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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > SG Translated and Main Scriptures > Jagannatha Puri Gambhira > Jagannatha Puri Summary Glories

SHRI JAGANNATHA PURI GAMBHIRA DHAAM

Summary Glories of Various Pastime Places in Shri Kshetra Puri Dhama

 

Compiled By BRS Swami Gaurangapada

Reference Sources: Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Brihad Bhagavatamrita, Puranas,
Mahanidhi Swami's book Seeing Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri Dhama
Jada Bharata dasa's Practical Guide to Puri Dhama

 

Contents

 

Introduction

The Temple of Lord Jagannatha

The Deity of Lord Jagannatha

Lord Chaitanya in Jagannatha Puri

Alalanatha Temple

Ramananda Raya’s House

Atharanala Bridge

Balagandhi

Bharginadi River

Cataka Parvata and Dunes

The Gambhira Room

The Gundica Temple

Haridas Thakur's Samadhi Tomb

Indradyumna Lake

The Jagannatha Vallabha Gardens

Kashi Mishra's House

Konarka

Lion Gate (Nrsimhadvara)

Narendra Sarovara

Nrsingha Temple

Paramananda Puri's Well

Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya's House

Seabathing and Golden Beach

Siddha Bakula (Residence of Haridas Thakur)

The Temple Grand Road

The Tota- Gopinatha Temple

Yamesvara Tota

Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha Yatra

Navakalevara

Chandana Yatra

Sakshi Gopala

Bhubaneswar Lingraja Temple

Khira Chora Gopala Remuna

Madhavendra Puri and Rasikananda’s Samadhi

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada’s Birthplace

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Bhakti Kuti

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhu and Shrila Bhaktivinoda in Puri Dhama

A Pilgrim's Itinerary and Map

 

Introduction

By BRS Swami Gaurangapada

 

Some people consider a difference between Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama and Shri Navadvipa Dhama or Shri Vrindavana Dhama and think that Shri Jagannatha Puri is inferior in some way to Shri Vrindavana or Shri Navadvipa. To destroy their doubts, it is clearly stated in Shri Vaishnava Tantra:

 

madhura dvaraka lila yah, karoti ca gokule;

nilachala sthitah krishnasta, eva charati prabhuh.

 

“Each and every sweet and mellowful pastime which is performed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna in Gokula Vrindavana, Navadvipa, Dvaraka, Mathura etc. is performed by the playful Lord in Shri Nilachala Kshetra Jagannatha Puri Dhama without a doubt.”

 

Shrila Prabhupada confirms this statement of Shri Vaishnava Tantra in his beautiful purport to Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila 22.132:

 

----------------------------

 

Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura has sung:

 

shri gauda-mandala-bhumi,  yeba jane cintamani, tara haya vrajabhumi vasa

 

“One who understands the transcendental nature of Navadvipa and its surrounding area, where Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu enacted His pastimes, resides always in Vrndavana.” Similarly, living in Jagannatha Puri is as good as living in Vrndavana. The conclusion is that Navadvipa-dhama, Jagannatha Puri-dhama and Vrndavana-dhama are identical.

 

--------------------------

 

Puri Dhaam Glorified in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata

 

The following verses are originally stated in the Skanda Purana by Lord Krishna Himself to Lord Shiva and have been explained by Shrila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Antya Khanda Chp 2, Verse 366-379 as given below. Please remember these were the great glories of Puri Dhama even before the Supreme Lord Vrajendranandana Krishna personally came there in His supreme form of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu along with all His eternal associates in creation and resided there for 24 years from 1510 to 1534 AD. So one can imagine how much the already supremely glorious glories of Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama were magnified unlimitedly by the direct presence of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu in Shri Gambhira in Kali Yuga!

 

In Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Antya Khanda, Chapter Two, Lord Krishna Himself shares His most confidential secret to Lord Shiva:

 

sei sthane amara parama gopya puri ..366..

 

“Today I will tell you the glories of My supremely confidential and rare Personal Abode of Shri Puri Dhama.”

 

sei sthana siva, aji kahi toma'-sthane .

se purira marma mora keha nahi jane ..367..

 

“O Shiva, I will personally tell you the supreme glories of Puri today because no one else knows the essence, secret and full inner glories of Puri Dhama.”

 

sindhu tire vata-mule 'nilacala' nama .

ksetra-shripurusottama-ati ramyasthana ..368..

 

“On the banks of the salt-water ocean, at the root of a banyan tree is the My own Holy Abode of Nilachala Kshetra Shri Purushottama Dhama which is most enchanting and beautiful in this whole universe.”

 

ananta brahmanda kale yakhana samhare .

tabu se sthanera kichu karite na pare ..369..

 

“When millions of universes are destroyed at the time of the Prakrtika Mahapralaya, or total material annihilation at the end of 100 years of Lord Brahma (our 311 trillion years), the supremely transcendental Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama is not effected or even touched in any way.”

 

sarva kala sei sthane amara vasati .

pratidina amara bhojana haya tathi .370..

 

“At every moment I constantly and eternally reside in Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama. And not only that, I personally eat and accept the offerings daily in this abode of Mine.”

 

se sthanera prabhave yojana dasa bhumi .

tahate vasaye yata jantu, kita, krmi ..371..

sabare dekhaye caturbhuja devagane .

'bhuvanamangala' kari' kahiye ye sthane ..372..

 

“This personal abode of Mine is 10 yojanas or 80 miles in area in transcendental size. When the demigods from the heavenly planets look down on the earth, they astonishingly see that all the living beings residing in Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama, even the insects, worms and ants, all of them are possessing four transcendental hands holding the conch, disc, lotus and club and the personal opulence of the Lord Himself. That is why this most holy abode of Mine is known as “Bhuvanamangala” or the Abode which purifies and makes the whole world supremely auspicious.”

 

nidrateo ye sthane samadhi phala haya .

sayane pranama-phala yatha vede kaya ..373..

 

“All the Vedas state that simply by sleeping in Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama, one gets the transcendental fruit of Samadhi or trance on the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And even simply by lying down in Shri Puri Dhama, one effortlessly achieves the unlimited fruits of offering obeisances to the Supreme Lord with devotion.”

 

pradakshina-phala paya karile bhramana .

katha matra yatha haya amara stavana ..374..

 

“The Vedas continue to state that simply by wandering in Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama here and there, one gets the infinite fruits of circumambulating the Lord, and simply by speaking any words in Shri Puri Dhama, one achieves the fruits of directly offering glorious prayers to the Lord.”

 

hena se ksetrera ati prabhava nirmala .

matsya khaileo paya havisyera phala ..375..

 

“Such is the supreme influence of Shri Kshetra Jagannatha Puri Dhama. Even eating fish in Puri Dhama gives one the fruit of eating sacrifical offerings or prasadam of the Lord.” (Ofcourse this is not a license to do that)

 

nija-name stha mora hena priyatama .

tahate yateka vaise, se amara sama ..376..

 

“Since this Holy Abode is the dearest among My most dear Abodes, I have personally given Puri the Name of Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama which contains My own Holy Name of Jagannatha (and Puri means home so it means My own home). Those who simply reside in Shri Puri Dhama become just like Me in all requests.”

 

se sthane nahika yamadanda-adhikara .

ami kari bhala-manda-vicara sabara ..377..

 

“My great devotee Yamaraja, the superintendent of Death, does not have the right to even approach anyone residing in Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama. The personal care and maintanence of all those who reside in Puri Dhama is personally done by Me and Me alone.”

 

hena se amara puri, tahahara uttare .

tomare dilalana sthana rahibara tare ..378..

 

“ So O Shiva, I will award you a beautiful place north of Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama, so that you can eternally reside near My supremely Holy Abode.”

 

bhukti-mukti-prada sei sthana manohara .

tatha tumi khyata haiva 'shribhuvanesvara' .."379..

 

“That enchanting and beautiful place where you will reside will become famous as Shri Bhubaneswar, and it will grant enjoyment and liberation to one and all who approach it.”

 

suniya adbhuta puri-mahima sankara .

punah shricarana dhari' karila uttara ..380..

 

“Hearing these most astonishing and splendid glories of Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama from the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna Himself. Lord Shiva clasped His lotus feet and spoke as follows.”

 

Shri Brihad Bhagavatamrita of Shrila Sanatana Goswami: Part 2, Chp 1:

 

Text 159

daru-brahma jagannatho, bhagavan purusottame

ksetre nilacale ksarar-nava-tire virajate

 

In Purusottama-ksetra Nilachala Shri Puri Dhama, by the shore of the salt-water ocean, te Lord of the universes Lord Jagannatha-Krishna, is splendidly manifest in a spiritual form of wood.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami quotes the Padma Purana's description of Lord Jagannatha:

 

samudrasyottare tire, aste shri-purusottame

purnananda-mayam brahma, daru-vyaja-sarira-bhrt

 

"On the northern shore of the ocean, in Purusottama-ksetra, the supremely blissful Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna pretends to be made of wood."

 

The Vishnu Purana explains:

 

niladrau cotkale dese, ksetre shri-purusottame

daruny aste cid-anando, jagannathakhya-murtina

  

In the country of Orissa, in Nilacala in Purusottama-ksetra, the spiritual and blissful Personality of Godhead appears as the wooden Deity named Lord Jagannatha."

 

Text 160

 

maha-vibhutiman rajyam, autkalam palayan svayam

vyanjayan nija-mahatmyam, sada sevaka-vatsalah

 

Opulent and powerful, He personally protects and maintains the kingdom of Orissa. He is glorious. He loves His servants.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami quotes the Tattva-yamala:

 

bharate cotkale dese, bhu-svarge purusottame

daru-rupi jagannatho, bhaktanam abhaya-pradah

nara-cestam upadaya, aste moksaka-karakah

 

"In Bharata-varsa, in the country of Orissa, in Bhu-svarga, in Purusottama-ksetra, the Lord of the universes Lord Jagannatha-Krishna, Who makes the devotees fearless, Whose pastimes are like those of a human being, and who

grants the supreme liberation, appears in a form of wood."

 

Text 161

 

tasyannam pacitam laksmya, svayam bhuktva dayaluna

dattam tena sva-bhaktebhyo, labhyate deva-durlabham

 

The goddess of fortune personally cooks for Him. When He has eaten, the merciful Lord gives His remnants, which even the demigods cannot obtain, to His devotees."

 

 Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the question may be asked: If the Lord eats the food, how is anything left? The answer is found in the word "dayaluna" (merciful). Although the Lord eats all that is offered to Him, and leaves no remnants, He mercifully makes it as full as before and then gives it to His devotees.

 

Text 162

 

maha-prasada-samjnam ca, tat sprstam yena kenacit

yatra kutrapi va nitam, avicarena bhujyate

 

These remnants, called Jagannatha-Krishna mahaprasadam, should be eaten without considering who has touched them or from where they were brought.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami quotes the Vedic literatures:

 

yad annam pacayel laksmir, bhoktah ca purusottamah

sprstasprstam na mantavyam, yatha visnus tathaiva tat

 

"The food, cooked by the goddess of fortune, that the Supreme Personality of Godhead eats, is like Lord Vishnu Himself. One should not consider whether some unworthy person has touched it or not." -Vedic literature

 

cirastham api samsuskam, nitam va dura-desatah

yatha-yathopabhuktam sat, sarva-papapanodanam

 

"Whether old, dried-up, or already tasted by someone else, the prasadam of the Lord removes all sins." -Skanda Purana.

 

antya-varnair hina-varnaih, sankara-prabhavair api

sprstam jagat-pater annam, bhuktam sarvagha-nasanam

 

"Whether touched by people of the lowest caste, people who have no caste, or people born of mixed caste, food once eaten by the Lord of the universes destroys all sins." - Bhavisya Purana

 

nasti tatraiva rajendra, sprstasprsta-vivecanam, yasya samsp~rsta-matrena yanty amedhyah pavitratam

 

"O king, there is no consideration whether or not some unworthy person has touched the Lord's mahaprasadam, for by once touching it even the most unworthy person is at once purified."

         -Tattva-yamala

 

na kala-niyamo vipra, vrate candrayane yatha

prapta-matrena bhunjita, yadicchen moksam atmanah

 

"O brahmanas, if one desires liberation he should eat the Lord's mahaprasadam at once, without considering whether it is the proper time, as one does in the candrayana-vrata." - Garuda Purana

 

Text 163

 

aho tat ksetra-mahatmyam, gardabho 'pi catur-bhujah

yatra pravesa-matrena, na kasyapi punar bhavah

 

Oh, the glory of that place! Even an ass there becomes a four-armed resident of Vaikuntha. Anyone who goes there once is never born again in this material world.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami quotes Lord Brahma' in the Brahma Puranaa:

 

aho ksetrasya mahatmyam, samastad dasa-yojanam

nivista yatra pasyanti, sarvan eva catur-bhujan

 

"Oh, the glory of that place of 80 miles of Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama! When one goes there he sees that everyone there is a four-armed resident of Vaikuntha."

 

Veda-vyasa explains in the Garuda Purana:

 

yatra sthita janah sarve, sankha-cakrabja-panayah

drsyante divi devams ca,  mohayanti muhur muhuh

 

"When the demigods in heaven see that the people there are four-armed residents of Vaikuna holding a conchshell, cakra, and lotus in their hands, again and again they faint."

 

Narada Muni says in the Bahv-rca-parisista:

 

catur-bhuja janah sarve, drsyante yan-nivasinah

 

"The people who live there are all seen to be four-armed residents of Vaikuntha."

 

Veda-vyasa also says in the same scripture:

 

sparsanad eva tat ksetram, nrnam mukti-pradayakam

yatra saksat param brahma, bhati darava-lilaya

 

api janma-sataih sagrair, duritacara-tat-parah

ksetre 'smin sanga-matrena, jayate visnu-samam

 

"Touching that places gives liberation to human beings. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Jagannatha-Krishna enjoys pastimes there, playing as a wooden Deity. By performing difficult austerities for a hundred births one is able to touch that place and become equal in quality to Lord Vishnu."

 

Text 164

 

praphulla-pundarikakse, tasmin eveksite janeh

phalam syad evam asrausam, ascaryam purvam asrutam

 

I heard that when blossoming-lotus-eyed Lord Jagannatha is seen, the seer's birth in this world brings a wonderful result never heard of before.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami quotes the following words spoken by Narada Muni to Prahlada Maharaja in the Padma Purana:

 

sravanadyair upayair yah, kathancid drsyate mahah

niladri-sikhare bhati, sarva-caksusa-gocarah

 

tam eva paramatmanam, ye prapasyanti manavah

te yanti bhavanam visnoh, kim punar ye bhavadrsah

 

"They who somehow or the other see or hear the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Jagannatha-Krishna Who has most gloriously manifested on the summit of Nilacala Hill at Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama and stands before all eyes, certainly attain Lord Vishnu's personal abode, and never take another birth in this miserable material world."

 

Puri Dhama is Shri Vrindavana
& Real Service to Lord Jagannatha


From Brihad Bhagavatamrita Chapter One and Two by Shrila Sanatana Goswamipada

Shri Gopakumara Ki Jaya!

 

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HIGHLIGHT: FOUR VERSES

Text 216:

bho gopa-nandana ksetram, idam mama yatha priyam;

tatha shri-mathurathasau janma-bhumir visesatah.

 

Lord Jagannatha instructed the Gopakumara: "O cowherd boy Gopakumara, as this place of Purshuttoma Kshetra Puri Dhama is very dear to Me, so is Mathura Dhama also very dear to me for it is specifically the land of My birth."

 

Texts 194 and 195

 

yadasya darsanotkantha, vraja-bhumer abhut taram;

tada tu shri-jagannatha- mahimna sphurati sma me

tat-ksetropavana-sreni-vrndaranyatayarnavah;

yamunatvena niladri-bhogo govardhanatmana

 

"When I yearned to see Vrajabhumi, by Lord Jagannatha's mercy and glory the gardens there became the Shri Vrndavana forest, the ocean became the Yamuna, and Nilachala Hill manifested as Govardhana."

 

Text 3

atha sandarsanotkantha,  jagad-isasya sajani;

yayedam sunyavad viksya, purusottamam asmaram

 

Gopakumara said after arriving in Mathura: "My longing to see Lord Jagannatha making me see everything as if it were a desert even in Shri Mathura Dhama, I remembered Purusottama-kshetra Shri Puri Dhama and he left Vrindavana for Puri Dhama again."

 

Text 190: REAL SERVICE TO LORD JAGANNATHA

 

shri-jagannatha-devasya, seva-rupam ca viddhi tam,

evam matva ca visvasya, na kadacit japam tyajet.

 

"Know that chanting your Diksha Mantra in Japa is direct service to Lord Jagannatha. Have complete faith and never give up chanting japa even for a moment."

 

----------------------------

 

Text 165

 

tad-didrksabhibhuto 'ham, sarvam santyajya tat-ksane

sankirtayan jagannatham, audhra-desa-disam shritah

 

Conquered by the desire to see Him, I, Gopakumara resident of Govardhana, Vrindavana at once gave up everything and, glorifying Lord Jagannatha, set out for the country of Orissa.

 

Text 166

 

tat-ksetram acirat praptas, tatratyan dandavan naman

antah-puram pravisto 'ham, tesam karunaya satam

 

Quickly reaching that place, and falling down as a stick to offer respects to the people there, I entered the Jagannatha temple by the devotees' mercy.

 

Text 167

 

durad adarsi purusottama-vaktra-candro

    bhrajad-visala-nayano mani-pundra-bhalah

snigdhabhra-kantir arunadhara-dipti-ramyo

   'sesa-prasada-vikasat-smita-candrikadhyah

 

From far away I saw the moon of the Supreme Person Lord Jagannatha Krishna's face, a moon with large glistening eyes, a forehead decorated with jewel tilaka, a splendor like a glittering cloud, and a delightful glory of red lips, and shining with moonlight of a smile blossoming with all kindness.

 

Text 168

 

atragrato gantu-manas ca nese

    premna tato vepathubhir niruddhah

romanca-bhinno 'sru-vilupta-drstih

    stambham suparnasya kathancid aptah

 

Although I had a mind to go before Him, I was not able. I trembled with love, the hairs of my body stood erect, tears removed my power to see. Somehow I came to the Garuda-stambha in the Jagannatha temple.

 

Texts 169-170

 

divyambaralankarana-srag-avali-

    vyaptam mano-locana-harsa-vardhanam

simhasanasyopari lilaya sthitam

    bhuktva maha-bhoga-ganan manoharan

 

pranama-nrtya-stuti-vadya-gita-

    params tu sa-prema vilokayantam

maha-mahimnam padam iksamano

   'patam jagannatham aham vimuhya

 

As I gazed on Lord Jagannatha, who was was adorned with splendid garments, ornaments, and garlands, whose eyes and heart were filled with happiness, who gracefully sat on His throne, who enjoyed many offerings of delicious foods, who lovingly glanced at they who were bowing before Him, dancing, reciting prayers, playing musical instruments, and singing, and who was the abode of great glories, I suddenly fainted and fell to the

ground.

 

Text 171

 

samjnam labdhva samunmilya, locane lokayan punah

unmatta iva tam dhartum, sa-vego 'dharam agratah

 

Regaining consciousness, opening my eyes, and gazing into the Lord Jagannatha's eyes, I became like a madman. I suddenly ran to embrace the Lord.

 

Text 172

 

cirad didrksito drsto, jivitam jivitam maya

prapto 'dya jagad-iso 'yam, nija-prabhur iti bruvan

 

I called out: "I can see the Lord I so long yearned to see! My life is a success! My life is a success! I have my Lord, the Lord of the universes! Jaya Jagannatha!!!"

 

Text 173

 

sa-vetra-ghatam pratiharibhis tada

    nivarito jata-vicara-lajjitah

prabhoh krpam tam anumanya nirgato

    maha-prasadannam athapnavam bahih

 

Striking me with sticks, the guards stopped me. Thoughtful and ashamed, I went outside and there I received Jagannatha mahaprasadam.

 

Texts 174 and 175

 

tad bhuktva sa-tvaram brahman, bhagavan-mandiram punah

pravisyascarya-jatam yan, maya drstam mudam padam

 

hrdi kartum na sakyate, tat katham kriyate mukhe

evam tatra diva purnam, sthitvanando 'nubhuyate

 

O brahmana, after eating the prasadam I again entered the Lord Jagannatha's temple. There I saw many blissful wonders. My mind cannot measure it. How can my mouth speak of it? There I spent the entire day filled with bliss.

 

Text 176

 

ratrau mahotsave vrtte, brhac-chrngara-sambhave

nirgamyate tu nirvrtte, puspanjali-mahotsave

 

At night there was a great festival of decorations and a great festival of flowers offered in folded hands. Then I left the temple of Jagannatha.

 

Text 177

 

nettham jnatah satam sange, kalo nava-navotsavaih

tadaivasya vraja-bhuvah, soko me niragad iva

 

Enjoying newer and newer festivals in the devotees' company, I was not aware how the time was passing. It was as if the grief of separation from Vrajabhumi had gone away.

 

Text 178

 

shri-jagannathadevasya, sevakesu krpottama

vividhajna ca sarvatra, sruyate 'py anubhuyate

 

I heard of in many accounts, and I also saw directly Lord Jagannatha's great mercy to His servants.

 

Text 179

 

nanyat kim api roceta, jagannathasya darsanat

puranato 'sya mahatmya- Susrusapi nivartate

 

Nothing other than gazing at Lord Jagannatha pleased me. Even my desire to hear the Purana's description of the Lord's glories left me.

 

Text 180

 

sariram manasam va syat, kincid duhkham kadacana

ta ca shri-pundarikakse, drste sadyo vinasyati

 

Sometimes I would suffer in body or mind, but when I saw the lotus-eyed Lord Jagannatha my sufferings were at once destroyed.

 

Text 181

 

phalam labdham japasyeti

    matvodase sma tatra ca

evam cira-dinam tatra

    nyavasam paramaih sukhaih

 

I thought: "I have attained the goal of my chanting". I have achieved Lord Jagannatha. For many days I lived there very happily.

 

Text 182

 

atha tasyantarinayam

    sevayam karhicit prabhoh

jata rucir me tato 'pi

    tasya aghatanan mahan

 

Then I began to yearn to do some confidential service for Lord Jagannatha. That desire brought me great anxiety.

 

Texts 183 and 184

 

yas cakravarti tatratyah

    sah prabhor mukhya-sevakah

shri-mukham viksitum ksetre

    yada yato mahotsave

 

saj-janopadravavodyana-

    bhangadau varito 'py atha

madrso 'kincanah svairam

    prabhum drastum na saknuyuh

 

When, during great festivals, that country's king, who was a great servant of the Lord, came to see the Lord's glorious face, he brought many saintly visitors and filled the gardens. Then poor people like myself were no longer able to see the Lord whenever we wished.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the most important of these festivals was Rathayatra. Somene may protest that this action is not proper for a saintly king. The answer is given that the king brought with him many saintly persons eager to see Lord Jagannatha. The gardens were filled with the horses and other animals of the king's entourage.

 

Text 185

 

evam udbhuta-hrd-rogo

   'draksam sva-gurum ekada

shri-jagannatha-devagre

    parama-prema-vihvalam

 

One day when for this reason I felt sick at heart I saw my Guru, who was overcome with love as he stood before Lord Jagannatha.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this was the Guru who first gave him his mantra in Vrndavana.

 

Text 186

 

na sa sambhasitum sakto

    maya tarhi gatah kvacit

alaksito jagannatha-

    shri-mukhakrsta-cetasa

 

He was not able to speak. My heart attracted by Lord Jagannatha's face, I did not see when he went somewhere else.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains the Guru could not speak because he was overcome with love.

 

Text 187

 

itas tato 'mrgyatasau

    dine 'nyasmims tate 'mbudheh

nama-sankirtananandair

 

    nrtyal labdho mayaikalah

 

Searching here and there, one day I found him alone on the ocean's shore, dancing and chanting the Holy Names in ecstasy.

 

Text 188

 

dandavat pranamantam mam

    drstvasirvada-purvakam

aslisyajnapayam asa

    sarvajno 'nugrahad idam

Seeing me falling down as a stick to offer obeisances, he blessed me, embraced me, and, knowing all, mercifully gave me the following instruction:

 

Text 189

 

yad yat sankalpya bho vatse

    nijam mantram japisyasi

tat-prabhavena tat sarvam

    vanchatitam ca setsyati

 

O child, whatever you desire, you should chant your mantra. By it's power all will be fulfilled beyond what you can desire.

 

Text 190

 

shri-jagannatha-devasya

    seva-rupam ca viddhi tam

evam matva ca visvasya

    na kadacit japam tyajet

 

Know that chanting your Diksha Mantra in Japa is direct service to Lord Jagannatha. Have faith and never give up chanting.

 

Text 191

 

tvam etasya prabhavena

    cira-jivi bhavanv-aham

idrg goparbha-rupas ca

    tat-phalapty-arha-manasah

 

By the Mantra's power you will gradually become an eternally youthful cowherd boy. Now your heart is worthy to attain that.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that here the Guru is giving his disciple a benediction.

 

Text 192

 

mam draksyasi kadapy atra

    vrndaranye kadacana

evam sa mam anujnapya

    kutrapi sahasagamat

 

Sometimes you will see me here and sometimes in Vrndavana. After speaking these words of instruction, he suddenly left.

 

Text 193

 

tad-viyogena dinah san

    shri-jagannatham iksitum

gatah saktim aham prapto

    yatnam cakaravam jape

 

Distraught in separation from him, I went to see Lord Jagannatha. I became strong and again I chanted.

 

Texts 194 and 195

 

yadasya darsanotkantha

    vraja-bhumer abhut taram

tada tu shri-jagannatha-

    mahimna sphurati sma me

 

tat-ksetropavana-sreni-

    vrndaranyatayarnavah

yamunatvena niladri-

    bhogo govardhanatmana

 

When I yearned to see Vrajabhumi, by Lord Jagannatha's glory the gardens there became like Vrndavana forest, the ocean like the Yamuna, and Nilacala Hill like Govardhana.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this happened by Lord Jagannatha's mercy.

 

Text 196

 

evam vasan sukham tatra

    bhagavad-darsanad anu

guru-padajnaya nityam

    japami svesta-siddhaye

 

Thus I lived happily there. Every day, after seeing Lord Jagannatha, I would follow my guru's order and chant to attain my desired perfection.

 

Text 197

 

atha tasmin maharaje

    kalam prapte 'sya sununa

jyesthenativiraktena

    rajyam angi-krtam na tat

 

When the king's time was over, his eldest son, a very renounced soul, refused to accept the kigndom.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the king died. His son became very renounced by serving Lord Jagannatha.

