All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama
Day Three, page two

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Wednesday 23rd March 2005

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The beautiful countryside surrounding the parikrama path.
Sripad Jitendriya Maharaj and Sripad Avadhuta Maharaj lead the way towards Suvarna Bihar.

Excerpt from Chapter Seven, Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya:

Leaving Visrama Sthana, the party proceeded to Suvarna Bihar. There Nityananda said, "Oh Jiva, this is a wonderful place. Like the rest of Nabadwip, it transcends material existence. Long ago, during Satya-yuga, the famous king Suvarna Sen lived here in Nabadwip. For many years he was deeply involved in the affairs of the state and absorbed in ruling his kingdom. Although he was fast growing old, he could take no rest from his labours. His heart was filled with materialistic hankering and he was always thinking of how to increase his wealth.
"One day, by some great fortune, King Suvarna Sen was visited by Narada Muni. The king received him lavishly and offered opulent worship to Narada. Narada bestowed his mercy on the king by personally instructing him in the highest spiritual truths. Narada told him: 'O king, you are uselessly passing your days thinking only of riches and profits. You should know that your 'wealth' is worthless. Divine knowledge is supreme wealth. For once, consider this deeply: neither your wife, sons, nor friends belong to you. At death no one owns anything. When you die and your ashes are scattered in the river, you will be forced to leave behind everything you have gathered in your house. Why maintain false hopes for happiness in this temporary world? A mirage cannot quench ones thirst. If you can tell me how I can become happy in this world without suffering any pain, I will certainly join you in your quest for wealth. But the promise of material happiness is a lie, my dear king. This mortal life is short and barely lasts a hundred years. Know this to be essential: you must go beyond this world of illusion to the place where there is no pain -- only happiness.'"
Nityananda continued, "Sri Narada said, 'How can one reach that world where there is neither fear nor pain nor grief? It will not be possible through knowledge or renunciation alone, although by following that path one may become free from material bondage and attain oneness with Brahman. In oneness, however, there is no ecstasy. In fact, oneness is an act of spiritual suicide that defies the Personality of Godhead. One who practises knowledge and renunciation may become free from this negative world, but he gains nothing positive. Just consider this aspect of the realisation attained through oneness.
"'One who is truly wise strives neither to exploit this world nor to renounce it, but dedicates himself to the lotus feet of Sri Krishna. This dedication to Godhead is done without attraction for material gain but only out of devotion for Sri Krishna. Devotion, or bhakti, may be divided into three parts. The first is sambandha, or understanding the relationship between the soul and the Supreme Soul, Sri Krishna. The second is called abidheya, or the means for realising that relationship. And finally there is prayojana, the ultimate goal of life.
"'The relationship of the soul to Krishna is that of servant to master. Devotion is the only means of success in self-realisation; without devotion to Krishna, everything is useless. And the fruit of the tree of bhakti is divine love, Krishna-prema. That fruit is the ultimate necessity, the goal of life, and the eternal treasure of all souls. Material enjoyment and liberation are insignificant by comparison.
"Krishna is compared to the sun because His self-effulgent transcendental bliss, divine knowledge, and Pastimes of beauty illuminate the entire spiritual world. Maya is compared to a shadow. The jiva souls are compared to an atomic ray of the Krishna sun: they are marginal potency. If the soul falls under the spell of maya, or misconception, he becomes bound by darkness. One who turns away from Krishna contacts maya. Entangled in the misconception of independance, he accepts responsibility for all his actions and suffers their reactions (karma)."

The Deities worshiped at Suvarna Bihar
The sannyasis lead bhajans and speak about the significance of Suvarna Bihar.


