Sri Raghunandana Thakura Tirobhava (disappearance)

July 23, 2020 in Articles by Laksman dasa

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Srila Prabhupada and Sri Krsna dasa Kaviraja describe the exalted position and glories of Sri Raghunandana Thakura.
Friday, July 24, 2020 (Mayapura, West Bengal, Bharata bhumi) compiled by Narasimha dasa and Yasoda nandana dasa

kāśīte lekhaka śūdra-śrīcandraśekharatāṅra ghare rahilā prabhu svatantra īśvaraSYNONYMS
—in Vārāṇasī; lekhaka—writer; śūdra—born of a śūdra family; śrī-candraśekhara—of the name Candraśekhara; tāṅra ghare—in his house; rahilā—remained; prabhu—the Lord; svatantra—independent; īśvara—the supreme controller.
This time Lord Caitanya stayed at the house of Candraśekhara, although he was regarded as a śūdra or kāyastha, for the Lord, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is completely independent.

PURPORTLord Caitanya stayed at the house of Candraśekhara, a clerk, although a sannyāsī is not supposed to reside in a śūdra’s house. Five hundred years ago, especially in Bengal, it was the system that persons who were born in the families of brāhmaṇas were accepted as brāhmaṇas, and all those who took birth in other families-even the higher castes, namely, the kṣatriyas and vaiśyas-were considered śūdra non-brāhmaṇas. Therefore although Śrī Candraśekhara was a clerk from a kāyastha family in upper India, he was considered a śūdra. Similarly, vaiśyas, especially those of the suvarṇa-vaṇik community, were accepted as śūdras in Bengal, and even the vaidyas, who were generally physicians, were also considered śūdras. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, however, did not accept this artificial principle, which was introduced in society by self-interested men, and later the kāyasthas, vaidyas and vaṇiks all began to accept the sacred thread, despite objections from the so-called brāhmaṇas.Before the time of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the suvarṇa-vaṇik class was condemned by Ballal Sen, who was then the King of Bengal, due to a personal grudge. In Bengal the suvarṇa-vaṇik class are always very rich, for they are bankers and dealers in gold and silver. Therefore, Ballal Sen used to borrow money from a suvarṇa-vaṇik banker. Ballal Sen’s bankruptcy later obliged the suvarṇa-vaṇik banker to stop advancing money to him, and thus he became angry and condemned the entire suvarṇa-vaṇik society as belonging to the śūdra community. Ballal Sen tried to induce the brāhmaṇas not to accept the suvarṇa-vaṇiks as followers of the instructions of the Vedas under the brahminical directions, but although some brāhmaṇas approved of Ballal Sen’s actions, others did not. Thus the brāhmaṇas also became divided amongst themselves, and those who supported the suvarṇa-vaṇik class were rejected from the brāhmaṇa community. At the present day the same biases are still being followed.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 7.45

khaṇḍavāsī mukunda-dāsa, śrī-raghunandananarahari-dāsa, cirañjīva, sulocanaei saba mahāśākhā–caitanya-kṛpādhāmaprema-phala-phula kare yāhāṅ tāhāṅ dāna
khaṇḍa-vāsī mukunda-dāsa
—of the name Mukunda dāsa; śrī-raghunandana—of the name Raghunandana; narahari-dāsa—of the name Narahari dāsa; cirañjīva—of the name Cirañjīva; sulocana—of the name Sulocana; eisaba—all of them; mahā-śākhā—great branches; caitanya-kṛpā-dhāma—of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the reservoir of mercy; prema—love of God; phala—fruit; phula—flower; kare—does; yāhāṅ—anywhere; tāhāṅ—everywhere; dāna—distribution.
Śrī Khaṇḍavāsī Mukunda and his son Raghunandana were the thirty-ninth branch of the tree, Narahari was the fortieth, Cirañjīva the forty-first and Sulocana the forty-second. They were all big branches of the all-merciful tree of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. They distributed the fruits and flowers of love of Godhead anywhere and everywhere.

PURPORTŚrī Mukunda dāsa was the son of Nārāyaṇa dāsa and eldest brother of Narahari Sarakāra. His second brother’s name was Mādhava dāsa, and his son was named Raghunandana dāsa. Descendants of Raghunandana dāsa still live four miles west of Katwa in the village named Śrīkhaṇḍa, where Raghunandana dāsa used to live. Raghunandana had one son named Kānāi, who had two sons-Madana Rāya, who was a disciple of Narahari Ṭhākura, and Vaṁśīvadana. It is estimated that at least four hundred men descended in this dynasty. All their names are recorded in the village known as Śrīkhaṇḍa. In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 175, it is stated that the gopī whose name was Vṛndādevī became Mukunda dāsa, lived in Śrīkhaṇḍa village and was very dear to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. His wonderful devotion and love for Kṛṣṇa are described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta,Madhya-līlā, Chapter Fifteen. It is stated in the Bhakti-ratnākara (Eighth Wave), that Raghunandana used to serve a Deity of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.Narahari dāsa Sarakāra was a very famous devotee. Locana dāsa Ṭhākura, the celebrated author of ŚrīCaitanya-maṅgala, was his disciple. In the Caitanya-maṅgala it is stated that Śrī Gadādhara dāsa and Narahari Sarakāra were extremely dear to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but there is no specific statement regarding the inhabitants of the village of Śrīkhaṇḍa.Cirañjīva and Sulocana were both residents of Śrīkhaṇḍa, where their descendants are still living. Of Cirañjīva’s two sons, the elder, Rāmacandra Kavirāja, was a disciple of Śrīnivāsācārya and an intimate associate of Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. The younger son was Govinda dāsa Kavirāja, the famous Vaiṣṇava poet. Cirañjīva’s wife was Sunandā, and his father-in-law was Dāmodara Sena Kavirāja. Cirañjīva previously lived on the bank of the Ganges River in the village of Kumāranagara. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 207, states that he was formerly Candrikā in Vṛndāvana.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 10: The Trunk, Branches and Subbranches of the Caitanya Tree : Adi 10.78-79

bhāgavatācārya, cirañjīva śrī-raghunandanamādhavācārya, kamalākānta, śrī-yadunandana
—of the name Bhāgavatācārya; cirañjīva—of the name Cirañjīva; śrī-raghunandana—of the name Śrī Raghunandana;mādhavācārya—of the name Mādhavācārya; kamalākānta—of the name Kamalākānta; śrī-yadunandana—of the name Śrī Yadunandana.
Bhāgavatācārya, Cirañjīva, Śrī Raghunandana, Mādhavācārya, Kamalākānta and Śrī Yadunandana were all among the branches of the Caitanya tree.

PURPORTŚrī Mādhavācārya was the husband of Lord Nityānanda’s daughter, Gaṅgādevī. He took initiation from Puruṣottama, a branch of Nityānanda Prabhu. It is said that when Nityānanda Prabhu’s daughter married Mādhavācārya, the Lord gave him the village named Pāṅjinagara as a dowry. Mādhavācārya’s temple is situated near the Jīrāṭ railway station on the eastern railway. According to the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (169) Śrī Mādhavācārya was formerly the gopī named Mādhavī. Kamalākānta belonged to the branch of Śrī Advaita Prabhu. His full name was Kamalākānta Viśvāsa.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 10: The Trunk, Branches and Subbranches of the Caitanya Tree : Adi 10.119 :

khaṇḍera sampradāya kare anyatra kīrtananarahari nāce tāhāṅ śrī-raghunandana
—of the place named Khaṇḍa; sampradāya—party; kare—performs; anyatra—in a different place; kīrtana—chanting; narahari—Narahari; nāce—dances; tāhāṅ—there; śrī-raghunandana—Raghunandana.
Another party was formed by the people of Khaṇḍa. These people were singing in a different place. In that group,
Narahari Prabhu and Raghunandana were dancing.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 13: The Ecstatic Dancing of the Lord at Ratha-yatra : Madhya 13.46 :