 

Text 198

 

tatrabhisiktah prstasya-

    nujnaya jagad-isituh

sampariksya maha-raja-

    cihnani sacivair aham

 

After asking Him, by Lord Jagannatha's order looking for the signs of a great king, the ministers crowned me.   

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the king's eldest son refused the kingdom, and the younger sons and other relatives were not qualified to accept it. The king's ministers asked Lord Jagannatha what should be done. Lord Jagannatha might have said to them: "My devotee Gopa-kumara, who was born on Govardhana Hill, should be crowned king." Or then He might have said: "He on whom the signs of a great king are seen should be crowned king". Seeing the signs of a great king on Gopa-kumara, they crowned him king. The signs of a king are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (9.20.24, in these words:

 

cakram daksina-haste 'sya

    padma-koso 'sya padayoh

 

"Maharaja Bharata, the son of Dusmanta, had the mark of Lord Krishna's disc on the palm of his right hand, and he had the mark of a lotus whorl on the soles of his feet."*

 

Text 199

 

vividha vardhitas tasya

    maya puja-mahotsavah

visesato maha-yatra

    dvadasatrapi gundica

 

vividhas-various; vardhitas-increased; tasya-of Him; maya-by me; puja-of worship; mahotsavah-the great festivals; visesato-specifically maha-yatra-the Rathayatra; dvadasa-twelve; atra-here; api-also; gundica-Gundica.

 

I expanded the great festivals of worshiping the Lord, and I specifically expanded the twelve great yatras, including the yatra' to Gundicha.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the twelve great yatras, beginning with Dolayatra, Damanakayatra, Candanayatra, Jalasnanayatra, and Rathayaatra, are performed in the twelve months. The yatra' to Gundica' is

Rathayatra.

 

Text 200

 

prthivyah sadhavah sarve

    milita yatra vargasah

premnonmatta iveksyante

    nrtya-gitadi-tat-parah

   

Coming in groups and meeting here, all the saintly persons on earth sang and danced with such ecstatic love they looked like madmen.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this statment may mean that they came for the twelve great yatras, or that they came for the Rathayatra. They came from the different sampradayas.

 

Text 201

 

rajyam rajopabhogyam ca

    jagannatha-padabjayoh

samarpyakincanatvena

    sevam kurve nijecchaya

 

Personally living as a penniless man, and placing my kingdom and all royal enjoyments at Lord Jagannatha's lotus feet, I served Him according to my wish.

 

Text 202

 

nijaih priyatamair nitya-

    sevakaih saha sah prabhuh

narma-gosthim vitanute

    prema-kridam ca karhicit

 

Sometimes the Lord jokes with His dear eternal servants and sometimes He enjoys loving pastimes with them.

 

Text 203

 

yada va lilaya sthanu-

    bhavam bhajati kautuki

prinanty athapi sascaryas

    te tal-lilanusarinah

 

When the blissful Lord playfully becomes motionless. the devotees following His pastimes become filled with wonder and bliss.

 

Text 204

 

mamapi tatra tatrasa

    syad athagantuko 'smy aham

tad-eka-nistho napi syam

    katham tat-tat-prasada-bhak

 

I yearned to become like those devotees. I was a newcomer. My faith was not fixed on Lord Jagannatha alone. How could I enjoy His mercy?

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Gopa-kumara was attached to Vrndavana.

 

Text 205

 

tathapy utkala-bhaktanam

    tat-tat-saubhagya-bhavanaih

sanjanyamanaya tat-tad-

    asayadhih kilodbhavet

 

When I thought of the good fortune of the Orissan devotees I yearned to be like them and I became sick at heart.

 

Text 206

 

nama-sankirtana-stotra-

    gitani bhagavat-purah

sruyamanani dunvanti

    mathura-smarakani mam

 

The chanting of prayers, songs, and the holy names before the Lord reminded me of Mathura' and filled me with pain.

 

Text 207

 

sadhu-sanga-balad gatva

    drste rajiva-locane

sarvah soko viliyeta

    na syaê jigamisa kvacit

 

By associating with the devotees I saw the lotus-eyed Lord Jagannatha. Then all my unhappiness disappeared and I did not wish to go anywhere.

 

Text 208

 

tathapi mama samrajya-

    samparkena hrdi svatah

bhagavad-darsananandah

    samyan nodeti purvavat

 

Still, because I was a king my heart could not feel the same bliss it once felt to see the Lord.

 

Text 209

 

yatra-mahotsavams caham

 

    avrto raja-mandalaih

sukham kalayitum nese

    svecchaya bahudha bhajan

 

Surrounded by kings, I could not enjoy the great yatra' festivals to my heart's content.

 

Text 210

 

rajno 'patyest amatyesu

    bandhust api samarpya tam

rajabharam svayam pragvad

    udasinataya sthitah

 

Placing the burden of the kingdom on the king's sons, ministers, and relatives, I became aloof as before.

 

Text 211

 

sukham raho japam kurvan

    jagannatha-padabjayoh

samipe svecchaya sevam

    acarann avasam tatah

 

Chanting my mantra in a secluded place, and intimately serving Lord Jagannatha's lotus feet to my heart's content, I lived happily close to the Lord.

 

Text 212

 

tathapi loka-sammanad

    aratas tadrsam sukham

na labhaye vinirvinna-

    manas tatrabhavam sthitau

 

Because the people continued to treat me with great respect I became very unhappy at heart.

 

Text 213

 

gantum vrndavanam pratar

    ajnartham puratah prabhoh

gatah shriman-mukham pasyan

    sarvam tad vismaramy aho

 

One morning I went before the Lord to ask permission to go to Vrndavana, but when I gazed at His glorious face I forget everything.

 

Text 214

 

evam samvatsare jate

    maya tatraikada srutam

mathurayah prayatebhyo

    'tratya-vrttam visesatah

 

A year passed. One day I heard Mathura' described by some people come from there.

 

Text 215

 

soka-duhkhaturam ratrau

    sayanam mam maha-prabhuh

idam ajnapayam asa

    para-duhkhena katarah

 

That night, as I slept overcome with grief, the Lord, who suffers when others suffer, instructed me, saying:

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Lord here is Lord Jagannatha. The Lord could not tolerate His devotee's sufferings.

 

Text 216

 

bho gopa-nandana ksetram

    idam mama yatha priyam

tatha shri-mathurathasau

    janma-bhumir visesatah

 

"O cowherd boy Gopakumara, as this place of Purshuttoma Kshetra Puri Dhama is very dear to Me, so is Mathura Dhama also very dear to me for it is specifically the land of My birth."

 

Text 217

 

balya-lila-sthalibhis ca

    tabhis tabhir alankrta

nivasami yathatraham

    tatha tatrapi vibhraman

 

It is decorated with the places of My childhood pastimes. I still live there, enjoying pastimes.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the word "childhood" here also includes the Lord's adolescence. The word "vibhraman" may also be interpreted to mean "wandering here and there".

 

Text 218

 

yada dolayamanatma

    katham tad anutapyase

tatraiva gaccha kale mam

    tad-rupam draksyasi dhruvam

 

Why, your heart wavering so, do you suffer? Go there. In time you will see me there in this form.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Gopa-kumara's heart wavered between two decisions: "I will stay here", and "I will go there." In this way he was filled with doubt and torn in two. The form the Lord predicts he will see is the form of Madana-Gopala, the Deity of Gopa-kumara's mantra.

 

Text 219

 

ajna-malam pratar adaya puja-

    viprair vase me samagatya dattam

kanthe baddhva prasthito viksya cakram

    natvathapto mathuram- desam etam

 

That morning some priests from the temple came to my home and gave me the Lord's order in the form of Lord Jagannatha's garland. Tying the garland around my neck, and bowing down to offer respects to the cakra, I went to the country of Mathura.

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Gopa-kumara might think: "This is just a false dream. Why, simply by words in a dream, should I leave this place and go to another?" The sudden appearance of the priests with the garland confirmed the Lord's order: "Go to Mathura".

 

Chapter 2:Gyana (Knowledge)

 

Texts 1 and 2

 

shri-gopa-kumara uvaca

 

shri-mathurottama visrantau

    snatva vrndavanam gatah

atra govardhanadau ca

    yatha-kamam pribhraman

 

pibams ca gorasam purva-

    bandhavais tair alaksitah

bhajan sva-japyam anayam

    dinani katicit sukham

 

    Shri Gopa-kumara said: O best of Mathura' brahmanas, I bathed at

Visrama-tirtha and then went to Vrndavana. To Govardhana and other places

wandering as I wished, drinking milk, unnoticed by my former friends, and

chanting my mantra, I passed some days.

 

Text 3

 

atha sandarsanotkantha

    jagad-isasya sajani

yayedam sunyavad viksya

    purusottamam asmaram

 

Gopakumara said: "My longing to see Lord Jagannatha making me see everything as if it were a desert even in Shri Mathura Dhama, I remembered Purusottama-kshetra Shri Puri Dhama and he left Vrindavana for Puri Dhama again."

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this verse may mean that gopa-kumara saw everything asa if it were a desert, or that he saw Mathura'-mandala as if it were a desert. Lord Krishna lives in Vrndavana eternally. This is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.42, 10.1.28, and 10.44.13.

 

Text 4

 

artas tatra jagannatham

    drastum odhran punar vrajan

pathi ganga-tate 'pasyam

    dharmacara-paran dvijan

 

Unhappy, I was returning to Orissa to see Lord Jagannatha when on the path by the Ganges shore I saw some brahmanas devoted to religious duties.

 

THE TEMPLE OF LORD JAGANNATHA

 

Name: Lord Jagannatha is also called Purusottama and Jagannatha Puri is called Jagannatha Puri, Nilacala or Shri Ksetra or Purshuttoama Dhama.. (M13/119, M20/217).

Construction: The present temple of Jagannatha Puri was constructed by King Ananga Bhima. Historians say this temple must have been constructed at least 2,000 year ago. During the time of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1534) the small buildings surrounding the original temple had not been constructed. Nor was the high plat¬form in front of the temple present. (M5/144)

Cakra: The Sudarshan Disc atop the Jagannatha temple dome indicates the temple houses deities of Krishna or Vishnu. Whereas a trident on top means a temple of Lord Siva.

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Haridas Thakur, "Remain here (Siddha Bakula) and look at the cakra on the top of the temple and offer obeisances." If one is not allowed to enter the temple, or if he thinks himself unfit to enter the temple, he can look at the cakra, wheel, from outside, and that is as good as seeing the Deity. (M11/195)

After seeing the temple of Jagannatha from a distant place, Shri Chaitanya immediately became ecstatic. After offering obeisances to the temple. He began to dance in love of Godhead. He then considered the six mile path to be many thousands of miles long. (M5/145, 9)

Garuda Stambha: Inside the Lion Gate, in front of the temple of Lord Jagannatha, is a column on which the statue of Garuda is situated. It is called the Garuda Stambha. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu usually saw Lord Jagannatha from a distance behind this column. Behind that column is a ditch, which was filled with the tears of the Lord.

As Lord Chaitanya viewed Lord Jagannatha from behind the Garuda column, hundreds of thousands of people in front of Him were seeing the Deity. Suddenly, a woman from Onssa, unable to see Lord Jagannatha because of the crowd, climbed the column of Garuda plac¬ing her foot on Shri Chaitanya's shoulder.

Garuda is the carrier of Lord Vishnu, he is the supreme Vaishnava. Govinda, Lord Chaitanya's servant, chastised the woman for her mis¬behavior, but Lord Chaitanya prayed to have the same eagerness she had to see Lord Jagannatha. (Ant 14/23-33)

Jagannatha Fur! Equal to Vrndavan; Navadvipa Dhama, Jagannatha Puri Dhama and Vrndavana Dhama are considered to be equal. If one goes to Mathura-mandala bhumi (or Jagannatha Puri) for sense gratification or to make a livelihood, he commits an offense and is condemned.(M22/132)

Exalted Visitors to Jagannatha Puri, Demigods: There are fourteen planetary systems within the universe and afl living entities reside In those planetary systems. Dressing like human beings on pilgrimage, they all used to come to Jagannatha Puri to visit Shri Cnaitanya Mahaprabhu. Many personalities came including Gandharvas, Kinnaras, inhabitants of Patalaloka, demons and serpentine-like living entities, Prahlada Maharaja, Ball Maharaja, Vyasadeva, Sukadeva, and other great sages. Upon seeing Lord Chaitanya, they all became unconscious in ecstatic love for God, Shri Krishna. (Ant 9/7-10)

Madhavendra Puri; Shri Gopal deity ordered Madhavendra Furi to go to Jagannatha Puri and bring sandalwood pulp. Walking and walking, he finally reached Jagannatha Puri, which is known as Nilacala. There he saw Lord Jagannatha and was overwhelmed with loving ecstacy. (Ant 9/143-51)

The world visits: Because the temple of Lord Jagannatha is situated at Jagannatha Puri, many devotees from all parts of the world came to perform Sankirtan in glorification of the Lord. (M11/96)

No Entrance For Non-Hindus: Similarly, the members of this Krishna Conscious society are sometimes refused entrance into some of the temples in India. We should not feel sorry about this, as long as we engage in chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. Krishna Himself associates with devotees who are chanting His holy name, and there is no need to be unhappy over not being able to enter a certain temple. Such dogmatic prohibitions were not approved by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. (M1/63)

The Jagannatha temple still accepts only those who are Hindus in the Varnashrama order. Other castes, especially those who are non-Hindu are not allowed to eater the temple. This is a long standing regulation, thus Haridas Thakur, although certainly competent and qualified to enter the temple, did not want even to go near it. This is called Vaishnava humility. (M11/165,195)

By visiting Lord Jagannatha one is freed of material existence, but not men of all the countries can come or be admitted here in Jagannatha Puri. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu however, moves from country to country personally or by His representative. Thus He as the moving Brahman, delivers alt the people of the world. (Ant5/152; Adil7/217)

Respect For Lord Jagannatha: Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Gos¬wami, and Namacarya Handas Thakur never entered the temple, and took great pains to avoid even the possibility of touching one of Jagannatha's priests, by not even traveling on the path in front of the temple main gate. (Uon Gate) (M3/194)

Once Sanatana Goswami chose to walk on the blistering beach sands to go see Lord Chaitanya, instead of a shorter path near the Lion Gate of the temple. He told Lord Chaitanya, "I have no right to pass by the Lion Gate, for the servants of Lord Jagannatha are always coming and going there." (M3/194; Ant.4/2,127)

Friends Bring Their Friends to Jagannatha Puri: Shri Chaitanya said to all His loving devotees; "You are all My friends, and you have properly executed the duties of a friend by bringing Me here to Jagan¬natha Puri and giving Me the chance to see Lord Jagannatha in the temple." (M7/9)

 

A Visit to Jagannatha Puri Will Make You Happy: In the material world the Supreme Lord is situated in different arca-murtis (deities) in the temples, just to decrease the material activities of the conditioned souls and increase their spiritual activities. Particularly in India there are many temples throughout the country. Devotees may take ad vantage of them and go see the Lord at Jagannatha Puri, Prayaga, Mathura, Haridwar, and Vishnu Kanchi. When the devotees travel to these places and see the Lord, they become happy in devotional service. (M20/219)

 

Also Ok If You Can't Come to Jagannatha Puri: Lord Chaitanya requested Lord Nityananda not to come every year to Jagannatha Puri, although seeing Lord Jagannatha greatly benefits everyone. Does this mean that the Lord was refusing Nityananda Prabhu a fortunate oppor¬tunity? No, one who is a faithful servant of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, must execute His order, even if one has to sacrifice going to Jagannatha Puri to see Lord Jagannatha. In other words, it is greater fortune to carry out Lord Chaitanya's order then to satisfy one's senses by seeing Lord Jagannatha. (M16/64)

 

Lord Jagannatha means Lord of the universe. It is said that the present temple was began by King Chodaganga Deva and finished by his descendant Anangabhima Deva.  The main temple structure is 65m (214 feet) high and is built on elevated ground, which makes it look even larger than it is. The temple complex comprises an area of 10.7 acres and is enclosed by two rectangular walls. The outer enclosure is called Meghanada Prachira (665 x 640 feet). The walls are 6 meters (20 feet) high. The inner wall is called Kurmabedha (420x315 feet). The walls are said to have been built during the 15th or 16th century.

This temple is said to have the largest kitchen in the world and feeds thousands of devotees everyday. The kitchen can pre¬pare food for 100,000 people in one day and 25,000 is normal on a festival day.

The kitchen has 752 stoves. There are two main offerings a day.

There are 36 traditional communities (Chatisha Niyaga) who render a specific hereditary service to the Deities. The temple has as many as 6000 priests.

There is a wheel on top of the Jagannatha temple made of an alloy of eight different metals. It is known as Neela Chakra (blue wheel). It is 11 feet 8 inch high and has a circumference of about 36 feet. On every Ekadashi day a lamp is lit near the wheel, on top of the temple. A flag is tied every day on a mast attached to the Neela Chakra.

The main temple is surrounded by 30 different temples, The Narasimha temple adjacent to the western side of the Muktimandapa is said to have been constructed before the present temple.

In front of the main gate is a pillar 11 meters high. called Aruna Stambha, which used to be in front of the Sun Temple in Konark. It was brought to Puri during the 18th century. The figure on top of the pillar is Aruna, the charioteer of the sun god. In the passage room of this gate is a Deity of Lord Jagannatha called Patita Pavana (Saviour of the most fallen). It is visible from the road, so non-Hindus can take darshan of the Lord.

 

The four gates are: the Eastern Singhadvara or Simhadvara (Lion gate), the Southern Ashwadvara (Horse gate), the Western Vyaghradvara (Tiger gate), the Northern Hastidvara (Elephant gate). There is a carving of each form by the entrance of each gate. The Lion gate is the main gate on Grand Road.

Lord Chaitanya used to regularly visit the Jagannatha temple.

 

Inside the Lion Gate, in front of the altar of Lord Jagannatha, is a column on which the statue of Garuda is situated. It is called the Garuda Stambha. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu usually saw Lord Jagannatha from a distance from behind this column. Behind that column is a ditch, which was filled with the tears of the Lord Chaitanya. Also Lord Chaitanya's hand print is melted in the column.

Non-Hindus (non-Indians) can not enter the temple. "If one is not allowed to enter the temple, or if he thinks himself unfit to enter the temple, he can look at the cakra, wheel, from outside, and that is as good as seeing the Deity." (Chaitanya Caritamrita Madhya. 11.195).

 

Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama though not of this material world is geographically located 60 km from Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa state India, on the sea¬shore of the Bay of Bengal. It is one of the four holy dhamas in India which include: Jagannatha Puri, Dwarka, Rameswaram, and Badrinatha. It is a very important holy place to visit. Puri is about 2 km wide and 4 km long.

Navadvipa Dhama, Jagannatha Puri Dhama, and Vrindavana Dhama are considered to be equal. (M.22.132)

Shri Ramanujacarya visited Puri between 1107 and 1117 and stayed for some time. Vishnuswami visited Puri in the second half of the 12th century and established a Matha near Markandeswar tank called Vishnuswami Matha. Nimbarka also visited Puri. A major reason that Puri Dhama is so important to the GaudiyaVaishnavas is because Lord Chaitanya spent so much time here. Many of His pastimes with His most intimate associates took place at different sites in this area.

 

THE DEITY OF LORD JAGANNATHA

 

The Beauty of His Face: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very thirsty to see the Lord- His eyes became like two bumblebees drinking the honey from the lotus like eyes of Lord Jagannatha, who is Krishna Himself. The eyes of Lord Jagannatha conquer the beauty of blossom¬ing lotus flowers, and His neck was as lustrous as a mirror made of sap¬phires. The chin of the Lord, tinged with a buff color, conquered the beauty of the Bandhuli flower- This increases the beauty of His mild smiling, which was like lustrous waves of nectar. The luster of His beautiful face increases at every moment, and the eyes of hundreds and thousands of devotees drank its honey like bumblebees- Thus Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His devotees enjoyed transcendental bliss, upon seeing the face of Lord Jagannatha from morning continuing until mid-day. Feeling such great pleasure upon seeing the face of Lord Jagannatha, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu forgot everything (M12/210-19)

Absolute Nature of Lord Jagannatha: Being absolute, Lord Jagan¬natha is identical in person, form, picture, kirtan and all other cir¬cumstances. If one thinks that the form of Lord Jagannatha is an idol made of wood, he immediately brings ill fortune in his life. A pure devotee who knows the science of Krishna Consciousness makes no dis¬tinction between Lord Jagannatha and His body. He knows that they are identical, just as Lord Krishna and His soul are one and the same.

There is no difference between Lord Jagannatha and Krishna, but here Lord Jagannatha is fixed as the Absolute Person appearing in wood. Therefore He does not move. Thus Lord Jagannatha and Shri Chaitanya although appearing as two, are one because they are both Krishna, who is one alone. (Ant5/146-52)

Lord Jagannatha's Pujaris: (priests) Those who are priests engaged in Lord Jagannatha's service are called pandas or panditas, and they are brahmanas. The attendants who look after the temple's external affairs are called palas. Both priests and attendants went together to offer Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu a garland and the remnants of Lord Jagannatha's food- (M9/347) Festivals of Lord Jagannatha:

1. Snana Yatra and Anavasara (bathing & renovation) The word Anavasara is used when Shri Jagannathji cannot be seen in the temple. After the bathing ceremony, Lord Jagannatha is supposed to become sick. He is therefore removed to His private apartment. Lord Jagan¬natha has a number of stalwart servants known as dayitas. These ser¬vants do not come from very high caste families, but because they are engaged in the service of the Lord, they have been elevated to a respected position. These servants take care of Lord Jagannatha from the time of Snana Yatra up to the time the Lord is carried from His throne to the Ratha car.

The few dayitas who do come from the brahmana caste offer food such as sweetmeats to the Lord during the 15 day resting period after the bathing festival.

During the Anavasara festival it is said that Lord Jagannatha suf¬fers from fever; and is offered and infusion of drugs represented by fruit juice.

This 15 day resting and renovation period is also called Nibhrta, in honor of the solitary place where the Supreme goddess of fortune lives. Lord Jagannatha lives there in seclusion enjoying svakiya rasa in the company of His wife, Laxmi, the Supreme goddess of fortune. Then He asks Her permission to leave and comes out for His Ratha-Yatra chariot festival. (M13/8, 23, 24)

The body of Lord Jagannatha having been washed, needs repaint¬ing. This is known as Anga-Raga. It takes about a fortnight to complete the repairs of Lord Jagannatha's body. The renovation festival is also called Nava-Yauvana, which indicates that the Jagannatha deity is being fully restored to youth. (Ml/122, M10/41, M12/204)

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu felt Lord Jagannatha's absence from the temple very much. There are many who visit [he temple to see the Lord regularly every day, and for them His retirement after the bathing is unbearable. (Mll/62)

 

Festivals of Lord Jagannatha:

 

2. Netrotsava (Reappearance) After two weeks absence, Lord Jagannatha reappears. This festival performed gorgeously in the morn¬ing of the Nava-Yauvan day constitutes the life and soul of the devotees.

There are many regulative principles of Deity worship. For ex¬ample, one is not allowed to enter the room where food is offered to Lord Jagannatha- However, in this case, being very anxious due to not seeing the Lord for 15 days, all the people overruled regulative prin¬ciples and entered the room. (M12/204,10)

3. Govinda, The Festival Deity; Govinda is the vijaya-vigraha in the temple of Lord Jagannatha. When there is a need to take Lord Jagan¬natha somewhere, the vijaya-vigraha is taken because the body of Lord Jagannatha is very heavy. For water pastimes in Narendra Sarovara, the Govinda deity is carried instead of Lord Jagannatha. (Ant10/52) 4. Odana Sasthi Festival- At the beginning of winter, there is a ceremony known as the Odana Sasthi. The term indicates that from that day forward, a winter covering should be given to Lord Jagannatha. That covering is directly purchased from a weaver. According to the arcana-marga, a cloth should first be washed to remove all the starch, then it can be used to cover the Lord.

Pundarika Vidyanidhi saw that the priest neglected to wash the cloth before covering Lord Jagannatha. Since; he wanted to find some fault in the devotees, he became indignant. That night the brothers, Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balarama came to Pundarika Vidyanidhi, and smiling, began to slap him,. Although his cheeks were swollen from the slapping, he was very happy. (M16/76-81)

Drama & Singing For Lord Jagannatha: Shrila Ramananda Raya composed a drama named Jagannatha-Vallabha-Nataka and he engaged two young girls, who were professional dancers and singers, to demonstrate the ideology of the drama. Such girls called (deva-dasis) are still employed in the temple of Jagannatha, where they ate called (Maharis).

These songs and dramas are all performed for the pleasure of Lord Jagannatha. Frequently, Jayadeva Gosvami's famous poem, Gita-Govinda, is sung before the deity. (Ant5/14, 20; Ant13/179)

A Gift From A King: After King Purusottama conquered one country he took one manikya throne to Jagannatha Puri and presented it to Lord Jagannatha. (M5/124)

 

Lord Jagannatha's Maha-Prasadam
(pure vegetarian, spiritual food)

 

  1. Cooking - Formerly, it was the custom of brahmanas to worship Lord Vishnu at home and cook food in new pots. This system is still going on in Jagannatha Puri. The foodstuffs would be cooked in ear¬then posts, all fresh and new, and after cooking the pots would be thrown away. (Adil4/73)

2. Eats 54 times Times A Day - While Advaita Acarya hosted Him for lunch, he tried to convince Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to take more prasadam. In this connection Advaita Acarya referred to Shri Chaitanya's eating at Jagannatha Puri. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Jagannatha are identical. Advaita Acarya pointed out that at Jagannatha Puri, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ate 54 times, and each time He ate many hundreds of pots of food. (M3/75)

Mahaprasada;

3. Gopala-vallabha bhoga- The offering of food known as Gopala-vallabha bhoga was then given to Lord Jagannatha, and arati was per¬formed with the sound of the conch and the ringing of bells. The ser¬vants of the Lord garlanded Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and offered Him Lord Jagannatha's maha-prasad. The prasad (spiritual food) was so nice that its aroma alone, to say nothing of its taste, would drive the mind mad. To Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the prasada tasted millions and millions of times better than nectar, and thus He was fully satisfied. The hair all over His body stood on end, and incessant tears flowed from His eyes.

         Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Only by great fortune may one come by a particle of the remnants of food offered to the Lord. Prabhupada explains that the remnants of Krishna's food are mixed with His transcendental saliva. Lord Chaitanya continues, "These are the remnants of food that Krishna has eaten and turned to nectar with His lips.

