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The Removal of Shrila Jiva Gosvami's Doubts and His Journey to Vrindavana
All glories to Shri Gauranga, the son of Shaci! 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 Shrivasa!
After hearing Shri Jiva's question, Nityananda Raya spoke this profound truth amongst the assembled devotees, “Listen, Jiva. Both Vrindavana and Navadvipa are the shelter of countless blissful devotees. Purified living entities who have crossed over the material nature live here as Krishna'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 court-yards are all completely spiritual and intensely attractive.
“That blissful place, transcendental to material nature, rests on Krishna's inconceivable and supremely magnanimous sandhini energy. By that energy the dhama has descended here in Nadia, for Krishna'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 Krishna Chaitanya 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 Shri Chaitanya will be established.
“This topic of sambandha 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 Shri Krishna Chaitanya 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 Krishna, his relationship with Shri Chaitanya manifests within his heart.
“Now, with Krishna there are five relationships: santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. By first worshiping Gauranga in the mood of santa and dasya, the devotee attains Krishna'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 Krishna is contemptible and will never attain a relationship with Krishna. 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 Shri Gauranga `Mahaprabhu.'
“One who is qualified in madhurya-rasa worships Gauranga in the form of Radha and Krishna. As Radha and Krishna 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 Krishna in Vrindavana. Gauranga then drowns the devotee in the nectar of Radha and Krishna's eternal pastimes, which the devotee enters as he attains Vrindavana.
“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 Krishna, who are also simultaneously one and different. Gauranga, however, is worshiped in madhurya-rasa in the form of Radha and Krishna. 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 Vrindavana. 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 Shrivasa'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 Shri Jiva was going to Vrindavana, many devotees came to Shrivasa's courtyard. The senior Vaishnavas gave Jiva their blessings, and the junior Vaishnavas begged for his mercy. Folding his hands, Shri Jiva said to all of them, “Please excuse all of my offenses. You are Shri Chaitanya'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 Chaitanya. 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 Vaishnavas one cannot attain Krishna. Therefore, brothers, give me the dust from your feet.”
Having said this, he glorified and bowed down to each one of the Vaishnavas and then, with the consent of Nityananda Prabhu, he went to Jagannatha Mishra's house. At the feet of mother Shaci, his mind agitated by spiritual emotions, he received the order to go to Vrindavana. 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 Vrindavana. 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 Krishna, and always see Their pastimes in Vraja.”
Awaking from his dream, Jiva was in great bliss and rushed quickly to Vrindavana. 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 travelling in the dhama.
I make one request at the feet of the Vaishnavas. 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 favour 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. Vriddha Shiva, 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 Shri Chaitanya.
Though I am very low, taking the order of Shri 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 Shri Nitai and Jahnava, this low and worthless Bhaktivinoda has thus sung this glorification of Nadia.
End of the Parikrama-khanda.