Lakshman (das) Vrindavan (IN): Please see the link for Parikrama photos???
First day Parikrama …..
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Second day Parikrama …..
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Third day Parikrama …..
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This year Vraj Mandal Prakrama started on 12th of Oct 2011. All together nearly 2000 devotees are doing this year’s silver jubilee Parikrama. This is new record as per number of participants this year and it is double then last year. More than 500 hundred devotees from Mayapur Namhatta and Sankirtan, 100 devotees from Bangladesh, 600 devotees from different countries outside India, 1300 devotees from different Part of India. Out of 2000 devotees, 500 are Brahmacharis.
HH Loknatha Swami Maharaja Chairman of the Parikrama.
This year Parikrama management published Bengali, English, Hindi and Russia Parikrama guide book.
HH Radha Raman Swami coordinator and active leader for the last 25th years of Parikrama (personally doing) having lot of experience and deep devotional thought sharing Krishna Katha with the participate. HH Ram Govind Swami and HH Bhakti Narsimha Swami are also coming along with Parikrama. Also HG Jananivash and Pankajanghri Prabhus from ISKCON Mayapur doing full time Vraj Mandal Parikrama is special attraction. H. G. Krishna Kirtan Prabhu with his team of 15 members are also part of this year’s parikrama.
HH Subhaga Swami Maharaja came to Vrindavan for observing Kartik Festivals, also regularly coming to Parikrama and giving his Holy association, giving special Bengali, English and Hindi classes for all devotees.
Prasadam cooked by Mayapur devotees headed by HG Radhaduti Prabhu is wonderful, everyone is fully satisfied.
Today (12th of Oct-2011) Just after Mangala Aratik (around 5:00am ) of Sri Sri Radha-Shyamsundar, Krishna-Balarama and Gaur-Nitai, devotees gathered in front of Srila Prabhupada Samadhi Mandir, then Parikrama started with melodious Kirtan. Around 8:30am Parikrama returned to Krishna Balaram Mandir and devotees took prasadam and participated in ‘ista-gosti’. Then they took rest and prepared for next day Yatra.
A brief description of the LILA STHALIS on the PARIKRAMA of Vrindavan :
(First day of Parikrama)
Vrindavan 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.
(Second day of Parikrama)
Vrindavan to Mathura :
KRISHNA-BALARAM MANDIR: This temple is located at Ramanreti in Vrindavan. His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder Acarya of ISKCON, established it in 1975. The holy Deities installed in the three sanctum sanctorum of the temple are Gaur-Nitai, Krishna-Balaram and Radha-Shyamsunder. There is a tamala tree inside the temple courtyard. This is the most important among the world famous ISKCON group of Temples. In the complex, a guest house and a school also exist.
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.
MATHURA: 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.
(Third day of Parikrama)
Mathura Parikrama :
VISHRAM GHAT: This most famous ghat is located on the west bank of River Yamuna near the Dwarakadhisha Mandir.
After killing Kamsa, Krishna and Balaram arrived here and took rest. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also took bath here.
YAMUNA-YAMARAJ MANDIR: This is a small temple at Vishram Ghat. The old deities of Yamuna Devi and her brother Yamaraj are said to have been installed by Vajranabha, the great grandson of Krishna.
DWARAKADHISHA MANDIR: This is a very famous temple located close to Vishram Ghat on the banks of Yamuna.
SVETA VARAHA MANDIR: This is an old temple located behind the Dwarakadhisha temple.
PIPPALESHWAR MANDIR: Close to the south of Vishram Ghat is the small temple of Pippaleshwar Mahadev. Four main Shiva-lingas protect Mathura from the four sides and this linga is the protector of Mathura’s eastern quarter. It is said that the sage Pippalada was saved by Lord Siva and therefore this Siva-linga got the name Pippaleshwara (Lord of Pippalada).
BENGALI GHAT: This is located on the south of Vishram Ghat.
DHRUVA GHAT: On the south of Bengali Ghat is this ghat. With the mercy of Narada Muni, Dhruva Maharaja was instructed at his tender age of five to go to the forest of Madhuvan and perform austerities. During his stay in Madhuvan, he came to take bath here in Yamuna.
SAPTA RISHIS MANDIR: On the south of Dhruva Ghat is the temple of the Sapta Rshis. The seven great sages performed austerities here and their deities are worshipped in the temple.
KUBJA MANDIR (KUPA): This is the house of Kubja, where Krishna came to fulfill His promise to visit her and accept her offerings. There is a sacred well also here.
RANGESHWAR MAHADEVA MANDIR: On the west of Kubja Mandir is located the Rangeswar Mahadeva Mandir. Kamsa worshipped this Shiva-linga before the wrestling match. Rangeswar is the Southern protector of Mathura. This is the famous temple of Lord Shiva in Mathura.
RANG BHUMI / KAMSA TILA: This is located very close to the west of Rangeswar Mahadeva. Here is where Lord Krishna and Balaram destroyed Canura and Mustika and killed Kamsa.
KESHAVA GAUDIYA MATH: Near to Kamsa Tila on the south lies this temple. In this Math, Srila Prabhupada took sannyasa from Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Maharaj. On the altar of the temple is a Deity of Lord Chaitanya, which was personally donated by Srila Prabhupada. This is a very important place to propagate Krishna-bhakti.
BHUTESHWAR MAHADEV: This temple is 0.5 km south of Sri Krishna Janmasthan. This is one of the famous Shiva-lingas established by Vajranabha.
SRI KRISNA JANMA BHUMI: This is the birth place of Lord Sri Krishna. Here, the Lord appeared in the prison house of Kamsa as the son of Devaki and Vasudev at midnight.
KESHAVADEVA MANDIR: This temple is at Janmasthan. This is where Vajranabha, Krishna’s great-grandson, built the first temple (during his reign as the king of Mathura). Here, Kesavadev was the presiding Deity and in the new temple, an amazingly beautiful Deity of Lord Krishna is installed.
BHAGAVATA BHAVAN: This is a magnanimous temple extensively built. On its wall and ceilings are wonderful paintings and carvings depicting the attractive lilas (pastimes) of Lord Krishna. The main temple at Janmasthan is also famous as the Bhagavata Bhavan.
“In the spiritual world of Vrindavan, the buildings are made of touchstone, the cows are known as surabhi, givers of abundant milk, and the trees are wish-fulfilling, for they yield whatever one desires. In Vrindavan, Krishna herds the surabhi cows, and He is worshipped by hundreds of thousands of gopis, cowherd girls who are all goddesses of fortune. When Krishna descends to the material world, this same Vrindavan descends just as an entourage accompanies an important person. Vrindavan, however, is not considered to exist in the material world. Therefore, devotees take shelter of Vrindavan in Bharat-varsa (India), for it is considered as a manifestation of the original Goloka Vrindavan.”