The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Nandagram


Lord Nrsimhadeva at Nandagrama
[ Photo courtesy Sri Narasimha Darshanam ]

May 31, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 103.

Situated in Nandagrama, still present today is the 5,000 year old temple of Lord Narasimhadeva where Nanada Maharaja used to worship the Lord. His Narasimhadeva deity is still there at Nandagrama in Vraja. Nanda Maharaja worshipped Lord Narasimhadev to protect his child Krsna, at the request of Garga Muni.

Mother Yasoda chanted Narasimha bija mantras to protect Krsna before He went off into the forest, and this is described in the Govinda-lilamrita. As described in Sri Narasimha Darshanam, "Nanda Maharaja built his house on top of the large hill here to protect Krishna from the demons sent by King Kamsa. Nanda Maharaja and the other cowherd men decided to move from Gokula to here because of the disturbances caused by demons trying to kill Krishna.

The hill that the main temple is on is called Nandisvara Hill. Lord Siva prayed to Krishna to be allowed to witness his transcendental pastimes. After Lord Siva performed penances for many centuries Lord Krishna asked him what he wanted. He told Krishna that he wanted to be a mountain in Vrindavana so that the gopis would step on him and they would leave the dust of their feet on him. Krishna granted him this boon and Lord Siva became this hill. Nandagram is built upon him.

Parjanya Maharaja, the grandfather of Krishna, was instructed by Narada Muni to come to Nandisvara Hill. He performed austerities here for many years. After this, Parjanya stayed here with his family. Nanda Maharaja and his community lived in Nandagram before Krishna appeared. There was a meeting of the residents led by Upananda, the elder brother of Nanda Maharaja, and they decided to go to Gokula. After Krishna became seven years old the family moved back to here.

When Krishna and Balarama came to Nandagram this was the first time they took out the cows for grazing. Before coming to Nandagram they only took out the calves for grazing. Most of the gopis got married in Nandagram, Varsana or Javat. At one time there were many kunds in the area of Nandagram, but many of the kunds have disappeared.

Narsimha Mandir at Nandagrama
[ Photo courtesy Sri Narasimha Darshanam ]

Narasimha and Varaha Temple

At the bottom of the hill, on the opposite side from Pavana Sarovara, is a Narasimhadeva temple. Nanda Maharaja worshiped the Narasimha and Varaha Deities that are seen in this temple. Nanda Maharaja was advised by Garga Muni to worship Lord Narasimha because so many demons were disturbing the residences of Vrindavana. Lord Narasimha is the Deity in the center of the altar. To the left of Lord Narasimha is a Deity of Sad Bhuja, the six-armed form of Lord Caitanya. The Sad Bhuja form of the Lord has two arms holding a bow and arrow (Lord Rama), two arms playing a flute (Lord Krishna) and two arms holding a danda and waterpot (Lord Caitanya). On the far left side of the altar is Maharaja Nanda's Deity of Lord Varaha. On the right side of the altar are Deities of Lord Caitanya and Prabhu Nityananda.

Nanda Maharaja's Lord Narayana Deity is also here, but this Deity is not on the altar or worshiped because it is disfigured. This Deity is located to the left of the altar. This temple is on the opposite side of Nandisvara Hill from Pavana Sarovara. The Deities are worshiped in a small house-like temple in the village."


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