padmanabhatmajam shrimallokanatha prabhum bhaje
“I worship the lotus feet of Shrila Lokanatha Prabhu, the son of Shri Padmanabha. He is a storehouse of single minded service to the lotus feet of Shri Shri Radha Vinoda.”
Today, the ashtami tithi in the dark fortnight of the month of Shravan, is the day when Srila Lokanath Prabhu, the spiritual master of Srila Narottam das Thakur and a dear associate of Sri Mahaprabhu, brought his pastimes in this world to a close. Srila Lokanath Prabhu, the son of Sri Padmanabha and Srimati Sita devi, was aloof from material world right from his childhood and left home at a very young age, to join Sachinandana Gaurahari in Sri Mayapur dham. After giving him his association for some time, Gauranga instructed Lokananath prabhu to go and reside in Vrindavan, and assured him that he would meet him again in Vrindavan.
Understanding that Mahaprabhu would also be leaving Nawadwip soon and taking Sanyas, Lokanath prabhu departed from Nawadweep and being struck by intense separation from the Lord went from one place of pilgrimage to the next. In the meantime, Mahaprabhu took sanyas and went to Puri. In due course of time, Gaurahari went to Vrindavan, and when Lokanath prabhu heard of this, he immediately went to Vrindavan. However, by the time he reached Vraja, Mahaprabhu had already departed and gone to Prayag. Feeling greatly aggrieved, he decided to see Mahaprabhu in Prayag the very next day, but Mahaprabhu came to him in a dream and instructed him to remain in Vrindavan. Soon thereafter he met the dear associates of Mahaprabhu Sri Rupa, Sri Sanatan, Bhugarbha goswami and others and started residing in their blissful association. He was the eldest amongst them all and was therefore greatly respected by them.
When he desired to worship the Sri Vigraha form of the Lord, the deities of Sri Sri Radha Vinod manifested to accept his services, and having gotten the opportunity to serve them, he felt immense joy in his heart. Being completely renounced, he refused the offer of the villagers to make a hut for him and rather roamed around the twelve forests of Vraja, residing under various trees and carrying his deities with him in a cloth bag around his neck. In this way, he stayed in Sri Vrindavan dham, fully absorbed in the remembrance of the transcendental pastimes of Radhe Shyam.
Although he was fixed on not accepting any disciples, being satisfied with the humility of Narottam das Thakur, who would go every day in the middle of the night to clean the place where Lokanath prabhu would go and answer the call of nature, and understanding this to be the desire of Mahaprabhu, he accepted Srila Narottam das Thakur as his only disciple. Due to his immense humility, he also instructed Krishna das Kaviraj goswami to not mention his name in Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, when he came to take his blessings for writing his book.
Having lived for the rest of his life in Sridham Vrindavan, Sri Lokanath prabhu left this world on this auspicious day. Remembering him today and falling at his lotus feet we pray that he may bestow his mercy upon us and grant us Krishna bhakti. His Samadhi Mandir can be found next to the Radha Gokulananda temple in Vrindavan, and his most gorgeous worshipful deities’ Sri Sri Radha Vinod are worshiped in Jaipur.