Narottama Dasa

Narottama Dasa

Narottama Dasa Thakura (1466(?)–?), also known as Thakura Mahasaya is a Gaudiya Vaishnava saint who was responsible for spreading Vaishnava bhakti throughout Orissa in and outside of Bengal in India.[1] Narottama dasa was the son of King Krishnananda Datta and Narayani Devi who resided in Gopalpur Pargana of the Rajsahi district of Bangladesh. According to some, after the death of his father he entrusted his royal duties to the eldest paternal uncle's son and left for Vrindavan.[citation needed]

His life is described in Prema-vilasa. In Vrindavan Narottama was received by Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami. After Narottama was initiated by Lokanatha Gosvami who in turn instructed him to go and study from Jiva Goswami. He traveled to Bengal with other sadhus (holy men) to distribute devotional writings to the general public.

Fifty years after the disappearance of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Narottama organized annual festivals in Bengal, which served to keep the Gaudiya philosophy unified. The significant meeting took place in Kheturi where the Gaudiya Vaishnava Theology of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sect was defined. The exact year of this event is unknown but some say that it was around 1572.[2]


Narottama's writings

Narottama Dasa is best known for his devotional poetry wherein he describes emotionally intense feelings towards Radha and Krishna. His prayers Sri Rupa Manjari Pada and Sri Guru Carana Padma[3] are still sung in within both Gaudiya Math and ISKCON temples on a regular basis.

Among the writings of Narottama, Prarthana and Premabhakticandrika (The Moonrays of Loving Devotion) are the most well-known.[4][5] The brief write-up titled Hatapaltana is also attributed to Narottama but the contents do not seem to be in harmony with historical events and thus some believe that it is a fake work. Narottama did translate Smaranamangala into Bengali verse. In eleven slokas this work describes the pastimes of Radha and Krishna in eight parts of the day.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a spiritual descendant of Narottama through Krishna das Babaji, had often cited his prayers as many of Gaudiya Vaishnava acharyas did: "The prayers of Narottama dasa Thakura," he said. "This sound is above the material platform. It is directly from the spiritual platform. And there is no need of understanding the language. It is just like a thunderburst. Everyone can hear the sound of thunder-there is no misunderstanding. Similarly, these songs are above the material platform, and they crack like thunder within your heart."[6]


  1. ^ Dimock, Jr, E.C. (1963). "Doctrine and Practice among the Vaisnavas of Bengal". History of Religions 3 (1): 106. doi:10.1086/462474. JSTOR 1062079. 
  2. ^ "The Pastimes of Narottama Dasa Thakura". Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  3. ^ Sri Rupa Manjari Pada
  4. ^ O'Connell, J.T. (1980). "Gaudiya Vaisnava Symbolism of Deliverance (uddhara, nistara,...) from Evil". African and Asian Studies 15 (1-2): 124–135. doi:10.1163/156852180X00112. 
  5. ^ Valpey, K. (2004). "Re-visioning Iskcon". The Hare Krishna Movement: the Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant (Columbia University Press). ISBN 9780231122566. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  6. ^ Goswami, Satsvarupa dasa (2002). Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta Vol 1-2 (2 nd ed.). Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. pp. Ch. 30. ISBN 0892133570. 

See also

External links

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