(Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das Maharaj)
Baelvan and Bhandiravan Lila villages
In parts 1 and 2, we wandered together through the Lila villages of the Kamyavan area. Now we will visit the eastern side of Yamuna ji, and hear of little Lila villages near the famous lila-sthalis of Bhandiravan and Baelvan.
Braj Dham! O, What an amazing sacred place! In every square mile of Braj Mandala, one can visit two villages named after a divine Lila that Shri Krishna enacted there 5,000 years ago! Here in Braj, every step is a celebration of love leading us from village to village, Lila to Lila, and on into Shri Krishna’s heart.
A sweet little Lila village on the bank of Yamuna ji named after Shyama’s enchanting venu (flute), which Manohara played one day to steal the hearts of His darlings.
One day, Gopalaji was playing here with His gopas. Some of Krishna’s pals said, “O Gopala! We are very hungry! Could You somehow arrange to feed us some milk?” As soon as they said this, pots of fresh milk suddenly appeared all around them. The boys laughed and drank to their hearts content. In jest they started churning the milk into cream and then relished it in great bliss. In honor of this divya-lila, the village has been known for 5,000 years as Sarakoriya (saram, cream; koriya, to make).
Chaheri (now Vijauli)
After boisterous wrestling in Bhadravana, Krishna, Balarama and the cowherd boys came here to relax in the luxurious shade and honor prasadam. Chaheri comes from chaya meaning shade.
One day, the sakhas came here and enjoyed vigorous frolicking on the banks of the Yamuna. Kinara means riverbank.
One day, the sakhas trounced Govinda here in play. They cheered loudly in unison, “Hai! Hai! Jai! Jai! O Krishna ji! Every day You win, but today we soundly defeated You. Ha! Ha! So You must treat us with fresh cream and yogurt from Nandalaya!”
Our next magical, wonderland tour of mystical Braj will take us to the Barsana area.
Jai Jai Shri Radhe!
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das Maharaj (DOB 6 Feb. 1951) is a Gaudiya Vaisnava Babaji (sannyasi), and a teacher of Gaudiya spiritual truths, practices and perfection (siddhanta, sadhana, sadhya) . He has authored 25 English & 11 Hindi spiritual books about Shri Guru, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Radha-Krishna, and the Gaudiya holy places.