The following is an excerpt from Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja’s book Śrī Vraja-maṇḍala Parikramā
When Indra saw that the Vrajavāsīs had stopped worshipping him and were worshipping Govardhana instead, he became angry. Consequently, with the intention of destroying them, he poured forth torrential rains and hurled thunderbolts upon them for seven days, but he was not successful. Finally, Lord Brahmā advised him to ask for forgiveness for his offence, and so Indra performed abhiṣeka of Śrī Kṛṣṇa with the milk of Surabhī-devī at this place. Śrī Kṛṣṇa was named “Govinda” because He nourishes and gives pleasure to all – the cows, gopas, gopīs and to the land of Vraja. This place is known as Govinda-kuṇḍa because the name-giving ceremony and abhiṣeka of Śrī Govinda were performed here. Śrī Vajranābha established this kuṇḍa in memory of this pastime.
Surabhi-kuṇḍa is filled with clean, sweet water. It lies on the right-hand side of the parikramā path, somewhat further along than Rāghava Paṇḍita’s cave. On Indra’s request, Surabhī bathed Śrī Govinda at Govinda-kuṇḍa with the milk from her udder. Later, out of a strong desire to have darśana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s cow herding pastimes, and especially of the Divine Couple Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s confidential pastimes in the nikuñjas, Surabhī dwelt here for the duration of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s manifest pastimes in Vraja. Mahārāja Vajranābha established this Surabhi-kuṇḍa in her memory. By bathing and performing ācamana here, all one’s sins, offences and unwanted desires (anarthas) are dispelled and one obtains vraja-prema.
The following is an excerpt from the book Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma māhātmya by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura (Translation into Hindi by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja)
Gādigāchā-grāma (Śrī Godrumadvīpa)
svatantra īśvara nitāi tabe
bhakata-saṅgete calila jabe (25)
gādigāchā-grāme pauṅchila āsi’
tathāya āsiyā kahila hāsi’ (26)
godruma-nāmete e dvīpa haya
surabhi satata ekhāne raya (27)
The independent Lord, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, walked with the devotees and arrived at the village of Gādigāchā. Laughing, He said, “The name of this island is Godruma. Surabhi resides here eternally. (25–27)
During the time of śrī kṛṣṇa-līlā, Indra, filled with pride, sent rains on Gokula –
kṛṣṇa-māyāvaśe devendra jabe
bhāsāya gokula nija-gaurave (28)
govardhana-giri dhariyā hari
rakṣila gokula yatana kari’ (29)
“Being subjected to Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s māyā, the proud Indra showered Gokula with torrents of rain. At that time, Śrī Hari lifted Girirāja-Govardhana and carefully protected Gokula. (28–29)
The crushing of Indra’s pride –
indra-darpa-cūrṇa haile para
śacī-pati cine sāraṅgadhara (30)
“When Indra’s pride was completely crushed, he recognized Sāraṅgadhara (The form of Lord Viṣṇu carrying the bow named Sāraṅga) Śrī Kṛṣṇa. (30)
Indra takes shelter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet –
nija aparādha mārjana tare
paḍila kṛṣṇera caraṇa dhare (31)
“To rectify his offence, Indra fell to the ground and caught hold of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. (31)
Indra’s fear and prayers to Mother Surabhi –
dayāra samudra nanda-tanaya
kṣamila indrere dila abhaya (32)
tathāpi indrera rahila bhaya
surabhi nikaṭe takhana kaya (33)
kṛṣṇa-līlā mui bujhite nāri
aparādha mama haila bhārī (34)
“Although Śrī Nanda-nandana, the ocean of mercy, forgave and pacified Indra, the fear in Indra’s heart did not diminish. Indra said to Surabhi, ‘Because of not understanding Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, I have committed a dreadful offence. (32–34)
śunechi kalite brajendra-suta
karibe nadīyā-līlā adbhuta (35)
“ ‘I have heard that in Kali-yuga Śrī Vrajendranandana will perform His astonishing pastimes in Navadvīpa. (35)
Even upon attaining the post of Indra, there is reason to fear –
pāche se-samaya mohita ha’be
aparādhī punaḥ haye rahiba (36)
“ ‘But I fear that at that time I will again be bewildered by the illusory energy (māyā) and commit offences. (36)
tumi ta’ surabhi sakala jāna
karaha ekhana tāhāra vidhāna (37)
“ ‘O Surabhi (Kāmadhenu), you know everything about how to be saved from committing offences. Please now explain this to me.’ (37)
Mother Surabhi’s advice –
surabhi balila, calaha jāi
navadvīpa-dhāme bhaji nimāi (38)
“Surabhi answered, ‘Let us both go to Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma and there worship Nimāi (Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu).’ ” (38)
The Place of Bhajana of Indra and Mother Surabhi
devendra-surabhi hethāya āsi’
gaurāṅga bhajana karila basi’ (39)
Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu continued: “Thereafter Indra and Surabhi worshipped Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu at this very place. (39)
gaurāṅga-bhajana sahaja ati
sahaja tāhāra phala-vitati (40)
“It is very easy to worship Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu. Although the result is also easy to attain, it is the topmost. (40)
Indra and Mother Surabhi attain darśana of Śrī Gaurahari –
gaurāṅga baliyā krandana kare
gaurāṅga-darśana haya satvare (41)
“Both of them constantly chanted Gaurāṅga’s name and wept. Quickly they attained darśana of Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu. (41)
kibā aparūpa rūpa-lāvaṇi dekhila
They had darśana of Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu’s astonishingly graceful, divine form. (42)
The supremely munificent Śrīman Mahāprabhu bestows a boon –
ādha-ādha hāsi varada rūpa
preme gadagada rasera kūpa (43)
“Śrīman Mahāprabhu was smiling gently, having assumed the posture of one giving a boon. Mahāprabhu, who is the storehouse of rasa, was Himself overwhelmed with ecstatic love (prema). (43)
hāsiyā balena ṭhākura mora
jāninu vāsanā āmi ta’ tora (44)
“My Lord Śrī Gaurahari smiled and said to Indra and Surabhi, ‘I know of your desire. (44)
alpadina āche prakaṭa-kāla
nadīyā-nagare dekhibe bhāla (45)
se līlā-samaye sevibe more
māyājāla āra nā dhare tore (46)
“ ‘I will soon appear in Navadvīpa. At that time you will also take birth in Navadvīpa and serve Me in My pastimes there. Now the snares of illusion will not be able to touch you.’ (45–46)
Mother Surabhi resides permanently in Godruma –
eta bali’ prabhu adṛśya haya
surabhi sundarī tathāya raya (47)
aśvattha nikaṭe rahilā devī
nirantara gaura-caraṇa sevi (48)
“Saying this, Mahāprabhu vanished, and Śrī Surabhi-devī began living underneath a pīpal tree, continuously serving Śrī Gaurahari’s divine feet. (47–48)
The reason for the name Godrumadvīpa –
godrumadvīpa ta’ haila nāma
hethāya pūraya bhakata-kāma (49)
“Since then, this island is called Godruma (Go = cow, druma = tree; the island where a cow resides beneath a tree). All the desires of the devotees are fulfilled here. (49)
hethāya kuṭīra bāṅdhiyā bhaje
anāyāse gaura-caraṇe maje (50)
“If someone makes a hut here and performs bhajana, he will easily become engrossed in service to Śrī Gaurahari’s lotus feet. (50)
The following is an excerpt from Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma Pocket Guide (A compilation of the teachings of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja)
Surabhī-kuñja [Established by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura]
Previously a massive banyan tree stood on a high part of the Bhagavatī Bhāgīrathī’s bank, where the Surabhī cow and the king of the demigods, Indra, worshipped Śrī Gaura. During Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, Indra wanted to destroy Gokula because the residents of Vraja had stopped worshipping him. For seven days he sent torrents of rain upon Vraja, but Kṛṣṇa protected Gokula by lifting Śrī Govardhana. The pride of Indra was crushed and fear arose within him because of his offence. When he learnt from Grandfather Brahmā that Śrī Gauracandra would appear in the future, he took Mother Surabhī with him and performed austerities under a banyan tree at this lonely place in Navadvīpa, hoping to evoke His mercy.
A long time passed. Finally Śrī Gauracandra appeared before him saying, “I understand your heart. After some time I will appear in Śrī Navadvīpa and distribute the chanting of My holy name along with pure love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa to the general people. At that time you will assist Me in My pastimes.” When the Lord disappeared, Mother Surabhī made a hut under this banyan tree and became absorbed in the worship of Śrī Gauracandra here.
Since then, this place has become known as Godruma. Go means “cow” (Surabhī) and druma means “tree”.
Once during the time of cosmic devastation, Mṛkaṇḍa Ṛṣi’s son, Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi, rested at this place. He had attained the age of seven kalpas (7 x 4,320,000,000 earth years). During the annihilation at the end of the seventh kalpa, the Earth was submerged in water, leaving not one place visible. Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi floated in the water and finally, by immense good fortune, he came to this place in Navadvīpa.
Seeing the exhausted sage unconscious from the effect of the dashing waves, merciful Mother Surabhī lifted him from the water of devastation and brought him to her hut. When he regained consciousness, he was amazed to see that Navadvīpa-dhāma was not underwater. The sight of the beautiful forests and sub-forests filled with trees, plants, birds and animals of the thirty-two-mile large dhāma greatly pleased him. Mother Surabhī gave him her nectarean milk to drink, which fully rejuvenated him. She then instructed him to remain in Godruma and worship Śrī Gauracandra.
“This dhāma is transcendental and beyond material nature,” she said. “It cannot be seen with material eyes. Eight of the islands of Navadvīpa are like the petals of a lotus, and Śrīdhāma Māyāpura is like the pericarp of that lotus. Here, in a concealed form, all the holy places and demigods worship Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu. By worshipping Him one will attain service to Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Vraja with the sentiment of amorous love (madhura-bhāva). Although all perfections, the eight kinds of opulence and all kinds of liberation stand at the gate of this sacred place praying for service, the devotees of Śrī Gaura reject them from afar. By worshipping Śrī Gauracandra one becomes forever free from sins and miseries, as well as from all kinds of fructified and unfructified fruitive activities, from desires for sense enjoyment, and from ignorance.” Mārkaṇḍeya therefore remained here to perform bhajana.
The following is an excerpt from Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja’s book Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma and Other Prominent Holy Places of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas in Śrī Gauḍa-maṇḍala
Koladvīpa is non-different from Śrī Govardhana. Bahulāvana is in Koladvīpa’s northern part and the place of rāsa-līlā of Śrīdhāma Vṛndāvana is in the southern part.
Koladvīpa is also called Aparādha-bhañjana Kuliyā, or “Kuliyā, the place where offences are destroyed”. After taking sannyāsa, Śrīman Mahāprabhu went to Śrī Purī-dhāma. He travelled for some time in South India and then returned to Purī. Later He travelled again, this time to take darśana of Śrīdhāma Vṛndāvana. Thousands of people accompanied Him as He passed through places such as Pānīhāṭī, Kumārahaṭṭa and Kāñcanapallī, until He finally arrived at Vidyā-vācaspati’s house in Vidyānagara. The crowds were so great that for seven days Mahāprabhu stayed in Mādhava dāsa’s house in Kuliyā. While He was here, He delivered Gopāla Cāpāla, a resident of Kuliyā, who was an offender to both the Vaiṣṇavas and the holy name, and Devānanda Paṇḍita, who also offended the Vaiṣṇavas.
Gopāla Cakravartī was a government tax collector who worked under Śrī Hiraṇya and Govardhana Majūmdāra, the well-known residents of Saptagrāma. He was highly scholarly and very beautiful. One day the royal priest, Balarāma Paṇḍita, went with Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura to the royal court of Śrī Hiraṇya and Govardhana. Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura proceeded to glorify the holy name saying, “What to speak of uttering one pure name, the utterance of a mere semblance of the holy name – spoken to indicate something else (saṅketa), jokingly (parihāsa), disrespectfully (avahelā), derisively (stobha avajñā) or inattentively (upekṣā) – can easily bestow liberation. Pure chanting of the holy name awards kṛṣṇa-prema by which one attains Vaikuṇṭha or above that, Śrī Goloka-dhāma.” Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s statements greatly angered Gopāla, who contemptuously insulted him: “Liberation is attained only by jñāna; it can never be attained by harināma. If one can attain liberation by chanting the holy name, then let my nose rot and fall off, otherwise, if Haridāsa’s statement is wrong, let his nose rot and fall off.” A tumult broke out in the assembly. Balarāma Paṇḍita said, “You have offended the exalted Vaiṣṇava Haridāsa Ṭhākura. There will never be any auspiciousness for you. You have guaranteed your own destruction due to your terrible offence to a Vaiṣṇava.”
