Monday, January 1, 2018

Hagiography




SYAMANANDA CHARITA

by KRSNACARANA DAS


CHAPTER 1

All glories to Sri Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra,
and all the devotees of Mahaprabhu. Falling flat on the ground I offer my humble
obeisances at their feet.

I worship the lotus feet of the Six Goswamis, Sri Rupa, Sanatana, Bhatta
Raghunatha, Sri Jiva, Gopal Bhatta, and Dasa Raghunatha, taking their feet on my
head.

I worship the feet of Sri Nayananda Deva, my sadhana and suvarna guru
(Paramesti).

With the utmost care I worship the feet of Sri Rasikananada, my supreme
spiritual teacher and guide life after life (Paramesti guru).

I worship the feet of Sri Hrdayananda Deva. Because he is a perfect
representative of God, I honor him as I would the Supreme Lord Himself
(Paramesta Paratpara).

I worship the feet of Sri Gauridas Pandit Thakur. Like a dog, I eagerly wait to
eat the remnants of his food life after life.

I worship Sri Nityananda and Sri Caitanya, taking refuge under Their lotus feet.


Once Gauridas Pandit Thakur, the spiritual master of Hrdayananda Goswami,
bestowed his mercy upon Sri Shyamananda by ordering him to go to Vraja. Upon
receiving this instruction Shyamananda immediately became indifferent to
the affairs of this material world. He eagerly approached his guru, Hrdayananda
Deva, requesting permission to leave for Vraja at once. His spiritual master
kindly consented and Shyamananda left for Vrndavana.
Sri Shyamananda Goswami settled in Vraja, living with Sri Jiva Goswami, who was
very affectionate towards him. Shyamananda spent his days and nights listening
to the rasa-lila of Sri Radha Krsna, tasting the essence of its madhurya rasa.
Totally absorbed in these loving pastimes, he completely forgot all bodily
demands. He fully engaged in the service of Kanaka Kunja, cleaning and
worshiping it every morning. He served the lotus feet of Sri Jiva and spent
the rest of his time hearing the pastimes of Radha Krsna.
Once, while listening to such pastimes, his mind became so deeply absorbed in
divine love that he fell unconscious in the kunja. It appeared that his
breathing had stopped and no signs of life were visible in his body. Seeing him
in this condition Sri Jiva was panic-stricken. Lifting the body of Shyamananda,
Jiva quickly carried him to his house. A long twenty seven hours (tritya
prahar) passed before Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up. He then
fell at the feet of Sri Jiva, took the dust from his lotus feet and placed it
on his head. Greatly relieved, Sri Jiva happily offered Shyamananda prasadam.
Cherishing a hope within his mind, Shyamananda asked Sri Jiva, "Oh Goswami,
kindly fulfill my desire. Please tell me how I can attain the mercy of Radha
Krsna."
Sri Jiva lovingly advised Shyamananda, explaining the five types of rasa,
particularly the madhurya rasa. Inspired by Shyamananda's submissiveness, Sri
Jiva went on to explain frankly that bhava and bhavasraya are the same (?)
(imagination and love based on imagination) (?). These explanations fully
satisfied the heart of Shyamananda. Sri Jiva then instructed Shyamanada
regarding the practice of austerities and the methods of raganuga worship
(bhajan).
By the mercy of Jiva Goswami, who had taken shelter of Sri Rupa, Shyamananda
began worshiping Radha Krsna continuously. Day by day he became increasingly
absorbed in devotional service. His mind was inspired (uddipana) by love (raga)
and he fell into a trance of spontaneous devotion (ragatmika). With his body,
mind and words he engaged in the service of Radha Krsna and the kunja. He was
always preoccupied with the thought of observing the divine pastimes of Radha
Krsna. Externally, he expertly practiced religious austerities, while internally
he lovingly served Their Lordships, along with Sri Rupamanjari.
Inside the Kalpa Kunja Kutir in Vrndavana, Radha Krsna daily perform rasa-lila.
Those who are not qualified (palite-amaika, non-vedic - avaidika, or non-
brahmanas and causeless - ahaituki persons) are unable to perceive this reality,
but see only the illusory energy of the Lord.
One day Radha and Krsna, along with their sakhis, were dancing and singing
joyfully within the kunja. Holding one another's hands Radha and her sakhis
made a circle around Krsna. They danced delightfully, and Krsna, whose beauty
charms Cupid himself, danced along with them while other sakhis sang and played
musical instruments.
When Sri Radha danced, Krsna observed with great joy. Sometimes she danced, and
other times she enjoyed watching her sakhis dance. The perfection of the eyes is
to see these divine amusements, which are all meant for the pleasure of Krsna.
While Radhika danced on and on, unknowingly, one of her ankle bells (nupura)
became lose and fell to on the ground. Neither she, nor her sakhis, noticed it.
After dancing, Radha and Krsna went to bed and relished loving pastimes
throughout the night, as the sakhis observed (stealthily?) through the windows.
Upon awaking at dawn, the sakhis requested Radha Krsna to get up from bed. After
some time Radha reluctantly arose. Fearful of the chastisement of her relatives
she quickly started for her house. The sakhis also returned to their homes,
unaware of the lost ankle bell. Sri Radha had planned this incident just to show
her mercy to Shyamananda.
In the morning Shyamananda Goswami went to perform his regular daily service to
the kunj (nikunj?). He took darshan, paid his obeisances, and began cleaning
under the desire tree (kalpataru). There he found the golden ankle bell.
The entire surface of the kunj was glowing due to the ankle bell's effulgence.
Its brightness overshadowed the glittering of a golden mirror. It seemed as if
the sun itself had appeared there personally. Seeing this, Shyamananda fainted
on the spot. Some time passed before he regained consciousness, then taking
the ankle bell in his hand he placed it on his head. Immediately his throat
choked up with emotion and all the symptoms of ecstasy appeared in his body.
Overwhelmed with love, he kissed the ankle bell and clasped it to his heart,
then again fell unconscious on the ground of the kunj.
After considerable time he again came to his senses and began calling the names
of Radha Krsna. Running frantically here and there he searched for Their
Lordships. Unable to find them, he was filled with distress. Mad with love, he
cried out desperately, "When shall I see Radha Krsna?" Eventually he pacified
himself, tied the ankle bell around his neck, and continued cleaning the kunj.

