Category Archives: Antardvipa

The Geographical Location of Old Navadvipa

Sriman Mahaprabhu’s birthplace

There has been a centuries’ old controversy regarding the location of Old Navadvipa, Sriman Mahaprabhu’s birthplace. The information in this section comes from the book Citre-navadvipa by Sri Saradindu Narayana Raya (published by Sri Caitanya Matha, Mayapura). This information gives conclusive proof that Old Navadvipa was situated on the eastern bank of the Ganga. The English excerpts from the above-mentioned book have been quoted directly.

By studying scriptures such as Urddhamnaya Maha-tantra, Sri Caitanya-caritamrita and Bhakti-ratnakara it is clear that Old Navadvipa was situated on the Ganga’s (Bhagavati-Bhagirathi’s) eastern bank. The Urddhamnaya Maha-tantra states:

vartateha navadvipe nityadhamni mahesvari
bhagirathi tatepurve mayapurantu gokulam

O Mahesvari, Sri Navadvipa-dhama is eternal, and Mayapura, which is situated on the Bhagirathi’s eastern bank, is the same as Gokula.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrita (Adi-lila 1.86) states: “… gaudadese purva-saile karila udaya – … they arose on the eastern horizon in the land of Gauda.” And Adi-lila 13.97 states: “nadiyaudayagiri, purnacandra gaurahari, kripa kari’ ha-ila udaya – thus by His causeless mercy the full moon, Gaurahari, rose in the district of Nadiya, which is compared to Udayagiri, where the sun first becomes visible”.

Sri Navadvipa-parikrama by Srila Narahari Cakravarti states:

sri-suradhunira purva-tire
antardvipadika catushtaya sobhakare
jahnavira pascikulete
koladvipadika panca vikhyata jagate

Antardvipa and three other islands are situated in full splendour on the eastern bank of the Suradhuni (Ganga), and Sri Antardvipa Koladvipa and four other famous islands are on the Jahnavi’s (Ganga’s) western bank. In the 16th century, during the British Empire’s occupation of India, Sir William Hunter produced an authoritative historical and geographical record of India, focusing on many well known places in Bengal. In this record (Hunter’s Statistical Account, pg 142) he described the geographical position of Navadvipa Town.

“It was on the east of the Bhagirathi and on the west of the Jalangi.”

In other words, Navadvipa town was situated on Bhagirathi’s eastern bank and Jalangi’s western bank. From the explanations in the Nadiya Gazetteer one can understand that Navadvipa was the capital of the kings of the Sena dynasty: “Nabadwip is a very ancient city and is reported to have been founded in A.D. 1063 by one of the Sen kings of Bengal. In the Aini Akbari it is noted that in the time of Lakhana Sen, Nadia was the capital of Bengal.” Navadvipa is an ancient city, said to be founded in 1063 by a king of the Sena dynasty. Aini Akbari also mentions that Navadvipa was the capital of Bengal during the reign of Maharaja Sri Lakshmana Sena.

In his statistical account (pg. 142) Sir William Hunter also has mentioned that Maharaja Lakshmana Sena founded Nadiya in A.D. 1063.

The following statement appeared in the Calcutta Review (pg. 398, 1946):

“The earliest that we know of Nadia is that in 1203 it was the Capital of Bengal.”

In other words, our first information about Nadiya Town is that it was the capital of Bengal in 1203. In this way much proof supports the fact that old Nadiya, or old Navadvipa, was the capital of the kings of the Sena dynasty and was situated on the Ganga’s eastern bank.

The Nadiya District Gazetteer provides further evidence: “The nature of Mahammadi Baktier’s conquest (A.D. 1203) appears to have been exaggerated. The expedition to Nadia was only on in-road, a dash for securing booty. The troopers looted the city with the palace and went away. They did not take possession of the part. It seems probable that the hold of Mohammedans upon the part of Bengal in which Nadia district lies was very slight for the two centuries which succeeded the sack of Navadwip by Baktier Khan. It appears, however, that by the middle of the fifteenth century the independent Mahammedan Kings of Bengal had established their authority.”

It seems that the description of the conquest of Navadvipa by Baktiyara Khan (1203) was exaggerated. The sole reason Baktiyara Khan invaded Nadiya was to loot its riches. It was a sudden attack in which the cavalry plundered the royal palace and Navadvipa Town, and then left. They never established any authority over the town, although it is possible that after their attack on Navadvipa, Baktiyara Khan was its authority in name only. If so, this authority lasted for the duration of two centuries.

In the middle of the 15th century, the independent Muslim emperors established their authority over Bengal. Nadiya Gazetteer and Hunter’s Statistical Account (pg. 142) clearly prove that the highland adjacent to present Mayapura is actually the ruins of King Ballala Sena’s palace and that Nadiya Town was his capital. Ballala-dighi (Prithu-kunda) was situated nearby.

Over time, the course of the Ganga’s flow occasionally changed and gradually it washed away the old Navadvipa Town, which was later founded again on the western bank. Old Navadvipa, or Nadiya Town, is now known by various names, such as Brahmana-pukura, Bel-pukura, Sri Mayapura, Ballaladighi and Srinathapura. The present Sridhama Mayapura is where Sri Jagannatha Misra’s house, Srivasa-angana, Advaitabhavana, Murari Gupta-bhavana and other places were situated.

The place known as Kuliya-grama (or Pahada-pura) during Mahaprabhu’s time, is where the present Navadvipa Town and Municipality are situated. Old maps give evidence of this.

Bhakti-ratnakara is an old and authoritative scripture which was composed by the well-known Srila Narahari Cakravarti Thakura. In its description of Navadvipa-dhama parikrama,Bhakti ratnakara gives clear evidence to support that Antardvipa Mayapura, which was situated on the Ganga’s eastern bank, was the old Nadiya, or Navadvipa Town. Even today Chand Kazi’s samadhi, Sridhara-angana and other places are situated on the eastern bank. When Srinivasa Acarya and Sri Narottama Thakura performed parikrama with Isana Thakura, they visited Jagannatha-bhavana and the nearby Barakonaghata, Ganga-nagara and so forth, and without crossing the Ganga, they went to Chand Kazi’s samadhi, Sridhara-angana, Simuliya and other places.In 1684 William Hayes, an agent of the East India Company,wrote in his diary about Richard Temple’s old map, which also shows that Navadvipa Town was situated on Bhagirathi’s eastern bank.

In 1572, Kavi-karnapura wrote his famous play Sri Caitanyacandrodaya. From the geographical description given there it is clear that the old Navadvipa, or Nadiya Town, was situated on the Ganga’s eastern bank and that Kuliya-grama was situated on the western bank.

Sri Vrindavana dasa Thakura compiled Sri Caitanya bhagavata just a few years after the disappearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. From the descriptions in this book one can get to know the geographical location of Navadvipa and nearby places. Everyone accepts that the samadhi of Chand Kazi, who was a contemporary of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is situated in Vamana-pukura (also known as Brahmana-pukura and Brahmana-pushkarini). According to Sri Caitanya bhagavata’s narration of Chand Kazi’s defeat, Sriman Mahaprabhu took a large sankirtana party to Chand Kazi’s residence, but there is no mention that they crossed the Ganga.

From the above-mentioned proofs it is clear that the place indicated by Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Sri Mayapura-dhama is the actual place of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance.

Some people say that Ramacandrapura, or Kekada Mantha, situated on the Ganga’s western bank, is the actual site of Sri Caitanya  Mahaprabhu’s appearance and is therefore the ancient Mayapura. This assumption, however, is completely baseless and opposed to the above proofs. Some reasons for this, in brief, are:

(1) If Ramacandrapura were Mahaprabhu’s appearance place and Chand Kazi’s house was on the other side of the Ganga, Sriman Mahaprabhu and His kirtana party would have had to cross the Ganga to go from Ramacandrapura to the Kazi’s house on the day of the Kazi’s defeat. But Sri Caitanya-bhagavata does not mention that Sriman Mahaprabhu crossed the Ganga.

(2) To go from Ramacandrapura to the Kazi’s house in Vamana-pukura via Ganga-nagara, one has to go through Rudra-pada. There is no alternate route. Sriman Mahaprabhu led the sankirtana party through many ghats on the banks of the Ganga. Then, finally arriving at Ganga-nagara, He came to the Kazi’s house. If the sankirtana party had started at Ramacandrapura, the distance travelled would have been 6–8 miles.

(3) In the narration of Srinivasa Acarya’s parikrama, it is mentioned that he went to Simuliya (Simanta dvipa) from Antardvipa. Even today, the Kazi’s house and samadhi are on the path from present Mayapura (Antardvipa) to Simuliya. If we take Ramacandrapura to be Antardvipa Mayapura, however, then to reach Simuliya from there one must surely cross Rudra-pada, or Rudradvipa.

Srinivasa Acarya finally arrived in Rudradvipa after going to Jannagara ( Jahnudvipa), then to Mamagachi (Modadrumdvipa) and Mahatpura (Matapura), etc. If Srinivasa Acarya had begun his Navadvipa-dhama parikrama from  Ramacandrapura, how would he have reached Simuliya first, and then Gadigacha (Godrumadvipa) and Majida (Madhyadvipa), and after crossing the Ganga, Kuliya (Koladvipa), Ratudvipa- Ratupura (Ritudvipa), Jannagara (Jahnudvipa), Mamagachi (Modadrumadvipa) and finally Rudra-pada (Rudradvipa)? Consequently, it must be concluded that he started his parikrama from the present Antardvipa Mayapura situated on the Ganga’s eastern bank. This conclusion is in accordance with the description given in Bhakti-ratnakara and with old maps.

(4) It is mentioned in Bhakti-ratnakara that one can see Suvarna-vihara from Antardvipa. Even today one can see Suvarna-vihara from the present Mayapura. But if Ramacandrapura is considered to be Antardvipa it is impossible to see Suvarna-vihara, which is situated about 5–6 miles away.

(5) If Ramacandrapura is the place of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s appearance, and if Ganga-Govinda Singh considered that place to be Sriman Mahaprabhu’s birthplace and built a temple there, why are the deities of Sri Rama-Sita established in this temple? Why didn’t he establish a deity of Sriman Mahaprabhu, and why didn’t he call this place Mayapura? And why is this place known as Ramacandrapura on the old government maps?

(6) It is well-known that there is a huge Sri Rama-Sita festival celebrated with great pomp in Ramacandrapura.

This Ramacandrapura is situated within Modadrumadvipa, Sri Ramacandra and Sitaji’s pastime-place. Hence, this place cannot also be assumed to be Antardvipa Mayapura.

These and other facts give clear proof that Ramacandrapura, or Kekada Mantha, is definitely not Sriman Mahaprabhu’s appearance place. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Antardvipa Mayapura.

Sri Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s eternal intimate associate, is revered as the Seventh Gosvami who again inaugurated the flow of the Bhagirathi of bhakti. He appeared in this world to manifest Mahaprabhu’s holy name (gaura-nama), His innermost desire (gaura-kama) and His holy abode (gauradhama). Like Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, he wanted to reside in Vraja and perform bhajana there. On his way to Vraja-mandala he came to a deity of Lord Siva, Mahadeva Sri Tadakesvara, a short distance from Kolkata. That night Sri  Mahadeva appeared to him in a dream and requested him to reveal Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s appearance-place. He also told him to remain in Gauda-mandala and perform bhajana. Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura placed Sri Tadakesvara’s instruction upon his head and returned to Sridhama Navadvipa. There, in Godrumadvipa, he constructed a small hut and began performing bhajana, eager to find Sriman Mahaprabhu’s appearance-place. He wrote in his autobiography:

“I was very anxious to find Sriman Mahaprabhu’s appearance place. I went to Navadvipa (the present Navadvipa Town) and with much endeavour made some investigation, but was unable to find any trace of it. Thus I became very unhappy. Nowadays the people of Navadvipa are only busy filling their bellies.

