Antardvipa is one of the nine islands of Sri Navadvipa Dham. Each of the nine islands represents nine stages of devotional service. This island is exemplification of “Atma Nivedan” – complete surrender unto the Lord. This is the highest stage of devotional service. The word Antardvipa consist of 2 words: Antar (means secret or inner reason) and Dvipa (means island). It was at this place that Lord Krishna revealed his real purpose of appearing in this material world as Lord Gauranga.
During Krishna Lila, when Aghasura was killed by the Lord who was merely seven years old. Later Krishna was enjoying lunch in the association of his cowherd friends. Lord Brahma, who was witnessing this, could not believe it & to test the supremacy of Krishna hid all claves & cowherd boys in a cave. Lord Krishna well understanding the intent of Brahma expanded Himself exactly into all those calves & cowherd boys who were hidden and continued His Lila for a year’s time. At end of one year (which was just Brahma’s moment) Brahma was bewildered to see two sets of cowherd boys and calves – one inside the cave and one with Krishna. He understood that little Krishna was Supreme personality of Godhead. Thus his pride was humbled & he approached Krishna to beg His forgiveness. Though Krishna forgave him, Brahma was still repenting in his heart. Hence Lord Brahma appeared at this place & began performing severe tapasya to please Lord Krishna. Being pleased with his austerities, Lord Krishna appeared as Lord Caitanya in front of Lord Brahma.
Brahma requested Lord Caitanya that he be allowed to participate in His next pastime as a humble servant. Lord Caitanya blessed him and said that indeed Brahma would be able to participate in the Lord’s Caitanya lila and that he would be born in a very low class family but he would be very great devotee of Lord and would be known as Namacarya Haridas Thakura. The Lord further revealed a secret to Brahma (asking him to keep it a secret) that to understand glories of Srimati Radharani’s love for Him, He would appear as a devotee in the bodily complexion and mood of Radharani and spread the chanting of holy names which would be the Yuga dharma. Since this secret was revealed to Brahma at this place, it came to be known as Antardvipa.
Sri Mayapur is located in the heart of Antardvipa. Lord Caitanya was born in Antardvipa at a place called Yoga Pitha under a neem tree. Lord Caitanya performed several pastimes in this island as a small boy in the neighborhood, as an arrogant scholar defeating everyone with His logics.
There are many holy places to be visited in and around Antardvipa and each one having certain spiritual significance attached to it like:
- Srivas Angan
- Gaura Kunda
- The famous neem tree under which Lord Caitanya was born
- Murari Gupta’s house
- Advait bhavan
- Caitanya matha
- Temple of Bhakti Vinod Thakur and
- The current day ISKCON’s Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya temple.
- Ghats (riverside places): Apart from these there are various ghats where the Lord performed several pastimes like – Mahaprabhu ghat, Jagai Madhai ghat, Vrddha Siva ghat, Nagariya ghat, Barakrona ghat and Ganganagara ghat.