Meanwhile, after entering her room, Radha was perturbed to find one of her
ankle bells missing. Thinking that she may have dropped it in the kunja, she
ordered Lalita to go there and search for it. Lalita Sundari, in the disguise of
an old lady hurried to the kunj.
Upon seeing Shyamananda, Lalita asked his name, and he replied "Dukhini
Krsnadas".
"Have you seen the ankle bell of my daughter-in-law?" Lalita inquired. "She came
to the Jamuna to fetch water and due to her carelessness one of her precious
golden ankle bells fell from her foot in this kunj. If you have found it please
return it and I will gladly reward you."
"Tell me frankly", Goswami asked, "Where do you live and what is your name?
"I am Radha dasi", Lalita replied, concealing her identity. "I belong to
a Kanoj brahmana family of Vraja."
Hearing this Goswami admitted, "Thakurani, I did find an ankle bell, but it
cannot be yours. It must belong to Sri Radha, because the moment I touched
the ankle bell I felt as if I was falling deep into the ocean of love of God.
My heart swelled with ecstatic love and I fell unconscious. No ordinary ankle
bell could induce such feelings. Now listen to me, this ankle bell surely
belongs to Sri Radha. If you insist that it belongs to you I will certainly
return it, but first I want to see where you live. I will show the ankle bell
to the inhabitants of your village and they must identify it as yours. If they
will act as your witnesses, I will immediately give it back. Otherwise I shall
wear it myself until I am able to return it to the feet of the rightful owner."
Hearing this, Lalita finally confessed, "You are right. I have tried to deceive
you. This ankle bell certainly belongs to Srimate Radharani. I am very pleased
with you, ask any boon for yourself and I will happily grant it, afterwards I
will take the ankle bell. The daughter of Vrsabhanu will also be extremely
pleased with you for finding her ankle bell."
Goswami earnestly replied, "O Thakurani, I must know your real identity. Only
after you have revealed your true self to me will I ask my boon. Taking Goswami
to a secluded place Lalita confessed, "I am Lalita, a maidservant of Sri Radha.
Listen to me, Dukhini Krsnadas, you are anxious to see my real form, but such
a revelation will certainly be too much for you to bear."
"By your mercy anything is possible," he protested.
Submitting to his desire Lalita agreed, "Alright Krsna das, I shall reveal my
real self. Close your eyes."
Goswami shut his eyes, then Lalita ordered, "Look at me Krsna das."
Opening his eyes Goswami witnessed the extraordinary beauty of Lalita.
Overwhelmed with ecstasy he fell on the ground unconscious. Sri Lalita devi
lovingly helped him to come to his senses, and Goswami bowed to her feet with
tears in his eyes. Holding the feet of Lalita on his head he smeared the dust
from her lotus feet over his entire body. Fully under the control of divine
love, he cried incessantly, unable to speak a word.
Seeing his state of mind, Lalita gently touched his body, pacifying him.
Satisfied by Goswami's devotional sentiments, Lalita said, "Krsna das, ask any
type of boon from me."
"I have nothing to ask for", Goswami said. "I only want to be your servant and
in this way serve Radha Krsna."
Lalita kindly fulfilled his desire saying, "You shall certainly attain
the association of Radha Krsna, but you cannot serve their Lordships in this
feature. You must prepare yourself mentally as a confidante of Radha to have her
darshan. Come with Sri Rupamanjari to the kunj and observe the rasalila of Radha
Krsna. Then you can witness all of our true identities. For the remainder of
this life stay with Sri Jiva and go on tasting the essence of the rasalila.
At the end of your life you will attain the lotus feet of Sri Radhika. Now,
accept this eternal mantra of Radha Krsna. Whenever you chant this mantra you
will be able to see their Lordships." Showering her mercy upon him, Lalita gave
Goswami the mantra practiced by herself. Immediately upon reciting the mantra
within the kunj pure love arose within the mind of Goswami. Filled with joy he
fell at the feet of Lalita. She put her feet on his head, then taking him on her
lap, blessed him heartily.
Goswami then went to a particular spot in the kunja where he had previously
cleared the grass and dug a hole using a small spade. In that hole he had hidden
the ankle bell, along with the spade, covering them with a cloth. Upon removing
the cloth he found that the spade had been transformed into gold by the touch of
the ankle bell. Delighted, Goswami brought the ankle bell to Lalita carrying it
on his head. He placed it before her and fell prostrate on the ground offering
obeisances.
Taking the ankle bell in her hand Lalita Sundari quickly placed it to Goswami's
head saying, "Let the touch of Sri Radhika's feet be on your head." Again she
touched the ankle bell to his forehead, suddenly two vertical lines appeared on
his forehead, and from the touch of the pinnacle of the ankle bell a dot
appeared in the middle of the tilak.
Goswami fell on the ground bowing to the feet of Lalitadevi. "From today",
Lalita said, "you will be known by the name Shyamananda. Having attained
the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyama (Radha) you have become extremely
fortunate. Now return to your kunj and do not tell anyone, except Sri Jiva about
this incident, otherwise you will not live long."
Overwhelmed with love Goswami again bowed before Lalita, crying helplessly.
Lalita consoled him and took her leave. She walked a few steps, then suddenly
disappeared from the kunj.
Goswami frantically began roaming from kunj to kunj crying loudly, "Where is
Lalita?" Filled with ecstatic love he eventually returned to his kunj and fell
at the feet of Sri Jiva Goswami.
By the touch of Sri Lalita, the complexion of Shyamananda had been transformed
into a wonderful golden color. His beauty had increased to such an extent that
the entire world would certainly be enchanted by his appearance.
"Where have you been for so long", Sri Jiva inquired curiously, "and how has
your complexion become golden?"
Shyamananda replied, "My lord, I have been in my kunj. It is only by the mercy
of your lotus feet that my complexion has changed."
"You have become so beautiful," Sri Jiva said with wonder. "What is that sign on
your forehead? Who painted it there? Your body is filled with love and your eyes
are full of tears. Previously you wore tilak like the temple of Sri Hari. Who
has given you this new tilak? You are definitely hiding something from me,
Shyamananda, but I am not deceived. I know you have received the mercy of Krsna,
or maybe the mercy of Sri Radhika, because I see the mark of her feet on your
forehead. Now you must explain everything to me."
"It is your mercy which has caused these tears of love and ecstasy in my body",
Shyamananda insisted. "The mark of your grace is the tilak on my forehead.
Please show me your mercy so that I may attain the spiritual realm."
Shyamananda had hidden the golden spade under a cloth in his room, suddenly Sri
Jiva noticed it and inquired: "What is under that cloth? Show me and I'm sure
I will understand everything."
Shyamananda uncovered the cloth, revealing the golden spade. Astonished, Sri
Jiva asked, "How is it possible that the iron spade has become gold?"
"I shall tell you confidentially," Shyamananda softly replied, "as I was
forbidden to tell anyone except you. Saying this he took Sri Jiva to a secluded
place and whispered the whole story in his ear. Filled with happiness Sri Jiva
placed Shyamananda on his lap saying, "Today I have become your property.
Because you have received the favor of the daughter of Vrsabhanu, you have now
become the most fortunate devotee."
Bowing at the feet of Sri Jiva, Shyamananda lovingly requested him not to reveal
this incident to anyone. "Say only that by the grace of my spiritual master
everything has taken place."
Concealing Shyamananda's secret, Sri Jiva simply told everyone that due to
the wish of Shyamananda's guru from now on Krsnadas would be known as
Shyamanada, and his tilak shall be known as Shyamanandi.
"I am a captive of your love," Shyamananda told Jiva. "By your mercy I found
the ankle bell, and by your mercy I was able to see Sri Lalita devi and receive
the mantra."

