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Srila Prabhupada explains the exalted position of Sri Shyamananda Goswamicompiled by Narasimha dasa and Yasoda nandana dasa
Srila Prabhupada explains the unique position of Sri Syamananda Goswami.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 1: The Spiritual Masters : Adi 1.19 : PURPORT : Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explained this mode of devotional service in three stages, and therefore these worshipable Deities were installed in Vṛndāvana by different Gosvāmīs. They are very dear to the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas there, who visit the temples at least once a day. Besides the temples of these three Deities, many other temples have been established in Vṛndāvana, such as the temple of Rādhā-Dāmodara of Jīva Gosvāmī, the temple of Śyāmasundara of Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, the temple of Gokulānanda of Lokanātha Gosvāmī, and the temple of Rādhā-ramaṇa of Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. There are seven principal temples over four hundred years old that are the most important of the five thousand temples now existing in Vṛndāvana
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 7: Lord Caitanya in Five Features : Adi 7.45 : PURPORT : There are many Vaiṣṇava families in Bengal whose members, although not actually born brāhmaṇas, act as ācāryas by initiating disciples and offering the sacred thread as enjoined in the Vaiṣṇava tantras. For example, in the families of Ṭhākura Raghunandana Ācārya, Ṭhākura Kṛṣṇadāsa, Navanī Hoḍa and Rasikānanda-deva (a disciple of Śyāmānanda Prabhu), the sacred thread ceremony is performed, as it is for the caste Gosvāmīs, and this system has continued for the past three to four hundred years. Accepting disciples born in brāhmaṇa families, they are bona fide spiritual masters who have the facility to worship the śālagrāma-śilā, which is worshiped with the Deity. As of this writing, śālagrāma-śilā worship has not yet been introduced in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, but soon it will be introduced in all our temples as an essential function of arcana-mārga (Deity worship).
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 7: Lord Caitanya in Five Features : Adi 7.164 : PURPORT : When Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī went to Vṛndāvana, there was not a single temple, but by their preaching they were gradually able to construct various temples. Sanātana Gosvāmī constructed the Madana-mohana temple, and Rūpa Gosvāmī constructed the Govindajī temple. Similarly, their nephew Jīva Gosvāmī constructed the Rādhā-Dāmodara temple, Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī constructed the Rādhā-ramaṇa temple, Śrī Lokanātha Gosvāmī constructed the Gokulānanda temple, and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī constructed the Śyāmasundara temple. In this way, many temples were gradually constructed. For preaching, construction of temples is also necessary. The Gosvāmīs not only engaged in writing books but also constructed temples because both are needed for preaching work. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted the cult of His saṅkīrtana movement to spread all over the world. Now that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has taken up this task of preaching the cult of Lord Caitanya, its members should not only construct temples in every town and village of the globe but also distribute books that have already been written and further increase the number of books. Both distribution of books and construction of temples must continue side by side in parallel lines.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 1: The Later Pastimes of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu : Madhya 1.97 : PURPORT : This Kṣīra-curī Gopinātha is situated about five miles away from the Bāleśvara station on the Northeastern Railway, formerly known as the Bengal Māyāpura Railway. This station is situated a few miles away from the famous Kargapura junction station. Sometimes the charge of the temple was given to Śyāmasundara Adhikārī from Gopīvallabhapura, which lies on the border of the district of Medinīpura. Śyāmasundara Adhikārī was a descendant of Rasikānanda Murāri, the chief disciple of Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 4: Sri Madhavendra Puri’s Devotional Service : Madhya 4.12 : PURPORT : There is a railway station named Baleśvara, and five miles to the west is the village of Remuṇā. The temple of Kṣīra-corā-gopīnātha still exists in this village, and within the temple the samādhi tomb of Rasikānanda Prabhu, the chief disciple of Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, can still be found.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 8: Talks Between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya : Madhya 8.128 : PURPORT : na sudrah bhagavad-bhaktas te ‘pi bhagavatottamah sarva-varnesu te sudra ye na bhakta janardane : One who is actually advanced in spiritual knowledge of Kṛṣṇa is never a śūdra, even though he may have been born in a śūdra family. However, even if a vipra, or brāhmaṇa, is very expert in the six brahminical activities (paṭhana, pāṭhana, yajana, yājana, dāna, pratigraha) and is also well versed in the Vedic hymns, he cannot become a spiritual master unless he is a Vaiṣṇava. But if one is born in the family of caṇḍālas yet is well versed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he can become a guru. These are the śāstric injunctions, and strictly following these injunctions, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as a gṛhastha named Śrī Viśvambhara, was initiated by a sannyāsī-guru named Īśvara Purī. Similarly, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu was initiated by Mādhavendra Purī, a sannyāsī. According to others, however, He was initiated by Lakṣmīpati Tīrtha. Advaita Ācārya, although a gṛhastha, was initiated by Mādhavendra Purī, and Śrī Rasikānanda, although born in a brāhmaṇa family, was initiated by Śrī Śyāmānanda Prabhu, who was not born in a caste brāhmaṇa family. There are many instances in which a born brāhmaṇa took initiation from a person who was not born in a brāhmaṇa family. The brahminical symptoms are explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.11.35), wherein it is stated
yasya yal-lakṣaṇaṁ proktaṁ
yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiśetIf a person is born in a śūdra family but has all the qualities of a spiritual master, he should be accepted not only as a brāhmaṇa but as a qualified spiritual master also. This is also the instruction of Śrī CaitanyaMahāprabhu. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura therefore introduced the sacred thread ceremony for all Vaiṣṇavas according to the rules and regulations.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 24: The Sixty-One Explanations of the Atmarama Verse : Madhya 24.330 : PURPORT : samo damas tapah saucam ksantir arjavam eva ca jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam : Unless one is qualified with all these attributes, he cannot be accepted as a brāhmaṇa. It is not a question of simply taking birth in a brāhmaṇa family. In this regard, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura remarks that Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, although not born in brāhmaṇa families, are accepted as bona fide spiritual masters because they were brāhmaṇas by qualification. Personalities like Śrī Gaṅgā-nārāyaṇa, Rāmakṛṣṇa and many others, who were actually born in brāhmaṇa families, accepted Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī as their spiritual masters.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Antya-lila : Antya 5: How Pradyumna Misra Received Instructions from Ramananda Raya : Antya 5.88 : PURPORT : To inundate the three worlds with nectar is the purpose of the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. How this could be possible was exhibited by Śrīla Raghunātha Gosvāmī and later by Ṭhākura Narottama dāsa and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, who all represented the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Now that same mercy is overflooding the entire world through the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. The present Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is nondifferent from the pastimes performed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu when He was personally present, for the same principles are being followed and the same actions performed without fail.
Lectures : General Lectures : Sunday Feast Lecture — London, July 25, 1976 : 760725LE.LON : Prabhupāda: Somebody fanning, and water also. (chants maṅgalacaraṇa prayers) So śrī-caitanya-mano-‘bhiṣṭam. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s ambition or mission. Śrī-caitanya-mahāprabhu mano ‘bhiṣṭaṁ sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale. His ambition was propagated or established by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī. They were ministers in charge of the then Pathan government in Bengal and very learned scholar in Urdu and Sanskrit, but after meeting Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Rāmakeli village in the district of Maldah in Bengal, North Bengal… That was supposed to be the capital of Nawab Hussain Shah. So then they joined to preach this saṅkīrtana movement or Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So their mission was to establish the Rādhā-Govinda Mandir, as many as possible. They first started in Vṛndāvana, Madana-mohana temple. Most Indians present here, they know. There are… [break] …temples in Vṛndāvana. There are five thousand temples in one small city of fifty thousand population, but the most important because they were established by the Gosvāmīs. Rūpa, Sanātana, Bhaṭṭa Raghunātha, Śrī Jīva, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, Dāsa Raghunātha, the Six Gosvāmīs, direct disciple of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Sanātana Gosvāmī established first the Madana-mohana temple. Then Rūpa Gosvāmī established Govindajī’s temple. Then Jīva Gosvāmī established Rādhā-Dāmodara temple, then… [break] …Gosvāmī established Rādhā-Madana-mohana temple. Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, he established Śyāmasundara temple. These are important temples.
Sri Syamananda made his appearance at Orissa in the village of Dharenda Bahadurpur. His father’s name was Sri Krishna Mandal and his mother’s name was Sri Durika. Sri Krishna Mandal had many sons and daughters who unfortunately passed away before the birth of this son. For this reason this son was named Dukhiya.Everyone said that this child would be a very saintly person. The scholars were astounded to see his profound intellect. Within a short period he completed his studies of grammar, poetry and rhetoric. His parents were overjoyed to see his talents and his religious proclivity. After having carefully listened to the glories of Gauranga and Nityananda from devotees, he was able to repeat them to others. When listening to the activities of Gaura-Nitai or those of Radha and Krishna, tears would flow in waves from his eyes. He also devotedly served his parents and they told him to get initiated so that he could fully commit himself to the service of the Lord. Duhkhi agreed and told them that he wished to take diksha from Hriday Chaitanya, the disciple of Gauri Das Pandit. His parents happily gave him permission to go there.When Duhkhi arrived in Ambika Kalna, he threw himslf at the feet of Hriday Chaitanya, who upon learning his identity, happily gave him Krishna-mantra and named him Krishna Das. Hriday Chaitanya ordered him to go to Vrindavana to study the literatures of the under the tutelage of Srila Jiva Gosvami. Krishna das bowed his head in assent, and on an auspicious day he set out for the holy dhama.
