The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Madhyadvipa

BY: SUN STAFF


May 11, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 83.

The main towns falling within the bounds of Madhyadvipa island are Majidaha, Vamanapura, Simulgachi, Usidpura, Brahma-nagar and Hatdanga. The name Madhyadvipa refers to 'madhya', or middle/midday, being the pastimes Lord Chaitanya displayed at this time of day in the area of Madhyadvipa, in Navadvipa dham. Remembering (smaranam) under the shelter of Prahlada Maharaja is easily perfected in Madhyadvipa.

    navina-sri-bhaktim nava-kanaka-gaurakriti-patim
    navaranya-sreni-nava-surasuridyata-valitam
    navina-sri radha-hari-rasamayotkirtana-vidhim
    navadvipam vande nava-karuna madyannava-rucim

    One should visit all of the pastime places of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Antardvipa after which one should proceed to Simantadvipa, Godrumadvipa and Madhyadvipa after having taken darshana of these four islands on the eastern bank of the Ganga (river).

The glories of Madhyadvipa are sung by Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati in his Sri Navadvipa-sataka ('A Hundred Verses Glorifying Navadvipa'):

    8 (Madhyadvipa)
    May the Lord's wonderful pastimes in Madhyadvipa be kind to me. May Brahma-kunda and the other sacred places there be kind to me, a fool. May the kalpa-valli vine of the kindness of He who is everyone's friend and who plays in Madhyadvipa at midday, bear its fruits.

    65 When, wandering day and night through the valleys of Madhyadvipa on the pathways through the various pastime forest-groves, through groves of newly-blossoming kadamba trees, and through the beautiful places of the rasa dance pastimes, will I become fortunate, with intimate spiritual love for the divine couple shining within me?

When going on parikrama of Navadvipa dham, the progression that takes devotees through Madhyadvipa is instructed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur in his Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya:

    "North of Mayapur lies Simantadvipa. Sadhu and sastra have explained the rules of parikrama. After having darsana of Mayapur in Antardvipa, learned devotees go to Simantadvipa. Next one should go south of Mayapur to Godrumadvipa, then one should joyfully go to Madhyadvipa. After seeing these four islands on the east bank, one should reverently cross the Ganges."

    (Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Parikrama-khanda, Chapter Three)

This progression for taking parikrama in the Dham is further explained in chapter ten of Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya:

    "While on the way to Kuliya Pahadapura, Nityananda Prabhu said to Jiva, "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 mridangas, 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-ghata, then around Ballal-dighi, and then to Sridhara's house. From there, He would go to the edge of Antardvipa 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 (Godruma), then Majida (Madhyadvipa). Crossing the Ganges at that point, on the other bank He would go up to Paradanga and Chinadanga, on the bank of the Ganges. Then crossing the Ganges again, He would return home, completing eight krosas."

    (Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Parikrama-khanda, Chapter Ten)


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