By the grace of the lotus feet of Shyamananda I received the ability to write
this book. Meditating on Sri Rupamanjari, I have described the first chapter in
a nutshell.


CHAPTER 2

All glories to the lotus feet of Shyamananda, by his mercy I have been empowered
to write this book.

Seeing the golden complexion and beautiful mark of tilak on Shyamananda's
forehead, the people began to talk: "By the mercy of Sri Jiva, Krsnadas has
received the name Shyamananda and become famous in Vrndavana. He is the disciple
of Sri Hrdayananda Goswami, but now he has left his original guru and taken
shelter under the feet of Sri Jiva."
These conversations amongst the Vrajavasis came to the ears of all the
Vaisnavas. Criticising Sri Jiva they said: "How can Sri Jiva do this? He has
accepted Shyamananda as his own disciple. Is there any law in the scriptures
which allows such behavior? Sri Jiva is a great sage, most probably he has done
it unconsciously. If he comes to know what we are discussing certainly he will
respect our opinions."
Others said: "This cannot be done by Jiva Goswami." Yet all of the Vaisnavas
were afraid to directly question Sri Jiva. Rather, they simply judged him
according to the rumors circulating.
Some Vaisnavas who traveled from Vraja to Gauda met Hrdayananda Goswami and
informed him: "Dukhini Krsnadas has left your refuge and taken shelter at
the feet of Sri Jiva Goswami. He has given Krsnadas the name Shyamananda das,
and changed his tilak, calling it Shyamanandi.
Hearing this Hrdayananda was furious: "Sri Jiva has accepted my disciple as his
disciple," he roared. "Neither Caitanya Mahaprabhu nor Nityananda Prabhu have
ever done such a thing, but now Sri Jiva is proving himself superior to Them?
I shall make him understand the mistake he has made."
Saying this he called his disciples and ordered them: "Five to ten of you go to
Vrndavana, bind up Dukhini Krsnadas and bring him back here to me. However, if
Sri Jiva tries to free him, then leave Krsnadas there in his care. If this
situation arises give my letter to Jiva Goswami and bring his reply to me. Ask
Krsnadas why he has done this. How dare he ignore me and accept another guru?
Ask him if he has attained Krsna by the mercy of Jiva Goswami. If the answer is
yes, then we shall all go to Sri Jiva and accept him as our spiritual master
also. I have never heard of such behavior amongst the disciples of Mahaprabhu.
Advaita Acarya left his own son, but Mahaprabhu never accepted him. These
topics are clearly explained in the scriptures." (something missing)
"Once Mahaprabhu rejected Chota Haridas. Bereft of his spiritual master, Chota
Haridas decided to commit suicide by jumping into the Jamuna. This is
the method of Mahaprabhu's religion. I have never seen or heard of anything
like this. It is explained in the scriptures that we must reject the association
of superficial persons who outwardly pose as devotees. If I am such
a non-Vaisnava guru then it is good that Krsnadas has left me. I shall arrange
a debate with all the Vaisnavas regarding this matter. If it is proven that
I am a non-Vaisnava, then I shall surely take refuge in Sri Jiva. Now go to
Vrndavana as quickly as possible and bring Sri Jiva's reply, then I will
understand the truth. If I am correct, I shall visit all the holy places of
Gauda and gather all the Vaisnavas together, then we will all go to Vrndavana
for the judgement." Saying this he ordered his disciples to leave for Vrndavana
immediately.
After a long journey they finally reached Vraja and brought the letter to Sri
Jiva. Keeping the letter in front of himself, Sri Jiva paid his sincere
obeisances. He embraced all the Vaisnavas and inquired, "Who has sent this
letter?"
"It was written by Hrdayananda Goswami," they replied. "Be merciful to us and
read it immediately."
Sri Jiva requested them to finish bathing, be seated and take prasadam.
"We have already bathed and eaten," they replied abruptly. "Please read
the letter without delay."
Assuring them that he would read the letter at once, Sri Jiva insisted that
they wash their hands and feet and be comfortably seated.
Accepting the order of Sri Jiva, they washed and took their seats.
After silently reading the letter, Sri Jiva smiled and told them: "Listen to
me, Hrdayananda Goswami has written this accusing letter, but I assure you
I have not made Krsnadas my disciple. I respect Hrdayananda as a great scholar;
I am not even qualified to be his disciple. I cannot bear his anger. Sri
Gauridas Pandit Thakur is my spiritual master and has always affectionately
treated me like his servant. By the grace of Hrdayananda, Krsnadas came to
Vraja. He stayed with me in order to relish the topics of Srimad Bhagavatam.
I allowed him to stay here only because it was the order of his guru. The mind
of Krsnadas has become completely purified by hearing the pastimes of the Lord,
and his respect for his spiritual master has doubled. Love can only be revealed
in the heart of one who is pure. Who has said that Krsnadas has become my
disciple? Bring him here!"
"Two sannyasi's from Vraja came to Gauda," they replied, "and reported that
Krsnadas had left Hrdayananda and accepted you as his guru. The Vrajavasis also
say that by your mercy Krsnadas painted the tilak named Shyamanadi and received
his new name, Shyamananda. Hrdayananda was astonished to hear this and has
written this letter to find out the truth."
"Call everyone together," Sri Jiva said. "Now we shall find out whether this
story is true or false. If it is proven to be true then certainly I am quilty."
Protesting, the devotees replied: "We believe you. We want to hear the truth
from you only, then we shall report to Goswami."
Replying sweetly, Sri Jiva said: "Listen, and I shall tell you everything. One
day I asked Krsnadas, 'Who has given you this name?' He explained to me that
by the grace of Hrdayananda Goswami, he accepted his new name.
"Now let me tell you about Krsnadas. He always serves Radha Krsna and the kunj,
and listens intently to Srimad Bhagavatam. He chants lacs of holy names
throughout the day and night. He regularly takes darshan of Sri Govinda, takes
prasadam, and serves the devotees daily. He constantly sings the glories of
Radha Krsna, always remembering Their eternal pastimes. Krsnadas stays in my
kunj and cleans it daily, absorbed in the service of Radha Krsna. One day
Krsnadas had a dream which he revealed to me. In his dream Hrdayananda appeared
before him while he was busy cleaning the kunj. Krsnadas offered him a seat made
of grass, and Goswami asked Krsnadas what he had been doing. Krsnadas humbly
replied that, according to his order, he was living in Vraja and serving
the kunj, keeping the lotus feet of his spiritual master in his mind. Hearing
this Hrdayananda was very happy and told Krsnadas that he was extremely
fortunate to be engaged in that way, as Radha Krsna eternally reside in
the kunj. Hrdayananda explained that even great personalities like Brahma, and
other demigods, pray for the precious opportunity to serve the kunj. Thus he
advised Krsnadas to remain in the kunj and carry on with his duties, in this
way eventually he would have the darshan of Radha Krsna. He told Krsnadas that,
"Shyama Shyam (Radha Krsna) being pleased with your service will give you
the name Shyamananda." Blessing him, he placed his feet on the head of Krsnadas
and immediately a new tilak spontaneously appeared on his forehead. Hrdayananda
Goswami then circumambulated the kunj and entered into it.
From the day that
Krsnadas told me this story I have taken the order of Hrdayananda as supreme,
and called Krsnadas Shyamananda. Not understanding what actually took place,
the people in general only guessed what had happened."
The devotees were relieved to hear this explanation, and happily recorded
the words of Sri Jiva in a letter.
Sri Jiva then requested that they confirm this story with Krsnadas. Coming
before them Krsnadas bowed at their feet and verified the words of Sri Jiva,
"I hold the lotus feet of Hrdayananda Goswami on my head," Krsnadas said. "He
is my lord and master. It is his order that I live with the Vaisnavas and
associate with the devotees of Mahaprabhu. While in Vraja, I have spent many
days with Sri Jiva Goswami, listening to Srimad Bhagavatam and topics related
to Krsna. Sri Hrdayananda Goswami is my last resort and the life of my life,
and I regard Sri Jiva like my guru. I desire to spend the rest of my life
serving Radha Krsna, the kunj, and the feet of all the Vaisnavas. I want to
have darshan of the kunj daily and serve Sri Vrajamandala, Sri Govindadev,
and Sri Hrdayananda Goswami. My life, body, and mind are fully absorbed in this
ecstasy. By the grace of my guru's guru I am enjoying the pleasure of
the darshan of the Rasasthali. My mind has become soothed by seeing the Yamuna
and the Kadamba. My daily worship and meditation is the lotus feet of Sri
Hrdayananda Prabhu. Not knowing this, people have made false accussations,
without proper understanding."
Hearing this, all the devotees happily embraced Shyamananda. Sri Jiva then fed
all the Vaisnavas sumptuous prasadam. In the morning Jiva gave them a letter
for Sri Hrdayananda Goswami, and bade them farewell. After visiting the sacred
places of Vrndavana, the devotees started for Gauda.

