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Radha Krishna

108 Names of Lord Krishna with Meanings | Ashtottara Shatanamavali of Lord Krishna

108 names of krishna

Krishna is also referred to as ‘Bhagavan Swayam’ in Srimad Bhagavatam, thereby implying that He is the source of all avatars (incarnations) of Godhead. Krishna is ‘Svayam rupa’ or the original supreme personality of Godhead, and is also referred to as ‘puskala’ or the most complete. He has innumerable names, describing His various qualities, pastimes and incarnations.

Ete camsa kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
Indrari vyakulam lokam mrdayanti yuge yuge
(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28)

All these incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of plenary portions of the Supreme Lord, but Lord Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. All of His incarnations appear whenever there is a disturbance created by atheists. These incarnations appear to protect the theists.

In this article, we shall try and describe 108 names of Krishna, meditating upon which devotees will be able to purify themselves and seek His refuge.

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Radha Krishna

Twenty-Five qualities of Radha Rani

Twenty-Five qualities of Radharani

Radhika has unlimited transcendental qualities of which twenty-five are the foremost. In this article, we shall try to document these twenty-five qualities of Radha Rani. These were taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Sanatana Goswami, and subsequently formed the basis of ‘Hari Bhakti Vilasa’, which was composed by Sanatana Goswami. 

ananta guna sri radhikara, pancisa — pradhana
yei gunera ‘vasa’ haya Krishna bhagavan
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya, 23.86)

Srimati Radharani possesses unlimited transcendental qualities of which twenty-five are chief. Sri Krishna is controlled by the transcendental qualities of Radhika.

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Radha Krishna

Radharani’s lotus feet – Nineteen Auspicious Marks

Srimati Radharani’s feet - Nineteen Auspicious Marks

The following are the nineteen auspicious marks that are found on the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani. These have been described by Sri Rupa Goswami in his Ujjvala Nilamani, Radha Krishna Gannoddesha Dipika, and other books. Descriptions of these auspicious marks on Radha’s feet are found in Varaha Samhita, astrological scriptures, Matsya Purana and Garuda Purana. Out of these nineteen auspicious marks on Radharani’s feet, eleven are found on her left foot while eight are present on her right foot.

Artha charu saubhagya rekhadhya
Aghahara bhaja tustin pasya yac candralekha
Valaya kusuma valli kundalakara bhagbhih
Abhidadhati nilinam atra saubhagyarekha
Vitatibhir anuviddhah susthu radham padankah
(Ujjavala Nilamani)

Radha’s auspicious marks: O destroyer of suffering! Be satisfied! Notice here! The marks on Radha’s lotus feet, endowed with groups of auspicious signs like the crescent moon, jeweled bangle, flower, creeper, and earring, reveal her hidden nature.

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Barsana, Yavat, Nandgaon Radha Krishna

Maan Mandir (Maan Garh), Barsana – where Krishna pacified Radha’s pique

maan mandir barsana radha krishna

Maan Mandir is a captivating temple situated atop Maan Garh, one of the peaks of the Brahmagiri hills, in Barsana. Here Krishna is lovingly worshiped as Sri Radha Maan Bihari jiu. 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, Maangarh, Danagarh, and Vilasgarh.

maan mandir barsana radha krishna

Maan Garh is where Srimati Radharani manifested her ‘Maan’ or lover’s pique and was subsequently appeased by Krishna, with the help of Radhika’s friends. These pastimes should never be mistaken for ordinary lovers’ quarrels. One who attends these pastimes with faith achieves love for Radha and Krishna.

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Barsana, Yavat, Nandgaon Radha Krishna

Dana Garh, Barsana | Radha Dana Bihari temple

dana garh dana bihari barsana

One of the four peaks of Brahmagiri Parvata in Barsana is Dana garh where Krishna’s Dana Leela pastimes had taken place. Everyday here at Dana garh, Krishna and His friends would try to extract taxes from the gopis. There is a beautiful temple of Sri Radha and Krishna built on top of this hill to commemorate this exalted pastime. Sri Krishna is lovingly worshiped here as Sri Dana Bihari jiu. On the pretext of carrying milk, butter, ghee, etc for worshiping the sun god, the gopis headed by Sri Radharani would pass through Dana garh everyday. And, every day, Krishna along with His cowherd friends would intercept the Gopis on their way. Acting as the tax collector, Krishna would then demand taxes in the form of milk products, before allowing the Gopis through.

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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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Gokul, Raval & Dauji Radha Krishna

Raval – Birthplace of Radha Rani | Appearance of Radharani

radharani birth raval vraja radha rani

Raval dham is the birthplace of Srimati Radha rani. 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 Radha rani, 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 Radha rani 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 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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Mathura, Madhuvan & Talavan Radha Krishna

Krishna Janmasthan temple (Krishna Janmbhoomi), Mathura | Lord Krishna’s birthplace

krishna janmabhoomi janmasthan temple

The foremost pilgrimage site of Mathura is the ‘Krishna Janmbhoomi temple’ or ‘Sri Krishna Janmasthan temple’ as it is sometimes referred to. It is built around the prison cell where Lord Krishna was born five thousand years ago. Krishna’s parents Devaki and Vasudeva were imprisoned in this cell by Kansa, the tyrannical brother of Devaki. The temple is said to have been originally built by Vajranabh, Krishna’s great-grandson, to commemorate the appearance of Sri Krishna. But it was later demolished by the invaders. Since then, the temple has been rebuilt and demolished numerous times over the past centuries. The present group of temples is a result of a major renovation project carried out in the 20th century. The temple compound comprises the impressive Keshava Deva temple, with the ‘garbha griha’ (sanctum sanctorum), and the Bhagavata Bhavan. Although the place might come across as ordinary to the casual eye, it is of paramount importance to a spiritual seeker. The birthplace of Krishna, the Supreme Lord, is completely spiritual and free from any traces of material contamination.

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