Akrur Ghat

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Akrur Ghat / अक्रूर घाट

Akrur Ghat is situated four miles north of Mathura and one mile south of Vrindavan. Nearby is Akrur-gaon.

Story

Shri Krishna and Baldev were seated on Akrur's chariot as Akrur was bringing them from Nand Gaon to Mathura. Akrur stopped the chariot at this place and, leaving Krishna and Baldev on it, went alone to bathe in a deep pool in the Yamuna and perform his other regular morning duties. Akrur remained in the water to chant the mantra of his worshipful Lord, Sanatan Brahma (four-armed Vishnu), and meditate upon Him. On this day, however, instead of having darshan of his worshipful Sanatan Brahma in his meditation, he saw the forms of Shri Rama and Shri Krishna. Akrur became confused. He came out of the water, and looked towards the chariot, where he saw Rama and Krishna sitting. Again, when he went into the water, dipped in it and he saw Them there also. He was now fully confident that Shri Rama and Shri Krishna were truly the complete Sanatan Brahma. The Gaudiya Goswamis have given an excellent philosophical conclusion in explanation of this incident. Nand nandan Shri Krishna and Rohini-nandan Shri Rama never leave Vrindavan to go elsewhere. Therefore, Nand nandan Shri Krishna and Rohini nandan Shri Rama only came with Akrur as far as Akrur-ghat, which marks the line of demarcation between Mathura and Vrindavan. Thereafter, They both remained in Vrindavan in Their unmanifest (aprakata) forms. It was Devki-nandan or Vasudev nandan Shri Balram, and Devki-nandan or Vasudev-nandan Shri Krishna, that travelled on the chariot with Akrur from Akrur ghat to Mathura and performed pastimes there. According to tattva, Yashoda-nandan and Devki-nandan are actually one, but from the viewpoint of rasa there is a difference between Them.

Story-2

Once, Nand Baba was observing Ekadashi without even drinking water. That very night also saw the start of Dvadashi. Nand Baba entered the water of the Yamuna to take bath but, because on that day this was an inauspicious time the servants of Varundev captured him and brought him to Varunlok. Bhagvan Shri Krishna went to Varunlok, where Shri Varundev worshipped Him with gifts, and returned Shri Nand Baba to Him with honour. This incident surprised Shri Nand Baba, who narrated it to the Brajavasis the next day. They requested Shri Krishna to give them darshan of His supreme abode. At that very place where the most merciful Bhagvan later gave Akrur darshan of his worshipful deity, He now gave the Brajavasis darshan of His eternal Brahmalok. [1] "Considering the thoughts of the cowherd men, the all-merciful Bhagvan Shri Hari showed them His own abode, which is beyond material darkness. They were brought to Brahma-hrada, submerged into the water by Krishna and then lifted out. From that very place where Akrur beheld his worshipful deity, the cowherd men had darshan of Krishna's transcendental abode."
Millions of sacred places (tirthas) are present at Akrur-ghat. There is a sacred injunction to take a bath here at the time of a solar eclipse.[2] When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavan from Jagannath Puri via the Jharakhanda path, there was no settlement in Vrindavan, only a deep forest. At night, Mahaprabhu would reside at Akrur-ghat, and at dawn He would sit at Imlitala-Ghat on the bank of the Yamuna in Vrindavan. Being overwhelmed with prem, Mahaprabhu would chant harinam there until the afternoon. An uninterrupted stream of tears flowed from His eyes, and brightly shining asta-sattvika transformations were evident on the limbs of His body. Shri Balbhadra Bhattacharya was the only person with Him at that time. Shri Chaitanya-charitamirta's narration of this melts the heart. In ancient times, Sant Rishi performed a sacrifice for King Brhadsena here. Another name of Akrur-ghat is Brahmahrada, because here Krishna gave the cowherd men darshan of Brahma-dhama. Akrur also received darshan of the complete Sanatan Brahma here.

Yagya Sthal

Near Akrur-ghat is the sacrificial arena (yagya-sthal) of the Mathura brahmanas.

Story

Once, Shri Krishna and His cowherd friends were grazing the cows near Yagya-sthal. Feeling hungry, Krishna sent the sakhas to beg for foodstuffs from the brahmanas who were performing a sacrifice at this place. However, because they were engrossed in their sacrifice, those non-devotional brahmanas refused to give them anything. The sakhas were insulted and returned to Krishna, who told them to go and beg something from the wives of those brahmanas.

