By Lakshman (das) Vrindavan (IN)
This is one of the widely celebrated Vaishnava festivals in Bangladesh that falls on the ‘Madhu Krishna trayodashi’ (the next trayodashi after Gaura Purnima). Everyone, regardless of age, participates with great enthusiasm to take a holy dip in the “Pana Tirtha’ on this very auspicious day
“Pana” means promise. Advaita Acarya Prabhu’s Mother Nabhadevi desired to take bath in the Ganges but at the same time she was lamenting because of her old age and the Ganga being very far from her village. To fulfill his mother’s desire, Advaita Acarya Prabhu promised His mother, “I will call Ganga and the other Tirthas to flow nearby our village”.
Advaita Acharya appeared on the seventh day of the waxing moon in the month of Magh, 1355 Saka (1433AD). He chose the village of Navagrama near the city of Sylhet and came as the son of the Varendra Brahmin Kubera Pandit and his wife Nabha Devi. Advaita Acharya is a disciple of Madhavendra Puri, and constitutes one of the figures amongst ‘the Pancatattva. He is the combined incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu and Lord Sadashiva.
When Advaita Acharya reached the age of seven, His mother Nabhadevi expressed her desire to take a dip in the holy places along the bank of River Ganga and other holy rivers. In order to fulfill his mother’s desire, Lord Advaita Acharya called all the Holy Tirthas to flow nearby his house. When the rivers manifested in accordance to Advaita Acharyas order his mother couldn’t believe his power so He asked his mother to take bath in the same river which He had summoned. Now the rivers name is “Jadukata”. “Jadu” is Magic and as soon as tithi starts, water in the river flows with ecstasy and swells high like a tide wave just like magic.
Every year on the same day millions of pilgrims come to take a dip. This day is called ‘Madhu Krishna trayodashi’(the next trayodasi after Gaura Purnima), People take a holy dip on that tithi with full faith on occasion of this manifestation of the holy tirtha,.
There is a famous saying that, “sava tirthe varvar, pana tirthe ekvar” the same benefit that one can achieve by taking prolonged baths in other holy places can be derived by taking bath in “Pana Tirtha” once.
Advaita Acarya Prabhu who is Mahavishnu himself instructed mother Ganges and other holy tirthas to continue flowing there and purify all the sinful people. All the other Holy tirthas begged to flow on the same thithi and Advaita Acarya Prabhu blessed them all. From that day onwards a big festival is being celebrated till now, called “Pana tirtha”
To serve pilgrims better, ISKCON has opened a Center there. Lord Jagannth, Baladev, Subadra, Sri Sri Radha Madan Mahon and Advaita Acharya are being worshiped on the temple alter. There are more than 15 devotees serving full time in the centre. A big Prasadam Hall is there, which accommodates a thousand devotees at a time.
To please Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON devotees serve crowds of pilgrims by distributing ‘khichri- prasadam’ distributing books and holding ecstatic Harinam Sankirtans.
Srila Prabhupada said “Mahaprasadam distribution, Book distribution and Harinam Sankirtan are the best ways of our preaching”. Devotees of Bangladesh endeavor with great enthusiasm and this will fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s desires.
H. H. Jaypataka Swami Maharaj, HH Subhaga Swami Maharaj, H. H. Bhakticharu Maharaj, HH Prabhavishnu Swami Maharaja, HH. Bhaktivikas Swami Maharaj and HH. Mahavishnu Swami Maharaja , HH Paramgati Swami Maharaja, HH Bhaktisiddhanta Swami Maharaja often visited this place to participate in this “pana tirtha” festival”
doya koro sitapati advaita gosai tava kripa bale pai chaitanya-nitai
“O Lord Shri Advaita Acharya Prabhu, husband of Shrimati Sita Thakurani
(incarnation of Goddess Durga or Katyayani), please be causelessly merciful on me, so that I can achieve the shelter of the lotus feet of Lords Nityananda and Lord Gauranga by the strength of Your mercy, which is the only way.”
Advaita Acharya is non-different from Hari, the Supreme Lord, so He is called Advaita, and because He propagates the cult of devotion, He is called Acharya. He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord’s devotee. Therefore we take shelter of Him. (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 1.12 - 13)
People of Bangladesh are specially blessed by the mercy of Advaita Acharya. Everyone should take advantage of His mercy, and the mercy He invoked to descend from the spiritual world for us. Yuga Dharma-
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna sHare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare