Vraja Mandala Parikrama

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May the beautiful pastime places of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, appear within the heart of all those who sincerely read and chant about their glories. The Lord is unlimited and so are His associates and His transcendental pastimes. Describing in detail all the pastimes that occurred in Sri Vrndavana-dhama is impossible even for Lord Ananta-sesa, what can we possibly describe? Yet, remembering and discussing merely a drop of those wonderful pastimes is enough to set sincere sadhakas on the path to deliverance from this contaminated material existence and drown them in an ocean of indescribable transcendental bliss. 


Madhuvana is as sweet as madhu (honey). Madhava is the presiding deity of this forest, where Lord Visnu killed the demon named Madhu and thus became known as Madhusudana. It is in this forest that Dhruva Maharaja, following the instructions of his spiritual master, Narada Muni, performed severe austerities to please Lord Visnu and received His divine audience. 

Another great demon named Madhu, who was blessed by Lord Siva with an invincible trident, came and established his kingdom in this forest after being banished by his father. Due to his demoniac nature and his atrocities, all people feared him. He reigned here for many years. Then, at the time of his death, he handed over his trident to his son Lavanasura. Lavanasura, as demoniac as his father, was a great disturbance to the people. They went to Lord Rama and requested Him to kill Lavanasura. Lord Rama then sent Satrughna, who killed Lavanasura and became the king. The cave of Lavanasura and the deity of Satrughna can still be found in Madhuvana. Later, in Dvarapa-yuga, Lord Krsna came here with His friends to graze their cows and enjoy various sports in this beautiful forest and in the pleasing waters of Madhu-kunda, also known as Krsna-kunda. 


Ignorance of our true spiritual nature and misidentification with this gross material body is the cause of our bondage to this material world full of sorrow. The only one to smash these ties of ignorance is Sri Guru, a representative of Adi Guru, Lord Balarama. This important teaching is found in the famous pastime performed by Balabhadra Prabhu and Krsna in the forest of Talavana, where sweet aromatic tala fruits grew in great abundance. This forest was previously guarded by the demon Dhenukasura so that all the fruits and nectar extracted from those fruits could be enjoyed by Kamsa and his associates. 

Once, when Krsna and the cowherd boys were grazing their cows, they came to this forest. The boys requested Krsna and Balarama to satiate their hunger by feeding them the delicious tala fruits.  Lord Balarama then shook one of the trees and the sweet fruits fell down to the ground. Hearing the sound, Dhenukasura came along with his associates and tried to kill Krsna and Balarama, but was rather killed by Lord Balarama. His associates were then killed by both Krsna and Balarama. In commemoration of this pastime, there is a temple of Baladeva in the forest of Talavana. Balabhadra-kunda is also here. 


In this beautiful forest full of Kumudini (lotus) flowers, Sri Krsna performed cow herding pastimes with His friends and played various sports with them. Unseen by them, He would also bathe in Kumudini-kunda with Srimati Radhika, Lalita, Vishakha and other priya-narma-sakhis. 

Nearby are the pastime places of Datiha (where Krsna killed Dantavakra and met the Vrajavasis),  Chattikara, or Skatikara (where, due to the fear of the demons, Nanda Baba and the Vrajavasis made a temporary establishment by arranging their carts in the shape of a crescent moon),) Garud Govinda (where, while playing, Krsna took on the role of Visnu and Sridama became Garuda), Santanu Kunda (where Maharaja Santanu performed austerities), and many other such pastime places. 

We pray to all these pastime places to bestow their mercy upon us all, so that one day we too may be able to serve the Divine Couple in Their pastimes.