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Çré Guru Gauräìga Jayataù!
Ç ré N avadvépa -D häma M ähätmya P arikramä K haëòa P ramäëa K haëòa N avadvépa B häva T araìga
Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura
Presented by Bhänu Swami Puëòarika Vidyänidhi Däsa
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Introduction Dedication Acknowledgements Navadvépa Map
Parikramä‑khaëòa Chapter One General Glorification
Chapter Two Measurement and Form of the Dhäma Chapter Three The Procedure for Parikramä of the Dhäma Chapter Four Çré Jéva Hears About Navadvépa‑dhäma
Chapter Five Çré Mäyäpur and Antardvépa
Chapter Six Çré Gaìgänagara, Påthu‑kuëòa, Sémantadvépa
Chapter Seven Çré Suvarëavihära and Çré Devapallé
Chapter Eight Çré Harihara‑kñetra, Mahä‑Väräëasé, and Godruma Chapter Nine Description of Çré Madhyadvépa and Naimiña Chapter Ten Description of Brähmaëa Puñkara, Çré Uccahaööa Chapter Eleven Çré Koladvépa, Çré Samudragaòa, Çré Campahaööa
Chapter Twelve Description of Åtudvépa and Rädhä‑kuëòa Chapter Thirteen Description of Vidyänagara and Jahnudvépa
Chapter Fourteen Description of Çré Modadrumadvépa and Räma‑lélä 61 Chapter Fifteen Çré Vaikuëöhapura, Rudradvépa, and Pulina 65 Chapter Sixteen Bilvapakña and Bharadväja‑öilä 71 Chapter Seventeen Jéva Gosvämé’s Questions and the Answers 75 Chapter Eighteen The Removal of Çréla Jéva Gosvämé’s Doubts 79
Pramäëa‑khaëòa Chapter One Chändogya, Muëòaka, and Caitanya Upaniñads
Chapter Two Ananta‑saàhitä
Chapter Three Evidence from the Puräëas Chapter Four Evidence from the Tantras
Chapter Five Evidence from the Mahäjanas Çré Navadvépa Bhäva‑taraìga
115 121 139
nama oà viñëu-pädäya kåñëa-preñöhäya bhü-tale çrémate bhaktivedänta-svämin iti nämine
I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, who is very dear to Lord Kåñëa, having taken shelter at His lotus feet. namas te särasvate deve gaura-väëé-pracäriëe nirviçeña-çünyavädi-päçcätya-deça-täriëe Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism. namo bhaktivinodäya sac-cid-änanda-nämine gaura-çakti-svarüpäya rüpänuga-varäya te I offer my respectful obeisances unto Saccidänanda Bhaktivinoda, who is transcendental energy of Caitanya Mahäprabhu. He is a strict follower of the Gosvämés, headed by Çréla Rüpa.
väïchä-kalpatarubhyaç ca kåpä-sindhubhya eva ca patitänäà pävanebhyo vaiñëavebhyo namo namaù
I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiñëava devotees of the Lord. They are just like desire trees who can fulfill the desires of everyone, and they are full of compassion for the fallen conditioned souls.
vande çré-kåñëa-caitanya-nityänandau sahoditau gauòodaye puñpavantau citrau çandau tamo-nudau
I offer my respectful obeisances unto Çré Kåñëa Caitanya and Lord Nityänanda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauòa to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.
çré-kåñëa-caitanya-dayä karaha vicära vicära karile citte päbe camatkära
If you are indeed interested in logic and argument, kindly apply them to the mercy of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. If you do so, you will find such mercy strikingly wonderful. The fact that Lord Caitanya’s mercy is wonderful is becoming more and more apparent by the mercy of the Vaiñëava äcäryas . Every year as the holy appearance day of Lord Caitanya approaches, Vaiñëavas come from all corners of the world to visit Çré Navadvépa-dhäma. As recent as twenty-five years before, who would have thought such phenomenon would take place? Only Vaiñëava äcäryas such as Çréla Prabhupäda and Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura. Otherwise, devotional service is very rare. One may find many statements in the scriptures in support of this, such as: bahünäà janmanäm ante jïänavän mäà prapadyate . “After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me.” ( Bg . 7.3) manuñyäëäà sahasreñu kaçcid yatati siddhaye. “Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection.” ( Bg . 7.19) And:
muktänäm api siddhänäà näräyaëa-paräyaëaù sudurlabhaù praçäntätmä koöiñv api mahä-mune
O great sage, among many millions who are liberated and perfect in knowledge of liberation, one may be a devotee of Lord Näräyaëa, or Kåñëa. Such devotees, who are fully peaceful, are extremely rare. ( Bhäg . 6.14.5) Fivehundredyears agoNityänandaPrabhudeliveredJagäi and Mädhäi, and He took Jéva Gosvämé on parikramä of Navadvépa- dhäma. Now, however, we see hundreds of thousands of persons who were previously less than Jagäi and Mädhäi performing the same parikramä of Navadvépa-dhäma. This is, of course, by the mercy of Lord Nityänanda, who is distributing the wonderful mercy of Lord Caitanya through the disciplic succession. As Çréla Prabhupäda writes in the Caitanya-caritämåta ( Madhya 16.65 pp): “Nityänanda Prabhu delivered Jagäi and Mädhäi, but a servant of
Nityänanda Prabhu, by His grace, can deliver many thousands of Jagäis andMädhäis. That is the special benediction of the disciplic succession.” ( Cc. 2.16.65) It was Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura who inaugurated the program for preaching Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s message throughout the world. He desired that Kåñëa consciousness should be accepted by East and West equally. He desired to see the Indians, Europeans, and Americans dance together in the ecstasy of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s mercy. Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura attempted to fulfill that desire and under his instructions His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda introduced Kåñëa consciousness throughout the whole world. In this way, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s mercy is being distributed through the disciplic succession. Even though devotional service is rarely attained even by demigods like Lord Brahmä, by the kindness of Lord Caitanya it is being freely and profusely distributed. Therefore, Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé describes Lord Caitanya as the most merciful of all incarnations. Just as Lord Caitanya as the most merciful of all incarnations, His holy abode, Navadvépa-dhäma, is the best of all holy places in the universe. Çréla Prabhupäda writes in this connection: “Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu appeared in the land of Bhärata-varña, specifically in Bengal, in the district of Nadia, where Navadvépa is situated. It is therefore to be concluded, as stated by Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura, that within this universe, this earth is the best planet, and on this planet the land of Bhärata-varña is the best; in the land of Bhäratavarña, Bengal is still better, in Bengal the district of Nadia is still better, and in Nadia the best place is Navadvépa because Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu appeared there to inaugurate the performance of the sacrifice of chanting the Hare Kåñëa mahä-mantra . Although Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s pastimes are no longer manifest, He has left us with two reservoirs of His mercy—the holy names and Navadvépa-dhäma. Çréla Prabhupäda recommended that devotees should regularly visit the holy dhäma and take part in chanting the holy names in the association of the devotees there. This will please the äcäryas , and as one is purified, the
desire to visit the places of Lord Caitanya pastimes will awaken within one’s heart. As Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura sings: gaura ämära, ye saba sthäne / karala bhramaëa raìge se-saba sthäna, heriba ämi / praëayi-bhakata-saìge “May I visit all the holy places associated with the léläs of Lord Caitanya and His devotees.” Çréla Prabhupäda comments in this connection: “A devotee should make a point of visiting all the places where Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu performed His pastimes. Indeed, pure devotees of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu even want to see the places He simply visited for only hours or minutes.” Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura has given us this book as a guide to help us see with eyes smeared with devotion. I hope this presentation in English will fulfill that purpose. Following in his footsteps, I also pray that although this presentation may have many faults, because it is filled with the holy names of Gauräìga, Nityänanda, and Navadvépa, may the devotees accept it. And may the benediction given to the reader by Çréla Bhaktivinoda apply to this English edition as well.
Aspiring to serve the feet of the servant of the servant, Puëòarika Vidyänidhi däsa Çré Çré Kåñëa-Balaräma Mandira Çré Våndävana-dhäma
Ñaö-tilä Ekädaçé 6 February 1994
The organizers and participants of the ISKCON Navadvépa Parikramä.
I wish to thank all the devotees who helped to make this presentation possible. His Holiness Bhänu Mahäräja has kindly translated these three works for the benefit of the English speaking devotees. He must have translated the Parikramä-khaëòa over ten years ago. I still recall enjoying reading it that time. After taking part in the Navadvépa Parikramä, I asked Mahäräja if he had any plans for publishing his translation. He said he had none and that I could go ahead and do it. We met again at the Calcutta Ratha-yäträ, and he agreed to take a look at the Pramäëa-khaëòa . Then he surprised me by sending the complete translation hardly a month later. He had also previously translated the Navadvépa Bhäva-taraìga . I want to especially thank Mahäräja for his contribution. I would also like to thank Akiïcana Kåñëadäsa, Bhumipati, Dädu, Deena Bandhu, Gadägraja, Kiranasa, Kurma Rüpa, Rasätala, and Puruñottama for their valuable help. I would like to also thank all the other devotees who helped and encouraged me. Again, I hope this presentation will find favor with the Vaiñëavas so they may be pleased to bless us.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda Founder-Äcärya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
His Divine Grace Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura who inaugurated the program of preaching Krishna Consciousness throughout the world
Çré-Çré Gaura Gadädhara Residing at Cäìpähäöi
Dhämeçvara Mahäprabhu Deity of Lord Caitanya worshiped by Viçëupriyä Devé
Çré Nåsiàhadeva residing in Çré Mäyäpur Candrodaya Mandira
Çré Çré Rädhä Mädhava Presiding Deities of ISKCON Mäyäpur
Parikramä‑khaëòa Chapter One General Glorification
All glories to Lord Caitanya, the moon of Navadvépa and son of mother Çacé! All glories to Nityänanda Räya, the avadhüta ! All glories to Çré Advaita Prabhu, the Supreme Lord! All glories to Çré Gadädhara and Çréväsa Paëòita! All glories to Navadvépa‑dhäma, the essence of all dhämas ! And all glories to the residents of Navadvépa, the associates of Gauräìga! Offering obeisances to the feet of all the devotees, I will now briefly describe Çré Navadvépa‑dhäma. Even the demigods headed by Lord Brahmä do not know the unlimited glories of Navadvépa‑maëòala, so who can possibly describe that dhäma fully? Since the thousand‑mouthed Çeña cannot describe it completely, how can I, an insignificant living entity, do so? Even Lord Çiva can find no end to the unlimited glories of Navadvépa‑dhäma. Nevertheless, the desire of Çré Caitanya is powerful, and according to His wish the devotees have given me an order. Therefore, by the mercy of the devotees, I hereby describe the glories of Nadia. There is one other topic I would like to mention. As it is a confidential matter, I hesitate to disclose it. But, on the other hand, I cannot resist telling it, for Lord Caitanya instructed His devotees to publicize the glories of His pastimes and abode after His disappearance. Though Çré Caitanya is the most concealed of all avatäras , I know well that He is all in all. But because His confidential activities are described ambiguously in scripture, the nondevotees are unable to realize them. For a long time Mäyädevé kept hidden the confidential scriptures that describe Lord Caitanya’s pastimes. These topics are described in both the unmanifest scriptures, which were scattered here and there, as well as in the manifest scriptures. Mäyä kept all these scriptures hidden from view by covering the eyes of the scholars. After Gauräìga completed His pastimes on earth, however, His obedient servant Mäyädevé, understood the desire of the Lord.
She lifted the veil of illusion from the eyes of the living entities and revealed the true nature of Çré Gauräìga within this material universe. Thus the hidden meaning in the scriptures became easily revealed, and the arguments inhibiting understanding Lord Caitanyawere dispelled. It was the all‑merciful NityänandaPrabhu who revealed the truth about Gauräìga in the hearts of the living entities. On His command, Mäyä pulled away the covering so that the pure devotee scholars could receive this precious treasure of the scriptures. If one remains doubtful in spite of the scriptural evidence, he is most unfortunate and useless. Why should he continue living? When Nityänanda Prabhu distributed the mercy, the fortunate living entities accepted and reached the perfection of happiness. Everyone should know the symptoms of the unfortunate living entity as well; it is he who is overconfident of the power of his own intelligence. Such a person rejects the mercy of the Lord, and by the force of false logic he falls repeatedly into the pit of illusion. “Come, spirit souls of Kali‑yuga! Give up this hypocrisy and just accept the pure ecstatic love of Çré Gauräìga!” In this way Nityänanda Prabhu would call out again and again. But still the unfortunate living entities did not accept. Now let us consider carefully why these people do not accept such wonderful love of God. In pursuit of happiness, living entities in the material world follow various processes, such as logic or mystic yoga. And, in quest of happiness, some give up the material world and go to the forest, while kings constantly wage wars amongst themselves. Desiring happiness, others run after women and wealth, while others take to arts and sciences. In pursuit of happiness, others reject happiness and learn to tolerate the miseries of life, and still others simply drown themselves in the ocean. Raising His lotus hands in the air, Lord Nityänanda exclaims, “Come, living entities! Give up the troubles of karma and jïäna . Since you are endeavoring for happiness, I will give you happiness without asking anything in exchange. In this happiness there is no trouble, loss, or pain. Just chant the name of Gauräìga and dance without anxiety. There’s nothing equal to the happiness that I am giving. That happiness is pure, eternal ecstasy—beyond all illusion!”
In this way, Nityänanda Prabhu begged everyone to take pure ecstatic love. Still, unfortunate persons, influenced by previous sinful activities, did not even want it. But if such persons chant even once the names of Gauräìga and Nitäi, the effects of unlimited sinful activities are destroyed. Listen, everyone, to one more confidential topic. The most suitable thing for the souls of Kali‑yuga is this treasure of gauräìga‑lélä . Gaurahari is the combined form of Rädhä and Kåñëa, who eternally enjoy pastimes in Våndävana along with the sakhés . The truth of Rädhä and Kåñëa’s eternal pastimes and the glories of Vraja‑dhäma are known by everyone through the scriptures. And the unlimited glories of Kåñëa’s name and abode are known through the scriptures by people all over the universe. But still, actually obtaining kåñëa‑prema is not at all common. Let us contemplate the reason why. Herein lies the secret of secrets which the living entities bound by Mäyä cannot discern. One who does not attain love of God after worshiping Kåñëa birth after birth has certainly committed heaps of offenses. For only by chanting Kåñëa’s name without offenses can one attain incessant kåñëa‑prema . Çré Caitanya’s incarnation, however, is most uncommon. By His mercy, a serious person, though filled with offenses, can quickly obtain love of God. When someone calls out the names of Nitäi and Caitanya, kåñëa‑prema comes looking for him. Offenses do not hinder his progress, and he soon sheds tears of ecstasy out of pure love of God. By the mercy of Lord Caitanya, all the offenses quickly flee away, the heart becomes pure, and love of God fully blossoms. Because people in Kali‑yuga commit unlimited offenses, which are difficult to check, there can be no means of deliverance other than Gauräìga’s name. Therefore, in Kali‑yuga, I see no alternative to Çré Gauräìga. This is also the proclamation of the scriptures. As Çré Gauracandra appeared in Navadvépa, it is therefore the crest jewel of all holyplaces.Offendersare theobject ofpunishment at other holy pilgrimage places, but in Navadvépa‑dhäma they are purified. The example is the two brothers Jagäi and Mädhäi, who committed great offenses yet still received Nitäi and Gaura. What to speak of other places, at Våndävana the offenders are punished.
But a person who has committed hundreds of offenses can easily receive the mercy of Nityänanda Prabhu and overcome those offenses in Navadvépa‑dhäma. For this reason, sages endlessly praise Navadvépa of Gaura‑maëòala. He who lives in Navadvépa‑dhäma is very fortunate, for he achieves attraction for Kåñëa. He who happens to go there becomes freed from all offenses. What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering Navadvépa. In this way the scriptures sing. He who sees Navadvépa‑dhäma gets ecstatic love of Kåñëa birth after birth. Even one who goes to Navadvépa desiring to gain material comforts through pious activities will not take another birth. The çästras say that one who walks around Navadvépa attains the fruit of millions of açvamedha‑yajñas at every step. And one who lives in Navadvépa and chants mantras obtains the sound of Caitanya as his mantra and easily gets free from mäyä . What yogis obtain after ten years at other térthas is obtained in three nights at Navadvépa. That liberation attained by Brahman realization at other holy places is obtained simply by bathing in the Ganges at Navadvépa. Thus, all types of liberation— sälokya , särüpya , särñöi , sämépya , and nirväëa —can be obtained in Navadvépa without speculative practice. Falling at the feet of the pure devotees in Navadvépa, Bhukti andMukti (personifiedmaterial enjoyment and liberation) remain there as obedient servants. Not caring for their blessings, the devotees kick them away, but still they do not leave the devotee’s feet. The fruits obtained by staying one hundred years at the seven holy cities can be attained by staying one night in Navadvépa‑dhäma. In conclusion, Navadvépa is the topmost tértha . Taking shelter of it, the living entities can cross over Kali‑yuga. At this place, täraka , the name of Räma, which gives liberation, and päraka 1 , the name of Kåñëa, which gives prema , always serve the residents of the dhäma . Aspiring for the shade of the lotus feet of Nitäi and Jähnavä, Bhaktivinoda thus sings in bliss.
1. Täraka and päraka are mentioned in Cc . 3.3.257.
Chapter Two Measurement and Form of the Dhäma
All glories to Lord Caitanya, the moon of Navadvépa and son of mother Çacé! All glories to Nityänanda Räya, the avadhüta ! All glories to Navadvépa‑dhäma, the essence of all spiritual abodes! Who has the ability to describe the truth of Navadvépa? Navadvépa‑dhäma within Gauòa‑maëòala is served by the Ganges and situated in eternal splendor. This Gauòa‑maëòala is one hundred sixty‑eight miles in circumference, with the Ganges running through the center. Gauòa‑maëòala takes the form of a hundred‑petaled lotus, with the most beautiful Navadvépa in the center. The circumference of the central stamen of the flower, or Antardvépa, is tenmiles, and the circumference of the eight‑petaled flower, or Navadvépa, is thirty‑two miles. Outside this are the hundred petals of Gauòa‑maëòala, whose circumference measures one hundred sixty‑eight miles. According to the scriptures, the diameter of Gauòa‑maëòala is fifty‑six miles and the radius is twenty‑eight miles. The center point, situated within Navadvépa, is the Yogapéöha, the sacred spiritual abode where the Lord advented. The whole of Gauòa‑maëòala is cintämaëi , or touchstone, yielding all desires. The dhäma is full of knowledge and bliss and is completely spiritual. The water, the land, the trees—everything in the dhäma is spiritual, unlike the dull matter of this material world. Always present in the dhäma are Kåñëa’s three spiritual energies— sandhiné , samvit , and hlädiné . Kåñëa’s original energy, svarüpa‑çakti , manifests in these three divisions. Of these, the sandhiné energy, which supports all existence, finds its perfect function inmanifesting the eternal dhäma . In that position, the dhäma acts eternally as the base or support for the Lord’s appearance and activities. All this is the action of the inconceivable energy of the Lord, which is anti‑material and completely transcendental. One who sees only the activities of material nature in the dhäma is a conditioned soul under the influence of ignorance and illusion. When a person’s vision is covered by a cloud, he may think that
