The weather is very pleasant as rumbling clouds overcast the sky. Nature reflects the delights of Paradise onto the environs; with the peacocks dancing in ecstasy and birds singing passionately. Lost in a reverie, Shri Radha steps out of her bhavan and gazes at the scenario. The rustling breeze plays with her clothes and soaking in her fragrance, it crazily searches for Shyam Sundar in Nandgaon. The touch of this gentle wind captivates the Lord with its charm, tugging at his heart strings. He is sure the waft is from Vrashbhanupur as its makes him long for his beloved Shri Radha.
The site is extremely dear to the Vaishnava world since it weaves the play between Shri Radha-Krishna as they move into the mazes and mysteries of love in its womb.
The fields, forests and streams are resplendent with the dark-hued Krishna fluting in its blossoming pastures, an idyllic landscape where madhurya or sweet love unfolds. We can not savour the romantic sentiment as love requires not only the self but equally the object of love for its expression, which is Kishori Radha. Lord Krishna enchants the world but she enchants even him.
Krishna produces from himself the spectral revelation,"Know that prakriti, the power of the earth, and purusha, the power of heaven are the same," he tells Radha. "There is a difference only in word...We have two bodies but the soul is identical...I created you for the sake of joy." Every site of Braj is related to some playfull dalliance of Shri Radha-Krishna. Vrindavan, Madhupuri, Varsana and Nandgaon are the duo’s lovable sites.
Now doting mother Kirtida and Vrashbhanu Baba are delighted by her prattle and tinkling of her anklets, the sweet sound of her dangling earrings as she roams in their courtyard and now she is the Godhead in female form; with Nand Nandan her male counterpart who rules her heart. Several times over Shri Radha interacts with her sakhis and bursts out laughing. At times she waves the end of her veil and attracted by the glittering work on her lehenga is delighted.
Brajwasis dote on her and child Radha is radiant as she cuddles in the lap of her parents. Shri Krishna often ventures from Nandgaon to Vrashbhanupur, Kirtidaji fusses over him and soon enough both Shri Radha-Krishna are engrossed in love sports. Vrashbhanupur resounds with the innocent prattle of Shri Radha and on growing up she romantically dallies with her beloved Lord Krishna in Gaharvan, Sankrikhor, Vilasgarh, Mangarh, Dangarh and other sites Villages of eight primary sakhis namely Shri Lalita, Vishakha, Chitra, Indulekha, Champaklata, Tungavidya,Rangadevi and Sudevi are located around here.
Towards the end of the Krit Yuga Brahmaji requested Shri Krishna for sighting his playfull dalliance with the Braj Gopis. Shri Hari asked him to proceed to Vrashbhanupur and remain there in the form of a mountain, enabling him to savour the land’s rainy season and festivities of Holi. Brahmaji followed the instructions and thus fulfilled his wish. Shri Radha is said to stay here and bless the site.
Shri Vishnu and Brahma Mounts face each other. On the south side is Brahma Mountain and opposite to it is Mount Vishnu. Radha Krishna temple is on top of the Brahma Mount. The Vrashbhanu Temple below enshrines the idols of Vrashbhanuji, Kirtidaji and Shridama. Close to it is the temple of Shri Priyaji along with Shri Lalitaji. Dan Mandir, Hindola Sthan, Mayur Kuti and Raas Mandala are on Mount Brahma.The site of Sankhri Khor is nestled between both the mountains. Shri Radha Mandir is on Mount Brahma with the site of Leela Nritya Mandal ahead. Vilas Mandir is close by, with Gahvar Van next to it. The region below has the Raas Mandala, Shri Radha Sarovar and Dohni Kund. Mayur Sarovar created by Shri Chitralekhaji is near it. Herein we have Bhanu Sarovar, Brajeshwari the idol of Maha Rudra and opposite is Kirti Sarovar.
As of now the region’s name is Barsana.Shri Bhanusur in its eastern portion, Kirtida Kund in the northern corner, Vihar Kund is in its south-western corner. Chaksauli Village and other pilgrimage sites are near the Sankhri Khor.
Shri Radha Krishna Darshan:
The love of Shri Radha-Krishna is renowned the world over. Shri Vrashbhanujji and Kirtidaji coupled with Nand Baba and Yashodaji always participate in this divine tale. Occurring every day, the divine play of the Lord and his beloved is eternal. Rasiks have expressed Shri Radha-Krishna as one soul and two bodies with Radhaji being compared to the moon beams and Krishnaji to the moon.
