The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Simantadvipa


Shiva and Parvati worshipping Gauranga

Jul 09, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 142.

For those whose live's religious Principle has been to worship the lotus feet of Radha-Krsna.

For those who are totally renounced and always serve the dust of the lotus feet of the devotees.

For those who only taste the nectar of Love for Radha-Krsna within their heart, but still find the merciful glance of Srimati Radhika far away.

For them the merciful glance of Srimati Radhika is at once attained in Simanta dvipa.

(Navadvipa-Sataka 14)

In Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Srila Bhaktivinoda describes the rules for taking parikrama around Navadvipa-dhama, including the timing of visiting Sri Simantadvipa:

    "That person who once visits Mayapur is easily freed from the bondage of maya. One who walks throughout Mayapur is freed from the influence of maya and the repetition of birth. 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. Having walked around Koladvipa at leisure, then take darsana of Ritudvipa. After seeing the most beautiful Jahnudvipa, go see Modadrumadvipa and then Rudradvipa. Then again cross the Ganges, and walk back to Mayapur. There, respectfully enter the temple of Jagannatha Misra and Sacidevi and take darsana of the Lord. This is the procedure of parikrama for all times. One who follows this practice will obtain unlimited happiness."

In the fourth chapter of Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Pramana-khanda, the position of Simantadvaipa is also stated in this glorification of Navadvipa, 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."

In chapter six of Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Parikrama-khanda, we find a detailed description of Simantadvipa and Parvati Devi's worship of Lord Gauranga there. Parvati is thus the goddess of Simantadvipa.

    "Saying this, Nityananda Prabhu roared loudly and went on to nearby Simuliya. He then described that place to Jiva, "Know this to be Simantadvipa. Saints know Simantadvipa to be on the border of Navadvipa on the south bank of the Ganges. In time, the Ganges will devour all but one sacred portion, named Simuliya, where materialistic people will worship Parvati. Listen to the story.

    "One time during Satya-yuga, Lord Siva began madly dancing, while chanting the name of Gauranga. Parvati asked him, `Please tell me who is Gauranga. By seeing your astonishing dance and hearing the name of Gauranga, my heart is melting. All that I have heard in the way of mantra and tantra till now only leads to more entanglement for the living entities. Dear husband, please tell me something of this Gauranga. By worshiping Him will I receive actual life?'

    Hearing Parvati's words, Siva meditated on Gauranga and said, `Unto you, who are the primordial energy, one portion of Sri Radha, I will tell the crest-jewel of all truths. Accepting the spiritual emotions of Sri Radha, Krishna will descend in this Kali-yuga at Mayapur in the womb of Saci. Lord Gauranga, intoxicated with pastimes of kirtana, will distribute the jewel of prema to everyone without discrimination. Whoever does not drown in that flood of prema is most unfortunate. O Devi, just by remembering the Lord's promise that He will come, I pass my life drowning in love of God. Being unable to control myself, I have given up my own city of Kasi. Within Mayapur, on the bank of the Ganges, I will live in a hut and worship Gauranga.'

    Hearing Siva's words, beautiful Parvati quickly went to Simantadvipa. As she constantly meditated on the form of Gauranga and chanted His name, she became immersed in prema. After some time, Gauracandra appeared with His associates to bestow mercy on Parvati. His complexion was like molten gold. He had long arms, wavy hair, and beautiful limbs. He was wearing a long dhoti folded thrice, and from His neck swung a garland of flowers, which was very attractive to behold. In a voice choked with love, Gaura Raya said, `O Parvati, why have you come here?'

    Parvati fell at the lotus feet of the master of the universe and with an agitated mind explained her sorrow: `O Prabhu Jagannatha, life of the universe, though You are merciful to all, You have deceived me. O deliverer of the fallen, You have appointed me to bind up all the living entities in the material world who are averse to You. I have come into the material world to do this work, and have thus been cheated of Your unlimited prema. People say that wherever Krishna is there is no Maya. I am therefore forced to always remain outside Your spiritual realm, in the material world. So how will I ever see Your pastimes? If You do not offer a way, I am without hope.'

    Saying this, Parvati put Gauranga's foot dust on her simanta (part in the hair) in great distress. From that, the name of Simantadvipa came. Ignorant people call the place Simuliya.

    Gauracandra was pleased, and He said to Parvati, `O supreme goddess, listen carefully to My words. You are My energy, you are not separate or different from Me. My one energy has two forms. Within the spiritual kingdom, My original energy has one form as Sri Radha, but for carrying out activities in the material world She has expanded Herself as you. Without you, My lila could not be accomplished, for in the form of Yogamaya, you are necessary in My pastimes. In Vraja, you are eternally present as Paurnamasi, and in Navadvipa you are present as Praudha Maya along with Kshetrapala Siva, guardian of the dhama.'

    Saying this, Gauranga disappeared, and Parvati became overwhelmed with love. Parvati stays in one form as the goddess of Simantadvipa, and in another form as Praudha Maya in Mayapur."

In Simantadvipa there is a temple that is thousands of years old, in which resides a Deity of Parvati. And in 2010, a project was announced for the building of a temple for Srimati Simantini Devi in Mayapur. Now completed, the deity image in our last segment on Simantadvipa was of Simantini Devi in her new abode.


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