The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Gadigacha

BY: SUN STAFF - 30.8 2019

Lord Harihara Temple, Godruma-dvipa

A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 47.

On the Jaiva Dharma 'Glossary of Places', the next holy place listed is Gadigacha:

"Gadigacha - often equated with the entire region of Godruma-dvipa. In Citre Navadvipa, Sriyukta Sarad-indu Narayana Raya has stated that Godruma is called Gadigacha in the Apabhramsa language. In Chapter Ten of this book, Gadigacha is referred to as a small area within Godruma-dvipa where the Vaisnavas of Pradyumna-kunja were living. On the 1916 map of Sridhama Navadvipa, Gadigacha is also portrayed as a small area of Godrumadvipa."

Srila Bhaktivinoda's mention of Gadigacha in the Glossary refers to this passage, which is one of only two mentions in the entire text. The devotees were disturbed by the decline in standards going on in Navadvipa:

"Navadvipa was as good in the past as it is bad in the present. Nowadays a few Vaisnavas who live at Baragachi in Navadvipa see the ideas of the entire world as foolish. Some two or three scholars amongst them have turned the whole country upside-down. the ideas that castes are rigidly fixed, that the whole world is an illusion, and that one should worship Goddess Durga have all been crushed by them. Look. Nowadays there are not even many sraddha ceremonies. What will happen to the professional brahmanas?

Then Harihara said, "O Bhattacarya Mahasaya, is there no remedy? In Mayapura there are still five or six big, big brahmana scholars. Then on the other side of the Ganges there are many scholars of Smrti and Nyaya. Why do they not join forces and attack Gadigacha?

Nyayaratna said, "Yes! If they band together, the brahmana scholars can do it! Of course the brahmana scholars tend to fight among themselves. They like to fight and they pretend that fighting among themselves is part of the job of being a scholar. I heard that some followers of Krsna-cudamani went to Gadigacha for a debate and came back defeated. Now they won't even come out of their classrooms. Some have said that."

Harihara said, "O Bhattacarya Mahasaya, You are our teacher. You are the teacher of many great scholars. By studying your commentaries on nyaya-sastra, many have learned the art of tricking others by juggling words. Please go and defeat the Vaisnava scholars once and for all. The Vaisnava religion is a modern concoction. It is not the teaching of the Vedas. Please go and prove these truths. Then our pancopasana worship, which is the teaching of all the previous authorities, will be saved."

In Caturbhuja Nyayaratna's mind there was one fear. He was afraid that he would meet the same fate as Krsna-cudamani and others who had already been defeated by the Vaisnavas. He said, "Harihara, I will go there in disguise. You go there also. Pose as a scholar, and kindle the fire of debate in Gadigacha." Harihara said, "I must obey your order. Calling myself 'Mahadeva', on Monday I will cross the Ganges."

Monday came. Accompanied by Sri Caturbhuja Nyayaratna of Arkatila, the three scholars of Harihara, Kamalakanta, and Sadasiva crossed the Ganges. After a little more than ten hours of travelling along the Ganges, they finally arrived at Sri Pradyumna-kunja."

Chapter 10 concludes with the opinion of the brahmanas being transformed by the expert preaching of the Vaisnavas:

"Nyayaratna: I am very pleased. When I see your scholarship and sharp intelligence, I have faith in the Vaisnavas. I feel happiness in my heart. Harihara, why should we argue with these people? These people are very great scholars. They are very expert in understanding the scriptures. Whatever we may say to keep our business prosperous, Nimai Pandita is the greatest philosopher and Vaisnava who ever took birth in the land of Bengal. Of this there is no doubt. Now let us cross the Ganges. The day is almost ended. Calling our "Haribol! Haribol!" Nyayaratna and his companions departed. Singing "Jaya Sacinananda!", the Vaisnavas danced."

(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter Ten - 'Nitya-dharma O Itihasa' (Eternal Religion and History)

In chapter twenty-two of Jaiva Dharma, Gadigacha is briefly mentioned as a locale through which Sri Chaitanya's sankirtana party traveled:

"Vijaya-kumara: What is 'affection for those places where the Lord resides?"

Babaji: When he circumambulates the holy Navadvipa, a devotee will ask, "O residents of the Lord's sacred place, where did the Lord take birth? Walking down what pathway did the Lord perform sankirtana? Please tell me: where did the Lord enjoy pastimes with the gopas in the morning?" The residents of the holy abode may reply, "In Mayapura, in a raised tulasi-forest, the Lord took birth. In Ganganagara, Simuliya, Gadigacha, Majida, and many other villages He performed sankirtana. By drinking with the cup of his ears these nectar words from the mouth of a resident of the land of Gauda, a devotee will manifest ecstatic symptoms, such as shedding tears and the hairs of his body standing erect, as he circumambulates the holy place. This is called 'affection for those places where the Lord resides'."


(Gadigacha, to be continued…)