By the grace of the lotus feet of Sri Shyamananda, I received the ability to
write this book. Remembering the lotus feet of Sri Rupamanjari, I have described
the episode of chapter two in short.


CHAPTER 3

Eager to sing the glories of Sri Shyamananda, I continue writing this book.

The devotees first circumambulated Vraja then happily started their long journey
home, carrying the letter of Sri Jiva. Reaching Gauda, they immediately handed
the letter to Hrdayananda.
Goswami read the letter and thoughtfully considered its contents. "What Sri Jiva
has written may not be correct," he said. "I cannot understand him. When did I
appear in Shyamananda's dream? I do not remember such an incident. I have not
given the name Shyamananda. How absurd that I know nothing about it. Perhaps,
out of fear, Krsnadas has made up this ridiculous story. Are we expected to
believe that his dream has become reality, and what we have witnessed with our
own eyes is illusion? These are all deceiving talks. The whole world knows that
dreams are meaningless, no one pays any heed to dreams. This is a trick of Sri
Jiva, surely he has taken my Krsnadas. Now he is afraid of me and has written
this deceiving letter. I shall go to Vrndavana with all of the Vaisnavas and
prove it to everyone."
In an angry mood he started for Gauda to request the mahantas to accompany him
to Vraja. Along the way Goswami asked his disciples, "What kind of tilak did you
see on the forehead of Krsnadas?"
"We saw the tilak drawn like the temple of Hari, with a dot in the middle of
it," they replied.
"Jiva has given his own mark," Goswami said, "and to avoid the offense he has
placed a dot in its middle. The name of that type of tilaka is Sri Radhavallavi.
Now I know who they are worshipping, and it is certain that Krsnadas has taken
refuge in Sri Jiva."
Speaking in this way, he entered Gauda and addressed the mahantas, "Please be
kind and accompany me to Vrndavana, as Krsnadas has ruined my life. If you do
not go I shall commit suicide before you to save my prestige. You can take
advantage of this opportunity to see Vrndavana, and at the same time my purpose
can also be served."
The Mahantas agreed to go to speak with Sri Jiva, and taking their chief
disciples with them they started for Vraja. Along the way they passed the house
of Gauridas Thakur and also brought his chief disciple along with them.
After a long journey the mahantas reached Vrndavana. Arriving at Dhira Samira,
near the bank of the Yamuna, they took bath, cooked, and took prasadam.
Afterwards they blissfully performed nama-sankirtan along the bank of the
Yamuna. Meanwhile Hrdayananda sent one of his disciple to inform Sri Jiva of
their arrival.
Sri Jiva hastily came before the Vaisnavas and offered his obeisances falling
flat on the ground. All the mahantas embraced Sri Jiva. Some of them paid their
respects, while others offered their blessings.
"This is a very auspicious day," Sri Jiva said happily. "Although I am the most
insignificant person, today I am blessed with the association of so many great
sages. It is certainly a wonderful day for me."
The mahantas requested Sri Jiva to be seated and inquired about his well-being.
"There are always waves of happiness flowing in Vraja," Sri Jiva replied.
Because Radha Krsna perform Their pastimes here the atmosphere is surcharged
with spiritual bliss, thus Vrndavana is the ideal resting place for all
devotees.
Shortly afterwards Shyamananda arrived there and offered his obeisances to the
feet of his spiritual master, as well as the mahantas.
Sri Hrdayananda Goswami asked Shyamananda, "To whom is Dukhini Krsnadas bowing?"
"Prabhu," Krsnadas said with surprise, "I am bowing to your feet, as well as
all the saintly persons here."
Hrdayananda replied curtly, "You are relating to me having the name and tilak
given by me, why are you bowing to others?"
"Prabhu," Shyamananda said, "By your mercy I have received the name Shyamananda
and this new tilak."
"Listen to me," Goswami said, "Dreams cannot be accepted as fact. Acting without
my approval you have become the servant of others and deceived me by sending
a false letter."
"But I have not deceived you," Shyamananda protested. "Everything written in
the letter is true."
"I shall wash off your tilak," Goswami said, "and see whether it spontaneously
reappears on your forehead. I shall wipe the name Shyamananda from your body
and let us see if it again appears written in the same place. If this happens
then you will receive my blessings, otherwise I shall reject you."
Bowing to the feet of his guru, requesting his permission, Shyamananda replied:
"In the presence of all of you I shall prove that this name and tilak is
authorised. If I am unable to do so then I am quilty of a very serious offense."
Hrdayananda Goswami then gathered all the mahantas of Sri Vrajamandala under
the kalpataru in the Rasasthali of Sri Vrndavana. The mahantas took their seats
and called Shyamananda before them. Falling prostrate on the ground, Shyamananda
offered his obeisances.
"Who is your guru," the mahantas asked, "And from where did you get your name?"
"Sri Hrdayananda Goswami is my master, "Shyamananda said, "And I am his
servant."
"Listen to us Krsnadas," they replied. "Dreams are always false. If you are
found quilty of this offense you will lose the association of devotees, and
the opportunity to attain salvation. If the Lord is angry with someone, his guru
can save him, but if his guru becomes angry with him, no one can save him. Now
tell the truth, and we shall protect you. Don't lie before all these saintly
persons. Otherwise, you will certainly suffer the miseries of hell for as long
as the sun and moon exist. This is the infallible verdict of Vyasa in the Srimad
Bhagavatam. If you have secretly accepted another guru, tell us about him. We
shall be kind enough to save you from this offense. You will prove yourself to
be an imposter if you lie about your name and tilak."
"Whether you are right or wrong I know within my own mind," Shyamananda replied.