Enraptured in their love the two of them meet daily. Sometimes Kishoriji ventures to Nandgaon and at times Shr Krishna comes to Vrashbhanupur. Exquisite love makes the pathos of separation unbearable. Once innocently Shri Radha requested her beloved Shri Krishna to stay on with her at her father’s town which would make the place lovable. Unable to refuse he gladly accepted her entreaty. The temple is resplendent with the idols of Shri Radha-Krishna. Another Shri Radha- Krishna temple made by a Jaipur King is close by.
Gahar Van as the name indicates is a dense forest. It is the idyllic landscape for the romantic escapades of Shri Radha-Krishna, the longing of the gopis, and the unfolding of their madhurya or sweet love. Dearly loved by Shri Radha, a site where the gopis giggle and which resonates with their tinkling anklets as they wander around the trees. Highly revered Ushaji Bahenji visited the place and has expressed the scenario with enthused exultation. Shri Hit Harivanshji Maharaj said that if Shri Radha is graceful in love’s fulfillment and dignified in love’s separation, the sakhi is the love messenger, whose only concern is to see Shri Radha-Krishna united and joyous in love. Till date these divine dalliances are prevalent in Gahar Van. Only the very fortunate of devotees are able to sight them.
Shri Vallabhacharyaji’s Baithak:
Shri Manmahaprabhu Vallabhacharyaji came here and got the 'Bhagwat' read. A python used to live in Gahar Van, who was troubled by ants. Seeing his anguish Manmahaprabhuji revealed his previous birth. He was a mahant of Vrindavan who would gather wealth in the name of Vaishnava Sewa but not putting it to good use, spent it lavishly on himself. After passing away, he was born as a python and his sewaks took birth as the ants who would sting him.Acharyaji gave him Prasad and thus he was freed from the python yuni.
Shri Krishan Kund:
Shaded by trees, laden with creepers it is the beauty of Gahar Van and a revered site for all Vaishnavas. The primary site is significant for Shri Radha-Krishna frolicking in water.
Located in the upper segment of Brahmachal Mount, the Mayur Kuti is an enchanting place.Belonging and longing are the essential parts of madhurya rasa. Belonging imparts pleasure and desire for more and more of the sweet love. The two who are one soul, one mind can not even dream of separation for a moment. Even so at times Shri Radha is somewhat offended and Lord Krishna applies all his skills to placate her.Once when she was distraught he had a tough time trying to please her and came up with a new gimmick.
Acquiring the form of a peacock he danced in ecstasy before her. She could not make out it was the Lord and forgot about her pride. In glee she called out ‘Mor Mor’ which also means ‘Mera’ in the Braj dialect. Hearing this Shri Krishna came close and assuming his original form, exulted that he was forever hers.Weaving this divine union in its ethereal environs the site is famed as Mayur Kuti.
The tradition of selling milk and curd in Braj is prevalent since time immemorial. It is the daily regime of the Braj Gopis or probably a pretext to meet their supreme lover Shri Krishna. When they ventured to sell the products, all of a sudden the adorable son of Nand Baba would block their path, which they secretly desired. Once these cowerdesses with pots precariously perched on their heads, were walking through this forest path; the longing to meet the Lord evident from their tinkling anklets. When the group was about to cross this secluded nikunja, coming upon Lord Krishna they were captivated by his loving tenderness.
He inquired who they were and why they went through this forest path without paying toll or daan; ascertaining thatthe God of love had deputed him to do so. Turning a bit cautious they asserted that this was the domain of their svamini Shri Radha and without her permission the God Cupid could not enter here. Shunting Shri Radha to the front, the instant they were about to move on Lord Krishna blocked their path. Surdasji has expressed beautifully how their terrifying love rushed forth. Thus this ethereal site situated on Brahmachal Mountain was renowned as Daan Garh.
Reaching the zenith of love is easily attainable for the innocent Braj Gopis and Shri Radha their svamini or devotional ideal because of their selfless devotion .Belonging and longing are two different aspects of love. Those gopis who are constantly expressing their love for Krishna can not possibly think of self gratification, striving for the Lord’s joy but at times distraught by his disappearance.
