Sri Caitanya's Nectarian River Pastimes, Part 33


The Nirvindhya River

Dec 10, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) — Sri Caitanya's transcendental pastimes with rivers.

The Nirvindhya River

Today we are covering the Nirvindhya River, which is mentioned in Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya lila. This ancient river is known today as the Newaz (or Newaj). It flows in the vacinity of Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh, northeast of Ujjain. A text quoted in an earlier segment, India in Kalidasa, mentions three great rivers systems in the North: the Sindhu, Ganga and Brahmaputra, and the Nirvindhya is mentioned as a branch of the Ganga system.

The Newaz River is a tributary fo the Parvati River, originating near the western boundary of Sehore District. It flows towards the north, and into the Shajapur District, near Geglekheri. The river then flows into Shujalpur and through Rajgarh district, joining with the Chambal River.

    Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 9.311

    dhanus-tīrtha dekhi' karilā nirvindhyāte snāne
    ṛṣyamūka-giri āilā daṇḍakāraṇye

    Word for word:
    dhanuḥ-tīrtha — Dhanus-tīrtha; dekhi' — seeing; karilā — did; nirvindhyāte — in the river Nirvindhyā; snāne — bathing; ṛṣyamūka-giri — at the Ṛṣyamūka Mountain; āilā — arrived; daṇḍaka-araṇye — in the forest known as Daṇḍakāraṇya.

    The Lord next arrived at Dhanus-tīrtha, where He took His bath in the river Nirvindhyā. He then arrived at Ṛṣyamūka Mountain and then went to Daṇḍakāraṇya.

    According to some opinions, Ṛṣyamūka is a chain of mountains beginning at the village of Hāmpi-grāma in the district of Belāri. The mountain chain begins along the bank of the river Tuṅgabhadrā, which gradually reaches the state of Hyderabad. According to other opinions, this hill is situated in Madhya Pradesh and bears the present name of Rāmpa. Daṇḍakāraṇya is a spacious tract of land which begins north of Khāndeśa and extends up to the southern Āhammada-nagara through Nāsika and Āuraṅgābāda. The Godāvarī River flows through this tract of land, and there is a great forest there where Lord Rāmacandra lived.

In his book, Historical Geography of Madhyapradesh from Early Records, author P. K. Bhattacharyya gives the following description of the ancient Nirvindhya River:

    "[The Nirvindhya] was also known as Nirvandhya (Vayu Purana). Literally, Nirvindhya implies 'issuing out of the Vindhya', which name according to Raychaudhuri may have been applied to several rivers on both sides of the Narmada. One of the Nirvindhyas is associated with Ujjayini and Avanti, and hence lay north of the Narmada. Another belongs to the Tapti-Payosni group.

    Kalidasa in his Meghaduta refers to the Nirvindhya, which, according to some, lay between Vidisa and Ujjaytini, or, in other words between the Dasarna (Dhasan) and the Sipra. Accordingly it has been identified with the modern Kalisindh, which is a south-eastern tributary fo the Chambal. It is also mentioned in the Brhatsamhita of Varahamihira. [1]

    Scholars like Sircar take the Nirvindhya of the Puranas as the modern Newuj, a tributary oF the Chambal flowing between the Betwa and the Kalisindh. According to Tod, the Newuj is also called Jam-niri." [2]

    [1] Brhatsamhita XVI, 9

    [2] Tod's Rajasthan, Vol. I, p. 17


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