rāḍhadeśe janmilā ṭhākura nityānanda
gaṅgādāsa paṇḍita, gupta murāri, mukunda
rāḍha-deśe—the place where there is no Ganges; janmilā—took birth; ṭhākura nityānanda—Nityānanda Prabhu; gaṅgādāsa paṇḍita—of the name Gaṅgādāsa Paṇḍita; gupta murāri—of the name Murāri Gupta; mukunda—of the name Mukunda.
In Rāḍhadeśa, the part of Bengal where the Ganges is not visible, Nityānanda Prabhu, Gaṅgādāsa Paṇḍita, Murāri Gupta and Mukunda took birth.
Here rāḍha-deśe refers to the village of the name Ekacakrā 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 Mallārapura. Eight miles east of this railway station Ekacakrā Village is still situated. Ekacakrā Village extends north and south for an area of about eight miles. Other villages, namely Vīracandra-pura and Vīrabhadra-pura, are situated within the area of the village of Ekacakrā. In honor of the holy name of Vīrabhadra Gosvāmī, these places are renowned as Vīracandra-pura and Vīrabhadra-pura.
In the Bengali year 1331 (A.D. 1924) a thunderbolt struck the temple of Ekacakrā-grāma. 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 Śrī Kṛṣṇa established by Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. The name of the Deity is Baṅkima Rāya or Bāṅkā Rāya.
On the right side of Baṅkima Rāya is a Deity of Jāhnavā, and on His left side is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. The priests of the temple describe that Lord Nityānanda Prabhu entered within the body of Baṅkima Rāya and that the Deity of Jāhnavā-mātā was therefore later placed on the right side of Baṅkima Rāya. Afterwards, many other Deities were installed within the temple. On another throne within the temple are Deities of Muralīdhara and Rādhā-Mādhava. On another throne are Deities of Manomohana, Vṛndāvana-candra and Gaura-Nitāi. But Baṅkima Rāya is the Deity originally installed by Nityānanda Prabhu.
On the eastern side of the temple is a ghāṭa known as Kadamba-khaṇḍī on the bank of the Yamunā, and it is said that the Deity of Baṅkima Rāya was floating in the water and Lord Nityānanda Prabhu picked Him up and then installed Him in the temple. Thereafter, in a place known as Bhaḍḍāpura, in the village of Vīracandra-pura, about half a mile west, in a place underneath a nima tree, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was found. For this reason, the Rādhārāṇī of Baṅkima Rāya was known as Bhaḍḍāpurera Ṭhākurāṇī, the mistress of Bhaḍḍāpura. On another throne, on the right side of Baṅkima Rāya, is a Deity of Yogamāyā.
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 Śiva named Bhāṇḍīśvara and that the father of Nityānanda Prabhu, Hāḍāi Paṇḍita, used to worship that Deity. At present, however, the Bhāṇḍīśvara Deity is missing, and in his place a Jagannātha Svāmī Deity has been installed. Lord Nityānanda Prabhu did not factually construct any temples. The temple was constructed at the time of Vīrabhadra Prabhu. In the Bengali year 1298 (A.D. 1891), the temple being in a dilapidated condition, a brahmacārī of the name Śivānanda Svāmī 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 Gopījana-vallabhānanda, one of the branches of Nityānanda 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 gosvāmīs who take charge of the temple management, one after another. A few steps onward from the temple is a place known as Viśrāmatalā, where it is said that Nityānanda Prabhu in His childhood used to enjoy sporting with His boyfriends by enacting the rāsa-līlā and various other pastimes of Vṛndāvana.
Near the temple is a place named Āmalītalā, which is so named because of a big tamarind tree there. According to a party named the Neḍādi-sampradāya, Vīrabhadra Prabhu, with the assistance of twelve hundred Neḍās, dug a great lake of the name Śvetagaṅgā. Outside of the temple are tombs of the Gosvāmīs, and there is a small river known as the Mauḍeśvara, which is called the water of Yamunā. Within half a mile from this small river is the birthplace of Śrī Nityānanda 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-Nityānanda Deities are existing. The temple was constructed by the late Prasannakumāra Kārapharmā. A tablet was installed in his memory in the Bengali year 1323 (A.D. 1916), in the month of Vaiśākha (April-May).
The place where Nityānanda Prabhu appeared is called Garbhavāsa. There is an allotment of about forty-three bighās (fourteen acres) of land to continue the worship in a temple there. The Mahārāja of Dinājapura donated twenty bighās (6.5 acres) of land in this connection. It is said that near the place known as Garbhavāsa, Hāḍāi Paṇḍita conducted a primary school. The priests of this place, listed in a genealogical table, were as follows: (1) Śrī Rāghavacandra, (2) Jagadānanda dāsa, (3) Kṛṣṇadāsa, (4) Nityānanda dāsa, (5) Rāmadāsa, (6) Vrajamohana dāsa, (7) Kānāi dāsa, (8) Gauradāsa, (9) Śivānanda dāsa and (10) Haridāsa. Kṛṣṇadāsa belonged to the Ciḍiyā-kuñja at Vṛndāvana. The date of his disappearance is Kṛṣṇa-janmāṣṭamī. Ciḍiyā-kuñja is a place now managed by the gosvāmīs of Śiṅgāra-ghāṭa in Vṛndāvana. They are also known as belonging to the Nityānanda family, most probably on the basis of their relationship with Kṛṣṇadāsa.
Near Garbhavāsa is a place called Bakulatalā, where Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and His boyfriends used to take part in sporting activities known as jhāla-jhapeṭā. 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 Śrī Nityānanda 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 Nityānanda Prabhu felt inconvenience in jumping from the branches of one trunk to those of the nother, Nityānanda Prabhu, by His mercy, merged the two trunksinto one.
Another place nearby is named Hāṅṭugāḍā. It is said that Lord Nityānanda 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 Hāṅṭugāḍā because Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu used to perform the dadhi-ciḍā festival of distributing chipped rice with yogurt prasāda there and He took the prasāda kneeling down. A sanctified lake in this place is always full of water throughout the year. A great fair is held there during Goṣṭhāṣṭamī, and there is another big fair on the birthday of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā it is described that Halāyudha, Baladeva, Viśvarūpa and Saṅkarṣaṇa appeared as Nityānanda Avadhūta.
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