Once Shri Radha sulked when Shri Krishna did not turn up even after assuring that he would. He tried hard to appease her but in vain. The sakhis made an effort to placate her but it was of no use. Finally Shri Krishna in connivance with the sakhis, disguised as one of them came close to Shri Radha. Observing a new sakhi she was amused and struck up a conversation. The moment she knew that the sakhi was adept at singing she give her a warm hug. The touch enlightened Shri Radha that it was the Lord himself and she cooled down. In a unique manner Shri Krishna blessed the sight known as Mangarh, located on the top of Mount Brahmachal. It is picturesque during the rainy season. Hindola, Raas Mandala and Ratnakar Sarovar are close by.
Situated between dark and pale boulders, the narrow lane used for going to and fro, is known as Sankari Khor. The isolated site has been a witness to several spirited antics of Lord Krishna.
The Braj Gopis tread on this path to sell milk and curd, their daily routine. An incident dates back to about fifty years. Once a cowherdess absorbed with Shri Krishna bhava and a pot resting on her head ventured to sell curd. Restless, her eyes yearned for a glimpse of the Lord. Enraptured by his thoughts, the moment she was about to step out of Sankhri Khor, Nandlal jumped from the top and snatching curd from the pot, blessed her with the sight of his madhurya or loving tenderness. Captivated by this miracle for years, she finally attained salvation.
Showering good fortune on Shri Vrashbhanu Baba and Braj denizens, Kirtida Kund is adjacent to Bhanu Sarovar. Shri Kirtidaji used to bathe here everyday.
Shri Radha Sarovar:
Kishori Shri Radhika along with her sakhis used to frolic with water at this pond, resulting in its name. A fascinating place it gratifies all deities and grants moksha or salvation in the three worlds.
A form of Lord Shiva grants prosperity to all Braj denizens. Close to Bhanu Sarovar, it is enshrined by Vrasbhanu Baba and cowherds for Isth Sidhi. It is said that once the people wanted to shift the idol elsewhere. The deeper they dug the more the icon’s huge magnificence was apparent. Finally they gave up and let he svarupa be where he was.
I make obeisance to you the giver of virtues, meaning, work, moksha and showing us the path to Vaikuntha.
Vilas Garh is a site of Shri Krishna’s romantic dalliance with the gopis. As Shri Radha and Lord Krishna’ sole purpose is to engage in a loving exchange, the gopis considered the kaya-vyuhas of Shri Radha, exist to assist them in this love play in these isolated nikunjas. Though Shri-Radha Krishna meet daily, their longing and yearning always desires more and more of their union.
Once all of a sudden, Shri Krishna with his beloved Shri Radha came to this isolated bower where the pathos of their longing and the joy of belonging converged. When the Braj Gopis came by they saw the duo’s dishevelled appearance, ruffled hair, loose necklaces, clothes out of place, musky spots on their bodies and faces awash with languor. Situated on Mount Vishnu the site recounts their passionate love.
Washing away all sins the site was created by Gopraj Vrashbhanu. His daughter Shri Radha and Shri Krishna dearly loved the place. Frolicking, the two of them were often enchanted with each other as they sported in its water. Situated in the east of Barsana is Vrashbhanu Sarovar. It is said that when Vrashbhanu Baba in the month of Bhadra on the eighth day of Shuklapaksha came here; he spotted a small girl cradled in a lotus flower swimming in this sarovar. Baba got her to his palace; she was Shri Radha, the Godhead in female form.
Shri Vallabharyaji visited this place also known as Priya Kund,surrounded by peelu trees.Shri Radha applied ubtan (paste) and bathed here, which led to the water turning yellow, resulting in its name. The dongi leela or boat race held on Shrivaman Dwadashi is worth watching.
Till now we were hovering around the pilgrimage sites of Vrashbhanupur. Now let us take a look at other neighbouring sites.
The gopis expert at doing shangar, beautifully adorned Shri Radha for a dalliance with the Lord and brought her to Chaksauli. It is the village of Chitra Sakhi, adjacent to Sankri Khor.
Once Shri Krishna along with his sakhas came to a field to thieve hare chane.When he broke the chanas the woman on guard came to know and ran to catch hold of him. The Lord fled with the loot hidden beneath his arm pit and stopped only at Gahar Van. The other gopas sqatting there, roasted the booty and relished it. The cowherdess finally caught up but on sighting the loving tenderness of the Lord, overwhelmed with maternal love she ended up feeding him the shelled chane instead. Shri Nagridasji Maharaj has perfectly expressed this interesting incidence.
Milking red, blue, white, black and yellow cows Shri Vrashbhanu Baba has virtually made this a pilgrimage site. I make obeisance to you; kindly be pleased with me.
Showing the path to the three worlds, the site blesses us with moksha. The dancing of peacocks is very dear to Shri Chitraji who ventures here daily. Flocks of peacocks inevitably swarm the place. She plays with them as they surround her at times. Flirtatiously loitering around, occasionally Shri-Radha Krishna arrive and are welcomed by the peacocks’ delighted cries. Forever dancing in ecstasy the birds are drawn to Shri Radha and at times surround Shri Krishna. Shri Chitraji is also joyous as she observes their madhurya or loving tenderness. The site has carefully treasured the mysterious dalliances for its devotees.
Shri Krishna and Shri Radha had an amusing argument once. Whereas Lord Krishna is Divine Incarnate, his beloved Shri Radha, the emobodiment of Shakti, is the gratifier of his love. During this dispute Shri Radha sowed some pearls in a field and they blossomed. Both the lover and his beloved adorned themselves with these gems, which resulted in its name.
Sunehra Gram (Swaran Haar) and Kadamba Khandi:
Shri Vallabhacharyaji also ventured to the golden mountain and the ethereal Kadamba Khandi, a site of Raas embellished with swings and an expanse of water. The isolated place of Raas is surrounded by kadamba trees wherein its cool environs incapacitate the sweltering heat. The fragrance of its flowers bathed in rain; enchant us as they blossom with the touch of madhurya or sweet love. The trees form a sort of canopy beneath which Shri Radha-Krishna fix their tryst. The Ratan Kund is nearby.
Sunehra Gram is the birthplace of both the sakhis, Sudevi and Rangdevi. Sudevi is adept at applying mahavar (a scarlet dye used by married women to stain their feet) on Shri Radha’s feet and Rangdevi is skilled at decking Shri Radha’s hair with veni or a string of flowers.
Shri Nagaji (Chatur Chintamani):
He was born in Pay village of Vrindavan and stayed as a recluse in Kadamba Khandi near by. Always eager to travel in Braj, he became engrossed in the joys of Shri Radha-Krishna. Once when journeying, his matted hair which were long and unruly got entangled in the branch of a tree. Enraptured, he stood in a trance for three days at a stretch. Shri Krishna came himself to unravel his ruffled hair. A great devotee of Radhaji, on inquiring who it was, Shri Radha manifested herself as she always accompanies the Lord. Blessed with the madhur or sweet perception of their forms, Nagaji came to Vrindavan and resided at Vihar Ghat.
Shri Lalitaji is the predominant of Shri Krishna’s chief sakhis. When Shri Radha-Krishna are engaged in their most intimate transcendtal exchanges (leela) she is allowed to stay on. This is Lalitaji’s birthplace, blessed with worldly naivete and purity, her temple is worth a visit. Her devotion to Shri Radha-Krishna makes her the most fortunate of all gopis when she serves the needs of the divine couple in their private moments.
Her only concern is to see Shri Radha and Shri Krishna united and joyous in love. Overcome by her selfless devotion, Lord Krishna always has her by his side. Serving them with dedication, Lalitaji is very sharp-witted and also well-versed in illusion. Shri Baldev temple lies to its east and the Samadhi of Narayan Bhattji is closeby.
Shri Narayan Bhattji:
At Madhurpatan in the south, Shri Bhatt Bhaskar his father, was renowned among the Telinga Brahmans. Around the year 1602, at the age of fourteen Narayan Bhattji came to Braj. Shriji svarupa Thakurji resplendent in present Vrashbhanupur, manifested in the year 1626 thereby blessing him. Having dedicated devotion towards Braj and highly learned, he authored several holy texts. bequeathing the ‘Braj Bhakti Vilas’ to the Vaishnava world.
Enraptured by Shri Krishna’s numerous virutes, the Braj Gopis have been amused in various ways which fames this site as Sakhigiri in the Braj region. Shri Krishna’s madhurya or loving tenderness intoxicates the elements of sensuous nature and thus it is but natural that it captivates the innocent gopikas. They longed for a glimpse of him wandering in the nikunjas, on banks of streams, at wells and wherever possible.
Overwhelmed by their selfless love, the Lord is forever hungry for romantic dalliances with them. The landscape provides a perfect setting for romantic interludes where Lord Krishna is the focus of the ardour of the gopis whose passions he arouses. The divine Krishna, ineffably beautiful has been worshipped over the centuries and is celebrated even today amongst the caverns of the mount. The site is famed as Sakhi Giri.
Chitra Vichitra Shila:
This shila or boulder is planted next to the phislani shila. An excellent example of paintings by sakhis, it is worth a visit. The work coloured in various hues has a distinct pattern. Rain, sunshine and cold waves have not affected the pieces which appear the same since ages. When the sakhis did shangar of the lover and his beloved,planning Shri Lalitaji’s wedding with Shyam Sunder; her palms adorned with mehndi rested on this shila. In anticipation of witnessing this miracle once again, the shila imprinted the love-soaked coloured palmprints of Shri Lalitaji on its heart and is very proud of the fact.
Shri Lalitaji’s Wedding Site:
At the age of seven Shri Krishna fulfilled Lalitaji’s heart’s desire and married her. Till date the site resounds with celebrations of their marriage on Bhadra’s Shukla Dwadashi which falls after Radha Ashtami. An enchanting and isolated site it captivates us.
The pilgrimage site was founded by Shri Krishna’s wish. It blesses us with supreme moksha and grants us wealth, grain and joys. Smearing its dust on our forehead we are blessed with a bath in the Triveni.
Close to the mount is Sakhi Koop. On assurance from Shri Krishna, the group of sakhis waited anxiously for their svamini, Shri Radha. Soon after Kishoriji arrived; the divine play gushed forth in full swing. After feasting, the sakhis inaugurated the well and made all present sip its water as they did so themselves.
Shri Baldev Sthal:
I make obeisance to you Oh Revtiraman! It is said that Shri Baldev resplendent here, manifested himself for Narayan Bhatt from a dense growth of trees. A huge temple enshrines the idol amidst a cluster of trees.
Sakhi Giri Mount is the site of the sakhis’ escapades. They bathed in the pond floating with lotuses, located on the mountain’s peak. This isolated place is imprinted with the footprints of their childhood days, which can be seen even today if we look minutely. The lotus pond fulfills all desires, gives salvation and destroys all sins.
It is believed that on some special occasion Shri Radha-Krishna came and bathed in this pond. This site rings with their splashes in water, merriment and melodious songs. One day a Brahman came and begged for gold. Always respecting his beloved, Shri Krishna gave gold equivalent to her weight and fulfilled the Brahman’s wish.
Veni Shankar Mahadev:
Resplendent on the banks of the Deh Kund, Veni Shankar Mahadev was enshrined by the gopas. He blesses the gopas with prosperity and by his darshan we attain the fruition of bathing at the Triveni, where the rivers converge.
Rithaura (Chandravali Van):
With Shri Radha to his right and Chandravaliji on his left, Shri Krishna is engrossed in exquisite dance as he exudes madhurya through his acts and gestures. Like Radharani, Chandravaliji was the beloved of Shri Krishna. The Chandravali Sarovar and Vithal Nathji’s Baithak are located here.
Love has a uniique trait. The pathos of longing though very painful somehow enlightens the mind. Forgetting the self in belonging due to the rush of love, sometimes leads to separation. Shri Krishna who daily undergoes the pathos of longing and the pleasure of belonging was ecstatic and turned dewy-eyed on spotting his beloved, Sri Radha as he gave her a flirtatious glance. With such an idyllic setting it was but natural for their love to reach its zenith at this site.
Kamei (Kamna Van):
This is the birthplace of Shri Vishaka ji who is held in great esteem. One of Shri Krishna’s eight primary sakhis, her seva is to smear fragrant camphor on the bodies of Shri Radha-Krishna as she decks them. She is an expert at embroidering creepers and shrubs on garments which adorn the Lord.
Shri Lalitaji stayed here.
This is the site of Dadhi Daan (a ritual celebration of Krishna’s birthday involving the throwing of dahi mixed with turmeric). The Jalgarha Kund and Shri Manmahaprabhuji’s baithak is located here. Shri Gosain Vithalnathji authored the text ‘Raspanchadyayi Par Tippani’ at this place. It is believed that the Raas Leela was inaugarated here by Shri Ghamand Devji. Karhala is considered the navel of Braj.
Shri Udhavaji (Ghamandi):
Born in Rajasthan, Shri Ghamandiji was very dedicated to saints. At a tender age, he became a disciple of Shri Haridevji and began residing in Braj. Having great faith in his worship, he became arrogant and was known as Ghamandi in society. He would often journey in Braj. A Mahatama of the highest order, once he came to Karhala village and stayed on. Shri Radha-Krishna ordered him to take Brahman boys and propagate leela or divine play through Raas. Thakurji presented him his mukut and Shri Radha’s chandrika.
He began the Raas Leela with Mathura’s Brahman boys. It is said that they all vanished and joined Krishna’s parikar which the Lord affirmed. Now Ghamandiji was asked to take the Brahman boys of Karhala and popularize Raas, which he did. The sole credit of starting this tradition goes to him, which is celebrated till date in the form of Raas Purnima Utsav.
Pisai Gram (Pipasa Van):
Grazing cows who are the wealth of his small village is a distinctive trait of Shri Krishna’s daily regime. Rising early in the morning he gets busy, preparing to leave. His mother feeds him with a kalehu or a light morning snack and he reaches the forest along with his chak. Tending the cows he is famished around the afternoon and takes his chak or midday meal. Once as he ate there was no water nearby. Dau Bhaiya ran to get it and quenched his thirst. Thus this place was named Piyasu. Kishori Kund, Shyam Talai and Svaminiji’s secret Jhoolan Sthal are situated here.
Sahar (Sarika Van):
Shri Nandraiji’s pampered Shri Krishna and Shri Vrashbhanu Baba’s darling Shri Radha are always absorbed in joyous frolicking, their love peaks in this dalliance. The creepers, trees, animals, birds and every site of Braj, even nature herself assists them in their love sport. It seems as if the delights of Paradise have been reflected as if by a cosmic mirror onto the plains of earth.
The parrot and mynah are the messengers of Shri Radha-Krishna. The two are very smart in transporting their indications in Braj. The Lord and his beloved sometimes play and at times doting on the two, pamper them; actually the sakhis adopt the form of parrots and mynahs to savour their dalliance. Once taking a mynah in his hand and patting her, Shri Krishna coaxed her to say “Shri Radha” and she said “Shri Radha Shri Radha”. At the same time Shri Radha insisted that she should call out “Shri Krishna” and the bird said “Shri Krishna”. They wanted her to follow this routine over and over again.
Before she could clearly say a word, twin mynahs perched on a tree shrilled “Shri Radha-Krishna” repeatedly, their voices resonating at this ethereal site. Stunned the Lord and his beloved doting on the two birds, cuddled them, lost in their melodious voice. This place came to be known as (Sarika Van) Sahar and captivates us with its musical quality. The Maan Sarovar is here. Shri Upandji resided here. His son Samudra married Shri Kundaltaji who is a devoted sakhi of Shri Radha.
Anjnauk (Anjan Van):
What delights the Lord is unique, an eternal desire for a romantic dalliance. His love refuses to get into any saintly straitjacket. One day sitting in her chamber, Shri Radha was doing shangar. A parrot named Vichshan narrated the scenario to Shri Krishna. Suddenly an idea struck the Lord and taking out the flute from his waistband he began to play it melodiously. The sound which is the breath of their love; drew Shri Radha and her sakhis and they headed to this forest. Making Shri Radha sit on the front boulder, he absorbed her beauty.
Seeing her eyes not darkened enough, he applied collyrium and purposely smeared it right upto the eyebrows. Soon after with a mirror he went upto her and holding her hand, wiped it neatly to make up for his error. He repeated this incidence several times which led to an unprecedented dalliance. The sakhis planned to shower them with flowers and after plucking them savoured their romantic escapades with joyous abandon. Renowned as Anjnauk (Anjan Van) it recounts those pleasurable efforts.
The kund is the creator and observer of several charming escapades of Shri Radha-Krishna. Having frolicked on land when both of them enter the kund its water turned red and yellow. Witnessing very intense pleasurable moments of the Lord and his beloved this site is highly revered. It showers us with the love of Shri Krishna.
Shri Kishori Darshan:
Kishoriji is resplendent here with Shri Krishna. I make obeisance to both of you.
Love is predominant in the realm of Shri Radha-Krishna. Whatever the Lord does pleases Shri Radha and he does whatever she fancies. Saying so, Shri Manmahaprabhu Hit Harivanshji has thrown light on the subject. Striving for the happiness of the lover, transcendental love or the zenith of spiritual awareness is worth calling love. This is the same Prem Sarovar where Shri Radha-Krishna and their kaya-vyuha gopis have savoured several charming episodes of love.
Beneath the canopy of fragrant kadamba trees they are engaged in love talk, as they fix their tryst. During the rainy season this site comes to life with the merriment of swings and at times resounds with the sound of tinkling anklets. Fragments of these dalliances scattered around are woven around this site known as Prem Sarovar.
Shri Lalit Mohan Sthal:
Hey Shri Krishna immersed in love! Hey Lalita Mohan! I make obeisance to you, the bestower of love.
salute you Raas Mandala made for the Raas or pleasure of the Lord! If there is one aspect to Shri Krishna’s enigmatic persona which distinguishes him from all other deities it is his leela. This divine play which is both real and illusionary makes him both human and divine at the same time. Delighting in play, he endears himself and brings delight to all his devotees. Who can possibly describe the good fortune of Braj Bhoomi where every site has been touched by the feet of Shri Radha- Krishna and their group of sakhis, thereby making it highly honoured for even saints. Raas Mandala has a distinct significance since it weaves the lovable escapades of the Lord and his beloved.
Arisen from the rejoicing of the Shravan month, the site blesses us with joys and is present for the well-being of mankind. The Jhoolna Utsav in Shravan enhances the beauty of Braj. Merriment all around, rustling creepers embracing the trunks of trees, ecstatic dance of the peacocks, passionate singing of the black cuckoos, glistening expanse of greenery, rising waves in the sarovars, fragrance of the kadamba trees and melodious songs resounding from gathered crowds, all add up to an event of magical time, a nostalgia for a lost paradise. The elements of nature are entranced by the magic of Shri Radha-Krishna and their Braj Gopis.
Herein is an excerpt from revered Usha Bahenji’s experience from a Jhoolna incidence.Once Shri Radha came to swing at the Prem Sarovar where a dark-complexioned sakhi was already present. Sighting her, the sakhi was delighted and the two of them began conversing as they enjoyed the swings.Shri Radha asked the sakhis to rock them and the motion of the swing made the new sakhi’s aanchal slip and Shri Radha was stunned on sighting her body, it was none other than Lord Krishna himself. The environs of this site are bathed with such delightful memories.
Vihval Van (Vihval Kund):
The nature of love is strange. Sometimes intense restlessness makes us experience the pathos of longing even on being close to one’s beloved, as the Raas Shastra explains. Once sitting in a garden of Vihval Kund, Shri Krishna was anxiously waiting for Shri Radha. A mynah began singing her glories which further aggravated his longing.
When soft-hearted sakha Subal came to know of this scenario, he figured out a way for their tryst. Soon after, moving the creepers in front, Shri Radha arrived with her sakhis. The Lord was delighted but his yearning knew no bounds. Even on being so near to his beloved, he was unable to savour the proximity and remained perturbed. This led to the place being named Vihval which means restless.
Sanket embraces Lord Krishna love sport which is resplendent in several acts and veils mysterious escapades of the gopis. The luxuriant environs make it a perfect landscape for the Lord’s frolicking. Taking the flute, the breath of love, in his hands Lord Krishna began playing mellifluous notes which drew the Braj Gopis and they gathered where he was. As of now he gestured with his smiling face, the patting of his hair, lifting his arm, smoothening his vanamala, straightening his pitambar, which thrilled the gopis. Braj a land of messages and gestures is embellished by the Lord himself. Once Lord Krishna got up early in the morning and when his mother asked the reason he evaded her.
In her house, Shri Radha woke up at dawn and told mother Kirtida that when she had gone with Shri Lalita yesterday to bathe in Yamunaji she had forgotten her pearl necklace on its banks; soon after she headed towards the Sanket Site on the east. All of a sudden when he was having the midday meal with his gopas, Shri Krishna sneaked,clarifying that a villager had invited him for his dear cow’s wedding. He left for Sanket where Shri Radha awaited him at the secret rendezvous. The incidence led to Sanket being enraptured with their divine tale.It is situated between Nandgaon and Barsana.
The temples of Sanket Devi and
Sanket Bihari adorn the place. Shri Gosain Vithalnathji and
Shri Gopal Bhattji’s Baithaks are situated here.
Shri Vallabhacharyaji’s Baithak:
He began the Shrimad Bhagwat Saptah at this site.By his grace Vaishnavas had the vision of Sanket Devi.