Giriraja and shaligrams
Gaura Prema Shila
The stories of Giriraja, Gaura Prema Shila and the other Dandabhanga deities here: http://www.dandabhanga.com/
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When Sriman Mahaprabhu went alone to visit the temple of Lord Sivaji
known as Kapatesvara Mahadev, Lord Nityananda Prabhu, taking advantage
of the absence of Mahaprabhu, broke His danda (staff) into three pieces
and threw it into the sacred waters of river Kancha (the tributary of river
Bhargavi). After the occurrence of this wonderful pastime, the river subsequently
came to be known as river Dandabhanga ("Dandabhanga" meaning breaking of
What makes this site so great and important? Let us just look at one
saying of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. That is, in one of its verse it says:
danda-bhanga-lila ei — parama gambhira
sei bujhe, dunhara pade yanra bhakti dhira
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya Lila, Ch-5, text-158)
"This Dandabhanga pastime, of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu, is supremely deep, supremely grave and supremely hidden. Only to him, who is unflinchingly surrendered and soberly fixed at the Divine Lotus Feet of the two Lords, in his heart of hearts, can the immeasurable glories of this great eternal pastime be revealed."
Here, let us observe the word parama. It is a very significant word.
We can see that in the first verse of the Sri Brahma Samhita it is stated:
isvara parama krsna
sat chit ananda vigraha
anadir adir govinda
sarva karana karanam
In the entire Sri Brahma Samhita we find the word parama being used
only once and that too with respect to this particular verse only.
Similarly, for example, in the first canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, we find verses like:
satyam parama dimahi
jnanam parama guhyate
Here also, in the whole Srimad-Bhagavatam, this particular word parama
has been used very rarely.
Therefore, parama is undoubtedly very highly significant and spiritually potent word. It is a word used very rarely in all the great Vedic literatures.
Similarly, there is another word that is also very significant, that
is dhira. dhira means very sober.
As you can see in Srimad Bhagavad-gita in one verse it is said:
tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati
Now interestingly, one can see that in none of the pastimes of the Supreme Lord, be it His Lila Purushottama Sri Krishna Lila, His Maryada Purushottama Rama Lila or His Prema Purushottama Gaura Lila, are the words parama and dhira being used simultaneously, anywhere, excluding that of the Dandabhanga pastime.
As a result, the Dandabhanga Pastime is the only exception. That itself shows the depth of this pastime.
We can get more information about this Dandabhanga pastime from two of the most authentic scriptures that provide accounts of the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; namely Sri Caitanya Chakada and Mahabhava Prakash. These scriptures are themselves the eternal associates of the Lord. Sri Caitanya Chakada was compiled by the great vaisnava poet of Orissa namely Srila Govinda Dasa, and Mahabhava Prakash was compiled by Srila Kanhai Khuntia (the disciple of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu). In Sri Caitanya Chakada it is mentioned that when the danda was broken and thrown by Lord Nityananda into the sacred river it floated on the water and stopped close to the asrama of Bhrgu Muni. In this way, it got itself submerged underneath the sacred river Bhargavi.
Verse from Sri Caitanya Chakada
kapatesvara darsana karila sekale
bhavavese gauracandra dekhi bhavabhole
jagannatha krsnacandra aprakruta rupa
smarana karina prabhu arambhila stotra
mahabhava dekhi nityananda prabhu danda nei
tinigada kari bhangi deleka bhasai
ahamkara soham bhava bhargave srotare
bhasia calila danda taranga vidhire
dandabhanga nadi nama vaishnabe chintile
bhrugura asrama tate se danda lagile
budhalinga pattanare nama sankirtana
anandare nishi puhaila mahajana
pratah kale bhargavire karina snahana
ksetra pathe chale prabhu pramudita mana
(Verse from Sri Caitanya Chakada)
The Supreme Lord along with His associates blissfully spent the whole
night at Budha Linga Pattana in performing ecstatic harinama sankirtana.
Then during the morning time, after bathing in the river Bhargavi the Lord
went to take the darsana of Lord Kapatesvara Mahadev.
While getting the darsana of Kapatesvaraji, he reached a height of great ecstatic emotion and subsequently could also, from a distance, see the great eternal transcendental forms of the Supreme Lord Sri Jagannath—Krsnacandra. With intense remembrance of those two great Transcendental Forms, Lord Gauracandra started to recite many wonderful stotras in an extemporal manner (verses based upon the prayer offered to the Supreme Lord). After that, He blissfully began to proceed towards Puri.
