The place of Lord gauranga’s pastimes
WHAT IS IT?
The India that is in the Northern Vindhya Hills which lie to the South of Himalayas is called arya-varta, the panca-gauda-desa is within that arya-varta.
It is stated in the Skhanda-Purana:
sarasbatah kanyakujba hyutkala maithilasca ye
gaudasca pancadha caiba pancagauda prakirttitah
The brahmanas who used to live in Tirasta, Kanoj, Utkala, Mithila, and Gauda, whichever on the bank of Sarasvati river used to be known as panca-gauda. From this scriptural statement it can be inferred that these five gauda-regions were present over the areas of Kuruksetra with the river Sarasvati; Prayag and Kanyakubja; and in Mithila and Ayodhya; and in present Orissa and in Bengal. These places were also spread over to the region of Gondavana, which is in Madhya-pradesa. From among these five regions only the rule of regions close to Bengal had become specially popular. Because of this many people think that gauda-desa means Bengal.
Toward the end of Saktisangam we can see:
bangadesam samarabhya bhuvanesantagam sive
gaudadesah samakhyatah sarvasastra-visaradaih
The place starting from Bangladesh and ending at Bhuvanesvar is famously known as gauda-desa. The scholars say that gaudiya were the ancient inhabitants of this region. The word ‘Gauda’ was the title during the ancient king Bhupatigana’s time coming in the dynasty of Sena. This is probably why the whole of Bengal used to be known as Gauda. The old Gauda-nagara from Maldah is five krosa distant. Laksmana-sena the son of Ballal-sena transferred the Kingdom form North Gaura-nagar to Navadvipa which is in the Southern region of Gauda. This is why Navadvīpa-maṇḍala is known as Gauda-bhumi at present.
Also, in greats books like Caitanya-Bhagavata, Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Caitanya-mangala, Śrī Bhakti Ratnakara, Narottama Vilasa and other scriptures described Bengal as Gauda-desa.
nityananda bale,—“tirtha karila aneka
dekhila krsnera sthana yateka yateka
sthana-matra dekhi, krsna dekhite na pai
jijnasa karila tabe bhala-loka-thani
simhasana saba kene dekhi acchadita
kaha bhai saba, ’krsna gela kon bhita?’
Nityananda said, “I have visited many holy places and seen various sites connected with Lord Krsna. I could only see the place, but I could not see Krsna. Then I inquired from some responsible persons why all the thrones were covered. I asked them, ’O brothers, where has Krsna gone?’
(Caitanya-Bhagavata Madhya 4.49-51)
ei candra surya dui parama sadaya
jagatera bhagye gaude karila udaya
These two, the sun and moon, are very kind to the people of the world. Thus for the good fortune of all, They have appeared on the horizon of Bengal.
(Caitanya-caritamrita Adi-lila 1.102)
nityananda-gosane pathaila gauda-dese
tenho bhakti pracarila asesa-visese
As Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami were sent toward Mathura, so Nityananda Prabhu was sent to Bengal to preach extensively the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
(Caitanya-caritamrita Adi-lila 7.165)
Without the hesitating fear of whether to say which version of the above, so we stop here.
In this Gauda-bhumi Lord Gauranga who is non-different from Vrajendra-nandana and Sri Nityananda Prabhu who is non-different from Rohini-nandana, beside the associates of Lord Gauranga appeared. Also many devotees of Lord Gauranga appeared in different places and came to Gauda-bhumi and met Their Lordships.