Restoring the Heritage of Vraja

by rpd Ka-kp dsa

[NOTE: This page uses Balarama font (available here)
for better transliteration of Sanskrit into English]

r Brahma-kua


Uddhava-kyr (r Vikh-kuja)


Under the guidance and leadership of r rmad Bhaktivednta Nryaa Gosvm Mahrja, both r Brahma-kua and Uddhava-kyr are currently being excavated and restored. Unfortunately, many of the holy places in r Vraja-maala are falling into disrepair and gradually becoming lost to us due to neglect, and this project aims to help preserve the heritage of Vraja for future generations. What follows is a brief account of the history and astonishing glories of r Brahma-kua and Uddhava-kyr.


r Brahma-kua (at the base of r Govardhana)


Below the r Harideva temple, beside Manas-dev on the southern side of r Mnas-gag, is a very ancient and holy trtha, r Brahma-kua. r Kadvaipyana Veda-vysa has described the glories of this ancient kua in the r Krma Pura and r Varha Pura. In the r Krma Pura it is said:


ytra brahmdayo dev samjagmurbhuva-sthale

brahma-stutybhieka ca harecakre vidhnata

smvedodbhavair-mantrai sarva-kmrtha-sidhaye

brahma-kua yato jta brahmdibhir vinirmita


Out of a desire to take darana of the sweet lls of Ka, Brahm stole all the calves and cowherd boys and hid them in a cave. Then, being very merciful, Ka Himself assumed the forms of all the stolen calves and cowherd boys, thus showing His astonishing opulence (majestic power) to Brahmj. This verse explains that upon his illusion being dispelled, Brahmj, surrounded by Mhadeva akara and many other demigods, came near to this presently situated r Harideva temple and fell at the lotus feet of r Ka, begging forgiveness for his faults. To fulfill his cherished desire, he performed abhieka of r Ka by reciting all the appropriate mantras from the Sma Veda. From the water of this abhieka, Brahmakua was formed. Brahm and the others demigods bathed in that kua, and from that day onwards this pond became known as Brahma kua.


In the same Krma Pura the following mantras have been prescribed for taking bath and performing camana in Brahma-kua:


brahmdi nirmitastrtha uddha-kabhiecana

nama kaivalyanthya devn muktikraka

iti mantra davty majjancamanairnaman

dvayormadhye kta dna sahastra guita bhavet


O trtha created by Brahm and other devas! O supremely pure kua! O bathing place of Ka, O kaivalya-nyaka! I am offering obeisances to you, who release the demigods from their material bondage. Recite this mantra ten times, perform camana, offer pranmas and then bathe in the waters of this kua.


puya mnasika yatra phalamakayam pnuyt

manasi sasthitn kmn cintant sarvampnuyt

guptadna prakurvta svaragaurajatdika

annavastrdika caiva ptra pthvghdika


dayutagua puya phala tad dvidagua labhet

nrkelaphaldn hastavdividhyin

puya lakagua jta phala syttaccaturgu

manas kriyate dnamakya phalampnuyt


The result of performing charitable acts here is increased one-thousand times. If anyone performs these pious acts here, even within his mind, he will gain imperishable results. All types of desires are fulfilled here. The results of giving away gold, silver, clothing or ornaments is increased 100,000 times here, and then by four times again.


On a nearby shore lies the temple of Manas-dev, who fulfils all of ones heartfelt desires. Manas dev is Kas yogamy potency, who carries out Kas lls and unites all jvas with Him. The Vaiavas know her to be the worshipable deity of Mnas-gag, who is the self-same form of Bhagavat-gag.


According to the Vyu Pura, on the eastern side of this kua lies Indra-trtha; on the southern bank lies Yama-trtha; on the western bank is Varua-trtha; and on the northern bank is Kuvera-trtha. These four demigods are performing worship here to receive Kas mercy.



Manasi-ganga and Manasa-ganga Mandira


Nearby is Mnas-gag, who manifested from r Kas mind. She dispels all types of sin, as well as the sufferings of birth and death, for all those who merely bathe in her waters. In the centre is Mukhravinda of r Girirjaj. On the pretext of taking the gops across this Mnas-gag, Ka performed boat-sporting pastimes here.


