Sri Abhirama Thakura Disappearance Day



Sri Abhirama Thakura, also known by the name Sri Rama das, was one of the twelve gopalas or cowherd boys, of Vraja. In the eternal lila he is Sridama, one of the key members of Krishna and Balarama’s gopas.

One day in Dwapara yuga, Krishna, Balarama 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 Navadwipa. Somehow, Sridama got left behind in Vraja and remained in his hiding place in a cave.

   When everyone was performing kirtan in Navadwipa, Gauranga Mahaprabhu suddenly remembered Sridama. Horripilating in ecstatic love, He shed tears and called out “Ah Sridama, 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 Sridama? 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 Sridama and bring him back to Navadwipa. 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, “Sridama!” again and again. Finally Sridama came out of the cave to see who was calling him. Seeing the strange man dressed in blue, Sridama asked “Who are you? Why are you calling me?” Nityananda introduced himself as Balarama and said that His name was previously “Balai”.

   However, Sridama 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). Sridama 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, Sridama said, “Ha Balai, you will not be able to catch me!”

   Sridama gopala then tied his cloth tightly between his legs in the manner of a wrestler and began to run around Govardhan Hill. After circumambulating Sri Giriraja 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 Balarama!”

   Sridama said, “You must be tired, my friend. Take some rest now. Since I did not see your form of Balarama I had some doubt in my mind. But you went around Govardhana 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!” Sridama asked, “Where has Kanai gone?” Nityananda replied, “Now everyone has gone to Navadwipa. If you will accompany me, we will have some special pastimes there. Come quickly!”

   Sridama 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.”

   Sridama 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.”

Sridama 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, Sridama went and got dressed. He dressed himself in a very enchanting way. The beauty of his hair, dress and cow-herder’s paraphernalia was extremely attractive. 

Soon the two of them approached Navadwipa. When Sri Gauranga saw that they had arrived, He embraced Sridama 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?!”

   Sridama 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, “Sridama, with the end of Dwapara yuga, the influence of Kali began. In this age, renunciation is proper.” Sridama 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 Abhirama.”


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