In Vrindavan, Krishna Das studied the Vaishnava scriptures under Sri Jiva Goswami, who was the leading scholar of the sampradaya. Krishna das very carefully began to serve Jiva Gosvami as well as study the literatures of the Gosvamis. Srinivasa Acarya and Narottama dasa Thakura also came to Sri Jiva at this time to study under him. Thus Krishna das had the opportunity to meet them.
Krishna das requested Srila Jiva Gosvami for a special service. Sri Jiva instructed him to sweep the forest grove of Sevakunja everyday. From that day he began to carry out this service with great pleasure. He felt that his life had become successful.One day, Krishna das was sweeping the Rasa-mandala in Vrindavan, absorbed in ecstatic trance. Suddenly, by Radharani’s transcendental mercy, he found her ankle bracelet lying on the ground. In his excitement, he touched the ankle bracelet to his forehead, where it left a mark. It is known as nupura tilaka. While in Vrindavan, Krishna das was given the name Shyamananda because he brought great joy to Shyamasundar.
Jiva Goswami sent Srinivas Acharya, Narottama Das Thakur and Shyamananda back to Bengal with the Vaishnava scriptures. But the books were stolen by the dacoit king. There Srinivasa Acarya prabhu remained behind to recover the books while Narottama continued on towards Kheturi and Shyamananda proceeded to Ambika Kalna. Arriving there, Syamananda paid his obeisances to his guru, and Sri Hrday Caitanya Prabhu embraced him and inquired about the well being of the gosvamis of Vrindavana.Syamananda served the lotus feet of his guru in great happiness and in this way passed his days. At this time most of the devotees of Lord Caitanya in Orissa had all left the planet. Thus the preaching of Mahaprabhu’s teachings had all but come to a halt. Hrdaya Caitanya Prabhu considered this a very serious problem and finally instructed Syamananda Prabhu to go there to carry on the preaching of Mahaprabhu’s mission.
Syamananda set out for Orissa. After entering Orissa he first went to his birth place at Dharenda Bahadurpur. From there he came to Dandeshwar, where his father, Sri Krishna Mandal, had previously resided. By the auspicious arrival of Syamananda Prabhu in Utkala the teachings of Mahaprabhu revived. On the banks of the Suvarna Rekha River lived one pious and devoted landholder by the name Sri Acyuta deva. His only son was called Rasik. From his very childhood Rasik was very devoted to Lord Krishna. As he gradually attained the appropriate, age his father engaged some panditas to see to his education. However he didn’t have much regard for material knowledge. He had already ascertained that the greatest goal in life is devotion to Lord Hari. Rasik became anxious to take shelter at the lotus feet of a bonafide spiritual master. One day as he was sitting alone, contemplating on this subject, when he heard a divine voice: “Rasik! Don’t be in anxiety anymore. Very soon a very great personality of the name Syamananda will arrive here. Just take shelter of his lotus feet.”Hearing this, Rasika was encouraged and took to continuously waiting and watching for the arrival of Prabhu Syamananda. After a few days Shyamananda prabhu, accompanied by his disciples, came to the village of Rohini. Syamananda prabhu initiated Rasika. Many people of Rohini also became disciples of Syamananda prabhu.
From here Sri Syamananda Prabhu went to Sri Nrsimhapur, where many atheists lived. But when Syamananda stayed a few days, these atheists got the chance to hear his necterian talks, which melted their hard hearts in love for Krishna. Thus, in this place also, he gained many disciples.Day by day the glories of Syamananda spread throughout Utkaladesa. From Nrsimhapur he came to Gopiballabhpur. Here again, many well to do people were attracted to his lotus feet and so took shelter there. The people here especially requested him to install the Sri Vigraha of Radha-Krishna. Thus, a temple for the deity was constructed. The greatness of Syamananda became known throughout all of Orissa and the worship of Sri Gaura-Nityananda was inaugurated in many, many places. Shyamananda’s disciples have established five principle seats in the towns of Dharenda, Bahadurapura, Rayani, Gopiballabhapura, and Nrisinghap.