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.