Sri Navadvipa Bhava Taranga has been originally composed by Sri Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who is an intimate associate of Lord Gauranga (Gaura Shakti Svarupa). We are exceedingly honored and feel ourselves blessed to have been able to translate this book in English and present it ‘as it is’ for the pleasure of the devotees. Let us take this opportunity to pen a few lines in glorification of Navadvipa. There is no difference between Navadvipa , the supreme abode of Lord Gauranga and Vrindavana, the supreme abode of Lord Krishna. Infact Lord Krishna and Lord Gauranga are one and the same person and there is no difference between them (yei Gaura sei Krishna sei Jagannatha). The sweetness (madhurya) that characterises the pastimes of Lord Krishna and the munificence (audarya) that characterises the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya are both the highest manifestations of spiritual ecstasies.
When asked to describe the transcendental abode of Navadvipa, Lord Nityananda had the following to say :
“Crossing the viraja river and the brahman effulgence, beyond the Vaikuntha planets, one comes to Svetadvipa, Sri Goloka.Going further, one reaches, Gokula Vrindavana or Krishnaloka. In Krishnaloka, there exists two states of emotion – madhurya (sweetness) and audarya (munificence). Audarya exists in fullness within madhurya and madhurya exists in fullness within audarya.However, that part of Krishnaloka, where madhurya is predominant, is known as Vrindavana, whereas that portion where audarya is predominant is known as Navadvipa.There is no difference between Vrindavana and Navadvipa. Only the different manifestation of rasas (mellows) make them distinct. Navadvipa is eternal, spiritual and unlimited.
Navadvipa extends over sixteen krosas.Within the sixteen krosas of Navadvipa, which are non different from Vrindavana, there are nine islands, which form an eight-petaled lotus floating on water.In the middle of the eight petals lies Antardvipa. And within Antardvipa, lies the very central point, Mayapur. The eternal pastimes of the Lord take place within Yogpeeth (His birthplace) and the circle of Mayapur, the circumference of which measure three and a half miles and the diameter measure just over one mile. Yogpeeth, the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is the most glorious of all places. “
In another book entitled ‘Navadvipa Dham mahatmya’, Navadvipa has been glorified as ‘sarva Dhama sar’ or the essence of all the holy abodes.What one attains by travelling to all the holy places is attained just by remembering the transcendental abode of Navadvipa. It is said that even the likes of Brahma, Shiva, and other demigods are unable to fathom the ends of its glories (navadvipa mandalera mahima apara,brahma adi nahi jane varne sadhya kara). That is why the demigods are eternally engaged in glorifying this transcendental abode of Navadvipa. At Harihara kshetra , Lord shiva and mother Parvati are eternally engaged in worshipping Lord Gauranga. At Surabhi Kunja, in Godrumadvipa, demigod Indra had performed severe austerities and sought blessings of Mahaprabhu. Brahma had also perfected his life here at Navadvipa, receiving the all auspicious darsana of Mahaprabhu. Countless sages have engaged themselves in worshipping Navadvipa and the golden avatara, from time immemorial.
There is however one vital difference between Navadvipa and Vrindavana. In Vrindavana one’s offenses are considered and hence one’s spiritual progress may be checked at times. In Navadvipa, however, there is no consideration of one’s offenses due to the merciful nature of the dham, and hence one, taking shelter of this dham, can quickly make his/her spiritual progress.Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the most magnanimous incarnation of the Supreme Lord. He freely distributes His mercy without judging any qualifications of the person whom He is showering His blessings upon.
At the same time ,Lord Chaitanya’s mercy is very unique. One who receives His mercy, can experience the highest ecstasy of love of God. The realization of this pure ecstatic love of the Supreme is extremely rare. This is something which the people of the previous yugas (Satya, Treta, Dvapara) could not receive even by means of performing severe austerities for thousands of years, performing grand sacrifices or even elaborate deity worship. This is rare even for the great demigods like Brahma, Shiva and Indra, who forever hanker to receive it.
The supreme Lord in His form as Sri Krishna rarely ever bestows this kind of special mercy. He gives it to His intimate associates or the gopis of Vrindavana. But Sri Chaitanya bestows this rare treasure of love of God, to one and all, freely, without any consideration. Hence Sri Chaitanya is the essence of all the incarnations of the supreme – ‘Avatara sar Gaura avatara’. One who gets this special mercy receives the pure love of God, receiving which there remains nothing else to be achieved. Obtaining the pure ecstatic love of God is the highest perfection of human life.Devotees of Lord Gaurahari do not desire liberation, heavenly bliss or even entrance into Vaikuntha planets. All they hanker for is association of and service to Lord Chaitanya life after life. Though Lord Chaitanya and Lord Krishna are one and the same person ,yet the two are different when it comes to their mood, nature and their magnanimity.Along with His associates, Sri Chaitanya had manifested the most blissful , heart rending pastimes that have been ever witnessed in human history. In fact, some of the eternal associates of the Lord have experienced a greater degree of transcendental ecstasy being part of the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya, as compared to being part of Sri Krishna’s vrindavana pastimes. Lord Gaurahari freely gives what no other incarnation of the Supreme Lord has ever given before – the ecstatic pure love of God. Thus the devotees exclusively devoted to Lord Chaitanya’s lotus feet hanker to gain entrance into the spiritual abode of Navadvipa, where Sri Sacinandana Gaurahari eternally performs His blissful ecstatic pastimes. The realm of navadvipa is eternally pervaded with the transcendental mood of audarya (magnanimity).
That is why Pushkara tirtha reveals:
Koti koti varna dhari Sri krishna bhajana
Tathapi namete rati na paye durjana
Gauranga bhajile dusta bhava duure jaya
Alpa dine vraja dhame Radha krishna paya
– even after chanting the holy names of Radha and Krishna for millions of years, a rogue is not able to develop any taste for Harinama. But if he lovingly worships Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, his wicked mentality quickly vanishes and he soon achieves the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna in Vrindavana.
We conclude this Introduction section, leaving you with the last verse from this book (Navadvipa Bhava Taranga). Any devotee who recites this beautiful piece of literature composed by Srila Bhaktivinoda, is herein assured to be accepted amongst the most intimate associates of Sri Gaurahari. Sri Svarupa Damodara (incarnation of Lalita sakhi) is very dear and the personal secretary of Lord Gauranga. One who receives his mercy is undoubtedly the most fortunate and attains the association of Lord Gauranga-sundara.
All Glories to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. All Glories to ‘Sri Navadvipa Bhava Taranga’. All Glories to Lord Gauranga. All Glories, all Glories! to the devotees of Lord Gaurahari.
Sraddhaya padibe yei e bhava taranga
Udibe tahara mone Gaura Rasa ranga
Sri Svarupa Damodara tare kari daya
Laibe nijera gane diya pada chhaya
(Text 168, Navadvipa Bhava Taranga)
The joy of devotion unto Lord Gauranga will arise within those who recite ‘Navadvipa Bhava Taranga’ with faith. Sri Svarupa Damodara will bestow his mercy upon such a person and accept him as his personal associate while giving him the shades of his feet.