Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama
Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj
Śrīla Gurudev marvels at the expanding glory of Śrī Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh.
Kṛṣṇa is so merciful and this year He has given us the opportunity to do Nabadwīp Dhām Parikramā again. This year the devotee section is over-flooded. They have very happily joined from all over the world, especially from the Nabadwīp area and so many provinces in India. I am very happy to see this.
This parikramā first started in 1948, by the grace of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj. At that time, we were very few, and we started in the association of Guru Mahārāj’s godbrothers. Now they are doing parikramā with their own Maṭhs, and we have also been growing from that day; we are now over-flooded with devotees. Thousands of people have joined today, and I am astonished to see this.
Our Nabadwīp Dhām Parikramā has some target: we want to get relief from the parikramā of māyāloka, the abode of mahāmāyā. Life after life, birth after birth, we are maintaining ourselves within this illusory environment. Kṛṣṇa Himself appeared in Nabadwīp and gave us this instruction, “First try to clean your heart and follow the devotees’ devotional activities.” Dhām parikramā is one of the activities of devotion.
Nabadwīp Dhām is hidden Vṛndāvan. It is called Brahmapur in the scriptures.
brahmapura bali’ śruti-gaṇa yāke gāya
māyā-mukta chakṣe āhā māyāpura bhāya
(Śrī Navadvīpa-bhāva-taraṅga: 9)
Māyāpur, the birthplace of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, is called Brahmapur and Antardwīp. Those who have clean vision can see the beauty of Māyāpur Dhām. Gokula Vṛndāvan appeared with Kṛṣṇa Himself a little more than five hundred ago in Māyāpur. Mahāprabhu Chaitanyadev—who was not only an incarnation, not only the Yuga-avatār, but Kṛṣṇa Himself—appeared after taking the heart and halo of Rādhārāṇī, desiring to taste the divine devotional mood of extreme separation. Mahāprabhu showed how Rādhārāṇī tastes the mood of separation from Kṛṣṇa; Kṛṣṇa wanted to taste that devotional mood Himself.
Where the eternal Pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī are going on is Vṛndāvan, and that Vṛndāvan has appeared. Nabadwīp is hidden Vṛndāvan. We are living at present within that area, which is called Koladwīp. It is aparādh-bhañjan-pāṭ [the place where offences are forgiven]. We are making so many offences in our devotion to Kṛṣṇa, but all these offences will go away if we stay here with faith and sincerity and pray to Lord Kṛṣṇa. All our offences will go away and we will be enriched with devotion in the line of Rādhārāṇī.
Śrīla Guru Mahārāj chose this place for us, and we are so fortunate that we are following in his footsteps and trying to practise as is possible by us. So many followers of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj have joined this year, and all over the world the devotees are giving their attention to Nabadwīp Dhām Parikramā. I am surprised to see that what Guru Mahārāj expressed fifty-five years ago in his verse has now taken divine form in front of everyone. Now we can see the glories of Śrī Chaitanya Saraswāt Maṭh: from here the vijay vaijayantī, the victory flag of Mahāprabhu, and the light of Mahāprabhu as Kṛṣṇa-prema are spreading all over the world.
At present we have so many preaching centres all over the world: in Russia, London, Hungary, Italy, Germany, America, Mexico, Argentina, and even Iran and other countries. Mahāprabhu’s flag and devotional mood is being spread everywhere by the devotees. By the grace of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, so many devotees from Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines have joined this year and I am very happy. When they will do parikramā of Nabadwīp Dhām with faith and devotion, they will be supremely benefitted. Their bondage in māyā must go away and they will become clean: they will get a service form and serve Śrīman Mahāprabhu.
sarvopari śrī-gokula nāma mahāvana
yathā nitya-līlā kare śrī-śachī-nandana
(Śrī Navadvīpa-bhāva-taraṅga: 9)
Mahāprabhu is playing in Nabadwīp Dhām eternally, and His preaching work is also going on eternally all over the world. It is possible for both to happen at the same time because it is transcendental matter. When those transcendental feelings grow in our hearts, we will see everything, and for that we are trying heart and soul to practise the nine kinds of devotional activity: śravaṇam, kīrtanam, viṣṇoḥ-smaraṇam, pāda-sevanam, archanam, vandanam, dāsyam, sakhyam, and ātma-nivedanam. With sādhu-saṅga, we are trying to do this, and I am very happy to see the mood of devotion of the devotees. Also, this year more advanced devotees have joined this assembly.
My prayer to my Guru Mahārāj, prayer to Śrīla Prabhupād, and prayer to Bhagavān Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur is that that we can fulfil their desires. We do not know anything, we have only heard the Holy Name of the Lord and joined within this Mission, but they can give spiritual strength to us.
pṛthivīte āchhe yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra prachāra haibe mora nāma
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavat: Antya-līlā, 4.126)
“The Holy Name of Lord Kṛṣṇa will be preached everywhere”, and now I am seeing that happening very quickly. This is the mercy of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu and Mahāprabhu. I feel that whoever has joined this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so pious and benefitted so much. It is only necessary for them to continue their spiritual life with humility, tolerance, and giving honour to others; then no obstacles can disturb them, they must get the super-benefit of their spiritual life.
Kṛṣṇa said, “Yad gatvā na nivartante tad Dhāma paramaṁ Mama: if you enter there once, you will get everything: love, affection, beauty, charm, ecstasy, and eternity.” That is the divine abode of the Lord, and through this parikramā we can promote ourselves to that plane of dedication. This is the super-benefit of our life. We are trying to do that, and we are inviting everyone: if they can join this Dhām parikramā, they will get relief from the illusory environment. This is stated in the scriptures and stated by the pure devotees. Then we have no doubt that those who will follow this method with humility, tolerance, and giving honour to others must be benefitted supremely in their spiritual life.