Category Archives: Meditations

Mayapur Nabadwip Dham – Top Places to visit in Mayapur and Nabadwip | Travel Guide

mayapur

The spiritual grandeur of Mayapur and Nabadwip dham is unlimited and unfathomable. It is said that even the likes of Brahma are powerless to effectively reach its ends (Navadvipa mandalera mahima apara brahma adi nahi jane varne sadhya kara). It is for this reason that Navadvipa Mandala, at whose center shines Sri Dham Mayapur, is gloried as the essence of all holy abodes (‘sarva Dhama sar’). One who understands the transcendental nature of this holy dham, achieves the highest spiritual perfection (‘Sri-Gauda-mandala-bhumi yeba jane chintamani ,tara haya vraja-bhume vasa’). We have covered the details and discussed at great lengths about the numerous ancient holy sites of Mayapur-Nabadwip dham and their great significance in two of our books – Sri Navadvipa Bhava Taranga – Waves of ecstatic moods in Navadvipa & An ecstatic ride across ancient spiritual Bengal – Part 3: Nadia & Kalna Archives. In this article, we are going to try and summarize some of the more prominent and easily accessible spiritual sites of Mayapur Nabadwip dham. One who yearns to discover more details about these holy sites and relish their transcendental wealth, however, is herein advised to go through the above books.

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

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Lord Narasimha – Who is Lord Narasimha, Prahlada and Hiranyakashipu ?

narasimha

Lord Narasimha deva is the half Man, half Lion incarnation of the Supreme Lord who mercifully protects His devotees. In the Satya Yuga, there once lived a fierce demon by the name of Hiranyakashipu. Performing severe austerities, and standing upon his toes continuously for 100 celestial years (1 celestial day = 6 earthly months), he had become very powerful. His penance was so great that it even shook the demigods, who sought the help of Lord Brahma to desist Hiranyakashipu from continuing with his austerities. Actually, Hiranyakashipu’s elder brother Hiranyaksha, an even greater demon, had been killed by Varaha Avatar, the boar incarnation of the Supreme Lord. Hiranyaksha’s misdeeds had caused mother earth to fall into the depths of the Garbhodaka Ocean, from where Varaha deva later rescued her. So Hiranyakashipu, being fuelled by revenge, wanted to avenge his brother’s death. He wanted to become the Lord of the entire creation by killing Hari, the Supreme Lord.

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Shiva and Durga quarrel over Vishnu’s Mahaprasada | Shiva’s Tandava

shivaNarada Muni recites this wondrous pastime that took place between Shiva and Durga in Kailash. Once Narada muni arrived at Kailash and revealed to Mahadeva how he was somehow able to get a small amount of Lord Vishnu’s Mahaprasadam with great difficulty as Lord Vishnu had previously instructed Lakshmi devi not to share His food remnants with anyone. Lord Shiva expressed His displeasure when he learned that Narada had eaten all the Mahaprasada himself and did not bring any of it for Shiva. This article is a summary of the concerned chapter from Sri Chaitanya Mangala, which reveals Shiva’s love and reverence for Vishnu. Utkala khanda of Brahma Purana is the original source that records these astonishing pastimes.

(Lord Shiva asked Narada) ‘O sage, after obtaining the rare Mahaprasadam, you ate it all by yourself, not giving any of it to me. You have come to see me out of great love, but why didn’t you bring any of that great treasure ?‘ 

Hearing Lord Shiva’s words Narada hung his head down in shame and gazed at his fingernails. Then he discovered that there was still some Mahaprasada stuck in his fingernails. He exclaimed that there was still a morsel of Mahaprasada left and saying thus, he offered it to Shiva. Lord Shiva at once put it into his mouth without any hesitation.