After this incident Govardhana dāsa dismissed Gopāla Cakravartī from his service. And although the mahā-bhāgavata Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura, the personification of forgiveness and tolerance, did not accept Gopāla’s offence, Gopāla became afflicted by leprosy three days after the incident. His beautiful campaka-flower-like nose, his fingers and his toes rotted away. After many days Śrīman Mahāprabhu came to Kuliyā-grāma and Gopāla Cakravartī went to see Him. Weeping, he surrendered to the supremely merciful Mahāprabhu and begged forgiveness for his vaiṣṇava-aparādha. Caitanya Mahāprabhu forgave this nāma-aparādhī brāhmaṇa and instructed him to continuously chant the holy name. Gopāla Cakravartī did so and his leprosy soon disappeared leaving him beautiful as before. Now, he was Bhagavān’s devotee, highly dedicated to the holy name, and a servant of the Vaiṣṇavas.
Another resident of Navadvīpa named Gopāla Cāpāla was a depraved brāhmaṇa. He became so envious of Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita that he could not tolerate the saṅkīrtana at Śrīvāsa’s house and tried to disturb him in different ways. At night he placed at Śrīvāsa’s door many items used in the worship of the goddess Durgā, such as a wine pot and vermilion, to show that Śrīvāsa was only externally posing as a Vaiṣṇava. Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita had them removed and purified the place by smearing it with cow dung. Due to this great offence Gopāla Cāpāla soon became afflicted with leprosy. When, after accepting sannyāsa, Śrīman Mahāprabhu came to Kuliyā, Gopāla Cāpāla came to Him and falling at His feet, began to weep. Mahāprabhu told him to beg forgiveness from Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita. He fell weeping at Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita’s feet and by the mercy of Mahāprabhu, his health returned.
At that time in Navadvīpa, Devānanda Paṇḍita was considered a great teacher of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and he instructed many students in his home in Kuliyā-nagara on the Gaṅgā’s western bank. Once, the mahā-bhāgavata Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita passed by Devānanda Paṇḍita’s house and heard Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam being recited. He went in and sat down to listen. As Devānanda Paṇḍita described Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita was unable to remain calm. He wept loudly and rolled on the ground. Devānanda Paṇḍita’s students, who were devoid of bhāva-bhakti, could not understand Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita’s aṣṭa-sāttvika bhāvas. Considering him a disturbance to their studies, they threw him out of the house. Devānanda Paṇḍita remained silent, doing nothing to stop them. When news of this incident came to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu He angrily said, “Devānanda does not understand a single letter of the Bhāgavatam, which is Śrī Kṛṣṇa personified and completely transcendental, so what can he teach! Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam cannot even remain near him. He is an offender of both Vaiṣṇavas and the Bhāgavatam. I will tear up his false Bhāgavatam and throw it away.”
Some time later, Devānanda Paṇḍita met Śrī Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, one of Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s associates. Vidyānidhi mercifully gave him lucid instructions on philosophical knowledge about the devotees, Bhāgavatam and the Supreme Lord. He revealed to Devānanda Paṇḍita many confidential truths about Śrīman Mahāprabhu and Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita. Remembering his previous behaviour Devānanda Paṇḍita became filled with remorse. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to Kuliyā after accepting sannyāsa, Devānanda Paṇḍita came before Him and in great humility, repeatedly begged forgiveness for his offence. Śrīman Mahāprabhu told him to beg pardon from Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita directly. Devānanda approached Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, an incarnation of Nāradajī, the personification of mercy. Śrīvāsa forgave all his offences and requested Mahāprabhu to show Devānanda Paṇḍita mercy. This He did, and thus made him qualified to attain love of God.
