T oday is the 1000th appearance anniversary  of Sripad Ramanujacarya, the acharya of Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya. Sripad Ramanujacarya has also visited Navadvipa dhama & performed his bhajan at Vaikuntapur.

Navadvipa dham Mahatmya narrates Ramanujacarya’s arrival to Navadvipa as follows:

A great acarya once came to Puri and pleased the Lord with his verses. Jagannatha appeared before him and said, “go and see Navadvipa Dhama, for soon I shall appear there in the house of Jagannatha Misra. Navadvipa is My very dear Dhama, situated in one place in the spiritual sky. As My eternal servant and a leading devotee, you should see Navadvipa. Let your students, who are absorbed in dasya rasa, stay here, and you go alone. Any living being who does not see Navadvipa has been born uselessly. Just one portion of Navadvipa contains Ranga, Venkata, and Yadava Acala. Therefore go to Navadvipa and see the form of Gauranga. You have come to the earth to preach bhakti, so let that birth be successful with the mercy of Gaura. From Navadvipa, go to Kurma Sthana, and there join again with your disciples.”

Joining his hands, Ramanuja made a request to Jagannatha. “You have mercifully mentioned Gauranga, but exactly who He is I do not know.” The Lord answered, “Everyone knows the master of Goloka, Krishna,. That Krishna, whose vilasa murti is Narayana, is the supreme truth, residing in Vrndavana. That Krishna is fully manifested in the form of Gauranga, and Navadvipa Dhama is the same as Vrndavana. This Navadvipa is the topmost abode, situated beyond the material universe, and in that place Gauranga stays eternally. By My mercy that Dhama has come to exist within Bhu Mandala, yet remaining unaffected by maya. This is the verdict of scripture. And if you think that Navadvipa  is only a material location, then your devotion will perish. By My will, My inconceivable energy preserves this full transcendental dhama within the material world. Simply by reading scriptures one will not get the highest truth, for the highest truth surpasses all reasoning power. Only the devotees, by My mercy, can understand.” Hearing the, Ramanuja was moved with prema. “Lord, you lila is truly astounding. The scriptures cannot know your opulence. Why is not Gauranga lila described clearly in the scriptures? When I closely examine the sruti and puranas, I find some hint of the Gauranga Tattva only. Now, however, I am ready to serve your order for all doubts are gone. If it is your desire, I will go to Navadvipa and preach Gaura lila throughout the three worlds, giving evidence from the hidden scriptures to all the people, converting all to devotional service to Gauranga. Please instruct me.” Jagannatha said, “Ramanuja, do not broadcast lie this. Keep the esoteric Gaura lila secret. Only after He has finished His lila will the general public receive it. Preach for Me on the level of dasya rasa, while in your heart worship Gauranga constantly.”

Taking the advice of the Lord, Ramanuja secretly cultured his attraction for Navadvipa. Narayana, being merciful, led Ramanuja to Vaikuntha Pur, and there showed him his transcendental form served by Sri, Bhu and Nila. Ramanuja thought himself fortunate to obtain this darshan, but instantly the figure changed to that of Gaurasundara, the son of Jagannatha Misra, Ramanuja swooned at the brilliance of the form. Gauranga put His lotus feet on his head. Ramanuja, divinely inspired, recited prayers of praise. “I must see Gaura’s actual lila on earth. I can never leave Navadvipa!” Gauranga said, “Your wish will be fulfilled, son of Kesava. When the Nadiya lila  will be revealed in the future, you will take birth here again.” Gauranga disappeared. Ramanuja, contented, resumed his journey. After some days he arrived at Kurma Sthana and with his disciples saw the place. During his life he preached dasya rasa throughout the south of India, while internally he was absorbed in Gaura lila.. By Gauranga’s mercy, he was later born in Navadvipa as the devotee Ananta.

Sripad Ramanujacarya ki jai!

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