"Please allow me one or two more days to think about my answer." Remembering his
spiritual master, Shyamananda then sat down and became fully absorbed in
a blissful state of deep meditation. Chanting the mantra given to him by Lalita,
he felt the presence of Sri Radhika within his heart. His soul, mind, life and
knowledge entered into siddha (accomplishment), and within his spiritual body
he entered the temple of Sri Radha. Sitting on the doorstep of Her room he began
to cry. The sakhis of Sri Radha asked why he was crying. Bowing to them
Shyamananda explained, "I am a Vrajavasi named Kanakamanjari. I am the
maidservant of Lalita. I spent the whole day and night with Thakurani, then when
I returned home and tried to enter my house my husband tried to beat me, so
I ran away in fear and came here. Go tell Lalita to save my life by giving me
her darshan." Filled with anxiety he bowed again, crying helplessly.
The sakhis went to Lalita and reported, "One maidservant of yours has come here
crying in great distress. Previously she stayed in your house with you, then
when she returned home her husband tried to beat her."
"Bring her here," Lalita ordered. "I am preparing the betel leaves now."
One of the sakhis called her in and Kanakamanjari found herself in the presence
of Sri Radha. Radhika was sitting on a cot eating betel leaves as Lalita
prepared them. Sri Rupamanjari massaged her legs, and Champakalatika fanned her
with a camara.
Overwhelmed with ecstatic love, Kanakamanjari fell flat on the ground. Thakurani
ordered the sakhis to lift her and Lalita took Kanaka on her lap. Holding the
feet of Lalita she began to cry. Sri Radha affectionately called Kanakamanjari
and placed her lotus feet on her head. Kanaka fell unconscious on the feet of
Sri Rupamanjari, who then pushed her under the lotus feet of Radha.
"Be kind to me Thakurani," Kanaka cried, "I am your maidservant. Give me shelter
under your reddish feet."
"Why are you crying so helplessly," Radha asked. "What is your name? Who do you
serve? Where do you live, and who are your parents?"
"My name is Kanakamanjari. I have always cherished the hope of receiving
the dust of your feet. I am a Vrajavasi, and the maidservant of your
maidservant, Sri Rupamanjari. She is my father, mother, master, and caretaker.
She has bestowed loving devotion upon me, and by her mercy I received the
darshan of Lalita. Now, by the grace of Lalita, I am able to see your lotus
feet."
"Oh supreme goddess, listen to my story then you shall understand why I am
crying. I am the disciple of Sri Hrdayananda Goswami. Previously I carried
the mark of his grace, in the form of a tilak, on my forehead. By his merciful
order I came to Vraja, where I stayed with Jiva Goswami. Sri Jiva helped me
immensely by explaining the wonderful pastimes of Radha Krsna in Vraja. Tasting
only a drop of your nectarean pastimes, my mind fell deep into the ocean of
love. When I was thirsty for the water of your love, Sri Jiva helped me to drink
the nectar. He advised me that my ultimate goal should be to attain the grace of
your feet. For that reason he put me under the care of the gracious feet of Sri
Rupamanjari."
"Relishing the sweetness of your lotus feet, I served the kunj daily. Although
I am the most helpless and worthless person, you bestowed your kindness upon me
by intentionally dropping your ankle bell in the kunj. You sent Lalita to
retrieve the ankle bell and she mercifully appeared before me. She was so
pleased to have found the ankle bell that she blessed me saying that the mark of
your ankle bell should be on my forehead. Touching the ankle bell to my forehead
a mark was permanently painted there. She told me, 'My Shyama will be extremely
happy to get back the ankle bell, therefore from today, you shall be known as
Shyamananda.' She asked me what boon I would like and I requested to become the
maidservant of Radha Krsna. She agreed, but forbade me to tell anyone accept Sri
Jiva. Otherwise, she said, I would lose my life."
"Still today I am carrying the mark on my forehead and I have not told anyone,
but seeing this mark my guru misunderstood and thought that I had rejected him.
He asked about my new name and tilak and I said that he had appeared to me in
a dream and changed my name and tilak. I explained that in the dream he had
asked me why I had not come to see him. I replied that because I was fully
engaged in serving the kunj, and absorbed in remembrance of Sri Radha, I had
not found time to meet him. Hearing this my Prabhu became very happy and advised
me to carry on with my duties. Bestowing his mercy upon me, he told me that
through serving Radha Krsna and the kunj I would certainly attain the darshan
of Shyama Shyam. Thus he gave me the name Shyamananda. Blessing me he put his
foot on my head. After circumabulating the kunj he entered into it and took his
seat."
"I told Goswami that the mark of his lotus feet had become my tilak, but he did
not believe it. He became very angry, saying that I had ignored my real name
and tilak and followed a dream. 'I know nothing about this dream,' he said. 'If
you want to be my disciple accept my mark and tell everyone that your name is
Krsnadas and nothing else.' I told Goswami to personally wipe the tilak from my
forehead and he replied, 'I shall wash your tilak and see whether it
spontaneously reappears. I will also wipe off the name Shyamananda and see
whether it is spontaneously written again. Then your name will be acknowledged
and you will receive my mercy.'"
"Hearing this I accepted his order, bowing to his feet. Goswami then told me,
'I must prove your name and tilak to all the mahantas, otherwise I shall commit
suicide.'"
"Calling together all the mahantas from Gauda and Vraja, Goswami formed
a society in the Kalpakunj of the Rasasthali in Vrndavana. He requested me to
appear before them to prove the truth. The mahantas strongly advised me to speak
truthfully, otherwise I would be cast out from the association of devotees and
suffer the miseries of hell."
"I asked them to wait patiently and I began meditating on your lotus feet. In my
meditation my mind and soul traveled here. Now I have attained the great fortune
of seeing your lotus feet. I am ignorant, worthless, and wicked but your grace
will help me to cross over this ocean of birth and death. Oh Thakurani, please
be merciful to me, save me from the harassment of the mahantas. Show me how
I can satisfy your feet, as well as the feet of my spiritual master. Now I have
told you both the cause of my crying and my desire."
Lalita and Sri Rupamanjari both requested Radharani to be merciful to
Shyamananda. Holding the hands of Kanakamanjari, Lalita pushed her on the feet
of Radha, who mercifully placed her feet on the head of Kanaka.
Sri Radha called Suvalachand (Subala gopa) and told him everything: "Krsnadas,
the servant of your servant, has taken refuge under my feet. He always serves
the kunj and has dedicated his life and soul to me. By your order I have
accepted him."
"It is my great fortune that one of my servants has become your maidservant,"
Suvala said. Even I am always desirous of becoming your maidservant."
Hearing this Sri Radha was very pleased and pushed Kanakamanjari on the feet
of Suvala. Kanaka bowed to his feet and Suvala took her in his lap. Blessing her
Suvala said, "You are extremely fortunate as you have received the love of Radha
Krsna and become a favorite maidservant of Radha."
Radha ordered Suvala to give Shyamananda the tilak and prove it before
the society of mahantas. She also requested him to write the name Shyamananda on
the chest of Krsnadas, and to tell the mahantas that by his grace Krsnadas
attained the mark of Sri Radha's feet as his tilak and the name Shyamananda, by
which he should be known in the world.
Suvalachand happily painted the mark of the feet of Sri Radha on Krsnadas'
forehead, placing a dot in the middle. He wrote Shyamananda on the chest of
Krsnadas and advised him to say everyday, "Pandit Thakur, in the form of my guru
has favoured me."
"When you are asked to prove the sanctity of the name and tilak," Suvala said,
"just remember me and the name and tilak will spontaneously appear on your
body."
Hearing this Shyamananda fell at the feet of Suvala. Placing his feet on the
head of Shyamananda, Suvala blessed him and took his leave.
After offering obeisances at the feet of Sri Radha, Lalita, Visakha, Sri
Rupamanjari, and the other sakhis, Shyamananda stood before Sri Radha with
folded hands. Drinking in the nectar of her beautiful face, he was unable to
check the tears of ecstasy flowing from his eyes. Shyamananda humbly requested
Radha to help him to dedicate his life, body and soul to her reddish lotus feet.
The image of love, Sri Radha, assured him that he would always have her
blessings. Radhika advised him to tour Orissa with Rasika Murari and afterwards
return to Vraja. Shyamananda then took his leave and one of the sakhis
accompanied him for some distance.
Meanwhile the mahantas in Vrndavana were astonished to see Shyamananda's body
become lifeless. Doubts began to pierce their hearts and they wondered if they
had committed a great offense. Overcome with lamentation they rolled on the
ground crying.
Only Sri Jiva could understand what had taken place. Consoling them Jiva
suggested, "Everyone begin nama-sankirtan, Shyamananda will certainly come to
life again."
The mahantas eagerly began chanting the holy name: "Govinda, Shyamasundara,
Kamala Lochana."
After sometime Shyamananda regained consciousness and sat up reciting the name
of Sri Hrdayananda. Greatly relieved the mahantas cheered loudly, chanting
the name of Hari. When Shyamananda opened his eyes fully they requested him to
proclaim his verdict.
"It is my opinion," Shyamananda replied, "that Gauridas Pandit Thakur, in
the form of my spiritual master, has mercifully appeared before me in a dream.
If I am a sincere servant of my guru's feet then I shall prove the sanctity of
this name and tilak before your eyes."
The mahantas then painted the tilak like the temple of Sri Hari on Shyamananda's
forehead, placing a dot in its middle, and wrote the name Shyamananda on his
chest. Praying to Sri Krsna Caitanya to maintain the prestige of His devotee,
they requested Hrdayananda to preside over the mahanta society and wash the
tilak off with water.
Goswami anxiously brought a water pot, while Shyamananda happily called out to
Sri Gauridas Pandit to come and save his reputation. In the presence of everyone
Sri Hrdayananda Goswami washed off the tilak, as well as the name Shyamananda
from his chest.
Shyamananda loudly called to Sri Lalita Thakurani to save him, and immediately
the tilak and name spontaneously reappeared in their proper places, even
brighter than before. The mahantas were astonished, and Hrdayananda hung his
head in shame.
Holding the hands of Shyamananda the mahantas joyfully called out the name of
Hari. Some of them kissed and embraced him, while others shouted the name
Shyamananda. Someone said that for the first time a dream has become reality,
and another said that Suvalachand has shown special mercy to Shyamananda,
making him his companion. Someone else said that Shyamananda has pleased Shyama
(Radha) and thus has thus attained this name.
Shyamananda offered his obeisances to all the mahantas, and fell at the feet of
Hrdayananda. Filled with joy Goswami placed Shyamananda on his lap and lovingly
kissed his face again and again. Accepting Shyamananda as the best of his
disciples he decided to keep his precious association always.
The mahantas then took bath, cooked and offered the food to Krsna. Meanwhile
Shyamananda came before Sri Jiva falling prostrate at his feet. Taking him on
his lap Sri Jiva kissed Shyamananda saying, "I dedicate myself to you, for you
are not merely a devotee, you are my life and my life has become a captive to
your love." Sri Jiva advised Shyamananda to stay with Hrdayananda Goswami and
serve his lotus feet.

