The Glories of West Bengal – Ambika Kalna,
BY: SUN STAFF
Sri Sri Nitai-Gour and Shyamsundar
Deities Worshipped by Gauridas Pandit
Syama-raya Temple, Vrindavan
Jun 20, 2011 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of West Bengal kshetras, and the tirthas associated with Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His parishad associates.
Today we present part two of the narration of Gauridasa Pandit's pastimes at Ambika Kalna, written by Srimat Jivasaran das Babaji of Birbhum, West Bengal. Gauridasa Pandit's Deities of Lord Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu are described, and Their worship by the devotees after the departure of Their Lord from this world.
Gauridas Pandit and Sripat Ambika Kalna
in District Burdwan, West Bengal
"The second time Mahaprabhu visited Gauridasa Pandit, he was accompanied by Nityananda Prabhu. It was after His initiation as a sannyasi and prior to His departure to Nilachal. Gauridasa must have been saddened at the sight of shaven headed Mahaprabhu in the garb of a sannyasi, but he accepted it knowing very well that it was inevitable.
Mahaprabhu stayed for some time and sensing Gauridasa's restlessness, Mahaprabhu asked him to bring neem wood from Nabadwip and carve out two idols of Him and Nityananda Prabhu. Gauridasa did as he was ordered and two Deities were carved out. On completion, the Deities were consecrated as per the rites and installed on a throne.
Till now, plain facts and authentic documented history has been narrated. But there is more than what meets the naked eye. Some facts defy our reason and intelligence. Standing in the courtyard of Gauridasa Pandit's house, one sees five doors side by side at the entrance of the main temple. Only the middle door is opened and then closed immediately. Obviously one becomes curious to know the reason behind it. The view of the temple servants and hearsay have the following to say:
After the consecration ceremony was over, Mahaprabhu confided to Gauridasa of His decision to depart for Nilachal, as it was pre-planned. With tearful eyes, Gauridasa bade farewell to them and returned to the temple in his house to perform his daily rituals. While conversing with the Deities he found Them to be immobile. He rushed back to the two travelers (Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu). Sensing his urgency, the two of them came back and immediately the two Deities descended from the throne and walked towards the courtyard. But when Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu ascended the throne, They were transformed into two idols, much to the dismay of Gauridasa.
Again he ran back to the two who descended from the throne and implored them to come back. This situation continued for some time. It was now time for the afternoon offering to the Deities. It was decided that the two of them would proceed after Their afternoon meals. Accordingly, an offering was placed before the four of them. The two idols and the two living beings accepted the offerings. After resting for some time, it was time for them to depart. Again tearful, Gauridasa bade them farewell. This time Mahaprabhu himself confided to Gauridasa that He would accept whatever Gauridasa offered him, but that would be in solitude, not in public view.
Since this episode, much time has passed and in the meantime, Mahaprabhu left this material world in 1534 A.D. Devotees in large numbers thronged Gauridasa's house to have darshan of the Deities. But Gauridasa, on hearing of Mahaprabhu's demise, had closed the gate of the temple permanently. He feared that the two Deities may leave him again or that They might be removed by anybody in the guise of a devotee.
With the passage of time, Nityananda Prabhu also departed, in the year 1542 B.S. Wind carries the word of mouth. Nityananda Prabhu's wife, Jahnava Devi, came to know that the devotees returned heartbroken without having a darshan of the Deities. It is pertinent to mention here that Jahnava Devi was the younger daughter of Suryadas Pandit, the elder brother of Gauridasa Pandit. Without prior information, one day she arrived in a palanquin at the house of Gauridasa Pandit from Khardah, and narrated to the Pandit the plight of the devotees. It was decided that the doors of the temple would be opened to the devotees, but only for a glance of the deities -- the time taken to view the deities from head to toe. Since then, this practice has been maintained and the devotees have been able to quench their thirst by having a glance at the Deities.
On attaining mature age, Gauridasa Pandit handed over management of the Sripat to his worthy disciple, Hridaychaitanya, and proceeded to Vrindaban. His mortal remains are buried at Dhir Samir in Vrindaban. Nearby the Sripat of Gauridasa is the Sripat and temple established by Suryadas, elder brother of Gauridasa. Here the Deities of Nitai-Gour and Shyamsundar are worshipped.
There are various other Sakta Pithas, Vaishnava temples, Shaiva temples and places of religious importance in Kalna."
Edited for readability.
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