|Canto 7: The Science of God||Chapter 14: Ideal Family Life|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.14.30-33
kṣetrāṇy arhāśritāny uta
naimiṣaḿ phālgunaḿ setuḥ
prabhāso 'tha kuśa-sthalī
pampā bindu-saras tathā
sarve kulācalā rājan
ete puṇyatamā deśā
harer arcāśritāś ca ye
etān deśān niṣeveta
śreyas-kāmo hy abhīkṣṇaśaḥ
dharmo hy atrehitaḥ puḿsāḿ
sarāḿsi — lakes; puṣkara-ādīni — such as Puṣkara; kṣetrāṇi — sacred places (like Kurukṣetra, Gayākṣetra and Jagannātha Purī); arha — for worshipable, saintly persons; āśritāni — places of shelter; uta — celebrated; kurukṣetram — a particular sacred place (dharma-kṣetra); gaya-śiraḥ — the place known as Gayā, where Gayāsura took shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Viṣṇu; prayāgaḥ — Allahabad, at the confluence of the two sacred rivers Ganges and Yamunā; pulaha-āśramaḥ — the residence of Pulaha Muni; naimiṣam — the place known as Naimiṣāraṇya (near Lucknow); phālgunam — the place where the Phālgu River flows; setuḥ — Setubandha, where Lord Rāmacandra constructed a bridge between India and Lańkā; prabhāsaḥ — Prabhāsakṣetra; atha — as well as; kuśa-sthalī — Dvāravatī, or Dvārakā; vārāṇasī — Benares; madhu-purī — Mathurā; pampā — a place where there is a lake called Pampā; bindu-saraḥ — the place where Bindu-sarovara is situated; tathā — there; nārāyaṇa-āśramaḥ — known as Badarikāśrama; nandā — the place where the Nandā River flows; sītā-rāma — of Lord Rāmacandra and mother Sītā; āśrama-ādayaḥ — places of shelter like Citrakūṭa; sarve — all (such places); kulācalāḥ — hilly tracts of land; rājan — O King; mahendra — known as Mahendra; malaya-ādayaḥ — and others, like Malayācala; ete — all of them; puṇya-tamāḥ — extremely sacred; deśāḥ — places; hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; arca-āśritāḥ — places where the Deity of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is worshiped (such as big American cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and European cities like London and Paris, or wherever there are centers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness); ca — as well as; ye — those which; etān deśān — all these countries; niṣeveta — should worship or visit; śreyaḥ-kāmaḥ — one who desires auspiciousness; hi — indeed; abhīkṣṇaśaḥ — again and again; dharmaḥ — religious activities; hi — from which; atra — in these places; īhitaḥ — performed; puḿsām — of the persons; sahasra-adhi — more than a thousand times; phala-udayaḥ — effective.
The sacred lakes like Puṣkara and places where saintly persons live, like Kurukṣetra, Gayā, Prayāga, Pulahāśrama, Naimiṣāraṇya, the banks of the Phālgu River, Setubandha, Prabhāsa, Dvārakā, Vārāṇasī, Mathurā, Pampā, Bindu-sarovara, Badarikāśrama [Nārāyaṇāśrama], the places where the Nandā River flows, the places where Lord Rāmacandra and mother Sītā took shelter, such as Citrakūṭa, and also the hilly tracts of land known as Mahendra and Malaya — all of these are to be considered most pious and sacred. Similarly, places outside India where there are centers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and where Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deities are worshiped must all be visited and worshiped by those who want to be spiritually advanced. One who intends to advance in spiritual life may visit all these places and perform ritualistic ceremonies to get results a thousand times better than the results of the same activities performed in any other place.
In these verses and in verse twenty-nine, stress is given to one point: harer arcāśritāś ca ye or harer arcā. In other words, any place where the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshiped by devotees is most significant. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is giving the population of the entire world a chance to take advantage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness through the ISKCON centers, where one may perform Deity worship and chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and in this way obtain results with effectiveness increased a thousand times. This constitutes the best welfare activity for human society. This was Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission as it was predicted by Him in the Caitanya-bhāgavata (Antya 4.126):
pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, with installed Deities, to spread to every village and town in the world, so that everyone in the world might take advantage of this movement and become all-auspicious in spiritual life. Without spiritual life, nothing is auspicious. Moghāśā mogha-karmāṇo mogha jñānā vicetasaḥ (Bg. 9.12). No one can become successful in fruitive activities or speculative knowledge without being Kṛṣṇa conscious. As recommended in the śāstras, everyone should be very eagerly interested in taking part in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and understanding the value of spiritual life.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness