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Nabadwip Dham ..... the land of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is none other than the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, who appeared in this Kali-yuga to inaugurate the yuga dharma for this age - Sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord.

His Appearance

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared at Sridhama Mayapura, in the city of Navadvipa in Bengal, on the Phalguni Purnima evening in the year 1486 AD. His father, Sri Jagannatha Mishra, a learned brahmana from the district of Sylhet, came to Navadvipa as a student. He lived on the banks of the Ganges with his wife Srimati Sacidevi, a daughter of Srila Nilambara Cakravarti, a great learned scholar of Navadvipa. Their youngest son, who was named Vishvambhara, later became known as Nimai Pandita and then, after accepting the renounced order of life, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. 

His Pastimes

His Teachings

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preached the Srimad-Bhagavatam and propagated the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita in the most practical way.

The essence of His teachings is recorded in Chaitanya Manjusha as follows:

  • Lord Sri Krsna, who appeared as the son of the King of Vraja (Nanda Maharaja), is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is worshipable by all.
  • Vrindavana-dhama is non-different from the Lord and hence is as worshipable as the Lord. 
  • The highest form of transcendental worship of the Lord was exhibited by the damsels of Vrajabhumi.
  • Srimad-Bhagavata Purana is the spotless literature for understanding the Lord.
  • The ultimate goal of human life is to attain the stage of prema, or love of God.

His instructions to Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, His discussions with Ramananda Raya, the debate with the Mayavadi sannyasi Prakashananda Sarasvati and the Vedanta Sutra Discussion between Him and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya are the excellent sources through which we understand His teachings in detail. 

The Lord left only eight slokas of His instructions in writing, and they are known as the Siksastaka. All other literatures based on His teachings were extensively written by the Lord's principal followers, the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana, and their followers.

His Mission - The Universal Religion

His mission was to preach the importance of chanting the holy names of the Lord in this age of Kali (quarrel). In this present age quarrels take place even over trifles, and therefore the sastras have recommended for this age a common platform for realization, namely chanting the holy names of the Lord. People can hold meetings to glorify the Lord in their respective languages and with melodious songs, and if such performances are executed in an offenseless manner, it is certain that the participants will gradually attain spiritual perfection without having to undergo more rigorous methods. At such meetings everyone, the learned and the foolish, the rich and the poor, the Hindus and the Muslims, the Englishmen and the Indians, and the candalas and the brahmanas, can all hear the transcendental sounds and thus cleanse the dust of material association from the mirror of the heart. To confirm the Lord's mission, all the people of the world will accept the holy name of the Lord as the common platform for the universal religion of mankind.

Sri Sacidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura appeared in 1838 in a wealthy family in the Nadia district, West Bengal. He revealed that he is an eternal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by his extraordinary preaching activities and prolific writing. Living as a, mahabhagavata Vaisnava, he stayed in the grhasta ashram until the last few years of his life. Then he renounced everything, accepted babaji, and entered samadhi, totally absorbed in the loving service of Gaura-Gadadhara and Radha-Madhava.
 
   "He had a responsible government position as the District Magistrate (high court judge), maintained a Krishna conscious family, and wrote almost one hundred books on Krishna consciousness. At the same time, he served the Supreme Lord in so many ways. That is the beauty of his life. After a full day of government service he would sleep four hours, get up at midnight and write until morning. That was his daily program." (Srila Prabhupada)
 
   Thakura Bhaktivinoda took Vaisnava diksa from Sri Vipinvihari Goswami in the line of Sri Jahnava Mata. Afterwards, he received spiritual inspiration and direction from Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji. Holding an exalted government post, vast erudition, and spiritual accomplishment never disturbed Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He remained prideless, always humble, friendly to all. Charity seekers at his home always left happy and satisfied. A well-wisher to everyone, he never kept grudges, even with opponents to his preaching. In fact, he never spoke a word that would hurt another's feelings. - See more at: http://gaudiyahistory.com/sri-bhaktivinoda-thakura/#sthash.tOl7pyfe.dpuf

Sri Sacidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura appeared in 1838 in a wealthy family in the Nadia district, West Bengal. He revealed that he is an eternal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by his extraordinary preaching activities and prolific writing. Living as a, mahabhagavata Vaisnava, he stayed in the grhasta ashram until the last few years of his life. Then he renounced everything, accepted babaji, and entered samadhi, totally absorbed in the loving service of Gaura-Gadadhara and Radha-Madhava.


 
   "He had a responsible government position as the District Magistrate (high court judge), maintained a Krishna conscious family, and wrote almost one hundred books on Krishna consciousness. At the same time, he served the Supreme Lord in so many ways. That is the beauty of his life. After a full day of government service he would sleep four hours, get up at midnight and write until morning. That was his daily program." (Srila Prabhupada)
 
   Thakura Bhaktivinoda took Vaisnava diksa from Sri Vipinvihari Goswami in the line of Sri Jahnava Mata. Afterwards, he received spiritual inspiration and direction from Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji. Holding an exalted government post, vast erudition, and spiritual accomplishment never disturbed Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He remained prideless, always humble, friendly to all. Charity seekers at his home always left happy and satisfied. A well-wisher to everyone, he never kept grudges, even with opponents to his preaching. In fact, he never spoke a word that would hurt another's feelings.

