Eastern Part: The First Wave
1. There are numerous Puranas in the world, but with the exception of Gita-Govinda, none of them show the handwriting of Sri Krishna. In the same way no devotee was ever painted by the Lord, Srimati Radharani painted a mark on the forehead of Sri Syamananda Deva.
2. Syamananda, a gem of kindness, is a mine of extreme joy, an ocean of favour, proprietor of the beauties of the three worlds, the abode of the essence of love, the abode of all good fortune, the only resort of those who are aggreived, the supreme jewel of sports, a gem of mercy and full of the most elegant intelligence.
3. I bow down to Sri Rasikananda who is like the Sun, the giver of deep joy, the possessor of ujjvala rasa, a mine of Krishna-bhava, who can bring peace to our minds and remove the darkness of ignorance, the well-wisher of the devotees, the extinguisher of all miseries, the source of all joy, the father of such wealth as mercy and the deliverer of the poor.
4. Oh most merciful Srila Sanatana Goswami Prabhupada! Oh Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhupada, the only resort of the fallen souls! Oh Bhatta Prabhus (Srila Raghunatha Bhatta and Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswamis), oh Dasa Goswami Prabhupada. Oh Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhupada! Please bestow your mercy on my worthless self.
5. I worship the lotus feet of Sri Syamananda Deva by whose mercy one can attain love and devotion to Sri Hari.
6. I Worship the feet of Rasikananda who is ever joyful, the abode of well-being, and who is fully elegant.
7. Let all mankind serve Sri Murari (Sri Rasikananda Deva) whose face is like the moon, whose words are like nectar, in whose throat resides the goddess Sarasvati, whose bodily glow is like Laksmi, his teeth are like kunda flowers and pearls, and his smile is dazzling and his eyes are like bees while his arms resemble the stalk of a lotus.
8-13. I worship the lotus feet of Sri Guru, Syamananda Raya, by whose grace I have attained love for Krishna. Simply by the touch of his feet the inhabitants of the three worlds can be relieved from the bondage of material existence and float in the mellows of love and devotion. He dominated the three worlds by his mercy and showed extreme kindness to all who were poor, fallen or miserable. The moon of the Gopa dynasty, by appearing in Utkala, has removed the darkness of sin by dint of his love and devotion. He is an ocean of joy and favour and the possessor of a beauty that can win over all three worlds. He is a sea of love and an ocean of nectar and the most fortunate person in all respects. He can remove the agony of the three worlds and his merciful words melt any heart. When will Syamananda the son of Durika, who is the head jewel of all elegances and who has performed his sports by appearing in different ages, bestow his favour on me so that I can sing his glories. I worship the feet of the three Thakuranis, the wives of Sri Guru, by whose favour I have learnt about love and devotion to Krishna. Oh wife of Syamananda, disciple of Hrdayananda, who is an image of love of Krishna, please favour me and allow me to sing the glories of Rasika.
14-39. I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu the son of Saci devi, who appears age after age to destroy the miscreants and protect the devotees. Seeing the ominous Kali and being compassionate on all beings He advented Himself in Navadvipa along with His associates. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu the shelter of the needy and distressed, who is meditated on by Brahma, Siva and Purandara, please favour me, Oh son of Jagannatha Misra, and enable me to describe the biography of Rasika. Now I worship Lord Nityananda, non-different from Lord Balarama, whose beauty defeats millions of cupids (Kama), the deliverer of the three worlds by indiscriminately distributing love of Krishna to all poor and fallen persons and to both high and low caste persons. I worship Saci devi, Jagannatha Misra, Harai Pandit and Padmavati. I worship both the Thakuranis, Laksmi and Visnupriya, and I worship Vasudha and Jahnava, the wives of the elder brother. I worship Advaita Acarya for by his grace one can obtain devotion to Lord Caitanya. I worship Sita Thakurani who was an image of devotion at the time of Lord Caitanya’s advent. I worship Sri Acyutananda, the son af Advaita Acarya and I worship the whole branch of that tree from Advaita Acarya. I worship Virabhadra, whose shining features are famous throughout the world for his glorious manifestations. I worship all the branches of the devotees who can enable me to sing the glories of Rasika. With great delight I worship Ramai and Sundarananda whose glories are famous on this earth. I worship Gauridasa Thakura, alias Suvala Raya, who is a favourite devotee of Lord Nityananda, a favourite playmate of Krishna amd who belongs to the same Vaisnava family as Syamananda. If that prabhu favours me then I shall be able to describe the biography of Rasika. I worship Uddharana Datta, a favourite companion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I worship Murari Thakura and Kamalakanta, I worship Purusottama, Manohara and Kaliya Krishna dasa. I worship the eight Giris and the eight Puris as favourite followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I worship the eight Bharatis among whom Visvambhara is initiated as an ascetic. I worship the Valakas as followers of Caitanya and I worship the sixty-four Mahantas too. I worship the Gurukula gladly and I worship Haridasa. I worship Govinda Goswami and Mahesh Thakura. I worship Dinlava Thakurani.
40-45 I worship all groups and branches of Vaisnavas along with all their companions. I worship all brahmins and all ascetics the seven oceans and this earth. Among them I worship all the holy places with special respect for just by hearing about these holy places one can awaken devotion for Lord. I worship Sri Vrndavana, Madana Gopala, Sri Govinda, Gopinatha, Venka Vehara, Radha Vallabha, Kalindi, Yamuna and all Vraja Pura.
46-64 I worship Gokula, Mathura and Sri Kesava Raya who can remove all kinds of sins from one who hears of their glories. I worship Yadava Raya, the owner of Gokula, I worship Gopala Raya, the holder of Govardhana. I worship Dvaraka along with Ranacora Raya which is more famous than Vaikuntha as an abode of Lord Krishna. I worship Badarikasrama along with Nara-Narayana. I worship Gandaki, Gomati, Naimisaranya, Pravasa, Puskara, and Godavari, Narmada, Sarasvati, Sindhu and Kaveri. I worship Ayodhya, Kuruksetra and Setabandhu which are all famous as holy places. I worship Hastinapura, the palace of the Pandavas where Krishna lived for the sake of His devotees. I worship the famous holy places of Kanchi, Avantika and the seven cities where Lord Hari lived. I worship Sri Purusottama, the Lord of Nilacala and I worship Gaya, Ganga,Varanasi, Prayag, etc. I worship Navadvipa on the bank of the Bhagirathi as the abode of Sri Caitanya Candra Mahaprabhu. I worship the famous Ganga-sagara. I worship Navadvipa and Tamralipta. I worship heaven, earth and the netherworld especially all of the holy places contained within them. I request all of you to favour me and allow me to describe the pastimes of Rasika. By the grace of Rasika I am mentioning briefly a few names to whom I offer my obeisances. I bow to Gopiramana, a companion of Sri Caitanya. I bow to Rama Thakura, an abode of all qualities. I worship the feet of Krishnananda and Dvarika and I worship the feet of Acutya and Bhavani. I worship Prasada Thakura and Balarama dasa who lived with the brothers of Syamananda. I worship the feet of the thoughtful Manohara and Professor Kisora. I worship Sri Tulasi dasa, a master of sankirtana who remained with Sri Rasika throughout his life.
65-76 At the beginning of sankirtana, Rasika first of all worshipped him by offering him clothes and ornaments. If Rasika did not get a tulasi leaf then he would wash the feet of Tulasi dasa and drink the water. I take hold of the feet of all my seniors and pray to them to allow me to begin this biography of Rasika. I will discuss briefly about a few senior Vaisnavas and although the order will not be correct gradually I shall mention all of them, one by one. I worship Yadavendra dasa, the elder brother of Nityananda, I worship Kisora dasa and Valaka dasa, Vaisnava dasa, Gopinatha dasa, Monahara and Damodara Prabhu, the servant of Krishna. Always absorbed in the joy of Krishna, his eyes constantly shed tears of love. Damodara, who knew nothing but Krishna, had a close relationship with Rasika and accepted many disciples. I worship the Brahmin Govinda dasa and also Gopala, Balabhadra and Haridasa. I worship Govinda of Vrndavana and Syamasundara and Uddhava.
77-97 I worship Syamadasa, Jagannatha, Kaviraja, Balabhadra, Cintamani dasa and Sri Radhavallabha dasa. I worship Ananta dasa, Raghunatha dasa of Mathura, Dvija Padmanabha and Gangadhara dasa. I worship Sri Radhamohan, Sirikara, Kanudasa, Govinda dasa, Bhudhara, Radha-carana and Purusottama. I worship Ananta, Radhavallabha, Radhadhara, Gokula and Damodara. I worship Sri Syamarangini dasa, Sri Syama Tarangi, Abhaya, Ramagovinda, Ananda, Mathura Syama, Madhuvana dasa and millions of other devotees of Krishna. I worship Sri Anandananda, sons of Divakara, Gopa Mathira dasa and Gouria Mathura dasa, Jagannatha dasa, Radhavallabha, Bhudhara, Rama dasa and Sri Caitanya dasa. I worship Sri Krishna dasa, Gopala dasa, Mukunda, Bhupati and Syamananda dasa who was famous as a poet. I worship Sri Kesava and Sri Jagannatha. I worship Brghu Purusottama, Bhudevi and Sri Caitanya dasa. I worship Vaidya Sri Gopala dasa, Madana Mohana dasa, Gadadhara, Balabhadra and Vamsi. I worship the great brahmin Purusottama who surrendered his caste, wealth and life to Syamananda Prabhu. I worship the brahmin Damodara and Syamananda dasa whose abode was the feet of Syamananda. He along with his family were sold to the feet of Syamananda and knew nothing but guru, sadhu and Krishna.
98-122 I worship Sri Mathura dasa who dedicated everything to Syamananda. He was a favourite disciple of Syamananda and an embodiment of love and devotion. I worship Dvija Haridasa, Banamali, Radhakrsna, Dharamvara, Narayana, Gauranga, Purusottama, Madhava, Dvija Gopala, Manohara, Bhudeva and Govinda Bhattacarya who lived in Banga where he preached the teachings of Syamananda. I worship Kisora dasa, Kanudasa, Gopa Mathura dasa, Rasamaya dasa, Sri Gauranga dasa and Manohara dasa. I worship all the followers of Syamananda who lived in different countries. I worship Nilamvara dasa, Sri Ananta Raya and Sanatana. I gladly worship Thakura Visnudasa who always remained with Rasika. I worship Thakurani Syamadasi, the wife of Rasika and an embodiment of love and devotion. She was a disciple of Syamananda, a devoted wife, a mother to all, who worshipped Govinda throughout her life. I worship Sri Devaki, the daughter of Rasika. She was a disciple of Syamananda and the eldest daughter of Rasika. I worship Radhananda Thakura, the son of Rasika and a favourite disciple of Syamananda. He was always absorbed in Krishna consciousness and tears constantly fell from his eyes. He was fully conversant with the scriptures and an expert musician. I worship Sri Krishna bhanja deva who was fully devoted to Syamananda. Kuladiptacandra was a favourite disciple of Syamananda who organised great festivals to worship Krishna in his kingdom. He was a good ruler and a sincere devotee of Hari. Sixty-four kinds of devotion resided in his heart and he was a great brahmin. He was compared to Pariksit, Ambarisa, Sanaka, etc. who had taken birth as a symbol of devotion to Krishna. By his good fortune he was a powerful king with dominion over his rivals. I seek the favour of this illustrious King to allow me to sing the glory of Rasika. I worship Krishnananda dasa who did not know anything but Syamananda. I worship Vrndavati, the daughter of Rasika who was famous for her politeness and perserverence. I worship the pure-hearted Krishnagati, the middle son of Rasika.
123-152 He was so intoxicated with love of Krishna that he could not differentiate between day and night. Krishna was his only life and resort. I worship Radhakrsna dasa, the youngest son of Rasika who was a favourite of Syamananda and had a very pure heart. He was full of love and kind to all beings. I worship Gopala, Govinda, Ramadasa, Madhava, Kisora and Radhamohana. I worship the feet of Purusottama dasa, Sri Syamananda dasa, Daria Krishna dasa and Radhavallabha dasa. How can I count the number of numerous servants of Syamananda? I worship the son of Acyuta, Dasa Jagannatha, Ananta, Sridhara and Kasinatha. I worship Nirmalvara, Sirikara, Kapilesvara, Gangadasa and other companions. I worship Sri Syamagopala, Cintamani, Vihari, Dinasyama, Ramakrsna, Syamagopinatha, Vaidyanatha and others. There were countless disciples of Syamananda so which names should I mention first? I simply pray to them all to empower me to preach the glory of Rasika. I fall at the feet of Rasamaya and his wife and five sons who were dedicated to the feet of Rasika. I worship Vamsimathura dasa, the uncle of Rasika who appeared with the beginning of Syamananda’s mission. I worship all who belong to his father’s and mother’s side. We all belong to the Gopa dynasty to whom the feet of Syamananda are caste, creed and nationality. I worship Gopijanavallabha, Haricarana dasa, Madhava, Rasikananda, Kisora and the five sons of Rasamaya who were fully devoted to the son of Acutya. The son of Vallabha was Radhavallabha and Rasika was like his father. He and his family were servants of Rasika. They were like the Pandavas who were always in the care of Krishna. They were all devotees of Krishna and never indulged in any type of quarrel, by the grace of Rasika. Rasika always protected them and they were always attached to him and knew nothing but worship, meditation and austerity. Lord Krishna is the friend of the needy and He should always be worshipped, but devotees should be worshipped even more than Him. Rasika’s uncle, Tulasi Thakura, used to hold festivals every year and seeing his love for Krishna the people of Utkala advised him to sing the glory of Rasika. As he felt ashamed to declare his qualities I dare not say anything about him. In the meantime Rasika of Verhapala asked everyone, “Is there a fortunate person in Syamananda’s group who can describe the method of service to Lord Krishna according to their rules? It will be very helpful if someone can describe all the groups of Syamananda.” Being confident of this I have accepted the responsibility and take the feet of Rasika on my head. Thinking of the lotus feet of Krishna, I Gopijanavallabha, a servant of Syamananda, sing the glory of Rasika. The glory of a devotee is a vast, bottomless ocean which is beyond the reach of even Brahma, Siva, Indra and others. The glory of a devotee is greater than that of Krishna and we should always desire to take the dust from their feet. Rasika Murari was an exalted devotee of Krishna and his qualities cannot be described in thousands of years. I am a poor, incapable and worthless fellow. Whatever I say is by the grace of the lord of my life, Rasika. How is it possible to describe those pastimes which are like a bottomless ocean? Because of the requests of the Syamanandi Vaisnavas, and my own confidence in his grace, I shall describe the glorious virtues of Rasika deva. Listening to the qualities of Krishna can help to cross this material world but listening to the qualities of a devotee can help to cross the three kalas.If one hears only once the Rasika-mangala millions of sins can be immediately destroyed, all bonds can be removed and one can attain love and devotion. Listening to Rasika-mangala removes all sorrows and misery, brings wealth to the poor and a son to the childless. Wherever people are suffering from the bite of Kala hearing and chanting of this Rasika-mangala makes one free from the bonds of the material world and can easily bestow everything desirable such as a wife, children, wealth and love and devotion. Don’t be discouraged by the hardships in reading the text, just remember that a poisonous snake always vomits poison. Give up all unnecessary occupations and listen of the qualities of Rasika, thus you will easily attain shelter at his feet. The snakes in hell, the gods in heaven and wise people on earth all listen to it. Any person, young or old, man or woman, if they hear Rasika-mangala only once, their individual desires will be granted and they can attain fame, glory, wealth and family. This eastern part is just the essence but it helps one to cross the material world. Oh my friends listen to Rasika-mangala and you will immediately attain love of Krishna. I, the son of Rasamaya, write this song making the feet of Syamananda my ornaments.
1-9. All glory to Syamananda, a genious, the abode of all good qualities and the life of the poor and fallen. Oh Prabhu, please favour me and allow me to sing your glories. In describing your appearance in this world I have no fear of public opinion because Rasika Sekara is beheind me. I cannot live without singing his glory because Rasika Murari has made Vallabha mad. His glory cannot be covered anymore than the glow of the moon can be covered by a palm – it declares it’s own glory. Syamananda is said to be the life of Rasika and after showing devotion to Syamananda, he has become famous as a giver of devotion. Syamananda took his birth in the village of Utkala at a time when the people were determined to commit sins. Now I shall tell you about how they were delivered by Syamananda and his favourite disciple Rasikendra candra. First I shall describe the mystery of his birth and later on how he travelled to many holy places. Sri Krishna Mandala was from the Gopa family but left Gaura to settle in Utkala. He built his house in a village named Dandesvara. His wife Durika, was a devoted lady famous for her kindness, sobriety and mercy. The couple were famous in brahminical society for being pure-hearted and tolerant of all religions. Syamananda took his birth in this family and was in course of time duly married. After a brief period of married life he became absorbed in love of Krishna and could not maintain his interest in the household affairs. However, overwhelmed by his attraction for the Lord and His holy dhama, he resolved to visit His abode. His relatives could not change his mind and his younger brother Balarama, who was a pure-hearted, calm and quiet person was selected to take charge of the family
38-68 For his first pilgrimage Syamananda first of all went to see the forms of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda at Amuna. Then he went to offer obeisances at the feet of Hrdayananda. Hearing of his renunciation and seeing his bodily beauty, Hrdayananda could at once understand that this person was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. He asked him, “Whose servant are you and why have you come here?” He answered, “My name is Dukhi Krishna dasa. I am your servant life after life.” Hearing this Hrdayananda became very happy and initiated him giving him the name Syamananda. At this time he ordered him to make Vaisnavas in each and every family in Utkala, to preach the sixteen syllable mantra of Hare Krishna, and to deliver all moving and non-moving entities. Hearing this Syamananda felt ashamed and begged that he might be given the power to fulfill this order. He also requested that he could go for pilgrimage and subsequently visited Vakresvara, Vaidyanatha, Ganga and Kasi the abode of Siva. In the month of Magha he visited Prayaga then he went to Mathura and then to Vrndavana and saw all the holy spots there and toured all the twelve forests of Gokula. He visited the Pandavas residence at Hastinapura and then went to Dvaraka to see Ranchor Raya. He moved with such speed his companions could not keep pace with him and he never cared for his health. He went to see the place of Kapila in Sindhu and then to Matsyatirtha, Sivakanci and Visnukanci.
69-98 He also visited Kuruksetra, Prthudaka, Bindusarova and Prabhasa-ksetra. He was always joyful and never cared about day and night. Whenever he heard about a holy place, he did not hesitate to visit it. He visited Teritakupayana tirtha, Visala, Brahma tirtha, Candra tirtha, Pratisvata, Praci, Sarasvati, Naimisaranya and then he reached Ayodhya. He visited the territories of Guhaka candala and Kausiki and then went to see the hermitage of Paulastya on the banks of the Gomati and Ganduki. He took bath in the Sarasi tirtha on Mahendra Hill and went to see the source of the Ganges in Hardwar. He took darsana of Lord Narayana in Badarikasrama and visited the hermitage of Vyasadeva. He constantly chanted the Lord’s holy name and shed pools of tears. Next he came to the banks of the Pampa and Bhagirathi. Then he saw seven Godavari, Dhenutirtha and the city of Dravira. From there he went to Vemkatadrinath temple of Kamakosthipuri, then to Kanca, south of Modhupuri he visited Haridvara and then Tamraparni. Continuing his pilgrimage he came to the oblation spot of Agasirya on the Malaya mountain, then Kalinga, the palace of Caidya and Sri Anantapura situated on the south of the ocean. He toured Panca Apsara, Gokarnakhya, Kulanaka, Trigartaka and Payasnidhana. He visited Reva, Mahismati puri, Mallatirtha, Surparaka, Praticiri and Setubandha. He travelled at will without caring for companions. When he visited Dhuritirtha he heard about the kidnapping of Maya Sita. He visited Avanti, Jiyara, Narasimha, Godavari, Trimaka, Kurmanatha and then reached Nilacala, the abode of Purusottama. Observing the Lords of his life, Krishna and Balarama, he began to tremble and cry continuously for his happiness knew no bounds. From there he went to Gangasagara and then touched the soil of his own birthplace but continued to Madhupura where he spent many days. He visited all the groves there and when he went to Rasasthala in Vrndavana he began to roll on the ground and cry out, “Where shall I get the Lord of my life, Sri Krishna.” He met all the devotees of Krishna there and spent time studying scriptures under Srila Jiva Gosvami and Haripriya dasa. Manifesting great love and devotion he spent many days in Brajapura.
By hearing the sweet message of this Rasika-mangala one can ignore the influence of the age of Kali. Just by hearing of the pilgrimage tour of Syamananda can free one from all kinds of sins. Taking the feet of my ornament, this son of Rasamaya, narrates Rasika-mangala.
1-21 Glory to Syamananda who is the abode of all good qualities. May he favour me so that I can sing his glories and these of Rasikadeva. In this Rasika-mangala, which is in four parts, I shall explain the purpose of Sri Caitanya’s sending him to deliver Utkala. The dwellers of Utkala were full of sin and never cared for Harinama or to hear the glories of Lord Hari. In Utkala, the King and all his subjects, being greedy for wealth and intoxicated by liquor, were accustomed to killing animals, and even brahmins and Vaisnavas. They worshipped many deities except for Sri Hari. Because of their offenses against the Vaisnavas, Lakshmi left this place and in their poverty they blamed any Vaisnava who came there as a thief and chased him from the town. The devotees who remained there always prayed that the Lord would send one of His servants to give the people love and devotion and destroy their sins. Being moved by the appeal of His devotees the Lord, who is always kind to His devotees, sent forth the son of Acyuta.
Now I shall describe the history of the birth of Rasika which took place in Utkala. Mallabhumna was a place in this country and in it there was the beautiful city of Rohini. This city was as large as Kataka and stood on the banks of the Suvarnarekha. There was another river called Dolanga whose water was just like the Ganges and nearby was Varajita which was a place where Rama, Sita and Laksmana had taken rest. Where the Suvarnarekha ran to the north were twelve Siva Lingas which had been worshipped by the moon of the Raghu dynasty. Many people would come and collect water at this holy place. Rohini was surrounded by such illustrious places and sacred rivers. The area was full of mango groves and jackfruit trees. and there were also orange, pomegranate and lime trees in abundance. There were many Pandava trees in those forests along with beautiful banana groves. These forests were so enchanting that even the demigods were in the habit of roaming here. There were plentiful harvests of rice, betel leaves and other such valuable items and there was no lack of wells or ponds or meadows. In the centre of the city stood a magnificent palace and the citizens lived on all sides of the fort. Hundreds of brahmins inhabited this place to practice the Vedas and smrti, They loved to perform sandhya tarpana and all around one could hear the sound of the Vedas being recited. Ascetics with sticks (ie. sannyasis?) lived here and were sincerely served by the brahmins. Within the city there dwelled a new class of persons who engaged in business and who had no want of food or money. Other classes lived at distant places and they also had no poverty or suffering. Within every home there was a tulasi tree, but despite this the inhabitants of the city had no love or devotion for Sri Krishna.
49-80 The glory of Rohini was just like that of Navadvipa, Mathura or Raghuvamsapuri. Wherever devotees continue to reside, the Vedas and Puranas describe that place to be like the Vaikuntha Dhama of Sri Krishna. I bow down to Rohini because it was the birth place of Rasikacandra. The King of that place was Sri Acyuta and he was known as a good, kind and sober man who had many friends and no scarcity of wealth. He never neglected to serve the brahmins, he was very charitable and kind to all and devoted to performing Harinama. Acyuta had four wives and many children and his pious deeds were confirmed by having Rasika as his son. One resident of Kataka named Haladhara lost all his property to the yavanas there and hearing about the good qualities of Acyuta came to settle in Rohini at the house of Gopi Mandala. With him came his wife and daughter who was full of all good qualities. Her name was Bhavani and it was her good fortune to become the mother of Rasika.
Once when Acyuta was visiting the house of Gopi Mandala he observed the girl and immediately asked for her hand in marriage. Gopi then told the parents to give their daughter to Pattanayaka and they were happy at this request although they confessed that they had no dowry to offer at her marriage. On hearing the poor appeal of the girls father, Acyuta assured him that he would take the responsibility. He then sent his servant’s to different cities to collect the necessary paraphernalia for the marriage and on an auspicious day the couple were married. The ceremony was equal to that held by an emperor or even a god. The entire city was illuminated with lacs of lamps, musicians played everywhere and the joy of the city knew no bounds. I have kept this description brief and now I shall describe the mystery of Rasika’s birth which is a source of pleasure to all the devotees of Syamananda. By taking the feet of Syamananda as my ornament, this son of Rasamaya is writing this book.
All glories to Syamananda, the abode of all good qualities and the life of Rasika Sekhara. After his marriage Sri Acyuta continued to rule his territories and enjoyed passing time with his favourite wife Bhavani.
In Utkala the devotees of Krishna continued to appeal to the Lord to send one of His devotees to deliver the troubled citizens there. In answer to their prayers the Lord sent Rasika down to this earth and simultaneously his companions took their births in different places of Utkala.
Now listen to how he took his birth to deliver all living entities. On an auspicious night after having past the day in discussing topics of Lord Krishna, the couple conceived a child. Day by day the neighbours and relatives were astonished to see the beauty of Bhavnai increase. They thought that most probably Brahma or Sambhu or Narayana or Vyasa, Sukadeva, Narada, Pariksit, Maharaja Janaka or any magnaminous person had taken his birth in the womb of Bhavani. Hearing the news that a great soul was about to take birth all the citizens, friends, brahmins and Vaisnavas all came to the house of Acyuta to witness the occasion. The astrologers and brahmins blessed Bhavani and confirmed that a great King would take birth from her womb. In this way ten months passed and then the month of Kartika came. On the Amavasya day, Acyuta and the other Vaisnavas of Rohini began to worship Lord Krishna. Many Vaisnavas and brahmins came to his house and the atmosphere was filled with the sound of name of Hari. Lamps illuminated the whole city and it appeared that the night was over and the dawn began. At this time the mother began to have delivery pains and hearing of this Acyuta called for many brahmins, astrologers and tantrikas. They began to recite from the Vedas and the sankirtana was also begun. The child, Rasika, was born in the Saka era of 1512 on the Pratipada time of the moon.
24-37 It was a Sunday, the first day of the solar eclipse and the third half of a dark night. All the good planets met at that time. Rasikendra took his birth to remove the darkness of ignorance from Utkala and all the devotees there, knowing the reason for his birth, became mad with joy. Everyone began to bless the baby and even the gods of heaven showered flowers. There were recitations from the Vedas, Gita, Mahabharata, Puranas and Ramayana. One could also hear the sounds of the name of Hari, conches and different musical instruments. Both the abode of the gods and human beings were happy and they came to visit the new born child. After his birth, like an ordinary child, Rasika began to cry and the effulgence of his body lit the whole house. The child had a moon-like face with a broad forehead, a firmly shaped nose, eyebrows like the canons of Kama, eyes like the leaves of a lotus, finely shaped ears and a head full of black curly hair. His lips were like the red vimva fruit, his shoulders could be compared to those of an elephant, his hands were like the stalk of a lotus, both palms were decorated with kunda flower-like nails and his broad chest charmed the three worlds. His navel was very beautiful and the three fold curve of his waist was like a lion. His knees and waist were beautifully shaped like a banana tree. The signs of his lotus feet were very charming, his nails shone brightly and his complexion was bright blue and black. Seeing the beauty of her son Bhavani was overcome and could understand that a great soul had appeared from her womb. The father, Acyuta, called for many Vedic brahmanas and offered them tila, rice, cows and gold. He also gave many gifts to the Vaisnavas and they were greatly satisfied to see his humility. They told the parents that they prayed for a long life for their son, that he would be a favourite devotee of Krishna, preach love and devotion for the Lord and thereby deliver all the inhabitants of Utkala. Then the ladies performed some rituals for the well-being of the baby. The neighbours told Bhavani, “You are a fortunate woman and you have gained this child as a result of your austerities. He will enlighten his family and bring joy to everyone. Let Krishna protect him always.” When it became time to perform an auspicious ceremony for his child Acyuta first sent his servants to various places to collect the necessary items. The relatives came for the event along with their full families. The Vedic brahmins were invited and ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras and others all gathered at the house of Acyuta. Ladies decorated with various ornaments performed many rituals according to the laws of scriptures. Using six pots for the worship of goddess Sasthi they all prayed to the goddess for a long time for the child.
Then Bhavani sat in the assembly with her son in her lap and the women blessed the baby with grass, rice and turmeric. Someone said, “Let Mahesh and Parvati grant eighty years of life to this boy.” Someone said, “Let goddess Sasthi give this boy a long life.” Then someone said, “Let Lord Krishna protect him.” and as soon as the name of Lord Krishna entered the ears of the baby he began to cry emotionally.
99-132 Hearing his crying, the mother offered her breast milk but it could not relieve the child. Just as Prahlada had heard about Krishna from Narada while still in his mother’s womb similarly Rasikendra had heard about Krishna from Dayala dasi’s talks to his mother while he was still in the womb. After birth whenever anyone uttered the name of Krishna tears would come in his eyes. He would absorb himself in meditation on Bhagavata and the words of guru, sadhu and Krishna became his life and soul. Before the assembly of ladies departed from their home Bhavani distributed celestial garlands to everyone and fed them all with the utmost hospitality. She offered betel nuts and camphor to them and satisfied them in every respect. After bidding farewell to the ladies Bhavani touched sindhura on her head then put collyrium in the child’s eyes. All the guests were charmed to see the wonderful qualities of the child and continued praising him as they journeyed home. They were certain that he must be a companion of Krishna. Acyuta satisfied the brahmins present by giving them various gifts such as betel leaves, camphor, ornaments and gold coins. He then collected dust from their feet and touched it to the head of Rasika. Then he called all the Vaisnavas of the city who came to his home playing musical instruments of various kinds. Acyuta offered them various kinds of sweetmeats and they began to sing the glories of Krishna. As soon as the sound of their song entered the ears of the child he began to cry and would not remain in his mothers lap. The devotees were very happy to see this pastime and could understand that he could certainly rescue Utkala. From his birth the palace of Acyuta became Vaikuntha and all the citizens were eager to visit and see the child. The wealth of Acyuta doubled and all the eight types of accomplishments resided with Rasika.
The fourth wave deals with the birth of Rasika. Taking the feet of Syamananda as my ornaments this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
All glories to Syamananda and all glories to Rasikendra candra. Please favour me and allow me to sing your unlimited glories. Gradually it came time for the boys name giving ceremony and brahmins and astrologers were invited to name to child. The Vedic brahmins came there and began to sing songs from the Sama Veda while a square was drawn on the floor and the child’s chart made. The gopas spent the night absorbed in singing and dancing to the accompaniment of different musical instruments. Then the Vedic brahmins began to offer oblations according to the rules of the Vedas and at that time the women performed many auspicious rituals. After bathing, Bhavani, dressed in celestial garments, worshiped the senior persons present there. She then bathed her son and sat with the child on her lap to await the decision of the brahmins. On the basis of his horoscope the astrologers selected Rasika as a fitting name for the child and the Vedic brahmins all gave their blessings to the child. They told Acyuta, “Oh fortunate man, this child will be the life of this world and he will distribute love and devotion to all without caring for caste and creed. Even if we had hundreds of mouths we could not fully describe the glories of your son. By his mercy he will enable everyone to take part in Harinama.” Hearing the words of the brahmins Acyuta folded his hands respectfully and requested them, “Oh respectful brahmins, I have a request for you. Let Sri Rasika be his name according to the horoscope but I wish to call him Murari. Please bless him by this name and grant that he may be a scholar of all scriptures.” After granting Acyuta this request the brahmins departed along with the other guests. All were greatly satisfied by the respect given by Acyuta.
In due course the boy began to crawl on the floor breaking whatever would come into his hands. By breaking earthen pots he mixed milk, curd and ghee together and he would often eat something only to scatter a portion of it everywhere. He was not afraid of fire or snakes and thorns and stones were all the same to him as were friends and enemies. He would smear dust all over his body as though it were aguru and sandalwood oil. He displayed sweet laughter, the beauty of his face could defeat the moon and his eyes were extremely large. As he moved the ornaments round his waist made a sweet jingling sound. Round his neck he wore jewelled garlands, his wrists were decorated with golden bangles, a golden tiger’s nail hung round his neck and his legs were decorated with jewelled ornaments making him look just like an image of Gopala. Whenever he would fall his parents would immediately pick him up and dust his body. His mother would wash him with scented water and then offer him milk to drink. When it came time for the child to sleep Bhavani would take the child in her lap and begin singing the name of Krishna. Hearing the name of the Lord the child would invariably become perturbed with emotion and begin to tremble and shed tears. Seeing her child cry she would offer the child her breast and begin to sing louder hoping to pacify him but he would only cry louder. Then she would call for a few girls to sing with her and this would bring more tears of lamentation into Rasika’s eyes. Whenever the waves of love of Krishna overflow, a devotee always loves to float in that wave with greater emotion. In trying to pacify the child each of the women would take him in their laps, but without success. One tied a protective band round his head and another cited hymns but still the child cried. Then suddenly, remembering Lord Krishna, he became calm, exchanged glances with those around him and began to suck his mothers breast. The delighted and relieved mother then offered sweets to the brahmins and they would give their blessings to the child. In this way Rasika passed his childhood sports. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya has written this wave
All glories to Syamananda, the abode of all good qualities. All glories to Rasikacandra and all glories to all their companions and followers for by their grace one can quickly attain shelter at the lotus feet of Krishna. The son of Acyuta would crawl around the home playing and touching whatever he could reach. If someone asked him to bring shoes or wooden sandals or even pots, jars or brooms he would immediately try to carry them and never disappointed anyone. Everyone was pleased to see the efforts of the small child and one after another they would place the child in their laps.
Gradually it came time for the child’s `anna prasana’ ceremony and on the advice of his neighbours Acyuta began to arrange for it. He invited the Vedic brahmins and all his friends and relatives and requested their permission saying, “If you all permit me then I shall offer rice to the mouth of my son.” Permission was gladly given and Acyuta ordered the decoration of his house. The women made a painting on the floor and placed a silver conch along with rice and cow dung in the middle of it. They also arranged for a table on which they put a pen, tala leaf and the Srimad-Bhagavatam. After performing the scheduled rituals they decorated Rasika with many ornaments and smeared his body with perfume and sandal. Faint lines of cow urine on his forehead made him look very charming and he shone with a beauty like the moon. Rasika’s father sat with his son in his lap and surrounded by friends and brahmins the Vedic hymns were recited and oblations began. At the same time musical instruments were played and the ladies made auspicious sounds indicating their well-being.
Varieties of foodstuffs were placed on a dish and after placing Rasika in front of the dish the women told him, “Oh dear Rasika, bring the thing which you like the most.” Hearing their words he looked at the Srimad-Bhagavatam with tears in his eyes. He eagerly took hold of the book and embraced it tightly to his chest. He began to cry and ecstatic symptoms appeared in his body. All the spectators were astonished to see this and one remarked, “This boy is not an ordinary person. He must be a favourite devotee of Krishna.” Someone else said, “He will rescue all beings.” Another said, “He has incarnated as a creeper of religion.” Yet another said, “Acyuta is a most fortunate father.” With the completion of the rice-giving ceremony the brahmins were respectfully dismissed and Acyuta distributed many varieties of palatable foodstuffs to his friends and relatives. At the same time Bhavani with the utmost care, fed the ladies and offered them sandal, kumkum, betel leaves and camphor. All of the ladies took turns to hold the child in their lap and to glorify the good fortune of Bhavani.
After this the son of Acyuta began to wander throughout the village and with the company of many friends they would perform sankirtana. Observing this tendency in the boy all the devotees of Krishna became mad with joy. Rasika would write the name of Krishna on the bodies of his playmates and persuade them to dance. On hearing the name of Krishna he would faint, his voice would choke and tears would roll down his moonlike face. Sometimes he would become overcome with emotion and fall down on the ground while at other times he would cry out loudly. He would take dust from the feet of any person who would utter the name of Krishna. Seeing this behaviour in the boy astonished the local people and the ladies once again told Acyuta, “Your son is not an ordinary person.” Acyuta simply replied, “Let him live long by your grace.” In this way he appealed to everyone to bless his son.
Rasika made it his habit to respect all types of religion and would offer respect to Tulasi, Asvattha, Dhatri, Vaisnava and brahmin. He was unable to remain calm and quiet at home but would roam through the village in love of Krishna. Knowing that he was the son of a King the local people would invite him into their homes and offer him palatable foodstuffs. Rasika would then place everything with Tulasi and offer them to Krishna. Then he and his playmates would circumambulate Tulasi while dancing and clapping their hands. Next he would distribute the prasada to the brahmins who did not hesitate to accept. Then he would give prasada to his friends and also take a little for himself. In this way he loved to wander through the village and the people became happy by seeing him. He was fond of a place where saintly persons were staying and he loved to go to those places which were connected with the worship of Krishna. If he found any temple of Krishna or any place where there was a Tulasi tree, in an unkempt condition then he would clean it by smearing a mixture of cow-dung, soil and water on them and made them as clean as Vaikuntha. In this way the son of Acyuta taught the people to keep the sanctity of religion. Seeing the behaviour of the boy the people felt ashamed of themselves and from then on they followed the boys example. Rasika would also bring water and grass with his own hands, for he loved to serve the cows. If, in his travels, he met any brahmin or Vaisnava he would worship their feet. He always talked sweetly to others and by his good nature people would were attracted to take him in their lap and question him. They would ask him, “Oh, my dear, from where have you learned all this? How have you learned to keep religious principles and to serve brahmins and Vaisnavas? How have you learned to keep the holy places clean?” They would often tell Acyuta, “Your son is not an ordinary child. His body is decorated with auspicious signs and whenever he hears the name of Krishna he begins to cry.” On hearing the name Krishna, with tears in his eyes, Rasika would go and sit on the lap of Acyuta. His mother would then cleanse his body and offer him some nice foodstuffs. In this way he passed his boyhood. Taking the lotus feet of Syamananda as my ornament, the son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala
All glory to Syamananda the lord of the life of Rasika. Please favour me so that I can sing of your glory. Gradually it came time to pierce the ears of Rasika. On an auspicious date a water pot was installed in the centre of the freshly painted floor. The brahmanas began to offer oblations and a barber was called. After bathing his son Acyuta dressed him in new garments, placed him on a wooden chair and put sweets into his hand. Kirtana was begun and they sang of Krishna. “Try to understand my mind, my friend, Syamanagara comes to my mind all day and night.”
Hearing this line in the Samai the son of Acyuta turned numb. The eight signs of a devotee appeared in his body and tears rolled down from his eyes. At first he fainted and then on regaining his consciousness he began to take the name of Krishna. When he stopped chanting and the people round saw that his eyes were closed, they were all afraid. The brahmins stopped offering oblations, the musicians stopped playing and those close to Rasika tried to nurse him. When the sound of the Samai ceased Rasika came back to normal consciousness and sat up. Seeing the child recover everyone loudly called out the name of Hari.
After this the barber neatly pierced the ears of the child while the brahmins once again began to offered oblations. In the meantime Dayala dasi Thakurani, who was famous as a devotee of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, came to see the child. She lived in a nearby temple and loved to serve Acyuta. She first offered her blessings to Acyuta but when she saw the child she lost all consciousness and fell down. The other ladies sprayed water on her face and told one another, “She has lost consciousness because she is old and she came here through the heat of the sun.” However she told them, “You don’t know the glory of this child. I saw the form of Gopala in him and this is the reason why I fainted. He is not a child at all but the life of this world. He will rescue all beings and preach love and devotion in Utkala. He will preserve the religious principles and serve the Tulasi, asvattha, brahmins and Vaisnavas. He will be kind to the needy and the poor. By his bodily signs we can see he is a confidential devotee of Krishna. Never neglect his words and do not dishonour him. He will preach the sixty-four kinds of devotional and he has appeared in this world to rescue all beings. I have no power to sing his countless qualities but I can assure you Bhavani is certainly fortunate in having this son for he can tell past, present and future.” Then she told Acyuta, “Your son will enlighten your family.” Hearing this Acyuta humbly bowed and told her, “Please bless my boy with a long life and that he will remain your servant.”
Thakurani gladly blessed the boy and chanted Krishna’s name to protect him, Rasika was very happy to hear the name of Krishna and put his arms around her neck and began to cry. The delighted Dayala dasi took the child in her bosom and poured the name of Krishna into his ears. After reciting the Hare Krishna mantra she explained to Acyuta, “I have recited a mantra which can not be explained by anyone else. Krishna will be the Lord of his life and together they will preach love and devotion and deliver the people of Utkala. Do not think if him as an ordinary child for he is a favourite devotee of Lord Krishna.” After saying all this she bid farewell to Acyuta and Bhavani and they both took the dust from her feet and presented her with many gifts.
Rasika did not spend time in games like other children.Instead he would meditate on the maha-mantra refusing to accept any of his mothers foodstuffs until he could complete one lac of names. This became his daily practice. The people of the town told Acyuta, “Surely your boy has received the favour of Krishna, otherwise how could a mere boy show such intelligence. He is always meditating on the name of Krishna and he doesn’t care for eating or sleeping.” In the company of his friends Rasika would re-enact the pastimes of Lord Krishna. They would dress themselves in different garments so that someone would be Brahma and someone Lord Narayana lying on the Ksirodakasayi ocean. Sometimes one would dress as Devaki, another as Vasudeva and another as Kamsa who would put them in prison. Sometimes one would dress as Nanda Maharaja and another as Yasoda while others would be cowherd boys or calves and some would be Putana or Trnavarta or Sakatasura. Rasika enjoyed playing in this way and he would meditate on Bhagavata. Those who observed his behaviour could see this child was not ordinary. Sometimes he would enact the pastimes of Krishna eating dirt or His being tied up with the mortar and then breaking the Yamalarjuna trees. On other occasions they would perform the killing of Vatsasura. Rasika liked to watch his friends perform all these pastimes just as though they were Krishna with His friends. He would see them pretend to be Aghasura while another would be Krishna and kill the demon. One boy would then be Brahma and kidnap the other boys or else he would be Brahma praying to Lord Krishna. Then one would be Dhenukasura and another as Krishna would kill him. They loved to enact the pastimes of Kaliyadamana where some of the boys would be the wives of the Naga and offer Krishna nice prayers. They were able to describe the glory of Krishna’s flute and they could describe the Autumn season. There were other plays such as installing a deity of Katyayani and then one of the boys would play Krishna and steal the dresses of the others who were the gopis. Sometimes they became the yajnic patnis and the cowherd boys would beg rice from them on behalf of Krishna. When they played the sport of lifting Govardhana Hill and the attempt of Indra to kidnap Suravi it caused Rasika to faint in ecstasy and he rolled on the ground in a trance. Seeing the behaviour of the boy the local panditas thought to themselves, “He must be a favourite devotee. Whatever we know of the theories of Bhagavata are nothing in comparison to this child who has absorbed himself in the pastimes of Krishna.” Other pastimes they enjoyed included the kidnapping of Nanda Maharaja by Varuna and Krishna’s going to rescue him. When they arranged a Rasamandala for Radha and Krishna to dance with all the gopis they enacted Krishna’s disappearance from their midst and the gopi’s search for Him. Seeing the disappearance of Krishna, Rasika Murari fell under the eight types of ecstatic emotions. Sometimes they would sing from Gopi-gita or they would kill the Arista demon or the Kesi demon or else it would be the subduing of Sankhacudha (Sudarsana). They played Krishna brought by Akrura on the order of Kamsa and His killing of the washerman and distributing his clothes. Then Krishna meeting Kubja and Sudama the florist and the killing the elephant Kuvalayapida, the wrestling match against such giants as Canura and Mustika and the killing of Kamsa. In this way Rasika Sekara saw the embodiment of Bhagavata and continuously absorbed himself in the Lord’s pastimes.
Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya gladly narrates this Rasika-mangala.
The Eight Wave
All glory to Syamananda, the son of Durika, and the life of Rasikadeva. Rasika passed his childhood performing all the pastimes of Krishna as described in the Bhagavatam. He was so totally absorbed in playing like this with his friends that he did not care to eat or sleep. This became a cause of concern to his father and one day Acyuta took his child in his arms and told him, “This playing with your friends is stopping you from eating so from tomorrow I want you to remain in the house and play instead of going out.” To this the child replied, “I will not go out to play so long as I am allowed to listen to Bhagavata.” This reply made his father very happy and he immediately called for some brahmins to recite. He told them of the desire of his son and asked that they recite it daily. In this way they began to recite and Rasika would sit on the lap of his father and listen to all the pastimes of the Lord which he had previouly performed with his young friends. He listened to the killing of Kamsa and the re-establishment of Ugrasena on the throne of Mathura. He heard how Krishna studied in gurukula and to the visit of Uddhava to Vraja and the lamentation of the gopis in their separation from Krishna. Hearing these descriptions Rasika rolled down from his father’s lap unconscious. Seeing the emotion in the body of his son Acyuta recited the names of the Lord and prayed to Him to protect his child. Listening to Bhagavata became the regular habit of Rasika and some times he would hear of Krishna’s visit to the house of Kubja and to Akrura’s house. Then he heard of the going of Akrura to Hastinapura then the complaining of the two wives of Kamsa, Asti and Prapti, to their father Jarasandha. He heard of the valour of Jarasandha, the King of Magdha, in his fighting Lord Krishna seventeen times. He heard how Krishna left Madhupura and established His Kingdom at Dvaraka. He heard of Mucukunda burning Kalayavana to ashes and the apparent fleeing of Krishna and Balarama from Jarasandha, Krishna’s fight with the kings for the hand of Rukmini, the kidnapping of Pradyumna and the killing of Samvara in order to rescue him, the episode of the Syamantaka jewel, Krishna’s fight with Jambavan, His marriage with Jambavati Thakurani, His marriage with Satyabhama and the killing of Satadhanu by Krishna at Samagrama. He also listened to Krishna’s visit to Indraprastha to see the Pandavas, His marriage with Kalindi, the daughter of Maharaja Nagnajit, the imprisonment of Saptasanda, the killing of Narakasura and the freeing of the sixteen thousand one hundred princesses he held in prison, and the capturing of a parijata tree by winning over the King of heaven. He listened to the household affairs of Krishna and Rukmini, the names of the sons of each of His eight wives, the marriages of Aniruddha and Pradyumna, the fight with the King of Kalinga, the release of the Nrga Raja, Lord Balarama’s visit to Vraja to meet His friends, His dragging of the Yamuna by His plough, the killing of Pundarika? (Pundrauka), Sudarsana’s burning of Varanasi, the imprisonment of the son of Krishna on Hastinapura and Lord Balarama’s visit to that place to release him; Narada,s going to Dvaraka to see Krishna’s actvities in each of His palaces. He also heard of Jarasandha’s imprisonment of ninety-six thousand Kings and their prayers to Krishna for release, Narada’s return to Dvaraka, the visit to Hastinapura of Krishna and Uddhava; the killing of Jarasandha and the release of the imprisoned kings; the Rajasuya yajna, the killing of Sisupala, the killing of Salya and Dantavakra; Lord Balarama’s pilgrimmage including His visit to Naimisaranya and His killing of Suta Pauranika; the visit of Sudama to Dvaraka and his release from poverty; the Kings of the Yadus going to Kuruksetra and Krishna’s meeting with Nanda Maharaja and the inhabitants of Vrndavana; Draupadi’s talks with the eight wives of Krishna; the kidnapping of Subhadra, Lord Krishna’s visit to Videha, the visit of Bhrgu to Dvaraka and Krishna’s acceptance of the mark of Srivatsa. Then he heard of the promise of Arjuna to the brahmana whose wife lost her children and descriptions of the family members of Krishna and His sons. This was how Rasika loved to absorb himself in hearing Bhagavata. After hearing all twelve cantos he heard those Puranas that depicted the glory of Krishna and while listening he would shed tears. One of Rasika’s favourite pastimes was to gather soil and with his own hands mould it to the form of the Lord, Sri Krishna. He would then decorate the form in various ways and offer many items in worship while his young friends would sing and dance. When Rasika would go out for pilgrimmage his friends would have to bring him home because he knew nothing but the pastimes of the Lord and always floated in pools of tears remembering Him. Observing the behaviour of the child the inhabitants of his town were astonished and discussed with one another, “This child has a bodily effulgence like Krishna and he has induced his father to listen to Bhagavata because the child will hear nothing else. He must be an associate of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna. Oh Lord Krishna, protect this boy always because one day he will surely deliver all beings.” In this way the local people would bless him. Just by looking at his moonlike face one would forget his own identity and his mild and sweet smile charmed everyone. The boyhood pastimes are thus described although they can only be mentioned briefly for they are without limit. This eastern part of Rasika-mangala is very sweet to hear for it will help one to conquer over this Kali-yuga. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Ninth Wave
All glory to the son of Acyuta. In due course it became time for Rasika to begin study and with the help of brahmin astrologers a suitable date was selected. After first worshipping Sarasvati a great astrologer named Vasudeva helped Rasika write the name of Sri Krishna. Then Rasika, holding the pencil with his own beautiful hands, wrote “Siddhirastu”, and then offered his obeisances at the feet of his teacher. He also offered obeisances at the feet of all the brahmins, his parents and to all his seniors. Everyone was happy to bless the child and they all prayed to Sri Krishna to allow him to prosper like Brhaspati. Thus the son of Acyuta began his studies in the beautiful school of Vasudeva. He was able to learn all the letters at a glance and his reading which sounded like a nectar to the ears could melt stone. He could master all the difficult lessons in a very short time and within a few days he began to study grammar. Acyuta appointed a professor for this purpose and Rasika began to study Mimamsa mandana. After hearing just once from his teacher Rasika would analyse the Dhatur. His teachers declared, “He has learnt in a few days what took us one or two years of study. He is not an ordinary child. He must be a confidential devotee of Sri Krishna. He will defeat the Saivites and the Saktas.” After this Rasika began to study under the great grammar scholar Vaidya Balabhadra Sena, then under Anukula Cakravarti and Kavicandra and then Sri Yadunandana Cakravarti. Sri Rasika began to study under five teachers at a time. After hearing the sutra only once he was able to analyse it. He began to love poetry, or dramatical grammar and comments on grammar. He was able to establish a theory by himself and then he could contradict that theory by his own words. Hundreds of students studied with him but not one was equal to him. Being graced by the favour of the husband of Sarasvati, Lord Krishna, Rasika was capable of establishing even those theories that were previously contradicted by others. The teachers were astonished and thought, “How is it possible that a mere child can analyse theories which took us years to learn?” In this way they wondered about the genius of the child.
