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Jaiva-Dharma, Chapter 3, Part 1: The Vision of Śrī Māyāpura

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Jaiva-Dharma, Chapter 3: Sannyāsī Mahārāja is having a vision of aprākṛta aspect of Māyāpura.





One night, just after ten o’clock, Sannyāsī Mahārāja sat chanting hari-nāma on a raised mound in a secluded part of his grove within Śrī Godruma. Gazing northward, he saw the full moon had already risen, diffusing an uncommon luster throughout Śrī Navadvīpa-maṇḍala. Suddenly, a divine manifestation of nearby Śrī Māyāpura became visible before his eyes.

Sannyāsī Mahārāja exclaimed, “Oh! What an extraordinary vision! I am seeing a most astonishing and blissful holy place! Towering jeweled palaces, temples and ornamented archways are illuminating the bank of the Jāhnavī River by their glittering splendor. The tumultuous sound of hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana is rising from many places, as if to pierce the sky. Hundreds of Vaiṣṇavas, like Nārada playing upon his vīṇā, are chanting śṛī-nāma and dancing.

“On one side is fair-complexioned Mahādeva, with his ḍamarū drum in his hand. He cries out, ‘O Viśvambhara, please bestow Your mercy upon me!’ Saying this, he dances tāṇḍava-nṛtya wildly, then falls to the ground, unconscious. On another side, the fourheaded Brahmā sits in an assembly of ṛṣis who are well-versed in Vedic lore. He recites the following Vedic mantra and lucidly explains its meaning:

mahān prabhur vai puruṣaḥ sattvasyaiṣaḥ pravartakaḥ

sunirmalām imāṁ prāptim īśāno jyotir avyayaḥ

Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (3.12)

‘That Personality is undoubtedly mahān, supreme, and He is prabhu, master. He bestows the tendency for intelligence, and by His mercy a person can attain supremely pure and transcendental peace. That person known as Mahāprabhu Śrī Caitanya is puruṣa, the Supreme Person. He is īśāna, the Supreme Ruler. He is jyoti-svarūpa, self-manifest and possessing a lustrous effulgence due to the golden splendour of His limbs. He is avyaya, the imperishable Lord.’

“Elsewhere, Indra and other devas are leaping in ecstasy, crying, ‘Jaya Prabhu Gauracandra! Jaya Nityānanda!’ The birds sitting on the branches of the trees are calling out, ‘Gaura! Nitāi!’ Large black bees are humming everywhere in the flower gardens, intoxicated by drinking gaura-nāma-rasa, the liquid essence of the holy name of Gaura. Prakṛti-devī (the goddess of nature) is maddened with gaura-rasa and diffusing her magnificent radiance everywhere. This is wonderful! I have seen Śrī Māyāpura in broad daylight many times, but I have never beheld anything like this before. What am I seeing?”

Remembering his Gurudeva, Sannyāsī Mahārāja said, “O Prabhu, now I can understand that you have bestowed your mercy upon me today by granting me a vision of the transcendental (aprākṛta) aspect of Māyāpura. From today onwards, I shall call myself a follower of Śrī Gauracandra. I see that everyone in this divine land of Navadvīpa wears a necklace of tulasī-beads, tilaka on his forehead, and the letters of śrī-nāma stamped on his body. I shall also do the same.”

Saying this, Sannyāsī Mahārāja fell into a state of unconsciousness. He regained external consciousness after a short while, and began to cry, “Indeed, I am extremely fortunate, for by the mercy of my guru, I have obtained a momentary vision of the sacred land of Śrī Navadvīpa.”

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