Sri Rasikananda deva Goswami – Appearance

By editor - 18.11 2020

Sri Rasikananda Deva appeared in this world in 1590 A.D. (Sakabda 1512), on the first day of the bright fortnight of the month of Kartik. His father was Sri Achyuta Deva, the king of Rohini. The village of Rohini was situated within the country known as Mallabhumi, encompassed on one side by the Suvarnarekha River.

In the village of Royni, Rasikananda Deva was dearly beloved by the people. He was also known as Murari. At a very young age he became quite proficient in all of the scriptures. He was very devoted to his parents, especially his mother, whose name was Bhavani. His father married him at a very young age. Murari’s wife Syamadasi was of good character who hailed from the village of Ghonta Sila, not far from Royni where the Pandavas had lived in exile long ago.

One day, when Murari was wondering when and where he might get shelter at the lotus feet of a spiritual preceptor, a voice from the sky addressed him, “Don’t be in anxiety, you will become the disciple of Sri Shyamananda.” Having heard this, he became very jubilant, and began to repeatedly murmur the name Shyamananda. He spent the night almost sleeplessly, calling to his master Shyamananda. Finally, in his dream, he saw his spiritual master, the very figure of charm and grace. Smilingly, Shyamananda informed him, “When tomorrow the eastern sky becomes tinged with pink, you will obtain me.” Saying this, Shyamananda disappeared.

With the first rays of morning, Murari sat silently watching the path. After some time Shyamananda approached from a distance, looking as beautifully effulgent as the sun and surrounded by his disciples – Sri Kishora dasa and others. His captivating appearance was made all the more irresistible by the sweet sounds of ‘Sri Krishna Chaitanya-Nityananda’ emanating from his lotus mouth. On seeing him, Rasika fell down in front of him to touch his lotus feet. In great ecstasy Shyamananda embraced him and began to bathe him with his tears of ecstatic love.

On an auspicious day Shyamananda initiated Rasika and his wife in Radha-Krishna mantra. Rasikananda began to travel with his guru, during which time he became a very intimate disciple. Shyamananda then bestowed upon him the service of Sri Radha- Govinda Deva at Sri Gopiballabhapur. Rasikananda became totally engaged in Their Lordships service. He began to seriously take up the preaching of the message of Sri Gaura-Nityananda in the surrounding places. By his influence many atheists and unbelievers were transformed into devotees of Sri Gaura-Nityananda. He even converted the wild elephant which was sent for his destruction into his disciple and engaged him in the service of Krishna and the Vaishnavas.

It is not possible to count the number of living entities that were extricated from the ocean of material existence by Rasikananda Deva’s association. He was always intoxicated with the chanting of the Holy Name. Many virtuous kings and zamindars such as the king of Mayurbhanj named Vaidyanatha Bhanj, the king of Patashpur known as Gajapati and Chandrabhanu, the king of Moyna, took shelter at his lotus feet. What to speak of those pious and noble gentlemen, even the sinful zamindar Bhima, the Mohammedan Suba Ahmadbeg and the wicked atheist Srikar also surrendered themselves at his lotus feet.

Accepting the order of his guru, Sri Shyamananda, Rasikananda preached the message of Sri Gaurasundara for approximately 16 years. Thereafter he entered into his eternal pastimes through the lotus feet of Gopinatha at Remuna. On the first day of the bright fortnight in the month of Phalguna, Sakabda 1574 (Christian year 1652), Rasikananda quietly slipped out of the village Santa without anyone’s notice and walked to Remuna. He discussed Krishna-katha with the devotees there for a while and instructed everyone to serve Sri Krishna with devotion. Then, after asking them to begin sankirtana, he entered the temple of Sri Gopinatha, and after touching Kshira-chora Gopinatha’s lotus feet, he entered into their ultimate shelter.

Rasikananda Prabhu’s samadhi is at the temple of Kshira-chora Gopinath at Remuna.
Sri Rasikananda had three sons: Sri Radhananda, Sri Krishna-Govinda and Sri Radha-Krishna. The present servants of Sri Sri Radha-Govindadeva at Gopiballabhapur are their descendents. He composed Sri Shyamananda-sataka, Srimad Bhagavatastaka as well as other hymns and songs.

There is also a temple of Rasikananda at Puri. One year, during Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha-yatra festival, Rasikananda Deva was preaching somewhere in the country, but when he realised that it was time for Ratha-yatra he dropped everything and rushed like the wind in order to come to Nilachala in time for the festival. But in the meantime the festival had already begun. Lord Jagannath, Who felt reciprocal separation from His dear devotee Rasikananda, caused the Ratha to stop. Though the king summoned his elephants to push the Ratha, they could not push it for even an inch. Seeing that the king was becoming frustrated, Lord Jagannatha informed him that He was waiting for His devotee Rasika.

Finally Rasikananda Deva arrived, carrying with him many offerings of silk clothes and other presents. He fell down to offer his dandavats before Lord Jagannatha, and the king requested him to pull the rope at which the cart began to easily move along the road. Later the king requested Rasikananda to accept a gift of land so he might establish a temple there. Rasikananda requested for the place known as Fultota Math, which is now known as Kunja Math. There he installed the Deity of Sri Bat Krishna. The Deity is now known as Sri Sri Radha-Rasika Raya.