Kumudvan

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Kumudvan / कुमुदवन

Two miles west of Talvana is Kumudvan, which presently goes by the name Kudaravan. The kund here is called both Kumudini Kund and Vihar Kund. While herding the cows, Shri Krishna, Shri Balram and the cowherd boys wandered throughout this delightful place. Shri Krishna Himself sported in this kund with the cowherd boys and with sweet words He would summon the cows to the bank of the pond by exclaiming, "Tiri tiri!" And then with "Chun-Chun!" He would tell them to drink water. The boys decorated each other with garlands made of kumudini flowers. Sometimes Krishna hid from His sakhas and, unseen by them, He sported in the water here with Radhika, Lalita, Vishakha and other priya-narma-sakhis. There is currently a deity of Shri Kapildev on the bank of this kund. Lord Kapil worshipped Shri Krishna at this place. From here, the pilgrimage of Braj proceeds to Bahulavan via Shantanu Kund. In the neighbourhood are picturesque pastime places, such as Ompar, Manako-nagara, Lagayo, Ambikavan, Ganeshara (Gandheshwarivan), Datiha (Datiya), Chhatikara and Garud-Govind.

Datiha (Datiya)

Contents

Datiha lies about six miles west of Mathura and two miles from Shantanu Kund. According to the Padma Purana, Nand Maharaja and all the Brajvasis, including Shri Krishna's beloved gopis, went to Kurukshetra at the time of a solar eclipse to meet Krishna. Krishna repeatedly assured them, saying, "I shall soon return to Braj," and then sent them back to Braj. Although the gopas and gopis did return to Braj with Nand Baba, instead of going back to Gokul-Mahavan, they waited for Krishna near Datiha on the other side of the Yamuna (from Gokul). The village in which they stayed while waiting for Krishna is called Maghera or Maghera. After Shri Krishna killed Shishupal He went to the vicinity of Mathura, where Dantavakra had gone to fight with Him. Krishna killed Dantavakra at Datiha, and then met with His parents and the other Brajavasis. Because Dantavakra was killed here, this place is called Datiha [a name derived from the Sanskrit dantavakra-ha, "killer of Dantavakra"].

Chhatikara (Shakatikara)

The current name of Shakatikara is Chhatikara. It is on the Delhi–Mathura highway, about four miles from Mathura and two miles from Vrindavan. Concerned by the violence of the demons in Gokul-Mahavan, Nand Baba came to Shakatikara with all the Brajavasis. They established a place to live here by arranging their hundreds of thousands of bullock-carts in the shape of a crescent moon. This place became known as Shakatikara because the Brajavasis used bullock-carts (shakata) to set up their residence. Shri Krishna and Shri Balram would go from here to sweet Vrindavan and other nearby places to graze the calves and cows. Krishna performed rasa-lila and other Braj pastimes while living here. At that time, Vrindavan, the place of Shri Krishna's playful pastimes, was not a prosperous city but a rural area ornamented with many varieties of groves, creepers and attractive forests.

Garud Govind

Krishna performed various pastimes at this place, which lies near Shakatikara. One day while grazing the cows, Shri Krishna was absorbed in playing here with the sakhas. In their play, Krishna made Shridham Sakha assume the role of Garud and then He climbed on his back, acting as if the husband of Lakshmi, Narayan Himself, had mounted Garud's back. Even today, one can take darshan of Govindji with Shridham in the role of Garud. This location is also connected with Lord Ram's pastimes. When the serpents released by Meghnad bound Shri Ramachandra in their coils, He became helpless. Hearing of this from Devarishi Narad,Garud came to the rescue. As soon as the serpents saw Garud, they released Shri Ramchandra and fled. This incident left Garud doubtful as to whether Shri Rama was in fact Bhagvan, the Supreme Lord, but by associating with Mahatma Kakabhusundi and by receiving darshan of Shri Krishna at the time of Krishna's pastimes, this delusion was removed. At that time, Shri Krishna climbed upon his back and assured him that He was indeed the Supreme Lord. Garud Govind is the place where Garud had darshan of Shri Govind, the maintainer of the cows and cowherd boys.

Gandheshwari

The present name of this village is Ganeshara Gaon. Shri Krishna and the cowherd boys would smear aromatic (gandha) substances on their bodies while grazing the cows. It is said that Shri Krishna became intoxicated by the fragrance emanating from the body of Radhika, who was hiding nearby with Her girlfriends.[1] Seeing Radhaji, the flute slipped from His hands, His peacock-feather crown fell at Her lotus feet, and He fainted. [2] This place is therefore called Gandheshwari Tirth. Radhika is also called Gandharv. To this day, Gandharv Kund continues to celebrate the triumphant, amorous pastimes of Shri Radha-Krishna. In modern times, the name Gandheshwari has changed to Ganeshara.

Khechari Gaon

Khechari Gaon is two miles west of Mathura, and one mile north-east of Shantanu Kund. Khechari refers to the Putana, a demoness who roamed the sky. Kansa knew about her power and adopted her as his sister. On his request, the impure Putana, who could transform herself into many forms and who used to drink the blood and eat the flesh of small children, came in the guise of a beautiful mother to the house of Nand Maharaja to kill Shri Krishna. Although her breasts were smeared with a deadly poison, Shri Krishna, the ocean of causeless mercy, sucked out her life along with the poison, and bestowed upon her a position equal to a nursemaid in the transcendental world. Khechari Gaon is the place of residence of the Putana.

References

  1. Shri Radha Rasa Sudha Nidhi (verse 2) describes this as follows:
    yasya kadapi vasananchalakhekanottha, dhanyatidhanya-pavanena krtarthamani
    yogindra-durgamagatirmadhusudano 'pi, tasya namo 'stu vrsabhanubhudo dice 'pi
    "Madhusudana (Krishna) is difficult to attain even by the best of yogis. However, even He feels Himself greatly blessed when He is touched by even the slightest playful breeze coming from the tip of Radhika's garment. I offer my obeisances to any direction in which I may find this daughter of Maharaja Vrishabhanu."
  2. Shri Radha Rasa Sudha Nidhi (verse 39) also states:
    vanshi karannipatitah skhalitam sikhandam, bhrastancha pitavasanam vrajarajasunoh
    yasyah kataksasaraghata-vimurcchitasya, am radhikam paricarami kada rasena
    "When can I worship with rasa that Radhika whose arrow-like glances cause the prince of Braj to faint, His yellow cloth to fall off, His crown to loosen, and His flute to fall from His hand?"
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