SELF WITH MY WIFE IN MATHURA
LIFE OF BAL GOPAL IN BRAJBHOOMI
Mathura is a sacred place
Where the most sacred celestial ones
Shri Radha Rani and Lord Krishna
Took birth and showcased their Leela
To the gentry at large
As a Bal Gopal
Part of period he remained in Mathura
Performing his fascinating pastimes
Of early childhood prattle
And in adolescence
Along with his elder brother Balrama
Along with his toli
When his Bal Leela started
His pastime started when he was only three years infant
He was taken to a festival
While his mother was busy cooking food
He infant child rose from the slumber
On hearing the rhythmic sound of music
Playfully he kicked the wheel of a huge card
Out of its moorings
With a thud it fell
All got startled
And started wandering
How come this could happen
A three years old infant
Could hit the cart !!
One such most prominent Bal Leela
Was performed by the Bal Gopal
Into the Yamuna river
Whose water was poisoned by the Kalia Naag
To scare away the inhabitants of Nandgaon
Perforce, Bal Gopal had to jump
To bring a hand-made ball by Shri Radha
He searched for the ball at the bottom of river Yamuna
And found it in possession of Kalia Naag
Who was reluctant to give him that Ball
Instead Kalia Naag wanted to kill the Bal Gopal
Bal Gopal showcased his Celestial (Deeviata) Powers
To overpower the poisonous and ferocious Naag
Over-powered the Naag
Kalia Naag realized his grievous mistake
Thereafter, Bal Gopal performed His Celestial Nirtak – dance
On the multi-headed Kalia Naag
He did not kill Kalia Naag
Since Kalia Naag was suffering the pangs
Of his earlier birth when he showed his anger
Without any reason
And earned the curse of a Rishi
That he will take birth as an angry Naag
Bal Gopal carried out deliverance from the Rishi’s curse.
Then he showcased his celestial prowess
He developed a strange habit
Of putting mud in his mouth
The Gops and Gopis complained
To Yashodha about this
She took out a stick
And demanded to show her
He opened his mouth
Lo and behold
She was aghast
Could hardly believe what she saw
To see the entire universe
Along with Gokula
With her own image in it
Along with others around!!
Thence, at the age of six
He developed a fondness of eating butter
and started stealing butter
After entering the homes of his Gopas and Gopis
Then he along with his Gopas
Broke the earthen pots of the Gopis
Complaints to Yashodha were many times over
Fed up by his pranks
She fastened him with a rope
With wooden mortar
Maa Yashodha thought
That the Bala can hardly
Break free from the tight knot
And the mortar
But finding nobody near to him
He pushed the mortar along
Entangled it with twin trees
From where two persons appeared
Named Nalakuvara and Maniguva
Thus the two got deliverance
From the slur
Which they had received
From a Rishi.
Thence there were so many events
Which showed he was not an ordinary being
But a celestial one
Who could take high and mighty demons
With his Celestial prowess
Such as Putana, Trinavasta, Aghasura
And mighty Bakasura
Amongst other demons
Which were annihilated
While he was merely
A child or an adolescent!!
After killing King Kamsa
A vicious one
He felt very sad
Since he was his own Mama
His mother’s elder brother?
But he was very cruel
Who even had imprisoned
His own father
In order to get throne!!
Krishna remained only for eleven years in Mathura
And showcased his prowess
Who annihilated demons
The most ferocious ones.
Thence he spent rest of his life
Of around 120 years as a Dwarka ruler
He also assisted the best Dhanushdhari
Arjuna in assuaging his doubts
To fight with his own kiths and kins
In the battle between Kaurvas and Pandavas
Which was compiled as Bhagwad Gita
As dictated by Sage Ved Vyasa
And penned down by Lord Ganesha
Without any interruption.
LIFE OF LORD KRISHNA IN BRAJ BHOOMI
Mathura is a vivacious town, lively and awe-inspiring town which attracts pilgrimages not merely from India but from other parts of the world. Such is the attraction of this pious place that people would like to visit this place many times over. This place is also known as Braj Bhoomi’.
It is around 130 Kms from Delhi and about 60 Kms from Agra with air, rail and road connectivity. It is famous for temples in Mathura such as temple of birth place (Janamboomi) of Lord Krishna, Dwarkadish Temple, Radha Kund, Krishna Kund, Vishram Ghar, Rangji Temple besides the most prominent one Banke Bihari temple. Banke Bihari temple attracts a lot of devotees both in the morning and evening time slots. Temples in Vrindavan, Goverdhan, Mansi Ganga, Krishna and Radha Kunds and Gokul too are visited by the devotees with great zeal and enthusiasm. Visiting all these places fills the devout with fervor, unlimited zeal and devotion along with filling the devotees with eternal love of RADHA–KRISHNA in order to engender a feeling of KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS.