Bhojan Sthal (Bhatrol Gaon)

Here, Krishna relished various delicious cooked grains and foodstuffs brought by the yagya-patnis, the wives of the brahmanas.

Story

Having been persuaded by Krishna, the cowherd boys had gone to the residence of the yagya-patnis and begged for some foodstuffs for Krishna and Baldev. Simply upon hearing the names of Rama and Krishna, the yagya-patnis became overwhelmed with transcendental emotions. They left their homes to have darshan of Krishna, eagerly bringing various delicious cooked foodstuffs on large plates. Nothing could stop them, not even the objections of their husbands. Some brahmanas forcefully locked their wives in their houses, but these women gave up their bodies in the fire of separation from Krishna and went to meet Him. When the brahmanis approached Shri Krishna, they became enchanted upon seeing His dark-complexioned form, which resembles a fresh rain cloud. The yellow garments on His dark-complexioned limbs wavered like steady lightening.[3] "Krishna's complexion is a blackish-blue hue like a water-laden rain cloud, and His splendid cloth, appears like a flash of lightning. Cresting His head is a peacock feather, and each limb of His body is decorated with exquisite patterns of paint made from coloured forest minerals. Sprigs of new leaves and blossoms adorn His body, and upon His neck an enchanting forest-flower garland of five colours hangs down to His knees. Attired in this way like a dramatic dancer, He rests one hand on His friend's shoulder, and with the other twirls a pastime lotus [as if to twist our hearts]. Lilies grace His ears, curly locks of hair splash against His cheeks, and His lotus face blossoms with a gentle smile."
The wives of the brahmanas became so overwhelmed with prem upon seeing Krishna that they did not want to return home to their husbands. After Krishna instructed them to go, however, they somehow readied themselves to do so. Upon returning home, they found that the attitude of their husbands had entirely changed. The brahmanas now began to praise their wives transcendental devotion to Krishna, and they condemned their three types of birth – namely seminal, brahminical and sacrificial – and their knowledge and expertise in Vedic rituals. [4] There is a point to be considered here. Krishna told the wives of the brahmanas to return home, and they obeyed Him. When the gopa-ramanis heard the sound of Krishna's flute, they came to Krishna, and He similarly told them to return to their husbands. They did not return, however, and Krishna danced and performed Raas Lila with them. How is this? The answer is that only the gopis have the qualification to participate in Krishna's Raas Lila and other such pastimes. In Braj, Shri Krishna wears the dress of a gopa and He is absorbed in the mood of a gopa. Therefore, only the gopis who themselves took birth from the wombs of gopis have the qualification to participate in Brajendra-nandan Shri Krishna's rasa and other pastimes in the nikunjas. Lakshmi from Vaikunth and the wives of the brahmanas have no qualification to enter these confidential pastimes. They were therefore sent away. It may be that after performing arduous worship for many lifetimes under the guidance of the ragatmika gopis, such personalities may one day take a birth from the wombs of gopis in manifested Braj. Then, by the influence of their association with eternally liberated gopis, they may eventually become qualified to serve in the nikunjas and so forth.

References

  1. iti sancintya bhagvan maha-karuniko harim,darshayam asa lokam svam gopanam tamasah param
    te tu brahma-hrdam nita magnah krsnena coddhrtah,dadrsur brahmano lokam yatrakruro 'dhyagat pura
    --- Shrimad Bhagavata (10.28.14,16)
  2. vishnu-lok prada tirtha muktakrura pradayine, krishnoksana prasadaya namaste vishnurupine -- Adi Varaha Purana
  3. shyamam hiranya-paridhim vanamalya-barha, dhatu-pravala-nata-vesam anuvratarise
    vinyasta-hastam itarena dhunanam abjam, karnotpalalaka-kapola-mukhabja-hasam --- Shrimad Bhagavata (10.23.22)
  4. drstva strinam bhagvati krishne bhaktim alaukikim, atmanam cha taya hinam anutapta vyagarhayan
    dhigjanma nas tri-vrd yat tad dhig vratam dhig bahu-jnatam, dhik kulam dhik kriya-daksyam vimukha ye tu adhoksaje
    --- Shrimad Bhagavata (10.23.39–40)
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