Biographies of various saints.
Srila Narottama Das Thakura Mahasaya - Biography
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 18:17:09 +0530
SRI SRI NAROTTAMA CARITA
A concise biography of Srila Narottama das Thakura Mahasaya
(Presented in the Prema Bhakti Candrika published by Sri Ananta Das Pandita)
In the Garer Hat subdivision of the district of Raja sahi, about 12 miles from Rampura Voyaliya, is the village of Kheturi. In the book Prema Vilasa the following is narrated: One day Sriman Mahaprabhu performed kirtana in the village of Kanai Natasala when He turned His face towards the Kheturi village and exclaimed the name Narottama again and again. The Lord’s mind became unsteady of ecstasy. When Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Haridasa, Vakresvara and other associates saw Sriman Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic feelings, they thought with hearts shivering of ecstasy: “There a person named Narottama, whom Mahaprabhu greatly loves, will manifest, and the Lord will accomplish many things through him!” Sriman Mahaprabhu told Sri Nityananda:prabhu kohe - zrIpAda bujhi koroho bhAvAna |
ApanAra guNa tumi nA jAno ApAna ||
nIlAcala jAite yoto kAndiyAcho tumi |
sei prema dine dine bAndhiyAchi Ami ||
se prema rAkhibo ami padmAvatI tire |
narottama nAme pAtra dibo Ami tAre ||
preme janma hobe tAra AmA vidyamAne |
ekhone rAkhiyA jAbo padmAvatI sthAne ||
“The Lord said: ‘Sripada! Listen and consider duly: “You don’t know Your own glories! You have wept so much back in Nilacala, and every day I have saved that love of Yours. Now I am placing that love of Yours on the bank of the Padmavati in a receptacle named Narottama. He will take birth in prema in My presence. For now I will keep this prema in the Padmavati.’ ” (Prema Vilasa)
After that Sriman Mahaprabhu came to the village of Kutub Pura and took a bath in the Padmavati while His associates commenced a kirtana on the bank. The Lord then roared loudly and His body began to shiver vehemently out of ecstatic love. After that the Lord called the Padmavati river and said:prabhu kohe - padmAvati! dhoro prema loho |
narottama nAme patra prema tAre diho ||
nityAnanda saha prema rAkhilo tomA sthAne |
yatna kori ihA tumi rAkhibA gopane ||
“The Lord said: ‘Padmavati! Take this prema and keep it for Me. Give it later to the receptacle named Narottama! I have placed this prema in you and in Nityananda. Keep it with care and discretion!’ Then Padmavati replied:padmAvati bole prabhu koroG nivedana |
kemone jAnibo kAra nAma narottama? ||
“Padmavati replied: ‘Master, I pray to You: How will I know who is named Narottama?’ Sriman Mahaprabhu replied:yAhAra paraze tumi adhika uchalibA |
sei narottama, prema tare tumi dibA ||
“‘He whose touch will make higher waves on you- that is Narottama! Give this prema to him!’”
Almost at the same time as Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s disappearance, around the years 1531-1532, on the full moon day of the month of Magha (February) in the afternoon (called godhali, which is considered an auspicious time) Srila Narottama Thakura appeared from the womb of Narayani Devi, the wife of Raja Krishnananda Datta, in the village of Kheturi.
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 18:18:13 +0530
Like the phases of the moon, Srila Narottama grew day by day. In a great festival Raja Krishnananda performed the anna prasana ceremony (when a child eats its first grains) for his son. However, when the grains were placed at his mouth, the child turned his face away. Everyone became worried, but an astrologer made calculations and said: “This child will never eat anything else but Sri Krishna’s prasada.” According to family tradition the deity of Sri Krishna was worshipped in the house of Raja Sri Krishnananda, and when prasada was brought from this deity Narottama blissfully began to eat it. From this day on Krishnananda forbade everyone to give his son anything else but Sri Krishna’s prasada.
Sri Narottama’s extraordinary bodily luster, sharp intelligence and sweet words attracted everyone’s heart. At the age of five Sri Narottama received the chalk in the hand and began his studies. From his childhood Narottama showed an extraordinary capacity in learning Sanskrit scriptures like Vyakarana, and he mastered all these scriptures in a very short time. From his very childhood the princely Narottama had an extraordinary love for Sri Harinama, Srimad Bhagavata, the devotees of the Lord and the deity of the Lord, and, seeing his disinterest in sense gratification, his loving father Krishnananda and his dedicated mother Narayani became worried, while the devotees became astonished and ecstatic.
