All glories to Syamananda, the deliverer of the universe! May he favor me with the ability to sing his glories.

Thus, Rasika and his companions crossed the river without damaging any of their possessions. As Prabhu was walking, his feet began to bleed. Although his companions asked him to rest at Sukapala, he did not listen to them. He tore off some of his cloth and tied it around his toes. However, blood continued to ooze out. Regardless, this did not slow him. Rather, he moved like the wind, and his followers could not keep pace with him. By the day of Ratha-yatra, he reached Tulasi Caura, where he bathed to relieve his fatigue.

At that time Lord Jagannatha boarded His chariot. Then, with His brother and sister on two other chariots, the Lord was made ready to start from Baligandi. However, when the pilgrims tried to move the chariots, they failed. The king, along with his ministers, courtiers, and subjects, then tried to pull them. Their efforts also proved futile. Next elephants were brought. But to the surprise of the king, even they failed to budge the carts. Lord Jagannatha then said to the head priest, “My favorite devotee Murari is now at Tulasi Caura on his way here. Until he reaches here My chariot will not move. Please do not waste your time trying to move it. When Rasika comes, he will move it very easily. Tell this to the king.”

Hearing this, the king immediately set out to meet Rasika. He sent messengers ahead to inform Rasika that he was coming to welcome him, and the two soon met at Atharanala. The king fell at Prabhu’s lotus feet, and Rasika embraced him. The king then praised Rasika in many different ways. On hearing the name of Rasika, all the pilgrims, kings, and their subjects came to see him.

When Rasika Prabhu arrived before the chariots, he offered the Deities fine jewels, clothes, and ornaments. Seeing Lord Jagannatha’s moonlike face, Rasika floated in tears. His bodily hairs stood erect like a kadamba flower, and the eight symptoms of ecstatic love arose in his body. The Rasamaya group led by Sri Tulasi Dasa began sankirtana, causing Rasika to dance with such emotion that he seemed to move like a mad elephant. His beautiful bodily features, enhanced with profuse flower garlands decorating his neck, enchanted the crowd,

People said, “There is such a close bond of affection between him and Lord Jagannatha that this Prabhu must be the second Narāyana. The chariots will not move without his presence. He has performed sankirtana from door to door, preaching devotional service to Krsna and freeing people from ignorance. It is by his grace that the pure love of God has awakened in Utkala. On his order, his disciples render service to the sadhus. He has organized great rasa festivals and induced everyone to love Krsna. His qualities are beyond description. Indeed, Lord Jagannātha remains with him constantly.”

While people talked in this way, the temple inspector approached Prabhu and said, “The chariots are waiting for you. Take the rope and pull it by your own hands.” In great delight, Rasika placed his head on a pillar of the chariot and began to push it. Just by his touch, the three chariots began moving like the wind and, to everyone’s surprise, soon reached Balinara. All this confirmed Rasika’s divinity. The king repeatedly praised him. He accommodated him in his palace and gave him many gifts, including everything offered to Lord Jagannatha.

Rasika stayed there for nine days performing sankirtana and discussing music and literature with the Vaisnava leaders. During this time pilgrims, inhabitants of Sri-ksetra (Jagannatha Puri), kings, Brahmanas, Vaisnavas, and sannyasis remained constantly by his side. In turn, he offered them all kinds of food and drink and satisfied them with due respect. He spent considerable time in Nilacala visiting and bathing at all the holy places. He also visited all the hermitages of the prominent Vaisnavas. He begged from the king a piece of land in South Paraśa and constructed Phulatota Matha there ( This Matha is still extant in Puri. The Deity there is known as Sri Sri Radha-Rasika Raya). At this place, they would daily make twelve cubit long garlands. He appointed five to ten priests to serve there and arranged for ten to twenty preparations to be offered daily to the Deity. Finally, he distributed many gifts among the Brahmanas and the people of Sri-Krsna. After begging his leave from them, he reassured everyone that he would visit Puri every year at the time of Ratha-yatra to have darsana of the moonlike face of Lord Jagannatha. He performed pastimes at Nilacala that cannot be expressed by hundreds of mouths. By the grace of Rasika I have described a few of them in Rasika-mangala.

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

(Source: Book – The Story of Rasikananda, Chapter – Lord Jagannātha’s Dear Servitor)

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