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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Yadunandana Dasa > Karnananda > First Extract

First Extract


I offer my obeisances to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the ocean of kindness, Nityananda Prabhu, the friend of the distressed, Advaita Acarya, who is most merciful, and to Shrivasa Thakura, as well as all the devotees of Mahaprabhu. I pray for the blessings of Shri Rupa and Sanatana, who deeply love mankind, and Shri Gopala Bhatta, who is a reservoir of love and devotion. May Raghunatha Bhatta and Raghunatha Dasa, who lived on the bank of Radha kunda, also bestow their mercy upon me. I bow to the compassionate Jiva Gosvami, and Shri Acarya Prabhu, whose devotion knows no bounds. My obeisances to Ramacandra Kaviraja and Govinda whose devotional characteristics charmed the whole world. Lastly, I request the blessings and kindness of Shri Vaishnava Gosvami, who is the deliverer of sinners.

Now hear attentively, oh listeners, as I describe how Mahaprabhu empowered two exalted personalities to deliver mankind. Shri Rupa Gosvami was empowered by the Lord to write innumerable devotional books. To distribute these valuable literatures, the Lord empowered Shrinivasa Acarya. Thus, by the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the whole world became fortunate enough to enjoy reading these books. I offer my humble obeisances to my generous and kind spiritual master, Shrinivasa Acarya, who is as munificient as a kalpavrksa tree. Shrinivasa Acarya appeared in this world to deliver distressed mankind. Shri Ramacandra Kaviraja was endowed with extraordinary devotional qualities and was a branch of the tree of Shrinivasa. Shri Govinda Kaviraja, brother of Shri Ramachandra Kaviraja, was also a highly qualified person. Shri Govinda Chakravarti was considered to be another branch of that tree. Apart from these three, there were many other highly qualified persons who were considered to be branches of this same tree. There were also many twigs such as Shri Balarama Kaviraja. Gradually the branches and twigs of this tree spread throughout the world.

From this tree bloomed the flowers of purely divine thought and the world became filled with its sweet heavenly fragrance. From these flowers, the sweet fruits of pure divine love and devotion grew. In this way Shrinivasa Acarya took the form of a huge tree, bedecked with flowers, and in this way spread the teachings of Mahaprabhu throughout Gauda by publishing and distributing books. Now oh, listeners, try to water this tree by listening attentively to these descriptions. The sweet taste of the fruits of this tree can only be tasted by one who is devoid of pride. Shri Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami also published many books, as well as Shri Bhatta Gosvami and Raghunatha Dasa. The books written by Shri Jiva Gosvami were added much flavour by Shri Kaviraja. Receiving all these books, Shrinivasa gladly distributed them in Gauda. Just as the wind carries the clouds, Shrinivasa swept away the cloud-like books from the hills of Vraja to the land of Gauda. There the cloud-like books showered the ground of Gauda with divine love. Thus suffering mankind, which were like grains suffering from the bright rays of the sun (Kali-yuga), were relieved by the rain of nectar. Thus all the devotees happily danced like peacocks.

When Shrinivasa Acarya established himself at Yajigrama, all his devoted Vaishnava followers assembled there daily. They listened intently as Prabhu explained the meaning of love and devotion. In this way he helped to rid the devotees of their pride of knowledge. After some time, at the request of the Vaishnavas, Shrinivasa married his first wife. Some time later he accepted his second wife. Daily the devotees would assemble and listen to discourses on such books as Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Vidagdha Madhava, Lalita Madhava, Hari-bhakti- vilasa, Dasamacarita, Mathura Mahatmya, Bhagavata, Gita, Virudavali, Mukta Carita, Krishna Karnamrita, Brahmasangita, Gopi Premamrita, etc. In this way the devotees remained submerged in the ocean of love throught the day and night. They spent half of the day performing harinama and the other half of the day reading these books. They used to spend two hourse singing the names of Radha Krishna, Govinda, etc. as well as singing songs composed by Chandidasa and Shri Gita Govinda by Vidyapati.

In the evening Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu discussed various topics related to Vaishnava religion and culture. During the day, he worshiped the Salagrama Sila and the Tulasi tree with great devotion. Throughout the day he was absorbed in Radha Krishna name. Sometimes while chanting he would shout out the names of Rupa and Sanatana, while at other times he wept at the memory of Shri Radha kunda. Sometimes he burst into loud lamentation, thinking of Shri Girigovardhana. In this way he spent his day and night fully immersed in devotional love. Religious persons took great pleasure in observing his activities, while the impious laughed at him.

Listen attentively as I attempt to describe the followers of Shri Acarya Prabhu who were also very famous for their devotion. Thakura Mahasaya gave a description of the followers of Shri Acarya Prabhu, and Kavi Karnapura noted this in a book. I was ordered by my Prabhu to write the slokas written by the above mentioned persons, in the form of payare (a metrical system of Bengali poetry in which each line consists of fourteen letters). I accepted the order of my guru, but hesitated to begin the work. After a few days, Prabhu again ordered me to take up this task. Being an unqualified and ignorant person, I felt very anxious about executing this order. Nevertheless, I gathered confidence from the blessings of Prabhu, as well as all the Vaishnavas. I simply pray at the feet of the devotees to forgive me for any mistakes I may make in this attempt.

One day when Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu was sitting on the bank of a pond to the west of his house, when he saw a marriage party passing near his house. The bridegroom, who was carried by a dola, was extrememly attractive. His skin was the color of a golden ketaki flower, his hands were long, with shoulders like that of a lion. His navel was deep, silky curling hair, reddish feet and palms, nose sharp and high, teeth beautifully set, and his face was like the full moon. His lips were reddish like the bimba fruit, his eyes like lotus petals, neck like a conch, slender waist, and well shaped thighs. He wore a silk dress and a garland of flowers. His body was adorned with sandalwood paste. With great curiosity Shrinivasa tried to discover his identity. Shrinivasa thought to himself, "Is he the son of a Gandharva, or Kamadeva himself? Such a beautiful person should certainly utilize his life in the service of Lord Krishna, otherwise what is the use of such extraordinary beauty?"

Shrinivasa inquired about the bridegroom from some members of the marriage party, and was informed that the young man was Shri Ramacandra Kaviraja, a great scholar whose qualities equaled those of Brihaspati or Sarasvati. He belonged to a good Vaidya family, was a famous physician, and was formerly a resident of Kumaranagara. After obtaining this information, Shrinivasa returned to his house, and Ramacandra, who had overheard Shrinivasa's enquiries, returned to his place.

Ramacandra spent the night in a brahmana's house, thinking deeply about Shrinivasa Prabhu. In the morning he came running to Shrinivasa and fell at his feet crying loudly. Overwhelmed with emotion, he begged the blessings of Prabhu. Shrinivasa lovingly lifted him from the ground and embraced im warmly. Shri Acarya emotionally confessed that they had a long-deeped rooted relationship and were meeting again after a long separation. Thus Shrinivasa gave Krishnanama in his ear and sang Radha Krishna lila to him. He also assisted him in the study of Vaishnava literatures, and blessed him to become an earnest lover and devotee of Lord Krishna. Shrinivasa told Ramacandra about the glories of Narottama Thakura, and instructed him to go to meet him in Vrndavana. Thus, in due course of time, Narottama and Ramacandra became such good friends that people considered them like one soul. Shrinivasa Acarya also favored Shri Govinda Kaviraja, the younger brother of Ramacandra, and accepted him as his disciple. These two brothers were considered to be parama bhagavatas, filled with devotional love. Shri Acarya directed Govinda to compose songs on the divine separation of Lord Krishna and Radha. Shrinivasa also blessed the wives of the two brothers, as well the highly fortunate Divya Simha.

Shrinivasa's first wife, Shrimati Iswari Thakurani, was a highly devotional lady. Gaurangapriya, his second wife, also possesed exalted devotional qualities. Their sweet disposition and efforts in worshiping the Deities were highly commendable (they worshiped according to the process of suddha raganuga. They were not particularly attracted to parakiya vada). They worshiped the Lord with great sincerity, devoid of interest in karma or jnana. In due course of time many persons became disciples of Shrinivasa and his wives. The eldest son of Shri Acarya was Shri Vrndavana Acarya, second son was Shri Radha Krishna Acarya, and the youngest son was Shri Govindagati. Each of them was highly qualified in the study of Vaishnava scriptures and received the favor of their father.