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Nimai steals Gopal’s offerings | Brahmin pilgrim and Lord Chaitanya

gopal

Please listen to this wonderful pastime where the son of Jagannatha Misra, bestowed His causeless mercy upon a pious brahmin pilgrim. The brahmin was a devout worshiper of Gopala and used to chant the sixteen syllable Gopala Mantra. The brahmin did not eat anything other than the remnants of the food offered to his beloved Gopala. Salagram sila and Lord Gopala decorated his beautiful neck. He was covered with an aura of great spiritual effulgence. With his eyes half-closed the brahmin continuously relished the mellows of Lord Govinda’s transcendental pastimes. Wandering from one place to the other, the brahmin finally reached the residence of Lord Chaitanya. Seeing the exalted personality, Jagannatha Misra stood up and offered his respects. Washing his feet and offering him a seat, Jagannatha Misra enquired where the brahmin had hailed from.

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Jagannatha Misra’s dream | Witnesses Nimai as a sannyasi (renounced)

ramkeli

By the arrangement of providence, Sri Jagannatha Misra saw a dream one day, that swelled his heart with mixed feelings of happiness and pain. When his dream broke, he fell prostrated  and prayed as follows –

Svapna dekhi staba pari dandavat kare
‘He Govinda, Nimai rahuka mor ghore
Sabe ei vara, Krishna magi tor thaain
Grihasta haiya ghore rahuk Nimai’

He bowed down and prayed, ‘O Govinda, let Nimai remain at my home. O Krishna, I only beg for this benediction – Let Nimai become a householder and continue to stay at my house’.

Saci Mata was taken by surprise and asked Jagannatha Misra as to why he was praying for such benedictions? To this Jagannatha Misra replied that he had just witnessed a dream where Nimai had shaved off His Shikha. He was unusually and stunningly dressed in the robes of a sannyasi. Incessantly chanting Krishna’s holy names, Nimai laughed, danced, and cried in ecstasy.

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Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Nishkramana and Naming ceremonies | Naming the Lord ‘Viswambhara’ and ‘Nimai’

Jaya jaya kamala nayana Gaurachandra
Jaya jaya tomara premera bhakta-vrinda
Heno shuvodristi prabhu karaha amayaya
Aharnish chitta yeno bhajaye tomaye
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 4.1-2)

All glories, all glories to the lotus eyed Lord Gaurachandra. All glories to Your loving devotees. O Master! Kindly bestow Your merciful glance upon me so that I may engage in Your worship day and night.

With every passing day, their young child (Nimai) carried great joy to Saci Mata and Jagannatha Misra. They floated in an ocean of bliss. Viswarupa picked up His younger brother and smiling gleefully, played with Him. Friends and relatives surrounded the Lord affectionately all the time. Everyone was concerned with protecting the young boy. Some invoked Lord Vishnu’s prayers while some chanted Goddess Durga’s mantras. 

When the Lord would cry, tears would glide down His lotus eyes. Only chanting the Holy Name of Krishna could pacify Him during these times. Everyone understood this and chanted the holy name of Krishna to appease Nimai whenever He would cry. In this way, the Lord induced others to chant the holy name of Krishna since His very childhood.

The demigods played jokes with the devotees who encircled Nimai at all times. They roamed about without being noticed by anyone. But when the people saw shadowy figures move about the house, they thought they had seen thieves. Alarmed, some chanted ‘Nrsimha, Nrsimha’ while others murmured the Aparajit stotra (prayers to Parvati devi) for the child’s protection.

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Chaitanya Mahaprabhu delivers a dog | Magnanimous Nimai

nimai and His puppy

Nimai exhibited His wonderful childhood pastimes along with His mischievous friends. Absorbing Himself in various frivolous games, the Lord spent His days blissfully. One such day, the Lord and His friends stumbled upon a litter of puppies. The Lord picked up one of the pups. His friends protested that Nimai had selected the best-looking pup leaving the rest for everyone else. Nimai replied that the puppy that He had picked up was not only for Himself but instead was for everyone to play with. He continued that He would provide shelter to the puppy in His home. 

Tabe Viswambhara kahila uttara, ei shan sabakara
Sabe ek haiya, khelo iha laiya, thakibe amara ghara
(Chaitanya Mangala, Adi, 2.285)

Then Viswambhara answered ,”This puppy belongs to everyone. Get together all of you and play with it. The puppy would stay at my home”.

