Vrindavan and Mathura or Mathura and Vrindavan are so historically correlated that whosoever plans to visit Mathura does visit Vrindavan too. It is because of the fact that Lord Krishna was born in the cell of Mathura jail where His parents Basudo and Devki were imprisoned by Kansa the Sursena King of Mathura and just after His holy birth He was taken safely overnight to Vrindavan and was handed over to Nand Mahraj and his wife Yashoda to take care of Him, the very purpose was to save the child from the cruel hands of Kansa.
When King Kansa surpassed his cruelty, there was “ Gaganvani ” ( declaration by the supreme power in the sky ) that the eighth issue of Devki, his sister, would kill him. He was so afraid of his death that he used to kill every issue the moment it was born in the prison.
It was a mere coincidence that on the very day a daughter was born to Yashoda and in place of his son, Basudeo took the baby with him.
There is no exaggeration to say that Lord Krishna spent his childhood days in Vrindavan only. It was the rarest of the rare period of time that He did so many acts (Lilas) – some entertaining – some hilarious – some magical and marvellous and all these acts carry some short stories of His childhood days. Among them Makhan Chori, Putna Badh. Kalia Dahan, Uprooting the Gobardhan Parvat and holding it on one forefinger, breaking the pitchers of women, Raslila and so on. He was so fond of cows that while playing on His flute they gathered around Him listening the melodious music coming out of the eternal tune.
Among all Raslila was the most popular one. Lord Krishna was the incarnation of Lord Bishnu – was born only to kill the cruel king Kansa, other cruel asuras and to establish the rule of religion, equality and justice.
It was said by Lord Krishna to His intimate friend Arjuna while preaching him in the field of Kurukshetra:
“यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर भवति भारत,
अभ्युथानम धर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृज्याम्यम ||”
That is why Vrindavan is, in any way, no less important religious place than Mathura. Not only in hundred and hundred temples of Radhe – Krishna surrounded in and around the town can be seen but in every doorstep of every house where the devotees reside either the statue or photograph of Radhe – Krishna can be seen also. It is unique of its kind that people living in Vrindavan love, respect, honour and worship “ Yugal Yodi ” of Radhe – Krishna heart and soul. I have no hesitation to state that there is no place on the earth the people are so devoted and dedicated by heart and soul to Radhe – Krishna.
So far my experience is concerned woman is reckoned the best creation of God and since the creation of the world in all yugas – Satyayug, Tretayug and Dwaparyug due respect, regard and honour were given and that is why normally the names of wives preceded those of their husbands i.e. Sitaram, Radhekrishna.
If you were here in Vrindavan, here, there and everywhere you will realize the presence of Radhe – Krishna – their divine love and affection – so much peace and harmony prevails that you do not want to leave it. So soothing! So calm and cool! So delightful and so charming!
As per our programme we visited the following worth seeing places in Vrindavan:
1. Banke Bihari Temple
2. ISKCON Temple
3. Vidhwa Ashram (Sri Bhagwan Bhajan Aashram)
1. Banke Bihari Temple: It is situated in the holy city of Vrindavan. Everybody visits here whosoever comes to Mathura – Vrindavan. Banke means “ Bent in three places ” and Bihari means “Enjoyer.” The image of Lord Krishna stands in “Tribhanga Posture.” Haridas Swami was a great saint of his time. He was the Guru of Tansen – one of the Navratna of the Moghul Emperor Akbar the Great.
Haridas Swami was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. It is he who established this famous temple in the name of “Kunj Bihari.”
The sewa of Bihariji is performed in three parts everyday : Shringar, Rajbhog and Shayan.
The pause or posture in which Lord Krishna is standing with his flute in his hands is superb. If you look at it eyes to eyes, you will be lost somewhere in the eternal world. In fact when He was a boy, He used to play His flute in this posture.
We along with all the members of family stayed there and worshipped heart and soul. We left for another place of worth seeing.
2. ISKCON Temple: It was built in the year 1975 on the orders of Acharya Swami Prabhupada – the founder of the International Society for Krishna consciousness.
It is popularly known as “ Sri Sri Krishana Balram Mandir also.
It is one of the most important temples of the city. It is well managed and maintained by the commitee. Proper attention is given to all devotees irrespective of any distinction or discrimination in doing darshan of Krishna Balram. The volunteers and the bhaktas are vigilant over the crowd and guide one and all with due care,love and regard.
The moment we reached the complex, we washed our hands and with Prasad and flowers stood in a queue for darshan and pujan.
We did darshan, prayed for peace, happiness and prosperity in life. We sat along with other devotees in Kirtan of Hare Krishna Mantra. We took part in Mangal – Aarati also. The children were feeling hungry and thirsty. We had our lunch in the Iskcon canteen. Very pure and tasteful. With reasonable price. My wife remarked, “Very beautiful temple, very beautiful place and the people managing all so nicely, so wonderfully, beyond one’s imagination!
My boys started making a round of the complex – so pleased with the healthy environment. I assured the family we would come again.
3. Sri Bhagwan Bhajan Ashram: A Vidhwa Ashram:
We have heard that Vrindavan is the most suitable city for shelter of widows in different “Vidhwa Ashrams.”
The widows prefer to live there as they get shelter, food and drink and clothes free of cost. They consider Vrindavan is the birth place of Lord Krishna and as such it is the safest place for them to live and lead the rest period of their life.
Next day after breakfast I along with my wife reached the ashram by auto.
We saw a number of widows in white dress outside. In a big hall Bhajan Kirtan was going on. We met some senior women and came to know that all the widows must take part in Bhajan kirtan and after that each was allowed a free meal. Over 2000 widows live in the ashram.
However the conditions of widows are pitiable and pathetic. Some of the women at old age are abandoned by their families. When they don’t get financial, social and emotional support, they have no alternative, but to join some ashram in Vrindavan.
In the evening some local artists were staging different “Balya Lilas” of Lord Krishna in a stadium. We attended there and witnessed from beginning to end. It was really entertaining as well as soothing.
Vrindavan is quite different from all other cities of pilgrimage. People have faith in Lord Krishna and are of the opinion that only He takes care of the city and its people and provides all they need in day to day life.
We were very tired, the wards too. We had sound sleep at night. Next day we took complete rest. We had heard about Mathura’pedas, curd and tea.
In breakfast we took dahi and chewda with pedas.
All these things were very pure and tasteful.
We vacated our dharmshala and came to Mathura Cant Station. Our next journey was for Nainital.
Writer: Durga Prasad. Dated 21st. March 2015, Saturday.