Dheer Sameer: Abode of Shyam Ray

Shyam Ray, the presiding deity of ‘Dheer Sameer’ Kunj

2021.11.06 (Vrindavan Today News): As we walk from Gopinath Bazar, towards Gopeshwar Mahadev, we pass through the area of Vrindavan known as Dheer Sameer.   ‘Sameer’ means the breeze and ‘Dheer’ means soft and slow. The Yamuna River used to flow just next to this place, as the entire area was covered with her soft and sparkling sands, fine as ground camphor.

‘dhira-samire yamuna-tire vasati vane vanamali’……

This part has been glorified often in Vaishnava literature. In the Gita Govinda, poet Jaideva describes how Shri Krishna adorned in forest flowers, awaits Radha’s arrival in Dheer Sameer, where the soft breeze plays on the bank of river Yamuna.

Shyam Ray and Radharani

Dheer Samir or Dhira Samir Kunj is situated on the bank of Yamuna in Vrindavan, named after the verse of ‘Gita Govinda’.

Tucked away in a small alley behind Maa Sharada Kutir lies Deer Sameer Kunj. Within the temple premises is the Shyam Ray temple and the tomb of Gauridas Pandit.Gauridas Pandit was a close follower of Shri Chaityanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu. He was the incarnation of Shri Krishna’s cowherd – boy friend, Subal Sakha. He is also the param-gurudev  (grand-guru) of Shri Shyamananda, whose temple is one of Vrindavan’s Sapta Devalaya.

Once Chaitanya and Nityananda visited Gauridas Pandit’s house in Ambhika Kalna, West Bengal. He got the opportunity to serve them to his heat’s content. When it was time for them to leave Gauridas said, “Please don’t leave me. I will die if you go. “ Shri Chaitanya then had two life – size deities made – one of himself a and one of his companion Nityananda Prabhu.

Samadhi of Gouri Das Pandit and the temple court yard

Chaitanya and Nityananda stood next to the deities and asked Gauridas to to choose. Of course Gauridas chose the originals. It is said that the deitiesa are the onew who left his house that day and completed the rest of Chaitanya Lila.

Gaurisas Pandit’s Nitai Gaur are in Bengal, andShyam no photographs of them are allowed. But one photograph of them is displayed in Gauridas Pandit’s Samadhi at Dheer Sameer Kunj. The picture is fading but you can still see Nityananda’s  sweet moon like face and Chaitanya’s handsome smile.

The deity of Shyam Ray in the temple is also Gauridas’s own. The deity is said to have been found by Gauridas whilst he was bathing in the Yamuna behind the Kunj. In the modern day, Dheer Sameer Kunj is well maintained by the followers of Shri Sitaramdas Omkarnath Thakur. There is also a gaushala, a tulsi garden, a temple of Shri Ram darbar and Mahadev, and a charitable medical dispensary on the premises.

(This news was originally posted in ‘Vrindavan Today’ on 10th November, 2017)

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