As the Zamindar of Mallabhuma, Acyuta often visited many countries and would take his favourite child with him on tour. At these times Rasika would meet and study under the professors of these places and he soon became a scholar in six scriptures. He studied with sincerity for he knew that he must rescue the fallen souls. While remaining absorbed in love for Krishna he got hold of such philosphies as Tarka, Sankya, Sankhyayana, Mimamsa, the theories of Patanjali and many others and soon mastered them all. He was as brilliant as Brhaspati and his presence gratified the earth. After completing his study of these scriptures he took up a study of Bhagavata under a fortunate professor named Jagannatha Misra sho had written a Bhagavata in poetry. The son of Acyuta began to analyse each and every verse and began to create his own comments. Indeed whenever he sat for study of Bhagavata it seemed as if he were Sukadeva analysing the slokas in devotion and his efforts could be compared to those of Vyasa. His explanation of the slokas could melt dry wood and brought great pleasure to his teacher who would affectionately embrace him. Misra would often remark, “Glory to that mother and father who are so fortunate to have a son like Suka and Vyasa. His explanations of the Bhagavata have opened my own eyes.” Once after saying this Misra took Rasika in his arms and embraced him. At once Misra fell under the spell of the eight kinds of emotion and began to cry. He thought, “His touch has awoken love and devotion in me. He must be a favourite devotee of Lord Krishna and he can enable me to attain Lord Krishna. Simply by observing him all my sins will be removed.” Everyone who heard this began to sing the glory of Rasika. They said, “His words give pleasure to the ears. We had studied Bhagavata for a long time but had failed to know the essence of the theories in this book. This boy has now opened our eyes. In order to teach the world the inner meanings of Bhagavata a servant of Krishna has taken birth as the son of Acyuta.” In this way everyone blessed Rasika. After completing his studies under Misra, Rasika studied under Hari Duve who was a fortunate devotee of Sri Krishna. He observed the love and devotion which Rasika had for Lord Krishna and the two became absorbed together in scriptures. Rasika was happy to have such a teacher and both of them forgot about eating and sleeping being so absorbed in their study. When Duve would hear the analysis of Rasika he would become emotional and shed tears. He would take him in his arms and exclaim, “Glory to the parents. Glory to this earth. A child such as Brhaspati, Vyasa, Suka or Narada has now taken birth. We have never seen such an intelligent child and in the sphere of knowledge he can be compared to Brhaspati or Suka. He is a scholar of all six philosophical systems as well as Vedanta, the eighteen Puranas and Sri Bhagavad-gita. He is an ocean of love of Krishna and when he explains something it is as if Krishna Himself is speaking through him. He can refute the interpretations of other scholars and establish his own explanations which will be in accordance with those of Narada, Suka and Vyasa. We are indeed fortunate to have this boy among us. In the future he will deliver all beings.” Duve was a great soul who could tell past, present and future so he blessed Rasika in this way and also informed all others about the childs power. In this way Rasika spent his time with Duve.
Just by listening to Rasika-mangala one can shake off the bondage of this material world. Oh, devotees of Krishna, listen to Rasika-mangala and very soon you will attain the feet of Rasika. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Tenth Wave
All glories to Syamananda the son of Durika and all glories to Rasikendra, the son of Bhavani. One day Rasika was reading the Tenth Canto of the Bhagavata with Duve. When they came to the chapter describing Krishna’s going to Mathura and the feelings of separation felt by the gopis at that time Rasika fainted and fell to the ground. The eight kinds of emotions broke out in his body and as he thought how the gopis could not bear to live without Krishna he cried out again and again. He cried out, “Where has Krishna the lord of my life gone?” His crying brought others to see the cause of the disturbance. They said, “This boy’s father is the lord of Mallabhuma and he has no want for anything in his life. Why is he crying? He must have been disturbed by some rogue.” No one could understand why the child gave up bathing, eating and studying and kept crying all the time. Everyone was sympathetic towards him but they were unable to comfort him. He could not stay at home but would wander like one insane. Once while chanting the name of Krishna he roamed into the forest not caring for wild animals. In the midst of the jungle he fell on the ground and with a heavy sigh cried out, “Oh my Lord, why are You so cruel to Her. Why have You left this poor gopi who has forsaken Her husband and family. She did not consider the good name of Her family and remains with You like Your shadow. She suffers from hunger and thirst but does not take either food or water. You have made Her homeless but She thinks of You constantly, even in Her sleep. How can You expect the cowherd boys and the cows to live without You, how will mother Yasoda or Nanda Maharaja maintaim their lives. The river Yamuna is crying for You. Even the trees, creepers, birds and animals are crying for You. Why have You become so cruel to them.” After uttering all this Rasika began to roll on the ground and cry. Without even caring for food or water he passed seven days in this condition continually roaming in the forest. When his father returned home from his duties and heard that his son had entered the forest at first he fell to the ground crying out the name of his child. Then he ordered everyone to search for him. By his order hundreds of people went to the forest serching for the child. Eventually Rasika was found still lying on the ground, his body glowing brightly and his moonlike face beautiful to look at and his fine curly hair floating on the ground. Seeing his child in this condition pierced the heart of Acyuta and he took Rasika on his lap. Immediately Rasika opened his eyes and seeing his father returned to normal consciousness. The two then returned home together but still Rasika could not check his crying and tears continued to roll down his moonlike face. Seeing in him this condition some said, “This must be due to some wicked person.” Then another said, “He is suffering from wind trouble.” They continued to talk in different ways but the boy did not answer them. He kept his head down and continued crying unable to look up. Acyuta seeing the distress of his son politely turned to Duve and said, “My son has given up eating and drinking. How can he continue to live?” Duve said, “Don’t worry. He is mad in love for Krishna. Your son is a great soul. He will deliver the world.” Then Duve, combining all the theories of the scriptures, made a Bhagavatamrta and began to recite it to Rasika. He said, “After three months separation from Vraja Krishna returned there because He can never be separated from His eternal abode. This fact is known only by those who have attained love and devotion for Krishna and have taken complete shelter of Him. This the confidential meaning of Bhagavatam which is known only by these great souls.” On hearing that Krishna has returned to Vraja, Rasika was relieved and sat up chanting the name of the Lord. Seeing his son cured Acyuta said to Duve, “You have given life back to my son. I can never repay you for this.” Acyuta was so delighted that he began to eulogise to Duve and offered him worship and all types of sweets. He gifted fine clothes and money to Duve and requested him as follows, “Please don’t let Rasika out of your sight for a second. It will be a great relief for me to give my son to you.” In this way Acyuta bowed to Duve and felt happy seeing the moonlike face of his child.
Day by day Rasika grew into a great scholar whom no one could argue with. The panditas were no match for him. Those who listened to his nectarine words forgot the pains of their existence. He spent his days enjoying his studies and clarifying the scriptures in such a way that no one would dare to refute his theories. He would create slokas which no one could find any error in and sometimes while sitting alone he would cry for Krishna because his body was always ruled by emotion. Day by day his love for Krishna grew, his childhood and boyhood being spent in this state of mind. In his privacy he would study manuscripts, sometimes he would write songs of new slokas, sometimes he would debate on scriptures with other scholars and sometimes he would absorb himself in worship and meditation on the Lord.
By the time of his entering into youthhood he exhibited a Kandarpa winning beauty which made him charming to behold. However, household affairs were very dull things to him and he was apt to roam in the forest full with love of Krishna. Acyuta being anxious about his apathetic son began to search for a suitable bride for him. Accidentally he came to hear of the Zamindar of Hijalimandala whose name was Balabhadra and who was the brother of Sadasiva. His uncle, named Bibhisana Mahapatra, was known to kive in kingly opulence but there was no one as wealthy and fortunate as Balabhadra dasa. Apart from his fabulous treasury the number of cows and stock of rice in his possession could not be counted. His daughter, being favoured by the goddess Lakshmi, was unparalleled throughout the world in beauty and qualities. Her disposition was very sweet and her words were pleasing. Her lotus like face could put Manasifa to shame. Her whole body was decorated with numerous ornaments and she wore nothing but silk dresses. Her name was Iccha devi and it was to be her who could stand by the side of Rasika. She had been in the habit of worshipping Lord Krishna since her childhood. Along with her friends she would form a Deity of the Lord and after worshipping Him she would pray to Him, “Please give me a husband like You, to whom I am a maidservant birth after birth.”
Now listen to the marriage episode of the daughter of Balabhadra. Balabhadra received an order from the King of his country that he should pay taxes and also deliver many valuable goods to him. When he went to deliver payment Balabhadra was short by lacs of rupees and the King, the Patsaha of Medinapura, had him imprisoned. The messenger of Balabhadra reported this to Acyuta and Acyuta at once went to meet the King. Acyuta agreed to settle the debt and the King released Balabhadra. Acyuta then brought Balabhadra to his home and served him with the utmost respect offering him sweets, varieties of foodstuffs and celestial clothes. While he was eating betel leaf Rasika came before him. He looked very beautiful with curly locks of hair, a face like the moon, a beautifully constructed nose between two large lotus eyes, ornaments hanging from his ears, his teeth resembled darimva fruit shining like lightning and he was mildly smiling. His reddish lips vibrated words which resembled the sound of a cuckoo and his talking was a shower of nectar. Golden beads hung around his neck as well as a garland of rubies and pearls. His long hands were decorated with golden bangles and his navel was very beautifully shaped. His waist could defeat a lion and his thighs were like two pillars of emeralds. His lotus feet were painted red and in his hand he held a manuscript. A cloth was folded over his shoulder and with his elephant like gait he appeared magnificent. He took his seat by the side of Balabhadra who was stunned to see the beauty of Rasika and fainted, falling to the ground. When he recovered Balabhadra told the others, “This boy must be Narayana Himself. I have never seen such beauty in this world. Whose son is he?” Hearing that he was the son of Acyuta, Balabhadra addressed Acyuta, “Please listen to my request. If you permit I will give my daughter to your son. My daughter, Iccha devi, has no equal in this world in regards to both beauty and good qualities. Your son is the best husband for her and she will be the best wife for your son. It is all the arrangement of providence for them. I have been captivated by the beauty of your son who is the real wealth of life in this world.”
Acyuta gladly agreed to the marriage proposal and with due respect they parted. Now I shall describe the marriage episode of Rasika. Listen to Rasika-mangala because it describes the lord of life for all devotees of Krishna. Making the lotus feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Eleventh Wave
All glory to the son of Acyuta who is an abode of all good qualities the wealth of life in this world and the deliverer of all beings. After receiving the proposal from Balabhadra, Acyuta discussed is with his relatives. He told them, “Sri Balabhadra has proposed giving his beautiful daughter as a wife for Rasika. He has been charmed by the character of Rasika and considerd his daughter a suitable wife for him. Balabhadra is the lord of Hijli and has enormous wealth. It is by the grace of providence that I could meet him. Let us prepare for the marriage and arrange all the necessary items very carefully.” By the order of Acyuta arrangements were begun and ornaments, clothes and other commodities were collected. Balabhadra had his whole house cleaned thoroughly and told his men, “The marriage of my daughter to the son of Acyuta has been arranged by the will of providence. The bridegroom possesses a beauty which is unequalled in the three worlds, indeed he looks like Narayana Himself. He possesses saintly qualities and his knowledge and learning can be compared to Brhaspati. I have secured such a husband for my daughter only due to the good fortune of my family or else as by result of some austerities. Iccha devi is certainly fortunate, for she will have a husband like Lord Narayana.”
Unfortunately before the marriage could be performed Balabhadra died. After a suitable time had elapsed his elder brother, Sadasiva, in order to keep the promise of his deceased brother, called for astrologers to fix a date for the marriage and then announced it to all. He had his men gather all the necessary commodities such as curd, milk, ghee, molasses, rice and sweets of many different varieties. On the auspicious day his house was decorated with paintings and a pandal was erected. Sadasiva requested a few brahmins and a few of his relatives to bring the bridegroom with great care and attention. He instructed them to first take permission from Acyuta and politely inform him that they would take his son to the home of the bride. Acyuta invited all his friends and relatives and they came to his house on horses or in palanquins.
O friends, please listen to the episode of Rasika’s marriage. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, the son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Twelfth Wave
All glory to Syamananda the friend of the needy and all glory to Rasikananda, the ocean of mercy. At the proper time, after having obtained the permission of Acyuta, the relatives started the journey to Hijli taking Rasika with them. They were accompanied by the friends and relatives of Acyuta and there were Vedic brahmins and even barbers and washermen to accompany them. Travelling on horses and in palanquins they carried various gifts as well as food, clothes and ornaments. Many musical instruments were played such as the dhola, mrdanga and kartels. Rasikendra boarded a beautifully decorated palanquin and the sight of the procession brought hundreds of people running to witness it. Seeing Rasika the people would say, “Which village is this man from? We have never seen such good looks as he possesses, indeed he looks like Lord Narayana.” When the procession entered Hijli, a messenger reported it to Sadasiva and he ordered his friends to go forward to welcome the bridegroom. Seeing the beauty of Rasika they began to praise the good fortune of Iccha devi. As they entered the city the residents, having heard of Rasika, came running eagerly just to catch a glimpse of him. They praised Balabhadra and his daughter saying that they must have performed many austerities to deserve such a husband. Sadasiva was delighted to received the groom and arranged his accomodation in a comfortable house. He sent various items to that house making sure that all the guests were comfortable and then called for the astrologers. The house of Sadasiva was decorated with many paintings and curtains of gems and jewels were hanging from the doors and windows. All the pillars were decorated with flags and a golden water pot was placed in the middle of a circular painting. The place looked as beautiful as Vaikuntha. Vedic brahmins sat around the circle while hundreds of relatives and friends took their seats in the pandal. The ascetics and saints were given seats on diases and the aristocrats sat on rugs and carpets. The house was decorated throughout with lamps which made the city appear as though it were a moonlit night. Different fireworks were thrown in the sky such as Hawai, Candravana, Bhumicampa, etc. The pandal was decorated with white candles which made the night appear as though it were day. Flower garlands were hung everywhere and the beauty of the pandal cannot be fully described. The women began to perform rituals while, following the rules of the Vedas, Sadasiva performed adhivasa and other rituals. Sadasiva sat near the circled spot with his friends and offered everyone betel leaves and camphor. When the astrologers announced that it was the right time to bring the bridegroom Sadasiva ordered his men and with the accompaniment of musicians they entered the house where Rasika was staying. The companions of Rasika began hasty attempts to decorate him with ornaments. They painted his forehead with kumkum and sandal, arranged his hair and placed flower garlands round his neck. Then a golden crown was placed on his head. The crown was made of numerous gems and jewels and it enhanced the beauty of his moonlike face which was lit by the jewels hanging from the crown on both sides of his face. His eyes were decorated with a border of collyrium, his nose resembled a beautiful tila flower while his teeth, which enhanced the beauty of his face were like finely shaped Darinbha flowers. His lips were reddened with the juice of betel leaves, his eyebrows were like the carions (vultures?) of Karma, his ears were bedecked with jewelled ornaments, a garland of gold hung round his elephant like neck and there was a beautiful locket in the centre of his chest. His long arms were decorated with armlets and bangles. His slim waist had a silk scarf wrapped round it on top of his yellow silk dhoti and he carried a chaddar over one shoulder. The nails of his soft feet were painted red and he wore wooden sandals. The effulgence of his blackish body illuminated the three worlds. Decorated in this way he boarded the palanquin and started for the bride’s house. At that moment many musicians began playing their instruments, poets recited fine verses, brahmins chanted Vedic hymns while others read from Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. In other places sankirtana was being performed, in other places the gopas were displaying their skills with sticks, girls were dancing, the local citizens were singing patriotic songs and there was wrestling and horse-riding going on in other areas. All the experts in music and instruments came from different cities to participate in the marriage ceremony. All the inhabitants of Hajali came to witness the event and the market places, streets and houses were all full of people hoping to see Rasika. The crowd was so great that even a mustard seed could not be thrown on the ground. Everyone said they had never seen such a marriage. When the palanquin reached the pandal the Vedic brahmins began the offering of oblations. Rasika stepped down and stood under the pandal to receive the worship of brahmins. They blessed him and prayed to him to deliver the three worlds by giving devotion to Krishna.
The beauty of Rasika charmed everyone present such as the kings along with their entourages, the brahmins, children, aged persons and women. They all wondered where the bridegroom had come from. Seeing his beautiful smile, the gesture of his eyes (brows) and his long arms they all praised Rasika saying they had never seen such beauty before. They also praised the good fortune of the daughter of Balabhadra in being the wife of such an extraordinary personality. Indeed they thronged round Rasika just like bees round a flower. His moonlike face soothed their eyes and the spectators thought Rasika must be an incarnation of Narayana and the place Vaikuntha. The groom was directed to a silk carpeted seat on a dias while others took their seats in the pandal along with Sadasiva and his friends and relatives. Now it was time to begin the rituals for the marriage and the brahmins started to offer oblations while musicians played, women made sounds vibrating their tongues and blowing conchshells and people sang songs. Everything was performed according to the scriptures. With the order from the brahmins to bring the bride, the relatives entered into the house and ordered the women present to complete the decoration. They smeared kumkum and sandal on the golden complexion of the bride and arranged her hair with a giant jewel on the top of her head. Her moonlike face put the full moon to shame, her eyebrows could defeat the canors of Kama and her lips could win over vandhuli flowers. Her eyes were decorated with collyrium and she had a pearl nose ring through her tila flower like nose. Her teeth were like kunda flowers, a beauty spot decorated her cheek and she wore jewelled and gold garlands round her neck. Her hands and wrists were decorated with ornaments. Her breasts, navel and waist were beautifully shaped and her golden silk dress enhanced her beauty further. Golden bangles decorated her ankles and the nails of her feet shone like millions of moons. After they completed her decoration, Iccha devi, the daughter of Balabhadra and eternal consort of Rasika, took flower garlands and personally decorated all of her friends.
In the company of her relatives she was brought to the marriage arena. While the brahmins offered oblations according to the rules of the Vedas, Sadasiva, observing all the rituals offered the bride to Rasika. She was placed at the side of Rasika just like Lakshmi sits at the side of Lord Narayana. At that time Sadasiva offered many valuable items as dowry. A few days later the Asta-mangala ceremony was held and then Rasika started for his home along with his bride. Rasika was absorbed in spiritual trance and tears flowed from his eyes in love of Krishna. Seeing his son return home with his wife Acyuta felt happy and invited all his friends to his home satisfying them with palatable food and distributing clothes, ornaments and rice among them.
One who hears the marriage episode of Rasika can get free from the bondage of the material world. O friends, listen to Rasika-mangala because the son of Acyuta is the friend of all. Listen to his lilamrta for by giving up all unnecessary things you will be delivered to Krishna. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Thirteenth Wave
May Syamananda Prabhu, the joy of this world bestow his favour on me and allow me to sing the glories of Rasika. After his marriage Rasika Murari settled down and passed his time discussing Bhagavatam and topics concerning Lord Krishna. Absorbed in chanting of Hari-nama his eyes shed a constant flow of tears and he would roll on the ground, his body experiencing the eight kinds of emotions. He would cry out, “Krishna my wealth, He is my mother, my Lord, my guardian, my son, my friend and my protector. Without Krishna I have no one. I have dedicated myself to Him.” His only concern was the pastimes of Krishna and he neglected even eating and sleeping. He was unable to sit at home but loved to wander through the forests where he would sit alone until his relatives found him and brought him home. There was nothing but Krishna in his mind and he grew more and more apathetic to household affairs. Understanding the thinking of his son, Acyuta told Rasika, “Listen my dear Rasika, remain at home. I shall provide you with whatever you need.” Hearing this Rasika replied, “O father, hear me. This family and wealth is false and Krishna is the only truth, His pastimes are the only truth; sankirtana is the only truth, Krishna nama is the only truth, guru and devotion to the guru are the only truth. Listen father for this is the essence of the Vedas. Dedicate yourself to Krishna for He is the life of all and worship of Him is the verdict of the scriptures. Brahma, Narada, Siva, Suka, Indra and other gods know only Krishna and nothing else.” These words can help others to also accept Krishna as the only truth. With these words, the son of Rasamaya takes the feet of Syamananda as his only wealth.
The Fourteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananada, the friend of the world, well-wisher of all and an ocean of mercy. Please favour me O son of Durika, and allow me to sing the glory of Rasika. Now I shall describe the meeting of Syamananda and Rasika and how they decided to deliver all beings. Acyuta possessed houses in many different countries and while on tour he and his son, Rasika, would stay in them. Ghanta Sila was one such place where they stayed along with their men. Nearby was a spot named Jagannatha Mandapa where Rasika would spend all his time studying Bhagavatam and shedding tears in love of Krishna. There was also a beautiful grove on the banks of Srivamarekha where the Pandavas had once halted for some time. Rasika Sekhara not only visited that grove but many other places which were all places of pilgrimmage. When he roamed through the forest sometimes he would chant japa, or other times he would perform sankirtana. He also enjoyed having prasadam distribution and he would feed many Vaisnavas. The place where the Pandavas had stayed was a beautiful spot surrounded by deep forest and rivers with sweet water. At that place he sat for meditation on Lord Krishna. One moment he would sweat, the next moment he would tremble and the next, cry. At this time he had a vision of a divine personality which had a blackish complexion but which glowed with an effulgence illuminating the entire forest. He stood before Rasika in a threefold posture holding a flute to His lips. His magnificent black curly hair was decorated with a peacock feather and he wore a yellow cloth and many ornaments. The Kaustubha jewel hung in the middle of His jewelled garland and he wore pearl earrings and footbells. Just at the time of twilight Lord Krishna came before His servant Rasika and spoke words to sooth the ears. He said, “Listen to Me Rasika, your advisor is Syamananda Raya. He is My beloved devotee and he will deliver all beings by giving love and devotion. By serving his feet you will attain My feet. I will be in your heart always.” As these words entered the ears of Rasika Murari, he opened his eyes and saw the lord of his life, Sri Krishna, before him. Seeing that Supreme Personality whose beauty can defeat millions of Cupids, Rasika, fell to the ground with a delighted heart but when he raised his head he could no longer see the Lord. He began to cry and roll on the ground his body covered with dust. He called out, “Oh the Lord of my life, Sri Krishna, where have You gone. You have allowed my sinful eyes to see Your beauty but now You have left me in a helpless condition for I do not know where You have concealed Yourself. How can I continue to live.” It is not possible to fully describe the emotion of Rasika for his lamentation could melt stone. Rasika lost all control of his senses and continued crying throughout the night. There were numerous wild animals in that place but by the grace of Lord Krishna, none came near to Rasika. At last his relatives who were anxiously searching for him came to that place. They quickly helped him to sit up and carefully wiped his face, arranged his hair and dusted his body before taking him home. That beautiful form which Rasika had witnessed, however, remained in his heart. Although he did not tell anyone he grew anxious to meet Syamananda and meditated upon him and although his wife and friends sat around him with different pleasing items he did not look at them at all. His only thought was for Krishna and Syamananda. He gave up reading manuscripts and forgot about eating, drinking or sleeping. He could not stay at home but roamed in the forests.
In course of time, Syamananda, due to the bond of love, came to that place to favour Rasika. Now I shall describe the incident of his coming to Utkala from Vraja. Some may ask what is my capacity to describe the favour of Syamananda to Rasika? In this regard I can say that I served these two Prabhus from my childhood and I have personally seen and heard their pastimes. I shall describe them in brief and please don’t see any fault in it because I am guided by Rasika. Making the feet of Syamananda his ornament, the son of Rasamaya has written this.
The Fifteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the joy of this world, at whose feet Rasikendracandra was like a bee for he knew nothing but the meditation of Syamananda. Now I shall describe the visit of Syamananda to Utkala for it was by the order of Govinda that he left Vraja and came to find Rasika.
One day while Syamananda was absorbed in chanting the holy name Madana gopala, Sri Govinda, appeared before him and said, “Listen Syamananda, Rasika Murari is My favourite devotee. Go to Utkala and after you initiate him together you should preach love and devotion to Me and deliver all the inhabitants of Utkala. The residents of Vraja are My favourite devotees but I request you to go to Utkala to favour Rasika.” With a shiver Syamananda fell to the ground and being unable to see the Lord anymore he began to lament. Then he remembered the words of Hrdayananda and he thought to himself, “The Lord has confirmed the previous instruction given to me but how can I leave Vraja to go to Utkala. If I don’t go, however, then I will be neglecting the order of Sri Krishna. I must go and see this great devotee who is living there.” He continued to think in this way but was reluctant to go out of Vraja. It was then that Madana gopala appeared to Sri Jiva Goswami and told him, “Listen My dear Jiva, tell Syamananda to go to Utkala. Rasika Murari is a favourite devotee of Mine and he is living there. Syamananda has to go there and deliver the inhabitants of Utkala with the help of Rasika.” The order was given three times and the Lord also said, “He should serve the Vrajavasis who are now residing in Utkala. They are very unhappy there because of the predominance of sinful activities. Syamananda and Rasika, by removing the darkness of sin will deliver Utkala.” Having received the order from Lord Krishna, Jiva told everything to Syamananda. He said, “Listen Syamananda, Krishna has ordered you to go to Utkala. You should enlist Rasika Murari in your group and with his help you should deliver the inhabitants of Utkala. Rasika is a favourite devotee of Krishna.” After hearing all this from Jiva, Syamananda became more confident and told Jiva, “I must go to Utkala and meet Rasika Murari. I must see him as a favourite of the Lord.”
Thus Syamananda took leave of Jiva Goswami, Haripriya dasa and other Vaisnava mahajanas of the asrama and started on his journey. He took with him three of his disciples, and one his brothers named Thakura Prasada dasa, a boy named Syamadasa and a few religious scripts. After leaving Vraja they came to Agra and settled in a place there. When the Moghul general saw that some Vaisnavas had settled in the city he became furious. He could not determine the purpose of their staying in the city and took them either to be thieves or saints. Thus he had his soldiers arrest them and put them into prison. That night when the general lay dowm to rest someone entered into his room and picked up the bed along with the general and then thrashed it to the ground. He then sat on the chest of the general and told him, “You are a rogue. You have taken My favourite devotees and put them into prison. I will kill you and all your family.” In fear of his life the general cried out in pain for his life air was at the edge of his throat. Hearing his cries his relatives came running to him and found him vomiting blood and sighing heavily. They put water in his mouth and then inquired what had happened to him. He told them, “I have put five Vrajavasis into prison. They are not ordinary persons but favourite devotees of Krishna. You must go and release them and bring them to me.” A few guards went to the prison and freed them. When Syamananda met that general he fell on Syamananda’s feet saying, “Forgive me, I did not know that you are favourite devotees of Krishna and because of this I have suffered.” The Yavana then tried to please Syamananda in various ways and being satisfied Syamananda told him, “I beg you to always render service to the Vaisnavas.” The Yavana felt relief and from that day he began to serve saintly persons and kept Syamananda and his party in the city for a few months serving them very sincerely. From there Syamananda went to Varanasi and Prayaga and stayed there for some time before entering Rohini city. When he inquired as to the whereabouts of Rasika he was told that he was now in Ghantasila. Syamananda went to that place and when the two met they floated in waves of love of Krishna. I shall describe the meeting later. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, the son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Sixteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the life of the universe. Please favour me so that I may be able to sing the glories of both you and Rasika. Now listen how Syamananda met Rasika. Rasika was living happily in Ghantasila, absorbed in meditation on Syamananda. One day, in the court of the King, a gathering was held to hear recitation of Bhagavata. The royal court was full of great brahmin scholars and Rasika would question them about the inner meaning of the theories of Bhagavata. When Syamananda came to this place his beautiful golden figure with long arms, smiling face, beautiful eyes and elephant like gait caught the attention of everyone. The King quickly rose from his seat, offered him obeisances and very respectfully gave him a seat. On seeing Syamananda, Rasika became full of ecstatic love. Syamananda took his seat and began to scan the assembly. Although neither of them knew what the other looked like, as soon as they saw each other they knew their identity. When the Bhagavatam reading was concluded the King returned to his chambers and one by one the brahmins dispersed until only Rasika remained sitting there. Seeing Syamananda sitting in the group of his disciples Rasika went to him and offered obeisances. Syamananda embraced him and asked the others, “What is his name? Whose son is he? He has handsome features and a beautiful smile.” After hearing that he was the son of Acyuta, the King of Mallabhuma and that he was known as Murari, Syamananda allowed him to sit by his side and asked him about his family. Then he told him, “I have come from Vraja by the order of Lord Krishna and the residents of Vraja. You are an intimate devotee of Lord Krishna and I have come here to meet you.” After some brief talk Rasika took his leave and returned to his house.
Syamananda remained in this place for months. He would spend time in solitary places discussing topics of Lord Krishna in the company of Rasika. They discussed the Mimamsa of Patanjali and the Vedas as well as Sankhya and Bhagavata. When Syamananda heard Rasika state that the only essence of scripture is love and devotion to Krishna he was greatly happy and embraced him. They would discuss in private and no one else knew what they were discussing. It was at this time that Syamananda taught all the methods of worship to Rasika. He told Rasika, “According to scriptures all of the Lord’s incarnations such as Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Sri Nrsimha, Parasurama, Vamana, Buddha and Kalki are worshipped individually by the devotees. The method of worship given by Caitanya Mahaprabhu is something different and it was discussed before by Narada after he was questioned by saintly persons about it. Those who listened to Narada began to worship in Madhurya bhava recognising Sri Krishna, the Lord of Vrndavana as the only God. This fact is confirmed by the srutis.
On the banks of the Yamuna stands Vrndavana, the most beautiful place in millions of brahmandas. The city is decorated with numerous jewels and the women are like Lakshmi while the men are like Visnu. The rasamandali is under the kalpa-vrksa and in this area stands a jewelled throne which shines like millions of suns. Seated on the jewelled throne is Lord Krishna with His consort Srimati Radharani on His left side. He is seen in a three-fold posture, His beautiful curly hair decorated with peacock feathers and jewelled garlands around His neck. His beautiful forehead is painted and the hairs on His body look just like a line of bees. His eyebrows resemble the cannons of Kama and His eyes are like lotus petals. A pearl nose ring decorates His tila flower like nose. He speaks sweet words and smiles magnificently, His face resembling the Autumn moon while His earrings swing brightly from side to side. His mesmerising beauty charms everyone in the universe. A jewelled garland with the Kaustubha gem in the centre hangs round His neck. His breast bears the mark of Srivatsa’s feet. His hands are decorated with bangles and other ornaments. Wearing a yellow dress His waist looks like that of a lion, His legs are like two emerald pillars which charm the Vraja girls and His two lotus feet are very soft. He wears footbells round His ankles and the glow of His nails can put millions of moons to shame. The marks of Dvaja, Padma, Vajra and Chatrankusa can be seen under His right foot and the marks of Kumbha, Sankha, Mina and Indradhanu can be seen under His left foot. Vanamali is seen in this manner with beautiful Radha on His left side. The throne is surrounded by eight favourite sakhis who remain in the service of Radha and Krishna playing different musical instruments. This is called madhura bhajana of Radha Krishna. Follow this method sincerely.”
Piece by piece Syamananda revealed the storehouse of love of Krishna to Rasika. He said, “The males are like females to the son of Nanda. If you worship Krishna in this way you can quickly attain Him. If Krishna favours someone then they can understand this loving relationship and without this love no one can attain Krishna. Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, can be conquered by love. By this love sometimes a gopi offers Him her chewed remnants and sometimes He will carry a gopi on His shoulders. All the scriptures declare that God is conquered by such love and devotion. If you dedicate yourself to Him, the life of the universe and son of Nanda Maharaja, then you will soon attain shelter at His lotus feet.” After hearing all this from Syamananda Rasika became ecstatic in love of God and began to shed tears. He fell at the lotus feet of Syamananda and his tears washed his feet. Syamananda gave him a loving embrace and blessed him saying, “Krishna will ever remain in your heart. You are the embodiment of the loving image of Krishna. Along with you I shall deliver all beings.” Thus he accepted Rasika.
This is episode of the meeting of Rasika with Syamananda. Rasika-mangala is very sweet to hear for it will remove all Kali kala. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, the son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala. Here ends the Eastern Part describing the union of Rasika and Syamananda.
The Southern Part
The First Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the deliverer of the sinners, the friend of the universe and the wealth of Rasika. Absorbed in live of Krishna Syamananda spent many days in Ghantasila performing sankirtana in every house and associating with Rasika, the entire family of Rasika offered their obeisances to him and seated him with the utmost respect. Rasika washed the feet of Syamananda in scented water and wiped them using a celestial cloth. At that time the daughter of Rasika came near Syamananda and seeing her he asked about her identity. Hearing that she was the daughter of Rasika he took her on his lap and chanted the Hare Krishna mantra into her ears. Seeing the favour of Syamananda to Devaki, Rasika humbly told him, “Oh the embodiment of mercy, Krishna has previously instructed me that my guide will be Syamananda Raya and it is to fulfill this that you have come here. In my childhood Dayala dasi Thakurani poured the Hare Krishna mantra into my ears and told me that an associate of the Krishna will be my guide. Now I can see that the words of my guru and Lord Krishna have become true. Now please instruct me how I can attain to the service of Radha and Krishna, tell me all the mantras for glorifying Radha and Krishna and kindly explain the philosophy of Krishna bhakti.” After saying this Rasika fell at his feet and Syamananda took him in his arms and granted his requests. After this Rasika entered the room of Iccha devi and told her, “As you are my beloved wife I request you to take initiation from Syamananda. Give up your family prestige and shyness and take shelter at the feet of Syamananda.” She replied, “As a devoted wife, your wish is my wish.” She then collected flower garlands, sandalwood, camphor, betel leaf, fine clothes and other items and went to offer them to Syamananda along with her maidservants. Rasika was very happy with her behaviour and he then requested Syamananda, “Please favour me and my family for we are your servants birth after birth.” Syamananda gladly initiated her by reciting mantras into the ear of Iccha devi and named her Syama dasi. He ordered her as follows, “You should personally serve the Vaisnavas by offering them food and water and I promise you that wherever you sit for meditation you will attain perfection in the eight types of siddhis.” After receiving this blessing Syama dasi dedicated herself to the service of Krishna for the rest of her life. Syamananda Raya was an embodiment of love of Krishna and by the grace of the Lord, Rasika too became full of love and devotion. Together they would remain in private places discussing different religious scriptures. One day while they were both in the court of the King listening to Bhagavata, Rasika turned his face to the rear and Syamananda became furious and kicked Rasika twice. Thus he fell on the ground and lay on the feet of Syamananda, with tears in his eyes he said, “Today the result of all my sins have been rectified by the two kicks of Syamananda Raya. Today I have been freed from the bondage of the material world and attained shelter at the feet of my master.”
Seeing the devotion of Rasika, Syamananda also began to shed tears and embraced him.
After a prolonged stay in Ghantasila, Syamananda told Rasika, “I shall now go to see Lord Jagannatha and then I shall quickly go to Vraja.” Rasika immediately said, “You must take me with you to Vraja.” Syamananda told him, “Listen to me, without you everyone here will be unhappy. Stay here for sometime and then come to Vraja. I shall go first and you can join me later in Vraja.” Rasika accepted this order and accompanied Syamananda a short distance. As they travelled they discussed topics of Krishna bhakti. They both entered into the village known as Cakulia and visited the house of Damodara dasa. Damodara was in the habit of practicing yoga and thinking of yoga in his mind. He was a great scholar and Rasika had studied with him since his childhood. Together Syamananda and Rasika, while staying at the house of Damodara, discussed the science of bhakti. Syamananda gave lessons on the theory of sankhya and the path of jnana then he taught about love and devotion to Krishna. When Damodara heard the glory of devotion he talked on the glory of jnana but Syamananda made it clear to him what the difference between the two paths was and established devotion as the most sensible. He explained that devotion was of nine kinds having sixty-four limbs. It was explained that out of all kinds of devotion none could equal that shown by the gopis of Vraja. The theories of the Vedas and tantras were then discussed and after hearing everything Damodara decided to dedicate himself to the path of Krishna bhakti. Hearing this Rasika advised Damodara, “Give up everything and take refuge at the feet of Syamananda just as I have done. Take initiation in the Krishna mantra.” Damodara replied, “Yes, I must do it and dedicate myself to his service but before that I want to see something transcendental with my own eyes.”
One day after taking his meal Syamananda was seated with Rasika who served him betel leaves while Damodara smeared sandalwood on his body. For some reason Damodara then went into the dense forest near a river known as the Khanva. In this place Damodara suddenly witnessed a Kalpataru with a jewelled throne situated underneath and Lord Krishna seated in His three-fold bending posture wearing yellow dress and with peacock feathers in His hair. He saw Syamananda standing on His left side serving betel leaf to the Lord. Seeing Syamananda’s position as an intimate associate of the Lord and appreciating the beauty of the Lord and His devotee Damodara fell to the ground and began to cry.
After this vision Damodara immediately returned to his house where Syamananda was talking to Rasika and seeing Syamananda from a distance he fell to the ground and paid obeisances to him. Syamananda then took him in his arms and favoured him by instructing him as follows. He said, “You should worship the feature of the Lord which you have just witnessed and you should give up everything else.”
Damodara replied, “I could not recognise you. Who in the three worlds can understand your technique. Please favour me O son of Durika. I and my family dedicate ourselves to you.” Syamananda then initiated Damodara and his two wives into Krishna mantra. Previously Netrananda and Kisora Haridasa were famous as his disciples and now Rasika and Damodara were famous. Syamananda stayed for a few more days to discuss Krishna-katha with Damodara and Rasika and then went to Nilacala for a few days before returning to Mathura. He remained waiting for Rasika in Vraja.
This incident was personally told to me by Rasika and Damodara and I had kept it to myself for a long time. Now on the order of my master i have described it. Under the direction of the son of Acyuta I am trying to sing his glory. Please do not see any fault in it. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament the son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Second Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the life of the universe. May he forever favour me so that I can describe his glories. While Syamananda remained in Vrajamandala at the request of Sadasiva, Syamadasi Thakurani came to Hijli mandala to stay for a few days. At this time Rasika went to Tania and visited the house of Ananta. Rasika stayed there for a few days and during this period Thakurai also came to visit. Rasika told her, “I have to go to Vraja. You should go and stay at the home of one of your relatives.” Thakurani told him, “What can I say. Do what you like. You have brought me here and now you are leaving me. If you are kind to me you will take me with you.” Hearing this Rasika told her, “The result of millions of Tirthas can be attained by serving the Vaisnavas. Remain at home and do this service and let me go to Vraja this time. Later I will certainly take you there.” Hearing Thakurani returned to her house while Rasika started for Ayodhya via the forest route. From there he went to Vraja visiting Mathura first and seeing the birth place of Lord Krishna. From there he went to Vrndavana seeing the Deities of Madana gopala and Govinda as well as the other temples and groves there. Seeing the banks of the Yamuna he felt transcendental bliss and stayed a few days there before touring all twelve forests where the Lord had performed His different pastimes. He visited (all the semi-forests) such as Bhadravana, Loha, Srivasa, Bhandiravana, Mahavana, Talavana, Khadir, Vahula, Kamoda, Kamya and Madhuvana. Seeing these places and remembering the pastimes of the Lord he shed tears and forgot his own self. On seeing Goverdhana Hill he feel unconscious. When he recovered he went to see the Deity of Gopala Raya installed there. He decided to spend the night at Goverdhana and during his sleep Krishna in the form of a cowherd boy appeared before Rasika and told him, “Listen to Me Rasika. You must quickly proceed to Utkala. Distribute My love to all and see that My favourite Vraja people are served by the people of Utkala. My Syamananda is waiting for you in Mathura. Go there and serve his feet.” On hearing these words Rasika opened his eyes and saw that Krishna, dressed as a cowherd boy, was standing before him. Seeing His beauty Rasika fainted and when he regained consciousness the Lord had gone. After this he quickly travelled all the places of Krishna’s pastimes. Since his darshan of the Lord at Goverdhana Rasika constantly shed tears in love of Krishna and emotion ruled over his body. He cried, “Oh the Lord of my life where have you gone. How can I live without the son of Nanda Maharaja.” In this mood all eight kinds of bhava appeared in him. He forgot hunger and thirst and remained absorbed in meditation on Krishna. After darshan of the Kesava Deity at Mathura he met with Syamananda. Rasika fell at the feet of Syamananda who took him in his arms and told him, “I have been waiting for you. It is good that you have visited Vrndavana before coming here. Now you should return to your own house.” Rasika replied, “Oh my lord, I want to stay in Vrndavana for a few more days so that I can see everything in Vrndavana. Having reached here how can I leave this place so early.” Syamananda sweetly told him, “Your relatives are miserable without you there and they will blame me. Please, my dear, go there and don’t create any trouble. We have both been ordered to go to Utkala to distribute love and devotion to all. You must sincerely render service to the devotees there. You have already seen Krishna at Goverdhana and He ordered you at that time. How can you disobey His order.” Hearing this Rasika was astonished and thought to himself, “Syamananda must be an intimate devotee of Lord Krishna, otherwise how could he know everything that had happened. I have not told anyone of my seeing Krishna.” Rasika then told Syamananda, “I must obey your order.”
Syamananda was very happy to hear this and they started for Utkala together going by the forest route to Nagpur and then to Segala. There they rested in the home of a fortunate person named Visnu dasa. He and his family took initiation from Syamananda and he was renamed Dasa Rasamaya. From there they reached the home of Rasika and all the inhabitants were happy to see them again. Syamananda had come with the son of Acyuta in order to remove the darkness of ignorance from Utkala.
I have given a short biography of Rasika who was the root of mercy. O devotees please listen to Rasika-mangala. Making the feet of Syamananda his ornament, the son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Third Wave
Glory to Syamananda the life of the universe. May he bestow his favour upon me that I can always sing his glory. By the grace of Syamananda the love and devotion of Rasika increased day by day and there was nothing but Krishna in his mind. Since the womb of his mother he had knowledge and devotion but when his guru taught him the various principles he became mad in love of Krishna and the sixty-four kinds of devotion remained ever bright in his heart. He had no attraction for family life and seeing this his family members felt sorry. After Acyuta left this world for Vaikuntha the brothers of Rasika fought one another but Rasika did not get involved. He would remain with devotees discussing about Krishna. Whenever guests would visit his home he loved to serve them and if there was no food in his home he would go and beg it and then feed them. It was his habit to serve guests every day. He served Vaisnavas with the utmost love and he worshipped sadhus as Krishna. Daily he drank the water after washing their feet. With his own hands he enjoyed collecting the leaves on which they had eaten and with the greatest respect he would take their remnants of food. This was the practice of both he and his wife and they ded not make any distinction between class or creed. When his family members saw he and his wife taking their food last they became angry. They said that Rasika had become mad and that the family would suffer because of his behaviour. They argued that since he is the son of a great person such behaviour will put us to shame amongst our friends. In this way they tried to ridicule Rasika but he did not care. Instead he became more vigourous in following his principles and tried to teach others about the importance of service to the sadhus and Lord Krishna. Some listened to him and became purified but some were heretics and continued to ridicule him. When he heard them ridicule the sadhus Rasika could not tolerate it and in his anger he told his wife, “I can no longer tolerate the ridiculing of our friends. They may ridicule us in various ways and that we can tolerate but when they ridicule devotees I cannot tolerate it. Vaisnavas are more dear to me than Krishna and they are being ridiculed because of me. I cannot serve them without fear of being criticised so what is the use of wasting time by staying here? You are my devoted wife. If you want you can come with me because I will not stay here with them. You may stay if you like, but I have to go.” Hearing this Syama dasi said, “I shall go with you wherever you go. What will I do here without you? I can remain happily with you wherever you go even under a tree or in a forest. You must take me with you for this house will be dull to me without you. Let the thunder fall on that wealth of mine without you.” Thus they left the house and went to a place on the bank of Suvarnarekha which seemed as beautiful as Vrndavana. The water of the river was as pure as that of the Yamuna and it was surrounded by mangoes and jack fruit groves. The place was so dry that even in the rainy season no mud could be seen there. In Mallabhuma Paragama there was a place named Coracitatapa and near to this place was Niryavasana. This place was concealed from others and yet it was liked by even he gods and was considered as great as Vaikuntha. It was surrounded by forests and was full of pretty groves where varieties of fruits and flowers blossomed. People knew this place as a hidden Vrndavana and it was here that Rasika made his home.
Rasika’s elder brother Kasinatha dasa built a city known as Kasipura and he became the king there. He had a family Deity which King Bhanja looted from there. Rasika went there and took that Deity with him. Despite having a vast property he took only his wife and that Deity and nothing else except for the clothes they were wearing. In his absence his brothers grew miserable and their property dwindled. Rasika, however, built a house in Kasipura and grew famous there. As a favourite devotee of the husband of Lakshmi he had no scarcity of wealth. He continued to serve saints and Vaisnavas personally washing their feet, cleaning their eating place and taking the remnants of their food. As his fame spread more and more servants of Krishna began to visit his house. After a considerable time Syamananda paid a visit to his house. The delighted Rasika fell at his feet and then served his master as though he was greater than the Supreme Lord Krishna. Syama dasi Thakurani personally cooked for her guru and all the preparations were like nectar. After fully satisfying Syamananda they both enjoyed the remnants of his food. They served Syamananda with the utmost care and respect and whatever instruction he gave them they tried their best to fulfill it. Even if the request were impossible Rasika would try with all his heart and soul. He remained in the service of Syamananda without caring for his own health. Even in his sleep he dreamt only of Syamananda. His devotion to his guru can only be compared to that of Krishna and Balarama to Their guru. Rasika remained fixed in service to guru, Krishna and the Vaisnavas and thus he received special favour from Syamananda.
One day Rasika told Syamananda about the family Deity and requested him to suggest a name for the Deity. Syamananda said sweetly, “It’s name will be Gopivallabha Raya and this village will be known as Sri Gopivallabhapura. Here Lord Krishna and His devotees will be nicely served and this village will earn fame like Vrndavana. Here Govinda will appear in the same form I see in my meditation. Syama dasi will be the owner of this village and she will dedicate herself to the service of the Deity. Apathetic Rasika will travel with me and deliver all living entities.” From that day the place became famous for service to Krishna and His devotees.
Thus Syamananda and Rasika entered into Utkala to spread love and devotion. Being empowered by the son of Acyuta I am describing Rasika-mangala. Please listen to it and soon you will obtain love and devotion for Krishna. Making the feet of Syamananda his ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Fourth Wave
All glory to Syamananda. I worship his feet and pray that he will favour me to sing his glory. One day Syamananda told Rasika, “I beg alms from you. Deliver all creatures and give the holy name to all. Give love and devotion to Krishna to everyone, without considering them high or low class. Meet such people as the king, his subjects, the saints, children, old people and women and help them all to take up Hari-nama. I beg this from you.” Rasika bowed to his guru with folded hands accepting this order. Syamananda also ordered Damodara to sing Hari-nama in the ears of everyone. Since then the son of Acyuta distributed the jewel of Krishna bhakti and began to make disciples. By the touch of Rasika people belonging to the brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra caste or even others, became great devotees of Krishna. With the rise of the moon like Rasika in Utkala it became the practice for each house to hold Sankirtana and to serve the Vaisnavas. His first disciple was Kalandi Bhakta dasa Yavana, then came Syamagopala, Dina Syamanarayana, Ramakrsna, Paramananda, Bhodara, Gaura, Gopala, Gopinatha and Sri Gokula. These were the first ten disciples of Rasika and then the number became countless.
I shall briefly describe how it took place. Rasika first went to a beautiful holy place named Dharanda which was owned by Bhima and Sirikara. They belonged to a gopa family and had a vast property. They had installed many different deities and had performed animal sacrifices. They treated their relatives very badly and loved to ridicule devotees. Knowing them to be sinful they were feared by both the devotees and their subjects. They could would bribe the king with lacs of rupees and in their madness perform any sinful action like cutting trees, indeed they were more sinful than Ajamila or Jagai and Madhai. The daughter of Bhima gave birth to three sons namely Sri Rasamaya, Vamsi, and Mathura. Sri Rasamaya belonged to the Syamananda sect and lived in that village with his relatives. The other two brothers took initiation from Damodara. When Rasika went to their house they were happy to see him and after offering obeisances to him they gave him a special seat, washed his feet with scented water and the family drank that water. Rasika talked affectionately to Vamsi and Rasamaya telling them, “On the order of Syamananda I have come here to preach love and devotion to Krishna in Utkala. I know that Bhima and Sirikara are very wicked and I want to make them Vaisnavas. If they can be made Vaisnavas then persons in other cities will follow their example. Rasamaya and Vamsi told Rasika, “Certainly they are notorious, however, if you favour someone then no matter how sinful he may be, by your mercy they can get krsna-bhakti.” Vamsi and Rasamaya both knew the glory of Rasika and they were sure that now the two brothers would be changed.
Rasika sat with his group and Rasamaya happily served them varieties of foodstuffs. Rasamaya had a childhood friend named Sri Tulasi dasa who, at that time, was staying in the home of Rasamaya. Tulasi could sing as sweet as a cuckoo and by chance he entered into the room where Rasika was eating and began to sing a song about Lord Krishna.His singing charmed everyone present including Rasika who floated in tears. Rasika had him sit next to him and sing the song again and again. Indeed, the singing began in the evening and the night passed without Rasika knowing it for he was absorbed in bhava. When he finally checked himself he inquired about the boy who had been singing. Rasamaya said, “He has come here with his father to do kirtana. His father is a disciple of Hrdayananda and lives on the bank of the Ganges. When Syamananda heard their sankirtana he ordered him and his son to stay here.” Rasika was very happy to hear this and from then on Tulasi became a member of the Rasamaya group. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Fifth Wave
All glory to Syamananda. I worship his feet and pray that he will help me to constantly sing his glory. Rasika Sekhara was spending his days happily in the house of Rasamaya. He passed four months in that village performing sankirtana in different places and favouring the king and his subjects as well as the whole city by his presence there. Now listen how he made Bhima and Sirikara into Vaisnavas.
One day Bhima and Sirikara had been sitting in the court along with their friends when Rasika came there, along with his associates, and addressed the two brothers. On seeing Rasika in the dress of a Vaisnava Bhima became blind with anger but at first he was unable to say anything. After some time he said, “I cannot tolerate seeing what has happened to you. You are the son of Acyuta, a young man of twenty years but you have given up your studies and become a Vaisnava. Who has advised you to do this at this age? How will you look after your relatives? How could a worhtless son like you take birth in the family of Acyuta who was the king of Mallbhumna? Don’t you think your begging from door to door will bring shame to your family? It is good that you have come here because now I advise you to return to your home and continue your education. This life of a Vaisnava is not befitting you. I am telling you all this because of my love for Acyuta.” On hearing all these ridiculous statements Rasika mildly smiled and answered, “Listen Bhima and Sirikara tell all of your scholars of the Puranas to come here and try to estalish which religious path is supreme. We will debate on all six scriptures the Vedas, smrti, Gita, Bhagavata as well as the theories of Vyasa, Suka, Narada, Janaka, Sanaka and others. Let us prove what the supreme religion is by using the scriptures and if it is shown that all scriptures say that Krishna is the supreme then you must also worship Him and give up all other processes.
By the order of Bhima all the scholars of the kingdom came to that place. Janaki, Haricandana and many kings and subjects came as well as experts on the four Vedas and all other scriptures. They all sat in a circle and discussed but no one was able to refute the statements of Rasika. His analysis followed the Vedas and was based on the philosophy of Vyasa. Apart from Rasika no one could give a satisfactory analysis of the scriptures. The brahmins frankly told Bhima and Sirikara that Rasika’s theory was acceptable to them and thus the two brothers along with their family surrendered to Rasika and began to worship Krishna with fully dedicated hearts. They stopped all animal sacrifices and became servants of Lord Krishna. Rasika continued his preaching among the people and day by day people came in groups to take initiation from him. He gave love and devotion to all and with sankirtana going on in each house Dharenda city became transformed into Vrajapura and the residents of that city all floated in love of Krishna.
Rasika stayed on in the city to enjoy re-enacting the pastimes of Lord Krishna with his gopa friends. He gathered many boys and dressed them as cowherd boys then he prepared flower garlands and dressed himself as a Vraja woman, (ie, gopi). Another person was dressed to appear as Lord Krishna and together they all came through the forest singing and dancing. They played flute, mrdanga, vina, karatala, etc. Some played kapinasa, saranga, rinaka and svaramandala. The Rasamaya group also performed sankirtana with Tulasi dasa leading their singing. Simultaneously the children were all dancing and showing different postures and gestures. The whole city was lit with lamps and everyone came to see the fun. In this way Rasika re-enacted the pastimes of the Lord in the Vraja forest. He also performed sankirtana in every house of the city and the inhabitants became habituated to talk about Krishna constantly.
