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Chakra Tirtha – Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s Place of Departure

The Snake of Time

The Kala-sarpa (Snake of Time) is always crawling around trying to bite us. It is impossible to escape, one day it will sting you and death will come. You can take medicine, eat very healthy food, do anything, but one day you will have to die. You may not know how it will be, but everything is already written. When you realise this, what will be left to do? Just to chant the holy names, that’s all.

I remember once, after Kartika, Gurudeva Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja was taken to Delhi for a medical check-up. On the way, he asked Sripada Madhava Maharaja, "Why do you keep taking me to different hospitals? What is my illness?" 

No one had yet informed him of his grave illness. 

Madhava Maharaja replied, "You have a severe stage of cancer, so we will have to move you to Italy to a very good hospital.” Gurudeva then became very serious.

He said "Why do you want to take me to Italy? They cannot save me. That is the nature of it. Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, I will have to leave this world as I am already 90 years old. Why do you want it to happen in Italy, in a western country? I don't want to fly there. Take me to Govardhana."

“Gurudeva, it is very cold in Govardhana,” replied Madhava Maharaja.

 “All right, then take me to Navadvipa,”  

“But Navadvipa is also very cold.”

“Then, take me to Jagannatha Puri.”

Gurudeva gave us this lesson. It is impossible to escape the bite of the Snake of Time. However, maha-bhagavata Vaishnavas of the highest level, can at any moment leave this world at their will. Like, for example, Dhruva Maharaja, who attained Dhruva-loka.

Srila Gurudeva’s Final Pastimes in Chakra-tirtha

So Gurudeva insisted, "I have to go to Jagannatha Puri because it is vipralambha-kshetra, the place of divine separation. It is the place where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is constantly immersed in the mood of viraha (separation) from Srimati Radhika.” Srila Gurudeva said, "I want to be there and remain in remembrance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's vipralambha-bhava. This is Kshetra-dhama (another name for Jagannatha Puri)."

Our temple is actually near the Chakra-tirtha itself. Gurudeva would mention that this is the place where Sriman Mahaprabhu remembered many pastime games of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

Do you know why Srila Gurudeva went to Chakra-tirtha in Jagannatha Puri? This is very confidential. He is an uttama-maha-bhagavata (a Vaishnava of the highest level)—why did he choose that particular place? There, the highest moods of separation are found, it is vipralambha-kshetra; and what does Chakra-tirtha mean? There are many lilas (pastimes) of Krishna, but the highest one is the rasa-lila (Svayam Bhagavan’s supremely immaculate pastime of dancing with unlimited gopis) and its other name is Chakravarti-lila. When Gurudeva was there, he was constantly watching and remembering the rasa-lila katha of Radha and Krishna, and like Mahaprabhu, he was immersed in the mood of separation.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Chakra-tirtha Pastimes

One deep night, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu disappeared from Gambhira by jumping into the waters of the ocean and being carried away by the waves. At Chakra-tirtha, He was caught in the net by a fisherman and dragged to land. While rejoicing over the good catch, the fisherman was greatly astonished when he saw that it was not a fish, but rather a huge person with foam coming out of his mouth and all of his body parts detached from one another. He made a growling noise, "Nrrrrrrrr... nrrrrrrr," and his whole body trembled. 

When the fisherman touched Mahaprabhu, his own body also began to tremble. The fisherman frightenedly began to cry out, "Ooh, a spirit has entered me! Out of this dead man, a spirit entered me!" He now began repeating the protective nrisimha-mantra, but it made his body shake even more. Perplexed, he thought, "What should I do now? I have been possessed by a spirit and I am going to die now! Maybe I have received a family curse and now my wife and children will also die?" Then he decided, "I must go to the ghost charmer to expel this spirit." The fisherman was now  sweating profusely and kept repeating, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna!"

Meanwhile, Svarupa Damodara was searching everywhere for Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. As he was walking along the shore, he noticed this fisherman and realised all the signs of ecstatic symptoms were in his body. Svarupa Damodara decided, "He must have somehow come into contact with Lord Mahaprabhu. Otherwise, how could this man display such signs of ecstasy? He asked the fisherman, "What happened?" The man began telling him the full story by saying, "Every night I used to fish in the ocean, and today a huge fish was caught in my net. When I pulled it ashore, I saw that it was not a fish, rather a huge dead man, and a spirit had passed from him into my body. So, I guess I'm going to die now. I must go to the spell-caster to rid me of this spirit!" 

Then, Svarupa Damodara slapped him three times and shouted, "Haribol! Haribol!" And the 'spirit' exited his body at once, calming the fisherman down. "Where is that dead man?" asked Svarupa Damodara. "Over there, but I don't want to go near him," replied the fisherman.

When Svarupa Damodara approached the body, he saw that it was Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His body was stretched immensely and all of His joints separated from each other. Mahaprabhu let out a groan "Nnrrrrrrr...nrrrrrr..." then Svarupa Damodara called Raya Ramananda and other devotees. Together, they began to perform parikrama (circumambulation) around Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's body and chant the holy names:

hari haraye namah krishna-yadavaya namah

yadavaya madhavaya keshavaya namah

gopala govinda rama sri-madhusudana

giridhari gopinatha madana mohana


by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura

[O Lord Hari, O Lord Krishna, I offer my obeisances to You, who are known as Hari, Yadava, Madhava,and Keshava. O Gopala, Govinda, Rama, Sri Madhusudana, Giridhari Gopinatha, and Madana-mohana!]

Thus, all the devotees did kirtana (singing), and after a few minutes, Lord Sri Chaitanya returned to His normal state. All of His joints were reunited and He returned to His outer consciousness. Sri Svarupa Damodara embraced the Lord and asked, "Prabhu, how did You get here?" Mahaprabhu replied, "Today I was in Vrindavana. I went to the shores of Radha-kunda where Krishna was manifesting His pastimes with the gopis (Vraja cowherd girls). I saw Srimati Radhika and Her friends playing with Him in the water. Then, Krishna manifested His rasa-lila, and through His dancing, singing and other manifestations of divine love, gave pleasure to the gopis."

While at Chakra-tirtha, Mahaprabhu was keeping this supreme play of the Lord in mind— the Chakravarti lila. And Gurudeva, when he was there, also immersed himself only in rasa-lila and was always chanting, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Hare Hare.”

He is a maha-bhagavata Vaishnava, and is constantly mindful of krishna-lila-katha (narrations of Krishna’s pastimes). To understand all these things, one must always remain under the association of sadhus (Krishna's highly advanced devotees), always remain mindful of Krishna and chant the holy names every day.

[Gaura Premanande!]

[Hari Haribol!]


Transcriber: Unknown Editor: Damodara dasa (UK), Sanatana dasa (USA) Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Proofreading: Chandrika dasi (UK), Indira dasi (UK)

Date: 23 April 2011 Location: Russia

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