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Christmas In Jaipur

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We spent Christmas in Jaipur visiting various temples of the Lord. It seemed a fitting way to respect such a day which is so dear to our Christian brothers and sisters. We were particularly touched to see the mood of devotion in the eyes of of the residents of Jaipur as they took darshan of Radha Govinda in the main temple of the city.

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Beautiful Kamyavan

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Today we went on parikrama to Kamyavan. Kamyavan is fourth among the twelve forests of Vraja-mandala. The word kamya means “extremely beautiful”, “well adorned” or “highly attractive”. Many pleasant lakes, wells, ponds, trees, creepers, flowers, fruits and species of birds contribute to the beauty of this place. Krishna performed many of His childhood pastimes in Kamyavan. According to the Visnu Purana, there are eighty-four sacred ponds, eighty-four temples and eighty-four pillars in Kamyavan. This holy place has countless kundas as well as a parikrama path of fourteen miles. Some of the prominent kundas are Vimala Kunda, Dharma Kunda and Kama Kunda. Dharma kunda is where Maharaja Yudhisthira successfully answered the 100 questions of Yamaraja.

The deity of Kameswar Mahadeva, who resides in Kamyavan, was personally installed by Vajranabh, Krishna’s great-grandson. A most beautiful deity of Vrinda devi resides in Kamyavan as well. Srila Rupa Goswami had installed this deity of Vrinda devi in his Radha Govinda Temple in the forest of Vrindavan 500 years ago. But later on, by Her sweet will, Vrinda devi moved to her temple in Kamyavan.

In the Puranas it is said that the forest of Kamyavan fulfills the innermost desires of the soul.

“In this Kamyavan Krishna performed enchanting pastimes. Here you will be able to take darsana of many Kundas and other holy places. I cannot even describe in writing all the sacred tirthas found at Kamyavan.”

[ Bhakti-ratnakara, Fifth Wave ]

 

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In Bandiravan

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Yesterday on our parikrama with Sri Prahlada dasa we met Jaya Rama das, a well-known and respected sadhu residing in Bandiravan, one the 12 forests of Vrindavan. When we offered our respects to him he smiled and kindly said:

“What your Srila Prabhupada has done for the whole world all the saints in India combined together haven’t done. I am just sitting here taking care of this little parcel of land, but you his disciples, are travelling all over the world preaching the glories of the holy names.”

 

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The Mystical Forest

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Yesterday I took Sri Prahlada, who is visiting Vrindavan, to the Mystical Forest. Not far from Varsana is a forest of 5,000 year-old trees. Local Vrajavasi tradition says that the trees were planted by Srimati Radharani and Her girlfriends as a place of pastimes for Herself and Krsna. They are described as kalpa-vriksa trees – wish-fulfilling trees – able to fulfill all of one’s spiritual desires. As we hugged them I prayed for more service to my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, in fulfilling his wishes that the holy names of the Lord be spread to every town and village in the world. I also whispered in my prayer that one day, when he feels it proper, I might join him in his pastimes in the spiritual world, where all walking is dancing, all talking is singing and there’s a festival every day. From the Mystic Forest we proceeded to nearby Varsana to continue our parikrama. All glories to Sri Vrindavan dhama!

 

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Chandra-sarovara

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Yesterday my good friend Sri Prahlada arrived in Vrindavan. To enter into the mood of Vraja we decided to first do Govardhan parikrama. We began on the ‘outer’ 40-kilometer parikrama road, the path used by Srila Sanatana Goswami 500 years ago. We first visited Chandra-sarovara, a beautiful holy site, where the gopis spoke the famous ‘Gopi Gita’ which make up most of the 31st chapter of the 10th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. There is beautiful lake there, as well as the samadhi of Sura das, the famous blind Vaisnava poet who appeared in 1487. There we chanted and prayed for his mercy that by following in the footsteps of our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, we might enter into the mysteries of pure devotional service. From there we proceeded to the general parikrama path. Along the way we encountered a number of old Vrajavasi friends that I have come to know through the years by wandering in the transcendental land of Sri Vrindavan dhama. We also made some new acquaintances! Hours later we finished our parikrama at Sri Radha Kunda.

 

 

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Strolling Through Vrindavan / Бродя по Вриндавану

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I arrived back home in Sri Vrindavan dhama yesterday. This afternoon I strolled through the town of Vrindavan proper, visiting old friends and making new ones. The sights, sounds and colors of Vrindavan all helped to remind me of my good fortune to once again be present in Lord Krsna’s eternal playground.
“My life and soul is the most opulent land of Vrindavan, which is overwhelmed by the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, which is decorated with many groves and fountains, which is beautified by khadira and sandalwood forests on the banks of the Kalindi River, which is decorated with many beautiful caves at Govardhan Hill, where eternal good fortune is constantly showering, and where Sri Sri Radha and Krsna constantly perform the most wonderful pastimes.”
[ Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati, Sri Vrindavana Mahimamrta, Sataka three, Text 60 ]

Вчера вернулся домой, в Шри Вриндаван-дхаму. Сегодня побродил по Вриндавану, навестил старых друзей и встретил новых. Виды, звуки и цвета Вриндавана, – все возвещало об удаче вновь побывать на земле вечных игр Кришны.

«Цветущая земля Вриндавана, жизнь и душа моя. Исполнена Шри Радхи-Кришны лилами, украшенная родниками, рощами, лесами из акаций и сандаловых деревьев по берегам Калинди и множеством пещер на Говардхане. Здесь вечная удача льется ливнями – здесь Шри Шри Радха-Кришна вечно свершают лилы».

[ Шрила Прабодхананда Сарасвати, «Шри Вриндавана Махимамрита», шатака третья, текст 60 ]