|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Other Scriptures by Acharyas > Navadvipa Krishna Chaitanya Holy Land > Introduction|
Haribolo! Here we all are at the most merciful and auspicious, purifying and sanctifying, holy and blessed place in all the worlds, Shri Navadwip Dham. Looking around, I am overjoyed to see so many of the same faces that I saw in Shri Vrindavan Dham when we all performed Shri Vraja Mandala Parikrama last Kartik. What supreme good fortune we all must have to be doubly blessed by this most auspicious opportunity to perform parikrama here again in Shri Navadwip Dham as well. Prabhu Nityananda is surely showering us with His mercy without reservation.As the supersoul He is reflecting, these devotees have performed both Shri Vraja Mandala Parikrama and Shri Navadwip Dham Parikrama all in the same lifetime. How wonderful! How marvelous! These devotees are certainly worthy of entering into the service of Shri Krishna Chaitanya and spreading His glorious sankirtan movement throughout the universe. Let Me shower My mercy upon them fully so that inundated by Gaura Prema they can immerse themselves completely in the ambrosial nectar of Shri Krishna Chaitanya's radiantly effulgent and glorious transcendental pastimes.Tomorrrow is the tithi of Makara Saptami, six days before Gaura Purnima in the month of Phalguna, the 503rd year of Gaura Era. We will begin our parikrama of Shri Navadwip Dham on this most auspicious day. I have seen their Divine Graces Puri Maharaj and Janardan Maharaj, both disciples of His Divine Grace Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, here along with their Divine Graces Gurupad Padma Vaman Maharaj and Shripada Trivikram Maharaj along with many other sannyasis as well. To these maha-bhagavatas of the Lord, Prabhu Nityananda and Shri Krishna Chaitanya are their life and soul. They are literally staying alive on this earth just to preach the glories of Shri Krishna Chaitanya and to spread His glorious sankirtan movement.
Let us not waste any time. Let us immediately run to the sacred Ganges and take bath just like we did in the holy Yamuna at Vrindavan. Let us bowing down to Ganga devi with the utmost reverence and respect begging her for her mercy while remembering how she emanates from the lotus feet of Vishnu traveling down from the spiritual sky to the heavenly planets through Shiva's matted locks down to the earth, where she appears in the Himalayas and traveling down through India she courses through Bengal until she happily arrives in Shri Gaura Mandala and Shri Navadwip Dham. We should bathe in her sacred waters taking the vow to honor the Holy Dham and all its inhabitants and to try our best not to make any offenses while visiting the most Holy Dham. The Holy Dham is totally transcendental in every way and is thus not subject to any mundane materialistic or speculative considerations.So let us all now humbly bow down with the utmost reverence and humility thinking ourselves highly unworthy to be even permitted to enter this most Holy Dham. In this frame of mind we will with all our hearts, make sankalpa to maintain a state of purity both internally as well as externally, not to harm or offend any living creature and to always joyfully engage ourselves in chanting:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
By having association with devotees, by hearing about Shri Krishna Chaitanya's transcendental pastimes, by discussing these wonderful pastimes with others, by eating food offered to Him, by smelling flowers worn by Him, by watching arati performed to Him, and by travelling to all the places where His radiantly, marvelous and effulgent transcendental pastimes were blissfully performed: in all these wonderful and fascinating ways we dedicate our bodies, our minds, our hearts and our souls to this most holy, sacred and blessedly purifying pilgrimage "Shri Navadwip Dham Parikrama".
Opening Remarks by His Divine Grace Narayan Maharaj
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai shri gurave namah
"I offer my most humble obeisances unto my spiritual master, who has opened my eyes which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge."
visvambharau dvijavarau yuga-dharma-palau
vande jagat priyakarau karuna-palau
"I offer my most humble obeisances unto Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Shri Prabhu Nityananda, the most munificent, the most magnanimous, the most benevolent incarnations of the Supreme Lord ever to grace this material world. Those best of brahmanas so mercifully initiated and propagated the only religion for the Age of Kali: Nama Sankir-tan, the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord Krishna."
namas chaitanyacandraya koti-candranana-tvise
"Let me offer again my most humble obeisances to Shri Krishna Chaitanya, whose face has more splendour than millions of moons and whose beautiful smile is full of bliss from the ocean of pure love of Krishna."
sada hrdaya kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandana
"May the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna Chaitanya, possessing a splendour more beautiful than molten gold and who is known as the son of Sacimata, always be manifest within your heart."
bhaje svetadwipam tarn aham iha golokam itiyam
vidantas te santah ksiti-virala-carah katipaye
"I worship that transcendental seat, Svetadvipa, which is known as Goloka only to a very few self-realized souls in this world."
