Mahaprabhu Bari Temple at Sri Koladvipa Island of Sri Mayapur Dhama (Navadvipa Town)
Sri Dhameswar Mahaprabhu
This beautiful neem Deity of Gauranga Mahaprabhu is the Deity that Srimati Visnupriya, wife of Lord Gauranga worshiped for 80 years after Lord Caitanya took sannyasa. Srimati Visnupriya was sixteen years old when Gauranga Mahaprabhu left and she worshiped this Deity as her husband until she passed away at the age of ninety-six. The Deity’s hands reach forward with upraised palms, a pose indicating, “I am yours.” There are also wooden shoes, which were worn by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He gave them to Srimati Visnupriya, which she worshipped until she passed away.
After the Lord's acceptance of sannyasa, Srimati Visnupriya always remained within the house, with the exception of taking bath daily at the Ganges along with Mother Sacidevi. When devotees went there to partake of prasadam, they saw only the feet of Visnupriya. Never did they see her face, nor hear her voice. She constantly chanted the holy name.
She would place two fresh earthen pots on either side of her. One pot was empty and the other contained grains of rice. After chanting one round of Japa (108 beads) she placed one grain of rice into the empty pot. She thus continued her Japa until the third quarter of the day. Those grains which she had placed in the empty pot were then cooked and offered to the Lord with tears. Day and night she chanted the holy name:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare |
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ||
After the departure of Mahaprabhu, their servant, Isana Thakura looked after Mother Saci and Srimati Visnupriya. Vamsivadana Thakura and Mother Saci also stayed with Visnupriya at all times. Once in a dream Lord Caitanya commanded her to shower mercy upon Srinivasa Acarya. Thus with deep affection she placed her feet on the head of Srinivasa. Sri Vamsivadana Thakura, Visnupriya’s dedicated servant and an incarnation of Lord Krishna’s flute, brought this Deity here after she departed. He established the worship of Sri Dhameswar Mahaprabhu as Pranavallabha, the lover of Visnupriya.
Srimati Visnupriya's reaction after hearing of Lord Gauranga's decision to accept sannyasa, and the words of comfort offered to her by Her husband are recorded in Sri Caitanya Mangala Madhya Lila 12.1-40 by Srila Locana Das Thakura.
In Sri Navadvipa-dhama Mahatmya, Lord Nityananda says, “O Jiva, hear a confidential topic. There is a very beautiful Deity of Gauranga belonging to Visnupriya, which in future will be brought to Sattika by brahmanas descending from the family of Jagannatha Misra. Four hundred years after Lord Gauranga’s appearance in this world, the worship of this Deity will be restored to the highest standard.”
Entrance to Sri Dhameswar Mahaprabhu Bari Temple
Sri Dhameswar Mahaprabhu
This beautiful neem Deity of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu is the Deity that Srimati Visnupriya, wife of Lord Gauranga worshiped for 80 years after Lord Caitanya took sannyasa.
Shoes of Mahaprabhu
Lotus feet of Sri Dhameshwar Mahaprabhu
Ecstatic Kirtan at Dhameswar Mahaprabhu Temple during annual Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama
Directions to Sri Dhameswar Mahaprabhu Temple
#1) From the main gate of Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir (ISKCON), turn left to Hollur boat ghat. From the boat ghat there is regular boat service, every 10 mins, to Navadvipa town. From Navadvipa town take a rickshaw. Dhameswar Mahaprabhu Bari temple is famous, and will take 10 mins from the Navadvipa town boat ghat. An ancient banyan tree at the Porama Tala market road is the landmark which will come on the way to the Mahaprabhu Bari temple.
#2) One can also visit Sri Dhameswar Mahaprabhu Temple by attending Navadvipa-Mandala Parikrama which is organized each year by ISKCON Mayapur about 10 days before Gaura-Purnima Festival.
Ancient Banyan tree at Porama Tala market road on the way to Sri Dhameswar Mahaprabhu Temple