All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Srila Gurudev Returns to Sri Govardhan

Spontaneous Pilgrimage to Sri Manasa-Ganga

25 February 2008

Photos by Munindra Mohan Prabhu
Web-page by Vaidehi Devi Dasi

Since Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj returned from Thailand, Malaysia and Mauritius on February 14th, His Divine Grace has been staying at our Temples in Sri Govardhan and Sri Vrindavan. He stayed in Sri Govardhan for the first two days, and then went to Sri Vrindavan to see the Sri Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami Memorial Building. After staying there some days, Srila Gurudev recently returned to Sri Govardhan, and one morning decided to go on a spontaneous scooter ride to Sri Manasa-Ganga.

After circumambulating our Temple of Sri Anu Giriraj and discussing garden plans for the temple grounds, he surprised all of us as he headed towards, and out of, the gate. Turning left from the front gate of the Srila Sridhar Swami Seva Ashram, he went next door to look at two pieces of property next to the temple. His Divine Grace then went out through the streets and ended his outing at Manasa-Ganga.

A brief summary of the story of Sri Manasa-Ganga is as follows:

One day, Sri Krishna and Sri Balaram were herding cows with their cowherd friends when a demon by the name of Vatsasura took the form of a calf. Knowing that the demon was hiding amongst his cows, Krishna and Balaram sneaked up behind him, grabbed him by the hind legs, whirled him around, and threw him into the trees. After having killed the demon, Nanda Maharaj and other Vraja-vasis suggested Krishna atone for the sin of killing a cow by bathing in the Ganga. Not wanting to leave Vraja, Krishna called the Ganga and manifested it from His mind. Krishna then took His bath there without having to leave Vraja, to the delight of all the Vraja-vasis. Therefore, this sacred kunda has the name 'Manasa', which comes from the word mana, or mind.

Looking at the land just next door to our Temple.
Heading towards Sri Manasa-Ganga.
Stopping to overlook Manasa-Ganga.
Sri Manasa-Ganga is said to be the largest of all sacred kundas in the Vraja area and is situated in the heart of the town of Sri Govardhan. Manasa-Ganga is non-different from the River Ganges and it is said that if one bathes in Manasa-Ganga not only is he purified of all sins, but will achieve Krishna-Prema.
Many friends and strangers coming forward to offer their respects and ask for Srila Gurudev's blessings.
Manasa-Ganga is also where Lord Krishna had His boating Pastimes with the gopis, and where Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to bathe before having darshan of Lord Haridev and beginning his parikrama around Sri Govardhan Hill.
Stopped in front of a Sri Giriraj Deity in a black marble alcove (on the right).
Srila Gurudev asked for some water from Manasa-Ganga, sprinkled some on his own head, and then on the devotees.
Heading back towards our Temple.

This is the house of Giriraj Panda's family. A panda is like a priest for a particular type of deity or holy place. A panda monitors the worship of the deity, the temple functions, and knows the history of the entire area.

The panda and his wife offering Srila Gurudev a garland.
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jaya!

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