They know nothing about Sriman Mahaprabhu’s pastime-places, nor do they endeavour to learn about them. One day after twilight, at ten o’clock, Kamala and I, together with one clerk, were standing on the roof of the Rani Dharmasala looking about. It was very dark and the sky was filled with clouds. Then, across the Ganga towards the north I saw an effulgent mansion. I asked Kamala, ‘Did you see something?’ He answered, ‘I became awestruck to see an effulgent mansion on the other side of the Ganga towards the north.’ In the morning I again went to the roof of the Rani Dharmasala and attentively looked towards that place. I was unable to see the effulgent mansion, but I could see a palm tree there. When I inquired from others about that place, they said it was called Ballala-dighi and that one can still see many traces of King Lakshmana Sena’s old fort there. The coming Monday I went to Krishna-nagara and the following Saturday I went straight from there to Ballala-dighi. That night I beheld a wondrous sight. Sriman Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Gadadhara and the other devotees were completely absorbed in chanting and dancing ecstatically. Everyone’s eyes were filled with tears. The tumultuous sound of “Hari Bol!” and the sound of mridangas and kartalas maddened the devotees. After sometime that sight disappeared from my eyes.

“The next day I walked to those places to take darsana of them and asked the elderly locals about them. They told me that this was Sriman Mahaprabhu’s birthplace. I visited all the small villages mentioned in Bhakti-ratnakara as well as those mentioned in Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura’s Sri Caitanyabhagavata. Thereafter I sat in Krishna-nagara and compiled the book Sri Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya and sent it to be printed in Kolkata. I told Sri Dvarika Babu, an engineer from Krishna-nagara, about my findings. He could understand everything I said and on the strength of his intelligence he produced a map of Sri Navadvipa-mandala. I then wandered throughout Navadvipa-dhama and wrote the Dhamamahatmya, because at that time I could do nothing else.”

In Godruma, 1893, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura performed a great harinama-sankirtana festival under the auspices of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. At that time Sri Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja went with many Vaishnavas to take darsana of Sri Mayapura. Overwhelmed by ecstatic sentiments, he himself pointed out Mahaprabhu’s birthplace, the lost Yogapitha-Mayapura. The 144-year-old Babaji Maharaja became overwhelmed with ecstasy and jumped into the air, crying out, “This is the birthplace of Gauracandra, our very life and soul!” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, many famous writers of Bengal, many high-posted government officers, editors of famous magazines and others witnessed the event. Amongst them was Sri Syamalala Gosvami, the great and erudite Vaishnava. Also present were Sri Sasibhushana Gosvami, Sri Radhikanatha Gosvami, Sri Vipina Bihari Gosvami, Sri Raya Vanamali, Sri Raya Bahadura, Sri Sisira Kumara Ghosha, Sri  Dvarikanatha Sarakara and Sri Naphara Kumara. Some huts were eventually made here and the temple construction began. Gradually, faithful devotees from the various states of India came here to take darsana, and now, people come from all over the world to this holy place.

Why this island is named Antardvipa?

Antardvipa was previously known as Atopur. Five thousand years ago Brahma came here to worship Lord Gauranga.

Once, five hundred years ego, Isana Thakura took Srinivasa Acarya, Narottama dasa Thakura and Ramacandra Kaviraja on Navadvipa Parikrama. Very early one morning Isana Thakura brought them here and gave them the following explanation as to why this place is known as Antardvipa.

Lord Gauranga

During Dvapara yuga, Lord Sri Krishna was displaying His pastimes in Vraja. Everyone including Brahma was bewildered by the illusory energy of Lord Sri Krishna. Once in Vrindavana when Lord Krishna, along with His friends, was grazing calves in the forest, Brahma decided to test Krishna’s divinity. By his yogic power, Brahma stole all the calves and cowherd friends of Lord Sri Krishna. But Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, immediately knew what Brahma had done. Lord Krishna wanted to teach Brahma a lesson He instantly created, from His own transcendental body, exactly the same number of calves and cowherd boys. Thus Lord Sri Krishna destroyed the pride of Brahma.

