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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.

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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.

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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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Gokul, Raval & Dauji

Ukhal Bandhan temple, Gokul Mahavan | Krishna’s Damodar Lila | Damodarastakam

ukhal bandhan damodar lila

‘Ukhal Bandhan Ashram’ is the holy site where the Damodar lila of Lord Krishna had taken place. This ashram is situated within Gokul (or specifically old Gokul). It was once part of Nanda Maharaja’s courtyard. There is an old grinding mortar that is worshiped in this temple. The priests claim the grinding mortar to be from 5000 years ago when mother Yashoda had tied little Krishna to it. A grinding mortar is commonly referred to as ‘Ukhal’ in Hindi. Just beside the mortar is kept a small basket with which Vasudeva supposedly carried Krishna from Mathura to Gokul. The sweet pastime of baby Krishna stealing butter and subsequently being tied to a mortar by His dear mother Yashoda is also known as Damodara Lila. In Sanskrit, ‘dama’ means rope and ‘Udara’ means belly. Damodara refers to Krishna who was bound by ropes of affection by His mother Yashoda. It is also known as the ‘Ukhal Bandhan’ pastime as during the course of this pastime Krishna was tied with ropes to a ‘Ukhal’ or a grinding mortar. ‘Ukhal Bandhan’ ashram is situated within Mahavan, the eighth sacred forest of Vraja Mandala. Adi Varaha Purana glorifies Mahavan as follows –

Maha vanam castamam tu sadaiva hi mama priyam
Tasmin gatva tu manuja indraloke mahiyate

The eighth forest of Mahavan is very dear to me. One who goes there is worshiped on Indra’s planet.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had visited Mahavan during His visit to Vraja Mandala and relished the pastimes of Krishna. Lord Chaitanya had manifested His ecstatic pastimes at this place.

ukhal bandhan damodar lila

Bhavabeshe prabhu nritya-geetite magna haila
Kripa kari sarva chitta akarshana kaila
Chaturdike dhaya loka dekhiya prabhure
Haiya adhairja Hari Hari dhvani kare
(Bhakti Ratnakara)

Sri Chaitanya manifested His singing and dancing pastimes here (at Mahavana) and mercifully enchanted the hearts of everyone. People rushed from all around to behold Mahaprabhu and chanted the holy names of Hari in ecstasy.

Sri Sanatana Goswami had also visited Mahavana and over here he had attained the divine darsana of Madana Gopal who displayed His pastimes as a cowherd boy to Sanatana.

Categories
Gokul, Raval & Dauji Radha Krishna

Brahmand Ghat, Gokul Mahavan – Krishna eats mud and shows His universal form to Yashoda

brahmand ghat gokul mahavan

Brahmand Ghat is located about 15 Kilometers southeast of Mathura in the legendary town of Gokul. It falls within the precincts of Mahavan, the eighth sacred forest of Vraja Mandala. Located about 5 Kilometers from the ancient palace of Nanda Maharaja in Gokul (Nanda Bhavan), ‘Brahmanda Ghat’ is a tranquil stretch along the bank of river Yamuna. Brahmand Ghat was once a part of Nanda Maharaja’s courtyard and as infants, Krishna, Balarama, and other cowherd children came here to play. Brahmand Ghat is the site where infant Krishna, after consuming mud while playing with his friends, revealed the entire cosmos in his mouth, much to the bewilderment of his foster mother Yashoda. Hence the name of the place is Brahmand Ghat, literally meaning, the universe. Overseeing the Brahmand Ghat is a beautiful temple of Krishna, who is lovingly named ‘Sri Brahmand Bihari jiu’.  It is said that one who takes the darshan of Krishna at Brahmand Ghat, or one who takes bath in its waters, or one who eats mud at this sacred place, at once receives ecstatic love for Krishna. Adi Varaha Purana glorifies Mahavan as follows –

Maha vanam castamam tu sadaiva hi mama priyam
Tasmin gatva tu manuja indraloke mahiyate

The eighth forest of Mahavan is very dear to me. One who goes there is worshiped on Indra’s planet.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had visited Mahavan during His visit to Vraja Mandala and relished the pastimes of Krishna. Lord Chaitanya had manifested His ecstatic pastimes at this place.

brahmand ghat gokul mahavan

Bhavabeshe prabhu nritya-geetite magna haila
Kripa kari sarva chitta akarshana kaila
Chaturdike dhaya loka dekhiya prabhure
Haiya adhairja Hari Hari dhvani kare
(Bhakti Ratnakara)

Sri Chaitanya manifested His singing and dancing pastimes here (at Mahavana) and mercifully enchanted the hearts of everyone. People rushed from all around to behold Mahaprabhu and chanted the holy names of Hari in ecstasy.

Sri Sanatana Goswami had also visited Mahavana and over here he had attained the divine darsana of Madana Gopal who displayed His pastimes as a cowherd boy to Sanatana.

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