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Sastra Verifying the Location of Old Navadwip at Present Day Mayapur
The old city of Navadwip was located on the eastern bank of the Ganges at what is now known as Mayapur on the island of Antardwip. This becomes apparent to the unbiased, intelligent seeker of truth by reading the statements found in authorized sastra such as Shri Chaitanya Cantamrta by Shri Krishnadas Kaviraj, Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata by Shrila Vrindavan das Thakur, Bhakti-ratnakara by Shri Narahari Cakravarti, the Urdhvamnaya Tantra and other literatures.In Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila, Chapter 1, Verse 86, it is stated: gaudadesepurva-saile kaila udayad. "The land of Gauda (West Bengal) has risen on the eastern horizon."In Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila, Chapter 13, Verse 98, it is stated: nadiya-udayagiri, pumacandra gaurahari, krpa kari'ha-ila udaya. "The full moon, Gaurahari (Lord Chaitanya) has mercifully arisen in His appearance place known as Nadiya (Navadwip)."In Shri Bhakti-ratnakara, it is stated: navadwip nama sravane sakal dukha kshay/ ganga purva paschim tirete dwipa ne/purve antardwip, simantadwipa he/ godrumadwiap, madhyadwipa, chatuste/ koladwipa, ritu, jahnu, modadruma ar/ rudradwipa ei pancha paschime prachar. "All sorrow will flee by hearing the name Shri Navadwip Dham, the nine islands on the east and west bank of the Ganges. Shri Antardwip, Shri Simantadwip, Shri Godrumadwip, and Shri Madhyadwip are the four islands on the eastern side. While Shri Koladwip, Shri Ritudwip, Shri Jahnudwip, and Shri Rudraw\dwip are on the western side."
The Urdhvamnaya Tantra states as follows: antardwipas tatha devi simantadwipa samjnakah/godrumadwipa-sam jno' nyo madhyadwipas tatha parah/ ganga-purva-tate ramye devi dwipa-catustayam/ kola-dwipa-ritudwipo jahnudwipah suresvari/ modadrumas tatharudrah pancaitepascime. "On the Ganges' beautiful eastern shore are the four islands of Antardwip, Simantadwip, Godrumadwip and Madhyadwip, and on the western shore are the five islands Koladwip, Ritudwip, Jahnudwip, Modadrumadwip, and Rudradwip."In the Kapila Tantra, it is stated: mayapure dwijalaye janitva parsadaih sardham kirtanam karayisyati. "In Mayapur, in a brahmana's home, the Lord will take birth with all His associates and start the sankirtan movement."In Shri Rupa Goswami's Shri Navadwipastaka (first sloka), it is stated: shri gauda-dese sura-dirghikayas tire 'ti-ramye iha punyamayyah/ lasan-tam ananda-bharena nityam tarn shri navadwipam aham smarami. "I meditate on Shri Navadwip Dham where the beautiful land of Gaura ( West Bengal), by the side of the heavenly reservoir (Prithu Kunda, now Ballal dighi), is eternally pure, shining and full of bliss."
Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Madhya-lila, Chapter 23, Verses 298-300, states: ganga tire pathache nadiya, age sei pathe nachi jaya gaura ray/ apanar ghate age bahu nritya kari, tabe madhaier ghate gela gaurahari/ barokona ghate, nagaria ghate ghia, ganganagar dhia gela simulia/ nadiar ekante nagar simulia, nachite prabhu uttarila gia. "Lord Gaur-anga danced with full kirtana down the road along the river Ganges in Nadia (Navadwip). He first went to His own bathing place (Mahaprabhu ghat) near His house and danced. Next He danced to Madhai ghat, then Barokona ghat and He then went to Nagariya ghat. He then let the procession dancing through the town of Ganganagar to Simulia (Simantadwip). Prabhu (Lord Gauranga), dancing all the way, arrived in Simulia (the house of Chand Kazi) which was at the extreme end of Nadia." (The map corresponds exactly to this sloka).
