Sri Vraja-mandala Parikrama

Under The Guidance Of

Srila BV Narayan Maharaja
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Our Most Memorable Moments This Kartik

For one month, we've been performing Sri Vraja Mandal Parikrama and following Kartik vrata. Time went by so quickly leaving behind unforgettable experiences that we will always cherish in this life. Before the whole Kartik Festival concluded, I went around asking our devotees to share their most memorable moments this Kartik. And this is what they have to say...

Our Most Memorable Moments This Kartik, Part 2

What is my most memorable moment this Kartik? Here are some more inspiring testimonies from our godbrothers and godsisters who stayed with us for the month-long Kartik Parikrama Festival...

Most Memorable Kartik

This is another inspiring video episode on the culmination of this year's Kartik Festival. Included here is the english translation of the last class in Kartik by Srila Guru Maharaj and some more appreciation feedback from our devotees about our Kartik Parikrama.

Varsana Parikrama Darshan Part1: From Vrishabhanu Kund to Sankari Khor

31 October 2009. Today's parikrama is in Vrishabhanupur or Varsana. In this episode, our parikrama party started from Vrishabhanu kund where Vrishabhanu Maharaj would take bath every morning and is one of the appearance places of Srimati Radhika. Then we passed by Rangeli Gali where holi pastimes (throwing of color powders) took place between Krsna and the gopis. And from there reached Sankari Khor which is the very narrow path between the hills Vishnu Parvat and Brahma Parvat and where Krsna and His sakhas would take tax from the passer-by gopis plundering their yoghurt and milk products. But it is also in this same place where. He and His friends learned their lesson when the gopis took revenge and ambushed Him and His friends and captured them, slapped their cheeks and tied them on trees. Especially Krsna He learnt His lesson after the gopis made fun of Him by dressing Him as a gopi and let Him carry a pot of yoghurt while they hit His pot with a stone to break it and get His whole body drenched with yoghurt. Also in this episode you can take darshan of the rasa mandal on top of Vishnu Parvat called Vilas Garh.

Varsana Parikrama Darshan Part 2: From Chiksauli to Dana Garh

From Sankari Khor (previous episode) we passed by Citra Sakhi's village called Chiksauli then we climbed up Brahma Parvat to go to Mor Kutir or Mayur Kutir which is another rasa mandal where Radha and Krsna danced in the form of a peacock and a peahen. Then downhill we went to Krishna Kund and went back up to another rasa mandal on top of Brahma Parvat called Mana Garh where Radhika displayed mana (jealous anger) and Krishna expertly broke it. From Mana Garh we proceeded to Dana Garh which is another beautiful rasa mandal or area of sweet pastimes on top of Brahma Parvat

Varsana Parikrama Darshan Part 3: From Jaipur Mandir & Sriji Mandir to Pili Pokhara

Just very near Dana Garh (from previous episode), we proceeded to the Jaipur Temple which is a beautiful temple built by the King of Jaipur. Then from there we went to Sriji Kunj which is now a beautiful Sriji Temple of Srimati Radhika. After singing some bhajans for Srimatiji, we proceeded down the hill to Vrishabhanu Maharaja's house which is also one of the appearance places of Srimati Radhika. Then from there we walked to the yellow pond, Pili Pokhara.

Kamyavan Darshan: Unchagaon & Sakhi Giri Parvat to Surya Kund

From Pili Pokhara in Varsana (previous episode) we walked a short distance to the village of Lalita devi called Unchagaon. Before reaching Unchagaon, first we went to Deha Kund. From Unchagaon we went to Baladev's temple which is nearby and proceeded to Sakhi Giri Parvat where up to now one can take darshan of a stone slide and Lalita's wedding pavilion where by trick Sri Radhika and other gopis performed marriage between Lalita and the 7-year old Krsna. All the above places are wiithin the area of Kamyavan very close to Varsana. From Sakhi Giri Parvat where everyone took lunch prasadam, we left Kamyavan and by bus went to Surya Kund which is not very far from Govardhan and where Srimati Radhika used to perform Surya puja as a pretext to meet Sri Krishna.

Kokilavan & Javat Darshan: Kokilavan, Javat and Khadirvan

28 October 2009. Today's parikrama brought us to the rasa mandal on the bank of Ratnakara Kund in Kokilavan. Then from there we proceeded to Javat to the house of Jatila where Radhika lived when she was married to Abhimanyu. Now it is a temple of Radha-kantaji where you can also take darshan of the murtis of Jatila, Kutila and Abhimanyu and up the roof here you can have a good view of Javat Village which is a witness to the parakiya moods of love between Radha and Krsna. Also today we went to Khadirvan which is the place where Bakasura was killed by Krsna and also where Radha and Krsna used to secretly meet at Sangam Kund and where Lokanath Goswami did Bhajan and gave diksha to Narottam das Thakur.

Darshan of Lila Places near Kokilavan: Charan Pahari to Baithan

From Javat (previous episode), our parikrama party went to Khir Sagar village where one can take darshan of Sheshashai, the murti to remind of the pastime that took place in here when Krsna took the form of Vishnu resting on Ananta Shesha and Radha took the form of Laksmi massaging His feet. Then just very near is Charan Pahari where many imprints on the rocks can still be visible all over the hill from Krsna's footprints to crown prints to deer or cow footprints, etc. It is said that these imprints were made after the hill rocks melted in ecstasy when Krsna played His flute here. Also a little walking distance away is Baithan which is another assembly meeting place of Nanda Maharaj and the Brijbasis and where our parikrama party takes prasadam every year.

Nandagaon Darshan: Prem Sarovar to Sangket

26 October 2009 (Gopastami). Today our parikrama was scheduled to visit Nandagaon. On the way to Nandagaon, we first took darshan of Prem Sarovar where Srimati Radhika became absorbed in deepest mood of prema. Even Krsna Himself worships this sarovar because Srimati Radhika placed her feet on its waters. Srila Guru Maharaja in his Vraja mandal Parikrama book said that there is no doubt that by taking bath in this sarovar, one attains prema for the Divine Couple. Then from Prem Sarovar we proceeded to Sangket which is actually situated between Nandagaon and Varsana. So this is a place of meeting, in fact the first meetings between Radha and Krsna happened here. Here one can take darshan of Sangket devi or Vira devi who along with Vrnda devi are responsible for the sweet meetings of the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha Krsna. Also here is the bhajan place of Gopal Bhatta Goswami just in front of the rasa mandal. From Sangket, we proceeded to Nandagaon (next episodes).

Nandagaon Darshan: Nanda Bhaitak, Hau Bilau, Uddhav Kyari to Lalita Kund

From Sangket (previous episode), our parikrama proceeded to Nandagaon. In this episode one can take darshan of Nanda Bhaitak, Yasoda Kund, Hau Bilau, Uddhav Kyari (which is also known as Visakha Kunja), Visakha Kund and Lalita Kund. From here we proceeded to Nandishwar Hill where Nanda Maharaj's compound is located (next episode).

Nandagaon Darshan: Nanda Bhavan, Ashisheshwar Mahadev, Ter Kadamba and More

From Uddhav Kyari and Lalita Kund (previous episode), our parikrama party went up the hill of Nandishwar Parvat to Nanda Bhavan. There one can take darshan of Krsna and Balaram with Nanda Baba and Yasoda Maiya. Also Nandishwar Mahadev is there protecting the area. Then from Nanda Bhavan we went down to take a quick darshan of Sanatan Goswami's bhajan kutir and Pavan Sarovar, then in a little distance to Rupa Goswami's bhajan kutir in Ter Kadamba. Then from there we proceeded to Ashisheshwar Mahadev where everyone took lunch prasadam.

Kamyavan Darshan: From Charan Pahari & Bhojan Thali to Kameshwar Mahadev, Vrinda devi, etc.

After darshan of Badrinath and Kedarnath (previous episodes), we tried to catch up with our parikrama party to Kamyavan. Here one can take darshan of Krishna's footprints (Charan pahari) also Baladev Prabhu's footprint at the base of the hill of Vyomasura's cave.When Krsna killed the demon Vyomasure here the earth trembled so Baladev Prabhu pressed His foot on the ground to stop it from shaking and so this footprint is still visibe here. Then one can visit phisalani shila where Krsna and His friends used to slide down. And of course Bhojan Thali, the place Krsna and His friends used to eat their meals and thus marks of their plates and bowls are still visible here. Here also is Kameshwara Mahadev, Vrinda devi, Govindadev and Vimala Kund. For more detailed info on these places read our Guru Maharaj's Sri Vraja Mandal Parikrama Book.

Adi Badri Darshan: Badrinath Dham, Gangotri, Yamunatri and more

24 October 2009. Today's parikrama is scheduled for Kamyavan. However by Premananda Prabhu's mercy, he has arranged that our parikrama followers in cyberspace can have darshan of Adi-badri, the place of worship of many rishis and munis including Nara-Narayan Rishi, Kuvera, Uddhav, Vyasadev, Narada, etc. So today before going to Kamyavan where our parikrama party was going, I went with our local Vrajvasi godrothers, Ramananda Prabhu and Nitinji to take darshan of Badrinath dham, Kedarnath dham, Gangotri, Yamunatri, etc. This episode is coverage of darshans in Badrinath dham.

