The Removal of Srila Jiva Gosvami's Doubts
BY: SUN STAFF
Sri Jiva Goswami and Nityananda Prabhu
Nov 23, 2014 CANADA (SUN) Parikrama-khanda, 'Sri Navadvipa Mahatmya' by HDG Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur.
All glories to Lord Gauracandra and Prabhu Nityananda! All glories to Advaita and Gadadhara, who relish ecstatic prema! All glories to the devotees headed by Srivasa! All glories to Navadvipa-dhama! And all glories to nama-sankirtana, the abode of prema.
Nityananda Prabhu was sitting in Srivasa Thakura's courtyard with tears of love for Gauranga streaming from his eyes. From all directions saintly Vaisnavas came, overcome by that inundation of love. At that time, Jiva Gosvami appeared there intoxicated with love for Radha and Krsna. Offering dandavats to Nityananda's lotus feet, Jiva rolled in the dust of that place.
Nityananda Prabhu affectionately asked him. "After how many days will you go to Vrndavana?"
Jiva answered, "The Lord's order is supreme. Accepting that order, I must indeed go to Vrndavana. But I have a few questions to ask. O Lord, for the benefit of Your servant, please answer. You say that Navadvipa and Vrndavana are non-different. If that is so, why should one make the effort to go to Vrndavana at all?'"
After hearing Jiva's question, Nityananda Prabhu answered, "This is a deep topic, so listen carefully. But as long as the Lord's pastimes are manifest, see that the materialists do not know of this.
"Navadvipa and Vrndavana are one principle, one is neither less than nor greater than the other. Vrndavana is the receptacle of rasa, the goal of the living entities, but one who is not qualified cannot receive that nectar. Therefore, that same dhama has mercifully become Navadvipa, where the living entities can attain qualification for that nectar. In other words, Radha and Krsna's pastimes are the highest of all transcendental mellows, therefore one has no immediate right to them.
"After many lifetimes of austerity one reaches the stage of knowledge. When that knowledge matures, one inquires about this rasa. But there are always many obstacles, so to obtain the great treasure of this nectar is very rare indeed. Therefore, anyone and everyone who goes to Vrndavana does not get that rasa. Rather, because of offenses, that sweet nectar turns sour.
"In this terrible age of Kali, offenses are continuous, the body is short-lived, and there are many troubles, so even if one wants the Vrndavana rasa, it is not attainable. Therefore, the only method of getting that rasa is by the mercy of Krsna.
"Radha and Krsna have given that mercy to the living entities by manifesting Vrndavana in the form of Navadvipa and by incarnating in the womb of Saci in a combined form as Gaurahari. In that form, They have given the process to qualify for vraja-rasa. Even the initial presence of offenses does not bar one from quickly attaining the goal of prema.
"If one lives in Navadvipa and takes shelter of the holy name, his offences will be destroyed and the qualification for the rasa will appear. Love of Krsna will soon shine within his heart and topics of' Radha and Krsna will prevail. In this way, by achieving Gauranga's mercy, the living entity attains Vrndavana, the holy abode of Radha and Krsna's nectarean pastimes.
"As this in a confidential topic, do not discuss it openly. Actually, there is absolutely no difference between Navadvipa and Vrndavana. Now you are qualified to take shelter of the place where Radha and Krsna's rasa is fully manifested, so you should go to Vrndavana. In the strict sense, there is no need to go to Vraja-dhama, for upon attaining qualification that Vraja-dhama appears here in Navadvipa. Still you should go to Vraja, for that is the Lord's order. For living entities it is always proper to first take shelter of Navadvipa to obtain the qualification for relishing the rasa of Vraja. Then one may live in Vrndavana, the place for actually acquiring that rasa, and there he will enjoy those transcendental mellows. When you get the mercy of Navadvipa, you will easily attain Vrndavana."
Hearing Nityananda Prabhu's conclusions, Jiva caught His lotus feet in ecstatic bliss and said, "I have one more question. Please listen. Many people live in Navadvipa, but why they are still unable to attain krsna-bhakti?" As they are staying in this dhama, how do offenses remain in them? This has been disturbing me. O Lord, You are the abode of the universe, yet You remain eternally free from material contamination. Please tell me how the devotees will be freed from this doubt?"
