The significance of the holy dhama of Navadvipa

When Jiva Gosvami met Lord Nityananda. Jiva Gosvami has… he is of course the nephew of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami and uh, he was living in Ramakeli where he met Lord Caitanya as an infant, and when he grew up he decided that he would also go to Vrindavan, you see, where Rupa and Sanatana are… were. He was going to join them. But on the way, he wanted to meet Lord… he wanted to see Navadvipa dham, and he was hoping to see Lord Nityananda.

So as he was going for Navadvipa Dham, walking from Ramakeli, about say roughly 200 kilometers, say 150 miles, not such a long walk, for those days, considering they’d walk 1,000 miles to Vrindavan. It was a fairly straight walk, takes a few days, say walk from Ramakeli to Navadvipa, and as he was approaching Navadvipa, he started to uh, just be overwhelmed with transcendental ecstasy, thinking that I am going to the holy dhama, going to Navadvipa, then as he entered the area of Navadvipa, he was feeling transcendental ecstasy, he just fell down on the ground and started paying his obeisances. Then as he went into uh, towards the Mayapur area, he was very fortunate not to meet Lord Nityananda. There he fell down from a distance when he could see Lord Nityananda. He couldn’t believe it that he was seeing Lord Nityananda, fell down offering his obeisances, and Lord Nityananda came over and in His unique transcendental jovial mood, He put His lotus feet right on the head of Jiva Goswami to bless him, that “I was waiting for you.”

Jiva Gosvami, and… after so many discussions, he requested that he was very eager to know what was the significance of the holy dhama of Navadvipa. If He could just have revealed to him, then he would be very satisfied. So Lord Nityananda agreed to take him on a parikrama. Parikrama means a tour of 9 islands of Navadvipa, starting from central island, Simanta… excuse me, Antardvipa, and going through the other 9 islands, Simantadvipa, Godrupdvipa, Madhyadvipa, Koladvipa, Ritudvipa, Jainaudi Modadrumadvipadvip, Rudradvipa, nine islands comprise the total Navadvipa dhama.

So, Lord Nityananda agreed to take, first they went to the house of mother Saci, and mother Saci prepared Prasad for Lord Nityananda prabhu, Jiva Gosvami was able to take the prasadam from mother Saci, a very great honor. He was overwhelmed, he fell down on the ground, offering them obeisances. He couldn’t believe his great fortune. So, this type of… there are many pastimes like that. Anyway, Jiva Gosvami was able to see the… at least able to go through where Nityananda Prabhu explained what is happening, how… what are the different places, where the Srivasangana was, Srivasa’s house, all the different places in the Antardvipa, the five ghats were still there of course where…the Jagai Mahdai ghat was built by Madhai, Madhai’s ghat. The uh, Barokana ghat, all the various ghats. Meaning the bathing fareways going into the Ganges which were… are considered to be very sacred.

Like this Lord Nityananda was explaining, so basically it is explained that Navadvipa dhama is uh, twenty-one yojanas, the total Gaura Mandala bhumi is twenty-one yojanas in circumference, and Naabadvipa is uh, uh, sixteen koshas, or 4 yojanas in circumference, in parameter. So that comes to about ten miles in diameter for Navadvipa Dhama, and for the Gaura Mandala bhumi it’s a 168, 21 yojanas, if I… my mathematics is correct. It’s approximately 168 miles, 8 miles per yojana, and the diameter comes into uh, I I forget

It works out to about, they call Vrindavan eighty-two krosha, that means twenty-one yojanas, I forget what the diameter is. Anyway, that is the total area of gaura-mandala bhumi, where Lord Caitanya has a transcendental pastime. So at this time, Jiva Gosvami was being taken quickly around the nine islands of Navadvip, the central island is island of atma nivedanam, self surrender.

Each island is connected with one of the nine practices of devotional service. The first island Simantadvipa, is the island of self surrender… excuse me, of hearing, the next island Godrumdvipa, is the island of chanting, sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam. Madhyadvipa is remembering, Madhyadvipa… the remembering deity is Prahlada. In the border of Madhyadvipa, Nrsimhadeva, temple is there, where Lord Nrsimhadeva visited in the Satya-yuga. It’s very near Madhyadvipa. So all this islands, originally were divided by various river, which are offshoots from the Ganges, in each there were twenty-one going in one direction and fourteen going in another direction, and in each of these uh, spiritually related to one of the sacred rivers like the Tamra pani, the Brahmaputra, the uh, Kaveri, the Sindhu like so on. All the various rivers, have got their representation in the original holy dhama, and this divided up the total land mass to make it appear as if they are nine islands.

H.H. Jayapataka Swami Maharaj

1983, 31st, October SB Class @ Honolulu, Hawaii