Caklevara Mahdeva is situated nearby on a bank of this Mnas-gag. He protected Girirja and the Vrajavss from the torrents of rain, thunderbolts and lightning of Indra. This Brahma-kua is therefore a prominent trtha among all the holy places of Govardhana. By serving this kua all of the jvas cherished desires are fulfilled.


Uddhava-kyr (r Vikh-kuja)


This place, which is also known as Kadamba-kyr, is situated a short distance from Nandvara Hill, to the south-east. This is in fact the kuja of Vikhj, and nearby lies Vikh-kua. In this secluded and beautiful place surrounded by kadamba trees, Vikhj used to arrange meetings between Rdh and Ka. Sometimes Ka also used to perform rsa-ll here with Rdhj and Her friends. There is a rsa-ved (sitting place in rsa-ll) here, reminding us of that rsa-ll. Rdh and Ka also enjoyed many kinds of playful water-pastimes in the clear and fragrant waters of Vikh-kua.


After r Ka went to Mathur, all of Vraja drowned in an ocean of separation from Him. Even the birds and animals gave up eating and drinking, feeling distressed in separation from Ka, what to speak of the distress felt by the gopas and gops. Kas beloved gops followed Akrras chariot to this point and then fell to the ground unconscious. They never returned home again. Grievously afflicted by separation from Ka, Rdhj stayed in this dense forest in seclusion. In the hope of Kas return, She counted each passing day, remaining on the verge of death.


At that time Kas messenger, Uddhavaj, came here to console the gops, but upon seeing rmat Rdhiks state of separation, he paid his obeisances to Her from afar, unable to say anything.


Acutely afflicted by separation from Ka, rmat Rdhik saw a bumblebee and thought it to be a messenger from Ka. In the state of divyonmda, She started manifesting citrajalpa, prajalpa and other moods of transcendental madness. At times She chastised the bee, and at times She complained to it. At times She gave the bee instructions and at times respect, and still at other times She enquired from it about the well-being of Her beloved. Uddhava was amazed to see and hear all this. He had come as guru to deliver instructions, but instead he became a disciple.



Nandisvara Hill



To console the gops, Uddhava relayed some of Kas messages to them, but this only intensified their pain of separation from Him. They said, uddo man na bhayos das bs, ek huto so gayo ym saga, ko rdhe a Uddhava, we dont have ten or twenty hearts each. We had only one, which has now left us along with yma. With which heart shall we now worship God? They also said, udo joga kah rkhe yah rom rom ym hai Uddhava, how can we perform yoga when yma pervades every particle of our bodies?


Finally, Uddhavaj desired to take birth in Vraja in the form of a small shrub, creeper or blade of grass, so that he could be blessed with the dust of the gops feet. He worshipped their foot-dust with the following prayers:


aho caraa-reu-jum aha sy

vrndvane kim api gulma-latauadhnm

y dustyaja sva-janam rya-pathaca hitv

bhejur mukunda-padav rutibhir vimgym


rmad-Bhgavatam (10.47.61)


If I become a shrub, creeper or medicinal herb, here in Vndvana, it will be my great fortune. Oh! I shall then be able to serve the dust of these gops feet, and will be blessed by bathing in that foot-dust. These gops are the most fortunate of all. They have given up those things that are extremely difficult to renounce their relatives, religious principles prescribed in the Vedas, and acceptable social conduct. Having become so completely absorbed in Ka, they have obtained supreme prema for Him and become as worshipable as Him.


vande nanda-vraja-strn

pda-reum abhkaa

ys hari-kathodgta

punti bhuvana-trayam


rmad-Bhgavatam (10.47.63)


I bow down to the dust of the feet of the gops residing in Nanda Bbs Vraja. Oh! Whatever these gops have sung about Kas pastimes is purifying the whole world and will continue to do so.



This pastime-place is filled with the rasa of the highest level of meeting (mah- sambhoga) with Ka; and, simultaneously, it is filled with the rasa of the highest degree of separation (mah-vipralamba) from Him. The life of a sdhaka becomes successful by taking darana of and touching this place.



No 12 Gaura Purnima 2003




[Home Page] vs.gif - 6443 Bytes

Contemporary Disciples Page