Kalpa-vriksa tree of Sri Dhama Mayapur

An important branch of the Sri Chaitanya tree, Sri Saranga Thakura (Saranga Murari) lived in Mamagacchi, Modadrumadvipa (Navadvipa). Staying under a Bakula tree, Saranga Thakura worked hard every day to please his worshipable Deity. Singlehandedly, he would collect fruits, vegetables and firewood. He would also beg rice, cook, bathe, dress, and feed his Lord. After a full day of Deity service, Saranga would cross the Ganges River to join Mahaprabhu's Hari-Nama sankirtana party in Mayapur.

During one visit, Lord Gauranga noticed that Saranga's beloved Bakula tree was drying up and almost dead. Lord Chaitanya embraced the tree with His beautiful golden arms. Completely rejuvenated, the tree burst forth with green leaves and fresh super fragrant flowers. To this day, devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu worship this special kalpa-vriksa tree of Sri Dhama Mayapur. Some devotees collect small pieces of wood, which occasionally fall off, and make neckbeads or worship it.

Saranga Thakura vowed to never initiate disciples despite Lord Chaitanya's insistence. One day he relented and decided to initiate the first person he saw. While bathing in the Ganges he brushed against a floating corpse. Suddenly it sprang to life. Stunned, the man slowly identified himself and bowed down to Saranga Thakura who had just miraculously renewed his life. After giving him mantra diksa, Saranga Thakura became famous as “Saranga Murari Thakura,” because the disciple's previous name was Murari.

In Vraja lila, Saranga serves Radha-Gopinatha as Nandimukhi-sakhi. By taking a forty five minute rickshaw ride from downtown Navadvipa, you can still see the Deities of Saranga Thakura and the kalpa-vriksa Bakula tree.

(From The Gaudiya Vaisnava Samadhis in Vrndavana by Mahanidhi Swami)