Ākāihāṭa – Śrīpāṭa of Śrī Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa, one amongst the Twelve Gopālas


Ākāihāṭa is a place nearby Kāṭwā in the district of Bardhamān. From Mādhāitalā at Kāṭwā, two kilomters south-east is the Dāṅihāṭa-Pānuhāṭa bus-stand. From there or from Kāṭwā bus-stand one can come to Ākāihāṭa. It is known to everybody as ‘Ākāihāṭa Pāṭabāḍi’, which is situated two and half kilometers away from Kāṭwā railway station.

This is the Śrīpāṭa of Śrī Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa who is one of the Twelve Gopālas. Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa accompanied Mahāprabhu during His South India tour. Mahāprabhu rejected Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa after completing His South India tour. This was mainly because of his being captured by the Bhaṭṭathārīs. Kālākṛṣṇa was a very simple brāhmin. He was allured by the Bhaṭṭathārīs and he went to their house. Mahāprabhu rescued him from their clutches. Arriving at Nīlācala, Mahāprabhu described the events of His South India tour including the incident of Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa to the devotees. He described-“Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa went to the house of the Bhaṭṭathārīs leaving Me alone. I took him with Me and I brought him back with Me. Now I do not have any responsibility whatsoever and he should not come to Me.” Then Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa started crying loudly. Nityānanda Prabhu and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya pacified Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa. They took permission from Mahāprabhu and sent him to Śacīmātā at Gauḍadeśa.

Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa distributed Jagannātha Mahāprasāda brought from Nīlācala to Advaita Ācārya, Śrivāsa Prabhu and to other devotees at Śāntipura. These Gauḍiya Vaiṣṇavas made him sit in fondness near to them and heard the details of Mahāprabhu’s South India tour. Afterwards, Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa came to this Ākāihāṭa and established the Śrīpāṭa. It is described in Śrīpāṭa Paryaṭana-

ākāihāṭe kālākṛṣṇa dāsera vasati
pūrvete lavaṅga sakhā yāra nāma kheyāti

Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa resided in Ākāihāṭa and he was famous by the name Lavaṅga sakhā before.

His father’s name was Śrī Kālidāsa Ṭhākura and was a vārendra brāhmin by caste (a class by region-wise- division).

The village Sonātalā belongs to present Bangladesh in Pābnā district. He went to Sonātalā from Ākāihāṭa while preaching Harināma. He got married there and begot one son. He named his son Mohana Dāsa. He handed over all his properties to his son at Sonātalā and came to Vṛṇdāvana with his wife. He begot his second son there and named him Gaurāṅga Dāsa. Afterwards Gaurāṅga Dāsa came to Sonātalā by the order of his father and started worshiping the Deities. According to Gauḍiya Vaiṣṇava dictionary, there are some proofs about the Kālācāṅda Deity in Sonātalā. But, there is no doubt of Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa’s stay in Ākāihāṭa.

Presently, this Śrīpāṭa of Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa in Ākāihāṭa is situated on the land measuring 4/5 bighā (approxi- mately one and half acre). Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa’s old samād- hi is there. Apart from his samādhi, there are other samādhis of the subsequent pūjāris (worshipers). The Deity of Śrī Rādhā Govinda made of wood is worshiped in the temple. There is a small portico in front of the temple. The visitors’ mind will be captivated by the charming natural view of this place.

Here is situated the famous Nūpurkuṇḍa (ankle-bell- pond). The ankle bell of Raghunandana flew and fell off in this Akāihāṭa while he was dancing with Ṭhākura Abhirāma Gopāla in Baḍaḍāṅgā of Śrīkhaṇḍa. The place where the ankle bell was dropped is named as

‘Nūpurkuṇḍa’. It is described in Śrīpāṭa Paryaṭana-

ākāihāṭe āchilā ṭhākura kṛṣṇadāsa
raghunandanera nūpura pāiyā yāhāra ullāsa
ākāihāṭe chila śākhā kṛṣṇadāsa ṭhākura
bāṭīte basiyā pāila prabhura nūpura

Ṭhākura Kṛṣṇadāsa was residing in Ākāihāṭa and he was overwhelmed with joy by getting the ankle bell of Raghunandana by sitting in his house.

There are many bakula trees here. Along with these, there is a five hundred year old altar of mādhavi-creeper.

The twelfth day of the waning moon in the month of Caitra (March-April) is celebrated as a very big festival which is the disappearance day of Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa.

Local devotees say there is no income other than begging. But it is very surprising that on the day of festival, lots of rice, various cereals and vegetables come from somewhere. After the disappearance of Kālākṛṣṇa Dāsa, his disciple Śrī Nava-Gaurāṇga Dāsa started worshiping his Deity, Śrī Rādhā Govinda along with the ankle bell in Kaḍui village.