The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Navadvipa, Navadvipa-mandala and Pracina Navadvipa
BY: SUN STAFF
Jun 04, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 107.
Navadvipa-dhama is the heart, and Sri Krsna Chaitanya the soul of Jaiva Dharma, and the glories of the Dhama are beautifully summarized by Srila Bhaktivinoda at the close of the novel. In chapter thirty-nine, Vijaya-kumara is instructured by the Goswami:
"Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has revealed the way in these words (Manah-siksah 2):
"Mind don't do the pious and impious deeds described in the Vedas. Intently serve Sri Sri Radha-Krsna in Vraja. Always remember that Lord Caitanya is Lord Krsna, the son of Maharaja Nanda and my spiritual master is most dear to Lord Mukunda."
Don't perform the pious and impious deeds described in the Vedas. Reject this past of the Vedas and instead earnestly engage in raganuga-bhakti. Again and again serve Sri Sri Radha-Krsna in Vraja. Serve the Lord according to the rasas of Vraja. If you ask, "Who will teach me how to serve the Lord according to the rasas of Vraja?", then I will tell you. Please listen. Sridhama Navadvipa, where Lord Caitanya appeared in Saci-devi's womb is a manifestation of Vrndavana. Lord Caitanya is Krsna Himself, Krsna the son of Nandisvara's king. Lord Caitanya is not different from Krsna. Thinking that Lord Krsna has descended to Navadvipa to enjoy pastimes as Lord Caitanya, one should not reject the worship of Lord Krsna as the amorous hero of Vraja and instead worship Lord Caitanya as the amorous hero of the young girls in Navadvipa. Lord Caitanya is Lord Krsna Himself. Still, one should not criticise the devotees who worship Him with different mantras and meditate on Him separately. In the path of the rasas one should worship only Krsna, the beloved of Radha, and Lord Caitanya one should worship as the spiritual master of the rasas of Vraja. One should meditate on Lord Caitanya's pastimes and on Lord Krsna's asta-kaliya pastimes. One should not think that one's spiritual master is not a sakhi or a yuthesvari in Vraja. By worshipping in this way one will be able to enter Lord Krsna's pastimes in Vraja."
Among the countless nectarian mentions of Sri Navadvipa found in Vaisnava literature, this passage by Srila Narahari dasa from Bhakti Ratnakara chapter twelve provides more detailed information on the Dhama:
"Srinivasa, Narottama and Ramacandra Kaviraja started for Navadvipa in an ecstatic mood. When they saw Navadvipa in the distance their eyes filled with tears. They prayed to Mahaprabhu for countless eyes with which to see the glory of Navadvipa. They lost control of their own bodies and fell again and again in the madness of ecstatic love. They reverently touched the ground of Navadvipa and glorified the good fortune of Bharat Varsa because the Ganges and the other holy rivers flowed there. Even the Bhagavat itself praises the glory of Bharat Varsa. Sri Visnu Purana states that Sri Navadvipa was like Bharat Varsa. It mentions that there are nine dwipas in Bharat varsa namely in Indra dwipa, Kasoru, Gandhava, Tamiapaina, Gavastavali, Naga dwipa, Saumya, and Varuna. The ninth dwipa was Navama dwipa or Navadvipa which was situated on the bank of the river. It extended Sahasra Yajana from North to South.26-35
The Visnu Purana also uses the word Sagara Samvaita in describing Navadvipa. It means, "Situated on the seashore" and that has been explained by Sridhara Swami. The book did not mention the name of Navama dvipa seperately so it can be understood that the Navama Dvipa was Sri Navadvipa. Also in Visnu Purana is the statement that Nadia was the most glorious dvipa in Bharat varsa.
