Bhakti Ratnakara part III
I’m reading the Bhakti Ratnakara, it’s like a travelogue of Mathura. There are a number of books by the Acaryas that describe the holy places; their features and the Lilas that took place there.
Raghava Pandit is taking Srinivasa Acarya and Narottoma Das on parikrama. At every step there is a place where Lord Krishna and his associates lived and played.
Narottama dasa is there but we haven’t heard anything from him or about him on te story so far. Narottama was the son of a king. He was a very intelligent child who could remember everything he heard. From a young age he wanted to run away from home and live in Vrindavan with the devotees but his parents were against it. They arranged for guards to prevent him from running away.
Eventually Narottama escapes from home and makes his way to Vrindavan. He is known for his sweet kirtans and the many songs he wrote.
Yesterday after moving from place to place Raghava Pandit, Srinivasa Acarya and Narottoma Dasa they end up at Raghava Pandit’s cave to stay the night. Here Raghava Pandit can look out and be satisfied wit the view of Govardhana Hill.
The next day they spend more time visiting the kunds and holy places of Govardhana. This is where Krishna bathed his feet, Raghava Pandit woud say. This is where the cloud of dust was raised by the movement of the cows; this where the Gopis tied Radha and Krishna clothes together. The whole day was spent like this, swimming in the ocean of Krishna’s lila.
Raghava Pandit told many stories. Some about Krishna and his associates, some about Lord Caitanya and his disciples. He tells this story about Ragunatha Dasa and the books of Rupa Goswami.
Rupa Goswami was staying in Vrindavan, he had written a book, a drama, called Lalita Madhava. He gave the book to Ragunatha Dasa to read. The book describes intense feelings of love in separation. On reading the book Ragunatha Dasa cried day and night, becoming mad in agitation and distress. Sometimes rushing far away, sometimes falling on the floor clutching the book to his chest. People seeing his various states of ecstasy become worried for him.
Rupa Goswami had to think of a cure so he quickly finished writing another book, Dana Keli Kaumudi. Rupa gave the book to Ragunatha Dasa and asked him to taste its contents and return the Lalita Madhava.
Ragunatha Dasa was reluctant to hand over the book and refused, but he relented when Rupa Goswami said he needed to edit it.
On reading the Dana Keli Kaumudi Ragunatha Dasa fell into an ocean of happiness. There are many stories like this in Bhakti Ratnakara.
That night the three stay up all night on the banks of Radha Kund discussing Krishna Katha. The next day they spend another day on parikrama of Govardhana