The Great Acharya Abhirama Thakura
Two devotees of Lord Caitanya named Sri Ramadasa and Gadadhara dasa always lived with Sri Virabhadra Gosai. When Nityananda Prabhu was ordered to go to Bengal to preach, these two devotees [Sri Ramadasa and Gadadhara dasa] were ordered to go with Him. Thus they are sometimes counted among the devotees of Lord Caitanya and sometimes among the devotees of Lord Nityananda. Ramadasa, one of the chief branches, was full of fraternal
Sri Ramadasa, later known as Abhirama Thakura, was one of the twelve gopalas, or cowherd boyfriends, of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. The Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (126) states that Sri Ramadasa was formerly Sridama. In the Bhakti-ratnakara (Fourth Wave), there is a description of Srila Abhirama Thakura. By the order of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Abhirama Thakura became a great acarya and preacher of the Caitanya cult of devotional service. He was a very influential personality, and nondevotees were very much afraid of him. Empowered by Sri Nityananda 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 shalagrama-shila, it would immediately fracture.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura writes in his Anubhasya, “Ten miles southwest of the Canpadanga railway station on the narrow-gauge railway line from Howrah, in Calcutta, to Atma, a village in the Hugli district, is a small town named Khanakula-krsnanagara, where the temple in which Abhirama Thakura worshiped 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 Kolaghata, from which one has to go by steamer to Ranicaka. Seven and a half miles north of Ranicaka is Khanakula. The temple where Abhirama Thakura worshiped is situated in Krsnanagara, which is near the Kula (bank) of the Khana (Dvarakesvara River); therefore this place is celebrated as Khanakula-krsnanagara. Outside of the temple is a bakula tree. This place is known as Siddha-bakula-kunja. It is said that when Abhirama Thakura came there, he sat down under this tree. In Khanakula-krsnanagara there is a big fair held every year in the month of Caitra [March–April] on the Krsna-saptami, the seventh day of the dark moon. Many hundreds and thousands of people gather for this festival. The temple where Abhirama Thakura worshiped has a very old history. The Deity in the temple is known as Gopinatha. There are many sevaita families living near the temple. It is said that Abhirama Thakura had a whip and that whoever he touched with it would immediately become an elevated devotee of Krsna. Among his many disciples, Srimana Srinivasa Acarya was the most famous and the most dear, but it is doubtful that he was his initiated disciple.” (CC Adi-lila 11:13-15)
No one can count the unlimited followers of Nityananda Prabhu. I have mentioned some of them just for my self-purification. All these branches, the devotees of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, being full of ripened fruits of love of Krsna, distributed these fruits to all they met, flooding them with love of Krsna. All these devotees had unlimited strength to deliver unobstructed, unceasing love of Krsna. By their own strength they could offer anyone Krsna and love of Krsna. (Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami CC Adi-lila 11:57-60)
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare