Category Archives: Koladvipa

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura meditates on Ritudvipa

“When will I wander about the island of Ritudvipa, seeing the beauty of the forest and remembering these pastimes of the Lord? Suddenly I will catch a glimpse of the pastimes being performed at Radha-kunda and will become completely stunned by such a wonderful vision. Here on the bank of the Manasaganga, Balarama and Krishna along with Their cowherd boyfriends herd countless calves to secluded forests. While sporting numerous pastimes and playing tricks, all the boys sing the glories of Krishna. The cowherd boys then sit down and engage in various types of funny conversations. Meanwhile, the calves keep grazing and grazing until they wander off to distant woods. Losing sight of them, all the boys become alarmed, but at the sound of Krishna’s flute the calves immediately came running back.

While I am observing this pastime with full attention, suddenly the scene vanishes and I fall to the ground unconscious. Regaining my awareness after some time, I shall rise up and then continue wandering slowly and sadly throughout the forest. ‘O Gauranga! O Krishnacandra, ocean of mercy! You are the wealth of the wretched and poor, and I am the lowest rascal!’ Saying this and weeping continuously, I will move onwards till suddenly I come to Vidyanagara.” (Navadvipa-bhava-taranga)

ritudvipam tato gatva
drishtva sobham vanasya ca
radha-kundadikam smritva
ruroda saci-nandanah  

“Arriving at Ritudvipa and seeing the beauty of the forest, Saci-nandana started crying while remembering Radha-kunda and other sacred places.” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura (Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Pramana-khanda 4.44)

Isana Thakura’s description of Campahatti

Isana Thakura left Samudragarh and reached Campakahatta. He told Srinivasa, “This most beautiful village is Campakahatta and is also known as Campahatti. Previously one old, welleducated brahmana was living here. He was a great devotee of Sri Krishna and a great person in all respects. One day he was worshiping the lotus feet of Sri Krishna with great pleasure, offering Him many campaka flowers. He was meditating on the syamala (blue) form of Sri Krishna within his heart. Suddenly he saw the Gaura form within the blue form of Sri Krishna. The splendor of that Gaura form was like the intense gold of the campaka flowers. While he was witnessing this, the Gaura form immediately disappeared from his heart. He was very perturbed by this and just stared at the bunch of campaka flowers with focused attention. By seeing the beauty of the campaka flowers within his heart, he began thinking about the basis of Veda-pramana. He became pacified and said, ‘According to scripture, among all yugas, this specific Kali-yuga is particularly blessed. In this Kali-yuga, Lord Krishna will incarnate in the most attractive form of Gauranga with a golden bodily hue. The most intelligent people will worship Him through sankirtana-yajna. All of creation will float in the ocean of His pastimes.’ Again he ascertained, after analyzing the scripture, that the Lord would descend in Navadvipa. He thought, ‘The Lord will appear after such a long time. I will not be able to see the transcendental form of Sri Gauranga.’ Lamenting like this he began breathing heavily. His face and chest became drenched in tears and feeling deeply distressed, he lost all control of his emotions. After some time he fell asleep by the desire of the Lord. Lord Gaurahari then appeared to him in his dream. The beauty of His form was like the campaka flower. His shining face defeated millions of moons. His head was covered with beautiful curling hair. I cannot make any comparison to His eyes, arms, and chest. His bodily movements can cause the infatuation of the entire universe. Seeing this beautiful form of the Lord the vipra was overjoyed. He offered many prayers falling at the lotus feet of the Lord, who blessed the vipra and then vanished. As soon as the Lord disappeared, the vipra fainted, falling to the ground. After some time, when he regained his normal consciousness, he became mad due to his attachment to the Lord. He looked upon the campaka flowers and said again and again, ‘You have manifested the gauraavatara to me.’ He was announcing the glories of the campaka flower just as someone makes announcements in the marketplace (hatta). Therefore this place was known as Campakahatti. By the desire of the Lord, the vipra was pacified and the Lord said, ‘Your desires will be fulfilled.’ Hearing this, the vipra began chanting the glories of the Lord in great ecstasy. He was always thinking about seeing the Lord in Nadia. I cannot adequately describe the activities of this vipra who was very dear to the Lord. Who can describe the pastimes of Gauranga-candra along with His associates in this Campahatti? Just see! This is the house of Vaninatha Vipra who was very dear to Lord Sri Gauranga.”

Dwija Baninath

Directions when coming from Pancaveni: Cross the Gauranga bridge and turn left. Continue on this road for approximately four kilometers. At the end of this road turn right and go past a road on the right side and then the left side. Go into the Nimtala Bazar township. This is the area.

Gaura-Gadadhara Gaudiya Matha Darsana times: Approximately 6.00-12.00 a.m. and 3.30-8.00 p.m.

Presiding deities: The beatiful life-sized Gaura-Gadadhara deities here were installed and worshiped by Dvija Vaninatha, the younger brother of Gadadhara Pandita. They are over 500 years old. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura established this temple.

Sri Jiva’s ecstasy on hearing the pastimes of Jayadeva

Lord Nityananda described the appearance of Lord Gauranga to the poet Jayadeva, and then said, “Oh, Jiva! This is the place of Jayadeva. Elderly people say that this high land marks the place where Jayadeva was staying”. When Lord Nityananda pointed out the place, Sri Jiva immediately started rolling on the ground while crying in ecstasy. Sri Jiva exclaimed, “All glories to poet Jayadeva! All glories to Padmavati. All glories to Sri Gita-Govinda. All glories to Jayadeva and Padmavati’s attachment to Krishna. O Lord, what an ocean of prema Kavi Jayadeva enjoyed in his life. Kindly give me just a drop of that ocean.” While glorifying Jayadeva, Sri Jiva was rolling on the ground at the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.


One day while working on Gita Govinda Jayadeva felt inspired to write, “Krishna bows down to touch the lotus feet of Shrimati Radharani.” Jayadeva was hesitant to say something which might diminish Lord Krishna’s position as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


He went to refresh himself with a Ganges bath before honoring Radha-Madhava’s Maha-Prasadam. In his absence, Krishna Himself, disguised as Jayadeva, wrote a line in the Gita Govinda: dehi pada pallavam udaram. The Lord also accepted Prasadam from Padmavati. Opon returning, Jayadeva was astonished to see the line. Understanding the mystery, Jayadeva cried in spiritual joy and said, “Padmavati, we are most fortunate. Shri Krishna Himself has written the line, dehi pada pallavam udaram, and taken Prasadam from your hand.”

Gita Govinda expresses the intense feelings of separation that Shri Radhika felt before the rasa dance. It also describes the most intimate pastimes of Radha-Shyamasundara. During Lord Chaitanya’s Gambhira lila in Jagannatha Puri, He would thoroughly relish hearing the Gita Govinda sung daily by Svarupa Damodara and Mukunda.

The author Jayadeva Goswami describes Gita Govinda: “Whatever is delightful in varieties of music, whatever is graceful in fine strains of poetry, and whatever is exquisite in the sweet art of love-let the happy and wise learn from the songs of Jayadeva”.

After finishing Gita Govinda, Jayadeva visited Vrindavana and then lived his last years in Jagannatha Puri. He introduced daily reading of Gita Govinda in the temple for the pleasure of Lord Jagannatha. His samadhi is in the 64 samadhis’ area.