In the Shri Guru pranali slokas written by Govindagati he describes himself like a bumble bee always flying around the lotus feet of Shri Krishna Chaitanya. He explains in these verses that Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami highly favored Shri Acarya Prabhu, and he himself received the favor of Shri Acarya. Being a Mahanta, Shri Govindagati had many disciples of his own.

With the blessings of her father, Shri Hemalata, Shrinivasa's daughter, also became the spiritual guide of many disciples. Shrinivasa also blessed his next two daughters, Shri Krishnapriya Thakurani and Danchana Latika. Shridama Thakura of Dancana Garia was a great scholar and was fortunate enough to spend most of his time in the company of Shrinivasa Acarya. The three sons of Shridama, Shri Krishna, Jagadisa, and Shyama Vallavacarya, were also great scholars and received the mercy of Shri Iswari. Shri Gokuladasa regularly carried water from the river for Lord Krishna's service and thus received the favor of Shrinivasa. The fair complexioned son of Gokuladasa, Shri Krishna Vallava Thakura was blessed by Shrinivasa when he was a mere boy. In his later life he became a devout Bhagavata and had many disciples. Shri Nrsimha Kaviraja and Shri Raghunathadasa were other recipients of the mercy of Prabhu. Shri Rama Krishna Chattaraja, who was always engaged in chanting the holy name, was another branch of Shrinivasa's tree. His son, Shri Gopijana Vallava Chattaraja became a famous in the Vaishnava world, as Prabhu gave his own daughter, Hemalata, to him in marriage. Shri Kumuda Chattaraja always served Shrinivasa like a menial servant. Shri Acarya offered his daughter, Shri Krishnapriya, to Shri Kumuda's devout son, Shri Chaitanyakshan Chattaraja. The son-in-law of Chattaraja, Shri Rajendra Bandhapadhyaya was a great devotee who was constantly engaged in hearing the nectar of Radha Krishna lila. He was always eager to serve Shrinivasa Prabhu and to sing Harinama. The daughters of Chattaraja, Shri Malati and Shri Phulji Thakurani, were blessed by Prabhu. Kalanidhi Chattaraja, a favorite devotee of Shri Chaitanya, was ordered by Shrinivasa to utter one lakh harinama daily. Shrinivasa's favorite servant was Shri Vrndavana Chattaraja. Prabhu also favored Shri Gopaladasa, a Varna vipra by caste, and ordered him to deliver the people of his own class. As per the order of Prabhu, all his disciples in Kanchanagadia decided to chant one lakh of holy names daily. They used to perform this task not during the day, but at night. Their practice was to tie their hair with a string to the roof of the cottage to check themselves from falling asleep. Shrinivasa had such great love for them, and they also for him, that they never wanted to leave the vicinity.

Shri Gopimohana dasa of Mirjapura was a disciple of Gokuladasa Thakura, and Shyamadasa of Khadagrama was a follower of Shri Gopimohana. Shrinivasa favored Govinda Charavarti, who became famous for his worship when he was a young boy.

Bhavaka Chakravarti of Borakuli village was an emobidment of devotional love and had many disciples. His wife, Sucharita, was an intelligent woman and received the favor of Shri Iswari. It was her practice to chant one lakh of japa daily and regularly discuss the pastimes of Mahaprabhu.

The eldest son of Thakurani, Shri Rajavallava Chakravarti, was a man of high qualities and a great devotee of Shrinivasa. Her other two sons, Shri Radhavinoda and Shri Kishanidasa, took mantra from their mother. Shri Karnapura Kaviraja was also blessed by Shrinivasa, and had many disciples of his own. Prabhu initiated kVyasa? as his disciple and educated him in many mysterious doctrines of Vaisnavism. Many branches and twigs grew from him. They were all known as parama Bhagavatas. Shri Vamsidasa Thakura was one of these branches. He was one of Shrinivasa's favorite devotees, and was also absorbed in singing Harinama. Shri Gopaladasa Thakura was also one of the favorite followers of Prabhu. Shri Krishna Kirtanity of Vundhaipara was a famous kirtana singer. Even stones would melt upon hearing his beautiful glorification of Radha Krishna's pastimes.

Shri Rupa Ghataka was another dear servant of Prabhu. He had no other activity other than chanting the holy name of the Lord continuously. Shrinivasa also offered the title of "Ghataka" to Shri Raghunandana dasa. These two Ghatakas were always engaged in the service of Shrinivasa Acarya.

Shri Sudhakara Mandala and his wife, Shri Syamapriya, received the mercy of Shrinivasa. Their son, Shri Radhavallava Mandala was always engrossed in singing Harinama. Kamadeva Mandala was also similarly engaged, and Gopala Mandala was known for his faith in Prabhu. Both of them received the blessings of Shrinivasa.

The two fathers-in-law of Shrinivasa were pure hearted souls. One of them, Shri Gopala Charavarti, was also busy serving Shrinivasa and used to shed tears while dancing in kirtana. Shrinivasa also favored his other father-in-law, Shri Raghunandana Chakravarti, as well as the two brothers-in-law. The elder brother, Syamadasa, was an exalted devotee and could beautifully recite from the Bhagavata. The younger brother, Shri Ramacarana Chakravarti, was very dear to Shrinivasa. He used to dance madly and cry during the kirtana recitals.

Another favorite follower of Shrinivasa was Krishnadasa Chatta. He had strong faith in the holy name of the Lord. Vanamali Dasa, born of a Vadiya family, was another devoted servant of Prabhu. Shri Mahanadasa, who also came from a Vaidya family was engaged in naisthik bhajan and was the most favorite follower of Prabhu. Shri Radhavallava Dasa, Shri Mathura Dasa, Shri Radha Krishna Dasa, Shri Ramana Dasa, and Ramadasa were all devout followers of Shrinivasa Acarya.

Shri Kavi Vallava, a devoted servant of Shrinivasa, was famous for his nice handwriting and dedicated many of his own books to Prabhu. The father of Vanamali Dasa, Shri Gopaladasa, was another great devotee who received the blessings of Shrinivasa, as well as parama Bhagavata, Shri Syamadasa Chatta. Shri Atmarama became completely indifferent to worldly affairs and became a disciple of Prabhu. Shri Kumudananda Thakura, Shri Rama Dasa Thakura, Shri Radhavallabha Thakura were all great devotees who attained the blessings of Shri Acarya. Shri Gokulanandadasa Chakravarti, Shri Gokulananda Dasa, Shri Gopala Thakura, and Shri Syamadasa of the Chatta family were all favored by Shrinivasa.

Once Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu took a journey to Shri Purusottama, carrying the books of the Gosvamis. One night he halted at a village. At that time a gang of bandits saw him and mistook the parcel he carried to be valuable jewels, thus they stole the precious books.

To protest this action, Shrinivasa went to the court of the king. At that time one brahmana named Shri Rama Chakravarti happened to be explaining topics from the Puranas to the king. The king was pleased with his discourse and offered him the title of "Acarya". The brahmana then read from the Bhramara Gita. Standing off to the side, Shrinivasas listened to the brahmana's defective explanations. Finally, Shrinivasa entered into the court and corrected the brahmana's mistakes. The king was charmed by Shri Acarya's explanations and requested him to explain further. Shrinivasa then went to gave a beautiful dissertation based on the conclusions of the Gosvamis of Vrndavana. The king, having never heard such a scholarly and devotional presentation, was overwhelmed with joy and immediately fell at the feet of Shrinivasa and humbly begged for his blessings. Shrinivasa showered his mercy on the Mala King Shri Vira Hamvira, giving him the name of Krishna. In turn Vira Hamvira offered all his properties to Shri Acarya. Thereafter many of the residents of Vanavisnupura became the disciples of Shrinivasa.

Two brothers belonging to Shri Karava's family used to write letter of ten? to Prabhu and thus earned the title of Visvasa. The elder brother, Shri Ganakirama Dasa and the younger one, Prasada Dasa, became great devotees of Shrinivasa. They were formerly known as Majumdar by title, but after receiving the blessings of Shrinivasa they were known as Visvasa.

Shri Vallavi Kavi considered himself most fortunate, having received the favor of Shrinivasa. He uttered the holy names lakhs of times and never drank water until completeing this task. Shri Vallavi surrendered all his properties and his family to the service of Shrinivasa. Thus he remained in the association of Prabhu constantly. The two elder brothers of Shri Vallavi Kavi, Shri Ramadasa and Shri Gopala dasa, also dedicated themselves to the service of Shri Acarya.

