SRI SRI RASIKA-MANGALA
by Sri Gopijanavallabha dasa
The Northern Part
The First Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the friend of the poor and fallen, the well-wisher of all and the friend of the universe. Under the dictation of my Prabhu, the son of Acyuta, I shall narrate the Northern Part of this book.
Rasika continued the festival for a period of twelve days during which he constantly floated in waves of happiness. With the end of the festival the Dadhikada ceremony began accompanied by the sounds of sankirtana and different musical instruments. Hundreds of earthern pots full of cua, sandal, red powder dust, turmeric and curd were offered to the guests and as they danced in a circle with the son of Acyuta in the centre they all became smeared with the red dust. The sankirtana continued until evening when they all took bath in a sporting manner and then sat to honour prasadam. Rasika bid farewell to everyone with the utmost respect offering them clothes, ornaments and other gifts. He satisfied the saints by offering them whatever they asked. Seeing the unique arrangements of the festival the kings present were overwhelmed and left there with delighted hearts. Prabhu offered his respects to them and after seeing his relatives depart he satisfied the members of the kirtana group with various gifts. Since this time the Dvadasa Mahottsava has become a regular custom for the Syamanandi sect.
Rasika offered celestial clothes to Sri Kisora and Cintamani dasa but they were not happy with them and threw them on the ground. Rasika was at their feet paying obeisances and they fell on his head. Although they ridiculed Prabhu with foul language, Prabhu kept smiling. He jokingly remarked, “Formerly, Syamananda had tied a cloth round my head. Now these two brothers have done it again just to favour me.” Saying this he fell at their feet but they continued to ridicule him with bad words. With a mild smile Prabhu said, “I am guilty. Both of you are oceans of mercy. Please forgive me and allow me to serve you.” However they could not be satisfied and remained in an angry mood. That night they left for Kasiari and Prabhu followed them with tears in his eyes as he remembered Lord Krsna and Syamananda. Without consideration for his own self he entered the forest alone and eventually reached the village where the two brothers had their home. By this time they were both seriously ill and Rasika nursed them and brought doctors from distant places but they could not cure them. Then Sri Kisora and Cintamani realised, “We must have offended Rasika. In our ignorance we ridiculed him. We have committed a sin at the feet of a person whose heart is the residence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita, Sri Abhirama, Sri Suvala candra, Sri Dvadasa Gopalas, eight Giries, eight Puris, eight Bharatis, sixty-four Mahantas, eight Valakas and all the companions and Vaisnava societies of Sri Caitanya. His heart is also the residence for Hrdayananda Caitanya who is a resident of Vraja and his heart is the dwelling place of Syamananda who is his life and soul. What is the use of our living any longer? There is no need to give us medicine. Our sin in the form of a venemous snake has bitten us!! They were both mature persons and they could understand the factual identity of Rasika. They made it clear to everyone of his position and hearing of Rasika’s glory everyone was astonished. Although Rasika tried his best to cure them within a few days they died causing Rasika to weep for them.
After holding a funeral ceremony in their memory he went to Dharendra where he held a festival in the memory of Damodara Gosvami. This festival lasted two days and then, in the joy of love of Krsna, he went out for touring.
Who can describe the bottomless ocean-like pastimes of Rasika? He took his birth just to deliver creatures from this material world. I have tried to sing the glory and fame of Rasika in brief. By making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
Glory to Syamananda, the ocean of mercy, whose feet are served by Rasika. Rasika made it his practice to hold great festivals every year. Taking suggestions from the astrologers and brahmins he fixed dates for the different festivals such as Syamananda Aradhana yatra-mahottsava to be held on the first day of the solar eclipse; the Dvadasa mahottsava to held some times in the month of Jyaistha and sometimes in the month of Asarka; and Sri Rathayatra on the Hera Pancami day. He also held a great festival on the day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s birth. Rasika would personally go and beg from different houses in order to collect for the festivals and seeing his efforts and sincerity everyone would be charmed. He held a festival in honour of Suvala candra on the thirteenth day of the full moon eclipse in the month of Sravana. At this time five festivals were held keeping Rasika blissfully engaged. In the month of Bhadra he held a festival observing the appearance of Lord Krsna and on the eighth day of the full moon eclipse in the month of Bhadra he observed the appearance of Srimati Radharani. On the Kajagara Purnima day another great festival was held and on the full moon day of Utthvana Ekadasi he held Rasa Mahottsava. On the twelfth day of the full moon at the time of Dola yatra he observed the departure ceremony of Hrdayananda which continued for upto eight days. In all Rasika used to observe thirty festivals every year. For this purpose he had to visit many distant lands taking hundreds of saints with him. Also in his entourage would be ten to twenty mahantas and the Rasamaya group led by Tulasi who always did sankirtana with Rasika. Rasika always took with him scholars of all literature and music so there were ten to twenty Bhattacarya brahmins who could discuss about Lord Krsna with him.
Rasika remained absorbed in reading Bhagavata and in chanting the holy name of Krsna. Tears constantly flowed from his eyes and everyone was charmed to see his ecstatic beauty. Everyday thousands of people came to see him, even pregnant mothers were anxious to see him. Simply by seeing the moon-like face of the son of Acyuta the agonies of the people could be removed. If Rasikendra stayed in a persons home then that person was said to have attained millions of jewels and if he went to the home of an extremely poor person who did not have even a sear if rice that person also became happy.
Rasika constantly served thousands of saintly persons with good food. It was the wonderful pastime of Rasika that no one knew where all the food was coming from. Rather than settle down at home he made it his habit to travel to country after country. Only at the time of observing the disappearance of a great devotee would he return to his home to organise a festival. As soon as the festival was over then again he would go out for touring.
At Govindapura he held the festival in honour of the memory of Syamananda and the Dvadasa Mahottsava was also to be held there. The mahantas, the representatives of the Syamananda sect, some kings, Vaisnavasa and brahmins all sat there with Rasika to discuss the arrangements. Rasika told them, “Previously Syamananda ordered me to keep my three mothers united in one place so Vrajamohana Thakura will look after Vrndavana candra at Syamanandapura. It was Syamananda’s order that the three Thakuranis will stay in one place and look after the service of Vrndavana candra because we are not able to arrange for the service of the saints in three seperate places. We should not disobey the order of Syamananda. You should go to the Thakuranis and tell Syamapriya Thakurani to bring Vrndavana candra to that place. Then I shall bring Yamuna Thakurani and the three Thakuranis will stay together.”
Being ordered by Rasika they went to see Syamapriya Thakurani. After she heard about the arrangements she commented, “I will do whatever Rasika decides. He is the moon of the Syamananda sect and Syamananda has given him all power. How can I disobey him? I have no one but him, he is my father and my son. I shall follow him wherever he takes me.” Rasika was happy to hear of her reply and sent everyone back to their places while he remained in that village.
Making the feet of Syamananda his ornament, the son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala
The Third Wave
Glory to Syamananda who was worshipped throughout the world. He was a friend of the poor, the life of Rasika and an abode of mercy. While residing in that village Rasika wrote a eulogy on Krsna containing thirteen padas.
One day he went to see Uddanda Bhuian and told him. “Syamananda ordered me to unite my three mothers by keeping them at Syamanandapura.” After hearing this Bhuian became furious and he proudly told Rasika, “Is there any suitable person other than myself who can look after Vrndavana candra.” Seeing his disregard for the order of Syamananda, Rasika was very angry and while taking the name of Krsna he said to him, “I will not drink the water of this place. If Krsna favours me He will not remain here and Uddanda will also not continue to live in this world. If Syamananda has ordered has ordered this then Vrndavana candra will leave this place by His own means.”
With a sad heart Rasika decided to leave this place. He was sorry that the wicked Bhuian had flouted the order of Syamananda. Leaving his family behind him and carrying only the lotus feet of Syamananda in his heart he went out alone. At that time he heard the voice of Syamananda telling him, “I have killed that person who has given you so much grief. Take Vrndavana candra with you and do as I ordered. Don’t leave this place.” Thus Rasika gave up the plan of leaving that place and went to Haryana where he disguised himself as a Vrajavasi so that no one could recognise him. He then happily began to narrate topics of Lord Krsna and hearing his explanations on Krsna local scholars all said that he must be Narayana Himself. Sri Murari became his disciple and he initiated Syamarasika, Candra bhanu and others. After a considerable time Vamsi dasa came to that place and met Rasika. When Vamsi told the local people that this person was Rasikasekhara they were all very happy and surrendered to him.
Rasika then went to Hijli along with Vamsi dasa and there he met with the local scholars such as Sadasiva, Uddhavava, Mimamsa mandana and Syamasundara. Rasikananda began to talk about Krsna with them and discussed on the six scriptures. The local scholars were unable to speak a single word against the theories of Rasika and out of frustration they began to criticise Syamananda. Hearing this, Rasika quickly left that place and wrote a letter to them. He said, “I will not drink the water of any of the villages of Hijli. You will all have to die and in your next birth I shall give you Harinama.” A servant delivered that letter into the hands of a person who attended the meeting but Mimamsa in ignorance said, “Tie this letter round the neck of a dog.” Persons who heard this immediately covered their ears with their hands. Mimamsa left the place and was immediately attacked by many dogs who tore his body to pieces. Within a period of six months Sadasiva, Uddhavava and others also died. For an offence against Rasika no one was spared and those persons took birth again and Rasika gave them Harinama. His glory and power were unparalleled in the three worlds and by the grace of Rasika the people of Hijli all became devoted to Krsna.
Rasikacandra distributed love and devotion to everyone, he was the life of the poor and he delivered everyone from the grip of the ominous Kali. Listen to the eulogy of Rasika in Rasika-mangala. The son of Rasamaya is singing the glory of Rasika by making the feet of Syamananda his ornament.
The Fourth Wave
Glory to Syamananda the deliverer of the world. Please favour me to sing your glory. Rasika next went to Gopivallabhapura and after reaching there he got news of Uddanda’s demise. As a result of his sins his family, his property and all his manpower were destroyed. When the kings saw this they were astonished and said that Rasika was a second Narayana by whose touch the wicked became calm and composed, by whose words the heretic yavanas and wicked kings were charmed and whose order even the denizens of heaven could not ignore. Rasikendra was thus able to bring Syamapriya Thakurani and Vrndavana candra to Syamasundarapura and unite them with the other two Thakuranis. He then held the third Dvadasa Mahottsava festival there and the mahantas, Vaisnavas, brahmins, kings and Vrajavasis all came to attend. Many kirtana singers came there and the atmosphere was such that it appeared as though a second Vaikuntha had been created in the midst of the forest. Whatever was planned by the son of Acyuta would be a miraculous success. His pastimes would attract the attention of the denizens of heaven such as Brahma, Siva, Indra and others.
United in one place the three Thakuranis were constantly quarreling with one another with out any good reason. Despite the three Thakuranis ridiculing Rasika he did not say anything to them and they continued quarrelling day and night. Sudhamaya advised Rasika to build three seperate houses in the village because he saw that they were incapable of living together. Rasika however, did not pay any heed to his advice because his master had ordered him to keep the three Thakuranis together. No member of the Syamananda sect would co-operate with that person who ignored or disobeyed the order of Syamananda. Seeing that Rasika was not going to change the situation the eldest Thakurani became angry and just before the third Dvadasa Mahottsava she began to plot with a few disciples such as Vidyatmala, Nama Gauranga, Balarama, Sri Kesavananda, Harikara, Visnurama, Kalandi, Radha jivana and a few others.
The eldest of the Thakuranis said, “Syamapriya and Yamuna can go and live wherever they like but I do not want them here with me. How can I arrange this.” Harikara replied, “There is a way. Write a letter in such a manner that it appears to have been written by Rasika and in this letter advise Syamapriya to poison Gauranga dasi. Then at the time of the Mahottsava Sankirtana and Dadhikada ceremony, while all the saints, mahantas, kings, brahmins and members of the Syamananda group are seated in one place, I will produce the letter which will ruin the name of Rasika. After this he will no longer be able to come here.”
The letter was written and the eldest Thakurani kept it in her cloth as though it was of great value. At this time Rasika was absorbed in organising the festival and so he knew nothing of the plot. All he knew was how to serve guru, Krsna and saints. The plotters were intent on ruining the name of Rasika. One of them even said, “As soon as the audience hears the letter they will immediately kill Rasika.” Another said, “I shall kill him with a yamadhara (a weapon).” while another said, “We shall oust him from this place.”
The disciples of Rasika knew nothing of this plot and as soon as the Dadhi sankirtana ceremony was over the eldest Thakurani announced to everyone, “I shall read a letter to you and I request you to decide what should be done to punish the culprit. You are the devotees of Utkala so listen attentively and judge impartially. You have always accused me of trying to destroy the family of Syamananda but now listen to this letter which Rasika has written to Syamapriya instructing her to poison me. I have kept this letter with me because there is no one whom I can trust with it. Now I request you, Padmanabha Gopinatha to read this letter to everyone.”
