The Inauguration of a Prapannāśrama in Amaljoda (Āmalāyoḍā Prapannāśrama Pratiṣṭhā)

Nama-HattaŚrī Śrī Nāma Haṭṭa (The Marketplace of the Holy Name)
Samalocana a book reviewSamālocana (A Book Review)

Āmalāyoḍā Prapannāśrama Pratiṣṭhā (The Inauguration of a Prapannāśrama in Amaljoda) was first published in Sajjana Toṣaṇī Vol.4 issue 2 in 1892. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura describes the inauguration of a prapannāśrama in Amaljoda in Bengal, and in particular narrates the pastimes of Śrīla Jagannātha Dāsa Bābājī.

(translated by Swami B.V. Giri)

A prapannāśrama in Amaljora has been constructed under the care of Śrī Nāma Haṭṭa’s daṇḍīdāra (scale operator) Śrīyukta Kṣetranātha Bhakti-nidhi, and vipaṇipati (shopkeeper) Śrīyukta Vipina Vihāri Bhakti-ratna who are residents of that village. In that village, many devotees have helped such as vrājakavipiṇī (store-keeper) Śrīyuta Ramānātha Mukhopādhyāya, Śrīyuta Gadādhara Prasāda Majumdār, as well as Śrī Nāma Haṭṭa’s jamādāra (head sweeper) Śrīyuta Śyāmasundara Sarakāra and the great devotee Śrī Śitikaṇṭha Sarakāra etc. *

* Translators Note: A prapannāśrama is a place of serving to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Daṇḍīdāra, vipaṇipati, vrājakavipiṇī and jamādāra are all positions in Bhaktivinoda’s Nāma Haṭṭa (marketplace of the Holy Name). For details, please see Śrī Godruma Kalpaṭavī.

We were present in the village on the 28th of Phālguṇa as per the wishes of the said gentlemen. In the morning, after staying awake all night for Ekādaśī, at eight o’clock in the morning, all the devotees of the village went out for kīrtana in a great procession. With the most worshippable Siddha Śrī Jagannātha Dāsa Bābājī Mahāśaya at the front, everyone reached the prapannāśrama. There is no way to describe the bhāva that arose within Bābājī Mahāśaya at the time of the kīrtana. At the age of more than a hundred years of age, feeling the bliss of prema, he danced like a lion and occasionally cried out,

nitāi ki nāma eneche re
nāma eneche, nāmera hāṭṭe
śraddhā-mūlye nāma diteche re

(“Oh, what is this Name that Nitāi has brought? Nitāi has brought the Name to this marketplace of the Holy Name, and He is distributing that Name for the price of your śraddhā!”)

dayāla nitāī āmāra jagāra māra kheye prema deya re

(“O My merciful Nitāi was hit on the head by Jagāi, yet still He gave him prema.”)

Singing in this way, at that time he shed many tears and rolled upon the ground. Such an astounding sight had never been seen before. Immersed in seeing Bābājī Mahāśaya’s bhāva and bliss in the kīrtana, almost everyone danced for a long time, shedding tears, their hairs standing on end ,and their voices choked in ecstasy. After a while the kīrtana ended, and after a brief speech about Nāma Haṭṭa, Bābājī Mahāśaya expressed his special joy and ordered that the work of the prapannāśrama should start from that day. With the permission of Bābājī Mahāśaya, the honourable vipaṇipati inaugurated the prapannāśrama that day.

In all places, it is customary that at the time when a school, hospital etc. is inaugurated, a local head is made chief-guest. The most worshippable Śrīyukta Jagannātha Dāsa Bābājī Mahāśaya, who was present at the time, was given the seat of chief guest at the inauguration of the prapannāśrama, and this is perfectly reasonable. In any village where a prapannāśrama is inaugurated, it should be established in this way.

All the specific rules about a prapannāśrama are found on page 20 in the third edition of Śrī Godruma Kalpaṭavī.

(‘Āmalāyoḍā Prapannāśrama Pratiṣṭhā – The Inauguration of a Prapannāśrama in Amaljoda – was first published in Sajjana Toṣaṇī Vol.4 issue 2 in 1892. and translated into English by Swami B.V. Giri)
Nama-HattaŚrī Śrī Nāma Haṭṭa (The Marketplace of the Holy Name)
Samalocana a book reviewSamālocana (A Book Review)

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