The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Antardvipa



The Nine Islands of Navadvipa

A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 11.


In Jaiva Dharma's 'Glossary of Places', Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur next lists the dham of Antardvipa:

"Antardvipa – one of the nine islands of Navadvipa. This place embodies the devotional practice of atma-nivedanam, surrendering one's very self to Sri Krsna. Antardvipa is situated in the antar (heart or middle) of the eight-petaled lotus of Navadvipa. At the center of Antardvipa is Sri Mayapura, and at the very core of Mayapura is Yogapitha, the place where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared.

Lord Brahma felt despondent after disturbing Krsna's pastimes in Vraja by stealing His cows and cowherd friends. He performed austerities in Antardvipa, knowing that Gauranga would descend there in Kali-yuga. Gauranga manifested before Brahma and gave him the benediction that Brahma would appear as the great bhakta, Haridasa Thakura. Taking birth in a Yavana family, he would not be disturbed by pride. Because Mahaprabhu revealed His internal (antar) feelings to Brahma at this place, the island is known as Antardvipa."

Yoga-Pitha - Holy birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 

Mention of Antardvipa is found in Chapter 12 of Jaiva Dharma:

Nitya-dharma O Sadhana - Eternal Religion and Devotional Service in Practice:

"Sri Navadvipa-mandala is the best of all holy places in the world. It is a thirty-two mile eight petal lotus flower. The whorl of that lotus flower is Sri Antardvipa. In the centre of Antardvipa is Sri Mayapura. To the north of Sri Mayapura is Sri Simantadvipa. In Simantadvipa is a temple of Sri Sinmanta-devi. To the north of that temple is Bilva-puskarini, and to the south is Brahmana-puskarini. The region that contains Bilva-puskarini and the Brahmana-puskarini is called Sumuliya by the people in general."

Another mention of Antardvipa is found in Chapter Fourteen, where the leading character in Jaiva Dharma, the vaidika brahmana named Vrajanatha Bhattacarya asked an elevated sadhu: "What is the size of Navadvipa-dhama? The Babaji answered:

"The circumference of Sri Navadvipa is sixteen krosas (32 miles). The holy abode of Navadvipa is an eight-petal lotus flower. Eight of the dvipas form the eight petals, and the island in the middle is the whorl of the lotus. The eight islands that are petals of the lotus are: Simantadvipa, Godrumadvipa, Madhyadvipa, Koladvipa, Rtudvipa, Jahndvipa, Modadrumadvipa and Rudradvipa. The whorl in the middle of the lotus is Antardvipa. In the middle of Antardvipa is Sri Mayapura. A soul who performs sadhana-bhakti (devotional service in practice) in Navadvipa-dhama, or especially in Sri Mayapura, quickly attains the perfection of prema (pure love of God). In the centre of Sri Navadvipa is the very holy place of Sri Jaganatha Misra's home. The most fortunate devotees are able to see Lord Gaurangadeva enjoying His eternal pastimes in this holy place."

Chapter 14 - Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Sakti-vicara) - Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya, and Prayojana (The Lord's Potencies)

Mahaprabhu and His consorts Visnupriya and Laksmipriya, and Radha-Madhava
The Temple at Yogipitha


Further details on the orientation of Antardvipa within Navadvipa dham are found in Srila Bhaktivinoda's Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya:

"The circumference of the central stamen of the flower, or Antardvipa, is ten miles, and the circumference of the eight-petaled flower, or Navadvipa, is thirty-two miles. Outside this are the hundred petals of Gausa-mandala, whose circumference measures one hundred sixty-eight miles. According to the scriptures, the diameter of Gausa-mandala is fifty-six miles and the radius is twenty-eight miles. The center point, situated within Navadvipa, is the Yogapitha, the sacred spiritual abode where the Lord advented."

(Parikrama-khanda, Chapter Two - Measurement and Form of the Dhama)


(Antardvipa, to be continued…)