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Navadvip Dham Parikrama 2021 | Gaudiyamission

Navadvip Dham Parikrama 2021

Posted on: March 23, 2021 Posted By: Subhamoy Chatterjee

One of the most coveted and spirituality uplifting activities of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas is Gaur Mandal or Shridham Navadvip Parikrama. For the five long days prior to the "Adhivasa'' or prelude to the celebration of Mahaprabhu's Appearance Day on Dol Purnima, the renunciants and the householder undertake an arduous yet deeply fulfilling circumambulation of the nine "dvips" or islands which, in the past, comprised the present Navadvip in West Bengal's Nadia district.

The pilgrims do not only cover great distances on foot every day, but also get enriched with the feeling of ecstasy, bowing down before so many divine spots, hallowed with the pastimes of Mahaprabhu and his associates.The "Parikrama" is also a highly edifying journey through the mystic tales related to the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition.

The holiest of the holy Navadvip has first following four islands on the eastern bank and the rest five islands on the Western bank of the river Bhagirathi representing one of the nine processes of devotional service. The nine divisions are:
  1. Antardvipa, Shri Mayapur (Atma Nivedanam),
  2. Simantadvip (Sravanam),
  3. Godrumadvip (Kirtanam),
  4. Madhyadvip (Smaranam),
  5. Koladvip (Pada Sevanam),
  6. Ritudvip (Archanam),
  7. Jahnudvip (Vandanam),
  8. Modadroom-dvip (Dasyam), and
  9. Rudradvip (Sakhyam).

Day 1 of Parikrama (Rudradvip and Seemantadvip on 23-03-2021):

The Parikrama, initiated by the founder - Acharya of Gaudiya Mission, Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, covers Srirudradvip and Sriseemantadvip on the first day.

Chanting Harinam Sankirtan, the devotees emerge from the Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Gaudiya Math at Godrumdvip. Crossing the Saraswati river (currently known as Jalangi or Kharia), they head for Rudradvip while directing their salutations to Yogpeeth temple, Mahaprabhu's place of birth, on the way.

Rudradvip, as the name suggests, is associated with Lord Shiva. The old settlement, Rudrapur, has long disappeared in the Bhagirathi. The site the pilgrims visit is a temple in the village Nidaya. It is believed that eleven Rudras had worshipped Gaursundar at this place.

Seemantadvip is now known as Simulia. It is where goddess Parvati had worshipped the Lord who appeared before her. The goddess smeared on her "seemanta” (center-parting of the hair), the dust of the spot where He stood. Hence the name of the place came to be known as Seemantadvip.

The Parikrama advances to the "samadhi" of Chand Qazi who first sought to stop Mahaprabhu's Nama Sankirtana, but got transformed into an adherent of the Lord. The Qazi Uddhar remains to this day a very significant template of Gaudiya Vaishnavism as it posits Mahaprabhu's "prem dharma" vanquishing over the mighty political power of the day.

Day 2 of Parikrama (Godrumdvip and Madhyadvip on 24-03-2021):

As on the previous day, the Parikrama starts from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Gaudiya Math. Filling the morning air with the soothing sound of "Kirtana", the devotees proceed along the paths of Godrum, now known as Gadigachha. They offer their obeisances at Surabhikunja, near the confluence of the Bhagirathi and the Saraswati. Godrum, comprising Swarupganj, Maheshganj, and Subarnabihar, was inhabited by milkmen with whom Mahaprabhu shared an easy rapport.

The next stop is Sanandasukhada Kunja, hallowed at being the seat of "samadhi" of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur. It is again here on the premises of this two-story building that his "samadhi" lies. The pilgrims break into a rapturous bout of "nritya-kirtan" before heading for Hariharkshetra to have a "darshan" of the Harihar temple.

The pilgrims' progress is inexorable. Next, they visit the Gaudiya Math at Subarnabihar, founded by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada. Doing the "darshan" of the deities-- Radhamadhab and Gaurhari and circumambulating the temple, devotees enter Nrisinghpalli.

Srimadhyadvip is currently known as Majida. This place is associated with the names of the seven great Rishis of the Saptarshimandal (Ursa Major). Nrisinghpalli is known for the temple of Nrsinghadev. The place is also known as Depara, derived from Debpalli of the past.

Day 3 of Parikrama (Koladvip and Ritudvip on 25-03-2021):

The third day of the Parikrama begins with offering a "puja" of the all-purifying river Ganga at Swarupganj ghat. Then the devotees cross the river to reach Navadvip town on the other side. This was the Koladvip of the past. Being the seat of bhajan of so many realized souls like Srila Jagannath Das Babaji, Bangshidas Babaji, and Gaurkishoredas Babaji, the place is considered very holy by the Vaishnavas.

The Parikrama proceeds through the town and, offering obeisance at the entrance to the temple of Pora Maa, the presiding deity of Navadvip, advances towards Ritudvip. The place, the current name of which is Chanpahati, is in the Purbasthali thana area of Burdwan district. It was here that Dwija Baninath, a close associate of Sri Gauranga lived. The Gaur-Gadadhar idol that he worshipped is still there in a temple built by Srila Prabhupada.

Some distance to the north of Chanpahati is Rahatpur village, again derived from Rritudvip. It has a range of holy places associated with the memory of Mahaprabhu.

Day 4 of Parikrama (Jahnudvip and Modadrumdvip on 26-03-2021):

This day, as is the practice, starts with the puja of the Ganga at Swarupganj ghat. Crossing the river, the devotees pass through Navadvip town to the terrestrial abode of Mahaprabhu. It is here where the first divine idol of Mahaprabhu, installed and worshipped by Vishnupriya Devi, can be seen. The footmarks of the Lord are also viewed with due solemnity and reverence. After going through the rituals of arati, kirtan and Parikrama at the temple, the pilgrims move towards Jahnudvip or present Jannagar. The place is associated with the "Tapasya" (austere meditation) of the sage Jahnu. Another round of Kirtana begins under a banyan tree, following which the journey towards Modadrumdvip (Mamgachhi) is undertaken.

This place is hallowed with the memory of Vrindavan Das Thakur, regarded as an incarnation of Sri Krishna Dwaipayan Vyasadeva. It is due to his mercy that we have the accounts of Mahaprabhu's childhood pastimes in lucid Bengali verse. He has also sung the glory of Nityananda Prabhu.

Day 5 of Parikrama (Antardvip on 27-03-2021):

On the fifth and final day of the Parikrama, Antardvip is covered. It is where Mayapur where Mahaprabhu appeared is situated. The Yogpeeth or the dwelling house of Jagannath Mishra was discovered by Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj in the year 1893.

A magnificent temple was built at the site by a disciple of Srila Prabhupada in 1935 on the Gaur Jayanti day. Devotees chant Harikirtan, offer puja and arati, and roll in holy dust of this place before proceeding towards the abode of Sribas Acharya Prabhu.

The Parikrama is wound up with visiting the Sri Chaitanya Math at Chandrasekhar Bhavan. The 29 - spire grand temple houses the idols of four stalwart Acharyas of Shree Sampradaya- Ramanujacharya, Madvacharya, Acharya Vishnuswami, and Nimbarkacharya.

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