Sripat

Bāghnāpāḍā

Śrīpāṭ of Śrī Rāmāi Paṇḍita

HISTORY

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Vaishnavas connected to this Sripat

BĀGHNĀPĀḌĀ MEANING

There is a pastime related with the name of this place as Bāghnāpāḍā. That tiger (Bāgh) disappeared by eating the Prasāda of Rāma-Kānāi which means ‘No Bāgh’ that is ‘Bāgh-Nā’. Since then that place is named as ‘Bāghnāpāḍā’.

Darsana

The Gopesvara Śivaliṅga exists presently at the left of the entrance to the temple. Just after entering the temple, the Rāma-Kānai Deities are situated on the left. During the day time, Rāma-Kānāi stay in this first room. In a room at the north of the temple corridor, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and Revatī are exhibited. They stay with Them in separate room at night. At the south corner room Lord Jagannātha is worshiped.

PASTIME

Here Śrī Rāmāi Paṇḍita started the worship of Śrī Rāma-Kānāi. Caitanya Dāsa was the son of Śrī Vaṁśīvadana who was the associate of Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu. Rāmāi Paṇḍita was the eldest son of Caitanya Dāsa. Nityānanda Prabhu’s potency, Jāhṇavādevī, brought up Rāmāi Paṇḍita. Thus, Rāmāi Paṇḍita is the foster-son of Jāhṇvādevī. Śrī Jāhṇavādevī preached the message of Śrīman Mahāprabhu in Gauḍa Maṇḍala after the disappearance of Śrīman Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu. Once, Jāhṇavādevī accompanied by Rāmāi Paṇḍita and many other devotees went to Vṛndāvana. All of them traveled with Rūpa and Sanātana to different places in Vraja Maṇḍala. At last, when they reached Kāmyavana, She disappeared into the body of Gopīnātha. At that time, Rāmāi Paṇḍita was stricken with grief in separation from Jāhṇavā Mātā. He decided not to go anywhere else leaving this place.

Once he was taking bath in the fountain water at Kāmyavana. While he dipped under the water, some- thing touched his chest. He saw that it was the Deity of Śrī Rāma-Kānāi. Then he brought the two Deities in the Gopīnātha temple and performed the bathing ceremony and other related acticvities. At night, They appeared in his dream and said, “We shall not stay over here. You take us to Gauḍadeśa.” Receiving this order Rāmāi Paṇḍita started his journey towards Gauḍadeśa with the two Deities. He arrived at Bāghnāpāḍā. After finishing his bath he offered fruits and roots to the Deities. While he was taking rest under a tree after finishing all these activities, the Deities told him, “We shall not leave this place. Śrī Nitāi-Gaurāṅga, on the way to Kulīnagrāma took rest at this place during Their manifest-pastime. Now We shall stay over here.” Then Rāmāi Paṇḍita cleaned up all the wild plants and bushes with the help of the local people and set up a thatched hut. He installed the Deities there and immersed himself very happily in Their worship. The devotees from the village started supplying all the ingredients needed for the worship.

One day, a big tiger came in front of the hut and all the devotees were running away in fear. Knowing this, Rāmāi Paṇḍita went near the tiger and started telling, “Why are you putting all the devotees in anxiety?

Immediately leave this place.” Then the tiger said, “Please give me Rāmakānāi’s Prasād and I shall not put anybody in anxiety.” Then onwards, Rāmāi Paṇḍita started giving Rāmakānāi’s lunch Prasāda to the tiger everyday and after few days the tiger disappeared.

Once Lord Śiva appeared in a dream and told Rāmāi Paṇḍita, “The tiger was my devotee before and he was a sannyāsī. But he used to blaspheme the Vaiṣṇavas whenever he met them. One day some Vaiṣṇavas became very angry upon him and cursed him, ‘You stay in this forest. As you blaspheme the Vaiṣṇavas, you become a tiger. You will roam around this forest as a tiger.’ The sannyāsī begged forgiveness and requested them to set him free from his offences. They said, ‘Alright, if any Vaiṣṇava gives you Prasāda of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then by the potency of that Prasāda, you will be free from the tiger body.’ That sannyāsī then started roaming around this forest as a tiger. There is a Śiva-liṅga as Gopeśvara Śiva near this forest. After the sannyāsi became a tiger, nobody worshiped me. Oh! Rāmāi Paṇḍita, please lift me from there and place me near the Rāma-Kānāi temple. Everyday please offer me the lunch Prasāda of Rāma- Kānāi.” After this dream, Rāmāi Paṇḍita with the local people went inside the forest. He brought the Śiva-liṅga and kept it by the side of Rāma-Kānāi temple. He has been worshiped as Gopeśvara Śiva. Till now, everyday the Prasāda of Rāma-Kānāi is offered to Lord Śiva.

Thus, Rāmāi Paṇḍita was happily immersed in the worship of Śrī Rāma-Kānāi. Once by the order of Nityānanda Prabhu’s son Vīracandra Prabhu, his twelve hundred shaved-headed disciples arrived at mid-night in front of Rāmāi Paṇḍita. Immediately they expressed their desire to eat something. Rāmāi Paṇḍita asked them what they would like to eat. They told, ‘We would like to eat mangoes.’ Rāmāi Paṇḍita at that late hour of the night, in the month of Pauṣa (December/January) fructified mangoes in Bakula tree and fed them. By hearing this potency of Rāmāi Paṇḍita, the Nawāb of Gauḍadeśa gifted him a Gong. That gong sounded during the Ārotika. The sound of the gong was heard from a diatance of nine/ten kilometers.

Once, Rāmāi Paṇḍita wished to install Ṭhākurāṇīs beside the two Deities. He saw in his dream at that night that his desire will be fulfilled the next morning itself. Next day morning two Vaiṣṇavas from Vraja by name Mīnaketana and Kāyastha Kṛṣṇadāsa placed the two Deities of Revatī and Rādhā Ṭhākurāṇī before Rāmāi Paṇḍita. Rāmāi Paṇḍita installed the two Deities happily.

 

ŚĀSTRA PRAMĀṆA

It is described in Śrī Muralīvilāsa

gopīnāthe dui mūrti apūrva dekhiyā
dui jane ārti kare lailā māgiyā

tāṅhāi śunilā gauḍa bhuvane rāmāi
vraja haite laiyā gelā kānāi balāi

doṅhe milāiva lañā ei ṭhākurāṇī
ei premānande doṅhe āilā āpani

The two beautiful Deities in Gopīnātha temple begged in grief for taking Them to Gauḍadeśa. Rāmāi Paṇḍita followed that order and brought Kānāi and Balāi to Gauḍadeśa from Vraja. He wished to unite the two Deities with Their divine consorts. The two consorts came by Themselves in bliss.

In this way, the two eternal beloveds were installed. Then Rāmāi Paṇḍita brought his youngest brother Śacīnandana from Navadvīpa and engaed his three sons Rājavallabha, Śrīvallabha and Keśava in the service of this Śrīpāṭ Bāghnāpāḍā. Their family descendants are the worshipers at this Śrīpāṭ till today. Rāmāi Paṇḍita passed away from this world at this place.