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Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji – Disappearance Day 7th March 2019

March 7

gauravirbhava bhumes twam nirdesta sajjana priyah vaisnava sarvabhauma sri jagannathaya te namah "I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is respected by the entire Vaisnava community and who discovered the place where Lord Caitanya appeared." Sri Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja was born was born around the year 1800 AD. in the Mayamansingh district of West Bengal. Not much is known about his ealry life. Gaudiya Vedanta-acharya Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushana had a disciple named Uddhava das. His disciple was Sri Madhusudana Dasa Babaji who lived in Suryakunda and it was from Madhusudana Dasa Babaji that Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja took initiation. Jagannatha Dasa Babaji lived in Vrindavan and performed his bhajan there for quite some time. He became famous among the devotees there as one who was perfect in Krishna-bhakti. He first met Bhakti Vinoda Thakura around 1880 AD and was inspired him in his service. Seeing Bhaktivinoda Thakur's enthusiasm for preaching the holy name of Krishna, Srila Babaji Maharaja was very happy and would stay at the house of Bhaktivinoda Thakura on Manikatala Street whenever he went to Calcutta. Bhaktivinoda Thakura was always very eager to invite him to his house for prasada, but Babaji Maharaja was very renounced and would come only occasionally. Jagannatha dasa Babaji's servant's name was Bihari dasa. He was extremely strong and powerful. In his old age, Babaji Maharaja could not walk. Bihari dasa used to carry him in a basket on his shoulders so that Babaji Maharaja could move from place to place. He was particularly enthusiastic in serving the Lord's devotees and performing 'kirtan'. When he would hear a 'kirtan' or himself be engaged in 'kirtan', his body would extend itself out of the basket like a beautiful banyan tree and he would loudly shout, "Nitai ki nam eneche re! Nitai, ki nam diteche re!" "O Lord Nityananda, what a wonderful name you have brought! O Nitai, what a wonderful name you have given!" In 1893, Srila Babaji Maharaja went from Koladwip (the part of Nabadwipa where Srila Sridhara Maharaja's temple is presently located) to Surabhi-kunja in Godrumadwipa. There he t ook his seat. His arrival in Surabhi-kunja was a wonderful event. Sri Jagannatha Dasa Babaji revealed many lost holy places in Mayapura, including the Yogapith, Srivasa Angana and others. It is said that when he came upon the holy place of Mahaprabhu's birth he danced, although he was very old and walked with difficulty. For some time he remained in Nadia and performed his bhajan on the banks of the Ganges. His bhajan kutir and samadhi mandir are still there at present. He ordered Bhaktivinoda Thakura to build a hut so devotees could stay near his bhajan kutir, and Bhaktivinoda did so. Some Stories from his life In his old age, Babaji Maharaja was nearly blind. Many people would come to see him and to offer him donations for the service of Sri Krsna. Bihari dasa would keep all these donations in a bag. One day, Babaji Maharaja said, “Bihari! How many rupees have I got?” Bihari dasa had put some rupees aside for some service he had planned to render Babaji Maharaja. When asked by Bihari placed some rupees in his hand and kept twelve Rupees aside. Despite his eyesight failing, Babaji Maharaja detected the discrepancy. “Bihari!” he said, “Why have you kept twelve Rupees aside? Give me all the rupees!” Smiling, Bihari surrendered the remaining coins to his guru. The total came to two hundred rupees. Babaji Maharaja ordered Birari dasa to take the money at once and buy rasagolas, to feed all the cows in Nabadwipa dhama. Once Babaji Maharaja was on the banks of the Ganges, living under a makeshift canvas tent. Nearby that place there lived a dog with five puppies. Whenever Babaji Maharaja would take prasada, the dogs would come around and lick the food from his plate. When Bihari dasa caught hold of one of the dogs to drive it off, Babaji Maharaja told him: 'Bihari! If you wish to drive these dogs off, you may take my plate away as well. I shall not eat today.' When Bihari complained, 'But guru maharaja - these dogs are unclean!' Babaji Maharaja remarked, 'No. These dogs are residents of the holy dhama. You may not abuse them.' One day, Sri Babaji Maharaja remarked about the professional readers of Srimad-Bhagavatam, 'This kind of professional Bhagavata kirtana is simply prostitution. Those who make their living by reading Srimad-Bhagavatam are offenders to the holy name of Krsna. No one should listen to the kirtana and Bhagavatam readings that they produce. And one who listens to such offensive readings and thus commits offenses against the holy name of Krsna certainly go to hell. Those who are involved in this professional reading should immediately give it up. Such a person should worship the residents of Vrndavan with great care and attention, considering himself most fallen, and thus pray for forgiveness.' When Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was looking for the actual place where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's birthplace was, he asked Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja to go with him. During the many changes in the course of flow of the mighty Ganges River, some parts of the sacred 'dhama' of Navadwipa (nine islands) had changed. The Ganges had revealed old and lost places and reclaimed new ones. To his surprise Bhaktivinoda Thakur discovered that the modern day city called Navadwipa was not more than 100 years old and therefore wasn't the Navadwipa of Sri Caitanya. Some said the birth site was on a place now in the Ganges, while some said it was in the city of Navadwipa. Dissatisfied, Bhaktivinoda pushed on looking. He found some antiquarian maps and government records, and authentic books written at the time of Lord Caitanya, all of which agreed that Mayapur Navadwipa Dhama is situated on the east bank of the Ganges. One day from the terrace in his house he saw a light coming from a place across the Ganges. He wondered what […]

