Everything you would ever want to know for “Nityananda Trayodasi”

By Chandan Bhatia

Hare Krishna! On 16 Feb’11, Wednesday is “Nityananda Trayodasi”, the Appearance day of Lord Nityananda (Nitai). Fasting is till noon.

“EKACHAKRA DHAMA”

THE BIRTHPLACE OF LORD NITYANANDA (Nitai)

Birchandrapur, Dist. Birbhum

(165km north-west of Sridham Mayapur)

“…without the causeless mercy of Lord Nityananda, one cannot enter into the affairs of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna” — Caitanya Caritamrta Adi Lila 5.204

“EKACHAKRA”: “EKA” means one and “CHAKRA” means wheel; this place is named “Ekachakra” because this is the place where the chariot-wheel fell, which Lord Sri Krishna took to kill Bhismadeva on the Battle of Kurukshetra. Ekachakra is the birthplace of Lord Nityananda (Nitai). Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna Himself thus inaugurated His Harinam Sankirtan movement from the Dwapar-yuga itself.

Ekachakra is located 165km north-west of Mayapur and is easily assessable by car or bus. Ekachakra village extends north and south for an area of about eight miles. Other villages, namely Viracandra-pura and Virabhadra-pura, are situated within the area of the village of Ekachakra. There is a big festival here on Nityananda Trayodasi (Appearance day of Lord Nityananda) and also on Gosthastami.

“Lord Nityananda”: Lord Sri Krishna, as the Vedic literature ultimately explains, is the absolute Personality of Godhead, and His first expansion in a form for pastimes is Sri Balarama. In the age of Kali-yuga, Lord Krishna appears in this material world as Lord Caitanya, and Balarama appears as Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda (also known as Nityananda Prabhu, Nitai, Nityananda Balarama) appeared as Lord Caitanya’s principal associate for spreading the chanting of the holy names of Lord Krishna:

HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE |
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE ||

In Harinama-sankirtana, or the congregational chanting of the Lord’s holy names, and to bring the mercy of Lord Krishna to all the fallen, materially conditioned souls.

Lord Nityananda was born to a pious brahmana family. His father was Hadai Pandita and mother Padmavati. He appeared in Ekachakra around 20 years before the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, on Shukia Trayodashi, in the month of Magha, in the year 1473, 12th of February. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu cannot be approached or understood without the mercy of Lord Nityananda. He is the cardinal guru of all the universes and serves as an intermediary between Mahaprabhu and His devotees. A great Vaishnava acarya Sri Vrindavan Das Thakura, the dear-most & the last initiated disciple of Lord Nityananda, glorifies his Master in Sri Caitanya Bhagavata as follows:

Lord Nityananda is very effulgent like the brilliant sun. He is statuesque, like His Master, with the whitish complexion of Lord Balarama. His garments resemble a cluster of blue lotus flowers and His effulgence is said to surpass the grandeur of a rising moon at sunset.

He has a deep melodious voice, constantly chanting the holy name and singing the glories of Lord Sri Krishna day and night.

He is unequalled in the three worlds, non-different from Lord Caitanya. Absorbed within Himself, He often roared loudly like a lion, for He is the direct manifestation of Lord Balarama. His beautiful, glowing face easily defeats a thousand shining full moons. A captivating smile plays sweetly on His exquisite lips. So white and radiant are His teeth that if a pearl were held next to them the pearl would look like a faded and discarded piece of glass.

His long, languid eyes steal the pinkish tinge of the early rising sun. His arms are long and reach down to His knees, and He possesses a robust chest and broad shoulders. His lotus feet are soft. His gait is graceful. He speak to everyone with kind words which sever the bonds of material attachment within everyone’s heart.

He carries a red stick with benedictions for the devotees, but feared by the demoniac. He has the carefree mood of a wild avadhuta, so absorbed is He in the love of Godhead; no one knows what He will do next.

“EKACHAKRA DHAM” ENTRANCE

DEVOTEES ALONG WITH “GAURA-NITAI” SET OUT FOR EKACHAKRA DHAM PARIKRAMA

First stop: BEAUITIFUL NITAI(left)-GAURANGA(right) AT EKACHAKRA ISKCON TEMPLE

“GARBHAVASA” or “SOOTIKA MANDIR”:

THIS WHITE TEMPLE IS THE EXACT SPOT WHERE LORD NITYANANDA APPEARED

In Janmasthan Mandir there is a Deity of Nitai (Nityananda). Hadai Pandita Bhavan is the site of the original house of Nityananda’s father. There are two banyan trees by this temple that are said to have existed since the time of Nityananda.

