Friday, June 29th, 2018
The Krishna pratipad tithi in the month of Ashad is glorious as it marks the disappearance 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, 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 well known as Rasikananda, 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. On the auspicious occasion of his holy disappearance day, we call out to him in separation and beg for a particle of his mercy so that we may attain the shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Krishna Chaitanya.