Monday, 1 October 2012



Rameshvaram, Tamil Nadu;

       Sri Chaitani Mahaprabhu then went to Shetubandha, Rameshvaram. Where He took bath in the place called Danush Tirtha. There He visited the Rameshvar Temple and took rest.
       The path to the ocean to the islands known as Mandapan and Pambal consists partly of sand and partly of water. The island Pampam is about 11 miles long and six mile wide. From the Pampam harbor 4 miles to the North is a Temple known as Rameshvaram. After visiting the Temple of Goddess Durga one should go to the Temple of Rameshvar. In this area there are 24 different holy places. One of them Danushtirtha which is located about 12 miles south east of Rameshvaram. It is the near the last station of the South Indian Railway. The station called Ramanada.  It is said that here due to the respect of Vibishan,  the younger brother of Ravana Vibishan, Lord Ramachandra destroyed a small bridge with his bow upon returning to his capital. It is said if one visits Danushtirtha one is liberated from the cycle of birth and death. It is also said that if one baths in Danushtirtha he gets all the fruitiative  results of performing a  sacrifice known as agnistoma. Shetubanda is a island of Pampam. There is a Temple of Lord Shiva called Rameshvar. This indicates that Lord Shiva is a great personality whose worship able Deity is Lord Rama. Thus the Lord Shiva found in the Temple of Rameshvar. He is a great Devotee of Lord Ramachandra.

The Temple of Lord Shiva - Rameshvaram;

       After Sri Chaitania Mahaprabhu departed from the association of Venkatta Bhatta, his brothers and his son and all the Devotees of Sri Rangam He came to a very holy place near Madurai of the name Rishabhill. It is named as Rishab hill because in the forest surrounded Lord Rishabhadev by His own Supreme mystic powers burned His body to ashes. It was that Rishab Hill that Lord Chaitania made a connection that would be one the strongest, intimate relationships of His life. It was there that He first meet the great Paramananda Puri. Paramananda Puri was staying in the house of a Brahman performing pilgrimage. He is originally from Trikuta. When Lord Chaitania found out that he was in the same vicinity with great excitement He went to the house of that Brahman. He feel at the feet of Paramananda Puri. Lord Chaitania is the Supreme Lord and with dandavat obeisances He clasp to the feet of Paramananda Puri. Knowing him to be a dear god brother of His own Spiritual Master Ishvara Puri. Paramananda Puri lifted Lord Chaitania up and in great ecstasy embraced Him. They remained together in that Brahman's house for several days discussing the topics of Lord Sri Krishna. When Lord Chaitania inquired from Paramananda Puri where he was going Paramananda Puri replied that he has just done his way to Purushottam Kshetra to have the darshan of Lord Jagannath and than he was going to Bengal to take his bath in Ganga. Lord Chaitania said that "I am just going to Setubandha and from there I will be returning to Jagannath Puri. I beg you with all sincerity after you bath in the Ganges in Bengal, please return to Jagannath Puri! And let us there together! For your association will bring Me the greatest happiness." Paramananda Puri agreed to meet Lord Chaitania in Jaganntha Puri.
       From Rishab Hill Lord Chaitania went to Sri Shaila. There Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati were living in diskies of two Brahmans. And Lord Chaitania begged alms from them. Lord Shiva took Lord Chaitania to a secluded place in the forest and there they had secret discussions for several days. From there Lord Chaitania traveled to Madurai. Where He was invited by a very gentle Brahman to his home.
       There was a story in Srirangam where several acharyas, gurus sitting under a tree on the banks of Chandra Pushkarini in the Temple of Ranganath and they were having a Hari katha. At that the possession of Deities came by. It was in the morning. And there were drowns, horns and the Deity was in the palanquin … and this was a daily affair. And one of the people in the audience of the katha jokingly said that Lord has come to interrupt His own katha. And Ranganath heard that and He told to a pujari that from now on for the next year there will be no precession in the morning. He said:
       "I want to sit and listen the Hari katha."

Procession of Lord Ranganath, Sri Rangam;
       So Lord Chaitania was invited by this Brahman by name Ram das Vipra for a lunch. Lord Chaitania took His bath in the Ketu Mala River. And He arrived at house expecting Prasad to be ready. But He found that Ram das had no even began the cooking yet. Lord Chaitania asked:
"Dear Sir, can you tell Me is there some problem! Why you haven't began cooking?"
He said:
       "Because Lakshman is still in the forest. He had not brought the ingredients yet for Sita to cook. So we are waiting.”
       Lord Chaitania was quite pleased with the honest and genuine absorption of this Devotee had in Lord Rama's lila. Lord Chaitania is the Paramatma. He knows the inner intentions of a person's heart. And He understood, by the blessings of Sri Ram that this person was totally immersed in His pastimes. Because the pastimes of the Lord are not to be understood simple by chronological, historical perspective. Although Sri Ram's prakata or manifested pastimes in a Treta yuga they are eternal pastimes. They are always taking place. And they manifest themselves within the heart of those Devotees whom the Lord chooses to show His special mercy to.
       So then Ram das prepared a nice, simple lunch Prasad for Lord Chaitania. Lord enjoyed his offering. Then the Lord saw that Ram das looked very sad. He was literally lamenting as well as fasting. Lord Chaitania asked:
       "Why do you look so sad? And are you fasting?"
       Ram das Vipra revealed his heart which was in great pain. He said that Sita Devi is the Mother of the Universe. He is the consort of Sri Ram. And She has been touched by that demoniac rakshasha Ravana. "how can I live knowing this? How can I breath? I do not have desire to live. This fact the Ravana has touched my beloved, Supreme worshipable Deity Sita brakes my heart. With so much pain that I can not continue living. What to speak of eating? I must end my life and walk into the blazing fire."
       Lord Chaitania said:
       "Please, give up your lamentation! It is not necessary to feel like this. Because Sita is the goddess of fortune. Her body is completely spiritual. No materialistic people could see what to speak of touch the eternal form of Sita. Spiritual energy is beyond the grasp of material senses. It is impossible for Ravana to have even seen Sita. What to speak of touch Her. It was a false Sita. An illusory, material form of Sita that Ravana had touched."
       Srila Prabhupada in this regard explains that the spiritual energy is inaccessible to materialistic people, for materialistic senses. The spiritual energy can only be experienced when the Lord by His own sweet will reveals Himself to us.
       So Lord told to Ram das Vipra to not to worry and take his Prasad. Hearing the very compassionate explanation of Lord Chaitania Ram das Vipra took his Prasad.
Sri Sri Sita Rama;
       From there Lord Chaitania came to Rameshvaram. First He bathed in the Danushtirtha and came to take the darshan. Sri Chaitania Charitaamrita explains that while He was in the Temple of Rameshvar He learned that there was an original copy of Kurma Purana that the Brahman's were studying. And Lord Chaitania heard an exert from the Kurma Purana. Where it is authoritatively explains the story of the chastity of Sita. And how before Ravana kidnapped Sita Agnidev took the real Sita and put Her under the direction of Pravati and brought false illusory Sita for Ravana to kidnap. And after the destruction of Ravana and his dynasty the original Sita was returned to the Lord. Lord Chaitania was so pleased to read this and He asked the priest of the Temple if He could be given the original manuscript of Kurma Purana which was very ancient. The Brahmans here in Rameshvaram scribed copy of a new manuscript and they gave Lord Chaitania the original. Because it was very old.
       After leaving Rameshvaram Lord Chaitania brought those original manuscripts back to Madurai. And He went to a house of Ram das Vipra. And said:
       "I want to show a shastric evidence that Sita was never touched by Ravana. So you will be always happy."
       And Ram das Vipra read from the Kurma Purana and became very happy and said:
       "Now I understand that You are my beloved Lord Ramachandra who has personally come to alleviate all my distress and bring me the highest bliss."
       This way Sri Chaitania Mahaprabhu's compassionate nature.
Rameshvaram has a great history. Especially in Valmiki Ramayan the glories of Shetubandha are declared Lord considered this to be the southern most point of India…
Taken from the lecture Rameshvaram 

Friday, 28 September 2012

Sri Rangam


Sri Ranganatha Swami Temple, Sri Rangam;

       Srirangam is beautiful island surrounded by river Cauvery and Kollidam(tributary of Cauvery). Srirangam is 8 miles in length and 4 miles in breadth. The population of Srirangam is about 50 thousands. It is 7 km from Trichy junction and it also has a railway station. The island town is surrounded by 7 walls. Sri Ranganatha Swami temple is one of the famous vaishnava temples in India. There are 21 gopurams, the rajagopuram (principal tower) is the largest gopuram in south India. The 72m high, 13-tiered gopuram (towers) was built in 1987 and dominates the landscape for miles around.

       Srirangam is a holy place. Importantly for vaishnavas, because, their God Vishnu is in the name of “Renganathar” in a sleeping posture (called Anantha sayanam), which could not be seen any where else like this. Srirangam has got importance because of Ranganath temple.
       Chandra Pushkarini-lake filled with fishes. Ramanujacharya came to that place and washed his hands in that lake. And as soon as he touched that water, water became so sanctified that in everyone's eyes all fishes assumed a form armed forms and descended to Vaikuntha.

Temple history:

Lotus flower emanating from the navel of Lord Vishnu;

In the beginning of the creation, from the wonderful form of the Lord Vishnu comes out a gigantic lotus flower from which takes birth Lord Brahma. His name is Atma Bhu which means he is directly born from the Lord. He did not know where he was, what to do. There was darkness. But Lord revealed to him to do tapasya. Brahma did tapasya and chant the Holy Names.
According to Sri Rangam mahatmya Lord appeared as swamsha – swan and revealed the truth to him. After performing his tapasya transcendental knowledge was given to Brahma and the power to do secondary creation. He created many things. But suddenly two demons appeared from the ears of Lord Brahma. Madhu and Kaitabhya.
These demons stole the Vedas from Brahma. That time the Vedas were within Brahma's heart. They stole the remembrance of Vedas. After that Brahma could not do anything. He lost his power. And could not fight with demons even though they appeared from him. Then he took shelter of the Lord Vishnu.
Lord appeared as Matsya Avatar. Brahma explained to Matsya. Then Matsya Avatar told that He will help him. Then Lord appeared as Lord Hayagriva and defeated the demons and brought back the Vedas.
Lord Brahma wanted so much to see the original form of Maha Vishnu. So he was told to go to the banks of the Ocean of milk and chant the Holy Names: Om Namo Narayanaya.

Matsya Avatar of Lord Vishnu;

For thousand years he fasted and chanted the Holy Names. After that the vimana appeared from the Ocean of milk along with 4 Kumaras and all other Demigods. Within that Vimana Lord Brahma took darshan of Lord Ranganath. That is how this Deity appeared in this universe. Self manifested Deities.
This Deity became life and soul of Lord Brahma and he built a beautiful Temple in Satyaloka.
For a long time he worshiped. Pujari became Surya Dev. Then later on he gave the worship to his son Vaishnavata Manu. Then later on to the son of Manu Ikshvaku. Ikshvaku had his kingdom in Ayodhya.
Ikshvaku was thinking that all of my ancestors have power to go Satyaloka but my future descendents won't have power to go there. Because of that he desired to bring Lord to the Earth and started to do austerities.
During the summer Ikshvaku put fire in 5 directions and meditated on Lord.

Lord Chaitania's dance;

When Lord Chaitania came to South India He danced before the Lord Ranganatha and all around chanted the Holy Names. One of the nice Brahmanas Venkatta Bhatta invited Lord to his home. And Lord went. Venkatta Bhatta had his son Gopal Bhatta Goswami. Venkatta Bhatta requested Lord to stay at his house for whole 4 months in Chaturmasya and Lord stayed.
Venkatta Bhatta’s son is Rahnaraj Bhatt and Murli Bhatt is the son of Rangaraj Bhatt. Rangaraj Bhatt allowed all ISKCON Devotees to enter to the Temple of Ranganath and have His darshan.

Venkatta Bhatta's house, Sri Rangam;

In the winter Ikshvaku used to go to cold places and enter to the cold waters and remain there for 4 months. Indra thought that Ikshvaku is doing it to take away his opulence. Indra then send Kamadev. Menaka, Urvashi were dancing…in order to disturb Ikshvaku. After some time Ikshvaku opened his eyes and offered his obeisance to those girls. Kamadev seeing this became angry and Ikshvaku offered obeisance to Kamadev also. They were surprised. And blessed him that he will see the Lord Ranganath.
And they left to Indra. Indra came himself and attacked with thunderbolts. Ikshvaku prayed to Lord. Then Lord Brahma became heart broken and became before Lord Ranganath and told if Lord is leaving to the Earth and leaving him. He requested Him not to leave. Ranganath told that Ikshvaku is serving to Me with love and devotion I have to go. Lord Ranganath told that Lord Brahma has to worship Him in Mangala Arati.
- Then I will go to the Earth for millions of years. Then I will come when it is noon in Satyaloka. Lord Brahma agreed.
Ikshvaku built very nice Temple to the Lord in Ayodhya. Many years later there was a king Dasharath. But he did not have a son. Because of that he did yagya and invited many kings. And of those kings were Dharma varma the king of chowma dynasty. Dharma varma saw Lord Ranganath and became in love with Him. And told that Iskhvaku did so many tapasya and brought Lord to Ayodhya and I will do tapasya to bring Him to the banks of Kaveri.
He started to do tapasya. Meanwhile Dasharath had 4 sons. They worshipped Lord Ranganath. Lord Ram was vanished to the forest. When Mother Sita was stolen in order to bring Her back He went to Rameshvaram.
From Rameshvaram they built the bridge to cross the Ocean.
Lord Ramachandra coroneted Vibishan after killing Ravana. And gave Lord Ranganath to him to Sri Lanka from Ayodhya.
Mean while this Dharma varman was doing his tapasya.  He built a beautiful place for the Lord. Among the two lakes Chandra Pushkarini and the river Kaveri.
Vibishan put Lord Ranganath in this place for some time. And saw Dharma Varma. Dharma Varma told that there is a festival for 9 days and requested to celebrate that.
And they celebrated. After that Vibishan wanted to take up Lord Ranganath to Sri Lanka but could not move Him. He started to cry. Lord told that this is the place on Earth.
-I will stay here.
Then Vibishan told that he will also stay there. Lord told that he should go and He will put His sight to the side of Sri Lanka so that Vibishan could feel Him.
Dharma Varman built magnificent Temple. But after many, many generations Temple became old and the Deity was gone.
One of the descendents of Dharma Varman king Kili. He happened to be walking and there was a little tile and there was  a parrot and that parrot began to sing the song about Sri Ranganath. And Temple was in that place and he found that Temple and the Deity also. And built a very nice Temple again.
Tirumangay became a sadhu. He was a son of a landowner. He fell in love with a girl. Kumudabali was a very beautiful young lady. He approached a father. Father told to approach his daughter. He did but she told to take initiation. Then she told to feed one thousand Vaishnavas everyday. He did. And through the process of association he became attached to them. After that he married to Kumodabali. But even after marriage he continued to feed Vaishnavas. Due course of time he became a sadhu. Because of his detachment and knowledge various of people became his disciples and Devotees. Even yogis also. One of them could walk on water. One could open any lock in any door. One could step on person’s shadow and make him not move. Another could debate and other person could not leave him as like putting chain on the person. They were traveling all around and came to Sri Rangam.
This place became over grown with jungle. All the Temples were under the forest with wild animals. No one could come here. Even Pujaris were afraid of coming here. They used to come just for offering food and run away. And Lord were living here as like a very poor man.
But around there were many people who lived very richly. Because he used to steal others.
Tirimangay told that Lord is living in this condition but all these people are living like this. They started to ask for charities but they used to take only few coins. Sometimes they were chastised. They tolerated insults. These rich people were pride of their wealth.
Tirumangay decided they are cheating, they are not giving to the Lord. Which is better they get fat, they exploit everyone of we take the money and build a Temple for Ranganath.
They made a plan. They started to recruiting dacoits. One of them told that I will argue with some one and other one will open the lock and when someone will come other one would step on shadow and stop the person. In this way they started to collect money. They also started to feed people with Maha Prasadam of the Lord. All poor people became ecstatic that they were feed nicely again. Tirumangay hired the best architects.
He carried on this fund rising campaign for 60 years. Even though Tirumangay used to live in the forest in bhajan kutir and used to go to the city and beg for rice. They did not use any coin for themselves. By this time they became 80 years. But the rubbers who assisted them wanted money after the Temple was built.
But Tirumangay did not pay them money. Then rubbers decided to kill Tirumangay. And he heard about it and talked it to his disciples.
Then disciples planed how to protect his Guru. The one who could argue started to argue with them. He told that he knows where the money is. It was the time when it was rainy season. He told that there is one island and money is there. All the dacoits  started to move in the boat. One that who could walk on water went along with them. And others stood on the bank. And there was also sink on the boat and they went down under the water of Kaveri. The disciple came back to his Guru and told that they were dead.
Tirumangay told that they were dacoits but we used them to built Temple. And because of that they will achieve the lotus feet of the Lord.
After that they lived for many years with their Guru and then left this world.

Sri Ranganatha Swami Temple, Sri Rangam;

We have no right to imitate Tirumangay but we can understand the spirit of him. He was empowered  by the Lord to do that for the benefit of thousands of people. Tirumangay lived 1500 years. He built this Temple 1500 – 2000 years ago. The Temple became a high sit of Vaishnava culture.
Yamunacharya lived here. Ramanujacharya lived here for over 16 years.
Parasara Bhatta: Ranganath is Lord Vishnu. He is lying in the snake and Lakshmi Devi is there.      One of His hand directing to His face. And another to His feet.
Meaning: the goal of life is for you to see My face to smile. This is the goal of life. And how to make Him smile? By taking shelter of His lotus feet. And how to take the shelter of His feet? By taking shelter of Devotees and by chanting His Holy Names.

Lord Sri Ranganatha Swami, Sri Rangam;
Taken from the lectures of Radhanath Swami South Indian Yatra 2005-06

Tuesday, 31 July 2012



       This village situated 1 mile west of Shri Barsana Gram is the appearance place of Shri Radhika’s most intimate Sakhi, Lalita Sakhi. It is Lalita’s duty to pacify Shrimati Radharani when She is feeling separation from Krishna. There is a Lalita Krishna temple atop the hill in Unchagaon. In this temple there is a set of Radha Krishna deities and next to Them is a little deity of Shri Lalita Devi. The Samadhi of Narayan Bhatt Goswami, a great devotee of Lord Chaitanya, is also there in Unchagaon. He excavated many pastime places and installed many lost deities of Vrindavan. Close to this Samadhi is a temple of Balaramji. Narayan Bhatt Goswami would personally worship this deity of Balaramji. Also there is a Sakhi-Giri Parvata or Sakhi Giri hill in Unchagaon where the intimate sakhis such as Lalita, Vishakha, Champaklata  and Chitra would perform playful pastimes. On the Sakhi Giri Parvata is a stone slide called the Phisalini Shila. It is said that at this place Krishna and the Gopis would throw colors on each other during Holi.



       Yavat is the village of Abhimanyu, his mother Jatila and sister Kutila. Abhimanyu played the part of the “so-called husband” of Shrimati Radharani in Lord Krishna’s pastimes. Abhimanyu is the expansion of Krishna’s shadow. This place is very much glorified by Shrila Rupa and Sanatan Goswami because this place facilitates the “Parakiya Rasa” or the mellow of paramour love in the loving pastimes of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. There is a Radha Krishna temple in this village called the Radha Kanta Temple. This village is 3 Km northeast of Nandagaon.
       The Acharyas explain that how it was Krishna only who married Shrimati Radharani in the form of Abhimanyu.
       When Lord Brahma had stolen the calves and the Gopas and put them in mystic slumber for one full year, that time Lord Krishna not wanting to create any type of anxiety for the Brajavasis personally expanded Himself as each and every calf and each and every Gopa, so identically that no one even considered the possibility that there was any difference. The only difference the cows and the mothers and the fathers of the Gopas experienced was that they could not understand why they felt such intensified love for their children. They loved their children for the first time as much as they loved Krishna Himself. Sukadev Goswami explains that this is because Krishna is the beloved Supersoul in every ones heart, He is the ultimate object of everyone’s love. So in Vrindavan everyone love their children, but they love Krishna most. All the Gopas, Gopis and all the cows would long in their hearts that “Mother Yashoda is so fortunate to have Krishna as her child. If only I could love Krishna as my child.” In Vrindavan everyone’s desires are fulfilled. So Krishna fulfilled desires of all the mothers and personally became their Children and accepted the milk from their breast.
       During that year Krishna also wanted to satisfy the younger Gopis who prayed to Krishna to become their husband. So Krishna told Nanda Maharaj that this particular year is very, very auspicious for marriage. We should get all the Gopas married to the Gopis. Nanda Maharaj consulted with Paurnamasi, “Shiksa Guru” of Braja Bhumi. She said, “Yes this is correct we should have big, big marriages.” So young Gopas married young Gopis. The Gopis attained the fulfillment of their heart’s desires by marrying “Krishna”. They didn’t know that the One they were being married to was their beloved Krishna only. But they loved Him as they loved Krishna, because although Krishna was in all these different forms of the different Gopas, He manifested His all-attractive beauty in each of them. The marriage of Shrimati Radharani with “Abhimanyu” was also arranged in the same year. But Krishna had expanded Himself as Abhimanyu also, who was sleeping in a mystic slumber in Brahma Loka. So Shrimati Radharani was married to Krishna in the form of Abhimanyu. Almost for one year “Krishna” in the form Abhimanyu lived with Shrimati Radharani as Her husband in this very place called Yavat.
       At the end of the year when Brahma surrendered to Krishna realizing His Supreme glory, he brought back all the calves and all the cowherd boys including Abhimanyu. At that time the cowherd boys and the calves understood that their perfection was simply to somehow or other increase the loving exchanges of Radha and Krishna. So Abhimanyu who is Krishna’s expansion existed only for the purpose of increasing the excitement of the Rasa in the meetings and the separations of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. As did Jatila and Kutila.



       Shrimati Radharani appeared in this world in a village called Mukharvali, now known as Raval.
      This is the place of the appearance of the most worshipable object of devotion for the Gaudiya Vaishnavas (followers of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu); Vrishabhanu Nandini, Shrimati Radharani. There is a small temple here called Ladli Lal Temple with Radha Krishna deties. The deity of Krishna is said to have been established by Vajranabh, great-grandson of Krishna, some 5000 years ago. Raval is some 4 Km south of Gokula, the appearance place of Shri Krishna.
       It is explained that Vrishabhanu and Kirtida, were living in Barsana but they had no children. While at the same time Nanda Maharaj and Yashoda were living in Nanda Gaon and they also had no children. Vrishabhanu Maharaj and Nanda Maharaj were dear most friends. So they decided to shift their two communities of cowherds close to the bank of Yamuna, because the Yamuna is filled with all auspiciousness. So, Nanda and Yashoda shifted to Gokula and got Lord Shri Krsna as their child. Vrishabhanu Maharaj alongwith his community of cowherds shifted to Raval which at that time was very close to river Yamuna. Once Vrishabhanu Maharaj went to Yamuna to take his bath and there he saw in the midst of the Yamuna a beautiful lotus flower and on the lotus flower was the most perfect object of all beauty in the form of a small infant baby. Her complexion was golden and it was more brilliant than millions and millions of Suns. Vrishabhanu was wondering how to reach this beautiful lotus flower. At that time Lord Brahma appeared, and Lord Brahma explained to Vrishabhanu that in your previous life you were Suchandra and your Kirtida was Kalavati and you performed great tapasya, eating only dry leaves and hardly some water for thousands upon thousands of years. You desired the supreme source of Laxmi to appear as your own baby child and I therefore appeared before you and offered you this benediction. So to fulfill your prayer the Supreme Laxmi, Shrimati Radharani has now appeared to be your child.
       Vrishabhanu took Shrimati Radhika to his home and offered her to Kirtida, his wife. Vrishabhanu Maharaj had wonderful, wonderful celebrations and was giving hundreds and thousands of cows decorated in jewels, gold and silver in charity, and everyone around Vraja Bhoomi, especially this Raval area began singing and dancing, celebrating the birth of this beautiful child. Upon seeing Her just once their hearts became insatiably attached to Her and they could think of nothing or no one else except Her. But for some inconceivable reason this child would not open Her eyes. Nor would She acknowledge any sound or make any sound from Her mouth. Perhaps She was blind and deaf and dumb.
       At that time, Narada Muni came to Raval Dham to take the darshan of Shrimati Radharani, the Supreme most object of his worship. Upon Narada’s request Vrishabhanu brought the child and Narada Muni immediately offered his prostrated obeisances to the child. He began to circumambulate this beautiful golden baby. And with tears of love in his eyes he began to chant the glories of Shrimati Radharani. After this Shri Narada explained to Vrishabhanu, you should have big, big celebrations. Let everyone know about the birth of this child. Then he went to a place called Narada Kunda, which is near Govardhan Hill and by the blessings of the darshan of Shrimati Radharani he wrote the Narada Bhakti Sutra there.
       Meanwhile Nanda and Yashoda came to Raval alongwith their little baby Gopal in order to behold the beauty of Shrimati Radharani and to offer their congratulations to Her fortunate parents. At the time when they were discussing so many wonderful subject matters, little Gopal crawled to the swinging cradle in which Shrimati Radharani was sitting, and somehow or other, reached up and He put His beautiful moonlike face right before Shri Radhika. Only then did Shrimati Radharani open Her beautiful lotus like eyes because She did not want to see anything in this world except Her beloved Shyamsundar, Shri Krishna. She began to cry in ecstatic love and when all the Brajvasis saw this wonderful pastime they all began to celebrate the glories of Shrimati Radharani.



Shriji Temple -Laadli Sarkar Mahal- Radha Rani Mandir;

       Barsana Gram also called Vrishabhanupur, is a village 25 miles northwest from Mathura. Barsana is the eternal playground of Shri Vrindavaneshwari, the Supreme Reservoir of Compassion—Shrimati Radharani.

       Barsana is such a beautiful enchanting land that just by seeing and experiencing the divine landscape of Barsana ones heart and mind is naturally transported to the realm of devotion. Just like a lotus flower has a whorl and eight petals similarly Barsana is the whorl of the lotus, the abode of Shrimati Radharani, and around Barsana are the villages of all of Her eight Sakhis. There are many intimate pastime places in Barsana Dham such as Sankhri Khor, Pili Pokhar, Krishna Kunda, Morr Kuti, palace of Vrishabhanu Maharaj, Ladli Lal temple etc. Krishna is Hari—He steals away all our attachments and ultimately steals our heart when it becomes soft like the butter of the gopis, but Shrimati Radharani steals the heart of even Hari, so She is “Hare” and Barsana is the abode of Shri Radhika where She performed Her childhood pastimes in the courtyard of Vrishabhanu and Kirtida.

Maan Garh -Maan Mandir;

       This village is settled on and around two hills which are adjacent to each other. The white colored hill is the longer one and is called Brahma Hill while the black colored one is called Vishnu Hill. Padma Purana states that Lord Brahma has taken the form of these hills in Barsana so as to get the dust of the lotus feet of Shri Shri Radha Krishna and Their devotees on his heads. There are four peaks of these hills- Bhangarh, Maangarh, Daangarh and Vilasgarh and each of these peaks is one of the heads of Lord Brahma. Vilasgarh lies on the Vishnu Hill while the rest three peaks lie on Brahma Hill.

Shriji Temple -Laadli Sarkar Mahal- Radha Rani Mandir;

       Atop Bhangarh is the famous temple of Shriji. This deity of Shriji, also known as Ladli Lal (The beloved one), was originally established by Vajranabh, some 5000 years ago. Just at the foot of the steps leading to Shriji temple is the palace of Vrishabhanu Maharaj where Shri Radhika performed Her childhood pastimes. Here one can have darshan of Vrishabhanu, Kirtida, Shridama and Shri Radhika. Just across the road from Shriji temple is a beautiful pond called Pili Pokhar. When Yashoda Mayi applied turmeric paste to Shri Radhika’s hands accepting Her as her bride, Radharani came and washed Her hands out of shyness in this pond. Consequently the color of the water here turned golden yellow.