In the centre of the main altar of the temple is a deity of Lord Nityananda.

§ To His left, with His hands raised, is Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

§ On Nityananda’s right is Sri Advaita Acarya.

§ The side of altar has Deities of Sri Sri Radha-Radhakanta and Sri Sri Radha-Srikanta, a large dancing Gauranga in the centre, and ten brass sakhis at the bottom.

v The temple was constructed by Prasannakumara Karapharma.

“NITAI KUNDA”

This is the pond besides Lord Nityananda’s house dhotis, plates, utensils etc of Nitai were washed. Embedded in its core and not visible to material eyes is another kunda named Ananga Kunda. The pujaris of the temple use water from this kunda for their Deity worship.

“MALA-TALA”

In the courtyard of Lord Nityananda’s house is an old pippala tree called Mala-Tala. Just before Nitai departed with the unknown sannyasi, Hadai Pandita came here and chanted japa under this tree. Mala means “japa beads” and tala means “tree”. When Nitai was about to depart Hadai Pandita left his japa beads here due to anxiety.

Lord Caitanya came to Ekachakra many years after Lord Nityananda left. It is said that at that time Lord Caitanya left His flower garland on a branch of this tree. Mala also means “garland”. Therefore also for this reason this tree was called Mala-Tala.

HANTUGADA or JHANUKUNDA

It is said that Nitai brought all the sacred waters from all the holy places to this kunda to save the local residents from having to journey to the Ganges to take a sacred bath. It is named Hantugada because Nitai used to perform the Dadhi-cida festival of distributing chipped rice with yogurt prasada here and He would take the prasada while kneeling down. This lake is always full of water throughout the year. A great fair is held there during Goshthashtami, and there is another big fair on Lord Nityananda Tryodasi, the Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda.

How To Get There: You get here by walking east out of the village, past the birthplace. It is a small kunda surrounded by grass and a lone tree, which hangs over the water.

HANTUGADA: Devotee take holy dip at this most auspicious place. At the centre of the pond is a submerged Temple

DEVOTEES WALKING TOWARDS “PANDAVA-TALA”

This is a 5mins walk (400m) into the fields, southeast of Lord Nityananda’s birthplace. The Pandavas lived here with their mother, Kunti, when they were exiled to the forest.

DEVOTEES REACHING “PANDAVA-TALA”.

This area is surrounded by a group of Keli-Kadamba trees.

PANDAVA-TALA

SRILA VYASDEVA WITH PANDAVAS

BHIMA KILLING DEMON BAKASURA

Sikhandabi: This is where Bakasura demon lived, who terrorized the people of Ekachakra for many years. Demon used to eat one human being from the local villages in the area of Ekachakra. The people set up a system where one person from a different family was sent to Bakasura each day. Queen Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas requested Bhima, who had the strength of 10,000 elephants to kill this demon. Bhima then killed this demon after a furious fight. In Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.3-4 there is a brief mention of killing of Bakasura demon by Bhima.

FOSSILIZED KNEE-CAP OF BAKASURA DEMON

The local pujari says that if the fossil comes in contact with fire it produces a very bad smell.

“Kundalal Tala” (not in picture): “The place where Lord Nityananda used his earring to block a snake in his hole, stopping him from disturbing the residents of this area.”

#Pastime: This snake was actually an arrow-weapon given by Lord Siva to Arjuna. Arjuna fired it to kill Bakasura in order to help Bhima who left alone on that mission. By the time the weapon arrived on the spot Bakasura was already dead and therefore the snake weapon could not complete its mission. Since then the snake remained in the area and would disturb the locals. When Lord Nityananda heard of this he blocked the snake in its hole with one of his earrings which magically expanded in size. When the snake asked Lord Nityananda how he would get his food Lord Nityananda told him that a temple would be built here and people would regularly come and make offerings of milk and other things. This pastime is the reason why Lord Nityananda is seen with only one earring in pictures that depict His later pastimes.

“KUNTI’S DEEP” – THE LAMP USED BY QUEEN KUNTI DEVI

SRI SRI RADHA-KRISHNA DEITIES AT PANDAVA-TALA

“BAKULA-TALA”-HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami discussing Nitai’s pastimes

Between the birthplace and Jahnu Kund is a Bakula tree where Lord Nityananda and His boyfriends used to take part in sporting activities known as jhala-jhapeta. This tree is wonderful because all its branches and sub-branches look like the hoods of serpents. It has been suggested that by the desire of Nitai, Anantadeva manifested Himself in that way. The tree is very old. It is said that formerly it had two trunks, but later on, when the playmates of Lord Nityananda felt inconvenience in jumping from the branches of one trunk to those of the other, Lord Nityananda by His mercy, merged the two trunks into one.

“NARI-PNOTA” or “AMARA PITHA” –

UMBILICAL CORD SAMADHI: Nimai’s umbilical cord was placed here by His parents Sriman Hadai Pandita & Srimati Padmavati devi

PADMAVATI KUNDA

It is named after Lord Nityananda’s mother, Srimati Padmavati. Hadai Pandita received this as gift from his father-in-law, Mukutanarayan Roy. Padmavati would come here and bathe little Nitai every day. This kunda is behind Lord Nityananda’s birthplace.

DEVOTEES RELAXING ON THE BANKS OF PADMAVATI KUNDA

“BANKE-RAYE” TEMPLE: The priests of the temple describe that Lord Nityananda entered within the body of Bankima Raya and departed for His unmanifest pastimes. The deity of Jahnava-mata was therefore later placed on the right side of Bankima Raya.

This temple was built under the direction of Virabhadra Gosai, the son of Lord Nityananda. On the altar of this temple is Lord Krishna as Bankima Raya, who was originally established by Lord Nityananda. On His left is Srimati Radharani, and on His right is Jahnava Devi. It is said that Lord Nityananda left this planet by entering into this Deity. After Lord Nityananda’s disappearance, the Deity of Jahnava was placed to the right of Bankima Raya. On another throne, to the right of Bankima Raya, is a Deity of Yogamaya.

In this temple there is also an altar with a Deity of Murali-dhara. It is said that this Deity was given to Padmavati Devi by the sannyasi Nitai went on pilgrimage with when He was 12. On the same altar are Deities of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava.

To the right of the altar, outside the gate, is another little temple dedicated to ‘Madana Mohana Krishna’. On His left is His consort, Srimati Radharani, and on His right is the gopi Candravali. On the right-side is Sri Sri Radha-Vrindavana Candra. These Deities are supposed to have been worshiped for 13 generations and are over 450 years old.

To the right of the altar, outside the gate, is another little temple dedicated to ‘Madana Mohana Krishna’. On His left is His consort, Srimati Radharani, and on His right is the gopi Candravali. On the right-side is Sri Sri Radha-Vrindavana Candra. These Deities are supposed to have been worshiped for 13 generations and are over 450 years old.

After Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Jagannatha Puri, He ordered Lord Nityananda to return to Bengal and preach. At this time Nityananda returned to Ekachakra after being gone for almost 30 years. By this time, His parent had already left this world. He then found the Deity of Bankima Raya in the Yamuna at Kadamba Khandi. He installed this Deity in a temple. Later, a Deity of Srimati Radharani was discovered in Bhaddhapur, in the locality of Viracandrapura, underneath the roots of a neem tree, about ½ mile west. This Deity was installed to the right of Bankima Raya. For this reason, the Radharani of Bankima Raya was known as Bhaddapurera Thakurani, the mistress of Bhaddhapura.

#Pastime: About 15 years back some construction workers were restoring the outer structure of this temple. During the work-break they were smoking. Suddenly a small very beautifully effulgent boy appeared before them. He started beating fiercely with a stick chastising them not to smoke at this most auspicious site. Construction workers were shocked by this. Simultaneously their hearts melted to see the beautiful face of this young boy. They vowed that they will never smoke for the rest of the life. It is said that this most beautiful effulgent boy was none other than NITAI (Lord Nityananda).

“KADAM KHANDI”

The small temple of “Kadam Khandi” marks the spot where Lord Nityananda recovered the Bankima Raya Deity from the Yamuna river, which is also called the Maudesvara River.

Kardam means clay and khandi means “ghata.” In the rear of the temple is a small river, the Yamuna.

It is said that the Deity of Bankima Raya was floating in the water and Lord Nityananda picked Him up and then installed Him in the temple. Thereafter, in a place known as Bhaddapura, in the village of Viracandra-pura, about half a mile west, in a place underneath a neem tree, Deity of Srimati Radharani was found. For this reason, the Radharani of Bankima Raya was known as Bhaddapurera Thakurani, the mistress of Bhaddapura.

SRI GAURA NITYA NANDA, KRISHNA BALARAMA & SADBHUJA GAURANGA AT KADAMKHANDI

YAMUNA RIVER, NON-DIFFERENT FROM YAMUNA RIVER AT SRIDHAM VRINDAVAN

Devotees taking holy dip at Yamuna River

“Mouresvara Siva”: This is an ancient Siva Temple were Hadai Pandita the father of Lord Nityananda would do his worship. When Lord Nityananda appeared in Ekachakra this deity roared so loudly that Advaita Acarya and other devotees could hear and understand the roar’s meaning at their distant residences in Mayapur and Santipur that “Avadhuta” has appeared on this planet.

Fields at Ekachakra Dham

DEVOTEES HAVING ECSTATIC HARINAM SANKIRTAN AT LORD NITYANANDA’S EKACHAKRA DHAM!

ITAI-PADA-KAMALA – One must take the shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, for He is the original spiritual master. It is by the mercy of Nitai that we can obtain love of Krishna.

“Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s face is more beautiful and cooling than the autumnal moon. The effulgence coming out from His body is supremely beautiful. He always moves like a mad elephant, since He is always intoxicated with Krishna-prema (love of God). He is always mad after Krishna-prema. His body is completely pure spiritual energy. He always has a smiling face. His eyes are very fickle, moving to and fro. His lotus hand always holds a glowing staff. Yes, that is Sri Nityananda, who by the beating of that staff, destroys all our reactions of Kali-yuga. We should take shelter of Sri Nityananda and cry for the mercy of Sri Nityananda! He is the root of Krishna-prema bhakti-kalpa-taru, the root of the tree of loving devotion unto Krishna. I [Vrindavana Das Thakura] do my bhajana of Lord Nityananda, the very root of the Krishna-Bhakti-Vriskha.”

Lord Nityananda is an ocean of mercy, the shelter of all Vaishnavas and the giver of devotion.

Supreme Lord Sri Krishna with a wheel (Cakra) at Kurukshetra breaking His vow for the sake of His dear-most devotee & friend Arjuna, charging towards Bhismadeva. Arjuna tried to stop Lord Krishna reminding Him of His promise that He won’t pick up any weapon in Kurukshetra battle. Bhismadeva, another great devotee of the Lord and one of the twelve Mahajans is fully surrendered to Lord Krishna’s will and simply waiting to see his beloved Lord approach him. This very wheel landed here at Ekachakra!

Directions to reach Ekachakra Dham:

#1) Ekachakra is located about 165 km northwest of Mayapur and takes about four hours by car or bus. It is 11 miles north of the town of Rampur Hat in the district of Birbhum. It is 8 miles east of Mallarapura railway station. After Burdwan station is another branch line, which is called a Loop Line of the eastern railway. This is a station on this line called Mallarapura. Ekachakra is 8 miles east of this railway station.

#2) Every year during three weeks before Gaura-Purnima, ISKCON Mayapur organizes regular bus services and guided tours to Ekachakra Dham. Tours leave early in the morning from Mayapur reaching Ekachakra at noon. Tours return back to Mayapur in the evening. Packaged tours to Ekachakra Dham can also be arranged throughout the year by contacting Mayapur Tourism office on: Mayapurtours@gmail.com

Practicalities: There is a small ISKCON temple in Ekachakra. The local devotee can help show you the area. There is a small guest house for pilgrims at the temple where one can stay overnight. This village is very small and there are virtually no facilities here.

“RADHA-DESA”:

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi Lila 13.61- http://vedabase.net/cc/adi/13/61/en1

Nityananda Trayodasi & Abhishek: http://www.youtube.com/user/MayapurISKCON#p/u/18/uDs4jiCJ6cA

Ekachakra Temple Project: http://Mayapur.com/node/862

Ekachakra Dham Screen-saver (downloadable): http://screensavers.iskcondesiretree.info/ISKCON_Mayapur_Screensavers/Ekachakra_Dham_Nityananda_Appearance_Place.exe

Sri Nityananda Lila: http://www.Prabhupada.org/Rama/?p=4220

“Sri Nityanandastaka” (downloadable): http://www.iskconmedia.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=63&func=download&id=35553&chk=9c2a2b9a7bf2b89ed5d5283d65ba43f5&no_html=1

Mayapur TV: http://Mayapur.tv

EKACHAKRA DHAM KI JAI!!!

LORD SRI NITYANANDA KI JAI!!!

HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE |

HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE ||

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