Jahnava Mata

Hare KrishnaBy Sri Nandanandana dasa

On Wednesday 3 May, we celebrate the appearance of Sri Jahnava devi, the wife of Lord Nityananda. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in his Kalyana Kalpataru has prayed as follows at the lotus feet of Shri Jahnava Mata: “Having fallen into this ocean of misery, my life is a bewilderment, and I do not know how to reach its shore, nor even where to search for it. All my efforts (karma) are useless, all my knowledge (jnana) is useless, as are mysticism (yoga), austerity, religious penance, and mundane piety. None of these processes have any power to rescue me. I am weak, helpless. I don’t know how to swim across this ocean of ignorance. Who will deliver me from this dangerous predicament? Within this dangerous ocean of material existence I see the crocodiles of sense gratification—what a terrible sight! Within this ocean, I am tossed about by the turbulent waves which constantly boil and churn like a ship without a rudder. The impulses and urges that I have acquired from my previous births are like a wind that blows the ship in all directions. My mind is unsteady. This ship has no captain, no direction. I weep in despair, seeing that I cannot cross this ocean of misery. O Jahnava Devi! Today, by the power of your divine qualities, be merciful to this servant of yours. Dispell this illusion which torments me, and relieve me of the anguish of material existence. Let me take shelter at your lotus feet, for in this way I shall certainly cross over the ocean of birth and death. You are Nityananda-shakti—the divine energy of Nityananda Himself. You are the guru of Krishna-bhakti. Be merciful to me and grant me the shade of your holy lotus feet, which are like a wish-fulfilling tree. You have delivered countless abominable sinners. Please deliver me in the same way. Today, this lowly sinner falls at your holy feet, praying for your mercy.”