Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma Māhātmya – Chapter Seventeen
Śrī Jīva Goswāmī’s Questions and Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu’s Answers
jaya jaya gorā-cāṅda jaya nityānanda
jayādvaita gadādhara prema-rasānanda 
All glory to Gorā-cāṅda, Nityānanda, Advaita, Gadādhara, and the ecstatic joy of divine love!
jaya śrīvāsādi bhakta navadvīpa jaya
jaya nāma-saṅkīrtana premera nilaya 
All glory to Śrīvāsa, the devotees, and Navadvīpa! All glory to nāma-saṅkīrtana, the abode of divine love!
basiyāchhe nityānanda śrīvāsa-aṅgane
gaura-preme vāridhārā vahe du’nayane 
Nityānanda sat in the courtyard of Śrīvāsa, and in divine love for Gaura, streams of tears flowed from His eyes.
cāri-dike vaiṣṇava sajjana agaṇana
gaura-prema-pārābāre magna sarva-jana 
There were countless Vaiṣṇava sādhus in all directions, and everyone was immersed in the ocean of divine love for Gaura.
kata-kṣaṇe śrī-jīva gosvāmī mahāśaya
śrī-yugala-preme matta, ha-ila udaya 
At that time, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī became mad with love for the Divine Couple.
daṇḍavat praṇamiyā nityānanda-pāya
śrīvāsa-aṅgane tabe gaḍāgaḍi yāya 
He prostrated himself at the feet of Nityānanda and rolled on the ground in the courtyard of Śrīvāsa.
yatane śrī-nityānanda jijñāsena vacana
“kata-dina pare yābe tumi vṛndāvana” 
Affectionately, Nityānanda Prabhu asked, “When will you go to Vṛndāvana?”
jīva bale, “prabhu-ājñā sarvopari haya
ājñā pāile kari āmi vṛndāvanāśraya 
Jīva answered, “The order of the Lord is above all. When I receive Your order, I will take shelter in Vṛndāvana.
dui eka kathā mora āchhe jijñāsite
uttara dāo he prabhu e dāsera hite 
“I have one or two questions to ask You. O Lord, please answer them for the benefit of this servant.
ei navadvīpa-dhāma haya vṛndāvana
tabe kena vṛndāvana gamane yatana” 
“Navadvīpa Dhāma is Vṛndāvana. So, why should I endeavour to go to Vṛndāvana?”
jīva-praśna śuni’ prabhu karena uttara
“baḍa guhya-kathā ei śuna ataḥpara 
Hearing Jīva’s question, Nityānanda Prabhu answered, “This is a very confidential subject. Now listen.
prabhura prakaṭa-līlā yata-dina raya
dekha yena bahirmukha jane nā jānaya 
“As long as the Pastimes of the Lord remain manifest, see to it that averse souls do not know about this.
navadvīpa vṛndāvana haya eka tattva
paraspara kichu nāhi hīnatva mahattva 
“Navadvīpa and Vṛndāvana are one; neither one is lesser or greater than the other.
sei vṛndāvana-dhāma rasera ādhāra
se rasa nā pāya yāra nāhi adhikāra 
“Vṛndāvana Dhāma is an abode of rasa, but unqualified souls do not attain that rasa.
kṛpā kari’ sei dhāma navadvīpa haya
hethā rasa-adhikāra jīve upajaya 
“Vṛndāvana Dhāma mercifully manifests as Navadvīpa, and here, souls develop the qualification to attain rasa.
rādhā-kṛṣṇa-līlā haya sarva-rasa-sāra
sahasā tāhāte nāhi haya adhikāra 
“The Pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are the highest of all rasas, and qualification for them does not come immediately.
kata janma tapasyā kariyā haya jñāna
jñāna paripakke pāya rasera sandhāna 
“Performing austerities for many births results in knowledge, and when knowledge matures, souls discover rasa.
tāhāte vyāghāta bahu āchhe sarva-kṣaṇa
ataeva sudurlabha rasa mahādhana 
“There are always many obstacles involved, and thus, the supreme wealth of rasa is very difficult to attain.
yei sei vraje giyā nāhi pāya rasa
aparādha-vaśe rasa haya ta virasa 
“Not everyone who goes to Vraja attains rasa, and as a result of offences, rasa becomes tasteless.
