Gyan Vapi / Gyan Bavadi / ज्ञान वापी
Gyan-vapi is an important ancient tirtha, which is hidden within the earth on the ten-miles parikrama path around Mathura, between Bhuteshwar Mahadev and Katara Keshavdev. Referring to this sacred place, the Varaha Purana (Mathura-mahatmya) states:
yo vapyam dharmarajasya, mathurayastu paschimai
sthanam karoti tasyam tu, grahadorsharna lipyate
"All the evil planetary influences of those persons who bathe in Isavapi-bavadi of Dharmaraja, situated in western Mathura, are removed and they attain bhakti to the Supreme Lord."
In his Mathura Parikrama, the best of poets, Harilal Kakora, says:
"There is a holy place from Satya Yug in the form of a well that is filled with knowledge (Gyan) and devotion (bhakti). Those who bathe in this well wash away all their sins and receive thousands and thousands of pious credits."
According to the Vayu Purana, Dharmaraja Yudhisthir built this bavadi (deep tank with steps). This place is also important as the place where the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna used to consult with Maharaja Yudhisthira. Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita specifically describes the arrival in Shri Dhama Mathura of Sachinandan Shri Gaurahari, who is non-different from Shri Krishna and who preached pure bhakti and the chanting of Krishna's holy names throughout the entire world. Shri Gaurahari took bath in the Yamuna at Vishram Ghat and then went to the temple of Shri Keshavdev. Seeing Him performing kirtana and dancing in ecstasy, a crowd of thousands assembled there. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performed achamana and bathed in Gyan-bavadi. Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita mentions that He later stayed at the house of a Vaishnava brahmana from the Sanodhiya community who lived near Gyan-bavadi, and also accepted prasad here.
- satyug kau ik tirath kahau vapi Gyan-bhakti kon lahon
yamai jon snap karaiju dhoi pap bahu puny bharaiju