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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Fourteen: The Lord’s Travel to East Bengal and the Disappearance of Lakshmipriya
CB Adi-khanda 14.1
jaya jaya mahaprabhu shri-gaurasundara
jaya nityananda-priya nitya-kalevara
All glories to the Supreme Lord, Shri Gaurasundara. All glories to Nityananda’s beloved Lord, who has an eternal form.
CB Adi-khanda 14.2
jaya jaya shri pradyumna-mishrera jivana
jaya shri paramananda-puri-prana-dhana
All glories to He who is the life of Shri Pradyumna Mishra. All glories to He who is the goal of life for Shri Paramananda Puri.
Pradyumna Mishra was born of a brahmana family in Orissa. In order to make his pious life as an ideal householder and his high social standing successful and perfect by engaging them in the service of Hari, the Lord sent him to Shrila Ramananda Raya, who appeared in a nonseminal brahmana family, who was the crest-jewel among teachers of devotional mellows, and who was a maha-bhagavata Vaishnava acarya. Pradyumna Mishra then heard topics of Krishna from that Vaishnava acarya as his disciple and thus obtained the causeless mercy of the Lord. For further descriptions one should see the Antya-khanda (3.284, 5.211, and 8.57) and Chaitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila, Chapter 10, Madhya-lila, Chapters 1, 10, 16, and 25, and Antya-lila, Chapter 5.
The purpose of addressing the Lord as the life of Pradyumna Mishra is this: The ideal householder pastimes like serving guests and renounced sannyasis that were performed by the Lord, who was the worshipable Deity of the ideal pious householder Pradyumna Mishra, are described in this chapter.
Paramananda Puri, also known as Puri Gosvami or Gosani, was the middle root of the devotional desire tree of Shri Krishna Chaitanya’s lotus feet. He was one of the nine beloved disciples of Shriman Madhavendra Puripada. He appeared in the village of Trihuta. The Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika (118) states: “Paramananda Puri is none other than Uddhava.” Concerning the Lord being the life and soul of Paramananda Puri, one should see the Antya-khanda (3.167-181 and 231-260; 8.55 and 122; and 10.42, 47, and 49) and the Chaitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila, Chapters 9 and 10; Madhya-lila, Chapters 1, 2, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 25; and Antya-lila, Chapters 2, 4, 7, 8, 11, 14, and 16. Besides these, one should see the Sanskrit drama Shri Chaitanya-candrodaya, Scene 8, the last portion of 9, and 10, wherein Kavi-karnapura, the son of Shivananda Sena, receives the name Paramananda Puri dasa, and also the Sanskrit Shri Chaitanya-carita-mahakavya (13.14, 112-119, and 122; 16.30; and Chapters 19 and 20).
CB Adi-khanda 14.3
jaya jaya sarva-vaishnavera dhana-prana
kripa-drishtye kara’, prabhu, sarva-jive trana
All glories to He who is the life and soul of all Vaishnavas. O Lord, please deliver the fallen souls with Your merciful glance.
CB Adi-khanda 14.4
adi-khanda-katha, bhai, shune eka-mane
vipra-rupe krishna viharilena yemane
My dear brothers, please hear with attention the topics of Adi-khanda, wherein the pastimes of Krishna in the form of a brahmana are described.
CB Adi-khanda 14.5
hena-mate vaikuntha-nayaka sarva-kshana
vidya-rase viharena lai’ shishya-gana
In this way the Lord of Vaikuntha continually enjoyed His scholastic pastimes with His students.
CB Adi-khanda 14.6
shishya-gana-sange vidya-rase krida kare
The Lord enjoyed scholastic pastimes with His students throughout all the villages of Navadvipa.
The various villages and islands of Navadvipa at that time were known as nagaras, such as Ganganagara, Kajira-nagara, Kuliya-nagara, Vidyanagara, and Jannagara.
CB Adi-khanda 14.7
sarva navadvipe sarva-loke haila dhvani
Everyone throughout Navadvipa heard that Nimai Pandita was the crest jewel among teachers.
CB Adi-khanda 14.8
bada bada vishayi sakala dola haite
namiya karena namaskara bahu-mate
Even the wealthy materialists would get down from their palanquins to offer respects to Nimai.
CB Adi-khanda 14.9
prabhu dekhi’ matra janme sabara sadhvasa
navadvipe hena nahi,-ye na haya vasha
Everyone was filled with awe and reverence on seeing the Lord. There was no one in Navadvipa who was not under His control.
CB Adi-khanda 14.10
navadvipe ya’ra yata dharma-karma kare
bhojya-vastra avashya pathaya prabhu-ghare
Whenever any resident of Navadvipa would perform any pious act, he would without fail first send some foodstuffs and cloth to the Lord’s house.
Since the custom of showing respect or honor towards the best teacher was prominent in the Hindu community of that time, everyone came to the capitol and donated gifts of rice and cloth to Nimai Pandita, who was the crest jewel of learned scholars.
CB Adi-khanda 14.11
prabhu se parama-vyayi ishvara vyabhara
duhkhitere niravadhi dena puraskara
The Lord displayed the pastimes of a munificent person, for this is the nature of the Supreme Lord. He constantly gave gifts to the poor.
CB Adi-khanda 14.12
duhkhire dekhile prabhu bada daya kari’
anna, vastra, kadi-pati dena gaurahari
Whenever Gaurahari met a poor person, He would immediately give him rice, cloth, and money out of compassion.
The principle of magnanimity is found in the nature of brahmanas, while the principle of miserliness is found in the nature of non-brahmanas. In order to exhibit the pastimes of an ideal householder, Nimai donated rice, cloth, and wealth to the poor and distressed people.
CB Adi-khanda 14.13
niravadhi atithi aise prabhu-ghare
ya’ra yena yogya, prabhu dena sabakare
Guests would daily visit the Lord’s house, and He would always properly satisfy every one of them.
CB Adi-khanda 14.14
kona-dina sannyasi aise dasha bisha
saba’ nimantrena prabhu haiya harisha
Sometimes ten or twenty sannyasis would come, and the Lord would happily invite them for lunch.
Because the noble householder residents of Navadvipa normally followed the principles of varnashrama, many renounced sannyasis from various places came to their houses as guests. On one hand, the Lord removed the poverty of the poor, the distressed, and His guests, and on the other hand, He exhibited ideal pious householder pastimes by serving the renounced sannyasis of the fourth ashrama. In order to establish that every pious householder is obliged to respect the principles of ashrama-dharma, the Lord gave shelter and food to sannyasis and thus set the perfect example of pious householder behavior. It is the unavoidable duty of every householder who follows the principles of varnashrama to provide food and shelter according to their means to the fourth ashrama renounced sannyasis, who travel all over the country for the householders’ benefit. In the course of time, as the attached householders enviously cheated the sannyasis from their rightful share, the real principles of ashrama-dharma have gradually become slackened and distorted. What to speak of this, some householders even think that their highest occupational duty is simply to cheat sannyasis who desire householder’s welfare of their rightful share of alms from the householders. Though the Lord did not exhibit the pastimes of a prosperous or wealthy householder, He sometimes invited ten or twenty sannyasis to His house for meals in order to teach householders to serve the sannyasis.
CB Adi-khanda 14.15
sei-kshane kahi’ pathayena jananire
kudi sannyasira bhiksha jhata karibare
He would immediately send someone to inform His mother to quickly arrange lunch for the twenty sannyasis.
CB Adi-khanda 14.16-17
ghare kichu nai, ai cinte mane-mane
‘kudi sannyasira bhiksha haibe kemane?’
cintitei hena, nahi jani kon jane
sakala sambhara ani’ deya sei-kshane
As there was nothing at home, mother Shaci thought, “How will I prepare meals for twenty sannyasis?” As soon as she thought like this, someone came and delivered the necessary ingredients without her notice.
Due to the lack of sufficient ingredients for meals and accumulated wealth in the Lord’s house, Shacidevi felt a need for ingredients to feed the sannyasis. By the will of the Lord, all the necessary ingredients immediately appeared there.
CB Adi-khanda 14.18
tabe lakshmi-devi giya parama-santoshe
randhena vishesha, tabe prabhu asi’ vaise
Lakshmidevi cooked the offering with full satisfaction, and then the Lord arrived home.
CB Adi-khanda 14.19
sannyasi-ganere prabhu apane vasiya
tushta kari’ pathayena bhiksha karaiya
The Lord personally watched as the sannyasis were served their meal. After they were fully satisfied, He bid them farewell.