There was a very saintly brahmana in Kheturi named Sri Krishna das, from whom Sri Narottama heard about Sri Gaurahari and His loving associates every day. This made him weep and cry out ‘Ha Gauranga!’ One day Narottama had a dream in which he saw Sri Nityananda Prabhu telling him to go and bathe in the Padmavati river to accept the jewel of prema that Sriman Mahaprabhu had deposited there. Sri Narottama got up early in the morning and when he began to go down into the water of the Padmavati river her waves began to swell. Recognizing Narottama, Padmavati gave him the jewels of prema that Sriman Mahaprabhu had deposited in her. When Narottama received this prema his complexion changed and he became overwhelmed with great feelings of ecstatic love. Bathing in his own tears he danced around frantically. When they saw their son seized by the disease of madness his mother and father became worried.
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 18:21:19 +0530
VISION IN A DREAM AND PILGRIMAGE TO VRINDAVANA
Srila Narottama’s heart broke because he had not been able to see Sri Gaurasundara’s manifest pastimes, so he wept day and night in great anguish. One day Sri Gaurasundara revealed Himself to Sri Narottama in a dream and told him in a voice sprinkled with compassion: “O Narottama! Quickly go to Sri Vrindavana and accept the discipleship of Sri Lokanatha there!” When the dream was over Narottama fainted, for the Lord had vanished from him. By the Lord’s wish Sri Narottama had another dream-vision, in which Sriman Mahaprabhu showed him His Navadvipa-pastimes with His associates. Seeing the wonderful pastimes of love of the Lord and His devotees, who were singing and dancing, Sri Narottama bathed in his own tears and fell at the Lord’s feet. Sri Gaurasundara then placed His lotus feet on Sri Narottama’s head, affectionately lifted him up from the ground and placed him in the hands of Sri Nityananda and Sri Advaita. Sriman Nityananda Prabhu stretched out His arms and embraced him, gave him His vast treasure of prema and then ordered him to go to Sri Vrindavana. Sri Advaita Prabhu also offered Sri Narottama at the lotus feet of Sri Gaura and ordered him to go to Sri Vrindavana. When Sri Narottama woke up he remembered the mercy the three Lords had bestowed upon him and floated in his own tears.
Kheturi village was under the rule of a Muslim ruler called a Jay Girdar. Hearing of the qualities of Sri Krishnananda’s son this Jay Girdar wanted to see Sri Narottama. Narottama considered the invitation of the Jay Girdar to be Mahaprabhu’s mercy and took leave from his mother and father. Thus he responded to the Jay Girdar’s invitation, surrounded by his father’s guards. At a certain place, at night, the guards all fell asleep and Sri Narottama thus fled to Vraja over the forest path. After walking for fifteen days he became somewhat carefree. Thus he continued over the royal road and gradually he arrived at Mathura’s Visrama Ghat.
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 18:22:06 +0530
SEEING VRAJA MANDALA AND THE GOSVAMIS
At Mathura, Sri Narottama heard from a Vaisnava Brahmana that Sri-Sri Rupa Sanatana had passed away. This made him roll over the ground and weep “Ha Rupa! Ha Sanatana!” Sri Rupa and Sanatana then appeared to Thakura Mahasaya in a dream and consoled him. The next morning Sri Narottama proceeded to Sri Vrindavana with an anxious heart. At that time Srinivasacarya was already residing in Sri Vrindavana. In a dream Srimat Rupa Gosvamipada had informed Sri Jiva and Srinivasa of the imminent arrival of Sri Narottama. Sri Narottama entered Sri Vrindavana and went to see Sri Govinda Mandira. While he was having darsana of Sri Govinda in great ecstatic love, Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada and Srinivasacarya also arrived there.
Srimat Jiva Gosvami took Srila Narottama along to the kutir of Sri Lokanatha Gosvami, an associate of Gaura who was renowned as the crown jewel of renunciants. He introduced Narottama to Lokanatha Gosvami and requested Lokanatha to bestow his mercy upon Narottama. Previously Sriman Mahaprabhu had told Srila Lokanatha Gosvami in a dream that ‘after a while a prince named Sri Narottama will become your disciple.” Remembering this, Srila Lokanatha Gosvami’s heart melted with compassionate affection and he instructed him in the 32-syllable Sri Harinama. After this Sri Jiva took Sri Narottama along to see Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Madhu Pandita, Sri Bhugarbha Gosvami and others.