The glory of Rasika is beyond any comparison in the three worlds.Rasika was such a personality that simply by his touch poison was transformed to nectar. He was capable of removing the bonds of material life but these ignorant person tried to ridicule him. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Fifth Wave
Glory to Syamananda the ocean of mercy whose feet are served by the son of Acyuta. Rasika danced for a long time during the sankirtana, his beautiful body being speckled with curd, red powder dust, sandal and kumkum. He was surrounded by his disciples just as the moon is surrounded by stars. Almost as if they had anticipated the plot Rasamaya with his five sons sat round Prabhu. Each of the brothers thought that if anyone tries to harm Prabhu they will kill him first and then they will commit suicide in front of Rasika. In this way they all sat closely round thier beloved Prabhu. Now listened what happened as the letter was read to the assembly of kings, brahmanas, sages and sannyasis. The eldest mother stood holding the letter in her hand while Padmanabha Gopidasa began to read aloud.
In the first paragraph he read ten plus ten slokas from the first chapter to the twelfth chapter along with detail comments on the six scriptures. One by one he began to read each of the slokas. The letter then went on to discuss the inner meaning of the Vedas and this was followed by a few lines of poetry from Jayadeva before it ended with three more slokas.
Rasika for whom Krsna was the lord of his life, was beyond any accusation. Any person who meaninglessly accused him was destined to hell along with his or her family. Rasika was empowered by the Lord so anyone who dared to accuse him unjustly was sure to be vanquished. Indeed, that person was the most sinful wretched being. Only a fool, a rogue, an ignorant being would ridicule that person who was capable of cutting the bonds of material life, whose words were soothing to the ears and by whose power sin fled the earth.
After hearing the letter all the plotters began to whisper to each other for they could not understand how the writings were transformed into the message of the Bhagavata. With their pride shattered one by one they began to leave that place. The eldest Thakurani threw the letter away and began to cry. The glory of Rasika was clear to everyone.
A few days after the incident Rasika told his followers, “There are so many problems in this place that I do not want to stay here. From now on all festivals will be held at Gopivallabhapura where the Syamananda sect will not have access.” He then went to meet the kings and inform them of his decision but Maharaja Ramachandra Dhala rejected him. In an angry mood Rasika left his place and cursed him by saying, “I will never return to your territory and within a short time your pride will be shattered.” Rasika left without even drinking the water of Dhala city. He said, “Being proud of his power the King is ignoring my order but in due course he will be vanquished. Due to their pride the Syamanandi sect will also be shattered and they will have to leave this place to save their own lives.” Once these words were uttered by Rasika they could not be averted. Within a short time the king lost everything he possessed and ultimately he died. His son Sricarana, who was a favourite disciple of Rasika and a devout Vaisnava, became king. Observing the power of Rasika everyone bowed before him.
Rasika then held one Dvadasa Mahottsava festival at Kusarda village and stayed for a few days in Patna city. In this way only three of the Dvadasa Mahottsavas were held in three different villages and the rest of the festivals were held at Gopivallabhapura. Twenty of the Dvadasa Mahottsavas were held in this village. Later I shall descibe them. The pastimes of Rasika are endless and I am mentioning them in brief being dictated by hin from my heart. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Sixth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the life of the poor, the friend of the fallen and an abode of mercy. From that day on Rasika held the Dvadasa Mahottsava at Gopivallabhapura, which was also known to the people as Gupta Vrndavana. The Rasamandala was in a beautiful place, situated on the banks of the Suvarnarekha in a forest of numerous Kadamba trees. The forest was so dense that the heat of the sun could not enter through the trees. Under the trees numerous coloured canopies were decorated with jewelled curtains and fans and a jewelled throne could be seen under the canopy. There were many gates decorated with flags and the trees were also decorated with jewelled curtains and flower garlands as well as flowers of different colours. Around the trees one could see thousands of people from Vraja as well as kings and their subjects from many distant places. On both sides of the Rasamandala there were many shops busy buying and selling commodities. At one place hundreds of celestial garlands from Mathura were for sale. Another sold Tulasi from Vraja. Everything was sold within the twelve days of the festival and not a single item remained. Rasika could easily purchase all the items because he was supplied four times that of the first Rasa festival. He invited lacs of people and satisfied them all with clothes, ornaments and rice. He distributed such an immense quantity of sandal and cuwa that it resembled a lake of mud. Even the clothes he distributed were in such abundance that they appeared to be like the bark of banana trees. He also distributed quantities of sweets, various cooked foods, milk, honey, ghee, sugar, bananas and other fruits. Seeing all the arrangements made by Rasika all the guests were amazed.
The beauty of the Rasamandala cannot be easily described. Hundred of lamps were used to illuminate the place and a similar quantity of firecrackers were also used. As the different musical instruments were played, the earth began to tremble with the sound of kirtana. As the devotees carried the Deity of Sri Govinda Raya, His beauty lit the atmosphere everyone being charmed by His soft smile and the mild curves of His body. Sri Carana took charge of dressing the Deity and for each of the twelve days He has a different dress. Whenever the Deity of Sri Govinda was carried in procession Rasika would spray sandal on the road in front of Him. The participants of the festival also evjoyed throwing red powder dust onto each other. Rasika entered into the Rasa spot in the midst of sankirtana he began to dance and the (asta sattvika bhava) eight signs of ecstatic love for God all appeared in his body. Tears rolled down from his eyes in such a quantity that the ground became muddy. Rasika embraced everyone. When he was in this mood he could dance through all twelve days. How can I describe the joy of that moment? I am an ignorant and illerate fool. Everything that I write is dictated by the son of Acyuta. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Seventh Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the abode of mercy, the life of the poor and of the world. Every year Rasika organised the famous Rasa festival at Gopivallabhapura and each year the granduer increased ten times. It is not easy to describe the festival–the graceful arrival of Sri Govinda at the Rasa spot, the sweet sankirtana which touched the sky, the gathering of saints who came from near and far and the constant flow of vendors with their various goods as well as the profuse arrangements Rasika made for offering food to Sri Govinda and the systematic distribution of food to the Vaisnavas. The Rasa mandala was surrounded by beautiful Kadamba trees and decorated with lacs of oil lamps. The dense forest and the banks of the Suvarnarekha river all added to the beauty of the place. The village, famous as Gupta Vrndavana, was the place for the wonderful pastime of Sri Rasika.
Although the son of Acyuta was absorbed in the divine joy of the festival, at the time of the festival the waters of Suvarnarekha shrank a great distance from the bank. Seeing this Rasika became angry and told her, “If you are a true devotee of Sri Caitanya you must come closer to your bank. Your present condition is causing hardship to the devotees due to scarcity of water so you must come nearer.” That same night a great flood suddenly brought the water nearer the bank. Everyone was surprised to see this and since then all the festivals have been held there.
Listen to another evidence of the glory of Rasika. One day when the Vaisnavas and saints were seated in rows ready to honour prasadam the sky suddenly covered with black clouds. There was thunder and lightning and tremendous gusts of wind. Seeing the change in the weather Rasika said, “When all the devotees are ready to honour prasadam there should not be a storm in Gopivallabhapura. If you are Prahlada of Indra then don’t cause rain to fall on the Vaisnavas.” After hearing this Indra did not shower rain on the place. The boundary of the village fell under the spell of tremendous rains but the village of the devotees remained dry and the Vaisnavas were able to honour prasadam. The people were surprised to see that even the gods of heaven could not neglect the order of Rasika.
