SRILA LOCHAN DAS THAKUR – APPEARANCE DAY

Sri Locana Das Thakur

In the year 1523 in Kograma, in the Katwa block of Burdwan district, in a brahman family, appeared the lone son of Devi Sri Sadanande and Sri Kamalakara Das like a rising sun over the horizon of Gaudiya Sampradaya.

This son was endowed with devotional service unto the lotus feet of the Lord right from his childhood due to being in the constant companionship of Vaishnavs and his devotee parents.

He’s the very child who, upon getting older, blessed the Gaudiya Sampradaya with such a scripture, which till this date is immersing the devotees in the sweet nectar flowing from the rising moon of the ocean of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s childhood pastimes.

His bhajans were often sung by Srila Prabhupada, who used to drown in the transcendental loving ecstasy arising from devotion towards Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet.

This child, i.e., the great Vaishnava Acharya and an eternal associate of Lord Krishna, was none other than Srila Lochan Das Thakur.

HIS CHILDHOOD

Right from childhood, Srila Lochan Das Thakur was engaged in hearing of the Lord’s dulcet pastimes from the Vaisnavas residing in the district of Srikhand.

He was blessed with the association of one of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s renowned associates, Srila Narahari Thakura, who gave him initiation. From there, detachment from the material world arose in his heart, along with the strong attraction for the chanting of the holy names.

Most of his childhood was spent in his maternal grandfather’s house, completing his studies. According to tradition prevailing, he was married off at a young age, but the rule was that until the bride became of age, she would reside at her parents’ house only.

Even after becoming a householder, his heart was that of a renunciate. In his heart, there was unflinching faith and surrendering, flowing swiftly towards the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Neither did he possess any delight towards the material world, nor was he allured by the householder life.

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HOUSEHOLD LIFE

He hadn’t yet approached his in-laws to take away his wife despite the coming of youth. Hence, apprehensive about his daughter’s future, his father-in-law approached Lochan Thakura’s guru, Narahari Thakura.

There he relented his worries to Srila Narahari Thakura as follows, “Oh Prabhu, as you know my daughter tied the knot to your disciple in her very childhood. Now both are of age, still, Lochan Das hasn’t yet come to get her. Looking at the state of his determination towards his devotional practices and aversion to the material world, I’m deeply worried.”

Hearing this, Srila Narahari Thakura soothed the worried father’s restless mind and ordered Lochan Das Thakur to get his wife from her parent’s house.

Even though Lochan Das Thakur had no interest nor attraction for the temporary relations of this world, upon receiving his guru’s order, he proceeded towards his in-law’s village.

Because he was returning after such a long time, he couldn’t recollect where his father-in-law’s house was.

So upon entering the village, he approached the first woman he saw, addressing her as Ma or mother. He asked for directions to the house.

Upon proceeding to his father-in-law’s house, when he got to know that the very woman, he thought to himself: How could he maintain marital affairs with the woman whom he had respected as his mother?

He ascertained that he would look at her as a mother for the rest of his life.

ALLEGIANCE TO FOLLOW GURU ORDER

Keeping the order of his guru upon his head, Srila Lochan Das Thakur penned down the childhood pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in his book known as Chaitanya Mangala.

The word Mangala denotes auspicious, and this very title exhibited that the hearing of Shri Chaitanya’s beguiling pastimes is the most beneficial activity for humanity.

In his book, Chaitanya Mangala he glorifies his guru, Srila Narahari Thakura 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.

I offer my reverences to Narahari Das, the ocean of Gauranga’s qualities. Other than him, I have no friends in the three worlds.

 My Lord and master are Narahari Das. I prostrate myself in humility to him. May he fulfill my desires?

In the older times, to glorify the Supreme Lord, the poets of Bengal used to make use of different styles. One such style was Panchali, which was especially used to describe the name, form, and pastimes of the Lord.

Srila lochan Das Thakur used this very style and, in simple Bengali, described the astounding and remarkable pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He was one first to use more meters to write Bengali poetry.

Sri Locana Das Thakur

Are the fact written authentic?

 How did he get these pastimes?

He answered this question himself in his book.

A Vaishnava residing in the district of Nadia by the name of Murari Gupta had written a book in Sanskrit, wherein he had described the childhood pastimes of Lord Chaitanya in detail. Later, Lochan Das heard these verses from Damodara Pandit and memorized them.

By the mercy of the Vaishnavas, he penned down the transcendental nectar in the form of Chaitanya Mangala.

Chaitanya Mangala is divided into four khandas or parts, namely: Sutra-Khand, Adi-Khand, Madhya- Khand, and Sesh-Khand.

Sutra Khand compromises two chapters, Adi with 7, Madhya with 12, and Sesh with 3.

The Chaitanya Mangala even comprises pastimes that cannot be found in any other book, such as Mahaprabhu’s conversations with his wife, Vishnupriye Devi.

These beautiful pastimes have been presented by Srila Lochan Das Thakur in such an unparalleled manner, painting them with love and devotion, that whoever hears this nectar, his heart drowns in the tides of ocean arising from the full moon of Gaura Lila and in the devotional service towards the Supreme Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

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OTHER WORKS: OR CONTRIBUTIONS

Other books written by Lochana Dasa encompass Prarthana, Durlabha-Sara, Dhamale, and Bengali verse translations of Ramananda’s Jagannath-vallabha-nataka and the Rasa-pancadhyaya.

Srila Lochan Das Thakur has expressed his devotion towards Sri Nityananda Prabhu in his songs such as Parama karuna pahu DUI Jana, Akrodha paramananda Nityananda Ray, and Nitai gunamani Amara, portraying the unparalleled merciful nature of Nityananda Prabhu, and showering his mercy towards his followers by advising them to take to the devotional service of such benevolent incarnations.

Look, O brother! no benefactor in the three worlds is as merciful as they. (Parama Karuna)

Whoever lacks faith in such a compassionate incarnation is a sinner who will go as he has come, says Locana Das. (Akrodha Paramananda Nityananda Ray )

Lochana Das says that anyone who has not worshiped my Nitai has committed suicide in full knowledge. (Nitai gunamani Amara)

So on this auspicious appearance day of the great Vaishnava, Srila Lochan Das Thakur, we appeal unto his lotus feet, that by his mercy we may be able to attain attachment towards the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, by whose compassion we would be able to attain pure loving devotional service towards Sri Radha Shyamasundar. 

Sri Locana Das Thakur Ki Jai