I reached around lunch time at Vrindhavan dham. It was hot and I was tired. Jet lag was setting in and I wanted to make sure that I was ready for a long day on day 2 which would be the day for Sri Krishna Janmasthami. So, all I did on the day of arrival was to spend the afternoon in the room and closer to evening, I went out and purchased some new kurtas and dhoties. Once decorated in the new outfits, I spent the rest of the evening and night at the Krishna Balaram mandir. To once again walk through the back entrance, over the cool sand and on to the cooler marble floors was great. Felt I had come home. The happiness was there. Paying obeisances at the samadhi of Srila Prabhupad was emotional in a peculiar way and I was delighted to be in front of him again. Was he happy to see me too?
The next day, after attending the mangal aroti and the tulasi puja, I set out on a Vrindhavan parikrama. I had found it hard last year with sharp stones from the badly managed roads cutting my feet. But this time, it had rained brilliantly the night before and as the sun came out, once could see the leaves greener than usual, tasty smell of soil in the air, a cool breeze and more importantly, sand & mud on the road.
The impressive, Radha Madana Mohana temple, a landmark symbol of Vrindhavan beckoned the morning pilgrims. Climbing the steep sandstone steps, paying obeisances to the dieties and staring at the archaeological wonder had a calming effect. This temple was established by Sanatana Gosvami and was the first temple in the region. Behind me is the river Yamuna.
There were plenty of people about around that early part of the morning. Almost all of the boats were well decorated and the boatmen had their sales pitch ready to get their passengers.
Not all boats were well decorated. But what matters is the journey.
This is the place where Lord Krishna killed the Kesi demon who appeared in the form of a gigantic horse. And its also one of the most famous bathing areas in Vrindhavan. Sitting on one those platforms, turning towards the river yamuna and completing a japa round is refreshing.
And like that, I walked along the parikrama route completing my 16 rounds for the day. I finished the parikrama at the Krishna Balaram mandir and was happy with the whole session. My mind didn’t wander much, there was less traffic noise on the route, the roads were soft from the rain, chanted well and as per our scriptures, I also managed to wash away innumerable sins accumulated over many many life times. By circumbulating the whole of Vrindhavan, one automatically circumbulates over 5000 temples all at one time. For 10kms, and 3 hrs of walk, I think its a pretty good result !