"It surpasses heavenly nectar and even such demigods as Lord Brahma find it difficult to obtain. Only persons who have the full mercy of Krishna can receive such remnants.

"These ingredients, such as sugar, camphor, black pepper, car¬damom, cloves, butter, spices and licorice are all material. Everyone has tasted these material substances before. However, in these in¬gredients there are extraordinary tastes and uncommon fragrances. Just taste them and see the difference in the experience. Therefore, it is to be understood that the spiritual nectar of Krishna's lips has touched these ordinary ingredients and transferred to them all their spiritual qualities.

"Even after much prayer, the demigods themselves cannot obtain even a small portion of the remnants of such food. Only a person who has acted piously for many, many births and has thus become a devotee can obtain the remnants of such food." (Ant 16/105-112,130-132)

Lord Jagannatha's Personal Pastimes:

1. Lovers Quarrel with Saksi-Gopal - The Saksi-Gopal temple is presently situated between Khurda Road Junction railway station and the Jagannatha Puri station, although formerly He stayed some time at Kataka. Thereafter He was situated in the temple of Jagannatha.

It seems that in the temple of Jagannatha, there was some dis¬agreement between Jagannatha and Saksi-Gopala, a disagreement called prema-kalaha, a quarrel of love. In order to settle this love quar¬rel, the King of Orissa constructed a temple about six miles from Jagan¬natha Puri, and the Saksi-Gopal Deity was situated there.

2. Lord Jagannatha Throws Shri Ramanujacarya- In the Prapannamrta it is said that Lord Jagannatha took Shri Ramanujacarya from Jagannatha Puri, and one night threw him to Kurma-ksetra in South India. Under Lord Jagannatha's influence, Shri Ramanuja established very gorgeous worship of Lord Kurma. (M7/113)

3. Gives Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Permission Co Go To South India- Lord Chaitanya went to see Lord Jagannatha and beg His per¬mission. The priest then immediately delivered prasadam and a garland to Him. Thus receiving Lord Jagannatha's permission in the form of a garland, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu offered obeisances and in great jubilation prepared to depart for South India. (M7/55-57)

4. Dhruvananda's Dream- One devotee of the name Dhruvananda went to see Lord Jagannatha at Jagannatha Puri, wanting to offer foodstuff to Jagannathaji that he had cooked with his own hands This being his desire, one night Jagannathji appeared to him in a dream.

He asked him to go to Mahesa on the bank of the Ganges River, and there start worship of Him in a temple. Dhruvananda went to Mahesa, where he saw the three Deities- Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra floating in the Ganges, He picked up those Deities and in¬stalled them in a small cottage, and with great satisfaction he executed the worship of Lord Jagannatha."

Lord Jagannatha and Other Deities

The main Deities in the temple are Lord Jagannatha and his brother Baladeva and His sister Lady Subhadra. Lord Jagannatha is another name for Lord Krishna.

Being absolute, Lord Jagannatha is identical in person, form, picture, kirtana and all other circumstances. If one thinks that the form of Lord Jagannatha is an idol made of wood, he imme¬diately brings ill fortune in his life. A pure devotee who knows the science of Krishna Consciousness makes no distinction be¬tween Lord Jagannatha and His body. He knows that they are identical, just as Lord Krishna and His soul are one and the same. (Ant.5.146-152)

There are other temples within the walls of this temple such as: Satya Narayana, Lord Chaitanya, Ramachandra, Gopala, Hanuman, Narasimha, Varaha and others.

The following places are in the temple:

1. Baisipahacha - Twenty-two steps that takes one from Grand Road and connects the outer and inner wall. Great respect is given to these steps because many devotees pass here and the dust of their feet sanctify the steps.

2. Kalpavata - Kalpa mean a thousand years and vata means ban¬yan tree. This tree is towards the south side of the temple. It is supposed to be able to fulfill all desires.

 

3. Muktimandapa - It is a 16 pillar hall known as Brahmasava (divine assembly).

 

4. Niladri Vihar - Approached from the western gate it is situ¬ated between the outer and inner enclosure. It is an art gallery which shows the past times of Lord Jagannatha and the 12 incar¬nations of Lord Vishnu.

 

5. Suna Kua (golden well) - Near the Northern gate. The water of this well is used to bath Lord Jagannatha during SnanaYatra.

 

6. Koila Vaikuntha - In the western portion of the temple be¬tween the outer wall and inner wall. It is approachable from the Northern gate. During Navakalevara (new incarnation cer¬emony) Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra are newly carved and the old images buried here.

 

7. To the right after you come up the 22 steps by the lion (main) gate is Ananda Bazaar where Maha Prasadam is purchased.

 

Main Temple

 

In the main temple are Their Lordships Balabhadra, Sub¬hadra and Jagannatha who are white, yellow and black respec¬tively. They are seated on the Ratna Singhasan. Between 8:30 am and 9:30 am devotee can circumambulate the Deities.

1. Mukhasala - Next to the main temple in a straight line is the hall of audience. There are four doors. The Kalaghata dwara door leads to the sanctum sanctorum. The southern door leads out of the temple and the northern door to the Ratna Bhandar (Treasury house).

 

2. NataMandir-It is a spacious hall, 21 meters in length and 20 meters wide. This is where the Garuda Stambha is located and where Lord Chaitanya used to stand. It is believed that a person's prayers become increased when they stand by the pillar.

 

3. Bhoga Mandap - Next to Nata Mandir. It is a spacious hall 18 meters in length and 17 meters wide. There are sculptures and paintings about pastimes of Lord Krishna and other stories in this hall.

Story of Lord Jagannatha

 

King Indradyumna was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and was eager to meet him face to face. One time a brahmana came to the palace of King Indradyumna and told him about an incar¬nation of Lord Vishnu named Nila-Madhava. The king then sent different brahmanas out to search for Lord Nila-Madhava. They all returned unsuccessful except a priest named Vidyapati. Af¬ter traveling for a while Vidyapati came to an area inhabited by non-Aryans called sabaras. He stayed at the house of a local, called Visvavasu. When he arrived Visvavasu was not there, but his daughter Lalita was. Vidyapati stayed there for some time and eventually married Lalita, the daughter of the sabara.

Vidyapati noticed some peculiar behaviors of his host. Visvavasu would go out each day around noon and would return back to the house scented with fragrances ofsandalwood, cam¬phor and musk. Vidyapati asked his wife about this and she in¬formed him that his father would go daily to worship Nila-Madhava. Lalita had been told by her father not to tell anyone about Nila-Madhava, but she had overstepped that order by tell¬ing her husband. Vidyapati repeatedly requested to see Niia-Madhava. Finally Visvavasu bound Vidyapati's eyes and look him to see Nila-Madhava. Vidyapati secretly carried some mustard seeds in his cloth and he dropped them onto the path as he was walking. When he reached Nila-Madhava, the blind fold was re¬moved and Vidyapati saw Nila-Madhava. Visvavasu went out to collect some forest flowers for worship and Vidyapati stayed near the Deity. During this lime a crow fell off the branch of a tree into a nearby lake and drowned. It immediately took a foup-armed Vaikuntha form and started back to the spiritual world- Vidyapati then climbed up onto the tree and was about to jump into the lake. A voice came from the sky and said, "Since you have seen Nila-Madhava, you should inform King Indradyumna,"

Visvavasu returned and started his daily worship of Nila-Madhava. Suddenly Ihe Lord spoke to him and said, "I have accepted for many days the simple forest flowers and roots of¬fered to me by you. Now I desire the royal worship offered tome in devotion by Indradyumna. "Visvavasu felt cheated by his son- in-law, therefore, he bound him up and kept him in his house. After repeatedly being requested by his daughter he let him go.

The brahmana then went to King Indradyumna and told him about his discovery. By following the mustard seeds, which had grown into small plants, they were able to follow the path lo Nila-Madhava. When they reached the spot, they could not find him. King Indradyumna had the village besieged and arrested Visvavasu. Suddenly a voice came from the sky, "Release this sabara. On top ofNila hill yon should construct a temple. There I will manifest as Daru-Brahman (the Absolute Truth manifested in a wooden form). You will not see me as Nila-Madhava.

The king constructed a temple. Wanting Lord Brahma to consecrate the temple King Indradyumna traveled to Brahmaloka and waited there for him. During (his time the temple became covered by sand. While he was gone first Suradeva and then Galamadhava became king of the area. King Galamadhava uncovered the temple from the sand. Shortly af¬terwards, King Indradyumna return from Brahma's abode. Indradyumna claimed that he had built the temple and Galamadhava also claimed the same thing. There was an old crow in a near by banyan tree who was constantly singing the glories of Lord Rama. The crow had seen the construction of the temple and he said that Indradyumna had built the temple and that Galamadhava had just uncovered it. Because he had not told the truth Galamadhava was ordered by Brahma to live outside the temple compound on the western side of

 

Indradyumna Sarovara lake

 

Indradyumna then asked Lord Brahma to consecrate the temple and the surrounding area, which was called Shri Ksetra and gives the highest type of liberation. Lord Brahma told him that Shri Ksetra is manifested by the Supreme Lord's internal potency and thai the Supreme Lord manifests Himself. There¬fore he could not install the Lord here, but Lord Jagannaiha and His abode are eternally situated in the material world. He said he would install the flag on the temple and that anyone who sees this flag and offers prostrated obeisances would easily be liberated.

After a while King Indradyumna became frustrated with not seeing Nila-Madhava he decided to lay on a bed of kusa grass and to fast until death. Lord Jagannatha came to him in a dream and told him I shall come floating from the sea in my wooden form as Daru-brahman at the place called Bakimuhan.

The king went to this place and saw a huge piece of wood which had the marks of a conch, club, disc and lotus on ii. Many men and elephants tried to move Daru-hrahnian, but they could not move Him. That night Lord Jagannatha spoke to Indradyumna in a dream and told him to bring Visvavasu, who used to serve Me as Nila-Madhava and bring a golden chariot in front of Daru-brahman- The king did this and Daru-brahman easily was placed onto the chariot.

; Lord Brahman then performed a sacrifice and established a Deity of Narasimhadeva on the raised platform of the sacrifice arena. It is said that the Deity ofNarasimha in the present temple compound, that is on the western side of the Mukti-Mandapa, is this original Narasimha Deity.

King Indradyumna had the best sculptors come to carve the Deity of Lord Jagannatha from Daru-brahman. As soon as they started their chisels broke to pieces. The Supreme Lord Him¬self came in disguise as an old artist who called himself Ananta Maharana (According to the Narada Purana, Visvakarma, the architect of the demigods carved the Deities by the desire of Lord Vishnu, by taking the form of an old brahmana.) He said that if he was able to work behind closed doors for 21 days then the Deities could be carved, The old sculptor then took Daru-brahman into the temple and the doors were closed. After 14 days passed, the king could not hear the sounds of the artist's tools and he became full of anxiety. The king then personally opened the door of the temple by force,

The king did not see the sculptor, but instead he saw the three forms of Lord Jagannatha, Subhadra and Balarama. Their fingers and toes were unfinished. Thinking himself a great of¬fender the king decided to give up his life. He then laid on a bed of kusa grass and began to fast. Lord Jagannatha appeared to him in a dream. He told the king that He is eternally situated here in Nilachala in the form of Lord Jagannatha as Daru-brahman. In the material world, I descended in 24 Deity incar¬nations along with my abode. I have no material hands and feet, but with my transcendental senses I accept all the items offered by My devotees. The fact that you broke your promise is part of the pastime for me to manifest this form of Jagannatha. Those devotees whose eyes are smeared with the salve of love will al¬ways see Me as Syamasundara, holding a flute.

The king prayed to Lord Jagannatha that those in the family of the sculptor who manifested your form will continue to assist in constructing the three carts. He also told him that the de¬scendants of Visvavasu, who served Me as Nila-Madhava, should generations after generation serve Me. They shall be called My dayitas. The descendants of Vidyapati born from his brahmana wife should perform the Deity worship to Me. The descendants born from his sabari wife, Lalita, should cook My food. They shall be known as suyaras.

King Indradyumna then requested Lord Jagannatha, that the doors of the temple should be closed only three hours a day. The king also requested that he would not have any descen¬dants, so that no one in the future would claim the temple of Lord Jagannatha as their own property.

It is said in the Narada Purana (Uttara Khanda 52.123), that the Supreme Lord Narayana told Laksmi Devi: "In that great abode known as Purusottama Ksetra, which is rarely achieved among all the three worlds, the Kesava Deity, who was fashioned by.the Supreme Lord Himself is situated. If men simply see that Deity, they are easily able to come to My abode."

 

Maha Prasada

 

Every day 56 varieties of prasada are offered to Lord Jagan¬natha. Maha prasadam should ideally be eaten while sitting on the floor and you should not be standing or sitting at a table. The main offering of the day becomes available any where from 3 to 5 pm (sometimes later). The offering times are not exact and change every day.

Chillies, onion, garlic and several vegetables are not allowed to be used in any preparation. Dried maha prasada is called "Nirmalya." The offerings to Lord Jagannatha are 1) Gopalavallabha, 2) Morning Dhupa, 3) Midday Dhupa, 4) Sandhya Dhupa, 5) Bada Simhar Dhupa and 6) Upadhi Bhoga.

 

Lord Jagannatha's Special Dresses

 

During the year there are 19 varieties of dresses (shringara) that the Deities, Jagannatha, Subhadra and Balarama wear, Vesha means "dress."

Chandan-lagi - with sandalwood paste

Ganesh

Golden

Kalia Dalana

Vana Bhojan Vesha

Pralambasura Samhara Vesha

Krishna Balarama Rupa

Vamana Rupa

Rajah Vesha

Radha Damodara Vesha

Laksmi Narayana Vesha

Narasimha Rupa

Raja Rejesvara Vesha

Nagarjuna Vesha

Padma Vesha

Gaja Udharan Vesha

Chacheria Vesha

 

LORD CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU IN JAGANNATHA PURI

 

Shachi Grants Permission to Go; Shachi, the mother of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabbu, considered all the facts and decided to allow her son to go out and search for Krishna. At the same time, she made arrange¬ments in order that she might get news of all the activities of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. After receiving permission from all the devotees in Navadvipa, Lord Chaitanya departed for Jagannatha Puri. (M3/169-192)

Enroute: Lord Chaitanya stopped at Saksi-Gopal temple and heard Lord Nityananda narrate the glories of Madhavendra Pun's pure devo¬tional service- Also, how the Deity stole a pot of sweet rice for this Madhavendra Puri, and later became famous as Ksira-Cora Gopinatha.

Lord Nityananda broke Shri Chaitanya's sacred staff (dandal into three parts and threw in the river. After this incident, Shri Chaitanya went on alone to the Jagannatha Temple. (M6/3-11)

Entering Lord Jagannatha's Temple: After seeing Jagannatha, He became very ecstatic due to love of Godhead. Lord Chaitanya went swiftly to embrace Lord Jagannatha, but when He entered the temple, He became so overwhelmed with love of Godhead that he fainted on the floor.

Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya prevented the guards from beating Shri Chaitanya and took Him to his home. The Lord remained unconscious until afternoon, when He finally regained consciousness. (M1/99)

All the devotees coming from Bengal then arrived at Sarvabhauma's home. They began to loudly chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, and Lord Chaitanya thus regained consciousness. After bathing in the sea with all His devotees. He returned to take Jagan¬natha maha-prasada.

While talking informally with Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Lord Chaitanya said, "I shall never enter the temple of Lord Jagannatha, but shall always view the Lord from behind the Garuda Stambha. (M6/63-67)

Then Gopinatha Acarya took Shri Chaitanya to his residential quarters, and showed Him where to find water, tubs, and water pot. In¬deed he arranged everything.

Later Meeting with Sarvabhauma in Jagannatha Temple: After residing about one month in Jagannatha Puri, Shri Chaitanya met Sar¬vabhauma in the Jagannatha Temple. For 7 days continuously, Shri Chaitanya listened to the Vedanta philosophy expounded by Sarvab¬hauma. On the eight day Lord Chaitanya finally replied. He proved that the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality ot Godhead, and then explained the Shrimad-Bhagavatam atmarama verse in 18 different ways- (M6/118,199-207) Convinced and defeated, Sarvabhauma accepted Lord Chaitanya as Krishna Himself and surrenderd at his feet. Then Shri Chaitanya showed him a Vishnu form with 4 hands, then His original form; Krishna. Sar¬vabhauma immediately fell down to offer Him obeisances and instantly composed 100 verses.

Leaves Jagannutha Puri For South India: Lord Chaitanya begs the devotee's permission to go to South India to search out His brother Visvarupa, and tells everyone to wail until He returned. (M7/10-12)

Return To Jagannatha Puri From South India: Shri Chaitanya returned while the bathing festival of Jagannatha was taking place.

As soon as Lord Nityananda heard the news of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's arrival, He immediately got up and started out to see him. He was very impatient in his great ecstacy. All the devotees be¬came ecstatic in their happiness. Dancing along the way, they went to meet the Lord. Accompanying them all, the Lord went to the Jagan¬natha temple.

In ecstatic love, Shri Chaitanya danced and chanted. At that time all the priests offered Him garlands and maha-prasada; then Sarvabhauma took Lord Chaitanya to his home for lunch. (Ml/121, M9/339-350)

 

Chronology of Shri Chaitanya's 24
years in Jagannatha Puri:

 

Jan-Feb- In West Bengal, Lord Chaitanya accepts Sannyasa (renounced order of life)

Feb-March- Moves to Jagannatha Puri, Orissa.

April-May- Liberates Sarvabhauma by His preaching.

May June- Left Jagannatha Puri for South India tour. (M7/intro)

Lord Chaitanya lived in the Navadvipa area (West Bengal) for His first 24 years, and he induced every person to chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra, and thus merge in love of Krishna.

For the remaining 24 years of His life, after accepting the renounced order of life, stayed at Jagannatha Puri with his devotees. (Adi13/33,4)

 

A. First Six Years in Jagannatha Puri- For six of the 24 years in Jagannatha Puri, Shri Chaitanya distributed love of God by always chant¬ing and dancing- He also toured all of India (extending from Cape Comorin, through Bengal and Vrndavan) chanting, dancing and dis¬tributing love of God. He traveled to and from Jagannatha Puri con¬tinuously for the first six years. (Adil3/35; M25/240)

 

B. Middle Six Years- After traveling to and from Jagannatha Puri for six years. Lord Chaitanya Fixed His residence at Jagannatha Puri and stayed there for the remaining 18 years of His life. During these 18 years He mainly chanted Hare Krishna with His devotees.

Through His personal behavior, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in¬structed all living entities in the mode of devotional service.

Of the last 18 years, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spent 6 years with His many devotees- by chanting and dancing He introduced the loving service of the Lord. He induced all the devotees to love Krishna simply by chanting and dancing. (M1/22, 251; M25/241; Adil3/38)

 

C. Last 12 Years- Shri Chaitanya was continously overwhelmed, night and day by separation from Krishna. Day and night he tasted transcendental blissful songs and verses from Krishna Karnamrta, Gita-Govinda,-Shrimad-Bhagavatam and Jagannatha-Vallabha-Nataka, with two associates, namely Ramananda Raya and Swarupa Damodara. (Antl6/79)

 

Throughout the entire day and night, Lord Chaitanya relished Krishna's beauty, fragrance and mellow as if He were touching Krishna hand to hand. (Ant20/3-4)

The last twelve years were simply spent relishing the pastimes of Krishna in separation within the heart of the Lord. Shri Chaitanya enjoyed the position of the gopis in separation from Krishna. When Krish¬na left the gopis and went to Mathura, they cried for Him the rest of their lives, feeling intense separation form Him. This ecstatic feeling of separation was specifically advocated by Lord Chaitanya through His actual demonstrations.

In the attitude of separation Lord Chaitanya appeared mad both day and night. Sometimes He laughed, sometimes He cried, sometimes He danced, and sometimes He chanted in great sorrow.

At those times, Shri Chaitanya would visit Lord Jagannatha. Then His feelings exactly corresponded to the gopis feeling when they saw Krishna at Kuruksetra after long separation. (M1/51-53)

Lord Chaitanya now taught everyone to taste the transcendental mellow ecstacy of love of Krishna by tasting it Himself - A person who is advanced in Krishna Consciousness always feels separation from Krish¬na. Lord Chaitanya taught how, with a feeling of separation one can develop his dormant love of Krishna. These feelings develop in time when a person seriously engages in devotional service. (Adil3/39)

Yearly Pastimes with Visiting Devotees: Lord Chaitanya remained in Puri without leaving for 18 years after returning from Vrndavan. During these 18 years, all the Bengal devotees visited Him at Puri every year. They would remain there for four continuous months and enjoy the Lord's company.

Every year Lord Chaitanya would accompany all the visiting Bengal and local devotees in various pastimes; washing Gundica, Chariot fes¬tival, ecstatic kirtans in Jagannatha temple, Narendra Sarovara water sports, and Deity festivals like Dola Yatra. (M1/250; M11/181)

1. Ecstatic Kirtans in Jagannatha Temple- Shri Chaitanya merged the entire world into the ocean of ecstatic love by performing His beautiful dances within the temple of Jagannatha. He danced exquisite¬ly and jumped high. After arriving every year the Bengali devotees met Shri Chaitanya, took sea baths, honored maha-prasada in association with Lord Chaitanya, then went to their respective residences.

In the evening they again met Lord Chaitanya, and saw Lord Jagannatha's dhupa-arati and began congregational chanting. The temple superintendent offered sandalwood and garlands to everyone. Four kirtan parties (with total 8 mrdangas, 32 cymbals) were placed in four directions and Shri Chaitanya Himself danced in the middle.

The tumultuous sound penetrated the whole universe, and ecstatic love immediately overflooded everything. All the residents of Jagan¬natha Puri came running and agreed that never before had kirtan been so performed. Shri Chaitanya circumambulated Lord Jagannatha's temple and continuously danced, and for some time remained at the rear of the temple.

Tears of love forcefully ran out from the Lord, moistening everyone around. Lord Chaitanya performed a miracle though standing in the midst of the dancers, all the dancers in all directions perceived that the Lord was looking at them. When someone came dancing near¬by, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would tightly embrace them.

Retiring to the residence at Kashi Mishra's, Lord Chaitanya per¬sonally distributed maha-prasada to all the devotees. (Mll/211-244)

 

2. Another Kirtan Years Later- With all the devotees, Shri Chaitanya saw Lord Jagannatha's early morning rising, and began His all encompassing Sankirtan. He formed 7 groups; with 7 main dancers. As Lord Chaitanya went from one group to another inspecting them, the men in each group thought, "The Lord is within our group."

King Prataparudra watched from a distance. Swarupa Damodara sang a tune in the Orissan language, "Let my head fall at the feet of Jagannatha in the kirtan hall known as Jagamohan." Hearing this Lord Chaitanya danced greatly in ecstatic love. The people all around Him floated in the water of His tears. The Lord fell unconscious, not even breathing. Then suddenly He stood up making a loud sound. He bled and perspired from every pore of His body. His voice faltered. Unable to say the line properly, He uttered only, "Jaja gaga pari mumu".

All His teeth shook as if separated. Indeed they seemed about to fall to the ground. His transcendental bliss increased at every moment. Therefore even by mid-afternoon the dancing had not ended. The ocean of transcendental bliss overflooded and everyone present forgot his body, mind, and home.

As long as the devotees stayed at Jagannatha Puri with Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the pastimes of Sankirtan (congregational chanting) were performed with great jubilation every day.

 

List of Devotees Living Constantly In Puri
With Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu:

 

As all the rivers flow to the sea, all the devotees throughout the country finally came to Shri Chaitanya's shelter. He showed them all mercy and kepi them under His protection. (Ml/187, 8)

Among the devotees who accompanied the Lord in Jagannatha Puri, two of them - Paramananda Puri and Swarupa Damodara were the life and soul of the Lord. Other devotees were: Gadadhara, Jagadananda, Sankara, Vakresvara, Damodara Pandit, Thakur Haridas, Raghunatha Vaidya, Raghunatha Das. All these devotees were as¬sociates of the Lord from the very beginning, and when the Lord took up residence in Jagannatha Puri they remained there to serve Him faithfully.

Among His associates, Lord Chaitanya enjoyed paternal loving af¬fection with Paramananda Puri, unalloyed service from Govinda and others humors of conjugal love with Gadadhara, Jagadananda, and Swarupa Damodara. Absorbed in these four trascendental mellows, Shri Chaitanya resided in Jagannatha Puri, feeling very much obliged to His devotees. (M2/78)

Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Gopinatha Acarya, Kashi Mishra, Pradyumna, Mishra, Bhavananda Raya and 5 sons, (Ramananda Raya, Gopinatha Pattanayaka, Vaninatha, Kala and Subhanidhis) King Prataparudra, the Oriyan born devotees (Krishnananda, Sivananda) Paramananda Mahapatra, Bhagavan Acarya, Brahmananda Bharati, Shri Sikhi Mahiti and Murari Mahiti were all constant associates of Lord Chaitanya in Puri.

Madhavi Devi, 17th prominent devotee and younger sister of Sikhi Mahili, was formerly a maidservant of Radharani. Kasisvara and Shri Govinda were ordered by their spiritual master, Isvara Puri, to go to Jagannatha Puri and serve Lord Chaitanya.

Kasisvara, being very strong, cleared the crowds aside with his hands so Shri Chaitanya could pass untouched. Govinda was personally assisted by Nandai and Ramai. Krishnadas, Balabhadra Bhattacarya, Bada Haridas, Chota Haridas, Ramabhadra Acarya, Simhesvara, Tapan Acarya, Raghunatha, Nilambara, Singabhatta, Kamabhatta, Sivananda, Kamalananda, Acyutananda, Nirloma Gangadas and Vishnu das were the 22nd thru 37th among Puri devotees. (Adi10/123,151, M10/41-48)

Simply by remembering the names of all these Vaishnavas, one can attain the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Indeed, simply by remembering their names, one can achieve the fulfillment of all desires. (Adi12/92)

 

Lord Chaitanya's Daily Activities in Puri:

 

In the daytime Shri Chaitanya engaged in dancing and chanting and seeing the temple deity of Jagannatha. At night in the company of His most confidential devotees, such as Ramananda Raya and Swarupa Damodara, He tasted the nectar of the transcendental mellow of Lord Krishna's pastimes.

He very happily passed His days in this way at Nilacala, Jagannatha Puri. Feeling separation from Krishna, He exhibited many transcenden¬tal symptoms all over His body. Day after day these symptoms, such as transcebndental anxiety, agitation, and talking like a madman, were present just as they are described in the sastras. (Ant11/11-15)

 

MORNING: Every morning Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw the Deity of Lord Jagannatba. Standing near the Garuda Stambha, He of¬fered obeisances, prayers, danced, and sang before Lord Jagannatha. He waited to see the Upala bhoga (morning refreshments) offered at noon.