When the teacher Nimāī Paṇḍita was living in Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma, the prominent professors and students there opposed Him and ridiculed His devotional mood. For the welfare of these ignorant people bereft of bhakti, Nimāī Paṇḍita left Navadvīpa and took sannyāsa. Now, having understood His glory, the teachers and students repented. When Nimāī Paṇḍita returned as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu to Kuliyā-nagara (after accepting sannyāsa), they all came to Mādhava dāsa’s house to see him. Weeping they begged forgiveness at His feet, and the supremely merciful Mahāprabhu pardoned them. From that time, they all became devotees.
Because these pastimes took place here, Kuliyā-grāma is known as Aparādha-bhañjana-pāṭa, “the place where offences are destroyed”.
The following is an excerpt from Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion Volume 3, Chapter 5, Priority Service by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja, published on http://scsmath.org
Then when I came from Vṛndāvana to take my permanent residence here at this aparādha-bhañjanapāṭa, Koladvīpa, I thought, “I am going to take my shelter in Navadvīpa-dhāma permanently. But Dhāmeśvara, the Master of the Dhāma, is Nityānanda Prabhu, therefore before going to Mahāprabhu’s birthplace I must visit Nityānanda Prabhu’s birthplace at Ekachakrā and beg His permission. If He is propitiated then I may live in Navadvīpa-dhāma safely, otherwise it will be impossible.” So before I came here I went straight to Nityānanda Prabhu’s birthplace and made my prostrate obeisances with the prayer, “You are patita-pāvana, saviour of the fallen, and I crave Your mercy. Please grant me permission to stay permanently at Koladvīpa in Navadvīpa-dhāma, that I may have my shelter there.” At that time I had already chosen this place at Gupta Govardhana.
The following is an excerpt from Fulfillment is in Love by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja, published on http://purebhakti.com
This is the place (the Maṭha in Navadvīpa). The most magnanimous expression came out here in Kuliyā, when Gaurāṅga absolved so many vaiṣṇava-aparādhis, so many persons that had committed offences against the Vaiṣṇavas. Here in Kuliyā and in Govardhana we find Aparādha-bhañjanapāṭa. Aparādha, the greatest crime, was pardoned here, was forgiven here. So, I have selected this place for my temple. All the serious, grave offences will be forgiven here.
Govardhana, Girirāja-Govardhana is a very favourite, selected abode of our Guru Mahāraja. Rādhā-kuṇḍa is the highest, but there our guru, our senior, superior guides will stay, and we shall stay a little far off. We cannot encroach upon that highest position. From here we shall go and serve them and return. That is Govardhana.
The following is an excerpt from Divine Aspiration by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja, published on www.scsmathinternational.com
Gaurāṅga is the Ocean of Mercy, and Kuliyā, where Śrī Caitanya Sārasvata Maṭha* now stands, is called aparādha-bhañjana-pāṭa, the place where Gaurāṅga, gave general absolution to all the sinners. Anyone who came for His mercy here was granted it:
kuliyā-grāmete āsi’ śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya
hena nāhi, yāre prabhu nā karilā dhanya
(Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata Antya-khaṇḍa 3:541)
Devotee: Was it here in this area, in Kuliyā, that Jagāi and Mādhāi were forgiven?
Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja: No, that was on the other side of the Ganges. Some say that Jagāi and Mādhāi were absolved just near here, at Haritolla; but we are to understand from Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura that it was on the other side, in Māyāpura.
Devotee: So, how is this part of Navadvīpa called Kuliyā, the very special place, aparādha-bhañjana-pāṭa? Did Mahāprabhu have some special pastimes here?
Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja: As I have mentioned, this is where Mahāprabhu was most liberal in His mercy, forgiving all the sinners. When Mahāprabhu came back from Puri after five years of sannyāsa, He first came here. And He stayed at the house of Vidyā Vacāspati, the elder brother of Sarvabhauma Paṇḍita and formal guru of Sanātana Gosvāmī in Vidyānagara. At that time there was such a rush of people coming to see Mahāprabhu from both sides of the Ganges that the whole Ganges appeared full of human heads.
