All glories to Śyamananda, the abode of mercy, who was the life All glories to and wealth of Sri Rasikendra!
In the company of his Vaisnava companions, Rasikacandra traveled from province to province. His only purpose was to serve guru, Krsna, and saintly persons. Kings and saintly persons would quarrel with each other to have Rasika come to their homes. Only after sending messengers several times could someone bring Rasika and his followers to their home. Yet some, simply by falling at his lotus feet, were favored to have him visit their home. Rasika traveled from place to place for the benefit of all living beings Wherever he went he fulfilled everyone’s desires. The eight mystic perfections were always present in him. If some unfortunate person was without even a measure of rice, Rasika would solve all his problems.
Rasika loved to dance in the joy of sankirtana. Tears would flow from his eyes as he continually manifested the eight symptoms of ecstatic love. His gestures and postures combined with his soft merciful looks to charm the hearts of everyone. Wherever he went, the people floated in love of Krsna.
As the glories of Rasika spread, a local Muslim king announced to his wicked followers, “I have heard of a great personality in Odisha who has given Hari-nama to wild animals and talked with Lord Jagannatha.” Then he turned to one of his eunuch servants and ordered him, “Ask Rasika to order the elephants of the forest to come here. Take care to phrase this as a humble request. Be careful to not use any impolite language.”
The eunuch quickly went to Gopivallabhapura with many horses and elephants. He sent a noble messenger to Rasika informing him, “King Saha Suja has sent me to request you to order the wild elephants to come to him. If you can bring ten to twenty wild elephants there, then Saha Suja will accept you as an incarnation of the Lord.”
This request created anxiety in the minds of Rasika’s Hindu devotees. However, Rasika gently smiled and told them, “I do not know how to perform magic tricks. I only know that Krsna is my Lord. When Lord Krsna will favor me, then the desire will be fulfilled. Tell this to the eunuch. Every year I hold the Dvadaśa mahotsava here at Gopivallabhapura. So long as I shall hold this festival here, nor a single yavana can come here. Tell him to wait until Lord Krsna favors him by sending the elephants.” When the eunuch received this news he blissfully thanked the messenger and offered many pranamas. Then the eunuch had a walled boundary built with only one entrance. He placed many items of food, such as rice and bananas, within the compound.
Rasika began the festival, and in the evening Gopala Dāsa the elephant came. As he bowed to his guru, Rasika told him, “Listen, my dear tusker. The yavana king has sent a man here to question my powers. He wants me to call ten to twenty elephants. Therefore, if you like you can organize a group of elephants and lead them to the yavana king. You should stay behind and take care not to enter into the walled area.”
Being ordered by Rasika, Gopala Dasa quickly entered into the forest to meet his fellow elephants. Thereafter the group proceeded to the city of the Muslim ruler. Fourteen elephants entered into the walled area. Gopala Dasa turned away as the followers of the yavana king closed the doors behind them.
The yavana was overwhelmed to see the glories of Rasika. He went and fell at his lotus feet. Convinced of Rasika’s divine nature, he went to report the happenings to the king, taking the elephants with him as proof. Having witnessed Rasika’s wonderful feats, the yavanas were convinced of his being an incarnation of Lord Narayana. Being ordered by Rasika, even wild elephants would bow to him.
Rasika continued touring, absorbing himself in the joy of sankirtana and love of Krsna. He and his party entered Varahabhumi and stayed there for some days. When going to Sukapāla they strayed off the path and wandered into a forest. Due to the darkness they were unable to find the proper direction and wandered into the densest region.
Suddenly they came across two tigers that were blocking their path. Everyone except Rasika was extremely afraid. Rasika walked forward and spoke thus, “Listen my tigers, give up your wicked deeds and dedicate yourselves to Lord Krsna. Due to your past sins you have taken birth in a sinful species of life. If you do not worship Krsna now you will continue to suffer birth after birth. Become fixed in the worship of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna. Do not give trouble to the devotees.
On hearing this, the tigers fell at Rasika’s lotus feet and shed tears. Rasika placed his hands on their heads and spoke the holy names into their ears so that they could receive spiritual enlightenment. After this, they became Rasika’s guides and brought him from the forest into a village. The next morning the villagers all wanted to see the tigers, but Rasika ordered the tigers, “My dear sons, go and worship Krsna sincerely.” Hearing this, they bowed to him and entered into the forest.
As news of his feats spread, people came from the city to witness Rasika’s glories. As always, he favored everyone. This time, however, he told his companions not to disclose all of his transcendental activities to the common people. Rasika’s order was impossible to disobey, so they abided by his request. His words could not be disobeyed by wild animals, humans, demigods, or even Indra, the king of heaven. Hearing of his glories, people from all walks of life were attracted to see him. Prabhu distributed Krsna consciousness everywhere and to everyone, without considering anyone’s rank or status. Even illiterate persons from forest villages were converted to become devout Vaisnavas. He flooded Utkala with love of Krsna in such a way that even with hundreds of mouths it is not possible to describe his glories.
Making the lotus feet of Syamananda my ornament, this son of Rasamaya happily narrates Rasika-mangala.
(Source: Book – The Story of Rasikananda, Chapter – Yavanas, and Tigers)