Bahulavan

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Bahulavan / बहुलावन

The charming forest of Bahulavan is full of beauty. According to the Skanda Purana (Mathura-khanda), Shri Hari's sakhi Bahula resides here – 'bahula Shrihareh patni tatra tisthati sarvada'. This place is now called Vati. It lies seven miles west of Mathura, between Radha Kund and Vrindavan. Shankarshan Kund and ManSarovar are two kunds in Bahulavan.

Story

Once, when Radhika was in Her sulky mood (mana), She hid Herself in a kunja here. In separation from Her, Krishna became completely distressed. With the help of the sakhis He was able to find Radhika, and with great difficulty He pacified Her mana.It is popularly believed that any desire of a person who takes bath here will be fulfilled. In the temple on the bank of Shankarshana-kund are deities of Shri Krishna, a tiger, a cow, its calf and a brahmana. According to local lore, a cow named Bahula was once drinking water from this pond when a fierce tiger attacked and caught her. She assured the tiger that she would return to be eaten after she had first gone to the house of her master, a brahmana, and fed milk to her hungry calf. When she got home, she told her calf to drink milk to his full satisfaction, and told him about her promise to the tiger. However, the calf insisted on going with her without drinking any milk. The brahmana also prepared himself to go alone. He planned to leave the cow and calf at home and give himself to the tiger as food. In the end, all three approached the tiger, each willing to sacrifice himself. At that moment, Shri Krishna Himself appeared there, and the tiger underwent a change of heart. By the mercy of Shri Krishna, the brahmana returned home safely with his cow and calf.

Shri Radha Kund

Contents

Shri Radha Kund lies within Bahulavan. On Bahulastami it is customary to take bath in Shri Radha-kund. Large numbers of people assemble to bathe here on that day. When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wandered through the different forests, He became overwhelmed by the natural beauty of this place.

Story

A charming and heart-rending description of this is given in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita (Madhya-lila, Chapter 17) as follows: When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu entered Bahulavan, the beautiful cows grazing there surrounded Him. They stopped eating the grass and, overflowing with prema, began to bellow and lick His body. Seeing the affectionate motherly mood of the cows, Mahaprabhu became completely absorbed in ecstatic waves of prema. When He regained some external consciousness, He began caressing the cows and they did not want to leave Him. It was with great difficulty that the cowherd folk forced them onwards.
Again Shri Mahaprabhu became absorbed in transcendental emotions. Weeping He called out, "Kothaya Krishna, kothaya Krishna? – Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?" Herds of deer and does gathered and fearlessly licked Mahaprabhu's limbs with affection. Parrots, cuckoos and bees began singing in the fifth note, and peacocks danced before Him. Completely jubilant, the trees and creepers covered themselves in buds, new leaves and flowers. With their arm-like branches and twigs, they lovingly offered their flowers and fruits at the lotus feet of Shriman Mahaprabhu. Seeing the ecstatic emotions of the moving and non-moving entities of Vrindavan, Shriman Mahaprabhu's absorption in transcendental ecstasy intensified. He loudly cried, "Chant `Krishna', chant `Krishna'!" and all of those moving and non-moving entities echoed His words. Sometimes Mahaprabhu, crying piteously, clasped hold of the necks of the deer and does who gazed at His lotus face with love-filled glances and tear-filled eyes.
A little further on, Shriman Mahaprabhu saw a female and male parrot (Sari and shuka) sitting opposite each other on two branches of a tree, lovingly quarrelling about the glories of the Divine Couple, Shri Radha-Krishna.

Shuka: My Krishna is Madan-mohan, the enchanter of Cupid's mind.
Sari: Yes, He is – as long as my Radha is at His left side. Other-wise, He is only Madan (Cupid).
Shuka: My Krishna lifted Giriraja on His finger.
Sari: Because my Radha transmitted power into Him; other-wise, how could He have done so?
Shuka: My Krishna is the life of the whole universe. Sari: My Radha is the life of that life.
Shuka: My Krishna's head is beautifully decorated with a peacock
feather.
Sari: Only because my Radha's name is marked on that
feather.
Shuka: The peacock-feather on my Krishna's head leans to the
left.
Sari: Because it wants to bow down to my Radha-'s feet.
Shuka: My Krishna is the moon.
Sari: My Radha is the trap that captures that moon.
Shuka: There is no need to quarrel uselessly. Let us glorify the Youthful Couple together. Sari: I happily agree to this.

This loving quarrel between the Shuka and Sari is also described in Govind Lilamrita. Here, the male parrot says (13.29):
"May our Lord Jagmohan, whose unparalleled beauty plunders the wealth of patience of an innumerable multitude of women, whose world-famous glory astounds even Lakshmi devi, whose strength turns the majestic Govardhan mountain into a child's toy, who has unlimited qualities, whose simple disposition entertains everyone, and whose glory substantiates the welfare of the entire universe, protect the entire world." [1] Hearing this, the female parrot replies (Govind Lilamrita 13.30):
"Shuka, Shri Radhika's divine love, beauty, dancing, excellent calmness, expertise in music, wealth of good qualities, and poetic compositions, or in other words, Her erudition, are all so attractive that She steals away the heart of Shri Krishna, who enchants the mind of the entire universe.." )[2] The male parrot then says (Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhyalila 17.214):
"Dear Sari, all glories to Shri Madan-mohan, the enchanter of Cupid, who carries a flute. He steals the heart of all the women in the entire universe, and enjoys with the gopis.")[3] After hearing the parrots' loving quarrel, Shriman Mahaprabhu watched the dance of the peacocks. Seeing their bluish necks He remembered Krishna and became so overwhelmed in ecstatic love that He fell down on the earth in a faint. His companions somehow brought Him back to consciousness, and He continued His Parikrama of Braj.