One author has described the scene at the time of Mahāprabhu’s return to Navadvīpa in this way: the whole Ganges was “filled up with human heads.” When I read this, at first I thought, “Such a description must not be literal; it is a little hyperbolic.” But later, when in my own life I saw (Mahatma) Gandhi, when I experienced the crowds that used to follow him, then it came to my mind, “If Gandhi can draw so many men to see him, then what to speak of Mahāprabhu?” There was such love, so great an intensity of love, that at that time
everyone came madly to see that great Nimāi Paṇḍita.
His scholarship was so extraordinary and His figure so extremely beautiful. Still, so many tantric paṇḍitas had been against Him. So He left Navadvīpa in order to preach. And the people cried, “Nimāi Paṇḍita, we have lost our Nimāi Paṇḍita!” The whole of Navadvīpa was dark without His presence. Then suddenly, “That Nimāi Paṇḍita has come back to us! He is with us, in our midst!” People were mad to see Him; the whole area was drawn irresistibly towards Him. So that author has described that the Ganges was “all human heads.”
Mahāprabhu came to this place, Kuliyā, and here all the previous sinners, all who had criticized Him, who had done any mischief, came to be absolved, thinking, “Nimāi Paṇḍita is not a man, a human being.” They came to Him for their confession and to get absolved of their sins.
An excerpt from a darśana with Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja on the North Shore, Hawaii on January 28, 2007, published in Walking with a Saint – Morning Walks and Conversations 2007
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: All scriptures state that sādhu-saṅga – only sādhu-saṅga, only sādhu-saṅga – will save us from the endless pain of birth and death, and give kṛṣṇa-prema. Without sādhu-saṅga, pure nāma will not come. By continual hearing, our hearts will be cleared, and then pure bhakti will manifest in our hearts. Whether one is a doctor, engineer, advocate, the president or prime minister of a country, or anyone else – he will suffer. On the other hand, anyone who is somehow maintaining his life and at the same time chanting and remembering and weeping, that person will very soon realize kṛṣṇa-prema.
Navadvīpa parikramā is coming again. About 10,000 devotees will be gathered there, and hari-kathā, kīrtana, and dancing will take place. Even if an ignorant person goes to Vṛndāvana-dhāma, Navadvīpa-dhāma, or Purī-dhāma – and especially to Vṛndāvana and Navadvīpa – the dhāma, being very powerful, will shower its profuse mercy upon him.
In our past births we committed many offences, such as nāma-aparādha, sevā-aparādha, and vaiṣṇava-aparādha**, and that is why we don’t experience prema while chanting. When we go to Navadvīpa-dhāma, chanting and weeping, “O Gaura, O Nityānanda Prabhu, O Dhāma Prabhu, I surrender to you. Please be merciful to me,” the dhāma will shower its compassion. In fact, although they are the same tattva (truth), Navadvīpa-dhāma is even more merciful than Vṛndāvana-dhāma. Perhaps you have been there many times?
Govinda dāsī (of Hawaii): Yes, many years ago. I’ve been there several times, and I was there when Śrīla Prabhupāda was there. The last time I saw Prabhupāda in this world was in Māyāpura.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: In a village of Bengal, there was a lady who was a very, very good devotee. She used to go to Navadvīpa-dhāma every year. Her husband and sons told her, “Each year you go to Navadvīpa-dhāma, so this year you need not go. Why are you going? One time is enough.” She told her husband, “We take prasādam, food, every day. Why do we need to take it every day? One day will suffice.” Saying this, she at once left for Navadvīpa.
If you cannot physically go to the dhāma, then be there by mind. If you are here, send your mind to Navadvīpa with us, and your mind will do parikramā.
Govinda dāsī: I have no use for this mind. It gives me trouble day and night, so please take it to Navadvīpa.
Vṛndā-devī dāsī: Will that give the same benefit?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Not the same, but some benefit will be there.
*Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja established his Maṭha on the bank of Śrī Govinda-kuṇḍa and Śrī Govindasundara as its central Deity.
**āyuḥ śriyaṁ yaśo dharmaṁ
lokān āśiṣa eva ca
hanti śreyāṁsi sarvāṇi
My dear King, when a man persecutes great souls, all his benedictions of longevity, beauty, fame, religion, blessings and promotion to higher planets will be destroyed.
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