Shri Krishna Vallava Thakura lived in the village of Deuli, where Shrinivasa visited first after the theft of the books. He was extremely dear to Shrinivasa, as it was he who heard of the recovering of the books robbed by the bandits, which greatly relieved Shrinivasa. Prabhu visited the king with him and reclaimed the lost books. Being extremely satisfied with Krishna Vallava, Shri Acarya placed his feet on his head and blessed him in the name of Shri Radharamana, Shri Govindaji, Shri Madanamohana, Shri Gopinatha, Rupa Sanatana, Shri Gopala Bhatta, Shri Jiva, Shri Raghunatha Bhatta, Shri Raghunatha Dasa, Shri Krishnadasa, and Lokanatha Gosvami. He prayed that by the good wishes of all these Gosvamis, Vallavi Kaviraja would succeed in attaining the priceless gem of devotional love. Pleased with Vallavi, Shrinivasa stayed a few more days with him.

When Shrinivasa visited the king again, Virahamvira fell flat at the feet of Prabhu. Shrinivasa took his seat and conversed with the king about the divine topics of Lord Krishna. Virahamvira was filled with joy to have the darsana and blessings of Shrinivasa. Thereafter Prabhu returned home.

That night the king dream of Shrinivasa and Kalachanda. In his dream the king loudly cited some lines of poetry describing the divine beauty of Prabhu and Kalachanda. The queen awoke from her sleep and heard the lines of poetry which the king was reciting and she spent the night weeping. When the king awoke, he was still absorbed in thinking of the lotus feet of Prabhu. In his absorption, he cried loudly calling out the names of Shri Rupa Sanatana and Shri Bhatta Gosvami. He lamented pitifully having lost the vision in his dream. But even in his wakeful state he could clearly recall the figure of Shrinivasa beckoning him to worship the image which he had seen in his dream. While the king was absorbed in this ecstatic remembrance, Pattadevi fell at his feet and requested him to again recite the lines of poetry. When the king denied, the queen begged him again and again. The king then relented. He confessed that he no longer hankered after the joy of royal prestige and riches. These things appeared to him now as poison. Now he had found true nectar, by the mercy of Shrinivasa Acarya, who was his life and soul. By his grace only, was he able to become a servant of Radha and Krishna and observe their divine pastimes in the groves of Vraja. With great emotion the king revealed that his mind again and again wanted to fly to the bank of the Yamuna in Vraja where his Lord Krishna enjoyed the company of Shri Radha. He described the state of mind and condition of Radha when she was bereft of Krishna's company. Having lost Kala (Krishna), Radha's heart burned incessantly in the fire of separation. She was unable to calm herself. She smeared the paste of aguru over her entire body, yet was unable to cool her burning heart. She was so restless that she was unable to perform her household duties. She would simply sit on the bank of the Yamuna, hoping to see Krishna again. Due to this behavior of Shri Radha, her mother-in-law and sister-in-law rebuked her and her husband became indifferent to her. The king further explained that his deepest desire was to serve the lotus feet of Kalachanda, by the mercy of Shrinivasa.

Pattadevi was overwhelmed by her husband's realisation and requested the king to help her to become a disciple of Shrinivasa. The king could understand by his wife's fervent emotions, that she had already received the blessings of Prabhu.

Virahamvira happily went before Shrinivasa and reported everything to him. Patta Mahadevi ran to the feet of Shrinivasa, earnestly requesting him to give her diksa. Observing the queen's sincerity, Shrinivasa was greatly pleased. He first poured Harinama in their ears and then gave them Radha Krishna mantra. He directed them to worship by the method of Kamavija and Gayatrivija. They were also instructed to serve a Tulasi manjari lovingly because without the performing these various practices, no one could attain the essence of parakiya lila and rasa in the abode of Vraja. They were further directed to worship with a pure mind and pure devotion if they desired to attain the divine favour of Radha and Krishna. They were also told to listen intently to kirtana and to worship the feet of the Vaishnavas. Shrinivasa Acarya aslo favored the prince, Shri Raja Hamvira.

