Categories
Barsana, Yavat, Nandgaon

Sankari Khor – Krishna’s Dana Lila | Vraja Mandala

Sankari Khor Barsana dana lila

Padma Purana states that Lord Brahma had previously performed severe austerities with the desire to witness the pastimes of Radha and Krishna and obtain the dust of their lotus feet upon his head. Being pleased with Brahma, Krishna granted him the boon to manifest himself as mountains here at Barsana. As a result, Brahma manifested himself as the Brahmagiri mountains here at Barsana. Brahmagiri has four different peaks representing the four heads of Lord Brahma. There is a second hill situated right next to Brahmagiri known as Vilasa Parvata or Vishnu Parvata which is considered to be a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. The four peaks of these hills are – Bhangarh, Managarh, Danagarh, and Vilasgarh. Bhangarh (the highest of the four peaks) is where Vrishabhanu Maharaja had established his palace and where Radharani manifested her childhood pastimes. Sankari Khor is the narrow passage between Brahmagiri Parvata and the Vilasa Parvata. ‘Sankari’ means narrow and the word ‘Khor’ translates to lane. Hence ‘Sankari Khor’ refers to the narrow passage between the two mountains through which one can only pass in a single file. One might be lean or bulky but no matter how much one tries, only a single person can walk through Sankari Khor. It is impossible for two to walk side by side. It is here at Sankari Khor that Krishna manifested His  Dana Keli pastimes.

Categories
Barsana, Yavat, Nandgaon Radha Krishna

Barsana Radha Rani Mandir – History and Festivals | Vraja Mandala

Barsana Radha rani mandir

Radha Rani Mandir or the Sriji temple, situated on top of a hillock here at Barsana, houses captivating deities of Sri Radha and Krishna. Also known as ‘Ladli Mahal’, Barsana Radha Rani Mandir is a significant holy site of Vraja Mandala. Barsana, also known as Vrishabhanupur (named after Vrishabhanu Maharaja), is a village situated about 41 Kilometers northwest of Mathura. It is where Radha and Krishna manifest their eternal pastimes. Vrishabhanu Maharaja was a close friend of Nanda Maharaja, Krishna’s father. When Nanda Maharaja shifted his family from Gokul to Nandgaon, out of the fear of Kansa’s atrocities, Vrishabhanu Maharaja also shifted along with his family from Raval to Barsana. Padma Purana states that Lord Brahma had previously performed severe austerities with the desire to witness the pastimes of Radha and Krishna and obtain the dust of their lotus feet upon his head. Being pleased with Brahma, Krishna granted him the boon to manifest himself as mountains here at Barsana. As a result, this mountain is also known as Brahmagiri. Brahmagiri has four different peaks representing the four heads of Lord Brahma. There is a second hill situated right next to Brahmagiri known as Vilasa Parvata or Vishnu Parvata which is considered to be a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. The four peaks of these hills are – Bhangarh, Managarh, Danagarh, and Vilasgarh. Bhangarh (the highest of the four peaks) is where Vrishabhanu Maharaja had established his palace and where Radharani manifested her childhood pastimes. Bhakti Ratnakara describes the residence of Vrishabhanu Maharaja as follows –

Vrishabhanu-pura e, Barsana nama koy
Parvata samipe Vrishabhanura aloy
Apurva parvata – etha Vrajendrakumara
Karilena Dana-lila anya agochara
(Bhakti Ratnakara)

Behold Vrishabhanu-pura, which is also known as Barsana. Near this mountain is the residence of Vrishabhanu Maharaja. On this exotic mountain, Vrajendra Kumara Sri Krishna performs His dana-Lila pastimes concealed from the view of others.

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Dashavatar – the Ten incarnations of Vishnu

purusha avatar vishnu

The ten incarnations of Vishnu, commonly referred to as the ‘Dashavatar’ are described below –

  1. Matsya Avatar – Fish incarnation of Vishnu
  2. Kurma Avatar – Turtle incarnation of Vishnu | Samudra Manthan
  3. Varaha avatar – Boar Incarnation of Vishnu
  4. Narasimha avatar
  5. Vamana Avatar – The Dwarf incarnation of Vishnu
  6. Parashurama – The warrior | Sixth incarnation of Vishnu
  7. Lord Rama
  8. Balarama
  9. Gautama Buddha – Ninth incarnation of Vishnu
  10. Kalki avatar – Birth, Family & Mission

Krishna is not quoted in the above list as Krishna is not an incarnation, but instead, He is the source of all the other incarnations. Krishna is the supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who appeared in the year 1486 AD has been portrayed in the scriptures as none other than Krishna. Please find below the links to the articles that talk extensively about them.

