Category Archives: MaldanMurshidabad

Sripat of Sri Ganga Narayana Chakravarti (Bodo Govinda bari) , Gambhila (Jiaganj), Murshidabad

jiaganj

Sri Ganga Narayana Chakravarti is considered to be the foremost of Narottama Das Thakura’s disciples. He appeared at a place called Jiaganj, which is situated a few stops from the Murshidabad station. Jiaganj was previously known as Gambhila and is renowned all over the world, as the sacred place where Narottama das Thakura subsequently merged into the Ganges and disappeared from this world. Sri Ganga Narayana was a very rich and famous person. He was a renowned scholar. He used to impart education unto hundreds of students daily. The great stalwart Sri Vishwanath Chakravarti Thakura was also one of his dedicated students.

‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ has presented the life and pastimes of Narottama das Thakura in another of our articles entitled – ‘Kheturi, Rajshahi (Bangladesh) – Sripat of Sri Narottama das Thakura’.  In this article, however, we are going to focus on Ganga Narayana Chakravarti and the Sripat of Gambhila. Before surrendering himself unto Narottama das Thakura, Ganga Narayana was a puffed up scholar who used to look down upon Narottama. The reason being that Narottama, although belonging to a lower caste, initiated people who sometimes were even Brahmanas. Not only Ganga Narayana, but several people of that time, who failed to gauge the exalted position of Narottama das, indulged in his criticism.

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Sri Radha Madhava jiu temple, Kumarpara, Murshidabad

kumarpara murshidabad

Heading south from the Murshidabad railway station, we arrived at the exalted serene Dham of Kumarpur (also known as Kumarpara). Here rest the mesmerizing Radha Madhava deities that were brought from Vrindavana, all the way to this place in the year 1609 AD, by a devotee named Vamsivadana Ghosh. This place is also renowned as Madhavi Kunja, as it was under this Madhavi lata tree (Hiptage benghalensis), that these deities were originally established. The old temple collapsed in course of time, and since then the deities have been shifted to the newly constructed adjacent temple. This Madhavi Tree still exists and can be taken darsana of, by anyone visiting this sacred place. The Ganges used to flow by this temple in the past but has now shifted a few kilometers from Madhavi Kunja. The small stream of water that continues to flow by the temple at present, is known as Motijheel.

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The deities of Ramachandra Kaviraja & Govinda Kaviraja, Bhagawangola, Murshidabad

bhagawangola

The two brothers, Sri Ramachandra Kaviraja and Govinda kaviraja, are great acharyas and renowned stalwarts of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya. They are the two sons of Ciranjiva (an eternal associate of Lord Caitanya) and Sunanda Devi.Sri Krishnadasa Kaviraja identifies Ciranjiva (a resident of Srikhanda) as the 41st branch of Lord Caitanya’s desire tree of devotional service.

khandavasi mukunda das, sri Raghunandana
Narahari das, ciranjiva, sulocana
ei saba mahasakha — caitanya-kripadhama
Prema phala phula kare yahan tahan daana
(Sri Caitanya caritamrta, Adi,10.78-79)

Sunanda Devi was the daughter of the great poet, Damodara Sen. Sri Bhakti Ratnakara reveals how Damodara Pandita was a great scholar and almost undefeatable in debates. One such scholar, who was defeated by him, cursed him to never have any male progenies in his life. Damodara went to great lengths to pacify the defeated scholar, who at last blessed him saying that his daughter, would give birth to two illustrious sons, who would benedict the whole world, by driving away all its inauspiciousness. In due course of time, Damodara was blessed with a daughter, whom he named Sunanda. She was beautiful and a reservoir of all good qualities. Sunanda Devi subsequently got married to Ciranjiva and settled down at Srikhanda (near Katwa, Bengal). In due course of time, she gave birth to Sri Ramachandra Kaviraja and Govinda Kaviraja, the great saviors of fallen souls. Before ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ delves into the life and pastimes of these exalted personalities, we would like to apprise the readers that here at the Gauranga Bari ashrama in Bhagawangola, presently rests the Gaura Govinda and Gaura Gopala deities of Ramachandra Kaviraja and Govinda Kaviraja. Not a few miles from here lies the renowned ‘Teliya Budhari’ village where the Sripat of Govinda Kaviraja once existed. We shall discuss more on these later in this article.

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Ramkeli, Malda – The once-headquarters of Sri Rupa and Sanatana Goswami

ramkeli

Ramkeli, situated in the town of Malda, has been the erstwhile headquarters of Sri Rupa and Sanatana Goswami before they fully surrendered themselves unto the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (refer – ‘YogPeeth, Mayapur, Navadvipa – The birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’). It was here at Ramkeli, that Lord Caitanya had rested while He was en route to Vrindavana. Mahaprabhu did not travel as far as Vrindavana, though, and returned back only from Kanai Natshala (a place hardly 100 Kms from Ramkeli). The only purpose of His coming to Ramkeli, however, was to bless and unite with His eternal servants Sri Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. The tamal tree under which Lord Caitanya is said to have meditated is still preserved here at Ramkeli. A small temple built under this tree enshrines Sri Gaurahari’s lotus footprints on stone. There are eight sacred ponds surrounding the temple. These ponds (Kunda), dedicated to the eight principal Gopis of Vrindavana, were dug by Sri Rupa and Sanatana themselves when they lived here. ‘the Gaudiya treasures of Bengal’ considers itself greatly fortunate to have been able to enter and serve this cintamani (wish-fulfilling) dham.

Gaura amara, je-saba sthane,
koralo bhramana range
Se saba sthana, heribo ami,
Pranayi-bhakata-sange

May I visit and constantly contemplate upon all those places where Lord Caitanya performed His sweet pastimes along with His intimate associates.

We seek blessings and compassion of the Vaishnavas, before attempting to write a few lines in glorification of Sri Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. The readers are requested to kindly excuse any of our unintentional mistakes, as we are mere fools, who, not knowing our limits, are trying to delve deep into this esoteric well, to excavate the mesmerizing jewels that adorn the devotees of Sri Gaurasundara.

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