Sri Gauridasa Pandita Tirobhava Tithi and Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhupada Tirobhava Tithi [disappearance day]

August 3, 2020 in Articles by Laksman dasa

Subject: Sri Gauridasa Pandita Tirobhava Tithi and Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhupada Tirobhava Tithi [disappearance day]
July 31, 2020  [Mayapura, West Bengal, Bharata bhumi time]

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Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Footprints at Kalna

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The Shrine housing Mahaprabhu’s Footprints

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Left: Tentultala – Lord Caitanya’s Tamarind tree Kalna
Right: the Plum tree under which Nityananda Prabhu married Jahnavi and Basudha devis
[ Photos: Ambikakalna.com ]
 Srila Prabhupada explains the exalted position of Gauri dasa Pandita

gaurīdāsa paṇḍita yāṅra premoddaṇḍa-bhaktikṛṣṇa-premā dite, nite, dhare mahāśaktiSYNONYMSgaurīdāsa paṇḍita—of the name GaurīdāsaPaṇḍita; yāṅra—whose; premauddaṇḍabhakti—the most elevated in love of Godhead and devotional service; kṛṣṇapremā—love of Kṛṣṇa; dite—to deliver; nite—and to receive; dhare—empowered; mahāśakti—great potency.
TRANSLATIONGaurīdāsa Paṇḍita, the emblem of the most elevated devotional service in love of Godhead, had the greatest potency to receive and deliver such love.
PURPORTIt is said that GaurīdāsaPaṇḍita was always patronized by King Kṛṣṇadāsa, the son of Harihoḍa. GaurīdāsaPaṇḍita lived in the village of Śāligrāma, which is situated a few miles from the railway station Muḍāgāchā, and later he came to reside in Ambikā-kālanā. It is stated in the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 128, that formerly he was Subala, one of the cowherd boyfriends of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in Vṛndāvana. GaurīdāsaPaṇḍita was the younger brother of SūryadāsaSarakhela, and with the permission of his elder brother he shifted his residence to the bank of the Ganges, living there in the town known as Ambikā-kālanā. Some of the names of the descendants of GaurīdāsaPaṇḍita are as follows: (1) Śrī Nṛsiṁhacaitanya, (2) Kṛṣṇadāsa, (3) Viṣṇudāsa, (4) BaḍaBalarāmadāsa, (5) Govinda, (6) Raghunātha, (7) Baḍu Gaṅgādāsa, (8) Āuliyā Gaṅgārāma, (9) Yādavācārya, (10) Hṛdayacaitanya, (11) Cānda Hāladāra, (12) MaheśaPaṇḍita, (13) MukuṭaRāya, (14) Bhātuyā Gaṅgārāma, (15) Āuliyā Caitanya, (16) KāliyāKṛṣṇadāsa, (17) PātuyāGopāla, (18) BaḍaJagannātha, (19) Nityānanda, (20) Bhāvi, (21) Jagadīśa, (22) Rāiyā Kṛṣṇadāsa and (22 12) Annapūrṇā. The eldest son of GaurīdāsaPaṇḍita was known as big Balarāma, and the youngest was known as Raghunātha. The sons of Raghunātha were MaheśaPaṇḍita and Govinda. Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍita’s daughter was known as Annapūrṇā.The village Ambikā-kālanā, which is situated just across the river Ganges from Śāntipura, is two miles east of the Kālanā-korṭa railway station, on the eastern railway. In Ambikā-kālanā there is a temple constructed by the Zamindar of Burdwan. In front of the temple there is a big tamarind tree, and it is said that Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍita and Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu met underneath this tree. The place where the temple is situated is known as Ambikā, and because it is in the area of Kālanā, the village is known as Ambikā-kālanā. It is said that a copy of the Bhagavad-gītā written by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu still exists in this temple.  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 11: The Expansions of Lord Nityananda : Adi 11.26 :

nityānande samarpila jāti-kula-pāṅtiśrī-caitanya-nityānande kari prāṇapati
SYNONYMSnityānande—to Lord Nityānanda; samarpila—he offered; jāticaste distinction; kula—family; pāṅti—fellowship; śrīcaitanya—Lord Caitanya; nityānande—in Lord Nityānanda; kari—making; prāṇapati—the Lords of his life.
TRANSLATIONMaking Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda the Lords of his life, Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍita sacrificed everything for the service of Lord Nityānanda, even the fellowship of his own family.Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 11: The Expansions of Lord Nityananda : Adi 11.27

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A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur – Part 9.
The town of Kalna, 50 kms. from Bardhaman, is one of the Shaktipiths, or holy dhams of the Shakti worshippers. The town is named for Devi Ambika, an expansion of Durga, who is worshipped at the Siddheshwari Temple. Aside from numerous Shiva temples there are a number of important Vaisnava temples here, including the Krishna Chandra mandir (pictured above), famous for its 25 steeples, the Anantavasudev temple, and a Jagannatha temple. Much of the temple architecture in Kalna is constructed in the terracotta style for which Bengal is famous.

In Bhakti-Ratnakara we find an interesting reference to a Kalna pastime in which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu reminded Gauridasa Pandit of his identity during Vrindavan-lila. “How can I describe the activities of Gauridasa Pandita who was always engaged in serving the two Lords. Out of love Nitai and Caitanya once told Gauridasa smilingly, who can know your activities when you even do not know that you are always absorbed in love and devotion?
“O Suvala, my friend, can you remember your first life? Can you remember the great fun we had when we took the cows to the bank of the Jamuna?”
Saying this the deities turned themselves into Krsna and Balarama with black and fair complexions. In that form they held the singa (horn), flute, cane, peacock feathers and ornaments. How beautiful they looked in the dress of cowherd boys.
Beholding their beauty, Gauridasa was overwhelmed with ecstatic joy. Only by the will of the Lord could he regain his consciousness and therefore he stared steadily at the deities on the throne. When the two Lords displayed their pastimes in this way Gauridasa experienced ecstatic love.”

(Bhakti-Ratnakara Chapter 7, Texts 358 to 366)
Of course, the friend Suvala that Mahaprabhu is referring to is none other than Subala sakha, the cowherd boy friend of Sri Krsna in Vraja: subalo yah priya-shreshthah sa gauridasa-panditah “In Vraja, Gauri Das Pandit was Subala, one of the twelve Gopals. He is one of Nityananda Prabhu’s dearest associates.”
(Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 128)
During Caitanya-lila, Gauri Das’s first residence was in the village known as Shaligram, not far from Muragacha. Later he moved to Ambika Kalna in Burdwan district, where his Sripat is extremely well known. His father’s name was Kamsari Mishra and his mother was Kamala Devi. Kamsari Mishra belonged to the Vatsa gotra, and their family name was Ghoshal. Gauri Das was the fourth of six sons. His three older brothers were named Damodar, Jagannath and Surya Das. Surya Das had the title sarakhela (military title, “commander,” also used for estate managers) and gave his two daughters, Vasudha and Jahnava in marriage to Nityananda Prabhu. Gauri Das Pandit’s younger brothers were named Krishna Das Sarkhel and Nrisingha Chaitanya.
“Sarkhel Surya Das Pandit was a very magnanimous person. His younger brother was named Gauri Das. Gauri Das Pandit took permission from his older brother before moving from Shaligram to Ambika.”
(Bhakti-ratnakara 7.330-1)
The story is told in Caitanya-caritamrta about Mahaprabhu and Gauridas Pandita in Ambika Kalna. On the day that Mahaprabhu paddled across the Ganges to come to visit Gauridas, he sat under the tamarind tree. Gauridas asked for Mahaprabhu to stay permanently there in Ambika. In order to fulfill his devotee’s desire, Mahaprabhu revealed that His form and that of Nityananda Prabhu were in a nearby neem tree. It is also said that when these Deities were being carved, Nityananda was physically present. Conquered by Gauridas’s love for them, the Deities would physically eat everything that he offered to them. When Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu were about to leave, Gauridas did everything in his power to hold them back. Mahaprabhu calmed him by saying, “Nityananda and I are directly present in these Forms. You can tell either the Deities to go, or we can leave. You choose.” Naturally, Gauri Das chose the real Gaura-Nitai to stay and said that the Deities could leave. So this is what happened, demonstrating the truth of the Caitanya-caritamrita’s statement: nama vigraha Svarupa, ei tina eka-rupa
tine bheda nahi tina cidananda-rupa
“These three, the name, the deity form and the original form of the Lord, are all one. No distinction should be made between them, for all three are of transcendental, spiritual substance.”
( Caitanya-caritamrita 17.131) The tree that Lord Caitanya took rest beneath is still residing in Kalna. Known as Tentultala, or Amlitala, it is located at the Mahaprabhu Para, where the Lotus Footprints of Sri Caitanya are also found.

