May 03, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 75.
After the famed Kasi dham, the next holy place listed on Jaiva Dharma's 'Glossary of Places' is Khola-bhanga-danga:
"Khola-bhanga-danga - the place where the Chand Kazi's men broke a mrdanga and prohibited the performance of sankirtana."
As in previous cases, in one translated version of Jaiva Dharma we find only one mention of Khola-bhanga-danga, while in the second translated manuscript we find no reference at all. One offers this translation of chapter twelve:
"There are many Vaisnavas at Sri Mayapura, at the place where the Kazi broke the drums and at the place where there are many sannyasis. When I see how their faces are effulgent, I become happy at heart. Among them Sri Raghunatha dasa babaji greatly attracts my mind. I think I should study the bhakti-sastras under his guidance."
The second manuscript simply refers to "the place where the Kazi broke the drums".
Khola Bhanga Danga is also known as Srivasa Angana. There are several famous pastimes associated with this place in addition to the Kazi's breaking of the mrdangam, such as the Lord's pastimes with Srivasa Pandit and other Vaisnavas.
Srivasa Angana is sometimes described as the place where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His intimate associates began the Sankirtana Movement. Every night for a year, Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu and Their associates performed ecstatic kirtan here, dancing in ecstasy behind closed doors. Srivasa Angana is thus called the Rasa Sthali of Navadvipa, corresponding to the Rasa Sthali of Vrindavana, where Sri Krsna danced with the Gopis in the groves of Vraja. In the combined Form of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, Lord Chaitanya enacted those rasalila pastimes here at Srivasa Angana.
Among the other transcendental pastimes the Lord performed with Srivasa Pandit, who is an incarnation of Narada Muni, is the famous story of the passing of Srivas'a son. This pastime is narrated in Chaitanya Bhagavata and Chaitanya-caritamrta, and briefly summarized in Audarya Dhama:
"One night Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing along with His associates in Srivasa's courtyard. At this time, Srivasa's son died of a disease. All the ladies in the house started to cry, Srivasa Pandit came into the house and, seeing the situation ordered the ladies to stop crying, so they might not disturb Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's dancing. Srivasa told the ladies: if I were to get an opportunity of such a death, my life would be complete; so please, if you must cry, cry mildly. After hearing the words of Srivasa, the ladies stopped crying and Srivasa again went and joined the Lord's dancing.
In due course of time, everyone came to understand that Srivasa's child had died, but no one revealed this externally due to fear of disturbing the Lord's ecstatic dance. After several hours had passed, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu stopped and enquired: Has anything strange happened in this house?" Srivasa replied: "What strange or unfortunate thing could take place when You are present? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was a little suspicious and again enquired from His associates if anything inauspicious had happened. The elders present there informed the Lord that Srivasa's child had died. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was shocked and fell down in lamentation -- "Why was I not informed about the incident earlier?" The elders replied: "Srivasa did not wish to disturb Your happy dancing".
When they saw that the Lord had become calm, they requested His permission to take the child to perform the cremation ceremony, as the child had been lying dead for 71/2 hours. When they brought the child from the house, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke to the child: "O my dear child, why are you leaving Srivasa's house?" At this the child sat up, to every-one's amazement, and started to speak? O master of the universe, who is whose child and who is whose father? For some time I have appeared in this house, and now my time is up; I must to elsewhere. No one is the controller, but all are controlled by Your energy in the form of Time. Now, taking permission from You, I will carry on to my next destination". As this child became quiet all of the relatives of Srivasa were overwhelmed with ecstatic joy upon hearing the child's words and their lamentation went far away."
(Khola-bhanga-danga, to be continued…)