Category Archives: Navadvipa Dham

Lord Nityananda shows Sri Jiva the place of the Rasa-mandala

Rasa Mandala

tatra pulinam asadya
pitham vrindavanatmakam
dadarsa kirtayan krishnam
tatra rasa-sthalim drishtva
rasa-gitam cakara sah
smritva rasatmikam lilam
maha-bhava-dasam prabhuh
lebhe tatra maha-devi
puline rasa-mandape
divi dundubhayo neduh
babhuvuh pushpa-vrishtayah
jagadur munayo vedan
sruti-mula-gate dirgha-
bahur mahaprabhuh
hare krishneti sankrosya
cacala jahnavi-tate
bhagirathim samuttirya
saparshadah saci-sutah
nama-sankirtane reme
rudra-dvipe samantatah

“Sriman Mahaprabhu Gaurasundara saw Vrindavana on the bank of the Ganga. Along with His associates, the Lord observed the Rasa-sthali there and started to chant the verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam relating to the rasa-lila. Oh, Mahadevi! By remembering rasa-lila at this place, Mahaprabhu entered into the state of maha-bhava. At that time dundubhi drums were sounded in heaven and flowers showered down. The sages were chanting the Chandogya and Vedamantras. When the devotees chanted the holy name directly into the ear of the Lord, the long-armed Mahaprabhu awoke from maha-bhava, loudly chanting ‘Hare Krishna! Hare Krishna!’ Then Sri Saci-nandana along with His associates went to the bank of the Bhagirathi Ganga, crossed it and wandered around Rudradvipa, immersed in namasankirtana.” (Navadvipa-dhamamahatmya, Pramana-khanda 4. 49-54)

Lord Nityananda proceeded south to Paradanga, Sri Pulina. On the way Lord Nityananda pointed out Sri Rasa-mandala and Dhira-samira. He said, “Oh, Jiva! Just see the eternal Vrindavana. One can always see the sweet Vrindavana pastimes here.” Hearing the word ‘Vrindavana’, Sri Jiva felt great ecstasy and tears of love poured from his eyes. Lord Nityananda said, “Sri Gauranga along with His devotees would chant the songs of rasa-lila here. Just as in Vrindavana there is the place of the maha-rasalila, in the same way at this place on the bank of the Jahnavi the Lord and the gopis perform the eternal rasa-lila. Lord Gauranga along with only His most fortunate devotees could have such intimate darsana. Towards the western side there is Sri Dhira-samira, this is the best place for performing bhajana. In Vraja this Dhira-samira is situated on the bank of the River Yamuna. Here Dhira-samira is situated on the bank of the Ganga. We see this river as Ganga but in reality it is not, because on the western side of the Ganga, the Yamuna is flowing. This beautiful forest is situated on the bank of the Yamuna, therefore Visvambhara calls this place Vrindavana. You should know that all the many pastime places of the Lord that exist in Vrindavana, simultaneously exist here. There is no difference between Vrindavana and Navadvipa. Similarly, do not think that there is any difference between Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Sri Krishnacandra.” Lord Nityananda was in great ecstasy due to maha-bhava. He showed Sri Jiva Vrindavana and proceeded some distance towards the north, spending the night in Rudradvipa.

Sri Pulina, Rasa-mandala, Dhira-samira

bhagirathi-tate purve
mayapuram tu gokulam
tasyas tate pascime hi
vrindavanam vidur budhah
tatra rasa-sthali divya
pulinam balukamayam
rasa-sthali-pascime tu
punyam dhira-samirakam
yad yad vrindavane devi
tat tat tatra na samsayah

“Intelligent people say that Mayapura, identical to Gokula, lies on the eastern bank of the Ganga. On its western bank lies Vrindavana. In this Vrindavana there is a place called Rasa-sthali. On the west side of the Rasa-sthali is the holy place Dhira-samira where the wind blows very gently. That place is covered by pure sands and has a lovely cooling effect. Oh, Devi! There is no doubt that whatever is manifest in Vrindavana also exists here.”
(Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya ,Pramana-khanda 4.25-26)

Sri Pulina

 Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura describes in his Navadvipa-bhava-taranga, 

“After giving his instructions, Lord Siva will disappear. I will bow down and then continue on, crying all the while. After viewing Sri Pulina for some time, I will fall unconscious to the earth with my voice choked and a gurgling sound coming from my throat. While devoid of external consciousness, in a dreamlike state of samadhi, a wondrous figure will appear performing her constitutional service. Suddenly I will recognize that it is I, Kamala-manjari, the eternal assistant of Ananga-manjari, the goddess of my heart. Ananga-manjari will introduce me to all her companions, give me the service of preparing comfort for Their Lordships and reveal to me the confidential pastimes of the divine couple. Near Sri Pulina is the Rasa-mandala, where Gopendra-nandana Krishna, surrounded by a billion gopis, steals the hearts of all by His dancing with Sri Radha, the predominating goddess of the rasa dance. Such graceful dancing does not exist within the material world! By great fortune, whoever sees this pastime at once drowns in that nectar. And whoever attains such a transcendental trance will be unable to give up the happiness of that astounding sight! I will be unable to adequately describe what I have witnessed. I will lock it in my heart, and gaze upon it eternally. In my own grove, while cultivating that vision in my heart, I will serve constantly under the direction of the sakhis. Ananga-manjari, the younger sister of Radharani, will bestow her mercy on me and personally show me the dhama. We will go west of the Rasa-mandala to Sri Dhira-samira, and then a little further to Vamsi-vata and the bank of the Yamuna. Rupa-manjari will question my mistress, Ananga-manjari, who will reply, ‘This new maidservant will be engaged under Lalita-sakhi’s direction. Her name is Kamala-manjari, and she is fixed in devotion to Sri Gauranga. Be merciful and give her spontaneous devotion to our Lordships.’ Hearing this, Rupa-manjari will touch my body with her merciful hand, suddenly imparting to me sublime spiritual emotions and the intense desire to worship in her footsteps. My complexion is like lightning, and my ornaments and dress sparkle like the midnight stars.