Shakna Gaon

This village is situated one mile from the village of Vati. Here, one can take darshan of Balabhadra Kund and Dauji Temple.

Tosh Gaon

The gopa Tosh, an expert dancer, lived in this village. He taught Shri Krishna how to dance expertly too, by which Krishna became extremely satisfied (santosha). Tarasa-kund lies here. Krishna, Balram, the cows and cowherd boys would feel most satisfied when they drank the water of this kund. This village is therefore called Tosh Gaon.

Jakhina Grama

This village lies two miles from Tosh Gaon. Its previous name was Dakshina Grama. While Radhika's leftist mood, vamya-bhava, is renowned and is most pleasing to Shri Krishna, each and every transcendental sentiment of every heroine exists in Radhika. Therefore, under certain special circumstances, Kishoriji pleases Shri Krishna by manifesting the bhavas of a right-wing heroine (dakshina nayika). This village is thus also called Dakshina-grama. It is also known as Jaksina or Jakhina-grama, because Dauji once killed a yaksini [4] here who was obstructing Krishna's playful pastimes. Balabhadra Kund lies here, and one can take darshan of the deities Baldev and Revati.

Viharvan

This is a place of the Divine Couple Shri Radha-Krishna's playful pastimes (vihar). Here Radhika tested Krishna's dancing skills.

priya ko nachvan sikhavat radha pyari!
man-guman lakut lie thadhi
manthargati jab hi, darpat kunj-bihari

"Radha-pyari is holding a stick of pride and anger (man-guman) and is teaching Her beloved Kunja-bihari to dance. But if, while Radha-pyari is instructing Him, He makes a mistake in a swift movement of the dance, the sharp glances shooting from Pyariji's eyes punish Him."
Vihar Kund lies here. This is where Krishna and His cowherd boy friends performed water-sports and had the cows drink its pure and sweet water. Nearby is a very attractive grove of kadamba trees, in which one can see the imprints of the Lord's lotus feet under a small canopy.

Basaunti and Ral Grama

Basaunti currently goes by the name of Basati, and Ral by the name of Rara-grama. When Nand Baba left Gokul-Mahavan with his family and moved to Chhatikara, his friend Vrishabhanu Maharaja resided in Basaunti-grama. This place received the name Basaunti because he resided (basa karna) here. Nearby is Ral-grama, where Radha ji performed Her childhood pastimes (balya-Lila). In Her youth She performed some pastimes in Basaunti. Barsana, Javat and Radha-kund are places of Her teenage pastimes (kishor-lilas). However, the place of Her highest and most perfect playful pastimes (lila-vilas) is Shri Radha-kund. Nearby are Balabhadra-kund, a temple of Balabhadra and a grove of kadamba trees.

Adinga

This village is situated nine miles west of Mathura and four miles east of Govardhan on the main road between these places. Shri Krishna and His sakhas obstructed the sakhis way demanding tax from them. Therefore the name of the village is Adinga. The Hindi word adna means "to obstruct". Here, in Killola-kund, Shri Krishna and Balram relished joyful water-sports (jal-killola).

Madhuri Kund

Two miles south-east of Adinga is Madhuri-kund, the charming place of Radha's dear sakhi Madhuri. It is also the place where the poet Madhuri dasaji performed his bhajan.

Mayur Grama

This place is situated two miles south-west of Bahulavan. After seeing the dancing of the peacocks (mayur) here, Shri Krishna started dancing with great pleasure in the midst of His beloved gopis. The peacocks very happily gave one of their beautiful multi-coloured feathers as an offering to Krishna, which He placed on His head. Mayur-kund is a place of darshan here.

Chhakna Grama

This village is situated near Mayur Grama. When Shri Krishna, Balram and the sakhas were out tending the cows, the gopis here fed them buttermilk (chhachh) to the boys' full satisfaction.

References

  1. saundaryam lalanali-dhairya, dalanam lila rama-stambhini
    tiryam kandukitadri-varyam , amalah pare-pararddham gunah
    silam larva-jananuranjanam aho, yasyayam asmat-prabhur visvam
    visva-janina-kirtir avatat , krsne jagan-mohanah
  2. Shri-radhikayah priyata svarupata ,susilata nartana-gana-chaturi
    gunali-sampata kavita cha rajate, jagan-mohana-citta-mohini
  3. vavshi-dhari jagan-nari , chitta-hari sa Sarike
    vihari gopa-naribhir , jiyan madana-mohanah
  4. A yaksini is a female yaksha, a ghostly follower of the demigod Kuber, the treasurer of the demigods.
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