Sripat Hapaniya Dham
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
We are very happy today because we have come here at Sripat Hapaniya Dham. We come and make a festival here three times every year—at this time (pancham dol, Sri Sri Radha Gopinath's installation day), the day after Radhastami, and the day after Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's appearance day in Kartik month. We come here every year and this year also we have come here by the mercy of Guru Maharaj, Srila Sridhar Maharaj and the devotees. You have also come with us and you are very fortunate to be able to come to such a holy place, the place where our Guru Maharaj appeared.
It is a very small village, but it cannot be compared to any other village. Srila Jajavar Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj, Srila Madhusudan Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj, Srila Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj and others—they all visited this place. The Deities here were installed by Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj. We heard from Gurudev that Hapaniya is not an ordinary village. 'Hapaniya' meanings is 'sweet water': you can drink some coconut water here and see that the taste is not the same as in Nabadwip or other places, it is different.
Be careful here with your camera, mobile phone and shoes. In the places where a great personality is born, there a great thief is born also. You can see Vrindavan, Mathura—Krishna was born there and there are also many thieves there. There are thieves in Nabadwip, in Puri, Bamunpara also (you can easily lose your shoes there).
When I came here for the first time, Gurudev sent me to see the construction works. I saw that the construction was not good, what they did was bad, and reported to Gurudev (at that time Gurudev was not here, he was abroad, so I told him about it on the phone). Gurudev was very upset. One day, when I came here again, the person who was the temple manager at the time closed all gates and had some people beat me and put in a sack. I shouted "Radha Gopinath!" and many people jumped over the temple wall and saved me. This is what happened. Those people left the temple a long time ago, and now the temple, the service is running properly by the mercy of the sannyasi here. You know, his name before was Poresh Prabhu. He was born in Bamunpara, Gurudev's birthplace. One day, Gurudev said to me, "You have made a temple in Bamunapara, but you cannot make even one person a devotee there, that is my sadness." But I tried and tried, I preached there and in the end I got a brahmachari, his name was Poresh Brahmachari. This year (2016) he took sannyas, and his name became Bhakti Purna Sroti Maharaj. He is managing the temple here, he is serving here alone. We have a lot of land (6-7 acres) that I bought from Srila Sridhar Maharaj's family—I cannot come here personally to cultivate it, but one of my disciples, Tarok Prabhu, is taking care of the cows and the land. His wife, Varnali Didi, also helps. Service is going on perfectly here.
We come here mainly to pay obeisances to our Guru-vargas' place. Why? You know that Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also took some devotees to Halisahar, the birthplace of His Guru, Ishwara Puri. (One brahmin lady gave some land nearby, it is near Kolkata, Dum Dum Park, and fortunately we went to that place.) When Mahaprabhu was there with the devotees, He told the devotees to take some dust from that place, and Mahaprabhu and the devotees took so much dust and soil from that place that there appeared a big pond. 'Doba' means a pond, so the place became known as Chaitanya Doba. When some devotees do Gaura mandal parikrama they visit that place, it is about forty minutes from Dum Dum Park, on the way to Nabadwip.
All our Guru-varga came to Hapaniya. When Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj came here, he would walk from Nabadwip. We came here by bus or by car, but he would walk twenty-five kilometres from Nabadwip and chant Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Prema Dhama Deva Stotram,
Later, the Supreme Lord travelled to the holy places of pilgrimage in South India with the clever intention of delivering the fallen souls. Appearing as a beautiful young renunciate, He distributed the sweet Names of the Lord, singing: "Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna he," as He strolled down the different pathways, entered temples, and visited homesteads during the sacred pilgrimage. Infused with an inconceivable type of divine inspiration, the Lord freely chanted "Rama Rama" and joyfully danced with the most charming gestures. Irrespective of time or personal qualification, the assembled bystanders were delivered by the Lord, who inspired them to chant Krishna's Holy Names. I offer my obeisances to that beautiful Golden Lord, Gauranga Sundar, the divine form of Krishna prema.
(Prema-dhama-deva Stotram, 22)
He would walk around the village searching for the place where Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj studied. Before, there was no high school in Hapaniya, so Guru Maharaj studied in Okersa high school, it is in a village about two kilometres from here. Later Guru Maharaj's family gave some land and the local people made a high school in Hapaniya, the government helped them also.
Every day Guru Maharaj would go also to the Ganges, walking two-three kilometres. He would bathe and bring a lotus flower for Lord Siva. Hapaniya is situated in a very high place, and you can see that Nabadwip is flooded nearly every year, but not Hapaniya (sometimes the fields are flooded, but never the place where the temple stands). Varsana is also in a very high place, and Sripad Jajavar Maharaj said that Hapaniya is non-different from Varsana.
When Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj came to Hapaniya, he would search for the places where Srila Sridhar Maharaj played football, for the pond where he bathed, for the school where he studied, and so on. Srila Sridhar Maharaj said, "You are my godbrother. You come to Hapaniya, it is all right, but why do you search for the place of my playground, etc.?" Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj replied, "Because when I read your slokas, I remember Srila Rupa Goswami—I feel that Rupa Goswami himself writes these slokas, that he himself inspires you. That is why I come here and want to see these places."
At first, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj did not want to come here. He left this village and did not want to come back, but Gurudev forcefully took him here. When they were installing Sri Sri Radha Gopinath, Srila Sridhar Maharaj said to Gurudev, "OK, I can go, but I cannot stay there. I will only go to see your festival." But the village people have so much attachment to him that they did not let him leave. Guru Maharaj said, "I cannot stay in my birthplace, it is impossible," but they forcefully kept him here for three days. He stayed these three days here at this temple, in a room upstairs.
We come here to pay obeisance to Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj because he is not an ordinary person. We come and pray to his family, we pay obeisance to them and beg them for mercy. That is why we come here.
The room where Radha Gopinath now are is the labour room, the room where Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj was born. There was another house in its place before, but it was broken and Gurudev made a temple on its place. Nearby, you saw a small temple of Lord Siva, this is where Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj started kirtan from.
Guru Maharaj would always say to Srila Govinda Maharaj, "This is not my temple, it is your temple." All of Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's godbrothers came here and saw this place as non-different from Varsana.
So, you have heard today something about the history of Sripat Hapaniya Dham. I saw some photograph in Gaudiya Darshan—when Gurudev came here for the festival, he would do parikrama with the devotees, visiting Santi Sarovar and other places. Now there are not many family members of Srila Guru Maharaj staying here, most of them got a job and moved to cities, they did not stay in the village, but still this place Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Ashram exists here, Sri Sri Guru Radha Gopinath are transcendental, They still exist here, Srila Guru Maharaj's birthplace still exists, and that is why we come here every year to pay our obeisance, to get mercy of Guru Maharaj.
Jaya Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay!
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