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Jagannatha Mandir

Five hundred years ago, at the time of Lord Chaitanya, there lived a very wonderful devotee named Jagadish Ganguli. His residence was in a small village near Mayapur. Although he was advanced in age, every year he would go on the 900 kilometer journey to Jagannath Puri on foot to associate with his master Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, take darshan of his beloved Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra Devi, and participate in the all-auspicious Ratha-yatra festival.

One day, less than a month before his scheduled departure for Puri, Jagadish’s plans were foiled. He was stricken with a terrible disease that left him completely blind. Because he was optimistic by nature, this did not dampen his desire to make the yearly padayatra to Puri. He would no longer be able to see the divine, all-merciful forms of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Jagannatha, that was for sure. But still he could relish the sound of sweet kirtana and discourses given by exalted Vaishnavas.

His friends and associates, however, were not so keen on him traveling. They considered the annual pilgrimage too long and dangerous for a blind man and refused to take him with them. Jagadish was heartbroken. His existence in this world became a cause for his constant lamentation and despondency. Somehow he passed his days, calling out for the all-merciful Jagannatha to be merciful to him.

Then, one night, Lord Jagannatha appeared to his devotee in a dream. The Lord told him that on the following day when he went for his daily bath in the Ganges, a log would touch his head and restore his vision. The Lord instructed Jagadish to take that log to a nearby village and request a certain devotee carpenter there to carve a Deity of Lord Jagannatha. The Lord also explained that at first the carpenter would refuse to do the work because he was a leper and his hands were very deformed. It was Jagadisha’s task to convince him to do the service. The Lord assured him that when the carpenter had completed the Deity his leprosy would be cured.

At the break of dawn Jagadish woke from his dream and marveled at it. Eagerly he readied himself for his daily bath. He paid his obeisances to Mother Ganga and then entered her sacred waters. Lord Jagannatha’s words were quickly proven true. A log touched his head and promptly restored his vision. Enlivened by the Lord’s shower of mercy, he took the log and quickly proceeded towards the nearby village. After many hours, an exhausted Jagadish found the leper carpenter, who flatly refused to carve the Deity.

He showed his deformed fingers and asked his expectant customer, “How is it possible for me to carve the divine form of the Lord with these hands?” An intense exchange followed, each devotee speaking his mind. Finally the leper agreed to carve Lord Jagannatha.

Jagadish lived with the devotee leper carpenter while he was carving his Lord. He saw him suffering terribly. Blood and pus oozed from the stumps that were once his fingers and his face was distorted by pain. He wanted to stop this torturous work. Somehow or other Jagadish managed to convince him to continue and constantly spoke to him the pastimes of his beloved Lord Jagannatha to distract his mind from the pain. Finally the Deity was completed and to his amazement, the devotee leper was cured of his leprosy.

In great pomp and celebration, Lord Jagannatha was carried to the site of the present temple and His worship was established there.

A few nights later Jagadish had another dream. This time Lord Jagannatha instructed him to take some nearby neem wood and request the same carpenter to make the deities of Lady Subhadra and Lord Baladeva. The devotee carpenter was delighted to offer his service and very soon Their Lordships were installed with great love and attention by their trusted devotee.

 

But then, one day Jagadish left this mortal world. His beloved deities were neglected. Indeed, Lord Jagannatha, Subhadra Devi and Lord Balarama were completely forgotten and over time their Temple deteriorated and collapsed around Them.

Some centuries later, a local villager noticed a unique, beautiful blue flower growing on top of a termite hill. Curious, he ventured closer and was amazed to hear a voice calling, “Please, please give Me some water”. Quickly he began digging, eager to search out the owner of the voice that instructed and intrigued him. To his utter surprise he unearthed the beautiful transcendental trio: Lord Jagannatha, Lady Subhadra and Lord Baladeva! He was further astonished to see that although the deities had been residing in the middle of a termite hill, Their wood was miraculously unharmed. This event happened about sixty years ago. Once again a temple was constructed and elaborate worship established.

In 1978 the aging pujari of their lordships, his health failing, began to worry. He was fearful that history would repeat itself, and could not bear the thought of his beloved Lords being neglected and inconvenienced again. He decided to offer their property to ISKCON. On the Gaura-purnima day of 1978 the most auspicious transaction took place and a beautiful new temple has since been constructed for Their Lordships’ pleasure.

The holy dhama of Sri Kshetra or Jagannatha Puri is eternally manifest in this holy place and that all the benefits one can attain by visiting Jagannatha Puri may be achieved visiting the Jagannatha Mandir at Simantadvipa in Sri Navadvipa-mandala. One of these many benefits is the opportunity to partake of Lord Jagannatha’s famous maha-prasadam. Lord Jagannatha’s mercy—in its most delicious form—is waiting for your visit and surely you will be blessed once you visit their lordships.

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