|Krishna is having lunch with His friends in Bhadiravan forest;|
Bhandirvan is celebrated amongst the 12 forests of Vraja as the one where Krishna used to enjoy the pastimes of taking lunch with His cowherd boyfriends. In this forest there are many pastime places to visit, such as Bhandirvata, Venu kupa, Vamshivata, the temple of Shridama etc. The demons Vatsasura and Pralambhasura were killed by Krsna Balaram in Bhandirvan.
One of the most prominent pastime places in Bhandirvan is the Bhandirvata Banyan tree. At the time of Krsna’s manifested Leela in Vrindavan, this tree was so big that it literally covered miles. It was rich and fully laiden with leaves and flowers, looking like a beautiful cloud. It is said that its branches would extend so far and wide that Krsna and the cowherd boys would cross the Yamuna walking on them.
It was mostly under the Bhandirvata tree that Krishna and all His Gopas would gather to enjoy their lunch. The cowherd boys would leave the cows to graze the lush green grasses of Bhandirvan while they would play games, wrestle and finally sit under the shade of the Bhandirvata tree to enjoy the various delectable preparations sent by their mothers. Krishna would sit in the middle while hundreds of circular rows of cowherd boys would be surrounding Him as they would be laughing, joking, eating and performing their joyful and festive picnics.
The Gopis led by Lalita Sakhi made all the arrangements for this marriage while Brahmaji presided over as the head priest. There are beautiful deities of Shri Shri Radha Bhandirbihari at Bhandirvata. The specialty of these deities is that Krsna is putting Sindur (Vermilion powder) on the forehead of Shrimati Radharani indicating Their marriage.
There is a deep well called Venu Kupa near Bhandirvata. After Krishna killed the calf-demon, Vatsasura the Gopis in their transcendental humor accused Krishna of killing a calf and said that they won't have anything to do with Krishna until He atones for this sin. So, Krishna created a well by pushing the tip of His flute into the earth here and invoked all the holy waters to enter that well.
|In the left side Venu Kup
Krishna did this well by calling all rivers for killing Vatsasura;
Only after taking His bath in that well was Krishna again accepted by the Gopis. This well known as Venu Kupa is still there near the Bhandirvata tree. By bathing in it, one obtains the same result as by taking bath at each and every sacred place. Radhanath Swami narrates that after killing Pralambhasura, Balaramji came to Venu Kupa to drink water and take rest. The imprint of Balaramji’s crown is still there at this place.
|On Somavati Amavasya, milk comes in the water in the well.
The villagers believe that any woman who can't get a child
will get one if she bathes on that;
Close to Bhandirvata is another banyan tree, Vamshivata. Krishna would climb to the top of this tree and play sweet notes on His flute, Vamshi, to call all the cows. Beneath this Vamshivata is the temple of Shridama, Krishna’s intimate cowherd boyfriend. Seeing Krishna leaving for Mathura with Akrura, Shridama was heartbroken and told Krishna that he would sit here at Vamshivata and wait until Krishna returns. Absorbed in thoughts of sweet loving exchanges with Krishna, Shridama kept waiting on and on. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Bhandirvan, He ran and embraced Shridama waiting here and reassured him that now He has finally come.
At Vamshivata shared that a practicing devotee should pray here for that type of faith and dedication that whether Krishna reveals Himself to me in this life or millions of lives it doesn’t matter. Shridama waited for Krishna for 4500 years. We should faithfully render unconditional devotional service for Krishna’s pleasure and rest Krishna will take care.
Once while grazing, the calves wandered deep inside the Bhandirvan forest into a dangerous section called Munjatavi while the Gopas were playing various games. Later following the imprints of the hooves of the calves when they finally reached Munjatavi, a blazing forest fire suddenly broke out and they were entrapped in it. The Gopas and the calves then helplessly cried out for Krishna’s help and Bhakta Vatsal Krishna immediately swallowed the fire into his mouth and relieved His friends from the distress. Material existence, consisting of birth, death, old age and disease, to this forest fire where the fire of the anarthas of lust, anger, envy, greed, pride and illusion is raging inside our hearts.
|Krishna swallows forest fire;|
At this most holy forest of Bhandirvan, we should cry out to Krishna to deliver us from the forest fire of material existence and from the fire of anarthas raging within our hearts.
Kalyanam of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna at Bhandirvata
|Brahmaji performing the wedding;|
|It is the only form of Krishna where He has no flute on His hands.
Because He is putting sindur to Srimati Radharani;
One of the most prominent pastime places in Bhandirvan is the Bhandirvata Banyan tree.
When Krsna and Shrimati Radharani were children of about only four years old, once while walking through the beautiful Bhandirvan forest they came to this Bhandirvata tree. By His inconceivable Leela Shakti, Krsna manifested His Kishora form of about 15 years old while Shrimati Radharani manifested Her Kishori form. Just then the intimate Sakhis headed by Lalita Sakhi had a beautiful throne arranged for Them and began to perform a marriage ceremony for Shri Shri Radha and Krsna. At that time Lord Brahma being attracted appeared there and began to chant the four Vedas. He became the chief priest for this marriage. Then other demigods like Lord Shiva and great sages like Narada also descended to participate. There was an exchange of garlands between the Divine Couple, chanting of mantras amidst the beautiful decorations made by the Gopis of Vrindavan. And in this way the playful Leela of Radha and Krsna’s marriage happened.
Of course, the marriage was not official and after the marriage was complete all the demigods, Gopis, everyone left. And then Krsna again became a little four year old boy and Shrimati Radharani became a little four year old girl, and they returned to Their homes. There are beautiful deities of Shri Shri Radha Bhandirbihari at Bhandirvata. The specialty of these deities is that Krsna is putting Sindur (Vermilion powder) on the forehead of Shrimati Radharani indicating Their marriage.
|Under the garlands we can see hand of
Krishna trying to put sindur to Radha's forehead;
|Krishna is standing on his tip toes to put sindhur;|
|In this photo we can see the hand of Krishna;|
Killing of Pralambhasura and Vatsasura
|Krishna is killing demon Pralambasura;|
Bhandirvan is also the place which witnessed various playful games amongst Krishna and His cowherd boyfriends. Once while playing hide and seek, the cowherd boys had divided themselves into two teams and it was decided that the loosing team members would have to carry the winners on their backs. That day one of Kamsa’s evil associates, Pralambhasura entered their company with the plan of killing Krishna Balaram, in the disguise of a cowherd boy. Balaramji’s team turned out victorious. Having lost, Krishna carried Shridama while Pralambhasura was carrying Balaramji. Pralambhasura, running very fast, carried Balaramji to a distant place so as to tackle Him while He is all alone. However Balaramji became so heavy that he could no longer maintain his calmouflage and assumed his gigantic demoniac form. Balaramji promptly struck the demons head with His fist making his skull split apart and the demon immediately fell dead.
Pralambasura represents the dangerous demon of the inclination to enjoy the opposite sex and the inclination to enjoy profit, adoration and distinction. These desires to enjoy gross and subtle sex appear like our friend just as Pralambasura appeared as Krishna’s dear intimate lifelong friend. These desires promise us happiness, fun, excitement and fulfillment like a friend. But they cheat us. They ultimately kill the inclination for spiritual life and for Krishna consciousness from within our hearts. They kill the inclination to selflessly serve others and to serve God and ultimately make us selfishly motivated. So we must be very careful against them.
On another occasion while Krishna Balaram were herding calves in Bhandirvan, a demon named Vatsasura disguised himself as a calf and started grazing with the other calves as if naive. Krishna understanding the evil intentions of Vatsasura, very softly came behind him, grabbed his hind legs and started whirling him around above His head circle after circle after circle until Vatsasura died out of diziness. All the Gopas celebrated killing of this demon however the Gopis in their transcendental humor accused Krishna of killing a calf and said that they won’t have anything to do with Krishna until He atones for this sin. So, Krishna created a well by pushing the tip of His flute into the earth and invoked all the holy waters to enter that well. Only after taking His bath in that well was Krishna again accepted by the Gopis. This well known as Venu Kupa is still there near the Bhandirvata tree.
Vatsasura represents the childish mentality by which a practicing devotee can be easily influenced because of bad association. A devotee of the Lord should be very simple; in fact he should be child like. But instead of being child like we become childish and foolishly get attracted to materialistic enjoyment because of bad association just like a child is sometimes cheated by rogues by offering some chocolates. He quoted from Bible that one should become innocent and simple like a child if one wants to enter into the kingdom of God. But at the same time one must have discrimination. This combination makes a devotee very very pleasing to Krishna.