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In the Christian year 1590 (Shakabda 1512), on the first day of the bright fortnight of the month of Kartik, during the night of the festival Dipamalika, when the houses are decorated with rows of lamps, Shri Rasikanand Deva made his appearance in this world. His father was Shri Acyuta Deva, the king of Rohini. Afterpassing many years without having a male issue, Shri Acyuta Deva, by the mercy of Shri Jagadisa (Jagannath), was blessed with this jewel of a son. The village of Rohini or Royni was situated within the country known as Mallabhumi, encompassed on one side by the Suvarnarekha River (Suvarna meaning golden and rekha, a line). This Suvarnarekha River cleansed the sins of all the local people. Near Royni was another village of the name Barayita, by the side of which flowed the Dolanganadi River, whose banks were adorned with beautiful gardens. Raja Acyuta Deva very affectionately maintained his subjects and was famous for impeccably observing the rites attendant upon kings. In the village of Royni the son of King Acyuta appeared as the sun appears in the eastern sky and became dearly beloved by the people. He was known as Rasikanand also Murari. As he grew up, shining qualities appeared by degrees in his person that caused the further rexaltation of his family, just as the waxing moon gradually exp ands its influence in the night sky and causes the sea to rise. 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 very young age. Murari's wife Shyamadasi was a mine of good character who hailed from the village of Ghonta Shila, not far from Royni on the banks of the Suvarna Rekha, where in days of old the Pandvas had lived in exile. One day, Murari was sitting in a lonely place, wondering when and where he might become so fortunate as to get shelter at the lotus feet of a spiritual preceptor. Just then a voice from the sky addressed him, "Don't bein anxiety, you will become the disciple of Shri Syamanand. " Having heard this proclamation, Rasik Murari became very jubilant, and began to repeatedly murmur the name Syamanand, as though chanting japa. From moment to moment his eagerness increased without diminition, as tears flowed from his eyes by his chanting of the name of Syamanand. He was in such a state that he spend most of the night sleeplessly, calling to his master Syamanand. Finally, towards the early morning, he drifted off to the land of dreams, where he saw his spiritual master, the very figure of charm and grace. Smilingly, Syamanand informed him, "When tomorrow the eastern sky becomes tinged with pink, you will obtain me. " Saying this, Syamanand disappeared. Rasikanand's heart began to swell in ecstatic bliss. Then, with the first rays of morning which dispel the dense darkness of the world, the wise Murari sat silently watching the path. After some time Syamanand approached from the distance, looking as beautifully effulgent as the sun and surrounded by his disciples like Shri Kishora dasa and others. His smiling face was like the lotus flower that opens to greet its friend the sun, and his chest was as broad as a door. His captivating appearance was made all the more irresistable by the sweet sounds of 'Shri Krishna Caitanya-Nityanand' emanating from his lotus mouth. Absorbed in intense love he moved along the path like the clouds move in the sky. When Rasika caught sight of this divine form, he fell down in front of him to touch his lotus feet. In great ecstasy Shyamanand embraced him and began to bathe him with his tears of ecstatic love. Shri Rasika Murari then felt himself to be one of the most fortunate living beings within this universe. On an auspicious day Syamanand initiated Rasika and his wife in Radha-Krishna mantra. After that, Rasikanand began to travel with his guru, during which time he became a very intimate disciple. Syamanand then bestowed upon him the service of Shri Radha-Govinda Deva at Shri Gopiballabhapur. Rasikanand became totally engaged in their Lordships service, and the devotees were charmed by his excellent services. At Gopiballabhpur and other places he began to seriously take up the preaching of the message of Shri Gaura-Nityanand. By his influence many atheists and unbelievers were transformed into devotees of Shri Gaura-Nityanand. "By the tremendous influence of Rasikanand's preaching, many rogues, robbers and atheists were delivered from their sinful activities and received his mercy. He distributed the jewel of devotion even to the infidel Mohammedans, as he travelled from village to village, in the company of his disciples. 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. That wicked miscreant who sent the elephant, a Mohammedan, bowed at his feet when he realised his mistake. It is not possible to count the number of living entities that were extricated from the ocean of material existence by Rasikanand Deva's association. He was always intoxicated with the chanting of the Holy Name. Who cannot but be overwhelmed by hearing about his uncommon qualities?" [B.R. 15.86] By Shri Rasikanand's mercy many Mohammedans, who were actually just impious and wicked atheists, became worshipers of the Supreme Lord. Also many virtuous kings and zamindars such as the king of Mayurbhanj named Vaidyanatha Bhanj, the king of Patashpur known as Gajapati and Candrabhanu, 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 Shrikar also surrendered them selves at his lotus feet. A vicious, wild elephant was tamed by Rasikanand's transcendental influence and hence forward was known as Gopala das. Later, two jungle tigers like wise gave up their ferocious nature. Accepting the order of his guru, Shri Syamanand, on his head, Rasikanand preached the message of Shri Gaursundar in the world 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, Shakabda 1574 (Christian year 1652), Rasikanand quietly slipped out of the village Shanta without anyone's notice and walked to Remuna. Arriving there, he discussed Krishna-katha with the devotees there for a while and instructed everyone to serve Shri Krishna with devotion. Then, after requesting them to begin sankirtana, he entered the temple of Shri Gopinatha, and after touching Kshira-chora Gopinatha's lotus feet, which bestow complete fearlessness, he entered into their ultimate shelter. Rasikanand prabhu’s samadhi is at the temple of Kshira-chora Gopinath at Remuna just in front and to the right as you go in the main gate, with the temple to the left, and admin’ offices straight ahead. Shri Rasikanand had three sons: Shri Radhan, Shri Krishna-Govinda and Shri Radha-Krishna. The present servants of Shri Shri Radha-Govindadeva at Gopiballabhapur are their descendents. He composed Shri Shyamananda Shatakam, Shrimad Bhagavatashtaka as well as other hymns and songs. His Shripat Gopiballbhapur can be reached from Calcutta by taking a train to Khavagpur, and a bus to Gopiballabhpur from there. There is also a temple of Rasikanand at Puri. One year, during Lord Jagannatha's Ratha-yatra festival, Rasikanand 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 Rasikanand, caused the Rath to stop. Though the king summoned his elephants to push the Ratha, under no circumstances could they budge it, not even an inch. Then Lord Jagannatha, seeing that the king was becoming frustrated, informed him that he was waiting for His devotee Rasika. Finally Rasikanand Deva arrived, carrying with him many offerings of silk clothes and other presents. He fell down to offer his dandvats before Lord Jagannatha, and the king requested him to pull the rope at which the cart began to easily move along the road, just as the clouds move in the sky. Later the king requested Rasikanand to accept a gift of land so he might establish a temple there. Rasikanand requested the place known as Fultota Math, which is now known as Kunja Math. There he installed the Deity of Shri Bat Krishna. The Deity is now known as Shri Shri Radha-Rasika Raya.
Vrindavan, February 21, 2015: Rasikananda Prabhu was the embodiment of devotion and was merciful to the fallen souls. The saints who gathered to mark the 425th disappearance day of Rasikananda Prabhu said the above words. A spiritual event was organized in remembrance of Rasikananda Prabhu in which many dignitaries spoke about his devotional life. Shri Krishna Gopalananda Goswami Mahant of Radha Shyam Sundar Mandir said that Rasikananda Prabhu was the most beloved disciple of Shyamananda Prabhu. He was a perfect sage, scholar and a rasik bhakta. Shri Premdas Shashtri and Shri Tamal Krishna Das glorified him as a great preacher who preached about the message of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for 46 years. They said that he bestowed bhakti upon Yavanas, muslims, untouchables, outcastes, atheists, and agnostics. H Sacchidananda Maharaj said that Rasikananda Dev was always overwhelmed in Shri Krishna and Gaura Rasa. Dr. Girraj Shashtri mentioned that Rasikananda Maharaj had many similar qualities with Shri Krishna. He enlightened the Krishna Consciousness among many hearts. Ladli Sharan ji Maharaj said that he was always absorbed in the holy name of Krishna and Sankirtan. Everyone was astonished to hear the wonderful sankirtan of Rasikananda Dev. Mahant Sutikshan Das cited the story when Rasikananda Dev made the rampaging elephants to bellow ‘Hare Krishna’, by humbly bowing down their heads. Maheshananda Saraswati, Mahant Kamal Das, Jagannath Das Shastri, Radha Mohan Das, Rajesh Kishor Goswami, Raja Baba, Dr. Achyut lal Bhatt, Satyagopal Das, Radha Madhav Das and many other saints and vaishnavas also spoke about his life and the nectar he delivered to the world. His pushpa Samadhi is present near the Samadhi of Shyamananda prabhu at Radha Shyam Sundar Temple. Books: Rasikananda