Sri Caitanya's Nectarian River Pastimes, Part 5


The Padma River at Prem Tali

Sep 29, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) — Sri Caitanya's transcendental pastimes with rivers.

As mentioned in our last segment, among the many holy rivers associated with Lord Caitanya, two are foremost in the region of Bengal: the Padma and the Ganges. The Ganges plays a role in so many of Lord Caitanya's transcendental pastimes that we will be hearing about it often in this series. The Padma River, perhaps less so, although there are also some famous pastimes associated with it.

We'll begin a survey of the Padma River and the transcendental circumstances surrounding Lord Chaitanya's mercy, bestowed upon Narottama dasa Thakur by way of that holy river. But first, a point of distinction should be made about the Ganges and Padma rivers.

The great river Ganga originates at Gangotri-tirtha in the Himalayas. For its first downward course it is known as the Bhagirathi River, in honour Bhagirath, who did penance to bring Mother Ganga down from Heaven. Once the waters reach Dev Prayag, the river is known as the Ganges. Ganga flows down to Rishikesh, joining the Yamuna at the Triveni Sangam at Allahabad, a divine confluence, then flows on to the great river delta.

There are many references to the fact that the Ganga becomes known as the Padma River at the point where it enters Bangladesh. But in fact, the Ganga first takes the name Padma well before that point in West Bengal. The Padma River has been in the news quite often in recent years, due to rising ocean levels that are submerging villages along the Padma, such as in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal. For example, the town of Jangipur, West Bengal, just south of Farakka, sits on the banks of the Padma River.

The point takes on greater significance as we begin to mark the locations of the certain Caitanya-lila pastimes on the holy rivers.

The Bhagirathi/Ganges flows south through Navadvipa and on to the Bay of Bengal. Some distance south of Santipura, Bhagirathi becomes known as the Hugli. After the Padma enters Bangladesh it unites with the Yamuna branch of the great Brahmaputra River. The combined stream then joins with the Meghna River, and flows out to sea.

In our next segment, the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, delivered to Narottam Das Thakur via the holy Padma.

Major rivers that flow into the Bay of Bengal


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