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Sri Navadvipa Dham
All glories to Lord Caitania. The moon of Navadvipa & son of mother Saci! All glories to Nityananda Raya, the avadhuta! All glories to Sri Advaita Prabhu, the Supreme Lord! All glories to Sri Gadadhara & Srivasa Pandita! All glories to Navadvipa-dahama, the essence of all dhamas! And all glories to the residents of Navadvipa, the associates of Gouranga!
He who lives in Navadvipa – dhama is very fortunate, for he achieves attraction for Krishna. He who happens to go there becomes freed from all offenses. What one attains by traveling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering navadvipa. In this way the scriptures sing. He who sees navadvipa-dhama gets ecstatic love of Krishna birth after birth. Even one who goes to Navadvipa desiring to gain material comforts through pious activities will not take another birth. The sastras say that one who walks around Navadvipa attains the fruit of millions of asvamedha yajyas at every step. And one who lives in Navadvipa and chants mantras obtains the sound of Caitania as his mantra and easily gets free from maya. What yogis obtain after the years at other tirthas is obtained in three nights at Navadvipa.
Navadvipa-dhama within Gausa-mandala is served by the Ganges and situated in eternal splendor. This Gausa-mandala is one hundred sixty- eight miles in circumference, with the Ganges running through the center. Gausa-mandala takes the form of hundred – petaled lotus with the most beautiful Navadvipa in the center. The circumference of the central stamen of the flower, or Navadvipa, is thirty two miles. Outside this are the hundred petals of Gausa-mandala, whose circumference measures one hundred sixty eight miles. According to the scriptures, the diameter of Gausa – mandala is 56 miles and the radius is 28 miles. The center point, situated within Navadvipa, is the Yogapitha, the sacred spiritual abode where the Lord advented.
The whole of Gausa-mandala is cintamani, or touchstone, yielding all desires. The dhama is full of knowledge and bliss and is completely spiritual. The water, the land the tress-everything in the dhama is spiritual, unlike the dull matter of this material world. Always present in the dhama are Krishna’s 3 spiritual energies – sandhini, samvit and hladini. Krishna’s original energy, svarupa sakti, manifests in these three divisons. Of these, the sandhini energy, which supports all existence, finds its perfect function in manifesting the eternal dhama. In that position, the dhama acts eternally as the base or support for the the Lord’s appearance and activities. All this is the action of the inconceivable energy of the Lord, which is anti-material and completely transcendental. transcendental.
Ballal Dighi or Prithu Kunda
Directions: Prithu Kunda used to be in the fields on the right side of Bhaktisiddhanta Marga just before Caitanya Matha. It is no longer manifest.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has described Prithu Kunda in the Parikrama Khanda of Sri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya as follows:
"Towards the east of Ganganagara, where the houses of Gangadasa and Sanjaya are located, is a very beautiful lake, although it is now known as Ballal Dighi, it was variously described in Satya-yuga. At that time, Pirthu Maharaja was leveling the rough places of the earth by cutting down the hills. As he began leveling this area, great effulgence came forth. When the workers told this to Prithu Maharaja, he came to see the phenomenon. As he was a Saktyavesa Avatara, an empowered incarnation, by meditation he understood that this place was Navadvipa. He kept the glories of this place secret at that time and ordered that a kunda be established there. This kunda thus became celebrated as Prithu-kunda throughout Navadvipa Dhama. The villagers felt indescribable bliss on drinking the pure water of this kunda.
Later, King Laksmana Sena dug out the kunda and made it bigger and deeper. Desiring to deliver his forefathers, he named it Ballal-dighi [after his father, Ballal Sena]. Dighi means a big pond or lake.
Kolavecha Sridhara Angana
According to Caitanya Charitamrita Sridhara Swami was twenty ninth branches; He was a very dear servant of the Lord. On many occasions, the Lord played jokes on him.
Sridhara was a poor brahmana who made a living by selling banana-tree bark to be made into cups. Most probably he had a banana-tree garden and collected the leaves, skin and pulp of the banana trees to sell daily in the market. He spent fifty percent of his income to worship the Ganges, and the balance he used for his subsistence. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started His civil disobedience movement in defiance of the Kazi, Sridhara danced in jubilation. The Lord used to drink water from his water jug. Sridhara presented a squash to Sachidevi to cook before Lord Caitanya took sannyasa. Every year he went to see Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Jagannatha Puri. According to Kavi karnapura, Sridhara was a cowherd boy of Vrindavana whose name was Kusumasava. In his Gaura Ganoddesa Dipika, verse 133, it is stated:
panditah sridharo dvijah
asid vraje hasya-karo
yo namna kusumasavah
yo namna kusumasavah
"The cowherd boy known as Kusumasava in Krishna-lila later became Kholaveca Sridhara during Caitanya Mahaprabhu's lila at Navadvipa."
Every day Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu jokingly snatched fruits, flowers and pulp from Sridhara and drank from his broken iron pot. Even though Nimai harassed Sridhara, Sridhara liked Nimai's mischief. But He always would pray that Nimai always do pastimes with him.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura mentions in his Navadvipa Bhava Taranga: "In the center of Madhuvana is the place called Visrama-sthala. There stands the cottage of the Lord's devotee named Sridhara and also a clear pond. After rectifying the Kazi, the Lord of the three worlds came here with His followers and rested. Sri Nityananda Prabhu also came here with Jiva Goswami during His Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama and served by Kolavecha Sridhara.
Practical guide to Kolavecha Sridhara Angana
Darsana Time: All the time
Directions: Enter the mango grove at the back of Sri Jagannatha temple in Rajapur using the small gate at the rear of the temple. Ahead of you on the right side you will see a small building situated amongst a cluster of trees. This is the place.
Point of interest:
1. The building indicates the location of Sridhara's house. This is constructed by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura. This area is not different from Madhuvana forest of Vrindavana where Krishna and Balarama had many pastimes with their sakhas, cowherd boyfriends. One of these sakhas was Kusumasava Gopala sakha who appeared as Sridhara in Caitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes.
2. Sasthi Tirtha kunda: On the right side of the building you will see a field that is dug out and surrounded by raised edges. This was a Kunda in Lord Caitanya's time. Young Nimai used to play here and also steal bananas from Sridhara's nearby banana patch.
3. Resting place: This place is also known as visrama Sthala (resting place) as Lord Caitanya would take rest here after performing kirtana.
Isodyana (Nandana Acharya’s House)
Nandana Acharya is an associate of Lord Caitanya in His Navadvipa pastimes. His house is where Nityananda and Caitanya met for the first time. Advaita Acharya and his wife Sita Devi also came here to hide when Advaita Prabhu issued a challenge to Caitanya Mahaprabhu to test His claim that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Gauranga Mahaprabhu also hid here for one night, creating intense feelings of separation in His associates.
This island represents the devotional process of Sravanam, Hearing the Lord’s pastimes:
“The Chanting of the name in the association of the pure devotee is identical with the performance of the amorous service of the Gopis. The amorous service relishable as the transcendental word to the spiritual ear of the soul. There is no way of having such access to the Gopis’ love as long as Krishna does not relieve us from our perverse conditioning. We will understand the actual meaning of the Gopis’ love
for Radha and Krishna by hearing about the pastime of Sri Krishna Caitanya from realized souls.”
This island Simantadvipa was also known as Simuliya-grama and is located south of the Ganga. When Sri Nityananda Prabhu took Sri Jiva on Parikrama, He mentioned that this island would be taken over by the Ganga. Only one place would be visible where materialistic people would worship Parvati known as Simantini.
Places to visit on this island are the Simantini-mandira, Chand Kazi's samadhi, Sri Jagannatha temple, Mayamari and the Madana Gopala temple.
Why is this island named as Simantadvipa?
It is described in Sri Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya, Once upon a time during Satya-yuga, Lord Shiva started to dance chanting the holy name of Lord Gauranga. Goddess Parvati asked Mahadeva, "What is this name, Gauranga, that you are chanting and which is causing you to dance? My heart is melting to see your wonderful dance and to hear you’re chanting of the name of Gauranga. Until now all the mantras and tantras I have heard simply give troubles and problems to the living entities. Kindly tell me about Gauranga. I will make my life successful by worshiping Gauranga.” By seeing her Spiritual ecstasy lord Shiva described how the lord would appear in Kali Yuga as Lord Caitanya accepting the mood of Srimati Radharani. He will take birth in Mayapur from the womb of Sachi Devi. Lord Caitanya will spread
the Nama Sankirtana and will distributed the Krishna Prema Without considering any qualification. He said “I am floating in the ocean of love remembering the promise of my Lord. I could not control my mind and have left my place called Kashi dhama (Varanasi). I have decided to stay near the border of Mayapur on the bank of the Ganga. There I will stay in a cottage while engaging in Gauranga Bhajana."
After hearing this from Mahadeva, Parvati immediately came to Simantadvipa. She started to chant the holy name of Gaura with great love, meditating on Sri Gauranga. After a few days, Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu mercifully appeared in front of Parvati Devi along with all His associates. His body was tall and the color of molten gold. His head was covered with gently curling locks hair and his limbs were very attractive and with radiant smiling face Lord Gauranga asked, "My dear Parvati! Please tell Me why you have come here?" Parvati fell at the feet the Lord Gauranga and Said “You have engaged me to keep all living entities who are averse to You in the bondage of material existence. I am engaged in that service and deprived of Your unlimited Prema. People say, wherever there is Krishna, Maya cannot stay. As a result I am always distant from You. 0 my Lord, how can I see Your pastimes? Unless You show me the path, I am hopeless."
Saying this, Parvati Devi took the dust from the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga and very eagerly placed it on her head in the Simanta (the middle portion of the hair just above the forehead of ladies is known as Sinthi or Simanta).
Gaurasundara was very pleased with Parvati and told her how as Yogamaya, she was non-different from Him and essential for His pastimes in the material realm. "In Vrindavana you are personally present as Paurnamasi, and in Navadvipa you are present as Praudha Maya along with Ksetrapala Shiva, the guardian of the dhama."
This pastime took place at the Simanti Devi temple located on this island. Parvati stays here as the goddess of Simantadvipa and also stays in Mayapur as Praudha Maya. Sri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya describes that during the time of Lord Caitanya, this place was located on the south bank of the Ganga and that it was the only place not affected when Navadvipa was flooded for 100 years soon after Lord Caitanya ended His manifest pastimes.
Godess Parvati is worshiped as Simantini-devi. The exact location of mandira in Simuliya village is not known, but the Vaisnavas accept one place that they call Simantini Mandira. When you walk from Belpukur along the dirt road which joins the Mayapur road from Chowgacha to Hulor Ghat, you will come across a village called Sonadanga. In this village there is a small Shiva temple. All Parikrama parties stop here to discuss Simantini Devi. Although this is believed to be the place of Simantini, there is no temple or deity of her here.
Chand Kazi’s Samadhi
It is described in Navadvipa Sri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya (By Bhaktivinoda Thakura), when Nityananda Prabhu with Jiva Goswami entered to Chand Kazi’s Village. He said, "O Jiva, hear My words. The Chand Kazi's village is none other than Mathura. After performing kirtana, Gauranga gave love of God to the Kazi and liberated him. Mathura's King Kamsa of krishna-lila became Chand Kazi in Gaura-lila. For that reason Gauranga addressed the Kazi as His maternal uncle, and out of fear the Kazi took shelter of Gauranga's lotus feet. "Under orders from Hussain Shah, who was the king of the Bengal Empire and Jarasandha in Krishna-lila the Kazi caused disturbance during kirtana performance by breaking the mrdangas. The Lord, appearing in the form of Nrsimha put fear in the Kazi's heart. Like Kamsa, the Kazi cowered in fear. Sri Caitanya, however, gave him prema and thus made the Kazi a great devotee. The very fortunate hear this story of the Kazi's liberation.
"Just see the difference between Vraja-tattva and Navadvipa-tattva. Those who offend Krishna are liberated by merging into the Lord's effulgence, whereas in Navadvipa the offenders receive the treasure of love of God. Therefore, Lord Gauranga's pastimes are considered the highest. Gauranga's abode, name, form, and qualities do not consider offense; rather, they expertly deliver one from any offense. If the devotee has some offense in his heart, then Krishna's name and abode will deliver him only after a long time. But Gauranga's name and abode immediately bestow prema on the devotee, for offenses create no obstacle and are easily overcome. O Jiva, see the Kazi's samadhi. By seeing this samadhi the living entities' old age and disease are vanquished."