The pastimes which Murari displayed at each moment could not be fully described even by millions of mouths. I have tried to describe whatever portion has been directed by Rasika. Please listen to Rasika-mangala and get rid of this ominous Kalikala. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Sixth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the giver of love to all. Oh Prabhu, please favour me to sing your glory. While he remained in Dharenda Rasika passed his time happily in the joy of sankirtana. One day he decided to perform the marriage of his Deity Sri Gopivallabha Raya. First of all he hired some workers and had them construct a Thakurani. Then in preparation for the marriage many articles were gathered. Rasika also announced to everyone,”A great festival will be held in the home of Rasamaya.” When the people heard this they all came there with various gifts. Rasika also invited many saints and brahmins and they came there citing the Vedas. Rasamaya dasa performed the Adhivasa ceremony and brought the Deity there. After three days of festivities the marriage took place and all the persons present, who had given up their family duties, floated in they joy of the divine pastimes. On observing the yugala feature Rasika became so happy that streams of tears rolled down his face. Rasika, constantly absorbed in love of Krishna, performed many rituals and then satisfied the saints with food, clothes and other items. After the marriage ceremony, Rasika went to his own house with the Deities. The people of Dharenda, feeling separation from Rasika became miserable and behaved like the Vraja women who could not bear the separation of Krishna.
At this time Rasika began to write about the various pastimes of Krishna. He also wrote about his discussions on Krishna and he gave the writings to Narayana and Ramakrsna. After performing sankirtana all the devotees sat in a circle to listen to the writings of Rasika. However after hearing only one ‘pada’ everyone’s heart was pierced and they cried out in emotion. They began to float in love of Krishna and all desired to achieve the feet of Rasika. Jagannatha Patanayaka, the eldest brother of Rasika, hearing the episode of the Vraja women suffering from the separation of Krishna fell into bhava and fainted. Others began to roll on the ground while some cried. They all began to sing the glory of Rasika. In this way they all meditated on the feet of Rasika. All glory to those who had the opportunity to remain with Rasika. This son of Rasamaya takes the feet of Rasika on his head and sings Rasika-mangala.
The Seventh Wave
Glory to Syamananada, the life of the universe and the wealth like life of Rasika deva. While remaining in his house Rasika continued to serve hundreds of Vaisnavas regularly. He would worship the saints even more than Lord Krishna and he took great pleasure in this duty of his. With his own hands he would dress up Sri Gopivallabha Raya and his Thakurani. He knew nothing but the worship of Krishna and practised the sixty-four kinds of devotion everyday in both his activities and his teaching of others. He had firm faith in the service to guru, in the initiation to the chanting the holy names of the Lord, in the instructions of the Lord’s devotees and in the renunciation of sense pleasure for the service to Krishna. He also considered it to be his duty to travel to different holy places. He was firm in holding up Harivasana and in paying respect to Tulasi, Asvatha, Dhatri and the holy places. He always avoided those persons who had no faith in Krishna and he had no concern to amass large numbers of disciples. If a book had nothing to say about Krishna then he would not read it. He was never miserly with anyone and he always tried his best to satisfy everyone with his explanations. He never disturbed any living entities on the earth nor did he ever commit any sin. He would paint his whole body with the marks of a Vaisnava and offer obeisances and nirmalya to Krishna. He always welcomed saints and on hearing them approach him he would come to meet them. Rasika always respected the temples and holy places by circumambulating them. He sang sweet songs before Krishna, performed sankirtana. cited hymns of praise and accepted the Lord’s prasadam. He offered incense, garlands and sandalwood to Krishna and followed all the rituals and customs of worship based on the scriptures. He memorised the qualities of Krishna, sometimes he would be absorbed in dasya bhava, sometimes in sakhya bhava and sometimes in love and devotion. Sometimes he would offer his favourite possessions to Krishna and every day he would worship Tulasi, Mathura, scriptures and the Vaisnavas. With the help of his group he would hold great festivals for the worship of Krishna, such as during Kartika and he loved to read Bhagavata with his group. They regulaly performed nama sankirtana and within his mind he loved to stay at Mathura. The devotion of Rasika cannot be fully described for he was te full embodiment of devotion for Krishna. By his favour one can attain the sixty-four limbs of devotion. Rasika was always firm in his devotion to Syamananda and wherever he stayed he continued his service to guru, Krishna and the Vaisnavas. Through his own example of devotion he taught others and he never disobeyed the orders of guru, Krishna and the Vaisnavas. If he saw any sign of a Vaisnava in someone he at once began to worship him like Krishna. All classes of people, from high to low, felt happy by the touch of Rasika. In this way Rasika spent his days at home, his love and devotion ever increasing. His glory cannot be fully described but by his grace I have described some. Listening to this narration can help anyone attain love and devotion. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Eighth Wave
Glory to Syamananda the moon of the Gopa Dynasty, glory to Rasikendracandra the beloved of Krishna. In this way the son of Acyuta preached love and devotion throughout the world. The character of Rasika is so mystical that it is impossible to describe all his qualities fully. The people of the world worshipped him as Narada, Vyasa or Lord Narayana. All the qualities of Lord Krishna were visible in the character of Rasika and his showed many auspicious marks. By dint of his devotion he was always powerful and at the time of meditation his absorbing feature made him appear ever youthful. There was no one as intelligent as he for he could speak in many languages on all kinds of theories. He was a great orator and could debate on all the arts. He was clever and skilled in all types of deeds indeed his genius was famous in the world. He was pure-hearted and quite having won over all the material pleasures by practicing austerity. He was merciful, patient and tolerant to all. He was ever satisfies and a well-wisher to all. He kept good relations with everyone and was always respectful to those in positions of responsibility. On the strength of his devotion for Krishna it was impossible to misuse education and the cultivation of nescience ceased. The fame of Rasika spread all over the earth and everyone loved him. He was the resort of the devotees and saints and he was the protector of the needy. His qualities cannot be described even by hundreds of mouths. Glory to this earth, glory to Utkala, glory to the holy places, glory to the father and mother from whom he had taken birth, glory to those places which his feet touched, glory to that village where he had settled, glory to those places where he displayed pastimes of love, glory to his friends and associates, his family members and relatives and glory to the people of Utkala who observed the feet of Rasika. Just a glance at Rasika was sufficient to remove all types of sins an listening to his words gave soothing relief to the ears. By hearing his nectarean speeches one would forget his own encumberances. He always had a smiling face and his attractive features made everyone float in an ocean of joy. Simply by his appearance he removed all the illmotives of the people.
After some time Syamananda went to Gara Balarama pura to speak about Lord Krishna and bless the people of that place by his presence. Many persons of that place became his disciples such as Gopinatha, Jagannatha, Akrura, Srihari, Radhavallabha dasam Syamadasa, etc. Syamananda giving everyone the shade of his feet, initiated kings and the subjects into the Krishna mantra. Syamananda sent a messenger with a letter for Rasika wrdering him to come at once. Having completed his service to Lord Krishna and the devotees Rasika had sat down to accept prasada. He had taken just one mouthful of food and was holding the second in his hand when the messenger came there. Immediately he stood up and washed his hands in the river Srivarnarekha. It was already dark and the forest was full of wild animals. Even in the daylight the people were scared to pass through this place but Rasika started alone. It was pitch dark with clouds covering the sky and rain pouring down but Rasika did not hesitate to keep the order of his guru. When he reached Balaramapura Syamananda happily embraced him but seeing his tired face asked him how he had been able to come so quickly. Rasika kept his head bowed and did not say anything but after some time other devotees came there and reported everything about Rasika’s journey.
One day after Rasika had taken prasadam Syamananda sat with him and told him, “Listen Rasika, I have heard that you made the people of Dharedra Vaisnavas. Now do it in the forests. I have a desire that in the month of Vaisakha, I will hold a Pancamandala. Barakola is a beautiful place surrounded by mango forests and a river. I shall hold the ceremony there and you should collect the necessary commodities. I shall go there first and you go to Dharendra to collect the necessary items.” After this Syamananda left that place. Now listen to the pastimes of these great souls in other places. Please don’t think they are ordinary affairs because they incarnated in different ages to perform these various pastimes. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, the son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Ninth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the deliverer of the world. The life of the world and wealth like life of Rasika who was kind and merciful to all beings. Once when Rasika was still staying at Balaramapura, twenty Vaisnavas came to his place. He welcomed them and offered them fruits, sweets and cooked food. That night, when it was close to midnight, Rasika discovered that there was no more ghee in his stock. He immediately went to the city but in the darkness he could not see the correct path and he entered into the house of a yavana who was sitting on his bedstead enjoying the company of his wife. Seeing Rasika enter into his room the yavana caught hold of him and beat him. Rasika caught hold of his hand and told him with a smile, “Listen Mahajana, why are you beating me. Your hand will be sore from striking my hard body.” The Mughal was astonished to hear this and loosening his grip he fell to the ground and held the feet of Rasika.
Rasika continued on his way, collected the ghee and returned to home to serve ghee to the Vaisnavas. Within a few days the Mughal lost all his elephants and horses, his property was destroyed and his wives died. Everyone was astonished to see the glory of Rasika and the frightened Mughal came to takd shelter at his feet. He said, “I am a fool because I did not recognise your position. Please be kind to me.” Rasika replied, “Listen, go out and worship Krishna and you will soon recover your properties.” That Yavana then became a devotee and took shelter of Rasika. By the grace of Rasika he was able to recover everything. Then in order to comply with the instructions of Syamananda he cikkected enormous quantitis of goods and entered into Dharenda. Staying in the house of Rasamaya he addressed the devotees, “My guru Syamananda has ordered me to collect goods for Pancanna dola. The ceremony will be held on the day of Vasanta Purmina in the month of Vaisakha. I shall go there first to prepare a place and build a pandal. You should all come there later.” Everyone was happy to hear this and they all helped to gather more goods for the festival.
Please listen to the qualities of Rasika and worship his feet. The feet of Syamananda are the wealth of this son of Rasamaya.
The Tenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda the friend of the universe and an abode of mercy. Rasika stayed at the home of Madhava, Sri Haridasa and Madana mohana who were all disciples of Syamananda. During his three days stay he made many disciples and he invited everyone to attend the Dola-yatra festival. He also instructed them to bring whatever goods they could arrange. Rasika then went to Varakola village where he met Syamananda Prabhu. Syamananda inquired how much he had been able to collect but Rasika simply requested him not to be anxious about it. He said, “We will have the goods in good time. I have sent instructions to people in different countries and they will certainly bring ample supplies.” Hearing this Syamananda was very happy and he ordered his disciples to build a pandal. They constructed one for Rasa and put a canopy over the Rasasthali decorating it with flowers. Banana trees were also used to decorate the place which was already surrounded by deep goves of mangoes, jackfruits, limes and oranges. The place resembled Vaikuntha and on the day of the function, the full moon of the night of Vaisakha was very bright. Millions of people including kings from different countries came to attend. Syamananda ordered Rasika to go to Dharenda and bring the Deity of Syama Raya. He immediately went to the temple of Bhima and told Rasamaya, Cintamani and Vamsi to prepare Syama Raya for going to Varakola where Sri Pancama Dolayatra will be held. On reaching Varakola the gandha adhivasa of Syama Raya was performed and then at the purnima the Dola-yatra festival began. Many Vaisnavas came to attend and different groups performed sankirtana. The visitors numbered millions and included kings and zamindars. Everyone came with numerous gifts andin the joy of the festival they forgot the difference between day and night. When the sankirtana was begun the heaven, earth and underworld all became full of the sound of the glories of the Lord. The abode of the deimgods and human beings were all united in sankirtana and the place became as great as Vaikuntha. Countless bags of red posder dust were collected for the festival and everyone and everything including the ground were coloured by it. Everyone said they had never seen such a joyful fertival before. Among the visitors at the festival was Sasadhara Bhuian, son of Visvanatha Bhuian and the brother of Haricandana who besides being a king was also a good singer and a pure hearted person. Sasadhara was a friend of Rasamaya and Vamsi. This encouraged Vamsi to tell Rasika, “Favour him Prabhu. He is a wonderful singer and a brother of Haricandana. If he becomes your disciple he will also deliver many creatures. Please be kind to him.” Rasika replied, “Tell him to take initiation from Syamananda.” On hearing this Visvanatha dasa said to Rasika, “I am your servant birth after birth. I have no other shelter than your lotus feet. You are the lord of my life. Please be kind to me and geve me love and devotion for Krishna.” Observing him very firm in his decision Rasika talked about Lord Krishna to him and then initiated him in Krishna mantra and gave him the name Syama Manohara. At that time he ordered him to deliver all creatures. Since then Syama Manohara gave up all sorts of material pleasures and dedicated himself to Rasika. His family also became disciples of Rasika. Syama Manohara as well as being a good singer and an embodiment of love, was a great orator. No one could stand against him and he dominated the Saivites, Saktas and Ganapatyas. He was, by the grace of Rasika, a scholar in all scriptures including the four Vedas, Sankhya, Sankhyayana and Mimamsa. At the end of the festival all the Vaisnavas were given clothes and ornaments as gifts.
The Eleventh Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the incarnation of mercy who delivered all beings by giving love and devotion. The king of that country was known as Haravota and he was an extremely wicked yavana. However, after witnessing the grandeur of the Dola festival the yavana king thought to himself, “Syamananda is not an ordinary person. He must be Narayana Himself. I am very fortunate to get a glimpse of his feet.” Syamananda told Rasika, “Let us pay a visit to the yavana king.” When they went there the yavana king welcomed then with due respect. He told Syamananda, ” O Mahajana, hold another festival here and I shall give you everything you may require. I shall also reject? the Hindu priests. You should go home and prepare for the festival and let us make sure that all the devotees will be satisfied.” The festival was held at a place called Alamganja in Medinipura. Sankirtana started and continued for three days and nights. The yavana king was very happy to listen to the kirtan and within his mind he established great faith in Syamananda and worshipped him as the Supreme Lord. The power of Syamananda and Rasika was such that the could dominate even a yavana.
From there Syamananda came to Dharendra to stay. Here he took many disciples such as Cintamani, Madhuvana, Mathura, Mukunda, Syamasundara, Narasimha, Kanudasa, Hirodhara, Kanu, Uddhava, Akrura, etc. Then Rasamaya, Vamsi and Bhima Sirikara with folded hands, requested Syamananda, “You have travelled many holy places for a long time. Now Prabhu, enter into family life for some time. If you permit we can search for a suitable bride for you.” Syamananda felt scared but said, “Do what you like.” Then he bid farewell to Rasika and went to Balaramapura. There lived a fortunate person named Jagannatha who offered his daughter Syamapriya to the hands of Syamananda. She was beautiful not only in looks but also in qualities. The couple were married in the midst of sankirtana. After marriage Syamananda went to Dharendra with his wife and stayed for a few days in the home of Cintamani. Then he went to Radhanagara and settled there. Rasika then went to his own house continuing his service to guru, Krishna and the devotees.
Rasika’s wife Syama dasi Thakurani, was engaged in the service of the Deity preparing the bhoga. One day while she was cutting vegetables she heard the hungry cries of her child from his cradle. That child was the first son of Rasika, named Vrajananda and he was very beautiful.On hearing her child crying, his mother left the vegetables and went to feed milk to the child. Suddenly Rasika came there and when he found that no one was cutting vegetables and that the Deity’s bhoga could not be prepared on time he was furious and rebuked his wife for neglecting the service of the Deity. She said that as her son was crying in hunger she had to feed her son first. Rasika angrily told her, “Out of ignorance you have neglected your service to the Lord of life, Sri Krishna and instead you are sitting here under the illusin that this child on your lap is your son. Instead of showing affection for Krishna you have more affection for your son.” Then Rasika in the height of his anger told her, “As you have neglected your duty of serving Krishna you may get hundreds of sons but not one will ever stay with you. When you are able to look after a person without committing any offence then only will they live on this earth. This is my promise to you.” Everyone was astonished to hear this and in due course six sons were born to his wife but died one after another. Syamananda was extremely upset by this and then Rasika, out of pity, kept three sons alive. They were Radhananda, Krishnagata and Radhakrsna dasa and all were fully devoted to Lord Krishna. Besides being pure-hearted they were always conscious to serve guru, Krishna and the devotees. This was the life of Rasika in Sri Gopivallabhapura.
Sri Hrdayananda Adhikari came with his companions to Dharenda to meet Syamananda and Rasika. He sent his messengers to summon the two along with Damodara and the three immediately came to meet Adhikari. Seeing the three Hrdayananda was very happy and taking Syamananda in his arms he said, “Lord Caitanya’s love and devotion should be distributed by you to deliver all beings in Utkala. I am happy to see your group. Always remain engaged in manifesting devotion to Krishna.” Adhikari remained for a long time with them and showed a lot of favour to Rasika. When he took his leave Syamananda offered many things to him and accompanied him for some distance before returning to the house of Rasamaya and Vamsi. He then took food at the home of Rasamaya remaining there for several days. Give up all unimportant duties and listen to Rasika-mangala which is written by the son of Rasamaya who makes the feet of Syamananda his ornament,
The Twelfth Wave
Glory to Syamananda a man of enormous glories, the friend of the universe and the merciful lord of all beings. Syamananda left Dharenda with Rasika and went to the home of Arjuni in Naihatti where they performed three great festivals. At this place they Prabhu accepted many disciples including Jagannatha and Damodara along with their wives as well as Syama dasa the son of Arjuni. Then Prabhu went ot Kasiari Puri where Rasika accepted Vrajamohana, Syamadasa, Narayana, Radhamohana and Yadavendra dasa as his disciples. Nest they went to Jhathara village where Prabhu favour Haridasa and then to Murara where Syamananda favoured Bhimadhana. He was a zamindara and offered the village Sri Govindapura to Syamananda who built a house there and lived there happily with his wife Syama Priya Thakurani as well as her friends Such as Sri Gauranga dasi and others.
Glory to Syamananda the deliverer of the sinners who dominated all lands by his love and devotion. Syamananda ordered Rasika to deliver all people including kings and their subjects throughout Utkala and preach the essence of love and devotion. Following this order Rasika left that place and went to Rajagara. The King was known as Vaidyanatha Bhanja and he had two brothers Chota Raya Sena and Rautra. These three brothers were very powerful and belonged to the Surya dynasty. They kept many scholars in their court to regularly recite from Vedas and Bhagavata but they were all scholars like Brhaspati who knew everything about the six scriptures but had no devotion for Lord Krishna. After completing worship of the Deity in five ways Vaidyanatha, along with his brothers, was sitting in the court. Rasika came and took his seat in the court. He was holding a Bhagavata in his hand and looking like the sun. After eulogising the brahmins present there he took his seat next to the king. The three brothers were charmed to see his Narayana like feature. Even the ladies in the private chambers were charmed by his beauty and began to say, “Where has this great personality been hiding for such a long time. He is so handsome.” The Saivites and Saktas all said, “He will surely destroy the pride of us all.” A brahmin who was a scholar of the six scriptures but had no respect for Krishna thought that he must be Vyasa or Suka and would end his pride as a scholar. The housewives said, “He is the son of Acyuta and the moon of his dynasty. We are fortunate to see his feet.” The elders present said, “This son is an asset of this dynasty. May Lord Narayana protect him and may we be able to see his sons and grandsons.” His peers said, “He is our friend and there is no one so dear to us as him.” His companions said, “He is my brother with whom I can travel fearlessly. No misery can touch me if I remain with him because he possesses the eight mystic perfections.” The servants said, “He is a great man. Millions of mouths cannot describe his glories.” The saints said, “He is the supreme of all men and will distribute love and devotion of Krishna to every home. He will deliver all beings. His glory cannot be fully described.” The scholarly brahmins said, “We know that he is not an ordinary man. He is a genius in all scriptures and will manifest love and devotion to Krishna. He will curb the pride of all.” The wise men said, “He must be Narayana Himself whom the yogis address as the omnipotent. this boy has stolen our senses. We have never seen such beautiful features and can’t stop looking at him. He has taken birth to remove the darkness of the age of Kali and he has appeared among us to satisfy everyone’s desire.” In this way everyone present fell into the trap of Rasika and he dominated everyone. The three brothers fell at his feet and then gave him a prominent seat. The king washed his feet while one brother supplied water and the other wiped Rasika’s feet with his own cloth. Then the three sat on the floor and the king, with a shaky heart, told him humbly, “We are most fortunate that you have visited our house. To-day we think our births have been worthwhile. Being able to see your lotus feet is the result of our austerities through millions of lives. You have come here to deliver us for we are your servants life after life. You have taken birth to deliver all living entities in this Kali-yuga. The king, Vaidyanatha, eulogised Prabhu in various ways and worshipped his feet like Lord Narayana. Then he offered a seat in his house and fed him with palatable items of food. He himself offered betel leaf to Prabhu and revealed all the miseries of his mind to Prabhu. Now I shall describe Prabhu’s teachings to him. Listen to Rasika-mangala attentively for it describes all his wonderful pastimes. By the grace of Rasika I am describing them briefly in this Southern portion. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Thirteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda the deliverer of the universe. Please bestow your favour on me that I can sing your glory.
The king fell at Rasika’s feet and requested him, “We are your servants life after life. Please favour us as your servants and give us some teachings.” Rasika replied, “I will initiate all of you but first listen to me very attentively. You must dedicate yourself to the worship of the son of Nanda and give up the worship of all other deities. Lord Krishna is the root of all existences and the refuge of all. One who worships Krishna has nothing to fear. Be happy in singing the qualities of Krnsa.” Rasika then quoted all the scriptures and made them understand that Krishna was the only truth adn all others were false. The brothers were happy to hear this and told him, “Whatever you say will be the only truth for us.” Hearing that the king was taking initiation from Rasika all the Bhattacarya brahmins told him, “What are you doing? There are hundreds of Bhattacaryas and Chakravartis present here so let him first debate with us on the scriptures and if he convinces us we will also accept that religion.” Rasika was glad to hear this and with folded hands accepted their request to appear in the debate. The king and his brothers were also happy to hear this and eagerly awaited the debate.
Rasika took the name of Krishna in his mind and being the embodiment of Vyasa, Brhaspati and Suka began to argue on Sankhya Sankhyayana. He established the importance of Krishna worship on the theory of Sankhya. He analysed the theories so finely that no one could oppose him and all the brahmins sat with bowed heads. Then he debated on the Mimamsa and again established the superiority of the worship of Lord Krishna. Next he debated on the scriptures of Patanjali and again established the importance of the worship of Lord Krishna. Rasika discussed the philosophy of Taraka, Vaisesika, Vedanta sutra, the four Vedas and the thirty-six smrtis and in all of then showed that they considered the worship of Lord Krishna as supreme. The others present could not say a word against Rasika. He also argued on different dramas, semi-scriptures and dhatus and analysed the scriptures which follow the teachings of Vyasa and Suka. He established beyond any shadow of a doubt that the essence of all religion was the worship of Krishna. On hearing the comments of Rasika the brahmins were overwhelmed and when the king asked them to give replies to the comments of Rasika they said, “He is not a mere boy but Narayana or Vyasa or Suka or Narada of Brhaspati. He has explained the inner meaning of the scriptures to us. He has fully explained the sutras, dhatus and the word for word meaning of the Vedas. We are unable to match his intelligence.” The king was delighted to hear this and decided to ask some questions himself. Rasika replied to the audience, “Living entities perform deeds under the direction of the Supreme Lord and in ignorance of the Lord they roam in this material world taking birth in various conditions of life.
Providence has created “rajoviryya.” Out of water comes blood, flesh and bones and on their own they enter into the womb. Over a period of seven months life develops in the womb. At this time the living entity has to experience great trouble. All the different foods eaten by the mother give great pain to every hair on the body of the child. In this miserable condition he thinks of Narayana and begins to pray to the Lord for deliverance. He prays to the Lord, “Being blind in the pursuit of material pleasure I neglected to worship You and for this reason You are now giving me so much trouble by keeping me in this womb.” The living entities body comprises fove lives and twenty-five theories. There are four enemies, namely desire, anger, envy and infatuation. There are six vices which are accompanied by sound, touch, sight taste and smell. These enemies impede one from worshipping Narayana’s lotus feet. The living entity in the womb continues to pray, “In this way I am subjected to miseries life after life but I never take to Harinama and never serve the saints, go for a pilgrimmage or show kindness to other living entities. My life is futile for I have roamed meaninglessly without recognising that Narayana is the father of every living entity. Now I beg to you to be kind to me and allow me to serve Your lotus feet in my future births. Without worship of Your feet one can never achieve salvation but must accept birth in this material world. Even powerful demigods such as Brahma can be charmed by Your maya and fall into this wheel of birth and death but one who achieves Your favour can attain shelter at Your feet.” After hearing these prayers from the womb the three brothers asked how it was possible that one could forget Lord Krishna after taking his birth. Rasika answered them by quoting from various scriptures which could not be fully quoted in one month so I will tell it in brief.
Taking the feet of Syamananda as my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Fourteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda the son of Durika and the life of Rasika. Rasika went on talking and the three brothers quietly listened as he explained how the living entity within always meditates on the Lord. Rasika continued, “As soon as one takes birth, by teh illusory energy of the Lord one forgets everthing. In childhood one remains ignorant and never thinks of Krishna the lord of life. In boyhood, one becomes mad with studies. In youth one is mad with pride and as he grows up he is blinded by greed for material pleasure and never worships Krishna. Then he enters into old age and suffers many different kinds of miseriesl There are eighty-four lacs of different species of life and the living entity who neglects to worship the Lord and to listen to the devotees must take his birth in these differnet species. The scriptures describe that he travels first through twenty lacs species of plants and trees, then nine lacs species of aquatics, eleven lacs as worms, insects and reptiles. ten lacs of birds, thirty of animals and four lacs of human beings. The living entity wanders through these different species, like in a wheel of maya, accepting repeated pains due to his not worshipping Krishna. The next one-hundred births of the living entity are in a brahmin family but instead of worshipping Krishna he is absorbed in mundane education. Despite studying many scriptures he cannot recognise that Lord Krishna is the father of all beings. The brahmins take birth from the mouth of the Lord, the kshatriyas form His arms, the Vaisyas from His stomach and the sudras from His legs. Unable to recognise their own father the living entities suffer life after life.
Having obtained this valuable humna life, which can be destroyed within a second, one should use it to worship Krishna and the devotees. If one can have the association of devotees then one can attain the shelter of the Lord but without this association one suffers. Without the worship of Krishna one must face repeated birth and death. The scriptures also warn us that death comes with birth therefore having achieved this human birth how can we neglect to worship Lord Krishna who acts as a boat to help us to cross the ocean of material existence. The abode of death is ahead of one and at the end of life one loses his power and longevity. Therefore it behooves one to depend on the Lord and meditate on His transcendental form. Sing the names of Lord Krishna, worship Krishna, think of Krishna, be kind to all and serve the Vaisnavas. Do Krishna sankirtana and dedicate yourself to the service of teh devotees. Within your home worship the form of the Lord, happily offer food to and water to guests adn with a pure heart give up all mundane issues. Death always travels with a living entity and it makes no distinction between a child and the aged. In this way all beings are dominated by time. No one is actually your mother, father, wife or child. Don’t be infatuated by wealth, pride, education and youth but worship the Lord and cultivate devotion to Him. Only in this way can one avoid sorrows and achieve salvation. Devotion to Krishna is the essence of all Puranas, Vedas and scriptures. Lord Krishna is the only truth and all others are false. Take refuge at the feet of Lord Krishna and don’t consider whether you are a boy or an aged person for there is no age limit in the worship of Krishna. Think of Dhruva, Prahlada, Suka and Hanu who had all worshipped Krishna from their childhood. You should also hear topics of Krishna from your guru. A living entity is no better than an animal if he has no guru. For one who is initiated all things become nectar in his hands but even water in the hands of the uninitiated is like urine. Unless one dedicates himself to Krishna he cannot attain salvation no matter how great a scholar he may be, no matter if he dies in a holy place and no matter that he has performed all rituals. By dedicating oneself to a guru he will help one to overcome the bondage of the material world and attain to Krishna. A person may be a scholar of the six scriptures of the Vedas, he may be a saint or a brahmin but if he is not a devotee of Krishna don’t take advice from him. Make that person your guru who can remove all the agonies of your mind. Worship his feet, be faithful to him and then only you can attain to Krishna.” Hearing the words of Rasika everyone became devotees of Krishna. They gave up animal slaughter and the worship of different deities and dedicated themselves to the worship of Krishna. Now I shall explain how it happened. Please listen to Rasika-mangala which is narrated by the son of Rasamaya who takes the feet of Syamananda as his ornament.
The Fifteenth Wave
All glory to Syamananda the moon of the Gopa dynasty, whose fame is known throughout the world. Rasika continured explaining transcendental knowledge to the king and the illustrious Bhattacaryas. As they listened they began to shed tears and gave up all their speculative habits to take refuge in Krishna. Rasika told them, “Listen to the glory of the devotees of the Lord which cannot be explained even by Brahma. To meet a devotee even for one second is a great fortune for a person. Krishna is always with the devotee and the heart of a devotee is the abode of Krishna. Without their association one can never attain Krishna so do not waste any time. Because one neglects to worship Krishna one suffers perpetually and sinks into the depths of hell. The life of that person who never worships Krishna is like that of a tree and his miseries are like the blows of a blacksmiths hammer. The food eaten by non devotees is unholy for he is as wicked as a dog. He can also be compared to the camel which eats thorns or to the ass bearing heavy loads. Even a brahmin possessing the twelve qualities but never worshipping Krishna is like a beast. The Tathahi? Srimad-Bhagavatam says, “That person of low caste who has dedicated his mind, words, energy, wealth and life to Krishna is greater than a brahmin having the twelve qualities but no devotion to Krishna because that person can purify his dynasty but the brahmin, no matter how respected he is, cannot.” All the gods and goddesses are servants of Krishna. If a person worships Krishna no one can do any harm to him. It is just like pouring water on the root of a tree where all the leaves and branches are nourished. If one worships Krishna he can have everything. So continue in this life but dedicate your mind, body and words to this service. Krishna is like nectar whereas all other are poison so don’t leave aside the nectar to drink poison.” Rasika’s teachings to the king made everyone present in that assembly dedicate themselves to Krishna and relieved them from all misery. One who received the favour of the son of Acyuta could attain the sixty-four kinds of devotion.
Rasika then said to the king and his brothers, “I beg one thing from you.” Immediately they became very restless and with folded hands they said, “We want to dedicate whatever we have to you. Please tell us what you want from us for we are your servants.” The son of Acyuta then told them, “Give up this slaughtering of animals because it brings many sins and at the end of life takes one to a hellish life. It is stated in the Tathahi Padma Purana that eight persons go to hell on account of killing animals. They are the person who kills the animal, the man who catches it, the owner of the animal, the man who buys, the man who sells it, the person who offers it to the deity, the person who eats it and the person who desired to kill the animal. All eight persons suffer tremendously in hell. That person who kills an animal flouting the Vedic principles must live in hell for as many years as there are hairs on the body of the animal. The Lord is present in all living entities so if one kills animals he is sure to suffer in hell. Lord Krishna is the mother, father, Lord and protector of all. He is the wealth, manpower, friend and soul of all. Seeing the miseries of living entities I feel pity on them therefore I am telling you all this. You had better dedicate yourself to Lord Krishna and make the best use of this human life.” After these lessons from Rasika the king and his two brothers became Vaisnavas. The Bhattacaryas told the king that they were unable to oppose the words of Rasika and they lamented the fact that they had not worshipped Lord Krishna for so long. The three brothers took initiation into Krishna mantra and Prabhu advised them how to worship the Lord. He said, “Worship Lord Krishna in the same mood of love and devotion as the gopas and gopis in Vraja. Think of Krishna, the Lord of Vrndavana, in the mood of madhurya bhava. The glory of Vrndavana cannot be ordinarily described. Even the king of the devas and other demigods meditate on it. Vrndavana is decorated with blossoming trees which are the dwelling places of different kinds of birds. Drones of bees, intoxicated with honey are common there. Seeing the blossoming trees the devas are all attracted and the sun and the moon appear there together. Surrounding Vrndavana are the cool waters of the river Kalindi. The ponds are full of lotuses and the polled of teh flowers decorate the ground. The forest dwelling deers and other animals roam there freely and always observe the feet of Radha and Krishna. The Vraja area consists of twelve forests and eighteen semi-forests and its beauty is as great as Vaikuntha. Within this area is a wish fulfilling tree which always showers jewels and gems. With gems all around, the area constantly shines. In the centre stands a beautifully decorated jewelled pandal with jewelled curtains and big pillars. In the centre of the pandal there is a jewelled throne decorated with pearl garlands. The effulgence of the jewels make millions of suns appear dim. All eight corners of the pandal are decorated with lotuses. The pandal has four doors whose frames are bedecked with jewels and the rasa mandali is also decorated with jewelled lampstands. The six seasons are always present there. The desire tree, which can remove the agonies of the material world, is decorated with jewelled leaves and its fruits are padmaraga jewels. The tree gives shade to all and removes the three types of miseries. The jewelled throne is situated under this tree. Try to meditate on Krishna sitting on that jewelled throne under the desire tree in Vrndavana. Krishna is dressed in yellow cloth and has Srimati Radharani by His left side. The palms of His hands, the soles of His feet and His lips are all red and His eyes are like red lotuses. He wears the Kaustubha jewel in the middle of His chest and He is decorated with numerous other ornaments. His head is decorated with jewels while round His neck hangs a jewelled garland which shines like lightning. The mark of Srivatsa is seen on His chest and His wrists carry jewelled bangles. His lotus feet are decorated with jewelled ankle-bells which chime sweetly and charm the minds of the three worlds. His forehead is painted with kumkum and tilaka and with His sweet smiling lips His looks mesmerise the three worlds and can defeat millions of Kandarpas. He stands in His three-fold bending form skillfully playing on His flute. He is under a tree on the banks of the Yamuna in the company of Srimati Radharani. They are surrounded by groups of gopis so that they look like a lotus surrounded by its petals. O King, if you think of this scene in your mind and you are sincere then you must attain to the service of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.
After the three brothers heard all this they became firm in their worship of Krishna. Since the pastimes of Rasika are without limit I have only described them in brief.Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya has written this.
The Sixteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the life of the universe. Please favour me so that I can sing your glory. In this way Vaidyanatha adn his brothers became firm in worshipping Krishna. The city of Utkala became the embodiment of love of Krishna. Rasika initiated many disciples there and stayed there for a long time. All of the inhabitants of Bharyabhuma became Vaisnavas and gave up animal slaughter.
One day Rasika was sitting in the court of the King, along with his brothers, listening to Bhagavata when the manager of the kings estates came there and stood before the king. The manager, whose name was Ramakrsna, was a disciple of Rasika and a staunch devotee. When he saw the attention of the King wander from the Bhagavata he said, “Oh King, you are an ignorant fellow. You will give up hearing the nectarean topics of Lord Krishna just to hear from your manager.” Saying this he slapped the face of the king and the king immediately fainted. Everyone in the assembly was very sorry to see this and the kings ministers were about to kill Ramakrsna for his impudence. However, anticipating the situation the king quickly recovered and fell at the feet of Ramakrsna. With folded hands he announced to everyone, “I have commited a sin and for that I was punished. Rasika Prabhu is discussing the topics of Lord Krishna but I allowed my attention to wander elsewhere. It is the verdict of all scriptures that any topic other than those concerning Lord Krishna are like poison. That person who allows his attention to wander away from the topics of Krishna is a great sinner and is like dog or a pig which likes to eat rotten things. I have been rightly served by my brother Ramakrsna. He has saved me and shown proof of his affection for me.” The king then took hold of the neck of Ramakrsna and to the astonishment of everyone he began to weep. The king then took the hand of Ramakrsna and said, “Your hand must be painful after slapping my hard body.” Ramakrsna then had the king sit by his side and they continued to hear about Lord Krishna.
The king and his brothers became fully devoted to Rasika and following their example so did all the inhabitants of that place. After staying there for a long time Rasika went to Govindapura where Syamananda was staying. The king was very sad to see Rasika go and he felt great separation. The king gave many gifts to Rasika and Rasika offered them all to Syamananda. Syamananda was happy to see Rasika and said, “I want to tell you something. The zamindar King of Nrsimhapura, Uddanda Raya, is an anti-Vaisnava and always oppresses the Vaisnavas. If that type of wicked person can be changed then it will be marvellous. Let us both go to his place.”
It was evening when they reached Nrsimhapura and Uddanda Raya was just lying on his bed but not sleeping. Suddenly he saw a figure enter his room and stand before him. In a grave voice he told the king, “Dedicate yourself to Syamananda Raya.” After saying this he disappeared and the king could not see anyone although he had heard him speak to him. He considered the voice to have been divine and began to think about when he would meet Syamananda. It was just at this time that Syamananda and Rasika entered the home of Uddanda Raya. They met the king and he was very happy to see Syamananda standing before him. He worshipped the feet of Syamananda in various ways and dedicated himself to his service. Syamananda also favoured the king by giving him love and devotion. The king’s family also took shelter at the feet of Syamananda. Previously he had been a powerful demon-like ruler but he was transformed into a saint. Everyone was astonished to see that now the king knew nothing but service to guru, Krishna and the devotees. From that day he began to serve hundreds of devotees and Syamananda brought his Deity Syama Raya from Dharenda and held three great festivals there. The king confessed to Syamananda, “I was a great sinner and killed thousands of devotees looting their rugs. If you permit me I shall bring all those rugs before you.” With Syamananda’s permission the king then had his men bring the rugs. To everyone’s astonishment they numbered seven hundred and eighteen and took the size of a hill. Syamananda distributed these rugs back to the Vaisnavas and the king also offered clothes and other valuables to them. Following the example of Uddanda Raya all the subjects of his kingdom became Vaisnavas. It was the power of Syamananda and Rasika that by their touch persons could be freed from the three kinds of miseries. By their mercy all sinful people became devotees of Krishna. The glory of Rasika cannot be described even in millions of mouths. I have tried to do it in brief in this Southern part. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
End of the Southern Part.
The Western Part
The First Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the deliverer of the sinners and the life wealth of Rasika Deva. Syamananda next went to the city of Kesiari where he arranged for a Thakurani Deity for Syama Raya. Then on the occasion of the marriage ceremony of Syama Raya he held three joyful festivals which delighted the local citizens. At that time Sri Purusottama, Damodara, Mathura dasa, Hara Ghosa, Mahapatra and Dvija Haridasa took initiation and dedicated themselves to the service of Syamananda. After this he went to Dharenda taking Syama Raya with him. While there he made a request to his followers who included Rasika, Damodara, Netrananda, Kisora, Thakura Haridasa, Bhima, Srikara, Rasamaya and Vamsi dasa. He said, “Now is the month of Vaisakha and on the full moon day the moon will be bright and the night clear. Let us hold a rasa yatra festival and invite everyone to participate. You should begin to carry the necessary items and inform all the kings as well as their subjects to contribute according to their capacity.” He also said that Rasamaya’s house would be a suitable place to hold the festival. In pursuance of the order of Syamananda Rasika immediately went out to beg while Syamananda went to Govindapura.
The rasa yatra festival was to be held in Sri Gopivallabhapura. At that place Rasika had hundreds of his followers clear the area by cutting down all the thorny groves and then they built a pandal. While Rasika went for begging he ordered that Dinasyama, Ramakrsna, Narayana dasa, Syamagopala, Rasamaya and Vamsi dasa manage everything. Rasika has such items as rice and pulses kept in a godown. He gathered hundreds of buckets of wheat flour, sugar, ghee, oil, molasses and betel nuts. There were varieties of spices and fruits gathered and many different kinds of sweets were prepared and kept in jars. Seeing the vast stock of items everyone said that the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi Devi, had settled in that place. The rasa mandali was constructed having eight corners andthen decorated with paintings. Large blocks of wood were placed around the arena and four doors were made with a dias in the middle. The dias was nicely decorated with jewelled curtains and the pandal was also decorated with colourful cloth and garlands of flowers. Musical instruments were established in different places and flags were also used or decoration. A throne covered by a canopy was placed in the middle and it stood beneath a golden desire tree which shone brightly. Eight images of Krishna were placed in eight corners together with eight Thakuranis.
Although it is not possible to descrive all the qualities of Rasika by his grace I have tried to give a brief description of his pastimes beginning from his childhood. This is the first description of the Western part of the Rasika-mangala which is composed by the son of Rasamaya who takes the feet of Syamananda as his ornament.
The Second Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the image of sweetness. May he favour ne to constantly sing his glories.
Within a year Rasika completed all the arrangements and by the month of Vaisakha, in the spring, on the full moon day, the Rasa yatra began. Syamananda came there first bringing Hrdayananda very carefully with him. Anlia Thakura came with Vidyutmala Thakurani. Thakura Suvala dasa accompanied Jagatvallabha in kirtana and Syama, Mathura dasa and an instrumentalist named Vallabha came with Hrdayananda. Bera Balarama das Thakura and the sons and grandsons of Nityananda came as well as the sons and grandsons of Advaita. There was also the disciples and granddisciples of the Dvadasa Gopala, the servants and the servants of the servants of the sixty-four mahantas as well as Ramadasa Thakura, Vairagi Krishnadasa, Sri Prasada Thakura and Sri Jagannatha dasa. All of the devotees residing in Dvaraka, Mathura, Vrndavana and Nilacala came to see the Rasa festival. Hundreds of Kings came there as well as countless brahmins, sannyasis, saints and ordinary citizens. Even women and children along with elderly persons locked up their homes and came there. The place became so crowded that there was not even room for a mustard seed. The Vaisnavas performed the Adhivasa ceremony first with clothes and ornaments. A water pot was placed in the centre and turmeric, rice, grass, a twig of mango and a coconut were all offered on the pot. Curd, milk, ghee, honey, sugar along with garlands, sandal, clothes and ornaments were all placed in a container and then kumkum, red powder dust and perfumes were collected. After the Adhivasa ceremony Rasika worshipped Syamananda and then the feet of Hrdayananda. Next he worshipped Tulasi dasa, the leader of the sankirtana group by offering him a garland, sandal, cloth and ornaments. One by one he worshipped all his godbrothers, disciples and the mahantas.
In the evening Rasika began the festival by having hundreds of servants enter the stock room and distribute sida among the kings, their subjects, the Vaisnavas and the brahmins. Hundreds of servants brought water to wash the banana leaves and they were placed before Lord Krishna with various foodstuffs on them. A brahmana priest offered the foodstuff to Krishna and then the prasada was distributed. The invitees took their seats in groups of hundreds and there were hundreds of brahmins engaged in cooking and serving. After eating there were hundreds of servants engaged in cleaning the place. The grandeur of the festival astonished everyone and even demigods came there mingling with the ordinary people. In disguise he demigods even engaged in cooking and serving the prasada but no one could recognise them. It was not possible for an ordinary person to hold such a festival but this was all the pastime of Rasika. Rasika had rehearsed a group of children to dance as the eight sakhis along with Krishna. The eight boys dressed as sakhis were Daivaki dasa, Gokula, Gopijanavallabha, the son of Rasamaya, Gaura, Gopala, Balaka Gokula, Narayana dasa and Bhupura. Raghunatha was dressed as Krishna. They were all wonderful dancers.
Those who were sakhis had their hair arranged in plaits surrounded by flower garlands and decorated with jewelled ornaments. They wore pearl necklaces and their foreheads were decorated with kumkum and sandal and a dot of red powder dust was paonted between the eyebrows while their eyes were blackened with collyrium. Their lips were reddened with betal leaves and they wore colouful clothes of different styles. With their ornaments on their wrists, rings on their fingers and tingling ankle bells they looked exactly like the women of Vraja. The bot dressed as Krishna wore a yellow cloth and a crown bedecked with shining jewels and a peacock feather. At that time the place was transformed into Vrndavana and everyone was absorbed in divine enjoyment with no touch of misery in their mind. Everyone was friendly to one another and they even forgot the difference between day and night. It was all the effort of Rasika, to whom Lord Krishna was his life, caste and creed. How is it possible to describe the glory of Rasika. Making the feet of Syamananda his ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Third Wave
Glory to Syamananda the only refuge og the poor, the life long frien of Vallabha and the son of Durika. Sri Gopivallabhapura was a beautiful place situated on the banks of Suvarnarekha surrounded by deep forests. It was here that all the demigods came to observe the Rasa festival. The sound of the different musical instruments like the dundubhi playing in the sankirtana made the earth tremble and shiver. It was the season of spring on the full moon night in the month of Vaisakha and the sky was clear. Krishna sat on the throne under the desire tree and began to play His flute. The sweet sound addressed the gopis and one by one they came running to Him. When they saw His face they lost all control of their senses and tears fell from their eyes soaking their clothes. Seeing the gopis, Lord Krishna sat with His head down leaning against the trunk of the tree. Seeing Lord Krishna’s sad face the gopis asked Him, “Why are You so sad?” Krishna sweetly replied, “Why did you leave your household duties to come to this forest in the dead of night. You have seen the blue waters of the Yamuna, the beautiful blossoming trees and you have seen Me so if you have affection for Me you should go back. Your relatives are impatiently searching for you. You should save your husbands and worship them as you would worship Visnu. Even though he may be poor, or sorry, or patient you should regard him like Visnu so go and do it and don’t roam in the forest.” Rasika cited this episode from the Rasa Pancadhayaya of Bhagavata and the boys expertly acted the roles while musicians playing pakhoaja, mrdanga, dampha, dhola, vina, venu, murati, svaramandala, kapinasa, madola, karatala and mandira efficiently accompanied him. One by one all of the different pastimes were performed with such devotion that the walking, singing and dancing charmed the spectators.
When the gopis heard the unsympathetic words of Krishna they lowered their heads, their lips became dry and tears wet their clothes and washed His feet. They told Krishna, “Listen Prabhu, O ocean of favour, Your flute has called our names and drawn us here. We cannot remain at home while our minds are agitated. We left our household duties, sons and husbands to come to this forest just to see Your feet and now You are ordering us to go back. You have quoted from the Vedas but the four Vedas although they worship Your feet cannot attain them. The denizens of heaven and saintly persons all meditate on those lotus feet which we have been so fortunate to see. So when we have had such good fortune, what duties are left for us at home. Without You the thunder may come on our sources of happiness. You are our wealth, our relative, our friend and husband. Without the shelter of Your feet we know nothing. You have taught us service to husbamd and guru but You are the lord of all, You are the life of the universe and You are existing in all created beings. Indeed You are the protector of all. Knowing this how can we give up Your lotus feet which are attained only after many austerities. Without the shelter of Your lotus feet we cannot live for a second and have no hope. If You are not kind to us we will surely die.” After hearing these words from the gopis the lotus Lord called them with a smile and they gathered around Him and danced the Rasa. As the boys danced sankirtana was performed and the happiness of Vrndavana was manifested. Everyone said that Rasika must be a second Narayana for the pastimes he enacted in even a second cannot be described by millions of mouths. By his grace I have given a brief description. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament the son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Fourth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the deliver of the universe. May he favour me to sing his glory. Sri Gopivallabhapura became a second Vrndavana with an ocean of sankirtana, the sweet sound of the instruments, the graceful dancing of the boys and the jewelled throne under the desire tree. In the midst of the transcendental enjoyment the next morning came. As the children returned to their homes it was as if Krishna was returning home surrounded by the Vraja gopis. As they went they charmed all the spectators by performing different pastimes of Krishna. On eof the children announced, “Krishna is charmed by all of us.” On hearing the proud words of the gopis Krishna disappeared and when the gopis were unable to see Him they fainted. Vrndavati was a fortunate gopi whom Krishna took with Him but for the other gopis, after coming back to their senses had to search for Him by following His footprints on the ground. As they searched they remembered how they had talked, layghed, walked and enjoyed seeing Krishna abd thus they wept. They asked the trees if they had seen the Lord of their life but the trees said they had only seen Lord Narayana go by. They searched along the bank of the Yamuna and asked her if she had seen the son of Nanda. As they searched they remembered His pastimes and one gopi exclaimed, “I have killed Putana.” And one gopi took hold of anothers breast as if to suck it. Someone said, “I have broken the carriage.” And another began to roll on the ground crying. One gopi said, “I have killed Trnavarta,” while another said, “I have killed the Vaka demon.” One gopi said, “I am Krishna,” and began to play on the flute while another said, “I am lifting Goverdhana Hill, let Indra come and do whatever he likes. I want to see his power.” One gopi said, “I have dominated Kaliya.” and another said, “I have destroyed the forest fire.” One gopi had a colth tied around her waist and said, “I have broken the Yamalarjuna trees,” and another said, “The gopi Krishna has taken with Him is indeed fortunate. She is able to worship those lotus feet which Lakshmi always desires to keep in her heart.” As the gopis roamed in the forest remembering the Lord’s pastimes that gopi whom Krishna had taken with Him told Krishna, “I cannot walk any longer.” Hearing this Krishna replied, “Let Me carry You on My shoulder.” Then after walking a few steps Krishna disappeared and the gopi fell on the ground. Thus She loudly lamented and te other gopis hearing her cries came running to her. The the gopis being `tadatmika’ began to remember the qualities of Krishna.
In this way the children performed all the pastimes depicted in Bhagavata. Their skillful acting charmed everyone and they all said that this place was Vrndavana and that the son of Acyuta was Narayana Himself.
Rasika while returning from his house to the Rasa happened to be bitten by a venemous snake. It’s fierce attack left two of it’s teeth in pierced in his flesh and Rasika’s leg began to bleed. After a light was brought it was found that the snake had died after biting Rasika. Finding it’s dead body they kicked it until it became dust. Rasika remained absorbed in Krishna and went to the Rasasthali without saying anything. He continued to dance and sing in a joyous mood until morning when everyone saw that the snake’s teeth were still in his leg and it was bleeding continuously. With great care the teeth were removed. The glory of Rasika cannot be ordinarily defined and his pastimes are transcendental to this world. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Fifth Wave
Glory to Syamananda the world famous Prabhu. Please favour me that I can constantly sing your glory. Seeing the Rasalila of Rasikendra the denizens of heaven as well as the human beings were charmed and happy. The boys enacted all the pastimes depicted in Bhagavata and their portrayal of the gopis lamentation overwhelmed the audience with joy and emotion.
Remembering all of Krishna’s childhood pastimes the gopis said, “O Gopala, You have saved us from poison water, from demons, rain and other dangers. You are not a mere son of Yasoda but You must be the Lord of the universe, the soul of the universe, Lord Narayana Himself. Save our life by again showing us Your moon-liks face.” Then Krishna, the life of the universe, appeared before the gopis and seeing Him they regained their lives. He held one gopi by the hand, begged chewed betel leaf from another, made a joke with another and charmed yet another by touching her breast. He kissed one gopi, winked at another and embraced another. In this way he satisfied the desires of all of the gopis and removed all doubts from their minds. He told them, “You should remember that I am always with you for you are my beloveds.” Thus by pleasing the gopis the lotus-eyed Lord began the Rasa dance on the banks of the Yamuna. They decorated Him with flower garlands and that one Lord became many and began to dance with each gopi. One gopi charmed Krishna by her sweet songs, another by her elegant dancing, another by her sweet words and another by her winks. The boys held each others hand as they danced their footbells sweetly sounded and musical instruments and choice songs accompanied them. Their performance was praised by the three worlds and the denizens of heaven showered flowers on them. It was by the grace of the son of Acyuta that the eternal Vrndavana pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna were visible to all.
