Tag Archives: Abhirama Gopala Thakura

Abhirama Gopala Thakura – Video

Shri Abhirama Gopal Thakura was also known as Shri Rama Das. He was a great Devotee of Lord Nityananda. On the order of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, he became a great acharya and preacher of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. He was a very influential personality, and atheists and blasphemers were very much afraid of him. Empowered by Shri Nityananda Prabhu, he was always in ecstasy and was kind to all fallen souls. It is siad that if he offered obeisances to any stone other than a shalagram-shila, it would immediately burst into pieces.

Youtube Playlist Gaudiya History

Abhirama Gopala Thakura – Biography

Abhiram Gopala Thakur

Sri Abhiram Thakur, also known by the name Sri Ramdas, was one of the twelve gopalas or cowherd boys, of Vraja.

   Sri Abhiram Thakur, also known by the name Sri Ramdas, was one of the twelve gopalas or cowherd boys, of Vraja. In the eternal lila he is Sridam, one of the key members of Krishna and Balaram’s gang.
   Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur writes, “There is a small town called Khanakula Krishnagar, in Hooghly district, where the Temple in which Sri Abhiram Thakur worshipped is situated. The Temple is located in Krishnanagar, near the kula (bank) of the khana (Dvarakeswar River). Therefore this place is celebrated as Khanakul Krishnanagar. The Deity in the temple is known as Gopinath and is extremely charming to behold. Gopinath appeared in a dream to Abhiram and told him “I am buried in the earth nearby. Please take me out and worship me.”
   There is a big bakula tree outside the Temple. This place is known as siddha bakula kunj. It is said when Sri Abhiram Thakur came there, he sat down under this tree. In Khanakula Krishnanagar there is a big fair held every year in the month of Chaitra (March-April) on the saptami of the dark fortnight, Krishna saptami. 
   The local legend about Sri Abhiram Thakur is as follows. One day in Dwapara yuga, Krishna, Balaram and their cowherd friends were playing hide-and-seek in the woods of Vrindavan. Suddenly, Krishna remembered Nadia and wanted to go there and enjoy some pastimes there. Taking Balaram and all their friends with Him, He advented in Navadwip. Somehow, Sridama got left behind in Vraja and remained in his hiding place in a cave.
   When everyone was performing kirtan in Navadwip, Gauranga Mahaprabhu suddenly remembered Sridam. Horripilating in ecstatic love, He shed tears and called out “Ah Sridam, where shall I find you now?” and he fell unconscious.
   Nityananda Prabhu lifted Him on to his lap and brought Him back to consciousness. When asked the reason for His distress, Mahaprabhu said, “Where is Sridam? Tell me where he is! I will go immediately and bring him!” Mahaprabhu further revealed to Nityananda, “He is living in Vrindavan – go there and bring him here quickly! I am heart broken in his absence.”
   Pacifying Sri Gauranga, Nityananda Prabhu assured Him that he would find Sridam and bring him back to Navadwip. Nitai Rama set out and eventually reached Govardhan area in Vraja. Nityananda Prabhu was wearing his usual blue dhoti and anga-vastra and had his hair tied in a knot on the top of his head.
   Arriving near Govardhan hill, Nityananda started calling out, “Sridam!” again and again. Finally Sridam came out of the cave to see who was calling him. Seeing the strange man dressed in blue, Sridam asked “Who are you? Why are you calling me?” Nityananda introduced himself as Balaram and said that His name was previously “Balai”.
   However, Sridam had a doubt in his mind due to the different appearance and get-up of Nityananda. (The stature of people in Dwapara yuga was much taller than the people in Kali yuga). Sridam said, “If you are really Balai, then you should be as powerful as Him. I shall clap my hands and run. If you are truly Balai, then you will be able to catch me.”
   Hearing this, Nitai said, “Run if you must. Let’s see how far you will be able to go.” Clapping his hands, Sridam said, “Ha Balai, you will not be able to catch me!”
   Sridam gopal then tied his cloth tightly between his legs in the manner of a wrestler and began to run around Govardhan Hill. After circumambulating Sri Giriraj four times, he looked back to see if Nityananda had caught up with him. Seeing that Nitai had kept pace, he thought “This is indeed Balaram!”
   Sridam said, “You must be tired, my friend. Take some rest now. Since I did not see your form of Balaram I had some doubt in my mind. But you went around Govardhan Giri four times! Who else but Balai has the energy to do that!” Then he asked, “Tell me why have you come looking for me?”
   Nityananda replied “Krishna fell unconscious because He could not see you!” Sridam asked, “Where has Kanai gone?” Nityananda replied, “Now everyone has gone to Navadwip. If you will accompany me, we will have some special pastimes there. Come quickly!”
   Sridam said, “No, I shall not go. Going with you means that I will have to live in someone’s womb there. Considering the pain, who wants to live in that condition! I will not go.”
   Nityananda said, “Just come with me and let us discuss the matter with Kanai. You can remain for now, as you are.”
   Sridam laughed and said, “Alright then, carry me on your shoulders! All that running has made me tired.” Nitai said, “If I refuse, then you will go around telling everyone that I could not carry you because of the difference in our respective sizes. You are the chief amongst us cowherd boys. Please consider that you should be sympathetic about the happiness and distress of others.”
   Sridam said, “Well.. you and I are just the same. You very well know that when Krishna’s side loses, I sometimes carry you on my back!” Nityananda replied, “Everyone knows that you are subjugated by Kanai’s love. None of the pastimes that happen in Vraja by day or by night are unknown to you. All the other cowherd boys always sing your praises. Come now. Let us go and meet Gauranga. All the twelve gopalas (twelve intimate associates of Lord Nityananda, who are the expansions of the twelve primary cowherd boys, gopas, in Krishna lila) and sixty-four mahantas (64 Devotees that are considered to be the most confidential associates of Mahaprabhu) know you and sing your praises.
   Hearing these words, Sridam went and got dressed. He dressed himself in a very enchanting way. The beauty of his hair, dress and cowherder’s paraphernalia was extremely attractive. 
Abhiram Gopala Thakur