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 18:23:18 +0530
SRI GURU’S SERVICE AND INITIATION
To attain the special mercy of Sripada Lokanatha, Sri Narottama rendered one service to him at the end of the night. With a broom Sri Narottama would sweep the place where Sri Lokanatha Prabhu went to evacuate. Then he would embrace the broom and lovingly weep: ha prabhu lokanatha! kripa koro! – “O my master Lokanatha! Be merciful to me!” Before Sri Lokanatha went outside, Sri Narottama had completed his work of cleaning the place and had hidden the broom. Wondering who was rendering such menial service at the end of the night, and considering it a great offence on his part to accept such service from a resident of Vrindavana, Prabhu Lokanatha went out a little later at night on the other day and saw from a distance that Sri Narottama cleaned his place for evacuation with a broom.
Standing silently behind Narottama, Prabhu Lokanatha saw how Narottama embraced the broom to his chest and anxiously wept. Then Sri Narottama saw Prabhu Lokanatha and offered prostrated obeisances in front of him. Due to the menial service of Sri Narottama, the heart of Sri Lokanatha melted and he told Sri Narottama to take a bath in the Yamuna and to come to him. Following Sri Gurudeva’s order, Sri Narottama took a bath in the Yamuna and Sri Lokanatha took Narottama inside a grove to give him initiation in the Sri Kisora Gopala mantra on the full moon day of the month of Sravana (August). Then he told Narottama to inform Sri Jiva Gosvamipada of the same. Sri Narottama thus went to Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada and told him the auspicious news. Sri Lokanatha Prabhu then gradually taught Srila Thakura Mahasaya the means of raganuga bhajana.
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 18:24:07 +0530
BHAJANA SIDDHI, STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES AND ATTAINING A TITLE
While Srila Narottama thus studied the science of devotion from his Sri Gurudeva, he was once absorbed in bhajana in a grove in Sri Vrindavana, when Sri Vrisabhanu-nandini personally arrived and ordered him – “Narottama! Your eternal service will be to stir milk for My Pranavallabha when He comes in My kunja at midday. This service is also rendered by My dear sakhi Campakalata, hence I will call you Campaka Manjari.”
Receiving this order to serve, Sri Narottama attained external consciousness, went to Sri Lokanatha Prabhu and told him with stuttering voice and a heart filled with ecstatic love what had happened. When Srila Gosvamipada heard of Sri Narottama’s fortune he became most ecstatic and gave his personal confirmation of this service. One day Narottama was mentally stirring milk and was at the same time in beholding the transcendental pastimes of the Divine Pair so that the hot milk boiled over and burned his hand, something which he could see and feel also in the external world!
Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada was most happy when he saw Sri Narottama achieving bhajana siddhi and the other Gosvamis, headed by Sri Gopala Bhatta, bestowed great mercy upon Sri Narottama. For a while Sri Narottama studied Srimad Bhagavata from his Sri Gurudeva, and the Six Sandarbhas, Sri Rupa Gosvami’s dramas and other of his books, Sri Sanatana Gosvami’s Brhad Bhagavatamrta and other rasa- and siddhanta-scriptures from Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada. Seeing that the grave purports of the scriptures were easily understood by Sri Narottama, who was after all the object of the personal grace of Sriman Mahaprabhu and Sri Vrisabhanu-nandini, Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada was very happy and, after due deliberation with the Vaisnavas, granted Sri Narottama the title of Thakura Mahasaya.
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 18:25:54 +0530
VRAJA PARIKRAMA, GOING TO BENGAL, THE THEFT OF THE BOOKS AND THE RECOVERY OF THE BOOKS
Following the order of Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada, Sri Narottama Thakura Mahasaya performed the 84 krosh parikrama (complete circumambulation) of Vraja Mandala with Srinivasacarya and Srila Raghava Pandita, the associate of Lord Gaura who lived in a cave in Govardhana Hill. This is described very elaborately in the Fifth Wave of the scripture Bhakti Ratnakara. Shortly after that Duhki Krishna das, who had taken initiation from Srila Hrdaya Caitanya, who had in turn taken shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Gauri das Pandit, came to Sn Vrindavana from the village of Dandakesvara in Orissa. He had become most learned by studying Srimad Bhagavata from Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada. One day he was sweeping the groves of Sri Vrindavana when he found an anklebell of Sri Radharani, and by Sri Lalitaji’s grace he was allowed to personally put this anklebell on Sri Vrisabhanu-nandini’s lotus foot. Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada gave him the name Syamananda.
Srinivasacarya, Sri Narottama and Sri Syamananda resided in Sri Vrindavana as the pupils in knowledge of Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada, and they were each other’s heart’s friends, as if they were one soul. The three were learned in the flavours of Vraja, expert in Vaisnava philosophy and in the art of music. The residents of Sri Vrindavana, headed by Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada, thought of having the many large jewel-like books written by Sri Rupa, Sanatana and Sri Jiva, preached in Bengal by Sri Rva’s qualified pupils Srinivasa, Narottama and Syamananda. By the desire of everyone, Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada had the huge treasury of jewel-like books packed in huge crates and loaded on four bullock carts, guarded by ten men of armed infantry. In this way he dispatched Srinivasa, Narottama and Syamananda to Bengal.
The books reached Bengal safely, but at the journey’s end, when they reached Vana Visnupura, the soldiers of King Birhambir of Van Visnupura, who was then endowed with a bandit-mentality, were ordered to seize the cases at night, as lie thought they contained jewels. When Srinivasa, Narottama and Syamananda woke up the next morning and found the cases with the books had disappeared they rolled over the ground and wept of anguish. Finally they heard a divine voice saying: “You will get the books at the court of the king of Visnupura”. Meanwhile King Birhambir had been purified by seeing the books in the crates. Simply by seeing the wonderful books after emptying the crates in private, he became repentant and eager to meet the authors of the books. In a dream Sri Gaurasundara consoled the King. Srinivasacarya Prabhu bestowed his mercy on Sri Krishnaballabh of Visnupura and entered the royal assembly in his company. When King Birhambir heard the wonderful explanation of the Bhramara Gita from the mouth of Srila Acarya Prabhu he was overwhelmed and surrendered himself at his lotus feet. Sri Acarya Prabhu made the king his disciple, took the jewel-like books back and arrived in Yajigrama and sent the good news to Sri Vrindavana.
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 19:13:35 +0530
RETURNING TO KHETURI AFTER SEEING BENGAL AND PURI
Srila Narottama Thakura Mahasaya saw the playground of Sri Gaura, Sri Navadvipa Mandala and the playgrounds of Sri Gaura’s associates, circumambulated them and had the darsana of those associates of Sri Gaura who were still manifest at the time. After that he proceeded to Sri Nilacala where he saw Sri Gauranga’s playground in Sri Ksetra Mandala and the playgrounds of the Lord’s associates before returning to Kheturi.
The return of Srila Thakura Mahasaya, who is the embodiment of prema, to Sripatha Kheturi sparked off a sweet and loud sankirtana with mridangas and karatalas. Srila Thakura Mahasaya then promulgated the musical mode named garana hati. His newly composed sankirtana songs had new ragas and raginis, the feelings they incited were new and the sweet sound of his voice, that was sweeter than the voices of the Gandharva-angels, caused a wonderful deluge of sweet rasa to flow. It was as if the flavors of Sri Sri Gaura-Krishna nama sankirtana arose in a personified form! Srila Thakura Mahasaya’s contemporary song writer Srila Govinda Das Kaviraja Mahasaya has sung:
jaya re jaya re jaya, ThAkura narottama,
prema bhakati mahArAja
yAkara mantrI, abhinna kalevara,
prema mukuTa maNi, bhUSaNa bhAvAvali,
aGgahi aGga virAja
nRpa Asana, kheturI mAha baiThato,
saGgahi bhakata samAja
“All glories all glories to Thakura Narottama, the great king of loving devotion, whose counselor was Ramacandra Kaviraja, who was non different from him! His prema was the crown jewel of all the ornamental symptoms of ecstasy he showed on his body. He sat on the throne of the kingdom of Kheturi in the company of his assembled devotees.”
sanAtana rUpa kRta, grantha bhAgavata,
anudina koroto vicAra
rAdhA mAdhava, yugala ujjvala rasa,
paramAnanda sukha sAra
zrI saGkIrtana, viSaya rase unamata,
dharmAdharma nAhi jAno
yoga dAna vrata, Adi bhaye bhAgato,
royato karama geyAna
“Every day he discussed the theistic scriptures compiled by Sri Sanatana and Rupa Gosvami, which contain the splendid amorous flavours of Sri Radha and Mddhava and that are the essence of topmost ecstasy. In the ecstasy of sri sankirtana he did not know what was pious and what was impious. Yoga, charity, vows and other kinds of piety fled far away, while fruitive activities and non-dualistic knowledge were weeping.”
bhAgavata zAstra gaNa, yo dei bhakati dhana,
tAko gaurava koru Apa
sAGkhya mImAMsaka, tarkAdika joto,
kampita dekhi paratApa
abhakata caura, dUrahi bhAgi rohu,
niyaRe nAhi parakAza
dIna hIna jane, deyalo bhakati dhane,
vaJcita govinda dAsa
“He upheld the honour of those theistic scriptures that bestow the treasure of devotion and when they saw his might, sankhya, mimamsaka, tarka and other speculative philosophies trembled. The thief-like non devotees fled far away, unable to shine their light in his vicinity. He gave the treasure of devotion to lowly and fallen fellows, and Govinda dasa covets the same.”
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 19:19:21 +0530
THE GREAT FESTIVAL AT KHETURI AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SIX DEITIES
When Sri Narottama returned from Sri Vrindavana to Kheturi, Sri Lokanatha Gosvamipada had ordered him to preach the glorification of Sriman Mahaprabhu, to establish deity service and to serve the Vaisnavas there. Following Sri Gurudeva’s order Sri Narottama came to Kheturi and began to think of means to establish the deity service. In a dream Sri Gaurasundara told Srila Thakura Mahasaya: “In the past I assumed the metal form of a deity and it is right in your sight in the paddy barn of the householder named Sri Vipra das. No one dares to go there out of fear of snakes. Just go there and bring Me from there to reveal My service.” After saying this the Lord ordered him also to have five more deities manufactured and Their services revealed. Then he embraced Srila Thakura Mahasaya and vanished.
Srila Thakura Mahasaya woke up and spent the rest of the night doing sankirtana in great ecstatic love. Then, after performing his morning duties, he took everyone along to the paddy barn. As soon as Thakura Mahasaya went there the snakes disappeared. Srila Thakura Mahasaya opened the gate of the paddy barn and when he saw the Supreme Lord there he stretched out his hand, and Sri Gaurasundara, along with His Priyaji (Visnupriya devi) jumped into his lap with the speed of lightning. Srila Thakura Mahasaya came to his own house, seated Sri Gaurasundara with His Priyaji on a throne and began to glorify Sri Gaura with his wonderful, self-composed songs. On Sri Gaurasundara’s order he had five more deities manufactured, along with Their consorts, and had set the date for the installation of the six deities on the next full moon in Phalguna (March). This installation became famous as the historical and unrivalled Kheturi Mahotsava. From the fifth day of the light quarter of Phalguna all directions were filled with the sarikirtana songs that invoked auspiciousness for the great Mahotsava. At that time all the great associates of Sri-Sri Gaura Nityananda and Advaita, along with all the other great Vaisnavas arrived from Bengal, on the invitation of Srinivasacarya and Srila Narottama, to attend the great Mahotsava. This is known from scriptures like Bhakti Ratnakara and Sri Narottama Vilasa.
On the day preceding the full moon day, known as the ddhivasa day, Sri Sri Jahnava Mata Thakurani, the consort of Sri Sri Nityananda, made her auspicious arrival in Kheturl, in the company of all her associates. In allegiance to Sri Sri Mata the Sri Khola Mangala and a wonderful adhivasa kirtana were performed. On the full moon day of Phalguna Srinivasacarya Prabhu performed the great abhiseka of the six deities, on the order of Sri Sri Jahnava Mata, and conform the rules laid down in the Gosvamis’ books. The names that Sriman Mahaprabhu had given to the deities in Narottama’s dream were revealed during the abhiseka –
gaurAGaga, ballabhI kAnta, zrI vraja mohana |
zrI kRSNa, zrI rAdhAkanta, zrI rAdhA ramana ||
At the end of the abhiseka the six deities with Their consorts were decorated with different ornaments and then placed on a throne. After the assembled associates of Sri Gaura were decorated with the prasadi garlands and sandalwood pulp, Srila Thakura Mahasaya began the sankirtana of his own compositions, with the permission of everyone. Thus a current of ambrosial sankirtana flavours was being showered with ragas and raginis played by Vaisnavas such as Devi dasa, Gokula, Gauranga and Govinda, and which inundated everyone’s hearts with a flood of rasa. The three Lords Sri Gauranga, Nityananda, Advaita, along with Srivasa, Gadadhara and others appeared before everyone and began to dance. Everyone’s hearts and minds were immersed in an ocean of prema rasa. After that Sriman Mahaprabhu and His associates vanished and everyone rolled over the ground, weeping and falling into a swoon. When their swoon broke, Srinivasacarya Prabhu, Srila Narottama and Sri Syamananda began to sing Holi songs and throw colored powder with everyone.
