Līlāsthalī (Place of pastime) of Śrīmāna Mahāprabhu
How to Reach?
How to Reach?
Ambuliṅga Śiva: Here Ambuliṅga Śiva is worth seeing. In front of the temple there is a spacious courtyard and portico. At the side of the portico there is a bakula tree. The local people believe this bakula tree was present at that time when Mahāprabhu visited this place and is standing as a witness of His various pastimes.
To get onto the main road from this temple takes 4/5 minutes’ walk. Two kilometers from there is a place called Andhamunitalā. Transport arrangement is very good.
Gauḍīya Maṭha: At the entrance of Andhamunitalā is situated the present Chatrabhoga Gauḍīya Maṭha, a branch of Bāghabājāra Gauḍīya Maṭha.
Andhamuni temple: The temple of Andhamuni is situated nearby. It is popularly known that the eye disease is cured by the water offered to the Deity by the pūjārī of this temple. Many people with their eye problems come here every day with the hope of curing their eyes.
Footprint of Mahāprabhu: Through the same way on the brick road by 4/5 minutes’ walk is situated the Footstool of Mahāprabhu. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda came here 80 to 85 years ago and established this Footstool. Nowadays, the devotees of Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha are worshiping this Footstool. This place is known as Chatrabhoga. That time the place was inundated with water and the only way to travel was by waterway. Here Mahāprabhu offered bhoga underneath the umbrella (chatra), thus the place was named as Chatrabhoga.
Śakti-pītha: At the back of this Footstool, there is a path going to the temple of Tripurāsundarī. During the rainy season it is very difficult to cross through the road. It is wise to go around by metal road. This place is known as Śakti-pītha (place of female energy). People say that the chest of Pārvatī Devī had fallen here. There are unlimited glories of Devī in this Śakti-pīṭha also.
Ambu means water. Here Lord Śiva is present in the form of water. Lord Śiva came down here from the Himālayas in the mood of separation from the Ganges while Bhagīratha brought her down to this earth to deliver his forefathers. By seeing the Ganges here, he entered into the water. He then took the form of water and merged into the Ganges.
Thus Lord Śiva is present here in the form of water and the place is named as Ambuliṅga Ghāṭa. Mother Ganges is flowing here in hundred streams and she falls into the sea in a hundred streams. Thus the Ganges is named here as Hundred- streamed-Gaṅgā (Śatamukhī Gaṅgā). But, now there is no trace of Gaṅgā and she is flowing far away from here.
The administrator of that village Rāmacandra Khāna was passing by sitting on a palanquin while Mahāprabhu was performing His Harināma saṅkīrtana in ecstasy. He got down from his palanquin by seeing the effulgence of Mahāprabhu and he fell flat at the lotus feet of the Lord. He stood up with folded hands. Mahāprabhu had no external consciousness as He shed tears of ecstatic love. After getting back to His external consciousness He asked him as described in Caitanya-bhāgavata (Antya–khanda, 2/90)-
kichu sthira hai’ vaikuṇṭhera cūḍāmaṇi
jiñgāsila rāmacandra khānere ‘ke tumi’
After being pacified, the crest jewel of Vaikuntha asked Rāmacandra Khāna, ‘Who are you’?
Rāmacandra Khāna then replied, “I am the servant of Your servant.” The people present there said that he is Rāmacandra Khāna, the administrator of this southern province. Mahāprabhu said as stated in Caitanya-bhāgavata (Antya-khaṇḍa, 2/93)-
prabhu bale-‘tumi adhikārī baḍa bhāla’
nīlācale āmi yāi kemate sakāla
The Lord said – It is good that you are the administrator; I intend to go to Nīlācala as quick as possible.
Rāmacandra Khāna said, “Now there is a fight going on between the kings of Baṅgadeśa and Utkaladeśa. They have put sharp spears in places and there is no way to travel. Even then I will try my level best and by hook or by crook I will arrange for You to go to Nīlācala. If You consider me as Your servant then please arrange for cooking here and have something. I will arrange for Your travel tonight itself.” Then Mahāprabhu went to the brāhmaṇa’s house. Jagadānanda Paṇḍita cooked there and Mahāprabhu ate little as a formality. Rāmacandra Khāna sent a message in the middle of the night, “The boat is ready for Your auspicious journey now itself.” Then Mahāprabhu got onto the boat by saying “Haribola” and He started His journey towards Nīlācala from this Ambuliṅga Ghāṭa.
It is said in Caitanya-bhāgavata about Rāmacandra Khāna-
yadyapi viṣayī tabu mahā bhāgyavāna
Although he was a materialistic person, he was very fortunate.
pūrve bhagīratha kari’ gaṅgā-ārādhana
gaṅgā ānilena vaṁśa-uddhāra-kāraṇa
gaṅgāra virahe śiva vihvala haiyā
śiva āilena śeṣe gaṅgā smaṅariyā
gaṅgāre dekhiyā śiva sei chatrabhoge
vihvala hailā ati gaṅgā-anurāge
gaṅgā dekhi’ mātra śiva gaṅgāya paḍilā
jala-rupe śiva jāhnavīte mīśāilā
jagan-mātā jāhnavī o dekhiyā śaṅkara
pūjā karilena bhakti kariyā vistara
śiva se jānena gaṅgā-bhaktira mahimā
gaṅgā o jānena śiva-bhaktira ye sīmā
gaṅgā-jala-sparśe śiva haila jala-maya
gaṅgā o pūjilā ati kariyā vinaya
jala-rūpe śiva rahilena sei sthāne
ghoṣe ‘ambuliṅga ghāṭa’ kari’ sarva-jane
gaṅgā-śiva-prabhāve se chatrabhoga-grāma
haila parama dhanya mahā-tīrtha nāma
tathi madhye viśeṣa mahimā haila āra
Previously Bhagiratha worshiped the Ganges and brought her down to this earth to deliver his forefathers. Lord Śiva, perturbed in separation from the Ganges, came to this place by remembering the Ganges. By seeing the Ganges at Chatrabhoga, he was overwhelmed with attachment for the Ganges. When he saw the Ganges, he immediately entered the water and merged into the Ganges by taking the form of water. After seeing Lord Śiva, Jāhnavī, the mother of the universe worshiped him with great devotion. Śiva knew the glories of worshiping mother Gaṅgā and she also knew the glories of worshiping Lord Śiva. Lord Śiva took the form of water while he came in contact with the water of mother Ganges and she also humbly worshiped him. Everyone glorified this place as Ambuliṅga Ghāṭa as Lord Śiva remained here in the form of water. This Chatrbhoga village became more glorious and celebrated as a great pilgrimage place by the presence of the Ganges and Lord Śiva. This place became even more glorious after being touched by the lotus feet of Caitanyacandra who has peformed many patimes here.
In this way Mahāprabhu with His associates arrived in this Chatrabhoga village and by taking bath, having prasādam and performing saṅkīrtana He made this Ambuliṅga Ghāṭa a great pilgrimage place.
Thousands of pilgrims gather every year in Cakratīrtha on the first day of the waxing moon in the month of Caitra (March-April) and celebrate the festival of Mandāra Melā (Fair) and Gaṅgā-bath.