BRIJ CHOURAASI KOS KE KOI CHAAR GAAM NIJ DHAAM
VRINDAVAN AUR MADHUPURI, BARSANO NAND GAMM
The 84 kos of brij bhoomi starting from kosi to Agra, Aligarh to Bharat pur is considered to be the nitya dhaam of sri krishna. The purans make a mention that even during mahapralye this portion of the land on the earth does not drown. This part of the earth may look ordinary, but the fact it is even more dear to Krishna than vaikunth, saket or Golok. It is a replica of Golok.Even today the brij leela continous here although we cannot see it. Only pure hearted people can witness this leela in Vrindavan. Every year there is a particular time when arrangements are made and devotees visit all the important places of brij. The most imprtant places are vrindavan, Mathura, Gokul, nand gaon, Barsana, Goverdhan and Baldev. The important temples, vana’s, kunds, hills, ghats all are in the parikarma of brij 84 kos yatra.
IMPORTANT TEMPLES OF VRINDAVAN
Vrindavan is the most sacred and favourite place of sri krishna.It is fullof greenery all around. The trees, the vines, the creepers and bushes of Vrindavan are so beauitiful that one would give ll the possions of the world to stay there for ever.The place is so enchanting and there is some unseen vibrations and magical srenity in the air which makes one feel that Krishna is there, looking at you lovingly, smilingly and enchantingly.The fresh scent of the air is so pleasing that one really feels the prsence of Kanha with his cows and his sakha’s who are always in a playful mood with him. The sakhi’s are so much blessed to be a part of Kanha’s leelas or pastimes that they feel vaikunta is no where near the diviny that can be experienced here. It is on this land where kanha walked bare footed because his dear cows also walked bare footed. The marks of Kanha’s lotus feet have made this part of the land so auspicious as well as pure. Great poets have written beautiful discriptions of Vrindavan’s beauty. Jaidev was one of them who had written Geet Govind. Although there are more than 5000 temples in Vrindavan some of the important ones need a special mention. Some of the deities are self menifested. They have appeared either by the love of bhakts or some deities were dug in the ground due to yavan attacks reappeared in the dreams of devotees and saints.The most important ones are described below.
1. BANKE BIHARI TEMPLE
2. RADHA DAMODAR TEMPLE
3. SRI SHAH JI’S TEMPLE
4. SRI RANGA NATH TEMPLE
5. SRI RADHA GOVIND TEMPLE
6. SRI VANKHANDI MAHADEV JI’S TEMPLE
7. SRI GOPALJI’S MANDIR
8. SRI SRIRADHA GOPINATH TEMPLE
9. SRI GODAVIHAR TEMPLE
10. SRI RADHA RAMAN TEMPLE
11. SRI RADHA MADHAV TEMPLE
12. SRI RADHA VALLABH TEMPLE
13. SRI JANVAI VINOD TEMPLE.
14. SRI PAGAL BABA’S TEMPLE.
15. SRI LOTAN KUNJ
16. SRI KANCH TEMPLE
17. SRI ANANDMAI TEMPLE
18. SRI RADHA MADHAVE TEMPLE.
19. SRI RAM KRISHAN PARAMHANS TEMPLE (ISKCON)
20. SRI JANKI VALLABH TEMPLE
21. SRI ASHT SAKHI TEMPLE
22. SRI GAUR MAHAPRABHU TEMPLE.
23. SRI MADAN MOHANJI’S TEMPLE
24. SRI GOPESHWAR MAHADEVJI’S TEMPLE
25. SRI SWAMI AKHANDANANDJI’S TEMPLE
Thursday, January 6, 2011
BRIJ CHOURAASI KOS KE KOI CHAAR GAAM NIJ DHAAM
Keshighat—The ghat where krishna had killed, the demon keshi who was sent by the king of Mathura kanms, the maternal uncle of krishna who eager to kill krishna.
Sri cheer ghat--- This was the place where the gopi’s were bathing during the month of kartik to please katianidevi. While they were bathing, krishna stole their clothes.He wanted them to know that they should not bath naked in the river,as it is against the principles of our shastra’s.
