The reason why this island is called Simantadvipa has been described in scripture as follows. Once upon a time during Satya-yuga, Lord Siva started to dance chanting the holy name of Lord Gauranga. Goddess Parvati asked Mahadeva, “What is this name, Gauranga, that you are chanting and which is causing you to dance? My heart is melting to see your wonderful dance and to hear your chanting of the name of Gauranga. Until now all the mantras and tantras I have heard simply give troubles and problems to the living entities. Kindly tell me about Gauranga. I will make my life successful by worshiping Gauranga.” Hearing these words from Parvati, Mahadeva spoke while meditating upon Lord Gauranga, “You are a plenary portion of Radha who is the origin of all potency (adi-sakti). Now I will tell you a secret truth. During this Kali-yuga Lord Sri Krishna, accepting the mood of Radharani, will take birth as Gauranga in Mayapur from the womb of Saci-devi. Lord Gauranga will be mad from chanting the holy name of the Lord, nama-sankirtana. He will distribute the wealth of prema to everyone without considering who is qualified and who is not. If a person does not come to float in the flood of this holy name but spends his life in great luxury, he is most unfortunate. I am floating in an ocean of love, remembering the promise of my Lord. I could not control my mind and have left my place called Kasi-dhama (Varanasi). I have decided to stay near the border of Mayapur on the bank of the Ganga. There I will stay in a cottage while engaging in gauranga bhajana.”
tvam hi devi sanatani
dadrashtha sundaram rupam
“O Devi! You had darsana of the beautiful form of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu in Simantadvipa.” (Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Pramana-khanda 4.33)
After hearing this from Mahadeva, Parvati immediately came to Simantadvipa. She started to chant the holy name of Gaura with great love, meditating on Sri Gauranga. After a few days, Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu mercifully appeared in front of Parvati devi along with all His associates. His body was tall and the color of molten gold. His head was covered with gently curling locks of hair and His limbs were very attractive. He wore a dhoti folded thrice and a beautiful flower garland was draped around His neck. Due to great ecstasy Gaura Raya started to speak with a chocked voice, “My dear Parvati! Please tell Me why you have come here?” Parvati fell at the feet of the Lord of the universe and informed Him about her pitiful situation. She said, “O Lord Jagannatha! Life of the whole universe! You are merciful to everyone except me. You have engaged me to keep all living entities who are averse to You in the bondage of material existence. I am engaged in that service and deprived of Your unlimited prema. People say, wherever there is Krishna, maya cannot stay. As a result I am always distant from You. O my Lord, how can I see Your pastimes? Unless You show me the path, I am hopeless.”
Saying this, Parvati-devi took the dust from the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga and very eagerly placed it on her head in the simanta (the middle portion of the hair just above the forehead of ladies is known as sinthi or simanta).
Therefore this island is called Sri Simantadvipa, although some people out of ignorance call this place Simuliya. Being very pleased with Parvati-devi Lord Gauranga said, “Dear Parvati! Please listen carefully. You are not different from Me. You are My energy. One energy serves Me accepting two forms. As My svarupa-sakti you are known as Radhika. Radha has expanded in you as My external energy. Without you My pastimes will not be perfect. You are definitely working as yoga-maya in My pastimes. In Vraja-dhama you reside eternally as Paurnamasi. In Navadvipa you remain as Praudha Maya along with Kshetrapala Mahadeva.” Saying this Lord Gauranga disappeared. Parvati was filled with ecstatic love. She stayed in Simantadvipa as Simantini in one form and as Praudha Maya-devi in Mayapur in another, for the pleasure of Lord Gauranga. The following is a description of Simantadvipa in Bhakti-ratnakara. One day in Kailasa Lord Mahesvara was feeling impatient within his heart while chanting the nectarean names of the Lord’s devotees. He was loudly calling the names of the different devotees of the Lord’s various incarnations who would appear in Navadvipa. Lord Siva was chanting the glories of the devotees with his five mouths. His whole body was in ecstasy and he was experiencing bliss within his heart. He was dancing very wonderfully, naked and ecstatic, causing the entire Kailasa mountain to shake. He was playing his musical instruments, the sound of which was resounding through the whole universe, and roaring loudly like a madman. Upon seeing