kusum sarovar
Vraja Mandala Parikrama

A Pilgrimage organised by Devotees of ISKCON Bangalore

Introduction

Vraja Mandal Parikrama 84 Kos (252 Kms) Yatra is an annual walking pilgrimage which takes place in the region of Vraja. Lakhs of devotees participate in this yatra every year. ISKCON, Bangalore in collaboration with Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir conducted their second Vraja Mandala Parikrama this year. The yatra is organised for giving a more intimate glimpse of the Vraja Lilas of Krishna.

The devotees traced the same route as taken by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu when He visited Vrindavan 500 years ago. They travelled to the twelve forests of Vraja, which are Madhuvan, Talavan, Kumudvan, Bahulavan, Kamyavan, Khadiravan, Vrindavan, Bhadravan, Bhandiravan, Belvan, Lohavan, and Mahavan. Like Lord Krishna, these forests are Absolute in nature. The regular Vraja 84 Kos Yatra actually covers 252 Kms, but this was a shorter version of the yatra covering most of the important places but not all.

History of Vraja Mandala Parikrama

Lord Brahma could not fathom Lord Krishna’s Supreme position when he saw the Lord playing as an ordinary cowherd boy in Vraja five thousand years ago. To show his superiority, Brahma kidnapped all the cows and cowherds friends of Krishna and put them to slumber in Brahma loka.

Returning to Vraja to see Lord Krishna’s reaction, Brahma saw that although a complete year had passed on earth, things were quite normal in Vrindavan. All the cows and cowherds were playing merrily with Krishna. It was as if nothing had happened. Bewildered, Brahma surrendered to the Lord and begged Him to allay his confusion. Lord Krishna then told Brahma of His Supreme position and revealed all the cows and cowherds in their original four armed Vaikuntha forms. Lord Krishna had in fact expanded Himself into these forms for a whole year.

On realising his mistake, Brahma offered profuse prayers of remorse. Brahma also realised that his actions had been offensive not only to Krishna but to all the Brajawasis and Vraja Dham as well. He knew that the only way to atone for his sin would be to perform a Parikrama of the entire Vraja Dham absorbed in devotion. Ever since the 84 Kos Vraja dhama Yatra remains an annual feature of the month of Kartika in Vraja. It is believed that performing a complete Parikrama washes away all sins and bestows devotion to Lord Sri Krishna and His eternal consort Srimati Radha.

The Parikrama

The Parikrama was intense and strictly spiritual in purpose. The mood was grave and the organisers focussed on sharing the intricacies of Bhakti yoga among serious practitioners.

Good accommodation, transportation and prasadam had been organised for all the participants. Senior devotees conducted the tour and explained the pastimes and significance of the pilgrimage places.

Pilgrimage Details:

Day

Date

Places & Activities

1

18/10/16

Arrival day.
Project site visit with Project Director Suvyakta Narasimha Dasa
Visit to Temple Goshala,
All Participants meet
Deepotsava at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir. Visit Gallery

2

19/10/16

Vrindavan Parikrama
Mathura Janmabhumi
Dwarakadhish
Adi and Shveta Varaha temple
Sankalpa at Vishram Ghat
Boat ride. Visit Gallery

3

20/10/16

Madhuvan
Talvan,
Kumudvan,
Bahulavan,
Deepotsava at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir.  Visit Gallery

4

21/10/16

Govardhan Parikrama
Deepotsava at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir. Visit Gallery

5

22/10/16

Badrinath,
Adi Badri,
Kedarnath,
Charan Pahadi,
Deepotsava at Kamyavan Madan Mohan temple. Visit Gallery

6

23/10/16

Barsana,
Nandagaon,
Vrinda Kund,
Kokilavan,
Javat,
Khadiravan,
Deepotsava at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir. Visit Gallery

7

24/10/16

Sheshashayi
Bhadravan
Bhandirva,
Belvan
Vamshivata
Deepotsava at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir. Visit Gallery

8

25/10/16

Lohavan
Mahavan – Gokul
Brahmanda Ghat
Chintaharan Mahadev
Feedback meet
Sankalpa for finishing the yatra at River Yamuna. Visit Gallery

The second Vraja Mandala Parikrama of the ISKCON Bangalore group produced great enthusiasm and devotional inspiration among all the participants.