Sri bhramar ghat---On this ghat there are many branches of flowers due to which one finds a lot of bumble bees here and it is named bhramar ghat.
Dhir sameer ghat--- Calm winds blow in this ghat.It seems the yamuna river wants to serve the divine couple, hence the wind blowing on this ghat is very soothing as well as full of lovely scent.Jaidev in his famous poetry geet govind has described this enchanting ghat where Radha Krishna have performed their kel pastimes. It is believed that Jaidev could visualise Radha govind engrossed in their keli leela at this place.
Adi badari ghat---This ghat is towards the southern side of vrindavan. The gopis were keen to have darshan of badri ji, krishna gave them darshan on this ghat.
Sri Raj ghat--- Just near adi badri ghat, there is another ghat. Once Radhji with her sakhi’s wanted to croaa river yamuna. Krishna disguised himself as a boatsman and came with a boat and offered to take them across for an amount for which a lot of bargaing was made.When radha ji objected on such a high rate by the boatman, he came right in the middle of the river and refused to go further without emptyng their pots of curd and butter which they were to sell on the other side of the river.
Sri Kalia daman ghat---- The kadam tree from where krishna had jumpedin the yamuna to kill kalia naag is still there on this ghat.
Gopal ghat----Mother yashoda fainted when she came to knw that her Kanha had jumped in yamunaji to kill Kalia because he had poisned the waterof yamuna.When he came out of yamna Nand Baba gave cows to brahmans in charity. The ghat was named as gopal ghat.
Surya ghat---- Close to Gopal ghat there is nother ghat just below sri madan mohan temple.When krishna came out of the yamuna after setting kalia naag right,the devta’s also were very pleased. Since Krishna was felling very old for being in the yamuna,the sun god gave him heat. The sweat that came from krishna due to this heat purified yamunaji from kalia naags poison.
Sri yugal ghat---- Both Radha Krishna used to take bath on this ghat everday. It is believed that who so ever takes a bath on this ghat he can see Radha Krishna eye to eye.
Bihar ghat--- There is a temple of yugal Bihariji on this ghat.That is why it is called Bihar ghat.
Govind ghat----Once while raas was goin on Radha ji suddenly disapeared. Krishna became desperate for her darshan and acted as though he was radhaji and finnaly he met Radhaji there.
Shringaar vat ghat----On this ghat Krishna had done shringaar (makeup)like Radha ji. Hence this name.
Imlitala ghat--- This ghat is near sri Nitai gaur and Radha Damodar temple.When Krishna was unable to find Radha ji anywhere, he sat under this tamrind tree and did japa. In kali yuga sri chetaniya mahaprabhu wanted to experience radha ji’s bhava and did the japa again in the same way as Krishna had done during the dwapur yua. Hence this ghat was named after gurang and is also called gourng ghat.
Sri Ram ghat---It was this temple here Tulsi came and had darshan of sriramji. Some people had challenged him that Ram was his isht, then how he was bowing before Krishna. Tulsi das requested Krishna to change in to Ram’s swaroop, which he did.Hence the name was given asRam ghat as this temple is near the banks of yamuna ji.
Sri varha ghat----This is located on thesouth western side of the yamuna bank. There is a beautiful temple of varaha bhagwaan, It is one of the temple where f a prson has darshan he gets a lot of punyas.
Sri Jaganath ghat---It is believed that jagannath ji came in a saints dream that he is desperate to come to Vrindavan.This saint went to Orissa and told about his dream to the pujari of the Jaganath temple.He told him that this is not within his permission so the king of Orissa who was the rightful person was approached. The king said he will send Jaganathji only if he came to tell him also in a dream. The next night Jaganathji ame in his dream and instructed him to take the deities to Vrindavan. A huge temple has been constructed on the banks of yamunaji.and that is how theghat got thename.
Sri Andhera ghat-----On this ghat Krishna used toplay hide ans seek with the gopi’s
Sri Radha bagh ghat----- This ghat is near Radha bagh. It is a ery enchanting place where one can see many peacocks and othe birds singing the glories of Radha krishna.
