This is the place where the great Vaisnava, whom Bhaktivinoda Thakur called the Vaisnava-sarvabhauma (the head of all the Vaisnavas of Vrindavan, Puri and Navadvipa) - Srila Jagannatha das Babaji, made his worship of the Lord. Here is his samadhi.
Now in this place a temple has been opened in which the Deities Nitai-Gauranga, Radha-Govinda and Giridhari are installed.
Once the Ganges flowed very close to this place, and Jagannath das Babaji was repeating japa on its shore. Behind the outbuildings, on the right side of the temple, there is a small memorial in the place where he usually sat. It overlooks the small lake that remained here after the Ganges changed course. For a very long time (more than seventy years) the temple was led by the great devotee Jai Nitai das Mahant.
At this place, one can pray to Jagannath das Babaji as the personification of renunciation of material and attachment to the holy name of Krishna. You can also ask for the opportunity to understand the holy dham - not only to hear about it, but to see it with your own eyes.
Sri Srimad Vaishnava-sarvabhauma Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja spent a long time performing his bhajan in the Vraja Mandala, but in 1880 he moved to Bengal, where he stayed for a while in the village of Amalajoda, in the district of Bourdwan. There Bhaktivinoda Thakur met with him, who received from him many valuable spiritual instructions. When Babaji Maharaja decided to move to Navadvipa, his servant Bihari asked him where they would stop and offered as an option a large ashram, which everyone called “Bada Akhara”. But Maharaja replied:
- No, we will not stop at any ashram. We will live under a tree.
And they really are located under a tree. However, later a devotee named Sri Madhava Datta bought land near that tree and presented it to Babaji, and a year later Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur built two small huts for him there. Then Rajarishi Sri Vanamali Rai, a well-known landowner, built three more huts there and surrounded them with a wall, and one rich woman of old age made sure that a well was dug there. Babaji lived in that place for thirty-two years.
From time to time he visited the house of Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Surabhi Kunja. In 1888, he confirmed the validity of the discovery of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who established the exact location of the appearance of Sri Chaitanya. For some time after that, he and Bhaktivinoda spent in Yogapitha. There, he miraculously healed one of the sons of Thakur from a skin disease, ordering him to lie down in the dust at the place where the Lord appeared.
Sometimes Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati also came here. Even at a young age, the son of Bhaktivinoda was knowledgeable in astrology, and Babaji Maharaja asked him to draw up a Vaishnava calendar that would indicate the days of the appearance and departure of all the satellites of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Vishnupriya Thakurani. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati made all the necessary calculations and began to publish Sri Navadvipa Panchika.
Several stories are told about Babaji Maharaja.
His servant was Bihari - a very strong and strong man. He carried his teacher in a basket, on his back, because he was very old and could not walk on his own. Once, when Babaji Maharaja traveled in this way, one rich man gave him one rupee, and he deposited it with Bihari. But after they had walked several kilometers, Srila Babaji Maharaja ordered the servant to carry him back to the donor and gave him his rupee. He said:
- I know that you have a lot of money. I couldn’t bear even such a burden as one rupee, how do you bear such a burden?
Goat in Vrindavan
Once, the famous landowner Srinath Rai and several members of his family came to Babaji Maharaja. Not recognizing him, they asked if he knew where the famous Siddha Baba lives. Srila Babaji Maharaja replied:
- I dont know. I live here, but I am an ordinary living being, just like you all.
Then Rai realized that he was talking with Srila Babaji Maharaja, who did not at all seek either glory or recognition. They humbly asked him to show them some miracle. To which Babaji answered with displeasure:
- I do not know how to perform miracles.
After these words, he took a stick and in irritation, as it seemed to everyone, he began to hit it on the ground. The landowner, frightened that he had insulted Babaji, asked him not to be angry with them for an inappropriate request, to which Maharaja replied:
- I'm not angry with you, I just drive away a goat that eats the leaves of tulasi growing near the house of Srila Lokanatha Goswami on Radha Kunda.
Paradise was very surprised to hear this, and to check the authenticity of his words, he immediately sent a telegram to Radha Kunda. The next day, a return telegram arrived confirming that the goat had climbed into the courtyard of Srila Lokanatha Gosvami's house and ate the tulasi. Having received a telegram, the Raias again came to Babaji Maharaja and bowed to his feet.
Once Babaji Maharaj ordered Bihari to buy Rsagullah for 200 rupees (a huge amount at that time) in order to distribute them to the cows and dogs of Navadvipa. When asked whether it would be better to feed local babajis with these sweets, Jagannatha Das Babaji replied: “I do not want to feed these sahajis. During the day, they pretend to be detached, and at night are called illegal sex. ” He fed the cows and dogs and called them dhama-washi.
Once Bihari became seriously ill. He had a strong fever, he raved and constantly lost consciousness. The doctor, who was called from Calcutta, said that the disease had gone too far and there was no hope for a cure. He said that Bihari would die by morning. Then Jagannatha dasa Babaji sat near his beloved servant, put a consecrated sheet of tulasi in Bihari’s mouth and began to chant the maha-mantra. After half an hour, Bihari was completely healthy. He got out of bed and went to the kitchen to prepare prasadam, because he knew that Babaji Maharaja, who fasted all the days of his illness, would only eat what was prepared by him.
Babaji Maharaja usually lived six months in Vraja and six months in Navadvipa-dham. When he, at the age of 146, was preparing to leave from Radha-kunda to Navadvipa, many locals and Vaisnavas came to him and asked why he was leaving Vraja-dhama at such an advanced age. Babaji Maharaja replied:
- All of you can live in Vraja Dham, because all of you are pure Vaisnavas. But I constantly commit insults, therefore it will be better for me if I live in Navadvip. Their mercies, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, do not take into account the insults, for They appeared in order to give liberation to all the offenders.
This was his last trip to Navadvipa Dhama. A few months later, on the first day of the new moon of the month of Phalgun, two weeks before the anniversary of the appearance of Lord Caitanya, he joined the pastimes of the Lord.
Translated from dhama.dayalnitay.ru