Defeated by the Lord, Brahma realized his mistake. He understood that he had committed a great offense at the lotus feet of the Lord and so offered prayers to the Lord and begged for forgiveness.

Lord Krishna, out of His causeless mercy, excused Brahma, but Brahma was not satisfied. He thought, “Because of my elevated position as Brahma I am very proud. Therefore, I have been deprived of Krishna-prema and enjoyment of Krishna’s sweet vrajalila. This position of Brahma is useless. If I would take birth as a cowherd boy I would easily be able to serve Lord Sri Krishna, the husband of gopikas. I could not develop the proper mood and I dared to steal the cows and cowherd boys. Due to pride in my elevated position, I fear I may commit the same offense towards the Lord when He comes as Lord Gauranga in Kali-yuga.”

Once, Brahma was sitting alone thinking, “I do not see anyone else who can help me except Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu will descend in the first part of Kaliyuga to bless the people of that yuga. If I worship the Lord in Navadvipa dhama He will definitely fulfill my desire.”

So thinking, Brahma came to Atopur in Navadvipa dhama and worshiped Lord Gauranga with fervour. After the completion of a period of bhajana, the most merciful Lord Gauracandra appeared in front of the four-headed Lord Brahma. The Lord appeared there in His most captivating form, attracting the living entities of the world. All 10 directions were dazzled by the effulgence of His transcendental body. The beauty of His body outshone the splendour of Kandarpa (Cupid). He had a broad chest and long arms. He wore many ornaments. His eyes were large and deep. Love shined in them. His face was radiant like a million moons and a slight smile played on his bow lips.

Everyone was attracted to him. When Brahma saw the Lord of his life, he became ecstatic and could not control himself. He started trembling and began offering prayers to the Lord as his eyes welled up. Brahma fell at the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga. Seeing Brahma in this condition, Lord Gauranga, the son of Saci-devi, embraced him and said, “Oh, Brahma! I am very pleased with your worship. Now I have come to you to fulfil your desire.” Hearing the sweet words of the Lord, Brahma opened his eyes and fainted on seeing Lord Gauranga in front of him. He fell at the lotus feet of the Lord. The Lord placed His lotus feet on Brahma’s head and he gained transcendental knowledge. Lord Brahma said, “I am wretched. Due to my pride I forgot Your lotus feet and become engrossed in material pleasures. The scriptures describe myself, Indra, Mahadeva and all other devas as Your servants, but we are not fortunate enough to be Your pure devotees. That is why we sometimes become influenced by Your illusory energy. I have passed the first parardha of my life (half of my life). I am concerned about how to spend the second half of my life-span. I am worried that I will become bahirmukha (averse, turning my face away from You). I pray at Your lotus feet to kindly accept me as Your associate in Your manifested pastime in this Kali-yuga when You will appear in Nadia. Please bless me so that my pride of thinking of myself as Brahma is removed and I chant Your glories, constantly staying in Your association. For this, kindly give me birth in a low family. I am very proud. Kindly punish me in such a way that people hate me. Allow me to develop great attachment to Your holy name. As You have bewildered me in Your previous pastime, please do not bewilder me in this one. I want constant association of Your devotees and to meditate on You always.” Lord Gauranga was very happy to hear Brahma’s prayer. He replied, “So be it. Let your desire be fulfilled. When I manifest next, you will take birth in the house of Yavanas (persons outside of Vedic culture). At that time, you will be completely free from pride. You will be a great devotee known as Haridasa”.

You will feel very humble. You will chant 300,000 holy names daily and when you leave your body, you will have My darsana. By the power of your sadhana you will enter My eternal abode, Navadvipa dhama at the end of your life.” Hearing this, Brahma offered obeisance again and again. He said, “O my Lord! You are independent and transcendental to everything. Who can understand Your heart? You have exhibited many pastimes during Your previous incarnations. I do not know which special pastimes You will exhibit when You appear in Nadia. It is no wonder that You will deliver all the living entities. This is a very simple task for You. Please tell me, I wish to hear whether You have any other special purpose for manifesting Your pastimes in Nadia.” Hearing the words of Brahma and looking at him, the Lord spoke from His heart (antar), saying, “O Brahma! Please listen, I will tell you something from the inner core of My heart (antar) but do not describe this fact anywhere in the scriptures. I will manifest Myself accepting the mood of My devotee and relish the mellows of devotion. I will manifest the most secret sankirtana, giving vrajaprema to devotees of all My other incarnations. Everyone will be a follower of vraja-bhava in the mood of madhurya-rasa. My heart is bound by the love of Sri Radhika and I will descend accepting the mood and bodily color of Srimati Radharani. I will relish the same pleasure which is relished by Sri Radhika in serving Me. From today you are accepted as My disciple and you will serve Me as Haridasa.” While saying this, the Lord’s heart became filled with love for Radharani. His eyes flooded with tears in the desire to fulfil three of His unfulfilled desires of Krishna-lila. The Lord was merciful to Brahma and He informed him of these unfulfilled desires.

kidriso vanayaiva-svadyo
kidriso va madiyah
saukhyam casya
kidrisam veti lobhat
tad-bhavadhyah samajani

“Desiring to understand the glory of Radharani’s love, the wonderful qualities in Him that She alone relishes through Her love, and the happiness She feels when She realizes the sweetness of His love, the Supreme Lord Hari, richly endowed with Her emotions, appeared from the womb of Srimati Saci-devi, as the moon appeared from the ocean.”(Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 1.7)

The Lord again told Brahma that he would see His pastimes in Navadvipa. After revealing His heart (antar), the Lord disappeared (antardhyana). Therefore, people call this place Antardvipa. When Brahma saw the Lord disappear he fainted in pain of separation. When he came to conscious, he cried, “Ha Gauranga! Ha Dina-bandhu! Bhakta-vatsala! When will I attain Your lotus feet?” After crying for a few days, Brahma went back to Brahma loka to perform his duties. On this island, Lord Gauranga revealed the most confidential desire within His heart (antar) to Brahma therefore it is known as Antardvipa.

The meeting of Sri Gauranga and Sri Nityananda at Nandana Acarya’s house

janiya aila jhata navadvipa-pure
asiya rahila nandana-acaryera ghare

“As soon as Lord Nityananda realized that Lord Caitanya had manifested Himself, He quickly went to Navadvipa. When He arrived, He resided in the house of Nandana Acarya.”(Caitanya-bhagavata,Madhya-khanda3.123) 

Lord Nityananda was staying in Vrindavana, waiting until Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu manifested His sankirtana pastimes in Navadvipa.When Lord Nityananda came to know that Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu had started His sankirtana movement, He travelled to Navadvipa-dhama. Nandana Acarya was very happy to receive Lord Nityananda at his house where he offered Him a place to stay and also arranged for His prasada. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu understood that Lord Nityananda had reached Navadvipa. He felt great happiness within His heart and informed all the Vaishnavas, “O, My dear brothers! Within the next two or three days a great personality will come here.” But no one could understand about whom the Lord was talking. One morning after Lord Gauracandra had concluded His worship of Lord Vishnu, He came to meet with the devotees. The Lord said, “Today I had a very wonderful dream. A great chariot called Taladhvaja came and stopped in front of My house. Sitting on that chariot was a great personality with a huge body. He was holding a club over His shoulder and in His left hand was a kamandalu pot bound to a stick. He was wearing a blue cloth, had a blue turban on His head, and a wonderful earring was hanging from His left ear. Upon seeing this character I felt He had the mood of Haladhara, Lord Balarama. He asked me ten or twenty times, ‘Is this the house of Nimai Pandita?’ He looked like a great avadhuta. I have never seen such a personality. I felt very respectful to Him and asked Him,‘O, great personality! Who are You?’ He smiled and said,‘I am Your brother. Tomorrow We will meet with each other’. From this dream, I think a great person must have come to Navadvipa. I have told you before that very soon we will meet with a great personality. O, Haridasa! O, Srivasa! Please go and find out whether He has already arrived.” By the order of the Lord both Haridasa and Srivasa went to search for Him all over Navadvipa, but they could not find such a personality anywhere. After searching for Him all over for nine hours, they finally came back to Lord Gauracandra and informed Him, “We searched for this personality everywhere, in the houses of all the Vaishnavas, sannyasis and grihasthas, even in the homes of all the atheists, but we could not find Him anywhere. We have searched all over Navadvipa, but we have not gone to other villages.” Upon hearing this Lord Gauracandra smiled and explained to them how this personality, Lord Nityananda, is very confidential. Not everyone can find Him; unless Lord Gauranga Himself reveals Him, He cannot be found. Lord Gauranga said, “All of you come with Me. We will go and search for Him together.” Lord Gauracandra along with all the devotees went to NandanaAcarya’s house.There they saw this great jewel among all persons. He was as effulgent as millions of suns. He was in immense meditative bliss and was always laughing. Mahaprabhu understood His great devotion and along with all His associates offered obeisances to Him. All stood there with respect, no one said a word, they just looked on silently. Lord Visvambhara stood infront of that personality. He recognized Lord Nityananda, the Lord of His life.

Lord Nityananda also recognized His Lord. In ecstasy, Lord Nityananda became stunned and looked upon Lord Visvambhara with undeviated, focused attention in such a way that it seemed as if He was licking with His tongue, drinking through His eyes, embracing with His arms and smelling through His nose.Thus Nityananda became silent and motionless. Everyone was surprised to see this but Lord Gaura Raya could understand everything. In order to reveal Lord Nityananda’s svarupa to everyone Lord Gauracandra devised a plan. He made an indication to Srivasa Pandita to recite a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam. Understanding the desire of the Lord, Srivasa Pandita recited the following verse:

barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh
karnayoh karnikaram
bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam
vaijayantim ca malam
randhran venor adhara
vrindaranyam sva-pada-ramanam
pravisad gita-kirtih

“Wearing a peacock-feather ornament upon His head, blue karnikara flowers on His ears, a yellow garment as brilliant as gold, and the Vaijayanti garland, Lord Krishna exhibited His transcendental form as the greatest of dancers as He entered the forest of Vrindavana, beautifying it with the marks of His footprints. He filled the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sang His glories.” (SB 10.21.5)