Sri jeev ghat
Vrindavan so van nahi, gokul jaiso gaaon, Radhe jaisi gopi nahi sri krishna jaiso naam. Some 60 years ago Vrindavan was a very deep forest. There were many wild animals also. In vrindavan itself there were quite a number of vana’s but 12 of them are very significant for some leela or the other of radha krishna.
1. NIDHI VAN-----This is near Sri Radharaman and shahj’s temple. This is the place from where Banke Bihari made his appearance. It was the main bhajan sthali of sriharidasji. Now w can have darshan of his samaadhi.also. No one can stay here in the night bcause even today the raas leela of radha krishna continues here.One great devotee of Radha Bihariji used to sweep this plce and he found Radhaji’s nupur here.
2Nikunjvan----- This van is also known as seva kunj. It is located near Radha Damodar temple. In the sevakunj there is a remple of Radha krishna. It is believed that even today the leels are performed by the duo here and no one can stay there in the late hours of night.
3sri ghahvar van----This van is towards the southern side of river yamuna, it is very beautiful place.
\4sri pparha van---This van is near adi badrinath ghat where srikrshna showed the gopi’s the darshan of adibadriji.
5sri Gopal van. This van is near the Gopal ghat where baba nand and yashoda had donated cows when Krishna safely came out from the clutches of kalia naag.
6Kalia daman van-----This was once a van from where Krishna had jumped in the river to kill kalia as had polluted the yamuna river by immiting poison in it.
7------Viharvan--- This is on the vrindavan parikarma marg. The devotees chant Radhe Radhe very loudly here because it is believed that they always remain there.
8.--Sri Atal van---In this van there is the temple of Atalbihariji. The story is that once his sakha’s served him food and asked him how did he like the food offered to him by them.Krishna replied atal which means fully satisfied. Hence the temple came to be known as Atalbihari temple.
9---Kevaari van---- This van is situated near Atal van.The day Krishna had sent Kalia naag away from rivr yamuna, he and the brijvassi’s had stayed the night in this van. In the night,the demons of kams were looking for such a great chance to kill Krishna and lit a fire al around them, but krishna saved everyone by his magical power.
10.Sri jhoolan van----Near Radha bagh there is a very harming place where Radha Krishna had played on the swing and sung melodious songs. This leela till goes on.So the true bhagats have experienced some viberating incidents in this place.
11sri gocharan van-----This van is near the vraha bhagwan’s temple and Gautam muni’s ashram.It is also alled virahavan.
12Sri Kishore van----This is near sewa kunj.This is the place where sri hariram Vyasji used to do bhajn and japa. Sri Radha yugal kishore thakur had given hi darshan in this van. Hence ithas been named sri kishore van.
IMPORTANT KUNDA’S OF VRINDAVAN
1. Lalita kund---It is situated in seva kunj.
2 Vishakha kund----It is in nidhi van.
3sri braham kund ---It is in rangnath ji temple.
4sri gajraj kund----It is in rangnath temple.
5sri Govind kund---It is near sri Ram Krishna temple.
6sri davanal kund----It is also near sri Ram Krishna temple.
Swam Sri Haridasji the guru of Tansen the famous musician of the court of emporor Akbar, was the incarnation of Lalita sakhi, who was the most intimate sakhi of Bihari, Bihariniji in the nitya leela. Swamiji used to go in a deep cave like kunj every day and when he came out of it he ould prostrate before it many times.His disciples were curious to know where and why guru ji went there. One day swamiji made a jestre to his devotees to follo him. Inside the kunj the devotees were astonished to see Bihariji and Bihariniji siting on a beautiful throne decorated with beautiful scented flowers. They were surrounded by hundreds of sakhi’s. They also saw their guruji as Lalita sakhi who was doing their sewa. Swamiji indiated two of the disciples to lift up both of them and bring them out of the rang mahal or nikunj mahal. Outside there was a big crowd of musicians from all parts of the country. Both the divine couple were placed near the rang mahal. The blessed the gathering and then Sri Hridasji requested them to remain there so that the people of kali yuga can have their direct darshan. Bihariji agreed, but swamiji thought that the people of kali yga will not be able to see sch an iluminated vigraha of Bihariniji , so asked her to merge with Bihariji. We can have only the gaadi darshan of Biharinij. Bihariji is hence both the divine couple. That is why the shringaar is a mixture of both.Bihariji was the darling son of sriharidasji. Haridasji used to do his sewa very devotedly. Bihariji has shown many miracals to his devotees. The temple is always overcrowed but on special days like Bihari panchami, krishan janamastmi, akshay teej, haryali teej, shard poornima, radha ashtmi which coincides with sriharidasji’s appearance also there is no end to the crowd. During the summer season starting rom March to hariyali teej Bihariji is placed outside the garb graha and is decorated with flowers in a palace made with bamboo stickes covered with mogra flowers. These are called phool bangla’s.
