1. Help building the future of the children with good character and discipline
2. Create an environment for parents & children to spend time together
3. Help the children to be motivated and excel in their life and education
4. Help the children to take responsibility, leadership and perform best in their studies
5. Cultivate vedic tradition and family values in our children
6. Educate the children to know what is right and what is wrong
7. Grow the family in devotion and love, with Sri Sri Radha and Krishna as the center of our lives
8. Provide moral and devotional support to all the families and children
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!
It all now seems like a dream that we were in Vrindavan going crazy in the peak of hot summer with our families to get little preview of Vrindavan.
This is my sixth blog on this. The trip to Nandagaon, and Varsana started at the early morning of our 4th day as planned. In spite of several being sick still we all joined and got into our mini bus. Whenever we used the minibus, we always did our morning prayers while traveling. As Medha got our Gokul Bhajan Handbook, along with Neha and Dakshayani and others leading, we all sang.
You can watch this snapshot (http://www.gokulbhajan.com/download/01-Bus%20Bhajans.mp4).
1. Nanda Gaon
We did not realize that the time passed so quickly when we reached the foot hill of Nandagaon. Singing and having good time make the time fly! The bus stopped and we all got down. As soon as we got down, as expected, few pandas started to bother us and somehow we managed it.
I told our group that it is a hiking but not that hard. Every one wanted to join and climb. As it was so early in the morning climbing was a fun to every one. Also as there were water streams running at side from the top of the mountain, we did not feel the heat. We all reached the top, and then entered into the complex which was once the palace of Nanda Maharaj, and now a temple.
When Krishna was growing in Gokul during his early ages, seeing that there were many demons bothering his son Krishna, Nanda Maharaj decided to move away from Gokul and came here to settle. So, Krishna and Balaram actually grew up here and spent more years here than in Gokul. It is said that Nanda Maharaj had 9 lakh (900,000) cows. We can see some traces of those gosalas surrounding the hill.
I was explaining to the group where our Gurudev used to give his Hari Katha and also told the incident that when I was there once, a devotee fell unconscious due to the ecstacy of singing and dancing.
In the palace we see the deities for Nanda Maharaj, Mother Yashoda, Krishna and Balaram. This is the same place where gopis from near and far came along with Smt Radha Rani
and cook for Krishna every day. When mother Yashoda felt that Krishna was not eating well at all, she arranged Smt Radha Rani to come and cook for Krishna every day. Why? Because she heard that Radha Rani received a boon from Durvasa Muni that anything She cooks will be nectar and one who eats it will be super healthy.
After a good darsan in the temple, we all climbed up to the terrace and saw the beautiful surroundings where gosalas were there once. Now there are only houses and temples. If we see closely from the terrace, we can also spot the some very sacred places that we were going to see, the Ter Kadamba and then Yavat the place where Smt Radha Rani was living. Yavat that we did not visit this time is a very favorite place to Gurudev!
As Ter Kadamba is very special, I will write a separate blog on that alone.
2. Asisvara Mahadeva
Very near to Ter Kadamba is the place where there is a famous temple of Lord Sada Siva. During the Kartik parikrama this is the place we used to have our lunch prasadam!
You may know that in all the directions of Vrindavan, we can see the temples of Lord Sada Siva. It is said that when Lord Krishna wanted to perform rasa dance, Smt Radhi Rani appeared from His left side and Lord Sada Siva appeared from His right side. It is Lord Sada Siva who protects the entire Vrindavan. He was the one who rotated the chakra so fast around Govardhan that due to the heat produced by chakra, no drop of water fell on the ground when Lord Indra was pounding Govardhan with flood and thunder. Lord Sada Siva is intimately related to many pastimes of Lord Krishna.
In all over Vrindavan, and also in Nawadwip, we see that Lord Sada Siva receives the prasadam first after offering to Lord Krishna. Why is this? Because Lord Sada Siva is the very first Vaishnava. It is said in Srimad Bhagavatam, "Vaishnavanam Yada Sambhu", ie. of all the Vaishnavas, Lord Sada Siva is the first. This is the reason that in all the Vishnu related temples, we see the Lord Vishnu (or Krishna) touching the top of Siva Linga. Also as per a promise that Lord Krishna gave to Lord Siva as Lord Siva asked a boon, in Dwaraka Krishna even worshipped Siva for getting a son.
As Lord Sada Siva is the protector and guardian of Goloka Vrindavan, without His mercy no one can enter the abode of Lord Krishna. There is also a nice story about when Lord Sada Siva wanted to see and be part
of rasa dance of Lord Krishna. By getting a dip given by Yoga Maya in Kusuma Sarovara in Vrindavan, Lord Siva could become a gopi. We worship Lord Sada Siva as 'Gopiswara Mahadeva'. We say 'Sri Gopiswara Mahadeva ki Jay'!
In Vrindavan, as every gopi wanted to have Krishna as their husband, daily when they were returning from selling yogurt, they used to go to this same temple and pour abhisek water on the linga. Even though gopis did not have to worship any one to win the favor of Krishna, they were doing this thinking that their devotion and love for Krishna was not enough and they need blessings from every God.
When we visited this temple, there was hardly any one and was so silent. Even a family brought a large bucket of water that we all took and poured on the top of the linga praying that we want to get love and devotion to Sri Krishna, so that we can serve Him.
3. Uddhava Kyari (we skipped)
Due to heat and younger children, we skipped the Uddhava Kyari which is another great historic place. This is the place Uddhava the prime minister of Lord Krishna came and met the gopis and gave the message from Krishna.
All the gopis were at that time staying here in this place of the then dense forest renouncing everything including their relatives, sons, daughters, home and everything. Why? The gopis wanted only Krishna and were crying at this place looking for Krishna coming back as He promised to them. When Uddhava came and met, he realized how insignificant his devotion to Krishna compared to that of the gopis.
This is another very favorite place to our Gurudeva and he takes the dust from this place and put on his head. Actually no one except very high rasika devotees come here to weep. For all others, there is nothing here except a little structure and sands! Only rasika bhakta knows that every dust here is priceless!!
By the time we were nearing to Varsana, it was really middle of the day and the scorching sun was making us really uneasy. Our bus driver stopped the mini bus at the foot hill and we were thinking about hiring some people to carry us up to the mountain where the palace (now temple) of Srimati Radha Rani is there. It is actually a very steep climb and often very difficult for elders and small children.
Luckily, a person showed up and told that he could take us in his zeep up to the top for a charge. We were so happy and hopped into it. He took us all the way to the top of the hill. In that heat, there would be no way for us to climb even few feets. It was that intense hot! Never think of visiting Vrindavan during hot summer time.
We entered into the temple and as there was no crowd, we could get a wonderful darsan. It is said that high devotees do see Radha Rani living here. This is also the place very well known for robbers. Taking advantage of the crowd, they come and rob so many devotees.
After the darsan, we all sat down and wanted to sing a bhajan for Smt Radha Rani. As we realized that we did not bring our bhajan book here, we all sang our gokul bhajan, "Bol Radhe Bol".
This palace was very specially built for Radha Rani by Vrasabhanu Maharaj. Vrasabhanu Maharaj was so dear to Radha Rani. That is why Radha Rani is often called as Vrshabhanu Nandhini. Vrshabhanu Maharaj had 11 lakh (1100,000) cows. So, Radha Rani is richer than Krishna whose father had only 9 lakh cows!
After roaming around little bit, we came out and were walking towards a Krishna temple nearby on another peak. After getting good darsan, we all came down and got into our mini-bus and drove back to our hotel!
Varsana has so many rasik places to visit and there are so many wonderful places to visit. Dana Garh, Gahvara Vana, Krishna Kunda, Pilli Pokara, Prem Sarovara, Mayur Kuti, the place where Sr Krishna and Radha Rani danced as peacocks, Sankari Khor (Tax Past time) and many places to see. But due to intense heat, we could not go to any except just one place the palace.
Last time when I went I was so fortunate to see a place where the actual feet impressions of Sri Radha and Krishna standing together in merged form- one leg from Radha Rani, and one leg from Lord Krishna (pl see the picture at end). It is said in several scriptures that any one who could see this is sure to go to Goloka Vrindavan! But it is so far away to walk and find..
Video clip of Singing in bus: