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SHRI SHYAMANANDA PRAKASH
By Shrila Krishnadasa
All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories toAdvaitacandra, and all the devotees of Mahaprabhu.
I worship the feet of Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to eat the remnants of his food life after life. Iworship Shri Nityananda and Shri Chaitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.
Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami (Hrdaya Chaitanya Thakura), bestowed his mercy upon Shri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja. Upon receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to the affairs of this material world. He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once. His spiritual master kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.
Shri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Shri Jiva Goswami, who was very affectionate towards him. Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening to the rasa-lila of Shri Radha Krishna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa. Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily demands.
He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja (grove), cleaning and worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Shri Jiva and spent the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krishna.
Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja. It appeared that his breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body. Seeing him in this condition Shri Jiva was panic-stricken. Lifting the body of Shyamananda, Jiva quickly carried him to his house. A long twenty seven hours passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up. He then fell at the feet of Shri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it on his head. Greatly relieved, Shri Jiva happily offered Syamananda prasadam.
Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Shri Jiva, “Oh Goswami, kindly fulfill my desire. Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha Krishna.”
Shri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa, particularly the madhurya rasa. Inspired by Shyamananda’s submissiveness, Shri Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same. These explanations fully satisfied the heart of Shyamananda. Shri Jiva then instructed Shyamananda regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship.
By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Shri Rupa, Shyamananda began worshiping Radha Krishna continuously. Day by day he became increasingly absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga) and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion. With his body, mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and the kunja. He was always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha Krishna. Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally he lovingly served their Lordships, along with Shri Rupamanjari.
Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krishna daily perform rasa-lila. Those who are not qualified are unable to perceive this reality, but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.
One day Radha and Krishna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing joyfully within the kunja. Holding one anothers hands Radha and her sakhis made a circle around Krishna. They danced delightfully, and Krishna, whose beauty charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played musical instruments.
When Shri Radha danced, Krishna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance. The perfection of the eyes is to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krishna. While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of Her ankle bells (nupura) became loose and fell on the ground. Neither She, nor Her sakhis, noticed it. After dancing, Radha and Krishna went to bed and relished loving pastimes throughout the night, as the sakhis observed through the windows. Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krishna to get up from bed. After some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of Her relatives She quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes, unaware of the lost ankle bell. Shri Radha had planned this incident just to show Her mercy to Shyamananda.
In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to the kunja. He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning under the desire tree (kalpataru). There he found the golden ankle bell of Shrimati Radharani.
The entire surface of the kunja was glowing due to the ankle bells effulgence. Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror. It seemed as if the sun itself had appeared there personally. Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted on the spot. Sometime passed before he regained consciousness, then taking the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head. Immediately his throat choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body. Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart, then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.
After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names of Radha Krishna. Running frantically here and there he searched for their Lordships. Unable to find them, he was filled with distress. Mad with love, he cried out desperately, “When shall I see Radha Krishna.” Eventually he pacified himself, tied the anklebell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.
Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of Her ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, She ordered Lalita to go there and search for it. Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of an old lady hurried to the kunj.
Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied “Dukhini Krishnadasa”. “Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?” Lalita inquired. 'She came to the Jamuna to fetchwater and due to Her carelessness one of Her precious golden anklebells fell from Her foot in this kunj. If you have found it please return it and I will gladly reward you.”
“Tell me frankly”, Goswami asked, “Where do you live and what is your name?”
“I am Radha dasi”, Lalita replied, concealing her identity. “I belong to a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja.”
Hearing this Goswami admitted, “Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it cannot be yours. It must belong to Shri Radha, because the moment I touched the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God. My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious. No ordinary ankle bell could induce such feelings. Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely belongs to Shri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back. Otherwise I shall wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner.”
Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, “You are right. I have tried to deceive you. This ankle bell certainly belongs to Shrimati Radharani. I am very pleased with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I will take the ankle bell. The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely pleased with you for finding Her ankle bell.”
Goswami earnestly replied, “O Thakurani, I must know your real identity. Only after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon.
Taking Goswami to a secluded place Lalita confessed, “I am Lalita, a maidservant of Shri Radha. Listen to me Duhkini Krishna das, you are anxious to see my real form, but such a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear.”
“By your mercy anything is possible,” he protested. Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, “Alright Krishna das, I shall reveal my real self. Close your eyes.”
Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, “Look at me Krishna das.” Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita. Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious. Shri Lalita devi lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust from her lotus feet over his entire body. Fully under the control of divine love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.
Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him. Satisfied by Goswami’s devotional sentiments, Lalita said, “Krishna das ask any type of boon from me.””I have nothing to ask for”, Goswami said. “I only want to be your servant and in this way serve Radha Krishna.”
Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, “You shall certainly attain the association of Radha Krishna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this feature. You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her darshan. Come with Shri Rupamanjarit o the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha Krishna. Then you can witness all of our true identities. For the remainder of this life stay with Shri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila. At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Shri Radhika. Now, accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krishna. Whenever you chant this mantra you will be able to see their Lordships."” Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami. Filled with joy he fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head, then taking him on her lap, blessed him heartily.
Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade. In that hole he had hidden the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth. Upon removing the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of the anklebell. Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it on his head. He place it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering obeisances.
Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami’s head saying, “Let the touch of Shri Radhika’s feet be on your head.” Again she touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot appeared in the middle of the tilak.
Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. “From today”, Lalita said, “You will be known by the name Shyamananda. Having attained the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely fortunate. Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Shri Jiva about this incident, otherwise you will not live long.”
Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly. Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a fewsteps, then suddenly disappeared from the kunj.
Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, “Where is Lalita.” Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami.
By the touch of Shri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.
“Where have you been for so long”, Shri Jiva inquired curiously, “and how has your complexion become golden?” Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj. It is only by the mercy of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed.” “You have become so beautiful,” Shri Jiva said with wonder. “What is that sign on your forehead? Who painted it there? Your body is filled with love and your eyes are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Shri Hari, who has given you this new tilak? You are definitely hiding something from me Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krishna, or maybe the mercy of Shri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your forehead. Now you must explain everything to me.”
“It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body”, Shyamananda insisted. “The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead. Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm. Syamananda had hidden the golden spade und a cloth in his room, suddenly Shri Jiva noticed it and inquired: “What is under that cloth? Show me and I’m sure I will understand everything. Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Shri Jiva asked, “How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?” “I shall tell you confidentially,” Shyamananda softly replied, as I was forbidden to tell anyone except you. Saying this he took Shri Jiva to a secluded place and whispered the whole story in his ear. Filled with happiness Shri Jiva placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, “Today I have become your property. Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now become the most fortunate devotee.” Bowing at the feet of Shri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal this incident to anyone. “Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master everything has taken place.” Concealing Shyamananda’s secret, Shri Jiva simply told everyone that due to the wish of Shyamananda’s guru from now on Krishnadas would be known as Shyamananda, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi. “I am a captive of your love,” Shyamananda told Jiva. “By your mercy I found the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Shri Lalitadevi and receive the mantra.” By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write this book. Meditating on Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in a nutshell.
All glories to the lotus feet of Shyamananda, by his mercy I have been empowered to write this book.
Seeing the golden complextion and beautiful mark of tilak on Shyamananda’s forehead, the people began to talk: “By the mercy of Shri Jiva, Krishnadas has received the name Shyamananda and become famous in Vrndavana. He is the disciple of Shri Hrdayananda Goswami, but now he has left his original guru and taken shelter under the feet of Shri Jiva.”
These conversations amongst the Vrajavasis came to the ears of all the Vaishnavas. Criticising Shri Jiva they said: “How can Shri Jiva do this? He has accepted Shyamananda as his own disciple. Is there any law in the scriptures which allows such behavior? Shri Jiva is a great sage, most probably he has done it unconsciously. If he comes to know what we are discussing certainly he will respect our opinions”
Others said: “This cannot be done by Jiva Goswami.” Yet all of the Vaishnavas were afraid to directly question Shri Jiva. Rather, they simply judged him according to the rumors circulating.
Some Vaishnavas who traveled from Vraja to Gauda met Hrdayananda Goswami and informed him: “Duhki Krishnadas has left your refuge and taken shelter at the feet of Shri Jiva Goswami. He has given Krishnadas the name Shyamananda das, and changed his tilak, calling it Shyamanandi.”
Hearing this Hrdayananda was furious: “Shri Jiva has accepted my disciple as his disciple,” he roared. “Neither Chaitanya Mahaprabhu nor Nityananda Prabhu have ever done such a thing, but now Shri Jiva is proving himself superior to Them? I shall make him understand the mistake he has made.”
Saying this he called his disciples and ordered them: “Five to ten of you go to Vrndavana, bind up Duhkini Krishnadas and bring him back here to me. However, if Shri Jiva tries to free him, then leave Krishnadas there in his care. If this situation arises give my letter to Jiva Goswami and bring his reply to me. Ask Krishnadas why he has done this. How dare he ignore me and accept another guru. Ask him if he has attained Krishna by the mercy of Jiva Goswami. If the answer is yes, then we shall all go to Shri Jiva and accept him as our spiritual master also. I have never heard of such behavior amongst the disciples of Mahaprabhu. These topics are clearly explained inthe scriptures.
“Once Mahaprabhu rejected Chota Haridas. Bereft of his spiritual master, Chota Haridas decided to commit suicide by jumping into the Jamuna. This is the method of Mahaprabhu’s religion. I have never seen or heard of anything like this. It is explained in the scriptures that we must reject the association of superficial persons who outwardly pose as devotees. If I am such a non-Vaishnava guru then it is good that Krishnadas has left me. I shall arrange a debate with all the Vaishnavas regarding this matter. If it is proven that I am a non-Vaishnava, then I shall surely take refuge in Shri Jiva. Now go to Vrndavana as quickly as possible and bring Shri Jiva’s reply, then I will understand the truth. If I am correct, I shall visit all the holy places of Gauda and gather all the Vaishnavas together, then we will all go to Vrndavana for the judgement.” Saying this he ordered his disciples to leave for Vrndavana immediately.
After a long journey they finally reached Vraja and brought the letter to Shri Jiva. Keeping the letter in front of himself, Shri Jiva paid his sincere obeisances. He embraced all the Vaishnavas and inquired, “Who has sent this letter?”
“It was written by Hrdayananda Goswami,” they replied. “Be merciful to us and read it immediately. Shri Jiva requested them to finish bathing, be seated and take prasadam. “We have already bathed and eaten,” they replied abrubtly. “Please read the letter without delay.”
Assuring them that he would read the letter at once, Shri Jiva insisted that they wash their hands and feet and be comfortably seated. Accepting the order of Shri Jiva, they washed and took their seats.
After silently reading the letter, Shri Jiva smiled and told them: “Listen to me, Hrdayananda Goswami has written this accusing letter, but I assure you I have not made Krishnadas my disciple. I respect Hrdayananda as a great scholar and I am not even qualified to be his disciple. I cannot bear his anger. Shri Gauridas Pandit Thakur is my spiritual master and has always affectionately treated me like his servant.
“By the grace of Hrdayananda, Krishnadas came to Vraja. He stayed with me in order to relish the topics of Shrimad Bhagavatam. I allowed him to stay here only because it was the order of his guru. The mind of Krishnadas has become completely purified by hearing the pastimes of the Lord, and his respect for his spiritual master has doubled. Love can only be revealed in the heart of one who is pure. Who has said that Krishnadas has become my disciple? Bring him here!”
“Two sannyasis from Vraja came to Gauda,” they replied, “and reported that Krishnadas had left Hrdayananda and accepted you as his guru. The Vrajavasis also say that by your mercy Krishnadas painted the tilak named Shyamanadi and received his new name, Shyamananda. Hrdayananda was astonished to hear this and has written this letter to find out the truth.”
