radhadese janmila thakura nityananda
gangadasa pandita, gupta murari, mukunda
radha-dese—the place where there is no Ganges; janmila—took birth; thakura nityananda—Nityananda Prabhu; gangadasa pandita—of the name Gangadasa Pandita; gupta murari—of the name Murari Gupta; mukunda—of the name Mukunda.
In Radhadesa, the part of Bengal where the Ganges is not visible, Nityananda Prabhu, Gangadasa Pandita, Murari Gupta and Mukunda took birth.
Here radha-dese refers to the village of the name Ekacakra in the district of Birbhum, next to Burdwan. After the Burdwan railway station there is another branch line, which is called the Loop Line of the eastern railway, and there is a railway station of the name Mallarapura. Eight miles east of this railway station Ekacakra Village is still situated. Ekacakra Village extends north and south for an area of about eight miles. Other villages, namely Viracandra-pura and Virabhadra-pura, are situated within the area of the village of Ekacakra. In honor of the holy name of Virabhadra Gosvami, these places are renowned as Viracandra-pura and Virabhadra-pura.
In the Bengali year 1331 (A.D. 1924) a thunderbolt struck the temple of Ekacakra-grama. Therefore the temple is now in a broken state. Before this, there were no such accidents in that quarter. Within the temple there is a Deity of Sri Krsna established by Sri Nityananda Prabhu. The name of the Deity is Bankima Raya or Banka Raya.
On the right side of Bankima Raya is a Deity of Jahnava, and on His left side is Srimati Radharani. The priests of the temple describe that Lord Nityananda Prabhu entered within the body of Bankima Raya and that the Deity of Jahnava-mata was therefore later placed on the right side of Bankima Raya. Afterwards, many other Deities were installed within the temple. On another throne within the temple are Deities of Muralidhara and Radha-Madhava. On another throne are Deities of Manomohana, Vrndavana-candra and Gaura-Nitai. But Bankima Raya is the Deity originally installed by Nityananda Prabhu.
On the eastern side of the temple is a ghata known as Kadamba-khandi on the bank of the Yamuna, and it is said that the Deity of Bankima Raya was floating in the water and Lord Nityananda Prabhu picked Him up and then installed Him in the temple. Thereafter, in a place known as Bhaddapura, in the village of Viracandra-pura, about half a mile west, in a place underneath a nima tree, Srimati Radharani was found. For this reason, the Radharani of Bankima Raya was known as Bhaddapurera Thakurani, the mistress of Bhaddapura. On another throne, on the right side of Bankima Raya, is a Deity of Yogamaya.
Now the temple and temple corridor rest on a high plinth, and on a concrete structure in front of the temple is a meeting hall. It is also said that on the northern side of the temple there was a Deity of Lord Siva named Bhandisvara and that the father of Nityananda Prabhu, Hadai Pandita, used to worship that Deity. At present, however, the Bhandisvara Deity is missing, and in his place a Jagannatha Svami Deity has been installed. Lord Nityananda Prabhu did not factually construct any temples. The temple was constructed at the time of Virabhadra Prabhu. In the Bengali year 1298 (A.D. 1891), the temple being in a dilapidated condition, a brahmacari of the name Sivananda Svami repaired it.
In this temple there is an arrangement to offer foodstuffs to the Deity on the basis of seventeen seers of rice and necessary vegetables. The present priestly order of the temple belongs to the family of Gopijana-vallabhananda, one of the branches of Nityananda Prabhu. There is a land settlement in the name of the temple, and income from this land finances the expenditures for the temple. There are three parties of priestly gosvamis who take charge of the temple management, one after another. A few steps onward from the temple is a place known as Visramatala, where it is said that Nityananda Prabhu in His childhood used to enjoy sporting with His boyfriends by enacting the rasa-lila and various other pastimes of Vrndavana.
Near the temple is a place named Amalitala, which is so named because of a big tamarind tree there. According to a party named the Nedadi-sampradaya, Virabhadra Prabhu, with the assistance of twelve hundred Nedas, dug a great lake of the name Svetaganga. Outside of the temple are tombs of the Gosvamis, and there is a small river known as the Maudesvara, which is called the water of Yamuna. Within half a mile from this small river is the birthplace of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. It appears that there was a big meeting hall in front of the temple, but later it became dilapidated. It is now covered by banyan trees. Later on, a temple was constructed within which Gaura-Nityananda Deities are existing. The temple was constructed by the late Prasannakumara Karapharma. A tablet was installed in his memory in the Bengali year 1323 (A.D. 1916), in the month of Vaisakha (April-May).
The place where Nityananda Prabhu appeared is called Garbhavasa. There is an allotment of about forty-three bighas (fourteen acres) of land to continue the worship in a temple there. The Maharaja of Dinajapura donated twenty bighas (6.5 acres) of land in this connection. It is said that near the place known as Garbhavasa, Hadai Pandita conducted a primary school. The priests of this place, listed in a genealogical table, were as follows: (1) Sri Raghavacandra, (2) Jagadananda dasa, (3) Krsnadasa, (4) Nityananda dasa, (5) Ramadasa, (6) Vrajamohana dasa, (7) Kanai dasa, (8) Gauradasa, (9) Sivananda dasa and (10) Haridasa. Krsnadasa belonged to the Cidiya-kunja at Vrndavana. The date of his disappearance is Krsna-janmastami. Cidiya-kunja is a place now managed by the gosvamis of Singara-ghata in Vrndavana. They are also known as belonging to the Nityananda family, most probably on the basis of their relationship with Krsnadasa.
Near Garbhavasa is a place called Bakulatala, where Sri Nityananda Prabhu and His boyfriends used to take part in sporting activities known as jhala-jhapeta. There is a bakula tree there that is wonderful because all its branches and subbranches look like the hoods of serpents. It has been suggested that by the desire of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Anantadeva manifested Himself in that way. The tree is very old. It is said that formerly it had two trunks, but later on, when the playmates of Nityananda Prabhu felt inconvenience in jumping from the branches of one trunk to those of the nother, Nityananda Prabhu, by His mercy, merged the two trunksinto one.
Another place nearby is named Hantugada. It is said that Lord Nityananda Prabhu brought all the holy places there. Therefore the people in the surrounding villages go there instead of to the Ganges to take bath. It is named Hantugada because Srila Nityananda Prabhu used to perform the dadhi-cida festival of distributing chipped rice with yogurt prasada there and He took the prasada kneeling down. A sanctified lake in this place is always full of water throughout the year. A great fair is held there during Gosthastami, and there is another big fair on the birthday of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika it is described that Halayudha, Baladeva, Visvarupa and Sankarsana appeared as Nityananda Avadhuta.
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