The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Ganga

BY: SUN STAFF - 3.9 2019

The Ganges Delta 

A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 49.

Next on Jaiva Dharma's 'Glossary of Places' is the holy Ganges River, which as Srila Bhaktivinoda states, is known by many names:

"Ganga - derived from the verbal root gam (to go) meaning Go! Go! or 'swift goer'. The holy river, Ganga, which flows southeast from the Himalayan Mountains to the Bay of Bengal; also known as the Ganges, Jahnavi, Bhagirathi, and Alakananda (see these entries in this Glossary)."

We have already covered two of the Ganga's manifestations -- the Alakananda and the Bhagirathi rivers. Just as these two forms of the holy river are mentioned throughout Jaiva Dharma, so the Ganga (or Ganges) is mentioned many places by Srila Bhaktivinoda. In fact, the Ganga features in his closing words, at the end of Jaiva Dharma's fortieth chapter:

"Bearing with him the mercy of his spiritual master, Lord Krsna, and the Vaisnavas, a poor person named Bhaktivinoda laboured greatly to write this book.

This book, the Jaiva-dharma, written in the Bengali language, was completed by the Ganges' shore at Surabhi-kunja in Godruma, at Navadvipa, on the full moon day of the month of Magha in the 410th year after Lord Caitanya's appearance in this world.

Persons who yearn to attain the feet of Lord Gaura, the delivered of the Kali-yuga, will have faith in this book."

The Ganga is at the heart of Navadvipa-mandala. As Jaiva Dharmastates, "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."

The shore of the holy Ganga is also glorified in chapter three of Jaiva Dharma"

"The Ganga shore is splendid, garlanded with light from many great jewel palaces, temples, and archways. In many places tumultuous chanting of Lord Hari's holy names fills the sky. Hundreds of devotees playing vinas chant and dance like Narada Muni.

In one place Lord Siva, the master of the demigods, manifests a white form. Playing a dambaru drum, he chants, "O Caitanya, O maintainer of the universes, please be merciful to me!" Wildly dancing again and again, he finally falls to the ground.

In another place four-faced Brahma lectures on the Vedas to an assembly of sages. He quotes and then purely explains these words (Svetasavatara Upanisad 3.12):

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Mahaprabhu who disseminates transcendental enlightenment. Just to be in touch with Him is to be correct with the indestructible brahmajyoti."*

In another place Indra and the demigods jump and chant:

The birds on the branches chirp:

Everyone is intoxicated by drinking the nectar of Lord Caitanya's holy names. From the gardens in the four directions come sweet humming sounds. Intoxicated by drinking the nectar of Lord Caitanya's holy names, Prakrti-devi (the goddess of the material nature) fills every place with beauty and splendour."

"Glory to Lord Gauracandra! Glory to Lord Nityananda!"

"Caitanya! Nityananda!"