This place is called Tapovan. Here the gopis worshipped Katyayani devi and prayed to her that they would get Krishna as their husband. They performed much tapasya here and that is why this place is called Tapovan from the word tapasya. Hare Krishna!
Now we are at a very auspicious place called Chir Ghat. This is where Krishna stole the clothes of the unmarried gopis while they were taking bath to purify for the worship of Katyayani. Krishna climbed up a tree with the stolen clothes, requesting the gopis to come one at a time to claim them. The gopis were extremely chaste and shy and at first did not want to come. But at last surrendering everything to Krishna including their pride, they came to Him in humility and loving devotion. Now we shall also give our humble obeisances to this place. Remembering this pastime, we will pray to the lotus feet of the gopis that we may receive even one drop of the mercy that is here. Haribol!
Now we have arrived at Baigram. Bai means fear. Here Nanda Maharaja had a terrible fright. One day very early in the morning, Nanda Baba went to the Yamuna to take bath with some of his associates. The day before was ekadashi and they had all observed full fasting and now it was the proper time to take bath. Somehow it was calculated wrongly and Nanda Baba entered the waters of the Yamuna too early at a time that was inauspicious. The servants of Varunadev captured him and took him away to their underwater abode. As Nanda Maharaja was being dragged under the waters, he called out loudly for Krishna and Balaram to save him. The two Lords understanding the hearts and minds of all living entities went immediately to the abode of Varuna and demanded the release of their father. Varuna apologized profusely as he was releasing Nanda Maharaja for the gross offense that one of his servants had made by arresting the father of the Supreme Lord. Actually, in his heart Varuna was dancing in ecstasy at the supreme good fortune of having the opportunity to see both Krishna and Balaram face to face. Varuna then worshipped the two Lords to Their satisfaction and distributed suitable gifts befitting Their position. Then after accepting Varunadeva’s humble obeisances, They took their father back to Vraja. So because Nanda Maharaja had a frightful experience here, this place is known as Baigaon.
This ghat is called Nanda Ghat. This is where Nanda Baba was abducted by a servant of Varuna late one night. Jiva Goswami spent some time here in this area. In fact, for sometime he accepted residence in a vacant crocodile hole here. The reasons how and why Srila Jiva Goswami spent time here is very interesting. Listen as I will now relate.
When Rupa Goswami was in Vrindavan writing his Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, Jiva Goswami was there with him attending to his needs and serving his uncle in various capacities. One day, Jiva Goswami was fanning Sri Rupa while he was writing. It was hot and the air was thick and heavy. And although Sri Rupa did not ask to be fanned, Jiva Goswami was always looking for ways to please and serve his guru. Just then Vallabhacarya, a very old sadhu came to visit Sri Rupa.
He was very old. He was senior to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, so he was much senior to Sri Rupa Goswami. Sri Rupa got up at once and, after giving his dandavats, offered him his seat with all due respect. Vallabhacarya asked what book was he writing and Sri Rupa replied that he was writing Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu. Vallabhacarya asked to look at it, so Sri Rupa handed it to him. Vallabacarya took it from him and read the mangalacaran, the first sloka which begins akhila rasamrita murti. He liked the book, but he felt that some corrections were required. Sri Rupa, on hearing this, told him to please take it and correct it as he saw fit. Then excusing himself went to take bath at the Yamuna.
During the whole conversation, Jiva Goswami had been standing there watching. When Sri Rupa had gone to take bath, Vallabhacarya turned to him and asked him who he was. Jiva Goswami humbly replied that Srila Rupa Gosvami was his guru and that he was there as his servant. At this time Jiva Goswami had finished his Sanskrit studies under the tutelage of Madhusudana Vacaspati who was in the same family as Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya in Benares.
Jiva Goswami had also received a lot of mercy from Lord Nityananda and after coming to Vrindavan he continued studying under the direct supervision of his uncles Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatan. As their conversation continued, Jiva Goswami questioned Vallabhacharya as to what discrepancies were there in Sri Rupa’s Bhakti Rasanirita Sindhu that he found needed correcting. Vallabhacharya raised the question where in the scriptures are the names Stadika and Valli mentioned. Then he also raised some other questions regarding sri Rupa’s interpretation of certain mellows. Jiva Goswami defeated and rejected each and every one of Vallabhacharya’s arguments and confirmed and established in an exemplary manner the excellency of Sri Rupa’s erudition. This astounding display of scholarship coming from a young boy totally confounded Vallabhacharya. He began to consider that if this young boy who was just a disciple could so easily defeat all my arguments, then what to say of his guru. Vallabhacharya went to the Yamuna, and falling at Rupa Goswami’s feet, begged his forgiveness. Explaining that his eyes had been opened by the young Jiva, he said that it was just his eccentricity that caused him to act in this way. By observing his disciple, he could understand what a great personality Sri Rupa was. Saying this, Vallabhacharya went on his way.
