for www.mayapur.com on June 25, 2010
The ISKCON Mayapur community has recently announced their new project: the construction of a small but very important temple for Srimati Shimantini Devi, a prominent female devotee of the Lord.
The ISKCON Mayapur community has recently announced their new project: the construction of a small but very important temple for Srimati Shimantini Devi at Sri Jagannath Mandir compound in Shri Mayapur Dham. The construction will be under the guidance and supervision of Jananivas Das, the head pujari of Sri Mayapur Candrodya Mandir. It is dedicated to the great female devotee of the Lord, Srimati Shimantini Devi, who is considered to be identical with Srimati Parvati Devi, the consort of Lord Shiva.
The marble deity of the new temple depicts Parvati Devi chanting and meditating on Lord Gauranga.
The temple will be located near the Jagannath Mandir in Shimantadvipa, which is the second island of Sri Navadvipa Dham. According to believers, Shimantadvipa embodies the devotional process of shravanam, or hearing about the pastimes of the Lord.
The unique feature of the temple is that it will be fully covered in terra-cotta reliefs, inspired by the famous Vaishnava temples of Vishnupur. The Bhumipuja (ground-breaking) ceremony, to create auspiciousness for the temple construction, was performed on November 24th, 2009. The design and artistry of the Temple and the Deity are the result of the skills of the Drdha Vrata Das.
Shimantadvipa is a very important holy place for the Bengali Vaishnavas. This is where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu delivered Chand Kazi, the Muslim Magistrate. The glories of this site are explained in the Shri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya, written by a prominent Vaishnava spiritual master Bhaktivinoda Thakura in the 19th century:
"One time during Satya yuga, Lord Shiva began madly dancing, while chanting the name of Gauranga [Lord Caitanya]. [His wife] Parvati asked him, ‘Please tell me who is Gauranga. By seeing your astonishing dance and hearing the name of Gauranga, my heart is melting. All that I have heard in the way of mantra and tantra till now only leads to more entanglement for the living entities. Dear husband, please tell me something of this Gauranga. By worshiping Him will I receive actual life?'
Hearing Parvati's words, Lord Shiva meditated on Gauranga and said, ‘Unto you, who are the primordial energy, one portion of Sri Radha, I will tell the crown jewel of all truths. Accepting the spiritual emotions of Sri Radha, Krsna will descend in this Kali yuga at Mayapur in the womb of Saci. Lord Gauranga, intoxicated with pastimes of kirtana, will distribute the jewel of prema [love of God] to everyone without discrimination. Whoever does not drown in that flood of prema is most unfortunate. O Devi, just by remembering the Lord's promise that He will come, I pass my life drowning in love of God. Being unable to control myself, I have given up my own city of Kasi. Within Mayapur, on the bank of the Ganges, I will live in a hut and worship Gauranga.'
Hearing Shiva's words, beautiful Parvati quickly went to Shimantadvipa. As she constantly meditated on the form of Gauranga and chanted His name, she became immersed in prema.”
Donations for the temple construction are accepted and appreciated. Please visit: http://mayapur.com/node/430