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- A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Mayapur Is My Place Of Worship
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This book is dedicated to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and to his followers who are all together fulfilling his vision of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium
“Now you all together make this Vedic Planetarium very nice, so that people will come and see. From the description in the Srimad Bhagavatam you prepare this Vedic Planetarium. My idea is to attract people of the whole world to Mayapur.”
Introduction Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya Lilamrta; Let There Be a Temple Caitanya Caritamrta; Purports The Glories and Pastimes of Srimati Radharani
31 43 47
Artwork [or photos, or text] courtesy of The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. www.krishna.com. Used with permission.
Introduction Through the ages pious people, especially holy men, sages and yogis have sought to take shelter of sacred places for self purification and spiritual realization. There are seven major holy places enunciated in the shastras. But in the Kali Yuga the power of these tirthas diminishes, as the age itself fosters the degradation of all good qualities in mankind. However, as if to show special mercy in this age, Navadvipa Dhama rises as the crown jewel of all tirthas giving not only the benefits of the other tirthas, but thousands of times more benefit, culminating in Krishna prema itself, the final goal of all spiritual endeavor. “Of the seven holy places giving salvation – Ayodhya, Mathura, Gaya, Kashi, Kanchi, Avanti and Dwaravati – Sri Mayapur is the most important place of pilgrimage. Sriman Mahaprabhu with His advent made His own Svetadvipa descend here, and after four centuries after the disappearance of Sriman Mahapra- bhu this place of pilgrimage Svetadvipa will be superior to all other places of pilgrimage of the world. Living in this place removes all sin and offenses and helps pure devotion to grow.” Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda Thakur As the senapati, Commander in Chief of Sri Caitan- ya Mahaprabhu, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, knowing the power of Sri Navadvipa Dhama and the prophesies and desires of the Lord and the previous acaryas, envisioned a great city in Mayapur that would attract people from all over the world to visit. And
within that divine city he foresaw the manifestation of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, a unique temple/plane- tarium combination that would spread the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the teachings of the parampa- ra, and quell the powerful and poisonous flow of rampant gross materialism and atheism predominant in Kali yuga. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura made three predictions concerning a person and a phenomena: “A personality will soon appear,” he wrote, “and he will travel all over the world to spread the teachings of Lord Caitanya.” His second prediction: “Very soon the chanting of ‘Harinama sankirtana will be spread all over the world. Oh, when will that day come when people from America, England, France, Germany, Russia will take up karatals and mrdangas and chant Hare Krishna in their towns?” The third prediction: “When will that day come when the fair-skinned foreigners will come to Sri Mayapur-dhama and join with the Bengali Vaisnavas to chant, Jaya Sacinandana, Jaya Sacinandana. When will that day come? “ One evening, Srila Bhaktivinoda was sitting peacefully in his house in Godrumadvipa, Surabhi Kunja, looking toward Sri Mayapur over the clear waters of the Jalangi river. Pausing briefly from his devotional writings, he again saw a brilliant effulgence shining out in all di- rections from the holy land of Sri Mayapur. It was a vi- sion of a wonderful golden city, a spiritual city - the final fulfillment of the dreams of the Vaishnava acaryas - from where the entire world would one day become inundated with pure love of Godhead. This small publication highlights some writings related to the incredible and unimaginable glories of Sri Navadvipa Dhama in which Mayapur resides. It also in-
cludes the history of the purchase of the property on which the Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir, the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium is established and Srila Prabhupada’s specific vision and instructions for its purpose, and his in- tention that this be the World Headquarters of ISKCON. It was so important to him that once he remarked, “Bombay is my office, Vrindaban is my home, and Mayapur is my place of worship”, from which the title of this publication is derived. We hope that this book inspires devotees to follow further in the footsteps of our previous acaryas, and specifically Srila Prabhupada’s mood and desires. It is our sacred duty to serve his mission and bring the mercy of Sri Caitanya to all the souls of this world. And the TOVP is an intrinsic and inseparable part of that. In the process we will ourselves also dive into the ocean of Krishna prema and drink deep the ambrosial nectar therof, awakening to our eternal service to Radha and Krishna.
