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Chandogya, Mundaka, and Chaitanya Upanishads
O devotees, having offered obeisances to Radha and Krishna and Their combined form of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, please listen to the glories of Navadvipa-dhama proclaimed through this collection of scriptural evidence.
For the pleasure of the devotees, I will first bring together evidences from the Upanishads. O devotees, first hear with faith and a nonenvious heart what the Chandogya Upanishad says concerning Navadvipa.
The Chandogya Upanishad describes a wonderful city called Brahmapura8 in the shape of eight-petaled lotus. The center of that lotus is Mayapur, the abode of the Supreme Lord Shri Chaitanya as Paramatma. The sky within that lotus, or antarakasha, is known as Antardvipa.
Hari om. Within Brahmapura is a lotus-shaped dahara–the heart. In the center of that is the antarakasha, or the interior sky. One should seek out and realize what is within that antarakasha.
The students may ask: In Brahmapura is a lotus-shaped dahara, the heart, and within that exists the antarakasha. What exists there that should be sought out and known?
Then the guru will reply: Just as there is a sky in this external world, there is a similar sky in the midst of the heart. In that sky, there is heaven and earth, fire and air, sun and moon, lightning and stars. Whatever is in this external world and even what is lacking here is existent in that internal place.
Then the students may again ask: In this Brahmapura within the body, if all elements, living beings, and desires are present, then what remains when the body grows old and dies?
Then the guru will answer: When the body grows old, the elements of Brahmapura do not grow old, and when the body perishes at death those elements do not perish. This real Brahmapura is indestructible and is the abode of complete satisfaction. This atma, the Supersoul, is devoid of sin, old age, death, lamentation, hunger, and thirst. His desires are pure, satyakama, and He attains fulfillment of His desires immediately and without obstacle, satya-sankalpa.
But people in this world who desire various objects–some country or even a small portion of land for the gratification of bodily pleasure–they inevitably develop attachment and fall under the control of those objects, like citizens who are bound to follow the laws of the state.
Whatever one earns by work on this earth is exhausted by its enjoyment, and whatever one earns by pious activities such as sacrifice is exhausted by heavenly enjoyment. In this manner, those who pass from this world without seeking out and obtaining knowledge and realization of the Supersoul do not attain complete satisfaction of their desires wherever they may go.
But those who pass from this world, having sought out and obtained knowledge and realization of the Supersoul, the all-blissful Lord, attain complete satisfaction wherever they may go.
If he desires a relationship with fatherly personalities, by his very desire the fathers are present, and with the fathers he enjoys serving the Lord (in vatsalya-rasa).
If he desires motherly personalities, by his very desire the mothers are present, and with the mothers he enjoys serving the Lord (in vatsalya-rasa).
If he desires brothers, then by his desire the brothers are present, and with the brothers he enjoys serving the Lord.
If he desires sisters, then by his desire the sisters are present, and with the sisters he enjoys serving the Lord.
If he desires friends, then by his desire friends are present, and with the friends he enjoys serving the Lord (in sakhya-rasa).
If he desires people offering pleasurable items such as perfumes and garlands, then by his desire these persons are present, and with them he enjoys serving the Lord (in dasya-rasa).
If he desires servers of food and drink, then by his desire they are present, and with them he enjoys serving the Lord.
If he desires performers of song and music, then by his desire they are present, and with them he enjoys serving the Lord.
If he desires the company of beautiful women, then by his desire they are present, and with them he enjoys serving the Lord (in madhurya-rasa).
Whatever he desires, by his very desire it is present, and with it he blissfully serves the Lord.
These eternal enjoyments and desires are covered by ignorance in this world. Though they are real, there is a covering of ignorance. Thus, in this world, we can never again see those to whom we are attached after they depart from this world.
But if a person achieves Brahmapura, he meets all his friends and relatives, both living and dead, and he gets everything he desired but could not attain. But in this conditional world, all is covered by ignorance. Just as people ignorant of a hidden treasure of gold beneath their feet walk over it constantly but cannot enjoy it, so the living entities who are covered by ignorance contact Brahmaloka everyday, even in this world, but they do not know it and therefore cannot enjoy its eternal spiritual bliss.
The Lord, or Paramatma, resides within the heart (hridayam). The word hridayam is derived in this way: hridi–in the heart; ayam–is this atma, the Lord. The person who knows this meaning of hridayam (who is always conscious of the Lord within) goes to the highest effulgent abode.
That which goes upwards from the body attains the highest light, the Supreme Lord, and is born in his spiritual form. That is the real self, who attains qualities similar to the Lord. He is immortal, fearless, pure spirit, and Brahman. He, like the Lord, is called satya.
In the word satya, there are three syllables: sat, i, and ya. Sat means what is immortal; i means what is perishable; and ya is the Lord, who controls both the immortal and mortal. Because the Lord controls both the immortal and mortal by His energy, He is called ya. The person who understands consistently this meaning of satya attains to the highest effulgent abode.
The Lord is known as a bridge or boundary, setu, for He keeps this world separate from the spiritual world. By His will old age, death, lamentation, good deeds, or bad deeds can not penetrate there. All sins are dissolved in His presence. This Brahmaloka destroys all sin.
By crossing this bridge and attaining realization of the Lord, the blind attain sight, the afflicted become peaceful, and the sufferer gains relief. If one crosses this bridge, night becomes day. For this Brahmaloka is constantly illumined by pure consciousness.
A person attains this Brahmaloka, the Lord, by being absorbed in the Lord. Such persons can then move freely anywhere.
What is called yajsha is actually brahmacarya, or absorption in Brahman, for one who attains proper knowledge by absorption in Brahman, attains Brahman. What is called ishtha, or worship, is absorption in Brahman, for by worship with absorption in Brahman, one attains Brahman.
What is called sattrayana (a type of long sacrifice) is absorption in Brahman, for by this absorption one attains liberation, trana, of the soul, sat.
What is called mauna, or silence, is actually absorption in Brahman, for by absorption in Brahman and understanding the soul, one attains discernment or manana.
What is called anashakayana, or severe fasting, is actually absorption in Brahman, for by absorption in Brahman and understanding the soul, one attains immortality (anashakayana).
What is called aranyayana, or study in the forest, is absorption in Brahman. For Ara and lya are two oceans in Brahmapura, in the third sky, beyond this world. In that Brahmaloka, there is a refreshing lake; a wish-fulfilling ashvattha tree, which yields soma; and an invincible, oppulent, spiritual city of gold9.
Those who discover these two oceans in Brahmaloka by absorption in Brahman become fixed in the spiritual world and are free, with no limitations of the material realm.
In the Chandogya Upanishad it is also stated: “Within the golden abode, is the golden effulgent Lord, with effulgent hair, effulgent beard, and effulgent from head to foot. His eyes are like the petals of a lotus opening in the morning sun. He is called ut or transcendental. He is beyond all sins. He who knows this Lord also becomes transcendental to all sin.”
Similarly, in the Mundaka Upanishad a description is given of the spiritual, effulgent, golden abode. That is none other than the spotless Yogapitha within Mayapur.
It is stated there: “Those who are truly in knowledge understand that within the golden covering is situated the pure Lord, uncontaminated by passion (virajam), absolute and indivisible (nishkalam10), the light of lights.
“Those persons without material desire who worship the supreme pure person and understand the supreme spiritual abode, which is ornamented with all spiritual variety, surpass this material world.”
O devotees, now listen attentively to the Chaitanya Upanishad's statement which glorifies Navadvipa:
Again he (Pippalayana) asked a question. “O Lord, how can the people of Kali-yuga who are immersed in sinful life attain liberation? Please tell me who is the worshipable Lord and what is the mantra for Kali-yuga.”
He (Brahma) replied, “Listen, as I speak this confidential knowledge to you. On the bank of the Ganges in Navadvipa-dhama, which is nondifferent from Goloka, the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, will appear in His two-armed form as Lord Gaura, a great saint and powerful mystic who is above the three modes of nature and is the emblem of transcendental activity. He will preach the cult of devotion throughout the world.”
Thus ends the First Chapter of