friends tried to console him by telling him that Acarya had gone only for a few days and would soon return. They forbade the king to think of the subject because they knew that Acarya Prabhu had grat affection for him. They knew that if Acarya Prabhu favored him, he would also get the mercy of the Gosvamis. They assured him that he should not feel repentent for any harm he had done to Acarya Prabhu's companions in Vrndavana.


While the courtiers were speaking with the king two persons arrived from Vraja with two letters from Jiva Gosvami. When the king fell immediately at their feet, the messengers were shocked by his humble behavior. After sometime they told the king that they were pleased to have gotten proof of the king's humble attitude, about which they had heard so much in Vraja. They gave him two letters from Jiva Gosvami - one for Acarya Prabhu and one for the king himself. The king reverently touched the letters to his eyes and head, and feeling himself very fortunate he opened the letters and read them with tear-filled eyes.


The sweet words of Jiva Gosvami could soothe the mind of anyone. After reading the letter the king said that Prabhu's companions were certainly kindhearted for they had blessed such a worthless person as himself. The king cried with gratitude and thereafter he showed very cordial and affectionate care towards the two mesengers.


As Shrinivasa Acarya was then in Jajigram, the king hastily wrote a letter himself and attached it to Jiva Gosvami's letter. He sent two men from his court to carry the letter to Shrinivasa. Shrinivasa received the letter and touched the one from Jiva Gosvami to his head. He was so moved by te letter from Shri Jiva that he could not control his tears. After he had composed himself, the two messengers gave him the letter from the king. From the king's letter Shrinivasa could easily see that the king wanted to see him again, but in his reply letter Shrinivasa informed the king that there would be some delay in his return. He wrote many different things to the king and the messengers returned with his letter to Vishnupur. The king was most happy to receive the letter.   


In Jajigram Shri Acarya taught his students that devotion was the best method of attaining Krishna. Shrinivasa was in constant anxiety because the associates of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had disappeared from the world. Those who were still alive would not live much longer. Despite his anxiety he preached the philosophy of devotion boldly and attracted many students.


Once two brahmins from Ksetra came to study under Shrinivasa. They reverently bowed to the Acarya and he embraced them. HE inquired about the condition of Shri Ksetra and was disappointed to head that most of the followers of Mahaprabhu had left the world and Shri Ksetra was in a miserable condition. He also learnt that Syamananda had gone to Nilacala but had found only a few of the followers of Prabhu still alive. Syamananda had cried so pitifully in his grief that the stones and wood melted. Thereafter Syamananda had gone to Vrndavana.


The Acarya also cried when he received this news but continued to teach the Gosvami's books.


One day a Vasinava came from Navadvipa to meet Shrinivasa Acarya. From him the Acarya learned that Suklambara and other associates of Mahaprabhu had recently left the world. At the same time another messenger came to Shrinivasa with the news tht Dasa Gadadhara had died that very day. Shri Acarya could not bear the news and fell unconscious on the ground. When he regained his senses he cried so loudly that even the animals and birds cried with him. At last he checked his misery and told his disciples that he would go to Vrndavana. During his absence Prabhu Rupa and Sanatana would be with them to help them understand the meanings of the scriptures. In this indirect way Shri Acarya offered his disciples a great boon.


Shrinivasa Acarya goes to Vrndavana


One day as Shri Acarya sat alone he considered that most of the followers of Mahapabhu had disappeared leaving him alone in this world. As he considered the situation, a messenger arrived informing him that Shri Thakura Narahari had also disappeared. The words struck him like lightning and he fell on the ground crying. He passed the entire night in grief, determined tht in the morning he would also leave this world. By the wish of Mahaprabhu, Prabhu Dasa Gadadhara and Prabhu Narahari appeared in Shrinivasa's dream and consoled him. They dissuaded him from comitting suicide, assuring him that they would always be with him. In his dream the two Vaishnava saints embraced him, but when he awoke he felt disappointed becaue he could not longer see them. In the morning he spoke confidentially to Ramacandra and then left for Vrndavana.


He reached Mathura rather quickly and first bathed in the Jamuna river at Visramaghata. One Mathura brahmana saw Shrinivasa and wondered what had brought him so quickly to Mathura from Gauda. He approached Shrinivasa and bowed respectively, asking him the object of his visit to Vraja. When Shrinivasa inquired about the well being of the residents of Braja, the brahmana sighed heavily and told him that although he come quickly during the month of Magha, nevertheless it was too late. Had Shrinivasa come only ten days earlier he could have seen the devotees, for on Krishna ekadashi in the month of Magha, Dvija Haridasa Acarya had diappeared from this world. Shrinivasa lamented that he could not see Dvija Haridasa but the brahmana consoled him. Thereafter Shrinivasa left Mathura and headed for Vrndavana.


In Vrndavana he met all the Gosvamis and bowed at their feet. He had arrived on the day of Vasanta Pancami. Shri Gopala Bhatta, Shri Bhugarva, Lokenatha and Shri Jiva Gosvami and other Gosvamis were all in the temple of Shri Govinda and when they saw Shrinivasa coming they received him very cordially and each embraced him one after another. They asked Shrinivasa about the well being of the devotees of Gauda but were deeply greived when he reported the sad news of the disappearance of Mahaprabhu's associates. They lamented but they could not understand that Shrinivasa had been driven to Vrndavana because of his own grief. Therefore they tried to console him and then all of them attended the Rajbhoga arati of Shri Govinda. Simply seeing the deities of Radha Govinda Shrinivasa felt very happy. Thereafter Shrinivasa and the Gosvamis ate Mahaprasad together. The Gosvamis then returned to their own houses and Shrinivasa went home with Shri Jiva.


Syamananda Prabhu goes to Vrndavana


Syamananda also went to Vrndavana at that time from Shri Kshetra and first at the feet of Shri Jiva Gosvami. Shri Jiva affectionately embraced him and told him that Shrinivasa was also there. Acarya Shrinivasa bowed at the feet of Syamananda and holding hands they sat together. They talked together, occasionally shedding tears over sad news. After sometime they controlled their feelings, and Shri Acarya went alone to take his bath in the Jamuna river. After bathing he paid his respects to Jiva Gosvami and went to meet Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, bowing at his feet.


Thereafter Shri Acarya bega to study nce again under Shri Jiva Gosvami, and Shri Jiva was pleased by the Acarya's intent. From Shri Jiva, Shrinivasa learnt the book Shri Gopala Champu and other books and was happy to study under Shri Jiva.


The Vrndavana tour of Shri Ramacandra Kaviraja


Shrinivasa Acarya had decided to stay in Vrndavana but his disciples in Gauda were feeling very lonely without him. One day in Shri Khanda Shri Raghunandana told Ramacandra Kaviraja gently that since this place had become vacant he should at once go to Vrndavana. He gave Ramacandra good directions and Ramacandra went first to Jajigram. The followers of Shrinivasa told Ramacandra that it had become impossible for them to live without their Acarya. They requested him to go quickly to Vrndavana and bring Shrinivasa back to them. After taking permission from the disciples of Shrinivasa, Ramacandra returned home.


Thereafter Ramacandra began to think about Shri Narottama. He believed that his miseries would vanish if he could only live with Narottama.


Ramacandra's brother, Shri Govinda, was a man of extraordinary knowledge, competence and enthusiam for his work. As they sat together in a quiet place Ramacandra told him that the next morning he would go to Shri Vrndavana. He advised Shri Govinda to move to a village named Telia Budhari, a holy place which was situated between the Ganga and Padmavati rivers. It was a large and well populated village inhabitated by good natured people. Ramacandra suggested that Shri Govinda live there, for even his maternal grandfather, a very famous man, had often visited that holy place. He told Shri Govinda that his presence in that place would bring pleasure to many of the people and Shri Govinda at once agreed to follow the suggestion. Thereafter Ramacandra imparted various spiritual truths to Shri Govinda and the following morning left his brother and started for Vrndavana. Shrinivasa had gone to Vrndavana about the end of Vaisakha and Ramacandra went there about the end of Pausa.


The life story of Govidna the brother of Ramacandra


After two to four days Shri Govinda left Kumar Nagara and went ot Telia, where the villagers received him happily. The gentlemen of the village came forward to meet him and selected a beautiful place for him to live. They were impressed by Shri Govinda's good qualities and he was very happy to have their kind and affectionate association. Although Govinda was satisfied there he never forgot the mercy of Shrinivasa Acarya. He wondered when the day would come that he would be a servant at the feet of Shri Acarya, when the Acarya would grant him diksa mantra and when he would be admitted into the companions of Shri Acarya.


As a devotee of Goddess Bhagavati, Govinda lived in Kumar Nagara, worshipping the Goddess with songs and poetry which were the delight of his many companions who were also worshippers of Shakti. The poet explained the reason for his attachment to Goddess Bhagavati. His maternal grandfather was a shakta who kept Bhagavati always by his side. His grandfather's name was Damodara Kavirja and Damadora's daughter was Sunanda. Govinda was Sunanda's son. Govinda remained in his mother's womb too long and Sunanda was in great distress at the time of delivery. Her maidservant hastily informed Kaviraja of the problem while he was engaged in worshipping Bhagavati. He did not speak to the maidservant but by certain movements of his hands and eyes he indicated that she should take the weapon of Shri Durga and show it to Sunanda. That would assist her in a painless delivery of her child. The maidservant could not understand Kaviraja's indications very well. She washed the weapon in water and gave the water to Sunanda to drink. Thereafter Sunanda quickly and painlessly gave birth to a beautiful son.


The child grew day by day like the moon. Everyone in the vilalge knew that he was born by the mercy of Shri Bhagavati. As a young child he lost his father and gained no worldly eduaction. His maternal grandfather cared for him throughout his childhood, moulding Govinda according to his own doctrines and rituals used in worshipping Bhagavati. Other people also advised Govinda to continue the worship of Bhagavati. They insisted that no activity could be successful without the pleasure of Bhagavati.


When Ramacandra took initiation from Shri Acarya Shri Govinda assured himself that since he had been worshipping Bhagavati sincerely from his childhood, Bhagavati would certainly grant him salvation. But as he was thinking this an oracle from Bhagavti told him that if he did not worship Krishna he would not get salvation. Although he was unhappy, Shri Govinda decided to become a disciple of Shri Acarya Prabhu and worship the lotus feet of Krishna. For that purpose he went to Jajigram only to learn that Shri Acarya had gone to Vrndavana. Govinda lamented his misfortune, but he considered the kindness of the Vaishnavas who had told him about his own father, Chiranjiva Sena. Chiranjiva was a disciple of Chaitanya Candra and Govind alamented that he could not follow the path of his devoted father. He regarded himself as a worthless person in this world and lamented his misfortune.


Govinda cherished the hope of meeting Shri Acarya so that a change would occur in his wicked mind. He remembered his elder brother whose life had already been moulded by the favor of Acarya Prabhu. He lamented that even though his elder brother had gotten the favor of the Acarya he himself had not. He cried as he rebuked himself and soaked his body with tears. At that moment a oracle from the sky told him that his desires would be fuliflled within a few days. From that very day Govinda's devotion to Radha and Krishna increased steadily. Ramacandra was glad to find his brother in this transformed state of mind. When Govinda moved to Telia Budhuari villae he first lived on the Western side which was known as Shri Paschimapia and later settled in Budharia. In everh sphere of life Govinda liked to depend on his elder brother. 


Shri Ramacandra Kaviraja in Vrndavana


As Ramacandra travelled hurriedly to Vrndavana people who observed him remarked that they had never seen such a person. They thought he was probably the son of a king from Gauda. Some people thought he not even a human being but rather a deity. When he arrived in Vrndavana someone informed Shri Jiva Gosvami that a beautiful person, with skin as bright as gold, had come from Gauda. They told Shri Jiva that thy were charmed by the sight of that man who was wandering aimlessly in Vrndavana, crying as he enjoyed the beauty of of the holy dhama. Shri Jiva asked Shrinivasa if he knew who the man was and Shrinivasa said that it must be Ramacandra.


Shrinivasa had preciously told Jiva Gosvami about Ramacandra, so Shri Jiva ordered his followers to bring Ramacandra to his place. When Ramacandra arrived he bowed at the feet of Shri Jiva and Shrinivasa Acarya and both of them lovingly embraced Ramacandra. They asked him questions about the places which he had visited on his trip and Ramacandra first reported what Khandavasi Shri Raghunandana had told him. He also repoted what he had heard from other Vaishnavas and he told them the progress of his own study and the result of the long tour which he had completed to Gaya, Kashi, Ayodhya and Prayaga.


From this report Shri Jiva Gosvami could understand the condition of those holy places since the disappearance of Mahaprabhu and  his beloved companions. Ramacandra informed them that the inhabitants of Gauda wanted Shrinivasa to return and both Shrinivasa and Shri Jiva took the request seriously. Thereafter they took Ramacandra with  them to visit the temple of Radha Damodara.


While observing the deities of Radha Damodara Ramacandra fell on the ground crying and while visiting the Samadhi of Rupa Gosvami he was moved with emotion. When he cried loudly, calling out the name of Shri Rupa, Shri Jiva took him on his lap and pacified him.


He visited the temples of Shri Govinda, Gopinatha, Madana Mohan, Radha Damodara and Shri Radha Raman and wherever he went he could barely restrain his emotions. He also visited the samadhis of Sanatana Gosvami, Kasisvara Pandita and raghunatha Bhatta although it filled him with grief. Shri Gopala Bhatta, Lokenatha, Shri Bhugarba and other Vaishnavas came to meet and bless him.


Shri Ramacandra visits Radha kunda


Thereafter ramacandra visited Aritagrama and also visied radha and Syama kunda. After bathing in the kundas he met raghunatha dasa Gosvmami and bowed at his feet. Raghunatha embraced him affectionately, and was later impressed by Ramacandra's ability to write verses. Ramacandra also met Krishnadasa Kaviraja and other Vaishnavas of that area. He visited Giri Govardhana and roamed happily in the twelve forests. Shri Bhatta Gosvami and others in Vrndavana praised Ramacandra and because of his talent as a poet they offered the title of Kaviraja to him. Ramacandra assited his guru Shrinivasa Acarya in serving Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami in various ways. Shri Jiva Gosvami was happy to observe the sweet relationship between the guru and his disciple.


Shrinivasa Acarya returns to Gauda


Having received news of his disciples in Gauda from ramacandra, Shrinivasa decided to return home and hastily took leave from everyone in Vrndavana. On the auspicious day of the full moon in the month of Vaisakh, the Simhasama-Yatra of Radha-Raman took place. On this occasion there was a large festival in the house of Shri Bhatta Gosvami and Shrinivasa enjoyed the festivities. Shri Jiva Gosvami announced that Shrinivasa would return to Gauda and on the day after the full moon Shri Jiva one again entrusted Syamananda to Shrinivasa. He also gave Shrinivasa some books which had been revised by him. The Gosvamis of Vrndavana gathered in the temple of Shri Govinda to bid farewell to Shrinivasa. The Acarya bowed at their feet and then went to see the moon-like face of Shri Govinda. Ramacandra and Syamananda also bowed at the feet of the Gosvamis.


When they departed, Shri Jiva walked a long distance with them but when Shrinivasa insisted that he stop, he returned to his home. The Acarya proceeded quickly via Mathura and after a few days he arrived in vana Vishnupura. Getting news of his arrival, the king came forward quickly to meet them. He lay prostrate at the feet of Acarya Prabhu, but the Acarya puthis foot on the head of the king, lifted him from the ground and embraced him.


Shrinvasa Acarya introduced Ramacandra and Syamananda to the king and king bowed at their feet with tears in his eyes.  The king admitted his good fortune in meeting them by the mercy of Shrinivasa Prabhu. Ramacandra and Syamananda happily embraced Vira Hamvira. Whoever accompanied the king was equally happy to see Shrinivasa and his two followers and when the king took Prabhu to his house, the inhabitants of the village were very pleased. Shrinivasa Acarya and his two friends started san kirtana in Vana Vishnupura.


Shri Syamananda's visit to Utkala


Syamananda remained in Vishnupura for ten days and then left for Utkala. When the king heard of Syamananda's journey he thought to himself that it was truly impossible to understand the inner mind of a mahanta whose only goal is to deiver various places of the world from damnation. He was disappointed that Syamananda would not stay n Vana Vishnupura and he feared he would never see him again. The king gave many gifts to Syamananda and this pleased Shrinivasa very much. Acarya Thakura embraced Syamananda, soaking his body with tears. Syamananda bowed at the feet of Shri Acarya and then started his journey. Shrinivasa held his hand and walked with him until Syamananda forbid him to come any further. After that Shrinivasa returned to his house and Syamananda bid farewell to Ramacandra Kaviraja and the other residents of Vana Vishnupur who all cried bitterly as he left. A few days later Syamananda and many followers reached Utkala. The people of Utkala came running when they heard of Syamananda's arrival. Shri Rasika Nanda and others came forward happily to meet him. Syamananda stayed at Nrisimhapura and immediately sent a letter back to Vishnupura telling of his arrival. Shri Acarya was very satisfied upon receiving the letter.


Shrinivasa Acarya gives diksa to king Vira Hamvira


Shrinivasa Acarya remained in Vishnupura for two months and fulfilled the disires of many people. He was pleased to find that the king had a good capacity for studying and understanding the religious books. He granted the king diksha in radha Krishna mantra. Shri Acarya taught him the meaning of Shri Kamagayatri and also taught him how to recite silently and repeatedly the names of Hari. He appointed his favorite disciple Ramacandra Kaviraja to teach the king, and told the king how Shri Jiva Gosvami had been satisfied by Ramacandra's scholarly abilities and how Shri Jiva had called him Chaitanya Dasa. The king shed tears of joy and fell at the feet of Shrinivasa Prabhu he humbly offered his respects to Acarya and by the mercy of his guru the king got everything he wanted. The queen of King Vira Hamvira also requested the mercy of Shri Acarya, and being satisfied by her prayers, Shrinivasa also granted her diksha. The qualified son of Vira Hamvira, Shridhari Hamvira, also became a disciple of the Acarya.


King Vira Hamvira expressed his desire to instal the deity of Kalachand and make arrangements for his worship. Shri Acarya Prabhu performed the first bathing of the deity. Everyone in the king's state was glad to see the beautiful deity of Kalachand. They all discussed the king's good fortunate at acquiring such a beautiful deity.


Shri Acarya Prabhu dedicated the king to the lotus feet of Shri Kalachand and the king dedicated himself to the feet of Shri Acarya whole heartedly. One day the king in his dream composed and sang some songs which his wife heard. When the king awoke from his sleep,the queen requested him to sing the songs once

more. While the king humbly sang his songs the queen cried tears of joy. She fell at the feet of the king without any hesitation and both of them were moved in ecstatic love and devotion. Shri Acarya and his companions were pleased by the sincereity of the king and his followers.


Acarya Prabhu's favor towards Hari Narayana


King Hari Narayana of Sikhara bhumi wanted to be a disciple of Shrinivasa Acarya. As he preferred the worship of Lord Ramacandra, he wanted to be initiated in Shri Rama mantra. Shrinivasa Acarya was happy to see the sincerity of the king and was eager to fulfil his desires. Trimalla Bhatta's son was in Ranga Kshetra and Shrinivasa sent him a letter ordering him to come quickly. He arrived in Panchakuta and after learning everything from Shrinivasa, affectionately gave Rama mantra to Hari Narayana. After that he dedicated Hari Narayana to Shrinivasa Acarya. Shrinivasa taught him all of the religious doctrines and was happy to find that Hari Narayana was a man of sweet disposition.


One day while Acarya Thakura was discussing Lord Krishna with his followers, a person arrived from Jajigrama with a letter. He learned from that letter that the people of Shri Khanda were eagerly awaiting his arrival and he should go there as early as possible. But when the residents of Vana Vishnupura heard the contents of the letter they were very perturbed. Seeing the anxiety of King Vira Hamvira, Shri Acarya told him that he would go to Kheturi via Shri Khanda and Jajigrama and after a short while he would return to Vishnupura. The king wanted to accompany Shri Acarya but Shrinivasa consoled him and asked him to be patient as he would soon get the association of Narottama.  Shri Acarya assured him  that he would go to Jajigrama so that he could send a letter to Narottama asking him to go directly to Vishnupur. The king and his companions were relieved by this proposal and accepted the fact that Shrinivasa Acarya would leave the next morning.


Shri Acarya leaves Vishnupur


In the morning Shri Acarya and his followers left for Jajigrama from Vishnupur. Many people came to say farewell and the king gave him many gifts. He walked with Shri Acarya for some distance and then  returned to Vishnupur. While the king and his men wondered when they would see the Acarya again the Acarya and his followers hurriedly went to Jajigrama. Upon their arrival the residents of Jajigrama forgot all thier miseries.


Acarya Thakura in Shri Khanda


From Jajigrama Acarya Thakura quickly went to Shri Khanda where he entered the courtyard of Shri Gauranaga Mandir and tearfully viewed the deity of Gaurachandra. Losing his self-control, Shri Raghunandana stretched out his arms and embraced Shrinivasa for a long time. Shrinivasa tried to bow on the ground at this feet but was unable to do so as Shri Raghunandana would not release him from his embrace. When Shri Raghunanda inquired about the well being of the residents of Vraja, Acarya sorrowfully told him that due to the worldly disappearance of Mahaprabhu, the intimate associates of the Lord were all passing away day by day. A few remained alive only by the wish of the Lord. Shri Raghunandana could not tolerate this heart breaking news and fainted on the ground in his lamentation he felt that the earth was sinking into utter darkness. Prabhu Narahari and his intimate followers had abandoned him and alone he had to bear the miseries of the world. On hearing about the death of Narahari, Shrinivasa also cried in grief. No one could console them. On the contrary, just seeing them, others also began to cry and the air of Shri Khanda was filled with lamentation. The animals, the birds and all living beings of Shri Khanda cried with them, but after sometime Shri Raghunandana advised Shrinivasa to go go Jajigrama and then to Kentuka Nagara.


Shri Acarya visits Katoa


After visiting Jajigrama Shrinivasa went to Kantaka Nagara, the place from which Gaurachandra had started his ascetic life. He cried doing darshan of the deity of Shri Gauranga and later he met the favorite devotees of Mahaprabhu. Shri Yadunandana Cakravarty, a learned disciple of Prabhu dasa Gadadhara, was in a miserable state of mind because of the death of his guru. His grief increased as he and Shrinivasa cried and discussed the glory of Prabhu dasa Gadadhara. By the mercy of Mahaprabhu they were able to pacify themselves after a short while. They all asked about the various activities in Vrndavana and Shri Yadunanda thanked Shrinivasa for coming to Kantaka Nagara to pacify theml in their miserable state of mind. Then Yadunandana showed Shrinivasa the seat of Prabhu Gadadhara who had passed away on the Krishnamasti day in the month of Kartik. He also showed Shrinivasa the arrangements they had made to perform the festival on the death observance of Gadadhara.  They had invitation cards to everyone, and Yadunandana requested Shrinivasa to come to Kantaka Nagara from Jajigrama and stay ten days to observe the ceremonies.


Shrinivasa assured him that he would come in time for the ocassion and then left for Jajigrama. From Jajigrama he sent a letter to Vira Hamvira and then went to Shri Khanda where he met Shri Raghunandana and told him about the festival. Raghunandana told Shrinivasa that he had already heard about the passing away of Gadadhara during Kartik. After Gadadhara's disappearance Prabhu Narahari had grown emaciated and had not spoken a word to anyone. He cried continously and then suddenly passed away on the Krishna ekadashi day in the month of Vaisakha. He showed Shrinivasa the arrangements he had made to perform the death observance of Narahari and also informed him that he had sent inviations to all the companions of Prabhu Nityananda, Advaita and Shri Chaitanya. The son of Nityananda Prabhu had agreed to come there. He would start for Jajigramaa in the morning and then with all of his companions go to Kantaka Nagara where they would meet the followers of Mahaprabhu. After the festival they would return to Shri Khanda, spending a few days in Jajigrama also.


Having learnded their program, Shrinivasa happily went back to Jajigrama and met Ramacandra Kaviraja and the others. He told Ramacandra everything and they selected a place where the guests would rest and busied themselves collecting things for the festival. The residents of Jajigrama were excited about the emmminent arrival of the followers of Prabhu Shri Chaitanya. Shrinivasa left for Kantaka Nagara the next day. In the morning Shri Raghunandana and his followers arrived in Jajigrama from Khanda. After spending sometime in the house of Shrinivasa Acarya they all went to Kantaka Nagara. The residents of Kantaka Nagara came forward to receive all of the mahantas. I ma unable to give a detailed lists of all of the Mahantas and information about their residences, but I will mention a few: Shripati, Shrinidhi, Vidyananda, Baninath Basu, Ramadasa, Kavicandra, Purusottama, Sanjaya, Shri Candra Sekhara, Shri Madhava carya, Kirtaniya Sastidhara, Shri Kamala Kanta, Brahmin Vaninatha, Vishnudasa Nandana Pandita, Puranadara, Shri Chaitanya dasa Karnaoura, Brahmin Shri Janakinath, Shri Gopala Acarya, Gopala Dasa, Murari  Chaitanya dasa, Raghunatha Vaidya, Upaddhyaya Narayana, Balarama Dasa, Dasa Sanatana, Brahmin Krishna Dasa, Shri Nakari, Manahara, Hari Harananda, Shri Madhava, Mahidhara, Ramacandra Kaviraja, Vasanta Lalvani, Shri Kanu Thakura, Shri Gukula, Shri Madhava Carya, Rama Sena, Damodara, Gyandasa, Nartaka Gopala, Pitamvara, Kumuda, Gauranga dasa, Nrsimha, Chaitanya dasa, Dasa Vrndavana, Vanamali dasa, Bholanatha, Shri Vijaya, Shri Hrdaya nanda Sena, Lokenath Pandita, Shri Pandita Murari, Shri Kanu Pandita, Haridasa Brahmacari, Shri Ananta Dasa, Krishna dasa, Janardana, Shri Bhaktiratnadara, Dasa Narayana, Bhagavat Acarya, Bhagavat Acarya, Baninath Brahmacari, Chaitanya Vallabha dasa, Shri Psupa Gopala, Shri Gopala Dasa, Shri Harsha, Shri Laksmi Natha Pandita and many other mahantas.


The people of the village were enchanted by the arrival of the great mahantas whose manliness was like the glory of the sun. Their style of walking and their graciousness figures impressed the people and soothed their eyes. They all noticed the grace of Krishna Misra an Gopala, the two sons of Advaita chandra whose beauty was beyond description and who both were great scholars who accepted nothing but the service of Shri Krishna Chaitanya.


Shri Vira Bhadra Prabhu, the son of Nityananda


Vira bhadra, the son of Prabhu Nityananda, was an ocean of spiritualism. According to the book Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita:

Shri Vira Bhadra Gosvami was the great heir of Prabhu Nityananda from whom came many branches. He was a Parama Bhagavata and was always absorbed in the verses of the Vedas. Internally he was a lover of God and externally he was a most humble man. He was the driving horse behind the establishment of the Chaitanya cult of devotion. Because of his efforts people became interested in the doctrines of Chaitanya and Nityananda. Prabhu Vira Bhadra was also known as Vira Candra by some people, and he was the source of happiness for everyone. Whoever came in contact with him was thereafter attached to him. While abosrbing the way that Vira Candra walked, people of Kantaka Nagara said that Vira candra possessed the beauty of Madana, the God of Beauty. His body was soft and tender but dffulgent like golden lightning. His curling hair was silky and black and the beauty of the tilaka on his forehead enchanted the world. His beautiful eyebrows looked like a line of black bumble bees and his large eyes looked like lotuses. With beautiful cheeks, ears and nose, his face looked just like the moon. The Kunda flowers were ashamed of their own beauty when they saw his rows of beautifully white teeth. His broad chest, beautiful neck and long hands, his well shaped stomach and beautiful legs were all above description. He wore bright and deocrative clothes. The people of Kantaka Nagara dedicated themselves to the feet of this attractive person Vira Bhadra.


Shri Raghunandana anxiously awaited the arrival of the mahantas, Yadunandana finally reached him with news of the arrival of the mahantas in Kantaka and Shri Raghunandana and his followers went forward to receive them. They met on the banks of the Ganges and in that great gathering of Vaishnavas it appeared is if the ocean of love and devotion had overflooded its banks. They first visited the place from which Mahaprabhu had started his ascetic life. They cried when they saw that place and as their lamentations grew louder they rolled on the ground. Soon all the inhabitants of Kantaka Nagara - even the animals and birds - filled the air with sounds of crying. Thereafter the dust-covered mahantas went to the courtyard of Shri Gauranga where they saw the beautiful deity of Gaura candra and regained their composure. Thereafter they happily they happily went to the houses assinged to them.


Observance of the death ceremony of Dasa Gadadhara Prabhu


Shrinivasa Acarya and his followers arranged the great festival and the village residents were enchanted by the grandeur of the daily program. Throughout the day and night the mahants performed san kirtana, filling the air of Kantaka Nagara with the sounds of ecstatic joy. Krishna Misra and Gopala danced in the midst of the san kirtana and they compound where they chanted and danced became crowded with on-lookers. Even demi Gods took human forms to attend the festival. The mahantas sang and danced so intensely that their bodies perspired and quivered in ecstatic love. It seemed that the place was floating in a flood of divine love. Common people who attended the festival could scarcely understand how the mahantas continued three days in such singing and dancing. After the festival, the mahantas remained in Kantaka Nagara a few more days.    


The Mahantas visit Shri Khanda


Thereafter Shri Raghunandana and his companions went to Shri Khanda, leaving the residents of Kantaka Nagara quite unhappy. Shri Yadunandana and others cried at the time of departure. ABut he mahantas had been fully satisfied by the reception they had gotten from Shri Yadunandana and his followers. Shri Raghunandana encouraged Yadunandana to visit Shri Khanda as soon as possible.

The mahantas went first to Jajigrama, leaving Yadunandana behind in Kantaka Nagara. The duties which he performed there are beyond description. He always looked after the needs of the poor for which he received great respect from the Vaishnava soceity. He wrote a wonderful narrative about Shri Gauranga, the recitation of which could melt stones and wood. He was the main branch of Dasa Gadadhara and he always engaged himself in worship of the deity of Gaura.


In his book Shri Gaura Gandesa dipika poet Kavi Karnapura described Dasa Gadadhara as Radha when Chaitanya had appeared as an incarnation of Vishnu. Dasa Gadadhara was the greatest of all the branches of Shri Gaura Candra. According to Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami was considered to be Gaura Prema Laksmi in Navadvipa but was formerly Syama Sundara Laksmi in Vrndavana. Shri Dasa Gadadhara was the predominating spirit of the branch of Shri Gaura Candra and was able to impress the Muslim Kazis to utter Hari nama. Poet Krishnadasa says that Gadadhara was also listed in the branch of Prabhu Nityananda. Shri Ramadasa and Gadadhara dasa were the two main disciples of Chaitanya Gosvami. When Mahaprabhu ordered Nityananda to go to Gauda he sent theses two peopleto help him. Gadadhara Dasa remianed always in the service of Prabhu Nityananda, Krishnadasa also describes as a Gopini who was formerly one of the most intimate confidantes of Balarama in Vrndavana but had become an intimate follower of Nityananda in Gaura Lila. It was impossible for Shri Yadunandana to pass his days without Dasa Gadadhara. Everyone was impressed by the wonderful way Shri Yadunandana observed the disappearance ceremony of his guru.


The mahantas visit Jajigrama


When the mahantas reached Jajigrama they got a warm reception fron the residents. Acarya Thakura was very glad to receive these Parama Bhagavata Vaishnavas from the various places and took them to his house where they held a great festival which started with nama sankirtana. They stayed there for two to five days and were satisfied by the sincere service of Shrinivasa.


The mahantas visit Shri Khanda


Shri Raghunandana very respectfully took the favorite followers of Mahaprabhu to Shri Khanda where they were warmly received by the village people. They felt happy to have those great Vaishnavas in their village but in their happiness they lamented that the mahantas would also depart at some time. But they felt confident that the mahantas would stay long enough to observe the death ceremony of Shri Thakura Narahari. There were only four more days until the festival and the villagers felt that the whole of Shri Khanda would by then be flooded by nama sankirtana. People from outside Shri Khanda also flocked to the village to see the grandeur of the festival.


On the morning of Ekadashi, Shri Raghunandana dedicated himself to the companions of Mahaprabhu. Thereafter he went to the courtyard of Shri Gauranga and enthusiastically decorated it. All the mahantas appreciated the fine decoration of the pavillion and all of them were enchanted by the beautiful deity of Shri Gaura, the life of Shri Narahari Sarkara Thakura.


Shrinivasa  Acarya's Bhagavata recitation.


It was decided that on that day Shrinivasa would recite verses fromt he Bhagavatam and explain their meanings. Raghunandana was happy with this decision and at once arranged for proper seats and invited the mahantas. Shri Pati, Shri Mohi and others took their seats; Krishna Misra, Gopala and P\rabhu Vira Bhadra sat on celestial asanas. After Shri Raghunandana affectionately escorted Shrinivasa to his seat, all the mahants requested Shrinivasa to recite  the Bhagavatam. They assured him that they would not mind him reciting for them and told him he should feel no hesitation to speak. Shrinivasa bowed to the feet of the mahantas and then offered a flower, tulasi leaves and sandal paste to the holy book. He began his recitation with Mangala Carana. His voice was sweet like a  cuckoo and the entire audience was enchanted by his recitation. He cried as he recited the verses of Shri Rasa Vilasa and then he explained the meaning of the Sanskrit verses in sweet language. The audience was fully satisfied by his recitation. Mesmerised by Shrinivasa's sweet voice some of the mahantas said that the spirit of Shri Suka had entered Shrinivasa. One person  felt that Shrinivasa had been empowered by Shri Veda Vyasa in his lucid explainationof the verses. Another person felt that it was the mercy of Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami which enabled Shrinivasa to speak so sweetly. Others gave credit to Shrivasa saying that his mercy enabled Shrinivasa to chant rythomically. Another person felt that Shri Gauranga himself had explained the verses through the mouth of Shrinivasa. Time passed unnoticed for the listeners were all absorbed in the sweet recitations of Shrinivasa.