As soon as Lord Nityananda heard this verse He immediately fell down and lost His external consciousness. When Lord Nityananda fainted in ecstasy, Lord Gauranga instructed Srivasa to recite more and more. By hearing again and again, Lord Nityananda regained His external consciousness and started to cry. Hearing the verse repeatedly increased His ecstasy and He started roaring like a lion. He was jumping high in the air and falling to the ground. Everyone was thinking that His bones would break. Even the Vaishnavas were afraid, what to speak of others. Everyone prayed to Lord Krishna saying, “Please save Him, please save Him!” Lord Nityananda was rolling on the ground, His whole body drenched with tears. He was looking at the face of Visvambhara and breathing heavily, experiencing ecstasy within his heart and laughing loudly. Sometimes He was dancing, sometimes He was bending down, sometimes He was beating on his arms and at other times He was jumping which was a very amazing sight. By seeing this most wonderful ecstasy due to madness for Lord Krishna,Sri Gauranga cried along with all the Vaishnavas. Constantly the happiness increased. No one was able to catch hold of Lord Nityananda and after their failed attempts Lord Visvambhara Himself took Lord Nityananda onto His lap. As soon as Lord Nityananda reached the lap of Visvambhara He became quiet and surrendered His life to Him. Lord Nityananda was floating in the water of love of Sri Caitanya. He looked exactly like Lakshmana when he was hurt by the sakti weapon of Indrajit, and Visvambhara looked exactly like Ramacandra, holding His wounded brother on His lap. Lord Nityananda fainted, pierced by the arrows of prema-bhakti. Lord Gauracandra was crying, holding Nityananda. Aftersome time Lord Nityananda regained His external consciousness and the devotees started chanting “Hari, Hari”and “jaya, jaya.” Nityananda and Gauracandra just looked at each other without saying anything as tears flowed from Their eyes. Then Lord Gauranga started glorifying Lord Nityananda by saying, “Today is a very auspicious day because I have seen bhakti-yoga in You, which is the essence of all the Vedas. Without the energy of Isvara how can anyone exhibit tears and other symptoms like these? By serving You one will get Krishna-bhakti. You have come to purify all fourteen planetary systems. You are the personification of Krishnabhakti. Now I understand that Krishna has brought You here to give Me Your association which will definitely deliver Me.” After glorifying Nityananda for some time Lord Gauranga asked fearfully, “Kindly tell me, where have You come from?” Nityananda, who has a childlike nature and was talking like a child, said, “I had set off for tirtha-yatra (pilgrimage). I went to see all the holyplaces of Sri Krishna but wherever I went I saw only empty places without Krishna. I asked some gentlemen why this was so,‘Why are all these simhasan as empty? O, my dear brothers! Please tell me in which direction Krishna has gone?’ They replied that Krishna had gone to Gaudadesa.‘Just a few days ago He went to Nadia after visiting Gaya. There is a great hari-sankirtana happening in Nadia.’ Some said, ‘Lord Narayana has appeared there, I heard the deliverer of fallen souls has appeared in Nadia!’Hearing this great news a fallen soul like Me has come here.” Mahaprabhu said, “We are all very fortunate that a great devotee like You has arrived here. By seeing the flow of bliss in You we have been blessed today.” Thus Lord Nityananda and Lord Gauracandra met each other at Nandana Acarya’s house. Whoever listens to this description will become free from material bondage and receive pure Krishnabhakti.

Directions: Turn left outside the main gate of ISKCON and proceed down Bhaktisiddhanta road towards Hulor Ghat. It is the first temple on the left side of the road and has an ornate main gate.

Nandana Acarya’s house

Presiding deities: The temple is at the end of the main hall on the left just inside the front gate.

1. The center altar has beautiful big neem deities of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai and also Nrisimhadeva.

2. The left altar has two deities of Gauranga Mahaprabhu with their right arm raised and Giri Govardhana.

3. Sri Sri RadhaVinoda Bihari preside on the right side of the altar. It is worth going close to see Them as they are very charming.

Sri Isodyana (Nandana Acarya’s house)

Sri Isodyana

This is where Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda first met. Sri Gaura-Nityananda Gaudiya Matha temple is said to mark the site where the house of Nandana Acarya used to stand. This temple is between the ISKCON temple and the boat ghat to Navadvipa. The area from the confluence of the Ganga and the Sarasvati up to the samadhi of Srila Prabhupada is known as Isodyana, the Lord’s garden. This is where Nandana Acarya had his house. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains in his Navadvipa-bhava-taranga: “In the southern portion of Mayapur,on the bank of the River Ganga and very near its junction with the River Sarasvati, is the extensive grove called Isodyana, the Lord’s garden. May that garden be the place of my eternal devotion. In this garden, my Lord Sri Sacinandana performs His midday pastimes along with His devotees. Seeing the brilliance of this grove, I shall be reminded of Radha-kunda in Vraja. May all these areas be eternally visible to my eyes. Huge trees and dark vines appear very dense. Among the foli age there are various types of birds singing the transcendental glories of Lord Gaura. In the garden, there is a large lake and an extremely opulent temple glowing with pure gold laid with diamonds as well as blue and yellow sapphires. The materialists, with their eyes bewildered by the illusions of material sense perception, and who are envious of the Lord, can never see these groves. Rather, they see only a small piece of land covered with thorns, periodically thrown into utter disruption by the forceful flooding of the river.”(Navadvipa-bhava-taranga).