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Evidence from the Tantras
Now, please listen with devotion to the glorification of Navadvipa which Lord Shiva spoke to Parvati in the Urddhvamnaya Maha-tantra.
After hearing Lord Shiva speak about Gauranga, Parvati, the form of Vishnumaya, asked him with great devotion and joy, “O Lord, I have heard from you about the Gaura mantra and other things. Now please narrate the glories of Navadvipa. O Lord, discussions of Navadvipa are extremely auspicious and destroy all sins. Until now you have not been so merciful to speak on this subject.”
Lord Shiva said, “O Parvati, the Lord's supreme energy is called svarupa-shakti. You, the Lord's maya-shakti composed of three gunas, are the shadow of that energy. The svarupa-shakti has three forms: samvit (knowledge), sandhini (existence), and hladini (bliss). The sandhini-shakti reveals such things as the Lord's dhama and name. By the order of the sat-cid-ananda Lord, the sandhini-shakti reveals Navadvipa-dhama to mortal eyes. O Devi, the wise know that Navadvipa manifests from the Lord's potency like fruits come from flowers. All the Vedas glorify Navadvipa as nonmaterial, spiritual, full of variety, beyond matter, the supreme eternal Brahmapura, an enchanting abode in the form of a lotus. The nine islands of Navadvipa exactly resemble a lotus flower. O Devi, please listen as I describe the real form of Navadvipa where the Lord as Gaurasundara is eternally situated.
“Antardvipa, Simantadvipa, Godrumadvipa, and Madhyadvipa are situated on the east bank of the Ganges. And Koladvipa, átudvipa, Jahnudvipa, Modadrumadvipa, and Rudradvipa are situated on the western bank. Flowing in various places of Navadvipa are all auspicious rivers such as the Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmada, Sindhu, Kaveri, Tamraparni, Payasvini, Kritamala, Bhima, Gomati, and Drishadvati. Navadvipa is always surrounded by these holy rivers.
“O Parvati, present within this eternal Navadvipa-dhama are Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya (Haridvara), Kashi, Kanci, Avanti (Ujjain), Dvaraka, Kurukshetra, Pushkara, and Naimisharanya. The four streams of the Ganges–Bhagirathi, Alakananda, Mandakini, and Bhogavati–enclose the thirty-two mile circumference of Navadvipa. All the holy places in the heavenly, earthly, and lower planets are present in Navadvipa.
“Actually I do not stay in Kailasa, and you also do not reside in my house there. The devatas do not reside in the heavenly planets, nor do the sages stay in their respective forests. After having sung the name of Gaura, we have developed a strong desire to obtain gauranga-prema, and thus we all reside in Navadvipa on this earth planet.
“Those intelligent people who reside in Navadvipa take Gauranga as their only protector and master. Whoever worships Gaurasundara, the embodiment of five spiritual truths, is most dear to me.
“This Navadvipa has the form of a lotus flower with Antardvipa as the whorl and Simantadvipa and the other seven islands as the petals. Within the whorl is a jewelled pitha. Whoever meditates constantly on Gaurasundara along with the other members of the Panca-tattva who are situated on the pitha will be known as the best amongst the best of men. If anyone–householder or sannyasi–constantly chants, `O Gaura!' anywhere in Navadvipa, he will obtain perfect bliss.
The wise say that on the eastern bank of the Ganges at Mayapur, Gokula is situated, while on the western bank, Vrindavana is situated. In that place is Pulina, the sandy riverbank which is the site of the rasa-lila. West of the rasa-lila site is the auspicious Dhira-samira. O Devi, whatever exists in Vrindavana also exists in Navadvipa. Of this there is no doubt.
“As the external energy of Lord Hari, you give difficulties to the conditioned souls. By your influence, you hide from them the brilliant sunlike Lord of Antardvipa. For that reason Yogapitha is known as Mayapur, the city covered by Maya, and you are known as Praudha Maya. But when Gaurasundara goes to Pulina, then take shelter at Vandi-vata and attend to the devotees.
“I am known as Vriddha Shiva. Following the Lord's order, I delude the materialistic fools by means of various false scriptures. And through your power, I am able to enhance the pastimes of Lord Shri Chaitanya.
“In Antardvipa, the Lord Himself described to Brahma the significance of Gauranga's incarnation. And you saw the attractive form of the Lord at Simantadvipa.
Close by is Mathura, where Kansa took birth in Kali-yuga in the family of yavanas. After purifying Kansa through His kirtana and discussions, Gaurasundara went to twelve tirthas on the Ganges and then to Shridhara's house, which is the same as Sudama's house. O Parvati, in that place is a pond called Vishrama-kunda.
“Then going to Mayamari, Gauranga witnessed the prowess of Balarama. Passing from there, the Lord danced in kirtana at the fort of Suvarna Sena. O Parvati, Gauranga then went to Devapalli, where He flooded the devatas headed by Surya with the blissful chanting of Krishna's name.
“Having visited Harihara-kshetra and Kashi, which give liberation, the Lord arrived at Godrumadvipa, which is eternally worshiped by Surabhi. There He danced before Markandeya áshi in great ecstasy. Then He went to Naimisha-tirtha (Naimisharanya) in Madhyadvipa and danced with Nityananda and His other associates in the mandapa of the seven rishis. Going to Pushkara-tirtha, which is worshiped by the brahmanas, He inundated Kurukshetra of Brahmavarta with kirtana.
“Crossing the Ganges at Maha-Prayaga, the confluence of five holy rivers, Gauranga arrived at Koladvipa. After chanting the holy name in the kingdom of Samudra Sena, where the Ganges and ocean meet, He proceeded to Campahatta. Arriving at átudvipa and seeing the splendid forest, the son of Shaci remembered Radha-kunda and began to weep.
“Enjoying the bliss of kirtana, the Lord and His associates saw Vidyanagara, where Vedic knowledge resides. After going to Jahnudvipa and seeing the place where Jahnu Muni performed austerities, the Lord went to Modadrumadvipa and became blissful remembering the pastimes Ramacandra performed there. The Lord saw Niishreyasa forest within Vaikunthapura and Brahmaninagara across the Viraja River, and then He went to Mahatpura.
“After seeing the auspicious Kamyavana, where the Pandavas resided in exile, and Pancavati, the Lord went to Shankarapura. Arriving at Pulina, Gauranga, chanting the name of Krishna, saw that place as nondifferent from Vrindavana. Seeing the place of the rasa-lila along with His associates, He began to sing appropriate verses from the Bhagavatam. O Devi, at the Rasa-mandala in Pulina, the Lord attained the state of mahabhava while remembering the rasa-lila of Krishna. At that time drums sounded from the sky and showers of flowers fell to the earth. The sages chanted the Chandogya Upanishad and other Vedic verses. Finally when the name of Krishna was chanted in His ear, the long-armed Lord recovered and loudly chanted `Hare Krishna!' He then went off to the bank of the Ganges.
“Crossing the Ganges, the son of Shaci and His associates performed kirtana all over Rudradvipa. The Lord of the universe then went to Bilvapaksha and flooded the devotee brahmanas and Kancipuram with love of God. After going to the ashrama of Bharadvaja and chanting the holy names, the Lord entered Mayapur.
“O Parvati, anyone who hears with devotion how Lord Gauranga traversed Navadvipa with His kirtana party will never again fall into the ocean of material existence. O Parvati, you will not find any place comparable to Navadvipa, any form of the Lord comparable to Gauranga, nor anything comparable to krishna-prema. The success of life, particularly for Vaishnavas, is attained in Navadvipa by worshiping the Lord following the path of the inhabitants of Vraja.
“Shaving the head, fasting, shraddha rites, bathing, and charity, which are prescribed at other tirthas are not prescribed in Navadvipa. If one performs any pious activities in Navadvipa, the effect is quickly dissipated, because all the knots of karma are cut. Just by seeing the Supreme Lord Gaurasundara, the knots in the heart are cut, as all doubts and material reactions are destroyed. O Parvati, for this reason the sages take shelter of Navadvipa and perform pure devotional service to the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna. They see the various forms of the Lord in the different islands, sing the names of the Lord, and bathe in the waters of the Ganges. With great devotion they spend nine days visiting the nine islands and pass their lives in bliss while taking maha-prasada.