Practical Guide to Chand Kazi’s Samadhi
Darsana Times: Daytime
Directions: It is one kilometer north of the Yoga Pitha, and three and a half kilometers north of ISKCON. The samadhi is on the left side of the road, in the middle of the first village after the Yoga-Pitha, called Bamanpukur bazaar (market). From the road you will see a small archway in-between some shops and a large tree in the background.
Point of Interest: The stone samadhi of Chand Kazi has two trees growing out of it. The champaka tree is said to represent Chand Kazi (who was also known as Champa). It is over 500 years old and therefore witnessed the events of Chand Kazi's pastimes with the Lord. Even though the trunk of this tree is hollow, it is still in full bloom and gives champaka flowers all year round, even when it is not flowering season. The neem tree around the champaka tree is said to represent Lord NImai (Caitanya ) who is in ecstasy embracing the great devotee Chand Kazi. This area is the village of Chand Kazi, which is none other than Mathura of Vrindavana. Just by seeing this samadhi, one is released from old age and death.' Being Mathura, this place is more auspicious than Vaikuntha and by residing here for one day, a person will develop devotional service to the Lord.'
Jagannatha Mandir in Navadvipa Dhama
This area was the capital of the Sura dynasty a very long time ago. Sri Navadvipa-dhama Mahatmya describes how the Lord left Puri and came here after killing the Raktabahu demon. It is also states that this area is non-different from Jagannatha Puri as Lord Jagannatha is eternally resident here. Thus the same benefits of going to Jagannatha Puri are gained by visiting this place. Lord Jagannatha stays here with His sabara servants (tribal people below the Varnasrama system.)
The appearance of Deities in this place
Jagadish Ganguli (dasa) lived in a small village near Mayapur. He was a devotee of Lord Caitanya and would go to Puri every year with all the Mayapur devotees to see Lord Caitanya and Lord Jagannatha. He became completely heartbroken when one year the devotees went to Puri without him. He was getting too old to make the trip and had also become blind after an illness. To console Jagadish, Lord Jagannatha appeared to him in a dream and instructed him that the next morning when he took bath in the Ganga, a log would touch him and restore his vision. He was to take that log to a certain devotee-carpenter and have a deity of Jagannatha carved. Lord Jagannatha also told Jagadish that this carpenter would refuse to do the work because his hands were deformed due to leprosy, but that Jagadish was to insist because by doing the carving his leprosy would be cured. As predicted, the carpenter was very reluctant. His fingers had all but withered away and he was in great pain. Jagadish dasa finally persuaded him by revealing how Jagannatha had promised his leprosy would be cured as he made the Deity. At first the carpenter could barely hold his tools as the stumps that were once his fingers kept bleeding and it caused him a lot of suffering. But Jagadisha encouraged him and enabled him to forget his agony long enough to finish the deity of Lord Jagannatha. The very moment he finished, his leprosy disappeared. Jagadisha took the deity to a site near the present Jagannatha temple and established His worship there.
Some day later Jagannatha again comes in Jagadisha dream and instructed him to make Deities of Subhadra and Baladeva from same carpenter.
Jagannatha mercy on ISKCON
After Jagadish dasa left this world, the worship of these Deities was gradually neglected and Their temple fell into ruin. Then, around sixty years ago, a villager noticed a blue flower growing out of a huge termite hill. Coming closer to the hill, he became astonished upon hearing a voice saying, "Please help Me. Please get Me some water. I am very thirsty." The villager quickly dug into the termite hill and discovered the beautiful deities of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra. Even though Their forms were made of wood and They had been under a termite hill for so many years, Their divine wooden forms were unharmed. After this, Their temple and worship were again established. Unfortunately the worship was not maintained, diminishing year by year, until 1978 when Lord Jaganatha's aged Brahmana Pujari requested ISKCON to take over the temple and worship of the Deities. He donated the temple and property to ISKCON on Gaura Purnima Day. These Historical Deity form of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra have been here at least 500 Year.
Practical Guide to Sri Jagannatha Temple
Darsan Times: 7.30am to 1 pm and 4pm to 8pm.