SRI RADHA RAMAN TEMPLE-----SriGopal bhat ji was a great devotee of Krishna. He devotedly was engrossed in the sewa of his thakurji Shaligram. One day a rich seth came to Vrindavan and wanted to donate some dresses and ornaments to the deities of some of the temples. He felt oh! If my Thakurji was a little bigger in size and if he had had arms and legs he would have loved to make him wear a lovely paushaak.When he woke up in the morning he was flabbergasred to see ,his shaligramji had grown and also had legs and arms. The shaligram part was his back. Today Radha Raman ji ‘s temple is near nidhi van and his swaroop is fantastic.
SRI SHAH JI-----This temple is near nidhivan. It is a very big temple made of marble flooring and has crooked pillars. It was constructed by a rich seth of Lucknow who has made a trust for its permanent sewa of Thakuri.
SRIRANGNATH TEMPLE----This temple is of south Indian style. It is very palacial.It is believed that there was a devotee of sri rang nathji whose name was sri Godaambaa who had read about Rangnathji in the scriptures. She hadthree desires. First to get married to rang nathji, Second to offer the bhog of pysam in 1000 earthn pots and third she wanted to stay inVrindavan with sri Rang nathji..In the south Indian literature her uppasana was praisworthy. Her father was incharge of the flower garland sewa of srirangnathji. Godaambaa used to help her father in selecting the best flowers available and used to make the garland herself and then she used to put on the mala and then it was offered to srirangnathji. One day the priest noiticed a hair on the garland and got very angry at her father. He called for him but he was unaware as to how the hair came in the mala. This sewa was taken away from him. He asked his daughter Godaambaa and she told him that she used to wear the mala to se how it will look on sriranganathji. Her father got furious when he heard this. Now a new mala was offered to sriranganathji, but he refused to accept it and said that he will accept mala ofonly Godaambaa. Later he got married to Godaambaa. The second wish of Godaambaa was fulfiled by sriramanujacharya who made arrangement of offering 1000 pots of pysum as prasad to sriranganathji.The third wish that srirangnathji should come and stay in Vrindavan was fulfiled by sriranganathji himself. He gave indications that his dieties should be taken to Vrindavan. Seth Lakshmi chandra was selected to do this sewa for sriranganathji.. Today Godaambaaji is also present with sriranganthji in srirannatha temple.
There is a very big kund in the premises of this temple where the gajaa graha moksh leela is played on every sawan poornima on the day of raksha bandhan. Another unique feature of the mandir is the stupa made out of gold known as garuda stambh on which prasad is servd to 33 crore devi devta’s. The yemple has other deities such as Vishnuji in a lying pose on the shesh naag, sritirupati balaji’s temple, Ram darbaar, golden paalki’s of the lord, shish mahal.
The most striking feature is the rath made out of sandal wood. There are many jhanki’s of krishna which move with eletronic devices such as meerabai and krishna, makhan chori leela etc. The temple has carvings of south Indian style.
SRI RADHA VALLABHA TEMPLE---The thakurji of this temple appeared from nidhivan by swami sriharivansh. The chhavi of Radh vallabha is so wonderful that one will liketo go on looking at it withot a blink of the eye. The sewa of this deity is also very delicate. Like banke bihariji, this thakurji is also bent from three places and has lovely eyes that are always stealing the hearts of the devotees.Srimahaprabhu hith harivansh came to Vrindavan when he had a dream where Radhaji instructed him to go there. She also told him that a brahamin willoffer you to get married to two of his daughters and he should not refuse this offer. The same brahamin has a vigraha of thakurji which he should take from him and go to Vrindavan. Harivansh took both the sisters with him along with thakurji and reached Vrindavan. He came to the yamuna bank and placed thakurji on a high elevation, near the madan temple. The brijvasi’s started respecting him and he was donated some land in that area. Later thakurji was taken to sewa kunj. The sewa of sriji is gaadhi seva.
Sri krishna Balram temple------ This temple is also called ISKCON or thetemple of english people because sri Bhakti Vetant sril Prabhu Paad ji had gone to the west and propgated krishna bhakti there. Therefore many foreigners visit this temple dressed in the ancient Indian style.There are three vigrahas namely srigaur Nitayee, Balram krishna and Sri Radha Krishna along with sakhi’s Lalita and vishakha. There is also the samaadhi of this great acharya srilPrabhu padji. The temple is fullof beautifulpaintings of krishna leela on the walls of the temple. It is made of marble flooring and cleanliness is always maintained.The shrinaar of the deites is breath taking.
SRI RADHA SHYAM SUNDAR TEMPLE----- This temple is in loee bazar. Its vigraha is very beautiful.The shringaar is also very magificant. There is a special attraction of this temple on akshay tritya
ASHAT SAKHI TEMPLE----This temple is near sri Madanmohan temple. It was built by emperor Ram ranjan of district Virbhum. Sri RadhaRasvihari is surrounded by the eight intimate sakhis of Radha Krishna
SHIRI AKHANDANAND JI’S TEMPLE----It is situated on the chhatikara vrindavan road. It is a very big temple. The staues of sri Hanumanji and Ganesh ji can be seen from a distance as they are very big in size. The temple is newly constructed with marble all over. The deities of Radha Krishna, Sita Ram darbar and durga are very attractive.
SRI RADHA DAMODR TEMPLE----This temple is near sewa kunj and jhadu mandle near vanshivat. There are four pairs of radha krishna deities. First is the deity of sri Radhavrindavan chandra worshipped by sri Krishnadas kaviraj goswami, Second is of sri Radha Damodar worshipped by sri jeev goswami, third is of sri RadhaMadhav worshipped by sri Jaidev goswami and the fourth is of sri Radha chhail chikinia worshipped by sri Bhugharbh swami. There is also a shila of goverdhan in this temple and there is a brief story about it that ever day swami paad sanatan goswami used to circumbate around goverdhan, and then only he would break his fast by eating. When he grew very old Govrdhanji gave him darshan and told him to stop such tough penance as he had become too weak, but he refused saying he can not leave his niyam. Goverdhan ji then took a stone or shilla and stood on it and playing the flute. His right foot dug in the shilla which got melted, a small calf came dancing on the shilla and he kept is flut and lakuti which got stuck on it. He then told goswamiji to cirumbate four times around this shilla and it will be counted as a full circumbation of goverdhan. For the people of kaliyuga this shilla is a great boon. Hundredsof devotees do parikrama of this shilla and are benifited as though they have walked the 21 kilo meters parikarma of Goverdhani.
SRI GOPINATH JI TEMPLE---- This temple is near Sri Radha Raman temple. Gopinathji appeared for the sake of devotion ofsri paramanand Bhattacharyaji. After that the sewa went to a pandit whose name was sri Madhu. A devotee named Janhavi came to Vrindavan and came for his darshan. It occurred to her that sri Radhaji was quite short in size compared to Krishna. When she went to sleep that night Gopinath ji came in her dream and asked her to make arrangements to bring Radha ji according to his size. It is believed that Jahnvi maa herself menifested a deity of Radhaji and entered that vigraha. She the told hr devotees to place this vigraha next toThakurji.Hence sh was placd on the left side of Thakurji. The original deities were taken to Jaipur and new ones have been installed in this temple.
