By Lakshman (das) Vrindavan (IN)
For Photos Please see the link…….. http://www.flickr.com/photos/48332942@N05/
This year Vraja Prakrama started on 23rd of Oct 2010. All together 900 devotees are doing Parikrama. Nearly 400 hundred devotees from Mayapur Namhatta and Sankirtan, 100 devotees from Bangladesh, 150 devotees from different countries outside India, 250 devotees from different Part of India. Out of Nine hundreds devotees 400 is Brhmacaris.
HH Loknatha Swami Maharaja Chairman of the Parikrama, coming regularly and giving class, leading Kirtan and rejuvenating Krishna Consciousness every time and every participate getting tremendous spiritual pleasure.
This year Parikrama management published Bengali, English, Hindi and Rusia Parikrama guide, management improved a lot within last 23 years of experience.
(Next year is the Silver jubilee of Braja Mandal Parikrama )
HH Radha Raman Swami co-ordinator and active leader for the last 24th years of Parikrama (personally doing) having lot of experience and deep devotional thought sharing Krishna Katha with the participate.
Also HG Jananivash and Pankajanghri Prabhus from ISKCON Mayapur doing full time Brajamandal Parikrama is special attraction.
HH Subhaga Swami Maharaja just completed is world preaching tour and directly came to Vrindavan for observing Kartik Festivals, also regularly coming to Parikrama and giving his Holy association, giving special Bengali Calss for Bengali devotees.
Prasadam cooked by Mayapur devotees headed by HG Radhaduti Prabhu is wonderful, everyone is fully satisfied.
Today (23rd of Oct-2010) Just after Mangala Aratik (around 5:00am ) of Sri Sri Radha-Shyamsundar, Krishna-Balarama and Gaur-Nitai, devotees gathered infront of Srila Prabhupada Samadhi Mandir, then Parikrama started with melodious Kirtan. Around 9:00am Parikrama returned to Krishna Balaram Mandir and devotees took rest and prepared for next day Yatra.
A brief description of the LILA STHALIS on the PARIKRAMA of Vrindavan :
(First day of Parikrama)
The transcendental land of Vrindavan is always spiritual. This is the most famous and biggest among the twelve forests here. Sridham Vrindavan is the land of the gopis of Vraj. The gopis are the beloved lovers of Krishna and He alone is the Lord for them. The trees of this land are kalpavriksas
(wish-fulfilling) and they can fulfill all one’s desires. The land here is made of cintamani (touchstone) and the water is amrita (ambrosia). In Sridham, speech has the melody of song and walk is graceful as dance, and Lord’s constant companion is flute. Surabhi cows flood the land with their nectarine milk. Everything is self effulgent here. Every moment spent in Vraj is in love of Krishna.
The village located on the south-west bank of Yamuna next to Keshi Ghat is famous as Vrindavan. Currently, there are over 5000 temples here. Even from remote ancient days, Vaisnava devotees arrived in groups and performed prikrama in Vridavan. The distance covered through the Paikrama Marg is approximately eleven kilometers. Parikrama can be started from anywhere in the Parikrama Marg. However, from where the parikrama begins, there it should end as well. Before beginning the parikrama, perform dandavat
(prostrate lying flat on ground in supplication) for the ancient Vrindavan and after returning, perform dandavat again for the new Vrindavan. While performing parikrama, chant the holy names of Lord Krishna and remember His absorbing pastimes.
The following are some holy places in the Parikrama Marg:
KRISHA-BALARAM VRIKSA: At Ramanreti in Vrindavan, a Yamaj tree stands on the Parikrama Marg and it is called Krishna-Balaram-vriksa. Its root is one, but trunks are two. One trunk is white and another is dark.
VARAHA GHAT: The Varaha Ghat is 0.5 km ahead from Krishna-Balaram Vriksa. At this place, Lord Sri Krshna showed His form of Varaha to His friends, the Gopas. Previously, River Yamuna flowed through this ghat. In the Gautama’s ashram located here, the deity of Varaha Deva is worshipped.
