Panca tattvatmakam krsnam bhakta-rupa-svarupakam
bhaktavataram bhaktakhyam namami bhakta saktikam
I offer my obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, who is non-different from His features as a devotee (Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu), devotional manifestation (Sri Nityananda Prabhu), devotional incarnation (Sri Advaita Acarya), devotional energy (Sri Gadadhara Pandita) and pure devotee (Sri Srivasa Pandita)
According to Sri Gaura Gannoddesha Dipika, Srivasa Pandita is none other than the incarnation of Narada Muni, who had appeared to assist his beloved Lord enact the heart melting pastimes of Navadvipa. Sri Srivasa Pandita couldn’t bear the separation from his beloved Lord Caitanya, after He had accepted the Sannyasa order of life. After sannyasa, Sri Caitanya shifted to Jagannatha Puri, leaving His hometown Navadvipa in tears.The sweet memories of Sri Caitanya performing His daily sankirtana pastimes at Srivasa Angana (house of Srivasa thakura at Mayapur) became too much for Srivasa Pandita to bear. ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ has covered the amazing pastimes of Srivasa Angana in a separate article entitled – ‘Srivasa Angan ,Mayapur ,Navadvipa – Part 1: where Lord Gaurahari eternally performs His ecstatic pastimes’. The whole town of Navadvipa mourned in the absence of Gaurahari. Navadvipa had thus become unbearable for Srivasa Pandita and his family ,as they were constantly reminded of Sri Gauranga’s nectarian pastimes. They cursed themselves thinking that they must have committed some grave sin due to which they were then separated from the Lord of their lives.Unable to bear this pain any further, Srivasa Pandita along with his entire family, shifted to the town of Kumarhatta (Present day Halisahar). Here at Kumarhatta,Srivasa Prabhu began worshipping his Gaur-Nitai deities with heartfelt devotion.
The situation of Navadvipa, after Mahaprabhu, had abandoned it ,is clearly reflected through the following composition of Sri Govinda Ghosh. ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ has translated the following piece into English, for the pleasure of the devotees.
Hedere Nadiya Basi, kara mukha chao,
Bahu prasariya Gorachande ferao
To sabare ke ara karbe nija kare,
Ke yachiya dibe prema dekhiya katore
Ki shel hiyay, hay ki shel hiyay,
Purana putuli Navadvipa Chhari jaya
Ara na jaiba mora Gaurangera Pash,
Ara na kariba mora kirtane vilasa
Kandoye bhakta gana bukh bidariya,
Pashana Govinda Ghosh na jaya miliya
O the residents of Nadiya, Whose face are you now staring at ?
Stretch your arms and bring back Sri Gorachand (Lord Gauranga)
Who else shall consider you as His own,
Who else shall mercifully bestow love of Godhead upon the weak and fallen.
Oh ! What a thunderous painful bolt has now struck our unfortunate lives ,
The most magnanimous Supreme Personality of Godhead is now leaving Navadvipa
No longer shall i get the precious association of my dearmost Gauranga,
No longer shall i relish kirtana anymore
All the devotees are crying tearing out their hearts,
Stone hearted Govinda Ghosh yet doesn’t put an end to his existence
(Translation by ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’
Like Navadvipa, Kumarhatta (Halisahar) is also located on the bank of the Ganges. In due course of time, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu,wrapped up His earthly pastimes, and along with him all His associates,including Srivasa Pandita, left this world one by one. The house of Srivasa Pandita, in Halisahar is no longer visible today, as it has, in all probability, been destroyed due to shift in the course of the mighty river.However ,his beloved worshipable Gaur Nitai deities were recovered by Sri Uddharana Datta Thakura and they are being duly worshipped today at a nearby place called Chinsurah. ‘The Gaudiya treasures of Bengal’ considers itself exceedingly fortunate to have taken Darsana of these revered deities and to have prayed to them for their causeless mercy.
These mesmerizing Gaur Nitai deities, were served by many in these past 500 years. Finally Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Goswami Maharaj recovered them and properly installed them in his temple at Chinsurah.He named the temple ‘Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Math’ ,after the eternal associate of the Lord, Sri Uddharana datta Thakura, who was primarily responsible for recovering these ancient deities and preserving them. ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ has covered the life and pastimes of Sri Uddharana Datta in a separate dedicated article entitled – ‘Sri Uddharana Datta Thakura Sripat, Adisaptagram (Near bandel)’. The temple at Chinsurah is very beautifully built and the devotees here are also very cooperative.They happily narrated to us the relevant history and the pastimes of this sacred place.These captivating deities mercifully bestow their darsana and accept our humble services even today.
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 sacred land of Chinsurah.We seek shelter of this holy abode, 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 Gaura Nitai that we advance in our Krishna consciousness,develop attachment unto their lotus feet and are able to serve Sri Guru & Vaishnavas, by our honest and sincere efforts. We seek blessings and compassion of the lordships, in successfully rendering this humble service of reciting the pastimes and revealing the pastime places of the 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.
Brief background about Chinsurah :
The town of Chinsurah boasts of a very rich cultural heritage. It formed a significant part of the great Bhurshut empire. Hundreds of years later the dutch and the portuguese had established their settlements over here and as a result the place flourished as a trading port.The churches that are scattered all over the area ,were once constructed by these foreigners. The place had played a very important part in the Indian independence movement as well.’Vande Mataram’ ,the national song of India, was composed by Sri Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay while he was here at Chinsurah. The land of Chinsurah is located on the bank of the Ganges and is vibrant with spirituality. The people of this place are very cooperative and friendly. They helped ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ immensely by providing the required directions to reach this temple. The most important aspect of Chinsurah’s heritage, in our opinion, lies in the fact that it preserves and enables us to take darsana and pray to the most merciful Gaur Nitai deities, that were once worshipped by Sri Srivasa Pandita, an intimate eternal associate of the Supreme Lord. Just on the other side of the Ganges lies the holy town of Halisahar, where Sri Caitanya, had personally come to visit the birthplace of His spiritual master, Sri Isvara Puri (Please refer – ‘Caitanya Doba ,Halisahar – The birthplace of Isvara Puri’). Halisahar also houses the famous Krishna Raya temple, which is celebrated as the residence of Maha Bhagavata Sivananda Sena. The towns of Chinsurah and Halisahar are extremely significant sites in the spiritual map of Bengal.
What to See:
- The mesmerizing worshipable Gaura Nitai deities of Sri Srivasa Pandita
- Take Darsana of the Sri Radha Govinda dev jiu who is also served here at the Uddharana Gaudiya Math
How to Reach :
‘Uddharana Gaudiya Math’ is located very near to Chinsurah Chowmatha (Hooghly, West Bengal). Once you reach chowmatha, the local residents might help with the directions to the temple.A nearby landmark would be Chinsurah Deshbandhu Memorial High School. One might board a train from Howrah/Sealdah to directly reach Chinsurah (also spelt as Chuchura) or if one wishes, he might drive all the way to the place. The journey should not take more than 3 hours.
Accommodation – One can choose to stay in any of the prominent hotels near Bandel like hotel aquatic palace, etc. Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Math, is hardly an hour ride from there. Accomodation facilities are not available in this temple. However devotees can book their prasadam by getting in touch with the temple authorities at : (+91) (033) 2680 7456
Nearest major airport – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (Kolkata)
Nearest major Railway station – Chuchura
(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)