“Call everyone together,” Shri Jiva said. “Now we shall find out whether this story is true or false. If it is proven to be true then certainly I am guilty.”
Protesting, the devotees replied: “We believe you. We want to hear the truth from you only, then we shall report to Goswami.”
Replying sweetly, Shri Jiva said: “Listen, and I shall tell you everything. One day I asked Krishnadas, ‘Who has given you this name.?’ He explained to me that by the grace of Hrdayananda Goswami, he has accepted his new name.”
“Now let me tell you about Krishnadas. He always serves Radha Krishna in the kunj, and listens intently to Shrimad Bhagavatam. He chants lakhs of holy names throughout the day and night. He regularly takes darshan of Shri Govinda, takes prasadam, and serves the devotees daily. He constantly sings the glories of Radha Krishna, always remembering Their eternal pastimes. Krishnadas stays in my kunja and cleans it daily, absorbed in the service of Radha Krishna. One day Krishnadas had a dream which he revealed to me. In his dream Hrdayananda appeared before him while he was busy cleaning the kunj. Krishnadas offered him a seat made of grass, and Goswami asked Krishnadas what he had been doing. Krishnadas humbly replied that, according to his order, he was living in Vraja and serving the kunj, keeping the lotus feet of his spiritual master in his mind. Hearing this Hrdayananda was very happy and told Krishnadas that he was extremelyfortunate to be engaged in that way, as Radha Krishna eternally reside in the kunj. Hrdayananda explained that the great personalities like Brahma, and other demigods, pray for the precious opportunity to serve the kunj. Thus he advised Krishnadas to remain in the kunj and carry on with his duties, in this way eventually he would have the darshan of Radha Krishna. He told Krishnadas that: “Shyama-Shyam (Radha-Krishna), being pleased with your service will give you the name Shyamananda.” Blessing him, he placed his feet on the head of Krishnadas and immediately a new tilak spontaneously appeared on his forehead. Hrdayananda Goswami then circumambulated the kunj and entered into it. From the day that Krishnadas told me this story I have taken the order of Hrdayananda as supreme, and called Krishnadas, Shyamananda. Not understanding what actually took place, the people in general only guessed what had happened.”
The devotees were relieved to hear this explanation, and happily recorded the words of Shri Jiva in a letter. Shri Jiva then requested that they confirm this story with Krishnadas.
Coming before them Krishnadas bowed at their feet and verified the words of Shri Jiva. “I hold the lotus feet of Hrdayananda Goswami on my head,” Krishnadas said. “He is my lord and master. It is his order that I live with the Vaishnavas and associate with the devotees of Mahaprabhu. While in Vraja, I have spent many days with Shri Jiva Goswami, listening to Shrimad Bhagavatam and topics related to Krishna. Shri Hrdayananda Goswami is my last resort and the life of my life, and I regard Shri Jiva like my guru. I desire to spend the rest of my life serving Radha Krishna, in the kunj, and the feet of all theVaishnavas. I want to have darshan of the kunj daily and serve Shri Vrajamandala, Shri Govindadev, and Shri Hrdayananda Goswami. My life, body, and mind are fully absorbed in this ecstacy. By the grace of my guru’s guru (Gauridas Pandit or Subala Sakha) I am enjoying the pleasure of the darshan of the Rasasthali. My mind has become soothed by seeing the Yamuna and the Kadamba. My daily worship and meditation is the lotus feet of Shri Hrdayananda Prabhu. Not knowing this, people have made false accussations, without proper understanding.
Hearing this, all the devotees happily embraced Shyamananda. Shri Jiva then fed all the Vaishnavas sumptuous prasadam. In the morning Jiva gave them a letter for Shri Hrdayananda Goswami, and bade them farewell. After visiting the sacred places of Vrndavana, the devotees started for Gauda.
By the grace of the lotus feet of Shri Shyamananda, I received the ability to write this book. Remembering the lotus feet of Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the episode of chapter two in short.
Eager to sing the glories of Shri Shyamananda, I continue writing this book. The devotees first circumambulated Vraja then happily started their long journey home, carrying the letter of Shri Jiva. Reaching Gauda, they immediately handed the letter to Hrdayananda.
Goswami read the letter and thoughtfully considered its contents. “What Shri Jiva has written may not be correct,” he said. “I cannot understand him. When did I appear in Shyamananda’s dream? I do not remember such an incident. I have not given the name Shyamananda. How absurd that I know nothing about it. Perhaps, out of fear, Krishnadas has made up this ridiculous story. Are we expected to believe that his dream has become reality, and what we have witnessed with our own eyes is illusion? These are all deceiving talks. The whole world knows that dreams are meaningless, no one pays any heed to dreams. This is a trick of Shri Jiva, surely he has taken my Krishnadas. Now he is afraid of me and has written this deceiving letter. I shall go to Vrndavana with all of the Vaishnavas and prove it to everyone.”
In an angry mood he started for Gauda to request the mahantas to accompany him to Vraja. Along the way Goswami asked his disciples, “What kind of tilak did you see on the forehead of Krishnadas?” “We saw the tilak drawn like the temple of Hari, with a dot in the middle of it”, they replied.
“Jiva has given his own mark,” Goswami said, “and to avoid the offense he has placed a dot in its middle. The name of that type of tilaka is Shri Radhavallabhi. Now I know who they are worshipping, and it is certain that Krishnadas has taken refuge in Shri Jiva.”
Speaking in this way, he entered Gauda and addressed the mahantas, “Please be kind and accompany me to Vrndavana, as Krishnadashas ruined my life. If you do not go I shall commit suicide before you to save my prestige. You can take advantage of this opportunity to see Vrndavana, and at the same time my purpose can also be served.”
The Mahantas agreed to go to speak with Shri Jiva, and taking their chief disciples with them they started for Vraja. Along the way they passed the house of Gauridas Thakur and also brought his chief disciple along with them.
After a long journey the mahantas reached Vrndavana. Arriving at Dhira Samira, near the bank of the Yamuna, they took bath, cooked,and took prasadam. Afterwards they blissfully performed nama-sankirtan along the bank of the Yamuna. Meanwhile Hrdayananda sent one of his disciple to inform Shri Jiva of their arrival.
