Sri Bhakti Ratnakara, Part 168


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

Jul 04, 2017 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Sri Bhakti Ratnakara by Srila Narahari Cakravarti Thakur.

Chapter Fourteen

The grand festival at Borakuli Village

After enjoying some days in Budhari, they gladly started for Borakuli village. Sri Govinda Chakravarty welcomed Srinivasa Acarya in his house most cordially. Chakravarty was the favorite disciple of Acarya and was expert at singing and playing musical instruments. How Chakravarty came to settle in Borakuli from Mahula and became Acarya's disciple is known to all, thus the poet will not discuss here how that event took place.

Sri Govinda decided to hold a grand festival in his house and sent invitation cards to all the Vaisnavas. Among those invited were Virachandra and his followers, Krsna Misra and his followers, Sri Gopiramana-a disciple of Sri Hridayananda from Amvika, Thakura Ramai, Thakura Kanai-the son of Raghunandana with his followers from Khanda, Sri Yadunandana from Kantakanagara, and Sri Nayananda Misra with his followers.

When the guests began to arrive, Srinivasa Acarya, Thakura Mahasaya, Ramacandra, Sridasa, Gokulananda and others rushed forward to receive their respected quests. They spent the day together singing the glories of Hari and dancing. The next morning, after finishing their morning duties, they assembled in the courtyard of the temple. Srinivasa Acarya brought forward a beautiful Deity and requested the permission from the quests to perform the abhiseka for the installation. After the bathing ceremony was completed, they began to consider a suitable name for the Deity. Suddenly they heard a voice from the temple ordering them to name the Deity Sri Radhavinoda. The devotees accepted the prophetic words from the enchanting voice and named the Deity Sri Radhavinoda. With the utmost care Srinivasa installed the Deity and performed all the necessary duties. He placed the Deity on a throne and decorated Him with beautiful dresses.

The next morning Virachandra prabhu, Krsna Misra and others finished their morning duties and assembled in the courtyard of Sri Radhavinoda where they began sankirtana. Syamadasa and Devidasa played mrdanga so sweetly but spiritedly that its sound seemed to thrust the sky. Gokula and others first sang prayers in glorification of Gauracandra. Their singing was so sincere that Sri Gauracandra and His associates were obliged to personally appear in the courtyard to participate in sankirtana. The extraordinary dancing and ecstatic symptoms displayed by Virachandra prabhu enchanted the hearts of everyone. Krsna Misra's body became wet from his own tears, and Thakura Kanai was overwhelmed with ecstatic love. Sri Nayananda Misra rolled in the dust, and Thakura Ramai, while Sri Yadunandana and others danced and sang madly. When the sankirtana performance came to an end the Vaisnavas affectionately embraced each other in an ecstatic mood. Forgetting himself completely, one of the devotees rolled on the ground, while someone else grasped the feet of another crying. After a long time they composed themselves and sat down in the courtyard of the temple.

At that time the people gave the title of "Sri Vabuka Chakravarty" to Sri Govinda Chakravarty because of his extraordinary ecstatic emotions.

When Prabhu Virachandra, Krsna Misra and others decided to take their leave from Barakuli, everyone was extremely sad. When they actually left, Sri Acarya, Thakura Mahasaya and their followers tearfully accompanied them. Acarya then offered various commodities to Virachandra and his party.

Acarya and Narottama, along with some of their favorite companions, then remained in Borakuli for some days. Thereafter they left for Khetari. After crossing the river Padmavati they immediately went to the courtyard of Sri Gauranga where they met the companions of Prabhu. The people of Khetari happily relished the sankirtana performed by Acarya and his party. After a few days, Acarya spoke to Narottama privately then left for Budhari.

Observing Sri Acarya's character the people of Budhari considered him to be a pure devotee and the main force by which Sri Gauracandra's mission would be carried out.

However, some foolish cheaters residing in that village tried to propagate their own glories, saying that they were the most learned persons in the village. Giving up the performance of Sri Krsna kirtana and Sri Caitanya kirtana, they foolishly praised themselves. The people of the village were not fooled however, and used to say that these rascals would certainly be punished by the Kalki Avatara. In this way encouraging themselves they went to see Srinivasa and to bow to his feet.

When Sri Acarya returned to Yajigrama he received word that Virachandra prabhu was establishing the Vaisnava cult on a strong footing.

In the village named Kandra in Radhadesa a kayastha named Jayagopala used to live in the house of Sri Mangala Gyanadasa. Jayagopala became very proud of his knowledge and deliberately began to flout his religious teacher. When Virachandra heard this he rejected his disciple Jayagopala. Srinivasa was glad to hear about this incident. In the meantime Sri Acarya received a letter from Virachandra and read it with pleasure. Virachandra returned to Khardaha from Kandra and reported everything to his sons. Virachandra's sons were just like their father. The elder one was Gopijanavallava, the second son was Sri Ramakrsna-who was a very broad minded person, and the youngest one was Sri Ramacandra who was endowed with a very sweet disposition. They also rejected Jayagopala.

At Yajigrama Acarya remained engaged in discussing sastra and in singing and dancing in sankirtana with his companions.

The poet confesses that being an ordinary person how can I analyze the devotional characters of Sri Narottama and Srinivasa. All I can say is that anyone who sincerely thinks of these two great souls Srinivasa Acarya and Narottama Thakura, is sure to be freed of any unforeseen evils. Remembering the lotus feet of Srinivasacarya, I, Narahari dasa, take great pleasure in writing this book Bhakti Ratnakara.

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