Glories of Sri Raghunandana Thakura
kasite lekhaka sudra-sricandrasekhara
tanra ghare rahila prabhu svatantra isvara
kasite—in Varanasi; lekhaka—writer; sudra—born of a sudra family; sri-candrasekhara—of the name Candrasekhara; tanra ghare—in his house; rahila—remained; prabhu—the Lord; svatantra—independent; isvara—the supreme controller.
This time Lord Chaitanya stayed at the house of Chandrasekhara, although he was regarded as a shudra or kayastha, for the Lord, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is completely independent.
Lord Chaitanya stayed at the house of Chandrasekhara, a clerk, although a sannyasi is not supposed to reside in a shudra's house. Five hundred years ago, especially in Bengal, it was the system that persons who were born in the families of brahmanas were accepted as brahmanas, and all those who took birth in other families - even the higher castes, namely, the kshatriyas and vaishyas - were considered shudra non-brahmanas. Therefore although Sri Chandrasekhara was a clerk from a kayastha family in upper India, he was considered a shudra. Similarly, vaishyas, especially those of the suvarna-vanik community, were accepted as shudras in Bengal, and even the vaidyas, who were generally physicians, were also considered shudras. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, however, did not accept this artificial principle, which was introduced in society by self-interested men, and later the kayasthas, vaidyas and vaniks all began to accept the sacred thread, despite objections from the so-called brahmanas.
Before the time of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the suvarna-vanik class was condemned by Ballal Sen, who was then the King of Bengal, due to a personal grudge. In Bengal the suvarna-vanik class are always very rich, for they are bankers and dealers in gold and silver. Therefore, Ballal Sen used to borrow money from a suvarna-vanik banker. Ballal Sen's bankruptcy later obliged the suvarna-vanik banker to stop advancing money to him, and thus he became angry and condemned the entire suvarna-vanik society as belonging to the shudra community. Ballal Sen tried to induce the brahmanas not to accept the suvarna-vaniks as followers of the instructions of the Vedas under the brahminical directions, but although some brahmanas approved of Ballal Sen's actions, others did not. Thus the brahmanas also became divided amongst themselves, and those who supported the suvarna-vanik class were rejected from the brahmana community. At the present day the same biases are still being followed.
There are many Vaishnava families in Bengal whose members, although not actually born brahmanas, act as acharyas by initiating disciples and offering the sacred thread as enjoined in the Vaishnava tantras. For example, in the families of Thakura Raghunandana Acharya, Thakura Krishnadasa, Navani Hoda and Rasikananda-deva (a disciple of Shyamananda Prabhu), the sacred thread ceremony is performed, as it is for the caste Gosvamis, and this system has continued for the past three to four hundred years. Accepting disciples born in brahmana families, they are bona fide spiritual masters who have the facility to worship the salagrama-sila, which is worshiped with the Deity. As of this writing, salagrama-sila worship has not yet been introduced in our Krishna consciousness movement, but soon it will be introduced in all our temples as an essential function of arcana-marga (Deity worship).
- Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita - Lord Chaitanya in Five Features : Adi 7.45
khandavasi mukunda-dasa, sri-raghunandana
narahari-dasa, ciranjiva, sulocana
ei saba mahasakha--caitanya-krpadhama
prema-phala-phula kare yahan tahan dana
khanda-vasi mukunda-dasa—of the name Mukunda dasa; sri-raghunandana—of the name Raghunandana; narahari-dasa—of the name Narahari dasa; ciranjiva—of the name Ciranjiva; sulocana—of the name Sulocana; ei saba—all of them; maha-sakha—great branches; Chaitanya-krpa-dhama—of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the reservoir of mercy; prema—love of God; phala—fruit; phula—flower; kare—does; yahan—anywhere; tahan—everywhere; dana—distribution.
Sri Khandavasi Mukunda and his son Raghunandana were the thirty-ninth branch of the tree, Narahari was the fortieth, Chiranjiva the forty-first and Sulochana the forty-second. They were all big branches of the all-merciful tree of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. They distributed the fruits and flowers of love of Godhead anywhere and everywhere.
Sri Mukunda dasa was the son of Narayana dasa and eldest brother of Narahari Sarakara. His second brother's name was Madhava dasa, and his son was named Raghunandana dasa. Descendants of Raghunandana dasa still live four miles west of Katwa in the village named Srikhanda, where Raghunandana dasa used to live. Raghunandana had one son named Kanai, who had two sons - Madana Raya, who was a disciple of Narahari Thakura, and Vamsivadana. It is estimated that at least four hundred men descended in this dynasty. All their names are recorded in the village known as Srikhanda. In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 175, it is stated that the gopi whose name was Vrindadevi became Mukunda dasa, lived in Srikhanda village and was very dear to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His wonderful devotion and love for Krishna are described in the Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, Chapter Fifteen. It is stated in the Bhakti-ratnakara (Eighth Wave), that Raghunandana used to serve a Deity of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Narahari dasa Sarakara was a very famous devotee. Lochana dasa Thakura, the celebrated author of Sri Chaitanya-mangala, was his disciple. In the Chaitanya-mangala it is stated that Sri Gadadhara dasa and Narahari Sarakara were extremely dear to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, but there is no specific statement regarding the inhabitants of the village of Srikhanda.
