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GLOSSARY OF PLACES
Agradvipa - a town about six miles south of Katoya (Katwa). It is
situated on the west side of the Ganga, about 26 miles northwest of
Mayapura, in the Barddhaman district. Shri Govinda, Shri Madhava,
and Shri Vasudeva Ghosa lived here. The samadhi of Shri Govinda
Ghosa is located in Agradvipa. Govinda Ghosa Thakura established
the Deity of Shri Gopinatha on the east bank of the Ganga near
Alakananda - one of the four great branches of the river Ganga (the
others are the Bhagirathi, Mandakini, and Bhogavati). When the
Alakananda meets the Bhagirathi in northern Uttara Pradesh, the
river becomes known as the Ganga. It again divides in Bengal. In
Bengal, one branch of the Ganga, which has now dried up, was
called the Alakananda. This Alakananda formerly flowed south
through Navadvipa-mandala. The bed of this river lies directly across
the Ganga from the present town of Navadvipa, where it runs east
for two miles and then turns south. From this point it runs between
Godrumadvipa and Madhyadvipa.
Ambika-Kalna - a place about 30 km south of the present city of
Navadvipa. This is where Shri Gauridasa Pandita, Shri Hrdaya Chaitanya,
Shri Paramananda Gupta, and Shri Suryadasa Pandita lived. It is situated
on the west bank of the Ganga directly across from Santipura,
where Shri Advaita Acarya lived. Shriman Mahaprabhu used to visit
the house of Gauridasa Pandita in Kalna.
Amraghata - a village in Godrumadvipa also known as Amghata. It
is on the east side of the Ganga, about midway between Svarupaganja
and Devapalli. Once while Shriman Mahaprabhu was performing
sankirtana with His associates, He arrived at this place.
After several hours of sankirtana, the devotees' hunger and thirst
was aroused. Shri Mahaprabhu planted a mango seed which immediately
grew into a tree full of ripened mangoes, which had neither
seeds nor skins. The mangoes were fragrant and their taste was
sweeter than nectar. Shriman Mahaprabhu and Shri Nityananda
Prabhu relished those fruits along with Their associates. This place
is thus known as Amghata, the place of mangoes.
Antardvipa - one of the nine islands of Navadvipa. This place embodies
the devotional practice of atma-nivedanam, surrendering
one's very self to Shri Krishna. Antardvipa is situated in the antar
(heart or middle) of the eight-petaled lotus of Navadvipa. At the
center of Antardvipa is Shri Mayapura, and at the very core of
Mayapura is Yogapitha, the place where Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Lord Brahma felt despondent after disturbing Krishna's pastimes
in Vraja by stealing His cows and cowherd friends. He performed
austerities in Antardvipa, knowing that Gauranga would descend
there in Kali-yuga. Gauranga manifested before Brahma and gave
him the benediction that Brahma would appear as the great bhakta,
Haridasa Thakura. Taking birth in a Yavana family, he would not be
disturbed by pride. Because Mahaprabhu revealed His internal
(antar) feelings to Brahma at this place, the island is known as
Baragachi - also known as Bahiragachi. It is situated two miles from
the Muragacha railway station, which is about 20 km north of Krishnanagara
on the east side of the Ganga. According to Chaitanyabhagavata
(Antya 5.710-711), this place is famous for its connection
with Shri Nityananda Prabhu: visese sukrti ati badagachi-grama
nityananda-svarupera viharera sthana, badagachi gramera janeka
bhagyodaya taha kabhu kahite na pari samuccaya - "The village of
Baragachi is especially virtuous because Nityananda Prabhu performed
many pastimes there. It is simply impossible to describe the
great fortune of this village."
Bhagirathi - another name for the Ganga River. The river Ganga is
a celestial river. Because this river was brought to the earth by the
austerities and prayers of King Bhagiratha, she is also known as
Bhagirathi. Initially, where the Ganga starts near Gangotri, she is
known as the Bhagirathi. When the Bhagirathi meets the
Alakananda, she becomes known as the Ganga. In West Bengal, the
Ganga divides into the Padma River and the Bhagirathi. The
Bhagirathi flows south through Navadvipa and on to the Bay of
Bengal. Some distance south of Santipura, the Bhagirathi becomes
known as the Hugli.