Since sannyasis do not normally use fire, their cooking activities were done by brahmanas, who use fire. The sannyasis who do not use fire can accept foodstuffs cooked at the houses of brahmanas, who use fire. Generally there was a temple of Vishnu in every brahmana’s house, and the sannyasis also ate only those foodstuffs that had been cooked for Vishnu. Since there was a possibility of nonvegetarian items in offerings to the inferior demigods at the houses of persons lower than brahmanas, it was customary for wandering sannyasis to not eat at the house of anyone other than a brahmana. In order to display the ideal principles of pious householder life, the Lord personally sat near the sannyasis and fed them prasada.
CB Adi-khanda 14.20
ei-mata yateka atithi asi’ haya
sabarei jijnasa karena kripamaya
In this way the merciful Lord inquired about the needs of every one of His guests.
The words jijnasa karena indicate that the Lord asked His guests whether they needed any drink or food.
CB Adi-khanda 14.21
grihasthere mahaprabhu shikhayena dharma
“atithira seva-grihasthera mula-karma
Mahaprabhu taught the householders, “The foremost duty of a householder is to serve his guests.
CB Adi-khanda 14.22
grihastha haiya atithi-seva na kare
pashu-pakshi haite ‘adhama’ bali ta’re
“If a householder does not serve his guests, he is considered lower than the birds and beasts.
Those attached householders who give up the service of guests who stay for one day and wandering sannyasis who are engaged in pleasing Lord Vishnu and remain busy in household duties like cooking for themselves are lower than even birds and beasts. Inferior animals like birds and beasts fly in the sky or wander the earth in order to gather their food and have little opportunity to collect. But since human beings are the highest social entities, they are obliged to follow the principles of varnashrama. If they are averse to even these principles, then they will counted among the unsheltered naked birds and beasts, who are busy simply filling their own bellies. Apart from filling their own bellies, human beings have the higher responsibility of collecting and protecting items for the service of Vishnu. For this reason, their social duties include giving shelter and food to guests and wandering mendicants who desire to please Narayana and benefit the living entities. If human beings transgress this duty, they will be considered lower than even birds and beasts.
CB Adi-khanda 14.23
ya’ra va na thake kichu purvadrishta-doshe
sei trina, jala, bhumi dibeka santoshe
“If due to his previous impious activities he does not have anything, then he should satisfy his guests with a straw mat, some water, and place to lie down.
The greedy prakrita-sahajiyas, who are cruel and expert in satisfying their tongues and bellies, are presently identifying themselves as preachers of the cult of Chaitanyacandra, and thus they cheat Vaishnava sannyasis from their rightful share of straw mats, etc. In order to expose their opposition to Him, Shri Chaitanyacandra has exhibited these ideal householder pastimes. The Lord has instructed everyone by His activities appropriate to a householder of showing proper respect to guests and sannyasis. But some people, though identifying themselves as His followers, act just the opposite. A few years ago in the city of Dacca, a greedy brahmana, who was a so-called disciple of a caste Gosvami and who earned his livelihood by selling the holy name, mantras, and Shrimad Bhagavatam, behaved in an extremely cruel manner with a few tridandi-sannyasis and brahmacaris, who had arrived there as guests, in order to deprive them from receiving Vishnu’s noon offering. In order to protect people from such behavior, the Lord personally exhibited the pastimes of giving shelter and foodstuffs to guests and sannyasis. Alas, just consider the Lord’s pastime of affectionate and careful distribution of indiscriminate mercy to the guests and sannyasis! And then consider the endeavors of persons who are averse to Chaitanya and who in the name of preaching His cult harass and oppose guests and sannyasis who are under the shelter of Shri Chaitanya!! Not only in the city of Dacca, a few days ago in Kuliya-nagara (Navadvipa), some such people with the help of a few fierce miscreants, rather than offering respect, unfairly attacked innocent Vaishnava sannyasis, brahmanas, and devotee women who had come to participate in the circumambulation of the Dhama. All these are simply unfavorable endeavors against the teachings of Shri Chaitanyadeva. [This purport also applies to verses 25-27 of this chapter.]
CB Adi-khanda 14.24
trinadi bhumir udakam vak caturthi ca va sunrita
etany api satam gehe nocchidyante kadacana
“‘In the houses of pious people there may be a scarcity of rice or other staples due to poverty, but a straw mat, water, resting place, and sweet words should always be available for serving guests.’
[This verse is found in the Manu-samhita (3.10) and in the Hitopadesha.]
