- Shri Mahaprabhuji’s Bethakji
- Places on the second way to Vrindavan
- Places to visit at Vrindavan
- The temples of Vrindavan and locations
- Four Bethakjis around Bansibat
There are two ways to go from Batchvan to Vrindavan:
Places that come on the first way:
Alighting at Yamunaji from Batchvan and walking a bit ahead comes Bhadravan. This is the ninth van of the twelve vans of Vraj. This is the second van of the five vans of Shri Yamunaji. Here, there is Gaughaat. Here, Shri Thakorji used to drink water from Yamunaji alongwith Baldevji and also feed it to the cows. Here, there is Surajkund, Madhusudan Kund and the darshan of Madhusudan Thakorji. Below the tree of vad are the darshans of Hanumanji and Jharkhandeshwar Mahadevji.
Here, God had killed Bakasur. Also, here God had done the paan of Daavanal.
It lies 2.5 miles in the east of Bhadravan. Here God had made Baldevji kill a demon named Pralabasur. Here, there are temples of Bhandirkup, Bhandirbat, Shri Dauji and Bhandirbihariji. There is a mark of Shri Thakorji’s crown on Bhandirkup.
Shri Mahaprabhuji’s Bethakji:
Shri Mahaprabhuji had stayed here for seven days and done Bhagwat Parayan. Here saint of Madhva Sampradaya Shri Vyastirth had requested Mahaprabhuji to take over the seat of Madhav Sect. In that night four people came to beat Vyastirth and told: If you wish your well-being then go to the refuge of Shri Mahaprabhuji. Next day Vyastirth went to the refuge of Shri Mahaprabhuji. At this place the Bethak is located.
Going ahead from here comes Shyamvan. Here, there is Shyamkund and the temples of ShriSyamvihariji and Shri Damaji. There is a beautiful neekunj of trees behind the trees and a chowk for raas. This is a very divine place.
A garden of Shri Balram-Krshna is located here. Here, Shri Thakorji used to make delicious recipes and serve it to his friends. Here, Shri Lalitaji had united the Yugalswaroop.SunderSheela (Pujnisheela)
Ahead from here, comes Maatgaam. Here, Shri Krshna had broken the vessels of mud full of milk and curd of Vrajbhaktas. That’s why this place is called Maatgaam. Once, Shri Yashodaji had kept milk on stove for boiling and was breast feeding Shri Krshna. Nearby a vessel of butter was lying. When milk started spilling out of the vessel after boiling, Yashodaji made Shri Krshna lie on the floor and went to look after the milk. Milk was more dear to Yashodaji than Thakorji. That’s why Shri Krshna broke the mud vessel of butter. Then Shri Krshna ran from there and hide in a forest. Shri Yashodaji found him and made him bath. This leela took place here which is one of the reasons for this place to get its name “Maatgaam”.Shri Gusaiji’s Tulasi Kyara:
One has to go by ship from Maatgaam to Belvan. This is the tenth van out of the twelve vans of Vraj and the third on Shri Yamunaji. It is situated in Jahangir village.
There is a bethak of Shri Swaminiji in this van (forest). Here, Vrajbhaktas had offered Shringaar to the Yugalswaroop. Earlier there were a lot of Bel means the tree of bili. Shri Thakorji had played with bili here. That’s why this place is called Belvan. When Shri Thakorji incarnated in Vraj, Laxmiji also came here. Shri Thakorji told here that here there is no right for her. Laxmiji requested to let her stay in Vraj, at that time Shri Thakorji ordained her to stay at Belvan.Laxmiji’s temple is situated here.
Shri Gusaiji’s Bethak:
In Belvan on the banks of Shri Yamunaji there is a Bethak of Shri Gusaiji. It is near the temple of Laxmiji. Here Shri Gusaiji had shown the divine darshan of raas to one of his sevaks named Bhagvandas. Shri Gusaiji had written the Purushottmullas commentary on the Granth Shringaarrasmandan here. Shri Gusaiji had performed Shri Bhagwat Parayan for three days here.
Nari-Semri were the daasis of Shri Gusaiji. They were very good at pleasing maan. Once Shri Radhaji were seated in maan in Jait village. To please her these friends came. They went to Shri Krshna. They brought him along with them. After doing light they started showing her the face of Radhaji. Shri Radhaji blew at the light and turned it off. Then, Shri Thakorji took a pearl in hand and strated viewing her face in its light. Then, Radhaji tok the pearl in the mouth, at that time Shri Thakorji took the form of a serpant with 1000 fens. Seeing this, Radhaji became afraid and hugged Shri Krshna tightly. So the maan was broken. Shri Krshna won, thats why the village is called Jait gaam. Then Shri Krshna left the serpent form in Krshnakund which took the form of a stone. That stone still lies there.