After two days of Rasa the number of spectators remained unchanged and everyone requested Rasika to continue it for another day. Though he was not in favour of it he ordered the boys to continue. However, as they dressed themselves the sky suddenly covered with black clouds and that evening there was a tremendous rainstorm with thunder and rain continuing until late in the night. Syamananda called a halt to the festival and in the morning he ordered that they begin “Dadhikada.” For this hundreds of buckets of curd with turmeric, red powder dust, cua and sandal were miced together. Rasika distributed this dadhikada with flowers, kumkum and perfumes to one and all and then began sankirtana. At that time hundreds of other sects also began kirtana so that the sound covered the sky, Hrdayananda Prabhu, seeing the place as beautiful as Vaikuntha, began to dance along with Rasika and they smeared dadhikada on the body of each other.
In the evening Rasika stopped the kirtana and bowed first to Syamananda then to Hrdayananda and all the senior Vaisnavas. He embraced his friends and companions as well as his disciples, disciples of the disciples, servants and others. After this he took his bath in the clear, cool waters of the Suvarnarekha. With his companions they passed some time in water sports spraying water on each other and then they went to accept prasadam. Besides offering prasada to the Vaisnavas Rasika distributed kaupina amongst them. He worshipped the brahmin ascetics and he worshipped the seniors presenting them with gold coins, sandal and clothes. He personally bid farewell to the kings and their entourages and he worshipped his relatives. He also gave clothes and ornaments to the boys who had danced in the Rasa. As they departed everyone praised Rasika saying that they had never seen such a grand festival before. They praised Rasika and his parents as well as the ground where this Rasa had been performed. Rasika’s glory cannot be simply described but by his grace I have tried to say something. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Sixth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the source of joy to all and the giver of peace to the universe. After bidding farewell to everyone Syamananda was left there seated by Rasika with his wife and their associates. Whenever Rasika had to take a seat in front of Syamananda he would cover his feet with his cloth. At that time he would keep his head down without speaking to others and fix his eyes on the feet of Syamananda, If Syamananda asked him to explain any topic of Krishna he would be extremely shy and speak in a mild and low tone. Because Rasika was unable to speak loudly in front of Syamananda, Syamananda often had to leave the place and order Rasika to continue the discussion. In the absence of Syamananda, Rasika would speak vigourously and explain the philosophy as if he were Brhaspati, Vyasa of Suka. Hearing him speak all the scholars would praise him by saying, “Our studies have been a waste of time. Rasika has proved that the opinion of Vyasa and Suka and all the Vedas and Puranas are that one should be a sincere devotee of Krishna.”
While they remained at this place Raghunatha sent one of his brothers to Syamananda informing him that the yavanas were oppressing the people of Radhanagara village. Thus with a perturbed mind Syamananda, along with Rasika, left there and went to Dharenda stopping at the house of Rasamaya. Syamananda had Vamsi call everyone including Raghunatha Pattanayaka who then came quickly, bowing at the feet of Syamananda. They said, “Listen Prabhu, the village is under the heretics but if you will go there with a few of your disciples and meet Ahammad Beg Suba then the situation can be relieved.” After hearing this Syamananda looked at Rasika who immediately understood the implication and said, “Oh Prabhu, please allow me to go to Vanapura with some companions.” Syamananda permitted him and ordered Vamsi and some others to go with Rasika. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangla.
The Seventh Wave
Glory to Syamananda the abode of mercy. Walking in a trance of absorption in Krishna Rasika left that place to go to Vanapura. As he walked tears rolled down from his eyes and wet his body. He talked of nothing but Krishna and always remained in search of Krishna. If, in the course of his journey, he took a seat anywhere owing to tiredness then thousands of people would come to meet him. Hearing his sweet words and observing his wonderful beauty they would forget everything an their hearts would be soothed. Everyday lacs of people would become his disciples. By the order of his master he was not to stay in any one place for a long time thus in his journey he would take bath at one place, take food at another place and halt at some other place but he never took any rest.
Ramakrsna and Diansyama were two obedient disciples of Rasika who were both pure in heart. Rasika instructed them both, “You should give Harinama to all and rescue the poor and fallen souls. You should even give Harinama to kings and their subjects. Syamananda begged me to commit myself to deliver all creatures and like him I am begging you to commit yourselves to give Harinama to all the people of Utkala.” On hearing these words of Rasika they fell at his feet. Syamananda said about these two, that if they simply touched anybody they would attain devotion for Visnu. Thus by their touch millions of devotees were made in Vanabhuma and persons of low caste were delivered from material existence and dedicated themselves to the service of guru, sadhu and Krishna. In this way Rasika ordered all of his disciples to distribute the holy name to one and all. Vamsi dasa was also told to give Hari nama and make many disciples.
Ahammad Beg had tortured all the kings and zamindars of Orissa and compelled everyone under his control to become a yavana. There was no one who did not fear him for he was in the habit of killing one or two persons everyday. The inhabitants of that region lived in fear and anxiety their only solace being to think of the name of Krishna within their minds. After a long journey Rasika reached Vanapuri and went first to the territory ruled by Vaidyanatha. When the king saw Rasika he first offered obeisances then gave him a nice seat and washed his feet. Happy to have the association of Rasika he made all arrangements for his comfort. Everyday Rasika would speak about Krishna and the kings of different territories would come to hear his discourses. All of the kings and even the Hindu sect took refuge in him. That place became crowded with visitors all anxious to have a glimpse of Rasika. The son of Acyuta distributed love of Krishna to everyone and the village became absorbed in the essence of sankirtana. Rasika stayed in that village for a few days and sent a letter to Syamananda informing him that he had followed his orders.
Although all the yavana subjects of the Suba used to come to see Rasika, the Suba never came. Seeing that many of his subjects were going daily to Rasika he became very angry and asked them, “I see you are going some place to chant the name of Hari. Where do you go and why do you go there?” The senior persons replied, “Sri Rasika Murari is am embodiment of love of Krishna. He was born as an illustrious mahanta in Orissa and is fortunate enough to have Lord Jagannatha converse daily with him. all the kings of Orissa as well as their subjects are his disciples. Hundreds of yavanas have also become his disciples. He is not just a mere human but a part incarnation.”
The Suba was a wicked person and he said angrily, “I don’t object to him making Hindus his disciples but he has no right accepting yavanas as his disciples. He is a fake and just hypnotises the people making them fools. In order to aquire property he is in the habit of making a drama. If he is able to impress me with his powers then I shall accept him as Narayana. Formerly Kavira and other great men had displayed their transcendental activities and for that reason I accepted then as God.” The yavana told this to all the Hindu kings and ordered them to bring Rasika to him. The kings were frightened by his words and went to Rasika saying, “Oh Prabhu, why did you come to this yavana’s place? Who knows what type of activities he wants to see and if he is not satisfied who knows what he will do?” Rasika listened to them and decided to meet the yavana but his companions forbade him. They said, “Why do you want to go there? It is better we leave and try to save our own lives. Why should you confront a yavana?”
While they were talking in this way a wild elephant began to trouble the local village people. It often entered into the village and troubled the people by destroying houses and killing animals. Rasika had decided not to pay any attention to the suggestions of the others and went to see the yavana. Rasika, his mind absorbed in love for Krishna saw the yavana sitting on his throne surrounded by the Hindu kings. Suddenly the mad elephant entered Vanapura. Caring for no one it crushed homes, uprooted large trees and killed mamy animals. Its loud roars made the earth tremble while its heavy sighs covered the sky with dust. Some of the villagers took shelter on the roofs of tall buildings while others fled. In fear of their lives they prayed to Lord Narayana to save them. The son of Acyuta thought, “Today I will save the villagers and make this elephant into a great devotee.” Now I shall describe this episode. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Eight Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the embodiment of mercy and the most kind-hearted lord of the universe.
The wicked yavana ruler told the other kings, “Today this elephant has killed cattle, horses and people. It has also damaged much property. We must think of some means to stop it. Why not tell Rasika Murari to give Harinama to this elephant. The Hindus regard him as Narayana so if he can succeed in initiating this elephant then I shall also accept him as Narayana.”
Everyone felt sorry to hear this and began to think of Krishna. When Rasika heard what had been said he decided to visit the place of the Suba. He thought to himself, “If a devotee takes refuge in Krishna then what harm can an elephant do to him?” Thinking in this way he entered into the village and saw the mad elephant killing anyone who crossed its path. While the villagers fled out of fear Rasika came forward to confront the animal. The companions of Rasika repeatedly requested him to leave that place but he took the name of Lord Krishna and did not listen to their pleas. His companions ran away leaving Rasika alone. The yavana was observing everything and when he saw this he thought to himself, “Oh, Lord Narayana, save him. If the elephant kills him I shall be responsible for the death of a saintly person. If he can tame this animal I shall be sure of the glory of Krishna.” The Hindu kings were all anxious for the safety of Rasika and their grief brought tears to their eyes. Rasika however was unperturbed and went on thinking of Krishna. When the mad elephant came in front of Rasika it observed his beautiful form and immediately checked its speed. Rasika looked in its eyes and said, “Oh mad elephant, listen to me. Worship Krishna and serve His devotees. Why are you engaged in these wicked deeds? Without knowledge of Krishna all efforts are futile. Chant the name of Krishna, meditate on Krishna and dedicate yourself to the worship of His feet. It is the opinion of all scriptures that of all types of worship the worship of Krishna is the highest. Leave everything and worship the feet of the Lord. But for Lord Krishna no one is your friend. Krishna is the mother, Krishna is the father and Krishna is life, so why are you heading towards death? Be careful not to become in the proud in the worship of Krishna. Airavata, the elephant of Indra, was very proud until he was attacked by a crocodile and had to be saved by Krishna crushing his false pride. Lord Narayana is an ocean of mercy so give up your vanity and worship Him. If you listen to this advice from a saintly person then the son of Nanda will favour you.”
Due to its previous austerities the elephant was able to meet Rasika and now it saw the second Narayana in Rasika. With tears in its eyes it thought, “This is not an ordinary human. He must be a part of Narayana. Everything he said to me is based on scriptures.” By the grace of Rasika the elephant attained complete knowledge and accepted Lord Krishna as the only truth. It fell at the feet of Rasika and washed his feet with its tears. Placing a hand on the head of the elephant Rasika poured the sixteen word Hare Krishna mantra into its right ear. As soon as it received the nama it stood up quickly and then fell prostrate at the feet of Rasika. After circumabulating him it bowed and a stream of tears rolled dow from its eyes. Seeing the loving beauty of Rasika it was so charmed that it forgot its own self. Rasika named it as Sri Gopala dasa and after receiving this name it fell at Rasika’s feet a hundred times. It had witnessed Rasika as Narayana and so was reluctant to leave him. Only after a long time did it slowly leave the palace to enter into the forest. With tears in its eyes it had dedicated itself to the feet of Rasika.
After witnessing this wonderful pastime of Rasika both the Hindus and the yavanas were overwhelmed. They began to tell one another as follows, “Rasika has not only tamed the mad elephant but he has also given it spiritual initiation. As the news spread millions of people came to that place just to see Rasika. The Suba, Ahammada Beg, quickly came to that place and fell at the feet of Rasika. With folded hands he said, “I was unable to appreciate your transcendental position and thus I had ordered my men to bring you to this place. I have acted out of ignorance and now, Oh lord, I beg you to forgive me. You are an ocean of mercy and kindness. You are the life of the universe. Being enamoured by your maya I did not know your glory and gave you trouble. Please forgive me.”
Hearing these humble words of the Suba Rasika told the King, “I came here to deliver you and on the way the mad elephant came running towards me. At that time I remembered Lord Krishna, the omnipotent Lord who lives in everyone’s heart. There are seven levels of lower planetary systems and these are followed by the Padma Sthama. The scriptures describe that after Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka there is Janaloka and Tapaloka followed by Maharloka and Brahmaloka. Together these fourteen worlds form a Brahmanda in which there is a Brahma. Some Brahmas have four faces while others have hundreds and even millions of faces. Brahma, Indra and the other demigods have taken birth from the pores of the skin of Narayana who looks after the whole creation. Living in the heart of all creatures, both mobile and immobile, Lord Narayana is the destroyer of irreligion and by destroying the sinners age after age He establishes true religion. Lord Narayana also resides in the heart of that mad elephant. I advised it to remember Lord Krishna and on hearing the Lord’s name it fell at my feet. After I had poured the name of Lord Krishna into its ears it was subdued and slowly left the place. It has now given up its wicked activities. The yavana King was very happy to hear all this from Rasika.
Listen to the boundless glory of Rasika described in Rasika-mangala. By making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Tenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda the deliverer of the fallen. Please favour me so that I can sing your glories.
After Rasika finished explaining all the philosophy of Krishna consciousness Ahammad Beg became very happy and began to eulogise Rasika in various ways. All the kings present there followed the example of the Suba and surrendered to Rasika. In that city of Vanapura many persons became disciples of Rasika and all the kings as well as their subjects became ecstatic in love and devotion for Krishna.
The king of Pancali, Harinarayana, was respected by all the neighbouring kings. He was overwhelmed to see the beauty of Rasika and at once took shelter at his feet. He then told Gajapati as follows, “Go and take shelter of Rasika. He has appeared in this world just to destroy the influence of the vicious age of Kali. It is the fortune of Utkala that he is here. Simply by seeing his feet you can remove all sins so don’t delay.” By the words of Harinarayana, Nrsimha deva also became interested to meet Rasika. Rasikendra being omniscient understood everything and paid a visit to Gajapati. His elephant like gait and smiling face just like the moon, charmed everyone. His companions brought with them many scriptures of both literature and music.
When Gajapati saw Rasika it was as though he had seen a second Narayana and he quickly stood up and then paid full dandavats to him. The king who was in charge of Sri Jagannatha deva, worshipped Rasika with utmost respect. He was very happy to meet Rasika and with folded hands he requested him, “Oh Prabhu, please play your flute and thereby soothe my ears.” Rasika obliged the king and played his flute in six ragas causing the king to fall unconsciousness while the others lost control of their senses. Everyone agreed they had never heard such beautiful flute playing and said it was just as if Krishna had played in Vrndavana. As they listened to his flute playing they were unable to speak or move and tears rolled down from their eyes. When Gajapati requested Rasika to take his seat Rasika replied that he did not like to sit by the side of a king. On the pretext of this situation Rasika then explained Krishnarasamrta, the xis philosophical thesis, eighteen Puranas, sruti, smrti and the four Vedas. He established that the worship of Krishna was the highest principle depicted in all scriptures and they all advised one to serve the devotees. Since Krishna resides in the heart of guru and devotees, guru, Krishna and devotees are all the same. Lord Narayana always moves with the devotees and the dust from their feet should be regarded as an ornament. Indeed the devotees should be respected even more than Lord Krishna. Krishna never favours those who ridicule the devotees. Such persons as Kamsa, Kesi, Hiranyakasipu, Duryodhana, Durvasa, Kumbhakana, Ravana, Dhantavakra, Sisupala and Naraka all had to die because they ridiculed saintly persons. They have to suffer birth after birth. Demons such as Kesi, Agha, Vaka, Trna and Putana all had to meet death because they oppressed the residents of Vraja. Because Hiranyakasipu tortured Prahlada he was killed by the husband of Kamala. All of the supporters of Kamsa were killed. Because Duryodhana tortured the five devoted Pandavas he was killed. For giving trouble to the Pandavas, Bhisma, Drona, Karna, Duhsasana andhis ninety-nine brothers all lost their lives. Ravana misbehaved with Sita and thus he and his brother Kumbhakana as well as his whole family were destroyed. Sisu, Dantavakra and Salva were killed for ridiculing saints and Lord Narayana personally killed the demon Naraka and others. The Lord of the universe can tolerate offences against Himself but He never tolerates offences against devotees. One should sincerely render service to the devotees and thus be saved from the fear of death. Rasika advised the king to serve the brahmins and Vaisnavas as well as to be kind to all creatures because the Lord is present in all living entities.
Rasika said, “Oh king, fix your mind at the lotus feet of Krishna and remember that only He is true and everything else is false.”
After receiving these teachings from Rasika the King became absorbed in love of Krishna and stopped all animal slaughter. He became kind to all creatures and worshipped Rasika as if he were Narayana. Seeing the devotional efforts of Rasika, the other kings also took shelter from Rasika.
It is the glory of Rasika that he could give love of God to mad Gopala dasa, that he could give orders to the yavanas and that Gajapati would circulate his instructions among other kings. They all became Vaisnavas and accepted the marke of tilaka and tulasi beads. he whole of Utkala became full of love of God. It is not possible to describe Rasika’s glory in hundreds of mouths. Making the feet of Syamananda his ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Tenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the friend of the universe and an ocean of love to the poor, needy and fallen. After a long stay at Vanapura Rasika along with Syama dasa, Mohana and a few other disciples went to visit Jagannatha and then Rasika planned to see Syamananda. Previously Syama dasa and Mohana had been court singers for the king of Aijli and the king met them on the road and forced them to go back to his court. When Rasika heard about this he began to fast and returned to Vanapura. At first the kings were glad to see Rasika again but when they heard the news that he was fasting they were frightened. It was by their efforts that the two brothers were released and they were returned to Rasika. With their return Rasiks felt relief and he began to take his food again and passed the evening in the joy of sankirtana.
When the elephant Gopala dasa came to know of Rasika’s returning to that place he thought that he should see him once again. He left the forest, slowly came to the place where Rasika was standing and fell at his feet washing them with tears. At that time Rasika told him the glories of Sri Krishna as well as the message of Gita, Bhagavatam and other scriptures. Receiving this special knowledge Gopala dasa bowed at the feet of Rasika and returned to the forest with the intention of visiting holy places of pilgrimage. Later Rasika entered the same forest but lost his sense of direction. The forest was very dense with no villages around it and Rasika and his disciples were forced to remain under a tree without food. Gopala dasa came to that place and understanding that Rasika was fasting he ran like the wind to the home of a forest dweller and collected some rice from that house. He then returned to Rasika and offered the rice at his feet. By this time they were taking rest and when they first saw the elephant they were afraid for their lives. Realising their fear the elephant put more rice before Rasika and then went to stand at a distant place in the forest. Rasika had his disciples cook the rice and then he first of all fed the devotees and then sat for eating himself. Gopala dasa came to Rasika and fell at his feet. Happy to see the elephant again Rasika placed his hand on its head and blessed him by saying, “Render sincere service to the devotees of the Lord and never ridicule them. Also go and visit the holy places of pilgrimage.”
From then on the elephant began to visit holy places. It is not possible to fully describe the glory of Gopala dasa because it became an embodiment of love and devotion. It visited all the places associated with Krishna’s pastimes as well as those places where brahmins and Vaisnavas lived. He continually chanted the name of Krishna like a devout Vaisnava and if any person uttered the name of Rasika he would bow to them. Happily he would render service to the devotees by collecting whatever they required. All types of persons as well as kings along with their subjects became devout Vaisnavas by the grace of Rasika. The glory of Rasika goes beyond description for he was the friend of the poor, needy and the fallen. His sweet smiling face with big lotus eyes and his mode of speaking were very pleasing to everyone. He walked with a gait like and elephant and his arms moved like the trunk of an elephant. Holding a book in his hands he constantly chanted the names of the Lord and tears rolled from his eyes. It is not possible to fully describe his absorption in love of Krishna. With cloth neatly tied around his waist, his broad chest, neck like a conch shell and sparkling teeth he attracted hundreds of people to hear his speeches and they never liked to leave.
When Rasika was on tour Lord Jagannatha suddenly appeared before him and in the dead of night told him, “manifest My transcendental form here and I will remain here forever as Sri Govinda Raya. The three worlds will worship Me and this place will be as great as Nilacala.” Rasika told everyone of this order that Krishna had given him and later, by chance, they met two brothers, Raghunatha and Ananda Kaurila, who were living in Nilacala and were as skillful as Visvakarma in art and architecture. The son of Acyuta was very glad to meet them and had them accompany him on tour. Within his mind Rasika was thinking when he would be able to see Govinda.
With the appearance of the moon-like personality of Rasika in this world the darkness of sin is removed. Making the feet of Syamananda his ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Eleventh Wave
All glory to Syamananda, the conqueror of the worlds and lord of the universe. May he who is the life of Rasika favour me by allowing me to sing his glory.
Rasika and Syamananda met in the city of Thuria and after joyfully embracing Rasika, Syamananda enquired about what happened in Vanapura. Feeling intense humility before his spiritual master Rasika was unable to speak and his companions had to describe everything to Syamananda. With great joy he heard accounts of everything that had taken place and then sat in a quiet place with Rasika and the others while Rasika offered clothes and ornaments he had collected in his travels to Syamananda. He also helped Raghu and Ananda to take initiation from Syamananda and they all began to spend their time in talking about Sri Krishna.
Ananda carved a form of the Lord for Syamananda and in his ecstasy he named the form Vrndavana Candra.
Syamananda told Rasikendra, “Go to Gopivallabhapura and take someone with you who can make a form of the Lord. Install the Deity in the name of Sri Govinda.”
Being so ordered Rasika along with the two brothers, went ot that place and on an auspicious day Sri Govinda Raya manifested Himself. Seeing the beautiful form of the Lord everyone floated in ecstasy. Rasika duly satisfied the craftsmen with many gifts and after installing Sri Govinda n the temple he began great festival and had the brahmanas cite Sruti. The beauty of the festival made Rasika extremely happy and thus he remained absorbed in the rasa of Krishna and in citing from the Bhagavatam. At other times he would be absorbed in sankirtana with no sense of day or night. He would offer Tulasi leaves at the lotus feet of Sri Govinda and absorb himself in the beauty of the Deity.
Wherever he lived Rasika always sincerely served guru, Krishna and the devotees. His glory is unparalled in the world. Those who witnessed his love and devotion were charmed and became joyful.
This son of Rasamaya takes the feet of Syamananda as his wealth.
The Twelfth Wave
Glory to Syamananda and glory to the son of Acyuta. Syamananda came to Thuria to visit Rasika and told him how groups of devotees were always visiting and his house was constantly full of guests. He told Rasika, “My dear son please go out and beg a few houses.” Rasika and Syamananda visited Ghantasila and when they told the king of their needs he donated a village named Satuti to them. This place was renamed as Sri Syamasundara pura and Syamananda built his house there and held many festivals there. He also had a house in Ayodhya and another in Govindapura where his three wives stayed. Many kings donated villages to Syamananda and service to saints became regular practice in Utkala. Together Syamananda and Rasika travelled through many forests and visited many distant lands.
Once Syamananda humorously said that Rasika should be addressed by common people as Thakura Gosai. Since then Rasika has become famous by the name. The Brajabasis and Gurukula Gouriaya would come in hundreds to visit the villages where Syamananda resided and he, along with Rasika would tirelessly serve the devotees and satisfy them with clothes, food and whatever they required. Utkala was transformed into Vaikuntha. Numerous people became disciples of Syamananda and Rasika and even some world conquering mahantas took initiation. Observing the circumstances Syamananda ordered Rasika to continue making more disciples. After some time Syamananda moved to Thuria intending to settle there. Rasika as well as Damodara Gosvami with his brothers, servants and disciples also went with him and there they held Dola yatra festival.
Suddenly Syamananda received an order that he should immediately come to Vrndavana. Syamananda became full of ecstatic love and requested Rasika to take charge of all the disciples and other duties. After taking his leave he travelled for some time and then halted under a tree where he decided to rest. He remained at this place for three days and during this time many kings, along with their subjects, came to meet him. At the request of Rasika they all fell at the feet of Syamananda and requested him to remain a few more days in Utkala. Thinking of seperation from his guru Rasika gave up eating and drinking and cried continuously. He asked that since Syamananda was his life how could he leave him. Being moved by the miserable condition of the people and especially that of Rasika, Syamananda decided to stay there.
On one occasion Syamananda fell ill and many noteable vaidyas were brought for his treatment. They told Rasika that his disease was due to wind and it could be cured only by applying Hemasagara oil which was available from the house of Haricandana in Balaramapura. Rasika quickly went there and Haricandana gladly gave him the oil necessary to cure Syamananda. On his return he massaged the oil on the head of Syamananda and relieved him of all discomfort. Then they spent their days happily performing kirtana and discussing the topics of Krishna. After some time Rasika returned to his own place and Syamananda went to Kesiari. Happy to see Syamananda everyone began to render him sincere service. In every home there was Krishna kirtana and even the kings became ecstatic in love for Krishna. However, there was one dangerous yavana ruler who flared in anger when he listened to kirtana. On hearing the glory of Syamananda he concluded that if he could imprison Syamananda then he could take control of all his disciples. Although his well-wishers discouraged him from doing this he did not listen to them and sent his men to capture Syamananda.
After two or three days terrible misfortune fell upon that yavana or all his properties including his wife and children were lost. Realising his mistake the yavana went to Syamananda and humbly submitted, “Oh Prabhu, I am a most sinful person. All my suffering is due to my ignorance about you. Your glory is unknown even by the denizens of heaven.” After saying this he fell at the feet of Syamananda and surrendered to him.
Syamananda then went to Narayananagara to meet Syamapala Bhuian. Noticing that Syamapala had a yavana gateman he told him, “From today do not keep any more yavanas here. Replace the gateman with a Hindu. No yavana should live in that place where guru, Krishna and the devotees are served.”
When Syamapala did not follow this instruction Syamananda told him, “You have a great love for the yavanas. I will not stay here any longer.”
Syamananda then left the place and since then no yavana is allowed to stay there. The order of Syamananda could not be neglected even by the denizens of heaven. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Thirteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the life of Rasikananda and glory to the son of Acyuta, Rasika who assisted Syamananda in distributing love and devotion throughout the land. In course of time a messenger came from Amuna informing them that Sri Adhikari Thakura, Hrydayananda, had passed away from there to Goloka. Hearing the news Syamananda wept profuse tears and called for Rasika telling him, “I will not stay in this world anymore. The separation from Hrdayananda is piercing my heart.” After saying this he continued crying and all the devotees became aggrieved. Syamananda then told Rasika to announce that he would hold a great festival at Syamasundarapura and that he should arrange to collect all the necessary items. Receiving this order Rasika despatched many of his followers to different countries in order to collect the various items and the festival was held in the month of Phalguna. Then the festival was perfectly performed with many groups of Syamanandi servant-disciples coming to Syamasundarapura. Following this Syamananda moved to Govindapura and it was here that he received news of the disappearance of Damodara. He broke down on hearing the news and told Rasika, “Damodara has shown the way.” A funeral festival was held in honour of Damodara and also in memory of Sri Adhikari Gosvami.
Syamananda told Rasika, “Previously the Lord ordered me to take your help and go out and save the fallen souls. Abiding by His order I preached devotion to Lord Krishna and saved the inhabitants of Utkala. The whole place is now mad with love of Krishna. Now you should live with these disciples because I have received the order of Krishna that I have to depart now. I will not stay in this world much longer.”
After saying this Syamananda went with Rasika to Nrsimhapura where he suddenly fell ill. Syamananda and his group of devotees remained at the house of Uddanda Raya for four months. During this period many veteran vaidyas came to cure Syamananda and gave their various treatments. Rasika nursed him day and night but Syamananda did not recover. He told his disciples, “Krishna had ordered me to leave this world so don’t try to cure me. You should do sankirtana day and night and discuss the topics of Krishna with other devotees. Vina, venu ravara, murali etc. are my medicines.
Hearing these words from Syamananda Rasika felt much aggrieved and emotionally said, “Please permit me to go to Vrndavana. How can I live without you.”
To pacify Rasika Syamananda told him, “You should always think that you are living in Vrndavana but it is my order that you remain with all the Syamanandis who have taken birth in Utkala. Continue preaching love of Krishna and make the world float in love for Krishna. Serve the devotees and allow others to serve as you serve. Distribute love and devotion for Krishna to one and all and care for all creatures of this world.” He then put his lotus feet on the head of Rasika, tied a piece of cloth on his wrist and painted his forehead with his own hand. Then with folded hands he told everyone, “I have placed the mark of the Syamanandi sect on Rasika’s forehead. You should all obey Rasika and he will look after you. Anyone who is against Rasika will have to leave my group.” In this way he handed over all responsibility to Rasika. Sankirtana continued and everyone remained anxious over Syamananda until in the Saka era of 1552 he departed. On the first day of the solar eclipse, in the month of Asarda, in the midst of the sounds of Hari, conch and sankirtana Syamananda Prabhu disappeared from this world.
His disciples fell unconscious and Rasika also lost his sense of control and fell on the ground. Only with the help of his companions did he come back to this world. While lamenting Rasika said, “I was a boy of eighteen years when Syamananda came to meet me. I served him for twenty years. Now where has he gone leaving me alone? It was by his touch that I attained love and devotion for Krishna, by him everyone was purified; by his favour ill-education was averted; by his grace the bonds of the material world were destroyed; by his grace low caste persons and heretics became mad in love of Krishna. Such a Prabhu has left me and I can no longer see him. Now I am lost. Who else will show me such affection? With whom shall I travel to country after country? With whom shall I go for pilgrimage? Who will take me to Vrndavana? I will not be able to see his feet again.”
Saying this Rasika fell on the ground and although the devotees tried he could not be pacified and tears continually rolled from his eyes. His love for his guru can melt even a stone therefore it is not possible go fully describe his grief even if one had millions of mouths.
Now I shall describe the events of the funeral ceremony. These pastimes may be compared to the waves of an ocean and it is by Rasika’s favour that I have narrated them. Please don’t find any fault in my words for I have written only as he has instructed me. Oh Vaisnavas, please listen to Rasika-mangala for by this act you will soon attain love and devotion. Making the feet of Syamanada my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Fourteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the deliverer of the sinners and the life wealth of Rasikendra. Despite his grief at separation from Syamananda Rasika sat for a meeting with the other devotees to organise the Dvadasa Mahotsava. They selected Govindapura as the perfect place and everyone agreed that all the members of the Syamananda sect would have to be invited. Rasika announced, I know nothing but the feet of Syamananda and have passed away my time like a madman in love of Krishna so I do not know the whereabouts of the members of our sect. Oh my brothers you must take the initiative and decide who are eligible to receive the invitation. It is your duty to maintain the service of Sri Govinda and to organise this festival. I have to travel in order to continue the work of Syamananda but you must make sure you perform these two duties. Give me the names of the disciples and grand-disciples of Syamananda as well as those of the servants in Utkala. Make a list of kings and mahantas and indicate whose disciples they are, in which family they belong and where they are living. Also make a complete list of the servants of Syamananda indicating how much they are devoted to the service of guru, Krishna and devotees. After I receive your lists I shall send everyone invitations.
Everyone said, “Rasika Prabhu, how can you speak like this. You have appeared in this world to distribute love to the poor so you must at least appoint a priest who will take your responsibilities and you can give the service of Sri Govinda to him.” Thus a meeting was held in which he ordered his followers to propose someone who would be responsible and receive unanimous support from the devotees. The Vaisnavas selected the three sons of Rasika who were all broad-hearted young men as well as Rasika’s daughter who was calm, composed and a great devotee. The three sons were known as Radhananda, Krishnagati dasa and Radha Krishna dasa, while the daughter was named Vrndavati.
I will tell you the glory of the eldest, Radhananda, he was extremely intelligent. Krishna was everything for him. In his dreams he would play with Krishna and when he woke he would cry for Krishna. While crying he would see the divine couple, Radha and Krishna, and become absorbed in divine joy. He always swam in the ocean of love of Krishna. Seeing his transcendental bliss heretics would burn in a fire of jealously. Constantly absorbed in love of Krishna he did not care for eating and drinking and was always kind to the poor. As he chanted the name of the Lord he would dance, sing and cry like a madman. Since all his qualities were well known to the Vaisnavas they decided that he would be the perfect person to take this position. Rasika was happy to hear the decision of the devotees and asked that Radhananda be brought to the assembly. When he entered he fell at his father’s feet and Rasika took him in his arms and told him as follows, “Oh my dear, listen to me. Previously Syamananda gave me this task and now all the Vaisnavas have proposed that you continue with it. Therefore I am putting you in charge of the Syamananda group.” Taking permission from the Vaisnavas Rasika then tied a cloth round his son’s head and he duly circumabulated his father.
Thus the service of Sri Govinda was entrusted to Radhananda. At this time he advised Radhananda to preach the message of bhakti to the utmost sincerity.
Rasika then addressed the Vaisnavas. He said, “You are all devout Vaisnavas and can give and take love and devotion to and from all. You must make a list of the devotees belonging to the Syamananda sect.” They replied that it was impossible to count that which was like the countless waves of an ocean.
I have already mentioned the names of the disciples of Syamananda. Now I shall tell briefly about the grand-disciples. Those persons whom I have eulogised at the beginning of the book were all disciples of Syamananda. Now I shall mention the names of the disciples of Rasika. His first disciple was Kalandi Bhakta dasa, then Sri Syamagopala dasa who was the son of Kasinatha and was a great orator. His mother, Govinda dasi, was a maid servant of Rasika. In the village of Sri Janka lived the fortunate Rama dasa with his devoted wife Draupadi. Their son, Dinasyama dasa who belonged to the Sistakarana family, had been devoted to Rasika since childhood. He was always faithful to Rasika and was accustomed to absorb himself in meditation on Rasika. Dinasyama, who had many disciples throughout Utkala, was a favourite of the Vaisnavas for he gave everyone love and devotion. Dvija Ramakrsna dasa, to whom Rasika was everything, also had many disciples in Utkala. He could fealessly sit on the backs of tigers and crocodiles and once crossed a river by riding on the back of a crocodile. Narayana dasa was a pure-hearted brahmana who became a great scholar by the grace of Rasika. Gaur and Gopala were born in a brahmana family and both were highly devoted to Rasika. Dvija Gopinatha was the most apathetic disciple of Rasika. He never left Rasika’s side and he was in charge of cooking for Krishna. Prema-Ar____ dasa a servant of Rasika had many servants of his own. Sri Gokula dasa manifested love and devotion in Kendujhuri city. For his many disciples Rasika was everything.
Syama Manohara was a sincere disciple, so was King Vaidyanatha who died in Utkala. The Kings brother, Chota Raya Randra, was a pure devotee and together they helped all their subjects attain devotion for the Lord. Syamadasa Mohana, a servant of Rasika was skilled in singing the songs of Jayadeva. Dvija Govinda Bhattacarya, who preached devotion to Hari in Vanga, had hundreds of brahmin disciples. The brahmin Duve and Tarkalankana Bhattacarya Syama Sundara both received love and devotion from Rasika. Dvija Sundara Raya and Sri Mohana dasa were among the most apathetic disciples of Rasika. Mangajara Haricandana was a servant of Rasika. Other disciples were Gopinatha dasa Pattanayaka, Radhavinode dasa, Kalandi, Paramananda, Manohara, Kanu, Krishnacarana, Dvija, Gokulananda, Govinda, Dvija Govinda dasa, Kalandi, Akrura, Gopala, Hari, Sri Tulasi dasi, Raja Mitra Citrasena, Srivarna, Dvija Govinda dasa, Krishnabhakta dasa, Vrajamohana, Syamamohana dasa, Sri Gopala Acarya, Kalandi, Dharainvara and his son Radhamohana, Bhudhara, Sri Radhagovinda and Radhakrsna who became a disciple along with his family. Sri Govinda dasa was a disciple living in the village of Ghantasila. There were also many disciples in the countries of the Bhanjas such as Ganga dasa teh son of Sridhara Daityari. The brothers Syamasundara, Syamamohana, Syama dasa and Bhagavana were nephews of Rasika and also his disciples. Vrndavana Kisora was a servant of Rasika. Cintamani, Vihari, Acyuta, Syamakisora, Vrndavana dasa, Sri Rama, Vamana Jagu and Syama dasa were all sincere disciples who always served guru, Krishna and the devotees. then there were such disciples as Ghanasyama dasa, Sri Veraya Visnu dasa, Vahuvalindra, Sri Syama Rasika dasa, Candra Bhanu, Dvija Gopi Mohana, Syamamohana dasa, Vrajamohana, Syama Rasika, Sakhisyama and Gokula.
Vaikuntha dasa of Hijli showed his sincerity as a disciple by making it his habit to sell himself for the service of devotees. Lalapurusottama, Syamakisora, Yugala Akrura, Syamasundara, Vamsi Manohara, Sadasiva Pattanayaka, Uddanda Raya, Krishnandana, Haricandana, Dvija Jivadasa, Bhuian Raghunatha dasa, and Krishnadasa Bhuian were all servants of Rasika. Gajendra, Mathura dasa, Madhusudana, Dvarakamanda, King Ramacandra, Citresvara Sricandana were disciples of Rasika. Madhu Manohara, Niranjana, Uddhava and Harikesava were the sons of Bhima and Syamasundara and Vrndavana were the sons Vamsi. They were all disciples of Rasika as was Dvija Radhavallabha, the son of Purusottama. Radhavallabha, Syamadasa and lacs of people in Gahanagara became disciples. Dvija Syamasundara was a great devotee and disciple who took charge of cooking for Krishna. Dvija Radhamohana, Uddhava, Bhagavana, Nilamvara, Vanamali, Ramadasa Syama, Krishnananda Bhuian, Gopala Bhuian, Krishnananda, Haricandana, Gopala Madhava, King Kesavanai, Dvija Sri Radha Mohana, Radhavallabha dasa, Dasa Vrndavana, Radha Madhava, Syamasundara, Vanamali, Mukunda, Paramananda, Kanu, Agata and Mohana were all servants of Rasika. Gangadasa, Kesava, Sri Candrasekhara, Syamasundara and Vrajamohana were disciples af Rasika. Then there was Radhamohana, Bhakta dasa, Purusottama, Gachatalia Syama dasa, Vraja mohana, Akrura, Mohanananda, Manohara, Sri Radhavinode, Krishnananda, Bhudhara, Sri Gopala dasa, Radhacarana, Akrura, Mohana, Vrajamohana, Syamadasa, Yadava, Syamamohana, Dasa Vinoda, Cintamani dasa, Dvija Murali dasa, Dvija Sri Gopala, Dvijadasa, Sri Dayala, Syama dasa, Harinarayana, Dvija Gopimohana dasa, Syamamohana, Dvija Yadunatha, Nilasyama dasa, Gopimohana, Akrura, Ghanasyama, Ramadasa, Govinda, Jayadeva dasa, Laichana Krishnadasa, Sri Viravara, Deu Sankara, Kanu dasa, Sri Govinda Bhanja, Jagannatha Krishnadasa, Syama Bhanja, Telari Sripati, Ramadasa, Mithi Bhanja, Gopala Bhanja Raya with his group, Syamadasa, Kisore and Madhu Raya. We must not forget Radha Krishna dasa who was the servant of Rasika.
The servants of Rasika were like the waves on the ocean, impossible to count. Many of hisa disciples would have the same names. Now I shall mention the names of the disciples of the disciples. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Fifteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda the ocean of mercy and glory to Rasikendra, the son of Acyuta. Rasikendra then ordered his godbrothers to prepare a list of their disciples and the disciples of their disciples. He said, “Tell me the names of those persons who Syamananda gave the shade of his feet.” Thus they began to list the names. Rasamaya and Vamsi dasa were both disciples of Damodara who had thousands of disciples such as Madhava, Rasikananda, Haricandana, Mohana Syama, Uddhava, Ghanasyama, Kisora, Govinda, Haridasa, Kesava, Krishnavallabha, Narayana Bhuian, the elephant Gokula, Krishna Bhuain of Varikura, Gokulananada, Mathura, Srimanta, Syama dasa, Mathura, Ananta, Purusottama, Ramadasa Gokula, Gauranga, Visnudasa, Gopidasa, Loichana, Parieha, Mohana, Vamsidasa, Kalindi, Radhacarana dasa, Manohara, Syamamohana, Dvija Syamamohana dasa, Ananta Raya, Dvija Syama, Yadudasa, Akrura, Srihari, Kanudasa, Govardhana, SDri Syama vallabha, Syama dasa, Vrndavna, Purusottama, Radhakrsna dasa, Kisorananada, Vaisnava dasa, Bhakta dasa, Krishnananda, Hari Bhakta dasa, Govinda Madhuri, Sri Radhamohana dasa, Kanudasa, Kesava, Gopala Govinda, Gopivallabha, Syamacarana, Haridasa, Gopicarana, Syamacarana, and Gopi Krishna dasa. Yet another famous disciple of Damodara was Ananda dasa who was also known as Sadavarta.
These disciples had their own disciples, for example Mukunda dasa was the disciple of Nagara Uddhava; Syama Jivana dasa was a disciple of Uddhava; Ananta dasa was a disciple of Sri Syamarangini and Mohana Vinoda dasa was the disciple of Purusottama.
Now I shall mention the names of the brothers of Rasika Dvija Ramadasa, Syama dasa, Vanamali, Krishnadasa, Gopidasa, Syamavinoda, Radhamohana, Bhudhara, Gopinatha, Yadunatha, Vrndavana, Mathura, Gokula, Krishnadasa, Dvaraka, Ayodhya, Gangadasa, Gopidasa, Purusottama, Visnudasa, Gangarama, Syamasundara, Giridhari, Mohana, Haridasa, Narahari, Rasika, Manirama, Kalirama, Ananta, Bhudhara, Gopinatha, Yadunatha, Vrndavana, Mathura, Gokula, Krishnadasa, Dvija Vinoda dasa, Narayana dasa, Manohara, Sitala, Vinoda, Syama dasa, Dvija Visnu dasa, Radhavallabha dasa, Nayanananda dasa, Nanda Kisora, Vraja Mohana, Kalindi, Navina Kisora, Krishnakisora, Krishna Kalindi, Krishnananada, Krishna bhakta, Hari bhakta, Paramananda, Gopala, Gauranga, Caitanya Radha carana, Gopicavina, Govinda, Sridhara, Damodara, Nilamvara, Vasudeva, Yaduvendra dasa,Sisukara, Madhava, Govardhana, Valabhadra, Krishnadasa, Narayana bhakta dasa, Pitamvara dasa, Ghanasyama, Jaladharasyama, Gopidasa, Prasada, Akrura, Uddhava, Vaisnava dasa, Vrajasundara, Vrajanandana, Vrajajivana, Vraja vihari, Vraja-bhusana, Madhuvana, Suvala, Sudama, Premadasa, Harinama, Vinoda, Govinda and Syamadasa.
Now I shall mention the special names of the disciples of the disciples such as Dinasyama, Ramakrsna, Vamsi, Manohara, Mukunda and others. They were all followers of Syamananda and theiur disciples were Sri Carana, Gauranga, Vinoda, Tulasi, Vihari, Syamakisora, Kunja, Radhamohana, Ananta, Bhagavata dasa, Gopinatha dasa, Santa, Kanudasa, Dvija Ramakrsna, Manohara, Bhagiratha, Nimi, Kuladasa, Damodara, Kanu, Vasudeva dasa, Hari candana, Raghunatha, Vrajananada, Vrajanandana, Vrajajivana dasa, Ananta dasa, Ramacandra Bhuian and his family, Dvija Prahajara, Dvija Sundara, Sricandana, Gajendra, Bhuian Jayata Raya, Tilai, Sankara Bhanja, Sahani Ananta, Krishnacarana, Syamasundara, Halovihari, Syama, Rasika (the vina player), Rasika sundara, Ananta, Syama (the garland maker), Vihari, Nikunja, Ghanasyama, Govinda, Srihari, Vasudeva, Narayana, Vanavihari, Syamakisora, Rasananda, Krishnaramani, Visnudasa, Paramananda, Ramai, Sekhara, Udanda, Damodara, Bhuian, Sundara Raya, Gopala, Akrura, Hari, Uttara Raya, Ramasena, Syamsena, Radhacarana, Nidhuvana Goverdhana, Dvija Vrndavana, Ananda, Vrajavallabha, Vamsi, Bhakta dasa, Ramaraja, Ramabhima, Manohara dasa, Syama-ali, Sara-syama, Raghunandana, Krishnavallabha, Gopivallabha, Bhima, Kalindi, Kesava, Narayana, Syama dasa, Krishna bhunja, Hari Bhanja, Rasamaya dasa, Harivallabha, Syamavallabha, Murari, Sridhara, Purusottama dasa, Srivihari, Gopikisora, Gopicarana, Syamapriya, Radhapriya, Krishna-jivana, Dvija Sri Nagara, Mukunda, Mohana, the sons of Haricandana, Vaikuntha, Vanamali, Vasudeva dasa, Balabhadra, Lala Vamsi, Gopala, Sundara Pala, Gangadasa, Ramadasa, Syamadasa, Govinda, Krishnadasa, Vamsidasa, Uddhava, Akrura, Jagamohana, Jagavandun, Kalandi bhusara, Gopala, Sundara, Hari, Mathura, Mohana, Radhagopala, Radhakisora, Gokula, Syamakrsna, Karuna Sagara, Dinarandhu, Navaghana Syama, Manohara, Jagatvallabha, Jayadeva, Kenurama, Dasavalakesa, Balarama, Yadunatha, Vrajanath, Vrajarama dasi, Lalita, Visakha, Candravali, Bhadra dasi, Radha dasi, Syama dasi, Kalandi Tulasi, Krishnapriya, Haripriya, Hari dasi, Subhadra, Vinoda, Hari dasi, Syama Priya, Madhumati, Sasirekha, Susila, Radhapriya, Sri Rasavallabha dasa, Govardhana dasa, Gopidasa, Dvija Ananta, Dvija Purusottama dasa, Dvija Kanu, Dvija Rama, Dvija Syama dasa, Kunjavana, Navinanandana, Vrndavana, Ghanasyam, Jaladhara, Syama, Navaghana, Giridhara, Mukunda, Nidhuvana, Krpala, Gododhara, Sricarana, Dvija Vamsi, Dvija Bhakta, Dvija Radhadasa.
It is impossible to count all the disciples of the Syamananda sect so I have only briefly mentioned them. They were all sincere devotees of Lord Krishna and meditated on Krishna since they entered their mothers womb. By listening to their manes one can attain love of Krishna. Whatever I have written has been dictated from my heart by the son of Acyuta. Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
The Sixteenth Wave
Glory to Syamananda, the ocean of mercy and glory to Rasikendra Candra, the abode of all good qualities. Once Rasika had the names of all the Vaisnavas of the Syamananda sect he very respectfully sent them invitations to the festival. He personally went begging and collected many items. First he gathered rice and stored it in a godown. Then there were many containers filled with different kinds of pulses. Flour, wheat, molasses, sugar, vatasa and michri were all collected in huge quantities. Hundreds of pots were filled with ghee, betel nut, mustard oil, tila oil, flattened rice, etc. There were hundreds of buckets of luci, puri, etc. Others were full of mango, jackfruit, laddhus, bananas, oranges, etc. There were many coconuts and then different kinds of vegetables and spices. An assortment of pots and containers were brought for cooking in. Temporary huts were erected to accomadate the invited saintly persons and rugs were collected in a huge quantity for them. The items collected for this festival were four times greater than that collected for the Rasa festival held previously.
The devotees cleansed the place where the festival was to be held and a beautiful pandal with pillars and a pinacle was prepared. A beautiful canopy was put on the above and the gates decorated with curtains. Flags and banana trees were places all round the pandal and a beautiful throne set in the centre circled with multi-coloured cloths. In every corner there were fans made from animal tails and strings of flowers were hung from them while water pots with mango twigs and coconut were placed around the pandal. All the guests were charmed by the arrangement for they could at once remember the Lord’s Rasa lila.
On the full moon day in the month of Jyaistha, the festival started with the adhivasa ceremony. Many sects, Vaisnava mahantas, saintly persons, residents of Vraja, lacs of kings and their subjects came to attend the festival. At that time Rasika welcomed them with gifts of clothes, garlands and sandal. Leaf containers full of sandal were given to the Vaisnava mahantas by the brahmins. The son of Acyuta first of all worshipped tulasi in sankirtana then he worshipped the saints by offering garlands and sandal, Then in the morning on the auspicious moment of Krishna pratipada, the great festival began.
Hundreds of devotees entered into the stock room to manageall the commodities while a similar number of brahmins were engaged in cooking, another group brought water in profuse quantity while others cleaned the banana leaves for serving the prasada. Hundreds of brahmins entered the pandal and sat in rows to take their meal. The aroma of the various kinds of foodstuffs prepared for offering to Krishna was such that its smell charmed even the gods. At the time of receiving prasada Devaloka and Naraloka were invited. In a festive mood everything became united and no one was able to recognise each other.
After seeing that all the peoples of Vraja had been fed Rasika sat for eating along with the mahantas.Surrounded by his disciples and disciples of his disciples Rasika candra shone like the moon. After honouring prasadam everyone became mad in sankirtana with the son of Acyuta personally dancing in ecstasy. As he danced his emotions were aroused and he talked in a half choked voice. His eyes filled with tears and wet his clothes and he often fell on the ground and rolled there in trance, his beautiful blackish body smeared with dust. A flower garland hung round his neck and he wore a fine cloth, footbells round his ankles and held a flute in his hand. His gestures and postures, his smiling face and dots of sweat on his brow were all magnificent.
The place of Rasa was lit with lacs of lamps making it brighter than day. Added to this came the beautiful dancing of Rasika accompanied by the sounds of various musical instruments and the singing of different ragas. The atmosphere appeared to be non different from Vrndavana. Rasika and the other devotees were able to pass a few nights in this joy which was so great that even hundreds of mouths cannot describe it. I have tried to describe it in brief.
Now I have completed the Western Part. Oh scholars please do not find any flaw in it, Making the feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya narrates Rasika-mangala.
End of The Western Part
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 Krishna 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 Krishna, 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 Krishna 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 Krishna with him.
Rasika remained absorbed in reading Bhagavata and in chanting the holy name of Krishna. 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 Krishna 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 Krishna he said to him, “I will not drink the water of this place. If Krishna 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 Krishna and hearing his explanations on Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna.
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, Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna. 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 Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna. 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, Krishna 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 Krishna.
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 Krishna is my Lord. When Lord Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna. 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 Krishna. Due to your past sins you have taken birth in a sinful species of life. If you do not worship Krishna now, you will continue to suffer birth after birth. You must be fixed in your worship of the lotus feet of Lord Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna. 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 Krishna. 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 Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna.” 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 Krishna. 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 Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna. 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, Krishna 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, Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna. 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 Krishna. 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, Krishna and the saints and preach the sixty-four kinds of devotion to Krishna. It was his daily practice to meditate on Krishna 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 Krishna worship, Krishna meditation and Krishna 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 Krishna and he always tried to let others understand Krishna. For this purpose he continuously travelled to different places encouraging the people to give up their bad habits and develop their faith in Krishna. Simply by his touch all types of sinful people became learned. Just as Lord Krishna does, age after age, so, throughout Utkala, Rasika destroyed irreligion and established true religion. He gave initiation in Krishna mantra and analysed all the sastra in relation to Lord Krishna. 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, Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna. He had passed sixty-two years of his life in service to guru, Krishna and the saints. From his appearance in this world he had been devoted to Krishna and he had passed his life in love for Krishna.
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 Krishna standing in His beautiful three-fold posture under a kadamba tree on the bank of the Yamuna. On either side of Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna. 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 Krishna and I spent eighteen years worshipping Him secretly. With tears in my eyes I travelled through forest after forest in search of Krishna. Although I have a family, I was never entangled in family life. My time was spent solely in the service of guru, Krishna and the saints. I never cared for eating, sleeping and other such pleasures. I never saw anything but Krishna and I passed eighteen years in worship of Him.
Fortunately at that time, Syamananda came to me and intitiated me with Krishna mantra. I was with him for twenty years in the joy of love of Krishna. He travelled everywhere making kings and common peoples his disciples and flooded the world in love of Krishna. While travelling with him I was always dedicated to the feet of Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna. 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, Krishna 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 Krishna. Now I am sixty-four years and four months old. I have spent these years in ecstatic joy filling the world with love for Krishna. Now I no longer desire to live in this world. I want to go to the abode of Krishna to observe His pastimes for this is His order to me.
Although I should go to Krishna 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 Krishna 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.