Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Biography in Bengali

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Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Biography in Bengali

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Apart from Samudra, Jagannath Temple or Govardhana Math established by Adi Shankaracharya, another attraction of Puri for Hindu Bengalis is its Chaitanya-connection. The Bengali religious revolutionary of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is very close to him. Five hundred years later, the Nimai monks of Navadwip are still relevant today.

This ‘Praner Thakur’ of Bengalis spent the last eighteen years of his life in Shrikshetra Puri. His unnatural death took place there. Hindu-Bengalis consider him to be an incarnation of Krishna himself, and in the touching puridham of that incarnation they rush to see the adored deity Jagannath of his last life.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Biography in Bengali
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Biography in Bengali

On January 26, 1510 AD, Keshav Bharati of the Dasnami Bharati community on the banks of the Ganges in Katwar became known as ‘Srikrishnachaitanya’, abbreviated as ‘Srikrishna Chaitanya’. After that he visited some places in Burdwan and traveled to Puri via Sri Chaitanya Shantipur. According to the Chaitanya biographers, Sri Chaitanya and his entourage reached Puri in only fifteen days of that journey, that is, in 2610 Falgun of 1510 AD or 1431 Shakab.

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Puri, one of the Hindu pilgrimage places, has many names. Nilachal, Srikshetra, Shankhakshetra, Sreejagannathdham, Kushasthali etc. There is disagreement as to exactly when the Jagannath temple was built. According to legend, after the death of Krishna, the cremation work was left unfinished due to a natural calamity while cremation at Dwarka beach.

The half-burned body floated in the sea water and reached the Kalinga kingdom from the west coast to the east coast. A group of people living in the area built a temple in the deep forest of Shabar and started worshiping the body in the deity ‘Nilmadhab’.

Hearing the fame of Nilmadhab, Indradyumna, a Vishnu devotee of the ancient city of Avanti, failed to capture it and started praying to Vishnu. Satisfied with Indradyumna’s prayers, Vishnu, under the direction of Vishnu, started making idols of the god Bishwakarma in disguise from a piece of wood floating on the shores of Puri. Although it took twenty one days to make the idol of Bishwakarma, King Indradyumna and Rani Gundicha became impatient and opened the door in fifteen days, leaving the idol incomplete and Bishwakarma disappeared.

Then in 484 BC, under the direction of Vishnu, Indradyumna established the half-finished idols of Jagannath, Subhadra and Balarama. According to legend, Magadharaja Mahapadma Nanda plundered the idol and took it to Magadha. Much later, Kalingaraja Kharbel defeated the king of the Kanb dynasty of Magadha and brought it back to Kalinga.

According to the ancient history of Odisha, Kalingaraj Jayatikeshari built the first Jagannath temple in 624 AD, but it did not last long. In 1038 AD a new temple was built by the Ganga king Chorangagadeva or Churangadeva, but it too was demolished. The construction of the present temple was first started during the reign of King Anantavarman of the Ganges dynasty.

But then it was incomplete. Later his great grandson Anangabhimadeva started the construction of the temple in 1179 AD and completed it in 1223 AD. Another source says that the temple was built between 1042 and 1142 AD. The Jagannath Temple in Puri is built according to the classical style of Odisha temple architecture, consisting of a Rekh Deul and several Bhadra Deuls.

Besides, there are several small and big temples in the temple premises. The whole courtyard is surrounded by a 22 feet high, 85.5 feet wide Meghnad wall and has four doors on each side, each bearing the name of an animal. On the east side is the main gate, its name is Singhadwar. Elephant Gate on the north, Tiger Gate on the west and Horse Gate on the south.

When you enter the temple through the east or the gate of the lion, you will first see the forty feet high ‘Arun pillar’ of black stone. It was earlier in the temple of Konark It was taken from there in the late eighteenth century and placed in front of the Lion Gate. According to the custom, one has to enter the temple by touching it. In front is the idol of Jagannath named ‘Patitpavan’.

After entering the main part of the temple, first the ‘Bhogmandap’. Right in front of it is the ‘eagle pillar’. Once when Sri Chaitanya was in a state of ecstasy, when Jagannath went to embrace the idol, he was insulted by the Pandavas. From then on, he would not go to the sanctum sanctorum, but would visit Jagannath from behind the eagle pillar with his hands on the wall of the mandapa. And the stone of the part where Sri Chaitanya used to stand and visit Jagannath was later lifted and established in the ‘Mahaprabhu Padpadma Mandir’ next to the north gate of the temple.

‘Natmandir’ in front of Garuda pillar. Once the Devdasis used to dance and sing in that Natmandir. Devadasi practice was banned after it was banned. Just in front of it is Jagmohan. You have to visit the idol while standing here.

In front of Jagmohan is the main temple or sanctum sanctorum. Among them is a 16-foot-long, 13-foot-wide and four-foot-high gemstone altar made of black stone on which the Darugibraha of Jagannath-Subhadra-Balram is established. In addition to the three main idols, there are other small idols on the altar, including the Shalgram rock. Apart from this, there are bathing altar, kitchen, Anandabazar for sale of Devprasad, Bimaladevi temple, Dharmaraj temple, Lakshmi Devi temple and many other small temples and idols in the temple premises.

Sri Chaitanya spent the last eighteen years of his life in Puri. When he visited Puri in 1510 AD, Prataprudra Dev was the king of Odisha. His viceroy Kashi Mishra lived in a house of Bali Shahi near Jagannath temple. The house was known as ‘Gambhira’. Kashi Mishra gave shelter to Sri Chaitanya there. That house of Gambhira is now known to devotees as Sri Chaitanya’s abode or Radhakanta Math. The materials used by Sri Chaitanya are kept there.

Born in a Hindu house However, Thakur Haridas grew up in a Muslim house, so despite being a disciple of Chaitanya, he did not have the opportunity to stay with Sri Chaitanya in Puri. He lived in a separate hut, chanting. Due to the fact that Sultan Hussain Shah was the vizier, Roop and Sanatan Goswami did not have a place in ‘Gambhira’.

They also lived in Haridas’s hut. There was a budding tree. The five-hundred-year-old original bud tree is no more, but another tree has sprung up beside it. That cottage is now known as ‘Siddha Bakul’. Devotees still hang rocks on the branches of the tree in the hope of fulfilling their desires. Jagatballav Math, not far from Jagannath Temple. It was the abode of Chaitanya contemporary Vaishnava poet Roy Ramananda.

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