Category Archives: Navadvipa

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Meeting of Gauranga and Nityananda at the residence of Nandan Acharya, in Mayapur

nandan acharya bhavan

After touring various holy places, Nityananda Prabhu finally reached Vrindavana. Visiting His previous pastime places (ie, those of Lord Balaram), He became ecstatic and began roaring loudly. Going without any food or water, He incessantly chanted the names of Krishna and rolled upon the sacred dust of Vrindavana dham. By this time, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had already started revealing His devotional mood in Navadvipa. Mahaprabhu (Krishna) started to feel an intense separation from His brother Nitai (Balaram), and longed to have Him in His sankirtana. As soon Lord Nityananda realized that Mahaprabhu had begun manifesting His ecstatic mood, He at once came over to Navadvipa to assist the Lord in His magnanimous pastimes.

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Sri Nilambar Chakravarti’s residence ,Belpukur,Navadvipa (Simantadvipa)

belpukur Sri nilambar gtb

“What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa” – Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya

One of the sweetest spiritual sites that ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ has come across during its vast journey across Bengal is the maternal home of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Located at a place called Belpukur within the precincts of Simantadvipa (one of the nine islands constituting Navadvipa) , this is where Sri Nilambar Chakravarti, Mahaprabhu’s maternal grandfather, used to reside along with his family 500 years ago.Sri Madana Gopala, the worshipable deity of Sri Nilambar, has been carefully preserved at this holy place and continues to accept our humble service till this day. The beautiful deities of Sri Nilambar Chakravarti and his daughter Srimati Saci devi is also worshipped over here.The temple priest ,Sri Nimai Krishna das Prabhuji, who lives and serves here, is a direct descendant of Nilambar Chakravarti, and has been subsequently initiated into the Gaudiya Sampradaya by HH Jayapataka Swami Guru Maharaj.

Being His maternal home, this place is very dear to Sri Gaurahari. Infact all of us have a very special place in our hearts towards our maternal homes, and the Supreme Lord ,being a person, is also no different.In fact, a lot of His balya lilas (childhood pastimes) have taken place here at Belpukur. The dust of this holy place is thus sanctified with the lotus footprints of Little Nimai.

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Birthplace of Srila Vrindavana Das Thakura, Mamgachi, Navadvipa (Modadrumadvipa)

mamgachi

“What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa” –
Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya

Sri Kavi karnapura reveals in his Gaura ganoddesha dipika that :

Srila Vedavyasa incarnated as Vrindavan Das Thakur in Lord Caitanya’s pastimes. Krishna’s friend Kusumapida also entered into him for special purposes.

Srila Vrindavana Das Thakura is the original vyasadeva of Mahaprabhu’s lila. His spiritual master was none other than Lord Nityananda, the adi Guru Himself. Being empowered by his Guru, Srila Vrindavana das, has narrated an amazing heart-rendering biographical account of Lord Caitanya’s divine mood and His exalted pastimes, in his composition Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, which is today one of the most revered  books of our Gaudiya Sampradaya.

Krishna-lila bhagavate kahe vedavyasa
Caitanya-lilara vyasa – vrindavana dasa
(Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi, 8.34)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura (founder acharya of the Gaudiya Mathas) , has greatly glorified Srila Vrindavana Das in his Caitanya Bhagavata purports. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta writes that Srila Vrindavana das Thakura’s love and devotion towards his spiritual master Nityananda prabhu is simply incomparable. He mentions how Vrindavana Das was a topmost preacher of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s philosophy and how he constantly engaged himself with all his mind, body and words, in preaching the glories of the Vaishnava acharyas. A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (founder acharya of ISKCON) has also sung great glories of this towering personality. In one of the initiation lectures in boston, prabhupada mentions how Vrindavana Das Thakura is one of the great acharyas of our Gaudiya sampradaya, and how we should all pray and seek for his causeless mercy.

(‘The Gaudiya treasures of Bengal’ has covered the birth and the early pastimes of Nityananda prabhu in a separate article entitled – Sri Ekachakra Dham – Birthplace of Lord Nityananda’.This article has been based upon the writings of Srila Vrindavana Das Thakura in his book ‘Sri Nityananda Caritamrta’).

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Sri Caitanya Math , Sri Chandrasekhar Acharya Bhavan (Masir Bari), Mayapur, Navadvipa

Caitanya Math

“What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa” –
Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya

Sri Chandrasekhara Acharya, or Acharya Ratna as he was sometimes referred to ,was the great second branch of Lord Caitanya’s desire tree of devotional service.He was Lord Caitanya’s maternal uncle, the husband of Sarvajaya, Saci Mata’s sister.He, like Jagannatha Mishra was originally a resident of Sylhet. He was one of the five devotees who had accompanied the Lord to witness His sannyasa initiation at Katwa (refer – ‘Sri Gauranga Bari (katwa) – Where Mahaprabhu accepted Sannyasa’). According to Gaura Ganoddesha dipika, Sri Chandrasekhara was the incarnation of the Moon God. Needless to say, he was an intimate associate of Mahaprabhu. Later Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura , the founder of the worldwide Gaudiya Mathas (temples), had established one of his main branches here, at the house of Chandrasekhara. He had named it as Vrajapattana, or the place where Vrindavana, the highest spiritual realm, became manifest.Lord Caitanya had enacted a beautiful play ,revealing the pastimes of Vrindavana, here at Chandrasekhara Bhavan, that enchanted the hearts of all the devotees.This episode of Mahaprabhu enacting this play has been described vividly by Srila Vrindavana das Thakura in Caitanya Bhagavata .‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ considers itself immensely fortunate to be able to narrate this nectarian pastime below.

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The Samadhi and Bhajana Kutira of Srila Jagannatha Das Babaji ,Navadvipa (Koladvipa)

jagannatha das babaji

“What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa”
– Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya

Srila Jagannatha Das Babaji,was born around the year 1750 AD ,at the remote village of Tangail, in the district of Mymensingh (situated in Bangladesh).Srila Jagannatha Das Babaji Maharaja, was the most advanced Rasika devotee of his times in all of Vrindavana, Navadvipa and Jagannatha puri.He lived for about 150 years and was a disciple in the line of Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura and Baladeva Vidyabhusana. He used to initially reside at Surya Kunda in Vrindavana, where he used to perform his Bhajana, but towards the end of his manifested pastimes, he shifted to Navadvipa dham. He was famed as Siddha Baba (perfectly realized soul) and used to chant for days altogether ,going without food, water or sleep.In the pastimes of Sri Krishna, Jagannatha Das Babaji eternally serves as Rasika Manjari.

His prominent disciples were Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Bihari das Babaji, Sri Bhagavata Das Babaji, Sri Ramdas Babaji, Sri Nityananda Das babaji, Sri Hare Krishna das Babaji, Sri Ramhari Das Babaji to mention some. By the initiative of Bihari das ,the residents of Surya Kunda constructed a permanent room for Siddha baba at that place.The deities that are presently being worshipped at Gopal Bagh in Vrindavana (renowned as ‘Sonar Gauranga’), are actually the worshipable deities of Srila Jagannatha Das Babaji, who had originally brought them from the Sonarundi village of Bengal  (a place about 15 kms from Katwa).The six armed deity (sadbhuja) of Lord Caitanya, that is presently being worshipped at Nidhuvana (in Vrindavana), was also once worshipped by Jagannatha das Babaji. Towards the end of his manifested pastimes, Siddha baba, had become bent due to old age, and could hardly keep his eyelids open.However ,with the assistance of his disciples ,he used to daily offer Tulasi leaves unto the Saligrama Sila.Due to his advanced age, he could not see or walk and had to be hence carried within a basket by his disciple Bihari Das ,from one place to the other. Yet inspite of severe physical challenges, he would dance in ecstasy on hearing sankirtana.

