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Shri Mayapur and Antardvipa
All glories to Shri Chaitanya, the son of Shaci! All glories to Nityananda the life of Jahnava! All glories to Navadvipa, the topmost dhama where Gauranga advented in Kali-yuga.
Nityananda Prabhu began speaking, "Listen to My words. Navadvipa extends over sixteen kroshas. Within the sixteen kroshas of Navadvipa, which are nondifferent from Vrindavana, there are nine islands, which form an eight-petaled lotus floating on the water. In the middle of the eight islands, or petals, lies Antardvipa. And within Antardvipa, lies the very central point, Mayapur. The eternal pastimes of Lord Chaitanya take place within Yogapitha and the circle of Mayapur, the circumference of which measures three and a half miles and the diameter measures just over one mile. Because the Panca-tattva are seated at the Yogapitha, it is the most glorious of all places.
"By the desire of the Lord, this will soon be nearly hidden under the waters of the Ganges. Then later, by the powerful desire of the Lord, the dhama will again be revealed and shine effulgently. The eternal dhama is never really lost but is temporarily covered, and then again it appears to our eyes.
"My worshipable Lord eternally resides at Mayapur, situated on the east bank of the Ganges. Although in the eyes of common people, Vishvambhara took sannyasa and left Navadvipa to go elsewhere, actually My Gauranga never gives up Mayapur or Navadvipa. The devotees can perceive His daily pastimes. You, Jiva, will also see Gauranga dancing.
"Around Mayapur is beautiful Antardvipa, where Brahma received the darshana of Gauranga. O Jiva, if you want to see all this, please go on parikrama. It will be very beneficial for you."
Hearing the Lord's words, Jiva, with tears in his eyes, fell flat like a stick at Nityananda's feet and requested, "You will show real mercy on this unworthy wretch if You personally take me on parikrama."
Hearing Jiva's request, Nityananda Raya simply said, "So be it." By
that, He revealed His mind. Nityananda said, "Jiva, today take darshana of Mayapur. Tomorrow we will tour more extensively."
Saying this, Nityananda Prabhu got up, and Jiva followed Him with a happy heart. Nityananda moved forward slowly, for His body was extremely agitated with ecstatic love for Gauranga. Nityananda Prabhu was engrossed in ecstasy, and His enchanting form was decorated with gold ornaments which glittered and shone. The very feet that Brahma and Shiva cannot attain by meditation were served out to Shri Jiva simply by the mercy of Shri Nityananda. Thus Jiva followed the Lord taking the dust of the Lord's feet and smearing it over his body. Off he went in great happiness.
They entered Jagannatha Mishra's house and Nityananda introduced Jiva at the feet of mother Shaci, "O mother, this is the magnanimous Shri Jiva, a fortunate and dear servant of Shri Chaitanya."
When the Lord said this, Jiva fell over like a tree uprooted by a storm. Falling at Shaci's feet, he rolled on the ground out of control as he exhibited various symptoms of ecstasy. Mother Shaci mercifully blessed him, and on that very day, in that very house, they took prasada.
Receiving the order from mother Shaci, Vishnupriyadevi cooked various dishes of rice, vegetables, chutney, and sweets. Vamshivadana Dasa offered the bhoga attentively to Gauranga. Ishana Thakura felt delighted within as he arranged a sitting place and served Nityananda the prasada. In motherly affection, Shaci said, "My child Nityananda, eat at Your mother's house! Unseen by You, I have made Gauranga eat this. So when You eat, my mind becomes very happy."
Hearing His mother's words, Nityananda Raya ate in great bliss. Afterwards, as Jiva took the remnants, he exclaimed, "I am greatly blessed to take prasada in the house of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Mayapur."
Having eaten, Nityananda took leave of Shacidevi's lotus feet. At this time they took Vamshivadana Dasa into their group. After Jiva offered his respects at Vamshi's feet, Nityananda introduced him to Jiva, "The devotees know that this Vamshivadana is none other than Krishna's dear flute, by whose mercy the living entities become attracted to Krishna. They then develop great thirst, to attain the rasa dance.
"Look, Jiva, Shri Chaitanya would bring us in this house, and we enjoyed many pastimes here. See, here is Jagannatha Mishra's temple, where he would daily worship Lord Vishnu. And in this house, he used to serve his guests. See this tulasi bower. While Gaurachandra was still here, He performed all the duties that His father observed. Relying on the authoritative words of Vamshivadana, Ishana now performs those duties every day. Here, there was a nimba tree, which disappeared by Shri Chaitanya's touch."
Lord Nityananda wept as He described this, and Jiva and Vamshivadana also cried in response. Meanwhile, Shrivasa Pandita came there to see what was happening. The four of them then left Jagannatha Mishra's house and proceeded to Shrivasa's courtyard, two hundred meters to the north. With a joyful mind, Nityananda Prabhu showed this to Jiva.
Jiva was agitated with love as he remembered the Lord's pastimes, and he rolled on the ground in Shrivasa's courtyard. Then, just as Jiva was getting up, he saw Gauranga dancing wonderfully amidst His intimate associates in sankirtana. Advaita, Nityananda, Gadadhara, and Haridasa were dancing and singing. And they were joined by Shuklambara and hundreds of others. Seeing this, Jiva became unconscious with ecstatic love.
Regaining his consciousness, he could no longer see that pastime. Jiva Gosvami began to cry and lament, "Why couldn't I have taken birth a little earlier? I have not been fortunate enough to enjoy the bliss of such kirtana! Nityananda's mercy is unlimited, however, for by His grace I have been fortunate for a moment's time. My wish is to stay here forever so that the troubles of material existence will go far away. But the Lord's order is stronger than the servant's wish! My heart is beating wildly at the thought of leaving Mayapur!"
Nityananda next took Jiva to Advaita's house, twenty meters to the north. "Jiva, see the house of Sita-natha, Advaita Acarya, where the Vaishnavas would meet to discuss Krishna. Shri Advaita worshiped Krishna here and, calling loudly, brought this treasure, My Lord Gauranga."
After rolling on the ground there, the four men went to the house of Gadadhara, just ten meters to the east. From that place, Nityananda showed Jiva the various houses of Lord Chaitanya's associates. After seeing the houses of the brahmana community, they proceeded to the bank of the Ganges in a happy mood. There, at the border of Mayapur, Jiva saw the Vriddha Shiva temple.
Nityananda Prabhu said, "He is the guardian of Mayapur. This is where the Praudha-maya energy, yoga-maya, in charge of spiritual perception) is eternally situated. When our Lord disappears, by His desire, the Ganges will swell. The Ganges water will almost cover Mayapur for a hundred years, and then the water will again recede. For some time only the place will remain, devoid of houses. Then again, by the Lord's desire, this place will become prominent, and people will live in Mayapur as before. All these ghatas on the bank of the Ganges will again be manifest, and the devotees will build temples of the Lord. One exceedingly wonderful temple will appear from which Gauranga's eternal service will be preached everywhere. Praudha Maya and Vriddha Shiva will again come and perform their duties of revealing the spiritual dhama according to the Lord's desire."
Hearing this, Jiva folded his hands and then, taking hold of Nityananda's lotus feet, he said, "O Lord, You are the cause of Shesha. You expand Yourself as the dhama and the holy name, and You are the shelter of the various forms of the Lord. Even though You act according to the Lord's desire, still You are the guru of all living entities and all energies rest upon You. Of course, whoever distinguishes between You and Gauranga is considered by the wise to be a rascal. O omniscient Supreme Lord, You have descended to display Your pastimes. One doubt has come into my heart. Please tell me where Shiva and his consort will go when the Ganges hides Mayapur."
Nityananda said, "Listen to My words, Jiva. Please look at that land on the west side of the Ganges. That high sandy shoal is called Paradanga. A community of brahmanas live there. North of that, is the bank of the Ganges, which the wise know as Chinadanga. At that place, a village will be established wherein Shiva and his energy will stay for some time. Who can properly describe the glories of that riverbank, called Pulina? There, where the Ganges flows, is the location of the rasa dance. Only a sandy place of land is visible to the naked eye, but that place is a jewel-like eternal dhama where transcendental pastimes take place. Mayapur is considered Gokula Mahavana, and Paradanga is Sattikara [presently Chatikara]. And that place, Pulina, is Vrindavana with Shri Rasa-mandala. Later, the sound of tumultuous kirtana will be heard there.
"There is Mayapur and Shri Pulina and in the middle flows the Ganges. O magnanimous one, you should understand that all of this is the abode of Gauranga. One who walks these five kroshas of the dhama will see Mayapur and Shri Pulina. And whoever walks these five kroshas with the devotees on the Phalguna Purnima day receives the eternal treasure of love of God.
"O Jiva, hear a confidential topic. There is a very beautiful Deity of Gauranga belonging to Vishnupriya, which in the future will be brought to Sattikara by brahmanas descending from the family of Jagannatha Mishra. Four hundred years after Lord Gauranga's appearance in this world, the worship of the Deity will be restored to the highest standard. But do not reveal any of this. Just do parikrama, feeling internal joy.
"Six meters from Vriddha Shiva-ghata, see Gauranga's own ghata. There Gaurahari in His childhood played in the water and pulled many pranks. Seeing the Yamuna's good fortune of taking part in Krishna's pastimes, the Ganges performed penance for the same purpose. Krishna bestowed His mercy by appearing before Gangadevi and saying, `In the form of Gauranga I will perform pastimes in your waters.' Those pastimes were performed by the Supreme Lord of the three worlds, Gauranga, at this ghata. Fortunate people who see this place attain great happiness."
