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Shri Suvarnavihara and Shri Devapalli
All glories to Shri Chaitanyacandra! All glories to Prabhu Nityananda! All glories to Advaita and Gadadhara! All glories to the devotees addicted to Gauranga's feet headed by Shrivasa! And all glories to Navadvipa, the topmost abode!
Leaving Vishrama-sthana, the party proceeded to Suvarna-vihara. There, Nityananda said, “O Jiva, this is a wonderful place. Like the rest of Navadvipa, it is transcendental to material nature. During Satya-yuga, a well-known king named Suvarna Sena lived here. For a long time he was simply engaged in ruling the kingdom, and even when he grew old he took no rest. The king's mind was absorbed in material hankering, and he was always thinking how to increase his wealth. Who knows by what good fortune Narada happened to come there? After being profusely worshiped by the king, Narada took him to a secluded place and mercifully instructed him on the Absolute Truth.
“Narada spoke as follows: `O king, your days are going by uselessly with thoughts of material wealth and gain. Know that this wealth is of no value. The supreme wealth is spiritual knowledge. Just once consider this in your heart. You have no real relationship with your wife, sons, or friends. After your death they will immerse your body in the water and return to their homes. If one can not claim anything as his own, then why hold on to this false hope and aspiration, this thirst for material objects–which are like a drop of water with no capacity to quench the thirst? If you think that by getting happiness you can avoid distress, and therefore you must earn wealth, that is also false. Because this life itself is impermanent, lasting not more than a hundred years.
“`Therefore, know the truth. You must go beyond this world of illusion, to the place where there is happiness without pain. By what process can one attain a result in which there is no fear, pain, or grief? Simply by renunciation or cultivating knowledge, one cannot get this result. By vairagya and jshana one can get freedom from material bondage and merge into the Brahman, but in Brahman there is no bliss. Rather, I say, merging into Brahman is utterly condemned, for it is annihilation of the self. By this liberation you will lose material enjoyment, and nothing good is gained. Just consider that aspect of liberation.
“`The wise man does not accept the path of material enjoyment or liberation, bhukti or mukti, but rather engages in devotional service to Shri Krishna. That person is free from the attraction to material enjoyment and completely attracted to serving the lotus feet of Krishna.
“`The process of bhakti may be divided into three parts: sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana. The living entity is the servant of Krishna, therefore without performing devotional service, everything is lost. The tree of bhakti, however, bears fruit in the form of love of God. That fruit is the necessity, or ultimate goal, and eternal treasure of all living entities. Bhukti and mukti are insignificant in comparison.
“`Krishna is the sun, full of knowledge and bliss. Maya is His shadow, or perverted reflection. The living entity is an infinitesimal particle of Krishna's effulgence. Because of his marginal nature (tatastha), when the living entity contacts maya, then maya captures and binds him. When one goes away from Krishna, he can only go towards maya. By maya's contact, the living entity becomes attached to fruitive activities. In maya's net, one suffers while wandering throughout the universe. Karma and jshana promise relief from the suffering and deliverance from this world, but they are unable to give it.
“`Sometimes one takes to the regulative activities of the Vedas for material gain, sometimes one takes to the eightfold path of yoga, sometimes one takes to discussion on knowledge of Brahman, and sometimes one takes to logic and argument. But ultimately there is no success, for one does not consider the treasure held within his own soul, the actual nature of his soul.
“`While wandering from body to body, if he happens to meet a pure devotee, he will receive real shraddha, pure faith. By association with the devotees, he will eventually take to the worship of Krishna and then give up all unwanted habits (anarthas). Then he becomes firmly fixed (nishtha) in devotional service. As one continues to engage in devotional service, he develops taste (ruci). Gradually this taste leads to attachment (asakti). This turns to bhava, and bhava becomes prema. This is the progression of pure bhakti.
“`Hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping, bowing down, servitude, friendship, and self surrender–these are the ninefold processes. One who performs these in the association of devotees attains krishna-prema.
“`You are very fortunate, for your kingdom is in Navadvipa. Your residence here is the beginning of your good fortune. Now develop your faith by associating with devotees and singing the name of Krishna, let the sun of prema rise in your heart.
“`Fortunate will be the coming of Kali-yuga, for Krishna will bring His associates here and manifest His pastimes as Gauranga. One who chants Gaura's name will get the mercy of Krishna, and he will be able to live in Vrindavana. One who worships Krishna without chanting the name of Gaura will get Krishna only after a long time. But he who takes Gaura's name quickly gets Krishna, for offenses do not remain within him.'
“While saying this, Narada lost control of himself and began to dance and chant the name of Gaura. `Gaurahari bol!' the vina joined in. `O Gaurahari! When will blessed Kali-yuga come?' Saying this, Narada went off, leaving the king filled with prema. Crying the name of Gauranga, dancing, and begging love of God from the devotees, he became free from material hankerings. Later, while sleeping, the king saw Gauranga and Gadadhara with their associates dancing in the courtyard. Surrounding the golden form of Gaura, they were all chanting `Hare Krishna!' while dancing and embracing one another.
“Awakening, the king was in anguish and began weeping in separation from Gauranga. Then a voice spoke. `O king, when I appear, you will be amongst My associates. Your name will be Buddhimanta Khan. You will receive the transcendental dhama and serve the lotus feet of Gauranga.' Hearing this, the king became composed and began to worship Gauranga.”
When Nityananda finished His story, Shrivasa, who is an empowered incarnation of Narada Muni, fell unconscious. Overcome by great ecstasy and intoxicated with the nectar of Gaura's name, Shri Jiva also fell flat on the earth.
“O Lord Gauranga, will I ever be able to see Your golden jewel-like figure here?” Jiva repeatedly called out. At that time, Gauranga's kirtana party became visible before their eyes. Nectar was defeated by the beautiful form of Gauranga, who then began dancing. Then Nityananda Prabhu, along with Advaita and all the other devotees, began to sing Gauranga's glories. The sound of mridangas and karatalas joined in as that sweet display of sankirtana manifested the previous pastime. The bliss of that scene, which lasted uptil midday, is impossible to describe.
Then, singing loudly the glories of Gauranga, the party of pilgrims entered Devapalli. In that village, they took rest as the guests of the presiding Deity, Nrisinha, and then took their midday meals. At the last minutes of daylight, as they all wandered in the village, Nityananda spoke: “This is Devapalli, and here is the temple of Nrisinhadeva, well known since Satya-yuga. After bestowing His mercy on Prahlada by killing Hiranyakashipu, the Lord came here to rest.
“Brahma and the other demigods made their houses here and formed a village. This village was established on tilas, hillocks, here on the bank of the Mandakini River, and all the residents were absorbed in the worship of Nrisinhadeva. According to the scriptures, this village in Navadvipa, named Shri Nrisinha-kshetra, is most purifying.
“See here Surya-tila and Brahma-tila and to the east was Nrisinha-tila. The place is now transformed. See there Ganesha-tila, and over there is Indra-tila. Though Vishvakarma built hundreds of jeweled houses here, in time, all were destroyed, and the Mandakini dried up. Now only the hillocks mark the places. See these countless broken stones, the remnants of the temples. Again in the future, one devotee king will receive a drop of Nrisinha's mercy, and he will make a large temple, reinstall Nrisinha, and take up service to Nrisinha again. This is on the border of the Navadvipa parikrama within the sixteen kroshas.”
Giving up the net of maya and having only the wealth of the lotus feet of Nitai and Jahnava, this beggar, Bhaktivinoda, sings the glories of Navadvipa, which have no limit.