“O Parvati, the prasada of Gauranga is purifying for all living entities but is rarely obtained by sinful people. You and I, Brahma, as well as the devatas, pitris, munis, and rishis all long to eat Gauranga's prasada. The food offered to Gauranga is worshipable by us, and the pure flowers and tulasi offered to the Lord should be accepted by all people. I will throw into the hell called Raurava and punish those people who have no attachment for maha-prasada, being blinded by family pride and illusion, puffed up with knowledge, or contaminated with sin. I am telling you the truth. Do not doubt it.
“If anywhere in Navadvipa a candala offers vishnu-prasada to Lord Brahma, he will certainly eat it. Even if the prasada is dried up, stale, or brought from a distant place, one should immediately eat it without consideration of proper or improper time. In taking Gauranga maha-prasada, there is no rule concerning purity of place, giver, or receiver. O Parvati, if a person takes Gauranga maha-prasada up to the throat, he will develop devotion to Gauranga. In eating gaura-prasada, there is no consideration of the fault of overeating.
“There is no consideration of fitness for hearing the glories of Navadvipa. Dying in other tirthas gives either material enjoyment or liberation, but dying in Navadvipa gives pure devotion to the Lord. In Navadvipa there is no consideration of a faulty death–at an inauspicious time, in pain, in the house, or by accident. Death at other tirthas while practicing yoga or death in Kashi while absorbed in impersonal meditation become insignificant when compared to death in Navadvipa.
“Living in Navadvipa for one day is better than living in Prayaga, Varanasi, or any other tirtha for a kalpa. Whatever results one obtains by yoga, one achieves in Navadvipa. With every step one attains the results of great sacrifices, and by lying down and sleeping in Navadvipa, one gets the results of offering obeisances. Just by taking an ordinary meal in Navadvipa, one gets the results of eating the Lord's remnants. So, what more can I say regarding the faithful person who is devoted to chanting the holy name and taking Gauranga's remnants with faith and devotion?
“O Parvati, in brief I have narrated as you wished. By the desire of Gauranga, please keep this a secret. When the fortunate age of Kali arrives, Gauranga will manifest His attractive pastimes and the glories of Navadvipa will become apparent.”
Thus ends the glorification of Navadvipa from the
In the Vishvasara-tantra, Shiva says to Parvati, “In the southern part of the Ganges, at attractive Navadvipa, on the Phalguna Purnima, Lord Krishna will be born in the house of Jagannatha Mishra in the womb of Shaci to destroy the sins of Kali-yuga.”
In the Kularnava-tantra, Lord Shiva says to Parvati, “Then at the beginning of Kali-yuga a great person with all good qualities will be born on the bank of the Ganges to preach the name of Hari.”
In the Brihad-brahma-yamala-tantra it is stated: “All glories to blissful Gaurachandra, Narahari, the conqueror of the three worlds. He appears in Kali-yuga at Navadvipa on the bank of the Ganges with a beautiful form and golden complexion. He delivers the sinful from the ocean of sin by giving them the pure name of Hari.
“I offer my respects to Shri Gaurasundara, who lives in Navadvipa for the destruction of the sins of Kali-yuga. He has a garland around His neck, His cheeks shine from the luster of golden ornaments hanging from His ears, His arms are decorated with jeweled bracelets and armbands, and He gives the devotees the name of Hari, which destroys all sins.”
In the Kapila-tantra it is said: “In Kali-yuga, the Lord will take birth in a brahmana's house at Mayapur in Jambudvipa. He will perform kirtana along with His associates.”
In the Mukti-sankalini-tantra it is said: “In Satya-yuga, Kurukshetra is the tirtha; in Treta-yuga, Pushkara is the tirtha; in Dvapara-yuga, Naimisharanya is the tirtha; and in Kali-yuga, Navadvipa is the tirtha.”
In the Brahma-yamala it is said: “Sometimes I personally appear on the surface of the world in the garb of a devotee. Specifically, I appear as the son of Shaci in Kali-yuga to start the sankirtana movement.”
In the Krishna-yamala it is said: “I shall appear in the holy land of Navadvipa as the son of Shacidevi.”
Thus ends the Fourth Chapter of the Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Pramana-khanda.