In Sri Gaura Ganadesha Dipika it is stated; the place which has been regarded by many scholars as Sri Vrndavana, the place which has been called Goloka by the wise men, the place which has been considered Sweta dvipa by gentlemen and the place which has been called the ethereal world by saints may all certainly be called Navadvipa, the most wonderful and glorious place within the vast universe.38
The name Navadvipa in famous in the world because here the nine methods of devotion to Krsna - Sarvana, kirtana, sarmana, padasavana, archana, vandana, dasya, and sakhya as well atma nividna - had all taken form and been practiced. The real identity of Navadvipa was also stated by Sri Prahlada in the seventh chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam. He states that if these nine methods of devotional service can be followed sincerely then the devotee can attain pure love of Krsna and fulfillment of all his desires.39-42
There was no mention of the name Navadvipa in Sakhya, treta, dwapara nor even at the beginning of Kali Yuga. Later in the Kali Yuga the name Navadvipa came into existence. Lord Krsna had originally established a villge named Vrajanava in Vraja for his sports, but in the course of time the village had preished. The name Navadvipa was used during the time of Mahaprabhu and his forefathers to reveal the sport of Sri Krsna Caitanya. Wise and expert scholars have concluded that Sri Navadvipa dham was a most suitable place on which to meditate. It was truly eternal Vrndavana situated on the bank of the Jahnavi. It had been the abode of Pancha Siva and Cakti and devotion was its greatest ornament. Its nine dvipas - antar dvipa, simanta dvipa, godurna dvipa, madhya dvipa, koli dvipa, ritu, janhu, modadruna and rudra dvipa - were both glorious and magnificant. Some experts estimate that the extent of Navadvipa is Pancha Yajana while others say its extent is 16 krosa. The center of Navadvipa is between Mayapur where Prabhu Jagannatha is situated in his temple.43-56
Within the district of Nadia, the beautiful Navadvipa area was so popular that it was impossible to calculate how many people actually lived there.57
In Caitanya Bhagavat it is stated that Sri Navadvipa Puri looked just like a madhupuri in which there were lakhs of people belonging to the same class. Providence had already arranged the decoration of Navadvipa for the pastime of the Lord.58-59
Navadvipa was inhabitated by Brahmans and Vaisnavas, people who were virteous, gentle, noble, broad minded, industrious and learned in all scriptures. They were also many doctors, labourers and traders who lived in Navadvipa. They were all honest, religious and educated. They all looked like demigods and Navadvipa was like Vaikuntha.60-62"
Further details on Sri Navadvipa are provided by Srila Bhaktivinoda in his Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya. In the fourth chapter, Pramana-khanda, we find the following glorificaiton of Navadvipa as spoken by Lord Shiva to Parvati in the Urddhvamnaya Maha-tantra:
"O Devi, the wise know that Navadvipa manifests from the Lord's potency like fruits come from flowers. All the Vedas glorify Navadvipa as nonmaterial, spiritual, full of variety, beyond matter, the supreme eternal Brahmapura, an enchanting abode in the form of a lotus. The nine islands of Navadvipa exactly resemble a lotus flower. O Devi, please listen as I describe the real form of Navadvipa where the Lord as Gaurasundara is eternally situated.
Antardvipa, Simantadvipa, Godruma dvipa, and Madhyadvipa are situated on the east bank of the Ganges. And Koladvipa, Rtudvipa, Jahnudvipa, Modadrumadvipa, and Rudradvipa are situated on the western bank. Flowing in various places of Navadvipa are all auspicious rivers such as the Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Sarasvat River, Narmada, Sindhu, Kaveri, Tamraparni, Payasvini, Krtamala, Bhima, Gomati, and Drsadvati. Navadvipa is always surrounded by these holy rivers.
"O Parvati, [the places of] Naimisaranya present within this eternal Navadvipa-dhama are Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya (Haridvara ), Kasi, Kanci, Avanti (Ujjain), Dvaraka, Kuruksetra, Puskara, and Naimisaranya. The four streams of the Ganges - Bhagirathi, Alakananda, Mandakini, and Bhogavati - enclose the thirty-two mile circumference of Navadvipa. All the holy places in the heavenly, earthly, and lower planets are present in Navadvipa."
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