Everyone agrees that the Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata and the Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita are the two most authorized biographical treatises on the life and pastimes of Shri Krishna Chaitanya. Everyone also agrees that the samadhi of Chand Kazi is situated in Vamanpukur which was then called Simulia.From these sastrically authorized examples it should be crystal clear to the unbiased seeker of truth that Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared on the eastern banks of the Ganges river near an extremely large tank that was once called Prithu Kunda and is now called Ballal Dighi. It is also clear that Mahaprabhu appeared within an area then called Nadia (Navadwip) which is now known as Antardwip in Shri Mayapur. It is clear also that when Lord Chaitanya enacted His pastime of converting the Muslim Kazi, He, on His way to the Kazi's house, performed a huge nagar sankirtan - dancing first at His own bathing place called Mahaprabhu ghat, then proceeding to Madhai ghat, Barokona ghat and Nagariya ghat on through the town of Ganganagar to Simulia (which is today called Vamanpukur), where the Chant Kazi resided.
One should study the map presented herein which expresses Shrila Acarya Bhaktivinoda Thakur's correct conception of where Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. Bhaktivinoda Thakur's conclusion can also thus be derived from the above slokas in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Madhya-lila, Chapter 23, Verse 243, written by Shrila Vrindavana das Thakur around the year 1540 A.D. Since Vrindavana das Thakur's mother, Narayani devi, had fully achieved Lord Chaitanya's mercy by personally receiving food remnants directly from the Lord's hands, it is safe to say that her son Vrindavana das Thakur's understanding is conclusive proof. It should also be remembered that Vrindavana das Thakur directly had the association of Lord Chaitanya's contemporaries, who had direct association with the Lord during His lifetime.In the year 1875, during the British rule of India, Dr. William H. Hunter presented an authentic, historically and cartographically accurate geographical record of famous places in Bengal. In his presentation, the local names were given additionally for all locations with their correct spelling, complete with a key for proper pronunciation. In this book, entitled Hunter's Statistical Account of Bengal, Volume one, on page 142, Dr. Hunter also confirms the actual geographical location of Navadwip city as per the previous Gaudiya Vaishnava acaryas. He states, "Navadwip city was on the eastern side of the Bhagirathi river (lower Ganges) and was to the west of the Jalangi river." Dr. Hunter also states further that King Laksman Sen established the city of Nadia in 1063 A.D.
The description written in the Nadia Gazette states the same, "Navadwip is very ancient and is reported to have been founded in 1063 A.D. by one of the Sen kings of Bengal. In the Aini Akbari it is noted that at the time of King Laksman Sen, Nadia was the capital of Bengal." In the Calcutta Review, written in 1846, on page 398, it is stated that the earliest that we know of Nadia is that in 1203 it was the capital of Bengal. In the diary of William Hayes, who in 1684 was an agent of the East India Company, we find that Nadia (Navadwip) was on the eastern bank of Ganges. In a map drawn by Dutch explorer Van den Brouck in 1660, he showed the city of Nadia on the eastern bank of the Ganges as well. From all of these examples it is clear that many proofs are available that show the old city of Navadwip was situated on the eastern bank of the river Ganges, that the capital of the kings in the Sen dynasty was the old city of Navadwip, that the old city of Navadwip was where Laksman Sen enlarged Prithu Kunda to the length of almost a mile and renamed it after his father Balal Sen,Ballal Dighi, and that on the eastern side of Ganga in the city of old Navadawip, near Ballal Dighi, in close proximity to Mahaprabhu ghat, Madhai ghat, Barakona ghat, Nagariya ghat, the village of Ganganagar and the Chand Kazi's samadhi, is the accurate and authentic location of Shri Krishna Chaitanya's appearance place known throughout the universe as Shri Yoga Pith, Shridham Mayapur.We have also seen that some well-meaning, educated and scholarly people have, without researching thoroughly, written articles stating that no references to Mayapur or Navadwip exist in any of the Puranas or other authorized sastras. It must be revealed that this is incorrect. The following slokas will clarify this point:
In the Vayu Purana, the Lord Himself has stated: kalau sankir-tanarambhe bhavisyami saci-sutah/ svarnadi-tiram asthaya navadwipe janasraye. "In the age of Kali, I shall descend as the son of Sacidevi on the shore of the Ganges in Navadwip and inaugurate the sankirtan movement."
In the Skanda Purana, the Lord has again stated: mayapurim samas-ritya kalau ye mam upasate/ sarva-pap-vinirmuktas te yanti paramam gatim. 'Those who in the age of Kali take shelter of Mayapur and worship Me become free from all sins and attain the supreme destination."
In the Padma Purana, it is stated: aho mayapuri dhanya vaikunthac cagariyasi/ dinan ekam nivasena harau bhaktihprajayate. "O auspicious Mayapur, you are greater than Vaikuntha for by residing with you devotion to Lord Hari is born."
In the Garuda Purana, it is stated: sahdavah kali-kale tu tyaktvanya-tirtha-sevanam/ vrndaranye thava ksetre navadwipe vasanti va. "In the age of Kali, devotees will abandon the service of other holy places and will live either in Vrindavan or Navadwip."
In the Visvasara Tantra, it is stated: gangaya daksine bhage navadwipe manorame/ kali-papa-vinasaya saci-garbhe sanatanah/ janisyati priye misra purandara-ghre svayam/ phalgune paurnamasyam ca nisayam gaura vigraha. "In the southern part of the Ganges, in beautiful Navadwip, in the house of Purandana Misra, on the full moon night of the month of Phalguna, in the womb of Sacimata, the eternal Supreme Lord will take birth as Gauranga to destroy the sins in the age of Kali."
In the Brahma Yamala, the Lord states: athavaham dharadhame bhutva mad-bhakta-rupa-dhrk/ mayayam ca bhavisyam kalau sankir-tanagame. "In Kali yuga I manifest myself on the surface of the earth in the garb of a devote in Mayapur to inaugurate the sankirtan movement."
In the Mukti Sankalini Tantra, it is stated: kuruksetram krte tirtham tretayam puskaram smrtam/ dvapare naimisaranyam navadwipa kalau kila. "In Satya yuga, Kuruksetra is the most important holy place; in Treta yuga, Lake Puskara is the most important holy place; in Dvapara yuga, Naimisaranya is the most important holy place; and in Kali yuga, Navadwip is the most important holy place."
We have presented many examples of Mayapur and Navadwip as revealed in authorized Vedic scriptures. Many references also name Mayapur is individual islands. The Garga Samhita contains references to Madhyadwip, Rudradwip, and Koladwip. The Shrimad-Bhagavatam refers to Antardwip and Jahnudwip. The Padma Purana refers to Simantadwip. The Urdhvasmnaya Tantra refers to Ritudwip and Modadrumadwip. The Skanda Purana refers to Godrumadwip. The Shri Ananta Samhita describes in a very wonderful way both the creation and the glories of Shri Navadwip Dham.Due to the impetuous changing of the course of the river Ganges, the population of old Navadwip city had moved many times from one side of the river to the other, always seeking the highest ground. By and by, over the centuries, the descendants of the old city of Navadwip, due to flood migrations, ended up living on the western bank of the Ganges, the old Kulia, which at the present is known as Koladwip. The location of the old city of Nadia or Navadwip thus is known today as Shridham Mayapur in Shri Antardwip. The municipality of present day Navadwip was chartered in 1879 under British rule, so it clearly could not possibly have been the same Navadwip of 400 years earlier.