Bharata-varsa - one of nine tracts of land which form the divisions
of Jambudvipa. It is named after King Bharata, the son of Rsabhadeva.
India is now known as Bharata, although in the ancient histories
this appellation referred to the entire earth plant.
Bhuh - (Bhu-loka) the planet earth.
Bhuh-mandala - the middle planetary system within the universe.
Bhuvah - (Bhuvar-loka) the second of seven divisions of planets:
Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svarga, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, and
Satyaloka. This planet is situated between the earth and the sun
planet. It is attained by siddhas and munis.
Bilva-puskarini - also known as Bael-pukura. Shri Nilambara
Cakravarti, the maternal grandfather of Shriman Mahaprabhu, lived
at this place. It is situated near the northern border of Simantadvipa
and forms part of the area known as Simuliya.
Brahmaloka - the planet of Shri Brahma situated above Tapoloka at
the upper limit of the universe. This planet is also known as
Brahmana-puskarini - presently known as Bamana-pukura. According
to Shri Narahari dasa's Parikrama-paddhati, the place now known
as Bamana-pukura was formerly called Brahmana-puskara: bamanapukure
punya-grama, brahmana-puskara e vidita purva nama. According
to a book named Citre Navadvipa, part of Bamana-pukura
is included in Antardvipa and part in Simantadvipa. Bamanapukura
is presently situated north of the Yogapitha and east of
the Bhagirathi. From the description in the beginning of Chapter
Twelve it appears that Brahmana-puskarini was situated just
south of Bilva-puskarini, and together these two areas made up
the district known as Simuliya. This must have been the case
either at the time this book was written (1896) or at the time the
story is set (c.1600). On the 1916 map of Shridhama Navadvipa,
however, we see that there is a considerable distance between
Bael-pukura and Bamana-pukura, and Bamana-pukura is south of
the Bhagirathi. This type of shift of the land and modification of
the names of places is a common feature of the Navadvipa area,
largely due to the ever-changing course of the Ganga and its
branches flowing through Navadvipa-mandala.
Campahatta - a place in the southwest part of Rtudvipa, also known
as Campahati. It was formerly known as Campakahatta because
there was a market (hatta) there that sold the flowers of the
Campaka trees that grow profusely in this area. It is considered
non-different from the Khadiravana forest of Vrndavana. The
great poet Jayadeva Gosvami wrote the Gita-Govinda while residing
Devapalli - a town three miles south-west of Krishna-nagara in
Godrumadvipa where all the devas resided. In Satya-yuga, Lord
Nrsimhadeva rested at Devapalli after killing Hiranyakasipu. This
place is also thus known as Nrsimhapalli. There is an ancient
Deity of Nrsimhadeva at this place, said to date back to Satyayuga.
Gadigacha - often equated with the entire region of Godruma-dvipa.
In Citre Navadvipa, Shriyukta Sarad-indu Narayana Raya has stated
that Godruma is called Gadigacha in the Apabhramsa language. In
Chapter Ten of this book, Gadigacha is referred to as a small area
within Godruma-dvipa where the Vaishnavas of Pradyumna-kunja
were living. On the 1916 map of Shridhama Navadvipa, Gadigacha is
also portrayed as a small area of Godrumadvipa.
Ganga - derived from the verbal root gam (to go) meaning Go!
Go! or 'swift goer'. The holy river, Ganga, which flows southeast
from the Himalayan Mountains to the Bay of Bengal; also known
as the Ganges, Jahnavi, Bhagirathi, and Alakananda (see these
entries in this Glossary).
Gauda-bhumi - the land of Gauda. According to the Sakti-sangama
Tantra this corresponds to West Bengal, and includes some parts of
modern day Bangladesh and Orissa (extending as far as
Bhuvanesvara). In ancient times the residents of this tract of land
were known as Gaudiyas. After the appearance of Shri Gauranga,
the term Gaudiya was especially applied to the devotees of
Gauranga, for almost everyone in this land had become His bhakta.
Godruma - one of the nine islands of Navadvipa, situated east of
the Bhagirathi and south of the Jalangi. It is bordered by
Simantadvipa on the north side and by Madhyadvipa on the west.
