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Measurement and Form of the Dhama
All glories to Lord Chaitanya, the moon of Navadvipa and son of mother Shaci! All glories to Nityananda Raya, the avadhuta! All glories to Navadvipa-dhama, the essence of all spiritual abodes! Who has the ability to describe the truth of Navadvipa?
Navadvipa-dhama within Gausha-mandala is served by the Ganges and situated in eternal splendor. This Gausha-mandala is one hundred sixty-eight miles in circumference, with the Ganges running through the center. Gausha-mandala takes the form of a hundred-petaled lotus with the most beautiful Navadvipa in the center. The circumference of the central stamen of the flower, or Antardvipa, is ten miles, and the circumference of the eight-petaled flower, or Navadvipa, is thirty-two miles. Outside this are the hundred petals of Gausha-mandala, whose circumference measures one hundred sixty-eight miles. According to the scriptures, the diameter of Gausha-mandala is fifty-six miles and the radius is twenty-eight miles. The center point, situated within Navadvipa, is the Yogapitha, the sacred spiritual abode where the Lord advented.
The whole of Gausha-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 trees–everything in the dhama is spiritual, unlike the dull matter of this material world. Always present in the dhama are Krishna's three spiritual energies–sandhini, samvit, and hladini. Krishna's original energy, svarupa-shakti, manifests in these three divisions. 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 Lord's appearance and activities. All this is the action of the inconceivable energy of the Lord, which is anti-material and completely transcendental.
One who sees only the activities of material nature in the dhama is a conditioned soul under the influence of ignorance and illusion. When a person's vision is covered by a cloud, he may think that the sun is covered, but actually the sun can never be covered by a cloud. In the same way, only persons whose vision is covered by the cloud of illusion see the transcendental form of Gausha-mandala as a transformation of the material energy.*
Whoever gets the mercy of Lord Nityananda, the master of the sandhini potency, can see that blissful dhama as fully spiritual. The holy rivers such as the Ganges and Yamuna as well as the seven holy cities headed by Prayaga are all situated in various places within Navadvipa-dhama. One who is fortunate can see that this pure realm, Gausha-mandala, is directly the spiritual world.
Following the order of the Lord, Maya, the shadow of the Lord's svarupa-shakti, spreads her influence of illusion. She covers the eyes of those living entities who have turned away from the Lord so they are unable to see the glories of the spiritual dhama.
Those people who always reside in Gausha-mandala are the most fortunate in the world. The demigods in the heavenly planets see them as having beautiful four-handed forms of blackish complexion. Within the sixteen kroshas2 of Navadvipa-dhama, the numerous residents, who are golden in complexion, constantly engage in congregational chanting of the Lord's holy names. Brahma and other demigods come from outer space and worship them in various ways.
Lord Brahma prays, “When will I become so fortunate to take birth as a blade of grass in Navadvipa-dhama. Then I will receive the dust from the feet of the devotees who are engaged in serving the lotus feet of Shri Gauranga. Alas, Lord Chaitanya has cheated me, for He has placed me in charge of the management of the universe. When will the knots of my karma be cut? When will my mind be purified as I give up false pride? And when will the illusion that I am the supreme authority cease as I become a pure servant under the shelter of Gauranga's lotus feet?”
The devas, rishis, and Rudras always reside in different parts of Navadvipa. Although they are engaged in austerities for a long time, still they do not get Nityananda's mercy. As long as bodily consciousness is not given up and humility does not awaken within, one cannot obtain the treasure of Shri Chaitanya and Shri Nityananda's mercy, no matter what efforts one make, even if he be Shiva or Brahma. All this will be explained later. O brother, just hear with faith and attention.
In these spiritual topics, one should avoid mundane logic and arguments, which are useless and inauspicious. The transcendental pastimes of Shri Chaitanya are a deep ocean, whereas the process of mundane logic is simply troublesome, like the sheath covering the banana flower. Whoever wants to cross the ocean of material existence by logic and argument will simply toil in vain. He will receive nothing. But by giving up false arguments and taking the guidance of sadhu and shastra, one will soon receive Shri Chaitanya. For on the order of Nityananda Prabhu, the shruti (Vedas), smriti (Puranas), and tantra shastras are continuously singing the glories of Navadvipa-dhama. By reading these scriptures and accepting the words of the devotees, one will realize the truth of Navadvipa-dhama.
In Kali-yuga, all holy places are extremely weak; only Navadvipa is supremely strong. By the Lord's desire, however, this tirtha was invisible for a long time and its glories lay unrevealed. When the influence of Kali-yuga increased, naturally the holy places lost their power.
At that time, desiring the good fortune of all living entities, the Supreme Lord thought, “Upon diagnosing a disease, a doctor prescribes an appropriate medicine. Accordingly, a strong medicine is given for a severe disease. Now that Kali-yuga has become terrible and the disease is serious, there will be no relief without a strong medicine. If I do not reveal the dhama, the name, and My form, which I have been holding secretly for so long, how will the living entities ever recover? The living entities are My servants, and I am their Lord. If I do not help them, they will never be delivered.”
Saying this, Lord Chaitanya appeared on earth with His name, dhama, and associates. The Lord promised that He will always deliver the living entities from the troubles of material existence.
Gauranga said, “Without considering who is fit and who is unfit, in this incarnation I will freely distribute the treasure of love which is rarely attained by even Lord Brahma. I will see how Kali can destroy these living entities! I will manifest Navadvipa-dhama and break the poison teeth of Kali by performing congregational chanting of the holy names of God. As long as My name is sung, Kali will be controlled.”
Saying this, Gaurahari appeared in the beginning of Kali-yuga in Navadvipa by His own internal spiritual potency. Withdrawing the covering of illusion, Gaurachandra revealed His eternal pastimes in Gausha-mandala.
I see no one in Kali-yuga more unfortunate than that lamentable, wretched person who does not worship such a merciful Lord as Shri Chaitanya, or who rejects such an inconceivable dhama as Navadvipa. Therefore give up all other desires and attractions, and simply fix your mind on Navadvipa-dhama.
Aspiring for the shade of the lotus feet of Nitai and Jahnava, Bhaktivinoda reveals these truths.