All glories to Syamananda, the joy of this world, at whose lotus feet Rasikendra-candra was like a bee. He knew nothing but meditation upon Syamananda. Now I shall describe Syamananda’s visit to Utkala. Indeed, it was due to the order of Govinda that Syamananda left Vraja to find Rasika.

One day while Syamānanda was absorbed in chanting the holy name, Madana Gopala, Sri Govinda, appeared before him and said, “Dear Syamānanda, Rasika Murari is My favorite devotee. Go to Utkala to meet him. After you initiate him, together you should preach about pure devotion to Me and deliver all the inhabitants of Utkala. Even though the residents of Vraja are My favorite devotees, I request you to go to Urkala to favor Rasika.”

Syamananda shivered in ecstasy and fell to the ground. Being unable to see the Lord any longer, he began to lament. Then he remembered the words of Hrdayananda and thought to himself, The Lord has confirmed the previous instruction given to me. Still, how can I leave Vraja to go to Utkala? However, if I don’t go l will be neglecting the order of Sri Krsna. I must go and see this great devotee who is living there.”

He continued to think in this way but was reluctant to leave Vraja. It was then that Madana Gopāla appeared to Sri Jiva Gosvami and told him, “My dear Jiva, please tell Syamananda to go to Utkala. A favorite devotee of Mine, Rasika Murari, is living there. Syamananda must go there to deliver the inhabitants of Utkala with the help of Rasika.” The order was given three times, and the Lord residing also said, “He should serve the Vraja-väsis who are now in Utkala. They are distressed because of the predominance of sinful activities there. Syamananda and Rasika will deliver Utkala by removing the darkness of sin.”

Śyamananda thus took leave of Jiva Gosvami, Hari-priya Dasa, and other great Vaişnavas of the ashram. He started on his journey, taking along some religious scriptures and three of his disciples: Kisora, Balaka, and the pure-hearted Syamadasa. His brother Thakura-prasada Dāsa, who was famous everywhere, also went along.

After leaving Vraja, they traveled to Agra and settled there When the Mogul general saw that some Vaisnavas had settled in the city, he became furious. He could not determine the purpose of their staying there and presumed them to be either thieves or sadhus. He had his soldiers arrest them and put them in prison. That night when the general lay down to rest, someone entered his room, picked up the bed on which he was lying and thrashed it to the ground. This fearsome person then sat on the chest of the general and told him, “You are a rogue. You have taken My favorite devotees and put them into prison. Unless you release them immediately I will kill you and all your family.

In fear of his life, the general cried out in pain, feeling his life air at the edge of his throat. Hearing the general’s cries, his relatives came running to him and found him vomiting blood and breathing heavily. To assist him, they put water in his mouth and then inquired what had happened to him. He told them, “I have put five Vraja-vasis into prison. They are not ordinary persons but favorite devotees of Krsna. You must go and release them and bring them to me.”

On his order, a few guards went to the prison and released the devotees. When Syamananda came, the general fell at his lotus feet saying, “Forgive me, I did not know that you are favorite devotees of Krşna. Because of this, I have suffered.” He then tried to please Syamananda in various Being satisfied, Syamananda said to him, “I beg you, always render service to the Vaisnavas.”

The general then felt relief, and from that day forward he began to serve saintly persons. He kept Syamananda and his party in the city for several months and served them most sincerely.

After this, Syamananda went and stayed in Prayaga and Varanasi for some time before reaching the city of Rohini. When he inquired of Rasika’s whereabouts, he was told that he was now in Ghantasila. Syamananda went to that place, and when the two met they floated in waves of the love of Krsna.

Making the lotus feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya happily narrates Rasika-Mangala.

(Source: Book name – The Story of Rasikananda, Chapter- Lord Krsna’s Order)

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