Shri Jiva hastily came before the Vaishnavas and offered his obeisances falling flat on the ground. All the mahantas embraced Shri Jiva. Some of them paid their respects, while others offered their blessings.
“This is a very auspicious day,” Shri Jiva said happily. “Although I am the most insignificant person, today I am blessed with the association of so many great sages. It is certainly a wonderful day for me.”
The mahantas requested Shri Jiva to be seated and inquired about his well-being. “There are always waves of happiness flowing in Vraja,” Shri Jiva replied. Because Radha Krishna perform Their pastimes here the atmosphere is surcharged with spiritual bliss, thus Vrndavana is the ideal resting place for all devotees.
Shortly afterwards Shyamananda arrived there and offered his obeisances to the feet of his spiritual master, as well as the mahantas. Shri Hrdayananda Goswami asked Shyamananda, “To whom is Duhki Krishnadas bowing?” “Prabhu,” Krishnadas said with surprise, “I am bowing to your feet, as well as all the saintly persons here.”
Hrdayananda replied curtly, “You are not relating to me having the name and tilak given by me, why are you bowing to others?” “Prabhu,” Shyamananda said, “By your mercy I have received thename Shyamananda and this new tilak.”
“Listen to me,” Goswami said, “Dreams cannot be accepted as a fact. Acting without my approval you have become the servant of others and deceived me by sending a false letter.” “But I have not deceived you,” Shyamananda protested, “Everything written in the letter is true.”
“I shall wash off your tilak,” Goswami said, “and see whether it spontaneously reappears on your forehead. I shall wipe the name Shyamananda from your body and let us see if it again appears written in the same place. If this happens then you will receive my blessings, otherwise I shall reject you.”
Bowing to the feet of his guru, requesting his permission, Shyamananda replied: “In the presence of all of you I shall prove that this name and tilak is authorized. If I am unable to do so then I am guilty of a very serious offense."
Hrdayananda Goswami then gathered all the mahantas of Shri Vrajamandala under the kalpataru in the Rasasthali of Shri Vrndavana. The mahantas took their seats and called Shyamananda before them. Falling prostrate on the ground, Shyamananda offered his obeisances. “Who is your guru,” the mahanatas asked, “And from where did you get your name?”
“Shri Hrdayananda Goswami is my master,” Shyamananda said, “And I am his servant.” “Listen to us Krishnadas,” they replied. “Dreams are always false. If you are found guilty of this offense you will lose the association of devotees, and the opportunity to attain salvation. If the Lord is angry with someone, his guru can save him, but if his guru becomes angry with him, no one can save him. Now tell the truth, and we shall protect you. Don’t lie before all these saintly persons. Otherwise, you will certainly suffer the miseries of hell for as long as the sun and moon exist. This is the infallible verdict of Vyasa in the Shrimad Bhagavatam. If you have secretly accepted another guru, tell us about him. We shall be kind enough to save you from this offense. You will prove yourself to be an imposter if you lie about your name and tilak.”
“Whether I am right or wrong I know within my own mind,” Shyamananda replied. “Please allow me one or two more days to think about my answer.” Remembering his spiritual master, Shyamananda then sat down and became fully absorbed in a blissful state of deep meditation. Chanting the mantra given to him by Lalita, he felt the presence of Shri Radhika within his heart. His soul, mind, life and knowledge entered into siddha (perfected) stage, and with his spiritual body he entered the temple of Shri Radha. Sitting on thedoorstep of Her room he began to cry. The sakhis of Shri Radha asked why he was crying. Bowing to them Shyamananda explained, “I am a Vrajavasi named Kanaka-manjari. I am the maidservant of Lalita. I spent the whole day and night with Thakurani, then when I returned home and tried to enter my house my husband tried to beat me, so I ran away in fear and came here. Go tell Lalita to save my life by giving me her darshan.” Filled with anxiety he bowed again, crying helplessly.
The sakhis went to Lalita and reported, “One maidservant of yours has come here crying in great distress. Previously she stayed in your house with you, then when she returned home her husband tried to beat her.” “Bring her here,” Lalita ordered. “I am preparing the betel-leaves now.”
One of the sakhis called her in and Kanakamanjari found herself in the presence of Shri Radha. Radhika was sitting on a cot eating betel leaves as Lalita prepared them. Shri Rupamanjari massaged Her legs, and Champakalata fanned Her with a camara.
Overwhelmed with ecstatic love, Kanakamanjari fell flat on the ground. Thakurani ordered the sakhis to lift her and Lalita tookKanaka on her lap. Holding the feet of Lalita she began to cry. Shri Radha affectionately called Kanakamanjari and placed Her lotus feet on her head. Kanaka fell unconscious on the feet of Shri Rupamanjari, who then pushed her under the lotus feet of Radha.
“Be kind to me Thakurani,” Kanaka cried, “I am your maidservant. Give me shelter under your reddish feet.” “Why are you crying so helplessly,” Radha asked. “What is your name? Whom do you serve? Where do you live, and who are your parents?”
“My name is Kanakamanjari. I have always cherished the hope of receiving the dust of your feet. I am a Vrajavasi, and the maidservant of your maidservant, Shri Rupamanjari. She is my father, mother, master, and caretaker. She has bestowed loving devotion upon me, and by her mercy I received the darshan of Lalita. Now, by the grace of Lalita, I am able to see Your lotus feet.”
“Oh supreme goddess, listen to my story then you shall understand why I am crying. I am the disciple of Shri Hrdayananda Goswami. Previously I carried the mark of his grace, in the form of a tilak, on my forehead. By his merciful order I came to Vraja, where I stayed with Jiva Goswami. Shri Jiva helped me immensely by explaining the wonderful pastimes of Radha Krishna in Vraja. Tasting only a drop of Your nectarean pastimes, my mind fell deep into the ocean of love. When I was thirsty for the water of Your love, Shri Jiva helped me to drink the nectar. He advised me that my ultimate goal should be to attain the grace of Your feet. For that reason he put me under the care of the gracious feet of Shri Rupamanjari.”