You should know that my form as Krishna Chaitanya is the very same as my form of Krishna. Gaura-lila and Krishna lila are one. In Gaura-lila, I and my associates have assumed the role of Devotees and are relishing the mellows of love of Krishna.

   Soon the two of them approached Navadwip. When Sri Gauranga saw that they had arrived, He embraced Sridam and started talking to him. “Where have you been? What kind of bliss were you in that I had to send Nityananda to bring you here?!”
   Sridam asked, “Tell me the reason for your appearance here. Why do you all have shaven heads and wear these rags. Seeing your condition breaks my heart.”
   Mahaprabhu explained, “Sridam, with the end of Dwapara yuga, the influence of Kali began. In this age, renunciation is proper.” Sridam said, “I don’t understand. Please explain.” In the mood of Krishna, Mahaprabhu said, “There are four yugas, Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali. In Dwapara, Krishna is svayam Bhagavan. In Kali yuga, He incarnates as Sri Krishna Chaitanya. Now in the beginning of Kali yuga, I shall reveal this truth which is also mentioned in the sastras. You should know that my form as Krishna Chaitanya is the very same as my form of Krishna. Gaura-lila and Krishna lila are one. In Gaura-lila, I and my associates have assumed the role of Devotees and are relishing the mellows of love of Krishna. Now my name is Krishna Chaitanya and from today you will be known as Abhiram. 
   Nityananda Prabhu called everyone and smiling said, “From today, he will be known as Abhiram. We have kept this name since it indicates that there is no difference between Sridam and me. [Abhiram = to be known as “Rama”.]
   After the disappearance of Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, Abhiram Thakur continued to live with Virbhadra Gosai, Nityananda Prabhu’s son. By the grace of Nityananda Prabhu, Abhiram Thakur became a great Acharya and preacher of the Chaitanya cult of devotional service. It is said Abhiram Thakur had a whip named “Jaya Mangala” and that whomever he touched with it would immediately become a devout Krishna Bhakta.
Vande ‘ham sri sri gopinath mahaprabhur vijayate
Yatraabhiraamo mahaan goswami sri yuta paadakamalam
Maalini sahitam shaktyaavataaram sahagana-charanaambuje
Sadaa sharanam iti
Obeisances to Sri Sri Gopinath (the worshipful Deity of Sri Abhiram Thakur)
All glories to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!
May I always meditate on the lotus feet of the great Abhiram Goswami,
The empowered incarnation, along with his spouse Malini and other associates
Again and again I take shelter of their lotus feet

Abhirama Gopala Thakura – Biography

Abhiram Gopala Thakur

Krishna with Sridama and Madhumangal.

