Recently a friend disturbed my firmly rooted illusion. He asked some group members to reveal what attracts them the most about Sri Mayapur. A series of beautiful realizations followed. They were from members who had visited Mayapur a few times or, at the best, stayed here for a few months. On the other hand, I, having lived in this mysterious and strikingly beautiful abode of Lord Chaitanya, who is none other than Lord Krishna Himself, for more than half of my life, could not even begin to write!
Alas! I felt as if the outcome of all my years of sadhana while residing in this holy dham, and my lofty claims of being a fan of it, vanished. For a moment, a deep and frightening sense of loss made my heart sink. Is it for real? Don’t I have anything substantial that attracts me to this most attractive of all places? Not even a single word?
Then came an unusual yet blissfully soothing realization, as if a soft wave of Lord Chaitanya’s mercy gently splashed on my otherwise dry heart. I got the answer to all my questions. Yes, I do not have any attraction, and that is why I do not find appropriate words, nor intense desire, to describe it. If I had a genuine attraction for Mayapur dham, considering the way I am, by this time I would have started writing poems for it. I am satisfied with the answer. My satisfaction comes from the fact that I have been honest to Mayapur dham.
What can, after all, a conditioned soul like myself understand of Mayapur? To me Mayapur is still a mystery, and understandably so, when even great demigods and sages remain bewildered after performing thousands of years of austerity here. The secret lies somewhere else. Without the mercy of Lord Nityananda, none can get the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, and without that there is no hope of having any attraction for Sri Mayaypur, not to speak of understanding it. Sri Navadvipa Dham Mahatmaya confirms this:
“The devas, rishis, and Rudras always reside in different parts of Navadvipa. Although they are engaged in austerities for a long time, still they do not get Nityananda’s mercy.“
“As long as bodily consciousness is not given up and humility does not awaken within, one cannot obtain the treasure of Sri Chaitanya and Sri Nityananda’s mercy, no matter what efforts one make, even if he be Shiva or Brahma.“
Lord Chaitanya advises in Sikshastakam: trinad api sunichena taror api sahishnuna amanina manadena kirtaniya sada harih…. Although anyone can chant the holy name of the Lord, humility is the essential element for developing taste for chanting. Once one develops this humility, he easily understands the words of scriptures. Without having faith in the scriptures and the words of the previous acharyas, there is absolutely no hope for anyone to realize his own self, not to speak of realizing the next stages, i.e. Paramatama, and ultimately Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Thakur Bhaktivinod continues:
“In these spiritual topics, one should avoid mundane logic and arguments, which are useless and inauspicious. The transcendental pastimes of Sri Chaitanya are a deep ocean, whereas the process of mundane logic is simply troublesome, like the sheath covering the banana flower. Whoever wants to cross the ocean of material existence by logic and argument will simply toil in vain. He will receive nothing. But by giving up false arguments and taking the guidance of sadhu and sastra, one will soon receive Sri Chaitanya. For on the order of Nityananda Prabhu, the sruti (Vedas), smrti (Puranas), and tantra sastras are continuously singing the glories of Navadvipa-dham. By reading these scriptures and accepting the words of the devotees, one will realize the truth of Navadvipa-dham.”
Sure, there are other tirthas, or places of pilgrimage, on the earth where devotees go for darshan and take bath in holy rivers. While this certainly helps, we understand from Vedic scriptures that due to the increasing influence of Kali-yuga those holy places lose their power and become extremely weak. Only Navadvipa is supremely strong. This is because it is the abode of Lord Chaitanya, who appeared to propagate the yuga-dharma, the chanting of the holy Names. By His desire, however, this tirtha was invisible for a long time and its glories lay unrevealed.
Navadvipa Dham Mahatmaya reveals the following truths:
“At that time, desiring the good fortune of all living entities, the Supreme Lord thought, “Upon diagnosing a disease, a doctor prescribes an appropriate medicine. Accordingly, a strong medicine is given for a severe disease. Now that Kali-yuga has become terrible and the disease is serious, there will be no relief without a strong medicine. If I do not reveal the dham, the name, and My form, which I have been holding secretly for so long, how will the living entities ever recover? The living entities are My servants, and I am their Lord. If I do not help them, they will never be delivered.”
Saying this, Lord Chaitanya appeared on earth with His name, dhama, and associates. The Lord promised that He will always deliver the living entities from the troubles of material existence.
Gauranga said, “Without considering who is fit and who is unfit, in this incarnation I will freely distribute the treasure of love which is rarely attained by even Lord Brahma. I will see how Kali can destroy these living entities! I will manifest Navadvipa-dhama and break the poison teeth of Kali by performing congregational chanting of the holy names of God. As long as My name is sung, Kali will be controlled.”
Saying this, Gaurahari appeared in the beginning of Kali-yuga in Navadvipa by His own internal spiritual potency. Withdrawing the covering of illusion, Gaura chandra revealed His eternal pastimes in Gauda-mandala.
Knowing the nature of the conditioned souls, especially the people of Kaliyuga, out of profound compassion Srila Bhaktivinod has to also say this:
“I see no one in Kali-yuga more unfortunate than that lamentable, wretched person who does not worship such a merciful Lord as Sri Chaitanya, or who rejects such an inconceivable dham as Navadvipa. Therefore give up all other desires and attractions, and simply fix your mind on Navadvipa-dham.”
And yet, my intelligence remains covered. My attraction for worldly objects is provably far stronger than anything close to attraction for Sri Mayapur. I bow down at the feet of those fortunate souls who have developed even a tiny bit of genuine attraction for this supremely magnanimous abode of Lord Chaitanya.
Materialistic people often push up our false ego and encourage us to work hard for temporary success but in reality they cannot guarantee even their own success, rest alone peace of mind. On the other hand, attachment for the Lotus Feet of Lord Krishna opens doors to experiencing lasting peace and eternal happiness. Residing in Sri Mayapur gives us the opportunity to realise how insignificant we are. If we don’t have any attraction for the dham, it is no one else but we, who have to work on our stubborn mind and cultivate the required humility to receive the mercy of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Then only can we begin to know Sri Mayapur dham as it is. The process is given; the choice is ours.