Parishad: Sri Locana das Thakur

January 11, 2007 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Jan 11,  KUALA LUMPUR (THU) — Disappearance Day of Sri Locana das Thakur

Lochan Das Thakur was born in 1523 in Kogram, in the Katwa block of Burdwan district. This village is about ten miles north of Guskara train station. The Thakur’s home is situated near the Ajaya River.

His birth tithi is given by some as the first day of the fortnight of the waxing moon in Paush. He was born in the Rarha clan of the physician caste (vaidya). His father’s name was Kamalakar Das, his mother’s Sadanandi. Lochan Das studied at his maternal grandfather’s house. He displayed devotion for Mahaprabhu from his childhood.

Lochan Das was married at a very early age, according to the customs of that époque. Since he had been married so young, his wife first remained with her parents in the village of Amedpur Kakuta. As he grew older, Lochan showed a highly renounced attitude to life and spent all his time discussing Krishna katha with other devotees of Gauranga. As the time approached when his wife was to join him, her family began to worry because of Lochan Das’s indifference to material life. They approached his guru Narahari Sarkar and told him of their disquiet. As a result, Narahari ordered Lochan Das to go to his in-laws’ home.

When Lochan arrived in Amedpur, he was unable to remember where their house was, since it had been so long since he had visited. He asked a young girl in the street for directions, addressing her as “ma”, or “mother”. When he arrived at his in-laws’ house, he found out that the girl whom he had addressed as “mother” was in fact his wife. From that day on, he always looked upon his wife as a mother, worshiping Guru and Gauranga in an attitude of renunciation.

The Caitanya-Mangala

Narahari Sarkar Thakur, Mahaprabhu’s famous associate from Srikhanda, was very affectionate to Lochan Das and gave him initiation. Lochan Das enthusiastically took up residence with his guru in Srikhanda. His guru taught him the art of kirtan and later ordered him to write Mahaprabhu’s holy biography. Lochan Das took this order seriously and wrote the Caitanya-mangala, the events of which are based on Murari Gupta’s Caitanya-carita.

The word mangala means auspicious and this title reflects the fact that hearing Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya’s divine pastimes is the most auspicious activity for all the living beings. Vrindavan Das Thakur’s biography of the Lord was first named Caitanya-mangala and was only later known as Chaitanya Bhagavata. Lochan Das gives an indication of this in the introductory portion of his book.

I attentively pay my obeisances to Vrindavan Das Thakur; his Bhagavata’s songs have enchanted the entire universe.
(Sutra-khanda, 1.35)

Some people believe that Lochan Das and Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami gave the name Chaitanya Bhagavata to Vrindavan Das’s book. In the Caitanya-mangala, Lochan Das prays for his guru’s blessings as follows:

Narahari Das Thakur is the proprietor of my life, and out of the hope of attaining his lotus feet, I desire to sing the glories of Gauranga, even though I am the lowest of the low. This is my ambition.
(Ibid., 1.9)

I offer my reverences to Narahari Das, the ocean of Gauranga’s qualities. Other than him, I have no friend in the three world.
(Ibid., 1.33)

My lord and master is Narahari Das. I prostrate myself in humility to him. May he fulfill my desires.
(Ibid., 1.61)

Lochan Das wrote the Caitanya-mangala in Eastern Bengal’s pancali style, completing it in 1537 AD. There is a legend that he wrote the book while sitting on a stone under a flower tree. In his new Bengali dictionary, Ashutosh Deb has underlined Lochan Das’s contribution by stating that he was the first to write Bengali poetry using moric metres as well as being one of Bengal’s earliest historical writers. The original manuscript of the Caitanya-mangalais purported to be in the personal library of Pran Krishna Chakravarti of Kandra near the Buskara train station.

Other titles attributed to Lochan Das are Prarthana, Durlabha-sara, Dhamali, and Bengali verse translations of Ramananda’s Jagannatha-vallabha-nataka and the Rasa-pancadhyaya.

According to Bhakti-ratnakara, Lochan Das was present at Narahari Sarkar Thakur’s disappearance festival and greeted guests by giving them sandalwood and garlands.

Lochan Das ended his pastimes in this world in 1589 AD. A brick samadhi at his Sripat marks the place where his remains are buried.

Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj

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