The poet Jayadeva in Campahatti

Once, Nadia was ruled by King Lakshmana Sena. At that time, the great poet Jayadeva was living here as one of his citizens. The most sober Jayadeva was living in a cottage on the bank of Ballal-dighi with his wife Padmavati. While residing there, Jayadeva composed the sanskrit poem Dasavatara-stotra, which inevitably came to the attention of King Lakshmana Sena. He was very happy to read the poem and asked who had composed such a wonderful piece.Govardhana Acarya informed the king that this Sanskrit poem or stava had been composed by the poet Jayadeva who lived in Navadvipa. After discovering the residence of Jayadeva, the king came to his kutira one night, disguised as a Vaishnava. He offered his obeisance to Jayadeva and sat in one corner of his kutira. Jayadeva recognized that he was the King of Nadia who had visited him, wearing a Vaishnava dress out of his humility. The king immediately introduced himself and requested Jayadeva to visit his palace, but Jayadeva was a greatly renounced and detached person. He did not agree to visit the house of the materialistic king. Being a great devotee of Lord Sri Krishna, Sri Jayadeva said, “O King! It is never auspicious to associate with materialistic persons. I will leave your kingdom and go elsewhere. I will cross the Ganga and go to Nilacaladhama.” The king replied, “O, my lord, kindly honor my request. Never leave Navadvipa to go elsewhere. If you are merciful, then act in such a way that your word will be kept and my desire will also be fulfilled. There is a very beautiful place called Campahatta on the western bank of the Ganga. Kindly stay there for one or two years. Please consider this as my humble request. I will not go there of my own accord. But I will go only when you desire it, so that I may take darsana of your lotus feet.” The great poet Jayadeva agreed and said, “Even if you look like a materialistic person and this kingdom belongs to you, because you are a devotee of Lord Sri Krishna you have no bondage of samsara. I addressed you as a materialist just to test you. But you tolerated that from me. From this I can understand that you are a great devotee of Sri Krishna. You are residing here with so much material opulence, without being attached to it. To honor your request, I will stay in Campakahatta for some time. You can come to meet me secretly, giving up your opulent lifestyle.” The king was very happy to hear this and immediately ordered his minister to build a nice cottage for Kavi Jayadeva at Campakahatta. Jayadeva stayed there for some time, engaging himself in Krishna-bhajana according to ragamarga. Daily Padmavati collected a basket full of campaka flowers for Jayadeva’s worship of Sri Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja.

One day when Jayadeva was worshiping Krishna in great ecstasy, he saw Krishna transform to the color of a campaka flower. He accepted the most beautiful effulgence of molten gold. His face was very beautiful, defeating the beauty of millions of moons, and was framed by His gently curling hair. From His neck hung an exquisite flower garland. The entire cottage, which was made of leaves, was illuminated by the effulgence of the Lord’s form. Due to seeing the form of Gauranga the great poet Jayadeva fainted in ecstasy and tears began to flow from his eyes. When Padmavati-devi also saw that form of Gauranga, she too fainted and fell to the ground, senseless. The Lord mercifully picked both of them up with His lotus hands and told them very sweetly, “You are both My sober devotees and I had a great desire to give My darsana to both of you. Very soon, in this city of Nadia, I will take birth as the son of Saci-devi. I will engage in sri-Krishna-sankirtana with all the devotees of My various incarnations and distribute love of Godhead. At the age of twenty-four, I will accept the sannyasa order of life and then travel to Nilacala-dhama. There in great ecstasy I will relish Sri Gita-Govinda along with all My associates. I must tell you that Sri Gita-Govinda, compiled by you, is very dear to Me. This Navadvipa-dhama is most certainly a transcendental place and you will come back here after leaving your body. Now both of you go to Nilacala and serve Lord Jagannatha. By serving Lord Jagannatha you will get pure love of Godhead.” Lord Gauracandra then disappeared and both Jayadeva and his wife Padmavati fainted in separation. When they came to their external senses, they started crying profusely and pleaded, “Alas! What a beautiful form we have seen. How can we now survive, being deprived of that darsana? Why did the Lord order us to leave Nadia? We must have committed some offenses. This Navadvipa is the transcendental dhama of the Lord. Our minds do not want to leave this place. It would be better for us to live in Navadvipa-dhama as animals or birds, eternally meditating on the dhama. Our great desire is to never leave this dhama even if we leave our bodies. O, Lord Gauranga! By Your mercy, kindly keep us here, giving us the service ofYour lotus feet.” Just then an ethereal voice instructed them, “Both of you must go to Nilacala without feeling any sadness”.

You will achieve two important objectives by going there, so please do not feel confused.

A few days ago both of you had planned to go to Nilacala-dhama and live there. Lord Jagabandhu has fulfilled your desire. The Lord also wants to see both of you and after pleasing Him, when you leave your bodies, both of you will again return here to Navadvipa and remain here eternally.” Following this instruction, they started their journey to Nilacala-dhama. Repeatedly they looked back to have darsana of Navadvipa, tears flowing from their eyes in separation. With great humility they told the inhabitants of Navadvipa, “O, Navadvipa-vasis! All of you kindly excuse us for all our offenses.” They could see the eight-petalled lotus form of Navadvipa-dhama. They kept looking back at Navadvipa, until eventually they could see their beloved dhama no more and they began crying in separation as they crossed Gauramandala- bhumi. After a few days, they reached Nilacala-dhama and were elated to see Lord Jagannatha.