Finding that day was soon becoming night, Shrinivasa stopped his reading of the Bhagavatam, paid respects to the books most humbly and then lay prostrate at the feet of Mahaprabhu's companions. Being satisfied with Shrinivasa they affectionately placed their hands on his head and blessed him by saying that he had be able to pacify their grief stricken hearts. They prayed that Mahaprabhu would fulfil Shrinivasa's desires and they felt that whoever dedicated himself to the feet of Shrinivasa would ceertainly get the favor of Shri Krishna Chaitanya. "By Your mercy, the living entities will get exemption from their miseries," said one devotee. While one devotee embraced him intensely, another bent to touch the feet of Raghunandana, thanking him for arrangeing the recitation of  the Shrimad Bhagavatam by Shrinivasa.


Shri Raghunandana directed his followers to assemble in the courtyard of Gauranga Mandir without delay. They decorated the pavilon and arranged everything for the beginning of san kirtana. he brought a khola, karatala and other musical instruments and prepared them for the kirtana. After the arrangements were made Raghunandana invited the mahantas. They first perdformed the Sandhya arati of the deity of Mahaprabhu and then began the san kirtana. They were happy to see the musical instruments, scented sandal paste, and beautiful flower garlands which were being kept in various containers. Raghunandana had prepared sandal paste and flower garlands for each mahanta in a different container and he requested each mahanta to accept it. They also offered sandal wood paste and flower garlands to the khola and kartalas of Shri Mahaprabhu. Shri Raghunandana and Shri Locana then took sandal paste and flower garlands to offer to Krishna Misra and Shri Gopala, the mahantas were enchanted by the beauty of the those two Vaishnavas. They also decorated the body of Shri Vira Bhadra  with sandal paste and flower garlands. Then Prabhu Vira Bhadra signalled Shrinivasa to give him sandal paste and flower garlands which he in turn offered to Shri Raghunandana. Shri Raghunandana was embrassed and perplexed by Vira Bhadra's behavior so he turned and offered sandal paste and flower garlands to Shrinivasa very affectionately. It was a beautiful scene with the great mahantas all exchanging sandal paste and garlands amongst themselves. As they stood beneath a beautifully decorated canopy some of the mahantas began to play the instruments. An auspicious roar resounded through the air and hundreds of lamps were lit around the compound where the san kirtana was held. The sounds of Khola, karatala, khanjala and kanja created a peculiar divine sensation. The main singers started kirtana by introducing their songs distinctly. The entire assembly was enchanted by the notations, tuning, scale, modualtion of voice, musical time keeping and trilling of the kirtana. Whoever took part in the kirtana felt as though he had regained his youth. The compound was soon overcrowded and both the audience and the participants of the san kirtana had tears straming down his face. Even demigods mingled with the ordinary people and enjoyed the san kirtana, floating in a ocean of happiness. Forgetting their own existence the mahantas chanted and danced madly in a kirtana which mesmerised the entire universe. How can I describe the dancing of Shri Krishna Misra and Shri Gopala?


Whoever saw the dancing of Shri Vira Bhadra forgot his miseries. The devotees lamented that they had only two eyes to see the beautiful dance. A blind man who was listening to the kirtana asked another man the name of the dancer. When he heard the name Vira Bhadra, he thought that the name contained the power to sweep away all evils the word Vira means destroying the wicked, and the word Bhadra means protecting the good. He lamented his blind illness and begged the Lord silently to correct his misfortune. His crying touched the heart of Nityananda Nandana who glanced affectionately towards the blind man. The blind man got back his vision and became mad with joy. A tremendous ovation acknowledged the glory of Vira Bhadra.


They passed the entire night in san kirtana, crying they remembered the glory of Mahaprabhu. Lifting their hands in the air they called out the name of Prabhu and his intimate associates, namely Nityananda Rama, Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Pandita Gadadhara, Haridasa, Shri Vasa, Svarupa, Ramananda, Shri Madhava, Vasu, Murari, Mukunda, Gadadhara dasa and Narahari. They repeatedly requested Mahaprabhu to appear before them once with all his followers. As they rolled on the ground in  despair and their bodies became covered with dust, the sound of their crying filled the air. Mahaprabhu could not restrain his affection toward such sincere devotees and he appeared before them. In this miraculous appearance, Mahaprabhu consoled his devotees in many ways, took away all their miseries, and drowned them in an ocean of divine happiness. In great satisfaction they bowed to one another, embraced each other and shared tears of joy. The night passed and in the morning they observed the Mangala arati for Shri Mahaprabhu. After observing the behavior of the mahantas, the village people began to shout the name of Hari. But the people had various opinions. One person lamented the short duration of the night and blamed Providence. In his opinion, such an ekadashi day as this came very rarely in one's life. On that day they had all observed the rainfall of love caused by the mahantas. Another person commented that the Vaishnavas had an important qualification in that they could fast or remain for the entire day and night. Another person said that it was only possible for the associates of Chaitanya to observe the ekadashi day in such a way. One person felt that no one should ever take food on the day od ekadashi.  Whoever took food or offered food t anyone on that day would be ocmmitting a great sin. But another person felt that only one who got the favor of the companions of Mahaprabhu could properly observe the ekasasi barata.  In humility one man questioned whether he could get sufficient faith about observing the auspicious ekadashi day since he was a sinner. One person expressed his ignorance about the sancitity of the auspicious day while another man lamented his own misfortune at not taking the opportunity to prostrate himself at the feet of the Vaishnavas. One man tried to console others who were lamenting and then all of them went together to te compound of the san kirtana to offer obiesances to the Vaishnava mahantas. By this action they were able to get the mercy of the companions of Mahaprabhu. The mahantas appreciated the sincere efforts of Shri Raghunandana. It was the opinion of one person that whoever received the affectionate of Shri Raghunandana would certainly get the mercy of Shri Krishna Chaitanya. Another person especially appreciated Raghunandana for his kindness towards poor, worthless and miserable people. Another person appreciated his humble disposition and his politness. Someone else was enchanted by his beauty which could be compared with that of a kandarpa. One person appreciated his efficency in singing, playing musical instruments and dancing while another person appreciated his arrangements for the kirtana which they had all enjoyed so much. While the mahantas were discussing the good qualities of Raghunandana, he arrived at that spot. He was embrassed to hear his own glories for he was a humble person. Observing Raghunandana's humble state of mind, the mahantas were overwhelmed with emotion and embraced him for a long time.


Shri Raghunandana asked the mahantas how they should perform the observance of the day of Shri Dadashi Parana. The mahants suggested that they should celebrate the day by eating the prasad of Shri Gauranga together. Shri Raghunandana was happy to hear that suggestion and without delay he gathered a variety of indredients and ordered his disciples to cook them carefully. The mahantas went to the houses and completed their routine morning duties of evacuating, bathing and chanting their religious prayers. Meanwhile many items were cooked and the priest of the temple offered them to Mahaprabhu. After Mahaprabhu had had sufficent time to honor the food, the priest took the preparations from the deity room. Shri Raghunandana called the mahantas and showed them the various items which had been offered to the Lord. They were all pleased to see the great variety of foodstuffs that had been offered to Mahaprabhu.

After the performance of arati, the mahantas took their seats. Devotees placed banana leafs and cups of scented drinking before each seat and carefully offered each mahanta the prasad of Mahaprabhu. Within the temple, the devoted priest affectionately performed the duties related to the Lord's bed time. He bowed to the Lord repeatedly and then left the deity room to serve prasad to the Mahantas. He distributed both cooked food and fruits to the mahantas and after that h gave them the holy water by which the feet of the Lord had been washed. The mahants requested Raghunandana to eat with them, but he humbly refused, saying that he preferred the pleasure of watching them all wat together. They invoked the name of Shri hari and then they all began to eat. Shri Raghunandana greatly enjoyed the scene.


Shri Narahari Thakura appears to Shri Raghunandana


Shri Raghunandana quickly entered the Shri Bhoga mandir and took only a small portion of food. He went to a lonely place where Shri Narahari Thakura used to live, placed the deat of Thakura on the ground and put various items of food and a glass  of scented drinking water before the seat. He offered betel leafs on a plate and a flower garland from Shri Gauranaga on a different plate before the seat of Shri Thakura. THereafter he sat on a seat and absorbed himself in meditation through which he offered all these items to Thakura Narahari. After rising from his meditation he closed the door of the room and waited outside for sometime. Then he entered the room again to offer Shri Thakura water for washing. When he opened the door he saw Prabhu narahari- in a celestial body- was sitting on his seat. Raghunandana at once forgot himself and sank in an ocean of misery remembering the disappearance of Prabhu Narahari. Then checking himself, he offered Shri Thakura the water for washing. With tears in his eyes he took the seat of Prabhu Narahari on his head and paid his respects again and again. He then returned quickly to the place where the mahantas were eating and they repeatedly praised him for the excellent food preparations. SRi Raghunandana requested them to take more prasad. When they had finished they washed their mouths and then requested Raghunandana to take his seat and eat with his men. But Raghunandana first served Shrinivasa and other devotees and when they were finished hw finally took his own meal. Whoever received prasad from that festival greatly appreciated the activities of Shri Raghunandana in arrangeing such a large meal for everyone.


When Raghunandana had finished all of his duties he wen tot the courtyard of Shri Gauranga and requested the mahantas to attend the ceremony which is held when the Lord is awakened from his sleep.   He also asked them to offer lamps beofre the deity in the evening. After these two ceremonies the mahantas began san kirtana which continued through half the night. They slept during the second half of the night and in the morning they completed their routine morning duties of bathing etc. When Raghunadana met them in the morning, Shri Pati and Shrinidhi tod him that they planned to leave that very day. But Raghunanda requested them to stay for another two or four days. Brahmin Vaninatha told him that they would leave the next day but Raghunandana smilingly told him that there would be some question whether or not they would be allowed to leave the next day. He told them that there would be cookinginevery house today and he would be most satisfied if they would complete their bathing. They all acknowledged his requests.


THe preiset of Gaura candra brought the mahantas prasad and sweetmeats in many containers and also gave them the water which had bathed the feet of Mahaprabhu. When the food which had been cooked in every house had been offered to Lord Krishna the mahantas ate it gladly and passed their time talking about Lord Krishna. In his ecstasy Shri Raghunandana could not understand how many days and nights had passed.


Two to four days later the mahantas decided they would leave. raghunandana was quite disappointed at this and he gave them many gifts. He held the hand of Shri Vira Bhadra and cried as he spoke with him on various topics. Just seeing the faces of Krishna Misra and Shri Gopala, his heart ached in misery. With a heavy heart raghunanda spoke to each of the mahantas. In the mornig they all went to the Courtyard of Shri Gauranga mandir and observed the deity of Gaurachandra. They offered their heartfelt respects and accepted flower garlands of Mahaprabhu from the priests. When they left Shri Khanda the people of that village sank in the depth of misery and dissappointment.  Shri Raghunandana and others accompanied them for some distance while Shripati and some other mahantas consoled Shri Raghunandana, Shrinivasa and Shri Yadunandana in various ways. Shri Raghunandana and Shrinivasa at last returned to their houses. They passed that day together in nama sankirtan.


The next day Shrinivasa bid farewell to everyone and went to Jajigram. Shri Yadunandana went to Kantaka Nagara and other Vaishnavas went to their own villages. But people continued to talk about the grand festival held at the hosue at Raghunandana. Entreating the listeners to hear the narration with a divine mind, Dasa Narahari takes pleasure in writing the Bhaktiratnakara by thinking of the feet of Shrinivasa Acarya.