History of Vrindavana

Introduction   The Lord Descends   Discovery of Vrindavana by Lord Chaitanya
Srila Prabhupada        The Sacred River Yamuna    Vrindavana Parikrama    
The Six Goswamis    Who is Lord Chaitanya?    Who are Radha and Krishna?

The Lord Descends to Earth

Five thousand years ago when the Supreme Lord in His original form as Krishna advented Himself here on earth, this part of the world was ruled by the most cruel and sinful King Kamsa. Kamsa had imprisoned his own father, Ugrasena, and usurped the throne of Mathura. With the help of other sinful and irreligious kings and his demoniac friends, Kamsa let loose a terrible reign of terror. As declared by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:

To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I myself appear, millennium after millennium.

It was the Lord's divine plan to take birth in the dynasty of Bhoja kings at Mathura, choosing Kamsa's very own sister, the beautiful princess Devaki, who was a great devotee of the Lord, to play the part of His so-called earthly mother.

Prior to Lord Krishna's appearance, King Kamsa had been warned by a prophetic voice from the sky that the eighth son of Devaki would kill him. Kamsa wasted no time in arresting Devaki and her husband Vasudeva. He threw them into prison and murdered all their newborn babies one by one. From the very beginning of His transcendental birth, Lord Krishna performed the most amazing superhuman acts. He appeared before Devaki and Vasudeva as their eighth child in His four-armed form of Vishnu-murti. He then miraculously transformed Himself into a small baby. By His own divine will, baby Krishna was transferred from the prison cell of Kamsa, to the safety of Gokula, and the foster home of Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda Mayi, the king and queen of the cowherd men.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, is called Bhagavan. This means He is full with six opulences: all strength, all beauty, all wealth, all fame, all knowledge and all renunciation. There is no one greater than God in these six opulences, even when He is playing as a small baby on the lap of His mother. The Lord is also called Yogesvara, or the master of all mystic powers. When Kamsa came to know that baby Krishna had escaped, he became furious and ordered all the newborn children in the kingdom to be immediately slaughtered. When he somehow understood that Krishna was still alive, he sent a number of his powerful demoniac associates in search of Krishna with orders to kill Him immediately. Due to the attack of so many demons sent by King Kamsa, like Putana the witch, and Trinavarta the whirlwind demon, Nanda and Yasoda took Krishna from Gokul to Nandagram, in the hope of giving protection to their transcendental child. As Krishna grew a little older, He used to go to the pasturing grounds with the cows and calves, accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends and His elder brother Balarama, whose mother was Rohini, another wife of Vasudeva. Throughout Krishna's life, so many demons tried to kill Him - Putana, Aghasura, Dhenuka, the poisonous serpent Kaliya, Pralamba, Kesi, Vyomasura, not forgetting the evil King Kamsa. Each one failed, however, and in turn were killed by Lord Krishna. When Krishna reached the age of six or seven, He became friendly with the beautiful young cowherd girls, the gopis of Vrindavana. They all worshipped Krishna as a great hero, due to His killing many demons. They also worshipped Him as the most beautiful person in the creation, and all desired to marry Him. The young gopis were deeply in love with Krishna and desired to serve Him as much as they possibly could. They were not able to forget Krishna even for a moment. The most beautiful and qualified amongst the gopis was Srimati Radharani, Krishna's most beloved and favorite gopi damsels. As Lord Sri Krishna is the source of all the incarnations of Vishnu, Radharani is the original source of all the goddesses of fortune (Laksmis). Just as Krishna descended from the spiritual world, Radharani also descended, along with 108 important gopis for offering different kinds of service to Lord Krishna. Devotional service to God, out of pure love, is the topmost activity for all living entities; even the great yogis aspire to be eternally engaged in the loving service of Krishna. There are a total of five holy dhamas of Lord Sri Krishna on earth, but the most important one is Sri Vrindavana dhama. It is the highest and most super-excellent abode, where only very intimate, transcendental loving pastimes are enacted by the Lord. By material vision, Vrindavana Dhama has a radius of forty-two miles with Mathura in the center, and is known as the Vraja Mandala, which includes the twelve important forests. The forest of Vrindavana however is the most important; Vrindavana means forest (vana) of Tulasi plants (Vrnda). In this forest of Vrindavana, Lord Krishna enacted His most intimate pastimes with the beautiful gopi damsels of Vraja. In the evening, Krishna would come to the forest of Vrindavana and play on His transcendental flute, thus calling all the beautiful gopis to come and enjoy the wonderful rasa-lila, the divine dance of love. Lord Krishna would then dance in spiritual ecstasy with hundreds of beautiful gopis, and each gopi would have the opportunity of personally dancing with Krishna. The gopis also exchanged intimate loving glances with Krishna and were embraced by the Lord to their hearts' content.

The wonderful pastimes of Lord Krishna unfolded one after another, day after day, thus enchanting the lives of all the inhabitants of Vrindavana. After attaining the age of eleven, Lord Krishna, accompanied by Balarama, decided to go to Mathura to kill the evil King Kamsa and release his parents, Vasudeva and Devaki, who were still in captivity. Lord Krishna's going to Mathura, and later Dvaraka, form whole new chapters in the transcendental life and pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna.

Those interested in understanding more about the wonderful pastimes of Lord Krishna would do well to read the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada especially Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a summary study of Krishna's pastimes mentioned in the great classic Srimad-Bhagavatam.

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