"Thirty meters north is Madhai's ghata, which is known to all. Ten meters north of this lies one ghata that attracts the minds of the townspeople. This exceedingly beautiful ghata is called Barakona-ghata. It was constructed on Krishna's order by Vishvakarma. At this ghata you will see five Shiva temples with five lingas. These four ghatas make Mayapur very beautiful. Moreover, whoever takes bath here is relieved of all miseries.
"East of Mayapur, the land is known as Antardvipa. By the Lord's desire this place will remain uninhabited for a long time. Then later, people will again live there, and it will be famous as one of the glories of Nadia. Jiva, today stay in Mayapur and tomorrow we will go to Simantadvipa."
Hearing this, Jiva then said, "One question has arisen. Please listen. When Gangadevi again uncovers Mayapur, by what signs will the devotees be able to rediscover the concealed sites?"
Hearing this, Nityananda Prabhu answered with nectarlike words, "Listen, Jiva, when the Ganges covers this place, one corner of Mayapur will remain intact. Many yavanas will take up residence there, yet the name will remain Mayapur. About one thousand meters southwest of the remaining place, one will see a slightly raised area covered with vegetation. That will indicate Jagannatha Mishra's house. Ten meters from there is the Vriddha Shiva temple. From such measurement one will be able to discern everything. A pond called Shiva-doba will be seen, indicating the previous bank of the Ganges. In this way, by the Lord's wish, the devotees will reveal the lost places. Know this for certain. At the end of four hundred years, the task of recovering the lost tirthas will begin."
Shri Jiva said, "O Lord, what is the reason for the name Antardvipa?"
Nityananda Prabhu answered, "At the end of Dvapara-yuga, Brahma undertook austerities here with a desire to achieve Gauranga's mercy. Brahma had tried to deceive Govinda by stealing the cowherd boys and calves, but when he saw he was defeated by his own tricks, he became miserable and regretted his offense. He entreated Krishna with many prayers, and Krishna forgave him. But later, Brahma considered, `Thinking that I am the creator of the universe is useless. Simply because of this fault I have been deprived of krishna-prema and enjoyment of the rasas of Vrindavana. If I could have taken birth as a cowherd boy, I could have easily served the master of the gopis. Although I was not able to achieve the nectar of those pastimes, now, when Gauranga appears, I will not fall prey to my wicked mind!'
"Thinking like this, Brahma began meditating and performing austerities in Antardvipa. After many days, Gaurachandra mercifully came and said, `O Brahma, I am satisfied with your austerities. I have come to fulfill your desire.'
"When Brahma opened his eyes, he saw Gauranga and fell to the earth unconscious. The Lord put His foot on Brahma's head, and Brahma was enlightened with transcendental knowledge and began to pray.`I am a low and worthless wretch, controlled by pride. Forgetting Your lotus feet, I have turned to material sense gratification. I myself, Lord Shiva, and the demigods headed by Indra are Your subjugated servants. This is written in scripture. But we are not so fortunate as Your pure servants, and thus maya covers us with the net of illusion.
The first one hundred trillion years of my life have passed and I have been forced to realize this at last. How will I spend the second one hundred trillion years of my life? If I remain in illusion, I will simply suffer. My only prayer is that I may become Your associate when You manifest Your pastimes. Having given up the illusion that I am the creator, I want to take birth in Your association and sing Your glories.'
"Hearing Brahma's prayers, Lord Gauranga benedicted him saying, `So be it. When My pastimes become visible on earth, you will take birth in a yavana's house. Your name will be Haridasa Thakura, and you will be famous for your humility and completely free from all pride. You will chant three hundred thousand names a day, and when you pass from this world you will be seeing Me. And at the end of the second one hundred trillion years of your life, you will attain Navadvipa-dhama and be absorbed in eternal rasa.
"`Brahma, hear these secret (antara) words, but do not reveal this openly in the scriptures. Taking the role of a devotee, I will taste the nectar of bhakti-rasa and propagate the most rare process of sankirtana. I will make the devotees of all the previous avataras drunk with the nectar of Vrindavana. The love that Shri Radhika possesses is beyond My experience, so I will appear with Her sentiments and complexion. Taking the position of Radha, I will taste that happiness that only Radha obtains in serving Me. From today, act as My disciple and, in the form of Haridasa, always serve Me.'
"Saying this, Gauranga became invisible, and Brahma fell to the ground unconscious.
"`O Gauranga! Friend of the poor, dear to the devotees. when will I attain Your lotus feet?' he cried. In this way he wept for many days and then returned to his duties in Brahmaloka."
Desiring only to attain the lotus feet of Nitai and Jahnava, this low, worthless, and useless Bhaktivinoda sings this glorification of Nadia.