Narottama Dasa Thakura was a life long brahmacari.He was born in a Kayastha caste family, the son of King Shri Krishnananda Datta, who ruled the area of Gopalpura in Rajashahi district of modern day Bangladesh, his capital being Khetri on the Padma River. Narottama's mother was Narayani Devi, and he was born on the purnima in the month of Magha (January) 1520 AD.
From Narottama's early childhood he was always attracted to Shri Chaitanya.When Narottama was born the astrologers came, cast a chart, and said that either this boy will become a great king or a mendicant preacher. He was also trained in sanskrit which he mastered in a very short time, and for this was very much renowned for his eloquence in the use of sanskrit grammar, poetry, prosody etc.
At the age of twelve Narottama dasa Thakura had a vision of Lord Nityananda in a dream. He told Narottama to take bath in the Padma River whereupon he would receive love of Godhead. Following the instructions of Lord Nityananda, Narottama bathed in the Padma irregardless, and the Goddess of the river appeared and on the order of Lord Chaitanya, gave him pure love of Godhead.
Though still a young man, Narottama das would only maintain himself by observance of the vow of madhukari, which means that he would only eat what he could beg by going from door to door of the householder devotees, just as a bumble bee goes from flower to flower to take pollen. By this strict vow Narottama kept no kitchen or store of foodstuffs. He simply relied only upon the mercy of the Lord.
Narottama dasa Thakura would preach like anything, removing the misconceptions of the age, and would invoke his disciples to follow suit.
This was one of Narottama dasa Thakura's main preaching points – that a Vaishnava is not a mllecha, nor yavana, nor brahmin, nor sudra, etc. Vaisnavism should only be guaged according to one's surrender and realization in Krishna consciousness. There should be no consideration of birth, age, caste, creed, shoe size, education, social status, who one is initiated by, the year one took initiation, or when one first came in contact with devotional service. Nor is Krishna consciousness advancement dependant on household duties, taking sannyasa, ritualistic performances, group agreement, or the like – simply how one is absorbed in one's service to the lotus eyed Lord. This is the conclusion of Narottama dasa Thakura's preaching stratagy.
Narottama had many thousands of disciples, mostly in the areas of modern day Bangladesh. He passed away from this world under the tamarind tree at Prema Ghat by the side of the Ganges (Padma River) at Kheturi, where Lord Chaitanya had sat, and where the goddess of the river presented to Narottama pure love of Godhead, after composing the beautiful song, "Saparsada bhagavad viraha janita vilapa," which begins "je anilo prema dhana koruna pracur heno prabhu kotha gela acarya thakura."