The word trina refers to straw that is used for making an asana or bed.
The word bhumi refers to a resting place.
The word udaka refers to water for cleansing one’s hands, legs, and mouth or for performing acamana.
The words sunrita vak mean “truth” or “sweet words,” and the word caturthi means “the four items.”
CB Adi-khanda 14.25-27
satya vakya kahibeka kari’ parihara
tathapi atithya-shunya na haya tahara
akaitave citta sukhe ya’ra yena shakti
taha karilei bali ‘atithire bhakti’”
ataeva atithire apane ishvare
jijnasa karena ati parama-adare
“If one has nothing more to offer, he should apologize without duplicity; then he is not guilty of neglecting his guest. If a householder happily serves his guests without duplicity and according to his ability, he is considered hospitable.” Therefore the Lord personally invited His guests with great respect.
[See purport to verse 23 of this chapter.]
CB Adi-khanda 14.28
sei saba atithi-parama-bhagyavan
lakshmi-narayana ya’re kare anna dana
All those guest were most fortunate, for they received foodstuffs directly from Lakshmi-Narayana.
Those guests who received rice prasada from the house of Shri Lakshmi-Narayana at Yogapitha in Shri Navadvipa-dhama are millions of times more fortunate than those mundane guests who receive rice from mundane householders.
CB Adi-khanda 14.29
ya’ra anne brahmadira asha anukshana
hena se adbhuta, taha khaya ye-te jana
Foodstuffs so wonderful that are desired by even the demigods headed by Brahma were now eaten by one and all.
CB Adi-khanda 14.30
keha keha ito-madhye kahe anya katha
“se annera yogya anye na haya sarvatha
In reply to this, someone said, “It is not possible for ordinary persons to receive such foodstuffs.
CB Adi-khanda 14.31-32
sura-siddha-adi yata svacchanda-vihari
lakshmi-narayana avatirna navadvipe
jani’ sabe aisena bhikshukera rupe
“Brahma, Shiva, Shukadeva, Vyasadeva, Narada, as well as the demigods and Siddhas, who travel according to their desire, all knew that Lakshmi-Narayana had appeared in Navadvipa. They therefore all visited the Lord’s house to beg alms in the form of mendicants.
CB Adi-khanda 14.33
anyatha se-sthane yaibara shakti ka’ra?
brahma-adi vina ki se anna paya ara?”
“Otherwise who else has the power to visit His house, and who other than personalities like Brahma can receive such foodstuffs?”
CB Adi-khanda 14.34
keha bale,-“duhkhite tarite avatara
sarva-mate duhkhitere karena nistara
Someone else said, “The Lord has incarnated to deliver the distressed, and He therefore employs various means for their deliverance.
Some people say that since the demigods headed by Brahma and the sages headed by Narada possess mystic perfections, it was they who took the form and dress of guests and became fortunate by receiving rice prasada from the house of Lord Gaura-Narayana. Because other than them, no ordinary mortal being is qualified to receive the Lord’s direct mercy as a guest in His house. Yet others say that Lakshmi-Narayana have appeared in this age as Lakshmi-Gaura in order to deliver all distressed persons from their miserable conditions. Since He is most merciful, He distributed His mercy to everyone by providing food and shelter without considering whether one was qualified or not.
CB Adi-khanda 14.35-37
brahma-adi deva ya’ra anga prati-anga
sarvatha tanhara ishvarera nitya-sanga
tathapi pratijna ta’na ei avatare
‘brahmadi-durlabha dimu sakala jivere’
ataeva duhkhitere ishvara apane
nija-grihe anna dena uddhara-karane”
“The demigods headed by Brahma are born from the limbs of the Supreme Lord, and they are always associated with the Lord. Still, in this incarnation He has promised to give that which is rarely attained by even Brahma. Therefore the Lord personally fed the distressed in His house in order to deliver them.”
Although demigods headed by Brahma are equal to the Lord’s limbs and minor limbs and are very dear servants, the distinguishing feature of the causeless mercy of the most compassionate Gaurasundara is that in order to deliver the living entities of this age of Kali He distributes to everyone the Lord’s prasada, which is rarely obtained by even the best of the demigods and highest authorities like Lord Brahma, without considering whether one is qualified or not.
