Narottama Dasa Thakura was a leading acharya in the Gaudiya Vaisnava line. He was the only disciple of Srila Lokanatha Gosvami. Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura helped bring the books of the Goswami’s from Vrndavana to Bengal and Orissa.
Appearing as the son of a king, Shri Narottama Dasa Thakura (Shri Thakura Mahasaya) showed all the bodily symptoms of a mahapurusha (an exalted divine person). He had long arms, a deep navel, golden-complexioh, beautiful eyes shaped like the lotus petals. In school, he was a sruti dhara (able to memorize whatever he hears) Although he quickly mastered Sanskrit and the Vedas, he hankered to serve Krishna. He was a lifelong brahmachari. By the mercy of the Holy Name Gaura-Nitai, Narottama became detached, left his opulent family, and ran to Vrindavana. He took diksha from Shri Lokanatha Goswami and siksha in Gaudiya philosophy from Shri Jiva Goswami.
When he arrived in Navadwipa-dhama all the Devotees asked him about the health and activities of the Goswamis in Vrindavana. They were eager to hear the news from Vrindavana. After visiting all of Gauranga’s pastime places in Gaura Mandala, Narottama Dasa did the same in Shri Kshetra Dhama (Jagannatha Puri). Then he went to see the Devotees and Shri Chaitanya’s pastime spots in Shantipura, Shri Khanda, Kanthak Nagar, Ekachakra, and Kheturi Gram.
In Kheturi, Shri Narottama Dasa Thakura arranged the famous Kheturi Mahotsava. This was the first “Gaura-Purnima” festival to honor the divine appearance day of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. During the festival six Deities were installed: Shri Gauranga Deva, Shri Vallabhi Kanta, Shri Vraja Mohana, Shri Krishna, Shri Radha Kanta, Shri Radha Ramana.
With his sweet voice Narottama Dasa began a wonderful kirtana. His chanting filled the heavens and brought down tears of prema from the eyes of the Devotees, who were all sporting in the ocean of ecstasy. “In the midst of their kirtana, the munificent Shri Chaitanya Himself and all His personal associates appeared and joined in the sankirtana. Like a flash of lightning in the midst of a mass of beautiful blue clouds, Shri Chaitanya Himself appeared in the crowd of Devotees through a divine manifestation.” (Bhakti-ratnakar)
“At that time, although Mahaprabhu had, left this world years before, many different devotees saw Mahaprabhu in different ways. Those of Sri Navadvipa dhama saw Him more intimately as Nimaicandra or Visvambhara, as they knew Him during His youth. Those devotees were attracted to Mahaprabhu in sakhya and vatsalya rasa. The followers of the six Gosvamis, who only knew Mahaprabhu as a sannyasi, related to Him in the mood of dasya rasa. And hundreds of devotees also worshiped Lord Caitanya in an aisvarya mood of awe and reverence.
Srila Narottama Dasa Thakur sang numerous songs. One which is most famous in Sri Mayapur Dham is Sri Krishna Caitanya Prabhu Doya Koro More.
The devotees of Mayapur community happens to sing this song everyday during Darshan Arati of Sri Pancha Tattva.
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu doyā koro more
tomā binā ke doyālu jagat-saḿsāre
patita-pāvana-hetu tava avatāra
mo sama patita prabhu nā pāibe āra
hā hā prabhu nityānanda, premānanda sukhī
kṛpābalokana koro āmi boro duḥkhī
doyā koro sītā-pati adwaita gosāi
tava kṛpā-bale pāi caitanya-nitāi
gaura premamaya tanu paṇḍita gadādhara
srīnivāsa haridāsa doyāra sāgara
hā hā swarūp, sanātana, rūpa, raghunātha
bhaṭṭa-juga, śrī-jīva hā prabhu lokanātha
doyā koro śrī-ācārya prabhu śrīnivāsa
rāmacandra-sańga māge narottama-dāsa
1) My dear Lord Caitanya, please be merciful to me, because who can be more merciful than Your Lordship within these three worlds?
2) Your incarnation is just to reclaim the conditioned, fallen souls, but I assure You that You will not find a greater fallen soul than me. Therefore, my claim is first.
3) My dear Lord Nityananda, You are always joyful in spiritual bliss. Since You always appear very happy, I have come to You because I am most unhappy. If You kindly put Your glance over me, then I may also become happy.
4) My dear Advaita Prabhu, husband of Sita, You are so kind. Please be merciful to me. If You are kind to me, naturally Lord Caitanya and Nityananda will also be kind to me.
5) Gaura’s love embodiment is shown by Gadadhara Pandita. Srinivasa Pandita and Haridasa Thakura are the ocean of mercy.
6) O Svarupa Damodara, personal secretary of Lord Caitanya, O six Gosvamis O Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami! O Lokanatha Gosvami, my beloved spiritual master! Narottama dasa also prays for your mercy.
7) O Srinivasa Acarya, successor to the six Gosvamis! Please be merciful to me. Narottama dasa always desires the company of Ramacandra Cakravarti.