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Remembering Chapahati

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Tarakeshwar area, noon programme
13 February 2021, part 1
Translated from Bengali


We have very little time today, I will speak more at the evening class, but now I will tell you two stories.

When we go to Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama, we go to Chapahati on the last day. It is part of Bardhaman district now. Many of you will think that you will have to walk all the way to Bardhaman during the parikrama, but it is not so—we go up to Chapahati by bus, and from there we do the parikrama, and when it is time to return, we also return by bus. Anyhow, I want to tell you two pastimes, one in Chapahati, and the other one is Mamgachhi. The two places are located on two islands, one on Ritudwip, and the other one is in Modadrumdwip. Nabadwip consists of nine islands, and on the last day, we do the parikrama of three islands: Ritudwip, Modadrumdwip, and Jahnudwip.

When Bhagirath Maharaj took Ganga to the ocean, they were passing Nabadwip on the way, and Ganga stopped there. Ganga Devi performed austerities in Nabadwip and refused to go further. She said, "I will not go. My Lord will come here—He will appear in this Nabadwip Dham, so I will not go to the ocean now." In this way, Ganga Devi stayed in Nabadwip for one month and practiced austerities. Later, she started moving again and flooded the whole area—the current of Ganga was so strong when she came down to this planet. It happened so that the current of the Ganges carried away a pot of Jahnu Muni. The sage became angry that his pot that he was using for the worship of the Lord had been taken away, so he cursed Ganga and made it dry up. After that, Bhagirath Maharaj came there and prayed to the sage, and Jahnu Muni again released Ganga Devi out of his thigh (jahnu). Why do you think Ganga Devi is known as Jahnavi? Because she appeared from the thigh of Jahnu Muni. When we recite the Jaya Dhvani, we say 'Jahvani Devi ki jay'—Jahnavi Devi means Ganga Devi.

So, listen carefully to the first story. Are you all hungry? It is already lunch time! [His Divine Grace chuckles.] So, this is the first story.

So, during the parikrama, we go to a place called Ritudwip. Why was it called Ritudwip (Rtudwip)? Because all seasons (ritu, or rtu) reside there simultaneously. There are six seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, pre-winter, winter. Now, all seasons are upside down, but all these six seasons reside simultaneously in Ritudwip. Sometimes, around the Gaura Purnima time, it can rain, it can be cold, etc. So, on this island of Ritudwip, there is a place called Chapahati (there used to grow many champa trees, that is why this place became famous as Chapahati, or Champahati, and a gopi named Champakalata would make and offer garlands from those flowers for Sri Radha and Krishna).

At some point, Jayadev and Padmavati came to live in that Chapahati. Jayadev composed his famous Gita Govinda there. One day, he was sitting in his house, writing a scripture, when suddenly he could not remember what to write further. So, he went to bathe in the Ganges. In the meantime, the Supreme Lord Krishna Himself came assuming the form of Jayadev and told Padmavati, the wife of Jayadev, "I have finished bathing, give me something to eat now." It is her husband, so Padmavati gave him prasad. After Krishna, disguised as Jayadev, finishing eating, He went to the room where Jayadev was writing his book, and He finished the sloka that Jayadev could not finish. He wrote, "Dehi pada pallavam udaram (দেহি পদপল্লবমুদারম্): I place Your tender feet on My head."

An hour later, real Jayadev came back. He came home and said to his wife, "Give me something to eat." Padmavati was surprised, "What is this? You have just eaten! You ate and went to your room, you were writing something. What are you saying now?" Jayadev was perplexed, "What are you saying? I have not come!" Then, he went into the room and saw what was written. Then, you can understand that the Lord Himself came in disguise of Jayadev.

I told you yesterday—Krishna can become Kali, Krishna can become Durga, Krishna can become Laksmi, Krishna can become Siva or anyone else! Yet, for example, Siva cannot become Krishna. In the same manner, Krishna became Jayadev and came to finish that sloka. This is the first pastime I wanted to tell you about. Now, number two....


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