   Previously, Abhirama Gopala Thakura (Sri Rama Dasa) was one of the dvadasa gopalas (12 cowherd boys) who descended with Lord Balarama. (See appendix for listing of the dvadasa gopalas) In Gaura-lila he was an intimate Devotee of Sri Nityananda Prabhu.
   One day while overwhelmed in the ecstasy of sakhya rasa (loving friendship), Abhirama wanted to play a flute like a cowherd boy. After searching the forest he found a log which sixteen men couldn't move. Astounding everyone, Abhirama grabbed the log, made it into a flute, and played it. In the mood of a cowherd boy Abhirama Gopala carried a bull whip named Jaya Mangala. Anyone who touched it became infused with Krishna prema. It's said Srinivasa Acarya received pure love of Krishna in this way.
   Abhirama Gopala was a powerful acarya of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Atheists and blasphemers would flee in terror upon seeing him. He was Lord Nityananda's most vigorous preacher. Learned in all the scriptures, he also excelled in music, song, dance. Abhirama used his home for preaching and serving Vaishnava pilgrims, not for sleeping. His house resounded with kirtana and Krishna katha, and was often visited by pure Devotees. His samadhi is in 64 Samadhis Area.

Abhirama Gopala Thakura – Biography

Abhiram Gopala Thakur

Sridama in Krishna Lila.