Pili Pokhar;

       Atop Maangarh is the Maan Mandir, the place where Shrimati Radharani would go into seclusion in Her transcendental loving anger towards Krishna. At Maan Mandir Krishna pleads, weeps and cries like a beggar to gain the favor of His beloved Shrimati Radharani. Within the temple, there is a small tunnel leading to a dark chamber which is said to be the place where Radharani would go and sit. Down the hill from Maan Mandir are Morr Kutir and Krishna Kund. Morr Kutir is the place where Krishna and Radharani danced in the form of peacock and peahen. Krishna Kund or Radha Sarovar is the pond in Gahavara Vana (forest of caves) where Shrimati Radharani would bathe. Also Radha-Krishna would have water sports here.

Morr Kutir; 


Maan Garh -Maan Mandir;

       Sankari Khor is a very narrow passageway at the junction of the Brahma hill and Vishnu hill. Krishna and His cowherd boys dressed up as tax collectors would block the way of Radharani and Her Sakhis with their sticks here and would ask for yogurt, butter and ghee as tax for passing through Sankari Khor.

Saankari Khor;

Saankari Khor;

Saankari Khor;

      As we are roaming through these beautiful forests of Barsana, we should be praying for the dust of the lotus feet of Shri Radha and Her devotees. This is the spirit. If there is false ego, we can’t understand the Dham. We should pray to be able to overcome egoistic contaminations and to overcome superficiality, artificiality that is born of the false ego and that we can genuinely, earnestly and honestly pray to be the servant of the servant of the servant of the Vaishnavas, because that gentle and sincere desire will attract the mercy of Shri Shri Radha Shyamasundar. This should be the mood and prayer at Barsana Dham.

Brahmaji as mountain in Barsana

Lord Brahma;

       Lord Brahma is the father of all living beings in the universe. He lives for three hundred and eleven trillion (311,000,000,000,000) years and even the demigods turn to him in times of difficulty. But Lord Brahma, according to Varaha Purana and Padma Purana performed tapasya, and prayed to Krishna to allow him to serve the Lord in such a way that the dust of the feet of not only the Lord but of all His devotees would always be upon his head. Understanding His devotee’s heart, Lord Krishna benedicted Brahmaji to become a mountain in Barsana Dham. This mountain is comprised of two hills. The white colored hill is the longer one and is called Brahma Hill while the black colored one is called Vishnu Hill. The four peaks of this mountain in Barsana are actually the four heads of Brahmaji. He finds greater pleasure with the devotees walking on the top of his head, sitting on his head, dancing on his head. The peak where Vrishabhanu Maharaj had his palace is known as Bhanugarh. Just across the ridge from Bhangadh, there is the beautiful peak that is called Vilasgarh, where Shri Shri Radha and Krishna performed innumerable playful pastimes. The esoteric mountain peak where Shrimati Radharani would go in seclusion when She wanted to please Krishna through Her pastimes of ‘Anger’ is Maangarh. The peak where the pastimes of charity and tax collection are performed is Daangadh. Vilasgarh lies on the Vishnu Hill while the rest three lie on Brahma Hill.

       A brief description of the important pastime places atop these four peaks can be given as follows: Atop Bhanugarh is the famous temple of Shriji also called the Ladli Lal temple. On Bhanugarh, the palace of Vrishabhanu Maharaj is there where Shri Radhika performed Her childhood pastimes. Across the road from Shriji temple is a beautiful pond called Pili Pokhar. Atop Maangarh is the Maan Mandir, the place where Shrimati Radharani would go into seclusion in Her transcendental loving anger towards Krishna. Down the hill from Maan Mandir are Morr Kutir and Krishna Kund. Sankari Khor is a very narrow passageway at the junction of the Brahma hill and Vishnu hill where mischievous Krishna and His cowherd boys would stop Radharani and Her Sakhis and collect taxes of butter, yougurt and ghee from them. Thus, Brahmaji in the form of this mountain is witness to these sweet pastimes in Barsana.

Radha Kushalbihari

       About half a kilometer from the Larily-Lal temple is Kushal Bihari temple.
       There was a great king from Rajasthan who was very much devoted to Barsana Dham. He would come here with his royal family regularly to worship in the eternal home of Srimati Radharani. He decided to build a magnificent temple for Larily Lal, and thus this temple, one of the extravagantly opulent temples in Vraja Dham with very intricate hand carved sand stone—both inside and outside—came into being. He built it this way to show the world that Krishna should be the center of all activities, whoever we may be. He was a king. But he didn’t put his throne in the center. He wanted the beautiful deity of Larily-Lal in the center. And he built small rooms around the deity where he and his family members and his ministers could live. The idea is, everyone should be fully conscious that whoever we are, we are just the humble servant of the servant of the servants of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.
       So the King spent years and fabulous amounts of wealth to build this beautiful palace. When it was complete, a day was assigned for the installation—bringing the deities of the little temple on Bhangad to this place. But the day before the installation Srimati Radharani appeared to the King in a dream and told him, “The place where the little temple is situated, that is my home, and not this.” Therefore, the King built another big temple where the little temple was.
       Different set of deities were installed in this temple and were named Radha-Kushalbihari. With Their merciful glance, They bless all the pilgrims who come here to Barsana Dham.
       So we should pray to Radha Kushal Bihari that we may learn how to practically perform our service for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. When Krishna is pleased all our desires will be fulfilled. Krishna is pleased when there is harmony, love and trust amongst the devotees. He is displeased when there are egoistic conflicts and disunity amongst the Vaishnavas. Vaikuntha consciousness means – “everyone is better than me. I am the servant.” 

