Lokanath Goswami in Khadiravan
Shrila Lokanath Goswami was first amongst the Goswamis to be sent to Vrindavan from Bengal by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for fulfilling His mission of excavating the lost pastime places of Vrindavan and to establish the temples of worship in Vrindavan. Lokanath Goswami would stay in a secluded place on the banks of Kishori Kunda in Khadiravan and perform his bhajans constantly. Radhanath Swami explains during one of his yatras that one day Krishna personally appeared in the form of a Brahman in the secluded forest of Khadiravan and approached Lokanath Goswami. He put beautiful deities in the hands of Lokanath Goswami and then disappeared. These were the deities of Shri Shri Radha Vinoda. Then the deity Shri Shri Radha Vinoda spoke to Lokanath Goswami, “I have been living in this forest for a very very long time waiting for you. I know the desire of your heart is to worship Me in My deity form. Therefore I have personally come to you. So, now I am very hungry. Please bring me some food.” When Lokanath Goswami heard this his heart just flooded in ecstasy and he wept tears uncontrollably.
He went to the nearby village and got some grains, fruits and roots by begging and cooked a big feast for the deities. Then he collected flowers and prepared a bed of flowers on the ground for the deities and put Them to rest by massaging Their lotus feet, with eyes filled with tears of love. He would prepare fans made of leaves or feathers and fan the Lord of his life and in this way he used to perform loving service to Shri Shri Radha Vinoda in Khadiravan saturated with his pure devotion. He sewed a cloth bag which served as the mobile temple for Shri Shri Radha Vinoda. He would carry Shri Shri Radha Vinoda with him wherever he would go. Later when Rupa and Sanatan Goswami came to Vrindavan, Lokanath Goswami on their request moved from Khadiravan to Vrindavan with Shri Shri Radha Vinoda.
Lokanath Goswami is a Manjari from the spiritual world, one of the principal Manjaris of Shri Vrindavan Dham . But he performed his leela of being such a humble sincere and dedicated Vaishnava. On hearing his past times our hearts should cry. Lokanath Goswami could have lived for years and years with Mahaprabhu in Puri and Bengal as an intimate associate. But Mahaprabhu ordered him to go and stay in Vrindavan. So he went and stayed there. It was an austerity for him to stay away from Mahaprabhu. But he took the order of his Guru and Krishna as his life and soul. Not his heart’s desire. That is Lokanath Goswami. Radhanath Swami stated that a practicing devotee should just try to follow in the footsteps of Lokanath Goswami and then one can understand what it means to following footsteps of residents of Vrindavan. And gradually when we really please Lokanath Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Srila Prabhupad and all the acharyas by following their instructions, then they will reveal to us the eternal leela of Vraja. Let this be our prayer in the holy forest of Khadiravan.
– Radhanath Swami