Sri Chaitanya: His life and associates.
by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja
“By the tremendous influence of Rasikananda’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 Krsna and the Vaisnavas. 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 Rasikananda 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 Sri Rasikananda’s mercy many Mohammedans, who were actually just impious and wicked atheists, became worshippers 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 Srikar also surrendered themselves at his lotus feet.
A vicious, wild elephant was tamed by Rasikananda’s transcendental influence and henceforward was known as Gopala das. Later, two jungle tigers likewise gave up their ferocious nature.
Accepting the order of his guru, Sri Syamananda, on his head, Rasikananda preached the message of Sri Gaursundara 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, Sakabda 1574 (Christian year 1652), Rasikananda quietly slipped out of the village Santa without anyone’s notice and walked to Remuna. Arriving there, he discussed Krsna-katha with the devotees there for a while and instructed everyone to serve Sri Krsna with devotion. Then, after requesting them to begin sankirtana, he entered the temple of Sri Gopinatha, and after touching Ksira-cora Gopinath’s lotus feet, which bestow complete fearlessness, he entered into their ultimate shelter.
Sri Rasikananda had three sons: Sri Radhananda, Sri Krsna-Govinda and Sri Radha-Krsna. The present servants of Sri Sri Radha-Govindadeva at Gopiballabhapur are their descendents. He composed Sri Syamananda-sataka, Srimad-Bhagavatastaka as well as other hymns and songs.
His Sripat Gopiballabhpur can be reached from Calcutta by taking a train to Khavagpur, and a bus to Gopiballabhpur from there. There is also a temple of Rasikananda at Puri. One year, during Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha-yatra festival, Rasikananda 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 Nilacala in time for the festival. But in the meantime the festival had already begun. Lord Jagannath, Who felt reciprocal separation from His dear devotee Rasikananda, caused the Ratha 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 Rasikananda Deva arrived, carrying with him many offerings of silk clothes and other presents. He fell down to offer his dandavats 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 Rasikananda to accept a gift of land so he might establish a temple there. Rasikananda requested the place known as Fultota Math, which is now known as Kunja Math. There he installed the Deity of Sri Bat Krsna. The Deity is now known as Sri Sri Radha-Rasika Raya.