The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Vairagi-danga


Yoga Pitha - Birthplace of Lord Chaitanya
[ Photo by Vrindavana Lila dd ]

Jul 30, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 163.

Next on Jaiva Dharma's 'Glossary of Places' is Vairagi-danga, about which Srila Bhaktivinoda writes:

    "Vairagi-danga - a place situated in Sridhama Mayapura close to Khola-bhanga-danga. Because many renounced Vaisnavas were living in this place, it became known as Vairagi-danga."

Vairagi-danga is mentioned only once in Jaiva Dharma, but this mention is found in only one of the two transcripts we have been using for this series. The passage is located in chapter twelve, just before a reference to Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 4.5.6:

    "One day, in a secluded place, Vrajanatha said to himself, "If Nimai could abandon the path of logic and turn to the path of devotion, then what is the harm we do the same? When I was obsessed with logic, I could not hear the name of Nimai with attention and devotion. Then the nyaya-sastra had me in its grip. Then I ignored eating, sleeping, and everything else. Now I look at the world with different eyes. The arguments of the nyaya-sastra no longer enters my mind. Now only the name Gauranga enters my minds. Now when I see the Vaisnavas dancing I think how beautiful the dancing is. But I am born in an exalted vaidika brahmana dynasty. My dynasty is honoured in society. The Vaisnavas are very respectable people. Still, it is not good that I join them. I worship Lord Gaura only within my thoughts. That is the only proper way for me to act. 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."

Vairagi Here is the corresponding passage from the transcript, which does mention Vairagi-danga:

    "There are many Vaisnavas in Sri Mayapura at Khola-bhangadanga, where Chand Kazi broke the mrdanga to stop the sankirtana, and at Vairagi-danga, the place of Vaisnava asceticism. I feel happy and purified at heart when I see the radiance of their faces."

Vairagi We find only two more mentions of Vairagi-danga, both in the writings of Nishi Kanta Sanyal, a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati and a Professor at the Ravenshaw College in Cuttack. In his book, Sree Krishna Chaitanya (Vol. I), he writes:

    "Sree Mayapur which has escaped the widespread destruction that was apparently caused by sudden changes of the course of the Bhagirathi from a very early period is distinguishable from the adjoining lower alluvial plain by its elevation and older soil of adhesive clay. A modern village occupying a part of the site of Mayapur is inhabited by a number of Muhammedan families who began to settle on this old site, which appears in course of time to have been totally deserted, from the year 1785. This is traceable.

    The actual site of the Yogapeetha, the Home of Sree Jagannatha Misra, was identified by the famous saint Chaitanyadas Babaji about eighty years ago It appears that the actual site was known as such to the few Vaishnavas who cared to he informed about it and had also been visited by them for their devotional purposes. The place was noted by the inhabitants of adjoining villages for alleged peculiarities. They maintain to this day that the place used to be always overgrown with sacred tulasi, for which reason people had instinctively desisted from any act of defilement or occupation for the purpose of erecting any private dwelling. This reverence towards the site which is displayed by the Muhammedan residents in occupation of the adjoining plots, indeed, point to a definite conclusion. The row of high mounds, that are now crowned by a number of substantial buildings erected by the piety of Vaishnavas since the re-discovery of the old sites, had never before been occupied by the villagers on their own account who had always regarded with a sort of sacred awe those sites which were collectively known as the 'Vaisnava settlement' (Vairagi danga) .

Vairagi In another article by Prof. Sanyal entitled "The Holy Birth-Place of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya", from The Harmonist, Vol. 28, Jan 1931, we read:

    Vairagi "To the person with any antiquarian sense the difficulty is all but solved by the traditions that linger still in the village itself. We know from the villagers that the present Mohammedan inhabitants, who are in occupation of part of Mayapura, are the descendants of recent immigrants. The village was in a depopulated condition before the coming of the Mohammedans. That it was at one time a place of residence of Vaisnavas is also known to these Mohammedans. They also know that it is the Birth-place of Sri Caitanya. They have inherited some names of the different parts of the village such as Vairagi-danga (Vairagi's mound), Kholbhangar-danga (mound where the khol was broken), Barajpota (Brajapattan), Siva-doba (Siva's pool), etc. These names refer to famous incidents in the career of Lord Caitanya and the Vaisnava tradition."


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