Although I have no qualification, by the mercy of the lotus feet of Shyamananda,
I have received the ability to write this book. Assisted by the remembrance of
Sri Rupamanjari, I have described the third chapter of Sri Shyamananda Prakash.


CHAPTER 4

By the mercy of the lotus feet of Sri Shyamananda I continue writing this book.

The next day Hrdayananda Goswami, Shyamananda, and all the mahantas happily
began a tour of all the forests (dvadasavanas and upavanas) and kunjas of Vraja.
One day during their pilgrimage they attended a festival of Rasa which was held
at Sanketa. There they watched a performance of the ecstatic loving pastimes of
Radha Krsna and their sakhis. Some of the sakhis sang sweetly and danced
beautifully, while others played various types of musical instruments. As they
watched the wonderful rasalila the mahantas were filled with joy, and
Shyamananda, overwhelmed with ecstatic love, fell unconscious. Rolling on the
ground he called out the name of Radha Krsna, as floods of tears drenched his
body.  Covering his head with a piece of cloth Shyamananda danced madly, crying
continuously.
Observing the transcendental emotions displayed by Shyamananda, Sri Hrdayananda
Goswami thought, "He is certainly a maidservant of Radha. He will be of no use
to me because he is not the companion of my Krsna. Now I clearly understand
Shyamananda. He has given up his own bhava and taken to Radha bhava. How can
I associate with him?" Thinking in this way Hrdayananda left the Rasasthali
feeling as if an arrow had pierced his heart. Shyamananda, however, remained
at the Rasasthali which infuriated Hrdayananda.
When the rasalila was finished Shyamananda returned along with the mahantas.
Shyamananda slept in his own place and in the morning came for darshan of his
spiritual master. As he bowed to the feet of his guru, Hrdayanada burst out
saying, "You have discarded Krsna bhava and taken gopi bhava instead. Now what
is the necessity of your staying with me?"
Shyamananda humbly and sweetly replied, "Pandit Thakur (Gauridas Pandit - HG's
spiritual master) worships in Radha bhava, yet in this bhava he is always with
Krsna helping Radha Krsna to meet together. He is always engaged in the service
of Radha Krsna and enjoys Their darshan in the kunja. This bhava also arises
in me but I have not left you Prabhu. Suvala Thakur (Gauridas Pandit) was
absorbed in Radha bhava in the kunja and I gladly enjoyed it.
"That's a lie," Goswami said. "Pandit Thakur never told me anything about this.
You must behave like a sakha. Don't even think of accepting any other bhava."
"I cannot do this," Shyamananda quietly replied.
Hrdayananda was so enraged with this reply that he beat Shyamananda with
a stick, striking him again and again on the hands, legs, and back until his
flesh was cut. Bleeding profusely Shyamananda fell on the ground.
Seeing the pitiable condition of Shyamananda, the mahantas angrily chastised
Hrdayananda: "Oh Goswami! What are you doing? It is not good that you are
beating Shyamananda. Previously you tried to destroy him and now you will be
responsible for his death. Why are you behaving like this? All types of bhavas
can be attained through madhurya bhava."
The mahantas consoled Shyamananda, who told them, "I am not sorry, on the
contrary I am glad because my spiritual master has acknowledged me after such
a long time. His beating is like scented sandalwood paste to me. His
chastisement has cooled and soothed my body and mind. Being satisfied with me,
my spiritual master has finally accepted me as his disciple. It seems as if
the five sons are tied together by a single string. Don't worry about me."
Then turning to Hrdayananda he said, "Prabhu, please be merciful to me. I am
an ignorant fool, as I disobeyed your order."
Singing the glories of Shyamananda the mahantas took bath, cooked, and offered
everything to Krsna. After taking prasadam they visited Sanketa and the other
kunjavanas then took rest in the kunj. That night Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
appeared before Hrdayananda Goswami in a dream. Hrdayananda bowed to the Lord's
eet, then looking up he saw that Mahaprabhu's white scarf was covered with
blood. Severe wounds covered the flesh on His hands, legs and back. Because
the white scarf was soaked with blood it stuck tightly to the Lord's back.
"What has happened?" Goswami gasped in horror. "What is this I'm seeing on Your
body?"
"By your mercy My clothes have been soaked with blood," Mahaprabhu said. "You
have beaten Shyamananda who is like My very self, thus all the beatings have
come upon me."
Hrdayananda fell at the feet of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Greatly lamenting he cried
out, "Now there is no one in the world who can save me from hell. I had no
understanding of how dear Shyamananda is to You. Oh! Padmapani, have mercy upon
me. I have committed unforgivable offenses. Now I shall commit suicide by
entering into fire."
Mahaprabhu forgave Hrdayananda and ordered him to perform twelve festivals.
Accepting the order of the Lord Hrdayananda fell prostrate at His feet.
Blessing him, Mahaprabhu placed the dust of His lotus feet on Goswami's head
and disappeared. At last Hrdayananda came to his senses, clearly understanding
that dreams can be accepted as reality. He spent the rest of the night thinking
deeply.
In the morning he related the dream to the mahantas, "Last night Mahaprabhu
appeared to me in a dream. His body was covered with bleeding wounds caused by
the beating I inflicted upon Shyamananda. Mahaprabhu explained that Shyamananda
was like His very Self, thus the beatings had come upon Him. Lamenting for my
sin, I fell at His feet begging forgiveness. He ordered me to to atone for my
sins by performing twelve festivals. I accepted the order and fell at His feet.
Mahaprabhu placed His feet on my head and blessed me to be a devotee of Krsna,
then He disappeared. First I committed offenses to saintly persons, then I
offended the Supreme Lord Himself. Now, oh sages please save me."
"Previously you did not accept dreams to be reality", the mahantas replied.
"Please be merciful," Goswami insisted, "Allow me to perform twelve festivals."
Hearing this the mahantas kindly gave their consent.
Turning to Shyamananda Goswami said, "You are most exalted because you have
saved your guru from sin. From now on you are not my servant, you are the life
of all." Saying this Goswami took Shyamananda on his lap. Shyamananda fell to
the ground bowing to the feet of Hrdayananda. All the mahantas blessed
Shyamananda and happily shouted the names of Hari.
After discussing together they decided to send Shyamanada first to Vraja. "Go
to Vrndavana", they said, "And make arrangements for the forthcoming festivals.
We shall return after visiting Vraja. (?)
Bowing to the feet of Sri Hrdayananda and the mahantas, Shyamananda took his
leave and went to Vrndavana. After visiting the kunjavanas he entered into
Vrndavana proper where he met Sri Jiva Goswami. Shyamananda offered his
obeisances and informed him of all that had taken place. Filled with happiness
Sri Jiva took Shyamananda on his lap and blessed him heartily.
Sri Jiva began preparations for the festivals by first offering things from his
own store room. Then calling together all the Vrajavasis, he requested that they
help prepare for the upcoming festivals. When the Vrajavasis came to know that
the festivals were to be performed by Shyamananda they happily assisted by
donating huge quantities of all the necessities required. Sri Jiva was able to
collect all the items needed for the festivals from Mathura and Vrajamandala.
After finishing their tour the mahantas came to Vrndavana.
Eager to begin the festivals Shyamananda humbly requested Sri Jiva, "I know
nothing about what to do. You must be the organiser of all the festivals. You
order me and I shall be your servant."
Taking up the responsibility Sri Jiva instructed his servants to invite all
the saintly persons of Vraja. The servants obeyed his order and the festivities
began on the second day of the full moon.
Numerous varieties of food namely; luchi, puri, sweets, khira, sugar, and curds
were stocked for the festivals. The organizers received so many donations that
a mountain was formed from the items collected.
All the cooked preparations tasted just like nectar. Crowds of Vrajavasis ate
heartily and even carried food home with them. In this way the festivals
continued for fifteen days. On the day of the full moon the rasa festival of
Radha Krsna to ok place. Thus the twelve festivals were organised and completed
joyfully.
When all the guests had returned home, Shyamananda came before Hrdayananda
Goswami and bowed at his feet. "I own nothing", he said, "Everything belongs
to you. Whatever I seem to possess is only due to your mercy." Saying this he
placed five maharas(?) at the feet of his spiritual master and offered his
obeisances.
Taking Shyamananda on his lap Hrdayananda blessed him that he would attain
devotion to the lotus feet of Krsna. Sri Hrdayananda then took his leave.
Sri Jiva came before all the mahantas and bowed at their feet. They all
embraced Sri Jiva heartily, some of them took him on their laps and dedicated
Shyamananda to the grace of Sri Jiva. Hearing this all the Vrajavasis, saints,
and mahantas happily called out the names of Hari.
Sri Jiva accompanied the mahantas for some distance as they began their journey
home. When it was time to bid farewell Sri Jiva, filled with sadness, fell on
the ground unconscious. The mahantas consoled him and Hrdayananda blessed him,
and they departed for Gauda.
Shyamananda returned to Vrndavana and stayed with Sri Jiva. One day Jiva Goswami
requested Shyamananda to go to Orissa to preach and save the fallen conditioned
souls there from the suffering of hell, after fulfilling this responsibility he
could return to Vrndavana. He reminded Shyamananda that Srimate Radharani had
also ordered him to go to Orissa and take shelter of Rasika Murari.
Accepting this order Shyamananda turned over all his books and articles of
worship to Sri Jiva and left for Utkala where he met Rasika Murari. By the mercy
of Rasika he was empowered to preach and deliver the fallen souls. Shyamananda
preached in Orissa for a long time. He later returned to Vraja where he
continued to live with Sri Jiva.

