na yatra vaikuntha-katha-sudhapaga
na sadhavo bhagavatas tadasrayah
na yatra yajñesa-makha mahotsavah
suresa-loko ’pi na vai sa sevyatam
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
An intelligent person does not take interest in a place, even in the topmost planetary system, if the pure Ganges of topics concerning the Supreme Lord’s activities does not flow there, if there are not devotees engaged in service on the banks of such a river of piety, or if there are no festivals of sankirtana-yajña to satisfy the Lord [especially since sankirtana-yajña is recommended in this age].
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the land of Bharata-varsa, specifically in Bengal, in the district of Nadia, where Navadvipa is situated. It is therefore to be concluded, as stated by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, that within this universe, this earth is the best planet, and on this planet the land of Bharata-varsa is the best; in the land of Bharata-varsa, Bengal is still better, in Bengal the district of Nadia is still better, and in Nadia the best place is Navadvipa because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared there to inaugurate the performance of the sacrifice of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. The sastras recommend:
yajanti hi sumedhasah
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always accompanied by His very confidential associates such as Sri Nityananda, Sri Gadadhara and Sri Advaita and by many devotees like Srivasa. They are always engaged in chanting the name of the Lord and are always describing Lord Krsna. Therefore this is the best among all the places in the universe. The Krsna consciousness movement has established its center in Mayapur, the birthsite of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to give men the great opportunity to go there and perform a constant festival of sankirtana-yajña, as recommended herein (yajñesa-makha mahotsavah) and to distribute prasada to millions of hungry people hankering for spiritual emancipation. This is the mission of the Krsna consciousness movement. Caitanya-bhagavata confirms this as follows: “One should not desire to be elevated even to a place in the heavenly planetary systems if it has no propaganda to expand the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, no trace of Vaisnavas, pure devotees of the Lord, and no festivals for spreading Krsna consciousness. It would be better to live perpetually cramped within the airtight bag of a mother’s womb, where one can at least remember the lotus feet of the Lord, than to live in a place where there is no opportunity to remember His lotus feet. I pray not to be allowed to take birth in such a condemned place.”
Similarly, in Caitanya-caritamrta, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami says that since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the inaugurator of the sankirtana movement, anyone who performs sankirtana to please the Lord is very, very glorious. Such a person has perfect intelligence, whereas others are in the ignorance of material existence. Of all the sacrifices mentioned in the Vedic literatures, the performance of sankirtana-yajña is the best. Even the performance of one hundred asvamedha sacrifices cannot compare to the sacrifice of sankirtana. According to the author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, if one compares sankirtana-yajña to other yajñas, he is a pasandi, an infidel, and is liable to be punished by Yamaraja. There are many Mayavadis who think that the performance of sankirtana-yajña is a pious activity similar to the performance of the asvamedha-yajña and other such pious functions, but this is a nama-aparadha. Chanting of the holy name of Narayana and chanting of other names are never equal, despite what Mayavadis think.