Chiranjiva and Sulochana were both residents of Srikhanda, where their descendants are still living. Of Chiranjiva's two sons, the elder, Ramachandra Kaviraja, was a disciple of Srinivasacharya and an intimate associate of Narottama dasa Thakura. The younger son was Govinda dasa Kaviraja, the famous Vaishnava poet. Chiranjiva's wife was Sunanda, and his father-in-law was Damodara Sena Kaviraja. Chiranjiva previously lived on the bank of the Ganges River in the village of Kumaranagara. The Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 207, states that he was formerly Chandrika in Vrindavana.
- Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita - The Trunk, Branches and Sub branches of the Chaitanya Tree : Adi 10.78-79
Raghunandan Thakur as a baby in his mother's lap
bhagavatacarya, ciranjiva sri-raghunandana
madhavacarya, kamalakanta, sri-yadunandana
bhagavatacarya—of the name Bhagavatacharya; ciranjiva—of the name Chiranjiva; sri-raghunandana—of the name Sri Raghunandana; madhavacarya—of the name Madhavacharya; kamalakanta—of the name Kamalakanta; sri-yadunandana—of the name Sri Yadunandana.
Bhagavatacharya, Chiranjiva, Sri Raghunandana, Madhavacharya, Kamalakanta and Sri Yadunandana were all among the branches of the Chaitanya tree.
Sri Madhavacharya was the husband of Lord Nityananda's daughter, Gangadevi. He took initiation from Purushottama, a branch of Nityananda Prabhu. It is said that when Nityananda Prabhu's daughter married Madhavacharya, the Lord gave him the village named Panjinagara as a dowry. Madhavacharya's temple is situated near the Jirat railway station on the eastern railway. According to the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (169) Sri Madhavacharya was formerly the gopi named Madhavi. Kamalakanta belonged to the branch of Sri Advaita Prabhu. His full name was Kamalakanta Visvasa.
- Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita - The Trunk, Branches and Sub branches of the Chaitanya Tree : Adi 10.119
khandera sampradaya kare anyatra kirtana
narahari nace tahan sri-raghunandana
khandera—of the place named Khanda; sampradaya—party; kare—performs; anyatra—in a different place; kirtana—chanting; narahari—Narahari; nace—dances; tahan—there; sri-raghunandana—Raghunandana.
Another party was formed by the people of Khanda. These people were singing in a different place. In that group, Narahari Prabhu and Raghunandana were dancing.
- Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita - The Ecstatic Dancing of the Lord at Ratha-yatra : Madhya 13.46
The wonderful exchange between Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Mukunda das regarding the exalted position of Sri Raghunandana
khandera mukunda-dasa, sri-raghunandana
sri-narahari,--ei mukhya tina jana
khandera—of the place known as Khanda; mukunda-dasa—Mukunda dasa; sri-raghunandana—Sri Raghunandana; sri-narahari—Sri Narahari; ei—these; mukhya—chief; tina—three; jana—persons.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then turned His attention to three persons - Mukunda dasa, Raghunandana and Sri Narahari-inhabitants of the place called Khanda.
Books : Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita - 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 15: The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya : Madhya 15.112 : T
mukunda dasere puche sacira nandana
'tumi--pita, putra tomara--sri-raghunandana?
mukunda dasere—unto Mukunda dasa; puche—inquired; sacira nandana—the son of mother Saci; tumi—you; pita—father; putra—son; tomara—your; sri-raghunandana—Sri Raghunandana.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the son of mother Sachi, next asked Mukunda dasa, "You are the father, and your son is Raghunandana. Is that so?
- Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita - The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya : Madhya 15.113
kiba raghunandana--pita, tumi--tara tanaya?
niscaya kariya kaha, yauka samsaya'
kiba—or; raghunandana—Raghunandana; pita—father; tumi—you; tara—his; tanaya—son; niscaya kariya—making certain; kaha—just speak; yauka samsaya—let My doubts be dissipated.
"Or is Srila Raghunandana your father whereas you are his son? Please let Me know the facts so that My doubts will go away."
- Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita - The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya : Madhya 15.114
mukunda kahe,--raghunandana mora 'pita' haya
ami tara 'putra',--ei amara niscaya
mukunda kahe—Mukunda dasa replied; raghunandana—my son Raghunandana; mora—my; pita—father; haya—is; ami—I; tara—his; putra—son; ei—this; amara—my; niscaya—decision.
Mukunda replied, "Raghunandana is my father, and I am his son. This is my decision.
- Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita - The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya : Madhya 15.115
ama sabara Krishna-bhakti raghunandana haite
ataeva pita--raghunandana amara niscite
ama sabara—of all of us; Krishna-bhakti—devotion to Krishna; raghunandana haite—because of Raghunandana; ataeva—therefore; pita—father; raghunandana—Raghunandana; amara niscite—my decision.
"All of us have attained devotion to Krishna due to Raghunandana. Therefore in my mind he is my father."
- Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita - The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya : Madhya 15.116
raghunandana seva kare krsnera mandire
dvare puskarini, tara ghatera upare
kadambera eka vrkse phute bara-mase
nitya dui phula haya krsna-avatamse
raghunandana—Raghunandana; seva kare—serves; krsnera mandire—in the temple of Lord Krishna; dvare—near the door; puskarini—a lake; tara—of it; ghatera upare—on the bank; kadambera—of kadamba flowers; eka vrkse—on one tree; phute—blossom; bara-mase—all year around; nitya—daily; dui phala—two flowers; haya—become; krsna-avatamse—decoration for Lord Krishna.
"Raghunandana is constantly engaged in serving the temple of Lord Krishna. 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 Krishna's service."
- Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita - The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya : Madhya 15.128-12