All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Pilgrimage to Sripat Bamunpara

Holy Appearance Place of

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

December 7 2006
Webpage by Krishnendrani Devi Dasi

The festival at Bamunpara includes the worship of the holy birthplace of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. By his grace we are allowed to visit this place each year to give our obeisances to his Appearance Place where he manifested so many wonderful childhood Pastimes. Srila Gurudev, in his article 'A Day at Hapaniya,' says:

"We must know that the abode of Goloka has personally become manifest in this world as the abode of the Divine Master, the residence of the devotees and the Temple where the Deities are worshipped. Today, whether we can perceive it or not, we have arrived in this holy place which is non-different from Goloka Dham."

So from this statement about Srila Sridhar Maharaj’s Appearance Place in Hapaniya, we can conclude the same thing about the transcendental abode of Srila Gurudev’s birthplace where he had his Pastimes as a boy. So, going to this holy site for worship of the birthplace of our Gurudev is a very auspicious pilgrimage to make.

The morning began with aratik. Hundreds of people from all over the world were present in Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip.
Morning darshan with His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, and the ladies' section consisting of Keli Kadambanana Devi Dasi, Vrinda Devi Dasi, Nanda Priya Devi Dasi and Amiya Kanti Devi Dasi.
The pilgrimage began after aratik and breakfast. The buses were full and we drove about an hour until we stopped to take Prasadam for breakfast. Along the way we passed fields of mustard mostly, and the rice fields all seemed finished. As always, there was some ethereal kirttan occuring in the buses.
The large sankirttan party heading towards Arjuna Pukur for breakfast Prasadam, in the area of Nadanghat, where Srila Gurudev worked as a doctor's assistant for some time.
Sripad Acharyya Maharaj spoke, Sripad Tirtha Maharaj spoke, and Sripad Giri Maharaj also spoke.

There was a wonderful kirttan celebration and Prasadam-seva. The Prasadam was excellent: there were puris, subji, muri, rasagullas, donuts, jalabis - all were very tasty.

Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Gopinathjiu. Hari Prasad Prabhu is the pujari now taking care of the Deities. He was very happy to see the devotees.
The temple was newly painted, and looked amazingly spotless. It looks like a brand new temple, although the temple is now nearly five years old.
Going to Srila Gurudev's birthplace.
The temple view on the way.
Bamunpara is such a beautiful place. It's a simple village with ponds, trees, and wildlife. People do their daily chores, and life is continuing. Everyone there is happy, and people are telling stories, chanting kirttan, and making music.
Enthusiastic Harinama-sankirttan. The temple seems to be the focus of the entire village. Some people from neighbouring areas walked distances of over fifteen miles to take part in the festival.
The festival and kirttan travelled to Srila Gurudev’s actual birthplace, his mother’s maternity room. There was the usual pushing and shoving to get through the tiny doorways. When you arrive at the room where Srila Govinda Maharaj was born it’s a very special place, a small room with a chair with a picture on it, and some beautiful designs on the floor.
A temple of Lord Shiva, around the corner to Srila Gurudev's family home, and where Sri Sri Radha Gopinath were worshipped before the manifestation of our present temple in Bamunpara.
Aratik took place along with an offering of a lamp with 108 lights.
A swimming pool of khichri.
A gigantic three foot pot of khichri was being prepared. There was a huge amount of khichri and subji prepared for the hundreds of pilgrims that came for the festival.
The Prasadam is distributed to all.... There were rows and rows of people coming to take Prasadam; this annual festival distributes thousands of plates.

Excerpt from a biography of Srila Gurudev, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, being written by Bhakti Lalita Devi Dasi:

As His Divine Grace grew, he displayed transcendental characteristics and joyful Pastimes. His naughty character reminded everyone of Lord Sri Krishna in His childhood Pastimes in Vrindavan.

He would spend most of his school days up in the mango trees so he could avoid the violence of his teacher at Bamunpara Primary School. When the attending school was unavoidable, His Divine Grace would then persuade his father, Nitai Pada Prabhu, to accompany him just to sing for his teacher, thereby passing all the class time away in song.

Nitai Pada Prabhu was always absorbed in Harinama-sankirttan and the recitation of the Srimad-Bhagavatam with his confidential disciples and associates. Being just a young boy, His Divine Grace was not given entrance into their association, as sometimes very exclusive songs were sung and elevated discussions of the Lord's intimate Pastimes took place. Naturally having great attachment for Krishna-lila and with such intense eagerness to attend his father's exclusive meetings, he would hide in a nearby barrel and listen carefully to their gatherings. Very soon, His Divine Grace memorised all the songs of Narottom Das Thakur, Chandi Das, Vidyapati, Govinda Das, Chandra Sekhar and other Vaisnava Acharyyas.

On special holy days during the holy months of Chaitra and Vysaka, Nitai Pada Prabhu and his congregation would engage in nagar sankirttan, chanting throughout the surrounding villages of Bamunpara on foot. His Divine Grace would run behind them, chanting and frolicking in the mood of a cowherd boy of Vrindavan.

Upon the passing away of Nitai Pada Prabhu, His Divine Grace came forward with the exceptional qualification of singing all the songs very sweetly and in the appropriate raga or tune. Thus, he continued in his father's honoured place as the lead kirtaniya [devotional singer] overwhelming the Vaisnava assembly with great satisfaction and astonishment!


Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
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