  1. Krishna is the Supreme Lord | Evidence from Vedic scriptures
  2. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
  3. Avatars of Krishna | Vishnu avatars (incarnations)
Categories
Gokul, Raval & Dauji

Dauji Mandir, Baldeo Mathura | Who is Lord Balarama ?

dauji mandir baldeo balarama revati

Dauji is another name for Balarama, the elder brother of Krishna. Here at Dauji Mandir Baldeo, we find the largest deity of Balarama in the entire Vraja Mandala. Life in the village revolves around this beautiful ancient temple. In fact, the village, which is known as Baldeo or Baladeva obtains its name from Balarama. In this temple are worshiped beautiful deities of Baladeva and Revati devi. Baladeva here manifests a blackish form as He is immersed in thoughts of Krishna, His younger brother. He raises His right hand and holds a cup of Varuni (celestial drink) on His left. The enchanting darshan of Dauji steals away the hearts of the devoted. During Dvapara Yuga, Lord Krishna and Balarama would bring their cows and calves here to graze. Standing opposite the deity of Dauji is a wonderful deity of Revati devi who drinks the nectar of Balarama’s lotus face, with her back facing the wall. One cannot obtain her darshan from the front door and needs to approach the side door to take a peek at her. The deity of Lord Balarama, here at Baldeo, is one of the four original deities installed by Vajranabh, Krishna’s great-grandson. The other three are the deities of Keshavadeva, Harideva, and Govinda Deva. During the Mughal invasion, the deity of Dauji was hidden in Sankarshana Kunda (Ksira Sagara), which is a large water body situated just behind the temple. The whereabouts of the deity were forgotten in course of time. Later the deity appeared in the dream of Gokulanatha Goswami, His devotee, and revealed His whereabouts.

Categories
Gokul, Raval & Dauji Radha Krishna

Birthplace of Radharani – Raval dham | Appearance of Radharani

radharani birth raval vraja

Raval dham is the birthplace of Srimati Radharani. It is a small village on the bank of Yamuna and situated about 9 Kilometers from Mathura. Raval was formerly known as Mukhyeravali. In this village are worshiped the enchanting deities of Ladli-Lala (Radha and Krishna). The temple is found at a beautiful but lonely spot, about a Kilometer from the main road. The mesmerizing darshan of Ladli-Lala and the heartfelt devotion of the pilgrims have infused our hearts with divine ecstasy. The people at this place are spontaneously devoted toward Radharani, whom they consider their little daughter. Sri Bhakti Ratnakara introduces Raval dham as follows –

Ohe Srinivas dekho e ‘Raval’ gram
Etha Vrishabhanu basati anupam
Sri Radhika prakata haila eikhane
Yahara prakate sukha byapila bhuvane
(Bhakti Ratnakara)

O Srinivasa, behold the village of Raval where King Vrishabhanu used to happily live. Srimati Radharani had appeared over here and her appearance filled the whole world with divine rapture.

Categories
Gokul, Raval & Dauji Radha Krishna

Nand Bhavan Gokul (Chaurasi Khamba) – House of Nanda Maharaja

nand bhavan gokul krishna

‘Nand Bhavan’ or ‘Chaurasi Khamba’, as it is sometimes referred to, is the ancient palace of Nanda Maharaja in Gokul Mahavan (near Mathura) where Krishna, Balarama, and the cowherd community resided until Krishna was three years and four months old. It was here at Nand Bhavan in Gokul, that Vasudeva had exchanged little Krishna with the daughter (Yogamaya) of Nanda Maharaja. So Nand Bhavan is the birthplace of Yogamaya devi. It was here at this house that Krishna and Balarama began crawling on their knees, performing their innumerable childhood pastimes. It was here that Krishna had killed and delivered the demons like Putana, Sakatasura, and Trinavarta. We have previously discussed Krishna’s Ukhal Bandhan Lila or Damodar pastime which had taken place where the ‘Ukhal Bandhan ashram’ is situated presently. Krishna’s mud-eating pastimes where He had revealed the entire universe to mother Yashoda in His mouth had occurred at a place called ‘Brahmand Ghat’, situated nearby on the banks of Yamuna. Chaurasi Khamba, Ukhal Bandhan Ashram and Brahmand Ghat were once all part of Nand Bhavan or Nanda Maharaja’s ancient residence. We have extensively discussed ‘Ukhal Bandhan Ashrama’ and ‘Brahmand Ghat’ previously. In this article, however, we are going to primarily focus on Nand Bhavan or Chaurasi Khamba.

Vraja gopa gopi dhaya aise e angane
Putra janma utsava haila eikhane
Bahu daan kaila Nanda putra kalyanete
Parama adbhuta sukha byapila jagate
(Bhakti Ratnakara)

The cowherd men and women of Vraja hurried to see Krishna at Nand Bhavan. The grand celebration of Krishna’s appearance was celebrated here at Nanda Bhavan where Nanda Maharaja distributed countless items in charity. A wonderful and ecstatic joy filled the entire world.

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