The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Mayapura-dhama
BY: SUN STAFF
May 14, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 86.
In chapter nineteen of Jaiva Dharma there is a central turning point in the story, when the Vaisnava Vijaya-kumara and his nephew Vrajanatha make their way to Mayapura-dhama:
"Vijaya-kumara was especially learned in Sriman Bhagavatam. By the mercy of Srimati Narayani-devi, he had attained great love for Lord Gauranga. Nowadays he went from place to place reading aloud from Srimad Bhagavatam. At the village of Denuda-grama he personally met Sri Vrndavana dasa Thakura, who advised him to visit Sri Mayapura, the inconceivable spiritual abode of the Lord. Vrndavana dasa Thakura told him that soon all the places of Lord Mahaprabhu's pastimes would become hidden, and only after four hundred years would they again be openly manifested. He also said that the places of Lord Caitanya's pastimes are not different from Sri Vrndavana, and that only a person who can see the spiritual nature of Sri Mayapura and the other places of Lord Caitanya's pastimes has the power to see Vrndavana as it truly is. Hearing these words of Sri Vrndavana dasa Thakura, who is an incarnation of Srila Vyasadeva, Vijaya-kumara became very eager to see Sri Mayapura. In his mind he decided to visit his sister and nephew in Bilva-puskarini, and then visit Sri Mayapura. In those days Bilva-puskarini and Brahmana-puskarini touched each other. Nowadays they are far apart. In those days the boundary of Bilva-puskarini was within a mile of holy Sri Mayapura. That abandoned village of Bilva-puskarini now goes by the names "Tota" and "Taranabasa".
Vijaya-kumara embraced his nephew and said, "Baba, now I will go to visit Sri Mayapura. Please tell your mother that I will return for lunch." Vrajanatha replied, "Uncle, why are you going to visit Sri Mayapura?" Vijaya-kumara was not aware of Vrajanatha's present condition, how he had abandoned the study of nyaya-sastra and become an ardent student of Vedanta. Therefore he thought it not appropriate to describe his devotional activities to Vrajanatha. He simply said, "I want to visit someone in Mayapura." Aware that his uncle was a devotee of Lord Gauranga and a scholar of Srimad Bhagavatam, and thinking that his uncle must have a spiritual purpose in visiting Sri Mayapura, Vrajanatha said, "A very faithful Vaisnava named Sri Raghunatha dasa babaji Mahasaya resides in Sri Mayapura. Please speak with him when you make your visit." Hearing Vrajanatha's words, Vijaya-kumara said, "Baba, now you have faith in the Vaisnavas? I heard that you had abandoned nyaya and turned to Vedanta. Now I can understand that you have entered the path of devotional service. I no longer need to conceal things from you. Vrndavana dasa Thakura has ordered me to visit the holy abode of Sri Mayapura. In my mind I have decided to bathe in the Ganges at Sri Mayapura-ghata, see and circumambulate the yoga-pitha, and once roll about in the dust from the Vaisnavas' feet at Srivasa's courtyard." Vrajanatha said, "Uncle, please be kind and take me with you. I will take permission from mother, and we will both go to Sri Mayapura. After this conversation, Vrajanatha spoke to his mother, Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara both left for Sri Mayapura."
Throughout the remainder of Jaiva Dharma's 32 chapters, there are numerous glorifications of Mayapura, and we will mention just of a few more:
The Lord took birth in Mayapura, in a raised tulasi-forest.
"One should hear about, remember, glorify, visit, touch, reside in, and serve Mathura. In this way one will attain his spiritual desires.. Know that the same applies to Sri Mayapura."
"Only Mayapura makes the sadness of Vraja go far away."
"Lord Gaura enjoys pastimes in Mayapura eternally. The power of their transcendental pious deeds enables the Lord's devotees to see these pastimes directly."
"Living within the thirty two mile area of Sri Navadvipa is exactly like living in Sri Vrndavana. This is especially true for Sri Mayapura. Seven holy cities are famous for granting liberation. They are: Ayodhya, Mathura, Mayapura, Varanasi, Kanci, Avantipura, and Dvaraka. Of them, Mayapura is the most important. Sri Mahaprabhu brought the spiritual world of Svetadvipa to Mayapura. Four hundred years after Lord Mahaprabhu's appearance, this land of Mayapura-Svetadvipa will be the most important of all holy places. A person who lives in this place throws all offenses far away and easily attains pure devotional service. Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati said that this abode of Navadvipa is not different from Sri Vrndavana. Indeed, he said it was more glorious than Vrndavana."
By the end of this transcendental novel, our hero Vijaya-kumara is blissfully absorbed in the teachings imparted by the Babaji. Accepting the supremacy of Vaisnava philosophy, he comes to understand the Lord's preeminent place in Navadvipa Dhama, which is non-different from Vraja.
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