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The Bhajana Kutira of Sri Vamsi Das Babaji , Navadvipa (Koladvipa)

vamsidas babaji

“What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa” – Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya

Srila Vamsi Das babaji, previously known as Bhairab Chandra, had appeared in the year 1859, in the village of Majeedpur.Majeedpur was formerly part of the Mymensingh district of Bangladesh. Sri Sanatana Mallabrahma and Srimati Sarvasundari devi had the great fortune of giving birth and parenting this exalted personality. He was the eldest of his seven siblings, and being the son of a poor fisherman, he had suffered a hard and an austere upbringing. From his very childhood, he was deeply attracted to Lord Gauranga and Sri Nityananda Prabhu. He would keep staring at the deities of Gaura-Nitai at a nearby temple, for hours altogether. Seeing this, his parents became very anxious, and got him married. But he eventually left his home, leaving behind his wife and little son, and became a renunciant. He soon received initiation in the line of the great vaishnava acharya, Sri Narottama Das Thakura. After staying back at Majeedpur for a few years, he left for an extensive pilgrimage all over India.Travelling all over the country, he finally settled down at Navadvipa, where he spent the most of his life.’The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ had the good fortune of visiting and praying at his bhajana Kutira at Navadvipa.Towards the end of his manifested pastimes, he returned to Majeedpur once more, where he left his body.

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The worshipable deity of Srimati Vishnupriya devi- Sri Dhameswar Mahaprabhu Temple, Navadvipa (Koladvipa)

dhameshwar Mahaprabhu

“What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa” –
Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya

Srimati Vishnupriya devi is the eternal consort of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. According to Sri Gaura Ganoddesha Dipika, Srimati Vishnupriya devi is the incarnation of the Lord’s Bhu-sakti, who is the mother of the entire universe.’The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ humbly begs for Her mercy and empowerment in order to rewind the clock a few hundred years and pen a few lines in Her glorification.

Marriage of the divine couple:

After Lakshmipriya devi (Nimai Pandita’s first wife) had passed away, suffering an intense separation from her husband, Saci mata endeavored to get Nimai married for the second time.Sri Sanatana Mishra was a pious and charitable brahmana of Navadvipa.He was exceedingly educated and being a great scholar ,had received the title of ‘Raja Pandita’.The Gaura gannoddesha Dipika reveals that Sanatana Misra was the incarnation of King Satrajit. His daughter ,Srimati Vishnupriya devi was a chaste ,beautiful woman of noble character. She embodied all the divine qualities of Lakshmi devi.

Tanra kanya aachen parama Sucharita
Murtimati Lakshmi-praya sei jaganmata
(Sri Caitanya Bhagavata)

Saci devi used to meet Vishnupriya at the bathing Ghat of the ganges everyday.She noted the exalted qualities of the girl, and decided that Vishnupriya was the perfect match for her son Nimai.Deciding thus, Saci Mata approached Sri Kashinath Pandita, who mediated between the two families and the marriage was soon fixed.

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Residence of Sri Murari Gupta ,Mayapur, Navadvipa

murari gupta

“What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa” –
Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya

Situated east of Yogpeeth,on the banks of Ballal Dighi, lies the house of Sri Murari Gupta. He was born at Srihatta (Sylhet, presently situated in Bangladesh) ,the hometown of Jagannatha Misra, but moved over to Navadvipa while he was a very young boy.The residence of Murari Gupta is a stone’s throw from Srivasa Angan (house of Srivasa Pandita) and is situated hardly a kilometer from the Iskcon Mayapur temple. He was a contemporary of Lord Caitanya and used to study in the same toll (school) as Mahaprabhu. Although he was a scholar and senior to Mahaprabhu ,yet he could not defeat Him in debates and logical arguments.Lord Caitanya used to tease Murari by raising different topics of discussion and subsequently defeating him in them. Sri Murari Gupta was an intimate associate of Mahaprabhu and was the 21st branch of His desire tree of devotional service .At Murari Gupta’s house ,are presently worshipped the beautiful deities of Sri Ram, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanumana. We, from ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ consider ourselves exceedingly blessed to have been able to take darsana of his sripat, and smear our sinful bodies with the dust of this holy place.