The Bhakti-ratnakara is an old and authoritative book. It was written by Shri Narahari Cakravarti Thakur. From the description of Shridham Navadwip Parikrama, as described by Narahari, Antardwip-Mayapur was situated on the eastern bank of Ganges which was the location of old Nadia or Navadwip city. Even today, parts of the 30 foot high embankment walls of Ballal Dighi, the tomb of Chand Kazi with its 400 year old champaka tree entwined around it, the house of Shridhar and the massive remains of Ballal Sen's palace are all situated on the eastern side of the river and can be seen by everyone.When Shrinivas, Narottama Thakur and Ramacandra Kaviraj were performing parikrama of Antardwip with Shri Ishana, Lord Chaitanya's childhood personal house servant, as written in the Bhakti-ratnakara, they went to the house of Mahaprabhu, then to Madhai Ghat, Barakona Ghat, and Nagariya Ghat. They then passed through the town of Ganganagar. Without crossing the Ganges and without passing Nidaya Ghat, they came to the tomb of Chand Kazi. From there, they proceeded to Shridhar Angan and Simulia.The preceding authoritative statements conclusively prove that the appearance place of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is at Shri Yoga Pith in Shridham Mayapur on the island of Antardwip, as so diligently searched for by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and joyously confirmed by Shrila Jagannath das Babaji Maharaj. This place is actually where the original old city of Nadia or Navadwip was situated. To know more about this subject one should read the book called Chit Ray Navadwip written by Shri Sarabindu Narayan Ray. One can also read Bhaktivinoda Thakur's autobiography.
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur began the first search for the appearance place of Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu around 1870. He was the Deputy Magistrate, the Deputy Collector and the Deputy of Assurance of Krishnanagar in Navadwip Dham for 25 years. So he had ample time and priority access to all the deeds and documents available, and, in addition, he painstakingly made thorough enquiries.He was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society of London and a respected scholar in English, Sanskrit, Bengali, Hindi and Oriya. The books he wrote in English, such as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts, Personality of Godhead, Thakur Haridas, Bhagavad Philosophy, Ethics and Theology, were referred to and quoted by respected scholars in both England and Canada. The books he wrote in Bengali, such as Jaiva Dharma, Chaitanya Siksamrita, Shri Navadwip Dham Mahatmya, Shri Navadwip Bhava Taranga, Gitavali, Kalyana Kal-pataru and others, have filled the hearts and souls of Gaudiya Vais-navas around the world. The books he wrote in Sanskrit, such as Shri Krishna Samhita, Bhagavatarka Marichi Mala, Tattva Sutram, Tattva Viveka, Amnaya Sutram and others are respected all over India.All the books that Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur blessed us with are steeped in the mellows of bhakti. Every word he wrote and every action he took glorified Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He left his legacy for us to preserve, and we should do so as his servants.
Some people attempt to postulate that the pracin Mayapur, "old" Mayapur, the actual appearance place of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is situated on the western side of the river Ganges at Kankhara Math in Ramcandrapur. This claim is baseless, and is in opposition to the authorized sastric conclusions and the proofs given above. We are well aware of their suppositions, and we will now present eight points to highlight the falsity of the claim that Lord Chaitanya appeared in Ramcandrapur. These points will simultaneously reveal that accepting Mahaprabhu's birthplace as Ram-chandrapur is totally contrary to the authoritative scriptures.First of all, these people claim that Mahaprabhu's birthplace "Ramcandrapur". If so, then Mahaprabhu's birthplace and the house of the Chand Kazi could have been situated on opposite sides of the river Ganges. No scripture mentions this point.
1) If Lord Chaitanya had to cross the river Ganges with the thousands of people who joined Him in nagar sankirtan to go to Chand Kazi's house, why is there no mention anywhere of all the boats they would have needed to ferry them all across the Ganges? Why also would Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata and Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita both fail to mention the fact that Mahaprabhu and all His associates arrived by hundreds of boats before they danced by Madhai Ghat, Barakona Ghat, Nagariya Ghat and Ganganagar before proceeding to Chant Kazi's house in Simulia?
2) Second, the house of Chand Kazi in Vamanpukur, then called Simulia, is four miles away from Ramcandrapur. From that distance, not even the most boisterous kirtan could have been heard what to speak of been loud enough to disturb anyone.
3) Third, from the description in Shrinivas Acarya's circumambula-tion of Shri Navadwip Dham, it is found that he went directly to Simantadwip after Antardwip. Today also the house of Chand Kazi and his tomb is situated on the path to Simantadwip from Mayapur. In Bhakti-ratnakara it is stated that Shrivas ended his parikrama by going to Jamnagar, then Mamgachi, and then Rudradwip. But if we consider Ramcandrapur as the appearance place of Shri Krishna Chaitanya in Antardwip, then to go to Simantadwip from there one has to travel through Rudradwip. There is no other way. If Shrinivas Acarya started at Kankahara Math in Ramcandrapur, the path followed would have first brought him through Rudradwip. He would have then crossed the Ganges and gone to Simulia-Simantadwip, then to Gadagachi-Godrumadwip, then to Majdia-Madhyadwip, and then, crossing back across the Ganges again, he would have gone to Kulia-Koladwip then Ranpur-Ritudwip then Jamnagar-Jahnudwip, and then Mamachi-Modadrumadwip and finally back to Rudrapara or Rudradwip. There is no mention of Shrivas taking this route anywhere in Bhakti-ratnakara. So it is clear that he began his circumambulation on the eastern side of the Ganges at Shridham Mayapur. These are the statements in Bhakti-ratnakara.
4) Fourth, it is a known fact that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, when He left householder life to accept the ashram of sannyasa from Keshava Bharati in Katwa, crossed the Ganges at Nidaya Ghat. Now if the Lord left from Ramcandrapur, there would have been no need for Him to go to Nidaya Ghat! Ramcandrapur is southwest of Nidaya Ghat in the direction of Katwa. Why should Lord Chaitanya travel out of His way to the northeast, in the opposite direction from Katwa, to go to Nidaya Ghat at five o'clock in the morning? He could have easily gone directly to Katwa without any inconvenience. This is definitely illogical and unreasonable.
5) Fifth, why also did not the Supreme Lord Krishna's omniscient saktyavesa incarnation King Prithu of the Svayambhuva dynasty, who ruled the whole earth as is confirmed in Fourth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and who was well aware of Lord Shri Chaitanya's future appearance place, not build Prithu Kunda on the western side of Ganges in Ramcandrapur? Why did Shri Rupa Goswami specifically say in his Navadwipastaka: shri gauda-dese sura dirghikayas: In West Bengal by the side of the heavenly reservoir (Prithu Kunda or Ballal Dighi), which is on the eastern side of the Ganges?
6) Sixth, in Bhakti-ratnakara there is a reference that one can see Suvarnabihar from Antardwip. Even today it is possible to see Su-varnabihar from Mayapur. But if one does not consider Ramcandrapur as Mayapur-Antardwip, it is not even remotely possible to see Suvarnabihar from Kankhara Math even with modern day binoculars. It is over five miles away!
7) Seventh, if Ramcandrapur was the appearance place of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, why did Ganga Govind Singh not consider or respect Ramcandrapur as the birthplace of the Lord and construct a temple? He installed Deities of Shri Rama and Shri Sita Devi. Why did he not also install Deities of Mahaprabhu? Why did he not keep the name of Mayapur at Ramcandrapur? Why also is Ramcandrapur mentioned at the current sight of Ramcandrapur in the old government maps? Why do they not refer to old Ramcandrapur as Mayapur?These logical and sastric proofs should convince anyone that Kankhara Math or Ramcandrapur can never, in any way, be considered the appearance place of Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya. The place known around-the-world as Shri Yoga Pith in Shridham Mayapur, on the island of Shri Antardwip, is actually the correct location of Shri Krishna Chaitanya's appearance. This has been proven by precise sastric references in revealed scriptures and has been confirmed by the previous Gaudiya Vaishnava acaryas.