“Do you know Mayapur? Yes! Have you been to Mayapur? So many times! Wait a minute-which Mayapur are you talking about? The one that is in the district of Nadia, West Bengal. We go there by a bus, train or a private car.” This conversation will sound familiar to you if you are used to interacting with people regarding Mayapur. Some people also ask about the spiritual significance of Mayapur; why it is becoming the central attraction for Vaishnavas around the world, and what are the benefits of visiting and residing in it. In my own case, Mayapur has always been a mystery. I keep wondering if I have ever really been there. To my mundane eyes, it looks completely different from how it is described in the scriptures. How to reconcile?
Every practicing devotee, at one point in life, finds the need to know more about Mayapur, dive deeper into its timeless glories, and realize its transcendental position. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, the “Knowing Sri Mayapur As It Is” series of articles is meant for you. It is a humble attempt to address this auspicious quest, which in itself is potent enough to lead one to the perfection of human life. Although it is impossible to comprehend the glory of this supernatural abode of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, yet by the blessings of guru and Gauranga, the previous acharyas, the Dham-vasis, and by the inconceivably purifying influence and the causeless mercy of the Dham, a sincere and fortunate seeker of the Absolute Truth can get a glimpse of it.
In “Knowing Sri Mayapur As It Is” you will find quotes and references from the amaranthine treasure of literature written and compiled by the previous achayas. Sri Navadwip Dham Mahatmaya, Sri Navadwip Bhava Taranga, Sri Navadwip Sataka, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat, and Chaitanya Mangal are the main ones.
“By hearing of Him, meditating on Him, and performing many other activities, let us worship Lord Krsna who, His complexion now splendid as gold, overcome with ecstatic love, intently engaged in kirtana, surrounded by His associates playing mrdangas and other musical instruments, worshipped by all, removing the contamination of Kali-yuga and giving happiness to the devotees, has now appeared in Navadvipa. I offer my respectful obeisances to Navadvipa, the blissful spiritual abode, which the Chandogya Upanisad says is a spiritual city, the Smrti-sastra says is the abode of Lord Visnu, others say is Svetadvipa, and a devotee expert at tasting transcendental nectar says is the forest of Vraja.”
(Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati Thakur, in his Sri Navadvipa-sataka)
“Srila Prabhupada quoted Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who had said that Navadvipa is the most sacred region in the universe, and added that within Navadvipa-dhama the Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandira is the most auspicious and important place, for it is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s karma-sthana, His field of activity. Srila Prabhupada explained that Lord Caitanya’s karma-sthana is even more sacred and important than His birthplace.“
(HH Jayapataka Swami – from Sri Godruma Kalpatavi)
The following video, produced by the members of the Damodar Desh yatra, on the occasion of Gaura Purnima festival 2011 in Mayapur, gives a beautiful introduction to the nine islands, called Navadvipa or Nabadwip. Sri Mayapur, generally known as Mayapur, is situated in the innermost island of Navadwip, called Antardwip.