21 Sep Appearance Day Celebration of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura on 20 Sept. 2010
Article by His Grace Dvarkadish Prabhu
“SVANANDA SUKHADA KUNJA” SRILA BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA’S HOUSE AT “SRI GODRUMADVIPA“ ISLAND OF NAVADVIPA-MAYAPUR DHAM
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is an eternal associate of Lord Caitanya and his eternal spiritual form is Kamala Manjari. His name was Kedamatha Datta. He later became a District Magistrate (High Court judge) under the British Government. This was the highest position an Indian could hold under British rule. As the District Magistrate in -Puri, he was also overseeing the activities of Lord Jagannatha’s temple. In that position he raised the standard of worship of Lord Jagannatha and also increased the offerings to sixty-four offerings a day. He led a life of incessant labor and activity for Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He effected such immense good in the world that his work is only to be compared with the unbounded works of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself and the Six Goswamis. It was the spiritual attempts and divine writings of this individual that turned the scale and led the intelligent and educated community to believe in the noble precepts and teachings of Lord Caitanya.
“SVANANDA SUKHADA KUNJA” – HOUSE OF SRILA BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA
House: It is on the left side of the property. Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s room is the first room at the top of the stairs. It has some of his personal belongings. This is where he wrote many of his newsletters and books. The verandah outside this room is where Bhaktivinoda Thakura saw the visions of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda in kirtana and the golden city of Mahaprabhu. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatl Thakura’s room is next to his father’s.
LALITA SAKHI’S GROVE
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura named his house Svananda Sukhada Kunja. It is non-different from Svananda Sukhada Kunja, the private grove of Lalita sakhi located on the bank of Radha-kunda in Vrindavana. Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s songs reveal how he is eternally living in this kunja serving the divine couple, Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. “My small cottage is shining beautifully within that most enchanting garden called Svananda Sukhanda Kunja. Living there I will sing Lord Krishna’s holy name and I will greedily hanker for that time when I will get the service of Him and His associates.” (Gita-mala) “On the banks of the celestial Ganges, I will dwell in a cottage at Surabhi Kunja in Godruma Dhama. This land of Godruma is very conductive for performing devotional worship of the Supreme Lord and is non-different from the sacred place called Nandagram, located in the holy district of Mathura (Saranagati).”
BEAUTIFUL “SRI SRI GAURANGA MAHAPRABHU & SRI SRI GADADHARA PANDITA”, THE PERSONAL DEITIES WORSHIPED BY SRILA BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA AT HIS HOUSE
Samadhi of HIS DIVINE GRACE SRILA BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA at Svananda Sukhada Kunja. On right-side is the murti of Sri Krishna Das the dedicated servant of His Divine Grace.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Krishna Das (right-side murti) and picture of another great Vaishnava Acarya Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaj
Right-side of the main altar is the place where Gaura-kisora dasa Babajl had a bhajana kutira. He spent many hours chanting Holy Names “HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE | HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE” here while visiting Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Previously the doorway to this hut was facing the back wall, reflecting Gaura-kisora dasa Babajl’s humble mood, but now it has been changed to face the main courtyard for the convenience of visitors.
It is said that at times the four great Vaishnava äcäryas, Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Gaura-Kisora Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, would meet here and discuss the pastimes of Gaurahari.
“Srila Prabhupada Samadhi” – view of ISKCON Sri Mayapur Chandrodya temple from the verandah of Svananda Sukhada Kunja across Jalangi River. From the verandah of Thaku-ra Bhaktivinoda’s house, one day while chanting Hare Krishna he saw the horizon of Mayapur light up under the effulgence of, “One exceedingly won-derful temple which will broadcast the eternal serv-ice of Lord Gauranga throughout the world.” The site for this vision was across the Jalangi River on the land where ISKCON has begun plans to build a magnificent temple and city.
On the left side of the main altar is a small place honoring Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s dedicated servant, Sri Krishna das. Sri Krishna das was an expert mrdinga player. Srila Bhaktivinoda always took him for regular Nama-hatta (Market of Holy Names) programs in his attempt to revive Nama-hatta programs all over Bengal & rest of India, which were originally inaugarated by Lord Nityananda.
