yam loka bhuvi kirtayanti hridayanandasya shishyam priyam
sakhye shri-subalasya yam bhagavatah preshthanushishyam tatha
sa shriman rasikendra-mastaka-manish citte mamaharnisham
shri-radhapriya-narma-marmasu rucim sampadayan bhasatam
Translation – Sri Syamananda was known in this world as Hridaya Caitanya’s dear disciple; He was the grand-disciple of Subala sakha, the most dear friend of the Supreme Lord; he was the crest-jewel of the enjoyers of sacred rapture. May he appear day and night in my mind, bringing an appreciation for the essence of the joys of the beloved of Sri Radha.
Sri Syamananda Pandita, the dear disciple of Sri Hridaya Caitanya, is one of the great stalwart Vaishnavas to have graced the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya. Showering his causeless mercy, he has been instrumental in delivering countless fallen souls. Sri Prema Vilasa reveals that Sri Syamananda eternally serves as Kanaka Manjari in Krishna’s Vrindavana pastimes. His spiritual master, Sri Hridaya Caitanya, was the incarnation of Sudhira Sakhi. Hridaya Caitanya, in turn, was the dear disciple of Gaudidasa Pandita, the intimate friend of Lord Gaurahari and Nityananda Prabhu. Gaudidasa was the incarnation of Subala, Krishna’s dear cowherd friend. ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ has covered in detail the pastimes of Gaudidasa Pandita in the article entitled – ‘The worshipable deities of Gaudidasa Pandita, Ambika Kalna’.
Early Life :
Sri Syamananda Prabhu was born in a village called Dharenda Bahadurpura, which at present lies within the district of Medinipur, in West Bengal. Bhakti Ratnakar describes that Sri Syamananda Prabhu was born of Sri Durika and Krishna Mandal, exceedingly pious people of impeccable character. His parents, however, had lost all of their previous children, who died at the time of their birth, and hence being morose, they named the newborn Syamananda as ‘Dukhi’ (one who is sad). Sri Syamananda was born in the lowly sadagopa caste. However, we should never make the mistake of judging a Vaishnava on the basis of his caste or lineage, because a Vaishnava is always transcendental to these material designations. The Vaishnava only graces this world in order to further the mission of the Lord. Sri Syamananda Prabhu though born of a low caste happened to be an eternal associate of the supreme lord, and through his own life and examples, he provided us with this extremely significant lesson. The only parameter that needs to be considered while distinguishing a Vaishnava is the extent of his dedication towards Sri Guru and Gauranga (yei bhaje sei bada, abhakta – hina, chara, Krishna bhajane nahi jaati kuladi vichara).