the sun is covered, but actually the sun can never be covered by a cloud. In the same way, only persons whose vision is covered by the cloud of illusion see the transcendental form of Gauòa‑maëòala as a transformation of the material energy. Whoever gets the mercy of Lord Nityänanda, the master of the sandhiné potency, can see that blissful dhäma as fully spiritual. The holy rivers such as the Ganges and Yamunä as well as the seven holy cities headed by Prayäga are all situated in various places within Navadvépa‑dhäma. One who is fortunate can see that this pure realm, Gauòa‑maëòala, is directly the spiritual world. Following the order of the Lord, Mäyä, the shadow of the Lord’s svarüpa‑çakti , spreads her influence of illusion. She covers the eyes of those living entities who have turned away from the Lord so they are unable to see the glories of the spiritual dhäma . Those people who always reside in Gauòa‑maëòala are the most fortunate in the world. The demigods in the heavenly planets see them as having beautiful four‑handed forms with blackish complexion. Within the sixteen kroças 1 of Navadvépa‑dhäma, the numerous residents, who are golden in complexion, constantly engage in congregational chanting of the Lord’s holy names. Brahmä and other demigods come from outer space and worship them in various ways. Lord Brahmä prays, “When will I become so fortunate to take birth as a blade of grass in Navadvépa‑dhäma? Then I will receive the dust from the feet of the devotees who are engaged in serving the lotus feet of Çré Gauräìga. Alas, Lord Caitanya has cheated me, for He has placed me in charge of the management of the universe. When will the knots of my karma be cut? When will my mind be purified as I give up false pride? And when will the illusion that I am the supreme authority cease as I become a pure servant under the shelter of Gauräìga’s lotus feet?” The devas , åñis , and Rudras always reside in different parts of Navadvépa. Although they are engaged in austerities for a long time, still they do not get Nityänanda’s mercy. As long as bodily consciousness is not given up and humility does not awaken within, one cannot obtain the treasure of Çré Caitanya and Çré Nityänanda’s
1.One kroça is approximately two miles
mercy, no matter what efforts one make, even if he be Çiva or Brahmä. All this will be explained later. O brother, just hear with faith and attention. In these spiritual topics, one should avoid mundane logic and arguments, which are useless and inauspicious. The transcendental pastimes of Çré Caitanya are a deep ocean, whereas the process of mundane logic is simply troublesome, like the sheath covering the banana flower. Whoever wants to cross the ocean of material existence by logic and argument will simply toil in vain. He will receive nothing. But by giving up false arguments and taking the guidance of sädhu and çästra , one will soon receive Çré Caitanya. For on the order of Nityänanda Prabhu, the çruti ( Vedas ), småti ( Puräëas ), and tantra çästras are continuously singing the glories of Navadvépa‑dhäma. By reading these scriptures and accepting the words of the devotees, one will realize the truth of Navadvépa‑dhäma. InKali‑yuga, all holy places are extremelyweak; onlyNavadvépa is supremely strong. By the Lord’s desire, however, this tértha was invisible for a long time and its glories lay unrevealed. When the influence of Kali‑yuga increased, naturally the holy places lost their power. At that time, desiring the good fortune of all living entities, the Supreme Lord thought, “Upon diagnosing a disease, a doctor prescribes an appropriatemedicine. Accordingly, a strongmedicine is given for a severe disease. Now that Kali‑yuga has become terrible and the disease is serious, there will be no relief without a strong medicine. If I do not reveal the dhäma , the name, and My form, which I have been holding secretly for so long, how will the living entities ever recover? The living entities are My servants, and I am their Lord. If I do not help them, they will never be delivered.” Saying this, Lord Caitanya appeared on earth with His name, dhäma , and associates. The Lord promised that He will always deliver the living entities from the troubles of material existence. Gauräìga said, “Without considering who is fit and who is unfit, in this incarnation I will freely distribute the treasure of love which is rarely attained by even Lord Brahmä. I will see how Kali can destroy these living entities! I will manifest Navadvépa‑dhäma
and break the poison teeth of Kali by performing congregational chanting of the holy names of God. As long as My name is sung, Kali will be controlled.” Saying this, Gaurahari appeared in the beginning of Kali‑yuga in Navadvépa by His own internal spiritual potency. Withdrawing the covering of illusion, Gauracandra revealed His eternal pastimes in Gauòa‑maëòala. I see no one in Kali‑yuga more unfortunate than that lamentable, wretched personwho does not worship such amerciful Lord as Çré Caitanya, or who rejects such an inconceivable dhäma as Navadvépa. Therefore give up all other desires and attractions, and simply fix your mind on Navadvépa‑dhäma. Aspiring for the shade of the lotus feet of Nitäi and Jähnavä, Bhaktivinoda reveals these truths.
Chapter Three The Procedure for Parikramä of the Dhäma All glories to Lord Caitanya, the moon of Navadvépa and son of mother Çacé! All glories to Nityänanda Räya, the avadhüta ! All glories to Çré Advaita Prabhu! All glories to Gadädhara and Çréväsa Paëòita! All glories to Navadvépa‑dhäma, the essence of all dhämas , which advented along with Gauracandra. Now hear, brothers, of the places that I will describe within the sixteen kroças of Navadvépa‑dhäma. There eternally exists sixteen rivers within the sixteen kroça area of Navadvépa. On the eastern bank of the main Ganges are four islands and on the western bank there are five. The different tributaries of the Ganges surround these islands and give the dhäma its splendor. The main Ganges always flows in the middle, while other pious rivers flow in various tributaries. Near the Ganges flows the beautiful Yamunä, and the Sarasvaté flows within another river. East of the Yamunä are the long streams of the Tämraparëé, the Kåtamälä, and the Brahmaputra. The Sarayü, Narmadä, Sindhu, Käveré, Gomaté, and Godävaré flow swiftly throughout the breadth of Navadvépa. All these rivers intersect to form the nine different islands of Navadvépa. Following the desires of the Lord, sometimes the streams dry up, and then again by His wish they flow with water; by the Lord’s wish sometimes places become covered with water, and by His wish they again become visible. In this way the dhäma endlessly enacts its lélä , but the same dhäma remains always manifest to the fortunate living entity. If a devotee has an acute desire in his heart, all the islands and rivers will be visible. By devotion, the dhäma is sometimes visible in dreams, meditation, or to the naked eye. The islandwhich lies at the junctionof theGanges andYamunä is known in the çästras as Antardvépa. Within Antardvépa lies the holy sanctuary of Mäyäpur, where Lord Caitanya appeared. Know, devotees, that Mahävana, in the center of Goloka, is none other than Mäyäpur of Navadvépa. Çvetadvépa, Vaikuëöha, Goloka, and Våndävana reside in Navadvépa at all times. By the order of Gauracandra, the seven
holy cities: Ayodhyä, Mathurä, Mäyä (Haridvära), Käçé, Käïcé, Avanté (Ujjain), and Dvärakä, are always present in their own places within Navadvépa. The city of Mäyä, at Gaìgädvära, has its original form as Mäyäpur in Navadvépa‑dhäma. The glories of this particular place are profusely sung in the scriptures. That person who once visits Mäyäpur is easily freed from the bondage of mäyä . One who walks throughout Mäyäpur is freed from the influence of mäyä and the repetition of birth. North of Mäyäpur lies Sémantadvépa. Sädhu and çästra have explained the rules of parikramä . After having darçana of Mäyäpur in Antardvépa, learned devotees go to Sémantadvépa. Next one should go south of Mäyäpur to Godrumadvépa, then one should joyfully go to Madhyadvépa. After seeing these four islands on the east bank, one should reverently cross the Ganges. Having walked around Koladvépa at leisure, then take darçana of Åtudvépa. After seeing the most beautiful Jahnudvépa, go see Modadrumadvépa and then Rudradvépa. Then again cross the Ganges, and walk back to Mäyäpur. There, respectfully enter the temple of Jagannätha Miçra and Çacédevé and take darçana of the Lord. This is the procedure of parikramä for all times. One who follows this practice will obtain unlimited happiness. Everyone considers the best time for performing parikramä is from the tithi of Mäkara‑saptami upto the full moon, or pürëimä , of Phälguna. After finishing parikramä , fortunate persons take darçana at Mäyäpur on the birthday of Lord Caitanya. Nitäi and Caitanya bestow Their mercy and the shade of Their lotus feet on those persons, who thus attain the qualification to execute devotional service. Briefly I have described the rules for parikramä , and now I will describe everything in detail. Therefore, please listen. Whoever walks around the one hundred sixty‑eight miles of Gauòa‑maëòala will quickly obtain the treasure of gaura‑prema . Desiring to obtain the shade of the lotus feet of Jähnavä and Nitäi, Bhaktivinoda reveals these truths.
Chapter Four Çré Jéva Hears About Navadvépa‑dhäma
All glories to Lord Caitanya, the moon of Navadvépa and son of mother Çacé! All glories to Nityänanda Räya, the avadhüta ! All glories to the topmost dhäma , Navadvépa, where Çré Caitanya advented. Whatever benefits are attained by residing in all other térthas can be achieved by staying in Navadvépa for only one day. Listen, O saintly people, as I sing this description of Navadvépa parikramä referring to scripture. The statements of çästra , the words of the Vaiñëavas, and the teachings of the Lord—these three are my life. Taking shelter of these three, I will describe the rules for circumambulating Navadvépa. Listen everyone! When Çré Jéva Gosvämé as a young man left his home in Candradvépa, in great eagerness he cried out, “Nadia, Nadia!” As he travelled along the paths, he lamented with tears flowing from his eyes like streams, “O Gauräìga! Nityänanda! You are the life of the living entities. When will You show mercy on me and give me Your darçana ?” Again and again he exclaimed, “O Navadvépa, topmost of all dhämas , when will I see you?” It was a startling sight to see the young, attractive form of Jéva, who was practicing extreme renunciation. His heart was always full of ecstatic love as he traveled along. Then, after some days, he arrived at Navadvépa. Seeing the city from a distance, he offered his daëòavats and nearly lost consciousness. After some time he regained his composure and, trembling in ecstasy, he entered the town of Navadvépa. When he came to Bärakoëä‑ghäöa he asked, “Where is Nityänanda Prabhu? Please let me see Him.” One devotee saw the elevated emotional state of Jéva Gosvämé and offered to take him to where Nityänanda was staying. At that time, Nityänanda in great ecstasy, began roaring with laughter on perceiving that Çré Jéva was coming to Him. As Nityänanda ordered His servants to bring Jéva there, many Vaiñëavas went to call him. Upon seeing Jéva, whose body was filled with ecstatic symptoms, they could understood his identity. Filled with love, someone came forward to reveal the order of Nityänanda Prabhu.
