The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Navadvipa, Navadvipa-mandala and Pracina Navadvipa
BY: SUN STAFF
Sri Navadvipa Dhama
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Jun 02, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 105.
Next on the Jaiva Dharma 'Glossary of Places' are three consecutive listings: Navadvipa, Navadvipa-mandala, and Pracina Navadvipa. Srila Bhaktivinoda mentions the distinctions between them, historically and in the context of his transcendental novel:
"Navadvipa - the village (or town) of Navadvipa. This is one village within the greater area of Navadvipa-mandala (see below). In this book both the village of Navadvipa and Navadvipa-mandala have been referred to simply as Navadvipa. Therefore the reader must apply discrimination according to context to understand when the author is referring to the village and when he is referring to the territory of Navadvipa. In Chapter Eleven the village of Navadvipa is called Pracina (Old) Navadvipa. There it is said that Pracina Navadvipa was situated across the Ganga from the village of Kuliya. Similarly in Chapter Seven it is said that Kuliyagrama was across the Ganga from Navadvipa. In Chapter Eleven it is said that Kuliya was situated on the western bank of the Bhagirathi in the Koladvipa district of Navadvipa-mandala. From these descriptions it is clear that Pracina Navadvipa was located on the east bank of the Ganga and therefore corresponds to the present-day site of Sri Mayapura. Kuliya-grama, situated on the west bank of the Ganga, corresponds to the present town of Navadvipa (see Kuliya for further confirmation of this point). Therefore, wherever the village of Navadvipa is mentioned in this book, it refers to Pracina Navadvipa and not to the present town of Navadvipa.
Navadvipa-mandala - the sacred nine-island region about 130 kilometers north of Calcutta, where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's early pastimes were manifest. Navadvipa consists of nine islands which resemble an eight-petalled lotus flower. Antardvipa is at the center of this lotus. Each of the nine divisions of Navadvipa represents one of the nine primary angas of bhakti. These divisions and their corresponding angas are as follows: (1) Antardvipa (atma-nivedanam, surrendering one's very self), (2) Simantadvipa (sravanam, hearing), (3) Godrumadvipa (kirtanam, chanting), (4) Madhyadvipa (smaranam, remembering Sri Krsna's transcendental names, form, qualities, and pastimes), (5) Koladvipa (padasevanam, serving Sri Krsna's feet), (6) Rtudvipa (arcanam, worshiping), (7) Jahnudvipa (vandanam, offering prayers and obeisances), (8) Modadrumadvipa (dasyam, becoming a servant), and (9) Rudradvipa (sakhyam, becoming a friend)."
Pracina Navadvipa - the old village of Navadvipa, located on the east bank of the Ganga. This corresponds to the present site of Sri Mayapura (see Navadvipa for clarification)."
The significance of Sri Navadvipa Dham is stated immediately in the opening paragraph of Jaiva Dharma:
"Of all earthly realms, Jambudvipa is the best. Of all places in Jambudvipa, Bharata-varsa is the best. Of all places in Bharata-varsa, Gauda-desa is the best. Of all places in Gauda-desa, Sri Navadvipa-mandala is the best."
The old city of Navadvipa, Pracina Navadvipa, is mentioned just once in Jaiva Dharma, in chapter eleven, which refers to the village of Kuliya-grama being situated across the Ganges from the old city of Navadvipa. It's interesting to note however that the term pracina is used elsewhere, referring to the pracina, or elderly gopis (chapter thirty-two).
In chapter twelve there is a key passage describing the environs of Navadvipa, and we have referred to this description in previous segments of the series:
"Sri Navadvipa-mandala is the best of all holy places in the world. It is a thirty-two mile eight petal lotus flower. The whorl of that lotus flower is Sri Antardvipa. In the centre of Antardvipa is Sri Mayapura. To the north of Sri Mayapura is Sri Simantadvipa. In Simantadvipa is a temple of Sri Sinmanta-devi. To the north of that temple is Bilva-puskarini, and to the south is Brahmana-puskarini. The region that contains Bilva-puskarini and the Brahmana-puskarini is called Sumuliya by the people in general. Therefore the village of Sumuliya-grama is in the northern part of Sri Navadvipa. At the time of Sri Mahaprabhu this place was the home of many, many panditas. This village was the home of Saci-devi's father, Sri Nilambara Cakravarti."
(To be continued…)
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