Ahead from Nari-Semri comes the village called Chaumuha. Vrajvasis call this place Chama. It is the abbreviation of the sanskrit word Chaturmukh. Here Brahmaji had repented over the kidnapping and asked Shri Thakorji to forgive him.
Ahead from here comes Jaitgaam whose leela we have seen earlier.
The cowherders children went to Vraj and told their parents: Today only Shri Krshna killed the big python and saved our lives. In this way this place got its name “Aajhi”. In this village cow, calf and buffalo are not sold. If someone sells it secretly then the village bans him
Here there are different kunj’s of six friends of Swaminiji. Thats why the place got its name Chatikara. There is a secret bhuvan of Shri Radhaji. The village is small. When Shri Krshna lifted Goverdhan, at that time Shri Garudji had come here to perform his seva and have his darshan. In the temple, Govindji with 12 hands are seated on Garudji. Shri Krshna’s great grandson Vrajbhanji had installed this idol here. According to a different story Shri Garudji saw a Mathura’s Brahmin in Chaturbhuj form. At that time Garudji became suspicious and drew the attention of Shri Krshna towards that. Shri Krshna gave darshan and told him that Mathura’s Brahmin Chaubas are his form only. If they are satisfied he is satisfied. Ahead from here comes Akrurghaat. From here Vrindavan can be reached via Bhatrod.
Vrunda means Tulsi. Once upon a time this van located on the banks on Yamunaji was a van of Tulsi. Thats why this place is called Vrindavan. In Shwetvaarah kalp, Shri Krshna had called Gopis here on Sharad Punam and did rasa. This city is famous for its temples. Here, many Bhagwad devotees spend their lives doing Bhagvad Parayan. Here there are wells, Tulsiji’s and Shri Thakorji’s temple from house to house.
Vrunda, the wife of the demon king Jaalghar was divine, beautiful and Bhagwat devotee. Thats why Shri Thakorji took the form of Jaalghar and accepted her. Then he gave her divine darshan. At that time Vrunda asked : Now you will accept me or leave me? Shri Thakorji said: I will accept you. Vrunda did rites here. So this place is called Vrindavan. Gods became afraid with her rites and went to Bhagwan. Seeing her dedication Bhagwan was pleased. He bestowed her with a boon that all the three worlds will bow to you. and perform your pooja. Vrunda seated there in the form of tulsi. Bhagwan seated there in the form of Shaligramji. Tulsi was married to Shaligramji. Thus tulsi became the charanpadmaja of God. When Tulsipatra is offered in the lotus feet and put in the samagri the only God accepts it. Out of the twleve vans of Vraj. Vrindavan is referred as the best van. In the world there is no place like Vrindavan and there wont be any !Nobody has been able to describe Vrindavan wholly. It is the divine place of God.
One of Radhaji’s sixteen names is Vrunda. Thus it is the place for performing leela of Shri Radhaji. Shri Thakorji is doing Vihar with Shri Radhikaji and friends, thats why one of his names is Vrindavan Vihari. Shivji had told Parvatiji that Vrindavan is very tough to get, it is param manohar. It is the most secret and strong amongst all places. It is very dear to God.
Once the queen of devotion (Bhakti Maharani) came to Vrindavan with her two sons, Gyaan and Vairagya. At that time Old Bhakti Maharani became young and started dancing. This is such a divine place.
Even the sand of Vrindavan is divine because in it Shri Krshna is grazing cows barefooted. Its surroundings are divine as in its air the sound of Krshna’s flute are echoing. While remembering Krshna the mind and the soul becomes joyful. Even Kalpvruksha and Kaamdhenu cannot be compared with the happiness here.
King Shri Sawant singhji of Kishangadh, Rajasthan was famous by the name Naagridaas. He left all his wealth, capital and honor and spent the last seven years of his life at Vrindavan. Todays Vrindavan is six miles away from Mathura. When the atrocities of Kansa increased Shri Nandraiji along with other people of Gokul changes his place. They came and settles at Vrindavan.
In Shwetvarah kalp Shri Krshna had done rasa here. 1. Shringaarkunj 2. Shyamkunj 3. Maankunj 4. Sevakunj 5. Bansikunj 6. Nidhikunj 7. Daankunj 8. Makhanchorkunj 9. Gyaankunj are located. In that there are many gallis (lanes) like Kunjgali, Maangali and Daangali. Here there are temples as old as from the sixteenth century. Shri Mahaprabhuji has explained the character of Vrindavan in Subodhiniji. One of the meanings of the word Vrunda is Samuh (gathering) And another meaning is feminine namely many things. A place where at the same timeNavdhaabhakti along with dashmi Premlakshanabhakti’s togetherness is capable of making God appear at that moment is called Vrindavan. God thought that the land of my devtion should be free from evils, so that my devotees are not polluted Thus he killed Asuri demon and made Vrindavan a place with ten types of devotion innocent and pure.
Bhatrod is also known as Bhojantilo. Here the Brahmins of Mathura were performing rites. Here, Shri Krshna sent the hungry cow herders to ask for food from them. The Brahmins said that the food of rites cannot be given. The cow herders came back. Shri Krshna then sent them to the wives of the Brahmins and asked to tell them that God is hungry and wants food. The wives of the Brahmins took the food of the rites and went to God. Shri Krshna was pleased and so he blessed them that they will always be happy but since your husbands have disobeyed my orders, they will always have to ask for money from their yajmaans. Today this blessing of God is seemed to be true. Shri Madanmater Thakorji’s temple is situated here. Also the second temple is of Bhatrod Bihariji.
Name of the village is Akrurghaat. Akrurji was going to Mathura alongwith Shri Krshna-Baldev. At that time is halted at Shri Yamunaji to have bath. There he got darshan of different forms of Shri Krshna. There are temples of Akrurbiharji and Gopinathji here.
Kaalighaat – Kaalidah:
In ancient times Shri Yamunaji used to flow touching this ghaat. Today it is seated one mile away. King Virsinghdev of Odcha built this ghaat in V.S. 1716. Shri Krshna had killed Kaaliya serpent here. Yugalghaat:
Yugalkishorji’s temple is located here. In that Thakorji of Bhaktkavi Shri Hariram Vyasji are seated.
It is one of the ancient temples of Vraj. It has a top made up of red stones.
Here, there are beautiful temples of Ashtasakhis.
This is situated near the temple of ShriMadanmohanji. There are many trees of bamboo here. Here gaan of Saamved was performed in flute. Shri Krshna had done Shringaar to Shri Radhikaji below a tree of vad. Here there is a Bethakji of Shri Radhikaji and marks of her feet too.
Shri Baankebihariji’s Temple:
It is a very famous temple of Vrindavan. The construction is huge and beautiful.
Shri Gusaiji had seven sons. Brahmin Tulsidas Saraswat was a sevak of Shri Gusaiji. He was a jalghariya of Shri Gusaiji. Since his parents died when he was a child, he used to play with the seven sons of Shri Gusaiji. That’s why he used to think that he is the eighth son of Shri Gusaiji. Shri Gusaiji had bought him up in his supervision. Once a vaishnav came for the darshan of Shri Gusaiji. He asked Gusaiji: Where are your sons? Khavas went to call them. In the mean time Tulsidas came and sat in the lap of Shri Gusaiji. The vaishnav asked: Who is he? Shri Gusaiji said: He is my eight son. Shri Gusaiji gave seven swaroops to his seven sons. At that time Tulsidas requested: You did not give anything to me. Shri Thakorji ordained Shri Gusaiji: Offer him seva too. Many divine beings will come to refuge by him. So, Shri Gusaiji bestowed the seva of Shri Gopinathji Thakorji to him and ordained: You go to Sindh. We cannot go there. Give Ashtakshar mantra to divine beings there and give them Gods refuge. For Brahmasambandh send them here. So Tulsidasji went to Sindh after getting this ordainment. There the vaishnava numbers started raising gradually. Temples were built in different villages. As Sindh Pradesh was merged with Pakistan, the dynasty of the eight son came to India. Four-five families in Haridwar, 2 in Agra-Delhi and 4-6 settled in Jaipur-Mathura-Vrindavan.
Shri RadhaVallabhji’s Temple:
It temple is situated ahead from Baankebihariji’s temple. This temple was built by HitHarivanshji’s sevak Sunderlal Kayastha for HitHarivanshji’s Thakorji. Going ahead from here comes Daangali, Maangali, Yamunagali and Kunj gali.
Here, there is a beautiful kunj of small-big trees. They remind us of ancient Nikunj.
Shri Shaligramji’s Temple:
It is located in Loi Bazaar. A huge sava man’s swaroop of Shaligramji is located here. Such a big swaroop is not found anywhere. Nidhivan:
Swami Haridasji’s sevya swaroop Shri Baankebihariji was found here. That’s why this van is called Nidhivan. Here there is Haridasji’s Bethak, Venukund, Vishakhakund, Shringaar temple and raaschotra. Rasa is done regularly here.
