Today (29 April) is the appearance day of Srimati Sitadevi, the consort of Lord Ramachandra and Srimati Jahnava devi, the eternal consort of Lord Nityananda.
Srimati Sita devi:
“Srimati Sitadevi is the mother of the three worlds and the wife of Lord Ramacandra. Among chaste women she is supreme, and she is the daughter of King Janaka.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 9.201)
“Sitadevi, the dear most wife of the Supreme Lord Ramacandra, certainly has a spiritual form full of bliss. No one can see her with material eyes, for no materialist has such power. To say nothing of touching mother Sita, a person with material senses cannot even see her. When Ravana kidnapped her, he kidnapped only her material, illusory form. As soon as Ravana arrived before Sita, she disappeared. Then just to cheat Ravana she sent an illusory, material form. Spiritual substance is never within the jurisdiction of the material conception. This is always the verdict of the Vedas and Puranas.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 9.191-194)
It is impossible for a materialistic person like Ravana to touch Srimati Sita devi, just as it is impossible for anyone within the material world to enjoy the energy of the Lord no matter how they try to exploit it for their own pleasure. What Ravana touched was illusory, just as the enjoyment of those in the material world is only an illusion that leads to suffering. Devotees of the Lord, however, honor, respect, and worship Srimati Sitadevi, knowing her glorious position and praying for her mercy.
Srimati Jahnava Devi:
After presiding over the festival of Kheturi, Ma Jahnava decided to go to Brindavan. One day, when she was bathing in the Jamuna, a small black hand, grabbed the end of her cloth as she was getting out of the water. When she looked, however, there was no one there. Then Gopinath told her, “I want to come and stay with you. When you’re taking bath in the Ganga one day I’ll come and join you.”
After passing some days in great happiness in Sri Brindaban Dham, Sri Jahnava Mata set out on the path back to Gaurdesh. First, she came to Kheturi, and then to Bhudari gram where she arranged the marriage of Bor Ganga das with Sri Hemalata, the daughter of Sri Shyamdas Cakravarti (brother of Bansi das). After the marriage, Sri Iswari entrusted the worship of Shyamsunderji to Borgangadas. Then she came to Ekcakra, the birthplace of her worshippable Lord. From there she passed through Kantak Nagar, Jajigram, Navadwip, Ambika kalna, Saptagram, before finally arriving back at Khardaha.
As she was bathing in the Ganges one day, something touched her body in the water. Then she lifted that object out of the water and beheld the enchanting form of Sri Gopinathji, while tears of love streamed from her eyes. This Deity is at present being worshipped by the descendant of Ganga devi, the daughter of Nityananda Prabhu, at Jirat, Hugli. There is a rail station at Jirat between Bandel and Kalna stations. From the Jirat station, one should proceed by rickshaw to “Gopinath Tala”.
“Having fallen into the ocean of material existence I am completely distraught and filled with anxiety. Floating in this ocean, without any refuge, I am trying to find a shore; but without any success, I am losing all hope of ever finding it. What activity will bring me there? or what knowledge will bring me there? Conducting some fruitive sacrifices, engaging in some mystic yoga process or conducting austerities – none of these have any power or effect. I am getting very weak, and I cannot swim much longer. Now in this extremely dangerous situation, will no one come to save me? Alas! To make matters worse, having caught sight of the crocodile of worldly affairs, I am petrified with fear and the current of lust is always churning the water. I can barely keep my head above the water, the winds carrying the results of activities performed in previous lives, is blowing, and making the water so choppy. I am losing my mind and now I am simply crying frantically. I can’t see anyone who can get me out of this ocean of woes. O my dear Sri Jahnava devi, please have compassion on your servant and bless me with some of your divine qualities. Please extend me the rope of your mercy and alleviate this intense pain that I am experiencing.
“I have taken shelter of the boat of your lotus feet, and I have full faith that you can carry me across this ocean.
You are the divine energy of Lord Nityananda and the bestower of Krsna bhakti. Please bless me at your feet, which can bestow all one’s desires. You have already delivered so many despicable creatures, now today here is one more destitute and hateful wretch, come to your lotus feet.” [Kalyan Kalpataru].