I worship Sri Lokanatha Prabhu, the son of Sri Padmanabha, who possessed great wealth of devotion to Sri Sri Radha-vinoda, and always engaged in Their service.
Srila Loknatha Gosvami was born in the village of Talkhari, within the district of Jessore, Bangladesh, as the son of Sri Padmanabha Bhattacarya and his wife, Sri Sita devi. Talkhari can be reached from Sonakhali and Khejura.
Sri Padmanabha Bhattacarya was a devoted follower of Sri Adwaita Acarya, who was very fond of Sri Padmanabha. The younger brother of Lokanatha was Pragalbha Bhattacarya. His descendants are still residing at Talkhari.
From his childhood Lokanath was disinterested in worldly affairs. He decided to leave his home and came to Navadwip to have darshan of Mahaprabhu. Sri Gaursundara very lovingly embraced Lokanath and instructed him to go to Vrindavana as soon as possible. Lokanath could understand that Mahaprabhu would renounce His family life within a few days and he was aggrieved at this. Mahaprabhu consoled him and told him that they would meet again in Vrindavana.
“With tears flowing from his eyes Lokanath offered his obeisances to Mahaprabhu. The all-omniscient Lord lovingly embraced him and after explaining some hidden truths to him, He instructed him to go to Vrindavana. Thus Lokanatha, after surrendering his self at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu, set out for Vrindavana. [B. R. 1st Taranga]
Lokanatha never returned home. Being afflicted greatly by separation from the Lord, he set out to tour the holy places, and then finally came to Vrindavana.
Meanwhile Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa and then came to Nilacala. After some time, when Mahaprabhu set out on His tour of South India, Lokanatha, having received this news also journeyed to the south. Then Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavana; Lokanatha followed Him there. But by the time he reached Vrajabhumi, Mahaprabhu had already left for Prayaga. Lokanatha was extremely sad. Again having missed darshan of his Prabhu, He decided to leave the next morning for Prayaga.
In a dream however, Prabhu came to console Lokanatha and requested him to stay at Vrindavana. Thus Lokanatha remained at Vrajadhama, not wanting to neglect the order of Mahaprabhu. He stayed alone, his presence unknown to anyone. But after some days he met the dear disciples of Mahaprabhu – Sri Rupa, Sri Sanatana, Sri Gopal Bhatta, Sri Bhugarbha, and others. They were all very affectionate to one another and it was as though they were of one mind.
Amongst the Goswamis, Lokanatha was the eldest. He was always intensely absorbed in loving ecstatic mellows. In Hari bhakti vilasa we find this verse: “I worship Srimate Kasisvara, Srimate Lokanath and Srimad Krsna das Kaviraj, who have taken shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Govinda and who are very dear to Sri Vrindavana.”
Lokanatha Goswami used to visit the many places of Krsna’s pastimes within Vrajadhama and in this way he was always absorbed in intense ecstasy. Lokanath came to the banks of Kisori-kunda within the village of Umrao, by the side of Chatrabon, and remained there for a few days. Lokanatha wanted very much to be able to worship the Deity form of the Lord, and Sri Krsna, who is within the heart of everyone, thus presented a Deity form of Himself to Lokanatha to worship. This Deity’s name is Radha-Vinoda. Having received this Deity, Lokanath looked up to see who had brought Him, but seeing no one present he began to reflect on the mystery of His appearance.
Seeing Lokanatha deep in thought, Radha-Vinoda laughed, “Who would have brought Me here! I have come Myself! I live here on the banks of Kisori kunda and this is My village – Umrao. Now please give me some thing to eat.”
Lokanatha was beside himself with bliss and being immersed in that ecstasy, he prepared some foodstuffs and offered them to Radha-Vinoda. Then he made a bed of flowers and made the Deity lie down to take rest. He fanned the Deity with some leaves and meditated on massaging the lotus feet of his Lord. Having surrendered his body, mind and very life itself, he was totally absorbed as though drinking a flow of honey-like nectar.
Lokanatha Goswami had no permanent abode. Some Vrajavasi villagers wanted to build a little hut for him but he wouldn’t agree. He made a bag for Radha-Vinoda which he kept around his neck. Radha-Vinoda was as though a rare gem suspended on a necklace round the neck of Lokanatha. His activities represented the crest jewel of asceticism and the other Goswamis managed to keep him in their company only by great endeavour.
It is very difficult to describe the character of Lokanatha Goswami, who was so dear to Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu and some of the other Goswamis began their pastimes of disappearance, Lokanatha maintained his life only due to the desire of Mahaprabhu. Sri Lokanatha Goswami initiated Narottama dasa Thakur Mahasaya in the divine mantra. There is no mention anywhere of any other disciple of his. It is not possible to describe the care with which Narottama Thakura served his guru. In the early morning he would clean the place where his guru passed stool and urine.
Lokanatha Goswami, having become quite advanced in years, entered into his eternal pastimes, while residing at Khadir bon (Khoyra gram). There is a large lake there called Sri Yugal kunda on the banks of which his samadhi has been established. His worshipable Deities Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda are at present being worshiped in Jaipur, Rajasthan. His puspa samadhi is within the courtyard of Sri Gokulananda Mandira.
It is said that Srila Krsna das Kaviraja Goswami approached Lokanatha Goswami for his blessings and any information that he might be able to supply in order that he might satisfactorily compose Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. At that time, Lokanatha forbade Kaviraj Goswami to mention his name or describe anything about him. In order to honor the request of this great Vaisnava, he therefore didn’t write anything about him. His disappearance is on the eighth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Sravan.
Sri Narottama dasa Thakur Mahasaya has prayed at the lotus feet of his guru as follows: “Oh My Lord, Lokanatha! Please keep me at your feet, and if it pleases you, please let your glance of mercy fall upon me. I have a great longing that my mind’s desires might be fulfilled. Wherever one gets the association of Lord Caitanya, there also he gets the association of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. If you are not merciful to me, then who will be? This time, please fulfill my mind’s desires. In the three worlds I have no one other than you. Please keep me near your lotus feet, where I might hear, day and night, your songs describing the lila of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Without you, the desire of Narottama cannot be fulfilled.”
Note: Special thanks to Jaya Tirtha Caran prabhu from NZ for allowing us to use some of the content from his site to compile these pages.