In this way they passed the day until evening time when the abhiseka for Sri Gauranga’s advent was performed. They spent the night in the rapture of sankirtana and the following day Sri Sri Jahnava Mata personally began to cook for the newly installed deities and later distributed the prasada to the assembled Vaisnavas. The following day there was a great festival in the abode of each mahanta (Vaisnava group leader) and prasada was distributed to everyone, down to the dog eaters. Srila Narottama’s nephew and disciple raja Srila Santosa Datta bore the expenses for the entire festival upon himself. When the festival was over all the mahantas gradually took leave, while Sri Jahnava Thakurani informed Srinivasa, Narottama and the others of the fact that she was leaving on a pilgrimage to Sri Vrindavana. Srinivasacarya’s disciple Srila Ramacandra Kaviraja, who was nondifferent in heart with Srila Thakura Mahasaya, offered consolation to Srila Thakura Mahasaya, who had become very upset due to becoming separated from all these mahantas.
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 19:26:00 +0530
HOW HE PREACHED DEVOTION AND FELT PANGS OF SEPARATION
Srila Thakura Mahasaya redeemed many atheists and heretics. Seeing the symptoms of his extraordinary loving devotion and his special learning, and hearing his sweet singing, that incited feelings of ecstatic love, many rajas, maharajas, brahmanas, and pandits gave up their pride, money and family ties and became disciples of Srila Thakura Mahasaya.
One day Srila Thakura Mahasaya and Sri Ramacandra Kaviraja went to bathe while the two brothers Sri Harirama and Sri Rama Krishna Acarya passed by. When these two brahmins entered a discussion with Srila Thakura Mahasaya and Sri Ramacandra Kaviraja they became captivated and surrendered unto their lotus feet. Considering the two brahmins to be qualified for worshipping Sri Krishna, they went home, and after taking their bath Sri Ramacandra Kaviraja gave initiation to Harirama Acarya and Srila Thakura Mahasaya gave initiation to Rama Krishna Acarya, and both men were instructed in the philosophy of devotion.
Seeing the novel divine power and learning of Sri Harirama and Sri Rama Krishna, Pandit Sri Ganga Narayana Cakravarti, who was a resident of Gambhila, also surrendered unto the lotus feet of Srila Thakura Mahasaya. Srila Thakura Mahasaya, who was the embodiment of prema, gave Sri Ganga Narayana mantra diksa and empowered him by offering him unto the lotus feet of Sri Krishna Caitanya. When Pandit Sri Ganga Narayana Cakravarti thus attained the grace of Srila Thakura Mahasaya he became rich with the wealth of devotion and became famous as a scholar of the Gosvamis’ books as well.
The fact that Srila Thakura Mahasaya had taken brahmana-disciples became a cause for consideration for many brahmins and pundits like Sakta-raja Narasimha Ray, who ruled the province of Pakkapalli (Paik Para), Rupa-Cand and others. However, they were defeated in argument by Sri Ramacandra Kaviraja and Sri Ganga Narayana Cakravarti. Then the offensive Raja Narasimha had a dream in which Devi-Bhagavati appeared to him, frightening him with a sword in her hand and ordering him to surrender at the lotus feet of Srila Narottama Thakura. The king then surrendered to the lotus feet of Srila Narottama Thakuraalong with the other brahmins and pundits, and was blessed by him with the attainment of devotional initiation and education.