ghora kali-kāle aparādha sarva-kāla
jīvera jīvana svalpa baḍa-i jañjāla 
“During the darkness of Kali-yuga, offences are constant, and the life of a soul is short and extremely troublesome.
icchā karileo vraja-rasa labhya naya
ataeva kṛṣṇa-kṛpā rasa-hetu haya 
“Even if souls desire it, the rasa of Vraja is not attainable. The mercy of Kṛṣṇa is therefore the only cause of attaining rasa.
rādhā-kṛṣṇa kṛpā kari’ jīvera upara
vṛndāvana saha samudita ataḥpara 
“Being merciful to the souls, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa have again appeared with Vṛndāvana.
eka-mūrti rādhā-kṛṣṇa prabhu gaurahari
śacī-garbhe navadvīpe ebe avatari’ 
rasa-adhikāra jīve karena pradāna
aparādha bādhā kabhu nāhi pāya sthāna 
“Descending in Navadvīpa through the womb of Śacī Devī in one form, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, as Lord Gaurahari, now give souls qualification for rasa. Offences are never an obstacle in Navadvīpa.
hethā vāsa kari’ nāma karile āśraya
rase adhikāra janme aparādha kṣaya 
“If souls reside here and take shelter of the Name, their qualification for rasa develops and their offences are eradicated.
svalpa-dine kṛṣṇa-prema haya ta ujjvala
yugala-rasera vārtā haya ta prabala 
“Within a short time, divine love for Kṛṣṇa shines within them, and they become captivated by discussion of the Divine Couple’s rasa.
tabe jīva gaura-kṛpā kariyā arjana
yugala-rasera pīṭha pāya vṛndāvana 
“Attaining the mercy of Gaura, souls then reach Vṛndāvana, the abode of the Divine Couple’s rasa.
gūḍha-tattva ei nāhi kaha yāre tāre
navadvīpa-vṛndāvane bheda ha-ite nāre 
“Do not tell anyone this confidential truth. There is no difference between Navadvīpa and Vṛndāvana.
tomāra āśraya ebe rasa-pīṭha haya
ataeva vṛndāvana karaha āśraya 
“Your shelter is now that abode of rasa. Therefore, take shelter in Vṛndāvana.
ei dhāme vṛndāvana haya ta udaya
tabu vraja-dhāma tava ha-uka āśraya 
“Vṛndāvana is present here. Still, let Vraja Dhāma be your shelter.
vraja-rasa adhikāre navadvīpāśraya
jīvera kartavya sadā vallabha-tanaya 
“O Jīva, the duty of the soul is always to take shelter in Navadvīpa to become qualified for the rasa of Vraja.
vraja-rasa prāpti-sthale vṛndāvana vāsa
jīvera yathāya haya rasera ullāsa 
“In the place to attain the rasa of Vraja (Navadvīpa), souls reside in Vraja and experience the joy of its rasa.
navadvīpa-kṛpā yabe labhe sādhu-jana
tabe anāyāse labhe dhāma vṛndāvana” 
“When sādhus attain the grace of Navadvīpa, they easily attain Vṛndāvana Dhāma.”
prabhura siddhānta śuni’ jīva mahāśaya
parama ānande prabhu-caraṇa dharaya 
Hearing the conclusions of Nityānanda Prabhu, Jīva grasped His feet with great joy.
caraṇa dhariyā bale, “kathā eka āra
āchhe mora śuna prabhu sarva-sārātsāra 
Grasping His feet, Jīva said, “I have another question. Please hear it, O Supreme Lord!
ei navadvīpe vāsa kare bahu-jana
sabe kena kṛṣṇa-bhakti nā kare arjana 
“Why do many souls who reside in Navadvīpa not attain devotion to Kṛṣṇa?
dhāme vaise tabu kena aparādha raya
āmāra ha-ila ebe viṣama saṁśaya 
“Why do souls reside in the Dhāma but commit offences? This is now my troubling doubt.
kise tabe niścinta ha-ibe viṣṇu-jana
bala prabhu viśva-dhāma nitya nirañjana” 
“How will devotees of the Lord become free from anxiety about this? Please answer me, O Lord, O pure, eternal abode of the universe!”
nitāi-jāhnavā-pada-chāyā āśa yāra
se bhaktivinoda kahe akiñcana chāra 
So speaks the poor and fallen Bhaktivinoda, whose aspiration is the shade of Nitāi and Jāhnavā’s feet.