"'Thus the soul, ignorant of the laws of action and reaction, is tossed by the waves of death's dark ocean. When he thinks of how to escape from his pains, he tries performing the sacrificial rituals of the Vedas for good karma. Sometimes he accepts the eightfold path of yoga or attempts self-realisation through knowledge of Brahman. Sometimes he tries to extricate himself with the help of reason. None of these paths, however, prove successful, and he remains unmindful of the treasure within his own soul.
"'While continuously wandering throughout this material universe, one who is fortunate achieves the company of saints and imbibes from them faith (sraddha) in Krishna consciousness. In the company of those saints (sadhu-sanga), he worships and serves Sri Krishna (bhajan), giving up his former bad habits (anartha-nivrtti). His devotion gradually becomes firm (nistha). As he advances further he develops a real taste for the service of the Lord (ruchi), which becomes unflinching attachment (asakti), maturing in ecstatic affection (bhava), and finally divine love (prema). These are the stages in the development of pure devotion to Krishna.
"'Hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping, bowing down, servitude, friendship, and self-surrender -- these are the ninefold processes of bhakti, or dedication to Godhead. One who performs these in the association of devotees attains Krishna-prema, divine love.
"'You are most fortunate, O king, for you are a resident of Nabadwip-dham. By living in the holy land, you have begun your good fortune, for here you can easily have the association of saints. As your faith grows in the company of saints and you sing the Holy Name and wonderful qualities of Sri Krishna, divine love will rise like the sun within your heart.
"'But in Kali-yuga even greater wealth will be available here in Nabadwip. At that time Sri Krishna, along with his associates, will descend to perform his Pastimes as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He who calls on the Name of Sri Chaitanya will quickly receive the mercy of Krishna and reach the divine abode of Vrindavan. One who goes on worshiping Krishna without calling for the help of Sri Chaitanya will reach Krishna only after a long time. But one who takes the Name of Sri Chaitanya quickly attains Krishna, for the Holy Name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is so merciful that He accepts no offenses.'"
Nityananda Prabhu continued his narration: "Having spoken thus, Narada became overwhelmed and began crying out the Name of Sri Chaitanya, dancing, and chanting 'Gaurahari bol, Gaurahari bol, Gaurahari bol!' Narada's mystical lute, his vina, also began to sing, 'O Gaurahari! When will the blessed Kali-yuga come?'
"With this Narada went off, and divine love arose like the morning sun within the heart of King Suvarna Sen. Crying the Name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu like a madman and begging love of Godhead from the devotees, he became free from all material desires. Later, in his sleep, the king saw Sri Gaura and Gadadhar with Their eternal associates and devotees dancing in the courtyard. Surrounding the golden form of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the multitudes were shouting 'Hare Krishna!' while dancing and embracing one another.
"When he awoke from his dream, the king began weeping in great anguish out of separation from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Suddenly a divine voice spoke from the heavens, saying, 'O king, when I appear on Earth, you will be among My associates. Your name will be Buddhimanta Khan, and at that time you will attain service in the holy abode of Nabadwip-dham at the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.' Hearing the voice from the sky, King Suvarna Sen composed himself and began to worship Sri Chaitanya."

--Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya, Chapter Seven

The devotees continue on to Panchanantala. Sripad Paramahamsa Maharaj explained that Sriman Mahaprabhu and His associates would stop to rest at this place while preaching. After taking a short themselves, the parikrama party head towards Nrsimha Palli.
Local villagers around Panchanantala use the foot of an auspicious banyan tree as a place of worship.
Sri Nrsimhadev, worshiped at Nrsimha Palli.
Devotees shelter from a rainstorm that broke out in the middle of the program at Nrsimha Palli.
Viewed through a rainy lens: on the other side of the temple room, Sripad Paramahamsa Maharaj and a few other devotees hold a roaring kirttan, slipping and sliding back and forth across the smooth floor.

(Later in Chapter Seven, Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya:)

At length Jiva Goswami and the others went on to Deva Palli, loudly singing the glories of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In that village they rested as the guests of Lord Nrsimhadev, the presiding Deity. They took their noon meals there and that evening they went strolling through Deva Palli just as the sun was setting.
Nityananda Prabhu began explaining the importance of that place. He said, "This town is known as Deva Palli. Here, Nrsimhadev, the half-man, half-lion incarnation of the Lord is worshiped. Out of mercy for His devotee Prahlad, Nrsimhadev appeared and killed the great demon Hiranyakasipu. Having slain the demon, the Lord came here to rest.
"After that, to worship the Lord, Brahma and the other demigods made their homes here and began this town. On the bank of the Mandakini River, on top of a hill, this village called Nrsimhaksetra was established. Everyone was absorbed in the worship of Nrsimhadev. If you look over there, you will see the homes of Surya, the sun-god, and Brahma, the creator. To the east is the place where Lord Nrsmhadev Himself actually took rest. Over there is where Ganesa made his home, and on that side is where Indra, the king of demigods, made his home.
"Although Visvakarma, the architect of the gods, arranged the construction of hundreds of palaces made of jewels here, in time they were all destroyed. The Mandakini River dried up, and now only these mounds of earth mark the original places where the demigods made their homes. These countless broken stones are the only remnants of the great temples they once built. One day in the future, a great devotee king will receive a drop of mercy from Lord Nrsimhadev and build another temple here. He will install the Deity of Nrsimhadev and establish His worship once again. Although Deva Palli is on the boundary of the pilgrimage path that encircles the holy land of Nabadwip, still it lies within the thirty-two mile circle of the dham and is considered to be within Nabadwip-dham."
--Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya, Chapter Seven

The storm soon clears up.
The kunda where Lord Nrsimhadev bathed after killing Hiranyakashipu
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