The TOVP Team
Nityananda Prabhu revealing the adbhuta mandir to Srila Jiva Goswami
Selected sections from Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya
His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
All glories to Lord Caitanya, the moon of Navadvipa and son of mother Saci! All glories to Nityananda Raya, the avadhuta! All glories to Sri Advaita Prabhu, the Supreme Lord! All glories to Sri Gadadhara and Srivasa Pandita! All glories to Navadvipa-dhama, the essence of all dhamas! And all glories to the residents of Navadvipa, the associ- ates of Gauranga! Offering obeisances to the feet of all the devotees, I will now briefly describe Sri Navadvipa dhama. Even the demigods headed by Lord Brahma do not know the unlimited glories of Navadvipa mandala, so who can possibly describe that dhama fully? Since the thousand-mouthed Sesa cannot describe it completely, how can I, an insignificant living entity, do so? Even Lord Siva can find no end to the unlimited glories of Navadvipa-dhama. Nevertheless, the desire of Sri 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 Navadvipa. As Sri Gauracandra appeared in Navadvipa, it is there- fore the crest jewel of all holy places. Offenders are the object of punishment at other holy pilgrimage places, but in Navadvipa-dhama they are purified. The example is the two brothers Jagai and Madhai, who committed great offenses yet still received Nitai and Gaura. What to speak of other places, at Vrndavana the offenders are punished. But a person who has committed hundreds of offenses can easily receive the mercy of Nityanan-
da Prabhu and overcome those offenses in Navadvipa- dhama. For this reason, sages endlessly praise Navad- vipa of Gaura-mandala. He who lives in Navadvipa-dhama is very fortunate, for he achieves attraction for Krishna. He who happens to go there becomes freed from all offenses. What one attains by traveling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering Navadvipa. In this way the scriptures sing. He who sees Navadvipa-dhama gets ecstatic love of Krsna birth after birth. Even one who goes to Navadvipa desiring to gain material comforts through pious activities will not take another birth. The Sastras say that one who walks around Navadvipa attains the fruit of millions of asvamedha yajnas at every step. And one who lives in Navadvipa and chants mantras obtains the sound of Caitanya as his mantra and easily gets free from maya. What yogis obtain after ten years at other tirthas is obtained in three nights at Navadvipa. That liberation attained by Brahman realization at other holy places is obtained simply by bathing in the Ganges at Navadvipa. Thus, all types of liberation - salokya, sarupya, sarsti, samipya, and nirvana - can be obtained in Navadvipa without speculative practice. Falling at the feet of the pure devotees in Navadvipa, Bhukti and Mukti (personified material 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 devotees’ feet. The fruits obtained by staying one hundred years at the seven holy cities can be attained by staying one night in Navadvipa-dhama. In conclusion, Navadvipa is the
topmost tirtha. Taking shelter of it, the living entities can cross over Kali-yuga. At this place, taraka, the name of Rama which gives liberation, and paraka , the name of Krsna which gives prema, always serve the residents of the dhama.
All glories to Lord Caitanya, the moon of Navadvipa and son of mother Saci! All glories to Nityananda Raya, the avadhuta! All glories to Navadvipa-dhama, the essence of all spiritual abodes! Who has the ability to describe the truth of Navadvipa? Navadvipa-dhama within Gauda-mandala is served by the Ganges and situated in eternal splendor. This Gauda-mandala is one hundred sixty eight miles in circumference, with the Ganges running through the center. Gauda-mandala takes the form of a hun- dred-petaled lotus with the most beautiful Navadvipa in the center. The circumference of the central stamen of the flower, or Antardvipa, is ten miles, and the cir- cumference of the eight-petaled flower, or Navadvipa, is thirty two miles. Outside this are the hundred petals of Gauda-mandala, whose circumference measures one hundred sixty eight miles. According to the scriptures, the diameter of Gauda-mandala is fifty six miles and the radius is twenty eight miles. The center point, situated within Navadvipa, is the Yogapitha, the sacred spiritual abode where the Lord advented.
The whole of Gauda-mandala is cintamani, or touch-
stone, yielding all desires. The dhama is full of knowledge and bliss and is completely spiritual. The water, the land, the trees, everything in the dhama is spiritual, unlike the dull matter of this material world. Always present in the dhama are Krsna’s three spir- itual energies - sandhini, samvit, and hladini. Krsna`s original energy, svarupa- sakti, manifests in these three divisions. Of these, the sandhini energy, which supports all existence, finds its perfect function in manifesting the eternal dhama. In that position, the dhama 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. Whoever gets the mercy of Lord Nityananda, the master of the sandhini potency, can see that blissful dhama as fully spiritual. The holy rivers such as the Ganges and Yamuna as well as the seven holy cities headed by Prayaga are all situated in various places within Navadvipa-dhama. One who is fortunate can see that this pure realm, Gauda-mandala, is directly the spiritual world. Following the order of the Lord, Maya, the shadow of the Lord’s svarupa-sakti, spreads her influence of illusion. She covers the eyes of those living enti- ties who have turned away from the Lord so they are unable to see the glories of the spiritual dhama. Those peoplewho always reside inGauda-mandala are themost fortunate in the world. The demigods in the heavenly planets see them as having beautiful four-handed forms of blackish complexion. Within the sixteen krosas of Navadvipa-dhama, the numerous residents, who are
golden in complexion, constantly engage in congrega- tional chanting of the Lord’s holy names. Brahma and other demigods come from outer space and worship them in various ways. In Kali-yuga, all holy places are extremely weak, only Navadvipa is supremely strong. By the Lord’s desire, however, this tirtha 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 appropriate medicine. Accordingly, a strong medicine 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 dhama, 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, dhama, and associates. The Lord promised that He will always deliver the living entities from the troubles of material existence. Gauranga 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 Brahma. I will see how Kali can destroy these liv- ing entities! I will manifest Navadvipa-dhama 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 Navadvipa by His own internal spiritual potency. Withdrawing the covering of illusion, Gauracandra revealed His eternal pastimes in Gauda-mandala. I see no one in Kali-yuga more unfortunate than that lamentable, wretched person who does not worship such a merciful Lord as Sri Caitanya, or who rejects such an inconceivable dhama as Navadvipa. Therefore, give up all other desires and attractions, and simply fix your mind on Navadvipa- dhama. Chapter 3 All glories to Lord Caitanya, the moon of Navadvipa and son of mother Saci! All glories to Nityananda Raya, the avadhuta! All glories to Sri Advaita Prabhu! All glories to Gadadhara and Srivasa Pandita! All glories to Navadvipa-dhama, the essence of all dhamas, which advented along with Gauracandra. 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 dhama endlessly enacts its lila, but the same dhama 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 dhama is sometimes visible in dreams, meditation, or to the naked eye.
The island which lies at the junction of the Ganges and Yamuna is known in the sastras as Antardvipa. Within Antardvipa lies the holy sanctuary of Mayapur, where Lord Caitanya appeared. Know, devotees, that Mahavana, in the center of Goloka, is none other than Mayapur of Navadvipa. Svetadvipa, Vaikuntha, Goloka, and Vrndavana reside in Navadvipa at all times. By the order of Gauracandra, the seven holy cities: Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya (Harid- vara), Kasi, Kanci, Avanti (Ujjain), and Dvaraka, are always present in their own places within Navadvipa. The city of Maya, at Gangadvara, has its original form as Mayapur in Navadvipa-dhama. The glories of this particular place are profusely sung in the scriptures. That person who once visits Mayapur is easily freed from the bondage of maya. One who walks through- out Mayapur is freed from the influence of maya and the repetition of birth. Whoever walks around the one hundred sixty eight miles of Gaura-mandala will quickly obtain the treasure of Gaura prema.
All glories to Lord Caitanya, the moon of Navadvipa and son of mother Saci! All glories to Nityananda Raya, the avadhuta All glories to the topmost dhama, Navadvipa, where Sri Caitanya advented. Whatever benefits are attained by residing in all other tirthas can be achieved by staying in Navadvipa for only one day.
Jiva folded his hands and said, “Lord, be merciful to me and describe the essential truths about Navadvipa- dhama.” Lord Nityananda said, “O Jiva, 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. “There is no difference between Vrndavana and Navadvipa, only the different manifestations of rasa makes them distinct. The dhama is eternally perfect, fully spiritual, and unlimited. Those whose intelligence is tinged with dull matter cannot approach there. But, under the influence of the hladini-sakti, 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 Navadvipa is a spiritual manifestation, for at this holy place Sri Gauranga performed His tran- scendental activities.”
All glories to Sri Caitanya, the son of Saci! All glories to Nityananda, the life of Jahnava! All glories to Navadvipa, the topmost dhama where Gauranga advented in Kali-yuga.
Nityananda Prabhu began speaking, “Listen to My words. Navadvipa extends over sixteen krosas.
Within the sixteen krosas of Navadvipa, which are non- different from Vrndavana, there are nine islands, which form an eight-petaled lotus floating on the water. In the middle of the eight islands, or petals, lies Antardvipa. And within Antardvipa, lies the very central point, Mayapur. The eternal pastimes of Lord Caitanya take place within Yogapitha and the circle of Mayapur, the circumference of which measures three and a half miles and the diameter measures just over one mile. Because the Panca-tattva are seated at the Yogapitha, it is the most glorious of all places. “Very soon, by the desire of the Lord, this will be nearly hidden under the waters of the Ganges. Then later, by the powerful desire of the Lord, the dhama will again be revealed and shine effulgently. The eternal dhama is never really lost but is temporarily covered, and then again it appears to our eyes.” There, at the border of Mayapur, Jiva saw the Vrddha Siva temple. Nityananda Prabhu said, “He is the guardian of Mayapur. This is where the praudhha maya energy, yoga-maya, in charge of spiritual perception is eternally situated. When our Lord disappears, by His desire, the Ganges will swell. The Ganges water will almost cover Mayapur for a hundred years, and then the water will again recede. For some time only the place will remain, devoid of houses. Then again, by the Lord’s desire, this place will become prominent, and people will live in Mayapur as before. All these ghatas on the bank of the Ganges will again be manifest, and the devotees will build temples of the Lord. One exceeding- ly wonderful temple will appear from which Gauranga’s eternal service will be preached everywhere. Praudha
Maya and Vrddha Siva will again come and perform their duties of revealing the spiritual dhama according to the Lord’s desire.” Jiva then said, “One question has arisen. Please listen. When Ganga devi again uncovers Mayapur, by what signs will the devotees be able to rediscover the concealed sites?” Hearing this, Nityananda Prabhu answered with nec- tar-like words, “Listen, Jiva, when the Ganges covers this place, one corner of Mayapur will remain intact. Many yavanas will take up residence there, yet the name will remain Mayapur. About one thousand meters southwest of the remaining place, one will see a slightly raised area covered with vegetation. That will indicate Jagannatha Misra’s house. Ten meters from there is the Vrddha Siva temple. From such measurement one will be able to dis- cern everything. A pond called Siva-doba will be seen, indicating the previous bank of the Ganges. In this way, by the Lord’s wish, the devotees will reveal the lost plac- es. Know this for certain. At the end of four hundred years, the task of recovering the lost tirthas will begin.”
All glories to Sri Caitanya, the son of mother Saci! All glories to Nityananda, the life of Jahnava! All glories to Advaita, the husband of Sita. All glories to Gadadha- ra! And all glories to Gauranga’s associates headed by Srivasa!
“Listen Jiva, on the Phalguna Purnima, one who fasts here at Ganga-nagara, takes bath in the Ganges here, and worships Gauranga will cross over the material ocean along with his ancestors. Along with one thou- sand ancestors, he attains Goloka after death no matter where he dies. “Just see the difference between Vraja-tattva and Navadvipa-tattva. Those who offend Krsna are liberated by merging into the Lord’s effulgence, where- as in Navadvipa the offenders receive the treasure of love of God. Therefore, Lord Gauranga’s pastimes are considered the highest. Gauranga’s abode, name, form, and qualities do not consider offense; rather, they ex- pertly deliver one from any offense. If the devotee has some offense in his heart, then Krsna’s name and abode will deliver him only after a long time. But Gauranga’s name and abode immediately bestow prema on the devotee, for offenses create no obstacle and are easi- ly overcome. O Jiva, see the Kazi’s samadhi. By seeing this samadhi the living entities’ old age and disease are vanquished.”
All glories to Lord Caitanya, Sri Sacisuta! All glories to Lord Nityananda, Sri Avadhuta! All glories to Sitapati, Advaita Prabhu, king of the devotees! All glories to Gadadhara and the society of devotees! All glories to beautiful Navadvipa-dhama! And all glories to the name of Gaura!
“Surabhi then instructed the muni: ‘Worship the two lotus feet of Gauranga. This Navadvipa is beyond material nature and therefore never destroyed. By material vision this place is sixteen krosas, but it is the supreme Vaikuntha and therefore without fault or illusion. Place and time here have nothing to do with material existence, nor is anyone here affected by ma- terial illusion. Just see the unprecedented wonders of Navadvipa, which is surrounded on all sides by the chaste Viraja River. Each part measures a billion krosas, and in the center is Mayapur, a vast city. The eight islands are like petals of a lotus with Antardvipa as the central stamen. All the tirthas, devas, and rsis reside here, worshipping Gauranga. For your own good, dear Markandeya, take shelter of Gauranga’s feet. Take shel- ter of the unmotivated dhama, by keeping far away from the desire for bhukti and mukti.”
All glories to Gauranga and Nityananda along with Advaita! All glories to Gadadhara and Srivasa Pandita! All glories to Navadvipa, the abode of pure bhakti! And all glories to the names of Gaura and Nityananda! “Puskara Tirtha replied, ‘Listen, fortunate brahmana. I am not coming from far off, for I am present here. This Navadvipa is the embodiment of all Tirthas, which reside in and render service to Navadvipa. I have exhibited one form in the west, but I myself always reside here. The results one attains by bathing one
hundred times there are achieved by one bath here. Therefore, whoever gives up Navadvipa with the desire to go to other holy places is a fool and a rascal. If one attains the fruit of traveling to all the holy places, then he may reside in Navadvipa. See that raised area that resembles a market? Kuruksetra and Brahmavarta are present there. Sarasvati and Drsadvati flow on its two sides. It is splendid and gives much punya. “’O brahmana, I will tell you a very secret thing. In a short time, there will be ecstasy given out here. Gauranga will appear at Mayapur in Sacidevi’s house, and He will freely distribute prema. In all these places the Lord and His devotees will dance madly in the nectar of sankirtana. The Lord will perform kirtana along with the devotees of all the previous incarnations. The whole universe will be drowned in the flood of prema; other than the false logicians, everyone will receive that gift of love. “’O Divadasa, whoever lives in the dhama with firm faith will attain the feet of Gaura. Although the evil-minded may worship Krsna for millions of years, they will not get attraction for the holy name. But if one worships Gauranga, all one’s wicked sentiments will be uprooted and very soon one will attain Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana. That person will attain his spiritual body and serve the divine couple in a secluded grove under the shelter of the sakhis. O brahmana, stay here and worship, then you will see Lord Gauranga with His associates.’”
While Sri Jiva was listening to this story, they entered Uccahatta in Kuruksetra. Sri Nityananda spoke again:
“All the devas along with the tirthas came here to Kuruksetra. Whatever tirthas are in the region of Brahmavarta and Kuruksetra are all present here. Prthudaka and other holy places reside here and serve Navadvipa. The fruit attained by living in Kuruksetra for a hundred years is obtained by residing here for one night. “The order in which we have proceeded till now is the authorized order of parikrama with the best effect. When Sri Caitanya brought His associates to purify the Kazi with an evening kirtana contingent of fourteen mrdangas, His starting point was Mayapur. Through the period of one night, which became one night of Brahma due to the sweet kirtana, Gauranga wandered through His land. After that, every Ekadasi tithi My Lord went on sankirtana, wandering over the sacred islands. Sometimes He wandered over the five krosas of Antardvipa, and sometimes, according to His desire, He wandered eight Krosas. “From His house, He went first to Barakona-gha- ta, then around Ballal-dighi, and then to Sridhara’s house. From there, He would go to the edge of Antard- vipa and thus easily complete a five krosa tour. From Simuliya, He would go to the Kazi’s house. After talking to Sridhara, He would go to Gadigacha (God- ruma), then Majida(Madhyadvipa). Crossing the Gan- ges at that point, on the other bank He would go up to Paradanga and Chinadanga, on the bank of the Gan- ges. Then crossing the Ganges again, He would return home, completing eight krosas.
“The complete parikrama is sixteen krosas, and if
that is done, the Lord is pleased. This is the tour I am taking you on. There is no equal to this. Within this tour you will see all the twelve forests of Vrndavana which extend over sixteen krosas. This tour ends after nine nights and is thus called navaratra-parikrama in the scripture. One does the five krosa parikrama in one day, and the eight krosa parikrama is completed after three nights. The first night is spent in Mayapur, the second night in Godruma, and the third night at Pulina, the opposite bank of the Ganges.”
All glories to Sri Caitanya! All glories to Nityananda! All glories to Sri Advaita Prabhu and the devotees of Lord Caitanya headed by Srivasa! All glories to Gaura-bhumi, the essence of all abodes, where Sri Caitanya descended with the holy name. Nityananda spoke, “Listen everyone! This is Pancaveni, where five rivers join the Ganges. The Bhagirathi mixes with the Mandakini and Alakananda, and the Sarasvati flows here hidden from view. From the west, the Yamuna flows along with the Bhogavati. The Manasa-ganga also quickly flows there. This place is called Maha-Prayaga by the rsis, who performed millions of sacrifices here along with Lord Brahma. The glories of this place are incomparable. If one takes bath here, he will not take another birth. Who can describe the glories of this place? All other tirthas become like dried up rivers in comparison. One who leaves his body here on the earth, in the air, or in the water will attain
Sri Goloka Vrndavana. This place, known as Kuliya Pa- hada, is situated on the bank of the Ganges and is raised up like a mountain. This place is called Koladvipa in the scriptures.”
All glories to Gauranga and the Panca-tattva! All glories to Navadvipa, the abode of Sri Caitanya!
Nityananda spoke, “Lord Jagannatha mercifully replied to Ramanuja, ‘Everyone knows Krsna, the Lord of Goloka. That Krsna, whose vilasa-murti is Narayana, is the Supreme Truth, and He resides in Vrndavana. That Krsna is fully manifest in the form of Gaurahari, and that Vrndavana is fully manifest in the form of Navadvipa-dhama. I eternally reside as Lord Gauranga in Navadvipa, the topmost abode in the universe. By My mercy that dhama has come within Bhu-mandala, yet it remains without a scent of maya. This is the verdict of scripture. If you say that Navadvipa is part of the material world, then your devotion will dwindle day by day. I have placed this spiritual abode within the material world by My desire and inconceiv- able energy. Simply by reading scriptures one will not get the highest truth, for the highest truth surpasses all reasoning power. Only the devotees can understand by My mercy.”
All glories to Lord Gauracandra and Prabhu Nityananda! All glories to Advaita and Gadadhara, who relish ecstatic prema! All glories to the devotees headed by Srivasa! All glories to Navadvipa-dhama! And all glories to nama-sankirtana, the abode of prema. Lord Nityananda said to Jiva, “Navadvipa and Vrndavana are one principle, one is neither less than nor greater than the other. Vrndavana is the receptacle of rasa, the goal of the living entities, but one who is not qualified cannot receive that nectar. Therefore, that same dhama has mercifully become Navadvipa, where the living entities can attain qualification for that nectar. In other words, Radha and Krsna’s pastimes are the highest of all transcendental mellows, therefore one has no immediate right to them. “After many lifetimes of austerity one reaches the stage of knowledge. When that knowledge matures, one inquires about this rasa. But there are always many obstacles, so to obtain the great treasure of this nectar is very rare indeed. Therefore, anyone and every- one who goes to Vrndavana does not get that rasa. Rather, because of offenses, that sweet nectar turns sour. “In this terrible age of Kali, offenses are continuous, the body is short-lived, and there are many troubles, so even if one wants the Vrndavana rasa, it is not attain- able. Therefore, the only method of getting that rasa is by the mercy of Krsna.
“Radha and Krsna have given that mercy to the living entities by manifesting Vrndavana in the form of Navadvipa and by incarnating in the womb of Saci in a combined form as Gaurahari. In that form, They have given the process to qualify for Vraja-rasa. Even the initial presence of offenses does not bar one from quickly attaining the goal of prema. “If one lives in Navadvipa and takes shelter of the holy name, his offences will be destroyed and the qualifica- tion for the rasa will appear. Love of Krsna will soon shine within his heart and topics of’ Radha and Krsna will prevail. In this way, by achieving Gauranga’s mer- cy, the living entity attains Vrndavana, the holy abode of Radha and Krsna’s nectarean pastimes.”
All glories to Lord Gauracandra and Prabhu Nityananda! All glories to Advaita and Gadadhara, who relish ecstatic prema! All glories to the devotees headed by Srivasa! All glories to Navadvipa-dhama! And all glories to nama-sankirtana, the abode of prema. “Navadvipa and Vrndavana are one principle, one is neither less than nor greater than the other. Vrndavana is the receptacle of rasa, the goal of the living entities, but one who is not qualified cannot receive that nec- tar. Therefore, that same dhama has mercifully become Navadvipa, where the living entities can attain qualification for that nectar.
“Radha and Krsna have given that mercy to the living entities by manifesting Vrndavana in the form of Navadvipa and by incarnating in the womb of Saci in a combined form as Gaurahari. In that form, They have given the process to qualify for Vraja-rasa. Even the initial presence of offenses does not bar one from quickly attaining the goal of prema. “If one lives in Navadvipa and takes shelter of the holy name, his offences will be destroyed and the quali- fication for the rasa will appear. Love of Krsna will soon shine within his heart and topics of’ Radha and Krsna will prevail. In this way, by achieving Gauranga’s mercy, the living entity attains Vrndavana, the holy abode of Radha and Krsna’s nectarean pastimes.”
All glories to Sri Gauranga, the son of Saci! All glories to Nityananda, the son of Padmavati and life of Jahnava! All glories to Advaita Prabhu, the husband of Sita! All glories to Gadadhara! And all glories to the devotees headed by Srivasa! Nityananda Raya spoke, “Listen Jiva. Both Vrndavana and Navadvipa are the shelter of countless blissful dev- otees. Purified living entities who have crossed over the material nature live here as Krsna’s associates. This dha- ma is an eternally pure spiritual abode, where material nature and time are conquered. In this abode, the land and time are eternally full of bliss and completely op- posite to the material world. You should know that the
houses, doors, rivers, streams, forests, and courtyards are all completely spiritual and intensely attractive.
“That blissful place, transcendental to material nature, rests on Krsna’s inconceivable and supremely magnan- imous sandhini energy. By that energy the dhama has descended here in Nadia, for Krsna’s real desire is to deliver the living entities. Materialistic persons cannot enter the dhama, nor is there any material influence here. Maya has eternally covered the dhama with a film of dull matter. “Whoever makes a distinction between Gauranga and Krsna is contemptible and will never attain a relation- ship with Krsna. But, in the association of devotees, one who possesses the qualities beginning with humility will first worship Gauranga in dasya, or servitude re- lationship. This dasya-rasa is the highest mood in the worship of Gauranga. It is in that mood that the devo- tees call Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. “One who is qualified in madhurya-rasa worships Gauranga in the form of Radha and Krsna. As Radha and Krsna have combined in one form as My Gauran- ga Raya, Their pastimes do not appear to be mani- fest in His form. When the worship of Gauranga in dasya-rasa reaches full maturity in the heart of the living entity, madhurya-rasa naturally develops in his heart. At that time one’s worship of Gaurahari quali- fies him to worship Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana. Gauranga then drowns the devotee in the nectar of Radha and Krsna’s eternal pastimes, which the devotee enters as he attains Vrndavana.”
I make one request at the feet of the Vaisnavas. Let my relationship with Gaura be sealed. Along with that relationship, let me reside in Navadvipa for a long time. This is my wish. I am a worm in the hole of materialism, extremely evil in conduct, devoid of devotion, filled with lust, and insane with anger. How else can such an evil person as I, the servant of maya, attain a relationship with Gauranga? O Navadvipa-dhama, show favor on me and appear in my heart, so that I may be delivered. O Praudha Maya, protecting goddess, please be genuinely merciful, for you are the only hope to cross over the obstacles due to ignorance. Vrddha Siva, Protector of the dhama, be compassionate on me, let the transcendental dhama be revealed to my eyes. O residents of Navadvipa and devotees of Gauranga, put your feet upon my head, rascal that I am. Everyone, please hear this prayer of mine, so that I will quickly attain the feet of Sri Caitanya. Though I am very low, taking the order Sri Nityananda and Jahnava, I have herein described Navadvipa-dha- ma. It is a fact that this book is filled with the names: Gauranga, Nityananda, and Navadvipa. On that basis this book is a supreme deliverer, and I cannot be held guilty, though there be many faults in the writing. By reading this book, Gauranga’s devotees always earn the fruits of performing parikrama. And if one reads this book while doing parikrama, the fruits increase a hundredfold. That is
the verdict of the scriptures. Aspiring for the shade of the lotus feet of Sri Nitai and Jahnava, this low and worthless Bhaktivinoda has thus sung this glorification of Nadia.
