O Jahnava Devi! Be merciful to this servant today. Deliver me from my pain and give me a place in the boat of your lotus feet so that I can be sure to cross over the ocean of birth and death. You are Nityananda’s energy, you are devotion to Krishna and my guru. Please give this servant the desire tree of your lotus feet. How numerous are the fallen souls that you have saved, so this fallen beggar seeks a place at your feet. (Kalyana-kalpa-taru)
Jahnava devi, who was affectionately addressed by the devotees as Jahnava ma, is the shakti of Shri Nityananda prabhu and is considered as the expansion of Revati, the consort of Lord Balaram and Ananga manjari, the Younger sister of Shrimati Radharani. In Gaur lila, Shrimati Jahnava devi appeared as the daughter of Shri Suryadas Sarakhela on shukla navami in the month of vaishakh in the village of Shaligram. Shrimati Jahnava devi had an elder sister named Vasudha, an expansion of Varuni, who is also the wife of Balaram. When both the daughters of Shri Suryadas sarakhela were of marrying age, their father started searching for a suitable match for them, and eventually the marriage of Vasudha was fixed with Lord Nityananda. The marriage of Devi Vasudha and Lord Nityanada was then performed with great festivities. The day after the marriage, there was a great feast held for the pleasure of all the vaishnavas, and Jahnava devi was personally serving everyone who had come for her elder sister’s wedding. While she was serving the assembled devotees, the veil from her head was slipping down again and again, when all of a sudden two additional arms extended from her shoulders and covered her head, while she still continued serving with her other two hands. Seeing this amazing pastime of Jahnava devi, all the devotees were wonderstruck and Nityananda prabhu knew her to be his eternal consort. Thereafter he went to their father Shri Suryadas and jokingly asked him about what he would give him in dowry? Before Suryadas could answer anything lord Nityananda told him that he wanted to accepted Jahnava as his wife as a dowry. Suryadas was overjoyed to hear this and the marriage of Nityanada Prabhu and Jahnava Devi was performed to the satisfaction of all the assembled devotees. Although Jahnava devi did not have any children but she became the initiating spiritual master of Virabhadra prabhu, who was the son of Nityananda Prabhu and Vasudha. Shrimati Jahnava devi was excepted by all the gaudiya vaishnavas as a great authority on Krishna bhakti and they all gave her immense respect.
tumi nityananda-sakti krsna-bhakti-guru
e dase koroho dana pada-kalpa-taru
You are the very pleasure potency of Lord Nityananda, and you are the spiritual master of devotion to Lord Krsna. Kindly bestow upon this servant the wish-fulfilling desire tree of your lotus feet.
After the disappearance of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his prominent associates, the very first Gaur purnima festival was celebrated by Shrila Narottam das thakur in kheturi dham , where he organized the installation of 5 pairs of Radha Krishna deities and also a deity of Mahaprabhu. All the great vaishnavas present on this planet at that time were invited for this wonderful festival, and Jahnava ma was especially requested to grace the occasion with her presence. Jahnava ma very kindly came for the festival and took charge of all the cooking for the deities and all the devotees assembled for that festival.
Jahnava Ishvari rose early that morning in great delight and took her
bath and did her mantra meditation. Then she began to cook innumerable
vegetable preparations with great enthusiasm.
In that festival the Pancha tattva themselves appeared and danced in the ecstatic kirtan led by Narottama das thakur and the fortunate devotees were able to take their darshan.
While visiting Shridham Vrindavan, where Jahnava ma was received with great love and respect by all the great devotees present at that time like Jiva goswami, Gopal bhatta goswami, Bhugarbha goswami, Lokanath goswami and others, she visited Radha kunda and spend a few days doing bhajan, where she heard the flute of Krishna and had darshan of Shyamsundar, which overwhelmed her with Krishna prem. The place where she performed bhajan at the bank of Radhakunda can still be visited by the devotees.
Shir Jahnava devi is said to have brought her prakat lila( her pastimes in this material world) to an end by entering into the temple of Radha gopinath in Vrindavan dham. A deity of Ananga manjari is worshiped in the temple on the left of Gopinath and Shrimati Radharani is present to his right. Jahnava devi being Ananga manjari herself entered in the temple and never came out again, thus plunging all her dear devotees in the ocean of separation from her.
May Jahnava devi, on the auspicious occasion of her appearance day, bless us with her mercy and take us to the lotus feet of her Lord Shri Nityananda prabhu, who is the only shelter of the fallen conditioned souls in this age of kali.