Lord Sankara in this situation, goddess Parvati became very perturbed as she could not understand what was happening. After some time Trilocana-deva (Siva) became calm and quiet. From his eyes tears of bliss were flowing which he could not stop. He looked like a silver mountain sitting on a skin mat. He was praising the good fortune of the age of Kali. What a wonderful person Lord Mahesvara is! He was smiling and looking around, happy within his heart to see Parvati’s attempt to understand the situation. He made her sit by his side and she asked, “Oh, my Lord! I have never seen the mercy you have shown today. I have never heard these names you have just pronounced from your lotus mouth before. You are praising the good fortune of Kali-yuga again and again. From this I can understand that all these great personalities will appear in Kali-yuga.” By hearing the words of Parvati-devi with great satisfaction, Lord Mahadeva told her, “In this Kaliyuga Sri Krishna will appear in Nadia as the son of Saci-devi. He will accept the bodily splendor of Srimati Radharani. No one can make any comparison to that form. The whole world will become mad just by seeing His form once. By the beauty of His body, the pride of Kandarpa (Cupid) will be smashed. He will manifest many wonderful pastimes in Navadvipa. He will relish the rarest vraja-prema with all the devotees of all His incarnations. He will manifest an ocean of bliss in the sankirtana movement. By His own good qualities He will deliver the whole universe. During the time of this incarnation no one will remain distressed. Whatever desires anyone has will be fulfilled.
Whatever offenses anyone has committed previously, the Lord will excuse, and thus please everyone. He will reveal the glories of the devotees elaborately. I must tell you there is no one who is more merciful than Him.”
Who can describe with his one mouth what Parvati felt in her heart by hearing this? Then Parvati-devi came to this place in Navadvipa to worship Lord Sri Gaurasundara. Lord Gaurasundara was very pleased to know that Parvati-devi was worshiping Him. He appeared in front of Parvati-devi, His bodily luster overwhelming the whole universe. His face was effulgent like millions of moons. Who can remain patient to see the two long eyes of the Lord? His dazzling cheeks defeated the pride of a mirror. His long arms extended down to His knees and His chest was broad and strong. His body was decorated with many varieties of jewellery and ornaments. His clothes defeated the pride of Madana or Cupid and the way He walked was full of happiness. When Parvati-devi saw the Lord, she could not control herself any longer as tears of bliss flowed from her eyes. Seeing Parvati in this condition Lord Visvambhara came close to her with great happiness in His heart and spoke sweet words, “By your worship I could not control My heart. I promise that whatever desire you express to Me, I will definitely grant you.” Hearing this from the Lord, Parvati was extremely happy. Her whole body was in incomparable ecstasy. She spoke to Prabhu Visvambhara with folded hands, saying, “You will make this Kaliyuga most fortunate by manifesting Your pastimes. You will remove the threefold miseries of the whole universe very easily. You will increase the happiness of all the living entities. You are antaryami, incognito, and You know everything. You know very well how my heart always feels distress. I have committed many offenses against Your devotees. I cursed Citraketu and therefore he became the demon Vritrasura. I cannot describe the good qualities of Your devotees. I committed an offense against him but still Your devotee Citraketu was glorifying me and praying to me. Please bless me so that all of those with whom You will have different pastimes in Nadia will be pleased with me. Oh, my Lord! I cannot fully express my heart’s desire to always see Your pastimes in Nadia.”
The Lord replied, “All your desires will be fulfilled. None of My activities are performed without you.” The Lord was about to disappear when Parvatidevi fell at His lotus feet and offered her obeisance. She then put the dust of the lotus feet of the Lord upon her “simanta”. Parvati-devi became very worried, seeing that the Lord had disappeared, and wondered when He would manifest His pastimes. Therefore this island is known as Simantadvipa. Isana Thakura said: “Whoever sees this Simantadvipa once will have achieved success in his life. He will very easily become free from the fear of material existence. People still worship Parvatidevi here and by her mercy they do not feel any suffering or experience any problems. In this Simuliya village Lord Gauranga had many pastimes with His unlimited numbers of associates. How can I explain with my one mouth the happiness manifested here during the time of the nagara-sankirtana?”