By Deena Bandhu dasa
February marks the Fourth Anniversary of the opening of the Vrinda Kunda Temple in Nandagram. To celebrate we will be having a special program of parikramas to the Holy Places of Radha and Krishna’s divine pastimes from Feb 5 – 15. The main event will be what has become an unforgettable experience for all who have participated, the Kalash Yatra. On Sunday Feb. 11, we will have a Sankirtan Procession around Nandagram with all the ladies carrying waterpots with coconuts on top out to Vrinda Kunda.
Vrinda Kunda has fast become a favorite place of pilgrimage for all devotees, situated off in the quiet fields near Nandagram, the place where Krishna and Balaram lived with Nanda Baba and Yashoda Maiya. Everyone is always impressed with the beauty of the carved sandstone temple, the exquisite deity of Vrinda Devi, and the wonderful trees and flowers growing there. Especially notable is the peaceful hassle-free atmosphere. Many devotees have told us that they only visit Vrinda Kunda when they come to Nandagram to avoid being harrassed by the agressive pandas in the temple. Many devotees have been very pleasantly surprised by the warm hospitality of our Pujari, Bhagway Prasad and his wife, often enjoying a delicious lunch at Vrinda Kunda, with practically no advance notice.
Almost every day from Krishna Balaram Mandir, we will lead parikramas to different pastime places of Vraja. There will be lively narrations of the different pastimes that happened in each place. Then we will return in time for prasadam at 2pm in the temple. And on all bus parikramas, Sannyasis and Prabhupada Disciples and their families will go free of charge.
Then on Sunday Feb. 11, we will go to Pavan Sarovara where we will be joined by many Brijbasi ladies for the ecstatic Kalash Yatra. The ladies will take water from Pavana Sarovara in waterpots with colored cloth and coconuts placed on top. The Brijbasi women will train our visting devotee women how to do this. Of course, we cheat a little, we don’t fill the pots full till we get to Vrinda Kunda. Then with all the ladies in the front we will have a Sankirtan Procession around Nandagram, up to the temple to take darshan and rest a minute. Then we will continue out to Vrinda Kunda. Everyone who has taken part in this festival has really enjoyed it like anything. My wonderful godsister, Kaulini, told me this experience changed her whole life!
After arriving at Vrinda Kunda, there will be Krishna Katha, butter churning festival, artika and then feast for one and all. Then everyone can help feed all the Nandagram Brijbasis. That day all transportation and prasad will be free for all who come.
Please come and take advantage of the wondeful spring weather at this time of year, better than Kartika. This is also a wonderful opportunity for those who are visiting Kumbha Mela before going to Mayapur Festival which starts on Feb.
16. Also those going to the Tirupati opening on the 31st January can come here for this festival before going on to Mayapur. And of course we see every year there are a lot of devotees who like to visit Vrindavan first on there way to Mayapur Festival, so this is very convenient for them also.
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So make your plans now and come relish the association of Vaisnavas in the Holy Dhama!
In service of Srimati Vrinda Devi, Deena Bandhu dasa