Thereafter, the king installed the Deity of Kalachand. Shrinivasa Acarya personally performed the abhiseka ceremony for the installation. The king wished to serve the Vaishnavas everyday. Knowing his intention, Shri Jiva Gosvami sent Shri Gopala Dasa who came to stay there. Shrinivasa appointed Shri Vyasa as the salaried worshiper of the Deity. Shri Acarya also cast his mercy upon the wife of Shri Vyasa, Shri Indumukhi Thakurani, as his son, Shri Syamadasa Chakravarti.

Shrinivasa favored the great scholar Bhagavana Kavi, as well as the devoted worshipers of Krishna, Shri Narayana Kavi and Narasimha Kaviraja. Shri Vasudeva Kaviraja also became a devotee of Prabhu. Shri Vrndavana dasa, who was famous for his title of "Kaviraja", also became a disciple of Shri Acarya. Nimai Kaviraja, the brother of Rupa Kaviraja, received the mercy of Shrinivasa. He chanted harinama in lakhs every day and danced madly during the kirtana recitals. Shriman Chakravarti, being indifferent to worldly pleasures, took shelter under the protection of Shrinivasa. Prabhu favored Raghunandana Thakura and Gaurangadasa, who was a man endowed with divine qualities. He would cite Harinama constantly, remembering the lotus feet of Radha Krishna. He used to ecstatically shout the names of Rupa Sanatana and cry madly in remembrance of Bhatta Gosvami. He was fully absorbed in the memory of Shri Gauranga and his own Prabhu.

Shrimanta Thakura, who belonged to a brahmana family, was another disciple of Prabhu. He favored Shri Gopijana Vallava who used to become ecstatic while chanting the name of Shri Krishna Chaitanya. Shri Tulasiramadasa, belonging to a weaver class, always thought of the grace of Prabhu and would immediately become ecstatic upon chanting the name of Shri Gauranga. Shri Balaramadasa, a brahmana from Utkaladesa, lost all interest in worldly pleasure upon meeting Shri Acarya. The brahmana Dayarama Choudhury lived with Shri Balaramadasa in the same village. They both dedicated themselves fully to the feet of Shrinivasa. Shri Hari Vallava Sarkara and Krishna Vallava Chakravarti became disciples of Prabhu. Shri Krishna Purahita and Syama Chatta of Gaudadesa were great devotees of Shrinivasa who later attained many disciples of their own. Shri Jayarama Charavarti of Ekatraya was another famous devotee, and Thakuradasa Thakura also became Shrinivasa's disciple. Shri Mathuradasa of Mathura was born of a brahmana family, and Shri Syamasundara Dasa was a simple-minded brahmana who regualarly chanted Harinama in lakhs daily. Shri Atmarama from Ekatraya received the blessings of Shrinivasa. Vrndavanadasa of Shri Vrndavana was a man endowed with extremely devotional qualities and was a favorite disciple of Prabhu. Shri Govindarama and Shri Gopala Dasa of Ekatraya were also devoted disciples.

Shri Mohanadasa, Vrajanandadasa, and Shri Ramadasa of Shri Kunda were three celebrated servants of Shrinivasa. Shri Rasikanandadasa, Shri Hariprasada, and Sukhananda Dasa of Shri Govardhana, as well as Premi Harinama and Muktaramadas were Shrinivasa's devoted disciples who used to dance and sing harinama together. Bajanahari was another disciple. Rama Kalanidhi, from a brahmana family in Vangadesa, had the title of Acarya. Shri Rama Sarana, Premadasa, and Rasikadasa were dedicated devotees, always eager to serve the Vaishnavas.

I am unqualified to sufficiently describe how many persons from Vishnupura, as well as from Prabhu's own country, received initiation from Shrinivasa. Many people from different countries such as Radha, Vangadesa, Gaudadesa, Vrajabhumi, Magadha, Utkaldesa, Baragangapara, Vindhya Kandhala and the places near the Ganges took initiation from Shri Acarya. Those who attentively hear these descriptions can easily attain the ecstacy of Krishna bhakti. Shri Hemalata, the daugher of Shrinivasa, was a great Vaisnavi. Bowing to her lotus feet, I, Yadunandanadasa attempt to distribute the essence of Karnananda to every listener.