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Raghava Bhavan ,Panihati

raghava bhavan

Raghava Pandita and Damayanti Devi:

Sri Kavi Karnapura notes in his Gaura Ganoddesha Dipika that: 

The vraja-gopi Dhanishta devi, who had previously fed Lord Krishna with limitless opulent foodstuffs, appeared as Sri Raghava Pandita, in Mahaprabhu’s pastimes.

And the gopi named Gunamala had appeared as Raghava Pandita’s sister Srimati Damayanti devi.

Raghava Bhavan ,the residence of Sri Raghava Pandita and Damayanti, is renowned all over the three worlds as the eternal residence of Sri Gaurahari (As described below). Lord Gaura Nitai have manifested their innumerable heart rending pastimes over here at Raghava Bhavan (500 Years ago). Located on the bank of the Ganges at panihati, Raghava Bhavan is very well connected to Kolkata, via road, railways and waterways.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings in his bhoga arati:

Yashomati ajna peye dhanishta anita
Sri Krishna-prasada radha bhunje haiye prita

In Krishna’s Vrindavana Pastimes,mother Yashoda would order Dhanishta Gopi to carry Krishna’s food remnants to Srimati Radharani .Radharani would then relish the remnants (prasada) of Her beloved Lord.

Similarly, in Mahaprabhu’s pastimes, Lord Caitanya who would always remain immersed in the mood of Srimati Radharani, would lovingly accept the prasadam brought to Him by Sri Raghava pandita, the incarnation of Dhanishta Gopi. In Caitanya Caritamrta, it has been revealed that Sri Raghava Pandita was an intimate associate of Lord Caitanya and is said to have been the seventh branch of Mahaprabhu’s desire tree of devotional service.

Raghavera Jhali :

After accepting His sannyasa, Lord Caitanya had moved over to reside at Jagannatha puri. Every year, during the Ratha yatra festival, almost all the devotees from Bengal ,led by Sivananda sen, would travel to Puri to reunite with Lord Gaurasundara once again.Srimati Damayanti Devi would cook innumerable items for Mahaprabhu with her love and devotion, and thereafter pack these in separate bags. Raghava Pandita, would then carry these bags to Puri during his annual visit and offer them to Lord Caitanya. These bags of delicious food items came to be subsequently known as Raghavera Jhali (the bags of Raghava Pandita) and they find a very special mention in Sri Caitanya Bhagavat and Sri Caitanya Caritamrta.

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Sri Khirachora Gopinatha Temple, Balasore

khiracora gopinatha

‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ offers its respectful obeisances and heartfelt gratitude to Sri Gopinatha jiu, whose blessings and mercy enabled us to relish the exceedingly deep and sweet reciprocations between the Lord and His dear devotees. We shall humbly try to recite to the best of our ability, the sweet pastimes of Khirachora Gopinatha Jiu, as was narrated by the Supreme Lord Sri Caitanya Himself, while He had visited Remuna.

On His way to Sri Jagannatha Puri, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu along with His associates had halted at Remuna, a place which is presently located within the Balasore District of Orissa. Mahaprabhu along with all His associates offered His prostrated obeisances to Sri Gopinatha jiu, who possesses a very enchanting form. While Lord Caitanya was offering His obeisances to the deity, the helmet of flowers that adorned the crown of Sri Gopinatha fell onto Sri Caitanya. Receiving the blessings of Sri Gopinatha, Lord Caitanya began singing and dancing in ecstasy. The local devotees at the temple became amazed seeing the intense love, the beautiful form, and the transcendental qualities of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya rested for the day at the temple because he longed to taste the sweet ‘Khira’ (a preparation of sweet rice) prasadam prepared over here, as He had heard a lot of glories of it from His spiritual master, Sri Isvara Puri. This ‘Khira’ offered over here, tastes as good as nectar, and hence it is also called Amrta-keli. Resting for the night, Lord Caitanya began narrating the story of how Lord Gopinatha jiu had become so famous and how He had come to be known as Khirachora Gopinatha.

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The worshipable deities of Gaudidasa Pandita, Ambika Kalna

kalna

Kavi Karnapura mentions in Sri Gaura Gannoddesha dipika, that Sri Gaudidasa Pandita was the incarnation of the cowherd boy Subala, an intimate friend of Sri Krishna and Balarama in Vrindavana.