One day the elephant Gopal dasa suddenly appeared at the festival. On seeing the elephant all the people trembled in fear creating a disturbance which brought Rasika to investigate. When he appeared before the elephant Gopal dasa immediately paid dandavata obeisances to Rasika. Placing his hand on his head Rasika said, “People are afraid of you. You can come back in the evening to listen to the kirtana. Everyday you should come here and take prasada.” Hearing this Gopal dasa offered obeisances and departed, returning every evening to see Rasika. Everyone, even the animals abided by the order of Rasika.
While the head priest was asleep one night, Lord Jagannatha of Nilacala appeared before him and said, “Rasika is My favourite devotee. I want to see him. Go and tell the King to send a messenger to bring him to Me. I am sending him My own cloth so that he will come to see Me during every Ratha-yatra festival.” When the priest conveyed this message to the King he was very happy because that night he had also received the same order. The King then joyfully sent two brahmanas, with the cloth of the Lord, to Rasika.
While this was taking place Rasika was seated in a lonely place when he heard a voice say, “Come and see Me soon.” Although he looked everywhere he could not find anyone. He could not avoid hearing, however, the soft but firm order. He told his companions, “I have received an order from Lord Jagannatha to observe Ratha-yatra festival. The chariot is famous in the world for its beauty.” Just at that time the two brahmins arrived there and told him, “Oh Rasika, how can we describe your glory. Lord Jagannatha has given His own cloth to you. He held the hand of the priest and told him that you are His favourite devotee and that He wishes to see you. He also told the King that you should come at the time of Ratha-yatra. This is Lord Jagannatha’s cloth sent to you and here is the humble letter of the King requesting you to come and see Jagatvandhu at the time of Ratha-yatra.” Hearing all this Rasika floated in love of God. He looked after the two brahmins with due respect and tied the cloth of the Lord round his head. Now I shall describe the pastimes of Nilacala. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Eighth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the worshippable Prabhu of the world, the deliverer of all creatures, the lord of Rasika’s life and one who is most merciful to the poor.
For his trip to Nilacala Rasika took all his books on music and literature as well as all the saintly persons and companions of his. As they passed through villages everyone was surprised to see Rasika’s large group. Wherever his group halted the local kings would bring them profuse gifts and the delighted Rasika would have his companions distribute these gifts, first to the seniors, Vaisnavas and brahmins and then to the ordinary people. When they stopped at Mukutapura, however, the head man roughly said, “You have brought so many Vaisnavas, kings and common people that we do not have sufficient accomodation for them all. You will have to stay under the trees.” When Rasika heard this he replied, “You have enjoyed so many years of your life living in these houses yet you can not accomodate the saints and they have to remain under the trees. What is the use of your houses?” Thus Rasika sat under the trees surrounded by the saints. Suddenly a fierce North wind began to blow and soon all the houses were set on fire. As the local people ran around trying to save their valuables they told each other, “Rasika will ruin us.” They came to Rasika and fell at his feet begging him, ” Oh Prabhu, save us.” The head of the village also came and said, “Prabhu, I am a wicked person and dared to ignore your request.” Hearing this Rasikendra looked at him mercifully and sweetly said, “Brahma Haridasa, do not give any more trouble to these miserable persons. Forgive them and stop burning their homes.” Being thus ordered by Prabhu, Agni extinguished the fire. Seeing the power of Rasika the villagers were astonished, they fell at his feet and became his servants. The feet of Syamananda is the wealth of the son of Rasamaya.
The Ninth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the life of Vallabha, please favour me so that I may sing your glories. With many great bhagavatas in his company Rasika would tour from place to place chanting the name of Hari. To add to the sweetness of the kirtana some persons played musical instruments. Crowds of people came running just to observe the beauty of Rasika and to allow his sweet words to soothe their ears. Hypnotised by his merciful looks they would surround him and not want to leave. After meeting Rasika everyone became a devotee of Krsna and many became his disciples. He entered in to Dhamanayara and from there he went to Sukapala and then to Jajapura where he took bath at the Asvamedha ghata on the banks of the Vaitarini River and then had darsan of Varahanatha. The day was spent absorbed in kirtana and as Prabhu chanted and danced streams of tears rolled down from his eyes. Before leaving there Rasika offered many gifts to the brahmins.
He went to the banks of the Jajapura River which was then in full spate due to flooding. A boat was there to take them to the other side of the river but seeing the waves the people trembled in fear. Chanting the holy name of Krsna Rasika and his followers boarded the boat. As the boat began moving it rocked from side to side in the fierce wind. As the boat reached the middle of the river the waves became furious and the boat went out of control. The boatman prayed to Rasika to save the situation and Prabhu advised everyone not to be afraid, but to think of Krsna. As he said this the boat toppled over and Rasika and his companions fell in the bottomless water. Fortunately however the river was only knee deep and everyone was able to stand up in it. Rasika went to the bank of the river and held the boat so that the passengers could all get back on board. Singing the glory of Rasika they said, “Prabhu is an ocean of mercy. We fell into the bottomless depth of the river and he saved us from drowning. Rasika has appeared in this world just to save us from the clutches of Kali. Oh Prabhu, you are the friend of the hepless and an ocean of mercy.” People standing on the banks of the river began to cry when they saw the boat capsize for they thought that not a single person would survive. At that time they prayed to Narayana to save them.
One person said, “Rasika is with them so by his grace no one will die. By remembering his name at the time of danger one can avoid all kinds of misfortune and even pass safely through wild animals. He is with them so there is no need for fear. Rasika’s power is such that he can destroy the sinners and deliver the fallen.” As sage-like persons eulogised Rasika a few boats were sent to rescue the drowning people. Although the boat had capsized in the middle of the river it was found that everyone was saved. Rasika was standing in the river at a place where even a twenty foot bamboo pole would not touch the river bed. The passengers who had fallen into the river were standing there in knee deep water. Seeing this the boatmen on the rescuing boats were astonished. They helped all the people onto the boats and rescued all the passengers luggage but Sri Bhagavata was missing. Rasika was surprised by this and he requested everyone to look. At that time Dvija Radhamadana dove into the water and swam some distance against tremendous current until an iron casket touched his hands. He took the casket and although not a single book contained there, had been damaged by water, the manuscript of the Bhagavata was still missing. In his anxiety Prabhu wanted to jump into the river himself and sensing this some of his companions jumped into the river to join the search. Rasika instructed Radhamadana, “You had better bring a boat because although I can find the manuscript I am unable to swim.” A boat was brought and ten to twenty of Rasika’s companions were unable to lift the manuscript from the water. Then all the people who had been seated in the boat tried to lift it using all their might, but they could not succeed. The manuscript floated away. In amazement the people told Rasika, “Although we are so many in number we were unable to retrieve it from the water and because of the tremendous current we also cannot move it.” Rasika then had the boatman take him as near as possible to the manuscript and he stretched his hand, caught hold of the manuscript and quickly lifted if from the water as though it was a flower.