At that time, while seeing this great ecstatic state of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Nityananda Prabhu who was holding His danda (staff) broke it into three pieces and threw it into the river Bhargavi. The mood of "I ‘ness" and "I am one with the omnipresent "The", along with the danda floated away in the streams of the river. In this way, the danda continued to float and finally reached at the bank of the river Bhargavi located near the asrama of Bhrgu Muni. From then on, the Vaisnavas at large named the river as Dandabhanga.
It is mentioned here that a piece of the danda came and stopped close to the asrama of Bhrgu Muni. Maharshi Bhrgu was one among the greatest seers of the truth and surprisingly he had established his asrama over here since times of yore. The original worshippable Deities of Their Supreme Lordships Sri Sita, Rama, Laksmana, Bharat, Sathrugna and Hanumanji that were originally worshipped by Bhrgu Muni himself, are even now, being worshipped over here in a monastery which is still named as Bhrgu Muni asrama. Also the great renowned Astrological Doctrine namely Sri Bhrgu Samhita was compiled by Brghu Muni over here at his asrama.
Maharshi Bhrgu was an exceptionally great personality. It is said that he was even greater than the sapta rsi (the seven great sages). In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says, maharsi nam bhrgur aham (i.e.) "...among the sages I am Bhrgu". Therefore, Maharsi Bhrgu is none other than a saktyavesa avatara of the Lord Himself. Therefore, the site at which this great sage had his asrama since ancient times is surely not ordinary.
Now, let us try to understand the mood of Bhrgu Muni. Why did he decide
to establish his asrama and yagna kunda over here, especially on the bank
of river Bhargavi?
We can take the example of the great Bharadwaja Muni who, through his transcendental vision, was able realize that the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, in the form of Sri Ramacandra, would one day pass through the jungle of Dandakaranya. Therefore, at that time, he purposely established his asrama over there to avail the opportunity of hosting Lord Ramacandra. In that way, by doing so, he got the chance of washing the Lord’s feet, and drinking the water that washed His feet.
In a similar manner, as per the saying of a great sadhu, Bhrgu Muni had also, in his transcendental vision, foreseen the arrival of the Supreme Lord Sri Caitanya at this site. As a result of knowing this, he enthusiastically took advantage of welcoming Mahaprabhu and washing His feet.
We will now take a look at all the different ancient temples located very close to the site.
First, we come to the ancient shrine of Lord Kapatesvara Mahadev. In the Skhanda Purana, it is mentioned that when Maryada Purushottama Bhagavan Sri Ramacandra with the Supreme Mother, Srimati Sita Devi and younger brother Sri Laksman were traveling to Sri Purushottama Dham (Nilacala Dham), They came across a wonderful sight. They found a beautiful pond where Lord Sivaji and Devi Parvathi were engaged in water sport activities. Lord Sivaji and Mother Parvathi Devi realized that the sight of the Supreme Lord had caught them and out of shame they immediately transformed into the form of a male and female dove (wild pigeon) and hid themselves in the neighboring forest. Lord Sri Ramacandra is the supremely worshippable Lord of Sivaji. In order to commemorate this wonderful pastime and proclaim the glories of his supreme devotee, Lord Sri Ramacandra purposefully established the temple of Lord Sivaji and named it as "Kapatesvara Mahadev". The meaning of kapata is "dove".
Lord Kapatesvara Mahadev is the eternal custodian of this great Dham,
since time immemorial.
A little away from the temple of Kapatesvara Mahadev, is a village named Guhakapalli.
Guhaka was the tribal chief who, after establishing friendship with the Supreme Lord Sri Ramacandra, had accompanied Him along with mother Sita Devi and brother Laksmana in the forests over here. Until a few years ago, in this place there was a Deity of Guhaka with tears rolling down from his eyes.
As per the narration of sastra, it was said that when the Supreme Lord Sri Ramacandra asked His friend Guhaka why he was crying, he replied, "Oh, Lord! My Supreme Mother Sita Devi, who was supposed to sleep on the softest mattress is now sleeping over pointed hard rocks. How can I tolerate seeing this?"
Guhaka, the tribal chief is helping their Supreme Lordships Sri Sita, Rama and Laksman to cross a river
That is the reason why we find tears in the eyes of Guhaka.
Hence, these are some of the glories of Rama Lila that took place in Sri Purushottama Dham. It is only natural and not at all surprising that such events take place here, after all this is the Supreme Dham of Lord Jagannath.
Guhaka, the tribal chief is helping their Supreme Lordships Sri Sita, Rama and Laksmana to cross a river
Then, we come to the temple of Sri Budha Linga Mahadev. Lord Budha Linga
Mahadev is Lord Sivaji himself. Lord Caitanya had visited this temple on
His way to Sri Jagannath Puri. The wonderful fact over here is that the
lingam of Lord Sivaji is expanding day by day.
Then, on the other side of the river Bhargavi, we can find the temple of Lord Dandabhanga Gopinath. The great devotee king Maharaja Prathap Rudra Dev, 500 years ago, had founded this temple in order to commemorate the great Dandabhanga pastime.
Lastly, if we go even further, we will find the temple of Lord Ganga Narayanjiu, which is situated close to the bank of river Barghavi. Actually, river Bhargavi and river Dandabhanga are the direct manifestations of Ganga and Yamuna respectively. This information is revealed in the scriptures. 500 years ago, on the auspicious occasion of Sri Krishna Janmasttami, Sriman Mahaprabhu had performed the great Maha Yamuna Snana (the ceremony of bathing) on this river and declared to everyone that this river was Yamuna herself.
All these important sites, that are mentioned above, are located within the Pancha Krosha of Sri Jagannath Puri Dham.
What is the meaning of Pancha Krosha?
In the Skhanda Purana Utkhala Khanda and in the Padma Purana it is well narrated that Sri Jagannath Puri Dham, which is also known as Sri Purushottama Dham, is spread all the way from Battavraksha (the great banyan tree) up to Dashwasamedha Ghat on the bank of river Vaitarani near Jajpur (Orissa). It covers an area of 80 sq miles.
[Jajpur is very close to Kapilesvara (the birthplace of Lord Caitanya
Mahaprabhu’s grandfather). It is the place from where His grandfather’s
family had migrated to Bengal. In this way, historically speaking, we can
come to know that the ancestors of Sriman Mahaparabhu were all originally
The Hridaya Mandala (heart) of Sri Jagannath Puri Dham spreads all the way up to Bhubanesvara. Finally, the Atma Mandala or the soul of Sri Jagannath Puri Dham remains within the Pancha Krosha. Pancha Krosha means five kroshas and one krosha is equivalent to a distance 1.3 miles.
The Dandabhanga pastime site of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is located within the diameter of Pancha Krosha. Therefore, Sri Dandabhanga Dham has the added advantage of being within the Atma Mandala (soul part) of Sri Purushottama Dham coupled with the entire potency of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the form of His danda.
Even more than this is the fact that the supreme Dandabhanga pastime of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is eternally taking place over here. Therefore, the glories and greatness of this Param Nityalila Pitha (supreme eternal pastime site) is beyond comparison.
Actually, if one makes comparison between Dhams by describing some as superior and inferior, then it will be a great offense on that person’s part. This only happens due to ignorance and by doing so; it reveals one’s spiritual immaturity.
In reality, Dhams can never be compared. However, at the same time no one can ignore a simple fact that every Dham has its own time for displaying its mercy and glories openly. The factor of time doesn’t govern the spiritual world. It is found only in the material world. Therefore, in the material world everything occurs in relation to a particular time, place and situation.
This can be very nicely explained by citing the example of river Yamuna, which was present during the pastimes of Lord Ramacandra. She was also present during the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but her glories were brought to limelight and spread all over the world only during the period of Lord Krishna’s pastimes.
This is as far as time is concerned.
Now as far as place is concerned, we see that the river Yamuna is present at Delhi. She is also present at Agra (place of the Taj Mahal), but in actuality, the river Yamuna’s presence at Vrindavan and Mathura is really felt as river Yamuna relating to the eternal pastimes of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which have Their own glories.
Therefore, according to the declaration and prophecy made by the great saints of unparalleled stature, this is the time of Sri Dandabhanga Dham. Now is the time when the glories of this great Dham are becoming fully manifest. Lord Caitanya has personally remained present here in the form of His danda to shower the most extremely rare mercy of Krishna-prema to one and all. Krishna-prema is the supreme goal of life, and the one who is able to take advantage of this rare opportunity is indeed the most fortunate soul.