When Rupa Goswami returned after bathing in the Yamuna, he called Jiva Goswami to him and said, “Why for such a small thing did you make such a big story?” Vallabhacharya is a senior devotee to us. Besides, he did not mean any harm. Did not Mahaprabhu teach us to be more humble than a blade of grass, or be more tolerant than even a tree? Couldn’t you be a little more tolerant for an old revered Vaisnava? If he wants to say something you should have let him say it. You are not worthy to be a servant of a servant of a servant of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Go back to your home! You are not fit to stay here.”
When Jiva Goswami heard these words from his guru, he was thunderstruck. But following obediently his guru’s instructions, he humbly offered his obeisances and sadly left Vrindavan. Factually speaking, Jiva Goswami was absolutely correct because he was defending the words and protecting the integrity of his guru. This is the prime duty of a disciple, to always establish and distribute the guru’s teachings. So from his point of view, he was right. But nevertheless, Rupa Goswami would not accept his behavior.
When Jiva Goswami, following the order of his spiritual master, left Vrindavan, he headed east and crossing the Yamuna went to Baigaon and lived there. In those days many crocodiles used to build their homes on the banks of the Yamuna, and in one of their vacant and discarded holes, Jiva Goswami took residence. He did not eat, he did not sleep, and he did not go anywhere. He just cried and wept tears of bitter lamentation at being separated from his gurudev. The people of Vraja were amazed to see him performing such tapasya and they wondered who he could be.
One day Sanatan Goswami was passing through Baigaon. As soon as the people of Vraja saw him, they started calling Baba Goswami has come, Baba Goswami has come. Baba means elderly, and in fact, he was the eldest of the Goswamis. When the Vrajavasis saw him, they became very happy because just by the presence of saintly souls everything becomes auspicious and Sanatan Goswami was like an affectionate father to them.
As they ran up to him offering dandavats, they told how they have heard of the austerities he had perfomed while in association with Caitanyadeva, such as giving away a valuable blanket in exchange for an old castaway. And how in Jagannath Puri He was eating the food that even the cows and dogs had rejected. But they told him that these austerities were nothing compared to the tapasya that a newcomer to the area was performing in an old musty crocodile hole on the banks of the Yamuna. His whole bhajan consists of crying out, “Krishna! Krishna! Guru, guru! Rupa and Sanatan!” while shedding profuse tears.
Hearing this, Sanatan Goswami could understand that this person must be Jiva Goswami. He went immediately to the banks of the Yamuna. As soon as Jiva Goswami saw him, he tried to get up, but he was too weak so he just gave his dadavats directly from the ground. Sanatan Goswami lifted him up and embracing him said, “Come I am taking you back to Vrindavan.” But Jiva Goswami was too weak to walk, so he had to be carried all the way back to Vrindavan. Sometimes someone would leave some plain chapati dough for him and he would mix it with Yamuna water and just eat that. This caused ulcers in his stomach and further contributed to his poor condition.
When Sanatan Goswami arrived at Sri Rupa’s place in Vrindavan, he left Jiva Goswami outside. Going in, he began to talk strongly to Sri Rupa. Sanatan Goswami asked him, “What was their duty towards the living entities drowning in the material ocean?” Sri Rupa replied, “To save them.” Then Sanatan Goswami asked him, “Do you not have any compassion for the jivas in the world?” Sri Rupa replied, “Yes, of course I have compassion for them.” Then Sanatan Goswami said, “But you did not show any compassion to Jiva.” Hearing these words from his older brother, Sri Rupa realized his mistake and immediately went and embraced Jiva Goswami. Taking him inside, he saw to it that he was taken care of until he had fully recovered.
Many sahajiyas say that Rupa Goswami rejected Jiva Goswami, but this is an outright lie and they are only asses and fools to say this. Jiva Goswami displayed the characteristics of a perfect disciple. And because Rupa Goswami saw Jiva as an extension of his own self, his own person, he could take the liberty to say things strongly in certain situations on the external level, but inside on the internal level their was never any rejection in Sri Rupa’s heart. They were one soul and one heart. Hare Krishna!!