Shriji Temple at Barsana

Shriji Temple;

       A top Bhanugarh, one of the four peaks of Barsana, is the famous temple of Shriji. This deity of Shriji, also known as Ladli Lal (The beloved one), were originally established by Vajranabh, some 5000 years ago but were lost later on. One very great devotee of Lord Chaitanya, Narayan Bhatt Goswami, discovered the deities just close by, and installed them here. The temple is a masterpiece of exquisite stonework with beautiful arches and domes adorning the palace. There are beautiful colorful pictures on the walls and ceiling of this temple, depicting the loving pastimes of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. This temple is one of the most important places to visit in Vraja. All the Vrajavasis gather together at this particular temple to celebrate Radhashtami, the appearance day festival of Shrimati Radharani. At the foot of the steps that lead to this temple is the palace of Vrishabhanu Maharaj where one can have darshan of Vrishabhanu, Kirtida, Shridama and Shri Radhika. Near this palace is the temple of Brahmaji who is welcoming and blessing devotees going to take darshan of Ladli lal. Also close by is the Ashtasakhi temple where one can have darshan of Shri Radhika alongwith Her principal Sakhis (girl-friends).

Shriji Temple -Laadli Sarkar Mahal- Radha Rani Mandir;



Sacred village of Nandagaon from a distance;

       Nandagaon is the place of the palace of Nanda Maharaj. Nanda Maharaj was staying here in Nandagaon before moving to Gokula-Mahavan where Krishna-Balaram appeared. For about three years and four months they remained in Gokula and then because of the attack of so many demons they decided to move to more favorable places near Govardhan hill. In the forest of Vrindavan, they went to Chatikara and Kamyavan and some other places and ultimately came back to Nandagaon. It was here in Nandagaon that Krishna along with Lord Balaram were first given charge of herding the cows. This day of Krishna taking charge of the cows is celebrated to this day in Vrindavan as the festival of Gopashtami. There are many pastime places to be visited in Nandagaon such as Nanda Bhavan, Nanda Baithak, Pavan Sarovar, Yashoda Kunda, Charan Pahari, Hau-Bilau etc. Lord Shiva prayed to the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna to allow him to assist in His earthly pastimes in such a way that he can always have the feet of the Lord and His devotees upon His head. So by the blessings of Shri Krishna, Lord Shiva has appeared as the Nandishwar mountain in Nandagaon. It has five peaks representing the five heads of Shiva.

Lord Shiva in Nandagaon;

       As Lord Brahma made himself available as a mountain in Barsana, to be the home of Shrimati Radharani, Lord Shiva has made himself available in the service of the Lord as a mountain in Nandagaon to be the home of Krishna and Balaram.

Nanda Bhavan;

       On the top of this hill there is a beautiful temple called “Nanda Bhavan”, which is the palace of Nanda Maharaj where Krishna and Balaram lived with Yashoda Maharani, Rohinidevi and Nanda Maharaj.


Yashoda and Rohini Matajis with their Kids; 

       It is at this place that in the presence of the Sakhas and the Gopas, Krishna and Balaram would play many beautiful games. On the altar one can have darshan of Nanda Maharaj on the right side, and then there is Krishna-Balaram and on the left is Yashodamayi. And there is also a beautiful deity of Shrimati Radharani, Subal and Shridama and other cowherd boyfriends of the Lord. Nanda Baithak is the place where Nanda Maharaj and the cowherd men would assemble and meet to discuss the welfare of Krishna and Balaram.

Nanda Baitak;

       Near Nanda Bhavan there is a beautiful bathing place called Paavan Sarovar where Nanda Maharaj used to bring Lord Krishna and Balaramji for bathing. On the banks of Paavan Sarovar one can have darshan of the Bhajan Kutir of Shrila Sanatana Goswami where he used to perform his bhajan. Not far from Paavan Sarovar is a place called Moti Kund where Krishna grew his garden of multi colored fragrant pearls. Yashoda Kund is a pond situated south of Nanda Bhavan.

Yashoda Kund; 

      Mother Yashoda would personally come here with her maidservants to take her bath in this beautiful kund. Close to Yashoda Kund is a temple of Narsingha Deva. These deities of Narsingha Deva were given to Krishna for worshipping by Garga Muni. On the western bank of Yashoda kund is a place called Hau-Bilau. Here Krishna-Balaram used to play endlessly with Their cowherd boyfriends. Yashoda Mayi would come here in order to call Them home for dinner. But They would not respond so mother Yashoda would threaten Them that a hobgoblin called Hau-Bilau will come and eat Them. Hearing this, innocent Krishna-Balaram would run to take shelter of Yashoda Mayi and thus she would happily carry Them home for dinner. Murtis of Hau-Bilau are still present at this place. To the west of Nandagaon lies a hill called Caran Pahadi which is non-different from Lord Shiva. Here one can have the darshan of Krishna’s lotus feet. Once Krishna was playing His flute on the top of this hill. Hearing the tender and sweet sound of Krishna’s flute, Lord Shiva melted in ecstasy and impressions of Krishna’s foot prints were left on the head of Lord Shiva.

       Prayer: at this place, in a very humble heart we should pray that every arrangement and every plan that we make in our own life should always be centered on serving and giving pleasure to Krishna and His devotees.

Nanda Baithak: the conference pavillion of Nanda Maharaj

Nanda Bhaitak;

       Nanda Baithak is a place in Nandagaon where Nanda Maharaj would hold meetings and all the cowherd men would sit here together and discuss about the welfare of Krishna- Balaram.
       Once at the Nanda Baithak, the cowherd men headed by Upananda began to chastise Nanda Maharaj that, “Krishna is no ordinary boy. He must be some sort of a great yogi or perhaps He is an incarnation of God or Demigod because after all how He killed Putana? How He killed the Tranavarta Demon? How He lifted the Govardhan Hill with the little finger of His left hand? How He crashed down the twin Arjuna trees? And yet Yashoda, your wife sometimes she threatens to hit Him with stick, sometimes she pulls Him by the ear, sometimes she chastises Him, sometimes she makes Him go to bed without food. This is no way to treat a great exalted personality. 

