Bandhu Katha
(Synopsis: Life of Jagadbandhu)

Lord Prabhu Jagadbandhu was born on April 28, 1871 (In Bengali Calendar it was 17 Baisakh, 1278) at Dahapara Village in Murshidabad, West Bengal and was christened "JAGADBANDHU" - the friend of the Universe.

The eternally holy river Ganges (named "Bhagirathi" in this stretch) still flows by the side of this Dahapara village as it did during that time. One could hear during those days the melodious melancholy 'Bhatiyali' songs sung by the plyers of the sailing passenger and commercial boats reverberating in the air and emanating from the bosom of the Ganges.

Across from the Ganges on the other bank is situated the 'Hazarduari Palace' of the Nawabs of Mushidabad. From above the forests, the pillar of the Mosque of Katra was visible, which now only propagates the bygone history of the past in its present dilapidated and run-down conditions.

On the side of Dahapara, the peak of the Temple of Kiriteshwari stands out in its own glory and remains visible westward. On the peak of the temple, a trident, as if, extends into the sky. In this temple, a celestial Nepali ascetic declared Prabhu Jagadbandhu as a child to be an impending messenger of God.

Lays stretched beside this village Dahapara, the historic Field of Plassey, where cows used to graze and shepherd boys used to play flutes under the shadows of the mango trees. The past history of the Field of Plassey, as if, used to tremble intermittently at the sounds of the flutes.

Prabhu Jagadbandhu was the third son of His parents. He had a brother and a sister elder to Him. The brother passed away as an infant.

The Lord Jagadbandhu's father name was Dinanath Chakraborty and mother's name Bama Devi.

Pandit Dinanath Nyayaratna, the father of Lord Jagadbandhu was a scholar of the highest order. After the death of his uncle, Haradhan Chakraborty, Dinanath accepted the responsibilty of running the educational institution of Dahapara. He also received royal patronage. The ruler of undivided Bengal bestowed on him the highest possible honour.

Dinanath left his paternal residence of Govindapur in the district of Faridpur (now in Bangladesh) and reached Dahapara with his worshipped idol 'Sri Sri Radhagovinda'. He was accompanied by Bama Devi, his wife. At the holy arrival of the holy family, Dahapara assumed a new look and dimension. Dahapara attained the status of a glorious seat of learning, and the holy family became the source of perpetual joy to all.

But Bama Devi passed away when Jagat was only fourteen months old.

Dinanath came back to Govindapur accompanying his elder brother Bhairab Chandra Chakraborty and Jagat to Govindapur, Faridpur, after the demise of Bama Devi. He went back to Dahapara, Murshidabad, once again, leaving Jagat at Govindapur and passed away soon after.

The fierce river Padma sank the house of Bhairab Chakraborty in her bosom. Jagat was then moved to Brahmankanda, a suburb of Faridpur township when Jagat was seven year old (Bengali calendar: Phalgun, 1285). Jagat went to Faridpur Distrct School up to grade eight. He actively participated in daily worship rituals of the family Godhead 'Radhagovinda' from the age of thirteen.

When Prabhu was in grade eight in Faridpur, He visited 1 Madan Mitra Lane, Calcutta. Digambari was the early widowed daughter of Bhairab Chandra Chakraborty whose only daughter Kshiroda was living at the address. Jagat was the maternal uncle to Kshiroda. Khiroda was married to Atulchandra Champati, a very leanred man in Calcutta. From Brahmankanda, Faridpur, Jagat took the boat to Goalanada, then walked to Bhabadiya village to Rajbari. Finally He took the train from Rajbari to Calcutta.

Since Jagat did not want to go back to Brahmankanda, Faridpur, Digambari agreed to send Him to her younger brother Tarinicharan in Ranchi. Jagat was admitted into the third class (grade 8) at Ranchi High School.

Jagat was therafter admitted at Pabna District School, Pabna, while He was staying with Tarinicharan's younger sister Golokmoni and her husband, eminent lawyer Prasanna Kumar Lahiri. Jagat engaged Himself in Harinam Sankirtan in Pabna along with his studies. But again He came back to Ranchi.

Prabhu Jagatbandhu lived at Naihati on the bank of the Ganges with Raja Banamali Roy in a gracious rented house for a few days. Once He got into a Vrindaban bound train from Naihati with Raja Banamali Roy but got off at Burdwan railway station alone.