Upala Bhoga is a particular type of offering performed just behind the Garuda Stambha on a stone slab. That stone slab is called the upala. All food is offered within the temple room just below the altar of Lord Jagannatha. This bhoga, however, was offered on the stone slab within the vision of the public. Krishna das Kaviraj also says Lord Chaitanya would wait outside the temple during the Upala bhoga offer¬ing. (Ml/64, M15/6,Ant4/16)

Sometimes when coming from the temple, absorbed in ecstatic love of Krishna, Shri Chaitanya would sit on the ground and mark it with His nails. At such times He would be greatly morose, and would cry, "Alas, where is Vmdavan? Where is Krishna, the son of the king of the cowherd men? Where is that person who plays the flute?"

After visiting the temple, the Lord would visit Siddha Bakula, where Haridas lived along with Sanatana and Rupa Goswamis. If one of these three was not present, He would meet with the others. That was His regular practice. (M1/64, 6: M15/6)

He would talk with them for sometime, then go to the seaside to perform His moontime duties. (Ant1/60,102)

 

AFTERNOON: Returning to the Gambhira room, Shri Chaitanya would sit in His room and chant on His beads, and Advaita Prabhu would come there to worship Him. Advaita Acarya would smear very fragrant sandalwood pulp all over Lord Chaitanya's body- After being worshiped; Lord Chaitanya worshiped Advaita Acarva in return. (M15/6-12)

Then Lord Chaitanya would take prasadam by accepting invitations at different devotee's homes everyday. After taking prasadam, Lord Chaitanya would return to His room. It was a long standing rule that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would lie down to rest after lunch and Govinda would come to massage His legs.

 

EVENING: When the Bengali Vaishnavas were visiting Puri, they would meet Lord Chaitanya in the evening after resting, following their noon prasadam. Lord Chaitanya took them all to the temple and began congregational chanting. As long as the devotees remained at Jagannatha Puri with Lord Chaitanya, this pastime of Sankirkan was per¬formed wth great jubilation every day. (Mll/211, 213, 241)

After the Bengali Vaishnavas returned home, Lord Chaitanya spent the nights in the company of His most confidential devotees, Ramanananda Raya, and Svarupa Damodara. With them Lord Chaitanya tasted the nectar of the transcendental mellows of Krishna's pastimes. He recited from Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Gita-Govinda, Jagannatha-vallabha-Nataka, and Krishnakarnamrta. He would also recite His own verses, expressing their emotions, and thus enjoy tasting them with these two friends. Sometimes the Lord would be absorbed in a particular emotion and would stay awake all night reciting verses and relishing their taste.

If Ananta, with His 1,000 heads, tried to describe even one day's pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He would find them impos¬sible to describe fully. If Ganesh, Lord Siva's son and the expert scribe of the demigods, tried for millions of milleniums to fully describe one day of the Lord's pastimes, he would be unable to find their limit. (Antll/12; 20/6,7; 18/13,14)

 

ALALANATHA TEMPLE

 

Alalanatha is also known as Brahmagiri. This place is about 14 miles from Jagannatha Puri and is also on the beach. There is a temple of Lord Jagannatha there and a very large stone slab containing the im¬print of Lord Chaitanya's transcendental body. The stone melted while the Lord lay their in ecstacy.

One gets to Alalanatha temple by catching a mini-bus to Brah¬magiri at the back of Narendra-Sarovara. It takes 45 minutes and is open to westerners.

When Lord Jagannatha retires after His bathing ceremony for two weeks, Lord Chaitanya becomes very unhappy because He can't see Lord Jagannatha. Due to separation from Lord Jagannatha, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave up all association and went to Alalanatha temple. The Puri devotees came there requesting Lord Chaitanya to return because all the devotees were coming from Bengal to see Him.

Lord Chaitanya would often come here during the fortnight when Lord Jagannatha remained in seclusion before the Ratha Yatra festival. Later in His Antya-lila, Lord Chaitanya would threaten the devotees, that if they kept involving Him in material affairs, He would leave Jagannatha Pun and go alone to stay at Alalanatha.

Before touring South India, Lord Chaitanya spent a complete day and overnight here. Together with His devotees, Lord Chaitanya chanted and danced for sometime. The neighbors, astonished to see Lord Chaitanya's ecstatic transformations, did not want to return home. Everyone including children, old men and women began to dance and chant the holy names of Krishna and Gopala, In this way they all floated in the ocean of love of Godhead.

Lord Nityananda dispersed the crowd and closed the outside door so that Lord Chaitanya and His men could take prasadam. From after lunch until evening Lord Chaitanya gave audience to many visitors, who all then became Vaishnava devotees. Shri Chaitanya passed the night there, discussing Krishna's pastimes with His devotees in great pleasure. The next morning Lord Chaitanya departed for South India. The devotees remained in Alalanatha, fasting all day until the next day, when they all unhappily returned to Jagannatha Puri. (M7/76-94, 9/338,11/62-5; Ant9/60, 78-93)

Alalanatha is also known as Brahmagiri. It is about 25 km from Jagannatha Puri, close to the beach. There is a temple of Lord Jagannatha there and a very large stone slab containing the imprint of Lord Chaitanya's transcendental body. The stone melted while the Lord lay there in ecstasy. You can view the stone, but non-Hindus cannot enter the temple.

The four handed Deity called Alaranatha is believed to have been erected by one of the Alvars, Lord Chaitanya would often come here during the two weeks, when Lord Jagannatha re¬mained in seclusion before the Rathayatra festival. At the rear of the dome of the temple is an inset sculpture of Narasimha, with Hiranyakasipu on His lap. There is also an inset sculpture of Lord Vamana piercing the outer shell of the universe.

 

RAMANANDA RAYA’S HOUSE

 

When you visit Alalanatha you can also visit Ramananda Raya's house in a place called Benta Pura, which is a few km away, near a rice mill. It is on the way back to Puri in a small village. There is a Deity of Lord Chaitanya with a shaven head, with Ramananda Raya seated beside Him in saffron robes.

 

ATHARNALA BRIDGE

 

There is a bridge at the entrance of Jagannatha Puri called Atharanala, which has 18 arches. Athara means 18. When all the devotees coming from Bengal, arrived at the bridge. Lord Chaitanya sent two garlands with Govinda to offer to Lord Nityananda and Advaita Acarya. They both began chanting the holy name of Krishna on that very spot, and dancing and dancing they both reached Jagannatha Puri. (M5/147; 16/38-40; 25/224)

500 years ago all the Bengali and Navadvipa devotees, after walking continuously for one month, would enter Jagannatha Puri by crossing this bridge. Atharanala bridge afforded them their first sight of the temple or Lord Jagannatha, with its beautiful dome and billowing flag standing impressively up the river on the right side.

This bridge is at the entrance of Puri. It has 18 arches. Athara means 18. "When all the devotees coming from Bengal, arrived at the bridge, Lord Chaitanya sent two garlands with Govinda to offer to Lord Nityananda and Advaita Acarya," (Chaitanya Caritamrita, Madhya-lila). The present bridge is an addition, con¬structed directly on top of the original brick bridge. This bridge is symbolic of the emotion of arriving or departing from Jagan-natha Puri. You can see the temple cakra from it.

 

BALAGANDI

 

Balagandhi is a place where Lord Jagannatha stops His chariot to accept a massive bhoga offering. Today one will find a temple marking the spot, on the right side of the Temple Road, about a 1/2 mile down from the Lion Gale enroute to Gundica.

Reaching Balagandhi, Lord Jagannatha stopped His car to look to the right at gardens resembling Vrndavan, and left at a coconut grove where the brahmanas resided. According to the yearly custom, in¬numerable dishes are offered to the Lord at this time.

All kinds of devotees from neophytes to advanced offered their best preparations to Lord Jagannatha here. King Prataparudra, his queen, ministers, friends, and all the other big and small residents of Jagannatha Puri, visitors from other countries, and local devotees of¬fered their personally cooked food to the Lord. Devotees offered the food everwhere - front, behind, and sides of the cart, within the garden nearby, wherever possible, there were no hard and fast rules.

During Lord Jagannatha's offering, Shri Chaitanya and His devotees took rest under each and every tree in the neighbouring Jagannatha-vallabha gardens. (M 13/193-200)

 

This is the place where Lord Jagannatha stops His chariot to accept a massive bhoga offering.

"Reaching Balagandhi, Lord Jagannatha stopped His car to look to the right at gardens resembling Vrindavana. According to the yearly custom, innumerable dishes are offered to the Lord at this time."

"During Lord Jagannatha's offering, Shri Chaitanya and His devotees look rest under each and every tree in the neighbor-ingJagannatha-vallabha gardens." (Chaitanya Caritamrita Madhya 13)

 

BHARGINADI RIVER

 

Now known as Danda-Bhanga Nadi is situated 6 miles North of Puri. When Shri Chaitanya arrived at Kamalapura, He took His bath in the Bharginadi River and left His sannyasa staff with Lord Nityananda.

Lord Nityananda broke His staff in 3 parts and threw them in the river, which is now known as the Danda-Bhanga Nadi. Lord Nityananda reasoned that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is automatically on the paramahamsa stage (when the sannyasi must give up his staff) and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is that Supreme Personality of Godhead, so he broke His staff and threw it into the water. (M5/141-2)

When Shri Chaitanya arrived at Kamalapura, He took His bath in the Bharginadi River and left His sannyasa staff with Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda broke Lord Chaitanya's sannyasa staff in three parts and threw it into this river. Nityananda reasoned that since Lord Chaitanya was the Supreme Personality of Godhead He was automatically on the pammahamsa stage. Therefore He did not need to carry the sannyasa staff. This river is now known as Danda-Bhanga Nadi.

 

CHATAKA PARVATA SAND DUNES

 

   Near the Tota-Gopinatha temple is a hilly area of sand dunes called Cataka Parvata, Because of the winds and the sea, sometimes the sand would form dunes. Such sand dunes are called Cataka Parvata. In¬stead of seeing these sand dunes simply as hills of sand, the Lord would take them to be Govardhan Hill. Sometimes He would run toward these sand dunes at high speed crying very loudly, expressing the state of mind exhibited by Snmati Radharani. His state of mind brought Him the atmosphere of Vrndavan and Govardhan Hill, and thus He enjoyed the transcendental bliss of separation and meeting. (M2/9)

Chatak Parbat Purushottam Gaudiya Math and Cataka Parvata Sand Dunes

 

This is where Lord Chaitanya mistook the sand dune hills to be Govardhana Hill.

Near the Tota Gopinatha temple is a hilly area of sand dunes called Cataka Parvata. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would run very fast across the sandhills, mistaking them to be Govardhana. As he ran. He would wait and cry loudly. Because of the winds and sea, sometimes the sand would form dunes. Such dunes are called Cataka Parvata, Instead of seeing these sand dunes sim¬ply as hills of sand, the Lord would take them to be Govardhana Hill. Sometimes He would run toward these sand dunes at high speed crying very loudly, expressing the state of mind exhibited by Shrimati Radharani. His slate of mind brought Him the atmo¬sphere of Vrindavana and Govardhana Hill, and thus He en¬joyed the transcendental bliss of separation and meeting. (Cait¬anya Caritamrita Madhya 2.9)

The bhajana kutir of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada is here. His bed is here and there is murti of Veda Vyasa in the bhajana kutir.

 

THE GAMBHIRA ROOM

 

The Gambhira was Lord Chaitanya's residence in Kashi Mishra's house. On Temple road about 1/4 mile from the Lion Gate on way to the ocean. The entrance sign reads, Radha Kanta Math (Gambhira). On display are Lord Chaitanya's original wooden sandals, water pot and bed.

Shri Chaitanya stayed for 12 years in this small room, but He did not sleep for a moment. (M2/7)

Govinda's Massage: After prasadam, Lord Chaitanya laid down occupying the entire doorway of the Gambhira. Govinda, who regularly massaged Lord Chaitanya's legs at this time, requested the Lord to move slightly so he could enter and perform his service. When Lord Chaitanya would not respond, Govinda covered the Lord with a chaddar and stepped over his body.

Waking up 45 minutes later, Lord Chaitanya asked Govinda why he hadn't gone to take prasadam. He replied, "My duty is to serve, I would not mind commiting hundreds and thousands of offenses for the service of the Lord, but I greatly fear commiting even a glimpse of an offense for my own self." (An 10/82-101)

Great Escape: Govinda lay down in front of the door to the Gambhira, while Lord Chaitanya remained awake the entire night chanting the Hare Krishna maha mantra very loudly. Not hearing Shri Chaitanya's chanting. Svarupa Damodara entered and found all three doors of the house locked, but the Lord had gone. (Antl4/57-60)

Grinding Face: Awake all night chanting Hare Krishna, His mind overwhelmed by the spiritual ecstacy of separation from Krishna, Lord Chaitanya rubbed His face against the Gambhira walls all night long. He made a peculiar sound, "gon-gon", which Svarupa Damodara could hear through the door. Going inside, he saw Lord Chaitanya's face was bloodied and injured, and asked Him, "Why have you done this to Yourself?" ....

Shri Chaitanya replied, "I was in such anxiety that I could not stay in the room. I wanted to go out. Unable to find the door, I kept hitting the four walls with my face, but still I could not get out." (Antl9/57-64)

The Pillow of Lord Chaitanya: Shankara Pandit was appointed to protect the Lord by sleeping in the Gambhira with Him. Lying at Shri Chaitanya's feet, the Lord would place His legs on Shankara Pandit, who became known as, "The Pillow Of Lord Chaitanya."

While massaging Lord Chaitanya's legs, Sankara would always fall asleep and lie down. Lord Chaitanya would cover Sankara with His own quilt. Quickly awakening, Sankara resumed massaging Lord Chaitanya. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabbu neither left the Gambhira nor rubbed His lotus face against the walls out of fear of Sankara Pandit. (Antl9/67-74)

 

This is the former house of' Kasi Misra, who was the priest of the king. Later this house was inherited by Vakresvara Pandita and then his disciple Gopalaguru Gosvami, who established a Deily of Radhakanta.

On the left of the entrance is a small temple with Deities of Radha, Radhakanta (Krishna) and Lalita and Vishaka. On the far right is Lord Gauranga and on the far left is Nityananda - The pujari here says that Lord Chaitanya saw these Deities of Radha- Krishna. Radhakanta was worshiped by Gopalaguru Goswami, the disciple ofVakreswara Pandita.

You can look through a small barred window into the room called Shri Gamhhira. This is the room where Lord Chaitanya lived, There is a lamp here in which the light never goes out. You can see what is said to be Lord Chaitaiya's original wooden sandals, His quill, water pot and bed. Lord Shri Gauranga lived for 12 years in this room constinuously. On a marble throne a murti of Lord Chaitanya is en¬circled by a cloth, so that just His face is visible. There is 24 hour kirtana here. On the wall just above the Gambhira, is a terracotta bas-relief of Shri Gauranga, to His right Shri Swarupa Damodara, and below him is Shri Govinda. On the left of Shri Chaitanya is a bas-relief of Ramananda Raya with a shaven head,

 

Upstairs here are dioramas of the life of Lord Chaitanya. Lord Chaitanya would remain awake through the entire night here, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. He would stay in this room, but He did not sleep for a moment. All night He used to grind His mouth and head on the ground, and He sustained injuries all over His face. Although the three doors of the house were always dosed, the Lord would nonetheless go out and some¬times would be found at the Jagannatha Temple before the gate known as Simha-dvara. And sometimes the Lord would fall flat into the sea.

 

THE GUNDICHA TEMPLE

 

The temple at Gundica is called Sundaracala and Jagannatha Temple is called Nilacala- It is situated 2 miles NE of the Jagannatha Temple on Temple Road.

At the lime of the Ratha-Yatra festival, Lord Jagannatha goes to Gundica Temple and stays for one week- After one week He returns to His original temple. Hearsay says that the wife of Indradyumna, the king who established the temple of Jagannatha, was known as Gundica. There is also mention of the name of the Gundica temple in authorita¬tive scriptures. (M12/73)

Cleansing Gundica Temple: The next day Lord Chaitanya smeared sandalwood pulp on His personal associates, gave each a broom and went to Gundica. They cleansed everything nicely including the ceiling. They moved Lord Jagannatha's throne to clean underneath it. Shri Chaitanya cleansed in Jubilation and chanted Hare Krishna simul¬taneously, everyone followed His example. Lord Chaitanya's entire body was covered with dust and dirt as He washed the temple with His tears.

The outside yard and residential quarters were also cleansed. Im¬itating Lord Chaitanya, the devotees gathered dust and straw in their cloths and discarded it outside into one pile. Lord Chaitanya's own pile of straw and dust was much bigger than the devotee's collective pile.

Then everything was cleansed a second time. Lord Chaitanya threw water on the ceiling, which then cleansed the walls and floor. The water of the Lord's feet was drunk by a devotee who hid himself. Lord Chaitanya mopped and polished the room and throne with His cloth. All the rooms were cleansed with a hundred water pots.

Whenever anyone had to speak, they uttered only the holy name of Krishna. The holy name of Krishna became an indication for everyone who wanted something. It appeared as if Lord Chaitanya was cleansing and washing with a hundred hands. He approached everyone just to teach them how to work. While praising the good and chastising the bad, without bearing grudge, Lord Chaitanya said, "You have done well, teach others." Lord Chaitanya personally instructed how to receive the Supreme Personality of Godhead within one's cleansed and pacified heart. (M12/72-137, M14/60,239)

 

When Lord Jagannatha arrived at Gundica, He was moved to the temple, bathed and offered food. Lord Chaitanya danced till evening in the courtyard, observed the evening aroti and took rest in Aitota. Rising early, and bathing. Lord Chaitanya came to see Lord Jagannatha and perfo.'-m Sankirtan. He induced different devotees to chant and dance three times a day; morning, noon, and night. Separation from Krishna subsided within the Lord because He now felt that Lord Krishna had returned to Vrndavan (Gundica). In each garden surrounding Gundica, Lord Chaitanya and His devotees performed the Vrndavan pastimes. (M14/60-75,239-43)

 

At the time of the Rathayatra festival. Lord Jagannatha goes to the Gundica Temple and stays for one week. After one week He returns to His original temple. Hearsay says that the wife of Indradyumna, the king who established the temple of Jagan¬natha, was known as Gundica. (Mad. 12.73)

 

This is where the cleaning of the Gundica temple takes place that is mentioned in Chaitanya Caritamrita. Lord Chaitanya smeared sandalwood pulp on His personal associates, gave each a broom and went to Gundica. They cleansed everything nicely includ¬ing the ceiling. They moved Lord Jagannatha's throne to clean underneath it. Shri Chaitanya cleansed in jubilation and chanted Hare Krishna simultaneously, everyone followed His example. Lord Chaitanya's entire body was covered with dust and dirt as He washed the temple with His tears.

 

"The outside yard and residential quarters were also cleansed. Imitating Lord Chaitanya, the devotees gathered dust and straw in their cloths and discarded it outside into one pile. Lord Chaitanya's own pile of straw and dust was much bigger than the devotee's collective pile." (Chaitanya Caritamrita Madhya chp 12)

Non-Hindus can walk within the walls and see the beautiful garden, but are not allowed in the temple building.

 

HARIDASA THAKURA’S SAMADHI TOMB

(Located next to Purusottama Gaudiya Math, on the beach)

 

Shrinivas Thakur quickly ran to the seashore. When He saw the tomb of Haridas Thakur, he immediately fell down, offering prayers and almost fainted. The devotees present there pacified him with very sweet and affectionate words. Shrinivas again offered his obeisances.

 

Hearing of the separation Shrinivas expressed in his lamentation at the tomb of Haridas Thakur makes one's heart melt.

 

Haridas Thakur's body was brought in procession from Siddha Bakula (where he left his body) to the beach. Shri Chaitanya personally bathed the body of Haridas Thakur and declared, "From this day on, this sea has become a great pilgrimage site." Haridas' body was placed in a hole in the sand along with Lord Jagannatha's remnants (silken rope, sandalwood pulp, food, and cloth). Lord Chaitanya covered the body with sand, chanting Hari Bol! Hari Bol! A platform was con¬structed and a fence erected to protect the site. Lord Chaitanya and the devotees filled the whole universe with tumultuous chanting and danced all around the platform. Afterwards they enjoyed swimming and playing in the ocean.

 

Shri Chaitanya gave this benediction saying, "Anyone who has chanted and danced here at Haridas Thakur's Samadhi will achieve the favor of Krishna very soon. There is such wonderful power in seeing Haridas Thakur." Krishna Das Kaviraj adds, that anyone who hears this narration will certainly fix his mind firmly in devotion to Krishna. (Ant11/62-72,193, 98,101,104)

 

A chapel structure within the temple is considered to be Haridasa Thakur's samadhi. There is a very nice painting of Haridasa Thakur in the samadhi. It shows him with a beard, wear¬ing only a loincloth, his hands upraised toward the distant cakra and dome of the Jagannatha temple.

 

On the center altar is a wooden Deity of Lord Chaitanya; on the right altar, Lord Nityananda; and on the left Advaita Acarya.

 

There are several other paintings here. One shows Lord Cai¬tanya placing His right hand behind the head of Haridasa in the assembly of devotees, just as Haridasa breathes his last breath. In another picture Lord Chaitanya dances with the body of Hari¬dasa Thakur. In another picture the Vaishnavas gather at the beach and as they chant, they prepare to lower Haridasa Thakur into the grave. Lord Chaitanya cries tears of ecstasy.

 

Haridasa Thakura made Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sit down in front of him, and then he fixed his eyes, like two bumblebees, on the lotus face of the Lord. He held the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya on his head and then took the dust of the feet of all the devotees present and put it on his head. He began to chant the holy name of Shri Krishna Chaitanya again and again. As he drank the sweetness of the face of the Lord, tears constantly glided down from his eyes. The Lord raised the body of Haridasa Thakura and placed it on His lap. Then He began to dance in the courtyard in great ecstatic love. (Chaitanya Caritamrita Antya 11)

 

Haridasa Thakur's body was brought in procession from Siddha Bakula (where he left his body) to the beach. Shri Chaitanya personally bathed the body of Haridasa Thakur and declared, "From this day on, this sea has become a great pilgrimage site." Haridasa's body was placed in a hole in the sand along with Lord Jagannatha's remnants (silken rope, sandalwood pulp, food, and cloth). Lord Chaitanya covered the body with sand, chanting Hari Bol! Hari Bol! A platform was constructed and a fence erected to protect the site. Lord Chaitanya and the devo¬tees filled the whole universe with tumultuous chanting and danced all around the platform. After sankirtana, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bathed in the sea with His devotees, swimming and playing in the water with great jubilation. After circumambulating the tomb of Haridasa Thakura, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to the Simha-dvara gate of the Jagannatha temple. Lord Chaitanya then begged prasada for a festival honor¬ing the passing away of Haridasa Thakura. All the devotees then sat down and had a huge feast. (Chaitanya Caritamrita Antya 11)

 

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave this benediction: "Anyone who has seen the festival of Shri Haridasa Thakura's passing away, anyone who has chanted and danced here, anyone who has of¬fered sand on the body of Haridasa Thakura and anyone who has joined this festival to partake of the prasada will achieve the favor of Krishna very soon. There is such wonderful power in seeing Haridasa Thakura."

 

INDRADYUMNA LAKE

 

Located about 1/4 mile from Gundica Temple. During the annual cleansing of the Gundica Temple, The devotees would fetch water and bathe here- Since hundreds of men were engaged in bringing water from the this lake, there was no place to stand on the banks. Hundreds of devotees brought water in the pots, and hundreds took the empty pots away to fill [hem up again. Many water pots were broken when people collided with one another. (M12/107-110)

 

Water Sports: Lord Chaitanya and the devotees splashed water on each other. They formed circles, played cymbals and croaked like frogs while in the water. Lord Chaitanya enjoyed watching as couples (Svarupa Damodara & Vidyanidhi: Murari Gupta & Vasudeva Datta) would duel in water lights. Advaita Acarya, being defeated by Lord Nityananda, called Him bad names. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was surprised to see the duelers, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Ramananda Raya, lose their gravity and become like children. Lord Chaitanya jokingly told Gopinatha Acarya, "Tell them to stop their childish play because they are both learned scholars and very grave personalities."

 

Lord Chaitanya amazed all the devotees by floating on the water lying on Advaita Acarya and showing His pastime of Sesasayi Vishnu-(M14/75-90)

Water to clean the Gundica Temple would be bought from here. Also Lord Chaitanya engaged in water sports with His inti¬mate associates in this tank. Lord Chaitanya lying on Advaita Acharya, who was floating on the water, showed His pastime of Sesasayi Vishnu.

 

Lord Chaitanya and the devotees splashed water on each other. They formed circles played cymbals and croaked like frogs while in the water. Lord Chaitanya enjoyed watching as couples would duel in water fights. Advaita Acarya, being defeated by Lord Nityananda, called Him bad names. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was surprised to see the duellers, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Ramananda Raya, lose their gravity and become like children. Lord Chaitanya jokingly told Gopinatha Acarya. Tell them to stop their childish play because they are both learned scholars and very grave personalities.

 

THE JAGANNATHA VALLABHA GARDENS

 

Located on Temple Road about 1/4 mile from Jagannatha temple toward Gundica, on same side as the Jagannatha Temple.

While Lord Jagannatha stayed at Gundica, Lord Chaitanya had many pastimes, including several picnics, and he rested here for nine continuous days. (M14/04, M12/152, Ant.1/62)

Lord Chaitanya Sees Krishna: One full moon night in April, Lord Chaitanya along with His devotees, entered Jagannatha Vallabha Gar¬den. Brightly illuminated by the moon, all the fully blossomed trees and creepers glittered in the light. The six seasons, especially spring, were present there. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Personality of Godhead was very happy.

As He wandered around every tree and creeper, He came beneath an asoka tree and suddenly saw Lord Krishna. When He saw Krishna, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began running very swiftly, but Krishna smiled and disappeared. The entire garden was filled with the scent of Lord Krishna's body. When Lord Chaitanya smelled it, He fell uncon¬scious. In the ecstacy of Shrimati Radharani, Lord Chaitanya began reciting verses describing the scent of Krishna's transcendental body. (Ant18/18-120)                                                          

While Lord Jagannatha stayed at Gundica, Lord Chaitanya had many pastimes here. Lord Chaitanya used to meet here with Ramananda Raya. Ramananda Raya used to train girls here to dance for the pleasure of Lord Jagannatha.