Nanda Bhaitak;

       So Nanda Maharaj with great amusement heard what they were saying and he said, “You do not understand what is this Krishna? You are saying He is incarnation of God, He is a great personality. But great personalities are judged by how they can control their senses. And this child Gopal, He eats all day long. He never stops eating, and if we do not give Him anything to eat, He will steal it. And if the Laddus are not sweet enough He becomes very angry. And great souls are not supposed to become angry. If there is not enough sugar in the sweet rice he becomes so angry, He begins to throw things and break pots. And great souls are supposed to be honest. We all know that anything that is lost in Vrindavan must be stolen by Krishna only. He steals butter, He steals yogurt. And then after He steals it, even when it’s in His hand. You ask Him, “Why did You do this?” He says,” No. No. I did not do it. Why you are blaming me. Someone else has done it.” And great souls are supposed to be fearless. When it is raining and there is lot of thunder, little Krishna runs to our bed at night and embraces mother Yashoda trembling in fear, and he doesn’t stop crying until mother Yashoda begins to shower Him again and again with kisses and kisses and kisses.” He said, “If these are the qualities of an exalted person, I see no reason to call Him exalted. Krishna is just my child. You do not understand.” And as he was speaking this he began to laugh. As he was thinking of the wonderful pastimes of Lord Shri Krishna, he laughed and laughed, and all the cowherd men as they pictured the beautiful form of little Gopal engaging in His wonderful mischievous activities they all began to laugh. And they laughed so hard that they fell to the ground, and tears were streaming from their eyes and they laughed and laughed until every limb of their bodies was aching because of laughing so hard. And somehow or other they laughed to the point where they just could not laugh any longer. And then they were just laying silently and then Nanda Maharaj again would start laughing and everyone else would start laughing and laughing and laughing, rolling in the sacred dust of Nandagaon, laughing at the beautiful pastimes of Lord Shri Krishna. So these wonderful pastimes took place at this place, Nanda Baithak.

       We should know that all of these meetings that took place here were all for only one reason- how to give more and more pleasure to Krishna-Balaram. The cowherd men would come together to discuss, “How to best serve Krishna and Balaram?” They did not see Them as the “Supreme Lord”. They simply saw Them as two most charming beautiful and attractive brothers. They were completely dependent on their own arrangements for the protection, well being and happiness of Krishna-Balaram. Thus, this is a very, very special place. Here the cowherd men with exclusive devotion for the pleasure of Krishna and Balaram would plan out all of their wonderful, wonderful arrangements so that the whole Nandagaon is managed.
       We should pray here in a very humble heart that every arrangement and every plan that we make in our own life is always centered on serving and giving pleasure to Krishna and His devotees.

Hau-Bilau- Even the Supreme Lord fears him

Haau Bilaau;

       One day, Krishna and Balaram were playing in this place near Yashoda kund with Their friends, but it was time for them to come home to take Their lunch and mother Yashoda sent Rohini, “You go to get Krishna and Balaram”. Rohini came and she said, “Krishna, Balaram, please come home. Your lunch is waiting for You. Nanda Maharaj is also waiting for You.” But They were so busy playing, having so much fun with Their friends that They ignored mother Rohini. So she went and told Yashodamayi that They will not come. So Yashodamayi came and she began to very strictly order Krishna, “You come back”. But Krishna’s friends told Him “If You go we will not play with You tomorrow, because You will ruin our game if You go in the middle.” So Krishna, afraid of being banned from the play, continued playing, and mother Yashoda was pleading with Krishna and chastising Krishna. But Krishna and Balaram just kept playing.

       And finally mother Yashoda was thinking, “What should I do? He will be hungry.  I cannot allow Krishna and Balaram to be hungry. It is not good for Their health.” So she began to think. Then she got an idea. She said, “Krishna-Balaram, You better come right now, because the Hau-Bilau is coming”. Krishna and Balaram said, “What is Hau-Bilau?”  She said, “He is coming. He is coming, lets go.” They again asked, “What is this ‘Hau-Bilau’?” Yashoda replied with a huff, “Hmm… ‘Hau-Bilau’ walks on four legs and has very, very fierce eyes and big, big mouth and sharp, sharp teeth and he eats little children, and he is coming”. Then Krishna-Balaram looked at her and said, “We do not believe in “Hau-Bilaus”. There is no such thing.” And then mother Yashoda, she looked behind Krishna and Balaram from where they were standing and she said, “Here he is, the “Hau-Bilau” has come ahhh!!!” And then with big eyes she started running away as fast as possible. And when Krishna and Balaram saw this they were afraid to even look back. They immediately let out and scream and said, “Mother wait for us.” They started running full speed ahead and mother Yashoda ran all the way back to Nanda Bhavan and Krishna and Balaram ran and ran as fast as they could. They were afraid to even look back, and then They came into the house, and Yashodamayi had nice prasad ready for Them and They sat next to Nanda Maharaj. And Krishna and Balaram were telling Nanda Maharaj, “You should have seen this Hau-Bilau. He had big fiery eyes, and long teeth and big mouth and fur all over him, but We escaped. Somehow or other We ran so fast, We got away.” and Nanda Maharaj was very happy. So in this way mother Yashoda with her loving parental affection performed so many pastimes for the pleasure of Krishna and Balaram. It is also said, that after mother Yashoda saw that this pastime worked very good, she made these Murtis of Hau-Bilau. And when Krishna and Balaram would be naughty, she would say, “Beware, I will take you to Hau-Bilau”. So they would become very nice. So, even the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna and Balaram fear Hau-Bilau! This is the sweetness of the Leela of Shri Vraja Dham.

Haau Bilaau;

Charan Pahadi;

Charan Pahadi;
Yashoda Kund;
Yashoda Maiya Mataki;

Paawan Sarovar-Sanatan Goswami bhajan Sthali & Mahaprabhu Baithak;

Paawan Sarovar-Sanatan Goswami bhajan Sthali & Mahaprabhu Baithak;
Pawan Sarovar;

Paawan Sarovar-Sanatan Goswami bhajan Sthali & Mahaprabhu Baithak;