The wonderful exchange between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Mukunda das regarding the exalted position of Sri Raghunandana

khaṇḍera mukunda-dāsa, śrī-raghunandanaśrī-narahari,–ei mukhya tina jana
—of the place known as Khaṇḍa; mukunda-dāsa—Mukunda dāsa; śrī-raghunandana—Śrī Raghunandana; śrī-narahari—Śrī Narahari; ei—these; mukhya—chief; tina—three; jana—persons.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then turned His attention to three persons-Mukunda dāsa, Raghunandana and Śrī Narahari-inhabitants of the place called Khaṇḍa.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 15: The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya : Madhya 15.112 : T

mukunda dāsere puche śacīra nandana’tumi–pitā, putra tomāra–śrī-raghunandana?SYNONYMSmukundadāsere—unto Mukunda dāsa; puche—inquired; śacīra nandana—the son of mother Śacī; tumi—you; pitā—father; putra—son; tomāra—your; śrī-raghunandana—Śrī Raghunandana.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the son of mother Śacī, next asked Mukunda dāsa, “You are the father, and your son is Raghunandana. Is that so?

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 15: The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya : Madhya 15.113

:kibā raghunandana–pitā, tumi–tāra tanaya?niścaya kariyā kaha, yāuka saṁśaya’


kibā—or; raghunandana—Raghunandana; pitā—father; tumi—you; tāra—his; tanaya—son; niścaya kariyā—making certain; kaha—just speak; yāuka saṁśaya—let My doubts be dissipated.


“Or is Śrīla Raghunandana your father whereas you are his son? Please let Me know the facts so that My doubts will go away.”

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 15: The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya : Madhya 15.114 :

mukunda kahe,–raghunandana mora ‘pitā’ hayaāmi tāra ‘putra’,–ei āmāra niścayaSYNONYMS
kahe—Mukunda dāsa replied; raghunandana—my son Raghunandana; mora—my; pitā—father; haya—is; āmi—I; tāra—his; putra—son; ei—this; āmāra—my; niścaya—decision.
Mukunda replied,”Raghunandana is my father, and I am his son. This is my decision.
Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 15: The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya : Madhya 15.115

āmā sabāra kṛṣṇa-bhakti raghunandana haiteataeva pitā–raghunandana āmāra niścite
āmā sabāra
—of all of us; kṛṣṇa-bhakti—devotion to Kṛṣṇa; raghunandana haite—because of Raghunandana; ataeva—therefore; pitā—father; raghunandana—Raghunandana; āmāra niścite—my decision.
“All of us have attained devotion to Kṛṣṇa due to Raghunandana. Therefore in my mind he is my father.”

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 15: The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya : Madhya 15.116

raghunandana sevā kare kṛṣṇera mandiredvāre puṣkariṇī, tāra ghāṭera uparekadambera eka vṛkṣe phuṭe bāra-māsenitya dui phula haya kṛṣṇa-avataṁse


raghunandana—Raghunandana; sevā kare—serves; kṛṣṇera mandire—in the temple of Lord Kṛṣṇa; dvāre—near the door; puṣkariṇī—a lake; tāra—of it; ghāṭera upare—on the bank; kadambera—of kadamba flowers; eka vṛkṣe—on one tree; phuṭe—blossom; bāra-māse—all year around; nitya—daily; dui phala—two flowers; haya—become; kṛṣṇa-avataṁse—decoration for Lord Kṛṣṇa.


“Raghunandana is constantly engaged in serving the temple of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Beside the entrance of the temple is a lake, and on its banks is a kadamba tree, which daily delivers two flowers to be used for Kṛṣṇa’s service.”

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 15: The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya : Madhya 15.128-12