 I will appear with a camphor tray in my hand, and will fall flat at her feet, begging for the unalloyed shelter of Sri Radha’s lotus feet. Rupa-manjari and Ananga-manjari will take me to the private grove of Lalita, the charming mistress of Svananda-sukhada-kunja, who dwells within, meditating on the service of Radharani’s lotus feet. I will pay my full obeisances at her lotus feet, and Visakha will explain to her my identity, ‘This is one inhabitant of Navadvipa, who wants to serve you and thereby serve the feet of Radha and Krishna.’ Lalita will be very pleased and will say to Ananga-manjari, the consort of Sesha, ‘Give her a place beside you, and carefully arrange her desired service. Take her along when you go to perform your service, and gradually she will receive the mercy of Sri Radha. Without Radha’s mercy, how can the service of Radha and Krishna be attained?’ Hearing Lalita’s words, Anangamanjari will take me to her grove and make me her own maidservant. She shows her affection by graciously allowing me to accompany her when she goes to serve the divine couple. While performing my service, I will catch a glimpse of Radha and Krishna in the distance. Then perhaps Sri Radha will display Her mercy by giving me an order and the shade of Her lotus feet. Remembering the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna and constantly engaged in that service, I will gradually become expert. Thus I will please Radha and Krishna, who will occasionally give me Their ornaments as a reward. 

As my dream breaks, I will weep softly. And as I cross the Ganga, I will look back at Sri Pulina. Living near Isodyana in my private grove, I will worship Gauranga, who is non-different from Radha and Krishna. Remaining fixed in my vows, I will worship Radha and Govinda, and I will gaze upon Radhakunda and Vrindavana. Remembering the feet of Ananga-manjari and the sakhis, I will drown in love of God and in the bliss attained by my personal service to Their Lordships.  This Bhaktivinoda, servant of the servant of Lord Caitanya, is begging for residence in Navadvipa-dhama. I am eager for the feet of Rupa and Raghunatha Gosvamis (Rupa and Ratimanjaris), and from them I anxiously beg to achieve my perfect spiritual body and service. O residents of Navadvipa and Vrindavana, quickly establish me in Isodyana, the abode of the Lord. That is certainly within your power, for it is your place. I am simply a servant, and by assisting in your service to Their Lordships, I may attain residence in the dhama. O Navadvipa-dhama, give me your mercy, for without your mercy, how can anyone attain the Lord’s dhamas? Please do not consider whether I am fit or not, particularly in the service I have just done. I have simply extracted the essence of the instructions of Jahnava (Ananga-manjari) and Nityananda Prabhu, the holder of all energies.” (Navadvipa-bhava-taranga)

Nidaya Ghata

Nidaya Ghata

This is where Lord Caitanya crossed the River Ganga on His way to Katwa to take sannyasa. He took sannyasa at the end of January in 1510, just before His 25th birthday. His sannyasa name was Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. On the day that He decided to enter the sannyasa order, He informed only Nityananda Prabhu, Gadadhara Pandita, Saci-mata, Candrasekhara and Mukunda. The Lord got up during the night and prepared to leave home for the last time. As He approached the gate, Mother Saci was standing there like a statue. She was in total shock and her eyes were full of tears. She was unable to say anything to prevent Him from leaving. The Lord circumambulated Mother Saci three times and offered her His obeisance. He took some dust from her feet, then left home forever. After leaving home the Lord swam across the Ganga and went to Katwa. Nidaya means “without mercy”. The residents of Navadvipa accused the Lord of being without mercy for leaving them. 

Nidaya-ghata is on the eastern bank of the Ganga. There is a temple here established by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, which houses a deity of Lord Caitanya that he personally worshiped when he stayed in a straw hut in Mayapur. 

Nidaya Ghata

Directions: Follow the directions for Sankarapura. Instead of turning right to go over the bridge, continue walking straight ahead. You will walk along a path on the bank of a river (a backwater of the Ganga River). On the left you will see some bamboo growing and a path. The Rudradvipa Gaudiya Matha temple is at the end of this path. To go to the Nidaya-ghata, do not take the path on the left leading to the temple but proceed along the bank of the river. Take the first turning on the left, follow this path through the village and continue approximately one and a half kilometers until you come to the Ganga River. Nidaya-ghata is now under the waters of Ganga-devi. Another way to come here is by boat from Navadvipa-ghata to here and then walk one and a half kilometers to the Rudradvipa Gaudiya Matha. 

Bharadvaja-tila, or Bharui-danga

Bharadvaja-tila is situated north-west of Ganga-nagara. When Srinivasa Acarya performed parikrama of Navadvipa-dhama, Bharadvaja-tila was a prosperous town situated on a hill (tila). The corrupted form of the name Bharadvaja-tila is Bharuidanga. While visiting different holy places, Bharadvaja Rishi came here from Prayaga and worshipped Sri Gaurahari at Cakrahrida or Cakadaha, on the Ganga’s bank.

Bharadvaja Rishi was a disciple of the original poet Valmiki and he was very powerful. During His exile to the forest, Sri Ramacandra came to his asrama together with Sitaji and Lakshmana. Bharadvaja Rishi was omniscient, and knew where the coming incarnation of Sriman Mahaprabhu would perform His pastimes; therefore he came to Navadvipa-dhama.