Just on hearing the name Nityänanda, Jéva fell to the ground unconscious. After a few moments he got up and exclaimed, “Oh, I am greatly fortunate. Though the lowest of men, I have received the mercy of Nityänanda Prabhu.” Offering his daëòavats to those devotees with a glad heart, he said, “If you all show mercy to me, then I can get the mercy of Nityänanda. This is the verdict of scriptures.” Seeing the good fortune of Jéva Gosvämé, some of the Vaiñëavas took the dust from his feet on their heads with great celebration. Then they all took him to Nityänanda’s place. Nityänanda was surrounded by devotees as He spoke about Kåñëa. Seeing that transcendental form of Nityänanda, Jéva’s body was transformed with extraordinary emotions. “What a wonderful form I am seeing today!” he exclaimed and fell unconscious. Swayed by great compassion, Nityänanda lifted Jéva up and accepted him as His own. Jéva was overcome with emotion. He stood with his hands folded and began to speak to his Lord, “You are the form of the universe, the abode of the universe, Balaräma. Being an insignificant living entity, what can I know of Your qualities? You are my eternal master, I am Your servant. My only aspiration is the shade of Your lotus feet. That person who receives Your mercy easily attains the lotus feet of Çré Caitanya and drowns in the water of prema . Without Your mercy no one will get Gaura, even if he worships Gaura for a hundred lifetimes. Sometimes Gauräìga may punish someone, but You will protect him; but if You punish someone, Gaura will never accept him. Therefore, Lord, only on the strength of my past devotional activities, I take shelter of Your lotus feet. Be merciful and give permission that I may receive the darçana of Gauräìga and gain attachment for Him.” “When Gauräìga came to Rämakeli and accepted my uncles, I was a young child. At that time my eyes filled with tears as I saw Gauräìga’s form, which since then always appears in my mind. I fell and offered obeisances at Gauräìga’s feet, and I became filled with happiness as I touched His body. At that time, the Lord told me to study the scriptures and, after finishing studies, go to Navadvépa, where I would attain everything at the lotus feet
of Nityänanda Prabhu. Although I am insignificant, I took that order on my head and acquired as much knowledge as I could. But though I studied all the books in Candradvépa, I could not get a suitable Vedänta teacher. The Lord ordered me to study Vedänta and reveal kåñëa‑bhakti conforming with the Vedänta‑sütras . So I have come to Navadvépa to Your lotus feet. Whatever You order, I will obey. By Your order, I will go to Jagannätha Puré and study Vedänta under Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya.” Upon hearing the sweet words of Jéva, Nityänanda Prabhu embraced him and, unable to contain Himself, began weeping. “Listen, Jéva, to these confidential words. Rüpa and Sanätana know all the philosophy. The Lord ordered Me to tell you not to go stay in Puré. Everyone knows that you and your two uncles are pure servants of the Lord. The Lord ordered that you go to Väräëasé and thoroughly study Vedänta under Madhusüdana Väcaspati. From there, go to Våndävana, where you will get the mercy of Rüpa and Sanätana. Under Rüpa Gosvämé’s direction, worship Their Lordships Rädhä and Kåñëa, and thoroughly discuss scriptures such as Vedänta. You should preach that Çrémad Bhägavatam is the topmost scripture and the natural commentary on the Vedänta‑sütras .’ “Previously, Lord Caitanya bestowed His mercy on Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya and explained Vedänta to him according to the Bhägavata tradition. Särvabhauma then taught this carefully to Madhusüdana in Puré. On the order of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, Madhusüdana Väcaspati now resides in Väräëasé. Go there and meet him. “Externally he acts like a traditional Vedäntist, and many followers of Çaìkaräcärya study under him. Gradually, however, he gives them mercy by teaching them the precepts of Gauräìga through the Vedänta‑sütras . “At this time there is no necessity for a separate commentary on the Vedänta‑sütras , for the Bhägavatam explains all the sütras. When there will be need of another commentary, Çré Govinda‑bhäsya will be revealed. Along with Särvabhauma, Gopénatha Äcärya heard the Lord’s commentary. Later, by the wish of Çré Caitanya, Gopénatha Äcärya will take birth as Baladeva Vidyäbhüñaëa, and he will conquer Jaipur with his philosophical
