Monthly Archives: December 2021

Ahulya Math – Residence of Advaita Acharya & Lord Nityananda in Jagannath Puri

ahulya math puri

Although Ahulya Math is a significant Gaudiya Vaishnava site of Jagannath Puri, this place is not that well-known. Lord Chaitanya shifted to Jagannath Puri after His sannyasa initiation, and it became a tradition that devotees from Bengal would visit Him each year on the occasion of the Rath Yatra festival. Ahulya Math is where Advaita Acharya and Nityananda Prabhu stayed during their annual visits to Jagannath Puri.

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Satasana Bhajana sthali, Jagannath Puri

giridhari math satasana puri

Situated on Satasana Road, next to Iskcon Bhakti Kuti (Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s house) and Srila Haridas Thakur’s samadhi, one shall locate Sat Asana Mathas, which are actually seven temples that had been established to celebrate the pastimes of seven celestial sages (sapta-rishis) who had once meditated at this place. These seven celestial sages namely Kashyapa, Atri, Vasistha, Viswamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, and Bharadvaja are glorified throughout the Vedic scriptures. Later many associates of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had also performed their bhajan at these sacred places. A brief description of these seven temples or asanas is provided below. Out of the seven temples that were previously established, only four remain at present – Giridhari math, Syamasundara math, Madana Mohana math, and Krishna Balaram Math.

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Gangamata Math – Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya’s House, Jagannath Puri

gangamata sarvabhauma

Gangamata Math is situated to the south of the Jagannath temple on the bank of the Sweta Ganga tank in Jagannath Puri. This was previously the residence of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. The initial encounter between Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has been described by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in the sixth chapter of ‘Amrita Pravaha bhasya’.

The deliverance of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya

On entering the temple of Jagannatha, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu immediately fainted. Seeing this, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya took Him to his residence. Meanwhile, Gopinath Acarya, brother-in-law of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, met Mukunda Datta and spoke to him about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa and His journey from Bengal to Jagannatha Puri. After listening about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s fainting and Him being carried to the house of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, people swarmed to catch a glimpse of the Lord. Nityananda Prabhu and other devotees visited the Jagannatha temple, and when they returned to the house of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had regained His external consciousness. Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya welcomed everyone and distributed Jagannath Maha-prasadam with great care. The Bhattacharya then became acquainted with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and arranged for His accommodations at his aunt’s house. His brother-in-law, Gopinath Acarya, proved that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was Krishna Himself, but Sarvabhauma and his many disciples could not accept this. However, Gopinath Acarya convinced Sarvabhauma that no one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead without being favored by Him. Gopinath established through scriptural references that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was none other than Krishna. Yet, Sarvabhauma did not take these words very seriously.

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Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s bhajan Kutir, Jagannath Puri – Iskcon Bhakti kuti

bhaktivinoda thakura's house bhakti kuti

Iskcon Bhakti Kuti is situated beside the sea, near Haridas Thakura’s samadhi, in the well-known area of Swargadwar, in Jagannath Puri. ‘Bhakti Kuti’ is the original name that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur gave to his bhajana Kutira. This is the same area where the sapta-rishis (seven celestial sages) had performed severe austerities and hari-bhajana millions of years ago. The place is now administered by Iskcon who have founded a beautiful temple at the site. Radha Giridhari jiu and an enchanting deity of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bless all who visit this sacred place. A pure Sattvik restaurant is now located on the ground floor of the temple premises. Deities of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur grace the simhasana in the temple hall.

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Birthplace of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Jagannath Puri

birthplace of bhaktisiddhanta sarasvati thakur

On the 6th of February 1874 AD at 3.30 pm, Bimala prasad Datta (later renowned as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura) appeared in this world, at a place not very far from the Jagannatha temple in Puri. He was the fourth son of Bhaktivinoda Thakura (Kedarnath Dutta) and Srimati Bhagavati Devi. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, an exalted Vaishnava acharya, was then posted as the regional governor. He was also in charge of the administration of the Jagannath Puri temple. Sri Bimala Prasad Datta exhibited thirty-two bodily symptoms of a great personality, at the time of his birth. He was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck like a Brahmin’s thread, perhaps a sign of his glorious mission. Analyzing his horoscope, a renowned astrologer commented, ‘I have done many horoscopes in my life, but never before have I witnessed a horoscope filled with all the signs of a great personality. This child shall become world-famous as a brilliant teacher of life’s ultimate goal’.

When Bimala Prasada was just six months old, Lord Jagannatha’s Rathayatra cart had halted in front of Srila Bhaktivinoda’s house in Puri for three continuous days. It could not be moved. The cart began moving only after little Bimala was brought before Lord Jagannath. As soon as Bimala came out, a garland fell off from the Lord’s neck and wrapped the child. This was taken as a sign of special favor by the Lord. The child’s grain ceremony was observed on the cart and it was done with Jagannath Maha-Prasad. 

Bhaktisiddhanta sarasvati Thakura

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Jagannath Vallabh garden, Jagannath Puri

Jagannath Vallabh Garden

Jagannath Vallabh Garden, situated on the south of Narendra Sarovara, is considered to be as ancient as the temple of Lord Jagannath. This large garden, full of coconut trees and a cooling pond, is very dear (vallabha) to Lord Jagannath because it grows a variety of flowers and fruits that are engaged in His service. Lord Jagannath’s ‘utsava murti’ (festival Deity) is also brought here on numerous auspicious occasions for Him to relish the various festivities that are conducted here. On the left entrance is situated Jagannath Vallabh Math, which is believed to have been established by the devotees of Sri Vishnuswami sampradaya. This garden is very significant for the Gaudiya Vaishnavas as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had enacted many of His wonderful pastimes here at this place.

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Chataka Parvata, Jagannath Puri : Non-different to Giri Govardhan

chataka parvata puri

The Chataka Parvata is a sand dune located near the temple of Tota Gopinath, in the Gourbatsahi area of Jagannath Puri. After His sannyasa, Sri Chaitanya had shifted to Jagannath Puri from Bengal about 500 years ago. On one occasion, while He was going to take a bath in the sea, He mistook this sand dune to be Giri Govardhan of Vrindavan, the sacred hill renowned for Krishna’s pastimes. Crying out the following verse which was originally recited by the Gopis, He rushed towards the Chataka Parvata –

hantayam adrir abala hari dasa varyo
yad rama Krishna charana sparasa pramodah
manam tanoti saha go ganayos tayor yat
paniya suyavasa kandara kanda mulaih
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.18)

(The Gopis of Vrindavan exclaimed) Of all the servants of the Lord, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balarama, as well as their calves, cows, and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities including drinking water, soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers, and vegetables. In this way, the hill offers its respect to the Supreme Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balarama, Giri Govardhana appears very jubilant.

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