This place is so named because Surabhi, a cow (go) of divine origin,
worshiped Shri Gauranga here under the shade of a large banyan
tree (druma). Each of the nine divisions of Navadvipa embodies
one of the nine principal practices of bhakti, such as hearing
about, chanting, and remembering the names, form, qualities and
pastimes of Shri Krishna. Godrumadvipa personifies the practice of
Goloka Vrndavana - the highest realm of the spiritual world. This
is the abode of Shri Krishna where He is manifest in His original and
topmost feature as a cowherd boy, surrounded by His intimate and
loving servitors, the gopas and gopis of Vraja.
Gora-hrada - a pond near the Gadigacha area where Shri Gora (Go-
Govinda, Ra-Radha) sported.
Govardhana - a sacred mountain situated in the middle of Vrajamandala
about 26 km north-west of Mathura. This mountain is
also known as Shri Giriraja (the king among mountains). He is
identical with Shri Krishna and is also known as haridasa-varya, the
best devotee of Shri Hari, for He facilitates Shri Krishna's pastimes
with His intimate friends and especially the most sacred pastimes
with the gopis. Govardhana Hill lies in the shape of a peacock,
with Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda as His eyes.
Indraloka - the planet of Indra in the celestial planets (svarga); a
place of great opulence and heavenly pleasure.
Indrapuri - the capital city of Indra in svarga, the celestial planets.
Jahnavi - a name for the Ganga, which reveals her connection with
Jahnu Rsi. Jahnu Rsi was sitting by the Ganga chanting his gayatrimantra,
when his acamana cup fell into the river and was swept away
by the current. Out of anger, Jahnu Rsi opened his mouth and
drank all the water in one gulp. King Bhagiratha, who had endeavored
with great difficulty to bring the Ganga to earth to deliver his
deceased relatives, was overwhelmed with anxiety and worshiped
the sage for several days. Jahnu Rsi then released the Ganga from
his body. Because of this incident, the Ganga is known as Jahnavi,
the daughter of Jahnu.
Jahnudvipa - one of the nine islands of Navadvipa. This place embodies
the devotional practice of vandanam, offering prayers and
obeisances. It is non-different from Bhadravana in Vraja. Jahnu Rsi
performed penances and meditation here and obtained darsana of
Shri Gauranga (see also Jahnavi and Jahnu-nagara).
Jahnu-nagara - the place where the sage, Jahnu Rsi, performed meditation
and swallowed the Ganga River. This area is also known as
Jahnudvipa and Jan-nagara.
Jambudvipa - the innermost of seven concentric islands which form
the divisions of Bhu-mandala. Jambudvipa is itself divided into
nine varsas, or tracts of land, the most famous of which is Bharatavarsa
(India). According to some opinions, this roughly corresponds
to Asia (Gaudiya-Vaishnava-Abhidhana).
Janaloka - a planet situated above Maharloka. It is obtained by the
naisthika brahmacaris, those who accept a life-long vow of celibacy
(unlike the upakurvana brahmacaris who enter the grhastha-asrama
after completing their studies). At the time of the partial devastation
of the universe, occurring at the end of Brahma's day, the three
worlds, Bhu, Bhuva, and Svarga, are consumed by flames. Although
Maharloka, the planet immediately above Svarga, is not destroyed,
the residents of Maharloka are afflicted by the heat which is raging
below, and thus they go to Janaloka. The residents of Janaloka are
not troubled by the flames which destroy the lower planets at the
time of partial annihilation, yet they do experience unease when
witnessing the devastation that takes place on the planets beneath
Kalna - see Ambika-Kalna.
Kancana-palli - also known as Kancra-para. This is the place where
Shri Vasudeva datta Thakura and Kavi Karnapura (the son of
Sivananda Sena) used to live. The parents of Sivananda Sena's
wife are also from this village. It is located on the east side of the
Ganga, approximately parallel to Saptagrama.
Kasi - 'the city of light'; another name for Varanasi. This ancient
city is located on the bank of the Ganga between Delhi (710 km)
and Calcutta (680 km). Kasi is 125 km downstream from Allahabad.
It is a famous place of pilgrimage, especially for the devotees of Lord
Siva. Kasi is celebrated as a place of learning and is a center of
Sanskrit scholarship, and particularly of advaita-vedanta and
Khola-bhanga-danga - the place where the Chand Kazi's men broke
a mrdanga and prohibited the performance of sankirtana.
Koladvipa - one of the nine islands of Navadvipa. Much of Koladvipa
is situated on the west bank of the Ganga, but a small portion is
located on the east bank. This place embodies the devotional practice
of pada-sevanam, serving the Lord's lotus feet. It is also known
as Kuliya Paharpura. Koladvipa is so named because Krishna's boar
incarnation, Shri Varahadeva (also known as Koladeva), manifested
here to a brahmana who was worshiping Him.
Kuliya - also known as Kuliya-grama and Kuliya Paharpura. It is
situated in Koladvipa on the West bank of the Bhagirathi. The
present day city of Navadvipa was formerly known as Kuliya-grama.
Shri Madhava dasa Cattopadhyaya (Chakauri Cattopadhyaya) lived
in this village. He was the father of Shrila Vamsivadanananda
Thakura. This place is also called aparadha-bhanjana-pata, the place
where offenses are destroyed. When Shriman Mahaprabhu came to
Kuliya on the way from Puri to Vrndavana, He stayed at the house
of Madhava dasa for seven days. During that time, He delivered
two great offenders, Gopala Cakravarti and Devananda Pandita,
as well as many others who came to see Him.
Madhyadvipa - one of the nine divisions of Navadvipa situated on
the east side of the Bhagirathi. It is bordered by Koladvipa on the
west side and by Godrumadvipa on the north and east sides. It was
here that in Satya-yuga, the seven rsis (Bhrgu, Marici, Atri,
Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, and Vasistha) worshiped Gauranga with
austerities and prayers on the order of their father, Brahma. Being
pleased with their prayers, Shri Gauranga appeared before the rsis
at mid-day (madhyahna). This place is thus known as Madhyadvipa.
Madhyadvipa embodies the devotional activity of smaranam, remembering
shri-hari-nama, His form, qualities, and pastimes.
Maharloka - a planet situated above Svargaloka. This place is obtained
by upakurvana brahmacaris, students of the Vedas who honor
their teacher with a gift after completing their studies and before
becoming grhasthas. The maharsis (great sages) who are progenitors
of the universe reside on this planet. One obtains this planet
by performing sacrifices, undergoing the yoga discipline and other
similar practices which are far superior to the pious activities by
which one becomes eligible for Svargaloka. When there is a partial
devastation of the universe at the end of Brahma's day, the
three worlds, Bhu, Bhuva, and Svarga, are destroyed, but the higher
planets beginning from Maharloka remain intact.
Mayapura-dhama - the appearance place of Shri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu, situated in Antardvipa within the greater region of
Navadvipa. Mayapura is located on the east bank of the Ganga.
Navadvipa forms an eight-petaled lotus. In the whorl of this lotus
lies Antardvipa, at the very center of which is Mayapura. The
actual appearance place of Shri Chaitanya is situated within
Mayapura and is known as Yogapitha, the seat of the Lord's eternal
Mithila - the ancient state ruled by King Janaka, the father of
Sita. This state extended from Camparanya to the Gandaki river.
It is now part of Nepal and includes the present city of Janakapura,
the birthplace of Sita. Janakapura is said to be the site of Shri Rama
and Sita's wedding.
Modadrumadvipa - one of the nine islands of Navadvipa.
Modadrumadvipa is situated on the west side of the Bhagirathi to
the north of Jahnudvipa. This place is also known as Mamgachi
and as Mahapata. Narayani (the mother of Shri Vrndavana dasa
Thakura), Shri Vasudeva datta, and Shri Saranga Murari used to
live here. Shri Vrndavana dasa Thakura, the writer of Chaitanyabhagavata,
took birth in Modadrumadvipa.
In Satya-yuga, Shri Rama along with Sita and Laksmana came
here during Their exile. Shri Ramacandra built a hut here underneath
a large banyan tree and they lived happily for some time.
This place is therefore known as Modadrumadvipa, the place where
Shri Rama lived with great delight under a banyan tree (moda means
happiness or delight and druma means a tree). Shri Rama disclosed
to Sita that in Kali-yuga He would appear in Navadvipa with a
splendid golden complexion as the son of Saci Mata and that she
would appear as His wife, Shri Vishnupriya. This place embodies the
devotional practice of dasyam, becoming a servant of the Lord.
Nadiya - a large district which encompasses the nine islands of
Nandagrama - the village of Nanda Maharaja, the father of Shri
Krishna. It is situated about sixty kilometers northwest of Mathura.
Nanda Maharaja and his community lived there before Krishna's
appearance. Prior to Krishna's appearance, they moved to Gokula.
When Krishna was seven years old, the family moved back to this
place and built their house on top of a large hill known as
Nandisvara-parvata (Lord Sivaji, the Lord of Nandi, in the form
of this hill). Krishna lived there from the age of seven until He was
Nandana-kanana - Indra's heavenly garden of paradise.
Navadvipa - the village (or town) of Navadvipa. This is one village
within the greater area of Navadvipa-mandala (see below). In
this book both the village of Navadvipa and Navadvipa-mandala
have been referred to simply as Navadvipa. Therefore the reader
must apply discrimination according to context to understand
when the author is referring to the village and when he is referring
to the territory of Navadvipa. In Chapter Eleven the village
of Navadvipa is called Pracina (Old) Navadvipa. There it is said
that Pracina Navadvipa was situated across the Ganga from the
village of Kuliya. Similarly in Chapter Seven it is said that Kuliyagrama
was across the Ganga from Navadvipa. In Chapter Eleven it
is said that Kuliya was situated on the western bank of the
Bhagirathi in the Koladvipa district of Navadvipa-mandala. From
these descriptions it is clear that Pracina Navadvipa was located
on the east bank of the Ganga and therefore corresponds to the
present-day site of Shri Mayapura. Kuliya-grama, situated on the
west bank of the Ganga, corresponds to the present town of
Navadvipa (see Kuliya for further confirmation of this point).
Therefore, wherever the village of Navadvipa is mentioned in
this book, it refers to Pracina Navadvipa and not to the present
town of Navadvipa.
Navadvipa-mandala - the sacred nine-island region about 130 kilometers
north of Calcutta, where Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's
early pastimes were manifest. Navadvipa consists of nine islands
which resemble an eight-petalled lotus flower. Antardvipa is at
the center of this lotus. Each of the nine divisions of Navadvipa
represents one of the nine primary angas of bhakti. These divisions
and their corresponding angas are as follows: (1) Antardvipa
(atma-nivedanam, surrendering one's very self), (2) Simantadvipa
(sravanam, hearing), (3) Godrumadvipa (kirtanam, chanting), (4)
Madhyadvipa (smaranam, remembering Shri Krishna's transcendental
names, form, qualities, and pastimes), (5) Koladvipa (padasevanam,
serving Shri Krishna's feet), (6) Rtudvipa (arcanam, worshiping),
(7) Jahnudvipa (vandanam, offering prayers and obeisances),
(8) Modadrumadvipa (dasyam, becoming a servant), and
(9) Rudradvipa (sakhyam, becoming a friend).
Nrsimhapalli - see Devapalli.
Pracina Navadvipa - the old village of Navadvipa, located on the
east bank of the Ganga. This corresponds to the present site of
Shri Mayapura (see Navadvipa for clarification).
Purvasthali - this is a place located in the western part of
Radha-kunda - 'the pond of Shri Radha', situated 26 km northwest
of Mathura. Considered to be the most sacred place of pilgrimage
for all Gaudiya Vaishnava, Radha-kunda is the direct embodiment
of Shrimati Radhika. The most confidential pastimes of Radha and
Krishna take place here.
Rtudvipa - one of the nine islands of Navadvipa. Rtudvipa is situated
west of both the Ganga and Koladvipa, and south of
Jahnudvipa. This place embodies the devotional practice of
arcanam, worshiping Shri Krishna. The word rtu means season. The
six seasons headed by spring manifest here in personified forms
and, on the pretext of conversing among themselves, they worship
Shri Gauranga in order to broadcast His transcendental pastimes.