Desiring the shade of the lotus feet of Nitai and Jahnava, this low and worthless Bhaktivinoda speaks these topics.
The Removal of Srila Jiva Gosvami's Doubts
and His Journey to Vrndavana
All glories to Sri Gauranga, the son of Saci! All glories to Nityananda, the son of Padmavati and life of Jahnava! All glories to Advaita Prabhu, the husband of Sita! All glories to Gadadhara! And all glories to the devotees headed by Srivasa!
After hearing Sri Jiva's question, Nityananda Raya spoke this profound truth amongst the assembled devotees, "Listen Jiva. Both Vrndavana and Navadvipa are the shelter of countless blissful devotees. Purified living entities who have crossed over the material nature live here as Krsna's associates. This dhama is an eternally pure spiritual abode, where material nature and time are conquered. In this abode, the land and time are eternally full of bliss and completely opposite to the material world. You should know that the houses, doors, rivers, streams, forests, and courtyards are all completely spiritual and intensely attractive.
"That blissful place, transcendental to material nature, rests on Krsna's inconceivable and supremely magnanimous sandhini energy. By that energy the dhama has descended here in Nadia, for Krsna's real desire is to deliver the living entities. Materialistic persons cannot enter the dhama. nor is there any material influence here. Maya has eternally covered the dhama with a film of dull matter. People who have no relationship with Krsna Caitanya simply live on top of that covering, blind to the real truth. Though one is thinking, 'I am in Navadvipa.' Praudha Maya happily keeps that person far away from the dhama. But if by some great fortune one receives the association of a devotee, that relationship, or sambandha, with Sri Caitanya will be established.
"This topic of samhandha is a deep thing, O son of Vallabha, a treasure that the conditioned souls cannot easily understand. Even if one calls out the name of Sri Krsna Caitanya with seeming affection, if that relationship is not established in his heart, he simply remains in the material realm. Such a person resides on top of the dhama's illusory covering and never attains pure bhakti. That person is the dharmadhvaji, or hypocritically devout, who is especially duplicitous, who has no humility and is full of pride, yet still thinks he is fully qualified.
"By the devotees' mercy, even such a person can give up his pride and perform devotional activities. One should think himself lower than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree. He should not desire respect for himself but should expertly offer respect to others. When one possesses these four qualities and sings the glories of Lord Krsna, his relationship with Sri Caitanya manifests within his heart.
"Now, with Krsna there are five relationships: santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. By first worshipping Gauranga in the mood of santa and dasya, the devotee attains Krsna's service in the other rasas. According to his relationship with the Lord, the devotee's eternally perfect mood spontaneously manifests in the course of his devotional service.
"Whoever makes a distinction between Gauranga and Krsna is contemptible and will never attain a relationship with Krsna. But, in the association of devotees, one who possesses the qualities beginning with humility will first worship Gauranga in dasya, or servitude, relationship. This dasya-rasa is the highest mood in the worship of Gauranga. It is in that mood that the devotees call Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
"One who is qualified in madhurya-rasa worships Gauranga in the form of Radha and Krsna. As Radha and Krsna have combined in one form as My Gauranga Raya, Their pastimes do not appear to be manifest in His form. When the worship of Gauranga in dasya-rasa reaches full maturity in the heart of the living entity, madhurya-rasa naturally develops in his heart. At that time one's worship of Gaurahari qualifies him to worship Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana. Gauranga then drowns the devotee in the nectar of Radha and Krsna's eternal pastimes, which the devotee enters as he attains Vrndavana.
"The materialist, who is blind to spiritual life, cannot see the deep relationship between Navadvipa and Vraja, which are simultaneously one and different. Know for certain that this same relationship exists between Gaura and Krsna, who are also simultaneously one and different. Gauranga, however, is worshipped in madhurya-rasa in the form of Radha and Krsna. O son of Vallabha, very soon, Rupa and Sanatana will teach you all these truths. Now the Lord Himself has given to you the right to enter Vrndavana. Jiva, do not delay any longer in going there!"
