I bow at the feet of Sri Gurudev, the Vaisnavas, and the all-merciful Sri Sri Gaura-Nityananda. I place this book in their hands and pray that it pleases their hearts.
This edition of Sri Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya and Sri Navadvipa-bhava-taranga has been prepared from Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math’s Bengali publications of these texts and includes translations of their publisher’s notes. A Bengali poem by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj which invites everyone to join Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama sets the tone of the book. Preceding the primary texts is the preface from Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s original publication of Sri Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya in 403 Chaitanyabda (1888 AD), as well as his poem Sriman Navadvipa-dhama-vandana, which summarises the entire Sri Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya in twenty Sanskrit verses.
Following Sri Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya and Sri Navadvipa-bhava-taranga is a set of excerpts from Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s writing and an overview of the glories of Sri Nabadwip Dham compiled from lectures by Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. The list of the ten offences to the Holy Dham, a glossary, and the map of Sri Nabadwip Dham prepared by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur have been included at the back.
The texts of Sri Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya and Sri Navadvipa-bhava-taranga are presented in a four-fold format: 1) the Bengali text of each verse, 2) its Roman transliteration, 3) its English prose-ordered phrase-by-phrase gloss, and 4) its English prose translation. In this edition, punctuation marks to indicate grammatical compounds, speech, and past active participles have been inserted into the Bengali text and its transliteration to aid comprehension. When reading the prose-ordered phrase-by-phrase gloss — a style of translation known as anvaya, which is common in Bengali translation of Sanskrit — please note: 1) past active participles are often conjugated in tandem with the finite verb they accompany, 2) verb tenses are often translated to suit idiomatic usage in English (e.g. present tense and present perfect tense are often translated as simple past tense), 3) idiomatic uses of the passive voice in Bengali are translated in the active voice in English, and 4) correlative pronouns and prepositional cases are typically translated in the simplest grammatically equivalent forms possible. It is our hope that this method of presentation will aid readers in appreciating the simplicity and sweetness of the Bengali text itself.
This book has been prepared under the auspices of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math’s Present-Sevaite-Acharya, Om Visnupad Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj. Sripad Bhakti Ranjan Madhusudan Maharaj oversaw the production of the book and edited the final manuscript. Sripad Bhakti Prapanna Tirtha Maharaj and Lalita Madhava Prabhu greatly assisted with translation. Sri Visakha Devi Dasi provided invaluable assistance, and numerous other devotees contributed with editorial suggestions and corrections. Sriman Purujit Prabhu financed the printing. We are indebted to all these devotees for their gracious contributions.
Sriman Mahaprabhu’s prophecy that Hari-nam-sankirtan would spread to every town and village of the world; Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s prophecy that people from all over the world would come to Sri Nabadwip Dham and join the Bengalis in chanting the glories of Sri Gaurasundar; and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur’s prophecy that Westerners would learn Bengali just to study the writings of the Rupanuga sampradaya’s Acharyas are becoming fulfilled more and more gloriously with each passing year. It is our hope that this publication will serve to further all three of these expressions of divine will. May souls all over the world read the glories of Sri Nabadwip Dham in this book and be inspired to continue the sankirtan of Sri Gaurasundar wherever they may be. May they be inspired to travel to Sri Nabadwip Dham and perform parikrama in the company of devotees from Bengal and all over the world. May they pause their joyous sankirtan from place to place throughout the Dham to recite the glories of the Dham as revealed by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. May they thus taste the nectar in the life of a surrendered soul:
gaura amara ye saba sthane
karala bhramana range
se saba sthana heriba ami
gaura-vihita kirtana suni’
anande hrdaya nache
«In the company of loving devotees, we visit the places where our Sri Gaurasundar performed Pastimes, and as we hear the kirtan prescribed by Him, our hearts dance with joy.»