Sri Caitanya's Nectarian River Pastimes, Part 15

BY: SUN STAFF


Oct 19, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) — Sri Caitanya's transcendental pastimes with rivers.

In the Antya-lila of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta we read about the travels of Srila Sanatana Goswami, who set out to travel along the same paths Sri Caitanya Himself had, on His earlier sojourns. As Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura sings in Śaraṇāgati (31.3):

    gaura āmāra, ye saba sthāne,
    karala bhramaṇa raṅge
    se-saba sthāna, heriba āmi,
    praṇayi-bhakata-saṅge

    "May I visit all the holy places associated with the līlās of Lord Caitanya and His devotees." A devotee should make a point of visiting all the places where Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu performed His pastimes. Indeed, pure devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu even want to see the places He simply visited for only hours or minutes."

Following along in that mood, thus far we have touched upon only a few of the holy rivers associated with Mahaprabhu's pastimes. In fact, there are so many pastimes related to the Ganga and Yamuna rivers alone that at best, we can only hope to summarize them.

There is another whole category of pastimes associated with the sangams, or confluences of the holy rivers. And then there are the amazingly wonderful pastimes of the Lord that took place along so many other holy rivers, branches and tributaries. There are so many rivers just n the latter category that we could practically fill-up a segment just by naming them.

Before we move on to these bodies of water, here is the summary of Lord Caitanya's travels from the intro of Madhya chapter 9, as given by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. Of course, Mahaprabhu's travels form a significant portion of Madhya-lila.

    "After leaving Vidyānagara, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited such places of pilgrimage as Gautamī-gaṅgā, Mallikārjuna, Ahovala-nṛsiṁha, Siddhavaṭa, Skanda-kṣetra, Trimaṭha, Vṛddhakāśī, Bauddha-sthāna, Tirupati, Tirumala, Pānā-nṛsiṁha, Śiva-kāñcī, Viṣṇu-kāñcī, Trikāla-hasti, Vṛddhakola, Śiyālī-bhairavī, the Kāverī River and Kumbhakarṇa-kapāla.

    Finally the Lord went to Śrī Raṅga-kṣetra, where He converted a brāhmaṇa named Veṅkaṭa Bhaṭṭa, who, along with his family, took up devotional service to Kṛṣṇa. After leaving Śrī Raṅga, Caitanya Mahāprabhu reached Ṛṣabha-parvata, where He met Paramānanda Purī, who later arrived at Jagannātha Purī. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then proceeded farther, arriving at Setubandha Rāmeśvara. At Śrī Śaila-parvata, the Lord met Lord Śiva and his wife Durgā in the dress of a brāhmaṇa and brāhmaṇī. From there He went to Kāmakoṣṭhī-purī and later arrived at southern Mathurā. A brāhmaṇa devotee of Lord Rāmacandra talked with Him. Then the Lord took His bath in the river Kṛtamālā. On the hill known as Mahendra-śaila, the Lord saw Paraśurāma. Then the Lord went to Setubandha and took His bath at Dhanus-tīrtha. He also visited Rāmeśvara, where He collected some papers connected with Sītādevī, whose illusory form had been kidnapped by Rāvaṇa. The Lord next visited the places known as Pāṇḍya-deśa, the Tāmraparṇī River, Naya-tripati, Ciyaḍatalā, Tila-kāñcī, Gajendra-mokṣaṇa, Pānāgaḍi, Cāmtāpura, Śrī Vaikuṇṭha, Malaya-parvata and Kanyā-kumārī. The Lord then confronted the Bhaṭṭathāris at Mallāra-deśa and saved Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa from their clutches. The Lord also collected the Brahma-saṁhitā, fifth chapter, on the banks of the Payasvinī River. He then visited Payasvinī, Śṛṅgavera-purī-maṭha and Matsya-tīrtha. At the village of Uḍupī He saw the Gopāla Deity installed by Śrī Madhvācārya. He then defeated the Tattvavādīs in śāstric conversation. The Lord next visited Phalgu-tīrtha, Tritakūpa, Pañcāpsarā, Sūrpāraka and Kolāpura. At Pāṇḍarapura the Lord received news from Śrī Raṅga Purī that Śaṅkarāraṇya (Viśvarūpa) had disappeared there. He then went to the banks of the Kṛṣṇa-veṇvā River, where He collected from among the Vaiṣṇava brāhmaṇas a book written by Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura, Śrī Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta. The Lord then visited the Tāpī River, Māhiṣmatī-pura, the Narmadā River and Ṛṣyamūka-parvata. He entered Daṇḍakāraṇya and liberated seven palm trees. From there He visited a place known as Pampā-sarovara and visited Pañcavaṭī, Nāsika, Brahmagiri and also the source of the Godāvarī River, Kuśāvarta. Thus the Lord visited almost all the holy places in South India. He finally returned to Jagannātha Purī by taking the same route, after visiting Vidyānagara again."

    (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya Lila Summary)

    Bhaktivedanta Book Trust


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