The Glories of West Bengal – Ambika Kalna, Part Six


By editor - 25.11 2016

Krishna Chandraji Temple, Ambika Kalna

A serial presentation of West Bengal kshetras, and the tirthas associated with Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His parishad associates.

Thus far in our series on Ambika Kalna, we have been discussing the pastimes of Lord Caitanya and His famous disciple, Sri Gauridas Pandit, who resided in Ambika. There are some interesting narrations in sastra about Gauridas, his disciples and his family members. One of his famous disciples was Sri Hridaya Chaitanya, who was the spiritual master of Sri Shyamananda Prabhu.

Gauridas Pandit and his disciple Hridaya Chaitanya left only a line of initiated disciples, and not one of family descendants. According to the Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhana, Gauridas and his wife Vimala Devi had two sons, Balaram and Raghunatha. However, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur did not accept the validity of this family connection. He has written as follows in his Anubhashya:

"Gauri Das Pandit's disciple was named Hriday Chaitanya. His disciple was the son of Gauri Das Pandit's daughter Annapurna Devi, Gopiraman. It is the family descendants of this Gopiramana who are the current owners of the Ambika Sripat." 
(Anubhashya to Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.11.26)

Shyamananda was known by his family as Duhkhi. When he arrived in Ambika Kalna, throwing himself at the feet of Hriday Chaitanya and begging to be initiated by him, Hriday Chaitanya named him Krishna Das, ordering him to go to Vrindavan to engage in bhajana.

Both Hridaya Chaitanya and Shyamananda are mentioned in relationship with Ambika Kalna in the Bhakti-Ratnakara of Srila Narahari Dasa. The following passage also describes Gauridas Pandit's identity as Subal in Vrindavan-lila. Shyamananda was a servant of a servant of Subala in Krishna-lila.

"In Ambika Sri Syamananda also saw the deity of Nityananda which was worshipped by Sri Gauri Dasa Pandita.

The pleasure Syamandana derived seeing the feet of his guru Hrdaya Caitanya defies description.

He affectionately showed Syamananda the deities of Sri Krsna Caitanya and Nityananda.

Seeing the two Lords, Syamananda was overwhelmed with joy and tears rolled down his face.

The two deities graced Syamananda by their great silence.

How can I describe the pastimes of these two Lords to whom Pandita Gauri Dasa offered his service.

Gauridasa Pandita was famous throughout the world for the Lord was bound by his love.

Gauridasa Pandita was an abode of love just like Sri Suvala, the friend of Krsna in Vrndavana.

Sri Suvala, the favorite friend of Sri Krsna is most beautiful, and his qualities have been perfectly sung by the Pandits.

In the Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu it is said: "his bodily complexion is more brillant than gold; he is the best friend of Krsna; he wears a celestial necklace and a yellow colored dress; he possesses lotus eyes and he gives pleasure to his friends. I worship that Suvala.

In Stavali it is said, that Suvala is drenched in the fountain of Sri Radhika's love and he never leaves the hand of Sri Gokula Candra even in his dreams. I bow to that loving embodiment Suvala.

In the Sahayabheda the description of the book Ujjala Nilomoni it says, "is there any air of Sri Krsna in which Suvala has no right to interfere? He was even able to bring back the lady who had quarelled with her lover and separated. He would prepare a suitable bed for Sri Krsna in his love making lilas in the Kunja grove. He would fan his tired and perspiring Krsna as his Lord rested his head on the breasts of his beloved.

It was well known that Gauri was none other that Suvala himself and that he was the favorite associate of Sri Krsna and Nityananda.

Gaura Ganaddesha Dipika says that Gauridasa Pandita and Suvala the friend of Krsna, are the same.

In another part of the book it is stated that Suvala Candra of Krsna lila is presently manifest as Sri Gauridasa Pandita on Gaura lila and he is the favorite associate of Sri Krsna and Nityananda. I worship that Gauridasa Pandita.

Sarkhela Suryadasa was a scholar and a broad minded person. His brother was Gauridasa Pandita.

They lived at Saligram, but after taking his elder brother's permission Gauridasa settled at Ambika by the side of the Ganga." 

(Bhakti-Ratnakara -- Chapter 7.315-331)