Sri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami greatly glorifies Sri Gaudidasa in his Caitanya Caritamrta stating that Sri Gaudidasa was an emblem of devotional service and had the potency to receive and deliver ecstatic love of God to one and all (..Krishna prema dite nite dhare maha-shakti..). It is exclaimed that Sri Gaudidasa had sacrificed everything for the service of Lord Nityananda ,even the fellowship of his own family. He was one of the primary associates to have assisted Lord Nitai manifest His magnanimous pastimes.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura gives us some details of Gaudidasa Pandita’s family in his anubhashya. It is mentioned that initially he used to reside in the village of Saligrama (a place not very far from Navadvipa) , and later he had shifted to the town of Ambika Kalna. Sri Gaudidasa was very close to and enjoyed the patronage of King Krishna das, the son of Harihoda. Sri Gaudidasa Pandita’s father was Sri Kamsari Mishra and his mother’s name was Srimati Kamala devi. He had five brothers – Damodara, Jagannatha, Suryadasa, Krishnadasa, and Nrsimha Caitanya. The elder brother of Gaudidasa pandita, Sri Suryadasa, held an important post for the king of Bengal and was hence awarded with the title ‘Sarkhel’ (commander). Later the two daughters of Suryadasa Sarkel, Srimati Vasudha and Jahnava, got married to Lord Nityananda. The ‘Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ has covered this wonderful marriage pastime in a separate article entitled – ‘Lord Nityananda’s marriage with Srimati Jahnava and Vasudha, Ambika Kalna’

Sri Gaudidasa’s Sripat at Kalna, houses his worshipable mesmerizing Gaura-Nitai deities. At this place, is also worshipped a copy of Bhagavad Gita, that was supposedly handwritten by Lord Caitanya and later gifted to Sri Gaudidasa. One visiting the temple can also take darsana of an oar that Mahaprabhu had used to cross over the Ganges while travelling to meet Gaudidasa at Kalna.According to the hearsay, Sriman Mahaprabhu had handed it over to Gaudidasa, and asked him to similarly use it to help the fallen souls cross over the ocean of material existence.We shall try to narrate in this article a few of the innumerable pastimes that had taken place over the years at Sri Gaudidasa’s sripat. We seek the mercy of this great personality in order to pen a few lines in his glorification.

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Abhirama Gopala Thakura’s Sripat, Khanakul Krishnanagar

khanakul Abhirama Gopala

Sri Abhirama Gopala Thakura was the incarnation of the cowherd boy Sridama,one of the most intimate eternal associates of Sri Krishna and Balarama in Vrindavana.In this age of Kali, Lord Krishna had descended as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Balarama jiu had also accompanied His brother ,incarnating as Lord Nityananda. Both of them began freely distributing the nectar of the Lord’s holy names to one and all without any discrimination.The waves of intense love of God washed one and all and drenched them in ecstasy. The spiritual vibrations of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra (‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare’) echoed across the land and the skies. But inspite of showering their causeless mercy and delivering countless souls, their Lordships dearly missed the association of their dear friend Sridama. Lord Gaurahari and merciful Nitai wished that Sridama was also present to assist and accompany them in their sankirtana pastimes.

Appearance of Sri Abhirama Gopala Thakura:

Lord Gauranga once revealed to Nityananda prabhu that in the age of Dvapara, while Krishna was playing hide and seek along with His friends, Sridama had hid Himself inside a cave to avoid being seen.In due course of time Lord Krishna had left Vrindavana for Mathura, had become the king of Yadus and ultimately wrapped up His earthly pastimes. Thousands of years had since passed,but unfortunately, Sridama, being ignorant of these developments, still lied hidden within that cave in Vrindavana, being completely immersed in that friendly hide-n-seek game with his worshipable Lord.Such is the greatness of the Lord and His innocent devotees, that they are completely oblivious of their external surroundings, to the extent of forgetting even their own existence, in order to serve their beloved Lord with all their heart. Who has the power to describe their exalted qualities? Remembering His dear friend and calling out for Sridama again and again ,Sri Caitanya fell upon the ground unconscious.

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Jhamatpura (Near Katwa) – Residence of Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami

jhamatapura KKG

Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami is the author of the great bengali classic,Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, the principal work on the life and the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme personality of Godhead.Lord Caitanya had descended about 500 years back, here at Navadvipa in Bengal,in order to propagate the congregational chanting of Krishna’s holy names (refer – ‘YogPeeth, Mayapur, Navadvipa – The birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’). Sri Caitanya Caritamrta helps us relish the most heart rending pastimes of Sri Krishna Caitanya, that defy the investigative and descriptive abilities of modern psychologists and phenomenologists of religious experience. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, one of the most highly revered acharyas of our Gaudiya sampradaya, had once correctly predicted that a day would arrive when the people from different parts of the world would learn Bengali, just to relish the nectar of Caitanya Caritamrta. The prediction has indeed come to pass.The world shall ever be grateful to Srila Krishnadasa for giving us a glimpse of our rich heritage ; for giving to us Sri Gaurahari, the very lord of our lives.

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