Sri Murari Gupta was an Ayurvedic doctor (vaidya) by profession, but it has been mentioned in the revealed scriptures that such was the nature of his treatment, that his patients would be benefitted not only materially but spiritually as well. Sri Murari would prescribe medicines not only for the patient’s ailing body but bestow Krishna prema for his suffering soul.He regularly participated in the nightly sankirtana held at Srivasa Angan and satisfied Mahaprabhu greatly with his ecstatic singing and dancing.He was a treasure house of divine love and it is stated that his humility and meekness, melted the heart of Lord Gaurahari.

Sri murari gupta sakha premera bhandara
prabhura hridaya drave shuni dainya yanra
(Caitanya Caritamrta , Adi,10.49)

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Srivasa Angan & Samadhi of Chand Kazi, Mayapur, Navadvipa – Part 2

srivasa angan

“What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa” –
Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya

 

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).

Continued from Part 1 (Srivasa Angan ,Mayapur,Navadvipa – Part 1 : where Lord Gaurahari eternally performs His ecstatic pastimes) …

For those who have not read Part1 of this article, we request them to kindly read it in order to relish the beautiful pastimes enacted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, at the house of Srivasa Pandita, 500 years ago. Here in this article, we shall try to narrate a few more of the ecstatic pastimes to have taken place at Srivasa Angan.’The Gaudiya treasures of Bengal’ would like to reiterate that the pastimes at Srivasa Angana are infinite and is impossible even for the Ananta Sesha with His thousands of hoods to describe.We ,insignificant servants are trying our best to narrate as much as we have heard from our seniors. The readers are hereby requested to 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.

Khol Bhanga Danga :

About 500 years ago, the state of Bengal was ruled by Nawab Hussain Shah. Nawab Hussain Shah was the incarnation of King Jarasandha, who had conspired and fought numerous wars against Krishna in Dwapara yuga.The magistrate unto whom the administration of Navadvipa was then entrusted ,was known as Chand Kazi (Kazi translates to magistrate in english). Chand Kazi was the incarnation of King Kamsa (Krishna’s maternal uncle) .The residence of Chand kazi was not very far from Srivasa Angana.Chand Kazi also happened to be the spiritual counsellor of Nawab Hussain Shah.

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Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Temple – ISKCON, Mayapur , Navadvipa

panchatattva

“What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa”
– Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the moon who had risen over the lands of Mayapur, a little over 500 years back,and by whose mercy, and empowerment, this awe-inspiring Krishna consciousness movement has now spread its aura over the entire world. Hence it was only befitting that His commander in chief (senapati bhakta) , A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder acharya of ISKCON, had named his headquarter of operations as ‘Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya temple’ (‘chandra’ means ‘moon’ and ‘udaya’ translates to ‘rising’ in bengali). The holy abode of Mayapur might appear to be just a remote village to one who sees things from a mundane perspective. But to the esoteric ,well versed with the conclusions of the revealed scriptures, the land of Mayapur comes across as the very center of the spiritual world, the very highest realm of transcendence. It was at Yogpeeth, situated a few hundred metres from the Mayapur Chandrodaya temple, that Sacinandana Gaurahari had appeared in this world in the year 1486 AD and began mercifully manifesting His ecstatic heart-melting pastimes (refer – YogPeeth, Mayapur, Navadvipa – The birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu). One who dearly worships ‘Nader Nimai’, and intensely hankers for His association, can till this day ,perceive the magnanimous Lord singing and dancing upon the streets of Navadvipa, enchanting one and all by His unique movements and unparalleled expressions.’The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ can only stand back and stare at the very rare fortune of the residents of Navadvipa, to whom the dust of Gaurasundara’s lotus feet are so easily obtainable.Srila Prabhupada gave Mayapur to the entire world, by propagating the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu far and wide (refer –The birthplace of A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Tollygunge’). It is by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, that today his beloved children and grandchildren, can gain entrance into this eternal abode and relish the transcendental pastimes of Vishwambhara (the Lord of the Universe).

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