All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Vrindavan Parikrama

November 2-16, 2005

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Pictures by Kamal Krishna Prabhu and Varsana Devi Dasi
Text compiled by Kamal Krishna Prabhu
Checked by Sripad B.P. Tirtha Maharaj

A beautiful sunrise on the frst morning of parikrama.

Devotees gathered here in Vrindavan from places all over the world including Mauritius, Russia, Ireland, Italy, Australia and America. Several venerable Vaisnavas heading the parikrama party including Sripad Giri Maharaj, Sripad Aranya Maharaj, Sripad Sagar Maharaj, Sripad Paramahamsa Maharaj, Sripad Tirtha Maharaj and Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj.

Over the course of our stay here in Vrndavan we have visited numerous places which the pictures can reflect for you much more accurately than I can. I don't feel I can properly present the glories of the ghats, tirthas, mandirs, murttis, etc. we visited so I feel what I can share is something of the perfect descriptions given by our acharyyas.

Sri Govinda Kunda, in Govardhan.

pratah kale prabhu 'manasa-ganga'ya kari' snana
govardhana parikramaya karila prayana

In the morning, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took His bath in a lake called Manasa-ganga. He then circumambulated Govardhan Hill.

govardhana dekhi' prabhu premavista hana
nachite nachite chalila sloka padiya

Just by seeing Govardhan Hill, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became ecstatic with love of Krishna. While dancing and dancing, He recited the following verse.

hantayam adrir abala hari dasa-varyo
yad rama krsna charana sparasa pramodah
manam tanoti saha go ganayos tayor yat
paniya suyavasa kandara kanda mulaih

"Of all the devotees, this Govardhan Hill is the best! O My friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balaram, as well as Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities - water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respect to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balaram, Govardhan Hill appears very jubilant."

'govinda kundadi tirthe prabhu kaila snana
tahan sunila -- gopala gela ganthuli grama

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then took His bath in a lake called Govinda-kunda....

Chaitanya Charitamrta, Madhya, 18.33-35

As far as I have been taught, the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are infinite. Seeing as they have no beginning or end it is difficult to find a place to stop describing them. I stop here solely because there is a beautiful excerpt in which Srila Sridhar Maharaj has disscussed Govardhan Hill in the book The Loving Search for the Lost Servants:

deve varsati yajna-viplavarusa vajrasma varsanilaih
sidat pala pasu striyatma saranam drstvanukampy utsmayam
utpatyaika-karena sailamavalo lilocchilindhram yatha
bibrad gosthamapan mahendram adabhit priyan na indro gavam
Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.26.25

The very gist of the Govardhan lila, the very substance of the Pastime, is represented in this verse.

...Nanda Maharaj prays in this verse, "May that lord of the cows be satisfied by us. Who is Indra when compared to Krishna? Krishna is the master of Indra. And yet He has appeared as the master of cows; the Supreme Absolute Truth has accepted a simple position as the keeper of cows. Superficially, He is a mere cowherd boy. But let that cowherd boy, who holds within Him the power of controlling the whole universe, be satisfied with us. We want to worship that Lord who has taken the humble position of the king of the cows."

From this verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam, we can understand the position of the Lord's Pastime at Govardhan. It is also described here that when the Brajabasis worshipped Him and engaged in sacrifice for His satisfaction, they saw Govardhan Hill as the Supreme Person, extending His hands, accepting the things offered to Him, and feeding Himself.

At that time, Krishna pointed out, "You see! You thought that Govardhan Hill was only a heap of stone. No - it is living, it is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." At that time, Krishna revealed Himself as Govardhan Hill and showed how it is also His extended self. According to authorities in our line, Radha-kunda is the extended self of Srimati Radharani and Govardhan is the extended self of Krishna. And so we worship a stone from Govardhan Hill, a part of Giridhari, as Krishna Himself. We may understand from this that a part of the infinite is infinite.

...The Govardhan-sila represents Krishna as the master and keeper of cows. Within Govardhan is that mild and soft conception of God the Beautiful. We beg for His mercy, His affection, and His gracious glance upon us.

Sripad Paramahamsa Maharaj tells the story of Govinda Kunda.

Monkeys playing on the trees in Govardhan town.
Haldi Kunda, a bathing place of Srimati Radharani.

Jagadananda Prabhu helps with Nitya Hari Prabhu's Prasadam distribution programme, which took place on the parikrama path of Sri Govardhan Hill on the 2nd and 3rd of November.

The samadhi of Srila Raghunath Das Goswami, by Sri Radha Kunda.
Jahnava Mata Ghat, by Sri Radha Kunda.
Sri Syama Kunda.

Sri Radha Kunda

arite radha kunda varta puche loka sthane
keha nahi kahe, sangera brahmana na jane

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked the local people,"Where is Radha kunda?" No one could inform Him, and the brahmana accompanying Him did not know either.

tirtha 'lupta' jani' prabhu sarvajna bhagavan
dui dhanya-ksetre alpa jale kaila snana

The Lord then understood that the holy place called Radha kunda was no longer visible. However, being the omniscient Supreme Personality of Godhead, He discovered Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda in two paddy fields. There was only a little water, but He took His bath there.

dekhi' saba gramya lokera vismaya haila mana
preme prabhu kare radha kundera stavana

When the people of the village saw Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taking His bath in those two ponds in the middle of the paddy fields, they were very much astonished. The Lord then offered His prayers to Sri Radha kunda.

saba gopi haite radha krsnera preyasi
taiche radha kunda priya 'priyara sarasi'

"Of all the gopis, Radharani is the dearmost. Similarly, the lake known as Radha kunda is very dear to the Lord because it is very dear to Srimati Radharani."

Chaitanya Charitamrta, Madhya, 18.4-7

Kusum Sarovara, also known as 'Sumanah Sarovara.'

ei mata stuti kare premavista hana
tire nrtya kare kunda lila sanariya

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu thus offered prayers to Radha-kunda. Overwhelmed by ecstatic love, He danced on the bank, remembering the Pastimes Lord Krishna performed on the bank of Radha Kunda.

kundera mrttika lana tilaka karila
bhattacharyya dvara mrttika sange kari' laila

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then marked His body with tilaka made from the mud of Radha Kunda, and with the help of Balabhadra Bhattacharyya, He collected some of the mud and took it with Him.

tabe chali' aila prabhu 'sumanah sarovara'
tahan 'govardhana' dekhi' ha ila vihvala

From Radha kunda, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to Sumanah Lake. When He saw Govardhan Hill from there, He was overwhelmed by joy.

govardhana dekhi' prabhu ha ila dandavat
'eka sila' alingiya ha ila unmatta

When the Lord saw Govardhan Hill, He immediately offered obeisances, falling down on the ground like a rod. He embraced one piece of rock from Govardhan Hill and became mad.

Chaitanya Charitamrta, Madhya, 18.13-16

Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvva Rasa Bihari and Sri Sri Radha Rasa Bihari, presiding over our Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math and Mission.

His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj's murtti in our Vrindavan Temple.

Some of the pilgrims, headed by Sripad Bhakt Prapanna Tirtha Maharaj and Sripad Bhakti Premik Siddhanti Maharaj, in front of our Vrindavan Math.

The vyasasan of Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, beautifully decorated on the opening day of his memorial.

Srila Rupa Goswami's samadhi, located in the Sri Radha Damodar Temple, beside our Math in Vrindavan.


Srila Sridhar Swami Seva Ashram
Dasbisa, P.O. Govardhan
District of Mathura, Pin 281502
Uttar Pradesh, India
Phone: (0565) 281 5495

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