The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Godruma

BY: SUN STAFF - 10.9 2019

Mother Cow

A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 53.

In Jaiva Dharma's 'Glossary of Places', the next holy place listed is Godruma:

"Godruma - one of the nine islands of Navadvipa, situated east of the Bhagirathi and south of the Jalangi. It is bordered by Simantadvipa on the north side and by Madhyadvipa on the west. This place is so named because Surabhi, a cow (go) of divine origin, worshiped Sri Gauranga here under the shade of a large banyan tree (druma). Each of the nine divisions of Navadvipa embodies one of the nine principal practices of bhakti, such as hearing about, chanting, and remembering the names, form, qualities and pastimes of Sri Krsna. Godrumadvipa personifies the practice of kirtanam, chanting."

Godruma was mentioned in a previous segment on Gadigacha, in which Srila Bhaktivinoda states:

"Gadigacha - often equated with the entire region of Godruma-dvipa. In Citre Navadvipa, Sriyukta Sarad-indu Narayana Raya has stated that Godruma is called Gadigacha in the Apabhramsa language. In Chapter Ten of this book, Gadigacha is referred to as a small area within Godruma-dvipa where the Vaisnavas of Pradyumna-kunja were living. On the 1916 map of Sridhama Navadvipa, Gadigacha is also portrayed as a small area of Godrumadvipa."

The importance of Sri Godruma is establish right from the beginning of Jaiva Dharma. In Chapter One, Srila Bhaktivinoda writes:

"Of all earthly realms, Jambudvipa is the best. O fall places in Jambudvipa, Bharata-varsa is the best. Of all places in Bharata-varsa, Gauda-desa is the best. Of all places in Gauda-desa, Sri Navadvipa-mandala is the best. In one part of Sri Navadvipa-mandala, on the Ganga shore, the beautiful village of Sri Godruma is splendidly manifested eternally. In ancient times many bhajananandi devotees made their homes in the gardens of Sri Godruma.

In that place, in a cottage of vines, a surabhi cow once worshipped Lord Gaurasundara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not far from that place was a bhajana-kutira named Pradyumna-kunja. In that bhajana-kutira thick with vines, a paramahamsa babaji, who was an initiated disciple of the Supreme Lord's personal associate Pradyumna Brahmacari, always stayed, rapt in the bliss of worshipping the Lord (bhajanananda).

Aware that Sri Godruma is not different from Sri Nanda-grama in Vrndavana, Sri Prema-dasa Babaji, who was learned in all the scriptures, also took shelter in that holy place. Every day he chanted Lord Hari's holy names two hundred thousand times. Every day he offered hundreds and hundreds of dandavat obeisances to all the Vaisnavas. He maintained his life by madhukari begging at the homes of the cowherd people there. He strictly followed the rules of a saintly life."

Throughout Jaiva Dharma there are many references to Godruma -- far too many to mention here. As described in a previous segment on Antardvipa, Godrumadvipa is one of the eight islands that comprise the lotus petals of holy Navadvipa, at the very center of which is Sridham Mayapur. In chapter seven, the character Yadava dasa describes it thus:

"…"Ah! Godruma is a very sacred place. Simply by entering this place, a soul attains pure devotion. This Godruma is the pastime place of the master of our lives: Lord Caitanya, the son of Saci. It is identical with holy Vrndavana, the village of cowherds. Understanding this truth, Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati wrote the following prayer (Sri Navadvipa-sataka 36):

"Fools, the path of the world and the Vedas will bring you only trouble! Give up everything and make yourself a leaf-hut in Sri Godruma in Gauda-desa!"

Singing about his bhajan kutir, Srila Bhaktivinoda writes in Saranagati:

"On the banks of the celestial Ganges, I will dwell in a cottage at Surabhi Kunj in Godruma Dhama. This land of Godruma is very conducive for performing devotional worship of the Supreme Lord and is non different from the sacred place called Nandagram, located in the holy district of Mathura."


(Godruma, to be continued…)