 Adi Badri Darshan: Kedarnath Dham and Gauri Kund

From Badrinath dham (previous episode) we proceeded to Kedarnath dham and took darshan of Kedarnath Mahadev and Gauri Kund. A big rock shaped like the head of Devi's lion is on the top of the hill, under which Mahadev Kedarnath is staying. It is said that Krsna manifested this place so Nanda Baba and the Brijbasis will not have to go to the Himalaya (which is so far away) to take Kedarnath's darshan. Up the hill, you can get an aerial view of the Kamyavan forest which was our next destination.

Govardhan Darshan: Killol Kund to Gwala Pokhara

23 October 2009. Today our parikrama resumed after the 2-day festival break to observe the disappearance days of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Goswami Maharaj and Srila Trivikrama Goswami Maharaj. In this episode, our parikrama party visited Killol Kund which is one of the lovely pastime places of Sri Sri Radha Krsna in Govardhan. Pastimes like various watersports, hide and seek and picnic lilas, etc are eternally taking place here. Then we proceeded just nearby to Gvala Pokhara which is a favorite resting place of Krsna and His cowherd friends during cowherding.

Govardhan Darshan: Ratna vedi and Syam Kuti to Narada Kund

After Gwala Pokhara (previous episode) our parikrama party proceeded to Ratna Vedi and Syam Kuti which are quite nearby. Here Giriraj Govardhan provides jewelled throne (ratna singhasan) for Sri Radha and Krsna. Syam kuti is the kunja where Krsna beautifully disguised Himself as Syam Sakhi. Also here you can take darshan of Charan-china, a stone that has melted and preserved an imprint of Krsna's footprint and eating bowl. From here, we proceeded to Narada Kund where Sri Narad Muni performed bhajan and austerities for many yugas to become a gopi servant of Sri Radhika

Govardhan Darshan: Haridev, Manasi Ganga, Brahma Kund, Chakaleshwar Mahadev, and more

20 October 2009. Today one local brijabasi family invited all devotees to their home to partake breakfast prasadam after they offered puja to Srila Guru Maharaj. After which all the devotees performed parikrama of Manasi Ganga and took darshan of Sri Haridev, Manasi devi, Brahma Kund, Chakleshwar Mahadev, Sanatan Goswami's Bhajan Kutir, Paranga ghat, and Mukharavinda

Sri Govardhan Parikrama: Smaller half (Radha Kund side)
19 October 2009. Today we did the 2nd half of Sri Govardhan Parikrama which is the Radha Kund side. In this coverage, we had darshan of Sri Uddhav Kund upto Sri Radha Kund and Syama Kund. Before touching the water of Sri Radha Kund, first we took the mercy of our Guru varga performing bhajan in this holiest of all holy places. So here we took darshan of Sri Jahnavi Thakurani's sitting place, Sri Raghunath das Goswami's samadhi and bhajan kutir, Samadhi of Raghunath Bhatta Goswami and Krsnadas Kaviraj Goswami, and bhajan kutir of Sri Viswanath Chakravarty and Krsnadas Kaviraj Goswami and also Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami. Also, we took darshan of Lalita Kund and Mahaprabhu's sitting place on the bank of Syama Kund.

Sri Govardhan Parikrama: Smaller half (Radha Kund side) Part 2
Continuing Radha Kund parikrama, this coverage starts from the Sangam, the middle point where Radha Kund and Shyam Kund meets. From there we proceed to Kusum Sarovar and back to Giridhari Gaudiya Math where Srila Guru Maharaja is giving his darshan. Our thanks to Sripad BV Akinchan Maharaj and Syamarani didi for their very deep and inspiring words on what to pray when we are in Sri Radha Kund.

Govardhan Parikrama: Big Half, Eastern Side (Dan Ghati Side)

17 October 2009. Today our parikrama party circumambulated the big half of Sri Giriraj Govardhana starting from and ending at Dan Ghati. This video covers darshan of the eastern side of this big half which includes Dan Ghati (where Krsna collected tax from the gopis resulting in a love quarrel), Dan Nivartan Kund (where the gopis took revenge of Krsna and reclaimed the tax He collected), Sri Nathji's appearance place and bhajan kuti of Sri Madhavendra Puri, Govinda Kund, the inner parikrama path upto Punchari (the southern border of Giriraj where the eastern side ends and the western side of the parikrama begins).

Govardhan Parikrama: Big Half,Western Side (From Punchari back to Dan Ghati)

This is the second half of the big side parikrama of Giriraj today. Darshan includes Naval and Apsara Kunds, Rasa Sthali, Raghava Pandit's cave, Surabhi Kund where we met up with Srila Gurudev and prasadam was served, Annukuta Sthali near Jatipur, and more.

A Night of Lamp Offerings: Dipavali at Manasi Ganga

17 October 2009. 6:30 pm. After evening class. Devotees gathered at Manasi Ganga to offer lamps to Giriraja Govardhan in celebration of Dipavali.

Govardhan Darshan: Santanu Kund, Paitha Gaon & Chandra Sarovar

16 October 2009. From today upto the next 2 weeks our Parikrama party will be staying in Govardhan. Early this morning, everyone with all their luggage left Gopinath Bhavan and went to our Giridhari Gaudiya Math in Govardhan. On the way we took darshan of Santanu Kund which is actually part of Kumudvan and was the place of austerity of Santanu Maharaj and by which he begot the famous son Bhishmadev. Here we got darshan of Santanu Maharaj's ancient deities and like Santanu Maharaj who prayed here to beget a son, we also prayed that bhakti (devotion to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna) will take birth in our hearts (like a son). Then after breakfast there, we proceeded to Paitha Gaon, the place where (during Vasanta Rasa lila / Spring time rasa lila) Krsna hid and took the form of 4-armed Narayan but when the gopis saw Him, they offered obeisances to Him and continued to look for Krishna. When Srimati Radhika came nearby, just by smelling her fragrance in the breeze Krishna cannot maintain His disguise and 2 of his 4 arms went back to His belly. Then we went to Chandra Sarovar where during rasa lila the moon was ecstatic to witness the event and decided not to move from there for one night of Brahma. Here also in this area we got darshan of the bhajan kuti of Sri Vallabhacarya and the great poet musician Surdas who was blind but always has vision of the Lord. Then just before lunch time everyone arrived in Sri Giridhari Gaudiya Math.

Mahavan Darshan: Akrura Ghat and Bhatrola Gaon

15 October 2009. Today's parikrama brought us to Akrura Ghat, the boundary between Mathura and Vrindavan. When Akrura brought Krsna and Balaram by his chariot to Mathura, it was upto this point where Yasodanandan Sri Krishna and Rohininandan Baladev traveled and from there on it was the Vasudev Krsna and Sankarshan Balaram who traveled with Him to Mathura. Also nearby is Bathrol Gaon where the wives of the Brahmins (Yajna patnis) fed Krsna, Baladev and Their cowherd friends with the foodstuffs they have prepared for their husbands' sacrificial offerings. Thanks to Uma didi for sharing to us what she has heard from Srila Gurudev about these places.

Vrindavan Parikrama

14 October 2009. Today is ekadasi and so under guidance of Srila Gurudev, all our devotees headed by our tridandi sannyasis and the sankirtan party circumambulated Sri Vrindavan. Here in this episode, you can take darshan of some of the key places along the parikrama marg of Sri Vrindavan. We started from our program site in Gopinath Bhavan to Keshi ghat, the place Krishna killed the Keshi demon. Then we passed by Pani ghat from where the gopis crossed Yamuna to visit Durvasa Rishi. Then passing by Mahaprabhu's baithak (sitting place), Baladev Temple, Ananda dham, Iskcon Krsna-Balaram Mandir and Samadhi Mandir of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, Kaliya Daha, Sri Madanmohan Temple, Imli Tala and other places, we reached Gopinath Bhavan and completed our Sri Vrindavan parikrama.

Ram Ghat and Biharvan Darshan

13 October 2009. Today was another long bus day. Our parikrama party in 20 buses went first to Ram Ghat then to Biharvan. Then we proceeded to Chir Ghat, Vatsavan and finally Garuda-Govinda.

This episode covers our darshan of Ram Ghat, the place where Baladev Prabhu performed rasa lila and Biharvan which is one of Krsna's cowherding places with His sakhas and love playing pastime places with His sakhis. Here in Biharvan, our parikrama party were welcomed by the hundreds of cows who were grazing in this still remaining forest of Vraja.

Tapovan, Vatsavan & Kumudvan Darshan: From Akshayvat & Chir Ghat to Garuda-Govinda

This episode covers our darshan of Chir-ghat where Krsna stole the clothes of the gopis performing Katyayani vrat. Before this place we passed by Tapovan, the place where the gopis (who were sages in their previous life during Ramachandra's time) performed aradhana to Krishna praying to become His wives. Nearby here is the famous Akshay vat under which many cowherding and wrestling pastimes of Krsna and His friends took place. A temple of Sita Rama Laksman is situated here. It is also the same place where Baladev killed the demon pralambasura. In Chir-ghat, after darshan of Yogamaya and quick dip in the Yamuna, our parikrama party proceeded to Vatsavan, where Lord Brahma stole Krishna's calves and cowherd boy friends. And finally on the way back we had darshan of Garuda-Govinda which actually is located in what used to be a forest called Kumudvan. Here Garuda had darshan of Govinda and also the same place where Krsna used to play with His friends and one time Sridam Sakha took the role of Garuda and Krsna as Narayan riding on Sridam's back.

