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Shri Ganganagara, Prithu-kunda, Simantadvipa,
All glories to Shri Chaitanya, the son of mother Shaci! All glories to Nityananda, the life of Jahnava! All glories to Advaita, the husband of Sita. All glories to Gadadhara! And all glories to Gauranga's associates headed by Shrivasa!
Early the next morning, Nityananda went out with Shrivasa and Shri Jiva. Rama Dasa and other devotees joined as they continued on, performing sankirtana all the while. When they came to the very edge of Antardvipa, Nityananda pointed out Ganganagara to Jiva.
"Listen, Jiva, this Ganganagara was founded by Bhagiratha of the Raghu family. When the Ganges came down, King Bhagiratha led the way, blowing a conch shell. But when the Ganges arrived at Navadvipa-dhama, she stopped and would not proceed. Bhagiratha saw this and became fearful. Retracing his steps, he came towards the Ganges. At this place, Ganganagara, he began to perform austerities. Satisfied with this, Gangadevi personally appeared before him.
"Bhagiratha said, `Mother Ganges, if you do not proceed on, my forefathers will never be delivered.'
"Gangadevi said, `Listen dear child, Bhagiratha. Just stay here patiently for a few days. Now we are in Navadvipa, and Magha month is coming. At the end of Phalguna month I will go to deliver your forefathers. O Bhagiratha, my waters emanate from the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, so now here in His own dhama I would like to have my desires fulfilled. On the Phalguna Purnima, the birthday of the Lord, my vow will be completed. Then certainly I will go with you. Do not fear.' Thus Bhagiratha, the leader of the Raghu family, stayed here in Ganganagara until the Phalguna Purnima.
"On the Phalguna Purnima, one who fasts, takes bath in the Ganges here, and worships Gauranga will cross over the material ocean along with his ancestors. Along with one thousand ancestors, he attains Goloka after death no matter where he dies.
"O Jiva, this place is unlimitedly glorious because Shri Chaitanya danced here many times. Also see here the houses of Gangadasa and Sanjaya Dasa, which are always pleasing.
"O learned one, now hear the glories of this beautiful pond to the east. Although it is now known as Ballal-dighi, it was variously described in Satya-yuga. At that time, Prithu Maharaja was leveling the rough places of the earth by cutting down the hills. As he began leveling this area, a great effulgence came forth. When the workers told this to Prithu Maharaja, he came to see the phenomenon. As he was a shaktyavesha-avatara, an empowered incarnation, by meditation he understood that this place was Navadvipa. He kept the glories of this place secret at that time and ordered that a kunda be established there. This kunda thus became celebrated as Prithu-kunda throughout Navadvipa-dhama. The villagers felt indescribable bliss on drinking the pure water of this kunda.
"Later, King Lakshmana Sena dug out the kunda and made it bigger and deeper. Desiring to deliver his forefathers, he named it Ballal-dighi [after his father, Ballal Sena]. See that beautiful hill. Lakshmana Sena's house, now broken with the passing of time, once stood there.
"All these places are ornaments of Navadvipa which various kings established to gain pious credits. Later, the yavana kings desecrated this place, therefore the devotees no longer worship here. The earth itself is very pure, but no one lives here due to fear of the impure yavana's association. Because a great offense was committed to the Deity of the Lord, the devotees gave up this place."
Saying this, Nityananda Prabhu roared loudly and went on to nearby Simuliya. He then described that place to Jiva, "Know this to be Simantadvipa. Saints know Simantadvipa to be on the border of Navadvipa on the south bank of the Ganges. In time, the Ganges will devour all but one sacred portion, named Simuliya, where materialistic people will worship Parvati. Listen to the story.
"One time during Satya-yuga, Lord Shiva began madly dancing, while chanting the name of Gauranga. Parvati asked him, `Please tell me who is Gauranga. By seeing your astonishing dance and hearing the name of Gauranga, my heart is melting. All that I have heard in the way of mantra and tantra till now only leads to more entanglement for the living entities. Dear husband, please tell me something of this Gauranga. By worshiping Him will I receive actual life?'
Hearing Parvati's words, Shiva meditated on Gauranga and said, `Unto you, who are the primordial energy, one portion of Shri Radha, I will tell the crest-jewel of all truths. Accepting the spiritual emotions of Shri Radha, Krishna will descend in this Kali-yuga at Mayapur in the womb of Shaci. Lord Gauranga, intoxicated with pastimes of kirtana, will distribute the jewel of prema to everyone without discrimination.
Whoever does not drown in that flood of prema is most unfortunate. O Devi, just by remembering the Lord's promise that He will come, I pass my life drowning in love of God. Being unable to control myself, I have given up my own city of Kashi. Within Mayapur, on the bank of the Ganges, I will live in a hut and worship Gauranga.'
"Hearing Shiva's words, beautiful Parvati quickly went to Simantadvipa. As she constantly meditated on the form of Gauranga and chanted His name, she became immersed in prema. After some time, Gaurachandra appeared with His associates to bestow mercy on Parvati. His complexion was like molten gold. He had long arms, wavy hair, and beautiful limbs. He was wearing a long dhoti folded thrice, and from His neck swung a garland of flowers, which was very attractive to behold. In a voice choked with love, Gaura Raya said, `O Parvati, why have you come here?'
"Parvati fell at the lotus feet of the master of the universe and with an agitated mind explained her sorrow: `O Prabhu Jagannatha, life of the universe, though You are merciful to all, You have deceived me. O deliverer of the fallen, You have appointed me to bind up all the living entities in the material world who are averse to You. I have come into the material world to do this work, and have thus been cheated of Your unlimited prema. People say that wherever Krishna is there is no Maya. I am therefore forced to always remain outside Your spiritual realm, in the material world. So how will I ever see Your pastimes? If You do not offer a way, I am without hope.'
"Saying this, Parvati put Gauranga's foot dust on her simanta (part in the hair) in great distress. From that, the name of Simantadvipa came. Ignorant people call the place Simuliya.
"Gaurachandra was pleased, and He said to Parvati, `O supreme goddess, listen carefully to My words. You are My energy, you are not separate or different from Me. My one energy has two forms. Within the spiritual kingdom, My original energy has one form as Shri Radha, but for carrying out activities in the material world She has expanded Herself as you. Without you, My lila could not be accomplished, for in the form of Yogamaya, you are necessary in My pastimes. In Vraja, you are eternally present as Paurnamasi, and in Navadvipa you are present as Praudha Maya along with Kshetrapala Shiva, guardian of the dhama.'
"Saying this, Gauranga disappeared, and Parvati became overwhelmed with love. Parvati stays in one form as the goddess of Simantadvipa, and in another form as Praudha Maya in Mayapur."
After saying this, Nityananda Prabhu took Jiva and quickly entered the Chand Kazi's village, where He said, "O Jiva, hear My words. The Chand Kazi's village is none other than Mathura. After performing kirtana, Gauranga gave love of God to the Kazi and liberated him. Mathura's King Kamsa of krishna-lila became Chand Kazi in gaura-lila. For that reason Gauranga addressed the Kazi as His maternal uncle, and out of fear the Kazi took shelter of Gauranga's lotus feet.
"Under orders from Hussain Shah, who was the king of the Bengal empire and Jarasandha in krishna-lila, the Kazi caused disturbance during kirtana performance by breaking the mridangas. The Lord, appearing in the form of Nrisimha, put fear in the Kazi's heart. Like Kamsa, the Kazi cowered in fear. Shri Chaitanya, however, gave him prema and thus made the Kazi a great devotee. The very fortunate hear this story of the Kazi's liberation.
"Just see the difference between Vraja-tattva and Navadvipa-tattva. Those who offend Krishna are liberated by merging into the Lord's effulgence, whereas in Navadvipa the offenders receive the treasure of love of God. Therefore, Lord Gauranga's pastimes are considered the highest. Gauranga's abode, name, form, and qualities do not consider offense; rather, they expertly deliver one from any offense. If the devotee has some offense in his heart, then Krishna's name and abode will deliver him only after a long time. But Gauranga's name and abode immediately bestow prema on the devotee, for offenses create no obstacle and are easily overcome. O Jiva, see the Kazi's samadhi. By seeing this samadhi the living entities' old age and disease are vanquished."
Overwhelmed with love, Nityananda then quickly moved on to Shankhavanik-nagara, where He spoke to Jiva, "Sharashanga is a wonderful sight. Even the name is most enchanting. Jagannatha resides here with the shabaras. When the demon Raktabahu created disturbances, the Lord came here with His dayita (beloved). Know for certain that this place is nondifferent from Jagannatha Puri, for Lord Jagannatha is eternally situated here."
Going past Tantuvaya-grama, they saw the cottage of Kolaveca Shridhara. The Lord said, "After performing kirtana, Gaurahari blessed His devotee by taking rest here. For that reason it is called Vishrama-sthana (place of resting). Now you may take rest here at Shridhara's house."
When Shridhara heard the Lord coming, he came out and offered full obeisances and worship to the Lord. Shridhara said, "O Lord, You are very merciful to this servant. I beg You to take rest here."
Nityananda said, "You are very fortunate, for the Lord showed His mercy on you. Today we will take rest here."
Hearing this, Shridhara's desire was fulfilled. With great attention he gathered suitable items and had some devotee brahmanas cook. After Nityananda and Shrivasa finished their meal, Shri Jiva took the remnants with great bliss. Shridhara then made Nityananda Prabhu lie down on a cot, and, along with his family, he began massaging the Lord's lotus feet.
In the afternoon, Shrivasa took Jiva to see Shashthi-tirtha. Shrivasa said, "Listen, Jiva. Previously, when the demigods heard that Mahaprabhu would descend at Navadvipa, Vishvakarma came to Nadia town. He saw that it would be hard to get water on the roads where the Lord would do kirtana in the future. In one night he dug out sixty (shashthi) wide ponds, the last at the Kazi's village. See one of those ponds near Shridhara's beautiful banana patch. Mahaprabhu would sometimes play in the water here and then take Shridhara's bananas. Even now Shridhara takes his banana flowers and banana stem vegetables to Shaci with great happiness.
"Nearby this place is Mayamari. Listen to the story from the Puranas. When Baladeva was on pilgrimage, He came to Navadvipa to take rest. The brahmanas there told Him about the Mayasura demon. Hearing about the disturbance that the demon was causing, Baladeva quickly came running to meet the demon in the field. A great battle ensued between Balarama and the demon, and at last the demon was killed. Since then the place has been called Mayamari. This is a very old story I am telling you. In Vrindavana, this tirtha is called Talavana, and it is visible to those who are fortunate."
That night they all stayed there, and the next day, with cries of, "Hari! Hari!" they continued their pilgrimage.
Aspiring only to attain the shade of the lotus feet of Jahnava and Nityananda, this servant reveals the glorification of Nadia.