commentary. In Jaipur, he will serve Gauräìga by writing the Govinda‑bhäsya , and thus free all living entities from material bondage. Your two uncles, Rüpa and Sanätana, will tell you all these confidential topics.” Upon hearing Nityänanda Prabhu speak, Jéva Gosvämé began weeping and fell to the ground unconscious. Nityänanda then bestowed His mercy on Jéva by putting His two lotus feet upon his head, thereby giving him spiritual strength. Jéva then began dancing in that assembly of Vaiñëavas while chanting, “Jaya Çré Gauräìga! Jaya Nityänanda Räya!” Witnessing this display of Nityänanda’s mercy, Çréväsa Öhäkura and the other devotees present all began dancing and chanting, “Çré Gauräìga! Nityänanda!” The place resounded with great spiritual vibration. After some time Jéva controlled his dancing, and Nityänanda had him sit down nearby. Jéva s tayed at Çréväsa’s place, but in the evening he again came to see Nityänanda Prabhu. As Nityänanda was sitting alone, singing the glories of Lord Gauräìga, Jéva came forward and fell at His lotus feet. Nityänanda was very particular to make Jéva sit very close to Him. Jéva, however, became very aware of his own miserable condition. He folded his hands and said, “Lord, be merciful to me and describe the essential truths about Navadvépa‑dhäma.” Lord Nityänanda said, “O Jéva, I will tell you, but you should keep these deep topics within your heart. Do not broadcast them here and there just yet. They will be propagated after our Lord completes His manifest pastimes. “This Navadvépa is the best of dhämas . Crossing over the Virajä River and the Brahman effulgence, beyond the Vaikuëöha planets one comes to Çvetadvépa, Çré Goloka. Penetrating further, one comes to Gokula Våndävana, or Kåñëaloka. “That Kåñëaloka exists in two states of emotion. Rasa expands there in the form of mädhurya and audärya , sweetness and munificence. Audärya exists within mädhurya in fullness, and mädhurya exists within audärya in fullness. But, that place where mädhurya is the chief state is known by fortunate persons as Våndävana. And that place where audärya is eternally predominant is called Navadvépa in all the Vedas . There is no
difference between Våndävana and Navadvépa, only the different manifestations of rasa makes them distinct. “The dhäma is eternally perfect, fully spiritual, and unlimited. Those whose intelligence is tinged with dull matter cannot approach there. But, under the influence of the hlädiné‑çakti , the energy governing bliss, the living entities give up material paths and by the strength of perfect knowledge attain their eternal spiritual activity of devotional service. The whole of Navadvépa is a spiritual manifestation, for at this holy place Çré Gauräìga performed His transcendental activities. “People with material vision see Navadvépa as made of material elements; for them mäyä covers the eternal dhäma . Actually mäyä does not exist in Navadvépa, for it is not a material place influenced by time, nor are the living entities there subject to material troubles. But, as the living entity becomes bound by his fruitive activities, under illusion he perceives the dhäma to be a material place. “Thus I have related the truth of Navadvépa‑dhäma. O Jéva, please consider all this with a pure heart.” Aspiring for the shade of the lotus feet of Nitäi and Jähnavä, Bhaktivinoda reveals these confidential topics.
Chapter Five Çré Mäyäpur and Antardvépa
All glories to Çré Caitanya, the son of Çacé! All glories to Nityänanda the life of Jähnavä! All glories to Navadvépa, the topmost dhäma where Gauräìga advented in Kali‑yuga. Nityänanda Prabhu began speaking, “Listen to My words. Navadvépa extends over sixteen kroças . Within the sixteen kroças of Navadvépa, which are nondifferent from Våndävana, there are nine islands, which form an eight‑petaled lotus floating on the water. In the middle of the eight islands, or petals, lies Antardvépa. And within Antardvépa, lies the very central point, Mäyäpur. The eternal pastimes of Lord Caitanya take place within Yogapéöha and the circle of Mäyäpur, the circumference of which measures three and a half miles and the diameter measures just over one mile. Because the Païca‑tattva are seated at the Yogapéöha, it is the most glorious of all places. “By the desire of the Lord, this will soon be nearly hidden under the waters of the Ganges. Then later, by the powerful desire of the Lord, the dhäma will again be revealed and shine effulgently. The eternal dhäma is never really lost but is temporarily covered, and then again it appears to our eyes. “My worshipable Lord eternally resides at Mäyäpur, situated on the east bank of the Ganges. Although in the eyes of common people, Viçvambhara took sannyäsa and left Navadvépa to go elsewhere, actually My Gauräìga never gives up Mäyäpur or Navadvépa. The devotees can perceive His daily pastimes. You, Jéva, will also see Gauräìga dancing. “Around Mäyäpur is beautiful Antardvépa, where Brahmä received the darçana of Gauräìga. O Jéva, if you want to see all this, please go on parikramä . It will be very beneficial for you.” Hearing the Lord’s words, Jéva, with tears in his eyes, fell flat like a stick at Nityänanda’s feet and requested, “You will show real mercy on this unworthy wretch if You personally take me on parikramä .”
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