Saying this, the all-merciful Nityananda Prabhu put His feet upon Jiva's head and invested him with spiritual power. In ecstatic love of God, Jiva Gosvami remained unconscious for some time at Nityananda Prabhu's feet. He then began to roll on the ground there, in Srivasa's courtyard, as ecstatic symptoms of love manifested in his body. Crying, he said, "How unfortunate I am that I did not see the Lord's pastimes in Navadvipa with my own eyes. Gaurahari performed His pastimes to free the souls bound in the material world, but I did not see those activities, so my days simply pass uselessly."
Hearing that Sri Jiva was going to Vrndavana, many devotees came to Srivasa's courtyard. The senior Vaisnavas gave Jiva their blessings, and the junior Vaisnavas begged for his mercy. Folding his hands, Sri Jiva said to all of them, "Please excuse all of my offenses. You are Sri Caitanya's servants, the gurus of the world. O desire trees, be merciful on this insignificant living entity. Let the attraction of my mind reside in Lord Caitanya. And let Nityananda Prabhu be my goal birth after birth! Without understanding I have given up my home as a mere child, but you are my friends, taking care of my life. Without the mercy of the Vaisnavas one cannot attain Krsna. Therefore, brothers, give me the dust from your feet."
Having said this, he glorified and bowed down to each one of the Vaisnavas and then, with the consent of Nityananda Prabhu, he went to Jagannath Misra's house. At the feet of mother Saci, his mind agitated by spiritual emotions, he received the order to go to Vrndavana. Giving him the dust from her lotus feet and all blessings, she bid him well on his journey.
Jiva wept as he crossed the Ganges. Calling out the name of Gauranga as he went, he knew the Lord's order was supreme. After some time, he crossed the boundary of Navadvipa. As he left the dhama, he offered his dandavats and headed for Vrndavana. At that moment, Vraja-dhama, the Yamuna, and his uncles, Rupa and Sanatana, awoke in his heart.
One night along the way, Gauranga appeared to him in a dream and said, "Go to Mathura. You and your uncles, Rupa and Sanatana, are all very dear to Me. Together you should manifest the scriptures of devotional service. Dedicate your life to the service of My form as Radha and Krsna, and always see Their pastimes in Vraja."
Awaking from his dream, Jiva was in great bliss and rushed quickly to Vrndavana. The service that Jiva Gosvami did there is impossible to describe. Later, one fortunate person will describe his activities, and the devotees will hear that in great bliss. The worthless, unfit Bhaktivinoda has made this description of traveling in the dhama.
I make one request at the feet of the Vaisnavas. Let my relationship with Gaura be sealed. Along with that relationship, let me reside in Navadvipa for a long time. This is my wish. I am a worm in the hole of materialism, extremely evil in conduct, devoid of devotion, filled with lust, and insane with anger. How else can such an evil person as I, the servant of maya, attain a relationship with Gauranga?
O Navadvipa-dhama, show favor on me and appear in my heart, so that I may be delivered. O Praudha Maya, protecting goddess, please be genuinely merciful, for you are the only hope to cross over the obstacles due to ignorance. Vrddha Siva, Protector of the dhama, be compassionate on me, let the transcendental dhama be revealed to my eyes.
O residents of Navadvipa and devotees of Gauranga, put your feet upon my head, rascal that I am. Everyone, please hear this prayer of mine, so that I will quickly attain the feet of Sri Caitanya.
Though I am very low, taking the order of Sri Nityananda and Jahnava, I have herein described Navadvipa-dhama. It is a fact that this book is filled with the names: Gauranga, Nityananda, and Navadvipa. On that basis this book is a supreme deliverer, and I cannot be held guilty, though there be many faults in the writing. By reading this book, Gauranga's devotees always earn the fruits of performing parikrama. And if one reads this book while doing parikrama, the fruits increase a hundredfold. That is the verdict of the scriptures.
Aspiring for the shade of the lotus feet of Sri Nitai and Jahnava, this low and worthless Bhaktivinoda has thus sung this glorification of Nadia.
Translated by H.H. Banu Swami Maharaja and originally published by Sriman Pundarika Vidyanidhi Prabhu.
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