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Svananda Sukhada Kunja
The eastern side of Godrumadwip, situated on the banks of the Ganges, contains the place of worship and the samadhi of Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakur, which is called Svananda Sukhanda Kunja. Here, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur built his kutir and performed bhajan. The spiritual master of Shrila Saraswati Thakur, Shrila Gaura Kishora das Babaji Maharaj, also had his bhajan kutir in one corner of this kunja. From this place Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur discovered the appearance place of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Maha-prabhu.Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was born Kedarnath Datta on September 2, 1838, within Gaura Mandala in the village of Ulagrama. His father's name was Ananda Candra, and he was the great grandson of Madanamohan Datta, who was the seventh generation from Krishna-nanda Datta, a follower of Nityananda Prabhu. Bhaktivinoda Thakur preached and re-established the glories of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Among Gaudiya Vaishnavas he is fondly regarded as the "Seventh Goswami".
He preached the message of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu through the magazine he published called Sajjana Tosani. He also published many ancient Vaishnava literatures that were no longer available. He composed over one hundred books in various languages, all exclusively written in the mood of bhakti. We have already previously mentioned a few of these great literatures.He cleared the ground and laid a solid foundation, based on authoritative sastra, for future generations to preach the imperishable science of devotional service.
One evening while Shrila Bhaktivinoda was sitting on the veranda of his bhajan kutir chanting Hare Nama, he saw in the distance a golden effulgence. Knowing that Shri Navadwip Dham is completely transcendental, he was extremely pleased to see this and continued chanting Hari's names in great delight. The next evening, also, while chanting Hari Nama and looking out towards Shri Mayapur, he again saw the same golden transcendental light. This time, however, he saw that the light emanated from the golden forms of Lord Chaitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, and all Their associates as they performed kirtan.Feeling great bliss and knowing in his heart that his witnessing this manifestation could be of great import, Shrila Bhaktivinoda ascertained the exact direction of the light and the approximate distance. The next day he crossed the Saraswati by boat to Shridham Mayapur.Following his calculations, he came to one tal tree and saw a bower full of thickly growing Tulasi plants. After discussing with the locals, he discovered that no crops could grow in this area. But, he discovered, the Tulasi garden had always existed for as long as anyone's ancestors could remember. No one had ever planted it. Not revealing his vision to anyone, he began to research old government maps and history books, authoritative sastras from the Puranas, Tantras, and Samhitas, and talk to the area's various aged and saintly, venerable Vaishnavas. Thus he concluded from all the evidence that Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya's appearance place was at Yoga Pith in Shridham Mayapur on the eastern side of the Ganges on the island of Shri Antardwip.
Still, before he revealed it, he presented his conclusion to his spiritual master, Sarvabhauma Jagannath das Babaji Maharaj. Only after his gurudeva confirmed the site as the actual birthplace of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur reveal it to the world. Subsequently, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur established the temple of Shri Gaura Vishnupriya, Laksmipriya devi and Panca Tattva, and he handed the management to his son, Shri Bimala Prasada, who would later be known as Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada.Following in the footsteps of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur initiated nama-hatta and preached the Holy Name of Krishna and pure devotion in the villages throughout the holy dham. He was previously Kamala Manjari in Vrindavan. He is also an eternal associate of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.Let us fall down in the dust of this place and offer our humble obeisances to this great maha-bhagavata devotee of the Lord, the seventh goswami, Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakur! Haribol!