A few days back, I was fortunate, with the grace of KANAHA JI to visit some of the sacred places of repute and found all the places a symbol of cleanliness with swachhata at its best in general. A huge salutation to the authorities that be to keep the entire places near and clean.
BANKEY BIHARI MANDI
Bankey Bihari Temple was first of all established by Swami Haridas who was Guru of Tansen, a famous singer. Due to his intense devotion and meditation, the Celestial couple Radha –Krishna appeared before him and the devotees. Then on the request of Swamiji, the two merged into one and there appeared the idol of Banke Bihari which was established in Nidhivan and subsequently brought to its present location after construction of the temple.
Barsana is located on a ridge slope termed as Bhanugarh hills (820 ft. in height). Pilgrimages visit this place to have dharshan of Shri Radha Rani Temple. In earlier times, this place was called as Brahmasaran.
Regular bus service is easily available for Barsana and from there to places where one wants to visit. The cabs, three wheeler drivers are very accommodative and helpful. Here too hotels and inns or shrines are available for night stay for the pilgrimages according to their requirement and choice.
I along with my family members enjoyed the not only the ambiance of this sacred place but also the reverberation of songs and dances by the devotees. There was joy writ large on the faces of the visitors. The inhabitants of this place are suave, helpful and pleasing in their demeanor. It is pertinent to mention that even the monkeys of Barsana are not aggressive!
Apart from Shri Radha Rani temple there are other famous temples such as Maan Temble, Mor Kutir, Krishna Kund, Radha Sarovar including Sasnkari Khor. Every temple has its unique feature and significance. Barsana is the birth place of Shri Radha Rani.
Shri Radha Rani is considered as the sacred one and then we term it as Shri Shri Laadli Lal (beloved daughter and son) – the famous name with which we call Radha Krishna which are the main deities in the temple. The other names for this temple are Shreeji and Shri Laadli Lal Temple. One may call this temple by any name but the importance and the sacredness of this place remains etched in the minds of the pilgrimages.
There are around 200 stairs from ground to the main temple of Shri Radha Rani. At the foot of the steps, there is a palace of Vrishabhanu Maharaj is located. It houses the idols of Vrishabhanu, Kirtida, Sridama and Shri Radha.
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF SHRI RADHA RANI MANDIR
There is also a mystery in the construction and other aspects of the temple. Lord Krishna’s father Shri Nanda and Shri Radha’s father were very close friends. Shri was incharge of Gokula and Vrishbhanu was incharge of Rawal but due to ill-treatment of King Kansa, they were forces to be relocated to Nandgaon and Barsana.
It is believed that Shri Radha Rani Temple is more than 5000 years old. This temple was lying in a dilapidated condition before King Vajranabh (The great Grandson of Lord Krishna) constructed it. Subsequently, Narayan Bhatt, the disciple of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu constructed it. Then in 1675 Raja Veer Singh erected it and after that Narayan Bhatt with the help of Raja Todarmal constructed this temple which is in the present form of excellence in architectural amazing thing.
It is also important to mention that this temple is visited by innumerable devotees in all the seasons but the main festivals in which devotees from all over the world visit this place are during Holi (Termed as Lathmar Holi) and Janamashthmi. During these festivals pilgrimages throng this place in huge number.
One can visit the temple between 5:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 9: 00 PM.
VRINDAVAN IN MATHURA
I visited Vrindavan at the time of Holi once. The Lathmar Holi celebrated by the devout was obviously awe-inspiring . The enthusiasm and fervor exhibited by the participants is really commendable. Then during Krishna Janamashthami and Radha Janamasthami days the whole of Vrindavan shows its pristine look. During these festivals, the devotees throng this sacred place in a huge numbers and colour themselves in the hue of Lord Krishna.
Nidhivan is spread in a vast expanse of 2.5 acres with trees in the sacred forest are of similar shapes and sizes. It is believed that these Tulsi trees turn into Gopis at night and have Rasleela.
DEEP DEVOTION COULD COMPEL EVEN THE GOD TO US
The word Nidhivan is derived from Sanskrit meaning the ‘Forest of treasure’. It is said that Nidhivan was settled by a Guru names Haridas. Due to his deep devotion and severe penance and meditation compelled Lord Krishna to visit Nidhivan. It is said that Nidhivan temple is visited by Lord Krishna or Thakurji at night with his Gopis and conduct divine dance or Raasleela along with Shri Radha Raniji. This divine dance is also termed as Rasleela which is generated of pure love and devotion – overflowing love of Gopis for Lord Krishna. This divine dance is mystical in many ways than one. Firstly, it takes places at night and secondly no human can see this divine dance. Those who venture to see this dance get irretrievable ill affects to their body systems.
IT IS BELIEVED THAT NOBODY CAN VISIT THE NIDHIVAN AT NIGHT TO WITNESS THE RASLEELA
It is said that at night, nobody visits the Nidhivan since it is believed that those venturing this place at night either lose their mental balance or go dumb or die in shock. There are samathis of those who dared to venture to visit this place at night and had to meet unfortunate consequences.
During the day time, the sacred Kunj or temple is abuzz with activities and remains enlivened with birds chirping, monkeys chattering and thronging of thousand of devotees. But at night all the activity in and around the Kunj stops. Even the houses around the place do not have windows just to peep outside their houses at night in order to catch a glimpse of Raasleela.
TEMPLE OF LORD KRISHANA AND SHRI RADHA RANI
Nidhivan houses a very beautiful temple with idols of Shri Radha Rani and Lord Krishna. This temple is surrounded by a sacred ‘Kunj’ or forest. It is this temple where Lord Krishna and Shri Radha Rani rest after their Raasleela.
TEMPLE CALLED AS RANG MAHAL
There is a small temple termed as Rang Mahal which has got its special significance. It is a temple where Lord Krishna decorates Shri Radha with his own hands. The priests keep a varieties of items in this temple viz; tooth brushes, a saree, bangles , paan leaves and sweets are kept in Rang Mahal before closing the gates after the aarti of night. Surprisingly, it is said that in the morning hours when the gate is opened, all the items are found to be scattered showcasing as though somebody had used them.
TEMPLES SURROUNDED TULSI (BASIL) PLANTS IN PAIRS
Around these temples there are Tulsi (Basil) plants which though are bent yet are in pairs and particularly entangled with each other!. It is said that these Tulsi plant represent different Gopis and bent earthwards since they are bereft of any ego but are overflowing with love for Lord Krishna. There is one Tulsi plant (bent form) which is separate from other pairs of plants. This is believed to represent Lord Krishna.
IMPORTANCE OF TULSI
The Tulsi plant destroys negative energy from the house and generates positive energy. It has got medicinal value too. Planting Tulsi plant at home gives peace and prosperity to the family as a whole.
While I visited Nidhivan with my family members, I felt as though I am in the Seventh Heaven. Every atom of this sacred place emitted positive vibes and joyous fervor. We observed happiness, smiles and blissfulness on the faces of devotees.
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF MANSI GANGA
Mansi means mind since Ganga at Govardhan was created with the power of mind. Then the steps and all other construction around the tank was carried out by Raja Bhagwan Das of Amer in 1637 and subsequently beautified by Raja Man Singh.
The existence of Mansi Ganga is from the time when Lord Krishna used to stay in Vrindavan during his youthful time. It has a special place for the devotees since it was created with the Divine intervention of Lord Krishna.
As legend goes, Nand Bana and Yasodha, the foster parents of Lord Krishna wanted to take a dip in the sacred Ganga river. With the Divine Intervention of Lord Krishna he brought Ganga to Govardhan.
TAKING BATH IN MANSI GANGA BESTOWS LOVE FOR LORD KRISHNA
The devouts take a dip in the sacred Mansi Ganga since it is believed that taking holy bath there bestows love for Lord Krishna and bestows peace in the mind of the devotees. The devotees can also visit various temples around this place.
GOVARDHAN PARVAT OR GIRIRAJ
It is a most prominent place in Braj Bhoomi. It is a hillock which is also termed as the form of Lord Krishna Himself. A Govardhan Parikrama of around 21 Kms is undertaken by the devout. It is considered as most auspicious. The devotees take a dip in the Mansi Ganga when they start their 21 Parikarma around the Giriraj and end their Parikarma after taking a bath against at Mansi Ganga.
In essence, every speck in and round Braj Bhoomi has special significance, yet, a visit to this sacred place could enlighten us immensely and fill us with KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS hugely.