Prabhu attended 31 College Row hostel to meet Baku, a childhood friend and classmate from Govindapur, Faridpur. He also met Ramesh, another friend from school, then living at the hostel on Chhaku Khansama Lane, Calcutta, situated near Baku's hostel. Ramesh informed that Jagat's Test Results were out in Ranchi and that He had an excellent overall performance with first positions in several subjects.

In the mean time Prabhu and Baku had their pictures taken at 'Bengal Photographer' at Bowbazar Street by photographer Gurudas, before Prabhu shaved off his hair at at the advent of travelling to Vrindaban.

Prabhu came back to Dahapara, Murshidabad, sixteen years after He had crawled in His infancy at the premises of the house He was born in, now desolate, run-down and full of shrubs and bushes. But the everflowing holy Ganges kept flowing on with her mystic perpetuality. The Temple of Kiriteshwari, with the trident on the peak projected towards the blue sky still pervaded the horizon of Dahapara. The Mosque of Katra, the historic Field of Plassey, the Hazarduari Palace across the Ganges all prevailed.

He shaved off his hair by a neighborhood barber after washing His hair in the holy water of the Ganges to follow the life of an ascetic. Then He took a bath in the Ganges and came back to salute the premises of His paternal house. The people of Dahapara noticed Him walking through the roadway of the Temple of Kiriteshwari. By this time, Prabhu had left Pabna for about a year and a half.

Thereafter Prabhu went to the Temple of Sri Govindaji in Jaipur on a day of holy celebration and gave His appearance to the King of Jaipur and later stayed as a royal guest to the king.

Vrindaban was the next destination for Prabhu Jagadbandhu. He visited all the holy sights of Sri Vrindaban and gave His appearance to devotees and ascetics but adopted absolute silence.

On the way back from Vrindaban, as the train stopped at the railway station 'Ara' at Ranchi, Bihar, the hawkers' shouts "Hot tea, hot tea" made Jagadbandhu inquire about the name of the station. He then got off at the station unmindfully and without any plan. Jagadbandhu thus happened to visit His niece Kshiroda's house there. He advised Kshiroda's husband Atul Champati that he should renounce family life and resort to ascetism, and that he was very much needed by Him.

Jagadbandhu then returned to Brahmankanda en route Pabna and wholeheartedly engaged Himself in Harinam Kirtan.

Jagadbandhu's errand at Ara transcended Atul into a man of absolute renunciation as he devoted himself to a complete spiritual life of harinam kirtan.

Atul came down to live at the Domepalli (a neighborhood resided by the lowest caste people) of Rambagan, Calcutta, in a clay cottage of thatched roof. One day Atul took a holy bath in the Ganges at Prasannakumar Thakur Ghat and was waiting at the corner of Strand Road, when a horse cart stopped near him. Jagadbandhu asked him in and the horse cart came back to the Domepalli of Rambagan. He advised Atul further and his life was turned over a new leaf into pervasive spiritualism. He started to take a bath in the Ganges at Jagannath Ghat and walk through Beadon Street, Strand Road, Dharmatala and Chowringhee singing kirtan all the way.

In 'The Englishman' newspaper it was written:

"Whispers are now abroad of the advent of a New Incarnation
in whom Science will find a Newton and Religion a Saviour."

One of the Bengali newspapers indicated that Sriman Mahaprabhu had come down on earth once again. He was seen in a steamer on the Ganges bound towards Nabadwip from Calcutta. The name of this new incarnation was "Sri Sri Prabhu Jagadbandhu".

Noted devotees like Premananda Bharati, Sisir Kumar Ghosh and many others addressed Lord Jagadbandhu as "Nava-Gouranga" - Lord Gouranga with a new appearance. A galaxy of saints and seers of Shri Vrindaban Dham and Shri Nabadwip Dham believed Him to be the Godhead.

A vivid description of His divine manifestations has been recorded in:

'Bandhu Lila Tarangini'
'Jagat-Guru Maha-Mahaprabhu Jagadbandhu'
'Bandhu-Varta'

and in other authentic books published by the Mahanambrata Cultural and Welfare Trust (Calcutta-59).

Lord Jagadbandhu had a super-charming appearance. He had a golden complexion and length of six-feet (Chari-Hasta). He flooded the society with devotional prayers (kirtan) and got Himself deeply absorbed in a state of perpetual felicity. Premananda Bharati got the realization of 'Bhakti' cult by the grace of the Lord Jagadbandhu. He established 'Sri Krishna Society' in America for propagating 'Bhakti' cult.

Lord Jagadbandhu's writings include:

'Srimati Kirtan'
'Srinam Kirtan'
'Sri Vividha Sangeet'
'Sri Sankirtan Padavali'
'Sri Sri Harikatha'
'Chandrapat'
'Trikal'
'Uddharan'.

The first three are included in 'Sankirtan Padamrita'.

Jagadbandhu visited Nabadwip but then disappeared to avoid curiosity of the crowd.

Jagadbandhu also visited Fatik Majumdar at Kumartooli in his house on the bank of the Ganges.

Jagadbandhu also stayed at the royal garden house of Raja Kalikrishna Tagore with Atul Champati at Alambazar (Baranagar) but kept himself out of sight of the public. He took bath in the Ganges early morning hiding from the public. Prabhu Jagadbandhu left Alambazar to go to Rambagan Domepalli, which was turned into a place of holy festivity with kirtans, as He took shelter there. Rambagan became a famous holy place blessed by the divine presence of Prabhu Jagadbandu.

Sripad Mahenhraji was going to grade five at Diamond Harbour. He originated from Jessore (now in Bangladesh), and was the younger brother of Shashibhusan Debsarkar. Sripad Mahendraji quit school at grade eight and fled to Vrindaban. He met Atul Champati, who was directly blessed by Prabhu Jagadbadhu, in Vrindaban. Thus, as if, Mahendra also became blessed by Prabhu Jagadbandhu. Sripad Mahendraji came to know about the divine magnificence of Jagadbandhu from Nabadwipdasji at the Brahmakunda of Vrindaban. From Vrindaban Sripad Mahendraji left for Faridpur Sri Angan. He reached Sri Angan in 1318(1911 A.D.) in the month of Ashar (June/July) in Bengali Calendar. Here Sripad was graciously accepted by Prabhu Jagadbandhu.

Once Mahatma Gandhi came to a provincial meeting in Faridpur. He visited Sri Angan respectfully with folded hands.

The 'Chalta' (a green sour fruit) tree in the premises of Sri Angan used to be watered by the holy bath of Jagadbandhu through the drainage system from within Jagadbandhu's cottage into the soil where the tree grew as He used to take bath inside the room in the cottage. Later Netaji Subhash Chandra Basu took the fruit of this tree as a token of blessings with him before he vanished from India.

It was 1320 (1913 A.D.), 26 Magh, Sunday, Suklatrayodashi. The ever closed door of Prabhu Jagadbandhu opened out making a sound. After 17 years of silence and confinement, Prabhu Jagadbandhu came outside of his cottage room at Sri Angan. An all-round kirtan ensued with innumerable participants that assmebled to see Prabhu Jagadbandhu.

One day Prabhu came back to the premises of Sri Angan after completing His religious stroll of the city. A stampede took place at the premises of Sri Angan. Mahendraji approached the crowd and asked as to what the hue and cry was about. He was told that that a boy got fainted as a result of intense weeping. Mahendraji brought him inside affectionately in his chest. He was shown Prabhu Jagadbandhu lying in a white bed in front of them. The boy became pacified, enthralled and overwhelmed.

The boy's name was Bankim. He walked 80 miles from Khalishakota village of Barisal (now in Bangladesh) to see Prabhu Jagadbandhu. Mahendraji gave the boy a new name 'Mahanambrata'. Mahendraji founded "Mahanam Sampraday" - an association to propagate harinam and kirtan. Late Mahanambrata Brahmacahri was the second 'Acharya' of Mahanam Sampraday.

It was 1328, 1st Ashwin in Bengali calendar (in English, 1921, on September 17), Jagadbandhu suddenly entered the state of death He declared on a previous occasion as 'the thirteenth stage (a state of static dynamic existence)'. But His devotees could not ascertain if He was really dead. On the fifth day, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das and Basanti Devi visited Sri Angan. They saluted Prabhu Jagadbandhu by touching his feet. On 12th Ashwin, the devotees enclosed Jagadbadhu's body in the bed by wooden fence and pasted soil all around and began Kirtan Yajna. This kirtan yajna has been continuing ever since at Sri Angan, Faridpur and its associated Sri Angans at other places without cessation.

[Review the Timelines of Jagadbandhu's Life and Lilas]