Yesterday Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj and devotees from Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math held a preaching programme in Panihati on the anniversary of Srila Raghunath Das Goswami’s Danda Mahotsav. In remembrance of the mercy Nityananda Prabhu bestowed upon Raghunath Das Goswami, chira and doi (chipped rice and yoghurt) were supplied, offered, and distributed in mass quantities to all in attendance.
In his lecture Srila Acharyadev commented that the festival’s name is the ‘Danda Mahotsav’ but that this ‘danda’ (‘punishment’, or ‘fine’) is actually the blessing of Nityananda Prabhu by which Raghunath Das Goswami obtained Sriman Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet and service under the guidance of Svarup Damodar. These Pastimes are described at length in the fifth chapter of Antya-khanda in Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat and provide a vivid example of Vrindavan Das Thakur’s glorification of Nityananda Prabhu:
ye bhakti gopikā-gaṇera kahe bhāgavate
nityānanda ha-ite tāhā pāila jagate
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat: Antya-khanda: 5.303)
“The world received the Vraja-gopis’ devotion, which is described in Srimad Bhagavatam, from Nityananda Prabhu.”