Yavat and Vrindakunda
Day 6 leads us to Yavat and Vrindakund. Yavat is the village of Abhimanyu, his mother Jatila and sister Kutila. This place is very much glorified by Shrila Rupa and Sanatan Goswami because this place facilitates the “Parakiya Rasa” or the mellow of paramour love in the loving pastimes of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. There is a Radha Krishna temple in this village called the Radha Kanta Temple. This village is 3 Km northeast of Nandagaon.
Written by Harṣarāṇī Devī Dāsī
Day 6 of the Vṛndāvana Kārttika Parikramā began at Yavat. Upon our arrival we were greeted with the sweet chirping of birds, as if in heartfelt prayer to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in the hazy cool morning. Yavat was the place where Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī resided with her husband Abhimanyu, his sister Kuṭilā and his mother Jaṭilā. After taking darśana of the Deities, Mahārāja once more burst into kīrtana, setting our hearts on fire with a desire to chant the holy names very loudly and enthusiastically.
Thereafter Mahārāja commenced with the talk about Yavat. He explained that the purpose of Abhimanyu, Jaṭilā and Kuṭilā was to increase the eagerness of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa to meet each other. Abhimanyu was not in competition with Kṛṣṇa but rather he was simply a shadow of Kṛṣṇa. Rādhārāṇī was always watched by Her in-laws. She was never on Her own, so She and Kṛṣṇa always had to make secret plans to meet.
Mahārāja told the story where Rādhārāṇī swapped clothes with Subala (Kṛṣṇa’s cowherd boy friend) in order for her to go out to meet Kṛṣṇa. Jaṭilā thought Rādhārāṇī was Subala and allowed her to leave the house. Durvāsā Muni had given Rādhārāṇī a benediction that Her cooking would always taste like nectar and bring auspiciousness as well as long life, so Yaśodā requested that Rādhārāṇī cook for Kṛṣṇa. Paurṇamāsī persuaded Jaṭilā to let this happen. Therefore She was sent daily via a palanquin to cook for Kṛṣṇa, much to Their delight!
Mahārāja emphasized that the love of the gopīs and Rādhārāṇī was so pure that they had no self-interest; their only desire was to serve Kṛṣṇa. The love experienced by Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa was transcendental love. Yāmunācārya said that the spiritual world is not limited by time, space and thought. The spiritual world is governed by rasa and not time. A major portion of the talk focused on time, space and thought, and how these elements differed in the spiritual world compared to the material world. Mahārāja emphasised the predominance of time here. “In this material world, ultimately the greatest power is time. It catches up with all of us and with everything. Time takes everything away.”
In the spiritual world there is no existence of time but the presence of sequences remain, such as morning, noon and so on. The difference between time in the material world and spiritual world is that in the spiritual world time is not the ruling factor since Kṛṣṇa can be seen to have breakfast many times at different places. It’s not time that determines what happens; time is simply there to serve the desires of Kṛṣṇa. Even with space, Kṛṣṇa may travel great distances and it may take less or more time, depending on the desire of Kṛṣṇa.
Mahārāja also commented on how limiting our thoughts are. Here in the material world our dreams are always bigger than the reality, but in the spiritual world the reality is much better than the actual dream. “In the spiritual world the relationship between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is always inspiring. Every moment is inspiring… and if we think that it’s a million times more wonderful than what we can imagine, it’s still a million times greater than that, and everything is auspicious.”
Mahārāja also commented on the significance of Gopāṣṭamī. According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī in the Gopāla-campū, the residents of Vṛndāvana persuaded Nanda Mahārāja to allow Kṛṣṇa to herd the cows since He was advanced for His age. When this happened for the first time, the residents went with Him. The ground was wet and the gopīs had their skirts raised up a bit, and this is why Rādhārāṇī is often depicted as showing Her lotus feet on Gopāṣṭamī, making it a day of special mercy. The Yavat trip ended with ecstatic kīrtana.
The second part of the day took us to Vṛndā-kuṇḍa, whose tranquillity permeated everywhere. Even the kīrtana was especially soothing. Here Vṛndādevī would organise the meetings between Rādhārāṇī and Kṛṣṇa. Although Vṛndādevī is making elaborate arrangements, she is not the controller, since Kṛṣṇa is free and can do whatever He wants. “In the material world the men are trying to dominate. But in the spiritual world it is definitely the ladies that dominate…the gopīs are the ultimate dominators.”
The glories of the spiritual world were highlighted: it is inconceivable and everything there is beyond our expectations. Therefore, there is no need for us to be attached to material things. Mahārāja spoke about the devotees who have revealed the transcendental dhāma through performing extraordinary services, such as Dīna-bandhu Prabhu who acquired the Vṛndādevī deity from Mādhava Bābājī. “One generation of devotees creates a facility for the next generation of devotees. Therefore we are always indebted to the previous generation. And we are also obliged to leave something for the next generation. So Dīna-bandhu left us this (Vṛndādevī Deity). So what are we going to do?”
Mahārāja emphasized that our movement is made first of all by Śrīla Prabhupāda and by the desire of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. “So in that way let us turn to our spiritual master, then the previous ācāryas, then again to Kṛṣṇa, then back towards the spiritual master and in that way we can begin to penetrate into the transcendental world where all these amazing things are going on.”
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Photos by Svasti-Gopinatha, Tamala Krsna, Gauravani, Padmanabha, Zoltan, Gopali, Tamala Krsna and others
Braja Parikrama 2019 Schedule
- 1st Nov – Govinda kund, Tribhuvanatha Samadhi, Nrsimha temple Puncari
- 2nd Nov – Gosvami Temples Vrindavana
- 3-5 Nov – Jaipur
- 6th Nov – Yavat, Vrindakund
- 7th Nov – Sanket, Anjanoka
- 8th Nov – Vrindavan Parikrama
- 9th Nov – Unchagaon
- 10th Nov – Rest
- 11th Nov – Krishna Kund, Prem sarovara, initiations
- 12th Nov – Garuda Govinda, Rama Tala