I offer my humble obeisances to that merciful, sanctifying, divine, transcendental land known as Shri Navadwip Dham. Navadwip Dham is called Brahmapur in the Chandogya Sruti, Vaikunthaloka by the liberated sages and rishis, Svetadvipa in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam and the Brahma Samhita, and Vraja by the great maha-bhagavata devotees of the Lord. The glories of Shri Navadwip Dham, which is the pastime place of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, the son of Mother Saci, whose color is like the hue of molten gold, the color of Shrimati Radharani, is none other than Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. He appeared as the personification of maha-bhava in the form of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, and He is the enjoyer of all transcendental mellows, which are unlimited, unfathomble, and unimaginable.
Just as Shri Krishna's incarnation as Shri Krishna Chaitanya Maha-prabhu is very confidential, His holy land, Shri Navadwip Dham, is equally confidential. Shri Navadwip Dham is eternally existing and always manifest, but the conditioned living entities, having turned away from the Supreme Lord Krishna and being covered by the deluding energy of the Lord, are unable to envision this Holy Dham.Only by the causeless mercy of Prabhu Nityananda may a living entity perceive the true glories of Shri Navadwip Dham. When one receives mercy from Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Yogamaya blesses such a fortunate soul and instructs Mahamaya to remove the deluding covering of material existence. Then only may a living entity have the complete vision of Shri Navadwip Dham. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna, who is known as Vrajendra Nandana and Shyamasundar, is the ultimate manifestation of the Absolute Truth. He is the cause of all causes and the source of all sources. He Himself is without any beginning. He possesses a transcendental body, is All-knowing, All-powerful and most merciful. He is both the personification of all mellows and the enjoyer of all mellows. Lord Shri Krishna, who always performs loving, sweet pastimes, distributes His love to others through His generous and magnanimous incarnation known as Shri Krishna Chaitanya.
Lord Shri Krishna is Shri Krishna Chaitanya, and in the same way, Lord Shri Krishna's abode Vrindavana Dham.is not different from Shri Krishna Chaitanya's abode Navadwip Dham. Both the circumference of Shri Vrindavan Dham and the circumference of Shri Navadwip Dham are 32 square miles. According to the scriptures, the sequel to Krishna's Vrindavan pastimes 5000 years ago is Gaura lila, the pastimes of Shri Krishna Chaitanya in Navadwip 500 years ago. Vrindavan Dham and Navadwip Dham, as well as their glories, are eternally situated on the transcendental plane. Lord Ananta Sesa with His thousands of mouths is unable to fully describe the glories of these two holy dhams. Even the opulent splendor of Jagannath Puri and the magnificent grandeur of Dwaraka Puri, which are the Supreme Lord's royal abodes, cannot compare to Shri Navadwip Dham and Shri Vrindavan Dham. In Vrindavan Dham the Supreme Lord Krishna Himself fully tastes and enjoys the mellows of love. But in Navadwip Dham, Krishna, as Shri Krishna Chaitanya, in merciful and wonderous ways freely distributes love of God.
One wishing to enter the mellows of Vraja is guaranteed success by taking full shelter of Navadwip Dham, Shri Krishna Chaitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, and all of Their eternal associates. Having taken shelter, one very easily attains the love available in Vrindavan. In Lord Chaitanya's abode of Shri Navadwip Dham, the Lord does not consider a devotee's offenses. Just by purely taking shelter of Shri Navadwip Dham, one receives Vraja prema. But pure, unalloyed shelter is not a cheap thing. It means accepting Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Shri Prabhu Nityananda as one's life and soul and accepting, without a fraction of a doubt, that Shri Navadwip Dham is the ultimate expression of compassion and the maximum manifestation of mercy for conditioned souls. Brahma, Shiva, and all the demigods always desire Vraja prema. Great personalities like Uddhava and Sukadeva Goswami always seek to acquire Vraja prema. Even incarnations of Lord Krishna such as the four Kumaras and Narada Muni are always eager to taste Vraja prema. Vraja prema is extremely rare. But this same Vraja prema is easily granted to one who takes complete shelter of Shri Navadwip Dham. Therefore the transcendental land of Shri Navadwip Dham is exceedingly magnanimous and benevolent in the same way that the merciful Shri Krishna Chaitanya is exceedingly magnanimous and benevolent.
By even once performing parikrama of Shri Navadwip Dham, which is the quintessence of mercy and the treasurehold of the Lord's most merciful pastimes, a living entity beocmes perfect. Hearing Gaurahari katha and discussing their subtle nuances while peforming Navadwip parikrama is glorious. It is not possible to calculate the unlimited benefit that one will receive if one performs Hari-nam Sankirtan throughout the nine islands of Navadwip. To award this unlimited benefit to the conditioned souls, our grand spiritual master, Param-guru Om Vishnupada 108 Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Shrila Prabhupada, in 1918, initiated parikrama of Shridham Navadwip according to Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's book Shri Navadwip Dham Parikrama. Leading a parikrama party of thousands of devotee pilgrims with hundreds of mridangas and karatals, Shrila Prabhupada joyfully glorified Shri Krishna Chaitanya's Holy Land and His eternally, radiant pastimes.
Following in the footsteps of his guru, my beloved spiritual master, Shri Nitya-lila Parivrajakacarya Astottara-sata Shri Shrimad Bhakti-prajnana Keshava Goswami Maharaj, continued the tradition by fully performing parikrama each year after Shrila Prabhupada finished his manifest pastimes. Shrila Keshava Goswami Maharaj had heard these intimate pastimes, wonderful deliberations, and marvelous philosophical conclusions directly from the mouth of his beloved gurudeva, Shrila Prabhupada, and I had the great fortune of hearing these all from him.Shrila Keshava Maharaj and his followers have been guiding pilgrims in their performance of the circumambulation of Shridham Navadwip Dham without fail since 1947. After my gurudeva continued on to Goloka Vrindavan in 1968, I accepted the service of conducting the parikramas of both Shri Navadwip Dham, just before Gaura Purnima, and Shri Vrindavan Dham, during the month of Kartik.
sei krishna navadwipa shri chaitanya-candra
sei balarama sange shri nityananda
"That original Supreme Lord Krishna appeared in Navadwip as Shri Krishna Chaitanya,-and the original Lord Balarama appeared with Him as Shri Prabhu Nityananda." (Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila, Chapter 5, Verse 6)
The pastimes of Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Shri Prabhu Nityananda in Navadwip Dham are the conclusion of Krishna and Balarama's pastimes in Vrindavan Dham. The Supreme Lord Krishna and His incarnations appear periodically in fixed-time sequences to protect religious principles, destroy the demonic influences and to elevate the conditioned living entities helplessly trapped within the endless cycle of birth and death.
The primordial enjoyer of all transcendental mellows, the all-powerful, omnipotent Supreme Lord Krishna appeared at the very end of Dwapara yuga with His elder brother Balarama in Their original forms with all Their associates. To give love of God to all the living entities, Krishna performed various extraordinary and transcendental pastimes. He danced elegantly upon the hundred heads of Kaliya Naga as each of the snake's heads tried to bite Him. He held Shri Govardhan Hill, which is over 21 kilometers in circumference, on the little finger of His left hand for seven days to protect the Vrajabasis from the assault of Indra's samvartaka rain clouds. He expanded Himself into 16,000 different Krishnas and accepted the hands of 16,000 princesses in 16,000 different palaces, marrying them all simultaneously. He transferred, in the twinkling of an eye, all of the residents of Mathura to the city of Dvaraka as they all slept soundly. He eloquently recited the 700 glorious slokas of the Bhagavad-gita to His friend Arjuna before the battle of Kuruksetra. These incomparable, sublime pastimes of the all-powerful Lord, awarded love of God to all the living entities throught these pastimes during the 125 years He appeared in this world. But every human being 5000 years ago didn't know about Krishna. Only a small percentage of self-realized souls understood Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, today, although the Holy Name of Krishna and Krishna's radiant, transcendental pastimes have been broadcast around this planet in every country of the world, only a small percentage of human beings are able to appreciate that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord and Fountainhead of all, is Shri Krishna. The confidential reason for this lack of realization is the accumulation of offenses. Sinful living entities are actually not qualified to hear about Krishna. Meat-eaters, alcohol drinkers, those who consume drugs and intoxicants, gamblers, sexmongers, atheists, voidists, impersonalists, the evil and the demonic, are all unfortunate living entities who are constantly increasing their offenses by multiplying their sins.
Only rarely do these living entities ever receive mercy from a devotee which enables them to chant Krishna's Holy Names or hear about Krishna's transcendental pastimes. One, without knowledge of Krishna, cannot destroy his sins or make spiritual advancement. So the living entities, due to their constant sinful activities, endlessly revolve in the cycle of birth and death.Residing in the holy dham, hearing Shrimad-Bhagavatam, greeting the Deities, serving Shri Guru, and the chanting of Krishna's Holy Names are five indications that one is receiving the mercy of Krishna.
All initiated devotees should daily perform these activities, faithfully follow Ekadashi and Chaturmasya, and each year perform Shri Navadwip Dham Parikrama. Such practices will destroy billions of sins that we have accumulated over millions of lifetimes and will allow us to chant humbly and offenselessly. Unless one in total humility chants offenselessly, it is not possible to attain love of Krishna. By following the four regulative principles, which all Vaishnavas naturally follow, by keeping the association of devotees and by being properly initiated by a bona fide guru in the disciplic succession from one of the four authorized sampradayas, one can neutralize offenses and chant Hari Nama offenselessly. The humble chanting of Krishna's Holy Names can successfully redeem even the most sinful and it can miraculously protect one from committing any new offenses. We must thus always humbly chant:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
But even if an offender in Shri Navadwip Dham chants the names of Prabhu Nityananda and Shri Krishna Chaitanya, he can easily purify himself and ascend to the platform of prema bhakti. The redemption of those heinously wicked offenders Jagai and Madhai is a great example of this fact.
Shri Navadwip Dham has yet another special quality. If a bhakta, a person practicing devotional service, performs bhajan to Gauranga in the mood of dasya rasa, then he will without difficulty be promoted to Krishna prema in sakhya, vatsalya or madhurya rasa. Shrila Bhak-tivinoda Thakur has stated that worshiping Nitai and Gauranga in the
mood of dasya rasa automatically will qualify a devotee to soon experience Krishna prema manifesting within his heart. Gaura Premanandi!
Shri Siksastaka Prayers
Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Lord Krishna, Vrajendra Nandana Himself, imbued with the divine sentiments and color of Shrimati Radharani. He was visible within Bengal, India, for forty-eight years, from 1486 until 1534. Although His followers wrote many books based upon His teachings, He Himself wrote only eight verses. These eight verses are called the Siksastaka Prayers.
ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni nirvapanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate shri-krishna-sankirtan
(1)"Glory to the shri-krishna-sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and dealth. This sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are alway anxious."
namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrsi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah
(2)"O my Lord, Your Holy Name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names,like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness
You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them."
trnad apt sunicena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
(3)"One should chant the Holy Name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the Holy Names of the Lord constantly."
na dhanam najanam na sundarim kavitam vajagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
(4)"O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service, birth after birth."
ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
kripaya tava pada-pankaja sthita dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya
(5)"O son of Maharaja Nanda (Krishna), I am Your eternal servitor,yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death.Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet."
nayanam galad-asru-dharaya vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada tava nama-grahane bhavisyati
(6) "O my Lord, when will my eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will my voice choke up, and when will the hairs of my body stand on end at the recitation of Your name?"
yugayitam nimesena caksusa pravrsayitam
sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me
(7) "O Govinda, feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence."
aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam adarsanam mama-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
(8) "I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally."
The Shape and Size of Shri Navadwip Dham
Shri Navadwip Dham is in the shape of a lotus flower and is composed of nine islands which are spread over 16 krosas. It's circumference measures four yojanas, or 32 miles. As nava means nine and dwipa means island, this land is called Navadwip.
Eight of the islands: (2) Simantadwip, (3) Godrumadwip, (4) Madhyadwip, (5) Koladwip, (6) Ritudwip, (7) Jahnudwip, (8) Modadrumadwip, and (9) Rudradwip all form an eight petaled lotus surrounding the island of (1) Antardwip, which is the center of the lotus and measures a circumference of five krosas, ten miles. It's central point, in the shape of a vortex, is called Shri Mayapur, which has a circumference of 3000 dhanus, three and a half miles.In the center of Shri Mayapur is the appearance place of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, which is marked by a neem tree and is known around the world as the Yoga Pith. The whole of Shri Navadwip Dham splendidly resides on the banks of the river Bhagirathi, the lower Ganges, and is situated within the center of Shri Gaura Mandala.Shri Gaura Mandala is spread over 84 krosas and has a circumference of 21 yojanas or 168 miles. When Ganga devi arrives here she begins to twist and turn because she wishes to never leave the vicinity of the holy dham. She wants to remain in this eternal playground of Mahaprabhu forever. Shri Gaura Mandala is cintamani svarupa, which means that it's made of transcendental gems. The land, the water, the trees, the air, the dust - everything is transcendental and is far beyond all material considerations.
