|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Holy Days of the Year > Apr-May > Jahnava devi Appearance|
Shri Jahnava devi Appearance Day
Shri Nityananda's two wives, Shri Vasudha and Shri Jahnava Devi, are expansions of Lord Balarama's eternal consorts Varuni and Revati.
After the disappearance of the Panca-tattva and many of Lord Chaitanya's eternal associates, a huge sankirtana festival was held in Kheturi on Gaura-Purnima. Thousands of Lord Gauranga's followers such as Narottama, Syamananda, Shrinivasa, Vrndavana Dasa, Murari Chaitanya, Paramesvara, and Miniketana Rama attended the first Kheturi Sankirtana Mahotsava.
They celebrated Gauranga's appearance day with thunderous chanting, exuberant dancing, tasty prasadam. Six sets of beautiful Deities were installed. Shri Jahnava Mata cooked a matchless feast and personally served all the Vaishnavas. During Narottama Dasa Thakura's prema nama kirtana, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, and all Their associates suddenly appeared to the delight of all.
Ma Jahnava, an affectionate name given by the devotees, traveled throughout Gaura and Vraja mandalas. Wherever she went the Gaura bhaktas happily greeted and served her. Known as Nityananda-svarupini, Jahnava Devi overflowed with prema bhakti. She delivered many atheists and sinners by her compassionate preaching.
Shrila Thakura Bhaktivinoda offers this prayer to Jahnava Mata in Kalyana-kalpa-taru: ''O Jahnava Devi! By the power of your divine qualities, be merciful to this servant of yours. Dispel this illusion which torments me. And relieve me of material existence. Let me take shelter at your lotus feet. You are Nityananda-sakti, the divine energy of Lord Nityananda Himself. You are the guru of Krishna bhakti. Be merciful to me and grant me the shade of your lotus feet, which are like a desire tree. You have delivered countless abominable sinners. Please deliver me in the same way. Today, praying for your mercy, this lowly sinner falls at your holy feet.'' It is said that Shri Jahnava Devi left this world by entering the Deity of Gopinatha in Vrndavana.Thorughout the village of Khardaha, news spread that Shrinivasa from Cakhandi had arrived. People throughout the village came forward eagerly to meet him. Parameswari Dasa took Shrinivasa to the house of Nityananda Prabhu. Drenched with the tears from his own eyes, Shrinivasa offered his obeisances at the lotus feet of the Eternal Consort of Nityananda, Shri Jahnava devi.
Favor of Shri Vasuda, Jahnava and Virabhadra towards Shrinivasa
When Shri Vasuda devi, Jahnava devi and VIrabhadra met Shrinivasa they became very happy. Although they had suffered unbearable pain since the separation of Nityananda Prabhu, still they experienced joy upon seeing Shrinivasa. Shrinivasa remained there for four or five days as no one would allow him to leave. Devotees like Surya Dasa, Pandita Gauri Dasa, Mahesh Pandita and others best owed their mercy upon him.
At last Jahnava devi, Virabhadra Prabhu and the other devotees advised Shrinivasa to go to Vrndavana. Shri Vasuda and Jahnava told him affectionately that he should first visit the house of Abhirama Gopala. His eyes overflowing with tears, Shrinivasa offered his obeisances to them both and took his leave.
The arrival of Jahnava devi from Khardaha
Shri Jahnava devi, who lived in Khardaha, decided to attend the festival in Kheturi. She simultaneously received a divine message from Mahaprabhu in which he ordered her to go to Kheturi as soon as possible for Shrinivasa, Narottama and others were waiting for her. He also told her that because of the desire of his disciples Shrinivasa and Narottama, he himself and his intimate associates would appear in that festival to sing and dance in the sankirtana. Shri Jahnava Isvari was overjoyed by the appearance and the instructions of her Lord. She left at once for Kheturi.
The people of Khardaha heard about her journey and came out to meet her. She entrusted responsibilities to the correct persons and then gave some important information to Shri Vasudha devi. She had to console Ganga and Vira Bhadra affectionately when she left Khardaha with her disciples who were all great Bhagavatas. Her disciples included Krishnadasa Sarakhel, Madhava Acarya, Raghupati Vaidya Upaddhaya, Shri Minaketana Ramadasa, Manohara, Murari Chaitanya, Guyanadasa, Mahidhara, Shri Sankara, Shri Kamala Karappalai, Nrsimha, Chaitanya, Jiva, Pandita Kanai, Gauranga, Nakari, Krishnadasa, Damodara, Shri Parameswari, Balarama, Shri Mukunda, Dasa Vrndavana and others. She also took many maidservants with her.
Shri Jahnava walked for some distance but later accepted a man carried palanquin. As she passed through different villages, people came forward to meet her. Nayana Vaskara of Halisahara joined her party as did Raghunatha Acarya, the lame brother of Bhagavan. Many devotional people joined their party including Vanika, a servant of Nityananda. When she reached Ambina, a great crowd of people came out to meet her. Shri Chaitanya dasa, the son of Vamsidasa, also joined their group along with Shri Hrdaya Chaitanya and Shri Hrdaya Nanda.
Shri Jahnava visits the house of Shrivasa during her journey
As they approached Navadvipa, each member of the travelling party hoped to visit the holy place although the memory of Mahaprabhu saddened them. As they entered the holy dhama, some cried loudly and others fainted on the ground. Shripati and Shrinidhi, the two brothers of Shrivasa, welcomed them to Navadvipa where they first bathed in the river Ganga and later went to the house of Shrivasa. As Shri Jahnava was wondering why no one had come from Santipura to meet her, Shri Acyuta nanda and Shri Gopala, the two sons of Advaita Acarya came with a large party of vaishnavas to meet Shri Isvari. In that party were Shri Kanu Pandita, Dasa Narayana, Vishnudasa Acarya, Kamadeva, Janardana, Banamali, Purusottama and others. All of them were happy with the meeting with Shri Jahnava Isvari and she was so satisfied by their hospitality that she decided to stay another two or three days in Navadvipa. Shripati, Shrinidhi and others decided to accompany her to Kheturi.
Shri Jahnava devi visits Kantaka nagara
In the morning the travelling party started for Kantaka Nagara and on their way Krishnadasa of Akaihata joined them. Yadunandana and others warmly welcomed them to the house of Gauranga. Meanwhile Shri Raghunandana and his companions from Shri Khanda arrived there on their way to Kheturi. The numerous mahantas in their party which was travelling to Kheturi included Sivananda, Baninath Varja, Vallabha, Chaitanyadasa, Shri Hari Acarya, Bhagavata Acarya, Nartaka Gopala, Jita Misra, Kasinath Misra, Nayana Misra, Kastakata Jagannatha, Uddhava, Shri Puspha Gopala, Raghunatha, Laksminath Pandita and others. People of the village took great pleasure in the meeting of the Vaishnavas. When the mahantas visited the place from where Mahaprabhu had started his ascetic life they shed tears in grief. By the wish of Mahaprabhu they controlled their emotions after sometime. They were glad to hear that Dasa Gadadhara had seen Shri Gauranga in his dream.
Shri Jahnava cooked various types of delicious food which she first offered to Gaura Candra and then fed affectionately to the different mahantas. Shri Yadunandana and his followers did not take their meal until after Shri Isvari had eaten. After the meal, they all engaged in nama san kirtana in the courtyard of Gauranga. Thereafter Shri Yadunandana and his followers prepared for the trip to Kheturi. Within each village, people were satisfied to see the mahantas on their way to the great festival. Because of the presence of the great Vaishnavas, each village they entered became a holy place and the people of the village became fortunate. That day they rested in the village of Telia Budhari and the happiness of the villagers was boundless.
When they left Budhari for Kheturi, the villagers accompanied them to the bank of the river Padmavati. Shri Santosh Dutta had hired a large boat which took them to the opposite bank of the river. Upon the arrival of the Vaishnavas and Mahantas, Kheturi village became the center point of divine happiness.
Shrinivasa and Shri Narottama led the party which came forward to receive the honored guests and the village people fell at the feet of the great Bhagavatas. Seeing the reception one man commented that formerly the villagers had been heretics but by the association of Narottama they had all become religious.
Shrinivasa and Narottama arranged individual living places for each guest. The vaishnavas were astonished to see so many living places, such a vast stock of food and so many attendants taking responsibility for the festival.
Sankirtana of Thakura Narottama and his followers
Shri Jahnava Isvari stared continuously at Narottama, infusing him with spiritual power beyond the comprehension of common men
Shri Jahnava distributes Maha prasad
Shri Jahnava instructed Shri Madhava to invite the Mahantas to take their seats and enjoy mahaprasad. Shri Acyuta, Shripati and others happily agreed to Madhava's polite request and Shri Iswari distributed mahaprasad to them with her own hands. They all appreciated the excellent preparations made by Shri Isvari and ate them with great pleasure. After washing their hands and mouths the mahantas went to their personal resting places. Then Shri Isvari affectionately distributed prasad to Shrinivasa and others, and when they had finished she also ate some mahaprasad. In addition she fed many people of Kheturi. In this way the great Vaishnavas passed the night of Prapapida and decided to leave for their respective homes on the day of Dwaraka.