It is one of the important places of Vrindavan. A doha is famous for it:
Shri Vrindavan so van nahi, Nangaam so gaam, Bansibat so bat nahi, Shri krshna naam so naam.
Here, Shri Krshna used to sit below the tree of vad and play flute. It was the most favorite place of Shri Krshna. Here, there is a raaschotra. Everyday at 10:00 in the morning rasa is performed here. Here, Thakorji used to have chhak in the afternoon.
Shri Gopeshwarji Mahadev:
It is one of the eight famous Mahadevjis of Vraj. Great grandson of Shri Krshna, Shri Vrajbhanji had established it.
Shri Mahaprabhuji’s Bethak:
Shri Mahaprabhuji had given Subodhiniji’s ras paan to vaishnavas here. His sevak Prabhudas Jalota had cited the shlok Venurdhaari from tree to tree and explained the importance of Vrajraj. Shri Krshna Chaitanya’s sevak Gopaldas Godiya had according to his bhavna made Thakorji’s form from Shaligramji, gave it name Radharaman and installed it.
Shri Gusaiji’s Bethak:
It is near Shri Mahaprabhuji’s Bethak. He had done Bhagwat Parayan here. Saints from Chatanya Sampradaya like Shri Harivanshji came to meet him. Shri Harivanshji asked him: Why do u perform Sandhya vandan? Shri Gusaiji said that when in the morning God goes from Nandalay to van for grazing cows, Vrajbhaktas feel the saga of separation. When God comes from the van in the evening, at that time Vrajbhaktas are delighted. To remember that Bhagwad leela, I perform Sandhya Vandan. On hearing this, everyone became quiet.
Once a idol maker came with Bhagwad idols. When Shri Gusaiji’s sight fell on those idols, they became Purushottams and started giving darshan. Seeing this miracle one mahant came to the refuge of Shri Gusaiji.
Shri Gokulnathji’s Bethak:
It is near Shri Gusaiji’s Bethak. Shri Gokulnathji had performed Bhagwat Saptah here. At that time all the saints of Vrindavan came here to listen. After Shri Gokulnathji composed commentary on Shri Vallabhashtak in Sanskrit whose shravan was done by vaishnavas like Kalyan Bhatt etc.
Damodardas Harsaniji’s Bethak:
Shri Damodardas Harsaniji’s Bethak is also situated here. There is a beautiful arrangement of bething in apras and filling Jhariji and doing charan sparsh (touching lotus feet of God) in the Bethakji.
Shri Madanmohanji’s Pushtimargiya Temple:
Shri Madanmohanji’s Pushtimargiya temple is situated near the Bethakji.
Going ahead from here comes Brahmakund. Here Shri Thakorji used to have chaak with his friends. And then he had ordered not to wash hands in Shri Yamunaji rather just wipe the hands. Here Brahmaji had taken the form of a fish and come to have prasad. God had given the darshan of Brahmalok to his friends here.
Out of the four main gods of Vraj – Haridev, Baldev, Keshavdev and Govinddev, Govinddevji’s temple is situated at Vrindavan.
It is located in the east of Shri Rangji’s temple on the banks of Shri Yamunaji. Gyaanguddi means the market of knowledge. In ancient times the tenets of knowledge were discussed here.
Shri Jugalkishorji’s Temple:
This ancient temple situated near Keshighaat was built in V.S. 1683.
Near Shahji’s temple it is in the area of Govinddevji. When Mirabai came to Vrindavan, saints had met here. Five swaroops are seated in the temple.
Shri Yamunaji’s Ghaats in Vrindavan:
1. Keshughaat: God had killed Keshi demon here. 2. Dhirsami Ghaat: Jaydevji has described this ghaat in his poem “Git govind”. 3. Viharghaat: Shri Krshna used to do jalvihar (water sports) here. 4. Kaalidahaghaat: Shri Krshna had killed serpent kaaliya here. 5. Yugalghaat: Yugalswaroop used to perform water sports here. 6. Bhramar Ghaat: Once a wasp who was impressed by Shri Radhikaji’s face started making noise here. At that time Radhikaji hugged Shri Krshna tightly. That’s why this place is called Bhramar Ghaat. 7. Praskandh Ghaat 8. Govind Ghaat 9. Surya Ghaat 10. DavanarGhaat 11. Akrurghaat
On Mathura-Vrindavan road there is a famous Birlamandir called Gitamandir. In its stambhs the entire Gita is written.