(An excerpt from Sri Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta‘)
(Sri Jagadananda Pandita says) I write whatever pastimes of Lord Gauranga come to my mind, even if they are not in proper chronological sequence.
Gauranga’s Prasada (Food remnants)
One day mother Saci, very affectionately, handed me over the plate containing Lord Gauranga’s food remains.
I was delighted to taste Lord Gauranga’s prasad and it appeared just like nectar.
Will I ever be able to relish such delicious food again? Mother Saci cooked foodstuffs with wild spinach (abona Acyuta Sak), banana flowers (mocha ghanta), edible roots (Kachu Sak) with balls of fried pulses, manchaki, nimba patal, and patties of fried pulses in yoghurt (dadhi-bari).
Visiting the village of Gadigacha
Having happily enjoyed my feast, I moved like a swan in the company of Nityananda, Gauranga, and their associates. Traversing along the bank of the Ganges, and chanting the holy names of Lord Hari, we finally reached the village of Gadigacha.
Sri Govinda Ghosh played Mridanga while Sri Vasudeva Ghosh chanted Harinama. Sri Gadadhara Pandita and Vakresvar danced to the tunes. Hearing the sound of ‘Haribol’, there was cheering in all directions. Everyone was intoxicated in divine love with Gauranga.
I do not know how to sing or dance. Yet I dance with my arms upraised. This is occurring because Lord Gauranga has entered my body and is driving me to do so.
I have no sense of tune or rhythm. Yet I continue to dance and sing. I do not know how my moon-like Gauranga reasons.
Service of the village cowherd boys
Arriving at the village of Gadigacha, and entering a neighborhood of cowherds, Lord Gauranga said, “Devotees, Listen! Today we shall stroll around this lake and then take rest under this tree”.
“The cows are happily roaming along with the cowherd men, beneath this banyan tree”. Several cowherd men came forth and offered us yogurt, curd, and butter, relieving us of our travel fatigue.
Sri Pradyumna came over with Nrsimhananda, and Purushottamacharya also joined us here. The sound of Mridanga brought everyone out of their homes. The sound of Harinama echoed in the sky.
The cowherd boy Bhima
A cowherd boy named Bhima, who was very kind, came forward and said, “Dear Sir, Please listen. My mother Syama is a pious milkmaid and the daughter of a respectable milkman from Ganga-nagara. She refers to Saci devi as ‘mother’ and always serves her. In that connection, you are my maternal uncle. Come with me uncle and bring your whole group to our house. There you can blissfully perform Sri Krishna Sankirtana.
I shall serve You whatever yogurt and milk my mother has kept in store. And I shall also massage Your feet”.
Gauranga visits the residence of Bhima and eats sweet rice
When Bhima became insistent and begged everyone, Lord Gauranga, moved by His love for the cowherds, agreed to accompany him to his house.
Syama (Bhima’s mother) greeted everyone with ululation (auspicious high-pitched sound that ladies make by moving their tongue) and seated everyone in her cowshed.
Syama asked, “My learned brother, how is Your mother?” Replying, “She is well, she is well indeed”, Lord Gauranga began to dance.
Setting out banana leaves, Syama served Yogurt and sweet rice. Thereafter Nimai and His devotees, sat down to eat pleasantly.
Gora-daha (Gaura’s Lake)
Finishing their meal, the Lord and His associates returned to the bank of the same lake. They softly sang the glories of the Supreme Lord Hari.
Ramadasa, one of the cowherd boys, came over and said, “Our cows do not drink water from this lake”.
Crocodile in the lake
A terrifying crocodile lives in this lake. The cows do not drink water from here, as a result, and instead, moo in fear.
Hearing this, Lord Gauranga initiated Harinama-sankirtana. The crocodile immediately became attracted to the chanting of the holy name.
The crocodile then swiftly came out of the water and reached the feet of Gauranga. On coming in contact with Lord Gauranga’s feet, the crocodile transformed itself into a celestial being having the body of a child.
Crying the celestial child offered prayers unto the Lord. He narrated the sad story of his life and sobbed.
The Past of the celestial child who was imprisoned in the body of a crocodile
The celestial child said, “O Lord! Being cursed by Durvasa muni, I have been wandering in this body of a crocodile, striking fear within the hearts of everyone.
Once while the great sage rested in Kamyavana, I mischievously cut off his matted hair.
The sage grew very angry and cursed me saying,’Take the body of a crocodile and suffer the consequences of your actions for four yugas’.
Then I wept and begged the sage. Feeling compassionate, he called me and spoke as follows.
‘O heavenly child! When the son of Nanda Maharaja (Krishna) appears in Navadvipa (as Gauranga), becoming the wealth of Saci’s life, at that time you shall be freed from my curse coming in contact with His kirtan (chanting of the Lord’s holy name and glories). You shall then reacquire your celestial body and return to the abode of the Gods’ “.
Prayers of the celestial child
(The celestial child glorified Lord Gaurahari as follows)
“All glories to the son of mother Saci, the deliverer of the fallen. He is the Supreme shelter of the humble, the miserable and hopeless.
Your glories resound everywhere in the fourteen worlds. You have delivered a fallen soul like me.
This Navadvipa Dham is the essence of all the other holy places. It is over here that You, the deliverer of the fallen in this age of kali, chose to descend.
You have come to rescue the souls of Kali Yuga by distributing the holy name of Lord Hari. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, Lord of the Lords.
I have been imprisoned in this body of a crocodile for four Yugas. Now You have rescued me, O merciful Hari, the deliverer of the fallen souls.
The holy names of Lord Hari sound very sweet when chanted by You. Innumerable moving and non-moving living entities have been delivered by You.
I beg Your permission so that I may now return to my celestial abode. I shall be extremely pleased to see my mother and father again”.
The celestial child regains his original form and returns home
Having said thus, the celestial child offered his obeisances and left amidst the triumphant chanting of the holy name.
Noticing that it was already midday, the devotees returned to Mayapur along with the Lord.
Anyone who hears this pastime of Mahaprabhu becomes freed from brahmana’s curses.
The results of seeing Gora-daha
From then on, the lake came to be widely recognized as Gora-daha and it is similar to the lake of Kaliya-daha which is situated in Vraja.
All the Vedas proclaim that just by seeing this lake or touching it, one becomes absolved of all sins and attains devotion unto Lord Krishna.
All the cowherds present at this place, having witnessed this pastime with their own eyes, lifted Lord Gauranga upon their shoulders referring to Him as their maternal uncle (‘Mama’).
Everyone witnessed the Lord’s forenoon pastimes and perceived the essence of Lord Krishna and Balarama’s pastimes within them.
The devotees beheld the cow herding pastimes of Lord Krishna on the banks of Manasa-Ganga over there (at Gora-daha).
The cow herders then realized that the pastimes of Nimai are non-different to the pastimes of Lord Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaj.
Where is Goradaha Situated?
The accurate location of Goradaha is presently unknown. However, it is believed to be located somewhere in Godrumadvipa, not far from Srila Bhaktivinoda’s residence in Svananda Sukhada Kunja.