Taking the lotus feet of Sri Shyamananda as my only resort and remembering
the lotus feet of Sri Rupamanjari, I have thus completed the episode of
the fourth chapter.


EXTRACTS FROM DIFFERENT BOOKS

In the fifth chapter the family life of Shyamananda is discussed. The previous
four chapters have dealt with Shyamananda's desire to attain the grace of Krsna.
The ninth chapter describes the perfection of Shyamananda's sadhana. And
the last, or tenth chapter, deals with the birth of the feeling of madhurya
viraha (separation) within Shyamananda. Who could possibly describe the intense
desire of Shyamanada by which he attained the opportunity of personally serving
Radha Krsna?
When Sri Jiva came to Vrndavana Shyamananda left his body out of separation from
Jiva.(?) In the tenth chapter Shyamananda attains his spiritual form and begins
to live happily with Sri Rupamanjari. Sri Radha Krsna favoured him and kept him
in Their service. Kanakamanjari became a favorite of Lalita, Sri Rupamanjari and
all the sakhis.

I have described Shyamananda's attainment of the spiritual abode only in hints,
as I have been ordered to do so. I am the most unqualified and ignorant person
but due to the grace of Sri Shyamananda Goswami I have written this book and
presented it before all the devotees. Although I have no ability to write, by
the mercy of my spiritual master this book has been completed.


THE EPISODE OF WRITING THIS BOOK

Oh wise listeners! Hear how this book, Shyamananda Prakash, has come into
existence.

One day I met a saint who read the book Bhaktirasamrita Sindhu to me. While
listening a deep feeling of indifference towards the material world (vairagya)
took birth within me and the desire to go to Vrndavana arose in my heart.
Previously I had never found the time to meditate upon the merciful lotus feet
of Krsna. My mind had always been preoccupied with sinful activities. My body,
mind and life was filled with passion, anger, greed, infatuation, pride, and
mundane emotions. Pride gave rise to envy and jealousy. Thus my life passed
in vain. Not a scent of devotion to Krsna entered my heart. Even in the sphere
of family life I was a failure. What was the use of such a worthless life?
Absorbed in maintaining my wife and children all the golden opportunities of
life passed me by. Fully engaged in material activities I found no time to
remember the lotus feet of Govinda, or to perform any sadhana. In this way my
life passed uselessly and death was quickly approaching.
But after hearing Bhaktirasamrita Sindhu from that saint I began to realise
that the lotus feet of Krsna are the only resort for all of mankind. I decided
to give up all material attachments and live in Vraja. Although my heart ached
to leave for Vrndavana, the opportunity to go did not arise. I became very
disturbed and began meditating on Shyamananda Goswami. Absorbed in this way
I went to bed and fell asleep thinking of Sri Vrndavana Dhama.
In my dream I met some sannyasis who were going to Vraja and I traveled along
with them. Arriving in Vraja I took darshan of the Jamuna, then went to the
kunja of Sri Shyamananda Goswami. I washed my hands and feet and sat down in
the kunja. After some time Sri Shyamananda, having completed the
circumambulation of Vraja, returned to his kunja, and all the devotees there
fell at his feet. They washed his feet and happily drank the water. I asked one
vairagi who the Goswami was and he replied that thiss is Shyamananda Goswami".
Hearing his name I shed tears of love. Noticing me, Goswami called me before
him and I fell flat offering obeisances.
"Where do you come from," he asked, "What is your name, whom do you serve, and
how many devotees are with you?"
"I am Krsnacarana dasa", I said. Please be merciful and allow me to serve you.
I came to Vrndavana with four vairagis who have gone for a tour of Vrndavana.
I use to live in Orissa with my wife, but she became a burden to me so I left
her and came alone to Vrndavana."
"Your wife must be in a state of depression," Goswami replied. "Who will look
after your son? Why have you given up material life and become a vairagi?"
"Prabhu, my wife is also very indifferent to family life", I explained. Out of
love for Krsna I have come to Vraja."
"Do not leave your wife, "Prabhu said. Return to your home and perform the
sadhana of Krsna along with your wife. What type of sadhana are you doing by
leaving a helpless vaisnavi?"
I humbly explained to Prabhu, "I know nothing about sadhana or smarana worship.
I have come to you because I have not understood Krsna yet, please be kind and
fulfill my desire."
"You will obtain my mercy, as well as the mercy of Radha Krsna, if you obey my
order. Now go back to your house and engage, along with your wife, in
worshipping Krsna and singing my glories. Write something about my auspicious
activities and sing the praises of my devotees."
"But I know nothing about your eulogies," I protested. "I know only the letters
but I do not know their meanings. How can I describe your glories?
"Due to my wish you will be able to understand everything", Prabhu said. "If you
remember me everything will become clear to you."
"I am an illiterate and ignorant person", I said. "What can I write? And even if
I write, what intelligent man will accept it?"
"My fame is known throughout the three worlds", Prabhu replied. Anyone who does
not accept it is quilty of flouting Sri Caitanya. These words cannot be false.
After completing the book you should show it to my disciple, Nayananda. He will
be very happy to receive a book about me. Out of love for me he will distribute
the book. Since the people have confidence in Nayananda they will gladly accept
the book. He who sings the glories of Krsna and of myself will attain salvation.
He will also get the association as well as the feet of Krsna. Don't hesitate to
write this book."
Hearing this I fell prostrate on the ground at the feet of Goswami. He placed
his feet on my head and blessed me to attain devotion to Krsna. He went to his
kunja and I returned home.
Just then I awoke from my dream, but everything remained crystal clear in my
mind. I contemplated my good fortune in having the darshan of Vrndavana in my
dream. For a few days I hesitated to carry out the order I had received. Then
again my Prabhu mercifully appeared before me in my sleep. He sat at my head
and said, "You have flouted my order. This will only bring harm to you. I was
sorry to see your distressed condition so I came here to save you from sin.
Begin the work of writing a book and remember that I am always with you. Go take
your bath and start the book after worshipping Radha Krsna."
Obeying his order I began writing, meditating on my spiritual master. In this
way by the desire and mercy of my guru I received the ability to write this
book, otherwise it was not possible.

I fall flat at the feet of Sri Shyamananda Goswami offering my obeisances
millions of times. If there is any mistakes in my writing or any incidence
of rasabhasa I humbly beg forgiveness. It is impossible for a worthless person
like myself to fully describe the glorious qualities of Sri Shyamananda.

I hold the feet of Sri Caitanya and Nityananda and all the devotees on my head.
I have sold my head at the feet of Sri Radhamohana, the bestower of love and
devotion. Taking the lotus feet of Shyamananda Prabhu in my heart I, Krsnadasa,
have compiled this book Sri Shyamananda Prakash.