Sri-Abhirama-Dasa-Thakura

Sri Ramadasa, later known as Abhirama Thakura, was one of the twelve gopalas, or cowherd boyfriends of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. The Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika (126) states that Sri Ramadasa was formerly Sridama. In the Bhakti-ratnakara (Fourth Wave), there is a description of Srila Abhirama Thakura. By the order of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Abhirama Thakura became a great acharya and preacher of the Chaitanya cult of devotional service. He was a very influential personality, and nondevotees were very much afraid of him. Empowered by Sri Nityananda Prabhu, he was always in ecstasy and was extremely kind to all fallen souls. It is said that if he offered obeisances to any stone other than a salagrama-sila, it would immediately fracture.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura writes in his Anubhashya, "In Hugli district (West Bengal) is a small town named Khanakula-krishnanagara, where the temple in which Abhirama Thakura worshiped is situated. Outside of the temple is a Bakula tree. This place is known as Siddha-bakula-kunja. It is said that when Abhirama Thakura came there, he sat down under this tree. The Deity in the temple is known as Gopinatha. There are many sevaita families living near the temple. It is said that Abhirama Thakura had a whip and that whomever he touched with it would immediately become an elevated devotee of Krishna. Among his many disciples, Sriman Srinivasa Acharya was the most famous."

Abhirama Thakura’s wife’s name was Sri Malini-devi. His worshipable Deity, Sri Gopinathji Who, after first appearing to him in a dream, manifested Himself at Khanakula-krishnanagara. The legend is that He appeared in a dream to Abhirama Thakura and said, “I am within the earth here. Please take Me out and worship Me.” Abhirama dasa excavated in that place and found the all-enchanting form of Sri Gopinathji. That place where the deity was found became known as Ram Kund.

“In the place where Sri Gopinathji advented Himself a lake was formed, and the water contained therein was as sweet as nectar. Thereafter, this land has become famous as Ram Kund. Having heard of these divine pastimes of Sri Gopinathji, an incessant flow of people descended on that place like the waters of the Ganges River.”

– Bhakti-Ratnakar Taranga 4

One day while in a state of rapture in remembrance of Sri Krishna, Abhirama Thakura, in the mood of a cowherd boy, desired to play the flute. In the madness of ecstatic love he began to search in all directions for one. Then he saw before him a large trunk of a tree which not even sixteen men could lift. Out of this he fashioned a flute and began to play it. “Rama dasa, one of the chief branches, was full of fraternal love of Godhead. He made a flute from a stick with sixteen knots.”

– Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi 11.16

Once on the way to Vrindavana, Srinivasa Acharya stopped at Abhirama Thakura's house in Khanakul Krishnanagar to deliver a letter from Jahnava Devi. Abhirama greeted him with three loving lashes from an extraordinary whip, but this unusual greeting was a benediction. The whip, known as Jai Mangala, would bestow love of God on anyone it touched. Sri Abhirama and his wife, Malini, showed deep affection for Srinivasa. Not only did they bless him with their famous whip, but they gave him valuable instructions and reiterated the importance of going to Vrindavana as soon as possible.

When Sri Gaurasundara ordered Nityananda prabhu to preach in Gauda-desha (Bengal), he sent with him Sri Rama dasa, Sri Gadadhara dasa and others. The atheists trembled in fear at the sight of Abhirama Thakura. He was a learned scholar of the scriptures. His disappearance is on the seventh day of the dark fortnight of the month of Chaitra.