Thursday, 23 May 2019
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Swami Haridas ji was born to Shri Ashudhir and his wife Smt Gangadevi on the day of Radha Ashtami i.e. eighth day of second (bright) fortnight of Bhadrapad month of the year 1535 Vikrami(1478 A.D.). He was born in a small village, now known as Haridaspur, near Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. The linage of the family can be traced back to Shri Gargacharya. Shri Gargachrya was the kulguru (family guru) of Yadavs and visited Brij secretly for conducting the Namkaran Samskar (naming ceremony) of young Krishna and Balram on request of Sri Vasudev. A branch of the family migrated to Multan (now in Pakistan), but some of them returned after a long time. Sri Ashudhir was one such migrant who after returning from Multan settled at the outskirts of Brij, near Aligarh.

Swami Haridas was the reincarnation of Lalita ‘sakhi’ (female friend), of the inner consortium of Lord Krishna. This easily explains the fact that even in his childhood; he was more into meditation and scriptures, while other children of his age were busy playing. He was married at the suitable age according to the time to Harimati. Even after his marriage, young Haridas stayed away from worldly pleasures and concentrated on meditation. Harimatiji was such a saintly soul herself that on realizing the inclination of her husband, she prayed intensely and was bodily transported to the heavenly abode of Lord by entering the flame of a small lamp in the presence of Haridas. No physical remains were left behind!

Soon after that Haridas left his village for Vrindavan, which was a dense forest at that time and chose a secluded spot, which is now known as Nidhivan, to practice his music and to enjoy eternal bliss of meditation. He constantly and continuously meditated on Nitya Ras and Nitya Bihar of Lord at Nitya Vrindavan. His way of Sadhna was to compose and sing songs in the praise of Lord. While on earth, living in a mortal state, he facilitated his regular unobstructed entry in the Nitya Bihar and always enjoyed the pleasure of closeness of Lord. He chose a secluded and densely forested area, Kunj, in Nidhivan as his gateway to the nirvana and was mostly sitting there, singing, meditating and surfing in the ocean of eternal bliss.

His disciples were curious about this place and one day with permission of Swamiji, they all entered the kunj. But instead of seeing anything they were almost blinded by bright, intense light, which seemed to fill the whole place. On knowing of their plight Swamiji himself went there, and then after his requests, lord appeared in person with his divine consort, pleasantly smiling and in a playful mood and casting a spell of charm on every living being present there. Those who witnessed this, were so spell bounded by the beauty of the Lord and his consort, that they couldn’t even blink their eyes, it seemed that all of them had turned into stone statues.

The legend as handed down to the generations of Goswamis, says that the beauty of the divine couple was such that no one wanted to loose the sight and proximity of divinity, but then what kind of divinity is it, which cannot make a mere mortal swoon and charmed enough to forget and give up the world and its luxuries? The beauty of the divine couple was so much that lesser mortals, like you and me, won’t be able to bear such a heavenly beauty. Sensing this Swami Haridasji requested both of them to take a single form, as the world won’t be able to bear their image. He requested them to take a single form like Ghan(cloud) and Damini(lightning) thus giving a perfect metaphor to the combined beauty of dark Lord and his fair consort, Radhaji.

Also he wanted his beloved lord to be in front of his eyes always. Granting him his both wishes, the couple turned itself into one single black charming idol, the same one that you see in the temple today. The charm and beauty of Shri Banke Bihariji is the only reason why the ‘darshan’ in the temple is never continuous but is broken by the curtain drawn on him regularly. It is also said that if one stares long enough into the eyes of Shri Banke Bihariji, the person would lose his self consciousness.

The sewa of the Bihariji is unique in its own way. It is performed in three parts every day ie Shringar, Rajbhog and Shayan. While shringar (which includes bath, dressing and adornment with jewellery like crown and necklaces) and Rajbhog(feast) is offered in the forenoon, Shayan Sewa (shayan means sleep) is offered in the evening. The temple doesn’t have a tradition of Mangala (early morning) sewa. Swami Haridas did not favour Mangla Sewa as he wanted his child like Lord to take complete rest and did not want to disturb him out of deep slumber so early in the morning.

So, the temple today stands with its full glory, inside which the Lord himself resides. It is thronged by thousands of visitor’s everyday.

Vrindavan is a city of temples. there are many temples. We are providing details of some important temple like Bankey Bihari, Nidhivan, Radhavallabh, Radha Damodar, Madan Mohan, Seva Kunj, Rang nath temple etc…

Nidhi Van: Swami Haridas ji used to pray God in Nidhivan. Nidhivan is the place where Swami haridas ji got bankey bihari ji appeared. there are the samadhis of Swami haridas, Jagannath and Vitthal Vipul. It is believed that Bihari ji comes here and play Ras Lila with Radha rani and Gopies. In modern age Nidhivan still introduces the ancient look of Vrindavan.

Radha Vallabh Mandir: It is the one of famous temple of vrindavan. Radha vallabh was Discovered by Shri Hit harivansh. it is said “radha vallabh darshan durlabh”. Bhog prasad is cooked by Goswami only of this temple. the ‘khichdi mahotsav’ is very famous. Birth of Radha ji is celebrated with pomp and show. The Shrine was demolished in the 17th century.

Seva Kunj: The Seva Kunj is where Lord Krishna once performed the Raaslila with Radha-Rani decorating her hair with flowers and her lotus feet. Radha and Krishna would sometimes spend the night here, dancing with the gopis and enjoying transcendental pastimes. There is also a small temple dedicated to Radha and Krishna’s pastimes called Rang Mahal.

Radha Damodar Mandir: This is one of the most important temples in Vrindavan. The original deity was hand carved by Rupa Gosvami and given as a gift to his beloved disciple, Jiva Gosvami, who later built a temple here. Formerly this spot was in the middle of Seva-kunja and it was the bhajana (where he sang devotional songs) place of Rupa Gosvami.

Radha Raman Temple: Gopal Bhatta Goswami established this temple. The Deity of Sri Radha-Raman was manifested from one of Gopal Bhatta Goswami’s shalagram-shilas on the full moon day of Vaisakha (April/ May) in 1542. This event is celebrated every year (May) by bathing the Deity with 1000 litres of milk and other auspicious items. The remnants of this abhiseka (bathing) are like nectar. Gopal Bhatta Goswami’s other shalagram-shilas are worshiped on the altar here. The appearance place of the Sri Radha-Raman Deity is next to the temple. Radha-Ramanji is one of the few original Deities of the Goswami’s still in Vrindabana. The standard of worship in this temple is very high.

Shahji Temple: The Shahji Temple, another popular temple at Vrindavan, was designed and built in 1960 by a wealthy jeweller, Shah Kundan Lal of Lucknow. The deities at the temple are popularly known as the ‘Chhote Radha Raman’. Noted for its magnificent architecture and beautiful marble sculpture, the temple has twelve spiral columns each 15 feet high. The `Basanti Kamra’ – the darbar hall is famed for its Belgian glass chandeliers and fine paintings.

Rangji Temple: Vrindavan ‘s longest temple, it was constructed in 1851 by Seth Govind Das ji & Seth Laxmi Chand Ji. All were desciples of Acharyavarya Rangdeshie Swami where as the main gate is in Rajput style , The temple follows South Indian architectural pattern . The outer wall measure 773 Ft. and encompass a water tank , a garden and the actual temple . The “Dhweja Stambha ” , 50 ft. tall , is believed to be gold plated.

Madan Mohan Temple: The Madan Mohan Temple located near the Kali Ghat which was built by Kapur Ram Das of Multan. This is the oldest existent temple in Vrindavan today. The temple is closely associated with the saint Chaitanya. The original idol of Lord Madan Gopal was shifted from the shrine to Karauli in Rajasthan for safe keeping, during Aurangzeb’s rule. Today, a replica of the image is worshipped at the temple.

Govind Dev Temple: Built by Raja Man singh of Jaipur in 1590, The temple is a testimony of the architectural splendour of medieval India. The temple walls average 10 ft. thickness. The upper state is regular triforium. Originally seven stories high, it’s upper four stories were destroyed during the reign of Aurangzeb. The Krishna idol was then removed to Jaipur.

Kesi Ghata: This is the place where Lord Krishna killed the Kesi demon who appeared in the form of a gigantic horse and then took His bath in this very same ghata. This is also very famous bathing place in Vrindavan. An arati (prayer with lamps) to Yamuna Devi is held here every evening.

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