“What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa” –
Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya
Travelling north from Mayapur, ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ reached the sacred island of Modadrumadvipa, which is non-different to the forests of Bhandirvan in Vraja. Here in Modadrumadvipa, within the village of Mamgachi, lies the residence (sripat) of Sri Saranga Murari Thakura.Sri Saranga Murari Thakura was a dear associate of Lord Caitanya and the dust of the Lord’s lotus feet are smeared all over his residence. The Thakura’s Radha Gopinath deities are carefully preserved till this day and daily worshipped with due diligence here at his sripat.
Sri Saranga Murari Thakura:
Sri Saranga Murari Thakura was a great devotee of Lord Caitanya. He used to reside here at Mamgachi in Modadrumadvipa, and would pass his days serving his deities and contemplating upon the Lord’s magnanimous pastimes.According to Sri Gaura Gannodesha Dipika , Saranga Thakura was the incarnation Nandi Mukhi devi, who was the wife of a brahmana in Vraja.Inspite of repeatedly being inspired from within, Saranga Thakura did not accept any disciple. But understanding that this was the desire of the Lord, Sri Saranga Thakura, decided one day ,that he would initiate the very first person he would meet the next morning. It thus happened that on the very next day, early morning, while he was taking bath, a dead body floated down the Ganges and touched his feet. He uttered mantra into the ears of the dead boy, following which the boy regained his consciousness. Regaining his life, the boy revealed that his name was Murari and that he had died on being bitten by a snake. From then on, Sri Saranga Thakura came to be known as Saranga Murari Thakura as he had given a new life to this boy Murari.
Murari was subsequently initiated by Saranga Thakura and went onto become a great devotee. When his parents came to know that their son had got his life back, they wanted to take him back. But Murari refused and expressed his desire to stay and serve his Guru. This is the quality of an ideal Vaishnava,who always prioritizes bhakti above everything else.
Sri Saranga Murari Thakura was originally a resident of Sar-Vrindavanapur village of Burdwan. This village is situated near the Galasi station. His descendants continue to reside in this village till this day.Sri Caitanya Bhagavata exclaims that Saranga Thakura was a very uncommon personality who remained completely immersed in Krishna consciousness. He would spend entire days chanting the holy names of the Lord. Sometimes he would submerge himself within water and stay like that for two or three days and yet feel no inconvenience.He would enter into the forests and slap the cheeks of tigers or sometimes play with venomous snakes in ecstasy.He was completely forgetful of his external body.Of Course nothing is impossible for such an elevated personality who had received the causeless mercy of Sri Gauranga and Nityananda.
The temple :
‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ observed that this temple is being quite nicely maintained at present. The priest was very helpful and showed us around the place.We also met an old Maharaja who has been residing and taking care of the deities here since the last 60 years. We came to know that he is more than a hundred years old.We also learnt that Sri Bhakti Vaibhav Sagara Maharaja,whose samadhi tomb also rests within this temple compound,had once rescued these worshipable deities of Sri Saranga Murari Thakura, and had subsequently established their worship at this place.Sri Bhakti Vaibhav Sagara Maharaja was a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.The temple compound houses a huge Bakula Tree, which is completely hollow from inside.It is said that Lord Caitanya had Himself embraced this tree, while He had come to meet Saranga Thakura here at Mamgachi.The Tree was dying at that time.Receiving Mahaprabhu’s divine touch,however, the tree had sprung back to life, blooming with green leaves and fragrant flowers.
We worship the lotus feet of our spiritual master ,whose causeless mercy has empowered us ineligible fools ,to gain entrance and take up service in this transcendental abode of Modadrumadvipa.We seek shelter of this holy land, and pray that its glories remain forever imprinted in our heart.‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ offers millions of obeisances and humbly prays to Sri Saranga Murari Thakura that we advance in our Krishna consciousness, and are able to serve Sri Guru & Vaishnavas, by our honest and sincere efforts. We seek his blessings and compassion , in successfully rendering this humble service of reciting the pastimes and revealing the pastime places of the Supreme Lord and His beloved associates.We shall consider ourselves greatly fortunate and our existence meaningful if Lord Gaurahari and our dear spiritual master are kindly pleased with our endeavours.
What to see :
- The worshipable Radha Gopinatha deities of Sri Saranga Murari Thakura
- The worshipable Radha Madana Gopala deities of Sri Vasudeva datta
- Sri Gaura-Gadadhara deities of Sri Puri Goswami
- The Bakul tree that was embraced by Lord Caitanya
- The samadhi of Sri Bhakti Vaibhav Sagara Maharaja, who had rescued and re-established the worship of the deities at this place.
How to Reach:
One travelling from kolkata is advised to board a Krishnanagar local train from the Sealdah station. On reaching Krishnanagar, one can book a toto (auto) to take him to the Krishnanagar Ghat. From the Krishnanagar Ghat(bank) one can avail a five minutes ferry ride to reach the Mayapur Hulor Ghat.
The residence of Sri Saranga Murari Thakura is located at the village of Mamgachi, in Modadrumadvipa (an island towards the northern end of Navadvipa).One can hire a cab/autorickshaw from Mayapur to reach this place.This place is not very far from Purbasthali , a station that arrives a few stops after Navadvipa.However, if one is not well acquainted with these places, he is advised to book a cab from ‘Gauranga Travels’ (office within Iskcon Mayapur temple premises) and ask them to bring him over to this ancient site.
Lord Rama had come to this island of Modadrumadvipa in the previous kalpa, along with brother Lakshmana and wife Sita, while He was in exile. He had constructed a hut here under a banyan tree in which the three of them had resided for a few days. Resting at this place, Sri Rama narrated the glories of Navadvipa and described the enchanting mood and form of Lord Gaurahari.
Accommodation – One can choose to avail the good facilities of Iskcon Mayapur where one can honour nice prasadam as well.Please make sure to book your rooms well in advance by calling.
Nearest major airport – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (Kolkata)
Nearest major Railway station – Navadvipa
(Please note that we neither necessarily recommend these hotels/accommodation centers mentioned above nor do we guarantee that they will provide the required facilities/services to the visiting pilgrims. We are not in any way related to the governance of these hotels/accommodation centers. The visiting pilgrim is advised to choose an accommodation as per his own discretion)