Rtudvipa corresponds to Shri Radha-kunda in Vrndavana.
As Radha and Krishna go daily to Radha-kunda to enact Their midday
pastimes, Shri Gauranga and His associates come to Rtudvipa
daily to perform their noon pastimes.
Rudradvipa - one of the nine islands of Navadvipa. According to
the 1916 map of Shridhama Navadvipa, Rudradvipa is divided in three
by the Bhagirathi. This place embodies the devotional mood of
sakhya, friendship with Shri Krishna. It is so named because the eleven
Rudras (expansions of Lord Siva) reside here. Shri Vishnusvami, the
acarya of the Rudra sampradaya, visited this place, and both Lord
Siva and Shri Gauranga appeared before him. Shri Siva gave Vishnusvami
the benediction that he (Vishnusvami) would propagate a pure
sampradaya, which would be named after himself. Mahaprabhu
gave him the benediction that at the time of His own appearance
as Shri Gauranga, Vishnusvami would take birth as Shri Vallabhacarya.
Samudragarh - a place in the southwestern side of Rtudvipa. It is
located on the southern-most border of Navadvipa-dhama.
Dvaraka-puri and Ganga-sagara are directly present here. The
great king and bhakta of Krishna, Samudra Sena, had his capital
here. When Bhima was touring east India on behalf of his brother,
Yudhisthira, to collect tributes for the Rajasuya sacrifice, Samudra
Sena opposed him, knowing that if he put Bhima into difficulty,
Shri Krishna would come to his rescue. Krishna did appear, not to Bhima
but before the King on the battlefield, first in His original form
and then as Shri Gauranga. The ocean (samudra) also traveled to
this place through the medium of the Ganga to have darsana of
Santipura - the city where Advaita Acarya, Shri Harsa, and
Gopalacarya lived. It is situated on the east side of the Ganga
about 20 kilometers south of Krishna-nagara, which is about 12 kilometers
due east of the present town of Navadvipa. Directly across
the Ganga from Santipura is Kalna. After taking sannyasa, Shriman
Mahaprabhu went to the house of Advaita Acarya in Santipura,
after being misled by Nityananda Prabhu into thinking that He
had arrived in Vrndavana.
Saptagrama - an ancient mercantile city about 50 km north of
Calcutta on what is now the bed of the Sarasvati River.
Saptagrama is located west of the Ganga and south of Ambika-
Kalna. As the name suggests, this city encompasses seven settlements:
Saptagrama (or, in the opinion of some, Sabdakara),
Vamsavati, Sivapura, Vasudevapura, Krishnapura (or, in the opinion
of some, Candapura), Nityanandapura, and Sankha-nagara
(or Baladaghati). The village of Triveni is also included in
Saptagrama. Shri Uddharana Datta Thakura lived here. His father,
Shrikara Datta, was a wealthy gold merchant. Raghunatha dasa
Gosvami lived in Krishnapura, Kalidasa lived in Sankha-nagara,
and Balarama Acarya and Yadunandana Acarya lived in
Sarasvati a sacred river which flows in several different branches.
It is said to mix with the Ganga and Yamuna at Prayaga. The
Sarasvati formerly flowed through the area known as Saptagrama
to the south of the present town of Navadvipa, but it has now
dried up (Gaudiya-Vaishnava-Abhidhana).
Simantadvipa - one of the nine islands of Navadvipa. This place is
also known as Simuliya. It is situated east of the Bhagirathi and
north of the Jalangi, and it is at the northern border of Navadvipa.
This place embodies the devotional practice of sravanam, hearing
the glories of Shri Krishna's names, forms, qualities, and pastimes. In
Satya-yuga, Parvati worshiped Shri Gauranga here on the inspiration
of her husband, Lord Siva. When Gauranga appeared before
her, she took the dust from His feet and placed it on the part in
her hair (simanta). As a result, this place became known as
Simuliya - another name for Simantadvipa, or a section of
Simantadvipa extending from Brahmana-puskarini to Bilvapuskarini.
This area is situated in the north of Navadvipa-mandala
on the east side of the Bhagirathi.
Shrivasa-angana - the courtyard of Shrivasa Thakura situated in
Mayapura just next to the birth place of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
After Mahaprabhu received diksa from Shrila Isvara Puri in Gaya,
He returned to Navadvipa and began the sankirtana movement.
During this time He performed ecstatic kirtana every night with
His intimate associates at Shrivasa-angana. Shrivasa-angana of
navadvipa-lila is non-different from the rasa-sthali of vrndavana-lila.
Sva - (Svarga-loka) the heavenly planets (see svarga-loka).
Svarga-loka - the heavenly planets which are characterised by
material opulence, enjoyment, and duration of life far exceeding
those of the planet earth. Svarga is attained by strictly carrying
out the pious activities recommended in the karma-kanda section
of the Vedas.
Syama-kunda - 'the pond of Shri Syamasundara', situated just next
to Shri Radha-kunda. This pond is the direct embodiment of Shri
Krishna. This place is also known as Arista-kunda, because it was
the pond Krishna made at the instigation of the gopis after He killed
the Arista (bull) asura. The gopis accused Krishna of being impure
because of having killed a bull. First Shri Krishna dug a small hole
with His heal then He called all the sacred rivers throughout the
universe, and at once they came together and entered to form this
pond. Afterward, the personified deities of those rivers prayed to be
accepted in Radha's kunda also. Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda
are considered to be the eyes of Govardhana, which lies in the
shape of a peacock. They are together the site of the topmost pastimes
of Radha and Krishna and are superlative among all holy places.
Tapoloka - a planet situated above Janaloka. Topmost sages like
the four Kumaras reside on this planet which is obtained by
Vaikuntha - the spiritual world. The majestic realm of the spiritual
world which is predominated by Lord Narayana or His various
expansions. All the residents of Vaikuntha have eternal, spiritual
bodies. They possess four arms and a darkish complexion like
that of Bhagavan and are fully engaged in His service in pure
devotional love. Their sense of intimacy with Shri Bhagavan is
somewhat hampered, however, due to their aisvarya-bhava. Superior
to this is Goloka Vrndavana, the topmost planet of Shri Krishna,
which is characterised by madhurya and intimacy.
Vairagi-danga - a place situated in Shridhama Mayapura close to
Khola-bhanga-danga. Because many renounced Vaishnavas were
living in this place, it became known as Vairagi-danga.
Varanasi - see Kasi.
Vikramapura - a famous place in Bangladesh in the district of
Dhaka. Living here were Canda Raya and Kedara Raya, who were
among the twelve feudal princes governing Bengal during the
Muslim regime. At first they were saktas (worshipers of Durga),
but later they became disciples of Shrila Narottama Thakura.
Vraja-dhama - the one hundred sixty-eight square mile tract of
land where Shri Krishna enacted His earthly pastimes.
Vrndavana - 'the forest of Vrnda'; the famous place where Shri
Krishna enacted many of His enchanting lilas. Vrndavana is situated
approximately 12 kilometers northeast of Mathura, along
the western bank of the Yamuna river. It is one of the twelve
forests of Vraja and within it are twelve smaller forests: Atalavana
(mountain forest), Korarivana (osprey forest), Viharavana (pleasure
pastime forest), Gocaranavana (cowherding forest), Kaliyadamanavana
(subduing Kaliya forest), Gopalavana (the cowherds
forest), Nikunjavana (bower forest), Nidhuvana (treasure forest),
Radhabaga (Radha's garden), Jhulavana (swing pastime forest),
Gahvaravana (secret forest), and Papadavana (forest of harsh
Yamuna - a sacred river flowing through Vraja-mandala. She is
considered the holiest of rivers because Krishna performed many
sublime lilas in her waters with the gopis and gopas. In this world
she appears at Yamunottari in the Himalayas.Yamuna is described
as an expansion of Visakha Devi: visakhorasi ya visnor yasyam visnur
jalatmani nityam nimajjati pritya tam saurim yamunam stumah -
"Lord Vishnu daily immerses Himself and plays with great pleasure
and affection in the water of Yamuna, the liquid form of Visakha
Devi. Thus I offer prayers to Yamuna Devi, the daughter of Surya."