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Sri Rasikananda – Disappearance Day 7th March 2019

March 7

Dissapearance of Sri Rasikananda Prabhu Accepting the order of his guru, Sri Syamananda, on his head, Rasikananda preached the message of Sri Gaursundar in the world for approximately 16 years. Thereafter he entered into his eternal pastimes through the lotus feet of Gopinatha at Remuna. On the first day of the bright fortnight in the month of Phalguna, Sakabda 1574 (1652AD), Rasikananda quietly slipped out of the village Santa without anyone's notice and walked to Remuna. Arriving there, he discussed Krsna-katha with the devotees there for a while and instructed everyone to serve Sri Krsna with devotion. Then, after requesting them to begin sankirtana, he entered the temple of Sri Gopinatha, and after touching Kshira-chora Gopinatha's lotus feet, which bestow complete fearlessness, he entered into their ultimate shelter. Rasikananda prabhu’s samadhi is at the Temple of Kshira-chora Gopinath at Remuna just in front and to the right as you go in the main gate, with the temple to the left, and admin’ offices straight ahead His Life Birth Around 1590 AD (Sakabda 1512), on the first day of the bright fortnight of the month of Kartik, during the night of the festival Dipamalika, when the houses are decorated with rows of lamps, Sri Rasikananda Deva made his appearance in this world. His father was Sri Acyuta Deva, the king of Rohini. The village of Rohini or Royni was situated within the country known as Mallabhumi, encompassed on one side by the Suvarnarekha River (Suvarna meaning golden and rekha, a line). This Suvarnarekha River cleansed the sins of all the local people. Near Royni was another village of the name Barayita, by the side of which flowed the Dolanganadi River, whose banks were adorned with beautiful gardens. Raja Acyuta Deva very affectionately maintained his subjects and was famous for impeccably observing the rites attendant upon kings. In the village of Royni the son of King Acyuta appeared as the sun appears in the eastern sky and became dearly beloved by the people. He was known as Rasikananda and also Murari. Youth At a very young age he became quite proficient in all of the scriptures. He was very devoted to his parents, especially his mother, whose name was Bhavani. His father married him at very young age. Murari's wife Syamadasi was a treasure chest of good character who hailed from the village of Ghonta Sila, not far from Royni on the banks of the Suvarna Rekha, where in earlier ages the Pandavas had lived in exile. Meeting his Guru One day, Murari was sitting in a lonely place, wondering when and where he might become so fortunate as to get shelter at the lotus feet of a spiritual preceptor. Just then a voice from the sky addressed him, "Don't be in anxiety, you will become the disciple of Sri Syamananda." Having heard this proclamation, Rasik Murari became very jubilant, and began to repeatedly murmur the name Syamananda, as though chanting japa. Shyamananda Pandit Moment to moment his eagerness increased without diminition, as tears flowed from his eyes by his chanting of the name of Syamananda. He was in such a state that he spent most of the night sleeplessly, calling to his master Syamananda. Finally, towards the early morning, he drifted off to the land of dreams, where he saw his spiritual master, the very figure of charm and grace. Smilingly, Syamananda informed him, “When tomorrow the eastern sky becomes tinged with pink, you will obtain me.” Saying this, Syamananda disappeared. Rasikananda's heart began to swell in ecstatic bliss. Then, with the first rays of morning which dispel the dense darkness of the world, the wise Murari sat silently watching the path. After some time Syamananda approached from the distance, looking as effulgent as the sun and surrounded by his disciples like Sri Kishora dasa and others. His smiling face was like the lotus flower that opens to greet its friend- the sun, and his chest was as broad as a door. His captivating appearance was made all the more irresistable by the sweet sounds of 'Sri Krsna Caitanya-Nityananda' emanating from his lotus mouth. Absorbed in intense love he moved along the path like the clouds move in the sky. When Rasika caught sight of this divine form, he fell down in front of him to touch his lotus feet. In great ecstasy Shyamananda embraced him and began to bathe him with his tears of ecstatic love. Life devoted to Preaching Sri Rasika Murari then felt himself to be one of the most fortunate living beings within this universe. On an auspicious day Syamananda initiated Rasika and his wife in Radha-Krsna mantra. After that, Rasikananda began to travel with his guru, during which time he became a very intimate disciple. Syamananda then bestowed upon him the service of Sri Radha- Govinda Deva at Sri Gopiballabhapur. Rasikananda became totally engaged in their Lordships service, and the devotees were charmed by his excellent services. At Gopiballabhpur and other places he began to seriously take up the preaching the message of Sri Gaura-Nityananda. By his influence many atheists and non-believers were transformed into devotees of Sri Gaura-Nityananda. "By the tremendous influence of Rasikananda's preaching, many rogues, robbers and atheists were delivered from their sinful activities and received his mercy. He distributed the jewel of devotion as he travelled from village to village, in the company of his disciples. One day he even converted a wild elephant which was sent for his destruction into his disciple and engaged him in the service of Krsna and the Vaisnavas. That wicked miscreant who sent the elephant bowed at his feet when he realised his mistake. It is not possible to count the number of living entities that were extricated from the ocean of material existence by Rasikananda Deva's association. He was always intoxicated with the chanting of the Holy Name. Who cannot but be overwhelmed by hearing about his uncommon qualities?" Many virtuous kings and zamindars such as the king of Mayurbhanj named Vaidyanatha Bhanj, the king […]

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