SRI GOVIND DEVJI TEMPLE----This temple has also been shifted to Jaipur due to yavan’s attackon all popular temples of Vrindavan. The importance of this temple is that sri Roop goswamiji maharaj who was a great disciple of sri mahaprabhu Chaitanya was responsible for its appearance. Govind devji told him in a dream that he would like to taken out from the goma teela where every day a cow used to come and do his abhishekam every day with the flow of her milk. Swamiji himself saw this happening every day and with the helpof king Man singh the vigraha was taken out and a temple was built where Govind dev ji was placed. The chhavo of Govinddev ji is breath taking and is still attracting millions of devotees who go for its darshan ti Jaipur.
SRI VANKHANDI MAHADEV TEMPLE------Sri Snatan goswamiji used to visit sri Gopeshwar temple every day which was quite far from where he was staying..He used to loose his way very often.One night sri Gopeshwar nath ji came in his dream and told him to have his darshan at vankhandi. Now he stared going there every day for Mahadevji’s darshan.
SRI GODA VIHAR TEMPLE---- This templeis close to Ranganathji temple.It consists of more than 300 deities of different gods, demigods, rishi’s and maharishi’s. In the front side of the temple near the entry there is a beautiful temple of veda’s. There is also a vaikunta duwaar, navgraha , the sun chariot, shiv lok, brahma lok and the ten avtaars of incarnations of vishnu.
VANSHI VAT-----Kanha used to play his flute here. The gopi’s used to come running here leaving all their household duties such as preparing food for the family, looking after children and elderly members of the faminly. On reaching vanshivat they were stunned to see the moon spreading its light rays all over making the place most blissful and enchanting.
SRI GOPESHWAR MAHADEV-----When Krishna appeared in the dwapur yuga,Siva who was in deep meditation in his abode at Mt Kailash suddenly saw that his ishta has come to Vrindavan.He too wanted to experience the raas leela of Krishna, but only women were allowed an entry in to the raas mandal so he dressed up in the attire of a gopi and went to the raas mandal.While dancing he was so much engrossed that he did’nt realise that his chunari had fallen off his head and he could be recognised as shiva.Radhaji got angry at this behaviour ,but Krishna pacified her by telling her , that Shiva had given up his male form and become a gopi and gave him the title of Gopeshwar. This temple was laatter built by Krishna’ great grand son Brij nabh.
TATIA STHAAN------This place is the most beautiful place of Vrindavan. Since it is situated near the thuta or bank of yamunaji and it is surrounded be bamboo sticks it got this name.The saints of this place are of Sriharidas sampradya. The first saint who took charge as the mahant of this place was Sri Lalitkishoridevji. The main temple here is of Mohan bihariji. This murti was also self menifested and appeared from Deeg.Once nidhi van got flooded by the yamuna river and hence Mohan bihariji was brought to this place.The natural environment of this place is breath taking with many ancient trees, creepers and bushes. This is the only place where till today there is no elctricity and no one is allowed to take any radio tape recorder etc to this place. The saints are always doing japa.They smear brij raj all over their body and have nothing to do with the worldly activities. The smaj, that is chanting and singingof the dhruva paddas of kelmal as well as other padas of the saints of this guru shishya parampara are sung on occasions of Sri Radha ashtmi which coincides with the birth day of swami Sri haridasji also, krishna janamashtmi and sharad poornima.
SRI AKRUR THIRATH------On the Mathura Vrindavan road there is a place near the river yamunaji where Akrurji had taken a dip in the yamuna when he had come to take away Balram Krishna on the command of Kanmsa, the king of Mathura as well as the had thematernal uncle of Krishna. It was at this place where Akrurji asked Krishna if he could have a dip. As Balramji and Krishna were waiting, Akrurji took a dip in the yamuna and was surprised to find both the brothers also bathing there.On coming out of yamunaji, he saw them sitting comfortably on the chariot where he had left them. He took another dip and saw them again in the yamuna.He did this several times and saw they were sitting on the chariot only. When he came back to the chariot, Krishna pretended and asked him, uncle what is the matter? Why are you looking so shocked. Akrurji who knew that Krishna was an incarnation of Naryana was blessed by such darshan. Any one who bathes in this place will be free from the cycle of birth and death.