Saturday, March 31st, 2018
The full moon day in the month of Chaitra is truly glories as it marks the appearance day of two great personalities, namely Vamsivadan thakur and Shyamananda prabhu, and is also the auspicious day of Balram rasayatra. On the full moon night of this month of Chaitra, Shri Krishna performed the beautiful Vasant raas of the spring season with his numerous eternal consorts, the Gopis of vrindavan.
On this day, Shri Vamsivadana thakur, who is considered to be the incarnation of Krishna’s flute, took birth in the house of Shri Madhava das and Shrimati Chandrakala devi, where once Mahaprabhu had stayed when he came from Puri to take darshan of the Ganges and his mother, Devi Sachi. While staying in their house for 7 days, Mahaprabhu showed great mercy and affection for Madhava das and his son Vamsi. It was during his this visit that he forgave the offenses of Devananda pandit and everyone else and thus the place came to be known as Aparadha bhanjan path. Later on, Vamsivadan thakur engaged in the service of Vishnupriya devi, as she performed bhakti in great separation from her husband Shri Sachinandana Gaurahari. Once Vishnupriya devi and Vamsivadan thakur decided to give up their lives by not eating or drinking anything as they were experiencing extreme separation from Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and found no purpose in maintaining their lives. Understanding their hearts, Mahaprabhu himself appeared in front of them and stopped them from doing so and instructed them to worship his Deity form to ease their pain from separation. Shrimati Vishnupriya devi then started worshiping the Deity of Mahaprabhu, and after her departure from this world Vamsivadan thakur continued the worship of the Deity, who is now present and worshiped in Nawadweep as Dhameshwar mahaprabhu. Shri Vamsivadana thakur along with worshiping his ancestral deity of Gopinath, also established a deity of Pranavallabh, but the current whereabouts of the Deities are unfortunately not known. Shri Vamsivadana thakur was also a great poet and had written a song about the pastime of Mahaprabhu’s Sanyas, based on the lamentation of Sachi mata and Devi Vishnupriya.
This auspicious day is also the appearance day of Shyamananda prabhu, a dear associate of Mahaprabhu and one of the first three devotees to go on book distribution on the order of Shrila Jiva goswami. Shyamananda prabhu, who appeared in the house of Shri Krishna mandal and Shrimati Durika devi, was named Dukhi Krishna das and was also called Dukhiya, as his parents who had lost many sons and daughters before him wanted to ward off all inauspiciousness by giving their son such a name. Being highly intelligent, Dukhi Krishna das soon mastered all the scriptures and the science of grammar, but when he heard the transcendental pastimes of Gaur Nitai from the Vaishnavas in his village, he developed a strong attachment to their lotus feet, seeing which his father encouraged him to take initiation in the path of Krishna bhakti. Taking his father’s blessings, Dukhi Krishna das went to Ambika kalna, where he took shelter of his Guru Shri Hridaya Chaitanya, who was a disciple of Gauri das pandit. After being initiated by Hridaya Chaitanya and being named Krishna das, he started performing devotional service under the guidance of his spiritual master. However, seeing his great intelligence and devotion, soon he was instructed to go to Shri Vrindavan dham to study under the guidance of Shrila Jiva goswami. Following his guru’s instruction, Shyamananda prabhu set out for Vrindavan, and on the way he visited the house of Jagannath mishra in Mayapur, where he paid respects to Ishana, thereafter he went to Gaya to take Darshan of Shri Vishnu, and from there he went to Kashi, to take the blessings of Chandrashekhar, Tapan mishra and other Vaishnavas, after which he submitted himself in the lotus feet of Jiva goswami, as instructed by his spiritual master. There, under the care of Shrila Jiva Goswami, he met Srinivas acharya and Narottama das thakur and together they all performed devotional service in each-others association and under the tutelage of Shrila Jiva goswami. Upon receiving the special service of sweeping Seva Kunja from Jiva goswami, after having requested for a service, Dukhi Krishna das would everyday sweep the groves of Seva kunja, where the divine couple come and perform pastimes every night, even up to the present day, and while executing his service, one day he came upon a very special and transcendental ankle bell, the beauty of which astonished him and he safely kept it with him, hoping to have audience with the owner of the divine ornament. Soon two young maidens, whose beauty was beyond the material creation, came to him and asked if he had found an ankle bell while sweeping, to which he replied that he had indeed found a very special ankle bell, but when they asked for it saying that it belonged to their dear sakhi, he refused to give it to anyone other than the owner herself. Hearing his statement, the sakhis went back and Shrimati Radharani being pleased with him, personally came and gave him darshan of her lotus feet, and placed the ankle bell on his forehead, the touch of which marked his forehead with a special tilak marking. Being thus blessed, Dukhi Krishna das was overjoyed, but when he went back, all the Vaishnavas started questioning him as to why he had changed his tilak. When asked by Jiva goswami, Dukhi Krishna das related the whole story to him, which gave immense pleasure to the heart of Shrila Jiva goswami, who then named him Shyamananda. However, when his guru shri hridaya chaitanya heard of his change of tilak, being very upset he immediately came to Vrindavan and was greatly displeased to see the different tilak. But he was soon pacified when Jiva goswami retold the whole pastime to him and explained to him the great mercy that Shrimati Radharani had bestowed upon Shyamananda prabhu. Soon thereafter, on the order of Shrila Jiva goswami, Shyamananda prabhu along with Narottama and Srinivas, set off to Bengal and Orissa with a trunk full of the Goswamis literatures, in order to preach the message of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. There, while preaching, he initiated the boy named Rasik, who became a great devotee of the Lord, and inspired many people to take up the path of Krishna bhakti. Shyamananda parbhu thereafter travelled widely spreading the holy names of the lord and also attended the grand festival at Kheturi, where he again met Srinivas and Narottama. In this way he blessed many living entities with his causeless mercy and bestowed upon everyone he met the rare gem of Krishna prem.
Also, once when Baladev came from Dwaraka to mitigate the separation of the residents of Vrindvan, on the full moon night in this month of Chaitra, Lord Balaram performed a beautiful rasa dance with all his eternal Gopi friends and gave them great pleasure, which was witnessed by the Gopis of Krishna as well. Experiencing great joy, he drank a nectarian honey drink named Varuni, became transcendentally intoxicated, and desiring to bathe with his consorts in the river Yamuna, he called upon her. When she did not come on his order, out of anger he dragged her with his plow to the place he was performing pastimes, where, being fearful of him, she begged for forgiveness and came there to offer her waters for the pleasure of Lord Balaram.
This day is indeed very special as it commemorates so many transcendental pastimes of the lord and his dear devotees, and therefore all the devotees celebrate this day by chanting and glorifying the auspicious pastimes of the Lord, which are all full of transcendental ecstatic mellows.