Mayapur—the Heart of the Lotus

in Prabhuji's Gifts Blog

Mayapur, or Sri Mayapur as it is called with love and respect in India, is one of nine islands that holds extreme potency for devotion and the purification of the heart within the Hindu tradition. This important pilgrimage center and surrounding area in West Bengal is known as the “Spiritual Capital of Bengal.” The area, known as Navadvipa Mandala, is said to resemble a lotus flower with eight petals. The island, where Mayapur is situated, rests in the sacred flower’s center and carries a great spiritual gift for bhakti yogis who follow the devotional path.

Situated at the conjoining point of two holy rivers—the Jalangi and the Ganga—the town of Mayapur  forms the center of the Navadwip Mandala, or “the area of the nine island” (nava means nine and dvipa is island). These islands, which are dotted with many towns and villages, are formed by the various attributes of the Ganga River as it slowly flows into the Bay of Bengal.

The names of the nine Islands are: Antardvipa, Simantadvipa, Rudradvipa, Madhyadvipa, Godrumdvipa, Ritudvipa, Jahnudvipa, Modadrumdvipa, and Rudradvipa.


Given the beautiful image of an eight petal divine lotus, each part of the Navadvipa Mandala is said to represent and carry the power of one of the nine steps of devotion as described in the Bhagavata Purana (7.5.23):

sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam

Hearing, glorifying, remembering, serving the feet of the Lord, worshiping, praying, seeing oneself as the Lord’s servant, considering oneself as the Lord’s friend, and the last, complete surrender and offering one’s entire being to the Divine, are the nine steps of devotion to the Lord.

According to the tradition, the eight petals of the Navadvipa lotus carry the power of the first eight steps, while Antardvipa, the area where Mayapur is situated, is the area of the highest stage: atma nivedana, or complete surrender and offering one’s entire being to the Divine.


Thus being a place dedicated to the highest degree of devotion, Mayapur and its area became a highly sacred place of pilgrimage. The beautiful and serene atmosphere along with the spiritual significance has drawn numerous saints throughout history to visit and reside there, further increasing its spiritual power.

The great saint Sri Chaitanya, who is considered by some as an incarnation of the Lord, was born in Mayapur and this is where he started his renowned devotional sankirtana movement (Read More About Sri Chaitanya in Mayapur). The great saint Nityananda, a disciple of  Sri Chaitanya, visited Mayapur and Navadvip and walked the entire area barefoot.  The Saint Madhavacharya lived in Santipur, but used to go to Mayapur on annual pilgrimages, and so on and so forth.

The saint Bhaktivinoda Thakur wrote the following words of glory of this unique place: “The entire Gaura-mandala (another name for Navadvipa Mandala) is like a touchstone, yielding all desires. The place is full of knowledge and bliss and is completely spiritual. The water, the land, the trees-everything in the Navadvipa areea is spiritual, unlike the dull matter of this material world. Always present in this place are the Lord Krishna’s three spiritual energies–sandhini (existence), samvit (knowledge), and hladini (blissful love).

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Prabhuji’s Gifts Mayapur Incense is a special variation of Nag Champa. It is the perfect fragrance for meditation and yoga as well as devotion and prayer  (to buy Mayapur incense click here).


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