Lord Balaram’s wives Varuni and Revati became Vasudha and Jahnavi, the two wives of Nityananda Prabhu in Chaitanya-lila. Vasudha and Jahnavai’s father Suryadas Pandit was the brother of Gauridas Pandit. The Plum tree the wedding was held beneath still resides in Kalna.
_________________________________________________________________________________________subalo yah priya-shreshthah sa gauridasa-panditah “In Vraja, Gauri Das Pandit was Subala, one of the twelve Gopals. He is one of Nityananda Prabhu’s dearest associates.”
(Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 128)
“Gauri Das Pandit was most fortunate. His body, mind and soul were all devoted to Nityananda Prabhu.”
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 3.5.730)

“Sarkhel Surya Das Pandit was a very magnanimous person. His younger brother was named Gauri Das. Gauri Das Pandit took permission from his older brother before moving from Shaligram to Ambika.”
(Bhakti-ratnakara 7.330-1)
“Gauri Das Pandit’s disciple was named Hriday Chaitanya. His disciple was the son of Gauri Das Pandit’s daughter Annapurna Devi, Gopiraman. It is the family descendants of this Gopiramana who are the current owners of the Ambika Sripat.”
(Anubhashya to Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.11.26)“One day Gauranga crossed the Ganges from Shantipur to visit Ambika. He told Gauri Das Pandit, “I was in Shantipur and from there I went to Harinadi village and took a boat to come here. I have brought one of the paddles with me–here, take it. Use it to take the fallen living beings across the river of material suffering.” So saying, the Lord embraced him.”
(Bhakti-ratnakara 7.333-6)
“Fortunate souls can still see the Gita that the Lord gave to Gauri Das, as well as the paddle when they visit the deities in Ambika.”
(Bhakti-ratnakara 7.341)the day that Mahaprabhu paddled across the Ganges to come to visit Gauri Das, he sat under the tamarind tree. Gauri Das asked for Mahaprabhu to stay permanently there in Ambika. In order to fulfill his devotee’s desire, Mahaprabhu revealed that his form and that of Nityananda Prabhu were in a nearby neem tree. It is also said that when these Deities were being carved, Nityananda was physically present. Conquered by Gauri Das’s love for them, the Deities would physically eat everything that he offered to them. When Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu were about to leave, Gauri Das did everything in his power to hold them back. Mahaprabhu calmed him by saying, “Nityananda and I are directly present in these Forms. You can tell either the Deities to go, or we can leave. You choose.” Naturally, Gauri Das chose the real Gaura-Nitai to stay and said that the Deities could leave. So this is what happened, demonstrating the truth of the Chaitanya Charitamrita’s statement:

nama vigraha Svarupa, ei tina eka-rupa
tine bheda nahi tina cidananda-rupa
“These three, the name, the deity form and the original form of the Lord, are all one. No distinction should be made between them, for all three are of transcendental, spiritual substance.”
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 17.131) Jahnava Devi cried when she saw the samadhi tomb of her uncle in Vrindavan. “When she saw Gauri Das Pandit’s samadhi, torrents of tears fell from her eyes and she could do nothing to stop them.”
(Bhakti-ratnakara 11.259)