Srila Narottama Das Thakur – Appearance – Feb. 19, 2019

Narottama Das Thakura was born on the day of shukla-panchami, in the month of Magha in the town of Gopalpura, Rajsahi district of Bangladesh in the year 1466. His father was king Krishnananda Datta and his mother Narayani devi. The brahmanas prophesied that the boy was a highly perfected soul.

As Narottama’s schooling went on, everyone was astonished at his amazing intelligence.  In a short while he was an expert in several scriptures.  But gradually he saw as useless any knowledge which did not promote hari-bhajan.

Thinking only of how to get the mercy of Sri Gaura-Nityananda, he began to pray very earnestly for guidance from them.  Once when his father was away, Narottama secretly left his mother and began his journey to Vrindavana.  On coming to Vrindavana he started serving Lokanatha Maharaj who soon initiated him as his disciple.  

He used to eat by practicing madhukari, and would study the scriptures under the guidance of Sri Jiva Goswami.  Srinivasa Acharya was his dear friend. At that time Shyamananda Prabhu arrived from Gauda-Desh. He too began studying the scriptures under the guidance of Jiva Goswami.  Jiva Goswami asked them to preach the message of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu far and wide.   

Fifty years after the disappearance of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Narottama organized annual festivals in Bengal, which served to keep the Gaudiya philosophy unified. Narottama Das is best known for his devotional poetry wherein he describes emotionally intense feelings towards Radha and Krishna. His prayers Sri Rupa Manjari Pada and Sri Guru Charana Padma are still sung in Gaudiya Maths and ISKCON temples on a regular basis.

Among the writings of Narottama, Prarthana and Premabhaktichandrika (The Moon rays of Loving Devotion) are the most well-known. Narottama translated Smaranamangala into Bengali verse. In eleven slokas this work describes the pastimes of Radha and Krishna in eight parts of the day.

Srila Narottama Das Thakura, who was absorbed in chanting the holy name in sankirtana, merged into the waters of the Ganges and vanished from worldly view on the fifth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Kartika (Oct.-Nov.) The exact year of this event is unknown but some say that it was around 1572. His disappearance day is celebrated on the Krishna Panchami day of the month of Kartika.