Śrī Narahari Sarkāra Ṭhākura
[November 20, 2022 is the disappearance day of Śrī Narahari Sarkāra Ṭhākura, in Vṛndāvana, India. The following is a bhāva anuvāda of the kathā given by Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja on the same tithi on November 18, 2014. Editors’ input: Additional text has been included in square brackets to facilitate the flow of content.]
Today is a special tithi, the tirobhāva tithi of Śrī Narahari Sarkāra Ṭhākura, who was the younger brother of Śrī Mukunda Dāsa, who was employed as a rāja-vaidya (physician to the King). There is a mention of these physicians from Śrī Śrīkhaṇḍa. They would cure diseases of the body and of the soul, both, because they would give teachings of devotion unto Supreme Lord (Hari bhakti). Narahari is a premika bhakta [Born in the family of physicians]. In kṛṣṇa-līlā, Śrī Narahari Sarkāra is Madhumatī-sakhī.
Śrī Caitanyadeva awarded the service of the Deity of Gopinātha to Raghunandana [Endnote 1], the son of Śrī Mukunda Dāsa. And to Śrī Mukunda Dāsa, Śrī Caitanyadeva asked to continue to earn for the family, working as a physician to the King. [And his younger brother Śrī Narahari Sarkāra was ordered to stay with the Lord's devotees and preach.] Śrī Caitanyadeva brought Śrī Brahma Samhita and Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta scriptures from His South India tour and handed them over to Śrī Narahari Sarkāra only. Today is his disappearance day.
I pray for his causeless mercy. On the āvirbhāva and tirobhāva tithis of Vaiṣṇavas, an opportunity has been given to pray for their causeless mercy, by my parama gurudeva Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura and Vaiṣṇava Sarvabhauma Śrīla Jagannātha Dāsa Bābāji Mahārāja. Knowing parama gurudeva’s expertise in astrology, Bābāji Mahārāja instructed him to draw the Navadvīpa pañjikā with Vaiṣṇavas’ tithis. So accordingly, we can remember Vaiṣṇavas and pray for their grace on their tithis.
[Excerpt from ‘Śrīla Raghunandana Ṭhākura and Śrīla Vaṁśīdāsa Bābājī Mahārāja’ - https://www.visuddhacaitanyavani.com/single-post/2018/08/14/Raghunandana-VamsiDasa-Babaji]
One day before leaving for work in a rush, Śrī Mukunda Dāsa asked his son Raghunandana to serve the family Deity the bhoga. Raghunandana was a mere child, thus when he saw that the food he offered had not been physically accepted by the Deity, he began to cry pleading, “Why are You not accepting the bhoga? Is it because I am not initiated and am unaware of the mantras?” After seeing the boy crying, Śrī Gopīnātha, their family Deity, ate everything.
This Raghunandana, in his childhood, by his loving service had made his worshipable Deity Gopīnātha eat a laḍḍū [a sweet ball]. He returned to his father with the empty plate announcing, 'Gopīnātha ate the offering on the plate'. This surprised his father. From the external consideration he was a mere child, therefore his mantra was 'Eat! Eat!' Seeing his loving devotion, the Lord was obliged and He ate everything, leaving not even a morsel. Mukunda was bewildered. The next day he called his son and instructed him to make the offering to the Deity just as He had done the previous day while Mukunda Dāsa hid himself. Śrīla Raghunandana Ṭhākura pleaded to Gopīnātha, “Eat! Eat!” And just when Gopīnātha had eaten half the laḍḍū, Mukunda dāsa entered. At that time Gopīnātha stopped eating, leaving half the laḍḍū in His hand. Seeing this, Mukunda was filled with love; he took his child in his arms and spoke to him in a choked voice.
To this day in Śrīkhaṇḍa, those who are fortunate, can have darśana of Gopīnātha with a half-eaten laḍḍū in His hand; a laḍḍū which was fed to him by Raghunandana who is non-different from Cupid himself, says Uddhava Dāsa [who composed a bhajana based on this pastime] with great feeling. People are fascinated and wonder who can feed Gopīnātha a laḍḍū in this way other than the great loving devotee Raghunandana?