Narrow gauge local train that used to run just in front of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s house.
British government had so much regards for Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur that they especially built the railway tracks for him and also arranged a special carriage for His Divine Grace so that he could smoothy commute for his daily duties at nearby Krishnanagar district.
Since January 2010 this narrow gauge train has been stopped after completing more than 110 years of its daily runs and will be replaced by broad gauge in future.
Transcendentalists- HH Lokanath Swami, HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami, HH Bhakti Siddhanta Swami, HH Candramauli Swami, HH Prahaladanada Swami & others discussing pastimes of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura at his house during Navadvipa-Mandala Parikrama
THE DISCOVERY OF BIRTHPLACE OF LORD SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was so anxious to live in Navadvipa-Mayapur, the land of Lord Caitanya that he applied many times for a transfer to any town nearby. Upon not receiving the desired transfer, he formally submitted resignation from public service. At this, the British government conceded and he obtained transfer to Krishnagara, which is 25km from Navadvipa-Mayapur, as the District Magistrate.
Year 1865 was the most eventful year in the history of the Vaishnava world. It was in this year, one night, while Thakura Bhaktivinoda was chanting Hare Krishna mahamantra on the verandah of this house, he saw a dazzling golden effulgence emanating from the other side of the Jalangi River (which flows in front of his house). This also happened the next night, but this time he saw beautiful golden forms of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda dancing in kirtana. The next day, he went searching in the direction of the effulgent vision and came to an area covered in tulasi plants in a Muslim vil-lage called Meeyapour. After extensive research and the divine confirmation of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura officially memorialized the birth site of Lord Caitanya and brought its true identity and
importance before the public eye.
Just after retiring, Thakura Bhaktivinoda himself, in a spirit of perfect humility and with a view to giving a firm standing to the discovery, went from door-to-door to raise funds from a temple. In Amrita Bazar Patrika newspaper, on Dec 6 1894, following article appeared: “Babu Kedarnatha Datta, the distinguished Deputy Magistrate who has just retired from the service, is one of the most active member deputed to raise subscriptions in Calcutta & elsewhere and is determined to go from house-to-house and beg a rupee from each gentleman to built a at Lord Caitanya’s birth site. If he sticks to his resolution of going around with a bag in hand, we hope that not a single gentleman whose house may be honored by the presence of such a devout bhakta as Babu Kedaranatha will send him away without contributing his mite, however humble it may be, to the Gaura-Visnupriya Temple fund.” Truly, Thakura Bhaktivinoda honored the houses of many people to whom he would not have gone for any purpose but for this mission of Lord Caitanya, and his efforts were not
fruitless, since the sum collected contributed to the construction of a building on the holy site of Lord Caitanya’s appearance.
Daily Schedule of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura: Always anxious to use every moment in loving service of Lord Sri Krishna, he followed a strict austere daily schedule:
Rest (two hours)
Write Krishna consciousness books & literatures
Japa time -chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra on japa beads: “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare |Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ||”
Bath, prasadam (half-litre milk, fruit, 2 chapattis)
Refresh at home
Directions to reach Svananda Sukhada Kunj: To get to this place one can take boat across Jalangi river from Hoolar Ghat. Hoolar ghat is near where you get the boat to Navadvipa town. After getting across the river at Swarupa Ganj one can either have a pleasant walk for 20mins or one can take a rickshaw. One can also visit Svananda Sukhada Kunj by attending Navadvipa-Mandala Parikrama which is organized each year by ISKCON Mayapur about 10 days before Gaura-Purnima.
“Ulagram”- The Birthplace of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura: Click here
Parikrama at Bhaktivinoda Thakura house, Godruma dvipa:
Online collection of books by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura (downloadable): Click here
MAYAPUR TV: http://Mayapur.tv
“World Holy Name Festival” – 17 Sep10 to 3 Oct10 : Click here
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE |
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE ||