The Birth of Sri Haranath Lord Sri Kusumaharanatha Prabhu was incarnated in Sonamuki, Bankura District, West Bengal - India to Sri Jayaramabondopadhya and Srimathi Bhagavathi Sundaridevi as a blessed child on bright Saturday, 1st July, 1865, but His play or biography begins even before His Birth !
The Lord's present incarnation at Sonamukhi, was prophesied in 1592 by a great sage Manohar Das of Brindavan. This great sage came to Sonamukhi, revealed His prophecy to the people there, and went away to Jeypore (of Rajputana) where he left His body on the 31st March 1595.
In October 1834 , Jayaram (the father of the Lord) was laid up with a virulent type of small-pox, at Calcutta where he was then staying in connection with His lac business. One night His condition was very precarious. He was passing through the last moments of His life. His family was not there at that time as he had no desire to intimate about His sickness to any of His relatives. Two or three of His servants were attending upon him. Jayaram was a great devotee of God. In those last moments he piteously appealed for mercy to the Lord of His heart. Suddenly the whole room was filled with a most dazzling light the like of which he had never before witnessed ! Two charming human forms emerged out of that light ! He was speechless with astonishment, and joy. Jayaram was given the Holy Touch and it was indicated clearly that the Lord would soon incarnate in His family for the redemption of the fallen jivas ! The Divine forms as well as the light all vanished away as mysteriously as they had appeared. Jayaram felt His body pulsating with a new power of life. All traces of suffering left him at once.
In 1865, just a few months before the so called 'birth' of the Lord, when Bhagawati Sundaridevi the holy mother of our Lord was pregnant, a more wonderful thing that the above - montioned one happened. This incident created a wild sensation in the whole of Sonamukhi. One evening a youthful sage resplendent with divine halo was going, without seeking any one's permission into the inner apartments of Jayaram's building. His features were exquisitely charming. He said to Bhagawati Sundaridevi, "Mother ! I have come to stay in my own place. I will be your guest to - day". He was then, shown a temple (built by Jayaram). The strange Sadhu then lighted a big dhuni (fire) there and sat by its side.
The next morning when Bhagawati Sundaridevi went into the temple the sadhu was not to be seen anywhere. Nor was there the least trace on the ground of the big dhuni ! She intutionally felt that all this must be the mystic play of the Lord of her soul. She felt terribly mortified that she could not arrange a more hearty reception to the Lord himself. She lay down on the floor in her house in great distress. She was most disconsolate. There was soon a huge gathering of inquisitive people around her worrying her with so many queries none of which she was able to answer. Just at this time Jayaram (her husband) returned from Calcutta. Hurriedly going to her asked her, "Did any sage come here last night ? Did you offer proper reception to him ?" Sundaridevi and all the rest there were simply dumb with astonishment as to how he could have come to know of this sage. Jayaram on being questioned said, "Last night when I was sleeping in my quarters at Calcutta, I saw in my dream a youthful sage of most charming featres. The sage cam straight to me and told me how he was quite pleased with the reception given to him by my wife, and promised to remain ever pleased with us. I desired to verify the truth of this revelation and so I have now come here."
Such is the mysterious beginning of the charming play which Lord Haranath has enacted in this Incarnation of His.
Haranath was a beautiful child. His eyes were calm and bright and His complexion was dark. He was given to fits of weeping and nothing could stop His crying but the sound of Sankirtan.
When Sri Haranath was still a baby a snake-chamer came to Jayaram's house and was displaying His snake. Haranath's mother, with her baby in her arms, was among the spectators. Suddenly the dancing cobra darted a glance at Haranath. The mother shifted her position but the serpent's gaze closely followed her every movement. A few days later, when Sundari Devi was serving food to Jayaram and others, a strange sound was heard in the room where Hara was put to sleep. She hurriedly entered the room and was dismayed to find her child playing with a snake. She ran out and shouted for Jayaram and when he came in, there was no snake on the cot and the child was in sound sleep.
Round a temple of Sri Durga, at some miles' distance from Sonamukhi, a huge annual festival used to be held. Once Sundari Devi and Jayaram attended the festival. There was a record attendance of pilgrims and the only tank of the village became too dirty. The people were in urgent need of water to drink but did not know what to do. There was however a long-dried-up spring on the temple premises. Haranath, the divine child, went and stood on the spot and immediately rushed out a clean stream of water. The people accepted the divine gift with delight and grateful amazement.
Once He was given 'muri' (fried paddy) by His mother, Hara would invite sparrows, crows and monkeys to join Him in the feast of 'muri'. This play of Hara with birds and beasts was a source of great amusement to elders. Sometimes when the 'muri' basket was emptied by Himself and His companions, He would come back to get it refilled and sometimes the refilling would have to be done four or five times. Sundari Devi tried to conceal the 'muri' stock but the boy would discover it anyhow. Jayaram disbelieved it and so himself hid a quantity of 'muri' behind the Siva image in the temple and asked Hara to find it out, He was at once led by the boy to the image and shown the hidden stock. Thus almost everybody in the neighborhood came to know of Hara's ability to find out hidden things.
Sundari Devi was witnessing incident after incident that clearly declared to her that her dear child was no other than the Almighty Ruler of all the worlds. Some-times she would think that her child was indeed a mysterious and divinely powerful being. But when she looked at His tender face, her mother's heart asserted its natural claim and she could not but take it that her child was helpless but for her protection.
Sundari devi's impression that she was especially dear to God was deepened by another incident. She was worshipping the family deity and Hara came toddling by and took His seat beside her and joined in the worship. And the altar was bathed in a flood of light and the room was filled with delightful scents.