In the Jagannatha Vallabha temple there are three altars. On one altar there are large Deities of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra. On the middle altar there is a Deity of Lord Cai¬tanya (in saffron) and Ramananda Raya fin while). On the third altar are Radha and Krishna.

"One full moon night in April, Lord Chaitanya along wilh His devotees entered theJaganiiatha Vailabha Garden. Brightly il¬luminated by the moon, all the fully blossomed trees and creep¬ers glittered in the light. The six seasons, especially spring, were present there. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Personality of God¬head was very happy.

As He wandered around every tree and creeper. He came beneath an asoka tree and suddenly saw Lord Krishna. When He saw Krishna, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began running very swiftly, but Krishna smiled and disappeared. The entire garden was filled with the scent of Lord Krishna's body. When Lord Chaitanya smelled it. He fell unconscious. In the ecstasy of Shrimati Radharani, Lord Chaitanya began reciting verses describing the scent of Krishna's transcendental body. (Antya 18.18-20)

Non-Hindus can not enter the temple, but you can walk around some of the gardens. There is also a small lake here,

 

KASHI MISHRA’S HOUSE

 

   As long as King Prataparudra stayed in his capital, Purusottama, he performed one regular duty. He would come daily at noon to the house of Kashi Mishra to massage his lotus feet. The King would also hear from Him about how opulently Lord Jagannatha was served. Often, He heard about Lord Chaitanya's transcendental pastimes. (Ant9/80-89)

KONARKA

Konarka, generally known as Arka-Tirtha, is a temple of Lord Surya, the sun-god. It is situated on the seashore, 19 miles north of Jagannatha Puri. (Accessible by one hour public bus from Temple Road bus stand). It was constructed of black stone in the beginning of the 13th century of the Saka Era, and it shows expert craftmanship and architecture.

One full moon night in Autumn, Lord Chaitanya walked along the beach near Aitota. Mistaking the sea for the Yamuna, He jumped in, hoping to see the transcendental lilas of Krishna and the gopis. Shri Chaitanya was washed by the ocean's waves 19 miles North to Konarka, where an astonished fisherman caught Him in his net.

From touching Lord Chaitanya, the fisherman, became mad in ecstatic love for Krishna, but he thought he had become ghostly haunted.

After frantically searching everywhere for Lord Chaitanya, the devotees came to Konarka and met the fisherman. Svarupa Damodara posed as an exorcist and pacified the fisherman. Seeing Shri Chaitanya covered with sand and unconscious, the devotees loudly chanted Hare Krishna, which brought Him to external consciousness. Then the devotees took Lord Chaitanya back home to Puri. Shri Chaitanya recited many verses about Krishna's intimate watersporting in the Yamuna with all His gopi friends. (An 118/18-120)

Konark, also known as Arka-Tirtha, is where there is a temple of Lord Surya, the sun god. It is situated on the seashore, 33 km north of Jagannatha Puri and 64 km from Bhubaneswar. It was constructed of black stone in the beginning of the 13th century and it shows expert craftsmanship and architecture. Mistaking the sea for the Yamuna River, Lord Chaitanya jumped in and was washed by the ocean 33 km (19 miles) north to the Konark area, where an astonished fisherman caught Him in his net.

Sun Temple

It is was built in the 13th century by the Orissian king Raja Narasimhadeva.  It took 1,200 workmen over 12 years to built. It resembles a huge chariot with 24 huge wheels, pulled by seven horses. The 24 wheels are said to symbolise the division of time (24 hours in a day) and the seven horses the seven days of the week. There is a dancing hall here, an audience hall and a high tower. The main tower which has collapsed, was 227 feet high. The jagmohana (porch) is over 120 feet high and is filled in with rocks to keep it from collapsing. Both the tower and porch were built on a high platform The temple is covered with many sculp¬tures that are carved all over it,

There is also a temple containing the nine planets. Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. It is lo¬cated to the right of the main entrance, before you enter the complex.

One full moon night in Autumn, Lord Chaitanya walked along the beach near Aitota, Mistaking the sea for the Yamuna, He jumped in hoping to see the transcendental lilas of Krishna and the gopis. Shri Chaitanya was washed by the ocean's waves 19 miles north to Konark, where an astonished fisherman caught Him in his net. From touching Lord Chaitanya, the fisherman, became mad in ecstatic love for Krishna, but he thought he had become ghostly haunted. After frantically searching everywhere for Lord Chaitanya, the devotees came to Konark and met the fisherman. Seeing Shri Chaitanya covered with sand and unconscious, the devotees loudly chanted Hare Krishna, which brought Him to external conscious¬ness. Then the devotees took Lord Cailanya back home to Puri.

 

LION GATE (NRSINGHA DVARA)

 

[Facing East the main gate of the Jagannatha temple, on the Temple Road and flanked by two stone lions]. By looking just inside the door to the right, one can receive Lord Jagannatha's darsan by seeing the Deity known as Patita Pavana, deliverer of the fallen.

Many of Shri Chaitanya's pastimes took place in the area around the Lion Gate including; yearly Ratha-Yatra and Hera pancami festival.

"I have no right to pass by the Lion Gate, for the servants of Lord Jagannatha are always coming and going there." Sanatana Goswami told Lord Chaitanya. Considering hilnselffallen, Sanatana Goswami did not enter the temple or even travel on the path in front of the Lion Gate. He was afraid of contaminating one of the priests by accidentally touching them.

Meeting Place For Arriving Bengali Vaishnavas: When the devotees finally reached the Lion Gate, Shri Chaitanya personally went to meet them. Together they visited the temple of Jagannatha. Then beginning from the right side of the Lion Gate, or the main gate, all the Vaishnavas began to proceed toward Lord Chaitanya's residence at Kashi Mishra's house. (Ant4/126, M16/43, M11/125)

King Prataparudra sweeps the road in front of Lord Jagannatha's cart every year before the chariot festival at this spot.

Hera Pancami Festival: (Occurs right at the Lion Gate)

When Lord Jagannatha starts His car festival, He gives assurance to the goddess of fortune, that he will return the next day. When He does not return, the goddess of fortune, after waiting two or three days, begins to feel that Her husband has neglected her. She naturally be¬comes quite angry.

Gorgeously decorating herself, she comes out of the temple and stands before the main gate (Lion Gate). All the principal servants of Lord Jagannatha are arrested by her maidservants, brought before Her and forced to fall down at her feet.

The Hera-Pancami festival takes place 5 days after the Ratha-Yatra festival. The word Hera, means "to see", and refers to the god¬dess of fortune going to see Lord Jagannatha. The word Pancami, means "the 5th day" and is used because this festival occurs on the fifth day of the moon. (M 14/106-233)

Raghunatha Das at Lion Gate: After finishing their prescribed duties, the many servants of Lord Jagannatha return home at night. If they see a Vaishnava standing at the Lion Gate begging alms, out of mercy they arrange with the shopkeepers to give him something to eat.

Thus it is the custom for all time, that a devotee who has no other means of support stands at the Lion Gate to receive alms from the ser¬vants.

Raghunatha Das used to stand here at Lion Gate and beg alms like this, and Lord Chaitanya was pleased by his renunciation. Later he gave up standing here and begged alms from the charity booths. This further satisfied Shri Chaitanya.

Lord Jagannatha's prasada is sold by shopkeepers, and that which is not sold decomposes after 2-3 days. All the decomposed food is thrown to the cows at the Lion Gate. Because the rotten odor, even cows cannot eat it. But Raghunatha Das would collect that rotten rice, wash and eat it. Lord Chaitanya was so pleased by this supreme renun¬ciation, He came to see him and also ate some of that rice. (An16/2l5-233, 286-87,315-25)

Lord Chaitanya Begs Shopkeepers: After circumambulating Haridas Thakur's Samadhi, Shri Chaitanya went to the Lion Gate to beg prasada from all the shopkeepers. "I am begging prasada for a festival honoring the passing away of Haridas Thakur, Please give Me alms." The shopkeepers immediately came forward with big baskets of prasadam. (Ant11/72-8)

Lord Chaitanya Lies in Ecstacy: Leaving the Gambhira unnoticed through three locked doors, Shri Chaitanya fell down- in ecstacy in a corner by the northern side of [he Lion Gate. Finding His body completely physically transformed, the devotees were very anxious and un¬happy.

They loudly chanted Hare Krishna into His ear until He suddenly jumped up shouting, "Hari Bol". Then His body resumed its normal fea¬tures. (Ant14/60-71)

Ditch For Shri Chaitanya's Foot Bath: On the Northern side of the Lion Gate, behind the door, there are 22 steps leading to the temple, and at the bottom of those steps is a ditch. Shri Chaitanya would wash His feet here, and then enter the temple to see Lord Jagannatha. One devotee, named Kalidas, violated Shri Chaitanya's strict order and drank three palmfuls of that transcendental water.

By rendering service to these three (the dust of devotee's feet, water that washed his feet, and a devotees food remnants) one attains the supreme goal of ecstatic love for Krishna. In all the revealed scrip¬tures this is loudly declared again and again. (Ant16/39-64).

Gatekeeper Shows Krishna to Shri Chaitanya; Lord Chaitanya asked the gatekeepter, "Where is Krishna, My life and soul? Please show Me Krishna?" The gatekeeper replied. The son of Nanda Maharaj is here; please come along with me, and I shall show you." As Shri Chaitanya looked upon Lord Jagannatha, He saw that Lord Jagannatha had become Lord Krishna, with His flute in His mouth. (Antl6/80-87)

Lord Chaitanya's Tortoise Pastime: In great ecstacy, Shri Chaitanya escaped His locked room at the Gambhira. He went to a cow shed on the southern side of the Lion Gate, and fell unconcious among the cows. His arms and legs entered the trunk of His body, exactly like those of a tortoise. The Lord's body resembled a large pumpkin. Exter¬nally, He was completely inert, but within He felt overwhelming transcendental bliss.

All the cows were sniffing the Lords transcendental body. When the devotees arrived, they tried to check the cows, but they refused to give up their association with Shri Chaitanya. Unable to arouse the Lord, the devotees carried Him back home. He eventually regained con¬sciousness, and His arms and legs came out of His body, and His body returned to normal.

Then Lord Chaitanya related now He was seeing Krishna and the gopis enjoying all kinds of pastimes like laughing and joking together. Then in ecstacy, Lord Chaitanya recited beautiful verses about the 4 transcendental sounds produced by Krishna that attract everyone. The four sounds are; Krishna's flute, words, voice, ankle bells and bangles. (Ant17/11-48)

 

NARENDRA SAROVARA LAKE

 

(Located off Temple Road, near Jagannatha Vallabha Gardens on the same side as Jagannatha's Temple) Narendra Sarovara is a small lake still existing in Jagannatha Puri, where the Candana Yatra (sandalwood festival) takes place. Up to the present date, all the Bengali devotees who visit the Jagannatha Temple, first take their bath in this lake, before entering the temple,

During Lord Jagannatha's stay at Gundica, Shri Chaitanya enjoyed sporting in the Narendra Lake much like He did in Indradyumna lake. Once the devotees from Bengal arrived on the day Lord Jagannatha was performing His water pastimes. Boarding a boat. Lord Govinda (the functional deity of Jagannatha) enjoyed in the water with all His devotees.

On the shore of Narendra Lake there was a great jubilation of music, singing, chanting and tumultuous crying. After concluding His pastimes m the water, Lord Govinda returned to His residence-(M11/68,14/102, 25/226, An10/41-52)

It is a large tank. There is a small temple about a hundred feet into the lake, connected hy a cement walkway. There are Deities here of Large Jagannatha, Baladeva and Suhhadra. Di¬rectly behind Lord Jagannath is a deity of Mother Yasoda, the mother of Krishna. At the other end of the temple rooms is the deity of Laksmi. On the small island are also a Siva-linga temple and one of Bala Krishna.

This is where the boat festival called Candana-yatra is held during which Lord Jagannatha goes on His boat ride. Since Lord Jagannatha is very heavy, the vijayavigraha (festival Deity), known as Govinda rides in the boat. Lord Chaitanya and His devotees took part in this festival.

During Lord Jagannatha's stay at Gundica, Shri Chaitanya en¬joyed sporting in Narendra Lake, much like He did in Indradyumna lake. Once the devotees from Bengal arrived on the day Lord Jagannatha was performing His water pastimes. Boarding a boat, Lord Govinda enjoyed in the water with all His devotees.

"On the shore of Narendra Lake there was a great jubilation of music, singing, chanting and tumultuous crying. After con¬cluding His pastimes in the water. Lord Govinda returned to His residence." (Chaitanya Caritamrita Madhya 12.132-150) .

 

NRSINGHA TEMPLE

 

(Located directly next to Gundica Temple, The Nrsingha Temple is a very old temple, where there is a great festival on the day known as Nrsingha Caturdasi.

Cleaning Nrsingha Temple During Gundica Cleaning; After clean¬ing the Nrsingha Temple, Shri Chaitanya rested a few minutes. Then He began ecstatic congregational chanting, like a maddened lion, He danced in the middle of all the devotees. Raining tears, He washed all the devotees. Lord Chaitanya's chanting filled the sky, and the earth shook from His jumping- Svarupa Damodara's loud chanting (which the Lord always enjoyed) caused Lord Chaitanya to jump high injubilation.

Advaita Acarya's son, Shri Gopal, fell unconscious after Lord Chaitanya induced him to dance. Everyone chanted the holy name of Lord Nrsingha but the boy remained unconscious. Advaita Acarya cried. Lord Chaitanya touched Shri Gopal's chest and said, "Gopal stand up." Shri Gopal immediately awoke, and the chanting and dancing con¬tinued. (M12/132-50)

 

This temple is located next to the Gundica Temple. There are two Deities of Lord Narasimha, one behind the other. The Deity in the front is called Santa Narasimha (sober). Anyone who sees this Deity will be cooled down; all his anger, frustra¬tion and anxiety will vanish. The Deity in the back is called Raga Narasimha (anger). He is the internal mood of Narasimha. When the Muslim Kalapahad attacked Puri and was breaking the Dei¬ties, he saw Santa Narasimhadeva and his anger subsided. So he did not break the Deity.

 

Santa Narasimha's features are human-like, with a sharp human nose, curvy human moustache and an outstretched tongue. They say that Lord Chaitanya took darshan here during His Gundica pastimes. Lord Chaitanya rested near this temple after cleaning the Gundica Temple.

Non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple, but you can see the Deities if you stand by the door.

 

PARAMANANDA PURI’S WELL

 

(A five minute walk behind the West gate of Jagannatha Temple - It is located on Lokanatha Rasta (road) inside the gate of the Baselisahi Out Post (policemen's residence).

Paramananda Puri established a small monastery behind the western side of the Jagannatha Temple, where he had a well dug to supply water. The water, however, was bitter, and therefore Lord Chaitanya prayed to Lord Jagannatha to allow the Ganges water to come in the well and make it sweet. When Lord Jagannatha granted the request. Lord Chaitanya told all the devotees that from that day hence, the water of Paramananda Puri's well should be celebrated as the Ganges water. For any devotee who would drink it, or bathe in it, would certainly get the same benefit as that derived from drinking or bathing in the waters of the Ganges, Such a person would certainly develop pure love of Godhead.        (Adi9/13)

Paramananda Puri's Well

 

Lord Chaitanya told all the devotees that this well water is the same as the Ganges water and a person who would drink it or bathe in it would certainly develop pure love of Godhead.

"Paramananda Puri established a small monastery behind the western side of the Jagannatha Temple, where he had a well dug to supply water. The water, however, was bitter, and there¬fore Lord Chaitanya prayed to Lord Jagannatha to allow the Ganges water to come in the well and make it sweet.

"When Lord Jagannatha granted the request. Lord Chaitanya told all the devotees that from that day hence, the water of Paramananda Puri's well should be celebrated as the Ganges water. For any devotee who would drink it, or bathe in it, would certainly get the same benefit as that derived from drinking or battling in the waters of the Ganges. Such a person would cer¬tainly develop pure love of Godhead. (Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi 9.13)

 

SARVABHAUMA BHATTACHARYA’S HOUSE
GANGAMATA MATH

 

(It is located 5 minutes from Jagannatha Temple on Temple Road enroute to the ocean)

First Visit: When Lord Chaitanya first came to Jagannatha Puri, He fainted unconscious upon seeing Lord Jagannatha, and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya took to Him to his home. When the Lord awoke, Sarvabhauma arranged a huge feast of maha-prasada. Shri Chaitanya took prasada along with all the Bengali devotees, who finally caught up with the Lord.

Surprise Maha-Prasada: A little before sunrise, Lord Chaitanya brought Lord Jagannatha's maha-prasada to Sarvabhauma, who was just rising from bed. Accepting the maha-prasada, he immediately ate it, although he as yet had not even washed his mouth or bathed.

Lord Chaitanya Stays 5 Days: Before Lord Chaitanya departed for His South India tour, he stayed here for 5 days.

The Lord Takes A Wonderful Feast Here: After the Ratha-Yatra festival and all the Bengali devotees returned home, Lord Chaitanya was offered a very wonderful feast here at in Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya's house. The preparations are herein described:

There was six pounds ot rice mixed with so much yellowish and fragrant ghee that it overflowed the banana leaf. Spinach, 10 kinds;

Nimb leaf soup; a mild cake of fried curd; buttermilk mixed with fried dahl bits; fried eggplant and nimb; fried rounds of pumpkin and squash; soup that defeated nectar; 6 sour preps; bharats made of mung, urad, dahl and sweet bananas; sweet rice cake, other cakes; sweet rice mated with ghee, poured into an earthen pot with condensed milk and mango; delicious churned curd; and varieties of sandesh.

Indeed, all the various eatables available in Bengal and Orissa were prepared. Scented cold water in pitchers, and a variety of Lord Jagannatha's maha-prasada including; sweetballs, sweet rice and cakes were offered. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was astonished to see the gorgeous arrangements. "How was all this finished within 6 hours? Even a hundred men couldn't accomplish this- You are most fortunate, your endeavor M successful, for you and your wife have offered such wonderful food to Radha and Krishna." (M6/26-33; 7/54-9; 9/350; M15/186-258)

 

Inside there are paintings on the walls of devotional scenes, There are black wooden sandals said to be Sarvabhauma's and Radha Krishna Deities called Radha Rasikaraja. which are said to have been worshipped by Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. There is a hidden tunnel in the house which is said to lead in two di¬rections-to the sea and to theJagannath temple. Supposedly it was used by Lord Chaitanya.

When Lord Chaitanya first came to Jagannatha Puri, He fainted unconscious upon seeing Lord Jagannatha, and Sarvabhauma Bhatiacarya took Him to his house. When the Lord awoke, Sarvabhauma arranged a huge feast of maha-prasada. Lord Chaitanya took prasada along with all the Bengali devotees. Before Lord Chaitanya departed for His South India tour, he stayed here for 5 days. After the Rathayatra festival Lord Chaitanya was of¬fered a very wonderful feast here.

After residing for about one month in Jagannatha Puri, Shri Chaitanya met Sarvabhauma in the Jagannatha Temple. Continu¬ously For seven days Shri Chaitanya listened to the Vedanta phi¬losophy expounded by Sarvabhauma. On the eighth day Lord Chaitanya finally replied. He proved that the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and then explained ihe atmarama verse from the Shrimad Bhagavatam in 18 different ways.

Convinced and defeated, Sarvabhauma accepted Shri Chaitanya as Krishna Himself and surrendered at His feet. Then the Supreme Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu showed him a Vishnu form with four hands, then His original form of Krishna. He also showed Sarvabhauma the six-armed sadbhuja form with two hands holding a bow and ar¬row like Lord Rama, with two hands holding a flute like Krishna and with two arms holding a dandu and waterpot from Gaura-lila. There is a Sadbhuja Deity in the Jagannatha Temple. Sarva¬bhauma immediately fell down to offer Him obeisances and instantly composed 100 verses. This meeting with Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Lord Chaitanya is described in Chaitanya Caritamriita.

 

SEA BATHING AND GOLDEN BEACH

 

In the Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Shri Krishna says, (Sarasam Asmi Sagara) "Of bodies of water; I am the ocean."

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bathed the body of Haridas Thakur in the sea and declared, "From this day on, the sea has become a great pilgrimage site." (Ant11/64)

The first day Lord Chaitanya arrived in Puri, he bathed in the sea with all His devotees. Lord Chaitanya's basic daily schedule was to; visit the temple and chant and dance before Lord Jagannatha in the morn¬ing, spend some time at Siddha Bakula discussing Lord Krishna with Haridas Thakur, Sanatana and Rupa Goswamis, and then to the ocean for bathing, and performance of His noon time duties. (M6/39, Ant 1/102, 11/64)

Whenever visiting devotees arrived in Jagannatha Puri, Lord Chaitanya would order them to bathe in the ocean. He said to the Ben¬gali Vaishnavas, "Go to the sea and bathe and look at the top of the temple. After so doing, please come back here and take your lunch." (Mll/183)

Other devotees would regularly bathe in the sea. Rupa Goswami went to bathe in the sea after writing his famous palm leaf verse. (Antl/80)

Raghunatha Vaidya (formerly Revati, Balarama's wife) and a great devotee of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, lived at the seashore at Puri. Anyone he glanced upon would immediately attain Krishna Conscious¬ness. (AdilO/126)

When Raghunatha Das finally Joined Shri Chaitanya, the Lord told him to, "Go bathe in the sea, see Lord Jagannatha and return to take your meal." (Ant6/208)

Often after ecstatic kirtan performances. Lord Chaitanya and the devotees would bathe in the sea to relieve their fatigue. Understanding the fatigue of the devotees, Shri Chaitanya stopped the congregational chanting and bathed in the sea, accompanied by all the devotees. Be¬sides bathing, Shri Chaitanya would sometimes enjoy swimming and playing, especially after the kirtan performed at Haridas Thakur's Samadhi, wherein it is described, "After Sankirtan Shri Chaitanya bathed in the sea with His devotees, swimming and playing in the water in great jubilation." (M11/197, Ant10/81,11/70)

Beach Pastimes: After seeing the sand dunes of Cataka Parvata as Govardhana Hill, Lord Chaitanya took an ocean bath. One day Govinda, Jagadananda, Sankara, and Mukunda all went to bathe in the sea. They could hear Chota Haridas (who had already committed suicide) singing from a distant place. (Ant2/153,14/84,116)

When Lord Chaitanya returned from His South Indian tour, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya met Him on the beach with great pleasure. (M9/343)

One day while going to the beach. Lord Chaitanya suddenly saw a flower garden. He mistook that garden for Vrndavan and very quickly ertered it. Absorbed in ecstatic love of Krishna, He wandered throughout the garden searching for Him. He quoted many sastric ver¬ses, where the gopis ask all the moving and non-moving, forest crea¬tures, "Have you seen Krishna?" (Ant15/28-57)

While walking along the seashore. Lord Chaitanya suddenly saw the sea. Brightened by the shining light of the moon, the high waves of the sea glittered like the waters otthe River Yamuna. Mistaking the sea for the Yamuna, the Lord ran swiftly and jumped into the water unseen by the others. Later the devotees arrived at the seashore and split up to search the beach and water for the whereabouts of the Lord.

Meanwhile, hoping to see the water pastimes of Krishna, Shrimati Radharani and the gopis, Shri Chaitanya floated 19 miles north to Konarka Beach. A Fisherman caught the Lord in his net and brought him to shore.

Verses Comparing Lord Chaitanya's Pastimes to the Ocean:

While thus living at Jagannatha Pun, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu floated all day and night in an ocean of separation from Krishna.

As the wind can carry away but a drop of the water of the ocean, a living entity can only touch a particle of the ocean of love of Krishna,

Endless waves arise moment after moment in that ocean of love. How could an insignificant living entity estimate their limits?

The ocean of the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya is immeasurable and unfathomable. Who can take the courage to measure that great ocean? It is not possible to dip into that great ocean, but its sweet mellow flavor attracts my mind. I therefore stand on the shore of that ocean to try to taste a drop of it. (Ant18/3-44; Adi12/94,5)

Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita, sarasam asmi sagard. "Of bodies of water; I am the ocean." The First day Lord Chaitanya arrived in Puri, he bathed in the sea with all the devotees. He would normally bathe in the sea every day. Whenever visiting devotees arrived in Jagannatha Puri, Lord Chaitanya would order them to bathe in the ocean. Often after kirtana, Lord Chaitanya and the devotees would bathe in the sea to relieve their fatigue.

 

SIDDHA BAKULA RESIDENCE OF HARIDAS THAKURA

 

Siddha Bakula, where Haridas lived and chanted 300,000 holy names of God every day, is located 1/4 mile up from Lion Gate on the left side while walking toward the ocean.

When Haridas Thakur went to Jagannatha Puri, he lived outside the temple on the beach by the sea. A monastery has now been erected there known as Siddha Bakuta Matha.

Place Given by Shri Chaitanya: When all the Bengali Vaishnavas reached Jagannatha Puri, they rushed to meet Lord Chaitanya; but Haridas remained fallen flat on the common road from a distance. The devotees returned to Haridas Thakur saying, that Lord Chaitanya wanted to meet him. He replied, "If I could just get a solitary place near the temple, I could stay there and pass my time. I do not wish the ser¬vants of Lord Jagannatha to touch me. I would remain there in the gar¬den alone. Thai is my desire."

   Happy to hear this, Shri Chaitanya came personally to meet Haridas after His devotees departed for sea bathing and their residential accom¬modations. Shri Chaitanya took Haridas within the flower garden and there, in a very secluded place. He showed him his residence. Shri Chaitanya requested him, "Remain here and chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. I shall personally come here to meet you daily. Remain here peacefully, and look at the cakra on top of Lord Jagannatha's temple and offer obeisances. As far as your prasadam, I shall arrange to have that sent here." (M11/166-68,193-5)

Residents of Siddha Bakula: Shri Chaitanya met Rupa Goswami at Siddha Bakula, talked, then allotted residential quarters there to him. Later, Sanatana Goswami joined Haridas, and Lord Chaitanya met him there during his His daily visits. (Antl/53; 4/48)

Siddha Bakula Lilas: Palm Leaf Verse - During one visit, Lord Chaitanya discovered a palm leaf with a verse written on it, and stuck in the roof of Rupa's residence. Upon reading that verse, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went into ecstacy. The verse said, "My dear friend, now I have met. My very old and dear friend Krishna on this field of Kurukshetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but I would still like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavan."

Disappearance of Harida Thakur- Like a great mystic yogi or Bhishma, Haridas gave up his material body in the presence of Lord Chaitanya and all the devotees at Siddha Bakula.