After this Srinivasacarya Prabhu took his disciple Sri Ramacandra Kaviraja along to Sri Vrindavana, which increased the pangs of separation suffered by Srila Thakura Mahasaya. He fell down in his place of worship named Prema Sthali and wept there day and night. A few days after that he went to the house of Sri Ganga Narayana in Gambhila, accompanied by his disciples. Suddenly fever appeared in his body and he ordered his disciples to build a pyre for him, before entering into samadhi. The disciples became deeply distressed. After staying in this condition for three days, Srila Thakura Mahasaya was placed on the pyre, decorated by garlands previously offered to the Lord, according to his order. Seeing this, some brahmin- pundits exclaimed: “Just see! Narottama was stifled and killed as a result of his giving initiation to brahmins while he himself is a sudra!” Then they also insulted Ganga Narayana in various manners.
This caused the greatly merciful Srila Ganga Narayana Cakravarti Mahasaya to pray to the lotus feet of Srila Thakura Mahasaya, with the great wish to redeem them and wash the stain of the offences to the great souls they committed off them – ‘O Master! Please be so kind to redeem these heretics, otherwise they will fall into a foul hell!” Responding to his devotee’s anxious prayers, Srila Thakura Mahasaya exclaimed the holy names ‘Sri Krishna Caitanya’ and ‘Sri Radha-Krishna’, and rose from the pyre, bearing a halo that defeated the divine luster of the sun. Seeing this greatly amazing event, everyone chanted the names of Hari and the demigods showered flowers. The offensive brahmins shivered of fear as they thought of the insults they had uttered and fell at the lotus feet of Sri Ganga Narayana, all the time hitting themselves on the head. On the plea of Ganga Narayana, Srila Thakura Mahasaya embraced the brahmins and gave them the jewels of bhakti. Then, after ordering them to study the bhakti scriptures from Ganga Narayana, he returned to Kheturi.
When Srila Thakura Mahasaya returned to Kheturi, the fire of his feelings of separation from Sri Gauranga and Sri Radha-Krishna was kindled. He constantly conversed about Krishna with the rasika bhaktas and rolled over the ground in great lamentation, sometimes exclaiming ‘Ha Krishna Caitanya’ and sometimes ‘Ha Radhe Krishna!’ The verses and songs he uttered and wept in great humility, eagerness and anxiety, and which showed the feelings in his heart, are now manifest in the world in the form of his songbooks Prema Bhakti Candrika and Prarthana Giti. These heart’s utterances are full of eagerness and anxiety and cause feelings of separation in the hearts of the great devotees, since they are so sweet and heartrending.
Madhava - Sat, 26 Oct 2002 19:28:10 +0530
ENTERING INTO THE ETERNAL PASTIMES
Thus Srila Thakura Mahasaya’s pangs of separation increased more and more. The devotees became apprehensive that he would soon complete his manifest pastimes. First Srila Thakura Mahasaya appeared on the courtyard of Sri Gauranga and then he took leave and anxiously proceeded to the village of Budhari with his devotees, headed by Sri Govinda. There he spent day and night doing sri nama sankirtana, giving everyone devotional instructions before coming to the bank of the Ganga at Gambhila. Srila Thakura Mahasaya took a bath in the Ganga and then sat down in the water near the bank, ordering Sri Rama Krishna Acarya and Ganga Narayana Cakravarti to massage his body. As soon as they both touched the body of Srila Thakura Mahasaya this love-filled body melted with the Ganga-water, which had sprung from Lord Visnu’s lotusfeet, like milk. Everyone was greatly astonished to see Srila Thakura Mahasaya wind up his manifest pastimes in such an incredible way. Even stones melted by seeing this disappearance. All directions were filled with loud chanting of the holy names of Lord Hari and the demigods were showering flowers from heaven.
Thus ends the biography of Srila Narottama Das Thakura Mahasaya
Madhava - Wed, 15 Oct 2003 23:24:06 +0530
Today we commomorate the disappearance day of Srila Thakur Mahashaya.
Gaurasundara - Wed, 23 Feb 2005 08:29:25 +0530
Today we commemorate the appearance day of Srila Thakur Mahashaya.
Gaurasundara - Wed, 23 Feb 2005 08:30:52 +0530
~ * ~ Sri Narottama Prabhorastakam ~ * ~
Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada
zrI kRSNa nAmAmRta varSi vaktra
candra prabhA dhvasta tamo bharAya
gaurAGga deva anucarAya
tasmai namo namaH zrIla narottamaya
He, from whose mouth the nectar of Sri Krsna's name showers just as the effulgent rays of the moon dispels the darkness, truly follows Gauranga-deva. Therefore, again and again, I bow unto Srila Narottama.
saGkIrtanAnanda janmada hAsya
danta dyuti dyotita dig-mukhAya
tasmai namo namaH zrIla narottamaya
Being absorbed in the bliss of sankirtana, he smiles slightly and his teeth illumines all directions. His face is bathed in torrents of ecstatic tears. Therefore, again and again, I bow unto Srila Narottama.
mRdaGga nAga zrUtimAtra
cancat padA yujA mandamanoharAya
sadyaH samudyat pulakAya
tasmai namo namaH zrIla narottamaya
Simply by hearing the sound of mrdangas, his feet start to dance. This sight gives so much pleasure that one's hairs stand on end. Therefore, again and again, I bow unto Srila Narottama.
gandharva garbhokSapaNa svalAsya-
vismApitAzeSa kRti vrajA
tasmai namo namaH zrIla narottamaya
The pride of the gandharvas is destroyed upon seeing his dancing, which amazes the assembly of learned musicians and dancers. He thus initiated his own style, and therefore, again and again, I bow unto Srila Narottama.
Ananda murcchA vanipAta-bhAta-
yad darzanaM bhAgya bhareNa
tasmai namo namaH zrIla narottamaya
Being unconscious due to ecstasy, he falls to the ground and thus his shining body is decorated with the dust. Only due to great fortune can one see his form in this way. Therefore, again and again, I bow unto Srila Narottama.
sthale sthale yasya kRpa-prapAbhiH
kRSNa anya tRSNA jana saMhatInAm
nirmulitA eya bhavanti tasmai
namo namaH zrIla narottamaya
From place to place wherever his mercy flows, any thirst other than thirst for Krsna will certainly become uprooted in all the people assembled there. Therefore, again and again, I bow unto Srila Narottama.
yad bhakti niSTha upalarekhika iva
sparzaH punaH sparzamaNiva yasya
prAmANyam evaM zrUtivad yad IyaM
tasmai namo namaH zrIla narottamaya
His devotion and deep faith is as strong as a rock. His touch transforms just like a touchstone. His words are as good as the srutis. Therefore, again and again, I bow unto Srila Narottama.
murta eva bhakti kimayaM kim eSa
vairAgya-sAra stuman nR-loke
saMbhAvyate yaH kRtibhiH sadaiva
tasmai namo namaH zrIla narottamaya
Is he devotion personified? Is he the essence of renunciation personified in this world? Thus the pious people contemplate always. Therefore, again and again, I bow unto Srila Narottama.
zrI rAdhikA kRSNa vilAsa sindhau
nimajjataH zrIla narottamasya
paThed ya evASTakam etad ucchaiH
asau tadIyAM padaviM prayAti
He who is drawn to the ocean of Radhika and Krsna's pastimes should read this astakam aloud. By doing so, he will certainly attain the same abode as Srila Narottama.
kAruNya dRSTi zamita zrIta manyukoti
ramya adharodyadati sundara danta kAntiH
zrIman narottama mukhaM buja hAsyaM lAsyaM
tano tu hRdi me vitarat svadAsyam
By his merciful glance, anyone's anger will be pacified. His limbs are extremely beautiful and his teeth shine. The lotuslike face of Sriman Narottama, his smile and his dance; let it be manifested in my heart and let me be bestowed his personal service.
Madhava - Sat, 22 Oct 2005 21:37:50 +0530
Today is Srila Thakur Mahashaya's disappearance day. Let us all remember his divine life.
Kshamabuddhi - Sun, 23 Oct 2005 04:23:57 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Oct 22 2005, 04:07 PM)
Today is Srila Thakur Mahashaya's disappearance day. Let us all remember his divine life.
This was a very sincere devotional celebration of this holy day.
I went through every post.
I would like to mention a few typos.
In post #8: Mddhva should be Madhava.
In post #9(2'nd paragraph): Sarikirtan should be Sankirtan.
In post #9: ddhivasa should be adhivasa.
In post #10: Thakuralong should be Thakur along.
and "was blessed him" should be "blessed him".
There is an extra space between brahmin- pandits?
In post #11:
Shouldn't sri nama be Sri Nama?
I spotted a few more questionable punctuation marks etc., but I don't want to get too nit-picky.
The substance of the topic was very wonderful.
I am not trying to find fault here.
I am just trying to show that I DID read the whole topic through and enjoyed it very much.
I do appreciate your effort to share some nectar with the rest of us cyber-space astronauts.