CB Adi-khanda 14.38-39
ekeshvara lakshmi-devi karena randhana
tathapi o parama-ananda-yukta mana
lakshmira caritra dekhi’ shaci bhagyavati
dande dande ananda-visheshe bade ati
Lakshmidevi cooked alone, yet she felt supremely blissful. As the fortunate mother Shaci observed the character of Lakshmi, her joy increased every hour of the day.
Lakshmidevi happily cooked alone for everyone, without the help of her mother-in-law. Thus seeing the character of her daughter-in-law, Shacidevi’s joy increased at every moment.
CB Adi-khanda 14.40
ushah-kala haite lakshmi yata griha-karma
apane karena saba,-ei tan’ra dharma
Beginning from sunrise, Lakshmi would personally perform all the household chores as her religious duty.
In order to increase the happiness of her husband and to satisfy her respected mother-in-law, the chaste Lakshmidevi performed all household duties while considering herself the maidservant of the Lord. As the ideal housewife, Shrimati Lakshmidevi personally performed all of the Lord’s household duties, beginning from the early morning till night.
CB Adi-khanda 14.41
deva-grihe karena ye svastika-mandali
shankha-cakra likhena haiya kutuhali
She would decorate the floor of the temple with drawings of svastikas, conches, and discs.
The phrase svastika-mandali refers to the drawing of circles or smearing and drawing pictures on Vishnu’s temple for His worship. Their characteristics are described in the following Vedic statement quoted in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (Fourth Vibhaga): “A worshiper of Vishnu should draw a square within each of the four corners-northeast, southeast, northwest, southwest-of the Lord’s temple, divide each square into sixteen squares, then fill each square with white, yellow, red, and black colored powders. This is called svastika.” Svastika, the drawing of circles, and their glories are described in the Vishnu-dharmottara as follows: “One who is intelligent should draw various mandalas such as sarvatobhadras and padmas and various wonderful svastikas in the temple of Hari.” In the Nrisimha Purana it is stated: “One should joyfully cleanse and decorate the temple of Vishnu by drawing various mandalas like padmas and svastikas with different attractive colors.” In the Skanda Purana, concerning the month of Kartika, it is stated: “One who draws various shapes like sarvatobhadras with clay or other minerals in front of Lord Keshava resides in heaven for one hundred kalpas. One who draws auspicious svastikas in front of shalagrama, especially in the month of Kartika, purifies seven generations of his family. A woman who regularly draws mandalas before Lord Keshava does not become a widow for the next seven births. A woman who draws mandalas with cow dung before Lord Keshava is never separated from her husband, children, or wealth. One who decorates the courtyard of Vishnu’s temple with various colorful svastikas and pictures enjoys the highest happiness within the three worlds.” It is stated in the Naradiya Purana: “A person who draws mandalas in the temple of Vishnu with either clay, various minerals, various colors, or cow dung attains the form of a demigod who flies in an airplane.” In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya it is said: “One who smears cow dung in the temple of Vishnu and draws colorful pictures on it happily resides in the abode of Vishnu, where the residents look on him with welcome glances.”
There was a Vishnu temple in the Lord’s house. Within the temple the worshipable Shri Narayana forms of Gandaki-shila (shalagrama-shila) and Gomati-cakra-shila (Dvaraka-shila) were situated as the family Deities. In order to draw auspicious signs within the temple, Lakshmidevi drew shapes like conches and cakras throughout the temple, such as on the foundation and walls.
CB Adi-khanda 14.42
gandha, pushpa, dhupa, dipa, suvasita jala
ishvara-pujara sajja karena sakala
She arranged sandalwood paste, flowers, incense, ghee lamps, and scented water for the worship of Lord Vishnu.
Following the scriptural and social norms of that time, every Bengali brahmana’s wife would collect ingredients like sandalwood paste, flowers, ghee lamp, incense, and scented water for the worship of Narayana. But nowadays in some provinces of India the brahmanas hailing from Bengal brahmana communities do not accept water touched or brought by their own wives for the service of the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 14.43
niravadhi tulasira karena sevana
tato’dhika shacira sevaya tan’ra mana
She constantly served tulasi, yet she served Shaci even more.
The worshipers of Lord Vishnu greatly respect Tulasi-devi as one of the ingredients for the Lord’s service and therefore most intimate with the Lord. Lakshmipriya-devi spent more time in serving her mother-in-law, Gaura’s mother, than in serving Tulasi-devi. Those who pretend to be acaryas while holding a tulasi plant in one hand and a pipe for smoking intoxicants in the other should properly follow the ideal example of serving Tulasi-devi set by Gaura-Lakshmipriya. And yet, knowing the Lord as the best of those devoted to their mothers, Lakshmipriya-devi, the Lord’s wife, established that her service with awe and reverence to her mother-in-law was superior to the affectionate service of Tulasi-devi, the maidservant of Gaura, and was nondifferent from service to her husband.
CB Adi-khanda 14.44
lakshmira caritra dekhi’ shri-gaurasundara
mukhe kichu na balena, santosha antara
Seeing Lakshmi’s behavior, Shri Gaurasundara did not comment, yet He was satisfied within.
Seeing Lakshmipriya’s greater faith in and eagerness for the service of His mother than the service of tulasi, the Lord approved within His mind and was quite satisfied. Though due to social injunctions and embarrassment the Lord did not externally or publicly approve the actions of His wife, His nonduplicitous heartfelt mercy on Lakshmidevi was seen in her activities of serving the Lord by collecting ingredients for Vishnu’s worship, serving tulasi, and serving His own mother, who is the personification of pure goodness.
CB Adi-khanda 14.45
kona-dina lakshmi lai’ prabhura carana
vasiya thakena pada-tale anukshana
Some days Lakshmi would sit and hold the Lord’s feet for hours.
In order to reveal within this world the glories and opulences of serving the lotus feet of Gaura-Narayana, Lakshmipriya-devi, who is attached to service in the mood of awe and reverence, often exhibited pastimes as the maidservant of Gaura, by holding the Lord’s lotus feet on her lap.
CB Adi-khanda 14.46
adbhuta dekhena shaci putra-pada-tale
maha-jyotir-maya agni-punja-shikha jvale
Mother Shaci sometimes saw brilliant effulgent flames emanating from the feet of her son.
Due to the influence of Gaura-Narayana’s opulences, Shacidevi saw five effulgent flames of fire. Just as impersonalists, being unable to see the original form of the Lord, accept the effulgence emanating from the body of the Lord as His form and thus become astonished; seeing the most effulgent five flames of fire emanating from the lotus feet of the Lord, Shacidevi understood her son to be directly Lord Vishnu.
CB Adi-khanda 14.47
kona-dina maha-padma-gandha shaci ai
ghare-dvare sarvatra payena, anta nai
Another day mother Shaci smelled the fragrance of lotus flowers throughout the house.
CB Adi-khanda 14.48
hena-mate lakshmi narayana navadvipe
keha nahi cinena achena gudha-rupe
As Lakshmi-Narayana secretly lived in Navadvipa in this way, no one was able to recognize them.
CB Adi-khanda 14.49
tabe kata-dine iccha-maya bhagavan
banga-desha dekhite haila iccha ta’na
After a few days the independent Lord desired to visit East Bengal [Bangladesh].
The word banga-desha is explained as follows: Shri Gaurasundara exhibited His pastimes in Gaudapura, Navadvipa-Mayapur. The eastern portion of Gauda-desha (now Bangladesh) is separately addressed as Banga-desha by the residents of Gauda-desha. The celestial Bhagirathi River flows through Gauda-desha. The northern and eastern provinces of Gauda Navadvipa, which consist of the east and south banks of the Brahmaputra River, through which flows the main branch of the Ganges, the Padmavati, which merges in the Bay of Bengal-these entire tracts of land were known at that time as Banga-desha.
In the book Shakti-sangam-tantra the border of Banga-desha has been described as follows: “The entire tract of land from the bay of Bengal up to the Brahmaputra River is known as Banga-desha. O Parvati, this land bestows on one all perfection.”
Even after the reign of the ancient Pala dynasty and the shifting of the capitol to Navadvipa and Vikramapura, north Bengal was still known as Varendra, provinces to the northwest of north Bengal were known as Karna-suvarna, west Bengal was known as Gauda and Radha, the present East Bengal was known as Banga-desha, and South Bengal was known as Samatata and Tamralipta. Even in Sanskrit literatures the east and middle areas of Bengal were referred to as Banga-desha. Abul Phajal, the prime minister of Akbar, the Mugal emperor of Delhi, has written in his history book, Ain-I-Akbari, or “The Rule of Akbar”, that the former Hindu kings of Banga surrounded their kingdoms with an ala, or mud dike, and therefore the area has become known as Bangala.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.