Then Shri Chaitanya picked up Haridas Thakur's body and chanted and danced in ecstacy for sometime with the other devotees. Then Haridas was carried to the sea beach for His burial ceremony, which was personally conducted by Lord Chaitanya. (Ant.11/56-64)

 

This is the bhajan kutir of Haridasa Thakur, where he daily chanted 300,000 names. Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami would also stay here when they were in Jagannatha Puri. Lord Chaitanya would come and meet them here.

Shri Chaitanya requested Haridasa, "Remain here and chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. I shall personally come here to meet you daily. Remain here peacefully, and look at the cakra on top of Lord Jagannatha's temple and offer obeisances. As far as your prasadam, I shall arrange to have that sent here."

In order to provide shade for Thakur Haridasa, Shri Chaitanya planted a used tooth stick of Lord Jagannatha. All of a sudden it grew up and appeared as a great shade tree. Rupa Gosvami re¬eked Lalita Madhava and Vidagdha Madhava under this tree be¬fore Shri Gauranga and his followers. During his stay Sanatana Gosvami lived with Haridasa Thakur here. Haridasa Thakur left his body here and Lord Chaitanya danced in ecstasy here.

In course of time, in order to construct Lord Jagannatha's Rathayatra cart, the then Gajapati Maharaja ordered his offic¬ers to cut down the tree here. The next morning the royal offic¬ers found the tree hollow and returned without cutting il. The main branch of the tree is petrified, stone to the touch. This is the part that was transformed, so the king would not take it. People tie stones to the kalpa-taru (wish fulfilling tree) and make iheir wishes.

Aboul a hundred feet away in the same compound is the Shri Haridasa-Sadbhuj Temple. There is a Sadbhuj murti of Lord Gauranga on the altar. Beside Him is Lord Nityananda and on the other side of Him is Advaita Acarya. A murti of Haridasa Thakur is in front, to the side of the main altar. There is also a Deity of Lord Narasimhadeva.

 

THE TEMPLE ROAD

 

The Temple Road is the main or "grand" road of Jagannatha Puri which runs East-West in front of the Lion Gate, and is used by Lord Jagannatha for His yearly ride to Gundica Temple.

Ratha-Yatra Cart Decorations: The car appeared to be newly made of gold and it was as high as Mt. Sumeru. The decorations in¬cluded bright mirrors and hundreds and hundreds of camara fans. On top of the car were a neat and clean canopy and a very beautiful flag. Silken cloth and various pictures also adorned the cart. Many brass bells, gongs and ankle bells rang.

Lord Jagannatha Boards His Cart: The next day, Shri Chaitanya and His personal associates got up in the dark and attentively took their early morning baths. They went to the temple to see the Pandu-Vijaya ceremony, where Lord Jagannatha leaves His throne to get up onto the car. Strongly built dayitas (carriers of the Jagannatha Deity), as power¬ful as drunken elephants, manually carry the Lord to His car. Bound at the waist by strong silk ropes, the Jagannatha Deity was carried from one cotton pad (tulis) to the next enroute to His cart. Under the heavy weight of the Deity, sometimes the cotton pads broke open making a heavy cracking sound, and the cotton contents floated into the air.

 

During this time Lord Chaitanya chanted, "Manima, Manima" (this word manima is used to address a respectable person in Orissa). However, His chanting was drowned out by the vibration of tumultuous musical sounds. The Orissan King Prataparudra cleansed the road with a golden-handled broom, and sprinkled the road with sandalwood-scented water. Seeing the King engaged in such menial service engladdened Shri Chaitanya, who later bestowed his favor upon the king.

Kirtan (chanting) Parties Organised by Shri Chaitanya: As the cart stood still, Shri Chaitanya gathered all the devotees, and with his own hand, decorated them with flower garlands and sandalwood pulp.

Altogether, there were four parties of kirtan performers, compris¬ing 24 chanters- In each party there were also two mrdanga players, making an additional eight persons. Lord Chaitanya divided the chanters and appointed leading dancers for each group, along with five assistants to respond to his chanting.

From the villages of Kulina, Santipur, and Khanda, He made another three parties, bringing the total to seven kirtan parties. The four kirtan parties divided by Lord Chaitanya chanted in front of Lord Jagannatha. The three village parties chanted on the sides and rear of Jagannatha's cart. Fourteen arums beating simultaneously made a tumultuous sound, driving the devotees mad. Indeed, no one could hear any mundane sounds or musical instruments other than the congrega¬tional chanting. (Ml/46-50; 13/4-50)

Lord Chaitanya Dances before Lord Jagannatha's Cart: Thus Lord Jagannatha mounted His cart, and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in¬spired all His devotees to dance in front of it. When Lord Chaitanya used to dance before the cart. He always sang the following two lines:

"I have gotten the Lord of My life, for whom I was burning in the fire of lusty desires."

"That very personality who stole away my heart during My youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlight nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, but I am not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the banks of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire." (Ml/54, 8; 13/69)

Shri Chaitanya wandered through all seven groups chanting the holy names, "Hari, Hari." Raising His arms, He shouted, "All glories to Lord Jagannatha." Then, He exhibited another mystic power by performing pastimes simultaneously in all seven groups. Everyone said, "Lord Chaitanya is present in my group. Indeed, He does not go anywhere else. He is bestowing. His mercy upon us." (M13/51-54)

When the Lord Himself wanted to dance, all seven kirtan parties joined together. Lord Jagannatha was very pleased by the Sankirtan, and He brought His car to a standstill just to see the performance. Lord Chaitanya appeared like a circling firebrand, and while dancing and jumping caused the earth to tilt with His steps.

Transcendental ecstatic love for Krishna caused blissful changes in the body of Shri Chaitanya; hairs standing on end, He perspired, cried changed color, rolled on the ground with a crash, appearing like a gold¬en mountain. With hands outstretched, Lord Nityananda would run be¬hind the Lord, to catch Him. Advaita Acarya would follow the Lord and loudly chant, Hari Bol, Hari Bol!

As Lord Jagannatha's chariot proceeded along the Temple Road toward the Gundica Temple, Lord Cbaitanya became more and more ecstatic. To protect the Lord from the crowds, the devotees formed three circles around the Lord. Experiencing deeper ecstatic love, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would display further transformations includ¬ing: goose pimples, chattering teeth, perspiration and blood oozing from His whole body. He would make sounds like, "Jaja, Gaga, jaja, gaga." Tears shooting like a syringe would wet the onlookers, His com¬plexion turned pink, and His hands and legs became hard like dry wood.

After performing His devastating dance, Shri Chaitanya's mind entered a mood of ecstatic love for Krishna. An ocean of transcenden¬tal bliss expanded in Lord Chaitanya's heart. There was an increase in all the natural emotional symptoms. Attracting everyone. Lord Chaitanya sprinkled everyone's mind with the nectar of love of God in¬cluding; Lord Jagannatha's servants, government officers, pilgrims, and all the residents of Jagannatha Puri.

Everyone was overwhelmed with transcendental bliss by seeing Lord Chaitanya's dancing. Lord Jagannatha would stop His cart oc¬casionally to watch the dancing of Shri Chaitanya. While all the devotees danced in front, the cart slowly moved forward. Lord Chaitanya went to the end of the procession behind Jagannatha's cart. At such times, the cart would stop until Lord Chaitanya returned to the front, then the cart would roll again. There was a competition between Lord Jagan¬natha and Shri Chaitanya over who would lead, but Lord Chaitanya was stronger because He made Lord Jagannatha wait in His car.

Sometimes Lord Jagannatha would stop His cart. Despite all en¬deavors using strong wrestlers, King Prataparudra himself, and elephants, the cart would not move. Lord Chaitanya released the elephants, gave the ropes to His men and personally pushed Lord Jagannatha's cart with His head.

The car began moving automatically and effortlessly. The devotees just carried the ropes without any necessity of pulling. In a moment the cart reached the Gundica Temple. Seeing Sn Chaitanya's uncommon strength, everyone chanted, "Jaya Shri Krishna Chaitanya, Jaya Gaurachandra, Wonderful, Wonderful." King Prataparudra's hair stood on end. (M13/26-209)

Esoteric Meaning of the Ratha Yatra (cart) Festival: After giving up the company of the gopis in Vrindavan, Shri Krishna, the son of Maharaja Nanda, engaged in His pastimes in Dvaraka. When Krishna went to Kuruksetra on the occasion of a solar eclipse, He was accom¬panied by His brother, Lord Balarama, and sister, Subhadra, and others from Dvaraka. At Kuruksetra he again met the inhabitants of Vrindavan including Shrimati Radharani and the gopis.

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself assuming the part of Shrimati Radharani in order to understand Krishna. Lord Jagannatha is Krishna and Shri Chaitanya is Radharani. Shri Chaitanya leading Lord Jagannatha toward the Gundica Temple corresponded to Shrimati Radharani's leading Krishna toward Vrindavan.

Shri Ksetra, Jagannatha Puri, was taken as the kingdom of Dvaraka, the place where Krishna enjoys supreme opulence. However, He was being led by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Vrndavan (represented by Gundica Temple), the simple village where all the inhabitants are filled with ecstatic love for Krishna. Shri Ksetra, Jagannatha Puri, is a place of richly opulent pastimes (aisvarya-lila) just as Vrindavan is the place of intimate conjugal pastimes (madhurya).

Shri Chaitanya's following at the rear of Lord Jagannatha's car indi¬cated that Lord Jagannatha, Krishna, was forgetting the inhabitants of Vrindavan. Although Krishna neglected the residents of Vrndavan, He could not forget them. Thus in His opulent Ratha-Yatra, He was returning to Vrndavan. In the role of Shrimati Radharani, Lord Chaitanya was examining whether the Lord still remembered the in¬habitants of Vrndavan. When Shri Chaitanya fell behind the Ratha car, Jagannatha-deva, Krishna Himself, understood the mind of Shrimati Radharani. Therefore, Jagannatha sometimes fell behind the dancing of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to indicate to Shrimati Radharani that He had not forgotten.

Thus Lord Jagannatha would wait on His cart for their forward march. In this way Lord Jagannatha agreed, that without the ecstacy of Shrimati Radharani, He could not feel satisfied. While Jagannatha was thus waiting, Gaurasundara, Lord Chaitanya, in His ecstacy of Shrimati Radharani, immediately came toward to Krishna. At such times Lord Jagannatha would proceed ahead very slowly.

These competitive exchanges were all part of the love affairs be¬tween Krishna and Shrimati Radharani. In that competition between Lord Chaitanya's ecstacy for Jagannatha and Jagannatha's ecstacy for Shrimati Radharani, Shri Chaitanya emerged successful. This is the pur¬port of the Ratha-Yatra cars going from Jagannatha Temple to the Gundica Temple. (M1/56; 13/119 purp. 147; Ant14/37)

 

THE TOTA GOPINATHA TEMPLE

 

The Tota-Gopinatha Temple is situated in a remote area on the Cataka-Parvata sand dunes near the beach, and a tall city water tower; a 15 minute walk from the Samadhi tomb of Haridas Thakur. The Gaudiya Vaishnavas accept that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabbu ended His manifest transcendental pastimes in Jagannatha Puri by entering into this Deity of Tota-Gopinatha.

Lord Chaitanya ordered Gadadhara Pandit to take care of the Tota-Gopinatha Deity and remain in Jagannatha Puri as a Ksetra Sannyasi. However, due to intense affection for Lord Chaitanya, Gadadhara Pandit wanted to give up his life's vow to serve Shri Tota-Gopinatha. Finally, he accepted Shri Chaitanya's order, and returned to his deity service in Jagannatha Puri. (M16/130-148)

Gaudiya Vaishnavas accept that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ended His manifested pastimes in Jagannatha Puri by entering into the foot of the Tota Gopinatha Deity.

On the far left altar is Lord Balarama and His two wives Revati and Varuni. The middle Deity is Tota Gopinatha, with a black Radha and a black Lalita. Tota Gopinatha is in a sitting position. If you come in the morning around seven and you give a small donation you can see the crack in His foot, where Lord Chaitanya is said to have entered. On the right altar are the Dei¬ties of Radha Madana Mohan and Gaura Gadadhara. Shrila Gadadhara Pandita who is none other than Shrimati Radhika Herself in Gauranga’s lila used to worship Lord Tota Gopinatha. He remained in Jagannatha Puri as a Ksetra Sannyasi (one who never leaves the Dham).

According to the priest, this temple is called Tota Gopinatha because Lord Gopinatha appeared within this garden, or tota. Gada¬dhara Pandit is said to have found the Deity of Gopinatha in a hill here. The hill is now a big sand elevation near the temple.

In the courtyard of the temple there is a miniature marble impression of feet. These footprints are said to be Radharani's.

 

YAMESHVARA TOTA

 

Yamesvara is on the Southwest aide of the Lord Jagannatha Temple, about 1/4 mile away. Gadadhara Pandit resided there, and there was a small garden and a sandy beach known as Yamesvara-tota. (M15/183)

 

SHRI JAGANNATHA RATHA YATRA FESTIVAL

 

During this festival the Deities of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Lady Subhadra ride on Their gigantic chariots. It begins from the 2nd day of the bright fortnight of Ashada during June/July. The Deities are dragged on huge carts the length of Grand Road from the Jagannatha Temple to the Gundicha Temple. This is about three km (2 miles). The Deities stay at Gundicha temple for 9 days and return to the main temple on the 10th day. This is called Bahuda Yatra, return cart festival. This is the one opportunity in the year when Non-Hindus have a chance to directly see the Deity of Lord Jagannatha. Whereas others speak of it as the Ratha Yatra festival, the residents of Orissa refer to it as Gundica-yatra.

This ceremony symbolises Krishna going from Dwarka to Kuruksetra to meet the inhabitants of Vrindavana, after a long separation. During the Rathayatra the Deities are taken care of by the dayitas, who are a class of temple servants who are consid¬ered to be part of Jagannatha’s personal race. The dayitas are said to have descended from Visvavasu (Visvabhu), the first worshiper of Jagannatha in His form of Nila Madhava. The dayitas are known as the anagsebaku or the "servants of the body." These servants take care of the Deities just during the Rathayatra festi¬val and do not take part in the daily worship of the Deities.

The chariot of Lord Jagannatha, known as Nandighosh is 45 feet (13.71 m) high, has 16 wheels, the fabric on the roof is red and yellow and there is a wheel on top of it. The chariol of Lord Balabhadrais 44 feet (13.2 in) high and has 14 wheels. It is called Taladvaja and there is a Tala fruit on its top. Lady Subhadra's cart is 43 feet (12.9 m) high and has 12 wheels. It is named Padmadhvaja or Darpadalan and the fabric on (he roof is red and black. There are side deities on each of the carts. The carts are made new every year according to strict and ancient specifi¬cation and it takes thousands of devotees to pull them. Except the vessels of Kalasa, which are on top of the chariots, the 14 side deities, the charioteers and the horses all the rest of the chariots are remade each year.

The Pahandi or procession of the Deities from the temple to the carts is the most colorful show of the festival. Before the Rathayatra begins the chariots are brought in front of the Simha Dvara (Lion Doorway), facing north. Balarama's chariot is clos¬est to the gate, then Subhadra's and then Lord Jagannatha. First Sudarsana is brought from the temple and put on the chariot of Lady Subhadra. Then Balabhadra, Subhadra, and then Jagan¬natha are placed on each of their carts. The Deities are extremely heavy and they take many strong men to move them, step by step. Each Deity has thick soft ropes around their body. The dayitas move the Deities, assisted by the pujaris, who hold onto the ropes. The Deities are wearing flower crowns. When the Deities are on the carts, Deities of Krishna and Rama are in¬stalled on Balarama's cart and the Deity of Madana Mohana is put on Jagannatha's cart. The Deities are then redressed and offered fresh garlands. At this time the king of Puri arrives in a palanquin. The king then sweeps the street in front of the can with a golden handled broom and sprinkles the ground with scented water.

The cart of Balarama goes first because He is the oldest mem¬ber of the family, then Subhadra and then Jagannatha.

Each cart has four ropes. There is no steering system for the carts. The chariots of Balarama and Subhadra go directly to the Gundica Temple, Jagannatha stops at a temple along the way which belongs to his "aunt," the goddess Ardhamsini, where He is offered fried cheesecakes. If a cart does not reach the Gundicha Temple the first day, it is dragged on the next day, which is what usually happens. It takes over 4000 people to pull the carts. When the Deities reach the Gundica Temple, the Deities rest on the chariots for another day and then are transferred to the sanc¬tum of the Gundica Temple.

After staying in the Gundica Temple for seven days the Deities are put back on the chariots and begin their return journey called Bahuda-yatra on the tenth day of the bright fortnight of Asadha. Jagannatha stops on the way at His aunt's temple and again some cheesecake is offered to Him. He also stops in front of the king ofOrissa's palace for a special encounter with ihe Deity of Laksmi. The Deities arrive at the Jagannatha temple at night and They spend the night on the chariots.

The next day, Bada Ekadashi, is considered one of the most auspicious days of the festival. The Deities are dressed in their suna vesha (golden outfit). Arms and feel made of pure gold are attached to Their bodies. They also wear golden crowns and Other ornaments. The devotees then walk in a circle around the chariots.

After about two hours the gold ornaments are taken off the Deities and the Deities are brought back into the temple. First Balarama, then Subhadra. and then Lord Jagannatha. When He tries to enter the temple Jagannatha is given a hard time by His consort, Laksmi. First Her servants shut the Simha-dvara gate. Eventually the devidasi's open the Simha-dvara gate but they then shut the next gate, the Jaya Vijaya gate. During this time a dialogue of songs goes on between the dayitas and devidasis. Laksmi chastises Jagannatha for leaving Her behind. Lord Jagannatha agrees to give Her many gifts if She will open the door and let Him in. Finally Laksmi allows Him to enter.

After the festival, the carts arc broken up yearly and the wood is made into sacred relics. A new set of charts is made each year.

Dayita Servants of Lord Jagannatha

 

Lord Jagannatha has a number of stalwart servants known as dayitas. The word dayita means one who has received the mercy of the Lord - These servants do not come from very high-caste families (brahmanas, ksatriyas or vaiyas), but because they are engaged in the service of the Lord,  they have been elevated to a respected position. These servants of I.ord Jagannatha take care of the Lord from the day of Snana-yatra up to the time the Lord is carried from the throne to the Ratha cart.

In the Ksetra-mahatmya these dayitas, are said to come from the sabaras, a caste that keeps and sells pigs. Among the dayitas there are many who come from the brahmana caste. The dayitas that come from the brahmana families are called dayita-patis, or leaders of the dayitas. The dayita-patis do food offerings to Lord Jagannatha during anavasara.

It is said that in the beginning Lord Jagannatha was worshiped by the sabaras and was known as the Deity Nila Madhava. Later, when the Deity was established in the temple, the Lord became known as Jagannatha. Because the Deities were taken from the sabaras, all the sabara devotees were elevated lo the position of dayitas.

 

Beginning Ceremonies Before the Actual Rathayatra

 

Snana Yatra is when the main Deities are bathed. Snana means "bathing." This is done on Jyestha Purnima- The main Deities along with Sudarsana are bought to the snana mandapa (a plat¬form in front of the temple). Around mid-day 108 pots of water are poured on the Deities from a sacred well which is dear to the goddess Sitala. An emissary of the king of Orissa ceremonially sweeps the platform. Then elephant-head masks are put on the Deities. This is their Ganesh vesha. The Deities are then offered cooked food and an arati is perform. This is the only time in a year thai the public can see a food offering to the Deities. The Deities go back into the temple in a procession and stay in se¬clusion for 15 days. The Deities are placed in a semi-reclining position in the hallway between the inner and outer sanctum.

The word Anavasara is used when Shri Jagannathaji cannot be seen in the temple. After the bathing ceremony. Lord Jagan¬natha is supposed to become sick. He is therefore removed to His private apartment. During the Anavasara festival, it is said that Lord Jagannatha suffers from fever; and is offered an infu¬sion of drugs represented by fruit juice. The dayita servants take care of Lord Jagannatha from the time of Snana Yatra up to the time the Lord is carried from His throne to the Ratha car. They sleep and stay with the Deities.

This 15 day resting and renovation period is also called Nibhrita, in honor of the solitary place where the Supreme goddess of fortune lives. Lord Jagannatha lives there in seclusion enjoying svakiya rasa in the company of His wife, Laksmi. Then He asks Her permission lo leave and comes out for His Rathayatra chariot festival.

The body of Lord Jagannatha having been washed needs re¬painting. This is known as Anga-Raga. This is done by the daityas. It takes about two weeks to complete the painting of Lord Jagannatha's body. The renovation festival is also called Nava-Yauvana, which indicates that the Jagannatha Deity is being fully restored to youth.

Netrotsava (Reappearance) is when after two weeks absence, Lord Jagannatha reappears. At sunrise, fifteen days after the bathing ceremony the Deities have recovered from their cold and are placed in front of the inner sanctum in a reclining posi¬tion. They have been totally repainted, except their eyes. At this time the eyes of the Deities are painted by their respective priests and the normal worship in the temple is resumed, except the Deities are still reclining.

 

Meaning of Rathayatra Festival

 

After giving up the company of the gopis in Vrindavana, Shri Krishna, the son of Maharaja Nanda, engaged in His pastimes in Dwarka. When Krishna went to Kurnksetra on the occasion of a solar eclipse. He was accompanied by His brother, Lord Balarama, and sister Subhadra, and others from Dwarka. At Kuruksetra Krishna again met the inhabitants of Vrindavana including Shrimati Radharani and the gopis, who wanted to take Him back to Vrindavana. The gopis ofVrindavana did not like the opulence of Dwarka. They wanted to take Krishna to the village of Vrindavana and enjoy His company in the groves.

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself assuming the part of Shrimati Radharani in order to understand Krishna. Lord Jagannatha is Krishna and Shri Chaitanya is Radharani. Lord Cai¬tanya leading Lord Jagannatha toward the Gundica Temple cor¬responded to Shrimali Radharani's leading Krishna toward Vrindavana.

Shri Ksetra, Jagannatha Puri, was taken as the kingdom of Dwarka, the place where Krishna enjoys supreme opulence. However. He was being led by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Vrindavana (represented by the Gundicha Temple), the simple village where all the inhabitants are filled with ecstatic love for Krishna. Jagannatha Puri, is a place of richly opulent pastimes (aisvarya-lila) just, as Vrindavana is the place of intimate conjugal pas¬times (mnadhurya). (Chaitanya Caritamrita Madhya Chap. 13)

 

Lord Chaitanya Dances before Lord Jagannatha's Cart

 

Lord Chaitanya would sing before the cart, "I have gotten that Lord of My life for whom I was burning in the fire of lusty de¬sires. That very personality who stole away my heart during My youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers it there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, but I am not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the banks of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. Thai is my desire." (Chaitanya Caritamrita Madhya chap. 13)                   

When the Lord Himself wanted to dance, all seven kirtana parties joined together. Lord Jagannatha was very pleased by the sankirtana, and He brought His car to a standstill just lo see the performance. Lord Chaitanya appeared like a circling fire¬brand, and while dancing and jumping the whole earth, with its hills and seas, appeared to tilt.

Transcendental ecstatic love for Krishna caused blissful changes in the body of Shri Chaitanya; hairs standing on end. He perspired, cried, trembled and changed color. When Lord Cait¬anya fell down with a crash while dancing, He would roll on the ground. At such times it appeared that a golden mountain was rolling on the ground. With hands outstretched. Lord Nityananda would run behind the Lord to catch Him.

As Lord Jagannatha's chariot proceeded along the Temple Road toward the Gundica Temple, Lord Chaitanya became more and more ecstatic. To protect the Lord from the crowds, the devotees formed three circles around the Lord. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu danced and jumped high, eight wonderful trans formations of divine ecstasy were seen in His body. All these symptoms were visible simultaneously. Experiencing deep ec¬static love, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would display further trans¬formations including: goose pimples, chattering of teeth, perspi¬ration and blood oozing from His whole body. Indeed, the people became afraid just to see His teeth chatter, and they even thought that His teeth would fall out.. He would make sounds like, "Jaja, gaga, jaja, gaga." Tears shooting like a syringe would wet the onlookers. His complexion turned pink, and His hands and legs became hard like dry wood.

Sometimes He appeared stunned, and sometimes He rolled on the ground. Indeed sometime His legs and hands became as hard as dry wood. and He did not move. When the Lord fell on the ground, sometimes His breathing almost stopped- When the devotees saw this, their lives also became very feeble. Water flowed from His eyes and sometimes through His nostrils, and foam fell from His mouth.

Hera Pancami Festival

 

Lord Jagannatha has left His wife, the goddess of fortune, and gone to Vrindavana, which is Gundica temple. Laksmi, the consort of Lord Jagannatha is left behind at the Jagannatha Temple. Due to separation from the Lord, the goddess of for¬tune decides to come to see the Lord at Gundica. She is so upset that She eats only simple food and moves to the storeroom of the temple.

When Lord Jagannatha starts His car festival. He gives assur¬ance to the goddess of fortune thai He will return the next day. When He does not return, the goddess of fortune, after waiting two or three days, begins to feel that her husband has neglected her. This displeases Her greatly. She naturally becomes quite angry.

Five days after the beginning of the Rathayatra festival, on the sixth day of the bright fortnight of Asadha, Laksmi goes to the Gundica temple carried on a palanquin. In an angry mood, the goddess of fortune arrives al the main gate of the temple. When She arrives her servitors, the devidasis confront the head dayita and sing the Hera Pancami songs while pulling at the lower edge of the dayita's dhoti. The song expresses Laksmi anger. One of the devidasis then breaks a piece of Lord Jagannatha's cart.

The word hera means "to see" and refers to the goddess of fortune going to see Lord Jagannatha. The word pancami means "the fifth day" and is used because this festival lakes place on the fifth day of the moon,

 

NAVAKALEVARA

 

Navakalevara is when Lord Jagannatha, Balarama, Subhadra and Sudarsana get new bodies. This ceremony occurs when there is a double Asarha in a year. This usually happens every 8, 11, or 19 years. Navakalevara means "the new embodiment." The cer¬emony is intricate and some parts of the ritual are very secret. This ceremony is not open to the general public. Even the priests only know the rites that they personally perform.

First the temple priest must have a dream in which it is re¬vealed to him the location of the tree from which the Deities will be carved. The village where the tree is located must correspond with predictions that are in the palm lead scroll Niladri-mahadaya. The tree must be neem and it must be near a temple of Siva and three other trees: varuan, sahada and bilva. The tree must have no less than three branches and no more than four branches. The four symbols of Vishnu-conch, club, disc and lotus-must be present on the trunk of the tree.

When the tree is found a fire sacrifice is performed. The tree is then chopped down with a golden ax. It is then brought back to the temple where the daityas carve the new Deities.

A certain class of temple priest called Datta Mahapatra, smear the Deities bodies with seven layers of various substances which include sandalwood paste, rice paste, oil and red cloth. The Deities are then painted. The old Deities are buried with a full funeral ceremony and the daityas observe a mourning period because their relatives have left this world.

 

CHANDANA YATRA

 

Chandana Yatra is when the processional Deities have a boat ride after they are bathed in sandalwood scented water. The fes¬tival is 42 days long. The first 21 days are called Baha Chandan. During these days Rama, Krishna, Madana Mohana, Laksmi, and Saraswati are taken on boat rides on the Narendra Tank. The last 21 days are called Bhittara Chandan and the festival lakes place in the temple.

At the beginning of the winter there is a ceremony known as the Odana Sasthi Festival. From this day forward, a winter cov¬ering will be given to Lord Jagannatha.

 

SHAKSHI GOPALA TEMPLE

Journey to Puri

According to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Lord Chaitanya passed through Atisara-grama, Varaha-grama and Chatrabhoga in Bengal. In Orissa He passed through Prayaga-ghata, Suvarnarekha, Remuna, Yajapura, Vaitarani, Dasasvamedha-ghata, Kataka, Mahanadi, Bhuvaneswara, Kamalapura and Atharanala.

 

Once there were two pure brahmanas, one elderly and the other young, who were from Vidyanagara. After touring many places of pilgrimage, the two brahmanas finally reached Vrindavana. To satisfy the young brahmana for the service thai he rendered to him, the older brahmana offered him his daughter in marriage. He promised this before the Gopala Deity in Vrindavana. Some time after they returned to Vidyanagara, the young brahmana reminded the older brahmana about the promise he made. Due to family considerations, the elderly brahmana said he could not remember the promise. The younger brahmana then returned to Vrindavana and told the whole story to Gopalaji. Being obliged by the young man's devotional service Lord Gopala followed him to South India. Lord Gopalaji then became a Deity and personally testified to the promise of the eld¬erly brahmana. Thus this Deity of Sakshi Gopala is one of the most beautiful actual size Deity of Lord Gopala-Krishna. Thus the marriage was performed. The Deity was later moved to Cuttack, then to the Jagannatha Puri temple and finally to its present location. Lord Gauranga danced here. Non-Hindus are not allowed in this temple and that is strictly enforced.

 

BHUBANESWARA

 

It is the capital of Orissa state. It is said to have had 7000 temples, but now only a few hundred remain. Lord Chaitanya visited some of the temples here including the Lingaraja Temple, when he came to Puri from Navadwipa.

 

Lingaraja Temple (11th century)

 

The presiding Deity is the svayambhu linga. Hari-Hara Linga which is half Siva and half Vishnu. Also called Trihhuvaneswar, Lord of the Three Worlds. The linga of Lingaraja or Krittivasas is an uncarved block of granite 8 feet in diameter raised 8 inches above the ground. There are many other Deities in the temple. In the northeast corner of the temple there is a Deity of Parvati. The main tower is 55 meters (180 feet) high. The temple area is about 150 square meters. Tradition says that one should first visit this temple before going to Puri. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came here before going to Puri.

There is a chariot festival every April. Non-Hindus are not allowed in this temple and this rule is strictly enforced. There is a 20 foot high platform along the northern wall of the temple, from where visitors can view the temple.

Bindu-sarovara

 

It is said that Lord Siva established this as a place of pilgrim¬age by bringing water from all the holy places. Taking a bath and drinking the water of this lake is said to cure any disease of the stomach. Lord Chaitanya look bath in this lake, when he first came from Bengal to Puri. It is located right next to the Linga¬raja temple. A pilgrimage to Bhuvaneswara is supposed to start with a bath here. On the eastern bank is the Ananta Vasudeva Temple which is dedicated to Krishna and Balarama. Mukteshwar Temple (10th century) is a small and elegant temple with an 11 m (35 feet) high tower. Mukteshwara means the Lord who bestows freedom through Yoga. The Siddeswara Temple is on the same grounds and has a Ganesh Deity.

Parasurameswara Temple was a Siva temple. It is the oldest temple in Bhubaneswar and was built in the 7fh century. There are many intricate carvings on this temple. It is at the top of Tankpani Rd, near the northern edge of Bindu Sarovara Lake.

Brahmeshwar Temple was built in 1050. The Raj Rani (11 century), surrounded by a nice garden, is no longer used for worship. This temple was dedicated to Lord Brahma.

Vaital Temple is an 8th century temple dedicated to Chamunda (Kali). She wears a necklace of skulls and is sitting on a corpse.


KHIRA CHORA GOPINATHA REMUNA

 

This is where the Ksira Chora Gopinatha Temple is located. It is a small town located nine km east of Balasore (Baleshwar), about halfway between Kolkata and Puri.

 

Kshira Chora Gopinatha Temple

 

This is the Deity that stole the sweet-rice for Madhavendra Puri. Being worshipped on the altar with Shri Gopinatha are Shri Madana Mohana, Shri Govinda, Radha Rasabihari and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with Lord Jagannatha on one side and numerous Shaligram-silas on the other side. Lord Gopinatha, flanked by Govinda and Mandana-mohana are made of black stone. Gopi¬natha stands in bas-relief. Govinda and Madana Mohana, who were brought from Vrindavana about 1938 by a devotee named Chaitanya Dasa Babaji, are free standing.

You get delicious "ksira" here call Amrita-keli. The Gopinatha ksira is a preparation of condensed milk, sugar and cream, with a sprinkling of raisins. It comes in different sized pots which are personally tasted by Lord Gopinatha Himself, who stole and hid a pot of ksira out of love for Madhavendra Puri, His pure devo¬tee.

The present temple was renovated by Rasikananda, after the prior temple built by King Gajapati Maharaja Langula Deva was destroyed by Muslim invaders. Rasikananda found the Gopinatha Deity in a pond three miles from the temple, where Gopinatha was hidden, when a Muslim king tried to destroy the Deity. Rasikananda was a great pure devotee of the Lord and was the foremost disciple of Syamananda, who helped transport from Vrindavana to Bengal the writings of the Goswamis. The samadhi tomb of Rasikananda Prabhu is near the temple.

In the temple room are numerous pictures of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes, as well as a picture of the Panca Tattva over the main altar.

The pujaris bathe and dress the Deities in full view of the con¬gregated devotees every morning. Each day a few hundred pil¬grims come and about a thousand on Sunday. The temple is located about a half a kilometer from the village of Remuna. Western devotees are allowed in the temple.

During Candana yatra, the Deities are smeared with cooling sandalwood pulp (candana). The temple priests apply candana to the chest of the temple's three Krishna Deities, Madana-Mohana. Govinda and Gopinatha. On Akshaya-tritiya the Deities' entire bodies are smeared with sandalwood.

Deity Story

Over 500 years ago Madhavendra Puri was going to Puri to get some scented sandalwood to bring to his Shri Gopal Deity in Vrindavana. When he stopped at Remuna and saw Shri Gopinath, his heart was filled with devotion and joy. When he saw the deli¬cious kshira offered to the Deity he desired to taste some so he could offer the same preparation to Shri Gopal. Madhavendra Puri would only accept food that was offered to him. Because he was not offered any of the kshira he left the temple without tast¬ing it.

After finishing the worship to Gopinatha the pujari (priest) look rest. In a dream Gopinatha told him to get up and take the pot of kshira that He had hidden under His garments and to give it to Madhavendra Puri. The pujari got up and found the sweet rice and brought it to Madhavendra Puri. The pujari told him "For you Shri Gopinath has stolen kshira. There is no other fortunate man like you in the three worlds." (Cc) This is how the Deity got the name Kshira Chora (thief) Gopinatha.

Madhavendra Puri established an Ashram in Remuna and stayed there for some time. The wooden sandals of Madhaven¬dra Puri are worshiped in this Ashram.

When Lord Chaitanya came here, flowers from the body of the Deity fell down on His head. Shri Chaitanya then danced in overwhelming joy.

 

SHRILA MADHAVENDRA PURI AND
RASIKANANDA PRABHU’S SAMADHI

 

In the area is the samadhi of Madhavendra Puri (2 minutes from the temple), the samadhi of Rasikananda Prabhu (inside the Gopinatha Temple compound), and a Siva temple where Gargamumi is said to have had his ashram, Near the Gopinatha temple is a Jagannatha temple and a few other temples.

 

SHRILA BHAKTISIDDHANTA PRABHUPADA’S BIRTHPLACE

 

There is a Gaudiya Math temple here. There are Jagannatha Deities here and a murti of Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja. There are also murtis of the heads of the four sampradayas. Vishnuswami, Madhvacarya, Nimbarka, and Ramanuja and a most beautiful diorama of the pastimes of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada.

 

Shri Purushottam Dham has special significance for the followers of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Long ago, Shrila Vyasa Deva predicted that this would be the center from which devotion to Krishna would spread out to the four corners of the world - hy utkale puruSottamAt. For the disciples of the Gaudiya Math, this is true not only because Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spent half His life here relishing the Holy Name in divine ecstasy, but also because Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur took birth here. Shrila Prabhupada himself founded the Purushottam Math in Gaurbat Sahi, next door to Tota Gopinath.

 

All the unique features of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes were fully revealed in Puri Dhama. This is why the incarnation of Gauranga’s mercy, Shrila Bhaktisiddanta Prabhupada, decided to begin his worldly pastimes in that holy place. Puri remained very dear to Shrila Prabhupada’s heart throughout his life. His last visit to Puri took place not long before his disappearance. In fact, he only left the Shri Purushottam Math on the ocean beach in Puri on the morning of December 7, 1936, twenty-four days before concluding his pastimes.

 

In the years since his disappearance, many of his disciples and grand-disciples from all over the world have established maths and temples that beautify the town and increase its glories and the glories of the saints whose line they honor. In this chapter, we will name a few of them and, as far as possible, tell some of their history.

 

To the south of the Narayan Chata math is the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, which marks the birthplace of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and his family resided there from 1870-1874, while he was Deputy Collector and Magistrate. The house that was here belonged to the rich Calcutta businessman, Ramachandra Arhya, who built it on land leased from the Dakshin Parshwa Math.

 

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, who grew up to become the founder of the Chaitanya Math and the worldwide Gaudiya Maths, appeared here at 3:30 on Friday, February 6, 1874, on the Krishna Panchami of Magh. The effulgent and beautiful child was born to Bhagavati Devi while Bhaktivinoda Thakur and the other members of the household sang the names of the Lord. Everyone was amazed to see the child’s umbilical cord wrapped around his body like a sacred thread. His parents gave him the name Bimala Prasad in honor of Lord Jagannath’s divine energy, Bimala Devi.

 

Bimala Prasad was six months old when the Rathayatra festival was held. That year, by Lord Jagannath’s desire, the cart stopped directly in front of Bhaktivinoda’s house and remained motionless there for three whole days. Under Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s direction, a kirtan festival was held in front of the Deity for this entire three-day period. During one of these days, when the six-month old baby was brought before Jagannath in the arms of his mother, he grabbed Jagannath’s feet and took the garland from around His neck. The child’s first solid food was Lord Jagannath’s prasad.

 

Bimala Prasad only remained in Purushottam Kshetra for ten months, but he returned many times in his devotional career, both to engage in bhajan as well as to establish the Shri Purushottam Math in 1922.

 

Madhava Maharaj recuperates the house

 

This house where Saraswati Thakur was born was reclaimed in 1974 by His Grace Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj (1904-1979) after arduous efforts and now houses a Chaitanya Gaudiya Math with a beautiful temple building.

 

One of Siddhanta Saraswati’s leading disciples, H.H. Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaj (1904-1978), often discussed recovering the site of his spiritual master’s holy appearance with his godbrothers, but most of them were unable to see how the dream could be realized, as there seemed to be insuperable difficulties in acquiring the property. Since Madhava Maharaj had served in the Chaitanya Math until 1954, he at first tried to encourage Bhakti Vilasa Tirtha Maharaj to spearhead the attempt to recover the holy site. In 1965, they together wrote to the then Chief Minister of Orissa, Sadasiba Tripathi, and met with him and the Endowment Commissioner, Biren Mitra.

 

The Dakshin Parshwa Math was the owner of the land, but the Mahanta had leased it to the Arhya family for 99 years. Around this time, this lease expired and the Dakshin Parshwa Math began legal proceedings to recover its rights over the property. The case went from the lower courts all the way up to the Supreme Court with the final judgment declared in favor of the Math, allowing them to reclaim everything. Unfortunately the fourteen or fifteen tenants who had occupied the premises for a long time refused entry to the sadhus of the Math. These complications discouraged most of the Gaudiya Math devotees, except for Madhava Maharaj who continued to persevere.

 

Eventually the Mahanta of the Dakshin Parshwa Math gave up hope that he would be able to evict the tenants. He decided to sell the property with the tenants still in it. These complications discouraged most of the Gaudiya Math institutions from getting involved, with the exception of Madhava Maharaj, who continued to take an interest. When the Dakshin Parshwa Math offered to sell, Ranganath Mishra advised Madhava Maharaj to buy the building, despite the problem presented by the presence of tenants.

 

In Orissa, no property held in the name of a Deity (devottara) can change hands without the express permission of Orissa Hindu Religious Endowments Commission. With the cooperation of the Dakshin Parshwa Math, this permission was granted on 28 June 1973. Many people were involved in this process, including Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj, who had to make frequent visits to Endowments Commission, the Dakshin Parshwa Math and the lawyers’ chambers.

 

The process was not easy - before the Endowments Commission rendered its decision, another branch of the Gaudiya Math presented presented papers to the Dakshin Parshwa Math making a competing claim on the property. They had the support of the Governor, B. D. Jatti, and many other prominent citizens. Madhava Maharaj was in Amritsar at the time, but hurried back to Cuttack to put out the fire.

 

An appointment was arranged for Madhava Maharaj to meet Governor Jatti on Saturday 26 May, 9:15 a.m., but upon reaching the Raj Bhavan, they saw the Governor about to leave in the midst of security police. Maharaj immediately jumped out of his taxi, prompting Governor Jatti to stop his car and come forward to pay pranams, to the great consternation of the security staff.

 

The Governor learned then of the appointment for the first time. He put aside his other plans and spoke with Madhava Maharaj. Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj writes of the incident, “No one could resist the force of Shrila Gurudeva’s demeanor and divine personality. After speaking to him, the Governor soon came to realize that the opposing parties’ claims against Shrila Gurudeva had to be false.”

 

This was not the last hurdle that had to be overcome, however. The competing claimants attempted to stay the permission to transfer the property to the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, but were defeated in court. Once gaining the permanent lease to the property, however, Madhava Maharaj still had to face the problem of tenants who had no intention of moving. Court battles again followed and the members of the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math were obliged to camp in a room on the opposite side of the Grand Road.

 

When a tenant finally vacated, devotees were finally able to move into one room in the building. This took place on 15 December 1974, when Madhava Maharaj and a few bhaktas entered, carrying an oil painting of Shrila Prabhupada and joyfully chanting the Holy Names in sankirtan.

 

The situation with the recalcitrant tenants did not improve and even degenerated to physically intimidation. Nevertheless, construction work was started on a two-storey residence for the devotees of the Math. H. H. Bhakti Kumud Santa Maharaj of the Chaitanya Ashram in Gaurbat Sahi provided help and support to Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj, the secretary of the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, who was charged with supervising the construction work.

 

Finally, the resistance of the tenants broke down and from the end of 1977 to the beginning of 1978, they vacated the premises one by one. Except for a single tenant in the northern corner, they all left the house. The holy site of the birthplace of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur was inaugurated in glory and splendor, with Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj officiating, on Tuesday, 28 February 1978. Unfortunately, Madhava Maharaj disappeared not long afterward the same year.

 

Of these successful efforts to reclaim the founder-acharya’s birthplace, B. B. Tirtha Maharaj writes: “If one is sincere, then by the grace of the Guru, the Vaishnavas and the Supreme Lord, one can acquire the right to perform any type of seva. Shrila Vishwanath Chakravarti tells a parable to this effect in his commentary on the Gita: There once was a sparrow who lived by the seashore. On the beach, the tiny bird lay a clutch of eggs, so small that they were hardly perceptible to the eye. They meant everything to the sparrow and she would constantly fly around them.

 

“One day, while the sparrow was away seeking food, the swollen and foaming sea washed over the eggs and swept them away. When the tiny bird returned and discovered what had happened, she was overwhelmed with grief. She learned of the cruel role the sea had played in this tragedy from the other birds. The tiny bird repeatedly begged the sea to return her eggs, but the sea did not heed her cry.

 

“The sparrow then made a vow to dry up the entire ocean. She repeatedly dove into the sea and brought water back to the land in her beak. The birds and other animals tried to persuade the sparrow to desist, but she would listen to no one.

 

“Narada Goswami, who knows all languages, came to know of the sparrow’s impossible ambition and he too tried to restrain her. She respectfully bowed to Narada, but wanted to know why the sea would not return her eggs, since she had done nothing wrong. If she got her eggs back, she would, of course, immediately stop taking the water away.

 

“Seeing the tiny bird’s determination, Narada was filled with compassion and, by the power of his will alone, reached Garuda, the carrier of Vishnu, in heaven. He purposefully provoked the divine bird, Garuda, ‘While you are cavorting here in heaven, I am hearing on earth that birds have no brains. Why is that?’

 

“Garuda wanted to know what he would have to do to dispel this idea. Narada asked him to see to it that the distraught bird got its eggs back. Immediately, Garuda flew angrily down to Earth and began fanning the sea with his mighty wings. The fury of their tremendous impact made the sea very afraid. In fear, the ocean personified came and stood before Garuda with palms joined in entreaty. Garuda thundered that he would not tolerate any insult to the birds and that the eggs of the sparrow would have to be returned. The frightened sea searched around for the eggs and returned them to the sparrow.

 

“The tiny bird was not strong but its perseverance and determination won the compassion of Narada and the grace of Garuda. Thus, the impossible was made possible.”

 

The Chaitanya Gaudiya Math in Jagannath Puri particularly observes the Niyam Seva period, or month of Karttik. They also have annual festivals at the time of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati’s appearance day and during the Rathayatra.

 

(adapted from B. B. Tirtha Maharaj's biography of Madhava Maharaj).

 

SHRILA BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA’S BHAKTI KUTI

 

This is the most holy place where Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu personally instructed Seventh Goswami Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura in a vision to perform bhajana and spread the Holy Names by residing here. This wonderful Bhakti Kuti where both Seventh Goswami Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada performed bhajana was right next to Haridasa Samadhi but now it is been made into a restaurant. There is a temple is on the first floor.

Next to the Satasan Math near the Swarga Dwar is Bhakti Kuti, where Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur lived on and off from 1900-1910, after retiring from government service.

 

On the outside wall is a marble plaque with the following verse written by Bhaktivinoda Thakur himself:

 

gaura-prabhoH prema-vilAsa-bhUmau

niSkincano bhakti-vinoda-nAmA

ko’pi sthito bhakti-kuTIra-koSThe

smRtvAnizaM nAma-guNaM murAreH

 

In order to remember the names and qualities of Krishna Murari, he who is known as Bhaktivinoda has given up everything to come here to the land of Lord Gauranga’s pastimes, taking shelter of a room in this cottage of devotion (Bhakti Kuti).

In 1903, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati regularly read and give discourses on Chaitanya Charitamrita here in the presence of the Thakur. The famous Radha Raman Charan Das Babaji also came to visit Bhaktivinoda Thakur during this time and they discussed devotional doctrines together.

 

Another famous Vaishnava who visited Bhaktivinoda Thakur at Bhakti Kuti was the Raja of Cossim Bazaar, Manindra Chandra Nandi, who lived in a tent on the seashore and took instruction in devotional service from the Thakur.

 

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur established the Purushottam Gaudiya Math in the Bhakti Kuti in 1922 and devotees stayed here until the construction of the new temple in 1931.

 

However, in the course of time, the Orissan government came into possession of Bhaktivinoda Thakur's house and property. They were put up for auction in 199x and came into the hands of the disciples of Shrila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and has become a branch of ISKCON. It is now a branch math of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Unfortunately, the original building constructed by Bhaktivinoda Thakur in 1902 was in such bad shape that it had to be razed and a new building constructed in its place.

 

SHRILA BHAKTISIDDHANTA &
SHRILA BHAKTIVINODA IN PURI DHAMA

 

Please note that in this article Shrila Prabhupada means Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada since it is compiled the devotees of Gaudiya Math.

 

Shri Purushottam Math

Saraswati Thakur first established the Shri Purushottam Math at Bhakti Kuti on June 9, 1922, installing a deity of Gauranga Mahaprabhu. He instituted an annual memorial festival at the Math in honor of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Shrila Gadadhar Pandit Goswami, whose residence at Tota Gopinath is just next door. On July 17, 1931, he set the foundations for the new temple of the Purushottam Math on land that had been donated by the Maharaj of Mayurbhanj.

 

The Shri Purushottam Math is currently a branch of the Gaudiya Mission, whose headquarters are at the Bagh Bazaar Gaudiya Math in Calcutta. Service to the deities is being carried out in an effulgent manner, and a new guest house was recently built.

 

At present there are nine buildings which include, the temple proper, the kirtan mandap, two guest houses, a long building that includes an office and the bhajan kutirs of Shripad Audulomi Maharaja and Shripad Bhakti Prasad Puri Maharaja (Ananta Vasudeva Prabhu), a kitchen, a small goshala, a building where most of the Math residents stay and, on top of a hill, the somewhat dilapidated bhajan kutir of Shrila Saraswati Thakur himself.

 

The devotees here sing many nice bhajans for several hours each morning. As part of their morning sadhana they daily circumambulate Shrila Saraswati Thakur's bhajan kutir while singing, "Jaya Radha Jaya Krishna Jaya Vrindavan..."

 

Things have recently been picking up for this important temple. More funds have come from donors and they have rebuilt and expanded the guesthouse facility. They also plan on re-modeling the bhajan kutir of Shrila Bhakti Prasad Puri Maharaja and making it very nice.

 

I have heard that originally the Math owned a great deal of property but the government took over some of it and have built the present large water tower which stands just due south of the Math.

 

Shrila Prabhupada in Purushottam Dhama in 1936

(from Gaudiya magazine, 14.35, 541-545)

 

At 2 o’clock in the afternoon of Sunday, March 29, 1936, Shrila Prabhupada left Cuttack for Puri. He was accompanied by Vasudeva Prabhu, Krishna Kanti Bhakti Kusum, Paramananda Vidyaratna, Sajjanananda Brahmachari, Sundarananda Vidyavinoda and others.

 

At about 5.30 in the afternoon, Shrila Prabhupada arrived at the Puri station where the aged Radha Govinda Das Babaji Maharaj, Tridandi Swami Bhakti Prasun Bodhayan Maharaj, Gadadhar Das Adhikari Bhakti Suhrit, Udaya Babu and many other devotees from the Puri area greeted and garlanded him. The abbot of Puri’s Uttara Parshwa Math, the venerable Govinda Ramanuja Dasji, sent his new motor car to the station, bedecked with flower garlands, as a way of honoring the glorious sun of the Gaudiya Vaishnava world. This is just one of many instances where the abbot has shown his respect for Shrila Prabhupada.

 

Hanuman Khuntia, a worthy descendant of Mahaprabhu’s associate Kanai Khuntia, was among the first to greet Shrila Prabhupada once he had arrived at the Purushottam Gaudiya Math. Shrila Prabhupada was pleased with Shri Khuntia for his deep faith, the great friendship he has shown the residents of the Math, and for the help he has given to further the preaching of Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s gospel. Shrila Prabhupada talked with Khuntia Mahashay for some time, telling him about his various preaching activities and particularly about the meeting he had had in Cuttack with the Diwan (chief minister) of the Cuttack princely state.

 

The Diwan had been impressed by the transcendental diorama exhibition held in Calcutta, and asked that Shrila Prabhupada organize one of the sort for the spiritual education of the people of Cuttack, for such things had never been seen there before. Hanuman Khuntia was excited by the idea of holding such an exhibit in Puri as well.

 

The purpose of Shrila Prabhupada’s arrival at the Purushottam Math was to initiate construction of a temple for Shrimati Radharani on the Chatak Parvat. At present, three buildings adorn the Math grounds creating a beautiful sight on the beach: Chatak Kutir, Bodhayan Kutir, and the temple dedicated to the spiritual masters in the disciplic succession, Gaura-Gadadhara, and Vinoda Madhava. One can get a good view of the ocean from everywhere in Purushottam Gaudiya Math because of its high placement on the dunes.

 

Of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas’ three beloved deities, Madan Mohan, who presides over sambandha-jnana, is already present in Puri as Jagannath Deva. Similarly, Gopinath, who presides over the prayojana-tattva, is present at Tota Gopinath, Gadadhar Pandit’s place of residence just nearby. Now our worshipable Shrila Prabhupada has been encouraging his disciples to establish a temple to Radha Govinda, the presiding deities of the abhidheya-tattva. This is especially important to Shrila Prabhupada, the stalwart representative of Rupa Goswami in our time, because Govinda was Shri Rupa’s own personal chosen deity. In order to insure that the work starts very soon, Prabhupada came accompanied by his disciples Amritananda Sevavilasa, Paramananda Vidyaratna, and other disciples experienced in construction.

 

At present, there is one other construction project already going on at the Math, a residence called Sadhu Nivasa, facing the Bodhayan Kutir. Shrila Prabhupada has created several groups of devotees to preach the message of Bhaktivinoda Thakur by singing his songs in the villages of Orissa. As a result, whenever news of Shrila Prabhupada’s arrival spread through these villages, many devotees, respectable citizens and important people come to Cuttack and then Puri for his darshan. Shrila Prabhupada has therefore ordered that a guest house and kirtan hall be constructed in both places.

 

The devotees have made a garden in front of the Math where various fruits and vegetables, as well as Tulasi Devi, are grown for the service of the deities and the devotees. Yadu Gopal Adhikari (Yadumani Babu) works tirelessly in the garden to keep everything growing. Shrila Prabhupada named the garden "Ananda Bag," because it gives all devotees pleasure), or "Yadumani Bag," because it brings pleasure to the Lord of the Yadu dynasty, Shri Krishna.

