He who was previously known as Sridama is today Abhiram Thakur. He picked up a piece of wood that took 32 men to lift. (Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika 126)
Abhiram Thakur lived with his wife Malini in the village of Khanakul Krishnagar in the Hooghly district. Khana refers to the Dvarakeshwar River, kula means banks; thus, the village of Krishnagar on the banks of the Dvarakeshwar River is also known as Khanakula Krishnagar. At the doors of his temple stands a large bakula tree known as the Siddha Bakula, and the place is popularly called Siddha Bakula Kunj. This is the place where Abhiram Thakur first sat down when he arrived in the village. The Gopinath deity was found when the digging for an artificial pond first began. This pond goes by the name of Sri Abhiram Kund. The temple also houses the deities of Vrajavallaba, Gopal and a Shalagram Shila.
Sri Abhiram Thakur was a vigorous and powerful acharya. He engaged in preaching on the orders of Lord Nityananda and saved many atheists and people opposed to the Vaishnava religion.
Abhiram Goswami possessed a fiery temper and great spiritual power. The atheists trembled whenever they saw him. He was intoxicated, as if he had been possessed by Nityananda, and his enchanting mercies are famed throughout the world.
The devotees were greatly astonished when they saw him perform such superhuman feats. According to one legend, whenever Abhiram Thakur paid his obeisances to a stone or statue, if it was not a Vishnu Shila or a consecrated deity, it would crack or be reduced to powder. Non-devotees were also unable to tolerate his pranamas. Nityananda’s son Virachandra Goswami and his daughter Ganga Devi survived his obeisances, and this confirmed their divine status. These things are written in the astakas (eight-verse Sanskrit hymns) composed by Abhiram Thakur in their name.
Srila Abhiram Thakur possessed an amazing whip that he named Jaya-mangala. Anyone touched by this whip would immediately experience the transcendental ecstasies of prema. One day Srinivas Acharya visited Abhiram Thakur who gave him three lashes with that whip. Abhiram’s wife Malini stopped her husband from hitting him again, saying that Srinivas was just a young lad who wouldn’t be able to tolerate the effects of divine love. Nevertheless, Srinivas Acharya was very dear to Abhiram and received many blessings from him. Though not his initiated disciple, he was like a disciple to him. The Jaya-mangala whip is still held in the Krishnagar temple.
In the Bhakti-ratnakara, the following statement is also made:
O Srinivas! How much more can I say? Abhiram descended into this world in order to deliver it. Taking birth in a Brahmin family, he became a scholar in all the scriptures and an unequalled musician, not only in song and playing musical instruments, but in dance also. He married at Nityananda Balarama’s request. His wife Malini is also indescribably powerful. (Bhakti-ratnakara 4.105-8)
Many people say that the Bali Math in Puri was also established by Abhiram Thakur. An annual festival is held in Khanakula Krishnagar on his disappearance day, the Chaitra Krsna saptami. Our parama-guru, Jagad-guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur visited this site when travelling on the parikrama of Sri Gaura Mandala. At that time, the devotees in charge of the temple greeted him with great hospitality and honoured him and his followers with special treatment.