Govinda Ghosh Disappearance day- Agradwip Mela
On Papamocani ekadasi day, Govinda ghosh, an eternal associate of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu disappeared. Gopinath jiu (Govinda Ghosh’s beloved deity) held Kusa grass in His fingers to perform Shraddha ceremony of Govinda ghosh. This was as per His promise to Govinda Ghosh and this practice is continued till today. Shri Govinda Ghosh was known for his sweet kirtans at the annual Jagannatha Ratha-Yatra festival. He and his two brothers, Vasudeva and Madhava, are eternal associates of Shri Chaitanya and Shri Nityananda.
The Lord would immediately begin dancing whenever the Ghosh brothers would sing. The Ghosh brothers preached throughout their lives with music and song. As Kalavati-sakhi, Govinda Ghosh sings sweetly for Radha-Govindaji in Goloka Vrindavana. His samadhi is in the 64 Samadhis Area. Agradvipa is a small town, near katwa, situated on the west side of Ganga. Shri Govinda, Madhava and Vasudeva Ghosha lived there. On this day, thousands of pilgrims visit Agradvip to celebrate this festival.
Glories of Govinda Ghosh :
Sri Govinda Ghosh, an intimate associate of Lord Caitanya, was known for his sweet kirtans at the annual Jagannatha Puri Ratha- yatra festival. Lord Caitanya would at once begin to dance whenever Govinda Ghosh would sing. Govinda Ghosh and his brothers Vasudeva and Madhava are eternal associates of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. He made his home in Agradvipa, Vasudeva in Tamluk, and Madhava Ghosh in Dain Hat. Govinda Ghosh Thakur’s house is not far from Agradvipa in Kashipura Vishnutala.
Some are of the opinion that Vaishnavatala was his birthplace. Govinda Ghosh participated in Mahaprabhu’s lilas in Srivasa Angan, in the nagara-sankirtan to the Kazi’s house, and in the house of Raghava Pandit. During the Rathayatra festival, he was the lead singer in the fourth kirtan group, accompanied by his two brothers, Chota Hari Das, Vishnu Das and Raghava Pandit.
Vakresvara Pandit joined this group as the principal dancer. On Mahaprabhu’s direction, Govinda revealed the Gopinath deity from a black stone in Agradvipa. Mahaprabhu also instructed him to get married. The story goes that Govinda Ghosh’s wife and son both died untimely. As he grew older, Govinda began to wonder who would perform the last rites for him, as it is considered important for one to have a son who can do the shraddha ceremony on his behalf.
He had a dream in which Gopinath appeared to him and said, “Don’t worry about this. I will perform the shraddha ceremony for you myself.” When Govinda Ghosh finally passed away, Gopinath offered the pinda on his behalf. Gopinath continues to perform this ceremony every year on the anniversary of Govinda Ghosh’s departure from this world. This takes place on the krishna trayodashi of the month of Chaitra.
Vasudeva Ghosh’s disappearance day is on the second day of the waxing moon in the month of Kartik. Sri Sri Radha-Gopinath deities were worshiped by Srila Govinda Ghosa at Agaradwip, on the order of Sri Caitanya Maharpabhu. Every year there is a big mela at Agradwip where still today Sri Gopinath deities offer pinda dana or grains to Sri Govinda Ghosh. On His route to Krsnanagar Raj Bhari or palace, He gives darshan at Navadvipa ghat. This is once in a year special darshan.
Sri Govinda Ghosa and the Pinda dan lila: The three brothers, Sri Vasudeva Ghosa, Sri Madhava Ghosa and Sri Govinda Ghosa were very expert singers. Sri Nityananda Prabhu Himself would dance as they sang. [C.B. Antya 5.259] When Mahaprabhu set out for Sri Vrindavana from Nilacal with His devotees, Govinda Ghosa was also present. There is an incident described by one Acyutacarana Caudhuri.
One day, Mahaprabhu, after accepting his noon meal, extended his hand, thus requesting some hari-taki (dried fruit which aids in digestion). Govinda immediately ran out to bring some from some householders in the village near where they were staying. The next day when Mahaprabhu similarly extended His hand after lunch, Govinda again placed in it some hari-taki. Mahaprabhu looked at him and inquired as to how he was ab le to provide it so quickly whereas yesterday it had required some time to bring. Govinda replied that he had kept some for Mahaprabhu from yesterday. Mahaprabhu said that since he was saving things he should remain in that village and, becoming a householder, he should worship Sri Gopinathaji there.
As per the order of Mahaprabhu, Govinda began to worship Gopinathji, and after marrying he had a son who would also assist him in the worship of the Deity. But his wife and then later his son passed on to the next world. Govinda became very sad. In a fit of anger he lay down on his bed. He didn't cook anything that day, neither he ate anything, neither did he offer anything to Gopinathaji.