 

One elderly monk, Shri Radha Govinda Das Babaji Maharaj, has been preaching the Maha Mantra beloved of Gaura-Nitai and served constantly by Hari Das Thakur. Babaji Mahasaya is a senior Vaishnava and sincere servant of Shrila Prabhupada. He is particularly well-versed in the Bhagavatam and Vaishnava philosophy. Babaji Maharaj distributes prasadi sweet rice in the residential neighborhoods of Puri and gets even the little boys and girls to sing the sixteen names and thirty-two syllables of the Maha Mantra. There is little doubt that everyone who hears the nectarean chanting from his lips will be purged of the poison of all the various recently-fabricated rhyming verses that are being sung throughout Orissa instead of the Maha Mantra.

 

Tridandi Swami Bhakti Prasun Bodhayan Maharaj, Shripada Gadadhar Das Adhikari, Phenapananda Brahmachari and other devotees have also taken Shrila Prabhupada’s orders seriously and are attempting to preach Hari katha from door to door in Puri. On March 29th and 31st, Swamiji spoke on Krishna lila with a slide show in the home of Ray Bahadur Girish Chandra Das in Chakra Tirtha. On April 1, he did the same in the house of Satya Das Goswami and on April 2, in the house of the zamindar Hemendra Nath Ray Chaudhuri.

 

In the evening, Shrila Prabhupada listened to his disciples sing the songs of Narottama Das Thakur and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur in the Chatak Kutir. Shrila Prabhupada created sankirtan associations as a preliminary step to preaching the philosophy of devotion through these songs. He himself especially relished hearing Ananta Vasudeva Brahmachari sing songs like amala harinAma amiya vilAsA from GitAvali and

 

rAdhA bhajane jadi mati nAhi bhelA

kRSNa-bhajana tava akAraN gelA

 

“If you have no appreciation for worshiping Radharani, then you have frittered away your chance to worship Krishna.” (Gitavali, Radhashtaka, 8)

 

On the morning of April 1, the topic of Raghunath Das Babaji of Hati Akhra, a renounced Vaishnava who lived at the time of Bhaktivinoda Thakur, came up. At the time that Bhaktivinoda Thakur started preaching in Puri, this Raghunath Das opposed his publicly giving discourse on the Bhagavatam since he had not been initiated. Raghunath Das was subsequently attacked by fever and the blessed by a dream, in which Lord Jagannath appeared and told him that he would be cured by medicine given him by Bhaktivinoda Thakur.

 

Raghunath Das sent a message to the Thakur, who, in the true Vaishnava spirit, came humbly and respectfully to visit him. On his arrival, Raghunath Das said, “You have come. I know that most magistrates (hakim) would normally never come to see a person like me because they think, ha kim? (“Who on earth is he?”). In other words, “I am really something great and this other person is a nobody.”

 

Raghunath Das then spoke with Bhaktivinoda Thakur for some time and his previous opinion of him completely changed. Raghunath Das’ fever dissipated soon thereafter and from then on he held Bhaktivinoda Thakur in great esteem for the rest of his days. Of course, the sight of a great devotee can cure us of our material disease and give us pure love for Krishna, so this is only a small indication of Bhaktivinoda Thakur's glory.

 

It is said that this Raghunath Das was formerly a Naga sannyasi who later came into contact with Bhagavan Das Babaji of Kalna, by whose grace he was converted to Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

 

On April 2, Ray Bahadur Girish Chandra Das came to the Purushottam Math to see Shrila Prabhupada. Shrila Prabhupada told him about the five kinds of eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord Krishna. If we use Hari kirtan or transcendental sound in any way to promote our mundane relationships with other human beings or any kind of other material relationships, then inauspiciousness is the result.

 

In the course of his talk, Shrila Prabhupada discussed the difference between the Chaitanya Bhagavata and the Chaitanya Charitamrita in their accounts of Mahaprabhu’s life. In the Chaitanya Mangala and Chaitanya Bhagavata, the emphasis is on Mahaprabhu’s supreme divinity and transcendence, while in the Chaitanya Charitamrita, Mahaprabhu’s true personality and His personal message for humanity are described in a most fascinating way. The limits of transcendence for those who are speculating on the basis of their mundane sense perception is the undifferentiated absolute. But in the divine transcendence there is a superhuman charm that leads the individual to eternally serve the supreme object of service.

 

Shrila Prabhupada continued to discuss how the Supreme Person is complete (pUrNa), more complete (pUrNatara) and most complete (pUrNatama). He is complete as Maha Vishnu or Narayan, in which form he displays 60 godly qualities. In the more complete form known as the svayaM prakAza, he has 62 such qualities. The most complete form is called svayaM rUpa, and there he has 64 transcendental qualities.

 

Shrila Prabhupada used mathematics and astrological calculations to explain the significance of the numbers 60 and 64 in relation to completeness.

 

After coming to Purushottam, Shrila Prabhupada glorified Gadadhar Pandit Goswami for several days. This is appropriate as he is non-different from Gadadhar. Shrila Prabhupada said, “We are surrendered to Gadadhar Pandit. Shrila Pandit Goswami used to speak on the Bhagavatam to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his associates on the banks of the Narendra Sarovar. Therefore, we should soon soon establish the Bhagavata Asan or Bhagavata Khanda on the part of the Purushottam Gaudiya Math property that borders the Tota Gopinath temple. There, the discussion and culture of the Shrimad Bhagavatam will go on constantly.

 

In the morning of April 3, Shrila Prabhupada’s scholar disciple, Gaura Das Brahmachari came from Kashi Dhama, and Prof. Nishi Kanta Sanyal, M.A., came from Cuttack to visit their spiritual master. As soon as Shrila Prabhupada saw them, he said, “Both of you are manifestations of Gadadhar Pandit, so you should always remain here in Puri and discuss the Bhagavatam.”

 

Shrila Prabhupada said that since Mahaprabhu and His associates disappeared from this world, two greatly destructive ideas about the Lord have arisen in Orissa. One is that the preaching of devotion to Lord Vishnu resulted in the weakening of the Orissan empire. The second is the ignorant attempt of a certain Pandit to minimize the supremacy of Shrimati Radharani’s sweet loving service in favor of the majestic type of devotion. Prabhupada said that just as there is a stillness after a storm, so after this storm of false ideas, there will once again be peace when the ideas of divine love taught by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spread.

 

The statement utkale puruSottamAt means that Mahaprabhu’s message of divine love will spread well beyond Orissa’s borders, but that the whole world will take an interest in the doctrine of the Purushottam that is held in Orissa. It means that the teachings of Ramananda, in which the sweetness of Radharani’s service to the Lila Purushottam is supreme above all other spiritual achievements, will be preached throughout the world.

 

Just as devotees came to Nilachala from all over to take shelter of Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet and in order to preach his message, so too, with the coming of Mahaprabhu’s dear associate, Shrila Prabhupada, devotees came from Bengal, Assam, Orissa, from the West and from the South just to hear Mahaprabhu’s message.

 

Nishi Kanta Sanyal and Pandit Gauri Das Brahmachari were not the only ones to arrive on April 3. At midday, Tirupati’s Subregistrar Pantulugaru Y. Jagannathan, Bhakti Tilaka, B.A., arrived at his acharya’s lotus feet. Bhakti Tilak Mahashay is a highly educated Brahmin from Andhra. He has translated Chaitanya Sikshamrita into Telegu and all the songs of Sharanagati into Telegu verse. He is a good speaker and writer in both English and Telegu. Besides him, many other devotees came from Orissa, Bengal and western India in order to participate in the 100-day kirtan festival. We have heard that the two German devotees will also be coming from Mayapur.

 

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta's last visit to Puri

 

About two months before entering his eternal abode, Shrila Prabhupada went to Puri. He stayed there at his bhajan kutir near the beach. To all those who came to see him, he gave the warning: “Get busy and worship the Lord undeviatingly. Not much time is left.”

 

His disciples heard him constantly repeat the verses of Rupa Goswami’s first Govardhanashtakam and those of Raghunatha Das’s Govardhana-vasa-prarthana-dashakam.

 

Mahaprabhu Himself used to see Govardhan in the sand dunes by the ocean, and the Yamuna River in the blue waters of the ocean itself. For Him, the gardens in Puri were Vrindavan itself. Overwhelmed with the loving mood of Radha, Gaurasundara was day and night absorbed in the separation from Krishna, uttering the words:

 

kAhAn mora prANanAtha muralI-vadana

kAhAn karon kAhAn pAn vrajendra-nandana

kAhAre kahiba kebA jAne mora duHkha

vrajendra-nandana binu phATe mora buka

 

“Where is the Lord of my life, Krishna, the flute player? What can I do to find him? Where is the son of Maharaja Nanda? To whom can I speak to of my distress? Who would understand me? Without the son of Nanda Maharaja, my heart splits in two” (CC 2.2.15-16).

With tears washing over his face, Shrila Prabhupada would also recite these verses from the Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita that revealed Mahaprabhu’s heartfelt emotions. In this way he would remain absorbed in Krishna consciousness. Shrila Prabhupada remained in his cottage amongst the Puri sand dunes for the appearance day of Madhvacharya, Govardhan Puja, and the disappearance day of Shrila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji. He announced that the refrains from the two stotras mentioned above were special mantras for worshiping Govardhan Hill:

 

pratyAzAM me tvaM kuru govardhana pUrNAm

“O Govardhana, fulfill every one of my wishes!”

 

nija-nikaTa-nivAsaM dehi govardhana tvam

“O Govardhana, please give me residence somewhere near to you!”

 

Shrila Prabhupada left Puri for the last time on December 7, 1936, twenty-four days before his disappearance.

 

The Final Days, 1936

 

          On October 24th, 1936, Shrila Prabhupada bade farewell to Shrimad Bhakti Sharanga Goswami Maharaj and sent him to preach in England and then in America. At this time Shrila Prabhupada blessed him and gave him shalagrama-shila, gomati-shila, and govardhan-shila. That same day Shrila Prabhupada set forth from Calcutta for Puri Dham. He arrived the following day with many of his disciples accompanying him. Among them were Shripad Bhakti Rakshak Shridhar Maharaj, Shripad Kunjavihari Prabhu, Shripad Hayagriva Das Brahmachari (later Shrimad Bhakti Dayita Madhav Maharaj), Shripad Paramananda Vidyaratna, and Shripad Sajjananda Brahmachari.

          Many devotees came to the train station to welcome Shrila Prabhupada, and they brought a decorated car for him. When Shrila Prabhupad arrived at the Purushottam Math, a big crowd was assembled there to have his darshan.

          Shrila Prabhupada seemed to be in a meditative mood of deep devotion in Puri. He showed transcendental symptoms of divine ecstasy. From time to time he would tell the devotees, “It is in this life that we have to serve our Lord, so we can gain eternal service at the lotus feet of our eternal Lord. We should not waste any time!”

          People started coming from all directions to hear Shrila Prabhupada. Shrila Prabhupada expressed his desire to celebrate the Annakuta festival at Chatak Pravat. There was not much time left before the festival, but his dedicated disciples made all the arrangements very quickly. The following description was printed in the Gaudiya, 15th Canto, No. 16:

 

Tridandi Swami Shrimad Bhakti Rakshak Shridhar Maharaj, Shripad Hayagriva Brahmachari, Shrimad Sajjanananda Brahmachari, and others took great care to bring sumptuous foodstuffs for the festival and to decorate the place. Sadhunivas was beautifully decorated with fruit, ?owers, mango leaves, banana trees, coconuts, and waterpots. On the altar was a very beautiful embroidered canopy. All of the way from the street to Chaöak Parvat was decorated with ?ags, banana trees, waterpots, and arches. Different foodstuffs, such as white rice, yellow rice, sweet rice, khichuri, rice pudding, chapatis, puris, and so forth were arranged in the shape of a mountain. There were other mountains of foodstuffs, such as the Bengali delicacies described in Chaitanya-charitamrita, the delicacies of Vraja described in Shri Govinda Lila, and all the favorite offerings of Lord Jagannath. Also an immeasurable amount of mahaprasad, consisting of many vegetable and grain preparations and sweets, came from the Jagannath temple. Tulasi manjaris were placed on all the offerings, and Shrila Prabhupada, singing the songs of Shri Rupa and Shri Raghunath, worshiped Shri Govardhan. The festival opened with sankirtan. Then, by Shrila Prabhupada’s instruction, Shripad Sundarananda Vidyavinod read about Shripad Madhavendra Puri’s Annakut Festival from the fourth chapter of Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila. Hundreds of people were fed mahaprasad that night, and the next morning hundreds of beggars and destitute people were fed.

 

          One day Shrila Prabhupada, sitting in his bhajan kutir, told the devotees, “All the residents of the math should always be engaged in the service of Shri Hari, Guru, and Vaishnava. They should always be engaged in hearing Hari-katha and discussing Hari-katha. If one becomes averse to hari-katha and hari-seva then one will again be entangled by one’s material desires. Then one’s time will be spent in gossiping, criticizing others, ?ghting with others and gratifying one’s senses. If the residents of the maöh do not understand that Vaishnava-seva is the most bene?cial thing, then they will not make progress in the realm of devotion. One has to cultivate one’s Krishna-consciousness by sincerely serving the Vaishnavas and by endeavoring to please the Vaishnavas with body, mind, and soul.

          “’By the petition of a Vaishnava, merciful Krishna will give His mercy to this sinful soul.’ This we have to remember all the time.

          “If a Godbrother falls from the platform of service to Hari, Guru, and Vaishnava, then you should think that your own brother is falling down. Then you have to openly advise him about hari-bhajan and nicely make him understand the situation. Sing the beneficial message of Guru and Gauranga to him. If you merely comment on his downfall, then you are not his well-wisher. You have to be merciful to him by talking to him about the Lord. By doing this you will bene?t yourself as well as him, and your goal of living in the maöh will be accomplished. We are living together to help each other serve the Lord.

          “We will not live in this world very long. If we can die while continuously doing hari-kirtan, then our birth will be successful. We have not come to this world to be carpenters, to deal with wood and stone. We are only the carries of the message of Shri Chaitanyadeva.”

          On December 7th, 1936, Shrila Prabhupada left Puri for Calcutta. The next day a huge crowd of devotees was waiting at Howrah Station to welcome Shrila Prabhupada. Shrila Prabhupada’s car was decorated with flowers, and it went to the Gaudiya Math amid a sankirtan procession. While in Puri, Shrila Prabhupada had displayed his pastime of illness. So his disciples had engaged the most famous physicians in Calcutta, such as Sir Nilratan Sarkar, Dr. Shivapada Bhattacharya, Dr. Indubhushan Basu, Dr. P. Brahmachari, and Dr. Nagendra Gopal Bishwas, to take care of Shrila Prabhupada full-time. As instructed by the doctors, Shrila Prabhupada’s disciples requested him not to speak for very long at a stretch. When asked how he was, Shrila Prabhupada would say that his only problem was that he was not allowed to do Hari-kirtan.

          Shrila Prabhupada told the assembled devotees, “One should not make many disciples. I have not made any disciples. They are all my Gurus. I learn something from all of them. May they give me the opportunity to follow the example of their pure devotion. This is my prayer.”

         

His Final Instructions

 

          On December 23rd, Shrila Prabhupada gave his final instruction to the assembled devotees: “I have caused anxiety for many people. Perhaps many people have considered me their enemy, because I was compelled to tell the unadulterated truth. I asked them to serve the Lord with all sincerity. I have given much anxiety to many people only because I wanted to inspire them to serve Krishna sincerely without material desire and duplicity. One day they will understand this.

         

Preach about Shri Rupa and Shri Raghunath

 

          “All of you please preach about Shri Rupa and Shri Raghunath with great enthusiasm. The supreme goal of all our desire is to become specks of  dust at the lotus feet of the followers of Shri Rupa Goswami. All of you remain united in the shelter of the ashraya-vigraha in order to satisfy the transcendental senses of the Supreme Entity of non-dual knowledge. All of you somehow live simply in this temporary world with the single goal of serving the Lord. Please do not give up your devotional service in spite of hundreds of dangers, insults, or persecutions. Please do not be discouraged by seeing that most people of the world are not listening to the transcendental topics of devotional service. Please do not give up shravan-kirtan of krishna-katha, which is your own bhajan and your sole property. Please always chant the name of the Lord, being humbler than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree.

         

The Fire of Sankirtan

 

          “We only cherish one desire in our hearts: to sacri?ce this body, which is only a lump of matter, in the ?re of the sankirtan yajna of Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya and his associates. We do not wish to be heroes by dint of our action, bravery or religiosity. But let this be our real identity life after life: that we are specks of dust under the lotus feet of Shri Rupa. Let that mean everything to us. The Bhaktivinod current will never be stemmed. Please take up the mission of preaching the desire of Bhaktivinod with greater enthusiasm. There are many quali?ed and accomplished people among you. We have no other desire; our only message is this:

 

‘Taking a blade of grass between my teeth, I fall down and pray again and again that I may become the dust at the feet of Shri Rupa birth after birth.’

          “Living in this world, one has to face many kinds of dif?culties. It is not our job to try to remove those dif?culties. Nor should we become depressed by them. After these dif?culties are gone, what shall we gain? What will our eternal lives be? While staying here we should have some idea of that. All the things that attract us or repel us, what we want and what we do not want—we have to resolve these things in our minds. The more we distance ourselves from the lotus feet of Krishna, the more these things will draw us in. The joy of Krishna-seva can be realized when one is attracted to His divine name after transcending the happiness and misery of this world. At present, the topic of Krishna is startling and perplexing to us. The continuing events of our lives pose obstacles to the realization of our eternal ful?llment. Knowingly or unknowingly, all human beings are struggling to eliminate these. Our only need is to enter that realm of eternal ful?llment, transcending all duality.

          “We have no attachment or hostility towards anyone in this world. All arrangements of this world are temporary. Everyone has an indispensable need for the Absolute Truth. May all of you with one goal, and in harmony with each other, attain the right to serve the original ashraya-vigraha. Let the currents of thought of the followers of Shri Rupa ?ow in this world. May we never under any circumstances show antipathy towards the seven-tongued ?re of Shri Krishna sankirtan-yajna. If we have an increasing attachment for it, then all our goals will be ful?lled. All of you please preach fearlessly about Shri Rupa and Shri Raghunath with great enthusiasm, under the guidance of their followers.”

          Then Shrila Prabhupada displayed his pastime of illness. At the same time he was incessantly chanting and meditating. Shripad Kunjavihari Prabhu made up a duty roster for some of the devotees who were present, so one of them would be with Shrila Prabhupada every hour of the day and night. Among those who had this service were Shrimad Bhakti Rakshak Shridhar Maharaj, Shripad Pranavananda Brahmachari, and Shripad Krishnananda Brahmachari.

         

Requests Song Shri Rupa Manjari Pada

 

          In the morning of December 31, 1936, Shrila Prabhupada requested Shrimad Bhakti Rakshak Shridhar Maharaj to sing the song shri rupa-manjari-pada sei mora sampada by Shrila Narottam Das Thakura. He also asked Shripad Navin Krishna Vidyalankar to sing the song tuhu daya sagar tarayite prani by Shrila Bhaktivinod Thakura. Then Shrila Prabhupada expressed his appreciation to some of his disciples for their service, and gave some instructions for the future. Finally he said, “Love and rupture both should have the same end in view. Shrila Narottam Das Thakura lived by the concept of Shri Rupa and Shri Raghunath. We should also live our lives according to that concept.” Then Shrila Prabhupada told everyone, “All of you who are present here, as well as those who are not present, please accept my blessings. Please remember that our only duty and religion is to propagate the service of the Lord and His devotees.”

         

Divine Disappearance

 

          At about 5:20 the next morning, Shripad Pranavananda Brahmachari was at Shrila Prabhupada’s bedside. Suddenly Shrila Prabhupada came out of his deep meditation and said, “Who is here?” Shripad Pranavananda Prabhu said, “It’s me, Pranavananda, Prabhupada.” Shrila Prabhupada said, “Oh, Pranavananda Prabhu?” Shripad Pranavananda Prabhu asked him, “How are you feeling, Prabhupada?” Shrila Prabhupada said, “What can I say? Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna!” These were his last words. As it was time for the next devotee, Shripad Krishnananda Prabhu, to take up his post at Shrila Prabhupada’s bedside, Shripad Pranavananda Prabhu went back to his room. He sat there thinking, “Is Shrila Prabhupada going to leave us now? What will happen if he leaves us now, what shall we do?” His thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of footsteps. It was Shripad Krishnananda Prabhu. He said, “Come quickly! I think the great disaster has happened to us.” Then there was the tumultuous sound of crying all over the Gaudiya Maöh, and amazingly enough, all the clocks in the maöh stopped.

          At 5:30 AM, on Thursday, January 1st, 1937, Shrila Prabhupada left this material world to enter Shri Shri Radha-Govinda’s nishanta-lila. At the pre-dawn hour when Shri Shri Radha-Govinda are united as One, when the divine pastime of Shri Gaursundara is eternally manifest, the most worshipable lord of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, Shrila Prabhupada, who called himself Shri Varshabhanavi-dayita dasa (the servant of the beloved of Shrimati Radharani), entered the abode of his eternal pastime. The grief and lamentation of the devotees at the Gaudiya Math were beyond description. Some were sobbing as if their hearts would break, some were chanting loudly with eyes ?ooded with tears, some were falling at Shrila Prabhupada’s lotus feet, some were falling on the ground and chanting with their heads bowed down, and some were hitting their foreheads and saying “Oh Prabhupada! Oh Prabhupada!” Even though the sun had just risen, it seemed that in the sky of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas the sun had just set.

          The devotees started performing the Vedic rites with great care, in spite of the intolerable burning pain of separation. First of all they bathed Shrila Prabhupada with sandalwood water. Then they dressed him in new clothes and decorated him with flowers, garlands, and sandalwood. Crying incessantly, they put tilak on twelve parts of his body. Then Shrila Prabhupada was laid on a new bed in front of the Deities. The devotees circumambulated him and performed puja, bhoga, and arati to him amid tumultuous sankirtan. Thousands of people started coming to have their last darshan of Shrila Prabhupada. Flowers and tears were everywhere. Then Shrila Prabhupada was taken to Sealdah Station amid a sankirtan procession of thousands of people. A devotee of Shrila Prabhupada called Shri Yamini Mukhopadhyay arranged for a special train for Shrila Prabhupada. The train was fully occupied with thousands of devotees, both men and women. The destination was Krishnanagar, but all the way from Calcutta to Krishnanagar, thousands of people were waiting at every station to see Shrila Prabhupada. The devotees were displaying photos of Shrila Prabhupada from the windows of the train, and the crowds were offering flowers to those pictures. At Krishnanagar Station, all the high government officials were waiting to offer their obeisances to him. Then he was taken to Navadwip Ghat by car, and then they crossed the Ganga on boats to arrive at Mayapur. A big crowd was already waiting at Mayapur. When the Calcutta devotees met the Mayapur devotees, another wave of grief engulfed them.

          First Shrila Prabhupada was taken to Shriman Mahaprabhu’s birthplace in Yogapith. More devotees were waiting there. Then they laid him down in front of the Deities and offered him puja and arati. Both the Hindus and the Muslims of Mayapur were singing his glories with tears in their eyes. Shrila Prabhupada was given the garland which had been offered to Shriman Mahaprabhu. Next he was taken to Shrivas Angan, Shri Adwaita Bhavan, Shri Bhakti Vijay Bhavan, the samadhi mandir of Shrila Gaurkishor Das Babaji Maharaj, and finally Shri Chaitanya Math; at each stop he was offered puja and arati. When he came to his own Shri Chaitanya Math, the devotees' hearts broke with unbearable pain.

          They decided that the place of his samadhi would be in between Shri Chaitanya Math and Shri Bhakti Vijay Bhavan. Singing sankirtan, sannyasi, brahmachari, and grihastha devotees together began digging the foundation of the samadhi mandir. Shrila Prabhupada was bathed in Ganga water, dressed in new clothes, and decorated with sandalwood. Shrimad Bhakti Pradip Tirtha Maharaj wrote the samadhi mantra with sandalwood, following the injunction of Shri Gopal Bhatta Goswami. Now Shrila Prabhupada was brought to the place of samadhi, and amid obeisances, prayer, glorification, and offering of flowers, he was seated on a marble throne covered with delicate cloth. The tumultuous sound of glorification and sankirtan resounded as sandalwood, flowers, garlands, and arati were offered at his lotus feet. Devotees were rolling on the ground, crying “Jaya Prabhupada!” and singing his favorite songs, shri rupa-manjari-pada, svananda-sukhada-kunja manohara, and yashomati nandana. 

          Shrila Shridhar Maharaj and Shripad Pranavananda Brahmachari offered a fire sacrifice. Shrila Bharati Maharaj read the disappearance pastime of Shrila Haridas Thakura from Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita, and the devotees circumambulated the samadhi, singing yei anilo prema-dhana and gurudev kripa bindu diya. Then they sang Shrila Prabhupada’s pranam mantra (nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale shrimate bhaktisiddhanta-saraswatiti namine):

 

          “I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.

          “I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Varshabhanavi-devi-dayita Das, who is favored by Shrimati Radharani and who is the ocean of transcendental mercy and the deliverer of the science of Krishna.

          “I offer my respectful obeisances unto you, the personi?ed energy of Shri Chaitanya’s mercy, who deliver devotional service which is enriched with conjugal love of Radha and Krishna, coming exactly in the line of revelation of Shrila Rupa Goswami.

          “I offer my respectful obeisances unto you, who are the personi?ed teachings of Lord Chaitanya. You are the deliverer of the fallen souls. You do not tolerate any statement which is against the teachings of devotional service enunciated by Shrila Rupa Goswami.”

 

A PILGRIM’S JOURNEY AND MAP

 

A listing of sacred places in Jagannatha Puri grouped together ac¬cording to their proximity to one another.

Map Location of Sacred Places

Al     Gundica Temple

A2     Nrsingha Temple

A3     Indradyumna Lake

B1    Konarka - one hour bus from stand near Gundica

Cl    Temple of Lord Jagannatha

C3      Lion date

C4    Temple Road called Grand Road on Map

Deity of Lord Jagannatha

Lord Chaitanya in Puri

Dl     Balagandhi

D2    Jagannatha-vallabha Gardens

D3     Narendra Sarovara

D4    Atharanala Bridge

El   Alalanatha Temple - 45 minutes by bus from

behind Narendra Sarovara

Fl    Paramananda Puri's Well

F2    Tota-Gopinatha Temple

F3    Haridas Thakur's Samadhi

Seabathing and Golden Beach

Gl     SiddhaRakula

G2     Gambhira

G3     Kashi Mishra's House ........

G4    Sarvabhaiima Bhaltacarya's House

HI    Yamesvara-Tota

   H4    Bharginadi River

 

CLOSING

"One who hears about the pastimes of Lord Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu with faith and love with certainly attain ecstatic love for the lotus feet of Lord Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu without fail." (Antl0/160)