Category Archives: Koladvipa

King Samudra Sena receives darsana of Lord Sri Krishna


Samudragarh is non-different from Dvaraka-puri. Both Dvaraka-puri and Ganga-sagara exist here. Many years ago there was a king, known as Samudra Sena, living here in Samudragarh. He was a great devotee of Lord Sri Krishna and did not know anything except the glories of Krishna. Once, Sri Bhimasena, one of the five Pandavas, came here with his soldiers to conquer Vanga-bhumi (Bengal). Bhimasena was roaming the earth to become the Digvijayi (conqueror of all directions). According to the established system, he would travel to various kingdoms, collecting tax from the rulers who would thus submit themselves to the rule of the Pandavas. If anyone refused to pay the tax he had to fight with Bhimasena. In order to conquer Vanga-bhumi, Bhimasena surrounded the country with his soldiers. King Samudra Sena was a great devotee of Lord Sri Krishna and had a strong desire to attain the Lord’s darsana. He then devised a plan to take advantage of the presence of Bhimasena to bring Krishna to his kingdom. He did not submit to Bhima by paying him the proper tax but rather chose to wage war. The king thought, “When Bhimasenais in trouble during the battle, and calls for Lord Krishna then the Lord, being the protector of His devotees, will come to rescue Bhimasena and thus I will receive darsana of Sri Krishna.” With this plan in mind, Sri Samudra Sena prepared his battalions to fight with Bhima. The king started shooting arrows furiously, in meditation on Lord Krishna. Feeling the force of the king’s arrows, Bhimasena became fearful and mentally prayed to Lord Krishna, 

“Oh my Lord, kindly protect Your servant from this danger by giving me the shelter of Your lotus feet. I can no longer endure this fight with Samudra Sena and at the same time I can not tolerate abandoning the battlefield.O, merciful Lord! It is a great shame that the Pandavas, whose Lord is Sri Krishna, will be defeated.” By hearing the pitiful prayers of Bhima, Lord Krishna appeared on the battlefield, visible only to Samudra Sena. The king sawthe youthful form of the Lord, whose bodily color was like freshly formed clouds. A flower garland graced His neck, He wore a beautiful yellow dhoti and His entire body shone due to the magnificent array of jewellery He wore. When the king saw that most incredible form of the Lord, he immediately fainted, falling to the ground. When he regained his external senses he prayed to the Lord, “Oh, Krishna! You are the Lord of the universe, deliverer of the fallen living entities. You have come here to bestow Your mercy upon me, understanding me as one of the most fallen. The entire universe is glorifying Your wonderful pastimes. By hearing Your glories I developed a great desire to have Your darsana and made a vow to bring You to this Navadvipa-dhama as it was not possible for me to leave Navadvipa. O, most merciful Lord! In order to keep my vow, being merciful upon me, You have now appeared here in Your form as Sri Krishna. But I have another deeper, confidential desire. I wish to see Your Gauranga form manifest in front of me.” 

King Samudra

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Immediately, the king could see the incomparably sweet pastimes of Radha and Krishna. He saw Sri Krishna along with His sakhas, enjoying His go-carana (grazing the cows) pastime during the afternoon in Sri Kumudavana. After just one moment that pastime disappeared and he saw the most beautiful form of Gauranga. He was filled with bliss, seeing the Lord along with Hisassociates, chanting and dancing in maha- sankirtana. The Lord’s transcendental form was the color of molten gold, giving ecstatic pleasure to the eyes. The king felt blessed to behold that form and offered many prayers at the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga. After some time the scene disappeared from the vision of the king, who began weeping in separation. While all this was transpiring, neither Bhimasena nor anyone else could perceive it. Seeing the king crying, Bhima thought that he must have become afraid of the battle. The Pandava then gained courage and began to show his prowess in the fight. The king, being pleased by the efforts of Bhima, eventually submitted and offered to pay him the tax, leaving him to continue on his quest. This is the place known as Samudragarh which is the boundary or outer limit of Navadvipa-dhama. Even Lord Brahma does not know the glories of this place. 



samudra-sena-rajye tu
kirtayitva harim devi
campa-hattam jagama ha

“O Devi! The Lord performed harikirtana in the kingdom of Samudra Sena at the confluence of the Ganga and the ocean before proceeding to Campahatta.” (Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Pramana-khanda 4.43) 

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura describes in Navadvipa-bhava-taranga: “After traveling some distance from there (the house of Vidya Vacaspati), I see Samudragarh which purifies whole world. Previously, at this place, during the battle of Bhimasena and Samudra Sena, Dinabandhu (the friend of the poor, Lord Sri Krishna) gave His darsana to His devotee Sri Samudra Sena. Here the ocean takes shelter of the River Ganga in order to witness the Navadvipa pastimes of Lord Gauranga in great joy and ecstasy. All the demigods and demons see Sri Gangasagara- tirtha eternally manifest in Navadvipa-dhama.”



Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, the crest-jewel of avadhutas and paramahamsas, performed bhajana from time to time here. He would also perform his bhajana at Krishna’s various pastime-places in Vraja, such as Vrindavana, Govardhana, Radha-kunda, Surya-kunda, Nandagrama and Varsana. His bhajana was characterised by severe renunciation, so extreme, in fact, that when he felt hungry he sometimes ate the mud from Radha-kunda or the Yamuna. In a mood of separation from the Divine Couple, he would cry out, “O Radha! O Krishna!” and wander from forest to forest loudly singing songs  such as “kothaya go premamayi radhe radhe, kothaya go vraja-vilasini radhe radhe.” In his later life he came to Sri Navadvipa to get the mercy of this dhama. Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja had taken a vow not to accept any disciples, but Sri Vimala Prasada Sarasvati vowed to fast until he received initiation from him. This, combined with the request of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, resulted in Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja giving initiation into Vaishnavism to the boy Sarasvati, who became famous in the Vaishnava world as om vishnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. Babaji Maharaja regarded honour and prestige harmful to bhajana. He therefore carefully avoided it, considering it to be like the stool of a pig. People would disturb him to receive blessings for their material desires, such as wealth, followers, sons and family. Once, to avoid such materialistic people, Babaji Maharaja went to live in the abandoned latrine in a government dharmasala in Kuliya. When the District Magistrate came to know of this he went to meet him with the Police Superintendent. Babaji had locked the latrine door from inside, and even though they waited for a long time, repeatedly requesting him to open the door, he would not come out to meet with them. They offered to construct a hut for him in a good location, but Babaji Maharaja did not consent to the idea. According to Babaji Maharaja, the association of materialistic people is more disgusting than the stench of excrement, and is an obstacle for bhakti. He later entered his unmanifest pastimes in this same dharmasala. 

Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja

Once a man approached Srila Babaji Maharaja and repeatedly requested him to bestow his mercy upon him. Babaji Maharaja immediately took off his dora and kaupina [the undergarments of a renunciant], and told him, “Here, take my mercy.” Fearing that he would have to give up material life the man quickly fled.

Another incident involved a young man who referred to himself as Babaji’s disciple and who lived near his asrama. After some days he returned to his home, married and came back to Babaji Maharaja with his wife. He offered obeisances to Babaji and begged for his auspicious blessings, saying, “Babaji Maharaja, I have collected a maidservant (krishna-dasi ) for Sri Krishna’s service. Please give us your blessings.” Babaji gravely said, “It is a matter of great pleasure that you have established a new house for Krishna and collected a krishnadasi. But, be cautious! Never entertain the thought of personally enjoying her. Never accept any service from her, always think of her as worshipful and always serve her. A krishna-dasi is most respectable and worshipful for the entire universe.” When that young man heard this, he quickly left with his wife.    

Once, with great happiness, a so-called babaji gave the following auspicious news to Babaji Maharaja: “I purchased a beautiful place in Sri Navadvipa-dhama. I will build a hut there and perform bhajana.” Hearing this Babaji Maharaja answered, “It is very amazing that you have purchased land in Navadvipa-dhama where every particle of dust is transcendental and millions of times more valuable than a cintamani, a  wish fulfilling gem. The entire wealth of the universe cannot compare with the value of just one dust particle of this abode, and you have bought a piece of this land? This is beyond my comprehension.” Ashamed, the man fell at Babaji’s feet. 

Previously the samadhi of this great personality was situated in Kuliya-grama (Navadvipa Town) on the Ganga’s western bank, but when the river flooded, Srila Sarasvati Thakura reestablished it next to Radha-kunda close to Sri Candrasekharabhavana. Although, from a worldly point of view, Babaji Maharaja was blind and uneducated, prominent speakers of the Bhagavatam who were his contemporaries would come to hear his confidential and ambrosial explanations of verses from Srimad- Bhagavatam.