The transcendental land of Shri Navadwip Dham contains the 16 sacred rivers: (1) Yamuna devi, (2) Saraswati devi, (3) Ganga devi, (4) Brahmaputra, (5) Bhagavati, (6) Gomati, (7) Tamrapani, (8) Kritamala, (9) Sarayu, (10) Vidyadari, (11) Narmada, (121) Sindhu, (13) Kaveri, (14) Godavari, (15) Mandakini, and (16) Alakananda. From the unique and wonderful crossings of these sacred rivers the nine islands of Shri Navadwip Dham form an eight petalled lotus.
The seven holy cities of (1) Kasi, (2) Ayodhya, (3) Mathura, (4) Haridwar, (5) Kanchi, (6) Avanti, and (7) Dvaraka all are present here as well. And the twelve transcendental forests of Vraja named (1) Bhadravan, (2) Baelvan, (3) Bhandiravan, (4) Lauhavan, (5) Gokul-Mahavan, (6) Bahulavan, (7) Kamyavan, (8) Khadirvan, (9) Kamudavan, (10) Madhuvan, (11) Talavan, and (12) Vrindavan are also situated at different locations within the nine islands of Shri Navadwip Dham.
In Sn Navadwip Dham, Svetadwipa, Vaikuntha, Mathura, Kuru-ksetra, Pushkara, Naimisaranya, and Vrindavan all reside eternally. But only by the causeless mercy of Shri Nityananda Prabhu may a devotee truly see these places.According to the scriptures, Antardwip, which contains Shridham Mayapur, is on the eastern side of the Ganges along with three islands: Simantadwip, Godrumadwip, and Madhyadwip. The remaining five islands - Koladwip, Ritudwip, Jahnudwip, Modadrumadwip, and Rudradwip - are all on the western side of the Ganges. By sureveying the maps that were printed by the government 500 years ago, and by studying the authoritative scriptures left by the previous acaryas, it has been conclusively proven that Shri Krishna Chaitanya appeared on the eastern side of the Ganges at Shri Mayapur. From descriptions given in the Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Shri Bhakti-ratnakara and other old and authorized, revealed scriptures, it is also known that in Shridham Mayapur the samadhi of Chand Kazi, Shridhar Angan, Ballal Dighi, are all on the eastern side of Ganges in close proximity to each other.
The present day city of Navadwip is situated on the western side of the Ganges. This is actually the old Koladwip. Since the appearance of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago, the Ganges has flooded this area frequently. When the Ganges would flood Mayapur, the residents would leave their villages and cross the Ganges. They would then settle on higher ground. This traversing back and forth occurred many, many times, until the actual location of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's appearance place was no longer known. In the late 1880's, when Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was searching through government records and old books, such as Bhakti-ratnakara, Urdhvamnala, Kapila-tantra, Brahma-yamala, and Navadwip Sataka, he discovered that the appearance place of Shri Krishna Chaitanya had been known before as Mayapur and that it was on the eastern side of the Ganges. The present day city of Navadwip, on the western side of the Ganges, was established in 1879, so Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur could conclude that Shri Krishna Chaitanya could not have appeared there.
After talking to the local pandits and questioning venerable Vais-navas residing in the area, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur learned about a special tract of land on the island of Antardwip that contained several large mounds of earth completely covered with sacred Tulasi plants. Because mysterious lights and sounds had been seen and heard by the local population over many generations, these large mounds of earth had never been cultivated and were left uninhabited.Inspired within his heart but needing confirmation, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur respectfully went to his spiritual master, Shrila Sarva-bhauma Jagannath das Babaji Maharaj, who was 142 years old at that time, and who was so incapacitated that he had to be brought to the sacred mounds of Tulasi bushes carried in a basket. But as soon as he reached the site, he hopped out of the basket and began dancing in ecstasy. With tears in his eyes, he began joyfully shouting, "Haribol!" This is the birthsite of our life and soul, Shri Gaurachandra!"
Thus he irrefutably confirmed his humble disciple's realization: the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vrajendra Nandana, Lord Krishna Himself, had indeed incarnated as Shri Krishna Chaitanya on the eastern side of the Ganges at the place now known as the Yoga Pith in Shridham Mayapur on the island of Antardwip. Today we can see that many splendid temples, like beautiful jewels, gracefully decorate this most holy, auspicious and sacred land on the eastern side of the Ganges.Shri Navadwip Dham Parikrama, according to the scriptures, should begin at Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya's appearance place. One should then proceed to Simantadwip, and then proceed to Godrumadwip and then Madhyadwip. One should then cross to the western side of the Ganges and reverently go to Koladwip, Ritudwip, Jahnudwip, and Modadrumadwip. Then one should again cross back the Ganges to Rudradwip. Previously Rudradwip was situated on the western bank of the Ganges, but now, by the will of the Lord, it is situated on the eastern side.
It is auspicious to begin Shri Navadwip Dham parikrama on the tithi of Makara Saptami, the ninth day of the bright fortnight of Phalguna, and finish the parikrama on the full moon day of Gaura Purnima. Each day the parikrama party should take darshan of a different island. The parikrama should end on Gaura Purnima by returning to Shridham Mayapur and having final darshan at the appearance site of the Lord. If, on Shri Krishna Chaitanya's appearance day, one does not go to Shridham Mayapur and, while humbly offering full obeisances,take darshan of the Lord at His birthsite, one's parikrama is not considered complete.
Shri Nityananda Prabhu auspiciously inaugurated the first parikrama of Shri Navadwip Dham 500 years ago by guiding Shri Jiva Goswami throughout Navadwip's nine islands. The original Guru, Shri Nityananda Prabhu Himself, who is non-different from Shri Balaramji, the first expansion of the Supreme Lord Krishna, blissfully toured the transcendental land of Shri Navadwip Dham in the role of a devotee.By initiating this most auspicious and sacred event, Shri Nityananda Prabhu set the example and eternally benedicted all the worlds. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur gave us a beautiful description of this parikrama in his book Shri Navadwip Dham Mahatmya. He also briefly describes it in his Shri Navadwip Bhava Taranga. Shrila Narahari Cakravarti Thakur also gave another wonderful description of Shri Navadwip Dham Parikrama in Shri Bhakti-ratnakara, where he describes the circumambulation of the Holy Dham that Shri Ishana Thakur, the servant of Sacimata, gave to Shrinivas Acarya, Narottam Thakur and Ramacandra Kaviraj.
The nine islands of Shri Navadwip Dham each represent one of the nine processes of devotional service described in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Simantadwip is sravanam, hearing about the pastimes of the Lord. Godrumadwip is kirtanam, chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. Madhyadwip is smaranam, remembering the pastimes of the Lord. Koladwip is mellow of pada-seva, service to the lotus feet of the Lord. Ritudwip is arcanam, worshiping the Lord. Jahnudwip is vandanam, offering prayers to the Lord. Modadrumadwip is dasya bhakti, servitorship to the Lord. Rudradwip is sakhya bhakti, service to the Lord as a friend. And Antardwip is atma-nivedanam, surrendering everything to the Lord.
The twelve transcendental forests of Vraja are eternally existing on these nine islands in their concealed forms, but the order in which the forests are situated in Shri Vrindvan Dham is not the same as in Shri Navadwip Dham. Antardwip is Gokula-Mahavan. North of Prithu Kunda is Madhuvan and Mathura city. Then, in the middle of Shri-dham is Vishram Ghat, where Mahaprabhu took rest after purifying the Muslim magistrate Chand Kazi. Godrumadwip is Nandagram, where unlimited cowherd boys eternally reside. At this place Lord Chaitanya and Prabhu Nityananda saw many cows and would fall into ecstasy remembering Their childhood cowherd pastimes as Krishna and Balaram. Koladwip contains Bahulavan. Khadirvan is at Cham-pahati, and Ritudwip is Radha Kunda, which is a part of Vrindavan.Koladwip also contains a hill called Kuliya, and this hill is Giri Govardhan. Jahnudwip is Bhadravan. Modadrumadwip is Bhandira-van, and Mahatpur in Modadrumadwip is Kamyavan. Mayamari in Simantadwip is Talavan, and Rudradwip is Baelvan.
When walking on Navadwip parikrama, it is best, unless one's feet are injured, to not wear shoes. Under no circumstances should leather sandals be worn. The correct way to do Shri Navadwip Dham Parikrama is barefoot, in a humble state of mind, incessantly chanting the Holy Names of Krishna. If done in this way all one's efforts will quickly bear fruit. Gaura Premanandi!