As we see in Sri Sacitanayashtakam, compiled by Srila Sarva Bhauma Battacarya,
the prayers offered are as follows:
durjana kalmasha khandana dandam
tan pranamami sri saci tanayam
This danda is meant to vanquish the sins of the wicked demons. I offer my obeisances to that great holder of the danda.
The danda is not meant to vanquish the wicked demons, but instead it
is meant to vanquish the sins in the hearts of these demons. A demon is
termed as a "demon" because of his sinful qualities and the danda is specifically
meant to smash those sinful qualities. Therefore, the most fortunate demon
will no longer remain a demon, but instead will become a devotee.
In Srila Locana Das Thakur’s Caitanya Mangala, we also come to know that the flute of Krishna is none other than the danda of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu when Mahaprabhu addresses His danda, saying:
ami ye sakala chadi karilu sanyasa
tumi na chadile more janme ajnme vamsa
rama avatare tumi dhanuka hayan
rahile amare hate dustera lagiya
krsna avatare vamsi haya mora kare
mohita karila tume akhila samsare
ebe danda hayan mora aila karete
kali yuge pasanda dalana hetu rite
(Sri Caitanya Mangala, Madhya Khanda, Atirikta paat)
"Oh, My danda! I am amazed to see that although I have given up everything by becoming a sannyasi, still you have never given Me up but instead remained with Me life after life. When I was traveling in the forest as Lord Sri Ramacandra, you were always in My hand as My bow and arrow. And also during My Lila Purushottama pastime of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, you were always there in My hand as My flute captivating the entire world with Krishna-prema. And now after I have given up everything, still you have never given Me up and thus you remain with Me as My danda in order to vanquish the bogus philosophies of pasandis (the atheists) in Kali-yuga."
In Sri Caitanya Sahasra Nama compiled by the great Puri Das (the middle son of Srila Sivananda Sen), it says:
kalashodasa sampurnah purnabrahma sanatanah
caitanya krishna chaitanyo danda dhrk nyastadandakah
That is, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is named as holder of the danda and is also named as the one who has established Himself at that place in the form of His danda.
Therefore, after taking all these facts into consideration, we come
to the conclusion that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His danda are non different
and inseparable from each other.
It was noticed in the Lord’s divine pastime, that the danda was broken,
by Lord Nityananda, into three pieces.
But was the danda really broken? This is also a mystery.
In actuality, the danda in hand of Lord Caitanya can never be broken. There is no destruction of any kind whatsoever of the spiritual substance. And at the same time, there is also no difference between one and many as well as many and one.
While describing the nature of the soul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, explained very well in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita that the soul is unbreakable and insoluble. It cannot be cut in to pieces. If the souls who are the subjective variegated atomic expansions of God are indestructible and imperishable, then how can God, Who expands Himself in the form of His danda, be broken into pieces?
Although in the Lila, the danda appeared as if it was broken into pieces, in actuality it still remains as the same undivided one. Even in the material field, if some one breaks dry firewood into pieces, the fire never gets divided although it so appears outwardly. When such is the case in the material sphere, then what can be spoken of the undivided-inseparable-eternal oneness of the great spiritual substance, the danda?
The truth, as heard from the great-realized souls, is that Mahaprabhu
still remains present here in the form of His danda.
All the devotees have taken shelter in that danda including the supreme among devotees Lord Sivaji himself.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (3rd Canto, Ch-14, text-35), Lord Sivaji is also addressed by Diti as
sivaya nyasta dandaya dhruta dandaya manyave meaning "installer and holder of the danda".
Lord Sivaji has himself taken shelter of that danda.
Another interesting fact is that the Dandabhanga pastime of Sriman Mahaprabhu had taken place very close to the ancient shrine of Lord Kapatesvara Mahadev (Sivaji) and that too exactly at the time when Mahaprabhu was paying His visit over there. But, it was Mahaprabhu Himself, in the form of Lord Ramacandra, Who had established this lingam, at least a million years ago. Hence, here lies the mystery. The verses of the Srimad-Bhagavatam carry many different meanings and this particular verse is indeed very mysterious.
All the demigods and devotees including the supreme among devotees,
Lord Sivaji himself, have taken shelter of this great Supreme Danda. They
are very much there along with Their Supreme Lordships Sri Sri Radha Gopinath,
Jagannath, Baladev, Subhadra Maa, Sudarsana and Gaura Nitai in form of
the danda to indiscriminately shower the rare mercy of Krishna-prema to
one and all.
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