Lord Jagannatha of Jasra (Yashora) , Chakdaha – The worshipable deity of Jagadish Pandita

chakdaha

Sri Jagadish Pandita was the fifteenth branch to have expanded out of Lord Nityananda’s trunk of devotional service.Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja has highly glorified him in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta. Sri Jagadish Pandita has been described as ‘Jagat-pavana’, the deliverer of the entire world. It has been exclaimed that devotional love of Krishna showered from him like torrents of heavy rain.

jagadisa paṇḍita haya jagat-pavana
Krishna premamrita varse, yena varsa ghana
(Caitanya Caritamrta, adi, 11.30)

‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ considers itself exceedingly fortunate to have been able to visit the sripat of Sri Jagadish pandita in this holy town of Chakdaha and seek blessings from his worshipable Jagannatha and Gaura-Gopal deities. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has mentioned in his anubhashya commentary that both of Jagadish pandita’s parents were great devotees of Lord Vishnu. After they had passed away, Jagadish Pandita, shifted his residence to Mayapur to live in the company of Jagannatha Misra (Mahaprabhu’s father) and the other vaishnavas. His wife Dukhini and brother Hiranya accompanied him. Gaura Gonodesha Dipika confirms that both the brothers, Jagadish and Hiranya, were formerly the wives of the sacrificial brahmanas in Vrindavana. In the pastimes of Lord Caitanya, Jagadish pandita worshipped Mahaprabhu in the mood of parental affection.

Pastimes with little Nimai :

Once on an ekadashi day, little Nimai became very sick.He kept crying and no one was able to restrain Him. Nimai didn’t stop even when others chanted the Lord’s holy names.Normally this medicine of holy name worked but today it had failed. So finally, Jagannatha Misra requested his son to disclose His mind.Nimai replied that He wanted to honor the special prasadam that was being offered unto the deities at the residence of Jagadish and Hiranya Pandita (the two brothers had already shifted to Mayapur by this time). Everyone became astounded hearing this and they wondered how this little boy could know of any special foodstuffs being offered at someone else’s house. Please note that though it was Ekadashi, a day when the devotees are advised to fast, this fasting is not recommended for Lord Vishnu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu requested for the remnants of the Lord on the pretense of being very sick.

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So accordingly Jagannatha Mishra started for the house of Jagadish Pandita, which was about 2 miles from his house. On reaching, he disclosed everything to Jagadish and Hiranya Pandita. He was surprised to note Jagadish Pandita and his family had indeed made special prasadam arrangements. All immediately concluded that little Nimai possessed supernatural mystic powers by which he could be aware of this information from so far away.

vyadhi chhale jagadisa hiranya sadane
vishnu-naivedya khaila ekadasi-dine
(Caitanya Caritamrta, adi, 14.39)

Lord Jagannatha of Jasra :

Years later, Lord Caitanya had instructed Jagadish pandita to go and preach the glories of the holy name at Jagannatha puri. Jagadish pandita abided by the instructions. While returning from Puri, Jagadish Pandita received instructions from Lord Jagannatha to install him at his home in Mayapur.He was instructed to carry the beautiful deity of Lord Jagannatha from the temple at Puri, during the time of ‘Nabakalebara’, when the deities were to be replaced.(Nabakalebara is a symbolic recreation of the wooden forms of the four deities at Jagannath Temple, Puri. In the cult of Jagannath, this is a periodical renewal of the wooden forms of Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshana. The occasion occurs every 8th, 12th, or 19th year of the previous Nabakalebara. source – wikipedia). Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura writes in his anubhashya commentary that Jagadish Pandita tied the heavy deity of Jagannatha to a stick and brought him all the way from Puri to Bengal. Lord Jagannatha had mercifully become as light as a feather, so that it would be easy for Jagadish Pandita to carry Him. But when Jagadish pandita arrived at the village of Jasra, on the bank of the Ganges, he desired to take a dip in the holy river. Putting Jagannatha deva down he proceeded to take his bath.

chakdaha

However when Jagadish Pandita returned from the Ganges, he found that Lord Jagannatha deva had turned exceedingly heavy and it was impossible to carry Him any further. Understanding the Lord’s desire to remain there at Jasra (in Chakdaha) , Sri Jagadish pandita performed the necessary rituals and installed Lord Jagannatha deva over there. From then on, Jagadish pandita also began residing there at Jasra. The word spread far and wide. More and more people came to visit Lord Jagannatha jiu.Initially the deity was served under a tall banyan tree on the bank of the Ganges. Later a big temple was constructed, by King Krishnachandra of Krishnanagar, and Lord Jagannatha deva was shifted in there. The king donated a huge piece of land of around 500 bighas (1 bigha= 1/3rd acre approx) unto the deity.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda had advented to this place at Jasra twice. When Mahaprabhu, after taking His sannyasa, desired to shift to Jagannatha puri, Srimati Dukhini (Jagadish Pandita’s wife) was greatly pained at heart. She cried incessantly and could not tolerate the loss of Nimai from Nadiya. In order to console her, Mahaprabhu gifted her a beautiful deity of Gaura-Gopala which is preserved and worshipped at this temple in Jasra till this day.

The temple gradually lost its fortunes over the course of these last five hundred years.Finally its administration and the service of the deities were handed over to Sri Caitanya Gaudiya Math in the year 1962 AD. The temple has since been beautifully reconstructed with marble floors and elegant pillars. The deity worship is also currently being conducted as per the highest standards.

What to see :

  1. The worshipable Jagannatha and Gaura-Gopala deities of Sri Jagadish Pandita and his family.
  2. The stick with which Sri Jagadish Pandita had tied and carried Lord Jagannatha deva all the way from Puri

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 Chakdaha.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 Jagadish Pandita 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.

How to Reach :

One travelling from Kolkata can board a Krishnanagar local train from the Sealdah station and get down at Chakdaha. Reaching there one should book an autorickshaw to directly reach the Jagannatha temple at Jasra. One can contact the below phone numbers in case he/she finds difficulty in locating this sacred pastime place- +91 9564743702 / +91 (03473) 207442

It is worthwhile mentioning in this regard, that the sacred land of Chakdaha finds its mention across the vedic scriptures. In Dvapara yuga, it was here at Chakdaha that Pradyumna, son of Krishna, had killed the demon Sambarasura.This place hence became renowned as ’Pradyumna Nagar’. Later on, When King Bhagirath desired to bring down Ganges from the heavens, it was here at Chakdaha that the wheels of his Ratha (carrier) got stuck. From then on, Pradyumna Nagar came to be better known as ‘Chakra daha’ (‘Chakra’ means wheel in bengali).In course of time, ‘Chakra daha’ came to be known as ‘Chakdaha’, as we refer to it today.

Accommodation -One can opt to put up at any of the good hotels at Ranaghat. Chakdaha is not very far from Ranaghat city.Alternatively, one can choose to avail the guest house facilities of Iskcon Habibpur (+91 97321 85553 / 03473-281150), which is also not very far from this place.
The Jagannatha temple of Jasra is under the governance of Sri Caitanya Gaudiya Math. Though Prasadam is readily available over here, the temple does not have any guest house facility. Jasra temple contact nos : +91 9564743702 / +91 (03473) 207442

Nearest major airport – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (Kolkata)

Nearest major Railway station – Chakdaha

(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)

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