Day 0 can be found here
Disclaimer: If there are any mistakes, please forgive me. The importance of each place mentioned here are the ones I have heard and read during our pilgrimage.
Radha Vrindavan Chandrodaya Temple:
On the first day, we reached the Radha Vrindavan Chandrodaya (RVC) temple by 4:15 AM. After a soothing conch sound, the curtains were removed and I saw the most beautiful Radha and Krishna. Lord Krishna swept me out of my feet and I fell in love with the idol of Lord Krishna in the temple. To date, I didn’t find Krishna as beautiful and as lively as that of the RVC temple. I was in awe while looking at Lord Krishna throughout the Mangala Aarthi accompanied by Guru Ashtakam, followed by Narsimha Aarthi and Tulasi aarthi. Then, the curtains were closed and we chanted Hare Krishna Maha Mantra for an hour or so in the temple premises.
We did prostration at the beginning of the Vrindavan Parikrama, the circumambulation around the holy places of the Vrindavan Dham, at around 6 AM.
After we have walked less than a kilometre or so from the Krishna Balaram temple (the starting point of Vrindavan Parikrama), the sand on either side of the road was very soft. This place is named Raman Reti, the meaning is soft or soothing sand. The legend is that the cows and calves of the Vrindavan Dham have ground the stones and gravel on the road to powder so that the Lotus feet of Krishna won’t get hurt while walking on the road.
Krishna Balram Tree:
A few paces ahead, we reached the Krishna Balram tree and did pradakshina, circumambulating around the tree. This is believed to be the meeting point of Lord Krishna and Balram with all the cowherd boys before they go into the forest for herding their cows and calves.
A little ahead on the path of the Parikrama Marg, the Sri Radha Madan Mohan temple is situated on the top of a small hill. After playing with the cowherd friends, Krishna was resting on this hill it seems. This is also a place where the Sanatana Goswami, the disciple of Lord Chaitanya Maha Prabhu use to worship Krishna in the form of Madan Mohan ji. Madan Mohan means the one who can entice even Cupid.
Near Sri Radha Madan Mohan temple, near the foot of the hill, there is a tree under which Advaita Acharya, one of the Pancha Tattva and one of the principal disciples of Chaitanya Maha Prabhu, meditated. He meditated on Lord Krishna and requested him to take the incarnation of Lord Krishna to spread the Bhakti Movement.
Next, we went to Kaliya Dah temple. The legend is while rescuing his friends from the dangerous serpent, Kaliya, Krishna kept his foot over the Kadamba tree and jumped into the Yamuna river to rescue them from the Kaliya. Over a period of time, the width of the river Yamuna has decreased. Hence, Kaliya Dah is slightly away (100 to 150mts) from the banks of the river. You can find a Kadamba tree on the temple premises.
According to some sources, Chaitanya Maha Prabhu meditated on Krishna under this Tamarind tree 500 years ago. In his devotional sentiment, the skin of the Chaitanya Maha Prabhu has changed from orange complexion to that of the bluish-black, Krishna’s complexion. It’s been believed that in the same location, Ma Radha Rani also meditated on Krishna and her complexion has changed from Orange to bluish-black. You can find a tamarind tree on the temple premises.
A little ahead, we reached Shringar vat. Here, you can see an image, where Lord Krishna is combing Radha Rani’s hair while Radha Rani is looking into the mirror. The beauty of this image is Radha rani is actually looking at Lord Krishna in the mirror instead of looking at her own face. How can someone look at their own face in the mirror when Lord Krishna is behind us. When the first time I heard this story and saw the image, I was amazed at the devotion and love Radha Rani had towards Lord Krishna.
Kesi Ghat is on the banks of the river Yamuna, ahead of Sringar Vatt. According to popular folklore, at this place, Lord Krishna has killed the demon named Kesi, who appeared in the form of a horse to kill Krishna.
Chaitanya Maha Prabhu ji’s resting place:
Chaitanya Maha Prabhu use to do Vrindavan Parikrama on a daily basis while he was staying in Vrindavan. According to some, he was taking a short break at this place, where you can find Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra Maya deities. At this temple, the pujaris invited us for lunch prasadam on the occasion of one of their guru’s appearance day.
Krishna Balram Temple: We have completed the parikrama by around 11:30 AM. We did prostration after the completion and entered the Iskcon Temple, which is famously known as Krishna Balram temple. In the temple, one can find 3 pairs of deities. Krishna and Balram, Radha and Krishna, Nityananda and Chaitanya Maha Prabhu. We stayed there for an hour or so and returned for the lunch.
We reached Chaitanya Maha Prabhu’s resting place. We had lunch along with 100 or so local people. In the end, the pujaris gave a 50 Rupee note for each of us who had lunch prasadam. I was completely shocked. We usually pay after eating, but there we were paid after eating. We, a group of 10 including three Prabhu Jis, placed the money in the hundi of that temple.
To be continued……
Pic credits: RVC
P.S: As the post is getting too lengthy, I will dedicate another post for the second part of Day 1. Lots of love to you. Keep smiling often. Take care. 🙂 🙂 🙂
P.P.S: Part 2 of Day 1 can be found here