Lohavan and Nearby Tirtha Darshan: Dauji Temple to Krisna Kund

11 October 2009. Today is another bus day. With more buses than last time, our parikrama party first went to the village of Dauji where an ancient Black Diety of Baladev Prabhu is being worshipped. It is said that this is one of the few Deities that never left Vraja even during the Muslim invasion. He was kept hidden until He was discovered again later lying upside down in Sankarshan Kund (Kshirsagar) and so this beautiful Dauji Temple was built. Also in the temple, Baladev's consort Revati is present but hidden behind the door because of the secret reason that Dauji was married to her in Dwarka and not while He was living in Vraja. Just a short walking distance to Dauji Mandir is the Dauji Gaudiya Math established by our most worshipful Guru Maharaj Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaj. It is where our party took breakfast and from there proceeded to the next destinations (next episode). Today's parikrama ended with a darshan of Lohavan which is nearby. There one can have darshan of Krishna Kund where special boating pastimes of Radha Krsna took place and a Gopinath temple which was not open at the time of our arrival. Since this Lohavan darshan is very short, I have added it to this episode.

Mahavan-Gokul Darshan: Brahmanda Ghat

After breakfast in Dauji Gaudiya Math, our parikrama party proceeded to Mahavan Gokul. First we stopped at the bank of Yamuna called Brahmanda Ghat which used to be a playground of Krsna and His childhood friends. The pastime of Krsna eating dirt and showing to Mother Yasoda countless brahmandas (universes) in His tiny mouth happened here. Our local Vrijvasi guide welcomed our parikrama party here with an inspiration to fill up the whole brahmanda with our blissful laughter.

Mahavan Gokul Darshan: Nanda Bhavan (Krsna's Birthplace)

From Brahmanda Ghat, our parikrama party proceeded to Nanda Bhavan, the birthplace of Sri Krishna and His twin sister, Ekanamsa (Yogamaya). Here you can have darshan of the relics of what used to be a palace of Nanda Maharaj. The 84 pillars of the palace still stand in memory of the Lord's sweet and lovely childhood pastimes from butter stealing to demon killings. Before reaching Nanda Bhavan, we first visited the place where Nalakuvera and Manigriva were delivered by the grinding mortar where Damodar Krsna was bound. The remains of the grinding mortar is still present in this place.

Raval Darshan: The Appearance place of Srimati Radhika

From Nanda Bhavan in Gokul, our parikrama party proceeded to Raval, the appearance place of Srimati Radhika. Srila Guru Maharaja has mentioned that in different kalpas (eras) Srimati Radhika's appearance pastime varies. Sometimes she appears in Vrsabhanu kund in Varsana. In some kalpas, She appears in a thousand lotus flower floating on Yamuna here in Raval.

Here, after darshan and Harikatha, the devotees took lunch prasadam and then went back to Vrndavan via Lohavan (the video coverage of which I already posted in previous episode on Dauji).

Vrindavan Darshan: Dhira-samir, Gopishwar Mahadev, Vamsivat to Sri Govindadev

10 October 2009. Today the parikrama party went to Dhira-samir where we had darshan of Sri Gauridas Pandit's samadhi and bhajan kutir and his worshipful Deity Sri Shyam Raya. Then we proceeded to Gopishwar Mahadev Temple, After which, we went to Vamsivat, which is the famous tree under which Sri Krishna played His flute to call the gopis and therefore it has always been a place of rasa lila. Next we had darshan of Brahma Kund where Mahadev dipped and got transformed into a very beautiful gopi known as Gopishwar Mahadev. Finally we had darshan of Srila Rupa Goswami's famous Deity - Sri Govindadev. Unfortunately photography is not allowed in the temple but Govindadev was so merciful and He arranged to give a very quick darshan in this video. Just make use of the pause button if you want to extend His darshan. Or better just come here to Vrndavan and have His darshan to your heart's content.

Madhuvan Darshan: Krishna Kund and Temples in Madhuvan

9 October 2009. Today is the first bus day. The parikrama party in 19 buses went to 4 of the main forests of Vraja -- Madhuvan, Talavan, Matavan and Bhandirvan. This episode covers our darshan of the ancient forest Madhuvan.

Madhuvan & Talavan Darshan: From Dhruva Tila to Balabhadra Kund

After the blissful gathering on the bank of Krishna Kund in Madhuvan, the devotees walked a little distance in what used to be the Madhuvan forest and took darshan of Dhruva and Lakshmi Narayan at Dhruva Tila (Hill) where Dhruva performed austerities and got the darshan of Lord Narayan. From here the parikrama party went by bus to the next forest - Talavan where Baladev killed the donkey demon Dhenukasura. In Talavan, you can get darshan of Dauji (Baladev) in his beautiful temple on the bank of Balabhadra Kund.