Thus by the grace of Sri Krsna the problem was solved. Who can describe the endless pastimes of Prabhu? It is only by his grace that I have tried to write something. Making the feet of Syamananda his ornament, the son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Tenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the deliverer of the universe. May he favour me to sing his glory. Thus Rasika and his companions crossed to the other side of the river withour damaging any of their possessions. As Prabhu was walking his feet began to bleed and though his companions asked him to rest at Sakapala he did not listen to them. He tore off his cloth and tied it round his toes but still blood oozed from his feet. This did not slow him down, rather he moved like the wind and his followers could not keep pace with him. By the day of Ratha-yatra he reached Tulasi caura where he bathed to relieve his fatigue.
At that time Lord Jagannatha boarded His chariot and along with His brother and sister the three chariots were made ready to start from Valigandi. However, when the pilgrims tried to move them they failed. The King then tried to pull them along with his ministers, courtiers and subjects but it was in vain. Elephants were brought, and to the surprise of the King, even they failed. Lord Jagannatha then spoke to the head priest saying, “My favourite devotee Murari is now at Tulasi caura and he is on his way here. Until he reaches here My chariot will not move so don’t waste time trying to move it. When Rasika comes he will move it very easily. Tell this to the King.” Hearing these words from the priest the King immediately went to meet Rasika. He sent his messengers to inform him that he was coming to welcome him and the two met at Atharanala. The King fell at Prabhu’s feet and Rasika embraced him while the King eulogised him in many different ways. On hearing the name of Rasika all the pilgrims, kings and the subjects came to see him.
Reaching the chariots Prabhu offered each of Them fine jewels, clothes and ornaments. Seeing Lord Jagannatha’s moonlike face Rasika floated in tears, his bodily hairs stood erect like Kadamba flowers and the `asta-sattvika-bhava’ arose in his body. The Rasamaya group led by Sri Tulasi dasa began sankirtana causing Rasika to dance with such emotion that he seemed to be like a mad elephant. Seeing his beautiful bodily features and with hundreds of flower garlands round his neck he attracted the attention of the crowd. People said, “There is such a close bond of affection between him and Lord Jagannatha that this prabhu must be the second Narayana. The chariots would not move without his presence. He has performed sankirtana from door to door preaching devotion to Krsna and freeing people from ignorance. It is by his grace that love and devotion has awaken in Utkala and by his order his disciples render service to saints. He organised the great Rasa festivals and induced everyone to love Krsna. His qualities are beyond description for Lord Jagannatha remains with him constantly.”
While people talked in this way the porter approached Prabhu saying, “The chariots are waiting for you. Take the rope and pull it by your own hands.” In great delight Rasika placed his head on a pillar of the chariot and began to push it. Just by his touch the three chariots began moving like the wind and, to everyone’s surprise, soon reached Balinara. All this confirmed Rasika’s divinity and the King repeatedly eulogised him, accomodated him in his own palace and gave him many gifts, including everything offered to Lord Jagannatha.
Rasika remained there for nine days during which time he performed sankirtana and discussed with the mahantas on music and literature. All the time the pilgrims, ksetra dwellers, kings, brahmins, Vaisnavas and sannyasis remained with him and he offered them all food and drink and satisfies them with due respect. He passed a long time in Nilacala visiting all the holy places and bathing at each place. He even visited all the hermitages of the mahantas. He begged a piece of land from the King in South Parasa and constructed Phulatota matha there. At this place, every day they would make garlanda twelve cubits long. He appointed five to ten priests there and daily ten to twenty preparations had to be offered to the Deity. He distributed many gifts among the brahmins and people of Ksetra and then begged his leave from them, reassuring then that he would visit every year at the time of Ratha to observe the moon-like face of Lord Jagannatha. He performed sports at Nilacala that cannot be expressed by hundreds of mouths. By the grace of Rasika I have described a few of them in Rasika-mangala. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya has writted this.
The Eleventh Wave
Glory to Syamananda the abode of mercy who was the life and wealth of Sri Rasikendra. In the company of his Vaisnava companions Rasikacandra travelled from country to country, his only purpose being to serve guru, Krsna and the saintly persons. For the purpose of having Rasika come to their home kings and saintly persons quarrelled with each other. Only after sending messengers several times could one be successful in bringing Rasika and his followers to one’s home. At other times, by falling at his feet one may be fortunate in bringing him to his home. Rasika travelled from place to place for the well being of all living entities. Wherever he went he fulfilled the desires of everyone because along with him he possessed the eight mystic perfections (ie. asta-siddhis). If some unfortunate persons was without even one sera of rice, Rasika would solve all his problems.
In the joy of sankirtana Rasika loved to dance while tears rolled from his eyes and he manifested the eight symptoms of ecstatic love (ie. asta-sattvika-bhava). His gestures and postures combined with his soft merciful looks to charm the hearts of everyone. Wherever he went, the people floated in love of Krsna.
As the glory of Rasika spread the Patsaha announced to his wicked followers as follows, “I have heard of a great personality of Orissa who has given Hari-nama to wild animals and who Lord Jagannatha talks with.” Then he turned to one of his eunichs and ordered him, “Ask Rasika to order the elephants of the forest to come to him. Make this a humble request and don’t use any impolite language.” With many horses and elephants the eunich quickly went to Gopivallabhapura. He sent a messenger to Rasika informing him, “Saha Suja has went me to request you to order the wild elephants to come to him. If you can bring ten to twenty wild elephants there then Saha Suja will accept you as an incarnation of the Lord.” This request created anxiety in the minds of the Hindu devotees of Rasika but with a soft smile he told them, “I don’t know how to make a drama, I only know that Krsna is my Lord. When Lord Krsna will favour me, then the desire will be fulfilled. Tell this to the eunich. Every year I hold the Dvadasa mahottsava here at Gopivallabhapura and so long as I shall hold this festival here, not a single yavana can come here. So tell him to wait until Lord Krsna favours him by sending the elephants.” When the eunich received this news he had a walled boundary built with only one door and inside he put many items of food such as rice, bananas, etc.