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Jagannatha Misra’s Disappearance | One who reads this achieves Vaikuntha

The pastime of Sri Jagannatha Misra’s disappearance is very painful for the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Though both the appearance and the disappearance of a Vaishnava is considered to be auspicious, yet the apparent misery of our beloved Gauranga and Mother Saci are very difficult to overlook. It is exactly for this reason that not much is written about it in Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, where Sri Vrindavana das Thakura mentions –

Dukha bada – e shakala vistara karite
Dukkha haya – ataeb kahiluun sankhepe
(Chaitanya Bhagavata , Adi, 8.112)

It is very painful for me to describe all of this in detail. It hurts a lot and hence I am describing it in brief.

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Sri Jagadananda Pandita & Lord Chaitanya | Navadvipa Pastimes | Sri Prema Vivarta

(The Following is an excerpt from Srila Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta‘)

(Srila Jagadananda Pandita remembers)

aha se chaitanya pada bhajanera sampada
kotha ebe gelo ama chhadi
amake feliya gela mrityu mor na haila
shoke ami yai gadagadi
(Sri Prema Vivarta, 2.17)

O! the feet of Lord Chaitanya are the wealth of one’s devotion. Where have they gone now abandoning me? They have left me alone; and yet I continue to live. I roll about in the ground suffering this intense agony of separation.

Once in my childhood, I quarreled at school and fought with Sri Chaitanya. After this, I became filled with sadness and cried day and night, sitting on the bank of the Ganges at Mayapur.
Feeling compassionate, the Lord came to me before dawn along with Gadadhara Pandita,  and called out, ‘Jagadananda! Such anger is not good at all. Give up your stubbornness and speak to Me’.
Seeing the Lord’s face my anger melted away and I asked, ‘Why have you come here so late at night? It must have caused You great pain to walk upon the hard roads of Nadia. Have You undertaken this difficulty just for my sake ?’
The Lord said, ‘Let’s go! The night has ended. Go to your house and eat. Understanding your sadness, even I had been fasting till now. I had left my bed and slept on the floor.
At that time Gadadhara came to my house and we together came here searching for you. It is good that you have abandoned your anger. Now go to your house and tomorrow we can joyfully play together’.
Holding onto the feet of Gadadhara, I slowly raised myself. I could not disobey the orders of Lord Chaitanya. Thereafter, I went to the Lord’s house. There I ate something and drank some water and laid down to rest for a few hours.
In the morning, mother Saci and Jagannatha Misra fed me milk and rice and sent me to school with the Lord. After returning from school, the Lord came over to my house and we ate together.
Love after a quarrel is like pure gold. I felt so blissful in my heart. The Lord said, ‘It is because of our love for each other that we get angry with each other. Each quarrel strengthens our love for each other’.Continue Reading…


Little Nimai craves for the moon | Pastimes with Saci Mata

 

One auspicious evening, after employing her servants in their evening chores, Saci Mata carried little Gaurahari out to the courtyard. It was a full moon night and an ascending moon was on the rise. At this time, little Viswambhara, very consciously and cleverly cried out “Mother! Mother!”. Saci Mata urged Him to quit His crying during the evening and assured she would give Him whatever He wants.

Saci bole – sandhyakale na kara krandana
Yaha chaho taha diba- sunaha vacana
(Chaitanya Mangala, Adi, 2.266)

Little Nimai replied, ”Please pluck the moon out of the sky and give it to Me”. Saci Mata laughed at His reply and joked at how stupid her son was. “Can anyone get the moon from the sky?”, she said. Nimai challenged, “Then why did you say that you shall give me whatever I ask for? That is why I had my hearts set on having the moon”. Saying this, He began to cry aloud. Holding the end of His mother’s saree, and rubbing His eyes with His other hand, He began beating the dirt with His feet. Holding His mother’s neck, Lord Gaura Raya kept crying and demanding the moon, with which He craved to play. At times, He rolled over the dirty soil, hit His own face and at times He pulled Saci Mata’s hair. Noticing this Saci Mata turned astonished and remarked, “O stupid boy! Your nature is so strange”.

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