Published on May 11th, 2023 | by Harmonist staff0
Śrī Navadvīpāṣṭakam 5
mahānty anantāni gṛhāṇi yatra
sphuranti haimāni manoharāṇi
praty-ālayaṁ yaṁ śrayate sadā śrīs
taṁ śrī-navadvīpam ahaṁ smarāmi
In meditation I recall Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma, where countless glorious abodes constructed of gold, capable of stealing away one’s mind—manoharāṇi—are manifest, and within every one of which Lakṣmī eternally resides.
Why does Lakṣmī reside in every domicile of Navadvīpa-dhāma? Because every home is a temple of Hari. Therein we find the perfection of vaidhī-bhakti that Śrī Śacī-nandana sets a perfect example of to the delight of his mother as he offers her cooking to the household’s Adhokṣaja mūrti. Viśvanātha Cakravartī writes viṣṇos tat-samayārcanaṁ regarding Śacī-suta’s sāyāhna-līlā, during which “Gaura engages in viṣṇu-arcanam.” How proud Śacī-devī is to have such a virtuous son! In Gaura līlā there are two principal Lakṣmīs, Lakṣmīpriyā (śrī) and Viṣṇupriyā (bhū),1 whereas in Kṛṣṇa līlā there are thousands of Lakṣmīs endowed with a rāga–mārga disposition, lakṣmīsahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānam.2 However, these numerous Lakṣmīs are also covertly present in Gaura līlā, led by Paṇḍita Śrī Gadādhara—the Rādhā of Gaura līlā. These Lakṣmīs are rāga-mārga gopīs of the Vraja līlā serving Gaura Kṛṣṇa in dāsya-bhakti in his para-śvetadvīpa nitya līlā. Following the lead of Gaura Hari, they experience their gopī-svarūpas as they engage in nāma-saṅkīrtana. Thus both the rāga-mārga and vaidhī-mārga are present in Navadvīpa. For sādhakas, Gaura-Viṣṇupriyā and -Lakṣmīpriyā are Navadvīpa’s vaidhī–mārga deities, while Gaura Gadādhara are the dhāma’s mādhurya-rasa rāga-mārga deities. Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda established these vaidhī-mārga mūrtis at Gaura’s Māyāpura janmasthāna, whereas he personally worshiped Gaura-Gadādhara in Godruma.
However, Bhaktivinoda cautions his rāga-mārga followers not to neglect the worship of Viṣṇupriyā. Following his predecessors,3 he identifies her with Satyabhāmā and bhū-śakti but moreover with the saṁvit and hlādinī aspects of the svarūpa-śakti—Bhakti-devī—who descended along with Gaurasundara to assist him in establishing nāma-dharma.4 And just as the nine islands of Navadvīpa are identified with navavidhā-bhakti, Viṣṇupriyā-devi is also the personification, or svarūpa, of these nine-fold aṅgas of uttama-bhakti that are relevant to both vaidhī– and rāgānuga-sādhana.5
- Narāyāna has three principal śaktis, śrī, bhū, and nīla, the latter of which is sometimes referred to as līlā, especially in Bengal. Therein Navadvīpa itself is considered to be a manifestation of this līlā-śakti. [↩]
- Brahma Saṁhitā 5.29. [↩]
- Kavi-karṇapūra identifies Lakṣmipriyā with Rukmiṇī and Viṣṇupriyā with Satyabhāmā and bhū-śakti. He also identifies Satyabhāmā with Jagadānanda. [↩]
- In his Lalita-mādhava, Rūpa Goswāmī identifies Satyabhāmā as the expansion of Rādhā for the Mathurā and Dvārakā līlās. He identifies Candrāvalī of Vraja with Rukmīṇī. [↩]
- Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.296. [↩]