Navadvipa - Mar 13 2003
Narayana Maharaja told the history of this holy place to the over
15,000 pilgrims, who were sitting everywhere imaginable. Because
Svananda Sukhada Kunja does not have a large field to accommodate
the eager crowd as do most of the other pastime places, but rather
is a combination on a few small buildings and a courtyard, the
devotees who could not fit in the courtyard had made themselves
comfortable by sitting on various walls, ledges, rooftops, window
sills, courtyards, and roadsides.
Maharaja spoke in Bengali and told the audience: "One evening,
while Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was chanting harinama on his
veranda here, he saw a golden effulgence on the other side of the
river, on the side of Sri Mayapura. On the next night, looking
again in that direction, he not only saw a light, but the golden
forms of Sacinandana Gaurahari, Nityananda prabhu, and their
associates performing harinama sankirtana. Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura ascertained the distance of that place, and the next day
he crossed the Sarasvati River by boat. In that area he saw a grove
of tulasi plants and the local people told him that nothing would
grow there besides tulasi. He then studied some history books and
government maps, and also spoke to many old and saintly residents
of that area. He thus came to the conclusion that the appearance
place of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was that Yogapitha in Mayapura,
which is in Antardvipa on the east side of the Ganges.
"Before revealing this place to the public,
however, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura took his Gurudeva, Sri
Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, there in a basket. Although Srila
Babaji Maharaja was 142 years old and his eyelids were so heavy
that they drooped over his eyes and rendered him in effect blind,
when he reached that place he jumped 12 feet in the air and began
dancing. Now that the sight was confirmed, Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura established a temple there of Gauranga, Visnupriya,
Laksmipriya and Panca-tattva. So let us fall in the dust of this
place in all humility, at the lotus feet of Srila Bhaktivinoda
After leaving Svananda Sukhada Kunja
the yatris had the fortune to take darsana of Hari Hara Ksetra.
There, Lord Visnu and Lord Shiva are seen in one deity, which is half
black and half white, and both are performing kirtana to Gauranga.
As usual, Srila Maharaja called on the various leading Gaudiya
Vedanta Samiti sannyasis, such as Pujyapad Visnu Maharaja,
Pujyapad Acarya Maharaja, Pujyapad Paryataka Maharaja, Pujyapad
Sadhu Maharaja, Pujyapad Yati Maharaja, and Pujyapad Aranya Maharaja
to read from, or rather sing from, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's
Sri Navadvipa Mahatmya, and to describe the glories of that place.
One of them now sang:
"All glories to Lord
Caitanya, Sri Sacisuta! All glories to Lord Nityananda, Sri Avadhuta!
All glories to Sitapati, Advaita Prabhu, king of the devotees! All
glories to Gadadhara and the society of devotees! All glories to
beautiful Navadvipa-dhama! And all glories to the name of
"Lord Nityananda continued on with the
devotees while chanting 'Hari, Hari!' Because of ecstatic love,
Nityananda Prabhu tottered as He walked and mumbled as he talked.
Tears streamed down His face, and in agitation He cried out
'Gaura, Gaura!' All His ornaments glittered and His divine form
illuminated the ten directions. Srivasa, along with Jiva,
repeatedly wept and danced. And the other devotees all danced
'As they approached Alakananda, Lord
Nityananda, immersed in bliss, said, 'Starting to the west of
Bilvapaksa village (Belpukura), the Mandakini River comes and
surrounds Nadia. At Suvarnavihara, the Alakananda River leaves the
Mandakini. On the eastern bank of the Alakananda River, near the
Gandaki River, is Harihara-ksetra. A beautiful Deity will be
discovered there in the future, amidst a lovely forest.
"'To the west of the Alakananda River see Kasi, where
the followers of Siva and his consort endeavor for liberation.
This Navadvipa Kasi, however, is superior to the other Kasi. Here,
Siva is always dancing and chanting the name of Gaura, begging his
followers to accept gaura-bhakti. The sannyasis who live for a
thousand years in Kasi may attain liberation through the
cultivation of jnana, but here the devotees kick away that
liberation as they dance and chant the name of Gauranga. While
leaving the body here, living entities are delivered by Lord Siva,
who chants the name of Gauranga in their ears. This dhama is thus
called Maha-Varanasi, for here there is no fear of
"At that moment Nityananda Prabhu
began dancing, and He asked Jiva to accept gaura-prema. Invisible to
everyone, Siva came forward and bowed at Nityananda's lotus feet.
Lord Siva and his consort, Gauri, achieved all their desires by
always singing the name of Gauranga.
that Srila Narayana Maharaja spoke for a few moments, and at that
time he explained that Bhagavan ordered Lord Shiva to preach
Mayavada philosophy, which he did in the form of Sri Sankaracarya.
Lord Shiva also came here after Dvarakadisa Krsna burnt down his
city of Kasi through the medium of His sudarsana cakra. All this is
being told by Nityananda prabhu to Sri Jiva Gosvami on the very
first parikrama of Navadvipa dhama. This place Hari-Hara Ksetra is
located on the eastern bank of the Alakananda River near the
Srila Maharaja then recalled
how Lord Ramacandra performed the pastime of coming to Ramesvara in
His search for Sita devi and Ramesvara. When Rama was making the
bridge to go to Sri Lanka with his hundreds of thousands of
soldiers, He established a Siva-linga of Ramesvara. When it was
established, all present glorified Sankara (Siva), shouting,
"Ramesvara Ki Jaya ho! Ramesvara Ki Jaya!" They were calling
Ramesvara, Rama Isvara. "You are isvara; you are the God of Rama."
The Demigods were not happy to hear this. They called out, "Ramas
ca asau isvarah." Rama is God, and Sankara is also God. Both of
Them are the same. Hearing this, the Sankara-sila broke. Sankara
came out from it and told them, "You are all foolish; you do not know
my tattva. Rama is my God, and that is why I am called Ramesvara."
So Ramesvara means that Rama is the isvara (Lord) of Lord Shiva,
and another name of Lord Siva, Gopisvara, means that the gopis are
the isvara of Lord Siva.
Srila Maharaja then
requested all the 15,000 plus devotees to adjust their positions
somewhat and form lines all over the field of Hari Hara Ksetra, so
that prasadam could be distributed. Somehow they did it, after
which everyone enjoyed "chilwa", which is flat rice mixed with
ghuda and milk. Srila Maharaja glorified Srimati Vrndavana
Vilasini dasi for sponsoring the beautiful breakfast, and some of the
devotees who had been present during the previous year's parikrama
remembered him saying that it is actually only Srimati Sacimata,
the mother of Sacinandana Gaura-hari, and His beloved wife,
Srimati Visnupriya devi, who are arranging for the prasadam of all
the thousands of devotees.
advisors: Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha
Transcriber and typist: Vasanti dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi