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    Shrila Lochana Dasa Thakur

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    Shrila Lochana Dasa ThakurLochana Dasa Thakur was born in 1523 in Kograma, in the Katwa block of Burdwan district. This village is about ten miles north of Guskara train station. The Thakur's home is situated near the Ajaya River. His birth tithi is given by some as the first day of the fortnight of the waxing moon in Paush. He was born in the Radheya clan of the physician caste (vaidya). His father's name was Kamalakara Das, his mother's Sadanande. Lochana Das studied at his maternal grandfather's house. He displayed devotion for Mahaprabhu from his childhood.

    Lochana Das was married at a very young age, according to the customs of that epoque. His in-laws' household was in the village of Amedpura Kakua. However, though he had entered the married station, he was extremely renounced and spent all his time discussing Krishna-katha with other Devotees of Gauranga.

    Since Lochana Das was married at a very early age, his wife at first remained with her parents, but as the time approached when she was to join him, they began to worry because of Lochana Das's indifference to material life. They approached his guru Narahari Sarkara and told him of their disquiet. As a result, Narahari ordered Lochana Das to go to his in-laws' home.

    When Lochana arrived in their village he was unable to remember where their house was, since it had been so long since he had visited. He asked a young girl in the street for directions, addressing her as "Ma", or "mother". When he arrived at his in-laws' house, he learned that the girl whom he had addressed as his mother was in fact his wife. From that day on, he always looked upon his wife as a mother, worshiping Guru and Gauranga in an attitude of renunciation.

    Narahari Sarakara Thakur, Mahaprabhu's famous associate from Srikhanda, was very affectionate to Lochana Das and gave him initiation. Lochana Das enthusiastically took up residence with his guru in Srikhanda. His guru taught him the art of kirtan and later ordered him to write Mahaprabhu's sacred biography. Lochana Das took this order seriously and wrote the Chaitanya Mangala, the events of which are based on Murari Gupta's Chaitanya-charita.

    The word mangala means auspicious and this title reflects the fact that hearing Mahaprabhu Shri Chaitanya's divine pastimes is the most auspicious activity for all the living beings. Vrindavan Das Thakur's biography of the Lord was first named Chaitanya Mangala and was only later known as Chaitanya Bhagavat. Lochana Das gives an indication of this in the introductory portion of his book:

    I attentively pay my obeisances to Vrindavan Das Thakur; his Bhagavat's songs have enchanted the entire universe. (CM Sutrakhanda, 1.35)

    Some people believe that Lochana Das and Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami gave the name Chaitanya Bhagavat to Vrindavan Das's book. In the Chaitanya Mangala, Lochana Das prays for his guru's blessings 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. (CM Sutrakhanda, 1.9)

    I offer my reverences to Narahari Das, the ocean of Gauranga's qualities. Other than him, I have no friend in the three worlds. (Ibid., 1.33)

    My lord and master is Narahari Das. I prostrate myself in humility to him. May he fulfill my desires. (Ibid., 1.61)

    Lochana Das wrote the Chaitanya Mangala in Eastern Bengal's Pancali style, completing it in in 1537 AD. There is a legend that he wrote the book while sitting on a stone under a flower tree. In his new Bengali dictionary, Ashutosh Deb has underlined Lochana Das's contribution by stating that he was the first to write Bengali poetry using moric metres as well as being one of the first historical writers in Bengali. The original manuscript of the Chaitanya Mangala is said to be found in the personal library of Prakashananda Chakravarti of Kandada near the the Guskara train station.

    Other titles attributed to Lochana Dasa are Prarthana, Durlabha-sara, Dhamale, and Bengali verse translations of Ramananda's Jagannath-vallabha-nataka and the Rasa-pancadhyaya .

    According to the Bhakti-ratnakara, Lochana Das was present at Narahari Sarakara Thakur's disappearance festival and greeted guests by giving them sandalwood and garlands.

    Lochana Dasa Thakura also wrote many songs praising Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, and Gauridasa Pandit. Lochana Dasa stresses that raganuga bhaktas must take shelter of Gadadhara Vrindavanishvari to attain Radha-Govinda prema bhakti. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura used to print and distribute Lochana Dasa Thakura's Shri Chaitanya Mangala. Shrila Prabhupada was very fond of his bhajans. While singing Parama Karuna Shrila Prabhupada would plunge into the ocean of Gauranga prema. Prabhupada wrote an extensive commentary on this bhajana: Bhajo bhajo bhai, Caitanya Nitai, sudrdha visvasa kori … "Lochana Dasa asks everyone, 'My dear brother, just worship Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda with firm faith and conviction.' Don't think that this chanting and dancing will not lead to the desired goal; it will. It is the assurance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that one will get all perfection by this process. Therefore, one must chant with firm faith and conviction." His samadhi is in 64 Samadhis Area.

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