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The Procedure for Parikrama of the Dhama
All glories to Lord Chaitanya, the moon of Navadvipa and son of mother Shaci! All glories to Nityananda Raya, the avadhuta! All glories to Shri Advaita Prabhu! All glories to Gadadhara and Shrivasa Pandita!
All glories to Navadvipa-dhama, the essence of all dhamas, which advented along with Gaurachandra.
Now hear, brothers, of the places that I will describe within the sixteen kroshas of Navadvipa-dhama.
There eternally exists sixteen rivers within the sixteen krosha area of Navadvipa. On the eastern bank of the main Ganges are four islands and on the western bank there are five. The different tributaries of the Ganges surround these islands and give the dhama its splendor. The main Ganges always flows in the middle, while other pious rivers flow in various tributaries. Near the Ganges flows the beautiful Yamuna, and the Sarasvati flows within another river. East of the Yamuna are the long streams of the Tamraparni, the Kritamala, and the Brahmaputra. The Sarayu, Narmada, Sindhu, Kaveri, Gomati, and Godavari flow swiftly throughout the breadth of Navadvipa. All these rivers intersect to form the nine different islands of Navadvipa.
Following the desires of the Lord, sometimes the streams dry up, and then again by His wish they flow with water; by the Lord's wish sometimes places become covered with water, and by His wish they again become visible. In this way the dhama endlessly enacts its lila, but the same dhama remains always manifest to the fortunate living entity. If a devotee has an acute desire in his heart, all the islands and rivers will be visible. By devotion, the dhama is sometimes visible in dreams, meditation, or to the naked eye.
The island which lies at the junction of the Ganges and Yamuna is known in the shastras as Antardvipa. Within Antardvipa lies the holy sanctuary of Mayapur, where Lord Chaitanya appeared. Know, devotees, that Mahavana, in the center of Goloka, is none other than Mayapur of Navadvipa.
Shvetadvipa, Vaikuntha, Goloka, and Vrindavana reside in Navadvipa at all times. By the order of Gaurachandra, the seven holy cities: Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya (Haridvara), Kashi, Kanci, Avanti (Ujjain), and Dvaraka, are always present in their own places within Navadvipa. The city of Maya, at Gangadvara, has its original form as Mayapur in Navadvipa-dhama. The glories of this particular place are profusely sung in the scriptures.
That person who once visits Mayapur is easily freed from the bondage of maya. One who walks throughout Mayapur is freed from the influence of maya and the repetition of birth.
North of Mayapur lies Simantadvipa. Sadhu and shastra have explained the rules of parikrama. After having darshana of Mayapur in
Antardvipa, learned devotees go to Simantadvipa. Next one should go south of Mayapur to Godrumadvipa, then one should joyfully go to Madhyadvipa. After seeing these four islands on the east bank, one should reverently cross the Ganges. Having walked around Koladvipa at leisure, then take darshana of Ritudvipa. After seeing the most beautiful Jahnudvipa, go see Modadrumadvipa and then Rudradvipa.
Then again cross the Ganges, and walk back to Mayapur. There, respectfully enter the temple of Jagannatha Mishra and Shacidevi and take darshana of the Lord. This is the procedure of parikrama for all times. One who follows this practice will obtain unlimited happiness.
Everyone considers the best time for performing parikrama is from the tithi of Makara-saptami upto the full moon, or purnima, of Phalguna. After finishing parikrama, fortunate persons take darshana at Mayapur on the birthday of Lord Chaitanya. Nitai and Chaitanya bestow Their mercy and the shade of Their lotus feet on those persons, who thus attain the qualification to execute devotional service.
Briefly I have described the rules for parikrama, and now I will describe everything in detail. Therefore, please listen. Whoever walks around the one hundred sixty-eight miles of Gauda-mandala will quickly obtain the treasure of gaura-prema.
Desiring to obtain the shade of the lotus feet of Jahnava and Nitai, Bhaktivinoda reveals these truths.