Islands of Devotional Service



“…. The nine islands of Navadvipa-dhama resemble an eight-petalled lotus flower with a whorl (karnika) at the center. Of the nine islands, four are situated on the eastern side of the Ganga, and five are situated on the western side. The four eastern islands are Antardvipa, Simantadvipa, Godrumadvipa, and Madhyadvipa. The five western islands are Koladvipa, Rtudvipa, Jahnudvipa, Modadrumadvipa and Rudradvipa. Each island represents one of the nine processes of devotional service.”




  1. Antardvipa represents Atma-Nivedanam, full surrender
  2. Simantadvipa represents Sravanam, hearing
  3. Godrumadvipa represents Kirtanan, chanting
  4. Madhyadvipa represents Smaranam, remembering
  5. Koladvipa represents Pada-Sevanam, serving the lotus feet
  6. Ritudvipa represents Arcanam, worshipping the Deity in the temple
  7. Jahnudvipa represents Vandanam, praying
  8. Modadrumadvipa represents Dasyam, becoming a servant
  9. Rudradvipa represents Sakhyam, being a friend


 But where did all this information come from?

The story of how Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was discovering Navadvipa dham’s sacred places of Gauranga Mahaprabhu and His associates started before 125 years ago. The order came from Lord Gauranga in a dream, and after many years of researching places, studying books, old maps, asking elderly people and residents, the search culminated in the discovery of the birthplace of Lord Chaitanya, how it is described in one of his biographies:


“… After this, through much research and endeavor, Thakura Bhaktivinoda was able to understand that the place he had seen that night on the roof of the dharmashala was the actual site of Sri Caitanya’s birth. The year was 1887 and this discovery was a shining landmark in the history of Vaishnavism in India. Thakura Bhaktivinoda had brought to light the divine place of Caitanya’s birth and his discovery was confirmed by Jagannatha dasa Babaji, the religious head of the Gaudiya Vaishnava community in Nadia. On that eventful day thousands of visitors were present at the spot where a grand Vaishnava festival was held. Jagannatha dasa Babaji was so old at the time that he had to be brought there carried in a basket. He could not walk but once he came in contact with the spiritual atmosphere at Sri Caitanya’s birthplace, he literally jumped in the air in ecstasy, confirming the significance of the location. The result of this discovery was the production of a book by Bhaktivinoda entitled Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya.”


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