In the night, Gopinatha came and began to massage Govinda's legs. Then He asked him, "I don't understand your intelligence. One of your sons dies, and you decide, "Whats the point in feeding the other one - let him die also." Govinda replied, "I don't know what you're talking about. I had only one son." "Am I not also your son? You are feeding Me and taking care of Me as your son.
Now when I am dependent on you, you decide to neglect Me all together." "Well, anyway, now there's no one to perform my sraddha and the offering of pinda to my forefathers.Will You do that?" "Yes, I can do it. Why not? So now will you give Me something to eat?" Having heard Gopinatha's reply, Govinda was very happy and got up to prepare an offering.
To this day, the Deity dresses in a plain white cloth and with a kusa grass ring on His finger, He offers pinda on the disappearance day of Govinda Ghosa Thakura. Gopinathaji's temple is a rickshaw ride away from Agradwip railway station on the Navadwip-Katwa line.
Govinda Ghosh in Chaitanya-charitamrita:
nityānande ājñā dila yabe gauḍe yāite mahāprabhu ei dui dilā tāṅra sāthe ataeva dui-gaṇe duṅhāra gaṇana mādhava-vāsudeva ghoṣerao ei vivaraṇa
Translation: When Nityānanda Prabhu was ordered to go to Bengal to preach, these two devotees [Śrī Rāmadāsa and Gadādhara dāsa] were ordered to go with Him. Thus they are sometimes counted among the devotees of Lord Caitanya and sometimes among the devotees of Lord Nityānanda. Similarly, Mādhava Ghoṣa and Vāsudeva Ghoṣa belonged to both groups of devotees simultaneously.
Purport: Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura writes in his Anubhāṣya, “There is a place named Dāṅihāṭa, near the Agradvīpa railway station and Pāṭuli in govinda, mādhava, vāsudeva — tina bhāi yāṅ-sabāra kīrtane nāce caitanya-nitāi Translation: The three brothers Govinda, Mādhava and Vāsudeva were the eighty-second, eighty-third and eighty-fourth branches of the tree. Lord Caitanya and Nityānanda used to dance in their kīrtana performances. Purport: The three brothers Govinda, Mādhava and Vāsudeva Ghoṣa all belonged to a kāyastha family. Govinda established the Gopīnātha temple in Agradvīpa, where he resided.
Mādhava Ghoṣa was expert in performing kīrtana. No one within this world could compete with him. He was known as the singer of Vṛndāvana and was very dear to Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. It is said that when the three brothers performed saṅkīrtana, immediately Lord Caitanya and Nityānanda would dance in ecstasy. According to the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (188), the three brothers were formerly Kalāvatī, Rasollāsā and Guṇatuṅgā, who recited the songs composed by Śrī Viśākhā-gopī.
The three brothers were among one of the seven parties that performed kīrtana when Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu attended the Ratha-yātrā festival at Jagannātha Purī. Vakreśvara Paṇḍita was the chief dancer in their party. This is vividly described in the Madhya-līlā, chapter thirteen, verses 42 and 43. the district of Burdwan, where the Deity of Śrī Gopīnāthajī is still situated. This Deity accepted Govinda Ghoṣa as His father. Even until today, the Deity performs the śrāddha ceremony on the anniversary of the death of Govinda Ghoṣa.
The temple of this Deity is managed by the rāja-vaṁśa family of Kṛṣṇanagara, whose members are descendants of Rājā Kṛṣṇacandra. Every year in the month of Vaiśākha, when there is a bāradola ceremony, this Gopīnātha Deity is taken to Kṛṣṇanagara. The ceremony is performed with eleven other Deities, and then Śrī Gopīnāthajī is brought back to the temple in Agradvīpa.” govinda, mādhava ghoṣa, ei vāsu-ghoṣa tina bhāira kīrtane prabhu pāyena santoṣa Translation: “Here also are Govinda Ghoṣa, Mādhava Ghoṣa and Vāsudeva Ghoṣa. They are three brothers, and their saṅkīrtana, congregational chanting, pleases the Lord very much.
Purport: Govinda Ghoṣa belonged to the kāyastha dynasty of the Uttara-rāḍhīya section, and he was known as Ghoṣa Ṭhākura. Even to the present day there is a place named Agradvīpa, near Katwa, where a fair takes place and is named after Ghoṣa Ṭhākura. As far as Vāsudeva Ghoṣa is concerned, he composed many nice songs about Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and these are all authorized Vaiṣṇava songs, like the songs of Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Locana dāsa Ṭhākura, Govinda dāsa Ṭhākura and other great Vaiṣṇavas. --