Srila Jiva Goswami
Prabhupada Lilamrita, Vol.5. LetThere Be a Temple His Holiness Satsvarupa das Goswami
The Mayapur Project, 1971 “The Land Is Yours”
He had sent two of his disciples, Tamala Krsna and Bali-mardana, to purchase land in Mayapur. Six days had passed, however, and still they had neither returned nor sent word. He had told them not to return until they had completed the transaction, but six days was more than enough time. He was anxious, thinking constantly of his two disciples. Why were Tamala Krsna and Bali-mardana taking so long? It had been more than just a wait of six days; he had been trying to obtain land in Mayapur for years. And this time the prospects had been excellent. He had clearly instructed Tamala Krsna and Bali-mardana, and by now they should have returned. The delay could mean a complication, or even danger. The land they were trying for was a nine-bigha plot on Bhaktisiddhanta Road, less than a mile from the birthsite of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The Sek brothers, Muslim farmers who owned the plot, had been asking a high price. Only recently had a Calcutta lawyer familiar with Navadvipa been able to seriously negotiate a fair price. The Sek brothers had settled for 14,500 rupees, and Prabhupada had authorized withdrawal of the funds from his bank in Krishnanagar. Thus Tamala Krsna and Bali-mardana had left for Mayapur, while Prabhupada had remained in Calcutta, carrying on with his affairs but thinking often of the activities of his disciples in Mayapur. Their mission was very important to him, and he kept them in his mind, personally blessing them with his concern. Prabhupada wanted an ISKCON center in Mayapur; it was a desire that had increased within him as his movement had increased throughout the years. He could easily visit or live in Mayapur; that was no problem. But he needed a place for his disciples.
His spiritual master had ordered him to preach in the West; and now with the success of his Krsna consciousness society, the Western Vaisnavas required a center in Mayapur where they could reside and worship and receive the immense benefit of the holy dhama. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati had stressed the great importance of Mayapur, and some of his sannyasi disciples had temples there. Why shouldn’t the International Society for Krishna Consciousness also be able to take shelter of Mayapur? Since birth, Prabhupada had been aware of the significance of Lord Caitanya and His dhama, Sri Mayapur. He had grown up in Calcutta, where everyone knew of Lord Caitanya, and because his father, Gour Mohan De, had been a pure devotee of Lord Caitanya, from childhood he had sung the Benga- li songs of Gaura-Nitai and Their pastimes in the land of Gauda. He had imbibed deeply the teachings and pastimes of Lord Caitanya, especially after meeting his spiritual master in Calcutta in 1922. Lord Caitanya had spent His first twenty-four years in Mayapur and Navadvipa. Yet since His manifest pastimes there almost five hundred years ago, the places of those pastimes had been obscured, the Lord’s birthsite lost, and His teachings confused and misused. Despite the disciplic line of pure devo- tees from Lord Caitanya, not until the advent of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the father of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, did Lord Caitanya’s sankirtana movement and pure teachings begin to emerge. Bhaktivinoda Thakura published many books and preached to rees- tablish the intellectual, moral, and spiritual integrity of Caitanya Vaisnavism. He researched and explored the land of Navadvipa, ascertaining the exact birthsite of the
Lord. Citing Vedic evidence, he established that many previous incarnations of Vishnu had enacted pastimes in Navadvipa. Not only did Bhaktivinoda Thakura document Navadvipa’s past glory, but he also foresaw its glorious future, when a religion based on the teachings of Lord Caitanya would emerge and spread through- out the world, and when European and American Vaishnavas would throng to Navadvipa to join their Bengali brothers in chanting “Jaya Sacinandana!”. The time would come, Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote, when in the land of Navadvipa on the plain of the Ganges a magnificent temple would arise, proclaiming to the world the glories of Lord Caitanya. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, carrying out the de- sires of his father and preceptor, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, had formed the Gaudiya Math for propagat- ing the teachings of Lord Caitanya and the glories of Navadvipa-dhama. He had induced a wealthy disci- ple to spend his fortune for erecting a temple at Lord Caitanya’s birthsite in Mayapur, and he had construct- ed a kirtana hall commemorating the place of Lord Caitanya’s kirtanas. He had also constructed his own residence in Mayapur. He had built temples through- out India-sixty-four in all-but because he wanted the English-speaking world especially to take to Lord Caitanya’s movement, he had emphasized as first priority the publishing and distributing of Krsna conscious literature. Srila Prabhupada, sitting in his room in the Calcutta temple, shared the great vision of Bhaktisid- dhanta Sarasvati and Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Yet to enact this great vision he had to take practical steps, and he was content to take them in the most humble way. A
devotee should not simply daydream, expecting Krsna to accomplish everything with “miracles.” Prabhupada, however, was not dreaming idly. Working for years alone in India, he had held his plan of going to the West, and Krsna had at last fulfilled that desire. In America, in whatever circumstances and with whatever small facility Krsna had provided, he had preached. And slowly, step by step, he had met with success, realizing his vision of a worldwide society of devotees. Always he had kept his greater vision in mind, as every step forward had given him deeper satisfaction and had brought him closer to fulfilling his mission. Whether chanting or writing or reading or preaching, Prabhupadahadbeenabsorbed inhisplans for spreading Krsna consciousness and fulfilling the dream of the past acaryas. Now he was anxious to complete the next step, and for this he was waiting up past midnight, meditating on his two disciples and their important mission. Prabhupada wondered if perhaps his boys had been robbed. Before sending them off, he had shown Tamala Krsna how to carry money around his waist in a makeshift cloth money belt. But it had been a great deal of money, and robberies were not uncommon around Navadvipa. Or perhaps there had been some other delay. Sometimes in land negotiations involving large sums of money, the court would require that a clerk record the denomination and serial number of every note exchanged. Or perhaps the train had broken down. Suddenly Prabhupada heard footsteps on the stairs. Someone opened the outer door and now walked along the veranda just outside. A soft knock. “Yes, who is it?” Prabhupada asked. Tamala Krsna entered and prostrated himself before Srila Prabhupada.
“So,” Prabhupada asked, “what is your news?” Tamala Krsna looked up triumphantly. “The land is yours!” Prabhupada leaned back with a sigh. “All right,” he said. “Now you can take rest.”
Prabhupada had asked the Indian high commis- sioner for the United Kingdom to petition Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to attend ISKCON’s upcoming cornerstone-laying ceremony in Mayapur. Already Prabhupada had instructed all his G.B.C. secretaries to attend the ceremony, and he had asked the devotees to invite many prominent citizens of Calcutta. Writing to his disciples in India, he said that if they could not get IndiraGandhi to come, they should at least get the governor of Bengal, Sri S. S. Dhavan. Prabhupada was meeting in London with several of his disciples experienced in architecture and design; he wanted them to draft plans for his Mayapur project. Nara-Narayana had built Ratha-yatra carts and designed temple interiors, Ranacora had studied architecture, and Bhavananda had been a professional designer, but Prabhupda himself conceived the plans for the Mayapur buildings. He then told his three-man committee to provide sketches and an architect’s model; he would immediately begin raising funds and securing support in India for the project. To the devotees who heard Prabhupada’s plans, this seemed the most ambitious ISKCON project ever. While taking his morning walks in Russell Square, Prabhupada would point to various buildings and ask how high they were. Finally he announced one morning that the main temple in Mayapur should be more than three hundred feet high! Mayapur’s monsoon floods and sandy soil would create unique difficulties, he said, and the building would have to be built on a special foundation, a sort of floating raft. A civil engineer later confirmed this.
The main building, the colossal Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir, was to be no less than three hundred feet high and costing perhaps tens of millions of dollars. Prabhupada’s description astounded the architects as well as the devotees; it sounded grander than the United States Capitol or St. Peter’s Cathedral. The temple’s central dome would house a three-dimen- sional model of the universe. The design, however, would be based on the Vedic description and would de- pict not only the material universe but also the spiritual universe. Entering the main hall, a person would look up and see the planets situated just as Srimad-Bhagavatam describes, beginning with the hellish planets, then the middle planets, wherein the earth is situated, then the heavenly planets of the demigods, and then Brahmalo- ka, the highest planet in the material world. Above Brahmaloka, the observer would see the abode of Lord Siva, and above that the spiritual sky, or brahma- jyoti. Within the spiritual effulgence of the brahma- jyoti would be the self-illuminating Vaikuntha planets, inhabited by eternally liberated souls. And highest of all would be the supreme planet of Krsnaloka, where God in His original eternal form enjoys His pastimes with His most confidential devotees. The temple would also house a miniature palace in which the Deities of Radha and Krsna would reside, surrounded by silks and pillars of silver, gold, and jewels. The Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir and the Mayapur city would be ISKCON’s world headquarters. And why such a fabulous architectural wonder as this in such an obscure part of the world? The answer, Prabhupada explained, was that Mayapur was actually not obscure; it seemed so only from the
mundane perspective. To mundane vision, that which was central seemed remote. The soul and the next life seemed remote, while the body and immediate sense gratification seemed central. By establishing the Temple of Human Understanding in Mayapur, Srila Prabhupada would be directing the materialistic world’s attention back to the true center. Any sincere visitor would be charmed by the beauty of ISKCON’s Mayapur project and would per- ceive that here indeed was the spiritual world. And the devotees living in Mayapur, by remaining con- stantly immersed in singing Hare Krsna kirtana and discussing the philosophy of Krsna consciousness, would be able to convince any intelligent visitor that the teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu were the highest truth. The devotees would explain the philoso- phy of the Absolute Truth, which would enable visitors to comprehend actual spiritual truth beyond sectarian religious dogma. Furthermore, the continuous Hare Krsna kirtana and the blissful devotees engaged in a wide variety of services to Lord Krsna would demon- strate that bhakti-yoga was the simplest, most direct process for meditating on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. While staying in ISKCON’s Mayapur city, a person would quickly become a devotee of the Lord and begin chanting and dancing in ecstasy. Srila Prabhupada was demonstrating how the world could be spiritualized by linking material things with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, through bhakti-yoga. And why shouldn’t such spiritual feats surpass the achievements of the materialists? Prabhupada was sorry to learn through the Indian high commissioner that the prime minister could not attend the cornerstone-laying ceremony in Mayapur.
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