I worship Sri Lokanatha Prabhu, the son of Sri Padmanabha, who possessedÂ 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 theÂ district of Jessore, Bangladesh, as the son of Sri Padmanabha Bhattacarya and his wife, Sri Sita devi. Talkhari can be reached from Sonakhali andÂ Khejura.
Sri Padmanabha Bhattacarya was a devoted follower of Sri Adwaita Acarya,Â who was very fond of Sri Padmanabha. The younger brother of Lokanatha wasÂ Pragalbha Bhattacarya. His descendants are still residing at Talkhari.
From his childhood Lokanath was disinterested in worldly affairs. HeÂ decided to leave his home and came to Navadwip to have darshan ofÂ Mahaprabhu. Sri Gaursundara very lovingly embraced Lokanath and instructedÂ him to go to Vrindavana as soon as possible. Lokanath could understand thatÂ Mahaprabhu would renounce His family life within a few days and he wasÂ aggrieved at this. Mahaprabhu consoled him and told him Â that they wouldÂ meet again in Vrindavana.
“With tears flowing from his eyes Lokanath offered his obeisances toÂ Mahaprabhu. The all-omniscient Lord lovingly embraced him and afterÂ explaining some hidden truths to him, He instructed him to go toÂ Vrindavana. Thus Lokanatha, after surrendering his self at the lotus feetÂ of Mahaprabhu, set out for Vrindavana. [B. R. 1st Taranga]
Lokanatha never returned home. Being afflicted greatly by separation fromÂ the Lord, he set out to tour the holy places, and then finally came toÂ Vrindavana.
Meanwhile Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa and then came toÂ Nilacala. After some time, when Mahaprabhu set out on His tour of South India, Lokanatha, having received this news also journeyed to the south.Â Then Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavana; Lokanatha followed Him there. But byÂ the time he reached Vraja?bhumi, Mahaprabhu had already left for Prayaga.Â Lokanatha was extremely sad. Again having missed darshan of his Prabhu, HeÂ decided to leave the next morning for Prayaga.
In a dream however, Prabhu came to console Lokanatha and requested him toÂ stay at Vrindavana. Thus Lokanatha remained at Vrajadhama, not Â wanting toÂ neglect the order of Mahaprabhu. He stayed alone, his presence unknown toÂ anyone. But after some days he met the dear disciples of Â Mahaprabhu – SriÂ Rupa, Sri Sanatana, Sri Gopal Bhatta, Sri Bhugarbha, and others. They wereÂ all very affectionate to one another and it was as Â though they were of oneÂ mind.
Amongst the Goswamis, Lokanatha was the eldest. He was always intenselyÂ absorbed in loving ecstatic mellows. In Hari bhakti vilasa we find thisÂ verse: “I worship Srimate Kasisvara, Srimate Lokanath and Srimad Krsna dasÂ Kaviraj, who have taken shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Govinda and whoÂ are very dear to Sri Vrindavana.”
Lokanatha Goswami used to visit the many places of Krsna’s pastimes withinÂ 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, byÂ the side of Chatrabon, and remained there for a few days. Lokanatha wantedÂ very much to be able to worship the Deity form of the Lord, and Sri Krsna,Â who is within the heart of everyone, thus presented a Deity form of HimselfÂ to Lokanatha to worship. This Deity’s name is Radha-Vinoda. Having receivedÂ this Deity, Lokanath looked up to see who had brought Him, but seeing noÂ one present he began to reflect on the mystery of His appearance.
Seeing Lokanatha deep in thought, Radha-Vinoda laughed, “Who would haveÂ brought Me here! I have come Myself! I live here on the banks of KisoriÂ 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,Â he prepared some foodstuffs and offered them to Radha-Vinoda. Then he madeÂ a bed of flowers and made the Deity lie down to take rest. He fanned theÂ Deity with some leaves and meditated on massaging the lotus feet of his Lord. Having surrendered his body, mind and very life itself, he wasÂ totally absorbed as though drinking a flow of honey-like nectar.
Lokanatha Goswami had no permanent abode. Some Vrajavasi villagers wantedÂ 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 aÂ rare gem suspended on a necklace round the neck of Lokanatha. HisÂ activities represented the crest jewel of asceticism and the other GoswamisÂ managed to keep him in their company only by great endeavour.
It is very difficult to describe the character of Lokanatha Goswami, whoÂ was so dear to Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu and some of the other GoswamisÂ began their pastimes of disappearance, Lokanatha maintained his life onlyÂ due to the desire of Mahaprabhu. Sri Lokanatha Goswami initiated NarottamaÂ dasa Thakur Mahasaya in the divine mantra. There is no mention anywhere ofÂ any other disciple of his. It is not possible to describe the care withÂ which Narottama Thakura served his guru. In the early morning he wouldÂ clean the place where his guru passed stool and urine.
Lokanatha Goswami, having become quite advanced in years, entered into hisÂ eternal pastimes, while residing at Khadir bon (Khoyra gram). There is aÂ large lake there called Sri Yugal kunda on the banks of which his samadhiÂ has been established. His worshipable Deities Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda are at present being worshiped in Jaipur, Rajasthan. His puspa samadhi is withinÂ the courtyard of Sri Gokulananda Mandira.
It is said that Srila Krsna das Kaviraja Goswami approached LokanathaÂ Goswami for his blessings and any information that he might be able toÂ supply in order that he might satisfactorily compose Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. At that time, Lokanatha forbade Kaviraj Goswami to mention hisÂ name or describe anything about him. In order to honor the request of thisÂ great Vaisnava, he therefore didn’t write anything about him. HisÂ disappearance is on the eighth day of the bright fortnight in the month ofÂ Sravan.
Sri Narottama dasa Thakur Mahasaya has prayed at the lotus feet of his guruÂ 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 greatÂ longing that my mind’s desires might be fulfilled. Wherever one gets theÂ association of Lord Caitanya, there also he gets the association of Sri SriÂ Radha-Krsna. If you are not merciful to me, then who will be? This time,Â please fulfill my mind’s desires. In the three worlds I have no one otherÂ than you. Please keep me near your lotus feet, where I might hear, day andÂ night, your songs describing the lila of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. WithoutÂ you, the desire of Narottama cannot be fulfilled.”