Directions: Continue up Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Marga from Chand Kazi's samadhi. Around the first corner and up a short distance, you will see a signboard for the Jagannatha temple on the left side of the road. Take the road opposite this signboard and proceed until you see a beautiful lion gate on your right side (around 15 minutes walking). From ISKCON it is approximately four kilometers and takes about 40 minutes by rickshaw.
Presiding Deities: The beautiful Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama and Lady Subhadra and Sudarshana Chakra.
Points of Interest:
1. Diorama display: This is on the left side between the main gate and the temple. It depicts the pastime of Lord Jagannatha's appearance in this Deity form. This pastime is described below.
2. Old temple: The far right end of the property is where the original temple used to be. Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra stay here for two week 'convalescence' after Their snana-yatra pastime.
3. Kalpavriksa tree: Next to the old temple is a kalpavrksa (wish-fulfilling) tree. The local people have worshiped Lord Siva and Parvati here for as long as can be remembered. It is said that Lord Siva and Parvati came here to perform austerities and' are still present. Many people have had their desires fulfilled by praying here and leaving a stone hanging on the tree. Vaisnavas can pray to Shiva and Parvati for Krishna Prema.
4. Shiva Linga: Lord Shiva is under this tree in the form of a large Linga known as Ksetrapala. One day, when ISKCON first took over the temple, the pujari was making an offering to Lord Jagannatha. He pushed aside this stone with his leg thinking it was an ordinary stone. Immediately after doing that he developed a heavy headache and began vomiting. He cycled back to ISKCON but was so sick and weak he collapsed and fell off the bike a number of times. At ISKCON he was advised to return, worship the lingaraja, and beg forgiveness for his offense. He did that and was immediately cured.
It is quite cool in this area and one day in the summer of 1994, a pujari came here to get relief from the midday heat. While resting he had a dream in which he saw a male figure with a lot of hair, just like Lord Siva. This person asked the pujari for something to drink saying, "I am very dry and thirsty. You should at least give me some milk to drink." The pujari woke up and saw that the sila was indeed very parched and dry. Since then the devotees offer this Shiva Linga milk, tilaka, and bael leaves every day.
Directions: This is in the area of the fields on the front right side of Sridhara's place near the Sarasvati River. There is nothing specific to mark this place.
This place is non-different from the Talavana forest of Vrindavana where Balarama killed the ass demon, Dhenukasura. In Dvapara-yuga, Lord Balarama went on pilgrimage to avoid the battle of Kuruksetra between the Pandava and Kuru dynasties. When he came to Navadvipa, some Brahmanas requested his help with the Mayasura demon who was giving them great anxiety by repeatedly contaminating their sacrificial arenas. Lord Balarama had a great fight with him in the middle of a field. Finally the demon was killed by Lord Balarama and therefore this place has been known as Mayamari since then. Mari means killing. He then bathed in the Sarasvati River and received the blessings of the brahmanas before continuing on his pilgrimage.
Directions: One of these kundas is in Chand Kazi’s village and another is here on the side of Sridhara’s place.
It is described in Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya (By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura), in the afternoon; Srivasa took Jiva to see Sasthi-tirtha. Srivasa said, "Listen, Jiva. Previously, when the demigods heard that Mahaprabhu would descend at Navadvipa, Visvakarma came to Nadia town. He saw that it would be hard to get water on the roads where the Lord would do kirtana in the future. In one night he dug out sixty (Sasthi) wide ponds, the last at the Kazi's village. See one of those ponds near Sridhara's beautiful banana patch. Mahaprabhu would sometimes play in the water here and then take Sridhara's bananas. Even now Sridhara takes his banana flowers and banana stem vegetables to Sachi with great happiness.
Directions: Turn right after you enter the courtyard for Simanti Devi temple and take the first road on the left. Going ahead, at the end of the village, you will see some fields. This is the area and it is called Sonadanga. You can continue down this road to go to Belpukura.
Lord Caitanya was once performing kirtana near this village when some storm clouds came overhead. Seeing the concern of the devotees, Lord Caitanya raised His hands and played His karatalas while looking at these clouds. The clouds, understanding the will of the Lord, immediately dispersed.
Hare Krishna mataji ! Thanks for sharing..!
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