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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Other Scriptures by Acharyas > Navadvipa Krishna Chaitanya Holy Land > Bengal Holy Places > Chattigram



This place is located in the Chattagram district and is the birthplace of Shri Pundarik Vidyanidhi, Shri Chaitanya Vallabha, Shri Vasudeva Datta, Shri Mukunda Datta and other associates of Lord Chaitanya. Shri Pundarik Vidyanidhi was born in a brahmana family. His father's name was Shri Rajaswar and his mother's name was Ganga-devi. In Krishna lila he was King Vrishabhanu Maharaj, the father of Shrimati Radharani. He was a wealthy landlord here and he also had a house and some property in Navadwip. He was a disciple of Shri Madhavendra Puri, and he had a very good relationship with Shri Madhava Misra, the father of Shri Gadadhara Pandit. He was also a good friend of Svarupa Damodara.Shri Pundarik Vidyanidhi, in his mood as King Vrishabhanu in his previous birth, used to live in opulence, like a saintly king. Although he externally appeared to be a materialist, he was nevertheless an exalted Vaishnava. Tears would come to Mahaprabhu's eyes when He thought of him, and He used to call him "bop," father. Mahaprabhu also used to call him Premanidhi, ocean of love.


One time Mahaprabhu sent Gadadhara Pandit to receive darshan of Pundarik Vidyanidhi. But Gadadhara, seeing Pundarik's silk clothes, gold jewllery, and rich and excellent foodstuffs mistook Shri Pundarik for a materialist. Gadadhara then left without speaking to Pundarik Vidyanidhi. Later, accompanying Shri Mukunda, Gadadhara again went to the residence of Shri Pundarik Vidyanidhi. At that time Mukunda quoted a sloka about Krishna from the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Just by hearing this sloka, Pundarik Vidyanidhi fell down in ecstasy and began rolling in the dust on the ground. He was totally oblivious to his surroundings. Gadadhara Pandit, seeing this amazing display of maha bhava, realized his previous mistake in judging Punarik Vidyanidhi. Thinking that he had been mentally offensive, he felt remorse. He soon after took Vaishnava diksa from him.


Once Shri Pundarik went to have darshan of Lord Jagannath. He saw that the Lord was wearing a newly starched cloth that had not yet been washed. He became indignant, thinking the cloth was impure and that the pujaris were fools to offer it to the Lord. He thus made an offense in front of Lord Jagannath. That night, Lord Balaram and Lord Jagannath came to him in his dream, and, while smiling, They slapped his face so many times that his cheeks, in the morning, were swollen. Witnessing in his mirror the mercy the two Lords had bestowed upon him, he became overjoyed and started to cry in ecstasy. Then when he had calmed down he began to intimately reflect on how wonderful is the mercy of Lord Baladeva and Lord Jagannath! When They see a defect in Their surrendered devotees, They do not allow the defect to continue but They rectify it. Thus he considered his fortune.


Shri Mukunda Datta was a classmate of Mahaprabhu at Gangadas's school. In Krishna lila he was the cowherd boy named Madhukanta. He had a melodious voice that would attract anybody who had the good fortune to hear it. Previously he used to live in Chattasala in Chattigram village. Afterwards he came to Navadwip to reside with Lord Chaitanya. After Mahaprabhu took sannyasa and went to Jagan-nath Puri, Mukunda went to live in Kanchada Pada. He was the younger brother of Shri Vasudeva Datta who made the phenomenal request of the Lord to accept all the sins of every living entity in the universe. But also Shri Mukunda Datta shared in a pastime with Mahaprabhu that is similarly unparalleled and exalted.Once in the house of Shrivas Pandit, Lord Chaitanya was blessing all the devotees present. When the Lord had finished, it was noticed that He had omitted to bless Mukunda. Shrivas Pandit, being surprised that He had not blessed His favorite kirtan singer, asked the Lord to please be merciful and include Mukunda Datta in His blessings. Lord Chaitanya sternly retorted that Mukunda was a subhida-vadi who advocates philosophy according to the association he is within. Mahaprabhu said, "When with devotees, he glorifies bhakti. When he is with karmis, he debates on lifeless non-devotional topics, and if he is with a mayavadi, he postulates impersonalism. Whatever the situa­tion warrants, like a sponge, he perfectly fits in. Because of this offense at the lotus feet of Bhakti devi, who is very dear to Me, Mukunda is not a recipient of My mercy. Without Bhakti devi, there can be no delight in My darshan, and as the injunctions of the scriptures have clearly delineated, all actions however grand and meritorious do not bear fruit if they are without devotion."


When Mukunda heard this stern reproach, he reflected that he had committed an offense at the lotus feet of Bhakti devi, who manifests devotional service in the hearts and minds of pure devotees. Thinking that he had committed a grevious offense and that he had no other alternative, he decided to take his life. At that time he asked Shrivas Pandit to request the Lord whether he would have the opportunity, even'in a future life, to receive the Lord's mercy.Hearing this request from Shrivas Pandit, Mahaprabhu told him to tell Mukunda that he would have to wait one million births to receive His mercy. When Mukunda heard that he would receive the Lord's mercy in one million lifetimes, he became so happy that he began to spontaneously dance and cry in ecstasy. Jumping up and down he repeated over and over again, "A million births! Only a million births! I will be delivered in only a million births!" When Lord Chaitanya heard and saw this manifestation of Mukunda's devotion, His heart melted in compassion. The Lord called him near and blessed him. He told Mukunda, "All your offenses have at once been destroyed by your having firm conviction in My words and by having unshakable faith in Me."


Shri Mukunda was with Mahaprabhu during His kirtans at Shrivas Angan, and he also was present at the devotional drama performan­ces at Chandrasekhar Bhavan. He was present at the Lord's marriage to Laksmipriya devi and Vishnupriya devi. He was also in Katwa when the Lord accepted sannyasa, and he accompanied the Lord when he went to Jagannath Puri. Gaura Premanandi!