Sri Bhakti Ratnakara, Part 110


Sri Krsna Caitanya Sankirtana
Hand-colored Lithograph, Calcutta, c. 1876

Mar 10, 2017 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Sri Bhakti Ratnakara by Srila Narahari Cakravarti Thakur.

Chapter Ten

Sri Jahnava devi visits Kantaka nagara

In the morning the travelling party started for Kantaka Nagara and on their way Krsnadasa of Akaihata joined them. Yadunandana and others warmly welcomed them to the house of Gauranga. Meanwhile Sri Raghunandana and his companions from Sri Khanda arrived there on their way to Kheturi.

The numerous mahantas in their party which was travelling to Kheturi included Sivananda, Baninath Varja, Vallabha, Caitanyadasa, Sri Hari Acarya, Bhagavata Acarya, Nartaka Gopala, Jita Misra, Kasinath Misra, Nayana Misra, Kastakata Jagannatha, Uddhava, Sri Puspha Gopala, Raghunatha, Laksminath Pandita and others. People of the village took great pleasure in the meeting of the Vaisnavas. 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 Sri Gauranga in his dream.

Sri Jahnava cooked various types of delicious food which she first offered to Gaura Candra and then fed affectionately to the different mahantas. Sri Yadunandana and his followers did not take their meal until after Sri Isvari had eaten. After the meal, they all engaged in nama san kirtana in the courtyard of Gauranga. Thereafter Sri 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 Vaisnavas, 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. Sri Santosh Dutta had hired a large boat which took them to the opposite bank of the river. Upon the arrival of the Vaisnavas and Mahantas, Kheturi village became the center point of divine happiness.

Srinivasa and Sri 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.

Srinivasa and Narottama arranged individual living places for each guest. The Vaisnavas were astonished to see so many living places, such a vast stock of food and so many attendants taking responsibility for the festival.

The people of Kheturi forgot their individual miseries upon getting the association of the great Bhagavatas, and they all looked forward to the beginning of the grand festival. They considered themselves very fortunate because the village was blessed by the dust of the feet of the great devotees. They were impressed with the decorations on the houses of the mahantas and on the throne of Mahaprabhu although the Lord had not yet sat upon it. The next day was Phalguna Punima and the six deities of Krsna would be placed on the thrones. Tomorrow the great devotees would assemble and even the demigods would observe the grand festival. They eagerly awaited the performance of san kirtana.

Someone spoke appreciatively of the fortunate king Santosh Dutta who had taken great care to arrange everything for the festival and decorate the compound which would be used for san kirtana by erecting a beautiful canopy and placing banana trees all around. Another person commented that never in his life had he seen so many persons making flower garlands and sandal paste. Another person said that he had never seen so many types of musical instruments nor so many singers and dancers assemble in his life. Another man wished that the night would pass quickly for the next day he would see the Bhagavatas and pass the entire day with them, feeling no need to return home. Then he chastised himself for returning home simply to eat. Enthusiasm for the festival was heightened by the sound of musical instruments, indicating that morning was not far off.

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