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Evidence from the Mahajanas
In this chapter I will present bliss bestowing statements of the devotees. First listen carefully to descriptions of Navadvipa from the Chaitanya-carita by Kavi Karnapura.
This earth is more fortune than the heavenly planets and has become filled with all spotless qualities, for although it brings forth various precious jewels, it has manifested the rarest jewel of all in the form of Navadvipa.
All the fortunes scattered on the earth are gathered together in one expanse of land known as Navadvipa, due to which the earth's hair, in the form of trees, is standing on end in ecstasy.
“When will the Lord appear?” Thinking in this way and becoming full of joy, the earth, under the influence of this desire, follows the lotus footsteps of the devotees.
The earth, has created a rival for the unrivalled Mathura in the form of Navadvipa, which offers liberation to those whose mind and heart have been purified by the nectarean touch of the Lord's lotus feet.
Having fallen upon the matted locks of Lord Shiva, who is decorated with a garland of skulls, the Ganges takes on the appearance of millions of gleaming fish as her droplets glitter with the light reflected from the crescent moon on Shiva's head.
Having emanated from the two lotus feet of the Lord, the pleasant, sweet streams of the Ganges purifies the universe as she flows forward in all directions. Indeed, the chaste Ganges has yielded within her spotless waters the most exalted place, Navadvipa.
Though liquid in form, the Ganges dries up the ocean of material suffering; though white in color, she is famous for refreshing blackish Krishna with her waters; though flowing on the earth, she is called by a heavenly name; and though she removes the confusion of the living entities, she is filled with whirlpools and eddies. Having attained the taste of the Lord's lotus feet, her waves and currents become agitated. Taking up her residence in Navadvipa she adds glory to that tract of land.
In Navadvipa live exalted brahmanas, who follow strict rules of conduct and are personified forms of the shruti and smriti injunctions. In Navadvipa live doctors with elevated character as well as vaishyas fixed in their occupational duties and adorned with the fame attained by their noble behavior.
In the Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka it is said: “All glories to Gausha-bhumi, the crest jewel of all holy places, within which is situated the town known as Navadvipa. The golden-complexioned Gauranga descended there, and every house vibrates with the presence of Bhaktidevi.”
In the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika it is stated: “All glories to the most wonderful abode of Navadvipa, which those in full knowledge of rasa call Vrindavana, which people of knowledge call Goloka, which others call Svetadvipa, and still others call Paravyoma, the spiritual sky.”
In the Chaitanyadeva Stava it is said: “May that form of Lord Chaitanya be merciful on us. He is the only goal of the Vaishnavas. He revealed the glories of Navadvipa, ornamented the brahmana families by His birth, and purified the order of sannyasa by accepting its vows.”
Now listen to the words of Prabodhananda Sarasvati concerning Navadvipa. “I praise the Supreme Lord in the form of Lord Chaitanya, who, crossing the limits of Godhead, appeared in the form of a devotee to generously help the living entity relish Krishna. He appeared in the supreme abode Navadvipa-dhama for bestowing on the living entities the sweet nectarean stream of His own pure prema.”
Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura says: “With the eternal devotees and eternal Bhaktidevi, in the eternal dhama, I eternally worship the one Absolute Truth, brahma sutram, the essence of Godhead, eternally appearing in the form of Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.”
Meditation on Navadvipa-dhama:
On the banks of the Ganges are the most excellent flowering trees and creepers, and in her waters are rows of waves. Gentle refreshing breezes blow over her surface, and bees gather amongst clusters of the pink and yellow lotuses. The stairs leading to her waters are inlaid with rare jewels. She is overcome with ecstasy, having been touched by the dust pollen from the Lord's lotus feet. On a beautiful stretch of golden land on the banks of the Ganges, is situated the all-auspicious Navadvipa-dhama, flooded with the Lord's bliss.
This place is most enchanting being always served by great devotees and filled with various flowers, fruits, creepers, and trees. Throughout Navadvipa, colorful birds enchant the mind and ear with their songs.
