Just as all the sacred rivers gathered in Navadvip, the best pilgrimage site, numerous holy places appeared in it, one of which is the sacred forest of Naimisaranya. Naimisaranya is located south of Sapta-tila, on the banks of Gomati. This is a small forest surrounded by fields, almost a kilometer from the Hamsa-Wahana-Shiva Temple. This place is not indicated by anything. The “original” forest of Naimisaranya itself is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, and since ancient times it has been a place of pilgrimage and witness to many miracles.
Srila Prabhupada writes: “In the Vayavaya Tantra,” it is said that Brahma, the creator of our universe, imagined a huge wheel that could encompass it all. The hub of this enormous circle was in a certain place called Naimisaranya. The Naimisaranya forest is also mentioned in the Varaha Purana, which says that the sacrifice performed in this place reduces the strength of demonic people. That is why, for conducting ... sacrifices, the brahmanas prefer Naimisaranya ”(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.1.4, comm.).
In the Treta Yuga, Lord Ramacandra performed a sacrifice here, returning to Ayodhya from exile. The sages said to him: "You must perform yajna in order to atone for the sin of killing Ravana, who was originally a brahmana." Sin cannot touch Lord Rama, but in order to please the sages, he performed a great sacrifice in Naimisaranya.
At the end of the Dvapara Yuga, thousands of sages led by Shaunaka Rishi, wishing to offer a sacrifice that could withstand the influence of the advancing Kali-yuga, turned to Lord Brahma:
- Where do we spend this yagya? In what place will it bring the greatest effect?
Brahma told them:
- I will send a disk. Follow him and perform a sacrifice where he touches the earth.
The disk hit the ground in the Chakra-tirtha, in the forest of Naimisaranya. He broke through the earth's shell and rushed down to the ocean of Garbhodak. The sages were worried that, having hit the water, he would make waves that would devastate the universe and asked Durg, the goddess of material nature, for help. She was able to prevent a disaster.
The well formed at the place where the disk falls, does not have a bottom. All attempts to explore its depth ended in failure.
The sages, satisfied with the outcome, proceeded to the sacrifice, which lasted several thousand years. They say that they are still invisibly present in this place. In this great gathering, the Puranas and the most amazing of them, Srimad-Bhagavatam, were narrated.
In ancient times, a temple probably existed in this place - South Indian Alvar poets mention the name of the Deity worshiped here. His name was Devaraja, and His wife Harilakshmi or Pundarikavalli. This place is revered as svayam-vyakta-ksetra (the self-manifest abode of the Lord) and tapovana - the sacred forest where the great ascetic sages live. Since ancient times, there has been an interesting custom of vriksha-dana - a pilgrim plantes a tree and asks someone from the local brahmanas to look after him (of course, giving the brahman a worthy donation).
In Naimisaranya there is the famous temple of Visvarupa-Anjaney (Hanuman).
But, first of all, this place was famous for the fact that the Srimad-Bhagavatam was told here. Therefore, the temples of Vyasadeva and Sukadeva Gosvami are still operating here.
Just as Naimisaranya in Uttar Pradesh is considered the axis of the material universe, Naimisaranya in Navadvipa is its spiritual axis. The sages who are invisibly present here are always absorbed in hearing the stories of Lord Caitanya. In Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya it is said that if someone reads the Puranas here during the month of Kartika, he will be freed from all misfortunes, immerse himself in the games of Gauranga and easily reach Vrndavana.
Bhaktivinoda Thakur prays: "There, on the bank of Gomati, in Naimisaranya, the Rishis are listening to Gaura-Bhagavatam." To quickly come here and hear the story of Gauranga, Lord Siva saddled Brahma's swan, Sri Hamsa-vahana. Will the time come when I, wandering through the forest, will see a meeting listening to Gaura Purana? On the day of Ekadashi of the holy month of Karttika, on the bank of Gomati, I will hear stories about Sri Caitanya. When will the rishis who listen to Shaunaku show their mercy to me and lay the dust from their feet on my head? I will raise my hands to heaven and exclaim: “O inhabitants of Navadvipa, drink the blessed nectar of Gauranga-lila in this forest!” ”(“ Navadvipa-bhava-taranga ”).
Translated from dhama.dayalnitay.ru