The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Jahnudvipa and Jahnu-nagara


Jahnu muni's asrama at Jahnudvipa
[ Photo: ]

Apr 23, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 65.

Next on the 'Glossary of Places' list are two closely related sacred places: Jahnudvipa and Jahnu-nagara:

    "Jahnudvipa - one of the nine islands of Navadvipa. This place embodies the devotional practice of vandanam, offering prayers and obeisances. It is non-different from Bhadravana in Vraja. Jahnu Rsi performed penances and meditation here and obtained darsana of Sri Gauranga (see also Jahnavi and Jahnu-nagara).

    "Jahnu-nagara - the place where the sage, Jahnu Rsi, performed meditation and swallowed the Ganga River. This area is also known as Jahnudvipa and Jan-nagara."

There is only one mention of Jahnu-nagara in Jaiva Dharma, noting it as the place of residence of Prema dasa Babaji (chapter eleven). Likewise, there is only one mention of Jahnudvipa, in chapter fourteen, where the Babaji explains to Vrajanatha what the size of Navadvipa-dhama is:

    "The circumference of Sri Navadvipa is sixteen krosas (32 miles). The holy abode of Navadvipa is an eight-petal lotus flower. Eight of the dvipas form the eight petals, and the island in the middle is the whorl of the lotus. The eight islands that are petals of the lotus are: Simantadvipa, Godrumadvipa, Madhyadvipa, Koladvipa, Rtudvipa, Jahndvipa, Modadrumadvipa and Rudradvipa. The whorl in the middle of the lotus is Antardvipa. In the middle of Antardvipa is Sri Mayapura."

In our earlier segment on the Bhagirathi River we made reference to Srila Bhaktivinoda's Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, and the comments of Nityananda Prabhu while visiting Jahnu Muni's asrama:

    "As Nityananda spoke, they went to Jannagara where they saw the enchanting hermitage of Jahnu Muni. Nityananda Prabhu explained, "This enchanting place named Jahnudvipa is known as Bhadravana. At this place, Jahnu Muni underwent penances and received darsana of the golden form of Gauranga.

    Jahnu Muni was sitting here chanting his Gayatri mantra, when his acamana cup fell into the Bhagirathi and was swept away by the currents. He opened his mouth and drank all the water in one gulp. King Bhagiratha thought, `Where has the Ganges gone?' He concluded that Jahnu Muni had drunk the Ganges. The king was overwhelmed with anxiety and worshiped the muni for several days. The muni then released the Ganges from his body. Because of this incident the Ganges is known as Jahnavi, the daughter of Jahnu, throughout the world.

    Some time later, Bhishma, the son of Ganga, came here to see Jahnu, his grandfather. Jahnu was very pleased with Bhishma and kept him here many days. At this place Bhishma learned the highest knowledge, which he in turn taught to Yudhishthira at Kurukshetra. By living in Navadvipa, Bhishma attained devotional service and therefore is counted amongst the great Vaishnavas. Therefore this dvipa is the greatest deliverer. Whoever lives here is always fortunate."

    That day, Nityananda and His associates stayed at a devotee's house in Jahnudvipa. Early the next morning the Lord led the devotees on to Modadrumadvipa. Bhaktivinoda, whose only pride is the lotus feet of Jahnava and Nitai, sings the glories of Navadvipa."

    Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Parikrama-khanda

(Jahnudvipa and Jahnu-nagara, to be continued…)


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