O Jahnava Devi! Be merciful to this servant today. Deliver me from my pain and give me a place in the boat of your lotus feet so that I can be sure to cross over the ocean of birth and death. You are Nityananda’s energy, you are devotion to Krishna and my guru. Please give this servant the desire tree of your lotus feet. How numerous are the fallen souls that you have saved, so this fallen beggar seeks a place at your feet. (Kalyana-kalpa-taru)
Jahnava devi, who was affectionately addressed by the devotees as Jahnava ma, is the shakti of Shri Nityananda prabhu and is considered as the expansion of Revati, the consort of Lord Balaram and Ananga manjari, the Younger sister of Shrimati Radharani. In Gaur lila, Shrimati Jahnava devi appeared as the daughter of Shri Suryadas Sarakhela on shukla navami in the month of vaishakh in the village of Shaligram. Shrimati Jahnava devi had an elder sister named Vasudha, an expansion of Varuni, who is also the wife of Balaram. When both the daughters of Shri Suryadas sarakhela were of marrying age, their father started searching for a suitable match for them, and eventually the marriage of Vasudha was fixed with Lord Nityananda. The marriage of Devi Vasudha and Lord Nityanada was then performed with great festivities. The day after the marriage, there was a great feast held for the pleasure of all the vaishnavas, and Jahnava devi was personally serving everyone who had come for her elder sister’s wedding. While she was serving the assembled devotees, the veil from her head was slipping down again and again, when all of a sudden two additional arms extended from her shoulders and covered her head, while she still continued serving with her other two hands. Seeing this amazing pastime of Jahnava devi, all the devotees were wonderstruck and Nityananda prabhu knew her to be his eternal consort. Thereafter he went to their father Shri Suryadas and jokingly asked him about what he would give him in dowry? Before Suryadas could answer anything lord Nityananda told him that he wanted to accepted Jahnava as his wife as a dowry. Suryadas was overjoyed to hear this and the marriage of Nityanada Prabhu and Jahnava Devi was performed to the satisfaction of all the assembled devotees. Although Jahnava devi did not have any children but she became the initiating spiritual master of Virabhadra prabhu, who was the son of Nityananda Prabhu and Vasudha. Shrimati Jahnava devi was excepted by all the gaudiya vaishnavas as a great authority on Krishna bhakti and they all gave her immense respect.
tumi nityananda-sakti krsna-bhakti-guru
e dase koroho dana pada-kalpa-taru
You are the very pleasure potency of Lord Nityananda, and you are the spiritual master of devotion to Lord Krsna. Kindly bestow upon this servant the wish-fulfilling desire tree of your lotus feet.
After the disappearance of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his prominent associates, the very first Gaur purnima festival was celebrated by Shrila Narottam das thakur in kheturi dham , where he organized the installation of 5 pairs of Radha Krishna deities and also a deity of Mahaprabhu. All the great vaishnavas present on this planet at that time were invited for this wonderful festival, and Jahnava ma was especially requested to grace the occasion with her presence. Jahnava ma very kindly came for the festival and took charge of all the cooking for the deities and all the devotees assembled for that festival.
Jahnava Ishvari rose early that morning in great delight and took her bath and did her mantra meditation. Then she began to cook innumerable vegetable preparations with great enthusiasm.
In that festival the Pancha tattva themselves appeared and danced in the ecstatic kirtan led by Narottama das thakur and the fortunate devotees were able to take their darshan.
While visiting Shridham Vrindavan, where Jahnava ma was received with great love and respect by all the great devotees present at that time like Jiva goswami, Gopal bhatta goswami, Bhugarbha goswami, Lokanath goswami and others, she visited Radha kunda and spend a few days doing bhajan, where she heard the flute of Krishna and had darshan of Shyamsundar, which overwhelmed her with Krishna prem. The place where she performed bhajan at the bank of Radhakunda can still be visited by the devotees.
Shir Jahnava devi is said to have brought her prakat lila( her pastimes in this material world) to an end by entering into the temple of Radha gopinath in Vrindavan dham. A deity of Ananga manjari is worshiped in the temple on the left of Gopinath and Shrimati Radharani is present to his right. Jahnava devi being Ananga manjari herself entered in the temple and never came out again, thus plunging all her dear devotees in the ocean of separation from her.
