Sri Sri Nityananda Janmasthan, Part Four
BY: SUN STAFF
Sri Sri Gaura Nitai at Ekchakra Dhama
Apr 28, 2011 CANADA (SUN) The conclusion of a brief history of Ekchakra dhama and Nityananda Janmasthan, originally written in Bengali by HG Paratatwa Prakashan.
Once Nityananda left His home, the village became deserted. After the death of Harai Pandit and Padmavati, almost all the residents left the village. The followers of Nityananda went on pilgrimage. Some of them accepted sainthood. Only one of his nearest relatives named Madhab Bandyopadhyay preferred to stay on at Ekchakra. It was he who showed Jahnava Devi all the Holy places at Ekchakra.
Afterwards, Jahnava Devi empowered Raghav Pandit of Govardhan with the responsibility of looking after the place. Raghav Pandit is the author of Krishnabhakti-ratnaprakash. Originally from Deccan, he came to Ekchakra with his two followers, Sri Jagadananda Das and Sri Krishna Das. Ekchakra was then an isolated place.
On the other side of Jamuna, Khalatpur was being built by the Pathan Jaigirdar, Khafat Khan. Madhav Bandyopadhyay was too old, almost invalid. Still, with supreme effort he introduced all the sacred places to Raghav and handed over to him charge of the place. Madhav surrendered the charge of the Birthplace as well as that of Rasik Roy Jew and Sahasrasirsa Bishnu Chakra. The deity once belonged to Harai Pandit and was still worshipped by Madhav. Raghav was very happy to receive the image standing on a lotus and adorned with flute and wooden chappals. The Nrisingha Sila that always accompanied him was also being worshipped with Rasik Roy and Shalgram Silas.
Raghav constructed a temple at Harai Pandit's residence. Simultaneously, the maternity home, where Sri Sri Nityananda was born came into prominence. Raghav placed the images of Nitai and Gour in the temple. Truly speaking, Raghav Pandit has done a great duty to the nation by preserving the Birthplace of Nityananda and bringing it in the original form. He has been regarded by all as a national hero.
After Raghav, Jagadananda and Krishnadas were the blessed ones who got the opportunity to offer their service to this place. The other priests were Sreemat Nityananda Dasji, Ram Dasji, Brajamohan Dasji, Gour Dasji, Sivananda Dasji and Hari Dasji. Haridasji formed a trustee board consisting of nine members including Tribhanga Dasji in the year 1335 B.S. The chief priest and Sevayat was Tribhanga Dasji. Tribhanga Dasji passed away on the Maghipurnima, in the year 1351 B.S., and the charge was handed over to Bidhubhushanji.
But after the death of Bidhubhushanji on the Sukla Ekadasi of Bhadra, 1373 B.S., the discipline of the institution broke down. Since then the service had been alternating on a temporary basis. On the heartfelt request of Sri Bidhubhushanji, Sri Jivasaran Das (the then Jyotirmay Chowdhury) came to Ekchakra from Khardah, during the lifetime of the former. But at the deathbed, when Sri Bidhubhushanji wanted Sri Jivasaran Das to take charge of Ekchakra the latter could not make it. In the Bengali year 1379, during the 500th Birth Anniversary of Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Jivasaran Das came to Ekchakra and was appointed Sevayat and Managing Trustee by the then Trustee Board.
Here is an account of all the festivals that take place throughout the year. On the first day of Baisakh, the new year is welcomed with daylong Sankirtana. Prasad is offered to each and everyone. On the Snan Yatra (bath ceremony), Chongadhari Baba is remembered through some rituals. During the Gurupurnima Festival the ashram is crowded with lots of devotees. Various types of religious rites including Sri Guru Aradhana, Vyas Puja Kirtana of Sri Sri Nityananda Prabhu, glorifying Kirtana of Sanatana Goswami are performed to honour the tithi.
The day of Bidhubhusanji's death is solemnly remembered every year. But the greatest festival is the celebration of the Birth Anniversary of Nityananda. Whoever has had the opportunity to attend the festival, that lasts for 11 days, will remember forever. Woolen garments are distributed irrespective of caste and creed to the poor and downtrodden. On the Dolpurnima, Naam Sankirtan and devotional songs in praise of Sri Krishna or Chaitanya is performed to celebrate the Birth ceremony of Sri Chaitanya.
On the Krishnaa Shashti that follows Dolpurnima, the arrival of Babaji Mahasay (Sripad Ramdas Babaji Mahasaya), and on Chaitra Sankrant, 'the Birth ceremony of Bara Babaji Mahasay (Srimat Radharaman Charan Das Deva) are celebrated. Thus, during the whole year Ekchakra is enlivened with various of ceremonies, big and small, all centering around Nityananda Mahaprabhu.
Ekchakradham, bearing the footprints of His Divine Grace Lord Nitaichand, is the pride of the Radh. A number of temples and images situated here have been witness to its glorious history. The paths here are sanctified for their close association with the wise, the great and the exponents of love and devotion. Above all, they bear the footprints of Nityananda, the other self of Sri Chaitanya.
Later, the religious masters who sanctified the place with their devotion and sacrifice made it a place of pilgrimage, a place that brings deliverance to the outcaste and astray. Even the tiniest dust particle here must be respected by all. Nityananda was the first exponent of truth who uprooted all kinds of injustice, wrongdoings and discrepancies in society and lifted it to the supreme height of liberated humanity. He practiced what he preached. There is no hiatus between His ideal and performance.
Under His leadership a man-revolt was organised against the tormenting ruler of Nadia. His free spirit should be our ideal. The Nityananda Janmasthan Ashram that has been built on His life and performance will be able to spread His message of love around the world and that will bring about a spiritual reformation. The land will become a great agglomeration of mankind - a place for love and benevolence to all.
We believe that the world one day will follow the religion of love, which the great leader and social reformer wanted to convey. Because only that love can make the world clean and perfect. We pay our homage to the Great Lord.
All Rights Reserved by Paratatwa Prakashan. You can support the Publisher and Translator by purchasing this book at their website, NityanandaJanmasthan.com.
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