Rasika began the festival and in due course Gopala dasa, the elephant, came in the evening, to attend. As he bowed to Rasika, he told him, “Listen my dear elephant, the yavana King has sent a man here to question my powers. He wants me to call ten to twenty elephants so you can organise a group of elephants and lead then to Kanthi. You should stay behind and do not enter into the walled area.” Being orderd by Rasika, Gopala dasa quickly entered into the forest to meet his fellow elephants and the group proceeded to Kanthi. Fourteen elephants entered into the walled area but Gopala dasa turned away as the followers of the yavana closed the doors behind them. The yavana was overwhelmed to see the glory of Rasika and he went to him and fell at his feet. Convinced of Rasika’s divine nature he went to report the happenings to the Patsaha, taking the elephants with him as proof. Having witnessed all these feats of Rasika’s, the yavanas were convinced of his being an incarnation of Lord Narayana. Being ordered by Rasika even wild elephants would bow to him.
Rasika continued touring absorbing himself in the joy of sankirtana and in love of Krsna. He and his party entered Varahabhumi and from there he tried to go to Sukpala but wandered into a forest. Due to the darkness of the sky he was unable to see the actual direction and wandered into the densest region. Suddenly they confronted two tigers blocking their path. Everyone was extremely afraid but Rasika walked forward and spoke thus, “Listen you tigers, give up your wicked deeds and dedicate yourselves to Lord Krsna. Due to your past sins you have taken birth in a sinful species of life. If you do not worship Krsna now, you will continue to suffer birth after birth. You must be fixed in your worship of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna and don’t give trouble to the devotees.” On hearing this the tigers fell at the feet of Rasika and shed tears. He placed his hands on their heads and poured the holy names into their ears so that they could receive spiritual enlightenment. After this they became Rasika’s guides and brought him from the forest, to a village. Then next morning the villagers all wanted to see the tigers but Rasika ordered them, “My dear sons, go and worship Krsna sincerely.” Hearing this they bowed to him and entered into the forest.
As news of his feats spread people came from the city to witness the glory of Prabhu and he favoured all of then. At this time, however, he told his companions not to disclose all his transcendental activities to the common people. Rasika’s order was impossible to disobey and they immediately consented to his request. His words could not be disobeyed by wild animals, humans, demigods, or even Indra, the King of heaven. Hearing of his glory attracted persons from all walks of life to see him. Prabhu distributed love and devotion everywhere, without concern for rank or status. Even illiterate persons from forest villages were converted to devout Vaisnavas. He flooded Utkala in love for Krsna in such a manner that, with hundreds of mouths it is not possible to describe his glory. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Twelfth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the life of this world, whose feet were served by Rasika. It was the habit of Sri Rasika to travel throughout the land delivering all living entities and enducing both humans and demigods to float in love of Krsna. While en route to Nagapura he travelled through a forest where a wicked Kola King lived. The king with the assistance of twenty of his Kola companions loved to oppress brahmins and ascetics as well as other kings and common people. He spared no one and the entire area trembled at the mention of his name.
Messengers reported to the King that a great saint who was the guru of the King of Utkala had come there along with many other saints and a large cargo. The wicked king instructed his followers, “Go and block the road and stop them. When it becomes dark we shall kill them and take everything they have. Don’t let anyone of them escape.” Under his order hundreds of his followers cordoned of the area so that Rasika’s party could not move. Rasika came to know of the king’s plot and told his followers, “Sit around me. Just chant the names of the Lord and don’t try to go anywhere.” They did as he instructed byt still they could not conquer their fear. They said, “We will not live another day. No one can escape from the hands of this demon.” Prabhu continued to instruct them to meditate on Krsna. He sat in the midst of them looking like the moon surrounded by stars and tofether they chanted the names of Hari.
The local people thought that today that Prabhu who previously tamed wild tigers and elephants was going to be imprisoned by the wicked king. They also remarked that the Prabhu who was able to order the gods of heaven had today come under the control of a demon.
Rasika was not in anxiety for he remained chanting the name of Krsna with a happy mind. Up to the first half of the night they remained there without taking food or water.
The wicked king had been waiting for the arrival of night in his private chamber when four stout persons suddenly entered and catching him by the hair began to beat him severely. His life’s air came to the edge of his throat and he screamed in fear. although he could not see anyone in the room he heard them say, “You dare to try to kill Rasika whose power is such that it makes both demigods and demons tremble. He is served by the three worlds. He has distributed love and devotion of Krsna to all and he has clarified the message of devotion concealed in the Vedas. You have committed a sin against such a noble personality. Now you must go and fall at his feet. It is only for this reason that we are sparing your life. You and your followers should now go and take initiation in Harinama and with the help of this Prabhu learn how to be servants of Lord Krsna.” The King heard all this with his own ears as he lay bleeding from the mouth and several other wounds. His wives, children, relatives and followers all came to him and although he could not speak, by his gestures he made them understand that he had been beaten by some invisible personalities. He revived his consciousness for a few seconds and at that time said, “I have been severely punished and received instruction that Rasikamurari is an embodiment of Lord Narayana.” He also explained the glories of Rasika saying, “I have sinned against such an exalted personality. Let us go and fall at his lotus feet. I was ignorant of his position.”
The wicked King, along with his friends and relatives all went to Rasika to fall at his feet. Rasika was still sitting with his disciples discussing topics of Lord Krsna. As the King offered his obeisances Rasika immediately took him in his arms. By the touch of Rasika he gained enlightment and taking hold of his feet began to cry. He said, “Not being aware of your glory I have sinned against you. I am a sinner but you are an ocean of mercy. You are the only resort for helpless beings. Please favour me and my family by giving us devotion to Krsna and save us from destruction. You are the friend of the three worlds, the soul of all creatures and an ocean of mercy.” The Kings words pleased Rasika and he initiated him and his family into Harinama making them his disciples. At the request of the King Rasika remained got five to seven days more during which time he was served with the utmost care and sincerity. When Rasika took his leave, the King not only gave many gifts to him but also helped him to pass safely through the forest. That wicked King gave up his sinful acts and forgot about animal sacrifices. Instead he began doing Harinama and rendered sincere service to saintly persons. His family all became absorbed in sankirtana and accepted Sri Krsna as the lord of all. Thus by the touch of Rasika’s feet the wicked could be transformed into wise persons.
Rasika along with his disciples and companions entered Nagapura and began performing sankirtana from door to door. By Rasika’s influence the entire city fell in love with sankirtana and everyone floated in love of Krsna forgetting all other necessities.
There is no end to the glories of Rasika nor of the pastimes he enacted on this earth. By listening to them you will gain the wealth of love of Krsna. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Thirteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the ocean of mercy whose favourite disciple was Rasikendra candra. Continuing his travels Prabhu next went to Sekharabhuma and the King, after falling at his feet, joyfully worshipped him as if he were a second Narayana. The King reported to him, “It has not rained here for the last three years. This must be the result of some offence to guru, Krsna and the saints. The drought is forcing my people to leave the village. We request you to order Indra, the King of heaven, to pour rain onto this village.” Rasika replied, “Organise a festival and invite all the devotees then with the start of the festival rain will certainly come.” The King duly held a great festival in which sankirtana was performed day and night. He arranged for the sincere service of guru, Krsna and the saints and everyone began to chant the names of Krnsa in great satisfaction. At this time Rasika ordered Indra to pour rains on the village and suddenly dark clouds covered the boundary of Sekhara. Fierce rains fell for a long time filling up all the ponds, lakes and cultivated lands. Although it was the month of Magha, the order of Rasika was such that it had to be obeyed by both the denizens of heaven and human beings. Seeing this power of Rasika everyone was charmed and his own followers felt great satisfaction. The King worshipped him and was thankful that he could see such a personality who embodied Lord Narayana.
Rasikendra continued his travelling programme preaching love and devotion of Krsna and performing sankirtana. Out of love for the Lord he constantly cried and tears rolled down his face, his body trembled in emotion and his voice was always choked. His beauty captivated everyone and they would gather round him to hear him talk about Lord Krsna. When he began to discuss topics of the Lord his nectarean words penetrated the hearts of all and even learned scholars would roll on the ground in emotion. By the grace of the son of Acyuta wicked persons gave up their old habits and became devoted to Krsna. His pastimes in Utkala could not be fully described even by a hundred mouths. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Fourteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the ocean of mercy. The son of Acyuta serves him life after life. Rasika entered into Kenduvilva village and seeing the birth place of Jayadeva he became filled with emotion. He visited Visnupura and took his bath in the Ganges there before going to Amvua. Here he visited the Sripata on both sides of the river and took darshan of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai. He then visited all the Sripatas of the mahantaresiding of both banks of the Ganges. From there he moved to Ksetra to observe the Ratha festival of Lord Jagannatha. As in previous years he continued to reveal newer and newer pastimes in Nilacala. Throughout the year he continued his practice to organise great festivals during which he would serve guru, Krsna and the saints and preach the sixty-four kinds of devotion to Krsna. It was his daily practice to meditate on Krsna and perform sankirtana. Rasika worshipped the paths by which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited the abode of Jagannatha. At some spots he would roll on the ground in ecstasy and at others he would perform sankirtana floating in a pool of tears. Throughout the day and night he remained absorbed in Krsna worship, Krsna meditation and Krsna sankirtana.
In the morning he would observe mangala arati; after this he would meet with some Vaisnavas and then he would recite Vedic hymns for some time. After this he took bath and then worshipped his Deities. Next he would absorb himself in meditatin and then he had to listen to Bhagavata and the serve the saints. He would spend six hours a day listening to the Puranas and six hours a day in singing and reading from the books of Jayadeva and others. In the evening he would observe the arati. He spent time in talking to the various Vaisnavas and scholars who would canstantly visit him. He joyfully listened to many different singers and he would also sing to the accompaniment of various instruments. For two hours he would make sure that the saints were nicely fed and he also liked to eat with them. Alone he could read Bhagavatam for six hours and then absorb in meditation for another six. Whenever he got extra time he loved to chant Harinama. He chanted Harinama as he travelled; he chanted Harinama in his sleep; he never spent a second withour Harinama.
He knew nothing but Krsna and he always tried to let others understand Krsna. For this purpose he continuously travelled to different places encouraging the people to give up their bad habits and develop their faith in Krsna. Simply by his touch all types of sinful people became learned. Just as Lord Krsna does, age after age, so, throughout Utkala, Rasika destroyed irreligion and established true religion. He gave initiation in Krsna mantra and analysed all the sastra in relation to Lord Krsna. The whole of Utkala came to know that except for Lord krsna everything was false, meaningless and short-lived. Every year he performed the Dvadasa mahottsava. He had disciples in every house of Utkala and he taught them all to serve guru, Krsna and the saints.
One day while Rasika was sitting alone, he considered that the saintly persons purpose in Bharata-varsa was to remove ignorance from the hearts of the people, to make them fully devoted to Krsna and to teach them to serve the saints. Not caring for class or creed Rasika had purified countless heretics and brought them to float in love of Krsna. He had passed sixty-two years of his life in service to guru, Krsna and the saints. From his appearance in this world he had been devoted to Krsna and he had passed his life in love for Krsna.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Nityananda, Advaita Acarya and their associates had all finished their pastimes and now the mahanta associates of Syamananda had also disappeared. With their disappearance it was an opportunity for Kali to enter. He considered that if he also left this world he might see the son of Nanda with his own eyes. He longed to see the Lord of Radhika along with the gopis of Vraja. At that time he would also see Lord Krsna standing in His beautiful three-fold posture under a kadamba tree on the bank of the Yamuna. On either side of Krsna would be Radharani and Candravali and groups of Vraja women would be serving Him. Thinking in this way he decided to leave this world.
When he revealed his decision to his closest associates they were shattered and while still in Rasika’a presence they rolled on the ground crying. Prabhu said, “Gopijanavallabha, Tulasi, you are my favourite disciples. You are both my followers birth after birth and you are more dear to me then my own life. Without your help I could not have completed my duties and because I am thankful to you therefore I am telling you this. After reading the scriptures I was thinking about Krsna when a beautiful boy with a complexion like a monsoon cloud and holding a flute, appeared before me. He told me, `Rasika, it’s time for you to leave here now.’ I had been absorbed in my book and did not listen to him so He angrily told me, `You are not obeying Me, Rasika but I am telling you to go to your own place, with Me in My abode.’ Then He disappeared and in my trance I gave up my life. By the end of the night he had ordered me like this three times.”
Hearing this the two disciples fell at the feet of their Prabhu. He smilingly told them, “I will be with you always.”
Rasika’s character was beyond description. The earth is gratified by his birth for he delivered the three worlds. His pastimes are like a bottomless ocean and cannot be fully described. By his grace I have mentioned them in brief. By listening to them you will attain love and devotion to Krsna. Making the feet of Syamananda his ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Fifteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the life of Rasika. By his birth in this world he has delivered the universe. While sitting in a lonely place Rasika told his favourite followers of his secret. He said, “I have to carry out His order to leave this world. I cannot stay in such an ominous age as Kali. As Kali enters the yavanas will reign in Bharata bhumi and people will gibe up their religious pronciples. I will be relieved by not having to observe those conditions. While I was leaving Gopivallabhapura, I prayed to Govinda to take me to His abode. I have been His sincere servant for a long time. My childhood was passed in the worship of Krsna and I spent eighteen years worshipping Him secretly. With tears in my eyes I travelled through forest after forest in search of Krsna. Although I have a family, I was never entangled in family life. My time was spent solely in the service of guru, Krsna and the saints. I never cared for eating, sleeping and other such pleasures. I never saw anything but Krsna and I passed eighteen years in worship of Him.
