Sri Bhakti Ratnakara, Part 169


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

Jul 06, 2017 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Sri Bhakti Ratnakara by Srila Narahari Cakravarti Thakur.

Chapter Fourteen

Glorification of Sri Gaura and his associates

Glory to Gaura, Nityananda, Gadadhara, Srivasa, Murari and Vakresvara. Glory to Sri Mukunda, Gauridasa, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Suklambara, Suryadasa, Krsnadasa and Dhananjaya.

Glory to Narahari, Raghunandana, Vijaya, Vasu Ramananda, Jagadisa, Sri Sankaranandamaya and Kashimisra. Glory to Kashiswara, Karnapura, Chakravarty and Sri Nath Thakura. Glory to Sri Sundarananda, Abhirama, Raghunatha Bhatta, Sanatana and Rupa. Glory to Sri Bugarva, Lokanatha, Sri Gopala Bhatta, Dasa Raghunatha and Sri Jiva Gosvami. Glory to Krsnadasa Kaviraja, Vrndavanadasa, Vyasa and Haridasa. Glory to Narottama, Ramacandra and Syamananda. Glory to the listeners.

One day Sri Acarya told his companions about the devotional qualities of Sri Syamananda. Meanwhile, much to the pleasure of Sri Acarya, two disciples of Syamananda arrived with a letter from Syamananda. Srinivasa welcomed the two disciples with great affection and sent a reply to Syamananda through them, which was also very happily received by Syamananda.

The character of Srila Syamananda Prabhu and the mercy he bestowed upon Sri Rasikananda.

Syamananda traveled from Vraja to Gauramandala, then quickly went to Utkala via Amvika. He halted at his birthplace, Dharenda village, in Dandeswara, and from there went to Rayani. The village Rayani was situated in Mallabhumi by whose side the river Suvarnarekha flowed in the northern direction. Near Rayani was a village named Varayita, by whose side flowed the river Dolangi, which was a very beautiful place. In Varayita, the son of Dasaratha, Rama, had installed a Deity of Siva named Rameswara. During His exile in the forest Rama stayed there with Janaki and Laksmana. The king of this city was named Acyuta and his loving disposition greatly endeared him to his subjects. The king and his wife, Sri Vabani, had two sons, Sri Rasikananda and Sri Murari. From the time of their youth these two boys were famous for their extraordinary intelligence. They were devoted sons and served their parents lovingly.

Once Sri Murari's wife expressed her desire to spend some time in Ghantasila village. Ghantasila was situated near the river Suvarnarekha. It was beautiful spot, noted as the place where the Pandavas had taken rest during their exile in the forest.

One day while in Ghantasila, Murari was sitting alone wondering how he would find a spiritual master to guide him. Suddenly a voice from the sky assured him that he should worry no longer because soon he would meet his spiritual master, Sri Syamananda. Rasika Murari was overwhelmed with happiness and immediately began chanting the name of Syamananda over and over. Waiting in excited anticipation, Murari gradually became impatient and cried incessantly. He was unable to sleep and simply lay awake calling out the name of Syamananda. Late into the night Murari finally drifted off. Syamananda appeared to him in his dream and assured Murari that he would arrive at his place the following morning. Syamananda then disappeared and Rasikananda was filled with joy.

In the morning Sri Rasika told no one about his dream but waited for his spiritual master with great anticipation. After some time he suddenly saw Syamananda, along with Kisordasa and other disciples, approaching in the distance. Sri Rasika was stunned by the beauty of Syamananda's smiling face. Syamananda was absorbed in chanting Sri Krsna Caitanya, and due to the powerful influence of the holy name he was unable to walk properly as he approached Rasika. At once Rasika-Murari fell on the ground and touched his feet. Syamananda embraced him to his chest and wept emotionally. Syamananda bestowed his mercy upon Murari and gave him diksa in Radha-Krsna mantra. Syamananda also accepted Sri Rasikananda as his disciple and dedicated him to the lotus feet of Nityananda-Caitanya.

Rasika-Murari took their spiritual master to Royani and delightfully engaged in nama sankirtana. Syamananda stayed there for sometime, during which many people took initiation from him. Eventually Syamananda and his disciples left Royani. During his travels Syamananda came across a yogi named Damodara who received the mercy of Syamananda and became a very exalted devotee, he used to become mad by chanting the name of Nitai-Caitanya. Syamananda traveled on to Valaramapura where he showered his mercy upon many fortunate residents.

Thereafter Kisore, Murari, Damodara and other disciples of Syamananda held a grand festival in Dharenda village. Seeing Syamananda, the people of the village forgot all their worldly miseries. Syamananda and his numerous disciples; Radhananda, Sri Purushottama, Manohara, Chintamani, Balabadra, Sri Jagadiswara, Uddhava, Akrura, Madhuvana, Sri Govinda, Jagannatha, Gadadhara, Sri Anandananda, and Sri Radhmohana etc., engaged continuously in sankirtana, glorifying the holy names of Gaura-Nityananda, accompanied by mrdanga and kartalas. They sang and danced madly, sometimes rolling on the ground and crying profusely. Syamananda's dancing enchanted the demigods, and even the wicked hearts of the demons melted and they fell on the ground weeping with joy. They cried out to Syamananda requesting him to save them from their sins. Syamananda freely bestowed his mercy and everyone sank into the ocean of love of God. The crowd was amazed to see the extraordinary devotional qualities of Sri Syamananda and was swept away by the happiness of sankirtana. Syamananda also displayed these wonderful sankirtana pastimes in Sri Nrisimhapura.

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