Part 1 of Day 1 can be found here
On the first day of our Vrindavan trip, we did Vrindavan Parikrama (close to 10kms) in the morning and visited temples in the evening.
Firstly, we went to NidhiVan. After the entrance, you can see a small pond and beyond it, you can see trees, whose height is not more than 10 to 15 feet. You can see these trees not only on either side of the way to the temple but also away from the path to the temple. It is believed that this is the place where Krishna performs Ras Leela with the Gopis even today during the night. It is believed that during the daytime, the Gopis transforms into these trees and stay here. Hence, we are asked not to touch any part of the trees as a mark of respect to the Gopis. The pujaris keep betel nut, water and arrange a new bedsheet on the bed in a room on the temple premises before they close the temple. On the next day, when the temple opens, the bedsheet looks as if it has been used and one or two beetle nuts disappear. Its believed that after Rasleela, Krishna rests on this bed while he might eat Beetle nut. The legend says that Lord Shiva once wants to take part in RasLeela. But he was not allowed and he was asked to take a dip in the lake in the temple premises before he enters the RasLeela. After taking a dip in the lake, Lord Shiva transformed into a woman and then only he was allowed to enter the RasLeela.
Then, we went to Sri Radha Damodar Temple. In the month of Kartheek, the Vaishnava devotees offer ghee lamps to the lord. I still remember offering a ghee lamp to the Damodar Ji and the love and the joy I felt has been etched on my memory. This is also the place where Srila Prabhupad Ji stayed before going to the USA and establishing the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). There are many samadhis of devotees in the temple premises.
We have been to a few other temples nearby. But, the above two stayed close to my heart. It’s been said that there are close to 5000 temples in the Vraja bhumi.
Then, we went to Krishna Balram Temple (ISKCON), attended the aarthi while dancing for the beautiful bhajans. We chanted Hare Krishna Maha Mantra a minimum of 16 rounds, each one comprising 108 times on each day of our trip.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
I am grateful to all the Prabhu Jis of the Hare Krishna Movement for the beautiful trip. It’s once in a lifetime of experience. Please forgive me for any mistakes.
Pic credits: RVC Vrindavan
P.S: Day 2 is Barsana and Nandagaon. Stay tuned…