“Relishing the sweetness of Your lotus feet, I served the kunj daily. Although I am the most helpless and worthless person, You bestowed Your kindness upon me by intentionally dropping Your anklebell in the kunj. You sent Lalita to retrieve the ankle bell and she mercifully appeared before me. She was so pleased to have found the ankle bell that she blessed me saying that the mark of your anklebell should be on my forehead. Touching the ankle bell to my forehead a mark was permanently painted there. She told me, “My Shyama will be extremely happy to get back the ankle bell, therefore from today, you shall be known as Shyamananda.” She asked me what boon I would like and I requested to become the maidservant of Radha Krishna. She agreed, but forbade me to tell anyone accept Shri Jiva. Otherwise, she said, I would lose my life.”
“Still today I am carrying the mark on my forehead and I have not told anyone, but seeing this mark my guru misunderstood and thought that I had rejected him. He asked about my new name and tilak and I said that he had appeared to me in a dream and changed my name and tilak. I explained that in the dream he had asked me why I had not come to see him. I replied that because I was fully engaged in serving the kunj, and absorbed in rememberance of Shri Radha, I had not found time to meet him. Hearing this my Prabhu became very happy and advised me to carry on with my duties. Bestowing his mercy upon me, he told me that through serving Radha Krishna and the kunj I would certainly attain the darshan of Shyama Shyam. Thus he gave me the name Shyamananda. Blessing me he put his foot on my head. After circumabulating the kunj he entered into it and took his seat.”
“I told Goswami that the mark of his lotus feet had become my tilak, but he did not believe it. He became very angry, saying thatI had ignored my real name and tilak and followed a dream. ‘I know nothing about this dream,’ he said. ‘If you want to be my disciple accept my mark and tell everyone that your name is Krishnadas and nothing else.’”
“I told Goswami to personally wipe the tilak from my forehead and he replied, ‘I shall wash your tilak and see whether it spontaneously reappears. I will also wipe off the name Shyamananda and see whether it is spontaneously written again. Then your name will be acknowledged and you will receive my mercy.’”
“Hearing this I accepted his order, bowing to his feet. Goswami then told me, ‘I must prove your name and tilak to all the mahantas, otherwise I shall commit suicide.’”
“Calling together all the mahantas from Gauda and Vraja, Goswami formed a society in the Kalpakunj of the Rasasthali in Vrndavana. They requested me to appear before them to prove the truth. The mahantas strongly advised me to speak truthfully, otherwise I would be cast out from the association of devotees and suffer the miseries of hell.”
“I asked them to wait patiently and I began meditating on Your lotus feet. In my meditation my mind and soul traveled here. Now I have attained the great fortune of seeing Your lotus feet. I am ignorant, worthless, and wicked but Your grace will help me to cross over this ocean of birth and death. Oh Thakurani, please be merciful to me, save me from the harassement of the mahantas. Show me how I can satisfy Your feet, as well as the feet of my spiritual master. Now I have told you both the cause of my crying and my desire.”
Lalita and Shri Rupamanjari both requested Radharani to be merciful to Shyamananda. Holding the hands of Kanakamanjari, Lalita pushed her on the feet of Radha, who mercifully placed Her feet on the head of Kanaka.
Shri Radha called Subala Sakha and told him everything: “Krishnadas, the servant of your servant, has taken refuge under My feet. He always serves the kunj and has dedicated his life and soul to Me. By your order I have accepted him.”
“It is my great fortune that one of my servants has become Your maidservant,” Subala said. Even I am always desirous of becoming Your maidservant.”
Hearing this Shri Radha was very pleased and pushed Kanakamanjari on the feet of Subala. Kanaka bowed to his feet and Subala took her in his lap. Blessing her Subala said, “You are extremely fortunate as you have received the love of Radha Krishna and become a favorite maidservant of Radha.”
Radha ordered Subala to give Shyamananda the tilak and prove it before the society of mahantas. She also requested him to write the name Shyamananda on the chest of Krishnadas, and to tell the mahantast hat by his grace Krishnadas attained the mark of Shri Radha’s feet as his tilak and the name Shyamananda, by which he should be known in the world.
Subalachand happily painted the mark of the feet of Shri Radha on Krishnadas’ forehead, placing a dot in the middle. He wrote Shyamananda on the chest of Krishnadas and advised him to say everyday, “Pandit Thakur, in the form of my guru has favoured me.”
“When you are asked to prove the sanctity of the name and tilak,” Suvala said, “Just remember me and the name and tilak will spontaneously appear on your body.” Hearing this Shyamananda fell at the feet of Subala. Placing his feet on the head of Shyamananda, Subala blessed him and took his leave.
After offering obeisances at the feet of Shri Radha, Lalita,Visakha, Shri Rupamanjari, and the other sakhis, Shyamananda stood before Shri Radha with folded hands. Drinking in the nectar of Her beautiful face, he was unable to check the tears of ecstacy flowing from his eyes. Shyamananda humbly requested Radha to help him to dedicate his life, body and soul to Her reddish lotus feet.
The image of love, Shri Radha, assured him that he would always have Her blessings. Radhika advised him to tour Orissa with Rasika Murari and afterwards return to Vraja. Shyamananda then took his leave and one of the sakhis accompanied him for some distance.
Meanwhile the mahantas in Vrndavana were astonished to see Shyamananda’s body become lifeless. Doubts began to pierce their hearts and they wondered if they had committed a great offense. Overcome with lamentation they rolled on the ground crying.
Only Shri Jiva could understand what had taken place. Consoling them Jiva suggested, “Everyone begin nama-sankirtan, Shyamananda will certainly come to life again.”
The mahantas eagerly began chanting the holy name: “Govinda, Shyamasundara, Kamala Lochana.”
