(Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das Maharaj) Welcome, all lovers of Vrindavan! This is part five of our continuing series of articles glorifying Shri Dham Vrindavan. For those who are new to this series, we will repeat the introduction and then describe the pastime villages in NANDAGRAM for part five.
Braj [aka Vrindavan] is the divine realm wherein Shri Krishna loves, plays and sports with all and everyone. If you simply visit Braj or live in Braj, Gopala will enchant your heart by His sweet love, beauty, charm and naughty playfulness.
Filled with thousands of temples, Vrindavan is known as a “temple town”. In fact, the entire 168 sq. mile area of Braj Mandala is adorned with thousands of temples, sacred places, mountains, rivers, lakes and bathing tanks.
Bhakti-ratnakara, a 500 year old holy book penned by Gaudiya Acarya Shri Narahari Chakravarti, describes over 300 different inhabited villages still existing today in Braj Mandala. Each village is named after and commemorated to a particular amazing pastime of Shri Krishna which occurred there.
Braj Dhama ki jai! This is such a unique and captivating sacred place. In every square mile of Braj Mandal, 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 Krishna’s heart.
Nandagram and Kokilavan area Lila villages
The name of this pastime village, where Shri Vishakha-sakhi forever lives, comes from the word ‘anjana’ meaning eyeliner or kajala.
Once, Praneshvari sat in a hidden grove here while Her priya-sakhis adorned Her gorgeous divine form with costly jewels and ornaments. Just when they were about to apply the anjana to Kishori’s beautiful blue lotus eyes, Radhika suddenly heard the dulcet sound of Dhani Raya’s murali (flute).
Excited and overjoyed, Shri Radha immediately ran away to meet Her Pranavallabha. When Radhika arrived, Shyama anxiously sat His precious one on a fragrant flower asana, embraced Her and eagerly relished Priya’s sublime elegance with His thirsty eyes. Shyama became very pleased to see that in Her haste to meet Him, Radhika had forgotten to apply kajala. Seizing the opportunity for Radha’s seva, Kanu then carefully applied anjana to Anuragini’s loving eyes.
This is the “thunderbolt village” because the name Bijavari derives from the word vidyuta-punja which means thunderbolt. Here Kanai-Balai mounted uncle Akrura’s chariot to go to Mathura. Thoroughly distressed over their impending separation from Kanaiyalal, the damsels of Braj cried out “Prananatha!” and fainted. To all observers, it seemed that many brilliant golden lightning bolts (vidyuta-punja) were striking the ground.
This village name means “the day after tomorrow”. While sitting on Akrura’s chariot, Acyuta tried to solace the saddened sakhis by saying, “I promise you that I will surely return the day after tomorrow.”
This village name comes from shighra which means soon because Shri Krishna repeatedly told the gopis, “I will return soon!”
This village is named, not after a bitter gourd, but after a cowherd wrestler named Karahala, the father of Govardhana Malla, who sometimes stayed here with his wife Candravali.
Brajbhumi ki jai! Jai Jai Shri RadheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeShyama!!!!!!!!!
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.