   In Krsna lila, he is Sridama
   His worshippable Deity is Sri Gopinathji
   His wife's name is Sri Malini-devi
   He is also called Abhirama Gopala; Rama dasa; Bhirama dasa
   Abhirama Thakura was one of the most vigorous preachers among the associates of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. In the mood of a cowherd boy, Sri Abhirama Thakura carried a bamboo flute, and a bullwhip named Jaya Mangala. Whomever he struck with this whip became filled with Krishna prema, love for God. If Abhirama Thakura offered obeisances to any stone other than a sacred salagrama-sila, it would at once burst into pieces. Abhirama Thakura used his home for preaching and for serving Vaishnava pilgrims. His house constantly resounded with kirtana and topics of Krishna and he was the favorite of Nityananda Prabhu.
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 11.13.)
   One day, Krishna, Balarama and their cowherd friends were playing a game of hide and seek. In the middle of Their game, Krishna decided to go to Nadia to enjoy His pastimes there, and so, taking with Him Balarama and all Their friends, He advented Himself in Navadwipa. Somehow or other, He forgot Sridama, who remained in his hiding place in a cave. After a while Krishna noticed that Sridam had been left behind and sent Balarama as Nityananda, Who found Sridam and told him: "Come on!  We've all gone to Nadia to play there!"
   Sridama asked, "Who are You?"
   "I'm your Lord Balarama. Can't you recognize me?"
   "You can't be my Lord Balaram. You're too small." [In Kali yuga the measurement of the body is 3.5 hands, whereas in Dwapara-yuga it is 7 hands.
   "If you don't believe Me, then take off running. If I can't catch you within ten paces, then you'll know I'm not Balarama."
   "All right! Catch me if You can!"
   Sridama took off running, but Nityananda Prabhu immediately caught him. But now Sridama told Him, "Now look here, You left me behind, so I'm not going to this Nuddia or whatever the place is called."
   Nityananda Prabhu kept coaxing him but Sridama was adamant. Finally he manifested an expansion of himself, Rama dasa, who agreed to go. But Sridam still wanted to remain behind as his feelings were greatly hurt.
   Rama dasa was also dissatisfied and very prone to anger. When Nityananda Prabhu's first child was born, Abhirama Thakura came to offer his obeisances to the child, who died on the spot. In this way, seven of Nityananda's children had to depart from this world just after taking birth. Finally a daughter, Ganga-devi, was born to Nityananda Prabhu and Vasudha devi. When, after offering his obeisances to the child, Abhirama Thakur saw that the baby was unaffected he exclaimed, "This time we havn't been deceived!"  Then he immediately composed one hundred verses in praise of Ganga-devi. When Viracandra Prabhu took his birth, Abhirama again came to offer his obeisances. When he saw that Viracandra was unaffected, he composed Sri Birbhadrastakam.
   If Abhirama Thakura would offer his obeisances to any stone other then a Shalagram-sila, that stone would crack. One time, Abhirama Thakur came to Sri Khanda, wanting to meet Raghunandana Thakura. Mukunda dasa was aware of his reputation and thus told the Thakura that Raghunandana wasn't there. Feeling disappointed, Abhirama departed. When Raghunandan heard that Abhirama Thakura had come to meet him, he ran to catch up with the Thakura. Finally he met him at Bor Danga, where they danced together in ecstasy. When Raghunandana was dancing his nupur (ankle bracelet) came off and fell down at Akaihat, where Kaliya Krishna dasa used to do his bhajan. This nupur is still being worshiped along with Kaliya Krishna Thakura's Deity at Karvi, not far from Katwa.
   Gopala Guru Gosvami was also similarly tested by Abhirama Thakura when he was only a small boy living with Mahaprabhu in Puri. By the mercy of Mahaprabhu, Who invested His potency in Gopala Guru, the boy emerged unscathed.
   Abhirama Thakura's Sripat is at Khanakhul Krishnanagar. Khanakhul Krishnanagar can be reached by bus from Tarakeshwar, which is connected by train from Bandel station. It can also be reached by bus from Atapur, the Sripat of Patameshvari dasa Thakura.
   His wife's name was Sri Malini-devi. His worshippable Deity Sri Gopinathji Who, after first appearing to him in a dream, manifested Himself at Khanakhul Krishnanagar. The legend is that He appeared in a dream to Abhirama Thakura and said, "I am within the earth here. Please take Me out and worship Me." Abhirama dasa excavated in that place and found within the womb of the earth the all-enchanting form of Sri Gopinathji.  That place where the Deity was found became known as Ram Kund. "In the place where Sri Gopinathji advented Himself a lake was formed, and the water contained therein was sweet as nectar. Whoever bathed in or drank that water became beside himself with ecstasy. Thereafter, this land has become famous as Ram Kund.  Having heard of these divine pastimes of Sri Gopinathji an incessant flow of people descended on that place like the waters of the Ganges River." [Bhakti-Ratnakar Taranga 4]
   One day while in a state of rapture in rememberance of Sri Krishna, Abhirama Thakura, in the mood of cowherd boy, desired to play the flute. In the madness of ecstatic love he began to search in all directions for one. Then he saw before him a large trunk of a tree which not even sixteen men could lift. Out of this he fashioned a flute and began to play it. "Rama dasa, one of the chief branches, was full of fraternal love of Godhead. He made a flute from a stick with sixteen knots." [C.C. Adi 11.16]
   Sri Abhirama Thakura had a celebrated whip, whose name was Jaya-Mangala. Whoever was touched with that whip had the symptoms of love of Krishna awakened within their person.
   One day, Srinivasa Acarya came to meet Abhirama Thakura. After touching him three times with his whip, his wife Malini-devi exclaimed, "Thakura, don't beat him anymore! Restrain yourself! He is just a boy. He'll become overly excited by the touch of your whip." Meanwhile, Srinivasa had become completely drowned in Krishna-prema.
   When Sri Gaurasundara ordered Nityananda prabhu to preach in Gaudadesa (Bengal), he sent with him Sri Rama dasa, Sri Gadadhar dasa and others. The atheists trembled in fear at the sight of Abhirama Thakura. He was a learned scholar of the scriptures. According to the desire of Nityananda Prabhu he married. His disappearance is on the seventh day of the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra.
   The descendants of the disciples of Abhirama Thakura are still living within the districts of Hugli and Bankura, at Krishnanagar,  Amta, Vishnupur and Kotalpur.
Abhiram Thakur Tests The Sons Of Lord Nityananda
   *The following story adapted from the book "Abhiram Lilamrta" appeared in issue number 4 of Sri Krishna Kathamrita Bindu, the free fortnightly email magazine from ISKCON Gopal Jiu Publications.