May Jahnava devi, on the auspicious occasion of her appearance day, bless us with her mercy and take us to the lotus feet of her Lord Shri Nityananda prabhu, who is the only shelter of the fallen conditioned souls in this age of kali.
Today is also the auspicious day when one of Mahaprabhu’s associates, Srila Madhu Pandit, left this material world and entered into the eternal pastimes of the lord. Shrila Madhu pandit, who was a disciple of Srila Gadadhar Pandit, resided in Shridham Vrindavan, always immersed in Krishna prema.
sriman rasa-rasarambhi vamsi-vata-tata-sthitah
karshan venu-svanair gopir gopinathah sriye ’stu nah
Sri Srila Gopinatha, who originated the transcendental mellow of the rasa dance, stands on the shore in Vamsivata and attracts the attention of the cowherd damsels with the sound of His celebrated flute. May they all confer upon us their benediction. (Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 1.17)
Once, Shri Paramananda Bhattacharya, another disciple of Gadadhar Pandit and a close friend of Madhu pandit, discovered the deity of Gopinath, who is the presiding deity for Prayojan tattva, at Vamshivat. This deity of Gopianth was originally carved by Vishwakarma and installed by Vajranabh, the great grandson of Krishna, but in due course of time the deity was lost and was later rediscovered by Paramanada Bhattacharya. He conferred the service of Gopinath upon Shri Madhu Pandit, who was totally enchanted by the beauty of the deity and dedicated his life and soul to the service of Gopinath. He then began to serve them very nicely and also arranged for a temple to be built for them. It is also said that Madhu Pandit was very dedicated to Tulsi devi and wore a jacket and cap made of Tulsi, which can still be seen in jaipur.
In this way he continued serving the deities of Gopinath, Shrimati Radharani and Anaga Manjari, the younger sister of Radharani, till the time when he brought his pastimes in this world to an end and entered into Samadhi on this auspicious day. His Samadhi is still present in Radha Gopinath temple and can be visited by the Vaishnavas to get his blessings for making advancement in spiritual life.
Today marks the auspicious appearance day of yet another very great female personality, namely Sita Devi, the consort of Lord Ram. Sita Devi, one of the most prominent personalities in the great epic Ramayan, is an epitome of pure love and devotion and an exemplary chaste wife. Her character and her pastimes set a great example and high standards for all women in today’s world, whether in the role of a daughter, wife, mother or in fact in any role at all. It also shows the strength pure hearted women can have, and is a good warning to everyone to never disrespect a respectable woman.
The appearance of Devi Sita on this planet was truly extraordinary and was an indicator of her divinity. Once, when there was a drought in the kingdom of Mithila, the janak at that time, maharaj Seeradhwaja, with the instructions of the Brahmanas, performed a Yajna to invoke the blessings of the Lord so that his kingdom may be freed from the disturbances created by the draught. After the Yajna was performed the Brahmanas instructed Maharaj Janak to plough the earth himself so that the sacrifice would bear the desried result. When Janak, who was a very saintly and learned king, was thus ploughing the land, the tip of the plough got stuck to something in the ground, which when dug, revealed a beautiful golden box. In that box, lay an exquisitely beautiful and divine baby girl. The king, who was childless till then, was extremely happy at heart to receive this girl and excepted her as his daughter, who was then named by the assembled saints as Sita, due her having appeared during the ploughing of the earth, as the tip of a plough is called Sita in Sanskrit. After this incident the king was blessed with a daughter, who was named Urmila and the two sisters grew up under the loving care of their parents. When Devi Sita was a small girl, she attracted everyone’s heart with her noble and beautiful qualities, and she was very devoted to the worship of the Lord.
The pastimes of Devi Sita, as mentioned in the great epic Ramayan are well known and give an insight into her life, which is truly inspirational, in the way that despite all the troubles that came her way even though she is the eternal consort of Lord Ram, her mood was always to serve him and she was always most merciful to all those around her. On her auspicious appearance day, we pray to her for her causeless mercy that we may be able to attain unflinching devotion for Radha Shyamsundar.