Sri Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s samadhi and bhajana-kutira

Jagannatha dasa Babaji

Before coming to Navadvipa, Jagannatha dasa Babaji performed his bhajana at Surya-kunda in Vraja. In the latter part of his life he came to Navadvipa-dhama. At this time he was considered by the Vaishnavas, including Bhaktivinoda Thakura, to be the most advanced rasika Vaishnava in Vraja-mandala, Gaura-mandala and Jagannatha Puri. He was therefore known as Vaishnava- sarvabhauma, or the chief of the Vaishnavas. At the request of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in 1893, he confirmed the discovery of the birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Yoga-pitha in Sridhama Mayapur.

Some Stories from his life :

In his old age, Babaji Maharaja was nearly blind. Many people would come to see him and to offer him donations for the service of Sri Krsna. Bihari dasa would keep all these donations in a bag.  One day, Babaji Maharaja said, “Bihari! How many rupees have I got?”  Bihari dasa had put some rupees aside for some service he had planned to render Babaji Maharaja. When asked by Bihari placed some rupees in his hand and kept twelve Rupees aside. Despite his eyesight failing, Babaji Maharaja detected the discrepancy.  “Bihari!” he said, “Why have you kept twelve Rupees aside? Give me all the rupees!”  Smiling, Bihari surrendered the remaining coins to his guru. The total came to two hundred rupees. Babaji Maharaja ordered Birari dasa to take the money at once and buy rasagolas, to feed all the cows in Nabadwipa dhama.

Once Babaji Maharaja was on the banks of the Ganges, living under a make shift canvas tent. Nearby that place there lived a dog with five puppies. Whenever Babaji Maharaja would take prasada, the dogs would come around and lick the food from his plate. When Bihari dasa caught hold of one of the dogs to drive it off, Babaji Maharaja told him: 'Bihari! If you wish to drive these dogs off, you may take my plate away as well. I shall not eat today.' When Bihari complained, 'But guru maharaja – these dogs are unclean!' Babaji Maharaja remarked, 'No. These dogs are residents of the holy dhama. You may not abuse them.'

One day, Sri Babaji Maharaja remarked about the professional readers of Srimad-Bhagavatam, 'This kind of professional Bhagavata kirtana is simply prostitution. Those who make their living by reading Srimad-Bhagavatam are offenders to the holy name of Krsna. No one should listen to the kirtana and Bhagavatam readings that they produce. And one who listens to such offensive readings and thus commits offenses against the holy name of Krsna certainly go to hell. Those who are involved in this professional reading should immediately give it up. Such a person should worship the residents of Vrndavan with great care and attention, considering himself most fallen, and thus pray for forgiveness.'

When Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was looking for the actual place where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's birthplace was, he asked Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja to go with him. During the many changes in the course of flow of the mighty Ganges River, some parts of the sacred 'dhama' of Navadwipa (nine islands) had changed. The Ganges had revealed old and lost places and reclaimed new ones. To his surprise Bhaktivinoda Thakur discovered that the modern day city called Navadwipa was not more than 100 years old and therefore wasn't the Navadwipa of Sri Caitanya. Some said the birth site was on a place now in the Ganges, while some said it was in the city of Navadwipa.

Dissatisfied, Bhaktivinoda pushed on looking. He found some antiquarian maps and government records, and authentic books written at the time of Lord Caitanya, all of which agreed that Mayapur Navadwipa Dhama is situated on the east bank of the Ganges.

One day from the terrace in his house he saw a light coming from a place across the Ganges. He wondered what it was, and then crossed over to Antardwipa the next day.

Upon reaching the exact spot, to his amazement he found several large mounds covered with sacred Tulasi plants on land owned by Mohammedans. There were rumours locally of strange lights and sounds, so the owner, believing it to be haunted, would not go there. Many old babajis of the time, however, believed this to be the actual birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Convinced it was true, Bhaktivinoda, inspired by Jagannatha dasa Babaji, went there to the spot, with Jagannatha dasa Babaji being carried in his basket.

Due to his old age, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji couldn't open his eyes, but had to forcibly open them with his fingers, what to speak of walk. If he went anywhere he was carried in his basket by Bihari Lal, but upon arriving at the transcendental site, he leapt out of the basket and danced in ecstasy shouting, “Haribol!” and “Gauranga!” and “Ei to Nimai Janmabhoomi!!”(This is the Birthplace of Nimai!) definitely establishing it to be the very same birthplace of Lord Caitanya.

Jagannatha dasa Babaji in basket

Darsana times: 5.30-10.00 a.m. and 4.00-8.00 p.m.

Directions: Go down the Porama Tala market road as if going to the ghata. Take the first right and after a short distance the first left. Soon you will see a small path on the left side between the walls of some houses. Walk down this path. The entrance to the samadhi is just after a left turn.

Presiding deities: Nitai-Gauranga, Radha-Govinda and Giridhari