The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Samudragarh
BY: SUN STAFF
Jun 24, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 127.
Among the correspondences of holy sites residing in both Vraja Vrindavan and Navadvipa-dhama, Samudragara in Navadvipa is non-different from Kumudvana in Vrindavan-dhama. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur describes the glories of Samudragara in a passage from Sri Sri Navadvip Bhava Taranga:
"Just as the gopis, seeing Krishna in Dvaraka dressed as the king, began to weep, remembering His pastimes on the bank of the Yamuna, So I will long to take the Lord back to Mayapur, where in the dress of a young boy with hair long and curled, dhoti folded thrice, He performed pastimes with His young friends in Isody-ana. But still, this sannyasi is also my Lord, and I am His servant.These different appearances that the Lord assumes are but some of His unlimited pastimes. But, oh, my heart desires to take the Lord back to the bank of Prthu Kunda, to the temple of Srivasa Prabhu!
Further on from here lies Samudragara, purifier of the whole universe, where formerly king Samudra Sen fought with Bhima, and received darsan of the Lord, who acknowledge His pure devotee. Here also the ocean, taking shelter of the Ganga, overcome with divine love, came to see the pastimes of Navadvip Dhama. In this way, witnessed by the demigods and demons, Ganga Sagara resides in Navadvipa."
There is another interesting mention of Samudragar in Svalikhita-jivani, Srila Bhaktivinoda's autobiography, written in 1896. In part twelve, covering the years 1870 to 1880, the Thakur describes the circumstances by which he came to visit this place:
Sri Purushottama Kshetra is directly Vaikuntha, what doubt is there? I did not like to leave this place but then Sadu was getting older and I had to return to Bengal in order to arrange her marriage. Thus, in November of 1874, I took a three-month vacation. Sej Didi and Nutan Didi had already left. Mother, wife, sons and daughters took a train to Midnapur and I sent them on the road home.
"shun bad association"
Madhusudan Khutir was my host. He was extremely wealthy and a very good man. His assistant, Basu Upadhyaya, brought my family to Calcutta. I waited in Puri until I was free from work. In the month of January I was free and together with Bangli Babu, Haralal Mitra and Narendra Datta we came to Chandavali by palanquin and then took a boat. My family came to Calcutta and Bholanath Babu made arrangements for them to stay in a small house in Harivardhan Street. When I arrived they were waiting and I took them to the house in Ranaghat.
Before I came Mahendra Mama was staying at the house in Ranaghat and he was faring well. Upon arriving in Ranaghat I began to look for a boy for Sadu. Being in Krsnanagar, I went to see Navadvipa Dhama, Samudragar Kalna, and Santipur and I returned to Ranaghat. This time I did not get any happiness in Sri Navadvipa Dhama. One is disinclined to practice religion and suchlike in the association of an atheist like Parasuram Mama. From this I learned that when one goes on pilgrimage it is absolutely essential to shun bad association."
Samudragar's close proximity to Kalna is indicated in the above passage. There is similar mention that Samudragarh is situated close to Koladwip (Kulia), in "Shree Krishna Chaitanya", by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati's disciple, Prof. N. K. Sanyal, M.A. (Sri Narayan Das Bhakti Sadhukar), of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack:
"The fifth of the ‘Islands’ is Koladwip (the modern town of Nadia) to the west-south-west of .Sree Mayapur. At the time of Sree Chaitanya Koladwip or Kulia was separated from Nadia, the Home of Sree Chaitanya, only by the intervening main channel of the Bhagirathi. It is called ‘the place of expiation’ in reference to the incidents connected with Gopal-Chapal and Devananda Pandit, whose offenses were forgiven by Sree Chaitanya at Kulia. it is sometimes designated as ‘the high bank of Kulia,’ and is connected by old writers with very ancient events. Close to it is Samudragarh."
Likewise, because of their close proximity, Samudragarh was mentioned in a previous segment of this series, on Champahati. In that article we included an excerpt from the Forward of Vaisnava Vijaya: Life History of Mayavadism by HH Srila Bhakti Prajnan Kesava Gosvami, in which he tells this story:
"By the will of providence I chanced to sojourn to Champahati Samudragarh at the Sri Gaura Gadadhara Gaudiya Math to observe the Kartik month of the Chaturmasya Vrata. While there one devout devotee, Mata Ushalata Devi who as a much blessed disciple of Srila Prabhupada, presented me with a brief full of papers. To my great surprise and delight many of Srila Prabhupada’s important documents and manuscripts were discovered along with my article on the "Life History of Mayavadism." This gift from the Lord, made possible by the mercy of my Gurudeva made me immensely happy and I accepted it as a manifestation of my Guru’s desire."
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