Disappearance day of Śrī Abhirāma Ṭhākura falls on 3rd May 2021 this year. Let’s know more about this astounding devotee and get inspired.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura describes Vīrabhadra Gosāñi as the direct son of Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu and a disciple of Jāhnavā-devī. His real mother was Vasudhā. In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 67, he is mentioned as an incarnation of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.
Two devotees of Lord Caitanya, named Śrī Rāmadāsa and Gadādharadāsa, always lived with Śrī Vīrabhadra Gosāñi. Śrī Rāmadāsa, later known as Abhirāma Ṭhākura, was one of the twelve gopālas, cowherd boyfriends, of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 126, states that Śrī Rāmadāsa was formerly Śrīdāmā. In Bhakti-ratnākara (Fourth Wave), there is a description of Śrīla Abhirāma Ṭhākura. By the order of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Abhirāma Ṭhākura became a great ācārya and preacher of the Caitanya cult of devotional service. He was a very influential personality, and non-devotees were very afraid of him. Empowered by Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, he was always in ecstasy and was extremely kind to all fallen souls. It is said that if he offered obeisances to any stone other than a śālagrāma-śilā, it would immediately fracture.
Ten miles southwest of the Cāṅpāḍāṅgā railway station on the narrow-gauge railway line from Howrah, in Calcutta, to Āmtā, a village in the Hugalī district, is a small town named Khānākūla-kṛṣṇanagara, where the temple of Abhirāma Ṭhākura is situated. During the rainy season, when this area is inundated with water, people must go there by another line, which is now called the southeastern railway. On this line, there is a station named Kolāghāṭa, from which one has to go by steamer to Rāṇīcaka. Seven and a half miles north of Rāṇīcaka is Khānākūla. The temple of Abhirāma Ṭhākura is situated in Kṛṣṇanagara, which is near the kūla (bank) of the Khānā (Dvārakeśvara River); therefore this place is celebrated as Khānākūla-kṛṣṇanagara.
Outside of the temple is a Bakula tree. This place is known as Siddha-bakula-kuñja. It is said that when Abhirāma Ṭhākura came there, he sat down under this tree.
Fair in Caitra Masa
In Khānākūla-kṛṣṇanagara there is a big fair held every year in the month of Caitra (March-April) on the Kṛṣṇa-saptamī, the seventh day of the dark moon. Many hundreds and thousands of people gather for this festival.
The Whip of Abhirāma Ṭhākura
The temple of Abhirāma Ṭhākura has a very old history. The Deity in the temple is known as Gopīnātha. There are many sevaita families living near the temple. It is said that Abhirāma Ṭhākura had a whip and that whoever he touched with it would immediately become an elevated devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Among his many disciples, Śrīmān Śrīnivāsa Ācārya was the most famous and the most dear, but it is doubtful that he was his initiated disciple.
When Nityānanda Prabhu was ordered to go to Bengal to preach, these two devotees [Śrī Rāmadāsa and Gadādhara dāsa] were ordered to go with Him. Thus they are sometimes counted among the devotees of Lord Caitanya and sometimes among the devotees of Lord Nityānanda. Rāmadāsa, one of the chief branches, was full of the fraternal love of Godhead.