MADAN TER: Ahead of Varaha Ghat on the right side of the Parikrama Marg is the place of Madan Ter. Once Krishna was playing with the Gopis when Madan
(Cupid, the personified deity of lust) came to Vrindavan and tried to attract Lord Krishna and influence Him with lusty desires. Nevertheless, seeing the most attractive, distinguished, and beautiful transcendental form of Krishna, he himself was attracted to Krishna and fainted. This pastime of Lord Krishna happened at Madan Ter and therefore Krishna is known as Madan Mohan, one who attracts even the Cupid.
KALIYA GHAT: Approximately 1 km ahead of Madan Ter is Kaliya Ghat located on the right of Parikrama Marg. This is also called Kaliya-Hrada. This is a bathing ghat on the bank of River Yamuna, but now Yamuna has gone away from here. Kaliya serpent was living here in Yamuna. Krishna playfully subdued Kaliya by dancing upon his heads. A very old Kadamba tree stands here. The Kadamba tree is believed to be the same from which Krishna jumped off to chastise Kaliya. This Kadamba tree is at least five thousand years old and it witnessed the glorious pastimes of Krishna.
MADAN MOHAN MANDIR: Moving ahead a little bit from Kaliya Ghat through the Parikrama Marg, we reach the Madan Mohan Mandir located on the right side of the Parikrama Marg in Aditya Tile on the bank of Yamuna. Established by Sanatana Goswami, it is one of the six temples built in Vrindavan by the Goswamis, the followers of Lord Chaitanya. The original Madan Mohan Deity was discovered by Advaita Acarya and he later entrusted it to his disciple, Purusottama Chaube, who later gave it to Sanatana Goswami, who installed it in this Temple. The original Deities were moved from Vrindavan to Jaipur and it is established at Karoli in Rajasthan.
SANATANA GOSWAMI’S SAMADHI: Sanatana Goswami’s samadhi is behind the courtyard of the Madan Mohan Mandir. Behind the samadhi is the Granth Samadhi, which contains some of the original manuscripts of the Goswamis.
IMLITALA: Near the Cir Ghat on the bank of Yamuna is Imlitala, where stands an old imli vriksh (tamarind tree). About 500 years ago, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu performed japa and took darshan of Yamuna sitting below the tree. SHRINGAR VAT: Close to Imlitala is the place known as Shringar Ghat.
CIR GHAT: On the bank of Yamuna lies one of the most important among the holy bathing places known as Cir Ghat. Here, Lord Krishna stole the garments of the Gopis.
KESHI GHAT: Ahead of Cir Ghat on the east is Keshi Ghat. It is the most important bathing ghat of Vrindavan in Yamuna. Here, Lord Krishna killed the demon Keshi appeared as a gigantic horse.
DHIR SAMIR: Ahead on the east of Keshi Ghat lies Dhir Samir, where Krishna played his divine flute climbing on the vamshivata (banyan tree). Influenced by listening the sweet music of His flute, Yamuna stood still, wind did not blow, and birds stopped chirping.
JAGANNATH MANDIR: In the Parikrama Marg, on the east of Dhir Samir, there is an old jagannath Mandir.
CAITANYA KUTI: Close to Pani Ghat lies Caitanya Ghat, a famous holy place for the followers of Gaudiya Vaisnavas. With great honour, the devotees are served here. The Vaisnavites here enthusiastically engage in bhajan always.
SHYAMA KUTI: This is a famous small temple.
CATANYA VAT: In the Parikrama Marg, there is an old vata-vriksa (banyan tree). Caitanya Mahaprabhu rested at the shade of this tree and therefore this place is also called Caitanya Baithak.
GAURE DAUJI: Located 0.5 km east of Atalla Cungi on the Parikrama Marg is the Dauji Temple, where a beautiful Deity of Dauji (Lord Balaram) is installed. In this temple, our ISKCON devotees are offered prasadam and resting facilities. Here, saints and devotees are welcomed and treated well. Together with the temple is a big goshala as well.
ATALLA CUNGI: The conjoining place of Vrindavan Parikrama Marg and Vrindavan-Mathura Marg is called Atalla Cungi and it is located on the southern end of Vrindavan.
RADHESHYAM KUP: Along the Parikrama Marg at Ramanreti, there is an old well and it is known as Radheshyam Kup.
Wonderful Krishna Katha, Krishna Kirtan, Krishna Prasadam, Association of Krishna Bhaktas, Darshan of the different pastimes places of Krishna are just like living in the spiritual world.
I will update regularly and wait for your kind response.
For photos Please see the link……….
Today 24th Oct, After Tulasi Aratik at 6:00am Prikrama Started from Srila Prabhupada Samadhi Mandir with Melodious Kirtan just like yesterday. In the front devotees were caring Parikrama Banar, Then Tulasi Maharani, Sri Sri Gaur Nitai’s Sri Vigrah and Srila Prabhupada Vigrah.
After that, one Kirtan team by Mayapur devotees leading Kirtan and 2nd Kirtan Team was leading Kirtan at the Back.
Around 7:30 Parikrama reached at BHATARON, class for international devotees held here by Jananivash Prabhu and other devotees came down to Akrura Ghat and HH Prabhodananda Swaraswati Maharaja gave nice Hindi class, described the Lilas of Akrura’s Bhagavad Darshan , HH Radha Raman Swami described the pastimes of how Yajna Patni’s approached Krishna Balaram. Maharaj told, today our meditation should be Krishna standing taking support from His left hand to one Sakha and with right hand moving a lotus flower.
After class everyone relishes delicious breakfast Prasadam, at around
11:00am Parikrama reached in Mathura. At 2:00pm to 4:00pm, HG Vaishnava Prabhu delivered wonderful Krishna Katha and around 5:00pm with kirtan all the devotees went to Janmasthan (birth place of Krishna) Mandir Darshan.
A brief description of the LILA STHALIS on the way from Vrindavan to Mathura:
BHATARON (YAJNA PATNI STHAL): This holy place is located 1 km south of the Gaure Dauji Mandir. The beautiful temple here is built on a hill side.
While herding the cows, Krishna along with His cowherd friends came here once. They were very hungry and tired, and told their sorry state to Krishna. Krishna told His friends to go and beg for some food from the brahmanas performing a sacrifice nearby. The cowherd boys went there and begged for food, but the brahmanas refused to oblige. The cowherd boys returned disappointed to Krishna. Krishna asked the boys to go again and beg food from the wives of the brahmanas. Krishna’s friends went to the brahmanas’ wives and as soon as they heard the request of Krishna, the wives of the brahmanas filled many pots with variety of delicious food and rushed here to feed Krishna and his friends. This is the place, where the brahmanas’ wives fed the Lord.
AKRURA GHAT: On the bank of Yamuna, 1 km east of the Vrindavan-Mathura Road between Vrindavan and Mathura, the Akrura Ghat is located. A small temple remains here in which the Deities of Krishna, Balaram and Akrura are established. River Yamuna was flowing close to the first temple, but now re-coursed her route a bit far.
Akrura came to Nandgram to bring Krishna and Balaram to Mathura. On his way back to Mathura along with Krishna and Balaram, Akrura stopped here on the bank of Yamuna. Akrura entered in the water of Yamuna to bathe while Krishna and Balaram were seated on the chariot. As Akrura took a dip, he saw Srikrishna in the form of Mahavishnu and Balaram as Ananta Shesa in water.
When Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu arrived at Vrindavan, He spent His nights here in the Akrura Ghat.
GITA MANDIR BIRLA MANDIR: While entering from the north of Mathura, the Birla Mandir can be seen. A beautiful Deity of Lord Sri Krishna is established in the temple and it is built by the Birla family.
aho madhupuri dhanya vaikunthash-ca gariyasi
dinam-ekam nivasena harau bhaktih prajayate
“The glory of Mathura is superior to Vaikuntha, where even if a person lives for a day, he will develop bhakti (devotion) to Lord Hari.”
The Lord is always present as Hari in Mathura: The city of Mathura is the centre of Vraj and it is located on the Delhi-Agra national highway approximately 145 km south-east of Delhi and 55 km north-west of Agra on the western bank of River Yamuna. The city is established by Shatrughna, the younger brother of Lord Ramacandra. For long, the city remained as the capital of the Yadus and it is where Lord Krishna took birth. Mathura, located 10 km east of Vrindavan, is the birth place of Lord Krishna.