Within Navadvipa are the pleasant courtyards of the brahmanas, large groves, and beautiful stages and parks. The great devotees, motivated by pure love, perform great festivals of worship, and effulgent forms of Shri Krishna reside in every house.
In Navadvipa is situated Gaurasundara's blissful house. The golden gates and walls shine more brilliant than the sun. Within is the Lord's room; in front of that is a kirtana area; and in their respective places are the kitchen, dining area, bedrooms, upper rooms, and room of the Lord's consort.
In this house is a spotless canopy and a temple wonderfully adorned with moonstones. The temple has four doorways with eight doors effulgent with inlaid jewels. There are nine domes topped by jeweled kalasas, or pinnacles, on the golden roof. The temple is decorated throughout with diamonds, moonstones, strings of pearls, and various other jewels which are produced from pure devotion and shine with a golden effulgence.
Within the temple are six corners with the syllables of the mantra engraved in gold and jewels. In the central of this yantra is the turtle-shaped Yogapitha standing like the stamen in the center of a lotus flower. On top of this, beneath an umbrella, shines a lotuslike sinhasana with petals as pure white as ether, sunshine, and camphor.
The sides and bottom of the sinhasana are made of rubies, the legs are sapphire, and the back, which glitters with huge pearls and exquisite gems, is made of vaidurya gems. It is furnished with soft pillows covered with the finest cloth and a cloth-covered cushion filled with soft cotton. The sinhasana is on a golden platform decorated with eight corners on which the eight syllables of the gaura-mantra are inscribed for meditation on the Supreme Lord.
Navadvipa Stuti, by Shrila Rupa Gosvami:
I meditate on Navadvipa-dhama, which is filled with eternal bliss and situated on the pleasing bank of the auspicious Ganges in Gausha-desha. I mediate on Navdvipa-dhama, which some people call the spiritual sky, others call Goloka, and others, Vrindavana.
I meditate on Navadvipa-dhama, which is decorated every-where with various shade-giving trees that quiver in the breeze, where Gaurachandra gives charity during the midday, where the banks of the Ganges, studded with golden steps, becomes filled with playful waves. I meditate on Navadvipa-dhama, which is filled with innumerable golden houses within each of which Lakshmi resides.
I meditate on Navadvipa-dhama, which is praised by sages, devatas and realized persons and which is filled with people endowed with knowledge, mercy, forgiveness, sacrifice, and the six good qualities.
I meditate on Navadvipa-dhama, wherein is situated Jagannatha Mishra's house, which is filled with Gaurasundara's pastimes beginning from birth and which is meant for the Lord's pleasure alone.
I meditate on Navadvipa, where Gauranga would wander along with His devotees. Filled with prema generated from their kirtana, they would drown everyone in the ocean of love of Krishna.
Whoever reads with devotion these eight verses filled with thoughts of Navadvipa-dhama will obtain precious prema at the lotus feet of Shri Gaurahari, the son of Shaci.
Thus ends the Navadvipashtaka of Shrila Rupa Gosvami
Many other learned persons have also glorified Navadvipa-dhama again and again in different moods in the Bengali language14. May the devotees read all these works and develop attachment to hearing about Navadvipa-dhama.
Thus ends the Fifth Chapter of the Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Pramana-khanda.
End of the Pramana-khanda.
Vrindavana dasa Thakura says in Chaitanya-bhagavata: “Even now Gauranga is performing His pastimes, and the fortunate person can see them. The dhama is the Lord's eternal associate. One who thinks otherwise is a rascal.”
Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura says: “Whoever understands that Gauranga's abode is purely spiritual is qualified to live in Vrindavana.”
Shri Krishnadasa Kaviraja has written: “The Lord said, `I am known as Vishvambara. That name will have meaning if I fill the universe with prema.' Thinking in this way, the Lord accepted the role of gardener, began to grow an orchard in Navadvipa.”
Shriman Narahari Dasa has said, “Navadvipa and Vrindavana are one. In Navadvipa the Lord is golden, and in Vrindavana He is black.”