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Shri Murari Gupta's Mandir
On the eastern side of the Yoga Pith Temple, on the bank of Ballal Dighi, is a mandir with murtis of Shri Sita Ram and Murari Gupta. On this spot stood the house of Murari Gupta.Murari Gupta was an intimate associate and classmate of Lord Chaitanya's at Gangadas Pandit's school. Murari Gupta would perform kirtana with a sweet voice. He was also an expert dancer. He wrote a devotional book called Chaitanya Carita. He was born in Shri Hatta in a dynasty of ayurvedic doctors, but he changed his residence to Navadwip Dham while he was still young. Although Murari was a few years older than Mahaprabhu and was in a class senior to the Lord, Murari would still be defeated by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu when the two would debate. If he would established a point concerning sastra that Lord Chaitanya could not defeat, the Lord would then praise his intellect and erudition.
When Lord Chaitanya returned from Gaya, Murari Gupta joined Him and participated in their nocturnal sankirtan parties at Shrivas Angan. Murari would at times sweetly and melodiously recite slokas from the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Lord Chaitanya, upon hearing the Bhagavatam from Murari's mouth, would be carried away by waves of ecstasy. Seeing this, Murari Gupta would cry.Here Lord Chaitanya manifested His Varaha form. In his previous birth, Murari Gupta was Hanumanji, the unparalleled servant of Lord Rama, and in this life his attachment to Lord Ramacandra was unflinching.Once Lord Chaitanya wanted to test Murari Gupta's unalloyed devotion for His incarnation as Lord Rama in Treta yuga. So the Lord told Murari that the sweetness of Krishna is so extraordinary that it cannot be matched or surpassed by His other incarnations. Mahaprabhu also told Murari that although Krishna's other expansions are also perfect, Their perfection is but a partial exhibition of Krishna's qualities. Furthermore, Mahaprabhu explained, whatever opulences any incarnation may possess should be understood as being bestowed upon that incarnation by Krishna, the source of all incarnations and exalted opulences. Lord Chaitanya concluded, "Immediately, therefore, drop all other worship and begin exclusively performing Krishna bhajan."
Influenced by the words of Mahaprabhu, Murari agreed. But the thought of giving up service to the feet of Lord Ramacandra was so overwhelming, that he prayed to Lord Rama to take his life that night so he could both continue worshiping Rama and nevertheless not disobey Lord Chaitanya's instruction. The next day, with tears in his eyes, Murari went to Mahaprabhu and told Him that he both could not remain alive without serving Lord Ramacandra and could not remain alive without following His orders. Murari then inquired as to what he was to do. Catching hold of the Lord's feet, he wept profusely. When Lord Chaitanya observed the unalloyed devotion of Murari Gupta to Lord Ramacandra, He became satisfied, embraced him, and ordered him to continue performing bhajan to Lord Rama.
One day Prabhu Nityananda and Lord Chaitanya were sitting in the house of Shrivas. Murari arrived and first offered obeisances to Lord Chaitanya and next to Prabhu Nityananda. When Lord Chaitanya saw this, He informed Murari that he had just transgressed the rules of Vaishnava etiquette. "You should have first offered dandavats to Nityananda because He is senior. Then, after Nityananda, you may offer your obeisances to Me."That night as Murari slept the Lord revealed to Murari in a dream the glories of Shri Nityananda Prabhu. Shri Nityananda Prabhu is Guru Tattva, the original guru, and without offering one's obeisances first to one's guru, one has no access to worship of the Lord. The next day Murari first offered respects to Prabhu Nityananda and then to Lord Chaitanya. Thus the Lord became pleased.
Murari Gupta was also a famous ayurvedic doctor. People came from far and wide to him for treatment, and as their physical ills were cured their materialistic desires also vanished. Actually speaking, Murari Gupta, by his association, would free whomever he contacted from the disease of material existence. At times when Lord Chaitanya was in the mood of four-handed Narayana, Murari Gupta would adopt the mood of Garuda. The Lord would then mount Murari's shoulders and Murari would carry Him.
When Lord Chaitanya took sannyasa and went to Jagannath Puri, Murari Gupta would go each year with the devotees during the Ratha Yatra to see the Lord. Hari bol!