   Abhiram Thakur is perhaps the most prominent follower of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. According to Srila Kavi Karnapur, Abhiram Thakur is the incarnation of Sridama Sakha, the chief cowherd boy in krsna-lila. His pastimes were described in simple Bengali verse by his disciple Sri Tilak Ram Das in a book called Sri Abhirama Lilamrta. In the fourth chapter the author reveals how he was able to write:
utha utha ore sisya sunaha vacane amara yateka lila karaha varnana eta bali mora sathe carana dharila carana parase lila svarana haila
   [My guru Abhiram Thakur came to me while I was resting and said “Wake up! Wake up! O disciple, hear my words! I want you to write about my pastimes.” I touched my head to my guru’s lotus feet and at that time all of his pastimes appeared to me. [Texts 5-6, 13]
   The following story, adapted from chapter 15, verses 141-246, describes how Abhiram Thakur tested the newborn sons of Lord Nityananda.
   Abhiram Thakur was a very powerful personality. It is said that he would sometimes test the authenticity of a salagrama-sila or a Deity by offering obeisances. If they were not genuine, they would break. He had other uncommon powers as well.
   On one occasion Abhiram Thakur met Nityananda Prabhu on the bank of the Ganga, near to the home of Nityananda Prabhu. Nitai offered Abhiram a seat.
   They embraced, and both sat down.
   Nitai said, "O brother Abhiram, what is your desire? Why have you come to My home?"
   "I want to see Your son."
   Hearing this, Nityananda became happy. However, when Nityananda Prabhu showed him His son, Abhiram offered obeisances to the child and immediately the child died. When Nityananda Prabhu's wives Vasudha and Jahnava heard the news, they both fainted. Nityananda then placed the body of the child in the Ganga and they all took bath.
   Sometime later, another child was born, and again Abhiram Thakur came. As before, when Abhiram offered his obeisances, the child died. Everyone was astonished, thinking, "What is Abhiram's purpose?" In this way, every time a child was born, Abhiram would come, offer obeisances, and the child would die.
   Although Nityananda Prabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Balaram, still, while acting out His human-like pastimes, He externally became very unhappy seeing all of His sons die. Therefore, when the next child was born, Nitai thought to Himself, "If Abhiram does not come My child will live."
   Nityananda Prabhu invited many quests for the festive occasion, but He did not invite Abhiram Thakur. Seeing that Abhiram was not there, Adwaita Acharya inquired from Nityananda, "Why have You not invited Abhiram?"
   Nityananda Prabhu replied, "Abhiram has made Me bereft of sons. So I will not invite him. I've told all of the boatmen not to bring him across the Ganga in their boats."
   During the time of the festival for the birth of Nityananda Prabhu's latest son, Abhiram and his wife Malini were staying at Krishnagar. Vakreswar Pandit came to see them. Malini offered him a seat, and Vakreswar inquired from Abhiram, "Nitai is performing a festival on the occasion of the birth of his son. You are the pradhana-gopal, the leader of the cowherd boys. Is He inviting you or not?"
   Abhiram laughed and said, "No. He is not inviting me."
   Vakreswar humbly told Abhiram, "Without your presence this ceremony cannot be performed properly. Although He is not inviting you, still you should go."
   "How can I go without an invitation?"
   Malini then said, "Abhiram is a rakhal, a cowherd boy. Such cowherders have no abhiman, false ego. He is not finding fault with Nityananda Prabhu for not inviting him."
   Abhiram Thakur then told Vakreswar, "O brother, I'll go there later." After Vakreswar left, Abhiram conceived a plan. He bade Malini goodbye and started off, saying, "Gaura Hari ki jaya!" He went to the bank of the Ganga and said to a boatman, "Take me across!"
   The boatman looked at Abhiram Thakur and inquired, "Who are you sir? Give me your name and then I will start the journey. If I take the wrong person across then Nityananda Prabhu will be very angry with me."
   Abhiram replied, "Why does He want to restrict this person from crossing?"
   The boatman said, "Nityananda Prabhu is miserable and lamenting for His lost children. He told me, 'There is one person named Abhiram Thakur. He is very powerful. If he offers obeisances to My son then the child will die.' Saying this, Nityananda Prabhu told me not to bring that person across. I think that you are that same Abhiram Thakur."
   Out of fear of Nityananda Prabhu, the boatman then put water in his boat and made it sink. Hearing that Abhiram Thakur had come, all of the other boatmen also filled their boats with water and sank them.
   Abhiram Thakur then took some cloth and threw it in the river. The cloth floated, and, sitting on it, Abhiram crossed the river.
   Seeing this, the people became astonished and ran to tell Nityananda Prabhu.
   Although Nitai became worried, He took all of the mahants who were present at the festival and went to meet Abhiram Thakur. Abhiram saw them all performing ecstatic kirtana and coming toward the bank of the Ganga to meet him. Abhiram then began playing his flute, and he lost external consciousness. Tilak Ram Das says, "Who can understand Abhiram Thakur?"
   When they came together, Abhiram embraced all of them with ecstatic love while his hairs stood on end. Nitai brought Abhiram into His home. Abhiram told Him, "I am very hungry. Please give me some Prasad." Nitai gave him a seat in a room and Vasudha and Jahnava happily brought him nice prasad consisting of sweet rice, fancy rice and many opulent dishes. As much Prasad as they brought, Abhiram ate it until he had finished everything in the house.
   Seeing that he had eaten everything, Nitai said, "Dandavats to your pastimes! Who can understand You? In vraja-lila you are Sridama. Have you forgotten our loving relationship? In Vraja we all shared prasad together.
   But now, forgetting all of that, you are taking all of the Prasad alone. In Vraja we would always share whatever fruits we got. What sort of behavior is this that you are taking all of the Prasad alone?"
   Abhiram listened and said, "My nature is that of a cowherd boy. First I take, then I give to others. My behaviour is that of Vraja. Knowing my nature and activities in Vraja, how can You say I took all of the Prasad? Go and see Your pots." Then Abhiram performed acaman.
   Nityananda Prabhu went to see the pots and found that double the original amount of Prasad was there. Nitai then happily embraced Abhiram.
   Abhiram said, "O Brother, you should feed all of the mahants."
   The mahants then happily took Prasad and shouted, "Hari! Hari!" Finishing, they all performed acamana. Then Nitai gave them tambula and a place to take rest.
   Abhiram Thakur said, "Nitai, You have celebrated a festival for the birth of Your son. What sort of son do You have? Please bring him and I will offer my obeisances to him." 
Abhiram Gopala Thakur

VIRABHADRA PRABHU-Son of Lord Nityananda.

   Hearing this, everyone became worried. Nityananda Prabhu's wives Vasudha and Jahnava approached Abhiram and humbly said, "This time please give protection to our child. Don't let us be criticized for not having a son. If you offer obeisances to our son then he will die. Every time this is what has happened. If you do this again, then we will also die."
   Abhiram said, "Why are you fearing? You don't understand. I am offering my obeisances to test the child. If he is svayam-svarupa, the Lord's personal manifestation, then he will survive my obeisances."
   Hearing Abhiram's words, Nityananda Prabhu became happy and brought His son before Abhiram. Abhiram Thakur offered his obeisances, and the child laughed. Abhiram become very happy and offered his obeisances a second and a third time, just to test the child. He saw that this child was jagat-priya, dear to the entire universe. Abhiram took the child on his lap and began to dance. He then told all of the mahants there:
ye na dekhecha gora dekha ara bar punarbar sei gora vira avatar
"So that those who did not see Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu could again have the opportunity to see Him, the Lord has reappeared in the form of Virabhadra Prabhu." 
   Lord Balaram has appeared as Lord Nityananda Prabhu. As the Supreme Lord, He is sarvajna, all-knowing. Hence He certainly understood and, in fact, inspired the behavior of Abhiram Thakur. The nature of the Lord is that He likes to see His Devotees glorified more than Himself. Therefore, to glorify His Devotee Abhiram Thakur, and also His son Virabhadra Prabhu, Lord Nityananda inspired Abhiram Thakur to act in such an unusual way. 
Abhiram Gopala Thakur

The expansion of Lord Sankarshan known as Kshirodakasayi Vishnu appeared in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes as Virachandra Prabhu. Lord Virachandra was non-different from Lord Chaitanya Himself.

   Virabhadra Prabhu is the incarnation of Kshirodakasayi Vishnu. Srila Kavi Karnapura has written (Sri Gaura-ganodesa-dipika text 67):
sankarsanasya yo vyuhah payo-visayi-namakah sa eva viracandro 'bhuc caitanyabhinna-vigrahah
The expansion of Lord Sankarshan known as Kshirodakasayi Vishnu appeared in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes as Virachandra Prabhu. Lord Virachandra was non-different from Lord Chaitanya Himself. 
   As Kshirodakasayi Vishnu, Virabhadra Prabhu is the svayam svarupa, the plenary expansion of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj has described:
sankarsanah karana-toya-sayi garbhoda-sayi ca payobdhi-sayi sesas ca yasyamsa-kalah sa nitya- nandakhya-ramah saranam mamastu
May Sri Nityananda Rama be the object of my constant remembrance.
   Sankarshana, Sesa Naga and the Vishnus who lie on the Karana Ocean (Karanodakasayi Visnu), Garbha Ocean (Garbhodakasayi Visnu) and ocean of milk (Ksirodakasayi Visnu) are His plenary portions and the portions of His plenary portions. [Cc. adi 1.7]

Abhirama Gopala Thakura – Biography

Abhiram Gopala Thakur

He who was previously known as Sridama is today Abhirama Thakur. He picked up a piece of wood that it took 32 men to lift. (Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 126)

pura shridama-namasid abhiramo’dhuna mahan
dvatrimshata janair eva vahyam kashtham uvaha sah

He who was previously known as Sridama is today Abhirama Thakur. He picked up a piece of wood that it took 32 men to lift.
(Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 126)

   Abhirama Thakur lived with his wife Malini in the village of Khanakul Krishnanagara in the Hooghly district. Khana refers to the Dvarakesvara River, kula means banks; thus, the village of Krishnanagara on the banks of the Dvarakesvara River is also known as Khanakula Krishnanagara. At the doors of his Temple stands a large Bakula tree which is known as the Siddha-bakula, and the place is popularly called Siddha-bakula Kunja. This is the place where Abhirama Thakur first sat down when he arrived in the village. The Gopinath Deity was found when digging for a tank first began. This tank goes by the name of Sri Abhirama Kund. The Temple also houses the Deities of Vrajavallabha, Gopal and a Salagram Sila.

   Sri Abhirama Thakur was a very vigorous and powerful acharya. He engaged in preaching on the orders of Lord Nityananda and saved many atheists and people opposed to the Vaishnava religion.

   Abhirama Goswami possessed a fiery temper and great spiritual power. The atheists trembled whenever they saw him. He was intoxicated as though he had been possessed by Nityananda, and his enchanting mercies are famed throughout the world.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 4.103-4)

   Rama Das Abhirama was fully absorbed in the mood of friendship. He lifted a flute which contained sixteen knots.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.10.116)

   This reference in the Chaitanya Charitamrita is also that found in the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika which says that Abhirama Thakur lifted a log which would normally have taken 32 people to lift. The Bhakti-ratnakara states that it would have taken hundreds of people. After lifting it, he held it like a flute.

   He held in his hands a piece of wood that a hundred men could not move, in the way one holds a flute.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 4.123) 

   The Devotees were greatly astonished when they saw him perform such superhuman feats. According to one legend, whenever Abhirama Thakur paid his obeisances to a stone or statue, if it was not a Vishnu-shila or a consecrated Deity, it would crack or be reduced to powder. Non-devotees were also unable to tolerate his pranamas. Nityananda’s son Virachandra Goswami and daughter Ganga Devi survived his obeisances, which confirmed their divinity. These things are written in ashtakas composed by Abhirama Thakur in their name. 

Abhiram Gopala Thakur

Bali Math in Puri was established by Abhirama Thakur.

   Srila Abhirama Thakur possessed an amazing whip which he named Jaya-mangala. Anyone who was touched by this whip would immediately experience the transcendental ecstasies of prema. One day Srinivas Acharya visited Abhirama Thakur who gave him three lashes with that whip. Abhirama’s wife Malini stopped her husband from hitting him again, saying that Srinivas was just a young lad who wouldn’t be able to tolerate the effects of divine love. Nevertheless, Srinivas Acharya was very dear to Abhirama and received many blessings from him. Though not his initiated disciple, he was like a disciple to him. The Jaya-mangala whip is still held in the Krishnanagara Temple.

   In the Bhakti-ratnakara, the following statement is also made:

   O Srinivas! How much more can I say? Abhirama descended into this world in order to deliver it. Taking birth in a Brahmin family, he became a scholar in all the scriptures and was an unequalled musician, not only in song and playing musical instruments, but in dance also. He married at Nityananda Balaram’s request. His wife Malini is also indescribably powerful.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 4.105-8)

   Many people say that the Bali Math in Puri was established by Abhirama Thakur. An annual festival is held in Khanakula Krishnanagara on his disappearance day, i.e., the Chaitra Krishna saptami.

   Our parama-guru, Jagad-guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur visited this site when travelling on the parikrama of Sri Gaura Mandala. At that time, the Devotees charged with the Temple greeted him with great hospitality and honored him and his followers with special treatment.

[Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj]

Abhirama Gopala Thakura

Abhiram Thakur

According to Gaura-Ganodesha-Dipika (12) in Krishna-lila he was Shridama, one of the 12 prominent boy cowherd friends of Shri Krishna.

   Shri Abhirama Gopal Thakura  was also known as Shri Rama Das. He was a great Devotee of Lord Nityananda.  On the order of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, he became a great acharya and preacher of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. He was a very influential personality, and atheists and blasphemers were very much afraid of him. Empowered by Shri Nityananda Prabhu, he was always in ecstasy and was kind to all fallen souls. It is siad that if he offered obeisances to any stone other than a shalagram-shila, it would immediately burst into pieces. According to Gaura-Ganodesha-Dipika  (12) in Krishna-lila he was Shridama, one of the 12 prominent boy cowherd friends of Shri Krishna. He was Nityananda's dearmost Devotee. Abhiram Gopal's wife's name was Shri Malini devi.
   Abhirama Gopala Thakura lived in Khanakula Krishnanagara. Khanakula Krishanagar may be visited by taking the narrow gauge train from Howrah Station in Calcutta to Amta. It is located in the present Hooghly District of West Bengal.  There, in Khanakula Krishnanagara, near the bank of the Khana river,  is the Temple of Abhirama Thakura.  Because it is a town (nagara) with a Krishna Temple, the town is called Krishna-nagara, and because the Temple is on the kula (banks) of the Khana, it is called Khanakula-krishna nagara. Just outside the Temple is a bakula tree. This place is known as Siddha-bakula-kunja. It is said that Abhirama Thakura used to like sitting beneath this tree. 
   The story of how the Gopinath Deity of Khanakula Krishnanagara was established is as follows. One day, the Deity of Gopinatha appeared to Abhiram Gopal in a dream, and informed him that he wanted to manifest Himself in Khanakula Krishnanagara. It is said that he was buried in the earth, and that in the dream he ordered Abhirama Gopal to excavate him and inaugurate His worship. Abhirama Gopal went to the place where the Lord had indicated he would be found, and began excavation. There, after digging for some time, he found the mind-enchanting Deity of Shri Gopinatha.  The place where this discovery was made is now called Rama kunda, and there is a small lake there. The Bhakti Ratnakara says, "After having excavated the Gopinatha Deity, all the Devotees headed by Rama Dasa (Abhirama Gopala) bathed in the sacred waters of the kunda near the spot where the Deity had been found.  From that day on the kunda became famous as Rama Kunda. Whoever bathes there becomes free from repeated birth and death." 
Abhiram Thakur

Sri Sri Radha Gopinath, Deities of Abhiram Gopala Thakur.

   One day Shri Abhirama Gopala was overwhelmed with the ecstasy of sakhya rasa, and had a desire to play the flute of a cowherd boy.  Intoxicated by the bliss of Krishna-prema, he began searching the four directions for a suitable flute. As he searched through the forest for a suitable instrument all at once he saw before him a big log. The log was so huge that sixteen men could not move it. Grabbing hold of that log, he turned it into a flute and began to play upon it.  The Chaitanya Charitamrita says, "Rama dasa was one of the principle branches of the Nityananda branch of the Chaitanya tree of bhakti. He was full of sakhya-prema—love of Krishna saturated with the mellow of friendship. He once picked up a log that sixteen men couldn't lift and used it as a flute." 
   Shri Abhirama Thakura had a bullwhip that was imbued with divine power. Its name was "Jayamangal."  Whoever was struck with this whip became filled with Krishna prema.  One day Shrinivasa Acharya went to take darshan of Abhiram Gopala.  At that time, Abhiram Gopal touched him three times with Jayamangal. The Thakur's good wife, Malini, cried out, "My Lord! Do not touch him again. Calm yourself. Shrinivas is only a boy. If you touch him again he will lose consciousness." As a result of coming in contact with the whip of Abhirama Thakura, Shrinivasa Acharya became filled with Shri Krishna prema.
   When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Nityananda Prabhu to preach in Bengal, he sent Abhirama Gopal and Gadadhara Das along with him. Simply upon seeing Abhiram Gopal, atheists and blasphemers would flee in terror. He was a remarkable scholar, well-versed in all the scriptures. He married his wife, Malini, upon the order of Shri Nityananda Prabhu.  His disappearance day is on the seventh day of the dark moon in the month of Chaitra, and on that day a great festival attended by thousands of Devotees is held every year in Khanakula-Krishnanagara.