After sometime Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up reciting the name of Shri Hrdayananda. Greatly relieved the mahantas cheered loudly, chanting the name of Hari. When Shyamananda opened his eyes fully they requested him to proclaim his verdict.
“It is my opinion,” Shyamananda replied, “that Gauridas Pandit Thakur, in the form of my spiritual master, has mercifully appeared before me in a dream. If I am a sincere servant of my guru’s feet then I shall prove the sanctity of this name and tilak before your eyes.”
The mahantas then painted the tilak like the temple of Shri Hari on Shyamananda’s forehead, placing a dot in its middle, and wrote the name Shyamananda on his chest. Praying to Shri Krishna Chaitanya to maintain the prestige of His devotee, they requested Hrdayananda to preside over the mahanta society and wash the tilak off with water. Goswami anxiously brought a water pot, while Shyamananda happily called out to Shri Gauridas Pandit to come and save his reputation. In the presence of everyone Shri Hrdayananda Goswami washed off the tilak, as well as the name Shyamananda from his chest. Shyamananda loudly called to Shri Lalita Thakurani to save him, and immediately the tilak and name spontaneously reappeared in their proper places, even brighter than before. The mahantas were astonished, and Hrdayananda hung his head in shame.
Holding the hands of Shyamananda the mahantas joyfully called out the name of Hari. Some of them kissed and embraced him, while others shouted the name Shyamananda. Someone said that for the first time a dream has become reality, and another said that Subalachanda has shown special mercy to Shyamananda, making him his companion. Someone else said that Shyamananda has pleased Shyama (Radha) and thus has attained this name.
Shyamananda offered his obeisances to all the mahantas, and fell at the feet of Hrdayananda. Filled with joy Goswami placed Shyamananda on his lap and lovingly kissed his face again and again. Accepting Shyamananda as the best of his disciples he decided to keep his precious association always.
The mahantas then took bath, cooked and offered the food to Krishna. Meanwhile Shyamananda came before Shri Jiva falling prostrate at his feet. Taking him on his lap Shri Jiva kissed Shyamananda saying, “I dedicate myself to you, for you are not merely a devotee, you are my life and my life has become a captive to your love.” Shri Jiva advised Shyamananda to stay with Hrdayananda Goswami and serve his lotus feet.
Although I have no qualification, by the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyamananda, I have received the ability to write this book. Assisted by the rememberance of Shri Rupamanjari, I have described the third chapter of Shri Shyamananda Prakash.
By the mercy of the lotus feet of Shri Shyamananda I continue writing this book. The next day Hrdayananda Goswami, Shyamananda, and all the mahantas happily began a tour of all the forests (dvadasa-vanas and upavanas) and kunjas of Vraja.
One day during their pilgrimage they attended a festival of Rasa which was held at Sanketa. There they watched a performance of the ecstatic loving pastimes of Radha Krishna and their sakhis. Some of the sakhis sang sweetly and danced beautifully, while others played various types of musical instruments.
As they watched the wonderful rasalila the mahantas were filled with joy, and Shyamananda, overwhelmed with ecstatic love, fell unconscious. Rolling on the ground he called out the name of Radha Krishna, as floods of tears drenched his body. Covering his head with a piece of cloth Shyamananda danced madly, crying continuously.
Observing the transcendental emotions displayed by Shyamananda, Shri Hrdayananda Goswami thought, “He is certainly a maidservant of Radha. He will be of no use to me because he is not the companion of my Krishna. Now I clearly understand Shyamananda. He has given up his own bhava and taken to Radha bhava. How can I associate with him?” Thinking in this way Hrdayananda left the Rasasthali feeling as if an arrow had pierced his heart. Shyamananda, however, remained at the Rasasthali which infuriated Hrdayananda.
When the rasalila was finished Shyamananda returned along with the mahantas. Shyamananda slept in his own place and in the morning came for darshan of his spiritual master. As he bowed to the feet of hisguru, Hrdayanada burst out saying, “You have discarded Krishna bhava and taken gopi bhava instead. Now what is the necessity of your staying with me?”
Shyamananda humbly and sweetly replied, “Pandit Thakur (Gauridas Pandit, spiritual master of Hrdayananda) worships in Radha bhava, yet in this bhava he is always with Krishna helping Radha Krishna to meet together. He is always engaged in the service of Radha Krishna and enjoys Their darshan in the kunja. This bhava also arises in me but I have not left you Prabhu. Subala Thakur was absorbed in Radha bhava in the kunja and I gladly enjoyed it.
“That’s a lie,” Goswami said. “Pandit Thakur never told me anything about this. You must behave like a sakha. Don’t even think of accepting any other bhava.” “I cannot do this,” Shyamananda quietly replied.
Hrdayananda was so enraged with this reply that he beat Shyamananda with a stick, striking him again and again on the hands, legs, and back until his flesh was cut. Bleeding profusely Shyamananda fell onthe ground.
Seeing the pitiable condition of Shyamananada, the mahantas angrily chastised Hrdayananda: “Oh Goswami! What are you doing? It is notgood that you are beating Shyamananda. Previously you tried to destroy him and now you will be responsible for his death. Why are you behaving like this? All types of bhavas can be attained through madhurya bhava.”
The mahantas consoled Shyamananda, who
told them, “I am not sorry, on the contrary I am glad because my spiritual
master has acknowledged me after such a long time. His beating is like scented
sandalwood paste to me. His chastisement
has cooled and soothed my body and mind.
Being satisfied with me, my spiritual master has finally accepted me as
his disciple. Don’t worry about me.”
Then turning to Hrdayananda he said, “Prabhu, please be merciful to me. I am an ignorant fool, as I disobeyed your order.”
Singing the glories of Shyamananda the mahantas took bath, cooked, and offered everything to Krishna. After taking prasadam they visited Sanketa and the other kunjavanas then took rest in the kunj. That night Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared before Hrdayananda Goswami ina dream. Hrdayananda bowed to the Lord’s feet, then looking up he saw that Mahaprabhu’s white scarf was covered with blood. Severe wounds covered the flesh on His hands, legs and back. Because the white scarf was soaked with blood it stuck tightly to the Lord’s back.