Fortunately at that time, Syamananda came to me and intitiated me with Krsna mantra. I was with him for twenty years in the joy of love of Krsna. He travelled everywhere making kings and common peoples his disciples and flooded the world in love of Krsna. While travelling with him I was always dedicated to the feet of Krsna and I did service to guru, saints, Tulasi, dhatri and brahmins. I did service to the residents of Vraja and I practised all the rules of the scriptures concerning religion and devotion. With Syamananda I preached sankirtana as a religion.
In this way for nineteen years and seven months he manifested the pastimes of Lord Krsna in this world. Then, after handing over all the responsibility to me, he disappeared. I have followed his order for twenty-four years a nine months. I have observed all the rules, regulations and rituals in preaching the message of love and devotion to Krsna. I distributed this message to every home and performed sankirtana there also. I observed festivals which included all the sixty varieties of service to guru, Krsna and the saints. I observed the disappearance days of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, my Guru, Advaita Acarya as well as other Mahajanas and of my god-brothers. I organisedtwo Dvadasa Mahottsavas at Govindapura, three at Syamasundarapura, one at Kusarda village and nineteen at Gopivallabhapura. For nineteen years I practiced all the sixty-four kinds of devotional activities and for twenty-four years and nine months I have been engaged in worshipping Krsna. Now I am sixty-four years and four months old. I have spent these years in ecstatic joy filling the world with love for Krsna. Now I no longer desire to live in this world. I want to go to the abode of Krsna to observe His pastimes for this is His order to me.
Although I should go to Krsna there are still some desires of mine which remain unfulfilled. The book Syamananda Rasamava is now in the seventh wave; one great festival of feeding sweets to the saints; one more visit to Vrndavana and feeding the Vaisnavas at any temple on the banks of the Ganga. In the meantime, however, the order has come and who will dare to ignore it. It is the Lord’s pastime that birth brings with it death.
I have told you everything about myself and now I will make a request to you. I am unable to go to Vrndavana, Nilacala or the banks of the Ganga. I am quite well here but I request you bury me at the place of Gopinatha. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has instructed me in this way. It was at Remuna that Madhavendra Puri and all the other mahajanas worshipped the feet of Gopala and the Lord, who is known as Ksira-cora Gopala, stole the ksira for His devotee, Madhavendra Puri. I am telling you privately that you can build my tomb there so that all can see me there.”
Hearing all this from their Prabhu, his companions fell to the ground and cried helplessly. As they cried they held each others shoulders while Rasika tried to solace them with sweet words. Gradually all types of bad omens were seen in every house of the world. As Rasika had decided to go back to Goloka Mother Earth, recognising her loss, shed many tears. The coming separation from Rasika made everyone very sorry. People began to say, “Rasika who for so long has bore the burden of sorrows of this world and has preached krsna-nama will soon disappear.” Now I shall describe that episode. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Sixteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the abode of mercy and the lord, life and wealth of Rasikadeva.
Now listen to how he left this world. On the pratipat day of Siva Caturdasi in the month of Phalguna Rasika returned to his eternal lila in Goloka Vrndavana. Rasika had been passing his days and nights enjoying sankirtana and danced in bless everywhere, in temples and in the homes of his disciples. When he was at Varisada, a small thorn entered into his foot causing a fever throughout his body. At that time Prabhu again told his companions of his desire to go to join Krsna and he ordered them to make his tomb in Remuna at the temple of Gopala.
Constantly surrounded by his disciples he remained absorbed in sankirtana. Hearing of the festival many kings, common people, disciples and disciples of disciples all came there and food was served to thousands of saints. Sankirtana was accompanied by many musical instruments and the whole place became just like Vaikuntha.
Suddenly he collapsed to the ground. It was decided to carry him to Gopivallabhapura but when his disciples tried to lift him from the ground they were unable to move him. His body became so heavy that even hundreds of people were unable to move him. Rasika then ordered them to take him to Remuna and to everyone’s surprise he sat himself with ease. He was carried all the way to Sarata. As they walked they performed a tumultuous sankirtana which caused the earth to quiver. From there they went to Remuna and Rasika went unaccompanied into the temple. The brahmin priest saw him enter the temple but he disappeared into the image of Gopala.
The brahmin enquired, “Where is Rasika Sekhara? I saw him go into the temple.” He searched inside the temple but could not find him. In intense emotion ghr brahmin announced to everyone, “Rasika Thakura has entered into the body of Gopala.” Indeed, when he entered the temple they saw that no one was there. In their bewilderment they barricaded the place with wood. They built a tomb there and had a seat covered in cloth with ornaments, garlands, kumkum, sandal, aguru, etc. placed before the image of Gopala. But for his companions no one knew the manner of his disappearance because such an occurance can only be understood by saintly persons.
The character of Rasika was beyond the knowledge of the King of heaven and others. His glory is eternal and is sung even in heaven. By his appearance in this world he was able to give love and devotion and help all creatures to obtain salvation. Gopijanavallabha dasa says that, for the sake of all creatures he takes birth age after age. Who can describe the glory of Rasika which is a subject of meditation even for demigods, saints and ascetics. I am a poor, helpless, needy and ignorant person so how can I know the extent of his glory? The son of Acyuta has described his character to me by dictating through my heart.
I have served the feet of Rasikendra throughout my life and it is only by his grace that I have been able to write this book. I request all scholars not to find fault with it. To describe the pure fame of Syamananda and Rasika I have written the book in four parts containing sixty-four waves which are all dictated by Rasikamurari, living in my heart. The subject matter will help us to cross over material existence. Though it may be improperly composed I request you to read it for we should all sing the glory of Rasika. Do not think that his pastimes are ordinary because he was an embodiment of Narayana. With a joyfull heart listen to Rasika-mangala and try to conquer over material existence.
Glory to Rasikendra, the friend of the needy. Gloery to Thakura Gosvami, the ocean of happiness. Glory to Rasika Murari, the abode of good qualities. Glory to Sri Thakura Gosvami, a dear friend to all. Glory to the giver of love and devotion. Glory to the protector of the needy, poor and helpless creatures; Glory to the bright moon of the Syamanandi sect; Glory to Rasikendra, whose charm attracted everyone. Gloty to the husband of Syama dasi Thakurani, except for those feet, Vallabha has nothing to depend on. By the order of the King of Orissa, Balabhadra, I began this book during the month of Makra, (most probably Pausa) on the Vasanta Pancami day by taking the feet of Rasika in my heart. It has taken me two years and eight months to complete the achievements of Rasika. The book is completed on Sunday, the fifth day of the full moon period.
Oh my friends, listen to Rasika-mangala and very soon you will obtain love and devotion. By making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya has narrated Rasika-mangala.
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