Matavan & Bhandirvan Darshan: Mana Sarovar to Bhandirvata

After visiting Talavan (in previous episode), our parikrama party by bus proceeded to Mana Sarovar which is located in the forest Matavan. This sarovar was manifested from Srimati Radhika's tears. Then from Mana Sarovar we proceeded to the forest Bhandirvan which is now a village called Bhandir Gaon. In here, you can have darshan of the ancient tree Bhandirvat, under which one marriage pastime of Radha and Krsna by Lord Brahma took place. Also. here is Venu Kupa, a well that Krsna manifested through His flute. This forest is a site of many wonderful pastimes of Krsna and his sakhas and sakhis from cow grazing to wrestling matches to lunch picnics and not to mention his eating the forest fire. Just a little distance from Bhandirvata is another ancient tree Vamsivata under which Krsna used to perform Rasa lila with the gopis and where His best friend Sridam stayed in separation from Him when He left Vraja. All details of these pastimes in the beautiful book Sri Vraja mandal Parikrama by our worshipful Guru Maharaj Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaj.

Vrindavan darshan: Nidhuvan Parikrama

8 October 2009. Today the parikrama party went to Nidhuvan then to the temples of Sri Radharaman, Sri Gokulananda, Sri Radha-Gopinath, and Sri Shyamasundar. This episode covers our parikrama In Nidhuvana where Sri Sri Radha and Krishna's many wonderful amorous pastimes are eternally taking place. Here you can take darshan of Srimati Radhika's kunjas, Visakha kunda, the appearance place of Sri Bankebihari and the samadhi mandir of Swami Haridasji.

Vrindavan Darshan: Sri Radharaman Temple

After circumambulating Nidhuvan, our parikrama party proceeded to Sri Radharaman Temple. Before taking the darshan of Sri Radharamanji, we take the shelter of Sri Gopal Bhatta Goswami, His dear devotee to whom He manifested Himself. Therefore, in this episode we first went to the samadhi temple of Gopal Bhatta Goswami then took a lovely darshan of the Supremely Beautiful Sri Radharamanjiu.

Vrindavan Darshan: Temples of Sri Gokulananda, Sri Radha-Gopinath and Sri Shyamasundar

After taking darshan of Sri Radharamanjiu, we proceeded to the temples of Sri Radha-Gokulananda where you can take darshan of Sri Radhavinodji the worshipful Deities of Sri Lokanath Goswami and Sri Radha Gokulanandaji, the worshipful Deities of Srila Viswanath Chakravarty Thakur. Within the temple area, you can do parikrama of the samadhi mandirs of Srila Lokanath Goswami, Srila Visvanath Chakravarty Thakur and Srila Narottam das Thakur. Then just nearby is the temple of Sri Sri Radha-Gopinath. You are lucky that Thakurji is giving His darshan in this video. Then finally we took the beautiful darshan of Sri Radha Shyamasundar after first taking shelter of the mercy of Srila Shyamananda Prabhu in his bhajan cave within the temple area. Photography is prohibited in the temple so I wasn't allowed to capture the very interesting and wonderful sringar (outfit and decoration) of Sri Shyamasundar today. But if you know where to pause the video you may have a glimpse of how Sri Shyamasundar is today dressed as a lady gardener in order to meet with His beloved Radhika. Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe! Gaur Premanande!

Vrindavan Darshan: From Imli Tala to Seva Kunja

6 October, 2009. Today the parikrama party first went to Imli Tala, the site of the ancient Tamarind tree where Sri Krishna sat down and because of intense absorption in the mood of separation from Srimati Radhika, His blackish complexion became golden like Radhika's. And when Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Vraja and resided in Akrura ghat for several days, this place is where Mahaprabhu used to visit daily and sit under the same tree absorbed in deep moods of loving devotion.

From Imli Tala we proceeded to Seva Kunja also known as Nikunjavan which is one of the highest places in Vrindavan being the special place where many intimate loving pastimes of the Divine Couple is eternally taking place.

Vrindavan Darshan: From Seva Kunja to Sringar Vata

From Seva Kunja the parikrama party went to Sri Radha Damodar Temple. and took darshan of Sri Sri Radha Damodar and circumambulated Their temple as well as the samadhis of great personalities there like Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Jiva Goswami, Srila Krsnadas Kaviraj, Srila Bugarbha Goswami, Srila Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur and more. From Sri Radha Damodar Temple, on the way back to Gopinath Bhavan we took darshan of Sringar Vat, the holy tree under which Krishna met Srimati Radhika after she left the Rasa dance and attempting to break Her mana (jealous anger), He decorated Her with flowers. This place is also where Nityananda Prabhu resided when He visited Vraja. Tthus it is also called Nityananda Vata.

For more detailed description of the pastimes in these wonderful places, read Sri Vraja mandal Parikrama book by Sri Srimad Bhaktiventa Narayan Goswami available for download at

Baelvan Darshan: Journey to Lakshmi's place of austerity

7 October 2009. Today the parikrama party crossed the Yamuna by boat to go to one of Vraja's main forest called Baelvan. It is a place known to be the bestower of perfection to austerities. And showing how glorious Vraja mandal and the Vrajavasis (especially the Vraja gopis) are, Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune Herself left all her fortune to come and perform austerities in this sacred forest. Why? Because she too wants to enter into the Rasa lila of Sri Krishna. Unfortunately, she does not want to accept the position of being a cowherd girl and make cow dung patties and especially to be married to some other gopa so she can be a secret paramour lover of Krishna. Therefore upto now it is said that she is still performing austerities there. And so today we had darshan of her temple, and the remaining trees in what used to be a forest so abundant of Bael trees. It was a bit of a walk from the Yamuna with lots of happy and friendly honeybees buzzing around to welcome us. (Hey, those who came with us, you know what I mean. :)

Vrindavan Darshan: Kaliya Lake to Sri Madanmohan Temple

5 October 2009. Today the parikrama party went to the famous spot where Krishna subdued the serpent Kaliya and to the bhajan kuti and samadhi of Sri Prabodhananda Saraswati just nearby. Then the parikrama party proceeded to Sri Madanmohan temple to get the darshan of Srila Sanatan Goswami's worshipful Deity Sri Madanmohanji. In this coverage, you can have video darshan of Sri Sanatan Goswami's samadhi and bhajan kuti and the place of the original Sri Madanmohan temple (which was desecrated by the tyrannical Mughol emperor Aurangzeb).before taking darshan of Sri Madanmohanji in His new temple. In this way we are taking the shelter of Sri Sanatan Goswami by whose mercy only we can have sambandha (relationship) with Sri Madanmohan.

Vrindavan Darshan: Advaita Vat to Sri Banke-bihari Temple

After dashan of Sri Madanmohanji, you can get the darshan of the other holy places just nearby like Advaita Vat which was the tree under which Advaita Acharya lived and worshipped Sri Madan-gopal when he first came to Vraja before the advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Later on when Advaita Acharya left Vrindavan, He entrusted secretly Sri Madan-gopal to one Brahmin family in Mathura. When Sanatan Goswami came to Vraja, the same Deity made His way to Sanatan Goswami who established Him in a big temple at the place we just visited in the previous episode. From then on Sri Madan-gopal became known as Sri Madanmohan, Also just nearby is the beautiful Ashta-Sakhi Mandir or the Temple of the Eight Sakhis where you can have darshan of the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha and Krishna in the middle of Their Eight girlfriends. And on the way back from here to our program site in Gopinath Bhavan you can pass by and take darshan of the famous Sri Banke-bahari Temple where Swami Haridasji established the worship of Sri Banke-bihari Krishna, the Deity he manifested in Nidhuvan. Unfortunately cameras are strictly prohibited here so our coverage ends only at the temple entrance...

4 October 2009. Today is Sarad Purnima and beginning of Kartik Vrata. After the morning class, our most worshipful Srila Gurudev Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaj performed Gurupuja and pushpanjali ceremony to Paramgurudev Sri Srimad Bhakti Pragyan Keshav Goswami Maharaj (Srila Gurudev's Guru Maharaj and the sanyas-guru of His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj) whose disappearance day we are also celebrating today. Then we all went to the bank of the Yamuna for the sankalpa ceremony (or the taking of vow to perform Kartik vrata this month).

This episode is a brief coverage of the devotees' assembly at the bank of Yamuna and the lovely harikatha by our Srila Guru Maharaj about the real purpose of our sankalpa before the Sankalpa and Yamuna puja started. (Sripad BV Madhav Maharaj gave the english translation in the video.)

 Kartik Vrata Begins: Sankalpa in Vrindavan (part 2)

In previous episode Srila Guru Maharaj made it clear that we shall follow Kartik vrata only for the sole aim and purpose to become the maidservant of Srimati Radhika. This video episode covers briefly the actual sankalpa ceremony and Srila Guru Maharaj's return to Gopinath Bhavan ending with a blissful sankirtan rock-out with Sripad Rasananda Prabhu and Sripad BV Ashram Maharaj. 

Lohavan Darshan: Durvasa Ashram

2 October 2009. Today the parikrama party crossed the Yamuna to go to Durvasa Ashram which is situated in Lohavan. Before reaching Durvasa Ashram, first the parikrama party took breakfast prepared by the local Vrijvasis in the village of Ishapur. That time, I went ahead to visit our Durvasa Ashram Goshala and had darshan of our cows then proceeded to our Durvasa Ashram Temple and welcomed the parikrama party. Below is an excerpt about Durvasa Ashram from the Lohavan chapter in Sri Vraja mandal Parikrama book by Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaja:

"This place lies across the Yamuna one mile north of Vishram Ghat in Mathura. It is Maharishi Durvasas place of austerities. It was from here that Durvasa crossed the Yamuna on Dvadasi and went to the palace of Ambarish Maharaja in Mathurä just when the king was due to break his Ekadasi fast (parana). This pastime has been narrated in detail in Srimad-Bhagavatam (Ninth Canto, Fourth Chapter). Just near Durvasa Ashrama is the ashrama of Maharishi Parasara. Sri Vyasa and other rishis and munis would visit Maharishi Parasara there. Close by, on the bank of Yamunä, was the ashrama of Dattatreyaji. Satyavati, also known as Matsyagandha, the mother of Sri Vyasadeva, stayed here with her father, the boatman who had raised her. The island on which Krishna-dvaipayana Sri Vedavyasa took birth is in the Yamuna nearby. At Durväsa Ashrama, the gopis satisfied Maharishi Durväsa by offering him various kinds of delicious foodstuffs."

1 October 2009. The parikrama party today went first to Dwarkadish Temple. With the sankirtan party led by Rasananda Prabhu, the devotees were loudly chanting "Radhe! Radhe!" as a way of telling the Lord of Dwarka, "Hey where's your peacock feather and your flute? Why you left Vrndavan? Are you really happy away from our Swamini? Radhe! Radhe!"

Among the new temples of Mathura, the Dwarkadish Temple is prominent. It was established about 150 years ago by a devotee in the line of Sri Vallabacharya. This temple is situated close to Vishram ghat.

After darshan of Dwarkadish the parikrama party proceeded to the temples of Adi Varaha or Krishna Varaha (black Varaha Deity) and Sweta Varäha (white Varaha Deity) which are just nearby. Below is an excerpt about the Deity of Varahadev from Sri Vraja Mandal Parikrama book by Sri Srimad Bhakttivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaja:

"At the beginning of Satya-yuga, there was a brahmin rishi named Kapila. He was a worshipper of Bhagaväan Adi Varaha. Indra, the king of the demigods was pleased with that brahmin and brought that deity of Varaha to Svarga (heaven), where he installed Him for worship. Having defeated Indra, the mighty Ravana seized that Varaha deity from Svarga and established Him in Lanka. After killing the nirvisheshavadi Ravana, Bhagavan Sri Ramachandra brought that same deity to Ayodhya and installed Him in His palace. While leaving Ayodhya to kill Lavanasura, Maharaja Shatrughna asked his elder brother Sri Ramachandraji for this Varaha deity. Maharaja Shatrughna carried the deity with him and, after killing Lavanasura, established Him in the city of Mathura, where one can take darshana of Him today."

Mathura Darshan: Bhuteshwar Mahadeva

30 September 2009. Today is ekadasi and today our parikrama party had darshan of Bhuteshwar Mahadev, Sri Krishna Janmasthan, Adi Keshav, Mahavidya devi and more. The eternal kshetra-pala (area protector) on Mathura's western side is Bhuteshwar Mahadeva. Nearby is Patala devi, whom Kamsa worshipped, and a little further on are Potra Kunda, Adi Keshav and Sri Krishna Janma-sthana which will be covered in my next video episode.

 Mathura Darshan: Sri Krishna Janmasthan, Adi Keshav to Mahavidya Devi

After Bhuteshwar Mahadev our parikrama party proceeded to Krishna's Appearance place where cameras are not allowed so I couldn't have footage inside. Then nearby is Potra Kunda where Vasudev and Devaki used to take bath and wash their clothes. Then outside the backgate of Janmasthana is the ancient temple of Adi Keshav, a very ancient Deity of Krishna established by Krishna's great grandson Vajranabha. This unque Deity has all the marks of Sri Krishna's 24 avatars. Also nearby is the temple of Mahavidya devi or Yogamaya and Saraswati Kund where Sri Krishna liberated one big python who tried to swallow Nanda Baba (whole story in Srimad Bhagavatam 10th canto chapter 34). For more info about these places and all other places in Vraja mandal, read the Sri Vraja Mandal Parikrama book available for download here (just click the link)

Mathura Darshan: Completing the parikrama marg

After darshan of Janmasthan and Sri Mahavidya temple, our brothers Shyam and Giri accompanied me to follow the Mathura parikrama marg (path) so as to complete our Mathura parikrama this ekadasi day. This video covers the key places we passed by along the path. It includes Gokarneshwar Mahadev (kshetra pala of the northern side of Mathura), Chakra Tirtha (where Chakra Sudarshan saved Ambarish Maharaja from Durvasa Muni), Srila Vyasadev's birthplace, Kamsa Kila (Kamsa's fort overseeing the Yamuna and Mathura), Swami ghat (or Samyamana Tirtha where Maharaj Vasudev crossed the Yamuna carrying baby Krishna to go to Gokul), and reaching Vishram ghat where we took a quick bath and from where we continued the parikrama path (the places of which we have already covered in previous episodes) to go back to our temple Sri Keshavji Gaudiya Math.

To watch previous episodes just click the link:

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