“What has happened?” Goswami gasped in horror. “What is this I’m seeing on Your body?”
“By your mercy My clothes have been soaked with blood,” Mahaprabhu said. “You have beaten Shyamananda who is like My very self, thus all the beatings have come upon me.”
Hrdayananda fell at the feet of Chaitanya Maharabhu. Greatly lamenting he cried out, “Now there is no one in the world who can save me from hell. I had no understanding of how dear Shyamananda is to You. Oh! Padmapani, have mercy upon me. I have committed unforgiveable offenses. Now I shall commit suicide by entering into fire.”
Mahaprabhu forgave Hrdayananda and ordered him to perform twelve festivals. Accepting the order of the Lord Hrdayananda fell prostrate at His feet. Blessing him, Mahaprabhu placed the dust of His lotus feet on Goswami’s head and disappeared. At last Hrdayananda came to his senses, clearly understanding that dreams can be accepted as reality. He spent the rest of the night thinking deeply.
In the morning he related the dream to the mahantas, “Last night Mahaprabhu appeared to me in a dream. His body was covered with bleeding wounds caused by the beating I inflicted upon Shyamananda. Mahaprabhu explained that Shyamananda was like His very Self, thus the beatings had come upon Him. Lamenting for my sin, I fell at His feet begging forgiveness. He ordered me to to atone for my sins by performing twelve festivals. I accepted the order and fell at His feet. Mahaprabhu placed His feet on my head and blessed me to be a devotee of Krishna, then He disappeared. First I committed offenses to saintly persons, then I offended the Supreme Lord Himself. Now, oh sages please save me.”
“Previously you did not accept dreams to be reality”, the mahantas replied. “Please be merciful,” Goswami insisted, “Allow me to perform twelve festivals." Hearing this the mahantas kindly gave their consent.
Turning to Shyamananda Goswami said, “You are most exallted because you have saved your guru from sin. From now on you are not my servant, you are the life of all.” Saying this Goswami took Shyamananda on his lap. Shyamananda fell to the ground bowing to the feet of Hrdayananda. All the mahantas blessed Shyamananda and happily shouted the names of Hari.
After discussing together they decided to send Shyamanada first to Vraja. “Go to Vrndavana”, they said, “And make arrangements for the forthcoming festivals. We shall return after visiting Vraja.”
Bowing to the feet of Shri Hrdayananda and the mahantas, Shyamananda took his leave and went to Vrndavana. After visiting the kunjavanas he entered into Vrndavana proper where he met Shri Jiva Goswami. Shyamananda offered his obeisances and informed him of all that had taken place. Filled with happiness Shri Jiva took Shyamananda on his lap and blessed him heartily.
Shri Jiva began preparations for the festivals by first offering things from his own store room. Then calling together all the Vrajavasis, he requested that they help prepare for the upcoming festivals. When the Vrajavasis came to know that the festivals were to be performed by Shyamananda they happily assisted by donating huge quantities of all the necessities required. Shri Jiva was able to collect all the items needed for the festivals from Mathura and Vrajamandala.
After finishing their tour the mahantas came to Vrndavana. Eager to begin the festivals Shyamananda humbly requested Shri Jiva, “I know nothing about what to do. You must be the organiser of all the festivals. You order me and I shall be your servant.”
Taking up the responsibility Shri Jiva instructed his servants to invite all the saintly persons of Vraja. The servants obeyed his order and the festivities began on the second day of the full moon.
Numerous varieties of food namely; luchi, puri, sweets, khira, sugar, and curds were stocked for the festivals. The organizers received so many donations that a mountain was formed from the items collected.
All the cooked preparations tasted just like nectar. Crowds of Vrajavasis ate heartily and even carried food home with them. In this way the festivals continued for fifteen days. On the day of the full moon the rasa festival of Radha Krishna took place. Thus the twelve festivals were organised and completed joyfully.
When all the guests had returned home, Shyamananda came before Hrdayananda Goswami and bowed at his feet. “I own nothing”, he said, “Everything belongs to you. Whatever I seem to possess is only due to your mercy.” Saying this he fell at the feet of his spiritual master and offered his obeisances.
Taking Shyamananda on his lap Hrdayananda blessed him that he would attain devotion to the lotus feet of Krishna. Shri Hrdayananda then took his leave.
Shri Jiva came before all the mahantas and bowed at their feet. They all embraced Shri Jiva heartily, some of them took him on their laps and dedicated Shyamananda to the grace of Shri Jiva. Hearing this all the Vrajavasis, saints, and mahantas happily called out the names of Hari.
Shri Jiva accomapnied the mahantas for some distance as they began their journey home. When it was time to bid farewell Shri Jiva, filled with sadness, fell on the ground unconscious. The mahantas consoled him and Hrdayananda blessed him, and they departed for Gauda.
Shyamananda returned to Vrndavana and stayed with Shri Jiva. One day Jiva Goswami requested Shyamananda to go to Orissa to preach and save the fallen condtioned souls there from the suffering of hell, after fulfilling this responsiblity he could return to Vrndavana. He reminded Shyamananda that Shrimati Radharani had also ordered him to go to Orissa and preach with the help of Rasika Murari.
Accepting this order Shyamananda turned over all his books and articles of worship to Shri Jiva and left for Utkala where he met Rasika Murari. In the association of Rasika he was empowered to preach and deliver the fallen souls. Shyamananda preached in Orissa for a long time. He later returned to Vraja where he continued to live with Shri Jiva.
Taking the lotus feet of Shri Shyamananda as my only resort and remembering the lotus feet of Shri Rupamanjari, I have thus completed the episode of the fourth chapter.
In the fifth chapter the family life of Shyamananda is discussed. The previous four chapters have dealt with Shyamananda’s desire toattain the grace of Krishna. The ninth chapter describes the perfection of Shyamananda’s sadhana. And the last, or tenth chapter, deals with the birth of the feeling of madhurya viraha (separation) within Shyamananda. Who could possibly describe the intense desire of Shyamananda by which he attained the opportunity of personally serving Radha Krishna?
Shyamananda disappeared from this world out of separation from Shri Jiva. In the tenth chapter Shyamananda attains his spiritual form and begins to live happily with Shri Rupamanjari. Shri Radha Krishna favoured him and kept him in Their service. Kanakamanjari became a favorite of Lalita, Shri Rupamanjari and all the sakhis.
I have described Shyamananda’s attainment of the spiritual abode only in hints, as I have been ordered to do so. I am the most unqualified and ignornat person but due to the grace of Shri Shyamananda Goswami I have written this book and presented it before all the devotees. Although I have no ability to write, by the mercy of my spirtiual master this book has been completed.
THE EPISODE OF WRITING THIS BOOK
Oh wise listeners! Hear how this book, Shyamananda Prakash, has come into existence.
One day I met a saint who read the book Bhaktirasamrita Sindhu to me. While listening a deep feeling of indifference towards the material world (vairagya) took birth within me and the desire to go to Vrndavana arose in my heart. Previously I had never found the time to meditate upon the merciful lotus feet of Krishna. My mind had always been preoccupied with sinful activities. My body, mind and life was filled with passion, anger, greed, infatuation, pride, and mundane emotions. Pride gave rise to vanity and jealousy. Thus my life passed in vain. Not a scent of devotion to Krishna entered my heart. Even in the sphere of family life I was a failure. What was the use of such a worthless life? Absorbed in maintaining my wife and children all the golden opportunities of life passed me by. Fully engaged in material activities I found no time to remember the lotus feet of Govinda, or to perform any sadhana. In this way my life passed uselessly and death was quickly approaching.
But after hearing Bhaktirasamrita Sindhu from that saint I began to realise that the lotus feet of Krishna are the only resort for all of mankind. I decided to give up all material attachments and live inVraja. Although my heart ached to leave for Vrndavana, the opportunity to go did not arise. I became very disturbed and began meditating on Shyamananda Goswami. Absorbed in this way I went to bed and fell asleep thinking of Shri Vrndavana Dhama.
In my dream I met some sannyasis who were going to Vraja and I traveled along with them. Arriving in Vraja I took darshan of the Jamuna, and then went to the kunja of Shri Shyamananda Goswami. I washed my hands and feet and sat down in the kunja. After some time Shri Shyamananda, having completed the circumambulation of Vraja, returned to his kunja, and all the devotees there fell at his feet. They washed his feet and happily drank the water. I asked one vairagi who the Goswami was and he replied , “This is Shyamananda Goswami”. Hearing his name I shed tears of love. Noticing me, Goswami called me before him and I fell flat offering obeisances.
“Where do you come from,” he asked, “What is your name, whom do you serve, and how many devotees are with you?”
“I am Krishnacarana dasa”, I said. Please be merciful and allow me to serve you. I came to Vrndavana with four vairagis who have gone fora tour of Vrndavana. I use to live in Orissa with my wife, but she became a burden to me so I left her and came alone to Vrndavana."
“Your wife must be in a state of depression,” Goswami replied. “Who will look after your son? Why have you given up material life and become a vairagi?”
“Prabhu, My wife is also very indifferent to family life”, I explained. Out of love for Krishna I have come to Vraja.”
“Do not leave your wife,” Prabhu said. “Return to your home and perform the sadhana of Krishna, along with your wife. What type of sadhana are you doing by leaving a helpless vaisnavi?”
I humbly explained to Prabhu, “I know nothing about sadhana or smarana worship. I have come to you because I have not understood Krishna yet, please be kind and fulfill my desire.”
“You will obtain my mercy, as well as the mercy of Radha Krishna, if you obey my order. Now go back to your house and engage, along with your wife, in worshipping Krishna and singing my glories. Write something about my auspicious activities and sing the praises of my devotees.”
“But I know nothing about your eulogies,” I protested. “I know only the letters but I do not know their meanings. How can I describe your glories?”
“Due to my wish you will be able to understand everything”, Prabhu said. “If you remember me everything will become clear to you.”
“I am an illiterate and ignorant person”, I said. “What can I write? And even if I write, what intelligent man will accept it?”
“My fame is known throughout the three worlds”, Prabhu replied. Anyone who does not accept it is guilty of flouting Shri Chaitanya. These words cannot be false. After completing the book you should show it to my disciple, Nayananda. He will be very happy to receive a book about me. Out of love for me he will distribute the book. Since the people have confidence in Nayananda they will gladly accept the book. He who sings the glories of Krishna and of myself will attain salvation. He will also get my association as well as the feet of Krishna. Don’t hesitate to write this book.”
Hearing this I fell prostrate on the ground at the feet of Goswami. He placed his feet on my head and blessed me to attain devotion to Krishna. He went to his kunja and I returned home.
Just then I awoke from my dream, but everything remained crystal clear in my mind. I contemplated my good fortune in having the darshan of Vrndavana in my dream. For a few days I hesitated to carry out the order I had received. Then again my Prabhu mercifully appeared before me in my sleep. He sat at my head and said, “You have flouted my order. This will only bring harm to you. I was sorry to see your distressed condition so I came here to save you from sin. Begin the work of writing a book in my name and remember that I am always with you. Go take your bath and start the book after worshipping Radha Krishna.”
Obeying his order I began writing, meditating on my spiritual master. In this way by the desire and mercy of my guru I received the ability to write this book, otherwise it was not possible.
I fall flat at the feet of Shri Shyamananda Goswami offering my obeisances millions of times. If there is any mistakes in my writing or any incidence of rasabhasa I humbly beg forgiveness. It is impossible for a worthless person like myself to fully describe the glorious qualities of Shri Shyamananda.
I hold the feet of Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda and all the devotees on my head. I have sold my head at the feet of Shri Radhamohana, the bestower of love and devotion. Taking the lotus fet of Shyamananda prabhu in my heart I, Krishnadasa, have compiled this book Shri Shyamananda Prakash.